Frugal Dates for $20, $10, or FREE!

Frugal Date Ideas | Inexpensive Dates | Valentine's Day Date | Free Date Ideas Valentine’s Day is coming up y’all!

I thought I’d come up with some simple and frugal date ideas so that you can show some love and appreciation to your special someone. Of course, these work all year round, not just for Valentine’s Day.

Austin and I aren’t really ever extravagant with dates and gifts. For most of our marriage we’ve had no money to be extravagant. We do celebrate Valentine’s Day, but very simply. We usually go out to eat, but often for lunch and not on the actual holiday.

Since we don’t have kids yet, we don’t have to be concerned about adding in the cost of childcare for a date. I know it’s not cheap, though. But you don’t have to go out for a date. You can stay in for a date! Really, it’s all about having some quality time together, right?

Here’s the thing, you have to treat your date as a date, even if it’s a home date and regardless of how much you’ve spent. Turn your phone on silent, put away other devices, and just be together.

Anyways, I’ve broken these date ideas down by price so that you can find dates ideas that are in your budget.

Frugal Date Ideas

$20 Dates

Theater Date: We almost always go to matinees when we go to the movie theater because the normal price is insane! $20 is enough around here to go to a matinee. You might even have a few dollars left over for snacks or ice cream afterwards.

Restaurant Date: You can keep your bill under $20 at a decent restaurant if you split an entree or get soups and an appetizer instead of a full meal.

Don’t forget to check Groupon to see if you can get a discount at a restaurant or ice cream shop. We got 50% off at one of our favorite restaurants last week by using Groupon!

Takeout Date: $20 is plenty of money for takeout. Man, I love takeout. Snag a pizza or Chinese and take it home to watch with a movie. You can rent a movie for a few bucks or watch one you’ve been meaning to on Netflix or whatever TV service you have. If the weather is nice, take your meal to a park or beach to eat and then go for a walk and enjoy yourselves.

Bowling Date: Austin and I went bowling when we were first dating. It’s not too expensive to rent shoes and bowl one or two games and it’s a lot of fun!

$10 Dates

Coffee Shop Date: A great $10 date is a coffee shop date! We like to bring a deck of cards or a small board game to sit and play games while we drink our lattes. It’s relaxing and some great quality time.

Theater Date: There is a “cheap theater” in our city that plays movies that are in between the regular theater and being out on DVD. The tickets are $5, so you can still have a theater date without spending too much. Do some Googling and see if there’s a cheap theater near you.

Movie Date: For a fun home date, you can get a cheap pizza and rent a movie. Little Caesars has pizzas for just over $5 and you can rent a movie for a couple of bucks. There you go, dinner and a movie for $10.

Picnic Date: We love to go to the park when the weather is nice. Stop somewhere for subs before you go and you’ve got a picnic! You could also pack a nice picnic lunch at home for under $10. If you have a frisbee you can play catch or frisbee golf at the park too, or go for a walk on the trails after you eat.

Ice Cream Date: $10 is plenty of money to go out for ice cream. We’re in love with the frozen yogurt places that let you put on your own toppings. There’s one in Grand Haven close to the beach (Lake Michigan), so we can enjoy ice cream and beautiful views.

Free Dates

If you’ve got no money at all to spend on a date, use what you’ve got!

Remember, it’s all about quality time.

If you’ve got kids, send them to bed early or set them up with a special movie so that you can enjoy some at-home date time. Remember, phones off.

Sunset Date: There’s got to be somewhere within a short drive of you where you can watch the sunset. Grab a cozy blanket to wrap up in and whatever snacks you’ve already got in your cupboards. If it’s cold out, make a thermos of hot cocoa.

Home Date: We like to listen to audiobooks together. One winter, we listened to a bunch of audiobooks while putting puzzles together. You can find free audiobooks on YouTube or through your library. Our library gives us access to an app where we can download them. You probably have puzzles or board games you don’t use very often, so bust those out!

Park Date: Go for a walk at a nearby park. Bring a ball or frisbee to throw around. Just have fun together and get some fresh air.

