I've said it before and I'll say it again (and again): the biggest change we have made regarding money has been to pay cash for our groceries. I am constantly amazed how much difference one little thing makes. I take out a budgeted amount every two weeks for groceries. When it's gone, it's gone. Simple as that.
When I first started this I knew how much to take out since I had been using my debit care since forever to buy groceries. I took the total $$ I spent the year before and divided it by 26 (every 2 weeks) and took out that amount to start. I have actually started budgeting LESS than when we started because I was spending less.
When I started this cash system I also was taking the $$ out weekly but found it was going to be easier to stock up on deals if I had a little extra; if I spent more this week I would spend less next - because I had enough food and because I had less money left. I also had a 'food' budget and a 'drugstore' budget (for things like soap and toilet paper). I have since combined it all and it works better for me. If I am at the grocery and they have paper towels on sale and I need them I don't want to have to be trying to move money around or take money from different envelopes while in line at the store. It just works better for me.
Since this is like a little game for me I decided this week to try to buy enough groceries for two weeks. So with the exception of milk and some fresh produce I will not shop for two weeks. I had a little money left - not as much as I would have liked but enough to buy some milk and fruit.
Now, you may be asking 'how is cash from an envelope any different from money debited right from my checking account'? My answer is this: I have no idea. I am sure there's some psychological explanation but all I know is that it works.
What do you do to save money???