Friday, December 28, 2012

Gift Closet

Do you keep a gift closet?  It can be a closet, rubbermaid container, spot under your bed, it doesn't matter.  But the concept is that you have a few gifts on hand, that you've purchased for pennies on the dollar, that you can give for birthdays, anniversaries, showers, etc.  A gift closet saves you from having to go out and buy a gift at full price when you get an invitation for an event.

If you have young children, you'll want to stock up on a few age-appropriate toys when you find them for a steal.  So when that next birthday party invitation comes home from school, you just pick out a toy from your stash, wrap and go.  Not only do you save money, but you save the time and (inevitable) last minute scramble to pick up a gift.

If you're in your 20's or 30's, you'll want to stock up on good bridal shower or baby shower gifts.  Both types of showers are easy to give gift baskets for, so when you see great deals on towels, home decorations, wine glasses, etc, pick them up and before you know it, you'll have a lovely gift basket to give.  The same goes for baby shower baskets - blankets, toys, outfits, etc all can make for a nice gift basket, so pick up those items when you see them for pennies on the dollar.

And no matter your age or stage in life, it's always a good idea to have a few items such as Yankee Candles or nice hand lotions on hand to give as a last minute gift.  Maybe you go to someone's house for the first time and need to bring a little house warming gift.  Maybe a co-worker gave you a Christmas gift you weren't expecting and you'd like to reciprocate.  These are good items to have on hand for those occassions so you aren't going out and purchasing something for full price.

If you don't already have a gift closet, keep this idea in the back of your head as you see great deals this year.  You may be able to pick up a few gifts for quite a bargain!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Crabtree & Evelyn Hand Creams 5 for $10

Crabtree & Evelyn has their travel sized hand creams on sale 5 for $10.  These are normally $7.  You must buy 5 in order to get the discount.  There's also free shipping on all orders!

These hand creams are really nice.  I used to have teh Gardeners one pictured above and I loved how soft it made my hands.

These could be a really nice stocking stuffer or addition to a gift basket. 

Old Navy Gift Cards 10% off Through 12/8

Through 12/8, Old Navy is offering 10% off their gift cards (in store only).  If you are an Old Navy credit card holder, you can get 15% off.

I bought one on Tuesday and had no problem.  I bought the gift card, then I used the gift card to pay for my purchase. 

There is also a coupon for $15 off a $50 purchase (in store only) that's valid through 12/9.  Go here to print off your coupon, or you can just pull it up on your smartphone.

Combine the two and you can get some nice deals! 

Monday, December 3, 2012

Baking Tip

Here is a tip on how to stretch your holiday baking just a little bit further:  make your cookies/bars smaller. 

Revolutionary, I know.

But in all seriousness, if you cut a pan of bars to make 24 bars, they will be larger and your guests will probably take one.  If you cut your pan of bars to make 48 bars, they will be half the size, but your guests will probably still take one!  Many times with something sweet, you don't actually need a large sampling of it, especially when there are other desserts (and there always are around the holidays)! 

So, if you have a cookie swap to attend, just make your cookies a little smaller and you'll get more out of one recipe. 

If you have to bring a dessert to two different parties, make your cookies smaller, bring half to the first party, and half to the second (freezing the superflulous cookies if there is a long time in between parties). 

See where I'm going here?  You can save yourself time, and most certainly money, by making your cookies a little bit smaller.  No one will notice except your wallet! 

And if you are usually someone who buys the pre-made cookie dough, can I encourage you to try and make the same cookies from scratch instead?  It's cheaper, you'll be able to make more cookies and it's certainly easier to make the cookies a smaller size from your scratch dough, then from pre-formed dough.  I'll be doing a whole post later about cost comparison between home made dough and store bought dough.

Happy baking!  We made sugar cookies this weekend at our house (and I did make them a tiny bit thinner and used smaller cookie cutters to make my cookies go further!) 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Free Christmas Music from Amazon

Starting today, every 5 days, Amazon is offering a new set of 5 FREE Christmas songs.  That's one free song for every day from now until Christmas!

Go here to claim your first 5 free songs. 

Thanks, Hip 2 Save!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Chili's Holidaily Coupon: A New Coupon Every Day

Chili's is running a Holidaily promotion through December 24 where they will have a new coupon available each day.  You can use your coupon on the day that you print it.  So if you're planning on eating out at Chili's this month, make sure you print a coupon before you leave!

Thank you, Couponing to Disney!

ABC Family 25 Days of Christmas

I'm all about free fun, especially at Christmas time.  The ABC Family channel runs the 25 days of Christmas (movies) starting today.  Even if you don't watch every single day, it's nice to know that there is a family-friendly Christmas movie on TV every night from now until Christmas!

Tonight's movie is Elf.  Who doesn't love that movie?!  My daughter is too young for it, but I'll be watching it after she goes to bed :).  They also have movies running during the day most days.  Our DVR is set for Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas this morning!

Here is the entire schedule so you can mark your calendar (or set your DVR) for days you don't want to miss!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Elf on the Shelf (Light Skinned Girl Elf) $17 Shipped!

I have never seen Elf on the Shelf at this low of a price before!  Right now, Barnes and Noble is offering the light skinned girl elf for just $13.69.  Shipping will be about $3.99 (or free with an order over $25).  Prior to this, the lowest I've ever seen it was $24.95.

So if you haven't already purchased an Elf on the Shelf, this is a great opportunity!  I don't know how long this price break will last. 

