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  1. So, once upon a time I was... not wealthy... actually, I was often broke for a week before my paycheck... Which meant using my CC for buying groceries, and sometimes incurring interest. Not good. The first thing I did was look at what I bought. That meant no more pr0n magazines. (This was before broadband became cheap, or even available in my area) No newspaper subscription. (My office did subscribe, so it was available if I changed when I took my breaks) I stopped buying 'ready made' frozen dinners and stuff like that. I picked a cheaper bread for breakfast and lunch. If anything I ate was on sale... I bought a lot of it. Half-price food with nearly expired dates... went straight into the freezer. I started using more rice in my food, and not the 'portion' boxes, 'boil in bag' or other nonsense, but 4Kg sacks of Jasmine rice. (Bought a dedicated rice cooker, even. I'm on my third rice cooker now... ) I often made casserole dishes using a freeze-dried base, replaced the meat or minced meat with cheap sausages, and added extra beans, corn or dried peas. (dried goods is cheap, but will require soaking and a longer boil. Great to use as 'extender' ) Macaroni is another 'extender' that goes well in many dishes. I took up fishing... (Here in Norway anyone can fish in the sea for their own use. There's a limit to how much tourists are allowed to bring home, though, but that's not interesting here) Check local laws for fishing. In the summer I pick berries in the forests and make jam out of. (Check local laws. Also, for plants you aren't familiar with, ask experts. Poisonous mushorooms is a really bad way to die) I used a lot of cooking oil when frying food... Now I use a spray bottle that I fill with oil to give the pan a light dusting. I probably cut the usage in half and the food even tastes better. Mac&Cheese or Noodles? Not for more than a few days if you're smart. None of that is particularly healthy. Did you know that yellow cheeses such as Edam can be frozen? I often buy them when they're on sale(Edams are always on sale here before christmas...), divide it into 4 parts, pack 3 of them in plastic bags and place in the freezer. Just thaw them slowly, in the fridge or they go all squishy. When I can find something in both whole and sliced, I always buy the whole version as I have a slicer at home. The difference in price can be staggering... And sometimes you can slice it thinner than the store-sliced stuff. Eggs? Biggest cartons available(usually 18 eggs) here in Norway. Bigger is cheaper. (Here eggs are good for up to a month after the 'use before' date imposed by some moronic EU directive or other) Plan meals. Wondering what to make for dinner is NOT something you do on your way home. It's best done the day before, or even earlier... I make a casserole one day, and eat a portion of it togeher with a slice or two of buttered bread. The next day I boil rice, which I dump a third of on my plate, then heat a portion of yesterday's casserole in the Nukemeister and dump on top. The rest of the casserole is frozen for another day... Third day... I may have a bit of sausage left over from making the casserole... cut into cubes and toss in the frying pan. Add the rest of the rice, and maybe a can of beans, or a chopped up onion, or whatever else I happen to have. Whenever I make something that takes a bit of effort (potato dumplings, fish au gratin and so on) I always make enough for a week's dinners at once, and freeze the rest. At any time I may have 1 or 2 weeks of ready-made dinners in my freezer, and except for a few sale items, they're all home made. Once I happened on a lot of jars of 'Sweet&Sour' sauce, and I knew I had a few cans of ham... Cook some rice, fry up strips of ham and possibly a few vegetables, and heat some sauce. Two cups of rice on the plate, strips of ham on top, vegs if you have, and pour the sauce over it. 'Asian inspired' dinner... Tastes good, too. Do you drive? Could you get around by using public transport, walking or cycling? I have a trailer for my EL bicycle, and can haul up to 30Kg on it... Dishwasher... Do you run it every day? Unless it's full, no! If you do it because you're out of dinner plates, knives or whatever, consider getting more of what you most often run out of, or changing the menu a bit. One or two 'soup days' per week might result in a few days more between each wash. Pots and pans can easily be washed by hand if you remember to soak them immediately after use. Just pour some hot water and a bit of dishwashing liquid into the pot and scrub away. No need to fill the sink, really. Not that many bacteria that will survive the next time its heated, anyway, so if the outside isn't perfect it won't matter all that much... EDIT: This post was written because of the comments in the thread about Reaper's 25 year anniversary and ways to save up money for all the 'free' minis that will become available in 2017. Of course, if you NEED to use these tricks to afford those orders, you probably shouldn't order them anyway.
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