Friday, November 30, 2007

Freebie Friday and coupons

Clarins Chose up to 3 different programs

Martha Stewart free craft of the day

Free Wildlife Address Labels

Old Navy sign up for coupon codes

Airborne free sample

The Best of Cooking with Kids" cookbook Canada only

Oxyfresh Toothpaste Sample

Playtex personal cleaning clothes

Free Shampoo and conditioner

Free diapers samples

Neutrogeuna Pure Glow samples

Discount gift cards on ebay

HSN | Very Merry Meltdown daily contest

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

8 Christmas gift idea for teenagers

Teenagers are very hard to buy for! I have a 16 year old nephew and a 14 year old neice. I don't want to break the bank.

Here are eight Christmas gift ideas that even hard to please teens will love

Buy a MP3 player or Ipod . These are coming down on prices all the time. Therefore, you surely can find one that fits your budget. Doesn't worry about the fact that the teen may all ready have a deluxe model. There may be times and places where the teen may fear to take his/her best model (fear of losing or fear of it being stolen). Times like these would be perfect for the teen to have a backup player.

Cell phone accessories are something teens usually love. They not only love the phone, they love the ring tones, the cases, the blue tooth and all the other accessories to match. If you are not sure of the brand or model of the phone, this would be a great time to buy a gift certificate to their local cell phone dealer.

DVDs.Teens like to watch and rent these. If you don't want to buy a selection of DVD's for fear that the teen will soon get bored of them, you could get the teen a gift card to your local DVD rental store. Then the teen can pick out his or her favorites.

Health and Beauty products are great gifts for teens and can even be bought for male teens. For the girls, you have your choice of makeup, jewelry, holistic items as well as perfumes and bath products. For male teens, you can buy after shave products, colognes and some bath products.

Will the teen soon be heading off to college? If the answer is yes, you could begin buying items that the teen will need. Some great and cool gifts for college are: Bean bag chairs (always a classic item), clocks, lamps, comforters for the bed, etc.

Do you know if the teen is into video games (most teens are)? Find out just what platform they like best and if they are looking for any certain game. Better yet, again turn to the gift certificate idea and this time get one to the local video game dealer or online dealer.

Puzzle books could be an interesting present to buy a teen. If the teen actually would play them, they could help sharpen their minds. The newly popular brain puzzle Sudoku could be a big pleaser.

Finally, you could try to help the teen remember this fun and sometimes trying days of their life by giving them a journal. You can buy an economical one or nice leather bound one. If you have a flair for words yourself, write a nice inspiration inside the front cover for the teen and sign and date it.

Deciding what to buy a teen for Christmas can be a hard and somewhat daunting task. But it isn't impossible. Just think about the teen in question and soon you will have an idea or two that even the fussiest teen should love.

Jeffrey Meier of Jam727 Enterprises at offers information articles on a wide variety of subjects including Christmas Gift Ideas at

Monday, November 26, 2007

Frugal Five Meet Stephanie

Stephanie is frugal teacher from Pennsylvania who does web design on the side. You can check out her profile at

What is your financial life?

I am currently single and proud! I have gone through a messy messy divorce and he left me and my financial life in such a mess. We were married for 8 years, bought a a house and he just charged charged charged everything. I am on a lot of stuff that I still need to get paid off. We did sell the house. Currently I am renting a condo and hope to buy my own in 2-3 years.

What is your budget buster?

Dealing with the mess my ex-husband left

What is your favorite money saving tip?

Honestly make sure your life partner has the same value system as you towards money.

If you had an extra $1000 what would you do with it?

Towards the credit cards to get paid off!

What is your best resource for frugal living?

I am currently reading Suze Orman's Women & Money I have always enjoyed reading her books for ideas on getting financial advice. I wish I followed it more.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Frugal Dinner Planning Nov 25th

Leftover turkey oh my!! I love it, but not every day. I have put all the turkey in baggies so we can use in future meals. Here is what is for dinner this week

Sun Ground turkey burgers, sweet potato fries, green beans

Mon Turkey, broccoli and stuffing casserole (this is really simple a box of stuffing mixed in with cream of mushroom soup, broccoli and turkey. You can add some cheese-Swiss or cheddar works really well here)

Tues Layered Ground beef crockpot

Leftover Turkey broccoli and stuffing casserole

Thurs Leftover layered ground beef crockpot

Fri Spaghetti and meatballs

Sat Homemade pizza

Saturday, November 24, 2007

CVS weekly extra care bucks deals 11/25-12/1

Here are the CVS sale starting tomorrow . Of course check your coupons to see if you can match any up! I will be hitting CVS since I have a couple of $5.00 of $30 coupons to use. Tooth tunes was a request from the kids and now I am getting Extra Care bucks!! And I need some Gas X for hubby this week!

