Category Archives: Shopaholic Savers Updates

Natural, Organic, and Chemical Free Living Successes and Failures

At the beginning of 2012 I became more interested than ever in eliminating and removing chemicals from my home. You can read about that decision HERE. Since we are now well into 2013 I thought I should post an update.

Towards the end of 2012 I really slacked off on this but I now have a couple of friends and my sister who are all excited about going chemical free and it has made me want to recommit myself to this lifestyle. It’s a lot more fun to have people to talk to about the stuff we make/buy and compare results. The picture above is actually some of the chemical free items a friend of mine recently bought for her home.

Chemical Free Successes

– I replaced my deodorant that contained aluminum with baking soda and then eventually with Tom’s of Maine Apricot deodorant. The baking soda worked really well but it wasn’t as convenient to apply a powder as it was to use a deodorant stick.

– I replaced my toothpaste with Tom’s of Maine toothpaste and it actually helped me with the chronic canker sores I have gotten since I was a child.

– I switched to a green cleaning spray and now switched to a spray bottle of vinegar that I use when cleaning around the house instead of Lysol or other chemicals.

– I received a cast iron skillet from my brother for Christmas and I LOVE it! We use it all the time for cooking instead of Teflon.

– We used vinegar to scrub the mold/mildew off of the walls and ceiling in our bathroom instead of something stronger and so far it has worked well.

– We have stopped heating up anything in plastic in the microwave.

– I made my own homemade weed killer out of vinegar and salt and it did work!

– I also recently found The Environmental Working Group’s Cleaning Products search engine which allows you to search for your cleaning products and see how harmful they are on people and the environment. This just makes me want to throw away all of the non-chemical free products in our house, which I am slowly doing as I replace them with chemical free options.

Edit– You can also go to The Environmental Working Groups Search Engine Skin Deep to search for all of your personal care products and makeup. I searched for all of the products I use frequently and I was in good shape except for my hand cream, which I now need to replace.


Chemical Free Mixed Results

– We have a couple of stoneware items to cook with which were very nice gifts. I should use these more often.

– I got a great deal on some green works cleaning spray and I used it for about half a year and I liked it a lot. Now I have switched to vinegar which is cheaper and even more chemical free.

– We tried organic coffee and rainforest certified coffee this year and we liked it a lot but I can’t say we noticed a difference from regular coffee. It is just so much more expensive that we haven’t continued buying it unless we get really great deals on it.

– I got a good deal on Method dish soap at target after coupons and I tried the cucumber melon scent and I loved it. I didn’t have as good of luck with other Method products though.  However, I have had good luck recently getting dish soap for free so I found it hard to justify buying natural dish soap. If I have to buy more then I can see buying natural/organic dish soap if I can get it for cheaper. Also apparently Method products aren’t rated very well as far as green products go.

– I was excited to get Botanical cleaning wipes for free at Winn-Dixie and they work but unfortunately they smell so strongly and strangely that it makes me not want to use them. But we do use them on occasion.

– I thought that the Physician’s Formula Organic mascara we tried worked well but when my eyes watered it burned my eyes in a way that my non-organic mascara never did.

-I tried natural motion sickness medicine. It did seem to help a little bit but just not as much as Dramamine. I did however find that ginger chews seemed to help for shorter trips.

– I used vinegar and baking soda to clean our toilet and it actually worked really well except for around the bottom flush area. So this result was mixed.


Chemical Free Failures

– I was able to buy Yes to Tomatoes shampoo and conditioner at Walgreens on sale for about $2 each, which is really cheap for Organic/Natural personal care products, but every time I used them they gave me a really bad headache. I ended up giving them to another family member that wasn’t bothered by them.

– I got some free Yes to Carrots hand cream after a coupon. It burned my chapped hands and turned them red. I ended up getting rid of it. I haven’t had good luck with the Yes To brand of products so far. I don’t know if I will buy any more.

– I bought some Method Laundry detergent and cleaning spray right around the time that I broke out in horrible full body hives. I can’t say for sure that either of these items contributed to the hives but I just can’t be sure so I got rid of both of them. Also. as I mentioned before. apparently Method products aren’t rated very well as far as green products go.

