Category: Frugal Living Tips

TMR Frugal Living Tip #76

Today’s thrifty living tip is to bring your own bags to the store. We know all it cuts down on plastic being used to make bags which is great for the environment. It also cuts down on the amount of trash in landfills. But did you know that you can stuff a lot of groceries in them? Not only that, but the majority of them have a reinforced bottom which is great for canned goods plus heavier items. Most people say they have a hard time remembering to bring them to the store. So what I’ve done is to keep them stored in my car side door. This way I always see them before I get out of my car. I have heard that some stores will give a discount for bringing your own. None around me do this, but you might be one of those lucky people. CVS has a key chain one that you can buy for 99 cents, and you will get a $1 ECB for every 4th purchase when you have it scanned. I’m even starting to bring bigger tote bag ones when I go to yard sales. I usually get the bigger ones for free at some stores I have shopped. Another great thing about them is you could make your own customized ones if you wanted to have more stylish bags. I feel that these bags are a great and inexpensive investment.

TMR Frugal Living Tip #75

Today’s thrifty living tip is use cloth napkins and dish towels over paper napkins and paper towels. This will save you lots of money over your life. I still use paper towels from time to time, but a super sized pack will last me for months. I usually buy one or two of those 8 roll packs on sale at CVS yearly. I have the same pack of napkins I got on sale over two years ago. I just rarely use them. I would much rather use my cloth napkins and towels.

I buy the dish towels on clearance and stock up. I make my own napkins by cutting out the size I need and serge the edges so it doesn’t ravel in the wash. These napkins will last for years. If it’s a big spill then I find the dish towel will clean up the spill quicker, and I don’t have to waste several paper towels. When they get to a point that I can’t use them in the kitchen, then they become cleaning towels. I really try to use them up as much as I can before discarding. We all know it’s better for the environment, but it’s also much better for my pocket book.

TMR Frugal Living Tip #74

Monistat as a Makeup PrimerToday’s thrifty living tip is instead of using an expensive makeup primer, you can use Monistat Chafing Powder-Gel. You read this correctly Monistat. I can hear you saying I am not putting stuff made for feminine itching on my face! Gross!

I realize this sounds a little crazy but it really works great as a makeup primer. The reason it works so well is that it contains dimethicone which is the same ingredient that the other expensive makeup primers use. It’s a fraction of the cost plus you will get more for the money.

I was skeptical at first as I have used MAC primer which is wonderful. I never tried Smashbox, but I know it’s another very popular makeup primer. I found it at my local Wal-Mart for $6.37 plus tax, and I read that it will last for at least a year. You don’t use much as in the size of a dime. Trying is believing, and it really does work!

I live in very humid south Louisiana and if the heat doesn’t melt off your makeup then the humidity will. My makeup still looked wonderful at the end of the day especially my eye makeup. I couldn’t believe how well this stuff works and for a fraction of the more expensive primers. I also have oily skin but my face doesn’t look like an oil slick at the end of the day. My foundation went on flawlessly and it just feels nice. Some people say it can be hard to find and not found in Canada.

Leave me a comment either if you have tried it or you want to try. I would love to hear from you.

TMR Gets a Long Overdue Facelift

So I haven’t posted in over two months. I know it’s terrible, but life has really gotten in the way since last year. I finally gave my blog a long overdue face lift. I hope everyone likes it. I’m not sure if I’m happy with all the text colors but it will do for now. I’m pleased with the template design, and I find it a little whimsical. It fits with my blog perfectly I think. So let me know what you think.

I had posted an update in February about how things were going for my family. If you had read then you know that I had a lot going on between my son and myself. I am happy to post that things are so much better for both of us. He finished the 2nd grade making straight A’s most of the year with only 2 B’s on his report cards. He finished the year very strong and should have a much easier time in 3rd grade. I’m very hopeful and just extremely grateful we found some wonderful people to help us.

I had decided to start losing weight at the end of last August. I had tried several times in the past, but I would never stick with it. I would quit all my bad habits at once which would overwhelm me. Then I would completely quit and undo any bad habits I had stopped. I decided to try a different approach by doing it with baby steps. My first step was to quit drinking soft drinks. I thought I had acid reflux, and I was drinking alka-seltzer 3-5x a week. Some days twice a day! It was craziness and I had to stop. I switched to sweet iced tea so no caffeine withdrawls or headaches. I would make a gallon of tea and put 1/2 cup of sugar so it wasn’t very sweet at all. When I got used to that, then a couple of weeks later I cut it down to a 1/4c. Then I finally got used to drinking it without any sugar. I drank more water and I lost 6 pounds in 10 days! That was amazing and 2 weeks later I noticed that I wasn’t having heartburn anymore. It finally dawned on me that the soft drinks were causing my heartburn. Once I quit drinking them it magically went away! That saved me lots of money as soft drinks are expensive. Then I was able to take another step by watching my calorie intake. I made switches from honey wheat bread to dark German bread. I also quit eating white rice by switching to brown. All of these small changes made big impacts on my appetite. I started walking with my Leslie Walk-Away-The-Pounds DVD’s at the end of December. I began slowly and kept challenging myself with slightly harder workouts. I was out of breath but I never quit. I also didn’t berate myself if I had to modify or quit. I just told myself tomorrow you will do better and I did.