ECB Specials (All limit 1 unless noted)
$3 ECB WYB 6X8 photo book $12.99
$5 ECB WYB Hotwheels Turbo Set $14.99
$5 ECB WYB $10 Ponds Products – towelettes/cream – Limit 2
$3 ECB WYB CoverBlend Concealer $13.99
$5 ECB WYB 2 (two) CVS Regenerating Products
$10 ECB WYB $20 Revlon Cosmetics or Beauty Tools
$3 ECB WYB $15 Any Lumene Premium Beauty Products
$3 ECB WYB $15 any of these hair accessories
$4 ECB WYB Fructis Haircare Products
$2 ECB WYB Tooth Tunes $9.99
$5 ECB WYB CVS toothbrush sanitizer $15.99
$10 ECB WYB $10 worth of these products: Gas-X, Maalox, Ex-Lax, Perdiem, Benfiber

Hershey Kisses $2.99
Russell Stover Gift Boxes
Holiday Gift Wrap
Wisk Laundry Soap
CVS Alkaline Batteries
Celestial Seasonings Tea Bags $3.49
Maxwell House Instant Coffee
Chase & Sanborn Coffee $2.99
Instant Energy Drink $4.59

Buy ONE Get ONE 50% off
Frames & Photo Albums (digital excluded)
All Neutrogena Foundation powder, blush, and concealer
Holiday Fragrance Gift set
All Brut
Life Fitness Joint Care
All Ocuvite or PreserVision Vitamin & Mineral Supplements
All Reading Glasses by Foster Grant & Magnavision
All CVS Vitamins, Minerals, or Herbals

ECB = Extra Care Buck
PSA = Prices starting at
CRT = Cash Register Tape
WYB = When You Buy

Helpful websites!!!,f533

Friday, November 23, 2007

How to survive Christmas on budget

Who's idea was it to still be paying for Christmas gifts 7 months later?! It sure doesn't sound good to me! Make this Christmas season a memorable one - one with NO MORE DEBT.

"But I can't do that! There's no hope in sight!" you may be saying. Well, you CAN do it and there IS hope! The trick is to start right now with a plan. It's never too late. The people at the mall have tons of plans to get your money. Now you need to plan how you're going to keep some of your money.

Here are some quick tips:

Remember Christmas is in December every year—don’t let it sneak up on you. Start planning in February (or right now!) by putting back little bit aside each month to cover the cost of gifts.

Make a list of everyone you are buying a gift for and put a dollar amount by every name. Total it at the bottom. This is your Christmas budget. The people in the mall have a plan to get your money – get a game plan for your shopping so you can keep some money. There is no excuse for financing Christmas.

Pay cash – put the total from your budget in an envelope and when the cash is gone, stop spending. This will help keep you on budget because if you overspend on Aunt Sue, Uncle Harry won’t get a gift.

69% of Americans bought a gift for themselves last year. DON’T BUY YOURSELF A GIFT! This is the season to give not to receive…from yourself.

Friday Freebies and coupons

While you are recovering from Thanksgiving... enjoy these freebies

Free redBox movie code TURKEY

34 Free songs from ITUNES

Free Printable Photo Calendar

Dixie State College | Free T-Shirt

Free Maybelline Mascara

Free Letters from Santa - personalize and then print!!

Slim·Fast Protein chew bars free sample

Free 2008 calendar Looks like PA residents only

Green tea sample

Free baby wipes

Thursday, November 22, 2007

What I am thankful for?

I am up early cooking today all the veggies that I am bringing over to my mother in laws. I wanted to share what I am thankful for:

Being a child of God
Being a Mom to 3 wonderful boys
Being a wife to the best husband in the world
Living in my own home with no sense of fear that I will lose it
Living my large extended family
Living in a country that gives us freedom.

I have been very blessed in my life!

For flowers that bloom about our feet;
For tender grass, so fresh, so sweet;
For song of bird, and hum of bee;
For all things fair we hear or see,
Father in heaven, we thank Thee.

