Sunday, December 21, 2008

CVS Deals: December 21 - 27

Run as fast as you can to your nearest CVS! There are TONS of free after ECB items Sunday & Monday only. This is a great week to stock up on a few items, or roll ECBs (especially ones you might have gotten at Thanksgiving).

Free after ECB items that we got: (Only valid SUNDAY & MONDAY!)

$6.00 - Rightguard Professional Strength Deodorant (limit 5)
$2.99 - Listerine Mouthwash (limit 5)
$2.59 - Halls Naturals (limit 1)
$3.99 - Excedrin Express Gels (limit 1) (used $2/1 coupon here)
$5.99 - Zipfizz Energy mix (limit 1)
$5.99 - Sally Hansen Lacquer Shine nail color (limit 2) (used CVS Beauty Book coupon $3/2 Sally Hansen nail color)
$6.99 - L'Oreal HIP eye shadow (limit 2)
$1.69 - EAS AdvantEdge bar (limit 1)
$7.49 - EAS AdvantEdge shake (limit 1)
$4.99 - Zantac 150 (limit 1) (used $1.00 coupon from newspaper insert)

We also received a $5/$15 CRT - so be on the lookout for these!!

Other good deals we purchased this week: (These deals are good all week.)

$6.99 - Lever 2000 8-pack bar soap (only earns $1 ECB - this was a need!) (used $1.00 coupon from old newspaper insert)
$2.99 - Crest Pro-Health toothpaste (earns $2 ECBs) (used $1.00 coupon from P&G)
$2.99 - Crest Pro-Health rinse (earns $2 ECBS) (used $.75 coupon from P&G)

I'd normally post deal ideas, but there are so many free items I think you may have the best success this week matching your available ECBs to the items on sale! Happy CVSing!

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Thursday, December 18, 2008

New Christmas Treat

I grew up in a family where we made the same Christmas cookies every year. Everyone had their own personal favorite, and it wasn't that hard to make just one more type of cookie. (Especially with 3 girls + mom who all liked to bake!)

Obviously, with just 2 of us I'm not doing much baking this year. We seem to be eating a ton of sweets as it is, thanks to generous neighbors and friends, and we'll be headed to my parents for Christmas. But, as I said, I love to bake! So, how to solve this problem? We're having a few friends over for a dessert drop-in - the perfect chance to see them during this season and to enjoy some homemade goodies. :)

So, I get to try this new recipe from my aunt that doesn't have a name to us yet:

Take two big Cheez-it crackers & spread peanut butter between them. Dip them in melted chocolate, then let harden on waxed paper. They taste a little bit like Butterfingers!

I just wanted to share this super simple, delicious recipe with y'all! (Even though I haven't made them yet, I did have a chance to try one. ) Hope you enjoy!!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Remembering Others This Christmas

Many of the readers of this blog, and others like it, are incredibly frugal. Let's face it, a lot of you use coupons, only shop sales, play "the drugstore game", and just generally know the best ways to save. So today I'd like to challenge you - who better to help others than those who know how to stretch a penny the farthest?

Now don't get me wrong, I'm definitely not trying guilt-trip you into donating some of your hard-earned stash! I'm simply suggesting that this is the perfect time of year to consider who else could benefit from your thriftiness. Times are tough for everyone, and I heard this past week how food pantries are particularly suffering.

My challenge to you this week: consider how others can benefit from your frugality! You can bless not only your family, but many others this holiday season.

And, in case you thought I was being a little vague with this post - this was intentional: be creative in ways you can help others! You know you and your family's strengths and how to best utilize them. :) For more frugal tips, head on over to Frugal Friday to check them out.

I'd love to hear specific ways your family has found to (frugally) be a blessing to others this Christmas! Please share in the comments so we can all benefit from your ideas.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

O Christmas Tree

As part of our first married Christmas, we had to decide what we wanted to do about a Christmas tree.  Both me & J grew up having a real tree every year, and we really wanted to carry on this tradition.  So... we stopped at a roadside place the other night to check some out and were FLOORED with the prices!  We had money in the budget for a tree, and this was something we both really wanted, but um, $70??  I don't think so!  Not to mention we had no idea of how long they had been cut.   (Every person that sells trees always says "they were cut yesterday"!)  

