Tag Archives: save

Frugal Friday: Sometimes saving money sucks

My empty wallet.

Let’s be honest: sometimes saving money just plain sucks. Lately I’ve been pining over a pair of pricey winter boots. I’ve pinned them, I keep my browser open on my phone to the website and I even follow the company on Instagram. I’m torturing myself, even though I don’t need winter boots. I’ve had the same pair since middle school. Not kidding. It obviously doesn’t snow very often here. But I still want those boots. Boo hoo. First world problems, right?

As my “less stress” mantra for the new year I’ve been trying to take a more zen approach to every part of my life. As such, I’ve been telling myself to own it. Acknowledge those sucky feelings. Let’s all say it together: “Yes, saving money sucks.” Let’s all acknowledge it, zen it, and move on. Sometimes it sucks, but I’ll never get to fix up my van and drive around the country by buying super cute (but expensive) shoes that I don’t NEED.

Does acknowledging your feelings ever help you save money? I’m curious! Let me know in the comments!

love,
melanie

30 Free (or Cheap) Things To Do This Holiday Season

Photo c/o Death to Stock Photos.

Photo c/o Death to Stock Photos.

Whether we’re ready or not the holiday season is upon us. But with all the gift-giving and party-attending, your wallet might be hurtin’. Mine is too, friend. So this holiday season I’m looking for cheap ways to celebrate the holidays. Here’s some of my favorites free or cheap things to do this holiday season.

  1. Bake cookies.
  2. Make ornaments (Pinterest has some great ideas!).
  3. Make and send holiday cards.
  4. Make gifts for your loved ones.
  5. Rock out to holiday tunes.
  6. Snuggle up with a good book (get it from your local library!).
  7. Snuggle up with a loved one (or your pet!).
  8. Pop popcorn and watch a holiday movie (there’s plenty of free ones on Hulu!).
  9. Sip on some cider (or cocoa!).
  10. If it’s cold enough, make a snowman. If not, play outside! You need that vitamin D, even in the winter.
  11. Visit a neighbor.
  12. Catch up with old friends.
  13. Make dinner for a friend or someone in need.
  14. Break out your Crock-Pot and try a new recipe.
  15. Eat dinner by candlelight.
  16. Do a good deed.
  17. Volunteer.
  18. Learn a new skill (may I suggest knitting?!).
  19. Decorate your home with homemade decorations (may I suggest coffee filter snowflakes?).
  20. Drive around and look at the holiday lights.
  21. Throw a holiday soiree (To keep costs down, ask guests to bring a dish or appetizer!).
  22. Check out free location-specific things to do in your area (Simply Google “holiday activities” and your town name.).
  23. Start a new tradition (Bonus points if you make it a bit wacky!).
  24. Get your spring cleaning out of the way now!
  25. The holidays can be tough sometimes, find little ways to pamper yourself at home. Give yourself a manicure or make a DIY face mask.
  26. Roast marshmallows (You can even do roast marshmallows indoors with this fancy gadget.).
  27. Stay in your pajamas all day.
  28. Break out the board games (Sorry! I’m not sorry!).
  29. Document the holiday season by taking pictures or journaling.
  30. Just relax and enjoy the holiday season!

What are your favorite free or cheap things to do this holiday season? Let me know in the comments!

love,
melanie

Please note, the above post contains affiliate links. By clicking on the links and buying the product, I receive a small commission. The opinions about the products are my own. Programs like this help to keep my blog running. Thank you for your support!

12 Ways to Save Money on Holiday Gifts

12 ways to save money on holiday gifts Photo c/o FutUndBeidl on Flickr
Have I beat this topic to death yet? No? Great! Because today we’re going to talk about ways to save money on holiday gifts. You know I’m doing the $100 holiday challenge which means this holiday I’m only spending $100 on gifts. But how?! Well, I’m employing all of the strategies I’m sharing today and I’m part elf. Just kidding. Here goes…

