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Saturday, February 19, 2011

Social Saturday

This week for Social Saturday, I thought we would talk about ways to throw a dinner party without spending an extreme amount of money. Let me assure you, this in no way means chips, dip, and beer!

Throw a Fabulous Party on a Budget

When I have people over, I love to go all out. Because usually I am just cooking for myself, and I hate leftovers. So when I can go big, I go big!

What I like to do is:

Pick a theme- this helps narrow down the options, once I did a candy and desserts theme I made cupcakes, brownies, rice krispie treats, and had a bunch of small bowls of candy. Very inexpensive and always fun!

You don't have to go over board on the menu- Steak would be nice (when isn't it?) but pick a steak that is cost effective yet delicious when made right such as skirt steak, and use fruits and veggies that are in season.

A Dinner Party does not mean you have to all sit down and eat- go with heavy apps and a dessert buffet instead- those are always the best parts of every party anyways. Make sure you have 4-6 of each app per person.

You do not have to go out and buy special plates/cups ect. Use what you have, you want people to feel relaxed in your house, so make it as homey as possible.

Exchange Kids Clothing?

 *HOT* ThredUP   First Box of Clothes for Free!!

ThredUP is where America’s busiest parents exchange boxes of clothes that no longer fit their kids for stylish ones that will. We coordinate swaps among a group of your closest friends or connect you with thousands of families nationwide. There’s no bidding, no auction lots, no rifling through consignment racks, and absolutely no trips to the post office. All swaps are done online, with scheduled home pick-up and delivery. ThredUP is the next generation of swapping – a kids clothing revolution!

Right now when you sign up your first box is free, you just pay the shipping of $10.95. Then you pay $5 a box plus $10.95 shipping for every other box.

I think this is very interesting!

Walgreens Toy Sale

If you happen to be in Walgreens make sure you check out the toy section! Looks like there is some good deals to look for.

Thanks Jen!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Don't forget to enter the Giveaway

Make sure you go here to enter to win the CSN gift card!

Amazon Diapers

Huggies Snug & Dry Diapers

I just bought 140 Huggies Diapers from Amazon for $33.59
I used the Subscribe and Save option- Saved $10.08
I used 2-20% off coupons from BabyTalk Magazine- Took a total of $13.44 off
Then I used my Swagbucks Amazon gift cards to pay for the other $10.07+tax

In total I paid nothing out of pocket.

A few notes about this:
Subscribe and Save is an option that can be canceled at anytime- even as soon as your order ships
The 20% off coupons had to be from two different months- I used the past 2 issues.

Target Valentines stuff 50%-75% off

I just got back from Target and most of the Valentines day items are 50% off for the candy and 75% off for items like: napkins, plates, towels, blankets, pillows, crafts, clothes, and cards.

They had some super adorable stuff. I was strong willed and only bought a t-shirt that says "I wear my heart on my sleeve" super cheesey I know, but for $1.25 it will be cute to wear to bed :)

* On a side note Kraft Shredded cheese is $2.04 a bag. Use the $1.50 off 2 bags coupon found here, to get 2 for $2.54!

Financial Friday: How to save money on Pets

I once read that owning a dog can cost an average of $2000 a year! This was shocking to me... not including any vet emergencies I could not see how that kind of money was spent on a dog!

Lets be honest, I spoil my dog- how could I not with that sweet face and how he cries at the door when I leave. He knows guilt better than most children!

When I first got him I would buy the Kong toys, all he ever wanted to play with was stuffed toys/balls

Also I was a first time Dog owner, I thought the poor puppy was starving because what ever I gave him to eat was gone in the blink of an eye... This lead to a chubby puppy!

So I think one of the best things you can do is ask the vet how much does the dog really need to eat.
  I have no doubt that Mitch would eat 5cups of food a day, but he only needs one. Knowing this can save a lot of money on the cost of dog food.

Another way I save money on dog food is by buying it at BJ's or Sam's Club. I can get a 40-50lb bag for $25-$35 compared to a 20lb bag at Petsmart or Target for the same price.

I also use to take him to Petsmart every few weeks for a grooming... at $20 a visit it added up quickly. Now I throw him in the shower and have a pedipaw to cut his nails- it takes no time and costs very little.

Finally the Vet- now let me first say that I like to spend money on things that I feel are a wise investment. Such as the lyme disease shot. This $30 a year shot, could potentially save me $500 if the dog ever got lyme disease. So for me, the cost of the shot is worth it. I am the same way with the kennel cough shot, I would rather be safe than sorry when it comes to things like that.

On a side note- although online pet-med companies may be cheaper, they are not regulated and there for may not actually be giving you the pet-meds you have order.

Foodie Friday

As part of our weekly blog posts... today we have Foodie Friday!

