A few simple changes can save you money
Saving money doesn't mean sacrifice. You can maintain your normal day-to-day and save simply by planning and maybe just a few small compromises.
Read & Plan
Read your local grocery flyers and plan your week of meals and shopping trip based on what is on sale. In most stores the sale items will change weekly meaning you won't get bored of having the same thing twice. By planning your meals (and I mean 3 per day and snack foods) you will also save on the cost of eating out because you won't need to.
Keep Your Eyes Open for Deals & Coupons
If you have favorite brands that you use, you don't have to switch to no-name, instead sign up online with the manufacturer and they will send you coupons. If the manufacturer has no coupons on their site, Google the word "coupon" and the product name, nine times out of ten you will find something even if it is twenty-five cents off, it adds up.
If you notice that your favorite brand of deodorant, toothpaste, dish soap, etc. is on sale or buy one get one free - stock up. These items don't go bad and you will eventually need to buy more. If you are really aware of what is going on at the store you can combine an in-store deal with coupons and you will be laughing. Last week I bought my favorite brand of Soy Milk regular price of $5.99 for $0.99 per carton by combining the in-store sale price of $2.99 with an online coupon for $2.00 off.
Learn to "Fake It"
Do you find yourself spending five dollars a day or week on designer coffee? Next time you buy one watch how it is made and challenge yourself to recreate it at home. You can often buy the supplies right there and the flavored syrups are sold at most grocers. The total costs of all the supplies may set you back about $25 but from that you should be able to make 25-30 coffees.
Instead of meeting up with friends for supper out, meet up for happy hour somewhere. Happy hour specials often include up to 50% off drinks and food. You will be able to eat and drink more for less and not miss out on social engagements just because you are on a budget. Chances are you won't need supper after grazing on a variety of appetizers.
Have Cheap Dates
My husband and I realized that our date nights were adding up to a few hundred dollars a month. We now date "smart." If we are going to a movie we pick up a pass that includes two admissions, popcorn and drinks for $25 - available at our local Costco and AAA. Instead of a five star meal we opt for our favorite take-out Vietnamese meal and a bottle of great wine at home. We go for walks, check out local galleries, hit the Farmer's Market, etc.
Love Window Shopping
Make yourself a designer coffee to-go and hit all of your favorite stores, try on clothes and shoes, take pictures, write down style numbers but buy nothing. When you get home think over the items that you wish to purchase and if you decide that you must have that new pair of shoes search the web for a deal. Most designer items will be on sale somewhere in the world.
Clean Your House
Look around at what you have, are there big ticket items you are not using? or clothes that you haven't worn or don't fit you? If you declutter your home and closet you will find hidden cash. Either have a garage sale, place items on Craigslist or Kijiji or find a consignment store that will sell the item for you. If you can't be bothered to sell your stuff, find a charity that will come pick it up and issue you a tax receipt. You will have a few extra dollars to put into that new couch or table.