Great Designer Sunglasses Without The Designer Price

Finding a great pair of sunglasses that also look good on you is sometimes a tough task, especially if you’re looking for a designer name. The price tags associated with the top brand names will usually run you a couple hundred dollars (you’ll be looking at even more if you need prescription lenses). However there is an alternative out there for shoppers looking for brand name, great looking sunglasses, without the designer price.

Brick and mortar stores, especially brand named ones, are usually the most popular place to buy designer sunglasses. They typically offer a wide variety of sunglasses, however their prices are rather expensive for the designer brands. Most large brands (such Ray-Ban, Gucci, Versace, Dolce & Gabbana and Prada) can cost you anywhere from $200 or more for a pair. Alternatively, with a little research online, you can quickly find many online sunglasses retailers that will offer the same pair of sunglasses at a much lower price.

The benefits of shopping online are not limited to simply saving money. Online retailers typically offer a much greater selection of glasses, and in some cases online retailers carry over 100 different styles of the same brand of sunglasses. Because the amount of selection is much greater there are usually some older styles available. If you’re okay with wearing a design from a previous summer, the savings can be even greater.

As an added bonus, many online retailers also include sunglass accessories with every purchase, such as lens cleaning kits, sunglasses cases, and other accessories. It’s a nice added bonus that adds even more value to a purchase that is saving you hundreds of dollars.

One of the biggest concerns customers may have when purchasing online is the return policy. Many online retailers offer guaranteed returns if you are not happy with your sunglasses. However the length of time you can return the glasses does vary so it is important to read each individual retailer’s return policy before you decide to make a purchase.

Another potential worry shoppers have is the fit of the sunglasses. You may really like the pair you purchased but the glasses don’t quite sit or feel right on your face. Usually there is a very simple solution to this problem and that is the glasses need an adjustment. Many retailers, particularly locally owned businesses, will make this quick and easy fix for you free of charge. If you can’t find a local store or optometrist capable of doing the adjustment then try a larger retailer. They too may make the adjustment for free but in some cases they might charge a small fee. Additionally online retailers sometimes include adjustment kits with your purchase (as mentioned with the bonuses) so that you can complete any adjustments needed at home.

So the next time you’re in the market for a new pair of designer sunglasses and are looking to save some money, do a little bit of research online first. Many online retailers not only offer the same great sunglasses with many of the same guarantees, but they do so at discounted prices.

5 Easy Ways To Eat Out For Less

Major confession: I do not love to cook. I mostly hate the grocery shopping part, but I kinda dislike the slaving over a hot oven part, too. That being said, my poor husband and I end up eating out at restaurants a lot. We have several tried-and-true favorites that we hit up pretty frequently (like Mexican!), but we love trying new places, too.

One thing we don’t love is the price tag at a nice restaurant. Things can get pretty expensive, especially if you order an appetizer or dessert, which we almost always do. We are big on appetizers. I’m usually starving from the moment that I sit down, so I “need” something to eat pretty quickly. We’ve learned a few ways to save a little cash when we eat out, so I wanted to share these with y’all:

Skip the Soda

First off, simple enough, order water. It’s the easiest way to save a quick $5 on the tab (a coke/drink usually runs about $2.50 a person). If you really need a coke for the night, stop off at a gas station on the way home, where you can pay under a dollar.

Special Deals

Call the restaurant and ask what nights/times they offer special deals. One of our favorite places to go, Applebee’s, offers half price appetizers late night, so if that’s what we are in the mood for, we try to go a little bit later to save a few bucks. Some restaurants offer “buy one get one” nights with entrees/drinks and others have “kids eat free” nights. Don’t be afraid to call and see what they offer.

The More the Merrier (and the Cheaper)

Invite some friends along and split the cost of your favorite appetizer/dessert. I love doing this because we still get to try all the things that we want to try, but the tab is a little bit more friendly because our friends are paying with us, too.

