Let’s face it we have all been there at one point or another.  You just PCS’d, you are trying to save for a down payment on a vehicle, or some unexpected financial buy took a hunk of your budget. Whatever the case may be you wonder how you are going to make it until payday. Even still sitting around because money is low isn’t a great feeling. Here are a few of my ideas for being frugal while still being able to enjoy yourself until the next payday.


Eat Simply

Don’t eat out if you can help it.  If you must eat out pick sustaining, yet cheaper options. Groupons are an awesome way to go out to dinner and eat 2 for 1.  Many restaurants also offer lunch specials. If you’re not a picky eater google “3 ingredient meals” to get you through the week. Here are a ton of 3 ingredient recipes.

Date Night “In”

Instead of going to the movies and spending a pretty penny opt for staying at home with your loved one.  You can make it a Netflix or Redbox night and picnic in front of the tv.  You may also consider having an affordable meal over candlelight at the dining room table with Pandora playing some romantic tunes in the background (we’ve personally enjoyed Italian themed meals with Sinatra serenading us).  Pinterest is great for “date night in” ideas

Save On Gas

On the weekend you can park downtown and window shop to pass the time.  Usually in downtown areas you can park and spend the rest of the time walking. This way you are exploring your town and you aren’t driving around aimlessly trying to find something entertaining to do.  Many Warehouse Clubs offer cheaper gas then out in town. BJ’s offers a discounted military membership and tends to have cheaper gas.

Family Fun

If you have young children you can visit any park for free and in fact military families can get free admission to National Parks. Drawing with sidewalk chalk, blowing bubbles, coloring in coloring books, are all very cheap options and can entertain little ones for hours at a time.  For older children you can host a family movie night or game night.  Popcorn and milk duds are much cheaper at the commissary anyway. If you must go to the moviesJust don’t be surprised if the once friendly game of UNO or monopoly breeds a small family feud!

Spa Time

Whether you decide to have a ladies night with your gal pal, spend some me-time, or if you’d rather have some relaxing time with your spouse there are many ways to make the experience enjoyable and cheap: Take turns giving each other pedicures (with your friend or your spouse-no judgement here!), light some candles and take a bath, or raid your pantry and see what ingredients you have on hand to make an at-home facial. Here are a ton of great ways to have a cheap spa day at home.


Just because it isn’t payday yet doesn’t mean you have to be miserable!  Be creative and see how you can make that money stretch.  Your whole family will benefit from your ingenuity.  And remember it won’t always be like this!


Kathleen Marrero is a wife to an Army soldier and is a mother to one son with another son on the way.  She is a junior at Ottawa University online and is majoring in English.  In her spare time she enjoys Netflix binges with her family and creating new recipes.



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