lucky bandit

Sunday, April 23, 2017

thrifting tips

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I'm a big fan of thrifting. Not only for the savings but for the opportunity to find some great quality items that are sometimes unique. If you've ever wanted to start thrifting or just get a bit more efficient at it, here are some tips that I utilize whenever I go.

Keep a running list and know what you like.

I typically keep a mental list of things I'd like to look for at the thrift shop. I've been hunting for a denim jacket for forever, but I've yet to find one I like, so that stays on the list. It's a lot easier to go in with a plan than to wander around looking at every piece in the store (unless that's what you want to do). I know that I tend to go for oddball patterns, stripes, and sweaters, so I visually scan and find most things that way. I do have days where I just go through the racks, but on quicker visits I've gotten it down to an art.

Learn your fabrics.

If you're looking for clothing, learn to identify fabrics just by sight. When I was sourcing for vintage a lot, I'd learned what polyester and linen looked like just by walking by and seeing them. Granted, there are exceptions as rayon can look really similar to cotton, but with a general knowledge of knits and such, you can easily find things you're looking for.

Have a buddy.

I'm fortunate that my two best friends are thrifters, too! Jess and I meet up for thrifting trips and always find some amazing stuff. It really helps to have someone with you for when you pick up that odd piece and want an opinion on it, or you need someone to talk you out of an absurd wall hanging.

Don't always go by the tag size.

Clothing sizes vary wildly and so do folks' laundry habits, so don't always go by what the tag says. Don't be afraid to try things on or hold them up to your body. Look through all of the size racks and remember, especially if you're looking for vintage, that a size 14 could really mean a modern size 4.

Follow thrift store etiquette.

Don't take things from others' carts, replace items where you got them or on the fitting room return rack, don't bombard the workers that bring new carts of merchandise out, don't eat in the store and then touch merchandise with your greasy hands, and be polite.

If you have any more tips, leave them in the comments! :)

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Friday, April 21, 2017

local haunts: a trip to Maymont // RVA

Wednesday, my best friend and I took the little guys to Maymont and had a total blast. Maymont is a great park in Richmond, Virginia, that's open to the public and has so much to look at and enjoy. Gorgeous grounds, a Nature Center, an area where you can pet animals and feed goats, a beautiful Japanese garden with waterfall, and an equally pretty historic mansion where you can take tours.

We started off the day with a picnic complete with fruits, veggies, sandwiches, and snacks. After getting our bellies full, we walked into the Nature Center and checked all the fish, turtles, and other critters. There were even alligators! After checking out all the local water creatures, we cut the boys loose outside and headed to the farm area.

lucky bandit blog katelyn carter

The boys got along really well and ran their little hearts out. I swear he's not that far away, the photos just make it seem that way! Haha. Maymont has really upgraded their farm area and it was really nice to walk through. There were three adorable little baby goats that we couldn't stop squealing over.

lucky bandit blog katelyn carter

We all fed the goats and had a lot of fun checking out all the different animals. The tongue on this one!

lucky bandit blog katelyn carter

lucky bandit blog katelyn carter

lucky bandit blog katelyn carter

We made our way through the wildlife, complete with owls, hawks, vultures, and eagles, to the Japanese Garden, which is absolutely stunning. They have massive koi and you can walk on stones to cross the pond. There's bamboo trails and fountains and the kids had a blast climbing on the rocks.

lucky bandit blog katelyn carter

These are my gifts from the little guy. He is so sweet. I kept the flowers, and when he walked up to me with a handful of gumballs and said "these are for you", I told him I'd take a photo and he could find a special spot for them.

After trudging back to the car tired as could be, we headed home and both boys conked out. We definitely plan on making a few more trips this summer!