This is a Recipe I came up with a few years ago- It is really good, and it freezes perfectly :)

                                                Chicken Soup

¼ cup of EVOO
2 large Spanish onions-chopped
1 bag of carrots-chopped
1bunch of celery- chopped
1 bunch of leeks-chopped
1 large radish- chopped
3 large parsnips- chopped
1 table spoon of pepper
1 tablespoon season all salt

Cook together in a large pot until slightly soft... 10mins or so.

Then add: 
2 cans of white beans
1 can roasted diced tomatoes
1 large box of chicken broth
1 shredded up rotisserie chicken- without the skin

Sprinkle with Parsley and serve!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Thrifty Thursday

This weeks trip to Rite Aid was not very eventful....
Still I managed to stay under $5.

What I bought:
184 pack of Huggies Wipes $7.99-  used free coupon from Huggies
4 bottles of Vitamin Water $1.59 each- used 2 B1G1 coupons
1 Gallon of milk $2.49

Total before Coupons- $17.99
Total after Coupons-$4.82

Now as it stands after 3 weeks of Rite Aid shopping:
Total amount of products bought=$91.95
Total amount out of pocket=$17.34
Total amount of Up rewards=$11
Total Up rewards for next week=$6

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Coach Factory Outlet 30% off

Aren't Coach Purses that much nicer when they are real and not knock offs? ;)

To print this coupon go here.

Win it Wednesday!

I am so very excited about our first blog Giveaway! This giveaway is sponsored by CSN, a company that owns over 200 websites and sells everything from Swing Sets to Kitchen gadgets to kid stuff and more!

One lucky person will win a $15 gift certificate to any CSN Store to use on anything you'd like!

Here's what you need to know before you enter:

Leave me a comment letting me know what kind of product you have been wanting to buy for yourself!
Must live US & Canada. (CSN ships to those countries.)
Does not cover any shipping costs but you can use it on ANY product from ANY one of their sites.
You can gain an extra entry by commenting on what you would love to have from the site linked above.
When you enter leave a comment below with your email address so that I can contact you!
The giveaway ends on Tuesday February 22nd at midnight EST.

MoneyDearest received nothing in exchange for hosting this giveaway.  All opinions contained within this post are her own and were not influenced by any other parties. 

New Daily Blog Post Topics!

I have been thinking long and hard about topics for each day of the week- on top of the other deals I find.

So here is what you can expect each week

Sundays- "Saving for Something Sundays" I will be talking about how am I saving for a new tv, starting this week. As well as ways to save money without missing it from your budget.

Mondays- Will still be "Manic Mondays" with a focus on Organizing your home, self, and more.

Tuesdays- Will also remain "Tidy Tuesdays" with a focus on quick and effective ways to keep your house always company ready.

Wednesdays- Will feature "Wordless Wednesdays" with a fun picture, as well as "Win it Wednesdays" where I will have a giveaway for you! (That starts today and I am thrilled!)

Thursdays- Will be "Thrifty Thursdays" where I will show you my Rite Aid deals of the week as well as an under $5 deal!

Fridays- Will be both "Financial Fridays" where I will have money tips, and well as "Foodie Fridays" where I will share a recipe or a review of a restaurant

Saturdays- Will be "Social Saturdays" where I talk about ways to save when going out to throwing parties!

Be on the look out for our 1st "Win it Wednesday" Tonight!!!!

Emails from companies

I am not big into emails from companies, mainly because if my phone is going to go off I want it to be a personal email. Not a 20% off coupons ;)

This is why I have a second email address set up. I do not have it connected to my phone, this way I'm not being bothered by them. When I'm curious about a company email I can just go to the computer and check to see if I have any new ones.

To me this is the best of both worlds. I want to get the BJ's coupons, because lately they have been for free products just as a produce item and a bakery item.

This alternative email address is also handy when signing up for samples or freebies on line!

Shopping around for car parts

So, lets be honest... I know next to nothing about how to fix a car. Sad but true, someday I will learn how to do certain things, because you can save big bucks that way. For the time being I have to wing it.

A couple of weeks ago My Acura was at the dealer for an oil change and they let me know my battery was low and that it would cost about $130 for a new one installed. Ouch! I let them know I would take care of it and I left when my car was finished.

The first thing I did was call Sams Club, I am not a member but my dad is so I knew I could get it in there if the price was right. Not only was the price right, it blew Acura's out of the water. $60 with a 3 year warranty, installed!

Just goes to show that there are was to save huge, with not much effort at all.

*Also check Sams Club out if you need tires. My car uses high performance tires which are very expensive, but Sams club still knocked about half off of the dealership price.

