Here are some basic ideas that should make a dent in anyone's budget.
Don't think of being frugal as being cheap: This attitude is essential or you will never be able to keep to your goals. Remember that there is a greater reason for not spending the money.
Shop based on sales: When a store is having a sale on items that your household uses regularly, stock up on those items.
Know your prices: Compare the unit price of items commonly purchased for your home. Break the price down to the smallest unit (e.g. ounce). Keep these written down so that you can look and see if something on sale is a good deal or not.
Avoid the warehouse club stores: No one store is cheapest. Local grocery store sales can frequently beat warehouse club prices.
Plan menus around the loss leaders at your local stores: Don't make an arbitrary menu -- consult the sale flyers first -- then make your menu and grocery list.
Stock up on things you use when they are on sale: Get six weeks worth. That's about how often they'll go on sale again.
Cut back on meats: Try some beans and grain recipes, or have a soup and bread night. These are cheaper and healthier as well.
Cook from scratch as often as possible: This can be up to 6 times cheaper than buying a mix, frozen meal or eating out, and is usually more nutritious.
Don't spend money if it's not in the budget: Find the little unessential expenses that eat up your budget (fast food trips, toy stores, new fashions, etc.).
Replace entertainment with family activities or nature outings: Being together is the key, not how fancy the outing is.
Jonni McCoy is the author of Miserly Moms - Living On One Income In A Two Income Economy (c1996/Full Quart Press $9.99) and Frugal Families - Making the Most of Your Hard Earned Money (c 1998/Holly Hall Publications $9.99). She lives with her husband and two homeschooled children in Colorado Springs, CO. Jonni also has a website you can visit: http://www.miserlymoms.com
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