We love finding ways to hang onto our money while cutting waste and, where we can, helping the environment. Sometimes, though, you have to spend a little to get a lot back. (Think long-term, people!) Check out our top five tips, below. Happy savings!
Instead of costly coffee runs, get a cheap coffeemaker for $23 and a one-pound bag of Starbucks Breakfast Blend for $10. One bag makes about 30 twelve-ounce cups, so you'll only need to buy ten or eleven bags per year to fuel that daily caffeine habit. If you were to pick up the equivalent cup every day in the Starbucks store—$1.91 for a Tall, which is also twelve ounces, you would spend $697 per year. Savings: $574
Wine Bottle Vacuum Sealer
Buy this insanely sleek one for only $15 and stop trashing half-full (not half-empty!) bottles of wine that you didn't find a chance to finish before they went bad. We used to waste more than $100 in wine per year this way … no longer! Savings: $85
Low-Flow Shower Head
Considering how hot showers can spike our energy bills in the winter, we'd kill for a device to let us keep our steam without the cost. Enter the low-flow shower head. Super easy to install, it lets the hot water last longer—while maintaining good spray—and cuts shower water usage by two-thirds. We recommend hunting down rebates/coupons/freebies online, but buying retail still only costs about $13. Savings: $87
Last year, we spent nearly $1,000 for our gym membership—unfortunately we never went and gained some lovely pounds. This year we wised up. We canceled our gym membership and started riding our bike instead. You can buy a new one for a little north of $200, or you can take a gamble by buying one for less than $100 on Craigslist. Savings: $900
For $9 a month, Netflix lets us see movies galore. Realistically, we usually manage to see at least five movies per month. Renting those same movies at Blockbuster would cost about $4 a pop, and seeing movies in the theater can cost $10 (even more in NYC). Savings: $492