We're creatures of habit, but these habits can cost a lot of money in the long run. Instead of the usual dinner and a movie, try a variety of free activities and pocket the savings. You could start by hosting a potluck and then screening a movie that you borrowed for free from your local library. And rather than paying $80 or more for a concert packed with screaming fans, seek out free music performances in your community. Art museums and local venues, as well as upscale shopping centers, often host free concerts on weekends [source: Derrick].
You also could save big by becoming a tourist in your own town. Most local art museums, historical sites and homes offer admission for a nominal donation or, in some cases, for free. And if your city offers walking tours, take advantage of them. You can discover more free or low-cost attractions by visiting the Web site of your local chamber of commerce or convention and visitor bureau.
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- Derrick, Jennifer. "Free (or Nearly Free) Entertainment for Every Week of the Year." Saving Advice. April 10, 2008. (Oct. 24, 2011) http://www.savingadvice.com/articles/2008/04/10/102085_free-or-nearly-free-entertainment.html
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- Ogg, Erica. "Study: DVR, Set-Top Boxes Use Most Energy at Home." CNet. June 14, 2011. (Oct. 24, 2011) http://news.cnet.com/8301-31021_3-20071139-260/study-dvr-set-top-box-use-most-energy-at-home/
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Dollar stores — where most items cost just a buck — always seem to make money. HowStuffWorks finds out how they do it.