Whether you’re waiting for money to show up in the bank, in between jobs, or working part-time, you can survive a broke season.
Here are some ideas I’ve used in the past and present:
Get pet food samples from the vet for those in-between times when you run out of kibbles for your four-legged friend.
Copy pictures on a copier for homemade gifts.
Go to a party card outlet for cheap cards and wrapping paper.
Go dumpster diving for free furniture.
Go to a dollar store for cleaning supplies and frames.
Only replace the glass in your eyeglasses. Keep the same frames.
Don’t get added features on your phone.
Make your own stationary off the Internet.
Clip tips from magazines and make files. Give as gifts, too.
Keep leftover paper for scratch paper.
Use a shampoo-and-conditioner-in-one.
Use food products for hair conditioner such as mayonnaise or beer.
Don’t buy sodas to keep in house.
Only borrow what you need.
Buy the cheapest toilet paper, paper towels, cat litter, water.
Use sheet protectors for gift wrap.
Make your own name tags for gifts.
Email greeting cards.
Give butter or olive oil to your cat for hairball prevention instead of buying hairball medication.
Wash your own car.
Sign up for online newsletters of some of your favorite magazines.
Go to free events.
Go to dollar movies.
Avoid costly recipes.
Bring your own popcorn and Coke to the movies.
If you go to an amusement park, eat outside the park.
Do your own resume.
Get free calendars, pet food samples off the Internet. Go to dollarstretcher.com.
Don’t join any book or music clubs.
Rent skates instead of buy.
Put spare change in a coffee can.
Email query letters.
Wear two pairs of socks for blisters.
Buy a cheap, artificial tree.
Use cotton balls to decorate your Christmas tree.
Pick flowers from your yard.
Buy store brand aspirin or cold medicine.
Buy Christmas stuff in August.
Write poems/letters/stories for gifts.
Sell items at the flea market.
Make your own calendar off your computer.
Only use free email services.
Get free voice mail from onebox.com.
Keep staples on hand.
Clean with vinegar and newspaper.
For Women: Sign up for gyn studies through local medical colleges or teaching hospitals for free gyn exams.
Look under “General Help Wanted” ads for fast cash. You could be an extra in a movie, for instance or be in a jury study.
Tell your doctor you’re available for asthma studies if you’re asthmatic.
Have your local high school or vo-tech school’s auto repair class work on your car.
Go to a dental school for dental care.
Take mints or eat ginger or celery for indigestion.
Fill up on water.
Trade books or CDs with friends.
Make a chest of drawers from cardboard boxes decorated with colored paper.
Use full two-liter bottles for dumbbells for exercise.
Use vapor rub for allergies.
Use free towelettes from gas stations.
Light candles for air freshener.
Use dryer sheets for flyaway hair.
Make your own Easter baskets.
Use plates to cover leftovers if out of foil.
Make your own salad dressing.
Fax, copy, or type resume at free job centers.
Buy a bus pass. If you’re disabled, you get a discount.
Walk instead of using your gas.
Walk the dog for exercise instead of joining a gym. If you don’t have a pet, offer to walk a friend’s canine.
Go to free film festivals.
Make your own business cards.
Once the car’s paid off, don’t get another car so you won’t have any more payments.
Don’t take out any loans, especially payday ones.
Pay in cash.
Buy .99 greeting cards.
Bring your lunch to work.
Keep snacks in the car.
Get a job close to home.
Pick up extra money substitute teaching.
Call your local Parks and Recreation Department for the Community Action Partners (CAP) phone number to find out about programs they might have for help paying your electric bill. It’s by appointment only. If you live in Fort Worth, TX, that number is 817-871-5775.
If you have kids and live in Fort Worth, you can call Sept. 4th or later to sign up for the town’s Cowboy Santa’s Holiday Program which gives toys to those less fortunate. The contact number is 817-392-1650 or 817-871-6605.