5 Straightforward Ways To Stop Wasting Money

Illustrated by Anna Sudit.
This story was originally published on June 17, 2016. If you're just joining us, please note that you'll need approximately 94 days (or around 13 weeks) to accumulate the savings outline ahead.

We've already been in full on warm-weather mode for a while now. We try to get to the beach whenever possible, Instagram more than our fair share of ice cream, and exclusively drink rosé. But the truth is, there's still plenty of summertime to go around.

In fact, the summer of 2016 truly begins June 20 and ends September 21. What does this mean for us? Well, we get to start our favorite season all over again — a do-over, if you will. Which is probably a good thing, given we've already blown a lot of the cash we saved for trips, excursions, and other sunny-day activities.

In an effort to be more cost-effective and save up for some cool shit, we're tweaking our food-spending habits. Surprisingly, a few simple swaps can put hundreds, even thousands, of dollars back in our bank accounts. Ahead, see exactly how much you could save over the course of the summer. We did the math.

Try one, try them all, or just read through to see the shocking amount we spend on iced coffee each year. Summer, take two, here we come!
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Illustrated by Seeta Kanhai.
We've all fallen victim to the cold brew coffee trend. Yes, it's delicious, but it's also more costly than its regular iced counterpart. At Starbucks, a grande cold brew is approximately $3.25 (depending where you are in the country). And if you hit up an artisanal coffee shop, one cup can be closer to $5.

Making your own coffee is way cheaper. Plus, you can easily make iced coffee at home. Just brew your cup the night before and stick it in the fridge. That way, you won't have to worry about icing it hot (which leads to watery java) or have to waste grounds by making it stronger as to compensate for ice dilution. See here for more iced coffee tips.
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Illustrated by Seeta Kanhai.
If you buy Starbucks coffee to make at home at about $12 per pound (but you could go even cheaper!), it only costs 75 cents per serving. So, that's a total of $70.50 over the course of summer (94 days) versus the whopping $305 we'd spent if we hit up Sbux for a cold brew every day.

*We left out milk and sugar, because they only add a few cents per day. Plus we need and use them for other things, too.
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Illustrated by Seeta Kanhai.
A Plane Ticket
So, you won't be traveling cross-country, but this is definitely enough for a getaway somewhere with a nice beach.
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Illustrated by Seeta Kanhai.
It's hard to pack a lunch when we know we can go out and grab something or even order Seamless straight to our desks. But the cost difference between bringing and buying is pretty shocking. Depending on your favorite method of purchased lunch, it can cost anywhere between $10-15 a day. (Even more if you're dealing with delivery minimums and fees.) However, packing is almost always much less expensive. In fact, you can easily bring a lunch for less than $5 per day.
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Illustrated by Seeta Kanhai.
We're serial brunchers and we're not afraid to admit it. What we are afraid of is our credit card statements, which are full of $20 charges from our weekend brunching excursion. So, while we we don't want to give up our favorite midday meal altogether, we can make more of an effort to make our own.
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Illustrated by Seeta Kanhai.
There are 66 weekdays this summer (not including the Fourth of July and Labor Day). If you pack and aim for $5 a pop or less, you'll spend $330 total. Whereas if you spending $10 or $15 a day, you'll end up blowing $660 or $990 on lunch, respectively.
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Illustrated by Seeta Kanhai.
Hotel Fare
Now, you've got the cash for an Airbnb or hotel to go with that plane ticket.
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Illustrated by Seeta Kanhai.
Every time we go out with friends and order round after round of cocktails, we spend way more money than we anticipate. Even if we're just ordering an $8 or $9 glass of wine, it adds up quickly — especially with tip. But that all changes dramatically if you pregame at home. Even if it's just limiting the amount of drinks you have out by having one before you leave, you'll still save some major cash. Plus, since summer is all about the rosé, it's not like we really even need a fancy mixologist to whip us up a $15 cocktail.
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Illustrated by Seeta Kanhai.
If you find a bottle of $10 rosé that you like, you'll be spending around $1.67 per glass, which is a huge difference from going to a restaurant or a bar. Plus, you don't have to tip — unless your friends want to tip you for picking up the bottle! If you were planning on drinking, say, two glasses of rosé per summer weekend, that's $47 if you pregame at home, versus a whopping $280 for enjoying said vino elsewhere.
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Illustrated by Seeta Kanhai.
Vacation Extras
Sounds like food, extra transportation, and miscellaneous costs for that impromptu trip we've been planning are covered — and then some.
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Illustrated by Seeta Kanhai.
We're serial brunchers and we're not afraid to admit it. What we are afraid of is our credit card statements, which are full of $20 charges from our weekend brunching excursion. So, while we we don't want to give up our favorite midday meal altogether, we can make more of an effort to make our own.
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Illustrated by Seeta Kanhai.
If you invite a few friends over, you can easily split the cost of ingredients and only spend around $5 each. There are nine weekends this summer, so if you do homemade brunch one day per weekend, you'll spend $45. That's instead of the $180 you would spend going out at $20 per meal.
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Illustrated by Seeta Kanhai.
A new bathing suit, plus some other beach goodies.
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Illustrated by Seeta Kanhai.
Cooking every weeknight during the summer isn't exactly enticing, especially as temperatures rise and the last thing we want to do is spend time in the kitchen. But ordering in or going out on the regular for $15 or more a night isn't exactly a great solution, either.
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Illustrated by Seeta Kanhai.
Our fix? Swap three meals that you would be spending 15 bucks on normally for dinners at home where you can spend $7 or less. And you don't even have to turn on the heat. You could opt even for no-cook meals or throw together some smorgasbord-style supermarket eats. There are 13 full weeks of summer, so if you swap cooking in for $7 three days a week, and swap out a bigger $15 purchase, you'll spend $312 instead of $585.
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Illustrated by Seeta Kanhai.
A Really Fancy Resto Meal
At this point, we might be better off pocketing some of our cash in our savings accounts. But if you're still in full-on summertime-splurge mode or you're not doing all of the aforementioned food swaps, we love treating ourselves to a nice meal after eating in a bunch. With this much cash, you could even go full-on tasting menu.
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