The Friendly Frugalista


Blogging about coupons, discounts, freebies, sales, and more!

I recently mentioned that I follow the blog of Penny Raine and enjoy her eBook collection, Creatively Simple.  She sent out a newsletter today announcing the arrival of 4 new eBooks.  These eBooks are “Best of” compilations from her newsletters and they do qualify for the 50% discount announced earlier this week.

In addition, she occasionally posts a FREEBIE on her web-site.  She has one there now and the title is 101 Ways to Save Money: Study Guide.  I downloaded it earlier today, but haven’t had a chance to take a look at it yet.  Since this blog is dedicated to frugal living, I thought you’d want to know about 101 ways to save money!  🙂

[Edited to add]  DUH!  It’s a good thing I usually double-check my published posts!  I forgot the link for Penny’s FREEBIE!  Here it is…


Filed under: BLOGS!, Christian, Companies w/ Free Subscriptions or Registrations (for newsletters, emails, sweeps, etc.), Coupons & Codes, Education, Miscellaneous, Expiring in January, FREEBIES, It's ALL Here!, Marriage, Family, Parenting, On Sale This Week, Online Stores, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Minnesota Momma’s Must Haves: Help Haiti

I’ve blogged about Sarah of MMMH before.  While I’m usually mentioning her great giveaways, I’m posting about her this time because she mentioned two ways to help the people of Haiti.  Become a fan of the Halo SleepSack on facebook and/or place an order with Softbums.  To find out more, visit her blog and scroll down to the post just below the pictures of the sleepsack and the cloth diaper.

Thanks, Sarah!

Filed under: BLOGS!, Help Haiti, It's ALL Here!, , , , , , , , ,

Macaroni Grill: Sign Up and Save

A hearty ~~THANK YOU~~ goes to Jill of Frugal Plus for posting about this!  I love Macaroni Grill!  And while it isn’t exactly cheap eats, it is (in my humble opinion) good eats.  So, a couple times a year (when I’m already in Greensboro), I sneak over and indulge. 🙂   In order to spare my budget just a little bit, I only order a cup of soup and a cheesecake.  Now, they give you free bread anyway. So, I get soup, bread, and a delicious dessert for less than the price of one entree.  Yum!  By the way, I don’t want any fruity stuff on my cheesecake.  I always ask for their chocolate ganache.  I love a good chocolate and I love a good cheesecake.  A good chocolate on a good cheesecake is my foodie version of  Heaven on earth!

OK, so here’s the deal, if you go here and sign up for the Mac Pack, they’ll send  you updates and special offers.  I’ve already registered and confirmed.  In my first official email, I received a coupon for a FREE appetizer.  So, next time I sneak over there, I’ll skip the soup, get the FREE appetizer, and enjoy my cheesecake!   I get to have my cake, and eat it too!  *giggle*









Psst!  In case you were wondering, I do draw on the paper tablecloth.  Well, sometimes!  I usually prefer to play a word game.  Like where you think of a word or phrase (such a Macaroni Grill) and see how many words you can make out of it while waiting for your food to arrive.

Like this…


car, girl, cram, ram, grim, liar, rail, ail, air, groin, coin, man, can, ran, clam…

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Blog Recommendation:

One of the bloggers I follow, Penny Raine, has her own line of eBooks called Creatively Simple with a variety of  home-maker-friendly titles .  She also sells other eBooks specifically related to cooking.  Late last year, I purchased a package of her Creatively Simple eBooks for a ridiculously low price.  The eBooks are easy-to-follow basic instructional books with helpful pictures.  One of the titles that I particularly liked and plan to use soon is Creatively Simple:  How to Make Homemade Laundry Soap.  I have already purchased several of the items needed to make the soap and am just waiting for my current supply of eco-friendly laundry soap (purchased in bulk from Costco) to run low.  Other tiles from the series that really caught my attention were How to Make Homemade Bread and How to Make Chocolate Cobbler.  I have been making homemade bread for several months now and have a couple of favorite recipes, but I’m looking forward to trying the recipes in Penny’s eBook.  As for the Chocolate Cobbler recipe, I’m pretty much game for trying anything chocolate at least once.  (OK, maybe not chocolate-covered bugs!)

