Need Money Saving Tips

Updated on October 20, 2008
J. asks from Arlington, TX
29 answers

Hello mamas,

I have always seen such good advice from this group I thought I would give it a go. With the economy getting tighter I need some good money saving tips either things you have learned along the way or websites for saving money. This could be for groceries, recipes, etc. Anything you can think of would be very helpful! How are you saving money?

3 moms found this helpful

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So What Happened?

Thank you all so much! There are so many great ideas! I didn't even know where to start. I just knew we needed to start cutting back to stay afloat!

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S.S.

answers from Dallas on

Can anyone provide me with a site to get Gilette Fusion razor refill coupons?
Thanks this was all most helpful!!!

M.D.

answers from Dallas on

J.,
I'm a big coupon person, so I'm always trying to get coupons, you can even visit store websites to see if they have any specials for that week. One thing is to make a menu for the week, try to cook meals that can be two. Like have a ham dinner, get a little bigger ham than usual, then the left over a couple nights later, make ham and potatoes casserole. Having the menu will help in several ways too, first you'll have bought everything you need, second, when you can't think of something so you go out to eat and spend three times as much.
I'm interested what other people do... great question...

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K.S.

answers from Dallas on

These are prob. not that original, but here's what we do:
- Get gas at Kroger b/c if you have a Kroger card and spend $100 a month you get 10 cents off per gallon
- Rarely use the clothes dryer - I hang most things on the drying rack to dry
- Don't run the dishwasher as often and see if it has an energy saver switch to not do the heated drying
- Kroger and Albertsons both double coupons up to 50 cents. Go to the Gerber website and they have offers to get coupons, so you can save lots on their food if you use their coupon and go to a store that doubles them
- Cooking I double recipes and freeze so I can buy bigger portions, which saves some $$

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P.N.

answers from Dallas on

J.,
I use coupons all the time. I use them if we go out to eat, grocery shopping,what ever. I teach people to use coupons at the store and save money. There is a coupon class you can go to, and yes I did it, but just to see if I was missing something. There was nothing I was missing. I use my own method and teach others to do the same. I can shop for our family of 4 with maybe 120.00 a month. I dont usually spend that much. Its a slow start, but it does work. To get more information on this you can message me, well anyone can.
I also shop with friends to save on gas, use my Kroger card.
I only use the dishwasher at night. Mine you can program when to start. So it runs about 2am. Hope this helps.

2 moms found this helpful
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T.D.

answers from Dallas on

If you want to save money, get out of debt, and plan for your family's future, go to www.daveramsey.com and look at his Financial Peace plan. It is life-changing!! You can find churches that offer the classes so you have support along the way. My brother and sister-in-law are taking one right now in Aledo.

1 mom found this helpful

P.W.

answers from Dallas on

#1-don't charge it unless you can afford to pay the bill 100% at the end of the month.
#2-grocery shop one day a week. saves on gas. if you run out of something, you run out. that saves too and gets the family to choose wisely.
#3-cancel the newspaper
#4-if someone else is cleaning your house have them come less often or not at all. get used to the idea that your house isn't as clean as it used to be.
#5-only buy clothes you absolutely need. this sounds icky, but it really is okay.....check out resale shops, garage sales and estate sales for clothing, dishes and even furniture. Most things can be washed to make you feel okay about it and many times you can find nice things that still have the original price tag....extremely cheap! Furniture finds can be cool and different. This also allows you to get out your urge to shop!!!
#6-If you can swing it put whatever you save in savings. For example if you cancel the paper, put that in savings, etc...
#7-Eat out only once a week. Have breakfast for dinner once a week by making omelets or french toast. cheap and healthy. Will your family eat beans? Cheap and healthy. I boil pinto beans, mix with a little cheese and make nachos or burritos. They love it!
#8-Instead of paying a babysitter, do some sort of trade with a friend.
#9-Consider a part-time income from home. Make it something that interests you. I started a small Shaklee business last year and I enjoy it. Contact me if you have interest. But there is scrapbooking if you like that. My sister-in-law did well doing that. Consider doing a little babysitting for $$. Even if you work full-time if you babysat twice a month at night or on the weekend you could easily make an extra $50 a month.
#10-Find a nice group of friends that are happy to get together to play games, watch a video or something every couple of weeks. Make a pot luck dinner or meet after dinner rotating houses. Make sure you pick friends that aren't going to put pressure on you to "entertain"....meaning spend money to impress. Have fun without spending money!

