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Fabulous DEALS Friday: Back To School Supplies

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I REALLY don’t like to think about it but, back to school is right around the corner.  I just wish we could freeze time and keep summer for a little bit longer.

Back to school means back to school supplies.  Crayons, glue, rulers, folders.  It’s a fun time for my kids to gather up all of these new items…..but it can get expensive!

I have learned that the BEST way to save money on back to school supplies is to start shopping early!  The minute you get the back to school supply list, start watching sale prices.  It takes a little bit of effort, but the savings can really add up.

To save you a little bit of time, I searched a few of my favorite stores (Amazon,  Walmart, and Target) comparing a few popular back to school supply items.  I’m sharing a few of my best finds today!

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Crayola Crayons

I’ve been buying my kids crayons at Walmart for years.  The little secret that I have learned is the 24 Crayola Crayon box is cheaper than both the 8 pack crayons AND the 16 pack crayons.  The 24 Crayola Crayon pack is currently ONLY 50 cents.  If you shop through the ebates app, you will get an 5% cashback which brings the crayons to only 48 cents!!

Elmers Glue

Target has the cheapest 4 oz. Elmers glue, right not it is priced at for only 50 cents.  Be sure to buy it with your Target Red Card for an addition 5% off, bringing the price down to ONLY 48 cents!

Crayola Colored Pencils

You can currently find a 12 pack Crayola Colored Pencils at Walmart for just 97 cents!  If you shop through ebates and after receiving your 5% cashback the total comes to 93 cents!  This is a great deal on colored pencils!

Crayola Watercolor Paint

Between the three stores Walmart has the cheapest Crayola Watercolor Paint tray.  This 8 count tray is just $1.97.  Shop through the ebates app and the total drops to $1.88 after cashback.

Expo Dry Erase Markers

I found the best deal on dry erase markers at Walmart.  A 4 pack of Black Expo Markers is $3.17.  After receiving cashback for shopping through ebates the total comes to ONLY $3.02.

Crayola Markers

Walmart wins out again with the best deal on Crayola Markers.  The Classic Colors broad tip markers are only 97 cents.  Shop through ebates to receive 5% cashback and the total lowers to just 93 cents!!!

Kleenex Tissues

Target has the best deal currently on Kleenex Tissues.  You can get a 4 box pack of Kleenex Tissues for $4.99.  If you use your Target Red Card you will get an extra 5% off bringing the total to $4.75.

What great deals have you found????  Remember if you shop at Walmart to scan your receipt into the Walmart Savings Catcher.  If their are any lower advertised deals in your area you will receive cashback on the difference.  (This is SO easy to do!)

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5 Places Online To Sell Your Clutter and Earn Cash

I try to sell a few things online every month.  I don’t make a lot of money doing this, but I do make a little bit, and I am a firm believer that EVERY little cent matters.  I’m sure if I spent more time doing it I could easily make even more money.

I’m convinced EVERYONE can find at least a few items to sell.  Clean out your closets, look under the bed, search through your garage.  Try to find something that hasn’t been used in years (or even months?).  There is no use in hoarding something if it’s not getting much use.

I love clearing and the clutter AND getting to make a little extra cash on the side.  Being able to do it ALL online makes it EVEN better (hello, not leaving your house and getting to stay in PJs!)!!!

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Here are a few of my favorite places to sell online:

Sell on Facebook Marketplace

Facebook Marketplace is my very VERY favorite place to sell.  If I price my items right, they will sell immediately!  I love to post large items on Facebook Marketplace; such as furniture, baby items, lawn care, etc.  I have the most success with these.

Sell on ThredUP

Thredup is where I sell a lot of my clothes and my kids clothes.  All you do is request a free bag to be sent to you, fill it full of clothes, and send it back.  Thredup will do all the sorting, picture taking, selling and shipping your items for you.  I really like selling with them because it requires VERY little effort on my part.  I have found that they are a little picky about what they accept (which is really nice as a buyer).  But, if you have clothes in good condition that you want to get rid of anyway, send them to thredup!  You can sign up through this link for a free $10 credit to shop.  It’s a great way to get a feel of the website before you start selling.

Sell on Poshmark

Poshmark is very similar to thredup.  It’s a great place to sell and buy used clothing.  I have found they aren’t quite as picky as thredup, making it easier to sell through them.  I am still a little new to poshmark and learning the tricks, but so far I have been very pleased.  Poshmark will give you a $5 shopping credit if you use my code sweetfrugallife when you sign up.

