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19 Oct 2011   ·   13
Money Saving Mom

Shutterfly: 25 Free Holiday Cards for Bloggers

Shutterfly is once again offering 25 free holiday cards for bloggers. Go sign up here and they’ll let you know if you qualify.

To participate, you will need to blog about Shutterfly or the holiday card you choose.

If you’re not a blogger or don’t want to blog about your holiday cards, you can get 20 photo cards for $1.49 shipped from SeeHere.

Thanks, The Red Kitchen!

19 Oct 2011   ·   17
Money Saving Mom

Busy Bag Idea: Pinchers & Pom-Poms

The Pinchers & Pom-Poms from our Busy Bag Swap has been a fun way to practice fine motor skills.

The Busy Bag that came in our swap had pom-poms, colored paper clips, and tongs. You should be able to get all of these items at the dollar store, if you don’t already have them on hand. Or, you can improvise using things you have.

The object of the Busy Bag is to use the pinchers to pick up the pom-poms and paper clips. I had Kaitlynn put them in a bowl. You could have a child sort them in piles by color. Or count out a certain number of objects.

Kaitlynn also enjoyed trying to pick up the pom-poms with the paper clips.

Find more Busy Bag ideas here.

19 Oct 2011   ·   14
Money Saving Mom The best online household and grocery deals this week

Here are some of this week’s best grocery & household deals from Many of these prices are higher than what you’d pay by combining coupons with sales, but they may be good deals for you if you live where there aren’t many stores or deals are scarce:

Last week, Amazon made some sudden changes to the Amazon Mom program, dropping the total discount from 30% to 20%. While this is obviously disappointing for the many families who had come to rely on this program, there are still some good deals to be had, and we’ll continue to watch for coupons and sales to help you save even more. In the meantime, if you’ve placed a Subscribe & Save order in the past, you can still request new shipments at the 30% discount for the same size/style. Go to My Account->Manage Subscribe & Save Items.

Luvs Diapers: This week, the best deal is on Luvs Ultra Leakguard Diapers, which are still as low as $0.11/diaper after both discounts.

Pirate’s Booty Veggies: Pick up 1-ounce bags of Pirate’s Booty Veggie for $0.83 each. These are gluten-free, but they make a yummy & healthy snack for everyone in your family.

Clif Kid Zbar: Our family loves these bars and right now you can pick up an 18-ct. pack of Chocolate Brownie Zbars for just $11.04.

Lucy’s Cookies: Or get Lucy’s Grab and Go Gluten-Free Cookies for just $0.93/pack. We haven’t tried this brand yet, but the reviews are great.

Cascade Complete: In addition to the sale price on the regular varieties, you can also pick up Cascade Complete Phosphate Free All-in-1 Pacs (48 ct.) for $11.02.

Q-Tips: If you missed this deal last time, you can stock up on an 1,875-ct. package of Q-Tips Swabs for $7.90.

Terry & Mandi are a busy mother-daughter team that look for ways to save money without sacrificing a lot of time, and they share their love for all things at Jungle Deals & Steals.

19 Oct 2011   ·   48
Money Saving Mom

Last week’s Azure Standard order

I didn’t get a picture of my Azure Standard order from last week posted on Saturday like I’d planned. Life happened… and the blogging plans went out the window. Oh well!

At any rate, here’s what I got

Azure Standard Order

5 lbs. of Lundberg Short-Grain Rice — $5.75

10 lbs. of organic Unbleached Flour — $11.50

4 lbs. of organic Valencia oranges — $4.50

20 lbs. of organic apples (seconds) — $10

Once again, my friend and I ordered together so that we didn’t have to worry about meeting the $50 minimum required to order for the local drop-off.

I was very pleased with the products I received, though the oranges were not that great, in my opinion. However, I did want to mention that the truck was supposed to come in at 10:30 a.m. and then, the night before, they emailed to say it wasn’t coming until 2 p.m. It didn’t end up coming in until 3 p.m.

My wonderful assistant, Erika, picked up the order for us, so it didn’t completely mess up our homeschool/daily schedule. If I had been trying to pick it up on my own and bringing all three children with me, it would have been quite frustrating to have the time changed the night before and then have to wait for the truck for an extra hour.

Last time around the truck was right on time, so I’m not sure if it being delayed is a common or a rare occurrence, but I wanted to mention it for those of you considering ordering from Azure Standard.

Also pictured is the box of Clif Zbars we got in the mail from Amazon. They were free using Amazon gift cards from Swagbucks.

19 Oct 2011   ·   38
Money Saving Mom

Last night’s Aldi shopping trip

So this Aldi shopping trip wasn’t as exciting as my Dillon’s shopping trip, but I here are the details:

Artisan Lettuce — $1.99 (I’m so happy to see Aldi carrying this and I hope they continue! It makes my salad-eating habit much more affordable!)

2 cans of diced tomatoes — $0.55 each

2 bags of frozen peas — $0.99 each

2 bags of corn chips — $0.99 each

2 bags of baby carrots — $0.99 each

1 bag of tortillas — $0.99

1 bag of chocolate chips — $1.69

2 8-oz. blocks of cheese — $1.99 each

Butter — $2.79

Feta cheese — $1.99

Dried cranberries — $1.39

Milk — $2.93

Total with tax: $26.60

18 Oct 2011   ·   39
Money Saving Mom

Tonight’s Dillon’s Shopping Trip: Spent $0, Saved $58.18!

