It seems everyone is pinching pennies these days, using coupons, collecting spare change and bargain shopping. Groupon is a good case in point. The Chicago-based Internet startup (called the “lovechild of Facebook and the recession” by Forbes writer Erika Andersen) launched in 2008 and now operates in 300+ plus markets—including Chicago and St. Louis—offering deeply discounted deals on food, entertainment, spa treatments and more.

“Liking” your favorite brands and retailers on Facebook can get you the “inside scoop” on special promotions, according to “15 Money Saving Tips” from Consumer Report’s ShopSmart magazine. Many retailers also offer coupons that can be sent to your mobile device.

The January Illinois REALTOR® Magazine features 10 tips from Illinois REALTORS® for “pinching pennies” in the real estate business. Among them:

  • Instead of mailing just-listed or sold postcards to your farm, walk the neighborhood to save postage costs…and get some exercise!
  • Go green and save on postage by sending more e-mail correspondence and reduce copier and paper costs by storing more documents online.
  • Save on gas by scheduling your travel time better. Use a portable scanner to reduce trips back to the office; make copies onsite for your clients instead.

The U.S. Department of Energy says you can lower your gas mileage by 33 percent on the highway (and 5 percent around town) by not being an “aggressive driver” (speeding, rapid acceleration and braking). Find more gas mileage tips at