Super Savings Saturday: A wreath and freebies

Instead of my usual grocery pictures, I wanted to share a great deal I got on a wreath for our front door.

For a number of months, I’ve been looking around for the "perfect" wreath for our front door. I just love wreaths–I think they make everything feel so warm and inviting! But I’ve quickly learned that nice wreaths are expensive and the deals on them seem to be far and few between. So for the last little while, I’ve been pricing them and waiting and hoping to spot a good deal.

I was thrilled as can be to discover this wreath on sale at JoAnn’s for only $12.99, originally priced at $29.99…

Now I just have to figure out how to get it up on the door–that’s one of the projects on the to-do list for Saturday!

I also received a few fun freebies in the mail this week including a Schick razor, a book from PaperBackSwap that I’ve been wanting for ages, magazines, and some tea from Celestial Seasonings. I loves me some freebies!

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Free Playtex Drop-Ins Original Nurser and more!

I thought this was a cool freebie from Freebies 4 Mom:

Get a free sample of the Playtex Drop-Ins Original Nurser System. Playtex is offering this sample because they are trying to spread the word that their system is BPA free.

More freebies:

Free sample of Prilosec
Free sample of GoodNights
Free sample of NatureMade Triple Flex

Restaurant Freebies:

Sign up for Coco’s E-club and get a coupon for a free dessert at any Coco’s restaurant.
Sign up for TGI Friday’s email newsletter and get a coupon for a free dessert or appetizer.

Have you checked out Freebie Friday yet today?

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Keeping frugality fun: Strategic “splurging”

There is nothing that will squelch the joy in frugality faster than pinching your pennies so hard that you never have any fun. And if you’re planning to practice thrift for the long haul, you need to strategically come up with ways to keep life interesting, exciting, and fresh.

Just because you don’t have a lot of money or are trying to live on little doesn’t mean you can’t find ways to have fun and splurge a little without breaking your budget. Here are a few things we’ve done:

-Go out for dessert and coffee. Or, if you’re really strapped for cash, skip the dessert and split a latte. We used to do this at Barnes and Noble back in our law school barebones budget days. We’d browse books, buy a drink and split it (often paying for it with a card I’d earned through reading emails from MyPoints!), and then sit and read and talk for awhile. It made for a very relaxing evening that cost us next to nothing!

-Take your children to the pet store and then to McDonald’s for $0.99 cones. (Use the seasonal free cone coupons–if you have them–to save even more!)

-Plan one nicer dinner each week. If beans and rice make up a large part of your diet, plan ahead so that one night per week, you have “feast”. It doesn’t have to be anything elaborate–maybe something like meat loaf, a potato dish, some homemade bread, veggies, and a dessert. Or if you can’t even afford that, add a dessert to your normal fare and bring out the nice dishes or add a centerpiece. A dessert and a candle can make you feel like you’re having a gourmet dinner even if it’s hamburger helper!

-Ride your bikes or put the kids in the wagon and walk to the nearest ice cream shop and order a few cones to split.

-Have a progressive dinner at your own home. Decorate four different rooms with four different themes and then serve a coordinating menu item for each.

-Rent a movie with a free code from RedBox (or the library), make some special snacks, and watch the movie together under blankets in the living room.

-Plan a CVS “date.” Have extra ECBs to spend? Why not make a fun evening of it? Let each person pick one treat for under $3 to buy and then go to the park and share the goodies!

-Go yard-saling or thrift store shopping as a family or couple. Give each person a small amount of cash to spend and see who gets the most bang for their buck!

-Go to the library as a family (or as a couple, for date night!) and browse different books that you usually don’t get a chance to look at and check some out. You’ll feel like you went shopping and you won’t have spent anything!

-Have a “Loose Change Date.” Take all of the loose change you can find in the house and figure out a creative way to maximize it. Divvy it up between the family members and let each person decide how they want to spend their part for a family evening out.

-Find out if any nearby bowling alleys have $0.99 night or discount nights (many do). When we were first married, we’d go on $0.99 night and rent our shoes for $0.99 each and play two games at $0.99 each–and it was such a fun outing and it only cost us around $6!

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This week’s shopping trip and $40 menu

Because we had a little bit more time on Saturday, we hit more stores than normal: Aldi, CVS, Price Chopper, Hen House, and Wal-Mart. Our total was right around $39.80!

This week’s menu:

Whole-wheat pancakes, freshly-made juice
Oatmeal, fresh juice
Cereal, carrot/orange/banana/flax seed smoothie
Baked oatmeal, fruit
Homemade cinnamon rolls, fruit

Split peas, brown rice, carrots
PB&J, pears
Mixed green salad, hard boiled eggs, toast
Baked potatoes, broccoli, cheese

Chicken broccoli rice casserole, homemade whole-wheat bread, salad, green beans, grapefruit
Chili, apple slices, homemade bread, cheese slices (We’re likely going to be having this twice this week since I made such a big pot of it! If so, we’ll serve it over rice with cheese sprinkled on top the second night!)
Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, green beans, biscuits, mixed green salad
Broccoli and cheddar crepes, homemade cinnamon rolls, fruit salad
Barbecue beef pizza, corn on the cob, grapefruit

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Free Dove GoFresh Deodorant sample and more

Get it here. (Note: This is a Costco sample but you do not need to be a Costco member to receive it. Just leave the Member ID blank if you’re not a member.)

More freebies:
Free sample Laci Le Beau super dieter’s tea
Free sample of Tetley British Blend tea

Freebie offers have been rather slow recently–I hope they pick back up soon! In the mean time, though, I have been receiving some fun things in the mail. Like the mailer with 10 or so double-packets of Celestial Seasonings tea I received last week for signing up for the Celestial Seasonings book club starter kit (they are all out of freebies now, though!).

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