Thursday, December 22, 2011

Merry Christmas and Thrifty New Year to you all! :-)

Merry Christmas!

Wishing everyone a Thrifty New Year as well..where we all watch carefully how we spend our hard earned dollars. 

What will I do different?  Not much where month to month is concerned. 
I am, however, hoping to do well at Tax Time (Oh man...I said it..can you believe that is already around the corner?).  If I can do decent at Tax Time 2012 financial goal will be to put a huge dent into one credit card that has spun out of control and caused us the financial problems we are having right now.  We are getting by and I am proud to say that, but something needs to happen with that card and that is the reason it is the goal of 2012 for us/myself.  The card got like it is for important, unfortunate reasons: Death in the family in 2010 and replacing an engine in one vehicle Summer 2011.  Both could not be predicted and nope...we weren't ready financially.  Granted, this has taught us some lessons on finance.  But we have to start with getting that card paid down (and off) and then start a "real" savings. 

Merry Christmas!
Cheers to a New Year of Smart Financial Decisions!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

TV Update

Well, I did call and found out I am still in a contract from when I added HD for life til June of 2012.  No problem.  They allowed me to lower my bill still by simply changing our programming.  We still get to keep our four tvs and two dvrs.  The only thing we lose that we liked was Disney.  It lowered the bill by $40 per month.  I can't complain.  By June, either we will be doing better, or we cut all TV out like we had originally planned. 

Keep in mind, we lowered our Phone/Internet by $30 per month by making a phone call as well...this all together lowers that bill by $70.  I am happy.  Now onward on making our own Liquid Laundry Detergent. Once I do this...I will write a post update on that one as well.  :-)

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Need to Lower Bills....starting with the TV

We currently have Dish Network and we love it and love DVR and all the bells and whistles; however, can no longer continue to pay it. 

We want to know what other alternatives are out there and have found a few but do not understand them, etc... We aren't sure what to do next.

I am hoping a reader out there can shed some light on this.
I have found so far, Netflix and Hulu Plus (and figured the product Roku to watch them on).
Has anyone made this switch and how do you like it?
I know either are $8 per month and the Roku (bottom price) is $59.99 (which is a streamer for either and makes it where you don't have to be hooked directly to a PC).

This is a question for anyone out there that can help us out with some information. I am looking for personal have A or B and you like it...don't like it and miss your cable/dish, etc...

Thank you for reading and looking forward to all responses on this issue.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

DIY: Make your own Hand Soap!

I don't know about any of you all out there...but lately I am slightly addicted to Pinterest!
While there I have found some awesome money saving ideas from other great bloggers and savers out there!

The one I want to share with you today is Making your own Liquid Hand Soap!
I am amazed as it calls for only One Bar of Soap and a few other ingredients that aren't expensive...and have 2 liters worth of hand soap!  I am totally trying this one as it would be nice to make something that I will not have to buy!  Check the Article/Recipe out for yourself!  If you try it..please comment about it..I would love to know of your experience.
This article and recipe comes from a great blog Titled:  Savvy Housekeeping!  I will be frequenting this blog for more great DIYs and Housekeeping advice.  I surely can use it.  :-)

Have a great October!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Yay for Autumn!

Love this time of year! 
The weather feels great.  Everything feels fresh and new.  I also have a two week Fall Break that I intend to enjoy and figure out some of our finances that I posted about last.

Good news to husband is working on a drawing and I have some new listings up in our Etsy Shop!  We are getting motivated for the upcoming Holiday Season!

Click the picture above to see our new listing for Custom Photo Bottle Cap Pendants, Necklaces, Keychains and Ornaments!  We made these last year and they were a huge hit at craft shows, etc... Now we offer them online to the Etsy shopper!

I pray to continue to bring you good news on our financial status in the upcoming posts.
We have really been paying attention to sales flyers and coupons we have for Everything and believe we have saved quite a bit already from doing so. You really have to be careful not to buy things just because you have a coupon.  Unless you are Excellent at it..sometimes it is less money to buy store brand or another around for EVERY item!!!  No matter how small the you know...every dollar and penny adds up.

Happy Autumn!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Time to seriously tighten the Financial Belt!

