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Archive | January, 2016

5 Ways to Save Money on Your Next Car

5 Ways to Save Money on Your Next Car

Getting the most out of your college experience means participating in internships, volunteering, attending events in the community and part-time jobs. Most of these activities require access to transportation. But while college is an amazing time for gaining invaluable life experience, it can be a not so great time for financial stability.

So how do you as a student who is low on cash but still in desperate need of wheels make sure that you are getting the best deal on a car? Here are five ways to save on your next car:

1. Buy Your Car on the Internet

If you have already researched cars and are sure of what you want, most car dealerships now have Internet sales departments where you can negotiate a price and financing with a salesperson online. Some dealerships will even deliver the car and paperwork to you. Internet salespeople generally have different sales incentives; they are paid for the number of cars they sell rather than on the sales price. Therefore, they are more likely to give you the lowest price on a car from the beginning than a typical car salesperson. According to Edmunds, a consumer, on average, saves between $1,000 and $2,000 by negotiating online.

2. Make Dealerships Bid Against Each Other

Online negotiations also allow you to be in contact with multiple dealerships at once. Once you receive an initial offer from the Internet department on a specific vehicle from several dealerships, go back to each one with the lowest price and ask them to make another offer. Letting each bid against the others is a good way to ensure you will get the very best price from every dealership.

3. Consider the Timing of Your Purchase

If you feel more comfortable buying a car in person, aim to buy at the end of the month. Most dealerships give bonuses to salespeople who meet monthly (or sometimes quarterly) goals, so by the end of the month many in the sales force are scrambling to meet these goals and you are more likely to get the best deal they can offer. Statistically, winter months offer the biggest discounts, although inventory may be low on some cars. Even better, if you can wait, buy a car when the next year’s model is just about to come out. Dealerships only want to sell the newest cars and will make deals to move the older models.

4. Look for Used Cars Outside of Your Area

Looking for a used car can be frustrating, especially if you have a specific model in mind. Popular cars can go quickly and inventory in your area may be limited. With a website like DriveTime, you aren’t limited to looking for used cars locally. DriveTime allows you to search for cars in any location (and who couldn’t use a bonus road trip) and includes an AutoCheck Report and five day return policy. Casting a wide net will make sure you get the car you want at the best price.

5. Check for Student Discounts

When you think of student discounts you might think of the movies or art museums, but there are also many  and new grads. Some car companies have special financing options for students who are close to graduating. For example, for students who meet eligibility criteria, Honda offers a flexible lease and financing terms on new and used vehicles and Toyota offers a $1,000 rebate on the purchase of a new car.

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Meal Ideas and Money Saving Tips for College Students on a Budget 

Meal Ideas and Money Saving Tips for College Students on a Budget 

groceryshoppingEven if you don’t have much money to spend on your groceries while you’re in college, fear not. You can still cook tasty and nutritious meals by following these tips and tricks for eating well on a budget:

Cut Down on Your Shopping Time

The more time you spend at the grocery store, the more likely are you to spend even more. Keep you trips to 30 minutes or less to help you stay in your budget.

Head to the grocery store once or twice a month to stock up on staples like eggs, milk and bread. Rachael Ray Magazine cites a study that says unplanned trips increase impulse buys by 23 percent, and planned trips to the grocery store decrease impulse buys by 13 percent. It’s OK to go more frequently if you need perishable items, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, but be sure to buy those in smaller quantities so you don’t end up throwing them out.

Shop Sales

If you frequently use olive oil, nuts, pasta and canned beans in your meals, stock up on those items when they go on sale. There’s no need to pay full price because these items don’t go bad quickly. Watch flyers and other ads to know when to head to the store when prices drop.

Stick to Frozen Items

Since the majority of waste from grocery shopping is from fresh produce, stick to frozen fruits and veggies that will last longer and not need to be thrown out.

Make Potatoes Your Friends

One of the cheapest ways to save on food? Buying potatoes. Plus, you can do a lot with them. Bake them. Mash them. Make hashbrowns. They are one of the most versatile foods around.

Choose Your Meat Wisely

It may be tempting to buy a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken from the store, but buying a whole chicken is cheaper. Sure, it will take you more time to prepare everything, but you’ll get some great meals out of the whole chicken. Use the breast in a sandwich, wings as a snack and other parts in a soup.

If you’re looking for another healthy protein, fish is a good option. Like many other items, you should buy fish frozen to get the best deals. Swing by the fish counter to ask for discounted cuts, too.

Another food that’s easy on your wallet and heavy on taste is ground beef. If you’re worried about the calories, buy a leaner cut. With this meat, you can make a variety of healthy and inexpensive meals, such as a taco salad and pasta with meat sauce.

Find Simple Recipes

Even though you’re strapped for cash and time, you can still whip up delicious meals. There are plenty of simple and easy recipes out there that even beginner cooks can make. Start with something familiar, such as lasagna, so you know you’re following the recipe correctly. In less than two hours, you’ll have a piping hot pan of protein-packed lasagna that tastes and smells great. Best of all? This will give you enough food to enjoy for days.

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