Bargain-Hunting, Extreme-Couponing, Deal Seeking, Fun-loving, English Teaching, Back to Basics Mom of 3. I love nice things, but don't like to pay high prices for them. I love dining and entertaining with my husband, but not when it costs a fortune. I love creating with my kids and teaching them all there is to love about life, but I want them to learn about saving, living within their means, and that money does not equate happiness.
If you want something different than the standard candy hearts or red hots to hand out on Valentine’s Day, consider a Valentine Friend Pack from McDonald’s. Each friend pack is $1 and contains 12 coupons for FREE items that can be used by kids ages 12 and under. Below is a list of the coupons included…
* FREE Apple Dippers (3 of these) * FREE Apple Juice or Milk Jug (3 of these) * FREE Small Cone (3 of these) * FREE Hamburger (3 of these)
** One FREE item per certificate. Redeemable by children ages 12 or under. Limit one certificate per person per visit. Keep in mind that these coupon booklets are only available at participating McDonald’s locations, so you may want to contact your McDonald’s ahead of time to see if they are participating.
Please leave a comment if you spot there anywhere in Tucson! To me, they're worth making a stop.
Check out my Coupon 101 page for information about average prices I pay for household items and groceries. This might make you look at your own household spending with a closer eye. While you're there, comment on the post about a possible Bargain Bootcamp this summer.
You can score FREE gum at CVS this week! Here’s how… Wrigley Extra Dessert Delights gum is on sale 3/$2
Buy one package for $0.67
Use the $0.75/1 coupon found here (this coupon will need to be adjusted down)
Final cost FREE!
Those of you with kids, planning to have kids, or know someone with kids, this Diaper Deal Round Up is for you. My #1 advice to expecting moms or those planning to have kids is to never pay full price for diapers. Always use a coupon andcombine with a great sale. Stock up on diapers because you will never have enough. I stocked up for baby Patrick before he was born and through his 6 month "birthday." I have not bought diapers since October. My goal to to make it through his 1st birthday without buying any more diapers for him. We're two months away and I can easily get to March 31, and now I am thinking we'll be good till he is 18 months old.
Here is a Round Up of pretty good diapers sales this week. I would consider these stock up prices, if you have the coupons to make the deals work. I do not consider these prices worthy of driving all over town to hit up every.single.store though.
Buy Huggies Diapers or Pull-Ups (jumbo packs) - $8.99, get a $1 ECB (limit 1 per household) $2/1 Pull-Ups printable $1.50/1 Huggies diapers - 1-23 SS
$2/1 Huggies Little Snugglers/Little Movers - 1-23 SS $2/1 Huggies Pull-Ups - 1-23 SS
Final Price = $5.99 after coupons/ECBs
Spend $20.97 OOP, get a $5 Target gift card
Final Price = $15.97 after coupons/gift card ($5.32/each!)
Buy 3 Pampers jumbo packs - $8.99/each
Use 3 $1.50/1 coupons
Spend $22.47 OOP, get a $5 Target gift card
Final Price = $17.47 after coupons/gift card ($5.82/each!)
NOTE: I always keep a $5 Target gift card "on hand" to "roll" into deals like this! This is a pretty good price if you use Pampers since they don't go on sale as often as Huggies. You should be able to mix and match the Pampers and Huggies, too!
I am hosting a Premier Jewelry Party tomorrow. I love these types of houseparties because I love getting together with friends. Even without the fun bonus of usually earning lots of free products, the direct sales type of house parties are always a good timeto socialize, see new trends, and just relax. No pressure, except to have fun!
If you are up for a fun, social hour, stop by tomorrow between 5:30 and 6:30. We'll have lots of snacks and drinks on hand!
With the end of the weekend near, at the half-way point of January, I am finally starting to feel a bit more in control of everything: I am semi-caught up on cleaning for the first time in weeks, the last of the holiday decorations are put away, I cleaned out Bella's room while she is away for the weekend, and I filled a small box of items to donate to our treasured White Elephant store.
Last week's horrific events caused constant scheduling changes in our household, but also a chance to reflect on how lucky we are to have one another. I found myself telling people, with less hesitation, how much they mean to me; I hugged my kids a little tighter and played for a few more minutes or read an extra story. I stressed a little less about the clutter in the house.
Here's hoping we can all keep pace this week and "keep on keepin' on."
I have been having a hard time trying to come to a conclusion about Saturday's shootings. What are my own thoughts? At what point to I have to put on the backburner my own desire to know more and instead focus on what my kids do not need to see or know? How much is too much to share with my kids? The fact that I have the television tuned to news channels brought this last question to the forefront. When your 4-year-old daughter sees a picture of the little girl and asks if "she was shot in the head too," does that require an explanation or simply turning off the TV?
I would profoundly moved by one statement, that still resonates in my mind, 3days after the shooting. Senator McCain's comments follow:
“I am horrified by the violent attack on Representative Gabrielle Giffords and many other innocent people by a wicked person who has no sense of justice or compassion. I pray for Gabby and the other victims, and for the repose of the souls of the dead and comfort for their families,” McCain said. “I beg our loving Creator to spare the lives of those who are still alive, heal them in body and spirit, and return them to their loved ones.”
“Whoever did this; whatever their reason, they are a disgrace to Arizona, this country and the human race, and they deserve and will receive the contempt of all decent people and the strongest punishment of the law.” McCain said.