1 mom found this helpful
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A.J.

answers from Dallas on

This site is FREE and pulls information from all the sites everyone else suggested. I save hundreds each month; not just on groceries.

Check it out http://www/yourcouponbuddy.com

It's totally FREE and you can subscribe to get daily updates so you never miss a deal!

Good luck.

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G.L.

answers from Dallas on

hey J.
This will be the only thing you need to try and it is worth it forever 1-to-1 financial mentoring & Tax Services. I have learned alot and you can get a free 30 min consult. Barry is the owners name the number is ###-###-#### you cant go wrong. Tell him G. sent you.

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K.C.

answers from Dallas on

This may not be a tip, but we have our bank accounts through bank of america. Our savings is linked to our checking and every time we use our checkcards they round the amount up to the next dollar and put that difference in our savings account. It has really added up for us. In 3 weeks I think I saved about $40-50 without even realizing it. I don't use cash for anything, which I probably should, I use my checkcard, so this has really benefitted us.
Good Luck...I think some other banks may offer the same kind of program.

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B.P.

answers from Abilene on

J. -- I may end up repeating some of the advice the other Mamas have given you but here's what we've been doing to stay afloat.

*Cut back on eating out. Even if you buy a more expensive quick frozen meal it is still cheaper than eating out.

*Watch EVERYTHING you spend. I found that we don't make big purchases but lots of little purchases that really add up. $1 here $2 there still makes a difference.

*Try to only shop once a week or twice a month. The less times you go in a store the less you will spend over all. I stock up to where I only have to buy groceries once or twice a month and just go for a quick trip a week for bread, milk, and produce. This has saved us a BUNDLE.

*Coupons, coupons, coupons -- but only if it was something you were going to buy anyway. Unless I can get the item for free or will replace something else I was going to buy, I won't use a coupon regardless of how good it is. Try www.hotcouponworld.com. You can go to the coupon database and search for printable coupons there. I LOVE it. In fact, I search for a coupon for everything on my list. You never know what you will find. I can give you lots of other coupon tips -- if you are interested, just PM me.

*Shop your insurance, electric, & phone providers to make sure you are getting the best deal possible. I switched electric providers in the Spring and saved over $100 a month from what we paid last summer and I had a traditional job last summer and turned the AC way down/up when we weren't home. This year I work from home and didn't change the thermo at all!

Mostly it is just setting your mind to save money and doing it. If you take on a frugal mindset then you will find ways to save that are unique to your family. I quit my B&M job to work from home and took a HUGE pay cut (about $1400 a month) about a year ago. Since then, we've had to have about $1500 of work done to my car and buy a fridge! My son acquired quite a bit of medical bills from a freak thing that came up (we have a high deductible insurance policy) and the price of everything went up. When I quit my old job we wouldn't have had any trouble making it on what my hubby made, now we do good to scrape by on what he makes plus what little I contribute. We've had to make lots of changes but, you know what, I can't tell 1 difference in our "quality of life."

I wish you the best! Enjoy your boys!

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A.C.

