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Auto Maintenance: Choosing One Repair Shop

One of the things I learned from my dad is that it pays to find a good auto repair shop and stick with it. True enough, I have tried using more than one shop, based on what I needed done to my car. Every time, I found myself going back to one shop that knew my car and the car's history. I had found that shop not too long ago. They had offered help with everything from rebuilding engines to dent repair. The shop is located near my home, and they keep records that went back for years. Thanks to the long history, they always knew what to do when something was not working as it should. If you think that finding one shop to meet all your needs is a good idea, let me help. With a little effort, you'll know exactly where to take your vehicle any time it needs some work.


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Auto Maintenance: Choosing One Repair Shop

3 Ways To Reduce The Strain On Your Budget

by Noelle Snyder

Your budget may not have room for all-new car parts, air conditioning, or fancy furniture, but that doesn't mean you have to go without. Here are three ways to reduce the strain on your budget, so you can afford more things that you want. 

Your Grocery Budget: Reducing the Cost of Food

Food is one of the things that can cost the most when you're working out your budget. Fortunately, there are many ways to reduce the cost of things you eat. 

  1. Head to a farmer's market. You can purchase items like fruit, vegetables, herbs, and bread at a fraction of the cost you'd expect at a normal grocery store. On top of that, the food is fresh, so you know you're eating healthy. 
  2. Shop at night. Many of the clearance items that go on sale are available at night. Look for yellow tags indicating a price reduction. Meats that still look healthy can be frozen, and canned goods are good for years beyond their sell-by dates. 
  3. Use coupons. There are some mega-couponers who can save hundreds on a shopping trip by using coupons. Add a few coupons to your trip and you'll see savings. One cool trick is that you can use coupons on buy-one-get-one-free items, twice reducing the cost of the item you have to pay for.
  4. Have a garden. Growing just a little bit of your own food can add up; try growing berries, tomatoes, cucumbers, and other vegetables that are good for beginner gardeners. 

Your Auto Budget: Reducing the Impact of Breakdowns and Repairs

Having to deal with a broken-down vehicle is traumatic enough, but the bill for the replacement parts can be devastating to your budget. Reduce the cost by

  1. Searching at local used-parts stores, such as Southwest Auto Salvage, or junkyards for matching parts in good condition. 
  2. Looking online to find parts that are new but being sold at reduced prices. 
  3. Find a local, private mechanic. Some mechanics with their own facilities or those working from home charge less to install the parts you provide than name-brand mechanics. 

Your Appliance Budget: Reducing the Cost of Replacing Appliances

Did your washing machine break down, leaving you in a puddle of tears and suds? Don't worry about having to spend hundreds on a new model. Here are a few tips to get the most out of used machines:

  • Check your local Goodwill or Salvation Army. Many of the products there are tested, so you know you're getting a working model. 
  • Turn to social media selling pages. Many people sell their appliances off while they still work. They may have redesigned their homes or be moving; whatever the reason, you can get the appliance you need for a fraction of the cost of a new one.