Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A bit late but useful for next year?

I found this blog post about Eco Friendly Holiday Ideas I wanted to share. I know its past Christmas at this point but it could be useful for next year, right?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

About to Run Out of Cell Minutes?

I recently lost my cell phone at an indoor playground (that's the last time I climb around in one of those...). I have never felt so disconnected to the world than I did for the 4 or so hours I was without my phone. Now, I don't have a smartphone so I'm not that "connected." But it's nice to know I can call someone if I need to.

While I was looking for a solution to get a hold of some people to find my phone, I stumbled on Google voice. Did you know that you can call any cell phone or land line in the U.S. for free using Google voice? I kept looking for a catch but wasn't able to find one. You just have to download the voice program to your computer which takes all of a few minutes. I was surprised at the quality of the calls as well. It was just like talking on my cell phone. I was able to call the indoor playground to let them know I was looking for my phone as well as my husband and my cell phone provider for assistance.

I began thinking about other uses for this service. This could definitely be used if you are coming close to using all of your cell phone minutes in a given month. It could also be used to supplement as a long distance plan instead of having one on your land line. All-in-all, this is a great feature to have at your fingertips. It could end up saving you money in the long run. Why not?

P.S.-I did indeed find my phone. A child found it in the play equipment somewhere...

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Thrifty Gifts

Tis the Season for spending lots of money on gifts. This year we are doing a bunch of homemade gifts for Christmas. Located below are some links for some great gift ideas. Enjoy!

Footprint Penguins

Gifts in a Jar

Dryer Balls

Do-It-Yourself Christmas Gifts

Friday, December 2, 2011

I Heart Tiny Prints

My new favorite place to order cards is Tiny Prints. I almost always find a free greeting card promo code and I can either send it directly to the recipient (for the cost of a stamp) or send it to myself for free. I've made 3 free cards in the past month and sent them directly to recipients. You can even order cards to be sent in the future. This is great if they are offering a one day only promo code and no one's birthday, etc. is within the next week. Check out their Facebook page for promos and the lady behind Raining Hot Coupons always posts codes for the free cards. I love the fact that the cards are cute and you can personalize them with your own photos. It really is nicer than a Hallmark and cheaper too!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Don't Toss Those Seeds!

Want a fiber-ful, cheap, seasonal snack? Save your pumpkin seeds, acorn squash seeds or butternut squash seeds and cook and season them. They can stay up to 3 months in an airtight container at room temperature and even longer in the freezer! Check out some different ways to cook them here!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Sam's Club without a Membership

Did you know that you can frequent the Sam's Club Pharmacy without a Sam's Club membership? Well, you can! I did it the other day with no problems. Way more convenient since Sam's Club is closer to my house than the closest CVS or Walgreen's or Walmart.

Did you also know that you can purchase alcohol at a Sam's Club without holding a membership? It's posted outside the club (those that sell alcohol) that purchasing alcohol does not require a membership or the extra 10% non-member fee.

So get your Rx's and alcohol at Sam's! Just please don't take your meds with your alcohol purchase...

Monday, October 10, 2011

Here is my Soapbox...

I haven't really written about this in depth so I thought I'd take a moment to step up on my soapbox and do so. I don't buy disposable diapers. Both of my boys (2.5 and 5 months) use cloth diapers. I have a stash of about 35 one size pocket diapers that I can button up or down to fit both of my boys. It's great! I never have to worry about running out of diapers and I keep all the money I would have spent on disposables in my pocket.

We use BumGenius 4.0's, Go Green Pocket diapers, and I have a few Kawaii pocket diapers. I can't say enough good things about them. I can count on one hand the number of poop blowouts we've had in them. I can't even begin to count the number of blowouts we've had in disposables with my first child. Another perk, the BumGenius diapers are almost always buy 5, get one free. So I didn't pay full price for any of the ones I purchased. The resale value on diapers is pretty high too so when you are done with them, you can sell them and recoup a large amount of the purchase cost.

