The first thing I do now is look at the fliers for the week and plan my menu around the sales. I give myself one hour a week to do this. No need to make it complicated by spending hours at it. Also I have started a stock pile. Only buy items on sale and that you use. Don’t buy just because there is a sale. You should put money away for sale items.
Make your grocery list simple, remember every minute in the store is more money you are likely to spend. Get in,stick to your list, and get out. Also check for any coupons available for anything you plan on buying. If possible always buy generic brands. The only difference is the price usually.
Always remember the cheaper stuff is not at eye level so look at the bottoms of the shelves there is always a cheaper one. Shop where you can price match to get all the sales in one place. Always keep your pantry organized so you know what you already have. Take advantage of store reward cards, they add up and you can end up saving even more money.
When cooking a meal double or triple the recipe and freeze them. This can help you avoid take out food when you have had a long day and don’t feel like preparing a meal, you can just heat it up. Try to cook from scratch if you can this will save you a lot in the long run. Make your coffee at home and invest in a good thermos to take with you.
When going out take your own bottled water. Just refill them from your tap and keep them in the fridge. Same with pop, buy 2 liters and fill smaller bottles up to take with you. Keep snack bags in the fridge or pantry filled with fruit, cut up veggies, cheese, crackers, and dry cereal in baggies and take with you when going out, especially if you have kids. This will keep you from buying junk food.
Before making any new purchases try using things you already have, or can find in recycling boxes. I do not buy magazines anymore, there is always lots in recycling boxes. Also plant pots are plentiful. So are books, and all kinds of things. Share newspaper subscriptions with neighbors and split the cost. Only pay cash for your items, forget the debit card, this will also save bank fees. Use less of what you can like dish soap, shampoo, hydro, etc..
Find ways of using what you have and use less of it. Always spend less then you make and always save no matter how little it is. I started a change jar where all the spare change goes and roll it every 6 months and put into my savings. It adds up quite fast and I didn’t even miss it. Always ask how can I get this cheaper? How can I make it last longer? Or how can we do without this certain item?
Remember most things can be negotiated, it’s always worth a try. Shop yard sales all year and sometimes you can find new items you can put away as gifts. Also try second hand stores. Avoid new and always try to buy second hand. Do research before buying certain items to get the best price on an item. Buy gifts year round when they’re on sale. Take advantage of mail in rebates, they are a great way to get free items. Also grow what you can. We do tomatoes, potatoes, and pumpkins. Also I read a lot, so I make use of the library and sales where books are a quarter. There are so many ways to save money, just be creative.