For blue of stream and blue of sky;
For pleasant shade of branches high;
For fragrant air and cooling breeze;
For beauty of the blooming trees,
Father in heaven, we thank Thee.

~~Ralph Waldo Emerson 1803-1882

May all who share these gifts today
Be blessed by Thee, we humbly pray.

What God gives and what we take
'Tis a gift for Christ his sake;

Be the meal of beans or peas,
God be thanked for those and these;

Have we flesh or have we fish,
All are fragments from His dish.

~~Robert Herrick 1591-1674

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Big Macs causing debt?

Driving by McDonald's on a recent weekend, the line going through the drive-thru was at least 7 cars deep. I wondered how many were paying cash vs using a credit card.

Yes, credit cards! Most of the fast food places now accept credit cards.

I will say I am not 100% innocent here. We do take-out fast food through one of the burger places at least once a month and use a debit card for the most part. However using a credit card isn't the smartest thing here.

People who use credit cards to buy fast food actually purchase 30 percent more than those using cash. So people are consuming extra calories too and people are getting fat every day that eating large burgers and super size fries.

Those who do choose to use credit cards to buy fast food should make sure they follow the most important rule, which is to never carry a balance over from month to month.

"We know that only one-third of consumers truly pay off in full," Anyone who does not pay in full should avoid using credit cards at fast food restaurants at all costs.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Frugal Five Meet Sharona

Sharona is frugal mom of 2 teenage girls from San Antonio Texas

What is your financial life?

My husband and I have recently settled down in Texas after many years of many places. I am originally from California and we have lived all over south and west coast. My husband has been in technical sales and makes a decent income. I am a teacher by trade but due to us moving around I am currently working as an instructional aide in the resource room at the local school. I am hoping to get my foot in the door. My husband makes over six figures and we have been luckily living on his salary. However, we have two teenage girls that we need to cash flow college for. We do have a mortgage however no credit card debt and our 2 cars are paid off.

What is your budget buster?

My husband thinks just because we earn it, we should spend it.

What is your favorite money saving tip?

Pay yourself first and stick to it. I try to save as many as I can from my job and put it in to college savings or retirement at this time.

If you had an extra $1000 what would you do with it?

Save it!! And hide it from my husband.

What is your best resource for frugal living?

I enjoy many message boards geared towards living a frugal lifestyle. I want to make sure we have enough for college and retirement. My husband is all spend spend spend and I look for tips, suggestions on how to make him understand that we need to save.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Frugal Meal Planning Nov 19th

Check out Thanksgiving and Turkey tips if you are hosting Thanksgiving day or even if you cook a turkey like me just for leftovers!! I am making green bean casserole, sweet potato casserole, and carrots for dinner that I will bring over to my Mother in laws. My sister is law is bring the turkey and stuffing. My mother in law does the potatos and desserts. It makes it easy for all of us. I will make some coconut brownies for my aunt's house for dessert.

Here is our frugal meal planning for this week

Sun I am going out to eat with all the girl cousins and cousin wives (and one soon to be wife) -there are 12 of us which is nice. The silly aunts wanted to come but we said no!! My men are getting hot dogs and french fries tonight!!

Mon Lasagna

Tues Cheesy beef and broccoli Not enough leftovers for another meal, but plenty for lunch the next day! I have box of Rice a roni that was marked down for 40 cents that I will add so hubby and I can do lunch the next day.

Wed Leftover Lasagna

Thur Gobble Gobble! Eating at my mother in laws

Fri Turkey I make my own turkey dinner on Friday. The sides are fairly simple, green bean casserole, leftover sweet potato casserole, and of course stuffing!! I freeze the leftovers to use for meals in the upcoming weeks.

Sat Hot turkey sandwiches.

Grocery store savings will help you cut down your grocery bills without going crazy using coupons.

Thanksgiving and Turkey frugal tips

Gobble, gobble the cost of Thanksgiving is going up 11% this year.

Thanksgiving dinner for 10 people with customary dishes like turkey, stuffing and pumpkin pie will cost an average $42.26, up $4.16 from $38.10 last year.

A higher turkey price was the largest contributor to the increase in the cost for this year's feast. The trade group's 22nd annual informal survey of prices found that a 16-pound turkey cost $1.93 more this year at $17.63.

