Your cash is low but you still want to have fun with your friends. You hate that you are starving all the time. But your paycheck only comes every two weeks. You are tired of eating tuna and ramen noodles all the time. Here are my suggestions on how to stop making this your reality by effectively using your money wisely for traveling, shopping, eating and other party entertainment based activities.
Look at supermarket circulars carefully for their sale patterns. Certain items go on sale at certain times of the year. For example, load up on lasagna noodles, during Christmas, when it is on sale. If you read, one newspaper a week, buy the Sunday paper. This is where all the coupons and sale circulars are included. Some supermarkets will even double manufacture coupons. Also, look online at supermarkets’ websites where they may list additional discount coupons. Many supermarkets have clubs that you can join for free to save money also. Again, take some time to look at different store circulars for who has the best sales. Avoid small grocery stores where the prices are so much higher and they give no incentives like discount clubs that save you money. When you buying some products like oil buy generic. You are paying for the name of the product and its advertising budget. Also, some stores reduce slightly braised fruits and vegetables, which supermarkets sell as rewraps, at half the cost. Meat is also reduced in price if it is close to expiration. Think about joining a discount club like Costco, which comes in handy when you are having parties during the holidays You can share a membership with your roomate. Costco also sells many gift baskets at a cheaper price that comes in handy during the holiday season for gifts. Also, look around and search for a good 99-cent store where they sell refrigerated items like chicken for a buck. Not all the 99 cents stores are the same with their merchandise. These stores are another good source for inexpensive party favors, cards and some presents.
Speaking about parties think about doing some volunteering at a dinner benefit or at a soup kitchen. You help out people; work hard and then they will feed you most of the time. Plus, you get to dance the night away at a cool party with some cool music and an open bar afterwards. Many benefits take place in nice hotels, restaurants and cool dance clubs. This is a great opportunity to enjoy a hot club at no cost to you at all. The only thing it will cost you is a few hours of your time after work. Bring your group of friends so you can all volunteer and have fun at the party after you finished your duties as volunteers.
If you want to have your own fun parties be creative and host parties that don’t cost a lot of money. Some of my suggestions for cheap party entertainment are: a book swap party,a clothes swap party, an ice cream party, a create or swap your jewely party or a potluck dinner party, an adult sleepover, a dessert party, or a a no meat party only salad party. Host a book club meeting with some wine and cheese. The list is endless.
If eating out is your passion then eat like a queen at a discount price, at a five star restaurant, during NYC Restaurant week that is given twice a year. This is a three-course lunch for about $20.00. You will get the same meal for lunch that you would get for dinner but just a smaller portion and at a cheaper price. All types of restaurants have lunch specials and early bird dinner specials available also. Another meal option is you can buy two side dishes or appetizers that are usually cheaper then the main course. Also, how about sharing a large meal like ribs and chicken with a friend. Some restaurants may charge a small fee for sharing. Sandwiches and bagels are usually so big so you share it with a friend too. See if you can just buy half a sandwich with a soup for a cheaper price. If you are a student lots of places offer student discount with a school ID. Some places even offer discounts for locale business people also with their workplace ID card. It never hurts to ask. Also, breakfast pastries, muffin, sandwiches and bagels are usually reduced at the end of the day at a lot of places. Just ask. Buy tuna salad, rolls and cold cuts separately and you save money. Make your sandwich yourself. You are paying extra for someone to assemble the sandwich for you. If you frequent one hero shop or coffee shop a lot, ask if they have a sandwich or coffee club where if buy a certain amount of coffee or sandwiches you get one free. Shop late in day for deli salad bar items when salad bar prices drops a dollar or more. Buy a big container of plain yogurt and add your own fruit or cereal topping. You are paying more for the added fruit and an individual container. Buy a big bag of chips and put them in individual bags yourself and you save money. Also, read your city’s locale papers weekly because a lot of times locale restaurants advertise in them and offer discount coupons for meals.
Speaking of coupons and discounts, when you are traveling look online first for coupons and discounts also. Check your locale bus and train companies to see if they reduce ticket prices if you purchase a ticket a week in advance. See if they have a discount club. Greyhound buse lines have just one started one called Road Rewards that is free to join. Check out their website for details at www.greyhound.com Also, look for students discounts, elderly companion discounts, buying tickets cheaper online, savings if you buy your tickets in advance or children discounts. Also, subscribe to free newsletters from Travelocity and Hotel.com Travelzoo and Jetblue for updates on their best web travel deals. Sometimes if you book a trip last minute you can get a great last minute travel steal from these sites. Also, if you need a place to stay when you travel look at apartment ads on www.craigslist.org You can also post an ad in the city you are traveling to and set your price in the ad. This can save you a bundle on hotels. Even look at these listings to see if there is some tour groups that are traveling together that need additional members. This can save you some money on plays or national parks. Check out the fun activities and exhibits that art museums and art galleries offer on their free or discounted admission nights during the week. For example, The MOMA museum offers free museum admissions every Friday 6 pm to closing.
