In Part I, we looked at some simple ways to save money around the house, such as drinking tap water instead of pricey bottled brands and tackling DIY projects. But there are plenty of other areas where you can easily economize, like clothing, technology and travel.
Are you as tired of paying $650.00 for your Gucci jeans as I am? Designer jeans (along with movie popcorn, hotel minibars, and college textbooks) all have giant markups. If you're somewhat flexible, there are often great deals on apparel to be found at local consignment stores, such as the Buffalo Exchange or My Kid's Closet. For the more hardcore and determined thrifter, chain stores such as Goodwill, Savers or the ARC are downright addictive - you never know what you'll find, but chances are it won't cost more than $10.00. For inspiration, check out Thrift Store Runway and some thrift store shopping tips. If you're searching for a specific item or like to shop online, try Goodwill, Thredup, Blue Moon or The Attic. Note: Worried about bedbugs? Put your finds in a hot dryer for thirty minutes.
A recent article in the Denver Post had plenty of great ways to save on cell phone, cable and internet bills - my favorite tip was to give up cable TV altogether in favor of a high-speed internet streaming service. When it comes to buying new gadgets, it's important to do some research first (in Consumer Reports, for example) so you don't buy something more expensive than you need, or purchase an unnecessary warranty, is some of the advice offered by Lifehacker.
Entertaining can be expensive, but there are ways to cut costs and still have a great time with family and friends. You can simplify things and save money by having a buffet of Mexican food or by serving one dish, such as spaghetti. Potluck dinners can be fun for everyone, including the host. Just choose a theme, assign or coordinate the dishes, and buy some inexpensive wine. Then make things festive with dollar store decorations or offbeat DIY centerpieces.
Or, you can have a party with just inexpensive appetizers and drinks. A party with dessert, coffee and a movie is another option.
Denver Bargains has listings for free and low cost events, including free days at museums, the Botanic Gardens and the zoo from the SCFD.
If you're feeling adventurous and are in need of a haircut or dental services, explore the reduced rates offered by students. Although it may take a little longer, the trainees are highly supervised by instructors for quality control.
Next: Mony Saving Maneuvers 2014 Part 3: Use your library card, not your credit card.