5. Dressing Up & Extending Homemade Coffee

One of our guilty pleasures / go-to comfort items is coffee. Not just regular old black coffee with a splash of fancy creamer. No. Like the multitude of people who wait in line at Starbucks (or whichever coffee seller you choose), we like the "Grande, 2-pump, vanilla latte, with whip." The coffee "splurge" that costs around $4 a cup and makes you feel all warm and fuzzy because whether your recognize it or not, you're part of a kaffeeklatsch. A gang, if you will, or a coffee tribe.

But what do you do when you need to cut back on that habit?

My Thoughts on All of Those "How To Live on One Income" Blog Posts

You know, I'm thrilled for all of those people who post about how their family of 5 lives on their spouse's $17K / $25K / $31K income. Seriously. KUDOS. You are freaking AMAZING, and honestly, I hate you.

I was looking at financial tips on Pinterest the other day (like you do), and came across a number of these captivating pins. Since we're currently in a "one income" situation, I naturally clicked on the images.

Budgeting Experiment 2: Eating From the Pantry

I knew coming into this month that it would be pretty lean. My freelance work has dropped off, so we're basically living on one income until I can wrangle a few more clients.

Since groceries are our top expenditure (after the monthly bills), this month I thought I would try to prepare meals exclusively from the ingredients we have in the pantry and the freezer.

4. Save Money on Groceries

According to CNN, the top three things we spend our money on, regardless of income bracket, are: Housing, Transportation, and Food (coming in a distant fourth is Health & this is including health insurance and medical bills).

The first two are fairly big areas to tackle and greatly impact our way of life. It's not easy to pick up and move somewhere less expensive. Nor is it easy to decide to trade your car out for a bike (or the bus). Although these are moves you can make in attempts to save some money.

Of the top three things we spend money on, food is the easiest place in which to save money.

What We Did to Save Money This Month: February's List

February: Things we did to save money this month. (Hint: we got sick and blew our budget on Kleenex.)

Not every month is stellar when it comes to saving money...

What We Did To Save Money This Month: January's List

Sometimes it's hard to keep track of how much money you're saving in any given month. For most of us, money is an abstract concept. It's a number in a bank account, that tends to be rather fluid. Up one day, down the next.

One of the ways that I've found to help me feel like less of a budgeting failure (other than to keep a savings account & not touch it), is to keep a list of the things I am actively doing to save money during any given week.

Budget Experiment 1: Saving Money on Your Water Bill

I've been experimenting a lot with different ways to save money. Some are bigger experiments that will take months to see changes, others are little things I can do once and just let it ride. One of my experiments this month is the old milk-jug-in-the-toilet-tank trick.

I read that anywhere from 20% to 40% of a household's water consumption is actually from flushing toilets, so I figured I would try out the water displacement method.

3. How Much Do Energy Vampires Really Cost You?

I recently read a blog post testifying to the fact that getting rid of "Energy Vampires" (all of those electronics that are plugged in and not being used), saves hundreds of dollars a year. Unfortunately, what that person did in order to save that much money, was to unplug EVERYTHING that wasn't in use—including their Internet router, TV, clocks, lamps, microwave, washer, dryer, etc. I think they stopped at unplugging the refrigerator and freezer.

2. Can You Really Save Money With Couponing Apps?

I'm not a huge fan of coupons or couponing apps. Like coupons themselves, they usually take more time than they're worth (which just makes me cranky—I mean, if I'm going to spend half a day searching for coupons, I want it to save me more than 50¢). That said, I've found a few apps that have proven to be headache free and have fairly consistently saved me money.