Frugal Bloggers Guide To Spending

Frugal Bloggers Guide To Spending (Part 2 of the series)

You can read the first part of the series from last Sunday here.

Today let's look at things I purchase, and how I save there. And then we'll look at my BlogHer earnings. And discuss what's going on (or rather not going on) there.


I very rarely buy clothing. Back in the days when you actually had to go into a physical store and try things on, I hated it. Like for instance, trying on bras. Who on earth wants to waste time trying on bras? 

I bit the bullet last week (my bras were about five or six years old and pretty far gone). I got a good coupon via email from JCPenneys. I tend to buy my clothing online there, so signed up for their updates and coupons. I went to their site and started looking at things on clearance. You see, if it isn't marked down, I'm not interested.

Here's what I ended up buying:
2 bras (the whole post-menopausal lift with wire kind)
1 long-sleeved gown 
3 short-sleeved tees
5 long-sleeved tees

Cost: $125 

With my coupon and free shipping, I did well. I saved about the same amount I paid. Didn't have to leave the comfort of my bed where I'm holed up for awhile now with the pupsters. 


We all have to eat. Before my surgery, I purchased two pounds of ground turkey. Geez, prices have sky rocketed!

So I buy eggs and milk and fruit and such from the actual store, and I'll order online non-perishables such as cereal and oatmeal, etc.

Have to remember time is worth something and certainly you're using gas, which isn't cheap either.


I am your grandma when it comes to turning the lights off. If someone is visiting, I tell them to go back and turn off the light. It is a habit with me.

I don't run the dishwasher. It is old and I know wouldn't save me anything. I wash dishes about twice per day and I'm quick about it. 

I usually take showers, and fast ones at that, twice per day. But right now with my ankle in bandages I'm taking a bath so I don't get it wet. So I figure I'm using more water, but it's temporary. 


I'm easily entertained. In the summer and warmer months I'm out on the patio with my plants or sitting watching the birds. But now it's a different season and I'm stuck indoors most of the time. I'm online an awful lot. And I love to read. 

I purchased a year's membership to Barnes & Noble. I think it was $25. I don't often buy books that are new or best sellers, except one book a month for book club. But I really love to buy bargain books. Online or in the store. 

I can sit and eat a sandwich or have some coffee in their store and save there too. Not a lot. But some. I could save on magazines too, but I'm just not buying those right now. 

So at the end of my first year's membership, I will re-evaluate. Those bargain books are like gold to me. At a price of $4.99-$6.99, you can get a book that you may have wanted when it first came out, but now something else has taken it's place and it's in the bargain book section. That's when I buy. 

I rarely eat out. I never go to movies, because it's too noisy. You'd have to pay me and I still wouldn't go! I don't use any channels but pretty basic ones, and I don't order movies online either. 

I'd be a cheap date. Though I can promise you I'm never going to be in the dating game again. I'm good as a lone ranger. Perfectly happy. With the companionship of the pupsters of course. 

Where I will not skimp? My dogs. What they need, they get. I didn't say toys. I mean food and medication and such. 


Yes, it's a necessity. I pay for auto insurance (OK has the highest rates in the whole country, so it eats your lunch), rental insurance and medical insurance. 

I just had surgery less than three weeks ago. I will be paying, and already have paid, some out of pocket for it. Not like you get a choice when it comes down to surgery.

When I got this policy, I knew that most of my medications were generic. But if I had to pay for them out right, even the generics would be close to one thousand dollars per month. Who can afford that? 

So I focused on policies that rarely charge for generics. I think I have two meds that I have to pay $10-$30 for. All the others are free.

This year, I've had two crowns put on my teeth.  I need two more that will have to wait till an undetermined date. My dental insurance didn't help at all with the crowns. But I did get my teeth cleaned.

So I'm a savvy shopper, and I'd rather be where I am now in my life than where I was five years ago with more money. Money can't buy you love. And despite what many people think, money can't buy you happiness. Or time. 

One thing has changed since I did the other post last weekend in terms of my blog ads. I have gone with The Blogger Network. I wrote about it a few days ago. 

So many of you already know about that. I was just so surprised they got things going so quickly though. And when they learned that I wrote that post, they were nice enough to send me an gift certificate. Wasn't that kind of them?

News On The Blogger Network and my blog...

They have already implemented some of my ads. Tomorrow they will take BlogHer off (had to get out of my contract) because the TBN thinks it is not doing for me what it should be. 

This is the fourth quarter and holiday time. I should be making more money, not less. It will be Monday because that's when BlogHer closes my account. 

I don't know if I'll get the BlogHer revenue that should be coming to me or not now. They can withhold it due to my getting out of my contract if they want.