I purchased my diapers from (always free shipping and you can pay via Paypal where I have my cash back, survey money, etc. deposited) and (you can also pay via Paypal and check out the discount on the left hand side of this blog). Since I use some of my cash back to pay for the diapers, I get even more of a discount since that money had already been taken out of my "pot" anyway. You could always use the Amazon gift cards you get from Swagbucks to pay for diapers too (yes, Amazon carries them as well).

So, save some money, cloth diaper! Washing them is really nothing since you are already doing laundry anyway and you save the environment as well!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Fruit Cheap

Want to get some good, cheap, fresh fruit? Buy fruit that's in season and ready for pickin' at local farms and fields. I got a half bushel of apples for $13.00 and raspberries for $4 a quart. All we had to do was pick them. The outing also served as a great, cheap family outing as well.

P.S. Raspberries freeze and there are a ton of quick recipes that use apples. The fresh stuff tastes so much better than the supermarket stuff anyway...

Sunday, August 7, 2011

A Change in the Tide...

As I've been writing this blog, I have been writing from the perspective of a stay-at-home Navy officer's wife where my husband pulls in a paycheck of an O-3 plus bonuses for being in the submarine community. My husband and I decided recently to resign his commission and he's going back to school to get his Ph.D. As a result, we will be taking a pay cut where will be making maybe half of what he makes now in a given month. So, we are having to adjust how we live to minimize our costs when we move to another state and he begins his program.

I've decided that I'm going to chronicle our challenges and money saving ideas and lifestyle changes here on this blog. I will continue to post other money saving ideas I come upon as I have been doing.

I think I should outline our new situation first to give perspective. We are a family of 4 with a golden retriever. Our two boys are 4 months and 2 years old. We will be moving from Virginia to the state of Michigan for my husband to complete his program. We will be living off of a Graduate Research Student stipend and the housing allowance that my husband receives from the GI BIll. This works out to about half of what we make per month currently. I will write about the challenges we encounter and our solutions as we embark on our new journey here. Hopefully, these posts prove to be useful to others who may be in a similar financial situation as ourselves.

Monday, August 1, 2011

What Do You Do With Your Empty Packages?

I save any packing envelopes, boxes, etc. that I can when I get packages and mail. If they are in decent enough shape, I can reuse them to send out packages. I just carefully open the bubble mailer, USPS envelope, or box and then when I'm ready to mail something, I cover the old mailing stickers with the new mailing address and mail the package. I save money on packaging and I'm saving the environment by recycling :)

Saturday, July 30, 2011


I was at the mall the other day and saw some pamphlets in one of those little in-mall billboards. After taking a closer look, I realized that the pamphlets contained a listing of all the stores in the mall that participated in a military discount (Score!). The usual discount is about 10% however, the Gap had a discount of 25% off your entire purchase with a military I.D! On top of the extra 25% off sale prices, I was able to get 4 t-shirts for my sons for 15 dollars after tax. Pretty good for the Gap! I also know that if you are a nurse, teacher, military, police, EMT or firefighter, you get a 15% discount at NY&Co.

Moral of this story:
Ask/Find out about discounts for AAA, military, your profession etc. at any place that you shop regularly.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Social Media Discounts

This may be another "duh!" moment but I'm going to post it anyway. If there is a business that you always find yourself frequenting (and buying their goods...), why not check to see if they have a Facebook page? Keep up to date with the latest sale information and perhaps even get some great deals through a coupon or promo code posted exclusively for Facebook fans. Sometimes you can get in on a flash giveaway too (I've won something from them...its so much fun!). Just "like" their page. Might as well save a little (or a lot) when buying your favorite stuff...

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Save money and Stay Cool

Save some dough and stay cool with these Eco-friendly tips.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Great Deals at Food Lion

Being military, I don't shop at the commercial supermarkets as much since I have access to the Commissary. However, there are some great deals to be had at Food Lion if you do your shopping right! I always scan my MVP card at the coupon kiosk when I go in to the store, just to see what coupons it spits out for me. Today when I went, I got a coupon for a free item (no other purchases necessary!) Definitely worth taking the time to scan your card when you walk in. And if you don't need any of the coupons, leave them there for the next patron who may be able to use them. Good karma all around.

