Friday, October 23, 2009
Or how about this story? Something goes wrong and you don't know how to fix it so you hire someone and pay a minimum of $50 for the repair.
I've found a much better solution. Take a picture of your problem before heading to the store. In the past year all 3 of my toilets have broken, a pipe corroded under my kitchen sink and most recently I had a leak at the connection under my kitchen sink (pictured). I have been able to fix these problems for less than $4 each time there has been a problem. Much less than it would have cost to pay a professional.
I simply take a picture of the problem area and take my camera with me to Lowe's. I show the worker where I have the leak and seek their advice on what tools I will need to fix it. They then show me where to find the parts as well as give whatever advice they may have on fixing it. In the instance of the pipe that corroded I also took a picture of the writing on the pipe so that I would know exactly what size I needed to get, not allowing my handwriting to confuse me if I had written it down.
Some plumbing problems can be very complicated and I would recommend a plumber for those but a simple problem such as a leaky faucet can be easily remedied by anyone as long as you know what parts you need. The best part of it all? The satisfaction of acomplishing something and not spending a lot of money doing it!
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
1. Buy a spray paint that you can easily apply to metal surfaces. This is a hammered finish spray paint that I bought for less than $7. I wanted my fixtures to look like dark metal but there are all kids of paints for all kinds of decorator styles.
Saturday, October 10, 2009
I have much better things to do with my time than to scour random websites to see if any of my child's toys or other items are recalled. However if you fill out those forms and send them in you don't have to search they will contact you.
Recently I received an e-mail informing me that my child's crib (Jardine Americana) had been recalled. The reason? Some super human babies were strong enough to kick and break the wooden rails and 13 of them got minor scrapes and bruises. Not really concerning to me but the good news was I was now eligible for a new crib!
I hated the crib that we originally bought. Pregnancy brain, stress and a husband who was sick of spending countless hours wandering the aisles of Babies-R-Us forced me to buy a crib I wasn't in love with. For the past year I looked at it with resentment, plus my child was able to chew on the wood which made it uglier than ever.
Because I was informed about the recall I immediately was able to contact the company and was sent a voucher for any crib I wanted within the limits of the highest price that I could have bought the original crib at which for me was $299. The one I ended up with was a beautiful, dark wood, sleigh crib that was on sale for $299 down from almost $500.
So my advice - fill out those papers! It could pay off not just in a newer model but it could also potentially save your child from injury. Also, if your child's items fall apart or become hazardous don't be afraid to contact the company. You should at least be able to get a refund and you could save someone elses child from an injury in the future as well as help direct companies to make a stronger, safer product.
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
I went to grab a paper towel to clean up a small spill and it was as if I pulled a bath towel off the roll. The paper towel was huge! What a waste of money, since I just needed a 1/3 of the towel.
Select-a-size paper towels are no more expensive than regular paper towels. They are the regular paper towel but perforated into thirds. This way if you have a small spill use one towel, medium, two towels, etc.
You will save so much more money in the long run because you will be wasting less. Don't even ask questions. Get the select-a-size next time you buy paper towels. You'll thank me for it.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
For the month of September, if you live in Jefferson County, Alabama you can exchange a can of food for every dollar you have in fines! This is so great because you give to the needy, pay off your debts and save money doing it too!
Just grab some non-perishable food from your stockpile and ta-da! All is well with the world!
Most libraries around the country have a program like this to pay off fines. Call your local library and ask when their food for fines program is.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
MamaBargains.com is a site that sells just one baby or kid item at a time. They get excellent deals from vendors and every item is 50%-80% off the retail price. Each item is very unique (meaning you won't just find it at Walmart). I have seen really cool convertible high chairs, and other baby items for really inexpensive prices. Their site says that they gear items for kids 10 and under.
Check it out every week or so to see if there is a deal waiting for you. This is a great place to get yourself stuff as well as gifts for others.
Monday, July 20, 2009
We went to
Bear Mountain Blueberry Farm
8227 Clayton Cove Road
Look for farms in your area. Pickyourown.org is a site that can help you locate farms in your area. It's a great way for the family to get out as well as get a great deal on fresh produce!
Sunday, July 19, 2009
I simply sewed a strap to the top (that's the black thing you see). The strap was a thick piece of ribbon. It's as simple as that.
There are pouches in the front and back where the labels for the sheets went. You can stick a picture, label, or card (as seen here) in those pouches and fill your new bag with whatever you want. I chose to hold my handmade cards in this one. But I thought that yarn would be a great thing for these to hold. You could even punch a large eyelet trough the bag and string the yarn through to keep control of the yarn for a project you are working on!
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
The total cost of all of the items you see here is 1 penny.