I've had a good run with BlogHer. Or I did for a year or so. But it has gone down, down, down. Everywhere I look, I'm reading about how BlogHer isn't delivering what it used to. 

And they were just bought up by She Knows Media.

I looked up my stats and earnings with BlogHer from when I started with them, mid=2011, through that year. Then the current year. 

It was taking so long and timing out so much that it would take me all day to get the years in between. So let's look at the numbers, shall we?

I began...
7/11=70,668 monthly impressions      $23.50
8/11=172,584     ""                              $160.53
9/11=289,151                                      $581.89
10/11=295,513                                    $554.23
11/11=380,933                                    $691.90
12/11=412,699                                    $754.36

Now let's skip three years to 2014...   
1/14=388,843 monthly impressions    $297.07
2/14=280,601    ""                               $343.49
3/14=348,791                                      $428.18
4/14=333,471                                      $294.73
5/14=373,777                                      $357.22
6/14=386,063                                      $434.16
7/14=370,872                                      $429.05
8/14=412,576                                      $586.93
9/14=448,665                                      $763.90
10/14=402,157                                    $349.39

So there you are. The numbers are quite different in comparison to monthly impressions (they're not page views; not sure how they do this) from one month to a similar monthly impression in 2014. 

I have made money with BlogHer on promotions that I don't think are counted in these numbers.  

Take a look at the earning of 11/11 versus 1/14. More impressions. Less revenue. What gives?

With BlogHer teaming with She Knows Media, will this affect your earnings? Don't know. The BlogHer execs went along. This makes for a pretty big network now.

So I'll be letting you know what I think about letting a blogger network company run my ads. Tomorrow I will have full access to a Dashboard where I can check my revenue any time I want. 

I got an email this morning from Ad Thrive, another blogger ad network. They wanted me to go with them. I replied that I'd already gone with The Blogger Network (TBN). They came back saying they could make me more money than the TBN. 

Well, I'm kind of loyal. And I don't like one company putting down another. So I'm going to stick with TBN.

More info you might want to check out:

If I had Bjork, I wouldn't need a network. I read the income reports of Pinch Of Yum each month. Bjork, the hubby of the blogger who writes a food blog, knows his stuff! Want to read their October report?

Sounds incredible, their numbers, doesn't it? But keep in mind that they spend a lot each month to acquire those numbers. And they get a ton of page views. Foodie blogs are really a hot commodity right now.

And Moms Make Money also discusses Blogher in her October report which she wrote five days ago.

Let me know what you think in the comments.


  1. I'm still in my very first year with Blogher and don't get as much traffic as you to be overly picky about which network to go with so I'll ride it out for now and hope for better numbers I guess. I don't feel like I have the freedom to choose since I'm not very big. I am anxious to hear how this new network will work for you though! I don't understand how Blogher works either. It's confusing to me and when I asked them, their answer was confusing! Does anyone know how to talk in lamen terms??? You gave some good tips about living on a budget and learning how to conserve money. I'm often surprised to learn how some people don't even give it a care! They spend recklessly and justify it somehow. My favorite people are those that HAVE the money to blow, but choose not too. They have lots of money sitting in the bank but you would never know it. They're the ones that can sleep well at night! I like to learn from those people. Talk about discipline!

  2. It will be interesting to see what happens in the coming months regarding BlogHer in terms of merging with this other company.

  3. I have just returned from looking at Bjork's numbers--WOW! I can't even fathom that kind of traffic or income!!! Imagine a man who can bring home the bacon and cook it, too! :-) Those kinds of stories are very inspirational to me. I love to read how people worked hard and achieved their dreams a little at a time. Thanks so much for sharing!

    1. Yeah, I say wow too. But did you scroll down to see how much they spent on the blog that month?

  4. Maybe you have covered this and I missed it, but I'm not sure how you get paid for having ads on your blog. Is it tied to how many people read your blog, how many people buy from the ad, or some other way? Sorry if I'm asking something you have already covered.

    1. With BlogHer, it was just being on someone's blog. With Adsense, I think you have to click on it. I don't know how this network I've signed up with will do. Will have to ask how it works. No, they don't have to buy from the ad unless it is an affiliate ad. Which means you put an ad on your blog, and if someone buys from that ad, you get a cut if it's within a certain length of time. I will have to write something about this I suppose. Learn as you go is how I figured it out. But I've been at it a long time.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. If they are adsense ads, please don't be clicking on them just to be clicking. It's really easy to get kicked off the adsense program and if they see people clicking on ads but not actually checking out the ad once they have clicked on it, they will assume some funny business is going on and will disable the blogger's account.

