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How To Save On Those Big Ticket Items

BOSTON (CBS) - Vacations, cars, TVs, appliances, furniture, computers or a college education. Basically any big purchases you can plan for.

Obviously if your washing machine dies and you have three kids you are not going to the Laundromat every day until washers go on sale. But big-ticket items do go on sale and they go on sale frequently so with some planning you can save big bucks. If your washer is old and will need replacing soon, start shopping.

Vacations:  Try off-season or packaged deals. Check out the cheap deals online. Book cruises far in advance or at the last minute. Check the airline websites for last-minute deals or book your airline tickets well in advance as well.

The low cost airlines don't always give you a bargain. Check into what those extra fees will be. I had used Frequent Flyer miles for a trip but they got us on the luggage with fees of $200.

Check out Triple A or AARP discounts if you are eligible. Most summer vacations start with a family getting into their car and driving off. If money is tight this summer, consider a staycation instead of a vacation.

Use your home as your hotel and do what the tourists do when they come to town. Sightsee; ride the duck boats or swan boats, head to the aquarium, go to the beach, hit the museums, Faneuil Hall and the North End for good pizza and cannolis. Gawk at the buildings and walk around our beautiful city.

Furniture:  There are seasonal sales and pre-holiday sales. Ask the sales person when the couch you want will go on sale. Shop around and compare prices.

Clothing:  Summer clothing is on sale right now. This is when I shop for summer clothes, in the summer. Sometimes the sales in the big department stores are better than shopping discount stores or the outlet stores. School clothes sales will start in August.

Computers:  Look to the Internet for good prices if you don't need any help getting up and running. Big sales in the summer before school starts and again around Christmas.

Cars:  Cars are on sale everywhere. Best deal may still be a used car. The kind of car you drive also affects what you pay for auto insurance and maintenance. A Volvo is cheaper than a BMW to insure and a Toyota Camry is cheaper than a Volvo.

College Education:  State schools are still a bargain! Tuition has increased but still a good deal. Send the kiddo to community college for the first two years and then have them transfer to UMass. Their diploma comes from the University of Massachusetts.


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