Being Frugal Part II: Retail & Recycle

Hi! Are you ready for more frugal talk? If you missed the first post, you can find Part I: Food & Restaurants here. Today we'll talk about how to save money in Retail and Recycling.

Being Frugal: Part II


If there's one thing I love about Kohls it's that they let you stack coupons, even on sale items. You can use Kohls cash with your 30% off coupon to buy things that are already 80% off. Seriously, Kohls is this close to paying me for taking stuff out of there. I always shop at the end of every season for their 60%-90% off clothes. I buy things for the next year or even a couple years down the road for my boys.    I used to go to those kids consignment sales, until I figured out that I could actually pay less for brand new clothes for my boys if I shop smart. We bought a winter coat for Thing One at Old Navy this week on clearance for $9.99. For less than one coat cost a month ago you can buy your kid a coat and two more to donate to a clothing bank. Score!

If you shop at Target you might really benefit from getting their Target Visa or Debit Card. You save 5% on every purchase, get free shipping with no minimum, and occasional extra coupons sent to you in the mail. (No they aren't paying me to say this, the opposite really, I want people to spend as little there as possible!)
If you use the Target pharmacy you can sign up for a rewards card that earns you a 5% off a single shopping trip after every 5 filled prescriptions (this program has nothing to do with the Visa or Debit, but can be combined with that savings for a savings of almost 10% off your entire purchase).
Target also sends out pages of coupons in the mail and newspaper. The trick to these is to not run out and use them right away. I have found if you wait and watch the sales they actually will put the same items that the coupons are good for on sale right before the coupon expires. So for example, you could pay: sale price - coupons, -5% (pharmacy reward), -5% (Target card), and sometimes they send out a plain old $5 off your purchase (they send out a link for this pretty often to FB fans). I used all these on a single trip and saved a ton! You gotta know when to hold 'em.

I've mentioned before that I never go to Hobbly Lobby or Michaels without my 40% off coupon; why would you? And you know those coupons that print on the back of your grocery receipt? Yep we actually use those. Never pay full price for an oil change, my friends.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

I can't tell you how many times I've pulled stuff out of the recycle to re-use for something. I've used more jars than I can count for flower vases, large and small, to send home a bouquet or some fresh herbs with a friend. We've made pencil and marker holders out of frozen juice containers, bird houses out of milk cartons, baskets out of kleenex boxes, and umpteen things out of TP tubes (I've actually got a whole series on this coming up this spring, stay tuned). If you are good about rinsing your recyclables then you always have the option of snatching them up before they make it to the curb. Especially in the winter when I hate bundling everyone up to run out for one needed supply, I find looking around at stuff you already have can lead to lots of fun crafts and projects, plus they are free! Five minutes on Pinterest can show you how to turn anything into a craft, am I right?

*Note above: off brand kleenex and half gallons of milk (even though we go through 3-4 gallons a week), because the half gallons were cheaper. Told ya!

Finally, we live in a single stream recycle community, so everything just gets recycled in one bin--no sorting--which is super nice for us. We have a giant recycle bin and a half size trash bin. You may not know this, but in our city you can actually request a smaller trash bin, for which you get charged less per month. When we recycle everything that can be recycled, and compost all our fruit and veggie scraps (Spring through Fall) we have no problem fitting our trash in a smaller bin, and I feel better about producing less trash. It's worth checking with your city utilities dept. to see if there are cheaper options for different sizes of trash bins and recycle bins.

See you soon for Part III: Entertainment, Gifts & Gardening.


  1. Excellent tips!

    Another way to save at Target is the printable coupons at which often give good discounts on groceries, clothes, toys...all the things Target sells.

    Another store that runs frequent general coupons (like the craft stores) is Bed Bath & Beyond. Whenever one shows up in the mail, I replace the older one on the fridge. That way we have a current one when we need to buy something there.

    Here is my big list of ways to reuse stuff.


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