7 Ways to Pinch Your Pennies ...

Let’s face it- with the economy these days, we are ALL looking for a way to save our dollars (or pennies!). This can be a pretty big challenge though, especially with insurance, house and car payments, phone bills, groceries, gas and social life activities. And don’t look now but here come the holidays! Here are 7 ways to pinch (and really stretch) your pennies that you may have never thought of before!

1. Cook at Home

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Photo Credit: [Christine]

Probably kind of obvious, but still worth mentioning. Cut down on the amount of times you eat out per week. Including your lunch at work. Try brown bagging it and you may be surprised by how many pennies you save. When you cook, make some extra of whatever you’re making and pop it in the freezer. On those days when you are in a rush, save yourself $35 dollars feeding your family at McDonald’s and pop that frozen casserole in the oven with minutes to spare!

2. Brew Your Own Coffee

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Photo Credit: Slightly Amazing Grace

You would be surprised at this fact but most Americans tend to spend over $900 per year on their morning brew!! It’s easier and quicker to grab a cup at starbucks on the way to work then it is to fix their own each a.m, but it’s a lot harder on your wallet in the long run. Brew your own coffee and add creams and sugars to make it as yummy as your local coffee shop. If you prefer lattes, choose from a variety of free recipes online you can print off!

3. Carpool

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Another “common” suggestion, but a smart one. Get together with a few of your co-workers and mom’s of other kids that go to the same school as yours. Work out a beneficial, logical carpool schedule and stick with it. You may even do this with some of your neighborhood mom’s on grocery and errand trips. Besides both of you getting your errands done on one tank of gas you will get to enjoy each other’s company!

4. Save Your Change

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My mom has a big jar that she saves change in. It fills up pretty quickly! Last year at Christmas we took it and had the change counted. It added up to $100! That’s a lot of money to have lying around in a change jar! Point made.

5. Don’t Buy Brand New

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It’s not the end of the world if you can’t afford to buy your clothes or your children’s brand new. You might be very pleased with how much you can get for so little at your local secondhand shops or garage sales! Just be sure and check each garment for wear and tear. Three dollars for a pair of jeans may be a deal but it isn’t if the zipper is busted.

6. Be Utility Savvy

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Pay more attention to how often the utilities in your home are used. Try not the leave light on in rooms if no one is in them, and unplug electrical appliances and cell phone chargers that are not in use. They suck electricity up and money out of your pocket! Try to take shorter showers and wash bigger loads of laundry in order to wash less loads and save more water. Small things like this do add up!

7. Re-use when Possible

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Photo Credit: Marcus Q

Don’t throw away anything if you can think of another way to use it in your home. There are lots of things you can re-use in creative ways. Always try to get every last drop of product out of bottles of things like soap or lotion or ketchup before tossing the bottle. People generally throw away about 3-4 bottles full of product per year if you add up the little leftover bit in the bottom that gets wasted.

Being careful with your money and watching your spending habits isn’t tight- it’s savvy! Take good care of your stuff and watch where your green stuff goes and you will be the one who reaps the benefits. Can you think of any other ways to pinch pennies that I didn’t mention here?

Top Photo Credit: [Leslie]

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