I don't cook Thanksgiving dinner myself- I make most of the sides and bring them over to my mother in laws. However it has been tradition in my house for me to cook a turkey on the Friday after and have another Thanksgiving feast! Of course, for having leftovers!! I was able to get 2 turkey for 39 cents a lb as long as I spent $10. I did two rounds of my weekly grocery shopping-but I did it. Our second frozen turkey will give us a nice Turkey dinner in January. I would picked up a 3rd, but no room in the freezer.

Here are some tips that I have shared in the past!

How to cook a turkey

Freezing Turkey leftovers

Crockpot recipes for Turkey leftovers

Homemade cranberry sauce

CVS weekly extra care bucks deals 11/18-11/24

Here are the CVS sale starting today . Of course check your coupons to see if you can match any up! This is a great week to stock up on make-up! If you are do any beauty gift baskets, stock up!

Also check out these HOT CVS online printable coupons:

Hot CVS Coupons!
$5/$30 coupon
$2/$10 coupon

ECB Specials (All limit 1 unless noted)
$3 ECB WYB two (2) always pads 24-48 ct. 2/$12
$1 ECB WYB Tide or Gain $8.99
$2 ECB WYB Dove gift box $9.99
$1 ECB WYB Ivory Dawn or Joy dish liquid $2.79
$10 ECB WYB NicoDern CQ 14 ct.
$5 ECB WYB (2) Mucinex
$2 ECB WYB Delsym 12 hour cough syrup
$5 ECB WYB (2) Robitussin $4.99
$3 ECB WYB Gillette Venus disposable 3 ct. or custom plus 10 ct. $7.99
$10 ECB WYB Accu-chek $19.99
$1.50 ECB WYB Cover Girl lash blast mascara $8.49
$5 ECB WYB $19.99 worth of lumene lifting time freeze
$5 ECB WYB $10 of any St. Ives skin care
$5 ECB WYB $29.99 of any Prevntin –At products
$4 ECB WYB Keri 15 oz lotion or 4 oz serum
$4.99 ECB WYB two (2) olay body wash 10-12oz
$5 ECB WYB three (3) John Frieda product
$30 ECB WYB oral-B rechargeable TB
$1 ECB WYB Soft soap, Irish spring body wash $3.99 - limit 2
$1 ECB WYB crest or Oral-B - limit 2
$5 ECB WYB $30 of any skin effects - limit 2
$2.99 ECB WYB Tylenol Vial EX SG. 10 ct. $2.99 =FREE! - limit 2
$2 ECB WYB any christophe shampoo or conditioner $7.99 - limit 3
$3 ECB WYB four (4) Pepsi 12 pk, 4/$12 - limit 4

Russell Stover Chocolates $7.99
Holiday Gift Wrap $2.99

Buy ONE Get ONE 50% off
All Maybelline Cosmetics
Photo Frame or Albums (excludes digital) Perfect for frugal gifts!
Wrigleys Value Pack $1.99
Hallmark Boxed Cards
Almay Cosmetics
All Revlon Cosmetics & Beauty Tools
All Milani Cosmetics
All NYC Cosmetics
All Trim Beauty Tools
CVS Baby Care
All Blistex
All One A Day Vitamins
VO5 Extreme Styling Hair Care
Axe Deodorant

ECB = Extra Care Buck
PSA = Prices starting at
CRT = Cash Register Tape
WYB = When You Buy

Helpful websites!!!,f533

Saturday, November 17, 2007

My black friday deals

I don't do the shopping orgy otherwise known as Black Friday. This consumer maddening day has gone to new heights in craziness. Honestly,the mall and the big stores aren't worth the aggravation and craziness, no matter how big the markdowns are. The truth is most do not get to buy the crazy advertised deals on the Black Friday flyers because way too many people are competing for the same deals at Wal-mart, Best Buy, Circuit City or Target!

The KB Toys by my house is openning at midnight! Yikes... now that is nuts

In case you are making the trip out... here is the best website for those black friday deals.

So do "Black Friday" or avoid it?

Friday, November 16, 2007

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Easy Chicken Spinach soup recipe

I made a batch of this soup since it is starting to get cold! It is perfect for lunch-if you are doing low carb, or even weight watchers! This is such a healthy and easy chicken soup to make!!

5 cups chicken broth (I make mine using boullion, but canned would be fine)
1 10 oz. box frozen spinach
1 10 oz. can white chicken breast, drained and broken up or 1 cup of chicken diced very small.
2 eggs, beaten

Heat broth until boiling. Add frozen spinach and chicken and cook until the spinach is seperated and not frozen. Bring back to a boil. Pour half the egg mixture in by swirling it around the broth mixture. Using a spoon stir until the egg hardens. Repeat with 2nd half of egg mixture. Simmer 10 mins. and serve with Parmesan sprinkled on top

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Kids Christmas gift giving crafts

Are you looking for new Christmas crafts - something different? Here are three fresh ideas to get keep and your kids busy and creative.

