Sunday, September 03, 2006

Fifteen Easy Ways to Save Fifteen Bucks

Fifteen dollars isn’t that much, but it’s so easy to make minor adjustments like these, and doing them regularly can mean extra money to go toward debt, emergency savings, investing, or retirement. Some of these tips even let you continue to have a lifestyle that’s far from Spartan.

  • If you’re a coffee drinker, brew your own rather than buy it on the run. If you have two cups a day at $1.50 each workday, that’s $60 over a month. You can buy a decent coffee maker, really good bean or ground coffee, and a Stanley stainless steel insulated thermos for about $45 and come out $15 ahead after the first month!
  • Switch to water when dining out. Drinks are where restaurants make a killing, and after five dinners with your spouse/SO you’ll be $15 ahead.
  • Try some generic brands on your next grocery shopping trip. It’s not hard at all to save $15 on a $100 grocery trip this way.
  • Unless the movie absolutely needs to be seen in a theater, wait for it to come out on DVD and rent it. At $18 for two tickets, plus that much for popcorn and drinks, you can save $15 easily. Bonus: no stepping in dried puddles of sugary soda!
  • Cancel a magazine that you don’t read anymore. The reduced visual noise is priceless.
  • Head to the library rather than buy a new hardcover book in the store. Your mileage may vary depending on how well-stocked your library is. With new hardcovers $20 and up, you can read it for free when your library gets it. Besides, will you read it again?
  • Get a $25 dining gift certificate for $10 at Your favorite restaurant may be in the network!
  • Bring in your lunch for a week. Three dollars a day is doable, and it will probably be healthier.
  • Try a water filter instead of bottled water. A Brita pitcher filter will purify about 35 gallons. With bottled water more expensive than gasoline, $15 in savings is a no-brainer.
  • Drop extended cable TV service. See if you miss CSPAN2 and the Golf Channel.
  • Take your kids to the park for a picnic instead of to Chuck E. Cheese.
  • Bring in your snacks instead of feeding the vending machines. Depending on how much you normally eat at work you could save $15 in a couple of weeks.
  • Visit a thrift store. People give away some really nice stuff! We got a bread machine for $5 that I know cost more than $20 new.
  • Eliminate a couple of trips into town by planning ahead a little. $15 in gas is only about 100-150 miles now.
  • Don’t buy flowers on your wedding anniversary. Just kidding on this one — sometimes saving $15 is very costly!!

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