Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Wagjag Deal: 75% Off Photo Books at Picaboo


This is a really good deal that I took advantage of today.  Get a voucher from Wagjag for a Picaboo photo book for just $10.  I have so many pictures on my computer and one of my new years resolutions it to put them into albums.  At Picaboo they do that for you.  I have used this site before and they help you make beautiful photo albums. 

The regular price of these photo books are around 40 when finished so you would save $30 with this voucher (75% saved!!!) You are allowed to buy 2 vouchers per person.
Click on the link below and get your voucher. 

http://www.wagjag.com/?wid=a610291848f3d684ceb1e435dfc1d662

The sale at Wagjag ends December 30th.

Monday, 12 December 2011

Chocolate Peppermint Marshmallow Sticks

This is one of the easiest and tastiest recipes I have ever done!  I made them the other night and we put one of the sticks in our hot chocolate for a treat and it was deliciously addictive!  This was also very inexpensive to make and would be a great little homemade holiday gift for someone.
Here is my recipe:
  • 3 small marshmallows or 1 large marshmallow per stick
  • milk or dark chocolate melted (amount depends on how many you want to make)
  • candy canes
  • stir sticks, candy sticks or large toothpicks
  1.  Take the marshmallows and put them on the sticks
  2. Melt chocolate in microwave until soft 
  3. Put desired amount of candy canes in a ziplock baggie and break (I used a small hammer)
  4. Dip the marshmallows in the chocolate then roll them in the candy canes
  5. Cool in the fridge for a few minutes
  6. Serve in hot chocolate!

Friday, 9 December 2011

FREE $10 American Apparel Gift Card Today Only!!!


Today only while supplies last over at Fab Find they are offering a $10 American Apparel Gift Card for FREE!!!  All you have to do is click on the link below to get yours.  The link is through the Toronto site but you can use the gift card anywhere in Canada.
Hurry because they are down to just over 4000 left now!
Click here to get your FREE Gift Card!

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Great deals for stocking stuffers this week


There are a few places that are having sales on items that would make great stocking stuffers so I thought I would post a few of my favorite deals! Click on the highlighted areas to take a look at the deals!

Bath and Body Works: is having their Buy 3 get 3 Free sale on both online and in stores
True Cuddles: has 40% off their Kula Klips for mittens which is a great stocking stuffer for kids or parents (expires Dec 11th)
Chapters Indigo Canada: has a $5.00 coupon code when you shop online (coupon code- OLDEC11 at checkout)(expires Dec 31st)
2012 Entertainment Book: is on for $19.99 include Free shipping and has loads of local coupons (expires Dec 18th)
These are just a few of the deals I found that are worth checking out for stocking stuffers let me know if you know of any other great stocking stuffer deals out there!

Monday, 5 December 2011

Giving over the Holidays

Over the weekend I took advantage of Bonus Redemptions days at Shoppers Drug Mart to make my stockpile even bigger for my family.  We are stocked up on everything from laundry detergent and cleaning supplies, to soups, pastas and baby food for a very long time.  As you know I think it is a great ideas to stockpile to save your family money but I also think that you can have too much. 

Couponers often have the stereotype that they "hoard" which is totally not the case.  I buy only what I will use just in mass quantities because in the long run it will save my family money.  I also get things for friends and family and I like to get things that I know I can donate.  We are lucky enough to have a big stockpile and we will be donating lots of those items this year to people in need.

There are many shelters, and programs around the city that could use donations this time of year.  I know you can also sponsor a family in your city. (a lot of work places do this as a whole because it is expensive to do on your own.)  We are planning on donating can goods, toiletries, packaged goods and any non-perishable food items to those in need.  I figure we have so much and are so fortunate that it would be a shame not to give back.

If you have been looking at your stockpile and realize you have a lot, think about donating some items this season to someone who needs it now. You can always coupon to get more when you need it and it's a great gift to someone who is less fortunate!

Happy Shopping and Happy Holidays!

Thursday, 24 November 2011

DIY Monster Tooth Pillow


I was looking online and came across this fun DIY project for a Monster Pillow.  This is such a great idea to make when your child looses his teeth and the toothfairy comes.  Instead of putting their teeth under their pillow, they put it in this monster pillow and the toothfairy will take it and put money in the mouth!  I have heard from many parents that the toothfairy easily wakes kids trying to get a tooth from under their pillow or sometimes doesn't even know it's there.  I think it would be a good idea to add some string to the top and have your kids hang it on their door.  That way the toothfairy won't wake them and she will always know when a tooth is lost!  My kids still aren't old enough to loose their teeth, but I think this is a craft I will be doing in the near future anyways. 

Birthday Freebies

There are so many places that will give you Freebies for your birthday.  Most of them you just have to sign up to their mailing lists and they will send you a coupon either by email or mail and the coupons are good for more than just your birthday!  Here are a few of my favorite Freebies just click on the names to go sign up!

