Tuesday, December 30, 2008

I'm a Knitter!

After deciding I wanted to learn to knit I "borrowed" (she'll never see them again) some knitting needles from my Mom and set off to find a good tutorial. I figured why spend money on a how to knitting book when I have the internet at my fingertips?

I really only needed to learn the knit and purl stitches for the dish cloths I want to make so it didn't take me very long to get the hang of it. I found a great tutorial on the Better Homes and Gardens page called Knitting 101: Knit and Purl stitches. It not only has easy to understand text but great pictures as well.

This creation was suppose to be a scarf for Matt since he now has to walk to the bus stop in the cold, but I found a quicker crotchet solution. Even though I have abandoned this knitted scarf I can't wait to get my first dish cloth finished. I've been collecting patterns for a few weeks now, but need to finish a few other projects before I get started.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Our 2009 Budget

As I mentioned in a post earlier we’ve made some budget changes to reflect Matt’s new job. While I’m considering the 2009 budget finalized it may need to be changed in the future as these numbers are my best guess at what our expenses will be. I’ve increased our car insurance fund in preparation of purchasing a new vehicle sometime next year and having to pay larger insurance premiums. We have also increased our student loan payment because we’ll have to begin paying on Matt’s loans come November, I’m not sure how much our payment will increase when this happens but I want to have a nice buffer available when it does. We’ll also start saving to purchase a new vehicle (something we were going to do anyway) in the case we do buy another or replace our current one. Lastly the current budget does not use all of our available funds as we are waiting to see how much we’ll have to pay out of pocket for health insurance, once we establish this amount I can make any necessary changes.

Now on to the numbers.


Tithe/Donation: 10% of net income

~ Because I am paid hourly this number will fluctuate

Essential House Funds: $1075

~ Basic necessary expenses including mortgage, heat, water, trash pick up, student loans

Non Essential House Funds: $515

~ Unnecessary expenses that we choose to continue including cell phones, cable, gas, gifts, personal spending money

Groceries: $150

Total Expenses: $1740 + 10%


The rest of our income will go into different savings categories
As mentioned I am paid on an hourly basis and my hours do vary per week; because of this I decided to list the savings amounts as percents rather than dollars

New Car Fund: 55% (until $4000 goal met)
We would like to save about $4000 for a new vehicle and will allocate $1000 from our tax return to help in this effort

Emergency Fund: 35% (until $5000 goal met)
We are planning to set aside about $5000 for an emergency fund in 2009. We will allocate about $2000 from my bonuses in the spring to help

Retirement “Dream” Fund: 10%
Once the new car and emergency funds are fully financed we will begin putting 100% of our extra income into this fund. This should allow us to put about $7000 away in 2009 leaving us with a $5500 deficit for our yearly goal (which just means I get to think of new ways to save and make money).


So there it is our first 2009 budget. I’m sure it will be adjusted at least three to five times throughout the year, but that’s the good thing about budgets they can be changed.

Sweeps for the week 12/29

Here are some of the sweeps for the week. Most of them can be entered daily so make sure to keep checking back for the chance to win more great prices.

Instant Wins
~ Chrysler Drive to go Green Play once a day until 12/31. You do not need a code
~ Coinstar Is Free Play once a day until 12/31
~ Steam Fresh Meals for Two until 12/31 and you can get $1 off coupon
~Kotex Instant Win Until 12/31
~ Gain – Share the Love Play until 1/3
~ Cesar Canine Cuisine Play until 1/06
~ Tinker Bell Sweepstakes once per day until 1/31
~ Blue Man Group – Universal Orlando Resort Until 1/31
~ Blue Man Group Instant Win Once per day until 1/31
~ Pink Panther 2 Instant Win Play once a day until 2/10.
~ Better Homes and Gardens Once a day until 02/15. (thanks to MoonGoddess)
~ Where’s Mr. Jelly Belly Until 7/15
Crayola Art Gear Sweepstakes Until 7/31/09 Use Code: COLOR

Just Plain Sweeps
~ Circuit City - Ongoing
~ Woman’s Day Magazine. - Many Ongoing
~ Home Magazine - Many Ongoing
~Enter the Redbook get everything you want Until 1/15. More here

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Free Dog Food at Menards


Last week while shopping at Menards I saw they had the 3.5 lb Iams Healthy Naturals Dog food on clearance for $2.97. This means you can use the $3 off coupon from a recent insert to grab some free dog food.

But hurry the store I was in only had two left. Right now it seems to only be dog food as I checked the small Cat Healthy naturals and they were still around $8.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Our good News

So the good news post is only a day late, I've been wrapped up in Christmas parties and a huge yarn sale at JoAnns. I'm trying to get all my materials from re-purposed items but I can't pass up $6 yarn on sale for $1.50 . If fact I'm thinking I'll go back tomorrow, just to make sure I didn't miss any thing, plus I really should pick up some more masculine colors in case Matt needs something made in the future. I can rationalize anything, it's from years of credit card shopping except this time I'm paying cash.

So on to the good news

Starting January 12th Matt will start a new job.

Like any new opportunity there are some pros and cons. Obviously the pros out weight the cons since he's accepted the position but it does mean some major changes in our home. This new position comes with a nice pay increase and health benefits, major pros.

The one con we will be experencing is the loss of a vehicle. Currently Matt uses a company car and company gas 100% of the time. We actually only own one vehicle. We could go out and purchase a new (to us) vehicle and take on a car payment, but we really don't want to owe anyone else money again. So that means for the time being we'll be a one car family, it will be an interesting experience. I work the night shift two nights a week so I won't be able to pick Matt up from work which means he'll have to take the bus. (Sadly I don't have a bus route available or else we'd be a full time bus family) In the future we'll probably buy another car but for the next little bit we're going to give it a shot and see what happens.

With all these financial changes I reworked the 2009 budget and will be posting it soon. I also have a listing of our 2009 financial and personal goals, but I put it down so I wouldn't lose it and have apparently lost it. Isn't that how it always goes?

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Blog Vacation

Like many bloggers around the net I'm taking the next two days off.

But I promise to return with some great news on Friday.



Until then have a great Holiday!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Quick, Easy and Cheap Christmas Gift

Not finished with all your Christmas shopping yet? You're running out of time, but I have a quick, easy and cheap solution.
Remember the records bowls I made a few months ago?

I decided to use a few and give them away as Christmas gifts, but I didn't want the bowls to be empty so I loaded them up with chocolate chip cookies of course.


These will be going to the family members we didn't do designated gifts with this year.

The record bowls cost about $.80 and it takes about 5 minutes to make them (including oven prep time). The cookies are your standard Chocolate chip where cost and prep time vary. These cost about $10 for quite a few dozen and we made them all in about an hour. I wrapped the cookies in red saran wrap ($2) to protect them from the bowl and tied it off with some green ribbon.

Total cost per bowl comes out to less than $2 and we finished then within a few hours.

They make a great unique Christmas gift that will have everyone talking and you can have them ready in no time at all.

Unique, frugal and good for the earth gift wrap options

There are a ton of ways to save on gift wrap this year not only for your wallet but also for our planet. Rather than going out and spending a ton on metallic paper that won't biodegrade consider some of these options.

