How to Save Money While Eating Healthy

I think it’s safe to say we all want to eat healthy (or healthier than we do!). But if you are on a budget or are trying to limit your spending or save money sometimes it just doesn’t seem possible. Sales, deals, and coupons for foods that are healthy aren’t as abundant as other foods, but the truth is that they DO exist. It just takes a little more work to find them! Head over and check out my best tips for eating healthy while on a budget.

Ten Unusual Uses for Shampoo and Conditioner

If you’ve been couponing for awhile you probably have a nice stock of shampoo and conditioner. Maybe even more than you need! If you’re looking for something to do with your shampoo and conditioner, check out this article Ten unusual uses for your shampoo and conditioner from Consumer Search. Definitely would not have thought of these on my own! Learn how to remove knots, get zippers unstuck, wash silk and more using your hair care products.

Frugal Friday: How to Get Wax out of Clothing

We’ve probably all been there. You have a new outfit (or maybe just one of your favorites) on and then it happens – you get something on it. No matter what it is, it puts quite a damper on your mood. Luckily there are solutions to get many of these nasty stains out.

Rewind to a few weeks ago. My husband got a great new pair of dress pants on a huge sale. The first time he wears them ihe gets candle wax on the leg of his new pants. Needless to say, neither of were thrilled. I knew I couldn’t just throw them in the washer but I wasn’t quite sure how to get it out without making a mess or leaving a stain. Then someone told me about this method – it worked like a charm and you would never know the was was ever there. Super easy to do too, which scores bonus points with me.

How to Get Wax Out of Clothing

  • Place a papertowel over the wax.
  • Place another paper towel on the other side of the wax. For example, the inside of a side or pant leg. This is important so that the wax does not soak through to the other side of the clothes.
  • Put your iron on its lowest setting.
  • Gently iron over the paper towel applying light pressure.
  • The wax will begin to absorb into the paper towel.
  • Replace paper towels as needed, when the wax begins to absorb. You’ll want to have a clean paper towel at all times.
  • That’s it!

I wish I had thought to take before and after pictures. I was amazed at how easy it was to do and how well it worked!

Frugal Friday: How to Prolong the Life of Your Clothing

Wearing your clothing out is inevitable, but extending their life is certainly a smart and frugal move. Plus, although considered therapy by some, clothes shopping takes time that some just don’t have. Small changes can add up when you follow these tiny tips.

  • Roll up your sleeves. Sleeves get stained the easiest around the sleeves when we’ve always got our hands in to something. When you’re cleaning, doing dishes, making dinner, roll up your sleeves a couple rolls and it’s going to be harder to dip the wrists in spaghetti sauce.
  • Wear an apron while cooking. Countless pieces of clothing have been ruined by not wearing an apron. One grease splatter and you’re in the danger zone. Any apron will do, I prefer one that covers my torso and thighs, but have one for when I have people at my house that just covers from the waist to my knees and ties in the back. Plus, when you’re done cooking, you can toss it in the laundry and you’re good to go about your day.
  • Shine your shoes. You might think a pair of shoes has bit the dust, but try shining them to help them look new again, as well preventing leather from cracking. They might get back up to snuff with a couple quick swipes of the shoe shiner. A simple shiner from the store would work fine, or you might try a home remedy of 1:10 parts lemon juice and olive oil with a towel, and that should do the trick.
  • Use a sweater shaver. By far, my favorite clothing preserver on the planet. I have one, and couldn’t be happier. It’s undoubtedly one of the best purchases I’ve made to make hand me downs look brand new. You simply hold your garment on a flat surface, making sure you have a good handle on it or the sweater shaver will eat your garment. Turn it on and direct it pressing lightly over the item. It removes all of the fuzzballs with ease making the garment look near new.
  • Keep the buttons. All those pesky buttons that come with clothes may actually save you from tossing them in the future. If one button cracks or falls off then you’re not tempted to shelf them, just replace it quick.
  • Wash less. Not only are you saving your clothing from being worn down, but you’re also saving water and energy! This works well with sweaters and cardigans especially. Double whammy!

These small tips can warrant more mileage out of your clothes and accessories, certainly worth a shot!

Kate Sorensen runs a coupon and frugality blog called CouponCravings and has been frugal for years using small moves to save bits of money piece by piece.

Photo Credit: Brian Matis Photography

Frugal Friday: Don’t Throw Away Those Bananas!

We always have bananas in our house, and we usually eat them. But there are inevitably times when they start to brown before we eat them. I hate throwing food away, but I just don’t always have the time or energy to go through all the work of making homemade banana bread (though I have no problem saving those bananas and giving them to my dad to make it – his is the best!). So, here is another idea of what to do with those about-to-go-bad bananas!

