9-10-16 A Few Frugal Things

use it up

Extra Income

– I did $30 worth of extra online work

– I sold a set of books online that I found in the trash when my neighbor moved out for $19

– I sold an exceptionally unusual flamingo sweater that I found at goodwill for $3.59 for $61

 

A Few Frugal Things-

– I love The NonConsumer Advocate Facebook group and they give me great ideas and inspiration all the time

– The semester has started and I am back to being a full time college professor which means I will no longer be paying $300 a month for health insurance

– I have had some good luck selling some items on eBay and it’s always nice to earn a little more money

– The new campus that I am working on gave me tons of school/office supplies which made me glad that I had refrained from buying any ahead of time. They also gave me a really nice polo shirt with the college logo that I will wear while teaching. I had actually been wanting to buy one.

– My new office mate brews coffee every day and is more than happy to share.

– I have also received several fun and free meals at back to school faculty events.

– I was able to purchase a few items I needed for work at Dollar Tree so none of them cost me much. I wanted to buy a couple of electric tea kettles for my new offices but I decided that I can heat up water in the microwave for now.

– We did a large, stock up shopping trip at ALDI so that we would have plenty of groceries while we were working.

– I don’t have a break at work this semester where I would be able to buy lunch. This is going to save me a lot of money because I will be forced to pack lunches instead of stopping at a drive through. We have also been doing well making dinners at home.

– We have gotten together with family members at our house and their houses where we make tons of food and have a great time but haven’t had to pay for restaurant meals.

– Went to lunch with a friend at a pizza place where they do $1 slices of pizza. She also gave me some textbooks to use for teaching and/or sell on eBay.

– My father is going to visit my sister and will be able to bring her the stuff that we have for her instead of paying to mail the items.

– My friend gave me a bunch of baby clothes for my sister’s baby so that she will have less to buy.

– B is going to attempt to fix the crack in the iPad I was given instead of paying over $100 to have it professionally fixed. My father is attempting to put new wheels on my rolling professor bag instead of throwing it out.

– We drink a lot of tea, coffee and water which is always a huge savings over buying drinks. We did buy some soda this week in case we needed a caffeine boost at work because it is so much cheaper than buying it from a vending machine. B is lucky that his work provides a lot of drinks and snacks to employees for free.

– We really enjoy streaming TV and movies at home instead of paying for cable or to go to the theatres.

– I bought 3 round trip plane tickets for us to go to my sister’s baby shower for $350.00. I did buy them from two different airlines and airports that had the best deals. We were lucky to find tickets for cheaper than the cost of driving. We won’t bring any bags other than a free personal item bag each and we will bring our own food and drinks so we will save on those expenses as well.

 

Not So Frugal Things-

– I was too tired to pack up some eBay books I sold earlier in the week so I had to make a separate trip to the post office instead of combining trips. I also paid to mail some maternity shorts to my sister since instead of waiting for my father to bring them but I didn’t mind spending the money so she could use them sooner.

– Waiting one week to buy our plane tickets increased the price by about $75 which stinks but they were nonrefundable so I didn’t want to buy until we were sure.

 

Frugal Goals-

– I am so thankful to have a full time position instead of a contract position and I want to enjoy the steady paycheck and health insurance and extra financial security. I want to enjoy being able to afford to travel more and do some activities that have been put off because of cost.  I also want to ramp up my savings so that we can be prepared to buy a house in the next few years.

– Get a library membership so that I have access to more free kindle books and movies.

Swagbucks Sponsored Post – Swago nCrave

What I love about Swagbucks is they offer tons of easy ways to earn SB, which are points that can be redeemed for free gift cards! SWAGO is their version of Bingo, and is a fun way to earn easy SB by completing tasks on their site.  This week they’re running nCrave Swago which is just like regular Swago except all of the squares are nCrave activities to complete. Like regular Swago, complete as many nCrave Swago squares as you can to get the biggest SB Bonus possible. You’ll get a new nCrave Swago Board each day so come back each day to complete your nCrave Swago Board and claim your SB Bonus.

