I'm a librarian. Ask your librarian to get the Tightwad Gazette for you by interlibrary loan. They will borrow it for you from another library. It might take a few weeks to come in. Then, if you really think you will use it all the time, maybe buy a used copy. But you may well never need it again, so why start out trying to save money by spending on an item you can borrow and might never look at again? I'm the person who suggested it to you on the adoption thread. I read it once and that was all I needed, as I found the mindset more helpful than the actual tips.
These are the main steps we took to save the money for our two adoptions:
Go through your recurring monthly bills very carefully and see what you can cut out. We don't have cable or cell phones or any fancy phone "services." You may be able to drop your long distance carrier and just use prepaid phone cards and save money.
We spend nothing on entertainment. We use the public library to the max, for books, videos, DVDs, cds, as well as for their programming. We go to free concerts, lectures and fairs put on by local communities. We take walks and go on picnics. We trade babysitting with another couple.
We cut out all eating out, including lunches, take-out, vending machines and Fourbucks. We both work out of the home and we brown bag it. I cook from scratch. I have a freezer, and on weekends I cook triple batches of whatever I'm making and freeze the extras. During the week, many of our dinners are based on my frozen entrees. Not only can I come home and get dinner on the table in less than half an hour, but I'm not tempted to just get take out, and our food is healthier and has no preservatives, unlike most of the stuff that is pre-prepared.
Keep a price book, which is just a notebook with items you commonly buy, and their typical low prices at the markets where you shop. That way, if you see something on sale, you'll know whether or not it is really a bargain. There are some things I used to buy at the grocery store that I now buy elsewhere, because I've used the price book for reference. For example, rice, certain spices and some veggies are much cheaper at the Asian market than they are at the grocery. We have a great day old bread outlet that is way cheaper than the grocery and the bread is fine. Cleaning products are also cheaper elsewhere, but mostly I use baking soda and vinegar.
I sit down with the flyers from the local grocery stores to see what's on sale every week. When something I normally use goes on sale, I buy enough to last me until the next sale. I almost never buy anything that keeps or can be frozen for full price. We do eat meat, and I plan my weekend big batch cooking around whatever meat is on sale. I also plan several non-meat dinners, including black bean chili, polenta, soups, etc. Dh was a bit resistant at first, but he soon caught on to the health and budget benefits.
We maintain our cars, and drive them into the ground. When we finally got rid of dh's Toyota, it had 206K on it and was 14 years old. We carry no collision on the cars if they are paid off, and we have high deductibles.
When we were saving for the adoption, I bought nothing that wasn't essential. Whenever I would get the hankering for a new pair of shoes or a new blouse, I'd ask myself what was more important, getting my daughter home or new footware. No contest.
I don't do much yard sale or thrift store shopping (which the TG is big on). Since I WOHM, my time is at a premium, and I find that if I shop end of season clearance sales for the following year, I do as well as I can at thrift stores. Before kids, we used to go to auctions and you can get some spectacular deals on things like furniture if you are disciplined, but they are very time consuming. I cheerfully accept handmedown kid clothes from relatives and friends.
Most agencies do not make you come up with all the money at once. It should be required at certain milestones--some upon applying, some once your paperwork is done, more when you get a referral, and most of it due at the end. If the agency wants most of it up front, I'd be suspicious. So, you don't have to have the entire wad sitting in the bank in order to get started.