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Changes At Drugstore Divas

Changes At Drugstore Divas

We're making changes at Drugstore Divas. Find out what they are!

So I mentioned that 2017 would be a but different for Drugstore Divas. This transition has been something I’ve been thinking about for a while, but I didn’t start implementing until August. Before then, Drugstore Divas was posting an average of 30 deal posts a day — and sometimes 48 or more. I’m one person and that was just too much for me to handle. Plus, by churning out so many posts, I didn’t have time for anything fun: like cooking and posting recipes.

August came and I was grandma-sitting my grandma who was in rehab for three fractures in her back. I was sitting with her for six or more hours every day. I had my laptop with me, but I also had the responsibility of helping her. Plus, I wanted to be able to spend time with my grandma, take her outside and feed the cat that lived at rehab, and not worry that I was missing a time slot where a coupon should be live. So I decided then to really scale back on what I was doing.

Not too long after, I changed our header to include five words: frugal, family, fashion, food, and fun.

That’s what we’ll be focusing on at Drugstore Divas, the blog itself. On our social media pages, and Facebook in particular, there will be a lot more shared as far as coupons, quick deals, and the like. It will be a bit more fast moving there than it is here on the blog. So Facebook is definitely still an extension of this site, even more so than it has been ever before. The blog will be filled with posts that will be relevant to you any time you come, and our Facebook page will be more of deals that could expire quickly.

Fun, right?

Now, about those new topics for the blog itself. Along with them will be “for the home” — which is also an F, but I thought those posts would be better suited under the heading of family (since you live with your family at home? That was my logic anyway). I really want to have a set schedule for when those topics will run, but it will probably be a little more random. Ideally, there will be a daily frugal post, and then each day will be one of those topics.

My hope is for the schedule to look like this:
Monday: For The Home (cleaning, getting ready for guests, decorating, etc.)
Tuesday: Food (recipes)
Wednesday:  Hump Day … so whatever happens on Wednesday, happens
Thursday: Fun (attractions, movies, DIY projects, etc.)
Friday: Fashion (anything with clothing, skincare, etc.)

That’s the plan, anyway. We’ll see how it goes. When I get a little downtime, I’ll make new images for the sidebar so you can easily find all out our new main categories.

3 Ways To Save $3k (Without Clipping Coupons)

3 Ways To Save $3k (Without Clipping Coupons)

Not everyone wants to clip coupons, but everyone wants to save! Find out three ways to save without clipping coupons and save up to $3k a year easily!I’m gonna be honest: Pete and I don’t count our pennies. If we go to the store and I feel like impulse buying a chocolate bar at checkout, I don’t flip out and reprimand myself. We’re allowed a treat here and there. Why? Because we make huge sacrifices in our budget so that we can save thousands of dollars a year. And when you’re saving thousands, you can spend a dollar here and there and not feel guilty about it.

Of course, we use coupons. I never go shopping without going through  the ad and finding coupons first. But not everyone wants to sit and clip coupons. I understand that. So I put together a list of three ways to save $3,000 a year without cutting coupons. These budget saving ideas may take a little while to get used to, but once you do, you’ll never go back to your old ways.

3 Ways To Save $3k (Without Clipping Coupons)

1. Cut the cord.
Pete and I don’t have cable. In fact, neither of us have ever paid for it since we’ve moved out of our parents’ homes. We do watch TV, though, completely for free. We have a  4K UHD Smart TV in our living room and two HDTV’s upstairs (one is a Smart flat screen and one is not as smart and more boxy). All three have an antenna that we purchased. They are not one of those crazy rabbit ears antennas. The two upstairs are flat and about the same size of a piece of paper. We’re able to pick up all the basic cable channels (ABC, NBC, FOX, CBS, the CW, PBS, and more) over the air and we don’t pay a penny for it. 

Plus, there are a lot of programs that you can stream online for free too, so we’re not missing anything (except a $100 a month bill!). And keep that in mind too. Most of the basic channels have an app that allow you to stream episodes after they’ve aired. Some will allow it the next day, others make you wait a week. If you don’t mind waiting, that could be a good option for you too.

Savings: $1,200 (averaging about $100 a month)

2. Skip the coffee shop.
I really love coffee. I went the majority of my life avoiding the stuff and in the last two years, it’s grown to be my hot beverage of choice. But it can get expensive. In the coffee shop, it’s about $3 for a cup of regular coffee. When I buy coffee on sale and after coupons, I usually pay $2 a bag. And one bag is 26 servings. So basically, one bag of coffee makes each cup just under 8 cents. Yes, eight little cents a cup. That’s a savings of $2.92 a cup. Now, let’s say you’re stopping by the coffee shop every workday. That’s $15 a week or $780 a year. If you make your coffee at home for eight cents, you’re only spending $20.80 during that same time. Really, it’s a no brainer.