  • Dairy Queen- Sign up for their fan club and you not only get a FREE blizzard for your birthday but you will get 5 others throughout the year as well.
  • Dennys- Sign up and get a FREE Grand Slam breakfast on your birthday.
  • Sephora- Get a FREE gift for your birthday when you sign up for their free rewards card
  • Starbucks- Get a FREE beverage from Starbucks for your birthday when you register for their rewards card
  • Baskin Robbins- Sing up for their email and get a FREE ice cream for your birthday
  • Old Navy- Sign up for Old Navy's emails and get a coupon for your birthday 
  • Boston Pizza- Sign up for their email and get a FREE pasta or dessert
  • Orange Julius- Sign up for their club and get a FREE smoothie or fruit drink
  • Joey's Only- Sign up for their email and get a FREE coupon for your birthday
  • Jack Astors- sign up for their email and get a FREE dessert for your birthday
  • Montanas- Mention your birthday and get a FREE dessert
  • The Keg- Mention it's your birthday and get a FREE dessert
  • Milestones- Sign up and get a FREE birthday coupon
If you know of any other Birthday Freebies let me know!

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Free Schick Hydro Razor


 I love my FREEBIES!  All you have to do is call the number and they will send you your FREE Schick Razor in 6-8 weeks.  It is only 1 per household but they have lots available. You might get a busy signal for the first couple of tries but I got through right away.
Call 1-866-755-9995 to order yours!

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

DIY Christmas gift ideas

I absolutely love getting and making homemade gift for Christmas and since my decorations are up and the tree is trimmed, it's craft time.  Making your own gifts not only is more personal and unique, but it can save a lot of money as well.  Here are a few of my favorites that I have found this year that I might be trying.

For the person with a sweet tooth

For the person who loves to bake

For the person having a baby

For the person who sews

For dad who loves candy


For mom who likes to relax


Friday, 18 November 2011

Free subscription for Lego Magazine!!

  
 FREE 2 Year Subscription!!

I have two little boys and they are going to love this!!!!  A FREE 2 year magazine subscription to Lego!  All you have to do is click on the link and scroll down to the left hand side.  Click on free Magazine subscription and fill out your info and you will get your first magazine after about 6-8weeks. So simple and I love Freebies!!!!!!

http://club1.lego.com/en-US/legomagazine/default.aspx

FREE Leap Frog Tag Book



My oldest son recently turned 2 years old and we bought him a Leap Frog Tag Junior for his birthday with a few books.  I absolutely love this reading system!!!  It allows kids to read books with someone or alone and hear the words.  The easy to grip pen for toddlers is also good for motor skills.  We got it on sale for around $29.00 (reg $39.00) and got the books for half price!  The books are normally $12.00 each but there are sales often and they are worth every penny!  I recently found a link that will give you a FREE tag book!  http://www.leapfrog.com/en/freebook/splash.html
Just follow the steps and you will get a FREE one hopefully in time for Christmas! This is a great Christmas gift if you have a toddler!

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Swagbucks

Swagbucks is an online portal dedicated to helping you earn digital dollars called “ Swag Bucks”. These bucks can be redeemed for things like gift cards, downloads, money through paypal and products in the Swag Store. I have been using Swagbucks for a while now and I am very happy with what I have been earning and how simple it is!  If you want to get some free gift cards and you spend anytime online, read on and find out how you can get started!


 
How do I sign up to start earning?
To sign up for Swagbucks, go to the Swagbucks website and register. You will earn 30 free Swag Bucks just for signing up.
Please note that you are only allowed to have one account per household.

How do I earn Swag Bucks?
There are lots of ways that you can earn Swag Bucks. I it up to you as to how many of these ways you want to try but here are a few.









1. Search The Web
The number one way to earn Swag Bucks is to search the web. Just visit the Swagbucks homepage and every time you search for something using their search engine, you will have the chance to earn  Swag Bucks. You usually earn Swagbucks after a few searches and the searches need to be different everytime. If you search for the same thing over and over you won't get the bucks.

2. Play Games
For people out there that like to play computer games this is a good way to earn Swagbucks.  You can play the games alone or enter into tournaments to earn.

3. Watch Videos
Find something that you like watching, and for every video you watch your Swagbucks meter will fill up.  Once it reaches 100% you will be awarded various amounts of points. Most videos that I watch are less than a minute each so this is a fast way of earning  Swag Bucks when you are the computer anyways!

4. Take Surveys
If you visit the “Trusted Survey” dashboard and you qualify for a survey you will be awarded Swagbucks in various amounts according to the surveys.

5. Complete Time Sensitive Offers
There are quite a few offers that you can complete to earn bonus Swag Bucks, and many of them don’t require payment of any kind.
You can earn quite a few  Swag Bucks  by completing these offers, but be sure to only complete the ones you are sincerely interested in to avoid spam mail.
Check out the offers page to see if there’s anything that interests you.

6. Recycle Products
Swagbucks has a recycling program where you can earn Swag Bucks for handing over your old cell phone, game systems and books.
All you have to do is look up the product that you’d like to trade in, print the pre-paid label and trade-in receipt, stick the package in the mail and collect your Swag Bucks once your item has been received and processed.

7. View No Obligation Special Offers
Visit the “NOSO” page to view special offers with no obligation necessary to earn Swag Bucks. I look up the offers and rarely ever sign up for them and you still earn the points!

8. Answer Polls
There is a new poll every day on the  Swag Bucks website. Every time you vote in the current daily poll, you will earn 1 bonu Swag Buck.
This is such a simple way to earn around 30 Swag Bucks every month. It only takes a few seconds to do and is usually the first thing I do in the morning when I log on to the computer.

