Personal Finance 

How to Save $100 This Week

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$100Since the beginning of time, personal finance bloggers have been sharing ways to save money. Some recommend that you split two-ply toilet paper and other ridiculous ideas while others tell you that pinching pennies is a waste of time (Ramit Sethi carries the banner on this one and I agree with him… to a certain extent). The reality is that there is a middle ground. There are plenty of very easy things you can do to save money today and set yourself up for a better future.

We’re not talking about turning off the oven light, these are more substantive changes (and in some cases you’ve heard them before) and this is but a gentle reminder:

Bring Your Lunch

You knew this would be the first tip of the list and it’s a good one – bring in your lunch. Instead of spending $8-10 a day on lunch, why not keep those savings in your pocket by bringing in a bag lunch? It might not be as exciting as a meal you buy from a quick service shop but it’ll be cheaper. If you spend $10, peel off two bucks a day and make yourself a sandwich. By saving $8 a day, you’re nearly halfway there to saving $100 a week.

Savings: $40 a week, $8 a day

Make Your Own Coffee

The classic latte factor is back! I won’t go into great detail about this one because it’s been talked about forever but brewing your coffee at home can save you a bundle. A cup of coffee at Starbucks can run you $3, compared to just $1 at home… plus you get it sooner and save yourself some time.

Savings: $10 a week, $2 a day

Carpool With Someone

Carpooling saves you money on gas and on the maintenance of your car. It doesn’t sound as impressive when you only do it once but skipping a 15 mile commute each day will save you in the long run. If your car gets 30 miles to the gallon and you have a 15 mile commute, that’s a gallon saved each day going back and forth. You’ll have to drive a little more some other day, to repay your carpooling friend, but that’s still a cool $3.50 put into your pocket.

Savings: $3.50 (a gallon of gasoline)

Pause Memberships

How many memberships do you have? How many do you actually use? Consider putting them on pause while you aren’t using them and saving a little extra money. Netflix lets you pause your membership without any penalty. Netflix’s 2 DVDs out at a time with unlimited streaming is $19.98 a month, or about 66 cents a day. Pause it for a week and save $4.66.

Savings: It depends.

Skip the movies, Go with Redbox

Love movies? Skip the $10 movie tickets and visit your local Redbox kiosk. If you can score a Redbox promotion code for a free movie, even better because then it’s free!

Savings: $19 (for two)

Put on a Sweater (Winter only!)

According to, turning down your thermostat a degree can save you 1% of your bill if you do so for eight hours. Let’s say your bill is $150 a month, or $5 a day, then you could save a nickel each day by dropping the temperature down by one degree. That’s fifty cents if you drop it by ten degrees and put on a sweater.

Savings: It depends.

These are just a handful of ways to save some cash this week in between trying to build a passive income stream or a side business. Give one of them a try and see how much it’ll save.

(Photo: spybart)

{ 13 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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13 Responses to “How to Save $100 This Week”

  1. Jim some great tips, specially pausing Netflix membership. Very few people actually take advatage of that. In mid town NYC, if you brown bag you are going to save a lot more!

  2. I always bring a sandwich for punch but am considering bringing a more substantial lunch soon. It will cost a bit more but still be cheaper than eating out every day.

  3. JM @ NJFCU says:

    All sound advice, Jim. Actually finding the time to list down your “needs” and “wants” would help in trying out your tips above. I mean, if your gym membership could be skipped for the next few months, you can instead jog around your neighborhood – that would be practical decision for me.

