The Ultimate Roundup Of Summer Bucket List Ideas

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Goodness, I’m so stinkin’ excited that summer is here! This morning for the very first time in fifteen years, on the first day school was out all three of my children slept until 7:30.

 

Pretty sure this means I’ve officially arrived. :)

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We made a homemade waffle bar, and they’re already off getting things together for a trip this weekend. For you moms of little tiny kids, I promise you kind of get control back one day . . . it just may take a few years! :)

 

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Last night when we were talking about summer, my girls helped me put together our Summer Bucket List (see the one my son helped me come up with a few years ago over here.) We can’t wait to start enjoying some traveling, hanging out at home, and exploring Ohio a bit this year!

 

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Here are a few of the ideas they came up with . . . 

  • Re do bedroom (meaning move furniture around)
  • Do an act of kindness
  • Play Scrabble
  • Catch fireflies
  • Make cakepops
  • Facepaint
  • Get nails done
  • Make a stage
  • Make giant bubbles
  • Play Twister
  • Volunteer
  • Make smores
  • Try to get a world record
  • Have a picnic

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We found so many great (penny pinched!) ideas while scrolling around Pinterest, I thought it would be fun to do a big roundup of Summer Bucket List ideas so you can get started too! Here you go . . .

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Ummmm . . . practicing our spelling might just be on our bucket list too, but I love that they did their list all by themselves!

 

Summer Bucket List Ideas

 

Toddler Summer Bucket List Ideas

1. The Tailored Mama Summer Bucket List for Toddlers

2. More Fun Mom Toddlers Bucket List of Day Trips

3. A Mouse In My Kitchen Toddler’s Summer Bucket List & Free Printable

Preschooler Summer Bucket List Ideas

4. Mary Martha Mama Summer Bucket List Preschool Edition

5. Camp PBS Summer Bucket List 

6. Crafts On Sea Summer Bucket List for Preschoolers

Elementary Aged Summer Bucket List Ideas

7. Creative Family Fun 100 Ideas for Your Summer Bucket List

8. The Pinning Mama 50 Ideas & Activities for Kids & Families

9. Digital Mom Blog 50 Summer Ideas for Kids

Teenage Summer Bucket List Ideas

10. Evan Nickel Summer Bucket List for Teens

11. Sugar Beans Teen Summer Bucket List

12. Parenting Teens 101 Fun Things for Teens to Do This  Summer

Family Bucket List Ideas

13. Keeper of the Home Backyard Bucket List

14. No Time For Flashcards Summer Reading Bucket List (love these ideas!)

15. Summer Bucket List Bingo

16. 101 Almost Free Things To Do With Kids This Summer

 

Have you made your summer bucket list yet for the summer? I’d love to hear what fun ideas are on your list this year ~ leave a comment to share!

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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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How To Keep Your Flower Beds Weed Free

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Mulching any flower beds this weekend? Here’s an easy trick to help keep out weeds, that won’t likely cost you a penny.

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Before mulching, spray weeds or grass in your flower bed with a weed killer like Roundup, or weed your flowerbed by hand. Then lay down leftover newspaper (that you’ve gotten from all your coupon clipping) over any areas where you don’t want weeds to creep in.

Thanks to all of you who had great suggestions with alternatives to Roundup – we don’t use it much but have used it with success, so just being honest here! Try out this way to kill off weeds using vinegar – I’ve tried vinegar before and it hasn’t worked for me, but I’m all for trying again. I’ll see if I can find any other homemade weed killer recipes, and update you all on how they go!

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Cover the newspaper with mulch.

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(Because this was a new bed for us we didn’t have any existing bushes to plant around, but if you do have bushes already there just adjust the newspaper around your plants.) 

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It will naturally keep weeds out, and is biodegradable too. It also helps to amend your soil if your soil conditions aren’t great as well, which is an added (free!) bonus.

 

We’ve used weed barrier fabric before and it works incredibly well (and doesn’t have to be replaced for years), but newspaper will do basically the same thing – you’ll just need to add more newspaper to your bed each time you mulch to keep the weeds at bay.

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With a little newspaper you’ll have free weed protection for your flower beds, and hopefully skip weeding during the summer months. If you have any other tips on how to keep beds weed free at your house, I’d love to hear your suggestions!
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!)

