You’re not alone: Everybody’s feeling broke. We asked Leafly experts how they make their marijuana budget go further when times get tight.
It’s January, and that means all those credit card charges you racked up during the holidays have come due. You’re feeling broke. Welcome to the club.
January is traditionally the tightest month, but this year it feels a little extra lean. Inflation. Layoffs. The price of gas and eggs.
Your Leafly team is right there with you. We’re feeling the pinch too, and we hope to lessen the pain by sharing some pro tips. Here are 21 ways to make the most of every dank dollar.
1. Save every roach
Back in the boom times we could afford to carelessly smash and toss that last inch of smoke. But we are no longer living the life of J.P. Moneybags.
When you’ve had enough, let that roach cool overnight and save it for later. Three days from your next paycheck, future you will thank former you for doing you a solid.
Pro tip: Store your roaches in a metal or silicone container. Make sure they’re sold. You ain’t saving money if your place burns to the ground.
2. Bust out that roach clip
Behold the humble roach clip: It will save you money. (Adobestock)
How to light up those leftover shorties? Meet the roach clip.
Those who weren’t around to experience the glory of the 1970s may be unfamiliar with the roach clip. Back in the day, joints were micro-mini sized compared to today’s standard pre-roll units. To smoke those lil’ things consumers commonly employed the roach clip, which allowed them to hit every last millimeter without scorching their fingers.
Nowadays they’re typically sold as “alligator clips,” and you can find ’em on the cheap at Amazon or WalMart. Like 48-for-six-bucks cheap.
If you want something with a little more class and utility, check out the custom clips at Mystic Timber ($30 to $45) and King Palm ($9.50). They put more space between your hand and the heat.
And hey: Don’t scoff at the roach. That flower has been bathing in THC smoke, so it contains extra potency.
6 Ways to Save Money by Making Your Cannabis Last Longer
Leafly’s newsletter sends the hottest new deals at dispensaries near you direct to your inbox. BOGO bargains, 20% and 30% discounts: They’re happening all around you. Get the savings delivered to you, before your local shop sells out.
4. Buy in bulk and store it like a pro
There’s no Costco of weed—yet—but in most legal states adults are allowed to purchase up to a full ounce of flower per day.
There’s a rule of thumb when it comes to flower: The smaller the package the higher the price. If you pay $12 for a gram, you may pay $24 for 3.5 grams (an eighth). You’ll pay even less, gram-for-gram, if you can buy a half-ounce or a full ounce.
Invest in that half-ounce if you can afford it. Get yourself a quality air-tight glass container and store that stash in a cool, dry, dark location. It’ll last longer than you think.
Time is money, my friend. And using Leafly’s online ordering system will save you both. Ordering online allows you to stay within your budget by limiting your purchase and bypassing the long line at the store.
We’re not against in-store impulse purchases. But this may not be the month to load up on that hot new high-priced strain. Order online, pick up quickly, and enjoy your product while paying rent and utilities.
6. Explore the depths of the lower shelves
Never been below the mids? C’mon, take the plunge. Find out what’s down there. Is your local selling a full ounce for $30? What the hell—give it a spin. You can’t know why the good stuff is good if you don’t sample the value packs. Consult your budtender—they’ll know what’s best in the lower depths.
7. Make your own edibles using cannabutter
Turn that lower-shelf flower into delicious homemade edibles. The easiest way to do it is by making cannabutter, which you can then add to other recipes. Leafly just happens to have one of the world’s most popular cannabutter recipes, and we won’t make you scroll through a personal essay on the history of butter to find it.
8. Grow your own at home
The ultimate budget flex: Grow your own. The initial investment ain’t nothing (seeds, soil, pots, etc.), but the long-term yield can be nothing short of astonishing.
A single cannabis plant can produce a pound of useable flower. One pound. That’s 453 grams, or enough weed to fill 600 joints. That’s from one plant. In states where homegrow is legal, most households are allowed at least 3 jplants. Some allow up to 12 plants. Know your state’s limit. It ain’t free if you end up in court.
First: Find out if homegrow is legal in your state.
Second: Let Leafly’s experts guide your grow.
Leafly’s guide to growing marijuana
9. Join or form your own home growers network
Once you’ve got a crop in the soil, start connecting with other local home growers. They’ll be happy to offer tips, diagnose problems, and clue you in to the best methods for maximizing your plant’s productivity.
Best of all: At harvest time, you can trade flower with your new grow friends, comparing strains, grow techniques, and potency. Good times.
Note: If you grow your own, don’t sell it. Gifting and swapping with other adult growers is legal. Unlicensed retail is not.
10. Switch from joints to pipes
More efficient than the joint. (Adobestock)
We’re going to the Leafly vault for this classic: Years ago Dante Jordan advised budget-minded readers to switch from joints to pipes. Why? Less wasted smoke, more bang-for-the-buck.
Glassware is one of your best friends when it comes to conserving cannabis. A bowl a day keeps the empty jars away, ya know? If you’re trying to save money, pick up a little pipe for $15. They’re a lot easier to clean and rejuvenate than one-hitters, and you’ll use less cannabis than you would in a joint or blunt.
