Learn how and where to shop. You cannot go to just any grocery store and buy whatever you like or you will spend far more than you should. So - the first thing you need to know is that the different grocery store chains put different faces on and charge different prices to deal with different kinds of customer. When saving money is a priority you want to go to the stores that are for people that are less willing and able to pay. Specifically, you're looking for No Frills, Food Basics or Pride Chopper. Plan what you want before you go and pay attention to what is on sale.
The next thing that will save you a lot of money is learning how to cook if you don't know how already. The premium on buying prepared meals adds up fast. A couple of good introductory cookbooks are How to Cook Everything and Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat. /r/askculinary is good for advice.
Especially if you're starting from scratch, this might be of some help
Also, if you're looking for a great cookbook for the basics How to Cook Everything - The Basics! is a great book for that. They also have in there all the basic equipment / things you should have in your pantry as well.
Mark Bittman is a perennial favorite, great for beginners
It's in the book How to Cook Everything The Basics (Hardcover) (not a referral link) by Mark Bittman page 204-205 (Paella with Chicken and Sausages).
I don't want to infringe copyright so the closest to the recipe that I found was this one by Mark himself:
Modification to this recipe is:
- Use chicken thighs w/salt and pepper on both side
- Make sure to sear the chicken to develop some kind of crust as part of step 1.
- Introduce the uncased sliced up chorizo w/garlic and onions
- If you don't like Safran, I'm using smoked paprika
For me, the paella is whatever you want it to be. Too much people complaining about what a real paella is. Let's just eat and enjoy it.
I would really suggest you check out How to Cook Everything: The Basics, by Mark Bittman. It will teach you techniques and how to use them (with recipes) so that you learn how to cook, instead of just learning a few recipes.
It's not a complicated or fancy approach to cooking or anything - it's just an excellent guide to learning what you should about cooking.