Tag Archives: ballin on a budget

Curbside Shopping Pro Tips

Standard
Curbside Shopping Pro Tips

Hello! Since the COVID-19 pandemic, Johnny and I have still been using curbside pickup to do our grocery shopping and it is, honestly, the best. I definitely don’t miss squeezing in grocery shopping during my free time, hauling around a big cart, and playing Tetris with all of my purchases to load in the car. I also love any type of online shopping so it’s kind of fun too even if it isn’t scouring the shoe selection on TJMaxx’s website!

Curbside shopping saves time and I know for a fact that I’ve saved money from it too so I thought that I would share some of my pro tips today for the next time you shop curbside:

Plan Your Menu:

Like many, the first thing that I do before I begin my shopping is plan what I would like to cook for dinner. This includes looking over my saved pins on Pinterest, revisiting old favorite recipes, and coming up with new ideas in my head. I make a list of the dinner items that I need and those are usually the last things that I add to my cart because I can just type in what I want into the curbside search bar.

Evaluate What You Already Have:

The beauty of online grocery shopping is that you can consult your fridge, freezer, and pantry while placing your order to see if you already have something that you plan on buying. I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve done in store grocery shopping and returned home with something that was hiding in a nook or cranny! When I’m shopping curbside, I am always double checking what I already have so that I don’t have to pay for it twice.

Promotions/E-Coupons:

I buy my groceries at Giant Eagle and their store ad and E-coupons are conveniently located on the same site to shop curbside. You can also see the promotions running on each item while you’re shopping. Before my shopping, I’ll clip any coupons that I might need and check the ad for any good deals. To be honest, the E-coupons tend to leave a lot to be desired because it’s money off of items that I don’t need (baby care, pet care, etc.) but I have saved money from them on occasion.

Like many grocery stores, Giant Eagle has a rewards card where you earn money off of your next purchase or at the gas station when you spend money. If your grocery store has something similar, I can’t recommend signing up for their emails enough. Although emails from stores can be annoying, you will be notified of when you can earn some extra savings.

For example, Giant Eagle will do double points days and sometimes even five times the amount you earn on your next purchase. The last time I went to the store for some odds and ends was on a five times perk day and I ended up getting close to fourteen dollars in free money. My perks total resulted in forty-five dollars off during my last curbside order!

Double Check Your Cart:

When shopping in store, it’s almost impossible to go through a full cart and remove what you decide you don’t need. This is, of course, not the case with curbside and you can go through your cart at any time to add or remove items. After I have shopped through all of the categories, I will go through my cart at least two times and begin to dwindle down my order. It’s so nice to be able to see what you already have right in front of you, be able to look through what you have at home, and add or remove as needed. I never end up buying everything that was originally added into my cart which is a definite money saver.

At Giant Eagle, you can add or remove items into your cart up until your curbside shopper begins working on your order. This is also great because how many times have you returned home from the store to realize you didn’t get something that you needed! Make sure you find out the rules for your store so when you realize you need something at the last minute you can get it.

Remember:

While your curbside shopper is working on your order, you will communicate over text message if an item is unavailable or if there is a suitable replacement. The shopper will typically send you a picture of the replacement item so don’t forget to turn your data on if needed. The first time I shopped curbside with my smartphone, I didn’t realize I wouldn’t receive pictures from a non-iPhone without my data being turned on so I never got the pictures that were being sent. Whoops!

In my opinion, curbside shopping is the way to go when it comes to your groceries. I used to dread my trips to the grocery store but now I always find myself looking forward to my next curbside order!

Do you prefer in store or online grocery shopping? What is on your dinner menu this week? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

TJMaxx Haul: MaxSport LA Dress Edition

Standard
TJMaxx Haul: MaxSport LA Dress Edition

Hi! Other than the new clothes, the best part about shopping at TJMaxx is the prices, of course. I revel in a good deal and there is nothing better to me than getting name brand prices for the low low. Like the MaxSport LA dress that we will be discussing today, for example. The suggested price on its original tag was two hundred and forty dollars and I paid ten bucks for it on clearance. Talk about an amazing score! Check it out:

image_67531521image_67533313image_67542529image_67519233image_67203841(1)

During my online shopping, I saw my new dress and wasn’t so sure about it. I really liked its pattern and balloon sleeves but the tent shape was questionable for me because I prefer something a bit more form fitting. However, when I saw it’s ultra marked down price, I thought that it couldn’t hurt to add it to the cart. If it worked, I got a new dress for a crazy cheap price. If not, no harm no foul and I could return it.