Oh boy, we had our engine go out over the summer and had to be replaced and a death in the family last year.  Both of these instances created a financial crisis in our home and we are still paying for them and it will take forever (it feels) to pay them off.  Now, my babysitter for my daugther has went up $100 per month!  This is soo much for us right now.  I feel like I have no more "tricks up my sleeve."  We have kinda cut just about every bill we can cut.  If I find any solutions, I will post.

As imagined, we will simply watch every dollar we spend like a hawk.  The only thing I can come up with at this point in time is to sell more of my jewelry, which means I need to get busy...luckily people will be buying for Christmas soon.  This is sure to help. 

I'll keep you posted.

Thank you for visiting.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Trying to figure out a schedule!

By schedule I mean...simply....trying to balance trying to save with comparison shopping and couponing, etc...
Since joining a gym, starting back to work (summer vacation is done), trying to coupon and comparison shop...I am trying to also to have normal quality family time with my two kids, dog and husband; as well as, my jewelry making.  My jewelry making has taken a back seat lately...and that is First!  What I am trying to figure drop the couponing, etc..and bring back the jewelry making.  I was making money with that..but with the comparison shopping (with coupons) I am saving.  I everyone...wanted to be wonder woman and do it all.  I am realizing...I just can't seem to balance it all.  I am in the step back and assess mode to see if there is a way to do everything fairly...if not...something has to may be coupons.  It isn't like I spend a ton of time at it...I really don't.

I don't expect responses to this...I just wanted you all to know that I am still here...but in deep thought.  :-)  On top of it son's soccer season starts this week....that means one practice per week and one game.  It will all get straightened out.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Got some Deals at CVS this weekend! (and Kohl's)

Forgive me for not reporting in this summer.  The summer months have been packed as we were enjoying the company of my sister-in-law.  It was so awesome to have her here all the way from Romania!  So exciting!  Just so you know I have had a great reason for not updating.  We had fun shopping and she got to see how our sales and coupons work here.  Of course, I am fairly new to "couponing" but have always been an avid bargain hunter for quality and best prices on pretty much everything.

Alrighty, you came to read about my weekend deals.  What I have learned to do and for most of you it is a big "duh" to match up sales to coupons.  Well, I did pretty good.
I got $56 (appx) worth of items for $23 (Saturday) and today $20+ worth for $10 and some change.  Not bad!
Okay, what I used was my two Buy One Get One Free coupons for Axe Spray and Gel (total of 4 items)..they were on sale at CVS for $4.49 each.  So I paid $9ish for four...and they are typically $5.89ish at CVS each.  Not bad at all!  I also got a $3.00 off ExtraCare Bucks for that particular purchase. 
I also found some infant Vitamin D drops (reg. $8) for $2.00 on clearance.  Anyone that has to buy those knows that is an incredible coupon needed for that kind of deal!
I got our brand of toothpaste we love (Colgate Total Whitening Paste)...Buy One Get One Free and I had a $.75 coupon...making them $2.10 (appx) each...regular $4.99 each.  (I am just a newbie, I know all the experienced couponers don't pay anything ever for toothpaste.  I haven't figured that one out yet. LOL  :-)  I also had a $4.00 off $20 total (for signing up for their emails) and $1 extracare buck for creating my online extracare bucks account...just linking my my CVS card.
(those were my best from Saturday)
Skintimate Shaving Gel..on sale for $1.99 (reg. $3.39 each)..I had a $.75 coupon..making it like $1.25.
Gatorade (reg. $1.99 each)...Buy One Get One Free (bought four total) (equals a $1 each)
CVS brand Wipes on sale for $4.99 (three pack) regular ($7.49ish)
I had my $3.00 extracare bucks from yesterday and applied to the total!
I think we picked up gum (for my son) and marshmellows for hubby...not on sale..but my total for all the above only $10..not bad!

That is my CVS for this weekend. 

We also went to Kohl's and had a 15% shopping pass and only shopped clearance (good stuff) and had also a $10 off total purchase.  Saved $122 and spent $ four shirts, two sports pants and a jean jacket! That was exciting as well!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Summer is a great time to sign up for gym memberships!

For some reasons I have noticed gym memberships are cheapest when you sign up in the summer months.  Or at least that is what I discovered with a women's fitness center 2 minutes from my home.  I am very excited. 