Yes, that's right, that penny that was on the ground that you didn't pick up, was picked up by me and I turned it into all of this!
Using a combination of store sales, coupons, free samples, and CVS's extra care rewards program the total cost of everything ended up being one penny. I bought $40 worth of items that day that
are not pictured here but these were just a penny. Ahhhh.... it feels so good.....
What are you waiting for? Get couponing today!! http://www.moneysavingmom.com/ has helped me learn the tricks of the trade. Let her help you too.
Each Sunday and Monday Publix has a mystery item that they price at just one penny! That's right, one penny! You might as well consider it free.
How it works: You must buy $10 worth of groceries (before coupons and the original cost of the penny item is included) and you can only get one item at that price per visit. There is a coupon in the ad in the Sunday paper but many stores do not require it. The Publix on 31 in Vestavia and Hoover, Alabama do not require the coupon. Make sure the checker discounts it though if you don't have the coupon.
Items that have been the penny item recently have been, apple juice, toilet paper, tortilla chips, salad dressing, window cleaner and more.
I save my shopping for Monday and there are two stores close to my house. I will go to one in the morning to get most of my items and get a penny item then. If there were items that the first store had sold out of I will then go to the other store to get the rest of my items and get another penny item.
Friday, June 12, 2009
I made these little Halloween candy jars using fabric, felt and a hot glue gun. I made a little bag using some fabric I had lying around and glued the edge to the outside of the can. This is to be kept inside the can to cover the can. I then wrapped it with felt (to cover the edge of the bag) and added felt accessories. On the cat, I added wire whiskers. The other is made just using paper, glue and a few scrapbook accessories.
A great way to upcycle those formula cans!
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Now... onto the coupon keeper....
Sunday, June 7, 2009
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
For less than $3 for the whole batch I made a dozen pizza bagles. Here is my reciepe and how to freeze them.
6 Plain Bagles
1/2 can spaghetti sauce
1 c. mozarella cheese
2 mushrooms diced
about 15 slices of pepperoni chopped
1. Lay bagel halves on cookie sheet with insides facing up.
2. Coat each one with a generous amount of sauce (some sauce will soak into bagel).
3. Top with cheese and toppings.
4. Lightly press down on the toppings so some sauce touches everything. (The sauce is like the glue of the frozen pizza. If your toppings touch even a little bit of the sauce they are more likely to stay on the pizza when it is frozen.)
5. Place cookie sheet in freezer for an hour or so. Once pizzas are frozen you can take them off the cookie sheet and wrap them however you choose for long term storage. You can place them individually in sandwich bags, wrap in Saran wrap, place in Tupperware etc. Whichever fits you, your budget and your freezer best is what you should do.
6. When ready to cook. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and bake on cookie sheet for about 10 minutes (approx. time. Make sure you watch them carefully all ovens are different!). You can also place them in the microwave for 2 minutes.
This is a great way to stock up on foods you love and not spend a whole lot of money doing it. These pizzas took me less than 15 minutes to prepare and saved me lots of money! And besides... who doesn't love pizza?!?
Saturday, May 23, 2009
- Originally $3.79.
- B1G1Free Sale Price $1.90
- Coupon $2.00 off
- Total for each $-.10
Oscar Mayer Beef Jumbo Franks
- Originally $3.99
- B1G1Free Sale Price $1.99
- Coupon $1.00 off when you buy 2
- Total for each $.99
Kraft Dressings Various Flavors
- Originally $2.99
- B1G1Free Sale Price $1.49
- Coupon $1.50 off
- Total for each $-.01
Betty Crocker Turtle Supreme Brownie Mix
- Originally $2.55
- B1G1Free Sale Price $1.28
- Coupon $.50 off when you buy two but was doubled so it was actually $1 off when you buy two
- Total for each $.78 plus there is a coupon on the boxes for 2 free movie tickets with 10 UPC's all I need is 4 more from other participating brands and I get to see Harry Potter 6 for free too!
- Originally $2.09
- B1G1F sale price $1.05
- Coupon $1.00 off when you buy 3
- Total for each $.71
Philadelphia Cream Cheese Spread Assorted Flavors
- Originally $1.99
- 4 or $5 sale $1.25 each
- Coupon save $1 when you buy 2
- Total for each $.75
Triscut Assorted Flavors
- Originally $3.19
- B1G1Free sale price $1.60
- Coupon save $1 when you buy 2
- Total for each $1.10
I also got a dollar off of the roast beef from a store coupon and the olives weren't on sale, I just wanted them. :) As you can see the savings are significant and I'm not even a pro yet. A friend of mine bought $180 dollars in groceries the other day and only ended up spending $60 a savings of $120!
