Friday, October 30, 2009

Get Pretty for LESS Before the Holiday Season!

I can't believe it's almost November, but I know from past experience that once you hit mid-November, it might as well already be Christmas Day because those weeks are SO BUSY & just fly by! So, when I saw this Hawt on Yelp promotion on Cities on the Cheap I was quite excited. For the week of Nov 2-8 you can get 50% off at select salons & spas on massages, haircuts, facials, waxing, etc. *You have to call and make an appt. in advance and mention "Hawt on Atlanta". No walk ups!

While we're talking salons, I can't pass up the opportunity to promote Cayla at Bob Steele Salon Riverside. She's amazing (and really cool. I swear I'm not just saying that because she reads my blog!) AND the salon does GREAT promotions! If you make an appt. at Bob Steele and give them my name- Kathy Powell, you save 20% (and then I also save 20% on my next visit!). My favorite promotion is the procrastinator's special- they call it H.OT, Hair Openings Tomorrow. Once you've been once to the salon, you get a login to make appointments online. If you go on between 7pm & Midnight you can get 25% off appointments for the next day (only Tuesday - Friday). LOVE IT!
In other news, it's Halloween tomorrow. There are a ton of great free offers -especially if you have kids (or can borrow some for the afternoon) or if you plan on dressing like a burrito for Halloween. Here are a few good links to check out: Free Sample Freak, Atlanta on the Cheap & Centsable Momma.

Oh Bonus: Here are two coupons for Robek's Smoothies- if you're up by Perimeter Mall, Roswell or East Cobb, they are DELICIOUS! Also, if you're up by the Mall, buy something at Bath & Body works and get a free hand sanitizer. Thanks CouponCravings.
Have a happy & safe Halloween!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Frugal with your Time: Just Give 5

It's "We-Not-Me" Wednesday! Woohoo! Ok so today's We-theme is about giving your time not money. Now, I talked last week about volunteering and iParticipate, but this week I'm talking about giving of a SMALL amount of your time. FIVE MINUTES. Just five minutes. Can you be of help in five minutes... YES! I apologize that suddenly I've gone all caps happy in this post, but it's often easier to think that someone else will take action, but if everyone made small steps, we'd all be singin' Kum Bah Yah! Ok so maybe that's a little optimistic, but let's shoot for the stars. Here are two great resources... so take 5 minutes and visit these sites & sign up for their emails... don't worry- they're both free!
  • Five Minutes of Caring: In my email box everyday, I get a 5 Minutes of Caring email blast from Cool People Care. They're quick nice messages that give you tips, information to build awareness and a quick action for you to take. Some of the blasts are as as simple as ways to be nice to people or yesterday's was simple ways to green your halloween. Join the list- it's a start!
  • $5 or 5 Minutes= 1 Way to Make a Difference: I just found this site, The Causemopolitan, the other day and I'm kinda obsessed with it already. I'm also totally inspired by the author of the blog, Sloane, who is the poster child of just-doing-what-I can-and-actually-having-an-impact-on-others. Anyway, she has started a series with 5 simple things that take either 5 minutes or a donation of $5 and that really make a difference. Awesome and well-researched.
Be frugal with your time and just give 5 minutes. Even if you don't make a huge difference in the world with 5 minutes, you'll make a difference in your world- in your attitude, in your local environment, in your relationships, etc. And that IS making a difference!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Finding Sales for the Lazy & Directionally Challenged

I love a good deal... but I also am kinda lazy.  So I've found this site, that is incredibly handy- just enter your address or zip code and it lists sales & specials for a variety of stores, restaurants, etc. in your area. You can even easily get directions there or search by category- I have to admit I've looked mostly at all the restaurant & bar selections. I mean, a girl's gotta eat & I can't go thirsty! 

I think this is such a cool site that I've joined forces. I am happy to announce that I am officially a contributor for! I'm helping them grow their sales, especially on the north side of Atlanta & expand to more areas north of the Perimeter- since we all know when you say Altanta, it now means you could live anywhere in a huge handful of counties. In full disclosure, I just think it's cool to help them, so I'm not getting paid, but all the sales I post do include a link to my blog.

