It may not seem like a lot of money, but saving just $15 a week can add up to an extra car payment or a fun weekend getaway. Here are 15 ideas to get you started:
1. Brew Your Own
If you crave a morning cup of java, turn on the machine before you hit the road instead of shelling out at the coffee shop. Store your beverage in a thermos to keep it warm for your commute.
Staying hydrated is key to staying healthy, but that doesn’t mean loading up on plastic bottles. Carry a refillable water bottle with you to quench your thirst anytime, sustainably and at no cost.
3. Buy Generic
Rather than wasting precious time clipping coupons, focus on buying generic items at the grocery store. With a few exceptions, they’re the same quality as branded items, with significantly lower price tags.
4. Use Your Library
If you’re a bookworm, your addiction can get expensive. Instead of buying the latest hardbacks, borrow them from your local library. You can reserve in-demand titles or ask the librarian to recommend a hidden gem.
Carpooling to work or an event can easily save at least $15 on parking fees alone, as well as several dollars in gas.
Look to yard sales and thrift shops for clothing, home goods and other household items in good condition. You’ll pay a fraction of the original retail price.
7. Pay Off Your Balance
The national average APR rate for credit cards is almost 15%. By paying off your balance in full each month, you can save $15 for every hundred dollars you spend.
8. Trade Dinner For Lunch
While it’s fun to have a meal out now and then, if you hit restaurants at lunch, you’ll pay less for similar portions and you’ll be more likely to resist the pull of a pricey cocktail.
9. Switch On CFLs And LEDs
Switch out your incandescent light bulbs for energy efficient Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFLs) or Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs). A CFL that uses as little as 15 watts, or an LED consuming around 12 watts, can replace your typical 60-watt incandescent bulb. So, while the lights might cost a bit more up front, they’ll last longer and you can end up saving big on your utility bills.
10. Have Movie Night At Home
A pair of movie tickets in most cities cost at least $15, and that’s without the popcorn. Instead of heading out for a show, rent a movie on-demand to your home TV. Most digital rentals only cost around $4 each, no matter how many people are watching.
11. Stick To Your Shopping List
Whether you’re hitting the grocery store or the hardware store, make a shopping list ahead of time. It’ll help you avoid impulse buys that could push you over budget.
12. Host Dinner
Hosting a meal at your own house rather than inviting friends to a restaurant can often save $15 or more per guest, especially when it comes to high-markup items like wine.
13. Go Meatless
You can easily save around $15 or more by eliminating meat once or twice a week from your dinner plate. Substitute meats with other foods like mushrooms, eggplant, lentils, beans, legumes, cauliflower, potatoes, beats and nuts.
14. Use A Programmable Thermostat
While the initial investment may be higher than purchasing a standard thermostat, a programmable thermostat lets you reduce the temperature when you’re not at home, cutting your monthly heating bills all winter.
15. Entertain The Kids For Free
It’s easy to spend a fortune on kids at amusement parks and zoos, but you can cut back on expenses by making the most of local playgrounds, parks and free events like concerts. Check for a free parents’ guide in your region to find all the best free and low-cost options to keep them entertained.
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By Kathryn Hawkins