Sunday, May 31, 2009

Free Redbox Rental

Looking to rent a movie for the weekend?

Sign up for emails from Red Box
and you'll be offered a promotional code good for one free rental.

After using my free rental code from Red Box, I got an additional free rental for signing up for emails. So, you might get two free rentals from Red Box when signing up for promotional emails.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Weddings Galore!

Its getting to be that time of the year...June (and the rest of the summer for that matter), the most common month to be getting hitched. This next month (and this week) features an additional weekly post on ways to save on wedding expenses.

I was married not too long ago, in August it will be 3 years. I grew up with very "frugal" or "thrifty" parents, and since weddings are no friend to anyone's wallet (except maybe the bride and groom if its very traditional) we were stuck with finding ways to cut back on wedding expenses. There were some actually good solutions in my opinion, and one I took up again recently after being asked to stand up in a wedding.

The dress can be by far one of the most expensive parts of the wedding. After watching shows like "Say Yes to the Dress" on TLC, women are willing to spend thousands, sometimes tens of thousands, on that one special dress that will make them feel like the beautiful woman that they are. I recall my dress shopping trip with my mom to a nice bridal shop in a nearby town. As I walked upstairs to where all of their bridal dresses were, it was there, on a mannequin. It was the first dress I saw. My mom was not so pleased by the $800 price tag, but I actually thought it was not so bad. Later that night, I started exploring on the internet, determined to find my dress for a price my mom could not refuse. And it was on ebay that I found the same dress for $630. I know it sounds crazy, but if you know the style and size of the dress you want (and tried it on in the store), look for it on auction sites like ebay. Sometimes, the savings are quite astonishing.

Women who are standing up in weddings can also follow suit. I am standing up in a wedding this summer as a "groomswoman", which was nice because I was given the freedom to choose my own dress as long as it was black and floor-length. Again, I went to ebay and found a Jim Hjelm dress, selling from $250-$355, for $47. Brand new. As with any ebay purchase, look through the seller's feedback and check what the fitting sizes of the designer are. Bridal wear is such a tricky business because for some reason they all seem to run small. Typically, whatever size you are in jeans, you need to up it by one or two sizes. Strange, I know, but since you aren't buying it from a shop, either check your measurements or try on a dress made by that designer in a store if you can't get the actual one. I would also say your best bets are the ones selling from New York, which is where both of my dresses came from. With all of their shops and being the high-fashion city they are, they always seem to have plenty to give to the rest of us.

Additionally, after getting my dress in the mail, my mom had a friend who was a seamstress. As any bridal magazine doing an article on budget-savers will tell you, having friends who can provide services for you will save you big time. My aunt did most of the flowers, a family friend made our wedding cake, a family friend (with a professional camera) did our wedding photos, my bridesmaids and I put together wedding favors and service programs...I could go on. But if you're on a budget, these are some of the best ways to save money.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Remembering Life Before...A Commentary

Recently, a new Wal-Mart opened in our town. We already have a "supercenter" version on one side of town, and after a long battle between citizens and the city, the second Wal-Mart was built and opened this past month. I'm not about to get into the politics of shopping at Wal-Mart - I know many people who refuse to shop there due to personal reasons, so putting these beliefs aside, just follow me on this. Anyways, I went to this new Wal-Mart, and I was shocked to walk in to see how small it was. Its less than half the size of the typical supercenter version, but yet, I stood remembering back to the time when all Wal-Marts were this size. Now, I cannot think of one Wal-Mart in my life that did not upsize or start off as the Supercenter. At this new Wal-Mart, I could see both the back/front and both sides of the store from where ever I was. It still had a small grocery store section on one side as well. And you know what the funny part was? I didn't miss anything. I had an assortment of odds and ends that I needed (including food), and found them all, and faster since the store is so much smaller. So what is taking up all of the space in these gigantic Wal-Mart, K-Mart, and Target Supercenters? I can only fathom that the variety of the same product might be it. However, this experience has helped me realize that the point of these large stores is to make money, raise consumerism, and have you realize you can't live without it. But the point is, there was a time before Supercenter stores and we did live without them, just fine in fact.

This is a postcard that was just posted on this week's Postsecret blog. If you haven't yet seen the blog or books on Postsecret, I highly recommend them. A couple of weeks ago I left for school without my cell phone, and realized it once I got there. I suddenly had feelings of confusion and loss...what if someone calls me?! Note, I probably only receive 1-2 calls a day, but for some reason I think today may be an exception. My supervisor at my job, as understanding as she is, lets me go home to go get my phone (approximately a 3 minute drive). She understood because she knew she couldn't live without her phone either. Cell phones were not really a part of my life until I was 16 years old, and even at times in between then and when I got married, I didn't have a cell phone...and some how I got along without one. What are we so afraid of in leaving our cell phone behind? Sure, we have families and times of emergency, it certainly makes sense, but what does this promote? If we disconnect ourselves from the world, will that benefit us? I think many of us would say "yes", and others who might say "no" or "possibly". Either way, I am amazed at the feelings of panic or stress that we get from leaving electronic items like cell phones at home, and we don't know how to cope. Its like an addiction.

That being said, I would encourage you to think about what your life was like before luxury items like cell phones were a "want" and not a "need". Some how, we all survived.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Frugal Green Girl Returns!

Well, its 12:33am, and I have finally finished my last paper for the semester, yay!

Now, its graduation time for many, and I was happy to order some "recycled" gifts for some people I know who are graduating. I know its hard to believe there are any things that are worthwhile in ordering, rather than just giving plain old money, which I am sure most graduate would enjoy. However a lot of the gifts out there are very unique, artistic, and can be more personal. Plus, most college graduates, or even high school graduates, are looking to move out into their own place, why not look for something that could be a cool conversational piece, or something that just has a "more-expensive-than-college-dorm-posters" look. You'll be amazed at what is out there! is a great place to get some ideas and have some really cool items and designs. There are also many ideas that you can make yourself, from ReadyMade magazine to plenty of videos on YouTube. Nothing is greater than when you can say you made it yourself (then they'll HAVE to keep it). If you are looking for something in particular, try googling the item along with "recycled". You may find either instructions or a place to buy, or both!

Happy hunting and congratulations to all the graduates this month!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

That time of the semester again...

Hi everyone,

My apologies again on the lack of posts these past two is finals time and my weekends have been spent doing the kind of writing I don't like to do - writing papers. Anyways, I will be back after this weekend.

Stay Green!
-Frugal Green Girl