Wednesday, October 15, 2014

A Few of My Favorite Frugal Things!

Specifically, free stuff sites.  Now, if you've spent any time combing the internet you know that most "freebie" sites are filled with scams, data phishing, and frustrating surveys that take forever to fill out only to produce a page of crappy free items that you could have requested directly from the manufacturer's website if you had only known they were there!

During my breaks from comprehensive exam preparation this summer, also known as productive-procrastination, I found several sites that I absolutely love.  The sites themselves don't require surveys, creepy personal information, or accepting deals from other sites; although I've found some links they put up from time to time do take me to one of those sites (but only rarely).

Here's a collection of the freebies I've scored over the past 2-3 months.  I have a few favorite freebie sites for finding these deals.  These are the links I skim through while sipping coffee and cursing being awake in the morning:

Target Free Samples - While Target doesn't run samples very often, they go fast, and are pretty good

USA Todays Freebie Site - This site regularly posts really awesome freebies; new links everyday.  They also mark when freebies have expired, which is super helpful!

All You Free Samples - This site usually posts a few free samples each day, but the timing of their posts is irregular.  Not my favorite, but sometimes they have real gems!

Get It Free - This site sometimes has freebies that no one else posts, and has an internal control for maintaining only up-to-date freebie offers.

I hope you have fun looking through these sites! Be on the look out for a second installment of my favorite things!

Please share your favorite freebie sites in the comments below!

#myfavoritethings #fabulouslyfrugal

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Nail 911 Review

So this past summer I started painting my nails A LOT.  I also got a bit happy with the nail buffer blocks I got from Julep, which left me with relatively weakened nails for the first time in my life.  It freaked me out a little.  Julep was running a special on this little set, so I took the plunge.  I'm very happy that I did!

This the product description from Julep:
Got an emergency on your hands? Help is just two steps away. Julep Nail Therapy nourishes and strengthens with vitamins B, C, and E, while Mighty Nail & Cuticle Serum is packed with peptides to enhance the natural growth process, green tea leaf extracts to condition, and sugar cane enzymes to dissolve dull surface cells. Great for damaged or gel-ravaged nails.
Set Includes:
  • Julep Nail Therapy
  • Mighty Nail & Cuticle Serum
To use:
  • Brush one coat of Nail Therapy onto clean, dry nails two to three times weekly. It can be worn alone or used as a base coat.
  • Apply Mighty Nail & Cuticle Serum to cuticle area twice daily for two weeks, then once a week for maintenance. Use on bare or polished nails.

    The Mighty Nail & Cuticle Serum is a wonderful travel/ purse size.  I've been using the larger dispenser for a few months, and my cuticles have never been healthier.  I put two light coats of the Julep Nail Therapy polish, and it lasted for over a week before I couldn't wait any longer to see the results!  My nails felt smooth and definitely stronger than they had before I put on the Nail Therapy polish.  This product is WAAYYY better than Julep's Oxygen Nail Treatment, which left me totally underwhelmed.  I highly recommend this product, especially if its on discount!

    If you're interested in trying Julep, use this link and enter code FREEFALL to try one month for only the cost of shipping (about $2.99).

    #beauty #review

Monday, October 13, 2014


Okay, I keep harping on ibotta.  But seriously.  

I found that ibotta has a deal for a $5 rebate on a Birchbox Gift Subscription.

Then I found a code on for 100 bonus points for signing up for a subscription (bbstore100)

So, I logged into Birchbox using the link from ibotta, and bought myself a 3 month subscription ($30)  Then I added They're Real Mascara Mini ($10)

At checkout, I added a mystery sample pack ($10) that I got for free since my order was over $35
And I entered my code for 100 BB points

So,  I paid $40 upfront for the following:

3 months of Birchbox Subscription
1 They're Real Mascara Mini
1 Mystery Sample Bonus
100 extra BB points

Retail Value of Items = $60

Amount Paid after Rebate = $35

Plus, I'll get an additional 50 BB pts per box for my reviews!

I hope that you all enjoy this tip!  Do you have any tips for saving $$ on subscription boxes? 

October Birchbox Unboxing and Review

I finally received my Birchbox this morning! YAY!  Since I live on the West Coast, it takes forever to arrive, and then it takes longer when I don't know its waiting at my leasing office . . . and then the office is closed Sundays.  ANYWHO.  ITS HERE!!

First thing I noticed was the addressee - The Dazzling Suzanne Miller!  This was such a pick-me-up after waiting so long for this box.  It totally made me feel special this morning!

After all the online drama about who did and who didn't receive a beauty blender, I wasn't holding my breath.  I didn't get one.  Oh well.  (I have something similar I got for $.45 off an Amazon special that works perfectly well for me.)

I am THRILLED with my box of goodies this month!

