Tag Archives: Shopaholic Savers

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!


8-2-15 Sunday Frugal Summary- A Month of Summaries

Photo_2015-08-02_06-17-48_PMOverall, this has been a fairly frugal month. While I actually wrote about the frugal things I have been doing this month I haven’t been doing well with posting them on Sundays. So here they are all together for most of July and the first couple days of August.

8-2-15 Sunday Frugal Summary

– My sister Candy who also writes for this blog is moving and getting rid of most of her stuff. I’ll be doing a post about our successful yard sale soon.

– While getting stuff together for the yard sale I have also been getting rid of stuff that I didn’t need around my own house.

– I stayed at Candy’s house for two days to help hold the sale and she paid for all food and drinks while I was there which was nice of her. We also carpooled so that we weren’t driving two cars back and forth from Orlando and paying for gas and tolls. She also gave me $30 for gas etc.

– Candy gave me some household items that she was getting rid of including printer paper, construction paper, notebook paper, an almost new microwave, a comforter, throw pillows, boots and some household decorations. I do question the wisdom of bringing items that she was getting rid of to our house but we won’t be moving for at least a year and I tried to only take things that we needed or had plan to use.

– She also gave me a ton of food that she couldn’t take with her. See post soon.

– My mother had a gallon of the paint we needed to touch up the ceiling at her rental house where some other paint needs to be covered. We will also use my carpet cleaner to clean the carpets.

– My mother and I went to the bank and used their free coin counter machine (the ones in the grocery store charge you) for my sister and her husband and my brother. All together they had about $170 in coins. It makes me think I need to start saving my change.

– My very good friend happens to be a fabulous decorator. She happened to be in the area and came by the house and helped me come up with a plan for our master bedroom that I have never really decorated since we moved in. The best part is that we used only items that I already had in the house to do it with. I may eventually buy a new comforter and sheets but until then I feel a lot better about the room.

– I received some coupons for free/cheap items in the mail and newspaper.

– I’m excited to be receiving the El Sentinel again with free Sunday paper coupon inserts in it

– I received my free $50 gift card from my rewards card company and I will use it on Vacation

– Washed a comforter and hung it to dry. I will do the same with some throw pillows. I was given these by my sister.

– I believe a check is on the way for the coupons I have available to print on this site which I am excited about.

– I had a meeting at the university I work at and they were nice enough to give me a brand new professor bag with the school logo on it! I want to start taking advantage of more of the really interesting and fun free events at both of the local colleges I work at.

– Overall this week I haven’t paid for much besides for gas for the car and some medical expenses. Overall, a good week!

7-26-15 Sunday Frugal Summary

– I finally booked out rental car for our CA trip next month for a wedding. Hotwire had the cheapest rates at just under $30 a day for an SUV with unlimited miles. And I clicked through Swagbucks to Hotwire so I will also be receiving about the equivalent of 1% cash back in points called SB. Saved- $100

– My Visa Rewards Credit Card perks include free rental car insurance so that also saved us a lot of money since I would NEVER drive a rental car without insurance. Saved- $150

– California is the only state that doesn’t allow rental car companies to charge people fees to add additional drivers to their rental contracts so that is also FREE! Saved- $150

– Dresses for the wedding- We found gorgeous looking dresses at Ross for $30 each that look like we paid a lot more for them and we definitely could have spent a lot more since we are going to a very expensive wedding but we love our dresses and won’t feel out of place

– Shoes for the wedding- I already owned shoes for the wedding and Candice bought Nine West shoes at goodwill for $5.99.

– We also saved money because our dresses don’t need to be hemmed and we started out shopping close to home and we got lucky to find our dresses at the second store we went to so we didn’t have to pay much in gas or tolls either.

– Found a Visions Cookware stovetop pot and lid at Goodwill for $4.99, slowly buying Chemical free cookware saves a lot of money

– We have had fruit flies so we made vinegar Fruit fly traps that are also Chemical Free and they work.

– Earning lots of Swagbucks lately and will have enough for $25 in PayPal as soon as I am credited for doing this $15 worth of points called SB for doing this deal

I'm a Swagbucks Influencer - Start Earning Now

– Went to ALDI and did a huge grocery shopping trip, I bought so much food it almost didn’t fit in one cart, and it was healthy food too, like fruits, veggies, fish etc. and it was still only $130 and WAY, WAY cheaper than any other grocery store around us. This should last us until we go to CA next month.

