Dollars and Sense: Saving in the New Year

Daily dollar saving ideas can add up over 365 days

by QNotes Staff  Staff Reports  editor@goqnotes.com
Published: January 3, 2014 in A&E / Life&Style, Featured Stories

dollarsandcents

It’s one of those perennial New Year’s resolutions you hear friends and family make each January. Heck, you’ve even made it before, too. Save money. But, just like other resolutions, saving can be hard to do. That’s especially true if parts of your spending are tied into daily habits or personal enjoyment, or if you’re already bringing home a bit less than you’d like.

Yet, there are some easy and simple ways to save a buck here and there. Doing so will add up to greater savings over the year. Here are some ideas to help you clamp down on personal spending this year. Unsurprisingly, our tips below revolve around food, meals, drinks and fun. Hanging out with friends or having a good meal is what often keeps us grounded. And, it’s where we can also find great savings.

DIY mornings

America, as a whole, is addicted to its caffeine and corporations large and small have popped up to take full advantage of our coffee indulgences. But, you can skip that $3 mocha-choca-frape-latte-whatever and make your own coffee at home. Doing so could save you a dollar or two each day; that could mean as much as $250-$500 of savings each year. Similarly, if you’re skipping breakfast, you might find yourself getting hungrier earlier in the day. You’re spending unnecessarily if you’re buying snacks or running out for a biscuit right before fast food chains shut down morning menus. Eat a light breakfast at home and save a few bucks each week.

Safe (and cheaper) travels

Most of us have to commute to work each day. Yes, yes, rush hour sucks. But, you could make it more enjoyable and cheaper by carpooling. If you work in an urban area and are even forced to pay for parking, you and a colleague who lives nearby could take turns driving, split the cost of gas and parking. And, if you live close enough to good bus or rail lines, opt to take public transit instead of driving.

Meals for two

So many of us live a busy life these days. Between work or school or volunteering, it can become hard to find time for yourself. But, you should make time and use it to cook a good, old-fashion meal at home. If you live alone or with just one other person, odds are you’ll have left overs. Cooking at home is cheaper than eating out and instead of spending money on lunch the next day, take in leftovers and save even more.

Meals with friends

Similar to the eat-in tip above, save on fun with friends by inviting your buds over for fellowship at your home. It’s much cheaper, especially if everyone pitches in to host friends for food and drinks at home.

Coupons really do work

We all know the stereotype of the crazy couponer taking up time in the grocery store check out line. But, what you might see as crazy actually works to save good cash. And, you don’t have to become an extreme couponer to take advantage of savings. Start taking a look through the free mailers full of coupons that arrive in your mailbox at home and save the ones that are of interest. You might not use some coupons immediately, but they’ll be waiting for when you need them. Before each trip to the grocery store, make a list and stick to it. That will save from unnecessary purchases made on a whim. With your list of needed items, check your coupons to see if any can help you save.

Store savings

Like couponing, utilizing the sales and deals in your local grocer’s weekly circular can help you save each week. Use those weekly sales to craft your grocery list and your week’s worth of meals.

Do you have other easy and simply money saving ideas for the New Year? Tell us about it! Join the discussion online at goqnotes.com. : :