Budgeting Saving

11 Easy Ways to Save Money Each Month

Save money on gas

4. Shop for gas. If you wait until the last minute before a trip to fill up your car’s gas tank, chances are you’ll buy at the gas station that’s nearest you or the freeway entrance. That can be costly, and can be about 30 cents more per gallon than it is at a discount station such as a warehouse club.

Also look for the best prices in your area at GasBuddy, and use discounts that your supermarket may give you for buying gas through them. It’s a smart way to save money every month.

5. Buy generic. Whether it’s gasoline, drug prescriptions or groceries, the savings can add up by buying generic products. Some foods, for example, may taste different than the name brand (store-brand cola vs Coke), so try it out before committing to a large purchase.

6. Coffee. Starting the day without a cup of coffee can be difficult, but starting it by paying $5 for a cup at your local coffee shop can hurt your wallet. Add that up and you could be spending $100 a month on coffee. Instead, take 10 minutes of your morning and brew it yourself with a French press and buy some coffee in bulk at Cosco that you can ground up at the store.

7. Use those gift cards. Unused gift cards can gather dust or get lost, so before you lose them, either go spend them or trade them for some cash at places such as Coinstar and Cardpool. It’s not a way to save money and make a dependable profit every month, but it beats having unspent cash just sitting around the house.

Save money on credit cards

8. Find a better credit card. If you keep a monthly balance on your credit card and are paying a high interest rate, it’s time to shop around for a better rate or even an introductory 0% rate. Or better yet, give yourself a raise by paying off the bill in full each month and don’t pay any interest charges at all. If you do transfer a balance to a better credit card, be sure you don’t have to pay a fee for such a move. If you’re too busy to shop for a different card, call your current credit card company and ask for a better rate.

9. Stop buying books and DVDs. You might have to wait a little longer to get the newest releases, but most public libraries at least get the latest book titles relatively quickly. In my neighborhood, some popular books can be borrowed the same week as they come out. The same isn’t true with movies, but there have got to be some old movies you’ve been wanting to see but haven’t had the time for. Being frugal is a good time to catch up on old films.

10. Don’t dine out. Try this for a month and see how much money you’ll save. Chances are it be a few hundred dollars. Cook at home and save big. And if you do go to restaurants, drink free water and skip the expensive drinks and desserts.

11. Buy used clothes, or none at all. Shopping at thrift stores for used clothes is in style lately, so at least you’ll look hip while saving money. Better yet, save money by not buying any clothes at all for at least a month. Take a good, hard look in your closet. Are you wearing everything you have throughout the year? If you haven’t worn something in a year, get rid of it.

About the author

Aaron Crowe

Aaron Crowe

Aaron Crowe is a freelance journalist in the Bay Area who specializes in personal finance. He has been a writer and editor at newspapers and websites, including AOL's personal finance site WalletPop.com, WiseBread, Bankrate, LearnVest, AARP and other sites. Follow him on Twitter at @aaroncrowe, or at his website, www.AaronCrowe.net.

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