While I do love online shopping more than words can say, I tend to go with “safer” options so I don’t have to go through the hassle of making returns. So, I pick clothes and accessories in shapes and styles that I know will look good on me. Ordering this dress was a caution to the wind buy because I was so uncertain of it. In store shopping gives you the luxury to experiment with styles and adjust sizes. Online? Not so much.

Nevertheless, I was really excited to try this dress on and was so pleasantly surprised by how much I liked it. The tent shape, which I was the most ambivalent about was sweet rather than oversized and combined with the pattern, it felt like the perfect nod to all things retro. I cannot wait to pair my MaxSport number with my knee high floral boots from ModCloth for a three seasons student teacher chic look in the fall, winter, and spring!

Due to the pandemic, a majority of my shopping has turned online. This dress encouraged me to branch out of my “safe” styles when scouring my favorite sites and I am itching for my next haul to throw caution to the wind some more!

What is your favorite style of dress? How would you style this dress? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

TJMaxx Haul: Lucky Brand Cardigan Edition

Standard
TJMaxx Haul: Lucky Brand Cardigan Edition

Hi! I have always loved Lucky Brand and pretty much died and went to heaven when I got to shop in one of their actual stores during a vacation to North Carolina. I am always on the lookout for their clothing and accessories at TJMaxx and I was thrilled to find the cardigan we’re going to be discussing today. The price was pretty exciting too – I got it for thirty dollars compared to its original price of one hundred and thirty! Check it out:

Many moons ago when I worked at PacSun, I had what seemed like an infinite amount of Aztec patterned oversized cardigans. I am genuinely unsure as to why I got rid of them all but here we are lol. So, when I saw this Lucky cardi during my online shopping, I just had to add it to my cart. It reminded me so much of all of the cardigans that I have loved and lost and it seemed like everything in my life was leading up to this shopping experience… Okay, that might be a little over dramatic but you know what I mean!

Until my new cardi arrived in the mail, I had no idea of its original price so you could have knocked me over with a feather when I found out. I thought that I was getting the steal of the century. Oh yeah, and it’s cute! I absolutely love its length, the drapery, and the colors reminiscent of a fall sunset. This is a cardigan perfect for curling up in front of a bonfire or just lounging about at home and I am so there for it.

Lucky Brand has always spoke to me because of how classic all of their pieces are. Everything that I own by them from clothes to jewelry is something that I can picture myself wearing now or ten years from now. Lucky combines simple and crisp silhouettes with unique touches making them the ultimate brand of wear now and later. Or, when it comes to my favorite buys from them – wear all of the time! 😀

What is one of your favorite brands? What is one of the best buys you have had at a discount store? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Getting By In Money & Mindset: 3 Methods To Incorporate

Standard
Getting By In Money & Mindset: 3 Methods To Incorporate

It is not easy in the slightest to get by in the modern world. But whether you are trying to make extra money through numerous practices, or you are consciously trying to downgrade your life, there are so many different approaches that you could take to get by. Let’s show you a number of practices that could prove beneficial, and how you could use them:

Method One: Embracing a Minimalist Mindset

Minimalism has become very popular, not least because it can help you to make the most of very little. A lot of people are talking about minimalism as an antidote to what the modern world offers. If this appeals to you, you could sell your house quickly through companies like Offer Pear and start to live a more off the grid lifestyle. Being minimalist has a number of benefits for our mental health. We live in a world dominated by stuff. It seems that if we have to get ahead, we need more stuff, which means more money. A minimalist mindset means that you are effectively training yourself to get by with less.