I've also found that you can find closeout items on their shelves. I've gotten tide pens, m&m's and baby food all super cheap. The best is when you can couple it with a coupon and sometimes you end up getting the items for free or "less than free" (the amount the coupon took off was more than the purchase of that particular item). I've done this with baby food and it definitely helps to keep some money in your pocket! Keep your eyes open the next time you go shopping at Food Lion.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Great Article on "Finding" Money

I got our issue of USAA Magazine yesterday and they had this great article on "finding" money. It's written by the guy who writes Motley Fool. Check out how to find some serious dough:

Friday, May 27, 2011

Getting More Bang for Your Buck

You know all those containers that contain items that you buy at the Big Box Warehouses? Why not get a little more use out of them? I have taken a few good plastic containers, cleaned them out and re-appropriated them to hold my son's toys. They could easily be used to house craft stuff or baking supplies or something as well.

First up I have a Tide Stain Release container. It is currently holding airplanes, dump trucks, and other small toys.

Next, I took an M&M cookie container (I bought the cookies on a "weak will" day...) and used it house some blocks. This could have easily been used for many different little items as well. What I like most about both of these containers is that you can see what is inside them because they are translucent/transparent.

I don't recommend keeping every single container you come upon. Those old Parkay containers, while they could be easily used for leftovers, confuse the heck out of someone trying to find butter in your fridge...Just my opinion though...if you wanna be super Green, then save as many containers as you can. Remember you can recycle a number of the plastic ones too, though...

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Totally Random

This is totally random but I was thinking today that I unconsciously save myself money on our printer cartridges. When I print stuff out, I try to print in black and white (black ink cartridges are generally cheaper and bigger than a color one) and I almost always use the Quick Print setting to print (it uses less ink than a standard print). As a result, I don't have to buy new print cartridges as often since we, unfortunately, can't refill our ink cartridges because of the brand of printer we own :( Anyways, there is my random thought for the day...

Monday, May 2, 2011

Shameless Plug for a Business I Love...

Ok, so this is kind of about saving money but mostly I just wanted to get the word out on a business located in Charlotte, NC that sells cloth diapers and other natural baby solutions. Jack Be Natural is awesome! They have great prices on diapers and other natural babying solutions (which since I've gone green, is actually saving me money in long run anyway...). They provide awesome customer service (handwritten notes, phone calls to ask if you have any questions, free samples of detergent, etc). They also provide some awesome deals on their website.

They are currently running a Mother's Day sale with free shipping on any order and a free Kawaii Minky floral diaper (just indicate your choice of color red, black, purple, or orange) with the purchase of 5 diapers. You can earn store credit (its like 15% cash back) with every purchase you make and it can be applied to any future order with them.

In this day and age it's so great to see a company with such great customer relations and I love being able to support a WAHM (work at home mom) and small business owner. Definitely check them out if you are in need of any diapering or natural baby supplies...

Monday, April 25, 2011

Go a Little Green

I decided lately that I'm going to try to go more Green. Now, I'm not going all-out tree hugger green where I don't buy toilet paper and live out of a tree kind of green. I'm making an effort to try to create less of a footprint by myself and my household. As a result, I've determined that I'm not only saving the Earth, but I'm saving some "green" as well.

First, I have stopped buying plastic sandwhich bags. Why? I can use plastic sandwhich tupperware and other small storage containers to put snacks and things in for my husband's lunches and for my son's snacks. Not only am I going Green but I'm also saving a small fortune on plastic baggies...

Second, I've decided to use cloth diapers on my second child. I have yet to do this since I'm still waiting for the little guy to make an appearance but I'm going to save a ton of money just by the shear fact that I don't have to buy diapers for 2 kids! I have made an investment here on diapers and won't ever have to buy anymore since I can reuse them over and over again. I've been doing a lot of research and cloth diapers of the past (pins and weird folds, etc) are a thing of the past. There are ways to make it as convenient as disposables so I don't feel inconvenienced right now. I will have to do a ton of laundry anyway since I'll have a newborn and a toddler who loves to roll in the grass/yard...