We came home and did a little thinking, like how badly we really wanted a tree and how much we really wanted to spend on it.  Then yesterday we called a few places and decided to go to a tree farm!  My first thought was that tree farms would be more expensive - you get a fresher tree and you get the "experience" of the farm.  Boy was I wrong!  

We had a great time picking out exactly which tree we wanted.  They had several varieties, all different heights, and a huge assortment!  They offered free hot chocolate, they helped you put it in or on your car, and just let you enjoy the whole process.  And, on top of all that, the costs were less than half as much as what the roadside places were asking!!  

Check out this site if you'd like to find a Christmas tree farm near you.  Or, if you've opted to have an artificial tree or go a different route, please leave a comment!  I'd love to hear what everyone else does about this.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Works for Me Wednesday: Keeping a Dust Ruffle in Place

The Problem: Every time I would change the sheets on our bed, I would fight with the dust ruffle to keep it from sliding waaay off the end of the bed. Sometimes I'd try to fix it, other times the dust ruffle (or bedskirt if you prefer to call it that...) would just stay out of place until the next time I'd change the sheets.

The Solution: My mom told me about these amazing things - TWIST PINS. (I think she might have called them upholstery tacks, but this is what I could find that looked like she described.)

You just twist them into your dust ruffle & box springs, and the head on them is nice and flat. This second picture shows you a little bit what it looks like from the side - all you can see poking out of the box springs is a little clear head. Ever since I've done this, there's been no more fighting with the dust ruffle!! Definitely works for me!

For more tips & tricks, check out Rocks In My Dryer's Works for Me Wednesday. Or, take a look at some of my older posts.

Monday, December 1, 2008


I just have to throw out a quick plug for my sister's new Etsy shop, PLUM BeaN. She makes THE most adorable fleece hats for babies. The first one was for my 3 1/2 month old niece, and they were too cute not to put up on Etsy.

They would make excellent Christmas gifts or baby shower gifts - run over to to her shop right now & pick out your favorite!

CVS Deals: November 30 - December 6

I don't think I've ever seen the deals quite as slim as they are this week, but hey, it's hard to complain after last weekend. These are just a few things I picked up this week & rolled a few ECBs with, as well. Most are monthly deals.

Transaction #1:

$8.99 - Complete contact solution (earns $8.99 ECBs - so free!)
$4.00 - 2 packs of Trident gum (earns $1 ECB)
$4.99 - Five Hour Energy (earns $4.99 ECBs - so free!)

Coupons used:
-$2.00 Complete, found here
- $15.97 ECBs from previous trip

Total after coupons & ECBs: $.01

Earned: $14.98 ECBs ($8.99, $4.99 & $1.00)

I was planning to stop with Transaction #1, but a $5/$15 coupon printed out! If you have one of these, this second deal is a $5 moneymaker!!

Transaction #2:

$8.99 - Complete contact solution (earns $8.99 ECBs - so free!)
$10.00 - (6) Promax enery bars (earns $5 ECBs for 3 - so free!)

Coupons used:
-$5/$15 CRT printed on Transaction #1 (if you didn't get the $5/$15, just get 3 Promax bars)
-$14.98 ECBs from Transaction #1

Total after coupons & ECBs: $.01

Earned: $18.99 ECBs ($8.99 & $10.00)

Come back next week & maybe the deals will be a little better! :)

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How to Make Cute Tinsel Ornaments

For our first Christmas together, my husband & I really wanted to make some ornaments. We don't have many of our own yet, and thought this would be a fun way to build our collection. One of my friends gave me this great idea for ornaments. Here's how you make them:

Step One: Gather supplies. Super cheap & pretty easy to find. Some tinsel (I found mine at the Dollar Tree), craft ornaments (found at Hobby Lobby or Michael's or another craft store), scissors, and a pencil!

Step Two: Remove top to the ornament.

Step Three: Use the pencil eraser to help push the tinsel inside the ornament. Stuff as much tinsel as you like inside (it doesn't take much!), then snip off any remaining pieces that are too
stubborn to be forced inside.

When you finish, put the top back on the ornament! You can hang these on your tree, give them as gifts, or put them in a bowl as a centerpiece. We opted for the last option (as we don't have a tree right now) and love the way it turned out! Let me know what you think.