$35 Metal Pendant Shade Update

 

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I’m so excited to share this little $35 update to my kitchen that I found a few weeks ago at the Ballard Designs Outlet in Cincinnati! I’d been eyeing these Metal Replacement Shades in the Ballard Designs Catalog, but at $45 a piece, there was no way I would make the change.

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The original light shades in our kitchen were fine, but just kind of builder grade and I loved the idea of something a little more custom looking. There was no way I’d convince my husband to switch the light out completely, and really they were brand new lights!

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So when I found these for just $17.39 each at the Ballard Outlet Store, I knew I found the perfect solution! I just did a quick search on Amazon, and even their metal shades were $35+. So for $34.78 I got a bit more custom look for a fraction of the cost. Yay!

 

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I just unscrewed the old light fixtures, put the new ones in place, and in about five minutes the project was done. Love that!

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And, while I was there I also found this fantastic chair at the Frontgate Outlet. (Frontgate, Ballard, and Grandin Road Outlets are all their together near Ikea ~ I love that!)

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This chair was originally $600, marked down to $174. While I know it’s not nearly as penny pinched as my $2.50 Goodwill chair . . . ballard1

 

I absolutely love it. ;)

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And if you look closely at the top picture, you’ll see it also matches the barstools I found at the Frontgate Outlet here in Columbus when we first moved.

I’d actually been watching for chairs for awhile, and a few weeks ago almost gave in and picked up a $180 side chair at a local store similar to Garden Ridge. I knew the quality really wasn’t great on them though (I was just settling, again!), so I decided to try a little patience and am thrilled with the quality of this chair at the same price.

 

Folks, we’ve been at this penny pinching thing for years (really, almost nineteen years!), and to be able to enjoy some of the fruits of that success now on things we just love is oh-so-sweet. If you’re struggling to stick with itpromise it’s worth the wait ~ and you really never know what deal may be right around the corner.  Yay! ;)

 

I’d love for you to join me over on Pinterest (I love that place!)  If you have a blog and have done a little fluffing in your home, I’d love to see it, so leave your link in the comments section. Also, if there’s a craft you’ve seen on a website that you’re hoping to make, feel free to share that link as well (I’m always looking for new ideas!)

 

See more previous Friday Fluff Up projects and ideas . . . and Happy Fluffing!

 

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20 Meals From Costco For $150

 

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I think you’re going to love thisI was away at a conference this weekend way out in Utah (enjoying so much fun time with my husband who joined me too ~ we haven’t been away from our kiddos for ages so it was the nicest gift!) Because of our trip, I didn’t have time to put together this week’s menu plan. (So sorry guys ~ but go back and see a complete list of them HERE for free ~ I’ll be back at it next week . . . promise!)

 

But, I talked with Erin from $5 Dinners while I was at the conference, and goodness, I think you’re going to love what she has for you. She’s put together this amazing (seriously, AMAZING), printable pack that includes directions to make a whopping 20 Meals at Costco for $150.

 

Folks, it includes everything.

 

ALL you need.

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Seriously.

 

(Don’t believe me? Here’s proof):

 

Complete package includes: 

  • Recipe List & Grocery List
  • Printable Assembly Instructions – step by step guide to pulling all these meals together and into the freezer
  • Printable Assembly Cards – so you don’t forget any ingredients in each bag
  • Printable Labels – you can print these out onto Avery #6874 label paper and stick them to your plastic baggies or containers.
  • Exclusive Access to Instructional Assembly Videos

Recipes included in this plan are:

  • (2) Slow Cooker Chicken with Apples & Rosemary
  • (2) Slow Cooker Pork Chops with Apples & Sweet Potatoes
  • (2) Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Chicken Curry
  • (2) Slow Cooker Italian Chicken
  • (2) Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken & Potatoes
  • (2) Slow Cooker Sausage, Peppers, Onions
  • (2) Slow Cooker Italian Stew Roast
  • (2) Slow Cooker Beef Stew
  • (2) Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup
  • (2) Slow Cooker Chicken & Sausage Stew

Go HERE and add to cart to get the full access to the recipes and grocery shopping list plus assembly instructions and exclusive video access. And, if that’s not enough Costco, she has five more Costco menu plans you can choose from HERE!

