Use the Web.
Not just for shopping, although that's a great way to save on gas since free shipping is a relatively standard promotion—in fact, 78 percent of retailers plan to offer it this year. But the Internet is also a great place to find and print coupons. Just search for the store name and the word "coupon." And even if you don't want to seal the deal online, you can search for the item you're looking for before you hit the mall so you know where to go to get the best price.
Take advantage of liquidation sales.
Sadly, many stores are going out of business this year, which is terrible for the economy in the long run but good for your wallet in the short. Look for liquidation sale advertisements on television and in your local newspapers, says de Grandpre.
While prices are low, think ahead. Is a friend's birthday in January? Is your DVD player on the fritz? It may be worth it to buy now if you see a sale. Just be sure to check the return policy—discounted items often have restrictions.
Are you ready to make a financial New Year's resolution? Assess how you did in 2008 and see what you can improve in 2009.