Michael’s 60% Off: Easter Basket Ideas!

 

 

You. guys.

 

If you’re filling Easter baskets for your kiddos this year, you have got to get to Michael’s! 

 

Seriously.

 

I just got home (hit Michael’s, Aldi, Fresh Thyme and Dollar Tree all in one morning ~ whew!) and am so stinkin’ excited about what I found at our store. :)

Michael’s had their kids toy & activities marked down 60%, including Disney, Spiderman, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and just plain ole’ super cute kids fillers for Easter baskets or even birthday treat bags. I spent $16.50 for all 22 items pictured above, and most of them were priced between $.50-$.80 each. (A few of the larger Frozen items were $1.20 – fun!)

We’ve got a road trip coming up soon, so I grabbed more than I would just for Easter baskets (I’ll be filling road trip bags before we head out), but I couldn’t believe the prices and I’m thrilled to have Caroline & Reagan’s baskets done for less than $20. They’ll also get some chocolate of course, but other than that we’re good to go. Woohoo! ;)

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(please excuse my blue thumb ~ I was spray painting yesterday and even after a shower haven’t been able to get it all off . . . ) ;)

For Caroline I found several cute notecards & even hair wraps for $.50 each in their Spring Tower Basket clearance . . .

and their St. Patrick’s day items are clearanced to to 50% as well (but I’m betting those will be reduced even further pretty soon.)

If you head out, watch for 50% off Ashland home accents (I love many of their Ashland home products!) And be sure to print your Michaels coupons before you head out to shop too!

 

Have you found anything fun at the craft stores lately? Leave a comment so we can all see what to watch for while we’re out and about!

 

 

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Recall on Kraft Macaroni & Cheese (7.25 oz)

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If you’ve purchased any Kraft Macaroni & Cheese recently, you’ll want to check the expiration dates and make sure it’s not part of this nationwide recall on certain Kraft Macaroni & Cheese products. To see if any items in your pantry are included, go HERE.

Thanks for letting us know, For The Mommas!

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Shannon’s CVS Trip: Spent $2 (Mostly Tax)

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Here’s what I grabbed at CVS this week for $2!  I plan to keep 2 tubes of toothpaste and donate the rest because we’re all stocked up.

Bought 2 Crest Toothpaste $3
Bought 3 Colgate Optic Express White $3.99 (raincheck)

  • Used $1/1 Crest coupon from the 2/15 RedPlum insert
  • Used (3) $2/1 Colgate recent printables
  • Used $10 ECBs from last week
  • Paid $1.17 out of pocket (tax only)

I spent $1.17 out of pocket after coupons and ECBs.  Since I started with $10 ECBs and ended with $9 ECBs I lost $1 in ECBs ~ not too shabby!

See more fantastic deals at CVS this week. 

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25 Days of Spring Cleaning Hacks Day 11: Another Use For Fabric Softener Sheets

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Love to use your crock pot, but dread cleaning it after Mrs. Potts has been cooking all day?
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Go HERE to see how I cleaned burnt on food in my crock pot with just a dryer sheet – it really works!

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No Spend Challenge: Days 13, 14, 15, & 16

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We survived another weekend in our No Spend Grocery Challenge, and while it isn’t as hard as I’d expected, I’m amazed at how quickly money can get spent even when we’re working to really stick to a tight budget!  With a family of five there are just a lot of expenses (eating out is huge), but we’re sticking with our decision for the month and didn’t do too badly this weekend.

 

Friday night Jackson and Caroline were out for the night so we just had Reagan with us. We spent Friday afternoon working to finish up our taxes (bleck – not a great way to spend a Friday afternoon), and by the time we finished we were famished. We’d promised Reagan we’d go see Cinderella though (it was so good!),  but the next showing was too soon for us to sneak in dinner. We ended up spending a small fortune on popcorn and drinks,  and by the time it was done it was too late to even get dinner! Between the tickets and popcorn we spent $45 (Y.I.K.E.S.) but it was worth every penny. We all loved the movie (I highly recommend this one!), and my sweet seven-year-old even shed a tear or two. ;)

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don’t judge – some days  you just need a butter burger :)

Saturday we headed to Culvers with coupons in hand and spent $12 for lunch for the three of us, and after church yesterday all five of us had pizza for $17. Honestly, drinking water while eating out saves a ton, but goodness if I’m being truthful with you it’s hard to do! We don’t go out all that often, and my kids only drink water and milk when we’re at home, so they’re really missing those sodas.

