Overspending and waste, one dollar at a time, adds up. If you want to save money, you need to be aware of your spending habits and make small adjustments so that they add up over time. Many little ways to save money are painless and require few sacrifices, and if you practice them regularly, they will become a part of your daily life.
Lunch for Dinner
sushi variation take away image by Lucky Dragon from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>
Get lunch take-out meals for dinner. Many restaurants have lunch specials at substantial savings over dinner prices, even for the exact same dish and similar portions. During your lunch hour, pick up a couple of lunch entrees and keep them in the office fridge until it's time to go home. When dining out you'll also save money by meeting friends for lunch instead of dinner.
The enormous package of two dozen rolls of tin foil from the warehouse club on its face appears to be an irresistible bargain. It isn't always. If your home is small and lacking in storage space, buying huge quantities is inconvenient and leads to clutter. More importantly, it isn't always the most economical choice. A smaller package on sale and/or using a coupon may cost less per piece than a massive package at regular price. Always comparison shop, which is pretty easy to do online.
Be Energy Conscious
Turn lights off when you leave the room, switch to energy-efficient appliances, and stop singing "Bohemian Rhapsody" in the shower. If that advice sounds like how your parents nagged you as a child to save energy because, that could be because they paid the utility bills every month. Try to plan car trips so that you don't backtrack, which burns gas, puts unnecessary wear and tear on your car and your nerves, and wastes valuable time. Make it a daily habit to stop waste and you'll feel the results when you get out your checkbook.
Switch to Dryer Balls
Dryer sheets make your laundry fluffy and give it a pleasant smell, but they are not reusable. Switch over to a reusable dryer balls that are nearly indestructible, inexpensive and can last a few years. They separate the clothes in the dryer, which reduces drying time and saves you money on electricity. They are environmentally friendly and suitable for people with allergies because they contain no chemicals. If you love the scent of fabric softeners, look for dryer balls that come with scented inserts.
Buy Nonperishables Only on Sale
You're unlikely to ever be faced with a pine-floor-cleaner emergency, so don't buy it unless it's on sale. Cleaners, paper goods and many personal care items don't spoil and therefore should only be purchased when on sale, or with a discount coupon. If the sale is really good and you have the space, stock up.
Downsize Wherever Possible
When you first signed up for your television cable or phone service, they might have given you lots of channels and extras for as an introductory offer. The introductory pricing is probably over, so it's time to review whether or not you need so many channels or such a large volume of text messages. Cutting back will save a few dollars each month and really adds up over time.
Annabella Gualdoni has written newsletters and reports for corporations and nonprofits since 1994. She is a real estate professional and also teaches subjects including international cooking and travel, dating/relationships and personal finance. Gualdoni has a Bachelor of Arts in international development from University of California, Berkeley, a Master of Arts in international relations from Boston University, and a Juris Doctor from Boston College Law School.