Why is it a surprise for economists to find out 76 percent of Americans are living hand to mouth? Seriously, all they had to do was look around and they would've have seen it. Costs on everything from groceries to gas has gone up but our salaries haven't. Helllooooo!

We've been hearing that the economy is rebounding, but that is a bunch of hooey for those of us that are bunched in the "average" or middle class category. All the supposed indicators that are used to measure how the Country is rebounding are artificially inflated and propped up by money printed by the government so it looks as if things are ok.

Finally someone looked at us! How are we doing? Well, we can't save money. Somehow, though, we need to. So, in order to help so we won't have to suffer in times of layoff or medical emergency, here are some cost cutting measures that won't hurt so much.

1. Cut your grocery bill. This is easier than you think. Say goodbye to brands and buy generic. Many generic products are made here in the USA so you'll be supporting the economy too. the other trick is to stop buying the stuff you are letting rot after you buy it. You may have every intention of cooking that broccoli when you buy it, but lets face it; it ain't happening! Stop buying it. Oh and make a list and then stick to it. No straying.

2. Unplug and turn off. You will not believe how much money you'll save if you turn off computers not in use, along with small appliances, and unplug chargers that are not in use. Go through the house and check every room for electricity savings. Turn off lights in empty rooms too.

3. Cut gas usage. The trick here is to map out errands and make sure you have everything you need for the week done in one shot. Start at the far point of your trip and work your way home. Or start at work and go towards home. This way, you won't waste gas on an "oops! I forgot something!" moment. Can you car ppol for certain tasks? Do it or work?

4. Go through your budget. Go through what you buy every month and ask how important it is compared to security. Do you really need that fruit of the month club? Or that Starbucks every day? Do you get a magazine you aren't reading? Do you really watch HBO? No? Get rid of it. I saved $60 a month by doing this alone.

5. Open a savings account and put some kind of money in it every payday. I don't care if it's only $1. That will start to add up before you know it. Just start now. And if you get a tax refund in April, set aside a mandatory amount to your savings account. ONLY withdrawal money in a serious emergency.

Doing these and other cost cutting measures will give you that safety net in case you lose a job or are in serious need. Take it seriously. Most Americans are $100 away from disaster. I've had the disaster and it is no picnic. I'd rather you not have to go through it.

For a bunch of tips on how to save, check out Feed The Pig.