Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Mini Social-$10 FREE

Someone just pointed out this fun website with items for mom, baby and child. It's called The Mini Social.
Adorable tights in just about every color you can imagine! A selection of Melissa & Doug toys and beautiful jewelry. They've got some cute stuff!

Right now you can get $10 off your first order when you use the coupon code NEWYEAR10.

Hurry on over and see what you can find! There are many items for $10 and under. Plus, they have a referral program where you can get $10 in store credit when your friends place their first order. So join today!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A Green and Cheap Birthday

I wanted to post about how to have a wonderful birthday celebration without breaking the bank. A lot of these ideas are also better for the environment because they include used and homemade items.

Kelsey will turn 6 in a month. I've already got her birthday (almost) done.

In our house we only have "friend" bday parties on the even bdays. This cuts down on cost AND how much crap my kids have!!! Of course, another way to do this is to post "no gifts please" on the invites, but most little children LOVE to bring a gift. I also limit how many children they can invite. I find that inviting about 6 kids will give us around 4 in turn out.

GIFTS for dd
16" Bike ($10 from Goodwill)
2 Color Wonder Sets (2/$10 from Walmart Black Friday)
Wooden Doll Highchair (traded at Once Upon A Child-value $5.50)
Gymboree terrycloth swim cover (traded at OUAC-value $6.50)

This gives me a total oop of $20. However, since I sold dd's outgrown bike on Craigslist for $15 it brings my oop to $5!!! We do need to possibly replace a tube in one of the tires of her "new-to-her" bike.

You will notice that the only new items she is getting are the Crayola sets. My kids have been getting used things for gifts all their lives, so this is not an issue for them. I highly recommend not making a big deal out of used vs. new or putting more value on new in front of your children. It is learned behavior to prefer new.

For the party:
Cake mixes are CHEAP! I get them year round for about $0.50 a box. I can get tubs of frosting for just as cheap. I bought the nice jars of food coloring paste at Michaels years ago with a coupon for about $10. I need to replace them, but they lasted over 10 years. It's a great deal and they make beautiful colors!

Activities: This varies greatly by age and number of children at the party. We usually do a little game and craft. I find that an hour and a half is a good amount of time for a party. Longer tends to make for bored children who rome the house looking for things to get into. This is long enough for a game, craft, food and presents.

Party favors are sometimes hard. This year I found a great deal at Lillian Vernon. I bought two packages of 4 little purses with bead necklaces. It was less than $1 per purse/necklace combo! They are cute and come in a variety of colors. I bought them with my Christmas purchases to get free shipping.

Some other fun party favor ideas are: homemade play dough, gak, silly putty, treats/candy, craft projects, stickers
At the Dollar Tree you can find some fun little things, too. The plastic whirly flyer things are fun-its just a propeler with a stick. Bubbles, puzzles, capsules that grow in water, etc.

Salem will be 3 on his next birthday.
His gifts will be a toddler scooter and a helmet. My mom will buy the helmet new and I have already started looking for a used scooter. I'm hoping to pay no more than $10-15.
I also found him a nice wooden rocking horse for $18 on CL, but I already gave it to him. He was turning all our furniture into "horsies" and so I couldn't wait!!!

I'd love to hear your ideas for keeping gifts inexpensive and under control.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Random Thrifty Thoughts & Cheap Family Night

Tonight my family went out together to hang out. We had $11.75 left on a gift card that had started to lose money that we needed to spend.

So we went to Whole Foods to spend it because that is where we determined we could get the biggest bang for our buck.

We got:

*3 Free kid club HUGE bakery cookies
*some bulk cinnamon sticks 1oz $0.40
*new lid/cap for my SIGG bottle $2.49--got charges $3.99!!!
*Annies Bunnie Cereal ($1 coupon) $2
*Organic Ice Cream 1.5 qt $5.99

Okay, so I'm kinda ticked that our night would have been FREE if they hadn't overcharged me. I was too busy playing with my kids to notice.

Anyway, while I was there I looked at the Vanilla Beans to see if they sold them in bulk. HAHAHA! No.
Whole Foods brand sells ONE bean in a GLASS JAR the size of a regular spice jar. It cost $4.xx!!! Or Frontier sells 2 beans in a tube for $11.99!!!

No thank you!

When I got home I looked at Amazon thinking about my Swagbucks. I have been able to "purchase" some Amazon Gift Cards with my Swagbucks.

The best deal on vanilla beans is 1/4 Frontier "certified organic" for $35 (no free shipping) or 1/2 pound of premium for $24.99 (no free s/h).

Then, I went to eBay since that was the last place I bought them. GREAT DEALS!!! I can get 1/2 lb of extract grade beans for about $15 shipped. I will be purchasing these to make my vanilla extract for Christmas gifts this year. I need to buy soon so the extract can do its thing all year.

See how much money can be saved by research?!? It amazes me! Plus, this means I can save my Amazon GC's for a better deal in the future.

Thank you for reading my random thrifty thoughts. I'd love to hear yours!

Friday, January 15, 2010

The Thrifty Chicks! Cool Blog!

I've discovered a thrifty blog that is simply divine! You must check it out!

The Thrifty Chicks

This inspiring blog is written by Shopping Golightly who lives here in the Denver area. She writes about all things thrift shop. I have read most of the posts on her blog and they really will motivate you to go check out what is in your local thrift shop.

After reading just a few of her posts I felt inclined to rededicate myself to buying second hand. I would love to see how little I can purchase first-hand this year. My family is already used to second hand, so it shouldn't be too much of a stretch.

If you're looking for ways to maximize your dollars or help the environment you've got to click on over!

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Project #1: Declutter Revolution!!!

This weeks project is not crafty and it didn't cost any money!

I have been decluttering for, well, years now. I'm getting close to a *happy place* but with growing children there will always be things to get rid of.

This week I have been listing things to sell online. LEGO are being sold on eBay and I've got some childrens items selling on a mothering forum. I may or may not find things to put on Craigslist. We took 2 boxes of stuff to Goodwill on Monday.

So far this week 4 boxes have left my house!!! Last week a box and a couple packages left. It feels sooo good to sell stuff we don't need anymore. Taking stuff to Goodwill feels real good, too.

Someone was telling me they have a goal to donate 2010 items this year. They got the idea from a blog I should try to find. What an awesome idea! I think I'm up to about 100 already. Yay!

Monday, January 04, 2010

Menu Plan Monday-January 4

I'm trying to get back on track with menu planning. My mom and I cook a lot of dinners together so we are both going to make an effort to plan our shopping and menu. It seems like we've been making a lot of trips to the grocery store lately.
So, today my mom went out and spent almost $300 on food for the month. I'll go get some deals from King Soopers and whatever else we need during the month. We have a goal to stay around $400.


Meat Loaf (half turkey/half beef), scalloped potatoes and zucchini
Easy Chicken Pot Pie
Potato Cheese Soup
Lasagna, mixed veges
Ham and Pea gravy over biscuits
Homemade Pizza
Crockpot chicken and veges


Pasta Salad
Lunchmeat sandwiches
PB&J Sandwiches
Leftovers from dinner
Mac n' Cheese


Toast with PB & J

To see other menu plans, visit I'm an Organizing Junkie.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Happy New Year!

Wishing everyone the best of New Year's!

May all your dreams become reality.