Below are two gifts I wrapped in brown craft paper found at Wal-Mart for $1.88 you could also turn a brown paper bag inside out and use that for a free solution. I decorated them by using the persons name cut from different types of papers. The first is from another Sunday comic page and the second from some left over wrapping paper. (you know the part on the sides you always have to cut off but never have a gift small enough to use it on). The bow is also made from the same left over wrapping paper. The stencils I used were a little too big for the gifts, I'll have to purchase a smaller set for next year. Even with all of that, I"m still really happy with the way they turned out. For different lettering looks you could also use a newspaper page full of text, a large picture from a newspaper or magazine, the inside of security envelopes, or even some pretty scrap booking paper or stationary.

Of course if you have a lot of stamps laying around you could also choose to stamp your craft paper for a holiday look. It's really hard to tell in the attached picture (sorry) but I stamped this gift with red presents and green trees. I also added a little glitter to the gifts to make them stand out. I'm hoping it doesn't all rub off before we get to our Christmas party. My husband so loves when I bring out the glitter so I'm sure this is his favorite method. I only spilled a little this time, I swear.

For another option I completely wrapped one of Matt's gifts in a page from the Sunday comics. The bow was created using my normal method found in previous posts and the tag is just a piece folded over with his name. It's a simple and quick method but I think it's really unique. I wish I would have wrapped more of our gifts this way.

In total I've spent less than $2 in gift wrap this holiday season which was on the craft paper. Since I have so much left over I'll also be using it to wrap birthday gifts in 2009. I can just use birthday stamps or pick seasonal paper for the stencil cut outs. Maybe I'll even keep the paper plain and use pretty ribbon.

Have you used any interesting or frugal gift wrap this year?

Monday, December 22, 2008

FREE items from Menards

I just purchased all of these items from Menards for $1.99

I had to pick up a last minute Christmas gift for Matt and figured if I was already buying the additional $10 non rebated items I should pick up a few FREE after rebate items as well. I mean I was already at the store, you shouldn't waste a trip.

Here's the break down

1 Utility Boot tray (not pictured) $2.00
~ $2 Mail in Rebate
Final Price: FREE
(limit one)

5 Sticker Books (@ .75) $3.75
~ $3.75 Mail in Rebate
Final Price: FREE
(limit ten)

2 Power Grips (@1.50) $3
~ 3 Mail in Rebate
Final Price: FREE
(limit two)

1 Gas Treatment $1.50
~ $1.50 Mail in Rebate
Final Price: Free
(limit one)

1 Crank LED Flashlight $5
~ $5 Mail in Rebate
Final Price: FREE
(limit one)

10 small/mini gift bags (@ .75) $7.50
~$7.50 Mail in Rebate
Final Price: FREE
(limit ten)

2 Lindor Truffles (@2.50) $5
~ $3 Mail in Rebate
~ $1 off 2 coupon (found by bags)
Final Price: $1 ($.50 each)
(limit two)

1- 19 Piece Combo Drill set @3.99
~ $3 Mail in Rebate
Final Price: $.99
(limit one each - with five different options)

Most of these deals end either 12/24 or 12/31 so hurry and get shopping.

Not your average gift basket

I was all about the unique gift options for the holidays this year. One of the gifts we'll be giving away this week has a movie theme. Well movie and dinner theme rather.

I purchased four of these popcorn tubs for $1 each at Target. They are tied together with some thick white ribbon (left over from our wedding) and I used a little left over tissue paper to top it off. In each of the four tubs is a gift pertaining to the movie/dinner theme. There is an Applebees gift card, two movie tickets, and a few coupons for popcorn/pop.


Below is a close up of the envelope I stuck the gift card in. I just did a simple envelope fold from Mirkwood designs . I used a Mrs. Dash ad from an old magazine since it featured a picture of food.


I think it came together really well and hopefully will give the recipient a big smile. I love that this gift basket becomes a gift the whole family can use throughout the year when watching movies at home.

Cheap & Recycled Gift Wrap

Another great gift wrap option. If you're running out of time before the holidays this is a great solution to create your own gift wrap from things found around your home.


As you can see in the picture above I've taken a page from a catalog and some paper from our shredder.


When put all together it makes a great mini gift bag all from recycled materials and with no cost.

You can find the great gift bag tutorial from Junk Mail Gems (I love her site) . I kept my bag simple but you can also add handles made from ribbon or yarn.

And don't forget to finish the gift off with some free gift tags.

Embroidered Gift Tags
Tags from scraps

I also had Leah from Suddenly Frugal tweet me another great idea for making gift tags. She takes last years Christmas cards and cuts out the image with pinking shears making a unique tag for each gift.

More FREE photos

Right now you can get 50 prints and a 4X6 Flip book from Snapfish if you open up a new account. Check out Freebies4Mom for more information

You can also get a free 5X7 AND 8X10 from CVS, Coupon Cravings has the scoop.

I'm never going to have to pay for photos ever again, it's great.

Sweeps for Week 12/22

Here are some of the sweeps for the week. Most of them can be entered daily so make sure to keep checking back for the chance to win more great prices.

Instant Wins
~ Chiquita Instant Win Play until 12/26 (Free code: 4322-2342-1342-4323)
~ Chrysler Drive to go Green Play once a day until 12/31. You do not need a code
~ Coinstar Is Free Play once a day until 12/31
~ Steam Fresh Meals for Two until 12/31 and you can get $1 off coupon
~Kotex Instant Win Until 12/31
~ Gain – Share the Love Play until 1/3
~ Cesar Canine Cuisine Play until 1/06
~ Tinker Bell Sweepstakes once per day until 1/31
~ Blue Man Group – Universal Orlando Resort Until 1/31
~ Blue Man Group Instant Win Once per day until 1/31
~ Pink Panther 2 Instant Win Play once a day until 2/10.
~ Better Homes and Gardens Once a day until 02/15. (thanks to MoonGoddess)
~ Where’s Mr. Jelly Belly Until 7/15
Crayola Art Gear Sweepstakes Until 7/31/09 Use Code: COLOR

Just Plain Sweeps
~ Circuit City - Ongoing
~ Woman’s Day Magazine. - Many Ongoing
~ Home Magazine - Many Ongoing
~Enter the Redbook get everything you want Until 1/15. More here

Sunday, December 21, 2008

New Sweeps

I've done a bad job of keeping my instant win games up to date lately, but have no fear tomorrows post will have quite a few new ones.

Until then here are a few to keep you occupied.


Crayola Art Gear Sweepstakes
Play once a day until 7/31/09
Use Code: COLOR

::Prizes Include::
Grand Prize: Selected Crayola products, a Crayola digital camera, and a digital photo frame. (sweepstakes prize)
20 First Prizes: Crayola Prize Package featuring exciting new Crayola products.
200 Second Prizes: A pip-squeaks Telescoping Marker Tower

Limit one instant win prize per person

________________________________________________________

Pink Panther 2 Instant Win Play once a day until 2/10.

::Prizes Include::
65 Pink Panther Bracelet Prizes
50 Fleurop Rose Bouquet and Candy prizes
50 Sony Style Gift Cards
50 Sweet 'N Low Barrel Bag Prize

________________________________________________________

~ Cesar Canine Cuisine
Play until 1/06

1 Grand Prize: Trip for 2 to New York, NY
350 First Prizes: A punchibag, Inc. Swarovski Crystal dog leash
400 Second Prizes: One of the following; $25 PetSmart Card, $25 Canine Styles Card,
$25 Trixi+Peanut Pet Emporium Card.
75 Third Prizes: One of the following; 1 year subscription to Animal Fair Magazine, or
The bark Magazine, or Modern Dog Magazine
5000 Fourth Prizes: Coupon Redeemable for one Free Cesar canine Cuisine

Limit: one prize per person per day and one Game First, Second, Third and Fourth Prize per person.