Thanks, My Frugal Adventures!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Subway: $2 Sandwiches All December Long!

For the month of December, Subway is offering their Cold Cut Combo and their Meatball Marinara 6" subs for just $2!  If you buy your lunch out frequently, this is a great way to save money during one of the most expensive months of the year!

Thanks, Couponing to Disney!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Recipe: Peanut Butter Squares

Here's a fan favorite to add to your holiday baking list:

Peanut Butter Squares
1 cup butter or margarine
1 box confectioners sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
12oz chocolate chips

In a microwave safe bowl, melt butter (approximately 1 minute) in the microwave.  When completely melted, add the confectioners sugar, peanut butter and graham crackers.  Mix completely.  Spread the peanut butter mixture in a 9x13 pan.

Now melt the chocolate chips in the microwave.  Start by putting them in for 1 minute.  Take out and stir.  Then put them in for 30 second increments from there, stirring in between each one, until completely melted.  (I find it typically takes just one 30 second zap after the initial 1 minute to completely melt the chocolate.) 

Spread the chocolate on top of the peanut butter mixture.  Place in the fridge to harden.  Once hard, cut in to squares and serve.

You can also roll the peanut butter mixture in to balls and dip them in to the chocolate.  It makes for much nicer presentation, but it is definitely more time consuming. 

Approximate cost of the squares:  $4.47
  • Margarine cost $1 for 2 cups, so only $0.50 in this recipe
  • Confectioners sugar cost $1 per box
  • Peanut butter cost $2.15 per 16 oz, there's approx. 2 cups in a 16 oz jar, so 1/2 cup is approx. $0.54
  • Graham Crackers I bought as whole crackers and made them crumbs myself - the box was $1.88 and I used 1 of the 3 sleeves, so $0.63
  • Chocolate chips cost $1.80 per 12oz bag
*Costs may vary slightly be region or the sale you hit!  These are the actual prices I paid for the ingredients (and why I always stock up when I find these rock-bottom prices!)

Monday, November 26, 2012

Cardstore: $0.39 Holiday Cards - Today Only!

Cyber Monday Event! $0.39 Holiday Cards & Invitations + FREE Shipping at Cardstore, Use Coupon Code:

After all of their great deals so far this season, it is no surprise to me that Cardstore came through again today with a great deal for Cyber Monday!

Today only, you can get your holiday cards for only $0.39 each!  Plus, if you have them send your cards for you, they pay your postage!

So let's think about this... stamps are $0.45, so even if you got your holiday cards for free, but still had to send them yourself, you'd pay $0.45 per card.  Cardstore however, is offering an awesome card, mailed for you for only $0.39!  It's almost like you're making $0.06 on every card!

If you haven't made your holiday cards yet, this is definitely the deal to jump on!  I'm sure you have some great photos to use from the long holiday weekend!

Just click the picture above to get started making your cards!

Cyber Monday!

Today is Cyber Monday!  In my book, this is even better than Black Friday - because you don't have to leave the comfort of your home to get the "door busters"!

Many websites will also give free shipping on Cyber Monday, so your good deals get even better with free shipping!

My favorite Cyber Monday deals the past few years have been on photo gifts (like canvases or photo books) and clothes.  I usually look to find my Christmas outfit on Cyber Monday. 

I love shopping, especially for clothes, online because it's all organized for you.  You don't have to comb through any messy sale sections, you don't have to hunt for your size.  Online you can sort by size and everything that's available in your size magically appears for you.  So easy!  And I'm a big returner - so if it doesn't fit, I have no problem just returning it.  Shopping from the comfort of my home... love it!

I will be working all day, so I won't be able to fire out the deals for you, but here are my recommendations on which sites to follow tomorrow for the latest and greatest sales:

My Frugal Adventures
Hip 2 Save
Couponing to Disney
My Litter

Happy Cyber Monday shopping!

Saturday, November 24, 2012 Amazing Lego Deal - $30 for 2 Large Sets! has an amazing deal on legos right now.  Especially, if you're trying to build up your lego collection!  You can build a bundle of either of the two sets above for only $30!  You can pick one of each, or two of the same sets. 

You can choose from:
Lego Creative Building Kit, 650 pieces
Lego Duplo Creative Building Kit, 86 pieces

You can ship this home for free with a $45 order, or you can ship it to your local store for free. 

Don't forget to order through Ebates and get 4% back on your purchase!

Thanks, Money Saving Mom!

Groupon: $20 Toys R Us Voucher for Only $10

Through tomorrow you can buy a $20 voucher to Toys R Us for only $10 from Groupon!  If you'll be shopping at Toys R Us this holiday season, this is a great deal! 

The fine print:
Limit 1 per person. In-store only. Not valid outside USA. Not valid until 11/23/12 at 5PM. Not valid toward Buyer Protection Plan, gift cards including those for digital content, photo studios, phone orders, special orders, assembly fee, breast-pump rental fee, delivery fee, or shipping & handling. Valid only on a purchase of $20 or more. Not withstanding anything above or below, vouchers not valid with Toys"R"Us after 12/24/12. Thereafter, Groupon will refund amount paid in Groupon credit for unredeemed vouchers.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Holiday Baking Tip

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!  And if you braved the stores or shopped from home today, I hope you found some great deals! 

Now that we are officially in the Holiday Season, that means it's time for holiday baking!  My favorite! 