 

And, if shopping Costco isn’t your thing, she has a few more great options available! Check these out:

 

Have you tried any of $5 Dollar Dinner menu plans before? I’d love to hear what you think – I think this is a great way to easily tackle menu planning a month at a time, and love that the work’s all done for you! Leave a comment if you’ve tried these before and let me know your thoughts.

 

 

 

 

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How To Organize Coupons?

Easily Organize Coupons

 

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As I’ve shared with you all before, I’ve tried every method of organizing coupons on the planet, so I thought you’d like a peek at what I’m using now! I definitely think this is the easiest way ever to keep up with coupons ~ would love to hear your thoughts.


If you can’t see the video, go HERE.

Here are a few notes from the video:

 

 

Looking for more ideas on organizing coupons? 

See how I’ve created a coupon binder (this is a lot of work but definitely works for some folks ~ I’m not using it any longer but it might work for you!)

And see how another way to (really easily) organize coupons.

 

 

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$10 Goodwill Frame Upcycle

$10 Goodwill Frame Upcycle

 

A few weeks ago I noticed these framed prints at Goodwill. 

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For whatever reason, one of them was priced at $5 and the other one was just $3. I asked the cashier what the difference in them was (and if they’d consider taking $3 for each of them), and sure enough brought them home for just $6, total.

 

I’ve seen so many pretty botanical and patterned prints in the Ballard Designs Catalog (I love that store!) , but there’s no way I could justify shelling out nearly $200 for the set. (Especially just to hide in our bathroom!) The frames were in decent shape, I liked the linen matte that they already had, so all I had to do was switch out the print to make it match our home.

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So, I took these two apart, purchased $8 in fabric at Joann’s (after my 30% off coupon), and came out with two prints that are perfect to add some color to our walls.

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(I use my hot glue gun for everything – since I couldn’t convince my husband to hunt down his staple gun in the garage, I used hot glue to put it all back together.) ;)

 

$10 Goodwill Frame Upcycle Collage

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Here’s what I spent: 

  • Goodwill frames – $6
  • Fabric – $4
  • Total = $10 – woohoo!

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If you’re looking for inexpensive ways to fluff up your walls at home, I’m telling you what . . . a trip to your local thrift store is so worth it. If you’ve seen anything fun at your local Goodwill or thrift store recently I’d love to hear about it ~ leave a comment to share!

I’d love for you to join me over on Pinterest (I love that place!)  If you have a blog and have done a little fluffing in your home, I’d love to see it, so leave your link in the comments section. Also, if there’s a craft you’ve seen on a website that you’re hoping to make, feel free to share that link as well (I’m always looking for new ideas!)

 

See previous Friday Fluff Up projects and ideas . . . and Happy Fluffing!

 

 

 

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Easy Way To Clean Grout

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Have grout around your tile that needs to be cleaned up? See how Clorox Bleach Toilet Cleaner cleans this grout right up over at Holiday Sparkle.

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Looking for more penny pinched cleaning ideas? Here are my favorites:

 

 

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DIY Barn Style Door Track For Under $60

Barn Style Door Track

 

A friend of mine has wanted to turn her laundry room door into a sliding door for a long time, so she finally got her husband on board to start the project with a little help from my husband.  This idea came from many years of frustration with a narrow laundry room and the huge presence of sliding barn doors on every DIY show out there!

 

The regular hinged door opened into the laundry room and took up almost 3 feet of space when opened.  She wanted to have more room to move in and out of the room without the door always being in the way.  She began by researching all the ready-made options available online but decided to try to create a less expensive design based on many DIY versions.

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With most DIY “Barn” style sliding door projects the DIYers build a door and a track system, but she wanted to give it a try using the regular old door.  This did add a few challenges when it came to finding hardware that word work because there was more space between the track and door, but after a couple trips to the hardware store (ok, maybe 15 trips…) she was able to come up will all the pieces needed for the track.

Here’s a list of exactly what they used:

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If you are considering a project like this, here are a few links to help you get some more ideas:

 

I’d love for you to join me over on Pinterest (I love that place!)  If you have a blog and have done a little fluffing in your home, I’d love to see it, so leave your link in the comments section. Also, if there’s a craft you’ve seen on a website that you’re hoping to make, feel free to share that link as well (I’m always looking for new ideas!)

