Category: Frugal Living Tips

How to Save Money on Exercise Equipment for Your Home Gym

In theory, setting up a home gym sounds like it should save you money. It’ll prevent you from having to pay for a gym membership to get a good workout in while also cutting down on your gym commute time.

But one of the things you’ll find after committing to putting a home gym together is that the exercise equipment you’ll need for it can be very expensive. Treadmills, stationary bikes, and even dumbbells can be a lot more costly than you might think.

Don’t let that discourage you from attempting to put together a home gym anyway! There are lots of ways you can assemble a home gym without spending a fortune.

Here are some tips that will help you bring your home gym to life while also keeping your costs way down.

Buy Used Exercise Equipment

There are some people who will run right out to the closest sporting goods store after deciding that they’re going to build a home gym. This is one of the biggest mistakes you can make when it comes to filling up your home gym.

If you go to a store, you’re going to pay hundreds and, in most cases, thousands of dollars for brand new exercise equipment. It won’t be long before you’re broke and hostile about how much you were forced to pay for your home gym.

Instead, look around in your area and find used exercise equipment that will do the same exact thing that new equipment will. It’ll do it at a fraction of the cost of new equipment.

You can find used equipment at garage sales and going-out-of-business events. You can also find it on auction sites and through Facebook groups. You might even spot a perfectly good piece of used equipment sitting on someone’s curb on garbage day!

Keep your eyes peeled. There are millions of Americans who buy workout equipment every year and then stop using it.

At some point, they’re going to try and sell it. And when they do, you should be there to swoop in and take it off their hands for a great price.

Purchase Multifunction Exercise Equipment

Ideally, you might want to fill your home gym up with things like treadmills, elliptical machines, rowers, and more.

That’s great if you’re able to do it by patiently waiting for used equipment to hit the open market (or the curb!). But you should know that you don’t need to have all this equipment to get a total body workout.

There are lots of affordable pieces of workout equipment that can help you complete a wide range of exercises at home without the hassle of relying on a machine.

Resistance exercise bands are an excellent example of this. There isn’t much to these bands, and they won’t cost you an arm and a leg. But you can perform dozens and dozens of exercises with them.

Here are some of the exercises you’ll be able to do with the bands:

  • Front squats
  • Leg curls
  • Standing adductors
  • Seated rows
  • Lat pulldowns
  • Bench press
  • Overhead press
  • Concentration curls
  • Kneeling crunches
  • And more!

This website can help you find the exercise band that would be right for you. You can also find mobility tools, protective gear, and more.

Use Water to Create Weights for Exercising

Most people are completely shocked when they see how much that weights like kettlebells cost. It’s not out of the ordinary for a single kettlebell to range in price from $50 all the way up to $300.

Paying that kind of money is outrageous and not worth it if your goal is to assemble an affordable home gym.

Fortunately, there’s an easy way to get around buying weights. Rather than dropping serious dough on kettlebells and other weights, you can use the weight of water to your advantage.

Take a couple old laundry detergent jugs and fill them up with water. Then, try to pick one of them up. You’ll be surprised by how heavy they are and how much of a challenge they will be to lift.

You can use those jugs in place of weights. You can also use regular water jugs and other containers that you can fill with water to create weights.

As an added bonus, you can remove or add water to containers to make them lighter or heavier depending on which workouts you’re going to be doing.

Repurpose Household Items Into Workout Equipment

There are all kinds of things laying around your house that you can probably repurpose in order to make your own makeshift exercise equipment.

For instance, are you on the hunt for a step that you can use for aerobics? You can go and buy one for upwards of $50 at a store. Or you can take a phone book and cover it in duct tape to create a step of your own.

You likely have lots of household items like this sitting around your home that you can use. Go down in your basement or up in your attic to see what you can find.

Take Your Cardio Workouts Outside

If it’s the dead of winter and there’s a foot of snow on the ground, walking or running outside might be out of the question.

