Save Money by Spending Money

With the economy in the dumper, saving money is back in style. Simply comparing the number of “how to save money on (fill in the blank)” articles this year versus a couple years ago, our informal research shows the relationship at 234,000 to 1. Ok, so we made that up. But it does seem like savings tips are all the rage these days. Unfortunately, the key is finding new money saving ideas…

We’ve all heard the tips on bringing your lunch to work, drinking water when eating out, and so on, but what about some new ways to save money? Well, MSN Money isn’t coming to our rescue, but they do bring up one interesting concept that’s relatively new (at least to the point that so many are now talking about it) — the idea of saving money by spending some first. MSN gives the following example:

Harrison’s Costco membership got her a cheaper auto insurance policy (with free roadside assistance). That cut her annual car expenses by about $300.

The issue of saving money by paying for a Costco (or any warehouse club for that matter) membership has been discussed quite often lately as others have detailed savings in gasoline and food, noting that the money saved in these two categories alone may be worth the cost of membership.

The “save money by spending money” movement has other supporters as well. Ramit from I Will Teach You to be Rich is a proponent of spending so you can save as is Yahoo, who lists zoos, aquariums, AARP, Warehouse Clubs, AAA, and amusement parks as places to save by buying memberships. In particular, Yahoo says the following about warehouse clubs:

There are a few items [that are] always cheaper at warehouse clubs — namely, milk, eggs, butter and cheese,” says Mary Hunt, publisher of money management site Debt-Proof Living. These staples are regularly priced at least 20% lower than at your local supermarket, she says. “But understand that shopping at the warehouse club is like a minefield,” warns Hunt. To truly make your membership worth the cost, you’ll need to separate the great deals from the bad ones. Bring your supermarket circular with you when you shop to compare prices and ensure you’re really saving.

So here’s our question for you: are there any ways you spend money to (eventually) save money?

How 4 are saving $17,860 a year [MSN Money]

FREE MONEY FINANCE (Photo: Nykoh)