Tag Archives: Frugal Inspiration

7-5-15 Sunday Frugal Summary

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This is the summary for a couple weeks. I’ve been extremely, extremely sick and unable to work my part time job at the restaurant. Fortunately my main job teaching is done for the summer but I really haven’t been able to do much lately.

I have saved a lot of money in the past two weeks because for one of them I was unable to get out of bed and for the other I’ve barely been able to leave the house. Unfortunately, any money I may have saved has gone to medical expenses and missing work has been another unexpected financial blow. This only reinforces the fact that having an emergency fund to help get through times like this is vital and being frugal helps too, of course, because the less money you spend equals the less money you need. I’m really grateful for the help of my family and B during this illness and hopefully it will be over soon. I am also grateful for medical insurance because otherwise my finances would be in much worse shape without it.

 

Extra Income Update- 

I didn’t earn a lot of extra money in the past couple weeks while being sick but figured I’d mention it anyways.

– I earned enough Swagbucks for a free $10 gift card of my choice. I love Swagbucks and have earned quite a lot gift cards in the past few years. If you want to join you can do it by clicking on my referral button below and help me out :) Earned- $10 

I'm a Swagbucks Influencer - Start Earning Now

– I sold $20 worth of clothes to Plato’s Closet, I also discovered another store like Plato’s Closet but for women called Style Repeat, the clothes that they didn’t take will either be sold on ebay or at our yard sale in August Earned- $20 

– I bought some Sperry’s at Goodwill and I am going to try to sell them on eBay as well as some of the clothes that Plato’s Closet didn’t want, I am going to restart my eBay business as soon as I am feeling better, I have very slowly started getting the inventory I already have organized

 

How I saved- 

– I was able to return a couple of over the counter medical items that I didn’t end up needing and that was $11 back in my pocket. Saved- $11

– I exchanged about $7 worth of stuff from dollar tree that I didn’t end up needing for $7 worth of groceries. Saved- $7

– I had some coupons for CVS and in one trip got a 6 pack of Cliff bars, a luna bar and a travel size CVS brand Advil all for free. Saved- $11

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Can you see the bored look on the cat’s face? Yeah, it didn’t work.

– I bought a small decorative fountain at Goodwill for $13 (see above) because I have been looking for a pet water fountain for our cat. I thought this fountain might work since it was only plastic and glass. This was definitely a frugal failure. However I turned it around when I exchanged the fountain at Goodwill for a dress skirt, a sweater, a clear glass Pyrex bowl (a move in gift for my brother because who doesn’t need a big glass kitchen bowl) and a set of three vintage Pyrex bowls. Saved- $12

– A local thrift shop gives away day old bread for small donation so for .50 cents each I got two packs of bagels and some kind of pastry. Saved- $7

– I bought crutches for a friend who hurt herself for $5. Saved her at least- $18

– We watched a movie we had been wanting to see at home for free instead of going to the movies. Out local movie theater isn’t cheap. Saved – $30

– Found a new dress with the tags on it for our trip to CA later this summer for $5.99 Saved – $9

– Although it has cost me a lot more to miss work, I have saved about $20 a shift in gas and tolls (I’m trying to look on the bright side)

– Bought what medical supplies I could at the dollar store rather than a drug store. Saved – $9

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– I made my own all natural, chemical free dish soap from a bar of soap (see above). This didn’t save a lot of money but it’s a great use for extra bars of soap. I’ll write a post about this soon. Saved – $4

– We bought an entire watermelon for $5 and cut it up ourselves instead of buying it pre-cut Saved – $4

– We went out to eat for a family member’s Bday and went to a really awesome local family owned restaurant, this didn’t actually save us money although they are very affordable but we did support a local family owned restaurant (many of which have gone out of business in the area we lived in). Afterwards, we made our new favorite recipe a No Bake Peanut Butter Pie recipe instead of a cake. I’ll post the recipe soon! You will love it!

What frugal things have you done this week? 

 

6-21-15 Sunday Frugal Summary

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Frugal Things in the Past Two Weeks

Unfortunately, I got sick last week and didn’t get last week’s frugal summary posted so this one is actually from this week and last week.

