Tuesday, October 27, 2015


My freezer is chalk full of diced kiwi, bananas, pears, apples and raspberries as well as zucchini, bell peppers & onions. All because I dice up produce that I realize we won’t make it to that week and have it prepped in the fridge for easy side dishes or smoothie inserts. Keeps the grocery bill down and endlessly helps us whip up healthy, quick food.

Won’t make it to that single-serve of Greek yogurt before the expiration date? Throw it in the freezer. Frozen yogurts (not frozen yogurt) are wonderful to throw into a blender for said smoothie above. Just sit it on the counter for an hour and then dump it right into the blender, easy-peasy. The combination of these first two means that we often have stretches where we simply don’t need to buy breakfast groceries for a couple weeks. We just reach for the saved goodies to blend up.

Once every 3-4 months, I head to the Dollar Tree to stock up on cleaning supplies. There’s things I want to spend money on and things I do not: Cleaning Supplies fall into the latter. I did a haul right when we moved here at the end of August to load us up on cleaners, garbage bags, laundry detergent, soap & paper towels. I spent $39 and will likely not need to go back again until December. I would have spent that many, many times over if I got ALL those items from a regular store. 

I have a built-in souvenir of every place I ever went. The final product of a photo you worked incredibly hard to master eliminates the need to go buy an item to represent the experience instead.
^Let your photos serve as your free (and more unique & special!) souvenir.

I can’t stress the importance of this enough and how much bringing my own lunch to work almost every single day has impacted my wallet & waistline for the better. Not only are you in charge of your calories when you make your own food, but you save so much money. Our lunch budgets breaks down to about $3-$5 when I pack our meals. However, whenever I buy a lunch there’s no way I’m spending less than $11.

I have never had a bad experience on Craigslist and I will always sing its praises. I have sold so many furniture items on there and bought just as many. The dresser I have in San Francisco I picked-up our first week here via Craigslist. It’s really cute and large and I got it for mutha****in’ peanuts. I love checking there for items that I know otherwise will be more expensive (for instance: I am currently stalking the sh*t out of it for a retro credenza).

My bank account thanked me when I stopped trying to be Marilyn and just embraced the Jackie. It can’t be understated how much cheaper it is to dye your hair a color near your authentic one. And yes, the cheapest route would be to just NOT dye your hair but I ain’t never plannin’ on that one (besides, I'm too late!).
^Apparently I was extremely angry as a brunette AND a blonde #Smile

I do not spend that much time in my car. I take the bus to/from work and you will find me walking my heart out all over the city thereafter. It saves money AND takes care of the planet AND your ticker.

All of Chandler’s pet toys I either made myself or purchased from Marshall’s or TJ Maxx. Sounds like an insignificant adjustment but over time, that all adds up. Main pet stores have toys hovering around $12-$20. Uhh … nope, especially not for something that will likely last a few days before it is shredded to bits. Everything Chandler has came from a discount location (minus his leash/harness bc those are long-lasting and his food because I care about his nutrition and don’t want him eating cheap stuff).

Speaking of Marshall’s and TJ Maxx, I do a ton of my shopping there. A ton. That and Nordstrom Rack. And I swear, once you shop those places regularly - it’s nearly impossible for me to stomach full price on the reg’ again. One of the main reasons I love those stores is because it’s NICER brands for cheap, not just a bunch of cheap crap that is cheap. Do you see the distinction? Sure I can wear last season’s Michael Kors. What do I care?

One key way to save money is to just shop less on discretionary items. Just stop going as frequently and inundating yourself with crap you don't need. I try to remind myself of this over and over and over again and most of the time, it works.

What are some little ways that you save money?

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SMD @ lifeaccordingtosteph said...

I bring breakfast and lunch to work, take the train instead of paying to park, go to the library every week instead of buying books, shop at Homegoods/Ross/TJM for my home stuff, and stick with purses for eternity.

I don't drink much so I don't spend in bars/restaurants or on booze for home, which allows me daily coffee out without guilt.

Pat Hatt said...

The pet toys is a good one, as all I need to give the cats are a box and they are happy haha but yeah, the less we go out where we can buy, the less we'll spend. I only buy cat food, my food and bills, save money that way haha

Ashley Lillis said...

I 100% agree with you about bringing your own lunch! It's amazing how much lunch out 5 days a week can quickly add up, especially if you're having to pay for parking as well!
I love the idea of creating your own souvenir with a picture that you work really hard to take. It definitely has way more meaning than anything you can buy!

Kristen @ See You In A Porridge said...

love all of these! the quarterly dollar store thing is brilliant. i am so bad with buying lunch, but i am trying to be better because it really does save a ton of money. i gave up buying cat toys, not in a mean way, i was just spending so much money and they rarely like them. they are happier with a candy wrapper. haha.

Tabitha Lee said...

Love this list Caitlin! We a big into freezing fruits and vegetables for use later. It is such a money and time saver. :-)

Kate at Green Fashionista said...

Awesome list girl! I'm a huge proponent of bringing your lunch to work, and now I totally need to start freezing my produce and yogurt. Great idea <3

Myra said...

I freeze fruits/veggies and yogurt too! When I used to work I used to bring lunch from home a lot and now that I am at home, I still tend to eat at home as much as possible! I wish there was a TJMaxx & Marshall's around me to go shopping at! I love those stores!

Emily @ Martinis | Bikinis said...

Never thought about freezing fruits and veggies but I do buy meat (chicken and pork) in bulk and freeze them in portioned out ziplock bags for later use. You learn something new everyday and I'm all about saving a dollar where I can :-)

Amanda - Voyage of the MeeMee said...

Making your own lunches is a HUUUUUGE money saver. I can't believe how much money I've wasted in the past on eating out during the work day. Makes me sick!

The Siberian American said...

Love these tips! Making your own lunch is so huge-when I worked in an office, I used to have so much trouble with it though because my coworkers wanted to go out and I didn't want to be the one sitting there eating by myself! Haha.