Ways to Save This Month

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Here are a few ways you can save money this May:


Meet for cheaper meals.  Happy hour is always an option, but it's also much cheaper to meet for breakfast or lunch than for dinner.  Everyone wants to meet up when the weather gets nicer.  And it is nice to see all your friends you missed while you were hibernating in your home all winter.  But if they suggest a dinner, counter with a brunch - it's much more inexpensive plus there's mimosas.  If you're meeting up after work, find a nearby happy hour where you can split half priced appetizers.

Buy used sports equipment.  If you're going to be participating in more outdoor activities now, try finding used sports equipment instead of buying new.  There are stores dedicated to this so you can find big discounts.  You can also use Craigslist or Facebook to find someone near you that's looking to declutter their still perfectly good sporting equipment - think golf clubs, soccer cleats, baseball mitts, etc.

Buy generic.  Generic is almost always as good as the name brand.  Especially places like Costco or Aldi (which has a double guarantee - if you don't like it you get your money back and a replacement product.)  The savings are significant, because you're not paying for the expensive marketing that the name brands engage in.

Find free entertainment outside of the house.  There's finally so much to do outside that doesn't cost money!  There's street fests, free concerts and movies in the park, fishing and golf, people to play sports with, you can even just walk your dog.  So much money to be saved by (a) finding free entertainment and (b) being out of the house and therefore not using electric or gas there.

Decrease your internet speed.  If you're going to spend more time outside, you just won't need all the internet you did when everyone was home at the same time in January.  Decrease your internet speed for the next few months while you find other things to do.  The package will be at least $10 cheaper, possibly more.  Turn it back up if you need to when school is back in session, but you may find you really don't need to.

Downgrade insurance coverage when you're out of town.  I was reminded of this because John's brother just got married and is going on his honeymoon.  If you'll be leaving your car behind for a few weeks, call and downgrade the insurance coverage on it and save some money.  It's actually really easy to do.

Don't buy bottled water.  Plastic bottles are the worst.  Single use plastic is the worst, really, because it's never going to breakdown in a landfill and can't be recycled and then what?  But besides the environmental impact, it's just such a waste of money.  Drinkable and free water is everywhere (except Flint, Michigan although they claim it's better now), so there's no reason to buy it in bottle form, which will run you at least a dollar per bottle.  Just remember to bring your reusable bottles when you're out of the house and see how much you save.  Also, FYI, tap water has to be regulated to safe drinking standards and bottled water doesn't.  They can make all kinds of claims but the fact is, there's no regulations like there is for tap water.  Just something to think about.

Check grocery store sales.  May is egg month, barbecue month, hamburger month, strawberry month - all those things will be on promotional sales.  I don't know why they make all these 'national months' but hey, at least we can benefit.  Be sure to stock up on burger and barbecue supplies so you're prepared for the rest of summer without spending top dollar.


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