Tag Archives: Frugal Articles

Free Birthday Gift Items from Sephora and Ulta

My birthday as this past weekend so I decided to pick up my yearly freebies from Sephora and Ulta. If you are a member of both of their free rewards program you are eligible for a free gift for your birthday. These gifts are typically sample sizes of higher end brands. It is a nice way to try out an expensive product without spending any money. image2-22

This year Sephora is offering a mini Marc Jacobs lipstick and eyeliner or a facial cleanser with a face mask. I chose the Marc Jacobs mini gift.


Ulta’s birthday gifts change every 3 months. If your birthday is in January, February, or March you will receive a sample size of Benefits Roller Lash mascara.

Remember to get your freebies this year!


Recent Salvation Army Thrift Store Finds

Every Wednesday the Salvation Army Family Store near my house has a 50% off clothing sale. I think most Salvation Army stores across the country do this. When I was living in Florida the stores participated in this sale too. Ive been trying to go every Wednesday since one of my goals this year was to only buy my clothes from thrift stores. Here are a few of my finds. Some for me and some will go up on eBay!



Victoria’s Secret Yoga Pants $2


A Gap T-shirt Dress $1.50


Romeo & Juliet Couture Shirt $2. This brand can be found at Nordstrom. It is one of the new to me items I have bought to wear to my new job!


A sleep dress by Maidenform $1.50


A cardigan from The Limited $2. This is for my new job also. As you can see the back is almost transparent.


An As u Wish dress $2. This dress is from Dillards.


Kenneth Cole Reaction Flats $5.99. Also for my new job!


$2 Massimo dress for my sister. I actually own the same dress just in a different size. It is the perfect go to summer dress!


.99 Cent Wide Mouth Ball Mason Jar. I’m not sure if this is a good deal of not, but I am trying to redo my pantry and use glass jars instead of plastic.


The next few items are things I found I am planning on selling on eBay!


A PJ Salvage pajama top.


I bought a grab bag full of stamps for $2.99. There were 17 total. Here are a few.


Blanket Binding found in the grab bag.


I didn’t buy this couch, but I thought it was a really nice couch in great condition. They were selling it for $400.

What have you found thrifting lately?

12-6-15 Recent Frugal Review – Posted Late

2015-11-20 22.37.09

By Ney

Frugal Successes

– I have been watching Married at First Sight, Married at First Sight the First Year and arranged for free the A&E and FYI Website and Ap so that I can stream it FREE live

– I was able to buy a pair of black dress pants for under $4 at Goodwill. The best part is that someone else had already nicely hemmed them for me (I’m short!). I had looked through all of the dress pants in the store and not found a pair so I was going to pay for my other items at the register when I saw another rack of dress pants in the front of the store and score! They don’t look like anyone ever wore them and it was enough to get me through the rest of the semester.

– The university I work for decided that they would reimburse me for my cross country trip to present my research, especially because I won a very prestigious award. Initially I had been told I would have to pay for the trip myself and it was really, really crappy to have to spend that kind of money on a work trip but it was a career move and I felt I had to do it! And I can’t believe that as soon as I got back I found out that I was being reimbursed almost $1,000!!!! (Above is a picture from my trip!)

– I bought a $7 luggage scale off of Amazon (see above) for FREE using giftcards I earned through Swagbucks. We travel frequently and I couldn’t take the stress of not knowing how much our bags weighed before we got on the plane, if we stayed in places that didn’t have a scale. It was a great buy and works great! Completely worth the peace of mind!

– I have already bought an assortment of Christmas gifts for my family which will save me a lot of money buying gifts. I’m planning on going through them today and seeing where I still need to make purchases.

– I sold a couple of higher priced items on eBay this week! It’s great to make some extra income right before Christmas!

– I was able to change my phone plan to the $30 a month unlimited Metro PCS phone directly through the My Metro Ap without even having to talk to anyone. When they originally started this plan I was blocked because I had a phone not bought through Metro but I guess they changed the policy. My service is fantastic in the area we live in. I can’t believe I used to pay $80 a month through Sprint for horrible call service.

– We have really wanted to get take out tonight this week because it’s finals week, always a crazy week for us but instead ate dinner at home from the big grocery shopping trip we did at the beginning of this month

– If we are careful we won’t have to go grocery shopping again for the rest of the year (haha it’s a December joke!)

– I have spent a long time looking for dress pants at thrift shops without much luck. Recently I’ve had a lot of luck but they all need to be hemmed. I’m determined to learn how to hem!

Frugality With Mixed Results

– My dad bought a great deal on NBA team basketball tickets and really wanted to take me to a game. I love going to NBA basketball games! Since he bought the tickets I bought the food and drinks while we were there. This wasn’t cheap but I didn’t have to buy a ticket. We also parked in a $5 lot around the corner instead of the $20 garage next to the stadium.

– I might have found a healthcare plan for about $285 a month next year which is HORRIBLY expensive but because I have occasional health problems it will probably save me money in the long run.

– I have a brand new sewing machine that I have never used but I recently have become very excited about learning!!!!!!!!!! We moved away from the wonderful lady who lived around the corner from us and previously did all of our alterations (I actually told her she should charge more!) and so it would be nice to be able to do it myself!

