1. Chipotle: To make your money stretch further, split a burrito bowl between two people. To do this, ask for extra rice (you must ask very sweetly and maybe even wink - my husband does this well) and they will give you bigger portions of all the toppings, making the bowl larger. You can even ask for a tortilla on the side, and then have one person scoop half the toppings into the tortilla. This gives you the feeling that you are eating a normal burrito, except it's a much healthier portion size for each person. Plus, it's delicious!
1B. Around Christmas and Graduation time (in May), Chipotle offers a deal where you can buy a $30 gift card and get a free burrito at your next visit. We take great advantage of this and buy one gift card every time we go during this time period. That way, we get a free burrito bowl each visit, AND we are stocked up with Chipotle gift cards for the rest of the year. We rarely pay actual money for Chipotle.
2. Netflix: This may seem obvious to most of you, but using Netflix Instant instead of paying for cable TV saves a TON of money! Since getting married, we have never had cable, and yet we watch TV all the time. We pay $7.99/month for all the TV we could possibly need. Plus, we have been exposed to shows like 30 Rock, Parks & Recreation, Friday Night Lights, Jericho, Lie To Me, The West Wing, Bones, etc.
2B. For free movies, we use the...library! Again, this may seem obvious, but you can order pretty much any movie from your local public library, and it will eventually get in your DVD player for FREE. Does this sound familiar to anyone *cough*Netflix*cough*? Boom, save $7.99 additional dollars each month.
3. 2-in-1 Shampoo: I don't think I need to expand much on this topic. Buying 2-in-1 shampoo/conditioner saves money, time, and space in your shower. Garnier Fructis has a good 2-in-1 product.
4. Generic Products: Consider buying off-brand products. Of course, you can always do this with food at the grocery store, but in my opinion, there can be a significant drop in food quality with certain brands. What I am referring to here is generic brands of medications, vitamins, paper goods (but not toilet paper), hand soap, etc.
*Did you know that Equate brand "Tums" are WAY better than any other brand?
5. Noisetrade: Free music, people! Subscribe to their weekly emails, and you will enjoy the benefits of getting free downloads of new bands, old bands you didn't know, and bands you already love. I found most of my current favorite bands on Noisetrade. Seriously, who needs iTunes when you have Noisetrade and YouTube?
Speaking of thrift shops, let's take a break for this gem. Don't worry, it's the clean one.
7. Public Transportation: I know your options for this may vary based on where you live, but most cities have a decent public transit network that may reach farther than you think. All you suburbanites out there, you should look into your nearest bus/train stop at home and work and check to see if the route saves you any time/money. I took the bus to work last winter, and it made me a much happier person!
Okay, I don't want this list to get obnoxiously long so I think I will stop here. Maybe you learned something, and maybe you just got to jam out to "Thrift Shop." Either way, thanks for reading my blog! :)