24 Hours of Savings

Live well, spend less: How to cut back on daily expenses, from morning (your latte) ’til night (your bedtime reading).

lunch-box
Photo by Moira Millman

If you usually sip a $3 Starbucks latte…

…swap it for a misto.
A misto (brewed coffee with steamed milk, as opposed to espresso with steamed milk) costs about $1 less per “tall” cup. If you prefer a stronger brew, order a short latte (50 cents cheaper), which has less milk but the same amount of espresso as a tall.



If you want something warm and sweet (but not necessarily caffeinated), try a tall steamed milk with a shot of flavored syrup, which is 50 cents less than a flavored espresso drink.


If you spend hundreds each year on driving and parking…

Carpool. Look for fellow riders in need online at eRideShare.com, a ride-sharing community.

Embrace public transit. To find the quickest route, go to hopstop.com (which covers metro areas) or Google Transit (google.com/transit). If you’re airport-bound, book a ride on Super-Shuttle (supershuttle.com), which provides affordable transport to and from 33 airports in 26 U.S. cities.


If you pay $1.50 for a daily newspaper…

…get your news from an online aggregator.
There are a slew of websites that compile the biggest stories in one convenient and earth-friendly place. Here are a few favorites.

  • thedailybeast.com  Check out the Cheat Sheet, a curated list of the top news and human-interest stories from across the Web.
  • news.google.com  A free equivalent of the AP wire service, this site has up-to-the-minute stories from thousands of sources.
  • newser.com  Like viewing dozens of TV news channels at once, Newser distills the day’s news into a photo, a headline, and two easy-to-digest paragraphs.
  • alltop.com  Short for “all the top news,” Alltop is useful if you want to scan dozens of headlines at once on a broad topic, like health.

If you fork out $8 for a deli sandwich every day…

…bring your lunch.
But don’t haul the same old turkey on wheat day in and day out. Instead, cook up a pound of pasta on Sunday night and you’ll have enough to make a different salad every day of the workweek. Almost any short variety―penne, fusilli, farfalle―will do. Just rinse with cold water after cooking, toss with a touch of olive oil, and refrigerate for later. When ready to use, mix up 11⁄2 cups of cooked pasta with one of the following variations and season with salt and pepper, if desired.

Monday: Mediterranean Pasta
1⁄2 cup chickpeas
1⁄2 cup arugula
1⁄4 cup crumbled Feta
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

Tuesday: Artichoke, Almond, and Parmesan Pasta
6 jarred artichoke hearts, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped roasted almonds
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Wednesday: Tuna, Red Onion, and Olive Pasta
1 3-ounce can tuna, drained
1⁄4 cup pitted kalamata olives
2 tablespoons chopped red onion
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar

Thursday: Asian Pasta Salad
1 carrot, sliced
1⁄4 English cucumber, diced
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 tablespoon chopped roasted peanuts
2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon rice vinegar

Friday: Chicken and Pesto Pasta
1⁄2 cup shredded rotisserie chicken
1⁄4 cup prepared pesto


If, like clockwork, you crave something sweet…

…mark your calendar for these upcoming sugar fixes.

When: April 21
Where: Ben & Jerry's
What you get: One free cone

When: April 29
Where: Baskin Robbins
What you get: A scoop for 31 cents

When: July 11
Where: 7-Eleven
What you get: A free 7-ounce Slurpee

When: September 24
Where: Coldstone Creamery
What you get: A free* ice cream treat

*A donation to the Make-A-Wish Foundation is encouraged. 

If at the end of a long, hard day, you shell out 15 bucks on a bottle of wine…

…sip on recession-minded varieties, starting at $3.
Real Simple’s food department found six delicious bottles for $8 and under.

WHITES
2007 Twin Vines Vinho Verde ($7):
A refreshing, bubbly low-alcohol drink that’s great with big salads and light seafood dishes.

2008 Santa Rita 120 Sauvignon Blanc ($8):
Incredibly fruity, this Chilean wine has sweet citrus notes that go well with grilled chicken, seafood, and vegetables.

2006 Recession White Chardonnay ($5):
A medium-bodied wine with buttery, oaky, and vanilla flavors that stands up to creamy pastas and salmon.

REDS
2007 The Little Penguin Shiraz ($7):
Serve this full, round red with grilled steak, lamb, and sausages.

2006 Bohemian Highway Merlot ($8):
This soft red is lovely on its own or with foods like beef stew, roast chicken, and pork tenderloin.

Trader Joe’s Charles Shaw Cabernet Sauvignon ($3):
The bold, strong flavors of Trader Joe’s famous “Three Buck Chuck” call for hearty foods, like spaghetti Bolognese, ribs, or a nice, juicy burger.


If you are too tired to cook but feel guilty ordering takeout…

…turn to the college-student staple: ramen. Toni Patrick, author of 101 Things to Do With Ramen Noodles, suggests her favorite recipe for Chicken Lo Mein.


And, at last, if you like to end your day curled up in bed with a good book…

…trade favorite novels with a fellow book lover.
Head to paperbackswap.com, bookins.com, or bookmooch.com, where you can exchange your favorites with other like-minded readers.