DOLLAR-WISE DIVAS: SAVE MONEY! APRIL’S BARGAINS AND BEST BUYS
Share creative ideas to assist people of all ages with tips to save money and improve their lifestyle!
By Nancy and Dawn Clement
April 20, 2010 (San Diego’s East County) – Each month offers bargains and specials savings for you. Food savings seems to be the theme for April; now is a good time to take advantage of candy and decorations due to Easter clearance sales. April is also National Car Care month. With Earth Day fast approaching, we offer you tips to save money and drive green.
Food Saving Tips
Many other food items are special buys this month including eggs, ham, cheese, so you could make a tasty meal that would cost you less and save time as you could quickly whip up a tasty egg dish. If you need recipe ideas check out www.Kraft.com or www.Prevention.com; both offer time saving recipes for busy people.
Additional items you can save money on are: mustard, ready-made dough, dinner rolls, frozen pies, cake mixes, cake frosting and piecrusts. Non-food items that offer savings in April include electronics, vacuums, cookware, tires and other car care supplies.
Drive Green and Save
There are five simple things you can do to having a “Greener,” more efficient car. Following these tips will save you money on car repairs, reduce the time your car is in the shop for repairs and create less stress for you. These tips are just in time to help you celebrate Earth Day on April 22nd and are from the Car Care.Org website: www.CarCare.org.
1. Drive Green – If you have to drive your car on Earth Day, recognize that how you drive has a lot to do with fuel economy. Avoid sudden starts and stops and go the speed limit. Jerky and aggressive driving decreases your miles per gallon (MPG) and increases wear and tear on your vehicle. Minimize unnecessary miles by combining errands in one trip.
2. Get a Tune-Up – Regular tune-ups, maintenance and having clean air filters will help your car pollute less and burn less gas. With a proper tune-up, you can save 4 percent on the cost of gas and up to 40 percent by replacing a faulty oxygen sensor. Simply changing the car’s air filter can improve efficiency by 10 percent.
3. Lighten the Load – Get the junk out of the trunk and the stuff out of your car, with the exception of emergency items such as a spare tire, flares and a first-aid kit. Extra items weigh the vehicle down and cause an increase in gas usage.
4. Tire Checks – According to the Car Care Council, around two billion gallons of gas each year will be the result if the tires on every American’s car were properly inflated. Optimal tire pressure for your vehicle is in your car’s operating manual. Tires that are not properly inflated add rolling resistance that makes the engine work harder to move the vehicle. All of this increases fuel costs as much as three to five cents per gallon, and increases the risk of engine damage.
5. Gas Caps and Fill-Ups – Check your vehicle’s gas cap. Approximately 17 percent of vehicles on the road have loose, damaged or missing gas caps, causing 147 million gallons of gas to vaporize every year. Topping off your gas tank when filling up your car can also release harmful vapors into the environment.
“Driving technique and proper vehicle maintenance go a long way toward protecting the environment. Vehicle owners who do their own maintenance should remember to recycle or properly dispose of fluids and other vehicle components, including used motor oil, tires and batteries,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council.
For a free guide to having a “Greener” car and a free car guide, check out http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mercury/carcareguide/index.php?startid=25.
Nancy Clement is an east county Realtor®, mortgage broker and freelance writer and can be reached at 619-563-4184 or Dollar-wiseDivas@cox.net. Dawn Clement is a stay-at-home mother of three, a freelance writer, and creative shopper.