22 - 2010

Friday wrap-up: Paying mortgage early, saving & warehouse stores

Photo by David Sifry

And let’s finish up a week of wrap-ups with some financial and savings blog posts:

  1. A blog I often read, Five Cent Nickel, posted this week about paying his mortgage off after 7.5 years. He explains how they did it — partly by savvy refinancing to make the most of rates, and primarily by making extra principal payments that got “more aggressive” as time went on.
  2. Wise Bread republished a post by Coupon Sherpa that offers 16 tips for shopping at warehouse stores. I’ve published my own take here at Cheap Like Me, but Coupon Sherpa has some great suggestions. Particularly, take note of these:
    • He points out that the pharmacies can’t require a membership card, so you can take advantage of low prices without a membership.
    • He mentions the discount on alcoholic beverages. I can’t speak for all chains, but our local Costco stores also do not require a membership for liquor purchases. Check your local store if you’re interested in this perk.
    • He suggests comparison shopping (very important — although I have found that things aren’t usually *more* expensive at Costco than at our grocer, they sometimes are not *less* expensive, which means I’m buying more quantity, and spending more, for no good reason). He also writes that “You’ll want to shop elsewhere for paper products, cereals, pet food, can goods, and snacks as warehouse prices on these items rarely prove to be a good deal.” In my experience, pet food is an excellent deal, and snacks and canned goods are OK, although sometimes you can get a better deal on sale plus coupons at a grocer.
  3. The Simple Dollar has been doing a series on trimming the average budget. I really liked his post on savings.

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