First, welcome to 'a Brit in Tennessee' thank you and welcome. Check out this blog, it's like a bit of England coming from the good 'ole USA. http://abritintn.blogspot.co.uk/
It's very satisfying to save money in any direction, especially if it has to be a way of life. One of my favourite cheap meals has to be the good old stew. I made a humungous one at the beginning of the week with all the yellow sticker veggies I got on my last bargain hunt.
All the usual stuff goes in, I use vegetable stock cubes for flavour and a good slug of tomato ketchup with gravy granules for thickening.
Each day I add a different ingredient, i.e. a tin of cooked beans, tinned tomato's, sweetcorn, dumplings or cobbler topping, I also freeze several portions too. Today I will be liquidising the remains to use as a tasty vegetable gravy. Sometimes I put a spoonful of the thickened mixture in pastry squares and make little pasties. Spooned over a baked potato makes a tasty snack too.
I found a tote bag I made for Etsy some time ago, I thought you would like to see it here:
It's made from upcycled denim jeans with retro furnishing fabric, it's lined with the print as well. I'll put it on Etsy when I get time together with the ever growing boxful of other stuff waiting to be listed.
Coincidentally, I noticed this morning that Meanqueen has been making bags too, she has been busier than me, making 4 !
I 'found' a great idea from Froogs of Frugal Queen this morning - cauliflower rice ! I've never heard of it but apparently it's been around for a while, I guess I'm a bit slow in catching on.
Basically the cauliflower is blitzed before cooking making a rice-like texture. I can see great potential for this, not least introducing more veggies into your meal to get the 5-a-day.