Ways to put money back in your pocket

• Do pack a lunch and brew your own coffee. Buying your lunch for work or school can cost an average of $10 per day. Plus, the added cost of a cup-a-joe every morning can quickly add up. If you pack a lunch, you'll need to incur additional grocery costs, but in the long run you'll be amazed at how much you can save.

• Do a weekly, rather than daily, grocery shop. Planning a weekly menu and shopping list will help you save gas, time, mental energy and money. This will also only help reduce impulse buys, and encourage healthier eating habits. For additional savings, consider purchasing non-brand name items and buying in bulk.

• Do eliminate duplicate household expenses. If you are already paying for high-speed Internet, why not switch your home phone land-line to a voice over IP phone system? Very popular, for example, is the sleek Ooma Telo. This VoIP device can be hooked up to the Internet, letting you make unlimited local and long distance calls anywhere in Canada.

• Do carpool or take public transportation to work. As gas prices continue to rise, avoid driving to work alone every day. Public transportation is an excellent, often cost- and time-effective way to get to and from work. If this is not an option in your area, consider sharing the ride with a coworker who lives nearby - you'll enjoy the company and save money.

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