Well, that's about it for now. I hope to try to go Green a bit more but like I said, I'm not willing to go all Tarzan and Jane to do it. I am finding that every little bit helps :)

Cloth Diaper Contests & Giveaways: Calgary Cloth Diaper Depot - Wet Bag Review & Give...

Check out another giveaway:

Cloth Diaper Contests & Giveaways: Calgary Cloth Diaper Depot - Wet Bag Review & Give...: "For this review and giveaway, I'm so glad to be able to salute yet another terrific Canadian WAHM diaper shop! The Calgary Cloth Diaper Dep..."

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Cloth Diaper Contests & Giveaways: Sweet Bobbins Etsy Shop - Review & Giveaway

Check out the giveaways for handmade wipes here: Cloth Diaper Contests & Giveaways: Sweet Bobbins Etsy Shop - Review & Giveaway: "I'll confess right up front that though I don't do a lot of dealings on Etsy, I love browsing through what this chic flea market-esque venu..."

Friday, April 22, 2011

Tiny Prints for Mother's Day

"Like" Tiny Prints on Facebook for a code for a free Mother's Day card. Shipping is free on cards at Tiny Prints! Personalized Mother's Card for nothing...good deal.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Rockin' Green Giveaway

Rockin' Green Giveaway

Green giveaway for Earth Day on MakerMama's blog! Score some eco-friendly detergent!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Bed Bath and Beyond Savings

This might be a "duh" moment for some but I thought I'd write about it anyway. Did you know that you can use expired 20% off and $5/$10 off coupons at Bed Bath and Beyond? Well, you can! And you can use more than one coupon per transaction too. I usually have a stash of these coupons that I get in the mail and in my email (the email ones do expire, unfortunately). I gather my stash when I head to the store so I'm fully equipped if I find a good deal on something else that I perhaps wasn't going there for necessarily.

While you are there, check the clearance towers. You never know what kind of goods you will find. Sometimes there are a lot of damaged goods but I often find things that are either the last one of something or a display or discontinued items. You can use your coupons on these items and get an even bigger savings. Just today I got 2 toothbrush holders (one for each of our bathrooms) for less than $3 a piece. I also found hand towels that matched my hall bathroom shower curtain for less than $4 a piece after coupon. I also found a display Sharper Image large room humidifier (retails for $99.99) and with my coupon, it cost me a grand total of $23.95! (That's cheaper than just about any other brand of humidifier in the store!) I somehow managed to kill one of ours a little while ago so it was nice to find one cheap!

I have found other great finds on the clearance rack while shopping there as well. (Somehow I always come across something that I was looking into getting anyway while I was there.) I've gotten sheet sets for less than $10 and Keurig K-Cups that had somehow gotten out of their box never to be reunited again (I paid less than 2 dollars for those....I forget how many it ended up being, but it was definitely cheaper than the unit price of one in their regular boxes). Keep on the lookout for great deals because you never know what you might find...

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Free Coffee on Earth Day

Bring a reusable travel mug to Starbucks on 4/22 for free coffee or tea. Check out the starbucks website for more info.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Baskin Robbins 31 cent Scoop Night

Head over to your local Baskin Robbins on 4/27 (5-10pm) for 31 cent scoop night! Head over to to find a location near you!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Free Patterned Nursing Cover

Expecting? UdderCovers is offering a free patterned nursing cover (value $32) on their website with the code "Family2011". All you pay is shipping (like $10). You can use the code as many times as you like, you just have to open a new transaction to do so.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Cranes for Kids

Oshkosh B'Gosh is currently doing a campaign through April 25th involving origami cranes to clothe children who fell victim to the tsunami/earthquake in Japan. Great way to entertain your kids on a rainy day while also providing an opportunity to provide a service for those in need. Best of all, it doesn't cost you anything but a little bit of time.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Amazon Mom

