Thrifty Tells

How To Get Free and Cheap Haircuts All Year: The Secrets We’ve Used for Years

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy here.

by Cassie on August 8, 2014

how-to-get-free-and-cheap-haircuts-all-year

You might have noticed how expensive haircuts can be this day and age.  Well, if you are a family of 7 like us, this is a HUGE expense – at least it could be….

But it can also be a low expense.  When we shared our budget, we shared how we only set aside $10 a month for haircuts.

This is because, I cut the boy’s and daddy’s hair at home, and I cut the girls bangs at home.  I do get nervous about doing an actual trim on my girls as they have such gorgeous long hair.  So how I and our three girls get cuts is from the local beauty college.  We set aside $10 a month, because we go in about every 3 months to get a trim.  This gives us $30, which is more than enough for a cut at the beauty college and tips for our student beauticians.  Sometimes we have a little extra for a color or highlight. In the end, we figure that we average a 70% savings at the beauty college over a regular salon, not to mention more than 70% savings compared to high end salons.

We have also found that the beauty colleges in our area, use high end products and have a high end experience.  Yes, we know that they are students and that you sign a waiver and something could go wrong, but I have personally been going to the beauty college for 11 years (about the time we started our $100K debt payoff as salon services were too astronomical).  In that time, I have never had a bad experience, or a cut or service go badly. Our oldest daughter is 10, and I started taking her when she was a few years old and then added the other two thrifty princesses later.  All four of us go and have a good experience.  But, there is a risk that your cut/style/color, etc. can go badly and hair is unforgiving.  But it is a risk I am willing to take to save 70% average!  You can see our before and after results HERE as well as more details on how this can save you loads of money.

Now when it comes to cutting hair at home, I have no previous experience with cutting hair.  But I bought a simple kit from Amazon and these are very user friendly, even for the unexperienced.  It didn’t take me long to get the hang of it for giving the boys a cut.  In fact, I have been cutting Alex and our sons’ hair for over 5 years now! I use to cut all one length, but now I use two or three different levels on the boys and three levels on Alex for a more professional looking cut!

The great thing is that in our day and age, you can get information at your finger tips.  The first several times, use your computer, tablet or smart phone and watch some YouTube videos on how to cut boy’s or men’s hair.  You can even play it along side while you are cutting for the first few times while you get the hang of it!

Here’s a quick video showing how to cut men/boys hair in 5 steps:

Buying a kit is nearly the cost of a salon cut one time! So basically, in lieu of a cut this month, get a kit and get cutting at home! We recommend this very affordable kit from Wahl that is also user friendly for the at home novice!

wahl-haircutting-kit1

Wahl haircutting kit for men and boys that is very user friendly, even for novices.  You can consistently get this for under $20 HERE

Like I said, I also cut our girl’s bangs.  This is a bit harder compared to cutting boys hair.  It requires more precision and skill.  But once you do it a few times, it will become easy too! My girls’ bangs have to be cut about every 2 weeks before they start getting in their eyes.  Just a bang trim at a place like Great Clips ( a budget salon) cost $5 in our area – this alone would be $30 a month!  So again, pulling up YouTube and cutting bangs at home can be a huge savings!

Here’s a GREAT video on how to cut bangs!

By the way, the scissors included in the above kit are great for cutting bangs too! So it is your multipurpose kit!

So for cheap cuts, consider cutting hair at home, especially for the boys, and then using a beauty college for the rest and potentially save hundreds per year! 

Have you cut hair at home and do you have any tips for others?

See more Frugal Living Tips and Articles HERE

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Alex & Cassie
 

Best Things To Buy Used: Get the Most Bang and Value For Your Buck On These Used Items

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy here.

by Cassie on August 6, 2014

best-items-to-buy-used

Best Things To Buy Used

Are you looking to buy some goodies without blowing the budget?  Don’t feel like you are alone in your thriftiness.  Nearly everyone is tightening their belts when it comes to consumer spending. One way you can save some cash and not miss a beat is by buying things used. Not everything  out there should be purchased second hand. Knowing the things to target used can save you a ton of cash, though. Some things are just as good or better used. Don’t squander your hard-earned money on over-priced new products.

