Frugal Living

9 Tips to Save on Insurance

posted by Andrea | 01/29/2016 | 29 comments
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In “honor” of Dave and I buying a new-to-us minivan last week, I thought it was only fitting to share a few of my tips and tricks for saving money on all kinds of insurance (auto, home, life, health, etc.)

If you’re frustrated with how much you pay for insurance, then I hope today’s post offers a few useful tips and ideas to help you save a bit more too!

10 Ways We Save MORE By Using LESS

posted by Andrea | 01/19/2016 | 69 comments
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I firmly believe that no matter how tight your budget is, there is always SOME way you can save a few cents here or an extra buck there. One way we’ve been able to save more is simply by using less.

I know that statement might sound overly obvious… but have you ever tried it? I mean REALLY tried it? Here are a few ways we save more by using less…

My 2016 FREE Finance-Tracking Workbook

posted by Andrea | 12/21/2015 | 6 comments
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Since I’ll be taking some time off for the holidays, I thought it might be nice to share my 2016 free printable Finance-Tracking Workbook — for all of you who like to get everything set up before the New Year!

This is NOT a budget, but it IS a fabulous (and free) tool to help you get your finances on track — one that I’ve been using since I was in college!

Every Little Bit Helps

posted by Andrea | 12/3/2015 | 9 comments
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After Nora’s 4th birthday, she and I walked to our local bank and opened up a savings account in her name — and I explained how every little bit of money she puts into her account will help her to save up for a bigger purchase someday down the road.

Of course, that got me thinking about how the phrase “every little bit helps” applies to SO many different areas of our lives!

How I Get Cash Back By Shopping Online

posted by Andrea | 11/27/2015 | 22 comments
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When it comes to online shopping, I’ve learned A LOT over the past 4-6 years. I’ve learned how to find the best deals and coupons, how to almost always get free shipping, and how to literally get cash back on almost every online purchase I make!

Today, I’m sharing my simple cash back “secret”… just in time for the Cyber Monday deals!

The Saving Power of Waiting 24 Hours

posted by Andrea | 11/6/2015 | 22 comments
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We’re quickly approaching the time of year when there are so many sales and “great deals” that it’s often easy to make quick decisions and impulse purchases that we might later regret.

If you’re hoping to avoid extra impulse purchases this year, today’s tip might help you do just that!

7 Ways I Save Time and Money at the Grocery Store

posted by Andrea | 10/30/2015 | 19 comments
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Although grocery shopping is not my least-favorite chore, I still like to get in and out as fast as I can — and, if possible, save a few bucks in the process.

If you share my “in-and-out” grocery shopping philosophy, here are 7 EXTREMELY simple ways I save both time and money at the grocery store (no coupon-clipping required).

Save Time and Money with Amazon Wish Lists

posted by Andrea | 10/20/2015 | 19 comments
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Many of you already know how much I love making lists (and that I try to buy everything online). So it should come as no surprise that I have multiple Amazon Wish Lists :)

With the holiday season approaching, I thought I’d share how I use Amazing Wish Lists to save time, energy, money, and even space in my home!

Because “Free” Isn’t Always “Free” (the story of how we almost got a dog!)

posted by Andrea | 09/21/2015 | 19 comments
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TRUE STORY: we almost got a dog… 4 days before James was born! Yes, I realize how insane that sounds!

Today’s post isn’t really about getting a dog; however, the realization I came to when considering this “free” dog has a lot of good lessons for other areas of our lives as well :)

5 Tips to Make the Most of Second-Hand Sales

posted by Andrea | 09/16/2015 | 14 comments
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Earlier this week, I attended a second-hand sale in our area… and since the fall months always seem to bring boatloads of second-hand sales to West Michigan, I thought it might be fitting to share a few of my tips to make the most of your second-hand shopping endeavors.

James’ Birth Announcement (and how I made them myself for pennies)

posted by Andrea | 08/28/2015 | 7 comments
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Today I’m sharing James’ birth announcements I sent out a few weeks ago. Not only did I do the design myself (so it’s totally custom) but I also ordered them through Vistaprint with a coupon code so they were so inexpensive!

