In this struggling economy, I think it’s important to be smart with your purchases. Think about ways you can save money without compromising your lifestyle too much. I can share with you some great ways to save a buck or two, all while still living the lifestyle to which you’ve become accustomed.
Let’s start with your grocery shopping. I find it easy to save some cash, just by bargain shopping. By that, I mean walk through the store, snacking on the free samples,(keeping in mind that anything not in a package I consider to be a free sample) such as produce and bulk candy, all while pushing an empty cart. Once you’re full, go back through and get your food for the week. You’ll find that you purchase less when you’re not starving. I bet a Wegmans would make a killing in Ethiopia, if they accepted autographed pictures of Sally Struthers as currency. You will have a sensible grocery bill, mostly due to the fact that it’s difficult to ring up a banana peel and a bag of grapes(stems only). This is a great way to be thrifty, as long as you don’t mind the suspicious look from the cashier as they smell the wide variety of bulk candy on your breath.
Next, we have what I like to call, “pleasure purchases”. Things like alcohol, movies, eating out, vacations and the occasional stripper. You will have to cut back, without cutting out the things in life that you enjoy. What’s the point of living, if you can’t have fun? Camping is a great way to cut back on vacation costs. Sure, you’re battling mosquitoes, the elements and possibly a hungry bear or hillbilly(see Deliverance), but at least you’re not at work, unless of course you happen to work at a campground. Here’s a good way to keep your costs low: Combine some of those things from above. Instead of going to a movie and then a strip club, go see a movie about strippers. Striptease and Magic Mike may not be the best films, but at least you don’t come home smelling like coco butter and shame. Combine drinking with a visit to your favorite restaurant. Fill up on free bread and take advantage of happy hour specials. Two for ones means that you get four drinks for the price of two, six for the price of three and so on… The added bonus is the money you save on gas, because nobody should drive home after swilling down cheap booze, no matter how much free garlic bread you jammed down your throat.
The final way to save a buck is to make smart clothing purchases. Most people would say that you shouldn’t buy clothes at all, but we’re in upstate New York, where you may need to wear a four season wardrobe in one week. First, there are thrift stores. They have a lot of great deals if you just look around. Every purchase you make at a thrift store helps out the needy and you can write it off as a charitable donation. If the inevitable smell of must or moth balls bothers you, just think of it as a visit to Gramma’s house. Another way to cut back is to stay away from high ticket items. I’m not paying $150.00 for a pair of ripped jeans. I can buy a regular pair of jeans and rip them myself when I fall after a rather heroic intake of happy hour cocktails. You don’t need a shirt, hat or hoodie with the logo of the store from which you purchased said item, on it. That is like paying extra for a cheeseburger, just because the wrapper says Burger King on it. Not to mention, if you’re reading this blog, you’re probably too old to be wearing clothes branded by a clothing company. No forty year old should be in a mall clothing store, unless they are looking for their children or directions to the bathroom. Finally, go to yard sales. You can always find some hidden treasure at a yard sale. Just don’t go to the ones in your own neighborhood. You don’t want to have to explain to your neighbor why your wearing his Raider jersey or that you bought it for a dollar and you definitely don’t want to be seen in clothes that the rest of the people on your block deemed, “not good enough to wear, but just slightly too good to throw away”.
Do all of these things and I guarantee you will have extra money in your pocket each month. You can put that away and at the end of the year, you’ll be tens of dollars ahead. Just be careful to not combine the wrong things. Half priced margaritas and shopping or stripper movies are always an invitation to mayhem and you don’t want to have to spend all of that money you’re saving on bail.
About: Ted Snyder
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