Friday
Mar082019

Fun, Inexpensive Ways to Relax During a Rainy Day

When it rains, it can be enough to dampen our spirits. There are many ways to keep ourselves entertained, of course, but trying to find a means to keep ourselves engrossed can be just as tiresome. Rather than mope around, it is, however, best to keep yourself entertained.

Rather than seeing continual rain as a problem, try looking at it as an opportunity! Here are some ideas to help you enjoy yourself when the rain looks like it’s never going to stop.

Play games

Games do not have to be super expensive. There are many fantastic games across all platforms that can keep you entertained. If you have a Nintendo Switch, Cattails is an immersive game for cat lovers, whereas if you like stealth games, Thief on the PlayStation has your name written on it. On the PC, put down a bet here and there on the Unibet website. As long as you are mindful, there are ways to purchase games without spending too much money. Head to shops that deal in second-hand and pre-owned games, for instance.

Friends and family

If you’re bored with the weather and missing the chance to socialize, why not invite your friends or family around for a get-together? You could throw a lavish dinner party and try out your cookery skills, or just order in a takeout and watch a movie or a sports event on TV.

Catching up

If you’re stuck indoors, why not take advantage of the situation and catch up with some items on your to-do list? Maybe you’ve been meaning to redecorate the living room and never seem to get around to it, or you’re disappearing under a mountain of clutter that needs sorting out. On the face of it, these may sound more like chores than fun activities, but getting stuck into a project that’s been on your mind can be a great way to spend your time.

Not only will you achieve enormous satisfaction from getting these tasks completed, but you’ll find the process can be relaxing and enjoyable if you pace yourself and take your time. If you don’t have any household projects in mind, how about getting to work on that novel you always wanted to write, creating a website or blog, or starting to research your family history?

Take time for yourself

Let’s be honest; how much time do you spend looking after yourself? Do you make a point of relaxing properly every day, taking exercise, and pampering yourself? Now is the ideal time to try out some meditation techniques, have a go at yoga or Tai Chi, and practice some mindfulness. Positive Psychology Program discuss the benefits here. If you’ve never tried any of these activities, you’ll be amazed at how enjoyable and effective they can be, and there are hundreds of different techniques you can try.

Learning to look after yourself is an essential investment in your wellbeing and future health, so don’t think of it as a waste of time; you’ll gain far more by devoting even a small amount of time to self-care than by rejecting it.

If you don’t mind the wet weather, you can still get out and carry on with life, but everyone needs some time out of the rain. Instead of moping about what you can’t do, optimize your time by using it to achieve some personal goals, improve your wellbeing, and enjoy the company of your loved ones.

Saturday
Feb232019

Free $10 from Ibotta


Sign-up for a $10 cash bonus from Ibotta and earn instant cash rebates on products you’re probably already buying at your store using the free Ibotta App. 

Every week I use Ibotta to save money on my grocery bill. It really adds up!

Last week I got $17.50 cash back from Ibotta for my grocery purchases.

Check it out and let me know how much you get!

Includes gift cards to:

 

Friday
Feb012019

Netflix Valentine Secret Movie Codes

To use this trick, you'll need to be logged into your Netflix account on your PC, rather than your Smart TV or hand-held device. As you browse, you'll notice the URL at the top will look something like this: www.netflix.com/browse/genre/7852.

That little number at the end is the genre code, and you can pull up a lot of different genres just by changing it. 

Thursday
Jan172019

10+ Starbucks Money-Saving Tips and Recipes


Here are some Starbucks money-saving secrets!
  1. Sign up for a Starbucks card and all your customizations (flavor shots, soy substitutions) are free. Register it online, and then pay with your card each time (you can even link it to your bank account so it automatically refills), and you'll get a free drink of any kind for every 10 transactions. If you like to grind your own coffee, you also get a free tall coffee for purchasing a pound of coffee and a free tall drink of your choice for purchasing a two pound bag. And did we mention the free drink on your birthday? 
  2. Plus get free refills on hot or iced brew coffee and tea during the same store visit with a Starbucks reward card!
  3. Instead of pouring out coffee to make room for cream, order a small size but in a bigger cup.
  4. Bring in a coffee sleeve to be reused and get a $0.10 discount. You also get a $0.10 discount for bringing in a mug.
  5. Shop online. They regularly offer sales and deals.
  6. You can get 50 cent refills on coffee as long as you are still in the store.
  7. Check out the secret Starbucks menu.
  8. Make your own Starbucks favorites @ home!

