Reader Question: Ordering in Bulk

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AsktheReaders

We have a question today from Melissa M.:

Over the past few months I have begun to eat cleanly. That means no dyes, GMO’s, processed foods, etc. While we feel amazing I’m beginning to notice it’s a bit more expensive! I know that I don’t want to go back to eating like we use to and looking for ways to save. Do you know where I can begin ordering in bulk on things like cacoa, flax seed, whole wheat flour, unbleached flour, coconut oil, etc.?

If you have any insight for Melissa please leave her a comment!


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Save Money On Haircuts at Home (Plus Wahl Clipper Deal)

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One of the ways we are “frugal” in our household is we save money on haircuts and cut the kids hair at home.  For a while this meant a nice clean buzz cut but I’m learning the trade and getting better each time.  I think I can finally do a “little boy’s cut” which is what my youngest requires – now don’t start inspecting his hair, lol.  He’s got super fine blonde hair – a buzz cut just wouldn’t work on him. Not to mention he is VERY picky about his hair.  This child sleeps with a comb, I kid you not.  Now my daughter and I still go to have ours done at a salon, I’m not ready to take that scary leap yet.  I think it’s a very different story with long hair.

All that to say a good pair of clippers is definitely needed.  I learned this recently when during our move I packed up our clippers too early and everyone needed cuts – badly.  So we went to Supercuts (way overpriced imo). I did however learn that it should NOT take 30 minutes per person!  My clipper blades were dull, very dull and the motor on my clippers was very weak.  I got them at CVS during a Conair ECB promotion.  Well, they just didn’t make the cut….

We recently upgraded to a Wahl set and they are SO MUCH better!  I’d highly recommend Wahl clippers, sure you can get a $100 clipper set but really any of the Wahl clippers will do.  There are a few really good deals on Amazon right now…

Wahl 79524-2501 Chrome Pro 24-Piece Haircut Kit - $25.99 (Reg. $40.95)

Wahl 79300-400 Color Pro 20 Piece Complete Haircutting Kit - $17.99 (Reg. $40.99)

There’s LOTS of other great deals on Wahl Clippers on Amazon.com.

If you aren’t a Amazon.com shopper you can check out the Wahl Home Pro Hair cutting kit for just $11 at Walmart.com!

Do you cut your families hair at home? I’d love to hear your tips!


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DIY Wall Hanging: Easy and Inexpensive Way to add “WOW” to Any Room

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WALLHANGING

This is a guest post from my friend Leslie who is a whiz when it comes to decorating on a dime! Read on and learn how she made this great wall hanging that she now has hanging in her dining room. It is so pretty and really adds such a nice pop of color to that room.

Born from the need to decorate my new condo on a dime, I created an easy way to add a big splash of color and texture to a wall in just an afternoon.  This fabric project is a no-sew  marvel and really quite easy.  (Not an artist you say?  Not to worry…if you can read, you can do this project! This project cost me about $10 (the fabric I used was on sale).

What you will need:

  • heavy fabric the the size of the wall you want to cover, plus about 6 extra inches in each direction  (I like outdoor canvas the best)
  • scissors
  • double stick tape – the stickier the better
  • ruler

Good to know: - this project is loosy-goosey – in other words, nothing needs to be perfect.  The measurements, cutting, ripping should all be done as if a cute little being was on your shoulder whispering sweetly into your ear, “Don’t worry, don’t worry….it looks good no matter how you do it.”

What you do:

  • cut or rip the fabric into approximately 3/4″ strips    

-hint: Make a few test strips and tape to wall and twist just to make sure you like the look. Some fabrics rip well and some don’t, so experiment. The loose threads add to the texture which I like….but you decide.

photo(218)

  • stick 4-6 inches of the double stick tape on the wall where the top of the fabric strips will sit     

-hint: start in the center and work your way out

  • stick on one strip at a time, firmly pressing the fabric onto the tape.  (let the ends hang loose)
  • repeat until the wall art is as wide as you would like
  • starting on one side, twist a strip as much as you’d like and put 4-6″ of tape down where it ends.  Repeat until all strips are used up  

 -hint: some strips. may be shorter than others…these can be trimmed after they are all up.

