Thursday, January 14, 2010


While every thrifty guide will tell you how you can save over $100 buy brewing at home, sometimes you have to get out of the house. Here are a few ways you can save at $tarbuck$:
1. Bring your own mug. They take off 10-30 cents depending on the drink you order. If you buy one of their mugs it comes with a coupon for a free drink too.
2. Get a Starbucks card. Its reloadable and when you register it online they give you 2 free hours of internet use (helpful during exam week when everyone swarms digital downtown) and a free drink on your birthday.
3. Starbucks offers 50 cent coffee refills. If you simply go in and hand them your mug or reuse a paper cup and ask for a refill coffee it will ring $0.53 on the register. Its only supposed to be for customers that get a refill within the hour of their first purchase, but the baristas never seem to notice or care.
4. If your drink is forgotten (this has happened to me before) or incorrect, ask for a forgiveness card, it is good for a free drink your your choice, any size.
5. When you order an iced coffee any flavor shot comes free with the purchase.
6. How to get a iced latte for $2.50 : order 4 espresso shots over ice in a venti cup, pour milk from coffee stand into cup.

Never pay $4.00 for coffee drinks again. Unless its a pumpkin spice frappuccino, delicious!

P.S. Of course Gainesville has some wonderful locally owned coffee shops too, (i.e. Volta, Karma Kream, Muade's). Please support them as well.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Plan your budget!

Real Simple has a great 3 page pdf file to help you plan your monthly budget. Go to this link to check it out!

How to get a cheap new wardrobe!

About once every three to six months I clean out my closet and do what I call the second hand store whirlwind tour. First I select items that either do not fit, or I haven't worn in three months (unless it is a seasonal reason for not being used, like a jacket during summertime). I pick a few items that I haven't worn and put them at the front of my closet and mark their hangers with the date, therefore, if I don't use them within 3 months they go next time. I put the rest of the items in canvas or reused plastic bags. First, I go to Plato's Closet (3333 SW 34th St.) because they are the most selective and let them sort through all the clothes which usually takes them half an hour to an hour. While I'm waiting I shop around and have found great deals on dresses, pants and belts there. This past weekend I got a nine west belt for $7.00! Next, I go to Sandy's Savvy Chic Resale Boutique (2906 NW 13th St.) because unlike Plato's closet, they will take clothes that are older than "last season." They also sell jewelry and furniture as well. Afterward, I go to Flashbacks (509 NW 10th Ave) and they usually buy most of my clothing and give you more money in store credit as opposed to cash. I absolutely love the great vintage dresses and funky accessories like belt buckles and scarves they sell. In exchange for two jackets and a shirt I bought a clutch purse and vintage gloves which was an even trade. Finally, I take all of the left over clothes and donate it to a charity thrift store, such as the Salvation Army. Be sure to fill out the form they give you as you can claim a deduction on your taxes with it.

Before I go out to the mall I always look at these stores for dresses, sweaters and belts:
Haven Hospice Attic (300 Northwest 8th Avenue)
-This place is the best by far, awesome earring collection and special deals for students and discount days
Salvation Army (55 Northwest 23rd Avenue)
Peaceful Paths (near Salvation Army on 23rd)
Goodwill (3520 Southwest 34th Street)
I usually stop by here after visiting Plato's closet if I am searching for something in particular.
Junior League (430 North Main Street)

Finally, my biggest secret:
Urban Thread!
These stores have a great concept. They buy returned merchandise in bulk and sell it at discount prices. The one of 13th street has Urban Outfitters merchandise and the one on University Ave has mostly J. Crew. I bought leather sandals for $18 that retail for about $30. It is definitely not a steal, but at 60% off the retail prices it is a deal!

Happy Shopping!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Supermarket deals

I do most of my shopping at either Publix or Albertsons. Before I go shopping I make the usual shopping list, and then I go onto and
to compare deals. Publix has great buy one get ones each week and I stock up on items that have longer expiration dates. I also compare Publix brand items to name brands to save. Looking at the price per ounce helps as well. Buying in bulk is only a good idea when you know you will use the items. For example, I used to buy shredded cheese in bulk, but the majority of it would go bad. Now I buy a block and shred it myself or the smalllest bags available, usually for under $1. However, buying vegetables in bulk rather than sliced/pre-packaged/washed salad bags is usually a better idea, and the produce that does spoils can be composted. Buying Powdered drinks instead of pre-made also saves. Arizona tea and Gatoraid are much cheaper in powder form and taste exactly the same!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Gator Greenbacks

At the start of every semester at the University of Florida the newspaper stands are full of discounts and many people promote their business with coupons and coupon books at Turlington plaza. The Gator Greenbacks are the BEST source of coupons in Gainesville. Why? Because there is usually over 100 pages of deals with 4 coupons per page, they are valid until the start of the next semester, and they are FREE. Pick up as many copies as you can. I usually keep a few at my apartment and one in the car. Other coupon books are useful as well, such as the Gator Supersaver. However, avoid the Best Deals as it is just a book of advertisements without any coupons usually.