Savings: about $760 a year

3. Cook at home.
Pete and I make nearly every meal at home. He loves to cook and I love to scour Pinterest for new recipe ideas. Making a meal at home is so much cheaper than going out to a restaurant to have it. Plus, you have control over what, exactly, you’re putting into your body. You can make sure you’re using fresh, local, or organic ingredients. You can choose healthier and lighter options too. And you can save a lot of dough if you’re making your own dough (we actually do make our own pizza dough).

Just a quick recent example. I made baked spaghetti. It cost me $8 for all the ingredients (spaghetti, sauce, garlic, onions, mozzarella cheese, and 20oz. of ground turkey). It ended up being six servings for us, so about $1.25 a serving. Let’s say we went out to dinner and ordered spaghetti. Spaghetti and meatballs at Olive Garden is $14 (I just googled the menu). For two of us, that’s $28 (and that’s guessing Olive Garden’s portions are large enough for leftovers). If you eat in instead of out once a week, and you average a savings of $20 each time, that’s $1,040 a year.

If you want ideas for recipes, we have a bunch of them posted here. Be sure to pin your favorites to Pinterest so you have the recipe handy when you’re hungry.

Savings: about $1,040 a year

Total: $3k a year

It’s worth it. If by the little changes, you know you’re saving $3,000, you won’t cringe when your kid needs a couple extra dollars for a class trip.

Grab-And-Go Breakfast Ideas

Grab-And-Go Breakfast Ideas

Drugstore Divas received one of the items in this post for review. Additional items were not compensated. All thoughts and opinions belong to Drugstore Divas.

Running out the door? Don't skip breakfast. Pick one of these grab-and-go breakfast ideas from www.drugstoredivas.net.Pete launched a pasta sauce business in August, and every Saturday morning, we’ve been waking up at 5:45am to head to the local farmers’ market. After we wake up and shower, he packs the car and I pack us food for the day. I’ll make sandwiches for lunch, grab plenty of water, and I’ll pack a snack. I’m always looking for grab-and-go breakfast ideas, though. I don’t have enough time between when I wake up and when we have to leave to cook breakfast and then sit and eat it. If I wanted to do that, I’d have to be up at 5am — and that’s not possible after a Friday night, even if all we do is binge watch crime shows. Which, yes, is my favorite Friday night activity.

It’s been about ten weeks since we started at the market, which means I’ve had a bunch of time to think about breakfast ideas. In case you have a day when you’re running late or need to be out the door early, this list is for you. There’s nothing that needs to be kept in a fridge on this list because if you’re outdoors, like us, or in the car, you don’t have access to a fridge.

Grab-And-Go Breakfast Ideas

Cereal.
I don’t like soggy cereal, and I was never much of a milk drinker, so milk in cereal is not my thing. Since I eat it dry, it’s so easy for me to take it with me.

Pour cereal in a bag, throw in a plastic spoon, close it, and it’s there when you’re ready to eat. You can easily throw out the bag and spoon when you’re done, and you don’t have to worry about lugging around a plastic container.

Fruit.
When we first started going to the farmers’ market, I was on a huge fruit kick. Berries were in season — and on sale — and I could eat an entire box in one sitting. So I was packing a lot of fruit for breakfast.

Rinse the berries the night before, then put them in the fridge. By the time the morning comes, the box will be dry and you are able to pack it without worrying about it getting anything else wet. And, that box is disposable, so you don’t have to worry about bringing a container home. Now that apples are in season, just pack one of those and throw out the core when you’re done.

Pastries.
The grocery store where Pete used to work sold the best muffins. I would visit him at work, then check the discounted bakery items to see if any muffins were there. When there were, I would bring them home, cut them in half, and pack them for the market.

You can also make homemade muffins too. like carrot cake muffin recipe. If you like other pastries, go with that. Just keep in mind that anything flaky, like a croissant, is probably to messy for a grab-and-go breakfast.

Granola bars.
I love granola bars as a grab-and-go breakfast. It’s probably what I pack for us most often. Lately, I’ve been packing the new Sunbelt Bakery dark chocolate chunk chewy granola bars. They’re really tasty and, despite their small size (they’re only about an ounce each), they’re really filling. Plus, any excuse to eat chocolate for breakfast is good to me!

sunbelt-bakery

What Can You Do With Bread During A Storm?

What Can You Do With Bread During A Storm?

Hurricane Matthew is on its way. It looked like it may have moved, but I just heard it’s back up to Category 4 … which is bad news. It’s good news, maybe, for our local supermarkets that are selling out of bread and bottled water.

Bottled water makes sense. Any debris brought up by the storm can end up in the reservoirs, making tap water undrinkable for a while. Since it can be a few days before that water is safe for consumption, it’s recommended to have a gallon of water per day per person in your home, for three days.

But why bread? What can you do with bread during a storm? Sure, it’s perishable, but it’ll last quite a while outside of your fridge. And if you lose power, you could also lose the contents of your fridge. And you definitely want to keep your fridge closed to keep the cool air inside. But what can you do with that bread? We’ve got a bunch of ideas for you below.

