Financial Aid

What a tool! (Inexpensive Tools from Ace Hardware!)

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Or should I say – tools?!

 

 

This post was approved, or should I even say endorsed by none-other than my other half – Craig!

 

He had just been shopping at Ace Hardware and noticed these little gems.  These tools are normally marked at around $12.00, but were on sale for $6.99.

 

I know, sounds pretty good, but there was also an instant in-store coupon for $5.00 off!  Making each of these bad boys only $1.99 each.

 

So yes, Craig really got all these tools for around $12.00 plus tax.

 

The only catch (which isn’t really a catch) is you have to be an ACE Rewards card holder. It is free to join and you get all sorts of little perks, not to mention a $5.00 coupon when you accumulate 2,500 points.

 

So, do you have anyone who just bought a house on your Christmas list?  You could put together a nice little tool kit!

Build a Bear Coupon & McDonald’s Happy Meal Toys

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Do you have a Build-A-Bear fan in the house?

 

I have two.  Oy!

 

Both little men decided they wanted to go to Build-a-Bear to build a Frosty the Snowman.  And they wanted to use their own money!

 

Figuring this was a good life lesson we decided to grant their request and planned to head off to BaB  on Sunday morning.

Saturday afternoon, Max wanted to see all the different options Frosty could come with.   He is a details man.

 

 

Guess what I discovered – McDonald’s was offering a coupon for $10.00 off your $30.00 order.  (FYI – your order will always be over $30.00).

 

Well, I always look for an excuse to head to McDonalds (even if I should know better).

 

However, did you know you could buy the happy meal toys without actually having to PURCHASE a happy meal?

 

This is one of those times this knowledge came in handy.

 

Not because we didn’t get a kid meal – we did.  But my boys are not fans of being the “recipient” of a girl’s toy.

 

(I guess the McDonald’s brass never realized that boys are Build-a-Bear fans too?).  So, for $2.50-ish I purchased two girl toys in addition to our meals and I received two $10.00 coupons.

 

Our boys ended up loving their Frosty’s!

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Simple Ways to Save : Don’t Buy In Bulk (WHAT?!)

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I have a problem.  I am sure this will surprise you, but when I get a bug up my you-know-what, I tend to go a little nutty.   I’ll spend money, time and lots of energy on my newest endeavor only to (usually) give up mid-stream.

 

 

Recently, I decided to go organic with my oatmeal.  I headed over to Fairway to buy organic raisins, organic flax seed and walnuts.

 

Initially, I put all full size bags into my cart.    Then I started to feel apprehensive.  I was doing what I always did – jump in with both feet without even looking to see how deep the water was.

 

I quickly totaled what I had in my cart – Twenty Five bucks!

 

What was my problem!!!!! I started putting the items back and shaking my head at myself when a light bulb literally went off in my head.

 

Fairway has a bulk section!

 

Honestly, I was always a little scared of that section.  Often, I would gaze at the myriad of choices and would be tempted to buy something – maybe Red Quinoa?  Possibly Almond Flour?

 

Yet, whenever I would finally summon the courage to try it,  I  would picture myself incorrectly releasing the bin and spilling  the contents all over the floor.

 

Such is my imagination.

 

But that day was different.  I asked an employee to show me how to use the bins.  (Incidentally, it was incredibly simple.  Doofy Dizee)

 

Instead , I bought the above items for less than $3.00 total.  SCORE! Especially since I haven’t made oatmeal in 3 weeks.  How annoying would it be to have a $8.00 bag of Organic Raisins taunting me every morning.

 

The moral of my little story?  Sometimes it pays to buy a little at a time rather than going all in.

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Goggles, Slip & Slides, Mike Wazowski- Oh My! End of Season Sales

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Ahhh, I do love a good end –of-summer sale.  I just picked these bad boys up at Target for less than 6 bucks total.

 

Max & Cooper both had their eye on Mike since the summer but at $7.00….. I wasn’t going to cave and buy it.  But at $1.46?  Yes, please.

 

Granted, this seems to go against some of what I have said previously (My post over at MSM & my little “Dollar Store Mishap”) but I know my boys are going to use these items.  The goggles alone are a steal!

