Brew your own coffee
Believe it or not, this small luxury can take a big toll on your wallet. Someone who purchases a cup a day from a coffee shop for $1.75 is spending over $600 each year on coffee. A 1lb bag of coffee grounds or beans will make approximately 35 cups of coffee, but only costs around $8. That adds up to a savings of over $500 a year!
Limit how often you dine out
You have probably noticed already, but dining out is far more expensive than cooking at home. Clever Dude and his wife figured that they can save almost $1000 a year by bringing their lunches to work. Now imagine how steep those savings would be by cutting down on dinners, which are naturally more expensive, and weekend meals out!
If you are going out with friends, or just have an incredible hankering for your favorite restaurant dish, check out Restaurant.com first to see what restaurants are offering 70-80% off gift certificates. Instead of gifting those certificates to someone else, treat youself with a little less guilt!
Do some good old fashioned coupon clipping
It may sound tedious, but clipping coupons is the best way to a cheaper grocery bill. What's great is that today, most coupons are also available online, so all you need to do is click and print before you go to the store. Try websites like coupons.com and smartsource.com as well as your local Sunday papers to find coupons for the items you buy most frequently.
The key to saving money with coupons is by making sure only use them on items you would purchase otherwise. If you wouldn't normally buy a triple-chocolate cheesecake, don't clip a coupon for it. Because even though you'd be getting it for less than the retail price, you're still spending money on something that you normally wouldn't buy at all.
Pay yourself by keeping your change
"Find a penny, pick it up..." That old rhyme doesn't only end with good luck, it also results in savings. Start by giving your house a once over and collecting any change that may be stuck in couch cushions or at the bottom of old duffel bags. Put anything you find into a large container somewhere you'll see daily. If it's easier, put smaller containers in several places around the house, so you can drop change from your pockets into them whenever you remember. Over time, these bits of change that would otherwise likely get lost will add up to a sum that you can literally take to the bank.
Take advantage of free online TV and movie sites
Cable bills have gotten to be outrageous. Americans are paying an average of $71 a month just to watch TV. Basic cable can be found at a much lower cost, sometimes even as low as $10 a month. Premium channel shows can often be found online for free (at sites like hulu.com) after the original episode airs, and services like Netflix that cost as little as $4.99 a month, will either mail you a DVD of the show or movie you want to watch or even allow you to download it on you PC.
Return recyclables to save money and the planet
Many states require consumers to pay a deposit when they purchase plastic, glass or aluminum cans or bottles. These deposits can then be gotten back by returning the empty containers to the store. If you live in CA, HI, OR, CT, DE, ME, VT, MA, IA, MI, then you are in luck, as these are the ones who charge a deposit. The usual deposit is five cents, but in some states is ten. Break yourself of the habit of throwing away bottles and cans and get those nickels and dimes back!
Cut down on your bills
There are quite a few simple ways to cut down on your heat, hot water and electric bills. Start by turning your heat down by two degrees. According to MSN Money, you can save about three percent on your heating bill for every degree that you set back your thermostat. Do the opposite in summer; turn your air conditioning up two degrees to get the same savings effect.
To save money on your hot water bill, do all of your laundry on a cold setting. Today's washing machines and laundry detergents are strong enough to kill any bacteria and strip dirt without needing hot water. Some brands even make detergents specifically for washing clothes in cold water.
Everyone knows that turning off lights when you leave a room helps cut energy costs. But what most don't realize is that leaving small appliances plugged in when not in use, even if they are turned off, can still draw electricity. When you're done using electronics like cell phone chargers, toasters, hair dryers, even TVs - unplug them. This will prevent them from sneaking bits of electricity and making your energy bill go up.