Wednesday, June 6, 2012

How to Save Some Moola!

So let's be real here on the 'ol blog for one sec, shall we? I live on long island, aka "let's make it super difficult for any middle class family to live here since we think we are oh-so-awesome cause we are surrounded by water, are near the hamptons and NYC, and oh yeah and we're shaped like a Fish--which is the ultimate deciding factor that we are indeed the bomb"

Guys it is frekkin hard living out here. Do you know what you can get for $500,000 on Long Island? A 3 bedroom ranch with 1 bathroom, a kitchen, a dining room, a den and a living room. Yeah, thats right, houses like that cost half a million-buck-a-roos. A basement studio apartment is about $1,100 a month.

Do you know what the average wedding on Long Island cost? If you spend under $25,000 then consider yourself lucky. No one believes me when I tell them that there is a wedding venue here were the bride and groom can fist pump and rise up from the dance floor to a laser light show and a fog machine. (please told me you clicked that link)

Don't get me wrong, I frekkin *love* it here and would never ever move. I do love the fact that if you go north, south, east or west you will eventually hit water. I love the fact that I can go hang out with P.Diddy (or PD as I like to call him) in the hamptons and in the same day take a helicopter tour of NYC with the cast of Gossip Girl. (ok, so I have never done any of those things per say, but Im sure if I had my people call their people they can hook a sistah up) (or give me a restraining order, ya know, whichever)

But unfortunately lovin' long island does come with a decent price tag. So I am sharing some tips and tricks to living on a budget no matter where you live. 

Say it with me "thou shall download the groupon & living social app"
I am sure most of you know about groupon and living social. It's this amazing website/app created by some genius who needs to win the noble peace prize stat. Does anyone even know who invented these websites? I need to give them my first born or a vital organ, whichever comes first.

But anyway groupon and living social is a free service that you sign up for that sends you deals that are happening in your neighborhood. It can range from 50% off a swanky restaurant to 50% off paint ball lessons or batting cage try outs. They even do vacations and goods! It lets you enjoy going out and doing "date nights" on the cheap. The bubs and I will try to use groupon or living social when we want to go out to eat. We once got a groupon where if we spent $25 you got $50 worth of food, so the bubs and I got to enjoy an awesome $50 meal for only $12.50 each. Can I getta high 5 please? Thanks.

eBay is thou's happy place
Ok I was mega skeptical about eBay. I viewed it as a virtual yardsale for people who are finally moving out of their parent's basements and trying to sell their Luke Skywalker limited edition light saber. But you guys, its so much more than that. I am not a fan of "bidding" BUT I do love searching for things and doing the "buy it now" option. Basically you have the opportunity to just straight up buy things from folks and not bid on them.

yeeeeeah buddy! suh-weet necklace for $14, check please. don't i look happy? I want you to look happy too, let's look  happy together, shall we?
I scored myself a j. crew necklace that retails for $150 for $14 bucks (ok, maybe this time I actually deserve the high 5) I also got myself a chi flat iron that retails for $150 for $42 bucks. Just make sure to read the ENTIRE description before purchasing. When I was looking for my chi flat iron a lot of people were selling broken ones, but I didn't realize that till after fully reading the product description.

I will use my glue gun for good and not evil: the DIY files
Whenever you can ALWAYS try to make it yourself. Pinterest is a great addicting site that allows you to search for a bagillion and one things in one spot. You can look up recipes, fashion, and of course my favorite money saver of all time: Do it yourself projects.

 You don't need to be "crafty" or "artsy" to do most of these projects! A lot of them are ways to spruce up existing furniture in your home so you don't go out and buy a whole new set. Or ways to make fun and thoughtful presents for people on the cheap. I have also found ways to re-fashion existing clothes that I was sick of to make them all shiny and new. In the past I would just throw out or donate my old clothes, but now I try to re-work them into something different, like this DIY on how to turn an old T-shirt into a racer back tank (uhhh awesome much?)