Here are a few ideas of items that are fabulous bargains when bought used.

1. Get More Books for Less Money

Some folks can’t go a day without reading a good book. That is a great habit to have but it can be an expensive one. Get more books for less by purchasing them used. Online websites offer books for pennies (plus shipping). Thrift stores and yard sales are good venues for the used book collector too. These days, it is almost unheard of to walk into a new book store and buy something that is not used. That is one reason the new bookstores are struggling.

2. Clothing for the Kiddos

Little ones grow fast. In fact, they grow so fast that spending a ton of money on their clothing in department stores is just silly. Commit to buying at least their play clothes used. These days, you can get the top of the line brands at thrift stores, trading posts, consignment shops and flea markets. Many times, the clothes will not even have the tags removed. Why pay top dollar when you don’t have to? This idea is especially helpful if families don’t have multiple kids that can share hand me downs.

3. Get In Shape for Cheaper

Exercise machines can cost a pretty penny but once they leave the showroom, they depreciate quickly. People looking for a new treadmill, bicycle or elliptical machine should start the search by perusing want ads and local used sporting goods stores. You will find unbelievable deals out there. Often, you will find someone to give it to you for hauling it off. The latest and greatest changes extremely fast in this industry.

4. Save On Appliances

A broken down dryer or washing machine can make life extremely difficult. Instead of splurging on showroom new appliances, consider a used item. The classifieds and local “penny saver” newspapers have specific sections just for used appliances. Consumers can shop by brand, price or location.

5. Drive without Sticker Shock

Buying used cars has always been a top shelf way to save cash. Buying used means no more worrying over a car payment. The trick is to have a trusted mechanic look the car over well before buying it. This will mitigate the chances that it will end up being a lemon.  There are plenty of good used cars out there. Take your time and find your best deal. Never pay what is asked and be prepared to put back some of that saved cash for repairs down the road. You will still come out cheaper than buying new most of the time.

6. Don’t Blow the Budget on DVDs or Movies

Want to build the family’s DVD collection? That’s a great idea that promises to provide plenty of entertainment for years to come. Why pay extra for them? Instead of spending big bucks on the latest movies, head out and find them used. You can find them in countless places including thrift stores, flea markets, yard sales, classifieds, online auction sites and even Craigslist. You should never pay full price for movies.

What are other items that you would recommend buying used to save money? 

See more Frugal Living Tips and Articles HERE

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Alex & Cassie
 

Check Out Our Podcast with Tricia Goyer at Living Inspired

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy here.

by Cassie on June 13, 2014

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We had a wonderful opportunity to share a bit of our financial story and money-saving, becoming debt-free tips with Tricia Goyer on the Inspired Living Podcast Show (our interview is the first 30 minutes of her show). We really enjoyed our time with Tricia – it actually felt like we were in her living room having a great conversation amongst friends!

You can hear this interview and learn more about us, our site and what we have to say over Living Inspired site HERE. If you haven’t read about the way we paid off our debt and became The Thrifty Couple we encourage you to listen and learn a little more about our secret formula we used to pay off over $100K in consumer debt.

She is also giving away a copy of our home binder, so be sure to enter the giveaway too!

Thanks to Tricia from Living Inspired!

{ 2 comments }

Alex & Cassie
 

How to Make Chalk with This Easy Homemade Chalk Recipe

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy here.

by Cassie on June 9, 2014

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So you want to learn how to make chalk?  Well, making your own chalk is a fun and creative way to enjoy the summer. Our kids always love to make their own concoction and see the results. They are eager to learn how things are done and eager to try new things…. so you might want to add chalk making to your summer bucket list!

Now, before I begin to share the recipe….I do want to say that I a not convinced that making your own saves you money in this case – chalk is so cheap in the store. Most all of everything homemade that we make saves us loads of money. Well, this is not one of them….. but the experience and fun of it is where the reason for making your own comes in. It is a project for fun!