You’ll want to read the following because nCrave Swago will work slightly different than regular Swago.

  • Starting Monday, September 26th at 1:00pm PDT/4:00pm EDT through Thursday, September 29th at 11:59pm PDT/Friday 2:59am EDT head to your nCrave Swago Board and hit “Join”.
  • Each square on your nCrave Swago Board will contain an nCrave activity to complete.
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  • Be mindful of the patterns and their corresponding bonuses located on the right of your nCrave Swago Board. The patterns will vary in difficulty and SB Bonus value.
  • Once you’ve achieved a pattern the corresponding “Submit” button will light up. You can have multiple patterns available for submission, however, you can only submit ONE pattern each day so choose wisely.
  • Each day you will have a NEW nCrave Swago Board which will appear at 12:01am PDT/3:00am EDT. This means that you must submit your nCrave Swago Board before 12:00am PDT/3:00am EDT each day to claim your SB Bonus. Yes, that means you will be able to submit your nCrave Swago Board 4 times, once each day.
  • The game ends Thursday, September 29th at 11:59pm PDT/Friday 2:59am EDT so make sure to come back to your nCrave Swago Board EACH DAY to complete nCrave activities and claim your SB Bonus.

Swagbucks Swago Pie Fest

Strawberry, Pumpkin, Apple, Boysenberry, the list goes on! Craving pie? It’s time for SWAGO: Pie Fest! What is SWAGO you ask? It’s a bingo-inspired promotion run by Swagbucks, a website that rewards you with points (called SB) for completing everyday online activities. You can redeem those SB for free gift cards. If you’ve never used Swagbucks, participating in SWAGO is a great introduction to the site.

Here’s what you need to know to get your 300 SB Bonus:

  • Swago: Pie Fest will begin on Monday, September 19th at 12pm PDT/3pm EDT, make sure you hit “Join” otherwise you won’t get credit for completing the action items. Each square on your Swago Board will contain an action item to complete.
  • Once you complete the action item in a particular square the square will change color signifying the action item is complete.
  • You have a limited amount of time to mark off as many squares as possible so use your time wisely.
  • Be mindful of the patterns and their corresponding bonuses located on the right of your Swago Board. The patterns will vary in difficulty and bonus value.
  • Once you’ve achieved a pattern the corresponding “Submit” button will light up. You can have multiple patterns available for submission, however, you can only submit ONE pattern so choose wisely.
  • The game ends Monday, September 26th at 12pm PDT/3pm EDT. So make sure to hit “Submit” on the pattern you wish to submit. If you don’t hit “Submit” before the game ends you won’t receive your SB bonus.

Swagbucks THURSDAY, 9/15 ONLY! Spend $10 and earn 2000 SB from Birchbox

Swagbucks (the online rewards site that puts cash back in your wallet) has an AMAZING offer today only through Birchbox where you get 2000 SB (which is the equivalent of $20 in gift cards) for signing up.

Birchbox is the easiest (and most fun!) way to shop for beauty. Sign up for a monthly delivery of five beauty samples tailored to your skin, hair, and style – for just $10/month! Subscribe on Swagbucks through this link TODAY (9/15) to get your 2000 SB and get paid to try it out!

Haven’t tried Swagbucks yet? This is a great way to do it, and when you sign up through the link above and get your 2000 SB, you’ll get a bonus 300 SB at the end of the month. So that’s $10 for trying Birchbox, which gets you 2300 SB, which you can turn into $23 worth of gift cards!

8-21-16 A Few Frugal Things

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(Pickles Playing in Our New Trash Can)

A Few Frugal Things-

– I was really sad that I had to return my iPad to a college campus that I will no longer be teaching at. Then my Dad and Aunt decided that they should give me an older one that wasn’t being used. They even gave me chargers, cases and everything. It was so kind of them.

– It’s back to school season and as much as I want to buy some school supplies (I challenge you to find an educator that doesn’t love new school supplies) I haven’t bought any yet. I am trying to wait and see what the schools will supply and I still have a lot that are still good from previous years. That’s not to say I won’t pick up a few things on clearance with my mom’s employee discount.