CVS 12/21

Once again we got to CVS too late and they were out of pretty much everything I wanted.

I was able to roll over a few ecbs, but not as many as I would have liked.



Halls Naturals $2.59
~ $.50 Halls Coupon
Crest Pro Health $2.99
~ $1 Crest Coupon
Sally Hansen Nail Polish $5.99
Zipp Fizz $5.99
3 CVS Reusable bags (for filler) $2.97

Used a $4/$20 CVS Coupon

Total after coupons: $15.03
Ecbs used: $9.99
CVS Gift Card: $5.04

ECBs received: $ 16.57

Not an amazing day but I did manage a profit.


Year to date savings: $580.20

Saturday, December 20, 2008

More frugal gift tags

Looking to make more personalized gift tags?

Check out this crafter on Flickr, they have some great Embroidered Gift Tags that you can whip up in no time.

The template is available at sublime stitching.

And don't forget about making your own tags from left over scrap book paper.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Friday Find - Grace Violet

In need of a few last minute gifts? Grace Violet has an amazing post about easy teacher gifts. I think these gifts would be great for quite a few people, not just teachers.

I don't have a picture but trust me visit her site you're in for a treat. Kristin found black and white note cards in several prints, and mixed them up so that each recipient would receive a variety. The look is amazing, but she went above and beyond by creating her own flower pins and even provides a Tutorial to make your own

Best of all you can find note cards for $1 at Michael's and the pins are made from fabric scraps. You can't get more cost effective than that.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Frugal Gift Tags



Aren't these gift tags cute?

Guess how much they cost me? That's right... nothing.

These tags are made from extra scrapbook paper and a few die cuts. If you aren't a big scrapbooker and don't have a way to make die cuts on your own you can purchase packages of them fairly cheap at any craft store. I love the one on the bottom right with the lights and ribbon.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

More Free Bath and Body Works Products

If you hurry right now you can get a free travel size Bath and Body Works product, up to $3.50 in value with any purchase. Print the coupon HERE and use it until December 18th. (Tip from Coupon cravings)

You can also print a coupon HERE for any item, Free up to $13 with any $10 purchase until December 24th. (Deal from Money Saving Mom)


I so wish I was able to get to a mall and pick some of these items up, but it's out of my way, and I'd be so tempted to spend money on something we don't need. I'll just have to enjoy what everyone else gets, like the $.40 nail file and lambie My Precious Pennies picked up earlier.

Cheap Christmas Cards

Remember the 30 Christmas cards that were available for $.48?
I shared them during my rather boring update.


They turned out a little different than I expected, more of a photo rather than a folded card, but 30 cards for less than a $1 is a great deal. And of course the best part is the picture, B.P. with Santa (last year).

I'm a little behind schedule this year but am happy to report all our cards are signed, addressed, and ready to be mailed tomorrow.

Were you able to take advantage of this deal? I'd love to see the results.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

$2,500 Scholarship

Have you read about the $2,500 scholarship being offered by Ramit for a socially innovative project at I will teach you to be rich?
You can read the scholarship details here , also make sure and read the full post because he has some great insight about following your dreams now rather than tomorrow. I sometimes feel like I'm one of those people who is always waiting for tomorrow to do what I really want.

This is a great chance for someone to reach out and help others.

Upcycling Success – Reused Yarn

Remember my last Goodwill sweater fiasco?

This one turned out much better wouldn’t you say?


I was able to salvage a ton of yard from just one size large sweater; actually it was more of a cardigan which means I also ended up with some ugly buttons (not pictured). I forgot to take a before picture, but I purchased the cardigan at Goodwill on a sale day for $1.75 much cheaper than buying even clearance yard at any craft store. Plus I was able to reuse toilet paper rolls to wrap the yarn around, it was a twofer.

I’m so excited to get projects started and use up this yarn. Just think of all the things I can make...
Cute little Bluebirds
A traveling Bag
Sweater Ornaments
An adorable blue Elephant

Maybe I’ll even learn to knit and whip up some of these adorable snowflake dish cloths unless someone can find patterns to crotchet. I’ve had no luck.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Sweeps for the Week 12/15

Here are some of the sweeps for the week. Most of them can be entered daily so make sure to keep checking back for the chance to win more great prices.

Instant Wins
~ Fancast Instant Win Once per day until 12/19
~ Chiquita Instant Win Play until 12/26 (Free code: 4322-2342-1342-4323)
~ Chrysler Drive to go Green
Play once a day until 12/31. You do not need a code
~ Tinker Bell Sweepstakes once per day until 1/31
~ Blue Man Group Instant Win Once per day until 1/31

Just Plain Sweeps
~ Circuit City - Ongoing
~ Woman’s Day Magazine. - Many Ongoing
~ Home Magazine - Many Ongoing
~Enter the Redbook get everything you want Until 1/15. More here



Saturday, I received the $50 Wal-Mart gift Card I won from The "cent"sible Sawyer. I can't wait to use it. If only I could decide on what... decisions decisions.

What have you won from an instant win or blog sweeps lately?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Pictures with Santa



Right now PetSmart is offering digital photos with your pet and Santa. They come in an adorable snowflake frames and cost $9.95 with $5 going towards animal adoption.

We've taken B.P. to see Santa every year and he loves it as much as we do. Ok so maybe he loves that everyone showers him with attention and treats. And of course he knows he can't leave PetSmart without a holiday snack.

Next weekend is your last chance to have a photo with Santa so use this link to find a location and time near you.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Steve & Barry's Shopping Trip




As you may have heard Steve and Barry's is going out of business.

Matt and I love this store, we have three in the immediate area and their prices are great for school merchandise. In fact Steve and Barry's probably made up 80% of my wardrobe during college. Where else can you get a shirt for $5 and pants for $8? Because of the recent bad news the stores are marked down anywhere from 40 to 70 percent.

We were able to pick up all the items pictures above for $113.38.

For Matt we purchased
5 pairs of khaki pants
2 pair of jeans
2 shirts
1 dress shirt

I walked away with
3 pairs of dress pants
2 dress shirts
2 plain shirts
1 sweater vest thing

I also bought 4 bibs and a onsie for future craft use.
That's a ton of clothes for $113. I plan to stop by at least one more time once things are marked down again to stock up on some other things.

I also asked and they will be selling their hangers and other fixtures before the stores completely close down. I'm thinking of picking up some of their wooden hangers especially if they go for a decent price and maybe one of their hanging racks to use next to our washer.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Cheap Disney Movies


Get some cheap Disney movies for Christmas this year. Right now there is a coupon for $3 off ANY Disney movie or Blu-Ray DVD on Slick Deals. You can print the coupon up to ten times!

Right now Target has the first Narnia and the Classic Holiday Stories for $10. Two movies for $14, a great gift for someone special or your own collection.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Free Books!

Look what I got in the mail today… for FREE!

