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Save money in 2013: small, simple changes add up to big savings

A store customer receives cash back at a Los Angeles business.
January 14, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
We're all looking for ways to save money in 2013, but many consumers don't realize they can save hundreds, even thousands of dollars a year, by making a few simple changes in their lives. Here are some ways to save money:

Gas prices are off their all-time highs, but some analysts predict they may be heading up again as high as $4.65 a gallon in Southern California by summer.

It may get pricey, but you can save money right now every time you fill up at the pumps. Many consumers aren't taking advantage and are losing out on big savings. In fact, you can save up to $1 a gallon depending on what you spend at the grocery store. Next time you pull into participating Shell, Texaco or Chevron stations, look for signs that advertise savings of up to 20 cents a gallon if you use a rewards card from Ralphs or Vons.

If that's not enough, how about saving $1 for each gallon of gas you put in your tank? You can do that at Vons-branded fuel stations. There are 12 of them in Southern California. Once you've spent $1,000 at Vons, you get $1 off per gallon for a single fill-up at the Vons stations. For all of the supermarkets' club savings programs, spend a minimum amount at those stores to qualify for those gas discounts.

You could spend as much as $1 for a bottle of water or you can buy it by the case and save some money. There is another, however, to save even more money: instead of spending hundreds of dollars on water bottles, you can spend about $9 dollars for a Brita Bottle with a built in filtration system. Just fill it up with water and it filters out the chlorine, odors and bad taste. The Brita Bottle will filter about the equivalent of about 300 bottles of water.

Prescription drug costs continue to soar and it hits people without insurance especially hard. Rite Aid's Rx Savings Program offers discounts on more than 400 generic medications - and the savings can be huge. It costs $9.99 for a 30-day supply and $15.99 for a 90-day supply. Compare that with the cash price for a 90-day supply of the popular blood thinner Warfarin, it's $83.99 without insurance. Rite Aid's saving plan brings it down to $15.99. You could also pay a whopping $422.99 for a three-month supply of Lovastatin, a cholesterol-lowering drug. That's more than 26-times the cash price using the pharmacy's savings program.

Here's another way to save: a traditional greeting card can cost about $3 or more plus the cost of postage. If you send one per week, it could cost you up to $200 per year. But websites like egreetings.com allow you to send personalized love letters, thank you cards and birthday wishes for free.

We want to hear from you, too! What tips do you have to save real money? Post them on Ric Romero's Facebook page at facebook.com/abc7ric.

Fuel savings programs:
www.vons.com
www.ralphs.com

Brita Bottle can be found at these stores:
www.target.com

Rite Aid Rx Savings Program:
www.riteaid.com

Free online greeting cards:
www.doozycards.com
www.jibjab.com
www.punchbowl.com
www.bluemountain.com


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