Money can be tight, especially for college students and recent graduates. Here are few simple money saving tips that have saved me more times than I can count.
1) Explore the bulk section of your grocery store or health food store. They are often much cheaper than buying prepackaged foods, and you are able to buy just the amount you need for a recipe. If you don't use much cumin or dill, bulk bin spices are the way to go. You can measure out just a half teaspoon of spices, and pay just for that, rather than have a whole bottle languish in your pantry for years and lose potency. This is also the way to go if you're trying out a new grain. You can buy just the amount you need for your recipe, and not be stuck with an entire bag if you don't like it.
2) Check out grocery store ads online before you shop. I used this tip a lot in college. I could save gas and driving time by figuring out which of three grocery stores nearest to me had the best deals. Simply Google grocery stores you frequent, and check out their store circulars.
3) Visit your local library! They have DVDs, books on tape, book clubs, Internet access, and language tapes all for free!
4) Frequent thrift stores and garage sales! I got a dresser for $8, a terrific bookcase for $2.50, and a large TV for $10. My roommate got her futon/bed for $35. Not only are thrift stores and garage sales cheaper than Walmart, Target, and furniture stores, but they are also more ecologically friendly. They keep objects out of the landfills, and give a second life to pre-owned objects!
5) Visit your local farmers' market! The produce is fresh, local, and many times cheaper than that which you find in the supermarkets. Especially check out damaged produce, which may be sold at a substantial discount. I recently found a three for $1 deal on slightly bruised peppers. The damage was mainly cosmetic, and I just opted to use these peppers first. Cheap and healthy!
How do you save money?