answers from Dallas on

We opened up a 529 plan. With IRAs (which we do have) you can either pay "before tax dollars" and pay taxes later, or you can pay "after tax dollars" and not pay later. With the 529, we pay $50-75/month before taxes into the fund, and if used for education later, we still don't pay taxes! The best part of this for us is this: we linked our 529 plan to our credit card, and the card pays us 2% of everything we spend BACK TO OUR 529, which is in addition to our "on purpose" savings.
To be able to do this, we went back a few months and looked at every dollar we were spending, then tweaked it where we could, and created a workable budget. This included a $200/month "miscellanious" because that seems to be a thing with us...whether it be a brake job on my car, new tires for my husband's car, or a great deal comes up for a table in our empty breakfast room. If we don't spend the 200, we'll happily bank it, as we are saving money. Anyway, we have a working budget and not just what we wish we were able to do (ha) and then we use that 529 Mastercard for EVERYTHING that will allow us to pay with credit! EVERYTHING but the mortgage, car payments, and stuff that gets taken out of the checks automatically (savings/insurance). That way we get 2% of everything back, put into our son's college fund. A lot of people do this with credit cards and collect air miles, but honestly, I think the college education is not only more important and valuable, but my friends have said that cashing in those miles can be a pain. I'll take good old fashioned money over intangible (and possibly expiring) miles anyday of the week. :)
I understand this could get some people into trouble (using the credit card all the time); most people would suggest something like envelopes with cash in it for each expense and when the money is gone, you don't spend more, and a credit card is only good for a real emergency. That is precisely why we studied our past spending habits (3 months back) before making a budget. #1 to know what we do in "real life", #2 to figure out where we could make changes and cut back, and #3 to make this budget workable so we would actually use it. I have a folder which I use as an expense journal to help keep my budget on track. With this folder, I would write Month: October and the monthly budget total. Then I'll write below that "Week 1" and will list what I spend where, and the totals for grocery, household, and misc (since they aren't one time payments like a bill). Then I subtract those totals from the monthly budget of those expenses. Week 2, the same thing. To tell the truth, using the credit card for everything actually HELPS this process because you can see everything you and your husband spend everyday, you're accountable to each other because you can both look at it, and you don't have to worry about missing receipts=unaccounted for money. The folder is helpful for me because it's like a check register/total so that I know where I'm at on my spending. For food, I may spend much more on 1 week when I buy a value pack of meat and then less the next when I buy no meat at all. I don't believe in the weekly budget being "concrete" because different things come up, as long as it all balances out in the end of the month to be my goals. But I know on week 3 that I only have $__ to spend going in. Then we pay the card off, so we're not incurring debt. Does that make sense?
Then there's the every week stuff: sales papers for food come in the mail on Thursdays. Every Thursday I just work it into my normal routine to keep a basic inventory of what I have in my house (fridge, freezer, pantry), and then I go through the sales papers to see who has what on sale to determine which grocery store I'm going to this week (I go to 1 grocery store for meats and special sales, and Walmart 1x/week for the rest of the stuff: milk, etc that I know is cheaper there). I use the sales papers, the inventory already in my home, and my little coupon file to determine the next week's menu and make my shopping list accordingly. It sounds like a lot, but honestly this is about 30-45 minutes a week and it saves me more money in half an hour than I could earn in 2 hours working to have a simple shopping list already made so I don't buy random things and have to go shopping again 2-3 times a week. The "budget folder", if you keep up with it, wouldn't be more than 10 minutes a day even if you went through a Walmart receipt to list household goods separately from food expenses. Hope one of these things can help you out, or give you ideas for your own home.

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N.R.

answers from Dallas on

Well I get a lot of my recipes from kraft and instead of using their products i'll use name brand prodcuts and it saves on tons of money.

I also keep the blinds open and don't use the lights and then, like today, with the cooler weather I'll crack the windows and get some fresh air flowing in.

I enjoy reading so I joined www.paperbookswap.com to save money on books. You should really check that out if you enjoy something like that.

I also walk several places, if they are close enough and it saves on gas.

I'm just doing little things, but even the little things really help.

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E.W.

answers from Dallas on

I am sure I will repeat some advise but:

- My big money saver is the Grocery Game, I save 60% a week on groceries
- I also shop the ads in addition to Grocery Game and plan my meals for the week around what is on sale. If it is not on sale we normally do not buy it.
- I cut back on paper towels by using kitchen towels to clean up messes- you would be surprised at the savings
- We plan our outings out so to get as many errands done in one trip so I am not wasting gas.
- No more eating out
- If I am having an errand running day I pack lunch for my daughter and myself so we can eat in the car or pull over at a park. It is healthier than a Chick-fil-A and more cost effective
- My husband takes lunch with his every day to work
- Shop with a list and a purpose, do not just roam the aisles. You end up buying so much more stuff and wasting money.

