Thursday, December 13, 2018

thrifty thursday #9

  • I picked up a Christmas gift from the post office and they charged me $13.50 in due postage. I contacted Amazon about the charge and they simply asked for a copy of the receipt and refunded me.
  • Typically on Mondays we go out to dinner after umpire training. We love eating out and this was our compromise to stop spending so much money on food - once a week and done. Last night, due to snow, training became a webinar. Kyle went out to pick up a Christmas gift and was going to stop for Chick-fil-a, but they were closed. That was our signal to eat in. We had sandwiches and split pea soup out of the cabinet instead.
  • I received $2.50 via ibotta from our snowstorm stock up at Kroger. Tortilla chips, popcorn, wine, and an any item rebate! Later in the week at Target I redeemed another 25¢ any item offer.
  • Another six orders between Poshmark and Mercari were shipped out! I managed to pilfer the plastic bags (with suffocation warning) from our pots and pans set to use to package items along with some moving boxes and mailers I received in the mail.
  • Not as frugal as it is environmentally friendly, but I sent off for some recycling envelopes from HP to send in some empty ink cartridges from the office.
  • I cashed out my points on Microsoft Rewards for a $5 Walmart giftcard.
Leave your thrifty tips in the comments! :)

Friday, December 7, 2018

no food waste friday

  • I brought home some delicious leftovers from when Kyle's mother cooked us dinner.
  • There are way too many condiments in our fridge and I've been slowly working to use them up so they don't go to waste when we move.
  • Recently I placed a order for some lunch items and picked up a four pack of miso soup packets for $3.98. I figured a 99¢ soup lunch wasn't bad. Well...turns out I didn't like them. Kyle said he'd try them, but we may end up putting the mixes into some bigger batches of soup.
  • One Saturday we went over to our friends' house and the group went and got snacks. I bought an entirely too large container of pasta salad and there was no way I'd eat it all at home and we didn't make much of a dent that night, so I brought it into the office to share.
  • I hodge-podged together a lunch at work of leftovers: half a sub, a bit of leftover soup, a slice of pizza, and a couple onion rings.
  • One can of Progresso soup is more than I usually eat, so I can get two days worth of lunches from a single can.
  • My boss brought in some coffee cake for us and it was delicious!
  • I brought leftovers from home in a salsa jar and cleaned out our fridge a bit.
How have you managed to save on wasting food?

Thursday, December 6, 2018

thrifty thursday #8

  • I didn't do any Black Friday or Cyber Monday shopping.
  • Eight packages went out Monday. All sales! I lowered prices on both Poshmark and Mercari to clear out some inventory and a few listings moved.
  • When we moved I wrapped breakables in linens I already had - dish towels, beach towels, etc. to cut down on buying bubble wrap along with reusing moving boxes that my boss (who moved a month prior) passed on to us.
  • Instead of buying pricey moving announcements, I reached into my stationary box and used up quite a few note cards. Handwritten and zero expense other than a stamp!
  • We placed an order on GrubHub last night (not frugal) but for some reason it was cancelled, so they sent us a $10 credit for a future order. Score!
  • I cashed out $22.83 via ibotta after making $2.90 at Kroger and 35¢ at Walmart.
Frugal Fails
  • I sustained a nasty hip injury from a tumble I took in November. I went to see an orthopedist, so the copay and x-rays cost pretty penny even with insurance. Luckily I just had a badly pulled or torn hip flexor, nothing major that physical therapy can't fix.

Tell me your frugal habits!

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

zero waste food storage

I am a jar fiend. I don't like to buy food in plastic containers if I can help it so I end up with tons of different shaped jars. Most of them come in really handy for storing spices, hair clips, the usual. However, some are better suited as food storage! This is a salsa jar that's great for leftovers like mac and cheese. And the cost? Whatever the salsa cost and that's it. I'd say I got my money's worth and kept something out of the landfill.

You know the best things about jars? They seal completely, unlike Glad or Tupperware. Yes, they're certainly breakable, but I can safely transport sauces and dressings in what was once a pesto jar and not worry about it leaking all over my lunch bag.

So start saving those jars! Start taking a second look at what you're buying and opt for glass jars. Salsa, pasta sauce, pesto, yogurt...they can all come in glass that you can easily reuse!

