Expensive Traditions To Ditch

Posted on April 15th, 2014 by Discount Debbie

Diamond Ring

Some traditions that we keep are time honored and have meaning. Others are culture driven stress builders. They serve little purpose and in the end consume many resources that could be used in a better way.

Diamond Ring

The diamond ring as an engagement ring is not only a recent development in history, it also has become quite an expensive tradition. The normal cost of a ring is said to be two months salary. Imagine what a broke young couple starting out could do with two months worth of money. Then there are the added costs from sizing, cleaning, and insurance. I have found as a young mom half the time I can’t even wear my ring because it doesn’t fit while I’m pregnant or I’m afraid I will scratch my young children while playing with them.

I’m not saying don’t get a ring, but get one that is less expensive or from a different stone. If you must have a fancy diamond ring, make it a goal for your 25th anniversary.

That Amusement Park Trip

You know which park I’m talking about. Most likely your children have hundreds of DVDs, toys, and even bedding with their name scrawled across it. They begin with a D (as in dollars) and ends in a Y (as in why would we spend $100 per person to get into a theme park?). They have cruises and resorts and hotels.  People will stress over when to take their children and how to get there before the magic has died.

I promise you, it’s okay to let the magic die. I never visited that particular theme park until I was 24 years old on work related trip. From my adult eyes I could see that I hadn’t missed out on something essential to my childhood.

With the amount that you spend one of these trips there are thousands of other family memories that could be built with that money. Even better you could have numerous more affordable trips and a lot more fun for the price of that one.

Teen Cars

It has become a tradition to buy a car for your child as a high school graduation, Christmas, or birthday gift. While I agree that a car should be safe and it may not be when paid with a part time high school job, the car doesn’t need to be new. Teenagers, even when doing their best will get into fender benders, misjudge the space between cars while parking, or drive fast when they are emotional. Let them break in a used car. If you still want to get them a new car do it for a college graduation. They will have gotten the hang of driving  and will most likely need a new car by then.

 


Fun Free Stuff

Posted on April 15th, 2014 by Coupon Cathy

almay eye shadow

 

Why pay for make up or lotion or even groceries, for that matter, if you can get any of those things for free… That’s a pretty thrifty policy, don’t you think? Well, if you are like me, then you will enjoy this list of items you can get for free by simply clipping or printing coupons or utilizing store rewards. This week’s list is full of fun and very practical stuff!

 

CVS

Almay Color & Care Liquid Lip Balm $5.99, regular price
Buy 1, Receive $1.99 ExtraBucks through 4/19, Limit 1
Use $4.00/1 – Almay Cosmetic Product, Including Makeup Removers from SS 4/13
Pay $1.99, Receive $1.99 ExtraBucks
Final Price: Free

If you received the 20% off email coupon, you can turn this into a moneymaker:

Almay Color & Care Liquid Lip Balm $5.99, regular price
Buy 1, Receive $1.99 ExtraBucks through 4/19, Limit 1
Use 20% Off CVS Email Coupon
And use $4.00/1 – Almay Cosmetic Product, Including Makeup Removers from SS 4/13
Pay $0.79, Receive $1.99 ExtraBucks
Final Price: $1.20 Moneymaker

KROGER

Birds Eye Recipe Ready Frozen Vegetables, 8 oz $1.00, sale price through 4/22
Use $1.00/1 – Birds Eye Recipe Ready Variety from SS 4/13
(exp 6/30)
Or $0.75/1 – Birds Eye Recipe Ready Product (smartsource.com)
Final Price: Free

RITE AID

Buy 2 Lancaster Soft Cremes, 8 oz $3.00 each, when you buy 2, sale price through 4/19
Use two $1.50/1 – Lancaster Soft Cremes, 8 oz or larger from SS 3/2
And use one $3.00/2 – Lancaster Pouches, Rite Aid Coupon (facebook.com)
Final Price: Free, when you buy 2

TARGET

Buy 2 Suave Professionals Natural Infusion Shampoo or Conditioner, 12.6 fl oz $2.89, regular price
Buy 1 Suave Kids Body Wash, 12 fl oz $1.89, regular price
Buy 3, Receive $5.00 Target Gift Card through 4/19
Use two $1.50/1 – Suave Natural Infusions Product (coupons.com)
Pay $4.67, Receive $5.00 Target Gift Card
Final Price: $0.33 Moneymaker, when you buy all 3

Buy 2 Starbucks Bagged Coffee, 20 oz $3.49, price cut through 5/10
Buy 2, Submit for $5.00 Starbucks eGift Card
Use one $2.00/2 – Starbucks Coffee Bags, 10 oz or larger from SS 4/13
Pay $4.98, Submit for $5.00 Starbucks eGift Card
Final Price: $0.02 Moneymaker, when you buy 2

WALGREENS

Morton Epsom Lotion, 8 oz $6.00, sale price through 4/19
Buy 1, Receive $6.00 Register Reward through 4/19
Pay $6.00, Receive $6.00 Register Reward
Final Price: Free

Almay Intense I-Color Shadow Softies Single $4.99, regular price
Use $4.00/1 – Almay Cosmetic Product, Including Makeup Removers from SS 4/13
And use $1.00/1 Almay Makeup Remover or Eye or Lip Cosmetics from Walgreens April Savings Book (exp 4/26)
Final Price: Free

I think that make up is my favorite freebie of the week. What’s your favorite?


