Although this is quite lengthy - here are some of my favorite top of the list money saving tips.
shop @ DG
If you have only 1 place you can shop at then go to Dollar General. Overall their prices are compare-able to Walmart on most items. When things are listed at other stores "on sale", you can normally buy the same thing or a generic of the same at Dollar General at that same price everyday!
There is only a few things I can think of that are not a good price there -- chips, snack cakes, and anything out of the refrigerator cases. These things tend to be as high as buying them in a gas station.
shop @ Walmart
If you can only go to 2 stores then Walmart would definitely be second on the list! Anything that you can't get a DG, you'll be able to get it at Walmart. And the plus is it'll be cheaper than anywhere else!
Yes I know that Walmart plays havoc on the local small businesses, but let's face it - if you don't have money, you don't have money! And in life there are certain things you still need, money or not. And I still can't think of one place in this town that is family owned and ran that sells toilet paper!
And I have priced Walmart on many different things over the years, they are ALWAYS cheaper than anyone else! Don't forget they price match with local stores too.
If you have a certain item that you use regularly that is name brand then ALWAYS be on the look out for coupons for it! Even if you need to buy a Sunday newspaper - do it!
We love A1, Lipton tea bags, and Folger's coffee -- these are coupons that I break my neck to get. And sometimes I find coupons while looking for these brand's coupons that I use combined with sales. Most of the time this is when we get to try new things or get FREE items.
And NEVER buy anything online without searching on Google for a coupon code or a cheaper online source! I have literally saved thousands by doing this.
When you can buy generic. I completely understand and agree somethings can't be replaced by a generic. I know I mentioned a few above, but another one I can think of is Worcestershire sauce. I can not use any other brand beside's Lea & Perrin's for my chex mix!
And something you have to remember is EACH store has their own generic brand. Although you may not like one store's generic spaghetti sauce doesn't mean the next store's will suck too! And every couple years re-evaluate the ones you don't like because store's DO change their blends.
You can save the MOST money (usually) by doing it yourself. Most things that people buy anymore are for convenience not because they necessary "need" that particular item. Examples - bread, instant rice, and disposable anything.
No I'm not saying everyone should do all these things all the time! Because sometimes it's worth it to spend that extra to save time, which you can use to do something like spend time with your family. But if your strapped for cash in one way or another then there are small things you can do yourself to save here and there.
If you Google "easy crockpot rice" or "easy way to cook rice" you'll save a couple of dollars a week -- if you eat rice in alot of meals. (rice is a cheap meal additive to help spread out a meal)
If you use a dish towel instead of paper towels you could save anywhere from $2 a day - $2 a week. But I'll tell you now sometimes a paper towel is almost necessary -- like when soaking up grease. (coffee filters or paper will work too)
Making your own clothes will not save you any money - period! Most everyone anymore can access a thrift store of some sort and if you had to buying at Walmart would still be even cheaper than making your own clothes. If you or your family is a special fit in some way then start learning how to alter clothes, it's usually quite easy! There are also so many easy ways to personalize your second-hand finds that you should always be original without much effort.