  1. Set a limit!
    A budget for holiday gifts is essential. Without a budget and a strict limit, it’s way too simple to overspend or just buy something because it’s “easy.” I like to spend cash only when I’m holiday shopping, that way I know exactly how much I have left to spend without having to do much math.
  2. Make a list and check it twice!
    I sound like I live at the North Pole here, but making a list is important in the money saving process. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve totally spaced and forgot to buy someone a gift, then I’ll have to run out the night before their holiday party (or whatever) and pick up something I did not plan to buy. Bonus tip: If you have room, it’s a good idea to pick up a few extra inexpensive and impersonal gifts like nice candies or wine. You never know when you’re going to need an extra gift.
  3. Use your points or promotions
    Do you have credit cards with points or promotions? This is the time to use them. In many cases you can cash in those points for products or even transfer those points to someone else. For my birthday last year, my in-laws let me use their points to pick out whatever I wanted from their credit card’s product catalog. I picked out a gift card for gasoline and I couldn’t have been more pleased.
    If you’ve signed up for something like Swag Bucks this would also be the time to use those. If you aren’t hip to Swag Bucks, it’s an online program where you earn Swag Bucks (or redeemable points) for your online activity.
  4. Coupons
    Ya’ll know I’m not into grocery coupons. If I have a coupon for food, I’ll use it, but I don’t go out of my way looking for food coupons. Since the holidays only happen once a year, I will coupon for gifts. A couple of my favorite places to shop are Kohl’s and JC Penny. Both often offer $10 off coupons and in some cases will let you combine coupons and offers. I always check Retail Me Not and the local circular before I go shopping.
  5. Don’t spend your hard-earned money on wrapping
    It’s easy to forget about actually making the presents look presentable (puns!) when your so focused on sticking within your holiday budget. But gift wrap costs can add up. Challenge yourself to spend as little money as possible on wrapping. I love to wrap presents in brown paper. It’s classic! You can purchase a whole roll at a dollar store and tie presents up with colorful yarn or string. If you want to get extra creative, you could stamp or draw on the paper first. And brown paper works for all seasons, holidays and special occasions! Score!
  6. If you’re crafty, make a gift (but do the math first!)
    Crafting a gift can save you big bucks in some cases. But make sure you do the math first. It isn’t always cheaper to craft gifts. If you’re an avid crafter it might be cheaper to make the gift, but if you’re a supply-less Sally, it might be cheaper to buy a gift. The one time crafting has really saved me money is when I make gifts in batches. For example, you could buy the supplies to make beeswax candles for everyone on your list. (Check out all the gifts I made last year here.)
  7. If you’re a good cook, make a gift (again, do the math!)
    Usually cooking supplies are cheaper than crafting supplies, but it still might be cheaper (and easier, and a time saver) to just buy a pack of cookies and place them into pretty jars. Let’s get real, folks.
  8. Shop early!
    If you are reading this, stop what you’re doing and start shopping now! Just kidding, keep reading this, but then make your list, check for coupons and go shopping. Yes, stores offer more deals around the holidays, but there’s too much pressure to shop under a tight deadline. You’ll be tempted to grab whatever and overspend. I know a few people who even shop year-round for Christmas, that way there is no pressure and they spread out their spending over many months.
  9. Online offers
    I know that having a smart phone is a total luxury, but it helps me save money too! Whenever I’m about to buy something, I’ll do a quick check on my phone to see if I can find it cheaper online. If I can, I’ll either ask the store if it does price matching or I’ll put it back on the shelf and order it online. Ain’t technology grand?!
  10. Useful presents
    Sometimes useful presents are the best. Useful presents don’t have to be the latest kitchen gizmo either. When I was a poor grad student, I told my mom I really didn’t need anything. So instead of going out and buying another thing I didn’t need, she went out and bought me groceries and then wrapped them. It was so nice to get boxes of cereal, canned goods and things I needed, but didn’t have to pay for!
  11. Give your time
    Honestly, I would much rather someone give me their time than any gift out there. Please come over to my house and help me do one of those crazy “Make 56 freezer meals!” things. Please come over to my house and help me clean out my closet (or just talk to me while I do it!) Imagine how nice it would be to give the gift of clean floors to a new mom or the gift of clean gutters to your elderly parents. Truly, time is the greatest gift.
  12. No-gift pacts
    This isn’t for the faint of heart and no, it’s not really “fun” either, but here’s a secret: you don’t have to give a gift to everyone. I know, I know, it’s a nice gesture! It’s the thought that counts and all that jazz, but for some people gift-giving can truly be a financial burden. If you think that gifts will be a financial burden on yourself or on your friends and family, I suggest rationally discussing no-gift packs. And make it clear that no judgments will be made on either behalf.
    My husband and I don’t exchange gifts for most holidays. We have a pact and we’d much rather save the money to go on a trip or to eventually buy a house. An alternative to a no-gift pack, if you have a large family, could be a White Elephant party or a Secret Santa gift-giving scheme.