I just found out about this program this evening. Amazon offers a free mom's program that you can sign up for (you don't have to be a mom, any caregiver can sign up) that gives you 3 free month's of 2 day shipping, up to 30% discount on diapers and wipes, and an extra 15% off with subscribe and save delivery. Here is the FAQ and link to get started. Save a little cash (and some time) with delivered baby items.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Inexpensive Date Ideas

I loved the ideas mentioned on My Thirty Spot! Check out this blog for some good ideas for ways to have fun with your significant other. :)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

$8 for $100 at

Today at you can get a $100 egift card for for $8. That's like 80% off. Good deal if you plan on going out to eat at any of the participating restaurants.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

30% off at Old Navy

I got a coupon in my inbox for Old Navy for 30% off your purchase through 3/24. You can download and print the coupon here. I like to combine this with clearance items for maximum savings. It doesn't say you have to buy regularly priced items so you should be good to go to use it on sale/clearance items in store. Happy shopping!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Spring Fun!

As the warm temperatures are becoming more frequent as we get closer to summer, your city is probably coming alive with events! You don't necessarily have to spend money to have fun though. There are a number of free events out there just waiting for you to discover them!

Check your local malls' website and the posted advertisements throughout the mall. I noticed today when I took my son to the play area at the mall that they are holding a free family fun event at the mall with face painting and games and other fun things. I also know that our mall does Friday night concerts (music, Chick Fil A usually hands out coupons, facepainting, etc.) outside the movie theatre when the weather starts to warm up so I'll be checking their website for that as well.

Check the website for your local Parks and Recreation. The city of Virginia Beach holds many family events starting with the Cherry Blossom Festival on April 2. All of the events are free to the public.

Check the your local newspaper or their website events calendar for events in your area. Our local newspaper has a calendar that lists events by date, description, place, and cost. Those that are free are marked as such.

Check your membership bulletins for the museums, zoos, and aquariums. There are a lot of events for families or different age groups included in these newsletters that are free with your admission (which is already paid for because you are a member) or discounted since you are a member.

Check with your local Town Center (if you have one). The Virginia Beach Town Center offers all sorts of free events (art exhibits/markets on First Friday, music on the weekends and Why Not Wednesdays event with booze, music and food). They also hold a farmers market once a week or so.

Don't forget about your local library for storytime and other events. They are usually all free and provide entertainment on those less than stellar weather days (rain or cold).

Got another idea of where to check for free/low-cost entertainment this spring? Add it in the comments!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Produce Savings

Want to save some money on the produce you buy at the grocery store? Grow your own! If you've got some soil somewhere around your yard (or even if you just have a window box), you can plant your own garden. Choose fruits and vegetables that can grow in your area to ensure that you will be successful (growing mangos in New England is probably not a good idea...). I'm relatively new to the gardening thing but the fruits and vegetable seeds I planted a few weeks ago are starting to sprout in my kitchen. I'll be planting them outside after April 10 (the date recommended to plant plants in my area to avoid frost killing my sprouts).

Got any other gardening tips? Comment on this post! Us budding gardeners could reap the rewards from your advice!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Rita's Italian Ice

Check out the webpage or Facebook page or advertisements near/at your local Rita's Italian Ice. They usually give out free regular italian ices on or near the first day of spring. FYI: The one here in Virginia Beach will be giving away free ices on the first day of spring!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

42 Ways to Cut Everyday Costs

42 Ways to Cut Everyday Costs

Another great article...I've already mentioned a few of these websites but there are others listed here I didn't know anything about!

Surprising Ways to Save Money Every Day

Surprising Ways to Save Money Every Day

Check out this article from Family Circle magazine for some ways to save some money by recycling, etc

Saturday, February 12, 2011

If you like Groupon....

If you like Groupon, try out some of these other sites for daily deals:

Living Social


Friends and Family Circle

Remember that you can connect to Groupon through your Ebates account too so you save an extra 3%!!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Did you know...

