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How is Your Family Cutting Back? Some Ideas on How to Save Cash

In these tough economic times, many families have looked to cut costs.  No consideration is too radical as long as the health, safety and security of family members are maintained.  Here are some ideas - beyond saving cash, many provide other benefits as well.  After your review of these, we'd like to hear some of your ideas as well.
  • Grocery shopping with a list.   No impulse purchases
  • Buy more store brands - it's cheaper and more time-efficient than looking for coupons, and quality is good
  • Buy in bulk - Almost everything is cheaper if you can buy the biggest package you will reasonably use
  • Pack your lunch, and include a healthy afternoon snack
  • Eat more fresh fruit and vegetables - it's healthier and less expensive than what you would otherwise eat, but buy only what you will eat before they spoil
  • Drink more tap water - less bottled water, pop, sports drinks and even fruit juice (sugar in disguise)

  • Turn off lights and electric appliances that aren't being used
  • Set the thermostat during heating season at 64 degrees - wear a sweatshirt in the house
  • Drive a more fuel efficient car - Save $100/month or more on gas and insurance
  • Monitor your gas mileage - challenge yourself to improve it
  • Combine trips, or better yet, call a friend to go with you so they can leave their car at home - they will return the favor, and you'll be able to catch up with each other
  • Walk more, or ride a bike
  • Do your shopping in and around where you live to save gas
  • Get books at the library - save on book buying and other entertainment costs
  • Take short driving vacation trips in and around Michigan (lots of ideas on that on this website!)
  • Take in a matinee movie on occasion to save a few bucks
  • Use coupons for dining out - find restaurants with daily specials
  • Make your own greeting cards - get creative, the recipient will appreciate it!
  • Go to free or low-cost concerts  - there are lots of them, especially for kids
  • Take the family to a Whalers game - four can go for less than $50
  • Go see one of the high school teams play - kids will love it, especially if they have an interest in the sport
  • Borrow a tool you use infrequently from a neighbor rather than buy it.  Return it promptly, and share a beer (or two) with your neighbor in gratitude.  Let them know what you have or what you can do to return the favor.
  • Everyone in the family have cell phones?  Get rid of the land line.  Do you really want any of the calls that come to you on that line anyway?
  • Remember that community organizations are hurting for money too - make one of your dining out occasions a fundraiser for a local sports teams, or attend a charity breakfast or dinner. 
This is hopefully enough to get you thinking about what you do in your family to save a few dollars.  Please share your ideas, and we will reward some of the best ones with movie passes to the Emagine Theatre.  That will help you save a few bucks too!

Reader Responses:

Courtney
Shopping at the dollar store will save you lots of money. You will be surprised at how many common household items you'll find at the dollar store.
Joe
To save money and get more exercise, I am using my bike on short trips around town. I don't know if i will be able to keep it up during the winter, but I'll try to ride into December and see how it goes. I figure I am using my bike instead of the car for about 50-60 miles each month, saving about $12-15 in gas.

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How is Your Family Saving Money?

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Give us your ideas for saving money. We'll appreciate hearing about them, and we'll post as many as we are able. To qualify to receive the Emagine tickets, please provide your email address in your response. It will be removed from the posting, and will not be used for any other purpose - we just need it to inform the winner!
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