If you are anything like me, you hate having to pay full price and commit to beauty products that you’ve never even tried.  I don’t like paying full price for anything, let alone something that I am taking a chance on.  That’s where Beauty Box 5 comes in!  Beauty Box 5 is a subscription service that sends out deluxe samples of beauty products each month at a FRACTION of the cost.  It allows you to try before you buy the full size and it’s exciting getting a new box every month!   Here is the box that I received:

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See, it’s wrapped up like a little present and it has awesome stuff inside!  The first product I tried was the LA Fresh Travel Lite Facial Cleansing Wipes.  They smell so fresh and they are great at removing my makeup.  They are in a cute little pack and I immediately put it in my travel bag for this weekend.  They came right in time!  They condition as they cleanse and are good for all skin types.   They contain vitamin e, aloe and cucumber, which are all good at de-stressing your skin too!

The next items I used were the Coolway Shampoo & Conditioner set.  It was a great sized sample and I can use it more than once before running out.  They smell very natural and have natural ingredients.  They have no parabens, sulfates or pthalates in them either (bad stuff).  They claimed to cool, cleanse & hydrate.  I also liked that the tubes were sealed so they wouldn’t bust open during shipping.  I like the set and it made my hair nice and shiny.  But my hair tends to run on the oily side so I won’t be purchasing it anytime soon.  It would be great for when I used to dye my hair though.  Dying always dries hair out so much and this set says that it’s safe for color-treated hair.

I incorporated the OFRA lipgloss plumper into my daily routine!  It’s such a pretty color (sultry) and I think it would look good on anyone.  I am interested to see the other colors that OFRA offers.

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Last but certainly not least (since it was my favorite) was the Nubar Vanilla Cuticle Oil.  This was a great choice for right now.  Winter really takes its toll on my hands.  I open a lot of boxes at work so my hands are so dry.  My cuticles are horrendous.  I used this overnight and I noticed a big difference!  My cuticles were softer and the skin around my nails looked a lot better.  Plus, it smells wonderful.  A nice treat at bedtime!

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So, are you intrigued?  You can check out the Beauty Box 5 website here.  You can also like them on Facebook here.  You can get all the information you need.  Enjoy!

Disclaimer:  I received complimentary products in exchange for my review.  Comments and opinions are my own.  No other compensation was received.

I don’t know about you but when I’m in the grocery store, I ALWAYS look at the reduced, day-old bread.  It’s so cheap and versatile.  I usually pick up at least one item and use it in my meal plan for that week.  For instance, last time they had a pizza crust with sauce included for $1.50!  I added cheese  and a bagged salad that I already had in my fridge and a quick, frugal meal was born!  Another great meal idea is to buy a loaf of french bread off the quick sale rack and make French Toast!  It doesn’t get much cheaper than that since 90% of you probably already have eggs, milk and syrup.  The other day, I picked up a pack of day old sub rolls.  Imagine the possibilities!  I was going to milk those babies for as long as I could!  And I did.  We used them for sandwiches and hot dogs before I made these meatball subs.  They were so delicious and easy.  The leftovers were amazing as well.

 

 

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Mother of the year, here with french fries.  We had a veggie too but the plate was too full in this pic.   Plus they were baked! 😉

Meatball Subs

1/2 bag of store bought meatballs (just buy what’s on sale!)

1/2 bag of mozzarella cheese

1/2 bag of sub rolls

Jar of spaghetti sauce

Parmesan cheese

Italian blend, garlic powder & s/p to season

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Meanwhile, cut your rolls in half and sprinkle with cheeses and spices on a baking sheet.

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Heat your meatballs up in a crock pot all day with the sauce, on low (suggested) or you can heat both in a pot on the stove.  Bake your bread in the oven for about 10 minutes or until nice and toasty.

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Evenly distribute your meatballs between your rolls and put more sauce on top.  Then add more of the cheeses.  Bake in the oven for about another 10-15 minutes or until the cheese browns.  Enjoy!

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Do you have any ideas for day old bread?  Do you shop the quick sale racks?  I love getting creative and I would love to hear your opinions!

The kids and I have been pretty sick with some type of stomach thing lately.  My husband has managed to thankfully dodge it.  Needless to say, we have been washing our hands like crazy and disinfecting everything we come in contact with.

To me, hand soap is a necessary expense but not always a cost-effective one.  Years ago, I wrote about how you can make your own, using any bar soap.  I love this recipe because it makes a ton of soap and it’s so cheap!  This is a repost from my old blog but I thought it was a good one, especially during cold and flu season.  What I like is that you can use some fancy soap that you bought at Marshall’s on clearance or use all those little soaps that you get from hotels!  People will never know the difference.  So start stocking up on containers and give this a try.  The link is at the bottom of the post.

