Tips to save cash fast

WASHINGTON – Need cash and need it fast? Reader’s Digest has five tips to get you there.

Throwing out food is throwing out money

“The average American family of four tosses out about $2,275 worth of food every year,” reports Reader’s Digest. But by planning out meals, buying food in amounts you need and not falling for “buy-one, get-one” deals, there’s money can be saved. It’s also good to freeze produce and leftovers. You can also eat food passed the “sell by” date – it’s not an exact science.

Keep better tax records

Instead of throwing receipts into a shoebox, digitize them. is one option. The IRS even has its own app to help keep track called IRS2Go.

Don’t waste your healthcare options

Make the most of your insurance. Use in network doctors and don’t skip screenings, immunizations and service covered by your plan. Go with generic drugs, and see what discounts you can get. Also, sign up for a flexible spending account.

Shop smart

Get thrifty with your apps. ShopSavvy and Coupon Sherpa help you find coupons. Decide also offers information on where the best deals are on things you want to buy.

Make a budget

Try a “zero-based” budget where every dollar coming in and going out as a specific use. Mortgage, food, savings, entertainment – everything. Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover is an option that’s been hailed as very effective.

WTOP’s Del Walters contributed to this report. Follow @WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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