9. Referrals
Once you see how easy it is to earn great prizes through Swagbucks, you will want to tell all of your friends so that they can start earning prizes too.
Make sure you get them to sign up under your referral link so that you can earn points for referring them. Swag Bucks will match your referral’s points to your account – up to 1,000 points. This means that if your friend earns 50 Swag Bucks one day, you do too!
Tell your family, tell your friends, tell your neighbours! Swagbucks is a great way to earn prizes and really doesn’t take much effort to earn them.Start earning here at  Swag Bucks.

10. Perform Tasks
When you do small tasks on the Swag Bucks website, you will be rewarded with bonus Swag Bucks.
Small tasks include things such as testing online discounts and promotions, finding biographical information for celebrity actors, finding great things to do in a particular city, etc.

11. Use The Toolbar
Be sure to install the Swag Bucks toolbar on your browser so that you can search for things on the web easily.
You can type all your searches into the toolbar instead of having to click on the homepage to do so.
You are also awarded 1 bonus Swag Buck once a day, simply by using the toolbar.

12. Make A Search Your Homepage
It is as simple as that!

13. Follow Swagbucks on Twitter
Just like Facebook, Swagbucks rewards their Twitter followers will special offers and codes, so be sure to add them to your list.

14. Read The Swagbucks Blog
The blog is always updated with news and offers and is a great place for you to find special promotions.
Occasionally, Swagbucks will pick a random follower and reward them with 1 FREE Swag Buck!
Look for blog posts from “The Swag Guy” (TSG) or “The Swag Girl” (TSGal) to find exclusive Swag Buck opportunities.

15. Follow Swagbucks on Facebook
  Swag Bucks will often post special codes and offers for their Facebook fans, so it’s a good idea to “Like” them on Facebook. Check their page every day or so to see if there are any new promotions or special Swag Codes available.




Swagbucks is one of my favourite “money” making programs to do from home.
For very little effort you can enjoy free gift cards and other prizes for doing something as simple as surfing the web. Start here!!!  
 Swag Bucks.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

My Favorite Rewards Programs for Freebies

For those of you that know me well know I love getting a great deal and I love earning rewards for freebies.  My favorite rewards program and the one that I think you get the most value from is the Shoppers Drug Mart rewards. If you shop at the right times and get the right products you will end up with a ton of free groceries!  Although its my favorite, it's no the only one out there for freebies!  I thought I would take the time to write about some of my favorite programs and how they work for you to get you your best shopping deals.

So lets start with my favorite!  The Shoppers Drug Mart Optimum Card.

The Shoppers Optimum card it free and you automatically collect 10 Shoppers Optimum Points for every dollar you spend including prescriptions.  It does not include items such as stamps, tobacco products, and gift cards that are not theirs and a few other items.  You get 10 points for every dollar you spend.  When yo have enough points, you can redeem them for cash off of your purchases.  The points system goes as follows...

8,000 points = $10 off
22,000 points = $30 off
38,000 points = $60 off
50,000 points = $85 off
95,000 points = $170 off

Most people would be tempted to redeem the points every time you reach the $10.00 mark but in my opinion that would be a waste of your points.  Shoppers Drug Mart often has bonus redemption events where you can redeem your points for more than the usual amounts.

50,000 points = $100 off (instead of the regular $85)
95,000 points = $200 off (instead of the regular $170)

I always wait for these events (they usually happen every couple of months) because you get the best value.  There is also usually a Mega bonus redemption day that will give you even better values.  This bonus redemption tends to happen one time a year close to Christmas.

It may sound like you need to spend a lot of money but you dont... you just have to be a smart shopper!  Here are some tips to get huge points for little money!

1. Buy a Shoppers Drug Mart gift card first.  Since you get points for buying a shoppers drug mart gift card, I buy one for the amount I would be spending in the store before hand and pay with it.  Buy doing his you double the points you will get.  For example, if you spend $50.00 you would get 500 points, but if you buy a $50.00 gift card first you get 500 points for the gift card and then another 500 points for spending the gift card worth $50.00 for a total of 1000 points!

2. Shop on bonus points days.  at least once a month Shoppers drug mart usually has bonus point days often 20x points.  They also have 10x and 15x points events or "spend $50 get 10,000 points".  If you wait to shop of those days, you will rack up the points pretty fast!

3. Sign up for the Shoppers Optimum credit card and use it for your purchases.  There is no annual fee and instead of earning 10 points for every dollar you spend you will earn 25 points for every dollar in purchases.  Also after your first purchase with the card you will earn 15,000 bonus points just for using it!



4. Use bonus points coupons or buy bonus points products.  If you sign up for the shoppers drug mart email newsletter or if you check their website weekly there are bonus points coupons that are available to print off.  These coupons require to to buy certain products or spend certain amounts and can be paired with regular coupons.  These coupons can be worth anywhere between 500 bonus points to 10,000 bonus points!  They also feature products in store that don't need a coupon and when you buy them you will get a specific number of bonus points. 
Click here to sign up!

Airmiles


AIR MILES reward miles can be collected from all types of companies across Canada, and there are lots of rewards to choose from.  You can earn everything from small household items to free flights!   Click here to see the rewards catalog!  To earn Airmiles, you need to swipe your airmiles card at participating sponsor stores and depending on their policy you will earn points towards free  items from the rewards catalog.  

