Some of my simple tips and suggestions to pinch the penny without cramping your style during the recession. Let's start with the least degrading ones...
Not that anyone pays for music any more, but if you do, buy vinyl. You'll get a cool record (possibly a future collectors item) and you almost always get the digital download code. An LP is usually about the same price as an album on itunes or elsewhere, and it's like getting two things for the price of one.
Bring a flask to the bar. Don't pay four dollars for a six ounce rum and coke that is more ice than rum OR coke. Soft drinks are usually free or cheap at most bars, and come in larger sizes. A typical flask will supply you with enough hard liquor for 3-4 strong drinks and leave you with a pocket full of cash.
Recycle stamps. Years before the USPS, I invented the real "forever" stamp. Rip 'em off that junk mail and slap 'em back on with a glue stick. Haven't paid for postage since '99.
The old standby, save water and shower with a friend.
Get a job at Subway or similar food place where you can eat for free.
If you're willing to sink a little deeper, give the following a try...
Recycle aluminum cans. At my place we go through aluminum like water (probably faster actually) and recycling centers pay decent for your old cans. We brought three large trash bags of crushed cans and had enough for a case of beer... beer in cans, that goes straight back to the recycling collection!
Don't be a sucker and waste money in the theaters, just download movies. If you must go to the theater, pay for one movie and sneak into another two or three... and bring your own snacks.
Check out the craigslist free stuff ads for items you can relist on ebay.
Stock up on silverware/condiments/napkins at the local Wendy's. Plastic sporks mean less dishes! Who cares if you're not "being green", you're saving it.
If you order in, NEVER pay full price. Use coupons if/when available, and better yet, find something to call and complain about: slow delivery, wrong ingredients, whatever you can pick out. Nine times out of ten your meal will be comped, discounted or you'll get some sort of credit.
For us true degenerates...
You can even save money at the track, and better yet, possibly make some! Create a "show parlay." Take two bucks and place a show bet on the favorite in the first race. Chances are it will pay, not much, but you'll probably have a winner. Take your minimal earnings (plus the original two dollars) and put that money (again, to show) on the favorite in the next race. Keep doing so until you lose. You're playing the odds, but you could walk away with ten times what you started with. You have interest in every race and the worst you can do is walk away without the two dollars you started with.
Use the overdraft protection on your checking account as a short-term line of credit.
Sell your expired prescriptions to the junkie on the corner.
Go through the corn flakes box and look for pieces resembling Jesus or the Virgin Mary. Sell on ebay for mucho profit. It's capitalism meets Christianity!
Buy a bunch of cookies from Sam's club or Costco (where you can get a lot for cheap) and stake out the Girl Scouts selling cookies in front of grocery stores and whatnot. Make up a cause and sell the cookies for a buck less per box than the little brats.
And finally, some recession-proof jobs that require little to no education...
bartender/liquor store employee (fact: the broker people get the more they drink)
economist (I really don't think these assholes are educated)
starving artist/musician/actor (if you prefer not to eat)
suicide hotline operator
It may be time for change, but eight years is a lot to recover from. If I learned anything in Econ, it's that printing a bunch more cash (or as it's coined in fancy Economists language, "bailout") only causes further inflation. I'm all for free money, but if it's going to cost me three days pay to buy a loaf of bread, I'm moving to Canada. Time to start drinking Labbat Blue and working on my "eh's."