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What are the ways that you save money and not feel a pinch? I realize that we have a lot of stuff, a lot of things that are truly not necessary but fun to have. We certainly are not living large in comparison to others in our area.

Separate from the extras (like soccer camp), I want to provide the kids with a seamless change to being more frugal. The financial changes have to happen but I don't want them to feel an earthquake of change. I've already begun a few things.
1. buying lunch out is limited to once a week for me (if that much)
2. buying lunch at school is limited to twice a week for kiddos... frankly at $1.20 it's a good deal when taking in to consideration value and time saved
3. I am working on a month-long menu for all three meals so that we don't feel harried at meal time. This is both fun and frustrating.
4. Borrowing DVDs from friends/family instead of renting.
5. I'm considering, but haven't yet decided about, getting rid of cable and the Internet at home.
6. I'll likely give up my gym membership (it's monthly).
7. Have to keep the cell phone through October, so I'll change the plan to the least expensive if I can.

I'm looking for ideas here folks. What do you on a regularly basis that saves money?

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We do the make-your-own lunch thing, at least four of the five work-days. We never got cable, and we never rent videos.

We love to read, but we try not to buy a lot of books. An advantage to being married to a librarian - she gets first dibs on all the new stuff that comes in!
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I eat out very rarely.
Don't rent videos.
Do have cable (no premium channels) but no internet.
Careful with my grocery expenditures - not much in the way of quick meals.
Very careful on utility bills, particularly electric. Gas heat gets turned down very low during the day because it doesn't take much to heat my small house back up.
I look for cheap stuff to do with my kid.
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3. I am working on a month-long menu for all three meals so that we don't feel harried at meal time. This is both fun and frustrating.
I know a mother of 3 who does this very successfully. She buys exactly what htey need for whatever menus, counts on X leftovers, freezes it, etc.
5. I'm considering, but haven't yet decided about, getting rid of cable and the Internet at home.
Considering both of these myself becuase of my scary summer courseload, I don't need the distraction. Of course, i may end up with an internet class and will have to keep the DSL. We'll see.

I had also considered taking hte bus to work to forfeit gas and parking $$$$ (and for me its very high) but it doesn't work for me to do that and go to class after work unfrotunately.

I bring my lunch to work most days. I buy generic everything. I launder as many clothes myself as I can (as opposed to dry cleaning). I buy in bulk at Sam's.

Great question, I'll have to think about this more (as my tuition adds up over here...)
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Don't get married. It would have saved me a fortune. :P
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1. good - do this
2. good - do this
3. good - easy to do. Buy in bulk, cook on weekends. Freeze a lot, mix and match. For instance, grill a gazillion pounds of chicken, then make into soup, serve as stirfry/sandwiches/in omelets, etc.
4. good - do this. Check out your local public library for free rentals; many have decent selections.
5. cable - keep. Otherwise you'll rent more movies; plus you'll have something to do since you gave up so much else. Gotta have something to keep you occupied. Internet at home - judgment call.
6. :cry: if it must go. Remember, the roads will serve as your gym.
7. keep this. You'll need a way for the kids to get in touch with you; maybe cut back on some features if you can. shelfie can hook you up with a good cheap plan (and you can also claim it as a nonreimbursable business expense against next year's taxes 8) ).
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I changed cell phone plans and saved a couple of dollars
Same with the cable, upgraded/changed some options, saved some money.

Switched to a home food delivery service that gives us about 6 months worth of meat. Saves us a lot of money
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:1: to planning meals. Food is a killer expense, but one you can't go without.
I shop every couple of days for the after school kids (my favorite grocery store has a day old bakery rack at 50% off). I can get things like croissants and cheese sticks, etc for half price. As long as you eat them the same day they taste the same as the full price stuff.
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