How to Cut Costs and Live Cheap

In our world of constant advertising, Americans are encouraged to spend constantly. Even a Yahoo article on reducing credit had links attached to acquire more credit cards. The following article summarizes the salient points in my book, Living Cheap & Loving It, tomatoes in the flower bed - available on amazon. Agree or disagree, we Americans need to change our attitude toward spending and money. It can be done, and your prosperity and well-being depend on it.


  1. Image titled Cut Costs and Live Cheap Step 1
    Take care of yourself. You can't take care of anyone or anything else unless you have your health. This means carrying health insurance. It may be necessary to pay for it yourself or take a job with a lower wage just to get good benefits. One major illness, and your finances may be easily wiped out.
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    Prepare most of your own food, so you eat right. Prepared and fast food meals contain too much fat and too much salt. Brown bagging saves loads of money. Not cool? Picture your bank account. Does Warren Buffett worry about looking cool? Make your own bread. Get a starter recipe from the internet or from the book and make your own. It takes a few times to get it right, but the bread is fantastic and healthy. You may not want to cook daily, but you can cook once per week and freeze portions to break out as needed.
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    Change your attitude toward money. The old adage says to pay yourself first. Even if that money does not pay great interest right now, there is no feeling so secure as already having the money to buy something you need.
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    Credit is for emergencies - not wants - not schooling - not food. One credit card is handy for car repairs or emergencies. Otherwise, save for what you want up front. For schooling, look for other ways to pay such as company programs, military programs, or working part time while attending school.
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    Make your own household products such as laundry soap and most cleaners. Find recipes on the internet or in the book and store in bottles you've saved from similar products. They work well, and you know the ingredients.
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    Recycle everything possible. If you want to build a patio, watch for discarded bricks and broken concrete from neighbors. Advertise your request on or on craigslist. Reuse over and over plastic grocery bags to line your trash cans. Bury your vegetable wastes in your compost heap, and use the resulting soil to grow your own produce. It becomes fun to see how you can reuse items.


  • Use coupons when it makes sense. It's great to get a BOGO sale item almost for free with a discount coupon.
  • Store labels and brands are often very good.
  • Watch for new items at garage sales. Look very closely at items for flaws and learn to deal on price.
  • Watch markdown racks.
  • Combine trips. Plan what you are doing depending on direction you are headed and your schedule. Walk or ride your bicycle when possible.


  • Have the courage to walk away from over priced items - even if you want the item. Never get into a bidding war on eBay. It's not worth the price.
  • Always check reviews online, but read closely. The guy complaining about losing his parking place should not blame the hotel.
  • Watch what you feed the kids. So much cereal is bloated with useless sugar and little nutrition. Nutrition bars often have very little.
  • Latest or newest not always the best. Unless your job depends on it, isn't it better to use the older computer operating system until the bugs are gone from the latest version?
  • Be alert at all times for ways to save. It will change your life.

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Categories: Budgeting