To optimize your rewards, use a airmiles credit card by getting airmiles points for your purchases as well as using your credit card.(depending on the card there could be a yearly fee) If you sign up to their newsletter, they will send you bonus airmiles coupons and booklets either through email or in the mail.  To find a list of participating sponsor stores check out this link! For a list of all Participating Sponsors.




HBC Rewards




This is also a great program because you can use the HBC card at multiple stores.  You can use it at The Bay, Zellers and Home Outfitters for all of your purchases including buying gift cards.  You will earn 50 Hbc rewards points for every dollar you spend at one of the stores listed above.

Just like many other programs, sign up for their newsletter and receive bonus point coupons.  You can redeem your bonus points for various household items, gift cards and you can even have them converted into Airmiles!  Plus, you earn an additional 50 Hbc Rewards points when you use your Hbc Rewards Card  with your Hbc mastercard. With the  Hbc MasterCard, you can earn Hbc Rewards points everywhere else you shop.

Click here to see the rewards catalog!
Click here to sign up!

Sobeys Club Card
If you shop at Sobeys you will earn 1 point per whole dollar spent there using your Club Sobeys card.  There are no fees and you can redeem your points for money towards your purchases. I like shopping at Sobeys personally because they have pretty good prices and they have a great coupon policy that they have recently updated to compete with larger stores!
Click here to see the rewards catalog!

There are some many cards out there that you can earn points, products or money with these are just a few of my favorites.  What are some of your favorites?

Friday, 4 November 2011

The Holidays


Don't Lose Sleep Over Christmas Stress

On account of all the snow we were getting in Calgary today it got me thinking about Christmas (those of you who know me know thats a lie and I have been thinking about Christmas since the end of summer! lol)  It is my favorite time of year for so many reasons... the decorations, the music, the presents, the crafts, the baking, the feeling, families together, the sledding, the snowmen, the lights, the wrapping, the xmas movies and every other thing that is associated with Christmas! Christmas can also be a time for big budget breaking expenses, time and money for parties, and stress in general. I plan on writing a few blog inserts on how you can become organized for the holiday season and enjoy it more!  Check back often under the holidays tab for ideas on budget savers, DIY gift ideas, Christmas time recommendations, and easy decorating ideas for your home!

Thursday, 3 November 2011

How Menu Planning Can Save You Money

The Basics of Menu Planning
a Step by Step Guide
Some people may think that menu planning only requires writing down what you want to eat for that week but to get the most value out of it, you need to do much more than that!  It doesn't take that much time (maybe 30-60mins a week) but it will save you lots of money on the long run.  I know how hard it can be to work a long day and then come home and have to make dinner for the whole family.  There have been days that I am just too tired to make anything and we order out.  Or maybe you don't have the time or energy to bring your lunch to work so you grab some fast food instead. This not only makes your monthly expenses bigger, but your waistline as well. Making a menu plan will avoid days like these. This isn't to say we never order in or go out, we just try to plan those days in our budget. 

Step 1- Take a look at your "Stockpile Store"  This is one of the benefits of having a stockpile.  Check out what you have and what your family might like that week.  We have a few staples that we almost always have every week for a meal.  Pasta or make your own pizzas are a couple of them.  I always make sure to have enough pasta and sauce and frozen shredded cheese on hand.

Step 2- Check out your sales fliers for what is on sale that week.  Know how to read your fliers because the cheapest items are usually on the front page. These items are referred to as “loss-leaders” which basically means that these items are priced the absolute lowest prices the store can go for the week.  Try to use some of those items in your menu planing to get the best bang for your buck. Make sure to check all of your fliers to get the best deals as well. Just because one place has something on sale doesn't make it the lowest prices overall.  Make sure to either shop at a few stores or price match your items. Also check fliers for weekly/monthly deals such as 10%Tuesdays or Seniors Day discounts for those of you that are older.  Shopping on those days will help your dollar stretch even further.

Step 3-  Go through your coupons  to see if any of your coupons match up with the products in the fliers. It is the best way to get the most value from your coupons and you can often get products for FREE or at very low prices.

Step 4- Start planning your menu according to the previous steps.  Breakfast is usually easy in our house. (oatmeal, cereal, pancakes, fruit shakes) Breakfast is usually easy meals on the go.  Lunch is also usually pretty easy.  We are big on soups, sandwiches, fruit and salads and we love leftovers.  Dinners are harder.  Since I stockpile freezer items I often take something from there if I need to fill a night.  Since we buy items that are on sale, we get to try new recipes all the time.  If I need help with some ideas I refer to my recipe book or do searches online.  

We don't always stick to our menu plan everyday but just having one to follow saves us money.  It make take some extra time when you first start but once you get the hang of it it is really quite easy!



Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Stockpiling


Stockpiling 101

Stockpiling is the number one way to save money on your monthly grocery bills.  You stock up on items that are on sale (and preferably use coupons as well) so that you will have item readily available when you need them.  Not only is this convenient but it will help you to avoid ever paying full price again!

What are the benefits of Stockpiling items?
 
1. Saving Money- The number one reason to build a stockpile in your home is to save money. Stock up on an item when it is on sale instead of purchasing it when you need it for full price. It may not seen like a lot at the time but it all adds up especially if you were pairing your sale items with coupons.