They were running a teacher special (and really a special for just about anyone signing up in July).  Also the registration fee is 1/2 off.  So I got to sign up for $25 and $19.99/month with a year contract.  They have aerobics classes (cardio dance, zumba, etc...) and weight and workout machines And free childcare!!! ding ding ding!!  :-)

I decided I needed to do something for myself and my health and this is what I chose.  I will be careful with all other spending to make up for another monthly bill.  I feel really good about the place, location and price.  I also feel I will really take part in the classes and even the machines.

Happy Day to Me!
Take care!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Yard Sale Update!

We had a yard sale this past Saturday with mostly children's clothing and then toys and other random items.  My goal was $100; however, I made $84.  I am very pleased with this as there was a large High School yard sale seconds away.  I am happy to also clear out a lot of items and what didn't sell was donated to a local center where all the money made goes to Alzheimer's research.  A great day for sure!

We are enjoying my sister-in-law here visiting from Romania! This is her first ever visit to our great nation!  I did wait to have the yard sale because my husband told me they don't have such a thing in his home country that it would be interesting for her.  I believe it was.  She also got to see lots of people and get a feel for our currency.  She also saw how exhausting a yard sale can be but also how rewarding of what you can accomplish in 4-5 hours. 

Today, I wait for a call from the A/C repair guy.  Our upstair A/C decided to stop working last night.  Praying the bill will not be high to fix it.  We made the time fun by "camping" out downstairs.  My son was soo excited to see that tent come into the living room.  Funny, he didn't sleep in it though.  :-)

Have a great day!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Happy Blogoversary Today: Thrifty and Creative! 4 years old!

Thrifty and Creative, the Blog is 4 years old today!!!

It is hard for me to believe I have had this blog for that long!  I am very proud of myself because many times I have dropped some internet things I have started...but this blog is one that I have kept up with.  Granted, I do not update daily like I once did, but I do make it a point to have a couple per month and to not skip a month.  I also try to make an extra effort when I run across an idea for a post to do it right then.  This is why some posts may not be so wordy, but I "get to the point" of what I wanted to say.

Thank you to my loyal readers!  Here's to many more!  Cheers!

Melanie (Thrifty and Creative)

Friday, June 17, 2011

Storm Door Update: Lowered Electric Bill!

Installing a storm door this past tax season has been our latest smartest move on cutting energy costs!It is unreal that a door can do that! 

About our door and why this storm door is a savings on the electric/energy bill:
Around the front door was not very insulated and you could even feel wind when it was windy out.  With the storm's great.  We can also keep our A/C temperature at 76 whereas before couldn't go lower than 78 or the bill was high.  So now the bill is basically the same as it was But no worries about keeping cool and curious...will the A/C ever stop turning?  This may not sound like savings but it is to be able to keep it cooler for the same amount and high temperatures lately.

Last month's bill was only $97.00 (with some hot days).  This coming bill is only $157.00 and that is w/ some 100 degree weather days and many 90 degrees.  This house (upstairs/downstairs) has been a battle to lower the bill but I am happy with what we have done thus far.  The next energy saving effort won't be for a while, but will be insulating the garage to cool the hobby room above and I know it will work.  So far our baby steps here and there to heat and cool this house are paying off with lower energy bills!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Got my first Sunday Newspaper today!

I subscribed to the Sunday paper just a week and a half ago. Today was my first of 13 weeks.
I was just curious of the coupons and flyers that are in them.  We used to get the Sunday paper years ago and stopped when we needed to save money to move into another house.  Well, with the interest in couponing lately...I wanted to see what the newspaper has to offer since every couponing site recommends the Sunday paper.

So far I am is just one week but I can tell already that there are enough coupons plus to pay back the subscription.  I am not going to get rich from it, but it is definitely worth the subscription.  I also enjoyed looking through the sales flyers.  Great way to know where the deals are and where to spend your coupons.  I just have to master my organizational skills for this one. 

I have also subscribed to "All You" magazine as it is stated to have a lot of useful coupons in each issue...comes out once a month and is fairly inexpensive.  I will let you know what I think when I get my first issue...might be a month or so before I get that one. 

I have saved a little bit here and there so far with my couponing...I have a long way to go.  The way I see long as I am only buying what I normally would buy and can manage a coupon for some of the items...then I AM saving.  If I start buying things I would never buy...even cheap with coupon...then I am spending more than necessary.

