It’s always the little things that help move us in the right direction. Perhaps we lower the thermostat a couple degrees and see our energy bill drop. piggy-bank-greenMaybe we cut out out mindless snacking and our pants fit a little better. Possibly we take the stairs at work instead of the elevator and suddenly, we realize our stamina is a little better.

Regardless of what it is, one thing is for sure: simple tweaks have big results.

This goes along with our daily purchases, from bills to groceries to activities. With a few small switches, the savings will add up. Here are some of our favourites, that we might not necessarily think of otherwise.

Get a refill
Spending the afternoon in a local coffee shop? Most places offer free refills for about 50 cents – just ask, and save yourself a couple of dollars on your next brew.

Double the drugs
If you take a prescription that requires refills, ask your doctor to double the quantity, saving you the costs to get the next batch.

Keep at eye at the check-out
Watch the prices and items as your cashier scans your groceries – quite often, they make errors or sale prices fail to show up. When she rings your conventional bananas in as organic, you might be shelling out 50 cents more per pound.

Step away from the bookstore
Bookstores can be wallet drainers, but the library doesn’t always have the titles you want. Check out, an online organization that arranges book swaps for free.

… But if you need to buy it
Take a look at the prices at,, and, which will save you on books, DVDs, music, and more – some at discounts reduced to just a couple dollars.

… And while you’re at it
Take a look at everything else they have to offer.

Free 411
Just dial 1-800-GOOG-411, say where you are, what you’re looking for, and choose from the options the computer gives you; they connect you, too – for free. If you have text messages, they send you info about the business, and if you have Internet, they send you a map.  Check it out here.

Go generic
The generic brand is often just as good as the brand name. And if you don’t like it? Most of them are store-owned, offering a money back guarantee. your car

Most SUVs, trucks, and some vans are gas guzzlers, but also require more insurance and often cost more for maintenance. If you don’t need it for specific reasons, switch it for a smaller sedan or compact.

Don’t opt for the econo-size
At the grocery store, check the price comparisons from small versions to large ones. Usually the price is listed per unit, and you can see if you really are getting a better deal – don’t assume that bigger always means cheaper. Also, there are plenty of tips on how to live healthy on a budget so you definitely don’t need to compromise your health to save up.


These simple ideas can help both the environment and your pocket. Talking about saving, you might want to have a read at how to have a baby on a budget as families can reap many advantages from budgeting. Plus, here are a few ideas on how to get some free money.