But outside of a few tough times of the year, you should be able to do most of your cardio exercises outside. You can walk, jog, run, sprint, jump rope, and more to get a good cardio workout in.

And best of all, you won’t have to worry about maintaining a treadmill or any other equipment to do it.

Use Your Home Gym to Get Into Better Shape

Now that you know how to find and make exercise equipment for your home gym, start doing it today. It won’t be long before you’re working out at home and seeing real results.

Continue to look around for equipment that might work well in your home gym. You can add equipment to it over time to keep challenging yourself to work out harder.

Read our blog for more thrifty tips on keeping yourself in great shape.

Skip the Emergency Room: Top 3 Ways a Trip to Urgent Care Will Save You Money

Where do we go in those emergency situations? Most patients visit the ER. Unless you truly have an emergency, you should avoid the high costs and long waits of the ER.

This is where urgent care centers come in. The wait times are short, they’re more affordable, you’ll meet with a doctor, and urgent care centers accept a wide amount of insurance carriers.

If you have a minor emergency, such as a sickness, the urgent care center will save you money.

Here are 3 ways an urgent care center will save you money.

1. Cheaper Than the ER

Many people choose an urgent care center over the ER during non-emergency situations.

Not only does this save time, but also money. Uninsured patients can expect an ER bill of at least $1,000, even as high as $4,000. But the average urgent care bill is $150 for uninsured patients.

Urgent care centers have the same amenities as the ER. Patients have access to qualified doctors and urgent care centers offer x-rays, shots, lab testing, prescribe medications, and can even place a cast on a broken bone.

Urgent care centers also have the same hours as the ER: open seven days a week and open as late as 9 PM and even later.

2. They Don’t Offer the Same Technology

While urgent care centers offer many amenities as the ER, they don’t offer the exact same technology and services.

For patients in life-threatening situations or patients requiring extensive surgery, they need to visit the ER. But if a patient has a sprained ankle or even caught the flu, they can see an urgent care center.

Since urgent care centers don’t require advanced technology and other advanced services, their running costs are a lot cheaper. This means patients don’t pay as much as the ER.

Urgent care centers can even be a cheaper option, as opposed to your GP. Your GP even has more advanced technology, such as record keeping and other required services.

An urgent care center doesn’t offer these same services, saving the facility and patients money.

3. They Accept Most Insurance Carriers

This is great news for insured patients! Most urgent care centers accept all major insurance carriers. Insured patients may only require a co-pay, which can be as low as $50.

Depending on the facility and the insurance, some patients don’t even need a co-pay.

Do You Need to Visit an Urgent Care Center?

The next time you need to promptly see a doctor, ask yourself if you should visit the ER or if you can get away with visiting an urgent care center.

Urgent care centers are more convenient and cheaper than the ER. They’re open every day and at late hours. Urgent care facilities require fewer services and accept most insurance carriers. Even uninsured patients can expect a low co-pay.

The only time you should visit the ER is if your condition is life-threatening or you need an emergency operation.

For more surprising money-saving tips, visit our blog.

There Are Now Coupons for Everything! Here’s Where to Find Them

In ten years, you could save up to $30,000 by becoming an extreme couponer.

However, in order to start saving such big bucks, you need to know where to find the best coupons.

In this article, we’ll look at the best ways to find coupons for everything from groceries to clothing. Let’s get started:

1. Install an Extension on Your Computer

Thankfully, with the help of the internet, you don’t need to super vigilant about keeping hold of paper coupons.

Instead, you can download an extension for your computer such as Honey, Amazon Assistant or Coupons at Checkout.

With these plugins, you’ll have a range of coupon codes given to you or added to your shopping automatically. Easy savings are the best!

2. Voucher Websites Save Extra Cash

Don’t want to download a plugin? Don’t worry, there is an alternative. Nowadays, there are hundreds of websites which can offer you discounts and deals.

Why not try out a few? One of the best to try is the Voucher Empire website. Here, you’ll find huge discounts for everything from travel to leisure and entertainment.

