10 Ways A Thrifty Gal Hangs Out With Her Friends For Less


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Even though I am an introvert I still love time spent with great friends.

10 ways a thrifty gal hangs out with her friends for little cash

Of course, I don’t generally spend too much money when meeting up with my girlfriends. It isn’t that I am cheap, it is just that I believe time spent together doesn’t have to cost much.

10 Ways A Thrifty Gal Hangs Out With Her Friends For Less

1. Coffee Dates Using Gift Cards Earned Online Or Through Apps

Starbucks is a common place to meet up for a coffee and a chat in my town. To keep these coffee meet-ups inexpensive, I like to use gift cards that I earn through various apps and online point programs.

Here are a few of my favorite online point programs that offer Starbucks gift cards as a payment option:

Here are a few of my favorite  apps that offer Starbucks gift cards as a payment option

(psst….here is an article I wrote on 5 different ways I like to save on Starbucks)

2. Doing Something Together We Were Both Going To Do Anyways

I love to run and so does a very good friend of mine. We get together 1 to 3 times a week and run together.

You could also try grocery shopping with your friends, or big batch cooking. These types of friend meet ups don’t cost time or money.

3. Movie Night In

Grab a redbox movie and a few girl friends. Pop some popcorn and grab something to drink. Movie night for under $5 and you can stop the movie during certain scenes if you want to critique characters outfits, sayings or behavior.

4. Bring  Your Own Craft Night

It has been years since I have held a bring your own craft night. Basically everyone brings a craft project they want to work on and a snack to share. Take turns hosting it at various friend’s houses in your friendship circle.

5. Game Night

Get your friends together and play board games, dice games, card games or even video games. One of the funniest memories I have of my friends and I getting together is the night we decided to play one of my children’s Wii games.

If you have a large circle of friends Bunco is an extremely fun dice game. You can have people bring an item from the dollar store to throw in a gift basket and then give it as a prize to the person with the most Buncos of the night.

Another fun dice game with a few less rules is Tenzi. My family got this game at Christmas time and we love it.  Get the book of 75 ways to play Tenzi and you and your friends can change the game up as often as you like.

If you prefer board games then Apples to Apples is fun, or try headbandz (did you know they have a version just for adults?) . Both these games result in much laughter around our house.

Make game night potluck and have each person bring a snack to share or a 2 liter of pop, and you will have an inexpensive and fun evening.

6. Yard Sale Shopping

Grab all your thrifty minded girl friends and go yard sale shopping together. Make it a bit more fun by holding a contest “who can get the best item under $5″ or “who can get the most items for under $5″ or whatever you want.

7. Clothes Swap

Have each of your friends gather together all the clothing in their home that they and their family members no longer wear. Tell them to bring it to your house and host a clothes swap. Search Pinterest and Google for ideas of how to set one up. Donate the leftovers to Schoola or a local thrift store.

8. Book Swap

Here is a variation on the clothing swap for all you bookworms out there: hold a book swap with your friends. Count up the books as the people come in the door and give them one ticket per book that they can trade for other people’s books.

This is would be a thrifty way to grab new reads for everyone involved on top of an inexpensive gathering.

9. Daily Deal Site Outings

Daily deal sites like Groupon and Living Social offer deals for as much as 50% off restaurants, yoga classes, kayaking, rock climbing, and more. Often these deals are good for 2 to 4 people and sometimes more. Grab one for a venue near you and split the cost between your friends that want to go and you have an inexpensive night–or day–out.

10. Take In A Free Local Event

Most communities have free festivals or concerts from time to time. These free events can make for inexpensive and enjoyable time spent with friends.

What are some inexpensive ways you like to spend time with your friends.

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52 Weeks To A Simplified Home: Project 24


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This week I went through the material bins which was the last step of completing the decluttering of the downstairs closet.

material bins beforeOnce upon a time I sewed. Then I had kids. Now I do use material when I locker hook (but I haven’t done that in a year) or for smaller projects like the Christmas wreath I made for our front door, and the case I made for my kindle Paperwhite.

Other than that though, I don’t use material that often. For that reason I don’t need 3 bins full.

material in boxIn the end I parted with an entire box full of fabric which meant that I was left with just 2 totes instead of 3, and they both have room inside them.

I kept fabric that could be used in locker hooking only, and parted with pretty much everything else.

This box to giveaway is the 3rd box that I took out of the downstairs of closet. That is a lot less stuff in a small space.

I was saying to my husband I think I have gotten rid of close to a dozen of these banana boxes so far 24 weeks into my simplifying project. That is an entire truck load of stuff no longer in my home and I still have just over half of a year to go.

balls of nettingOne exciting find in these bins were these balls of netting. I made them quite a while ago to knit scrubbies out of and then forgot about them. I put one in my knitting bag so I can now make some up.