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  5. As you know my BlogHer earnings are a fourth of what they were a couple of months ago and yet my views have gone up. Not sure if this has to do with the merger and will it continue to be this way. I am not a large enough blog to switch now. I do make extra as a Blog Her visionary and I just did one campaign for Linqia. I will have to keep looking at other opportunities. In the meantime I am just about as frugal as they come. I don't buy books. I live a mile from the library so I go there two to four times a month and load up. xo Laura

    1. I believe the acquisition was very recent, like a few weeks ago. Don't know if that affected our revenue or not.

  6. I have no thoughts except that you are extremely knowledgeable and savvy about these things and I'm certain you'll choose whats best for you. If I ever wanted to try to make money on my blog YOU are who I'd hire as my consultant..

    1. So I'd have a network I consult with and you'd consult with me. A pyramid of sorts!

  7. I am so glad you and many others are able to make income from your blogs. I know it takes lots of work to do this. I just don't think it's for me and so far I'm OK with the income I have limited though it is. I live a very frugal life and I'm also very happy with it. I hope this new ad revenue works out for you Brenda!


    1. I wish I didn't have to worry with it. But alas, I do.

  8. Brenda, don't forget about your local library. I stopped purchasing books years ago, even though I read at least 100 books a year. You can request your book online and they will email you when it's available. You can also check out movies, audio books. e books, and more. The library resources are extensive and free. I love going.

    1. Well, I can't get out anywhere for some time. But one good thing is Harper Collins/William Morrow send me free books that are not out yet. They send me an email each month, and I can choose three. However, most are not the final cut. So I sometimes see errors. But then I see errors in brand new books at the stores. I don't think they hire copywriters that do as good a job anymore.

    2. There are many ebooks for library loan that you can download straight to your computer for reading, and never leave your house.

  9. I admire bloggers who give it their all, in order to add income to the household. It sounds like a lot of work and I don't think I'd have the stamina required, but I'm here, cheering you on.

    1. Dayle, you write books! I can't imagine the stamina that takes! I'm trying to get myself enthused about writing an ebook, and I'm not even sure where to start.

  10. I enjoyed this and the's all quite interesting ! :)

    1. Unfortunately, someone who gets my post by email sent it back this morning with the words: This is depressing. Guess to each their own.

    2. They got up on the wrong side of the bed :)

  11. I guess my 2nd post got lost...

    I asked if -- when I want to shop at amazon- if I came here to use the link on your sidebar- would you get paid for that??

    1. I honestly don't know, Sonny. For I've never, in all my trying, got paid a thing from Amazon. So I doubt it. Guess what? One of my subscribers sent my post back to me this morning with the words: "This is depressing." I forwarded it to Kay, because I couldn't figure out what they were talking about. She said it's because they consider this sort of living depressing. Isn't that something?

    2. It's not depressing! It's reality for a lot of us! I know it is for me living on a small fixed income. I certainly appreciate you posting about living on a tight budget!

  12. It surprised me that for frugal tips you don't mention shopping at thrift shops, yard sales or consignment shops. Shirts at places around here can usually be found <$5.00, often much less, and that's for good brands like Talbot's, j. jill, L. L. Bean and others. Not to forget all kinds of housewares, decorative and even gift items. I add the latter because it's amazing how many brand new items, still with their original tags and packaging show up for a tiny fraction of their original price in thrift stores, perfectly respectable to wrap as a present. .

    Also, for entertainment nothing beats the library. Endless books, dvds, cds, free programs, lectures, and much more are available year round.

  13. I was mentioning what I personally do right now. But with my ankle, I haven't been able to get out much in the last three years, so I haven't been doing those things. Thank you for mentioning it. I certainly consider it a viable source in being frugal. It just hasn't been in my life due to medical circumstances. But in the past, yes, I've been to many thrift shops, yard sales and consignment shops. My potting bench turned coffee bar was a consignment buy in TX.

  14. I love your frugal tips! I'm like you...crazy about the lights left on although I insist on having a few small lamps on when we go to bed (possible crime, a get it). I also get annoyed when people leave the faucet on when they brush their teeth or clean the counters in the kitchen. I used to think my parents were nagging, but they felt the same way.

    Good luck with your new ad company.

    Jane x

    1. Thanks Jane. I hate to tell people, "Hey, can you go back and turn the lights off? But I have to keep my bills down!

  15. Wow, that information kinda blows my mind!! Thanks for sharing...someday if I ever try to join an ad network I will know what to refer back to! So helpful!

  16. The only books I read are ebooks from my library. I can check out 6 at a time & keep them for 3 weeks; read them on my computer = ZERO expense. And I can adjust the font to as large a print as I need.


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