50% Off One Regular Item at Michael’s

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Hurry over to Michael’s to use this coupon for 50% off any ONE item in store, valid through 6/23/17! This would be great to use on an item for the gift closet (my kids love their children’s craft sets) ~ let me know if you score a deal.

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One idea would be to pick up some film for your Fujifilm Instax Camera if you scored one of those recently! You can use the coupon in-store, or use the code 50MVS62317 if shopping online. (Not valid on sale items). Still in the market for an Instax? Check out the deal you can get HERE ~ just $59.99 after coupon!

 

 

I was also at Michael’s a few weeks ago and noticed a TON of clearance marked down to 75¢!

(My girls would love this super cute purse to color!)

Leave a comment if you find any awesome deals when you’re there!

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Don’t miss these 7 secrets you need to know before shopping Michaael’s before you head out!

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Mexican Street Corn Recipe (from Nacho Libre)


MEXICAN STREET CORN RECIPE

 

Note from Laurie ~ my friend Cheree made this Mexican corn, and goodness, it looks fabulous! Here’s how you can make it too . . .

 

 

My husband and I were in Atlanta a few weeks ago and had Mexican Street Corn for the first time at a restaurant in midtown. It was fabulous!

 

So, this week we were sitting down to dinner and eating our first corn-on-the cob of the season and started telling our son about that wonderful corn in Atlanta. I asked Luke, who’s 17 and growing up waaaay too fast, if he’d ever had that type of corn.

 

He hadn’t had it, but said he’d heard of it. He was like, you know, from the movie Nacho Libre. Well, this started a crazy conversation where my husband says that I should write a cookbook on foods from movies and tv shows. You know, Nacho Libre, Aunt Bea, etc…….. But, that’s a whole other conversation!!!

 

Anyway, this got me craving that corn, so I did a quick search on Pinterest.  Lo and behold what did I find, but Nacho Libre Mexican Street Corn. I was cracking up and knew I totally had to try it!

Mexican Street Corn Recipe  – PRINT

 

Recipe:

  • 4 ears corn on the cob, shucked and rinsed
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 1 cup cotija cheese, crumbled (or to taste)
  • Ancho Chile Pepper (regular chili powder will do)
  • Lime

 

Instructions for Mexican Street Corn:

  1. Grill corn evenly until all sides brown a bit (about 10-15 minutes).
  2. Mix the sour cream and mayo
  3. Brush the cooked corn liberally with the mayo/sour cream mixture.
  4. Roll each ear of corn in crumbled cotija cheese – this is kind of a Mexican feta, you can sub for feta if you want.
  5. Season with ancho chili powder – or regular if you have that handy.
  6. I sprinkled mine with chopped fresh cilantro for presentation and because we love cilantro!! (Totally optional also – some people HATE cilantro)
  7. You can also squeeze lime juice over the top for an extra zing – but we went without that.

 

 

We all loved it and it really was super easy!

Do you do your corn a similar way?  I’ve even read somewhere that people use Parmesan cheese instead of cojita – that would make this even less expensive and easy!

 

 

4thofjulydessertrecipes

You may also want to check out these recipes for your Summer Cookouts!

10 Easy 4th of July Dessert Recipes

Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Sliders

Kansas City Style Spare Ribs

Bacon Double Cheese Onion Stuffed Burgers

 

 

Adapted from Favorite Family Recipes

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The Ultimate Room Makeover?

 

Last week all 3 of our kids were gone for a whopping four days.

 

Four.

 

days.

 

Ninety-six bless-ed hours to be exact.

 

(Don’t get me wrong ~ I adore my kids but in the summertime ninety-six hours of quiet are pure unmediated bliss.) 

 

Before they left Sunday though, I started worrying over what I would do all by my lonesome self without a soul in sight. 

 

I contemplated shopping, then quickly decided it was clearly the perfect time to re-decorate our dining room. (Which, for the life of me I cannot seem to get right since moving to Ohio), so I devised a plan before they even left.

 

I headed to Home Goods (two kids in tow), found 6 matching dining room chairs (it was like the Home Goods gods were shining down on me . . . ), brought them home, plopped them down in their new space and started picking out colors on my Pinterest board.

 

(Remember our dining room furniture has been handed down, so we’ve never spent any money in the space and I proclaimed few days with no kids the perfect excuse to remedy that.)

 

And then?

 

I stopped.

I took those chairs back to Home Goods (here’s the dining room right where we started. I know it’s bad. I know the rug’s too small. I know the light fixture isn’t awesome. I know the grey’s kind of pitiful. Yup, I get it. Bleck.)

 

But my brain finally began. 

 

I began thinking about what a new room overhaul would mean for those glorious ninety six hours.

 

That my husband would likely have to change that light fixture.

 

(Bless. him.) 

 

That I would have a lot of added shopping on my to-do list.

 

And that for the good part of the very few days my kids were gone, I’d be drowning in paint, stressed over getting it done, and anxious about one more pretty unnecessary mess. 

 

While not soaking up summer even a bit. 

 

eek.

So I made a decided mental shift.

 

My husband and I have just gone through a pretty chaotic 18 months to say the least. (Read more HERE and HERE.)

We’re just 3 weeks out from his dad passing away.

 

And in the midst of that eighteen months, we’ve continued to raise 3 kids (might I mention again, including two teenagers), held down two fairly massively busy jobs, and really truly, still feel even after almost twenty-one years of marriage still feel like we’re just figuring this mess out. 😉

Do you know what I realized?

 

That right now today I don’t need a Pinterested dining room.

 

With matching chairs, the *right* chandelier, and perfect pale-grey-navy-ish walls (if that is even a thing?)

 

That right now today our hodge-podge mess of a dining room really didn’t matter, but savoring those ninety six hours (even with oodles of work in between) was worth it today. 

 

I determined that right now today I didn’t need to make 38 decisions on fabrics, table decor and buffet lamps, but instead could frugally enjoy some fun just hours together, and good gravy, we sure did.

So instead?

 

We went out to dinner.

 

And walked to the grocery store.

 

(For the record – our Kroger is a mere three miles from our house, but since I’ve so missed walking to the grocery store James promised we could try. We survived and realized it really IS walkable, just a bit of a jaunt and probably too far to bring home milk ~ eek!) 😉

 

And we met up after work to hike in a part of Ohio we’d never seen before.

 

As we were walking Thursday night, James and I both agreed that we enjoyed our little “stay-cation” more than we’d ever imagined, and other than one “nicer” meal out, we barely spent a penny.

 

I love that.

 

So today.

 

If you feel like you need to be all Pin-ter-est-ey-fied.

 

And you’ve spent hours poring over your Instagram feed feeling clearly you’re the only girl in town with a little mis-matched stuff,

maybe just decide to clean up your space and enjoy what you have right where you have it right now today. 

 

We really don’t need to have it all . . . and we definitely don’t need it all right now today.

 

Note: Our family is taking the next few weeks mostly off for some much needed summer rest, but my AMAZING PPP team will be here sharing posts, trying out their hand at Facebook Live (I love that!), and answering all of your questions while we’re gone. I’ll be in and out to check in on things, just a note to let you know what to expect throughout the rest of June!
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Pyrex, KitchenAid, Water Bottles & LOTS of Home Decor Clearance

Target had lots of clearance  items 30% – 50% OFF including Pyrex Products, Water Bottles, LOTS of Home Decor, Calphalon Products, Ninja Coffee Maker, KitchenAid Mixing Bowl Accessory & Hand Beater, Food Processor (Love my Kitchenaid food processor) and my store still had Dyson Vacuums on clearance! (Think CHRISTmas!)  I would call your store ahead of time to save a trip!

Calphalon Bakeware 5 Piece Set – $34.98 (Reg $49.99) 

KitchenAid Food Processor – $27.98 (Reg $39.99)

Purex Small Glass Dish with Cover – $4.18 (Reg $5.99)

Snapware Containers – $6.48 (Reg $12.99)

Pyrex 13X9 Glassware Watercolor Collection – $6.48 (Reg $12.99)

Wooden Cutting Board – $14.98 (Reg $29.99)

Framed Art – $7.48 (Reg $14.99)

Bubba Bottle – $9.98 (Reg $19.98)

targetNew to using coupons at Target? Read this to get started.

This post may contain affiliate links.  See my disclosure policy to learn more.

See all the top deals at Target this week, and create your Target shopping list before you shop.

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STOCK UP PRICE on Bounty Paper Towels

This is the cheapest I have EVER seen Bounty Paper Towels! As a warning this does vary by area.  You can always return them if the catalina does not print. Check this deals out:

Buy 2 Bounty Paper Towels Select A Size (must be select a size) – $7.99 (Mega Sale Price), Get $10 Catalina!
Buy 2 Airhead Candy – $0.49 Mega Sale Price (filler)
Buy 1 ALL Laundry Detergent – $1.99 (filler)

  • Use (2)  $1/1 printable
  • Use $1.00/2 Airheads Products or $1.00/2 Airheads Products – 6-4-17 SS
  • Use $1.50/1 All brand Freshy Clean Essentials Laundry Products – 6-4-17 RP
  • Pay $14.46 out of pocket, Get $10 Catalina (use on your next order)
  • That’s $2.23 each (plus 3 items) or $.37 per Mega Roll or $.003 per sheet! That is the cheapest I have ever seen paper towels!

You can head over HERE to see the best deals this week!

Check out my Kroger Trip I scored $66 worth of Groceries for $19!

See all the deals at Kroger this week, and check out the complete Kroger weekly ad to plan your trip before you go.

Thanks Kroger Krazy!

See all the deals at Kroger this week, and check out the complete Kroger weekly ad to plan your trip before you go

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Top Deals You Can’t Miss at Costco This Month (Ends 6/25/17)

Okie dokie folks, besides the Costco whole chicken you should probably pick up every time you shop Costco, here are a few more items that just started in the Costco sale ad which may be worth picking up this month.

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Just like any grocery store, you really do save more at Costco when you’re willing to shop their monthly sales ad (which is really just their coupon book that runs each month.) Here are the items I think are worth grabbing before 6/25/17.

Costco Best Deals Ending 6/25/17

Sheila’s G’s Brownie Brittle 16 oz – $6.69

  • Get Buy One, Get One Free Instant Savings (Limit 4)
  • Submit for $1.50/2 Ibotta Rebate
  • $2.60 each after savings

Deer Park Water Sport Cap (24 pk) – $5.49

  • Get $1.50/1 Instant Savings (Limit 6)
  • $3.99 after savings or $.17 each

Nature’s Path Organic Love Crunch Granola (26 oz)  – $6.99

  • Get $3/1 Instant Savings (Limit 6)
  • $3.99 after savings

Stacy’s Pita hips (28 oz) – $6.99

  • Get $2.80/1 Instant Savings (Limit 5)
  • $4.19 after savings

President Feta Cheese 24 oz – $7.34

  • Get $2.55/1 Instant Savings
  • $4.79 after savings

Ocean Spray Craisins ( 64 oz) – $8.89

  • Get $4/1 Instant Savings (Limit 6)
  • $4.89 after savings

Deer Park Sparkling Flavored Water  (24 pk .5 L) – $7.89

  • Get $2/1 Instant Savings (Limit 6)
  • $5.89 after savings

Kraft Easy Mac Cups (12 pk) – $8.99

Dannon Drinkable Yogurt (36 pk) – $9.99

  • Get $3.30/1 Instant Savings
  • $6.69 after savings

Kellogg’s Despicable Me Fruit Snacks (80 ct) – $9.99

  • Get $3/1 Instant Savings (Limit 6)
  • $6.99 after savings or $.08 per pack

Kirkland Signature Cheese Pizza (4 ct) – $9.99

  • Get $2.50/1 Instant Savings (Limit 6)
  • $7.49 after savings or $1.87 each

Nature Valley Sweet & Salty Granola Bars (48 ct) – $12.79

Haagen Dazs Almond Ice Cream Bars – $12.49

  • Get $3/1 Instant Savings (Limit 6)
  • $9.49 after savings

Finish Max All-in-One Tabs, 110 ct – $15.89

Cascade Complete Action Pacs, 90 ct – $15.99

Bounty Paper Towels (12 Rolls 131 sheets) – $19.99

All Liquid Laundry Detergent, 158 loads, 237 oz – $14.79

Cottonelle Toilet Paper 45 Rolls (225 sheets per roll) – $16.99 or $.38 per roll or $.002 per sheet

Tide Laundry Detergent (170 oz) – $21.99

 

Always a deal

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Milk $2.89 per gallon This is the same price at Kroger lately, but my Aldi has milk for $.99 a gallon so if you don’t have a Costco membership you can still easily save.