Method Two: Becoming a “Slashie”

Also known as a portfolio career, this is where someone will make multiple income streams from different careers. A relatively new term, however, it appears to be essential to get by. Over the last couple of years, people have found that living off one income stream is not enough. Therefore, they’ve had to find ways to achieve extra income. There are naturally many approaches to doing this. If you already have a full time job, you may find having an extra part time role on top of what you do sufficient enough to help you live the lifestyle you want. But it is important to be aware that this approach can be difficult to maintain, depending on what your lifestyle entails.

Parents will struggle to maintain this approach if they don’t go about it in the right way. This is partly why many people try to find passive income streams. This is another very popular approach, but one of the downfalls of going with a popular approach to earning money means that it is already over saturated. If you want to become a slashie, the most important thing to consider is doing it in a way that doesn’t cause you to burn out. Many people feel that they need to maintain their lifestyles, and despite rising prices, rather than reappraising everything they have, they find they need to work more. The result? More stress, anxiety, and a whole slew of health problems! But, that being said, if you want to go down this route, the best approach is to do things that will actually make you happy and fulfilled.

Method Three: Addressing Your Expenditure and Income

Part of the problem in getting by in the modern world is that we believe that we need to earn more to maintain a current lifestyle. We’ve already talked about the importance of becoming a minimalist, but this may not be for everyone. You may think that your income is the first thing to address, but you need to look at what your income is actually going towards. If what is coming into your account is going out straight away, you need to look at the things you’re spending your money on.

One of the simplest things we can all do is to make a couple of downgrades. There are plenty of things that we can do for free, but rather than actually thinking we’ve got to completely get rid of everything to live a better life, it is about playing the odds and the balances. You can still go out for meals with your friends, as long as you find other ways to cut back on your day to day life. A very common example is daily takeaway coffee. If you opt for a homemade coffee, you will see how much this adds up.

These three methods can work together in tandem whether you are looking to save up for a big purchase or just cushioning your savings. The most important thing is to keep your mental health in check to avoid burn out. It is always okay to treat yourself!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Simple Ways To Cut Down Home Ownership Expenses

Standard
Simple Ways To Cut Down Home Ownership Expenses

Owning a home is a significant investment move. But, unfortunately, the costs involved do not end after your final payment. Whether you paid fully for your home or working with a mortgage, you will still face various home ownership expenses. Some of these are pretty much predictable, while others can take you by surprise. And unless you already have some financial cushioning, these expenses can be a source of stress. So, are you drowning under these waves of home ownership expenses? Use these tips to cut down on how much you spend:

Switch utility and insurance providers:

Suppose you’ve used the same home insurance company, utility provider, or electric company for over a year. In that case, it’s time to shop the market for alternatives, as you may be overpaying at this point. You will be pleasantly surprised by how much utility providers and home insurance providers vary in their price range. Take the time to check other providers and compare their prices and other special offers they may have, and settle for the ones that give you the best deal in terms of service and price.

Try refinancing your mortgage loan:

If you have a mortgage on your property and it’s eating chunks off your income, then you might want to consider refinancing. Thankfully, getting a refinance mortgage quote is easy, as you can do it online. According to some experts, the average interest rate on a fixed-rate loan for 30 years is 3.14%. So, if your current rate is even a fraction higher than that, opting for a mortgage refinancing could help save you hundreds of dollars every month.

You can also speak with a mortgage broker to determine what rate you can qualify for if you refinance or get a refinance mortgage quote online. However, you need to note that refinancing may come with some fees. So, be sure that you intend to own your home long enough to recoup the expenses saved.

Generate income from your home:

An effective way to reduce your expenses is to generate income from your property. Depending on where you are, the size of your home, or your special interests, various options are available to you. One option is to rent out rooms in your home. You can also rent out spaces in your yard for small home dwellers looking for land space for their tiny homes. Another option is to register for short stay hospitality services like Airbnb or rent out storage space in your garage.

Find out if you can reduce your property taxes:

There is always a chance that your property tax is not being assessed correctly. And that’s not all, as you can also enjoy tax breaks for various reasons. Property tax is probably one of your most significant expenses as a homeowner, so it pays to find if there are tax breaks for you or if you’re overpaying.