Christmas Ornaments with Kids' Photos

Your children will love giving these to their grandparents each year.

To make one, cut two identical stars from cardboard. Cut a hole the right size to frame your child's photograph in the centre of one of them. Decorate the stars by painting them gold or silver and gluing on craft jewels and sequins. Use a black marker pen to write the year in the centre of the star that has no hole in it. Once the stars are dry, glue your child's photo into its star frame. Arrange the two stars back-to-back, with the decorated sides facing out, and glue together. Punch a hole in the top and add a loop of silver or gold cord to hang it by.

Your home-made Christmas gifts will decorate the tree each year, and be treasured as your children grow up.

Christmas Candy Crafts

These make a wonderful Christmas gift for a family. Make cookies on sticks, like lollipops, and give them happy faces with candy. Here's how:

Use any chocolate chip cookie recipe. Put balls of cookie dough onto non-stick baking paper on a baking tray, and poke a lollipop stick horizontally into each cookie before baking it. Once the cookies are cool, lift each one by its stick, dip it into melted chocolate and then coloured sprinkles to make the hair, and stick candy on with chocolate for the eyes and mouth. Wrap in small cellophane bags, one for each member of the family. Tie ribbons around the tops, and attach a gift tag with each person's name. Delicious!

The Great Christmas Candy Chase

This Home-made Christmas gift will be a hit! It's also a cool present to give a family.

Buy a large men's shirt, preferably in bright red or green, from a second hand shop. Wash and dry it. Using a hot glue gun, glue wrapped lollies and candy about every 5cm (2 inches), all over it. Fold it, and wrap it up along with these instructions:

"The Great Christmas Candy Chase: On Christmas Day, Dad needs to put this shirt on, shout, 'Ho, Ho, Ho!', and run away. This is the signal for all the kids to chase him and get the candy!"

If Dad isn't fit now, he soon will be!

I hope you enjoy these new Christmas crafts, and the pleasure of those who receive your gifts.

Find more children crafts at

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Frugal Dinner planning Nov 11th

Here is what we are having for dinner this week:

Sun Steak, sweet potato fries, green beans

Mon I made a big batch of chii last week so it will be made into chili pie.... add lay some tortillas and chili with some cheese. I made add an extra can of diced tomatos to stretch this into 2 meals.

Tues Chicken and pasta

Wed Leftover chili pie

Thurs Leftover chicken and pasta

Fri Turkey burger melts, french fries, veggie

Sat Homemade pizza

How to save money by buying discount gift cards

Did you know that you can buy gift cards at a discount? You sure can. Thousands of gift cards are given each year and many times the person who receives the card doesn't need it. Now what do they do? They list it for sale on Ebay. That's right, every day people put unneeded and/or partially used gift cards from every major store in America up for auction. Ebay has more of them added every hour of every day. As the gift card market continues to grow, so will after market sales. This is a great way to save money during the Christmas holidays.

Why would anyone sell a gift card for less than retail value? It has to be a scam! No, actually it doesn't. While I am sure that some of the gift cards that go up for sale are stolen, I doubt that they are the majority of cases. There are many legitimate reasons why someone would sell a gift card to the highest bidder.

The gift card they received may be to a store they do not frequent or may not be local to their area. If grandma sends them a $25 gift card to the Olive Garden but the closest one to their house is an hour away, they might not be in a hurry to spend $10 in gas to go use it. Or maybe they just prefer to dine elsewhere.

Sometimes people just get too many cards for the same store at once. Seven $500 gift cards to Target as wedding gifts might be more than the happy couple will spend at the store in a year. Perhaps they could use cash in order to save for the down payment on their dream house. A gift card is not going to earn them interest.

Many stores offer gift cards as special promotions. Lowes or Home Depot runs ads for a free $250 gift card with the purchase of a certain number of shingles (or other item). Perhaps it is easier to do that than issue rebates, or maybe they do it so you have to spend the money at their store--a wise business decision on their part. A free gift card is great but if they already bought all the items they needed for their project, they might be willing to discount the card for cash today. Basically it comes down to the time value of money. A $250 gift card that they won't use for a year or $200 in cash today, hmmmm. What would you do?

