Save Money in this Sunday's paper


Capitalize on the things you do to save more money

By Tara McAlister
Tara McAlister
Tara McAlister is's Deal Diva, giving you loads of easy tips to save money.
Shoppers are pictured outside a Costco Wholesale store in Los Angeles, California in this March 6, 2013 file photo.

One of the best ways to save money is to capitalize on things you already do. It’s easy to sign up for memberships and special programs, but are you taking full advantage of them?

AARP: Once you hit the mid-century mark, the AARP sends you a membership card. Don’t grimace and toss it. For $16 a month, you can get lots of great deals on everything from car rentals to hotel accommodations. Look to for the “Today’s Hot Deals” and “Like Free Stuff” tabs. AARP also offers local deals at stores such as Dunkin’ Donuts, Papa John’s and the UPS store.

Costco: This large warehouse chain isn’t just for 20-roll packs of toilet paper. By using its huge buying power with more than 70 million card holders, Costco can offer discounts on health and dental plans, mortgage services and auto sales, in addition to gasoline … and TP.

Points: Managing all the rewards and points you earn on credit cards and airline rewards cards can be daunting. Now there’s a website that makes it easy: Log onto the site and enter all your membership cards; it’s affiliated with more than 100 programs, including Aeroplan, American Airlines AAdvantage, Best Buy Reward Zone, Delta SkyMiles, Priority Club Rewards, United Airlines MileagePlus, US Airways Dividend Miles.

Add the cards to your virtual “Rewards Wallet” to maintain your points balance. You can trade points with others and even buy additional rewards points. The website also promises to show users top secret ways to earn more points.

Clarification: In a column earlier this month, I talked about CVS’ coupon policies. CVS will not accept expired CVS coupons but will accept expired CVS Extra Care Bucks.

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