 

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16 Items You Should Be Buying On Amazon

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NOTE: If you use coupons on many items along with store sales ads, your prices may be less expensive than Amazon. HOWEVER, if you’re not willing to really clip coupons and watch those sales ads, Amazon may offer some easy savings for you.

Do you love shopping Amazon? For many of us, Amazon offers easy savings (and convenience) on thousands of items, delivered right to our door. But it’s important to know what items really are great prices, and which items are worth heading to your local store for. My general rule of thumb is to check Amazon for anything I would make a quick trip to Walmart for, because so many items end up being less money, with no stress. I love that!

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Here’s my list of 15 items you should (almost always) be buying on Amazon . . .

 

 

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1. Toilet paper. 

Amazon consistently offers great prices on toilet paper, just about every single day. While these savings may not be quite as good as shopping at your local grocery store with a coupon (although often they win!), they are frequently less than Sam’s or Costco, plus you get the convenience of having them delivered to your door. To make sure you’re getting the price, scan the “$.xx/count” on this page for the lowest price per count and check for any extra coupons they’re offering.

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2. Diapers, Swim Diapers & Pull Ups

Amazon’s prices on diapers are so good, unless you get a crazy fun deal at the drug stores using coupons. However, I’ve often calculated Amazon’s price per diaper and found them to beat even prices at local stores after coupons, so it’s definitely worth watching for their sales! To find the best price, do the math to find the lowest price per diaper on size 1 diapers HERE, and know that your price will go up per size.

 

(Typically I aim to find a deal priced around 10¢ per Size 1 diaper for Luvs, or 12¢ per diaper for Huggies or Pampers, after coupons and Amazon’s subscribe and save program.) 

 

3. Baby Wipes.

Occasionally local grocery stores offer a great price on smaller packed wipes after a high value coupon, but typically you can find baby wipes on Amazon from 1¢ to 2¢ per wipe after you subscribe and save (and clip whatever coupons they have available.) If you have babies or small children and go through large quantities of baby wipes, this is a great (easy!) way to save!

 

(Note: On Amazon subscribe and save items you’ll need to subscribe to shipment for an item, but can cancel your subscription once your order arrives in the subscription section of your Amazon account. I usually set mine to ship 6 months apart so I have plenty of time to cancel an order if I need to!)

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4. Books.

Amazon has fantastic prices on most books just about every day, and if you don’t mind buying used you can save a bundle on those as well! Be sure to note shipping prices on used books though as those sometimes negate the savings on the book themselves ~ go HERE to search Amazon’s extensive book selection.

5. Blu Rays & DVDs.

There are hundreds of deals every day on DVDs and Blu Rays at Amazon, and you can find a huge selection available for less than $5! These often go up and down in price, so be sure to follow the PPP Facebook page to keep up with quick price breaks when they happen.

 

4. Department store makeup.

If you wear department store makeup (Estee Lauder, Clinique, Lancome, etc), and an item you need is not in “gift” at your local store (where they offer a special free gift when purchasing), Amazon is a great way to easily get your makeup. I order my Estee Lauder from them just about all the time (my one big splurge!), mostly because it saves me a trip to the mall and it’s just convenient.

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5. Drug store brand makeup on sale with coupons.

Amazon has a huge selection of makeup that goes on sale pretty heftily every month with their special coupons. Right now there’s a $1 off Cover Girl Makeup coupon, valid on eye shadow, mascara, blush and more, and when you add that to the subscribe and save discounts you can get them for as low as $1.35, delivered to your door. I usually can’t beat those savings even with coupons, so this is a great convenient way for me to save without leaving my house!

 

6. Personal care items.

If you watch Amazon’s extra coupon savings, they regularly have digital coupons on shampoo, conditioner, feminine care products, body wash and more. By watching for those savings I’ve gotten them on sale for substantially less than I would pay at Walmart, and of course love that they bring them to my door! (For an idea of the savings you can see on these, go HERE and HERE. They don’t happen all the time, but if you subscribe to PPP daily emails I’ll be sure to alert you when I see these savings.)

 

7. Select cleaning products.

There are dozens of items that Amazon offers high value coupons on each month, which offer some great savings (and prices just about always less than Sam’s or Costco – so you don’t need a membership!) Here are a few of my favorite deals that come up fairly regularly on Amazon . . .

