Frugal Living – The Miracle of Paint


It doesn’t matter whether you are young and just starting out in life or whether you are older and focused on saving for retirement, if you’ve been shopping for furniture lately, you’ve noticed the big dollar amounts on all the price tags.  Even a relatively plain dining room chair can cost nearly a hundred dollars!  Is it really necessary to pay such steep prices for furniture and accessories or is there another way to affordable furniture?

For those do-it-yourselfers and those interested in frugal living, a can of paint or wood stain might end up being your best friend.  If you need furniture, whether it is a bed frame, nightstand, dining room chair or plant stand, consider going to your local Salvation Army or Goodwill store to find some really interesting and eclectic pieces.  Craigslist and local garage sales are also great places to find some cool pieces of furniture or other accessories at rock bottom prices.

Many people have furniture items they no longer need or they have pieces with a scratch here or a stain there and they don’t have the time or the knowledge to make the proper repairs.  It really isn’t that difficult to learn how to paint or use stain to restore wood items to their original glory.  Furniture refinishing can be as simple as painting an item and leaving all the dings in place for the “shabby chic” look or sanding down the entire piece, using wood filler to fill in the holes and then staining or painting to make the piece look like new again.

Often it is the unique, older pieces of furniture that really help to make a house a home.  There is also the sense of accomplishment that one receives after taking something that was once destined for a landfill and restoring it to its former beauty.  An expense of $30 or so in refinishing supplies is a small price to invest in a piece of furniture that is just right for your home.   

Frugal Living Hacks to Save More Money


The average American has less than $1,000 in savings, according to a recent Google Consumer Survey. Without a “nest egg,” unforeseen expenses could spell disaster for you and your family. But the good news is that you save more money by embracing frugal living.

Walmart Savings Catcher

If you shop at Walmart, be sure take advantage of the retailing giant’s Savings Catcher program. This program will automatically check competitors’ prices for purchased products to see if they are lower. If a competitor is selling the product at a lower price, Savings Catcher will give you the difference in the form of an electronic gift card.

Here’s a tip: you can save even more money at Walmart by paying with a cash back rewards credit card. Some credit cards may offer 1-3% cash back on all purchases, meaning for every $100 you spend, you’ll earn $1 to $3 in rewards bonuses.

Finance Manager App

Assuming you own a smartphone (and you probably do), try downloading a finance manager app like Mint. This app will organize all of your expenses and financial information to create a detailed budget. So instead of crossing your fingers and “hoping” that you don’t overspend one month, you’ll know exactly how much money is coming in and how much is going out.

Freeze Perishable Food

According to the National Resource Defense Council (NRDC), Americans throw out approximately 40% of their uneaten food, the equivalent of $165 billion annually. If you have a tendency to toss uneaten foods, consider freezing them long-term storage. From blueberries and strawberries to ground beef, chicken and even condiments, you can significantly extend the shelf life of most perishable foods by freezing.

Buy in Bulk

Another helpful frugal living tip is to buy in bulk. There are certain items that, when purchased in bulk, can yield huge savings. These typically include things like paper towels, toilet paper, laundry detergent, toothpaste, etc.

Eat Out Less

There’s nothing wrong with splurging every once in a while by dining out at your favorite restaurant, but this should be kept a minimum if you are trying to save money. Packing your lunch for work and eating meals at home can yield big savings over the course of a month.

Flexible Side Hustle as a Transcriber

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We’ve all heard the popular saying, “don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” This cliché rings true in many aspects of our lives and for some reason tends to be what we think when it comes to earning our income.

How many different ways of making money do you have? In most cases a person’s 9 to 5 is about all they can vouch for. This is why finding different niches that adhere to your skills is crucial in growing your side hustle business. One of the many jobs that freelancers have taken up from home is in the field of transcribing. This on its own can easily make you $20 – $60 a day in your spare time.

While there are several writing jobs on the internet transcribing has gained some traction over the years as a go-to option for anyone looking to make extra money on the side. There are currently several website that offer online job applications to see if you qualify on the spot. These websites give you some tests and typically send an email out within a day or two to inform you on whether or not you’ve been hired to transcribe for them.

Transcribing for beginners may or may not prove to be difficult for some. There are a number of variables that can affect how much you earn. Each job, assuming you’re getting transcribing gigs from a company, will require you to implement their practices for transcribing to their clients. Your typing speed is another big part that will depict how quickly you get jobs done. With an average typing speed of 50 wpm you should be able to complete roughly 15 minutes of clean audio within an hours time. However, once you’ve gotten the hang of it your speed will increase and you’ll be able to pull some freelancing work for more money. Some popular sites to get started with for work on transcribing are Rev.com, Scribie.com, as well as Transcribe.com just to name a few.

Once you’ve established a few independent freelancing jobs consistently, this can easily be added as an increase in your financial savings. This in no way should be seen as a get rich quick scheme, but when climbing to the top it’s good to have some skills that you potentially can develop in order to take on new lanes in your financial future.

Reward Yourself With These 3 Unique Shopping Apps!

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Did you know that you no longer have to rely just on the rewards programs linked to grocery store loyalty cards and points accrued through using a store-specific credit card? There’s a handful of ways that thrifty shoppers can save money and earn cash back just by continuing to buy the same things they do anytime they hit the store. The biggest problem with these rewards programs is that many people don’t know that they exist, and if they do, where to find them so they can benefit from using them.

Here are three great rewards programs that you can start using to save money and earn cash back today!