You may also want to consider Groupon, the company founded in 2008. You’ll find hundreds of deals and coupons based on where you live.

3. “Trick” Companies into Thinking You’re Uninterested

Companies are trying to snag as many customers as they can. This can be used in your favor.

For example, are you thinking of ordering a new jacket online? If so, create an account with the company you’re purchasing it from. Then, add your order to the cart and finally… abandon it.

Hopefully, a few days later you’ll be sent a coupon via email trying to entice you back. You’d be surprised how often this works.

4. Sign up to Emails Lists and Actually Read Them

This may sound like strange advice as our inboxes are regularly filled with spam and many of us don’t have time to read everything anyway.

But, signing up to mailing lists can actually help you save money. You’ll need to do a little work in order to find out which companies are best at providing discounts via email. Here are some ideas:

  • Money Saving Expert – you’ll receive a regular email jam packed with discounts, deals and coupons.
  • Your regular grocery shop – if you sign up for a member’s card and an email, you may be surprised by how much you can save.
  • Starbucks – this company is always offering free or discounted coffees via its email list.

Of course, there are hundreds of email lists but only those which you’ll read and use are worth signing up to.

Keep it to your regularly used shops or restaurants. This way, you ensure that you’re actually receiving a worthwhile discount and aren’t spending the money for the sake of it.

5. Ask for a Discount – You May be Surprised by the Answer

Negotiation is one of the best skills we can learn in life and a great way to save you money.

Every few months, call up your credit card company, your insurance companies and your gym or club to ask for a discount.

If you’re intending on leaving, let them know. Many companies will jump at the chance to make sure you stay and offer you a lower rate.

You can Truly Find Coupons for Everything

With this list, you should be able to find coupons for everything and begin saving yourself some extra cash.

Want more tips on how to save money and live frugally? Check out our Frugal Living Tips section for more ideas.

Can Home Delivery Help You Save on Prescription Drug Costs?

prescription drug costsYou’re not imagining it: the prices of prescription drugs have skyrocketed within the past few years. In fact, high prescription drug costs are seen by many as a new, and truly terrifying, threat to public health.

Even the cost of Medicare prescription costs have climbed to ten times the rate of inflation.

No matter what kind of medication you’re taking, and how often you need to take it, we know you want to be able to lower your prescription drug costs.

But where can you find the lowest cost prescriptions? Looking into prescription home delivery service is a great place to start.

How can it help to save you money on the medication you need?

Keep on reading this post to find out.

Cheap Prescriptions and Home Delivery Service

What if you could have your prescription medication delivered to your door?

Not only would this save you time and the hassle of dealing with the pharmacy, but it would also lower your prescription drug costs.

Plus, if you’re looking at different pharmacies that offer delivery service, you’ll be able to compare prescription prices and save money.

Just make sure that you know the cost of the delivery fee. Also, look into whether or not you can apply any discounts or coupons the pharmacy may have given you to your delivery service.

If you collect reward points from the pharmacy, you should also check to see if they’ll be added to your prescription delivery service.

You need to be certain that the prescriptions you need are eligible for home delivery services, and that your insurance plan allows for delivery.

If you take a medication that needs to be refrigerated, a controlled substance, or if your prescriptions are paid for by Medicare B, you likely won’t be able to get them delivered.

Believe it or not, depending on where you live in the US, and certainly, if you live in Canada, you may be able to have medical marijuana delivered to your door. Check out the Dope Mail website to learn more.

How You Can Find the Cheapest Prescriptions with a Delivery Service

Now, let’s get into how opting to use a prescription delivery service will save you some serious cash.

First of all, this allows you to order larger quantities of the pills that you need. No one enjoys hefty co-pays once every 30 days. With a 60 or even 90-day supply, you’ll be able to remove all sorts of fees and extra costs from your life.

In some cases, you may even be able to sign up to have your prescriptions refilled automatically. This will save you time, money, and ensure that you don’t forget to do it on your own.

Plus, the cost of the pills may be lower than in the pharmacy.

This way, you won’t have to risk going even one day without the medication that you need.