Tax Day is Coming April 15th!

Posted on April 7th, 2014 by Freebie Felicia

Still need to do your taxes? Hurry!

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FREE preparation, FREE printing, FREE efiling for your simple federal tax return with TurboTax.


Old-Fashioned Ways to Save Money

Posted on April 4th, 2014 by Discount Debbie

I love living in this modern age. Gone are the days that we had to go outside to the outhouse to use the restroom. No more do we have to go out to the well or river to get our water. We have climate control in our homes… and we have homes! Modern life is good.

With that said, I also think it’s important to remember how to live without modern conveniences. You never know when it may become a useful tool for you and your family.

Don’t Go Disposable

This one seems fairly normal until you think of all the disposable items we use in our lives. We aren’t just talking about paper towels or cloth diapers. There are female hygiene products, baby wipes, and even toilet paper. In this day in age it seems crazy to even consider using a reusable product in place of these items. Instead imagine the money that can be saved buying these items. In a month we spend at least $110 dollars on disposable items that get flushed away or thrown away. This isn’t including the cost of garbage removal.

Using items that can be used over and over again may mean that your amount of laundry will go up. It also means buying the items and having a proper place to store them when they are clean or soiled. These, however, are often a one time expenses that pay for themselves within the first two months.

Food Foraging

Yes, you can grow a garden and, in the right living setting, keep a goat and a few chickens for milk, eggs, and meat, but that’s not foraging. Foraging is when you go out and find food in the wild… or at least at a park. Doing this requires knowledge of edible plants and berries. It also requires a recognition of plants that are dangerous, not just a passing knowledge, but a certain knowledge of these topics. It’s also important to have an understanding of what certain wild herbs can do medically.

It’s also good to know what the community does regarding the area you are foraging. If you choose to forage in a place like a public park, know if they are sprayed with chemicals as part of their upkeep. Some places I have lived use fruit trees as decoration near sidewalks and roads. It’s important to know what the laws are regarding harvesting from these trees.

Make It

I’m talking about never buying anything that you can make. Make your own clothes, non disposable items, or even toys for children.  Sometimes materials can be costly, but often the scraps can be used for something else. Learning to make certain items at the very least teaches us to be more self sufficient. You will almost always be able to give a unique gift with the skill you have learned. Most of all in times of financial hardship your skill can even save a good deal of money.

 What old-fashioned ways do you use to save money?


When Is It Time To Leave A Job

Posted on April 4th, 2014 by Discount Debbie

There are times when a job change must occur, but for most of us, that isn’t a decision to be made lightly. Sometimes we don’t even know if we should stay or go. It can be more stressful than a break up. Can our finances hold up against a job change? Are there critical reasons we would need to stay?  Here are a few reasons to leave a job.

A Better Job

It’s not bad to be looking at other opportunities when employed somewhere, but that doesn’t mean that job hopping every six months is a good idea. Weigh the pros and cons of each job opportunity. Better health care or paid vacation can be some good reasons for switching jobs. So can living closer to the job or the job being closer to where you want to live. Or you may just be interested in having higher pay.

The down side of a new job could be waiting until benefits kick in or moving. Perhaps there would be less pay and a lifestyle downsize. Only you and your family know what stituation is best for you.

Office Whispers

Most people know something is changing at work by the whispering. Perhaps corporate managers have come in often. Co-workers start talking about conversations they have heard. They may even warn you that your name has come up. Every work place has a good amount of  gossip, but it is always best to have a plan for being fired or laid off. How much do you have saved? How long will it cover your home expenses? Could you take a part time job while looking for a job in your field? These are important questions to ask before problems arise.

A Self Respect Change

This is more than just not liking your boss. A self respect change of job comes for unforeseen reasons. For example, if you are asked to do something unethical it may be that you need to leave your job when declining. Another reason to leave a job is unreasonable expectations. Perhaps you haven’t had a weekend off in two months, or are expected to work late more and more. It may even be that you are put through a guilt trip every time you try to get yourself or a family member to a doctor appointment. Sometimes it’s better to find employment where you are respected.


Free Sample of Energems Chocolate Energy Bites

Posted on April 4th, 2014 by Freebie Felicia

“LIKE” on Facebook and fill out the form to request your Free Sample of Energems Chocolate Energy Bites.


