About to go shopping? Think about whether all of it really needs to be brand new.
Sure, you don't want hand-me-down underwear or food, but a winter coat? a dining table? a breadmaker?
Get familiar with your local resources. What kind of things do the different thrift stores have? Are you in a Craig's List area? Does your community have something like a "pay-and-take" where unwanted goods can be exchanged?
Don't forget to ask your friends and family! Maybe someone has just what you need languishing in a closet and will give it to you, sell it cheap, or swap.
Comparison shop between new furniture and antiques. My Ikea office cabinet and my beautiful 1920's armoire weren't really very different in price, but the latter gets much more active use in its place of honor in the living room.
Whatever you settle on, remember that you have a lot of options beyond what gets advertised.