My tip for tonight is to bake when you can and freeze your baked goods!  This tip will save you some time and some sanity if you are planning on entertaining or even just bringing baked goods to a holiday get together this year.

Everyone is very busy, so when you have the time to bake, even if it's 3 weeks before the event, do your baking then.  When the event rolls around, take out your baked goods and enjoy! 

My mom has been freezing her baked goods for years and years now and they are always just as delicious after they've thawed as they were when they were fresh out of the oven.  The only item I've never tried freezing is pies.  But cupcakes, cake pops, cookies of all kinds, brownies, fudge.  I've frozen them all and they all taste great thawed!  (This may be obvious to some, but don't frost your cupcakes before you freeze them.)

Happy Baking!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your families!  I hope your day is filled with laughter and love!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Cardstore: 75% Off Holiday Cards!

Black Friday! 75% off Holiday Cards & Invites + FREE Shipping at Cardstore, Use Coupon Code: CCN2175

If you haven't ordered your holiday cards yet, you have yet another chance with Cardstore!  Through Sunday, 11/25, they are offering 75% off their holiday cards.  If you haven't seen my other posts on Cardstore, it really is an amazing deal, and here's the biggest reason why:

If you put in your addresses and have Cardstore send your cards for you, they will stamp your cards for you... for free!  Free postage!

The majority of their cards start at $2.29, however, go down in price with the more you order.  But we'll use $2.29 as an example.  Your $2.29 is now only $0.57 per card!  AND... if you have Cardstore send your cards out for you, that $0.57 is your card AND postage!  Amazing!

Just click on the picture above to get started!  Use CCN2175 at check out.

I ordered my cards through Cardstore last year and I loved them.  I loved the card and I thought they were nice quality.  This year I've also ordered my cards through them and I'm even having them send them out for me - I mean, it's free postage!  It was really easy to do and didn't take long to enter all my addresses.  As long as Cardstore continues to offer these deals, I can't see myself getting cards from anywhere else!

Snapfish: Buy 1, Get 2 FREE Photo Calendars Plus FREE Shipping!

Snapfish is offering buy 1 get 2 free on their photo calendars through 11/24.  They also are running a free shipping special through 11/22!  This means you'll get 3 photo calendars for about $19.99 (plus tax). 

For the buy 1, get 2 special, use TREATUCAL at check out.  For the free shipping, use the code WOOHOOFS. 

This is a great deal on nice photo gifts!

FREE Shutterfly Calendar - Just Pay Shipping!

Shutterfly is offering a FREE Calendar through Friday, 11/23 with the code CALENDAR2013 at check out.  You will need to just pay shipping, which should run around $6.  That's a great price for a personalized photo calendar!  This would be a great gift!

FREE 8x10 from Walgreens!

Walgreens is offering up another FREE 8x10 enlargement.  Just opt to pick the picture up at your closest store and it will be totally free!  Use code FREE2THANK at check out through Saturday, 11/24.

Put your picture in a nice frame and this could be a nice holiday present for someone! 20% Off Everything, Including Alex and Ani!

If an Alex and Ani bracelet (or bracelets!) is on your shopping list this year, do I ever have a sale for you! is having a site-wide sale of 20% off, including their Alex and Ani bracelets!  And... shipping is free!

The bracelet above is $28, so only $22.40. 

I ordered Alex and Ani bracelets from Zeeberry last year and they came in record time. 

Just use the code 2012JOY at check out.  The sale runs through Monday, 11/26. 

Great Deals at Gap

Gap is having a wonderful sale right now.  The entire store (as well as online) is up to 60% off and you can get an additional 20% off your order when you enter GAPGIFT at check out. 

The up to 60% off sale is through Saturday, 11/24, but the additional 20% off is only through tonight.  They are also promising great deals on Black Friday like $19 sweaters and and kid graphic tees for $5. 

If you don't know what you're wearing for the holidays (like me), this might be a good chance to find an outfit!  Shipping is free on orders over $50.  In my experience, as long as you hit the $50 before coupons, you will still get free shipping!

Barnes & Noble Black Friday: $59 Nook

In store only on Black Friday, Barnes & Noble will be selling the Nook for only $59, plus the power adapter is included!  That's a total savings of $50!  If you're out near a Barnes & Noble on Black Friday, this is a great price for an ereader.  I would call your local Barnes & Noble to see what time they are opening.  This is only while supplies last. 

If you do get a new ereader for Christmas, be sure to check out for the latest free and cheap ebooks!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Starbucks 12 Days of Christmas

Any Starbucks fans out there?  Here are some pretty nice deals you will see during their 12 Days of Christmas this year:
  • December 1:  Buy any tumbler or mug and get a free grande beverage
  • December 2:  Buy one, get one free Starbucks VIA Ready Brew 12 pack or buy one, get one free Tazo Tea Tin
  • December 3:  Buy the featured brewed coffee tumbler and get free coffee all of January
  • December 4:  Get a stainless steel tumbler for $9.95 and any 1lb Christmas blend and a Red Stainless Tumbler for only $19.95 (normally $30)
  • December 5:  Get a red, blue or gold acrylic tumbler for $5.95
  • December 6:  Buy a Merry Moments Cocoa gift set for $12.95
  • December 7:  Buy an y 1lb or Christmas Blend Coffee or K Cup 12 pk for $9.95 or buy a Starbucks VIA Christmas Blend 12 pack for $7.95 and buy one Christmas Verismo Pod Pack for $8.95
  • December 8:  Buy a 16 oz Cold Cup Filled with Frappuccino inspired flavored chocolates for $10.95
  • December 9:  Buy a Starbucks 12 oz Red Cup Collection Mug for $3.95
  • December 10: Save 30% on gift packs
  • December 11:  Save 40% off on Cold Cups and Cold Cup Straws
  • December 12:  Save 40% on a Cranberry Bliss Bar Tray
December 3rd's deal is likely to sell out very fast, so if you're interested in that, get there early!