2. Saving Time- I use to hate it when I was baking or cooking a recipe and realized I was missing  one or two ingredients! You either have to stop what you are doing and run to the store or you can't make the recipe.  Nowadays it takes me no time to run downstairs to our "store" in the basement and grab the item from our stockpile.  I really appreciate my stockpile on cold winter days when I look in the fridge and realize we are low on groceries.  I either check out the stockpile in the basement or my deep freezer. It's also great on cleaning days if I run out of cleaning products I can grab some from my stockpile.

3. Save others Money- When I pair my coupons with sale prices in flyers I often get items for next to nothing or FREE.  When this happens I set aside products to give away to family and friends.  I am also building a donation stockpile of items that I know different shelters and soup kitchens would be able to use.  This is a great way to give back to your community.

4. Save your Budget- There are certain months of the year that are harder on your wallet than others. December is particularly hard on the wallet because of gifts, parties, treats, and decorations.  Months like this are reasons I like being able to only buy the basics and rely on my stockpile for the rest.  I will often do weekly menu plans according to what we have in our stockpile to save money on our groceries.
How should my family stockpile?
There are a couple of questions you need to ask yourself before you start a stockpile in you home.
Do I have the space? - To build a stockpile you need to have an area to do it in.  Maybe it's in a spare room in the basement like us or maybe you have room under the stairs. Depending on where you live and the climate, the garage isn't always the best place to store items because of the cold winters and hot summers in Canada.
How much should I stockpile?- Depending on the size of your family and it's needs the answer could be different for everyone.  With my family of 4, we have 6-12 months worth of stockpile at any given time depending on the products.  Don't go overboard and stock up up too much because you don't want item to expire.  Only stock up on what you will use for that given amount of time.  Figure out how long it takes you to go through products and stock accordingly.

How much should I spend on Stockpiling?- Stockpiling can be expensive if you want to stockpile absolutely every sale.  I would suggest starting off slow and adding around $10-$20 onto your budget for stockpiling each week. It takes time to build a stockpile and waiting for the right sales is the key.  Don't blow you monthly budget just because something is a good deal because that would defeat the purpose of saving money.

How should I store my stockpile?- My personal favorite is shelving units and stackable Rubbermaid containers. As you know I like to have everything organized and having anything stackable is organized.  As you can see from my picture above, I have items stacked to the roof!  That picture is just one area of my stockpile.  I try to keep items stock all over the house in the proper rooms for convenience and the basement is the overflow.  

My family has already witnessed the benefits and savings from stockpile while I have been on maternity leave.  It has cut our budget by about 30% already!  I would suggest stockpiling to anyone that would like to save money!




Monday, 31 October 2011

Fun DIY




Turn any surface into a Magnetic Chalkboard

I recently turned a bare wall in our living room into a magnetic chalkboard.  The wall is an odd shape as it is the side to our staircase and we hadn't figured out what to do with it in the 3 years we have been in our house.  I am always looking for activities for my kids to do and my oldest son Hunter (2yrs old) has taken an interest in colouring lately.  (Sorry I didn't have the pictures for each step)

Step1-  Wash the walls surface area where you want to paint
Step 2- Apply the magnetic paint to the wall and let dry over night (repeat the next day for the second coat)
Step 3- Apply the chalkboard paint over the magnetic paint and let dry over night (repeat the next day for the second coat)
Step 4- Put up a border around the chalkboard area (you don't have to do this but I like the way it looks.  If you don't want a border I suggest you tape off the area before you paint for a cleaner look)
Step 5- Put up magnets and write on it with chalk!

I also like to use the chalkboard paint on containers to label thing in my kitchen!  You can use either paint anywhere in your house.... it's not just for kids!

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Shoppers Drugmart Deals for Bonus Redemption


I headed out to Shoppers Drug Mart early this morning before the boys woke up to take advantage of the Bonus Redemption Days I had posted about earlier.  I had no issues using any of my coupons and made off with some really good deals. Check out some my the deals I got!


6x Boxes of baby food on SALE @ $3.33 each= $19.98 (Saved =$7.36)
3x Unsalted Butter on SALE @ 2.99 each= $8.97 (Saved= $1.48)
4x Lays Chips on SALE @ $1.99 each= $7.96 (Saved=$4.00)
3x Kraft Peanut Butter on SALE @ $2.49 each=$7.47 (Saved=$3.00)
4x Life Brand Kleenex on SALE @ $0.59 each= $2.36 (Saved=$1.60)
2x Scott Paper Towels on SALE @ $4.99 each= $9.98 -2x $2.00 coupons=$5.98 (Saved=$8.98)
3x Cascade Action Pacs on SALE @ $4.99 each=$14.97 -3x $1.50 coupons=$10.47 (Saved=$11.00)
1x Mr Noodles Case on SALE @ $2.99 each= $2.99 (saved =aprox $2.50)
8x Nature Valley bars on SALE @ $1.99 each=$15.92 -8x$1.00 coupons= $7.92 (Saved=$19.92)
2x Catelli Pasta on SALE @ $2.00 each=$4.00 -1x$1.00 coupon= $3.00 (Saved= 4.00)
1x Milk @ $5.49
2x Chow Mein @$1.59 each=$3.18
4x Cheese @$7.99 each=$31.96

Tax @ $2.36

Total = $119.67 - $100.00 Bonus Redemption =$19.67

Total Paid = $19.67
Total Saved = $163.04!!!!!!!!!!!

