- Step 1: Ditch the paper Stop buying unnecessary paper products. Use cloth napkins, mop up spills with dishcloths and rags, write shopping lists on the back of junk-mail envelopes, (and stick your coupons inside).
- Step 2: Give up bottled water Give up bottled water; almost 40 percent of it comes out of the tap anyway. If you don't like the taste of your local water, use a filter.
- Step 3: Buy less food Buy less food. The average American throws out 25 percent of the food they buy. Start monitoring what you're trashing so you can make better choices when you shop, and make an effort to eat food before it goes bad.
- Step 4: Cut the phone line Get rid of your home phone if you have a cell phone.
- Step 5: Cancel your gym membership Cancel your gym membership. Jogging, stair-climbing, jump-roping, hula-hooping, and dancing are all free, and that's just a partial list of what you can do to stay fit.
- TIP: Canned goods and old milk jugs or detergent bottles filled with water all make good hand weights.
- Step 6: Forgo the fast food Forgo the fast food. If you really have a hankering, recreate the meals at home; all those "secret" recipes are online.
- Step 7: Drop cable Drop your cable subscription. More and more television shows are available online, and you can even hook your computer up to your TV set for the ultimate viewing experience.
- TIP: If you're subscribing to cable TV all year just for one or two premium shows, it's cheaper to wait and rent the entire season on DVD.
- Step 8: Pass on those jeans Put down the new jeans: If you're like the average American, you've already got about eight pairs and wear only two of them anyway.
- Step 9: Don't buy new jewelry Don't pay the 100 to 400 percent markup on jewelry. Buy baubles for yourself and gifts for others at pawn shops and estate sales instead.
- Step 10: Cut down on supplements Get rid of unnecessary vitamins, unproven supplements, and worthless cleansing or fasting products. Ask your doctor what you should be taking.
- FACT: The average American drops $6,881 into vending machines during their lifetime.
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