  4. Dusty Rusty says:

    Here’s a way to save money that most people probably have not considered: Not idling your car in lines or traffic. Let’s say you’re in line at the ATM and you have 3 cars ahead of you. You could likely be idling your car for up to 30 minutes, especially if one of people does a months worth of transactions when it’s their turn. (AAAAGGGHHH) states that, “For every two minutes a car is idling, it uses about the same amount of fuel it takes to go about one mile.” So 30 mins of idling would rob you of 15 miles worth of gas. If you car gets 30 mpg that would be equal to 1/2 a gallon of gas wasted. Now if you don’t want to shut the car off ie: Too hot/cold out side, afraid it won’t start etc. then at least put the car in park instead of idling in gear. (idling in gear puts the engine under what’s called a ‘Load’) This means that in order for your car to maintain a certain RPM under ‘Load’, the computer is required to send more fuel to the engine when in gear. Same principle applies when you’re in traffic but I do it a little different. If the traffic is the typical ‘Stop, go a few feet, Stop’ I shift from Drive to Neutral, Drive to Neutral. Ex: I’m stopped in Neutral waiting for the line to move. When it’s time to move I put it in Drive only long enough to pick-up enough speed to coast to the next Stop and when I reach what I think is that speed, I put it in Neutral and coast to Stop. (I’ve gotten pretty accurate over the years) I did this for the 1st time out of desperation because the next stop for gas was 7 miles away in bumper-to-bumper traffic and my gas light was on. I’ve been doing it ever since. (even though it gets on my wife’s nerves…oh well, what doesn’t) “Happy motoring/saving”

  5. Sue says:

    Don’t buy individual bottled water! Save bottles, recycle by refilling with your home tap water. Chill as desired…
    Save MONEY & the planet by reducing landfills!

  6. Rob Cantu says:

    Brown-bagging costs money, too! You have to take into account your net cost not the $8 a day unless you are going to eat leftovers that you would have thrown away. Brown-bagging isn’t free, so you have to take into account the brown bag, the ziplock bag and the ingredients for the sandwich and drink. You really don’t save much if you like Boar’s Head breast of turkey, etc.

  7. Joe says:

    Combine your trips, think ahead to avoid having to make another trip for something you forgot.

  8. BV says:

    Great idea. Other tips that have saved us money: We have saved about $100/mo. on groceries by stocking up on food products when on sale or with coupons, especially meats, cooking a little less than our normal portions (I’ve lost a few pounds too). For eating out we save about $40/mo. as we now only use BOGO coupons or restaurant discounts like on Watering the lawn only 2x/week (who cares if the grass is greener on the other side)saved us at least $25/mo. We buy clothes at clearance sales such as Kohls at ends of the seasons (for next year) which probably saves us $70-$100/mo. Another major savings has been with the fuel savers I purchased from Greenway Technologies and another called GForce chip. I increased my MPG on my gas guzzler by 23%, and my heating bill was half last year over the previous year. That’s about $80/mo. on average.

  9. Ernest says:

    I agree with all you have said. However you can give yourself a good reason for saving and that is to set aside some luxury that you don’t mormally have; a glass of inexpensive wine in the evening, heavy whipping cream for your coffee, a few bites of chocolate as a desert. These things also give you an opportunity to reflect on your appitites and moderate them. To save just for the sake of saving soon makes you stingy and miserly. The indulgence of a small luxury also allows you time to reflect on your savings efforts


  10. Rick says:

    Best way to save money is not to spend it.

  11. Jim M says:

    Be careful of big purchases – auto dealers will often attempt to tack on fees (often in the hundreds of dollars) at the end of negotiations. Don’t let them get away with it.

  12. Ellis says:

    People are addicted to status symbols they can hardly afford. A neighbor said to me: “We’re STILL PAYING for that car now, but we will get us a NEW CAR pretty quick.” I silently said to myself: “Great for the economy but what about their pocket. Looks like they have no financial program of saving, nor investing.” They’re still hurting paying for one car, and are again thinking of buying another one. Whom are they kidding? Status symbols people want to show off but in reality can’t afford. It’s like “big hat, no cattle.”

    • govenar says:

      The fact that they’re still paying for a car doesn’t mean that they can’t afford it. With 0% loans it makes more sense to pay over time rather than all at once.

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