3. Ask for a better deal
3. Ask for a better deal
It's easy to fall into the mindset that routine expenses like utilities are nonnegotiable. Frustrated by the monthly cable bill at Denver's Cherry Creek Dance, Lee Prosenjak asked Comcast for lower rates and got them minutes later. Doing the same with most recurring bills, he reduced monthly costs by $1,650 at the firm, which had more than $1.6 million in revenue for 2010. "We negotiated a better rate every single time," he says.

Last updated September 22 2011: 7:31 AM ET
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