NB: Included on this list is things that we actually do. There are many more ideas. Spend some time frequenting some good sites like Frugal Hacks. And Frugal Dad (an excellent site) has a list of the top frugal sites for 2011.
- Have a zero-based budget every month. Every dollar is "spent" and every dollar has a name.
- Dump the cable TV.
- Plan your shopping trips based on the sale ads. Most grocery stores have them online.
- Buy items in bulk. Split perishables with a friend. We favor Costco in our home and save thousands each year with just what we purchase at Costco.
- Drive less by planning your errands carefully.
- Buy a permanent washable furnace filter and wash it monthly. My filter is at least 15 years old now.
- Don't buy clothes that must to be dry cleaned. Most clothes marked "dry clean only" are actually washable.
- Stay out of Starbucks.
- Take your lunch to work.
- Buy your bread at a day old bakery.
- Frequent your public library instead of buying books.
- Buy used cars.
- Use Craigslist or shop thrift stores for other used items like furniture.
- Turn down the thermostat and put on a sweater.
- Only use air conditioning when you absolutely have to. Try a box fan in the window instead (we don't even have air conditioning.)
- Don't make "recreational" shopping a regular part of your life.
- Put dimmer switches on your lights.
- Cut your paper towel rolls in half and use one side at a time. Better yet use rags for most clean ups.
- Hang your clothes out to dry in the summer. In the winter, only dry partially in the dryer and hang to finish drying. Your clothes will last longer, too.
- Wash and reuse your zip-lock bags
- Attend movies at bargain times and don't go near the concession stand. Do you really need to eat in order to watch a movie?
- DON'T USE CREDIT CARDS!!! Sorry for shouting. This is a biggie!
- Start a home-based business.
Dave Ramsey links:
Seven Baby Steps
Dave's Budgeting Forms
How to Budget an Irregular Income
From: Getting Finances Done: How to create a zero-based budget
Workers Spend $3,000 a Year on Coffee, Lunch
What do you do to save money?