I hope this helps, good luck

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K.R.

answers from Dallas on

Hey J.. To Reiterate most of what has been said...
Coupons/Price Comparison: Some stores price match. Watch for the sales, buy ONLY what is on your list (make meals around what is on sale). I use the couponmom technique and stock up on what is on sale. She has a very simple system www.couponmom.com. It does take a little planning before you really see any BIG savings but....
Check out books and movies from the library- IT's FREE!
Gas prices are going down <YIPEE> but you still need to watch where and WHEN you're driving. Make as many errands as you can in one trip (and in a logical order - you don't want to drive from A to C only to have to backtrack to B then back out to D). <As far as the when, you want to try to stay out of the high traffic times - rush hour and lunch times> You also want to make sure you car is running properly and the tires are correctly inflated.
Make as many meals as you can from scratch and try not to eat out (I say try because sometimes it is inevitable).
Cut your family's hair.
Needing new furniture? Instead of buying new, check out the discount stores or Salvation Army OR see if a friend is looking as well and SWAP.
Oprah just did a show on this which is where many of the items I wrote about came from....
Hope this helps,
K.
Mansfield, TX

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D.S.

answers from Dallas on

Wow...what great ideas!! I was so excited to read this post., thanks for asking it. The only thing I have to add is that you may want to check out Skype.com.
With Skype you can make computer to computer calls with web cam totally free. Also you can get plans where you can call phones for super cheap. We don't have a home phone anymore and we use Go Phones from At&T since we don't want to spend the money on a plan. Our plan through Skype is less than $3.00 a month and I have unlimited calling in the US and Canada. So if I want to call someone I know I will talk to for a while or if I am calling a company that will probably put me on hold (all of them) then I use Skype so I'm not wasting money. Just one more tip to add to your pile!!

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A.M.

answers from Dallas on

Some general ideas first:

1) Make a budget each month where every dollar is spent, on paper-whether it is savings, morgage, groceries/food, gas, etc.
2) DO NOT USE CREDIT-live within your means-use cash wherever possible.
3) Get out of debt-asap!
4) Have an emergency fund in place- ideally 6 months of living expenses
These are all things I've learned from listening to Dave Ramsey. www.daveramsey.com I think they are essential, especially in these tough economic times.

More specifically for saving money day to day:

1) Make a menu each week and use it to make your grocery list. I love www.allrecipes.com for meal ideas. YOu can also put in ingredients you already have on hand to search for recipes. It will also create the grocery list to go with the recipes you select.
2) If you are a sahm, shop at Kroger during the day, early to mid afternoon and look for markdown/quick sale items. I buy milk, organic products, cheeses, and meat regularly.
3)Use coupons whenever possible,but be careful that you are only using them for things you NEED. Www.couponmom.com www.hotcouponworld are free websites you can go to for coupon tips. www.thegrocerygame costs, but you can save a lot on goods if you follow the advice there. there are 2 downsides, it costs and most of the stuff is processed foods.
3) Make the majority of your family's foods from scratch. It is much healthier also!
4)Make your own cleaners and laundry detergent. There are tons of recipes online. The cleaners work great, the ingredients are much less harmful for your family and the environment. Homemade cleaners are A LOT cheaper than store bought too.
5) Put up a clothesline in your backyard and hang clothes to dry.
6) Use cloth diapers, cloth sanitary pads (mama pads) and/or use a menstral cup like the Divacup, use cloth napkins and dishtowels instead of paper towels whenever possible.
7) Shop at the goodwill(check with them for 1/2 price days), resale and consignment shops.
8) Consign your kids toys, shoes, clothes, accessories with a local consignment sale. I like Just Between Friends. The Ft. Worth sale is my favorite. www.jbfsale.com Be sure to shop them too for AWESOME deals.
9)Shop craigslist for items
10) Join your local freecycle, www.freecycle.org to recyle things you don't need that someone else may need and get free stuff you need that others need to get rid of. It reduces everyones bills and keeps useable stuff out of landfills.
11) Have garage sales to make extra money
12)Shop at garage sales
13) Shop at Costco for SOME things. Not everything in bulk is a better deal, but I always find deals there.
14) Buy all your gas at Costco. It is ALWAYS the cheapest place, and I shop around. I got gas on Monday of this week there for 2.59/gal!
15)Get rid of cable or satellite and go to free tv. Join netflix or blockbuster online to make up for missed "tv" entertainment (ie, Hbo series, kids movies, etc.)
16)Get rid of extras on your home phone like caller id, call waiting, etc. If you have a cell phone with long-distance get rid of that on your homephone too.
17)Repair everything you can instead of buying a new one of whatever isn't in perfect condition anymore
18) Make birthday, Christmas, etc. gifts. There are tons of options for homemade things. Check the internet. I personally love recieving homemade gifts and giving them because more thought and time goes into these, imo.
19) Use the library to rent movies, software, and books whenever possible.
20) Finally, stay out of stores. Just not going into KOHL'S, Target, BAbies R Us, Walmart, etc. has helped me SO much. It is much easier to resist the shopping temptation if I stay out of those places as much as possible.