Thursday, November 15, 2018

thrifty thursday #7

  • I used all recycled envelopes/boxes to ship out four Poshmark/Mercari orders. I have new (recycled plastic) polymailers, but if I can avoid using them in lieu of something I received in the mail, I do. It helps keep them out of the landfill a little longer and saves me a few pennies.
  • The last few weekends I've worked some fall baseball, so that'll help pad the apartment fund.
  • Speaking of apartments, we're moving soon! So I'm sure there'll be a lot more frugal posts because we gots to save some pennies.
  • I paid my car insurance on time to avoid a late fee and sent over a double payment to my mom for a debt I owe her to try to pay it off a little sooner.
  • While attending some open houses, I snagged a free bottle of water and a chocolate chip cookie.
  • I earned 55¢ back via Ibotta for a couple small trips to Food Lion, and then $5.33 with a bonus and cash back from Ulta. Always check Ibotta when you shop online!
  • Saturday I stopped by the office to grab the pizzas I'd ordered Friday so I could munch on them all weekend and my boss gave me a handful of honey cinnamon almonds. Nice tasty snack!
  • I've had a couple no spend days here lately, which is nice.

Frugal Fails
  • I grabbed a can of soup at the local store because I really wanted some and the can cost $3.49!!!! Ridiculously expensive, but I got it anyway to avoid the ten minute trip to the grocery store.

What are you frugal scores lately?

Sunday, November 11, 2018

bath & body works haul (with free item!)

Last week a nice little coupon for a free item (excluding three wick candles) from Bath & Body Works came through my email. The best part? The highest priced item was the free item! I typically tend to go through and finagle my cart to try to find the best deal, and I got a pretty good one this time.

I picked up three travel size items as they were 3/$12.50. I'll add the new scent of In The Stars body spray and the Hello Beautiful body lotion to my gift box. The Pretty as a Peach body wash will be added to my stockpile and the full-size Pretty as a Peach body spray was my free item, which knocked $14 off my total.

So with the $12.48 total plus $5.99 shipping, these came home for only $19.45. While I could've gone in store and saved that $6, I wasn't sure I'd have time with moving and work, so it was still a deal for me. I've added to my emergency gift box and I've secured a back up for my quickly dwindling body spray supply.

Have you grabbed any good deals lately?

Monday, October 22, 2018

how to contact companies & (maybe) get coupons

I've contacted tons of companies in the last few years. Some with complaints, most with compliments. And almost all of them have sent me something in return. Once I was even sent a reusable tote bag for my compliment! Most recently, though, I had contacted Pure Leaf tea with both a compliment and complaint. I love their sweet tea (much to Kyle's chagrin) and told them such, but wanted to let them know that they fill their bottles so high that I've yet to open one without spilling it. Is this a dealbreaker? No. I still buy them, but they sent me some coupons for two free bottles. I was quite pleased.

That said, there isn't really a wrong way to contact companies unless you're rude and over the top. Here's what I do:

Keep correspondence private // I've tweeted to brands before but I really prefer to keep correspondence private. I go to the company's website and find their contact page. From there, I specify the nature of my business and try to get it directly to whom it needs to go.

Only send a comment/compliment/complaint if it's legitimate // Making up things to get coupons is rude and deceitful and just puts a sour taste in the company's mouth so it ends up hurting us all.

Don't go into it thinking you're owed something // Most companies will send you coupons, and occasionally freebies, for your feedback. That said, companies don't have to send you anything. It's totally up to them and their policies.

Your mileage may vary, of course, but it never hurts to show appreciation (and sometimes disappointment) with your feedback! Even if you don't get anything, you may have helped someone have a better day or pushed them to continue to create more products you'll love, or discontinue things that may be missing their mark. Just keep it professional and courteous!

Thursday, October 18, 2018

thrifty thursday #6

  • I've made quite a few nice sales on Mercari and Poshmark and I've continued listing things, so hopefully more stuff gets out of here. I've recently added Vinted into my app repertoire and had my first sale!
  • I received $1.47 in cashback from PayPal for using the debit card connected to that account.
  • Apparently, my 15 year anniversary (!!) has come around with Verizon, so they sent me a $20 Amazon gift card. Works for me!
  • During a last minute grocery visit, I earned $2.25 back via ibotta and $1 via Saving Star.
  • Another two items sold on and I'll be receiving $3.65 in my PayPal account. Pennies make dollars.
  • I cashed out my points for another $5 Walmart gift card via Microsoft Rewards.
  • To celebrate Coffee Day, Verizon sent me a $5 Starbucks gift card. I didn't use it for a coffee, but instead got a Teavana Peach Citrus White Tea Infused Lemonade.
  • I redeemed a Museum Day ticket for a local museum and saved $10 on admission.
  • I've been reading a ton lately and I've loaded up on free ebooks and it's saved me loads of data I would've used up while browsing senseless social media.
  • FINALLY earned enough points on Achievement for a $10 payout.
How have you done lately?

