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10 Ways to Save $50 Per Month: The art of pinching a penny until it screams

Kimberly A. Griffiths -- Here's an excerpt from an expert's no-nonsense budgeting system that will help you manage your money, paycheck to paycheck.

1. Save up to 50% per month on convenience cleaner cloths by cutting them into half, e.g., dryer softener cloths, face cleanser cloths, etc.

Savings: $5 per month

2. Find more thoughtful gifts and buy when the item is on sale; shop for birthdays and holidays throughout the year, not at the time of the events.

Savings: $10 per month

3. Bring your lunch to work once a week instead of eating out.

Savings: $7 x 4 weeks = $28 per month

4. Don't go to the coffee shop on the weekends.

Savings: 2 visits @ $2 = $4 per week x 4 weeks = $16 per month

5. If you carry a balance on your credit card, and you're only able to afford paying the minimum monthly amount, pay weekly installments instead of one monthly payment. For example, if you owe $100 per month, pay $25 per week. Because credit card companies accrue interest daily on your balance, paying only once a month is a huge detriment to your fiscal health.

Savings: $10 - $100 per month (or more!)

6. Instead of a family night out, consider having an old fashion picnic together or a bike ride. Curbing entertainment costs doesn't mean curbing the fun.

Savings: $25+ per month

7. Spend a day cooking meals that can be frozen for later use for your family. Once a Month Cooking, a book by Mary Beth Lagerborg and Mimi Wilson, features grocery lists and recipes to prepare and freeze a month's worth of food for you and your family. Not only are you able to purchase the food in bulk, this method prevents having to throw away any spoiled food.

Savings: $50+ per month

8. If you are a regular monthly book buyer, stop the habit and visit your library instead! If you insist on buying books, buy it used at your local store or online at merchants such as or Even a better idea, how about selling the books you have that you don't need!

Savings: $5 - 15 per month

9. Use less expensive gasoline. If you live in North America and have Internet access, you are able to search for the cheapest gas price in your neighborhood with Gas Buddy at

Savings: $5 - 15 per month

10. Use two-for-one coupons when dining out; search for these in local newspapers, flyers, and in your "junk mail." If you are a group of four or more people, consider buying dining certificates at, After choosing your city and state on the Web site, you will be presented with a listing of restaurants vying for your dining dollar!

Savings: $5- $50 per month

Note: The content of this article is intended for educational purposes only and it should not be interpreted as financial advice. For advice that is specific to your circumstances, please consult your tax and financial advisor.

This is an excerpt from One Paycheck At A Time,, by Kimberly A. Griffiths, ISBN: 1591133327. One Paycheck At A Time, a 200 page workbook, contains budget management exercises for an entire year of paychecks. The author Kimberly A. Griffiths has been through the vicious cycle of debt herself, and provides a no-nonsense system to managing your money paycheck to paycheck. You customize the journal based on your pay schedule and learn the necessary tools for making ends meet.

© 2004 Kimberly A. Griffiths

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