Tweet to Eat

Follow your favorite restaurants on Twitter! I know, it sounds kind of silly, but I promise that it can help save some dough. Several restaurants that I follow (including Outback) randomly tweet out free gift cards, coupons and other special offers.

Go Halfsies

If you’re going to order an appetizer, split a main dish. My husband and I do this a lot because we quickly learned that after eating an appetizer, we could never both finish our entrees. So now we split an appetizer and an entree and we pay a much nicer price and still go home with happy bellies.

I hope some of these tips help y’all out. Please feel free to share a few with us in the comments below. I love finding cheaper ways to eat out. After all, that means less cooking for me! : )

10 Amazing Fathers Day Gifts That Will Leave Dad Drooling

You could always count on Dad to be there for you when you needed someone to bait your hook, squish a spider, or put air in your tires. And this year on June 17th, we take a time out to thank him for everything he’s done. Give Dad a pat on the back with our list of 10 unique gift picks. Whether he’s a geek, gadget lover or sports guru, there’s a gift idea for whichever kind of Dad you have on your Father’s Day shopping list.

On-Ice Mixed Drink and Beer Dispenser

$44.95

If your Dad has ever wanted ice cold beer on tap (and let’s face it, who hasn’t?) this gift is sure to be his cup of tea. Say goodbye to sweaty beer cans and watered down drinks, this drink dispenser keeps liquids ice cold with its unique interior chilling chamber. It’s capable of holding up to 80oz of his favorite beverage.

DC Comics The Number Ones Portfolio Set

$129.99

Although Dad may be your number one superhero, you won’t find him in this limited-edition comic collection. The ultimate gift if he’s a comic book geek, this portfolio contains the cover art from all of the #1 issues from DC Comics.

Get Free Shipping and more with coupons from WBShop.com!

The Deep Frying Portable Grill

$249.95

Whether Dad is master of the grill or just has a really good appetite, he’s going to love this. This grill can not only cook up to 8 burgers at a time, but it also includes a griddle, a deep fryer, a warming plate, and a cutting board. Plus, it’s portable, making it perfect for tailgating, too.

Save on your purchase with coupons from HammacherSchlemmer.com!

Griffin SmartTalk Solar

$69.99

Dad has never needed to stop and ask for directions, so why start now? With the SmartTalk Solar, Dad can continue to navigate the open roads without skipping a beat thanks to this solar-charged speakerphone, which is compatible with most mobile phones. And should he ever need to call and ask for directions or use his phone’s built-in GPS system (not that he would), he can do so without taking his hands off the wheel.

Build-a-Jerky

$10-$35

Fact: Men love meat. Whether Dad prefers it sweet, spicy, or smoky, at SlantShackJerky.com he can have it any way he wants. With their “Build-a-Jerky”, he can choose any meat, marinade, rub, or glaze he wants from their list to create his very own personalized jerky.

Darth Vader Galaxy’s #1 Father Figure

$13.90

If you only had a nickel for every time Dad did his Darth Vader “I am your father” impression. While this gift may very well egg him on, he still deserves to know you think he’s the best. At the very least, it may help stave off his “Pull my finger” prank.

Get Free Shipping and more with coupons from Amazon.com!

ESPN Films 30 for 30: Collector’s Edition

$54.99

If Dad has a love for the game, gifting him this Blu-ray DVD set would be a slam dunk. This 6- disc documentary set is a poignant presentation of historical events surrounding the players, teams, owners, and more from the world of sports. Also available on DVD.

Get Free Shipping and more with coupons from Amazon.com!

Personalized M&M Candy Dispenser

$61.99

Want to tell Dad he’s the sweetest? Treat him to this candy dispenser from M&M’s. Measuring 9″ high, the machine can be filled with the three included 7oz bags of personalized M&M’s. The chocolate can be customized with your choice of color combinations, images, clip-art, or with a special message. It’ll melt his heart!