Friday, August 31, 2018

no food waste friday

  • The last cucumber I brought home from Mumma's had almost turned but I managed to cut it up and stick it in some pasta salad just in time.
  • I brought a slightly-past-date bottle of salad dressing to the office so I can use it up quickly on lunches.
  • I combined the last two jars of opened salsa together for a nice little snack. I've finally gotten it all out of the fridge and it was eaten, not tossed.
  • Used up the last of the mini bagels and added the bagel bag to my stash of bathroom bin bags.
  • There's a few jars of pickles and pickled vegetables still in the fridge that I'm working on now. I eat a few pickle chips as a snack every now and then.
  • Half a small container of rice was leftover from when my boss bought us lunch at the office (best boss ever) and it had gotten a little too hard for my taste but was still edible so the pups enjoyed it in their canned food.
  • Since we plan to move this fall, I'm trying to use up spices and condiments. I'm making a dent!
Food Waste Fails
  • I made too much pasta a couple times and have an aversion to reheated angel hair, my preferred noodle. A couple containers with small amounts of pasta went to waste, sadly.
  • A couple locally grown tomatoes I picked up grew mold spots really quickly so I tossed them.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

thrifty thursday #5

  • I mailed off my cancellation request for my gym membership. I just wasn't using it so that should save me about $23 per month.
  • An order I'd made on Mercari a month ago never shipped so I cancelled it and got the $12 back directly to my card in a couple business days.
  • I'm now full time at the office so I adjusted my serving schedule so I'll still be there two days a week.
  • Sales on Mercari and Poshmark have been fruitful and frequent lately. Super happy!
  • I canceled my Hulu subscription as I've been using Netflix so much more, along with a few free shows on Facebook Watch (y'all, Sacred Lies is so, so good).
  • An order I'd placed on Amazon with Prime shipping, that I'd needed for Sunday, somehow was sent to the wrong address at no fault of my own. When I called to inquire, they gave me a $5 credit for the delay.
  • I've come to realize that the majority of my wardrobe came to me secondhand at a deep discount from retail. No shame. I kept things out of the landfill and didn't pay a fortune for clothing.
  • I earned $1.50 at Food Lion and 25¢ at Walmart via ibotta.
  • When I ordered Kyle's birthday gift I shopped around online a little and managed to find it for $15 cheaper on one website.
How have y'all been doing?

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

how to save money at the ballpark

I am the target market for ballparks. I love ballpark food, souvenirs, and baseball. I've been to four games in Dayton and I've tried almost every food offering they have. I'm a sucker. That said, I've learned a few ways to save money.

Don't drink // Yeah, I know, there's nothing like a cold beer on a hot day at a ball game. But they're so overpriced. $6.50+ for a beer??? No, thanks. Try a local bar or brewery after the game if you want a drink.

Eat before you come // Most games are typically right after lunch or right after dinner, so just have a meal before you come so you're not tempted to buy the pricey food (unless you're me, who can eat a meal and still buy loaded nachos).

Bring your own snacks and a bottle of water // Check with the field first as some don't allow outside food and drink, but some will allow you to bring in some snacks or a bottle of water (use a Nalgene or Tervis to save waste!).

Don't spring for the pricey souvenirs // Y'all. I love souvenirs of all types. BUT, you can usually get two items fairly cheaply: basic snapback hats and shot glasses. That's if you really want something. There may also be a drink cup available for (usually) only a dollar more than a regular cup.

Focus on the game // If you're engaged in the game (and I do not mean yelling at the umpires) you're less likely to be up and walking around and potentially buying something.

