Oh, it's not easy. With the price of gas and oil, people have been having to cut where it hurts the most...the fridge.

What do you do when you have kids or pets at home? When you need toilet paper or paper towels? What about the little extras like a half gallon of ice cream every once in a while?

The picture above is my actual receipt for my groceries yesterday. I was telling the people in line and the cashier that I try to always keep it under $100.  We were all staring at the screen as each item was added. When the final total came in at $99.99 there was a great cheer from everyone. The cashier was stunned. He said "You couldn't do that again in a million years." I probably couldn't. It was pretty satisfying that I budgeted everything that well.

If you're anything like me, you're feeling the crunch of numbers, too. I haven't come to the point of pushing my calculator in my cart with me but it's coming close. We have 2 cats and a dog at home so there are certain weeks we have to buy their food and litter and have to cut back on other things. I think to myself  "Do I really need that package of yogurt for the kids to snack on? I could bake cookies instead. It's not as healthy but it will save us $3.oo this week." Those are the kinds of decisions I need to make and I'm sure you do, too.

So what more can we do? Cutting coupons is a great way to start. I, by no means, am an 'Extreme Couponer,' but I'd like to learn. I understand that when you use certain coupons at certain times, the grocery store can owe YOU money. Personally, I'd feel a little weird having 20 tubes of toothpaste in my cart, but I guess you get used to that feeling.

I would love to come along on the shopping trip of an extreme couponer. I want to be there to see the amount of money they save. If anyone would like to give me tips, I would appreciate it! We all need to save in this economy. And once you teach someone, they can teach someone else.

Another way to save is to eat canned vegetables rather than frozen. That will save you almost a dollar per serving. They may not taste as good because they are very salty but at least you can get your servings of veggies every day.

A BIG way to save is to not shop for your paper towels or toilet paper or other household cleaning needs at the grocery store. Believe it or not the stores that sell things for a dollar are the places to go! You can save an unbelievable amount of money that way. What the bigger stores charge $3 you can buy for $1.

It may require more traveling but if you plan it right, you may be able to save enough to splurge and buy that half gallon of Hood Fenway Fudge ice cream.