Penny Pinched Easter Baskets

I had two great emails this week asking how I frugally fill Easter baskets, as well as what to add to a teenager’s Easter basket, so I thought I’d share a peek at what our baskets look like this year! Several years ago I bought the buckets at Hobby Lobby for a few dollars and added a monogram to them ~ definitely re-using the basket from year to year will help you pinch those pennies. 

Normally we include candy and a few items from the dollar bins at Target or the Dollar Tree, but this year since I’d scored such great deals on board games last week at Target, my kids will get those too. I was pretty excited when I saw Target had their $1 Spot items on sale 6/$5, and was tickled because they had quite a few fun items for my girls!

 

I went to CVS and Target yesterday for the Easter candy deals (I loved being able to use the $10 off $50 grocery coupon at Target towards the candy I had to purchase!), and that’s about it. Nothing fancy or all that exciting, but my kids always are pretty excited to wake up bright and early to a morning full of chocolate and a few fun treats!

Because I didn’t get a game for my 14-year-old, I’m going to add in a $5 iTunes card (he’ll be thrilled with that!)

 

What other items do you add to your child’s Easter basket? Leave a comment to share- I’m always up for new ideas!

Haven’t started shopping for Easter candy yet? See the best Easter Candy Deals 2014 over HERE before heading to the store, and be sure to print these coupons to easily pinch a penny or two.
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!

 

 

Upcoming Coupon Class In North Alabama (5/16/14)

 

I’m so excited about our upcoming coupon class that my friend Shannon and I will be teaching Friday, May 16th at Asbury United Methodist Church in Madison, Alabama from 6:30 – 8:30 PM!   We’ll discuss how to save money at Aldi, Target, Publix & Kroger, as well as share basic information on drug store coupon policies. We’ll also talk about how to organize your coupons, what all those crazy abbreviations mean, and where to begin if you’re a new couponer!

 


A donation of $5 for the coupon class is requested, and can be paid at the door.  A portion of all money received will benefit the Northeast Alabama Fellowship of Christian Atheletes.  We’d also love if you would bring a canned food item to donate to Asbury’s Food Pantry!  There’s a link to the registration form that I’ll leave up on the right side of the page.  If you’re a new couponer (or even have been at this penny-pinching stuff for awhile . . . ) we’ll hopefully teach you a few new tricks, and promise to answer all your questions.  We can’t wait to meet you there!
Eventbrite - Penny Pinching Coupon Class
Not in the North Alabama area?  Check out the list of beginners tips and videos, and as always, feel free to ask questions in the comment section or on the PPP Facebook page.  We’re always happy to help!

 

 

Easter Free Printables: Create A Paper Basket

To download yours, go HERE. Photo Credit

This weekend is Easter (one of my favorite Holidays), and I thought it would be fun to share a few free printables this week to make your Easter week extra fun! I found these absolutely adorable Easter Egg Basket printables at Melissa Espin, and was just so impressed with them. Print them on cardstock, add some ribbon, and create beautiful baskets for your table settings this year!

 

 

To download yours, go HERE and get started. Such a fun idea!

 

 

I’d love for you to also join my Easter Board on Pinterest – there are some great penny-pinched recipes, decorating and home ideas to help you get ready fo

Penny Pinched Dining Room Makeover

Oh my, I’m so excited to share this week’s Friday Fluff up with you! My friend Staci recently re-did her dining room and it’s just beautiful. She kept the original furniture she had, but re-upholstered her chair cushions, changed the rug and added (beautiful!) new curtains. The results are just perfect!

Here’s a peek . . . 

(I can’t believe I didn’t get a better picture standing further back, but this is an idea!)

Here’s where her money was spent . . .

$48 for fabric to recover her chairs

$250 for rug from Joss & Main (if you’ve looked at the cost of high end rugs lately, you know this was a fantastic price!)

$125 curtains from Joss & Main 

My absolute favorite trick that Staci shared was how she hung her curtains. She had purchased the new (super cute!) navy curtains from  Joss & Main, but they allowed a lot of light to pass through (getting curtains heavy enough to block light can get so expensive.) So, she left up her old silk curtains underneath, and it adds so much weight to the newer curtains – so smart!