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8. Toys & games.

There are typically great deals on Amazon on toys and games, but it’s worth taking a few minutes to do some research before ordering. I usually compare the Amazon prices to those at Walmart and Kohl’s to verify they really are a great deal, but most of the time Amazon either meets or exceeds their savings.  (Not always though, so definitely do your homework!)

 

You can also check out camelcamelcamel.com to see a price history of items on Amazon to know if you really are getting a fantastic price.

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9. Gift cards.

Amazon offers special Lightning Gift Card deals regularly, which typically will save $5-$10 off a $50 gift card. Combine that savings with a restaurant coupon, and those savings can really add up!

10. Pet toys (not pet food.)

I have consistently found great prices on pet toys at Amazon, compared to the crazy high price you’ll often see at specialty pet stores. I haven’t seen decent savings on pet food, but if you’re looking for just toys you can save a bundle. (Our dog’s favorite is this one – he’s loved it)!

 

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11. Housewares.

Not every item at Amazon is always at the lowest price in their housewares department, but if you do a little research you can often get great prices by waiting for a deal. I’ve purchased most of my Pyrex, all of my pots and pans, and of course my crockpot when they’ve been deeply discounted on Amazon. 

(Not sure how to find the best deal? I watch Amazon deals every day for you – go HERE to see a running list, and subscribe to free daily emails so you never miss these deals.)

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12. Gold Box Daily deals.

Amazon has fantastic Gold Box Deals available every day, and they just about always offer them for the lowest price that sale item has ever dropped to. Go HERE to see today’s Gold Box deals.

13. Daily Lightning deals.

In addition to Amazon’s Gold Box deals they also have Lightning deals that last just a few hours each day, and can offer some pretty substantial savings. Go HERE to check those out.

14. Free eBooks.

Amazon has hundreds (hundreds!) of free ebooks available every day – go HERE to see what’s included today.

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15. Free movies courtesy of Amazon Prime.

If you’re an Amazon Prime member (the cost is $99 per year), stream hundreds of free movie and tv shows from your computer, or even on the Amazon Prime Video App. I use this almost every morning at the gym (have watched Downton Abbey, Parenthood, and dozens of movies on it), and love that I don’t have to have a separate Netflix account to watch these.

16. Free books, photo storage, and music courtesy of Amazon Prime.

You can also enjoy one free Kindle book download each month from Amazon’s Kindle Owners’ Lending Library when you’re an Amazon Prime Member (works on Kindle apps too), as well as free photo storage, free Amazon Prime Music. If you’re not sure about paying for Amazon Prime, you can try it out for free for one month to see what you think. 

Having Amazon Prime definitely makes me more apt to use Amazon (which saves me running out for just one item when I need it), and is a huge time saver for me. I do think you can sometimes get better deals if you have time to use coupons matched up with the sales ad (use this search engine HERE to always find the best deals), but often Amazon works for me!What else would you add to the list, or what items do you think don’t work for you? Leave a comment to share – I love hearing from you!

I do make a commission on Amazon purchases which help support the work here on PPP everyday – if you’d prefer not to shop through my links feel free to visit Amazon directly – I totally understand but really do love Amazon savings so thought I’d share this list with you!)See more Amazon Deals, and remember when you subscribe and save to 5 or more items in one month, you’ll also save an additional 15% on all of your subscribe and save purchases.

Remember that pricing on Amazon is subject to change at any time.

 

This post contains affiliate links which help support this site.  See my disclosure policy to learn more.

Join Amazon Prime for one month free – Watch Over 40,000 Movies for free plus get free shipping on thousands of items

 

 

 

 

 

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Baby Shower on a Budget

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Here’s a peek at how we’ve been fluffing up for a baby shower on a budget at our house! Since my kiddos are getting older you can bet I’ve enjoyed every bit of this, so I couldn’t wait to share it with you.

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Here’s what I’ve spent . . . 