Bosch Deluxe Power Box Jobsite Radio

$219.99

If your father is a Mr. Fix-It, chances are he already has most of the tools he needs. So what to get the DIY Dad? How about this premium job-site stereo from Bosch? Not only can he tune into AM/FM radio, but it can also connect to SIRIUS satellite radio, MP3 players, and CD players. 4-way speakers, a weather-resistant design, and a built-tough exterior roll cage makes it perfect to take in the garage, on the job-site, or anywhere else Dad’s rolling up his sleeves.

Bespoke Box of Awesome Gift

$45

Leave the guesswork out of finding the perfect gift for Pops and instead purchase him a membership to BeSpoke Post’s “Box of Awesome.” Each month, they put together a themed box filled with some amazing hand-picked products suitable for the gentlemen in your life, like cured meats, cocktail accessories, and fancy shmancy shaving products. You can choose from a 1-month, 3-month, or 6-month membership, and free shipping is included!

10 Creative Gift Ideas For Your Kids Awesome Teachers

Teachers work hard all year, and with the final semester coming to an end, now’s a great time to show them how much you appreciate everything they’ve done. We did our homework and came up with a list of 10 A+ gift ideas that’ll instantly make you teacher’s pet. Our list is priced between $5-$20, so your wallet will love them almost as much as your teacher will.

Best Teacher Magic Plant

$4.99

For everything they’ve taught your little sprout this year, say thanks with this “magic” plant. Teacher just needs to add a little water to the can and within a few days, a plant will appear with a special message.

Save on your purchase with coupons from CurrentCatalog!

Chalkboard Teacher Personalized Key Ring

$10.95

Show teacher they’ve been key in your student’s education with this exclusive chalkboard key ring, which can be personalized with their name.

Save on your purchase with coupons from PersonalizationMall.com!

Pen Violet Essence and Ink Set

$14.95

This old-fashioned writing set includes a wood and brass pen, ink, and a bottle of fragrance that can be used to write violet-scented messages. A great gift idea for a reading/writing teacher!

Save on your purchase with coupons from BarnesandNoble.com!

Vera Bradley Island Blooms Mug

$14.95

This brightly colored porcelain mug from Vera Bradley includes a matching coaster that doubles as a lid. The set is not only dishwasher safe, but microwave safe, too, for quick and easy heat-up in the teacher’s lounge.

Save on your purchase with BarnesandNoble coupons

Rubber Duckie Tea Infuser

$15.00

If your teacher is a tea drinker, she’ll love this. This adorable rubber duck tea infuser includes a small mesh basket attachment that can be filled with her favorite loose tea and brewed right at her desk.

Free Shipping when you spend $50 or more at FredFlare.com!

Lilly Pulitzer Notecube with Pen

$16.00

Teacher can send a note home in style with this Lilly Pulitzer Notecube set. Available in 3 fun prints, the set includes 600 paper notes, holder and matching pen.

Free UPS Ground Shipping when you spend $50 or more at SplashofPink.com!

Stress Relief Aromatherapy Bath Soak

$16.00

After a long year of chasing students and grading papers, your teacher will want to call on this aromatherapy bath soak. Made from essential oils, it will relieve stress and provide relaxation with a wonderful vanilla and verbena scent.

Shop Sale Items at BathandBodyWorks.com!

Rubik’s Cube Pencil Holder

$17.99

There’s no cooler way to help keep their desk organized. This Rubik’s Cube holder can store all of their pens and pencils, while the magnetic sides can be used to keep paper clips within reach.

Free Economy Shipping with a $20 purchase at PerpetualKid.com!

Jonathan Adler Booked Bag Canvas Tote

$19.95

If your teacher loves to read, this tote is tops. The cover of this cotton canvas bag features lines from famous books and can be used to carry their essentials with them back and forth to class.

Save on your purchase with coupons from BarnesandNoble.com!

Big Thank You Caramel Apple with Candies

$19.99

Everyone brings an apple in for the teacher, but here’s one that’ll really knock their socks off. Edge in on that “A” with this candy and caramel covered apple, which comes topped with rainbow ribbon and a thoughtful note card.