– My father gave us an IKEA bedframe that his neighbor was getting rid of when she moved. A similar one on their website sells for $50-90 Savings- $50

– I went through a lot of clothes and some of the boxes still lingering after moving months ago and came up with a pretty good pile of stuff to get rid of (see above). I’m going to try to try to sell some of the clothes at Plato’s Closet and at my sister’s yard sale. I will post if I make any $$$.

B and I cut his hair– His hair grows really quickly and cutting it at home every couple months saves us a lot of money and it really doesn’t look any different than going to a barber. He also trims my hair when I need it but that’s less frequently than his hair. The link below is to the kit he uses. It’s cheap and works really well. Savings- $15

-There was a meeting at the restaurant I work at on the weekends and because it’s almost an hour from our house I stayed the night at my sister’s house so I didn’t drive home at 1am to drive back at 8am the next day. It also saved me some money on tolls and gas. Savings- $15

– After the meeting, there were left over travel coffee cups, a bag of sugars and creamers, and a bunch of plastic knives that my manager was going to throw away. I love disposable coffee cups but won’t buy them because they are bad for the environment and expensive. Savings- $3

– At the meeting my manager also gave me a free uniform shirt. Savings- $10

– They also fed us coffee, bagels, and donuts for breakfast. Savings- $10

– After working at the restaurant, I knew I was too tired to cook so I ordered TOGO food with my discount a 2 for $20 meal becomes a $10 deal. I got chips with salsa and guacamole and two meals all included in that $10. That $10 of food has been at least 4 meals. That’s cheaper than going to the grocery store and cooking at home.

– We are using the Citi Kitty program to toilet train our cat but we have hit some bumps in the road. We needed to go back a step but didn’t want to buy another kit so I was able to fix the one we have with a piece of plastic cut out of an empty water jug for free. Savings- $30

– We have been enjoying watching shows streaming at home which always saves money over going out. Savings- Hard to Say

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– B used the fandango gift card his father gave him so that we could go see Jurassic World for FREE. We also bought candy at the dollar store and a 24 pack of water bottles for $3.69 to take a couple to the theatre to save money on snacks and drinks. Savings- $32

– Six of us went out to eat before the movie and we hurried to the restaurant to be there before the 4pm lunch specials end. Although not as cheap as eating at home, it was a lot of food for really cheap and we took home our left overs so we also got dinner included in the price. Savings just for the two of us- $20

– I saved my used plastic conditioner jar and took the label off to use to hold my baking soda water mix face wash in the shower. I try not to store much in plastic but I make an exception for items in the shower that may be dropped because I don’t want glass in my bare feet.  Savings- Hard to Say

– I made more 4 ingredient, no cooking, chemical free, laundry detergent today. It works really well, has no smell, and I already have all of the ingredients hanging out in the house. Did I mention it’s dirt cheap to make? Click here to get the recipe. Savings- $6

– Stocked up on Ibuprofen and Migraine medicine at dollar tree- Savings- $8

 

Total Savings- $209 Not too bad!

 

 

Why I Always Fly Southwest and Book Directly Through Their Website

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Why I Always Fly Southwest and Book Directly Through Their Website by Candice

Next month I am flying to Austin, TX with my husband to checkout places we could possibly live if we choose to move there. Then in August we are flying to California with my family for a wedding. When searching for plane tickets for both flights we used all the discount sites such as Kayak and Expedia. I always check these sites prices against Southwest directly and most of the time I find better flights at a lesser price on Southwest’s website.

For instance, my husband thought he found our flights to Austin through Delta airlines on a discount site. Both to and from had layovers in Atlanta and the flights were about $60 more than booking with Southwest. So we settled on round trip tickets with no layovers for $240 each. Here are a few of the reasons I love to fly Southwest.

