There are key ways to save on items in your life. If you cut down on the numerous assaults on your pocketbook you will be in good shape. Here are three things that you can stop buying that will make a big dent in savings.
Credit-Card Payment Insurance
The pitch: Pay a monthly fee — often tied to the amount of your outstanding balance — and the credit card company will make payments for you if you lose your job, become sick or disabled.
The truth: This “protection” can cost a few hundred bucks a year, and there are often so many restrictions and caveats on coverage that you won’t see a dime. Even if your claim is accepted, the insurance only pays the monthly minimum for a period of months.
Cheap Paper Towels
The pitch: Shave a buck or two off your grocery bill by tossing bargain-basement paper towels into your cart.
The truth: In a 2009 Consumer Reports review, none of the cheapest towels scored high marks for durability or absorption, which means you’ll just end up using more of them. Savings — gone.
100-Calorie Packs of Snack Foods
The pitch: Built-in portion control takes the guesswork and the temptation out of snack time.
The truth: You can get an ordinary box or bag of your favorite 4 p.m. nosh and small sandwich bags and make your own. Compare: You can get a 4-ounce box of 100-calorie snack cakes for about $4. Or, you could buy a roughly 10.5-ounce box for about the same price and divide it up yourself.