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Chicken Breast – $2.79/lb

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Eggs 24 ct – $3.59 ($1.79 a dozen) My Aldi has eggs for $.69 a dozen so if you don’t have a Costco membership you can still easily save.

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Costco Rotisserie Chicken $4.99 which comes out to about 5 cups of shredded chicken ~ stock up price!

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Curious what else to buy at Costco? Check out this list of my favorite 15 items to buy at Costco every single day. Here are a few more posts you may want to check out:

whatshouldyoubuyatcostco

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My May Stitch Fix Review

This post may contain affiliate links. See my disclosure policy to learn more.

View the video over here on Facebook

Here’s a peek at what’s in my Stitch Fix Box this month!

I’ll be honest, while I LOVED just about everything in my box this month, I didn’t love the fit of a few of the tops, so sent three of the five items back.

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If you’re a busy working mom (especially in the corporate world), I think Stitch Fix is worth EVERY SINGLE PENNY, because the items really do look great and fit (for the most part!) so well too.

 

But, the items are pricey, so you’re definitely paying for the convenience of having someone shop and fit you here. (That being said, I’m amazed at how well most of the items do fit and how cute they look ~ it takes me hours to shop for close so I love the convenience of it all!)

 

Remember though that if you keep the whole box you save 25% on the entire box, which is a pretty hefty savings if you like most of the items in the box. You also get your $20 styling fee back towards any items that you keep, so that helps drop the price a bit to!

 

Here’s a peek at what I got this month . . . 

Super cute earrings $28 – $21 if I keep the whole box and get the 25% off entire box discount

KEPT THESE ~ I really did love them and don’t own a single pair of earrings that aren’t plain hoops! 🙂 

PERFECT Black Liverpool Super Skinny Jeans $78 – $58.50 if I keep the whole box and get the 25% off entire box discount

 

KEPT THESE 🙂 (this is a similar pair for $79, so I guess that’s pretty reasonable? And they FIT SO WELL!)

Heartloom Daranta Crochet Detail Top $64 ~ $48 if I keep the whole box and get the 25% off entire box discount

 

RETURNED – just too short for me and I didn’t like the way it had a slit in the back

Fun 2 Fun Witucky Halter Top $44 ~ $33 if I keep the whole box and get the 25% off entire box discount

RETURNED – SO SO SO cute but still a little short for me and I knew I wouldn’t wear it

Aunook Twist Knot Top $48 ~ $36 if I keep the whole box and get the 25% off entire box discount

 

RETURNED ~ I didn’t love the back at all and felt like it looked like a maternity top – eek!

My necklace was from a few months ago in my Stitch Fix box ~ I love that one!

So my total cost this month after my $20 Stitch Fix Styling Credit was $93.42 ~ I know I could have found jeans and earrings cheaper, but the jeans really do fit amazingly well, and the earrings are perfect. For me (during this crazy busy season of my life!), the price was totally worth it. 

My overall thoughts on Stitch Fix?

 

I do absolutely love though  how easy this process is ~ just put in your style profile, share what types of clothes you like, how things fit, and share an idea of what I’m looking for on my profile. I also include a link to my “cute outfits” board on Pinterest, so my stylist has a pretty good idea of what I love.

 

I think it definitely can be an awesome resource (especially for finding great pants – I have loved every pair of pants they’ve sent!), and if you struggle with finding cute trendy clothes that fit well, Stitch Fix is so worth it.

 

Whew!

 

If you dress up frequently for work and don’t have time to shop, I really think Stitch Fix can be a fantastic option (I have loved my previous boxes, and the quality of clothing is much nicer than what I normally wear), so it may be a great option for you. 

 

It also is fantastic for busy working moms – while I do think the pricing is high you’re paying not only for the clothing but also for someone to look at your needs and hand pick items that often can work for you.

 

If you’d like to try out Stitch Fix, here’s exactly how it works:

  • Sign up HERE
  • You’ll be charged $20 for your Stitch Fix Styling
  • Your box will come when you schedule it
  • If you keep ANY items in your box, the $20 you spend for the styling will be put towards your purchase (so it’s like getting $20 in free credit!)
  • If you keep your entire box you’ll save 25% off the entire purchase
  • Invite friends on Facebook or via email (or even text messages) to sign up through you and you’ll get $25 in free referral credit ~ love that!

Past Stitch Fix Reviews:

Check out my review of previous boxes HEREHERE, HERE and HERE, and let me know what you think! 

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Kids’ Play House Deals (Starting under $100!)

 

Summer is here and the kids can’t wait to get out and play!  There are some nice kids’ playhouse deals at both Walmart and Amazon right now – here are a few good ones to check out…

Step2 Neat & Tidy II Playouse – $148.99 (Reg $170.71)
**Or get it in PINK for $138!

Step2 Four Seasons Pink & Purple Playhouse – $99.83 Shipped (Reg $129.99)

Little Tikes Cape Cottage – $93.99 Shipped (Reg $114.97)

Little Tikes Picnic on the Patio Playhouse – $197 Shipped (Reg $299.97)

Find more top retail deals.

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3 Reasons Freezer Cooking Will Change Your Life {+ 300 recipes to get you started}

 

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I never, ever, never-ever-never thought freezer cooking was all that awesome.

In fact, for years when I saw other bloggers mention freezer cooking or batch cooking days ~ I thought it was an okay idea (I guess?) but really just couldn’t see anything about it that excited me all that much.

 

So in February, when we did the Countertop Cooking Challenge and I saw the recipes for a freezer cooking week on my list, I wasn’t all that impressed by the concept. 

I made the 5 recipes, popped them in the freezer, and just knew I’d forget all about them.

 

But I didn’t forget at all about them.

 

In fact, within the very next ten days, all five of those meals were gone because I used them for dinner.

 

And we didn’t eat out.

 

And my pitiful-husband-who-really-hates-cereal-for-supper was oh-so-happy to come home to a home-cooked meal.

 

(Enough that he even texted to tell me how awesome dinner was) 🙂

I was hooked.

 

Fast forward a few months.

 

I started dreaming up big PPP project ideas for May (because you know I like a challenge), and it dawned on me that we could make 30 recipes in one week using freezer meals.

 

(You could really do them in one day ~ but since I was here doing it on Facebook Live I spread it out a bit.)

 

And then it dawned on me that you could cook them in the crockpot.

 

Throw them on the grill.

 

Bake them in the oven.

 

Saute them in a skillet.

 

And supper was seriously set for summer. 

 

Yup.

 

I realized right then and there I was a genius. 🙂 

The best part?

 

My grocery shopping is just about done until August.

 

My meals are totally ready to go.

 

and we’re saving a bundle by eating at home. 

 

Success.

So . . .  curious about why YOU should be doing freezer cooking this summer too? 

 

1. You’ll handle the bulk of your cooking in a few short hours, then just add veggies, salad,  and pasta, bread, rice or potatoes to round out your meal.

 

2. Instead of going to the grocery store with a massive list of stuff to buy each week (without any real plan to make dinner out of all that food), you’ll have a perfect plan in place that makes sure you shop strategically, knowing exactly what you need to make real meals every single day of the week.

 

3. You won’t eat out.

 

I repeat.

 

YOU WILL NOT EAT OUT.

 

You will save a bundle of money, eat better home cooked meals, and stop the craziness of what-on-earth-will-we-have-for-dinner-tonight at the dinner hour.

 

I love that.

 

Sound absolutely amazing to you too? 

 

For a few more hours only, my friend Tiffany has offered her freezer cooking menu plans to PPP readers for 25% off and as little as $1.21 per week with the code PPP25 at checkout.

 

The last time they were this deeply discounted was back in February, so you need to take advantage of this today. 

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HERE’S THE PRICE BREAKDOWN:

  • $10.50 per month with the code PPP25 at checkout (ends TONIGHT AT MIDNIGHT) or $2.62 per week
  • $23.25 per quarter with the code PPP25 at checkout(ends TONIGHT AT MIDNIGHT) or $1.93 per week
  • $63 per year with the code PPP25 at checkout (ends TONIGHT AT MIDNIGHT) or $1.32 per week

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> GET YOURS HERE < < <

AND HERE’S WHAT YOU GET WHEN YOU SIGN UP: 

  • Weekly menu plans for the entire month
  • A set of slow cooker menu plans
  • A set of whole foods menu plans
  • A set of traditional menu plans
  • One quick click to download all 3 sets of menus (in color or black and white ink)
  • In addition to our freezer menus, you’ll get access to FOUR WEEKS of menu plans for as low as $1.05 per week!
  • BONUS: 1 ENTIRE YEAR OF EAT AT HOME SLOW COOKER FREEZER MEAL PLANS (THAT’S OVER 300 RECIPES!)
  • BONUS FOR PPP READERS ONLY: free printable labels to use for our freezer week ~ I’ll send yours automatically when you start HERE

As soon as you go HERE and sign up, I’ll send you your free freezer bag labels. Then create your Eat at Home account, and log in to get started. (We used the“May 15th” freezer meal under slow cooker meals in your Eat at Home Cooks dashboard, as well as the “Slow Cooker Freezer Meals – Volume 2″ menus from June, July, August & September.)

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I promise, THIS WILL CHANGE THE WAY YOU COOK, and make your life so much easier. In fact, I’m pretty determined to do a whole new round in August, because I love it so much!

 

I’d love to hear if you joined us this week, and what other recommendations you have for freezer cooking! I really do think this will forever transform the way I grocery shop, menu plan, and budget, and am so glad we tried it out! 

And by the way, did you hear I’m giving away a FREEZER? Go HEREHERE and share this post to be entered to win before tomorrow night at 9PM Eastern Time!

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HUGE Ziploc Moneymaker!

If you have a Walgreens near by you will not want to miss this deal! 

Buy 3 Ziploc at $2, Get $3 Register Rewards

 

 

While you are at Walgreens make sure to snag this awesome deal on Oxi Clean Laundry Detergent!

Oxi Clean Laundry Detergent – $3.99

  • Use $3/1 printable or $3/1 coupon from 5/21 SmartSource insert
  • $0.99 after coupon

Thanks, Alice! Find more great deals at Walgreens this week.

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A Hard Day.

So, this post I shared five years ago popped up in my Facebook feed today.

Five years later to the day, we’re driving home from this most amazing man’s funeral, hearts so very heavy as we mourn probably the best man I’ve ever known.