Here’s the breakdown of her expenses:

  • Fabric $49
  • Joss & Main Rug $250
  • Joss & Main Curtains $125
  • Candles $9.99 from Ikea
  • Total $523 – not bad at all for a complete updated dining room!

I absolutely love what she was able to do, and the best part is that she didn’t have to update any of her furniture (which is where most of your money can easily go!)  Thanks so much Staci for sharing with us – it looks beautiful. ;)

 

Curious how I fluffed up our dining room for under $150? Check this out.

This post is linked up to Thrifty Thursday and Follow Our Thrift – thanks for the opportunity to link up! 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!

 

How Do You Manage Chores For Your Child?

This morning I walked in the door from my morning jog at exactly 6:03 am, and found my two daughters dressed (one even showered?), and both girls’ beds all made up. Then my 11-year-old looked at her sister and said “next we need to do the trash.”

 

Wow.

 

I wasn’t quite sure what had spurred such early morning enthusiasm until I saw Caroline with her cute list (above) and a pen. She found the list online yesterday and created the chore chart for she and her sister (she was smart enough not to make one for her big brother – I’m pretty sure he would have thrown her list out the window . . . quite possibly along with her.) ;) Apparently today she was ready to get started.

Yup, I’m patting myself on the back because somewhere along the way I must have done something right as a momma to inspire such awesomeness, right? ;)

 

The truth is though, I’m horrible about keeping up a list of chores for my kids. I do expect them to unload the dishes (Jackson unloads the top drawer, Caroline unloads the bottom drawer, and Reagan does the silverware), and while I would love to say they make their beds daily, most days it just doesn’t happen. They do help with putting away laundry (some), setting and clearing dishes from the tables, and any other extra jobs that I ask them to do, but we really don’t have a fantastic chore routine set in place.

 

So, I’m curious – do you have a great routine that works for your family? I’m hoping Caroline will continue as drill sergeant for a few more days at our house, but know in all reality that might not happen. With summer coming, I’d like to have at least a small schedule in place, so I’d love to hear any tips on this one!

 

And, I would love to know if you pay your children an allowance as wellWe do (kind of) still do a “quarter jar allowance” for our kids, but I’ve even gotten bad about that. Please help me out on this one by sharing your tips with me!

 

And just in case Caroline’s organization inspired you too, here are a few free printable chore charts that may help you out: 

 

25 Time Saving Computer Tips: Cute Logos On Facebook (Any Other Ideas?)

Okie dokie, I don’t know that this is really a “time-saving” tip, but if you’re on Facebook and always wonder how people make super cute logos on comments, these tips are for you! I’m so technologically behind that these have taken me forever to learn, so maybe they’ll help you out too. ;)

 

Facebook has some special things you can do (pretty easily), but you’ve got to learn the right codes to do them. Here are a few you probably see all the time, and they might come in handy when you “love” something instead of just like it! ;)

 

Facebook Tricks:

Make a smiley face (three different options) –        :)    :-)  =)

Make a sad face (three different options)-       :(  :-(  =(

Make a heart-     <3

Tag a person in a post (this took me forever to figure out!)-    type the “@” symbol before their name

Since I’m not incredibly savvy when it comes to the cute codes, I would love to hear other suggestions on different items to add to the list.  If you know any, take a minute and share your favorites in the comments section!

 

Looking for more time saving tricks?  Here are the ones we’ve already worked on . . .

 

 

Friday Fluff Up: $10 Dollar Tree Spring Wreath

I saw these berry bushes for $1 at the Dollar Tree and just couldn’t resist them. A sprig of berries can easily cost $4-$6 even on a half price sale at the big craft stores, so they sat there just begging me to buy a few!

 

I grabbed ten, headed home, and wondered what on earth to do with those berries.

 

Then I saw one of those super cute (expensive) berry Spring wreaths, and knew I had my work cut out for me.

I took an old grapevine wreath (pardon the blurry picture)

 

Stuffed those berries all over it (I didn’t even take them off the sticks – just pushed those suckers right down into the grapevine wreath)

 

And fluffed up our black entry hallway. Done!

 

Looking for more frugal & fun Spring decorating ideas? 

This post is linked up to Living Well Spending Less Thrifty Thursday and Follow Our Thrift- thanks for the opportunity to link up!  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!

 

25 Time Saving Computer Tips: Easily Zoom In and Out

Here’s a super easy computer tip that you may or may not know, but can come in handy (especially if you’re getting old like me and the words on your computer screen are sometimes just too small!) 

