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Thrifty Living for the Penny Pinching Family

Updated on May 23, 2011

In these times of economical hardship, we can look to each other and ourselves to stay afloat and out of the turmoil of debt. We can begin by examining where we can cut back and what our “needs” versus “wants” are. Here is a list that may help you to take a look at where you may be able to cut back. Below that, there will be a list of areas that can help you to save and keep money in your pocket but still be able to eat well and live well. It is possible.

Need Versus Want

Cable or satellite t.v.

You can down grade your package or cut it all together. Rent movies or take out books from the library. The internet offers programs that you can watch from your computer as well as long as your connection is good.


The phone can be pricy. Check out other companies in your area for the best deals. It may take some searching but will save you quite a bit of money. Take all of the extra packages off of the phone plan that you use. Phone is also free through the internet and can be accessed through Google.


You can downgrade your internet speed or cut it off all together. This is not an appealing option to me, but if necessary, I would. Library visits could help to keep up with your email.


Buy the no-name brands. Lots of money can be thrown into groceries and unnecessary items. Making a list before you get groceries can help to cut down on the bill. Cutting coupons is also another helpful option.

Websites that offer free printable coupons or free samples of products:,,,,,,,,,,

More on this topic below.

More Strategies to Save You Money

  1. Make a budget and stick to it.

  2. Buy used clothes, dishes, furniture, electronics, gifts. If you look carefully at your local thrift store, you can find items that look new.

  3. Make gifts from household items or re-gift items given to you.

  4. Vacation from home. Take day trips.

  5. Drive less. Day trip close to home. Bike, walk, run or take the bus when possible.

  6. Eat in. Eating out can add up.

  7. Grow your own vegetables. This can be done in a garden outdoors or from planters in your window sills or from an outdoor greenhouse. Can and freeze veggies. Save your seeds to grow more for the next year. Freeze leftovers for another meal.

  8. Make your own cleaners from vinegar, water and lemon juice. Safer for the environment and your family as well.

  9. Use less hydro. Hang out clothes after they've been washed, when possible. Turn off lights when not in use as well as t.v.'s and other electronics.

  10. Use low-watt light bulbs and energy saving light bulbs.

  11. Bake your own bread, cookies, muffins and snacks.

  12. Do your own haircuts for the family. Learn the basics, its not as hard as it looks.

  13. Avoid compulsive shopping traps and high pressure sales people found in department stores.

  14. Keep change jars and roll it up and cash in every 3-6 months.

  15. Take advantage of your local library for entertainment. You can borrow books, movies and magazines, just be sure to return them on time or you will be charged extra.

These are some examples of where you can save some money. But the most important method to save your money is to use a budget and actually stick to it. Sticking to a realistic budget will be the easiest attempt for you to save money. Leave room for extras that pop up here, there and everywhere. These are tips that have helped this large family and continue to.


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    • Steph0596 profile image

      Steph0596 6 years ago from Ontario

      Hi Phil, Thanks for the comment. We have done all of these things that I listed and then some. We also have laying hens (since we're in the country) and are now looking into investing some into solar panels, to cut down on hydro and eventually it will pay itself off. If you have any other tips, please feel free to add along. Thanks again!

    • Phil Plasma profile image

      Phil Plasma 6 years ago from Montreal, Quebec

      All excellent points. We are on the same page, you and I, as I'd say pretty much everything you have listed we're doing, to varying degrees. Great hub!