1. It's electric.
*Turn lights off in rooms where they are not being used.
*Limit TV time to 2 hours a day, and don't spring for those all-channel deals. (They're usually not a deal in the long run. Sure you get more channels, but there's really not that much to watch.)
*Pick off-peak hours to use your phone & appliances like the dryer. Check out this article on peak hours.
*Turn the oven off a little while before your baking is going to be done. Your dinner or dessert will be fully baked, but you will save on energy! You can also leave the oven door ajar, after you turn it off, to let all that warm goodness escape into your kitchen in the Winter. (Of course, be careful about this if you have little ones around.)
*Open blinds in the Winter to let in the sunlight. This will help to warm your home & save on electricity. Be sure to use as much natural lighting as possible in your home. (Natural light can even help to boost your mood.)*Turn your thermostat down at night in the Winter & up a touch in the Summer.
2. Pare down & deal dive.
*Cut out the little expenditures you really can live without, like monthly subscriptions to internet streaming sites, magazines, clubs, & the like. One thing we're probably cutting out soon is FooPets. (Have you been sucked in, too?) My kids haven't checked on their pets in a v-e-r-y l-o-n-g time! You can easily save about $480/year, depending on how many of these you have going.
*Don't make excessive shopping trips. If you're like me, you try to limit your clothes shopping trips to twice a year. However, this can be detrimental to your financial health! I have noticed that I spend way too much & buy more than my kids and I will actually wear, so I'm resolving to buy what we need a bit more often, even though I dislike shopping.
*Ask for discounts at your child's day care center & even preschool. Some may offer discounts for multiple children. It can't hurt to ask. You can also check for discounts with your home school curriculum supplier. Some offer a percentage off each year for sticking with them, while others may cut a bit off the price for multiple students in the same grade (and that adds up).
*If you home school, try letting your children view together (if you have multiples in the same grade level). Then, only purchase 2 of consumable items. That will save you quite a bit!
*Consider checking the clearance racks at your favorite stores first. You can often score awesome deals this way. I got a really cute t-shirt from Wal-Mart for $2 & a cute pair of Skechers for $8 at JCPenney (and these are just a couple of examples).
*Give couponing a try! You never know when you just might get something for free.
*If you have a lot of something that no one in your home is using (like books, video games, CD's, etc.), consider selling them on ebay or craigslist.
3. Dine in.
*Generate a grocery shopping list based on what you will be eating for a particular week & stick to the list! (You may have to leave your kids at home for this one.)
*Do not go shopping hungry. Eat at least a small snack before you shop. When you're hungry you will naturally spend more, because everything looks good!
*If your family eats out often, consider dining in more or packing your own lunches when you're going out.
4. Turn off the water.
*Fill your washing machine with only enough water to do the washing. You may need to add a bit more at the rinse cycle, but you will still save by washing with less.
*Turn off faucets that are left needlessly running (when brushing teeth, lathering while washing hands, & even lathering in the shower).
*Take only 10-15 minute showers. This will save water & energy. If you are a bath-taker, try filling the tub only halfway. You may not get the warm soak you desire, but you'll still be clean.
*Wash dishes by hand when possible. You will likely use less water, exercise your arms, & the dishes can air dry on the counter while you do something else.
*If you use a dishwasher, consider making your own dishwashing soap & wait until the dishwasher is full before running the machine.
*Hang clothes to dry instead of using the dryer.
*Limit loads of laundry to 2 or 3 a day and use cold water in the wash & rinse cycles.
5. Do it yourself.
*Make your own dishwasher soap or laundry soap. You will save per load, which really adds up! Check out Jillie's tips here.
*Virtual field trips (think homeschooling) cost nothing, except a little energy & time, so go for it! You save on membership fees & eating out!
*Go paperless. Use cloth towels, glass plates, & bum wipes instead of their paper counterparts, when feasible.
*Make that coffee date at home. Coffee dates with your spouse or friends can really add up. Staying in & having a good cup of coffee can actually be better in a lot of ways, and only one of them is saving money!
*If something in your house isn't working properly or needs a face lift, consider doing the work yourself or asking a close friend or relative to give it a look. You will likely save a bunch & have more self-confidence, too!
*Consider making your kids' toys (they make great birthday presents & can count as school activities or experiments if you home school). This also gives you a golden opportunity for making memories.
*Sit down & write up a budget -- then stick to it as much as possible. You may need to plan a coffee date with your spouse for this one. Two heads are better than one, after all. =)
There is so much more I could add. I'm sure you could come up with a lot of things I haven't covered, but I hope I've given you some food for thought. So take the plunge and see how much you can start saving today!