We’re looking for ways to lower our spending in these uncertain times. You know I’m already a coupon-clipper and Goodwill-shopper, so I want to try to lower or regular, monthly expenses so we don’t have to forgo as many of our occasional treats, like a Sunday lunch out for the family or a nice latte when I come to work grumpy.

We already tackled cable. We switched from the digital starter package, which is what I consider to be the typical package most people have, to the basic cable plus family tier. We are still mourning the loss of Bravo and ESPN but otherwise we didn’t watch many of the channels we lost. And in exchange we got PBS Sprout for the kiddos; NatGeo and the Science Channel for the nerd; and $30 monthly savings for me.

Tonight I gave cell phone service a try. I checked out the other T-mobile plans and even price other carriers on letstalk.com. But I didn’t find anything better than what we have now, which is $60 for three lines. We don’t need the 1,000 minutes we share but the only cheaper plan was to go down to 200 minutes, which wouldn’t be enough based on our previous usage. If anyone knows of a good option for us, I’m all ears.

Next under consideration is the gym. This is a hefty expense ($85/month) but I’m hesitant to give it up. I did find a way to keep some gym benefits and save a bit of money but it’s such a small amount, I’m not sure it’s worth it. If a buy punch cards, instead of a membership, it’s $6.40 per visit, plus $6 for child care. If I went to the gym six times a month (my goal is eight but I never reach it), it would cost $75 a month. I’m not sure the $10 in savings is worth giving up the option of using the kids’ pool or ice rink whenever we want. And this option means Mark can never go to the gym. Not that he does, but he should could. So I’m torn on this one. Maybe I should buy a Wii Fit and forgo the gym altogether. I do like the two classes I take though. I wonder if Wii Fit has anything similar. If I do keep the gym membership, at least I won’t be alone, as it’s the top thing that people are unwilling to give up.

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