How Holiday Sales Help You Save Throughout the Year

How Holiday Sales Help You Save Throughout the Year

Well I thought I was all done with my pre-Christmas shopping but then a friend at work told me that Kohl’s had their Jansport backpacks on clearance so I had to make another trip back today and boy did I score! These backpacks all retail for between $59 and $89 but I got them on clearance today for between $4.80 and $12.80, PLUS I got to use a 30% off coupon AND I got $10 back in Kohl’s Cash. I saved a whopping $375.41 and that doesn’t even include the $10 Kohl’s cash. With five kids I seem to spend a small fortune on backpacks for back to school each year so I’m thrilled to have stocked them up for next year at these bargain prices.

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheerios Muddy Buddies Recipe

Disclosure – This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Chex™. The opinions and text are all mine.

Peanut Butter & Chocolate Muddy Buddy Mix Recipe

This is the time of year when we make all of our favorite treats like Chex™ Muddy Buddies™ Party Mix, or as we call it, Puppy Chow – cuz it’s so doggone good! I know, that’s very punny, but really you just can’t go wrong with any kind of Chex mix and this Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheerios™ Muddy Buddies recipe is our new favorite. The kids and I always enjoy making homemade gifts for our neighbors and my office mates and I can’t wait to take this new mix to work tomorrow – my cube is gonna be popular! The recipe below made enough to fill three of these buckets so my parents and favorite neighbors are also gonna score this week.

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15 Fun & Creative Wine Cork Recycling Projects

15 Fun & Creative Wine Cork Recycling Projects

I have this really cool hanging copper fruit basket in the kitchen that I throw my used wine corks in – it’s always a game, one point for making it in the bottom basket, two for making the middle basket and three if you make it in the top basket. Well after collecting them for awhile I’ve been wanting to get crafty with them so I found a bunch of neat ideas for things you can make with wine corks! Check out the list and let me know which you’d like to try:

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Easy Valentine’s Day Nutella Cookie Cups

Easy Valentine's Day Nutella Cookie Cups

Something about this season really makes me want to bake and sometimes, when I want something warm from the oven but don’t really have time to make something from scratch, I like to “cheat” a little and use these delicious refrigerated Pillsbury sugar cookies to make something that looks like I slaved over homemade treats. This recipe really fits that bill because they’re super fast and easy to make but they look really complicated so get ready for the compliments!

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DIY Vanilla Mint Lip Balm

DIY Vanilla Mint Lip Balm

If you are new to making lip balm, the first thing you should know is that it really isn’t as hard as you may think! It also isn’t time consuming either and one great perk is you can save a lot of money by doing it yourself. If you have a good, natural base, then once you’ve made your own lip balm a few times, you will feel confident in changing the flavors and ingredients for them with no problem. This recipe has a good base which comes out nice and smooth and then with the addition of a great spearmint essential oil and vanilla extract you’ll have a perfect flavor combination.

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10 Things to Stock Up On During the Holidays

10 Things to Stock Up On During the Holidays

This time of year we have sales happening left and right. Sure you are thinking about gifts for the holidays and food for those smorgasbord meals. If that is all you are shopping for you are losing a great chance to stock up during the holidays for the best prices of the year. These ten items are worth stocking up on even if you have to mix your budget up a little.

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Make Your Own Chocolate Hearts for Valentine’s Day

Make Your Own Chocolate Hearts for Valentine's Day

Valentine’s Day is coming up shortly and I absolutely love to make gifts for my friends and loved ones for the holiday. These Chocolate Valentine Hearts are perfect because they’re so easy to make, they’re delicious and the presentation is wonderful. I’m planning to place them in decorative cupcake wrappers inside treat boxes as gifts for co-workers this year.

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11 Ways to Save on Christmas Gift Shopping

11 Ways to Save on Christmas

1) Use Apps

There are many smartphone apps that can help you save money on not only things you buy everyday but toys, games, and clothes. For instance Target’s Cartwheel app, as well as Michaels, Hobby Lobby and many more apps often contain percentage off and other coupons.

2) Use Coupons

As we get closer to the holidays you will notice an influx of coupons on hot toys of the season in grocery coupon inserts as well as printable online coupons. Companies like Mattel, Milton Bradley, and a few others will put out coupons that when combined with sales make for amazing deals!