  1. No baggage fees– Most airlines charge $30-50 per bag and I am just not okay with spending that much on top of my ticket.
  2. Seating– Southwest allows you to board the flight in the order you checked in, therefore you do not need to pay an additional fee to sit with your family members. This is going to be an advantage on our 6 hour flight to California. (or maybe a disadvantage, hehe)
  3. Friendly crew– Every time I fly Southwest the flight attendants are friendly and genuinely seem like they are having a good time
  4. They offer stops– The first time I flew by myself I knew I didn’t want to have a layover. I found out Southwest has stops where they stop at an airport to let people on and off and then resume flying. This whole process is about 20 minutes and is a lot less stressful than a layover. Also I learned that if you do have a stop you can change seats during this time if you are not happy with your original seating.
  5. Additionally, they are constantly having sales on their website with flights as low as $62 dollars.

 

What’s your favorite airline to fly?

Amazon.com offers Southwest gift cards available to save for your next trip or to give to someone who is going to be flying soon. Click the link below to check them out!

$10 for 1 Week of Food from Dollar Tree

10DollarsForOneWeekOfFoodCould you buy one week’s worth of food for one person for just $10? I believe the answer is yes!

As anyone who visits this site probably knows, I LOVE DOLLAR TREE! The other day I started thinking, could you buy one week’s worth of food for one person for just $10? I believe the answer is yes! You wouldn’t necessarily have to do this at Dollar Tree, any $1 store would probably work.

This would not be the most interesting week of meals but it would get you through the week in a pinch. I have also tried to make the meals as healthy as possible. Even at the dollar store there are some small choices that made this meal plan a little healthier such as by choosing whole wheat bread over white and brown rice over white.

Here is what I came up with-

Items I bought for $1 each-

– 1) A Full loaf of Whole Wheat Bread

– 2) Brown Rice

– 3) Black Beans

– 4) Peanut Butter

– 5) Jelly

– 6) Canister of Oatmeal

– 7) Honey

– 8) Spaghetti Sauce

– 9) Spaghetti Noodles (these coincidentally were the largest bag of pasta offered for $1)

– 10) ?????? $1 item?????- Last item your choice!

 

$10 One Week Meal Plan-

 

Breakfasts

– Oatmeal with Honey (or Peanut Butter or Jelly)

– Toast with Peanut Butter or Jelly

Lunch

– Peanut Butter or Jelly Sandwiches

Dinner

– Spaghetti sauce and noodles

– Brown Rice and Black Beans

 

Alternative $1 Items-

* Note- most of these are not as healthy as the original choices

– Instead of Peanut Butter you could buy hazelnut spread

– Instead of Jelly you could just use the honey

– Instead of Oatmeal and Honey you could probably buy a bag of cereal and a small milk

– Instead of honey you could buy a large jar of apple/peach pie filling to have with the oatmeal

– Instead of Spaghetti Sauce you could use any sauce you can buy for $1

 

Ideas for the last $1 item-

– Parmesan Cheese for the spaghetti

– Popcorn for lunches

– Salsa for with the rice and beans

– Instant Coffee

– A 5 pack of Ramen Noodles

– A can of soup

 What do you think? Could you survive on this meal plan for 1 week if you had only $10 to buy yourself food?

Thrift Day With the Girls

imageI had some great luck during a day I spent with my girl friends out thrifting. I really have been hitting the jackpot lately when it comes to name brand dress clothes. They are so expensive new!

In the picture above I got-

– 1 pair of jeans $1

– Blue floral skirt $.80

– Mossimo grey pencil skirt $.80

– Ann Taylor black dress $3 (see right in photo below)

– H&M black dress $3.80 (see left in photo below)

– Liz Claiborne maxi skirt $.80

– The cool basket $.50

– The “professor” rolling bag $5.00

– The cool stool that folds flat $3

– The cat FREE (she was free but I didn’t get her today she just wanted to be in the picture!)

Overall I’m very excited about what I got, especially the H&M and Ann Taylor dresses!

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imageThe cat loved the stool. With a coat of paint I think it will be a really cool piece to decorate with. I also bought the cat bed for $.50 but it is too small for her so I’m giving it to a friend.

8-11-12 Goodwill Shopping Trip

imageYesterday I had to drive out to the university I work at. There is a Goodwill on my way home in a nice area that I love going to. As always, second hand shopping can be hit or miss but yesterday I made some great finds. For the first time every I’m actually posting some pictures of me wearing the clothes (minus my face). When I lay them out on the couch there just isn’t the same effect.