(A note on my pricing, I feel a little annoyed with the full price value, since these are smaller items.  However, I don't also don't find it helpful to simply do a breakdown of the value using the MRSP of the full size version  So, what I've done is try to find prices for these items as though you wanted to re-create this box through various online sources. When I can't, then I estimate, and I'll state that the price is estimated.  I hope that knowing these tiny sizes are available elsewhere is helpful for those of you who just want to try something you didn't get, or need something for your travel kit!)

This month's loot:

Beauty Protector, Protect & Detangle (1.5 oz $4.11 estimated)
I can't wait to try this since I blow dry my hair at least 3x a week!  Apparently Birchbox Dazzlers love it and rave about it all the time.  It smells soooo good, too!!

dr. brandt, pores no more vacuum cleaner ($6.95 .25oz +beautychoice )
Apparently this is an amazing blackheads extractor mask.  I have never had problems with blackheads, so I might gift this to a friend.

CoastalScents, Revealed 2 Sampler in Ballerina ( $7-8 +eBay )
I would have never guessed that people would try to sell this on ebay!  But I guess anything goes these days.  I'm SUPER excited about this item, because I've been wanting to play with some new purple and pink eye shadow combos.  This will satisfy that desire in a cost-effective way (which means hubby will be happy!)

Balance Me, extra care Wonder Eye Cream ($17.95 .2 fl oz +Balance Me )
WOW! I love eyecreams!  My mother always told me to moisturize and care for my skin, and it will take care of me!  (She's 62 now and doesn't look a day over 50, y'all, for reals.)  I am stoked about this lovely little travel size.  I just got some eyecream from YesTo Blueberries, which is great, and will last forever, but this will be perfect for traveling!  When I googled this little gem, I found that the manufacturer offers it for 11, which is about $18 dollars, talk about good value here!

ModelCo, Party Proof Lipstick in Kitty ($16.95 .13oz +MODEL&CO )
I think this is a great shade for me, especially since I live for a bold eye!  I'm always tired these days, so a bold eye promises that I look awake and competent, even when I just want to crawl back under the covers.  This formula is super soft and highly moisturizing.  This is sure to be one of my new favorites!

Concluding Thoughts
For $10, I received approximately ... wait for it! (I have to pull out my calculator) just over $50 worth of beauty products, all but one of which I will TOTALLY be using in my everyday life!

Did you get a Birchbox or a different subscription box this month?  What were your favorite goodies?  What splurge are you saving your BB points (or other company points) to get for yourself?

If you haven't tried Birchbox yet, and are interested, you can follow this link (yes, its my referral link).  If you have ibotta, go through their site for $3 off of one month or $5 off of a subscription!  Remember the great thing about BB is that they reward you for your product reviews on your monthly box items (10 pts/ review, and 100 pts = $10!)

+Birchbox +Balance Me +MODEL&CO

Thoughts on Amora Coffee

In my obsessive hunts for free things to avoid preparing for my comprehensive exams this past summer, I stumbled upon Amora Coffee.

They run a pretty sweet deal!  $1 for a bag of coffee a silver coffee scoop (pictured above) with free shipping!

However, if you fail to cancel in time, or adjust your order, you'll get sent 4 bags of whatever roast you ordered for your first box (cost = $14.95/bag), along with a free coffee canister.  Customer service had mercy on me, closed my account and refunded $25 of the cost of that second box.  I have to give them serious credit for their customer service.  Yes, its based in TN, so turn on your charm, use "sir" and "m'am," and I'm sure they'll treat you just as well.

If I had continued subscribing, I would have gotten a free travel mug, and eventually a very nice coffee maker.  But I didn't, because, well, this isn't about free stuff.  Its really about coffee.

So, the central question!  How is their coffee??  The bags pictured are their medium roast called Elegante.  Its coffee.  No exciting notes of anything.  No complex flavors.  Just good 'ol coffee.  I'd say that if you are a poor grad student, take the bag of coffee for a $1, and then cancel your subscription.  At least its a cheap, decent bag of caffeine for your early mornings or late nights!

If you're interested in this deal head over here: and click on the red box on the right side of the screen entitled FREE OFFER.

If you're interested in really good coffee via subscription, stay tuned for my upcoming review!!


Sunday, October 12, 2014

Target and Walmart Beauty Boxes

Target and Walmart Beauty Boxes!  

So, I just signed up for Target and Walmart Beauty Boxes.  I'm super excited to try these boxes and review them for my new blog!

Walmart's beauty boxes arrive four times a year, one for each season.  The box is free!  They charge only $5 for shipping.  The link is below:

Apparently Target does a beauty box every-so-often, so I suggest that you get this one while you can!  Unlike Walmart, which is a surprise box, Target tells you exactly what's inside this box.  You'll receive 5 beauty items for $7 and free shipping!  (That's a better deal than Beauty Box 5!)  Plus, if you have a Target Redcard, you'll get your additional 5% off!