Fun Fuzzy Rings

Thursday, March 31, 2011

My husband and I went to a comic book convention in Chicago about 2 weeks ago and there was a little girl selling these cute little rings for $1.  I bought one for Kaiya, my almost 3 year old daughter.   I could tell they were super simple to make and so we decided to finally have a little craft time this morning.  All you need are some fuzzy sticks (aka: pipecleaners).  They don't need much explanation; the pictures pretty much tell all.

Roll the ends really snug for best results.

Here is where you just have to do a little twisting and turning of the 6 "stems" until you get the right look.  I started by wrapping the base around my finger. 

So cute and you could really get creative with colors and styles.  You could add more or less if you want a larger or smaller ring.  Too easy!!   You could also probably have your little one help to sell some for a little fundraiser at a garage sale, expo, or bake sale.  Afterall, purchasing one is how I got the idea to make our own.  Enjoy!

Couponing Basics

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

I wouldn't go as far as to say I'm an expert, but I've become quite good at combining coupons with sales and getting some great deals.  For those reading my "deal" posts who are new to the fabulous world of couponing, I just wanted to list a few tips to help you get the most out of your buck.  I'm going to try to keep it simple.

Freebies and Under $1 Through 3/26/11

Sales and good deals are great.  Free is even better.  Here are a few items you can pick up this week for under $1.

Let's start at Walgreens:

Reach Floss or Toothbrush = Free! / Go here and get your $1/1 coupon from Reach (I was able to print 2).  Combine with coupon from Walgreens circular this week.
Plackers Flossers = Free! after $2 RR
Tena-Serenity Pads = Free! after $9.99 RR (give them away if you don't have a personal need!)
Pure Protein Bar 50 cents each after B1G1 coupon from prior newspaper
Kraft Mac & Cheese 69 cents w/Walgreens coupon
Hunts Tomato Sauce 3/$1 w/Walgreens coupon
Campbell's Tomato or Chicken Noodle Soup 69 cents w/Walgreens coupon
Jell-O 59 cents w/Walgreens coupon
Assorted Gum 79 cents w/Walgreens coupon
Palmolive Dish Liquid 5/$4 after $1 RR, plus use coupons from prior newspaper .25/1 and .50/1

And at CVS:

Allegra Allergy = Free! after $6.99 EB
Crest or Oral-B Pro-Health select varieties  = Free! 22 cents or 49 cents (depending which coupons you have on hand)  only 99 cents after $2.50 EB plus use your saved coupons for .50/1, .75/1, or $1/1
Colgate select varieties only 99 cents after $2 EB
Suave Invisible Deodorant only 75 cents each if you buy 12 for $9 after $3 EB  Stock Up!

There are a few other good deals at the drugstores this week, but since there were a notable amount of "under $1" deals, I wanted to do a separate post.  Go save some money!

Cupcakes in a Cup

Thursday, March 17, 2011

I was volunteered to make 2 dozen individually wrapped cupcakes for a bake sale at my husband's place of employment.  Hmmm...individually wrapped cupcakes??  How do I do that without either completely smashing up the whole cupcake, or making a sticky frosting mess?  After much consideration - this is what I came up with:

Pretty simple, once I narrowed down the options.  I envision it with much more flair, but I had to make do with my time frame and what I had on hand.  A wider, pretty ribbon to completely cover the twist tie would really fancy it up.  Another idea, to add some color, would be to put colored candies in a single layer under the cupcake.  You could also coordinate the ribbon with a cute cupcake liner.  The creative possibilities are endless.

All you need for the basics are plastic punch cups, fold and close sandwich bags (not zip bags), twist ties, cupcakes (of course), and ribbon.  Include any other embellishments you choose to fancy it up.  This was a great way to get the cupcakes individually wrapped and ready for transport.  I imagine you could use the same concept to package other goodies (small cookies, candies, etc). 

Try it out and I would love for you to send me pics of your final products to add to this post!

Think Outside The Basket

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Do something unique for your little ones this year! 

