We have all been struggling together through a long recession. It is a good idea to be frugal during difficult times, but it can't hurt to continuing being frugal even when times are good. Becoming more frugal is often just a matter of developing healthier spending habits. With that said, what are some relatively simple things that you can do to save money now and in the future?

For starters, don't get caught up in the temptations of instant gratification. That is, learn to put off certain purchases. There are not many things that you need to buy "right this instant." Often you can wait for items and services to go on sale before you purchase them.

Don't be swayed by aggressive advertising campaigns or that naughty little voice inside your head urging you to buy something now, right this instant. Advertisers know all too well that we are all rather susceptible to making impulse purchases and they will do whatever they need to do to exploit this all too human vulnerability. So be vigilant about not falling prey to such temptations. You will be thankful later.

Consider buying gently used items, such as clothing from thrift stores. On a larger scale, consider buying used cars. (Just be sure to do your due diligence by only working with reputable dealerships, getting a Carfax, etc., so that you don't get scammed.)

If you eat out or order takeout frequently, try to cut back on doing this and make your own meals instead. If you have friends that like to socialize over meals, rather than eating out a restaurants, offer to cook them a meal at your house. They will likely reciprocate in the future by inviting you over for lunch or dinner.

Keep a "frugality journal" in which you record everything that you spend. (This is similar to keeping a food journal if you are dieting and trying to lose weight.) Don't skip anything. In other words, record every single cent that you spend. You might be astonished to discover just how much money you spend, and often of frivolous or unnecessary things.

When you closely observe your current spending patterns you will be better equipped to figure out what you can do to modify your spending habits. Cutting back here and there can help you save more money each month. As a matter of fact, if you follow each of these tips faithfully, you will probably be pleasantly surprised by just how much you can save over time.