The red shirt above was half off for less than $2 and the pink shirt was about $3. I paired them with my favorite pencil skirt (also from goodwill for about $3.69) and thrifted shoes.

 

Totals-

3 Dress Skirts
8 Shirts
2 Sweaters
1 Dress
1 Jacket

Total- $44 or average of $2.93 each item, some of the items were half off

Note- This is a lot more than I usually spend in one thrift shopping trip but when I find a lot of nice stuff that I need for great deals it still saves me a lot of money.

imageThis dress was $5.99 new with the tags still on. It’s a halter dress so I paired it with a small black sweater to make it more professional that I believe cost me .50 cents at another thrift shop. The heels I bought during this thrift shopping trip for $2.

imageI also bought these three dress skirts, the tan one is from Ann Taylor loft, the purple one is from H&M, and the grey one is from charlotte ruse and the great chunky knitted jacket that I love is from Target. I tried them on with other thrifted shoes.

8-9-14 Thrift Shopping Trip

imageI need more dress clothes for when I start teaching again this month. Everyone who wears dress clothes to work knows they can be EXPENSIVE. So my friend and I decided to make a quick trip to a little church thrift store in a 100 year old house. It’s only open on Thursday nights and weekend mornings but the prices are fantastic. I spent $12 total and got everything pictured. All of the shirts were .50 cents each!
imageThe dress flats on the left were .75 cents and the dress heels on the right were $2.00! So exciting! I will definitely wear them to teach.

imageI also needed some little dishes for our cat and I found an entire set of small bowls (they look much larger in the picture) and 1 plate for .15 cents each! I almost bought some for .50 cents each at another thrift shop but now I’m glad I didn’t.

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!

6-10-14 Shopaholic Savers Update and a Recommitment to Frugal Living

buttonFirst of all I want to thank all of my readers who are still visiting this website despite the lack of updates lately. This past year I haven’t been able to keep up with ShopaholicSavers.com as much as I would have loved to. Here is what my life usually consists of-

– My Family and B (my bf who I live with)

– Teaching several classes at a large university

– Being a full time Master’s Degree Student

– Conducting my own research studies at the university

– Working a second job at a restaurant

– Sometimes working a third job for my friend’s online business

– Maintaining my household

I know this sounds crazy even to me! But you can understand why there are several things that I love that just got squeezed out of my schedule because there are not enough hours in the day. These Included-

– Running this blog

– My online eBay business

– Couponing all the time

At the moment I am on summer break! Yay! So I have finally restarted my eBay business, I’m trying to get back into couponing, and here is my first post back on this blog! A lot has changed in a year! I have been so busy that some of the more time consuming frugal activities in my life have been reduced (including couponing) but others have started or stayed the same. A year is a long time to recap a lot of frugal living activities but I want to hit some highlights-

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– I saved up enough money to buy a new-to-me car with cash because my car that I bought off of eBay for $2,000 nearly 8 years ago is nearing 200,000 miles and these things don’t last forever. However, my little car just keeps on chugging with a minimal amount of maintenance. So while I would like something newer, nice, more reliable etc. It still gets me back and forth from the university 45 mins away without any major problems so I can’t justify buying a new-to-me car yet (even if I might want to).

– While we are on the subject of the car I should mention the savings of not getting things fixed that don’t have to be fixed especially because I am uncertain of how long I will really be driving this car. So here are some things I haven’t fixed- 1. The windows roll down just fine but are really, really finicky about rolling back up but eventually they always do (even if it’s the next day) so they haven’t been fixed, 2. My gas gauge isn’t entirely accurate anymore, I’ve noticed the needle going back and forth too much but my mechanic said this will be around $300 to fix so instead I set the trip meter when I leave the gas station and it really hasn’t been a problem, 3. After I smashed the car into a pole and my mechanic was able to fix it for cheap the paint on one fender is slightly another color (see above photo). This slightly embarrasses me that I work so hard and have a good job and drive a slightly two colored car. I wish it didn’t bother me but it does, but so far I haven’t repainted it, although there is a local place that will repaint the entire car for $189 and since this may make me more likely to drive the car for even longer (and save even more money) painting the car might not be that bad of an investment.