Thank you, My Frugal Adventures!

Monday, November 19, 2012

eReaderGirl: Resource for Free and Cheap eBooks!

Are you hoping to get an eReader for Christmas?  Or are you giving one as a present?  There is a new site, eReaderGirl that posts daily free and cheap eReader books. 

I love free eReader books.  I've read many books that I wouldn't normally have read just because they were free!  And many of them have been really good!

This is a great resource to have if you have an eReader or just the Kindle app on your phone!

Tiny Prints: 1 Free Greeting Card Through 11/20

Tiny Prints is offering a free greeting card through their newest company, TreatCreate your card (birthday, get well, etc) and then use the code TREATFBONLY at check out! 

I love these free card offers.  I always take advantage of them, even if I don't have someone in particular in mind.  I find cards that look OK without the personalization for birthdays, get well or new baby (those are my go-to categories usually).  I now have a stash of really nice cards for those occasions that I can send out all year long!  Saves me on buying cards!

$5 off a $25 Purchase at Amazon!

You can get $5 off a $25 purchase on Amazon when you answer the question "When will you start your Black Friday Week shopping?" and share it on your Facebook wall!  The credit is good today through Wednesday.

I wouldn't hesitate to grab the credit though, as there are probably a limited number.

To start, just click here, answer the question and hit share on Facebook.  It will prompt you to log in to your Amazon account if you aren't already. 

With all the great deals they are offering this week, this is will make a great deal even better!

Thanks, Couponing to Disney!

5 Things You Can Do Today to Make Your Life Easier on Thanksgiving

Whether you are hosting or traveling for Thanksgiving, there are things you can do ahead of time to make your life a lot easier on Thursday! 

If you're traveling:
  1. Figure out what everyone is wearing and launder and press anything that needs it
  2. Call the host to find out what you can bring - make a plan to make or purchase that item
  3. Tomorrow morning, take note of your morning routine and write down anything you'll need to pack (don't forget items like cotton balls for make up remover, etc)
  4. Pack any toys/car games to occupy children during travel
  5. If you're doing Black Friday shopping, make sure you have everything you need together (coupons, hat, gloves, etc)

If you're hosting:
  1. Figure out what everyone is wearing and launder and press anything that needs it
  2. Take out your table cloth and napkins and press them, then hang them on a hanger
  3. Thoroughly clean any room that can be kept off limits until Thursday (ex: your bedroom, a dining room you don't eat regularly in)
  4. Take out all of your serving pieces and label which foods are going in which dish
  5. Make a list of everything that needs to be done Thursday morning (timing of foods, last minute vacuuming, etc)
These short lists probably only just start to touch on everything that can be done a few days ahead of time.  Thursday morning you'll be so happy that you have less on your plate! 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Black Friday Shopping

I'm not big on Black Friday shopping out in the crowds.  Some people live for it though!  I think in some instances it sounds like fun.  For example, our local outlet mall has Christmas Carolers and other festive activities going on.  That actually sounds fun.  Walmart on the other hand - does not sound like fun to me.  Not even a little bit. 

I say all that to say this - most (not all) of the Black Friday deals are also available online as well as in the stores.  Items will still sell out pretty quickly online, but if you log on right when a sale is slated to start, you have a pretty good chance of snagging the item you want.

As I've said, I'm not heading out to the stores, so I figure if I get the deal online, great, if not, I wasn't going to get it in the store either... because I wasn't going!

Something else to keep in mind is that many retailers are trying to draw customers in all week, so they are running different deals all week long.  You may see some really low prices even before Thanksgiving!  For example, Amazon has a whole Black Friday week special this week!  Each day, new great deals!

If you want to do some online Black Friday shopping, here are some good resources for you:

The three bloggers I mentioned above will be firing out deals all day long - most of which will be online deals. 

Good luck - I hope you score some awesome deals!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Snapfish: Buy 1, Get 2 Free Photobooks and Calendars

Snapfish is offering 2 free photobooks when you buy 1 through 11/20/12.  The same is being offered for their photo calendars! 

For the photo book offer, use the code TREATUBOOK at check out.  For the photo calendar offer, use the code TREATUCAL at check out. 

The 8x8 photo book (my personal favorite size) starts at $19.99 for 20 pages.  Shipping will probably run around $10.  So for $30, you have 3 photo books - only $10 each!  That's a wonderful price for photo books!

The photo calendars look to be priced the same and shipping should be about the same, so it would be about $10 per photo calendar.  I would say it's a better deal for the photo books.  But not a terrible price for the calendars.

70% Off Holiday Cards at Cardstore Again!

