Cutting back to save money doesn't have to be a big, budget-rocking goal. It can be accomplished on a small scale and eventually add up to impressive numbers: Saving just $10 a day will net $3,650 a year. Even $5 a day saves more than $1,800 a year. Here are 10 ways to save money a little bit at a time.
10 Ways to Save $10 a Day (or $3,650 a Year!)
Many restaurants serve the same dishes for dinner and lunch; it's just that the lunch portion is smaller and, therefore, cheaper. The next time you don't feel like cooking, order carryout during the lunch hour instead of waiting until dinnertime. Then stash the food in the office refrigerator and heat it up when you get home.
Do you drink coffee in the morning, water throughout the day, and a glass of wine with dinner? Brew coffee at home instead of hitting the coffee shop on your way to work; drink tap water instead of buying bottled water; and avoid alcoholic drinks that add a hefty price to your dining tab.
Make a list that contains only what you need, and don't deviate from it -- all those extra items that end up in your cart can really balloon the tab. While you don't have to go extreme-couponing crazy, try to plan meals and make a shopping list around stores' weekly circulars and foods you can buy with coupons.
Instead of buying albums or paying to download songs à la carte, listen to the music you like for free through streaming services such as Pandora and Spotify. This also lets you sample new artists without making a financial commitment.
No list of 10 ways to save money would be complete without this perennial piece of advice. To avoid eating lunch out or hitting the vending machine for an afternoon nibble, bring lunch and snacks to work. Leftovers from dinner the night before are an easy thing to grab in the morning. Get in the habit of making extra so you can have a good lunch the next day.
It's no secret that gas prices pump a lot of money out of your bank account. And think about the cost of wear and tear on your car. Save by driving less: Walk, bike, take the bus or train, or set up a carpool system with coworkers to cut down on fuel costs and other auto-related expenses.
Of our 10 ways to save money, this is one of the easiest: Stop paying for newspapers, magazines, and books and head to the local library instead. Many libraries even offer e-book lending. And, of course, countless periodicals and other news sources are free online.