Good luck and happy saving!!!!

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C.P.

answers from Dallas on

Hello J.,

start with conservation and by looking at what you're using.

~turn off lights,
~set a 5 minute timer for showers,
~install motion sensor lights for places that you keep forgetting to turn off.
~turn off computers at night.
~when going out to dinner, drink water instead of soda (it's like an instant 20% discount)
~drink more water at home (instead of juices/sodas)
~make your own "gourmet" coffee. I brew coffee and add some of the orange coffee + a bit of creamer and it's delicious (and about 500 LESS calories than going out for coffee) a $4.00 cup of coffee for about 50 cents
~watch the meat servings
~eat out less often
~if you eat out, bring home a doggie bag and put it in the freezer for another day.
~what else can you get done while you drive to that side of town?
~use fans and keep the airco setting at 78 - 80 degrees
~do you really need fabric softener? I haven't used any in 3 years and don't miss it.

I'm curious to see what others suggest.
Good luck! ~C.~

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K.S.

answers from Dallas on

The best thing I can tell you as far as groceries is: DO NOT shop at Wal-Mart and stick to a list. The problem with Wal-Mart is it is so convienent, you go for a small list and end up buying much more. Also start thinking of things as a need or a want. For example, you are out of your favorite shaving cream and want more, can you deal with sharing with hubby for a week or two. Also watch the ads, Albertsons is constantly running good ads, like this weekend it is buy 1 get 2 free on pork ribs, you might not eat them right now but put them in the freezer and you will have them when you want them.

I also make dinners in bulk, like I make Goulash. It is a pund or so of browned ground beef, a box of mac & cheese, a can of diced tomatoes and veggies. Make the mac & cheese to the box and add everything else to it (in a big pot). Bring it up to temperature, as adding all the cold stuff reduces it, and serve.

Another good recipe is Cheese soup/stew. Ground beef, velvita, minestrone soup, green beans, Ranch Style beans and rotel. All this goes in a crock pot, but brown the beef first. Once the cheese is melted enjoy.

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A.M.

answers from Dallas on

Regarding using other stores' grocery ads at Walmart, we've had a few problems along the way which I wanted to share with you all so you won't get frustrated. We live South of downtown Dallas and there are at least 3 stores we can shop at. They only take the major grocery store ads (Tom Thumb, Kroger, Albertson's, Minyards). We did not have any luck using Sack N Save or HEB. The cashier said something about the store having to be within a certain distance from the WalMart store. Also, many of the clerks really scrutinize the ads and make sure the ounces of the item are the same as well. We try to put all of our comp items either at the first or end of the other groceries so they can be done all at once and have our ads folded to the place to show the cashier quickly. This helps with the frustration levels of all involved, including the people behind us!

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V.T.

answers from Dallas on

I cancelled all of the extra features on my home phone (call waiting, caller id, long distance, ect) I use my cell phone most of the time anyway. that saves me about $20 per month. If you can just turn your home phone off. only see movies through redbox. (they are only $1.00 !) we don't go to theatres, rent from blockbuster, payperview or have netflicks.
I know people have mentioned it but STICK TO THE LIST!!!
You can cut out a lot of snack food and buy fruit instead.
I think the number 1 thing to do is have a budget and stick to it! I keep track of every dime I spend. If you do that for a month or two you will really see where there are places you can cut back.
Don't eat out. We firgured out that we can buy steaks and baked potatoes for the same price as eating at Taco Bell! We can even have friends over for steaks for less than $20.