^^^ Pexels Image

Saving money where you can when it comes to your home will save you lots of stress in the long run. These extra savings will sure come in handy for home ownership surprise expenses that can’t be avoided!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Cost Effective Ways Of Losing Weight And Being Healthy   

Standard
Cost Effective Ways Of Losing Weight And Being Healthy   

One of the main reasons why people struggle to lose weight today is because they deem it to be too expensive. You only need to take a trip to a supermarket to see that the processed, unhealthy foods are exceptionally cheap, while it costs a lot more to get your hands on the good stuff, like fish, organic fruit and vegetables, and white meat. Plus, you then have the likes of a gym membership and exercise equipment to add into the mix. It’s not hard to see why the expense can be off-putting. Nevertheless, you can lose weight healthily without spending a fortune, and here are some ways to do so:

Embrace free exercise options:

Yes, joining the gym is going to cost you money. However, there are many different ways that you can lose weight. You don’t need a personal trainer, nor do you need to buy expensive exercise equipment. What about a good old-fashioned run or power walk? This is one of the best ways to exercise and it doesn’t cost a dime. Also, thanks to the Internet, you can gain access to so many different exercise videos free of charge. All you need to do is a quick search on YouTube or another video site and you will see all different types of exercise videos you can follow, from Zumba to yoga. You no longer need to pay to go to a class.

Rethink your commute:

Another easy and effective way to incorporate free exercise into your lifestyle is to rethink your commute. If you live within a few miles of your place of work, how about biking or walking there? If this is not an option, small changes can make a massive difference. For example, take the stairs and stop using the elevator.

Skip ‘healthy’ convenience food:

Not all healthy foods are expensive – carrots are probably one of the cheapest things you can buy in a grocery store! What is expensive, however, are those convenient ‘healthy’ foods. You know, those 100-calorie snack packs, and the ‘healthy’ ready meals that are available in supermarkets. These are nothing more than budget drainers. You would be much better off buying a packet of dried fruit and nuts and making your own snack packs with sandwich bags. Weight loss has a lot to do with budget control, but do you really need to spend way over the odds for someone to give you the right quantity? You can do this yourself. In fact, if you’re worried that you will overeat, all you need to do is carry a measuring cup with you, and this will ensure that you are always on the right track.

Buy in bulk:

One of the best ways to save money when you are shopping is to buy in bulk. You can buy the likes of frozen vegetables, wholemeal rice, and oatmeal in bulk, and this will save you a lot of money. Another option is to buy a whole chicken instead of buying chicken pieces. You can easily cut the whole chicken up yourself into portions for the week. This will save you a good deal of money over time.

Are you eligible for surgery?

If you are deemed morbidly obese, you may be eligible for surgery. This is something that you may have to fund yourself or you may be entitled to some form of monetary assistance from the government. This all depends on your unique circumstances and where you live. Nevertheless, it is something that is worth exploring further, and this is certainly a case of money well spent if your weight is having an extremely detrimental impact on your health. You can’t put a price on living longer, but as any medical malpractice attorney will tell you, selecting a surgeon carefully is critical.

Ditch the red meat:

Ditching the red meat is not only good for your diet, but good for your bank balance too. Lamb and beef can cost a considerable amount of money and they contain more calories than white meat, such as chicken and turkey. Instead of embracing the red meat one night a week approach, why not go meatless? Turning veggie, even if it is for one night every week, will make it a lot more cost efficient for you to lose weight.

Make the most of vouchers and coupons:

Last but not least, one of the best ways to save money on your grocery shopping is to make the most of vouchers and coupons. Nowadays, you only need to do a quick search online to find hundreds of vouchers for different stores. You can also make the most of money saving apps too. Also, a lot of supermarkets and grocery stores offer you a discount on your first purchase so it’s worth exploring the option of buying from different stores from time to time. Don’t forget to make the most of loyalty cards as well; those reward points certainly add up over time.

If you follow the advice that has been discussed above, you should be able to lose weight without it impacting your bank balance. While there are a lot of companies that profit from exploiting people’s want to lose weight and live a healthy lifestyle, you don’t need to buy into what they are offering. Being healthy doesn’t need to cost a fortune!

