1. Keep a budget diary for at least 2 weeks. Ask everyone in the family to participate and insist that they keep track of every dime they spend. Finding places where money is being wasted can help, but it is also helpful just to have a realistic idea of what items you need to budget for.
2. Menu planning and making a grocery list cuts down on trips to the store.
3. Be careful with couponing. Most coupons seem to be for processed and convenience foods. If it is not something you would normally buy then it might not be such a good deal to use that coupon.
4. When you have leftovers package up some frozen dinners to take for lunch or use on nights when your schedule is too busy to cook.
5. Be sure to label everything you put in your freezer so you will remember what you have in there. Mystery packages never seem to get used.
6. Unless you know that you will be using it right away, freeze the leftover portion of canned ingredients, such as tomatoe sauce or chicken broth, immediately, instead of putting it in the frig. That way you know it won't go bad before you need it.
7. If you shop at "bulk club" stores be sure that you know the prices of items so you know if the you are getting the best deal. Sometimes stocking up on sale price items is cheaper than the bulk price.
8. I got this one from my single mom sis 'n law. If you shop with kids let them pick out a coupon for their favorite cereal or snack ahead of time so they know that they are "getting something" and you won't have to argue with them asking for everything they see that they want.
9. Go halfsies on bulk items with a friend or family member.
10. Make your own snack foods, a 90 cent package of chocolate chip muffins will make 8 small muffins or a couple dozen mini muffins and can be wrapped up individually for lunches or after school snacks. Homemade cereal bars can be healthier and cheaper than the store bought ones. Be creative!