Survey Results: Where are you cutting back?

by Staff - Original publish date: January 18, 2012

In these tough times everyone is cutting back in some way. We wanted to know how your spending habits have changed in recent months.

In the following slideshow we will show you the results and a few selected tips from other readers.

Hundreds of wonderful tips were submitted and we want to thank everyone who took the time to submit one.

Reader Advice

"As a former shopaholic ie... going to a mall/store at least once a week, I now limit myself to once a month or less."

"Ask myself if I really need something, and nine times out of 10 I put it back on the shelf. "

"I only purchase what I MUST have, now - items like shampoo, aluminum foil, socks. Do I have one at home? Can I get more uses out of it? Use it up first."

"Keep a 12 pack of soda at your desk and put one in the work frig at a time. Each time you go for a drink, replace with a new one. Save going to the vending machine."

"I have started to cut coupons for the grocery store again after 10 years. On average I save an estimated $80.00 per month on the grocery bill."

Reader Advice

"Instead of spending money having someone else clean your carpets, invest in a carpet cleaner and do your own. A good quality carpet cleaner will pay for itself several times over."

"I have learned to trim and color my own hair instead of spending $50-$100 per every 6-8 wks. to have it professionally done."

"If your car is running and is in good shape, you really don't need that new stereo or rims."

Reader Advice

"Instead of buying/renting movies and books, I get them from the library. "

"We still frequent our favorite restaurants, we just don't go crazy with the order. Sharing an appetizer or an entree, ordering light, and skipping dessert still gives us a wonderful night out at less the cost."

"Buy an Entertainment book for your area - a lot of 2 for 1 dining, sports, entertainment, etc. for local businesses and chains to help save. One or two uses of their coupons pays for the book ."

Reader Advice

"When choosing a vacation spot, we like to stay in timeshares and/or condos with cooking facilities. We buys groceries and cook 1 or 2 meals each day to save on expenses. "

"We've scaled back to little day trips (maybe hiking a nearby trail), so we still get the feeling of escaping our everyday surroundings. "

"Instead of spending money on a vacation this year, I am spending that time volunteering at a place that is hurting financially due to government cutbacks - some examples are food pantry, animal shelter, library, parks department, YMCA."

Reader Advice

"Recycle, reuse! Buy second hand or vintage clothing and furniture. It's usually cheaper, vintage stuff is better designed and you're saving it from going in a landfill! "

"Take advantage of community rebates for energy saving appliances."

"Always looked for good condition used items first. It can save you 20-50% of the new Item."

Reader Advice

"Dont buy that new car if the old one is running fine. "

"No TV. I turn on the radio (free) . . . I stay caught up with friends and family and have great conversations so easily without the T.V. . . . the $1100 I saved by not buying a new TV helped me fund a two week vacation in Central America. For others, maybe instead of a vacation, it could help people get by without having to make cuts in other areas, like those listed above. It doesn't take long to not miss it, and the quality of life DEFINITELY improves."

"Always try negotiating prices, for instance if there is a price for an item that is a couple hundred dollars offer 5% less for cash instead of using a credit card."

Reader Advice

"Just to call your service providers for things such as cable, satellite, internet, etc, and tell them that you have a better offer from another company, and in three different circumstances, I have had monthly prices dropped significantly."

"Phone companies and cable companies have really really basic rates that they don't tell you about unless you ask. If you have to cut back its worth asking. When you're unemployed there is a big difference between $39.00/mo for basic cable and $15/mo for limited cable. $35.00 for basic phone services and $17 for very basic phone service. Neither of these businesses will include their cheapest rates in any price lists."

The place where people cut back the most was in entertainment.

As one reader put it:

"Deciding between wants and needs is key"

The place where people cut back the LEAST was in monthly payments and Daily expenses. However a majority of the tips submitted were in this area.

Once again we want to thank everyone who took the time to answer this survvey. We hope you found some of the advice here useful in getting you through these difficult times.