– We have really liked most of the Organic/Natural food products we have tried but we find them to be a lot more expensive than regular food products. We still buy them when we find good deals but it would be impossible to stick to our $200 a month grocery budget if we only bought Natural/Organic foods.

– We have bought some glass food storage containers but I wish we had more. They are just a lot more expensive than our stockpile of plastic food containers that were mostly free.

*Even though not everything we have tried has worked, I’m still glad that I have kept going and made progress*


What I’m working on (See the above picture)

–  I purchased Dr Bronner’s castile soap and I’m hoping to use it to make  cleaning and household products.


– I already used the Dr Bronner’s castile soap to make 2 ingredient hand soap which is supposed to be a lot less harsh on my always chapped hands. So far so good. We have had great luck with turning this into foaming hand soap that we now use all over our house. Click HERE for the recipe.

– I have also been sick and haven’t had any luck with antibiotics so I’ve decided to try some natural  medicine, saline spray, vitamin C and apple cider vinegar. I’m actually feeling a lot better, but I had already been sick for a while by the time I started it so it’s hard to say if the virus just ran its course. I actually do think that the natural medicine helped because I was still really sick when I started with it. Edit– I am now entirely better in about 4 days after almost two weeks of being sick. Next time I get sick I’m going to start this right away to see if I get healthy faster.

– I just bought some Gud (by Burt’s Bees) natural shampoo and conditioner and hopefully I will have better luck with that than I did with the Yes to Tomatoes products. So far so good and it smells excellent. Edit– I don’t think the conditioner is as good as the non-natural but it still works.

Our garden is still in the early stages but I’m hoping we will be able to get some nice veggies out of it.

– I made some baking soda body wash (mix baking soda and water until moist) this morning but I haven’t been able to try it yet. Edit– It works great so far!

– I would really like to try making my own natural hand cream but this seems to require more cooking and ingredients than some of the simple recipes I’ve tried so I’m going to keep looking until I find a recipe that I really like before I attempt it.

– I bought some essential oils to use instead of perfume (which is full of chemicals) but I’ve been so sick I haven’t tried it yet.

homemade downy wrinkle releaser

– We also figured out how to make natural/organic downy wrinkle releaser. Click HERE to see how.


If you are interested in seeing my Natural / Organic and Chemical Free adventures in the coming year click HERE or simply click on the Organic / Natural tab in the top navigation bar.

May 2013 Grocery and Household Item Budget

imageOur goal is to spend only around $200 a month on all groceries and household items and this month we were $70 under! This was a little bit of an unusual month for us as far as our grocery budget goes. As exciting as that is, it’s only because of the Free $100 Publix Gift Card I won. This took $100 off of our budget so we would actually have been about $30 over this month otherwise.

We were on track to spend even less in May but towards the end of the month I recommitted myself to eating really, really healthy. Therefore, I didn’t want to eat some of the food we already had in the house and had to go out to buy more meats, veggies, etc. It did cost a little more but it was definitely worth it and I’m going to continue the healthy eating into June (and hopefully longer) so we will see how this affects the grocery budget next month.

We also ate out more this month than we have in probably an entire year. We had a lot to celebrate so I feel that it was entirely worth it. Eating out isn’t included in our grocery budget.

May Totals-

Spent- $129.84

Saved- $309.73 (not including savings from stores such as Aldi and Dollar Tree which are hard to calculate)

Remember- This budget is for two adults and we eat almost all of our meals at home. This also includes all household items such as toilet paper, soap, cleaning products, toothpaste, etc.


Some of Our Shopping Trips This Month (Not All of These Were From The Grocery Budget)-

5-2-13 Publix Shopping Trip

Free Croft & Barrow Towels with Kohl’s Cash

Walgreens Banana Boat Sunscreen Deal $1.75 each

Publix Returns Made Easy

5-16-13 Goodwill Thrift Shop Finds

5-11-13 Recent Thrift Shop Finds


See How We Have Been Doing With Our $200 Budget So Far in 2013 With the Links Below-

January Grocery and Household Item Budget

February Grocery and Household Item Budget

March Grocery and Household Item Budget

April 2013 Grocery and Household Item Budget


How did you do with your grocery budget this month?

