You may end up spending more than you think when you don’t keep track of what you spend. One way to see how you may be able to save more is to track everything you spend money on for a month. Either keep a small notebook and mark down everything you buy, or keep the receipts and write them down each evening. At the end of the week or month take a look how you have spent your money and see if there are areas you can cut back on. A dollar or two here and there may not seem like a big deal, but they can add up over time.
Some expenses that seem small and can add up over time are :
Coffee, soda and bottled water
Try making your own coffee at home. Purchase soda and water in larger quantities, and take it with you instead of paying more for individual bottles and cans at convenience stores or vending machines.
Newspapers and magazines
If you subscribe to magazines and newspapers consider if you really do read them or if you can cutback on them. If you like reading a variety of magazines, you may be able to read them at the public library for free. By cutting down on subscriptions you may also cut down on clutter in your home.
Eating lunch out
If you are able to take you own lunch to work at least a few times a week. There are numerous ideas of brown bag lunches besides just sandwiches. Also, if you are cooking dinner at home, cook extra so you have some to take for lunch the next day.
Eating out and takeout
One way of saving money on eating out is to make a menu plan and do part of the preparation before hand when you have time. It may be less tempting to stop for takeout if you have most of the meal ready when you get home. Use tools such as a crock-pot to do most of the work for you.
Consider buying chips, crackers and other items in larger quantities, and then dividing them into smaller bags instead of purchasing the individual packs of snack items. Instead of purchasing fruits and vegetables already cut up, save some money by buying in whole and cutting it yourself at home
A couple of websites with money saving tips are MoneySavingMom.com and LifeAsMom.com.