Browsing the thrift stores regularly - this way I can keep an eye on stock, keep my finger on the pulse of prices, and occasionally pick up great deals like over 25 pounds of fabrics for just $25. Yards and yards and yards of calicoes, solids, knits, and pre-quilted fabrics to build up my stash. So far I've made nightgowns for Daughter, curtains, hot/cold rice bags, and gift bags. The stash has barely felt the loss.
Meal planning - (by the month), and then using the same plan for the next month, with only minimal changes. Knowing what is going to be on the menu in the upcoming weeks allows me to stock up when the basics are marked down. And I'm rarely caught off without the ingredients I need, but even on those days, I always have ingredients to make something. Dining out is a rare event for us, and it is an event, not just a slack-off.
Putting out a garden - soon the holidays will be over and it will be time to plan next spring's garden... vegetables for the table, vegetables for canning, salad fixings, berries for jams, and fruit trees. I'd like to plan a bee garden as well as a butterfly garden, too. Seeds are inexpensive compared to foods at the grocery store.
Canning - while the start-up costs for canning (jars, lids, stock pot for boiling, and a pressure cooker) can be expensive, it doesn't have to be. In the last year, I've picked a large water bath canner and a large pressure cooker, each for $10! These were at the thrift stores. And come spring, I'll be watching the auction ads for estate sales to get canning jars. I know they will be out there. I just have to keep an open eye and be patient.
Thriving while being thrifty isn't difficult or deprivation. It does require a bit of forethought and a plan though. What are your plans for the next month, the next season, next year? It's never too soon to be thinking that far ahead.