Help me save money!
or, How can I be more frugal?
or, What can I do to cut family expenses?

Saving money can really help the family finances! As discussed in the article entitled "Incentives", most people start down the road of creative saving because there is something they would like to have. They have set a goal, and they are willing to save in other areas in order to get there faster. The goal might be something as immediate as a new bedroom set, or as long term as early retirement.

In lots of cases it is easier to save money than it is to make more. Let's say you are home taking care of two young children while your husband is at work. It may not be economical for you to get a job. The cost of child care and commuting can burn off all of the extra money you make. Plus it can add an incredible amount of stress to your family life. In that case, instead of earning money focus on saving money. Make meals from scratch rather than buying prepared foods. Cut coupons. Grow a garden. You may find that you can "make" just as much money with savings as you would with a job, and enjoy life more in the process.

We have identified four different different levels of "saving money". You can get some new saving ideas from the lists in each level. Here are the levels:

The sections below give you examples of each of these types of frugality.


A non-frugal person is someone who lives his/her life without regard to prices. When a non-frugal person wants something, he/she buys it and that is the end of the story. There are very few people in America who are strictly non-frugal, but probably half of the people live a majority of their lives in this way.

Obvious frugality

Obvious frugality involves very little effort. You simply pay minor attention to the advertising messages swirling all around you and you become aware that many of the messages are offering you opportunites to save money. The most common examples of obvious frugality include the following:

Serious frugality

Serious frugality requires extra effort on your part. You have to go out of your way or think long-term to earn these discounts, but the savings can be impressive.

Aggressive frugality

Aggressive frugaility requires that you search for creative ways to save money. You will have to put in some extra effort to make use of these techniques, but if you are willing to move to a hard-core stance against spending these techniques can save you hundreds of dollars each year. These techniques can be especially useful if one spouse is at home while the other works.


You can save thousands if dollars a year with these techniques, and there are any number of books and web sites that will give you more ideas than you can imagine. Go to Google and search for frugality sites, money saving sites, coupon sites, etc.

For lots more information on making and saving money, see Understanding and Controlling your Finances.

Want to discuss saving money?

Go to the Helpation Saving Money Forum!