Remember, it’s all about staying sane this holiday season and not ending the year in budgetary regret!

How do you save money on holiday gifts? Let me know in the comments!

love,
melanie

How Much Money Can a Small Garden Save You? An Update

How much money can a garden save you

This is an update on a post I published over a month ago when I thought my plants were done producing. Guess what? They weren’t done! And I’ve saved more than I thought initially! I’ve updated all the prices to reflex my bumper crop 😉 

Remember when I thought I couldn’t grow anything. Remember?! REMEMBER?! Well, I am beyond excited to report that my brown thumb has turned green, ya’ll. And today is your lucky day because I have a run down of the costs of my garden and, AND the cost if I simply went out and purchased the food. I am on fire.

Price of Seeds Cost at CSA* or Harris Teeter Amount Produced Price if purchased
Heirloom Tomatoes ($1.79) (unavailable at Home Depot, link to similar product) $2.99 (for 2)* 53 $79.24
Squash ($1.35) $2.99 (for 2)* 0 $0.00
Zucchini ($1.19) $2.99 (for 2)* 16 $23.92
Bell Peppers ($1.59) $1.99 (for 2)* 133 $132.34
Banana Peppers ($1.59) $0.43 151 $64.93
Onions ($1.59) $1.27 2 $2.54
Pumpkins ($1.43) $6.99 3 $20.97
Cucumbers ($1.35) $0.79 21 $16.59
Sunflowers ($1.35) $2.29 7 (about 2 cups) $2.29
Brussels Sprouts ($1.59) $3.49 0 $0.00
Supplies
Potting Soil (used sparingly to start seeds, previously purchased) $0.00
Gloves and a trowel (given as birthday gift) $0.00
Plow (borrowed) $0.00
Fencing to keep out critters ($34.97)
Garden Safe Insect Killer  ($5.79)
Garden Safe Fungicide ($5.47)
Miracle-Gro Shake ‘n Feed Fruits and Vegetables Granules ($12.47)
A cucumber plant when my other cucumber plants died (gifted from my FIL) $0.00
Tax
$5.14
Total Spent Total Produced (plus tax) Total Savings
$78.56 $366.82 $288.26

Additional Notes:

Garden Start Up Costs
I kept my start up costs very low. I didn’t create raised beds and my garden was by no means
“pretty.” I can’t keep up with Martha here. This isn’t rural New England!

Quite a few people around the blogosphere make a big deal about the start up costs of gardens. There’s very low start up costs if you keep it low. And yes, there is no guarantee that anything will sprout (just look at my squash!), but if you are successful, growing a garden can be a fun way to save on grocery costs.

Store Pricing
I used my CSA’s veggie pricing when available because I think it more accurately reflects the pricing of local produce. When not available, I used the pricing of a local grocer, Harris Teeter. (Yes, I know veggies might be cheaper somewhere else, this is just a good estimate, ya’ll!)

Novice Gardener
I think it’s also important to note that I am totally a beginning gardener. This is my first time keeping anything alive– including houseplants! I know there will be bad years and good years, but I believe with experience my vegetable gains will increase, thus increasing my savings.

The time factor
Yes, growing a garden (even a small one, like mine) takes time. Most weekends I was out there pulling weeds. I watered the plants almost every day (unless it rained). P.S. We have well water, so there was no cost for the water. But growing something, ANYTHING, keeping it alive, then eating something I grew with my own two hands has been one of the most rewarding things that I have ever done. EVER! And that includes getting my Master’s degree.

Have you ever planted a garden? If so, were you successful? Do you think it saved you money? Did you make an insane chart like I did? Let me know in the comments!

love,
melanie

How Much Money Can a Garden Save You? The Cost and Benefits of a Small Veggie Garden from a Beginning Gardener

how much money can a garden save you It’s not quite the end of the season, my pepper plants and my tomatoes are still producing (!), but I wanted to give a little update about my garden. Remember when I thought I couldn’t grow anything. Remember?! REMEMBER?! Well, I am beyond excited to report that my brown thumb has turned green, ya’ll. And today is your lucky day because I have a run down of the costs of my garden and, AND the cost if I simply went out and purchased the food. I am on fire.

