2016, blog, debbie, debbie gillum, debbiegillum, myblog

Simple ways to save money

Part of being an adult is learning to spend money like an adult. The money tree in the backyard has been dead for a while now.  Here’s some of the ways I try to stretch my money on a daily basis:

  • Use coupons
    • This seems like the most obvious way to save money, I know. 
    • I have a coupon organizer where I can sort them into categories like “Food,” “Drinks,” “Bathroom,” “Oral Care,” and “Makeup.” It takes a little bit of organization and maintenance but it is worth it when I look at my receipt and see how much I’ve saved.
    • Only use coupons:
      •  for items you would’ve bought anyway
      •  if the discount is more than 50 cents 
      • and if the coupon is for less than 2 items
  • Get your flu shot at Target
    • Target has a promotion right now where if you get your flu shot at their CVS Pharmacy, you get a $5 gift card. The vaccine was free with my health insurance, so it was a win-win. I was basically paid to get a flu shot. 
  • Check out Goodwill
    • For decorating your home or picking up knick knacks, Goodwill is cheaper than antique shops or other big retailers, plus the pieces there are unique.
  • Buy toilet paper in bulk
    • Think about it, you will always need toilet paper. Buy it in the biggest pack it comes in. 
    • This applies to other household staples like soap, tissues, trashbags, etc, where your demand will stay constant and the items won’t expire. 
  • DIY Manicures
    • You can save so much money just by painting your own nails at home. I’m all for manicures but I like to save them as a treat instead of a regular occurrence. 
  • Groupon
    • You can get some really good deals on Groupon but I think it’s easy to buy things you wouldn’t usually buy just because they are on sale. So, I’d make sure you use Groupon to check for discounts on hair cuts if you were already planning on getting your hair cut. 
  • Order a Cafe Misto at Starbucks
    • A Cafe Misto or Cafe Au Lait is coffee + steamed milk. A latte is espresso + steamed milk. A Cafe Misto is significantly cheaper and quite similar. It’s a good way to save a buck at Starbucks.
  • Request free samples online
    • There’s lots of websites that list who is giving away free samples and how to get them. I’ve gotten samples of feminine hygiene products, shampoo and conditioners, sugars, Emergen-C, cat food, and coupons.  
    • http://www.mysavings.com/freesamples/
    • http://www.sweetfreestuff.com/freesamples/
    • http://www.getitfree.us/freebies
  • Watch gas prices
    • Lately, if I see gas for under $2 somewhere, I’ll fill up. I never know when the price will jump back up again. Carpe Diem. 
    • Use Kroger or Giant Eagle Fuel Perks or Speedy Rewards. Sometimes you can get 3 cents off per gallon or earn points to even more money off a future purchase.  
    • I use an app called Gas Buddy to help me find the cheapest gas prices nearby. 

  • Free Friday at Kroger
    • With my Kroger card, I get emails on Friday morning about a “Free Friday download” so I click on the link, sign in, and download the coupon. Usually the Free Friday item is somewhere up at the front of the store near the check out stations. Buy the item, use your Kroger card, and it’s free! 
    • With this Free Friday, I’ve gotten gummi worms, granola bars, soda, a pack of gum, yogurt, and more.

2016, blog, debbie, debbie gillum, myblog

The 7 Things I Like

1. Dem Boots
I just ordered these Merrell Captiva Buckle Up Waterproof Boots online from Nordstrom Rack on Monday and so I hope that a) they fit, b) are comfortable c) I wear them a lot

Hopefully they are made for walkin’

2. Pumpkin Spice Lattes
I’ve had two so far. #BasicWhiteGirl and am fairly proud of that fact. #PSL4Eva

3. Local Matters
They are an amazing local charity, set in German Village, that puts on cooking classes that are pay-what-you-can. Other cooking classes are just too expensive and out of reach. The classes offer a pretty laid back and supportive environment. No question is a bad question. I went to one class that was about how to cook without a recipe and yesterday I went to a class where we made a vegetable stir fry, fried rice and tofu. 
4. Fiona
Lil’ Bear aka ‘Ona aka Brown Butt aka Fluffy Monster aka Leona aka Fi aka She Who Has a Lot of Nicknames 
She’s my parent’s dog but she’s still incredibly cute, playful, fluffy, fun and always energetic and happy. 
My roommate showed me this video from The Ellen Show and it was honestly the best thing I’ve seen in a long time. It was incredibly entertaining, pleasing and enjoyable. As in, it’s my new favorite video. 
6. Cold brew coffee
If I had known how easy cold brew coffee was, I would’ve started a long time ago. 
 I put 2-3 scoops of coffee grounds in a mason jar, fill the jar with tap water, let sit 12-24 hours, pour out the coffee through a coffee filter and/ or strainer. I’ll usually microwave the coffee before I drink it. 
It tastes much less bitter and acidic than regular coffee. 
We went here Monday morning and had a really great time. It’s one of the best activities/ museums/ aquariums I’ve been to. I like that it’s so kid-friendly (there’s playgrounds inside the aquarium and special viewing spots for kids), they have a wide variety of fish and other animals to see, there are helpful descriptions of the animals and that it’s well kept up. 
We pet a jellyfish, saw seahorses, dragon fish, went into this cool underwater shark tunnel, and saw the Penguin Playhouse.  
Penguin may not be to scale