By Dorothy Tucker

CHICAGO (CBS) — When it comes to saving money, baby steps can add up to big payoffs.

Just ask the Wrights. The suburban family of six made some dramatic changes several months ago to help them “Survive This Economy.”

CBS 2’s Dorothy Tucker reports, they’ve stayed on track, and the savings are really adding up.

For example, every day Marcus Wright walks around the house, turning off the light.

Last November, utility experts showed the Wright family how to conserve energy and cut $32 a month off their electricity bill. Even counting the summer months, the total savings on electricity is $120.

“The food bill’s cut another $50 to $75 because of couponing, because of planning the meals,” Wright said.

The Wrights used to spend $600 a month on groceries. Now they’re spending just $350. They have saved $2,000 since January.

Another big boost to the bottom line was added when the family cut back on eating out. It was bad habit that cost them $500 a month. A combination of limiting fast food and using coupons has meant a savings of $2,400.

“I’m healthier,” said mom Sinora Wright. “I’ve lost weight. The girls appreciate it more. It’s an activity where they’re getting rewarded for something.”

Even using homemade cleaning products instead of brand names, or buying makeup from the drug store instead of the department store has put another $80 in the pot.

So far, the Wrights have saved at total of $8,457.

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