Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Live Well, Spend Less

I just finished "Live Well, Spend Less!" through Waubonsee Community College with a great bunch of gals. 

The course description was as follows:  Join instructor Amanda Grant to collaborate and share great ways to experience ''the good life" on a tight budget. Amanda believes you can spend less and still live well. Find out how! Get ready to give and receive leads, tips and sources for exciting free or low cost entertainment sources, tips and recipes for succulent meals on just pennies, hip fashion-forward clothing at a fraction of retail cost, and even bartering/trading for goods and services. The group's best ideas will appear on Amanda's blog, "The Martha Initiative."

We spent three weeks sharing tips on where to get bargains on clothes, how to repurpose and refinish furniture, and all the free/cheap activities for kids and families in the Fox Valley area, and much more!  Of all the ideas presented in class, from saving money on groceries, clothing, entertainment, furniture, travel, kids' parties and more, a few stood out as class favorites.

Cheryl and Mary Beth are in love with GrouponSeriously in love. With great deals on restaurants, entertainment and services delivered daily to your inbox, who can blame them?  Jennifer was a fan of all the online resources introduced in class, especially (great resource for finding estate sales in your area) and

Mary was excited to learn about the Museum Adventure Pass.  Offered by many local libraries, this pass is checked out like a book and can get you free or cheap admission to area museums and cultural institutions.  Last year, the TMI Household used the Museum Adventure Pass to take our little family to the Brookfield Zoo...for free!  It was a fun day.  Now Mary is planning all kinds of free/cheap adventures to take her grandkids on this summer. 

Part of the class was sharing tips, and my class had some great ones for me.  I've learned about a few awesome resale shops in my area that I'll be checking out soon.  I also learned that county forest preserves in the area offer free/cheap educational and fun programs for kids, adults and families.  I hope to sign us up, or at least myself, for something soon.

What tips do you have for Living Well and Spending Less?  I'd love to hear from you!

Thanks again to Waubonsee Community College for asking me to teach this class, and thanks to all the wonderful women who participated!  I had a ton of fun, and I hope you did, too.

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