Start with a Plan
Everything should start with a plan, whether you're building a house, searching for a job, or trying to feed your family on less money. Writing lists, planning menus, and cutting coupons all take time, but like any worthwhile endeavor, will save you money in the end.
Here's the most important rule: you're automatically going to save money if you cook at home rather than eat out. The more work you do, the more money you will save. This may sound daunting, but once you get into the habit of cooking it will take you less and less time. By choosing to make your own food, you are controlling nutrition and are keeping your family healthy, which will save even more money in doctor's bills.
Plan every meal. Plan for snacks and for the occasional evening out. Plan to use leftovers, and budget for special occasions. This may feel rigid, but you will realize that when you have meals planned for the week, you will have the food you need in the house. Then you can relax and think about something other than what you're going to make for dinner every night.
Did you know that it's cheaper to eat breakfast and lunch, rather than dinner, in a fancy restaurant? It can be the same at home! Breakfast recipes or lunch recipes for dinner are just as satisfying as traditional dinner food, and much less expensive. In addition, French toast, scrambled eggs, and grilled sandwiches are easier to make than most dinner recipes.