Sell on Ebay

I have had quite a bit of success selling on ebay.  I don’t sell with them as much as I use to (thredup and poshmark are just MUCH less work), but they are a great resource.  I’ve sold clothes and little trinkets and electronics stuff on ebay.  Sometimes it takes a little adjusting with the price to find the right fit, but more often than not I have been able to make a sell.  If you want to have a little more control over how your items are sold and for what price, ebay is a really good option for you.

Sell on Amazon

I have never personally tried selling anything on Amazon , but I do know others who have.  The fees are a little more than ebay’s fees, but EVERYONE shops amazon now, so I’m betting it is a really great market.  You will need to set up a free business account to start selling, but it is fairly straightforward from there.

Remember NOT to give up if an item doesn’t sell immediately.  Usually that means you will need to make some changes; such as adjust the price, take different pictures or try a new selling website. Try a few different changes BEFORE giving up.  Different websites tap into different markets.  Be patient with it.  Selling items online is a learning process.  The more you do it however, the easier it becomes.

Where have you had success selling household items?  Share in the comments your favorite place to sell!

Crafts · for free · For the kids · Free Fun · Frugal Life · Good Ideas · Homemade · Parenting

How to Make an Easy Nature Bookmark Tutorial

I spent a wonderful week with my sister in the mountains.  We took walks, watched movies, played games, and enjoyed getting out of our daily routines.

My sister planned such a fun simple nature craft for the kids to do.  I loved it so much and felt like it would be perfect for camping or a nature study.

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Easy Nature Bookmark Tutorial Craft

First, you will need to collect flowers, leaves, and any other thing that catches your eye.  this made for a really fun nature walk.

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Once you gather your flowers you will need to press them.  We laid our flowers on a paper towel and put books on top to help press them.  We kept them under the books for about 6-7 hours.  I found that this wasn’t enough time for the flowers to dry fully.  I would recommend at least 24 hours.

Once your leaves and flowers are dried it’s time to start designing your bookmark.  My sister used Self Laminating Pouches to give the bookmarks a nice strong seal.

 

You will lay your flowers down on the non sticky part of the pouch.  This is the fun part!  The kids loved spending time getting their bookmarks to look just right!  We were able to get 2 bookmarks out of one pouch.

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Once you have your flowers laid you will put the sticky part of the pouch on top.  This part was tricky!  It is hard to redo any mistakes, so you will want to take your time and be exact.  Slowly peel off the backing as you place the sticky side on top of the flowers.  Be sure to press and seal as you are peeling it off.

Once you have it all laminated and sealed just right you can cut your bookmarks in half, punch a hole through the top and thread some ribbon through for a nice top.

We learned a lot doing this craft and I am excited to try it again seeing if we can fix some of our mistakes.  My kids have been so proud of these and excited to use them.

I hope that you and your littles will enjoy spending a little bit of time preserving nature.

 

 

 

 

Finances · Frugal Life · Money Educatioin · Money Helps

Overspending Triggers and Solutions

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Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about my spending habits.

I sometimes have these really awesome moments when I am keeping to my budget, spending wisely, and stashing lots of money away into savings…….

But then, I have my moments where I S.T.R.U.G.G.L.E.  I shop impulsively.  I buy things without consulting the budget.  I develop a “I need it so I get to have it” mindset.

Does ANYONE else have this happen????

I ALWAYS know this behavior is wrong.  I ALWAYS know that I shouldn’t be buying “x,y, and z.”  Yet, I ignore that small voice of reason and just keep on spending.

I have learned that these overspending urges are usually the result of a trigger.  SOMETHING going on in my life (usually emotionally for me 😉 ) that causes us to want to overspend.

 

The other day I got an urge to SPEND.  Like, really really spend.  I wanted to buy decorations for my home and I wanted to buy myself a few new shirts and I wanted to go out to eat and I wanted to take my daughters on a back to school shopping spree and I just.wanted.to. SPEND MONEY!

I was fortunately able to stop myself in this moment and asked myself, “What brought on this urge to spend?”

I thought a lot about my emotions in that moment and I realized that I was feeling frustrated.  I was frustrated by my budget.  I was frustrated that I was so limited with the amount of money I am “allowed” to spend each month.  I just wanted to throw the budget in the garbage and show that budget that I can spend what I want when I want!

