Weekend Saving Challenges

21 Jan

We all deserve a gold star for making it through the week. Yay for us! It is Friday! But how do we celebrate without ruining our budget? Well, lucky for you, I’ve got a few ideas to throw out there. You will be enjoying the weekend with style and thriftiness before you know it. And as a bonus all of these are challenges, not just suggestions. So you will get gold stars, sweet victory and of course more savings if you are up to it. Am I appealing to your competitive spirit here? I hope so! Your first challenge? Read the rest of the post.

At home dollar menu Challenge

Last year I wrote a post on menu planning, and I still fully support this idea. Do not go to the store without a list and a plan. If you’ve got menu planning down, why not take it one step further and try the “Home Dollar Menu” challenge (ok, I just made that up, but it sounds cool, right?). Anyway, I was inspired by this post on the blog “Young House Love.” The blogger shares that she and her husband eat just pasta and sauce once a week. I say, why not make a list of “dollar meals” to add into your weekly rotation. For example, a couple weeks ago I made a crockpot of black beans. We had 5 different meals out of it for the initial dollar and change cost. We ate them with rice, in quesadillas, and in chili. And we still had some to spare. Yum. Other cheap options include the occasional bowl of Mac and Cheese, a chicken potpie, or, my personal favorite, homemade crust for a cheese pizza. All these choices are tasty, cheap and not overwhelmingly unhealthy.  And if you take this challenge, you will have extra cash to ‘splurge’ on weekend outings.

Loose Change Challenge

I have a sweet tooth, so sorry to all you salty snack people if this initial suggestion doesn’t apply to you. My husband and I have, on occasion, frequented the dessert dollar menu of the local fast food establishments in our neighborhood. Although this can be embarrassing, sometimes we spring for this outing only when we have enough loose change to cover it. It is a silly, but fun, money challenge that leaves my taste buds happy and the contents of my wallet intact. But for those who disdain fast food dessert, the loose change principle can be applied to any smaller fun outing. Even the movies, I’ve done it and I’m not ashamed. Really, this is taking the cash system challenge to the next level – if you can handle it.

Take a hike or go jump in a lake Challenge

I’ve read this suggestion on budgeting lists before and scoffed. So why am I putting this option on my list? Well, because after all that scoffing, I actually tried the nature route and found out it was a lot of fun. I’m lucky enough to live by a state park that has a small, but challenging mountain to climb. So when it’s warm on a Saturday I grab some friends, and enjoy a fun, free, way to exercise and spend time with the people I like. Do I see any negatives in that list? I think not. In the winter months challenge yourself to find free activities in your city. There may be a free day at your local museum. You’ll never know if you don’t look.

Movie Deals Challenge

If you are a movie lover like me, you will want to see a movie every once in a while. But if you are a budgeter like me, you will also have heart palpitations if you have to pay $10 a pop. Well, there is a money saving opportunities out there if you look. Take the challenge to not pay full price at the movies again. Here are some specials I found to help you along your way.

Early Bird Specials: Cinemark theaters only charge $5 for the first showing of the day, 7 days a week. Why not shake things up, and do a Saturday morning movie?

Special Nights: Regal theaters only charge $5 for any movie at any time on Tuesdays. Plus, if you are a Regal card member, popcorn is only a dollar on Tuesday. Sounds like the most economic movie night EVER.  Ok, this isn’t a weekend tip, but still, a cheap movie night in the middle of the week could be just the thing to get you through.

Who knows there may be deals coming to theaters near you?

I hope you are up to the challenge. Find ways to make your cash supply go even further. Free activities, cheap food and discounted events are just one place to start.  Make your own challenges. Smiling and saving add up to lots of fun. Right?



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