Over here GrumpyRumblings, Nicole&Maggie give us some excellent tips for cooking when you're broke.
My favorite (next to the tip about spices, which is spot on) actually comes from the comments:
I found something called bacon ends and pieces in the bacon area. It costs about $5 for 3 pounds of odd shaped bacon all kind of smashed together. I just divide it into small amounts and use it to flavor bean and potato soups. It freezes well
In the South, of course, we cannot cook without bacon grease, and how are we to get bacon grease, when bacon is so pricey? This is great advice!