I will say that my biggest motivator came in October. I got my prescription for Zoloft and my doctor ran a blood test on me. The results came back that my sugar level was elevated (126) and my cholesterol was 190. The worst part was she wanted me to take Glucophage since I was pre-diabetic! I was shocked and refused it. I had already lost 17 pounds at that point, and was committed to losing this weight on my own. I knew I could do it and I would prove to her that I didn’t need a diabetic medicine when I wasn’t truly diabetic. I had talked to a good friend of mine who is a diabetic and former nurse. She was also shocked and told me no way. She advised me to get a glucose meter and just check my blood after eating to see what would trigger it. I learned a lot by talking with her and really changed my eating habits more than I had. My blood sugar level went to normal quickly and has stayed that way since. I haven’t had a formal blood test but am planning one soon.

We finally got to Disney World at the end of April. I was down 65 pounds and it felt wonderful. I got to a size 16 in bottoms and XL in tops. I had prepared myself for all the walking before we went. Walking around WDW was a piece of cake. We also hit the beach in Panama City. It was a very long overdue vacation and our first family trip ever. I wasn’t even worried too much about the long drive. It was fine and we saved a lot of money by driving instead of flying. We broke up the drive by spending the night in Tallahassee. My husband and son have never been outside of MS or TX so it was a great experience for them. We had a wonderful time and didn’t want to leave. We can’t wait for our next family trip which we hope will be next year. I’m going to wrap up this super long post soon. I am down 75 pounds as of today. I have lost 10 dress sizes and am currently wearing a LG in tops/14-16 in bottoms. I still have another 55 pounds to go but I know I will get there.

I have also started working part-time again as a merchandiser/mystery shopper/demonstrator. It’s not really steady right now, but it’s harder with the summer. My son is home with me so I can’t really dive into it like I want. I did just pick up a great job that has wonderful hours and nice pay. Once he’s back in school, then I’m sure work will pick up for me. I’m going to try really hard not to neglect this blog anymore and adding posts regularly. Thanks for letting me share. I’m not planning on leaving for long periods of time anymore. I will make this blog more of a priority again. I really enjoy having it to share my good deals, thrifty tips, and even about my family.

TMR Frugal Living Tip #73

Today’s thrifty living tip is use cheap hairspray, in a can, to stun roaches. We get the big tree ones in the house, and sometimes they move too fast before I get a chance to smack them. I use a can of cheap dollar store hairspray which stuns them so I can smack them. It’s cheaper than roach spray but probably not better chemical wise. Of course you can buy an all natural roach spray that is good for the environment. I also use a very heavy coffee table book that I bought at a yard sale for 50 cents to smack them. I am squeamish about seeing them so I cover the book in plastic grocery bags and tie them at the end. When I see a roach crawling on the floor, I just drop the book on it. I then let hubby deal with cleaning it up.

My Spring Garden has Sprung


I didn’t get any fall planting done last year since we had some unusually cold weather early in winter. Our last few winters have been very mild so I guess it was time for colder weather. Spring usually arrives in early February, but this year it waited until late March into early April. We got a late start on getting the garden tilled and amended. I also had to buy tomato and bell pepper transplants at my local nursery. We expanded the garden by several rows and planted new seeds this year. I finished planting all the April crops on Friday evening. Here is what we have planted this year: roma tomatoes, cucumbers, green/red/orange bell peppers, black beans, bush snap beans, zucchini, cow peas (similar to black eyed peas), sugar baby watermelons, and cantaloupe. I already see lots of cucumbers popping up. I also planted marigolds in between the tomato rows which helps to ward off caterpillars. I shall see how this does. I bought three more blueberry bushes which are all flowering. I will have lots of blackberries this year from all the buds and flowering on the bush. I’m very excited about my garden and very hopeful it will be plentiful. I included pictures below.

TMR Frugal Living Tip #72: Cut Face Wipes in Half!

Today’s thrifty living tip is to use a paste of baking soda to get stains out of plastic containers. It will also get out some funky smells. I use cold water to make a thick paste and let it soak overnight and rinse it out in cool water. You may need to do a second soaking but it usually gets out the stain on the first go rounds. Using hot water sets in the stains just like it will on your clothes. I wash it in warm water if the stain is out or mostly out.