Think of what this will mean to your budget as well as your food storage. You never know what is going to happen if you will loose your job, a grocery worker strike or a natural disaster with take out the food supply. Won't it feel good to know that your savvy shopping and the food you have stored up will be there when you need it? Doomsday's aside - I'm just happy that I now have brownies on hand for all those parties and Church activities that I will be asked to bring a treat to!
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
On Walmart's site there is a section where you can sign up for free samples of items. There are also several places all over the Internet you can find free samples of things. Oh and if you're having a baby, sign up for every site there is, you will get free formula, baby products and checks for lots of money to go towards formula. Totally worth it.
If you are concerned about getting a ton on junk e-mail for signing up at these sites just simply open up an e-mail account that you can use for these things specifically. That way, special offers and coupons won't junk up your personal e-mail account.
Monday, May 11, 2009
While I was there I was also informed that Monday's you get $1 off all burritos and on Tuesday's kids eat free! This is the Moe's in Vestavia, Alabama. I am not 100% sure if all Moe's have promotions on the same day so I would check with your Moe's ahead of time. The birthday dinner is applicable at all Moe's locations.
Sunday, March 15, 2009
Many people love Redbox. Redbox is a DVD kiosk that is located in many grocery stores and McDonalds' around the country. You simply pay $1 to rent a movie for one day. If you keep it for longer than a day it is $1 for each additional day. The best part is you can return it to any Redbox in the country and is ideal for long car trips with the kids. If you go to their official site you can register and recieve a promotional code for a free movie.
At the site Inside Redbox you can register and you will be updated with promo codes for free rentals on a regular basis. I have never used Redbox but I have heard lots of others rave about it as well as the free promo code site.
I doesn't hurt to check it out, because what's better than a $1 movie rental? A FREE movie rental!
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
I participated in this program and was very pleased with what it offered. I had a nurse assigned to me who would call me periodically to see how I was doing. She would also remind me of little things to do that my doctor just didn't have time to tell me, like how much water to drink or foods to stay away from. If I ever had any questions I could call her directly. Not only did I feel special but I also had somewhere to turn to for questions to my answers, even the silly ones, when my doctors office was not available or the question was too trivial to make an appointment for.
They also shower you with free items and information. I received nice books, one was a dad's guide to pregnancy and the other was a book about health complete with charts on what to do in certain situations and when to take your baby to the doctor and when to treat it at home. I also received things such as large mugs for drinking water, items to help with breastfeeding, medicine droppers and more. When my baby was born the nurse called to congratulate me, followed up on how we were doing and sent a nice soft blanket.
It was a great program to participate in, I would encourage all with BCBS to join when you have a baby. If you don't have BCBS, check with your insurance provider. I'm sure that others have similar programs.
Friday, March 6, 2009
When you sign up for this club you get a free book "Caring for your Baby and Child" as well as several coupons for practical items in their store. Many of the coupons were for free items such as rubbing alcohol, hand sanitizer, cocoa butter lotion and more. They also send coupons for large discounts on items such as diapers, wipes and baby dishes. In addition, I received coupons for items that you just don't ever find coupons for like meat from their deli and other meats.
Before my daughter's 1st birthday I also received generous coupons for ice cream, cake and Mylar balloons. When I say generous I mean coupons that range anywhere from $1-$6. They also accept manufactures coupons and frequently have buy one get one free sales (where you don't have to get 2 things to get the discount).
Publix also has a program for preschoolers called the Preschool Pals Club. I have not yet participated in this program but if you visit the link you can view all of the things your preschooler can receive.
Another reason I love Publix - they have "car" shopping carts which keep my little one entertained (along with sanitizing wipes for the carts), free cookies for kids, free coffee for parents (though I've never tried it) and the service you get there is excellent.
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Jefferson County here in Alabama has a program called Tot Shots. Each month at various places around town (mostly churches) nurses from area hospitals as well as nurses from the health department administer immunizations to children.
How it works: You call or go to the website and find the location and time of the Tot Shot Clinic near you. Clinics are held several places each month. Bring your child's prior immunization forms and they will give your child the immunizations that they need for their age. There is no financial hardship requirement or insurance necessary. Even if you have insurance you are welcome. Anyone is allowed to participate in this program. There is usually a short wait 15-30 minutes. They are very professional and take good care of the children. They also record and send the immunization information to your child's doctor. If you are not happy with the program you are not obligated to continue with it. But I would strongly recommend continuing to get immunizations through your family doctor.
If you don't live in Jefferson County, Alabama, call your local health department or ask your pediatrician for information about your areas' immunization program. Many health departments offer free or greatly discounted immunizations for children.
