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With the economy being tight right now we need to save money anywhere we can. These are some of my favorite values right now.

  1. Best in kids’ furnishings/dorm room necessities: Wal-Mart: $30-40 bedding. Free shipping to your local store. Satin, very soft bedding, luscious colors and highly functional accessories.
  2. Best value in fixing up your outdoor furniture: Chaircarepatio.com. No matter what kind of furniture you have outdoors, it gets weathered and awful-looking after a few seasons. You can get replacement straps and slings in hundreds of colors for only a few dollars each, along with easy-to-use directions and hardware tools. I love this place based in Dallas
  3. Best website for saving money on your prescriptions: I-saverx.net. Up to 80% savings on basic prescriptions! Must become a member (free), and savings on shipping, too. Also check your own insurance company! Insurance companies often team up with private online pharmaceutical companies or state-run agencies that sell medications. Make sure they are certified and, in fact, take prescriptions! Also, Walgreens and CVS have websites that list the drugs they offer for less—maybe generic, as well as $30-50 discount cards just for “joining”. They also provide a list of meds offered for your pets!
  4. Best overall value in furniture quality: Ethan Allen is my pick for 3 reasons:
    1. free assembly,
    2. longest warranty in the furniture business, and
    3. well-built, solid furniture that lasts.
  5. Best value in assembling furniture: The worst part of moving is the fear that your favorite old furniture won’t fit. Bo Concept (a chain from Denmark that is new to Seattle) offers competitively priced furniture, similar in style to IKEA, with link designs so as your space grows you can easily add links to customize or reshape the size and fit of your couch or wall unit. A big money saver and you don’t even need to hire a carpenter.
  6. Best value in travel rewards program through a hotel: Hilton offers the best program for families. No black-out dates, earn both miles and points in the same stay, and can use points at Disney and Universal. Get points when donate to charities and up to 500,000 points when you buy or sell a home! Use points at the largest retailers. I like Hyatt’s up to 50% off, though, for seniors.
  7. Best airline frequent flier program: Right now, American is the most competitive. Can gift miles, buy miles as a gift and can earn miles by donating to charities! Can spend miles at hotels, electronic stores, and even Amazon.com. They charge, though, to redeem miles ($25).
  8. Best value in home inspection: NACHI. For $400 you get a complete A-Z inspection by licensed inspectors who complete 24 hours of continuing education a year, instead of the usual 6 hours. Can check environmental issues, too. Only 40% of inspectors have NACHI certification.
  9. Best retail store gift card: Tie between Bed, Bath and Beyond and Wal-Mart. Bed, Bath and Beyond allows you to return items you buy online directly at the store, and Wal-Mart doesn’t charge for shipping if goods sent to a local Wal-Mart store! Both save time and money.
  10. Best overall way to save on everything without spending a dime: AAA. If you aren’t a frequent traveler but still want the deals, AAA is great. You can use your card to get discounts at popular chains like: Target.com, Lenscrafters, Dell Computer and Geek Squad.
Jennifer Litwin