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Quick and easy tips for entertainment on the cheap

It is sometimes difficult to see a bright side when the cost of living continues to rise with each passing day. This tough economy can be overwhelming, unless you convince yourself that indeed, this too shall pass. Cutting back can be difficult, so why not consider alternatives rather than cutting out some indulgences completely.
Host a movie night. Instead of going out, encourage your friends, and even your kids to join in watching a movie at home. For the price of two movie tickets and snacks at a theatre, you could host a whole party. Rent a new release and ask participants to bring their favorite beverage or snack to share.
Prepare drinks at home. Whether your drink of choice is soda, sweet tea or cappuccino prepare to have your drink at home rather than going out. Luxury lattes can add up to a significant amount in your monthly budget. Make coffee at home and add a flavored creamer for a tasty treat or make iced coffee at home, using the same combination. Beverages purchased in quantity are cheaper than picking up a drink at the drive thru. If you spend time on the road, pack a cooler with your favorite beverages and snacks.
Look for free things to do though out the year. Need a “Night Out”? Then you should go to historic downtown Salisbury. Once a month you can walk around downtown enjoying music, free trolley rides, and so much more. This event is free and family friendly. Many of the stores are open late, just in case you enjoy window-shopping. Every month has its own theme, so you’ll want to keep coming back for more. Or you can take a hike! Historic Salisbury offers many different walking trails; from a Salisbury Heritage Tour to a Civil War tour. To keep up with what’s going on around town visit: http://www.downtownsalisburync.com/ for more information.
Brush up on your cooking skills and buy local produce. Eating at home is far cheaper than eating out preparing fresh meals from local fruits and vegetables will help your budget and your waistline. Pack your lunch. At work, consider a carry in meal rather than going out for lunch with colleagues, then share recipes.
For these and other tips on how to survive during tough times, contact Toi N. Degree, Family and Consumer Education Agent, Rowan County Cooperative Extension Service at 704-216-8970 or by e-mail: toi_degree@ncsu.edu.

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