Archive for October, 2011

Guest Post : Staci Gerardi’s Finding Your Frugal Way!

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Whoop! Let’s hear it for Staci!!!! She has written a book!

Staci Gerardi has been living the Frugal Life her entire life, but after finding her family left with just ONE income on Long Island, she had to kick it up a notch if her family was ever going to own a home on the Island they loved so much. Hours were spent figuring out the best ways to shop online and make the most of the one paycheck her family of four, plus a dog, were living on. Nine months later, she and her husband bought their home in the location of their dreams. Staci’s got “skills” and loves sharing them at November Sunflower and with her new eBook, Finding Your Frugal Way.

 

 

 

 

Being Frugal is a lifestyle. It’s not just about clipping coupons, nor is it just about saving money. Frugal people are passionate about spending their money on quality, they just don’t want to pay full price for things they want, need and desire.

 

Unfortunately, when I first started trying to save money, all that was out there to learn from was crazy coupon clipping fanatics who expected me to dumpster dive for coupon books, spend 40+ hours per week clipping coupons and preparing for a shopping trip, stockpiling items I never had any intention on using and my favorite one of all, get rid of my credit cards because they were evil. WHAT?!!! Where were the people like me who had to make one paycheck stretch to cover a family of four, plus a dog. They were few and far between, I’ll tell you that.

 

I was completely stressed out after researching everything I could through the Internet. It was mind boggling to try and sit down and figure out how to save the most money I could without becoming an extreme coupon clipping, credit card cutter upper, stockpiling psychotic, no one wants to sit next to you, all consuming depressing family of four who can’t do anything because we were too busy saving money to have any fun, plus a dog. It just scared the living daylights out of me.

 

My first reaction was to step away from the computer and never look again at these websites that insisted the only way to save money was to spend 40+ hours a week clipping coupons, making spreadsheets and going food shopping with a binder full of stuff. Nor did I want to cut up my credit cards. I had excellent credit. I was taught how to use credit cards many years before I was allowed to get one. So, it was very clear, I had to figure this whole frugal thing all on my own. I promised myself, when I became an expert at doing it for MY FAMILY, I’d share my ways with other families.

 

Slowly, I learned all of the best ways to save money doing every day things that didn’t take time away from my LIFE. It didn’t consume me, it just “fit” into my daily activities. I realized being frugal didn’t have to stress me out, or cause heart palpitations and chest pains! Over the years we were able to continue to keep great credit, because, quite honestly, our credit cards make money for us so there was no way we’d be cutting those up! We were also able to buy our first home on Long Island, where cost of living is one of the highest in the country. All of this was done with ONE salary. All of this was accomplished with two small children who were in diapers, needed formula and grew like weeds. All of this was EASY to do, because I did it around my life. It did not become my life.

 

After writing my blog for the last 3 years, so many people asked me how I’m able to keep us living our life BELOW our means. I would share it with them and they’d think “yeah, right”. And then I was featured on CBS News in New York and Chicago  for my ability to pay absolutely no cash out of my pocket for holiday gifts. Even better, I went on <b>Dr. Oz, where I showed others how to find free items they might not have known were out there.

 

 

My husband sat me down and said “Write a book, so that others can benefit from your tips. They don’t have to use all of the tips. Just ONE of your tips can save so many people so much money.”

 

I don’t take my husband’s advice all that often, but at the time he sat me down, two other people asked me if I had written a book about being frugal, since I made it look so easy. So I dove in and decided to write my book. It’s all about easy tips to finding your frugal way in a non-extreme, no stress, easy going, no dumpster diving kind of way.

 

I’m proud to have written Finding Your Frugal Way. It’s like another baby to me. I’ve created this little “life” and now it’s available to anyone who wants to find a simple way to save money. Do one tip, or take every tip to heart, either way, it’s the simple approach to saving money, learning to be frugal and never taking away from the good things in your life! You decide what the good things are in your life, mine happen to be my kids, husband, my dog and living my life on my terms. I’ve learned it’s not how much money you “make” in your life; it’s more about how much of that made money you KEEP!

