Thursday, January 22, 2015



Thursday, July 14, 2011

Make your own Clorox wipes

A few weeks ago I decided to make my own cleaning wipes and it was super easy! I've never bought Clorox wipes or things like that for cleaning because of the cost, but I have always thought of how nice and convenient it would be to use them. Normally I would just use a paper towel and some spray cleaner, but we would go through paper towels so quickly and I hate shelling out $6 for a pack of paper towels every time I buy them! (There usually aren't any good coupon deals for paper towels :)

I used the tutorial on this website to make my own and I have been loving it! All I did was buy a package of reusable wipes from the grocery store for about $1.50, cut them to fit in an old baby wipes container when folded in half, folded them so that when you pulled one out, the other comes up (had to look that up on the Internet too), poured in some water and cleaner to wet the wipes, and presto! Instant cleaning wipes! When I am done with one I just toss it in the washer and it gets washed the next time I do a load of laundry. This works well for me since my washer is right next to the kitchen, but you could also use a tiny bin under your kitchen sink or some other place out of the way.

I keep them on the kitchen counter next to the stove and let me tell you, cleaning has never been so easy!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Frugality: A Gateway Virtue

I love our landlords. They are the cutest older retired couple and the husband loves to drop by and trim our hedges or plant new flowers in our yard. We tell him over and over that while we appreciate it, he doesn't have to do that. His response is usually something like, "I didn't have anything else to do today!". One day while he was over we started talking about restaurants in our new town. He said that he and a group of his friends usually go out to eat for lunch once a week. He pointed out that they always use a coupon and then he laughed and said, "People try to tell me I'm frugal. I tell them, no I'm not, I'm cheap!"
I've been couponing for a few years now and I can honestly say that I do not worry about looking cheap or poor or any of those other things. In fact, I feel a sense of pride that I am able to save my family so much money and the more I think about it, the more I feel like trying to be more frugal leads to more virtuous attributes.
The first one I can think of is self reliance. I remember when we first moved to Tampa for my husband to finish graduate school. We were living off of student loans and my meager salary as an intern at the University. I remember feeling so blessed that we weren't too stressed over finances. Because of using coupons and having a "use what we have" mentality, we didn't feel like poor college students. I am so glad that we didn't have to go into any more debt than was necessary, especially now that we are in the "paying off student loan" phase of our lives!

Another virtue linked to frugality is patience. From my experience, you cannot be the type of person who wants to buy something exactly when you want it and still save a lot of money consistently. You have to be able to take time to research your options, plan your shopping trip, and be willing to wait for a sale if you can. My husband has definitely come a long way in this department. When we first met, if he saw something he wanted he went and bought it almost immediately. Now, I am happy to say, I have rubbed off on him! Now he checks around, looks for a coupon, and then comes to ask me if what he wants is in our budget and we both brainstorm a way for him to get it.

I really can go on and on, but I guess my point is I feel that couponing and having a general attitude of frugality has really blessed my life and I think that it has made me a better person. I feel much more confident in my ability to manage my family's household and that has brought me a lot of peace, especially since I just made the transition to being a stay at home mom who doesn't bring in any income.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Free Diapers

I decided that I would try to use my earnings from swagbucks to buy diapers on amazon instead of just buying stuff (trying to curb that shopping habit!!). I set a goal for how many swagbucks I would need to earn a day in order to get enough diapers for a month and so far I have been meeting my goal or exceeding it! Today I ordered my first case of free diapers!! So, swagbucks has now paid for a month and half's worth of diapers. Awesome!

Seriously, if you spend any time on the computer throughout the day I would totally recommend trying it out. I'm trying to see how little out of pocket I can pay for diapers until James is potty trained and I love that I don't have even have to leave my house to do it! He is 5 months old and so far I have only paid $129.19 for diapers and wipes and that is including about 2 and 1/2 months worth that I still have to use.
If you sign up through my link, I get bonus points, so if you are thinking about it, give it a whirl! :)

I *heart* amazon and swagbucks

I think that I am single-handedly keeping in business. Seriously. I order something from them almost every other day since we have a prime membership we get free shipping most of the time. I don't know how many times I have gone on there and found something cheaper than getting it in the store, plus I get it shipped to me for free! Example: James' swing that he takes naps in eats D batteries like they are candy, so I looked on amazon. Sure enough, I found a 12 pack of professional grade duracell batteries for $14 with free shipping! You can't get publix store brand batteries for that price. So I ordered it :)

Recently I've started using again as a way to support my amazon habit. In case you don't know what it is, it's a search engine/website were you can earn points for doing different things (searching the web, answering polls, surveys, etc...). Once you earn 450 points you can redeem it for a $5 amazon gift card! It is super easy and you don't get email spam or anything like that with it. I've already earned enough for $10 in amazon gift cards just this month! Anyways, I always like ways to get free stuff, so if you are interested feel free to check it out. I would definitely recommend it. Some people like to earn as much as they can throughout the year and then use it all to pay for Christmas presents. Can you imagine not paying anything for Christmas presents? Too cool! Except I can't wait that long :)

Monday, January 4, 2010

Sorry for the Silence :)

Sorry for the lack of posting this past week. I was having WAY too much fun with my family over the New Year's holiday. I was also in bargain-shopping heaven while visiting my sister. Which brings me to today's topic: perspective.

While visiting my sister I did some shopping at some outlet and discount stores. The prices there were unbelievably low!! I'm talking $2.50 for a perfect, beautiful, Ann Taylor Loft blouse (can I get a heck yeah!!!) I went back to the same store every day for 3 days, afraid to miss any more great deals. I was sorely tempted to throw away all of my clothes back home to make room for an entire new wardrobe. I never imagined that clothes, quality clothes especially, could be so inexpensive. It changed my whole perspective on clothes shopping and what was a "good deal".

And so it is with everything else that you buy. Before getting into coupons, staying under $100 a week for quality groceries was a "good deal" for me, even a bargain at times. I never dreamed that some things such as yogurt (which are $.25 for a 4 pack at Publix this week by the way) could be purchased for so much less. That realization has carried over into other areas. You begin to look at everything as negotiable or as just a starting point before reaching an actual purchase price that you feel good about. My husband has learned to never buy things right when he first sees them because he knows to ask me if there is a way to get it cheaper. And there usually is!

So, the moral of the story is that your perspective changes as you learn what is a good deal for you. Part of the fun and excitement of bargain stalking shopping is challenging your current price thresholds. How low can you go?!