Plan your purchases.
By planning your purchases, you're effectively planning your expenses. This will help eliminate the danger of impulse buying and unnecessary spending. Try to look at the bigger picture when it comes to your basic needs.
Plan for a week's worth of groceries, for example, so you'll have an idea of which items you truly need (and want) and which items you can do away with. To make sure that you maximise your planning efforts, consider incorporating items on sale into your planning. If there are foods on sale that week, for example, why not plan your week's menu using what's currently on slashed down prices?
Implement the 'B' word.
Budget, that is. If you want to be able to save money during a recession, learn to discipline yourself and your family. Using your plan as a reference, come up with a weekly or monthly budget and then stick to it. If you must overshoot it, you should have a very good reason to do so. Otherwise, don't spend.
Keep an eye out for bargains and discounts.
Learn to monitor stores for seasonal sales. You'll save a lot of money by buying items on sale than in their regular prices. During a recession, that's considered wise spending. Check out store or newspaper ads and don't be shy about asking for cheaper alternatives, getting store rebates or using discount coupons. Consider buying at discount stores as well. Each dollar you don't pay is a dollar you save.
Buy in bulk.
If there are items in your house that are often in use (paper towels, canned beans, yoghurt, etc.), consider buying in bulk. Many stores offer items in packs, which means you'll save money in the long run if you buy them instead of paying for individual items.
Put off bigger purchases.
A good rule of thumb is, if you can't afford it, don't buy it. If, for example, you have enough money for a downpayment on a new LCD TV but will have to borrow money off your credit card just to tide you over for the next few weeks, it would be really insane to make a purchase. Wait until you can truly, comfortably afford something. The worst you can do during a recession is not just failing to get money saved but also going into debt.
Practice prevention, not cure.
If you look closely, there are many things you do in your home that are syphoning precious dollars from your wallet. Simple steps such as repairing and maintaining your home and appliances, using more efficient equipment and cutting down on unnecessary consumption can do wonders for your wallet and piggy bank. And what better way to treat a recession than to be prudent?
Earn extra money.
If, after all, your efforts, the money you have saved is still not enough, don't let the recession get the better of you. There are times when your efforts are just not sufficient – mostly because you don't earn enough. Instead of asking for a raise that might never occur or waiting for a promotion to drop on your lap, consider finding other means with which to earn (and save) money.
Consider getting a part-time job, work extra hours, do selling on the side or offer your skills as a freelancer. The extra income you earn, along with your recession-powered money-saving plan, will help you make enough until after the tough times are over.