Thursday, November 16, 2017

My Latest Frugal Shopping Scores

Have I mentioned how much I love going to the market in my nearby city? When life gets busy and I can't make it there to do my shopping, I miss it. And the vendors miss me too. My last trip there was the other day, and the vendors asked why they haven't seen me in a while, that they had such good stuff that I would have appreciated, but missed out on because I didn't come. I've been busy and sometimes its hard to find the time to go there, but when I push myself and go there anyhow, I never come home disappointed.

This last shopping trip I'll break down into two parts- the produce and everything else. (In large part since there wasn't room on my counter to put everything there at once to take a picture.)

Total this shop was $60.31, of which $32.74 was on produce, and $27.57 was on non produce items.

Vipon- Discounts on Amazon

I was approached by Vipon, an online shopping platform that has incredible deals and steals for Amazon shoppers. I checked it out, and definitely think it is worthwhile for you to check out as well.

So, how does Vipon work?

You can go to their site, or download their app (also available in iOS and in the Google Play Store), both totally free.

Once you open the app, you sign in (you can make an account or sign in through Facebook) and then are presented with a few choices- featured deals, instant deals, coming soon, category, and profile.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

My Frugally Decorated Beach Theme Bathroom- Reveal

The day I went to pick out the tiles and fixtures for my new house I was very sick and hadn't realized it yet. My head was spinning and I could barely see straight and I had a headache, which certainly did not make picking out the various colors and patterns for our tiles easy at all. Add to that the fact that at the time I went I hadn't narrowed down my taste in home decor.... I was lucky that most of the tiles I chose out, especially the gray floor tiles were exactly what I would pick out today and love my floors.
But when I saw my bathroom and the tiles there I had such buyers remorse. I hated it. I had no idea what would have possessed me to pick out this beige-ish yellow color and thought I'd just have to make do with a color I hated until I could afford to replace them.

Fortunately my friend Michelle pointed out to me that the color of my tiles was reminiscent of sand, and if I went with a beach theme and color scheme for my bathroom, those tiles would be an asset, not a detriment.
Once she pointed that out to me I realized what potential it had. I decided to go 'full on beach' and have my color scheme be sand colored /beige, a bright sea blue, and wood. Of course there's also the white and chrome colored fixtures so those colors ended up needing to be worked into the theme.

Frugality and Playing the Lottery

I've never been into the lottery, to be honest. But I am a believer in a higher power. I believe that the money I have and get can come to me in the "natural" way, and even then, what I make depends on how often I have clients, which isn't entirely up to me. In my culture/religion, we have a story about someone who prayed and prayed to win the lottery and when he died, he said "Why did I never win the lottery?" and the answer he got was that he never bought a lottery ticket. I do believe that if a higher power wanted to send me money, it can be by means of a lottery ticket, and that by buying one, I'm opening myself up to receiving abundance, if the higher power wants to send it my way. So in my life, I've bought 3 or 4 cheap lottery tickets, and that's all.
I know some other people, though, that really enjoy the lottery. They have a set amount that they spend each month, and they have won smaller amounts on a regular basis, and put that money back in to their lottery fund, so it doesn't come out of their pocket.
For those of you that do enjoy playing the lottery, here is a post by a reader, about some thoughts to consider, about how to do it frugally.

Parents trying to live a frugal lifestyle will go to many lengths to cut corners and eliminate otherwise unnecessary costs, making their own canned goods, for example, or sewing Halloween costumes for their kids. It’s definitely a great way of life, but every now and again it’s fun to partake in guilty pleasures. One of those lovely guilty pleasures is playing the lottery, with its promises of high drama and unlimited wealth. It’s fun to daydream about the yachts we’d buy, the houses we’d flip, the trips around the world we’d take, but it’s actually not that simple: even when you win the lottery, you still need to be frugal.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Homemade Crocheted Ear Warming Headband with Headphones

I want to start exercising regularly. I keep on saying that I want to do that, but something comes up. I have a really bad track record and getting my act together and actually exercising on a regular basis.

However, lately I've been exhausted beyond belief, and even when I think I'm getting more than enough sleep, more sleep than I used to be getting and would have been enough, I'm still wiped out. I made myself an appointment at the doctor to get a blood test to see what's going on, but it was also suggested to me to exercise more often, that regular exercise, despite what it would seem, actually energizes you, not tires you out.

The problem is... my ears. They get cold when I exercise outside, and that's the type of exercise that appeals to me the most.

I don't really like wearing hats. They mess with what I do with my hair, etc... I just want something for my ears. I asked women I know what they did to keep their ears warm- sorry, ear muffs weren't doing it for me, didn't appeal to me, and they all suggested warm knitted thick headbands, with adjustable button closures.
Sounded perfect to me, and as I know how to crochet, I knew that that was something I could make easily myself. And not just for exercising, but any time I wanted to keep my ears warm outside.

