Saving a Dollar a Day
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Stashing Small Savings
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Saving a Dollar a Day
We are putting together a website that focuses on sharing the plight of AIDS orphans in Africa and ideas on how we can help practically. One of our goals is to have people save a dollar a day to help the extreme poor. We have some ideas of diet change, etc. We're looking for the best money-saving ideas to generate that dollar a day. Could your readers help?
If a person daily buys a large specialty coffee, they could reduce the size to a small or medium and there would be the dollar a day they could save.
Not Just One, but Ten Ways to Save
- Bring your own pop to work instead of using the machine.
- Combine several errands and save it in gas.
- Give up a convenience item like bag salad, cleaning wipes, or snack packs.
- Eat leftovers for lunch.
- Hang a load of wash.
- Rent a movie instead of going to the theater.
- Play with the kids at the park instead of going to an attraction that charges entrance fees.
- Repair something instead of replacing it.
- Make what you need instead of buying it (cookies, home decor, birthday cards or gifts).
- Buy a used item instead of a new one.
No More Soda
Stop buying soft drinks. It costs about a dollar to buy a soft drink. One of my friends has just started this campaign with a bunch of college students. However, she is raising money for wells in Africa so that people will have clean water.
End of Day Savings
If you take your change out of your wallet or pants pocket at the end of the day, I'll bet you can come close to a dollar. Our family has done this to save for treats on vacation and it is pretty painless. Also, knowing that this would help the very poor makes it that much more of an incentive!
10 Creative Ways to Save a Buck
I have a few ideas on how to save a dollar a day. A couple of them require a small initial investment.
- Instead of buying coffee at Starbucks, go to McDonald's or Burger King or a deli and get a cheap cup and then add your own flavoring. You can buy huge bottles of flavoring that last forever for around ten bucks (or small ones for your desk drawer for about two bucks). Or just drink regular coffee.
- Read the newspaper on the Net.
- If you drink soda for lunch and have a machine at your office, get a can or bottle from the machine and quit paying for watered down fountain soda. At our canteen, a big cup of soda is almost two bucks, but a bottle of soda from the machine is one dollar. Plus, if you get a bottle, you can take it home and have some later too.
- You could also get cans or bottles on sale at the store in a box or pack and get a foam insulator for them. You won't spend any drink money at lunchtime that way. One of our local stores has the six-pack of 20-ounce sodas for $2.50 about once a month.
- If you like snacks, buy them in a bargain pack at the store and take them to work. They cost as much as a dollar more in some machines.
- Quit the lottery, especially the scratch-offs.
- Quit smoking, but everyone knows that. I was surprised to see that a box of cigarettes at the train station to which I commute was nine bucks a pack. That would be incentive enough for me to quit.
- If you buy water, take the bottle home and refill it at the tap, and refrigerate it overnight. A Brita or other filter will be useful to you in this case. Note that it's not a good idea to refill bottles from a fountain and carry them around. Apparently, they get quite germy.
- If you like to read magazines, get subscriptions for them. You can sometimes save as much as three bucks a shot, depending on the magazine. Conversely, do you have a subscription to something you rarely read? Cancel it.
- Last, combine errand trips. I leave my laundry claim slips in my glove compartment and pick up my shirts and laundry on the way back from the grocery store. Depending on where you live, you might save a dollar a day by avoiding that second or third trip.
Jules in Baltimore, MD
Celebrate the Honor of Giving to Others
As important as not spending a dollar is saving it in some way where it won't be slipped back into personal funds. Encourage people to pin a dollar bill on a bulletin board every day for a week, and when the week is done, make an occasion of getting them ready to be donated. Or design some other way to visually celebrate what you share with others. Involve as many family members as you have in your giving. I still remember the little cardboard Thanksgiving boxes decorated like churches my Mom used 40 years ago in her women's group, and how once a year they were all placed on the altar at church. I wanted to do that some day.
Shhh… They'll Never Know
Use 3/4-pound of hamburger in a recipe instead of a full pound.
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