– Finally called about a cosmetic factory recall on my SUV and it will be 100% free to fix but there is a YEAR wait!

– Went grocery shopping at ALDI and spent less than expected which is always a win

– I gave myself a French pedicure despite wanting to pay to have one done but the $45 savings made it worth it

– Aunt took us out to brunch and takeout for dinner which was very nice

– Went to a cheaper pet store and bought 2 months of snake food for cheap, it’s close to my father’s house so I will have to try to get him to go with me

– Found a cheaper version of the expensive eye shadow my sister had given me that I used up.

– My sister bought some face makeup for me at the makeup store where she works when it was not only B1G1 free but using her discount and now I have it for the entire year.

– I have had good luck thrifting lately for a few things I needed including black heels to teach in (I wear them out quickly), a dress to wear at a baby shower, shirts/tops for teaching and everyday life, William Sonoma cloth napkins (these don’t attract lint so I LOVE them).

– I have been donating stuff we no longer want (and I can’t sell on eBay) to the thrift store and I found a few more things but I will wait until I am already shopping there to drop them off

– I cleaned the house and I love that all I use is rubbing alcohol, my floor steamer that only uses water and homemade laundry detergent for wash. There are times that living chemical free saves us money.

– I continue to relist my current eBay listings and will list even more soon, I like making extra income here and there on eBay

– Next week I go back full time at the College I have been hired at full time, I’ve already been teaching there for a year as a contract employee. I’m so excited to only be teaching at one school and I receive free Dental and Health Insurance (I currently pay about $300 a month just for health) and cheap vision insurance. I have been waiting for my new insurance to kick in before I get new glasses, go to the dermatologist and get my teeth cleaned. This will be a huge savings!

– My discount Amazon Prime subscription is ending soon and I’m going to try not renewing it to save money. I will try to buy a few discount things that I need to take advantage of the free 2day shipping before it ends. I may renew later but I want to see how long it is before I need/want to use it.

– Hung some rugs to dry even though I really wanted to throw them in the dryer

– Amy of the Tightwad Gazette would tell you that saving money is often more about what you don’t do than what you do. Well this weekend we didn’t leave the house and we had fun at home. Not leaving the house is often the best way to save money!

– We also didn’t adopt a dog this weekend. We really thought about it but the dog we were considering was already adopted. Maybe it’s a sign.

– As always we have been enjoying watching TV at home. My father is kind enough to share his cable login with us so we can watch cable on out home devices through the different channel Aps for free.

– Using my sewing machine I repaired a comforter, underwear, a basket liner and a throw pillow

– I exchanged $10 worth of stuff at Dollar Tree. I was happy to get it out of my car where it had been sitting since the last time I forgot to return it.

– I had to mail something to my sister and went ahead and packed up a box for her that included an entire target sheet set in the color she wanted, an IKEA decoration, some pregnancy books etc. We used a flat rate box so it wasn’t expensive to mail.

– B and I cut each other’s hair today.

– I’m almost 9 months into my year of not buying any brand new clothing (with a few exceptions like underwear) and it’s so easy, I can hardly call it a challenge

 

Not so Frugal Things-

– Our AC completely broke in the scalding Florida summer heat and while our landlord paid for the repair and it was done swiftly we still ended up with a $50 higher electric bill and this is already the highest electric bills we will have all year. I know a long time ago people lived in Florida without AC but our homes are no longer designed to take advantages of breezes and the location of the sun so I feel no guilt in using the AC modestly.

– Had a great time when my aunt visited and we went to a really cool store Old Time Pottery which I had never been to before. We have lived in our townhome for almost two years and it’s the first time I shopped for brand new things for the house and I got a few things like a shower curtain, step to open trash can, hand towels and door mat that I hadn’t had any luck buying at our local thrift shops for the past two years. It’s not frugal to shop but after 2 years of not finding those items used, this store had them new for great prices.

