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Luv Saving Money – Page 1005 – Life on a Budget

I want to get my blog going so…Giveaway time!

I love blogging. I do it for fun. It’s my online outlet for ideas, my opinions, and yes my complaints. I’d love to see more people follow my blog and my twitter. I’ve decided that I’m going to do a giveaway. Here is the terms:

1. Follow my blog
2. Leave at least 1 comment on at least 1 of my blog posts
3. Follow me on twitter:
4. And after you’re following me Retweet my blog giveaway tweet

A random follower who completed all requirements will get to choose a free 12.5 oz diamond jar or traditional candle of your scent choice from my site:

I do follow back on Twitter and if you have a blog leave your link in the comment you leave and I will check out your blog as well.

I will choose a random winner on Jan 15, 2010

In the mean time feel free to check out the candles. You can use “My Diamond Creek” gadget on the right and start thinking about what scent you’ll choose if you win. OR with so many scents, sizes and styles to choose from you may want to buy now. Be sure to check out the Winter Special. It’s a great deal! With so many scents to choose from it’ll be a tough decision.

And the winner is…..Charity….I will contact you so you can pick out your choice of either a 12.5 oz diamond jar or traditional jar candle!

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What good buy did i get today?!

As I’ve mentioned in a previous post I love going to the after the season/ after holiday sales. This is what I got today:

Gymboree: Spent only $23 dollars and got a pair of navy blue corduroy overalls size 18-24 mo, A long sleeve 1 piece romper size 12-18 mo, a pair of camo shorts size 12-18 mo, and since the prices were so good I picked up a pair of sparkly seashell sunglass, a cute sun bonnet with strawberries and other fruits on it and matching sock for my neice (in bigger sizes so it fits her for the summer). Yes all of that for $23. My baby is in 6-9 mo clothes now but was shopping to supply for the near future.

Bath and Body Works: Love bath and body works semi-annual sale after christmas. Got me 2 of the lotion antibac hand soaps, a new loofah, and 2 room sprays for $15. If you have never tried the bath and body works room sprays go stock up on them now. They are normally $5 a peice but they have them 50% off. The bottles look small but they last a long time. It sprays a controled spritz and the one spritz is enough to scent the whole room. It’s great to keep in the bathroom. I got a stress relieving Eucalyptus and spearmint which smells amazing and a Fireside which also has a nice winter scent to it.

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Tips on how to be a "Frugalista"

So what is a frugalista? It’s someone who routinely tries to save money and live by that. Not 10% off sale on a $100 pair a shoes, I mean a real bargain hunter. Where before I may have been called cheap, or even tacky. Now saving money is much more fashionable and in fact necessary for many of us.

I find more ways all the time to save money. I find it exciting and feel like I’m doing more for my family. I’ve laid out a few tips that you may want to try if you haven’t already.

1. After holiday—Love these. For instance: Bath and Body work and Victoria secret does their after holiday sales. They usually start the day after christmas but whoa hold on their…wait a few days more. I wait until about the 28th or 29th for these stores. You’ll find great mark downs. 30-75% depending on the item. I bought myself 5 bottles of bath and body works body wash last year at this sale for around $2 ea. I put them away and they lasted me most of the year. It’s hard to find a body wash even at Walmart for $2 and you got good stuff. Victoria’s Secret–Love their heavenly perfume but did not want to spend the money. Last year I got a small bottle of Heavenly perfume for $2.99 and a heavenly body spritz with gold flakes in it for $5.99.

2. End of Season sales—Great for your kids or even yourself. Around the time they are starting to put the spring clothes out head directly for the clearance section for winter clothes clearance. I got my son a camo winter jacket last year for $5. I bought it a size bigger so he was able to wear it this year. At the end of summer clearance I got him a pair of Levi’s shorts for $6. Originally $28 at JC Penney. Again a size bigger so he could wear them the next year.

