The first thing would be services like uBer Eats, Foodora etc. If you ever cooked or even Googled a recipe then added up the cost of groceries to make it, you would end up with an eye-opener- healthy meals are super cheap! However, we have companies out there making it disturbingly easy for us to keep ordering monstrously expensive and thoroughly unhealthy food at ridiculous prices. No matter what fast food place you look at, there's almost no way you can get anything delivered any more under $20. Oh, and that's a single meal that's packed in calories and low in nutrients, with at least one ingredient close to expiry date so you're playing with your health if you decide to leave some of it in the fridge for tomorrow. If you can make a similar but healthier version of that meal for a fraction of the cost at home, you are literally paying yourself to cook. That way, you may not need a side gig just to support your spending habit that involves, you guessed it, gig economy services like Foodora! It's a vicious cycle, isn't it? The secret to success here, dearest readers, is mindfulness and planning. It's a huge time saver to do meal prep for your lunch break food and have partially prepared ingredients for your after-work meals. You do this on a weekend, and it'll be easy to avoid takeout or delivery even when you're tired and don't really feel like doing anything. Another situation many of us break down and use food delivery services is after a night of partying. This is silly to say the least, because if you know you'll be hungry after partying and drinking, make something in advance or get literally any of your favorite foods that you can microwave or just assemble, and see your dollar stretch like never before. :)
Another thing to avoid would be Strabucks. Before you click away, however, I don't just mean Starbucks, and not all the time. Many of us like Starbucks and other overpriced coffee and tea places because they make us feel really good :) However, it's unbelievably overpriced and their profit margins are amazing. Take cold brew for example. Cold brew coffee and tea drinks at Starbucks are the worst. I recently googled how to make them and wow, they require zero effort! Also, if you use quality tea and coffee, you'll get the same or better drinks than Starbucks ones. Also, you get to choose between reusable frozen drink cups, as well as disposable ones. An ice coffee cup with lid that's the same size as a Starbucks grande costs $27 on Amazon for a pack of 100! You can use those on rare occasions when you can't lug around a reusable cup all day long. That way, a grande ice coffee or tea could cost around sixty Canadian cents versus around $4! Best thing is that a pitcher of cold brew tea or coffee can sit in a fridge for a few days or so without their taste getting worse, so you don't even have to make it daily.
The third suggestion I've seen work for many people is to use their credit cards on a weekly budget. Personally I like this approach because it is very powerful. Do you remember the Canadian show where that financial advice lady helps people get out of debt by putting them on what she called a cash diet, then having them divide up weekly spending money into labeled jars? Some people do went a step further and did it not with cash, but with their credit cards. Once you limit premium coffee and eliminate almost all of dining out, takeout and delivery, it becomes even simpler. They set up a realistic weekly budget for each expense category, use credit cards for it and keep track so they don't go over their weekly spending limits. Oh, and they deposit the cash equivalent every Monday to pay for previous week's expenses. This way, you are more likely to avoid interest charges kicking in, and you're also building or maintaining your credit history and becoming eligible for credit limit increases, which comes in handy for the worst of emergencies.
Finally, and this one is the toughest to implement, is to apply a mantra to your income that will help you see it in its real light. "Every single dollar I make is not mine." Or, "Every single dollar I make is not disposable income." The most difficult thing to internalize is that we need to be zen about the money that has to go away every month on things that we either don't sufficiently appreciate, or on things that are of no immediate benefit to us. Rent, utilities, RRSP, CPP, EI, income tax... the list goes on. Being always aware of what you are left with after all that sobers you up to where you are at right now; it also motivates you to work on getting more. All too often, people fall in the trap of using credit cards and lines of credit to spend the money they have to spend on all mandatory expenses, so they feel like they make more. This leads to revolving credit, phantom income and phantom economy as a whole. The best thing to do is to not participate in this at all. Your future self will thank you. :)
If you and everyone else you know already follows some version of these strategies, congrats you're awesome! :) If not, give it a try and spread the word. Oh, and stay frosty until the weather gets cold again!