1. Get a members card at a casino in the city
For the gamblers and non-gamblers associated that live in close proximity to one of the three casinos in the city, can greatly benefit for getting a casino member card. I in no way condone gambling, yet if it is something that you do once in a while or have a family member that frequents the casinos to spend for fun (cause they can), consider getting a member card for some of the food perks that go along with it.
A member card at a casino allows you to earn points while you play, you just insert the card into a machine or give it to a dealer while you play. The more you play and spend, the more points you get. Casino’s also entice card holding, frequent going members by mailing out deals and offers, as well as crediting their account with a free $5-10 dollar bet or more a week. The credits including whatever points you may have obtained playing, can add up and be used as reward play or you can use the credits at any of the respective casinos food court areas and some restaurants.
It’s like the best arcade ever, but since real money is used rather than tokens you get better perks. Strapped on cash for food for the week? Just check your member account for the new week, either online or at the kiosk in the casino to see how much money your points convert to, to be used towards their food places. In my opinion, MotorCity Casino has the best food options for your credits, with restaurant’s like Little Caesar pizza, all day breakfast at The Lodge Diner, sandwiches and burgers at the Grand River Deli or variety of selections at the Assembly Line Buffet. MGM Casino is a close second with their huge buffet stocked with a wide variety of selections, and the newly added National Coney Island to the Breeze Dining Court. Greektown Casino (or is it Jack Casino now) recently received a food court upgrade called Monroe Market that I have yet to experience for myself. In addition to the play to eat aspect of the membership, during the week and holidays, casinos hand out giveaways of an assortment of treats for its members. Lastly, for those 21 and up who are not big gamblers and not interested in doing the whole membership thing, casinos provide other amenities just for flashing your ID. Complimentary water, soda, coffee, and even hot chocolate to indulge in, stationed all throughout the casino floor. Although its shitty and mouth wash cup sized drinks, you can’t dispute free.
2. Daily food deals
The days of the week can mean something different to everyone, for each day there is something different to to get excited about. Whether it’s a popular saying or a trendy action. I just thank God for restaurants using this logic to provide food deals to their customers each day.
If you do some extensive research at some of your favorite eateries in the city, you can study their menu to see which days of the week they may offer deals and discounts. My go to’s are: Monday, after 10pm, get an hour of bowling, a slice a pizza and a soda or beer for only $7 at The Garden Bowl. Tuesday, famously Taco Tuesday at my favorite taqueria, Lupita’s in Mexican town. Where you can sometimes get .50 cent tacos, but bring cash. Wednesday, half off large pizzas at Nikki’s Pizza which is pretty substantial even if shared among friends. Thursdays, you can find happy hours at a slew of bars accompanied by Karaoke. As for the weekend, I hope you have a date or a really good friend to pay for a nice dinner on Friday, a slice at a show Saturday at El Club and a boozy brunch early on Sunday or wait 45 minutes in agony---to get you by for the next week of daily deals.
3. Delete meat and shop at Aldi
Cooking your meals rather than going out is a great way to save money. To further stretch you money even more, try ditching meat, often the most expensive item on the receipt. In this day in age where there we have Pinterest, Google, and the Food Network Channel, it’s not hard to find a delicious vegetarian recipes. Also, when you go out of your way to shop at non brand name stores like Aldi, you’re saving on average $2.00/ item. Plus, it is so comforting knowing that stores like Aldi, ok just Aldi, are committed to only selling products that are GMO free. There cute boutique, European vibe store always leaves me spending less on groceries.
4. Art gallery openings or networking events
Maybe you’re not really into the art thing, or pretending to care what other people do for money. However, if you are able to fake it for just a night, drag a friend along and go to your local art opening or networking event. Usually at these occasions, especially at an art opening it is expected for their to be open bar of either wine or beer, and if real fancy, cheese, fruit, and crackers to accompany. At network events, there is a bit more involved into getting those free perks, like singing a paper, getting a name tag, listening to people speak and usually a cash bar….womp, womp, womp. Yet, the food is a bit more substantial, but be weary vegans and vegetarians for slim, and possibly unseasoned options.
5. The Dollar Store
It may seem like the obvious choice, but with the abundance of Dollar Stores in the area, it’s easy to bypass the obvious choice for money savings. However, dollars stores can’t all be treated the same way, because they are not!