Another reason is that many companies no longer offer cash refunds. If someone returns an item without a receipt, they will only get a merchandise card. Again, if they won't be needing anything from that store in the next few months, maybe discounting it is a wise choice. If they returned the item due to damage and no longer plan to shop with the retailer, then selling the card really is their only option.

So there are legitimate reasons why gift cards are auctioned off on Ebay. However that doesn't mean they are always legit. One way to protect yourself is to pay the seller with a credit card, that way you have some protection on top of Ebay's protection. You can also ask the seller for the card's code on the back and then call the store to verify the amount remaining on the card and that the card has not expired. I only deal with high feedback long term sellers on Ebay but after the Christmas holiday season you will find many new sellers popping on Ebay looking to sell their unused or partially used gift cards. The overwhelming majority of them will be legitimate sellers with valid cards but always take precautions.

Ebay's policy states that a seller may only auction one gift card per week, and no cards over $500 are allowed. So if you check a seller's feedback and see that they auctioned a gift card for the same amount last week, it is due to the one gift card at a time policy. They must sell them one at a time, which helps control the possibility that someone might list a bunch of bogus cards and then disappear.

I have never had a problem buying discount gift cards off Ebay. I am cautious though. As soon as I receive the card in the mail I immediately take it to the store and have them scan it to make sure it is valid and has the correct amount that I paid for on it. Never leave feedback for a seller before confirming this.

Enjoy your discount shopping while avoiding the clearance racks, or shop the clearance racks and get an even bigger bang for your buck!

Check out these great discount gift card deals going on at ebay:

Best Buy Discount gift cards
Walmart Discount gift cards

Old Navy and Gap gift cards

Can you afford this dessert?

Maybe Paris Hilton can, but she does doesn't like she eats desserts- this is a frozen dessert that costs $25,000! Unreal who thinks of these things. I guess they are not marketing towards me, a simple middle class mom. I think of these things that I would like to buy with $25k and dessert doesn't come into play. Make money towards retirement, investing or even paying down my mortgage.

From the AP
The Frozen Haute Chocolate was declared the most expensive dessert in the world on Wednesday by Guinness World Records.

The dessert is a frozen, slushy mix of cocoas from 14 countries, milk and 5 grams of 24-carat gold topped with whip cream and shavings from a La Madeline au Truffle.

It is served in a goblet with a band of gold decorated with 1 carat of diamonds and served with a golden spoon diners can take home.

The dessert was created by Serendipity 3, a restaurant popular with tourists and once featured in a John Cusack movie.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

CVS weekly extra care bucks deals 11/11-11/17

Here are the CVS sale starting tomorrow . Of course check your coupons to see if you can match any up!

ECB Specials (All limit 1 unless noted)

$5 WYB 2 (two) Advil Cold & Sinus 20 ct $5.99
$3 WYB 4 (four) Coke 12 packs 4/$12.00
$5 WYB 2 (two) Dimetapp $4.99
$5 WYB $15 Oral B/Crest Products
$5 WYB Dove Vitalizer Facial Cleansing Massager $12.49
$5 WYB Gillette Fusion Razor $9.99
$4 WYB Gillette Venus Razor $8.99
$3 WYB 2 (two) Hershey’s Chocolate $2.50
$5 WYB $20 Lumene products
$2 WYB Pantene, Herbal Essences or Head & Shoulders $5.99
$1 WYB Toms of Maine Deodorant $3.99
$2 WYB Tums $4.29
$5 WYB $15 Tylenol Products – see ad for specifics!

$2 ECB WYB Mennen Speed Stick for Men $3.99 Limit 2
$5 WYB Night Guard Tooth Grinding Protection Limit 2
$10 WYB $20 Engergizer Alkaline Batteries Limit 2
$10 WYB 2 (two) Garnier Nutritioniste Products $5.99 Llimit 2

$1 WYB Palmolive Dish Liquid Limit 5

CVS Power Flash Camera $7.99
All L’Oreal Lipcolor
All Natures Made Vitamins
Ocean Spray Cranberry Sauce $1.29
Hersheys Pot of Gold $8.95
Holiday Gift Wrap $5.99
Cambell’s Soup or Swanson Broth
Sweet N Low
CVS Alkaline Batteries
Move Free Advanced
Photo Frames & Albums

