Here are some of the things that I do to save money. I hope some of these are helpful:
1) Turn off the TV. When my kids were young, and I was the only adult in the house all day while my husband was at work, I had the TV on all of the time. Just as background noise. I can't even say I actually watched much of it, but it was on. And you know what else was on? Ads. Lots of them. But a few years ago, I realized that I wasn't watching anything, and I decided to listen to music instead. It's been a great switch. And I no longer get caught up on the latest fads or gadgets. I don't even know what movies are playing in the theaters. I spend less. And I don't miss it at all.
2) Don't go to the mall for entertainment. This sounds simple. But many people do it. I used to do it. When it's cold and snowy here, and you really want to get out of the house, it's a natural destination. But I stopped doing that a long time ago. I replaced it with walks outside (even in the cold), trips to the library and even trips to the dollar store. It's a lot cheaper!
3) The 30 day rule. When I want to make a big purchase, I wait 30 days to think it over. This came up recently when I decided to buy a sewing machine. I hand sew some things now and thought it might be a good investment. After waiting it out, I realized that I probably won't really sew my own curtains or pillows. I don't have the time - or talent - to take on those projects. And even if I want to give it a try, I can probably borrow one from a friend. So, I'm glad I waited and thought about it more. I mean, do I really need another bread maker, or ice cream machine sitting in a closet?
4) Write a list. I love lists A lot. So this is easy for me. I always write down what I am shopping for - whether it's the grocery store or the hardware store. And I stick to it (most of the time). It keeps me focused - when I'm looking for certain products, I'm not distracted by things I don't need.
5) Start a garden. Ok this one I have not tried. I'm a little nervous about it actually. But I plan to grow tomatoes this summer. I just have to figure out how to keep all of the critters away. :-) I know it will save us a bundle and if it's successful, I plan to grow more things next year. I really hope I have a green thumb.