REAL SIMPLE. REAL expert Farnoosh Torabi fills you in on her top money-saving tricks.
Stack of books with coupon
Credit: Sang An

The trick: Get a library card. Sounds obvious, but only 39 percent of card holders visit the library to borrow books; 12 percent take out CDs, according to a 2008 Harris Poll. To find your closest library, go to

The payoff: You save 100 percent on books and DVD rentals.

The trick: Pay as you go at the gym. A study conducted by U.C. Berkeley and Stanford University found that the average gym member visited the gym four times a month.

The payoff: Considering that monthly memberships at commercial clubs can cost an average $54 per month according to the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association, it may make more sense to pay for a one-day pass, which ranges from free to approximately $20.

The trick: Buy a car in the fall. Dealers are usually trying to make room for the next year’s models. Can’t wait until the fall? Try making a deal at the end of the month. Making sales quotas is often more important to sales associates than getting the full ticket price.

The payoff: More money for gas.

The trick: Instead of buying a cell phone directly from your service carrier, shop sites such as and for more inexpensive prices.

The payoff: You could save up to $200.