  • $7.74 on tissue paper for pom poms

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  • $5 on glass jars from the Dollar Tree
  • $12 on flowers
  • $6 on extra serving pieces from Hobby Lobby (they’re disposable – I think they’re so cute and perfect for chips, pretzels and cookies!)
  • $8 on pennant banner (on sale last week at Hobby Lobby)
  • $6 on onesies (thanks to Kohl’s)

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  • $2 on extra cutting options for my Silhouette Cameo (this is the first time I’ve used it ~ I’m in love and am so thankful to all of you who recommended it!)
  • $3 on craft paper

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  • I already had the fishing wire, jute twine, and dental floss of course (thanks to my couponing!) :)
  • Also used plain brown wrapping paper for the table and added a burlap table runner (had that already as well)
  • Total = $49.74

And here are a few quick tips that might help if you’re looking for ways to save when hosting a party . . . 

  • Use colors that match what you already have (if the shower had been for a baby girl, I would have pulled out the peachy/pink in our curtains)
  • When picking serving dishes (I usually ask for them as gifts), choose things that are pretty timeless and match anything – our plain white dishes work well with just about every occasion, and make decorating for things so much easier!
  • Look for glassware at the Dollar Tree and splurge on fresh flowers ~ that alone makes our home feel so much brighter!
  • Keep it simple. :) You don’t have to do a ton, just select a few special areas to fluff and skip the rest.

And here’s what I’m planning to serve (I could use an extra appetizer idea if you have one!)  

Smoked Barbecue (my hubby is making that ~ the shower is for a person in his office so the guys are coming and he’s in charge!)

Do you have any other suggestions on recipes or decorating ideas? I’d love to hear them!  It’s been so fun getting ready, but I’d love to hear your ideas too. 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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The Best Mother’s Day Gift (That Didn’t Cost a Penny)

 

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 I am a lucky girl. :)

 

Remember last week when I rambled (probably a little too long . . . ), about struggling with measuring up?

 

Well, my husband took the time to read that mess (he doesn’t read everything here on PPP, but scans some of it every once in awhile), and on a blank piece of copy paper gave me just the best Mother’s Day card and gift I’ve ever received. 

 

I’d told him not to spend money (we’ve been working quite a bit on fluffing up our home, so I was perfectly content with that), but this little note was more than I ever could have wished for.

To spare you the gorey ahemgoofy details, I won’t share it all, but hope he’ll forgive me for sharing a few of my favorite parts. 

“Our marriage has not been perfect, but you have given me the perfect marriage. . .  . you are what I always wanted, not “Barbie.” :) 

 

Folks, this guy looks at this absolute mess of a mom with pudgy hips, saggy soft spots, and one crazy unorganized life, and loves (and cheers!) for me every single day. Back when I first starting working on PPP, when I was literally putting in 40 hours a week and not making a single penny, he stood by as my cheerleader, confidently encouraging me to keep at it, never once questioning my work here despite the extra load it often put on him.

 

The last year has not been our easiest. In fact, probably since our marriage I’ve cried more tears than I can remember. (And I’m not one to shed tears much ~ hardly ever!) Moving 8 hours from what had become our home has been a major adjustment, and we’ve had some other struggles that have popped onto our plate along the way.

 

(Add in parenting both a teenager and tweenager in the midst of that along with one crazy busy 8 year old? Yikes.) 

 

James is oh-so-different from me. He hates social media, rarely watches a movie, and in many ways is an old-fashioned-fuddy-duddy-born-100-years-too late.

 

Bless him. 😉

 

But he loves and encourages me as if I’m amazing (despite the fact that I’m so far from it!), and continues to be this person who just thinks I’m a rockstar even when he sees the truth every day.

 

(Isn’t it a blessing when those who know you best love you most? wow.)

 

Honestly? I’m not great at doing the same thing for him. I get frustrated that the dishes aren’t done, or if the laundry’s piling up, or if I just feel like I’m incapable of keeping up. I have got to work better at being his cheerleader too, but for whatever reason it’s not always natural to me.

 

 

If you’re lucky enough to have a cheerleader in your life too, whether it be your spouse, parents, or a wonderful friend, thank them because they will help you go so much further than you ever can go on your own.

 

And, if you’re like me and struggle to cheer someone else on, goodness gracious, join me and let’s start doing just that!

 

Sometimes just being cheered for is all we need to turn into our very best self ~ and I’m so incredibly thankful to have someone cheering for me. (Especially on those days I’m not so sure of myself.)

