1. Generic Brands. Ditch all the brand name items you buy. Nationally recognized brands are almost always more expensive than generic store brands. There's usually a small difference in taste but with the money you're saving, you'll get used to it. The reason why brand named items are more expensive is because those manufacturers need to spend more money on marketing and advertising to get you to buy their product. Store brands piggy back on the good reputation already built for the big guys.
2. Frozen and Canned Produce. You need fruits and vegetables in your diet, but in tough times, it's very easy to cut them out; they're too expensive. Luckily, there are some ways to save money on produce. Frozen and canned fruits and vegetables are usually cheaper than fresh produce. Yes the quality isn't as good but it's a lot better than nothing. If you're going to buy fresh produce, you can get the best price when it's in season because that's when supply is peaking. You can tell what's in season by what's on sale. Stores usually drop prices to get rid of all the produce before it goes bad.
3. Go on a Diet. During times when you need to cut your expenses, going on a diet can be very convenient If you and your family need to lose weight, reducing your food intake will save you money. Junk food isn't very cheap so start by cutting out all the garbage: cookies, candy, soda.
4. Sales. Take advantage of sales and stock up. When a non-perishable or freezable item goes on sale, buy more than you intend to use so you can take advantage of the low price for awhile. Don't buy extra just so you can indulge more, buy extra so you don't have to pay more when the sale ends. Do your research. Look at weekly advertisements to see which items will go on sale at each store.
5. Learn to Cook. A recession gives you the perfect opportunity to learn how to cook. Eating out or buying ready to eat meals is very convenient but expensive and unhealthy. These foods are heavily processed, contain a lot of preservatives and are high in sodium, saturated fat and sugar. Buy a cookbook and learn the art of cooking. You'll save money while being healthy.