– I switched a $35 prescription to generic and it’s free! Yay! That’s a savings of around $400 a year.

– B started a new job at a local hospital and instead of going out any buying new dress clothes he went to our local thrift shops and bought everything he needed including three pairs of dress pants, dress shirts etc. in mostly name brands for around $30. You can’t even buy a pair of men’s dress pants for $30 at a regular store.wpid-C360_2013-07-24-15-49-25-881.jpg– We found a cheaper brand of healthy rat food. Walmart sells theirs for $2 a bag as opposed to $16 at the pet store. We have to buy around 3 of the $2 bags to equal the same amount of food but this is still a huge savings.

– While I did mostly take a break from couponing, I also lately haven’t found the coupon deals to be a good as they used to be. Probably because couponing is now so popular, stores are being more careful about coupon rules and deals. So instead we have switched strategies and are shopping at ALDI and Dollar Tree more often. There are some great deals to be had there and we are still saving money and saving time too. Not that I won’t still coupon but at the moment this is saving more money.

– I am currently working towards a Master’s Degree for FREE! That’s right! By working for the university they are paying for my Master’s Degree! How exciting is that? I would not say that this is easy as far as time, energy, and effort go but free tuition is amazing.

– I am recommitted to living a more chemical free, eco-friendly lifestyle. We still do not buy any paper products (besides for toilet paper) and I have been buying only chemical free cleaning and personal care products. Some chemical free products can be more expensive but some are cheaper (I will do a post on this soon) and not buying paper products saves a lot of money.

– We have recommitted ourselves to eating healthy. Again this is one of those things that can be expensive but I have found some tips that have saved us a lot of money that I will share soon.wpid-20130615_182543.jpg– We were given a $2,000 Ragdoll cat for free that we love! More on that soon.

– We have spent a lot of time at home this year. We love our home. We work hard to make sure it is a calm, peaceful place. Loving being at home can save you a lot of money. Often we would rather cook at home than go out to eat at restaurants or watch a move from the couch rather than the theatre.

– We have also been enjoying going to the beach (We live in Florida!). We bought a $20 beach pass that will soon pay for itself and so for a couple dollars gas money we get to enjoy the amazing beaches and ocean around us!

– My sister is planning a fabulous and frugal wedding that I can’t wait to tell all of you about because if you are planning a wedding she could save you a lot of $$$$$$$

– We are having the opportunity to travel this summer and make up for a year when we were too busy to get away. We are crossing more places off of our dream places to visit list and we couldn’t be more excited. Stay tuned for a traveling on the cheap article.

So this article represents my recommitment to frugal living. I won’t say I ever gave up on frugal living but now I want to save more! So come back and visit and see what frugal fun we are up to.

CVS Thanksgiving / Black Friday Sale! Spent- $20.12 and Saved- $114.43

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My haul from the CVS Thanksgiving sale last night! Probably my favorite shopping trip of the year! This is my Black Friday shopping. Here is the breakdown-

Spent- $20.12

Saved- $114.43

Number of CVS cards- 2

Number of Transactions- 12

ECBs (CVS store dollars) Left Over- $5

This sounds like a lot until you know that we were the only ones in the store and they allowed my sister and I to use our boyfriend’s cards to do more deals. They had tons of stuff so we weren’t clearing any shelves. I had $8 ECBs  left on one card so I used it to pick up some mostly free groceries or I would have had $13 ECBs left. There are close ups of my haul below below.

AND this required very, very few coupons. We only used about 2 newspaper coupons and 2 CVS printer coupons per transaction so most of these deals don’t require coupons!

If you want to see these deal match ups you can view the CVS Ad at CVS.com here or the coupon match ups at SouthernSavers.com here.

Here is one additional deal I didn’t see elsewhere-

CVS Multi-pack Toothbrushes $2.99
– Use $1 off CVS Toothbrushes coupon from the CVS coupon printer
– Receive $2 ECBs
Price after coupon and ECBs- FREE!

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