Starbucks Lemon Loaf

Starbucks Vanilla Scone

Starbucks Oat Fudge Bars

Starbucks Banana Bread

Starbucks Passion Tea Lemonade Copycat

Starbucks Copycat Caramel Frappuccino

Starbucks Iced Coffee

Starbucks Valentine Frappuccino

Starbucks Love Bean Frappuccino

Starbucks Pumpkin Pound Cake Recipe

Starbucks Washington Apple Pound Cake Recipe

 

MORE COPYCAT RECIPES

9. Target stores that have Starbucks regularly clearance Starbucks mugs, coffee and more, especially after the holidays.

10. Don't forget to get your puppy a puppachino! It's a small cup of whip cream for a few dollars that your pup will love.

Friday
Jan112019

My Financial Resolutions

It's a fresh new year and this is how I am working on my weekly budget.

Financial New Year's Resolution #1: I resolve to not buy stuff I don't need

I've been there. You are in Target and there is 50% off Valentine's Day items and you see the most adorable heart frame. You have to have it, even though you have a stack of photo frames in your pantry. What do you do? Ask yourself if you are going to use it or give it to someone by the end of the year. If the answer is no, pass on it.

Resolution #2: I resolve to pay cash for my purchases

It's tempting to use credit cards on bargains, but what kind of bargain is it if you wind up paying 15% interest on the "bargain" purchase? To avoid using credit cards, plan your purchases ahead of time or control your spending by buying gift cards or only carrying cash to the store.

Financial New Year's Resolution #3: I resolve to think twice before ordering something online

Online shopping is a huge convenience and a money saver, but it can also be a huge temptation. No need to go out in the snow and ice, boot up your computer and there are tons of deals! One trick I've used is if I'm not 100% sure of a purchase, I leave it in my cart and come back to it later. More often than not, I forget about it and I've saved money.

Financial New Year's Resolution #4: I resolve to limit my stockpiling

If you stockpile and love it (like I do), this can be a hard Financial New Year's Resolution to keep. There are several reasons to limit it though. First, rodents and pests are attracted to packaged food. It can be very easy to buy a product (such as one that is grain-based) that already has the pest living in it and it will infest every package of food you have. There go hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars you've invested in your stockpile.

To avoid this problem, do not stock up on grain type food (such as cereal and flour), or limit it. Once a month, check your stockpile for pests and look at expiration dates to see if items should be thrown out. It's a good idea to rotate your stockpile as well to keep using the items. One way I make sure items are getting used is donating every few months to my church food pantry.

Financial New Year's Resolution #5: I resolve to get my overall finances organized

Whether it is picking up Quicken, organizing bills in a filing cabinet, getting ahold of what bills are due is essential. When bills fall through the cracks, then you lose more money with late fees and interest rate increases.

Financial New Year's Resolution #6: I resolve to not go crazy with coupons

When I first started using coupons, I clipped every coupon. If it was a good coupon week, I bought more than one paper. After a few months of this, it became too much work. I started focusing on only clipping those coupons I was going to use. I also paid attention to the items that were regularly on sale (such as Ragu) and stocked up on coupons for those products.

Financial New Year's Resolution #7: I resolve to keep better track of my rebates

Companies love when customers don't cash in rebates or forget to follow up on them. I've been tracking my rebates and other freebies I receive in Excel. In the spreadsheet I list the date sent, company name, dollar amount, company contact information and when I received the offer. Also, if you are sending away a big rebate (for example over $20), be sure to make photocopies and send it certified mail, return receipt. That way, you have proof they received it if you have to follow up on it.