Netflix Date: Do you already pay for Netflix, Amazon Prime, or can you record movies from cable? Pick out something special and watch if together! Remember, phones off and other devices put away. Cuddle up on the couch and enjoy being together without distractions.

Don’t forget about your city!

Check out what’s going on in your city. So many cities have events going on all the time, many of them are free or very inexpensive. Our city has a website where anyone can submit area events happening. You can see everything going on in one place.

Just around here, there are festivals, swing dancing nights, free concerts, tours, classes and much more. Take advantage of where you live!

Related Posts:

10 Ways to Save Money Going Out to Eat

13 Secret to Saving Money on Food

Simple & Meaningful Christmas Traditions

⇒ What are your frugal date ideas? What do you usually do for Valentine’sDay?

Top Decluttering & Organizing Posts of 2016

How to Take Control of Your Clutter | Check out the best decluttering and organizing tips! Simplify Your HomeSince 2016 is over, which officially means I’ve been blogging for a year (how cool is that?), I wanted to do a recap of the posts I’ve written that have gotten the most traffic.

It was fun to look through my statistics to find the most popular posts. There were definitely some that surprised me.

Sometimes I spend time writing a post that I think is really good and it hardly gets read at all. Other times I write a post that I’m not all that thrilled with but people seem to love it. So strange!

The posts I write about decluttering and organizing usually do really well! Apparently we can all use some help or inspiration in that area.

We’re in between houses at the moment and staying in a small apartment. I’m definitely feeling the need to be more organized and extra careful about what I let come into our house.

Top Decluttering & Organizing Posts of 2016

Decluttering: Where to Start When You’re Drowning in Clutter

Mountains of papers, piles of clothes, toys that have somehow given birth to more toys…

It’s the worst feeling, right? It’s completely overwhelming and it’s hard to know where to start.

Check out this roadmap for how to gain momentum and do some successful decluttering so that your home can become a calm, peaceful place.

Downsizing: How to Declutter with a Vengeance

Whether you’re downsizing to move into a smaller home or just going to war against the clutter in your home, I’ve found two methods that have helped me do some intense decluttering.

I used a few game-changing questions and a “visualization” method so that we were able to downsize from a 3-bedroom house to a 1-bedroom apartment this year. What we moved with were the things we love and use often.

Creating a Simple Home Organization Station & Binder

I shared my simple home organization station and binder (emphasis on the simple) and my readers loved it!

I know a lot of people out there have impressive home binders with cute printables and such. My little home organization station and binder aren’t all that cute or impressive, but it’s simple and functional and you could whip up something similar for your home very quickly.

Having all of this information in one place helps us stay organized and saves time and energy, which is why I think something similar might benefit everyone.

The One Thing You’re Forgetting To Do When You Declutter

I try really hard to only keep items that we love and use in our house, but somehow tons of extra stuff always seems to accumulate.

Sometimes, I’m not even sure how it happens. We hardly go shopping, but every few months I start to notice our house filling up.

Well, there are many articles written about how to go through your home to purge extra stuff, plus what questions to ask yourself when you are deciding if something should stay or go. But I think there is a big step being skipped when we get get rid of things from our home…

28 Things You Can Get Rid of Without Noticing

Getting started can be the hardest part!

When you start decluttering, it’s best to start with things that are painless to get rid of.

It helps you gain some momentum and feel successful. Those positive decluttering vibes will help you tackle the harder stuff later on.

So get ready to dig through those junk drawers, dump out your purse, and clean out those craft supplies that have been sitting there for years.

⇒ What decluttering or organizing projects did you tackle in 2016? What’s on your to do list right now?

How to Stop Impulse Purchases

Stop making impulse purchases | Stick to your budget | Avoid impulse shoppingImpulse purchases can kill your budget so quickly!

When you have that thought of “where did all of my money go?” it’s almost always because you’ve made some impulse purchases.

Just so we’re all on the same page, I’m going to define an impulse purchase as buying something you weren’t planning on buying or that you don’t have the money budgeted to buy. It could be a candy bar. It could be a TV.