 

We did the math with them though yesterday, and the same $12 that we could easily shell out for drinks for the five of us would purchase 3 salads, 3 orders of breadsticks or 3 orders of wings. Right now we’re adding that money to donate, but it’s a good lesson in how much those drinks can do to bust your budget!

 

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I made a trip to Kroger to get some groceries (we were out of milk), and by the time I re-stocked on some produce and dairy products (as well as half gallons of milk – they’re $1 per half gallon this week in our area!), I’d spent $41. As long as I stick to my budget throughout the week we’ll still be on track (our goal was no more than $50 per week), but it definitely reminded me that every time I step into the store I’m likely to spend a little more than I’d planned. (Which is why skipping shopping completely is often my favorite way to save!)

 

So, our total including today that we’ve spent is $70 during the last four days. (I’m not counting our Cinderella splurge – because it was really entertainment and not eating? ahem.) We’re finishing up our challenge at the end of the week as we near Spring Break, but it’s definitely been so worth keeping track of where we’re at to know where our money really goes each month.  I so fought the idea of taking on this challenge, but am loving staying on track in what we spend on food, so we can enjoy splurging on the things we really love! Here’s where we’re at for the month so far:

  • Day 1, 2 & 3 = $5.17
  • Day 4 & 5 = $15
  • Day 6, 7, 8, and 9 = $67.89 (this included several meals out while I was out of town – we knew we would go over for those few days)
  • Days 10, 11 & 12 = $48.34 (including $30.34 in groceries)
  • Days 13, 14, 15 & 16 = $70
  • Total = $206.40 for all groceries and several meals out

 

I’d love to hear if you’re joining us this month how it’s gone for you, as well as any other tips you have to stay on track. Leave a comment to share your thoughts!

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No Spend Challenge: Days 10, 11 & 12

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We survived a few more days of our No Spend Challenge this week! While we’ve had a few small splurges we’ve (mostly) stuck to it, and it’s been really good just to really see where our cash goes each week.

I made a trip to Fresh Thyme Market and just couldn’t pass up their ground beef price. We still have plenty in the freezer (we don’t eat all that much ground beef), but at $2.99/lb for grass fed ground beef I  just couldn’t pass it by! Since we’ve stayed under the budget for the most part, I decided this might just get us through summertime hamburger grilling. :)

 

Here’s what I bought:

  • 2.35lbs grass fed ground beef at $2.99/lb = $7.04
  • 2.80 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast at $1.77/lb = $4.95 (we didn’t need chicken anyways, but we are getting low on that and $1.77/lb is such a good price!)
  • 3 lbs onions $.99 (turns out we have plenty of onions in our fridge ~ will chop those up this weekend to freeze)
  • 1 lb carrots $.99
  • $.60 lbs cluster tomatoes at $.88/lb = $.49
  • 3 lb bag golden delicious apples $2.99
  • green leef lettuce $.88
  • iceberg lettuce $.99
  • navel oranges 5/$1
  • organic 5 lbs potatoes $2.50
  • 2.76 lb bananas $1.52
  • Total = $24.34

 

My husband also picked up two more gallons of milk at Kroger this week, so our total was $6 for milk. I’m really debating heading to Kroger for some of their crazy good deals, but we only need cereal so we’ll see!

 

 

And, for our big splurge :) my husband and I met for lunch yesterday at Cucinova, and we completely should have split a pizza (they’re not a big pizza but would have been big enough to split) but were both starving so our eyes looked bigger than our stomachs. We both ended up eating exactly half and our kids ate the leftovers last night. We spent $16 on our lunch which wasn’t impressive at all but it’s been weeks since we’ve had time for lunch together so I’m good with that! Next time we’ll remember though that splitting one is more than enough for us. You win some, you lose some. :)

 

So here’s our totals since we started this month. Typing it out now I’m not all that happy with our splurges – but am being honest in how things have gone for us! We’re still definitely lower than we would normally be, so I’ll take that as a success?