– I am ashamed to admit that we threw away an unopened package of salad, an unopened package of broccoli shred, a whole bag of sweet potatoes that was bad when I bought them, some guacamole that went bad and some leftover chicken. None of this food was still edible so it had to be thrown out but this is a huge amount of food waste for us. We are trying to eat more fresh food but the downside is we sometimes think it will be good for longer than it actually is. I hate wasting food.

 

Frugal Goals-

– Pack lunches when I go back to work full time next week instead of buying unhealthy food

– Avoid stores and online shopping whenever possible (I’m not a huge shopper but I find the best way to save money is to avoid the stores altogether)

– Take advantage of my new free health insurance and dental and cheap vision insurance

– Be more careful about the AC usage, although because we will both be gone at the hottest times of the day now it will certainly lower our AC bill.

– Stop looking at dogs to adopt for a while, maybe we will go back to looking when the semester is underway and we have an established schedule

– Take an edible plants class

Swagbucks Team Challenge: Midway

What’s your favorite part about county fairs? Is it the rides, the food, the games? I love it all!

 

Starting Monday, September 12th, Swagbucks invites you to participate in their Midway Team Challenge. Pre-registration starts today! How will you contribute? Watching videos, completing surveys, shopping online? These activities and more will help your team get ahead. If you’ve never used Swagbucks before, it’s a site where you can earn cash back on everyday tasks you do online. Now is a great time to join, especially if you participate in the Team Challenge because it’s an opportunity to win an extra bonus for trying out the site. 
 
All members who participate and contribute at least 400 SB to their team’s total will receive an SB bonus in the form of a rebate on their next gift card! I can’t wait to help my team come in 1st place for that 50 SB rebate. 
 
The challenge lasts until September 16th so log on or make a free account! Pre-registration is open now!

Swagbucks Labor Day Sale

Happy Labor Day! This weekend Swagbucks, an online rewards program that gives you cash back for completing online activities such a shopping online, is running a great Labor Day Sale on their site. You work hard all year, its time to treat yourself and put some cash back in your wallet while you’re at it. Earn Double Cash Back or more when you shop this Labor Day Weekend at your favorite stores including: 

Walmart

eBay

Target

Old Navy

Macy’s

Gap

JCPenney

The Home Depot

Lowe’s

Bed Bath & Beyond

Groupon

Living Social

And many, many more!

8-20-16 Thrift Shop Finds

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I was excited to pick up some clothes for teaching like the Ann Taylor skirt on the lower left.

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This Express dress was only  $6 and I think it will be perfect for all of the baby showers I will be attending this year!

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Nine West shoes (left) are my crack cocaine of shoes because I can wear them for 12 hours without them hurting my feet. And I adore the Christian Siriano (love him from project runway!) slingback heels on the right!

the tightwad gazette

I was also super excited to pick up this copy of The Tightwad Gazette for $2! This is only the first book and I have the complete one you can see below but I absolutely love this book! It’s full of amazing money saving ideas! I will pass it along to someone else who wants to read it.

Austin Goodwill Outlet Haul

This past Saturday I was spending time with a friend who had mentioned she had started selling some old jewelry on the site Postmark and was interested in eBay too. I was telling her my experience about the Goodwill outlet in Austin, Tx. We were a short drive away so we decided to go. I had only ever been to the Goodwill outlet on one other Saturday night. This time it was super busy and hot. We did still manage to find some good stuff. Here is what I found:image6-14

I plan on selling this brand new Stephen Colbert book on eBay and keeping the Jim Gaffigan book. Ive already started reading it! Books were 4 for $1.

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I picked up this Little Golden Books out of curiosity. Turns out they really don’t sell for much on eBay but i might just list them anyways!

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A story book from 1981.

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We found so many old interesting books this visit. I believe the maroon book is a 1961 reprint from 1879, the blue book is the complete collection of William Shakepshere published in 1926, and the small brown book is a shorthand dictionary from around 1916!

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I found both these mugs to sell on eBay. If I sell just on I will make enough money to pay for my whole shopping trip!

