lucky bandit | RVA based lifestyle blog

Friday, April 22, 2022

frugal friday



I still like keeping track of the ways I make and save money. Here's this week's!
  • While at the nursery I picked up a four-pack of basil for $1.79. I'm looking forward to making caprese with Miyoko's mozzarella. The basil is already growing like crazy!
  • Kroger continues to send me coupons every month for a free bag of Tostitos, along with other things I regularly purchase. Their algorithm to send out custom coupons is very well done.
  • VDOT sent me a $2 bill and an invitation to a survey. It didn't take long and I was sent a $15 check in just a couple weeks.
  • I had orientation and then a benefits meeting for my new job and they provided lunch both days, then I had a 6am meeting where they provided breakfast. They even, gratefully, accommodated me with a vegetarian sandwich.
  • I bought two boxes of Simulate Vegan Spicy Nuggets for $10.98 ($5.49ea) and got $5 back from ibotta*, $5 from Kroger Cash Back, and then $5.49 from Simulate themselves, making them a moneymaker of $4.51!
  • I cashed out $22.73 via ibotta* and have 36¢ pending for Ulta when I placed an order for my birthday gift. I didn't realize just how many cash back opportunities are available on ibotta until recently!
  • My acrylic nails had grown out so I gave them up and decided to grown out my own nails. I didn't think it was possible until I picked up ella+mila's nail strengthener*! I've never had luck like this before.
Things I've decluttered: 
  • I sold a corner table that I wasn't using and freed up that space.
  • Several orders on Poshmark, Mercari, and even Facebook - clothing that's sat a while and I'm happy to see go!
  • I'm moving in December when my lease is up and I'm using up everything I can so I don't have to move it. I used up the last of my mustard on a veggie corndog. I don't use mustard often at all, so I just grabbed a couple extra packs at McDonald's to hold me over until I replenish when I'm settled in my new place.
How I've saved on food waste:
  • I've used up a ton of things that have been sitting in my freezer and pantry. Mainly things like oats and breadcrumbs, but I don't want them to go off and be wasted.
  • Recently I've been doing well with not buying takeout or fast food. I've been either going home for lunch or bringing it to work and have saved so much food from being wasted!
  • Kroger was sold out of 50¢ green onions when I needed them for my Easter quinoa tabbouleh (traditional, right? I had to explain it to so many family members), so I bought the organic 79¢ green onions. They're already regrowing on the window sill to recoup those cents and more. 


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lucky bandit is a for profit blog. I use affiliate links and paid advertisements. I may earn compensation for a click or purchase through a link. Paid (whether via product or monetary) reviews will be noted in the actual post. Though compensation may influence the type of posts, all opinions and reviews will be legitimate and honest.

*All affiliate links will be marked with an asterick.*

Sunday, April 03, 2022

empties #24

I've used up a lot more products in my attempt to declutter. As usual, things that aren't cruelty free are marked, but I'm only human so please check if you think otherwise!
Tree Hut Shea Sugar Scrub in Pear & Chia Seed // I love these scrubs and pick them up when they're on sale. They last a while and don't tend to leave a residue.

Philosophy Holiday Pajamas Shower Gel // not cruelty free // This was a Christmas gift. It lasted a long time and I enjoyed it, but it's sadly not cruelty free.

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream // not cruelty free // I loved this cream for my eczema, but unfortunately FAB isn't cruelty free anymore. I'm trying Pipette's Eczema Cream now.

Ulta Rosewater Facial Mist // Initially I wasn't super happy with this, but it definitely grew on me. I'd pick this up and keep it in my bag for the summer.

The Body Shop Body Butter in Coconut // I kept this in my desk drawer. I think it works way better as originally intended, as a body butter, instead of a hand cream as it was slightly greasy.

Pixi H2O Skindrink // This was just not great. I finished it because I spent money on it, but I felt like it just sat on my face instead of absorbing. Sometimes I'd find a little drop of it still on my face later in the day. I wouldn't get it again.
Simply Soothing Body Butter // I was sent samples for being a Bug Soother Ambassador of their body butter. I think the pandemic put the kibosh on that line, but if they revive it, it's great! Check out their bug spray, which is the only one I'll use! (Get 15% off with code KATELYNCARTER using this link*.)

Lacoste perfume sample // not cruelty free // I was sent this in an order. Not cruelty free, so I wouldn't buy it.

Hanhoo Watermelon Illuminator // This came in a ipsy bag. I liked it, and I saw a difference in my skin even with out sporadically I used it. I'd pick up a full size!

The Body Shop Tea Tree Blemish Fade Night Lotion // This worked well and I need to pick up another tube of it. It doesn't work overnight, but I definitely saw a difference fairly quickly.

