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It's nearly March are you sticking to your NY resolutions?

Eating right and exercising are pretty obvious resolutions. What about paying off debts and saving for a rainy day? Still buying those $5 lattes? Here are some tips to help make retirement a financial reality, one penny at a time.

Get back in the kitchen You can set your watch to it: the gang troops out to pick up lunch from the nearest eatery. Then they probably get home from work and order in dinner. Like, what the heck are you thinking? It's really not a big deal. Spend a little time on Sunday to shop and/or cook for the rest of the week. It's fairly easy to throw together a pot of spaghetti sauce that will translate into multiple meals throughout the week. Make it a party. Throw in some garlic bread. See? Painless.

Outsmart your Smartphone Data and text-message plans eat up budgets fast. If you've already teamed up with relatives, call a family meeting and decide what you can live without, then cut back your plan when it's time to sign another contract.

Cut cable "Due to increased overhead, we're jacking up your cable/satellite bill another 15%." Sound familiar? The solution? Simple: switch over to free streaming videos, sports, movies and television shows.

Get couponing Thanks to TLC's "Extreme Couponing," we all know you can cut your bill with coupons at the grocery store. What you many not realize is these money savers can be used for nearly everything from hotel accommodations to office supplies. Mobile coupons make the process even easier - it's worth finding out how.

Reacquaint yourself with your library Libraries provide audio, video, e-books and Internet access -- all provided for free. Many allow you to place an online hold for an item and receive it within days. Your library may also provide discounts on passes to museum, zoos and other attractions.

Go Guttenberg At Project Guttenberg you can download thousands of free copyright-expired books, downloadable to your PC, Kindle, Android, iOS or other portable devices.

Discounts through gift cards Buy discount gift cards online and save as much as 50% off the face value. That's not all! You can exchange the gift cards that you don't want for cash at the same site. That way, you can free up room in your wallet or at the back of your dresser drawer.

Gift with daily deals Daily deals are everywhere, from online to your local paper, and they're a great, and smart, way to save on gifts. There are deals on everything from spas, teeth whitening and restaurants, to museums and weekends away that are so cheap it must pain the provider to offer them. Read the small print, check expiration dates and figure out whether add-ons are included to make the most of the offer.

Swap stuff There are tons of websites where you can swap everything from books to children's clothing (check out for inspiration!)

Sell stuff Consignment shops are ready to start laying in stock for spring and summer, so now's a good time to get your gently used clothes, shoes and accessories ready for resale. You can sell other items on Craigslist or, for higher-end items, auction them on eBay.


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