  • Day 1, 2 & 3 = $5.17
  • Day 4 & 5 = $15
  • Day 6, 7, 8, and 9 = $67.89 (this included several meals out while I was out of town – we knew we would go over for those few days)
  • Days 10, 11 & 12 = $48.34 (including $30.34 in groceries)
  • Total = $136.40 for all groceries and several meals out

 

Are you joining us in our no spend challenge? Check out these posts to learn more if you’re interested, and I’d love to hear how you’re doing too!

 

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Donate 12 Meals To Your Local Food Bank

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Here’s an easy way to help your local food bank! Simply text the word HUNGER to 35350 and Sam’s Club will donate 12 meals to your local food bank. Love that!

(You will receive a response text asking for your zip code so that the donation may be made on behalf of your local food bank. However, if you do not wish to respond with your zip code, your donation will be made on behalf of food banks on a national level.)

Thanks, Hip 2 Save!

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25 Days Of Spring Cleaning Hacks Day 6: Sanitize Sponges in the Microwave

springcleaning3I love this clever tip! Instead of throwing away sponges before they’re worn out, sanitize them in the microwave. (Smart!)

 

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Go HERE to see how Mavis from One Hundred Dollars a Month sanitizes her sponges in just a few minutes. Great tip!

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Rare Heinz Distilled White Vinegar Coupons

SAVE $0.25 On any TWO (2) HEINZ® Distilled White Vinegar 16oz
SAVE $0.50 On any TWO (2) HEINZ® Distilled White Vinegar 32oz

 

Hurry to print these rare new Heinz Distilled White Vinegar coupons! There is a $0.50/2 Heinz Distilled White Vinegar 32-oz and a $0.25/2 Heinz Distilled White Vinegar 16-oz available. Easter egg decorating is just around the corner, so grab these coupons before they’re gone and use them to snag a deal on Heinz Vinegar!

 

Soap Scum Remover - PINTEREST

Not sure what else to do with all that vinegar? Try out my two favorite cleaning recipes using vinegar:

 

Print more high value printable coupons HERE. 

 

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No Spend Grocery Challenge: Days 6, 7, 8 & 9

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We’ve survived the first nine days of our No Spend Grocery Challenge, and so far it hasn’t hurt all that badly! I flew in late last night from Alabama after scrapbooking with friends (well, for me digital scrapbooking), and we had just the best time.

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The retreat center that we scrapbook at provides all the meals for the weekend, so other than a pretzel that I grabbed before my last flight home in Chicago last night I didn’t spend a penny. The food that Cindy makes is fantastic (seriously . . . so stinkin’ good), and just the time spent enjoying friends and not having to plan or prepare a meal for anything is the absolutely the nicest gift.

 

My husband was sweet enough to send me an update of how they did over the weekend on their own (I was so impressed!) We did budget for some meals out, so here’s how things added up for them:

  • 3 meals out $51.08 (used a $15 gift card at one restaurant)
  • Grocery $17.71

 

Their total for the weekend was $68, which wasn’t too bad considering we’d only spent $20 for the rest of the week. (And, he handled three kids and a puppy all by himself ~ that alone was worth more than a few pennies!) Since we started the challenge last Sunday our total spending is $88 which included restaurants and all of our groceries. Not too bad all things considered!

 

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This morning I dumped my kids all time favorite meal in Mrs. Potts, and was thrilled to find this cream of chicken soup substitute when I looked in our pantry and saw we were down to just one can of cream of chicken soup. The kids said the chicken and dumplings were the best one I’ve ever made, so next time I’ll substitute both cans out. Not only will it be less expensive to make, it’ll be a (little) healthier too. :)

 

Are you joining us in our no spend challenge? Check out these posts to learn more if you’re interested, and I’d love to hear how you’re doing too!

 

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