Pacifica Hardcore Happy Rollerball Perfume // This smelled nice, but it left what appeared to be a greasy mark wherever it was rolled?? Not attractive. I was happy to use this one up.

J. R. Watkins Lotion // A hotel sample I used up. It was mediocre lotion. I wouldn't buy it.

Sephora Banana Hand Balm // not cruelty free // I think this was a cheap buy to get my birthday gift. Sephora is behind the times and needs to stop testing on animals.
I decluttered any lip balm that didn't work for me anymore. I had gone through so many on my search to find a balm that would help my chronic dry lips. None of these helped, unfortunately.
Nubian Heritage Lemongrass & Tea Tree Lotion // This was a great, hydrating lotion, but I've had it too long and it's gone off. I'd get it again.

Sun Bum Sunscreen // My favorite, favorite sunscreen. It's formulated well and smells like bananas. I pick this up every year. This bottle was almost full, but it was expired so out it goes. I'll definitely buy this again.

Jason Fresh Cucumber Dry Spray Deoderant // This was not good. I wouldn't buy this again. It was just weird.

Pacifica Mineral SPF Body Butter // I picked this up on clearance and while it was over half full, it was expired, too. I don't mess around with expired sunscreen. I'd buy this again, though!

Julep palette // I've had this so long that I couldn't tell you which palette this is, or when I got it. I depotted it into my magnetic palette. Julep's makeup isn't phenomenal, so I doubt I'd replace it.
Milk Kush Mascara // I loved this mascara. The brush is amazing and it's buildable without being super clumpy. I'd definitely get this again.

Wet N Wild Megawear Mascara // not cruelty free // Wet n Wild is no longer cruelty free (a shame!) and this mascara wasn't that great, anyway. It was thin and just not buildable.

Another collection of trash off to recycling!

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lucky bandit is a for profit blog. I use affiliate links and paid advertisements. I may earn compensation for a click or purchase through a link. Paid (whether via product or monetary) reviews will be noted in the actual post. Though compensation may influence the type of posts, all opinions and reviews will be legitimate and honest.

*All affiliate links will be marked with an asterick.*

Friday, March 25, 2022

frugal friday


Here's just a few ways I've recently saved or made money or decluttered. I like having a little record of good habits.
  • I love Mezeh Mediterranean Grill, so I tried my hand at fridge pickling some turnips. I forgot to grab a beet for the coloring, but these turned out great for homemade Mediterranean bowls.
  • When I cleaned out my mother's spice cabinet I made a list of all outdated spices I threw out for her to replace at her leisure, and I kept the empty spice bottles so I could start seeds in them in the spring. Then I can easily gift the little plants to people who want them (I always plant too many) and they can just toss the bottles in the recycling when the plants outgrow them.
  • I've been packing my lunch the majority of the time.
  • The Impossible Whopper is now only $2 on Wednesdays at Burger King! I like this vegan option sometimes for lunch, so the savings helps.
  • I've decluttered a bunch of things: a purse that the handle had frayed on, an extra shelf that I wouldn't use in a bookshelf, I used up older skin and body care products, I had some random baseball stickers just collecting dust so I'm sending them to a friend for his daughters, and I sold several things on Poshmark and FB Marketplace.
I hope to declutter and save a lot more!


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lucky bandit is a for profit blog. I use affiliate links and paid advertisements. I may earn compensation for a click or purchase through a link. Paid (whether via product or monetary) reviews will be noted in the actual post. Though compensation may influence the type of posts, all opinions and reviews will be legitimate and honest.

*All affiliate links will be marked with an asterick.*

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

vegan food review // tattooed mom // philadelphia, pa

We don't typically celebrate Valentine's Day traditionally, so this year we took a day trip up to Philadelphia and went to the Mütter Museum and checked out a great restaurant called Tattooed Mom.
The first thing we noticed was the quirky decor and the excellent atmosphere. We sat at the bar because the restaurant was busy, and the bartender was super friendly and helpful. After taking in the bright colors and all, we tried to figure out if we had a similar place back home to try!
I had the vegan cheese steak (with tomatoes on the side to add because they're my favorite) and we split an order of waffle fries. It was made with local seitan and it was delicious. I'm not usually a "beef" fan, but this was so good! It was seasoned well, juicy, and just damn tasty. Mike had the Nashville Hot Chicken sandwich, which was up to par on his spicy scale. All in all, we'd definitely return!

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my poshmark closet | shop my mercari
lucky bandit is a for profit blog. I use affiliate links and paid advertisements. I may earn compensation for a click or purchase through a link. Paid (whether via product or monetary) reviews will be noted in the actual post. Though compensation may influence the type of posts, all opinions and reviews will be legitimate and honest.

*All affiliate links will be marked with an asterick.*

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