Cost Cutting Tips
Living frugally is being intentional about when and where you spend your hard earned (or loaned) cash. Living in a great city like Edmonton may seem pricey, but here are some ways to cut back on expenses without sacrificing the fun.
Visit King's affordable Edmonton page. Learn about the cheap and free pastimes Edmonton has to offer. Edmonton is a great city, and you don't have to look far to find something both fun and affordable.
Be deliberate about transit. Take the bus or try to carpool rather than owning a car. For $75/month (ish) you have access to all of Edmonton. Cars require gas, maintenance, and insurance.
Moving out? Buy used! Shop garage sales and second-hand stores to find gems of all sorts--especially furniture! For health and safety reasons, it is NOT recommended to buy a mattress second hand. Also, if you buy from the web, safety is in numbers, so don't go into a stranger's house alone or without someone knowing where you are going and when you are expected back.
Have friends over rather than going out. Spending quality time with friends doesn't require going out. Have a Dutch Blitz tournament, and ask everyone to bring a tasty snack or rent a movie. If you stack this up against going out for dinner, you've saved yourself anywhere from $10-50 per person. Want to head out? There’s a lot of free stuff to do around Edmonton! Check out the ‘Affordable Edmonton’ link.
Vintage is in. Channel your inner hipster and try the Salvation Army Thrift Store, Goodwill, Value Village, or consignment store. All sell clothes at a fraction of the cost they’d be new. You might even snag some killer vintage finds.
Compare grocery stores. The first rule of grocery shopping, don't shop on an empty stomach or you'll impulse buy and regret the purchases you made. Try to buy bulk and split it among other students/roommates. Also, shop the perimeter of the grocery store, the stuff that is 'bad' or generally worse for you is in the middle aisles (pop, candy, chips...you get the picture) so stick to the outside walls.
Budget for your beverages. If you bought a coffee every day that costs $2.75, for the school year alone (eight months) it would cost you over $450 (on one drink per day!). Brew your own coffee at home, and bring it with you. Treat yourself from time to time but in making your own, you reduce your expenses, not to mention your carbon footprint, by using a travel mug. Save coffee purchases for your 'treat' days.
Make use of the Public Library. Who knew that the library is so fun?! Yes, we said fun. Did you know you can rent CD's, Wii games, and DVD's? And the best part is, it's FREE! Can’t find what you want to read, watch, or listen to? Put in a request for the library to buy it (just don’t try it with textbooks, it doesn't work)!
Have a cost saving idea to share? Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org