Jan 28, 2011

Free Quaker Oatmeal Squares sent to your door!

***Sorry Thrifters, this deal has expired***

Quaker is giving away free cereal, with free shipping. So tell your mom, tell your roommate and don't forget to send a couple to yourself (using different email addresses). I actually really like Oatmeal Squares, so I'm excited about getting my free samples in 6-8 weeks.

Sign up here at deals.woot.com. Just click "I want one" and then on the next page click "share the squares" - enter your email address and well as anyone else you'd like to give free cereal. Then check your email and follow the link. Bam! Free cereal sent to your door.

Not a shabby deal. Thanks, Jeremy, for the tip!

Jan 25, 2011

A thrifty day's theme: WAIT to buy

In terms of thriftiness, yesterday was top notch. Let's review the day.

1 - My good friend and I went to Dunkin' Donuts for $0.99 lattes thanks to accompanying coupons from the newspaper. Their 10oz mochas are great for the price, but I think it's helpful to add some sugar for a sweeter taste.

2 - I went to my grandmother's house in the evening and she not only inspired me for a future blog post, she also gave me a coffeemaker! My roommate and I have had a crappy coffeemaker ever since we moved in to our apartment together two years ago. We've had  a Gevalia machine (which comes free with a $20 coffee purchase) that makes bleh-tasting coffee and never brews as hot as I'd like. I happened to mention to Grandma that I was looking for a new one and walah! She happened to have a one lying around. This proves a point.

When you need something, instead of immediately going out to purchase it, simply mention it to friends when it comes to mind. Not "hey guys I could really use a X, can you give me one". Just "I've been keeping my eye out for a coffee maker lately, mine just isn't doing the trick". That's how I got my camera, my new-to-me coffeemaker and my item in #3! Let's face it, all of us have a lot of stuff we don't need...so it never hurts to put that need out there; you never know what's collecting dust in someone's closet or basement.

3. My beloved cousin phones me to say he would like to redesign The Thrift World! I am ecstatic! He already has a degree in graphic design but is taking a refresher course that requires him to build a website, and he thought of me (again, I plugged my need). Therefore, The Thrift World will be looking a bit different in coming months, that means a new logo and a new overall design. I am very excited! If you have ideas or suggestions, send me a comment or "like" The Thrift World on Facebook and post on the wall.

Jan 19, 2011

Items of luxury v.s. everyday luxuries

My new bathroom read is called "Frugal Luxuries" by Tracey McBride. It's about embracing the simple pleasures of living the frugal life. I love this book. Plus, I just bought that little basket it's sitting in for just $5 at Target, which I think is so cute.

Recently I read a section of the book that discusses the idea of allowing yourself to delight in little things and ordinary occurrences instead of items of luxury, like ipods, laptops, coffeemakers or whatever item you have your eye on in the stores. How do we do this? Well, we can start by noticing things around us that make us happy and to appreciate what we already have. The book recommends making a list of things in your own life. Okay, I'll go first.

Things I appreciate/enjoy about everyday life:
  1. cookie dough ice cream (I'm eating some right now and it is fab)
  2. my cozy apartment and wonderful roommate who puts up with me
  3. organization
  4. the ability to write creatively 
  5. the opportunity to learn about different people and different cultures
If we can master finding pleasure in the simple, everyday occurrences of life, we will have less need to go out and buy the next best thing to bring us satisfaction. The goal is NOT to stop buying things we need and want, the idea is to find contentment in everyday things so we don't need to self-indulge at our favorite store to enjoy life.

Now, make your list: What can you find appreciation/contentment with in your everyday life? Try to notice and appreciate those things this week. Practice being content with what you have and what you've got going on right now.

Jan 15, 2011


I am home everyone! I will be back to my normal blogging schedule again. I apologize for my leave of absence. The first days of my trip, I was blogging and uploading pictures but somewhere around day 7 of 15 I hit a wall: I was exhausted. I am still pretty tired but things will be back to normal soon.

By the way, meet my new camera! My good friend Steve gave me his sweet Panasonic...I guess it shows if you put off buying something long enough, eventually you might get lucky.

Keep thriftin'!