Frugal Flops

– I made myself a sandwich out of leftover thanksgiving turkey and bread we were given thinking that I would save time and money from going out to buy lunch. And I got REALLY sick! So sick in fact that I had to cancel a class (I’m a college instructor) for the first time ever! So not only did I not save money but I don’t get paid for that one class! Ugggg! However, I did manage to make it to the class before that one (even though it was a really short class) so I do get paid for that class.

– Because I was so sick I was unable to buy what I needed for my first two classes final reviews at ALDI and Dollar Tree and instead bought the stuff at Publix. I love Publix but I’m sure I paid twice as much. I will use the extras for my other classes and go to ALDI and Dollar Tree for the rest of the stuff I need to purchase. Note- I did go to Aldi and Dollar Tree for the rest of the items and it was 2x more at Publix for almost everything!

– I forgot to grab the parking permit that B and I share as I raced out of the house. It meant I had to either pay $5 for a day pass or risk a $30+ ticket. I chose to buy the day pass. Even with the price of 1 $5 day pass we still saved about $100 this semester by sharing a permit and we have really done a great job of sharing and making it work.

– I forgot to send copies of one of my final exams to the copy center enough in advance so I just made them at home. I didn’t have to buy anything so all it cost me was 75 pages of paper and 150 pages of ink which I do buy as cheaply as possible.

Chemical Free Living

– We have been using Shugar Soap in the kitchen, chemical free and made from vegetables in the USA. We have been using it to wash our hands and instead of buying dish soap we have been using it as that as well. It has worked out okay as dish soap but the consistency just isn’t great and it’s really not made to be dish soap. We will go back to buying chemical free dish soap eventually I’m sure but it the meanwhile we are still chemical free and saving money. ALSO, Dollar Tree has started carrying Shugar Soap and it’s a LOT more than $1 on their website.

– It’s really hard to keep mildew out of our bathrooms without chemicals, especially because one of our bathrooms in our rental townhome doesn’t have a fan. Any suggestions would be a huge help!

– I have been using my electric kettle to boil water and this is great for chemical free cleaning.

Saving Money on a Cross Country Move


Since my last post my husband and I moved to Texas. We flew into town for my husband’s interview on June 18th. That weekend we were determined to find an apartment if he got the job. After looking at 12 apartments we found the one. We flew back to Florida awaiting the news whether or not he got the job. Well he did and he started on the 3rd of July! We had been thinking about moving to Texas for a few months and in that time we decided we would be taking the bare minimum of household items. After a very successful yard sale (read about it here) and selling things online. I was able to get rid of our furniture.

Here are a few frugal things we did to save on our cross country move.

  1. We decided to attach a hitch to our Honda Accord and tow a 4×8 trailer. Whatever didn’t fit in the trailer stayed behind. Renting a Uhaul to tow our car would have been around $1500 where as a trailer and permanent hitch was around $400.
  2. We only took one piece of furniture. The rest was kitchen stuff such as our crockpot, toaster, waffle maker, and George Foreman grill. We also brought household items such as canvases and other items that hold sentimental value to us.
  3. Our apartment offered a $99 deposit/application special because my husband works for one of the big tech companies here.
  4. We bought out couch from Big Lots. My husband actually arrived in TX a few weeks before I did and he found our sectional couch for $700. Now we have never spent more than $45 on a couch before so $700 is a lot, but compared to other furniture stores this was a steal.
  5. Initially, my husband slept on an air mattress he bought from Walmart. He priced matched with an amazon deal and saved money on the mattress. Now we have a mattress for company to sleep on too!
  6. We bought our mattress from Ikea. We live 5 minutes away from Ikea and a mattress store. We decided to check out the mattress store first and upon seeing that the cheapest mattress set was $1500 we made a bee line to Ikea. Our mattress was around $350.
  7. Downsizing from a 3 bedroom house to 1 bedroom apartment has saved us money on utility bills. Our rent is actually more, but in the amount we are saving in electricity it works out to be the same.
  8. For signing up with our electric company they gave us a 2 night stay in select hotels across the country. I still need to do some research into this deal, but if it works out expect a post about it.
  9. We are slowly buying furniture/ decor for our new home. Since getting rid of all our possessions we really do not feel the need to buy items for our house that do not have a purpose.
  10. We discovered grocery stores we did not have in Florida and have learned how their sales work. For example, I do most of my grocery shopping at HEB, but about every other week Sprouts has boneless skinless chicken breasts for $1.88 lb. My husband and I basically only eat chicken breasts so I stock up and freeze the chicken.
  11. HEB also has self-serve spices. This has saved me lots of money because I can buy the exact amount of spice I need for a recipe without buying a whole bottle. Usually it only costs around 10-20 cents for a small package of whatever spice I need.

How I Got My David’s Bridal Bridesmaid Dress for $12.50 aka How to Get a David’s Bridal Bridesmaid Dress for Less Than Half the Price

bridedressdbdressAs I have previously mentioned, my sister is getting married this summer. She found a beautiful and very affordable wedding dress at David’s Bridal.  I then found a floor length bridesmaid dress for almost the same price but unfortunately they couldn’t order it in time in the light purple color you see above. Bummer! But she is having a small wedding and I am the only bridesmaid so we didn’t have the problem of needing to find several matching dresses.

