My Cheap Trick

My Cheap Trick is a new category where I will be listing cheap tricks and strategies that I’ve learned in my journey towards living more frugally.  I’d love you to also send in your “cheap tricks.” Please send me an e-mail rather than putting it in the comments.  I will post the best cheap tricks for all to see!

***Please don’t send deals or freebies from grocery, drug, or online deals.  Those are covered on LOTS of other sites. Check my blogroll.***

If you’re wondering what kinds of cheap tricks I’m talking about, I’ll give you my two examples for today.

1. WORK THE SYSTEM–If you think that you might be eligible for FREE or REDUCED lunch at your child’s public school, APPLY. Even if they never take advantage of the program, your child’s school will receive federal money based on the number of kids who are eligible.  YOU MIGHT BE SURPRISED to find that you are eligible.  I was surprised to learn of some people I know who are eligible. 😉  Here’s some more information on the numbers. (This info is for the 2009-2010 school year, but the government has extended the eligibility from 2009 through to 2011, so it is still good info.) ALSO, you can apply at any time your income or household size changes.  DO IT! As a public school teacher’s wife, I know our school and teachers appreciate all the help we can get. :)

2. HELP THE SYSTEM— Many grocery stores link shopper loyalty cards to local schools, whether public or private, and give money to them based on your spending.  After a recent bru-ha-ha about our county alternative school, it occurred to me that probably this school, which is greatly in need of added support and funding, may not have as many involved parents linking up to the grocery store’s education rewards programs.  Since I can link my card to five schools, I chose the three schools in our cluster (elementary, middle, and high school) and then I also included the public alternative school. You can do the same thing wherever you live to help at-risk teens!!  You never know when it might be your child at that school needing a bit of extra help.  Here’s the link for Harris Teeter. Just click on Together in Education; sorry, I couldn’t link directly. (The alternative school I chose is South Providence, so if you’re an HT shopper and don’t know of another school, throw some HT love our way. :))

So, those are my cheap tricks for today.  Got any more for me to share?

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2 Responses to My Cheap Trick

  1. Kathy September 2, 2010 at 5:47 am #

    We just got our letter yesterday telling us that the kids qualify for reduced lunches. Woo Hoo! I totally agree….it never hurts to fill out the application. Especially if you live in a fairly wealthy area and have a larger than average family. We didn’t expect to qualify, but figured we’d give it a shot anyway. It will be a nice little way to save some money and let the kids buy lunch more often.

  2. Katrina September 2, 2010 at 6:24 am #

    I totally agree Kathy, although, it has nothing to do with the wealth of the area in which you live. The amounts are set nationally based on gross income and family size with no other factors. As a kid, I got free lunch for a while, then reduced, and then eventually, I was indignant to learn that I’d have to pay full price. I was interested to see that the reduced cost for lunch is .40 cents, which is what I paid for it 2? years ago. :)