Money, money, money. I feel that I can talk about money with anyone, in any place and at any time. Some people may think that I always have money on my mind and don’t have much to talk about, other than money. Lucky for me, I don’t talk to those people much. I have found a great place, my blog, that I can use as a platform for me to talk about money openly, share my ideas and thoughts honestly and freely with people who are passionate about building wealth – one dollar at a time. I have shared my ideas and thoughts on how to save money, borrow money, build access to emergency money, get free money, grow my money, keep more of my money and manage my money. Wait, that’s not all, I still have one more: how to stretch my money. That’s right, in this post, I’ll show you how far I can stretch my dollar. Well, $25 to be exact.
My New Year’s Resolution
Right after the Christmas and New Year holidays, I felt that I may have over indulged a little bit. I might have consumed an extra slice of cheesecake here, an extra bottle of beer there and too many kinds of seafood everywhere. Of course, once the calendar turns over to a new year, I made a New Year’s resolution to lose a couple of pounds and to eat healthier like most people. To some people, losing weight means starving yourself, while others think that you have to buy all these organically grown vegetables, antibiotic and hormone free meat and on and on. What I think is healthy for your body, should also be healthy for your wallet too. So don’t go overboard.
Stretching My Money At A Young Age
So how did I get the idea of stretching my money? It started when I was pretty young as I grew up in a family with very little extra money to spend. I rarely got an allowance. In fact, I don’t even know what an allowance is until one of my grade school classmates told me that he got $20 a week from his parents. So when I do get an allowance, I’d find ways to buy as much of the stuff that I wanted as possible. This continued throughout high school. I remembered that I had three close friends in high school that I used to hang out with almost every day after school. We’d drop by a street vendor close to our school, spend a dollar on a jumbo hotdog and we can add all the gazillion condiments on top of our hot dogs until we can’t stuff it anymore (I don’t think any hotdog vendor had ever made any money off me). Afterward, we’d drop by a local arcade and spend a quarter on a six-player “X-Men” arcade game. That quarter provided us, on average, an hour of non-stop action and fun. So with $1.25, I kept myself well fed and entertained for a whole hour.
There Is Free Lunch In This World
Now fast forward about 20 years (okay, a couple years more than 20), you get a grown up that’s very conscious of all the financial decisions that he makes on a daily basis. So when he’s looking for a way to keep his body (and wallet) healthy and he happens to walk by a Subway Sandwich in the food court near his office with a sign that says free six inch sub, a bell rang in my head – free lunch. If you have been reading my blog, you’ll know that I do believe in free lunches and you just have to find the restaurant that offers it. In this case, Subway Sandwich offers me a free lunch in the form of any six-inch sub on their menu if I buy a $25 gift card. So I used my Tangerine Mastercard to buy the Subway gift card because I get a 2% cash back for my restaurant purchases and picked my favourite six-inch sub, the Steak and Cheese for a free meal. Right off the bat, I saved a total of $7.66 – $0.50 from the cash back and $7.11 from the free six-inch sub.
More Free Food
When I first bought the gift card, I just wanted to get a quick free lunch and I was thinking of giving the gift card away to my nephew, but I changed my mind as I was looking at the receipt. I noticed that I could get even more free food if I visit their customer feedback website TellSubway.com. I mean the website had been there for a long time and the offer of free food had always been there too, but I wasn’t interested in the past. Somehow, this time, it might have been the free six-inch sub that stirred my interest. So I visited their website, provided my email, fill in the information about the store and service that I just visited and answered about 8 questions. It took about 3 minutes, I got a code, wrote it on the back of my receipt and got a free cookie. For this free cookie, I had to go back to the same store within a month of my purchase, give my receipt to the cashier and I got a free Macadamia cookie.
The Daily Discount
At the time of this post, Subway Sandwich was having their $7 sub of the day promotion where you can get a different foot long sub for just $7 each every day of the week (for my American readers, your sub of the day is only $6. How I always envy you guys for paying a cheaper price for the same stuff). They have this promotion quite often throughout the year. I first noticed when they started this promotion quite a few years back when the sub of the day was just $5. Then a few years passed, I guess it was inflation, their sub of the day increased to $6 for the selected foot long sub. Now, it stands at $7, though you can still buy a couple of foot long subs anytime for less than $7. You can get one of my favourite subs, the Meatball Marinara foot long for $6.79 plus taxes. You must be thinking that I probably worked at a Subway Sandwich before or I am being paid for reviewing their restaurant. Nope. I was not paid nor was I affiliated with Subway Sandwich when I wrote this post – not yet. I just enjoy their food. To demonstrate how much I enjoyed customizing my own sub, I have my own topping list and I do not deviate from this recipe when I visit. I start with the whole wheat bread, then adding lettuce, tomatoes, extra, and I do mean extra cucumber, black olives, pickles, hot peppers, Chipotle and honey mustard sauce to finish. A while ago they added avocado to the topping list and I’d love to add that to my recipe, but I’ll have to pay an extra $1.50 for a foot long, so I’ll pass on this – with a frown from my healthy mind, but a smile from my healthy wallet.
A Footlong Or Two Six Inches?
When I was in my teen and early 20s, I was able to wolf down my favourite finger licking good, foot long Steak and Cheese sub in a single sitting and still have more room left over for cookies and chips. However, I am not in my 20s anymore, my metabolism had slowed down and I needed to portion control my meals because it’s the healthy thing to do if I wanted to keep my new year’s resolution of losing a couple of pounds. I was still buying the foot long, though. With all the toppings that I loaded up, I was able to split the foot long sub into two six inch subs. I’d have half of it for breakfast and the other for lunch on the same day. Some people may think that’s too much sub for a day, but I don’t have any issue with having subs for two meals in a row.
The Sub Of The Day
The next time that I visited Subway Sandwich was on a Monday because I want to have the Oven Roasted Chicken sub. It’s one of the premium subs of the day on the menu with low calories, perfectly healthy for my health conscious mind and wallet. That sub costed me $7.91 (=$7 + 13% tax). I gave my previous purchase receipt with the code to the cashier to get a free cookie and ask for the receipt when I paid for my next purchase. My second purchase with the gift card was on Sunday of the following week, which I also got another sub of the day, the Subway Club sub for another $7.91. My third purchase with the gift card was for the Wednesday sub of the day, the Sweet Onion Teriyaki Chicken sub for another $7.91. With $1.27 left and the $0.50 that I saved in cash back, I bought the Apple slices for $1.58 (= $1.50 + 13% tax). Once again I give the receipt with the code to get a free cookie and kept my purchase receipt.
For less than $25 dollars in total, I was able to have seven delicious meals and six desserts. By buying my three foot long subs of the day and keeping my receipts, I saved a total of 76.9% (or $19.07) on my purchases comparing to buying the three subs foot long subs at full price. Comparing to purchasing the same subs in the form of individual six-inch purchases, I saved 121.8% (or $30.22).
My Two Cents
Stretching your money doesn’t mean that you have to buy inferior items or substituting for less expensive alternatives. You can often purchase the same items at a lowered cost by knowing when and how to purchase your items. In another word, try to purchase your items when they are on sale or get more for the same amount of money that you spend. In my case, I am perfectly happy to spend a couple of minutes to fill out a survey to get free food and buying my favourite subs on a particular day to save money. Bon appetit.