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Click here:

Homemade Hand Soap

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Holidays can be fatal to your budget…but only if you let them.  As you know, I am a self-proclaimed cheapskate.  Not a day goes by that I don’t try to think of new, creative ways that my family can use to save money and/or get something for free.  Some of my ideas are unorthodox but they work for us.  Certain holidays are not celebrated in my family, at least not on the specified day or in the traditional sense.  Valentines Day is one of those holidays.  So, while everyone is trying to outdo one another with flowers and candy, the Lane family is plotting how we can have the most fun with the least amount of money!  Here are some of the things we do for Valentines Day:

* We buy our candy on February 15th.  It’s still fresh and it’s always around 50% off.  No, it’s not the BEST deal but it’s the best selection and sometimes that works out better.  Buy the leftovers later to use in recipes and so forth.

*We go out using one of our Christmas gift cards, combined with a coupon of course. We also either go to lunch or a few days early or late.  Get caught in a crowd or pay holiday prices?  What do you think I am, an amateur?!?!

*We buy our decorations on clearance.  The Lane family stocks up on Valentines decor and cards one year in advance.  This way, you don’t have to rush out at the last minute plus you get everything at the best price.  Just be careful that nothing has a year on it.

*My flowers come from a grocery store, again, the day after.  Grocery store bouquets are just as pretty and they usually have some leftover after the holiday, on clearance.  Just put those babies in water and add some Sprite. They will perk right up!

*We might make a special dinner at home.  Restaurants cost a small fortune.  Plan a menu of what you would order at your favorite restaurant and then find the recipe.  Make it at home, together.  Thank you, Pinterest.

*Use your imagination.  Make your loved one a gift.  Those are more heartfelt anyway! I made this man-bouquet for my husband a few years ago.  I used a vase and ribbon that we already had and cheap heart sprigs.  The jerky and candy were on sale too.  It costs around $5 to make and he loved it.

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These might be common sense but I hope you might rethink how you spend Valentine’s Day.  Don’t let card companies and jewelry stores tell you how to celebrate!  🙂

So, what are your plans this V Day?

Yes!  You just have to have an open mind and a closed wallet. Haha!  One of the things my family loves is trying different restaurants and going out to eat.  However, we stick to a very strict weekly budget and it takes some creative planning on my part.  When we go out to a restaurant, we utilize as many of these tips as possible.  Order up!

1. Plan Ahead– Just like with most things in life, a plan helps things go smoothly.  We decide early in the week that we are/have to eat out this week.  Then I search for coupons in the newspaper, online, or just by asking friends.   I decide on a restaurant and then sign up for their email newsletter (in advance and I use my ‘freebie email address’ but I’ll have another post about that later).  Then in a day or two, you usually get a coupon for a free appetizer or a percentage off your meal!  Gift cards are also a great buy.  If you get them at certain times of the year, they offer extras.  For example, if you buy $50 in gift cards, you’ll get a free $10 gift card for you.  They don’t know that they are all for you!  Then use them throughout the year, combined with coupons/deals to save even more without breaking your budget.

2. Drink water– This one sucks sometimes but it’s totally worth it.  Sodas can rack up a bill, costing as much at $3 and some places don’t have free refills!  Don’t get me started on cocktails!  Water is free.  If you really can’t stand water, ask for lemons, squeeze them in your water, and then sneakily put a packet or two of sweetener for a makeshift lemonade.  Hey, I said I was thrifty!  You might get embarrassed by some methods.  To each his own.

3. Eat locally & know the specials– Remember tip #1.  See?  It comes in handy.  Local restaurants like local customers because you will come back if you enjoy it.  Therefore, eat when they are having a special deal.  Kids eat free some nights, certain meals will be cheaper, etc.  One local diner in our town has Italian Night every Wednesday and you can get homemade Eggplant Parmigiana, spaghetti, garlic bread, and all you can eat salad bar for $6.  It’s enough for two meals plus, I bought a locals card from the area high school that gets us an extra 20% every time we eat there after 4pm.  Seriously.  It pays to know the specials.

4. Waste not. Want not – We never waste food.  If they give us free bread and we don’t eat all of it, I take it home.  Someone will eat it, even if it’s our dog.  You can even tell them how much you love the sauce/bread/whatever and a lot of times, the server will wrap up an extra one for you.  It pays to be nice to your server.  Take all your leftovers home!  Even a tiny bit of veggies or meat can be added into tomorrow’s dinner.

5.  Happy Hour– My landlord used to go out every Tuesday with her husband and sit at the restaurant’s bar.  She got amazing specials and got to try delicious food for a fraction of the price.  You don’t need to drink to sit at the bar.  But if you ever want a cocktail, this is the way to go.

6.   Go around closing time– This works best for fast food.  Sometimes if you show up around the time they close, they want to get rid of the food that’s left over so you’ll get it at a better deal or even for free.  It tastes the same or maybe even better since the deal was so sweet!

I hope you can use some of these tips and found them helpful.  I know they come in handy with my family.  Who doesn’t like saving a little money?