Brilliantly Frugal’s 31 Days of Halloween 2022

I’m so excited to be doing the Streamers 31 Days of Halloween again this year! The last few years have been so much fun watching some Halloween classics and new releases all month long in the countdown to Halloween. There are some especially exciting new releases this year. So of course, I had to make a new schedule and do it again this year!

For those who are joining for the first time this year, this schedule is curated for Halloween viewing with many of my favorite Halloween movies and shows, much like many TV channels used to do. Growing up, my sister and I got super excited about any themed holiday programming. I really started missing that type of content over the last few years, especially since I cut the cord. Many streaming services have “hubs” or special lists for holiday content. It didn’t feel the same as having scheduled and planned content for the holiday.

So, again this year, my sister and I decided to make our own “streamers” schedules for the upcoming holidays. This year I included some really cool new shows that have come out as well. Don’t feel like you need to watch the whole show in one day. Maybe just use that day as an opportunity to try the first episode out and see if you want to continue!

How to Watch Streamers 31 Days of Halloween:

You can sign up for a free trial for Hulu here: hulu.com/start

Sign up for a free trial for Disney+ here: https://www.disneyplus.com/welcome (If you plan on keeping it, you can save by bundling your Hulu and Disney+ subscriptions)

You can sign up for a free trial for Amazon Prime here: Amazon.com

You can sign up for a free trial for Netflix here: https://www.netflix.com/signup

HBO Max doesn’t have a free trial directly through them but they are currently running a special that gives you 40% off if you pay for the year in advance here: hbomax.

Parental Advisory for Streamers 31 Days of Halloween

Also, not all of the movies on this list are kid-friendly. Some are more adult movies and shows. This year even more so than previous years. The ratings were not included on the schedule, so please check those on the streaming service, use discretion, and monitor the content before allowing your children to watch a particular movie on the schedule. We are absolutely not responsible for any children watching content that may not be appropriate for them.

Show Me the Schedule!

Without further ado, the schedule is below! You can also download it here. Also, feel free to screenshot and share this post. Also, be sure to follow, like, and share on Instagram. Tag us in your stories of the movies you’re watching! Can’t wait to watch with you!!!!

6 Brilliantly Frugal Ways to Get Freebies

6 Brilliantly Frugal Ways to Get Freebies
6 Brilliantly Frugal Ways to Get Freebies. BrilliantlyFrugal.com

Is there truly anything better than getting freebies? If there are, I think they’re very few. Freebie hunting is not only a fun scavenger hunt at times, but it allows me to get the same little hit of dopamine as I would with online shopping, but without spending the money! Do I often get high dollar items as freebies? Not usually. However, I sometimes do score some goodies! These are the 5 Brilliantly Frugal ways to get freebies:

1. Sampler

Sampler sends me the most samples out of the other companies. I’ve gotten everything from tabasco to laundry detergent and snack items from them.

They don’t always have openings for new customers, but they do once in a while. You can check periodically and sign up for an account through their website or the app. Once you have an account, you’ll need to fill out the survey so that they know which offers will be best for you. They have gotten better about sending emails when you’re matched with an offer, but you will want to keep checking back and signing up for new programs in the app or the website once in a while.

2. Sample Source

Fair warning, Sample Source does not have the most modern-looking website. It looked a bit spammy to me when I first saw it. However, several coupon influencers swore by this site and some google searching helped me determine that the site and company where legit! They too do not always have openings but when they do jump on it! They do sample drops, so you’ll want to also follow them on their Instagram or Twitter so that you know when to log in to your account and snag the drop.

3. BzzAgent

BzzAgent fell off for me for a little bit but have started to come around a lot more recently. I get the most invitations but least opportunities from this company now, but they do send full-size and decent freebies in exchange for a review once in a while. I’ve gotten everything from cases of dog food to a new electric Oral-B toothbush! All you have to do to get started is sign up for an account, fill out the survey so they can match you, and link your social medias. Keep an eye out for invitations from them in your email and apply when you get those invites. An invite doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get picked to get the product. I probably only get picked for 1 out of every 10 invites I get.

4. Send Me a Sample

I don’t get a ton of items from Send Me A Sample but it’s one of my favorite ones at the moment, just because they make it so easy! To get started, sign up for an account through their website, or you can ask your Google Assistant or Alexa to “Send Me A Sample” and you’ll be prompted to create one. Once you have an account, you just say “Hey Google, Send Me a Sample” and it’ll ask which one you’d like. You can then ask “What’s available” and it’ll go through what they have available at the moment. Also, follow them on social media to see what’s being made available. I typically get snacks, drinks, and perfume sample options.

5. Coupons!

You can’t get things for free all the time. Things have changed a lot since the show Extreme Couponers came out so coupon restrictions have gotten a lot tighter. It’s rarer than it used to be but it does happen. I usually get completely free items with coupons once every few months. This method definitely takes the most work than the other options, since you have to look through the different apps or the newspaper and then go to the store, but you get more items at once. They’re also usually better because you’re getting full-size items usually instead of samples like what you get from some of the sample companies. Check out my favorite couponing apps here.

