Big Soda is in trouble and so are struggling department stores.

Hello, everybody! Now I must confess that I do not drink soda. I quit the habit years ago and do not regret it! In fact, I think sodas are like cigarettes, so every time you drink one, you are harming your health. Homemade sodas at independent places like restaurants, bars, or Soda Stream soda doesn’t count though since those drinks are made well and by hand. But the mystery liquid concoction that come in soda cans from big soda companies? No way!

So to my surprise after reading this Business insider article about big soda being included in the current Retail Apocalypse, it kind of surprised me. The article says since everyone is starting to buy their groceries online, they are killing “impulse” purchases like grabbing a pack of soda from the store just because it is there. Or like the article said, since people have started to not drink soda anymore, Big Soda’s sales have been hurting. Which I believe is a good thing. Less liquid sugar equals better health for all! 🙂 And that is another thing. Some cities have been wanting to tax soda, but a lot have failed in doing that because of Big Soda’s lobbying over those voting decisions using commercials on TV or paper flyers in voter’s mail boxes saying “how awful” it would be if taxes on their products were made. Thus, not a lot of cities have taxed Big Soda yet.

Also, speaking of the Retail Apocalypse… Ah, if you aren’t aware of what the Retail Apocolypse is, I will give a quick explanation before going on to my next point. The Retail Apocolypse is a phenomenon that is effecting a lot of department stores right now. Because people are not buying things at regular department stores or any old store and are going shopping online on Amazon for a lot of things instead, stores like Macy’s JC Penney, and other well known mall stores are suffering money wise. Some stores even had to file for bankruptcy because sales were so bad for them. Thus, they had to close some stores, if not all of their stores. Because of stores going belly up and closing all over the place, the malls in the United States are suffering and are turning into “Dying Malls” or, “Dead Malls”. If you look up “Dead Malls” on a search engine, you can even see pictures on some websites of them and see how creepy they truly are. : ( So, that is the story behind the famous Retail Apocolypse.

Now onto my next point, it looks like more stores could even be closing up after the holidays according to this CNBC article. Early next year at the earliest! Looks like the department stores are just waiting until after Christmas is over or even for 2018 to begin to close more stores. Since many people, including myself, are hooked on discounts, discount stores like TJMAXX have been booming! Also, Dollar Stores like Dollar Tree and Dollar General have been doing well also as of late! Ah, the two things I love: discount stores and dollar stores. Not a very big fan of Dollar General, but I love me some Dollar Tree. 😉 But thrift stores will alwyas have my heart first. 🙂

As for my take on this news, I don’t know when the last time I stepped foot in a department store wanting to splurge on lots of things. Like, I remember going to JC Penney on Black Thursday and buying some basic long sleeved shirts for $5.00 each with a coupon, but that is it. Which reminds me, I have to go and buy more, haha. 🙂 But as for Macy’s and other big name department stores, I just don’t go into them anymore. However, I do frequent my local TJMAXX! They have the shampoo I like in a bulk size there for cheap and I absolutely love it! 😀 Never get tired of scoring those good deals. 🙂

So in other words, I am a part of the problem for these stores, you could say. 😛 And I don’t care. All these stores want is to dig into your wallet and take your money, but you could say that for any kind of store really. Especially department stores! Sheesh. > .> But what can I say? I love a good discount and if I cannot buy your stuff with the help of a coupon or at a discount, then I will go elsewhere. Simple as that.

Department stores and Big Soda will eventually have to adjust to the changing retail environment that is filled with discounts or just cheaper prices in general. And if they won’t? They will simply die. Will I feel bad if they possibly die? Maybe for some stores, but for Big Soda? Not really. 😛

What do you think about dying department stores and possibly dying Big Soda? Will you be sad to see them go?

 

What Did I Do/Buy This Weekend? (December 9-10, 2017)

Hello, everybody! Sorry about the late update! Wasn’t feeling in the mood to write on Sunday, so today’s weekend update is a bit late! But come see what I did and bought this weekend! 🙂

On Saturday, I made cookies! They were LOCSILD’s (LOC Sister-in-law D’s) sugar cookie recipe and they came out perfect! I baked the cookies on Saturday and decorated them on Sunday! Everything came out beautiful and yummy tasting! 🙂