Over the last week I’ve sent off nine books for others to read through the paperbackswap.com website. Now we have a ton of credits to use in order to get more books, and I can always use new books.

If you read a lot and haven’t signed up for paperbackswap yet you should. You can find out more about the program by visiting their website, basically it is an online community where you can swap books with other members for little out of pocket.

It’s free to join paperbackswap.com. Once you’re a member you can then list any book you’d be willing to send to another member. If someone requests a book from your collection you receive a credit after mailing it to them. Then you get to use that credit to request your own book, as I did with Friday Night Knitting Club.

The only cost is any postage you incur in mailing out a book. So technically my Friday Night Knitting Club wasn’t 100% free since I had to send a book to someone else, but on average it only cost about $2.40 to mail a normal sized paper back. (Hard covers can cost slightly more to mail)

Last week I saw the Friday Night Knitting Club at Target for about $11 and on Amazon.com it’s currently selling for about $2 plus $3 shipping. So even after paying the shipping cost for my old book I still saved $2.60 on even the lowest purchasing option. That’s a 52% savings. Cheaper than any book store.

Don’t believe me on just how easy it is? Sign up today at paperbackswap.com. and list your first ten books in order to earn TWO credits without having to mail anything.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Cheap Batteries

I was able to pick up some free batteries at Target earlier this week by using a great coupon from Rayovac.


The coupon has since been changed to include only four packs in the AA or AAA sizes, but you can still get some cheap batteries. At Wal-mart they have quite a few different sizes in the Rayovac alkaline. I picked up 6 C batteries for $4.50 which is half the cost of any other brand.
Visit this site to print your own coupon for $1 off Rayovac. There is no print limit but remember, there is no reason to abuse coupons.

Sweeps for the Week 12/8

Sweeps for the Week

Here are some of the sweeps for the week. Most of them can be entered daily so make sure to keep checking back for the chance to win more great prices.

Instant Wins
~ Madagascar Movie Sweeps Once per day until 12/11
~ Win a Wii a day Once per day until 12/14
~ Soft Scrub Instant Win
Play until 12/15 (use SOFTSCRUB as free code)and receive a $.50 off coupon
~ Fancast Instant Win Once per day until 12/19
~ Chiquita Instant Win Play until 12/26 (Free code: 4322-2342-1342-4323)
~ Chrysler Drive to go Green
Play once a day until 12/31. You do not need a code
~ Tinker Bell Sweepstakes once per day until 1/31
~ Blue Man Group Instant Win Once per day until 1/31

Just Plain Sweeps
~ Circuit City - Ongoing
~ Woman’s Day Magazine. - Many Ongoing
~ Home Magazine - Many Ongoing
~Enter the Redbook get everything you want Until 1/15. More here

Sunday, December 7, 2008

CVS - 12/7

The CVS ad didn’t look great so I only did a quick trip. I figure we can always use cold medicine especially when it only cost $1.99 (in ecbs).


My little transaction looked like this
1 Powerade $1.59
2 Theraflu Warming Relief $5.99
(They were marked for $6.59 but they rang up correctly)

~ Used (2) $2 off any Theraflu item

Total after coupons: $9.57
Paid with ecb: $8.98
OOP: $.77
ECB’s earned: $5.59

So in total I received $14.87 in merchandise for $.77 of my own money.

No Christmas Budget

I haven’t been doing a monthly budget update like normal because basically we haven’t been following a budget. Well at least not in my opinion, it’s a very loose budget, we’ve been putting all our extra money into our house fund and now that it’s fully funded we’ll start a new budget in January. (details to come)

Not following a budget is a very weird feeling, one I haven’t adjusted to yet. I feel like we just have money flying out of our savings account. I hate the fact that I don’t really know where everything is or where it’s going. I do, but not as much as I used to. I can’t wait to get back to using a detailed budget again.

Last night I was having a small panic attack about the amount we’ve spent on Christmas shopping this year and decided it was time to total it all up and deal with the damage. With everything else we had going on I didn’t really set a budget, I was just hoping for the best…not a great idea.

Thankfully both my sides of the family happily agreed to a no gift Christmas. We’ll do a small gathering at my Mother’s house and dinner with my Father and younger sister to celebrate with little or no gifts. I wasn’t sure how they’d respond when I mentioned it but both seemed open to the idea and I must admit it has taken so much stress off us. Not having to worry about what will be the perfect gift and how much it will cost. It allows you to enjoy the holiday spirit a little more.

We’re still doing gifts on Matthew’s side but they are very toned down. We’ll be doing a dinner with the whole family but only exchanging gifts with immediately family after. So that leaves me with nine people to purchase gifts for, four adults and five children. As of today we have finished our shopping all for $156.96. So much less than I thought we had spent.

I still need to purchase ingredients to make chocolate chip cookies, but I don’t expect that to cost much. We’ll be giving baskets of cookies to each family during Christmas dinner, both of us will be taking some to work during Christmas week, and I plan to donate a few dozen to our church.

In all this is our most economical Christmas to date. I will definitely be suggesting another no gift Christmas next year. And best of all it looks like my new spending habits are really taking hold, even when I’m not necessarily trying. This could be a life style change after all.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Frugal Gift Wrap


Looking to save some money on gift boxes this year? You have to stop by Frugal living and see her DIY Gift boxes made from an old cereal box.

You can make them in about five minutes and the only supplies you need include a knife and some tape.

They look great, I'm hoping to whip some up this weekend and post the results as part of my cheap gift wrap tutorial.

Friday Find - Crafty Nest

I love this bookcase made from salvaged drawers. I will have to keep my eye out for something like this in the future, we have the perfect spot for some in our office. It's amazing the things people make stuff from.

Make sure to check out the Salvaged bookcase at Crafty Nest.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

A Green Christmas

Are you planning a holiday gathering this year? If so don't finalize the details until you have read the Plan a Green Holiday Party article by Plenty Magazine. I've been receiving their magazine on a free subscription and love it. It might be the only publication I actually read cover to cover.

Eco tips in this article run the gambit from a plantable invitation, local food including drinks, party supplies and decorations.

Best of all the author gives you permission to purchase a keg for this years celebration, for those of you just looking for a reason to haul one in the basement. They are considerably more eco friendly as they don't produce waste like cans or bottles. Just make sure your guest are drinking from reusable cups.

This year I'm trying to wrap all of our gifts in some form of "better" wrapping paper. But reading this article has made me think of other places we can make a few changes. One small but needed change we'll be making this year will be serving everyone on real plates, not paper anymore. Why create all that extra waste just so you don't have to do dishes? And if your worried about little Benny dropping the good china pick up a few reusable plastic plates and use them again next year. They sell them very cheap at Wal-Mart with cute holiday designs.

Are you changing anything about your holiday celebrations this year, whether it be to save money or be more green?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

A rather boring update

I have no craft this week. Although I did get out to the thrift stores yesterday and found some great items. As soon as I find my silver spray paint we'll be on a roll again. I also purchased 36 forks at Sam's club for an upcoming project. Who knew that Sam's sold bulk silverware? Odd, in my opinion.

I'm also working on a glossary of commonly used terms here at OOW since it has been requested and still working on the header.

With all of this I'm also working a ton of hours and trying to get some Christmas shopping done. I've been so busy I haven't even had time to make a list, and trust me, me without a list is not a good thing. I might whip up a few while at work tonight.

