Get Free Money During Patch’s Summer Essentials Contest

We’re rolling out a five-week contest to help take the heat off your wallet.

Summer’s here and that means it’s time for vacations, barbecues, long, lazy days with the kids out of school and a wallet that keeps getting drained thanks to extra expenses.

Patch understands!

That’s why our 19 Florida sites are teaming up to help our readers out in the financing department.

Beginning today, we’re kicking off Patch’s Summer Essentials; a weekly contest where you can win cold, hard cash courtesy of us. To be eligible, just answer our weekly question and we’ll select one winner a week randomly from the comments that have been submitted. (See the fine print for details!)*

The contest will feature a variety of questions focused on how you save up to afford some of those things that are the biggest drains on our summertime budgets – gas, food, clothing, auto repair expenses and, last but certainly not least, vacations! Win one of our weekly contests and we’ll give you some cash to help fund your expenses and make your summer just that much sweeter.

To get this ball rolling, here’s this week’s topic for you to comment on (There’s a $100 gift card for gas on the line!):

Share your tips for saving gas or saving cash to pay that big bill at the pumps. You have until noon Sunday, July 8, to share your tips on Patch. You can also upload photographs that demonstrate your money-saving techniques. Just add them right to this story (but only the comments count for the contest).

One winner will be selected at random each week from all of those who enter by commenting. We’ll announce the winner from this week’s contest as soon as the name is selected and the winner has been contacted.

Now here’s that fine print:

* Open to legal residents of the 50 United States, the District of Columbia who are 18 and older. * To enter, post a comment on this story.* All entries must be received by July 8, 2012, 12:00pm Eastern Time.* You may enter once.* 1 winner will be selected in a random drawing for each week’s drawing.* One (1) Grand Prize Winner will receive the $100 gift card for Week One of the contest.* Click Here for complete Official Rules.

