A Cheap Man’s Guide to Saving Money

In these tough economic times, we have to watch every penny we spend. Prices are increasing, yet our salaries remain the same. Despite the downturn, I recently achieved the dream of bloggers everywhere and moved out of my mom’s basement, only to be slapped in the face by the hard hand of reality. Paying bills blows. All of a sudden I’m forced to spend my hard-earned money towards groceries, electric bills and other boring crap. As my fiancé will attest to, I was already cheap before I moved out. Now I’m even cheaper.  Since moving out,  I’ve found new and unique ways to save money. Now I share my secrets with you.

Brown_paper_bagIt never seems manly walking in to work with your own lunch. I always feel like a tool when I walk to the building with a brown paper bag or a tupperware full of last nights’ leftovers but it’s worth it. Do the math. If you order lunch or go out to eat, on average you’re probably spending $7 a day. That’s 35 bucks a week. That’s a conservative estimate too. Now if you go to the store on Sunday, buy a pound of turkey, some bread, canned soda, and a few snacks you probably aren’t going to break 20 bucks for the week. So you’re saving approximately $15 each week. That’s about $60 a month and $720 a year. That’s a nice chunk of change.

Picture this scenario: You and three of your buddies, one of which is driving, go out for a few drinks after work. You each take turns buying rounds. If you wait to round four to buy drinks, the guy who is driving (unless he’s an asshole who drives drunk) will probably turn you down. Now you only have to buy three drinks. You just saved yourself five bucks and you can now make a Taco Bell run on the way home.

beerUnless you’re still living with Mom and Dad, you don’t need to go out all the time to get drunk and have a good time. Buy a case of beer, invite your buddies over and get hammered from the comfort of your couch. Plus your drunk buddy can pass out on the toilet seat and you won’t have to worry about getting him home.

The majority of the store-brand items you get from the supermarket are just as good as the name brands. You can save a ton of money this way. Now keep in mind, there are some products that are worth spending extra on. I wouldn’t recommend buying store-brand peanut butter or tomato sauce.

I never realized how awesome these places were until I had my own place. I’m in one of these stores at least once a week. They literally have everything and you really can’t beat their prices. If you can navigate through the masses of white trash and soccer moms then you can end up with a few extra bucks in your wallet.

netflixMost of the movie channels suck. They charge you 10 bucks a month to play the same movies 30 times. The only reason I have HBO is for Entourage, Curb Your Enthusiasm and the occasional 3:00 am soft-core porno movie. Instead, get Netflix and get all the movies you really want to see for nine bucks a month. If you have an Xbox 360 you can also stream movies straight from your console.

On a related note, stop buying DVDs. I look at my DVD collection and I often wonder what the fuck was I thinking when I bought some of them. They do nothing but collect dust and clutter the apartment. The only DVDs I probably have watched more than once are Anchorman , Office Space , The 40-Year-Old Virgin and Star Wars. Unless it’s one of your all-time favorite movies, pocket the 20 bucks.

There are many more ways I save money. If this column goes over well, at some point in time in the future I will follow up with some more.

1 comment for “A Cheap Man’s Guide to Saving Money

  1. August 31, 2009 at 3:35 am

    I don’t know about tomato paste, but the store-brand peanut butter in my town tastes exactly the same as name brand. Ain’t no difference I can tell.

    And here’s another tip you forgot to mention: electronics? BUY REFURB, not bargain-basement new. A refurb from Frys, Apple or whoever has already been beta-tested by someone else and THEY are the ones who got the joy of discovering all the bugs. By the time you get to it it’s been repaired, rebuilt and retested. Sure you won’t get as much of a warranty but then again you will be less likely to need it. Bargain-basement new, on the other hand, is gonna be some ultra-cheapo Chinese-made crap that will fall apart on you inside of a month. I’ve found THAT one out the HARD way.

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