I also won a $50 Wal-mart gift card from The "cent"sible Sawyer. I'm so excited this will make my Christmas shopping a little easier this year. I also need to make a Christmas list (see I'm really behind in my listing).


Now I am off to make my 30 photo Christmas cards for 48 cents. Check out Money Savings methods to find out how you can pick up some cheap cards as well.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Sweeps for the Week 12/1

Here are some of the sweeps for the week. Most of them can be entered daily so make sure to keep checking back for the chance to win more great prices.

Instant Wins
~ Oreo Double Stuff until 12/1
~ Madagascar Movie Sweeps Once per day until 12/11
~ Win a Wii a day Once per day until 12/14
~ Soft Scrub Instant Win
Play until 12/15 (use SOFTSCRUB as free code)and receive a $.50 off coupon
~ Fancast Instant Win Once per day until 12/19
~ Chiquita Instant Win Play until 12/26 (Free code: 4322-2342-1342-4323)
~ Chrysler Drive to go Green
Play once a day until 12/31. You do not need a code
~ Tinker Bell Sweepstakes once per day until 1/31
~ Blue Man Group Instant Win Once per day until 1/31

Just Plain Sweeps
~ Circuit City - Ongoing
~ Woman’s Day Magazine. - Many Ongoing
~ Home Magazine - Many Ongoing
~Enter the Redbook get everything you want Until 1/15. More here

Semi impulse shopping

Normally the impulse buy is my downfall when it comes to shopping, but lately I've been pretty good about waiting on purchases and thinking our buying decision through.

But as many do at some point, I slipped. Yesterday we purchased a new dinning room table. I say it was a semi impulse buy because technically I've been looking for a table for over a year now, but could never find anything I liked in our price range.

That all changed when I saw this




We bought it about five minutes after seeing it. I love the table and the price tag. A cherry pub table and four stools for less than $150. I imagine one day we'll have to buy different chairs, but for now it's perfect. I've seen the same table set at Wal-Mart for over $200 so I think we got a great deal. I'm so excited because now that our debt is paid off the house is finally starting to come together (almost four years after moving in).

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thanksgiving recap

Hopefully everyone had a good holiday and weekend.

Matt and I had an uneventful holiday. I had to work the day after thanksgiving but Matt did pick me up a slow cooker. I have some big plans to make apple butter the next time applesauce goes on sale.

I've also spent some time this weekend thinking about the Wal-Mart incident on Black Friday. You can read the full article Here. I just find it so sad that a person lost their life so someone could save a few dollars. How will Christmas morning be for these shoppers? Knowing they killed someone for that digital camera. It really speaks volumes about human nature and the mass commercialism of our society.

We did earn a little money this week as well. In an effort to get a jump start on one of our 2009 goals (reducing our stuff) I listed a few of our gaming systems on craigslist. They were quickly snatched up and the success has made me excited to get even more items out of the house. The best part, craigslist is 100% free.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

CVS - 11/27 - 3 Day Sale

Have I mentioned how much I LOVE the new CVS I've been going to? I have, well let me just say it one more time. I LOVE this CVS. I got a late start to shopping today and figured they'd be out of a few products I needed. Much to my surprise not only were the sales labeled but they had everything I needed except the Cover Girl make up. Shopping was a breeze.

I didn't want to spend a ton out of pocket so I didn't get everything we could have, but I'm still very happy with it.

I got all of these things for nothing out of pocket and made $30.95 in Ecbs for a profit of $14.91 - I love getting paid to shop.



2 Bic Soleil Single Razors: @ 5.99 ($11.98)
~ (2) $3 off Bic Coupon
1 Playtex Gentle Glide $3.99
~ $1. off Playtex coupon (from recent sample)
1 Colgate Toothpaste $2.99
~ $1.50 off Colgate coupon
1 L’Oreal Colour Juice Sheer Lip Gloss $6.99
~ $1 off L'Oreal coupon
1 Garnier Nutritioniste Cleansing Toilettes $5.99
~ $1 off Garnier Moisturizer
2 Schick disposable razors @ .99 ($1.98)

~ $1 off any Cover Girl product

Used a $5/30 coupon

Total Before Coupons: $33.92
Coupons Used: $18.50
Total After coupons: $15.42
Paid with $18.98 in ecbs (total paid is higher than total because of return - below)

ECB's Received: $30.95 (5.99 Garnier, 2.99 Colgate, 11.98 Bic, 6.99 L'Oreal, 3 Playtex)

Total Profit $14.91

I also purchased a Cover Girl powder which was the wrong brand and returned it for a $10.59 gift card. This also allowed me to still use the Cover Girl coupon, kind of confusing I know.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Jewelry Frame



Another great project from Joys Of Home. I decided to make some paper bead earrings and needed a way to display them when we attend craft fairs. I found this great tutorial and decided to make my own frame. Its kind of hard to see the earrings in the picture, sorry we were outside quickly taking pics.


Here's what I started with. The frame from Goodwill (already missing the glass and back) was 99 cents, sand paper $1.98 (5 pieces), 2 cans of black spray paint $.99 each at Wal-mart, and mesh from my Grandpa (Not pictured). I spray painted the frame, distressed it, and Matt stapled down the mesh.

Quite possibly one of the easiest crafts ever and it looks great for a display. I might make some smaller ones to sell if I ever see a few cheap frames for sale.
.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Sweeps for the week 11/24

Sweeps for the Week

Here are some of the sweeps for the week. Most of them can be entered daily so make sure to keep checking back for the chance to win more great prices.

Instant Wins
~ Pledge Photo Hunt Instant Win Play once per day until 11/30
~ General Mills Fuel up Free Instant Win Play once per day until 11/30 Obtain a free code from their website
~ Oreo Double Stuff until 12/1
~ Madagascar Movie Sweeps Once per day until 12/11
~ Win a Wii a day Once per day until 12/14
~ Soft Scrub Instant Win
Play until 12/15 (use SOFTSCRUB as free code)and receive a $.50 off coupon
~ Fancast Instant Win Once per day until 12/19
~ Chiquita Instant Win Play until 12/26 (Free code: 4322-2342-1342-4323)
~ Chrysler Drive to go Green
Play once a day until 12/31. You do not need a code
~ Tinker Bell Sweepstakes once per day until 1/31
~ Blue Man Group Instant Win Once per day until 1/31

Just Plain Sweeps
~ Circuit City - Ongoing
~ Woman’s Day Magazine. - Many Ongoing
~ Home Magazine - Many Ongoing
~Enter the Redbook get everything you want Until 1/15. More here


One Time Entry
Wrangler Little Big Town Sweepstakes Ends 11/24/08 ~ More HERE

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Free DR.Pepper

Don't forget today is the day to get your free Dr.Pepper.

You can register on the site and sign up HERE or if you have problems online (lots of lag) you can call 1-800-696-5891 and request your coupon that way as well.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Friday Find - Keyka Lou Patterns

I love this week's Friday Find. It is an amazing tutorial from Keyka Lou Patterns for a wrist pin cushion.


I know so many crafters who would love something like this, if only I'd have time to make some before Christmas, sadly these will have to wait till next year.

You need to check out her site Keyka Lou Patterns and the Pincushion Cuff Tutorial.