1. Ibotta

Ibotta (use my referral link)is a super cool app that you can download to your mobile device for cash back rewards on almost anything. Once you sign up and set your location, the app will search all the stores within a pre-determined radius for all cash back opportunities. You then search for items by keyword or store and begin unlocking your deals. When you’re done shopping, you go back to the app to verify your deals by scanning the barcodes of your purchases and uploading a photo of your receipt. The cash you receive appears in your account within 24 hours, and once you hit $20 in cash back, you can request payment via PayPal. The rewards add up quickly, especially if you’re shopping for a family.

2. Checkout 51

Checkout 51 is another awesome cash back app that you can download to your mobile device. The idea is much the same as Ibotta in that you browse the cash back offers, save the ones you plan to use, buy those products from any store, then upload a photo of your receipt to redeem the cash back. After your account reaches $20 in savings, you can request payment.

3. Shopkick

Shopkick is a little different, but just as nifty in that you earn points (they call them “kicks”) just for walking through the doors of a store. Items featured in the app can be scanned to earn even more kicks. Make purchases with a card that you link with the app to earn yet even more kicks, and see just how quickly it racks up! It’s ridiculously easy to collect kicks, and you can redeem them for gift cards for just about all your favorite stores.

One of the greatest things about these apps is that they don’t cancel each other out. You can use each one simultaneously to earn all sorts of cash back, and they can be used on top of any coupons you choose to clip, as well as in-store sales. So, why not use ’em all? Reward yourself instead of kicking yourself next time you go shopping by giving these sweet apps a shot. You’ve got nothing to lose but great savings!

Go Frugal With Discounted Gift Cards

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How would you like to get a discount on almost every purchase you make?  One man’s junk is another man’s treasure and for every person who has unwanted gift cards, there is someone like you who would like to buy that unwanted card at a discount that is sometimes quite substantial.

Gift Card Granny is a one-stop shopping place for people looking to sell unwanted gift cards and frugal people looking to save on everything ranging from dinner at their favorite restaurant to appliances at Sears.  Gift Card Granny lists thousands of gift cards from a multitude of vendors who offer discounted cards for sale.  For the more popular stores such as Walmart, the discounted cards may offer just a few percentage points off the price of a regular gift card.  However, for other gift cards, it is not unusual to see them available for sale at well over 20%.

For those who like to shop online, many of the discounted “gift cards” are simply e-codes you buy which are then sent to your email.  After you receive the e-code you simply use the discounted e-code and PIN number to complete your purchase at your favorite online store.  Gift Card Granny also lists companies that mail out physical gift cards.  Most of the companies offer free shipping.  For the other companies who do charge a nominal fee for shipping, Gift Card Granny will list the shipping fee.

Like anything else, it must become a habit to make most of your purchases with a discounted gift card.  Initially, you might even forget you have a discounted card and pay with your credit card as usual.  But once you get into the habit of using gift cards as payment, you will actually find it loathsome when you have to pull out cash or a credit card and pay full price for an item.  Great bargains are only a few finger clicks away for frugal shoppers who make their way to Gift Card Granny.

The Frugal Folks Guide to Eating Out


This post does contain affiliate links

The most efficient way to save a few bucks is by eating in. However, this can become dull fairly quickly. If you need to keep it frugal, you may feel like cooking at home is your only option. However, this isn’t entirely true. Here are some things you can do to cut down on the cost of eating out.

Skip the Drinks

Soda at a restaurant can run you as much as $2.50 a cup. By skipping the soda you can save that $2.50 per person and get all the health benefits of drinking water. If you must have a sweet drink, try keeping your fridge stocked at home or share a soda with a friend and split the cost.

Discount Gift Cards

Websites like Raise can help you save a dollar or two by selling you discounted gift cards to some of your favorite restaurants. These gift cards are sometimes sold for as much as 25% off. If you buy those Raise gift cards through TopCashback you can save even more through cash back.

Groupon and Living Social

By using crowd-sharing sites such as Groupon and Living Social you can discover some great local food spots and save a bundle. Save even more by waiting around for discount codes (sometimes as much as 25% off) and purchasing discounted gift cards for Groupon via Raise.

Restaurant.com

Restaurant.com is another great way to save some money on local eateries. Just make sure you read the fine print before buying anything. You can save a bit more by purchasing discounted gift cards for Restaurant.com via Raise.

Survey Sites

By using survey sites and apps such as Swagbucks and Survey Mini, you can rack up points which can be exchanged for free gift cards to your favorite chain restaurants. Saving up points can take a while, but this is a great way to get some free grub.

By using the tips listed above in addition to deals and rewards programs offered by individual restaurants, you should be able to eat out for a fraction of the usual cost. This means more cash in your pocket and more food in your belly.

New Fun Products for Dog-Loving Geeks

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Whether you are out for a walk or playing at home, you want your pet to have the coolest accessories and toys. Here are three new fun products that geeky pet owners can use to spoil their pets!

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Get you dog psyched out for space with the Space Rover Bandana! With a blue star-studded print, your pet will be the classiest one on the block. The pun will either make people laugh or roll their eyes, and either way that’s a win-win. Best of all, it fits all sized dogs so your pet can look good no matter what size they are.

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When it’s time to eat, surprise your pooch with a binary food bowl. If your pet has a tendency to knock over the food dish, this bowl will prevent that from happening! This dish is sturdy enough to handle any sized dog. It features a “010101” binary code pattern so that you can relive the dream of having an artificial intelligence dog. All your geeky guests will be impressed when they see it!

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Of course, what really makes a dog happy is having toys. So why not get them something you both will enjoy? The Star Wars X-Wing Fighter dog toy will leave the both of you having a blast. This detailed toy features plush laser cannons and proton torpedo launchers that your dog will have fun chewing on. Plus it’s got a rope toy hanging at the end of it so you two can have an epic tug-of-war!