1. Cut coupons. I know some people say this is a waste of time but it doesn't take very long. I get mine from http://www.coupons.com/, http://www.smartsource.com/, and http://www.redplum.com/and Target has some online too. The key to saving with coupons is to only print and cut coupons for things that you already buy. DO NOT be tempted to spend money on something you don't usually buy just because you found a coupon. These sites change out their coupons each month but you can print a few within a month if it is something you buy a lot of - we do that with the cereal coupons. 2. Ask yourself "do I really need/want this?" and "will I get my money's worth out of it?" for non-essentials and bigger items. Like will you really wear it/ use it/ watch it enough to pay the price or are you fine without it. Sometimes it helps to walk away and think about it again for a couple of days... may be you will decide you you don't want it as much as you thought.
I once thought I wanted one of these but after thinking it through, I didn't really want it.
3. Research it. For bigger items you do decide to buy, do your homework on where the cheapest place is to purchase the item. 4. Shop at goodwill, thrift stores, and craigslist. They are great places to find decor items or things you can turn into decor like this and this. Never buy a vase or vase filler items again - go to goodwill and the dollar store. You can find some great furniture on CL but you have to be a very patient shopper on there.
5. Shop the sales or clearance if you can. A place I like to frequent for work clothes etc. is Banana Republic Outlet. I never shop at the regular BR because I know those clothes will end up cheaper in the outlet and I am okay to wait for it. Marshalls/HomeGoods is also a great place that has marked down shoes, clothes, housewares, and more.
6. Buy books at goodwill and thrift stores. They are between 50 cents and $1.50 for paperback and hardback. Or check book out at the library for FREE! A couple months ago I found The Shack (a current bestseller and AMAZING must read!) at goodwill and it looked brand new. I didn't read it right away because I had a few other books to read first so I lent it to my SIL which brings me to the next item.
7. Swap books with friends. I am always swapping books around with friends and family so that means less books to buy and plus it's a great way for books to be recommended to you.
8. Reuse Ziplocs. For lunch, I pack a sandwich wrapped in a paper towel in a ziploc and I use that same ziploc the rest of the days that week to put another wrapped sandwich in. Same thing with crackers etc. I don't even have to wash them. No need to waste ziplocs each day (and spend more $). For some larger ziplocs/freezer bags, we will wash them and reuse them. Just do not reuse ones with meats in them.
9. Repurpose containers. I have washed and saved lunch meat containers to use as tupperware or storage later, filled old glass sauce jars with decorations, and the like. The Hilshire lunch meat ones are wonderful to organize drawers.
10. Upcycle clothes that you don't wear. See if you can use the fabric from them in your next sewing or craft project.