1. CUT BACK ON EATING OUT. Save $5 -$10 per person each meal.
It's always shocking to me to see the number of families eating out in restaurants these days. Commit to not going out more than once a month with the family. Reserve eating out for date night, birthdays, and other special occasions. Have some prepared foods on hand for those nights when you don't feel like cooking. Buy frozen pizza, prepared soups, frozen burritos, or barbecue meats.
2. MAKE SACK LUNCHES. Save $2 - 5 per lunch.
Keep a supply of foods for sack lunches, and make them the night before school/work. Make a loaf of peanut butter sandwiches and freeze them for easy access. Buy drinks in bulk to carry to school and work.
3. BUY IN BULK. Save $90 per week on $200 of groceries.
Many of us have warehouse memberships, but make sure that you are really getting a deal when you shop there. Don't impulse buy. Plan ahead, and stick to your list. If you buy in bulk, when you get home, package foods for the freezer in serving sizes to prevent freezer burn waste. Because I have a business account at Sam's Club, I can order online, and they will load items in my car for me.
4. COOK BREAKFAST. If you make your own pancakes/waffles, muffins or oatmeal for breakfast from already stored long-term storage, you will spend hardly anything. You will also make the cold cereal in your food storage last longer.
5. SELL SOMETHING. Is there an item (or items) in your home that could find a new home? Sell it and put the money aside for food storage. List on Ebay, Craigslist, or your local newspaper. 6. CANCEL YOUR NEWSPAPER and MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION. $15 - $25 per month.
Learn to read the news online. Read magazines at the library while your kids are checking out books.
7. CANCEL YOUR PREMIUM MOVIE CHANNELS ON YOUR CABLE SERVICE. $25 per month. Look for the least expensive cable package you can, and cut out the high definition stuff. Or perhaps cut out cable all-together.
8. VACATION CLOSE TO HOME. $500 or more per trip.
There is a lot to explore in your own state. Instead of a vacation to a distant land, stay close to home. Your kids will still love it. Or swap houses with a relative who wants to come to your state, and you to theirs. 9. DOWNSIZE YOUR CAR. Various amounts of cash.
True, large cars may be harder to sell right now, but there is a family who needs yours. Price it right, and not with the idea that you are going to get top dollar for it, and it will probably sell. If you have an extra car, sell it. How many cars do you really need?
10. CANCEL YOUR GYM MEMBERSHIP. Create an area at home where you can work out. Make it an environment you enjoy being in. Paint a room, put the old spare television in a corner, and jog on a treadmill, or use other exercise equipment. Shop your Craigslist or your newspaper for someone else's unused equipment. There's alot of it available.