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Park It Right Here

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If you live in a city where parking is free all over, or where public transportation is a viable option, you may not think much about paying for parking.

woman at a parking meter

Recession Mama Michele Ashamalla: But for the rest of us, those dollars spent on parking meters, lots and valets can really add up. If you allow an extra few minutes to find a parking spot, you can avoid a costly restaurant valet. Allow more time for trying to find street parking near a concert or sporting event venue. Sometimes it can't be done, or isn't feasible, but you might be able to use a shuttle instead or carpool to split the cost (it's better for the environment, anyway.) For short jaunts, keep a coin purse filled with change in your car for parking meters if there's no free parking available. But even skipping parking meters adds up. In some areas downtown, the meters run a quarter for EVERY FIVE MINUTES. By the time I'm done feeding the meter, it's time to put more money in.

You need to really shop around when it comes to long-term parking like at airports. For my last vacation, we had a coupon for a place by the airport we hadn't tried. The coupon was for up to a week totally free. We had a terrific experience with them and when we got home and googled "airport parking coupon" with my city, I found that they offered another free coupon for registering online with them. Since airport parking by us runs about $12 a day, those coupons add up to significant savings.

If you add up the savings of say, one valet a week, and say, four parking meters it would come to between 10 and 20 dollars a week and possibly more than a thousand dollars a year, which doesn't include concert or airport parking. That's worth an extra few minutes of my time, for sure.

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3 comments so far | Post a comment now
Anonymous February 21, 2010, 3:05 PM

just don’t go

mercaties February 22, 2010, 12:42 AM

We live about an hour away from Seattle and the entire city is paid only parking. You can buy parking permits if you live or work within the city limits. That’s how the city of Seattle make a-lot of it’s revenue. My husband and I try to avoid going to Seattle because of this, it’s crazy. Most parking lots are anywhere between six and twelve dollars for four hours. There is on street parking but you have to pay for that also or face a huge fine. It really sucks because Seattle is an awesome family friendly town with tons of affordable family stuff to do but parking thing enfuriates me.

Actiecode Hunkemoller February 28, 2011, 3:10 AM

Throughout the year flyer inserts are included along with your nearby newspaper. The three most famous flyers are BrandSaver, Intelligent Supply and Shop & Save. Check your weekend flyers or search around via the internet for a list from the dates that the flyers come out.

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