Some people do a good job of spending less on big purchase items, shopping around for a good deal on a car, low interest rates on a home and cheap fares for vacation. It’s the little, everyday expenditures that add up.
The four-dollar cup of coffee, two-dollar soda and one-dollar bottle of water adds up. If you were to just purchase one of each five days a week, by the end of the month you would spend $140 on drinks, and that doesn’t include any happy hour beverages. Restaurants and fast food establishments make a bigger profit on drinks than on anything else they serve.
For the same price as two four-dollar cups of coffee, you can buy a pound of coffee beans to grind and brew at home for an entire month. That two-dollar soda at the drive-thru window could easily cover the cost of a two-liter bottle of the same stuff at the grocery store. And more often than not, bottled water is just another city’s tap water. But if you just can’t stand the idea of tap water and insist on drinking bottled water, you can buy a gallon jug for just pennies more than the 16 oz. version you get in a vending machine.
For less than the cost of one meal at a sit-down restaurant you could buy a loaf of bread, lunchmeat and condiments that would last almost two weeks worth of lunches. Even if sandwiches aren’t your preference, leftovers from last night’s dinner are cheaper than a seven-dollar value meal.
Do you save leftovers or throw them away? Too many Americans go out to eat and gorge themselves on oversized portions instead of saving part of their meal to eat another day. You can essentially cut the cost of two meals in half by eating smaller portions.
Too many of us also throw away food at home because we didn’t eat it before it expired or because we “don’t like” leftovers. Consider that before you buy more at the grocery store than you and your family will eat before it goes bad. It’s not a “bargain” if you end up throwing it in the garbage.
Even though gas prices continue to steadily rise, the difference between the cost of unleaded and supreme remains consistent at about 30 cents per gallon. Take some time to do the math to see if the gas mileage you get from using supreme might not actually save you money in the long run.
I drive an SUV that goes approximately 220 miles on a tank of gas when I use regular unleaded. When I use supreme, I can drive approximately 270 miles on one tank. Those 50 additional miles are, on average, two and a half gallons of regular unleaded gasoline, meaning I use two and a half gallons less to go the same distance.
Today in my neighborhood, unleaded is at $3.55 per gallon, so two and a half gallons would cost me about $8.85. I pay thirty cents more per gallon to fill my 15 gallon tank with supreme, adding up to an additional cost of $4.50. With gas prices at this rate, it is actually $4.35 a tank cheaper for me to use the supreme gas. If I fill up once a week, that’s a savings of over $200 for the year. The savings varies depending on your gas mileage and the cost of regular unleaded, but it doesn’t require bookkeeping experts to know $200 is worth taking the time to do the math.