How it works: Businesses can post sales & specials and keep up their own page. Contributors (like me!) work to add specials. AND you can log in and add a user-contributed special as well! So if there's a place in your area you love that has a good sale, share it with others! MapYeti is currently in Atlanta, Boston, Minneapolis & New York.

I have officially declared Mondays as MapYeti Mondays where I'll feature my fav sales from MapYeti & sales I've recently added. So, go check it out & follow them on twitter @mapyeti. If you take advantage of a good sale you find on MapYeti, let me know about it!!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Bring your own bag!

Ok, so what are your feelings about bringing your own bags to the groccery store? I'm a little ashamed to say that I haven't jumped on the bandwagon. As someone who is always looking for simple ways to make an impact on others & my wallet, why the heck am I not bringing my own bags?? If you're one of those people who collects your plastic bags to use around your house, you know how quickly they pile up. Seriously, stores are personally wasting a lot of plastic on me & I don't want to be wasteful. SO, for people like me who have been a little slow on the uptake, stores are trying to offer some incentives to bring your own bags... including some cash back!

Target- Get a $.05 discount for every reusable bag you bring. It says you have to use their target reusable bags, which is kinda annoying, but if you shop there a lot, it's definitely worth it! This is starting Nov 1, so check with your store. Hopefully they'll let you use any reusable bag eventually.

CVS- Their system takes an extra step. You buy a $1 green tag to attach to your bag and then when you bring your own reusable bag, they'll scan your green tag and your Extra Care Card, and you'll get $.25 in extra care bucks on each visit. This is also pretty new, so check with your store.

Trader Joes- If you use reusable bags, you get entered to win a $25 gift bag. That's cool. And I always see people in that store with reusable bags.

Whole Foods- I really don't shop there often because it's expensive, but my nearby store gives you $.10 rebate for each reusable bag you use, plus this month you can donate your dime to help Georgia' flooded farms. Plus they sell sturdy reusable bags for $.99.

Kroger- I called my local Kroger after reading that some Krogers across the country give incentives, but my Kroger man was beyond clueless, so even if they did, good luck getting them to actually give you the deal at that store. Boo.

Now, I'm on the look out for good & cheap reusable bags! Let me know what you use & what you think!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

We Day: Volunteering is FREE!

Ok so today is my second installment of "We Not Me" Wednesdays, my newly created weekly post to talk about things we can do for others that uses your frugalness for good. 

Do you remember last year when all the major networks got together and did that big Stand up 2 Cancer telethon? Well, the forces behind that have gotten together to promote volunteerism. I was super excited when I heard this because volunteering is super fab AND super frugal. So I'm all about iParticipate, a week of all the major networks (and some others) weaving the theme of volunteering & service into their shows.'s live blog on the week is following the week of shows, but it doesn't seem like they're convinced that the shows have been doing a really good job integrating the topic. But there are a lot of PSA's about volunteering, so that's a start. And there's a lot of the week left. Have you guys noticed volunteering in your fav shows this week?

Volunteering is extremely frugal for a ton of reasons- you get out of the house without spending money & you often get free food or snacks. Obviously, you don't volunteer just because it doesn't cost money, but if your current priority is saving as much money as possible, you should budget in time to volunteer to help balance your perspective.  

Ooh Also, if you pick the right activity, you can skip a trip to the gym! For example,  TreesAtlanta has great volunteer ops every Saturday that get you actively outside, helping plant and care for trees. Plus you're done by Noon so it barely counts as taking up your Saturday. 

Here's a BONUS We-Wednesday FREE gift: Spread the love and get a pack of 5 free "You're Great" Stickers. These simple stickers are to pass on to others. They'd make a great insert in a thank you card- so write a card to let someone know they're appreciated!

Strike A Pose: FREE Photos!

So, I'm really not good at taking pictures. It's not that I'm a bad photographer, it's just that I never think to have a camera with me. And if I do happen to have a camera, I forget to actually take pictures. Or if I do actually take pictures, they stay in my camera FOREVER. Literally, I'm not sure I've ever gotten digital photos actually printed so they look like real, frame-worthy photos. So, I'm excited about this FREE $15 Gift Card to Kodak Gallery. It's pretty harmless- all you need to do is sign up for their emails on the right hand of the page. And it has to be a valid email because they email you the online code for $15 to use at Ooh I suddenly want a photo mousepad. I have no idea what picture I would put on a mousepad, but I could use a new mousepad. OOH or I could get some multiples of a Christmas-card-worthy-pic and then I have an excuse to shop and get these cute Argyle adhere your own photo cards.  Love it!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Good for a Laugh & a FREE hot drink!