Cheri C July 06, 2012 at 10:20 PM
I save cash by not subscribing to cable TV. Instead I watch all my favorite shows online,mostly at Project Free Tv. Sometimes it takes awhile to upload, but the best part is zero commercials. Also I use fuelperks from Winn Dixie and a friend who does not drive uses my card when she shops.Awesome!
Mary July 06, 2012 at 10:52 PM
I actually start by saving on my shopping in January. I shop after Christmas sales, January white sales, grocery stores have certain months that they put a particular type of food on sale. I watch for that. January and March I stock up on canned goods. April is frozen food month, etc. Usually at Savalot, Walgreens, Dollartree, anywhere theres a sale. I'm not interested in name brand anything, just decent quality items. I will spend about $20.00 on canned foods maybe two or three times a year. I stock up on roasts, turkeys, hams only in winter unless an extraordinary sale. I don't buy frozen foods or meats starting June 1st to coincide with hurricane season. I live off the meat and foods in my freezer(s) that I bought in the wintertime. This way if there is a storm and I lose power I won't lose much. I am a big fan of cooking meals and vegetables ahead of time. If there's a power loss for any length of time Iit'sa lot easier to heat up cooked food than raw partially frozen foods.. I only shop the sales, use coupons, go to thrift and salvage stores, garage sales, Walgreens, Freecycle.org, I plan my route and have a "movie night" with a frozen dressed up pizza, microwave popcorn and a Redbox dvd or I watch Hulu.com. This is a longer term of savings but I have more money to buy other things. I'm bold when I am using cash to pay for something because I look for discounts.
PB July 06, 2012 at 11:13 PM
I have not had cable for several years now...cancelled as soon as tv became available online. Many of the networks offer next day viewing (the day after a show airs) and Hulu still offers many viewing options without a subscriptions. Check out your favorite tv network (Discover, History, A & E, etc) video options at their website. I for certainly "don't miss cable (er "ca-BILL") one bit.
PB July 06, 2012 at 11:16 PM
I have not had cable for several years now...cancelled as soon as tv shows became available online. Many of the networks offer next day viewing (the day after a show airs) and Hulu still offers many viewing options without a subscription. Check out your favorite tv network's (Discover, History, A & E, etc) video options at their website. I certainly don't miss cable (er "ca-BILL") one bit
Taylor Gaines July 06, 2012 at 11:28 PM
Squeeze out every last drop before you put that nozzle back
Patricia Parsons July 07, 2012 at 12:16 AM
I earn gift cards online on sites like Mypoints and Swagbucks - it's not likely to make me rich and requires me to dedicate a bit of time each day but when I'm super low on cash, a $20 gift card makes a huge difference.
Tu Bui July 07, 2012 at 06:58 AM
A great way to save gas is to make sure all of the tires on my car have sufficient amount of air pressure, which I believe is 35 psi. Enough air in the tires mean less friction and less work my car has to do to make it move. It works great on long roadtrips. Also, making sure my oil changes are up to date so that everything is properly lubricated helps. These tips allow for the car to work not as hard to move itself, thus saving gas.
Michael Leone July 07, 2012 at 11:02 AM
I took extra parts off my car and dropped 500 lbs off gvw... spare tire, bumpers, etc.
Steve Hunter July 07, 2012 at 12:39 PM
Use your AT&T smart phone Navigator GPS app or gas buddy to locate the lowest prices.
Bettsi Hernandez July 07, 2012 at 01:00 PM
We try to save on gas whenever we can. I try to get all my errands done in one trip. Our kids take the school bus to school. My hubby always looks for ways to carpool. And when we buy our meat and some items from winn dixie we get gas perks to save money on gas.
Shelby Fox July 07, 2012 at 01:16 PM
The four of us are flying to NYC next week for free using AMEX miles. I pay for everything possible throughout the year with my card, and then we accumulate enough points to get free airline tickets. It beats using my debit card and earning nothing. In addition, we always take advantage of Publix gift card specials on gas cards, and we cut coupons to maximize our dollars. By avoiding waiting until the last minute to purchase things, we can almost always get a great deal. Lastly, I subscribe to several blogs that post great daily deals. We don't always need every deal they post, but it is very helpful to receive the info daily without having to dig for the deals, especially the deals related to maximizing coupons.
Kerry Kott July 07, 2012 at 02:58 PM
Tip #1 - Search for cheaper gas prices online or with your phone applications. Such websites and applications as www.gasbuddy.com/Gas Buddy. Just remember not to drive all the way across town for gas that's $0.02 cheaper than the gas station on your way home from work. Tip #2 - Combine daily errands into weekly trips or stop at places along your daily route(s). It'll save you gas, and time. Tip #3 - Carpool whenever possible. It's a great way to save your Benjamin's. Tip #4 - Walk or ride your bike. If you live a 1/2 a mile from the convenience store, your friends place, or wherever, doesn't it make sense to ride or bike or walk? Tip #5 - When driving at slower speeds, turn your AC off. AC is best when driving at faster speeds. Tip #6 - Use your cruise control whenever possible. Regulating your speeds helps consume less gas.
helga j July 07, 2012 at 03:32 PM
to save money at the grocery store: don't buy processed crap. buy real food and learn how to cook (it's not that hard and so much healthier). buy produce that is in season. get creative adding beans and grains to your diet and don't eat as much crazy-expensive meat. never buy soda and fake juice, squeeze citrus into water instead.
Cheryl July 07, 2012 at 03:32 PM
I take advantage of the Publix gas card coupons. Wednesday is generally the day of the week that gas is the cheapest, and mornings, or the coolest part of the day, is the best time to fill up. Gas expands as it heats up so the cooler the gas, the more you get for your money.
Mullvad July 08, 2012 at 02:42 AM
Been using websites like www.southernsavers.com to help organize my shopping trips better while taking advantage of coupons and offers like BOGO. Carpool with friends and family. Doing more things at home instead of going out, such as online shopping and movies via instant-watch.
Tracy C. July 08, 2012 at 03:36 AM
What is this??
Michelle Sheldon July 08, 2012 at 03:59 AM
Who uses their Winn Dixie cards besides me? They save you on groceries AND GAS now!!!! I've actually saved $2.15 PER GALLON-(that's when gas was still going for$3.96 a gallon..woohoo to me ;I thought to myself) That was a great buy! I was able to save big on everything @the same time. Food to fill all my babies bellies: animals included, lol..and gas $$$ to be their personal taxi while saving lots of money :)
Ann Scott July 08, 2012 at 04:17 AM
How do I save money for gas? I use less gas and more leg power. I buy clothes at thrift stores...grow and trade as much food as possible...ride as a group...cook rather than eat out...make my own toothpaste and shampoo...turn off lights...and turn up the thermostat.
Luisa July 08, 2012 at 04:54 AM
Gas tips: Buy gasoline during coolest time of day - early morning or late evening is best. During these times gasoline is densest. Keep in mind - gas pumps measure volumes of gasoline, not densities of fuel concentration, Keeps tires properly Inflated and aligned, Use cruise control( constant speed over long distances often saves gas.) Avoid heavy loads in your trunk, extra weight reduces mileage, Record all gas purchases for tax deduction purposes. In general; I like to compare prices online to save money and find the best deal ( from baby items to home decor). I love amazon.com and Overstock.com as well! Most of the time they have the cheapest stuff.
Deborah Owens July 08, 2012 at 02:24 PM
Raise the price on gas so high we will be forced to conserve or find an alternative source.
Sarah Varga July 17, 2012 at 05:11 PM
Carpooling. Driving only when necessary. Watch your speed and take care of your car. A better running car saves gas.
Ashlee bushway July 27, 2012 at 05:41 PM
Use window power instead of a/c. You save on gas cause uou arebt running your airconditiong.
steve July 30, 2012 at 12:11 PM
awsome!!i do the same!
steve July 30, 2012 at 12:12 PM
YUP!! thats what i do!
steve July 30, 2012 at 12:13 PM
steve July 30, 2012 at 12:14 PM
YES! ive saved as much as 1.50gal somtimes!!
steve July 30, 2012 at 12:20 PM
YUP!! fig that one out longtime ago, really saves if u can wait,specially on BOGO items
patty July 30, 2012 at 10:48 PM
me and my daughter because money is tight we started walikng shelter dogs twice a week for summer fun and to help the dogs somehow it makes the summer alot better to donate youre time for an animal in the kennel
Zack Thorne August 02, 2012 at 01:38 PM
One weekly visit to grocery store that is planned for entire week's meals, thus saving gas negating multiple trips to store, and saving time. If you time it right, go for when your preferred store runs it's specials.
Marjorie Roemer August 02, 2012 at 05:19 PM
Just bought a motorcycle to help save on gas with commuting to work. Not a perfect solution for everyone, but works for me. Plus I have a hybrid car for the rainy season. Also, we have stopped eating out and now invite friends in for socalizing. Not a big sacrafice but eating out can be costly...


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