I know I buy too much, but I am not as concerned with that as I need to be. I just don't want to buy things and get lousy quality or just don't use it to justify the price. I have come to realize that being brought up in the country with little money was a great blessing in my adult life. I did not like the country, nor did I like being poor, but it was a great blessing.
Cooking from scratch meant you grew most f your food, so I did not know any other way. I moved to a huge city, but I loved to go to the farmers market and produce stands. I still live in a large city. I delight in all the variety that is available and I still go from store to store for their special and sales. I know when the fruits and veges are in season and that is when they are cheapest and taste the best. Now I read that the more foods are processed the more likely they are to be contaminated. Cooking from basic foods is much cheaper and better. Being from the country, I never get the great taste that our food had, but I try. So, I do not buy bad food to save money. I can eat a lot of dried beans and oatmeal to save money as we did when I was a child and this is also the healthiest food to eat.
There are many ways to save money. I was blessed because my mother was a good cook and knew how to cook for many with a few dollars. I grew up that way. My mother was also super fussy about having everything she cooked to be perfect. Gravy had no lumps, nor did oatmeal. Bacon was always crisp and eggs were fried perfectly. I tried a lot of new recipes, and it is always a bit risky, because I still feel that food money is wasted if it is not cooked properly.
I do buy brand names a lot. I buy brands that are a good quality and a good value. I don't want to risk getting only one or neither. That is true of food and everything else. I do not buy Brands or labels to be seen with a label. No purse is worth $200.00 to $800.00 for example. My feet are too necessary to buy cheap shoes, so I buy a good quality and always have. I don't buy a brand name to be stylish. I know a lot of women who are having falls and it is almost impossible to find sensible shoes for women to wear in the house, but I searched till I found some.
I could go one forever, but how do you save money? I will say I have not paid rent for 40 years and that is one of the best ways to save money. I also do not smoke, drink very little and have no great indulgences. I take care of everything and what I buy lasts forever. I know many other have some great tips and I hope you will share them.