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13 Tiny Things You Can Do To Save Money

Money's not easy to make, but it's not too difficult to save if you put in a teensy amount of effort.

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1. Buy sodas at the supermarket and drink them at home.

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A 2-liter bottle of soda contains over three 20-oz bottles of soda that you'd buy in a vending machine. They also both cost about $1.50 or so! You could be getting three for one, so why not do it? Let's not even get started on restaurant soda prices.

3. Buy used books.

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You can save $1 or $2 for each paperback and up to $5 for each hardcover, on average. And they're indistinguishable from a brand-NEW book. It's just that someone else's eyes have been on them, and that's no problem.

4. Instead of going out to bars, take turns hosting nights in.

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Cocktails get expensive. Instead of going out, invite your friends over and host a small party. Then rotate so that everyone is pitching in.

5. Sign up for a credit card that actually gives you money.

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Lots of credit cards give you rewards for spending. Some cards will actually give you cash BACK -- up to 1.5% percent of what you’ve spent that year. Nobody hates free money.

6. Cook!

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This is one of the easiest ways to save money. Eating a steak at a restaurant will cost you at least 20 bucks, whereas pan frying yourself the same steak will come out to around $10. Try burgers for a third of that price! Easy!

7. Catch the matinee at the movies...

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You can save up to $5 if you manage to watch an earlier movie. Plus, you get the theater to yourself, so you don't have to deal with loud whisperers and people answering their phones.

…and hide some snacks before you do.

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Snacks at the movies are notoriously overpriced. Bring your own boxes of candy and defend them against the ushers with your life. And, if you get a craving for the buttery stuff, kettle corn is an easy alternative.

9. Subscribe to the mailing lists of your favorite stores.

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That way, when they have sales, you’ll be the first to know. If you only shop during sales, you’ll never feel too guilty for treating yourself to a new outfit.

10. Go to restaurants for lunch, not dinner.

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If you must eat out because a new place is calling you, or you’re having a craving for your favorite fancy spot, go for lunch. Lunches are cheaper than dinner — and, yes, for the exact same dish! You could be saving up to $10 for the same plate, so why not just squeeze it in during the day?

11. Look for hotel alternatives for a good night's sleep when traveling.

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Private rooms in hostels are much cheaper than hotel rooms. You can also rent someone’s home to stay in, which will allow you to cook instead of eating out your entire vacation.

12. Forget bottled water.

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Most bottled water isn’t safer than what you get through your faucet. Instead of paying for $1 for each bottle of water you buy, just drink tap. You can get a sturdy, reusable water bottle for under $10 and fill it up with unlimited, free, refreshing tap.

13. Drink before 7 p.m.

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You favorite bar probably has a happy hour special. This means getting your cocktail or brew for $1 or $2 less than if you would’ve ordered it after 7 or 8 p.m. Just go right after work, and then you can even get to bed nice and early.

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