Here’s what you need to make your own chalk:

  • 1 Cup Plaster of Paris
  • 3/4 Cup of Water
  • Powdered Tempura Paint in any color(s) you want!
  • Molds of some kind – toilet paper/paper towel (they will be BIG, but good for little hands!), shape molds, you can even use a muffin tin, like we do for the cookie crayons. Anything, really!
  • If you are using muffin tins, toilet paper/paper towel rolls, then you will also need to use wax paper to line it. You will also want to tape one end of a roll closed with wax paper and tape.   It is not needed for silicon molds.

How to make chalk:

  • Mix the water and Plaster of Paris until well blended.
  • Then mix in the color(s) to the desired color you want.   If doing many colors, just divide the wet mixture into different bowls and then add the paint to the mixture.
  • Let is sit for a few minutes.
  • Then pour into the molds you have prepared and let it dry completely – about 1 hour.
  • Then remove from the mold and let it set overnight – 24 hours until firm and chalky like!

That’s it! It’s time for some fun homemade play!

Here is a printable recipe for you to print and keep in your home binder for easy access and reference!

How to Make Chalk with This Easy Homemade Chalk Recipe
Print
Recipe type: Fun for Kids
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Kids will love this fun summer project and you can make them into any shape!
Ingredients
  • 1 Cup Plaster of Paris
  • ¾ Cup of Water
  • Powdered Tempura Paint in any color(s) you want!
  • Molds of some kind - toilet paper/paper towel (they will be BIG, but good for little hands!), shape molds, you can even use a muffin tin, like we do for the cookie crayons. Anything, really!
  • If you are using muffin tins, toilet paper/paper towel rolls, then you will also need to use wax paper to line it. You will also want to tape one end of a roll closed with wax paper and tape. It is not needed for silicon molds.
Instructions
  1. Mix the water and Plaster of Paris until well blended.
  2. Then mix in the color(s) to the desired color you want. If doing many colors, just divide the wet mixture into different bowls and then add the paint to the mixture.
  3. Let is sit for a few minutes.
  4. Then pour into the molds you have prepared and let it dry completely - about 1 hour.
  5. Then remove from the mold and let it set overnight - 24 hours until firm and chalky like!

 

See more Craft and DIY Ideas

See our Fun for Kids Pinterest Board

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Alex & Cassie
 

Our Miracle Birth Story: In Hopes of Helping Others

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy here.

by Cassie on May 28, 2014

our-birth-story-in-hopes-of-helping-others

Hello online friends! We took nearly a week and unplugged from creating new blog posts! It was the longest break we have had since, well… this story we told you three-years ago!

For those of you that have been with us for that long, our sudden “no warning” break might have brought back memories of when we totally disappeared online for several months.  We received hundreds of emails and comments from concerned readers asking why we had dropped off the face of the earth.

Well, this past week, we celebrated a beautiful event – the 3rd birthday of our miracle baby boy, Josiah! Even as I write this, this precious little boy is sitting on my lap telling me about how elephants eat watermelons and spiders in his very imaginative and creative 3-year old mind.

We have learned so many incredible things about this precious gift and he is the cutest, smartest, most creative, talkative, happy, “no-fears” 3 year old boy that I have ever met (of course I am not biased :)).

We have learned that when this spunky, fearless boy says to any of us….”watch this!” we all come running to stop him from whatever he is about to do!

But his “watch this” approach to life is truly reminiscent of his miracle birth story – that his life was hanging by a thread without us even knowing.

His story shows us the true hand of God in how this little life was spared and thrived since his birth.  We thank our Lord and Savior every single day for him and the gift God has given us in all of our children. Our previous four birth stories are nothing short of a miracle as all life entering this world is truly a miracle, but as we state in one of the parts, we are sharing this in hopes of helping others with some of the issues I experienced during my pregnancy so that you can be aware of symptoms in your own pregnancies. Many similar stories haven’t had the same happy ending.

So join us in celebrating Josiah’s 3rd year of life and read up on the miracle birth of this little boy 3 years ago!

Here’s a link to all three parts to his birth story:

Thank you for letting us share again with you and for all of our new readers from the past three years. Thank you for your love and support through all of our ups and downs in life and for faithfully following us as we continue to share so much with you…..including bits here and there from our personal life!

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Alex & Cassie