So we have an Economic Stimulus plan now….Most people will use that extra money but I am suggesting that you put it aside every week.

So starting in June we are supposed to be seeing an extra $13 in our checks. That gives us 26 weeks to save.

13 X 26 = 338.00

Thats not so bad. A little over $300 to save in 6 months. Thats enough to pay most monthly utility bills.

But, next year, we are supposed to be getting an extra $8 a week in our checks. Thats a whole year to save!

8 X 52 + 416

Thats a little better….what can you do with an extra $416 a year?


Since there is no turn-a-round in these hard economic times, we must still find ways to save money. Since we are already pinching our pennies at the grocery store by using coupons and puchasing items while they are on sale-it makes no sense to spend more money on eating dinner out.

It doesnt matter whether you are eating at McDonalds or an expensive restaurant…you are still spending money.

If you frequent a restaurant/fast food joint more than one time a week, it will take some work to change your habits. Try decreasing the amount of days for a few weeks until you get down to eating out once a week. Even if you “hover” at the once a week mark for 6 months, you are still saving money from your past habits.

Here are some examples for a family of 4 (using averages)
McDs = $30 for one meal
Restaurant = $80 on up

Now do the math for dinner out one time a week and look at how much money you are throwing away!

McDs = $1560 a year
Restaurant = $4160

Most families are throwing away a months rent/mortgage on eating at a fast food place once a week for a year! And for those who are eating at a restaurant-well, I think Im in shock!

In looking at those numbers, I think I can find where most families could start saving for their family vacations!

Think you are up for the challenge?

Most of us are pinching our pennies and wondering how to cut out expenses that wont “hurt” us. What I mean by that, is cutting out things we wont really miss.

Buying magazines in this economy is a waste. It does not matter if you are purchasing them in the check-out lines or if you have a subscription – this is a very wasteful expense.

By the time you read about something in a magazine, it can probably be heard about on tv. If you have access to the internet, you can peruse these sites for no cost.

By eliminating JUST 3 magazines (purchase or subscription) you can save as much as $300 a year. Again, the savings adds up.

What can you do with an extra $300?

I need to open this post with the fact that if given the opportunity, I would drink coffee from the time I woke up until the time I went to bed! Granted, I do not drink coffee all day-just in the morning.

For those of us who LOVE our coffee and NEED it to get ourselves started….do you make your coffee at home, or buy it at Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts? If you buy your coffee on-the-go, you are throwing money away!

Since I do not buy my coffee out, I will do some examples with some averages I found on the internet.

For a $3.00 cup = 3*5=15 wk / 15*4=60 mo / 60*12=720 yr
For a $1.50 cup = 1.5*5=7.50 wk / 7.50*4=30 mo / 30*12=360 yr

Even saving $360 a year sounds good to me!

If you are sitting there saying- But, I only drink one cup a day…Well, let me tell you that they sell decent one-cup brewers now. You can brew your cup of coffee in a little over a minute with some of the newer models on the market.

If you make your coffee at home, you can also make it as strong or weak as you like. I feel that is a plus for me (I love a STRONG coffee!)

I am in no way suggesting that you NEVER buy a coffee out. I love to give myself a treat getting a mocha latte! But buying coffee out everyday should be something you cut out of your expenses. The economy is slumping and trimming unneccesary items out of your expense column will save you money.

Some utility bills hover around the $350/mo mark…just cutting this expense out is equal to having a month’s utility bills paid. If you think of it that way, you will not have a problem trimming this out!

In this economy, saving a few dollars on a grocery bill each week, can really help stretch your dollar. This savings adds up over the course of a month/year.

Planning your menu for at least a week out (2 weeks worth of meals) and coordinating with whats on sale at the local grocery store can save on the average, $20 a week. If you combine this savings, with using coupons, you can save about $40 a week. This can save you upwards of $80-160 a month. All you have to do is multiply that those numbers by 12 to get a yearly estimate….($960-1920 a year!)

Now, I dont know about you, but I can really use that money! What can you do with an average of an “extra” $1000 a year?

Some additional hints
I also suggest using AND sticking to your grocery list. NEVER shop when your hungry!