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Saving money in 2012

As a newly accepted college student (I start in a few weeks) I have begun to realize the realities the financial future holds for me. It was looking pretty bleak, and I was looking pretty broke. So, i looked at everything I was spending money on and I found that there are plenty of ways for me to save money.

  1. I used to stop at Dunkin Donuts every morning for a coffee. I wasn’t really thinking about how it would add up, i just wanted my morning pick-me-up. However, I totaled it up and my $2.39 small french vanilla iced coffee was taking $11.95 out of wallet weekly. That’s almost $50 a month! Most people don’t realize that these small purchases are the ones that are really affecting your wallet. So, I switched to drinking the coffee my parents make each morning. you can buy a pound of Folgers ground coffee for about $10 at Wal-Mart. Filters are around $2. I found that one pound of coffee 135 12-oz cups. Not bad, for an avid coffee drinker like myself (in fact, I’m having a cup right now!). In the end I’m saving almost $40 a month! On occasion I’ll treat myself to a coffee coolatta. Not only am I saving money, but I’m saving calories.
  2. Incandescent light bulbs are a waste of money! If you haven’t made the switch to energy-saving “green” light bulbs, you should today. Not only are they good for the enviroment but they’re good for your electric bill too. By switching to an energy-saving light bulb you’ll be saving an average of $40 over the lifetime of just one bulb. By trading five incandescent bulbs for five energy-saving ones you’ll save about $200. Plus energy-saving light bulbs last nearly six times longer than incandescent light bulbs. Perhaps that will make the new year a little brighter.
  3. Disposable water bottles can get pretty pricey when you buy them every day. A 12 pack of 16-oz Poland Springs bottled waters costs about $6.99 at the local Stop and Shop. And this only lasted about a week. I drink so much water that this was my biggest spending culprit. So i opted out and bought a BPA free reusable bottle instead. This is good for the environment and good for my wallet, and good for my health. Every store (even grocery stores) are carrying BPA free water bottles these days. A 32-oz Nalgene is only $3.99 at Target. That’s half what a 12 pack of water is! It’s definitely worth it.
  4. I like to travel and I know many other people do as well, but baggage fees are rising and becoming very expensive. Through Delta and American Airlines the first checked bag is $25 and the second is $35, and that’s only for domestic flights! When my brother graduated from under-graduate school six of my family members (myself included) flew to St. Louis, Missouri to see him graduate. The flight itself was a pretty penny so we decided to share bags. This cut our bags (and our fees) in half. If this isn’t an option for you choose to fly with those airlines that don’t charge baggage fees. For example Southwest Airlines will not charge you for the first two checked bags as long as they are no more than 50 pounds and 62 [linear] inches in size.
  5. Everyone has a subscription to at least one magazine. However my family as multiple. I have a subscription to three, plus my household receives five more in addition to my three. That’s eight magazines. Now, I read all my magazines (more than once sometimes). My mother on the other hand, does not. So by reducing the number of magazines we subscribe to we saved about $100 per year. If you can’t go with your Cosmopolitan consider become a member of the online version. My mom used to receive Cooking Light magazine but not we read it online only. It’s free and saves us quite a bit of money.
  6. One of my good friends has a one year old daughter. She was paying over $100 a month for baby food. I thought that this was absolutely insane. We started buying produce and making our own baby food. By doing this you know exactly what you’re child is eating and you can save tons of money. We took one cup of fresh veggies and cut them into small one inch cubes. Then we put them into a steamer basket (make sure you don’t reuse the left over water because nitrates can seep into the water), after they are tender put them into a blender adding milk or water until you have a smooth consistency. This makes six servings.
  7. I cancelled my cable account. And I’m saving around $180 a month. By boyfriend and I have a Netflix Watch Instantly account for $7.99 per month. The only reason we had cable was to watch the news. Instead we look on their websites and get the newspaper. Hulu is another great site that lets you watch many shows for free. Or you can pay$7.99 monthly for Hulu Plus which gives you more options. You can also try the networks website to watch shows online.
  8. Landlines, I feel, are a dying trend. Everyone has a cellphone these days. If you do have a cell I recommend you ditch the landline. Why pay two bills when it’s much easier to have one? We saved around $180 (we had a cable/phone bundle) per month by cancelling our landline. Now we pay one bill of $145 for five cell phones (three of them are Iphones). We were paying around $325 per month for phones. It was very unnecessary.
  9. Home repairs can add up fast. What most people don’t realize is that you can do a lot of them yourself.  Check out the website The Family Handyman ( for easy ways to fix things and projects you can do. Lucky for me my boyfriend knows how to do a lot of household repairs such as a leaking faucet or fixing the washing machine. All you need to do is some research to figure our if you can do it or not. If you can’t do it alone enlist a friend to help you. Not everything needs a professional.
  10. We do 5 loads of laundry per week. Sometimes 6 or 7 loads. Our detergent dwindles quickly. We did some reasearch and found out how to make our own. All you need is 2 gallons of hot water, a bar of grated soap, and 2 cups of baking soda.
  • melt soap in a pan with enough boiling water to cover it. Stir until the soap is completely melted.
  • Pour the two gallons of hot water into a bucket and add the soap.
  • add the baking soda
  • use 1/2 cup per load.

I’m hoping to save a lot of money this year. And I’m hoping that if you follow these tips you will too.

Have a great year!

The BEST holidays

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