Freeze them for smoothies! Simple right? I don’t know why I didn’t think of this before – just peel and cut into 5-6 pieces. Put them in a ziploc bag and pop them in the freezer. Next time you want a smoothie, just throw a few pieces of the frozen banana in – it’s delicious and they are already frozen, so it makes your smoothie nice and thick! They’re also great to just eat a piece frozen – perfect for a warm day or in place of a popsicle.

Frugal Friday: Keep Your Brown Sugar From Hardening

If you’re like me, you’ve at one point gone to bake something only to pull out the brown sugar and find a hard brick. I don’t use brown sugar very often, so it often sits in my pantry for months. Though keeping it in an air tight container helps, it eventually becomes hard. Just last week I threw a nearly full bag of sugar in the trash – what a waste!

Well, here’s an easy way to avoid throwing what could be perfectly good food into the trash. Place a few marshmallows with your borwn sugar and store in an air tight container. The molasses in the brown sugar dries out over time, which is what causes it to harden. The sugar will absorb moisture from the marshmallows and keep it soft! I’m not sure how long it will keep your sugar soft for – I just started my new bag last week so I will let you know.

Frugal Friday: Tips for Shopping Grocery Outlets

I was able to get everything pictured for under $11 by shopping a grocery outlet -(Yogurt, Purdue nuggets, Pillsbury toaster scrambles, Fruitables juice, DelMonte fruit chillers, french fries, Heluva Good dip, Chi Chis tortillas and more!) 

If you have a grocery outlet nearby, you may want to consider checking it out. I recently discovered Amelia’s Grocery Outlet and though it is about 15 minutes from my house, it’s well worth the trip! Not only do they have great low prices, they also accept coupons! Many people tend to view grocery outlets as places that only sell outdated food and well, they are wrong. Amelia’s is a manufacturer direct outlet for many national and regional brand manufacturers. Just like clothing and electronic outlets, Amelia’s buys brand name close-out food products direct from the manufacturer and offers them to you at savings of up to 70%! You can often find great name brand products for incredibly low prices. There are some things you need to keep in mind and watch out for when shopping a grocery outlet, but if you know what you are doing you will find they are a great place to find bargains and save money!

Know the Coupon Policy: Many outlets will not accept coupons, but some (including Amelia’s) do. In some cases they will not accept coupons from certain manufacturers and will not take internet printable coupons. They also will likely not double your coupons. Check your store for their policy.

Beware of “Low” Prices: While you can get some awesome deals, some prices are not as great as they seem. You may see toothpaste for $0.75, which seems low but you can usually get free toothpaste at the drug stores. Know your prices and don’t buy something you can find cheaper elsewhere.

Check the Packages: Some products at grocery outlets may be “scratch & dent”, meaning the packaging may be damaged. In most cases this doesn’t matter (who cares if you can of tomato soup has a dent??), but check to see if there are rips or tears – if so you probably don’t want to purchase that item.

Watch Expiry Dates: While most products are within their expiry date, you will sometimes find products that have a close expiry or have recently expired. If it has a short expiry date and you know you’ll use it soon, no problem! You can read more about expiry dating here, in many cases the expiry date does not indicate the date when the product will go bad. Of course, use your own discretion when purchasing.

Buy Now if Interested: Inventory is always changing at grocery outlets. There is never a guarantee of what products they will have, so if you see something you want buy it – don’t expect that if you wait and come back that it will still be there.


Frugal Friday: Make Your Scented Candles Last Longer

How to Make Your Scented Candles Last Longer

I love candles – they smell so good and it seems like they have a scent for every holiday, occassion, season, etc. They can get expensive though! And it really makes me mad when they burn unevenly and it seems like I have half a jar full of wax left when the wick runs out. Well, here’s a way to make those candles last longer so you aren’t throwing away unmelted wax (hey, you paid for that part too, right??)

  • Chill your candle. It may sound weird to put your candle in the refrigerator or freezer, but supposedly it will help the wax burn slower and more evenly. I haven’t tried this yet, but you can bet I will next time I burn a candle!
  • Do not burn your candles for short periods of time. Burning for short periods of time only allows the wax in the middle to melt, thus creating that dreaded “wasted wax” on the sides of the jar!
  • Trim the wick before you burn it. This too will help it to burn more evenly and will also prevent that nasty black smoke from leaving a residue on the jar, wall, etc.

Coupons aren’t the only way to save. I’ll be posting a new “frugal” tip each Friday to help you save some of that hard earned money! Have a frugal tip to share? Send it to me and you may see if featured as part of Frugal Friday.

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