 

Anyone else get  just the most wonderful gift for Mother’s Day that wasn’t even all that much? Sometimes those gifts are just the sweetest, and I’m oh-so-thankful for that one today. 

 

 

 

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16 {Easy} Ways to Save $1000 On Your Next Road Trip

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Planning a vacation this summer? It’s so easy for even short vacations to bust your budget, but there are a ton of simple ways to save every single day on the road. Our family loves to travel (in fact writing this post has me already dreaming up summer trips), so finding things we can do to save along the way makes it a wee bit easier around here.

 

Here are a few things that have worked for us . . . 

{Note: Savings based on a family of 5, 2 adults, 1 teenager, and 2 children. Estimated trip is 5 nights long and includes 6 tanks of gas.}

 

Save on Food

1. Pack a picnic lunch and stop at a rest area while driving. (This is one of our favorite ways to save and best vacation memories ~ we always pack a frisbee so the kids can run around while we stop!)

  • savings: $30 each stop x 2 = $60

2. Shop a local Aldi store while traveling for extra groceries on the road.

  • savings: up to $60 depending on the amount of groceries you purchase

3. Take advantage of Restaurant.com gift cards for nicer restaurant meals.

  • savings: typically $25 off a restaurant $50 gift card – be sure to note that they typically require a minimum amount spent so you’ll want to read the fine print prior to ordering, and be sure to check out extra discount codes before you purchase (usually available on their main page)

4. Eat a meal at Sam’s or Costco if you have a membership.

  • savings: $20-$30, depending on the size of your family x 2 = $60

5. Pack breakfast bars and eat lunch early to skip buying a full meal for breakfast. 

  • savings: $25 x 2 = $50

6. Pack drinks for the road instead of buying them at restaurants or gas stations.

  • savings = $30 per day x 5 days = $150

7. Take advantage of kids eat free restaurants (find restaurant options HERE and HERE)

  • savings = $10 per meal x 3 = $30 
Save on Hotels

8. Check Priceline to get the best prices on hotels each night, or VRBO if you’re staying in a condo. (May also want to consider staying instead in a hotel like Hampton Inn that offers complimentary breakfast, which would save around $25 for a family of 5.)

  • savings: up to $50 off each night, estimated savings based on $25 per night = $125

9. Visit a friend or relative while traveling and spend the night with them

  • savings = $100 per night x 1 = $100
Save on Gas

10. Use the Gas Buddy App to find the best price on gas in your area.

  • savings: up to $4 per tank of gas x 6 = $24

11. Take advantage of fuel points at Kroger or Giant Eagle (or other stores) with their summer fuel perks programs.

  • savings: up to $1 off per gallon or $17 per tank of gas x 2 = $34

 

Save on Entertainment

12. Instead of visiting expensive museums or aquariums, take a family friendly hike (find family hiking options HERE),

visit state capitals along the way, 

check out college campuses to give your kids a peek of college life, 

or tour local factories that offer free tours. 

  • savings = $100, depending on cost of museum

 

13.  Check out Groupon in the town you’re visiting and see if they’re offering any special discounts on activities you’d like to do.

  • savings = $25 (will vary by offer)

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14. Pack “treat” bags for the road using Dollar Tree items to help your kids manage longer driving distances

  • savings = $20 compared to purchasing things along the way

and skip souvenirs and buy postcards instead to create a souvenir booklet or let your kids pick up free local maps at rest areas to remember where they’ve visited

  • savings: $10-$15 per souvenir x 3 kids x 2 = $90

 

Save on Miscellaneous Extras

15. Get books and DVDs from your local library to read on the trip.

  • savings: $45 on reading materials for your trip

16. Take sample size laundry detergent with you so you don’t have to purchase it while traveling (great way to use up those free sample size items!)

  • savings = $10

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TOTAL SAVINGS = $1008  . . . it really adds up!
Do you have any other tips on saving while on a road trip? I’d love to hear them ~ leave a comment to share!
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20 Items You Need To Buy At Aldi (And What You Should Skip At Your Aldi Store Too)

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Do you have an Aldi in your area? If so, there are so many items that you can easily save on, but definitely some things you should never (ever?) purchase while you’re there. Watch the video to get an idea, then read through the list and share your comments too.