 


Five years could never have been enough, but we’re so thankful God gave us those.

 


Hug your babies.


Take time to bake the cookies. 😉

Ask someone you love what you can do to bless them today.

But most of all, know the peace that we have right now, confident that although he’s no longer here today, his heart is rejoicing at home.

Not gonna lie. Our hearts are still broken, but it truly is well with our souls.

 

Our 10-year-old daughter Reagan spoke at the funeral, and I don’t think I could have better put into words what she shared about him, every single thing she said was so true.  Here’s what she shared:

Grandpa was a very loving man. He would always greet us with a smile then would keep smiling. He would love when we would visit him. 

I have only known him for 10 years. He got West Nile when I was only 2 years old. That did not change his personality though. He still was kind and loving. He still had his great smile. 

When I was flying in Friday I couldn’t wait to see him. I know he is in a better place and he is playing sports and walking around. He is watching us from heaven laughing at us. 

He is not in any more pain from the West Nile virus and cancer. He could have died 8 years ago but fought through the pain and survived. It is hard for everyone to get over his death. I’ll miss him but God decided it was time for him to go. I loved him very much, because he was kind, loving, and always had a smile on his face. 

 

(The view from Don’s back porch where he sat almost every day looking out over the Presbyterian Church. He shared it on his instagram feed last summer.) 🙂 

 

“When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll
Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say
It is well, it is well, with my soul”

A HUGE thanks to the PPP team who completely ran the site for the last several days so I didn’t have to do a thing. I cannot begin to tell you how fortunate I am to have such a sweet group of women surrounding me, and feel immeasurably blessed to work with them each day. Thank you Shannon, Cheryl, Nicole, Jamie, Hannah, Staci & Cheri!

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Supper’s Set For Summer – Freezer Cooking Challenge Day 1

 

 

USE THE CODE PP30 to save 30% off with these menu plans at checkout! Go HERE to get yours before this sale ends tonight!

motionmailapp.com

 

If you missed my Facebook live video this morning you can watch here.

I’m soooooo excited to have 6 meals DONE today from our Supper’s Set for Summer Freezer Cooking Challenge!

 

I’m not going to lie, I was a little anxious about starting this little project this week (to say the least.)

 

In fact, since I was the one with this brilliant idea (and just praying a few folks might want to join me), last week I was a wee bit sick to my stomach about what I’d just signed myself up for.

 

But I gotta tell you, now that the bulk of the grocery shopping is done and I have the first day of cooking under my belt, I realized this is seriously the most brilliant idea I’ve ever had. 🙂 

 

For real.

 

But, I did learn a few things the last 24 hours as I’ve been preparing, so I thought I’d share those with you.
Here are 7 tips that will make you way more successful with this freezer cooking challenge if you’re joining me: 

1. Use Kroger Click list or Walmart curbside pickup (or a similar program if your store has one), to order your groceries (this will change your life!)
2. Order the groceries you’ll need for 2-3 days of the challenge (an entire week’s work would be a lot of food and may be more than you’re ready for!)
For example, I ordered groceries for the meals I’ll make Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, then will order the rest tomorrow to pick up for Thursday and Friday.)

3. Clear space in your pantry and fridge for your ingredients before going to the store. 

 

I made space in my pantry for the items I needed and cleaned out my fridge ahead of time, so I had less to do when I got home from the grocery.

4. Label your bags ahead of time.
After several people suggested it, I also double bagged my recipes (to help the moisture not make a mess when everything thaws out), and also attached the labels with clear masking tape. You can totally just print your labels on card stock as well and then just attach with tape to the bags (and remember, we’ll send you the labels when you sign up!)

5. Sort your groceries by days as you’ll need them.
After I got home from the store yesterday, I “grocery shopped” for each day from the items I’d purchased. I used clothespins to keep refrigerated items in bags labeled by each day, so I can easily get through them each morning before dumping items in each bag.

 

6. Make sure any meat is cut up ahead of time (GROSS!)
I knew one of the recipes called for a whole chicken (I didn’t catch that it was cut up), so last night as I was going through my list I saw that and went ahead and cut up the chicken. (I’ve never done that before but survived ~ whew!) If you need help like I do, follow the instructions over HERE. (Thanks, Martha!)  🙂

 

7. Cut up veggies & open any cans before you start.

I cut up onions this morning before beginning and also opened up all the cans I needed ahead of time. It’s so silly, but having that done all in one quick spurt made dumping everything into bags go so much more smoothly!

 

 

Success!

 

 

 

So, I spent about 1 hour from start to finish this morning, and six meals are done. 

 

We’ve got the pork roast cooking in Mrs. Potts right now, I popped five meals in the freezer to use this summer, and I’m feeling like a rockstar right now.

 

WOOHOOO!

That’s why I could hardly wait to tell you about our SUPPER’S SET FOR SUMMER CHALLENGE, because I think it’s, going to change your summer.

 

WILL YOU JOIN ME?

 

My friend Tiffany from Eat at Home Cooks is offering PPP readers a whopping 30% off her menu plans, grocery lists and recipes with the code PPP30 at checkout (ORDER SOON ~ THAT PRICE ENDS TONIGHT!) 

We’ll be using these menu plans to cook through, so you’ll want to snag yours while they’re on sale at this price!

HERE’S WHAT YOU GET WHEN YOU SIGN UP: 

  • Weekly menu plans for the entire month
  • A set of slow cooker menu plans
  • A set of whole foods menu plans
  • A set of traditional menu plans
  • One quick click to download all 3 sets of menus (in color or black and white ink)
  • In addition to our freezer mensus, you’ll get access to FOUR WEEKS of menu plans for as low as $1.05 per week!
  • BONUS: 1 ENTIRE YEAR OF EAT AT HOME SLOW COOKER FREEZER MEAL PLANS (we’ll be using these next week to cook)
  • BONUS FOR PPP READERS ONLY: free printable labels to use for our freezer week ~ I’ll send yours automatically when you start HERE

ALL FOR AS LITTLE AS $1.13 PER WEEK WHEN YOU SIGN UP FOR AN ANNUAL PLAN, or just $9.80 to try the menu plans out for one month PLUS you’ll get an ENTIRE YEAR of freezer recipes AND our free printable labels!

 

YOU’LL GET 72 RECIPES + A DESSERT EACH WEEK + GROCERY LISTS + MENU PLANS FOR A SMALL OR LARGER FAMILY + PRINTABLE FREEZER LABELS + AN EXTRA YEAR OF FREEZER MEALS ~ WAAAAAY BETTER THAN JUST A COOKBOOK!

I promise, if you struggle with meal planning and sticking to your grocery budget, this will change the way you shop.

We’ve had several folks comment in our Private Dinner’s Done group that this using Eat at Home Cooks is saving them as much as $100 EACH WEEK ON GROCERIES ALONE, and they’re actually sticking to their menu plans and EATING AT HOME.

I love that.

So, head on over HERE to sign up if you’re not set up already, and let me know what you think.

 

 

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PRICE BREAKDOWN:

  • $9.80 per month with the code PPP30 at checkout (ends 5/10/17 at noon) or $2.45 per week
  • $21.70 per quarter with the code PPP30 at checkout (ends 5/10/17 at noon) or $1.80 per week
  • $58.80 per year with the code PPP30 at checkout (ends 5/10/17 at noon) or $1.13 per week

> > > GET YOURS HERE < < <

 

The best part? You’ll get all the freezer cooking meals AND monthly sets of slow cooker meals, whole foods meals and traditional menu plans. I promise, you’ll love these lists!

 

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Supper’s Set For Summer Freezer Cooking Challenge Schedule

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I’m so excited that so many of you are joining me for the Supper’s Set for Summer Freezer Cooking Challenge!

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If you haven’t signed up yet, go HERE and use the code PPP30 to get the very best price on the menu plans (as low as $1.13 per week!) 

I wanted to make sure that you have exactly what you need to get started so here are the EXACT nitty gritty details.

 

  1. If you’re planning on doing the full menu plan with me, you’ll need to get ahead on your shopping this weekend so you can be ready to go Monday morning at 9:00 AM Eastern Time
  2. In case you haven’t gotten them already, all of the menu plans are available HERE ~ use the code PPP30 at checkout to save 30%
  3. To make life go easier each morning, go ahead and prep your veggies ahead of time each morning if you’re able

Here’s the EXACT SCHEDULE: 

Monday, 05/15/17, 9:15 AM EST – Eat at Home Menu Plans May Slow Cooker Freezer Meals (look for the “May 15th” freezer meal under slow cooker meals in your Eat at Home Cooks dashboard)

Meals we’ll make Monday:

Hawaiian BBQ Chicken Sandwiches, Garlic Rosemary Pork & Potatoes, Grandma’s Spaghetti Ssauce, Honey Mustard Chicken, Taco Bowls, Red Eye Barbecue Ribs

Tuesday, 05/16/17, 9:15 AM EST – Eat at Home Menu Plans JUNE Slow Cooker Freezer Meals from the SLOW COOKER FREEZER MEALS VOLUME 2 (look for the “Slow Cooker Freezer Meals link in the picture above inside your dashboard ~ you’ll want to download the meals for June, July, August and September)

Meals we’ll make Tuesday:

Slow Cooker BBQ Peach Pulled Pork, Turkey Legs, Italian Sausage & Potatoes, Chicken Curry with Rice, Italian Beef Sandwiches, Teriyaki Pork Chops with Red Pepper & Pineapple, Chicken Cacciatore with Spinach Salad and Breadsticks

Wednesday, 05/17/17, 9:15 AM EST – Eat at Home Menu Plans JULY Slow Cooker Freezer Meals from the SLOW COOKER FREEZER MEALS VOLUME 2 (look for the “Slow Cooker Freezer Meals link in the picture above inside your dashboard ~ you’ll want to download the meals for June, July, August and September)

Meals we’ll make Wednesday:

Honey Mustard Chicken, Tamale Sandwiches on Cornbread, Maple Apple Chicken, Chicken Philly Sandwiches, Chili Sauce Chicken Legs, Beef Teriyaki with Pineapple

Thursday, 05/18/17, 9:15 AM EST – Eat at Home Menu Plans AUGUST Slow Cooker Freezer Meals from the SLOW COOKER FREEZER MEALS VOLUME 2 

Meals we’ll make Thursday:

 Easy Crockpot Beef Fajitas, Chicken Philly Cheesesteak Sandwiches, Turkey Breast, Chicken Broccoli Divan, Beef Teriyaki, King Ranch Chicken over Baked Potatoes

Friday, 05/20/17, 9:15 AM EST – Eat at Home Menu Plans SEPTEMBER Slow Cooker Freezer Meals from the SLOW COOKER FREEZER MEALS VOLUME 2 

Meals we’ll make Friday:

Chicken Tacos, Easy Pepper Steak, Italian Seasoned Salt Chicken, Sweet & Sour Pork Chops, Teriyaki Barbecue Chicken Legs, Italian Beef

 And here are the supplies I’m using to make my life easier here are the supplies I’m using to make my life easier. 🙂 

 

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Are you joining me? If you’d like to sign up, head on over HERE to get started, and use the code PPP30 to save 30% off your entire order. Here’s how the pricing breaks down: 

  • Monthly Plan: Everything you need for the entire freezer cooking session + 4 sets of meals for your slow cooker, whole foods recipes, and traditional menu plans for $9.80 per month (or $2.45 per week) with code PPP30 at checkout
  • Quarterly Plan: Everything you need for the entire freezer cooking session + 12 sets of meals for your slow cooker, whole foods recipes, and traditional menu plans for $21.70 per quarter (or $1.80 per week) with code PPP30 at checkout
  • Annual Plan: Everything you need for the entire freezer cooking session + 12 sets of meals for your slow cooker, whole foods recipes, and traditional menu plans for $58.80 per year (or $1.13 per week) with code PPP30 at checkout

 

The best part? You’ll get all the freezer cooking meals AND monthly sets of slow cooker meals, whole foods meals and traditional menu plans. I promise, you’ll love these lists!

