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10 Incredible Ways You Can Save a Lot — Right Now! – Ford Motor Company (F), Walgreen Company (WAG), Cree, Inc. (CREE)

8. Eat out for breakfast or lunch
There’s not much I enjoy more than not having to cook my own meal and going out for food. However, consider what time of day you eat out, as that same meal can cost considerably more in the evening when restaurants command higher traffic and can punch up prices in order to match that increased demand. Simply dining out for breakfast or lunch, and not for dinner, can keep quite a bit of money in your pocketbook.

9. Use your loyalty rewards
In 2011, Cincinnati-based research firm Colloquy undertook what I believe was the first quantification of U.S. loyalty reward points. Its findings concluded that roughly $48 billion worth of rewards flowed into consumers’ hands each year, but that a staggering $16 billion (one-third!) wasn’t being used due to either a lack of understanding by the user or plain negligence. The solution here is very simple: if a retailer or credit card issuer offers you benefits, use them! Drugstore Walgreen Company (NYSE:WAG) , for instance, was upgraded on Wednesday by UBS AG (USA) (NYSE:UBS) analyst Steven Valiquette, who noted that the company’s disciplined use of its loyalty card program was keeping margins up. How much would you like to bet that it’s also a function of Walgreen customers not utilizing their points efficiently?

10. Barter with your utility provider
Little-known secret: You can occasionally bargain your cable and Internet service provider, as well as your electric provider, down to a lower rate. You might think cable companies have the impression that with few choices they have you right where they want you, but the threat that you could leave often pressures them into lowering your rate — at least temporarily. In addition, don’t discount the idea of utilizing programs offered by most electric utilities and cable companies if you’ve fallen on a financial hardship. They’d much rather work something out with you than shut-off your cable or electric completely.

My pencil is now a bit dull after that, but I hope it’s given you another 10 beneficial ways you can keep a few more dollars in your pocket than you had before!

If you’ve got a money-saving idea, feel free to share it with the community in the comment section below.

The article 10 Incredible Ways You Can Save a Lot — Right Now! originally appeared on Fool.com and is written by Sean Williams.

Fool contributor Sean Williams has no material interest in any companies mentioned in this article. He dedicates this article in memory of his grandfather. You can follow him on CAPS under the screen name TMFUltraLong, track every pick he makes under the screen name TrackUltraLong, and check him out on Twitter, where he goes by the handle @TMFUltraLong. The Motley Fool recommends Ford and Home Depot. The Motley Fool owns shares of Ford.

Copyright © 1995 – 2013 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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