Buy Nothing: A Craigslist Alternative

Posted on April 6th, 2015 by Freebie Felicia

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Craigslist and other local online buy-and-sell pages are good starting points for buying things on the cheap, or selling things you don’t need any more. And those are good ways to be frugal and save money! But what if you could just… not buy anything at all?

That’s the idea behind “Buy Nothing” groups that have popped up on social media sites lately. Unlike other buying and selling groups, these are often local to certain neighborhoods. People post items they’d like to give away for free. In the words of buynothingproject.org:

“Post anything you’d like to give away, lend, or share amongst neighbors. Ask for anything you’d like to receive for free or borrow. Keep it legal. Keep it civil. No buying or selling, no trades or bartering, we’re strictly a gift economy.”

Since these groups are primarily on Facebook and local, there’s another sense of safety involved. You’re more likely to know some people in the group, and know that they know other people in the group as well, so there is more of a sense of trustworthy community and less fear of strangers. Of course, always remember to use common sense to be safe when you are meeting someone for the first (or second, or third) time! People want to get rid of the most unusual things at the weirdest times, so maybe a dresser will pop up just when yours breaks, or someone wants to unload a bunch of maternity clothes for free and you’ve just found out your best friend is pregnant. Score!

And remember, while this isn’t an official “pay it forward” type of thing, it’s always good to rack up the good karma and post some things you’d like to give away for free, too. Don’t just take—give as well! You never know when someone just happens to be looking for that creepy taxidermy squirrel that’s been sitting in your attic for years!


Bad Habits That Save Money

Posted on August 21st, 2014 by Freebie Felicia

bad habits that save money

Many of us look to the things we need to change in order to save money or be better people. However, we need to stop and give credit where credit is due. Some may ask where that credit is due? In those little quirks and bad habits that are frowned upon in society, but in the end have saved us money and peace of mind.

Dirty Ears

I have children that don’t like having their ears cleaned, but my pediatrician says that’s okay. In fact my pediatrician says that it’s actually preferable to let my children have a little dirt in their ears. The ear wax keeps bacteria and infectious microbes from actually getting into their inner ears. This means less ear infections, less trips to the doctor, and less time fighting a toddler. It saves me in gas, time, money, and stress not to clean their ears too often.

Stop Shaving

I know it sounds nasty, but leg and armpit shaving really didn’t become a huge deal until recent history (with the exception of ancient Egyptians, who were paranoid about lice). Imagine how much money you could save in waxings, shaving tools, creams, and bleaches if you just left the hair alone. I have heard of men celebrating no shave November. Why not try a little no shaving ourselves. It keeps us warmer and doesn’t leave us with annoying shaving cuts or possible chemical burns.

Yelling

Yelling has many useful properties when done correctly. You can be heard at a farther distance. It clears your airways if you have a bit of congestion. Upon occasion it can communicate better than being rational. I have even heard of a therapy that encourages an individual to yell into a pillow to relieve frustration. The only down side is when you don’t breath correctly and end up with a sore throat. Why pay money for therapy sessions when all you need is to shriek off a little steam and be on your merry way. Just don’t make too much of a habit of it.

What bad habits have saved you money?

 


Thrifty Stocking Stuffers

Posted on December 3rd, 2013 by Discount Debbie

The stockings are up at our house. I can hardly believe it. Now, all I have to do is figure out what to stuff them with! My 4 year old daughter suggested that we stuff them with chocolate muffins and candy canes. Ha, ha! That would actually be pretty easy. However, I am now thinking about what to put in those stockings. I have the feeling that I may not be alone in my mission.