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Lastly, I found four small like new Ikea plates I was going to buy a few months back, but for some reason decided against. I found two pyrex bowls, one anchor bowl, and a vintage Welchs Looney Tunes jar from the 80’s.

I also found a Maxi dress from Charminig Charlie (at least $40 in store), a pair of Jessica Simpson maternity shorts (at least $34 at Motherhood Maternity), and a cute tank top. My total was $10!

7-24-16 A Few Frugal Things

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(Our Fridge Full of Leftovers)

Last night we had a dinner party at our townhouse. This is one of the first times we have had friends over and we have lived here for over a year! We had a great time and although buying food for 8 people isn’t the most frugal choice it was worth every penny and we had a great time.

Dinner Party Frugal Things-

– I chose Tacos because they are fun and require little cooking since I am still finishing Summer B semester. All of the groceries were purchased at ALDI and Dollar Tree (Our friends love ALDI too!)

– We have fantastic friends who brought food and drinks with them too which is always fun!

– As always, we bought way too much food and drinks so we will have leftovers for a week! Yay for not having to cook again!

– We played Catch Phrase with a Catchphrase game that I bought at Goodwill a while ago. We watched an Orlando City Soccer Game on our Goodwill flatscreen TV using the antenna (no cable). We ate at the beautiful bamboo real wood table that my sister gave me when she moved because I had always loved it. We sat on the double recliner, Lazyboy couch I got free when someone moved out of my old college apartment complex and was throwing it away. I heated the food on my buffet warmers from my stainless steel cookware set that my father gave me for Christmas one year.

– We had extra seating from the flat folding sofa my mom bought my for my college dorm room and the $12 funky, fun, 80s, folding table and 4 chair set I bought at Salvation Army a few years ago. When you live in a semi-small space owning some flat folding furniture is always helpful when having people over.

– I used all of my Pyrex, Anchor, etc. clear glass food storage containers with lids to set out all of the food and cover it after we ate. This made for especially easy clean up at the end of the night as I only had to put everything in the fridge to put it away.

– I also bought paper plates, cups and napkins since we usually don’t buy paper products; however, I do feel that once there is a certain number of people eating we are saving money by not washing dishes, napkins, cups, etc. Not the most eco-friendly but frugal and very efficient.

– I deep cleaned the entire house and tackled some projects that I had been putting off. There is nothing like having company to motivate you to clean the house (Not that anyone would have cared if the house wasn’t spotless). I LOVE, LOVE having a clean house and this is like killing two birds with one stone because we have company coming to stay in a few weeks and we will *try* to keep up with it.

– I used rags, rubbing alcohol, vinegar and some old toilet cleaner my mom gave us to clean the house which means I didn’t have to buy anything to clean the house and there was very little waste.

– We were able to recycle a lot this weekend which I am always proud of. I want to always have more recycling than trash and we are working on it.

Other Frugal Life Things-

– I bought snacks and paper products for my end of the semester class parties at Dollar Tree. I spent less than $20 for 4 class parties.

– B washed his phone in the washing machine and while that is certainly not frugal, we had an extra phone that was the same as the one he was using and the Metro PCS store activated it for free so this didn’t cost us anything. (Metro PCS stores in our area all have different owners, prices and policies. We are lucky to have 1 good one nearby surrounded by really bad ones that try to rip you off…long story)

– During my cleaning spree I also went through our entire kitchen and got rid of a lot of things we no longer need. I also matched containers with lids and got rid of odds and ends. I should be ashamed to admit that this is the first time I have really organized our kitchen since we moved in but I’m not because instead I was accomplishing more important things. However, that’s not to say it wasn’t driving me crazy. We also decided to get rid of almost all of our plastic storage containers in favor of glass ones. And one of my friends was more than happy to take them. My mother wants our second blender. Everything else we are getting rid of will be donated to a local thrift shop.

– I found some great finds at the thrift store on half off day this week but haven’t had time to post about them including a shower curtain, sheets, a table cloth, a hand towel holder, some clothes, a matching curtain set, a couple very expensive university hats and a fog machine! I have always wanted a fog machine and it was only $2! B does not approve lol

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