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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

I'm a Cheap Date, You can be too!

So everyone these days is feeling the strain of the economic dip, and in dealing with budgeting and saving money it can be very hard to find time and resources to spend with someone special in your life. Here are some creative fun ideas, that cost you nothing more than a break from your chaotic life!

Idea 1: Picnics! Sure it's the tradition that seems older than time, boy meets girl, boy takes girl on picnic, girl and boy fall madly in love. But how often do we actually take the time to go on an old fashioned picnic? Everyone these days wants to get fancied up and go out to a nice dinner. But what exactly is so romantic about sitting eating food in a big room with tons of other people...sitting and eating food? Slip on a cotton sundress or some shorts and vans and walk around the park for a while. Bring a basket, but if you don't have one a backpack works well too, pack it with some homemade sandwhiches, a fruit salad, and something easy for desert. Throw in some sparkling cider and a couple cups and a blanket, and you've got a romantic evening under the stars just the two of you. And with technology now you can even bring your own music and playlist as you enjoy the purity of just eachothers company.

Idea 2: This idea I'm sure very few if any of you have thought of...visit your local recreation center! I'm in Tempe, a total college town, there are so many things to do, but so few of them fit in my budget. Just the other day my loving, handsome, wonderful, architect in training boyfriend and I were craving a billiards date night. So we went online to find exactly where we could play pool. ASU has a pool room but charges 3 dollars an hour to use the tables which have been torn up by thousands of students before us. We stumbled upon the website for the Tempe recreation center, literally a block away from us, and found that there was a billiards room, completely free, well maintained and calling our name! We've already made it a plan to have a pool date at least once a week this year. Pool isn't the only thing your recreation has, often times there are free movie nights, couples classes, outdoor sports, and more! Check it out, I'm sure you''ll find something both of yall will enjoy doing.

Idea 3: Make a night of a high school play or choral concert! These are open to the publics and entrance is only a couple dollars if not completely free! The shows are often very entertaining and enjoyable. Dress up! Pretend you're going to a show on Broadway. The students will love seeing you take their performance to such high regards...trust me, I know from my years of theatre and choir! Not only will you be creating a great evening for yourself, but if there is a couple dollar entrance fee you can feel good knowing that it's going directly to the school itself, a foundation in any community. So you can be helping both yourselves and the school during this economic hardtime!

Try them! I promise you can make any one of these just as enjoyable as going out anywhere and spending any amound of money. Only differences: no waiting, no expensive bills, no messed up orders, no sold out movies....just genuine quality time!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

On a similar note!

So as yall know so far, I am a huge fan of thrift store shopping. And today is a perfect example of why!

I am in California for most of the summer, it's June Gloom right now, cloudy, misty, and cold, not much to do! So what did I do? I took a trip to the Goodwill just down the street. This isn't usually my favorite of the Goodwills, there's a lot of older women's clothes from the early 90's. But I thought I'd try my luck this morning. Thumbing through the racks and what do I find? An American Eagle skirt and a Hollister skirt, both my size, both $4.99, and both look like they've never been worn. Of course a girl needs shoes to match her outfits so I strolled on over to the shoe rack where I found, to my surprise, a brand new/never been worn pair of Colin Stuart brown suede knee-high boots, perfect match to the AE skirt I'd also found. But it doesn't end there! I stepped on over to the purse section, conveniently located next to the shoes, just to take a look, I had no intention of getting a purse until I spotted a beautiful, spotless, white GUESS purse, yes, a legitimate GUESS purse for only $8.00 might as well be considered mint condition.

You see, Goodwill is just filled with treasures at fantastic prices waiting to be found!

AE Skirt: $5.00
Matching Boots: $13.00
GUESS Purse: $8.00
Saving a pretty penny in this economy: PRICELESS

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

It's Summer and I have Nothing to Wear!

Time to update the summer wardrobe?

Upating the wardrobe for the summer time can get quite pricey, especially if you're a college aged student. Even here in Arizona, where the heat is plenty and clothing can be little more than strips of fabric, a single outfit consisting of a pair of shorts, flip flops, and a tank top can cost well beyond $50. As young adults, most of us don't have full time jobs that pay our bills, feed us, and buy us enough $50 outfits to last us through the summer. Luckily for us there are some quick money saving tricks that can cut our costs for summer clothing to about 1/4 of what could be spent at department or name brand stores.

Idea 1:

Take a trip to your local thrift store (Goodwill, Savers, Gracies, My Sister's Closet...). Thrift stores, also known as second hand clothing stores offer a wide array of unique and trendy options. From retro patterns and styles, to Abercombie and Fitch shorts and a tank, almost anything can be found at a thrift store. Hooked on name brands? Here's a list of just some of the name brand clothing and accessories I have found over the years at my local Goodwills: Guess, American Eagle, Abercrombie and Fitch, Steve Madden, Levis, Holister, Aeropostale.... So don't fret if anything short of name brand isn't what you desire. Though it may take a little searching, name brands are aplenty in the thrift store world.

This entire outfit cost me less than $20. Summer dress, jeans, shoes, and purse included. Secret Hint: Often if you bring in a bag of items to donate you will recieve a coupon for up to 20% off your purchase in that thrift store.

Shopping at thrift stores not only saves you money on clothing, accessories, decorations, furniter, and more, but often times profits from thrift stores go directly back into the community helping those less fortunate with jobs, food, and education. For example: when shopping at Goodwill you can feel good knowing that 90 cents of every dollar spent goes directly back to the community.

Summers here, you have nothing to wear, and now you have no reason to worry, the perfect outfit is just dollars away from your closet. Google your closest thrift store and get ready for the biggest money saving shopping spree of your life!