If you’re like me, then here are a few ideas of store bought items and deals that are available right now. You might actually like a couple of these enough to sneak into your own stocking! 😉

Cute children’s clothes and accessories at Kohl’s

Adorable Girls’ Mittens 3pk, $5.00

Cute Carter’s Baby PJ Set, $6


Cheap and Free CoverGirl Make Up at Rite Aid

CoverGirl Mini Glosstinis Nail Enamel (reg $3.79) $0.95, clearance price
Use $1.00/1 CoverGirl Product, excludes trial/travel size and accessories, Limit 4 like coupons per household per day from PG 12/1 (exp 12/31)
Final Price: Free

CoverGirl Smoky Eye Shadow Duo (reg $7.99) $1.99, clearance price
Use $1.00/1 CoverGirl Product, excludes trial/travel size and accessories, Limit 4 like coupons per household per day from PG 12/1 (exp 12/31)
Final Price: $0.99

CoverGirl TruBlend Foundation (reg $9.79) $2.44, clearance price
Use $1.00/1 CoverGirl Product, excludes trial/travel size and accessories, Limit 4 like coupons per household per day from PG 12/1 (exp 12/31)
Final Price: $1.44

Proctor & Gamble Products: Pay $5 for $35 worth of products!

You may want to hang on to the free deodorant (because that may not be the ideal stocking stuffer). 🙂 However, you’re sure to find cool items for those stockings as part of this amazing deal.

What are your favorite stocking stuffers?

 


DIY Sugar Scrub

Posted on October 15th, 2013 by Discount Debbie

If you didn't see the title of this post and just saw the ingredients pictured above, what might you guess I was making? Something sweet, yummy and easy? Well, you'd be mostly right. The only thing is that you're not supposed to eat it…although you can 😉

Back in my single days, I used to love to buy either salt or sugar scrubs to use in the shower. I saw a difference in my dry and bumpy skin on the back of my arms. I have since learned that the dry, bumpy skin on the back of my arms is often referred to as “chicken skin” and that about 50% of the population has it! Well, I also learned that exfoliating and moisturizing can really help alleviate the skin condition.

Quite frankly, though, with two little ones to chase after and clean up after all day, sugar scrub seems like quite a luxury. There are so many other things I'd rather buy than scrub for myself….

However, I just happened to be reading about my little skin condition and read over and over that exfoliating with a scrub and moisturizing with a good oil (like coconut oil) can make a difference in your skin. It'll at least feel great!

So, I decided to make my own sugar scrub. And, I did.

There is one simple recipe to make a sugar scrub. Use one part oil to two parts sugar. You can use olive oil, sunflower oil or coconut oil. For sugar, you can use white or brown or a combination of the two. Then, you can add fun extras like vanilla extract or cinnamon to make it even yummier…I mean, better smelling 😉

Here's how I made mine:

1/2 cup coconut oil

1 cup sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

That's it. Mix it all up. Put it in a container you can seal. Then, enjoy!

It took me long enough to make it. Why did I wait? I love this!

What's keeping you from making your own scrub?


How NOT to Haggle

Posted on January 17th, 2013 by Discount Debbie

Haggling. You either love it or hate it. Yesterday I was visiting with a friend of mine who owns a bridal shop. She was telling me that brides constantly come into her shop and try to haggle with her. She went on to say it’s very frustrating because she’s not in a business where that’s appropriate and that people were basically wanting her to give away her dresses for free.

Which of course this got me thinking. Is there a wrong way to haggle? I think so!

1. First you need to know there is a time and place for it. The truth is, not everyone appreciates it. Car dealership is appropriate, maybe not so much a Nieman Marcus.

2. Make sure you pay attention or ask businesses for their pricing policies. Some will have policies about discounts for floor models or even if they don’t accept any lower offers. For example, our local Toyota dealership does absolutely ZERO haggling. They give you the best price for their vehicles and they don’t go down EVER.

3. Don’t be rude if they don’t accept your offer. My friend in the bridal shop held her ground on a particular dress and the customer turned around and made her feel horrible about it. That’s not ok and gives us Thrifty Divas a bad name.

4. Try and have a grasp of the value of what you want. This particular bride that was haggling my friend offered $200 on a $1800 dress. I think out of everything my friend said, this was the hardest to swallow. That amount is insulting compared to its worth. The dress wasn’t on a clearance rack, it wasn’t damaged, that was just their offer.

