Cell Phone: We are now on the Family Mobile plan from Wal-Mart. I know right? Who knew? But it goes through T-Mobile and AT & T towers so it isn't bad. There is no contract and the first line is $45 and the second is $35 (up to five). And here is the best part...it is for UNLIMITED EVERYTHING! We were paying WAY more than that for basic stuff (no internet, 500 minutes, limited texting).
TV/Cable: We don't have it. Plain and simple. We don't even have netflix! We watch everything online. Why pay for it when most sites put their shows up for free?
Laundry: I make our own detergent. There are several "recipes" out there. The one we use has borax, washing soap, and bar soap.
Date nights: We do "Parents Night Out" at different churches. If you want to know of some, I can tell you.
Clothes: Well, Steve and I don't really shop for us ...ever. :( Bummer I know. But for the girls we buy most at sales. My very favorite one is coming up this weekend! Yay!
Groceries: These are not new ideas. They are tried and true. Not everyone can do some of the things that we do, but if you can I highly recommend some of these tips. Buy your meat from a farmer. It will be way cheaper and you will get better quality and you can pick what you want (ie, how much hamburger, steaks, etc). Menu plan. Shop for a month at a time if possible, but if that is too much do every two weeks. Aldi's should be your best friend. Just because you have a coupon for it does not mean it is a good deal. If you are good at couponing go for it, but a lot of people aren't and when you first start out sometimes you tend to just try to use all your coupons and then wonder why your bill is more than normal. Eat your leftovers. When I make dinner, I put it on our plates and in to-go containers all at the same time (then you can't have seconds--yay for saving money and not eating too much). Eat simple and use what you have. You do not need to have a 50 course meal.
Car insurance: Shop around. I know it is a pain (make your husband do it lol, he knows more about your car anyway). ;)
Toiletries: I coupon and stockpile like a mad woman for a month or two every 2 years. Seriously. I just get enough and then stop. 2 years is about when stuff starts to expire so that is why I just do it then. And to tell the truth, I don't really like having to coupon every week. I would rather just do a month or so hard and then not do it for another year and a half. But that is just me. But seriously, CVS should be your friend when doing this.
New furniture: I am SOOOO excited for our new couch and recliner to get in! You have no idea. But we sold our couches first and then went to buy our new ones. We didn't do a payment plan, we didn't use credit cards, we paid cash. And with doing that we got 20% off. So we didn't go blow our budget and we knew how much we had to spend and we got a beautiful set within our budget.
Hmm, what else? Anything else you want to know just ask!