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Do you think you've tightened your belt to the point of needing to punch some extra holes in it? Are you already pinching your pennies until Abraham Lincoln weeps?

I hear ya. In this economy, most folks long ago adopted popular methods such as couponing to stretch their dollars farther. But I know from experience that there are probably a few money-saving measures you haven't thought of yet. In fact I'll go a step further and bet you those dollars to donuts that there are some simple, relatively painless things you can do right now to start saving even more. Some of them are so easy you might say you can't help but "fall into them."

That's the goal of our Savings Challenge, starting Monday, Oct. 1. Throughout this four-week contest, we'll be sharing tips, tricks and other ideas that anyone can use to trim spending without resorting to a diet of bread and water and living in a constant state of deprivation. We'll be looking at how you can save by making small changes in the way you live, changes that you won't even notice once they're in place. We'll also focus on clever new ideas for saving on big-ticket items such as housing, transportation and insurance.

Finally, we want to hear from you. Tell us about the creative ways you've saved money, no matter how off-the-wall they might be. We love crazy money-saving ideas!

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Have the gift of thrift? Then join our savings challenge where your money saving tips could help win you a prize. — GK Hart/Vikki Hart/Getty Images

Each Monday during the Savings Challenge we're going to be issuing a Weekly Challenge in our Savings Challenge online community group in which we'll invite you to share your savings tips and stories. You'll have the chance to compete for weekly and month-end prizes based on your participation in the group, your creative money-saving tips and your enthusiasm for saving money. At the end of the challenge we'll be declaring three overall winners who will win cash gift cards of $500, $1,000 and $2,000. You have to be at least 21 years old to enter. Be sure to read our contest rules and learn how to get started on Oct. 1. You'll be able to track your savings during the month using our savings tracker and you'll be able to see how much you are saving each day. The green Savings Tracker is also where you will opt in to the contest. I hope you'll join me for this special "Fall into Savings" Savings Challenge and participate in the weekly challenges. I promise you'll learn some new ways to pinch your pennies and we'll have some laughs along the way.

Stay Cheap!

Jeff Yeager is the author of three books, The Ultimate Cheapskate's Road Map to True Riches, The Cheapskate Next Door and Don't Throw That Away! His website is UltimateCheapskate.com, and you can friend him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter.

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