Robbing the Bank for $50

I realize I haven’t posted in (ahem…) a while. To be fair, I’ve been busy. I’ll probably write a more in depth life update post at some point. But, in summary, since my last post: I’ve finished graduate school (Master’s in Social Work), got divorced, got a cancer diagnosis, bought a used car, and did some traveling. Some of those things weighed heavier than others but I’m proud to say that I am happier than I’ve ever been. Aaand I’m so excited to start writing blog posts again and revisit my love for mindful spending and playful adventures in frugality.


IT’S THE END OF THE YEAR, MOTHAS! That means I get to take these friends off the shelves and see what they have to offer me:

Porky and Peacock? I’ve never named them until this second. They faithfully hold my loose change and put up with me shaking it out of them every other year.

I realized that I hadn’t counted their holdings last year. So it’s been two years of random change tossing with the rogue loose dollars getting dropped in the mix. I don’t have a strict system. When my purse, pockets, or work bag gets too jangly with coins, I off load them into either Porky (who lives upstairs) or Peacock (who lives downstairs). Whichever is closer to me at the moment.

Blessings abound! These pigs were full of jangle!

So I grabbed one of these bags of coin rollers, which you can get for $1 at your local dollar tree, and I started the satisfying child-like process of counting and rolling. It was a lovely way to spend an hour.

All rolled up! Robbing the bank never felt so good.

I had $51 in rolled up coins and bills! Plus about $3 of leftover jangles that I will replant into Porky and Peacock so they don’t get too hungry. I will then put the bills safely in my wallet and the rolls of coins will go promptly to the bank. DO NOT TAKE THEM TO COINSTAR! They will take nearly 12% of your earnings. Your bank or credit union will pay you out for free. So walk these adorable rolls to your local bank teller like you’re an adorable eight year old and explain that you just cleaned out your piggy bank and this is what you found. There — you’ve beefed up your bank account AND channeled the whimsy of your inner child. What a deal!

Bonus points if you also find some fun foreign currency. Especially if you find it right before your visit there next week (thank you piggies for the pesos)
I think the handsome profile of JFK is worth more than the half dollar it’s worth. This cutie is going back in the piggy bank for fun future ogling.

It’s the end of the year — rob your piggy banks! Or mason jars or desk drawers. Wherever you keep your annoying jangly loose change (no judgement).

Day 2 thru Day 4: Dollar Money Challenge

I semi-purposely chose to do this challenge during Black Friday week in order to tame my compulsion to get the BEST deal on everything. Historically, I don’t usually participate in black friday and the deals never seem to justify the early rising and pushing through crowds – but it’s all the damn online deals leading up to Cyber Monday that really get the better of me! It’s not without shame that I’ll admit that I’ve already cursed this challenge more than a few times in the handful of days it’s been active. I see things like a Real Simple magazine subscription for $5 or an Amazon deal that features a Kindle for $55 and I immediately start rationalizing the savings in my head. Real Simple magazine has a lot of coupons in it, even if I just use only 3 or 4 of those coupons then the magazine PAYS FOR ITS SELF! And if I get a Kindle, I can download books for only .99 or even FREE instead of wait for them to be available at the library or to go on sale – this will save me at least twenty bucks a year and in no time at all the Kindle will PAY FOR ITS SELF!

I have to catch myself trying to justify the spending, call myself out, look around and notice that I have pretty much everything I need.

That being said, I finally ventured out to Dollar Tree to peruse their dollar store deals and get a feel for what I have to work with for the next three weeks.

I kicked myself when I saw that they had the EXACT SAME thermometer for $1 that I had bought for $4 at Walgreens because I assumed that the dollar store wouldn’t have a thermometer. It’s these assumptions about the limits of dollar stores that make us little toads for paying more. But that’s a post/rant for another day.

I loaded up my basket with the following:


Let me explain.

Two wine glasses: Although The Beard and I received about two dozen Riedel wine glasses when we got married a little over two years ago, all but one has shattered. Ya, we handwashed them and everything, I don’t know what their problem is. One even spontaneously shattered in my hand last year. It was weird. But these $1 ones are sturdy and thick. Plus they come in two of my favorite colors – green and plum.

Foot powder spray: Because we’re all out of it and it’s important to keep your feet dry when wearing unbreathable winter boots.

Ankle socks: Because when I asked one of my sisters what she wants for X-mas, her response was, “I don’t really need anything. Except I’m all out of ankle socks so send those.” Right.

Soap saver: It’s an elevated plastic thing that has holes in so your bar soap can drain. Yes, I use bar soap. What brand? Dial. It only took one hospital trip with MRSA for me to convert from sweet smelling shower gels to no fuss antibacterial bar soap.

Blistex & Carmex: Because I want my lips to smell like my mom’s did in 1989. And b/c I’m all out of chap stick and it’s getting really dry outside. Cracked lips, be warned.

Vitamin C drops: Because I have a real citrus candy problem. And didn’t I already mention that I’m a hypochondriac?

Splatter guard: Because although we rarely fry anything at our house, whenever we do it gets everywhere and then The Beard insists that we need to drop $10 for a splatter guard and I argue that it’s not worth it when we’ll hardly ever use it and so here I’ve paid $1 to appease The Beard whilst proving my point – I suspect we’ll only have the need for it once in the next year.

I had a fun little curious adventure at the dollar store and guess how much my loot cost me?! $9.77

I’m well aware that Dollar Stores can be terrible “value scam” places at times. (Case in point, right beside the 30 pack of generic Vitamin C drops was a 14 pack of Halls brand drops, also for $1. That’s like 7 cents per cough drop! You can get a 120 pack at Target for less than $6, bringing it out to a little less than 5 cents per drop which is clearly the better deal if you have an undying devotion to Halls brand drops!)

However, the same exact shopping trip would have cost much more at Target…I think. I’m going to test out this theory tomorrow.