Other great things you can find on her site include:

Money bag Tutorial
Recycled Dog Collar
Journal Cover

and make sure to stop by her Etsy shop where she's having a great holiday sale 2 patterns for $10.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Water Heater Savings

Last week Matt and I took another step to decreasing our heating bills this winter; we installed a water heater blanket. I purchased the blanket on sale for less than $10 and Matt installed it in less than ten minutes. You can even make your own blanket if you’re up for it, all you need is a roll of duct tape and some faced fiberglass insulation. By adding insulation you can reduce your heat loss by 25% - 45% which saves about 4%-9% in water heating cost.

The steps to installing a water heater blanket are pretty basic:
~ Wrap the insulation horizontally around the unit using duct tape to seal the seams
~ Make sure to leave cutouts for the thermostat, controls and drain faucets
~ Tape any remaining joints and seams where air can escape
~ If your water heater is electric make sure to cut a cap of insulation to fit the top as well and provide slits for the water inlet and outlet piping.
~ If your heater is gas, do not cover the burner access of the flue collar.


Make sure and read any extra instructions included with your blanket.
Not sure if your water heater needs additional insulation, finding out is easy. Just touch it, if the tank is warm it needs insulation.

To find out more about insulating your water heater visit the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy website (EERE)

And if you want to save even more money; try turning down the thermostat on your water heater. For every 10º F you reduce your temperature you could save anywhere from 3% to 5% in energy cost. You can safely reduce your water temperature to 120º F while still killing germs and bacteria.

There are also other benefits to reducing your water temperature to 120º F. The EERE states a reduced temperature of 120º F will slow mineral buildup and corrosion within your water heater and the pipes. This obviously will make your heater last longer and operate with a better efficiency. If you’re planning on being gone for more than three days turn the thermostat down to the lowest setting or turn it off completely for some short term savings.

Matt and I reduced our water temperature this summer and felt no difference what so ever. Now that it’s gotten a little colder we have had to turn it up a few notches, but it’s still lower than it was originally.

Check out the EERE website to learn more about lowering your thermostat.

Total cost for energy updates: > $10
Possible energy savings: 31% to 55%

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Great web finds for the day

Does writing a post saying I have no post for the day count as a post?

I hope so.

Currently I'm working on some great post including;
~ How to reduce your water heating bill
~ A great Friday Find post
~ Christmas savings
~ And our 2009 budget and goals for the year

if only work would stop getting in the way.

Until then there are some great articles on other blogs you should check out

~ A new sweep from Gain - find out more at Freebies 4 Mom
~ Learn how to save lots of money on eating out at I will teach you to be rich
~ Why cash is better than layaway at Northern Cheapskate

Two great givaways

~ Jane 4 Girls is giving away a Yoplait Kids pack (3 winners)
~ Win a $50 Walmart gift card from Coupon Cravings

You can also get some more free food from Kroger this week

Green Giant Steamers 10/$10
Use the coupon in a recent insert for $1 or $.50 off (doubled)
and a $.50 off from shortcuts.com

Cottonelle toilet paper 4 pack $.99

use $.25 or $.50 off coupon from insert (doubled)
and a $.50 off shortcut.com coupon

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Cheap Christmas Bows

Here's a great way to save a few dollars this holiday season.

Remember these bows I made earlier?

I've put a new spin on them to use as Christmas bows!



The picture isn't great but hopefully you can see some of the detail. I created these bows from left over wrapping paper Sunday night. Each one cost me about three cents to make since all I pay for is the brad.

Much cheaper and at least in my opinion better looking than store purchased bows. The best part is if you don't want to spend the money on brads you can use tape or glue to achieve the same results, making the bows 100% FREE. I plan to use these on our own Christmas gifts and hope to sell some at our last craft fair of the year this Thursday/Friday.

Want to learn how to make your own? I link to a great tutorial in this post.

Monday, November 17, 2008

sweeps for the week 11/17

Sweeps for the Week

Here are some of the sweeps for the week. Most of them can be entered daily so make sure to keep checking back for the chance to win more great prices.

Instant Wins
~ Sears Instant Win Play once per day until 11/21
~ Pledge Photo Hunt Instant Win Play once per day until 11/30
~ General Mills Fuel up Free Instant Win Play once per day until 11/30 Obtain a free code from their website
~ Oreo Double Stuff until 12/1
~ Madagascar Movie Sweeps Once per day until 12/11
~ Win a Wii a day Once per day until 12/14
~ Soft Scrub Instant Win
Play until 12/15 (use SOFTSCRUB as free code)and receive a $.50 off coupon
~ Fancast Instant Win Once per day until 12/19
~ Chiquita Instant Win Play until 12/26 (Free code: 4322-2342-1342-4323)
~ Chrysler Drive to go Green
Play once a day until 12/31. You do not need a code
~ Tinker Bell Sweepstakes once per day until 1/31
~ Blue Man Group Instant Win Once per day until 1/31

Just Plain Sweeps
~ Circuit City - Ongoing
~ Woman’s Day Magazine. - Many Ongoing
~ Home Magazine - Many Ongoing
~Enter the Redbook get everything you want Until 1/15. More here

One Time Entry
Wrangler Little Big Town Sweepstakes Ends 11/24/08 ~ More HERE

Sunday, November 16, 2008

CVS 11/16

I went to a different CVS today and was amazed, shelves had stock on them!

My transaction ended up slightly different than I planned - minor in store bumps, but for the first time in over a month I was able to find everything I needed and complete a scenario (using a $5/$30).

\
Anywho, here's what it looks like.

4 Glade Glass Scents @ 2.50 ($10) - Completes Buy $10 get $5
4 Glade Glass Candles @ 2.50 ($10) - Completes buy $10 get $5
1 Soft and Dry $2.99
2 Crest Pro Health @ 3.49 ($6.98)
2 Revlon Nail Polishes @ 4.99 ($4.99 B1G1)
1 Sunday Paper $1.75

Total Before coupons: $ 34.96 + .80 Tax

::Coupons Used::
1 CVS $5/30
1 $.55 off Soft and Dry
(2) $2 off Revlon
(2) B1G1 Glade Scents
(2) $1 off Pro Health
(2) $1.50 Glade Scents

Total after Coupons: $15.41
ECB's Used: $14.59 (10, 3, 1.59)
OOP: $.82
Earned: $18.98 ($6.98 (2) Crest Pro Health, $2 Soft & Dry, $10 Glade Deals)

$3.57 Money Maker


Year to date Savings: $476.81

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Barbie Bucks Done

Just finished my Barbie Bucks Mail in Rebate, I'll pop it in the mail on Monday and get ready for my $50 Gift Card.

Also on Monday I'll be putting 5 plastic Target bags in the mail to receive my coupon for a free reusable.

Have you completed your holiday offers yet?
I'm trying to get all these little things done before the holiday season begins and I forget about them.

To see prices and scenarios on the barbie bucks program see THIS POST and visit the Barbie Bucks site. I spent $101.89 on four products for a 49% savings after I receive my gift card.

To find out more about how you can receive a FREE Target reusable check out THIS POST. Remember you need to mail your bags in November 30th.

