Go meatless. The university recipe books don't say this explicitly – probably because they want to avoid alienating farmers – but avoiding meat, or even just cutting back on it, saves a lot of money. Instead of beef or chicken, substitute beans and eggs.
Stop wasting. The agriculture department recommends stocking up on food that keeps well, such as canned orange juice or dry goods. But be careful with buying a lot of fruits and vegetables, even if they're on sale, to prevent waste. Cooks stuck with extra eggplant or flounder can avoid wasting food by using websites such as Allrecipes.com and the FoodNetwork.com to search for dishes based on the ingredients they have at home.
Get inspired. Food blogs such as Smitten Kitchen and Cooking with Amy offer practical recipes for all budgets, along with photos and step-by-step directions.