Check back at the end of June to see how we do this month!

5-5-13 Shopaholic Savers Weekend Update- Our New Look!

Life and Site Update-

This has been a crazy week. In this week alone I’ve…
– worked at my part time job
– worked on my eBay Business
– started really working on my university summer fellowship to conduct a tipping research study
– dealt with home repairs on the house we are renting
– and… finished the renovation of this website!

Our Site Renovation Is Over!!!!!!!!!!
What do you think of our new look?

Kim, who did the work on the site, did an AMAZING job! I’m very happy with it. She was very professional and easy to work with. If you are interested in contacting her for work on your site you can e-mail her at or visit her new site HERE. She also made us the button you see above! Feel free to link to us! The code is in a box on the right of the page.


Frugal Things This Week-

– Doing well with our grocery budget for the end of April
– Finally getting to use part of my Free $100 Publix Gift Card
– Re-listing a lot of old listings from my eBay Business and a few books have already sold
– We didn’t have any wine glasses and I have recently discovered that there are some wines that I like and my sister gave us a really nice set of wine glasses and also some other glasses
– My sister also gave me some nice clothes including a pair of PJ pants that I needed because my old pair were so worn out they ripped
– Starting to get ready for our yard sale and finally picked a date
– My mother gave me some face wash that she didn’t want when I ran out of mine
– We have made a lot of frugal meals at home
– We have been trying to keep our AC set at 77 degrees or above now that the weather is warmer so that *hopefully* our electric bill doesn’t go up too much
– We parked and walked onto the beach instead of paying to drive on the beach
– We did a really great job this week with using up all of our leftover and not having to throw food away
– We borrowed a lawn mower from my mother instead of buying one so B could mow our lawn

Some of My Recent Posts-

5-2-13 Publix Shopping Trip

April 2013 Grocery and Household Item Budget

How to Buy and Dress in Business Clothes for Less

4-20-13 Yard Sale / Thrift Shop / Rummage Sale Finds

4-22-13 Recent Free In The Mail

Saw It On Pinterest and Tried It- Label Your Power Strip for Free

$1 Helium Balloons From Dollar Tree


Some Great Posts I’ve Been Reading Recently On Other Sites-

The Ultimate List for Earning Money Online: 50+ Resources That Will Turn Your Spare Time into Cold Hard Cash @Single Mom’s Income

– How We Bought A $50K Duplex @Planting Our Pennies

Should I Pay Off My House Early? – Pros and Cons @MakingSenseofCents

I Hired a Maid! @EyesOnTheDollar

April 2013 Grocery and Household Item Budget


Another month has flown by! Although we did go slightly over our budget this month I’m still content with what we spent because this has been a crazy month! See our weekend update for more info on that!

April Totals-

Spent- $211.25

Saved- $116.86  (not including savings from stores such as Aldi and Dollar Tree which are hard to calculate)

Remember- This budget is for two adults and we eat almost all of our meals at home. This also includes all household items such as toilet paper, soap, toothpaste, etc.

We spent a little more this month just because we have been sooo busy that we didn’t have as much time to bargain shop but we did get some great deals on some things that we will be eating in the coming month.

Some of Our Shopping Trips This Month-

4-16-13 Publix Shopping Trip- Spent $19.94 and Saved $51.90

4-8-13 CVS Shopping Trip

See How We Have Been Doing With Our $200 Budget So Far in 2013 With the Links Below-

January Grocery and Household Item Budget

February Grocery and Household Item Budget

March Grocery and Household Item Budget


How did you do with your grocery budget this month?

Check back at the end of May to see how we do next month!

Should I Buy a House Now or Later?

houseI have been thinking about buying a home more and more often recently. I really want to own my own home but I am very up in the air about it. Although I am a long way from making an actual purchase I am considering my options.

