More Bang for Your Buck

In times of lighter wallets and shrinking 401Ks, it seems as if the last thing on anyone’s mind would be to spend more money. People are taking “staycations” and frequenting restaurants less. But when one doesn’t want to give up their current lifestyle just yet, what are they to do? Perhaps take a page from the Recessionista Book?

Introducing the ‘recessionista’ (if you haven’t already heard of it):

A person who is able to remain stylish during times of economic hardship. A recessionista can shop on a limited budget and still manage to be up to date on the most current fashions. A recessionista does not let a bad economy, inflation, or a strong recession damage his or her wardrobe and opts to search for sales and shop at thrifty discount stores instead. (definition courtesy of Urban Dictionary)

Just because you’re trying to save money doesn’t mean that your lifestyle necessarily has to suffer, as seen by what a Image Courtesy of Rue La Larecessionista can do. Plain clothing pieces from Target can suffice in your wardrobe; your $8 white shirts look exactly the same as a $44 shirt from C+C California, and no one has to know the difference but you. Plus, from personal experience, Target’s solid-color pieces are soft, wash well, and last a long time. If you want to stay on top of the trends, try Forever 21 for a cheaper spin on designer trends. Or, if you’re unwilling to give up your friends Zac Posen, Marc Jacobs, or Erin Fetherston, try any of these sites: Ideeli, HauteLook, Rue La La, and Gilt Groupe. Each site hosts different designer sales every day, and when you invite your friends, you get cash credits to the site. Promoting for these sites definitely pays off!

Trying to save on food?

– Starbucks introduced their new Iced Via (instant iced coffee) recently. For $5.95 for a 5-pack, a little goes a long way; you get two 16-oz. iced coffees out of one pack of Via. A little quick math tells you that ten coffees for $5.95 means you’re paying just about $0.60 per cup of coffee. Plus, it saves you a daily trip to the coffee shop, so you’re saving time, gas, and money!

– If you’ve got an iPhone, try I am Hungry, a free app that, according to their site, lets you “find exclusive offers to restaurants near you”. If you don’t have an iPhone, they also have a Facebook page for texting food deals to any phone.

Image Courtesy of ebates and Times Union (2008)

– If you want to eat at a variety of places and have a flexible schedule, try restaurant.com. You can get $10 gift certificates for $4, $25 gift certificates for $10, and sometimes $50 and $100 gift certificates at discounted prices (if they’re still in stock)! All you have to do is type in your zip code, and a list of all participating locations comes up nearly instantly.

Lastly, if you’re looking to save in general, try ebates. After signing up for this site recently, I can’t help but rave about it. Ebates is partnered with over 12,000 stores, and if you purchase from any of these stores via ebates, you get cash back in a quarterly manner. You can get money back on flights, magazines, clothes, books, movies… you name it, you can get cash back on it. It’s a really great concept, and if you’re willing to wait for a check in the mail, you can save yourself quite a bundle as an e-consumer.

In the times of the Recessionista, it’s obvious a little research can go a long way in stretching your money. Happy shopping, friends!

by Jennifer Kearney

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