Sunday, November 9, 2014

Green & Frugal Savings Tip: Stash the $5 Bill

How many times have you tried to stash away cash in order to save money? I know every time I've tried that method, I'd quickly spend the cash when I need money for the babysitter, pizza or other cash "emergency." The trick was to outsmart myself and I think I found a way. The key is to not be able to
readily spend or access the money.

Here's how it works:

1) Get an empty water bottle.

2) Each time a $5 crosses your path (or wallet), stuff it into the empty water bottle.

3) If you want to really get creative, you could put photos of the things you're saving for on the water bottle as added incentive.

Voila! Instant, inaccessible piggy's ingenius really. The plan is to get to a point where I can't stuff one more bill into the bottle. At that point, I cut open the water bottle and use the money for whatever I was saving it for in the first place.

Currently, I need several pieces of furniture and other home decor. None of these items are urgently needed, so the $5-in-the-water-bottle system works perfectly. Here what I'm saving for:
  • Headboard for our guest bedroom (approx. $200)
  • Dining room table & chairs (approx. $1,500)
  • Curtains for the dining room (approx. $300)
  • Desk for the office ($200)
As you can see, there's no shortage of wants for my new-found savings.

What are your savings tricks?

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Wednesday, July 2, 2014

How to Use Paper Towels

If you've ever watched a TED Talk video, you know the speakers and the content are incredible. I recently came across a video that was simple, amazing and a perfect fit for Green and Frugal Living.

Watch this video and please leave a comment below to let me know what you think. 

It's changed the way I use paper towels and I plan on sharing this with my children so they begin to think about how they use them as well. Think about how much waste we can eliminate with this simple, yet powerful change...

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Sunday, June 29, 2014

Review: No Kidding Coupons, 99% Off

Summer is finally here! It's been awhile since I've posted, but I came across an interesting site that I think you'll enjoy.  

About No Kidding Coupons
No Kidding Coupons (NKC) is a new extreme discount coupon site that combines the best of what shoppers love about RetailMeNot,, FatWallet and Slickdeals with a gamification twist. It's a simple idea that makes coupon shopping fun AND rewards participants with extreme coupons and high discount promo codes!
At No Kidding Coupons, a 99% OFF coupon redeemable at a trusted shopping site like is the norm..."No Kidding," as NKC members often say.

How It Works
Members join No Kidding Coupons free of charge and earn points based on activities, contests and various site engagements. Next, members select the products they like and exchange points for deep discount coupons. Coupons can be used like cash to slash 99% off retail prices on hundreds of quality products. Check out this No Kidding Coupons

The more ways a member shares and engages, the more points they earn for future coupons. It's fun, easy and most importantly, it's almost kidding. All kidding aside, members quickly discover the deals are real as they are extreme.

My Experience
I joined the site and was sent several emails explaining how the program works. Essentially, you get the products at a significant discount in return for a product review and social media promotion. I'm in the process of ordering a product to see how much time it takes to generate enough points to redeem them. 

I like the overall idea -- it almost seems to good to be true. I'm interested to see how much time is involved in purchasing, reviewing and acquiring a decent amount of points. But I guess you have to give a little to get this type of mega-discount.

Have you tried No Kidding Coupons? I'd love to hear about your experience. What did you like or dislike?
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Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Green and Frugal Tip: Shop Clearance First...Always

I've slowly developed a taste for high-quality make-up and beauty products. I'm not sure where this new-found interest came from, but it's a habit I need to reel in. It doesn't help that I live very close to a recently opened Ulta beauty store.

How to Frugally Shop Ulta
Ulta sends reward coupons for free merchandise based upon on how much money you spend. When I receive my reward, I always grab as many beauty product coupons as I can and head right for the clearance section (s). I scored some great deals this time around.

For $16 (+ tax), I was able to get a bag full of goodies, many of which I'll be able to include in my 7-year-old daughter's Easter basket.
  • Tablet cover
  • Body lotion
  • Snowflake nail file
  • Two lip balms
  • 14-day keratin treatment
  • Sunscreen (for an upcoming vacation)
  • Anti-frizz lotion
  • Hair shine
  • Hair spray
  • Eyeliner
Below is my receipt and you can see that I had a $2 for the Got2B hair gel. It was on clearance for $1.62. I thought it would be a money-maker, but instead was free. The only item I paid full-price for was the egg lip balm. I had been wanting it for awhile after trying out my daughter's.

Shopping clearance isn't only doable at Ulta. I do this at any store I walk into, including grocery stores like ShopRite and discount stores like TJ Maxx. You never know when you'll stumble upon an item you've been searching for that happens to be in the clearance rack.

Here's another example: I had been looking for a mini whisk for months, but refused to pay $8-$10 for it. Lo and behold, after scouring the clearance rack at Bed, Bath & Beyond, I found one for $2.99. Score!! The best part is pairing your clearance find with a coupon. My little whisk ended up being $2.39 after I used a 20% off coupon. Every little bit helps!

Have you scored any hot deals in the clearance aisle? Nothing is more exciting than a good bargain!

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