1. Read Together - Perhaps one of the least popular, but practical money saving tips. But do you realize the amount of hours and electricity you may be wasting just sitting in front of the television? Turn off the television and pick up a book instead. Check out some books from your local library and spend a few evenings reading out loud to each other.
2. Cancel cable or satellite stations you don't watch - Review your cable or satellite plan and eliminate any stations that you and your family don't watch.
3. Eat less meat - Eating less meat is healthier for your body and will reduce your grocery bill. If you take a look at your grocery receipt you'll see that meats are among the priciest of all your purchases.
4. Buy off brand products - When you go grocery shopping buy off brand products instead of the more expensive name brand products.
5. Install a programmable thermostat - They say these can save you up to 20% on your electric bill. You can program it to turn off when you're away from home, set it to come on before you arrive, and automatically change temperatures before you go to bed. We have one, and we really enjoy it.
6. Buy a smaller house - If your financial situation has changed as it has for many people, you might consider selling your current home and moving into a smaller one. You may even consider moving into an apartment. Use this time, to get your finances back in order and make another home purchase when both you and the market have recovered.
7. Cancel magazine subscriptions - Instead go to your local library. You'll be surprised at the variety of reading material they have on hand. Why I bet they have books that can give you even more money saving advice.
8. Cancel unused gym memberships - If getting into shape was your New Year's resolution, that was an excellent idea! But if you joined a health club and are now not using it, than you are wasting your money. Cancel your membership and take up walking or jogging instead.
9. Only buy necessities - Simply put, if you don't need it, don't buy it.
Practical Money Saving Tips 10 -20
10. Create a Budget - Making a budget and sticking to it will save you money because it will help eliminate impulse purchases.
11. Plant a garden and grow fruits and veggies - This won't save you a ton of money but it is healthy and it will save you a few dollars. You can plant an indoor herb garden, an outdoor vegetable garden, or both.
12. Drink more water - If you eliminated soda pop and coffee from your diet not only would you save money, but your kidneys would thank you.
13. Budget billing for utilities - Call your local utility companies and ask if they have a program called budget billing. Go a step further and ask them for suggestions on how to save money on your bill.
14. Stop paying for directory assistance calls from your home phone - Use 1-800-FREE-411
15. Stop using credit cards - If you don't have the cash to purchase it, then don't buy it!
16. Shop in bulk - We have Costco memberships and find that we save money when we purchase certain items in bulk. Plus Costco offers an annual rebate based on how much you spend during the year. We receive about $40-$50 back every year.
17. Walk together - Instead of taking the car, walk to those places that are in walking distance.
18. Shop off season - The end of a season is the time you'll find some great bargains. For instance, at the end of the Summer purchase your Summer items for the following year.
19. Yard Sales - Like they say "One man's junk is another man's treasure". One Summer we made nearly $300 in just one afternoon! If you don't think you have enough stuff to sell, take another look, I'll bet you do;-)
20. Shampoo your own carpets - This is the last of our practical money saving tips. Instead of paying hundreds of dollars to have your carpets professionally cleaned, do it yourself. You can go to your local super market and rent a carpet cleaner for about $40 bucks.