Ways to Save Money without Feeling the Pinch

There are painless ways of saving money, and in today’s economy, it is wise to save every penny you can.  

Here are some tried-and-true strategies on how to keep more money in your pocket:

1.  Bring your own lunch to work.

Keep your lunch dates with friends and fellow workers to one day a week.  The other four days, brown bag it.  If you are used to spending at least $5.00 every time you eat out, you will see your savings add up very quickly.  Then you will realize just how much you were spending on those lunches.  Five dollars per lunch x 4 days equals $20.00 per week x 52 weeks per year equals $1,040 per year!  What could you buy with that?

2.  Stop using charge cards and pay more than minimum payments.

Interest on credit payments has made most Americans feel like indentured servants.  Begin paying a few dollars over your minimum payment and you will begin to see the balance decrease.  If you stop using credit cards whenever possible, you will learn creative ways of living within your means.  

3.  Read the food ads and plan your meals around what’s on sale.

People are so busy these days that many have gotten out of the habit of buying what’s on sale at the market and planning their menus around that.  It’s easy, once you’ve done it a few times, and you will save a bundle. 

4.  Collect coupons.

You don’t have to sift through the newspaper to save coupons.  At the grocery checkout, most grocers give out coupons with your receipt.  Take advantage of those because your savings add up.  If you save $50 a month on coupons, your savings will add up to $600.00 per year.

5.  Consolidate trips – errands – to save on gas.

Most people do this already, but if you’re not, it will help you to hold on to more of your hard earned dollars.  When you need to do errands, plan out your destinations to avoid backtracking.  This will save you time and money on gasoline. 

6.  Cook dinner, instead of eating fast food.

It is tempting to stop after work and grab burgers and fries for dinners or to order that pizza and have it delivered to your front door.  But keeping this to a minimum – maybe once a week – you will save money and eat more nutritiously.  If you spend $30.00 on fast food for family dinners twice a week for a year, it comes to $1,520 a year.  Cut that figure in half by getting fast food once a week instead of twice, and you will save $760 per year. 

7.  Don’t pay full price for clothing.

Buy clothing at the end of the season when it goes on clearance.  You can also find great clothing deals online and at outlet malls.  You never have to pay full price for clothing again.

8.  Watch those lattes.

Those warm, comforting café lattes are the downfall of many.  At $4.00 a pop every day on the way to the office, you end up spending a whopping $1,460 a year!  Buy an inexpensive espresso maker (Mr. Coffee has one for $39 at Target) and make your own lattes to go.  

Based on the eight money-saving tips in this article, you can save thousands of dollars a year for bills, vacations, your 401-k, a car, jewelry, a down payment on a house or on anything else your little heart desires.  Once you begin the habit of saving money on ordinary things like lunches and clothing, you will have a lot more money at your disposal for those things that fall into the category of extraordinary!