Once I realized what I was feeling, I knew that I needed to change something in the budget.  As a parent, I always ALWAYS choose to have money budgeted for the kids wants/needs instead of budgeting for my wants/needs.  Which I am so HAPPY to do for them, but I was limiting myself so much that I became frustrated which resulted in me wanting to overspend!

So, I decided to change my budget.  Next month I will be budgeting more money for my personal spending money.  I am hoping that by doing this it will eliminate that trigger and help decrease those spending urges.

Everyones will have different  triggers and you won’t experience the same trigger every time.  I tried to brainstorm below a few possible overspending triggers and a suggested solution.

Overspending Triggers and Solutions

Trigger:  Overspending because you are bored and shopping is a form of entertainment.

Solution:  Develop a new (cheap) hobby.  Ask a friend to join you in the hobby to help keep you accountable and active with it.

Trigger:  You lack confidence and are trying to boost your self esteem with new purchases.

Solution:  Read some self help books (from the library) about confidence.  Learn to develop inner confidence without needing to spend money.

Trigger:  You are upset or emotional and use shopping as therapy.

Solution:  Find a new way to release your emotions.  Go for a run or walk.  Call up a friend or watch a favorite movie.  Find a non-spend alternative to help you calm down.

Trigger:  Feeling jealous when you hear how friends have been spending their money.

Solution:  If your friends are a temptation to spend money you need to distance yourself from them.  I have unfollowed friends on social media before because their posts trigger my urge to spend money.  If you need to make some new frugal friends, do it!  Just do whatever it takes to delete that temptation.

 

Trigger:  A friend invites you to do something that will encourage you to overspend, maybe a day of shopping or a weekend trip.

Solution:  Be up front with your friends.  Tell them your spending limits and the activities that you will be able to or won’t be able to participate in.  Kindly ask them to stop inviting you to the activities out of your budget.

What are your personal spending triggers?  What are the solutions YOU have come up with to help overcome those triggers?  Share with me in the comments so we can help each other out.

 

Crafts · Family · for free · For the kids · Free Fun · Frugal Life · Holidays · Parenting

Easy Fourth of July Craft: Fireworks Stamping

Is their really any holiday better than the 4th of July????  Sunshine.  BBQS.  Parades.  Family.  Friends.  Fireworks.  I love this holiday.

We have started celebrating a few weeks early with a couple of fun and easy Fourth of July crafts.  A lot of our crafts revolve around toilet paper tubes….because you really can’t get any cheaper than toilet paper tubes, right?!?!  This craft is one that we do every year.  It is so simple and easy!

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You will need to collect a few toilet paper tubes.  I used three toilet paper tubes so that I could have one for each color of paint:  red, white and blue.

Once I dug the toilet paper tubes out of the trash collected three toilet paper tubes, we began to cut around the bottom.  We cut thin strips, about half way up all around the tube.  Once your strips are all cut, fan them out so the bottom is flat.

Dip each toilet paper tube in paint and begin stamping on your paper.

Once our sky was full of fireworks we decided to sprinkle glitter on the paint to give it a little extra sparkle.  I used what I had at home, blue and gold.  I really liked the way the glitter helped the firework stamps to stand out.

We have our firework stamps hung up on the fridge.  It is a fun reminder of the Independence Day we get to celebrate soon!

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Crafts · Family · For the kids · Free Fun · Frugal Life · Good Ideas · Homemade · Parenting · Recipes

Peanut Butter Play Dough Recipe

My kids LOVE making play dough, and it is something we do often.  But, when we make Peanut Butter Play Dough they REALLY REALLY love it.

Peanut Butter Play Dough is such a great sensory activity for kids.  They can touch, see, smell, and even taste it.  That is my kids favorite part!  They love that they actually get to EAT the play dough.

It is so so easy to make peanut butter play dough.  It only takes three ingredients and a few minutes of your time.

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Peanut Butter Play Dough Recipe

2 cups powdered sugar

1 cup peanut butter

1/2 cup honey

Mix all ingredients in bowl.  Stir well and knead until smooth.

That’s it!  So easy!  Let your kids play and enjoy!  We get out cookie cutters and knives and forks.  My kids can spend hours playing.

Finances · for free · Frugal Life · Frugal Living Challenge · Good Ideas · Money Educatioin · Money Helps

Show Me the Money: 4 Ways to Earn CASHBACK on Purchases

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Who likes free money???  I LOVE free money!  And I’m betting you like free money too!

This post is all about how to earn cashback, just by shopping like you regularly shop!!