Before Frosting:

cookies 1

I was taste testing the cookies, so that is why one cookie is half eaten. 😛

After frosting:

cookies 2

I… didn’t get any pastry bags because I thought I would save some green and make my own out of a plastic baggy instead. Turn out I should have gotten them, haha. Oh well, neat looking or not, these cookies were still soft and delicious! 😀 This was a half a recipe, btw. 😉

I also stopped at the Spendypants Thrift Store, or The Cancer Society, and bought a cute wired star ornament and a bea-ti-ful cashmere scarf for only $7.00! However, when I got home, I discovered the scarf had a hole in it, so I stitched it up using thread and it looks good! The hole however, was on the side of the scarf that showed by your face when you had it on, so you can see my threadwork on it kind of. Oh well. I like the scarf and if I start to hate it, I can always donate it back. 🙂

Here is my new scarf!

scarf

Pretty, huh? 🙂

I also went to Dollar Tree and picked up some Operation Christmas Child supplies for next year! Never to early to start packing those boxes!

After this, I went home and relaxed all evening. 🙂

Money Spent on Saturday

  • Star Ornament – $3.00
  • Cashmere Scarf – $7.00
  • OCC Supplies – $6.44

Total Amount Spent: $16.44

On Sunday, like I said, I frosted the cookies and then picked up a few things at the Frugalpants Grocery Store, or Winco! Maaaaaan, was it ever busy in there this time of year! Managed to get mostly everything though!

After the Frugalpants Grocery Store, LOCMom was craving Chinese food, so she bought some Chinese food for us and we ate it at home! I know I am on a diet, but I do not regret this Chinese food! 😀

How could you say no to such goodness? :C

chinese food

Btw, it was delicious. 😉

After this meal, I put the rest of my groceries away and just relaxed for the night. 🙂

Money Spent on Sunday

  • Broccoli – $0.72
  • Sweet Bell Pepper – $0.98
  • Romain Lettuce Package – $2.48
  • Grape Tomatoes – $1.98
  • Mushrooms – $0.77
  • Bananas – $0.68
  • Blueberries – $3.98
  • Avocados – $2.34
  • Glade Air Freshener – $0.97
  • Sweet Potato – $1.38
  • Eggs (18-carton) – $3.86
  • Kidney Bean Cans – $2.64 (for 2 cans)

Total Amount Spent: $26.13

Now, I must confess that I like to get out of the Frugalpants Grocery Store spending under 30 bucks each time and if any item is over $3.00, I silently cringe inside. > _>

I’m not sure if I can eat all of this food because I’m currently dealing with issues with my health which make me feel very meh about doing things like cooking or sticking to my diet, but darn it, I’m tired of wasting food! Especially the mushrooms I buy! I swear, those little suckers are going to nickel and dime me to death if I keep on not cooking them every time I buy them…

How was your weekend? 

 

 

How I Save Money Over The Holidays

Hello, everybody! Today I am going to discuss how to save money over the holidays! Or at least, how I save money over the holidays. 🙂 Holidays such as Christmas can always break any budget, but hopefully with the following tips, you can keep some green in your wallet all December long! : )

Buying Holiday Cards at Dollar Tree or Costco

This year was the first year ever that I did photo cards! I find that Costco has a great deal on holiday cards this time of year. A whopping 50 cards for $14.99! Plus four free small  2018 calendars with your order of the Christmas cards! Keep in mind that you may have to be a Costco member to order these cards, but other websites like Shutterfly offer deals on holiday photo cards as well, so always keep a  sharp eye out on your options for photo cards!

Of course, if you cannot afford a small fortune of $14.99 for Costco photo cards, there is always another great way to score wonderful holiday cards! Your local Dollar tree has packages of holiday cards (mainly for Christmas, I have found in the past) which you can buy! I believe the one I have bought in the past was a pack of 20 Xmas cards for a buck! If you truly want to go the frugal route for holiday cards this season, Dollar Tree has got you covered! 🙂 They even sell fancier Xmas cards for a dollar each and have 2 for $0.50 Xmas cards in their card section. Just find whatever works for you! 🙂

Buying Xmas Decorations at Thrift Store

Why pay retail for something you have to store in boxes all next year after the holiday season? Thrift stores are a great way to stock up on Christmas and other holiday decorations for your home! Unless a store is having over 50% off Christmas decorations sale, there is no need to buy Xmas decorations for retail prices. Thrift stores have you covered! Heck, the Fancypants Thrift Store by my house even sells Christmas cards of all kinds too! You can even pick up working Christmas lights for cheap! Outdoor or indoor lights a plenty. 🙂

