Cent-savvy students: increase your savings with these tricks (around the home)

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“See a penny, pick it up, then all day you’ll have good luck.”

Instead of relying on stray street pennies (which are few and far between these days), create your own good luck by tuning in to our weekly savings tips. Each week, we’ll discuss an area of your life to cut back spending and accumulate savings. Some of these are just plain common sense, but there are a few creative ideas too.

AROUND THE HOME

1. If you live with roommates, buy in bulk and split the costs. Consider investing in a Costco membership for items such as meat (which you can freeze in portions) and household goods. Just check the price per unit to ensure you are in fact getting a good deal.
2. As the temperature drops, increase layers rather than increasing heating bills. Seal drafts, and keep doors of unused rooms closed to contain heat.
3. Make your own cleaning products (here are 67 cleaning recipes using basic ingredients).
4. Buy and sell items on Craigslist – especially if you’re moving to a new city while you study and leaving soon after.
5. Cook large meals and freeze batches for the rest of the week. Need inspiration? Check out Jamie Oliver’s Cheap & Cheerful recipes.
6. Shop around for deals on phone, internet and cable, and always ask for a student discount. Consider whether you even need cable at all.
7. Hunt offers on products and services on sites like Groupon and Living Social, just don’t fall into the trap of buying things you don’t need!
8. Turn off TVs, computers, stereos, lights and other electrical items when not in use. They’re still using power in standby mode and unnecessarily adding to your power bill.
9. You’re throwing money in the bin when you let food go to waste. According to a 2010 Value Chain Management Center (VCMC) study, $27 billion worth of food is wasted in Canada each year (that’s 40% of the food produced). Check the fridge before you go grocery shopping and get creative with recipes when food is nearing its expiry.
10. Fix leaky taps (YouTube it if you need to) and switch out old light globes with energy efficient ones; they use almost 25% less energy than the regular variety.

If you want your virtual piggy bank to bust at the seams, here are 101 more ways to save: http://www.wisebread.com/101-ways-to-save-money-around-the-house

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