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Saving money  and living a good life is at the top of everyone list. You don’t need us to tell you times are tight. Between the rising cost of gas and groceries, a disheartening recession, and the shaky job and housing markets, you’ve probably spent more than a few hours worrying about your finances. But tightening your belt doesn’t mean choking your spirit; you can still enjoy the things you love.  Here are some great waves to improve yur quality of life on a budget.

Plan a swap meet. There are many of my friends nowwhoare bringing the designer clothes they have grown tored of to an afternoon of swapping fun. It is fun. It gives you a chance to have the excitement of new clothes but py nothing. You would be amazed at the things you can score in a trade.

Stock up on homegrown food. Growing a small garden in your kitchen window sill can be a small garden. It’s a good way to grow herbs as well. If you have a terrace you can grow tomatoes. They have a wonderful tomatoes grower that takes of a minimum amount of space. In most urban communities there are  neighborhood gardens  you can join a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) service; there are now approximately 1,000 nationwide. Members pay about $25 a week during growing season to get fresh, seasonal produce delivered to their door or to a neighborhood drop-off. Visit local to get a list of CSAs in your area.

How To Fight The Rising Cost Of Food

Put the Web to work for you. I loved tiffany lamps. They are very expensive. The average cost is about $50. I  searched online and found two lamps similar to the one I wanted for $50. That was a steal! I saved myself 50 percent

Butter up your favorite brands. Companies love hearing from loyal customers and will often send them coupons or free samples Write an enthusiastic letter or e-mail to the customer service department of your favorite conditioner, snack food, or cleaning product; it could save you cash while you continue to enjoy name-brand products.

Use the card (not the credit card) .Did you know that you can get CDs, DVDs, and even video games for the price of a library card (i.e., zilch)?

What’s your tip to save a buck? We  want to know.

Make sure you are following @Elev8official for stories like this and more. For more from Oretha Winston follow her on twitter here.

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