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M.B.

answers from Dallas on

I take the weekly grocery adds to Wal Mart and match the prices. This only works if the price isn't a "with card" price. They also refuse to match BOGO offers. They won't match store brands, it must be an identical item.

One way or the other, I always save. I take Sprouts ads, Albertsons ads, and mexican market (Terry's & El Rancho) ads. Then I get their prices for produce and sometimes bagged and boxed items. I got 5 lb. bags of potatoes for $1 each a few weeks ago. Then onions for $0.33/lb. Broccoli, zucchini, and greenbeans for $0.99/lb. These end up adding up because I cook a lot from scratch.

I also cut juice, tea, and sodas from our diets. This was a big deal because I'm a juice-aholic. It cut my grocery bill by about $30 a month to just drink water.

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A.C.

answers from Dallas on

My husband and I found that diapers were cheaper at Toys R Us sometimes than WalMart. We get some pretty cheap ones for the day and then we use slightly more expensive more absorbant ones only at night. Wipes and formula were cheaper at Sam's Club (as was milk and toilet paper- but not everything is cheaper there- you really have to do a price comparison). The savings was so great that the membership was worthwile. We split the membership with my father-in-law, since 2 people can be on the account. FIL and I are the members.

I go to gasbuddy.com to find close gas stations with the best prices. Go to the zoo on half price day for a fun time out with the kids. Buy clothes at Kid to Kid for my little girl sometimes (their stuff is really very nice). Check out movies from the library. We have Voice over IP for our phone (only costs about $12/ month and we have ALL the nice features like voicemail, call waiting, caller ID, long distance... and can even check voicemail over the internet and set up reminder calls to wake me up- AND can take my phone with me on vacation or roll it to my cell phone).

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T.Y.

answers from Dallas on

I shop the ads each week, using coupons that I have to match with what is on sale. I can usually find some items that are free or next to free every single week.

I also don't recall seeing anyone having mentioned shopping at CVS. I get TONS of stuff free or next to free there. If you learn how to use their card, you can shop for free or next to free all the time. I can easily go in and buy $20-30 worth of stuff (that is the total), and pay $5 or less out of pocket when I check out, AND get extra care bucks back for the next shopping trip. It's awesome! I have a "how to" paper written up explaining how to do this, as I have taught this at church a few times, in classes. If you'd like a copy, shoot me an email. It explains everything in simple terms, about how to shop at CVS.

I also keep my coupon binder with me all the time. It's a kid's 3 ring binder, with zipper so that I can zip it all up. I have baseball card inserts (found at Wal-Mart) in it with all my coupons filed. I find things on clearance ALL THE TIME, that I can use coupons with, and get items for free. A while back, I got around $90 worth of deodorant at Kroger, that was on clearance, and paid around $10 for ALL OF IT using coupons!!

Also, I get coupon inserts from neighbors and friends at church, so I get a few extra inserts each week from people, not having to buy more newspapers to get coupons.

Hope this helps in addition to all of the other great advice that people have provided!

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M.L.

answers from Dallas on

Your normal standard coupon clipping and shopping comparison. I've seen many of people take in competitors ads to Wal-Mart and get the same great deals! Now is also a prime time to shop your expenses that can be shopped. I just shopped my insurance and save $150 per month! Same coverages, just different carrier. I'm an insurance agent in Denton, TX and this seems to be a good way to check into possible savings, every bit can help!