6. Buy Nothing Groups

I know. I don’t shut up about the Buy Nothing Groups, but they’re the TRUTH! If you have a local Buy Nothing Project group on Facebook, be sure to join and check back regularly for items that neighbors are gifting FOR FREE. I’m currently in the middle of planning our upcoming wedding. We’ve received so many items from neighbors for the wedding, like mirrors, vases, bachlorette party games, and so many other things that our neighbors were no longer using but we were happy to give away. We’ve returned the favor by gifting our unused or unwanted items frequently as well.

Follow Brilliantly Frugal and othercCouponers on Instagram. I post on the Brilliantly Frugal Instagram periodically when I see a good deal that works.

How to Get a Free Thanksgiving Dinner 2021

This year you can get a FREE Thanksgiving dinner at Walmert including Turkey and sides with Ibotta!

Wait, what is Ibotta?

Ibotta is a rebate app! After you sign up for an account, you can click on the store you want to shop and save rebate offers for that store. Once you’ve shopped, redeem them by taking a picture of the receipt in the app. Once your receipt is approved, the rebate funds are added to your Ibotta app which can be redeemed as soon as you have $20.00 available for redemption in the app!

For some stores, like Walmart and Target, you can link your store account with Ibotta. The rebates you selected will be automatically redeemed through the info that the store sends Ibotta. You don’t have to take any receipt pictures!

You can read more about Ibotta and other apps that I like to use while shopping online or in-store here.

Okay, so what exactly do we get for FREE?

This is everything that is being offered on Ibotta for the FREE Thanksgiving Dinner:

  1. Turkey
  2. Instant Mashed Potatos
  3. 2L Coca Cola
  4. Birds Eye Frozen Vegetables
  5. Jeffy Corn Muffin Mix
  6. Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup

Some of the offers are already showing as unavailable on my app though.

No longer available:

  1. Great Value Cranberry Sauce
  2. Great Value French Fried Onions

To get the turkey offer this year you need to get a friend to sign up for Ibotta using your referral link!

If you don’t have Ibotta yet, sign up using my code: 34xkgcan. Help me out so that I can get a turkey!

Streamer’s 31 Days of Christmas 2021

Growing up, my sister and I got super excited about any themed holiday programming. Especially during the winter holiday time, many TV channels would have special lineups for the entire month of December, sometimes even into January, with a plethora of classic holiday movies and shows mixed in with new content for the upcoming holiday. We recently found ourselves missing that scheduled programming. I switched to streaming long ago and all though many streaming services have “hubs” or special lists for holiday content, it doesn’t feel the same as having scheduled and planned content. Last year, my sister and I decided to make our own “cord cutter’s” schedules for the upcoming holidays. We’re continuing that this year with the Streamer’s 31 Days of Christmas 2021! This year’s schedule is packed full with 31 days of holiday movies from various streaming services, one for each day of the month of December.

Why Should I Care about Streamer’s 31 Days of Christmas 2021?

We need any happiness we can manufacture this year! This list may help you and your family and friends get excited about the upcoming holidays, especially if you may not be able to take part in your normal traditions this year. If you are separated from family and friends at the moment, take time to watch these movies cozied up with your household members on the couch or while decorating for the holidays. Maybe have a watch party or outdoor private screening of these with outdoor heaters or fire pits going to spend some safe time with them!

The schedule includes movies and TV shows that are available on Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, Hulu, and Amazon Prime streaming services. If you don’t have access to one of those, feel free to swap out for shows or movies on streaming services that you do have, watch with a friend that does have them, or try a free trial! Just don’t forget to set a reminder on your calendar or phone assistant to cancel before the free trial is over if you don’t have room in the budget for a new streaming service at the moment. (Especially with our holiday spending.)

How to Watch Streamer’s 31 Days of Christmas 2021:

Sign up for a free trial for Disney+ here: https://www.disneyplus.com/welcome (If you plan on keeping it, you can save by bundling your Hulu and Disney+ subscriptions)

You can sign up for a free trial for Amazon Prime here: Amazon.com

Sign up for a free trial for Netflix here: https://www.netflix.com/signup

Get a free trial for Hulu here: hulu.com/start

HBO Max doesn’t have a free trial directly through them but check for a free trial for HBO Max through your Hulu account.

Parental Advisory for Streamers’s 31 Days of Christmas 2021

Although many of these movies are family-friendly, not all of them are G or PG movies. The ratings are not included in the schedule. Please check those on the streaming service, use discretion, and monitor content before allowing your children to watch a particular movie on the schedule. Brilliantly Frugal is absolutely not responsible for any children watching content that may not be appropriate for them.

Show Me the Schedule!

