The REAL Broke Girl’s Guide to Living

Hi everyone! I’m going to go ahead and state the obvious: We are in the midst of a pandemic. This pandemic has uprooted so many people’s lives, and tanked tons of businesses nationwide and even worldwide.The results are that millions of people are without a job. It’s a very scary thing. Aside from the pandemic, there have been plenty of times in life where I have been in a pinch cash wise. I was a single mom for the longest time, and now even though I am not technically a single mom anymore, I am always looking for ways to save where I can. 

In this post, I am going to break down a couple ways you can save some bucks while still having everything you need. This is not going to be another post suggesting that you stop eating out, or that you make your own coffee. (Although it never hurts) Let’s be real – when you’re broke eating out is the very last thing you will be doing.

Shop the Thrift Stores

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If this isn’t your first time visiting my blog, you’ll know that a couple years ago I made a drastic move across the country to the small town I now live in. If this is your first time visiting my blog, you, my friend, just learned something new about me. Anyway, the circumstances in which I made that decision were far less than pleasant.

When I moved, I honestly didn’t have many clothes to my name. Obviously clothes are a necessity, and I don’t need to express the importance of appropriate clothing to go on job interviews, or the need for everyday clothes. Well this is one of those times that I was definitely short on cash. We also don’t have any department stores within a 30 mile radius of us. Fortunately, we do have a couple of wonderful thrift shops here in town. Some of my favorite jeans and other clothes that I own came from thrift stores – and they’re still holding strong after two years of ownership. If you’re lucky, you might even be able to find brand new clothes with the original tags still on them! 

Thrift stores aren’t only good for clothing, though! Lots of thrift stores have furniture, kitchen gadgets, and decor for a small fraction of the price you would find them in department stores! Our thrift stores also have lots of fun crafty items, even including sticker paper and gift bags! When we need some extra office supplies, or need something to do for the kids, we usually check there first.

Get Creative and Improvise

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This one can be kind of fun! Okay – have you ever gone to buy something, only to realize that the cost of it is pretty ridiculous? I’m going to use trash cans as an example here. Your standard kitchen trash can is approximately 13 gallons. If I do a quick search on Amazon, they run anywhere from $50 and up! Really? Anyway, we needed a trash can for the laundry room. Guess what I did? At our local dollar store, they have medium sized hampers for $1. I picked one up, threw a trash bag in that baby and called it good! 

Another great example is to keep your empty jars from candles, spaghetti sauce, etc… and use them as extra storage. They make great storage for dried herbs, cotton balls, q tips, pens, and so much more! When I first started making my body butter and sugar scrubs, I would put them in cleaned empty candle jars. We even decorated them with wrapping paper to make them more festive when we gave them as gifts!

DIY Projects

Our DIY Headboard. Don’t mind the crinkled comforter.

I absolutely love the art of creating things. Sometimes trying to find exactly what you are looking for can be a daunting task. If you have a vision in your head, it might just be easier, and cheaper, to make it yourself. Depending on the project of course. 

One of my favorite DIY projects that we did was our headboard. We had been looking for one for a while, and all of the ones we liked were too expensive at the time. I told Bubs that it would probably just be easier and cheaper to make one ourselves. So we did, and the whole project cost us less than $40. The finished product is absolutely beautiful.

Another great DIY project we did was our hammock stand. When our local Shopko went out of business we picked up a couple of hammocks for a couple bucks each. (It was an amazing sale by the way – everything was half off, and then an additional 90% off at the register on the last day!) We got some wood, and Bubs built a hammock stand replicating a design he found online. You know what!? That also turned out beautifully. It is sturdy, and was much cheaper than the store options we found.

Check to See If Any of Your Bills Offer Discounts for Direct Pay Options

Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

This is actually really cool. Not all companies provide these options, but some do. It never hurts to check. Our electricity company doesn’t offer any monthly discounts, but they waived the deposit if I signed up for draft payments – meaning they take what I owe each month directly out of my account. At first I wasn’t comfortable with this, but it saved me $400, which I was able to put towards household items I needed at the time. 

Some phone companies also offer $5 off your bill each month if you sign up for draft payments. That’s not a whole lot, but when you’re in a pinch five bucks is five bucks! It adds up to $60 a year, which can equal out to some really great meals. Once again, it never hurts to ask.

Re-purpose Old Items

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This one also takes a bit of creativity – but it is worth it. I had a bunch of old clothes that weren’t donatable. Well it turns out, I also needed some kitchen rags (so I could also stop buying so many damn paper towels). I went through my clothes and cut up what I couldn’t / wouldn’t wear anymore into rags! 

Another great example is reusing old body spray bottles. The only hand sanitizer we could find was in a huge liquor bottle in liquid form. I cleaned and sanitized my old body spray bottles, then put hand sanitizer in them! It’s a total win win, because now I have some in my purse, and the kids all have one for themselves. I know spray bottles aren’t that expensive, but every little thing helps when you’re in a pinch. (They have also been somewhat hard to find for me)

These are just a couple examples of re-purposing old items, but the options really are limitless! Next time you find yourself needing something, take a look around your house to see if you have something that might work.

There is Still So Much More

These are just some of the things I have learned over the years to save some money, but there really is so much more! Some people choose to also barter, or trade items when they’re in a bind. I don’t have many subscriptions other than Amazon Prime (which is used daily – either Prime Video, Music, etc…), but it might also help to take a second look at the subscriptions you have that you maybe forgot about and don’t use.  I hope this list has been helpful to anyone reading that may really need this right now! What are some ways you and your family choose to save some money? I would love to hear about it in the comments.

3 thoughts on “The REAL Broke Girl’s Guide to Living

  1. Great list of ways to save money!
    As the mom in a big family, I’ve definitely focused on saving money over the years. I learned to cut hair, I sew cloth napkins, we buy cloth menstrual pads on Etsy, we go to inexpensive or free places (state parks, cemeteries, nature preserves, etc), and we look for store brands of items instead of assuming that name brand is better (for example, Walmart’s diapers – Parent’s Choice – are far better than most name brands!) We thrift shop, make food instead of eating out, and oh, lots of other things we do to save. My husband was laid off a few weeks ago so all the frugal ways of living are now becoming super necessary!


    1. Absolutely! I’m sorry to hear about your husbands lay off. Tough times. I also cut my own hair, and shop the store brands at the grocery store. Walmart is pretty far from us, so when we go we have to actually PLAN to go. I do love the dollar aisle in Dollar General!! Best of luck to you, and thanks for taking the time to comment. 🙂


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