Featured Image By: Unsplash

Budget Friendly Shopping For Your Home

Standard
Budget Friendly Shopping For Your Home

Shopping for furniture, accessories, and appliances for your home or apartment can be so costly that it almost seems easier to leave things as is rather than updating or upgrading. Believe you me, I get it! However, I also know how effective budget shopping can be because I furnished my entire apartment on secondhand items. Today, we are going to explore a few different budget friendly options for your next home makeover:

Secondhand Stores:

The most effective eco and budget friendly option for making upgrades in your home is, hands down, second hand shopping. Buying secondhand is amazing because you are repurposing old things and preventing them from being dumped into a landfill. Your local Goodwill could be a treasure trove of unique furniture and accessories that you didn’t know you needed. This is also an ideal option for people who don’t want their homes to look like everyone else’s because of all of the cool accessories and knick knacks you can find. My art wall in my apartment is completely made from old pieces of art that I bought at the Goodwill.

Facebook Marketplace:

Another great option, similar to secondhand stores, is the Buy, Sell, Trade marketplaces on Facebook. This could be perfect if you are looking for used appliances for sale, furniture, or other odds and ends. The beauty of the Facebook Marketplace is that once you find the replacement for something in your house, you can list the no longer needed item and make some extra cash too. 😀

Always remember if you are purchasing from someone selling on a marketplace type website that your safety is paramount. It is best practice to meet up in a public location like the parking lot of a busy grocery store or coffee shop. You can never be too careful.

Apps:

The OfferUp app is a virtual garage sale where you can both post items for sale and make purchases. I haven’t used this app in a while but I have had a lot of luck in the past selling things on it. I have seen everything on OfferUp from cars, appliances, outdoor equipment, and clothing. The nice part about this app is that it categorizes all of the items on there which will really help narrow down your searches for something specific. You definitely don’t get this luxury at a local thrift store.

Yard Sales:

Summer is the best season for people to host yard sales due to the promise of good weather so now is a great time to do some browsing in your local neighborhoods. It might be a mixed bag but it is another option to save some money while making purchases for your home. You all know the old saying of one man’s trash!

Making updates to your home doesn’t have to break your bank. Get started with the ideas above and see how much you can save today!

Violet Voss Le Macaron Palette Swatches Pt. 1

Standard
Violet Voss Le Macaron Palette Swatches Pt. 1

Hello! During my last Sephora Haul, I purchased two new eyeshadow palettes: Rare Beauty by Selena Gomez and Le Macaron by Violet Voss. I wanted some beginner level palettes to play with but I also didn’t want it to cost an arm and a leg, either. Rare Beauty was twenty-five dollars and Le Macaron was only eighteen! I was comfortable with these prices and the large amount of positive reviews made me feel confident with my online order.

Today, we are going to be taking a closer look at two of the eyeshadows in the Le Macaron palette. There are some colors that are similar to those in Rare Beauty so we will be bypassing them! Now, let’s get to it with the top left and bottom right shades:

^^^ There are no names for these eyeshadows so I guess I will do the honors. Let’s go with “Purple Haze” and “Birthday Cake”.

The only negative reviews I noticed on Sephora’s website for the Le Macaron palette were complaints on the pigment quality. Happily, I did not find that to be true in the slightest while swatching these shades. While the eyeshadow may have been drier in comparison to the Rare Beauty palette, which was quite creamy, it still applied easily and in a rich hue. You just can’t beat that for eighteen dollars!

I can’t say that I will be wearing Purple Haze very often because warm undertones don’t look the best on me now with my red and pink hair. However, I absolutely adore the eyeshadow in Birthday Cake and it was actually one of the biggest selling points of this palette for me. It reminds me of fairy tales, bubblegum, and all things sweet! Purple Haze is a swing and a miss but Birthday Cake is a definite home run. 😀

What is your favorite eyeshadow palette? What are your favorite makeup brands? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

 