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Stamp Out Hunger Is May 13th (Time To Clean Your Pantry!)

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Don’t forget that this is tomorrow!

Here’s a great way to help those in your community! Take a few minutes today to clean out your pantry and gather up items for Stamp Out Hunger! The USPS Stamp Out Hunger Is May 13th, so if you’re not sure where to give in your community, you can just leave your donations in your mailbox and your mail carrier will deliver them to a local pantry for you. (I love that!)

If you’re new to Stamp Out Hunger, it’s a program where for one day (May 13, 2017), you can leave food at your in your mailbox, and your mail man will deliver it to a local food pantry for you. (Isn’t that fantastic?) I usually donate most of ours to our church’s food pantry (because that’s where we normally give), but if you’re unsure of where to give in your community this is a great way to get involved and donate locally to help those in your area.

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If you take any pictures of your great deals to donate, I’d LOVE for you to email them to me so I can share! Send me an email at contact@passionate penny pincher.com (leave out spaces) . . . I can’t wait to see how you’re giving. 🙂

 

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Butterscotch Pecan Rolls

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Note from Laurie ~ Shannon made these for us recently when we were together, and OH MY WORD ~ they are so good! If you need an easy recipe to take somewhere for brunch, this one’s for you. 🙂 

My friend Julie gave me this recipe a long time ago.  This is such a great recipe to have to make for a Sunday School breakfast or a Saturday morning brunch.  I love it because I make it the night before then all I have to set it out the next morning then cook it (and it’s super easy) ;)!  butterscotchpecanrolls3

Butterscotch Pecan Rolls

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup Chopped Pecans
  • 1 pkg. Rich’s frozen roll dough (24 pieces)
  • 1 pkg Butterscotch Pudding (not instant)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 ½ t. cinnamon
  • 1 stick margarine

 DIRECTIONS

  1. Spray 9 x 13 pan with Pam. 
  2. Cover bottom with chopped pecans (you can do half the pan if you have non pecan lovers)
  3. Lay package (24 pieces) frozen roll dough on top
  4. Sprinkle with butterscotch pudding. 
  5. Sprinkle with 1 cup brown sugar and 1 ½ tsp cinnamon. 
  6. Drizzle with 1 stick melted margarine. 
  7. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.  (Remove foil and let rise in morning.)
  8. Bake at 350 degrees 30 minutes (or if at room temp and risen, 20-25 min.).

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Looking for more recipe ideas?

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Deep Clean Your Kitchen in 20 Minutes?

Need some inspiration to tackle your kitchen today? Head on over HERE to see how to deep clean your kitchen (and even make dinner?) in just 20 minutes. I loved my friend Lydia’s cute video (look for it at the bottom), and  hope it inspires you today too!

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Enter To Win $20,000 From Dave Ramsey!

Would you love to win a little extra cash this summer? The awesome folks over at DaveRamsey.com are giving away a whopping $20,000 this summer, and you can enter every single day in the month of May to win. Head on over HERE each day in May to enter!

And, if you happen to be looking to save on auto insurance, check out a Dave Ramsey Endorsed Local Provider (ELP) to get the best pricing and service in your area. We’ve used Dave Ramsey ELPs as our realtors, tax preparers, bookkeepers and home insurance providers, and have been so pleased knowing that they offer quality advice and wise financial counsel. Go HERE to find an Insurance ELP in your hometown!

 

This is a sponsored by Dave Ramsey’s Endorsed Local Providers, however all opinions are (of course!) my own. We love partnering with Dave Ramsey and are crossing our fingers a PPP reader wins big this month!

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*HOT* Motivated Moms Chore Planner 25% Off Today Only!

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{DON’T FORGET TO DOWNLOAD THE PPP FREE AWESOME IN APRIL CHALLENGE TOO PPP FREE AWESOME IN APRIL CHALLENGE TOO WHILE YOU’RE AT IT!}

I’m so excited about this! Right now you can get the Motivated Moms site home organizing checklists for 25% off code, valid through this weekend only.

(PPP reader Megan had hers bound with a binding machine ~ such a great idea!)

 

I LOVE THESE LISTS!!

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Here’s how to get yours while it lasts: 

  • START HERE
  • Choose the printable that works for you (I’m using the 2017 Motivated Moms Chore Planner with Bible Reading in Black and White, but there are several options available)
  • Use the code PPP at checkout to save 25% THIS WEEKEND ONLY
  • Your price should be just $6.75 for 52 weeks of cleaning checklists – I promise you’ll love these lists!
  • As soon as you order you’ll be redirected to a page that has the download link to download your lists

Go HERE to snag yours before it’s too late!

 

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Don’t forget that this offer ends TODAY. Order soon if you’re interested!

 

 

 

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Kohls The Big One Plush Throw Just $8.50 (Regular $40!)

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Woohooo! Kohl’s Lowest Prices of the Year Sale is in full swing right now, with items as low as $2.99.

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Right now, The Big One Plush Throw on sale for $9.99 (regular $39.99)

  • Text SAVE24 to 56457 to get a 15% off code
  • Pay only $8.49 + FREE Store pickup!
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Also – Here’s a fun deal idea to restock your basics before summer:

 

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Medieval Times Deals & Review

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Note from Laurie: My friend Jamie recently took her family to Medieval Times, and offered to share a review of her experience. I think this looks like such a fun night for the family, and am so glad she took the time to share! I’d love to hear your reviews on Medieval Times too ~ leave a comment to share. 

 

If you’re interested in a trip to Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament – there are a couple nice deals going on right now!

  • FREE Admission on your Brithday (with Paid Adult Admission)
  • FREE Admission for Mom May 8 – 14 (with Paid Adult Admission)
  • Kids & Students only $29.95, Adults $339.95 each with code SB17 (through May 3)

Also check Groupon because I’ve spotted them there a couple times as well 🙂

 

 

When I was in 8th grade my class went on a field trip to Chicago, and while we were there we went to Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament.   It was such a thrill for me  – easily my favorite part of the trip.

From the moment we arrived, I was wowed by the castle exterior. (I have easily 8 pictures of my friends and I in front of the drawbridge).   I remembered jousting and cheering for our section’s champion – go Green Knight!!    And I recoiled in squealing-girl-horror while walking through the “Torture Dungeon” (ewww)

Fast forward to my mid-thirties and 4 kids (all boys!) and I decided it was time for a return trip.  I did some research and discovered there was a castle in Atlanta attached to a mall.  My husband and I didn’t tell the kids where we were going, we just took a two hour drive one day and parked in front of a castle and said – surprise!   The boys were BEYOND EXCITED guys.  Picture beyond – and then go ahead and run an extra mile past that.  🙂

They couldn’t believe how incredibly realistic the castle was.  They explored the dungeon with the same excited horror.  We watched a falconer with his bird walk through the great hall.  And then when it was time to enter the arena – we were seated up front (what a thrill!) where we had a perfect view of the tourney field below.  We were seated in the Black & White Knight’s section – and we soon learned which knights were our allies (Huzzah!) and which ones were our foes (Boooo!)

While we sat and had a scrumptious feast brought by the castle serf (garlic bread and tomato bisque! a whole roasted chicken and buttered corn!  soft drinks and pastry!) we learned more about our knight.  I cheered when he rode out on his steed – but my kids completely drowned me out.  I don’t think anyone feels the tiniest bit silly cheering, booing and waving their penants – the atmosphere and excitement is really that contagious!

 

As the story played out before our eyes, we met the King and Princess, watched the knights entertain us with feats of (very cool) horsemanship and jousts, and witnessed the falconer release his trained falcon over and over on a live flight through the arena.

When greed and betrayal enter the plot (duh-duh-duh), the result is a series of  very realistic battles.  Swords clash and give off sparks!  Battle axes and maces are wielded fiercely! Knights are “wounded” and then come back (huzzah!) for a final blow.  It’s pretty awesome, and just plain fun to watch.

 

After we’d collected a sufficient number of souveniers, had our pictures taken with the black and white knight, and exited the castle, I asked the kids about their favorite parts.

16 year old – “the atmosphere, and the excitement”

14 year old – “the feeling that you are really in a tournament”

12 year old – “when the black and white knight was like SWOOP (insert imaginary sword) and the Green Knight was like OOOF and fell back three feet!”

10 year old – “that they all were using real weapons!”

My husband and I?

We were just thrilled to have a solid block of time to spend with our kids watching a live show, seeing their faces light up with excitement and genuine awe (how rare is that these days?) and making some unforgettable memories.

 

Thanks to Laurie for letting me tell everyone about my love for Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament – and to Medieval Times for providing tickets to my family this time around!

 

 

 

 

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Regal Cinemas Summer $1 Movie Schedule

 

 

Can you believe summer is right around the corner?  If you’re looking for some boredom busters – the Regal Cinemas $1 Movie Schedule is a great resource for getting out of the house this summer!

In addition to Regal’s program – you might want to check out our Kids Summer Movie Programs Master List! (Some cinemas even have FREE shows!)

Here’s the full 2017 Regal Summer Movie Express lineup – also check out my post on 25 Days of Frugal Summer Fun, get some fun roadtrip ideas or check out a Summer Reading Program near you!

Week 1 (June 27 & 28)

  • Kung Fu Panda 3
  • Ice Age: Collision Course

Week 2 (July 4 & 5)

  • Trolls
  • Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked

Week 3 (July 11 & 12)

  • Monster Truck
  • Penguins of Madagascar

Week 4 (July 18 & 19)

  • Rio 2
  • The Boxtrolls

Week 5 (July 25 & 26)

  • The Secret Life of Pets
  • Sing

Week 6 (August 1 & 2)

  • Kubo and the Two Strings
  • Ratchet and Clank

Week 7 (August 8 & 9)

  • The Spongebob Square Pants Movie: Sponge Out of Water
  • The Adventures of Tin Tin

Week 8 (August 15 & 16)

  • Happy Feet 2
  • Cats & Dogs 2: The Revenge of Kitty Galore

Week 9 (August 22 & 23)

  • Storks
  • The Lego Batman Movie
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Cinemark Summer Movies only 50¢!

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Summer is almost here! Both Regal and Cinemark are offering some great deals on movies this summer, and at Cinemark you can even buy a 10 movie summer pass for $5, making them just $.50 per movie when you purchase in advance!

  • The LEGO Batman Movie
  • The Iron Giant
  • Shrek The Third
  • Megamind
  • Goosebumps
  • Trolls
  • Sing
  • The Angry Birds Movie
  • The Secret Life of Pets
  • Hotel Transylvania 2

Go HERE to see what’s showing at Cinemark and check the Regal Cinemas $1 Summer Movie Schedule.

D0n’t forget your kids can enjoy free bowling and roller skating too ~ so fun!

Love a bargain? Find more free stuff HERE.

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That Time My Husband Had a Heart Attack (The Addendum.)

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I don’t take time as often as I’d like to share random ramblings like this one like I once did here on PPP, but felt that someone today might just need to hear this.

