We've all done it.  While we shop we'll purchase an item on impulse.  Most of the time it's something we don't really need or can't afford. 

Getty Images News / Andreas Rentz

Here are some tips on how to avoid buying stuff you shouldn't be buying.

Bankrate.com recently conducted a survey.  I found the results a bit shocking.

That survey found that 25 per cent of Americans don't have any money socked away for a financial emergency.  The study reveals that people, no matter how much they earn, spend what they make.

I know there are plenty of folks busting their backs, sometimes working two or three jobs, just so they can put food on the table and pay the rent.

It's still a fact that a whole bunch of people have nothing in their piggy bank because they spend too much money.

Here are a few suggestions on how to save some cash.

Use Apps that are totally free.  If you're spending a few bucks a day to kill those angry birds.  Kill less birds and put the moo la in your pocket.

I do buy lottery tickets.  Most of us do.  Quite a few money conscious web sites suggest that we shouldn't buy them, or just get a couple every week.  Think about it.  The chances of getting the money back that you spend is one in several million.

How about lunch?  It's so darn easy to go to the drive-thru or walk down the block for a quick bite.  Honestly, how often do you spend less than five dollars for lunch?  Bring a sandwich or a yogurt to work.  You'll be saving at least 25 dollars a week.

Oh, by the way.  Those delicious lattes.  If you haven't noticed, the price for that wonderful beverage jumped up a dollar this past week.

I'm not saying we should go latte free.  Here's what you do.  If you don't have one, buy an inexpensive espresso maker.  Make your latte at home and pour it into a thermos.  The latte machine will pay for itself in a couple of weeks.

Here are some hints when you go shopping.

Be the Jan or Stan with the plan.  In other words make a shopping list.  Find only what you really need and head for the checkout.

Eat something before you go food shopping.  Yeah, I know, you've heard this before.  The thing is, it works.

But things that are returnable.  After you get home you decide you don't need or want the item, take it back to the store and get your money back.

The last piece of advise is pay with cash.  When you hand over real money to the cashier, you're less likely to purchase an item you don't need to buy.

Stash away as much as you can afford  every week.  You will be amazed how much you'll save.