McCain took the words I couldn't find and managed to express my own sentiments with the precise angered and appaled tones I was feeling.
In an attempt to be more productive, I am writing out and publicizing my January Goals. This way, I can check back in 3 weeks and see all that I accomplished (thinking positively here!). Please join me and publicize your own January Goals as a comment to this post. C'mon. Otheriwse, it feels like I am talking to myself again.
1. blog blog blog
2. clean office / scrapbook area
3. Take down Christmas decorations (already 1/2 way done with this one!)
4. Attempt to keep up w/ TheFlyLady at least 50% of the time each week :)
5. Sell 5 things on ebay
I am definitely trying to keep this list attainable and keeping focused on what needs to be done, hopefully reducing stress in the long-run.
3 Free Bottles of Nail Polish--Through Friday Only!
Want to frost your nails in the pretty petal pink shade featured in the new Natalie Portman movie “Black Swan?” That would be Bela by Zoya. Want to get three bottles of Zoya polish for free? That would be today’s SweetFind from RedPlum! Through this Friday only you can grab three free bottles of polish from Zoya …with the coupon code FB2011. It’s all to celebrate them hitting 20,000 fans on their Facebook page. According to Zoya the code will stay live until 11:59 on January 7 and will get you three full bottles of polish free. You will have to pay for shipping, but that should be the only catch. A great way to kick-start the new year with some new color. Get the Freebie
Shipping is $6.95.... might be a nice gift for a teenager. Looks like good quality nail polish, and they all have cute girl names, so if you're lucky, you could find the name of someone you need a gift for and you can get her 3 bottles of great nail polish!
Here is an awesome opportunity for your child if you are the parent of a little one ages 12 months or younger.
Head on over to the Ringling Bros. Webpageto register for the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Baby’s First Circus program. When you sign up you’ll receive a ticket voucher (which will arrive by mail in 12-14 weeks) that can be exchanged for a FREE ticket to any Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey performance, anytime, anywhere in any North American city where they perform. And here’s the best part…it has no expiration date!
Accoridng to Hip2Save, one reader did this when her child was a newborn and stashed the ticket away. When her child turned five, she used the FREE ticket coupon and saved a whopping $20! Yay! This goes to show that planning WAY ahead usually pays off!
*Offer is limited to one per household per year (exceptions are made for families with multiple births); Baby’s First Circus free ticket vouchers can ONLY be redeemed at the arena box office when Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey tickets go on sale in your town. The voucher will be exchanged for one regularly priced ticket (excludes all VIP and front row seats). Ticket outlets and your local ticketing agency are not authorized to handle these transactions. Click here for more details.
Kodak Gallery has a GREAT new coupon code! Use TGTFREEBOOK at checkout to score a FREE small 5×7 Autofill 14 page photo book ($9.99 value!). Go here, click on the small photo book and login or register. At checkout use coupon code TGTFREEBOOK, it will deduct the cost of the photo book and all you pay is $1.99 for shipping!
This is a great time to think ahead for Mother's and Father's Day!
The New Year always comes with resolutions, but I always try to circumvent the standard "lose weight" and "save money" promises. Instead, I set specific goals for myself that keep me working all year long. I started tis tradition in 2008 and have managed to accomplish some pretty amazing feats, and thus, I continue with my goals and resolutions for 2011:
1. Not to buy a single article of kids clothing for the whole year. I can do this because I buy consistently at yard sales and off-season sales/ There comes a point where I have to say, OK, how much is too much. Isabella, almost 5, has a wardrobe that reaches size 8! JJ has a bin of 4T and 5T clothes, an he is only 2 1/2. So, we have enough. I always maintain my socks and underwear disclaimer, and 2011 carries the "school uniform" disclaimer as well, because Bella will be starting Kindergarden in the fall. Even iwth that. I am sure I can find everything I need from second hand stores (using trade, of course) and yard sales.
2. Spend Less and Save More buy completing 3 "no spend" months over the year. These will be strategically planned of course, to avoid birthday and anniversary months ;). The idea is to acknowledge how much "stuff" is not needed and ow much money is spent on said stuff.
3. Blog. Blog. Blog. I want to make my blog recognized and well-read. I want to make this a go-to resource for bargains, ideas, and good information in general. I want to simplify other areas of my life (read: work) to make room for the things in life that I want to do (write, create, craft, for and with my family).
4. Use what I have. I adminsitered an AP timed writing prompt this year that made me tink a little more about how we, as Americans, constantly overspend and over-consume. The idea comes from a "Buy Nothing Day" as a way to acknowledge our habits of spending and consuming. I am sure I could buy nothing all year, in terms of a few habits and hobbies and still have plenty to keep me busy. So, in the name of Canada's "Buy Nothing Day," I want to use up my scrapbook materials, complete projects I have in my head, before going on to new projects and buying more supplies.
5. Be happier. 2010 was a tough year. yes, I had many, many blessings, but I also dealt with my fair share of downs and ups and downs. I am making a point in 2011 to stress less and be OK with 98%, instead of always going 110%.
... and so I encourage you to do the same: create some goals and resolutions that will challenge you througout the year. Don't just say "save money." Be clear about how you are going to go about "saving" and identify an attainable goal of how much money you want to have saved by the end of the year. Think about why you want to save, because by understanding that part of the goal, whatever your goal is, you will be more successful and happier along the way!