An impulse purchase often doesn’t feel like an impulse purchase because we can usually justify it because we need it, or at least could use it. The fact is, if you don’t have the money to buy it and it wasn’t a planned purchase, it’s an impulse and will throw your budget off.

Could I use a new pair of shoes? For sure. I have a pair in super rough shape that I’ll need to replace soon, but my financial priorities are somewhere else at the moment.

Would I enjoy going out to eat tonight? Absolutely. I’m tired and don’t feel great, but I’ve already spent my eating out money and I have a kitchen full of perfectly good food.

Do we need all of these groceries? Well, we certainly need groceries, but just the ones that I planned on buying that will be turned into meals. I might have thrown a bunch of extras into the cart because they looked good.

You get the idea.

It can be hard to stop impulse purchases when they’re in disguise as something we could use and feel like we need. Here are things that help me:

How to Stop Impulse Purchases

1. Shop with a List

Always shop with a list.

I 100% recommend that you spend a few minutes before going grocery shopping to write down the meals you’re going to make and then make a list from there of what you will need to buy to make those meals. It’s super basic meal planning.

Take a look at the fabulous meal planning service I’ve started using here. 

It will keep you from wandering the isles throwing whatever looks good into your cart. Buying whatever sounds good usually means that you’ll spend way more money than you need to and you’ll get home with tons of food that doesn’t go together and equal a meal.

Shopping with a list isn’t just for grocery shopping. 

Keep a running list in your purse or in your phone of other things you need as well. When your toddler needs shirts, when you need a new spatula, when your husband needs dress pants… Write it on an ongoing list of things that you need.

Whether you shop at the mall or at a thrift store, you’ll know what you need to be looking for. Shopping with a list of clothes or household items that you need will keep you from making impulse purchases of things just because they look good or are on sale.

2. Set a Budget & Stick to It

How do you know if you’ve spent too much or how much you have left to spend if you don’t have a budget?

Having a budget is a wonderful thing! It’s just a plan for your money. It doesn’t have to be restrictive. It just means that you plan how you’re going to spend so that you can accomplish important things with your money and so that you don’t have to stress about money.

Here’s the hard part: Stick to your budget.

This is where I have a rough time. I print out my budget spreadsheet every month, but I’m not always great at taking the time to track my spending or sticking to the budget. I get tired and lazy by the end of the month, and sometimes things don’t go as planned.

It’s always worth the effort to stick to your budget.

Enter your email below if you’d like to try using the spreadsheet I use to create our budget and track our spending:

Get Access to my Budget and Spending Tracker Spreadsheet with Instructions!

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3. Add up as You Shop

The best way to stick to your budget while out shopping is to add things up as you shop. This can feel like a bit of a pain in the butt, but it is so effective.

You don’t have to be super exact and walk around the store with a calculator if you don’t want to.

You can just add things up in your head as you put them into your cart, rounding prices up or down. You’ll at least be within a few dollars of the actual total when you get done.

I read this awesome tip in a Facebook group that I’m a part of: They used a tally counter to add up their purchases as they shopped. Just round each price up or down and click the button to add to your total. So if cheese is $2.75, press the button 3 times. The genius part of the suggestion was that they gave the tally counter to their kids so that the kids could press the button. It gave them a relative total of their shopping trip and kept their kids engaged and busy too (we don’t have kids, but I’ve noticed that they seem to get fussy if you take them grocery shopping 🙂 ).
There are also apps that you can get for your phone that do the same thing, but I find the physical button on the tally counter very satisfying to press.

4. Plan for a Treat

I find that I’m less likely to make an impulse purchase if I plan for a treat.

I might be more careful of what I buy at the mall because I’m planning on getting a smoothie, which is a fun treat so I don’t really need anything extra.

It’s easier for me to stick to my list and only shop for the necessities when I’ve got money set asie for a little something fun.

A treat might be planning to buy a chocolate bar when you go grocery shopping or stopping for a latte on the way home.

It doesn’t cost much and I don’t go over my budget at all, but it’s fun.