 

Saturday
Jan052019

10+ Apps To Snag Free Food

1. BK app from Burger King. This app gives you access to a regularly updating collection of exclusive coupons. Past offers have included buy one, get one free Original Chicken sandwiches and a free Whopper Jr. with the purchase of large classic fries. 

2. McDonald's app from McDonald's. With the McDonald's app, you get weekly deals on food and drinks. Past deals have included free medium fries with any purchase, free medium shake or McFlurry with any purchase and buy one, get one free sandwiches. 

3. Baskin-Robbins app from Baskin-Robbins. Downloading the Baskin-Robbins app will earn you a free scoop of ice cream, plus access to coupons and promotions throughout the year. 

4. Auntie Anne's. With the My Pretzel Perks app, you get a free pretzel with your first purchase. After that, you earn points with every order that you can use toward future free pretzels. Using the app, you can also check out new product news and access exclusive offers.

5. Krispy Kreme Rewards app from Krispy Kreme. After downloading the Krispy Kreme Rewards app and registering your account, you can receive a free original glazed doughnut. On your birthday, you'll be treated to a gift. 

6. Sonic app from Sonic. When you create an account on the Sonic app, you receive a free medium slush. You'll continue to receive new rewards every month when you reload your MySonic card. You can also use the app to pay at your stall or in the drive-through, browse nearby Sonic locations, check nutritional info and send digital gift cards.

7. Schlotzky's. Upon downloading this app, you receive a free small Original sandwich. You can use the app to custom order sandwiches in advance and earn $7 off on your seventh visit. You'll also get special bonuses for sharing the app with your friends and on social media.

8. Steak 'n Shake. You can use the Rewards app to order menu items from Steak 'n Shake and pay on the go. You get a free milkshake after you make your first purchase with the app and earn $5 in credit for every $50 you spend.

9. Jamba Juice app from Jamba Juice. When you use the Jamba Juice app to make your first purchase, you can get $2 off. As a Jamba Juice Insider, you'll also get a free smoothie or juice on your birthday. Using the app, you can track your rewards, browse menus and order ahead at participating locations.

10. TCBY app from TCBY. Download the TCBY app, and you'll score a free treat. After your first freebie, you can earn $3 for every $30 you spend and get a $3 reward for referring friends. Using the app, you can look up TCBY locations and review menus, nutrition and allergy info.

11. Marble Slab Creamery and MaggieMoo's. After downloading the Slab Happy Rewards app, you'll be rewarded with a free ice cream. You'll also receive a $5 off coupon for your birthday and earn points every time you make a purchase at either shop. With the app, you can look up menus, order online and find nearby stores.

12. Rita's Ice mobile app from Rita's Italian Ice. The Rita's Ice mobile app essentially functions as a digital rewards card. After you purchase eight treats and present the app on your mobile device, you'll score a free regular Italian ice, frozen custard or gelati. With the app, you also receive news and special offers from Rita's throughout the year.

13. Checkers: Get a mobile coupon from Checkers for a free Big Bufford burger with any purchase. Sign up here 

14:Chili's: Chili’s is offering free chips and salsa or a non-alcoholic beverage every time you visit. All you have to do to redeem this perk is download their app and become a rewards member!

15. Baja Fresh: Baja Fresh will give you a free taco with any purchase after downloading the app and joining Club Baja. This freebie is valid for a Chicken, Carnitas Baja, or Americano Taco.

16. Wendy's: Download the Wendy’s app! The app has offers goodies like free burgers and free chicken tenders with any purchase. 

17. Panera: Download the Panera Bread app! Once you register for the MyPanera rewards program, you automatically get a free pastry. The more you use the app, the more free surprises you’ll get – like a free sandwich or salad.

18. 7-Eleven: Once you download the 7-Eleven app and sign up for their rewards program, you instantly secure a free coffee. 

Friday
Jan042019

Clever Ways to Organize Your Coupons 


SMALL COUPON ORGANIZER

This is one method I use, because it's easier than lugging around a big binder. Here is a nice one from Amazon.

This system is the best one for someone who is new at using coupons or even a casual couponer.  There are no labels on the tabs, so you will want to add your own.  Here are some sample categories you may want to consider.