More good things to know:

  • this project can be done with either solid or patterned fabric.  Remember that the pattern will probably only be printed one one side, so when you twist it you will see both sides.  This is actually a good thing.  In fact, any idea you come out with is a good thing…so experiment, experiment, experiment!
  • this can be customized to fit into any unusually sized spaces…so take a fresh look at your home and see what could be brightened up
  • when you are done you can impress your visitors  with your newfound artistic talent…and talk just how wonderful the effects of light and shadow play on the piece are  (see? you will even sound like an artist!)

Voila!   Now thank your cute little shoulder-whisperer and say ‘Yes, it doesn’t pay to worry! It all works out!’


Complimentary Mini Classes at Craftsy

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craftsy

The more and more I’m over at Crafsty.com I’m beginning to not want to leave! You can grab complimentary mini class at Craftsy.com that include a FREE Knife cutting class, longarm quiliting, photo basics, bsaic quiltmaking skills, painting flowers in acrylic and so many more.

There are also TONS of online classes that are just $39.99…so if you have a New Years Resolution to learn a new hobby or trade this is the site for you!

What hobby do you enjoy doing?


Homemade Leave In Conditioner

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Let’s face it! Leave in conditioner is more expensive than conditioner and I don’t think I’ll ever understand why. I mean all it is is conditioner that’s been liquified with water. So after my hair was feeling a little dry and looking a little frizzy this past summer; not sure if it was the sun or hair color or what, I decided to try my hand at making my own Homemade Leave In Conditioner.

leaveinconditioner

Supplies Needed:

 

  • Spray bottle
  • Conditioner of Your Choice (or whatever was on sale!)

Instructions:

It’s pretty simple really…Fill the spray bottle about 1/8 of the way with conditioner and then the rest with water. Shake it a little to ensure the conditioner dissolves within the water. You will being to enjoy softer, smoother hair for less! This also works great as a detangler for the kiddos!

You may also wanna check out the Homemade Dry Shampoo recipe. This works really good!

Have you ever made your own Homemade Leave-In Conditioner or other beauty products?


Frugal DIY: How to Reupholster a Chair in 6 Easy Steps

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Please, do tell me how cute this Reupholstered Shabby Chic Chair is?!? I’ll show you how to reupholster a chair is simple and will save you hundreds of dollars. Plus you’ll get the look you want!

Cute Desk Chair – $5 + $2.99 for materials = $7.99 total!

We’re on a very tight budget, but I’m determined to (re)furnish several rooms in our home including my daughter’s bedroom.  She has never had a “theme” and now that she’s 10 we’ve pinned down her style as shabby chic.  She’s an old soul and would have loved to have been born during the times of horse-drawn carriages and chivalry.  So when she said she loves roses, antiques, and lace I knew that the popular shabby chic style would fit her well.

I’m a part of a community Facebook group started by local moms who buy and sell from each other, it’s an invite only group so it keeps the Craigslist flakes at bay.  Yesterday a sweet lady posted the adorable chair pictured above for just $5 and I knew I had to have it!  I picked it up today and stopped by Goodwill with Haley in search for some material to recover the seat.

We found a fabric shower curtain for $2.99 – it’s the perfect material, sturdy and thick!  This was my first time reupholstering anything and I can’t believe how easy it was.  It literally took me less than 15 minutes which plays into my appreciation for a simple DIY tasks.  Let’s just say that patience for long term projects isn’t one of my strong suits.

Here’s how you reupholster a chair in 6 easy steps…

  1. Turn the chair upside down
  2. Remove 4 screws
  3. Remove lots of staples holding down the current fabric
  4. Roughly cut the new fabric using the old as a template
  5. Pull the fabric back over the seat cushion and staple it down
  6. Screw it back to the chair frame and you’re done!

