Monday, January 10, 2011

Are You a Frugalista?

Since the recession went into full-swing back in 2007, most of us have tried to cut back on our expenses. Author and blogger and fellow BG, Natalie P. McNeal took her scaled-back spending efforts a step further and documented her debt online for the world to see with her blog, TheFrugalista.com.

After divulging her $20,000 secret (debt) and having successfully found ways to stay fabulous while being frugal has resulted in a must-read book titled, The Frugalista Files. Formatted as a detailed debt diary, McNeal takes readers along on her journey towards financial freedom.

If you enjoy getting weekly manis and pedis and watching cable TV, but know that it's killing your bottom line, then this book is for you!



How do you cut costs, while staying fabulous? Three lucky readers will win a copy. Simply leave a comment and a winner will be randomly selected and announced later this week.

**Congratulations to Product Junkie Diva for winning the Queen Collection lipstick. Please email me your shade of your choice and your mailing address!

25 comments:

CY♥ said...

What don't I do to cut costs & stay fab?! As a college student, this is just as important to me as getting A's!
I pluck my own eyebrows or have my roommate do them & probably only get them waxed once every two months to keep the shape. I've been doing my own manis and pedis for years and I've been taking care of my own hair - trims, styling, and when I was getting relaxers, my mom would do that.
As far as shopping.. I am the queen of coupons [something I picked up from my mother] so I usually don't buy anything unless I have a coupon AND its on sale. Free shipping is my friend, too so I buy a lot of things when shipping is free/reduced. Also, people don't always recognize how good cheaper/generic/drugstore brand products can be. In some cases, you get what you pay for, but in most cases, you'd be surprised! Also, getting multiple uses out of one product cuts down on how many products you have to buy. It might be cheaper to buy a larger size of one product than 4 different items.
Finally, giveaways are probably one of the best (and most fun) ways to be frugal and fabulous. It's your favorite things...for FREE! What can beat that?

Afropean Queen said...

I also do my own manis and pedis as well as eyebrows (I had to learn after a nasty accident at a salon). As for clothes shopping, well interesting enough, I haven't gained or lost that much weight in 7 years, so honestly I haven't really gone shopping and most of my wardrobe has stayed the same (I am so ashamed lol - hoping to finally do a complete makeover before my 29 b-day!!!!!!), what I really spend money and save money on is hair and skin care products. I normally buy my products on sale or buy in bulk and share with my sister and my mom and they do the same. And I also enter competitions lol

cocohassomethingtosay said...

I don't get manis and pedis as often as I used to. I may get them once a month and make sure I take care of the nails and then get a color change instead of another mani or pedi. I only go shopping with coupons. Sign up for email lists and they love to send coupons.

NATURAL in the making said...

OH Since going natural I have learned to do alot of things by myself!. I buy in bulk and usually tend to buy stuff that I can use not only on me but also my two little girls!. I generally only shop for things on sale..Definitely USE coupons.....I also dont quite qualify for any state assitance I stop into WIC offices for chep recipes and such and Also my state has an actual WIC store where you can purchase FRUITS nad Veggies for alot cheaper than the grocery store! I suggest making friends with sotre associates especially when they work off commission (Dillards) they are more apt to tell you about up coaming sales if they dont think you'd buy things at regualr price some commision is better than none!

Izzo said...

Sounds like a good read to start off the new year.

bella0110 said...

I've been ballin' on a budget since way back when. I take advantage of happy hours, outlets (Hey Saks and Nordies!!!), and most recently Groupons.

One tip that I've discoverd, companies love to hear feedback, especially good feedback, about their services. After having a great experience at Ruth's Chris Steakhouse, I sent an e-mail thanking them and commending the staff. They responded by sending me a gift card. A 5 minute e-mail netted me $50.

Also, I've learned to compare ingredient labels and buy things according to quality not name. Bye Dove, hello Target brand! Now while I'll probably never give up my $33 Kiehl's conditioning rinse, now I just use it after my 5 buck Neutrogena shampoo.

ANGELINA said...

I've always used generic brands and I search for coupons. I'm not ashamed of being frugal :)

antithesis said...

i cut costs by using coupons and rationing out my luxuries. i go as long as possible between brow threadings and i invest in clothing items i know i can wear season after season.

Carmesha said...

I only purchase clothes that are on sale.
I get my eyebrows done one time per month/season & tweeze them myself to keep the shape.
I'm a DIY-er for everything hair.
I search for coupons/promo codes.
I read a lot of blogs w/ frugal tips, recipes, etc. to keep my budget in line.
And I started a personal finance blog of my own to hold me accountable :)

Product Junkie Diva said...