Major and minor art galleries have free admissions and host wine and cheese receptions on the first day of a new exhibits opening. Many colleges galleries like FIT and Parson Art School who also host these types of parties or they showcase new exhibits by students and new artists. Visit all your locale colleges and public libaries and get their information about their free art lectures or forums open to the general public. Sometimes these are the places you can have the opportunity to meet the up and coming artists for free and ask some questions about their work before they become big. Visit major bookstores like Borders Books, and to get their details from their event calendar, on free art forums or other forum topics information. You can also come and listen to to upcomingn music artists at their free mini musical performances. Many major museums have fun parties with live music and special events that are offered once every month for free, at a discounted price or have special events that are included with museum admission. For example, look at the Brooklyn Museum First Saturday of each month dance party event information, The Library of Congress muisc events, The Kennedy Center Summer Jazz series events and The New York Museum of Natural History First Friday Jazz events.
Another option for great entertainment at a discounted price is for you to call locale theatre groups and off-Broadway theatre box offices and ask them about their discounts for individuals, big groups of friends or students who want to see their plays. Look for student productions and staged readings of plays at locale colleges and high schools, or even locale churches. For student discount information check out www.talkinbroadway.com for information’s on discounts called Rush tickets for college students , broadway show lottery inforamation open to the general public, general information about Broadway plays and off Broadway plays and SRO tickets where anyone can stand for a performance for a set price. You can even do a general search under Broadway discount codes to get to the links for discounts code information from certain websites. If you look under ticket information on craigslist sometimes people will give away theater ticket last minute for free or at sell them at face value.
There are many ways to get your movie fix weekly at a reduced price. A lot of movies have their matinee extended to 5 pm or reduced prices if you go earlier and many chains sell discount movie passes. You can buy Regal cinema discount passes at Costco. If you go earlier and save money on your movie ticket then you can use the leftover money to go out to dinner. Also, bring snacks from the outside where are less expensive. Many major movie chains offer free movies when you join their free movie membership club. These movie chain movie clubs give you points that you can redeem for free movies or movie snacks in future visits. Regal Cinema and AMC both have these frequent movie watchers clubs. Also, again read the locale paper for free movie previews tickets. If you need to look up movie start times remember you also look up show times online for free. Also, look at locale colleges or coffee bars to see if they host recent movie nights, shown on a big screen, that it is open to the general public for a reasonable price or sometimes it’s free admission. To avoid movie late-fees try a free trial membership of Netflicks. This movie club deal is you just mail the movies in the mail when you are finished with their self-stamped envelope that they provide. If you like it you can get three movies at a time for about $20.00 a month. Go to www.netflicks.com to check for details. Also, the New York City public libraries have free video rentals and dvd rentals for a week up to 10 at a time. Again, look on craigslist for people giving away movie passes under the ticket section. Also, places like Lincoln Center have film Society that offers a program called Young Friends of Film Program tor people ages 21 to 40. This is a discounted membership to their movie theater, and they also offer student ticket discounts to their film festival. Look at their website www.filmlinc.org under membership for details. There are also volunteer opportunuities available also. Genart, an independent movie and fashion organization, lets all their volunteers watch their movies and attend their popular afterwards at a hot new dance club parties for free. Go to their webite www.genart.com and email them your letter of interest so you can get on their volunteer email list. Also visit the New York Center Performing Art library, next door to Lincoln Center, that offers many free movie screening as do other libaries also.
Speaking about libaries think about checking out, from the library, some books on how to manage a budget. For more money advice one good book I recommend is Suze Orman’s book “The Money Book for Young Fabulous and Broke.” She also hosts a weekly show on MSNBC where viewers can call and speak with her directly about any financial topic on their mind.
For free items look at the website www.freecycle.com or www.freegan.info the yahoo groups that connects people looking for things that they need or want to give away to other people who need them. There is no cash exchanged on these sites. These sites encourage people to help reduce the trash in our landfills. There can be anything from food to furniture offered on these site. Sometimes people will be giving away all the contents of their apartment for free. Remember one person’s trash is any person’s treasures. Also, find out when the trash night is in certain neighborhood so you can look for funiture. The above mentioned websites also have people who alert you to furniture curb alerts.
I hope I helped you get on the right track so you can have more money for yourself. What is the use of having money if you can’t enjoy it? Here is to enjoying life without the penny pitching hurting you