Blogger Ali Lawrence grew up in Alaska and now works from home in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania as a freelance content specialist. In her free time, she enjoys cooking healthy meals in her apple-red kitchen and binge reading fantasy novels. She starts us off with ways to live a lovely life for less in the US:
People often talk about how the United States is an expensive place to live in comparison to other countries. In many ways that’s true, but we also have many options that make it easy to live a lovely life for less in the US and be fulfilled without going broke!
Although some of the things on this list have been tried in other places, they were initially popular in America.
1. Taking dinner leftovers home for later.
When going out for a nice dinner, it’s expected that your waiter or waitress will carefully box up any leftover food so you can enjoy it later. However, that practice is certainly not common in some other places, and may even be firmly discouraged.
Americans love to get good value for their hard-earned dollars. That sometimes means enjoying portions at least twice the size of what an average person could eat in one sitting or asking for an extra basket of complimentary Red Lobster biscuits to put in your doggy bag for home.
It’s not that other countries aren’t concerned about preventing food from being wasted. However, in places like Italy, portions are usually intended for a person to enjoy immediately, and cooked in the way a chef intended (not zapped in a microwave a day later).
2. Sampling things with subscription boxes.
Americans love trying new things, but it can also become expensive. We’ve all purchased full sizes of products that seemed like they’d be amazing, but didn’t live up to expectations.
Subscription boxes, a recent trend popping up in America, help eliminate that frustration because they send participants sample sizes of everything from makeup to snacks.
It’s also usually possible to buy larger sizes later at a discount by purchasing directly from the subscription box provider.
Conscious Box is an example for people who love GMO-free products, natural items and things that are kind to the planet. Alternatively, Birchbox encourages people to try cosmetics and personal care products. Those subscription boxes also come with tips on how to use the items inside.
3. Collaborating in coworking spaces.
Americans have eagerly jumped on the shared and open office bandwagon to save money and work in engaging settings. Shared spaces (also called coworking spaces) not only give people places to hold meetings, access the Internet and set up mobile office spaces, but they allow doing all those things in a way that creates connections with peers.
Coworking spaces also capture the American entrepreneurial spirit. Rather than staying segmented from other workers behind the closed doors of personal offices, coworking enthusiasts mix and mingle, often in one or two large and inviting rooms.
The coworking craze has even captivated relatively small towns, like Charlottesville, Va., which has a population of just over 44,000 people.
4. Getting more bang for your buck on Black Friday.
For many people, the large crowds and rampant consumerism of Black Friday is far from anything that would fit the description of ‘lovely’. However, if you’re on the hunt for things that are less popular than widely advertised big-ticket items, and have a mindset that you won’t feel stressed if something’s sold out, it’s possible to get great deals for the upcoming holiday season.
Since Thanksgiving isn’t celebrated outside of North America, people from other countries aren’t accustomed to the idea of filling up on food and going shopping the next day.
There are plenty more ways to live a lovely life for less in the US. Hopefully this short list has provided some insight and maybe even a clever idea of how you can adopt other ‘living for less’ culture in your own life, wherever you live.