Money: Thrifty ways to save money

Tips on how to cut down summer spending habits.
By <a href='http://www.free-articles-zone.com/author/18637' target='_blank'>By Jenny Sweeney</a>
May 2009
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Thermometers aren’t the only things rising this summer. With the ever-increasing cost of daily essentials like gas and dairy products, Americans across the nation are looking to cut their summer spending habits. Check out these tips to keeping cash in your wallet.

Turn it up
Investing in a programmable thermostat can equate to over $180 in savings per year. By bumping temperatures higher in the summer and lower during the winter, not only will your wallet thank you, but so will the environment. According to Energy Star, changing settings during a typical 10-hour workday to 8 degrees lower in the winter and 7 degrees higher in the summer can help save energy, lower your energy bill, and maintain a comfortable temperature in your home at all times. If you tend to be more cold-blooded, layer up, and invest in thermal sweaters and blankets.

Cut the caffeine 
If you’re a caffeine junky, you probably find yourself running to the nearest Starbucks or local coffee shop once or twice a day “because you need it.” Look at your spending long term, though. That tall caramel macchiato runs $3.45 a pop and is packed with 120 calories. Over a typical 50-week year, that means $862 of your salary was spent on coffee alone, and you sipped an extra 30,000 calories. If you can’t kick the habit, purchase coffee for your office in bulk and add caramel drizzle for that sweet flavor.

Write it down
Have you ever just “had to have” an adorable skirt or perfect shoe you hadn’t intended on buying? Don’t worry, most of us fall prey to wandering eyes while shopping. Whether it’s the grocery store or the tres-chic shop around the corner, we’ve purchased things we don’t need. In order to beat temptation, write a list before you leave for the store. If your list is too long, try eliminating things you simply want, instead of need. Also, be sure to shop on a full stomach, because shopping while hungry encourages spontaneous purchases, such as candy bars, chips and other junk food items. If you’re still having trouble sticking to a list, try walking to the store, because you’ll only be able to buy what you can carry - and it’s good exercise.

Re-imagine renovation 
By now, you’re probably recycling your canned and paper goods, but have you ever considered saving what you’re ditching? Instead of buying a plastic shelving unit, old coffee tins make perfect storage units for small garage parts. Plastic grocery bags make great makeshift trash bags and paint tray liners. Having trouble keeping all those plastic bags contained? Re-use tissue boxes to store plastic bags.

About the author: Jenny Sweeney is a copywriter with DMi Partners, an interactive marketing agency committed to informative websites, including AmericanFinancialFreedom.org, a site devoted to debt consolidation and personal financing.

Article source: www.Free-Articles-Zone.com


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