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7 Great Ways to Save a Buck

Photo: Praying Buck by Jeremy Thies

1. Preach the gospel to the buck

2. Have it pray the sinner’s prayer

3. Tell the buck it needs to buck its sinful ways

4. Give it a copy of the NIV (New International Venison)

5. Take it to the nearest country chapel (but be careful from September to January)

6. Invite it to join your deerscipleship group

7. Encourage the buck to grow, study antler-n more and more every day

Okay, haha– joke’s over. I apologize for the dad humor. But here are a few ways I’ve found to save a dollar or two!

1. Thrifty Christian Reader

This website’s purpose is “Serving the Church with the best free or discount ebook bargains for a wide range of Christian readers!”  I would say that’s a pretty great mission!

I can’t recall how I came across this site, but I Liked their Facebook page a while ago and now anytime they have an update I get a notification. And I have taken advantage of their deals many times. They will keep watch of Amazon for Kindle deals and then post an update for a book, a couple books, or a huge sale. The other day a whole bunch of Zondervan titles were on sale for $1– and I bought about 12 or so. Twelve bucks sometimes won’t buy you one book!  The price will range, but if you like their Facebook page, subscribe to an email (right side of the website), follow their Twitter account or just check the site regularly, you can easily see the cover, title, author, and a little extra info to help you decide. Then if you click the link, it will take you the Amazon Kindle page and you can fin out even more.

2. NoiseTrade

I think I got to access Noisetrade back in its early days. Can’t remember exactly when I first used it, but it was fairly early on. I feel like such a hipster. “I liked ___ before it was cool…” Or maybe a broken-hip…ster. “I remember way back when…” But Noisetrade is a site that Derek Webb, musician and former Caedmon’s Call band member, helped found and create. He had discovered that putting one of his albums online for free actually helped more people listen to it and buy it in the long run. In 2008 he launched NoiseTrade– and it’s grown so big from there!  Read a bit more about its history here or here or there.

Screen Shot 2015-05-21 at 4.04.44 PM

If you go to NoiseTrade.com, you can browse music by genre, search for artists, or check out featured albums. Once you select one, you can listen to some clips and if you want to download it, you have a few options. Connect your Facebook or Twitter accounts, and it will post something along these lines: “I just got free music from ____ on NoiseTrade.” You can sign up with your email and give a little info (email, state, zip) and then download for free. Or you can leave a “tip” and pay whatever you feel is right. Truth be told, I have not yet paid for an album on Noisetrade. But you can bet that I have gone on to buy more music from some of those artists. You will get an email with a download link– click that and you’re good to go.

DerekDerek Webb has said, “If I am in the music business, I am connecting people with music and making my living being creative in a variety of ways. That, to me, is the way of the future.” It’s such a refreshing way to look at music.

The band The Civil Wars have this to say:

civil“NoiseTrade makes it easy for fans to share their love of music in an organic, natural way. That kind of ‘promotion’ – that kind of word-of-mouth connection – it is the lifeblood of all artists.”

Not only can you get music, but you can also get books off NoiseTrade. I haven’t yet, but the process is quite similar. Let me know if you find something cool!

3. Dollar Tree / 99¢ Store

“Wow, Evan, really? Dollar store? What a novel idea!”

dollar treeI know, I know. But do you know how many products you can get for a dollar? Really? Try to list them all. You can’t!  Sure, there are some things you shouldn’t buy from a dollar store. That link lists ten things you should never buy there– but also ten things you should buy at a dollar store. There are some great things that work the same as their $3-10 counterparts. You know what I stocked up on recently? Earbuds and micro-usb charger cords (just the cords, not the plug). Sure, the earbuds may not be as great as $30 versions, but they do the job just fine. The charger cords have actually been more sturdy and grip the phone better than the ones that come with the phone!

99But really, go to your local Dollar Tree or 99 Cents Store and just walk the aisles. Not only is it a fun game, but you will be amazed what you find. Seriously, every time I go there I say to myself, “Wow, they have so much stuff for a dollar!”  But DO NOT think Family Dollar or Dollar General are the same as the true dollar store. I say they sell products for “generally a dollar” or “in the family of a dollar,” but not for the dollar itself. Do not be misled. They can sell some good stuff too– but their prices are just ok. Go to the Dollar Tree or the 99 Cents Store.

4. Smashburger Survey

smashIf you have not yet eaten at Smashburger… you need to check out this map and remedy that ASAP.  Seriously though, Smashburger is delicious. So good. And one of the most delicious things about Smashburger is that they have the Smashburger Survey. If you eat at Smashburger, get a burger, some Smashfries, and a drink. And hopefully you will get a receipt. Hold on to the receipt. If you go to http://www.smashburgersurvey.com/, type in store #, date and time of visit, ticket # and full price of meal, and then fill out a five minute survey, you will get a code at the end of the survey. Go back to Smashburger, give them that code and you can get a free side— French fries, Smash fries, sweet potato fries, haystack onions, spicy buffalo fries, fried pickles, veggie frites, or side garden salad– with purchase of something else. And then you’ll get a receipt. And then you can fill out a survey. Then you can get a code for a free side. And again and again and again! You never have to pay for a side again!

bkI sometimes misplace my receipts or forget to fill out the survey, but it’s a great deal when you take advantage of it. And you know what?  You can also do something similar for Burger King, McDonalds, SonicSubway, Taco Bell, Buffalo Wild Wings, Dunkin Donuts, Whataburger, Dairy Queen, and Panda Express.

5. Goodwill / Thrift Store

How many things do you need to buy first hand?

How many things would you not purchase for more than 30 dollars?

How many things would you enjoy trying out if they were less than 5 dollars?

goodwillIf you can answer those three questions, you will discover many great things at a thrift store. Goodwill, Salvation Army, Savers, they all have great deals if you’re willing to look.

Especially books, movies, music, and games. Seriously. You might not like their clothes or dish ware for hygienic reasons (though a good wash will make most things fine), but just go to your nearest Goodwill and walk over to the book section. Paperback books are usually only 89¢ and children’s picture books are typically 59¢.  Some might need a little wipe down, but it’s always fun to search and see what you can find! Same for other media and games! I am constantly on the lookout for fun games to bring to church for us to have for the kids to play while they arrive, to give them a fun space to settle in for the day. And there are tons of fun games I never knew about! Go check em out!

6. Dollar Theater

It’s amazing how many people have told me they never consider going to the dollar theater. I think it’s a stigma. What if I told you that you could go see a movie in a theater with good seating, good sound, good projection, and tasty snacks— with tickets for 1/8 the price of a regular movie ticket?  What would you say to me? “That’s great! Where is that?”  I’d tell you to go to your local dollar theater and find out.

Now, perhaps I’ve been spoiled. The dollar theaters I have frequented in Waco, Houston, Conroe and Bloomingdale, IL, have all given me a great movie watching experience. In probably 20-40 movies that I’ve seen at the dollar theater, I can only think of maybe two times that there was a significant problem with sound or projection. I’ve probably had more problems at “regular” theaters. But I’m sure there are plenty of poor quality dollar theaters out there, and I’m sorry if that’s your situation. But if you aren’t sure, go find out! The only issue is that you’re seeing the movie a few months behind everyone else. Unless you get a group of friends together and see it with them! It’s nice to see what reviews the movies get, and then go see the well reviewed ones– or see the “bad” ones and make up your own mind! (Read my other post about dollar theaters here.)

7. Don’t Buy Stuff

Really, the best way to save a buck or two… thousand. 

Hope you found something interesting to do! 

Posted under: Fun

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