10 Gift Ideas For Guys That Wont Be Returned

With the festive season approaching it is time to buy gifts for the man in your life once again, whether they be your boyfriend, husband, son, father, brother, or Great Uncle Brutus that you only see once a year.

Despite the stores being stacked from floor to ceiling with gift ideas, separating the things you would actually want to give to a male relative from the various pieces of dross on offer can be difficult.

Thankfully, we’ve compiled this list of the top 10 things to buy for men this year, to take the stress out of your shopping experience.

1. Gift Sets

We’ve thrown all gift sets into one here rather than list them all separately. Try and go for something with a fragrance or an alcoholic drink in it, though, no-one wants a can of deodorant and a shower gel!

2. Experience Days

These have grown in popularity in recent years, whether it is a hot air balloon ride, skydiving, or driving a racing car around the local motor circuit, there is something for every man’s tastes.

3. Magazine Subscriptions

How many men read magazines but won’t subscribe due to the one off cost? Save them the hassle and buy it as a gift instead!

4. Slippers

Definitely one for your Great Uncle Brutus – slippers, and for that matter socks or a dressing gown, are great ideas as token gifts for relatives you rarely see.

5. Accessories

If you are looking to spoil the man in your life, then why not indulge him with a luxury accessory as a present? This may be a great pair of sunglasses or an expensive watch, or perhaps a piece of jewellery.

6. Boys Toys

Men are never too old for things such as remote controlled cars, and always prove to be a quirky and fun gift idea.

7. Audio & Visual

Buy him his favourite CD for his journey to work, or the newest X-Box game to play when he gets home and wants to put his feet up. Audio visual gifts are always well appreciated – consider iTunes vouchers if your man has moved on from CD’s.

8. Stylish Clothing

Whether his wardrobe needs a revamp or there are certain styles that you know he looks great in, stylish clothing is always appreciated and is great as a gift buy.

9. Gadgets

If you shunned the boys toys idea then why not buy him a great tech gadget instead – perhaps the new phone he wants or an iPad, for example?

10. A Holiday

If you have a big budget and don’t know what to buy, why not take your man along to the travel agents a few days before Christmas and whisk him off to somewhere much warmer and sunnier? You could do a lot worse!

Fashion On A Dime 6 Tips For Shopping At Thrift Stores

Did you know that the resale industry in the United States makes about $13 billion a year? Goodwill Industries, one of the most popular thrift store chains, generates about $2.69 billion in retail sales every year from its over 2,500 stores!

You can probably guess that thrift shopping has become more popular as the economy has gotten tougher. And the great part is that with some smart shopping strategies, people are saving money on clothing, home essentials, and more – all without looking like they shopped secondhand at all!

Sure, thrift shopping can take more time than picking up the latest styles at your local Target, but the time could be well worth your while, since you can get thrift store finds for next to nothing! But before you go, read these six tips for getting trendy and affordable clothing from your local thrift store:

1. Know what you need

One of the biggest mistakes many people make with thrift store shopping is buying things that seem like a good deal – just because they’re a good deal! But constantly buying stuff you don’t need, even if it’s only a couple bucks here or there, will only clutter up your closet and result in your spending money you shouldn’t have spent. Before you go thrift shopping, have a list in mind of things that you or your family needs (black pants for work, jeans, winter jackets, etc.) If you already have three swimsuits for the summer but happen to see a cute one at a great price, you should probably let someone else have it!

2. Shop often

Unlike retail stores whose inventories change at set times of year, thrift store inventories change constantly. This means that you really have to stop by often to get the best items that you’re really looking for. Make a habit of stopping by your favorite one or two thrift stores a couple of times a month, and you’ll be more likely to pick up a big portion of your wardrobe at thrift store prices.

3. Look for high-quality items

Thrift stores are a completely mixed bag as far as brand names go, but it’s worth your time to stick with brand names that really work for you. There’s no sense in buying low-quality, ill-fitting brands just because they’re cheap if you’ll never wear them. Take the extra time to look for brands you truly love, and you’ll be able to craft a thrifted wardrobe that really works for you.

