My First Guest Post: Social Life on a Budget

I am happy to announce my first guest post.  This post was written by Nat, a published author who also writes for several websites. After reading this wonderful post please check out her websites: (also please select to "like" Mojave Max on facebook he could use your support!)

Here is a little bit of information on Mojave Max the Tortoise:
I am Mojave Max, and I have been very busy since I became the Spokestortoise for the Clark County Desert Conservation Program  in 1995. I have been telling people about native species, what they can do to protect their local environments, and how to safely enjoy nature!
Having a social life on a budget.

You work hard every week, pinch every penny, and clip your coupons, but having fun is something that should not be scrapped completely!  Here are some tips on how to save money on leisure activities:

1) Move your date night up by two hours.  By hitting happy hour instead of opting for a full meal, you can cut your dining expense in half- or even less.  Have you wanted to try that nice restaurant but it is out of your budget?  Check and see if they have happy hour!  The list of places that host them will surprise you. You can eat a variety of small plates- some as little as $3.00 and under- and keep your bill under $25.00 for two people.  The trick is to opt for cheaper or on-special beverages to get the happy hour pricing; if you buy that $8.00 appletini, it isn't going to help reduce overall cost.  In some towns it is illegal to openly post a happy hour, or even advertise it, so you will have to do some website snooping to find one near you. One place to start: .... or you can try looking at the websites of the individual restaurants in your area.

2) Stay informed with the places you enjoy.  I have "liked" all of my favorite restaurants on Facebook and signed up for their emails.  Because of this, I know that my favorite cajun place has happy hour all day on Sundays, or that my favorite seafood place is offering two dinners for $20.00 to anyone who mentions their newsletter.  I also receive coupons and free meals on my Birthday.  If you are worried about spam in your inbox, create a separate account for your newsletters & special offers.

3) Take advantage of frequent buyer programs on places you actually frequent.  It is a waste of time to sign up for a punch card or discount card to places you will only eat once, and you will end up receiving a ton of junk mail because of it.  Think about the places you really enjoy going and see if they have any program that rewards repeat visits.  Some movie theater chains reward you with free popcorn or even free movie tickets. Some restaurants give you a free dessert after eating there X amount of times.  Even bowling alleys and miniature golf places might have programs to keep customers coming back. 

4) Volunteer!  Is there a big festival that you would love to attend, but don't have the budget? See if they need volunteers!  Not only will you spend a few hours helping your community, event volunteers usually get special perks such as free admission, free food, and free t-shirts!  You can also check out volunteering at your local theater, museum, or library- you might be surprised at the benefits they pass on to volunteers.

5) Go with a group.  If you can gather more than ten of your friends, most box offices for live productions, musicals, tours, museums, zoos, and more will give you group discounts if you purchase tickets in blocks.  The trick is to ask- instead of simply arriving on the planned day and hoping the cashier will take pity on you, call the box office days before and ask to speak to the manager.  Explain the size of your group and inquire about group discounts- remember, it is free to ask!

6) Find out what your city is doing.  You would be amazed at the amount of free things go on in your area.  Check out your town's chamber of commerce, your local library, local newspaper, or your public television's website.  There are free movies, free kids activities, festivals, free museum days, free plays, and other community events that go on monthly!

7) Go to the movies for free!  If you live near a major metropolitan area and enjoy seeing free movies, start checking out the posts at Fat Wallet:  Always make sure you are on the most recent page of the thread, and scroll through to find screenings near your city.  Not only will you get to see free movies before your friends, sometimes at the screenings you will receive free swag!  The trick is checking the site often to find a screening in your area and signing up as soon as you see it posted- these fill up fast.  You will also have to get to the theater early to ensure a seat- they overbook these on purpose to fill the theater.

Hope you enjoyed these tips on getting out for less! 

*don't forget to "like" Mojave Max on facebook