Pros to Buying a House Now-

– Home prices are extremely cheap right now in my neighborhood/neighborhoods where I would consider buying a home. I mean really cheap! You can buy a decent house in a decent neighborhood for less than $60,000. I even found a decent one for $23,000. That’s crazy and I know it won’t last for long.

– Our rent is several hundred dollars more a month than a mortgage would be and we would be paying towards owning something not just throwing away rent money. Since I moved out of my parents house at 18 if I spent $500 a month on rent I have probably paid about $35,000-$42,000 in rent alone which could have completely bought a house in today’s market.

– A mass transit train is opening around the corner and I think once it opens home prices will skyrocket, plus a rental property will be even more sought after when it is close to mass transit

– I want to own rental homes in the future, why not buy a home, live in it for a couple of years and then rent it out when we move?

– We are stuck in one place for school for the next couple of years anyways so moving somewhere far away isn’t a realistic possibility

– If we stay near this neighborhood we are very close to family, my job and my doctor

– It takes a while to establish yourself in a new place after a move, we have a great life here and we may not want to move and start over (again) right away

– I want to be able to do all the things you can’t really do when renting- paint my walls any color I want, plant a garden, even getting a dog isn’t practical in our rental home with white carpets

– It would be a good investment down the road


Cons to Buying a House Now-

– We currently commute about 30 mins to the university where we will both be in school and soon I will be teaching, this drive could get old quickly and right now we have the flexibility to decide to move closer if we wanted (But right now we want to stay here)

– Buying a home is a huge commitment; we would be making a commitment to stay there for at least a couple of years

– Owning a home can be expensive. It’s thousands of dollars to replace a roof, fix a septic system, or fix electrical problems.

– What if we need to move and can’t rent it out? (Honestly I’m not too worried about this one because we know so many people in this area who rent)

– We don’t look like we make a lot of money on paper right now so I don’t know how difficult it would be to get approved for a mortgage.

– I am not 100% familiar with the home buying process so this will require a lot of self education on my part

– In our price range we will probably be buying a house that has at least a few projects and we don’t have a lot of experience with DIY (although we could learn) so we would either need a lot of help from family or we would need to hire people to help us. I don’t want to live in a construction zone for a long period of time either.

What do you think? What has your experience been with home buying/renting? I will take all of the advice I can get on this subject!

Note- All you need is an e-mail address to comment on this site, no sign up is ever required

4-6-13 Shopaholic Savers Weekend Update


So on this blog while I do write about small snippets of my personal life I don’t usually write about it a great deal. However, life has been really exciting for me lately and I want to share.

For those of you who don’t know me you should know that I graduated from college with a double major B.A. in 2010 with a 4.0 GPA and zero debt. After working full time for a horrible company, I had a period of unemployment before going back to waiting tables. Currently, I am about to go back to school for my Master’s degree.

I just found out that I have received a Graduate Teaching Assistantship which will allow me to teach class sections while I am in school in order to have my tuition covered and earn a living stipend. I also received a Dean’s fellowship to help me cover my expenses while in school. In addition, I applied for and received a summer mentoring fellowship from the university which will pay me to conduct a research study this summer before I start classes and teaching in the fall. My BF, who I refer to as B on this website has already started going back to school for Computer Science.

Here is what my schedule looks like in the next few months-

Summer Semester

– Summer Mentoring Fellowship to Conduct Tipping Research Study

– Taking a Class to Prepare to teach at a University

– Taking another online class to prepare to use the online teaching programs

– Working as a server a few days a week

– Running my online eBay/ Amazon business from home

– Running and Maintaining this website and hiring someone to revamp it visually (stay tuned this will be soon!)

Fall Semester-

– Starting taking Full time classes in the M.A. program

– Teaching two sections of a class

– Working as a server, maybe two days a week

– Running my online eBay/ Amazon business from home (if I have time)

– Running and Maintaining this website

So all I have to worry about is my part time job, running a website, running an online business, going back to school and teaching classes in addition to running a household and spending time with family and friends. Sleep is optional right? I think I can say that my plate is FULL! And I couldn’t be more excited!