Jan 4, 2011

Ireland is heavy on the wallet

I've been in Ireland for 4 days so far and I must admit, I'm doing a terrible job of thrifting. Here are some of my excuses. I'm not sure any of them are justified.

1)The bills look like monopoly money.
2)The coins look like, at max, 25 cent pieces even though they range from a penny in worth to 2 Quid.
3)I'm seeing beautiful stuff that my friends and family would love in every store. Oh, did I mention I love it all too?
4)The menus are full of amazing food like fish 'n chips, Guinness Stew, scones (not like the ones in the U.S.) and creamy hot chocolate...and it's all quite expensive.
5)I will probably never be back here again so I should live it up, right?

Okay, even though I'm a flaming hypocrite, there are still a few pieces of advice I could give to the common traveler.

  • Stay in a hostel. It's extremely cheap compared to a hotel. It's a little less comfortable, but for under half the price of a hotel, it's worth it.
  • When you order a meal consider splitting it. I've only done this one time so far even though I should be doing it at almost every meal. The portions are huge, just like here in the U.S.
  • Instead of souvenirs, consider shopping for friends and family at the grocery store. Even though I've seen so many wonderful things, I'd go broke if I bought them all so I've decided to bring back chocolates and pastries for my loved ones. It's cheap, it's unique and it's delicious (shout out to Carrie for suggesting this one)!
For more pictures of my trip thus far, you can visit my Facebook album by clicking here.


Jan 1, 2011

Thrifting: Ireland Style

Happy New Year everyone!

I am fortunate enough to be in Galway, Ireland and will be taking a Europe tour for the next couple weeks. You might be thinking, well that doesn't sound very thrifty of you, does it? Well, you gotta spend that stale cash somehow and I usually choose travel. I feel like if you haven't seen the world before you die, then you haven't fully seen the human experience. Thus far in my life I have been to Canada & Mexico, Egypt and Spain. After this trip, I add Ireland, England, Whales and France to that list. Eventually I'd really like to go to some part of Asia, Australia/New Zealand. Back in the U.S., I'd love to go to Oregon, Washington and Alaska. One day I'll get there, if I save enough cash.

Still in Ireland I've thus far made two attempts at being thrifty, cause this place is expensive. I'm one for two.

1) First story: we get to the JFK airport and everyone on my trip decides they will buy Euros in the airport. Before the trip, I read up on the euro/dollar trading. I knew I should get about $0.75-79 per U.S. dollar. I saw that JFK was offering a mere $0.66 cents with a $10 fee if the transaction was under $500. I was appalled at the prices and decided to take a chance. I had no idea what I would get in the Ireland airport, it might be better or it might be worse. Members of my crew advised me to trade $20 just so I had something in case of emergency, but I didn't because of the $10 fee per transaction...I'd be paying $30 U.S. and really getting $20 towards the Euro. There's no way that was happening.

When we get to Ireland, I head straight for the euro/dollar trade airport woman and try to decipher the numbers on the large scrolling board. Finally, I just asked the woman what a U.S. dollar would get me and she said $0.72! But then after their 3% transaction fee, it was really $0.69. Though $0.03 doesn't sound like a lot, since I was only trading $400 I would have eaten the $10 fee and paid $12 more for my money equally a savings of $22. Not too shabby. Thrift success!

For future reference, I did some additional research and found it is best to do your exchanging at your local bank or post office to get the best rate. Either way, I would advise to shop around. 

2) Next, yesterday I urged my group to head to the grocery store so we could pick up some necessary items including bottled water, snacks and whatever else. I decided to grab a couple grocery-store made soups and put them in fridge in the hostel as to avoid eating out for every meal. They have community fridges at the hostel so you can label your stuff and stick it in, obviously taking a risk. This morning I went to grab my cheaper lunch from the fridge and my soups were gone!! Which means either I labeled them incorrectly and they got thrown out, or people stole them. It was a little heartbreaking - 6 euro down the tube. But alas, they did not eat my yogurt, so I am enjoying a little parfait instead of going out for an expensively delicious pub lunch (though I asked someone to pick me up a chicken sandwich from a fast food joint (still much cheaper) because we might be hiking today and I need something substantial!

During my trip, my blogs will most likely be limited but I will attempt to give a couple updates as I am able. Hope everyone is doing well in the U.S.!
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