frugal living

Explore a wide way of keeping your spending down, beyond just clipping coupons and being "cheap".  Whether it be ways to cut out excess spending, or how to tighten up your budget, how to get by during the holidays or holiday flights, tips to a frugal Disney trip, or even if you just want to keep your kids cool during the summer - I've got it all covered!

Top Reasons to Join Sam’s Club

**This post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**



Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Savings.com.  Please know, however, that all opinions, anecdotes, and bad puns are 100% my own.

Join Sam's Club - blog banner

Have you ever thought about joining Sam’s Club?  Or have you joined in the past, but let your membership lapse for one reason or another.  Well, I’m hoping to convince you why you should join Sam’s Club.  It’s not like it was even ten years ago.  They’re doing a great job of keeping up with the times, and listening to the needs of their customers.
I decided to do the most scientific thing possible when researching for reasons why folks should join Sam’s Club: I crowd-sourced my Facebook friends.  With no further adieu, here are the (un)official top reasons why you should join Sam’s Club:

 

Why Should You Join Sam’s Club? [Read more…]

Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

How to Save More Online

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Disclosure: This is a sponsored post by Groupon Coupons.  However, all opinions, experiences, and bad puns are completely my own.

Groupon Coupons

Let’s face it, online shopping is becoming a firm reality for day-to-day living as more and more brick and mortar establishments close up.  There’s plenty to gain from shopping online these days, and it’s becoming quite easy to find ways to save.

I think y’all know by now of my deep love for Groupon, right?  I mean, I frequently score cheap movie tickets, and even get a good deal on an annual parking pass for Stone Mountain!  As if their deals on local attractions, goods, and getaways weren’t enough, now Groupon has gotten in to the coupon game, too!

So here are three sure-fire ways to save more online with Groupon Coupons:

Promo Codes – Groupon Coupons has become a hub for online promo codes.  You know how when you’re checking out online, there’s usually that little box that says “promo code”, and gives you the opportunity to add a discount – but only if you know the code!  The easiest way to see if there’s any good promo codes floating around out there is to head over to Groupon Coupons and search for your store.

Here’s an example I did with an American Eagle order recently.  First, I searched for promo codes:  Groupon Coupons - American Eagle codes

 

Then, I applied the codes at checkout for further savings:Groupon Coupons AE checkout

Free Shipping – Utilize the Groupon Coupons to see if your store is offering a deal on free shipping, just like I did on the order above.  Sometimes stores will have free shipping specials, lowering their total amount spent before it kicks in.  Sometimes a promo code is required, so make sure you search and snag when you can!  Paying for shipping?  Pfft!  That’s SO 2016!

Price Compare with Promos – Ok, this is going to get a bit complicated, but if you’re searching for an item, and you don’t need to be brand dependent, then this is a good option.  Say, for example, you’re looking for a 3/4 sleeve top for a special occasion.  Compare not only what it would cost from store to store, but factor in promo codes and any shipping fees.

 

Groupon Coupons

Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

4 Budgeting Mistakes to Avoid to Quit Being Broke

**This post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**



budgeting mistakes to avoid

Keeping a budget is one of the most effective ways to save money and be more mindful about your spending. However, there are budgeting mistakes that you may be making that are hindering your saving progress. Once you stop these errors, you will notice you have more money to work with each month.

Read on to find out four common budgeting mistakes to avoid if you want to stop being broke! [Read more…]

Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

Small Space Solutions for Your Home

**This post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**



Disclosure: I am participating in this campaign as part of a promotional program with At Home and MomSelect; in exchange for promoting this campaign, I received a form of compensation.  However, all opinions, bad puns, and questionable taste in decor are completely my own.  

So it’s come to this, y’all.  It’s mid-June, and I must begin talking to you about (gulp)  back to school.  Yep.  BTS.  I know, I know.  It seems kind of cruel, and I apologize for even entering those three cruel words when we are mopping up the humidity off our brows.

At Home Small Space Solutions BTS checklist

The folks at At Home want to help you make the most of impending back-to-school, particularly if you’re headed off to the dorms, or a small apartment, or even a small classroom.  (Let’s face it, as a teacher, even the most spacious classroom will require careful use of every. single. inch!)  I’ve toured the store, and found some helpful small spaces solutions, as well as enlisted a few DIY solutions on my own.  Additionally, they’ve compiled a magnificent back to campus checklist for your convenience!  (I gave you a peek ^^^ up there.) [Read more…]

Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

8 Ways to Beat & Treat Winter Weather Dry Skin

**This post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**



Winter Weather Dry Skin

Winter weather = dry skin. Fewer things make me feel itchy all over!  Ok, so living in Atlanta all my life, I know I haven’t been subjected to super-harsh sub-zero winter weather.  But I’ve spent many a-winters with cold enough weather to dry out my skin.  For thirty-something years, I’ve lived through dry, itchy winter skin – some years worse than others.  Along the way, I’ve learned a few tricks to keep the dry and “itch” to a minimum.  (I’ve also got a few tips to naturally treat and prevent eczema, for those who deal with that.)