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Monday, April 17, 2017

indie blends: breathe in collection // perfume sample review

Indie Blends invited me to try out three of their perfumes. When I got the box in the mail, I was so excited! All of their products are cruelty free and vegan, and made in small, handcrafted batches. The packaging really stood out as well and it was a bright and fun box to open.

lucky bandit blog katelyn carter

lucky bandit blog katelyn carter

I received three samples - one each of Inspiration, Love, and Strength. I love the packaging and inspirational cards that each is on. All three have different floral tones and they were light and fresh and perfect for spring.

Not only do I like how upbeat the branding is, Indie Blends is on a great mission and I really love that their products are formulated without parabens and phthalates! I'll be ordering Strength soon!

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Thursday, April 13, 2017

thrifty thursday #11

thrifty thursday frugal tips lucky bandit blog

  • I started making my own lunches and packed it up in my reusable Thirty One lunchbox that my mom gave me for Christmas one year.
  • When I was out visiting my mom, we snagged fruit from the hotel's breakfast. The banana I had was about to go, so I peeled and chopped it and froze it for smoothies.
  • I've really been shopping the pantry at home lately and I've made up quite a few meals without spending a dime for extra ingredients. We have a bunch of older spices that I've been hitting pretty heavy to get rid of them, too.
  • For lunch at work, I finished the last two slices of a mushroom pizza instead of ordering fried rice even though I really wanted fried rice.
  • Yesterday I made $3.55 via rebate apps Checkout 51*, MobiSave* (*use code AKHJYJNZ), and Berrycart*.
  • My mom signed up for Mobisave, so I got a $1 from the referral!
  • I've got my other half saving his receipts, so I go through his grocery receipts for potential rebates and to scan them into Receipt Hog* for points for PayPal money.
  • While out at Target, Annie's mac and cheese was on sale for $.99 per box, originally $1.79, and I used two $1 off two manufacturer coupons, which brought them down to only $.49 per box!
  • In the same Target trip, I picked up this set* of adorable popsicle molds for only $4.48 on clearance. They'll be a nice treat for the little guy this summer.
  • With SavingStar, I cashed out $5.88 to my PayPal. They feature mainly name brands that I don't buy, but occasionally I'll get a bag of chips or take advantage of the fresh produce offers.
  • Sunday night I made a quick and thrifty pantry sauce to top the rest of my spaghetti squash - lots of minced garlic and spices, some wrinkly cherry tomatoes, the rest of a bag of meatless crumbles, and then I poured some gazpacho I received free with rebates over it. It cooked down nicely and I didn't have to open another jar of tomato sauce!
How have you saved pennies lately?

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Thursday, April 06, 2017

thrifty thursday #10

thrifty thursday frugal tips lucky bandit blog
  • I like to reuse packing materials whenever possible for both the cost and recycling factor, so I pilfered a few smaller plain boxes and single sheets of bubble wrap from work and I added a few mailers I received from things in the mail to my packing supply pile.
  • I earned $4.00 at the grocery store last night via ibotta* and didn't even know I had the rebate unlocked. It pays (literally) to go through and unlock them! My grocery store sends the rebates automatically through my rewards card, so I just put my phone number in at the store and boom! No uploading receipts.
  • Fifteen cents was added to my PayPal via Mobisave (use code: AKHJYJNZ) for buying no-chicken broth*! It might not seem like much but fifteen cents is fifteen cents.
  • When I was out visiting my mom we stopped by the Eddie Bauer store where everything was 40% off, and though I didn't find anything, I saved her $10 with my Adventure Rewards certificate.
  • I'm sick again and I bought the Family Dollar brand cold medicine and saved quite a bundle. I checked the ingredients and the off brand actually had higher levels of the medications I needed.
  • At the store last night, I earned another $.75 via ibotta*!
  • Today I shopped the pantry and made goulash with meatless beef crumbles, jarred sauce, and some rice noodles that were in a mac and cheese box that had no cheese packet. Filling and delicious!
  • I've got a spaghetti squash roasting in the oven and I plan to meal prep this week and get a few lunches out of it. Yum!
Any tips? ♥

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