What Can You Do With Bread During A Storm?

Make sandwiches.
Cold cuts and condiments are out because you don’t want to keep opening and closing the fridge. But peanut butter sandwiches are great. Peanut butter is shelf stable and has protein, which you might be lacking if you usually get yours from meat. You could also go with tuna. Just make sure you packed a can opener in your hurricane survival kit so you can open that tuna.

Grill it.
This is actually a thing. If you search “grilled bread” online, you’ll find recipe results. Which is silly. Put it on the grill. The end. But, actually, you can top it with tomatoes and balsamic dressing, which sounds amazing right about now. And none of that lives in your fridge. Plus, during a storm, you may lose power and you probably won’t be able to use your oven. So stock up on charcoal because grilling may be your only way to have hot food.

Keep your cookies fresh.
This, also, is a thing. When you bake cookies, putting a slice of bread in with them helps them last longer. So if you’re like me and part of your storm preparedness involves baking treats (because I need sweets during the storm), and your storm is dragging on, stick a slice of bread in with your cookies. They’ll stay fresh through the storm … if they last that long anyway.

Stick it in a bag.
When I buy bread, I usually stick it directly in the fridge because we consume it slowly and I want to keep it fresh. You can’t do that if the storm knocks the power out. So, to keep it fresh, stick it in a bag with a zip top. That will keep out the air and moisture and help it last longer.

Feed the birds.
When I was little, we always threw our stale bread in the backyard for the squirrels. They need to eat too! And the storm is brutal for animals too, especially if they can’t find somewhere to hide. So be nice and throw a little in the backyard for the birds, squirrels, and whoever else you have living back there. Who knows. Maybe you’ll have some company during the storm. But, if you do this, just be safe and don’t open your doors or windows during high winds just to feed the birds.

What do you do with bread during a storm?

Don’t get stuck unprepared for the storm. Check out our Hurricane Preparedness Checklist below.

 

Hurricane Preparedness Checklist

Hurricane Preparedness Checklist

My friend called me yesterday and asked if I was boarding up our windows to prepare for Hurricane Matthew. “No,” I said. “I bought a case of water.” Which is true. I did buy a case of water. But that’s not enough of a hurricane preparedness kit. As I was typing up a hurricane preparedness checklist for me to use to see what we have at home and what I need to buy before Matthew comes, I figured I might not be the only person preparing for her first hurricane. So, I decided it would be helpful if I created a printable that anyone else could use in the time of a hurricane.

Hurricane Preparedness Checklist

Are you in the path of a hurricane? Get prepared with this Hurricane Preparedness Checklist from www.drugstoredivas.net.

Hurricane Preparedness Tips

And, just a couple extra tips to think about before the storm hits … 

You are not the only person in your area who is preparing for the hurricane. Head to the store early to pick up your water and non-perishable items. You don’t want to rush out at the last minute and find empty shelves.

Search online for the closest local shelters, in case you have to evacuate. Write down the addresses and directions before you lose power. Don’t just write down one shelter either. You may get there and find it’s full, so having a few others to try is a great idea. And, in case you do need to drive around town looking for safety, make sure your car has gas. You don’t want to run out, especially if the tankers may have trouble getting to your area after the storm has passed.  

And, if you have children, be sure to have ways to entertain them. Board games are good, so are card games. They won’t be able to watch TV or play on the tablet if the power goes out, so be sure to be prepared for lots of non-electronic family time.

What additional tips do you have to keep people safe during a hurricane?

September 9th Is National Care Bears #ShareYourCare Day

September 9th Is National Care Bears #ShareYourCare Day

#shareyourcareToday (September 9) is the National Care Bears #ShareYourCare Day. Honestly, I was so excited when I heard about this. I absolutely love my Care Bear, so anything having to do with them gets me on board.

But then I found out what #ShareYourCare Day actually is. It’s a day to encourage people to just be nicer. I mean, who can’t get behind that? It’s to encourage your child to share a snack with a friend, help a neighbor carry groceries, help mom and dad cook dinner. Whatever your child can do that’s compassionate is what should be encouraged. But what a lesson for adults too. So often we are ready to tear each other down — on social media, in our own homes, even on the couch while watching TV. Wouldn’t it be nice for us to just be nicer.

Take inspiration from this year’s Care Bears Kid Ambassador, 13-year-old Jessica Carscadden and her mission to help kids in “unBEARable” situations via We Care Bears Project. Donated bears are given and kept in firetrucks, police cars, and ambulances and given to kids who are scared. Sounds like the perfect campaign for the Care Bears. Today, the brand is donating 500 Care Bears with Jessica.

You can take the #CareALotChallenge and your story with the hashtag #ShareYourCare. Hopefully today will motivate you to share some caring all year round.