 

I also picked up two more slip and slides for $5.00 each.  Why do I need so many slip and slides?  I am not sure – I was thinking one could be a gift down the line.  Or I could bring it to a friend’s house for a play date.  Or, more likely, I will lose one of them in the house and find it at the end of next season.

 

Did anyone find some good end of season sales?

Simple Ways to Save : Keeping Berries Fresh

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I had a berry problem.  Max loves berries – strawberries, blueberries, raspberries – even black berries (I find them weird… sorry Blackberry Fans!).

 

But they didn’t stay fresh for long!  Even in the fridge.

 Keeping berries fresh

 

The scenario :  Saturday morning, while I do my weekly shopping, I grab a pint of one of the afore-mentioned berries.   By Tuesday morning they would be gooey, disgusting and occasionally covered in fur.

 

Especially the organic ones, which would drive the non-organic-loving hubby of mine out of his skull.

 

Now if I was my grandmother, I would just cut around the offending matter, but mentally I can’t.  Sorry, I am easily grossed out.

 

So, I started doing some reading.  Some people suggest soaking the fruit in a 1:10 mixture of water to white vinegar.  Ehhhh…. Not really my thing.

 

Then I found a tip that the berries need to stay dry.

 

Ding!  The bells started going off.

 

 

Now I prep my berries by wrapping them in a paper towel.  I definitely notice getting some additional time out of the package.

 

Do you have a fruit/veggie storage tip?  I could use it!   I lose more money in  unused fruit than anything else.

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The Dollar Store – A Cautionary Tale

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I believe the moniker ‘The Dollar Store’ is a bit of a misnomer.  I have never, ever,  ever, never, EVER spent only a dollar.  Maybe these stores are just Dizee-Kryptonite?  More likely, I should just learn some self control.

 

I usually head over there for some benign reason – typically it is wrapping paper.  I hate spending $3.00 or more on wrapping paper that will be destroyed in minutes.  I also cannot cotton to my husband’s notion of always wrapping gifts in Christmas Paper (which, somehow, we have a never-ending supply)

 

So, this particular day I was heading over to buy some wrapping paper for my friend’s Baby Shower (Yes, yours Myra).

 

This is what I ended up buying. 

 

 

 

Here was my rationalization process:

 

  • Wow,  Tiki’s.  Max loves Tiki’s. I can never find Tiki stuff- it’s ok, I it’s only a dollar
  • Spiderman Shield?  Got to buy two for the boys – it’s ok, I it’s only a dollar
  • Water Balloons? Bubbles? Yes please, its summer – it’s ok, I it’s only a dollar
  • What a cute re-useable bag-  it’s ok, I it’s only a dollar

 

And so it went until I got to the register. 

My bill was Thirty Dollars.

Granted, this shouldn’t have been a surprise.  All I had to do was count the number of items.  But I was still like ‘Oh Crap’

And that is how my quest to save $2.50 on wrapping paper utterly failed. 

Consider yourself warned.

 

 

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Let’s Start Saving For the Holidays!

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Well, now that we are in September, it is time to start thinking about Christmas… 2014…

 

What?

 

Yes, you heard this girl read this blog correctly. 

 

Holiday Clubs have been a savings mechanism for years.  My Aunt has been doing it since the dawn of time (aka the 70’s).  Simply allocate a certain amount of money each week for your Holiday Fund.  Then you can pay for most, if not all, of your gifts in cash.

 

Brilliant!

 

(This is the same technique we used to save up to buy our plane tickets for Disney.  )

 

 I decided to start saving for next Christmas now simply because I find we do most of our Christmas Shopping early.  I have elected to allot twenty dollars a week as my saving target which would translate to over $1,000 by September 1st  of next year (It will be here before we know it!)

 

I set up this snazzy envelope to track my contributions.  My biggest problem is forgetting if I added money to my fund.  This way, I can check off as I go while also keeping a running tally of what should be in the envelope.  Double Win.

 

This system will also help me determine if someone with sticky fingers ‘borrowed’ anything from the stash.  Yeah, we all know who I am talking about…

 

See, I am always thinking!

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Freebie : Garnier Triple Nutrition Sample

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Click here to sign up for your Garnier Triple Nutrition Sample (and remember – make sure you set up a email for freebies)

 

Thanks Freebies For Mom

 

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