Without further ado, the schedule is below! You can also download it here. Also, feel free to screenshot and share this post. Also, be sure to like and share on Instagram. We will be posting the movie on the list every day and update you on when we’re watching. Tag us in your stories of the movies you’re watching! Can’t wait to watch with you!!!!

Streamers 31 Days of Halloween 2021

I’m so excited to be doing the Streamers 31 Days of Halloween again this year! Last year was so much fun watching some All Hallow’s Eve classics all month long in the countdown to Halloween. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing everyone watching with me every day and talking about some of my childhood classics. So of course I had to make a new schedule and do it again this year!

For those who are joining for the first time this year, this schedule is curated for Halloween viewing with many of my favorite Halloween movies and shows, much like many TV channels used to do. Growing up, my sister and I got super excited about any themed holiday programming. I really started missing that type of content over the last few years, especially since I cut the cord. Many streaming services have “hubs” or special lists for holiday content, it didn’t feel the same as having scheduled and planned content for the holiday. So, again this year, my sister and I decided to make our own “streamers” schedules for the upcoming holidays.

Why Should I Care about Streamers 31 Days of Halloween?

This list may help you and your family and friends get excited about the upcoming holidays again, especially if you may not be able to take part in your normal traditions again this year. If you are separated from family and friends at the moment, maybe have a watch party or outdoor private screening of these to spend some safe time with them!

The schedule includes movies and TV shows that are available on Hulu, Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, and Amazon Prime streaming services. If you don’t have access to one of those, feel free to swap out for shows or movies on streaming services that you do have, watch with a friend that does have them, or try a free trial! Just don’t forget to set a reminder on your calendar or phone assistant to cancel before the free trial is over if you don’t have room in the budget for a new streaming service at the moment.

How to Watch Streamers 31 Days of Halloween:

You can sign up for a free trial for Hulu here: hulu.com/start

Sign up for a free trial for Disney+ here: https://www.disneyplus.com/welcome (If you plan on keeping it, you can save by bundling your Hulu and Disney+ subscriptions)

You can sign up for a free trial for Amazon Prime here: Amazon.com

You can sign up for a free trial for Netflix here: https://www.netflix.com/signup

HBO Max doesn’t have a free trial directly through them but check for a free trial for HBO Max through your Hulu account.

Parental Advisory for Streamers 31 Days of Halloween

Also, not all of the movies on this list are kid-friendly. Some (usually the weekend picks) are more adult horror movies. The ratings were not included on the schedule, so please check those on the streaming service, use discretion, and monitor the content before allowing your children to watch a particular movie on the schedule. We are absolutely not responsible for any children watching content that may not be appropriate for them.

Show Me the Schedule!

Without further ado, the schedule is below! You can also download it here. Also, feel free to screenshot and share this post. Also, be sure to follow, like, and share on Instagram. We will be posting the movie or show on the list every day and update you on when we’re watching. Tag us in your stories of the movies you’re watching! Can’t wait to watch with you!!!!

The Cord Cutter’s 31 Days of the Christmas

As I mentioned in my Halloween post, growing up, my sister and I got super excited about any themed holiday programming. Especially during winter holiday time, many TV channels would have special line ups for the entire month of December, sometimes even into January, with a plethora of classic holiday movies and shows mixed in with new movies and shows with special episodes or new original content for the upcoming holiday. We recently found ourselves missing that scheduled programming. I cut the cord long ago and all though many streaming services have “hubs” or special lists for holiday content, it doesn’t feel the same as having scheduled and planned content for the holiday. So, this year, my sister and I decided to make our own “cord cutter’s” schedules for the upcoming holidays. We started a couple of months ago with The Cord Cutter’s 31 Days of Halloween. That went smashingly so we decided to continue with The Cord Cutter’s 31 Days of Christmas for December! It’s packed full with 31 days of holiday movies from various streaming services, one for each day of the month of December.

Why Should I Care about Cord Cutter’s 31 Days of Christmas?

People seem more geared up for the winter holidays this year than any year before. We need any happiness we can manufacture this year! This list may help you and your family and friends get excited about the upcoming holidays, especially if you may not be able to take part in your normal traditions this year. If you are separated from family and friends at the moment, take time to watch these movies cozied up with your household members on the couch or while decorating for the holidays. Maybe have a watch party or outdoor private screening of these with outdoor heaters or fire pits going to spend some safe time with them! Everyone can bring their own chairs, blankets, and individually package popcorn and snacks!

The schedule includes movies and TV shows that are available on Netflix, Disney+, and Amazon Prime streaming services. (I couldn’t really find much winter holiday content on Hulu). If you don’t have access to one of those, feel free to swap out for shows or movies on streaming services that you do have, watch with a friend that does have them, or try a free trial! Just don’t forget to set a reminder on your calendar or phone assistant to cancel before the free trial is over if you don’t have room in the budget for a new streaming service at the moment. (Especially with our holiday spending. Is anyone else’s budget not looking so great from over-ordering? Or is that just me?)

