I also never bought anything I didn't need. I cooked from scratch rather than buying process foods, and frozen them. I made meal stretchers like hamburger, pork and beans over rice. I made this with honey, spices, green peppers, and onions...and kids usually love it!
I also used the library...but I would go to book sales they would have at the library. You could get books for less than a dollar. I also would visit thrift stores on the day that first got things in...early in the morning. I would go to all the best flea market sales. One church would have one every year, and on the first day...early in the morning they would have a brown bag sale. You have so much time to put anything that could fit in a brown bag, and paid only a $$1.00 for that bag!
A friend of mine who is a farmer with kids from both marriages...would go to pawn shops, and buy gifts for the kids! In order to save money on utilites...you can have the utility company come out, and show you how to reduce costs. Some of the suggestions are inexpensive.
Another way is to do laundry, and cooking during off hours,( usually before 0900, and after 2100hrs)... and on weekends and holidays!
Swap babysitting with someone you trust...when possible.
Play games, or spend time talking to children ...telling stories rather than going out to the movies.
Have your friends tape movies for you...rather than renting. Tape songs off the radio...rather than buying CDs.
There is a store in most towns I have traveled to that have a dollar or $.99 cent store. I can buy just about everything there. Lotion, food, toiletries, detergent, coffee, cooking oil.....oooh just all kinds of things!!
Another friend needed a laptop for her daugher in college, and barely had the money to get her there, and paid everything she had out to do it. She ran an ad in the newspaper for anyone who had a laptop...as that was the only thing her daughter could fit in the space she had. She got a top of the line...laptop...from a wonderfully, kind soul...for nothing within days of placing the ad.
The thing is the person was afraid that they hadn't seen her ad in time to help out..