When it comes to saving money, most of us know what we should be doing but it doesn’t hurt to have a gentle reminder.  Making some small modifications to your daily routine could really make a noticeable difference in the long run.  You will be amazed by how good you will feel about being frugal!

Here are some helpful suggestions:

Cook at Home and Pack a Lunch

It’s pretty self-explanatory but it really does save money if you make your meals at home instead of eating out all the time. To ease into the transition, keep it simple. Prepare easy dinners such as pasta or soup and sandwiches.  If you have leftovers, take them to work the next day, or pack a basic lunch.

Make Your Own Coffee

You’ve undoubtedly heard this before but grabbing a latte from a coffee chain is incredibly expensive.  As a challenge, look through your bank statement from last month and calculate how much you spent buying coffee or similar drinks.  Invest in your own coffeemaker, set the timer and pour your own brew first-thing in the morning.  Get a travel mug if you want to take it to go.

Plan Grocery Shopping

A well planned shopping trip can make a real difference.  Take time to look at this week’s flyers and consider basing your meals off of what is on sale.  Make your list and then organize it so that similar items are grouped together (all dairy products, all produce, etc…).  Grab and sort coupons to coordinate with the flow of your list and then pick a time when you will feel slightly rushed.  If you know you need to be home in a couple of hours, you will spend less time checking out items that you really don’t need.

Bargain Shop

Whether it’s a new laptop, cell phone service or flights, compare prices before you spend money on major purchases.  Internet and smart phones make it easier than ever to hunt for the best deal.  Tip: if you are on Twitter, follow your favorite companies.  They often tweet special bargains on their feeds.

Avoid Materialistic Friends

This is a bit controversial and definitely doesn’t imply that you should banish loved ones but, truth be told, who we surround ourselves with can have a major influence on our lifestyle.  If you constantly feel like you need to keep up with your friends or they are always inviting you to lavish events, you may have to set boundaries on your relationship.

Saving money doesn’t mean that we have to give up everything we love but it often means that we must make sacrifices in certain areas.  Everyone has their own set of priorities.  Examine your own life and come up with a strategy that works for you!