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Cashback with Discover Card

My FAVORITE way to earn cashback is by shopping with my Discover Card.  I talked in detail about why I love my Discover Card in my post The one idea I disagree with Dave Ramsey on.  In short, when I shop with my Discover Card I automatically earn cashback on all purchases.  They give you 1% cashback on EVERYTHING and 5% on different categories that are rotated monthly.  (Currently, I am receiving 5% on groceries).  You don’t have to do anything, just use your card and your cashback will grow.  I earn around $500 cashback with Discover a YEAR, and all I do is shop like normal!

Cashback with Ibotta

I love shopping with ibotta.  This is the very first app I check after completing my grocery shopping.  All you have to do is shop, check the app for rebates, scan your receipt, and the money is instantly put in your ibotta account.  Easy.  Peasy.  They have a wide selection of rebates, common items are milk, apples, pantry items, broccoli, beauty and household.  I can almost always find at LEAST one or two items to receive a rebate for.     If you don’t currently have an ibotta account you can get a FREE $10 just for signing up for one through my link.  (FREE money people!)  Once you have $20 in your account you can redeem your money as cash or a gift card.  I have earned over $100 by using ibotta!

Cashback with Checkout 51

Checkout 51 is very similar to ibotta.  It works as a rebate program.  You shop, scan your receipt and qualified purchases and you will get the rebated money instantly in your account.  Once you reach $20 in your account you can request your money, same as ibotta.  It only takes a few minutes to check for rebates and one minute to scan your receipt.  I have made over $50 cashback using Checkout 51!

Cashback with Ebates

It is so easy to earn cashback with Ebates.  If you like to shop online, you need to shop through the Ebates app.  If you shop through the ebates link you will earn cashback for every purchase.  They have a large variety of stores available to earn money with.  Everything from Kohls, Ebay, Zulily, Justice, Aerie, Lowes, Gap, Ulta, and so so many more.  Before I make ANY online purchase, I always check Ebates first to see if they offer cashback for that store.  All you do is click on the store link in the app, you will be taken to the store website, you do your shopping, and instantly earn money back.  SO SO easy!

 

If you are going to be shopping ANYWAYS, you might as well be earning a little cashback along the way, right???  RIGHT!

A quick word of caution however.  It can become easy to want to buy a product JUST because you see you can get a rebate for it through ibotta or Checkout 51.  Be careful to NOT to fall into this temptation.

I have found the best way for me is to do my shopping FIRST and then check the rebate apps to see if I bought anything eligible for a rebate.  (Except for with Ebates, you must check Ebates FIRST!)  This has helped me immensely to not buy things I really didn’t need in the first place.

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What cashback secret did I miss???  How do you like to earn cashback?  Share your successes in the comments!  I would love to hear all about them.

 

 

Affiliate · Amazon · Bargain Buys · For the kids · Frugal Life · Frugal Living Challenge · Money Helps · Parenting

15 Baby Items You Do NOT Need On Your Baby Gift Registry

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I have had 3 kids, my youngest is now 5.  I’ve spent the past couple of years sorting through baby supplies.  It’s taken me years because I have struggled with closing that baby chapter in my life.  I love the memories that come flooding back to me as I look through my boxes of baby items.

I have sold most of the items, gave away a few things, and saved a couple of special items to help remember my sweet babes.  As I’ve sorted and cleaned I’ve realized that so many of the items I thought were necessary, actually weren’t!

There are many articles out there telling you what to add to your baby registry, and a lot of them have some good advice…but I think so many of the things we THINK we need….we actually could do without!

I have come up with a list of 15 items you do NOT need to add to your baby registry.  I also added some alternative, more frugal options to consider.

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15 Baby Items You Really Don’t Need to Buy and their Frugal Alternative

1. Car seat cover

I really wanted a beautiful car seat cover with a fun design.  It’s all I saw while at the grocery store.  So, I bought one.  It was cute and trendy and looked good on the car seat.  And then…2 months later I took it off and it stayed in the closet for the next few years until I gave it away.

Frugal Option: A great alternative is just to put one of the many baby blankets over the handle.  Blankets are something you always have on hand and are just the right size to cover the car seat with.

2. Baby food maker

Baby food makers look pretty and claim to offer convenience and ease to all your baby food making.  While that might be true, it is not a necessary item.  You CAN make baby food without it.

