Ever heard of cull lumber?

It’s basically the scrap wood bin at the hardware store. This is where you can get some good wood for really cheap! I got four really big pieces of wood, (big enough to make my own large wall hanging) for only $2! They will even cut it for you! Of course I’ll be going back regularly to check out what’s there! It’s almost like treasure hunting! So fun!


Extreme Couponing: I’m about to step my game up!

Joanie Deemer makes couponing look good!

I just cannot get enough of TLC’s show Extreme Couponing! It’s a crazy idea, but hey, I am CRAZY sexy frugal after all.

You know what else is crazy? The savings these people are getting! I have to admit that I am more than a little jealous! Really, it just means that I will have to do more with coupons to get the tips, tricks and strategies down. I’m totally up for the challenges.

One thing I won’t be doing is spending 70 hours a week clipping coupons or dumping plans just to go shopping! I’m not letting the stockpile out into other areas of the house that’s not designated for the stockpile. Time and space are also very valuable especially in our house!

Since I’ve been studying each episode, I have noticed a few things already:

*You won’t save 98% percent of your grocery bill….at first!
Keep in mind the people on the show have refined their techniques over time. It didn’t happen overnight. Just because you won’t get those bottles of lotion for free right away doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t use coupons. Even if you can get 50% off the retail price, that is fantastic!
*You have to take advantage of available resources and opportunities with no shame!
So you don’t have a store savings card? You didn’t use that coupon that printed while you were at checkout? You didn’t realize you could use the coupon that was inside the box? Skilled savers use everything they possibly can to rake in the savings and it pays off. They sign up for free offers, do short surveys, and call companies to ask if they have any coupons. If you’re hesitant to give your personal email, make one just for coupon deals, like yourcouponsavings@(yourhostnamehere).com
*Healthy eaters are NOT exempt!
So you’re not really interested in eating Yakisoba noodles or canned peas? I don’t blame you, but do you use toilet paper, paper towels, aluminum foil, light bulbs, toothbrushes, razors, tissues, hand sanitizer, and washing detergent? Vegetarians have to brush their teeth too, and if you can get toothbrushes for free with a coupon, why would you turn that down? I personally eat gluten free and sugar free, and I’m always on the lookout for healthy coupons. Guess what? They exist! A good place to find some is Whole Foods. Start there!

I’ve added some more links in the blogroll of some very awesome coupon resources like Hip2save.com and thecouponclippers.com Hip2save does the matchup work for you so you don’t have to look for at the sales to link coupons. Coupon clippers is a coupon clipping service that you may hear mentioned on the EC show. It’s way to get multiple coupons for the items that you want.

Save some money and if you see a lady with five carts full of stuff, you might not want to get behind her!

The Everyday Products Every DIYer Should Have!

Yes, this list is based on what ‘I’ use, keep and think everyone should have on a day-to day basis if you want to make things and save tons of money as well. These are products that have multiple uses. To me, that is a good investment! I hate products that can only be used for one thing!

Vinegar-white distilled and apple cider (cleaning, cooking)
Epsom salts (laxative, garden fertilizer, bath soak)
baking powder (cleaning, baking)
cornstarch (cooking, making shirt starch, cosmetics)
Olive oil (cooking, cosmetics)
borax (cleaning, laundry, cosmetics)
bleach (cleaning, crafts)
lemons (cooking, cleaning)
vodka (drinking, cleaning, herbal extracts)
peroxide (first aid, crafts)
rubbing alcohol (first aid, crafts)

You can combine some of these products with others to get even more from them:

White vinegar + epsom salts = foot soak
baking powder + salt = tooth powder
olive oil + lemon juice = salad dressing
borax +olive oil + (beeswax) + water = lotion!
olive oil + water + (lye) = soap!
vinegar + water = window cleaner
olive oil + lemon juice + epsom salts = body scrub

There are many more combos, probably an infinite number of them, that can be created from the master list above. With the addition of a few more items, like beeswax, ammonia, and lye, there really won’t be any need for you to go out and buy, well, and specialty product, unless of course you want to!

I’ll be here this weekend!

This will be my first fair! I figured it’s time to use my skills and make things not just for myself. This is scary, since I’ve never done this before, but can’t let fear stop me or I won’t do anything! If you’ll be in Charlotte, stop by! There will be other great artisans there whose stuff I love!

Just a peek at what will be there:

I’ll also be adding new stuff to my Etsy shop after this weekend.

Gotta go back to sewing!

CSE for the Holidays: Bargain Bubbly!

Image from pursepage.com

At Fabulous and Frugal, there’s a list of good sparky stuff for your New Year’s party. Check it out.

Oh boy!

……People spent more than expected on family and friends and splurged on themselves, too, an ingredient missing for the past two Christmases. Clothing such as fur vests and beaded sweaters replaced practical items like pots and pans. Even the family dog is getting a little something extra.

“You saw joy back in the holiday season,” said Sherif Mityas, partner in the retail practice at A.T. Kearney……..

Really? So the joy in the holiday season is buying stuff?


Coupons! I finally get it!

I have never really gotten into clipping coupons in the past, because they are mere trickery. Too many conditions are put on them to save any money by just taking a 2×1 piece of paper into the store with you. “Save $1 on any three items”, “Save 25 cents on …(are you kidding me? 25 measly cents???)”, “Save $2 when you buy 8 rolls or more!”. Let’s be serious. You can save more by buying cheap house brands, no coupon necessary.

Let’s not mention the fact that most coupons are for products and novelty food stuffs that I don’t eat. I wouldn’t try them with a 50 cent coupon either.

Today though, I finally understood how to use these things. You can’t use them by themselves. You have to use them with a store sale to save money. For example, I found a coupon for Bird’s Eye frozen veggies. I miss broccoli, so I thought I would look into this. The coupon says “Save $1 on any three bags, excluding Steamfresh.” Well, at one of my local stores, they were selling Bird’s Eye brand (2 lb bags) of frozen veggies “buy one get one free”! Yee-haw! With my coupon, I racked up! Each bag ended up costing me about 75 cents per pound in the end.

For die hard coupon cutters, this is not new news. They’ve been doing this for years! But for people in my age bracket (18-34), using coupons like this could mean we might be able to get more than a quarter tank of gas and actually eat more than ramen noodles for a week.

You only sacrifice a few hours a week to save a whole lot of money. You do have to leaf through the coupons and the sales circulars to match up the bargains, but for me, I get a very good return on my time investment. And hold on to the coupons that you couldn’t match up this week. Next week is a brand new sale, and you can get the double roll toilet paper you had a coupon for last week!