SAVE UP TO $500

36. Cancel your phone line and replace it with a magicJack, a tiny gadget you insert into your computer's USB port, instantly transforming the broadband access you're already paying for into free phone service.
Cost: $40 for the device and one year of service, $20 per year after that.
Savings: $400 or more per year on land-line phone service.
Bonus: You get unlimited calling, with free long-distance in the U.S. and Canada, and the company says it's about to roll out a feature that allows you to keep your existing phone number.


37. Start wisteria, crape myrtle, or other ornamental landscape plants from cuttings of a family member's or neighbor's plant (with permission, of course).
Cost: $10 for rooting hormone and potting soil at the local nursery, plus a few years of patience as the plant matures.
Savings: $300 or more for a nursery-grown plant.
Bonus: You can carry on a family tradition by putting an offspring of your grandfather's prized redbud in your own backyard.


38. Install an under-sink water filter, and stop buying expensive bottled water.
Cost: $55 for the DIY-friendly Kenmore Single Undersink Drinking Water System at Sears.
Savings: $360 per year on purified water.
Bonus: Reducing the environmental impact caused by the manufacture and disposal of plastic bottles—as well as shipping them to your home from far-flung places like Fiji.


39. Install a wireless light switch. Simply attach a battery-operated device to the wall and screw its receptor into the lamp socket, which then receives the bulb.
Cost: $27 for the Carlon Wireless Light Socket Switch at Smart Home USA.
Savings: $250 to $300 to have an electrician install a switch and snake in wiring.
Bonus: You won't need to patch or paint any holes in the walls.


40. Appeal your property tax assessment yourself. One in three homeowners who do so are successful in getting their fees reduced, according to the National Taxpayers Union.
Cost: $7 for a How to Fight Property Taxes brochure at National Taxpayers Union.
Savings: As much as $400 per year off your tax bill.
Bonus: The tax reduction will last for many years to come.
Ask TOH users about Money Saving Ideas

Contribute to This Story Below