How to Watch Cord Cutter’s 31 Days of Christmas:

Sign up for a free trial for Disney+ here: https://www.disneyplus.com/welcome (If you plan on keeping it, you can save by bundling your Hulu and Disney+ subscriptions)

You can sign up for a free trial for Amazon Prime here: Amazon.com

You can sign up for a free trial for Netflix here: https://www.netflix.com/signup

Parental Advisory for Cord Cutter’s 31 Days of Christmas

Although many of these movies are family-friendly, not all of them are G or PG movies. The ratings are not included in the schedule. Please check those on the streaming service, use discretion, and monitor the content before allowing your children to watch a particular movie on the schedule. Brilliantly Frugal is absolutely not responsible for any children watching content that may not be appropriate for them.

Show Me the Schedule!

Without further ado, the schedule is below! You can also download it here. Also, feel free to screenshot and share this post. Also, be sure to like and share on Instagram. We will be posting the movie on the list every day and update you on when we’re watching. Tag us in your stories of the movies you’re watching! Can’t wait to watch with you!!!!

The Cord Cutter’s 31 Days of Halloween

Growing up, my sister and I got super excited about any themed holiday programming. Many TV channels would have special line ups for upcoming holidays, with lots of throwback movies and shows mixed in with new movies and shows with special episodes or new original content for the upcoming holiday. Halloween was one of those times. I recently found myself missing that type of content. I cut the cord long ago and all though, many streaming services have “hubs” or special lists for holiday content, it didn’t feel the same as having scheduled and planned content for the holiday. So, this year, my sister and I decided to make our own “cord cutter’s” schedules for the upcoming holidays. To start we’re doing the cord cutter’s 31 days of Halloween and decided to share it with all of you!

Why Should I Care about Cord Cutter’s 31 Days of Halloween?

This list may help you and your family and friends get excited about the upcoming holidays again, especially if you may not be able to take part in your normal traditions this year. If you are separated from family and friends at the moment, maybe have a watch party or outdoor private screening of these to spend some safe time with them!

The schedule includes movies and TV shows that are available on Hulu, Netflix, Disney+, and Amazon Prime streaming services. If you don’t have access to one of those, feel free to swap out for shows or movies on streaming services that you do have, watch with a friend that does have them, or try a free trial! Just don’t forget to set a reminder on your calendar or phone assistant to cancel before the free trial is over if you don’t have room in the budget for a new streaming service at the moment.

How to Watch Cord Cutter’s 31 Days of Halloween:

You can sign up for a free trial for Hulu here: hulu.com/start

Sign up for a free trial for Disney+ here: https://www.disneyplus.com/welcome (If you plan on keeping it, you can save by bundling your Hulu and Disney+ subscriptions)

You can sign up for a free trial for Amazon Prime here: Amazon.com

You can sign up for a free trial for Netflix here: https://www.netflix.com/signup

Parental Advisory for Cord Cutter’s 31 Days of Halloween

Also, not all of the movies on this list are kid friendly. Some (usually the weekend picks) are more adult horror movies. The ratings were not included on the schedule, so please check those on the streaming service, use discretion, and monitor the content before allowing your children to watch a particular movie on the schedule. We are absolutely not responsible for any children watching content that may not be appropriate for them.

Show Me the Schedule!

Without further ado, the schedule is below! You can also download it here. Also, feel free to screenshot and share this post. Also, be sure to like and share on Instagram. We will be posted the movie or show on the list every day and update you on when we’re watching. Tag us in your stories of the movies you’re watching! Can’t wait to watch with you!!!!

How to Reuse Old Candles

Candles are so incredibly expensive. Too expensive in my opinion, but I’m obsessed with them. I love to have candles lit at the end of the day to make the house smell really nice and relaxing, but also provide some nice relaxing low light to wind down. During my season of getting laid off and being unemployed a few years ago, I really wasn’t able to justify purchasing new candles for my house at full price. For many of them, I used coupons, but sometimes I would be out and didn’t have any coupons to buy any more. It also frustrated me that I would have a decent amount of wax left at the bottom of some of the candles. It seemed like a waste to throw that wax and jars away. I knew that people would get out the wax and reuse the jars, but I still felt guilty about throwing the wax away, so I figured out a way to reuse that wax and make new candles from the leftovers.

1. Gather all of your old Candles.

Ask your friends and family for more if you can. You’ll be surprised how many people have hoards that they’re happy to give. You can also ask in Facebook groups, like your local Buy Nothing Project, or on Nextdoor. Again, you’d be surprised how many of your neighbors keep these.

2. Order cheap prewaxed wicks on Amazon.

I like these.

