In a down economy, people rediscover these tried-and-true techniques for economizing that habitually frugal people practice all the time. For example, you can borrow books from the library (if you don't mind waiting for the more popular ones). You also can use the Internet, check out movies and CDs, get local free newspapers, and learn about community events. Ed AndrieskiAP/File
Become an extreme couponer. Monica Knight, a dental hygienist and mother of two, shows her coupon binder at her home in Boise, Idaho, on July 28. Ms. Knight used to spend $600 a month on groceries. Thanks to extreme couponing, she's down to $100-150 a month. Jessie L. Bonner/AP/File
Develop a yen for yard sales. This goes for thrift stores, too. You can set out with a item in mind and limit yourself to finding it, but be ready for the unexpected bargain. Here, Larry and Alice Nace hunt for goodies as they scour a yard sale in Decatur, Ala., on July 31. Gary Cosby Jr./ The Decatur Daily/AP
Downsize, radically. In 2009, Terry Lee Ballard moved into a couple of tents after he lost his job. The Timberline Campground in Lebanon, Tenn., was charging him $325 a month for tent space, electricity, water, cable, internet, and the use of a swimming pool. Alternatives include living with roommates, couch-surfing with generous and understanding friends, and through-hiking the Appalachian Trail. Melanie Stetson Freeman/Staff/File
Take up canning. Michelle Field pours water into her pressure cooker while canning tomatoes from her vegetable garden at her home in St. Gabriel, La., on July 6. Perhaps a less ambitious foray into DIY food would be cooking for yourself, bringing your lunch to work, and brewing your own coffee (or better yet, just drinking water). Arthur D. Lauck/The Advocate/AP
Grow your own vegetables. It helps to know what you're doing, and to have advantageous weather. Shalaya Collins harvests broccoli in a community vegetable garden in Waterloo, Iowa, on July 6. Matthew Putney/The Courier/AP/File
Learn to fix stuff. Pat Nelson works on a sewing machine in his shop in Lewiston, Idaho, on July 28. Mr. Nelson had retired and closed his fix-it shop, but calls from his former customers convinced him to reopen. And if you can learn to make stuff, i.e. by sewing, you'll be ahead of the game. Steve Hanks/Lewiston Tribune/AP
Redeem those bottles and cans (this depends on which state you live in). Willis Moore deposits a plastic bottle into a recycling redemption machine in Honolulu, Hawaii, on July 28. Of course, you'd save even more money if you didn't buy beverages in the first place and stuck to the aforementioned water. Mark Niesse/AP
Buy a used car. Jeanne and Seven McKnight talk with car salesman Jerry Feehily about the price of pickup trucks in the pre-owned section of the lot in 2003. John Nordell/Staff/File
Take public transportation. A commuter train leaves the MBTA station in Andover, Mass., on May 24. Elise Amendola/AP/File
Ride your bike to work. Norman Webb, aka Boardwalk Elvis of the Ocean City boardwalk, poses with his bike on the way to work at The Gazebo produce stand on Route 589 in Berlin, Md., on July 28. Thomas Melville/The Daily Times/AP
The most frugal transportation of all is walking to work. But to make this feasible, you are probably paying so much rent that it all evens out anyway. In a delicious irony, pedestrians walk past the New York Stock Exchange in New York on Aug. 5. AP Photo/Jin Lee
Dollar General is moving aggressively to purchase its discount retail rival, trying to outmaneuver Dollar Tree. Shares of Family Dollar jumped 5 percent before the opening bell Wednesday and appeared headed for an all-time high.
ByTom Murphy, Associated Press
Rogelio V. Solis/AP
Dollar General is going hostile with its $9.1 billion bid for Family Dollar after its rival repeatedly rejected previous offers.