Entertainment Value: Start a Frugal Club
Frugality is a big topic of conversation these days. More people who never considered a frugal lifestyle are now cutting back on their spending and taking more notice of their own money habits. There are more people working actively to save money and save money wherever they can. Consumers have been investigating different methods and alternatives to their traditional spending habits, such as shopping at discount and dollar stores and cutting out luxuries like expanding cable packages.They are working hard to get back to the basics.
One of the drawbacks to having to cut out things from your life in order to save money, is sometimes having to cut out the things in your life that are fun. Entertainment and eating out at restaurants are two of the top things that are usually the first to go. It can get depressing for some who feel they are working so hard to get out of debt and save money but still have little incentive in daily life.
It is situations like this that bring out the creativity in people. The famous saying “necessity is the mother of invention” is a perfect description of what can be done even in today's society to make life a little bit easier, and a whole lot more fun.
As you continue to work a full-time job, wrangle the kids, and make your money work for you, there are some sacrifices that you are making every day and you may not even realize it. Think about it – are you too busy for your friends? Do you find yourself dealing more with the social lives of your kids than you do yourself? Well, thinking outside of the box, you can change all of that and have a blast at least one night a week, while still saving money.
Start A Frugal Club
What is a frugal club? Well, there is no official answer to that question because my necessity as a mother just invented it. When I was thinking about the content of this article, I immediately pictured that scene in Mr. Mom where Michael Keaton was playing poker with the neighborhood ladies, using coupons in the pot.
A frugal club can be anything you want it to be, so long as you find ways to incorporate frugality and find ways to be entertained and save money. Gather some friends you know who are working towards a more frugal life and set a specific day and time that is convenient for everyone, making a commitment to attend more likely to happen.
Here are some ideas to get you rolling but feel free to find your own ways to spend a frugal evening among friends:
- House hop for each meeting. Have a meeting at someone else's house each week and avoid having one host having to clean up the house each week. This gives everyone license to just take a break.
- Make it a potluck dinner with a minimum, no one can spend more than $5 on a dish they bring over. This will make people more apt to look for creative recipes that are tasty and inexpensive.
- Have each member clip out and bring all articles and tips they have found throughout the week on the topic of frugality and saving money. Have a round-table discussion about which tips the groups like. Keep a notebook to record the keepers and toss the rest to keep clutter to a minimum.
- Bring coupons and trade with your friends.
- Bring local store fliers and decide where the best bargains are.
- Create a shopping list for all the members and go shopping at a warehouse store, once a month.
- All members can split up the bulk purchases, each chipping in a fair and equal amount of money.
- Swap your stuff. In an effort to be frugal, bring things to the meeting you no longer need or use, such as kids clothing, toys, small appliances, books, whatever you have cluttering the home and trade with the other members for free. This is a great way to get new things you need and get rid of the old stuff.
- During swap nights, if there is left over items no one needs, find out which members have extra space in their basement or garage to hold the leftovers. Once a month, or depending on the rules of your hometown, your members can host a yard sale. Keep all of the joint proceeds together and put it towards your group's next trip to the warehouse store.
- Plan a stay-cation with members by concocting a creative way to take a break from it all. Pitch some tents in the backyard of a member and bring the family to try some outside living for a night or two of nature.
- Spread the word and get more people involved in saving money around the neighborhood. It will be a great resource to have a lot of people who can help you stay focused on your frugality goals and saving more money.
There are so many other alternatives to the things you can do in a frugal club, feel free to add your twist on ideas. The important thing is that you get out of your house at least one night a week and socialize with people with whom you have things in common with and common goals for saving money. This adds value to your life without spending nary a dime.