3. You need to get the wax out of all of the old candle jars.

You can freeze the jars and try to pop the wax out with a knife once they’re cold. I don’t find that method super effective myself and I feel like I’m going to accidentally hurt myself that way. Instead, I boil water and put boiling water in each jar, filling it up to as close to the top as I can. The wax will heat up and bubble up to the top. Let the wax cool at the top and then just pop it out. You may need to do some of the jars more than once to get all of the wax out. Sometimes they’re stubborn.

Brilliantly Frugal Tip: Put the jars on a few old towels. I tend to spill a bunch water when I do this.

4. Clean the Jars.

You’ll need to scrape or pop out the leftover wicks and any bits and glue at the bottom. Then scrub the jars inside and out with hot water and dawn dish soap. This may take some scrubbing to get all of the glue, wax, oil, stickers, and soot off. I also then like to run them through the dishwasher after for good measure.

5. Gather Your Other Supplies.

You need an old pot that you don’t mind getting wax in, pencils to prop the wicks, and a clean tin or aluminum can (I used an empty and cleaned refried bean can with the label taken off), and tongs. And any of the empty jars that you want to reuse as candle jars

6. Group Your Waxes.

You want to try to put like waxes together. For example, you want all of your soy wax together, regular wax, and then beeswax separate. Then group again by scents. So, you want summer scents together, winter or fall scents separate, etc. The reason for this is that different wax types don’t necessarily mix well. Also, you’ll probably have to layer the scents to make one whole new candle unless you got a bunch of the same scent with enough leftover wax of just that one scent to make a new candle.

7. Put a cup or two of water at the bottom of the pot.

Then put the first chunks of wax that you’d like to be the base of your first candle into the tin or can. Then put the can into the water and pot to melt the wax. Use the tongs to maneuver the can if you need to, because the can will be HOT. You may need to swirl around the hot wax every once in a while to help the wax melt down.

Pro Tip: Put a lid over the tin can to push it down to the bottom of the pot and keep it from floating. This will help the wax melt faster.

8. Place your candle wicks in the empty jars.

While the wax is melting, take out your candle wicks and place them in your jars. You may need to prop them against pencils that are laid across the top of the jar to keep them from falling. Try to follow the pattern that the previous candle used for the wicks. For example, if it was a 3 wick candle from bath and body works, make sure to put three wicks in the jar in that triangle pattern again. This will ensure that the new candle burns properly.

Pro Tip: You can also use holders specifically made to hold candle wicks. I like these from Amazon.

9. Pour your wax.

As the wax melts in the can, use the tongs to lift the can and pour the hot wax periodically in the jar. Keep melting wax and pouring the waxes in layers into your jars until you run out of wax or the jars are full. This takes a while, so put on some TV or music while you do this, but don’t forget to keep an eye on the melting wax! This is a project that I usually do on a weekend over a couple of days and I listen to podcasts, or music, or play netflix on my laptop while I’m doing it.

10. Enjoy your new candles!

Feel great about the fact that you recycled and reused instead of throwing all of that away or your friends, family, and neighbors throwing it all away. You also saved at least $8-$20 per candle that you didn’t buy depending on the brand!

Candles are also a great way to elevate your space with very little money. You can read more about decorating on a small budget here.

Brilliantly Frugal Ways to Decorate on a Small Budget

Brilliantly Frugal Tips for Making a House a Home on a Small Budget
Brilliantly Frugal Tips for Making a House a Home on a Small Budget

I’m so excited to share my Brilliantly Frugal ways to decorate on a small budget! Decorating is often what makes a house a home, but it can be dauntingly expensive and discouraging. You’ll find Pinterest full of large home renovations and million dollar budget redesigns on Pinterest. I’ve personally have had to decorate my homes on a small budget and have gotten very creative over the years. What that meant though is that my house was beautifully decorated and put together in a unique way. I’ve always received compliments on how my home is put together and questions on how I chose my items, where I found them, and how I came up with the ideas.

Brilliantly Frugal Decorating Tip #1: NEVER PAY RETAIL!

This is 100% my motto when shopping and it holds true. I almost never pay retail prices. It makes me physically irritated to do so. I do my best to only buy an item if it is on sale or with a coupon, if that’s an option. If it’s not on sale or I don’t have a coupon, I wait. I practice my patience. And believe me, it is practice! I know it is torture to want an item very badly BUT IT WILL GO ON SALE. STAY PATIENT. 

Although, there are some items that don’t go on sale or have coupons. For those, I try to buy secondhand or get free what I can. You can save SO MUCH MONEY that way.

These are my favorite Brilliantly Frugal ways to decorate and make a space a home on a small budget.

Brilliantly Frugal Decorating Tip #2: Paint

If you have hand me down furniture that you don’t like, paint it (ask for permission first!) You can also paint your walls, cabinets, even small home decor items. You can paint almost anything, even upholstery. Paint is probably the cheapest way to turn something you don’t like into something you love. Also, you can avoid doing an entire tear our renovation this way. For example, you can paint cabinets that seem outdated but are still in very good condition. You’d be surprised how a fresh coat of paint can make it look as if you got all new cabinets, when in fact, you only gave them a color update.

