As our government continues to stall the potential of more unemployment money (ugh) I think it’s a really good time to share some of my money savers. Now listen, I am a big saver and I think every dollar counts. I did not get this way on my own, I have to give a lot of props to some really good influences I have (my parents and Caleb to name a few) who helped teach me to be a little more frugal and that maybe I didn’t need that dress from Forever 21 (honestly idk if I needed any of them). I also learned a lot from Miata Edoga in her class and in her podcast episode, and I shared a lot of my day to day “hacks” of stashing cash on this podcast from season five. So to add to those, here are some of my current big & small cash savers.
If you don’t know about this bougie bike situation you should probably consider watching more TV, I mean Christina Applegate even has one in Dead To Me! But we all know this at home quarantine dream comes with a hefty price tag…unless you go digital! Over a year ago I got a spin bike from Craigs List for $450 (an investment for sure, but way less than most) and joined the Peloton digital community. This means I pay 14.99 a month for access to any and all cycling classes, but also to yoga, strength training (these are no joke either), running (theres audio versions of coached workouts to take with you on a run), stretching/recovery, meditation, and cardio/HIIT classes.
The only thing you don’t get is your stats live on the “leaderboard” which if I am being honest I do not care about in the least. I cannot recommend this fitness world enough, especially if you’ve been considering dropping big bucks on the real deal (which btw you pay $40 a month to stream the workouts when you buy the Peloton itself…major difference)!
Ok this one isn’t cute and fancy. We all wish we could order a Sweet Greens salad or Sugar Fish sushi for all our meals, but that is so costly and uses so much single use plastics…we can do better. Enter in meal prep. And not the super Instagram friendly “ready to take on the week! #goals!” type of single meal stuff. Ew. I mean cooking in bulk. Here is my greatest food hack of all time: cook everything plain and family style and wait till the meal you’re about to have to jazz it up. This is the only way Caleb and I get through the week. Sure we have fun dinners 3-4x a week that we make fresh, but after 4 months of at-home nonstop cooking, we are so over doing dishes and spending an hour before and after the meal itself making it all happen. For example, I am writing this on a Sunday and just finished using the Insta-Pot to make big containers of plain rice, black beans, quinoa, and streamed veggies. Then tomorrow when it hits 2pm and I realize I forgot to eat lunch, I will take out my massive salad bowls, toss a bunch of greens + scoops of any of my prepped foods + oil, vinegar, salt, and lemon. I may throw in some tortilla chips for crunch, and ta-da! You have a super expensive salad for literally $3. And there is just something about tossing it all in a separate bowl before plating it that adds that extra umph, ya know?
That is just one example (and truly what I end up eating for lunch most days) of how having semi-bland bulk food ready to roll makes meal time so much cheaper. I learned a long time ago that if I try to make meal by meal food in cute little containers, I will never want the food I made on Monday for Wednesday, and then I will get hangry, and then I will order food. And the cycle continues!
Ok this sounds like a no-brainer. But I cannot tell you the last time I was not on vacation and paid for coffee. It still surprises me to this day when I see people complain about having “literally no money” and yet they go to a coffee shop every morning. If this has become more of a ritual than a true enjoyment, I would highly suggest switching to the at-home game and maybe saving the coffee runs for your Saturday AM treat. We use this coffee maker for cold brew at home every single morning. To be honest, we have two and that way we are never left without a least one marinating in the fridge. I swap back to hot coffee when it gets cold out (which currently feels lightyears away) and this milk frother is a game changer in terms of making a Silver Lake coffee shop at home experience.
Oh that feeling when your yearly membership to IMDb Pro hits your bank account (enjoy my money Bezos!). Ugh. There are a few online platforms that I think you can get some friends together to share passwords/accounts with and therefore share the cost. These are all offshoots of big companies so I am not suggesting you don’t pay people/services what they are worth…I am just saying these are the few that work well for a few of us broke actors.
Any and all tv/movie streaming services! They are build to be shared now!
IMDb Pro: needed for finding contacts, info, etc.
Amazon Prime (speaking of Bezos…he has enough $)
Casting About: used to figure out who is casting what and where
MailChimp: for your actor mailing lists (they will just text a lot of verification codes)
If you have any favorite hacks, share them on my latest IG post here. We could all use each others creative brains right now!