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Make staycation, not vacation, plans
Is the winter-break vacation to Hawaii or Mexico just not in your budget this year? Visit your local tourism bureau's website to find frugal ideas for a staycation. Tourism sites often offer inexpensive festivals, events and free entertainment picks such as municipal-sponsored concerts.
For something different, author Welbes suggests the FactoryToursUSA.com website to find out whether any factories in your area offer tours.
"If you look for factories that make food products, you might end up getting free food samples," she says.
Local volunteering is a way to participate in entertainment that might be out of your budget. For example, you could volunteer to usher at the local theater or symphony, or to collect admission tickets at a designer house show.
"The important thing to keep in mind is that you must volunteer for a position that requires you to be on hand for the event if you want to enjoy the entertainment," Welbes says.