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MAIN Your Money Arrow to BankingMoney Savers

Fifty Ways to Save Your Money

Money saving tipsDon't spend money around the plans you make. Make plans around the money you have with these random acts of frugalness.

Yes, there must be at least 50 ways to cut down on your current expenses, and they really do add up:

1. Start making your own coffee to take to work each morning. Cost: $20 for a thermos. Then skip the $ 3-4 a day stop at the coffee shop. That saves you around $1,000 a year.

2. Stop smoking. That pack-a-day habit is costing you on average $35 a week or more. Do the math and that's $245 a month or a whopping $2,540 per year.

3. Those spiral-shaped bulbs known as compact fluorescents use less than a third of the energy of regular bulbs and last ten times longer.

4. When it comes to pain relievers or cough medicines, don't believe the hype. Highly advertised over-the-counter medications are the exact same thing as those cheaper discount store brands. Read the label. Buy generic.

5. Save at least 50% on that bottle of wine you would have ordered in a restaurant by buying it at a local wine shop. Then invite friends over to Chez John & Suzie's for a home wine & cheese party. Save on tipping the waiter, too.

6. Start shopping at Costco, Sam's Club or any other warehouse store and start saving with huge discounts on everything from milk and eggs to flatscreen TV's.

7. Buy online. Use discount coupons.

8. Cancel the gym membership. Conspire with gym mates to start a neighborhood walking or jogging club.

Save, save, save. Even if it's a piggy bank or change jar, it adds up...

9. Skip the book store. Cost of a library card? $0.

10. Turn Thanksgiving, Christmas, or a family reunion celebration into a pot luck dinner by assigning favorite appetizers and side dishes to family and friends.

11. Two words on buying Christmas gifts: Secret Santa.

12. Save big on extra cable TV charges by canceling those premium movie channels you never watch.

13. Leave the credit cards home. Use the debit card, or spend cash.

14. Find out where to buy the cheapest gas in the neighborhood.

15. Save, save, save. Even if it's a piggy bank or change jar, it adds up.

16. Skip the pedigree cat or designer dog. Get a mutt or stray.

17. Opt out of the big vacation trip and plan cheap weekend getaways during the year. Or save big on vacations during the off season — Europe in the winter or early spring; the Caribbean in September and October; Hawaii in May or September.

18. Save on your electrical bill by buying only major appliances that feature the "Energy Star" sticker.

19. Drop one of your phone services. It's either the land line or the cell phone.

20. Carpool.

21. Get your kids to start budgeting.

22. Learn DIY electrical or home plumbing repair.

23. Shop Ikea and other discount stores for furniture,

Stop trying to keep up with the Joneses. They're probably deeper in debt than you are...

24. Skip the phone call. E-mail.

25. 55 or older and love to travel? Think senior travel discounts.

26. Read the supermarket circulars.

27. Plan budget meals a few times a week or more: tacos, spaghetti, stews, chili.

28. Grow your own food. Start a vegetable garden.

29. Buy a used car.

30. Sell your stuff on Craigslist, EBay and other online auction sites, or give it away to the Salvation Army for an end of year tax deduction.

31. Learn to say no. Do you really need that latest gizmo or overpriced 'it' bag?

32. Move.

33. Don't buy bottled water. Just don't.

34. Join a freecycle group.

35. Use only credit cards that offer points, travel discounts or other savings.

36. Don't spend extra cash for extended warranties on small stuff - like cameras or kitchen appliances. It's just not worth it.

37. Cancel your magazine subscriptions and opt for the often free online version (or see tip no. 9).

38. Only run the heat or A/C when you really need it. Install a programmable thermostat which automatically lowers heating or cooling when you’re not at home.

39. Look for free or cheap stuff in your neighborhood - concerts in the park, kids parties or community events.

40. Read the fine print. That goes for credit card agreements, warranties and phone bills.

41. Avoid impulse buys at the supermarket by buying groceries online. Look for special deals and discounts only available to Web shoppers.

42. Comparison shop.

43. Plan make-ahead meals that freeze well. "Cook once, eat twice."

44. Learn how to file your own taxes.

45. If you're laid off, skip the headhunters and online resume sites and discuss career plans with everyone you know. When all is said and done, job networking is still the way to go.

46. Learn how to save on heat & energy bills.

47. Cut health care costs by negotiating for lower rates with local doctors and dentists — if you don't ask, you don't get. Try it.

48. Bundle communications: TV, Internet, phone.

49. Channel hobbies into money savers: knitting, sewing, cooking, fishing, gardening, home decorating.

50. Stop trying to keep up with the Joneses. They're probably deeper in debt than you are.



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