1. Use Loyalty Programs to Your Advantage
Many of your favorite retailers have rewards programs — if you're not already enrolled, now is a good time to get in on the action.
"Join every loyalty or points program and mailing list available for places you already shop," said Josh Elledge, chief executive "angel" at SavingsAngel.com. "That's how you'll get special offers, including ones that can result in free items."
Elledge recommended points programs like ShopYourWay.com, which has numerous business partners.
"By belonging to them, you earn points — but better than that are the surprise points," he said. "These are given for free and can result in deep discounts on purchases you need to make anyway."
"Then, to fund your emergency fund, set aside the amount you would have spent without the extra discount," he added. "You'll be surprised how fast it can add up."