Penny has special subscriber-only sales.  Check out her store and, if you’re interested in ordering from her, be sure to sign up for her newsletter subscription for all of her great specials!

Filed under: Arts, Crafts, & Sewing, BLOGS!, Christian, Companies w/ Free Subscriptions or Registrations (for newsletters, emails, sweeps, etc.), It's ALL Here!, Online Stores, Recipes, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

A Special Announcement from Cara, author of the Friendly Frugalista

The Friendly Frugalista has been up and running for a few months and things are going well.  I am pleased to announce the official launch of two additional sites that I’ve been working on!  Our family has been committed to homeschooling since our first child was born over 15 years ago.  Over the years, we’ve tried many resources, enjoyed successes, endured failures, schooled while moving or traveling, shared our journey with others, and learned from the adventures of other homeschoolers.  For a long time, I’ve wanted to establish a web site for homeschoolers to share with–and learn from–them.  But, I’ve discovered through my experiences as a blogger that it is much easier to add new information to a blog than it is to do so to a static website.  After nearly 3 months of trying out a variety of host domains, I finally came up with a balance that works for me (for now). I will continue to learn and grow as I go along and, perhaps, come up with a better plan.  But, for now, I have established a web site (hosted by Homestead) with information for homeschoolers *and* a blog (hosted by HostSo) to accompany the site.  I’m still tweaking things a bit to see how best to keep all 3 sites up-to-date without too much overlap, but the sites are finally up and running.  In a way, the new blog is like a homeschool version of The Friendly Frugalista.  If you are interested in homeschooling topics, please take a peek at these new sites.

Blessings, Cara

P.S.  In the future, I hope to upgrade this blog to a hosted site too.  But, I spent a lot of trial-and-error time on the other blog, so I’ve kept this one as is while learning the ropes.  It is a lot easier to destroy a non-published blog than a published one.  LOL!

Evergreen Home Education (the main homeschooling web site, hosted by Homestead)

The EHE Blog (the accompanying blog for Evergreen Home Education, hosted by HostSo)

Filed under: BLOGS!, Christian, Companies w/ Free Subscriptions or Registrations (for newsletters, emails, sweeps, etc.), Education, Homeschool, Friendly Frugalista Updates, It's ALL Here!, Marriage, Family, Parenting, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Malt ‘O Meal: Sign Up and Save

We already like to buy Malt ‘O Meal bagged cereals because of their great taste and low price.  So, it was nice to find out about their coupons.  Click here to sign up with Malt ‘O Meal cereals.  You can choose 1, 2, or all 3 of their special coupon offers when you sign up.

Thanks to Jill of Frugal Plus for mentioning this offer in her blog!

Filed under: BLOGS!, Companies w/ Free Subscriptions or Registrations (for newsletters, emails, sweeps, etc.), Coupons & Codes, Groceries, It's ALL Here!, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Blog Recommendation: “Cents”able Momma

“Cents”able Momma (Helping You Be “Able” to Save Your “Cents”) is authored by a stay-at-home mother of two boys.  She began blogging in 2008 and has one of my favorite blog designs.  Her blog appears and functions much like a regular web site, which is a feature I desire to someday achieve (but obviously have not yet accomplished with this bare bones, easy-to-use, free WordPress theme).  On her site, she has a BEGINNERS page, which is obviously a great place to start for anyone who is new to the frugal lifestyle.  She also has an EARN MONEY page with a variety of ways to earn a little extra cash for doing something new, or making the most of something you already do.   Head on over and check it out!  She blogs about things that just don’t really enter my realm of knowledge, such as Meijer (which we don’t have in my area) and making money by transferring prescriptions (which I don’t do because insurance pays for our prescriptions).  Eventually, I want to branch out more, but there are only 24 hours in a day and I already spend many of them online as I get this blog (and other online ventures) going.  Did I ever mention that I tend to take on too much at one time?!?!  At this time of year, though, it is easy for me to spend so much time online because I for sure do not want to spend them outside in the bitter cold.  This is our 6th winter in VA (since moving back in ’04) and this one has been the absolute coldest so far.  Brrr!  I’m so glad it is usually much milder here!

