How to save money by skipping the kids this winter

Even though October and November are billed as “Skip the Kidz and Enjoy the Season” months, filling up the car can still be an expensive proposition as gas prices hover near the national average of $3.45 a gallon.

This past weekend I booked a flight for myself and two friends from Chicago to Washington, DC, and we were planning to spend more than $500 per person. Should I just pay the increase in the cost of gas and worry about everything else that might come with it? I think not.

Photo by Crocs- Go Go Bootcamp on Flickr (CC)

I’m going to make it my mission to invest in savings and prioritize. I’m cutting costs this winter by:

• Utilizing ridesharing apps like Lyft and Lyfte. I figured a trip from Washington, DC to Chicago by just driving would cost me $40-$50, so by taking Lyft instead I’m saving money and getting a discount.

• Identifying favorites restaurants like restaurants that usually serve cheaper meals. After some research on Yelp, I learned of a restaurant in DC called Paperback. If I show up an hour late (or later) it costs me $10 to order a $12 meal (I actually bought the Mealizer last week as a failsafe), but if I show up in time it costs $6!

• (And finally) Evaluating the activities I do each week to determine if I actually need to take them or stream them via Netflix. If a trip like this from DC to Chicago is a fun but predictable weekend, using Netflix to watch movies and TV show is the best option. Also, for golfers like me, a car and golf clubs can cost $100 to $300. Driving myself around has even taught me to choose cheaper courses. In case you want to see why I don’t go to the many private golf clubs that charge hundreds of dollars for an 18-hole round, my 6-year-old son has to wake up early each morning to let me borrow his cell phone to call a driving range and pick up golf clubs so I can take my time.

Any more ways you can save money this winter?

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