So I'm starting to see a pattern here with Cardstore - a few days of 70% off, a one day sale then back to the 70% off.  Not that I'm complaining - their 70% off deal is pretty awesome!  And it's back!  You can get 70% off your holiday cards at Cardstore through 11/20/12.
And to make Cardstore even more awesome, if you put your addresses in, Cardstore will send your cards out for you and they'll even pay your postage!  That's another huge savings!
I used Cardstore for my holiday cards last year and I was really pleased with their quality.  I also received a few in the mail recently from a one-day promotion they had a few weeks ago and again, I'm really impressed with their quality!
Just click on the picture above to get started!

Free Christmas Fun: Watch Santa Feed His Reindeer!

This may be one of the cutest things ever!  Every day until Christmas at 11am, 6pm and 9pm EST, you can watch Santa come out and feed his reindeer.  You can log on at any time to just watch a live feed of the reindeer if you want, too!

What a fun, free Christmas activity to do with your kids!

Thanks, Couponing to Disney!

Do You Elf on the Shelf?

Does your family have an Elf?  As in an Elf on the Shelf?  We adopted our Elf two years ago and it's become a really fun tradition!

Elf on the Shelf sells for $29.95 in most stores and I've rarely seen it go any lower than that.  Keep your eye out for specials on it where you may get a gift card back when you buy it (ex: on Black Friday, Target is selling it for $29.95 with a $5 gift card back).  That's usually the only type of deal I've seen on it.  So yes, it's a one time investment, but then you have it for years of fun!  And now you can choose if your Elf is a boy or a girl!

The Elf arrives right after Thanksgiving (ours usually comes the Saturday after) and stays throughout the entire Christmas season.  There is a really cute book that comes with it that explains why the Elf is there, not to touch him and how he relates the children's behavior back to Santa.  Seriously, it's adorable. 

The key is to move your Elf every day because each night he flies back to Santa to tell him what your child did that day and when he returns, he never comes back in the same spot.  In the past two years, our Elf has shown up in different places each day, but that's it, he hasn't done anything too tricky or sneaky.  However, if you look around on Pinterest, you'll find tons of ideas on cool things you can do with your Elf!  People are so creative!  Click HERE and HERE for two different sites I found with really creative and funny ideas. 

So whether you decide to make the investment this year, or if you've already made the investment, Elf on the Shelf is a really fun way (and free, if you already have it!) to infuse some extra magic in to this already magical season!

Friday, November 16, 2012

CVS Black Friday Shopping

The only Black Friday shopping I ever do (besides online) is at the drug stores.  Seriously, you can get amazing deals on everything from toiletries to toys at CVS, Walgreens and Rite Aid starting on Thanksgiving day.

This year though, CVS is starting some of their Black Friday deals early - starting this Sunday!  I'm so happy because this year I'm running (OK, that's a joke... walking) a 5k Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning, which was going to interfere with my Black Friday CVS shopping!

CVS has split up their deals in to two different ads.  These deals posted below are only good from 11/18-11/21. 

This is the way I plan on doing my transactions.  I'll spend $1.62 out of pocket, leave with $6.23 in Extra Care Bucks (ECB) and purchase over $30 in merchandise.

Transaction #1:
Command Hook Sample Pack - $0.99
Buy 1, Get $0.99 ECB (limit 1)
Use $0.50/1 Command Product, exp. 12/16/12 (SS 11/11/12)
Or use $1/1
Command Product Printable
Final Price: $1 Moneymaker! 

Starbucks Refreshers - $1.50
Buy 1, Get $1.50 ECB (limit 1)
Use $1/1
Starbucks Refreshers Printable
Final Price: $1 Moneymaker! 

Children's Advil 1oz - $2.37
a.       Buy 1, Get $2.37 ECB (limit 1)
Use $1.50/1
Advil coupon
Final Price: $1.50 moneymaker

= $1.36 (+tax) out of pocket, get back $4.86 in ECB

Transaction #2:
Kraft Macaroni & Cheese - $0.99
Buy 1, Get $0.99 ECB (limit 1)
Final Price: FREE

Scooby-Doo Fruit Snacks - $2.00
Buy 1, Get $2 ECB (limit 1)
Final Price: FREE 

Powerade - $1.00
Buy 1, Get $1 ECB (limit 1)
Final Price: FREE 

Thin Mints or Nips - $0.88
Buy 1, Get $0.88 ECB (limit 1)
Final Price: FREE 

Use $4.86 in ECB from Transaction #1
= $0.01 (+tax) out of pocket, get back $4.87in ECB

Transaction #3:
Hot Wheels - $1.00
Buy 1, Get $1 ECB (limit 1)
Final Price: FREE 

Advil 10ct - $2.99
Buy 1, Get $2.99 ECB (limit 1)
Final Price: FREE 

Use $0.99 ECB from Kraft, $2 ECB from fruit snacks & $1 ECB from Powerade from Transaction #2 (I'm not using the $0.88 ECB from the Thin Mints right now)
= $0 OOP, get back $3.99 in ECB

Transaction #4: 
ThermaCare Lower Back & Hip Heat Wrap 1ct - $1.99
Buy 1, Get $1.99 ECB (limit 1)
Final Price: FREE 

Cepacol Sensations 4ct - $1.00
Buy 1, Get $1 ECB (limit 1)
Final Price: FREE 

Charmin Basic Toilet Tissue Single Roll - $0.99
Buy 1, Get $0.99 ECB (limit 1)
Final Price: FREE

Use $3.99 in ECB from Transaction #3
= $0 OOP, get back $3.98 in ECB (I'm still not using the $0.88 ECB from the Thin Mints)