If you're in the ATL this weekend, you're quite aware that it seems like fall has been skipped over and it's suddenly winter. To keep warm, I found a cool coupon for a FREE coffee, cappuccino, hot chocolate or tea at 7-Eleven good through the end of the month. You have to play a totally HILARIOUS game in order to get the coupon.  Apparently, 7-Eleven now has Brazilian coffee, so they decided it would be a good idea to do a promotional game where you pretend you're picking up people at a bar by asking them cheesy pick up lines and seeing if they respond well or not. If you get them to leave the bar with you, you get the coupon- the game is called "Wake up with a Hot Brazilian". When you play the game, make sure you choose to go dance with the person. You play a guitar hero style dance game and the whole thing is more fun than it should be and it ends with a free drink, which is awesome! There aren't a ton of 7-Eleven locations in Georgia, but if it's not too far out of the way, seek it out. Plus the game is worth playing even if you don't use the coupon! Enjoy!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Cheap Fun Stuff THIS WEEKEND!

I love me a good FREE festival and The Chastain Park Arts Festival seems like a Don't Miss event! 10-6 on Saturday & 11-5 on Sunday! They'll have great artists and you can be part of a world record try- they're going for the longest line of pies! Sign up at the Costco tent on Saturday or Sunday and bring your pie on Sunday at 2:30PM. ALSO buy a beer while you're there b/c money from beverage sales is going to the Big Trees Forest Preserve- which is AWESOME and hardly anyone knows it's there! Once the leaves change a little more, I'll do a post on cool free places to enjoy the fall- Big Trees is definitely on the list!

Target Family Fun Day at Woodruff Arts Center: Sunday Oct 18, Noon - 5PM Ok, so I literally called to make sure there wasn't a "bring a kid" requirement, but there isn't! They will have a lot of kid-oriented activites (and a lot of kids around), but it's FREE admission to the High Museum! So if you're looking to be inside on this chilly weekend AND get a free peek at the DaVinci exhibit, it's a great option.

Ooh Also if you go to Burger King this Month, be sure to donate $1 to their BK Scholars program and you'll get a coupon booklet with 8 free fry coupons! Woohoo!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

"We" Wednesdays: Food for $5

This is the first post of my NEW "We" Wednesdays! Every Wednesday's post will feature something for others, with a "we-not-me" attitude. Of course, all of these posts will stay true to be frugal and fabulous- because thinking of others first is ALWAYS fabulous. 

So today I will be a small part of the #Eaton30 challenge where you feed yourself for $30 for a whole week with the goal being to think of the multitudes who live on this reality in our country EVERY week. It's not to be in their shoes, but to add some perspective- I think nothing about buying a chai tea, but could eat three meals on that money. Since I was on vacation, I'm not doing the full $30 for 7 day challenge, but just focused on feeding myself today for $4. Now, I fed my husband dinner also, so I'm upping the grand total to $5 for ALL my food today AND dinner for my husband. I think he'll appreciate eating tonight. :)

Breakfast: Strawberry Yogurt
Lunch: Chicken & Black Bean Salad
Chicken thighs 1.75
Black Beans (seasoned) .85
Lime .42
Habanero Pepper .2**
Dinner: Black Bean, Chicken & Spicy Corn Tostadas for 2
Leftover Chicken & Black Bean Salad: Free
Tortillas: .99
Corn: .57
$4.91 = Under $5 for 4 meals! 

**Ok, I bought the smallest, hottest pepper my market had, which was the habanero. And I only bought ONE tiny orange pepper. It was so light that it wouldn't register on the scale, so they gave it to me free. I marked it as .2 because all people might not be given a free habanero pepper. But life would definitely be spicier if everyone just handed out free habaneros!

