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Saturday, February 25, 2017

10 Ways to Save Money This Year

Hey y'all!

I don't know about y'all, but I feel absolutely spent in more ways than once.

The start of a new year totally wears me out; I feel like there are so many things to be bought over the holidays, then all the pressure to buy things on sale once the holidays are over, then we jump right into buying for Valentine's Day!

There are just so many things to spend money on and if you're like me, not too much money to be spending.

So today I'm rounding up ten things that we have done in our house since the start of the new year to help save money. In the future we want to buy a house, take vacations, and one day have kids so it's important to save money now in order to be able to finance those things later!

1) Opt Out of Store Emails
If you're anything like me, then you probably receive about a million store emails every single day. These emails are telling you about the latest deals, new arrivals, and everything in between...but you don't need them!
They're so tempting, but they cause you to over-buy and to purchase things you normally wouldn't.
Who is guilty of going to Bath & Body Works when they're having a candle sale, even though you know you don't need new candles? I'm raising my hand over here!
You can use a website like Unroll Me that shows you a list of every email subscription list your on and you can take yourself off of them or you can open the emails one by one and go to the bottom and hit unsubscribe, whichever is easiest!
But I promise, this is a number one money-saver at our house!

2) Stop Eating Out!
This is SO hard for me because I love the idea of having someone else prepare my food, cook it, serve it to me, and clean up after me.
That's just so ideal and food tastes so much better if you don't have to cook it!
But cooking at home truly does save so much cash because you do pay for the convenience.

An alternate plan is to invite your friends or family over and have potluck meals (maybe on the weekends). That way you aren't stuck preparing ALL the dishes & you get to spend quality time with the ones you love.

3) Brew Coffee/Cook Breakfast at Home
This sort of goes in the same vein as number 2, but all of those Starbucks/Chick-Fil-A stops really do add up over time.
It costs about $0.18 per cup if you brew Starbucks brand beans at home, versus almost $4.00 for a latte at Starbucks.
The same goes for breakfasts; you can have a chicken biscuit at home for less than $2 per biscuit (buying your supplies from your local grocery store) versus over $2 for just the biscuit or almost $5 for the combo.

It just makes good sense to buy in larger sizes at the store and save your cash for other things!

4) Sell Old Clothes/Home Items
I'm a huge fan of buying and selling gently used clothing (that's how I've amassed my rather large Lilly collection, through re-sale!)
There are so many avenues to sell clothing and home items (think books, decor, furniture, etc.) but a few of my favorite ways are yard-sales, Facebook groups, and through apps like PoshMark.

Yard Sales are awesome, especially if you get together with one or two people so you can have a large spread. You can make a lot of money and get rid of a lot of stuff...and trust me, people will buy ANYTHING!

5) Skip the Gym Membership
No, I'm not telling you that you don't need to lose weight or get fit if that's what you want to do. But what I am telling you is that there are plenty of free ways to do it!

I personally love to walk at our local city park with Forrest, our pup.
It's a great way to get in cardio and get in some fresh air.
If you can't get out to a local park there are SO many YouTube videos that you can do for any kind of workout.

I'm a huge fan of Blogilates because Cassey is so motivational and fun to watch; she has all sorts of fun workouts ranging from 5 minutes to 30 minutes!
I also really like the ballet workouts that you can do at home.

You don't need any extra equipment (maybe a yoga mat) which makes this absolutely free!

6) Shop Your "Stash"
So many times I think I have to make a certain recipe I see on Pinterest and it requires a special trip to the grocery store for a million ingredients that I will never use again.
Or, I'm watching a beauty guru on YouTube & see them use a special product & think if I have it, I'll be able to achieve her look.

But guess don't have to do that!

Over the past few months, I have gotten so good at shopping our pantry and freezer for meal ideas and we've been eating better than ever before.
I will say this; it does help that we have a farm and raise beef cattle so we usually have beef in the freezer and veggies that I've put up in the freezer as well.

But you can also shop your makeup and beauty stash as well and use makeup that you had forgotten about because you bought new items.

7) Sell Your Old Devices
I'm a big fan of yard sales but that's not the place to sell your old iPhone, iPad, iPod, etc.
Try online places like Gazelle  where you get a quote in less than 1 minute and they can pay you by PayPal, Amazon gift card, or by check.
Facebook groups or phone stores are also very good places to sell your old devices.

