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John at Disney
1) Airline tickets. Sky-bound commuters and serial vacationers can save hundreds by buying plane-ticket packages. This year, the JetBlue targeted business travelers with Go Packs, ranging from $699 to $2,499, that included ten nonstop, one-way flights between certain airports from September 13 through December 19th. JetBlue would not say for sure whether Go Packs will be offered again, but the ticket packages have proved popular with its customers. To keep an eye out for other plane-ticket packages, enlist some help from AirfareWatchdog.com. Sign up for alerts based on your selected departure city, and the Watchdog will let you know via e-mail when it finds a cheap flight or package of flights.
2) Mobile minutes. Avoid hefty overage charges by embracing your chattiness with an unlimited, low-cost, prepaid plan. Same goes for texting addicts and data suckers. For example, Boost Mobile, one of Sprint's prepaid brands, offers unlimited minutes, texts and data for Android phones starting at $55 a month.
3) Gym memberships. Many gyms, including Bally Total Fitness and Washington Sports Club, periodically offer friends-and-family discounts if you sign up together or if current members recruit newbies. For example, 24 Hour Fitness recently offered a deal for current members to add family to their membership for $30 a month per person with no initiation fee. Regular rates can range from $40 to $75 per month per person, depending on your location. If your gym isn't currently advertising this kind of deal, ask about a discount anyway; membership costs may be negotiable.
4) Season tickets. If you're really invested in a team, buying tickets for the whole season all at once instead of game by game can be a big financial win. And if the season heads into extra innings, you'll get first dibs on playoff tickets. Season-ticket deals can be found outside the sports arena, too. Many theaters, museums, aquariums, amusement parks and other venues offer discounted passes for frequent visitors.
5) Fruits and vegetables. Get your fill of veggies every month straight from your local harvest at a healthy discount. You can find a community-supported agriculture (CSA) program in your area at LocalHarvest.org. Subscribe for periodic packages of locally grown fruits, vegetables and other products with one upfront payment. Andrea Muse, author of Buying in Bulk and founder of FrugallySustainable.com, estimates that you can save up to 50% off your grocery bill if you buy in bulk correctly. She recommends starting small so that you can work the quantities into your cooking routine and storage space.
6) Prescriptions. If you're coping with a chronic condition, you shouldn't have to suffer the high costs of medications, too. You might already know that you can save by ordering a 90-day supply from a mail-order pharmacy instead of getting a 30-day refill. But you may not realize that your neighborhood pharmacy can probably bag you the same bargain -- and with face-to-face interaction with your local pharmacist.
7) Gift cards. For a great bulk deal on gift cards, you will have to head to a warehouse store, where you can buy multiple restaurant gift cards for less than face value. At Costco, you could pay just $80 for two $50 cards for eateries such as California Pizza Kitchen and McCormick & Schmick's. You can also get discounted packs of movie tickets at warehouse stores.
8) College degrees. Hope kid sis doesn't mind a hand-me-down sorority sweater. If you can persuade your close-in-age kids to attend the same college, you might be able to cut back on some tuition costs. Many schools offer discounts for siblings in attendance at the same time. Having multiple kids in college can also get you a break with college aid. With the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), if you qualify for need-based assistance, your family's expected contribution to college expenses would stay the same regardless of how many students you're covering.