That question is overheard more and more where I work. "When is payday?"

Don't get me wrong, (especially "Da Boss," if you're reading this.)  I'm thankful to still have a job to come to. But it seems more and more these days, that there's too much month at the end of the money - as one Country song says.

I think most people are finding it more difficult to stretch things out, from paycheck to paycheck. With gas around or above four bucks a gallon, in the Quincy/Hannibal area,  it's easy to understand why.

With the rise in fuel costs, the price for everything else is also increasing.  I went grocery shopping a few weeks ago - something that I don't do on a regular basis. I now understand why there's only pennies left after returning from a quick trip to the store.  I'm not angry with the local store owner. I understand that if they have to pay more, the cost has to be handed down to everyone.

I don't know about you, but the week leading up to payday is always a little tight. I find myself "feathering" the gas pedal in the family truckster, just trying to get up enough speed to make the next hill ahead. I actually thought about applying a slow moving vehicle triangle to the back of my car, so I could legitimately keep the speed down to a respectable 35 miles per hour, although taking that four hours to get to and from work would sure be a bummer.

I have also put to use, my radio-budget gourmet cooking for my family to no avail. Seems like no one likes my mac and cheese and hot dog casserole, except the dogs, although they were hesitant at first.

I'm sure I'm not the only one who has waited for that paycheck to be automatically deposited into their account, so you can make a post-midnight trip to the mega super food store for groceries. You find yourself gearing up, much like a spec-ops group, to plan out your route in the store to maximize the most for your money. Hitting each aisle in tandem, from paper goods, to cleaning supplies, to lunch meat, keeping a running total in your head, so you don't go over budget.  Tango down!

In all seriousness, I know we're all trying to watch our spending and do the best we can for our families. If you have some money saving ideas that have helped you, please let us know about them here!