These cute and trendy bags from 31 Gifts are simply adorable.  Easter Baskets are traditional, yes, but what happens to them when the festivities are over and the goodies are gone?  Why not give something that can be used over and over again, long after the holiday has past?  With spring and summer around the corner, these bags will be great for picnics and trips to the beach.  There are many options of bags and personalization, as well as other gifts for you to choose from.  Visit 31 Gifts today and make an impression this Easter!
Thanks, Michelle, for this great idea!

(You will also find a link to 31 Gifts in the right hand column of the page you are viewing.)

My CVS Deal Picks 3/13/11 - 3/19/11

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Here are my top picks for CVS this week:

Spend $25 on these products, get $10 Extra Bucks:
16 Big Rolls (=32 rolls) Charmin Toilet Paper $10
12 Big Rolls (=16 rolls) Bounty Paper Towels $13
Puffs Plus Lotion 132 Ct 2/$3

Subtract $10 savings from above and pay 16 cents per roll toilet paper, 50 cents per roll paper towels, and $1.50 per box of tissue.  This is a great deal.  Add manufacturer's coupons for extra savings.

Crest Pro Health / Oral B select varieties $3.49 plus $2.50 back in EB plus 50 cent coupon from Sunday paper = 49 cents!
Thera Flu Trial Size 99 cents plus 99 cents EB = Free!  Use a coupon for extra savings (I have a $3 off any 2, so I'm going to get a total of 4 at no cost to me!)
Irish Spring Deodorant or Body Wash $2.99 plus $2 EB plus 50 cent off coupon from paper = 49 cents!
Dial Nutri Skin Lotion $4.99 plus $3 EB plus $1 coupon = 99 cents!
Gallon Milk $2.49

As with any of my "top picks", these are not the only good deals to be found, just my top picks.  Check their ad or website for more!

My Walgreens Deal Picks 3/13/11 - 3/19/11

Here are my Walgreens Picks this week:

Easter Candy singles select varieties 29 cents
Kleenex 89 cents (use Walgreens coupon)
Right Guard Deodorant or Body Wash B1G1 plus use B1G1 coupon from Sunday paper = Free!
Purex Fabric Softener $4.99 plus $2 in Register Rewards, plus $2 coupon from paper = 99 cents!
Clorox Toilet Bowl Cleaner or Wipes $1.99 plus use $1 off 2 coupon from paper = $1.50 each

Special Mention - Olay Collections (these smell so good) 3/$12 plus $3 in Register Rewards = 3/$9, plus if you save your coupons, there was a coupon for Buy One Olay Facial Cleanser, get one Body Wash or Lotion free in a past paper, plus $1 off Olay Facial Cleanser - Stack 'em up for more savings!

As with any of my "top picks", these are not the only good deals to be found, just my top picks.  Check their ad or website for more!

Maybe You Coupon, But Do You Groupon?

Monday, March 14, 2011

If you aren't an avid couponer, then maybe you've never heard of it.   If you never shop without at least one coupon on hand, then you probably have.  Groupon is just one more of many ways that you can save big money!  Simply put, Groupon posts a new deal each day (specific to major geographic areas) that would allow its purchaser to typically save 50-90% off the indicated product or service.

Diapers Much?

Saturday, March 12, 2011

As a mom of two, with one still in diapers, I speak from experience.  Diapers are expensive!!  And all diapers are not created equal.  In my opinion, you do pay for what you get when it comes to diapering your child.  I tried several brands when my daughter was born and it definitely boiled down to Huggies for my family.  That being said, Huggies are expensive.  So are wipes, for that matter.  But most of us with small children can't live without them.

$10 Off Amazon Baby Purchase

Get your March 2011 copy of Parents magazine today!  Mine just came in the mail today and I found an awesome $10 off Amazon code (green postcard insert).  It expires on 3/31/2011.  If you are not getting your diapers and wipes at, you should start ASAP!  More to come on that topic.

Local Grocery Savings 3/9/11 - 3/15/11

Friday, March 11, 2011

For those of you who live in the area, here are some of the best sales at the local grocery stores.  Check their circlular ads for official pricing and more deals.