Buy ONE Get ONE 50% off
All L’Oreal Mascara, Eye Shadow, Liner, or Nail Enamel
All Physicians Formula Cosmetics
All Bonnie Bell
All Sally Hansen Nail, Lip Treatment or Color
Revlon Moon Drops Lipstick, Super Lustrous Lipstick, or Lip Gloss
All CVS Tape
Any Fragrance
Optimum Oil Therapy and Optimim Care Maintenance
All Marc Anthony Hair Care
All CVS Disposable Razor or Cartridges
Holiday Boxed Cards
CVS Storage Bags (like Ziplocks)
All Bausch & Lomb Advanced Eye Relief
ECB = Extra Care Buck
PSA = Prices starting at
CRT = Cash Register Tape
WYB = When You Buy

Helpful websites!!!,f533

Friday, November 09, 2007

Why flexible spending accounts are worth it

It is open enrollment time! We did the paperwork this week at my husband's work for 2008. One of the things we started last year was a flexible spending account for health care. We did $2000 for 2007 and needed to decide what to do for this year . Bankrate shares tips for making the most of your Healthcare flexible spending account.

1. Review the past year's costs.
We have used $1700 so far and I have just over $300 of dental work being done in the next 6 weeks. This worked out perfect for us and was a typical year.

2. Set aside money for major work.
My oldest son had some major work this past spring and I had to get new glasses. This worked perfect since I was able to submit these expenses right away. Having $76 dollars out of each paycheck makes it easier to do this!

3. Save all receipts.

Put all receipts in safe place because you will need to send them in. I do it once a month and send my receipts in. We got several prescriptions a month and all this goes into a shoe box that I have in my home office.

4. Know the rules.

Know what is covered! Not only are doctor appointments covered but dental, eye glasses are too!

5. Buy medicines with leftover funds.

If you have extra near the end, stock on on medcine for the year!

6. Don't be afraid to 'lose' it.

This was one of the reasons I was always afraid to start one of these accounts. However after having it one year, it was a very smart decision for my family.

The biggest potential drawback of opening a flexible spending account is the risk that you will have to forfeit funds at the end of the plan year. But this fear can be misguided.
"One of the big hesitations people have about FSAs is they're worried about losing the money in their account if they don't spend it in time," says Dippel. "But even if you don't use it -- say you only spend 80 percent of what's in the account -- you're still coming out ahead because of the tax savings."

Friday Freebies and coupons

Here are some great freebies this week...

healthy living for diabetics

Free 2 yr subscription to LEGO MAGAZINE

Free calander

DanActive™ Challenge free week supply

free chalk

Old Navy Coupon sign-up

Free contact lense solution

Free Sensodyne toothpaste

Simply Nutrilite nutrition bar

Free Socks

Free nutbella sample

Iwon chance to win $10,000 early day

Convert Youtube videos to MP3 and ipod files

Monday, November 05, 2007

Frugal Five Meet Jill

Jill is a frugal mom from Wisconsin

What is your financial life?

I am a single mom to 2 teenage boys. I have been divoreced from their Dad for 5 years. We share joint custody. I am a accountant for a local accounting firm. Luckily, I am able to work from home a few days a week. I downsized from 3 bedroom house to a 3 bedroom condo last spring. I really don't have time to do the yard work. I am pretty good financial shape by living below my means.

What is your budget buster?

Have you feed two teenage boys lately! They eat me out of house and home.

What is your favorite money saving tip?

I try not to buy on impulse. Since I don't have a life partner to bounce ideas off of, I wait before making any purchase of more than $50.

If you had an extra $1000 what would you do with it?

While not exactly frugal, I would take my best friend and me away for a girls spa weekend.

What is your best resource for frugal living?

I really enjoy Money Magazine and their money makeovers.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Cheap Dinner Planning 11/4

I am really trying to keep a pantry challenge the next few weeks. Money is fairly tight since my husband will not be getting a commission check this month. And with Christmas coming up we are really living paycheck to paycheck.

Sunday Steak, french fries , green beans. Steak is always bought marked down-you can get very good meals this way

Mon My 8 yr old is cooking... part of cub scout challenge chicken pasta and veggies

Tues Chili talk about a great pantry challenge meal!

Wed Chicken drumsticks, potatoes Got the chicken for 39 cents a lb

Thurs Ground beef with a hamburger helper mix that I picked up

Fri Clean out the fridge night....