Bath & Body Works Semi Annual Sale Haul

Standard
Bath & Body Works Semi Annual Sale Haul

Hello! The Bath & Body Works semi annual sale is like a siren call and, whether I need new bath and body care goodies or not, I always end up doing a little shopping. This past weekend, I met my friend Danielle at Summit Mall for an outing and I showed up early enough to run into B&BW beforehand to make some purchases. I got eleven items for under thirty bucks with a total savings of one hundred and two dollars. Talk about a steal! Check it out:

The Haul:

  • 2 Champagne Apple & Honey shower gels
  • 2 Pearberry shower gels
  • 2 Pretty As A Peach shower gels
  • 1 Raspberry Tangerine body spray
  • 1 Pretty As A Peach body spray
  • 1 Market Peach hand soap
  • 1 Boardwalk Vanilla Cone hand soap
  • 1 travel size Warm Vanilla Sugar shower gel (Free!)

I know what you all are thinking… Sarah, did you really need all of the above? And my answer is YES, yes, a thousand times yes! When it comes to my beauty stock pile, my motto is the more the merrier and why not buy products that I know I am going to use at a fraction of the cost? I exclusively use the shower gel, hand soap, and body spray from B&BW and if I can get a great deal on it, I am going to stock up.

Not only is my bath and body care hoard good for me, it’s especially beneficial during gift giving occasions as well. If I feel like whatever I am gifting needs a little something extra, I am happy to add in a goodie or two from Bath & Body Works to sweeten the pot. After this haul, I am thinking that I will be good for bath and body care products for close to a year…

The only reason I didn’t buy more? I knew the bags were going to be so heavy while shopping with Danielle that I restrained myself and I’m glad I did. Toting around the purchases above for over two hours was a work out!!

Which store has the best sales? What do you have in your beauty stock pile? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

 

How to Easily Brighten Up Your Home On a Budget

Standard
How to Easily Brighten Up Your Home On a Budget

If your home is looking a little dull, what are some of the things you can do to brighten it up without spending much? If you want to get creative with your living space but don’t have a huge budget, there are plenty of ways that you can change the look and feel of your house without breaking the bank. Here are a few suggestions for easy ways to brighten up your home on a budget:

Paint the Walls:

A fresh coat of paint can significantly brighten up space and, when on a budget, you don’t have to work on the entire house but can paint one or two walls in each room. Make sure to choose bright colors that coordinate well with your decor. For a more professional outcome, consult interior painting companies. You’ll make fewer mistakes and end up with satisfactory results. For affordable color schemes, try pastels or choose a single color for the whole space.

Add Plants or Flowers:

Plants add life to any setting and are an affordable option when livening up space. You can also use plants and flowers to hide out-of-place furniture in your living room, hallway, or kitchen. Choose vibrant flowers that will make the space feel fresh, new, and elegant. Flowers and plants also make a room look expensive without spending a fortune. If you have some extra time, try planting some vegetables in containers for decoration inside the house. For the best results, place the plants at strategic locations near the windows and the front door to give your home a more natural look.

Buy New Curtains or Rugs:

One of the easiest ways to change a room is by replacing the curtains with new lighter or brighter ones. Switching your rugs up is another good option too. If you can’t replace all of the curtains or rugs in your house, start with the ones in the living room, then move on to other rooms such as bedrooms and kitchen. The most used rooms should come first.

White and Off-White Décor:

Just about any color scheme looks good with white or off-white décor, so it’s a great way to create a new look without spending much money. To get the most out of your investment, buy furniture, wallpaper, and artwork in coordinating but bright colors. This will make your home feel more spacious and radiant.

Lighting:

Think about the colors of light bulbs you use. Warm-colored light will create a cozy atmosphere that can make any room feel more inviting. This type of lighting is better in rooms for relaxation like the living room and bedroom. Brighter white lighting is good for rooms with high activity like the kitchen. You may also want to consider adding decorative lighting like table lamps or wall sconces for an even softer glow.

Refresh Carpets:

Vacuum and shampoo carpets, then add a deodorizer to keep smells at bay and refresh the color so they don’t look dull. If you’ve had the carpets for a while, replacing them eventually would be a worthwhile investment.

As you will realize, these suggestions don’t require much money and most of them are easy DIY projects – no local professional required!

Featured Image By: Pexels