But first, our subject of the week to add to our ways to save, is Samples. Vicky wrote to me on this and as usual inspired me! This is what she wrote:
Samples. Such little bits of things, but they are very helpful with either building the pantry or saving money. And there are so many out there. The ones pictured are just a small amount of what I have I could probably cover half my table. From pet food to hygiene products it is a good way of taking advantage of being able to try things before we buy them, but to use them to our financial benefit as well. No maybe not a huge amount, but if every penny counts in your household let's look at how they do help.
If we run out of something they are handy in a pinch.
They make great stocking stuffers or basket fillers.
It's easy to make a small emergency kit with them from band aids to cold medicine and oral hygiene products.
Why do I have diapers and no baby? Many times someone has come with a baby to visit and forgot a diaper. I now have one to offer. Or if money is tight I can do a basket of baby themed items and still have a gift for a new parent.
They can be a little something new to pack in a lunch.
They can be bartered or donated.
They are not always the small sized ones and are sometimes a full sized product. I have gotten coupons for free pizzas, makeup and juice for example.
Sometimes the coupon that came with the sample netted me a free item at the store. Like stick packs of instant coffee.
I have smelled good for free from perfume samples.
And one of the things I do is when I amass quite a few I give the grocery budget a little boost! I get them out and decide which ones will be used up and I use the money I was going to spend to add a few extra things to the pantry plus it helps to get my sample stash used up.
Example: Deodorant is not on sale and I am going to need it. I have enough samples to get me through 2-3 weeks without having to purchase any. I will use up my samples for those weeks and add a few small things for the pantry like on sale canned goods. Or I will put it into my savings account. Usually within a week or 2 deodorant goes on sale and I didn't have to spend extra on it. So by doing this I added a little to the pantry or savings and was able to not have to pay full price for an item I needed win win!
Cheap? Yes! Smart? Oh Yes!
Well, I had a review of my samples after this. I am a sample collector but not very good user.
This was what I had on hand in a couple of areas of the house:
I have a lot of perfume, mini makeup sizes, face creams, mini soaps and some tiny laundry power samples etc. Many of them are also beautiful/luxury brands.
But they are not saving me money if I am not using them!
I have started to pack moisturisers, mini soap for our trip away.
Used several samples for hand and feet treatments.
Packed mini shampoos and conditioners to take away.
Put hand cream samples into my hand bag and car to use when waiting somewhere.
Sat some near where I sit in the lounge to egg myself on to rub into my hands while watching tv.
Some larger ones have gone into the gift cupboard to pair with a soap, wash cloth gift.
So that is my challenge, to use samples and let them be a money saver in various ways. I could use samples of moisturiser for several weeks at least. And also to collect more and keep using them!
Now to my Vicky Challenge this week...
We spent a day working on Andy's office. All the old carpet was removed and emptying the room also meant a clean out, spring clean, tidy and re arrange. I am not showing the horrible old carpet! (seriously it was BAD) But this is what was underneath...
I think if we paid to have this done it would have been at least $400.
Andy rang a radio station with a tip about how to keep possums off your trees and won two movie tickets worth $30.
I sent all lunches $100.
The fish Andy caught and filleted were worth $24.
I sent a picnic on the fishing trip saving $50.
The Quince paste I made I compared to the Maggie Beer brand in the supermarket and by weight I had nine times the amount in a tub you buy. This equaled over $50.
Painting was a fail though as I had a really sore back and I just didn't paint.
I did sew... I made four large heat packs. These are $30 each in the shops. After buying the filling (barley) I will count $100 saving.
These are folded in half. One was for Chloe and one was for Mum. The other two are for me! I make them larger as they keep hot such a long time and longer so they wrap around your neck which seems to be our families achy bit!
This was the softest fabric which was a remnant at Spotlight. I also have enough for three more from a velvet remnant. Will get them done this week and one will be Lucy's.
So that is $754.
I know it was home DIY that bolstered that up! The Easter long weekend really helped us get things done.
Here we have a holiday Monday for Easter (I am not sure if everyone has that?) so it is still a day to get some more things done!
This challenge has taught me a lot about the savings in repairs and maintenance type jobs. I was not familiar with how much these were worth at all.
How did your week go? We are almost at the end of another month and I can count up my savings for March. Keeping track is fairly automatic now and it makes me think "how can I save on this?" all the time!
I hope you had a lovely Easter and have a great new week! xxx