Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Frugal Shopping - The Best Way to Save Money

Have I got your attention? Fantastic! Now, I'll reveal the secret to spending less on each and every shopping trip.

Ahem...drum roll please...

__ Don't go shopping in the first place! __

The reality is, if you're just heading out to the malls or local shops to DO SOMETHING, then you're obviously going to be spending money just for the sake of shopping. If you're feeling bored, then do something else that you love: read a book you've been meaning to, call a friend you haven't talked to in a while, or do something wonderfully creative like painting. Or, just go for a walk somewhere without any temptations to spend.

Obviously, we all need to shop sometimes. We need to get groceries, and we need essentials like clothing. But, when you're shopping for all the wrong reasons - because you're bored/angry/upset/bummed out - then you're spending money for no real reason at all. It won't make you feel any better when you get the bills sent in the mail. So, if you're feeling the need for some retail therapy, try something else instead. You'll feel better and so will your wallet.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Save Money Tips - Easy Facial Scrub with Sugar

A little handful of natural white or brown sugar moistened with a little water or olive oil makes a perfect, luxurious facial scrub! Gently scrub it on (the brown sugar smells especially nice and caramelly) to your moistened skin and then splash cool water to remove. A spa treat for pennies, the kind of price we love!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Today's Frugal Challenge: Lower one Bill

Today, make it your goal to lower one bill. Maybe it's your electricity bill: make it a goal to see the number on that bill lower next month. You can mak a big difference on your electricity bill just by being an aware consumer. Turn lights off when you leave the room, and don't allow for phantom energy usage - many appliances use energy just by being plugged in. You can cut back by hooking all your office equipment, for instance, to a power bar. Especially when you go travelling, shut that entire power bar down.

Take any bill, and lower it.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

A Seaside Haircare Secret - Frugal Hair Care

An interesting, ultra frugal tip to get those seaside, sea swept tresses many of us love! Even if you're thousands of miles from the seaside, use this easy tip to get wavy hair easily and naturally.

Just pour about a teaspoon or so of table salt into a spray bottle, and then fill with cool tap water. Shake well to dissolve salt entirely into the water. Spray hair with this mixture. The saltiness of the water will work to add waves and body to your hair - just like what happens when you're lounging on the beach! time you're AT the beach, remember to grab a handful of wet sand to scrub your feet. It's a natural foot scrub that will leave your tootsies feeling soft and healthy.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Frugal Beauty - Cheap Skin Toner

Witch hazel! There, I went and spilled the beauty beans, right at the get go. Witch hazel is a beautiful, natural skin toner (it's extracted from the witch hazel plant). And it's cheap into the bargain. A bottle can cost a buck or two and last a year or more. Just pour some on a cotton ball, and rub along your skin after cleansing. You'll be amazed to see it does just as good a job as pricey skin toners - for less.

And that's what we frugalites love - more for less.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Frugal Tips - Find More Money - Bank those Coins

A few pennies here, a couple of nickels there. What can they all really add UP to, right?

Today, we put $30.00 in the bank! All from coins that were laying around in pockets or purses, and accumulating in jars. Thirty bucks is certainly nothing to sneeze at, and shows that doing a search for coins really can add up and be worthwhile.

Want to get a 'rollin up those coins? Here are some great places to find forgotten coins and change around your home (and other places too):

  1. Pockets. I'm often guilty of putting change in my jeans pocket or jacket pocket. Do a thorough search of these areas.
  2. Bags, purses, cases or luggage of any type. Again, leftover change often finds its way into these areas.
  3. Jars, or other spots where you chuck change. We had an overflowing jar filled with pennies, dimes, nickels and loonies and toonies ($1 and $2 coins. Not as many of those as we'd have liked, though!)
  4. Beneath sofa & chair cushions - of course, since change likes to fall out and nestle in these cozy little areas!
  5. Outside the home...Keep your eyes open for coins when you're walking along or in spots like vending machines and payphones. You'll often find some change there!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Frugal Fun - Host a 'Swap' Night with Friends (Jewelry, Pantry Swap, etc)

Need some fun new jewelry or accessories? Or, do you feel the urge to go shopping and load up on new makeup and beauty supplies, but your wallet is telling you otherwise?

