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Grow: Try this weekend savings challenge: have fun without breaking the bank

How a lot may you save in a single weekend in the event you in point of fact put your mind to it? Five Acorns staff and I made up our minds to place ourselves to the check.

Here’s what happened after we faithful an entire weekend not to paying complete price—starting with my own family-friendly itinerary. (Spoiler: We all stored a good chunk of cash, and it wasn’t just about as onerous as you’d think.)

Budget-friendly a laugh with the kinfolk

Money stored: $130

My weekend began with a flurry of texts from buddies a few Build-A-Bear sale—an exceptional “pay your age” promo!—that had everybody clamoring to the mall. While I may’ve stored big on two dear toys, the last thing my two daughters need is more filled animals, so I stated no. Pro tip: Sometimes the perfect financial savings strategy is understanding when to cross. 

On Saturday, I cashed in a Groupon GRPN, -2.47%   deal: $19 for two hours of a laugh in a leap area, saving us $16.80. On the best way house, we stocked up on groceries, where I stored $41 on everything from college provides to produce and snacks with in-store gross sales and BOGO offers. 

Sunday started with a day out to the films with two different households. We’re all participants of our theater’s rewards program, which prices $15 a 12 months. This landed us 4 tickets to “Hotel Transylvania three” for under $20, at the side of part off popcorn. Had we long past on Friday night time, our tickets would have value double. We spent the afternoon skimming titles at our local bookstore. We got here up with a stack of six we in point of fact sought after, however I hadn’t budgeted for the $51 splurge. I pulled out my telephone on the spot, and logged into my library account. Five mins later, I’d reserved all six books—free.

For us, this was a gorgeous typical weekend. I by no means learned good cash behavior as a child, so I love appearing my kids how easy it's to have a laugh without breaking the financial institution.

It’s all about rewards programs

Trevor Rogers, design director (New York City)

Money stored: $1,455

My spouse Katie and I are already considering forward to Thanksgiving trip arrangements. We’re spending the vacation in California, however round-trip airfare doesn’t come affordable. So we cashed in 69,255 Chase Ultimate Rewards issues for JetBlue JBLU, -0.27%   tickets. They have been more or less $700 a piece, so our issues stored us a whopping $1,400! All we paid was $30 after taxes and charges.

From there, we leveraged our OpenTable rewards issues to snag $25 off dinner at one in every of our favorite restaurants. The next night time, we used a loyalty punch card to get $17 off a field of wine. You can probably inform that I’m all about rewards, which is why I additionally took advantage of the Slice app, which focuses on offering supply services from local pizzerias. We were given a ton of food on sale, saving a complete of $30, together with a $five sign-up bonus.

This weekend financial savings challenge wasn’t an enormous departure from how we normally spend our cash. We’re always searching for offers and love our rewards programs.

Finding birthday treats for much less

Alyssa Crittenden, customer make stronger representative (Orange County, Calif.)

Money stored: $130

This challenge fell over my birthday weekend, so I considering budget-friendly tactics to regard myself earlier than embarking on a weeklong street day out alongside the Pacific Coast Highway. 

I hit an Urban Outfitters URBN, +1.56%   sale, where I were given $23 off a brand new hat. And since I love discovering new tactics to be lively, I signed up for a seven-day fitness center cross. The promotion, meant to hook new participants, translates to a weeklong membership (normally $30 a month), which I completely took advantage of on the street!

Every street day out needs a good playlist or two, so I downloaded Spotify Premium, which offered three months of song for $nine.99—a $19.98 financial savings. Before I left the city, I borrowed a chum’s annual National Parks cross. Her generosity kept $80 in my pocket since I didn’t have to pay admission at any of the 3 parks I visited on vacation.

All instructed, I stored $130 in the weekend, and it was beautiful easy. This challenge made me more mindful of all the different ways to avoid wasting.

A day at the flea market

Jordan Glendrange, business analyst (Orange County, Calif.)

Money stored: $57

Thriftiness isn’t my sturdy go well with, so I was excited to provide this challenge a whirl. I directed my efforts toward my local flea market to peer how many offers I may score in a single browsing day out. 

I was excited to stumble upon a ebook I’ve been short of to learn for $five, saving $7 in comparison with the Amazon AMZN, -0.64%   price. I additionally found an important Members Only jacket for $20, which might’ve been no less than $50 new. I believed it’d be great to select up one thing for my oldsters, too. I settled on a plant for my mother and a cool hand-drawn image of Dodgers Stadium for my dad. I haggled for both, in the end getting $20 off.

Bargain browsing and negotiating like this have been new experiences, however small successes made me a believer. It was awkward in the beginning, however it were given more uncomplicated after a few tries. I can see myself thrift-shopping again at some point. Even although I had to sort through a large number of duds, affordable, one-of-a-kind finds are possible for the ones keen to look.

Saving big on secondhand essentials

Adam Bickford, senior instrument engineer (Portland, Ore.)

Money stored: about $540

I was searching for a brand new papasan chair for my spouse Miranda’s birthday, however a brand new frame and cushion simply runs $300. I kicked off the weekend by means of discovering one free on Craigslist. It had a crack in the base, which I fastened with $2 clamps, and the cushion was in nice shape. Later, we took advantage of Portland Wing Week and hit up two restaurants for a $15 dinner—about part of what we'd’ve normally spent.

Saturday morning, we were given two free coffees the usage of a discount from our Chinook Book app, which helps you to browse mobile coupons. Miranda already can pay the yearly $25 Chinook Book membership price, however I were given a 30-day free trial together with her referral link. 

After coffee, we scoured a Facebook FB, -1.55%   alternate group. With a baby on the approach, we found a great top chair and baby carrier for simply $70. We would have spent an additional $80 had we bought this stuff new. Later, we stored $64 grocery browsing with another coupon from our Chinook Book, at the side of in-store specials. Sunday required a day out to the mechanic to generally tend to some automobile problems. The final invoice was $630, however we sidestepped a $50 processing price by means of paying in money.

Being frugal is 2nd nature to me, and I’ve found that you'll nearly always get monetary savings. For us, buying 2nd hand is without doubt one of the perfect no-brainer tactics to avoid wasting tons.

Groupon and rewards programs to the rescue

Holly Miller, advertising and marketing operations affiliate (Orange County, Calif.)

Money stored: $253.76

I’m a film buff, and I love my Movie Pass. It prices $nine.99 a month, however simply can pay for itself. During my weekend financial savings challenge, I noticed three new releases whilst enjoying heated recliner seats. Without the cross, I'd have spent $54.75.

I’m additionally a big fan of reside song and sought after to peer Hunter Hayes perform at the Southern California Fair. Tickets have been going for $75, however thanks to Groupon, I paid $16 and scored a free price ticket to the fair, saving another $10.

My weekend additionally included some browsing. I popped into American Eagle AEO, +2.93%   and found a adorable romper for $15, marked down from $60. I stored another $50 on sunglasses at Nordstrom JWN, +0.06% thanks to a big sale.

At Acorns, we've a cool program known as Found Money. When you store with one in every of our partners, the brand routinely invests on your account. This weekend, I bought a $10 membership to Blooom, an organization that helps optimize your 401(okay) and were given $55 invested!

I’m always in search of tactics to stretch my cash, however really feel impressed to push myself now. So I’m making plans to extend this challenge for a complete week to avoid wasting even more.

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