Are you looking for unique gift ideas for kids this year? Check out these 11 different Christmas kits you can make as fun non-toy gift ideas!
Download a free printable Family Winter Bucket List.
10lb bag Russet Potatoes – $3.49
1 20-oz pkg Zucchini – $1.99
1 pint Grape Tomatoes – $1.29
2 jugs Lemonade – $2.98 (these are for a Christmas cookie decorating party with friends)
1 pkg Chocolate Chips – $1.49
1 pkg String Cheese – $2.79
3 bags Baby Carrots – $2.37
2 cans Pumpkin – $1.58
1 pkg Mushrooms – $1.29
2 16-oz cartons Egg Whites – $3.98
1 gallon Whole Milk – $2.49
1 canister Quick Oats – $2.39
1 64-oz carton Almond Milk – $1.99
2 boxes Crispy Oats Cereal – $2.38
1 box Honey Nut Oats – $1.19
1 bunch Bananas (2.66lbs @ $0.44/lb) – $1.17
1 bag Broccoli – $1.49
2 loaves Bread – $1.70
1 bag Mini Sweet Peppers – $2.99
1 bag Romaine Hearts – $1.99
1 Smoked Ham – $8.83 (I will dice this and freeze – and it will last us for multiple meals)
1 Spicy Mustard – $0.99
1 Salsa – $1.89
2 boxes Domino Powdered Sugar – $1.98, used $0.50/2 Domino Brown or Confectioners Sugar, exp. 12/3/16 (RP 09/25/16 R) – $0.98/2 after coupons
10 cans Tomatoes – $3.70
10 cans Green Beans – $2.76
Grocery Total for the Week: $65.18
Weekly Menu Plan
Cereal x 2
Oatmeal x 2
Eggs, Toast, and Fruit x 3
(Some friends gave us a whole box of apples from an orchard, so lots of apples for us this week!)
Baked Potatoes with Cheese, Apples, Carrots x 2
Peanut Butter Sandwiches, Mini Peppers, Bananas x 2
Leftovers x 3
Three Cheese Baked Spaghetti (I’ll be substituting ricotta for the cottage cheese, and ground venison for the hamburger), Green Beans, Tossed Salad
Hamburgers on the Grill, Baked Potato Wedges, Parmesan Roasted Broccoli (I do something similar to this, except I leave out the pine nuts and the basil)
Turkey Gravy over Basmati Rice, Tossed Salad, Roasted Carrots
Ham and Cheese Omelets, Brown Sugar Biscuit Twists
Grilled Chicken, Biscuits, Green Beans
Back in May, I posted a funny post about how I had been using a disposable razor head without a handle to shave that week because I had left my razor in Dallas on a speaking trip and was too cheap to go buy a new razor when I could make do with just using a razor head until a new razor could come in from Amazon (purchased with a free gift card from Swagbucks).
So many of you commented on that post on social media and on my blog and gave hilarious suggestions, funny money-saving confessions, and tips and tricks for saving money on razors. (You can read some of those funny comments here.)
One of the suggestions that people gave over and over again was for me to sign up for Dollar Shave Club. I think almost every one of us has heard of this program. It’s a monthly subscription box service that sends you razor blades every month so you never run out of razors.
I’ve been skeptical of the whole idea. I guess because their ads are always kind of quirky and I also just didn’t see a need to sign up and pay for a program when I’ve been spoiled by always getting my razors for free — either with coupons and rebates or by using free gift cards on Amazon earned with Swagbucks.
You see, for the first few years of our marriage, I always had a surplus of razors I had gotten free by pairing coupons with the drugstore rebate programs. We got so spoiled with nice, high-quality razors this way that when the drugstore deals became a lot less abundant, I realized that we had fallen in love with great disposable razors and the thought of going back to cheap ones wasn’t really appealing.
The deals at drugstores aren’t as prevalent now, but you can still occasionally find a good deal on razors by pairing a coupon with a sale and/or drugstore rebate. However, just as the deals on razors started waning, I discovered Swagbucks and, ever since then, have used the free gift cards I’ve earned there to cover the costs of razors. I usually just get whatever is least expensive but still good quality and will look to see if there’s an e-coupon I can pair with it to lower the price even more.
So I’ve never looked into Dollar Shave Club other than to think, “Wow! I guess people will pay for anything as a subscription box service! But really… who would PAY for a monthly subscription to get razors in the mail??!”
As you can probably imagine by my cynical attitude, I was super surprised that reader after reader after reader highly recommended Dollar Shave Club to me after reading my post. Here are just a few of those comments:
Summer said: “Have you considered Dollar Shave Club? I was so skeptical at first, but my husband and I both LOVE it. (We get the middle of the road razors and the cartridges are $6 a month for 4.) They will auto mail them out but one really good thing is that you can change it either from monthly to bi-monthly at any time AND they will email you a few days before they plan to mail it out and you can decide to change it to bi-monthly even at that time – or change razors. (Speaking from experience!) I even got my mom hooked on the program, too.”
Another reader commented and said, “I don’t know how you haven’t discovered the wonder and joy of Dollar Shave Club. I am an every day shaver. I can’t even handle it. These razors are fantastic (even the dollar blades) and you literally can’t beat the price.”
And Lindsay agreed: “We love Dollar Shave Club!! My husband and I use the same razor blades and each have our own handle and pack of blades. We share the refills and only order once every other month, so $36 a year for both of us. Frugal and I love how I never ‘run out’ of refills.”
Really?!?! Apparently I’m one of the few people who thought getting razors in the mail was just a weird idea. 😉
In the name of wanting to investigate this out to see if it was really a good deal and also wanting to follow my own mantra of “don’t knock it until you’ve tried it”, I signed up for Dollar Shave Club. Since it was only $6 per month, I figured that if I didn’t like it, I could cancel after a month or two and not really be out much out of pocket for my experiment!
