Walking Dot Photography Giveaway!

I don’t normally post on Saturdays, because its my weekend and I like my weekends. I do a lot of blog work on the weekends, but usually stick to just that. BUT I’m making a super exception! I’ve teamed up with Giedre of Walking Dot Photography  to get the word out about her SUPER AWESOME giveaway!!!

One of the goals I’ve talked about frequently on the blog (for the blog) is me improving my photography and incorporating some outfit posts! I’ve been working on my own phtoography (especially with food!) and hopefully will be getting a sweet camera for Christmas that will help. And Giedre is going to help me with an outfit post! Which will hopefully get me over my fear of doing it for myself. Its really quite funny to me that I have such an issue with taking photos of myself, considering I modeled for many years…but anywho!!

Giedre is a great photographer. Her photos are vibrant, and fun! She has a really great for light and color! She specializes in Family, Maternity, Senior and Engagement photos and does an really amazing job at capturing the joy and love in all her photos! If me and my boyfriend were going to do the whole she-bang in Chicago I’d definitely want to hire her! She’s awesome and super nice too!

So when I saw that she was running a giveaway for Chicagoland folks I was like SIGN ME UP! Even if I didn’t do some outfit photos, having some great headshots for promotional materials would be a fantastic addition to the blog!

But of course as much as I want to win…I want you to win too! So please head on over to Giedre’s blog and enter her giveaway if you’re in the Chicagoland area (Or maybe you’re in the midwest and are planning a little trip to Chicago??) Who wouldn’t love some beautiful photos of your family or of yourself!

Go HERE to enter!

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9 Ways to Save Money at Home

9 Ways to Save Money

I’m way too lazy to coupon. I really should. I should be making a concious effort to buy things that are on sale, use coupons and shop the ads. But I don’t. Trader Joe’s doesn’t offer coupons, I don’t usually buy too much in the way of household goods (papertowels, toilet paper etc) at Trader Joe’s though. That I do at Walgreens, yet I could be using coupons but I don’t.

But what I do try to do is find alternative ways to save at home. Beyond just not going shopping, establishing a budget and not going out to eat. Those are all really important things to do but there really are tons of different ways to save money!

I’m really loving the Piktochart if you can’t tell I used it last week for my post about Money. This week too! Its just too easy and eliminates my need to be uber creative…thank you templates!

Lets break it down!

  1. Cut back expenses. This I talked about last week too but I can’t stress it enough. I cut out cable nearly two years ago, I don’t even use the antenna on my tv anymore. It is saving me hundreds of dollars a month. And now that HBO is going to be offering subscription services…I won’t even need the password to my parent’s account. I haven’t stepped foot into a gym in years. When I did have a membership I rarely went. I was throwing $50 down the toilet every month. Did you know plans without a contract are in general cheaper? Yeah you pay more for your phone but you could save a fortune. Look at your options! My plan is so old and grandfathered in it really can’t get too much cheaper.
  2. Skip Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts, make coffee at home.  I know this one has been said OVER AND OVER again. But the average cup of coffee is like $4, even one cup 5x a week for an entire year is $1040! Thats a plane ticket to Europe or a nice vacation! Invest the $100 in a Keurig or whatever your favorite is (I think Keurig is the best) and skip grabbing coffee on the way to work. If you are a multiple cup drinker in the morning, get one that brews a pot! A small pot brewer is like…$30 no joke.
  3. If you get a Keurig, use a Re-useable K-Cup. Seriously, best invention ever. I’ve seen packages of K-cups for like $10 to $12, for 16 K-cups (so pretty much two weeks of coffee) But a bag of coffee beans is around $7-8, you can grind at the store and for me, it can last a month. Sometimes two! It seriously has saved me so much money and time.
  4. DIY what you can. Not everyone is super crafty, I totally get that. And time can be an issue. But if you could save yourself a pretty hefty amount of money DIY’ing some easy things its totally worth it. Making laundry detergent is time consuming, but can seriously be a money saver. It took me a bit to grate the soap but cost me a total of $12 to make. I used only 2 tbsp a load and it lasted me months. When I use regular detergent, I spent about the same, sometimes more and it lasted me a month. I also found that its cheaper to make my own sauces, spice mixes and instead of buying over priced cleaners, I try to use ones that you dilute with water or make my own with vinegar.  A quick Pinterest search can give you some awesome DIY tutorials for household items.
  5. Check your bills for errors and hidden fees. This seems like a no-brainer but a lot of people don’t check, they just pay and go. I once got charged an extra $100 for a router that I returned. My parents we’re getting HUGE fees for international calls/roaming well after my sister returned from studying abroad. After they caught the mistake, their bill dropped dramatically.
  6. Shop your Closet. Also seems like a no-brainer. But I’ve realized that there were things hidden in the back of my closet that I completely forgot about that were perfect for NYE! I was thinking I may have to go buy an outfit, but now I don’t! As silly as it seems, this week I’m not going to do laundry and am going to try to use what I have that is clean that I haven’t worn in awhile (because I’m going to use my parent’s washer/dryer over the holidays). My old habit? I used to go out and buy a new outfit instead of getting creative and using what I have, or rather than doing laundry. I’d run out of underwear and just go out and buy new ones…baaad idea.
  7. Cut back Waste. This is one of my goals. I realized recently that I throw away A LOT of food. Produce, eggs, bread and leftovers get tossed because they go bad or get moldy. I’m now trying to eliminate that waste by freezing my produce right away, storing my bread in the freezer and packaging leftovers in smaller containers and freezing those as well. I also started using re-usable water bottles, rather than buying them here and there. Even if I were to buy one a week (and I like Fiji) its like $8-12 a month. It doesn’t seem like a lot, but over the course of a year it adds up to $100-$140! I also leave too many lights on and according to my electric company I use nearly double the electricity than my neighbors…whoops. Thats another wasteful area that I’m trying to cut back on. Open my blinds on the weekends, unplug uneccessary things, turn my heaters down during the day, and only use the lights I need.
  8. Shop with a grocery list. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve gone to Trader Joes with no list and come back with a bunch of random groceries. When I shop with a list, I walk out with less. It usually saves me HALF. I spend typically $35 when I shop with a list, without? $65-70!
  9. Make a Cleaning Schedule. This is another goal of mine. Trying to keep up a regular schedule of cleaning my place. When things are clean, you know what you have what you dont. You’re using your cleaning supplies regularly but not needing to use AS much when everything is clean. Plus its way less stressful. Which means I drink less wine.

I’ve been pretty frugal lately (and have become a complete hermit) but these are definitely somethings that I’ve tried to incorporate to cut back expenses at home and save some cash!

 

What other tips do you have for saving money at home?

Rose Gold Love

My Obsession with Rose Gold runs deep. I either buy rose gold jewelry, or gold jewelry with peachy-pink stones because it looks rose gold. I told my boyfriend that when we start shopping for engagement rings I want rose gold. It really fits my personality and I love that its become so popular in recent years! I did a little hunting to find some pretty  Rose Gold Accessories (and hey those sequin pants…I may just order them…)!
All the prices range from dirt cheap (hello! Forever 21!) to pretty pricy…that link chain is $150 from TJMaxx.  I was considering putting some of my favorite rose gold engagment rings on here…but thats for another day.
Rose Gold Love
Wanna see more awesome posts? Head over to Style Elixer and check out her Friday Fab Linkup!
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