Price of Seeds Cost at CSA* or Harris Teeter Amount Produced Price if purchased
Heirloom Tomatoes ($1.79) (unavailable at Home Depot, link to similar product) $2.99 (for 2)* 46 $68.77
Squash ($1.35) $2.99 (for 2)* 0 $0.00
Zucchini ($1.19) $2.99 (for 2)* 16 $23.92
Bell Peppers ($1.59) $1.99 (for 2)* 86 $85.57
Banana Peppers ($1.59) $0.43 97 $41.71
Onions ($1.59) $1.27 2 $2.54
Pumpkins ($1.43) $6.99 3 $20.97
Cucumbers ($1.35) $0.79 21 $16.59
Sunflowers ($1.35) $2.29 7 (about 2 cups) $2.29
Brussels Sprouts ($1.59) $3.49 0 $0.00
Supplies
Potting Soil (used sparingly to start seeds, previously purchased) $0.00
Gloves and a trowel (given as birthday gift) $0.00
Plow (borrowed) $0.00
Fencing to keep out critters ($34.97)
Garden Safe Insect Killer  ($5.79)
Garden Safe Fungicide ($5.47)
Miracle-Gro Shake ‘n Feed Fruits and Vegetables Granules ($12.47)
A cucumber plant when my other cucumber plants died (gifted from my FIL) $0.00
Tax
$5.14
Total Spent Total Produced (plus tax) Total Savings
$78.56 $280.73 $202.17

Additional Notes:

Garden Start Up Costs
I kept my start up costs very low. I didn’t create raised beds and my garden was by no means
“pretty.” I can’t keep up with Martha here. This isn’t rural New England!

Quite a few people around the blogosphere make a big deal about the start up costs of gardens. There’s very low start up costs if you keep it low. And yes, there is no guarantee that anything will sprout (just look at my squash!), but if you are successful, growing a garden can be a fun way to save on grocery costs.

Store Pricing
I used my CSA’s veggie pricing when available because I think it more accurately reflects the pricing of local produce. When not available, I used the pricing of a local grocer, Harris Teeter. (Yes, I know veggies might be cheaper somewhere else, this is just a good estimate, ya’ll!)

Novice Gardener
I think it’s also important to note that I am totally a beginning gardener. This is my first time keeping anything alive– including houseplants! I know there will be bad years and good years, but I believe with experience my vegetable gains will increase, thus increasing my savings.

The time factor
Yes, growing a garden (even a small one, like mine) takes time. Most weekends I was out there pulling weeds. I watered the plants almost every day (unless it rained). P.S. We have well water, so there was no cost for the water. But growing something, ANYTHING, keeping it alive, then eating something I grew with my own two hands has been one of the most rewarding things that I have ever done. EVER! And that includes getting my Master’s degree.

Have you ever planted a garden? If so, were you successful? Do you think it saved you money? Did you make an insane chart like I did? Let me know in the comments!

love,
melanie

 

How to find the best stuff at thrift shops

how to find the best stuff at thrift shops I’ve written a little bit about thrifting before but I recently needed to break out my skillz (yes, skillz with a “z”) again and I thought it would be helpful to share some of my tips.

I’ve been trying to spend as little money as possible, but I still need to look presentable at work. It’s a Catch 22. On Friday when I tried on my last pair of clean pants and had to check the mirror (twice) to prove that yes, my pants had worn so thin that you could see my underwear right through them, I knew that it was time for some new clothes. So right after work I popped over to my local thrift store and scored some serious deals! I have so many people tell me, I never find good stuff at thrift stores, you must be lucky! Well, I’m not, friends. I strategize to find the best stuff at thrift shops. Here’s how I do it.

1. Research!
Did you know Yelp is more than just restaurant reviews? It’s true! Yelp is one of my favorite places to go for reviews of any kind. Before popping to every thrift store within a 20 mile radius, I’ll pop over to Yelp and see what the good Yelpers have to say about it. Sometimes they’ll even share information about discounts! If you can’t find anything on Yelp, Google Reviews might be helpful too.

2. Find out which days the store restocks
Thrift stores restock on different days, just ask an employee which day they restock and shop that day for the best stuff. Usually stores don’t restock on the weekends, so stuff will be more picked over then. I almost always thrift during the week. There’s less crowds and higher quality stuff!