Transaction #5:
Right Guard Total Defense 5 Deodorant - $2.99
Buy 1, Get $2 ECB (limit 2)
Use $2/2 Right Guard Total Defense 5 Deodorant, exp. 12/2/12 (RP 11/04/12 R)
Or use $2/2
Right Guard Total Defense5 Deodorant Printable
Or use $2/2
Right Guard Total Defense 5 Deodorant Printable
Final Price: 2 for FREE

Glade Plugins Scented Oil Warmer 1ct - $1.25
Buy 1, Get $1.25 ECB (limit 1)
Use $1/1 Glade Plugins Scented Oil Warmer or Starter Kit, exp. 11/24/12 (SS 10/14/12)
Or use $1/1 Glade Plugins Scented Oil Warmer, exp. 12/1/12 (SS 11/04/12)
Or use $1/1
GladePlugins Scented Oil Warmer Printable
Or use $1/1
GladePlugins Scented Oil Warmer Printable
Final Price: $1 Moneymaker 

Use $3.98 ECB from Transaction #4 (I'm still not using the $0.88 ECB from the Thin Mints)
= $0.25 (+tax), get back $5.25 in ECB

Transaction #6:
Select Carmex Lip Balm - $1.00
Buy 1, Get $1 ECB (limit 1)
Use $0.30/1 Carmex Lip Balm, exp. 12/31/12 (SS 10/21/12 R)
Final Price: $.30 Moneymaker!

Air Wick Scented Oil Warmer 1ct - $0.99
Buy 1, Get $0.99 ECB (limit 1)
Final Price: FREE 

Coke 1.25L - $0.99
Buy 1, Get $0.99 ECB (limit 1)
Final Price: FREE 

(2) Kleenex Slim Pack Facial Tissue 3pk or Sparkle Paper Towel Single Roll - $1.00 each
Buy 1, Get $1 ECB (limit 2)
Final Price: FREE 

Use $4 ECB from Right Guard from Transaction #5 and $0.88 ECB from Thin Mints from Transaction #2
= $0 out of pocket, get back $4.98 in ECB

I'll have the $4.98 ECB from Transaction #6 and the $1.25 Glade ECB from Transaction #5 for a total of $6.23 ECB left to use on the ad that starts on 11/22!

This is just what I'm doing.  There are other items free after ECB, which you can check out at My Frugal Adventures!  Any of the printable coupons listed above I just printed tonight, so they should all still have prints left.

I'll be at CVS when the doors open on Sunday to hopefully pull off my plan without a hitch!

I almost forgot to mention - if something you wanted wasn't in stock, CVS does rain checks and they never expire!

FREE 8x10 from Walgreens!

Through 11/24, Walgreens is offering a free 8x10 enlargement with the code FREE2THANK at check out!

Put this in a nice frame and you could have a holiday gift to check off your list!

Thanks, Hip 2 Save! - $0.29 Cards Today Only!

ONE DAY ONLY - 11/16! 29¢ Holiday Cards + Free Shipping when you let us mail it for you!

Cardstore is at it again!  Today only they are offering all of their holiday cards for $0.29, PLUS they will mail them for you - for free!  That's right, you won't even have to pay for the stamps! 

So many of my readers have already taken advantage of some of the great deals at Cardstore this season and have literally saved hundreds of dollars on their cards! 

This is probably their best promotion yet, so if you haven't bought your cards yet, today is the day to do it! 

Just click the picture above to get started!  Then at check out, enter code CCN1629.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Thanksgiving Price List

