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10 Ways to Save on Everyday Purchases

NEW YORK ( MainStreet) -- Gas, utilities, clothing and food are all rising in price, making it increasingly harder to save up for non-necessities.

Luckily, there are many ways to save on the things we need in life so we can have extra money for the things we want. Here are 10 great money-saving tips from several savings and financial pros.

Clip coupons for food
This might seem like a no-brainer, but many people don't actually clip coupons, or they see coupons but then use them to buy things they don't really need. It's best to clip coupons only for the things you need and to use them with in-store sales and actually track what you're saving.

Lisa Reynolds at Redplum.com says the average family can save up to $1,000 a year just by spending 20 minutes clipping coupons. Reynolds also offers this tip about coupon-clipping and meal planning: "If you find a fantastic coupon, don't dismiss it simply because the item is not usually on your list," she says. "Planning your meals at the same time as reviewing coupon offers and store circulars lets you take advantage of really great deals and try new recipes. Many savvy cooks create meal plans based on what the stores advertise that week."

Buy food in season
When it comes to buying wholesome foods for your family, "Stock up on fruits and veggies in season," says Melissa Garcia, a savings expert with couponqueen.com. "Cut them up and freeze them at their peak so you're not forced to pay those offseason prices and you know the quality is good."

You can eat out, but do it smarter
Just because you're trying to save doesn't mean you cannot ever dine out -- just do it less often and do it smarter, Reynolds suggest.

"Countless chain establishments have proven the old adage of 'no free lunch or dinner' wrong, especially if you have kids. Full-service chain restaurants continue to offer some pretty sweet deals in the form of kids-eat-free promotions," Reynolds says. "You can also try cutting down on heading out to your favorite restaurant every week, or only try hitting up your local spots for which you have a coupon."

Paul Vazquez, a savings expert at keycode.com, advises people to pack their lunch rather than buying it daily. "With some planning, you can save big on daily lunches by planning the lunch week in advance," Vazquez says.

Shop for clothes at consignment shops
You can find some nice clothes at consignments shops, for kids and adults.

"Oftentimes there are great, unique finds at your local consignment shop, including some of the top brands, at extremely affordable prices," says Reynolds, who recommends using the site magicyellow.com to find a consignment shop near you.