What do you think about haggling?


Too Cheap?

Posted on August 16th, 2012 by Discount Debbie

Cheap–I hate that word. I very rarely use it on this blog because of its negative connotation. We here preferred to be called Thrifty. However, I do believe there are people who taking frugal living and being a Thrifty Diva to the dark side! Yes, there is a dark side to being Thrifty and I encourage you not to go there. The dark side is being cheap!

I saw a documentary once about a man so cheap that he took ketchup packets from several restaurants to squeeze into his own bottles. He did the same thing with mustard. He also took 2-ply toilet paper and separated it to make two separate rolls. You can’t get much cheaper than this.

This is not what Thrifty living is all about!

You know you’re too cheap when you…

1. Cheat with coupons. We’ve seen this a lot on a certain tv show and it’s not worth it people!
2. Watch TV through your neighbors window or steal internet. 
3. You stage a protest over a 1 cent increase to stamps.
4. You take pennies from the take a penny jar even when you don’t need them!
5. You reuse paper towels. Ewwwwww.
6. You pretend it’s your birthday at a restaurant to get a free dessert.
7. You never tip.
8. You think everything is overpriced. Even when there is a good deal, you have a hard time paying it.

Are you cheap or a healthy frugal? 


Thrifty Home Improvement – $20 Kitchen Makeover, No Paint!

Posted on July 30th, 2012 by Discount Debbie

I know, you’re thinking, “There’s no way only $20 could make a difference throughout an entire kitchen without painting it or doing something to the walls.”

I ask you… when is the last time you noticed the hardware on your cabinets? It’s amazing the impression they make, which isn’t surprising since they’re placed throughout your entire kitchen.

I recently moved into a new rental, and being a Thrifty Diva I chose to get something more affordable, but no doubt, you sacrifice looks a bit to do so. While the place is nice and funcational and safe, some of the fixtures are simply outdated in appearance. With it being a rental, there’s only so much I can do to improve it (especially since the owner wouldn’t approve my request to paint).

Looking at the kitchen, it screamed 80s. The most obvious factor, the wood cabinet pulls.

I got on Amazon.com and found the best deal on these Satin Nickel Cabinet Pulls. Much better!

Before:

After:

Before:

After:

I removed all of the wood cabinet pulls, placed them in a ziploc bag, tucked them away in the back of an out of reach cabinet, and when I move out someday, I can simply put them back on the cabinets. But I bet even the landlord would prefer my cabinet pulls. 😉

Though if my current cabinet pulls fit my future cabinets someday… psshhh… I’m putting back in the ugly wood ones and taking my pretty, shiny new ones with me!


Is Being Thrifty Taboo?

Posted on July 23rd, 2012 by Discount Debbie

Have you ever noticed we don’t use the word cheap very often on this site? It’s not that we don’t tell you about awesome cheap deals, but cheap just sounds worse than Thrifty. We are on a mission to take the taboo and embarrassment out of couponing and saving money!

Guess what, saving money is cool! And it’s not just done by people who “need to” or “have to” save money to make it. A lot of us just want the money we are earning to go further. We want more bang for our buck. Why spend $5 on shampoo when I can get it for free. It doesn’t matter how much money you make, free sounds good and that’s $5 in your wallet!

Ever wonder how most wealthy people get that way? They are good with money! So instead of being Thrifty being taboo, it’s actually something to be proud of especially when it does things like gets you out of debt, put money in your wallet and gives you more money to spend on other things!

Wonder what your non-couponing/saving friends will think? They will be amazed. They won’t poke fun at you. When I show my friends my stockpile of shampoo I got for free, they don’t laugh at me, they ask me how I did it. I am their cool couponing friend!

There is nothing that should be taboo about saving and over the years it’s becoming more and more common, but you can help our cause! Tell your friends you coupon or get good deals by researching! Come out of the couponing closet! Share links on your Facebook about great deals you get. Brag more about your stockpile. Get other’s jealous about your loot!

What are you doing to help the coupon cause!? 


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