|If you skip the coffee run, you may save dollars each day. But to really save money in rough economic times, you are going to have to do more than cut out the cappuccinos.|
With the current state of the economy, frugal living is like a diet plan; a few smart substitutions, free exchanges and homemade alternatives are all you need to see results. So without further ado, SingleEdition.com presents a comprehensive lean living plan:
Not only are car sharing services good for your wallet, they do wonders for your carbon footprint. It all started with ZipCar.com, the company which took the vacation timeshare model to transportation. Now RideAmigo.com is doing the same thing by taking the costs out of fares for frequent cab riders. While bus, metro, or walking options are always cheaper, if you insist on car service why not at least try limiting or splitting the cost.
You know you're in trouble when every time you call for take-out, they know your order by heart. We bet you never thought it could amount to even hundreds of dollars a week, but you may just be throwing away hard earned cash for meals you could easily prepare at home at a fraction of the price. Worried that you'll miss your favorite soup and salad lunch deal or special dinner combo? You don't need to look much further than CopyKatRecipes.com, where hundreds of recipes from hundreds of famous chains and local restaurants like California Pizza Kitchen, The Cheesecake Factory and Morton's Steakhouse are listed. Trust us, we whipped up a batch of the spinach dip from Houston's and it was a dead ringer for the cheesy rich stuff they serve on site.
Of course if you insist on heading out, we suggest you take a peak at Restaurant.com. The company has been around since 1999, offering discounts and special savings to thousands of local restaurants. p.s.: Make sure you don't add the "s" at the end or you will find yourself on an online directory of food places minus the special savings.
Clothes, furniture and electronics may be considered a luxury to avoid in hard times, but they are not as hard to come by if you are willing to make a trade. In fact, bartering is making a come back and the timing could not be better. The newest to launch, Fididel.com, lets buyers and sellers barter in real-time. Other popular platforms include Swapthing.com, Swaptreasures.com and Swaptree.com. And try Zunafish.com for media-related exchanges such as cds and dvd's.
The benefits of bartering notwithstanding, nothing beats new free-bees. You can take advantage of millions of incentive giveaways just by clicking on websites like Retailmenot.com, Freesnatchers.com and Smartsource.com.
Health & Wellness
You don't want to compromise your health, but diet and prescriptions bills alone can make anyone go bankrupt!
For starters, try swapping the expensive weekly weight loss program for a just-as-good free online service such as Sparkpeople.com. Based on the studies conducted by Marketdata, a market research firm that has tracked diet products and programs since 1989, this simple lifestyle change can save you $652 or more per year.
As for medications, you can cut costs by ordering from accredited Canadian online pharmacies, discount pharmacies or through the mail. We encourage you to buy generic brands which are exactly the same as their brand name counterparts, but cost one third of the price on average. Another smart saving strategy is to split pills, where possible. High dosage pills are often the same price as lower ones but cost less. So ask your doctor if you can safely purchase half the number of high dosage pills and split them.
Travel and Leisure
If you think you'll be making frequent visits to any of the 400 parks, monuments, or scenic areas run by the National Park Service $50 will get you into any site run by the NPS all year round. This pass can be a great value, since regular single-visit park admissions are as much as $20 per car per week.
Likewise, if you like going to a particular museum, zoo, or aquarium, museum membership clubs might be a good deal for you. In addition to admissions savings, they generally include guest passes, invitations to special events, advance ticket purchases for special exhibitions and a members-only entrance so you avoid long line ups. Plus, these memberships are often partially tax-deductible! Find out more at museum memberships or the American Zoo and Aquarium Association.
In case you did not know, many dating sites are turning to an ad sales revenue model rather than a subscription service. What does this do for you? You don't need to pay those monthly fees to find a date, if you're single. Some of the ones which you can check out include Okcupid.com and Engage.com.