Traps Of Debt Relief You Should Avoid When Trying To Get Relief

In an ideal world, no one would have any debt. They'd pay cash for everything and not borrow money to pay for things they can't currently afford. Unfortunately we're not living in an ideal world, and there are many people with debt, either from past mistakes, or emergencies, or even sometimes because of being dealt a bad hand in life. Debt can be crippling, with payments sometimes so large that it makes it hard to get ahead. 
When people are in such a hard situation with their debt, they often look into debt consolidation to allow them to breathe a little bit. I think this post by reader Eddie about the pitfalls of debt relief and things to consider is very insightful and can be helpful to any of you readers who might be looking into debt relief.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Chocolate Peanut Butter Buckwheat Banana Bread

I was supposed to host a group of friends this morning around breakfast time, and last night I was trying in vain to think up something baked and yummy that I could make to serve then. Since it was breakfast time, I didn't want to serve something too cakey or sweet or unhealthy, because, you know, breakfast, not dessert.... But most of the breakfasty foods that came to mind were fruit based, and my kids finished up the last of my apples yesterday, and I didn't have any other cookable fruit in my house...
Eventually I thought of my chocolate buckwheat bread that uses mashed overripe bananas, and luckily I found some frozen bananas in my freezer and decided to make that chocolate buckwheat bread, but with an upgrade- peanut butter! Because peanut butter and chocolate are a match made in heaven, and if you add banana to that, it's just awesome.
This bread is more "bready" and less cakey, so if you're expecting something very sweet, don't be disappointed. I made mine with honey this time which ends up the sweetest this will be, and even then my son wanted to sprinkle sugar on his pieces when he ate his, but I enjoyed them as is. I added chopped up dates to mine because dates make everything taste yummy, and you get sweet morsels in your bread, but you can leave it out if you want to, just note that it'll be even less sweet.

In the end my get together this morning got canceled, so more yumminess for us. I definitely plan on making this again as it was very delicious and easy to make.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Buckwheat Banana Bread

What To Do When You're Too Broke For A Cell Phone Upgrade

I'm an Android girl all the way, but I know many are loyal Apple users and are very happy with it. However, Apple items can be expensive, and upgrading when your old phone works relatively well enough is hard to justify, especially if your finances don't allow it. I enjoyed this post on how to upgrade your phone without paying for a new phone. I wonder which of these could be applied to Android phones...

Since Steve Jobs launched the very first iPhone 10 years ago, the iPhone label has always meant a premium smartphone that cost a little more than average. Nobody expected this to change over the decade, as Apple strived for innovation despite the loss of its creator. However, nobody expected, all those years ago, that it would get this expensive.

At $999, the basic 64GB iPhone X cost a pretty penny, but it’s 256GB version is what puts the fear of Steve Job’s ghost in our hearts. In the US, it’s at its cheapest at $1,149, while other parts of the world can expect prices closer to $1,400.

If you don’t have over a grand to spend on an upgrade, all is not lost. There’s a way around the astronomical price tag without missing out on the X’s cool features.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

What To Do With Lots of Free Expiring Milk - Again!

This is 1/10th of the milk I got, free
Because I live in an area that is considered to be of a lower socio-economic background (gotta love a community like this, as we're all in the same frugal living boat, so not much pressure to keep up with the Jones), from time to time we get deliveries of food items that otherwise would be thrown out, for various reasons. For example, yesterday there were gallons and gallons of milk being given away, as their expiration date is tomorrow. Last time this happened, I shared what I did with my 8 gallons of free expiring milk, and now I wanted to share with you what I did this time.
This time I got ten and a half gallons, not just eight (20 2 liter bottles). I was trying to convince the other people that came to take milk, that there is so much they can do with it to prevent it spoiling before they could use it up, but people were hesitant. I'm sure, sadly, that much of the milk just ended up in the trash because people are so afraid of expiring milk...
This post, hopefully, will inspire you, and when you have milk that is near its expiration date, you'll know that you don't have to trash it, and can benefit from it. And anyone who lives in my community or in similar communities that are recipients of such items will know what to do with all that milk so they can benefit and not have it end up being tossed.

The previous time that I had a lot of milk, what I did with it ended up being a lot of work and a lot of steps, and this time, I'll be honest, I frankly didn't have the emotional energy or time to do what I did then, so I stuck to more minimal work and still managed to find what to do with my 10.5 gallons of milk.

Top Tips On Getting The Best Mortgage For Your Individual Needs

We recently bought a house, after being sure that we'd never be able to own anything, because our financial situation wasn't allowing us to save up the enormous down payment required in my country, not to mention the fact that housing is really expensive compared to salaries where we live. Even once my mother provided the down payment for our place, getting approval for the mortgage from the bank certainly wasn't easy, because our monthly income compared to the monthly mortgage payments didn't seem nearly high enough according to the bank (because they could only consider our rental income from the rental unit in our house as additional income once we signed with a tenant, and couldn't do that when we were first looking for approval for a mortgage). We had to jump through a lot of hoops in order to be able to be approved for a mortgage, and a mortgage broker ended up being the key in our being able to get our mortgage. For those that don't have a mortgage broker to guide them, these tips from a reader are certainly useful, and many of them are ones my mortgage broker advised as well.

Financial situations vary from person to person. Therefore, our definition of "financial freedom" varies. Should you arrive at a time when mortgage seems the best option, always remember that there are many criteria that you should follow before pursuing this. Given that your situation differs from another person's, your mortgage approach can be different. Here are the best tips from AAACreditGuide’s pre approval mortgage guide on how to get the best mortgage that will suit your needs:

Try To Be Pre Approved

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