There are more ways, but these are typically the major money-snaggers. Enjoy the game! ♥

Thursday, August 9, 2018

thrifty thursday #4

  • I sold another two items on and made $10.30. I'm hoping they open inbound shipments again soon so I can send more items in.
  • A few sales each on Poshmark and Mercari granted me a few more dollars. I need to really get listing and get rid of more things before we move.
  • While out in Illinois for a baseball tournament, I packed up my shoe cleaner and disinfectant so that I didn't have to buy new products while I was there.
  • I earned $3.75 cash back from PayPal for using my debit card that's attached to the account.
  • On my trip I carried my Tervis tumbler empty through security and filled it with free water from the bottle fillers at the airport.
  • I finally earned enough for a cashout from ibotta. It took a bit for the last few dollars to add up since it was mainly 25¢ 'any item' rebates, but a cool $2 online shopping rebate finally hit my account and boosted me over the $20 threshold.
  • While in Illinois, my roomate for the week and I tried to eat fairly cheaply, opting for fast casual restaurants instead of dine-in. It was nice to not only meet other women that umpire baseball, but also aligned with trying to spend less money.
  • I passed my licensing exam before I left for the trip and when I got back my boss ordered the office lunch as a congrats. ♥ 

Frugal Fails
  • I don't normally check a bag when I fly, opting to save the bag fee and cram everything in a carry-on, but I had to have all my umpire gear for the tournament in Illinois, costing me $50 in bag fees for the trip.
  • Since getting back, I've not had time to go to the grocery store so I stopped by McDonald's for lunch but did snag a free drink with a coupon on their app.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

thrifty thursday #3

  • I earned more cash back via the Dosh app. Still small amounts, 35¢, 27¢, 10¢, 21¢. and 9¢, etc but it requires nothing but a linked card and a visit to eligible stores.
  • One super small grocery shop later, I was granted $3.45 via ibotta and then 20¢ off a box of pasta with a mobile coupon on top of my MVP card savings.
  • I've had three or four no spend days here recently. 
  • July 4th was another no spend day. I had forgotten to tell my serving job that the office was closed, so I had the day off. No cookouts, parades, or fireworks for me! I saved that gas money.
  • Thursday I went to Subway armed with a $6 foot-long coupon to stretch my gift card even further. The one sandwich provided me with lunch for two days.
  • The following Thursday I offered up a coupon to the office for a buy one footlong and a drink to get one free footlong text for Subway. My boss went to pick up the subs so I offered my $4 and something remaining gift card and some cash to cover mine, but he refused the cash. He used his rewards points and my gift card so all five of us ate fairly cheaply and had enough sub halves left over to eat the next day for lunch.
  • While out in Tennessee housesitting, I earned $8.25 over the course of the week via ibotta at Food City, and an additional 52¢ finally came through for a Sephora order I made back in April.
  • I only ate out once for lunch while in TN, and I did very minimal shopping. I picked up some necessities from the store to eat and it helped that I could raid my mom's pantry.
  • When I left to go home my mom sent me with a bunch of stuff! I now have several cucumbers, some squash and zucchini, and some absolutely amazing homemade pasta sauce.
Frugal Fails
  • On the trip out to Tennessee, I bought gas, a bottled water, a cup of fries, and a $14 dinner (plus tip). Sigh. I'd used up all my food stores since I was leaving for a week so I had nothing to pack.

Friday, July 13, 2018

no food waste friday

No Food Waste Friday is going to be a list of ways I managed to help eliminate food waste in my life. I try my best not to throw anything away that could safely be eaten. Here we go!
  • There was half a can of pinto beans hanging around in the fridge, so I added a couple spoonfuls to a rice mix that was doing its part of hanging around the cabinet.
  • My boss sent me home with a tray of lasagna that was an extra and though it has dairy in it, I'd rather see it eaten than thrown away.
  • A broccoli crown I had forgotten about in the crisper drawer had turned a little rubbery, but I sheared off the little green nubs and tossed them in Italian dressing along with some diced tomatoes.
  • I talked myself into using up the last of a jar of salsa (that I accidentally bought at too high a spice level for casual eating) and the last few tortilla chips. Then I found another half-eaten jar of extra mild salsa that I could've cut it with. Sigh.
  • There was some leftover cooked pasta from when I made goulash, so I threw together a little pasta salad with italian dressing and spices for a quick snack.
Food Waste Fails
  • Sadly I let a pair of nectarines sit on the counter too long and they became shrivelled and one developed a mold spot. They were tossed.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

thrifty thursday #2

  • Though not specifically frugal, I refused the 'I Voted' sticker at my polling place to save the waste of the sticker. Yay, environment! In addition, are you registered to vote? (Don't worry, we won't get political on this blog.)
  • I earned cash back with the Dosh app when I got gas at a local station; only 79¢ back in one visit and 30¢ in the next, but that's more than zero cents.
  • While it's not much, I have $4.80 waiting for the next payout on from selling another item.
  • Friday Kyle sent the office two pizzas from a local place, which was so incredibly sweet. They were enough to feed all of us and I even took some home.
  • Then Friday evening we had a garden party at the office to celebrate a local gardening club's amazing work on our planter boxes. The food was amazing and I was sent home with a package of delicious lemon poppyseed scones.
  • I'd been receiving Under Armour's Armour Box, but I cancelled it this month because it really wasn't in the budget and it was a hassle to unpack, repack, and ship the products back each month.
  • Made several more sales on Mercari & Poshmark. The return won't be much, but with only a few months left until moving time, I'm just happy to see the items go. I've started creating lots of items and offering deep discounts.