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J.H.

answers from Amarillo on

Usually cooking from (scratch) is cheaper than buying packaged things. use rags, worn out clothes to clean up messes instead of paper towels, (you will still need them, but depends on the mess)If you have a clothes line, hang out your clothes instead of dryer, unless it is perma press clothes, try and make a list of errands, groceries etc. so that you make one trip with your gas, instead of several to the store. Think do we need this or want this? And something I have trouble with , a sale sign. It is great if it is something you were wanting to purchase, but too tempting if it isn't something you were going to buy anyway. Otherwises, if there is something you need, but not immediately , then watch for the sale. Pino beans are an expensive meal, cook with ham, for one meal, and you can use them to put in chili for another meal, etc. or freeze for a meal next week. Mac and cheese, home made, is usually a cheep meal also. You can wash windows with a little vinigar in the water, and wipe clean with old newspapers, or a rag you have that is soft. I don't know if your family drinks pop, but it is pretty expensive, and you could use it as a treat, instead of something you drink everyday, if so. Also, the age of your children, kids usually outgrow instead of wear out their clothes, so you might try going to Good will or Salvation army stores, sometimes you can find things like new there, real in-expensive.

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K.L.

answers from Dallas on

WOW!! What great ideas!!!

I didn't see many people talking about water and electric bills. I was able to save almost $100 in Aug just by not turning on lights and using natural sun light during the day, and an additional $50 this past month!! AT night, just use a light in the room that you are in. When you leave, turn it off. I don't like being in the dark, but I've gotten used to it. And, with the tv going, it really isn't so bad. If you have ceiling fans, turn them off at night. You can open the windows in the morn and cool the house back off. Now that it's cooler in the mornings, you can turn off the air until your house is warm. I keep the windows open except the ones where the morn sun beats in. Keeps the house cool a little longer. I turn the air on at nap time so my boys aren't sweaty and will sleep a little better and longer. LOL

At night, turn off the computer/tv/vcr/dvd/etc by unplugging or turning off the surge thingy. Anything with lights blinking uses electricity, even if they are "off."

If you have a yard that needs to be watered, use a hand held hose atachment to water. It will save water and $$ rather than hooking up a sprinkler. And, believe it or not, your grass will look a LOT better!

I got some good ideas from your responses. Thanks for asking, and hope these help!!

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G.F.

answers from Dallas on

DAVE RAMSEY and his TOTAL MONEY MAKEOVER book. Read that and it will help you. Also, take his 13 week course, Financial Peace University for a more in depth study on how to have financial peace. You will learn great tips!

G.

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A.K.

answers from Dallas on

We've saved money by re-using! I haven't bought paper towels, plates, napkins, etc in over 5 months. We use cloth napkins and towels and actual dishes. It doesn't even amount to an extra load of laundry since I always washed cleaning rags separately, and it was never a full load. I also haven't bought cleaning chemicals. You can clean your house with vinegar, baking soda, and diluted bleach. But don't mix them together! I've also stopped using conditioner on my hair and it hasn't been a big deal, and using an electric razor instead of disposable ones. It's made a huge difference in our grocery bill not buying all this stuff, and we don't have nearly as much trash either.

Other ways to save money:

The Grocery Game! Others have mentioned it, and they are right, it is awesome! I shop at Kroger and I'm spending so much less.

Cloth Diapers - it's my specialty and my livelihood, so I can help you out with that if you are interested. Great money saving potential. You can build up a stash of diapers in 2-3 months spending what you spend on disposables and never have to buy diapers again. You should try it, you'll love it. Use my try-it kit and you won't waste any money to find out you don't like it.

Cloth Baby Wipes - use the little washcloths that you got at your baby shower. I know I have like 50, and I've never actually purchased one. Huge savings. I never realized how much money I was wasting with disposable wipes. Though, they do remove ink from skin, so I keep a few around.

A.
www.greenbabydiaperservice.com

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L.R.

answers from Dallas on

Plan Plan Plan.

Write out a budget each month with all of your income for that time period and a place for every single dollar to go. If you don't have it don't spend it. Use cash for as much as possible. It hurts more to touch and loose the cash then it does to just swipe and sign.
Visit www.daveramsey.com

By buying things when they are on sale as oppossed to when you are desperate for them you can also save save save at the grocery store.
Visit www.thegrocerygame.com
I also love Sam's club and buying in bulk. Especially if you have a deep freeze. Having easy to prepare meals around the house encourages you to Not Go Out To Eat:) Also there are several household items that you use that can last for at least a year or more that can be bought in bulk. (soaps,cleaners, toilet paper, advil, etc.)

Do as many errands as possible at one time. Less gas does wind up saving you money each week.

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