And speaking of thrift store Christmas decorations…

Invest in a Fake Tree

YES, I know fake trees are horrible for the environment, but if you can’t afford a Spendypants real Christmas tree each year, then buying a fake tree is the way to go! For the first time, I just got a look at the prices of real Christmas trees and boy, was I ever shocked! They’re $20+ dollars for a dying tree! Ridiculous. Having a fake tree on hand each year is sounding a lot nicer, don’t you think? However, if you pay retail for a fake tree, it can be hundreds of dollars! Worse than buying a real tree! Sure, you only pay those hundreds of dollars only once for a new fake tree, but if you go to thrift stores, a lot of them will have fake trees already for sale and at a bargain price for one! My local Goodwill was selling fake trees fo $45.00, but that price right there is only a ONE TIME FEE instead of buying a real christmas tree for that price every year. So everyone… that is what I call A SCORE!

You can always check Ebay, Craigslist, or other buy/sell websites as well and I’m sure you will find some gently used fake Xmas trees as well for a great deal too! 🙂

When buying gifts, ALWAYS Budget, Budget, Budget! Or buy throughout the year!

And stay on budget! No going over! Some credit unions or maybe even banks like Golden 1 have what they call a Santa Saver account. I don’t really have one yet, but I think they work similarly like this: Every month, your bank/credit card union takes a certain amount of money out of your checking account and puts it into an account called a Santa Saver account. This money you can’t touch until the holidays and can be spent on gifts for your friends and family or on yourself. Pretty cool, huh?

But about the budget thing… ALWAYS stay on budget when buying gifts. If you go over budget, you could be squeezed out money wise by the end of the month or heck, even in the middle of the month and you are going to have a hard time. Guaranteed. So it’s always important to have a budget for gifts and not go over it to avoid that situation with your bank account.

When I buy Xmas gifts for my family, I always have planned expenses for the month and amount of money I cannot go past in order for me to okay money wise throughout the month. It helps me out immensely! And that’s why budgeting is important. 🙂

Or if you are also like me, you can buy your Christmas gifts throughout the year and stuff them away until Christmas. This right here is an AWESOME way to save money by the time the holidays roll around! I do this every year for my cousin’s White Elephant Gift Exchange Gift so I do not have to buy everything at once during the holiday season. Works beautifully. 🙂

And also, you can even THRIFT YOUR GIFTS! If you know how your friends and family feel about thrift store stuff (and I’m hoping their views are positive), there is nothing wrong with thrifting stuff to give as holiday presents! In fact, I have already thrifted LOCBrotherA’s and LOCNiece’s gifts from Goodwill. 🙂 I have also given thrifted items to LOCAunt and her children as gifts for them as well! Always a good time finding gently used things as gifts for freinds and family!

Make Holiday Goodies at Home

And what is Christmas without holiday sweets and goodies to nom on? 😀 Unless you are in pinch for time, make your holiday foods at home instead of paying a premium price for them at the grocery store! You’ll get more bang for your buck, plus all of the extra holiday goodies for yourself! Okay, and for your family and kids if they wish to partake in them as well. 😛 There are so many holiday recipes you can make that it is almost more fun to bake holiday goodies at home anyway instead of buying them! Check out Pininterest for some great holiday recipes or search for holiday recipes on cooking blogs!

When searching for holiday recipes on Pinterest or cooking blogs, be sure to read the comment section first to see how people’s cooking experience went with the recipe to see if the recipe might be a dud or not. Nothing is worse than buying ingredients for a recipe and finding out it sucks in the end after all of your hard work preparing it. > .<

“Something They Want, Something They Need, Something to Wear, Sometime to Read, and maybe an experience!”

So, if you have a Facebook account , you may have read about this method of giving gifts to children. They method goes like this: “Something They Want, Something They Need, Something to Wear, Something to Read”. This is a great 4-gift method to give children who have too many toys already. It also cuts down on clutter which minimalist me loves. 🙂 If I had kids, I would probably do this gift giving method with my kids.

I also put down an experience as well because what better way to make memories during the holidays than doing something memorable with your family? You could go on a trip to a far away location or somewhere local where your entire family can have fun at! It has to be a very special thing though because it is a Christmas present to your entire family after all. Doesn’t have to be pricey either unless you want it to be though. 🙂

Shop Holiday Clearence Sales

And this is the best part of the holiday season I find! HOLIDAY CLEARENCE! Sure, you have to store everything you bought until next year, but all of the holiday stuff is marked to clear in most stores, so if need anything like wrapping paper to ornaments, holiday clearance sales are a must to go to!

