Here's a piece from Yahoo titled 15 ways to live more cheaply. One of their suggestions I particularly like is as follows:
Shop sparingly. Ever go to a mall thinking you'll buy one thing then just browse and see what else you need? Much of the shopping we do is what she characterizes as frivolous shopping. "It's a huge money sink. It's what we spend unconsciously, habitually, impulsively," she said.
In short, stay out of the mall if you're not looking for something specifically. And if you are, get it and get out. How often have we all gone to a store to get something, bought it, then decided to just walk a few steps over to another store. Then, on the way we see a coffee stand where we HAVE to get a coffee ($4). And what's a coffee without a cookie or doughnut ($2)? Then, when we finally get to the other store we see a display of X, Y, or Z that we have to have ($20) -- though we didn't know we had to have it until we saw it there. Yep, it's a cycle we all know far too well in America.
This goes for other stores as well, just not mall stores. If you want to save money, don't go to any store to just pass time. You'll most certainly spend more than you would if you hadn't gone. Instead, take a walk, go to the park or visit a free museum. You'll not only save money, but may even improve your physical fitness too. And these benefits are worth more than money!