The U.S. economy is showing signs of a turnaround, however the recession taught many Americans responsible spending habits that will stick with them years to come.

Many families are implementing small everyday changes that will curb those small everyday costs that can really add up over time. Some of the best, simplest and most fun ways that your family can start saving money today include:
Kick Paid Directory Assistance to the Curb: Americans make billions of calls to paid directory assistance services every year, and some providers charge as much as $2 per call. Next time you reach for the phone to call 411, try a free alternative service such as 1-800-Justdial (1-800-587-8342). 1-800-Justdial provides live operator service 24 hours a day, delivering local listings via text or e-mail and can even connect your call free of charge. You can also get recommendations for local restaurants, plumbers, tow trucks, dentists, florists, movies, events and hundreds of other categories. Anyone in the family who can use a phone can take advantage of the cost savings.

Hit the Library: We all know you can check out books for free at the library rather than buying them, but did you know that most local libraries carry DVDs and video games as well? Most libraries even carry the latest seasons of popular television series on DVD. Plan a Saturday evening around a home-cooked meal, a free DVD from the library and board games for a low-cost and fun family night.

Go Green Around the House: Save money and do something for the planet by getting the whole family involved in easy, everyday ways to go green around the house. For example: turn off lights not in use; limit showers to 5 minutes; avoid running appliances like the dishwasher or washing machine without a full load; and use washable dishtowels for drying and cleaning rather than paper towels.

Shop Smarter: Families can save big by buying store-brand groceries, buying items online in bulk (many companies offer free shipping on large orders), planning meals around proteins that are on special and always heading to the grocery store with a set shopping list and sticking to it.

Skip the Amusement Park: Family trips to the amusement park can end up costing hundreds of dollars. Read your local newspaper and keep an eye out for fun, low-cost, family-oriented events in your neighborhood like street fairs and festivals, carnivals, free concerts, fun runs and volunteer drives.

“Once you are conscious of it, there are really simple and easy ways to save money that the whole family can support,” says V.S.S. Mani, founder and CEO of 1-800-Justdial.

“There’s no need to cut out necessitates or even fun extras. Just be aware of lower cost and free alternatives to some of the everyday things you do and you’ll find that saving a little here and there can really go a long way.”