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How to Save Money in a Crap Economy

I’ve said it before and I will say it again… I am cheap. My problems is (at least I would like to think) that I have good taste and I could easily spend my way into having to live in a box under a bridge. To avoid that scenario I try to budget myself and when I splurge, I spend smart. Below are some of my favorite “spend smart” tips.

Groupon

I.LOVE.GROUPON. I don’t really think I can say that enough. If you have not already signed up for their daily email deals you should do it now (they service pretty much every major metropolitan area)! Granted, a lot of the offers are for things nobody really needs but that does not diminish how awesome it is. Let’s say you have decided to save up and splurge on a spa day… well, why pay full price?!? Groupon always has great skincare, spa service and hair styling deals. I have also come to notice that their side deals (the deals outside of their daily specific offering) are quite incredible. They tend to be targeted more towards larger ticket items but if you wait long enough, chances are something you really need and could definitely use a discount on will pop up! Previously I have spotted pressure washing services as well as other home improvement deals and just the other day I bought a 75% off coupon for new glasses at SEE Eyewear here in Nashville. I can not wait to cash in that puppy!

Freecycle

I have stopped using this site as frequently as I used to, but it is still a really great place to find the things you need… for FREE. You can find all sorts of goodies here. Everything from furniture to clothing to plants! I would venture to say that if you waited long enough and were very attentive, you could probably outfit your entire home in free furniture from this site alone.

Craigslist

Speaking of free, were you aware that Craigslist has an entire section of free items? Sure, you come across a lot of duds but every once and a while you will find a diamond in the rough in this section. In my humble opinion, freecycle tends to have higher quality items for giveaway but it never hurts to look here too! And if you are willing to cough up a few bucks, you just might find a great deal on something you need that is for sale there.

Goodwill

Duh. Obvious. I know. But every time I talk about how much I love the ole’ GW Boutique I inevitably hear the “it’s too overwhelming, I can never find what I want” complaint. Well, to that I say, you probably don’t actually know what you want! Going into a Goodwill store to just browse IS overwhelming. What I find is that it is best to go in with a somewhat narrowed down list of what you are looking for (my last trip was in search of a decent blazer and 3/4 length sleeve shirts for work) and that tends to make things more manageable. You can then stick to those sections, your size, and the colors that would work in the garments that you are searching for and chances are you will have better luck. Also, you have to be willing to leave empty handed. The second to last time I went shopping there was a bust but the last time I went shopping there I wound up with a Banana Republic linen shirt, an Express button down and a Land’s End dress shirt all for under $13.00. Not too shabby.

Clothing Swaps

I actually hosted one of these a few months ago. The premise is simple. Invite over your friends, ask them to bring washed, gently worn clothing that they no longer wear and everybody trades! There are many ways to structure them (ours had more order than most, some are just a free for all of people grabbing items out of a pile) but they are always a lot of fun. Ask everyone to bring a dish to turn it into a cheap meal too. DOUBLE WIN.

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