You have your Dollar Castles, (with a C or a K) or some other name to that extent. A sorry excuse for a dollar store, filled with a bunch of gaudy decorations and diabetes socks that nobody under 75 would want. The main names in the dollar store game are Family Dollar and Dollar Tree. Among the two, Dollar Tree is the obvious choice, I mean everything is a dollar you really can’t beat it. However if you are looking for
something that you would need to get at somewhere like Target, but are weary of the price tag that comes with such a famous retailer. Don’t hesitate to step into that Family Dollar (depending on which location you
attend) for essentials like shower curtains or basket organizers that are cheaply made but also cute enough to do the job for as long as it will last.
6. Potluck with friends
In times of need lean on your friends. Join forces to create communal spaces to share food, internet, Netflix passwords, clothes and whatever else you may need to make it through to your next pay day. I personally love doing weekly potlucks with a good group of friends. Not too many peeps to ensure enough food for even the hungriest one of the group, but just enough so that the extra food on hand makes a huge difference to the meal. The true make of it are the friends, the love put into it your dish, the conversations, and memories. More than any extra money for food could buy. Using whatever ingredients you have left in the cabinets and pantry, you’d be surprise what can be pulled together for a side dish at the weekly Sunday potluck meal. Flex your culinary muscle to friends or try a delicious dish you would never thought you'd like, all while building a community and getting by until the next day.
7. Grocery store membership & bottle returns
When trying to save money, food is the number one culprit breaking your budget that you must get under control. It goes beyond buying your groceries instead of going out, but actually making the food, not wasting it (cause your wasting money), finding multiple uses for it and using every possible resource available to you to bring your food costs down. Grocery store membership cards seem like the only you can actual get the advertised sale price these days. It’s free to sign up, and if you don’t physically have the card with you most retailers will let you type in a phone number associated with the membership. Like most other memberships, be prepared to receive a slew of discounts and deals in either you mailbox or inbox.
Sometimes coupons can be worth the cut and save, however if you aren’t a family of four or more, and don’t have room to keep a stock of food it may not be worth it. Also, lets not forget we are in Michigan, and we are like the only state that can get ten cents for each bottle returned to a store selling the brand.
8. Gift card trade in’s
So a family member got you a gift card to Aeropostale and your 25 years old. No offense for those that wear Aeropostale at that age or above, but typically it is for adolescents and pre-teens. What do you do? Let it sit in your wallet until you meet a young person to re-gift to. Or, you can now go into a check cashing establishment or online reseller to sell the unwanted gift card. Unfortunately not for the amount of the gift card, typically 10% or more, less of the amount. However if you are really in a bind for some extra cash, this is a great way to get some money from those unwanted merchandise cards.
9. Poshmark and Plato’s Closet
Selling electronics, jewelry, clothes and even makeup you have lying around that hasn't been used in the past 90 days and aren’t planning to be used any time soon, is one of the best ways to get some extra money as a freelancer.
Flea markets, resell stores and even apps are great resources to minimize your stuff while racking in some cash. When I came back from California and looking to make some extra money after spending two months on the road with not much to spare after the trip. I took my love for thrift shopping and combined it with the app Poshmark to make some extra money. The effort you put into running your closet reflects how much money you will make, selling clothes online and on apps can be a long game. Over the past four years of using Poshmark I have sold over $700 worth of stuff! Resell shops like Plato’s Closet are also great because you can get cold hard cash that day for new or gently use clothes that are currently in style, for those impulse shoppers out there.
10. Trade in the car for Lyft and Zip Car
If you in the city or another metro Detroit city where you are in close proximity to where you work, a place to get groceries and other necessities for your everyday life. Then maybe it’s time to ditch the car and really start saving those extra bucks. Just because this is the auto capital of the world doesn’t mean you have to have a car. In 2018 we have access to a plethora of ride sharing options to choose from. I’ve personally have used and been satisfied with Lyft and the Zip Car service. If I need a quick ride, or need use a car to run important errands or go on a day trip I know there is Lyft and Zip Car readily available for my transportation needs. It is a way to still have access to mobile transportation on your terms without the stress and money of owning a car and pay insurance for it…..especially in Detroit!