So we are in the process of buying a house. Needless to say, money is a little tight. We hopefully close at the end of the month, so this month we’ve cut out a lot of luxuries – alcohol, sweets, activities – in an attempt to save money.
That could have been a huge bummer. Instead, I chose to see it as an opportunity to be resourceful. What’s out there that’s fun and free? Actually, quite a bit. There were a lot of treats we didn’t end up completely going without, due to the generosity of others or different surprises. I was amazed at the amount of money we ended up saving, with some amazing bonuses that came our way that were unexpected.
Try the experiment of giving up luxuries for a month. Chances are you, like me, will find a lot of ways to get resourceful. You’ll even be surprised at how many freebies actually come your way that you wouldn’t have noticed before – you appreciate them a lot more, too. Bonus: total up how much you end up saving!
Here are 13 freebies to start you off:
1. Sign up, right now, for CVS ExtraCare rewards and emails. I get the best coupons through them, both at the store and via email. Including free ExtraBucks, which = free money to spend at CVS.
2. Menchies. They give you $5 free for your birthday, and a rewards program. With every $1 you spend, you get 1 point; for every 50 points you get, you get a $5 reward. And when you register your card, you get an automatic 25 points. It’s like they’re giving away the best-tasting frozen yogurt ever. Which it is.
3. Lowe’s and Home Depot – hello, FREE paint sample cards and design ideas, to use for painting your house OR for fun arts and crafts projects.
4. Cash in on those free month (or less)-long trials for Netflix, Amazon Prime, Redbox Instant, etc. They are legit, although they try to get you by having you give your credit card info and then automatically renewing your subscription. BE SURE to record the day you start and cancel it before the full month is up. Otherwise it won’t be free.
6. OR check out your library and rent fantastic things like books, movies, video games, books on tape, language lessons on tape, etc. for free. My local library also has free movie screenings, book clubs, and classes. And e-book rentals. Again, no excuse.
7. Check your mail. I received two free offers – one for a 3-day pass to the gym, one for a battery-powered toothbrush and other goodies at a local dentist (too bad I already have one) – just in this past week.
8. Have a clothing swap! Or borrow clothes from friends. When I lived with my college roommates, my closet had endless possibilities.
9. Use up those gift cards. (If they’ve made it this long.)
10. Spotify = streaming music for free. (With a lot of commercials, unfortunately. But it’s a small price to pay for being able to listen to pretty much whatever CD I want for free.)
11. Look up local festivals in your town that are free, and go out and have fun.
12. Check out local vineyards, breweries, and wine/beer specialty shops in your area, and see if they have free tastings. Many do.
13. What’s the best free local natural/tourism attraction in your area? Chances are, you don’t go very often. I live by mountains, but I rarely hike. Do you live by the beach, a lake, the country? Enjoy it!
Like this post? Check out my list of 50 things to do together (other than watching movies) – not all the activities are free, but it’s ways to be resourceful instead of spending time in front of the TV.
And linking up for Monday Mingling!