3. Discount stores–Stores like Ross, Gabriel Bros., Ollies, Big Lots. Don’t under estimate these kinds of stores. Ross is one of my favorites. I once got a pair of paper denim jeans (usually around $98 look it up if you don’t believe me) for $20. I get Nike, Fisher Price, Disney, Adidas, Reebock, and other great name brand baby outfits for between $6-$10 at Ross and that’s their everyday price. And when they have clearances it’s even better. These stores are also great places to find houseware items like linens, bed sheets, glassware and more.

4. Are you’re hobbies helping your finances or hurting?
I love finding hobbies that can make me money. For instance, learning crafts. It doesn’t take much to be able to sell at craft shows if you enjoy crafting. In PA a seller’s permit is free. Choose events wisely though, look at table fees will it be worth it for you?

Try going for walks, playdates with your kids at the park, sled riding in the neighborhood, squirt gun battles with the kids, making home made crayons, baking, blogging, home exercise programs (as opposed to going to a gym), sewing, making home made play doh, play board games with your kids…etc…etc. these things take little or no money and will strengthen your family relationship and/or make you feel better.

There’s lots of opportunities online if you love the internet. I became a ChaCha guide. Check out for more info. It’s free and I can make money in my free time online.

5. Figure out how much something will cost and compare it to the alternative. The do it yourself method may not always be cheapest. For example: My kids like to have a birthday party with their friends. I’ve found the Burger King and McDonald’s in my area will do a party for up to 10 kids for $45. Then $4 more for any additional kids. When you figure out the cost of a home birthday party–The cake, treat bags and fillers, party games and prizes, and paper products you would be spending just as much if not more than just letting somewhere like burger king handle it. Burger King provides a kid’s meal for each party guest (which comes with a toy) cup cakes, access to the play area, and at least the one by me also gives the option of a clown who does face painting at no extra cost. You save money and don’t have to do the clean up.

Home projects may be the same. Factor in the tools you’ll need, the time you’ll spend, the materials you need, etc. Most times it is the cheaper way to go but not always.

6. Free sample sites: Some of my favorites are— and You can find great coupons and good free samples on these sites. If you’re not sure if you want to spend the money on a product look for a free sample first.

7. Free sites that help you save and even earn money–
Christiania Crowns has a free invite only community. It is a vodka site so you have to be 21 or over. You can earn “crowns” by referring people to the site and doing other activities. Trade your crowns in for things like gift cards, free vodka (good gift), christiania merchandise and more:—it’s free to join the site. When you shop online go through their site to get to the vendor for example if you shop through Target on line you use the Target link on their site. You get point for shopping through their site that you can trade in for free gift cards of your choice. I ended up at the end of the year with a $100 HSN gift card I used to buy my kids Nintendo DS games for xmas.

7. You may qualify for assistance. I’m not advocating for everyone to apply for every bit of assistance out there but if you are living paycheck to paycheck there may be help. Many of these places have websites with qualification info online. Places like WIC, state programs, holiday help and more can be found online and many have printable applications.

8. Determine what is a want and what is a necessity. Having premium movie channels on your tv are probably not a need but a cell phone because you travel a lot for business probably is. What can you afford and what can’t you afford. Check out the deals and specials too. Are you really saving more money with this cable provider than that one? Is it worth it for you to have a landline phone when you have a cell phone?

9. Home cooked meals—I know what you’re thinking. I don’t have time McD’s is so much easier and this may be true BUT…it’s possible. I worked full-time and have 3 boys. My hubby works 2nd shift. So dinner was on me. And yes, for a while I did stop at Mcd’s 2 times a week. I figured out my spending in an average month on fast food and it was at least $100 considering it was about $15 a trip. I’m not saying I made chicken cordon bleu and steaks every night. There are quick items for busy families. Some examples: Cresent roll hotdogs, hamburger helper, Wanchai Ferry meals, Mac and cheese, Home made hamburges, etc. A package of hamburger helper is less than $2 at walmart and a lb of hamburger is about $2.50. So there..dinner for 4 for $4.50.