Hey BGG
Whooooo thanks!
I read the book and loved it. Even if you're not in debt this book is a great read.
Pjd

Lavacpot said...

I am a coupon princess-- not Queen yet because I am working on getting things for little to nothing!

I am a DYI on my hair, make shea butter mixtures for both hair and body.
I made a special email address for my coupons ( and coupon spam:[ )
I realize that if you go to a lot of manufacturers website, they often offer deals, samples and coupons.
I only do dinners from Groupon and my Entertainment Coupon book ( it is expensive in D.C.)
I switched over to the Diva Cup for my menstrual cycle to stop buying tampons and help the environment
Save all my receipts in case something is marked down.
Last but not least, enter every contest that is offering something free,lol!

Shawnta said...

One way that I cut costs is to do my own manicures. I also enter lots of Facebook, Twitter & blog contests to win favorite & new products so that I don't have to purchase them.

Jennifer said...

I love her blog! I stay fab and frugal by doing my own nails and making my own beauty concoctions like scrubs. Also, I like to make my own jewelry like bracelets and necklaces. Who says cheap has to mean frump?

Janay said...

I just save money and put it on the side but this book would be very great read to see how you can manage to keep everything thoughout the recession.

Neems said...

I'm a proud member of the Frugalista club. After working in a retail store for a couple of months I learned that there is no reason to pay full price for everything. Sales, coupons, and unpublished discounts are my best friends.

TJM said...

I have been able to stick to a budget by doing my own manis and pedia and also learning how ot do my own blowouts. It's still a work in progress however. My next challenge is to find ways to cut back on my cell, cable, and internet bills....they all seem like total necessities so I definitely need some tips.

Tiffany said...

i make my own coffee; no more starbucks!

lipton|TEE said...

I really need to cut some costs. For the most part I do pretty good managing my money. I do my own hair and nails so thats got to count for something.

NewbieNaturalDiva said...

Well, for me it is very hard not to reward myself when I feel the need to. My mom ruined me when she told me the phrase "you work hard, so reward yourself". Rewarding myself put me in debt big time also. I paid off my debt of $26,500 in 4 years buy cutting off my unnecessary "impulse" buys. Also, I was in college, so my focus shifted to something else. I believe people go into credit card debt because they are bored, so shopping becomes a hobby. I know that was my problem. Now, I feel so much better not having that "cloud" hanging over my head. I now can feel the warmth of financial freedom, but I must say it was not an easy road. If I won this book, I would definitely give it to a friend who really needs the inspiration and guidance right now. It will also show her that it is something that happens to the best of us and she is not a bad person because she lost her grip.

Mrs Ward said...

I absolutely would love to read this! Ive been trying to maintain my lifestyle with a different budget for 2 yrs. I am married now and we are planning for kids so I know I have to cut back. I thought my husband would be the one to level me but it turns out that Ive started something with him. hehe.....we are fans of saving but we do spend alot of money and Im sure that once kids start rolling in, our habits will no longer be affordable...

Ive recently started doing my own manis but not pedis. I cant do my hair. Everytime we are invited to something, we go shopping? :(

I cant wait to read this...

I know I need to start doing the coupon thing. My husband and I did find that reviewing and giving feedback and surveys to business will get us a great dinner at a great restaurant. I cook which saves us alot from when we first got married.

Tee said...

One of the first things I did to cut cost was shop local with companies i love. Also, I called my phone and cable company and got them to reduce my bill. Right now i am looking for a better place to live so i can cut my rent from 1200 to around 800 a month. I seen someone tweet about the book and i knew i need to get it. I really want to win this book

muse said...

I am a Frugalista in the making...and glad for it! I have become a DIYer from hair to soap to other bath/body products. I often enter giveaways so that I can get products for free as opposed to paying for them. Lastly, I barter like nobodys business. I provide loc and makeup services in exchange for waxing and facial services....it works well for me and my aesthetician.

T said...

I love the Frugalista. I'm all about cutting costs, but I don't know if it's a lifestyle for me. I save some, I splurge some. I like to think I'm balanced.

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MochaBelle said...

I love being a frugalista! I do my own nails and get designer labels at thrift/vintage stores, but more than that, I create a budget....I account for every dollar that has to be spent and think of ways that I can make more of the money I have. I opened a High Interest Savings account, reduced my cellphone bill, started putting money in the stock market and trying to get healthy (lowering medical bills).

Being fab is living within your means and still looking FIERCE!