November 24, 2017

5 Frugal Things I Did Today: Food, Make Up & Home Decor



Think back this week.

Have your “Wants” driven your buying choices?

One of the reasons I love living an “80% off Lifestyle” is that the day to day, intentional financial choices that we make, eventually leaves room in the budget to splurge on a “want” now and then. But that means Splurge once every dollar has been given a job. 

My 5 Frugal Things series is a very unedited, this is how I do life, glimpse into small daily choices. Every day I have things like this to share, but I rarely get them up on the blog. I’ve included my periscope (live video streaming app for phone – find me at @beautyandbedlam) from a few weeks ago where I talk through all of these five things in detail and take you into my family room. 🙂

And because it’s live video where I interact with people and talk back and forth, it’s a very “Real life” feel. It become very “live” when I can’t remember a quote I share ALL the time and had a complete brain freeze, but you’ll have to watch it to experience it. 😉

Here are my 5 Frugal Things (and I can’t wait to read yours in the comments): 

  1. Get out your crockpot

Our food budget is the #1 way we can slash money from our budget (even without cutting a coupon). I’ve written about it endlessly over the last many years and you can browse my category for ideas.

When our busy schedules invade the rest of life, then the crockpot is the way to go because we can dump and forget about it; meaning some great frugal meals for the week and avoiding the drive through.

Start with this Easy BBQ Chicken in the crockpot and have three varying meals from this one recipe.

       2. Simple Make Up Tip

I believe in investing in some good skin care and a few quality make up products, but sometimes the Dollar Store does the trick. I love playing with color and products on my eyes and lips, but a lot of money can be lost when you try it and it just doesn’t work with your skin tone. (Do you know the colors for your skin tone? It’s really important!)

Often, I buy $1 – 2 lipsticks and eye shadows at the dollar store or drug store to find shades I like before I want to invest in a better quality product. What I’ve found is that if I use a good primer on my eye lids, then typically I can get away with a cheaper eye shadow. Same with lipstick. Dab a bit of primer or foundation on your lips first and it will extend the wear time by hours. Now I am about to splurge on some great eye shadow. I’ll let you know if I love it with the higher price tag.

I found this older posts that still stands true: Beauty Tips: Beautiful Eye Make Up for Less.

Frugal Make Up Ideas

      3. Buy a Hair Clippers

I’ll have to write a whole post on this, but we have saved thousands of dollars over the years by cutting our kids hair ourselves. My husband also gets his hair cut at home. With You Tube, you can learn all the tips to give boys stylish cuts and that may sound so scary, but if you start when they’re young, you can get any mistakes out of the way when they won’t remember it. haha

For ladies, investing in ourself with a great cut and color is a gift that you should give yourself, but there are other ways to save money too.

Hair Cut

Here is a very unedited, I never planned on posting this here, picture of two days ago (Don’t tell these two. They never read my blog anyhow ;)). Our 18 year old son has been growing his hair out for awhile, but decided enough was enough and he trusted his sister to completely give him a short, styled cut. She did an amazing job!! (And just a glimpse of our messy, wall paper half torn off the walls master bathroom just to make you all feel better about yours. ;))

     4. Buy ahead at thrift stores for Holiday Decor and repurpose

There is a lot of the traditional fall decor you can find second hand, but if you want to go with the neutral pallet that is popular right now, start painting those pumpkins. Did you see what I did with these ugly 25 cent plastic pumpkins?

Ugly pumpkin before

Click through to see the AFTER HERE, it’s amazing what you can do with a little paint.

     5. Table cloth Hack and my fall decor and mantle

I aways buy gorgeous linens and tablecloths second hand. For the holiday ones, I might buy them the during the day after sale when things are marked to 50%, but then you’re at the mercy of the sizes that are left over.

Whenever I have tablecloths that are too large, I solve that dilemma by gathering up each corner into a “puff” and then wrapping a rubber band around it to make it decorative. It always looks classy and allows me to use all kind of discounted tablecloths that didn’t really fit our exact table dimensions. You can see what I am talking about on the video.