– We canceled cable when we moved 6 months ago and I would be lying if I said I didn’t miss it but I have really been enjoying watching shows online and on Netflix and that has saved us a ton of money. I have especially been enjoying watching Teen Mom 2 and Married at First Sight online for free.

– We used to go to free movie screenings all the time since there are 4 theatres that hold screenings right in/around the Orlando area but we got away from it when I went back for my Master’s degree and we got too busy. I’m trying to get back into it by looking at gofobo.com and advancescreenings.com.

– I sold some more books on eBay and bought some more of the books that sell really well for .99 cents each

– Redeemed points on my credit card for a $50 Visa Gift Card to use as spending money while we are on vacation in CA

– I got some free samples in the mail but I will do a post about that when I get a few more

7-12-15 Sunday Frugal Summary

– I received $100 for winning a teacher of the year award!

– I went grocery/household item shopping at dollar tree, I saved $8 by exchanging a few items I bought that I realized we were not going to use, our local Dollar Tree is really great about exchanges

– Dollar Tree now carries 6 packs of 100% recycled toilet paper which is great because toilet paper is the only paper product we buy and I try to always buy recycled to be more eco-friendly. The rolls are a little smaller than standard but not that small so I bought 4 6 packs and we will see how long it lasts. (Note- It wasn’t my favorite TP by far but it did last a long time. Two weeks later and we still aren’t out)

– My dad treated me to lunch near my new job.

– I sold some books on eBay and I’m working on listing more items.

– When we moved I gave all of my eBay packing/shipping material to another eBayer. I am glad I did because he used it and I didn’t have to store it for 6 months. However, that meant that I needed boxes to start shipping again. Instead of buying packing material I was able to pick up a bunch of boxes for free at Dollar Tree.

– Bank of America charged my checking account $12 because my direct deposit stopped for the summer (I am a college instructor). I honestly believe that Bank of America HATES teachers and I have this problem every summer! I need to switch bank accounts! But I did contact them through chat support and get them to refund the $12.

– We are saving money on our Hotel for our California trip later this summer by using an AARP discount since a relative can become a member for $16 a year. We intentionally picked a hotel with Free Breakfast, Free Wifi, and Free parking. We also decided that all 5 of us will stay in one hotel room to save money since we will only be at the hotel for 2 days before joining our family at a rental house for the rest of the trip. The hotel is also in a central location and we will be able to walk to several of the places we intend to visit.

– I earned enough points on my reward credit card for a $50 gift card, I choose a Visa gift card and use it for vacation.

– I finally found a 1 pack filter for our Zero Water Pitcher. It was still $15, which is expensive, but a Zero Water pitcher filter is the best on the market and filters over 99% of particulates from the water. Unfortunately, our last filter ended up having an odd taste to it (that may have been a problem with our water not the filter) and we didn’t want to spend $30 on a two pack of filters that we weren’t sure were going to work. Now that we bought the new filter and it has been great I’m wishing we had just bought it sooner because it would have saved a lot of money, time and energy instead of buying water for the past few months (not to mention more eco-friendly).

9-29-13 Shopaholic Savers Update

buttonI must apologize for the lack of updates lately. I started my Master’s degree full time and started teaching three college level classes at a University all in the same day. Since then the semester has been crazy and I just haven’t had a spare minute. I want to start posting regularly again ASAP. In the meantime please feel free to look back at some of the other articles on frugal living, couponing and saving money.

June 2013 Grocery and Household Item Budget

imageSo I’m a little late in posting our June Grocery and Household Item budget. My research study was taking up all of my time but it’s sooo worth it. We were crazy busy in June so I’m especially proud that we did so well on out budget. It has been even harder to stick with our $200 a month budget because we are becoming really committed to eating healthy and eating healthy is expensive!

June Totals-

Spent- $205.57

Saved- $63.34 (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.


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

May 2013 Grocery and Household Item Budget


How did you do with your grocery budget this month?

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

6-30-13 Shopaholic Savers Weekend Update


So because of what happened to my car this month I’m behind where I want to be financially. This is because I have chosen to take the money from my main summer job and put it into my savings and live on the money from my part time job waiting tables. So while I could take the money out of my savings and be done with it, I really want to try not to do that. My car is older and my new job is almost an hour away so I would rather save the money for a new car, but until then I will drive my car until it dies. So, I have been upping my side hustles not counting my summer research job, my part time job and this website.

