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Penny pincher.

Summer is the season when I'm the most strapped for cash. Every week brings more invitations for beach trips, rooftop barbeques, rafting adventures, and outdoor concerts. As fun as all of these things are, they require more than I've got in my piggy bank. 

I've been taking a look at how to save money at every turn, and here's what I've come up with: 

1. Clip virtual coupons. CouponMom will hook you up with deals.

2. Dip that rent. Visit Rentometer to evaluate whether or not you're paying reasonable rent. If the site determines that you're not, Google topics like "average rent in _____ (your city)" and schedule a meeting with your landlord, articles in hand, and attempt to re-negotiate. 

3. Be a bargain hunter. Check out Lowermybills for all kinds of help with bringing your overhead down.

4. Chop your cell. At Billshrink, you can enter your cell phone bill details and they'll find you a lower-priced plan. 

5. Skeep your peeps. Just in case you've been living under a rock for the past few years, Skype is by far the cheapest way to stay in touch with your friends and family out of the country.

6. Electrify your wallet. Check this article out for tips on reducing your electricity bill.

7. Say hey to AAA. Are you a member? Back when I was, I'd always forget to use my membership for its many possible discounts. Don't let that happen to you - check out their wide list of offers here

8. Pretty up your pearlies. If you don't have dental insurance, you'll need a low-cost plan before you start drilling. Get one here

9. Peruse the promos. Before you check out when making an online purchase, search "______ (Name of site) coupon codes". Often a site like Retailmenot or Couponcodes will share a discount code with you to try out during your check-out. I've received free shipping and up to as much as 25% off of my purchases using this trick. 

10. Take a bite out of the Apple. You can purchased discounted Apple products that have been refurbished and certified here

11. Boost your lift. Buy bargain lift tickets for your next ski trip at Liftopia

12. Swap your stuff. Title Trader is a community that encourages swapping your DVDs, CDs, and books. Swaptrees does all of that and video games, too.

13. Forage for food. The Co-op Directory helps you find and join natural food co-ops in your area - often cheaper than a regular grocery store, and healthier, too.

14. Play up your eyes. Zenni Optical sells insanely cheap, great-looking eyeglasses. 

15. Cut the cable. I did this 3 months ago and it's been great. I canceled my cable account, connected my computer to my TV, and signed up for Netflix Streaming. Between that, Hulu, and each networks' own websites, I get all the TV I can watch for much less money than I was paying before. 

16. Manage your music. Spotify is free if you agree to listen to commercials, $4.99 a month takes the commercials out, and $9.99 a month lets you access all of their music from your mobile as well as your computer. Compare that to the cost of buying per-song or album on iTunes, and, if you're an avid music-buyer, you could save a chunk of dough.

Have a great and afforable summer! 

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