I’ve literally been about to make impulses before and I stopped myself from grabbing something because I thought, “Well, I’m already going to get this little treat, so I’m good. I don’t need this too.”

5. Don’t Shop for Fun (or browse other isles)

I’ve said it many times: Don’t make shopping your hobby. It’s not something to do just because you’re bored.

I try not to go shopping just for fun. It’s harder for me not to wander through extra isles though.

The big grocery store in West Michigan is called Meijer and they have everything. They sell clothes, toys, electronics, home decor, craft supplies, etc. It’s comparable to a Walmart.

So when I get groceries there, it’s hard not to just get groceries. If I have a few extra minutes, it’s easy to browse some of the fun isles. There’s nothing wrong with browsing, but it does tempt you to buy things you weren’t planning to buy. If I know there’s no room left in my budget for extras, it’s best to just stay away.

6. Plan Easy Meals

Getting unplanned takeout usually results from me not wanting to put in the effort to cook anything.

Some days (maybe most days), I don’t have the energy to spend more than 10 or 15 minutes in the kitchen.

When I plan my meals for the week, I make sure to plan simple, quick meals. I also plan one or two ridiculously easy meals like frozen pizza or rotisserie chicken. Sure, convenience foods cost a bit more, but they’re far less expensive than going out to eat or getting takeout.

7. Remind Yourself of Your Goals

To keep yourself from making impulse purchases, keep your goals in mind.

Are you trying to pay off debt? Save for a house? Get to the end of the month without running out of money?

Every time you are in line to check out, look at what you’re buying and think about your goals. Are you about to buy anything that will set you back from accomplishing your goals?

It’s super helpful to put a sticky note in your wallet with your financial goals written on it. You could even wrap it around your credit card so that you have to see it every time you want to spend money.

8. Budget Your Fun Money

Like I said, budgets don’t have to be restrictive. A budget is just a plan for how you’re going to spend your money. Don’t forget to budget for some fun.

Austin and I each get an “allowance” each month that we can spend however we want. I usually end up spending mine on house decorations, craft supplies, or accessories.

When you have room for fun in your budget, you can be impulsive and spontaneous and enjoy it. Fun money in your budget will keep your spending in line while still allowing you to have fun.

9. Unsubscribe to Sale Emails

Stop looking at those sale emails if you don’t have money to spend! Sale emails are so tempting. How often have you gone to a website just to browse because you got an email about a sale? I’ve done it so many times.

You know what? There’s always a sale going on. Always.

I’ve unsubscribed to most store emails.

When I want to shop online, I either re-sign up for sale emails or I just google search for a discount code to make sure I still get a great deal.

10. Don’t Let Websites Save Your Info

This is small and silly, but has honestly kept me from making impulse purchases online.

I don’t let websites save my billing and credit card info. Not only is this smart and security conscious, because customer info on websites can get hacked, but it makes me think twice before checking out.

The fact that I have to get up, go grab my wallet, and enter in by billing info to check out has kept me making a purchase a few times. Yup, I’m lazy 🙂 Try this, though. If online shopping is your downfall, it might help more than you think.

Related Posts:

13 Ways to NOT Spend Money

Our Actual Budget: Less Than $1500/Month

The Simple Way We Track Our Spending on a Tight Budget

How to Earn Cash Back on Fruits, Veggies, and Store Brand Foods

⇒ What kinds of impulse purchases do you make? What has helped you to think twice?

Meal Planning Just Got 5x Easier

Easy meal planning | Save money on groceries | Plan to Eat review | Save time and money on meals | Plan simple meals quicklyOk y’all! Let’s talk about meal planning again, because I know you know you should do it, but I also know that some of you still aren’t.

So whether you are a fabulous meal planner or it’s just not happening, I’ve found an awesome way to make meal planning easier.

I’ve done basic meal planning for years, but I’m pretty excited about this helpful solution.

(You can read about my most basic method of meal planning here.)

Meal Planning Just Got 5x Easier

Benefits of Meals Planning

Real quickly now, why should you meal plan?

