Kip Tips


How to Find Bargains

Cameron Huddleston

Kiplinger's annual guide shows you how to snag the best deals.



Throughout the year, I write tips on how to get bargains and deals on a variety of items and services. For a comprehensive guide to markdowns, discounts and strategies to save money, see The Best Bargains, from the August issue of Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine. Below you'll find a sample of deals from this great guide:

Banking. You can beat high bank ATM fees by opening a checking account at Ally, Schwab Bank or E*Trade -- all of which offer rebates on fees at any U.S. ATM. Or open an account at one of about 1,000 banks and credit unions that belong to the Allpoint network, which includes 43,000 surcharge-free ATMs worldwide.

Cars. You can find deals on models that are being phased out at the end of this year, such as the Cadillac DTS (19% off the $47,600 sticker price) and Chevrolet Aveo (19% off the $12,725 starting sticker price).

College. To beat the rising cost of college, you can prepay in-state tuition in 13 states. Visit the College Savings Plans Network to see if your state offers a prepaid tuition plan and Private College 529 for a list of private schools with similar plans.

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Dining. To dine out for less, search Restaurant.com for coupons before you head out the door. You can get discounts of up to 60% at more than 18,000 restaurants. If you have children, visit MyKidsEatFree.com or KidsMealsDeals.com to find restaurants in your town where kids eat free.

Sports. Many golf courses offer greens-fee coupons in local newspapers, mailers or online. Expect to save $10 to $30 a round. For discounts on athletic shoes, check out Road Runner Sports' free-shipping club, Holabird Sports or Shoesteal.com.

Stocks. Shares of Xerox (symbol XRX), Wellpoint (WLP) and Chevron (CVX) are cheap now (all have low price-earnings ratios). And analysts expect these companies to perform well this year.

Technology. Rather than pay $115 for Microsoft Office the next time you buy a new computer, download Google Docs or OpenOffice for free.

Travel. To improve your odds of getting the lowest airfare, enter your flight itinerary at Bing.com/travel, and the tool will tell you whether you should buy your ticket now or wait for the price to drop.

SEE OUR BEST BARGAINS SLIDE SHOW for many more great deals and strategies.

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