Keep in mind I am a "rookie couponer" but excited to give it a real try!

Have a great week!
Enjoy these beautiful days outside!
Melanie :-)

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Learning to Coupon? I am!

Yes, I am a newbie and this is my newest form (for myself and family) of being Thrifty!  This also allows me not to toss those coupons..but use them and recycle the rest.  Also, "every penny saved is a penny earned!"

I discovered this wonderful site to help me learn and it is 100% free information.  Some folks are shamelessly selling this exact information but I am here to let you know that it is FREE here at: We Use Coupons !   This is an excellent resource for a newbie or someone experienced....all can come together and share tips.  It is an online community forum!  All couponers can benefit!  They have free tips, virtual classes (all levels) and articles to get you started.  You can find them on Facebook also.

If you are interested in coupons...this is a superior starting point! Don't PAY for what you can get for FREE!  :-)

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Savvy Shopper Mom: GREAT blog for Coupon Savings!

I just checked out this awesome blog! I plan to frequent it and so should anyone that wishes to save and grab up some great name brand coupons of items you use regularly!  I am soo excited about giving Couponing a serious try....and this blog is an excellent resource!

Share any couponing tips you have here in the "comment jar!"

Melanie (new couponer...I have to try or I would be a hypocrite for calling myself "Thrifty!")  Can't believe it is just now something I am going to try...shame on me!  I have always cut coupons for supplies etc...but let it slip by me the potential of savings plus couponing for maximum NOT using cash out of my pocket!  Better late than never!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Extreme Couponing

I am really excited about "Extreme Couponing!"  I just started watching this show last night.  Now I have it DVRed to learn more about it!

I hope to give updates in the coming months on what I figure out from this show on couponing.  I will be honest, I do not think I have the time and patience it takes to plan out a shopping trip, but I am willing to learn all I can to pass it on!

I am excited!  It comes on TLC channel if you don't already watch it.  Check it out!

Have a great rest of May!  :-)

Sunday, May 1, 2011

"Like" this page on is my uncle-in-laws!

"Like" this page on is my uncle-in-laws!

I am working on helping out a family member to build up his Fan Page on Facebook! He does amazing work with iron/welding.  Ornamental and items such as gates, fences and so forth.  Check out his page and see what you think!  He is very good!

Triangle Iron Design (We are trying to reach 25 fans (aka: "Likes") by tomorrow.  See if you can help us out!  You will also get to see some fabulous work.   We have a custom pet bed and jewelry stand by Triangle Iron Design.

This company is based in Raleigh, NC but services all of the Triangle.  

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Michael's is having a great sale today!

Today you can print out the usual 40% off coupon.
They also have awesome deals on semi-precious gemstones: 50% off on most! Whoa! I hate I didn't have a lot to spend! :-)
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Sunday, April 3, 2011

Savings in our household update:

Just thought I would write a very quick update as we are getting ready for church this beautiful Sunday morning!

We are currently waiting for our "convenience" center decal (to take our own trash).  Our last trash pick-up was this past Thursday.  I ordered the sticker like two weeks ago.  We really hope it gets here before the end of the week or we shall be taking a road trip all the way to the landfill (20 mins away vs. 2 minutes). :-)  No biggie, as long as they hurry up and send it!

Also, the baby is now a "one year old" and doesn't have to have formula, she is starting to use a sippy cup and eating some regular food not just out of the pricey jars.  :-)  All this adds up to savings.  To any already moms out there...I know you know this, but you also know how refreshing it is.  Phew!  Sigh of relief!

That is my update for now, I am sure there is more, but time is ticking!
Take Care!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

daughter turns one on tuesday!

Our daughter turns one year old on tuesday...tomorrow! She can begin normal milk...already eating almost normal food. Will be walking better and better. Going to a forward facing seat! All this adds up to savings financially and mentally. Love having a little one though!

Have a great day and enjoy the little ones as much as possible! :-) it goes too fast!
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Sunday, February 20, 2011

Finances are still tight!

Finished with taxes. These will be used this year to pay off two large credit card bills. I'd like to say for a fence, but to be smart...we will tackle credit this gives us money in our pockets in the long run.
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Monday, February 7, 2011

Money is so tight right now!