 

Here are the 20 items you need to buy at Aldi . . .

1. Produce included in their sale ad each week. Most of Aldi’s produce prices are very reasonable, but the items included in their sale ad are where you’ll see the best deals. Make sure to check to the quality of the produce before purchasing (it’s definitely hit or miss at some stores), but I’ve been pleased with most of the produce I’ve found at our local Aldi!

2. Bananas ($.44/lb – will vary by area)

2. Spices and seasonings ($.99)

3. Flour and sugar ($1,99), including whole wheat flour ($2.79), brown sugar ($1.29), and powdered sugar ($1.29)

4. Imitation vanilla ($1.99)

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5. Minced garlic (1.99)

6. Semi Sweet Morsels ($1.59)

7. Yeast 3 pack ($.79)

8. Honey ($4.99)

9. Maraschino Cherries ($1.59)

10. Pancake Syrup ($1.59)

11. Milk ($2.29 – will vary by area)

12. Eggs ($1.49 – will vary by store)

14. Cheese (string cheese, shredded cheese – unless your local grocery store has  a great sale)

15. Flour Tortillas ($1.19)

16. Fruit Gel Bowls ($1.79)

17. Chips ($1.69) & Salsa ($1.89)

18. Hazelnut Spread (aka Nutella – tastes just like the real thing, $1.99)

19. Snack Items – pretzels ($1.29), bagged chips ($1.49), Chocolate Cream Cookies (basically Oreos, $1.69)

20. Gluten Free & Organic Foods. Aldi has been adding a ton of gluten free and organic foods to their stores recently, and their prices seem very reasonable on these. If you shop for those items, it’s definitely worth swinging by to check them out!

 

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So, curious what I don’t think you should buy at Aldi? Here are my top five items . . .

1. Diapers. Pampers were $24.79 for size 3 at my store or 23¢ per diaper. You can easily shop at Amazon where the same size Pampers are 16¢ per diaper when you clip the $3 off coupon in the middle of the page and choose to subscribe and save (see even better prices right now on diapers at Amazon over HERE)

2. K Cups. The Barrisimo Brand K Cups were $4.79 for a 12 pack at my store, which makes them $.39 each. Amazon sells these regularly for $.33 per K Cup, and you may find an even better deal if you wait for a sale at your local grocery store.

3. Pringles. Pringles were $1.45 at my store – you can usually find these on sale for around $1 if you wait for a sale.

4. Coca Cola 12 packs. These were $4.45 for the 12 pack, and I’ve frequently seen them on sale at CVS, Walgreens and Rite Aid for less than $3 per pack, or get the generic store brand at Kroger, Publix or your local grocer to save even more!

5. Meat. Although I’ve heard so many folks questioning the safety of Aldi meat, I really believe it is just fine. However, we don’t buy meat at Aldi because I consistently find better prices at my local grocery store, as well as local specialty stores like Fresh Thyme, Sprouts, and Earth Fare.

For me even the Aldi sales aren’t good enough to make me switch over, so I’ll keep purchasing meat at other stores. (Make sure you know what a good price is – get my free stock up price list HERE so you never pay too much!)

 

 

Okie dokie ~ what would you add to the list? My rule of thumb is to never purchase name brands at Aldi because they consistently seem very high to me, but I’d love to hear your thoughts on that one. Leave a comment to share your thoughts and what I’ve missed – I love hearing from you!

What to Buy at The Dollar Tree

Looking for more posts like this? Here you go . . .

 

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5 Minute Baby Shower Decor

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Next weekend we’re hosting a baby shower for one of my husband’s fellow employees and his wife, so I get to fluff up for a baby shower at our house. (Fun!) 

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I made a quick trip to Hobby Lobby to see what I could find (I love that store . . . ), and when I found this wooden pennant (pre-made, thank you) in the colors I was planning to use for just $8, I knew I couldn’t pass it up.

 

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(Anyone else just love Hobby Lobby’s sale when you hit it on the right 50% off week? Yay!)

 

Over on Pinterest (check out my baby shower board HERE), I’d seen so many cute easy ideas, so I swung by Kohl’s (20% off coupon in hand of course), and picked up a few onesies.

