Instead of having a destination in mind, have a date. Then use interactive search engines like Google flights, that allows you to browse by price for your prospective dates. The money you save on flights can be used when you get to your destination.
Try alternative lodging.
Yes, we all have our favorite hotel brands but sometimes there are even cheaper deals out there. The most popular option is Airbnb. I stayed at a really great loft in Chueca Madrid. And if you fly Delta Airlines, you can also get miles on Airbnb stays. Airbnb saves you money on room and board and food. Most full apartments or homes allow you to cook or receive a local experience.
Eat where the locals eat.
I’ve never gone away and decided, I have to have McDonald's. If you’re in another country, dive into their cuisine Who knows, you might end up with a new favorite dish.
Try local transportation.
Yes, the Uber app is my new favorite thing but when away, I always take local transportation. For one it's cheaper and it allows me to learn the city faster than a taxi everywhere.