My Walgreens Deal Picks 3/6/11 - 3/12/11

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Walgreens has a savings program similar to CVS Extra Bucks (see my CVS deal picks post).  Its called Register Rewards.  Works the same way (prints coupon on receipt for next purchase) except you don't need a savings card.  Its automatic if you purchase qualifying items.  My picks this week don't include any Register Rewards, unfortunately, but they are good deals none the less.  Find Walgreens coupons in their circular and/or their website and combine with newspaper coupons and/or coupons from the link found on my site.  Here are my picks this week.

My CVS Deal Picks 3/6/11 - 3/12/11

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

If you don't already have one, sign up for an Extra Care Card at CVS.  It's free, only takes a few minutes and you need it to get the good deals.  You can earn Extra Bucks on a lot of sale items each week.  Extra Bucks print as a coupon on your receipt for you to use on future CVS purchases.  I usually do two purchases at CVS if I'm buying enough stuff.  I purchase anything that will give me Extra Bucks (EB) first.  Then I use my EBs toward my second purchase (if I earned 10 EBs in my first purchase, I get $10 off my second purchase).  There are some exclusions (gift cards, liquor, etc.)  You should visit their website or look at a circular ad for complete details.  Combine with manufacturer's coupons for big savings!
Here's what I like at CVS this week.

Chinese Pork Chops with Vegetable Fried Rice

Monday, March 7, 2011

Last night I pulled some boneless chops out of the freezer and studied them for a few minutes trying to decide what to do with them.  Chinese sounded yummy.  This is what I came up with and it turned out really good.  It was dubbed "make again" by the hubby.  You can get even more flavor into the chops if you use thin cut or pound them good with a meat mallet until they are pretty thin.  I tenderized mine only for a few minutes, as I wasn't looking to spend too much time in the kitchen. I imagine it would also be good with the pork cut into bite size pieces.  My recipe is below.  Let me know if you decide to try it!

My First Time

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Here I sit on a Saturday night, kids in bed, a glass of wine within reach, and I begin my very first blog.  I have been a stay at home mom now since July of 2010 and a Licensed Day Care Provider since November 2010.  Having been a mom who worked ten hours a day outside the home (including commute), I truly appreciate the new found benefits of working at home. 

On the downside, our income was greatly decreased.  So far, we've managed.  While viewing a program on TLC on a Sunday evening a few months ago, I was amazed to witness the featured "extreme couponers" saving tons and tons of money by effectively using coupons.  I was intrigued.  It seemed to be around the same time that I noticed a friend on FB posting her own successful money saving experiences.  I was inspired.  I should be doing that, too!

It didn't take long before I started surfing the web, reading blogs, checking store ads,printing coupons, clipping coupons, signing up for store "savings cards" and SAVING MONEY!  I actually got addicted pretty quick.  I gained a lot of useful information from blogs created by other moms trying to save a buck.  Blogs?  Hey, I should do that, too. 

So, I decided to start this blog.  I get excited when I get a really good deal, and I want to share so that someone else can maybe get a really good deal, too.  I also love to cook and sometimes I want to share a really good recipe.  Sometimes I want to talk about my kids and parenting.  Sometimes, I want an outside opinion on things.  Hence, the blog.  I'm just in a sharing mood.  LOL.  I'm new to blogging, so don't expect too much, too soon.  But I hope to be able to post regularly about things that I hope will be useful to my readers.  Deals, recipes, opinions, good books, family, and who knows what else.  My long term goal is to build a well-viewed blog site with many useful posts and links, and to eventually even make a little extra income.

For those of you reading this, I hope you will subscribe to Jessica, The Mom and I hope that you find it useful as it grows.  Please share my blog and help me build viewers / readers.  And please feel free to comment or contact me.  I may be interested in posting certain info, links, or reviews about your product, service, group, cause, etc.  Thanks so much for taking a few minutes to read my very first blog!  Keep in touch.

Contact Me

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

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Thank you so much for visiting Jessica, The Mom!