 

See previous Friday Fluff Up projects and ideas . . . and Happy Fluffing!

 

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Free Room Design Planner & How Dreaming Big Helps Me Stick To A Budget

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Here’s just a fun little freebie if you enjoy dreaming big for your home (like I do!) My husband and I are working on getting my office put together (you can see my wild-and-crazy-ridiculous-dreams over here), and I found this handy room planner over at Ballard Designs that I’m in love with. 

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Screen Shot 2015-02-10 at 10.10.58 AMI told my hubby he needs to find a way to give me a gas fireplace in my little office because I’m using my space heater here in Ohio all. the. time. He laughed, but I’m keeping it in the plans . . . dreaming big, you know? :)

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I’ve had a lot of fun just imagining (even though I don’t think any of these will quite work because the room’s pretty small, but we’re getting there?) Honestly, dreaming up the big stuff helps me focus on why I want to save every single day, so for me dreaming is just worth it.

 

It’s easy to forget when we’re pinching pennies on a daily basis that the reason saving on groceries and eating out and just about everything else each day is so that we can choose to spend that money on things we just love (which for me are home updates, traveling and giving.)

 

While we may not get all those things right this very minute, it’s a great way to stay on track, and such a fun gift to be able to just imagine! Even more importantly though, it helps me remember that it’s not worth sacrificing what I really want for what I want right now.

 

If you love fluffing up your home like me, try it out and see what you think.  And be sure to stay focused on your big long term dreams, rather than settling for the short term stuff you just really want right now.

 

I promise, it’s worth it.

 

 

(Anyone else think dreaming is just fun?) 

 

 

 

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My 20 Minute Kitchen Makeover

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I’d really hoped to share you with you some awesome Valentine’s craftiness today (if you need some ideas, you’ve got to go check this out . . . I love how Saidah planned this Valentine’s party for less than $50!), but I’ve had a ton of tax-time-why-do-I-run-a-small-business-little-things to deal with this week. (I don’t have a good handle on business stuff at all, and business stuff in addition to moving this year has pushed me a wee bit over the edge.)

 

In addition to that we’ve had frozen pipes (twice), so I now have a lovely torn up dining room while we’re getting the situation fixed. Honestly, moving is hard, and while I love our new home it’s just taking a little while to figure out all the kinks!

 

I did tackle a tiny project though in our kitchen yesterday (um, really tiny), and thought it might be something that would encourage you today too.

 

Yesterday morning I happened to see my copy of Ballard Designs in the mail pile (I love that catalog!), and as I was thumbing through while eating breakfast I looked up at my kitchen.

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Yikes.

 

(yes, my daughter is sitting up on the countertops, because in the morning our puppy is a little too excited and constantly nips at her feet. she doesn’t always sit on the countertops though. promise.) ;)

 

I decided to spend about 20 minutes really cleaning things up, and pulled out a few items from the cupboards to “fluff” our kitchen up.

 

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It’s amazing how much better our kitchen feels after just a few minutes of work, and it didn’t cost me a penny . . . just a little time to really look over what was there and consider how I was using the space!

 

Could your kitchen countertops use a freshened up look today? Determine to take a few minutes this weekend and really look at the space you already have . . . you’ll be so glad you did!

 

 

Because I just can’t stand it, here are a few of the deals I’ve scored in my kitchen:

  1. Bar stools were $50 at Frontgate Outlet
  2. Lamp in the back corner was a gift this Christmas from Sugar Babe Antiques (love that store!)
  3. Kitchenaid Mixer total splurge but crazy good deal at Christmas
  4. Dollar Tree fruit in glass jars bought at Walmart :)

 

I’d love for you to join me over on Pinterest (I love that place!)  If you have a blog and have done a little fluffing in your home, I’d love to see it, so leave your link in the comments section. Also, if there’s a craft you’ve seen on a website that you’re hoping to make, feel free to share that link as well (I’m always looking for new ideas!)

 

See previous Friday Fluff Up projects and ideas . . . and Happy Fluffing!

 

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Easiest Way To Penny Pinch? Don’t Buy It.

 

A few weeks ago I was out shopping and kept noticing all these great deals. There was a stock up price on chicken, a great deal on cereal, BUY ONE GET ONE FREE shoulder roasts (my favorite cut of meat for the crockpot), and a few other bargains just begging me to stock up.

