As a seminary family, you quickly find a weird pleasure in saving money. While some tips take a lot of time, these are a few we've discovered can really help out. These are our favorites from the summer:
1. Buy off-brand coffee and then put cinnamon in it (in the filter). With some creamer and sugar, it's great and much cheaper.
2. Go to Q-Doba (if you have one) for a date. Split a burrito, get water with lemon and split an order of bottomless chips. $8 and a full and happy stomach... At Panera, you can get the price about that low. We sometimes order just sandwiches to go and then eat chips at home.
4. Check the unit prices on things.
5. Once (or twice) a week, go vegetarian. I recently checked out a 5-ingredient Simple Vegetarian Cookbook.
6. Try to eat less. It's usually healthier and you save money.
7. Save the extra portions for leftovers before you even start. (Even at restaurants!)
8. Ask for a Sams/Costco card for your birthday or go in with a friend!
9. Eat dessert at home. Make your own. Or buy it at the grocery store.
10. Watch your cell phone minutes and turn off the lights.
11. Eat at places where you don't have to tip.
12. Have the "envelope system" at least for dinners out. Stick with it!