We are basically just getting by and praying for the best at tax time. I have been told by my Mom who watches a lot of news...that i should wait to file mid-February. It is almost here...thank goodness. We will use the money to pay off two credit cards and I am so hoping for extra to put away. Reason: our state is talking about cutting teacher we have to do something...scary times. Will keep you posted.

Take care!
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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Free Listings on Ebay for a limited time...

If you like to sell on Ebay (I do, still)...they are running Free Auction Style Listings any start price from now til February 8th!  I know, I am going to get busy this weekend and try to list as much as I can.  We need the money pretty bad right now, so I am excited about pay unless you actually sell something.  Very nice.  Thank you Ebay for thinking of the little sellers!  :-)

Money has continued to be super tight for us; however, by the Grace of God...we keep moving forward.  We are cutting out trash pick up and going to take it ourselves starting in March, when our service runs out.  We are also going to cancel the pest control; except, termite yearly inspections (that is important to your home's health...keeping that).  The pest control was just something we added for peace of mind and not having to worry about doing any sprays, etc...ourselves.  We will bring it back again one day when finances aren't so tight.

For now, we enjoy each day and are praying tax time works in our favor.

Have a great day!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Trash DIY Update: and the winner is....

After researching and asking questions....the winner is The Local Dump!  (aka: Convenience Center)

It is only $65 per Year and even covers yard waste to the local landfill for half truck load once per week.  My husband was excited about that because even paying $76 per quarter...we still had to pay to take our own yard waste to the landfill at $5.00 per trip. This adds up in the summer months when mowing is at least once per week.
Oh yeah...on the Green Side, they also recycle almost everything at no addtional charge..super $65 per year is exactly what it means! 

We will have to purchase a new trash can $30 from Lowe's Home Improvement and Large Trash Bags ($27 and will be enough for the whole year).  The trash can is of course a "one time purchase."   The savings more than makes up for the purchases above and will pay for themselves in the first three months of savings!  Yay!

Testing my New Phone

For Christmas we switched phone companies and got newer phones! Very exciting as we have been out of date on tech for sometime! I believe the new phones will help me keep up with my blogging better in 2011!
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We decided to get new phones as our daughter whom is almost 10 months old (if you can believe it, I surely can't)... will switch to regular milk (at 12 months) and that is going to be a huge savings from buying formula. Here is the break down:  The formula is costing us nearly $40 per week.  That is approximately $160 per month on average.  We were paying $80 per month for our phones before already (and they were dinosaurs trust me and we weren't even getting text with that amount...LOL...old plan).  So with the new plan, yeah we are paying a lot more, but can do more cool stuff on the go...loving it!  Even with the higher bill, the savings on formula alone will pay the different and we will still pocket an extra $80 after everything.  Sorry, my frugal self can not type with the monthly fee for our phones will be..just do the math...I don't want to type it! LOL Just glad to see a savings of $80 per month even with switching to cool phones.  Super excited and it is the only gift hubby and I got each other!  So yay!

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

First Thrifty Move of the Year: DIY Trash!

What do I mean?  Well, we are going to attempt to take our own trash and recyclables to the local "dump site."  We do love our service of having it picked up at the house and they have done nothing wrong.  I am just always looking to cut down on spending (especially we can spend in other places we would like or pay down something else with it).

What I have learned:
We pay $76 per quarter (includes recycling) with our current company.  (I think it is pretty good already)
There is another local company that is $45 per quarter (does not include recycling, but I can take it to work most of it...Art teacher here, I can reuse just about anything).  (This is really REALLY great for a pick up service)
And some friends pointed out to me that hauling your own trash and recyclables to our local convenience center is $40 per half a year...$80 per YEAR and you can take about anything there (whereas pick up services sometimes won't take certain things and you end up paying to go to the landfill anyways).
This tough to beat and at least not try. So we are up for the challenge. The closest "convenience" center to us is seriously 5 minutes or less away.  Really can't complain about gas to travel there is more like..are we willing.  We are going to take a look in the next couple days and make a final decision of "Convenience Center" or the $45 a quarter company.  I think we are definitely saving either way we go on that one!

Just thought I would share!  :-)
Happy New Year 2011!