Some of My Recent Posts-

Over 60 Things We Usually Don’t Spend Money On and A Few Things We Do
3-28-13 Publix Shopping Trip
Search for Coupons Before You Shop
March Grocery and Household Item Budget
DIY Pet Water Bottle Holder
4-5-13 Recent Thrift Shop Finds


Some Great Posts I’ve Been Reading Recently On Other Sites-

Making a Financial Plan for the Future (Here’s Mine) @Single Mom’s Income– this is about rental properties, something that I’m very interested in

Eating Healthy On A Budget @ Purposely Frugal

How Rich People Think @ Budgets Are Sexy

We Quit Our Jobs With $26,000 To Travel the World @Making Sense of Cents Now Has An Instagram!

instagramWe now have our own Instagram! We will be posting more pictures and instant content through our Instagram page. This makes it a lot easier for me to share deals while I’m shopping. So follow us for even more in store deals, thrifting, yard sale finds, sales, frugal living and cute pet pics. Below is a preview of some of the stuff we currently have on our instagram site. We would love it if you would follow us.


March 2013 Grocery and Household Item Budget


I can’t believe another month has flown by! I can’t believe it’s April already. I am pleased to announce that we were slightly under our $200 budget this month.

March Totals-

Spent- $195.27

Saved- $114.30  (not including savings from stores such as Aldi and Dollar Tree which are hard to calculate)

Remember- This budget is for two adults and yes we do eat three meals a day at home. We only ate out 3 times the entire month. I mention that not because we include what we spent eating out in the grocery budget but to show that we really do eat almost all of our meals at home. This also includes all household items such as toilet paper, soap, toothpaste, etc. 


Some of Our Shopping Trips This Month-

3-28-13 Publix Shopping Trip

3-28-13 Walgreens Shopping Trip

3-15-13 Shopping at CVS and Walgreens

See How We Have Been Doing With Our $200 Budget So Far in 2013 With the Links Below-

January Grocery and Household Item Budget

February Grocery and Household Item Budget

Over 60 Things We Usually Don’t Spend Money On and A Few Things We Do

pig money

If I need or want something there is nothing I like better than finding a way to get it for free! That being said here are many of the things we don’t pay for. If we can do it or make it ourselves we do and I’m proud of that. It isn’t always easy but it’s definitely worth it financially.

When BudgetsAreSexy posted an article on this recently I realized that I had written an article on the same subject a loooonnnnnngggg time ago and never published it. So with a lot of revisions, here it is.

Things We Usually Don’t Pay For

1. Haircuts– My aunt went to beauty school and she cuts my family’s hair for free. We return the favor in other ways. My father and B cut their own hair using men’s hair cutting razor kits. If you don’t know someone who cuts hair/aren’t adventurous enough to do it yourself many beauty schools will cut hair for free/cheap.

2. Most Toiletries– I do not pay for shampoo, conditioner, razors, body wash, dish soap, and some makeup because I get these products for free through couponing.

3. Most Cleaning Products– Once again I so many cleaning products for free through couponing I never have to buy them anymore. I also find that soap, water and a rag work just as well as many cleaning products.

4. Paper Towels– I use washcloths and hand towels instead of paper towels and I use reusable napkins and plastic cups instead of disposable ones. This is also a green idea and cuts back on the amount of trash my household produces. See- Making Rags to Use Instead of Paper Towels or See- Use This Not That Paper Towels

5. Paper Napkins– We use reusable cloth napkins, most of which were given to us as a gift. See- 30 Ways to Save Money In Your Kitchen

6. Paper Cups and Plates– We use the real thing and then our dishwasher See- Frugal Reflections and Dishwashers

7. Plastic Silverware– Again we use the real thing

8. Car Washes– I think it would be great to have someone else wash my car but I would never want to pay for it. Drive through car washes are cheaper but still more expensive than doing it yourself. I got a car wash kit for one Christmas and it works just fine. Plus I tell myself it’s good exercise. Ways to get them for free- There is a local place that offers free car washes with an oil change and also the Mercury dealership that my father goes to offers free car washes for Mercury vehicles.