By the way, I love the clever title and tag line of  “Cents”able Momma!  I originally wanted to call my own blog, Cents & “Cents”ibility.  But, when I searched the ‘Net to make sure I wasn’t infringing on someone else’s idea, I sadly discovered that someone else was, indeed, using it. *sigh* This prompted me to spend several hours (Yes, really!) trying to come up with another clever name.  Over and over and over again, my ideas were shot down as I discovered that someone else had already though of it. *big heavy sigh*  I finally decided to use alliteration.  For example, “Blog Barn” or “Frugal Frog” (not that frogs are frugal, but I like frogs) and had trouble even finding a unique idea within that framework.  I finally settled on Friendly Frugalista.  It wasn’t my first choice, or my second, or even my 50th.  But, at least no one else was already using it!  LOL!   So, there ya have it–honesty at its brutal best!  And an admission that there are actually a lot of people in the cyberworld who are just as clever as me! Hehe! And that reminds me, I’ve been meaning to find out how to get a copyright.  Hmmm!

Filed under: BLOGS!, It's ALL Here!, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Blog Recommendation: Frugal Plus

Jill, a work-at-home mother of 7, has been blogging about savings for over 6 years, but I discovered her blog only recently.  She has some great deals listed on her blog, including a JCP coupon, a Filtrete rebate, and an Old Navy coupon.  She also recently reviewed the book, Once An Arafat Man, by ‘Taas Saada.  Check out her blog, Frugal Plus, for all of her coupons, freebies, giveaways, reviews, and more.

Filed under: BLOGS!, Coupons & Codes, It's ALL Here!, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Blog Recommendation: Mama’s Money Savers

Cher is a stay-at-home mom of two young boys.  Her blog, Mama’s Money Savers, contains Book Reviews, Giveaways, Product Reviews, and more.  I receive eNewsletters from her because I’m subscribed to her blog.  Today’s eNewsletter contained an interesting post about the false mentality that name brand formula is better for your baby than store brand formula (and a related lawsuit).  Because purchasing store brand formula saves money (versus purchasing name brand formula), I felt it was worth mentioning here in a blog dedicated to frugality.  Many moms fall into the trap of thinking name brand formula is safer for babies. This is simply not true!

I previously added a couple of  links to this blog relating to safety.  Even though I didn’t blog about those links when I posted them (Shame on me!), they are there.   One of the important things for frugal folks to remember is that safety should not be compromised for the sake of frugality.  For instance, I would never intentionally recommend that someone buy a product that had been recalled or deemed unsafe.  A cheap garage sale find isn’t worth it if it isn’t safe!  Frugality and safety often go hand-in-hand.  Therefore, even if safety isn’t the main focus of my blogging mission, I’ll try to blog more about it in the future.  For now, I just don’t have enough time. As my country cousins would say, “I’ve got too many irons in the fire!”

Filed under: BLOGS!, It's ALL Here!, Marriage, Family, Parenting, Safety, , , , , , , , , , ,

Minnesota Mama’s Must Haves: Review of WOOMBIE & Giveaway

I recently blogged here about how much I love Minnesota Mama’s Must Haves.  She has awesome reviews and giveaways.  Entering her giveaways is easy and you can “earn” multiple entries by following her guidelines.  I won’t be blogging about every giveaway she has because I’d be blogging about her every day.  LOL!  But, I do think today’s review and giveaway is worth mentioning.  I had never heard of the Woombie before I read about it in her blog newsletter, but it looks like a lifesaver for the parent with a newborn. I really wish I’d had Woombie for my newborns!

Here is a short excerpt from her review of Woombie:

“You can help ease your baby’s transition from the womb to the outside world with Woombie. It is a safe way to swaddle your baby and reduce discomfort. It follows SIDS guidelines and is designed to help your baby sleep better and safer.”

Please visit the MMMH blog to read more and enter the giveaway.  And don’t forget to scroll down to see more of her great reviews and giveaways!

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