 

Maybe that someone is you? 🙂 

 

And, just in case you’re here for the deals (I totally understand!), scoot on past to the next penny pinched post ~ I’m so very thankful for you!

 

One year ago today, my husband had a heart attack.

 

My 45-year-old-mostly-healthy husband had a heart attack. (For the record I was 40 ~ no reason for you to think I’m quite 45 yet, right?)

 

It’s been a heck of a year.

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You can read all the ~ ahem ~ gory? details over HERE.

 

But for right now, I thought I’d share the aftermath.

 

This year hasn’t been easy. 

 

Besides his heart attack (which in itself caused lots of anxiety for both of us and a little depression on his end ~ from what I’ve been told that’s pretty normal when people go through something so hard . . . ), we’ve also had some way-too-hard-to-deal-with-days with struggling family members who we just love too much, two crazy jobs that keep us racing around all day long . . .

 

and then we have 3 kids. 😉

 

Two of them are teenagers.

 

Yikes. 

 

Needless to say, we’ve had more than a few tough days.

 

But I have to share with you what I’ve learned along the way.

 

I’ve learned that you really can survive some of the hard stuff.

 

I’ve learned that my husband is a way tougher man than I ever knew.

 

And I’ve learned that the hard stuff sometimes lets you live a little richer than you ever lived before. 

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This was us the week after his heart attack “playing hooky” 😉 

James is doing great. (He’s not always so sure of that, but I promise he is ~ I can tell.) 

 

He’s lost a bunch of weight and maintained it for a year.

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(Probably because he knows I’ll likely kill him if he doesn’t stay on track. Just teasing, honey?  Um, not really.) 

 

But as we’ve walked along this road . . .

 

(I CAN’T BELIEVE I’M TYPING THIS.)

 

I’m not so sure I’d return to the pre-heart-attack-life we once had.

 

Here’s the thing.

 

We snuggle in a little more closely at night, because we know every day just how lucky we are.

 

We have a little more patience and are just a wee bit gentler with one another (most days?) because we totally get that it really is important not to sweat the small stuff.

 

And we know all too well now that almost all the stuff is small stuff.

 

ooch.

 

So here’s my little hint if you’re going through something so painful today that you feel like you can’t breathe.

 

I’ve been there.

 

It.

 

hurts.

 

A lot.

 

And you probably just want to cry.

 

And completely just give up. 

 

And you wonder what on earth God was thinking when He threw you over this curve ball.

 

But I promise.

 

Really.

 

I really do know.

 

There is some amazing little gift you’re going to find smack dab in the middle of the mess that you’re struggling through right now.

 

And maybe.

 

Just maybe.

 

You’ll look back and see that this awful-terrible-thing-that-is-sucking-out-all-of-your-breath today.

 

That it’s simply an amazing opportunity for God’s grace to shine through.

 

Blessings to you today.

 

Right now,

 

wherever you’re at.

 

God’s peace be with you as I promise we’ve seen it in our own family this year. 

 

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

 

 

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Lowe’s: Easter Lilies only $1! (Reg $7.98)

WOW!  Hurry over to Lowes.com and order these gorgeous 1.76 Quart Easter Lilies for only $1! (Reg $7.98)  You can choose store pickup and they’ll hold them for you until you arrive – which is a GOOD idea because they’re not going to last long at this price!

Your store might also have the 1.5 Gallon Easter Lilies for $1 (Reg $16.98) – though you’ll need to call to check on those and they can’t be ordered online 🙂

 

Find more top retail deals.

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Chacos 40% – 45% OFF

Head over HERE and check out how to score Chacos for 40% – 45 % OFF! Most I saw were $59.95 (Reg $100) which is a really good price for Chacos!

Chaco Z/2 Classic Sports Sandal – $59.99

Chacos Men z/Volv Sport Sandals – $59.99

 

Chacos Flip Flops – $39.99

 

Chacos Men z/Volv Sport Sandals – $59.99

Chaco OutCross Evo Free Water Shoes – $59.99

Chaco zCloud X2 Sport – $59.95

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

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And, don’t miss this great deal on Camelbak water bottles while they last! Amazon just dropped the price on several CamelBak Eddy Kids .4L Water Bottles to $9.74, which is a great price. These have excellent reviews, and ship free with Amazon Prime or Free Super Saver Shipping. Here are the ones you can get:

Go HERE to check it out! 

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How to Declutter Your Home This Weekend (and Make Money for Summer Vacation!)

I seriously think you’re going to love this.

 

Do you have a ton of old cds stashed somewhere?

 

DVDs your kids stopped watching years ago?

 

An old gaming system no longer in use (Or 3??)

 

A few cell phones hiding in a drawer?

 

Throw all those in a box, send it away FOR FREE and get paid in cash the day after your items are received.

 

For real. 

I tried it out myself and earned $60 yesterday with DeCluttr by simply doing some Spring cleaning around the house – selling some of my husband’s old cd’s, the kids’ old XBox, some Wii games and a few books.

 

I LOVE THAT!!!

 

The best part?

 

It was stuff that we NEVER USE.

 

It’s just been sitting there – gathering dust and cluttering up space in our home.

 

I love to always think of things as an “hourly rate”, and making $60 in literally 30 minutes was pretty exciting to me. 

 

That’s $120 per hour ~ not too shabby!

 

Now, you’re not going to get rich with this one, but every penny counts, and if you have a bunch of stuff that just needs to get our of your home, this is the absolute easiest way to do it.

 

Here’s how to declutter your home this weekend and earn some money for summer vacation, a new outfit, or supplies for your Spring yard projects.

 

To Get Started:

1 .  Gather together a pile of unwanted electronics, cds, books, dvds, games or game systems to see what they’ll be worth.

2 .  Head over to HERE and enter the barcode of an item to see what you’ll be paid.

WAY easier though (and all kinds of fun!) is if you download their app and go around your house scanning barcodes to get the price.  (Here’s a screenshot from my phone of items I was checking in the app.)

 

3 .  Click “Accept Price” and add to basket if you agree and want to sell it.

4 .  Come up with a minimum $10 worth of items you’d like to sell.  Pack them into a box (any box) and attach your free shipping label.  (This will be sent to your email inbox for you to print out)

5 .  Mail off your box!   You’ll get paid the day after they receive your box – via Paypal, Check or Direct Deposit.

So what happens to all that stuff?

DeCluttr ends up selling most of it on eBay ~ saving you the time and hassle of selling it yourself. You may make a few pennies more sending it to eBay yourself or selling in a local online yard sale, but getting it done so quickly was worth it for me.

 

DeCluttr has a 5 Star rating on TrustPilot and several PPP readers commented on Facebook this week that they’ve tried it and loved it. 🙂

I’d love to hear if you try out DeCluttr – and how much you make getting rid of your junk!  Please share your experience in the comments!

Disclosure: DeCluttr worked with us to bring you this content.  All opinions about the experience are 100% my own.  

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Powerade 20 Oz Bottles only 37¢ each, Shipped!

This post may contain affiliate links.  See my disclosure policy to learn more.
Remember that pricing on Amazon is subject to change at any time.

Through April 4th, Amazon is offering $3 OFF when you add $10 in Select Coca Cola products to your Prime Pantry Box! That makes 20 Oz Powerades as low as 37¢ each when you buy 3 packs!

Here’s how to stock up on Powerade on the cheap:

  •  Add (3) Powerade 20 oz 8-ct Packs to your cart for $3.98 each
  • = $11.94 – $3 OFF Instantly at Checkout
  • Makes it $8.94 for all 24 bottles – that’s just 37¢ each!

If you have a $5.99 No Rush Shipping credit in your account, shipping will be free for you.  Otherwise you’ll want to add ANY five items from this page and you’ll get free shipping automatically 🙂

 

If you’re not an Amazon Prime Member, you can try it out free for a month and see what you think – I think it would be worth it for this deal alone!

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.

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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21 Deals You Can’t Miss at Costco This Month (Ends 4/17/17)

Okie dokie folks, besides the Costco whole chicken you should probably pick up every time you shop Costco, here are a few more items that just started in the Costco sale ad which may be worth picking up this month.

rotisseriechickencostco3

Just like any grocery store, you really do save more at Costco when you’re willing to shop their monthly sales ad (which is really just their coupon book that runs each month.) Here are the items I think are worth grabbing before 4/17/17.

Costco Best Deals Ending 4/17/17

1. Pirate’s Booty Aged White Cheddar Baked Rice & Corn Puffs, 18 oz – $5.89

2. Food Should Taste Good Multigrain Tortilla Chips, 24 oz – $5.99

  • Get $2.00/1 Food Should Taste Good Multigrain Tortilla Chips – Costco Monthly Booklet; Includes 24 oz Only; No Limit (exp. 04/17/17)
  • $3.99 after coupon

3. Pillsbury Crescent Rolls, 5 ct 8 oz tubes – $7.89

  • Get $3.40/1 Pillsbury Crescent Rolls – Costco Monthly Booklet; Includes 5/8 oz Only; No Limit (exp. 04/17/17)
  • $4.49 after coupon or $.90 each

4. barkTHINS DarkChocolate Almond, 17 oz – $9.89

  • Get $3.50/1 bartkTHINS Dark Chocolate Almond with Sea Salt – Costco Monthly Booklet; Includes 20 oz only; No Limit (exp. 04/17/17)
  • $6.39 after coupon

5. Sunny D Sport-Cap Juice, 24 ct 11.3 oz bottles – $9.99

  • Get $3.50/1 SunnyD Tangy Original with Sport Cap – Costco Monthly Booklet; Includes 24/11.3 oz Only; Limit 3 (exp. 04/17/17)
  • $6.49 after coupon or $.27 each

6. Hillshire Farm Variety Pack 3 pack, 1 lb – $9.99

  • Get $3.00/1 Hillshire Farm Variety Pack – Costco Monthly Booklet; Includes 3/1 lb Only; No Limit (exp. 04/17/17)
  • $6.99 after coupon or $2.33 per lb

7. Kellogg’s Rice Krispies Treats, 54 ct – $10.99

8. Nutella & Go Hazelnut Spread + Breadsticks 12 ct, 1.8 oz – $11.99

  • Get $4.20/1 Nutella & Go Hazelnut Spread + Breadsticks – Costco Monthly Booklet; Includes 12/1.8 oz Only; Limit 5 (exp. 04/17/17)
  • $7.79 after coupon

9. Bounce Dryer Sheets, 2/160 ct – $9.99

10. Nature Valley Fruit & Nut Trail Mix Bars, 48 ct, 1.2 oz – $12.79

  • Get $3.80/1 Nature Valley Fruit & Nut Trail Mix Bars – Costco Monthly Booklet; Includes 48 ct Only; Limit 4 (exp. 04/17/17)
  • $8.99 after coupon or $.19 per bar

11. Izze Sparkling Juice Variety Pack, 24 ct 8.4 oz cans – $13.99

  • Get $4.00/1 IZZE Sparkling Juice Variety Pack – Costco Monthly Booklet; Includes 24/8.4 oz Only; LImit 10 (exp. 04/17/17)
  • $9.99 after coupon or $.42 per each

12. Ziploc Storage Bag Variety Pack, 347 ct – $13.54

13. Arm & Hammer Liquid Laundry Detergent Plus OxiClean Max, 160 ld 250 oz – $10.99 (Sale Price)

14. Finish Powerball All-in-One Tabs, 115 ct – $14.89

15. Glaceau Vitaminwater Variety Pack, 20 ct 20 oz bottles – $15.49

  • Get $4.00/1 Glaceau Vitaminwater Variety Pack – Costco Monthly Booklet; Includes 20/20 oz Only; Limit 5 (exp. 04/17/17)
  • $11.49 after coupon or $.57 per bottle

16. Cascade Complete Action Pacs, 90 ct – $15.99

17. Oscar Mayer Bacon 4 lb – $15.49 

  • Use $3.50/1 Oscar Mayer Bacon  Costco Monthly Booklet; Includes 12/156 Sheets Only; Limit 2 (exp. 04/17/17)
  • $11.99 after coupon or $2.99 per lb

18. Brawny Paper Towels 12 XL Pick-A-Size 156 sheets per roll – $19.99

19. Quilted Northern Ultra Plush Bath Tissue, (30 ct or 253 per sheet)- $19.99

20. Tide Advanced Power HE Liquid Laundry Detergent with Acti-Lift, 170 oz or 81 loads – $21.89

21. Tide Laundry Detergent (225 oz) – $23.79

My kiddos at Costco

Always a deal:

costco

Milk $2.89 per gallon This is the same price at Kroger lately, but my Aldi has milk for $.99 a gallon so if you don’t have a Costco membership you can still easily save.