Frugal Tips to Beating the
Winter Weather Dry Skin: [Read more…]

Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

Cheap Tide at Target

**This post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**



Starting TODAY, you can purchase TIDE at Target for only $9.99 for 100oz or 92oz Tide + Collection. No coupon needed – making it ever-so-easy to take advantage of this offer – however, you CAN stack with this month’s P&G’s coupon inserts AND with Savings Star offer for a $10 rebate off a $30 P&G purchase for even deeper savings!  (For future deals, make sure to check the coupon database for all your savings needs!)  It’s the perfect time to stock up on your favorite laundry detergent.

Share the savings with your friends and family!

Click the banner above ^^^ for further details, and to see which Tide products are eligible.. [Read more…]

Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

Cheap Tide at Dollar General

**This post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**



Have you seen this amazing deal for Tide at Dollar General? You’ve got to act FAST, as this coupon won’t be around long.  Starting next week (6-29-14), Tide will be on sale for $7.50 for the 69-75 oz bottle.  Click the picture below to grab this great coupon!  Also, check for printable manufacture coupons to stack with this great store coupon!

Tide at Dollar General
While you’re at it, check out my favorite tips for beating the laundry blahs

Tips for beating the laundry blahs

AND see if you’re using too much laundry detergent.

Are you using too much laundry detergent?

 

Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

Cheap Clorox Wipes @ Target

**This post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**



One of the “Weekly Wows” this week at Target is a 3-pack of Clorox wipes for $5.98.  But wait, there’s more!  😉  They are also B1G1 1/2 off.  So you can get 6 packs (105-ct) of Clorox wipes for $8.97.  That deal is just ….meh….  However:

Cheap Clorox Wipes @ Target

Use these coupons for deeper savings:

After coupons, you can get six canisters for as low as $1.22 each!  You may not want to think about “back to school” this early in the summer, but come August, your kids classrooms will be BEGGING for these (I know I would’ve LOVED them when I was in the classroom!), and this deal for cheap clorox wipes @ Target is a great time to stock up on them, to be ahead of the game.  🙂

Y’all let me know if you get this deal!  Also, check out other ways you can ditch the sponge, and still keep a clean home.

Cheap Clorox Wipes @ Target - ditching the sponge

Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

Create a Flower Garden for Under $30

**This post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**



How to create a Flower Garden for Under $30: No Gardening Skills required

create a flower garden for under $30

Do you ever wish you could have a beautiful flower garden in your own backyard but feel like you have absolutely no gardening skills? Maybe you feel like you don’t have one ounce of green thumb talent? Turning an empty space in the backyard into a beautiful flower garden can be done without spending a ton of money. Here are 3 tips that will help you create a flower garden for under $30: no gardening skills required.

Use what you have.

Some people think that flower gardening has to cost a fortune. But there are definite ways to keep the cost down. Sure, it would be nice to buy all the pretty potting soil, mulch, fancy edging and garden accents, but these things are not essentials. Look around your backyard and home. You probably already have the things you need to get started.

Decide where you want to put your flower garden and start digging up the dirt. You want to get the dirt as soft as possible. If your friend has a tiller, then ask them to come turn the ground for you. If not, just use your shovel and a hoe to get rid of the grass and turn the area into fine brown dirt. Don’t worry about whether it is rich enough. You can always add new potting soil and improve the dirt next year.

Most people like to have a pretty edge around the garden. You can purchase various styles of edging stones at most home improvement stores for about $1-$2 each or you can use rocks from a local creek or seashells from a recent vacation. Be creative and don’t stress over the right edging.

Add Flowers

The cheapest way to get color in your garden is to plant seeds. But that’s not the fastest way. You can buy small flats of annuals like marigolds, impatiens or petunias for a couple dollars. These little flowers are super hardy and give you instant color.

If you have a friend or family member with an established garden, ask them for small starts of perennials that will come back every year. Every gardener needs to thin out their iris and lily bed periodically so their flowers will continue producing.

Be ready to Grow.

Most gardeners who are successful started out as completely brown thumb amateurs. You learn by doing. Plant a few seeds or starts this weekend and then watch to see what happens. Stop by local yard sales and find some pretty garden accent pieces. If you don’t like it, then keep adding something or change it up.

