(NewsUSA) – If you occasionally struggle to balance your checkbook (or just want to be more frugal), a few simple changes can help you save. Coupon Mountain (www.couponmountain.com), the most trusted website for online coupons, discount codes and deals from major consumer brands, suggests the following tips:
1. Brew your own coffee. Home-brewed coffee costs about .12 cents a cup; buying your coffee will cost $1.50 to $3.50 a cup — you could end up saving between $500 and $1600 a year.
2. Drink filtered water. With filtered water, you will spend about 15 cents/gallon. Purchasing bottled water costs a lot more — about $10/gallon.
3. Use lower-wattage bulbs. Not only will less-powerful light bulbs lower your energy bills, they may also last longer. CFL bulbs can also save money long-term.
4. Shop online. Shopping online allows you to easily compare prices, plus you can use coupon codes from CouponMountain.com to gain additional savings.
5. Cancel your gym membership. Do bodyweight exercises from home to build up strength, or locate a recreation facility or park that offers free exercise equipment.
6. Invest in a vacuum sealer. Purchase your meats and veggies in bulk. A vacuum sealer will keep your foods fresher, longer.
7. Buy generic, store brand or discount. Generic brands will often use the same ingredients or materials. Shop discount stores to find name-brand items for less.
8. Shop out of season. Stores put summer and winter items on clearance at the end of the season — this is a good time to snap things up for next year.
9. Check your monthly bills and usage. Cancel all unwatched movie channels — or use sites like Hulu vs. cable. Use free VoIP like Skype or Google Voice for long distance calls.
10. Don’t overpay for cell phones. You probably rarely use all of your monthly cell-phone minutes, so reduce your plan. Unlimited texting is a good bet, though, because it’s very expensive to go over.
11. Get social to save. Social networks like Facebook and Twitter abound with discounts. Check out Facebook.com/couponmountain for savings tips, exclusive giveaways and more.