Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Just Some Helpful Tips to Save Money

Doctor Barter
According to Consumer Watchdog, everything in health care is negotiable. Ask for a discount! You can get a medical costs report from HealthGrades.com. Click on “Health Manager” to find the going rate in your area for more than 50 different procedures. Armed with the facts, you’ll be in a better position to negotiate. Or call your insurer’s customer service number and ask about the rates it pays physicians in your area. These rates are typically lower than the sticker price set by providers. Ask your doctor if she’ll accept a similar amount.

Go to a walk-in clinic

For routine issues like an earache or sore throat, visit a clinic (even retail stores like Walmart have them). Some take insurance, but if they don’t or you don’t have coverage, the cost will typically be affordable. Plus, no appointment is necessary.

Dental school is cool
Try going to a clinic at a major dental school; it will be staffed by closely supervised students in their final years of training. The cost is about 50% less than for dentists in private practice. To find a school, go to ada.org and search under the “Dental Professionals” section.

Evaluate Insurance plans annually

Last year’s plan may not suit you this year. If you have health insurance through an employer, review your options each year. Did you get married? Divorced? Does your spouse have a better plan that would be cheaper? Here’s your chance to switch without losing benefits. Shop around for auto coverage as well, a lot times your current provider will match or beat competitor's prices.

Grocery Tips

Milk - Instead of buying milk at grocery stores, go to mini-marts and gas stations, which sometimes offer a better price than grocery stores. Powdered milk also is an option, replacing liquid milk in recipes that need it.

Beef, pork and poultry - Buy in bulk. To avoid spoilage, put the meat in the freezer. Consumers also can save money on ground beef by mixing it in with ground turkey or another type of cheap, ground meat. Consumers also should try to find cheaper cuts because there are ways to make them just as appetizing as their pricier counterparts. With chicken, find cuts with the bone, because boneless and skinless cuts can be more expensive.

Buy fruits and veggies "in-season." When you buy produce in season, you're getting a huge price break, Cellfire says. Here's a good list of in-season fruits and veggies from Wisebread.com.

Stack manufacturer and store coupons and stock up (within reason) when things are on sale.

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