Of course, it goes without saying that you’ll be able to use your drug insurance plan to help you cover the cost of your medication. It works just the same way as any other sort of pharmacy. Except, of course, for the fact that it’s a lot more convenient for you.

But what about if you have a few questions for a pharmacist? Will you still be able to get the answers you need? In most cases, absolutely.

In addition to providing you with the lowest cost prescriptions, most home delivery services also have a pharmacist on hand that you can speak to if needed.

If you’re unsure as to whether or not your insurance company works with prescription delivery services? Just call them and speak to a representative to find out.

An In-Depth Look at Deliverable Prescriptions

While we spoke briefly about the kinds of prescription medication that could be delivered, it’s important to take a closer look.

So, which specific types of medication can you save money on by opting for home delivery services? You can expect that your allergy medication, along with cold and flu medications, will be deliverable. Your natural pain relief supplements and vitamins methods can also be delivered to you.

The same goes for your mental health prescriptions, treatment for diabetes, and even prescription drugs for a thyroid condition.

You’ll also be able to have men’s and women’s health treatments, heart medication, glaucoma/eye care prescriptions, and even medication for high blood pressure delivered to your door.

Additionally, you can have medication used to treat a fungal infection, high cholesterol, and even digestive issues delivered.

Just make sure that you’ve truly taken the time to read past client reviews of any delivery service you’re thinking about using. You need to know the kind of courier service they use, how long the medication will take to get delivered, and how payment works.

Looking for Additional Ways to Lower Your Prescription Drug Costs?

We hope that this post has encouraged you to consider using a mail delivery service to help you to lower prescription drug costs.

There are few things more frustrating than feeling like you’re being financially punished for a medical issue or long-term illness.

The good news is that it’s possible to find cheap prescriptions that are also safe and can be delivered quickly.

If you’re looking for more ways to save on the costs of your medication, we want to help you to put more pennies in the piggy bank.

That’s why we bring you the latest in discount and coupon codes. We also offer tons of other money-saving advice, so make sure that you bookmark this blog and come back to us in the future.

7 Tips to Help You Find Couple’s Counseling You Can Afford

couple's counselingA couple who says they never fight is either lying or headed for disaster. Everyone has their own thoughts and opinions. No two people will ever agree on everything, 100% of the time.

Openly talking about your disagreements and even fighting (when done right) are healthy ways of clearing the air. When you don’t talk about stuff in the interest of not fighting, you simply become a powderkeg primed to explode at the tiniest spark.

Couple’s counseling can help couples learn to disagree and communicate in healthy ways. However, since finances are one of the top things couples fight about, finding the money to pay for counseling may be a challenge.

Here are 7 tips to find affordable couple’s counseling.

1. Insurance

The best way to make couple’s counseling more affordable is to take some of the financial burdens off your shoulders. There are a few ways you can do this.

The first is through insurance. Many health insurance plans still don’t offer counseling benefits. However, with the growing interest in mental health issues, it’s becoming more common.

Check your policy or call your insurance company to find out what they offer.

An unfortunate downside of this is that many companies require the counseling to be medically necessary. That means one of you will need a diagnosis to qualify for benefits.

This can unnecessarily stigmatize one person in the relationship. (We’re here because of her depression problems, or his anger issues are the root). Even if couples don’t overtly blame the other, this can cause an underlying mindset shift that will interfere with therapy.

2. Employee Assistance

Savvy employers know that happy employees make for a more productive and harmonious workplace. And happiness starts in the home.

Thus, some companies contract with counselors or mental health agencies to offer free counseling sessions to their employees. The number of sessions may be limited, but it’s a good way to get started. You might find that all you need are a few productive sessions anyway to learn better communication skills.

3. Mental Health Agency

Another option to look into is getting counseling through a mental health agency. These agencies often have programs to help ease the financial burden. The last thing you need to be worried about with couple’s counseling is how to pay for it.

