Thursday, January 26, 2012

*HOT* Valentine's Day Classroom Card Deal! $6.00 For 55 Cards Shipped!

WOW! If you are looking for fun, creative and CHEAP Valentine's Day Cards, I have found a great deal!, a site that has high-quality stationary, cards and more is currently running a great promotion. Go here and sign up for a new account and receive $25.00 off your first $30.00 purchase! (Discount is taken off automatically in your cart)

I was able to purchase 55 of the above Valentine's Day Classroom Cards with envelopes for just $6.00 including tax/shipping!

Here's How To Get The Deal:
  • Sign Up For Your New Account.
  • Find the You Rock Cards, personalize and choose to get 55 cards for $31.00.
  • When it shows your order, there is a spot for a promotional code. Enter BEMINE35 to get Free Shipping!

I plan on attaching a package of Pop Rocks to each card! I think the kids are going to love these!

Thanks Hip2Save for help with this deal!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Frugal Friday Post- Saving Money In 2012-Homemade Fabric Softener

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As one of my New Year's Resolutions to be more frugal, I am looking for ways to cut costs on home cleaning products. I have shared recipes for Homemade Laundry Detergent and now it's time for DIY Fabric Softener! I just ran out of the store bought softener, so now I am extremely excited to try this out!

Aside from being a natural softener, vinegar also removes soap residue in the washing machine and reduces static in the dryer. You can add vinegar directly to laundry during the rinse cycle or pour vinegar into the fabric softener dispenser of your washing machine.

You can pre-mix your fabric-softening vinegar by using the following recipe:

Homemade Fabric Softener
*1 gallon white vinegar
*20-30 drops essential oil (Lavender, Orange, Lemon and Peppermint(15 drops as it's stronger) are good choices)

Sweet orange brightens and fights stains, lavender offers a calming effect, and peppermint can help fight tough odors on clothing.
Thanks for the recipe and helpful information!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Shopping This Weekend? Retail Roundup!

Before you head out and do a little shopping this weekend, don't forget to print some coupons to some of your favorite stores!

Old Navy: $10 Off $50 Purchase-Facebook Coupon

Aeropostale: $10 Off Purchase of $50 or More

Kohl's: Extra 15% Off Everything

Bloomingdale's: Extra 15% Off Sale and Clearance Items

Payless Shoes: 20% Off

Thanks to MommySavesBig for help in compiling these coupons.

Frugal Friday Tip- Cut Drying Time With A Dry Towel!

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I'm sure that there are many people like myself that can't afford one of those fancy washer and dryer sets that are on the market nowadays! They say they can steam, cut drying time, iron and probably make a really great quiche in just a few minutes;) Well that would be great...if I could afford it, but I can't!

So thanks to my mom who gave me this tip that she read and tried out on her own! She doesn't have one of those fancy machines either and she swears this works!

*Add a dry towel to a load of wet clothes when you put them in the dryer. It says it cuts drying time which equals money saved on your electricity bill and more time to make that homemade quiche!

Has anyone tried this before? Try it and let me know if it works for you!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

*HOT* Zales Clearance & 10% Off Event + Free Shipping!

Valentine's Day is just around the corner, so this deal comes at just the right time! From now until Jan. 16th, Zales is offering 10% off storewide! This discount includes their already clearanced items! I found this adorable heart pendant for just $21.73 after discounts, tax and free shipping!

Here's how the deal works:

Regular Price-$75.00
Clearance Price-$22.50
Extra 10% Off- $20.25

Want Free Shipping? You can choose the Free Ship To Store option on the page after you add it to your bag when you enter your shipping information!

Gordmans- Extra 50% Off-1/12-1/16

Starting today and running through Monday, Jan. 16th, get an extra 50% off all clearance items at Gordmans! There are sure to be some great deals, so hurry while the selection is best!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Teddy Graham Snack Packs- $.33 at Dillons and Wal-Mart

There was a HOT $2/3 coupon in the 1/8 SmartSource coupon insert this week! It was for several brands including Teddy Grahams and Wheat Thins. The small canisters (3.25 oz) of Teddy Grahams are only $1.00 at Dillons. Use your $2/3 coupon to get them for 33¢ each. It's also been reported that the Teddy Grahams and 4 oz. Wheat Thins at Wal-Mart are the same price.

