Five Ways to Save $5 a Day

“A Penny a Day”

It was a famous American Benjamin Franklin is credited with coining the phrase that led a nation to mind its cents. However, a jar full of pennies doesn’t add up to much in these modern, 21st Century times. If he had lived today, the kite-flying gentlemen’s professor of the 1700s would have preferred us to be more careful in how we spend our $5 gold coins instead.

And he is right. If you saved $5 a day, you’d have $1,825 extra in your pocket by the time we ring in the New Year. If you wanted to collect that much extra pocket money by earning it, you’d have to work harder and faster to get paid about $2,200 extra before Uncle Sam takes his so-called fair share.

So saving $5 a day is like earning $2,200 more money annually. It’s a nice pay raise if you can get it. And now you can.

Step 1: Drive Less

Sounds like common sense, but you’d be surprise how much you would save by driving five less miles a day.

According to Kelly Blue Book , a 2011 Ford Taurus SE sells for about $25,000. So you’ll pay about $31,800 in taxes, registration and interest payments over the lifetime of the car. If you expect to get 150,000 miles out of your new Taurus, it will end up costing you about 21 cents per mile to own it. Remember, the cost of ownership is in addition to the price of repairs, maintenance, gasoline and insurance. Driving five less miles a day means you’ll save $1 a day in ownership costs. You’ll also save an extra 75 cents per day in fuel costs, according to Kelly Blue Book .

You’ll drive less by maximizing your trips. Head to the grocery store on your way to or home from work. Make multiple stops each time you leave the house instead of making multiple trips. Try carpooling to work.

Step 2: Drink Your Own

Part of the morning ritual for millions of New Jersey residents is to stop at the local Wawa and pick up a 24-ounce cup of their favorite flavored coffee. Who can blame them? Wawa coffee is good that it’s created a demand that seems to have called for a Wawa on every corner.

With coffee costing more than $1.50 a 24-ounce cup, depending on the store’s location and pricing, just think of how much money you’d save if you drove past Wawa instead?

According to Coffee Facts, a 6-ounce cup of Joe needs about one-third of an ounce of coffee to make. So the 24-ounce cup of coffee would cost you about 30 cents if you’d made it at home. Your second step to saving $5 a day is to brew your own coffee and take it to work with you.

Step 3: Skip Lunch

Your third step to saving $5 a day is to skip lunch. Not the meal, but just the way you pay for it. Let’s say you enjoy motoring on out to McDonald’s, Burger King of Wendy’s, for example, to live off of their $1 menu. You’ll spend about $3 a day for two sandwiches and a small drink. Just think, instead, if you purchased a $6 large bag of cereal that would last you the entire week. How much money would you save? I travel over to Wal-Mart on the weekend to pick up a large bag of their generic frosted mini-wheat cereal. It’s crunchy. It tastes good and it fills me up. Most of all, the bag lasts me the whole week saving me the $15 that I would spend at the local fast food restaurants.

Step Four: Shop Specials

My wife and I each pass by the same local grocery store on our daily commute to and from work. We make sure each day to stop in and quickly glance over the manager’s specials in the produce and meat aisles. Usually, the meat specials feature $1 off per package on meet with a sell-by date set to expire within a day or so. We purchase the meat and prepare it as soon as we get home. Our fourth step to saving $5 a day is to shop specials all the time.

Step Five: Think Unconventionally

The fifth step to saving $5 a day is to think unconventionally on where you purchase your items. Everybody knows to go to a chain pharmacy store to purchase cough, cold and flu medicine, right? Exactly! That’s why chain pharmacy stores are able to charge more for products than Wal-mart, Target or Kmart, for example. Recently, I found a generic 24-count cough and cold medicine at a discount store that was $2 less than the same medicine was at a leading chain pharmacy. Need a common tool or car part? Don’t go to a automotive specialty center, when a discount store will offer it for less..

Well there you go. Saving $5 a day leaves $5 a day in your pocket so you have more money to spend on your family.