1. Make as much food from scratch as you can. Bread, soup, stuffings, cookies, cakes...anything that you can make from scratch will save you a ton of money! Plus it is healthier. You don't know what is in those prepared, convenient foods! Make your own!
2. Make a budget! If you have a budget written down, it will save you a lot of un-necessary spending.
3. Turn off the lights! If you or a family member are not in the room...turn off the lights! Start keeping track of your energy consumption and learn where your money is going. If you watch your power meter, you will learn how much you can save by turning off a switch.
4. Drink water! Children and adults do not need pop, juice, or energy drinks. Get your children and yourself in the habit of drinking water. Not only is it good for your body but it is free! If you start getting into the habit of always having a re-usable water bottle with you, your body will start craving water when it is thirsty.
5. Start a change jar! Perfect for when you empty out your hubby's pants before throwing them in the wash. Oh, and any change in the washer in this house is mine! If they can't empty out their pockets before throwing them in the basket...it goes to the change jar! Change adds up quicker than you can imagine (especially in Canada with the Toonies and Loonies!) Use your jar money for vacation, a special treat for the family or paying off debt.
6. Make your own household cleaners! Educate yourself on how to use vinegar and baking soda to clean everything in your home. Cheap and non-toxic. I haven't used store bought shampoo and conditioner for months.... I use a mixture of 1 tsp of baking soda to 1 cup of hot water and it is better than any shampoo or conditioner I have ever bought, no expensive de-tangler necessary here.
7. Watch flyers and use coupons! I use coupons regularly and watch all flyers for sales when buying groceries or large priced items. I rarely buy anything that isn't on sale. If you stock up on sale items, it saves a lot of money which leads to number eight on the list.
8. Stockpile! Stockpiling canned goods, meat, and groceries will save you a ton of money in the long run. My stockpile is large and it is like I have my own grocery store in my pantry. If I want to try a new recipe, I rarely have to worry if I have the ingredients on hand. We also stockpile meat from hunting in our backyard.
9. Do not eat out! Keep a journal of how many days your family eats out in a year and cut it in half. Eating out is not only causing Americans to become obese but if you have ever watched any of those television shows that prove what workers do in fast food restaurants to the food before it is served to the customers....you will never eat out again!
10. Stay out of the stores! You can't spend any money if you aren't there to be tempted.
This is a small sampling of my ways to save money....I have many, many more. I would rather have the dollar in my pocket than giving it to a large corporation.
Make sure you give your loved ones a hug tonight. :)