Here a few money saving tips that I find helpful. I do not stick to them--sometimes sanity and convenience are far more important! But in general, these have helped me.
Stay out of shops.
Thankfully having 4 little children means I don't go shopping much. When I go into shops I see many things I want, and I don't always have the self control to not buy them.
Buy second hand.
If I have the time, I can save a lot by buying second hand clothes etc. rather than brand new. Things don't have to be brand new to be nice.
Use specials only when they benefit you.
Specials are good, if it's something you need that's on special. But I find that specials often trick you into buying far more than you need or planned to buy. Twice lately when I've brought something, I've been given $5 vouchers for those same shops. If I buy something else there before the expiry date, I'll get $5 off. But as I don't need anything else from those shops for a while, I wouldn't really be saving money, I'd be spending it!! It's so easy to get sucked into all the business tricks and feel like we're saving money by spending it!
Be thankful for what you have.
If we aren't thankful for what we have now, we won't be content with more.
For me, buying online helps me to spend less. When I buy online, I buy from a list. When I go into a shop, I see so many things and I find it very hard to stick to my list. Even if the food is a little more expensive buying online, I tend to be more self controlled. I can also see how much it will come to before I pay. So I can think twice and easily remove things if I am spending too much.
Meals, birthday parties, birthday presents, Christmas etc. don't have to be fancy and expensive to be nice and special.
My one year old's dress broke. I was about to throw it away, when I tried removing the straps. Because of the stretchy style of the dress, without straps it makes a nice skirt for my five year old! If I didn't tell people, no one would know it used to be a dress for a one year old!
I also turned a pair of jeans into a skirt for my four year old. I turned two little pairs of shorts into hand bags for my girls!
Sometimes you can turn something you are about to throw away into something you can use.
Use leftovers when possible.
Left over mashed potato makes nice potato fritters. Leftover meat can go well in wraps, pasta bakes, soups or pies. And so on.
Because I stay home alot, I don't use much petrol or buy many convenience foods. With four little ones its actually easier to stay home than go out! But it has its benefits. Just as long as I go out often enough to stay sane and not get cabin fever!
Like I said, I don't stick to all these. But they are helpful when I need them!