  • To Save Money: So much money gets wasted on food. If you’re not meal planning, I can pretty much guarantee that you are spending too much on groceries. If you’re not meal planning, you’re also a lot more likely to get takeout or go out to eat which gets crazy-expensive.
  • To Save Time: Do you spend time wandering the grocery store trying to think of what to buy? Do you spend time looking through the cupboards trying to figure out what meals you can make?
  • To Stress Less: I hate not knowing what’s for dinner. It’s even worse when you’re hungry and tired, right? When you meal plan, you know exactly what food you have and what meals you can make. It just makes life so much easier.

About other meal planning solutions I’ve seen:

There are plenty of apps, websites, and programs that will help you plan you meals. I’ve never been all that excited about any of them.

There are some meal planning solutions that give you a weeks worth of recipes along with a grocery list. Sure, that may be helpful, but I don’t like cooking new recipes all the time. We know what foods we like and I try new recipes occasionally when I find something that looks good on Pinterest.

Then there are the programs that send you food to cook a few meals. I would like to try one of those someday just because they look fun. The problem is that they cost a lot more per meal than I ever spend. Plus, most of them say that you’ll be in the kitchen 30 minutes to an hour, which is too long for me most nights.

Plan to Eat

Simple Meal Planning - Plan to EatI found Plan to Eat and I’m loving it!

Plan to Eat is super easy to use. It takes you through the entire meal planning process, from your recipes, to your schedule, to your grocery list.

It has customizable features that I love and havn’t seen in any other kind of meal planning program. It will absolutely save you time and money.

So let me go through how Plan to Eat works!

The picture below is what your home screen looks like. If you have recipes entered, you’ll see them in the center. Your three main tabs are at the top.

Cook: This is where you’ll see all of your recipes. You can edit them and add more.

Plan: This is your calendar where you schedule your meals.

Shop: This is your grocery list. You can customize it and add in anything extra you need so that your whole shopping list is in one place.

Set Up: enter your recipes, online recipe gathering…

As in most helpful programs, the set up takes the longest. Once you have everything set up, you’ll only spend a few minutes each week choosing your recipes and customizing your grocery list.

One of the best parts about Plan to Eat for me is how simple it is to enter your own recipes.

If you happen to have your recipes typed up somewhere, you can just upload them.

If you want to enter recipes manually, it’s easy. You can enter as much or as little info as you’d like. I hate how certain websites and apps won’t work unless you enter every bit of information you can in each field. On Plan to Eat’s “new recipe” area, you can just enter what you need.

For example: I make quesadillas all of the time. I don’t measure my ingredients, I just know what to do. I wanted to add quesadillas to my recipe list so that I could add them to my meal plan. I just added the ingredients (without specifying amounts). I skipped adding the directions because I know how to make them. Now, if I want to add quesadillas to my meal planning schedule, I just add them to my calendar and the ingredients will get added to my grocery list for me.

I even added a “recipe” for frozen pizza. The only ingredient I entered was frozen pizza. This way, I could add frozen pizza to my meal plan and a frozen pizza would get put on my grocery list. Haha.

Basically, Plan to Eat makes it as easy as possible for you to enter your own recipes.

The next super cool part is that you can load basically any recipe you find online into Plan to Eat.

There’s a Recipe Clipper button that you can add to your web browser. Any time you’re on a website that has a recipe you’d like to try, just click the button and the whole recipe will be organized into a recipe file and added to your recipe book.

If you don’t want to add the Recipe Clipper button to your web browser, you can just copy the URL to any web page that has a recipe you like. Then you just paste it into Plan to Eat and the recipe gets perfectly entered. Easy-peasy!

Every recipe can be categorized by it’s course type (soup, bread, lunch, main course..), cuisine (French, American, vegetarian…), main ingredient (eggs, chicken, pasta…), and other tags (easy, cheap, crockpot…).

These categories just make it easier for you to find what you’re looking for later on.

Schedule

Ok, once you’ve got recipes entered, you can create your meal plan. You can schedule this as far out as you want to. I usually do one week at a time.

Plan to Eat gives you a calendar that you drag and drop your meals into.