9. Take Out Coffee– Who hasn’t read an article on this? Making coffee every morning for two people like my boyfriend B and I do (I can usually get the coffee and flavored creamer for free/almost free) can save up to $4 a day or $1,460 a year and that’s a low estimate. See- What to Do When You Run Out of Coffee Filters

10. A Home Phone– Who needs one when you have cell phones? Note- Check with your internet provider, many have changed the rules so that you no longer need a home phone line in order to have an internet connection.

11. Trash Pickup– My old apartment complex offered trash pickup for $35 dollars a month ($420 per yr) and instead we drove our trash to the trash compactor on our way out of the complex.

12. Magazines– My mom, sister and aunt all buy them and they all give them to me after they finish with them. I also get free magazines off of the internet and a parade magazine in the Sunday paper.  See- Why I don’t pay for Magazines

13. New Books– I do actually buy used books when I find them for dirt cheap; however, I am including them on the list because you can get them from the library for free. Many libraries now allow you to reserve books and movies online and then pick them up when they arrive (My local library will mail them right to your house). See- How You Can Save 100% at Any Bookstore

14. DVDs– They can be borrowed, you can get them free from the library, I get free Redbox rental codes, and we have Netflix. I also watch movies online for free. See- A Free Redbox Code thru May 8th 2013

15. Late fees, overdraft frees, any kind of bank fees– I get paid by my bank to put my money in the bank (as it should be).


16. Underwear– I get mailed coupons for free expensive underwear at Victoria Secret all the time. If you join their Pink Nation program and e-mail list you will also be e-mailed coupons for free underwear. I have also received free perfume and a $10 gift certificate from them. See- How I Get Free Underwear from Victoria’s Secret

17. Manicures/Pedicure– It costs $18 for a cheap manicure and $35 dollars for a cheap pedicure plus a tip. I have all of the stuff to do professional French manicures/ French pedicures myself and I get compliments all the time because people can’t tell the difference. Plus when I do them myself they actually last longer. See- Six Step Tape French Manicure

18. Plastic Storage Containers- I honestly don’t understand why these are so expensive. For large storage projects you can use cardboard boxes which you can get for free anywhere for the same purpose. In the kitchen, reusing plastic containers that food already comes in will save you from ever having to buy Tupperware of any kind. This is also a green idea because it reduces the amount of plastic that goes into landfills. See- Who Needs Gladware?

19. Health Insurance– My father pays one amount for any dependents and because he is already paying for my brother and sister, I am included until I turn 26 under the new health care laws. I do not even have to live at the same address as he does. Also my new job is going to come with free health insurance Yay! I know this will probably change in the future so I am EXTREMELY grateful.

20. Water– We have a water well so water is free for us.We don’t have a water bill. See- Having a Water Well

21. Music– I refuse to pay to download music. There are legal ways to do it for free and sharing music with friends is also easy. There are also many free music services.

22. Computer Virus/Spyware Protection– My father is a computer expert and even he uses free spyware protection. I use AVG Free Edition and Ad-aware. See- How to Get Virus/Spyware Protection for Free

23. E-mail- Does anyone actually pay for e-mail anymore?

24. Gym Membership– Many apartments have a free gym and students at the University I attended were given a free gym membership. These are expensive and most people end up not using them. I think it would be nice to have and then I ask myself- If I’m not exercising at home, am I really going to go to a gym? See- How I Got a Treadmill for $30

25. Cats and Dogs as Pets– Our childhood dog is a purebred dog that was given to us as a gift. We rescued a Maine Coon cat that ended up in my mother’s back yard and we also have a little yellow cat also rescued from the back yard. I am a huge advocate of rescuing animals instead of paying for them and not contributing to the abuse that goes on in puppy mills. In any case, do your research before you purchase an animal and make sure that it comes from a cruelty free background so your money doesn’t fund more animal abuse. There are many animals that need good homes that don’t cost anything or only cost the minimal fee that a shelter charges and you will be saving a life. We also have a three foot long ball python that was also given to us.

