30 Ways To Save A Dollar Day (Or More)

Frugal For Life has a new list of over 30 ways to improve your money situation by small measures, either by cutting down, saving, or finding new ways to make money.

• Cut out buying one soda or coffee a day – make or bring your own
• Cut back on a bad habit – reduce smoking by

packs, buy fewer drinks when going out, cut the lottery buys down
• Pick up trash, fix it up and sell it
• Sell extraneous items
• Lower your utility use (use cold water more, lower thermostat in the winter, raise it in the summer, etc)

What are the little tricks you use to cut down on expenses? — BEN POPKEN

30+ Ways to Save a Dollar a Day [Frugal For Life]
(Photo: EricGjerde)


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  1. dohtem says:

    I recently started taking my own lunch and drink to work. So far, I am saving $7+ daily (and eating healthier).

    My apartment doesn’t have central heating so we are forced to load up on the blankets and warm clothing. Sucks sometimes but our energy bill costs way less than half it did at the old place.

    And I have been doing this for years now; I don’t carry cash. I am an impulse buyer and vending machines are my enemy. When I don’t have cash on me, I can’t put it in the machine. I rely on a debit card.

  2. Firstborn Dragon says:

    Turn your computer off at night. I do it all the time, mostly because the buzzing drives me nuts otherwise. But I shut off the whole power bar, so there’s no power being used by anything until I turn the bar on again.

  3. comedian says:

    Last summer a hubcap (No, not a wheel cover, an honest to God hubcap) landed in my front yard.

    I dutifully propped it up against one of my trees along the road and left the hubcap there for a few weeks.

    No one picked it up, so I washed it up and put it on ebay.

    Made about $20 on it in the end.

  4. Papa K says:

    Bringing your lunch is great – except when you need to network. If I brought my lunch all the time I’d have missed out on meeting (and impressing) my current boss.

    That said, just because you go out to eat for lunch, doesn’t mean you need a four-course meal. Small cheap meals work just as well as a $20 steak.

  5. RandomHookup says:

    Craigslist is your friend for making money. Here are some of the things I have done with it:

    * Got a small part in a corporate video
    * Sold monthly subway passes I have found that the owner lost
    * Sold electronics I won as door prizes
    * Participated in computer studies at local colleges
    * Rented out a spare room for a couple of months
    * Rented out my basement for a band to practice
    * Rented out storage space in my basement
    * Participated in focus groups

  6. ElizabethD says:

    This is kind of silly on the grand scale of things, but: I tear Bounce dryer sheets in half and just put one of the halves in the dryer. You really don’t need the whole sheet with a single load.

    Also: I try always to drink water instead of seltzer, Evian, etc.

    I cut old pantyhose or trouser socks that have runs or holes in them into rings (think calamari!), then snip them open into ties for my plants that require staking in the summer. The dark ones are subtle in the garden, and they are soft so won’t cut into tender plant stalks.

    I almost always use my teabags at least twice.

  7. orielbean says:

    On the computer power thing – I got one of those Smartstrips that is great – it uses one appliance as the “switch” that will power the other switched outlets. You can use a computer, a monitor, a lamp, anything w/ a plug as the switch. Then when you turn it off, it powers down the whole strip. So, those wall wart transformers for your speakers, chargers, etc, all are not just sitting there sucking cash away.

  8. orielbean says:

    And on the food thing; if you like steak, just buy an inexpensive roast from the grocer – I got like 3 pounds of nice meat for about 7 bucks. Cut off the fat (if you don’t like it) and you can make some monster meals for very cheap. I fed four of us w/ a cheap packaged rice dish (the kind that comes in the foil tube) along w/ baby carrots glazed w/ sugar (frozen bag for 1.50) and the steaks for a total of 14 bucks…

  9. kerry says:

    I switched to water at lunch (free from the soda fountain at our cafeteria) and bring my own coffee in the morning. I brew tea at my desk the rest of the day. On those alone I’m probably saving about $3-$5 a day just on beverages. Of course, then you have to consider the cost of coffee and tea, but it’s still an overall savings.
    Using and sticking to an grocery list for every shopping trip has also helped curb impulse spending. It used to be I’d go to the store with a mental list, and walk out with about 4x as much stuff. Now I write down only what I need for the next week and walk out with just that stuff, I’m spending easily 1/4 of what I used to.

  10. silverlining says:

    Ummm, not to be paranoid, but… are those little Stars of David folded into the dollar bill?

    I think this is the second time Consumerist has used this graphic. Unless yall are trying to shed light on the Jewish grapefruit cartel conspiracy ;) , there are probably lots of other graphics that could be used, especially in that fab Flickr stream Consumerist has…

  11. Chairman-Meow says:

    I wonder if NWA used this as their source for their insane layoff tips.

  12. Ben Popken says:

    DDL writes:

    “One of the most important things for us is cooking instead of eating out.

    In Cooking to Fatten Your Wallet, I contend that your average $15 grilled chicken meal for one at a restaurant would cost you roughly $10 at home and would feed more than one person.”

  13. GenXCub says:

    It’s been said before, but UNPLUG your Cell Phone Charger if you’re not using it. I also am a frequent doggie bagger at restaurants.

    My favorite place to go here in Vegas is Sweet Tomatoes (Cali people know it as Souplantation). They charge less for take out than they do to eat there, and you can grab more than enough food for one sitting.

    Some will say it’s not frugal to be eating out so much, but if it’s making you spend less than you were before, then there you go.

  14. WannaGetMatzoBalled says:

    Take out everything from your closets and basement that you don’t use and either sell on craigslist or offer on freecycle. If you need something, post a wanted on freecycle; it is amazing what people will give away. Also, if you want to watch for free stuff on craigslist, check it very often, because it’s usually the first email that gets it.

    Grow your own basil!! How many times I’ve paid $3 for a bunch when a pack of seeds can be had for 10 cents…

    (I second the motion to replace the Star of David dollar bill)

  15. Ben Popken says:

    It’s fucking origami, people. A geometric pattern, not a political statement. I used it because it’s beautiful. Here’s another one the guy made.

  16. voodoodle says:

    i vote to get rid of the graphic only because it’s not an economical use of a dollar…

    i like jews.

  17. orig_club_soda says:

    I am selling all the CDs I dont listen to on Amazon. Its better than eBay because you only pay a fee when items sell. Its better than Craigslist because it gives you pricing tips and positions your product with new items. Some of my CDs are selling at full price and one even sold for $40 dollars when I bought it less than ten. (Ship USPS first class, its usually cheaper than media mail. Dont price anything less than $2 because that is roughly the point you lose money)

    Which leads to another tip – buy your music CDs used – from me especially. Its digital, it has the booklet, its usually $5 or more cheaper.

    And a third saving tip, buy songs one at a time online. Dont buy CDs if you only like a few songs. Most services allow you to rip them to audio CDs which removes the DRM.