Plus, I promised you all an honest review — and I figured that it was worth spending a little money out of pocket to try this for 3 months and report back to you all with my honest thoughts.
How Dollar Shave Club Works
- Go to Dollar Shave Club and choose which monthly razor blade subscription service you’d like. The first month is just $1 to try it out. After that, you’ll pay the regular price.
- They offer three different options: The Humble Twin — which is regularly $1 per month + $2 shipping, The 4X — which is regularly $6 per month (includes shipping), or The Executive — which is regularly $9 per month (includes shipping).
- There are no hidden fees. You can cancel your subscription at any time. Or you can change plans at any time. When you change plans, you’ll receive a new razor handle for free.
- You can choose to pause your subscription or change your shipment frequency so you only get new blades every other month — or whatever works for you.
What Comes in Your First Box
I signed up for the $6/month subscription and the above photo shows what was in my first box. For those who are curious, here’s what came in my first box: 1 razor handle, 4 razor blade cartridges, and a shave butter sample. For $6 shipped, I was pretty impressed — especially because the quality of the razor seems pretty good.
I did an unboxing video and talked more about it here, if you’re interested.
(Note: Right now, they are offering you the opportunity to get your first month for just $1. This offer was not available when I signed up.)
What Comes in a Regular Monthly Box
My initial box included some samples + a razor handle and a few other extra new member goodies, in addition to the 4 razor blade cartridges. The following months, you just get a package with 4 razor blade cartridges every month + the bathroom notes (which are sometimes, sometimes a little crass). They sometimes will include a little sample, too.
My Overall Thoughts
I have definitely surprised myself with liking Dollar Shave Club. The razors have held up well for me, they give a clean shave, and I think they work just as well as razors that cost more than $6 for a razor + 4 cartridges.
Because I ended up being impressed enough with my experience, I decided to upgrade to the $9 per month program to see what I thought of the more expensive razor. I definitely like it better than the $6/month razors. However, I don’t think that you need to upgrade to the $9 per month subscription — unless you just really, really want to. The $6/month razor works plenty well.
One thing I’ve found is that the blades don’t hold up as long as name-brand blades do. As you know, I shave every single day. Because I’m weird like that! 😉 And I typically would only need to replace a cartridge every 3 1/2 weeks or so.
I find myself wanting to replace my cartridge at the 2 1/2 week mark with the Dollar Shave Club razors. For me, since I’m the only one using the razors from Dollar Shave Club in our family right now, I definitely don’t need to get a shipment of 4 cartridges every single month. Switching to every other month for shipments works for me — and it makes it half the price I was paying!
One thing I did want to note is that Kris shared this link with me and it says most of the razors from Dollar Shave Club are from Dorco and encourages people to order directly from Dorco — which I think is a great suggestion! It’s a little cheaper than Dollar Shave Club.
However, when ordering from Dorco, you have to remember to go and order blades. I think one of the major selling points of Dollar Shave Club is that you never mess with worrying about ordering razors; they just show up at your door at a price less than you’d usually pay at the store.
Have you tried out Dollar Shave Club before? If so, I’d love to hear your thoughts on it and whether you feel it’s worth the price.
Ruth emailed the following tips:
One thing that I often see when looking at money-saving ideas is to get rid of your smartphone. It’s usually assumed that smartphone service is very expensive… however, that isn’t always the case!
My husband and I have two smartphones, a Samsung Galaxy S5 and a iPhone 6s. We pay a combined household total of no more than $30 per month (occasionally less than that). This includes unlimited texting for both phones, unlimited minutes for both phones, and 2.5 GB of data per phone. (We don’t get overages on data though. When we use up our data, the speed just slows down). We use Cricket Wireless.
Here’s the tips that have helped us to keep our bill so low.
1. Avoid monthly contracts
Monthly contracts keep you locked into the same provider for long periods of time, reducing flexibility. They also “bake in” the price of that discounted smartphone and more, actually costing more in the long run than paying full price for a phone.
It’s cheaper to purchase your phone up front and go with an out of contract option. We chose Cricket Wireless, which does solely month-to-month service with no contract option. If we don’t pay our bill on time, we just wouldn’t have service until it’s paid.
2. Find good deals on phones and own them outright
Android phones, as a rule, tend to have a more variable price range than iPhones. I’ve had two iPhones, one that was purchased on an amazing deal and one that was a hand me down from a relative after they upgraded. (I offered to buy it from them but they had decided on giving it to me)
If I had been unable to find deals on iPhones, I would have gotten an Android.
3. Take advantage of multi-line discounts
Our current provider, Cricket, offers amazing discounts on multiple lines. They allow up to 5 lines on the same account. We found 3 other friends who also wanted to save money and added them to our account. The cost is lower for all of us this way.
4. Find discounted refill cards.
Sometimes we can find Cricket refill cards for sale online at a discounted rate. One time we found a $30 refill card for $27 and another time we found a $30 refill card for $28.50. That doesn’t save a huge amount, but since it only takes about 5 minutes to buy the refill card and add to our account, it’s actually a pretty good “hourly wage” for very minimal effort.
We enjoy smartphones because of the many perks on them, such as budgeting apps, GPS, etc. It’s good to realize that for those who prefer to keep them, there are ways to keep the cost very reasonable.
Ruth has 3 kids, ages 10, 7, and 4, and homeschools. Her family has recently become debt free and are always looking for ways to continue to manage their resources well.
Kelly from New Leaf Wellness has a great list of 12 Healthy Crockpot Freezer Meals to Make in December. Her free download includes grocery lists and recipes for all of the meals.