Scrimping + Saving ... The Frugalista

I heard a quote once about money that really stuck with me: "It's not about what you MAKE, it's what you KEEP."

(I'm gonna let us all marinate in that one for a bit.)

Good stuff, right?

One topic I always love talking to friends about is how we scrimp and save. Ways to enjoy life without all of the excess and unnecessary worry about finances. Here are three ways that I have recently made a dent in my spending and a boost in my income.

Research pricing and don't wait until you NEED something to buy it!
There are a few things that we will always need in our home: laundry detergent, trash bags, paper towels, and diapers, for example. I was amazed last week when I made a quick drugstore stop to get a refill for our Diaper Genie in the nursery. The brand-name refill was $11.99 for one refill. Twelve dollars for this is just staggering, and I refused to support that insane pricing by purchasing it. So I immediately hopped on Amazon and bought this 4-pack for less than $20 -- yep, $5/each rather than $12 ... less than half-price.

Another example is with our laundry detergent. My husband has sensitive skin so we use this laundry detergent (which is great because I can wash baby clothes in it, too). Recently I was randomly in a CVS -- not a place I shop often -- and they had this detergent as buy one, get two free. So, detergent at a third of the original price? I didn't need it just yet, but I stocked up!

Let someone else pay full price.
You all know my love for consigning clothes and home goods. Consignment stores, consignment sales, Facebook buying/selling groups, and of course, our Charlotte branch of Fickle Resale. Speaking of, I was just given a good number of free half-year memberships to give out. If you are in Charlotte and are looking to buy/sell some of your nicer items (think Lilly, Tory, Trina, Kate, Lululemon, Pottery Barn, Ballard Designs, Matilda Jane, etc) - email me at [email protected] and I will get you set up. And if you have already purchased a membership, we are treating our members to a little surcee ... six extra months of membership tacked right on. :)

Fickle Resale

Shop smart online.
Every time I make an online purchase, I start on one website: Ebates. I am sure you are familiar with this site -- but if not, you can get an invitation to join here. There are so many participating stores that it makes sense to always check it out.

For example:
Need diapers? Order them on, get 4% back on home and baby products with Ebates (and free shipping if your order totals $50 ... so go ahead and throw in some wipes, paper towels, etc!).

Need a new blender? Order it from, get 3% back using Ebates

When I order my favorite fleece wrap from - get 6% back using Ebates, and Nordstrom offers free shipping

Renewing a magazine, get 40% back with through Ebates

Ordering flowers for someone's birthday or Mothers' Day, get 12% back with Proflowers through Ebates

So there are my three tried-and-true ways to save a penny.
I'd love to hear your ideas, too!


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  2. Pressed "enter" too quickly, ha! I actually just purchased those same Diaper Genie refills on Amazon - and will be doing it again and again! The biggest thing that has helped us is using our Sam's Club membership (paid by my husband's office, thankfully!) to stock up on Sam's-brand paper towels, etc. And, I had a hard reality that not everything on Amazon is cheaper! I was buying a toy for Walker and was about to hit "purchase" on Amazon, which I quickly looked at Toys 'R' Us' website and noticed it was about $15 cheaper! I have to do my due diligence when shopping, but that has saved us a lot of money, too. :) Have you tried Retail Me Not? That coupon site has really saved me a good chunk of change when purchasing things online.

  3. I'll have to try those Nursery Fresh bags! My mom is a very good shopper and somehow seems to find the Diaper Genie ones on clearance at Sam's sometimes and stocks us up, but I hate paying full price for them!

  4. Great post! Love finding a good sale!

  5. Great advice! Something my husband just started doing: using trash bags in our diaper genie! So cheap, and works great! He found the hack on youtube:

  6. I try to use a coupon code when online shopping and, most of the time, there's one out there. I also take advantage of adjustment policies. Nordstrom and World Market, among others, have them. If an item goes on sale 10-14 days after you've purchased it, take your receipt into the store and they'll refund the difference!

  7. You speak to my bargainista heart!! At Target the other day, I was buying extra bottle nipples & noticed that the drop-in liners for the bottles we use were X price. Right next to them were the Target Up & Up brand and they were $2 cheaper than the Playtex brand!! Needless to say I will be buying the Target brand next time I need them! Same with formula I was price comparing also! I really need to sign up on ebates though STAT! Also, I'm an Amazon virgin! For real, not sure I've ever bought anything from there - crazy right!? If you don't have a Prime account do you still get the same awesome savings & stuff? We don't need diapers & stuff yet but, smaller things like the diaper genie refills & stuff is definitely things I could buy & save some $$ on. Just wanted to get your knowledge since you seem to be an Amazon pro!! Thanks for sharing these tips though - great ideas!!

  8. I'm with you on all of this girl! I've always used unscented detergent from Costco for BG and now I just use it for all of us. Sure miss the scents of tide/downy but I know the organic unscented is better for all of us. We buy just about anything and everything from Costco and the price savings is amazing!

  9. I have never tried Ebates before, but the older I am getting, I find that I like to shop online for anything other than clothes! Thanks for sharing!

  10. ooh, thanks for the generic diaper genie refills! I tried Target brand but they did not work well, so I'm excited to find another alternative.

  11. Good to know about the Diaper Genie! Ours just came in the mail, and we have the 'starter' pack of bags...sure glad I didn't go ahead with ordering refills just yet! I LOVE Amazon and bargain shopping...I hate to pay shipping and I have to have some sort of a discount. One thing I've learned: BuyBuyBaby does not offer free shipping very often, however Bed Bath and Beyond offers free shipping at $49 AND you can order pretty much anything from BuyBuyBaby via the Bed Bath and Beyond website. From my baby showers I had tons of gift cards to BuyBuyBaby and the store doesn't carry any of what I wanted - it was all online only. I saved about $20 in shipping costs last week by stocking up on baby gear by ordering through Bed Bath and Beyond!

    1. My mind is blown ... I had no idea about this! So smart!

  12. I had no idea about the diaper genie generic option! How do they hold up to the originals? I've gotten so used to having everything on sale or a promotion that I no longer can stand to pay full price for anything!

    1. Meg, so far I have not a single issue with the less expensive option! Love 'em!

  13. I just signed up for Ebates and told my husband no more shopping online until we chat about this...ha! When you purchase from Amazon, do you still get to use your prime account?

  14. I have a slight obsession with finding the best deal on everything! I just recently signed up for Ebates and I love it! Also Amazon Subscribe & Save is my favorite! I make sure to coincide all of my deliveries to the same month to take advantage of the 15% discount!

  15. Loved this post- we buy whatevers cheapest for the genie too! Random, but have you ever gotten the buy two, get three free bags of shredded cheese at HT? I stocked up last week, needless to say we should be good on cheese for a while!


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