We decided to look at some department stores or even Ross and T.J. Maxx but we got distracted by a new little resale shop in the same shopping plaza and decided to check it out first. It turned out to be a high end resale store and what did my sister pull off the shelf but a David’s Bridal Bridesmaid dress in the exact color and length we had tried to order for $25 AND the lady informed us that it had been in the store for several months so it was half off for ONLY $12.50! I tried it on and it fit! I don’t even need to get it altered! I just saved over $100!!!!!! I can’t believe it!

But an even crazier part of the story is that my sister is a bridesmaid in her friend’s wedding later this summer and just bought the exact same dress in a different color from David’s Bridal for $150. We started thinking about this and realized that you can buy David’s Bridal Bridesmaid dresses on eBay for around $25!!!!!!!! I wish we had known this sooner but now that we know we will be saving a lot of $$$$$$$ by never having to buy Bridesmaid dresses at the store! I am passing this HUGE savings secret on to you and all of my girlfriends!

6-25-13 Thrift Shop Finds


I’m starting a new job soon and business clothes are expensive. See my article How To Buy and Dress in Business Clothes for Less.

I have been buying business dress clothes slowly as I find good deals on them to help me build up my new work wardrobe. Although the picture above doesn’t show the clothes in their best light, I was really excited to find about 10 dress shirts from New York and Company, St. John’s Bay, and Gap all for $1.99 each. I spent about $20 which is less than I would have paid for one shirt at one of these stores.

I was also excited to find the below vegetable holder/washer so I took a bigger picture of it. It was only .99 cents and it helps keep produce fresh longer and even better it’s dishwasher safe. I happen to know that these can sell for A LOT more than 99 cents.


6-14-13 Frugal Living / Finance Articles

pig moneyI love reading about finances and frugal living. It inspires me to try even harder to save money and I learn a lot along the way. I happened across a lot of great articles recently and I thought I would share.

Duke Grad Student Secretly Lived In a Van to Escape Loan Debt

13 Money Lies You Should Stop Telling Yourself By Age 30

How To Pay Off Student Loans When You Have No Money, No Job, And Nowhere Else To Turn

The 9 Steps I Took To Get My Finances Back On Track

What You Should (And Shouldn’t) Wear To Work In The Summer

How A Former Olympic Rower Paid Down $82,000 In Debt

13 Ways To Lose Weight Without Blowing Your Budget

How One California Man Negotiated His Way Out Of $150,000 Worth Of Debt

Why I Left My Career In Finance For A Nonprofit

How This Family Raised 19 Kids Without Going Into Debt

15 Surprising Uses For Household Items That Will Help You Save

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 myxer.com. 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.

Getting The Most From Expensive Lotions

imageI use Garnier Nutritioniste Skin Renew Anti-Sun Damage Daily Moisture Lotion SPF 28 every morning and it costs around $12-14  for 2.5 ounces which isn’t cheap. I have tried using cheaper SPF face creams but I find that they make my skin greasy or make me break out. So to get the most for my money I cut open the bottles and use my little spatula or finger to get as much as I can out of the container. In the picture are two bottles that I had cut open and the blue container that I put the remains in. I weighed it and I ended up with .5 ounces. that’s 20% of a bottle which is equal to $2.40 worth of product if the bottle costs $12. I have to ask- is it really an accident that the remaining lotion is so hard to get out of the bottle? In any case, until I find a better or cheaper product this is what I use and I guess I’ll just have to keep cutting open the bottles.

Waste Not Toothpaste, Want Not Toothpaste

imageThis would have been a better picture if all 6 of the mostly used toothpaste tubes I found around my house had made it into the picture. I would like to mention that with these almost empty tubes of toothpaste you could no longer squeeze any toothpaste out of them and yet I hadn’t wanted to throw them away. When we “ran out” of toothpaste around the first of the this new year I decided that I wasn’t going to buy anymore until we had used them up.

My mother had shown me that if you cut open an “empty” tube of toothpaste you will still have several days of toothpaste left inside. Now I realize that this didn’t save us a huge amount of money but for two people we were able to wait another week before having to go to the store to buy toothpaste.

I haven’t found any great coupon deals on toothpaste recently so we didn’t have any stocked up. I find that when you have a coupon stockpile of items it is almost too easy to grab a new bottle of something when you are almost out of the last one without fully using it up. In another example, I recently dropped and broke the corner of a new bottle of body wash. Instead of throwing it away I put the remaining body wash into an empty conditioner bottle and have been able to use it. For me these little projects are more about not wasting than saving money. Yes, I did feel a little odd cutting open tubes of toothpaste even though I knew I was doing this by choice instead of desperation. Why would I feel that way when I should feel smart instead? Because in America we take things for granted and I don’t want to take things for granted that many people wish they had access to. When I did eventually buy toothpaste I used a free gift card. I like to think that now when we use our new tube of toothpaste we’re a little more grateful than we would have been.

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