What area of your home did you declutter this week?

52 weeks to a simplified homefree printable plan (small)










Grab the plan and join along as we declutter our homes one inch at a time.

You can also join The Snail Pacing Goal Achievers Facebook group where you will find  the support you need to keep decluttering one inch at time.

hotdeals (fb)If you are looking for the deals I use to share at the bottom of my simplifying posts they can now be found on my Hot Deals page. Make sure to like my Facebook page so you are notified when I add new deals.


My Top 10 Favorite Running Products


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I have been running regularly as an adult now for over 7 years. In that time I have tested out a lot of running products. Today I am going to share my top 10 favorite running products with you.

my top 10 favorite running products

10 Of My Favorite Running Products

1. Hydration Belt

I wear my amphipod hydration belt on all my runs. It carries a lot more than just water. It holds a pouch for my cell phone, my pepper spray, a pouch full of tissues ( not sure why but I get nose bleeds on hot weather runs from time to time) and a pouch full of energy chews during runs of 10 miles or more.

I have had mine for years now and it is still going strong.

2. Sansa clip

I love my Sansa clip. I have the 8 GB model and just recently bought it a memory card so that I could load even more songs on it (here is a list of my top 10 running songs).

3. Ear Buds

I have tested out pair after pair of ear buds and finally late last year I found a brand I love. They never fall out of my ears and offer great sound quality. They are called Yurbuds, and the only thing I can find to complain about them is that the ear piece is removable so I am always afraid of losing it, but 6 months have gone by and I still have mine.

4. bondibands

I discovered bondibands during my first 1/2 marathon and have worn them faithfully for every run since. I perspire heavily, and forehead sweat burns my eyes, but bondibands catch it without hurting my head like other brands of headbands. I like the heavy sweat wicking ones best and love all the different sayings you can choose from.

5. Nuun hydration tablets

I love Nuun hydration tablets because…

  • They are low  in sugar and in  calories
  • Contain no high-fructose corn syrup
  • No artificial colors or flavors

Nunn hydration tablets come in a variety of flavors too. They do fizz a lot at first which can make for a bit of leakage in my sports belt bottles but if I make sure to allow time for the fizzing to go down before I put the lids on, there isn’t any trouble at all.

I use Nunn tablets on all my runs short or long because I find I end up with less muscle aches afterwards. Plus I find water kind of blah on runs, so when I place a Nuun tablet in my water I find myself hydrating better.

 6. Cliff shot blocks

I have run 3 full marathons and those require fueling during the race and during the long runs leading up to the race to avoid hitting the wall. Over the years I have tried various fueling products and finally discovered Cliff shot blocks and like them so much I have stuck to them. The strawberry flavored ones are my favorite.

7. MapMyRun

MapMyRun is a website and not really a product, but I had to mention it because it is a really helpful tool. Before I had a Garmin watch I used MapMyRun to map out all my long run routes so I could make sure I ran far enough.

It is also useful to allow your family members to see where you run in case of emergency. Make sure to share your password with your spouse or another loved one, so that they can access your account should they need to.

Now that I have a Garmin watch, I still use MapMyRun to map out training routes for me and my running partner so that we are not running aimlessly just trying to get our mileage in.

8.  A Garmin Watch

I am on my second Garmin runner’s watch now and can’t say enough good things about them. GPS watches are not a necessary running purchase–but they sure do make running a whole lot of fun. I love keeping track of my miles and times, seeing if I can beat my time, or making yearly mileage goals.

9. The Stick Self Roller

I had to back out of a marathon once due to a really tight muscle down the side of one leg. I went to watch my friend compete and we went to the run expo together. I was limping and a man selling The Stick self rollers came up to me and asked me to sit down so he could work on my leg. I sat down expecting nothing to happen and stood up and discovered I didn’t have to limp any more, my muscle was loose and felt much better. I bought my own stick right then and there.

10. Compression Socks

I don’t have pretty compression socks. I just have the plain medical grade black ones I was given by the doctor to wear before I had my varicose vein surgery. I have to say at first I thought runners wanting to wear them were crazy; after all, I had surgery to stop wearing mine. But then I decided to wear mine after a run of 15 miles and wow! When I took them off several hours later my legs felt significantly less tired than usual. I then started wearing them for a few hours after each long run; I was sold. Now I just need to splurge on a pretty pair and try running in them.

If you run, I would love for your to join in the conversation by sharing with me in the comment section below one of your favorite running products.

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