Posts Tagged ‘Simple Ways to Save

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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The Sunchips Saga…..

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Sorry for the late post – we had quite the weekend.  I don’t know why I always think I will have time to write when I am home!

 

I have a sad story to tell you – but there is a happy ending.

 

See this bag of French Onion Sunchips?  I bought them on sale and had been biding my time before opening them (all of three days, but it was a herculean effort).

 

 

I love French Onion Chips and the plan was to have them with my lunch or as a snack at work.

 

Can you imagine how miserable I was when I opened the bag and <gasp> they tasted like regular sun chips?

 

There may have been an expletive or two uttered by Dizee.  But then I started wondering – could it be me?  Maybe, somehow, I ended up with an inability to taste French Onion chips?

 

The horror!

 

But no – I forced others to try the chips and they assured me there was absolutely NO French Onion to them.

 

Why this long drawn-out story about artificial French Onion seasoning on chips I probably shouldn’t be eating anyway?

 

I was so upset that I ended up emailing Frito-Lay chips to tell them about the crushing disappointment I felt at this situation….

 

Guess what they did? They sent me the coupons below – and I received them in days!

 

The moral of this little parable? It never hurts to let a company know you encountered a problem.

 

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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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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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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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Simple Ways to Save : Junk Mail, Skunk Mail

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See this wad of mail? I  commonly refer to it as “Junk Mail”.  It goes right in the trash.  Ok, maybe it sits on my table for a week day or two and then I dump it in the circular-file (aka garbage).

 However, I recently started perusing these documents before throwing them out and look what I found?  Jackpot !  Coupons to our favorite destination – Friendly’s.

Another hidden gem – my friend told me about the Valpak Website.  You can print coupons to restaurants and stores.  Some are local  (like  my favorite pizza place- Gino’s of Bethpage) and others are for national places (like Home Depot).

So, the moral of the story is – keep your eyes peeled for the good stuff.

 

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This is a Library, We Don’t Have Cookies, Just Books

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 (Melissa, I pulled out the Sesame Street reference just for you!)

Am I the only person in the universe who didn’t recognize just how freaking cool the library is?

 

Seriously, every time I take a book out of the library, it feels like I won the lotto.  What can I say, I am easy to please.

 

Besides the obvious (books)  my library offers a wide range of DVDs, CDs & e-books.  There is a full children’s room with activities (crafts, board games and computers), a Young Adult section (it’s where all the cool kids go) and an array of conference / auditorium-like rooms in the basement.  

 

They also offer free programs like Wi-Fi,  tickets to museums, movie nights and free classes.   Oh, and  Air Conditioning.  That is definitely a plus during the 90 degree heat wave we recently got hit with.

 

I will confess – I am a reformed book snob.  I liked having an assortment of books…. Now, I realize those books mostly take up room and I am persnickety– I tend to peruse books and toss them aside.   

 

Therefore, the library makes the most sense for me!  I can take books out on anything I want - Green Cleaning,  the Paleo Diet, cook books up my eyeballs.  You name it – the library has it.  And you can even REQUEST books if someone has already taken the book out or it is at a different library.

 

The Nassau Library system is pretty cool.  You just need to get a library card at your ‘home’ library but can frequent any of their 50 + locations

 

What I usually do is look up the book or subject I want to read – ie: The Honest Life by Jessica Alba and search for it under the resource list.  I write down the call number and off I go.

 

The biggest challenge is keeping the kids quiet while I am looking for my books.  Apparently  ‘Let’s look for call number 614. W’  isn’t as exciting as  I-Spy…. Who knew?

 

So, who else loves the library?  Or, did everyone already know just how awesome the library really is?

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Simple Ways to Save : Take the Survey on Your Receipt!

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How many of us blatantly ignore the survey printed at the bottom of our receipts? I know I was one of those silly people (& yes, I am calling you silly).

It is easy cash!  Stores like Old Navy will offer you 10% off your purchase.  Friendly’s offers you $5.00 a $25.00 purchase (major score!) & Rite Aid offers you $3.00 off. 

Don’t be lazy – take the survey.

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