Cuisine · Frugal Frances · Lifestyle

Frugal Frances – Building your simple wardrobe, saving BIG $$$$ on groceries and some yummy treats – w/ very little ingredients!

This week has been HUGE for us in terms of finding savings that will actually help fund other projects and activities; they might even pay for most of preschool.  That’s right, you too can find ways to wiggle around and find change falling out of nowhere.  It just takes a little digging, a little searching and some flexibility on your end to change things up!

Firstly, I will discuss our major savings discovery of the week: The Grocery Outlet Bargain Market.  I have consistently saved $100 a week on groceries since discovering this.  I took my grocery list into the store one day before heading to my usual Ralph’s or Trader Joe’s, bought everything on my list and left saving a $100 or more.  I was spending about $200-240 a week on groceries.  I am now spending $100-120.  Hooked instantly!

The groceries are always a little different but typically have the general stuff you would get at a regular store.  The brands are mostly the same and you just need to check the expiration (which I did at other stores too) to make sure you are not a couple days away from an expiring product.  They have a huge organic section.  My favorite part is it’s got a garden and seasonal section, with many hardware store type items.  I like to buy a hose and sun umbrella along with my organic produce!  It’s a win-win!  With $400-500 dollars a month in savings, well, I can confidently say that preschool costs are gonna be a lot easier to pay!

Now on the topic of food, let me just share my banana dessert and roasted carrot side for a fast and low ingredient go-to treat.

The banana dessert is really fun finished off with a mountain of whip cream with drizzled honey!

Ingredients:

  1. Bananas
  2. Honey
  3. Whip cream
  4. butter – a couple little cubes

Just fry the bananas with a little oil for sticking and put a few cubes of butter in there for incredible flavor.  A fried banana has an amazing caramelized taste.  Try to only flip once and let them crisp up and get nice and golden first.  Once they smell incredible and are cooked beautifully plate them.  Let cool a bit but serve warm and coat with fun whip cream and drizzle the entire thing with honey.  Cheap, healthy and delicious!! This also looks very impressive on a fancy plate in case you want to add it to your dinner night.  The bananas can be cut diagonally to really look pretty.

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The roasted carrot side is just a nice thing to do with a big bag of carrots.   Use them up and eat them after your meal for little snacks.  Roast the carrots for 30 minutes at 400 degrees or until soft but not so soft that they lose their stick-like shape.  I like to eat them like fries.

Ingredients:

  1. Carrots – cut into 3″ sticks, like fries
  2. Soy sauce – a few tablespoons
  3. 21 salute seasoning from Trader Joe’s or something with a little heat
  4. Sea Salt – my favorite right now is Himalayan pink salt
  5. Coconut oil to grease your baking sheet and to coat your carrots

Toss the Salt (a few cracks but hit it good), cover with seasoning until it’s thick, a few splashes of soy sauce (my secret ingredient for things), and throw in your carrots.  Toss it around in a mixing bowl and grease your baking sheet with coconut oil to add that subtle flavor to it!  Bake until nice and golden in color and semi-soft.  This is also easy and cheap and a good snack for later on!

This is where you’re gonna think I might be a little crazy! Let’s move on to “building your simple wardrobe”.

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I love Ross, I love to hunt for bargains.  Ross always has on trend merchandise and so does Marshall’s and each typically gets two shipments a week with tons of new bargains.  If you go the day after shipment it can often times be a goldmine and on those days you don’t have to pick through so much, the quantities make stories that are easy to see and and easily inspire.  A “story” is a thematic idea or color scheme in the world of decor and apparel.  Just ask someone in the fitting room what day shipments are or you might just see new merchandise being put out in front of you.

So, the other day I looked at my pathetic wardrobe which is so bad that I actually share the worlds smallest closet with my husband.  It was time to spice things up and get over to Ross!  Yup, I have about 3 and a half feet of hanging space for my clothes.  I only keep what I actually wear.  I looked at my tops and realized that on average I buy five tops at Ross or occasionally Anthropologie Sales and wear them for 3-4 years straight.  I never dry them and treat them like a $300 dollar blouse even though they were $12 each about.  HA.  My non-shopping days started when I got pregnant and persisted until about now.  I just shopped for Willow and forgot I needed clothes too.

So, now I have this thing…my 3 year Ross plan.  It actually really provides me with basics and cute name brand clothing for bargain prices and I can seriously get them all in one fell swoop, grabbing them and throwing them into my cart.  Granted I need many visits to the fitting room, but I can comb the store in an hour and have my three year wardrobe figured out!

It’s easy to find what works if it stands out and grabs you.  Know your body and what looks good; if you can’t live without it, by all means grab it and take it home!  And don’t shy away from color!  I always have to say leave behind the cream lace stuff except for my mommy-and-me photo shoot plans, of course.  I do have a no cream rule otherwise.  I look good in cream but it can wash people out and vibrant color is like vibrant color in your veggies…it’s just better for you!

Above you’ll see some of my finds this week.  Ipanema flip flops, Calvin Klein Jeans with those cute frayed edges, Gold gladiator sandals for Willow, a bohemian blue tunic top, a jean jacket, White flowy maxi skirt, and fun orange tank paired with my vintage find of the week: some lace-up palm printed wedges (true vintage)!!!  Here’s the best part…pair any wardrobe with some vintage flair and you will immediately increase it’s depth with texture and it’s more intriguing.  Adding texture often times adds interest to an outfit.

I hope you can try these recipes, checkout the Grocery Outlet and utilize some of the tips on building your wardrobe frugally.  Let me know in the comments if any of these ideas were helpful and maybe recommend a few frugal tips for me!  Also, please note a brief disclaimer that I was not in any way paid for these referrals and they are just my opinions on these topics!  XOXO

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