99 Great Ways to Save 2024 Edition | Members Only Access (2024)

33. Check Medicare plans. Original Medicare doesn’t pay for most dental work, but many Advantage plans and some Medigap plans either pay or provide discounts for preventive dental care such as exams, cleaning and X-rays; a few mitigate the cost of work including crowns, bridges and root canals.

34. Be a skeptical patient. Before green-lighting expensive dental work, take a pause. Do online research, so you can ask the tough questions: Do you really need an implant, or would a much cheaper bridge do just fine? Why do fillings need to be replaced? Always ask for a range of options.

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35. Check out stand-alone ­dental plans. If you don’t have dental coverage through your health plan, shop for a stand-alone plan. Compare prices at eHealthInsurance.com.

36. For cleanings and X-rays, visit a hygienist instead. At least 42 states allow dental hygienists to treat patients without supervision or authorization by a dentist. Rules vary, but in most of those states, a hygienist can do your cleaning, X-rays, sealant and fluoride treatments. The cost is often less than at a dentist’s office.

Phone and TV

99 Great Ways to Save 2024 Edition | Members Only Access (1)

99 Great Ways to Save 2024 Edition | Members Only Access (2)

Liam Eisenberg

37. Try free streaming services. A fast-growing segment of the TV-over-the-internet industry is services you can tune in to at no charge. You’ll have to sit through ads, but you’ll pay nothing to watch a lot of shows and movies. Popular services include Amazon Freevee, Pluto TV, Tubi, the Roku Channel and Crackle.

38. Time your buy. You can ­often find subscription discounts during big sales days such as Black Friday. Also check out your credit card and phone companies to see if they offer free subscriptions to streaming services such as Disney+, ESPN or Hulu.

39. Binge and rotate. Most TV streaming services are available by the month. There is no cost to turn off a service for a few months, waiting for it to have ­several shows or movies you want to watch, enjoying them across several weeks, then turning the service off again. Your goal: Have no more than two paid streaming channels at any given time.

40. Skip the usual phone brands. Most Americans carry an Apple or Samsung phone. Research in Consumer Reports shows that other devices — from Motorola, OnePlus, Google and beyond — can cost less, yet offer excellent quality and service.

41. Mobile phones. The major players, such as Apple, as well as third-party retailers, such as Walmart, sell pre-owned, ­refurbished phones at heavily discounted prices. Companies do a responsible job checking them to make sure they operate optimally. Pre-owned phones usually come with a warranty. Walmart was recently selling a new 128-gig iPhone 14 for $530 and a “restored” version of the same phone for $423, for a savings of $107.

42. Buy a good phone case. Forget color and style, and seek maximum phone protection. Focus first on these features: a raised edge around the front of the screen; some cushioning within the case; and a snug, assured fit. Only when you’ve found a case that can handle the occasional hard drop should you look at the color and design choices.

Make it last

43. Clothes washers. Every year, check with a level to see if the top of the washer is still perfectly parallel to the floor. If your washer is even slightly uneven, the basket will be out of balance, straining the motor and bearings, and shortening the life of the machine. YouTube has lots of videos, probably even one specific to your washer.

44. Refrigerators. Unless your fridge is labeled “zero clearance” or is front-vented, jamming it up against the wall or side cabinets will shorten its life because it’ll have to work harder to dissipate heat. For the same reason, don’t store items on top of the fridge. Make sure there’s at least 1 inch of clearance on all sides.

45. Dishwashers. Clean the drain trap! This quick chore will prevent clogs that can shorten the life of your dishwasher, and it will result in cleaner dishes. With typical use, clean the trap about once a month. Check your dishwasher owner’s manual or YouTube.

46. Sewing machines. Keep covered when not in use. Dust can turn the oil that lubricates the parts into gunk that increases wear. Use the cover that came with the machine, or pick up a plastic cover at any fabric store.

47. Clothes. Keep stain-remover pens in strategic places: a work drawer, your handbag, the garage, the kitchen, even your car’s glove compartment. The sooner you treat a stain, the more likely you’ll be able to remove it completely in the next washing.

Utilities

99 Great Ways to Save 2024 Edition | Members Only Access (3)

99 Great Ways to Save 2024 Edition | Members Only Access (4)

Liam Eisenberg

48. Check with your electricity provider about dynamic ­pricing. Two states — California and Massachusetts — mandate that electricity prices vary based on peak versus off-peak times, but more utilities are putting such programs in place on their own. If rates are discounted at night, that’s the time to run the dishwasher, clothes washer and dryer, and even charge all your mobile devices. Savings range from $60 to $240 per year, according to ­several energy research groups.

