Improvisation is a great way to make up for a lack of money and/or technological resources. TOS is a great example: they originally planned to send away teams to planets by shuttle craft, but the expense was prohibitive and they came up with the transporter. The result was not just a cost saving, but it allowed the script to go directly from the ship to the action without having to fill any space between. The result was tighter writing and faster pacing.
Another example: a friend of mine was working on a college video project and she didn't have any way to create opening titles. So she came up with the idea of mocking up newspaper front pages and having them thrown into the shot. The result was an eye catching way of getting her point across. It was much more effective than regular graphics would have been.