Practical Savings Tips for Every Day Saving

  • Try take-out once a month instead of dining out.
  • Rent a video instead of going to the movies.  If you really want to go to the movies, go to the less expensive afternoon “matinee.”
  • Or better yet, go to your local library and borrow books, CDs, videos, and read the latest magazines and newspapers.
  • Bring your lunch to work once or twice a week instead of buying it.
  • Don’t grocery shop on an empty stomach or you may end up buying more than you need.
  • Cut down food costs by buying what you need on sale, buying generic brands, buying in bulk, and shopping at discount outlets.
  • Don’t buy a sale item or use a coupon just for the sake of it being “cheaper.”  Buy an item only if you need it!  Shop with a list.
  • Increase your gas mileage by taking care of your car with schedule check-ups, or just drive less. Consider carpooling, walking, taking the bus or metro, or riding your bike.
  • Cancel your cable (or at least the premium channels), as well as subscriptions to magazines and newspapers.
  • Exercise at home rather than joining a gym.
  • Make your own coffee at home rather than buying from a store, or at least cut down the number of times per week you purchase coffee.
  • Get health insurance.
  • Track your spending and cash – know where every dollar goes!
  • Organize a friend/relative/neighbor swap of clothes, toys, furniture, CDs, etc.
  • Buy clothes for next year at the end-of-season sales – try garage sales and thrift stores.
  • Find a simple hairstyle that doesn’t cost too much to take care of on daily/weekly basis.
  • Take advantage of free entertainment in your community – parks, museums, exhibits, etc.  Go to free park concerts and other community activities.
  • Try to buy with cash, checks, or debit cards. If you use credit cards, get rid of all but one or two, and pay off the balance each month. You can save hundreds or thousands of dollars a year by avoiding credit card interest charges.
  • Always do your grocery shopping with a list of items you need  -- and don't buy anything that's not on the list. You can save hundreds of dollars a year by avoiding impulse food purchases.
  • Compare unit prices on labels when shopping (for example, price per ounce). You can save hundreds of dollars a year by purchasing items with the lowest price per unit.
  • Avoid shopping at convenience stores. You pay for the convenience -- the prices are usually higher than grocery stores.
  • Consider taking your lunch to work rather than buying it. Depending on where you live and what you eat for lunch, you could save $5 a day.
  • Review your telephone and cable bills for services you don't use and cancel them. If you subscribe to magazines you rarely get around to reading, cancel the subscription. You could save tens of dollars each month.
  • When choosing a cell phone plan, find one that's appropriate for the calls you intend to make. For example, if you plan to use the phone only for emergencies, avoid plans with monthly fees or minimums.
  • When your doctor prescribes a medicine, ask if a generic is available -- you'll pay less. If you're taking a "maintenance" medicine, consider a mail-order pharmacy -- you'll pay less.
  • Before buying a car, compare insurance, gasoline, maintenance, and repair costs for comparable models. You can save thousands of dollars over the life of the car by choosing a model with low operating costs.
  • Save hundreds of dollars a year on gasoline by making sure your car's engine is tuned regularly and your tires have enough pressure.

Some good ideas from this website:

Tip No. 1:  Hide it before you can spend it.Out of sight is out of mind. When it comes to money, out of sight means in the bank; in sight generally means in your wallet. Sign up for an automatic savings plan so that your money is automatically moved from your paycheck to a savings account. 

Tip No. 2:  Entertain yourself on a frugal budget
Remember that having a good time doesn’t mean spending a lot of money. Go to restaurants that offer buffets or try a BYOB (bring your own bottle) where entrees are usually less. Ethnic dining also tends to offer better bargains. And if you are going to the movies, skip the concession stand.

Tip No. 3:  Pay debts forever but become the payee.Many of us have monthly loan payments, whether for a car loan, credit card debt, a mortgage, or all of the above. When you’ve finally paid off a debt, try to keep it up. But instead of sending a check to the lender, deposit the money into a savings account. You've increased your net worth by paying off the debt; now keep up the good work by building up your assets.

Tip No. 4:  Use your credit card wisely.
Are you reaching for your credit card for every purchase you make? Try using cash or a debit card for everyday items, and limiting credit card usage for large ticket items only. Using the money available in your checking account will help you learn to live within your means.

Tip No. 5:  Pay your bills as soon as they come.
Don’t cast your bills to the side. Pay off bills as soon as you get them, and if you can't pay the entire balance, pay more than the minimum amount due when possible.

Tip No. 6:  Sign up for frequent-shopper club cards.
If you shop at a store frequently, why not sign up for its frequent shopper club cards? Many entitle cardholders to special discounts and offers.

Tip No. 7:  Keep track of all your spendingTry writing down all your purchases for a week and see where you’re putting your money. Note every dollar you spend – whether it’s a candy bar or a new purse – and see if there are areas where you can spend less and save more.

Tip No. 8:  Use public transportationIf you have access to public transportation, try using it. It’s less expensive and usually less stressful than driving. Check local bus and train routes and compare the costs with driving a car.

Tip No. 9:  Do your homework when you travel You might save some coins if you're flexible about dates and destinations. Do your research and look for off-peak travel dates and destinations. Take advantage of weekend or mid-week deals.

Tip No. 10:  Watch out for impulse shopping
Sometimes it’s hard to say “no” to that great new outfit or music CD. But if you want to save, you probably are better off without it.  Many times, we purchase items because they “catch our eye" - this can lead to wasteful spending. The next time you see something that you want but didn’t plan on purchasing, ask yourself if you really need it and stick to your savings goals.