Buy (3) Teddy Graham 3.25 Canisters or 4.0 oz Wheat Thins- $3.00
Use (1) $2/3 coupon from the 1/8 SmartSource

Final Price: 33¢ each when you buy 3!

This is a great deal and exactly why it pays to buy several copies of the paper. I knew when I saw this coupon it was going to be HOT!

Thanks DealDetectingDiva for the Wal-Mart tip!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Frugal Friday Post- What Can I Freeze In The Freezer?

When I was chosen as a Deal Pro for in 2009, I went to the conference and was surprised that a chef was chosen as a Deal Pro! However, it completely made sense after he gave a presentation on using your freezer as a tool to save money. Don't waste anything, as more than likely you can freeze it and use it for a later time/purpose, saving you money in the long road.
So, I've been talking about several things you can freeze during my coupon classes but wanted to give a more detailed list with some explanations. Feel free to add your two cents about what has worked/not worked for you and add anything to the list that I haven't thought of or heard about!

First let's talk about the most common freezing methods:

Flash Freeze- This works especially well for fruits and cookie doughs in my opinion. First, cut up your fruit and make your cookie dough into balls. Then stick them on a parchment or waxed paper lined cookie sheet and stick in the freezer until firm. Then simply store in Freezer Storage bags.

Freezing food as quickly as possible to as low a temperature as possible leads to smaller ice crystals, less damage to the cell walls of the food when it thaws, and better flavor. Because of this it is better to cut items such as meat into smaller pieces if possible. The smaller the portion the faster it freezes.

Vegetables are a little bit trickier. According to Alton Brown, he suggests blanching your vegetables, like peas, in boiling water for one minute and immediately shocking them in an ice bath for another minute to neutralize the enzymes. Dry them thoroughly, then lay them out in a single layer on a sheet pan and and refrigerate them for an hour before transferring the sheet pan to the freezer.

Just Stick It In The Freezer- Sometimes it depends on how you want to freezer something depending on what it will be used for later. Take bananas for example. I simply throw the entire banana into the freezer because I use these for breads, cakes and smoothies where the consistency doesn't really make a difference. Sometimes this requires to thaw out a little bit ahead of time or stick in the microwave, but it still works great.

So now let's look at my list of foods that you can freeze:
  • Milk- You heard it right. I have been doing this for years. I have done all kinds too and have never had problems. Some people let out a little milk before freezing it, but I never have. Sure the sides pop out a little but that's about it. We go through milk like crazy so I don't need to worry about it expiring, but if you do, just write down the date you put it in the freezer and then write the day you take it out. The amount of time before it expires will remain the same.
  • Cheese- will work better if it's shredded or sliced ahead of time.
  • Fruit- There are some tricks to freezing fruit. Most need to be flash frozen and whether to wash beforehand or after freezing is up for debate. I wouldn't recommend washing blueberries beforehand for sure!
  • Vegetables- I got a great tip one time to store all your spoonfuls of left over vegetables in a freezer bag in your freezer and keep adding to it until you can make a vegetable soup with it!
  • Bread
  • Tortillas
  • Stick Butter
  • Flour, Sugar
  • Cereal
  • Chips
  • Cookies
  • Pies- freeze before you cook
  • Coconut
  • Marshmallows
  • Baked Goods
  • Candy Bars
  • Already Made Pancakes and Waffles
  • Prepared Pizza Dough-Just thaw before preparing
  • Chocolate Chips
  • Cream Cheese
  • Yogurt- We mostly freeze those yogurt tubes. The baby LOVES frozen yogurt when he's teething!
  • Nuts
  • Leftover Spaghetti Sauce, Paste
  • Opened Wine- store in ice cube trays and then transfer to freezer bags. Use in stews, sauces, etc.
  • Eggs- cracked
  • Brown Rice (uncooked)
  • Fresh Herbs- Chop up what is left over, put in ice cube trays covered with water and freeze. Then transfer to bags and use in recipes.
  • Chopped Onion, Peppers
  • Chili
  • Casseroles

Thanks to Shelf Life, Living Well On Less and Simply Organized Living for having some things on your list I hadn't thought of!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Saving Money in 2012- Homemade Laundry Detergent Recipes And Tips

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In a quest to cut my spending, I am going to be looking for creative/homemade/simple ways of saving money. I have been wanting to make my own cleaners for a long time now and I am finally ready to start! It seems like many of my readers are wanting to do the same thing, so I am going to start with Homemade Laundry Detergent.