4. Check pieces carefully before you buy

Before you even go to try a piece of clothing on, check it carefully for stains, holes, rips, and even thin spots that might quickly become rips or holes. Some minor problems can be mended or covered over with embellishments and basic sewing skills, but unless you have the time or inclination for this, don’t buy those clothes. They’ll just sit at the bottom of your closet waiting to get “fixed” until you finally return them to the thrift store as a donation! There are plenty of perfectly good items in thrift stores, so there’s no need to buy something that’s in less than good condition.

5. Try it on first

It goes without saying that you should try on anything you’re considering buying from a thrift store – especially if it doesn’t have tags. You might be able to walk into your favorite retail store and know that jeans of a certain size and style will fit, but this may not be the case with a thrift store. Even if the clothes are a brand that you wear often, they might be old enough to fit differently. It’s just best to try things on before making a purchase, ensuring that you only take home clothes you’re really happy with!

6. Think long-term

When you’re thrift shopping for yourself, buy clothes that you may need in a few months but don’t need right now if you happen to come across them. For instance, go ahead and pick up a sundress for next summer even in December – if you find one you just can’t pass up! When shopping for your kids, it’s way easy to think over the long-term, since their sizes and fits are pretty predictable. Just keep kids’ clothing organized as you shop ahead so that you know what you’ve got in any given size!

A Very Good Reason To Do Your Chores

On your day off, probably one of the last things you want to do is a bunch of household chores. In fact, household chores probably fall right before going to the dentist on your to-do list. However, there is at least one very good reason to get those chores taken care of in a timely manner…many household chores can prevent costly repairs later on down the road. Here are just a few household chores you shouldn’t put off:

Vacuum out your heating system. Break out your vacuum and a long attachment and go crazy on all the dirt, dust, and debris that accumulates within the furnace. Make sure to get all the nooks and crannies. This will not only improve the energy efficiency of the system (saving you money on your monthly bill), but will also prolong the life of your furnace.

Put a strainer in your bathtub drain. Strainers can be purchased at any home improvement store and cost next to nothing. Plus, installation is a snap – just remove the strainer from any packaging and drop it in the drain. The strainer will catch any hair, bits of soap, or any other particles that would otherwise end up going down the drain. This will help prevent time consuming, possibly costly clogs later on. Just remember to clean out the strainer on a regular basis.

Inspect and clean out gutters and downspouts. Getting up on the roof can be a pain, and the gunk that winds up in gutters can be a little gross, but what’s even worse is water backing up onto your roof and causing water damage to your home. Make sure your gutters and downspouts are working properly to prevent the need for roof repairs or water damage repairs in the home or basement.

Change the filter on your furnace and air conditioner. At the start of the cold or hot weather season, before cranking on the heat or air, replace the filter. Throughout the winter or summer check your filter on a monthly basis and replace it as necessary. Remove the filter and hold it up to the light to see if it appears clogged; if it does, replace it. Completing this chore will make your furnace or air conditioner more energy efficient and prolong the system’s life.

Inspect caulking in the bathroom. Water damage is a costly repair. Check the caulking around your vanity, toilet, shower, and tub on a regular basis. If it’s cracked, discolored, or appears to be coming off, remove it and replace it as soon as possible. Otherwise, water can easily make its way into the wall or floor and cause damage.

Clean out your dryer’s lint screen. Remove the lint from your dryer’s screen after each load of laundry, and wash the screen at least once a month to remove any residue. You may need to wash your screen more often if you do a lot of laundry. Completing this chore will prevent fires, improve the efficiency of your dryer, and prolong the life of the dryer’s heating element.

Check the seal on your refrigerator and freezer. To make sure the door seal on your refrigerator doesn’t need replaced, take a dollar bill and close it in the door. If the dollar bill stays in place and isn’t super easy to remove then the seal is fine. Repeat with the freezer. New seals can be purchased from your local home improvement store. Replacing the seal will make the refrigerator more energy efficient by reducing the amount of energy needed to keep your food cool or frozen. It will also help prevent parts from wearing out prematurely.