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Chicken Breast – $2.79/lb

costcoeggs

Eggs 24 ct – $3.59 ($1.79 a dozen) My Aldi has eggs for $.69 a dozen so if you don’t have a Costco membership you can still easily save.

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Costco Rotisserie Chicken $4.99 which comes out to about 5 cups of shredded chicken ~ stock up price!

aldisamscostco

Curious what else to buy at Costco? Check out this list of my favorite 15 items to buy at Costco every single day. Here are a few more posts you may want to check out:

whatshouldyoubuyatcostco

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27 Ways to Make Money From Home

 

There are so many ways to pinch pennies, but one of my favorites is to find ways to earn extra money from home!  Whether you’re saving for a special purchase or a family vacation, or trying to dig your way out of debt – there are lots of ways to make money, even without leaving you home.  Here are a few ideas to help get you thinking . . .

 

27 Ways to Make Money from Home

ways to make money from home

 

Sell Your Stuff

One of the easiest ways to make money at home is to simply turn your clutter into cash. AmazonEbay, Etsy, Craigslist, Flea Markets and Yard Sales are all great ways to sell your stuff both online and in your community.   Here are some top items to sell:

 

1 . Books – Find what their worth on Ebay or Amazon and easily list them – or box them up and send to DeCluttr

2 . Clothing – Either through consignment shops, online consignment like Thred Up or locally.

3 . Collectibles – If you don’t have any already, scour yard sales and junk shops for valuable items to sell.

4 . CDs, DVDs, Gaming Systems – Used book & music stores, or sites like DeCluttr

5 . Garden Produce or Eggs – Have more than you need from your garden?  Set up a stand in your front yard or contact a local Farmers Market

6 . Homemade Crafts – On Etsy, or locally

7 . Multi-Level-Marketing – LulaRoe, Beach Body, Jamberry Nails, Essential Oils, Thirty-One Gifts, Juice Plus, Avon,  Scentsy, My Premier Designs – jewelery, Origami Owl, Younique Beauty Products, Wildtree Food Products, Radiantly You

8 . Opinions – You can seriously sell your opinions to companies who need that data.  Try Pinecone Research as a very reputable survey company – check out other survey companies here.

9 . Stock Photos – ShutterstockiStock, Dreamstime and Sqeeqee.

 

 

work from home

 

 

Offer Your Services

Do you have any valuable skills like sewing, writing or cutting hair?  Or maybe just extra time on your hands to watch someone’s child or walk their dog?  There are SO many ways to make money from home by offering services like these . . .

10 . Babysit

11 . Bake Cakes

12 . Blog –  Learn How I Make a Full Time Income as a Stay at Home Mom ~if you want to start one crazy inexpensively, use Bluehost as your host for just $3.95

13 . Dog Walking

14 . Drive – drive for Uber or work as a Delivery Driver

15 . Edit or Proofread Papers – Proofread Anywhere

16 . Freelance Writer – Sites like Upwork connect freelancers with employers.

17 . Hair Cutting

18 . OCD?  Become a Professional Organizer 🙂

19 . Photographer

20 . Take on Sewing or Alterations

21 . Tutor – Tutor.com, Ask A Nerd

22 . Teach Music Lessons

23 . Virtual Assistant – Like being an office assistant, without going into a physical office.  Find several companies who hire virtual assistants.

24 . Website Design – Coding, Graphic Artists and Technical Knowledge are all valuable skills

25 . Yard Work

Use Cashback Apps or Sites

Believe it or not, you really can earn money using shopping sites and apps, as well as submitting for grocery rebates.  Here are a few of my favorites . . .

26 . Submit Grocery Rebates – my favorites are Ibotta, Mobisave, Checkout 51

27 . Get Paid to Shop & Search Online – Swagbucks, Ebates

 

things you can sell to make money

 

 

 

Looking for more ideas? Check out these posts!
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20 Days of Penny Pinched Laundry Room Makeovers Day 7: Total Makeover with Style & Function

For the next 20 Days Series, we’re sharing inspiring tips, tricks and items to make your laundry room more functional and attractive on a penny pinched budget!  I can’t wait for you to see these transformations and make your own laundry room a place you actually want to be.

Checkout this awesome laundry room makeover from Debbie over at Me and My DIY!  She added so many functional touches and a lot of style to her space.  You are sure to find at least one idea that you can use also.  I love her little dry-erase board for keeping up with special care items!  See the finished project here.

 

See more penny pinched laundry room projects here:

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70 Ways To Cut Your Grocery Budget In Half (Without Clipping a Single Coupon)

 

Looking for ways to cut your grocery budget in half (without clipping a single coupon?) While I save a bundle with coupons, the bulk of my savings come just from shopping strategically, which means you don’t have to clip any coupons at all.

 

 

I also enlisted the advice of the ladies in our Dinner’s Done Facebook group on this post (they had so many great ideas!) If you’d love to get encouragement on making dinner every night, I highly recommend joining this free group ~ go HERE to check it out!

 

 

  1. Always shop with a grocery list
  2. Actually stick to your grocery list once you’ve made it
  3. Menu Plan
  4. Shop Aldi
  5. Be cautious when buying in bulk at Costco and Sam’s Club (more info HERE)
  6. Try out Fresh Thyme or Sprouts for crazy low prices on produce
  7. Always shop Fresh Thyme or Sprouts on Wednesdays during double ad sales day
  8. Always (always) shop your store’s sales ad
  9. Know your prices
  10. Stockpile when you see a good price
  11. Substitute with things you already have (no buttermilk on hand? Mix vinegar and milk)
  12. Shop without children
  13. Shop without your spouse. 🙂
  14. Buy produce in season
  15. Eat your leftovers
  16. Shop your pantry fridge and freezer (then use All Recipes ingredient search to make a meal)
  17. Learn your store’s markdown schedule
  18. Shop the store brands
  19. Use Ibotta
  20. Start a garden
  21. Load store digital coupons to your card
  22. Try shopping once a month
  23. Check the unit price to make sure you’re never spending too much
  24. Buy diapers and toilet paper on Amazon
  25. Checkout Checkout 51
  26. Use Favado
  27. Take advantage of Walmart’s Savings Catcher
  28. Buy in bulk
  29. Pay with cash
  30. Skip the pre-packaged stuff
  31. Don’t use paper towels
  32. Or trash bags
  33. Buy double ply TP and only use single sheets. (TEASING. Just checking in to see if you’re still awake.) 😉
  34. Make seasonings and sauces yourself (get a few of my favorites in the index at the back of this free cookbook)
  35. Store deeply discounted items in your freezer (get the full list of what to freeze over HERE)
  36. Have breakfast for dinner once a week
  37. Don’t cook more than you need if it will go to waste
  38. Only buy meat when it’s on sale
  39. Shop early in the morning when meat markdowns have just been made
  40. Ask the butcher to cup up large bulks of meat to get the best price
  41. Rotate your pantry so food doesn’t expire
  42. Make baked goods from scratch (homemade bread, anyone?)
  43. Cook in bulk
  44. Ask stores to price match
  45. Don’t shop if you’re hungry
  46. Learn the map of your store so you get in and get out fast
  47. Skip any pre-cut meats, fruits, or veggies
  48. Buy big roasts (pork and beef) when on sale and cut them into 2 or 3 chunks, making for several meal (thanks Tiffany!)
  49. Buy eggs
  50. Don’t buy bottled water
  51. Use this database to see which stores in your hometown have sales each week on items you’re purchasing
  52. Buy a rotisserie chicken at Costco or Sam’s and use the meat in soups, stews, and casseroles
  53. Keep a running log of how much you spend at the grocery store each week
  54. Eat eggs
  55. Shop more than one store
  56. Use cloth napkins instead of paper
  57. Skip paper plates
  58. Repurpose glass jars (or use mason jars) and store your homemade dry mixes
  59. Learn to can your own foods
  60. Create a price list for your area (Thanks Ashley!)
  61. Re-use your grocery sacks
  62. Pick up produce in large bags instead of buy the piece
  63. Don’t buy pre-packaged salad blends
  64. Use up every single thing in your pantry
  65. Try out shopping online using Kroger Click List or Walmart Grocery Pickup so you avoid buying extras you don’t need
  66. Avoid the kid snack traps, like packing your own goldfish, making granola bars, relying on fruit, etc (thanks, Amy!)
  67. Base your meals on sales, buy lots of meat when it’s on sale and freeze the extra (thanks, Nicole!)
  68. Instead of using foil or plastic wrap, store food in re-usable containers
  69. Reinvent leftovers. Bones from cooked meats can be turned into broth. Use the trimmings and peels from celery, onions carrots for flavor in the broth. Repurpose leftover bits and pieces into something else. Bake extra chicken, use it in other dishes or on a salad. (Thanks, Robin and Vicki!)
  70. Prioritize what you need most and cut out non-essentials. We no longer buy things like soft drinks, paper towels, most packaged or prepared food. Buy ingredients and cook from scratch. So much healthier for you too (thanks, Tami!)

 

 

 

What other things do you recommend to save on groceries without clipping any coupons? Leave a comment to share ~ I love hearing from you! 

 

 

Need more ideas on how to save on your grocery budget?

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Chacos Sandals 40% – 50% OFF

6PM.com has select Chacos 45% – 50% OFF and this week is FREE Shipping week! (Win, Win)   Chacos rarely ever go on sale 50% off so you may want to snag a pair while you can!

clicktosave

 

Chacos Z Cloud – $60.99 (Reg $110) (I have these and LOVE them!)

Chacos Z/2 Clasic – $52.99 (Reg $102.99)

Chacos Sansa – $50.49 (Reg $90)

You can also get nice deals on Crocs and Coach PursesShipping is free right now.

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Be Our Guest DIY

I am sooooo pleased with how this little project turned out!

 

 

As I shared in the video below, my neighbor’s dad cut out the signs for us to use, so all I had to do was paint the board with acrylic paint and then use my Silhouette Cameo to make the lettering. 

I love it. 😉 

 

It’s hanging in our guest bedroom just waiting for a few guests to come visit, and I couldn’t believe how easy this project was to do.

 

(You can see the rest of our guest bedroom over HERE ~ I love this space!)

 

Success!

 

(Watch me make it here in the video ~ and if you’re interested in the Menu Plans I use that I mention, go HERE to check those out too!)

 

 

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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More rooms we’ve updated in our home . . .