Health/Beauty
Refrigerated/Frozen
Meat/Produce
Paper Goods
Household
Pets
Snacks
Retail

Add in any additional sections, or remove those that you do not need. The idea is to ensure you can find the coupons you need when you are ready to use them.

 

CLIPLESS COUPON METHOD

Pick up an accordion file and place your weekly inserts into it, grouped by date. This is a popular method because it does not require you to cut out your coupons until you need them.

Add tabs for each month of the year.  Then, clip together multiple inserts from the same date.  Finally, write the date on the cover and file it away!

Then, before you shop, you find the coupon you need and clip it only then and use it.  That way, you save lots of time trying to clip, sort and organize on a weekly basis.

 

 

COUPON BINDER METHOD

This binder is nice - here are the features!

  • Tall and durable plastic dividers - not cheap paper found in other products.
  • Stretchy elastic sides - fit more coupons and easier coupon searching.
  • Front pocket for your shopping list.
  • Sticker labels use categories from extreme coupon blogs. Blank stickers included for you to create your own categories.

Add baseball card sleeves and divider tabs.  The sleeves are where you will place the coupons once they are clipped.

The coupon binder categories: (Free Printable Dividers Here!)

Baby
Bakery 
Baking


Canned/Boxed Items
Beverages
Condiments
Breakfast
Meat/Produce
Dairy /Refrigerated
Frozen


Household (batteries, light bulbs, etc)
Laundry
Cleaning Products (anything but laundry or dishwashing)
Dishwashing
Medicine
Paper/Plastic (includes disposable dinnerware to toilet tissue)
Hair Care
Oral Care
Soap/Body Wash
Shaving/Deodorant
Beauty/Feminine Care
Snacks
Retailer (includes coupons and Catalina’s)

 

Wednesday
Jan022019

10+ Nursery Organization Tips, Printables, More

The Nursery

An infant comes with an overwhelming new wardrobe, but these clever strategies can help you keep his adorable duds corralled:

Wrangle footwear. Why not line them up on a shelf where they can double as decor or pair them in the compartments of an over-the-door organizer? It can serve as a happy home for all those bodysuits and socks too.

Sort accessories. Use a tool that divides your drawers into oodles of sections to make sure socks, headbands, hats, and other itty-bitties stay put.

Print these closet dividers

Decide whether to hang or fold. Go vertical with dresses, three-piece outfits, and collared shirts. If you're tight on closet space, you can mount a tension rod, and voil: You've doubled your hanging area! No closet? An armoire can solve your problem. 

Print these drawer organizers

Group garb by size. Even before baby makes her debut, you'll have heaps of clothing on your hands—and odds are, sizes will be all over the map. To keep track, hang and fold anything ranging from infant-size to 0-3 months. Store the rest of her togs in space-saver vacuum sacks or laundry bags, sorted and labeled by size. Label an empty box with your baby's size, and leave it in the closet so you can toss in clothes as they get too tight. If you plan on expanding your family, whisk the box up to the attic when it's filled; you can keep it on standby for the next baby. Identify a pregnant pal to be the recipient of your tot's too-small clothes as she grows, and pass them off every few months. 


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Toys and Books

Once Baby becomes mobile, he can blanket every inch of your floor with books and toys in a moment. 

Store kids' stuff in adult furniture. If your nursery is tiny (and your playroom is nonexistent), prevent the living room from looking like Plasticville by investing in a stately piece of furniture with lots of drawers. An affordable cube organizer, laid horizontally so it isn't a falling hazard, works. As your stuff grows, you can spring for a second cube and put them side by side. Hide toys in cloth bins, and switch to clear media boxes as your child gets bigger and his toys get smaller. Bins and baskets are better for storing all his great reads too, she says—bookcases have a way of becoming disheveled.

Rotate toys. Have two containers, put one out and leave the other in storage. 

Know when to let go. If your kid is no longer playing with a toy or reading a book, ditch it or donate it.You can recycle toys and fund future purchases through StorkBrokers.com (Like a Craigslist for kids' loot, it matches you with nearby buyers and sellers.)