Household chores may not be fun, but they do serve a purpose. Keep that in mind on your next day off. If you still aren’t feeling motivated, think of all the things you can do with the repair and replacement money you’ll be saving by checking those items off of your to-do list!

Simple Tips To Enjoy Thanksgiving On A Budget

November is here once again and yes, Thanksgiving is just around the corner! While this holiday may be the happiest time on earth for some, it can also be the most expensive and stressful one for those who haven’t planned ahead.

If you want to enjoy a festive holiday without hurting your wallet, don’t worry. Here are budget-friendly tips to make your Thanksgiving celebration a memorable one:

Decorations

Decorate from nature. Gather autumn leaves, pinecones, and other natural materials and put them together in a beautiful bowl or container. Add a few branches of evergreen as the base, glitter or fake snowflakes for flair, and voila! – you have a new centerpiece. Golden autumn leaves could also be used as door decorations.

Try DIY. You always have the option of creating your own decorations. Whether you decide to make placemats, paper turkeys, or table art, you can always find instructions on the net. However, if you think you don’t have the skill, patience and time to DIY, you can also look around for affordable Thanksgiving home decors.

Use existing decors. Recycle last year’s Thanksgiving decorations or use existing home decors for your table centerpiece. One friend took advantage of her candle collection and created the most enchanting centerpiece I have seen.

Shopping

Go solo. When shopping for Thanksgiving dinner, leave the kids at home. Going to the grocery with kids would take up your time and might cost you more money for items they want that are not on your list. Shopping alone will help you stick to the budget.

Look out for coupons. From now on, check the Sunday paper or the internet for coupons that might save you money. You normally see these weeks before Thanksgiving. When you see something that you might need, clip it and make the purchases along with your weekly shopping. Look out for turkeys or hams on sale.

Buy enough. Don’t buy more than what you can eat or use – you might end up throwing excess food and other things. Estimate how many guests you will have and cook food enough for the number of heads coming. If you have a problem estimating how much turkey to buy, you can use turkey calculators available.

Dinner

Go for Homemade. Cooking your own meals is always more economical than buying convenience food. The cost of a pie at the grocery store can already give you a couple of home-baked pies. Furthermore, your pies have a bigger chance of tasting better than store-bought pies.

Trim menu. Too much excitement may lead to cooking too much more than you can take. Don’t overload the table with food that might be thrown out. Stick to turkey (if you decide to have turkey) as the highlight of the meal. Instead of focusing on quantity, think quality.

Potluck. Many families consider a potluck style thanksgiving dinner a wonderful option. Aside from getting to split the cost of the meal with everyone, it will also save the host time and effort. All you have to do is to assign who brings what dish. This style also makes everyone feel they are contributing to the meal preparation, encouraging unity.

Thanksgiving doesn’t have to be expensive and stressful at all! With the tips mentioned above, you can enjoy thanksgiving on a budget! Happy holidays!

About the Guest Author: Melissa Page is a passionate writer based in San Diego, California. She currently works for Deco Breeze, a company that offers affordable yet extraordinary thanksgiving home decors. When she’s not writing, she’s bowling with her friends.

5 Business Items To Purchase For A Fresh Start At Your New Job

When it comes time to head out to your first day on a new job, things can feel a little nerve wracking. Even if you’ve been in this industry for years or know exactly how to perform well in your new position, starting a new job is always daunting. It’s even worse if you feel like you are simply picking up your old life and moving it directly into a new job, with no change whatsoever.

If you want to feel refreshed and ready to start a new chapter of your career, sometimes it really helps to make a few purchases to feel more prepared and professional. Here are just a few items that are great to consider purchasing when you want a fresh start for your new job:

1. A smartphone

If you don’t already have a smartphone, it might be time to jump on the bandwagon. Even though you can do business without one, and you definitely shouldn’t buy one if it will be an unnecessary expense, smartphones can do wonders when it comes to professional organization, contacts, scheduling, sending and receiving images, and quick access to the internet from any location. It’s much easier to be in the right place at the right time with instant GPS on your phone.