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16 Things You Need to Know Before Going On A Cruise

 

Note from Laurie: I have never been on a cruise, but loved my friend Shannon’s tips here! I’d love to know what you think, and what other tips you’d recommend. Happy cruising!

Thinking about a cruise or just booked one?

Here are several helpful hints to know BEFORE you go 🙂

When my daughter graduated high school last year  (gasp . . . when did that happen?) we took a cruise with the whole family and it was wonderful!  We learned a few things along the way and wanted to share them with YOU!

  1. Decide on a Cruise Line

    There are so many cruise lines to choose from! Do your homework and see which cruise lines fit your family and lifestyle best.  After we did our research, we opted for a Carnival Cruise under my brother’s recommendation and experience.

  2. Check Your Dates and Travel During NON-Peak Times

    We cruised one week before peak times started which saved us a bundle.  Some summer months for some areas are peak and some are not so it’s a good idea to do your research here.

    cruise

  3. The Less Expensive Cabins Have Some Unique Perks

    If you’re looking for ways to cut your cruise budget, opt for an inner state room.  Having a very small port window in your room wasn’t worth the extra expense, especially when water surrounds you on the deck.  We found the pitch black inner state room helped us sleep great at night.

    Many people said we wouldn’t be in our room very much anyway, and I have to agree!  Our room was located in the middle of the ship which was awesome because we didn’t experience much “rocking” and we had quicker access to each end of the ship.

     

    cruise4This was the view on my morning run

  4. Gym or No Gym

    Since I love to run, I needed to have a place to exercise, especially if I was going to take advantage of all the yummy food on the cruise.  I took advantage of both the track AND the gym. It felt wonderful to be able to keep up with my workout routine while on vacation!  If this is important to you, make sure your cruise ship has a gym.

  5. Pack the Right Clothes

    While planning your trip, make sure you’re aware of any formal nights (ours were called elegant nights).  Luckily for me, we only had one formal night (I’m not a big fan of dressing up), but I packed 3 dresses just in case.  The other nights I dressed up nicely, but not in dresses (so those 2 extra dresses just took up space).  My advice would be to be aware of your scheduled formal nights, and pack lots of bathing suits and coverups for the pool/deck area 🙂

  6. Pick a Dining Time or Not

    We had several dining packages to choose from with Carnival, which I really liked.  We were able to choose a package that allowed us to eat at any time.  This helped when we had excursions and shows we wanted to see.  It was so nice to just eat when it suited us that day, and we never had to wait very long so it worked out well for us.

    Make sure to eat in the dining room for dinner.  The dining room has better food options and some menu items that you may not have access to elsewhere — at least without it getting expensive fast!

  7. Cell Phone Coverage

    Double check your cell service plan BEFORE you go ~ this will save you lots of money in extra charges!  By putting your phone in airplane mode when you arrive on the ship, you’ll save yourself extra data charges during your trip.  Most carriers charge extra for using satellite service on the cruise ship.

    You can opt to buy a Wi-Fi package on board but it was pretty expensive.  I recommend unplugging completely and enjoying time with your family instead. 🙂   This was so nice for us as I usually have a laptop on my lap when we’re home.

  8. Wait To Buy Until the Last Night

    By the last day of your cruise, most items were marked down a ton.  If there’s a certain item you want, wait to see if they mark it down on that last night of your cruise.  I just loved this tip!!

  9. Pictures

    Oh my, everywhere you turn people were taking pictures. To avoid paying $20 for a cruise line picture, kindly ask someone (anyone) to take your picture for you.  We have some great photos that were taken this way and they didn’t cost us anything.  I love that!

  10. Parking

    If you’re driving to your cruise destination, make sure you research options for parking your car.  We disembarked out of Tampa and had to find a place for our car for the week. My husband looked up all the options and chose one with good ratings that saved us almost 40%.  WOW!

    cruise1

    cruise2

  11. Excursions or No Excursions

    This is where you really can break the bank.  On our cruse we had two stops, one in Cozumel and the other in the Grand Cayman.  My husband researched all of the excursions and we decided on two.  He was sure to check the ratings posted on the cruise site and we ended up booking some of the cheaper options.

    We really enjoyed both of our excursions, so I’m glad we picked a few.  You can pay for a taxi and save some money by finding excursions on your own, but the plus side of booking with the cruise line is all transportation is taken care of, and they won’t leave you behind. 🙂

  12. Bring Your Own Water Bottle

    This is my NUMBER ONE tip for saving money while traveling!!  It really helped out with our excursions as well.  We just filled up before leaving and had nice clean cold water to drink while we were out.

    cruise3

  13. Know Your Budget BEFORE You Go

    Goodness, there are all of temptations on the ship.  They have necklaces, watches, earrings, purse . . .  so much STUFF.  Then there are the games and the casino, the list goes on.  We were lucky and not so lucky at bingo, but it was all fine because we purchased prepaid VISA cards at Kroger and put those on our account to use while we were on the cruise.  This way we didn’t use our debit card AT ALL (I know right? … THANKS Dave Ramsey!)  😉

  14. Spa or No Spa

    I’m extremely biased on this one.  My 18-year-old won a $100 spa gift card,  so I decided to go with her and get a pedicure that cost $75.  YIKES!  I usually would never pay that price, but I wanted to spend time with my daughter.  I used the money I saved for the trip so this was my big splurge.  BUT … it was not a great experience because I felt like the pedicure was WAY overpriced so I left pretty upset about that.

    To be honest, if you want a pedicure or manicure hop on Groupon and have one before you go 🙂  That will take away any temptation to spend triple the amount you would normally spend.  Massages started out at $120 and went up from there.  Groupon has them starting at $29.  Whew!

  15. Prepay your Gratuities

    This was so nice!  Rather than being stuck with a huge unexpected bill at the end of your trip, opt to pay in advance.  I loved that this was an option and part of our cruise budget BEFORE we left.

  16. Take Advantage of Childcare

    To all the worn out moms who need a break, please take advantage of the childcare on board.  Spend some time with the hubby and relax a bit too.  Vacations can be stressful, especially with the kids, so REALLY take advantage of it.  The kids won’t even even remember when they get older, and our 8-year-old did some fun art activities and had a great time there!

 

 

What other tips do you have for crusing or other vacations? We’d love to hear your thoughts ~ leave leave a comment to share!

hawaii

Looking for more travel tips?

 

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25 Days of Budget Transformations Day 25: Save $10K In One Year

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Ready for a new 25 day series? This month our 25 Days Series is aimed at inspiring you to tackle your family budget, with amazing budget transformation stories and helpful tips to keep you on track. I love the stories we’re sharing here!

Check out how Stacey and her husband saved $10,000 in a year with these 5 steps over at The Soccer Mom Blog!  

See more Budget Transformations:

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Margaret Ann’s Biscuits & Sausage Gravy Recipe

My sweet friend Margaret Anne was gracious enough to visit this morning, and made quite possibly the best biscuits and gravy I’ve ever eaten to share with you. 

 

good. gravy. 😉


We met at Bible Study earlier this year, and the minute I heard her sweet Southern accent I felt all-of-a-sudden-at-ease in a group of women who were completely new to me.

 

Isn’t it funny how a kind voice can do that?

 

And once we got to talking, I realized she cared about so many things that I just loved too.

 

Margaret Ann’s been a wife, mom, teacher, realtor, culinary school professor, chef . . . and she’s even owned two restaurants in Rome, Georgia.

 

In fact, one of the scenes from the movie Sweet Home Alabama was filmed in her restaurant Magretta Hall. 😉

I knew you would love Margaret Ann too, so I was thrilled when she offered to do a few “cooking classes” with us here on PPP. 

 

Last week in the Dinner’s Done Facebook group she taught us how to make omelets (I learned so much from her!), and today she’s showing us how to make homemade biscuits and gravy.

 

Or as she calls it, ” thickening gravy.”

 

That you can lather with a little butter too. 😉

 

Honestly? They were all just a little heaven sent. 😉

 

The biscuits and gravy were perfection.

 

And if it were up to me, you would come right over to my kitchen and we’d let her serve us up biscuits and gravy all day long.

 

A girl can dream, right? 😉

If you’d like to make biscuits and gravy too, here’s what you’ll need to get started:

 

(Note: I DEFINITELY recommend watching the video to see all of her tips – I had no idea the importance of incorporating the shortening, and she had so many tricks that I’ve never read in a cookbook. Thank you Margaret Ann!)

Margaret Ann’s Biscuits & Sausage Gravy Recipe

*Makes a small batch of about 8 biscuits, but doubles beautifully.

Biscuit Ingredients:

  • 2 Cups of All Purpose Flour
  • 1 Tbsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 Tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 Tsp Salt
  • 1/3 Cup of Crisco Shortening (or softened butter works too!)
  • 3/4 Cups of Buttermilk (or 3/4 cups of milk mixed with 1 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice, let sit on the counter for 15 minutes to sour the milk)

 

 

Biscuit Directions:

  1. Whisk together the dry ingredients
  2. Cut the shortening or butter into the dry mix with a pastry cutter (or you can use a couple butter knives if you don’t have a pastry cutter)
  3. Work the dough until there are no chunks of shortening left (watch video for exactly how long to cut the dough)
  4. Add buttermilk, and stir into the mixture with your hand until you have a nice dough
  5. Sprinkle a little flour onto a clean surface and place the dough in the middle
  6. Knead the dough with the palms of your hands (not using fingers) by pushing it down a few times and then folding it in half.  Repeat 4 or 5 times and then pat it into a mound.
  7. Roll out to a thickness of about 3/4″
  8. Tap a cookie or biscuit cutter in flour and cut out the biscuits (Number will vary depending on the size of your cutter)
  9. Place on a greased or sprayed cookie sheet and brush a little melted butter on top
  10. Bake between 400 – 450 for 10-15 minutes.  *Because all ovens are different you’ll want to just check for when they look just right to you!

Gravy Ingredients:

  • 1 Lb of Pork Breakfast Sausage (Jimmy Dean is Margaret Ann’s favorite)
  • 4 Tbsp Flour
  • 1 Cup Milk

Gravy Directions:

  1. Cook and crumble the sausage over medium heat (Do NOT drain)
  2. Turn heat down to medium-low
  3. Sprinkle a couple tablespoons of flour over the sausage and stir it in, cooking it for another minute
  4. Add 1/2 Cup of milk and stir around as it begins to thicken up.
  5. To stretch your gravy further or thin it a little, just keep adding more milk until it’s how you like.

 

The best part is that by making them from scratch, you’ll save a bundle, most likely using everything you have right in your pantry. 

I’m hoping I can get her tricks down soon and make a batch for my bunch (but for today, we have just a few biscuits all ready to try for after school snacks.)

Let’s just call it their lucky day. 😉

Let me know how the recipe goes for you, and share any other tips in the comments. I can’t wait to hear from you!

Here are some tools that you may want to pick up if you plan to make biscuits often:

Non-Stick Pastry and Baking Mat

Pastry Cutter and Biscuit Cutters

Rolling Pin

Flour Sifter

Nonstick Cookie Sheet

Wilton 3-Tier Cooling Rack

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My March Stitch Fix Review

This post may contain affiliate links. See my disclosure policy to learn more.

View the video over here on Facebook

Here’s a peek at what’s in my Stitch Fix Box this month!

love how easy this process is ~ I put in my style profile, share what types of clothes I like, how things fit me, and share an idea of what I’m looking for on my profile. I also include a link to my “cute outfits” board on Pinterest, so my stylist has a pretty good idea of what I love.