26. Most Pens, Pencils, Highlighters- as a recent college graduate I always got these for free during my college years. Businesses love to give away office supplies. I would go to one college club fair, job fair, or other random fair of some sort and be stocked for the semester. They also often gave me notepads, hand sanitizer, and free food.

27. Wrapping Paper– We can use comics, redecorate the bags they give you at the store, use tissue paper, use the store’s free wrapping etc. It’s the gift that counts not the wrapping. See- Frugal Gift Bags

28. Small Trash Bags– I can’t believe that stores actually sell these. Who doesn’t just use the plastic bags that you get with every purchase you make? Note- we now try to use reusable shopping bags and on the occasions we leave them at home I don’t feel bad because we usually need more small plastic bags at that point

29. Calling 411– Calling 411 can be expensive but it was free through Google. I tried the service and it worked for me. However, when I looked up the number I realized that Google ended their service. Luckily, BING stepped in. The number is 1-800-Bing-411. I’ll keep this in mind but now I usually just use the internet on my smart phone.

30. Filing Taxes– we file our taxes online for free. There are many websites that allow you to do this. See- How I did my taxes for free

31. Most Full Price Movie Tickets– I’m sure many of you love to go to the movies and so do we, but our local theatre started charging $10 a ticket and we think that’s a little extreme. So now we mostly go to free movie screenings with passes that we get due to a connection to a friend. Some of the free movies we’ve seen include The Lovely Bones, Shutter Island, Morning Glory, Sex and Other Drugs, Easy A, Jackass 3D, Zombieland, Fast and Furious, Life as we Know It, Up in the Air and more. There have also been many passes that we have received that we were not able to use. This has saved us hundreds of dollars. If there is a movie that we can’t attend a screening to and still want to see, Tuesdays are 75 cents night at our local $2 theatre. We also bring our own drinks and snacks which I usually get for free couponing. Sometimes companies also offer free movie tickets with a purchase.

32. Paying to Pay Bills– I do not pay to pay my bills, either in fees at bill pay places or in stamps. I set up free online bill pay and it doesn’t cost me a cent more than the bill amount.

33. Ringtones– I used to get them for free from Now most smart phones allow you to set any music as your ring tone for free.

34. Car Payments– Our Cars were bought used with cash! See- Our Experience As A One Car Household

35. Tanning– We live in Florida. Why would I pay to tan when I am lucky enough to live by the beach?

36. Return Address Labels– These always seem to come free in the mail.

37. Weed Killer– I made my own for free and it’s eco-friendly See- Homemade Weed Killer

38. Paid Phone Apps– I haven’t found one yet that didn’t have a free equivalent

39. Warranties– Never needed one past the general manufacturer’s warranties


40. Pet Houses– We make our own See- DIY Small Pet Houses

41. Salon Beauty Treatments– We do our own home beauty treatments

42. Premade Pizza Dough– We like to make homemade pizzas. I used to knead the dough by hand but the process got a lot faster when I got a Bread Maker. See- How I got a Bread Maker for Free

43. Croutons– We used crunched tortilla chips See- What to Do With the Crunched Chips at the Bottom of the Bag

44. Taco Seasoning– We make our own. See- DIY Taco Seasoning

45. Plastic Shower Curtains– We buy white cloth shower curtains so that we can wash/ bleach them and reuse them. See- Washable Shower Curtain

46. Perfume / Body Spray– I seem to have good luck getting this for free at Victoria’s Secret or Bath & Body Works, also my sister usually wants to get rid of some of hers 🙂

47. Candles– People seem to like to give these to me or I get them for free

48. Computer Work– My Dad and B have this covered for me and I know I’m lucky because this can be pricey

49. Fire Wood– We have a fire pit in the back yard and luckily someone either always ends up getting rid of some wood or  there is a lot nearby where the owner allows us to collect wood

50. Cutting Pet Toenails– This can be tricky but I think it’s less traumatic for pets when we do this at home

51. Pest Control– We live in FL where there are lots of creepy crawlies. However, I would rather deal with bugs than have chemicals sprayed in my home and they usually aren’t that bad.

