Just had to put my two cents in on the housing thing. Even though it is a sellers market, and therefore not the greatest time to buy a house, economy-based, if it is a good time based on your family situation & finances, you should do it. It is cheaper compared to renting in most cases - I have a coworker who is renting an apartment, 100 sq ft less than my house, for about $150 more a month, both are 2 bed, 1 bath. My mortgage include taxes & insurance (whereas they'd have to pay insurance seperately from the rent). While I do have to pay for repairs myself, we're still coming out ahead, and as mentioned above, if we need to move, the house can be sold so we'll get our money back, whereas it'd just be gone w/ renting. It's also there if absolutely necessary, to get extra money in an emergency (home equity loan or second mortgage). Where it becomes a problem, causes financial strain, is when you listen to the bank and by the most expensive house THEY say you can get, even though you really can't afford it. (And just having enough in your budget to make the mortgage payment is not being able to afford it!) In our case, we were approved for up to $230,000 for a loan, but the payments were way more than I was comfortable with, we ended up buying one for $90,000, only 6 yrs old so not lots of major repairs to be expected right away, and plenty of house for the 2 of us. Which lets us put an extra $200 a month towards the mortgage, work on cutting down the interest faster, and if repairs are necessary we can easily afford it without wondering how to pay our other bill. Of course, having some in savings is even more important when you own a home too, for that same reason.
We throw away baggies too, but for lunches use tupperware sandwich containers, plus 98% of leftovers go into tupperware too, so not too many baggies anyway. Just don't trust to get them clean enough to ward off germs.
Biggest wastes IMO: taking out loans for stuff you don't really need (or that could wait a couple months while you save the money yourself), driving big trucks or SUV's living in the city - there are good uses for these vehicles, but just that you like it better isn't one, housecleaning & yardwork services (Except maybe big jobs that require machinery that the average individual wouldn't know how to operate). Also, in many cases, full-time daycare, especially w/ very young children. I know, necessary in some cases, but in most (w/ 2 parents), you can make more money for your time if 1 parent works at night.