If you’re planning to order cards, announcements, invitations, etc. you’ll definitely want to read how I did it :)

Our Experience Buying and Selling USED Cars By Owner

posted by Andrea | 06/24/2015 | 12 comments
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Ever since I mentioned that we sold Dave’s car on Craigslist in less than 24 hours, I’ve been getting loads of questions about buying and selling used cars.

While I would never consider myself an “expert” in this area, I figure it can’t hurt to simply share MY answers to some of these questions… along with a few fabulous online resources. Hopefully today’s post will be helpful for those of you trying to buy and/or sell a used car by owner!

Time + Money Management: We Have a Choice

posted by Andrea | 06/22/2015 | 47 comments
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Over the years, I cannot tell you how many times I’ve heard someone say “I can’t afford that” or “I don’t have time for that”… and I guess it just bothers me that so many people seem to have such a “defeatist” attitude towards their lack of time and money.

The reason it bothers me is because I personally feel very strongly that in almost every situation, we have a choice as to how we will spend our time and our money… I’d love to know if you agree with me or not (and why!)

Frugal DIY Foaming Hand Soap

posted by Andrea | 06/12/2015 | 11 comments
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Earlier this month, I shared that one of my favorite things is foaming hand soap — since it makes it so much easier for kids to wash their hands.

Well today, I’m sharing how I make super frugal DIY foaming hand soap for pennies a bottle!

Why We’ve Been Dining Out More (and how we’re doing it frugally)

posted by Andrea | 05/18/2015 | 16 comments
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Dave and I saved SO much money the first 6+ years of our marriage by almost never (and I mean never) going out to eat.

However, over the past couple of years, we’ve managed to dine out almost once a week for a VERY minimal cost (often times even free!) Today, I’m sharing 7 ways we dine out on a budget!

Why a No-Spending Period IS Doable for YOU

posted by Andrea | 05/8/2015 | 16 comments
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Two years ago, I shared about a “no-spending month” Dave and I were doing; and over the past 2 years, many of you have congratulated me, but told me why a no-spending challenge would NEVER work for you.

So today, I’m sharing why a no-spending challenge COULD indeed work for ANYONE who wants to do one!

How I Store, Organize, and Track our Gift Cards

posted by Andrea | 04/7/2015 | 25 comments
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Dave and I always have a good amount of gift cards to various places around town… some of which we buy ourselves during the special holiday gift card sales and promotions!

I have a super simple method to keep track of all our cards… and I’m sharing that today. It’s a method I’ve been using for about 10 years and I’ve never ONCE lost or misplaced or forgot about a gift card — so it works!!

How I Decide When to Save or Splurge

posted by Andrea | 02/25/2015 | 27 comments
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Most of you know that I am a very frugal person. When given a choice, I will almost always go with the less expensive item — even if the more expensive item is closer to what I want.

However, I’ve been working hard at “letting” myself splurge on more quality items here and there — and today, I’m sharing what items I’m more willing to splurge on, what items I still prefer to save on, and how I make my choice either way.

9 Reasons We Use Credit Cards to Simplify our Lives

posted by Andrea | 02/17/2015 | 85 comments
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I’ve had a credit card since I was 16 — and Dave and I use credit cards to pay for almost everything we buy.

I definitely don’t think that credit cards are the best financial decision for everyone — and at the same time, I don’t think being restricted to a cash-only budget is the best financial decision for everyone. That said, here are just a few of the ways credit cards majorly simplify and organize my life.

DIY Homemade Hair-Detangling Spray

posted by Andrea | 01/26/2015 | 26 comments
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Although I absolutely adore Nora’s curls, her hair is snarly, hard to comb, and a pain to control. Add in the fact that she doesn’t love any amount of water on her face or head, and you can imagine how difficult it is to wash her hair — let alone use conditioner to control the frizz and snarls!

Enter my free, 20-second, DIY Hair Detangling Spray (a.k.a. “magic spray”) and we’ve almost eliminated the hair brushing battles at our house!