Tips to stretch your dollar

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PHOENIX -- Let's face it, times are tough and it may seem difficult to set aside money but according to, there are some things you can do to stretch your dollar if you're committed.

If you're driving to work, consider yourself lucky because you have a job, right?

Carpooling to work is something you at least have to try. Not only is your drive time slashed because you can take the carpool lane, your gas budget is also slashed. Still, some drivers find it difficult to commit.

Reduce the amount of red meat you buy at the grocery store. Red meat is more expensive now than ever. Consumer experts say chicken is not only a lot cheaper, it's better for you, so try it.

Also, cook at home more. Sure, dining out is easy and fun, but there's a tremendous mark-up on restaurant food. Plus, homemade leftovers can be brought to work for lunch the next day, furthering your savings.

Put a hold on that gym membership and try exercising outdoors in the morning or late evening.

Stay close to home. If you have an upcoming vacation, try some of our great Valley resorts where summer prices are reduced and you don't have to pay for gas or airfare to get somewhere.

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