3. Leave yourself enough time to look through everything
Often times thrift stores are stocked to the brim with merchandise. This can be overwhelming. I know. Don’t shop on a strict time limit, you’ll get frustrated. Leave yourself enough time to look through everything you need.

4. Still overwhelmed? Keep a list!
One of my favorite things to do is keep lists. One of my many lists is a running list of things I want or need. Going into a thrift store without a solid idea of what you want can lead to unnecessary purchases and buyer’s remorse. I can easily get overwhelmed in a junk shop, so I keep a list of things I’m looking for in Evernote, that way I can easily refer back to it.

Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset 5. Looking for clothing? Try on different sizes 
Grab a cart and pull all clothing that you like within 2 sizes up or 2 sizes down from what you normally wear. Clothing at thrift stores is all different brands, therefore different brands have different sizing. I usually wear a 4 or a 6, but I tried on clothing from a size 2 to a size 8. And guess what? The sizes I ended up buying were all over the map. (And if this is discouraging, remember, your worth is not measured by your dress or pants size, my friends!)

6. Not creative? Shop with a creative friend.
Creativity can help when shopping at thrift stores. Creativity helps you to see that ugly, dull dresser repainted a crisp, bright white. If you aren’t a visionary, bring an honest and visionary friend with you to shop. I love shopping at antique malls and thrift stores with George because he can see through the dirt. He knows if something is fixable or just plain junk. I also really admire the thrifting skills of my friend, Candra. She is a total fashonista and has the keen ability to find key wardrobe pieces in piles of junk.

Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset 7. Don’t be a brand loyal
There are some amazing finds out there for the taking. In my most recent thrifting excursion I found a pair of pair of “7 for all mankind jeans.” Those jeans are super pricey! Unfortunately they didn’t fit me properly, but I did manage to score pants from Ann Taylor, Levi’s, New York and Co. and some little known brands I’ve never heard of. Don’t be loyal to one brand, focus on the style and the fit of the item and you’ll have better luck.

8. Ask yourself this question: is the piece easily fixable?
Thrift stores will often have pieces that need a little work. There’s a missing button or the drawer pulls are loose. But the piece may have some big problems too. I have a terrible habit of biting off more than I can chew and I’ve done this with far too many thrifted things. I now like to ask myself if I could fix it in a weekend. If I can’t, I don’t buy it. If I can, I make an attainable (S.M.A.R.T.) plan for fixing it.

9. Outsource the “fixing!
If the piece just needs to be tailored slightly, I’ll usually buy it. 9 times out of 10 a thrifted blouse that you take to the tailor will be cheaper and will fit you better than buying a new blouse at the local mall. It’s more environmentally friendly too!

I saved even more money at the thrift store with discounts!

I saved even more money at the thrift store with discounts! 7 pairs of pants for $20.72!

10. Ask for discounts
Many thrift stores will offer discounts on either certain days of the week or offer discounts for educators, the military or students. Ask about those discounts! I know the clothes may only be $3, but another $1 off doesn’t hurt!

11. Shop often
I’m not condoning unnecessary spending, but don’t get discouraged if you don’t find something on your first thrifting excursion. It might take time to score the perfect pair of thrift store jeans. Relax and have a good time! The thrill of the hunt makes scoring a deal much more enjoyable!

Do you have any tips for thrift store shopping? Let me know about them in the comments!

love,
melanie

 

14 Easy Ways to Save Money

Photo c/o Getty Images CC.

Photo c/o Getty Images CC.

The going has been tough for this girl. It’s almost the end of the spring semester and my head is spinning with projects, conferences and classes. During these insanely busy times, it’s so much easier to just stop and pick up something to eat or buy something just to make myself feel better. But I don’t want to fall off the savings bandwagon, I want to keep savings toward my goal of travel and eventually retirement. Lately I’ve been looking for easy ways to save money during these oh so busy times. Here’s a few of the easiest ways I’ve found to save a little dough.

  1. Automatic draft
    This is by far my favorite tip for saving money. Set up an automatic draft to pull money from your checking account into your savings account each month. It’s automatic so you have no excuse not to do it. Think of it as a bill you pay yourself!