Thou Shall look up coupon codes and promotions

how many times do you go to your favorite retail website and notice a little rectangular box that says "coupon code" at the bottom of your cart? Probably all the time. Before getting all excited and going all "WEEE CLICK ADD TO CART YAY" postal ALWAYS do 1 of 2 things. Either go to and look up the store you are shopping at for a coupon code OR just flat out google something like "old navy coupon code".  I do this and about 9 times out of 10 I always find SOME code or deal I didn't know about. Boom goes the dynamite.

Thou Shall stalk my favorite retailer like a 13 year old girl waiting out front of Justin Bieber's house
Make sure to follow your favorite retailer on their facbeook page, their twitter account and their newsletter. A lot of times companies will encourage you to follow them on these sites so they can send you coupon codes. If you don't want your inbox to be over flowered with a ton of newsletters then make a separate email account that is strictly for newsletters and promos.

Thou Shall "reward" cards, try to say away from "debit" cards
Now I am assuming you all have a CVS by you, right? They offer "reward" cards to their customers for absolutely no reason what so ever. It's not a debit card, its literally a card that gives you savings just for being awesome. It seems silly to NOT sign up for these ballin' reward cards-I mean hello they are literally giving you savings for fah-ree. Also? There is always a coupon at the bottom of the receipt for your next purchase. Its like they want to give away their merchandise or something.

I also have reward cards to every grocery store I go to. Think you're not saving a lot using a reward card? One time Bub forgot to use our reward card at the grocery store, we caught the mistake and went to customer service and got $40 back on one week worth of groceries. $40 back once a week is $160 a month back in my pocket.

I know a lot of stores offer debit cards that offer rewards as well. I personally try to stay away from these, I have one credit card and I am more than happy with that, but if you don't care about having a debit card to every place you shop then totally go for it!

It's Thou's birthday and thou shall get free stuff if thou wanna

A lot of places offer you free goodies on your birthday, totally take advantage! If you sign up for sephora's reward card (again TOTALLY free and not a debit card) then every year on your birthday they send you a free gift. I have gotten lip glosses, eye shadows, nail polishes and full size lotions from them in the past. Get on that gurl!

Thou Shall Do Girls night on the cheap
No one says you have to stay at home and watch marathons to "say yes to the dress" on your friday night (even though it is a GREAT marathon might I add) but you and your girl friends need to go out and get down with yo-bad-selves.

One thing I like to do is get a free make over with my girlfriend's at my local sephora then go out afterwards for dinner and drinks. Who doesn't like a free makeover? Thats right, nobody.

what are some ways you like to save money?


  1. I just learned so much from you! No joke. Groupon is where it's at! And I DID click on that link. I didn't even know that was a thing! You crazy New Yorkers!! ;)

  2. wow! I wonder if my non-dancing mister will agree to getting re-married at that place?! thank you for sharing! I just started watching Gossip Girl this week on Netflix. Granted, it's not reality but I am always shocked people (to some extent) live like that.
    and we love to save $...currently living one one income in the northeast forces us to reconsider how we spend :)

  3. Good advice! I never pay full price, I just can't do it. Repurposing things to be earth friendly is a triple threat because it saves you money and lets your creative juices flow. Preach on Leonora.

  4. my other learns:
    - thou shall thrift shop and haggle at the thrift shop
    - thou shall buy generic. it is the same as the brand name and saves ya big dolla bills yo
    - thou shall repair thy shoes-- $7 to fix a heel versus buying a new pair!
    - thou shall haggle w/ the cable company. evan calls + threatens to quit every so often so they lower our bill
    - thou shall hoard coupons.
    - thou shall pack your own lunch + make thy own coffee

    1. amen! i just got a potential 2 more years out of a pair of boots (that cost me $9 to begin with) by adding a new heel & getting them oiled. i've had them for 3 years and they look brand new after a $23 fixer upper!

      making iced coffee concentrate + using a $6 bottle of torani syrup (minus a 10% off coupon at world market) and half and half is where it's ATTTTTT.

      love you fellow money saving sistas.

      i'd be your sister wife if i needed to.

  5. oh my god. i love this post. just made me crack up!
    aka a free workout. add that to the list!


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