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The holidays are behind us, tax day is approaching and summer vacation is still a way off—making this a great time of the year to start a money-saving strategy. Here are a few ways to cut costs without feeling the pinch.

On the Road Get Some Air
If you want to save gas, start at the bottom. By ensuring that your tires are properly inflated, you can improve your gas mileage by 1%.

Go Public
The most cost-efficient way to travel is usually public transportation. If you’ve got a reliable system in your area, you can cut costs on gas, car maintenance and tolls.

Hit the (Car) Pool
If public transportation isn’t an option, reduce costs by riding with a friend. The more people you ride with, the more you’ll save by splitting the costs of gas and tolls.

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In Your Wallet Find Some Balance
Check in with your credit cards to verify your current interest rate. If it’s too high, negotiate a lower rate. If you can’t, consider a balance transfer to a card that offers 0% APR for 12–18 months, and weigh the balance transfer fee against the interest saved.

Gain Some Wait
Experts suggest mastering the “30-Day Rule” to help tame the temptation of instant gratification. The idea is simple: Wait one month before taking the plunge on a purchase. By then, the urge may have passed.

At Home Use Your Sell Phone
Social media offers access to a bustling marketplace right on your smartphone, filled with buyers looking for your gently used items. Goods such as kids’ shoes, clothes and formal dresses are always in demand on swap and sale pages.

Shop Savvy
Most grocery stores tend to start sales on Wednesdays, so shop midweek to take advantage of more promotions and fewer crowds than weekends. Download your grocery store’s app and plan meals according to the best deals. Lastly, by limiting grocery shopping to once a week, you’ll be more likely to use items already in your pantry.

Bulk Up
Buying in bulk can be cost efficient, but who needs two giant tubs of peanut butter? The secret to smart bulk shopping is to split your stash—and the cost—with a friend. You’ll maximize your savings—and your storage space.

Go Main Stream
Save on entertainment by canceling cable and using streaming services instead. At a fraction of the price, they offer almost everything you’d be watching on television, with little or no delay in broadcast.

QUICK COST CUTTERS

width=Use energy-efficient light bulbs

width=Install a programmable thermostat

width=Use draft blockers on doors to reduce heating cost

width=Unplug electronics when not in use