Don't allow your children to be unprotected from disease just to save cash. Check out programs like these and you will be glad you did.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
But the library isn't just for rentals anymore. At many libraries you can buy books too. Libraries are constantly buying new books so they have to make room for them by selling their older books.
Many libraries give books away, some have sales a few times a year and some have permanent bookstores. The Hoover Public Library has a permanent bookstore. Books, CD's, Books on Tape, Encyclopedias, and Movies are all sold and range in price anywhere from .25 cents to $1.
Not all the items for sale are books that are ancient and uninteresting. There was a whole section of awesome hands on science and craft books, CliffsNotes and even those travel books for foreign countries that people like to buy before a big trip. There were so many books in there to chose from I can't list them all here.
So next time you are looking for a book to buy, check out the library first. You'll be getting a great deal and you'll be giving back to library too.
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Play clothes don't have to cost a lot if anything at all. It can also be fun for your kids to make them themselves. I cut the bags to what I want them to be, it's as simple as that. The bags are sturdy and have a leather appearance after you crinkle them and smooth them. I've also made Indian costumes with these too. You can punch holes in the chaps and string yarn trough. The belt buckles were made from cardboard and tin foil. I have also made guns in the past from cardboard, toilet paper rolls and tin foil. You can color these costumes to look like cow hide and even include a shiny sheriff badge.
Martha Stewart has other creative how-to's on seven different homemade and inexpensive costumes. Of course she is Martha and her costumes blow this one out of the water. Try making paper bag costumes or try one of Martha's. I promise, you and your kids will have a blast!
Saturday, February 7, 2009
I recently discovered Playlist.com. It's the most amazing site! You can add as many songs as you want to a play list. You can put the play list on your Myspace, Facebook, Blog etc. or you can just listen to them straight from Playlist's site on your computer and much more. The best part is it's completely FREE!!
I have created 3 play lists so far, my favorite songs at the moment, one for kids songs for my daughter and one for Sunday songs. I love it! I will put my play list on and listen to it for hours while I craft, clean or just have a dance party with my daughter. A word of caution though if you are creating a play list for a child, make sure you sample the song before you put it on the play list. I discovered some of the Sesame Street Songs that came up on my search were not actually Sesame Street songs but rather vulgar parody songs of original Sesame Street songs, so just be careful.
I have posted my play list of favorites at the bottom of the page if you want to check it out!
Instead of throwing it away and buying a new one you can just throw it in the washing machine with a little bit of detergent and bleach. When it is done washing just hang it right back up to dry and it will be as good as new.
I have a fabric shower curtain (that I bought on clearance for $4) that I will wash with my other linens but the liner I have has been washed this way several times. It is still as sturdy as ever.
Friday, January 30, 2009
I have collected a varied and plentiful supply of ribbon and have paid just a few dollars for all of the ribbon I have. How you ask? I buy remnant ribbon packages! What they are are packages of 30 yards of ribbon in various widths, textures and colors. Each package is different but each has about 3 yards of 10 different kinds of ribbon. The best part about these packages is that they cost only $1.99! You can barely buy a spool of 15 yards of ribbon for that little.
Where can you find them? I have seen them at many craft stores but I can confirm that they are $1.99 at Hancock's and Hobby Lobby. Each time to go I get a little goddie bag full of beautiful, satins, organza's, and grosgrain ribbon. Check it out you're never by spool ribbon again!
* Oh yeah, and don't forget to save the ribbon on packages that people give you!
Friday, January 16, 2009
I created this bag from one of my favorite shirts that just didn't fit any more. Each tank top is unique and how you sew it into a bag will differ. This one has french seams and gusseted corners. Bags like this are great for beach bags or whatever you need a bag for.
Make yours today or you can buy this one from my etsy site. www.cuttscreations.etsy.com
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
The following are other possible uses for these old items. Get creative and discover your own uses!
Pots and Pans: Tie-dye, make soap, melt candle wax
Pot Lids: Use as a "catcher" or a hot pad for your hot glue gun.
Bowls: Tie-Dye, soak your feet
Tupperware: Store Play-Dough, store small kids toys, store nails or nuts and bolts
Tupperware lids and old plates: Use as a paint pallet
The options are endless. What are some of the things you use old kitchen stuff for?
Friday, January 2, 2009
Beacuse of this I followed the link to Amazon MP3's and discovered a whole treasure trove of free and very cheap music. Most of the free music is stuff I don't immediately recognize but that is when you find the best stuff. It looked like there was a lot of classical, jazz, Christmas but also some more modern lesser known artists. They also only charge $.89 for regular song downloads and had entire albums between $4 and $8. Check it out!