Time and again when I offer money saving ideas I get responses like, "There's no way I can save any extra money" and "How can you expect to do (fill in the blank) for (fill in the amount) per year? It can't be done!"
I usually reply that the people just aren't motivated enough to make the savings -- that if they REALLY wanted to save a bundle, they could. This story illustrates my point. It's about a family of four in New Hampshire that is trying to spend just $1,500 for their groceries, household items and personal care expenses for an entire year. So far this year their average grocery bill is only $125 a month, so they're on target.
Now they aren't doing all this on only $1,500 a year -- they're really doing it on $2,700 a year ($1,500 plus what they call their "stockpile" -- an amount of food, etc. that they started with that's valued at $1,200.) That's still a decent amount of savings -- $225 per month for a family of four -- though it's not nearly as impressive as $1,500 would be.
So what are they doing to save money on these items? The keys to their success are that they are getting creative, making tough decisions, having discipline, and are flexible in what they're willing to eat. A few specifics on what they're doing to keep costs down:
They shop like mad -- using coupons, store deals, free offers, and the like to reduce costs.
They use rewards programs to lower costs even more.
They've stopped eating out.
They use a maximum price list.
They buy creatively (I know this is related to clothing, but it serves as an example of their creativity in saving.)
They strive for five $0 days a month.
Ok, so I'll admit that they're a bit overboard, but when people comment here that they are "desperate" but there's no way they can save money, I think of people like the ones above. For most people, if you get creative and really want/need to save money badly, you can.
And if you still think you can't save (or make) any more money, check out my post with over 1,000 ideas on how to make and save more money.