Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Can You Have Fun Without Spending Money?

Let's face it. Times are tough for some of us. We have learned to cut corners and budget and coupon and barter and... but money is still tight and it's just not much fun.

Here are some ways to cut loose, have a good time and forget about money for awhile.

First, if you have electricity in your home, running water, a TV and a computer connected to the internet, you're in good shape. Don't forget that. There are a lot worse situations.

Now... want to have some fun?

Call up a few friends or family members or text them and ask them to come over for potluck. What are you good at and what can you provide? Can you bake bread? Have fun making a few special kinds and tell them that will be your special contribution. Or if you have a knack for salads, do that. One of my aunts used to make a killer vanilla wafer and pudding dish that everyone loved. Whatever your specialty, do it.

Don't be shy about guiding others in what to bring.

The really fun part is to plan on some games or other entertainment. If someone is a musician, ask them to play for a dance or two or for a singalong. If someone is good at it, have them recite a few favorite poems. The photographer of the family might be interested in doing a slide show or other presentation. Get it?

Before television and movies and a glut of books, people would entertain themselves with proper debates or spelling bees. Why not? It can be a lot of fun. Choose carefully, though, you don't want one or two to make the others feel badly.

Another thing you could do is take the whole kit and caboodle to the park. Don't just eat. Get on the swings, try the tennis court, play ball, play hide and go seek. Even the older folks will enjoy what isn't too strenuous for them.
In the summer time there always seem to be free events of one kind or another. Use the internet to find out what is free to attend or take part in, then do it!

Don't sit out the summer because you don't have a lot of money to spend.



Take Advantage of What Stores Know About You

Stores and businesses make it their business to collect private information on their customers. That's no secret. We complain about it and sometimes try to stop them from getting it, but that's pretty hard to do. Instead, you can take advantage of what they already know anyway, and save money!

Those "loyalty cards" are information gathering tracers that tell the store what you buy and how often you buy it. Stores sometimes use this information to give you "personal" coupons to lure you back into the store. So... why not? Use the coupons if you will buy the product anyway. Just don't buy anything else at the time.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Are You Ready for Christmas?

I know. It's only July and no, you are not ready for Christmas! Well, maybe it sounds pretty good if you're having as hot a summer as we are, but we have a few weeks to go..  17 weeks from the end of July.

Putting it that way doesn't make it sound so far away, does it? And as fast as time flies nowadays, it's really not.

I'm not trying to stress you! As a matter of fact, if you follow this advice, next Christmas could be the easiest one you've ever had.

Right now, while garage sales are going strong, is a good time to go looking for gifts. I don't mean to give "used gifts" but to look for collectibles, "almost antiques" and special items that those on your list would like.

If you know someone who collects penguins or angels or whatever, it's entirely possible that you could find a plate or necklace or statuette or something cool with that motif on it.

Does someone on your list love old music? Just look. One time I came across a stack of old piano sheet music. That was a real find!

Look for materials for hand made gifts, too. If you're a knitter or crocheter, yarn can sometimes be found for pennies on the dollar.

Make a list of people you will need to buy for, then brainstorm the list and add any special interests they have.

Then go garage saling and see what you can find! You could very well have your gift list well under way before school starts!

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

7 Ways to Enjoy a Frugal Summer Staycation

Not all vacations have to be taken away from home! Some of the most memorable time outs from the rat race can be taken in your own back yard (literally or figuratively), but if you decide to make this year a staycation instead of a vacation, you may have made a very wise choice.

First, a staycation can be a lot less stressful. You don't have to juggle traveling schedules or find someone to water the lawn or care for the pets. You can sleep in your own familiar bed and won't forget to bring your allergy medicine/jacket/toothbrush.

Secondly, a staycation