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In less than five minutes I clipped those onesies on the pre-made banner, and that project is done – yay!

 

I bought size 6-month onesies (because we all know babies only wear those tee-tiny-newborn-ones for about 3 minutes . . .) but I do think the look would be a little cuter with smaller ones. (The penny pincher in me just couldn’t do it, but now I’m tempted to head back to the store!)

 

I’ll share more updates with a few other ideas next week ~ and would love to hear your ideas for a cute baby shower too!

 

(By the way, those jars are from the Dollar Tree ~ not sure what I’m going to do with them but I’m thinking if all else fails I’ll take the lids off and put a few white puffy mum flowers in them. Other thoughts, anyone?)
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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The ugly green eyed monster – and why I’ll never measure up.

Just last week I was thumbing through Facebook and felt a wee bit more than a twinge of the green-eyed-monster of jealousy rising up inside of me.

 

Okay, okay, I wasn’t thumbing through Facebook really, but it sounds a little more glamorous than scrolling down Facebook like I do every single day ~ don’t ya’ think? 

 

I was jealous of another blogger’s downright gorgeous home. 

 

It was perfect.

 

Amazingly decorated.

 

Seriously, folks, it could have been in a magazine. 

 

I scrolled on down a little further and saw an acquaintance I hardly know, skinny-as-a-rail and just jaw-droppingly beautiful with her oh-so-cute and just about perfect husband sharing their anniversary.

 

They looked so happy.

 

Obviously they had it all together.

 

And I’m betting she hasn’t counted a calorie in her entire. life. 

 

Yup. I hate her.

 

truth. sorry. ahem.

 

Ridiculously, I kept on scrolling.

 

Why look at that. There’s another friend sharing their child’s most amazing accomplishment.

 

And oodles of other mommas cheering them on, because really, their child is phenomenal. clearly.

 

All while my little family just kind of sits around looking plain and ordinary.

 

Then I bounced off Facebook to really get to work and started looking at a few other blogs. 

 

You know, the ones who are all doing it right.

 

The ones who have perfect web sites, perfect content, perfect pictures  . . . and a jillion comments on every. single. post.

 

they really are oh so put together. I’m so not cut out for this.

 

 

Oh-so-often I feel like I just never measure up.

 

I allow myself to be jealous of another blogger’s home.

 

I let myself get jealous of a skinny perfect person that I hardly even know.

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I compare my kids to other people’s kids. (For the record, I have some pretty cute kids even if they are just ordinary. Jeesh.) 

 

And when it comes to blogging? Well, it’s just a stroke of luck that this little website stays on every daySeriously.

 

So I started really thinking about it. Who really looks like the person I want to be?

 

 

Initially, I thought if I could just be more like her, I would totally be there.

 

But then I realized, while she has a beautiful family, amazing business, and, well, keeping it real here folks, she’s skinny, :) she’s not all that in to fluffing her home. (Which is totally fine, but I kinda like a fluffed up home.)

 

So I moved on.

 

Then I thought well maybe if I could just be like this. Amazing home, perfectly-yet-kind-of-quirkily decorated, and of course skinny – but, well, I’m betting she doesn’t really enjoy clipping coupons. (I could be wrong – that’s just a hunch?)

 

Then I thought of another friend who I adore who runs an amazing business, has a beautiful home, and a precious family . . . but struggles some with other issues too.

 

I moved on. This one.  This is it. Perfect home, crazy huge business, gajillion followers on Facebook, Instagram, well, everywhere. Even a perfect husband.

 

and she can cook.

 

But really? As I thought it through, she’s not quite my “measure-up-to goal” either.

 

Honestly?

 

I want the body of Barbie (a little less curvy though, please), the business of Martha Stewart, the mommy-amazing-sweetness of Michelle Duggar (with a few less children though, I think? Maybe June Cleaver would work . . . ), and a home smack on the cover of Southern Living.

 

Oh, and can I cook like Paula Deen? (right, but with Barbie’s figure, got that? hmph.)

 

Ahem.

 

The truth? My twisted standard of measurement is some kind of not-really-perfect-at-all-but-I-think-it-might-be-perfect.

 

And I’m just me.

 

Way down here.

 

I’ll never measure up.