Overall, it took a decent amount of thought and planning to come in under budget. I think it will make me think with more purpose about what I'm buying and when/how I'm going to use all of it. And act as a reminder to be generous with the money and resources I do have to help those who do not have.
Here's my Chicken & Black Bean Salad Recipe:
1 Pkg Chicken Thighs
1 Can Seasoned Black Beans, drained of excess liquid
1/2 Small Lime
1 Small Piece of a Habanero Pepper
Salt & Pepper to taste (those are gimme items not included in the day's total)

Remove skin & excess fat from the chicken. Run your finger around the bone in the back until it separates from the chicken so you can remove the bone. I grilled the chicken thighs with salt & pepper on my George Foreman indoor grill for like 7 minutes, till the juices were clear.
Once chicken is cooked, chop it up & mix it with the black beans. Start with a small strip of habanero and chop it very finely. I added some salt as an abrasive to break it down more into almost a pepper paste. Add as much as you can handle, but I knew it would be sitting in the fridge all day, so I didn't add a ton figuring it'll get stronger. Adding lime is my favorite part. I squeezed half a lime in (I LOVE lime) and grated some of the peel in too for a pop of green. Serve cold or room temp or however you like it.

Chicken, Black Bean & Spicy Corn Tostada
Leftover Chicken & Black Bean Salad
1 Pkg Tortillas (I used flour)
1 Can of Corn
1 Small Piece of Habanero
Use extra 1/2 Lime if needed
Salt as needed

I wanted to make my rather simple chicken salad have some more pizzaz for dinner, so I tried to step it up a notch. I chopped up more habanero (in small pieces but not as tiny and pulverized as before) and mixed it with a can of corn and salt. The goal of this is to be spicy and act as a salsa. It was definitely spicy and delicious. I let it sit on the counter to sit and get spicier.

I warmed the chicken salad in the microwave. Meanwhile, I took the flour tortillas and toasted them in the over so they got crispy and puffy. Obviously, I burned two of them in the process, but had extra, thank goodness. To serve, put scoop of chicken salad on tortilla and a spoon of corn salsa on top of that. With the crunchy tortilla on the bottom it was like a yummy taco salad where you eat the shell as you go. 


Friday, October 9, 2009

$30. Could you do it?

Being frugal by choice is a luxury. Sure, I'm not swimming in money, but I always have enough money to eat. Enough money to buy a newspaper to clip coupons from. Enough money to be online talking all the time about how to conserve money. That is not the case for most of the world.. or for more of Atlanta than you think!

A lot of Atlanta bloggers are participating this coming week in a challenge to feed yourself for the week for $30. I've been following the #EatOn30 challenge on Twitter and haven't committed to do it this coming week because I'll be on vacation till Tuesday. But it has made me think a lot about solidarity. To me, solidarity is the reminder that we're one human family and I need to work to support, protect and love all my brothers and sisters.

So, since:
  • The national average for those receiving food assistance is $22-24 a week
  • The Suplemental Nutrition Assistance Program's average benefit is $101 A MONTH
  • 1/6th of the world's population lives on $1 a day

I need to kick up my solidarity efforts. Go to Tami's blog for full details on the challenge and sources for the stats. Since I am not participating fully this coming week, I am making my own commitment. This blog needs a recurring feature... so EVERY WEDNESDAY will be "We" not "Me" Wednesdays, to focus this little blog, just once a week, on how we can help others by raising awareness, using our resources in smart ways and helping others, while still staying on budget. This Wednesday I'll be feeding myself for $4 a day- on real food and posting my results. Have a great weekend and you'll hear from me next week!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

New product FAIL, Old products WIN

In today's showdown of new vs. old... OLD WINS!

The NEW:  I'm all for trying new things, especially frozen products because it's just so quick. So, when I got a $1 off coupon for Gorton's Grilled fillets, I figured I would definitely try it if it wasn't too expensive. So for $1.99 after the coupon, I got Classic Grilled Salmon Fillets. In general, the texture was pretty good, but I couldn't get over the overwhelming liquid smoke/faux grill flavor. The website literally says, "Bursting with a classic smoky grilled flavor." Um.. they aren't kidding. I barely ate any of mine, which is good because I realized it has MSG, which is a no-no for my migraines. But the hubby ate it. He's good like that. And huge kudos to Gorton's for putting the nutrition info and ingredient list so prominently on their website. Fortunately, we had good veggies & rice, so my dinner was still good. I might be open to trying their grilled scampi shrimp that doesn't have straight msg, but it was more expensive. 