To that end, they may set you up on a payment plan to ease the strain. Some agencies also offer a sliding scale that is based on your income. There’s no reason that affordable counseling services can’t be available to you, regardless of how much money you make.

4. Online Counseling

Another obstacle to couple’s counseling may be that there are no good (or affordable) options in your area. You may not have time to travel the distance required to get to an appropriate counselor, not to mention the added cost of transportation.

In this day and age of technology and video conferencing, you don’t have to let that hold you back. Many counselors and agencies offer online counseling services.

It may feel a little less personal to talk with a counselor over the internet. But remember, it is never about the counselor anyway. It’s about learning to connect with your spouse who is, of course, in the same room as you.

You can view here one great option that offers remote services. This company offers counseling services with a slightly different philosophy than the mainstream. If you feel like their approach would work better for your situation, you can take advantage of their online services even if you don’t live near one of their locations!

5. Work with an Intern

Another great option to save on the hourly rate is to work with an intern. At first, this might sound strange.

Wouldn’t you rather work with a full-fledged counselor with years of experience behind them? In an ideal world, sure. But those years of experience are going to cost you financially.

You can instead work with an intern at an agency or even in a counselor’s office. Typically, you can get excellent services at a much-reduced rate.

Interns are usually overseen with care by one of those professionals with years of experience. If something comes up in a session that the intern doesn’t know how to deal with, they can easily get guidance from their mentor.

6. Self-Help Options

If the cost of counseling is just too prohibitive you can also look into self-help options. Or better yet, combine the two.

Tell your counselor that money is tight and work out a plan to meet less frequently. But ask them to recommend exercises, books, and other resources that you and your spouse can work through together on your own time.

You can also look for self-help options on your own. But know that each of you will have to put in a real effort to see any kind of positive change.

7. Reevaluate Your Priorities

If all else fails, maybe it’s time to reevaluate your priorities. For some couples, there may truly be no room in your budget for couple’s counseling. For many, however, it’s simply a matter of rearranging your priorities.

Maybe you need to cut down on going out to eat or some other form of recreation for a few months. Try using an expense tracker to look at your budget objectively and see what you can live without for a time while you work on bettering your relationship.

Couple’s Counseling Can Be Affordable

Don’t let the cost of couple’s counseling prevent you from working on an important aspect of your life. Sometimes it’s not about what you can afford to do but what you can’t afford not to do.

Though divorces are common, anyone who has been through one will tell you it’s something to avoid. It’s even more important when there are children involved. No matter how great you think you are at co-parenting, your kids will always be adversely affected by your choosing to split.

Looking for more thrifty family life advice? Feel free to check out our blog!

5 Fun Wedding Entertainment Ideas to Make Your Special Day Unforgettable

wedding entertainment

Did your love finally pop the question? Congratulations! Getting married is an exciting (and sometimes stressful) time in your life.

You’ll want your wedding to perfectly describe you and your fiancee as a couple. Today, more and more couples are deciding to incorporate unique aspects to their wedding.

One of the best ways to try something new is by going with a fun wedding entertainment option. Every wedding has a DJ and dancing, so offering something in addition to that will make your wedding stand out.

Do you need some inspiration? Keep reading to discover five unique wedding entertainment ideas.

1. Carnival Games

Are you planning the perfect outdoor summer wedding? Well, nothing says summer better than a carnival!

You can take your wedding to the next level by having classic carnival games, like ring toss, balloon pop, and pick a duck. If you really want to wow, consider getting a Ferris wheel and some classic snacks, like caramel corn and cotton candy, for an amazing carnival-themed wedding reception.

2. Caricaturist

It’s no secret that all your friends and family will want to capture this special day. This has given couples the idea of adding a photo booth to make picture taking a little more fun. But, those photo booths are getting a little predictable.

If you want to keep things different, go with a caricaturist. Your guests will leave with a fun way to remember your special day, and they’ll be impressed by your unique idea.

3. Karaoke

Who says a live band or DJ are your only options for music? Let your guests entertain themselves with karaoke at your wedding.

