En español | Use a prepaid smartphone plan. These let you pay upfront and don't charge you when not using the phone. If you don't regularly browse the web on your smartphone, prepaid plans save money. A non-prepaid plan can cost $55 per month. Prepaid plans can go for $35. Monthly savings: $20.
Buy discounted gift cards for expenses. These discounted cards are available at sites such as GiftCardGranny.com and TheGiftCardShop.com (which has special discounts for AARP members). Save as much as $15 on $100 in groceries.
Slash liquid soap costs. A 7.5-ounce Softsoap pump costs about $1.50. Buy a gallon bottle for $14 and you can refill the pump dispenser 17 times for about 68 cents each refill. Savings per gallon: $15.64.
Grab free mulch. Many towns make massive amounts of mulch and offer it free to residents. For a large garden bed, you might have to buy five 2-cubic-foot bags of mulch; getting it free saves $18.50.
Go to the minors. With a Major League Baseball ticket averaging about $30, you can save about $20 per ticket by attending a minor league game.
Change your car's air filter yourself. The job takes about five minutes and will save you at least $19 in labor.
Ladies, take advantage of petite feet. Fashionable girls' shoes, sandals and sneakers are a fraction of the cost of adult shoes. Chuck Taylor Converse for girls: $34.99; women's to fit the same foot: $49.99. Cha-ching! Your little feet save $15.
Buy dryer balls instead of using fabric softener. Dryer balls reduce wrinkles without the extra cost or chemicals. With a small upfront investment you can save $20 a year on fabric softener (the cost of about two big bottles).
Seek store brands. The Three Thrifty Guys website recently compared brand-name and store-brand prices for 16 grocery items they normally buy. The brand-name versions added up to $56.24; store brands totaled $41.51. Savings: $14.73.
Have a happy meal. Many bars and eateries offer discounts on appetizers during happy hour. For example, at a Del Frisco's Grille restaurant between 4 and 6:30 p.m. on weekdays, cheesesteak eggrolls are $6 (normally $12.50). Share three such plates with a friend and save $19.50.