How to Save $387.03 and Avoid the Gym

Americans waste more than $15 billion a year on unused gym memberships. That’s a whole lot of money for absolutely nothing. The average gym membership costs $480 per year, but if you’re determined to get in shape this year, we put together a short list of easy ways to avoid the gym. Stick with the following suggestions and you could save $387.03.

Medicine ball – $36.99 Medicine ball exercises help to build muscle and burn fat, and you can do them almost anywhere. Suitable for all ages and fitness levels, medicine balls allow for improved range of motion, core strength, coordination, flexibility, joint integrity, and upper and lower body strength.

Workout games – $39.99Exergaming” is a fun, affordable, and increasingly popular way to get in shape. Games involve the player in dance, aerobics, kickboxing, sports, and martial arts. Like other forms of exercise, exergaming can help with weight loss and improve fitness and health.

Exercise bands – $15.99 Aside from being a great way to work out nearly every major muscle in your body, exercise or resistance bands are very affordable and so lightweight you can take them anywhere. Great for the hips, thighs, buttocks, arms, chest, back, and abs, you can also tailor the resistance to meet your specific fitness needs and goals.

Walking – $00.00 Incorporating just 10-15 minutes of walking into your daily routine helps improve health and wellness. A brisk 15-minute walk will burn at least 100 calories, and if you take 4 a day, you can burn as many calories as you would by walking steadily for an hour.

Make it your goal to spend only what you need to on health and fitness this year. Use these tips to save money on your workout routine and while you’re at it, get a fast, free quote to see how much you could save on health insurance.

More health-related resources:

Health insurance quotes from Esurance
Health 411: Tips for staying healthy

Top 10 Green Cars: St. Patrick’s Day Edition

You’ve already seen the shamrocks, the green rivers and the “Kiss me, I’m Irish” t-shirts. In celebration of St. Patrick’s Day and all that is green, here are the top 10 green cars on the market in 2010.

10. Ford Escape Hybrid
Ford boasts that its $30,000 Escape Hybrid is “the most fuel-efficient SUV on the planet.” And it’s a particularly appealing option to the thousands of would-be green drivers who need a family-sized alternative to smaller hybrids. The 2010 model averages 32 miles per gallon (mpg). It’s also the lone SUV to make the list.

9. smart fortwo
Yes, it’s small. But it’s also incredibly fuel efficient, considering it’s not a hybrid. The smart fortwo gets 36 mpg, which goes a long way in the cities this car was built for. If you live in the ‘burbs or a rural area, however, this may not be the car for you.

8. Lexus HS 250h
The lone luxury hybrid on the market, the Lexus HS 250h sits firmly between $30,000 and $40,000, and gets an average of 35 mpg. With the cutting-edge comfort, technology, and safety that Lexus drivers have come to expect, we’ll soon find out whether there is, indeed, a market for luxury hybrids.

7. Toyota Camry Hybrid
At 34 mpg, the Camry Hybrid is designed to save you money over the course of the year. Those worrying about the recent recalls can breathe easy, because according to Toyota, just 22 Camry Hybrids were recalled this year. And while some consider it a funnily-shaped Prius, it’s actually more affordable than the hybrid champ.

6. Audi A3 TDI
The Audi A3 TDI made a big splash this past October, earning the “Green Car of the Year” title from Green Car Journal. The 5-door, 6-speed Audi gets 34 mpg, which is more than a third better than the gas-consuming version. And unlike many hybrid or diesel models, the fuel-efficient edition is just a fraction more expensive than the standard A3.

5. Volkswagen Jetta TDI
As the highest-ranking diesel-powered car to crack the top 10, the Jetta TDI gets 34 miles per gallon — good enough to compete with the hybrids. And its clean-running engine easily meets the emission requirements of all 50 states.

4. Ford Fusion Hybrid
The Fusion Hybrid, which gets 41 mpg, was recently named “the best gas-electric hybrid yet” by USA Today. This sedan makes up for its sticker price (around $28,000) by saving drivers almost $600 per year on fuel, compared to the more-affordable standard Fusion. It’s also getting quite a bit of fanfare for being the one of the fastest green cars produced in America (0–60 in 8.7).

3. Honda Civic Hybrid
The Civic Hybrid gets about 42 mpg, and offers an alternative design to drivers who are unimpressed by the typical hybrid body. More importantly, it’s a Top Safety Pick of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, and it earned a 5-star safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Green and safe is an unbeatable combo.

2. Honda Insight
It’s hard to believe that it’s been a decade since the Insight first hit the market in all of its innovative, 2-seated glory. And while the Civic Hybrid has a narrow advantage in terms of gas mileage, the Insight costs $4,000 less, with a sticker price just over $20,000. With a fuel economy over 40 mpg, we’re giving the Insight a slight edge over its pricier cousin. But it still plays second fiddle to the car its design clearly emulates. Yep, you guessed it….

1. 3rd Generation Toyota Prius
For the 7th year in a row, the Prius was named Consumer Reports’ best “green” car. That’s in spite of the recent recall, which affected nearly half a million Prius drivers. As Toyota works to repair its image, the company will take solace in the fact the Prius remains the most popular and fuel-efficient car on the market, at over 50 mpg.

For more information:
Mother Earth’s Best Green Cars
GreenCar.com
The Daily Green
Best Cars for Commuters

Monitor Vehicle Repairs Online with RepairView®

We’re getting the word out on one of the most popular auto insurance innovations in the marketplace: the ability to monitor your vehicle repairs online. Although it’s been an Esurance standard for a few years now, many customers are still unaware of this free bonus feature, and that’s something we simply have to change.

How to monitor vehicle repairs online

When you file your Esurance claim, we’ll recommend a certified Esurance-approved (E-star®) repair shop near you. By choosing to go with an E-star facility, you’ll be able to:

  • See daily photos of your repair progress
  • Email the photos or share them online
  • Email your repair shop directly
  • Find out when your car is ready

And, best of all, your repairs are guaranteed for as long as you own the vehicle.

Through our E-star program, our customers are on the cutting-edge of auto repair. By making the process more transparent and selecting state-of-the-art facilities, our goal is to get all of our drivers back on the road lickity-split.

Find out more about E-star and the ability to monitor vehicle repairs online:

See how RepairView works
Get the full scoop on the E-star Direct Repair Program