Savvy Consumer: How to be young, have fun, on the cheap
Sometimes our lives can become so hectic that we forget to stop and have fun. Here are some tips to help bring out your youthful, cheery side.
Swing by Forever 21 • You and your closest pal can treat each other to a few pairs of sparkly $3.80 earrings. Quality friend time plus bling equals an afternoon of delicious decadence.
Think retro • The 1980s and Alexis Carrington are calling. Microwave some popcorn, silence your phone and queue up old episodes of "Dynasty," "Dallas" and "Knots Landing," now available on Netflix.
Who needs silver polish? • When you were younger, you weren't afraid to invite friends to dinner when you used milk crates as furniture. Don't overthink things now. Order a pizza, make a salad and relax. People will remember the laughter, not the candlesticks.
Channel Dorothy • Make ruby slippers or a crimson clutch your go-to pop of color when wearing your favorite little black dress.
Hit the dance floor • The secret to enjoying yourself at formal functions such as weddings isn't sticking close to the buffet; it's getting out to twirl and whirl. Leave your shoes Â and inhibitions Â under the table and swing with a partner, or just rock out with a group of friends.
Take a "disco nap" • It is just as energizing on Sunday afternoon as it is at 10 p.m. Hit the couch and test it out.
Redecorate • Pick up a couple of wooden chairs and mismatched lamps at your favorite flea market, and give them a spray-paint makeover. Instant quirky charm.
Savor the prep • Getting ready can be just as fun as going out. Give yourself extra time to primp to your favorite music. Crank up the volume.
Offer to baby-sit for a friend with young kids • It's nice of you, sure, but think of it as an excuse to spend the afternoon devoted to the squishy, messy awesomeness of finger painting.
It's your kitchen • Throw spaghetti against the wall to see if it's done if it sticks, it is. It'll make you smile.
Play hooky • Skip the dry-cleaners and supermarket in favor of a theater and a box of mints.
Drink up • No one ever called Merlot "a vacation in a glass." For a happier happy hour, mix up a mojito instead. Rum is optional. But fresh mint and lime are required. Always keep a bottle of Prosecco in the fridge, and you'll never lack things to celebrate.