2. A lunch cooler

When you think about bringing your lunch to work, you probably picture Ziplocks and empty grocery bags. It’s time to get it together as far is lunch is concerned. Not only will you look more professional, but your food will stay protected from the elements and you will be able to pack more efficiently.

3. A high-quality work bag

No matter what you wear from one day to the next, the one thing that stays consistent is your work bag. Go for one in a nice-quality leather or with a very sturdy textile. There are plenty of options, depending on your needs, such as briefcases, shoulder bags, computer bags, and portfolio cases. Choose something that you absolutely love and that stands out from the rest. Don’t be afraid to splurge on this. You will use it every day.

4. A new jacket

While you can’t buy an entire new wardrobe when you get a new position, adding one new key piece to your essentials is a great way to feel like you’re getting a completely new start. A great tailored jacket has so many different uses. Pair one with suit pants or skirts for an instant professional look. Or pair one with jeans to go more business casual. Make sure to look for one in a color and fabric that you don’t already have.

5. A professional haircut

A hair cut is often the furthest thing from our minds when we start a new job, or at least getting a new style of haircut. But, one of the first things people see when they look at us is our hair, and figuring out your own personal style is the key to looking professional and interesting. Instead of going out to your regular stylist or cutting corners with your haircut, try splurging here. A great professional will be able to figure out how your hair grows and which style will be best for your face. You never know how impactful a great hair style can be until you have one.

5 Tips To Easily Save Money Every Day

If there’s one thing that we can all agree on, I think it would be that saving money is nice. No one likes paying bills and watching their hard-earned money fly out the window, but unfortunately bills are a part of life. We can, however, make sure that we take every opportunity to save money. This summer, my husband and I are really working on “living below our means” so that we can save up extra money as we prepare to sell our house and move. It’s all about a little give and take and smart thinking.

Let’s look at a few ways to keep a little extra money in our wallets. These tips don’t require you to do/buy/learn anything. Just smart ideas that you can start a.s.a.p.

1) Use your library – Instead of heading out to the latest movie or buying the newest best-selling book, stop by your local library and rent a book, DVD or video game for free. All you have to do is register with the library and unlimited books and movies are yours. They usually keep pretty up to date with new releases, and many libraries even offer digital downloads.

2) Search online coupon sites before you click purchase – This can save a lot of cash right on the spot. Online sites offer free coupon codes for different retailers that can be applied to your shopping cart before you check out. Whether it’s 15% off or free shipping, it’s a quick way to save for free. Make sure to check out the Joeshopping coupons page!

3) See what your town has to offer for free – Go to your town’s website or search for a monthly calendar to see what your town is offering/hosting, most of which is typically free. Bigger towns usually offer more free events, but even small towns like to keep their residents happy. One thing that our town does is a free movie night in the park once a month. You just bring a blanket and your snacks, and they play a recent movie on a big screen. It’s free… and much more fun than a typical movie theater.

4) Invite friends over for dinner instead of out to dinner – If you meet once a week or once every other week with friends for dinner, try inviting them over for dinner instead. Offer to make the main dish and then ask them to bring a side dish or dessert. The more couples, the merrier… and the more food! You can even switch houses each week to mix things up. It is still a nice treat during the week to spend time with friends, but this makes it a little bit easier on the wallet.

5) Pack a lunch… and snacks – This one has been a major money saver for me. I work in a hospital and I used to make frequent trips to the cafeteria for a little pick-me-up, sometimes a drink, sometimes a bag of chips or a cookie. I’ve started packing my own snacks now and it has saved quite a bit. If you spend $2 on a snack every single day at work, that adds up to $10 a week and $40 a month (if you work 5 days a week). Save that money for something special and snack on something from home instead.