Category: saving $$$

If you haven’t seen this yet-here is a fun free dinner idea for tomorrow.

Tomorrow, IHOP will be giving away a free short stack of pancakes to all customers for National Pancake Day (February 28, 2012).

Guests are asked to consider giving a donation to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

Thanks, moneysavingmom for passing along this deal.

Room transformed

I’m not very good at decorating but I have high hopes of getting better! I bought some construction decals over a year ago for Ben’s room. I didn’t put them up. I found this picture on the wall at a yard sale last week (it was nice enough weather for a yard sale). It was perfect and I paid 1.50 for it! It inspired me put up the decals and the letters we mod podged for Christmas!  It totally transformed the room to have more than blank walls! Ben is thrilled about it and says choo choo whenever he comes in. I love it too!  Proof that decorating doesn’t have too be expensive–amazing what you can find at a yard sale or even in your basement.  Now it makes the girls room look a bit shabby. I’m not quite sure what we’ll do in there!

I forgot to post this–but this whole weekend INCLUDING TODAY-you can get an extra 40% off clearance stuff @ Tuesday Morning.  You can get an extra 10% by using this coupon.  I’ve found a lot of fun toys there (mostly that has been what I was looking for) and gotten this same deal.  It might be a good time to stash something fun for an upcoming birthday or Easter is just around the corner.  We got our nice wooden puppet theatre there, a tin top, a great lego set etc. there.  Click here for the 10% off coupon.  They carry alot of other things too like comforters, dishes, home decor etc!

Free @ Staples this weekend

I love love love Staples Free stuff!  Their easy rebate system really is “easy.”  Here are some things you can pick up this president’s weekend that comes out essentially FREE after rebate. Click on the link and look toward the bottom of the page.  Here are the free items:  Copy paper, photo paper, ball point pens, kleenex, and labels.  It usually takes 4-6 weeks to get your rebate.


A gift box for me

I almost always have several things collected for the kids when their birthdays, Easter, etc. comes around so I don’t have to go pay full price for a gift on the appointed day. Most recently, I have started a small collection for myself of things I’ve purchased on clearance. Rather than using my purchases immediately-I’ve decided to hold off on my gratification and save them for later. I’ve decided that my finds can be a collection from which John can draw from when Valentine’s day or some other day when a similar societal expectation (or wifely expectation) requires a gift/token of love. John would most assuredly do well in the gift picking given the time. But, he is rarely able to find the time to go shopping so—a selfish collection of presents it is….just waiting to be gifted when the moment is right. It saves money…I get a fun present…and he gets to give me a present. A win win!

We’ve never actually tried a cash envelope system. I was momentarily tempted to try it out during the month of January just because I wanted to add or not add my testimonial to the hoards of people who swear by it. However, I have a very strong tendency to lose things and how unfortunate would that be to lose my whole week’s allotment of grocery money at one time? A better system for me is just to simply update my budget often. I try to do just that every Friday and sometimes more frequently. It is as effective for me as peeking into my envelope and seeing how much cash or lack of remains. I can look at how much I’ve spent and how much I have left.

I have made reference to our budget excel sheet before. As I enter groceries, it is programmed to tell me what percentage of the month is gone vs what percentage of my grocery money is gone as that is the category that spends the easiest. I love this feature and was TOTALLY John’s doing as I’m not very EXCEL savvy. It is my cash envelope! Today, while updating-I discovered 2 positives….The month is 58% of the way through—I’ve only spent 45% of our grocery money. The 2nd was probably more exciting—OUR TAX RETURN HAS BEEN DEPOSITED INTO OUR ACCOUNT! Wahoo! Look for a post about what we’re going to do with it sometime next week! If it has been a while since you last updated your budget—take a few minutes today and just do it and try to do it frequently enough that it too can act like your cash envelope system.

Making your own TV antennae

Shortly after we moved here, we looked at getting cable tv. After about 30 seconds and realizing our tendency to watch tv (or not), we decided against it. Still hoping to get the history channel, John started looking at antennaes that we attach to the roof to optimize our channel viewing capacity. After about 10 minutes of that, John decided he’d make his own and thus he did. Here is a picture of his homemade television antennae made from cookie cooling racks from the dollar store, copper tubing, screws and a piece of wood. He used some old wiring that we had. Miraculously, it worked! We pick up 22 channels perfectly! Of course, since the Olympics, our tv viewing has been pretty minimal. Nonetheless, we could watch tv if we wanted!  It’s attached in our attic channeling in television love.

I saw this yesterday while browsing deals on line. If you get to go out with your valentine today-finish off the date with a free cookie! Thanks savy spending for sharing this deal!

FREE Cookie From Quizno’s On Valentine’s Day

Tomorrow is the big day – and if you are out and about, make sure you stop by Quizno’s for a FREE cookie!! Just print this coupon and enjoy! They are offering your choice of a free Chocolate Chunk, Snicker Doodle, or Double Chocolate Chunk cookie with NO purchase required!

I love to see things transformed from junk to something useable and beautiful.  This eve @ the Riverside Branch library @ 7 pm, there is an event designed to illuminate the how to’s on making thrift store and garage sale treasures even better!  Click here for more details!

One of the things I do that really cuts down the grocery budget is I try to coordinate my menu and snacks with my stockpile and the grocery deals.  I buy what’s on sale and then cook from my stockpile.  The staple foods that we eat all of the time–I usually buy these things in bulk so they are just on hand.  But there are always those side dishes that need to be thrown in to complete the meal…produce, although an essential part of your diet can be pricey.  I try to get a lot of our produce at the market, but when that doesn’t happen-we eat what is on sale.  Last week, spinach was .79/bag….we ate a whole lot of spinach last week…we had spinach salad, spinach in our pasta, spinach in our manicotti etc.  When apples aren’t on sale, I don’t buy them–we eat the .99 pineapple (I’ll buy 3) from ALDI and that will be our fruit, or we’ll snack on baby carrots that are on sale rather than broccoli etc.  The snack foods that are on sale this week are the snack foods we’ll be eating.  So, before you make your list of produce and perishables that you need to buy-check out my grocery deals.  If you don’t live in the KC metro area-that won’t help you so much.   However, there is probably a local blog that does the same thing or take a peek @ your ads.  It’s amazing how a little bit of research can save big $$$$!  As for us, this week-broccoli and cauliflower or on sale and we’re going to be using a whole lot of broccoli!  WAHOO!