Kroger Mega Event

Let me start this post by declaring… I LOVE Kroger.
Especially when they have their Mega Item events (buy ten items get $5 off). This deal has been going on for two weeks now but with all the excitement around here I hadn’t had a chance to shop yet. I was really nervous that by waiting till the second Friday of the deal most of their items would be out of stock but they had everything I was looking for, it was great. And such a change compared to what CVS has been like for me lately.

We ended up getting all of these items for $22.70 that’s $.63 an item for a total savings of 75%!



Now for the break down

::Purchased::
Buy 10 get $5 – used 3 times

1 Breyer’s Ice Cream
~ $.50 off (Doubled)
2 Duncan Hines Cream Cheese Frosting

~ $.75/2 coupon
2 Betty Crocker Cookie Mixes

~ $.75 off Cookie Mix ~ $.40 off Cookie Mix (doubled)
1 Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cereal

~ $.55 off
1 Betty Crocker Boxed Potatoes

~ $.35 off (doubled)
~ $.35 off (from shortcuts.com)
6 Carnation Evaporated Milk

~ (3) $.50/2 coupon (doubled)
2 Tylenol PM

~ (2) $2 off Tylenol PM coupon
1 Tylenol Rapid Release

~ $2 off Tylenol Rapid Release
1 Fritos

1 Ice Mountain 3 liter water bottle

~ $.25 off (doubled)
1 Scotch-Brite lint roller

~ $1 off any lint roller
5 Scotch-Brite Nail Savers & Regular Sponges

~ (2) $1/2 Nail Saver
~ $1 off any Scotch-Brite Nail Saver

3 Tony’s Pizzas

1 Swiss Miss Hot Chocolate

2 Old El Paso Meals

~ $.50 off one (from shortcuts.com)

$15 coupon for Mega Event deal

Non buy $10 get $5 items
1 Bagel-fuls
~ $1 off Bagel-fuls
2 Cottonelle 4 packs
~ (2) $.25 off 4 pack (doubled) - $.12 a roll!
2 Progressive soups
~ (2) $1.10 off any
1 ½ Gallon Milk


Total Before Coupons: $88.89
Total After Coupons: $22.70

::Savings::
Manufacture Coupons: $34.60 (including $15 Mega Event)
Bonus Coupons (from doubling): $3.50
Store Coupons and card savings: $28.09
Total Savings: $66.19

$27 in coupons



Sign up below to get $27 in savings from Home Made Simple.

These booklets almost always have at least one free item coupon in them. I've supplied my Mom with enough Cascade to last her a year.

Click here to sign up for your coupon booklet


Thanks to Frugal in Virginia for the great deal

Friday, November 14, 2008

FREE $$ from Coin Star

Get an extra $10 from Coin Star when you cash in $40.



::Details::
Coinstar is offering a $10 Amazon gift card if you turn at least $40 in coins into an Amazon gift card.

There is no service fee when you opt for a gift card from Coinstar, they normally take 8% of whatever you change in if you pick the cash option.

This deal is only until December 7 at some locations and you do have to send away for the gift card after you exchange your $40. The coupon should print at the bottom of your receipt and then you mail it to receive the extra card. There is a limit of one gift card per household.

See the official page HERE

CVS 11/9

Very disappointing week at CVS. Not because the deals were lacking but because once again the THREE stores in my area were out of what I planned to purchase. I was only able to pick up three things this week. I tried on two different days and could not find any of the Listerine Mouth Wash and on Monday I was only able to purchase one bottle of St.Ives even though it was a higher limit.

Here's what I was able to walk away with



Not shown is the bottle of water


1 Garnier Shampoo $2.99
~ $1 off coupon
1 GL Smart Water $1.59
1 ST. Ives Body Wash $3.99
~ $2 off coupon

ECB used: $4
OOP: $1.57
ECB Earned: $6.59 ($1.59 water, $3 St. Ives, $2 Garnier)

In total I did get paid $1 to shop at CVS this week, but it could have been so much better.


For more CVS finds this week check out The "Cent"sible Sawyer

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Just Say No....

To Spending!

Sometimes you have to let even a good deal go.
At Northern Cheapskate there is a post on how to get a Free Snapfish photo book, all you have to pay is $6.99 in shipping.

This is a great deal since the book is priced at $29.99, that's an 82% savings. It would make a great Christmas gift and if you have a use for it you should check out her link to find out how to get your own.

I however will not be taking part in this deal. Why you may ask?
I have plenty of pictures I need to do something with, but not necessarily anyone to give this as a gift to. This means the photo book would be sitting in our house. In the end we would spend $6.99 to have more stuff in our house, something that will not jive well with one of our new 2009 goals.

And speaking of 2009 goals we have some great stuff planned for the new year. Matt and I are currently working on our personal and financial goals for the new year. Once we get these solidified and work out a new budget I'll make sure to post about it.

Now I'm off to get coupon matches for the big Kroger sale this week (yes, I realize I'm very behind)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Rose bowl Instant Win

Stop by Freebies 4 Mom to learn how to enter the Rush to Rose Bowl Sweeps

And don't forget to keep checking the updated Sweeps listing on instant wins you can enter.

I just won a bamboo recipe box from the silk instant win. What have you won recently?

Merchant of Venice


Just finished the Merchant of Venice by who else, Shakespeare.

It’s a good read, I think it helped that we saw it on stage at Stratford last year, everything is better on stage and reading the book helped me remember the play again.

If you're looking for a something to read, a classic is always nice.

One more book down and only thirty six left to go

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I need guest posters

I will be at a work conference the Monday and Tuesday before Thanksgiving and then have a long work day on Wednesday before beginning family celebrations. Because this week is going to be extremely busy for me I'm looking for a few guest posters to host at On Our Way.

If you or someone you know has a great frugal tip or craft project to share with my readers let me know. I would like to have all submissions in by the 17th so I can pick post early that week. Feel free to email me your post or idea at meg @ onourwayonline dot com.

Is that a sweater?


What is this you ask? That’s right, it's a big mess.

This my friends is my first attempt at salvaging an old sweater for new yarn. Lets just say it didn’t go so well. I didn’t get much yard at all from it before I gave up. I used the tutorial at Craft Leftovers. It's a great tutorial with lots of pictures, something I always find useful. None of my mistakes are because of the directions. The sweater I purchased was only 67% wool… bad. It was also thin yarn in two pieces… bad. I plan to try again with a 100% wool sweater. No more acrylic for me. never ever use anything that’s not 100% natural material. As you can see the rest of the sweater was cut up for filling on a few projects I have planned.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Lots of New Sweeps to Enter

Blue Man Group Instant Win
Enter Once per day until January 31st, 2009.

:Prizes Include:

10 Grand Prizes (sweepstakes prize): 1 46" Sharp LCD TV.
10 First Prizes: 1 Blue Man Group Mega star Tours DVD
134 Second Prizes: 1 Blue Man Group T-shirt
______________________________________________________

Madagascar Movie Sweeps
Once per day until December 11th, 2008.

:Prizes Include:
1 Grand Prize (Sweepstakes): A Trip for four to LA.
10 First Prizes: 4 IMAX Movie Tickets
10 Second Prizes: The Art of Madagascar book
10 Third Prizes: Madagascar DVD
10 Fourth Prizes: Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa coloring/activity book
185 Fifth Prizes: Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa Movie poster

Limit of one instant win game prize per person

______________________________________________________

Win a Wii a day
Once per day until December 14th, 2008

:Prizes Include:

122 Grand Prizes: Nintendo Wii Game Console

Limit one prize per person
______________________________________________________

Chiquita Instant Win
Play until December 26th, 2008

To participate without purchasing specially-marked packages of Chiquita Fresh Bites, use "4322-2342-1342-4323" as your Code.

