Renounce and Save: How Much You Save Giving Up These 20 Things

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BURNING INCENTIVE

The solemn observance of Lent is associated with several Christian denominations -- but you don't have to be religious to improve your life and spare your wallet by abstaining from vices for six weeks. Cutting out guilty pleasures and secret weaknesses can save big over the traditional 40-day period of sacrifice. Here are some things to consider cutting out, with the biggest savings at the end.

Related: 10 Ways to Save $100 or More in 10 Minutes or Less

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BREAD: JUST ANOTHER WORD FOR MONEY

Many diets call for reducing, or even eliminating, carbs. Whether you’re trying to stick with a diet or a principled sacrifice, a loaf of white bread costs $1.36 in the average city, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Leave a loaf off the shopping list for each of six weeks and save $8.
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STREAMING MEDIA -- AND MONEY

A standard Netflix subscription costs $10 a month. Go six weeks without a binge and save almost $15 (and get lots of time for other things).
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COOKIES: MONSTER MONEY

Oreos are the most popular cookie in the world, with around a half-trillion sold since they were introduced in 1912, according to Time, and one pack goes for $3. Passing on a pack a week saves nearly $18 over 40 days.

Related: 11 Favorite Store-Bought Snacks You Can Make Better at Home

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CUTTING OUT CANDY

Reese's Peanut Butter Cups were the top treat in a poll last year from the Influenster site. An eight-pack of snack-size cups goes for $2. Forgo eating two a night and save $20 over 40 days.
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CHOCOLATE: COCOA WILL COST YOU

Chocolate is probably one of the most common -- and difficult -- things to try to sacrifice. A 4.4-ounce Hershey's bar runs about $1.39. Abstain from having three a week for six weeks and come out $25 richer.
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ICE CREAM: DAIRY SCARY

Who doesn't love a scoop of ice cream? Your waistline and wallet. A weekly half-gallon of ice cream costs $4.68 on average, so abstain at the store to save just over $28 on sugary brain freezes for six weeks.
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TIME TO SKIP THE DOUGHNUTS

A regular doughnut costs about $1 at chains such as Dunkin' Donuts and Krispy Kreme. If having one on the way to work is part of the grind, skip it and save $30 in 40 days.
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SAVE ON SODA

A 2-liter bottle of Coca-Cola can cost around $2. Liter-a-day drinkers can save $40 switching to healthier water for 40 days.
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THE PRICE OF PIZZA

The average pizza cost $13.21 in 2014, Eater found. Splitting one with a friend once a week comes out to $6.61. Swearing off for 40 days saves $40.

Related: How to Make Homemade Pizza for Under $10

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DO WITHOUT DAIRY

As of December, a pound of cheddar cheese averaged $4.89. Presuming you eat a block each week, that's just over $29 for six weeks that could be saved, and some fats and sodium avoided.
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RED MEAT, GREEN MONEY

There's a reason steak is considered a luxury: Red meat is expensive. Have it three times a week (such as a pound of shoulder tender chuck for $3.82) and that’s about $11.46 every seven days. Stretched out over six weeks, staying away means savings of $69.

Related: 11 Cheap Cuts of Meats

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ENERGIZE YOUR WALLET

They get you buzzing, but energy drink costs are high. A single Red Bull runs $2.50 at Walmart. Skipping a daily blast saves an even $100 if you go without over the course of 40 days.
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MOURNING JOE

For coffee lovers, giving up a morning joe might feel like losing a loved one, but the sacrifice comes with an upside. Since the average cost of a cup of coffee is $2.70, going 40 days and 40 nights without a morning jumpstart saves a cool $108.
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BYE-BYE BEER

The average cost of a six-pack of Coors Light or Bud Light is $5.79, according to the University of Puget Sound in Washington. Drinking half a six-pack every night after work costs $116 over 40 days, which is how much will be saved by renounced the habit for that time.

Related: How Home Brewing Can Save More Than 50% on Craft Beer

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AWAY WITH WINE

The average price of popular value-tier wines such as Yellow Tail and Barefoot is between $4 to $10. Rounding it out to an even $7 and presuming two glasses a night (half of a standard 750ml bottle), that's $140 to save or spend over 40 days.

Related: 50 Great-Tasting Red Wines Under $20

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TUNE OUT OF TV

As of September, the average cable TV bill hit a record $103 a month, Fortune said. Find a way to put a cable subscription on hold for a month and a half and you'll end the year $154.50 richer.
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DROP ONLINE SHOPPING

In 2015, 201.1 million people spent an average of $1,695 each shopping online, based on figures from Internet Retailer. That's $4.64 a day. If that sounds familiar, curtail the online shopping for 40 days and save $186.

Related: 11 Sneaky Ways Online Retailers Get You to Spend More

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SUPERSIZE YOUR SAVINGS

A McDonald's value meal that include a Quarter Pounder With Cheese is around $5.50. Spending that on fast food once every four days takes $55 out of your pocket over 40 days -- or $220 if it’s a daily habit. The real value might be in abstaining.
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CIGARETTE MONEY UP IN SMOKE

Even most smokers will admit few upsides to one of the deadliest habits on Earth -- not the least of which is money gone up in smoke. The average cost of a pack of 20 cigarettes is $5.84 in figures linked to by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Stop smoking a pack a day and save $234 over six weeks.
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MASSAGES: RICHLY RELAXING

Unless it's for medical purposes, a massage is truly a luxury -- one that costs about $60 an hour on average, according to the University of Minnesota. Getting an hourlong massage each week means a stressful $360 lost over 40 days.