I also got a coupon for a free Oasis juice on each of the Nature Valley Bar boxes (worth about $16.00 total) and I got bonus points for the Scott paper towels.

SDM  regular points for visit= 310
SDM bnus product points for visit=2000 (paper towelsx 1000 points each)
SDM points earn on the $19.67 purchase was  2310 (that is the equivalent of me spending $230.00!!)

Friday, 28 October 2011

Saving money at Halloween



Happy Halloween!



Halloween is such a fun time of year but between decorations, costumes, candy, chocolate, parties, games and lots of other things the Halloween bills can add up! Here are some fun frugal tips to save you money at Halloween!

Costumes:

1. Buy used- Go to second hand stores to buy you costumes for around 60% off the new sale prices
2. Borrow- Borrow Halloween costumes for yourself and your kids from friends
3. Reuse- reuse old costumes or make them into new ones. eg. use the cape from your dracula costume to make a witch or superhero one.
4. Sell- sell your old costumes online or at secondhand stores

Decorations:

1. Make your own- There are some very simple decorations the you and your kids can make together if you search online.
2. Reuse- Reuse your old decorations
3. Dollar store- The dollar stores have some excellent decorations to buy for just a fraction of the price.  

Parties:

1. Use generic- use generic white paper plates and cups and add some colour by using coloured napkins
2. Limit the number of people- If it's for kids only allow a few friends to be invited
3. Potluck-   There is no reason why you can't ask your guests to bring something small especially when most people nowadays ask "can I bring something?" Food and drinks can be expensive so having some people bring items will help with the cost
4. Decorations- Use the tips from the decoration ideas above
5. Party favors- most people don't expect party favors now and if it's a kids party, have them do a craft and they can bring it home as a party favor
6. Ask for help- Ask each couple to do a game for the party
7. Homemade- Don't buy expensive Halloween cookies shaped like pumpkins and ghosts make you own!

Food:

1. Buy late- The closer it gets to Halloween the cheaper the candy gets at the stores because they want to get rid of their stock
2. Buy chocolate- You can freeze chocolate bars so if you have leftovers you can freeze and use as stocking stuffers for Christmas 
3. Buy the right amount- I know it's tempting to buy large quantities of candy but only buy what you will need. You will save money and your waistline!
4. Buy seasonal- Pumpkins, squash are great buys this time of year and are great to use in soups and pies.  Buy the seasonal fruits and veggies for your dinners
5. Give back- Some local malls and stores will buy back your Halloween treats for money and gift cards or better yet donate it to local shelters and soup kitchens
6. Homemade- Don't buy expensive Halloween cookies shaped like pumpkins and ghosts make you own!

Above all the best thing to do is be organized and start early.  Nowadays they have Halloween products out at the end of August and the earlier you start to look the better chance you will have getting the great deals! 
 Have a Safe and Happy Halloween!

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Homemade Playdough


Homemade Playdough


I am always looking for ways to help my kids create, have fun and learn all at the same time.  A fun inexpensive activity to do inside the house is make your own playdough!  I have a few different recipes that I have used in my classroom and I have recently been trying them at home with my oldest son. Here are some of my favorite homemade playdough recipes! 
* for an added aroma touch add some vanilla extract and add food colouring to customize your shades!

1.Close to the real stuff playdough

Ingredients:
1 cup flour
1 cup water
1 tablespoon oil
1/2 cup salt
any colour of food colouring
  • Mix all dry ingredients together
  • Add the oil and water
  • Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until reaching the consistency of mashed potatoes. 
  • Remove from heat  and food coloring
  • Divide into balls and work in color by kneading the playdough

2. No Cook/No Fuss Playdough Recipe

Ingredients:
1 cup of flour
1 cup of boiling water
2 tablespoons of cream of tartar
a half cup of salt
1 tablespoon of oil


  • Simply mix all the ingredients together. Be careful as it can be quite hot!
  • Divide into balls and work in color by kneading the playdough

3. Nutty Butter Playdough

*This is not a recipe for anyone with Nut Allergies

Ingredients:
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup powdered milk
1 cup honey
1 cup oatmeal

  • Mix together and play 

4. Rubbery Playdough

Ingredients:
2 cups baking soda
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup cornstarch

  • Mix with a fork until smooth. 
  • Boil over medium heat until thick. 
  • Spoon onto plate or wax paper.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Shopper's Drug Mart Bonus Redemption Weekend



I am so excited the this weekend Oct 29 and 30th is Shoppers Drug Mart Bonus Redemption Weekend again!  It's not often that they hold 2 so close together!

50,000 points = $100 off your bill (an extra $15)
95,000 points = $200 off your bill (an extra $25)


Make sure you match up your coupons to the deals to get the biggest bang for your buck!

Check out a Shoppers Drug Mart near you for the deals!

Monday, 24 October 2011

My Evolving Blog

I have been getting such encouraging responses to my blog posts that I wanted to post a thank you to my friends and family.  Blogging takes a lot of time and organization and I truly appreciate every person that stops by to read what I have written!  Although the bulk of what I have written so far is about couponing, this blog is much more than that.  It is about ways to organize your home, finances and crafty ideas to save money for your family. I will be adding recipes and fun things for the kids as well!

