From now on, Thursdays will be money tip day. If you have some, submit them in the comments each week and I'll add them as the weeks go by.
1. Make Coffee At Home
For those of you who like to spend, here's an indulgence - go get a good coffee pot. We have a Cuisinart 14 cup model, and it is great. Good coffee pots* brew the coffee at higher temperatures than the cheaper ones, which makes for better coffee. One of the main reasons that the coffee from Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks tastes good is the heat at which they brew.
With a daily cup costing anywhere from $1.00 to $5.00, you could save some serious bucks over the course of a few years. We buy organic shade grown coffee for about $11 a pound. We spend about $16-$18 a month....and still save.
*I still think a good percolator is the best coffee pot EVER, but I've yet to convert my husband to perco-worship.
2. Walk or Bike Somewhere
First of all, walking is just plain good for you. And with rising gas prices, it can't hurt to plan an errand a week - even if it's just walking the kids to the playground - on foot. The world would be a better place if we weren't all isolated in our cars with the windows rolled up all the time.
3. Have Someone Over for a Meal
Here's an idea - instead of going out, cook for your friends or family. Invite them over, sit around the table, and talk. The focus here is on the friend, not the restaurant, movie, etc.
4. Hang Some Clothes Up To Dry
I love my dryer. But as part of our push to spend less and be more environmentally friendly, we're investing next month in a couple of drying racks for our basement laundry area. I hope to cut our dryer use (and hence the resulting gas bill) by 20% next month.
5. Cook Multiple Meals At Once
On Sundays lately, I've been making not only dinner for that night, but a pot of soup, casserole or other item for Monday. It means that at least one night a week, all we have to do is reheat. It's nice because Monday's tend to be tiring and busy, so there's little incentive to get take out. It also reduces how much total stove/oven energy we use, as I multitask and cook both meals at one time.
If you want to carry this further, look into Once-A-Month-Cooking programs. We don't currently have the freezer space or time to go this approach, but it can work well for busy families.