10. Gas— oh boy isn’t that something we all complain about. I mean gasoline for the car. While they don’t have coupons for gasoline, or bargain days we can watch how we run our gas and do things to improve our gas mileage. Oil changes, fuel injection cleaners, and filters are small things that can help out. Can you combine trips in a week? For example: Can you drop of your prescription, go grocery shopping, pick up your prescription all in one trip rather than making two. Do you have to go and get wrapping paper today or can it way until tomorrow when you drop little johnny off for practice? Is there a closer store you can walk to (when the weather cooperates) to get milk and eggs rather than driving 10 miles?

These are just a few of many ideas. I’m sure some of you even have ones I’ve not thought of. Hope this helps with an New Year’s resolutions this year!

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Do the ChaCha!

On my quest for finding a way to make extra money since I cut down to part-time, I came across a listing for ChaCha in a work at home listing. I checked out the website and read up on it. I did searches to find out what the people that work for ChaCha thought. And….What the heck is ChaCha?

ChaCha is a free service to answer your questions. You can text 242242 (which spells out ChaCha) or call 1-800-2ChaCha

You can ask ChaCha anything from: Does Joey like me? How many miles are there between Ontario Canada and Miami,FL? What does the word opulent mean? Who won the Steelers game? Whats the weather supposed to be like tomorrow? Can I have a good Pick up line?

Well you get the idea. Anyway, I tried to apply but at the time they were not hiring. I checked the site several times a month until finally I saw they were hiring. For work at home positions they hire what they call “guides”. ChaCha questions are answered by real people or “guides”. They have different guide positions. I finally applied and got accepted as a ChaCha guide. You can do it on your own time as much or as little as you want.

If you do searches for ChaCha you’ll find credible information sources. ChaCha has been featured on the Ellen show. In my search I found an article that ABC had done. Yes there are some unhappy guides out there but no matter where you look for a job you’ll find a few unhappy employees.

So far I like ChaCha. Give it a try. Maybe I’ll help answer your question.

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Save money go to the after christmas sales

Some people may call me cheap. One of my friends call me a “frugalista”. Either way, I know how to save money. One of my favorite things to do is go to the after christmas sales. When my sibilings ask me “what do you want for christmas?” One think I tell them is a bath and body works gift card. Bath and body works has a semi-annual sale usually the last few days of december or very beginning of January. Keep your eyes opened for this sale. If I get even $20 in bath and body gift cards I get a ton of stuff. Christmas scents, gift sets, stocking stuffers etc are usually drastically reduced. Anywhere from 20% to as much as 60% off. I once got a set with a Lemon chiffon body scrub, lotion and body wash for $10 (originally $45). I stock up on the body washes too. The sales make them usually around $2 each which is cheaper than what I’d pay for a body wash even at walmart.

Another great after christmas shopping place is Victoria’s Secret. About the same time that Bath and body works does their sale, Victoria’s secret does their semi-annual sale. After christmas they also have their stocking stuffers, christmas scents etc drastically reduced. They also have the sale bins of bras starting at $9.99 and panties starting at $1.99. I wait for this sale all year to stock up on my under garments. I love their Heavenly perfume and last year got a bottle of it for $2.99 at this sale.

Walmart has a great sale on their gift sets directly after christmas. They mark their gift sets 50-60% off at this time. This is great for those christmas visits after the actual holiday or a good time to use those walmart gift cards you got for christmas. I also stock up on my christmas decorations for the next year at this sale. I buy lights, christmas serving items and whatever else I might find of interest for next year and save 50%. While everyone else may have paid $5 for a set of lights you’ll pay $2.50 or less. And gift wrap buy a few rolls and put it away for next year. That really nice gift wrap you saw that you turned down because you thought “why spend the money they’re just going to rip it off and throw it away”. Yea you can get that one at half the price and use it next year.

Craft stores like Michaels are great too. Go after christmas and get your christmas crafting wants and needs to put away for next year. You’ll get much cheaper that you would have before christmas and you’ll have it so when, say, september comes around you can get a head start on your hand made christmas decorations, handmade gifts, or craft show items and you won’t be so rushed.

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