12 Everyday Ways to Spend Less Money

A short list of easy ways to save a little cash while doing everyday things.

Is the bulge in your wallet filled more with credit cards and store receipts than actual cold hard cash? Looking for change at the bottom of your purse or between the cushions of your couch?

Here are 12 easy solutions for spending less money that can be incorporated into your everyday life.

1. Food for Thought
We all need to eat, but we don’t need to eat out. A $10 lunch might seem like a cheap meal, but do this every work day and that’s $50 by the end of the week. That’s a lot for just lunch. How will you afford breakfasts, dinners and periodic snack attacks? Save cash by “brown bagging” it, and taking your lunch to work.

2. List Bliss
So you decided to cook at home (good for you!), but first you’ll need to go grocery shopping. Don’t shop when you’re hungry and never leave the house without a list to avoid impulse purchases.

3. Join the Club
Extend your savings while shopping by using coupons and joining rewards clubs. The difference of a few cents saved from coupons or discount cards can translate to big dollar savings in the long run.

4. Go Generic
From dishwashing soap to flour to even your medications-buying store brands over brand names can give you comparable quality at a lower price.

5. That’s Entertainment
Find new ways of sourcing entertainment. For example: Rather than spending money at the movie theater, why not borrow books from the library for free? (Everyone knows the book is always better than the film anyway!)

6. Kick the Habit
In addition to the health benefits of not smoking, eliminating this habit is also good for your finances. A pack of cigarettes isn’t cheap, so give your wallet and your lungs a break by trying to quit.

7. Kick the Other Habit(s)
Eliminate unnecessary routine purchases such as coffee shop lattes and vending machine bottled water.

8. Good for You…and the Environment
Practicing energy-saving habits can also save you money on bills. Unplug appliances that aren’t in use or turn off the light when you leave the room. Try taking shorter showers. Bundle up instead of using the heater.

9. Do the Legwork
Save on insurance, gas and other car expenses. Shop around for the lowest auto insurance and/or make an effort to drive less. Consider other modes of transportation: pubic transit, biking or walking.

10. Grow Your Savings in the Garden
Find your green thumb and start a garden. Rather than buying produce from the store, grow fruits or start a container garden of fresh herbs.

11. Exercise Restraint
It’s great that you want to stay in shape, but try exercising at home or signing up for just an exercise class rather than splurging on a full membership.

12. Stay on Track
Track your expenses, pay bills on time and budget wisely. Yes, it’s just that easy!

With today’s struggling economy, it is important to watch one’s finances. Even with a limited income, it is possible for people to stop living from paycheck to paycheck. It won’t be hard to incorporate these quick and easy ways to save money into your life. And after a while, you’ll be a frugal-living pro!