Substitute certain ingredients with other items that work just as well but end up costing less.
In a chocolate cake recipe, one expert suggestion is to switch out the buttermilk. "Everybody has distilled vinegar in their pantry." says Ann-Michelle Albertson of Albertson's Cooking School, "It curdles the milk. That's all that buttermilk is, curdled milk."
So use regular milk with a touch of distilled vinegar or use powdered buttermilk.
If a recipe calls for regular milk use Parmalat instead.
You can also try substituting ingredients like pureed prunes with 99¢ baby food.
Try using Filet mignon with filet tails which come from the same loin but is half the price. You can also substitute prosciutto with high-quality ham.