Cutting back isn’t always easy, even when you know you need to or you are in a situation where you are being forced to cut back.
For some inspiration for all of you, I went through our budget recently to see where we’ve saved in the past.
If you are looking for places to save money, use it as a road map to get started!
Don’t forget, trimming the budget is just one side of the equation; in a future article we’ll look at ways to bring in more income.
- Housing. To save on housing costs, consider a refinance . If you want to go even further, downsizing  is always an option.
- Cars. Sell the car  and buy a cheaper one . Look at the true cost to own at Edmunds  to make sure you’re really spending less over the long run.
- Gas. We use the TrueEarnings Card from Costco and American Express  to earn cash back on all our gas purchases.
- Insurance. Save on insurance by shopping around . Also check out 11 ways to save on car insurance .
- Groceries. Buy in bulk  and learn how to cook at home using ideas for frugal and easy cooking . We also use the Grocery Game  to cut down on our weekly food bill.
- Dining out. We love to eat out, but don’t like to spend a fortune doing so. 10 ways to eat out for less  keeps the bill in line.
- Phone. We use the Sprint SERO plan  for cheap cell phone plans with data and Vonage  for our home phone.
- Electricity. Use available tools from your electric company to analyze your energy use  to determine how efficiently you heat and cool your house. Implement 10 easy energy savings tips  to bring your bill down.
- Internet. We switched to DSL from cable, which is cheaper in our area. It’s slower, but not noticeably.
- Childcare. We took advantage of a discount to pay upfront for the whole year. Don’t forget to use your dependent care flex spending plan to use pretax dollars.
- Entertainment. Get free blockbuster movies . I also use the money I earn from free money  offers to fund our entertainment budget.
- Gifts. Give frugal homemade gifts . For holiday gifts, we save all year, using an ING account .
- Office supplies. Use discount postage stamps , or better yet, pay your bills online.
- Taxes. Use the ultimate tax resource guide  for lots of tax saving ideas including credits, deductions and free e-file options .
- Vacation. Whenever we travel, we try to take advantage of frequent flier miles we have built up, hotel rewards , and other timely travel bonuses . In addition, I set up an alert in Travelocity  to watch for bargain deals.
What have you done to save money on your budget?