Decor: Other people's
trash is your new best friend. Tables, chairs, rugs, Christmas trees. Check the
alleys and watch the sides of the road! That Christmas tree may be a bit
crunchy, and it may be Easter time, but don't you forget what's important here -
that tree isfree!
Pets: Why pay for
pets when you can find pets in the street for free? You can always snag
yourself an "outside" cat or a wayward pitbull. Just
look out the window. There's one now!
Nights Out/Concerts: Have other people pay for them. Try this line - "Mom,they're going to deport my spouse and I don't have the money to pay for a lawyer! Can you send me a series of large checks?!" (Caution! This tactic can backfire - for example when your mom doesn't particularly care for your spouse. Or when you actually have some kind of potential deportation emergency and you have now spent all your mother's gardening money on cafe lattes, lemon scones, and Lady Gaga.***)
doctors! If you can't date doctors, then communication is the best way to save
yourself money when you're in a relationship. Communication is cheap. In fact,
it's practically free! (Depending on the
nature of your relationship, of course.) Designate one bill-payer so that late fees are
minimized. ("I thought you paid it." "I thoughtyoupaid it." "Look.Whatever. I am not
going to argue with you about this while it's so dark in here.") Never let
your spouse go shopping when he's hungry. ("I bought six jars of
jalapeno-stuffed olives and a strawberry cake. Those are staples, right?")
Communicate to your spouse gently but firmly (and reiterate it as often as
necessary) that, no, in fact you do not need a second sixty-five pound behemoth
dog living under your roof, sleeping in your bed with you, and inhaling fifty
dollars worth of dog food every month. Seriously. You mean it.
education! Don't worry about it! You don't need a degree!
You're smarter than those damn professors anyway! (And if worse comes to
worse, try Wikipedia.)
out of your truck. Have your dog (see "pets" above) do your
dishes. Use your neighbors' bathroom a lot. In addition to
water, you'll also save tons on unnecessary and costly products such as soap!
to know people who grow eggplants. Persuade them to give you
"Best Tips", "Bad Tips", whatever. I trust you to
know the difference. I'm particularly kidding about the pet thing, of
course. You should never keep someone else's pet, kids! Bad form! You
wouldn't want some cheapskate to keepyour pitbull just because he wasn't willing to fork out for a
pomeranian, would you?
In fact, we were foster parents for 18 hours to a lost puppy last night
and this morning. We found him in our yard and plied him with
treats. It didn't take much in the way of plying to get him on a leash
(Treats! OMG! Shriek!). We took him to
the Humane Society this afternoon (thereby NOT saving the thirty-five dollar
intake fee, but potentially saving his life). And yes.
Raphael wants to adopt him.
I'd like to make it abundantly clear that the deportation-lemon scone-Lady Gaga
situation is hypothetical. In fact, I have never tried to save money this way.