:Prizes Include:
1 Grand Prize: Winner's choice of one of three trips
- California Family Adventure
- California Dream Prize Package
- Scream Across the USA Prize Package

4 First Prizes: Camcorder
6 Second Prizes: Portable DVD Player
25 Third Prizes: Kajeet M300 Phone and two months of service
176 Fourth Prizes: $50 Amex Fill it up Card
88 Fifth Prizes: $50 Amex Gift Card
200 Sixth Prizes: Soccer Mom DVD

One Instant Win Game Prize per person
______________________________________________________

Sears Instant Win
Play once per day until November 21st, 2008

:Prizes Include:

1 Grand Prize (sweepstakes): A trip for 2 to New York, NY and Bristol, CT to tour the ESPN campus, attend a live taping of an ESPN studio show, and have lunch with ESPN Pro Football Analyst Mark Schlereth (

15 First Prizes: Sony KDL40V4100 40" LCD HDTV
15 Second Prizes: Samsung LN40A550 40" LCD HDTV
15 Third Prizes: Sony DAVHDX576WF 5-Disk DVD/CD Home Theater System
15 Fourth PRizes: Sony DVPNS350 Blu-ray Disc Player
14 Fifth Prizes: Samsung BDP1500 Blu-ray Disc Player
10 Sixth Prizes: Football autographed by Peyton Manning
25 Seventh Prizes: Magellan MRM1200 GPS
25 Eighth Prizes: Canon A590IS Camera
25 Ninth Prizes: Harmony 520 Remote Control
100 Tenth Prizes: Football autographed by Mark Schlereth
25 Eleventh Prizes: Sirius Satellite Radio and gift card for one month of service

Limit one instant win prize per person

______________________________________________________

Pledge Photo Hunt Instant Win
Play once per day until November 30th, 2008.

:Prizes Include:
1 Grand Prize: $5,00
200 Second Prizes: $25 American Express Prepaid Card

Limit of one prize per person
______________________________________________________

General Mills Fuel up Free Instant Win
Play once per day until November 30th, 2008. Obtain a free code from their website

:Prizes Include:
1550 - $25 Gas Card

Limit One Prize Per Person
______________________________________________________

Chrysler Drive to go Green
Play once a day until 12/31. You do not need a code

:Prizes Include:
1 Grand Prize: A trip for two to Ginn Reunion Resort in Reunion, Fl
2 First Prizes: Lifetime Fitness Membership awarded as $1,200 check
40 Second Prizes: Chrysler Branded iPod Nano
40 Third prizes: Greenandmore.com Gift certificate
5 Fourth Prizes: 2 Tickets to Six Flags
25 Fifth Prizes: A Hemp Grocery bag

Limit one prize per person
______________________________________________________

Fancast Instant Win
Once per day until 12/19

:Prizes Include:
1 Grand Prize: Ultimate Hollywood Getaway valued at $12,800
30 First Prizes: iPod Touch
75 Second Prizes: Entertainment Prize Pack E! Merchandise
1,000 Third Prizes: 2 Fandango Tickets

Limit one prize per person
______________________________________________________

Soft Scrub Instant Win
Play until 12/15 (use SOFTSCRUB as free code)and receive a $.50 off coupon

:Prizes Include:
1 Grand Prize: Trip for 2 to LA
100 Second Prizes: Autographed Dancing with the Stars Merchandise ($50)
275 Third Prizes: Dancing with the Stars Merchandise ($15)
100 Fourth Prizes: A coupon for FREE Soft Scrub item (up to $3.99)
______________________________________________________

New Phone

Ok so I'm two weeks behind in blog post and have no shopping done but I did get something really cool this week.



Ok so maybe I'm the only one that finds it super exciting, but I love this new phone. It's a Scoop from Alltel and represents the most I've ever spent on a phone in my life! This puppy set us back a whopping $9.99 plus tax. It's the first time we didn't pick out the .99 phone when renewing our cell phone plan and I must say it was worth it.

Sweeps for the week 11/10

Here are some of the sweeps for the week. Most of them can be entered daily so make sure to keep checking back for the chance to win more great prices.

Instant Wins
~ Lysol "fact or Fiction?" Until 11/3
~ Ban - How I chill - until 11/15. More HERE
~ Oreo Double Stuff until 12/1
~ Tinker Bell Sweepstakes once per day until January 31st

Just Plain Sweeps
~ Circuit City - Ongoing
~ Woman’s Day Magazine. - Many Ongoing
~ Home Magazine - Many Ongoing
~Enter the Redbook get everything you want Until 1/15. More here


One Time Entry
Wrangler Little Big Town Sweepstakes Ends 11/24/08 ~ More HERE


Last week I won a free bottle of Pace salsa - just more proof playing sweeps can pay off.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Create a no spend day

For the next month on I will teach you to be rich Ramit is hosting a series on how to save $1,000 in 30 days. Guess what tip number seven is... "create a no spend day once a week"

I'm starting to wonder if he's been reading the blogs around here lately. Having no spend days, weeks(ends), or even months is starting to become a trend (but hopefully not just a fad).

Which this post reminds me, next weekend is our November No Spend Weekend. I'm so looking forward to a nice quiet weekend at home.

Anyone else planning a no spend something this November?

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Ideas needed

It's been another one of those weeks here at On Our Way. You know how it is just when I thought we'd have some free time to clean the house, finish the bathroom (and the THREE other projects I started - b/c I'm crazy), craft a little, and catch up on blogging something much more important comes up. I try to keep extended family out of the blog but my younger sister was diagnosed with pneumonia and a kidney infection last night - sometime this morning. Since she is only 11 and has down syndrome it can make hospital stays extra interesting; therefore, Matt and I are taking turns staying with her so my Mom can get some rest. I do promise to return to a regular blogging schedule soon with hopefully a new header as well (finally).

Until then I'm looking for some ideas from you! I would like to put together a listing of some great holiday gifts, preferably homemade and even better if it's (up)recycled in some way. Have the perfect item in mind? Shoot me an email at meg@onourwayonline.com and your idea could be featured at On Our Way in the near future.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Great Kroger Deals?

Have you heard about the great deals going on at Kroger this week?

If not stop by Frugal in Virginia for more details. They are having a buy 10 items get $5 where you can grab lots of free items.

I plan to go this weekend - has anyone had the chance to shop their yet?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Get out and Vote

Mommy Making Money has the scoop on all the free deals you can get for voting today.

So get out there and vote!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Another web giveaway

Free cupcake maker up for grabs at Frugal Upstate

There are three ways to enter until this Friday. Make sure to stop by and view her vlog demonstrating the product as well.

Check out this post for even more giveaways happening this week. With so much free stuff circulating around the web there are sure to be some good Christmas gifts this year.

Expired Coupon Time

Just a reminder it's time to send our expired coupons to military families overseas.
This month I'm sending mine to :

RAF Alconbury
ATTN: Family Services
423 ABS/DPF
APO AE 09470
Alconbury, UK


Check the original post HERE to learn how to send your expired coupons to those in need.