Tag Archives: apartment

COFFEE!

23 Oct

coffeeOkay, I love coffee.  I love coffee so much. Coffee is my best friend.  But sometimes coffee is way to expensive.  When I was in high school I used to love Starbucks because it made me feel like one of the “cool kids,” when I was a freshman in college, my dorm was less than 50 feet away from a Starbucks.  Now I work on campus less than 100 feet from a different one!  On campus alone there are 4!

I started spending way to much money at Starbucks just to get a regular coffee without anything special.  I finally reached a breaking point when I ordered a grande white chocolate mocha frappuccino, which somehow cost me over $5.00!!  That was when I said enough is enough.

white castle coffeeI had been given a coffee maker when I graduated high school but never really used it much, well that all changed.  I bought myself a $4 reusable travel mug from Kroger (less than that one cup of sugary, whipped, milk stuff that they should just call a milkshake), and a bag of White Castle Coffee.  If you have never had White Castle Coffee, I would suggest it.  For a 3 pound bag it is right around $5 (about the same price as 1 Starbucks drink!).

If it is the sugar, milk and whipped cream that you crave then you should invest in some of that too.  You can buy cool-whip for $1 a tub and it keeps forever in the freezer.  I really like coffeemate in my coffee so I have some Sugar Free French Vanilla powder, it is about $2.

Now that we have all our ingredients let’s add it up.  Coffee is around $.10 (if a 3lbs bag of coffee is 5 dollars and there are 48 servings in each bag 48 divided by 5 is .10), the coffeemate is around $.10 and then the mug is $4 but the more that you use it the less it costs.

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If I can make a cup of coffee for less than a quarter, why am I buying Starbucks???!!! Is it because I love their coffee?  No.  Kahlua coffee is by far the best that I have ever tasted, White Castle comes in a close second, then Maxwell House, Folgers, and 8 o’clock.  Is it because it is convenient?  Well sometimes that might be the case but if your coffee maker has a timer on it.  You can get it all ready before you even go to bed and then it can automatically make itself so that once you are ready in the morning so is your coffee.  Do I buy Starbucks because I am forced?  No.  The only reason that I can think of for buying it is that all my friends do it and I still want to be the “cool kid.”  Well that has all changed.  Starbucks will never again steal my money!

Now I challenge you to make your own coffee for a week and do not buy it from anywhere else.  If you feel like you like strong coffee do not put in 3 or 4 scoops of coffee, instead buy a darker roast that will be stronger flavored and you will not have to use as much saving you money.

Although this might not sound appetizingyou some of you my favorite drink that I make myself is Cuban roasted coffee, with 1 packet of sweet ‘n low and some lemon juice with a slice of lemon in it!  What are some of the speciality drinks that you like to make yourself?

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Flowers

20 Oct

As summer begins to turn into fall there are many things that I love, the falling leave the beautiful, warm October sunshine, but there is nothing that I like better than fall flowers.  The colors are just wonderful!

I am not ashamed to admit it but I buy flowers for myself ALL the time! And no it is not because I am lonely, I love flowers and they make a nice addition to brighten up our small apartment.  However, you may be wondering…how does this frugal chick have money to be spending on flowers – for herself no less?!

This is how I do it.  The Kroger right downs the street from me has a small floral desk in the front of the store, but since this Kroger is probably 90% college students they usually are not spending to much money on flowers, this means that there is usually beautiful cut flowers that are not sold and are beginning to turn less than perfect.  When this happens they go on clearance! YAY!!
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I can buy a dozen roses for $4 or some lovely other cut flowers for less than $2 and they really do brighten up a room.  I have told my roomie about this trick as well and yesterday she bought some wonder fall roses for our living room.  When thinking about budgeting I skip out on the third pack of cheese and this is what I get instead.  Definitely worth the small sacrifice.

Just cut the dead or browning leaves off of the stems, put the flowers into some water and enjoy a few days of fresh flowers and you don’t even have to blow your budget!

What do you do around the house to make it more lively and fun?  Let me know in the comments below!

Art Work

18 Oct

In August I moved out of my 4 bedroom, 4 bathroom apartment to a much smaller, 2 bedroom 1 bathroom.  The perks were that it was much cheaper and so much closer to campus!!  The downside was that it was old, dirty and not exactly my first place of choice to live, but hey! life happens and here I am.

The place was extremely shabby and while there are still many issues with the place (the smoke detector is still hanging off the ceiling), I have extremely cleaned it, the carpets have been cleaned and we have been working on decorating the place.

wpid-IMAG1951.jpgOur living room furniture consists of two lovely antique chairs and an antique wooden coffee table that my roomie Sarah picked up, a yellow Ikea table with a modern color blocked blue and brown lamp and a floor rug that is blue and brown circles (see once before in my dorm) and of course a TV.  This may seem like some craziness but it really fits together nicely, it is a good mix of my modern taste and her antique taste.  We brought it all together with her making chevron patterned pillows for the chair and I bought a cheap ($12) valance on Etsy.  The dark navy blue curtains and pillows add something but it is the artwork that really ties the room together.

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The artwork is 4 pictures, hung in a shape that can only be described as a mix between a square and a diamond.  Three of the four pictures were photos that I had taken in Spain, of the beach, the orange trees in front of a cathedral and a crooked sidewalk under a leafy arbor.  The fourth is a poster of the Beatles, all framed in cream frames (on sale at Michaels).  This is what pulls the room together and shows our unique style differences.

In our tiny hallway, I took another frame (on sale at Michaels, a few years ago) and inside of it I placed the covers from 4 different Latina and People en Español magazines that I get.  Then I put the poster frame over our ugly fuse box!wpid-IMAG1947.jpg

In the bathroom again with the same idea of using artwork that we already had lying around the house.  I had bought a cheap plastic box frame on Amazon for a gift but when I got it, it was so badly damaged that I was not able to use in and then I forgot to return it….oops.  Now I have painted the cardboard back blue and put 3 dramatic Maybelline  ads in it and hung it as decoration.  A great way to repurpose those old magazines and make art work.

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The final project that I have decided to work on is something a little different.  I had gotten a few packs of 4×6 and 5×7 picture paper for free when I bought my printer but I never print pictures so I decided to use them as art.  I took my paint ($.97 each from Walmart) and got to work.  I am not an artist by any means and so I simply sat down and started drawing shapes and letters and lines and eventually I got into such a craze that I made like 10 of these things!  They have now become my around the closet decoration.  While this is still a work in progress it is coming along nicely.  When I need to procrastinate or get rid of extra energy I just get out my brushes ($1.34 for a pack of 30, Walmart) and slap down some paint!

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How do you guys decorate your living spaces?  Do you paint on the walls?  Do you hang posters? Do you just not decorate at all and that is your style?  I’d love to hear what you do!

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