Members Share Their Money-Saving Tips

Gas prices are rising as we speak; food gets more expensive with each trip to the market; and the U.S. dollar is weakening. Meanwhile, paychecks don't seem to be getting much bigger.

Are you looking for new ways to pinch pennies—and see real results? Try some of these pain-free and ingenious tips for saving a few bucks, shared by SparkPeople members.

  • "I've cut back on my trips to Wal-Mart. When I go, I buy stuff that I either don't need or could have done without."

  • "For things like deodorant, toothpaste, etc, coupons can save a huge amount if you're not picky about the brand you buy. Last week I bought enough deodorant to last me 6 months for under $1.00 after coupons. If you use the little rebate catalogs at the drug store along with coupons, sometimes you can even MAKE money buying toiletries!"

  • "Pay off your credit cards every month. No interest charges—that's money in your pocket! Also, we combed through our insurance to make sure we had exactly what we need and no more."

  • "We swap kids' clothing around with other families from our church. A nice outfit can go through four or five kids before it is too worn out to wear."

  • "Go for generic medications and vitamins. They're much cheaper than name brand versions. Just make sure of the dosage, though, because it's a false economy to buy cheap vitamins and then find out you have to take three times as many."

  • "I shop (mainly) in thrift stores and garage sales. Other people can shoulder the burden of depreciation, and I can pocket my money."

  • "I save money and the planet at the same time. I changed all my light bulbs to low energy (CFL) ones. Always turn off lights in rooms when you leave them. Turn the heat down or the air conditioning up a couple of degrees. You won't notice the difference but your fuel bills will be lower."

  • "I go 'curb shopping' for things that others may not need. This is how I got a lot of toys for my son."

  • "I used to have the cats toilet trained, and that definitely saves money as you then don't need to buy litter. I also have an area set outside for the cats to use, which reduces the overall litter usage."

  • "The biggest change we made is watching our incidentals. No sodas, no coffees, no fancy drinks whenever we stop by the gas station. I keep snacks in my purse for hunger-emergencies. You wouldn't believe how much those 'extras' add up!"
Do you have a great money-saving tip that's not listed? Share it in the comments section for this story.