Here's a sort of money-saving checklist I made-up, questions regarding what I like to call Leaky Hose Spending. Since that's pretty self-explanatory, here's the list:
Are you doing only full loads of laundry? Anytime you can save detergent and water you're saving money. Do you really need to wash your towels or every article of clothing after only one use?
Do you really need aerosol cooking sprays when it's so easy to lightly grease a baking dish or pan with cooking oil? What else can you substitute using something you already have on hand?
Can you cut the amount of sugar called for in baking recipes? (I've used a third--or less- sugar in recipes for 25 years and we long ago grew used to the slightly different texture and taste.)
Can you go to the supermarket fewer times each month? It becomes a fun challenge to make dishes from your pantry and refrigerator when you're trying to avoid extra trips to the market, also cuts way down on wasted food.
Are you making your week's menus according to the sale items in your supermarket's fliers? Are you buying enough of a sale item to last till the next sale? Are you aiming toward never paying full price for most items?
Have you considered once a week cooking? This is great for busy women and can keep family meal times running smoothly and unnecessary trips to fast-food places, history. Find the how-to's here.
Is there a supermarket in your area which you've never tried? You may be missing out on some great deals. Would it pay for you to shop the sales at two or even three different supermarkets which are located near each other? Here's a website which may help you learn how to look for deals (and a whole lot more).
Are you borrowing magazines from the library instead of subscribing to them through the mail? Borrowing books and movies rather than buying them? Have you made a list of free (or super cheap) places your family can go for outings?
Have you looked into downsizing your tv cable hook-up?
Are you brewing your own coffee at home rather than buying it? Are you packing lunches for work rather than eating out?
Are you paying your bills on time, avoiding late fees?
And here's a side note: Ever wanted to make Time slow way down? Years ago Tom and I promised each other for one month we would not make one single unnecessary purchase. Wow. Longest month of our lives! :)
Seriously though, it did make us pause before making purchases after that month and ask ourselves, "Do I really need this?" And maybe that's the key to saving money--pausing and asking ourselves important questions before we hand over that cash.