My oldest (almost 2yrs old now) is starting to love to colour and paint and do crafts and having a background as a teacher, I have lots of fun projects that are inexpensive and fun for kids to do so I will soon be posting some of those ideas.

If there is anything you would like to see on here please feel free to send me an email and let me know I would love your suggestions!

Thanks everyone!
 Krista

Friday, 21 October 2011

Organizing your home

Project #1 Organize toys in living room


Since I have 2 kids under two years old it is important to be well organized.  Toys were never a huge issue before because we had mostly baby toys and we would bring them out when needed.  Now that my oldest son is turning 2 in November, toys have exploded all over my living room, the basement, the bedroom and even in the bathroom!  Toys and parts of toys are getting lost, puzzle pieces are misplaced and we have lego in just about every inch of our house! I have shelving units for some of them but I have decided to undergo the task of organizing the lot of them.  I also want to tech my oldest son Hunter that each toy has a place and the importance of cleaning up.  Over then next couple of weeks I will take pictures of just how I will accomplish this with "before and after".  If you have some of the same issue hopefully this will help you as well!

Step1- Gather all of the toys in the living room and put into groups.

How can coupons save me money?


1. Using coupons at the optimal times to get lowest prices or FREE
The trick to couponing is using your coupons at the optimal times to get the best value you can.  A mistake many new couponers do is using your coupons when you get them instead of waiting for the item to go on sale unless you need the product anyways.  When you use a coupon with an item that is on sale you get your best value.  for example.  Laundry detergent is on sale for $5.99 (usually $7.99) and you have a coupon for $3.00 off.  You will get the detergent for $2.99 vs $7.99 you would normally pay.  Thats a savings of $5.00 just by using your coupon at the right time!! This is also the way to get items for FREE.

2. Mail In Rebates
I often buy products that have a promotion on for a mail in rebate.  You buy the item upfront and then send in the mail in rebate form with you address and receipt and they company will send you a rebate often time it will be the full amount of the item including the tax! A way to optimize you savings this way is to use a coupon at the same time.  If a product is $10.99 and you have a coupon for $5.00, you pay $4.99.  Send in the mail in rebate and since coupons are treated like cash the company will send you the full amount of $10.99.  Not only will you get the product for FREE you are basically making money on that item!  Just look online for mail in rebates and print off the forms.

3. Weekly Flyers
Every week I wait like a kid at Christmas time for my weekly flyers!  I can't believe I actually use to throw them away!  Now as soon as I get them I start going through them and circling the deals.  If you use your flyers properly you can save a lot of money.  You can use them to price match items from different store to get the lowest price without going to a bunch of stores.  You can also match the items in the flyer to your coupons to have the best saving deals.  Some of the weekly flyer also have coupons right on the for their stores. I do this process when buying groceries, clothing, toys and household items.

Coupons


Why do people use coupons?

In my family of 4 plus 2 dogs, couponing is a way of life for us. Coupons are a way for to save money on products that you would already need and use.  I have saved hundreds of dollars off of my monthly grocery bills from couponing with not a lot of effort.  Shopping smart, being organized and using coupons will save your family money with little time and effort.

Where can I find coupons?

1. The most frequent place I find coupons is online Coupon Websites.  There are many free Canadian website out there that will send you coupons in the mail. Here are a few of my favorites that are reliable and have great coupons.
Websaver
P&G Brandsaver
gocoupons
Save.ca

2. Tearpads
In most groceries and drugstores you will find tear pads in almost every isle.  You may be tempted to grab the whole pad of them but good coupon etiquette is that you only take as many as you will need. I usually take about 5 because if it's something I really like I know I will use them.

3. Offers on Products
There are a lot of products that offer free coupons on the packaging.  A common one is cereal boxes.  Because companies makes multiple types of products, they often promote other products they sell on packaging.  Make sure to look in and on products you buy for special coupons.

4. Printable coupons
Many companies offer printable coupons online.  Sometimes you may need to sign up for the company's newsletter to get special coupons and promotions.  Another place to print coupons off of is websites like Smartcanucks . They have a list with the proper expiry dates listed.

5. Coupon Inserts
Every few weeks, you can find coupon inserts in your local newspaper. You can find Redplum every 4 weeks or so, Smart Source every 3 weeks or so and Brandsaver every 3-4 months.For those of you like me who like to save money by reading the paper online, I only buy the paper when I know these inserts will be in them.  I also ask friends and family who get the pare to hold onto them for me.

6. Coupon Trading: This is a great way to get coupons that have interest to you and get rid of ones that you don't need.  It is very popular in Canada and there are many website that offer it such as Smartcanucks If you want to start small you can trade with friends and family.

7. Contact the Companies
A few times a year I contact my favorite companies directly either through email or calling them and let them know that I enjoy their products and would send me coupons for their products.  Try not to do it too often usually 4 times a year works.  Even if they say no it doesn't take much time to ask and I have found that the coupons that they send directly are much better than any promotion. I have often got coupons for a FREE product!

8. Coupon Trains
Once you start couponing often, coupon trains are a great way to get coupons.  Coupon trains are not for the beginners though as they can be a bit complicated.  They are many websites out there that offer coupon trains. Make a post saying you would like to join a train. The person starting the train (conductor) will message you to get your address. They will send out an envelope with coupons and you basically take which ones you want but you need to replace them with ones of similar values that you won't need.  Each coupon train has it's own rules so you will need to join at the start of a train and get the guidelines for that train in the forum.