Why not have a Swap Night with friends? You can choose the theme:

  • Pantry Swap - swap products that you don't really need for ones you do
  • Beauty Swap - hair care products, skincare products, perfume, etc
  • Fashion Swap - Clothing that you no longer wear (or maybe that no longer fits properly) can be swapped for brand new to you clothes! (You can also swap shoes that you no longer wear, jewelry and/or accessories like belts and scarves.)
  • Kids' Clothes and Toys Swap - Children's clothing and toys are a great theme for a swap night! You'll save a ton of money, and so will your friends.

Have everyone bring a refreshment, and your frugal swap night will be a lot of fun for a very few pennies. And, this is also recycling at its very best!

Use this Instead of That: Oil as a Makeup Remover

I did a little experiment earlier today...I had run out of eye makeup remover (I often use the presoaked make up remover pads for convenience, and because they even take off waterproof mascara.) What could I use instead?

We had a small bottle of all-natural massage oil in the medicine cabinet. It had ingredients like jojoba oil, soy oil and sweet almond oil, and said it contained no irritants. Hmmm! I'd read in a woman's magazine that eye makeup remover should be a bit oily, to successfully remove all traces of makeup from your eyes, without having to tug (and cause wrinkles! Boo!)

I poured a little bit onto an oversized cotton ball and - it worked amazingly well! In fact, it removed every trace of mascara, even better than the specialty remover does. I think any all-natural oil blend (or even regular olive oil!) would work just fine too. Keep in mind, though, that if you want to use an oil like this, you'll need to take off your eye makeup first, and then wash your face as normal to remove all traces of oil.

Let me know if you try it and like this tip!

Friday, February 06, 2009

How Taking a Lunch can Save You $1600+ a year!

Phew, eating out really adds up! Look at how some typical lunches can hit your bank account over the course of a year:

  • Fast food x 3 meals a week = $18.00 = $900
  • 'Nice' lunch once a week with coworkers = $15 a pop = $750
  • Bagged lunch 1 time a week = $0 additional (paid for with grocery budget)

Let's take all of these numbers and multiply them by 50 weeks...and you get (gulp!) $1650 a year! And that's just on lunches! This is a really low estimate too, as some lunches can be a lot pricier than this.

Make a firm and determined goal for yourself to simply NOT EAT OUT AT LUNCH. Leftovers from last night's meals, or a simple sandwich and a piece of fruit are healthy options that are a frugalite's dream.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Finding Valuable Coupons Online (and Coupon Codes)

The Internet is such an incredible resource for all Frugalites. It makes research and comparative shopping a breeze...and it is an invaluable way to find high value coupons, and even Free Product Coupons! How do I find these coupons, and valuable coupon codes? Here are a few ways I've found coupons online:

  1. eBay - Free product coupons are sometimes sold on eBay. If you can find a lot of coupons that are a bargain - and allow you to get some very inexpensive groceries to fill the pantry! - it might be well worth it to buy a lot or two of coupons from eBay. This is also a way to find coupons you might never find otherwise. You can also find free product coupons and high value coupons this way...sometimes with those high value coupons, the product is nearly free after the coupon is redeemed.
  2. Google - Get savvy with searching for coupons with Google! Try searching for exactly what you're looking for. For example, if you're looking for peanut butter coupons, search the brand name, plus the term coupon, like this: "Jiffy peanut butter +coupon." Or, try searching for printable coupons online from your favorite retailers or grocery stores.
  3. Finding Coupon Codes - Coupon codes aren't a physical paper coupon, but rather a valuable code that can be applied at checkout to your online purchases. Sometimes these can be an incredible bargain! I've had online coupon codes for Sears and other online retailers that saved me $20 or more on a $100 purchase! Again, use Google or your favorite search engine and use search terms like: "Sears +coupon code" or "Amazon +coupon codes"

Have any more online coupon hunting techniques? Please post a comment with your ideas!