If you are hosting Thanksgiving you're probably going to be doing your shopping this weekend.  Here is a run down of the pricing of some common Thanksgiving foods in their ads so you can decide which store near you has the best prices:
(Quick funny story about Aldi... the first time I went there I knew it was all cash, but that's all I knew about it.  So I walk inside to look for a cart, they are no where to be found.  I go back out to the parking lot to see if there is a cart corral full of carts... nope.  Then I see a whole gathering of carts.  Triumphant, I walk over to grab a cart... but I can't get it away from the pack.  It was dark, so I didn't see that you had to put a quarter in the cart to get it loose.  So I stand there fighting with the cart for probably a whole minute, until I see someone return a cart and take their quarter out.  Then it all came together for me...  I seriously must have given the other shoppers a good show!)
  • Stuffing mix = $0.89
  • Pumpkin pie mix (30 oz) = $2.89
  • Dozen eggs = $1.55
  • Gallon milk = $2.99
  • Spices = $0.99 - $1.69
  • Pecan or walnut halves (6 oz) = $3.99
  • Chocolate chips (12 oz) = $1.29
  • Baking soda = $0.49
  • Confectioners or brown sugar (2 lbs) = $1.39
  • Marshmallows (mini or regular) = $0.89
  • Evaporated milk = $0.65
  • Sweetend condensed milk = $1.19
  • Disposable turkey pan = $0.99
  • Cooking spray (6oz) = $1.39
  • Canola oil (48oz) = $2.69
  • Sugar (4lbs) = $2.18
  • Flour (5lbs) = $1.58
  • Cranberry sauce = $0.89
  • Canned corn = $0.49
  • Canned green beans = $0.49
  • French fried onions (6 oz) = $1.99
  • Canned peas = $0.99
  • Canned sweet potatoes = $1.29
  • White Potatoes (10lbs) = $1.99
  • Cresent rolls = $0.99
  • Butter (1lb) = $1.99
  • Jumbo biscuits = $1.29
  • Cranberries = $0.99
  • Celery = $0.69
  • Sweet potatoes (3lbs) = $0.99
  • Butterball turkey = $1.19/lb
  • Carrots (2lbs) = $1.29
  • Baby carrots (1lb) = $1.49
  • Broccoli (14oz) = $1.69
  • Red onions (2lbs) = $1.89
  • Garlic (6oz) = $0.79
  • Red potatoes (5lbs) = $2.49
  • 12 Brown and serve rolls = $0.99
  • Chicken broth (2lbs) = $0.99
  • Gravy packet = $0.35
  • Butterball turkey = $0.99/lb
  • Market Pantry Russet Potatoes = $1.49/5 lb bag
  • Cool Whip topping = $0.99
  • Marshmallows = $0.99
  • Stove Top Stuffing Mix = $1
  • 12 ct Market Pantry Rolls = $1.79
  • 12 oz bag Ocean Spray cranberries = $1.99
  • 15 oz Libby’s pumpkin pie filling = $1.50
  • Carnation evaporated milk 12 oz = $0.99
  • 1lb land o lakes butter = $3
  • 5lb gold medal flour = $2.29
  • 4lb market pantry sugar = $2.39
  • Wesson canola oil 48oz = $2.99
  • 1lb baby carrots = $1.50
  • Archer Farms take and bake baguette = $2.79
  • President Brie = $3.49 (8oz)
  • Del Monte assorted canned veggies = $0.65
  • French’s French fried onions = $2.99 (6 oz)
  • 32 oz Swanson chicken broth = $1.99
  • Birdseye steam fresh veggies = $1
  • Heinz home style gravy jar 12 oz = $1
And for my local readers:
Big Y
  • Birds Eye corn = buy 1 get 2 free (about $0.74 each)
  • Baby carrots = buy 1 get 2 free (about $0.67 each)
  • Russet potatoes 5lb bags = buy 1 get 2 free (about $1.34 per bag)
  • Yams or sweet potatoes = $0.49/lb
  • Campbell's gravy = buy 1 get 2 free (about $0.57 each)
  • Ocean spray cranberries = $2.50
  • Broccoli = $1.49/lb
  • Butterball turkey = $1.69/lb
  • Cool whip = $1.50
  • Land O' Lakes butter = $3
  • Pillsbury crescent rolls = $2
  • Pillsbury all ready pie crusts = $2
  • Big Y margarine = $1.15
  • Ocean spray cranberry sauce = $1.25
  • Big Y french fried onions = $2.50
  • Swanson chicken broth = 4/$3
  • Stove top stuffing = $0.99
  • Campbell's cream of mushroom soup = $1
  • Gold medal flour = $2.29
  • Domino sugar = $2.50
Note - these are the prices in my stores/ads, they can defnitely vary region by region.  But this should give you a comparison point while you're shopping.

Entertaining for Less: Use What You Have

If you're hosting Thanksgiving dinner, you've probably started to think about what your menu will look like and what serving dishes you'll use.  Thanksgiving naturally lends itself to many side dishes, which means many serving dishes.  Are you looking at your serving pieces and thinking to yourself - well those don't match.  Or... do I even have enough?
I recently had a conversation with a co-worker who is hosting Thanksgiving.  She was really excited to use earth-toned pieces of pottery that she has as her serving dishes.  She thought they'd look great at a Thanksgiving table setting - and I agreed.  But she wasn't sure what to do about her dishes because they were stark white and she felt an off-white would go better.  I agree, off white would go better, but that's not what she had, so her options are either to buy off-white plates ($$$), or use what she has (free!).  I suggested that she does a fancy napkin in an earth tone on top of her white plates.  It would break up the starkness of the white and once people put food on their plate, they will never even notice how white the plates look against the earth-colored serving dishes.
Maybe you've been in that situation before, maybe you've never even given it a second thought.  Either way, here are 7 tips for you:
1.  If you own china, use your china.  If you're anything like me, you get to use your china maybe once a year.  You own it, you may as well use it!
2.  If you have a bowl that really doesn't match the rest of your serving pieces, try putting a cloth napkin or two in it, with the napkin overlapping on the sides and use that as your bread bowl.  The napkin will mask the fact that the bowl doesn't really match the rest of your pieces.
3.  Mix and match!  You don't have to have serving pieces of all one color, pattern or style.  Many times an eclectic mix of pieces will look the best.
4.  If you're short on plates, see if you can borrow from a family member.  If you can, then alternate the plates on the table.  It will look as though you did that on purpose to add interest to your table, not that you were short plates!  If you're only short, say two plates, then just place them at the heads of the table.  Again, it will look intentional if placed with thought!
4.  Re-use pieces if you can.  If you serve appetizers, you can quickly clear them away before dinner, wash the dish(es) and put a new side dish in it for dinner. 
5.  Just like with the plates, don't be afraid to borrow from family or friends, especially those who are attending your dinner, because you know they won't be using their dishes!  Borrow bowls, platters, condiment dishes, etc. 
6.  If you have a guest who is bringing a dish to share, ask them to bring it in a dish that can be served out of.  That is one less serving piece for you to find.
7.  Use a fancy plate setting to camoflauge mis-matched plates.  Maybe you end up with a few different patterns of plates on your table.  You can tie them all together with a uniform place setting.  Check Pinterest for inspiration or google "fancy place settings".  You'll find different ways to fold napkins, different ways to lay out your silverware and more!
Most importantly, remember that at the end of the day, it's the memories you make and the laughter you share with your guests that is really going to matter.  No one will remember if everyone ate off of a different patterned plate.  :)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

FREE (or cheap) Sponge Bob or Dora Wrapping Paper is currently offering a coupon for $1 off one roll of American Greetings Sponge Bob or Dora Christmas wrapping paper.  If you don't see the coupon, change your zip code to 77477.

