If that was my family's gross income, there is no way I'd be paying for internet access. Are you paying for that? Hope not. If so, cancel it! We almost cancelled ours just because it's a "luxury."
Also, cell phones. There's probably only need for one "real" cell phone with a contract per family, in my opinion, if that (this is assuming there are no land lines). Maybe just have one of those ones that is like a prepaid phone card that you get at Walmart, and keep it ONLY for extreme emergencies, like if you are stranded somewhere. Then you can have one phone everyone shares, like if your husband needs a real cell phone with a contract, you can share that with him at night. Would that work? I have considered doing that too, just to save $$$. Hope I'm makin' sense.
The other thing, if you decide to keep the internet or if you are using it via a library, is find a couponing blog in your area. A lot of times, they will tell you what you can get for FREE by using coupons or at the least, they will tell you the "after coupons" price of things for the deals they've scouted. These women put lots of work into this. (like if Lay's potato chips are on sale for 1.50 at Albertsons, and the Sunday paper has a 1.00 off coupon, you will only pay 50 cents, and the blog will tell you that, and tell you how long ago that coupon came out, etc. So start saving the coupons every week. Or you can print them). You can probably find coupons in recycling bins, or asking neighbors if they have any extra coupons, or asking gas stations if they have leftover Sunday papers, etc. We get our Sunday paper for like $5/month...something really cheap like that.
One site to check out is "the Krazy Coupon Lady." Can't post web addresses here, but google it. Click on the tab that is yellow and says "find my store" in cursive and find the name of your local grocer and click that. You'll find the list of what they call "coupon matchups" for the week. At first, it looks complicated, but after spending one or two nights learning the lingo, you will realize it's easy. SS and RP are SmartSource and RedPlum, the two coupon inserts in the Sunday paper. Another good site is called "Money Saving Mom." She has some recipes, etc and the same couponing info as the other site, and you can click "regional stores" under the "Store Deals" tab, same as the other site, to find your local deals.
So my point in the above paragraph is that if you aren't using extreme couponing tactics and checking blogs, you are probably paying too much for food. I never pay retail now.
Then there's just cooking really cheaply. There is this book out on Amazon.com and you can click "Look inside the book" (this feature is right above the picture on amazon), and basically read the entire table of contents, and a few pages from the book's intro, etc. The book is called "Family Feasts for $75 a week." I didn't buy the book, because I can't afford it, but I read all those "free pages" on Amazon, plus the reviews down below, and it gave me some ideas of cheap meals. Even what I read in the intro and "look inside this book" gave me some ideas.
Edited by bobcat - 6/23/11 at 3:01am