Even during the recession, a small splurge can do the mind and body good. But how can you save on those little luxuries? Kelli Grant, Senior Consumer Reporter for SmartMoney.com, has some ideas.
If you're an avid reader or involved in a book club, consider joining your local bookstore's rewards program. Loyalty clubs have great benefits - everything from unannounced sales to first dibs on new releases. Membership is usually free. Grant likes the Borders Rewards Program, which offers coupons, rebates and other discounts. To sign up, click here to visit the Borders website.
Grant also says that music lovers who like to download MP3's should expand their online search for songs beyond iTunes. "You really do want to shop around. There are plenty of players in the digital music game," says Grant. If you take the time to browse, rather than buy the first thing you see, you can easily save up to 25 cents or more per download. That small savings can really add up. "A great site to try is DownloadShopper.com," says Grant. This site compares prices for you to take the guesswork out of browsing.
Movie fans can save money too. While browsing the aisles at your local movie rental store can be fun, Grant says it's not always the cheapest option. "You're going to pay about $5.00 to rent a new title," says Grant. "If you go online, Netflix, Blockbuster, their cheapest plans run about $9.00 a month to have one rental out at a time, and that's unlimited rentals per month," says Grant. Infrequent renters can save money by using movie rental kiosks at supermarkets, malls or drugstores.
If magazines are more your taste, it's always best to buy a year's subscription than to buy issues individually at the store. To save even more, "subscribe online on sites like Amazon or Magazines.com," says Grant. "There, you can easily save more than 80% off the newsstand price." These sites also offer coupon codes, so you could save even more.
Despite the recession, if you still can't seem to kick your daily gourmet coffee habit, there are ways to so save some money here too. If you love Starbucks, Grant suggests applying for their credit card. "That will give you extra rebates when you spend in store, and when you reload this attached gift card," says Grant. "In the end, you can get free coffee, free refills, free flavors - it's a good way for people to save."
For more ways to trim your budget, visit www.SmartMoney.com.
By Erin Petrun
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