49. Apply window film. Window insulation film, used on the inside or outside of your windows, can keep hot air inside during the winter months and reduce rays from the sun entering the house in the summer. The U.S. Department of Energy says you can save 10 to 15 percent a year on your energy bill.

50. Don’t open your oven when cooking. The temperature inside the oven can fall 25 degrees every time you open the door. That means wasted energy to heat back up. Turn on the oven light instead to check, or simply rely on a timer.

Insurance

51. Get serious about comparison shopping. Home, car, health and even life insurers are making lots of adjustments to their rates after a few years when costs for parts, labor and medical care soared, and fatalities, thefts and weather-related incidents jumped. So the overall insurance market is very competitive.

52. Talk to your insurer about life changes. Retiring? Switching careers? Credit score taken a nice upswing? Started carpooling or using public transportation? Installed a security camera? These are just some of the changes that could trigger discounts on your home or auto insurance rates. But you can’t get them if you don’t share the news with your insurer or agent.

53. Ask questions. Each insurer has its own list of ways to earn a discount, such as enrolling in automatic payments or paperless statements, bundling home and auto coverage, taking driver safety classes or adding anti-theft devices or security alarms. Your insurer’s website may not list all the possible discounts. Your best bet is to get on the phone with your insurer and inquire about ways to save.

54. Compare Medicare Part D plans. Starting next year, out-of-pocket prescription drug costs for Medicare recipients with a Part D drug plan will be capped at $2,000. Insurers selling Part D plans are expected to make some big adjustments as a result, which may change which plan makes the most sense for you. Open enrollment starts Oct. 15; go the extra mile this year to compare different insurers’ offerings.

55. Enroll in a driving course. One of the largest auto insurance discounts available — up to 25 percent on key coverage areas — may be granted after you complete a safe driving course. The classes can be online or in person and usually run four to eight hours. They discuss new laws and safe driving tips. AARP members can find discounted safe driving courses at aarpdriversafety.org.

56. Put that phone down and pull over! Beware getting a traffic ticket for driving while dialing, texting or web browsing on a ­mobile phone. Not only is it expensive, insurers are cracking down, and just one ticket for texting can push up your insurance premium an average of 23 percent and as much as 45 percent, depending on your state and insurer, according to a recent study.

AARP member benefits

57. Prescription savings. AARP members get deeper ­discounts on medications, home delivery and coverage for dependents through AARP ­Prescription Discounts provided by Optum Rx.

58. Consumer Cellular. Members save with two lines of unlimited talk, text and data for $55/month or 5 percent off monthly fees and 30 percent off accessories.

59. Allstate Roadside. Roadside protection plans starting at $5.50/month, including Roadside Assist and Roadside Elite.

60. Flowers and gifts. 25 percent off sitewide and 30 percent off select items from FTD and Proflowers.

61. Vision discounts. Members and their families get exclusive savings at Target Optical and LensCrafters through AARP Vision Discounts provided by EyeMed.

62. RushMyPassport.com. AARP members and their families can purchase exclusive passport renewal bundles that include shipping and government fees. Special pricing and expedited services are available for all passport types.

63. Restaurants. Up to 15 percent off at Denny’s, Outback Steakhouse, Moe’s Southwest Grill and Bonefish Grill, plus favorite local spots.

64. Walmart+. Members save $20 off every year of their Walmart+ annual membership. Walmart+ members receive free delivery from their store on orders over $35, free shipping with no order minimum, gas savings and more. Terms apply.

65. Paramount+. Members can save 10 percent on any Paramount+ plan and can start streaming more than 45,000 episodes and blockbuster movies, live sports, news and exclusive originals all in one place.

66. Car rentals. Up to 35 percent off base rates when members choose the Pay Now option at the time of reservation or up to 30 percent off when they choose to Pay Later at the pickup counter. Members can get a free upgrade on compact to full-size car class bookings when available, plus an additional driver at no cost at Avis and Budget.

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99 Great Ways to Save 2024 Edition | Members Only Access (6)

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99 Great Ways to Save 2024 Edition | Members Only Access (2024)
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