3) Shop Sales

This may seem like a no brainer but really, when you see an item that is on your list at a great price, go ahead and grab it. Saving $2 or $3 dollars later on is probably not worth the running around, long lines, and gas money.

4) Start a Gift Closet

While it may be a little late for this year, you can start right after Christmas building a gift closet for next year. While tastes change, and your kids may not demand the hottest Star Wars toys next year there are plenty of simple items like clothing, stocking stuffers, cologne, and beauty products that you can pick up at a heavily discounted price after Christmas. Designate a large tub in your closet or somewhere else convenient and fill it with gifts throughout the year as you find amazing deals. We use ours for unexpected birthdays, hostess gifts, and of course I am always stocking up for kids Christmas and birthdays.

5) Price Match

So many stores have begun to price match against other stores paper or online ads that there is no reason to pay more or run around to 3 or 4 places to get a great deal. Most places will also match Amazon’s listed prices so look them up on your smartphone while shopping.

6) Buy Discounted Gift Cards

Purchase discounted giftcards at GiftCardRescue.com and Giftcards.com for anywhere from 5%-30% off the value. Use a $100 card that you purchased for $80 in conjunction with sales and coupons – you won’t believe how much you save.

7) Minimize Your Shopping

Get with friends and relatives at the start of the holidays and agree in advance to only buy for the kids or opt to draw names so you are only buying for one person or couple in the family instead of every third cousin and great uncle.

8) Re-Gift

Not last years fruit cake of course… But if you receive gifts that just don’t fit you or your lifestyle there is no harm in re-gifting. Just be selective with who you regift to, make sure that the original giver and the new recipient do not run in the same circles. Your pet sitter who keeps her nails meticulous might love the nail dryer Aunt Helen gave you.

9) Seach For Codes

I never buy anything online or head out to the stores without first checking RetailMeNot.com for discount codes. You can find everything from restaurants to photo developing on there and you can save a ton overall.

10) Research Online

Search sites like PriceGrabber.com for the best deals. Scope out reviews also – cheaper does not mean you will save more money in the long run and more expensive doesn’t necessarily mean the item will last longer.

11) Budget in Advance

Set a budget up front and stick to it. Oftentimes the thing that costs us the most is mindless spending with no aim in mind, and not knowing what you have spent until you pull the tangle of receipts from your purse at the end of the day. Have a list and do your best to stick to it at all costs.

 

How to Use Homemade Printed Tee Shirts

With the increasing accessibility of screen printing programs and materials, more people have been able to take advantage of screen printing in their own home. Making homemade printed tee shirts can be fun and easy when you have all of the right supplies on hand. Starting with a comfortable blank tee, you can turn your imagination into a one-of-a-kind creation. The following ideas are just a few examples of the many ways to use homemade graphic tee shirts.

Homemade Gifts

If you are finding it difficult to select a gift for a friend or loved one that really captures their personality or sense of humor, you may want to go the route of making a homemade gift. Although you may not consider yourself crafty or creative, a screen printed shirt made with a custom design, saying, or graphic can be a fun and unique way to give a personalized gift that they cannot buy in a store.

Team or Group Unity

When trying to create unity or cohesiveness amongst a large group, tee shirts are a great way to make a group into one unified body. If you find that custom logo printing is too expensive, you may want to try making printed graphic tees on your own. Starting with a basic shirt, you can create a matching logo to apply to all of the shirts you need made. Take a look at the following infographic to get more information about the basics of home screen printing.

Infographic below by ShirtSpace.com:

Screen Printing Instructions Infographic

 

Making Cashew Bark Holiday Gifts

Cashew Bark Holiday Gifts

I’ve enjoyed being a contributor to the $5 Dinners website for about three years now and this week I posted a recipe for my super easy Cashew Bark. There are only two ingredients, the bark is delicious, and it makes a great gift for the holidays!

Cashew Bark Holiday Gifts

The kids had so much fun helping me make the cashew bark, then after it had cooled and I broke it into pieces, they each got to fill up a Christmas themed coffee mug with bark for their teacher.

Cashew Bark Holiday Gifts

Once all the mugs were full, we even got to taste test some ourselves! We wrapped the mugs in simple white dotted cellophane tied with ribbon, and the kids can’t wait to hand deliver the gifts to their teachers at school tomorrow.

Cashew Bark Holiday Gifts

Shhhh – don’t tell the kids, but I made a BIG batch so we’d have some left over and I’ve already hidden most of it for later. I may even decide to share!