Good Luck and Happy Couponing!

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Swagbucks

is an online portal dedicated to helping you earn digital dollars called “ Swag Bucks”. These bucks can be redeemed for things like gift cards, downloads and products in the Swag Store.
 
How do I sign up to start earning?
To sign up for Swagbucks, go to the Swagbucks website and register. You will earn 30 free Swag Bucks just for signing up.
Please note that you are only allowed to have one account per household.

How do I earn Swag Bucks?
There are lots of ways that you can earn Swag Bucks. I it up to you as to how many of these ways you want to try but here are a few.



1. Search The Web
The number one way to earn Swag Bucks is to search the web. Just visit the Swagbucks homepage and every time you search for something using their search engine, you will have the chance to earn  Swag Bucks. You usually earn Swagbucks after a few searches and the searches need to be different everytime. If you search for the same thing over and over you won't get the bucks.

2. Play Games
For people out there that like to play computer games this is a good way to earn Swagbucks.  You can play the games alone or enter into tournaments to earn.

3. Watch Videos
Find something that you like watching, and for every video you watch your Swagbucks meter will fill up.  Once it reaches 100% you will be awarded various amounts of points. Most videos that I watch are less than a minute each so this is a fast way of earning  Swag Bucks when you are the computer anyways!

4. Take Surveys
If you visit the “Trusted Survey” dashboard and you qualify for a survey you will be awarded Swagbucks in various amounts according to the surveys.

5. Complete Time Sensitive Offers
There are quite a few offers that you can complete to earn bonus Swag Bucks, and many of them don’t require payment of any kind.
You can earn quite a few  Swag Bucks  by completing these offers, but be sure to only complete the ones you are sincerely interested in to avoid spam mail.
Check out the offers page to see if there’s anything that interests you.

6. Recycle Products
Swagbucks has a recycling program where you can earn Swag Bucks for handing over your old cell phone, game systems and books.
All you have to do is look up the product that you’d like to trade in, print the pre-paid label and trade-in receipt, stick the package in the mail and collect your Swag Bucks once your item has been received and processed.

7. View No Obligation Special Offers
Visit the “NOSO” page to view special offers with no obligation necessary to earn Swag Bucks. I look up the offers and rarely ever sign up for them and you still earn the points!

8. Answer Polls
There is a new poll every day on the  Swag Bucks website. Every time you vote in the current daily poll, you will earn 1 bonu Swag Buck.
This is such a simple way to earn around 30 Swag Bucks every month. It only takes a few seconds to do and is usually the first thing I do in the morning when I log on to the computer.

9. Referrals
Once you see how easy it is to earn great prizes through Swagbucks, you will want to tell all of your friends so that they can start earning prizes too.
Make sure you get them to sign up under your referral link so that you can earn points for referring them. Swag Bucks will match your referral’s points to your account – up to 1,000 points. This means that if your friend earns 50 Swag Bucks one day, you do too!
Tell your family, tell your friends, tell your neighbours! Swagbucks is a great way to earn prizes and really doesn’t take much effort to earn them.Start earning here at  Swag Bucks.

10. Perform Tasks
When you do small tasks on the Swag Bucks website, you will be rewarded with bonus Swag Bucks.
Small tasks include things such as testing online discounts and promotions, finding biographical information for celebrity actors, finding great things to do in a particular city, etc.

11. Use The Toolbar
Be sure to install the Swag Bucks toolbar on your browser so that you can search for things on the web easily.
You can type all your searches into the toolbar instead of having to click on the homepage to do so.
You are also awarded 1 bonus Swag Buck once a day, simply by using the toolbar.

12. Make A Search Your Homepage
It is as simple as that!

13. Follow Swagbucks on Twitter
Just like Facebook, Swagbucks rewards their Twitter followers will special offers and codes, so be sure to add them to your list.

14. Read The Swagbucks Blog
The blog is always updated with news and offers and is a great place for you to find special promotions.
Occasionally, Swagbucks will pick a random follower and reward them with 1 FREE Swag Buck!
Look for blog posts from “The Swag Guy” (TSG) or “The Swag Girl” (TSGal) to find exclusive Swag Buck opportunities.

15. Follow Swagbucks on Facebook
  Swag Bucks will often post special codes and offers for their Facebook fans, so it’s a good idea to “Like” them on Facebook. Check their page every day or so to see if there are any new promotions or special Swag Codes available.
Swagbucks is one of my favourite “money” making programs to do from home.
For very little effort you can enjoy free gift cards and other prizes for doing something as simple as surfing the web. Start here!!!  
 Swag Bucks.

The start of my new blog!

I have been following a number of Blogs about organizing and living a frugal lifestyle for a while now and have had to look at numerous ones a day to find all I needed.  I decided to write my own and put all of the ideas in the same place.

I am a mother of 2 small children and I am always looking for ways to organize my life whether it be  in the literal terms of organizing different spaces in my house, or organizing our family finances and finding better ways to save money.  As I started looking I found so many ways to organize and save money doing it by using coupons or other ways.  This is not only a positive thing to do for my family but I also have a passion for it!

Many people have asked me questions on couponing, crafty ideas, finances, and organization so this is my way of letting everyone who wants to know how to do it all and how easy these things are.