I believe in some places in Europe and in Canada, they have a day called Boxing Day on the 26th where stores have crazy bargains on everything and is just like our Black Friday, or Black November people are calling it now. Now for my fellow Canadian readers and European readers, if you decide to go to this Boxing Day, only buy what you need and don’t spend all of your holiday money you got from family members on stuff you will forget about next year. Heck, even sock away your holiday money for a rainy day for when you really need to spend it is what I would recommend. Or to really get a bang for your buck, shop at thrift stores that day and see if they are having any special Boxing Day sales! If you are an avid thrifter, thrift stores is where you can score some great gently used stuff for cheap!

In Conclusion…

So I think that is it! Now you know my holiday secrets to saving money are! 😉 The holidays don’t have to always make you burn a hole in your wallets for stuff you don’t really need when you are totally prepared for the holiday season! Always plan accordingly and stick to your frugal roots! Being frugal is cool even during the holidays and throughout the entire year!

How do you save money during the holidays?

What did I do this Weekend? (December 1-2, and the 4th, 2017)

I am so sorry everybody! I was really cold yesterday and felt out of it, so I couldn’t post the Weekend Update! To be fair, it’s still cold and I lost my gloves, but I don’t feel too out of it today. Come see what I did this weekend, or last weekend, haha. 🙂 No Spending Summary for this weekend because I think I accidentally threw out my receipts. Oops. :C

Well, for the later half of last week, LOCMom and I went to LOCAunt’s and LOCUncle’s house to visit! I went thrifting at the Fancypants Goodwill and found an OFFICIAL Disney  horse from the movie Brave (I think…), a Star Wars sheet set still new in its box, a Tigger mouse pad still new in its case, cat toys in an unopened cat toy Xmas stocking for Coco the cat, and a two pieces of clothing! Yup, goooooood stuff. 🙂 Love the Fancypants Goodwill!

Since LOCMom and I will be moving to LOCAunt’s and LOCUncle’s area next year, we looked at a mobile home with LOCMom’s realtor as well! After seeing it and reading about how to find a good mobile courtesy of the internet, we are now armed with knowledge on how to find a good mobile home to buy! After December, we will start looking seriously for a place to live. 🙂 As for me, I am excited! 😀

On Sunday, we traveled back home and just relaxed the entire evening. I went to the store and bought some veggies and a delicious rotisserie chicken! Yup, that is what I get when shopping while hungry. I buy delicious pre-cooked foods. However, in my defense, it was delicious though! 🙂

And I guess since I don’t want this to be too short, I will expand on what happened today on Monday. LOCMom and I went into town and I went to the Frugalpants Grocery Store to pick a few things up like food and pantry supplies for the bathroom. What I hate buying most is mouthwash. God, 5 bucks a pop for this stuff… And it’s the kid’s kind since I hate the adult minty stuff! Just ticks me off each time… But I decided to buy anther toothbrush instead of my regular $4.00 one that I really like. This one was under $2.00 and is a soft brush, so I hope it won’t be awkward to use when brushing my teeth. Then I bought foamy soap in bulk to refill my Dial brand foamy soap dispenser with which was around 4 bucks for 2 pounds of the stuff. I figure I will save more money than buying a different foamy soap despencer for $5-$6 a pop at TJMAXX. It’s like every time I buy one there, I’m just paying for the picture on the outside of the soap bottle! > .< So hopefully this bulk stuff will be worth the money. 🙂 After using the fancy foamy soap, I can never go back to the regular stuff, haha. 🙂

I also picked up my Fancypants Xmas cards from Costco that I will be sending out this year to everyone. First time sending photo cards and I am excited! These cards were $14.99 for 50 cards including envelopes and 4 copies of little 2018 calendars you make yourself on Costco’s website, so I thought, “What a deal!” 😀 Not sure what I will do with the little calendars that came with them, so I guess I will just trash them later on or give them away to somebody… Who knows, haha. 🙂

And I guess that is it. Sorry for the lack of pictures. I’m cold, or at least my hands are, so I don’t feel posting any today. Don’t feel like moving around too much either. : ( Next Weekend Update, there will be pictures though, so please look forward to that!

How was your weekend?