A few tips I have found after endlessly searching PF blogs on how to really pinch the pennies. I am going to try to do several of these things throughout the month of March and will keep everyone updated on what really works for me.
1. Make a grocery list. Do NOT go to the grocery store without spending the time it takes to make a list of lunches/dinners you will be eating for the week and all of the ingredients needed to make those meals. Then stick to the list. Don't buy anything extra no matter how great it looks once you are in the store. Without a list, I tend to over shop. I buy what I think I 'might' want to eat for the week instead of what I am actually going to eat. Thus, things start to go bad before I eat them, which wastes money.
2. Buy meat in bulk. Go to Sam's (or the equivalent in your hometown) and buy meat, particularly chicken, in bulk. I buy chicken, hamburger meat, and fish in bulk and then when I get home I separate them into individual bags which can be easily removed from the freezer and thawed. Not only does this allow me to only buy meat once a month, but it saves extra time and money.
3. Pack lunch for work. Going out to lunch everyday can put a huge damper on your budget. Even cheap lunches add up.
4.Refrain from going out for drinks (even if you are going to just have one). Whether it is coffee, tea, or alcohol, going out to have a drink provides temptation. Try to find free activities to do with friends.
5. Save change. Every penny counts.