There are sections for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. You can plan as much or as little as you want. I usually just plan our dinners and then make sure we have some basic foods on hand for breakfasts and lunches.

There is also a notes section for each day and each meal so that you can remind yourself “leftovers today” or “eat out”. You can add extra ingredients that will end up on your grocery list. This is a great place to put side dishes that go with a meal.

You can print off your meal schedule and post it in your kitchen if you’d like.

Grocery List

The grocery list on Plan to Eat is fabulous! Seriously. It is so customizable, I’m in love.

Once you’ve created your meal plan, you go to your grocery list. You select the dates that you’ll be buying groceries for and it pulls all of the ingredients you need from your recipes. The ingredients are separated into categories which helps you shop more efficiently, like canned goods, fresh fruits…

Inside your grocery list, you can delete items from the list that you already have in your pantry.

You can also set up multiple stores to shop at. This will help you divide one long grocery list into multiple grocery lists so that you know what to buy at each store if you usually shop at more than one place. I usually shop at two stores per week and I love this feature because it gives me a separate grocery list for each store.

For each item on your grocery list, you can edit to change amounts or add your own notes (like “on sale” or “don’t forget to use the coupon”).

You can add whatever you want to your grocery list so that everything you need to buy is in one place.

There’s even a staples list of basics you can choose from. If there are certain items you buy often, you can add the to the staples list so that you can select them to add to your grocery list whenever you need them.

You can print your grocery list or view it on your phone while you shop.

Seriously, I’m impressed with this website. It’s all very easy to use. They also have an awesome help button in the top right-hand corner with instructions and videos that walk you through every step of whatever you’re trying to do.

FREE Trial

I don’t often find products like this that I think are worth recommending. I truly think that this service is worth giving a try.

How great is it that you can try it for free?!

Plan to Eat offers a free 30-day trial that includes all of the features.

As a bonus, you don’t even have to enter any payment info to try it out (I hate when places do that and then you have to remember to go back later to cancel it before they charge you).

30 days is plenty of time for you to enter your recipes and give it a try for a few weeks.

CLICK HERE to start your free trial of Plan to Eat

Let’s Talk Money

Plan to Eat isn’t free. The service costs $4.95 per month or $39 per year.

Obviously, if you chose the yearly price, that saves you a lot of money in the long run. It’s basically like getting four months free.

Meal planning like this can absolutely save you well over $5 per month which is why I think Plan to Eat is worth it.

I’ve always done my own meal planning without the help of a service like this, but I’m going to give this a try for a year to see how much I can lower my grocery spending as I’ve found myself spending more and more lately.
Simple Meal Planning - Plan to Eat

Related Posts

13 Secret to Saving Money on Food

Money Saving Strategies for the Grocery Store

Let’s Make Meal Planning Simple

⇒ Have you tried any meal planning services? Let me know if you have any questions about Plan to Eat.

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Winter 2017 Favorite Things

5 Fabulous products for your hair, home, and taste buds | Winter 2017 Favorite Things | Argan oil review | Best frugal cookbook | #1 dark chocolate | So, I totally love when one of my favorite bloggers posts about their favorite things. There’s nothing better than getting someone’s recommendation, right?

I don’t really like to buy anything without having looked at some reviews or hearing about how great the item is from someone else.

Starting this year, I’m going to do a semi-regular “favorite things” post, because maybe you’ve been thinking about trying something and just need someone’s recommendation. Plus, there are items that make my like simpler that I think you should check out.

It’s not going to be a monthly post. I’m thinking quarterly sounds better, if I can remember 🙂

I’m not being paid by anyone to talk about these items, by the way. As always, the links may be affiliate links, which just means that I may make a slight commission if you make a purchase through that link. You’ll never pay any extra for making a purchase through an affiliate link. You can read my full affiliate disclosure in the sidebar if you’d like.

Anyways, on to the fun stuff!

Winter 2017 Favorite Things

1. Argan Oil

I’ve tried a bunch of different natural oils to use on my skin and hair and argan oil has become my favorite!