Of course, it may be a little much to do this for the whole night. So just set aside an hour or two to let your guests sing their heart out.

4. Magician

If you’re looking for a real icebreaker, you can’t go wrong with a wedding magician.

Your guests will love watching their magic tricks and trying to figure out how they were done. Plus, this is one entertainment option that will get your guests mingling and talking to each other for the rest of the night.

5. Cultural Elements

Do you or your fiancee have strong cultural connections? Your wedding is the perfect place to showcase this!

Consider hiring cultural dancers or musicians to help your guests get to know you better. You could also offer more hands-on entertainment options, like a henna tattoo station, to really get your guests involved.

If you don’t have a strong connection with your culture – don’t worry. Think of ways you can incorporate your passions, like having an ice cream bar for dessert lovers or a DIY face mask making station for those working in the beauty industry.

The Best Wedding Entertainment Ideas

If you’re in the midst of planning a wedding, you may want to incorporate some unique elements to make it a day your guests will never forget. Just follow our guide to the best wedding entertainment ideas to ensure your guests have a blast.

Did you like these ideas? Check out our blog for more great content like this.

How to Get Free Plastic Surgery, No Strings Attached

how to get free plastic surgeryHave you always wanted to get a cosmetic procedure? You’re not alone. In 2016, Americans spent a record-breaking $16 billion dollars on cosmetic procedures.

The most popular procedures in the U.S. are currently breast augmentation, liposuction, rhinoplasty, tummy tucks, and butt augmentations. With plastic surgery, the options are relatively limitless.

Americans everywhere are getting cosmetic procedures to up their body confidence and achieve their desired look. The only downside to cosmetic surgery is often the price.

Many moms say that they would feel guilty setting aside part of their monthly budget to save for a cosmetic procedure. If cosmetic surgery is in your dreams but not in your budget, read on to learn more about how to get free plastic surgery.

How to Get Free Plastic Surgery

Are you looking for a relatively noninvasive procedure or something more drastic like a mommy makeover? Whatever the case, there are many options you can explore.

If you’re lucky, your insurance may cover your procedure. For procedures like rhinoplasty (often referred to as a ‘nose job’) insurance may cover your surgery if you have a medical requirement such as a deviated septum. While the surgery itself may be required for your own health and wellbeing, it’s common to ask for the surgeon to make aesthetic tweaks to enhance your appearance for no additional cost.

Occasionally, training programs will offer discounted services provided by recent graduates. Deep discounts can be great, however, we urge you to never compromise your own safety by opting for a procedure provided by anyone who is not board licensed.

Social Media Trades

If you’re a blogger, you might just be in luck. If you’ve built a healthy following, you may consider reaching out to local doctors with a pitch.

Let doctors know what you would be willing to offer them in exchange for a free procedure. This could include a multi-post blog about your procedure, free advertisements for their practice on your homepage, or vlogging your surgery day and recovery process.

Reality Shows

America’s fascination with plastic surgery has given way to a myriad of reality shows about the topic. If you’re willing to brave the cameras, speak candidly, and ‘bare all’, you might just score some free plastic surgery.

In the past shows like The Swan, Bridalplasty, and Extreme Makeover offered free cosmetic surgery to willing patients. Currently, shows like ‘Botched’ feature would-be plastic surgery candidates who need revisions done on poorly executed plastic surgery they’ve had in the past.

Keep an eye out for opportunities to submit your story and you might just be the next person to get a free procedure from a high-priced Beverly Hills plastic surgeon.

Getting Your Best Body

While plastic surgery can be a topic most people would prefer to keep hush, getting an expensive procedure for free will usually require making some compromises. This can mean you’ll need to share your experience for the cameras or your followers.

Have a great idea or want to share your free plastic surgery story? We’d love to hear from you. Send us a tweet or drop us a line.

Want to learn more about how to get free plastic surgery and how you can live your best life on the cheap? Visit our blog to learn more. We feature lots of great lifehacks and tips designed to help you keep your life and your budget balanced.