Something about fall and spending more time indoors makes me start to realize how much money I spent not being indoors during the summer months. When I go to pick up a new sweater or pair of pants, I realize that maybe I need to get my affairs in better order.
Lucky for me, there are lots of fun things in the community (or at least you can make them fun) to help make your life more affordable.
I recently discovered the “Buy Nothing Williamsburg/Greenpoint” Facebook group. It reminds me of the days when I used to comb the streets for furniture left out for bulk pickup, but better organized and with accountability.
I gave it a try for the first time the other day.
I have a big tupperware full of berries from my CSA share this summer, and I know I better use them or lose them. I decided I would make jam, and was all ready to go to the store to get some ball jars. Instead, I posted on the buy nothing group.
Within the hour, a neighbor messaged me to say that she had ball jars she wasn't using and she was happy to give them to me. Instead of spending $12, I helped alleviate a neighbor of clutter.
I started to look around my house for things I could get rid of. Much of my clutter sits in my home because I know if I put it outside no one will pick it up and it will go to the landfill. I am not interested in contributing to waste.
Now, you can post things and know exactly who will come and get it and know that it will be used. Additionally, it's better than Craigslist free because it's not a random stranger coming into your home, it's someone that you have some information about before hand.
I was also recently introduced to a phone app by a friend that allows you to get luxury items on the cheap. It's called Your Local. Download the app and put in your zip code, and the app notifies you of local eateries and bakeries near your home.
You choose which ones you follow (I follow WOOPS bakery and Polka Dot, among others), and when these places have leftover food, they post it on the app instead of throwing it away.
You then can pay a deeply discounted rate for the food and pick it up in the evening. I've seen everything on there from DiFara's pizza to apples and pears to pastries, and most allotments are under $5.
My final new hack for saving money is to go to the McGolrick Farmers Market during the last hour. At that point, the choices are few, but the willingness to bargain is high. The other day I got a huge bag of delicious ciabatta and raisin rolls for $3 and tomatoes for a dollar.
I may owe a some money to the credit card companies for my grad school fees and summer fun, but at least I can still find plenty of great ways to get what I need creatively and still enjoy little luxuries for less.