* BUY USED FURNITURE. Watch for classic furnishings that, when repaired, refinished or reupholstered, become "antiques."
* PRACTICE SMALL ECONOMICS. Watch the pennies - and the dollars will take care of themselves. Make your own birthday and holiday decorations, Halloween costumes, valentines, wrapping paper, greeting cards.
* CHANGE OLD HABITS. Use the library, instead of buying new books. Give up bad, costly habits - especially smoking and drinking. Be vigilant about turning off your heat, air conditioning and water heater when not in use. Water down your shampoo. Have a friend or family member cut your hair.
More drastic measures:
* DRIVE CHEAPER CARS. Buy a used car or a new car that you can maintain for at least ten years.
* MOVE TO A LESS-EXPENSIVE NEIGHBORHOOD or region.
* INSTEAD OF GOING ON COSTLY VACATIONS, take day trips to local lakes, museums, state fairs, historic sites or hiking trails.
In the aggregate, these measures will save the average family thousands of dollars each year.
Source: Amy Dacyczyn, "The Tightwad Gazette" (adapted)