  1. Cancel subscriptions you don’t use
    Subscription services are becoming a huge industry. Subscriptions, like Netflix or Barkbox can be fun, but remember they charge your credit card each month. Check your monthly bank statement and cancel any subscriptions you don’t use.

  1. Keep your tires inflated & change your air filter
    Keeping your tires inflated can save you about 5 percent in gas mileage and keeping your car’s air filter fresh can save you about 7 percent in gas mileage! Just keeping up with your car’s maintenance and could save you hundreds each year.

  1. Reusable water bottle
    Ok, I admit it, I used to go through at least two plastic water bottles a day. The costs of those little suckers can add up– especially if you are purchasing them from a vending machine. Two bottles of water at $1.25 a pop over the course of a year adds up to almost $1,000!  I’ve made the eco-conscious and money-conscious switch to a reusable bottle and never looked back. I’ve been drinking more water since I don’t have to pay for it and

  1. Keep snacks in your desk at work
    Do you see a theme here? Avoid the vending machine! By keeping snacks in your desk at work, you won’t be lured by the glow of the office vending machine. My workplace also has a coffee shop nearby, so to avoid that temptation I keep instant coffee at my desk. Some of my favorite snacks to keep at my desk are apples and peanut butter, tea, instant coffee (of course) and individual packs of nuts.

  1. Generic version
    The generic version of everything is cheaper than the name brand. I love to save on beauty products by buying the generic version. I recently bought some over-the-counter medicine and I was shocked at how much I saved purchasing the generic version. Think about the savings that will accrue over the course of your life by always simply buying generic!

  1. Unplug
    Phantom power is a thing, ya’ll. Even devices that have been turned off can draw power (phantomly!) and up your power bill. Scary, huh? By unplugging the power suckers you’ll decrease your power bill and save yourself some change. I’ve been unplugging my laptop and cellphone charger when not in use and I was surprised at how easy it was to form the habit.

  1. Negotiate your cable, phone and Internet bills
    This is one of those big wins that can save you thousands over a lifetime. By simply calling your Internet, phone and cable provider and asking for a discount, you may be able to obtain one. Ask and ye shall receive!

  1. Wait to purchase
    Since I’ve been on my journey to saving money, I’ve noticed that I have a tendency to impulse buy. Instead of buying the item I want right away, I’ll pin it to my Pinterest board or promise myself to come back to the store tomorrow. Nine times out of ten by the next day, I won’t even want the thing anymore!

  1. Pay off your credit cards immediately
    I don’t think credit cards are evil like some people will lead you to believe. Credit cards just have to be used wisely. Don’t put purchases on your card that you can’t pay off right away. And don’t let interest accrue on your purchases. By paying off your cards right away, you’ll avoid paying any interest and you’ll strengthen the health of your credit score.

  1. Avoid ATM fees
    ATM fees are ridiculous. ATM fees are just one of those things that I refuse to pay, eve if the fee is only a couple of bucks. There’s so many ways to avoid those pesky fees. You can bank with a bank that doesn’t charge ATM fees, use a large bank who has branches all over the country and you can get cash back during purchases. I’ve bought a pack of gum before just to get cash back and avoid a fee. Afterall, I’d rather have a $2 pack of gum than a $2 ATM fee.

  1. Use the library!
    Libraries have a variety of goods and services available to their patrons for free! Your library probably offers more than you think. For more ways the library can save you money check out this post.

  1. Price check
    One of the best things about smart phones is that now you have the instant ability to price check stuff while out and about on your phone. Before I’m about to make a purchase over $20, I’ll whip out my smartphone and do a little price checking. If I can get it for less online, I’ll wait to purchase it. The delay in purchasing also helps with impulse buys. f you don’t have a smart phone, that’s ok too. Just write down the price and when you get home (or to the closest Internet connection) check out the price from other retailers.

  1. Make frugal friends
    I love my frugal friends. They’ve taught me so much about money, deals and saving. They aren’t afraid to stay at home and just hang out to save money. They invite me to yard sales and I invite them to the flea market. Frugal friends don’t put pressure on you to spend extra money or to go out to eat because they’re happy making a meal together at home. Making friends with frugal people is life-changing. Don’t have any frugal friends? Feel free to email me or leave me a comment and we can chat. Virtual frugal friends are better than no frugal friends!

    What easy ways have you saved money? Let me know in the comments!

    love,
    melanie