 

My family KEEPS a lot of it. Would you like to KEEP yours? My book can show you how to find your frugal way and KEEP more of that hard-earned money you “make”.

 

You can purchase it at Tags :

My ‘Essential’ Grocery List

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Last week I made a formal decree – I was only going to spend $35.00 on groceries for the week.  I thought about my beautiful stockpile & I was sure I could do it….

HA! Fooled myself big time.  My total was $70.  Still not bad, but I decided this morning to figure out exactly how much my ‘neccessities’ are:

(yes, currently chocolate croissants are necessities) 

5 Banana Yellow
Strawberries
2 Stop & Shop Milk Vitamin D (Plastic Jug)
Silk Soy Milk Original Natural Refrigerated – 2 pk
Mission Tortillas Flour Medium – 10 ct
Arnold Whole Grains Bread 100% Whole Wheat
Beefsteak Bread Rye Seedless Soft
Perdue Fun Shapes Chicken Breast Nuggets Dinosaur Shapes Fresh
Stonyfield YoBaby 3 in 1 Meals Apple & Sweet Potato – 4pk Organic
Stonyfield YoBaby Yogurt Whole Milk Peach Organic – 4 ct
Stonyfield YoBaby Yogurt Whole MIlk Blueberry Organic – 4 ct
4 Fresh Rolls
4 Fresh Muffins/Croissants

 Total : $45.00 – $50.00 depending on sales and without coupons…

Doofy Dizee…. sometimes, I wonder what I am thinking….

Anyway, seting my overall weekly budget at $60 should do the trick.  That, with coupons, should give me some wiggle room for extra purchases (peanut butter, meat, veggies, etc) each week….

We will recoinviene Monday to discuss…. 

 

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Freebie : Country Music Freebie for Itunes

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Hold onto your cowboy hats!!!

I have a terrible secret – I am totally mildly addicted to country music. 

Thanks to People Magazine, I got a few songs that I have been wanting totally for FREE!

Click here & follow the instructions.  Super, Duper easy. 

Love Me somr Jake Owen & Billy Currington….

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Boston Market – $1.00 Coupon Book

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Next time you head over to Boston Market, be sure to bring an extra dollar to pick up their holiday coupon book. 

 
Besides all the great meal coupons (like free soda with your meal, free kid’s meal with a purchase of an adult meal, and many great others) there is also $15.00 off a catering meal.

Boston Market caters a great Thanksgiving – trust me.  That is just how Dizee Rolls.  :)

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Dizee’s A-Know-It-All thanks to All You

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I found this article ‘Solve Life’s Little Problems’ from the Nov All You Magazine very interesting… so I wanted to share a few tidbits.

 

  • Sticky Labels:  Try peanut butter to remove gunky residue from glassware.  Apply a glob and let it sit while it softens the adhesive then wipe clean
  • Scuffed Shoes : Apply shoe polish with a coffee filter.  It is lint free, easy to hold & disposable. It is great for cleaning windows too
  • Crayon Marks on Wood Furniture: Rub a cloth dipped in mayo over the marks.
  • Dusty Electronics: Eliminate static electricity on a television or computer screen by wiping gently with a dryer sheet
  • Carpet Stains: Baby wipes work like magic.  Rub one over the carpet until the mark has disappeared (test in an inconspicious place first)
  • Rust Spots: Tackle rust on chrome car bumpers and outdoor furniture by crumpling up a piece of aluminum foil, dipping it in cola, then gently rubbing the spot.

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Halloween Inflatable Decorations : 50% off @ ACE Hardware

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Are you addicted like we are? Probably not – but if you would like to invest in some Outside Halloween Decor, head over to ACE Hardware where they are 50% off….

 

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Coupons : Chips Ahoy

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Head over and like Chips Ahoy on Facebook.

Now, set your clock for 12 PM EST. 

The folks over at Chips Ahoy are giving away 20,000 Chips Ahoy Coupons starting on today (10/25) through 10/27.

Mmmmm… cookies….

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Freebie : Get a fresh dose of vitamins with ACTIVATE!

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Thanks to Theresa for this one…. :)

Click here to get your free sample of Activate… make sure you are taking your vitamins!

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