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a makeover to save money – not a personal makeover, but a makeover of their medicine cabinet at home! This is an area to which most people never pay any attention. You probably don’t either. I’m sure many of you adore brand-name clothes and shoes, but when it comes to medicine, you don’t need brand-name products. Get generic drugs from your doctor or pharmacist. By law, generic drugs have the identical chemical makeup and active ingredients as brand-name medications—without the hefty price tag. The typical brand-name prescription costs $100, while the average generic drug is just $30, a 70% difference. If you hit the pharmacy once a month, in the span of a year you’ll save $840 just by using generic drugs instead of brand-name prescription drugs.

6. Save Money on Household Items

Get creative about stretching the stuff you already buy and use at home on a regular basis. We all need toothpaste, right? To save money reach for the tubes, not the pump toothpastes sold in many stores. Why? Pumps don’t last as long as tubes, so they give you less bang for your buck. What about that deodorant you buy. Did you know that budget-conscious people purchase sticks or roll-ons because aerosols get used up faster? (Not to mention that aerosols are less friendly to the environment.)

7. Save Money By Kicking Bad Habits

If you have a habit that’s hurting you, financially or health-wise, it’s high time you kicked that habit. Take cigarettes as a case in point. The average pack of cigarettes costs $4, excluding state taxes. If you smoke two packs a day, that adds up to $10 daily (taxes included) just for the “pleasure” of sucking on a nicotine stick! Do your best to rid yourself of that bad habit. If you can, you’ll save $300 dollars a month or $3,600 dollars a year, not to mention the savings you’ll reap from fewer medical bills.

8. Save Money on Utilities

Being a lot more conscientious about your habits around the house can help you save thousands of dollars on utilities. Here’s how to be savvier in this area. Unplug appliances when you’re not using them. That goes for toaster, coffee maker, blender, and other appliances. Leaving them plugged in is just draining power and wasting money unnecessarily. If you make a habit of unplugging these items, you’ll save 10% on your energy bills. The same thing goes for wasting energy by having so many lights on in the house. Turn off lights when you leave a room. Also, switch high-watt bulbs to lower-wattage ones or fluorescent bulbs to save even more money. Lower your hot water costs by up to 50% just by taking showers instead of baths. Only run your dishwasher, clothes washer, and dryer when they’re full for additional savings on your utility costs.

9. Save Money on Clothes

Do you want to save money on clothes? Well, at the risk of being called a “traitor” by my own people (i.e. those of the female persuasion), let me start by making this suggestion, especially to you ladies: just stop shopping so much! OK … I’ve said it. I had to get that off my chest because so many people I know, particularly women, moan about how they don’t have any money whatsoever. Somehow, however, they always seem to have the money to go shopping for clothes – either with cash or credit. If you must go shopping, go when there’s a sale, or use those store coupons that come in the mail or that you can find in the newspaper in which your favorite retailer advertises. Additionally, save yourself money by simply shopping around. Take advantage of some really great deals you can find on the Internet.

Quit always buying designer labels. Places like H&M and Target have really cute clothes, too, and usually no one will ever know that you bought that nice pair of jeans from a discount store or an outlet. If you make it a practice to avoid paying full retail price for your clothes, you can save yourself hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in the course of a year. Ditto on clothes for the children. Check out bargains at Target or WalMart, as opposed to pricier retailers like Children’s Place or Macy’s. Why do we insist on spending gobs of money on high-priced shoes, clothes and outer-wear for our kids – knowing full well that those children are going to grow out of those items so quickly?!

When you’re building your cash cushion and trying to get a down payment together you might think that all things fun have to go out the window. Not so. You can enjoy yourself plenty if you do it the smart way – namely by sticking to free or low-cost forms of entertainment. For example, choose free museums and