In our quest to save money for a downpayment we have found tons of ways to save money anywhere we can. Saving is especially difficult for us as we already own our condo and are saving to upgrade to a townhouse. If we sold our condo right now, we would take a huge loss. We are basically starting from scratch but don't have the advantage of having a low rent apartment.
So our favorite way to save a few dollars is by couponing. Seriously, it's become addicting. We can't go to the grocery store and buy anything that isn't on sale or that we don't have a coupon for. It's a challenge to see how much we can get for as little money as possible. Tony called me earlier today with the exclamation "I just saved over $20 bucks at the grocery store!!!" He was so proud when the total went from $85 down to $62. We clip coupons from the Sunday paper each week. The best part is, we don't even have a paper subscription. My mom saves the coupon section for us after she takes what she needs each week.
Before we were serious about buying a bigger house, you could find us eating out 3-4 nights a week and for EVERY meal on the weekend. We would hit happy hour a couple times a week and not think twice about it. Now that grocery shopping has become a challenge to get as much for a little as possible, we are eating in 6 nights a week, cut out happy hours, and scrounge for food around the house on the weekends.
I also starting tracking our monthly spending on Mint.com. After seeing where money goes each month, it's become a challenge to shave off a few dollars from each category. I'll think twice about driving through for lunch or buying that shirt just because it's on sale. I think when saving is more of a challenge and less of a chore it's a heck of a lot easier.
How do you trim your spending and save a few dollars here and there?