Quite often during the writing process, it's easy to use excess words - possibly to pad it out, possibly because it's natural to elaborate when you're flowing along. However, when editing, it's worth bearing in mind the context; the context allows you to make the MS tighter, and ultimately makes the MS a better read. For example:
'Blah blah blah,' he smiles at me.
If you've established that there are only two characters in a room having this conversation, drop the "at me" - after all, who else could he be smiling at? The door?!
'Etc etc etc,' I suggest as a plan begins to formulate in my mind.
Where else would this plan form?! In this case, cutting "in my mind" would tighten the MS and improve the readability. Of course, there is the need to set the scene, but not if it pointlessly over-explains. If this was a sci-fi piece (it isn't), it could have been necessary to explain the plan was formulating in the mind ... if other alien characters have been revealed to think in their feet, that is!
If you really don't want to "kill your darlings" but need to get your word-count reduced, consider your sentence structure! Right, it's back to editing with my red pen ... or should that just be "back to editing"?!