If you hadn’t read in our previous posts, we’re very excited to be in the process of buying our very first home!  We have moved a great deal in the 12 years (and 4 kids) of marriage and we are very eager to settle into our “forever” home.  Moving to Bend has been such a blessing in so many ways for our family, and buying a home is just icing on the cake – something we could have never done in CA.

Being frugal is great, but I’m still a woman who wants to decorate and furnish her first home!  So on that note, I’ll be sharing a few posts this summer about frugal ways to repurpose, redecorate, or refurnish your home on a budget.  So stay tuned for more Frugal DIY posts!


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Homemade Mod Podge

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If you are an avid crafter, you know about Mod Podge. And if you are like me and love to craft, but only pull out the decoupage about 2 or 3 times a year, the lid on your Mod Podge may be impenetrable because it’s been glued shut for who knows how long. That is the situation I found myself in when I sat down to make my own Advent Ornaments. I needed decoupage and I didn’t want to break my crafting stride by going to the store, so I made my own Homemade Mod Podge!

ModPodge

Supplies you will need:

  • A jar
  • Elmer’s Glue
  • Water

Instructions:

  1. Empty the glue into a jar. My jar is just an old pickle jar and a great way to recycle!
  2. Add Water 1/4 cup at a time. Essentially you need it to be 50% glue and 50% water.
  3. Shake it up!

And you are done!!

Price Costs

  • Mod Podge 16 oz. $7.37
  • Elmer’s Glue 4 oz. 4-pack – $4.40

One 4 0z. bottle of Elmer’s will make 8 oz. of homemade decoupage. So, for $ 2.20 you can make 16 oz. of the homemade kind.

 

 


Frugal DIY: How to Make Homemade Laundry Detergent

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Have you ever wondered how to make h0memade laundry detergent in your own home? If so, you are in luck! The initial investment is about $11 for the first 5 gallons, but after that, you will have Borax and Washing Soda left over and will only have to buy the bar of soap.  To make it easier to stir, you may want to try a drill attachment for stirring paint.

Here is what you will need:

  • 4 Cups – hot tap water
  • 1 Fels-Naptha soap bar – $0.97
  • 1 Cup – Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda *It must be sodium carbonate!! – $3.24
  • ½ Cup 20 Mule Team Borax – $2.98
  • 5 Gallon bucket with lid (about $2.75)

We have found all these at Wal-mart. If they are out, Ace Hardware is the next best place to find look.

Here’s how you put it all together:

Shred bar of soap (we like to use a cheese grater) and add to saucepan with water. Stir continually over medium-low heat until soap dissolves and is melted.

  1. Fill a 5 gallon bucket half full of hot tap water. Add melted soap, washing soda and Borax. Stir well until all powder is dissolved. Fill bucket to top with more hot water. Stir, cover and let sit overnight to thicken. (It will gel.)
  2. Stir once again and fill a used, clean, laundry soap dispenser. Shake before each use.
  3. Optional: You can add 10-15 drops of essential oil per 2 gallons. Add once soap has cooled. Ideas: lavender, rosemary, tea tree oil.
Remember the FREE $10 VitaCost credit through this link?  You can order essential oils there for as low as $2.08, so grab a few bottles for FREE just pay the $4.99 shipping!

Suggested Measurements

  • Top Load Machine- 5/8 Cup per load (Approx. 180 loads)
  • Front Load Machines- ¼ Cup per load (Approx. 640 loads)

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DIY Antique Paper

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There are so many things you can do with Antique Paper. But, it’s hard to find and often pretty expensive. I found a way to do my own DIY Antique paper and it’s with something the vast majority of us have ever morning!

Supplies you will need:

  • Brewed coffee (or tea) – I used left over coffee from earlier this morning :)
  • Paint Brush or sponge
  • Desired page(s)
  • Cookie sheet

Instructions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees.
  2. Choose the page(s) you want to “antique”.
  3. Lay the page(s) on cookie sheet. (You can crumple up and then straighten your pages as this will give a crinkle effect.)
  4. Brush on a light coat of coffee or tea, covering page completely.
  5. Bake on 200 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until dry.

Repeat steps 4 and 5 until you achieve the desired color.