This is one of those items that rarely go on sale or has coupons unless you’re buying from Sherwin-Williams (they often have coupons available, but they are a more expensive paint option). Your family, friends, or neighbors may have some leftover paint from their home projects that you can use! Ask on our local neighborhood Facebook pages or Nextdoor. Even if they don’t have quite enough for your project, you can use what they have and spend a lot less at the hardware store by buying only what you need to finish the project! If you’re looking for a popular color, you’d be surprised how many people have that exact color leftover. They are usually happy to pass it along and get it out of their garage or attic.

Alternatively, if you’re flexible with your color choices, you can try the paint “oops” section of your favorite hardware store. Most hardware stores have a bin of paints that were incorrectly mixed, were returned, or never picked up. You can buy those instead of having a new batch mixed and save quite a bit of money.

Brilliantly Frugal Decorating Tip #3: Wall Art

If you’re renting and can’t change the wall colors by painting, you can try temporary (removable) wallpaper. You can get it at most hardware stores, and even online from Target. This can be a bit more expensive than paint if you’re doing an entire room. However, if you only cover one wall ( an accent wall), it can make a huge difference in a room and save a bit of money!

Alternatively, you can buy large tapestries as cheap alternatives to expenses canvas. You can find these online on Amazon, Target, Ikea, and other stores relatively cheap. These are often available at thrift stores as well.

Also, be sure to support your artist friends or local artists! Your friends may have relatively inexpensive prints or other art available for sale. This is a great opportunity to support your friends or community and have beautiful unique pieces in your home. If you don’t know any artists yourself, look out for local art shows on Facebook or in the local paper. Many cities, even small towns have annual art shows were local artists can showcase and sell their artwork. These are often hosting on the main streets and have music and food vendors as well. They can be a lot of fun on a weekend with friends to look at great and inspirational pieces.

Brilliantly Frugal Decorating Tip #4: Greenery

Plants are perfect for decorating on a small budget! Bring the outside inside. Houseplants can add a pop of color and life into a small space with little to no money. Are you scared of killing it? No worries! Get a succulent or ivy that is low maintenance. Don’t go to a big box store like Home Depot or Lowes. You’ll have more luck by going to a small local plant store. The owners and employees there will have specialized knowledge in the plants in the store and can help you pick something that fits your home, expertise, lifestyle, and budget. They also sometimes offer consultations online with suggestions of what would work best in the space and can provide delivery.

Brilliantly Frugal Decorating Tip #5: Thrifting

You will not believe how many New With Tag or like-new items you can find at Goodwill, Savers, Salvation Army, or other thrift stores. It’s insane! I regularly find new with tag or like new clothes, picture frames, candles, candleholders, pillows, and other decor items for 70-90% off the original retail price.

Even if you end up buying something used, you can often find the most unique and interesting items at thrift stores. It is so much more interesting to have one of a kind items to decorate your home. Having the same 5 things that everyone else is buying from big box stores that will be out of style next season can cost you more money in the long run.

Just be sure to carefully inspect items before purchasing them. Go to a well-lit area of the store and look over every share inch of the item for chips, stains, or missing buttons or pieces. I’m definitely guilty of getting too excited about a great deal and not realizing that the item is broken or damaged until I get home.

Thrift stores can also be a great resource for DIY projects. You may be able to find broken or cheap items that can be reused or remade into something new. You can also find items that have good bones, but the color, stain, or finish is a bit outdated for very little money. Antique, vintage, and other well-made items are frequent finds at thrift stores. You can paint, stain, or refinish items in contemporary colors for a lot less than buying the item new or at an antique store!

Brilliantly Frugal Decorating Tip #6: Estate and Garage Sales

Estate and Garage sales are two of my favorite Brilliantly Frugal places to find items to decorate on a small budget. At sales like these, the sellers are often motivated to get rid of the items and are hopefully not sentimentally attached to the items. This can make for some great sales. If you get vary lucky, you can find new with tag, vintage, or designer and luxury items for a great price if you dig enough. Just be sure to bring hand sanitizer and to wash all items as soon as you get them home. Many times items have been in storage for a bit and can be dusty or dirty.

Brilliantly Frugal Decorating Tip #7: Discount Stores

Discount Stores like Ross, HomeGoods, Burlington, Marshalls, TJ Maxx, and others are honestly some of my favorite places to check for new but deeply discounted items to decorate my home.

Caution. These stores are addicting. They have GIANT home decor areas with cute decorative furniture, decor items, linens, and kitchenware for fractions of the original pricing. You can often find designer or even luxury brand items there for fractions of the cost. Just be careful. Sometimes the deal on a designer or luxury brand item looks great, but the quality of a lesser known brand or other option at the same store is the same or even better for a much lower price.

