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Save on Summer's Biggest Expenses

Summer is synonymous with relaxation but not when it comes to your wallet. From gas to food, travel and entertainment, everyday prices tend to perk up during the summer months. Here are five savvy tricks to help you pocket hundreds this season.
 
Check Pump For Accuracy
 
No surprise, a big expense this summer is likely to be gas. To save, avoid getting cheated at the pump.
Some stations have faulty pumps that end up overcharging drivers. While states and counties inspect them for accuracy, it may be years since a previous visit due to a shortage of government staff. 

 
Also See: 7 Gas Saving Secrets
 
A few signs the pump’s damaged: The meter starts above $0.00 dollars. Triple check the price display before the fuel starts flowing to make sure it’s not gouging you. Know your tank size. If your car has a fuel capacity of 14 gallons and the pump says you’ve poured, say, 17 — another red flag. Make sure to check for the inspection seal and date, typically found near the nozzle. Also, when you’re through, make sure your receipt lines up with the advertised price per gallon.
 
Save After Booking
 
Now for those cruising to a hot summer destination, a cool tip for hotel savings: Get a reduced rate even after booking a room. Online hotel-booking site Tingo.com keeps an eye on room rates up to 24 hours before check-in. If prices drop, they’ll refund you the difference. And over at BackBid.com, travelers post their existing lodging reservations and let competing hotels outbid their deal with discounts, upgrades or freebies. The site says it offers an average savings of $143 per trip.
 
Also See: Extreme Travel Savings
 
Water Your Lawn Less
 
Back at home, don’t worry if you forgot to program those sprinklers while away. According to The Franklin Institute, most homeowners overwater their grass. So summertime tip #3 is to water your lawn less, just once a week instead of every few days. And if we get some rainstorms, you can skip this chore for up to two weeks.
 
Resist Outdoor Produce Displays

 
Now for smarter food shopping this summer: Even though they look tasty, resist outdoor produce displays. It’s no secret grocers want to entice us with their most expensive items fist. So instead, venture inside where you’ll likely find lower priced, better quality fruits and veggies. And with produce prices skyrocketing this year, why pay more than you have to?
 
Also See: 6 Ways to Negotiate Anything

Save on Summer Movies
 
Finally, the season would not be complete without viewing some of the summer’s hottest blockbusters. But between escalating ticket prices and costly concessions, a family of four is easily paying $60 or more per flick! Some easy ways to knock down the cost: Use a discounted gift card and save as much as 30% on tickets and popcorn at your local theater. Find them at GiftCardGranny and GiftCardRescue.com.
 
Be an early bird. At AMC score tickets for up to half off for movies starting before noon. For all other movies, buy discounted tickets in advance. For example, at AMC, their Gold and Silver tickets can save you up to 40%. You can also buy reduced tickets ahead of time online at www.BulkTix.com or at warehouse clubs like Costco. And don’t forget to maximize your club affiliations. A AAA membership may slash ticket prices by as much as 30%.
 
We want to hear about your summer savings ideas. Connect with me on Twitter @Farnoosh and use the hashtag FinFit.
 

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