There are many recipes you can find and after reading through comments, it looks like there are some tips to help you get the best experience. I am going to share a few recipes and tips to help you start. Please add your own recipes and comments to help us out!

Helpful Tips:
  • Washing Soda and Borax can normally be found in the laundry and cleaning aisles.
  • For the bar soaps required in the recipes, you could try Fels-Naptha, Ivory soap, and Zote. Don’t use heavily perfumed soaps. Most say Fels-Naptha get clothes the cleanest!
  • You can make large batches of this at once, or smaller quantities.Grab a few empty liquid laundry detergent bottles! They work great for storing the detergent. Just make a big batch and pour in bottles, cap then use as needed–shake before use.
  • Use some Oxy-Clean powder with heavily soiled loads or pretreat stains if things are really dirty.
  • Don’t be off-put by the consistency. It comes out pretty much like snot. Very goopy!
  • Great for hunters as there is no scent!
  • Make sure and check your lint trap in your dryer. If you use fabric softener sheets they can cause a buildup and basically clog your trap. To check, clean the trap and then put it under your sink faucet. If the water doesn't go through it's clogged. Just clean it with soap and water and check again! Voila!
*Click HERE for a Fels-Naptha store locator if you are having a hard time locating it!

The Duggar's Laundry Soap Recipe
4 Cups - hot tap water
1 Fels-Naptha soap bar
1 Cup - Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda*
½ Cup Borax

- Grate bar of soap and add to saucepan with water. Stir continually over medium-low heat until soap dissolves and is melted.

-Fill a 5 gallon bucket half full of hot tap water. Add melted soap, washing soda and Borax. Stir well until all powder is dissolved. Fill bucket to top with more hot water. Stir, cover and let sit overnight to thicken.

-Stir and fill a used, clean, laundry soap dispenser half full with soap and then fill rest of way with water. Shake before each use. (will gel)

-Optional: You can add 10-15 drops of essential oil per 2 gallons. Add once soap has cooled. Ideas: lavender, rosemary, tea tree oil.

-Yield: Liquid soap recipe makes 10 gallons.

-Top Load Machine- 5/8 Cup per load (Approx. 180 loads)

-Front Load Machines- ¼ Cup per load (Approx. 640 loads)

*Arm & Hammer "Super Washing Soda" - in some stores or may be purchased online here (at Baking Soda will not work, nor will Arm & Hammer Detergent - It must be sodium carbonate!

-Whites don't seem like they get white. They seem dingy.
-I make the powdered version — adding a cup of color safe bleach (Purex or Clorox 2) made a huge difference. The whites are white now!

Simple Homemade Laundry Detergent Recipe

If you’re interested in making your own laundry detergent, my favorite (and the easiest) recipe is for powdered laundry detergent.

  1. Grate 1/2 bar Fels Naptha soap (or you can try other soaps) in a food processor.
  2. Add 1 cup Borax,
  3. 1 cup Washing Soda, and,
  4. 1 cup Baking soda.
  5. Process until mixed.

That’s it. It takes 5 minutes. Use about 2 tablespoons per full load of laundry. You’ll be surprised at how little detergent it takes to get your clothes clean!

Homemade Laundry Soap Ingredients

  • 1 whole bar soap
  • 1 cup washing soda
  • 1/2 cup borax
  • 3 gallons/4 cups warm water
  1. Begin by pouring 4 cups of water into a medium sized pot to boil.
  2. While waiting for your water to boil grate as much soap as you plan to use, this can be done by hand or in a food processor.
  3. Add grated soap to pot and stir until dissolved fully.
  4. Add 3 gallons of warm/hot water to a 5 gallon bucket.
  5. Add your pot of soapy brew to the 5 gallon bucket.
  6. Add 1 cup of washing soda and stir for 2 minutes with a large long handled strong spoon.
  7. Once your washing soda is dissolved and well mixed in, add 1/2 cup of borax and stir for 2-3 minutes to dissolve and mix well.
  8. At this point you can add your fragrance if you so desire. We love good smelling things at our house and so I like to add a little extra yummy smell – this time I chose a sandalwood amber fragrance oil.
  9. Pop the lid on tight and let it sit overnight.

This is where the magic happens. In the morning you will open your bucket to 3 gallons of gelled glop – it will smell great, it will clean your clothes but the consistency will be a little watery and a gloppy – that is perfectly ok.

Use 1/2 cup per load.


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