Dining Out on a Budget

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No matter how broke we were, Friday was always “dining out” night when I was a kid. Somehow, my parents were able to pull this off every week. We’d order a pizza, go to McDonalds, or to an affordable family restaurant. I would always get the cheeseburger and fries off of the children’s menu.

It was our splurge for the week. As much as we enjoyed my mom’s cooking, dinner out was a special occasion. (Not to mention a well deserved break for our mom.)

It’s not that difficult to find a decent restaurant to visit at least once or twice a month to give you that feeling of treating yourself. We all deserve that, no matter what our bank account looks like.

Here are a few tips…

  • Ask around. Most people love to share where they go for an affordable tasty dinner.
  • Check out the appetizer menu. Despite what anyone says, onion rings can be an entire meal.
  • Find a place that doesn’t upcharge you for salad, soup, bread and side dishes.
  • Ask for water to save extra money.
  • If you’re old enough, order something from the senior menu. Sadly, I have a few more years before I can do this. Boo.
  • Tip nicely and be amazed when your regular waitress doesn’t charge you for coffee and throws in an extra roll. (This actually happened.)

And remember, always use a napkin and excuse yourself when you belch.

Do you have any tips on dining out on a budget? Let us know in the comments!

5 Things to do with 5 Bucks

When I was little, 5 bucks to me felt like 100. I was a child millionaire. I could buy any kind of candy that I wanted and still have enough to buy a few cans of ice cold Coca Cola.

These days, 5 dollars isn’t much. But you can still have a mildly good time if you use your imagination.

Here are 5 things to do with 5 dollars.

Go To The Flea Market

I have found some really cheap finds at the flea market for under 5 dollars.

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I got this vintage tin sign for $2!!!

I don’t drink pop, especially Dr. Pepper, but my daughter loves the stuff. I have it hanging above my kitchen sink. It’s selling on Ebay for $30 right now.

Treasure hunting is totally doable with little cash!!

Feed The Wildlife

Go to a store that sells baked goods at discount prices or just your regular store will do. Buy a couple loaves of stale bread (or fresh if you’re feeling charitable) and find your nearest lake or pond. There are bound to be a few ducks or gooses around. They love bread!

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Pigeons will also appreciate your efforts.

Just be careful, though. I once got chased by a pissed off goose.

Go See A Cheap Matinee

The majority of theaters have a discount movie day. Where I live, it’s on Tuesdays, although I haven’t had the chance to go in a long time. $5 will get you in, but you are on your own with concessions and they are really against bringing in your own food.

I’m a rebel and do it anyways.

Buy Some Really Nice Nail Polish

If you’re into doing your nails yourself, you deserve a decent bottle of nail polish once in awhile. I just got one for a dollar on clearance, Maybelline Color Show Street Art called Nighttime Noise.

Mer’s Thrifty Hint: Always take a gander at clearance items!

I had four dollars left, so I just stuffed that away for next time.

Coloring Is Fun

Most of the dollar stores near me sell various adult coloring books, colored pencils and markers. If you haven’t tried coloring as an adult, I highly recommend it. Anyone can do it regardless of artistic talent, it’s cheap to get started if you shop at the right place and it’s relaxing.

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For a few dollars more, you can even get a swear word coloring book. I am gonna ask Santa for one this Christmas.

 

So you see, there are plenty of things that you can do with 5 measly dollars. Who needs a Caribbean cruise, anyways?

If you have any other ideas, please let us know!!

Bedsheets on a Budget

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I haven’t paid full price for bed sheets in at least ten years, because I buy them at the thrift store for less than $2 dollars. I know that to some people it might seem disgusting to lay down on used sheets at night, but think about it like this…

You check into a hotel. Exhausted after a day of traveling, you slip into the bed you paid good money to sleep in, just like the people who booked the room before you.

Those sheets you’re on? They have been washed (hopefully) in hot water and soap. Possibly even bleach, if they are white. Or that fancy bleach they sell that doesn’t ruin colors. I forget what they call it.

Plus, like an old pair of jeans, they have lost the stiffness and scratchiness, now as soft as the fur of a kitten.

You can do the same thing with thrift store bath towels, rugs and blankets. Bring them home, give them a thorough washing and boom. You just saved yourself a buttload of money.

I wouldn’t recommend buying used underwear, though. Or bathing suits. You’re probably safe with a bathrobe.

So the next time you’re in need of bed sheets, think twice about spending $20+ on them and head to your nearest thrift shop.

Then pat yourself on the back and take a well deserved nap.

Welcome to the Thrifty Divas!

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Hi! This is a new blog dedicated to living thrifty.

We’d like to introduce ourselves.

Jackie P:

Hello people! My name is Jackie P and I’m poor. I was born poor and I’m still poor. So I like to think of myself as an expert in living nicely on little. It can be done.
My friend Mer and I have talked a long time about doing a blog about how to live well while being short of money. Now it’s becoming a reality.
I’ve learned how to budget. I am the budgeting queen! I have had many years on which to learn. It’s not so bad. I mean sure, I would love to have unlimited funds. Who wouldn’t? Unless I win the lottery that just is NOT going to happen.
So I deal with it. And so can you!
When I was a kid I knew we were poor but I wasn’t bothered by it. It was a time when designer clothes and fancy houses were not such a big deal. We used our imaginations
when playing. Plus, I’d rather go the public library then shopping any day! Still do.
My parents had four kids to feed, clothe and provide for. They taught us to appreciate the little things in life and that has stuck with me throughout my adulthood. I was taught
how to cook at an early age.
So now I cook cheaply (well as cheap as one can with outrageous prices nowadays!) with few ingredients. I was taught how to make a little go a long way. I’ll try to show you some of my recipes and my methods so you too can do the same.
We’ll all be Thrifty Divas!
Merbear:
Like Jackie said, I’m poor too. We both realized that we had this in common and discussed doing a blog about it. Much time passed, until we finally came to a point in our lives where we could devote some time to the idea.
So, here we are!
I will also share some recipes, because even though a person is broke, they enjoy eating. I know I do. I just got a slow cooker and ordered a used 5 ingredient (holy shimoley) cookbook from Thriftbook.com. Exciting stuff!
We both look forward to sharing our thrifty knowledge with you all.