My first savings of choice is energy and utilities.
I have started unplugging appliances, electronics and items not in use to save on the electric bill. I have changed out all of my light bulbs to energy efficient compact fluorescent light bulb.
I have a wood burning stove that I use as supplement heat, we are lucky enough to have neighbors that give us their tree removal, so we have wood to spare. We do not wear dirty clothes but wear slightly worn clothing, for example sleep wear, can be worn for two or three nights, especially if I shower before bed.
I hang sheets, rugs, jeans and whites on the clothesline. I purchased and installed a programmable thermostat and programmed lower energy use while we are out of the house during work hours and school hours. I organize trips to the store for once every other week or once a month if possible, I pick up things on the way to work or track errands to make the best mileage and time.
I have planted my landscape beds with plantings that need little or no added water and are native to this area.
I have seeded my lawn with drought resistant grass seed, during the hot summer months, the lawn simply goes dormant, saving high water bills. Food and Commodities: I shop specials, use coupons and stock up on items on sale that I regularly use.
I make my own laundry soap, so I do my laundry for about .05 per load as opposed to .21 to .36 for the popular laundry detergents.
I use basic home cleaners, vinegar, baking soda, steam and bleach for most cleaning, saving significant cost on
the popular products. I minimize the use of paper towels, using terry cloth reusable towels, ringing out and drying to get many uses before needing laundering.
I use a cleaning product in the dryer to avoid dry cleaning, I steam or press my clothing myself.
I buy fruits and vegetables in season to get the most vitamins and minerals for my dollar. Bananas are almost always a good bargain, as well as potatoes. I buy clothing on clearance racks in the off season; I have also made purchases on eBay and other auction sites.
We utilize the square foot gardening techniques to supplement our groceries with garlic, herbs, tomatoes, onions, lettuce and other vegetables that can be planted in our landscaping beds.
Furniture, Electronics, Appliances and Home Items:
I purchase many pieces of furniture on Craigslist. It takes some time and patience, however if you are diligent you can get good pieces of furniture at 10 to 30% of their new price. I also sell items that we no longer use on Craigslist, yard sales, or on Ebay. If the item has diminished in value or time does not allow, we also donate to many of the charitable organizations including Goodwill or the Salvation Army. We do the service and maintenance works on most appliances in house, changing filters and belts regularly. We were able to take home maintenance classes through our home extension office.