Sat Homemade pizza

CVS weekly extra care bucks deals 11/4-11/10

Here are the CVS sale starting todau . Of course check your coupons to see if you can match any up! Nothing really strikes my fanc

ECB Specials (All limit 1 unless noted)

$1.49 WYB BC Pain Powder or Goody's Pain Powder 4-6ct. $1.49 *FREE*
$2 WYB 2 (two) bags of Dove or M&M candy 2/$5
$2 WYB 2 (two) Poland Spring 6-8pk 2/$5
$5 WYB Hot Wheels Turbo Town Playset $14.99
$5 WYB Brita filters 3pk. $14.99
$5 WYB Olay Total Effects $17.99
$5 WYB $15 Milani Cosmetics
$5 WYB Degree Clinical Protection
$10 WYB Rogaine 3 pack
$1 WYB G.U.M. Toothbrush or Picks
$3 WYB Clear Care or Genteal
$5 WYB $20 of THESE. P&G products. (Prilosec, Pepto Bismal, Nyquil, Metamucil)
$2 WYB Alka-selter or Phillips products
$5 WYB $20 of Benefiber or Boost multi-packs
$2 WYB Sugar Free Tums $4.99
$1 WYB Crest toothpaste or Oral-B toothbrush

$2 WYB Colgate Toothpaste/Toothbrush Value pack LIMIT 3

$20 WYB Nova Max Blood Glucose Monitor $29.99 LIMIT 5
$1 WYB Listen Up As seen on TV $14.99 LIMIT 5
$5 WYB $30 Skin Effects Products LIMIT 5

Russell Stover Chocolates
Planters Nuts
Gatorade/Propel Sports bottles
Veryfine Juice
Holiday Wrapping Paper
John Frieda Collection
Arm & Hammer Toothpaste
Osteo Bi-Flex

Buy ONE Get ONE 50% off
All Scotch Magic Tape
CVS Alkaline Batteries
All Covergirl Foundation, Blush or Concealer
All Neutrogena Cosmetics
All Bic Disposables
Gerber Baby Food & Cereal
Legg’s Socks, Tights, or Hanes Socks
Playtex Baby

Other deals
Kelloggs Cereal 2/$5.00
Pringles $0.88
Folgers $1.99

ECB = Extra Care Buck
PSA = Prices starting at
CRT = Cash Register Tape
WYB = When You Buy

Helpful websites!!!,f533

Saturday, November 03, 2007

How to make a Candy Christmas wreath

This is a great craft to make to add some Christmas spirit! You can make these with leftover Halloween candy and even pick up those post Halloween candy sales!

This is a great teacher gift idea!!

Friday, November 02, 2007

Candy, cash and cavities

I was excited yesterday when I found out that my kids dentist was doing Cash and Cavities!
For every pound of candy that the kids turned in they would get $1.00. We turned in 3lbs from their plastic pumpkins.

My dentist and several other dentist in the area will be donating the candy to the soldiers overseas.

I am glad to have the majority of the candy out of the house- the kids don't need it, my waist-line doesn't need it either!! Maybe it saved me a cavity or two....

Freebie Friday and coupons

Some great free stuff this week... enjoy your freebies!

Free ebay boxes from usps perfect for Christmas

Free Diabetes Treatment, Insulin and Blood Sugar Control Register today to stay informed about diabetes and insulin and to receive a free gift.

Free Head and shoulders sample when you join

Free L'oreal conditioner

Try Dunkin' Donuts Coffee Free!

Free tea samples

Pampers sign up their mailing list-coupons and a chance to win free diapers for a year

$1.00 off pillsbury rolls coupon

Oxyfresh Toothpaste Sample

Free Credit report

Spray and wash rebate

Crest Whitestrips Premium $5.00 off coupon

Free work at home package

Upromise – The way to save for college

Thursday, November 01, 2007

My no heat challenge

I challenged myself and my family to no turning on the heat until Nov 1st . I am happy to say that we did it! We have a mild fall so far-in fact it is the 4th warmest October in the Boston area.

However I know it will be getting cold soon and it is to be expensive winter with heating oil prices expected to be above $4.00 a gallon by mid-winter.

I think thinking lots of layers, keeping the heat in the house to 64-66 degrees. We do have a fireplace but I am not crazy about using it.

Luckily, we do have a credit with our oil company and are currently on the budget plan. I don't owe anything right now but I may continue to pay the monthly amount so when budget resets next summer I won't get hit with a huge payment needed.