Argan oil is made from the seeds of the argan tree which grows almost exclusively in Morocco, which is why it is sometimes called Moroccan oil.

A lot of fancy, expensive hair and body products these days brag about containing argan oil, but this is the 100% pure, real stuff. It seems a little pricey at first, but you hardly use any, so it lasts a long time. In fact, there’s an eyedropper attached to the lid because you literally only use a few drops at a time.

To use this on my hair, I rub about 5-6 drops in my hands after a shower and run it through my wet hair. It makes my hair softer, helps with frizz, and I’m quite sure it has kept me from getting split ends!

For my face, I only use 1 or 2 drops. I’ll dab it under my eyes before bed or just all over my face. It absorbs quickly and is a great moisturizer.

5 Fabulous products for your hair, home, and taste buds | Argan oil review | Best frugal cookbook | #1 dark chocolate |

2. Wireless Headphones

I had to include a few of my favorite Christmas presents in my list! Austin got me wireless in ear headphones. I wasn’t sure how much I’d use them or how easy they’d be to sync to a device, but they’re awesome!

So far, my favorite use for them is to do the dishes (haha!). I like to listen to music or an audiobook while I do the dishes, but my iPad isn’t quite loud enough to be heard over the water and clanging of dishes. Plus, I don’t want to set it too close to me because I’m worried it will get wet.

With my handy new wireless headphones, I can turn on a book, set the iPad safely in the other room and listen to it with no problem. There’s even a few buttons on the headphones so that I can adjust the volume or pause if I need too.

I originally wanted wireless headphones so that I could work out without bothering others with my workout playlist. The ear buds stay in my ears well, so I don’t have to fuss with them while I’m exercising.

The ones Austin got me actually come with a few different ear bud adjusters so that they will fit your ear perfectly. Super cool.

5 Fabulous products for your hair, home, and taste buds | Argan oil review | Best frugal cookbook | #1 dark chocolate |

3. Budget Bytes Cookbook

This was another Christmas gift that I’ve already gotten a lot of use out of. The night I got it, I was bookmarking pages of recipes to try and ended up bookmaking almost every other page!

Budget Bytes started as a blog and has been around for a few years. I’ve always found great recipes there. The cookbook has new recipes, not seen on the blog, and they’re delish!

I’ve already tried the bean dip, spinach an artichoke pasta, and rosemary and garlic chicken and potatoes. All yummy.

The recipes in Budget Bytes are nutritious and budget conscious. Each recipe has a symbol that tells you if it’s an extremely inexpensive recipe, has one or two special ingredients, or is a bit of a splurge recipe. I also like that there is a symbol that shows if a recipe is freezer friendly.

You know I’ve purged most of my cookbooks, but I’m thinking this one is going to stick around for a while!

4. Silicone Tipped Tongs

While we’re talking about cooking, I wanted to mention our silicone tipped tongs. We’ve had these Farberware tongs for probably at least five years and they’re still like new.

I have non-stick pots and pans and these won’t scratch them one bit. I often find myself hand washing the tongs because I use them so often and need them again before I can run the dishwasher.

5 Fabulous products for your hair, home, and taste buds | Argan oil review | Best frugal cookbook | #1 dark chocolate |

5. Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate

Any dark chocolate lovers out there? I love some good dark chocolate!

When we moved to a bigger city a few months ago, I made my first trip to Trader Joe’s. It’s a bit of a treat to shop there every once in a while and I can’t make it through the checkout lane without one of their dark chocolate bars with toffee, walnuts, and pecans.

The best part is that the pieces of toffee and nuts are super tiny, so you get a ton of flavor throughout the chocolate bar without any of it getting stuck in your teeth, which always happens to me with toffee and nuts.

If you are a dark chocolate lover and haven’t tried this yet, it’s so worth it. If there’s no Trader Joe’s nearby, my next favorite dark chocolate is Dove dark chocolate. You can get that at pretty much any grocery store, I think.

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⇒ Tell me a few of your favorites! What is one of your Christmas presents that you’ve been getting a ton of use out of already?