Sunday, May 19, 2013

Time Saves Money: Stalking A Purchase

I have been realizing that a large part of saving money is being willing to put in the time to get the best price on something.  Today's post is one example.

You may remember that I have been looking for a food processor.  (I mentioned that it was why I was in Goodwill in the first place).

See, I registered for a food processor years ago when Husband and I were getting married.  Since I did very little cooking (or at least, very little that anyone would want to eat), and had no idea what a food processor was really for (processing food?), I got a very small one.

Now, I'm cooking for four people, and trying to make stuff ahead of time and freeze it.  Yeah.  I'm going to need something...bigger.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Meal Stretcher Monday: Taco Seasoning Mix

My lips are on fire.  Allow me explain: Tonight is Burrito Night.

Mmm.  Burrito Night.

Usually, Husband makes up a meat filling and I make a vegetarian version, but we both add those envelopes of "taco seasoning" that have all sorts of ingredients that I can't pronounce.  I have read in quite a few places that making your own seasoning mixes saves money, and keeps you away from ingredients that you may not want to be ingesting (preservatives, etc.)  

I'm on it!  Tonight's the night I make my own taco/burrito seasoning mix!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Secondhand Shout Out

I rarely buy "new" clothes.  I happen to really love cruising for second-hand awesomeness at thrift shops, consignment stores, Goodwill, and the Salvation Army.  The other day I went to work like this:

This picture is actually from last year, so to be accurate, add new glasses and 5 pounds. 
...alright. 10 pounds.  Stupid cookies.

So, how much did it cost?

This entire outfit came from a secondhand shop here called Clothes Mentor. Here's the breakdown:

Funky awesome dress: $8
Belt to keep dress from looking like a funky awesome nightgown: $6
NEW Etienne Aigner heels: $10

The jewelry came from the back of my drawer (I forgot I had that set), so this entire outfit cost me $24.

And I get a lot of compliments whenever I wear it.  (SingingI feel pretty!  And so thrifty!)

But wait!  There's more!

This Halloween I dressed as Dorothy (from the Wizard of Oz - not Elmo's fish).

With my kids: Super Mario and Spiderman

But what can I do for ruby slippers?

There's no place like thrift shops... There's no place like thrift shops...

These shoes came from the same store: again, only $10.  (Reprise: I feel pretty!...)

Okay, more.  I had the honor last spring of being my niece's confirmation sponsor (it's a Catholic thing, if you're not familiar).  I wore one of my favorite blouses:

It's my niece lovely?  

That blouse cost me $4.50 at Goodwill.  You can see in this picture, but it has a really pretty slanted hem and the fabric drapes very nicely.  It's professional enough for work, and comfortable enough for a movie night with my husband.

I swear this is the last one.  For now.

Yesterday, while I was cruising Goodwill in the vague hopes of finding a food processor, I came across this:


This is a Kate Spade replica (read: knock off) that I scored for $14.   It needs a minor repair on the snap, but is great otherwise.

That same Goodwill trip netted me a lovely purple striped maxi skirt (new with tags from Target), but I'm about 5 pounds away from wearing it.  Again, cookies.

Happy shopping!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Cheap Trick: Freeze PB&J

I've been focusing most of this blog's posts on saving money.  But what about saving other things, like time and energy? I'm introducing Cheap Tricks - shortcuts that will make life a little less of a hassle, if not a little more frugal.

In a post a few months ago, I advocated saving money by bagging lunch.  The only comment on that post was a BRILLIANT contribution from a woman posting as momma-lana.  She said that I could make the pb&j sandwiches ahead of time and freeze them.

Like I said: BRILLIANT.  Now, if I'm on top of my game, I make sandwiches on Sundays, put them into reusable containers, and freeze them for the week.

Mornings are so much easier.

Sunday night.

Monday morning.

Now, if I could figure out what happened to the other reusable containers, I'd be set past Wednesday.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Grout Scrubbing

I have been cleaning the bathrooms.  It's horrible work, especially when parts just don't seem to ever look clean.  For example:


This is a picture of the icky, possibly sentient, black line along the base of the tub in my children's bathroom. The caulk there is old, and it's just not coming clean.  If only I could get it at least a little closer to its old, white self.

Wait a sec.  Didn't I just totally remove a bad stain (like a boss) from my mattress? Why, yes. Yes, I did.  I wonder if the same peroxide and baking soda combination would work here.   Let's try it!