The OLD: There are two new thrift stores in the ATL! TODAY is opening day on the NEW Goodwill Store in Buckhead, 3906 Roswell Rd. Yes you heard me right, Buckhead! I used to think the Buford Hwy Goodwill was the best because that's where the collection box from Lenox Mall went, but there are high hopes for fancy clothes being $4 at this new location. Woohoo!  
Just a bit further up Roswell Rd. in Sandy Springs is the new Thrifty Living Discount Center on 6655 Roswell Rd. The store is trying to be like a Goodwill, but with all of the proceeds going to Christian causes. They have a second Roswell/Alpharetta location planned too, but it's not opened yet. If you make it a day and go from the new Goodwill to Thrifty Living, be sure to also stop at the Sandy Springs Goodwill at Roswell & Johnson Ferry Rd. LOVE IT!

Monday, October 5, 2009

My $1 Shopping Trip: All About the Washingtons

Drawing inspiration from The 99 Cent Chef, who cooks with items that are each less than 99 cents or at least less than 99 cents per pound, I decided to shop a little differently this week. So what the 99 Cent Chef has that I don't is the 99 Cent Only store, which is only in the west and has food and produce. But I have Kroger, so I thought I'd improvise. 

As I shopped, I put every item that was under $1 (or under $1 per lb) in the same part of my shopping cart. It was good motivation not to buy expensive things because I could easily see the money stocking up. I ended up with over 20 under $1 qualifying items (in full disclosure, exactly 21) including black beans, sweet potatoes, apples, bananas, chick peas, green onions, canned tomatoes, yogurt, cucumbers, pasta and chicken breasts. Split chicken breasts keep being .99 per lb, which is handy because I strangely enjoy separating the breasts & tenderloins and freezing them in individual bags so they're ready when I need them. Overall, I'm excited to start putting my $1 items together to make cheap meals. Fun!

In other $1 news, I used over 10 $1 off coupons during my shopping trip! In full disclosure, I literally used exactly 11. :) I saved close to $18 in coupons. Woohoo!  AND the cashier said she liked my pink paisley coupon box. SCORE. 

Speaking of a dollar... Here's a $1 off Arbor Mist wine & sparkling wine coupon.  It's all about the Washingtons!

Walgreens Deals: FREE Wheat Thins!

Ok, so if you follow the coupon blogs, drugstores are king. There are some great deals to be had at Walgreens, CVS & RiteAid. I must admit that generally I find it complicated, but there are times that they make it pretty easy--- you just can't ignore good deals!

Worth the trip to Walgreens THIS WEEK- I'll definitely stop by for my FREE box of Wheat Thins! Yep, with this $1 printable coupon and the sale price, you get a small box of wheat thins for FREE! Who doesn't love wheat thins- plus they're great to have around to use for dip when you have peeps over.

While you're there, here are other Walgreens deals that interest me this week:
  • C0ffeeMate Creamer for .50. Here's the printable coupon for $1 off
  • 2 FREE Campbell soups! You'll need this coupon AND you'll need the in-ad clipable coupon, so if you have your Sunday paper floating around, pull the Walgreens ad OR when you walk in the store, look for the ad flyer to be sure you get the deal.
For more Walgreens deals this week, especially ones that use sunday insert coupons and Walgreens rewards dollars, check out Deal Seeking Mom.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Harvest Midtown THIS SUNDAY!

Thanks to the wonderful people at, there's a GREAT $10 off promo code for this Sunday's Harvest Midtown Festival! Just enter HipAndSavvy to get your tix for $35! I had seen a $5 off code, but $10 is even better!

Ok so it's not uber-frugal at $35, but it's all-inclusive: food, wine & entertainment. PLUS, which is how I can always justify these events, money goes to Camp Twin Lakes, which is an awesome organization that provides camp experiences for kids struggling with illnesses & other challenges. PLUS it's from 1-4, so maybe you can eat enough to not eat lunch or dinner, in which case the $35 is looking better & better!
Also, just got my Free Night of Theater tickets to the Alliance! Woohoo!