Great Organic Deals

Posted on April 3rd, 2014 by Coupon Cathy

I’m a firm believer that you can be both thrifty and healthy. And, you don’t have to go to a specialty store in order to eat healthy :) If you are like me, you’ll appreciate this list of great deals on organic foods at your local grocery stores!

Barbara’s Cereal – $4.29, Buy one, get one FREE (Fred Meyer)
$2.00/2 Barbara’s cereal (exp 04/27/14)
$1.00/1 Barbara’s Morning Oat Crunch; Formerly Shredded Oats
$1.00/1 Barbara’s Morning Oat Crunch; Formerly Shredded Oats
$1.00/1 Barbara’s Organic Snackimals Cereal
$1.50/1 Barbara’s Organic Snackimals Cereal (exp 04/27/14)
$1.00/1 Barbara’s Product, 4.4 oz or Larger; Boost to $2.00/1
Stacks with $1/1 Barbara’s Organic Snackimals Cereal Ibotta offer
and/or stacks with $1/1 Barbara’s Puffins Cereal – Ibotta offer
Final price: as low as $0.15

Muir Glen Organic Tomatoes – $1.25 (Fred Meyer)
$0.50/1 Muir Glen Product (Zip Code 03103)
Final price =$0.75

Annie’s Pasta Box, 5.25 or 6 oz  – $1.25 (Target)

Kettle Brand Potato Chips, 2 oz, 5 oz, 8 – 8.5 oz or 13 oz  – $2 (Fred Meyer)
(Limit 2; Fred Meyer In-Ad coupon) – Expires 04/05/2014
Gluten-Free, Any Variety Except Baked, Organic or Tortilla Chips
- $1.00/2 Kettle Brand Potato Chips, 4 oz or Larger
Final Price: $1.50

Franz Organic Bread 24-26 oz – $2.99 (QFC)
$1/1 Franz Bakery Product; Sign Up Required
Final Price = $1.99

Open Nature Variety Bread, 24 oz  – $2.49 (Safeway)

Nature’s Path Organic Envirokidz Cereal, 10 – 14 oz  – $2.50 (Fred Meyer)

GT’s Kombucha Drink and Juice, 16 oz  – $2.99 (Safeway)

Amy’s Frozen Entrees, 6 – 10.5 oz  – $3 (Target)

Open Nature Pizza, 13.2 – 32.7 oz  – $3.49 (Safeway)
With Safeway Just 4U Coupon. Limit 4

Kashi Frozen Entrees, 5.25 – 10 oz  – $3.49 (Safeway)

EVOL Frozen Meals, 18 – 20 oz  – $6 (Target)
- $2.00/2 EVOL Products
- $2.00/2 Evol Multi-Serve Skillet Meals For 2 – Facebook Coupon
Stacks With - $1.00/1 EVOL Foods Multiserve Meal (Offer Only Redeemable at Target) – Ibotta
Out-of-Pocket Price: $5.00
Final Price: $4.50

MaraNatha Organic No Stir Peanut Butter, 16 oz  – $5.99 (Fred Meyer)

Bob’s Red Mill Products, 8 – 48 oz  – Save 25% (Fred Meyer)
- $1.00/1 Bob’s Red Mill Product

Bulk Beans, Pasta and Rice, per lb  – Save 25% (Fred Meyer)

Are you committed to being both thrifty and healthy?


Crochet Ideas For The Kitchen

Posted on April 3rd, 2014 by Discount Debbie

Crochet projects are a fun way to relieve stress. It’s also a way to provide useful  items around the home. I enjoy making things for around the house, but I often get crafting tunnel vision. Sometimes I can’t see past making a blanket, toy, or hat. There are other places where crochet items could be useful. Lately, I have been focusing on the kitchen more. There are a few crochet projects that I have started using to make my kitchen more functional.

Sponge Covers 

One good way to get a sponge to last longer is to use a crochet cover on it. It will still get bubbly when exposed to soapy water, but it will last longer. This also keeps the sponge from absorbing quite as much gunk. The only downside of using a sponge cover is that it is more difficult to de-soap. Making your cover a buttonable pouch can also be helpful if you ever have the need to use the sponge cover free.

Scrubbers

Another little convenience is using a crochet rag as a cloth while doing dishes or cleaning the sink. It can still do all the scrubbing, but is gentler than steel wool. I recommend using a single stitch to make crochet cleaning rags. It makes them a little tighter and they seem to get more dirt off whatever surface you’re cleaning.

Hot Pads

Making a square is easy enough in crochet. Making two and stitching them together isn’t all that difficult. I like to put a little padding between my front and bottom squares when making potholders. It helps me make extra sure that I won’t burn myself when removing a pan from the oven. Potholders can be made into all shapes and sizes that stay between the heated dish and a persons fingers. They are also good for setting pots or pans on when you don’t want water or heat damage to the dining room table.

 


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