Gardening for less than $30

There are many supplies that you can spend money on when you start gardening but here are the basics most people typically purchase. If you really want to save money, then skip the potting soil and edgers. Borrow a shovel from a friend and go cheap on the garden gloves.

Potting Soil = $2.00 a bag typically
Shovel = $10-$20
Gardening Gloves = $3.00-$5.00
Seeds = less than a dollar a pack
Flower starts (annuals) = 6 pack typically cost around $3.00
Garden edging stones = $2.00 each
Gardening Hand tools = $5-$10

What are you waiting for? Let’s go start a beautiful garden in our backyard. I can’t wait to see what you create!  And if you’re feeling really confident, or if you’ve got a gardener in your life check out the great Mother’s Day gift guide for the gardener in your life.

Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

Dirty Secrets: My Bissell Big Green Deep Cleaning Machine Review + giveaway

**This post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**



I was recently given a complimentary use of the Bissell Big Green Deep Cleaning Machine, in exchange for this review.  All opinions, and nasty carpet pictures, are completely mine.

I have a terrible confession to make: in over six years living in our home, we’ve never cleaned our carpets.  For over four years, they’ve been riddled with little kid grime; yet, we somehow just never got around to getting the carpets cleaned, even though it was always on our long list of things to do.  *sigh*

I digress.

When I was approached with an opportunity to try out the Bissell Big Green Deep Cleaning Machine in my home for a trial period, my husband and I both eagerly jumped at the chance!  Tanya from Fizz Word of Mouth Marketing dropped it off, and that very weekend, we got to cleaning!

Bissell Big Green Deep Cleaning Machine princess husband collage

Well, actually, I was putting the kids down for their naps, and my husband took over the carpet cleaning duties.  To be honest, I never got to even TOUCH the Bissell Big Green Deep Cleaning Machine during the entire trial period — my husband was in.  the.  zone.  So, to be perfectly clear, this review is really a second-hand account of HIS use of the machine.  But I assure you, it was an incredible experience.  😉

The Bissell Big Green Deep Cleaning Machine proved to be light weight, even when full of the sloshy water and cleaning fluid.  I’m not sure if you were supposed to vacuum the carpets before hand -remember, my husband took control and you know men and directions….  In any case, we didn’t, but the dirt was just effortlessly pulled away from our carpets, rugs, stairs (all three flights!), and couches.

Bissell Big Green Deep Cleaning Machine in action

The day we did this, it was overcast outside (imagine that, during this summer in Atlanta!), so it was difficult to get great pictures contrasting the clean and dirty carpets.  But I managed to capture a few, mainly the rugs in our den.  First, my husband did the big one, so I put the runner OVER it afterwards, for comparison purposes.  You can clearly see the difference!  This is in a super-high traffic area, but those filthy rugs didn’t stand a chance against the Bissell Big Green Deep Cleaning Machine!

Bissell Big Green Deep Cleaning Machine - before after

With enthusiasm -and the “help” of our daughter, dressed as Princess Merida- we tackled the whole house: all the carpet upstairs (including four bedrooms and a super long hallway), all the downstairs rugs, our carpeted dining room and formal living room, the finished basement (half carpeted), as well as front stair case, back stair case, and the basement stairs.

Bissell Big Green Deep Cleaning Machine - water pouring collage

All in all, each time we poured that nasty water tank in to the laundry room sink, we were assured that we were successfully lifting the grime out of our house.  Okay, and we were equally disgusted with the level of filth we’ve been walking upon, and our KIDS had been playing in!  With each dumping of the water tank, we felt a little -um- relief knowing that the grimy layer of disgust was literally going down the drain and OUT OF OUR HOUSE!

Enter for a chance to win a rental of the
Bissell Big Green Deep Cleaning Machine!

Would you like a chance to try out this bad boy?  I’m offering five vouchers each good for a 24-hour rental period (a $24.99 value) of the Bissell Big Green Deep Cleaning Machine.  It’s super simple, just comment below on which room(s) you’d most love to tackle with the Bissell Big Green Deep Cleaning Machine, then fill out the entry form here.

Big Green Deep Cleaning Machine vouchers

And even if you’d don’t win, grab this coupon, good for $5 off your rental.  Your local Lowes Home Improvement store offers rental of this machine, as well as the Bissell Pawsitivity Clean Machine, which is designed for pet owners.  …..now, go enter to win a free rental trial!

Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

Atlanta's Frugal Mom is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon. In other words, if you click through to Amazon from some of the books or products I recommend and make a purchase, I get a small percentage in exchange for your purchase. It's a small way you can support AFM.