Frugal Option: Baby food is very easy to prepare just by using a pot and a blender.  It only took me an hour or two to make large batches of baby food and I did it without a baby food maker.

3. Baby Shoes

Let’s face it, little tiny baby shoes are adorable!  So many colors and styles…and oh so itty bitty!  However, as darling as those little shoes are, babies don’t really need to wear shoes until they are walking.

Frugal Option:  Baby socks are necessary for those sweet little toes.  Instead of buying shoes, buy some cheaper socks.  Find some that have a cute style.  I love these socks that look like shoes.

4.  Baby nail clippers

I will agree that baby nail clippers were useful for trimming up those tiny baby nails.  However, when I threw mine away I realized I really could have done without them.

Frugal Option: Most people already own a pair of nail clippers.  These would work just as good for babies as they do for adults, you’ll just want to be extra careful not to clip any of that sensitive skin.

5.  Hooded Towels and Baby Washcloths

I was really excited to buy cute hooded towels and small baby washcloths for my babies.  But, I have come to learn they just aren’t necessary.

Frugal Option: Use a towel you already have at home!  They will work just as good and your little one will never even know the difference!

6.  Nursing Cover

If you are planning on nursing you probably will want something to help you cover up while in public, I know I did!  You really don’t need to buy a special cover for that though.

Frugal Option::  I found that a large light weight blanket worked just as good as a nursing cover, and I always had it in my diaper bag anyways.  One less thing to pack!

7.  Bathtub  

A baby bathtub was an item I thought was so important to buy when I had my first baby.  In hindsight, it was handy for a few months, but then the babies just grew out of it in a few short months and the tub was stuck sitting in my basement.

Frugal Option:  If I were to do it all again I would purchase this Bath Sponge instead of a fancy tub.  It is much cheaper at only $6.39 and it won’t take up as much space.  This would be a much more frugal option.

8.  Nursing Pillow

This is another one of those items that I thought I just HAD to have.  I ended up not using my boppy pillow as much as I thought I would have and I have since decided it really wasn’t worth the money.

Frugal Option: I found that I preferred nursing with a couple of small pillows under my arms instead of the nursing pillow.  I was able to smash them in a way that felt most comfortable and I didn’t have to worry about the bulky nursing pillow.

9. Changing Table

Changing tables are so pretty in all the magazine nursery pictures.  But, once your baby grows out of it, they really aren’t super functional.  Changing tables usually don’t have a lot of drawers or great organization.  I found I needed to buy a dresser later on to help supplement with space.

Frugal Option: Instead of buying a changing table AND later a dresser, how about just buying a dresser.  Try to find a short dresser so that it will be the perfect height to changing your baby on.

10.  Changing Pad

While we are discussing changing stations, let’s discuss the changing pad.  You’ll find all sorts of different changing pad shapes and sizes and all the darling patterns for a cover to go with it.  These are cute and fun to buy, but really not necessary.

Frugal Option:  A couple of soft towels (that you already own) folded up and placed on the baby dresser will work JUST as good for a changing pad.  They are easy to throw in the laundry and clean, and they are free (big win!)!

11.  Diaper Pail

You will find a diaper pail on almost every baby registry idea list.  I do believe they can be convenient and very useful.  But, they can also be really expensive, especially when you have to buy the pricey refills (which you will need to do….A LOT).

Frugal Option:  We had a cheap trash can next to the changing table (I should’ve chose a dresser!).  With all the late night diaper changes with newborns, it was very nice to have somewhere to put alllll those diapers.  I would change the bag daily and fortunately newborns messy diapers usually don’t smell bad!  After about 4-6 weeks, once baby starts sleeping a little longer at night, I just started taking the messy diapers out to the dumpster outside.  It only took a few minutes and felt good to get a little fresh air.

12.  Diaper Organizer

I’ve seen these fancy diaper organizers around for a long time.  They look really cute in a nursery and I can see the appeal for them.  I don’t however think they are must have.

Frugal Option:  How about use one of those top drawers of the dresser (aka changing table).  They will be within arms reach during diaper changes, and it didn’t cost you anything extra!  It’s also so nice to have them concealed away.

13.  Wipe Warmer

Baby wipes are cold and you might feel a little guilty wiping the baby with a cold wipe.  The problem is that you won’t always have a wipe warmer with you, so it would be good for the little one to get use to the cold wipe right from the beginning.

Frugal Option:  I unfortunately have no frugal alternative for a wipe warmer.  I’ve found that babies really do get use to a cold wet wipe.  So, just use them as is and save yourself some extra cash.