11. Switch to a smaller bowl
You know how ice cream makers respond to inflation by maintaining the same price point but producing slightly smaller containers? That’s what you’re doing here.
If you’ve got a choice of pipes, now is the time to start hitting the one with the smallest bowl. Are you tricking yourself with a bit of simple psychology? Sure. And it’s better than scrambling to cover that overdraft.
12. Buy popcorn buds
If you’re not ready to go bottom shelf, consider shopping for popcorn buds. As writer Jeremiah Wilhelm explained in the Leafly guide to popcorn buds:
“Popcorn buds are a little smaller than popcorn. They’re usually B-grade buds that don’t have the bag appeal of a large, lustrous A-grade nug. One of the nice parts about popcorn buds is their intermediate position between budget cannabis and high-quality bud. The potency of popcorn buds should be on par with, if not slightly lower than, A-grade buds of the same strain (by the same producer).”
One of our Leafly producers adds this pro tip: “Popcorn buds are cheaper, contain fewer stems, and often (in my experience) come from the bottom of the literal barrel, so they are sometimes coated in extra kief.”
What Are Popcorn Cannabis Buds?
13. Vape your flower in a dry-herb device
Want to get every last sip of dankness out of your flower? Try vaporizing it in a dry-herb vape. This minimizes the loss of smoke—think about how much weed burns away in that joint when you’re not actively hitting it.
Want to know more? Check out Leafly’s guide to dry-herb vapes.
10 Excellent Portable Dry-Herb Vaporizers
14. Recycle that AVB flower
“Already vaped bud,” or AVB for short, is the brown, crispy flower that’s left over after vaping cannabis. Although much of the THC in cannabis will be vaporized, the flower isn’t turned to ash (unlike smoking) and retains some of its cannabinoid content. That means it can be used twice, if you know how.
Leafly’s Rae Lland has an outstanding guide to using AVB to make your own edibles, capsules, RSO, and tea.
Recycling vaporized cannabis: 10 ways to use AVB (‘already vaped bud’)
15. Stretch that top-shelf weed by sprinkling in some mids
This may raise eyebrows among the weed purists, but we’re not averse to mixing a little of the cheaper stuff in with the quality flower to make it all last longer.
C’mon, you already do it with your coffee and your vodka.
16. Use a gravity bong to maximize your hitting power
Pro tip from some of our more experienced stoners: “Homemade gravity bongs will definitely make your flower last a little longer.”
Leafly’s guide to gravity bongs will walk you through the steps to create your own machine.
As for the results, well…
Do gravity bongs get you higher than other smoking methods?
The short answer is yes. Gravity bongs force heavily concentrated smoke into your lungs, filling them to capacity beyond the average hit from a pipe or joint. When you inhale the contents of the smoky bottle into your lungs, you are essentially breathing in the smoke from an entire bowl of cannabis in one go. For this reason, gravity bongs are certainly not for the faint of heart. Gravity bongs are a tried-and-true method of old school cannabis consumers. They deliver a powerful hit of THC that may be too much for an inexperienced cannabis beginner, so gravity bong-er beware.
What is a gravity bong and how do you make one?
17. Hit a no-fee ATM before the store
In-store ATMs are convenient but they’re also expensive. Who wants to pay a $3 or $5 service charge? Nobody, that’s who.
Hit up your own bank or credit union’s no-fee ATM prior to shopping at the dispensary. It’s your money, don’t pay to use it.
Many medical dispensaries and adult-use stores have customer loyalty programs that reward consumers for their return business. Sign up and start collecting points—and don’t use them until you really need ’em.
19. Crack open your kief catcher
Kief in a kief catcher. (Leafly)
Your grinder may be holding a bounty of free dankness. Most grinders contain a kief catcher—the very bottom chamber that captures the finest cannabis dust.
Unscrew that catcher, and sprinkle some kief on your bottom-shelf flower. Voilà—you now have extra-potent, extra-delicious kief-infused weed. Enjoy.
What is kief and how can you use it?
20. Shop during happy hour
Some stores feature special discounts available only during happy hour (usually the slowest time of the shopping day). Others will double your customer loyalty points for buying during these quiet times.
Happy hours vary by store, of course, but many outlets feature these specials during the morning 9am to 11am slot. Others offer a 2pm-to-4pm happy hour, and some may offer late night bargains. Get to know your local; it’ll save you money in the long run.
21. Consider your budtender a free expert consultant
Budtenders love to match your needs to their products. When your need is value, they know where to find it for you. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)
Another benefit of shopping during the slow hours: Plenty of time to connect with a budtender. Tell them your wallet’s a little lean this week and ask them to suggest some value-priced products. They know where the bargains are hidden. Let them show off their knowledge. And hey—don’t forget to tip. You may be broke, but you ain’t cheap.
Leafly Senior Editor Bruce Barcott oversees news, investigations, and feature projects. He is a Guggenheim Fellow and author of Weed the People: The Future of Legal Marijuana in America.