8) Kick Cable to the Curb
This is one that I haven't done yet, but my hubs and I have discussed this several times.
We could easily live off of Netflix and Hulu and only miss cable when it came to the 9 o'clock news!

9) Use Rewards Programs/Coupons
I LOVE a good rewards program (Target RedCard, I'm looking at you) and coupons are saviors for me.
For example, if I'm going to shop at Bath & Body Works I will only go when there is a sale AND a coupon, not just one or the other-I gotta have both to go.

I also highly recommend Rakuten if you're an online shopper. Long story short, if you go to stores through the Rakuten link they will give you so many percent cash-back for shopping in that store.
I have used this for years and received over $100 in cash back, so I promise it's the real deal!

10) Buy in Bulk!
We love our Sam's Club membership because we save so much money by buying in bulk.
You can buy meat in bulk (freeze it or cook it and freeze it!), you can buy large amounts of beauty products/vitamins, if you have pets you can get great deals on dog food and flea/tick treatment, plus they have killer deals on things like printers, books, and seasonal items.
We also buy all of Charlie's fruit there since he goes through it so rapidly-if anything starts to go bad, I'll stick it in the freezer to save it!

If you go in with family members then a club membership is even cheaper, so I highly recommend it!

I hope these suggestions gave you some ideas on how to save up for those big moments in your life.
If you have any more suggestions, please leave them down below!

Until next time. . .


Monday, February 13, 2017

New Year, New Glow!

Okay,'s hardly a "new year" anymore to most of y'all...But I still feel like I'm getting into the 2017 groove. In fact, just as I typed that...I still typed 2016.

But since I'm still in the new year mindset I want to share with y'all some of the products that have been giving my skin a new glow!
(maybe I'll learn to type & write out 2017 before we make it to 2018...who knows at this point.)

Below I'm rounding up some of my most favorite life-saving skin-saving products & I'm gonna tell you what they have done for me.

Some of these are oldies, some of them are newbies but all of them are products that I love so much & have been killing the skincare game for the beginning of 2017!

I love using a facial scrub a couple of times per week, especially during the winter when my skin gets super dried out and flakey.
I prefer this one because it's gentle but it does leave my skin noticeably softer and smoother.
Plus, when you use Derma-E products, you can feel good about using them because they are a cruelty-free brand!

Y'all, I just finished up my tube of this last night & I almost cried.
It's an investment at $52 for half an oz. but I seriously have never had more moisturized skin under my eyes before. Tula is a brand that has changed the way I think about skincare and I can't wait to purchase more of their items!

There is just something about using a mask that makes me feel relaxed.
For the past two Saturdays, I have woken up and put on a charcoal mask while I had my chai tea latte and breakfast and it has been a game changer.
This cleans all the junk out of my pores which really helps my moisturizer and serums soak in, I just love it.

I've been using this bottle for a while now (hello, it's 16 oz...for $8, I might add) and I am really loving the results that I'm getting from it.
I like to double-cleanse my skin and this is an awesome second step.
It removes my Burt's Bee's oil cleanser and any bit of makeup that might be left behind, but it doesn't leave my skin feeling stripped.
This is one of the best skincare bargains that I've found.

Cleansing Oils are honestly a game-changer.
I hate taking off my makeup because before this product, I never felt like it all completely came off.
But now I know it does, because as soon as this oil touches my face it starts to melt the makeup away.
The scent is light and not overpowering, it's not too greasy of a formula (although I do double-cleanse with the cleanser above), and overall I just really enjoy this.

I've noticed a few hormonal breakouts, especially on my chin lately so I knew I needed something that would knock them out quickly.
When I was at Target, I grabbed a toner from their Up & Up brand and I have been so pleased with it.
I just use it on the areas where I break out (& I don't use it every day) and it keeps my skin clear and fresh feeling.

Y'all, I am so thrilled with these products. Yes, I do use a couple others but they're ones that I've talked to death here on the blog (I'm looking at you, Neutrogena Makeup Remover wipes)

I hope y'all enjoyed this post & if there are any skincare products out there that y'all love, please let me know below!

Until next time. . .


A big thank you to Derma-E  for providing me with product in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.  Thank you for supporting brands who support Southern & Style.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Household Favorites

Hey y'all!

Today I'm bringing y'all a post about something most of us dread and

But this spring-type weather Alabama has been having me wanting to keep everything fresh & sparkling, so I thought y'all might be interested in my tried and true products!