14.  Sound Machine

My babies slept much, MUCH better with a little white noise next to them.  You do NOT need a sound machine though to accomplish this.

Frugal Option:  You can download white noise apps for free on your phone or ipad and place them in babies room while they are sleeping.  Or, we just used a small cheap fan.  We placed it next to their bed and pointing it away from.  Our babies slept great this way!

15.  Bottle Drying Rack

I’ll start with a disclaimer…..I actually never fed my babies a single bottle….so you can take my advice on this one with a grain of salt.  I have seen the bottle drying racks in ads and have always assumed that even though they look super fun and handy, they just aren’t very frugal.

Frugal Option:  How about just placing your bottles upside down on a dish cloth and let them air dry.  A dish cloth should work just as well as a drying rack, but wouldn’t cost you a thing!

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What baby item did YOU buy that you wish you hadn’t????  Let me know in the comments all your Frugal Baby Alternatives!

 

Finances · Frugal Life · Money Helps

10 Tips to Stop Impulse Shopping

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Let’s talk impulse shopping.

I have always struggled with impulse shopping and am constantly trying to work on this.

Do I budget? YEP!  Do I love to save money and watch my bank account grow!  ABSOLUTELY!  Yet, I have always struggled with buying things on impulse.

So, here are a few of my 10 top tips that has personally helped me stop the urge to impulse shop.

10 Tips to Stop Impulse Shopping

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1.  Admit you Have a Problem

The first step to curing impulse shopping is to admit you have a problem.  I have gone through so many times of rationalizing my impulse spending.  I would use phrases like, “Oh, but it was on sale, so it was a smart buy,” or “It was something that we really needed anyway, so it wasn’t really an impulse buy.”

These phrases are only excuses.  We use excuses to make ourselves feel better when we do something that we know was probably not the best decision.

Once I admitted to myself that I had a problem with impulse spending and I quit using excuses, I was finally able to begin to change.  I still mess up sometimes…..but I am much better than I was a few years ago.

If I impulse shop.  I tell myself I impulsed shopped and it was a mistake.  I no longer make up excuses and it has kept me accountable and aware of my goals.

2.  Recognize your Triggers

Once you’ve admitted that you have a problem, it’s time to pin point the triggers.

Is their a certain store that you leave buying more than you should have.  (Target is my biggest trigger when it comes to impulse shopping.)

Does the impulse to spend come after a highly emotional day?

Find whatever YOUR personal trigger is, this will be different for everyone.

3.  Find Alternatives

The third step to curing impulse shopping is to find alternative activities to keep you away from your triggers.

The past 2 years I have tried to just stay away from Target.  No matter what I do, I can’t seem to leave the store without impulse spending.

I’ve started shopping at other stores more and avoiding going to Target at all costs.  I still go occasionally, but every time I do I regret it.

If you have a store that is your trigger, find an alternative store.  If you shop when you are sad, upset, bored, etc. find a different activity to help get you through those emotions.  If you follow a really cute blogger on Instagram who posts links to her darling clothes and you always seem to swipe up…..unfollow her!

Do whatever it takes to find something to keep you away from your personal triggers.

4.  Leave the Cards at Home

When I shop with cash and leave all cards (debit and credit) at home.  I am much much more diligent to sticking to my list and budget.  I am always worried about being “one of those customers” who show up to the register without enough money to pay for my items.

When I know I only have a set amount of money in my wallet I watch my cart closer and it is much easier to walk past the items that catch my eye.

If you are new to spending with cash you can read more about my Cash Envelope System Here.

5.  Make a List

Making a list is so important.  If you aren’t already making regular shopping lists, you might be surprised by how much less you spend when you shop with that list in hand.

Before you go anywhere make a list of the things that you NEED.  Even if you are only going shopping for one thing, write it down.

Shop with that list in your hand and commit to only buying the things you have written down.  Even if you see something on sale.  Even if you walk past the cutest shirt you have ever seen.  If it’s not on your list than do not buy it.

6.  48 Hour Rule

I discuss my 48 hour rule in detail in my Free 14 Day Frugal Living Challenge.  The quick version is you wait 48 hours before making any purchase above a certain dollar amount.

The dollar amount is personal to you and your situation.  Everyone will have a different number that works for them.

When we wait to make a purchase we are giving ourselves time to separate emotions from logic, or want vs. need.