AntiquePaperTFF

One of the projects I completed with the DIY Antique Paper was the Advent Calendar Ornaments. What crafts have you done with Antique Paper?


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Homemade Foaming Soap

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   DIYFoamingHandSoapTFF

Foaming soap is so luxurious, but now you don’t have to pay the luxurious price. I’ve got the skinny on the best and cheapest DIY Homemade Foaming Hand soap with the recipe and how to below!

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 Tbsp of Liquid Hand  or Dish Soap - *Don’t use the thick & creamy soaps.  The clear-based soaps foam best!*
  • 1 Foaming Hand Soap Dispenser – You can just refill the empty bottle, if you already have one or you could buy one here.
  • Hot Water

How to do it:

  • Pour one tablespoon of liquid dish soap into an empty foaming soap dispenser.
  • Slowly fill the rest of the dispenser with water (leaving a little space at the top of the container).
  • Put the lid back on, and gently tip upside down & side to side to mix.
  • Don’t shake (it will get too sudsy)

 


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DIY: Adorable and Easy Photo Valentine’s Day Card in 3D

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3D Valentine

A friend of mine made these sweet Photo Valentine’s Day cards for her little guy to distribute at school. Much cuter than any of the ones you buy in bulk and very easy to make. These photo valentines stay sweet even after the lollipop is gone!

How to do it:

  1. Start by getting a picture of your child with an outstretched fist and a smile.
  2. Overlay some “Happy Valentine’s Day” text in a photo editing program and print out as many 4×6 copies as needed.
  3. Then simply make a slit with a exacto knife or use a hole punch to make an opening at the top and bottom of their hand and slide the lollipop in. *You could also use piece of tape on the back to make sure the lollipops didn’t fall out.

Need some pictures printed for cheap? You can get buy 25 4×6 prints and get 25 for FREE at Walgreens with promo code BUYITGETIT through Feb 1st.

Thanks, Julie, for sharing your creation and the picture of your beautiful baby boy!


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Save Up to 70% off With Blitsy

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Are you a crafter? Do you spend hours on Pinterest (be sure to follow The Frugal Find on Pinterest…we will be pinning away soon!)? Maybe you have children at home who enjoy doing crafts as well…whatever the reason you need to join Blitsy here (it’s free!). When you sign up for Blitsy you’ll be saving yourself up to 70% off art and crafts supplies. The best part is that it’s delivered to your house!!!

Blitsty


Epsom Salt to Replace Chemicals in Jacuzzi

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Epsom salt replaces chemicals in jacuzzi

I love getting tips and money saving advice from the readers of The Frugal Find! Here’s one we received from reader Cynthia about how you can use epsom salts to replace chemicals in jacuzzis:

I use Epsom Salts in our outdoor jacuzzi instead of chemicals. We treat it like a Japanese bath & shower before getting in. The magnesium is good for you, and no nasty chemicals! I have done this for 4 years now & no jacuzzi problems other than old age. (I have cancer and refuse to use toxic chemicals in ANYTHING :) ) Citric acid & baking soda can be used to modify pH as needed. I am also going to start using some Dead Sea Salts in it. Dead Sea Warehouse sells the salts in buckets (cheapest online, of course) , waaaay cheaper than anyone else!

Cynthia, we hope you are kicking cancers butt! Thank you for the tip.

If you’d like to share a tip feel free to leave a comment below or contact The Frugal Find.

 


DIY Shea Butter Bars

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do it your self shea butter bar

If you live in an area where it’s dry, you might want to use this recipe to make your own Shea Butter bars! These bars would also make cute and original gifts for family or friends. It could even be something for your kids to make and give as presents.

Winter in Colorado is both a blessing and a curse! Despite popular belief, our winters are actually mild and beautiful. Most winter days are gorgeous and sunny (yup, sunny, we actually get more sunny days than Florida!). So you can go outside in 30 degree weather and it will not feel cold. Many days I only wear a sweatshirt or heavy sweater, as long as it’s not windy or snowing.