If you decide you are going to buy a daily deal at, you can earn 3% cash back on your purchase if you connect through your account? Just another way to earn some money back if you were already going to spend it on a deal from Groupon anyway. It's kind of like double dipping in the savings, right?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Shopping Out of Season

I have my son's entire wardrobe (minus a winter coat) set for next Fall and Winter. Am I nuts by buying ahead? It's certainly a risk since he's a toddler and growing very quickly but I've been pretty good at guessing about where he will be size-wise and shopping ahead for his clothes. You end up hitting all the clearances and whatnot. I recommend hitting up JCPenney when they do their 80% around this time and around the end of August and beginning of September for great deals on kids' clothes. I got my son's wardrobe for about 3-4 dollars a piece of clothing (long sleeve tees were less than 2 dollars or so a piece). I also check out the clearance rack at Carter's (especially when they do an extra 30% off), and the clearance stuff at Ross, Burlington Coat Factory, and TJMaxx/Marshalls. You can get some great deals. I've gotten shorts for a dollar! Check it out!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Valentine's Day Cards for Less

Check out TinyPrints to get Valentine's Day cards for $1.99 or less with code: heartgc. Heck, you pay more than that to buy a Hallmark card and its not personalized, right? Offer ends 2/1.

Monday, January 24, 2011


Have a favorite place you like to go? The Zoo, the Aquarium, a Museum? Check into getting a membership. They are usually fairly inexpensive (less than 100 dollars usually). You get the benefit of free admission (you can figure out how many times you have to go before you pay for your membership...) as well as other benefits (discounts at their store, reciprocity with other museums/zoos/aquariums). Your membership dollars are also going to help out an organization that is using the money to put toward educating the public. Do some good for your community (and your wallet) and buy a membership.

I got a membership to the zoo here in Norfolk and we get free admission to the Baltimore Zoo when we go up to Maryland to visit. Awesome deal!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Tropical Smoothie Cafe

My son and I love smoothies from Tropical Smoothie Cafe but we hardly ever go because they charge close to 5 dollars after you add in the tax. However, my local Tropical Smoothie offers half price smoothies between 7 and 9 am. I was able to get a smoothie this morning after my son's doctor's appointment for $2.38! Much better deal for an occasional treat, especially for a little boy who did a great job at the doctor's office... Check out your favorite local haunts for great deals at certain times of the day. Then if you happen to be out and craving a small treat then you can feel better knowing that you are at least saving some money while you indulge.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

This website is great for getting shoes for less. I just got my son a pair of $50 Stride Rite shoes for $40. You get an even better deal if you watch for Groupons for them (I bought one yesterday so my son's shoes were actually a grand total of 23.95.) Here is a link that will get you $10 off. Use code: shoebuy for 10% off any order.

Monday, January 10, 2011


A friend of mine posted on Facebook about this website, Swagbucks. You sign up for free and do any number of things on the web (listed on the left side of their webpage) to earn Swag Bucks (SB). The SB's can then be redeemed for sweepstakes entries, gift cards, merchandise, etc.

I'm still kind of getting the hang of the website and there's some stuff that I will not use (some of the special offers and such where they send you stuff, I'm not comfortable with that...). I do think that using their website to do any kind of web search to earn SB's (you earn them randomly) is a good way to earn bucks without giving away personal info. They also offer coupons on their website that you can print out and use and they will credit you SB's in 8-10 weeks. This I am going to give a shot. Hopefully this proves to be a lucrative way to earn things that you can use (I intend to get some gift cards and such with my SB's when I finally earn enough.)

Search & Win

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Train set pieces for less!

Your little guy love trains? Mine does. I've recently discovered that AC Moore, the craft store, carries pieces for the Thomas the Tank Engine all wood train set. You can get a great deal on pieces for your train set by using the 50% off a regularly priced item coupons listed on their website (you can also sign up for emails where they will email them to your inbox too).

Forgot your coupons? No problem. Their fliers at the door almost always contain one of the 50% off coupons. By far the cheapest place I've been able to find pieces for this set.

Look out for sales on the the pieces too so you don't have to bring extra bodies with you to buy more than one piece (only 1 coupon can be used per transaction).