52. Lawn Services– B mows our lawn and I pull weeds and trim bushes

53. Maid Services– That’s all on us

54. Computer Software– All of the software I use either came with my computer or is free, including the WordPress software for this blog

55. Dry-cleaning- All of my clothes go into the washing machine. I don’t buy anything that is dry clean only.

56. Practical Things People Give Us as Gifts– I love all gifts! That includes practical gifts and items we need. I cook with a cast iron skillet from my brother, my sewing machine was from my aunt, and my microwave was from a friend. I love that many of the things I use in my home everyday remind me of the people I care about who gave them to me.

57. Upholstery– My aunt helped me to recover the chairs on my old claw foot dining room table. It was a great housewarming gift and I love the pattern that I got to pick out myself.

58. Painting– We do all of our own painting. At this house we actually chose to keep the current pain colors which saved a lot of time/energy/$.

59. Patching Drywall– I can actually patch drywall.

60. Cardboard Boxes– Whether for moving or another project, most stores love to give these away so they don’t have to haul them to the dumpster.

61. eBooks– I have gotten some really cool eBooks for free.

62. GPS updates– I use the Free Google Maps GPS on my phone so I no longer need to pay to update my GPS

63. A Planner– I used to buy one every year and now I just use the one on my phone or the one my sister got for free and gave me.


Note- This list is true 95% of the time, there is a small 5% of the time when emergencies etc come up or we decide to splurge.


Things We Do Pay For

1. Oil Changes– My dad or brother used to do it. I know that I need to learn to do it myself but until then I have to pay for them.

2. Cable– We pay about $35 for about 200 HD channels and a DVR. We like to be at home and for us one month of cable is cheaper than one meal out or going to the movies one time. As I write this, tonight we decided to stay home and watch shows on our DVR instead of going out to the movies. We saved $30 right there.

3. A Cell Phone Data Plan– I honestly don’t know how I lived without this for so long. Especially because I have two online businesses it makes my life soooooooo much easier.

4. Face Makeup– I use an expensive 4 in 1 Face Compact from PUR minerals but it saves me sooo much time and energy from having to apply and buy 4 different products. See- How to Fix A Broken Pressed Powder Compact

5. Face Cream– I use a daily Face Cream with a high SPF because the sun is strong here. I always get this with coupons and other deals. See- Getting the Most From Expensive Lotions

6. Going Out to Eat– I love date night! I also love sharing a meal out with family and friends. We use my 50% off discount at the restaurant chain I work at, we use coupons, and gift cards. See- A Frugal Date Night

7. Travel– Traveling is very important to me. I love visiting new places. Even though we try to do it cheaply I always find it’s worth every cent. See- Free In Washington D.C.

8. Clothes– I do try to save money on clothes by bargain shopping and thrift shopping. See- Thrift Shops/Yard Sales

9.Groceries and Household Items- We have to eat but we try to stick to our $200 a month grocery/household budget See- $200 Grocery Budget

10. Bills– If I could figure out a way out of this I would. So instead we just try to keep them as low as possible.

11. Rent– Until we buy a house we have to pay rent. Someday this category will say Mortgage.

12. Occasionally We Treat Ourselves to Various Things We Want- We work hard and after all of the money saving we do 90% of the time I feel we deserve it. That doesn’t mean that we don’t try to save money on items we ‘treat’ ourselves with.

Shopaholic Savers Update- Frugal Living Page

Frugal Living Tips and TricksThose of you who follow this blog know that I like to post a lot of Frugal Living Ideas and tips. I decided to make it easier for everyone to access them by adding a Frugal Living tab at the top navigation bar of this site. Click the tab or HERE to check out the list of articles about Frugal Living tips and tricks I linked to.

In addition, in the coming weeks I will be editing the top navigation bar even more. I’m hoping it will make navigating this site even easier. Thank you to those of you who stop by to see what we are up to! Feel free to leave me comments with your tips and ideas.


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