Again, be sure to inspect items for any damage or missing parts or pieces. By the time the item makes it to the discount store, it has been through several warehouses and damage does happen, unfortunately.

Brilliantly Frugal Decorating Tip #8: IKEA

Ikea has an amazing amount of home decor, art prints, and trendy home pieces for incredibly cheap. We’ve gotten aesthetically pleasing home storage solutions for under $10 that I love using in our pantry. We were also able to find two large poster size art prints for only $4. I cut one down to fit a frame that I found at Salvation Army for another $5 and hung it up in my office at work. It is the item that I get the most compliments on and I only spent $9 total on it.

Brilliantly Frugal Decorating Tip #9: Target

Even Target sometimes has extreme discounts on home goods and furniture. Full price, a lot of their offerings can be expensive. However, if you wait for the end of a season or during Target’s big sales, you can often get trendy contemporary pieces for great prices. Read about how to save more at Target with Target Circle here.

Brilliantly Frugal Decorating Tip #10: Maximize Social Media

Facebook Marketplace, Offerup, & 5Mile and other similar apps are great spaces to check for hidden gems. You’ll often find people selling items that they no longer want for very little in good condition that you can grab in your area. This is especially true if you can find people who are moving. They often desperately want to get rid of the item quickly before they have to be out of their current home. This means you get an item for very cheap and they don’t have to move it! Win-Win!

The downside to these apps is that you often have to do A LOT of scrolling through junk or overpriced items to find something you like. You’ll have to check back often because a good deal will usually go pretty fast. Also, be sure to double-check that the item you are looking for is actually listed in your area and not somewhere else that will ship unless you’re willing to pay the shipping.

If you have a local Buy Nothing Project group on Facebook, be sure to join and check back regularly for items that neighbors are gifting! We have acquired so many items from our neighbors on our local Buy Nothing group. We’ve received a lamp, large mirror to hang above our front entryway table, coffee table books, and so many other things that our neighbors were no longer using but we were happy to give away. We’ve returned the favor by gifting our unused or unwanted items frequently as well.

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How to Get Healthy AND Save Money in 2020

How to Get Healthy AND Save Money in 2020. Brilliantly Frugal.com People sit on a beach doing yoga on a sunny day with tropical mountains in the background.
How to Get Healthy AND Save Money in 2020. Brilliantly Frugal.com

People sit on a beach doing yoga on a sunny day with tropical mountains in the background.

Getting healthy, exercising more, and losing weight are some of the top 3 new years resolutions in the US. I’ve made these same goals for myself this year as I hone in on living a better, happier life while I enter into my 30s. The only problem is that it seems like living healthy and trying to lose weight can be unreasonably and impossibly expensive. Thankfully, I’ve learned some tips and tricks over the years to teach you how to get healthy and save money in 2020!

Gyms to Get Healthy AND Save You Money in 2020

Gyms can be incredibly expensive. However, there are cheap gym options that offer the basics that you need to get your main exercises in and help you get healthy and save money in 2020.

DON’T GET PRESSURED INTO A TOO EXPENSIVE GYM

Planet Fitness is super inexpensive. You can get a membership for as low as $10. The $10 membership gets you access to the gym equipment and the lockers, but not the tanning beds or massage chairs. Only $20 a month gets you “Black card status” which also gives you access to the tanning beds, massage chairs, and 50% off drinks in the cooler at the gym. If you’d like to try it out, click here for a free one day pass.

Be sure that you can actually afford the gym or option that you’ve chosen. Make a point to look through your budget and determine the amount of money you can spend per month on your new health goals. Don’t pick a gym simply because it has all the bells and whistles. Pick a gym because it checks the boxes for your needs and is within your budget.

For example, I have to have a gym that has a treadmill and weight machines that are not overly crowded. When picking a new gym, that gym HAS to have those things, or I know I will not go, which is a huge waste of money. Also, some of the things I would like to have at the gym but could live without is group exercise classes like Yoga or Spin at a time that I can attend. If I find a gym that has all of those things and is within my budget, GREAT! I’m signing up! But if the only gyms that have my wants in addition to my needs are outside of my budget, I’ll need to look for the next best thing. There is no reason to go into debt to become healthy.

Do Trials Before Committing

Almost every gym or app has a few days of free trials available, but be careful! Many will charge you automatically if you don’t cancel in person during the trial. Be sure to write down or set a reminder on your phone before the deadline to cancel if you try those. It can also be a way to try some super expensive gyms for fun.

Apps to Get Healthy AND Save Money in 2020

There are so many apps out there for weight loss or fitness, it can be daunting. Additionally, many of the free ones seem to have little benefit and the premium ones can sometimes be really expensive. But fear not, I’m happy to share the apps that I’ve used to meet my health and fitness goals while still being Brilliantly Frugal.

