There are a few good options to save your data while browsing on your desktop.
1. Use plug-ins to reduce data
You can use Click to play plug in on your browser. Most of the sites have flash enabled content. They normally tend to be slower and larger in size. You can white list some of the websites which you would want to play flash content straightaway.
2. Disable images
Images consume more data than text. You can disable image loading when you are on a limited data plan. Almost all browsers including Chrome, Opera and Firefox do have settings to disable image loading.
3. Opera Turbo
If you are on Opera browser, you can opt for Opera Turbo. This is a unique feature on Opera browsers that route the pages you visit through a proxy server. The proxy server optimises the Web page by compressing the images and other components of the Web page before loading it on your desktop. You need not worry about your secure websites as they will never be routed through the server.
4. Data saver extension on Chrome
Similar to Opera Turbo, Chrome too can route your Web pages through the proxy server and optimise the pages. However, you need to install an extension for the purpose. You need to visit https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/data-saver/pfmgfdlgomnbgkofeojodiodmgpgmkac?hl=en to get the extension.
5. Use metered connection
Windows 8 ( and 10) have settings to make a network connection metered. By setting it up as metered connection, you are stopping most of the background processes which can drain your data. You can do it by right clicking on the network name and selecting Set as metered connection.
6. Use Mobile version of websites
Many websites provide mobile versions of their websites. For instance, the mobile version of Facebook is m.Facebook.com. The mobile views consume less bandwidth and as such would be better for data saving.
However, please note that the appearance may not be pleasing on the larger resolution of your desktop.
Those were a few methods to save on your data on a Desktop browser. You may also note that Chrome works faster than the default Internet Explorer. Using it will definitely use less data. Make it a point to use chrome along with the plug ins and extensions mentioned above.
Live....and Let Live!