 

With a simple click of your command keys, you can make the words and images on your computer screen bigger or smaller, which can come in oh-so handy sometimes. (I thought everyone knew this one, but a friend of mine actually called and asked me for the tip a few days ago because she’d accidentally made her font all tiny!)

 

What’s the trick?

Use Ctrl + to zoom in (on Mac computers use Command +)

Or use Ctrl  - to zoom out (on Mac computers use Command -)

 

What does it do?

Allows you to easily zoom in or out of the computer screen that you’re on

When should you use it?

Goodness – I use it for seeing font that is too small, looking closely at a picture (especially for a coupon deal) to see what the size of a specific item is, and any other time I need to see sizes on pictures that are too small to figure out!

Was this one that you already knew about? Try it out and let me know what you think, and share any other tips that you have in the comment section so I can share those too!

 

Looking for more time saving tricks?  Here are the ones we’ve already worked on . . .

 

 

How to Clean Your Fridge {Easily}

This weekend I (really) tackled cleaning out my fridge, and goodness gracious, it feels so good! While I’ve cleaned it out quite a few times before, I’ve never taken out every single piece of the refrigerator, so it was time to take it on. It’s amazing how wonderful it is to have that job done!

 

I knew there had to be a smart way to do it, and was thrilled when I found this smart idea on Pinterest

20140401-112334.jpg

I pulled every single thing out of the fridge (eek!), then gave all the parts a nice hot bath in the tub.

20140401-112344.jpg

We have a guest bathroom that hardly ever gets used right next to our fridge, so I cleaned it out well, then put all the pieces (everything!) in a mixture of hot water with 1 cup Lysol 4-in-1 cleaner that’s been in my stockpile forever. (You could also use ammonia if you have that on hand, and I’m betting vinegar would work as well!)

After about 20 minutes of de-gunking in the tubs, I dried off all the shelves with large towels, and filled the fridge back up.  

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Success!

 

Have you done any Spring Cleaning at home lately? I’d love to know what other Spring cleaning tips you have, and if you have a certain project to tackle, please share it with me! As we’re still in the midst of this crazy move (just another few weeks ’til I’ll update you with more!), my friend Staci offered to possibly tackle a few of your Spring Challenges, so expect to see a few more this month.

 

 

25 Time Saving Computer Tips: Use Time Tracker To Monitor Time Online

Are you ready for another time saving computer tip? I took last week off (we were traveling while my kids were on Spring Break and I knew I wouldn’t have time to keep up with everything), but I’m so ready to start these again!

 

I am really excited about the new trick I just found today, and think it will help you stay more focused when spending time online. I’ve found recently that I am spending way too much time online distracted by information on the internet, and have been looking for a way to stay focused here on my work, so I can get off the computer and actually have time for life. (Anyone else with me?)  Unfortunately all too often my biggest time waster isn’t the computer, it’s my choices, so this is a great way to monitor time online.

This little Extension available for Google Chrome or Firefox sets a timer that allows you to see exactly how much time you’re spending on each website you visit daily. For me, just knowing that the clock is ticking is highly motivating to keep myself on track!

 

If you’re new to Google Extensions, they’re the little logos above that help me manage just about everything I do online. I’ll share more about those later this week, but for now when you add Time Tracker to Google Chrome, you’ll see the little timer above on your page, and when clicking on it you can see exactly how much time you’ve spent (or wasted ~ eek?) each day.

 

If you use Firefox as your web browser, go HERE to download the version for Firefox to your computer. Those are the only two browsers that I know of that support this program, but already I can see how much more efficient I am just by knowing that something’s tracking me!

What’s the trick?

Time Tracker for Firefox

Time Tracker for Google Chrome

 

What does it do?

Allows you to monitor how much time you’ve spent on various websites while online 

When should you use it?

If you struggle with staying on track online, this will help keep you focused and monitor your time. It’s also great to have if you have children who spend time on your computer, as you can see exactly where they’re spending their time!

 

Stop back by tomorrow night when I’ll have another tip for  you, and if you have any other great time saving computer tips to share, leave a note in the comments section so I can include them!

 

 

Looking for more time saving tricks?  Here are the ones we’ve already worked on . . .

 

 



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