It’s been awhile since I’ve had a really spectacular coupon-shopping trip. So I was pretty excited about tonight’s trip! Here’s what I bought:

2 boxes of Triscuits — $2.29 each, used $2/1 printable coupons =  $0.29 each

2 Yoplait yogurts — $0.70 each, used $0.30/1 printable coupons (doubled) = $0.10 each

2 Schick Quattro razor packages — $3.50 each, used 2 $5/1 Ladies’ Quattro printable coupon = free plus overage

1 Schick Hydro Men’s razor — $6.29, used $5/1 Hydro printable coupon = $1.29 after coupon

2 Schick Quattro & Men’s Schick Xtreme razor — $3.16 & $3.50 each, used $6/2 printable coupon = $0.66 total for both

1 package Skittles — used free coupon

3 DOLE products — used 3 free coupons that Coupon Pro generously mailed me a few weeks ago

2 Clif LUNA bars — $1 each, used 2 $0.50/1 coupons (doubled) = free after coupons

1 Excedrin — $3.13, used $2/1 coupon (this printed at checkout the last time my husband went shopping) = $1.13 after coupon

Beech-Nut product — used free coupon

Before coupons and sales, my total was $58.18. After coupons and sales + a $5 catalina, the store owed me $0.73. I could have added on a small filler item, but I just decided to let the store have the small overage since I’d gotten overage myself already.

18 Oct 2011   ·   42
Money Saving Mom

Simple Things: Read-alouds, Hasty Pudding, a yummy salad, and a Busy Bag

Just a little peek at some of the simple things from our day today…

Read-alouds and coloring pages (we’re studying Paul Revere in history and The Nutcracker Ballet in music this week)

Making Hasty Pudding for breakfast since we’re learning the words and story behind Yankee Doodle this week. (We all thought it tasted terrible, by the way!)

My yummy salad for lunch (I’ve been making an effort to eat at least one big salad every day since I feel so much better when I do!)

A fun Busy Bag (details and more pictures on this Busy Bag coming tomorrow!)

A bowl of cereal, thanks to some samples we got in the mail from FiberPlus–a big treat around here as I rarely buy cereal anymore.

18 Oct 2011   ·   38
Money Saving Mom

20 reams of paper for $0.02 after Office Max rebate

I love this deal! We did it two years ago when it was available and we didn’t have to worry about buying paper for months. So I jumped on the opportunity to get 20 reams of paper for just $0.02 after OfficeMax rebate.

We ordered the paper online and it already came today! We’ll use the rebate to buy ink. Since we already buy our ink at OfficeMax anyway, we might as well get a lot of free paper, too! 🙂

18 Oct 2011   ·   47
Money Saving Mom

Dressing for the Professional Workplace on a Budget

Guest post by Alice from Farewell Office

When buying my son’s school uniforms, I often lament, “Why can’t I have a uniform, too?” Working in a professional environment can strain the clothing budget, but you can be well-dressed without spending a lot of money. Here are some rules I follow:

1. Buy quality, and quality does not mean expensive.

Buying clothes at discount stores is rarely cheaper in the long term. After repeated washings, a pair of $15.00 slacks will rarely look presentable for more than one season. Instead it is more cost effective to put that $15.00 towards a pair of quality slacks that will last for many seasons.

By shopping sales (especially clearance) and using coupons, a pair of good quality slacks rarely costs much more. Also, do not disqualify garage sales and thrift stores. You would be astonished at the stylish, high-quality clothes people throw out.

2. Buy basic colors and timeless styles.

Stick to neutrals and simple styles. Stay away from skinny or wide leg cuts that will be out of style long before the item wears out.

3. Avoid seasonal fabrics, such as linen, wool and tweed.

Unless you live in a climate that is below freezing or scorching 11 months out of the year, you will get more wear out of season-less fabrics such as polyester/rayon/spandex blends. Also, I rarely buy long-sleeved shirts or sweaters.

One exception is cardigans. You will get more mileage from layering your pieces. For example, you can wear a short-sleeved shirt alone in the summer and then layer it under a cardigans in the winter.

4. Buy separates.

Buy a skirt and blouse instead of a dress. This will create more combination outfits, giving you the appearance of a larger wardrobe.

5. Accessorize with scarves, belts, and jewelry.

This allows you to cheaply change your look.

6. Buy trendy styles and colors at discount stores.

If you only wear it one season, you won’t have wasted much.

7. Get on the mailing list for high-quality retailers.

Many of them send out coupons and paired with sales, high quality items rarely cost more discount store items.

8. Ask stores if they offer additional discounts.

Some stores offer discounts on certain days of the week, and certain retailers offer discounts to certain professions. For example, several stores offer additional discounts to teachers.

9. Learn the mark-down days of your favorite retailers.

Be kind to your salespeople and they will gladly give you inside information like, “We make markdowns on Tuesday.” You then know that, if possible, you want to shop on Wednesday morning for the best selection.

10. Make your clothes last.

Change your clothes when you get home from work and always wash in a high quality detergent. Finally, hang dry your clothes as the dryer’s heat breaks down the fibers prematurely.

Dressing well and professionally on a budget is possible; you simply need to be a savvy and resourceful shopper.

Alice is a wife and mother, who also works full-time outside of the home. Her goal is to do all work “as unto the Lord.” Her blog Farewell, Office chronicles her journey to do all of this on a time-budget.

photo credit