 

I stuck them all in my cart, then mentally started adding up my grocery total. As we’ve been working harder since the new year to stick to our grocery budget I knew those “deals” were going to put us over our budget, but it kind of hurt to think about not stocking up when they were all such good prices.

 

Then I remembered that thing I’ve learned after years and years of penny pinching. (Are you ready for this?)

 

There’s almost always another deal. 

 

Really.

 

That stock up price on chicken? It’ll come back again. (Unless it’s under 99¢ per pound ~ then I would have bought the whole store out.) ;)

 

Another cereal deal? Yup, those are a dime a dozen and within a few weeks time there’s bound to be another bargain.

 

And those roasts? Well (~ahem~) honestly I did buy the roasts. BOGO shoulder roasts are just too hard for this penny pincher to put away, especially in the midst of the-it-really-is-winter-and-we-use-our-crockpot-way-too-much-because-it’s-cold-outside-season. ;)

 

But guess what? I saved a whopping $45 on that grocery trip by simply not choosing to grab all those great deals. As luck would have it I came home and noticed at least 5 pounds of boneless skinless chicken breast in my freezer, plenty of cereal, and enough groceries already in my kitchen even without those extra deals.

 

There are so. many. great. deals. that we post here on PPP and that you can find at the store, but ultimately if they’re beyond your grocery budget they probably aren’t worth it. I’ve said it before (over and over and over?) and I’ll say it one more time . . . there is no other area in your family’s finances that you can control as your grocery budget, so this is one area I can choose to maintain control in.

 

Are there any items that you find on sale that you simply can’t pass up? For me deals on fresh meat and produce are the hardest to walk away from (I don’t ever really skip a great price on fresh produce), but choosing to save on other items by leaving at them at the store was well worth it for me. I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Tin. Isolation on the white.

Download my free stock up price list if you haven’t already!

New to budgeting and don’t know where to begin? Here are a few posts to you get started:

 

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Friday Fluff Up: Update For A Plain Alcove

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Goodness it seems like it’s taken forever to finish up with this little project, so I’m oh-so-ready to show you what my smart-amazing-uber-talented-sweet husband has been up to! 

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When we bought our home, it had this weird dark alcove at the top of the steps upstairs. It didn’t have any electricity nearby (I wish we could have plugged in a lamp at least?), and while I knew I was probably supposed to put a long skinny picture in there (or maybe two or three?), I just wasn’t loving it.

 

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So, for months I’ve hemmed and hawed over different ways to make it just right.

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James (and my 14-year-old Jackson, pictured working above) were finally ready to tackle it a few weeks ago, and we debated putting beadboard in back of it to kind of give it more texture. He was pretty adamant that he didn’t love that look (I really thought it would be fine?), but on a whim I mentioned that it might be pretty fun if we had brick in the back half. (Y’all, I did not think he would go for it.)

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We looked at the trim work in other areas around our house, and James managed to match it exactly. I’ve got to say, I was pretty impressed (and honestly I think he surprised himself too!)

 

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We measured the space, headed down to the basement where all the extra odds and ends from our home builders were, and sure enough had just enough brick left from the brick on our kitchen backsplash to finish the project (with eight pieces of brick to spare.)

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You know what? That smart husband of mine was actually excited about the project (he loves to tile), so now I’m dreaming big for our next laundry room project! ;)

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I decided since Valentine’s Day is right around the corner I’d add a little pink ~ Kroger had their bunches of flowers on sale for $3.99 and they were worth clipping a few coupons for this week! 

 

I’m guessing we spent around $100 in wood, grout, and paint to do this project (I should have kept better track), and I could not be a bit more pleased with the results. I’m still working on finding exactly the right “stuff” to go on those shelves (chalkboard writing is clearly not something I’m gifted at), but am so pleased with it even the way it is right now. Love love love it! 

 

 

I’d love for you to join me over on Pinterest (I love that place!)  If you have a blog and have done a little fluffing in your home, I’d love to see it, so leave your link in the comments section. Also, if there’s a craft you’ve seen on a website that you’re hoping to make, feel free to share that link as well (I’m always looking for new ideas!)

 

See previous Friday Fluff Up projects and ideas . . . and Happy Fluffing!

 

 

 

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