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Tuesday AM October 18th, 2010

There are practical steps you can take to trim your monthly budget. And making those changes can help finance your holiday gift-giving, allowing you to purchase with cash rather than credit. Ed Mayberry reports.

piggy bankSome of the advice in a Kiplinger’s article you’ve heard before.  Adjust your tax withholding, drop your land line and dine out less. But Cameron Huddleston says there are other steps you can take to get a head-start on holiday savings.

“My family dropped out premium cable package last summer. We didn’t watch TV that much and we save about 80 dollars a month. That’s big savings, you know, and a lot of people, you can get free TV through a lot of the television stations’ web sites. There’s hulu.com. You can watch movies, you know, very affordably through Netflix. Lots of low-cost and free entertainment options other than premium cable TV.” 

You’ve heard of dining out less frequently to save money. But how about living off your grocery stockpile, and consume some of those unused food items?

“I was thinking about my own pantry and how many cans I have in there, and how many boxes of pasta and jars of pasta sauce.  And you know, if I just wanted to take the time and really dig through my pantry and live off that for a week, I could.  I could easily live off that for a week—maybe even two weeks.  And, you know, just make a trip to get just milk and perishable items and I would save probably 100 dollars a week.”

Huddleston says you could save around 1,000 dollars over two months by making these kinds of cutbacks, and avoid running up your credit cards.

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