Frugal Fails
  • I received a ticket for dead tags a while back and went to court for it. Luckily the ticket was dismissed, but I did have to pay court costs. Always go try to get out of a ticket!

Thursday, June 28, 2018

frugal recipe // goulash

My version of goulash is slightly different than the traditional "soup" way. Growing up, I loved pasta. As an adult, I still love pasta (much to Kyle's chagrin). When I was little, my mom would make her version of goulash and it was an extremely cost-effective and delicious meal. We had plenty for dinner and so many leftovers! This is how I make it now, which isn't that far off from my mom's version. It's definitely one of those feel-good nostalgic meals.

This recipe is so simple.


One pound elbow noodles
One half pound ground meat or meat replacement; I like Gardein's Ultimate Beefless Ground
One jar of pasta sauce
Desired spices; I use nutritional yeast, Italian seasoning, and black pepper

Brown the meat/meat replacement in a pan with spices, drain.
Cook the pasta to desired tenderness, then drain.
In a large bowl, combine the meat/meat replacement, pasta, and sauce.
Serve and top with your choice of cheeses, breadcrumbs, etc.

You're done! It makes a ton of food and if you play your cards right, you can make this for under $5.00 for the entire batch.


Wednesday, June 27, 2018

cheap fashion finds // under $10

While perusing my local Walmart last week I found two adorable pieces that I had to add to my collection. I seem to lack black sandals, so when I saw these Time and Tru Bow Slide Sandals for $6.97, they found their way into my cart along with the little druzy necklace for $2.88.

Grand total? $9.85 before tax.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

thrifty thursday #1

This is the first Thrifty Thursday on Frugal Bandit! You can find the previous archive over on Lucky Bandit here. TT is a collection of ways I made or saved money for the week(s). Here's this week's:
  • I didn't indulge in a single Memorial Day sale.
  • A while back I sent in a box of clothing to and finally sold my first item and I'm patiently waiting for the next payout date to receive my $2.42 via PayPal. It's small, but it counts!
  • Two Sundays were no spend days. I didn't leave the house and I ate more leftovers.
  • I made 50¢ via ibotta at Walmart a while back, and two pending rebates for 28¢ and 23¢ came through.
  • Two short server shifts at my (very) part-time job granted me $97 in tips. Not a fortune, but it'll help pad the house fund.
  • While tempted at the gas station, I refrained from buying something sweet (that Clif bar was calling to me).
  • I cashed out points I'd earned with Microsoft Rewards for a $5 Walmart giftcard. Sadly, I don't think PayPal cash is an option anymore.
  • The league I volunteer for has an amazing umpire-in-chief and he gave us $20 Subway gift cards for helping him out this past season. Really we should be gifting him things, but I'm going to stretch it as far as I can! Thanks, Coach!
  • On a trip to Food Lion, I managed to get $3.00 back with ibotta, saved $1.00 off an item by loading a coupon onto my VIP card, and I made another $1.00 via Saving Star. I grabbed a cheap cucumber for 54¢ after rebate, which is destined for a bowl of vinegar.
Frugal Fails
  • I redeemed a free pizza from Domino's, but I had it delivered as I was home with heat exhaustion, so I had to spend a little. I'll have numerous meals from it, though!
  • What I thought was a bad bout of heat rash turned out to be a severe allergic reaction to my laundry detergent. Many creams and dollars later, I'm still itchy. However, my last CVS stop granted me a 10% off coupon for my next trip.

Sunday, June 3, 2018


Hello! I'm Katelyn and I've been blogging for about ten years. My original lifestyle blog, Lucky Bandit, has been around as a hobby for a while. I started noticing that my frugal posts were starting to take over, so I decided to start Frugal Bandit and direct all my money saving and making ventures here.

You can still find the archive of Thrifty Thursday posts over on lb, but starting today they'll all be posted here. I want to start putting together some posts about how I make my passive income, how I save money on every day things, and more!

Stay tuned!

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