lucky bandit | RVA based lifestyle blog

Friday, May 13, 2022

frugal friday

The scallions mentioned last post.

  • For my birthday month in April I redeemed a coupon for a free small pizza at Marco's, a free buffet at Cici's Pizza, a free Mario Badescu facial spray from Ulta (and 36¢ back via ibotta*), and a free Laura Mercier set from Sephora (and 16¢ back via ibotta*). I also received a coupon for 5% off my purchase at Target and 15% off at World Market that I used for Easter gifts.
  • I have a few auto requests over on PaperBackSwap* and I had Kris Jenner...And All Things Kardashian sent to me for free. I'm a total sucker for reality tv.
  • I cannot resist delivery apps because I hate leaving my apartment pretty much anytime ever. That said, I redeemed some points for free dog treats via GoPuff.
  • My laptop is 10+ years old and still doing alright, but it's become frustratingly slow. I ordered a refurbished laptop from Amazon for $74, then when I clicked on the link to check the size to buy a sleeve, it was then listed at $67 mere hours later. I contacted Amazon and they told me they don't price adjust, but I mentioned how they're one of the only companies that don't and they gave me a $10 credit.
  • Jeffery (my blind, epileptic sharpei) has had a frayed collar for a while now, but MY GOD dog collars have gotten expensive. I use a harness to walk him so it was for ID purposes only, so I'd been holding off on ordering one. I found a cute one in the Walmart clearance aisle for only $2 that's perfect for him. 
  • I got a discounted BJ's Wholesale membership for $25 (original price $55) from a mailer and made my first visit today. I was pleasantly surprised by the prices and coupons. I got a twenty piece glass food storage set for $1.99 per each bowl/lid set, 36 Mission Tortillas for 8¢ each (half the price of Kroger), two pounds of campari tomatoes for $3.89 (Kroger offers one pound for $3.99), an enormous container of Gain detergent for $15.99 with coupon (the container I got is 146 loads compared to the Gain I almost bought at Target today for the SAME PRICE that is 107 loads), six trays of cheese Bagel Bites for $9.99 (a single tray at Kroger is $2.99 and you can't get plain cheese), a 30oz container of Country Crock Plant Butter for $5.49 (a 10oz at Kroger is $3.29), a box of 16 Morning Star Chik Patties for $12.79 making them 79¢ a piece, a package of baby cucumbers that were twice the size of Kroger's and 50¢ cheaper. I only compare to Kroger because I primarily shop there, but I do really love Kroger's pricing!
  • Speaking of Gain detergent, it has the push button gravity fed pour. A little tip - throw the clear cup in the wash with your clothes to avoid a goopy dispenser cup and actually get all of the detergent you pour into the wash and put a cloth rag under the spout instead of one of those plastic catchers. Just throw the rag in the wash to not waste any detergent. You also always know when you've put detergent in the load or not because the cup is either in the basin or by the bottle.
Things I've decluttered in anticipation for my move:
  • A bunch of skin and body care products that I've used up. My stockpile is slowly dwindling.
  • Recycled several glass jars I've kept around for whatever reason
  • Sold a few items on Poshmark - hopefully more sell soon!
  • I brought a bunch of hand sanitizers of varying sizes to work to use up since I'm obviously not just sitting at home on the couch applying hand sanitizer
  • Along with the hand sanitizer, I brought a bunch of random office supplies I won't use at home to the office - post-its, pens, blue light glasses, a binder, a notebook, some steno pads. 
  • I broke an older knife while cutting frozen cookie dough. Whoops.
I dislike food waste, so here's how I tried to combat it:
  • I meal prep every week and try to use up as much as I can. I didn't save a package of mushrooms, but I used up a bunch of carrots.
  • Most of the time I go home for lunch (love my 4 minute commute) and here are my money saving lunches for the week:
    • Monday: black bean taco bowl (rice, black beans, vegan cheese, v sour cream, chopped romaine, halved cherry tomatoes)
    • Tuesday: leftover pasta, a salad
    • Wednesday: small bowl of goulash (vegan buttered pasta, pasta sauce), sandwich (vegan Tofurky peppered deli slices, vegan mayo, sliced campari tomatoes), previously frozen chili with tortilla chips
    • Thursday: I did order delivery for lunch this day
    • Friday: a sandwich

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. 

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.*

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!


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.*

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!


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.*