However, another reason why our winters feel so bearable is because Colorado is dry. And when I say dry, I mean there is hardly any humidity in the air. And that’s where the curse part of it comes in … when the air is this dry, your skin, nails and hair dry out like crazy. This is why Shea Butter has become a staple in my household. We use it to soften and moisturize our hands and body. It really is a fantastic product.

So here is how it goes …

Ingredients:

Equal Parts of the following:

Shea Butter

Bees Wax 

Almond, Olive or Avocado Oil

Melt shea butter and beeswax in a double boiler. If you do not have a double boiler, fill a pot with water and place a glass bowl that is a little smaller on top of the pot, ensuring that the water does not touch the bottom of the glass bowl.

Once the sea butter and beeswax has completely melted, add in the oil of your choice.

Pour into a silicon mold which are the easiest for removing the bars once they have cooled completely. You can find all sorts of cute shapes, and you can pick and choose them according to the season (hearts for Valentine’s, tree shapes for Christmas, etc.)

Once completely cooled, remove from mold.

To use:

Let your body heat gently melt the bar between your hands and rub into dry skin.

*Shea Butter can get grainy if it gets to hot. To avoid this, melt your butter and wax on a low setting.

 


DIY: How to Decorate Your Dorm Room For Less

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dorm And it’s back to school time! This is the time of year students will be flocking back to college campuses, and cramming themselves into tiny and cramped dorm rooms which they will try to make their own. Decorating a small space such as a dorm room can be a challenge. And since most college students are on a ramen noodle budget, the challenge can be even greater. So what is the solution? Well instead of opting for a blank and boring space all year, take a look below at 7 solutions for how to decorate your dorm room for less. You might just be surprised how much function and style you can cram into that small space, and how you can do it for just pennies. Take a peek!


7 Tips for How to Decorate Your Dorm Room for Less:

1. Fix up some second hand furniture.
Hit up garage sales and thrift stores for chairs, desks, and end tables. Even if they are not visually appealing, as long as they are solid and stable you can always repurpose them. A fresh coat of paint and some fresh drawer liners can make a huge difference to any piece for less!

2. Buy carpet remnants
Most dorm rooms have tile floors, so a piece of great carpeting can help the space feel more cozy. Don’t spend big bucks on an area rug; instead buy a carpeting remnant from a local home improvement store. It will cost you a fraction of the cost.

3. Be creative with storage.
Since plenty of storage space is needed, find creative ways to offer it. Vintage suitcases not only look stylish stacked up as an end table but you can store items in them as well. Try using hat boxes, baskets, and other decorative objects for storing everyday items.

4. Use stick on wall decals.
While dorm rooms are unable to be painted, you can use stick on wall decals in order to warm up the space. Craft stores sell peel and stick decals that won’t damage your walls and come in a variety of designs. You can typically find these for as low as a few dollars! Stick on wall hooks are also ideal for not only creating more space, but hanging wall art as well.

5. Make your own throw pillows.
Don’t spend big bucks on decorative throw pillows to warm up your space. Hit up the local craft store for clearance fabric, cut simple 12 by 12 squares, stitch, and stuff! You can make your own for a fraction of the cost.

6. Find coupons!
Yes, you can find coupons good on home décor perfect for decorating a dorm room. Target.com offers a variety of printable coupons good on sheets, towels, prints, small décor and more. You can also keep your eyes peeled for Bed Bath and Beyond 20% off coupons in order to score practical décor items for less.

7. Find bargain lighting.
Lighting can make or break a space. Hit up secondhand stores for a variety of lamps as well as mirrors. The lights will come in handy when studying and just creating a warm space, and the mirrors will help make the space feel bigger. Snag a few of these items, you won’t be sorry.

As you can see, these are all great ways to fancy up a dorm room on a dime! Remember, small additions such as pictures frames and flameless candles from your local dollar store can also make it a sweet and cozy space. Combine all of these tips and see how easy it is to create a space that is relaxing, inviting, and very functional.

Back to school time is stressful enough, so don’t let dorm room décor drama make things even worse. Give these tips on how to decorate a dorm room for less a try and see how you too can create a space that gets an A+!