Use this coupon at Dollar Tree to scoree FREE wrapping paper.  They have 20 ft rolls for just $1 and they now take coupons, so they will be FREE after coupon!  I just bought Princess and Toy Story wrapping paper there a few weeks ago and I can verify that I definitely saw Dora paper there. 

You should be able to print two copies of the coupon.

Need help changing your zip code on
1.  At the top, click on local coupons
2.  On the left hand side, towards the top (just under the icon) you'll see a spot to put in your zip code
3.  Put in 77477
4.  Hit enter or hit the little orange arrow next to the zip code box
5.  Now your zip code is changed!

Come back here and click this link and it should bring you right to with the wrapping paper coupon clipped for you.  Now all you have to do is print it!

If you don't have a Dollar Tree near you, or don't find this wrapping paper there, both Target and Walmart sell Sponge Bob and Dora Christmas wrapping paper for $3, so it would just be $2 after coupon!

Thanks, Hip 2 Save!

140 Return Address Labels for Under $4 Shipped!

On top of the 6 free items from VistaPrint that I told you about last night, they are also offering free return address labels - just pay shipping!

If you aren't ordering your holiday cards through Cardstore and having them send your cards for you, these would be great labels for your holiday cards.  I made some with little Santa's on them a few years ago and they are adorable!

Other ideas for the labels:
- A house-warming gift
- Labels on school supplies
- Labels on toys
- Gift tags (make them to say "Merry Christmas!  Love, Katie")

You don't just have to put your address on them, so get creative!

If you haven't yet ordered your Christmas cards through Cardstore, I really would encourage you to think about it.  They will send them out for you (and pay your postage!), so you don't need to worry about address labels! 

Thank you, My Litter!

Give-a-way Winner Announcement!

Update:  The give-a-way is now closed and the winner is...

Cortney J!  Cortney, I have emailed you already.

Thank you to everyone who entered the give-a-way!  If you didn't win, but would like a copy of Crystal's book, she's selling it for only $0.99 through tomorrow on Amazon. 

Can you tell that Crystal from Money Saving Mom is one of my favorite bloggers? Crystal is an expert a frugal and simple living - her stories are absolutely inspiring.
Crystal has written a new ebook called Celebraing & Savoring: a simple Christmas. It's being released today and she's selling it for only $0.99 through Thursday! I purchased my copy this morning - I can't wait to read it!

From Crystal:
In this book you'll learn to:
- Organize your Christmas list
- Make and stick with a Christmas budget
- Freezer cook for the holidays
- Make memorable family activities
- Simple and inexpensive homemade gifts
- Get your home in order
- Savor the meaning of the season
... and much more

Even more exciting is that Crystal has given me a copy of her ebook to give away to one of my readers!

To enter the give-a-way, please email me at and let me know which of the following actions below you've taken. You will be entered in the give-a-way 1 time for each action you take (so up to 3 times):

1. Follow Holidays for Less (the blue button on the right hand side that says "Join this Site").
2. Like Holidays for Less on Facebook (if you already like Holidays for Less, that counts too!) - click the "F" at the top right of the blog to connect to our Facebook page.
3. Follow Holidays for Less on Twitter (if you already follow Holidays for Less, that counts too!). Just click the birdie in the circle at the top right of the blog (next to the F and P in circles) to follow on Twitter.
The give-a-way will close at 5pm Wednesday and the winner will be chosen at random and announced Wednesday night!

Oriental Trading: Free Shipping - No Minimum Purchase!

Oriental Trading is offering FREE shipping through November 16 on every order, no minimum purchase!  Just enter WCE3688 at check out.

Take a good look around their site, you'll find crafts, scrapbooking supplies, holiday costumes (elf, santa, snowman), and much, much more!

Check out their sale section as well.  You may be able to find some nice scrapbooking supplies for a scrapbook-er on your holiday list.  Or some craft supplies for your children.

Take a look around!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

20 Personalized Gift Tags - Only $2.25 Shipped

Just a reminder about this deal.  I just received mine today and they are adorable!

Ink Garden is offering 20 FREE personalized gift tags to their new customers. You will just pay $2.25 in shipping. That works out to about $0.11 per gift tag!

I think these are adorable! I just ordered a set and I chose the above pattern.

What I love about these is that they have options that include a picture and others where you just customize your name. Also, you can customize what the tag says, so if you want to change "Warm Holiday Wishes" on this one to something else, you can do that!

What a nice, personal, touch these would be to your packages this holiday! And $2.25 for 20 is cheaper than what you can buy at the store for generic ones!

This offer runs through December 17th. You just need to enter FREETAGS at check out. Just a note - when I ordered mine, on the first page of check out, it looked like the promo was automatically applied. But then as I got further in to the check out, it no longer looked like the promo was applied. I was able to apply it on that page no problem. But my advice to you is to put the promo in on the first page, even though it may look like it was applied automatically.

Thanks, Hip 2 Save!