7.  Splurge Money

Be sure to include “splurge money” in your budget.  Splurge money is for you to spend however you WANT!

Your splurge money will give you a little taste of freedom.  If you don’t allow yourself a small amount of freedom, you are much more likely to over spend.

There is no right or wrong amount to budget for splurge money.  If you have a very tight budget, your splurge money might be small.  If your budget has some wiggle room perhaps you could budget yourself a little more.

8.  Shopping Cart

A few of you might roll your eyes at this suggestion.  And that’s ok!  It might not work for you, but this is something I have been doing more and more lately and it has really been helping me.

Occasionally, if I am out shopping and see an item that I really really want…..but it’s not on my list, I will just grab it anyways and put it in my cart.  I allow myself to walk around with it in my shopping cart while I do the rest of my shopping.

When it comes time to check out I look at the items I added on impulse and evaluate.  Should I really buy this?  Do I have money in my budget for this item?  Is it something I need?  Could I wait and budget for it later and come back and buy it?

I will usually be able to talk myself out of buying it and go put the items back where I found them.

9.  Use a Spending Buddy

Find a friend who has similar financial goals as you.  Use each other as someone to talk to when you are getting the urge to impulse shop.

A few years ago I had a good friend who agreed to be my spending buddy.  Whenever I would find that one item I thought that I just HAD to have, I would call my friend.  I explained to her what I wanted and she would ask me those important questions about if I really needed it, could I find something cheaper, etc.  I would often do the same for her in return.

My spending buddy was so great at helping me spend less.  And because I KNEW I would need to call her before I bought anything….it made me second guess my impulses, I only wanted to call her for important things!

10.  Forgive Yourself

This is one of my very most important tips!

Whenever you’re trying to change habits you will make mistakes.  It happens to everyone!

Forgive yourself when you mess up.  Learn from your mistake.  Make a plan to do better next time and then MOVE ON.

If I am to hard on myself I just end up throwing my hands in the air and giving up.  I’ve had those moments when I messed up on my budget and instantly felt like a failure.  I would convince myself I’ve already ruined my budget I might as well just keep on spending!  This was a giant mistake!

Once I started forgiving myself my budget benefited!  I am able to start fresh the next day and move forward with my goals.

 

How do you stop yourself from impulse shopping?  Share YOUR top tips in the comments below!

Fabulous DEALS Friday · Family · Frugal Life · Gift Ideas · Holidays

Fabulous DEALS Friday: Fathers Day Gifts all Under $15 Shipped!

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We have officially entered JUNE!  That means it’s time to start thinking about the perfect gift for all the fathers in our lives.

I don’t know about you, but I ALWAYS struggle trying to think of Fathers Day ideas.  A couple of years ago I started purchasing gifts for dads on Jane, and they have seemed to always be a hit.  A lot of them are easy to customize and personalize.  I started browsing today for my favorite (budget friendly!) gifts.  Here is what I found!

This personalized key chain is darling and would be the perfect gift for young kids to give to their dad.  It comes to only $13.58 shipped!

Gifts from the heart, that show meaning and love are ALWAYS my favorite gifts.  Which is exactly why I love this personalized memory book.  It comes with 45 blank pages for your child to personalize for dad with pictures and memories.  This is something as a parent I would treasure forever.  You can get it for just $8.48 shipped!

I love the look of this money clip.  What a sweet reminder for dad to carry around with him at all times.  It comes to only $13.49 after shipping.

This personalized fishing lure is the perfect gift for any dad who loves to fish!  There are 10 different saying options for you to choose the perfect one for your dad.  You can get the fishing lure for $10.99 shipped!

My husband would love this multi-tool bracelet.  This is a great option for the outdoors man in your life.  It includes several survival tools in case of an emergency, a few included are:  flint, knife, whistle, compass, and more!  You can choose your color and size that your man would want.  I just added this to my cart and it comes to $10.48 shipped!

Man Soap is perfect for all those men not wanting to smell like flowers after the shower.  😉  I like to keep a couple more “manly” scents in the shower so my husband doesn’t have to use my more “girly” scents.  These soaps have a variety of scents to choose from including “mechanics”, “mountain air”, and “sweet musk.”  It comes to just $7.48 shipped!

This is another gift I can see my husband loving.  If you have a handy man father/husband, this magnetic utility wristband looks perfect!  It comes to only $10.98 after shipping!

Let me know if you purchase anything!  I would love to hear what the fathers in your life are wanting this year!