21 Ways to Save $10 a Day (or $3,650 a Year!)

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PENNIES ADD UP

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 21 ways to save money a little bit at a time.

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PICK UP A LUNCH SPECIAL FOR DINNER

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.

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CUT BACK ON THE AC

Cheapism.com has plenty of energy-saving tips for beating the summer heat without blasting the AC. According to the Association of Energy Service Professionals, simply using the manufacturer's recommended settings can save up to 30 percent on energy costs.

finger pressing button on digital thermostat
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TURN DOWN THE HEAT

You can also find alternative ways to stay warm in the winter months. Even bumping the heat down a few degrees and putting on another layer of clothing will keep you just as toasty and cut costs.

coffee maker on red background
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MIND YOUR BEVERAGES

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.

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GO ON BUDGET DATES

Instead of doing the same old (and often costly) dinner-and-a-movie routine when date night rolls around, consider opting for cheaper or free entertainment. As fall arrives, there are bound to be many festivals near you that are free or very cheap and which could be a fun date. In warm weather, take in a free outdoor concert, or in the winter have a movie marathon at home.

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GET FIT FOR FREE

Drop your gym membership and save money by exercising at home. Try "taking a class" via YouTube or check out Cheapism.com's list of ways to work out without the gym.

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SHOP WITH A GROCERY LIST

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.

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SKIP ORGANICS

Instead of buying organic produce exclusively, purchase only the organic varieties of the so-called "Dirty Dozen." With other items, including the "Clean 15," you can save by purchasing non-organic varieties.

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BUY OFF-BRANDS

Instead of buying the pricey brand-name item at the grocery store, opt for store brands or off-brands. Often times, store brands are exactly the same as brand-name products for a fraction of the cost.

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SHOP ALONE

Ever been shopping with kids in tow? If so, then you know how many things they beg for and think they just absolutely must have. To eliminate the temptation to give in and just buy them the $10 toy they keep demanding, simply find a time to shop without them. You'll definitely have better shopping trip, and unnecessary items won't find their way into your cart.

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COLLECT REWARDS

If you regularly use a credit card, make sure it has a good rewards program. Even if you don't use credit cards, you can take advantage of loyalty programs for the stores where you shop. These rewards savings can quickly add up to an easy $10 every time you go shopping.

happy girl dancing and listening to the music
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STREAM YOUR TUNES

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.

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CUT CABLE

Cable services coupled with streaming services can add up to over $145 a month. Cutting these services and finding other means of entertainment can save you money daily. Consider listening to music or reading a book instead of vegging out in front of the television. If you can't go completely cold turkey, try cutting cable and paying for only one streaming service at a time.

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AVOID YOUR FAVORITE STORE

Think about a store where you just can't say no. Target or Walmart may come to mind. If you have a hard time walking out of a store like that without dropping $100, then make a plan to skip that store from now on, or at least limit the trips there to once a month instead of weekly.

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PACK YOUR FOOD FOR THE DAY

No list of 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.

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MAKE YOUR OWN CLEANING PRODUCTS

The cost of cleaning products can add up -- especially for items you use daily, like all-purpose cleaners, sanitizing wipes, detergents, and air fresheners. Consider making these items yourself with household items you already have on hand. Another way to cut cleaning costs is to use microfiber cloths -- there will be a cost up front, but in the end they will eliminate the need to shell out for paper towels and cleaners like Windex.

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RUN YOUR APPLIANCES LESS

Make sure you are doing laundry or running the dishwasher only when you have full loads. And instead of using your dryer, opt to line dry your clothes. Run your dishwasher on the lighter cycle, and use the air-dry option instead of the heat-dry setting.

happy active young man wearing business suit while walking to the job after bicycle commuting
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FIND AN ALTERNATIVE WAY TO COMMUTE

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 co-workers to cut down on fuel costs and other auto-related expenses.

woman doing laundry in washing machine
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CUT BACK ON DRY CLEANING

If you must wear business attire for work, your can dry-cleaning bill can be sky high. Cut back by buying only clothes that you can wash yourself at home, or consider hand-washing those special pieces that need to be dry cleaned instead of shelling out the cash.

relaxing bath foam to a Golden Retriever dog
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CUT PET COSTS

Pets can be costly, but there are several ways you can cut costs in this area that amount to about $10 a day in savings. Skip the groomer and learn to do it yourself. Buy a pair of clippers and trim your pooch's nails, and some cheap pet shampoo that will keep your pet's coat clean. Search for the best deals on pet food, too. Utilize rewards programs at pet stores to get your discount and freebies in, and, finally, eliminate doggie daycare or regular dog walking fees by hitting the dog park after work to get your pup some much needed exercise and socialization.

female librarian taking books from boy at checkout counter in library
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READ FOR FREE

Of our 21 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.

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