Since getting married and actually having to "keep house" for myself and Chris, I feel like I've come up with a solid list of cleaning items that I absolutely love to use and can't do without.

When I do laundry, I want it to be as quick and easy as possible.
These pods do a really good job of getting our clothes clean (which is a real job if you consider that my husband farms for a living). The pod is just so convenient because there's not any measuring or dripping or leaving puddles of soap all over the place. 

My friend, Paige turned me onto Bar Keeper's Friend stuff and there's a reason why I trust her...her house is literally spotless always, it looks amazing-I wish mine looked half as good as hers!
But this stuff is great for cleaning the top of my stove especially. I just apply it, let it dry, and scrape it off with my razor blade.

If you want to clean your toilet with absolutely zero effort, this is your cleaner.
I can pour this stuff it, wait five or ten minutes and come back and I honestly don't even have to use a brush, it's that clean!
I'm also a big fan of the Lysol Lime & Rust Remover toilet bowl cleaner for those times when we have stubborn stains like hard water buildup, etc. This cleaner knocks that right off with very little effort.

This stuff is amazing for so many different reasons.
I obviously use it to wash my hand-wash dishes with, but I use it to clean my shower/tub combo and I even keep a bottle in my laundry room to get stains out of clothes because nothing works better!

I know this is all items that I swear by...but y'all, I might have an addiction to these, I keep them everywhere!
I literally have one container in the kitchen, one in each bathroom in our house, and I keep them in my classroom as well.
You can use these everywhere and they are great because not only do they clean, but they disinfect (great for teachers to use on desks and doorknobs)
I buy mine in bulk at Sam's Club & they typically come in a couple of different scents...the orange and lemon are my favorites-so fresh!

I buy these in bulk at Sam's Club as well, because I cannot stand a nasty sponge.
I use these at least once a day when I clean our hand-wash dishes (my travel mugs, our stainless steel pots & pans, our nice knives, etc.)
They don't scratch up our stainless steel and they last a really long time, you can just toss them in the dishwasher and air dry them to keep them fresh longer.

This is another item that my friend Paige turned me onto, but these towels are awesome!
I use ours to dry dishes, to dry our hands, to clean the kitchen, to clean mirrors...basically everything.
I just buy them from Target (Amazon also has awesome deals on them) and they're white, you can just bleach them if they start looking dingy or replace them because they're so inexpensive.
I love them because they don't leave lint behind on your dishes, they dry quickly, and they are thin and easy to store.

I try to Swiffer our wood floors at least two times per week, sometimes more.
These sweeper pads catch all of the dust and dirt that seems to magically accumulate all over our house & I love how the Swiffer can get up underneath tables and night stands, it's just a great cleaning tool for in between big sweeping & mopping sessions. 
Pro Tip: Get the lavender scented pads...they smell so light and fresh!

I love the pod form of dishwasher detergent just like I like it for the washing machine, it's so so easy to measure out the right amount and there is no mess.
The cascade brand always gets our dishes clean & has left no residue or weird smell on our dishes like some other brands do.

About a year ago, I went down the rabbit hole on YouTube of watching cleaning videos-it's so weirdly satisfying and motivating!
I discovered this mop on YouTube and was suckered into buying it because I loved how easy it seemed to be to use it.
Y'all-this mop is everything I didn't know I needed!
This particular kit comes with two different bottles for your solution of choice and three washable pads that velcro to the mop.
I keep one bottle with our tile floor cleaner and one mop with our hardwood floor cleaner, and I swap the pads out between mopping the tile & the hardwood as well, but there is always at least one pad in the closet in case we have a mess that needs mopped between washes.

I got this vacuum two years ago for Christmas (that's when you know you're an adult, right?)
But it has held up so, so well even with a Lab that sheds like crazy inside and now a toddler, too.
It truly is really light, the battery lasts long enough for me to vacuum my entire house (upstairs and downstairs), and it's relatively easy to clean too.
The one complaint that I have about it is the hair-wrap situation, because I have very long hair that seems to fall out worse than Forrest's. I have to cut it out of the vacuum pretty regularly.
The next vacuum I purchase will be the Shark that prevents hair wrap-but this one makes me happy until then!

Well, I hope that helped y'all in some way...or maybe at least now you're inspired to clean a little bit?
Let me know below some of your favorite cleaning products!

Until next time. . .


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