If you’re unemployed, or just need to stretch your budget during these recessionary times, here are some tips that helped me while I was building 1st Rate Resumes over the past decade.

1. Need a haircut or manicure and don’t have $50? Try a local beauty college. I’ve been able to get a cut and color for around $20 when I was living in Denver. And if you do your homework, you can even find out when they have slow days. That means you might get an even bigger discount.

2. Shop at thrift stores and consignment shops for gently used clothing. Or look for deep discounts when business suits are on sale. This week, Macy’s has woman’s suits marked down to $50!

3. Clip coupons and use them! I stay organized using the Couponizer and have saved more than $600 this year alone while shopping at Kroger, which doubles coupons up to 50 cents. The cashiers cringe when they see me coming.

4. Print on both sides of the paper. OK, maybe you don’t go through as much paper as much as I do, but I print, proof, and shred when looking over resumes. Now I use both sides of the paper and cut my paper costs by 50%. Of course for official use, applications, etc, I only use one side. But that’s not often these days.

5. Do your own dry cleaning. Dry cleaning kits from the supermarket are far less expensive than visiting the dry cleaner every week.

6. Check out the library for free video and DVD rentals. If you’re looking for the latest releases, your local grocery store or Walgreen’s are now offering video rentals for a buck. That’s a lot less expensive than a trip to the movies with the family.

7. Instead of a pricey family vacation or winter ski trip, consider local hikes with the family or even a trip to the roller rink. A family of four can skate and eat for less than $50. A trip to the slopes will set you back about $500 when you throw in gas, rentals, lunch, etc.

Have a money saving tip to share? Let me know and I’ll post it here.