Streaming

One less expensive workout option is app subscription options, like Openfit, or Bad Yogi Studio. Bad Yogi Studio is only $15 per month and gives you access to a ton of premium yoga classes that are regularly updated. You can play the videos on a phone or stream to your TV and do the classes at home! Openfit is similar in that you can play the workouts on your phone and can do them anywhere. However, the workouts are more HIIT or strength training focused on Openfit.

You can also DIY at home with free Youtube or Amazon Prime videos (Check out the article on Amazon Prime here). I like Bad Yogi, DoYouYOGA.com, and Gaiam on Youtube. I also enjoy Power Yoga with Julia Marie on Amazon Prime Video.

Noom

Another app that I love is Noom. It helps you set goals, track your weight/exercise/food and calories in the app. It gives you helpful encouragement throughout your journey. There is a premium version of the app, but there’s really no need to sign up for that unless you want a personal coach. Otherwise, the app is completely usable and helpful in the free version.

Fitbit

Lastly, if you have a Fitbit, you need to be using the app to its full potential. You can log food and water consumption, exercise, track your weight, and make weight loss goals. You can also track your calorie consumption throughout the day and set the app to customize the amount you can eat for the day based on how many calories it’s predicting you will burn for the day. This is super helpful, because instead of sticking to a boring and monotonous 1400 calorie a day diet, for example, it can be set for a 400 calorie a day deficit; meaning you can eat more on days that you are more active or do more exercise. Your calorie progress logs and tracks in real-time.

Even better, the app will automatically pick up when you’re going for a run, bike ride, or long walk, based on your heart rate. Alternatively, you can manually ask it to start tracking when you start your workout. Either way, it helps you track and maintain your goals in real-time, which is amazing!

Social Media

Keep an eye out on Facebook Marketplace, Nextdoor, or your local Buy Nothing Groups for free or very cheap at home gym items like stretch bands, exercise balls, free-weights, foam rollers, etc. You can have a respectable collection of at-home gym items for little to no money. I have personally found a brand new foam roller for free from my local Buy Nothing group. It has been a great addition to my personal at-home gym collection.

Join a local walking or dog walking group! There are many on Facebook and may help you make friends with some of your neighbors.

Make Your Own Food AND Save Money in 2020

COOK AT HOME. I know. You already know this and it’s super annoying to be told again, but IT’S TRUE! And sometimes you need tough love. So here it is. My best Brilliantly Frugal tip is: STOP eating out and START cooking at home!

Why though?

It’s generally healthier and more cost-effective. You’ll make yourself much smaller portions than what you would get at a restaurant or fast food place so you’ll automatically be reducing your calorie consumption. Hopefully, you’ll be buying as much fresh food as possible. You will save yourself from all the sodium and other horrible preservatives that you find in fast food and major food chains. You’ll be able to make better, more informed decisions about what is going into your body when making it at home.

How though?

Make big meals and freeze or use leftovers for lunches at work. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to “meal prep” and spend a whole day cooking. I personally do not enjoy or subscribe to meal prepping. It does mean that when you are cooking, instead of making enough for 1 or 2 people, make twice what you normally would. Use storage containers and Tupperware to portion out individual meals to freeze or take to work for lunch. You can cook 1-3 times a week and still stick to your goal of eating at home.

It can seem easy to buy lots of premade workout drinks and shakes, but try making workout and healthy shakes and smoothies at home! It’s super easy and they can be really yummy. You can be sure of what you’re putting in your body without all of the preservatives, sodium, and fillers. You can get an expensive Nutribullet if you want, or the really inexpensive personal blender that I got on Amazon. Bullet journal or use your apps to track your savings on food and pounds lost to keep you motivated!

Make the Shopping Convenient

Don’t have time to grocery shop? Thankfully it is 2020 and that is not a problem! Use Amazon Prime NOW or Curbside pickup from your favorite stores. You can get curbside pickup from Target, HEB, and Walmart. That means you order groceries ahead of time online, and then head to the store when you’re ready. You never have to leave your car. The store working will bring your items to the car and load them for you and you’re on your way! It’s super convenient.

Never Pay Retail

USE A COUPON FOR EVERYTHING. All things healthy are on sale right now. That includes protein shakes and other healthy foods and snacks. Don’t pay retail for anything. Use Honey and Mypoints extension to find coupons online. If you are shopping in the store, be sure to use the store’s app to look for coupons. You can read more about Target’s rewards program, Target Circle here.

Brilliantly Frugal Take Away

Find a fun option that you’ll stick to. If you hate the gym, don’t sign up for a regular run of the mill gym, because “going to the gym is how you lose weight.” You’ll just set yourself up for failure and end up wasting money on a gym membership that you never use. If you need something more fun, try the at-home options that you can do on your own time. If working out AND a diet sounds too daunting right now, try just working on the diet portion or just the exercise portion for right now. Know yourself. Make your plan targeted to something that is reasonable and that you can stick to. You can do it!