 

Years ago, I read an illustration in Max Lucado’s book In The Grip of Grace (such a wonderful book, by the way . . .) describing what my heart struggles in a way with each day . . .

 

 

“Suppose God reduced the Bible to one command: “Thou must jump so high in the air that you touch the moon.” No need to love your neighbor or pray or follow Jesus; just touch the moon by virtue of a jump, and you’ll be saved.

We’d never make it. There may be a few who jump three or four feet, even fewer who jump five or six; but compared to the distance we have to go, no one gets very far. Though you may jump six inches higher than I do, it’s scarcely reason to boast.”

 

 

My goal is set too high.

 

The standard I’ve set for myself is perfection.

 

Only grace can fill in.

 

God’s grace is okay with me the way I am.

 

It’s okay with a slightly pudgy-hippy girl.

 

It’s okay with my Facebook reach.

 

It’s okay with my kids.

 

It’s okay with the number of people who visit PPP daily.

 

It’s okay with the way I handle being a Godly wife to my poor husband.

 

Bless.

 

him. :) 

 

His grace is sufficient for me. 

 

Just as I am.

 

Ladies (sorry gents, I know y’all hopped off eons ago . . . ), you too are good enough. 

 

You are beautiful enough.

 

You are wise enough.

 

You are capable enough.

 

You.

 

Yes,

 

you.

 

You are enough.

 

Don’t let your picture of perfection be anything other than the one God created you to be.

 

I promise. I’ll stop too.

 

And you’re so not the only one who feels this way.

 

But his grace (thankheavens.) covers us today.

 

promise.

 

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But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12:9

 

 

 

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Spring Cleaning Week #4: Our Free Closet Makeover + Why I’m Keeping A Worn Out Mirror

 

 

I am so stinkin’ excited to have this project done!

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Cleaning out our closet has been on my to do list since we moved in (almost an entire year ago), but was so low on the list that there was no way it was going to get my attention.

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This month though, after finishing up my kids closets, I knew it was time to take control.

 

 

Clearly. 

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The most exciting update? I bought a ton of new fancy hangers (at Walmart – you know, f.a.n.c.y.) They have little places for straps on your tank tops to hold, so I’m thrilled to have clothes that will stay on the hanger!

(It’s the little things, right?) :)

 

Let’s take a tour . . .

closet1

 

closet2

Here’s most of what is heading to Goodwill, the trash, or to sell at a consignment shop. Honestly, most of it’s in such bad shape that it will end up at Goodwill to works towards a tax deduction!)

 

I ended up using the money that I made cleaning out Jackson, Caroline & Reagan’s closets ($85 – woohoo!) to purchase the small drawers and new hanging racks at Walmart. So I paid nothing to update our little closet, and it looks oh-so-much better!

 

 

 

And here’s why I’m not buying a new fancy mirror. :)

 

When I was looking for things to organize our closet with I noticed several great mirrors at very reasonable prices. It was all I could do not to grab one (I think I could have found one for less $30-$40), but I kept thinking that this is in my closet.

 

That no one ever sees but me. 

 

Yes, I’d love some kind of ridiculous closet like these, I’d love fancy shelving, and I’d love a trendy mirror.

 

But.

 

There are a lot of things on our to do list in our home over the next few months, and, no one will ever see what’s in my closet. 

 

Sacrificing what I want (that is such a minor want ~ goodness!) for what I really want just wasn’t worth it for me.  

 

The mirror I has legs but the parts have been misplaced somewhere along our last four moves, so James is going to hang it up on the wall for me.

 

I might paint it. Or even stain it. Who knows.

 

But really, this one just doesn’t matter, so I’m letting it go ~ no matter how amazing those beautiful closets can be on Pinterest. 😉

 

 

I’m oh-so-satisfied with just better and one day if we have oodles of money to throw away on a fancy closet that’ll be just fine, but today’s not the day for me. :)

 

So there you have it! If you have a closet that’s just begging for some TLC, I highly recommend taking some time to work on it. I literally tucked my kids in bed one night this week, turned on a new episode of Parenthood (I love my Amazon Prime free shows!), and stayed up late just to get it done. It feels wonderful, and I love knowing what’s actually in my closet to wear each day too! If you really want some closet motivation check this out (wow.), and get to work tidying things up today.

 

 

 

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