 

 

 

This definitely wasn’t my favorite box so far (at least as I opened everything), however once I tried it all on, I was pretty impressed!

Here’s what was included

1. Madrella Knit Pocket Tank $38 ~ $28.50 if I keep the whole box and get the 25% off entire box discount ~ RETURNED 

2. Skies and Blue Cutout Top $44 ~ $33 if I keep the whole box and get the 25% off entire box discount ~ RETURNED 

3. Olive & Oak Flannel Top $58 ~ $43.50 if I keep the whole box and get the 25% off entire box discount ~ RETURNED 

4. Le Lis Knit Blazer $59 ~ $43.50 if I keep the whole box and get the 25% off entire box discount ~ RETURNED 

5. Cosmic Blue Love Jeans $88 ~ $66 if I keep the whole box and get the 25% off entire box discount ~ KEPT

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So what am I keeping? 

 

Just the jeans.

 

With summer coming and someone who wears capris every single day, I just couldn’t pass them up, especially because I had a $25 credit and wanted to keep the $20 styling fee!

 

And, I have to say, if you want to find a pair of jeans that fit perfectly and look great on, it’s worth trying Stitch Fix out. (I’ve loved every single pair of jeans they’ve sent!)

 

 

 

If you dress up frequently for work and don’t have time to shop, I really think Stitch Fix can be a fantastic option (I have loved my previous boxes, and the quality of clothing is much nicer than what I normally wear), so it may be a great option for you. 

 

It also is fantastic for busy working moms – while I do think the pricing is high you’re paying not only for the clothing but also for someone to look at your needs and hand pick items that often can work for you.

 

If you’d like to try out Stitch Fix, here’s exactly how it works:

  • Sign up HERE
  • You’ll be charged $20 for your Stitch Fix Styling
  • Your box will come when you schedule it
  • If you keep ANY items in your box, the $20 you spend for the styling will be put towards your purchase (so it’s like getting $20 in free credit!)
  • If you keep your entire box you’ll save 25% off the entire purchase
  • Invite friends on Facebook or via email (or even text messages) to sign up through you and you’ll get $25 in free referral credit ~ love that!

screen-shot-2017-01-05-at-9-53-10-amMy January Stitch Fix Box Review

Check out my review of previous boxes HEREHERE, HERE and HERE, and let me know what you think! 

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25 Days of Budget Transformations Day 22: 6 Tips To Be Debt Free

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Ready for a new 25 day series? This month our 25 Days Series is aimed at inspiring you to tackle your family budget, with amazing budget transformation stories and helpful tips to keep you on track. I love the stories we’re sharing here!

Check out 6 odd tips that helped Myquillyn and her husband pay off $150,000 in 5 years over at The Nesting Place I love tip #5 🙂
See more Budget Transformations:

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Last Chance!

Mrs. Potts getting a well-deserved bubble bath after a month of hard work. 🙂 

Do you need to get dinner DONE?

I love you too much not to remind you one last time!

 

The cost of the Eat at Home Menu Plans goes up TONIGHT, so you have just a few hours left.

 

Get them for as low as $1.21 per week when you use the code COUNTERTOP at checkout (which saves 25% ~ the lowest price we’ll see for awhile!)

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I definitely recommend trying out at least one month to see what you think, then you’ll be locked in at that price. Here’s what you’ll get when you sign up:

  • Weekly menu plans for the entire month
  • A set of slow cooker menu plans
  • A set of whole foods menu plans (those are the ones we’re using right now)
  • A set of traditional menu plans
  • 1 week of freezer recipes (included in the Slow Cooker menu plans)
  • One quick click to download all 3 sets of menus (in color or black and white ink)

 

If you struggle with getting dinner on the table, I promise this will help! Our family has saved hundreds this month (especially on eating out at the last minute), and I love having this part of my life so effortlessly taken care of.
I know you’ll be disappointed if you miss it, so hurry on over and download yours before it’s to late (don’t forget to use the code COUNTERTOP to get the best price!)

Looking for more ways to have dinner on the table? Be sure to sign up for my totally free Crocktober Cookbook with menu plan and grocery list. And don’t forget to join our free Dinner’s Done Facebook group to get tons of support and encouragement as we all get dinner done.

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Amazon: Greenes Raised Bed Garden 30% OFF!

Are you thinking of doing a raised vegetable garden bed this year?  They are SO much easier to maintain than a full-size garden and they do so well!

Right now on Amazon – Prime Members Only can get the Greenes 4′ x 8′ x 10.5″ Cedar Raised Bed Garden Kit for just $68.12 shipped (regularly $99.99 and a savings of 32% off!)  Here are a few product features:

  • Made in the USA from naturally rot- and insect-resistant cedar. The wood is 100% chemical free.
  • Boards slide into the corner posts without tools forming a secure garden frame. To install the decorative tops simply use a screw driver.
  • Stacking 2 of these makes your garden 21 inches tall (each kit sold seperately).
  • Package contains 21 boards, 6 corner posts, 6 decorative tops (6 screws for tops), and instructions

Or if you really want to just try a small one before making a commitment on a large one – this looks like a VERY easy to use raised bed garden kit and it’s only $27.97 right now!

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If you’re new to Raised Bed Gardening, Amazon has Raised Bed Gardening: How To Grow Vegetables and Food With Easy, Simple Raised Bed Garden Designs (Kindle Edition) for just $2.99, or FREE for Amazon Prime members.

You can also take a peek at our raised bed garden over HERE. . .

See more Amazon Deals.

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

 

This post contains affiliate links.  See my disclosure policy to learn more.

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30 Instant Pot Chicken Recipes

30 Instant Pot Chicken Recipes Round Up

If you have an Instant Pot, then you already know that it can make your life SO much easier ~ I’ve just started using mine but so far I’m in love!

If you don’t own one yet, today only at Target.com you can get the Instant Pot for 25% OFF with code KITCHEN!  You can also currently get a good deal on the IP-LUX60 (New Model) and the IP-DUO60 over on Amazon!

instant pot chicken recipes

Among other things, I love that I can cook meats quickly (even straight from frozen!) that are super flavorful, tender and taste like they cooked all day. One of the most popular meats by far to cook in the Instant Pot is chicken.

Here’s a roundup of 30 awesome instant pot chicken recipes to give you plenty of things to try in your Instant Pot!

 

  1. Pressure cooker salsa chicken burrito– I was born to cook
  2. Instant pot orange chicken– Living Sweet Moments
  3. Instant pot no washing up Mediterranean chicken wings– Recipe This
  4. Instant pot cheesy chicken and pasta– Food N Service
  5. Pressure cooker low-carb buffalo chicken tacos with blue cheese coleslaw– Kalyn’s Kitchen
  6. Green chile chicken stew– Mooshu Jenne
  7. Instant pot chicken tortellini soup-Real Mom Reviews
  8. 3 ingredients crockpot BBQ chicken wings-Intelligent Domestications
  9. Chicken paprika stew– Mooshu Jenne
  10. Instant pot peanut free Thai chicken satay-Recipe This
  11. 10-minute pesto chicken pasta– ABC’s and Garden Peas
  12. Instant pot recipe- Pomegranate Molasses Chicken– Little Family Adventure
  13. Instant pot chicken parmigiana-Food N Service
  14. Asian sesame instant pot chicken– Living Sweet Moments
  15. Pressure cooker chicken breast-Wholesome Yum
  16. Instant pot no washing up chicken tikka bites– Recipe This
  17. Pressure cooker chicken puttanesca– Gluten Free Pressure Cooker
  18. Pressure cooker chicken paprikash recipe– Gluten Free Pressure Cooker
  19. Incredible instant pot ginger garlic drumsticks-Living Sweet Moments
  20. How to cook a whole chicken in your instant pot– Recipe this
  21. Instant pot pulled chicken tacos– Mom N Mom’s
  22. Instant pot double cheese chicken rigatoni bake-Recipe this
  23. The best instant pot chicken noodle soup– Sidewalk Shoes
  24. Chicken enchilada soup in the pressure cooker-Life is Sweeter by Design
  25. Instant pot garlic coconut butter chicken & potatoes– Recipe This
  26. Frozen chicken breasts in an instant pot– Sidewalk Shoes
  27. Instant pot chicken taco bowls-Wonder Mom Wannabe
  28. Instant pot buffalo chicken wings– Mom N Mom’s
  29. Instant pot honey balsamic drumsticks– Living Sweet Moments
  30. Instant pot Cajun chicken pasta– Recipe This

What is an Instant Pot?

An Instant Pot is an electric pressure cooker that takes the “scary” factor out of pressure cooking and makes the job of cooking fast and easy!  It speeds up cooking by 2~6 times using up to 70% less energy, and, above all, produces nutritious healthy food in a convenient and consistent fashion.

If you need a support group for getting dinner on the table (especially using our Slow cookers and Instant Pots!) – come by and join our Dinner’s Done Facebook Group ~ so much great wisdom and encouragement there!

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22 Deals You Can’t Miss at Sam’s This Month (Ends 3/28/17)

Okie dokie folks,  here are a few more items that just started in the Sam’s sale ad which may be worth picking up this month.  Make sure you check with customer service to see if your card has all the instant savings included below on your card.  Some deals are for Plus members only. 

Just like any grocery store, you really do save more at Sam’s when you’re willing to shop their monthly sales ad (which is really just their instant savings deals that run each month.) Here are the items I think are worth grabbing before 3/28/17.

Also, check out this deal: Right now you’ll get a FREE $25 gift card when you join Sam’s Club! Simply enter your information and sign-up. Then take your emailed voucher to the membership desk at your local Sam’s Club to finalize your registration and receive your $25 Sam’s Club gift card!

Sam’s Best Deals Ending 3/28/17

1. Veggie Straws ( 20 oz) – $4.78

2. Cheez Its Crackers 2 pk 24 oz – $7.98

3. Kellogg’s Rice Krispie Treats (40 ct) – $6.47

4. Dawn Dish Soap 3 pk 24 oz- $8.78

5. Quaker Instant Oatmeal 52 ct – $9.87

6. Ziploc Bags (4 pk 125 ct) – $9.78

7. Kraft Velveeta Shells & Cheese 5 pk – $9.48

8. Bounce Dryer Sheets (320 ct) – $9.98

9. Cheez Its Single Bags (45 ct) – $10.98

10. Frito Lay  Variety Mix Chips (30 ct) – $11.98

11. Clorox Wipes (5 pk 78 ct) – $13.48

12. Cascade (105 ct) – $14.98

13. Downy Unstopables or Downy  (36.2 oz) – $13.98 

14. Members Mark Laundry Detergent (196 oz) – $14.98

15. Members Mark Trash Bags (90 ct) – $15.48

16. Members Mark Scented Wipes (1,000 ct) – $17.86

17. Members Mark Laundry Detergent Pacs (120 ct) – $17.98

18. Tide Powdered Laundry Detergent (254 oz) – $29.98

19. Charmin Toilet Paper (30 Mega Rolls 308 sheets per roll or 36 Giant Roll or 198 sheets per roll ) – $20.98 

20. Bounty Paper Towel (12 Enormous 107 sheets per roll) – $25.98

21. Member’s Mark Diapers Size 1-2 (252 ct) – $38.94

22. Phillips Sonicare 2 Series Powered Toothbrush 2 pk – $89.98

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Curious what else to buy at Sam’s? Check out this list of my favorite What to Buy at Sams Club every single day. Here are a few more posts you may want to check out:

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