Cheap Thrills: Beating the money crunch

The headlines may wail economic woe, but that doesn’t mean you have to give up your fun. With daily specials and frugal decisions, there are many ways to squeeze out a good time during this financial crunch. Those needing to cut back on their Thursday night spending can enjoy dollar beers at Fat Tuesdays. You real penny-pinchers out there can hit up the Grove a day earlier for penny beer Wednesdays at Sandbar. This is definitely some of the cheapest beer in town. But don’t wait too late, the penny beer is usually sold out by midnight. The quaint, little bar at Bougainvilleas right behind Sunset Place transforms into a party house on Wednesday nights. It makes economical midweek partying possible, at least for the ladies. Ladies drink free until 2 p.m. and, with such close proximity to campus, if you’re really pressed for cash you can also save on the gas and parking. Guys, at least you can escape the budget drainer of buying her drinks.

Hungry? You can take a break from the dining hall monotony and eat out at Fridays on Fridays with their $4 appetizers. They recently added to their appetizer menu and the portions are generous, so they can easily substitute for a meal. If that doesn’t sound appealing, or everyone else is looking for a trendier table, it’s always a good idea to split a meal with someone. With plates the size of tubs at most restaurants, this option is easy on the wallet as well as the waistline. Also, be sure to ask if they give a UM discount. Many local places do, like Coldstone and Chicken Kitchen. Just be sure to pack your Cane Card.

Another great way to have a good time but not be regretting it the next time you check your bank statement is searching for alternatives. In the mood for a movie?  Rent a movie and skip the lines and $9 tickets at the movie theaters. Craving Coldstone? Split a tub of Ben & Jerry’s.

Though times may be getting tougher on our wallets, the savvy student knows how to have a good time the frugal way. A little forethought put into entertainment and dining decisions may mean the difference between having to make that please-send-me-money call to parents or not.