I’ll get some pictures up of my mantel. It’s very festive in a traditional look and it was created around the little “Barbie” bunting our daughter made.

So, those are the five things I did today.

What did you do this week to save you money?

I LOVE hearing everyone’s ideas. It just encourages us all on the journey of small, day to day choices that make a big difference in the long run.

Watch the video below. If you can’t see it, you will need to click through to the blog to watch.


  1. I love this series.


  2. Thanks for the great tips! I’ve been really trying your frugal fashionista tips by hitting the Goodwill and looking for my colors and trying to put outfits together. I feel so much more confident about it when I’m spending a couple of dollars at a time rather than $20s.

    I cut my boys’ hair, too. We have 4 boys, so I agree that it is a huge savings.


  3. Some good tips, My crockpot is getting more usage as the grilling season is ending. I get the bags as I hate scrubbing out the pot. I am saving money for over 3 years now as I cut the cable TV and put up an antenna. Cut my cable bill by $55 a month going to just internet only and I get 19 local channels on my TV for free. Its amazing that so many people are not aware that stations are still broadcast over the air for free. We do haircuts at home as well. My guy has been cutting my hair for several years now. He started doing it shortly after we met. I was on a rant about dreading to go to the salon and he offered to cut my hair for me. I accepted his offer and he gave me a great haircut for FREE. Started doing my children’s hair a couple years ago. Bought a good set of Wahl clippers at Sally’s. the cheap sets at Walmart and Target heat up, are noisier and just dont last as long. Bought a couple nylon capes, one adult and one child size, plus neck strips. Children sit still better (as well as adults) if they are not getting itchy hair down their backs. I figure getting my haircut every other month and my children’s monthly haircuts at home save me close to a grand a year considering the cost of the haircut, tip and transportation costs. And I get compliments on their haircuts and I have never gooten a bad haircut from my guy. I Can’t say that about the salon. I had him start coloring my hair with henna when my grays started to show. Costs me $18 for two kits each time as my hair is to my elbows. The henna doesn’t contain the toxic chemicals found in salon and box dyes that not only destroy hair but are carcinogens. Salons would charge me over $200 for color and my hair would not look as good. I freeze the leftover henna and use it for touch ups between full color applications. I figure I save close to a grand on my home hair color at home as well. Women’s hair care can be quite expensive, and it can be an area of significant savings having your guy do your haircuts and color at home. I realize that not every guy is as capable as mine is, but I have seen blogs were the guys have done an excellent job cutting their lady’s hair. My guy changes the oil in all of our vehicles which saves time as well as money. He also does home repairs of plumbing, electrical, painting and carpentry, which saves thousands on labor.


    Jen Reply:

    So fun to read your money saving ways!! Your guys sound like a life saver in that department. Unfortunately, we’ve only changed our own oil a handful of times and we aren’t as handy on the home repairs. That’s one thing my hubby regrets not learning early on.


  4. @Jen,
    We have made decisions to involve my children in learning to do things for themselves. We are having them learn to do things for themselves. Sort laundry, set the table, do dishes, weeding in the garden, raking, etc. my guy showed my older son how to change oil in my car and he is teaching him to cook while I have both help baking. They both like the make your own pizza night, where they spread the sauce on the dough and add toppings. I’m not comfortable yet with just turning them loose with power tools, but my son has used a drill and a sander on a wood project. He did staining and painting as well. They see my guy doing things and they like to watch and help. Next summer my older son is going to learn to use the lawn mower. And I have shown them how to dust and use the vacuum cleaner. Life skills for both guys and gals as they grow up and become independent and responsible adults. When the boys have girlfriends, if the ladies are willing to learn, we will show them how to do guys haircuts at home, and if they have smart ladies, we will teach the boys how to trim their ladies locks. I joked with my boys that they should let my guy teach them how to braid as it will help them to impress a girlfriend. My younger son said when he gets older, he will, but he is too young for a girlfriend. He tells me he likes the single French and Dutch braids better than when I ask my guy to give me two braids. So he has his opinion and he likes to help with chores more than his older brother that wants to do video games and watch tv, which we limit the time of.


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