My side hustles-

Pet Sitting– I was doing this to help out a friend, not expecting to get paid, but she actually put the money in my shirt as I was trying to get away from her.

My online eBay business– I had put this on hold because I have been so busy but things have slowed down a little on my other jobs so I have restarted this and really ramped it up.

Selling to Text Book Sites– along with my eBay business, I also sell books through bookscouter.com to various textbook sites, this month I sent out $100 worth of textbook books and I’m hoping they will take about $70 worth but they pay the shipping so I figured if a book was in questionable condition I would still send it

Yard Sale– we are about to have a yard sale. We were going to do this last month but we thought we were going to be rained out and then it was a beautiful day, too bad it was after we had already canceled

I am planning on writing posts on how to do/get started with each of these individually but I haven’t gotten to it yet because I have been so busy with said side hustles.

Shopaholic Savers Weekend Update- So I was really trying to save money this month and then…


Life Update-

So for those of you who don’t know my work life right now consists of-

1. Conducting a Research Study under a fellowship for a large university.
2. Working as a server on weekends at a restaurant
3. This Website
4. My online eBay/Amazon book store business– this one has currently been put on hold because I am so busy with everything else but I hope to pick it up again soon

I try to pay my bills with the money from waiting tables so that I can save the rest. I was doing well this month trying to save money and not spend much so I could focus on working from home. As you can see from the pictures this didn’t end up working out too well.

imageRemember my post a couple of months ago about how excited I was to fix the mirror on my car by myself? Well then I had one really bad day financially which involved missing my exit on the highway, getting a parking ticket, and then hitting a pole while backing out in a parking garage (it was in my blind spot, I swear!). All together this was almost $300 worth of mistakes in ONE day! Uggggg!!!!!

However, I am grateful that I do have an emergency fund to cover it. And I’m grateful that we have a fantastic mechanic who went to the junk yard and found parts for my car and then primed it for a lot cheaper than I would have paid anywhere else and he did this very quickly.

So here is the question- Should I pay to have my whole car painted?

The whole car is in need of a paint job because it’s an older car and I think I could get this done for less than $300 (Hopefully!). Then it would look really nice for my new teaching job at the university in a couple of months. I bought the car for $2,000 off of eBay seven years ago and I have taken excellent care of it. I am planning on driving my car until it dies but I don’t know if that will be *knock on wood* years from now or sometime sooner. However, it really doesn’t look that bad (see below). It really could look a lot worse. So what do you think?


Replacing My Ghetto Fabulous Car Mirror


When my car mirror first broke several months ago I panicked and thought it would need to be replaced right away. My father found a new one for me on eBay for about $30 including shipping. Meanwhile, I taped the mirror back on and it worked just fine. I wasn’t sure just how bad or noticeable it looked that I had a mirror held onto my car by clear tape. As a frugal living blogger, I asked myself, was my vanity worth the $30 to replace the mirror? I should mention that my car was bought off of eBay about 7 years ago for $2,000 and it’s still running. I take good care of my car and plan to drive it until it dies but it didn’t seem worth $30 for a cosmetic fix to replace a mirror that was working just fine with a little bit of tape.

However, it was still winter when the mirror broke and I forgot to take into account how Florida sun destroys things! As soon as the weather warmed up the tape melted and no matter how many times I taped that mirror back on it just wouldn’t stay. I gave up and ended up driving around with the mirror hanging off of my car (like in the above photo) and that I knew looked more than a little ghetto fabulous. It took about a month until I could buy a new one off of eBay, wait for it to be shipped and then figure out how to replace it, all the while thinking I should have just done that in the first place.

imageThis is the mirror when it arrived from eBay.

imageThe screws and plug that held the mirror in place.

imageMe, with my long nails, holding the socket set and wrench I used to replace the mirror.

imageThe new mirror finally in place.

imageYou can see how much shinier the mirror on the left of the photo is than the mirror on the right.

So in the end, I probably should have replaced the mirror when it first broke, but I had good intentions trying to save money. I am proud because I replaced it myself, with help from B, when neither of us had ever done that before. It cost a friend of mine over $100 to replace the mirror on their car so I know we saved at least $70.

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

Our Own Domain Name!

This is the official first post directly onto www.shopaholicsavers.com ! Shopaholic Savers now officially has its own domain name and host site. This is very exciting to me and also a little intimidating because the software is a little different as well. I ask for everyone’s patience as I start figuring this out but also keep checking back because there will be big changes coming daily.

Thank you to all of our readers for their support!

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