Think small-change money-saving maneuvers don’t add up? Well, they do. Here are easy, barely-notice-them strategies that will net you thousands—that’s right, thousands—of extra dollars this year alone.

By Real Simple
Updated March 23, 2012
“Writing down all your expenses—from a new iPhone to the wrap you bought for lunch—makes you less inclined to spend frivolously. Like keeping a food diary, this is not the easiest task, but a money log compels you to think twice before dropping any cash. Keep all your receipts, and tally them up at the end of each week.” Andrew Hallam, a school teacher, is the author of Millionaire Teacher: The Nine Rules of Wealth You Should Have Learned in School ($17,
Stephen Lewis

Want to save $5,000 (or more) this year? You can do it. What’s more, cutting the—ahem—pork will be relatively painless. Here’s how it works.

Throughout these stories, you’ll find smart, unexpected strategies for saving. We’ll even tell you exactly how much an average family of four would save by using each tip.* Some of these ideas will require a time investment, and not all will apply to your life, but you’ll really cash in on the ones that do. Incorporate some of these monthly bill-shaving strategies and watch the savings stack up even higher.

How to Save on Groceries

How to Save on Household Goods

7 Smart Bargains from People Who Know Best

* When possible, we based these amounts on consumer-spending data. In other cases, we researched average retail prices and made reasonable assumptions about how much a family would spend on that product in a year. Your specific savings totals will vary.