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

No fee's on Ebay this month

For the rest of the month you can:

  • Get free Insertion Fees for Auction-style listings—up to 50 items

  • Bonus Offer: Add the Buy It Now option for free

  • Pay only if your item sells

  • Check out the details here!

    I know a lot of people who have had luck selling on Ebay, especially baby and kid items!

    Thanks StlMommy

    Yankee Candles!

    I know a few people who will love this! Go here to print a buy one get one FREE Yankee large jar candle or tumbler coupon. This coupon is good between now and 2/21.

    Thanks Collin

    Don't forget about DealLeak!

    So the new thing is daily deal group sites such as Groupon, Mamapedia, Gilt City, Plum District, Tippr, BuyWithMe, Living SocialEversave and more!

    But who wants to search through all of those sites everyday or have all of those emails to go through everyday?

    The solution is DealLeak!

    Basically this site lists all of the Daily deal sites in one place. You type in your zip code and it pulls up all of your local deals as well as the national deals. Then you can click on the deal you want and it takes you right to the site to order!

    This is a fun deal

    So usually I hate when people are standing outside of the grocery store, or any other store handing out solicitations for whatever their business is.

    But maybe some of them are worth a closer look!

    $28 for a manicure, pedicure and eye brow wax! That is insane, especially around here!

    Never know where you might be handed a deal :)

    Smokey Bones

    smokey 10OFF20 215COUPON Smokey Bones $10 off $20 purchase

    Going to Smokey Bones in the next few days? Use this Smokey Bones coupon good for $10 off $20 or more.

    I love Smokey Bones... amazing pulled pork!

    Tidy Tuesday

    This weeks Tidy Tuesday focuses on the Bedroom and how to keep it looking nice and clean at all times. It is simple and takes maybe 5 minutes a day:
    -Make your bed.
    -Fold or hang clothes and put away jewelry.
    -Straighten out the night-table surface.
    -Spot dust the furniture- if it is anything like mine it is continuously dusty!

    Monday, February 14, 2011

    Happy Valentines Day!

    I just wanted to make sure that I say Happy Valentines Day :)

    Today is no fun for me.... Working 14 hours, with a serious cold. Wish I was at home snuggling with my pillow and the dog instead!

    Also since when are beans over $1 a can? Lol that made me laugh at the grocery store yesterday. I actually managed to gather enough energy to run to Rite Aid, the grocery store, the bank and pick up Chinese food, and then make Chili. I now regret not staying in bed all day... I digress. Also next time I make chili it needs more ground beef. So if you follow my recipe make sure you use 2lbs of beef and don't forget the crushed fire roasted tomatoes.

    Manic Monday

    Seems like last Monday was forever ago, but last time we talked about organizing your desk. In a sad turn of events mine needs a little work. :) I have a few coupons to organize and some receipts to take pictures of to post for Thrifty Thursday!

    So since we are on the topic of Organizing coupons-lets go with that for this week. I do not get the Sunday paper, and I know I should. Because sometimes I will see a great deal but I'm missing out because of the coupon. But at the same time there are tons of coupons online as well. I only print them if they are for a product I use or something I know I will get an excellent deal on.

    Once I have the coupons printed that I want, I stick them in an envelope and write on the outside exactly what coupons I have, what they are good for and how much I save with them. Once I use them I cross it off the list. This is also handy because it is always in my purse, if I see a good deal on something I have a coupon for I can just grab it.

    Other coupon organizing styles are:
    the binder-where each coupon has a space in the binder and it is organized by category (this takes a ton of time and is for heavy duty couponers
    The file system-where you file coupons by category in a small box such as a recipe box.( This is handy but you do not carry your box around so you can miss out on deals while out shopping).

    Sunday, February 13, 2011

    Super Sunday

    This is the banana muffin recipe I am going to make on tuesday, I've been planning on it for a week but work and a serious cold have gotten in the way. But I'm excited about them, should make for a good breakfast. My chili recipe is going to be made on tuesday as well as dinners for the week :)



    3 cups all-purpose flour

    2 cups sugar

    2 teaspoons baking powder

    1 teaspoon baking soda

    1/2 teaspoon salt

    1/2 pound unsalted butter, melted and cooled

    2 extra-large eggs

    3/4 cup whole milk

    2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

    1 cup mashed ripe bananas (2 bananas)

    1 cup medium-diced ripe bananas (1 banana)

    1 cup small-diced walnuts

    1 cup granola

    1 cup sweetened shredded coconut

    Dried banana chips, granola, or shredded coconut, optional


    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

    Line 18 large muffin cups with paper liners. Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add the melted butter and blend. Combine the eggs, milk, vanilla, and mashed bananas, and add them to the flour-and-butter mixture. Scrape the bowl and blend well. Don't overmix.

    Fold the diced bananas, walnuts, granola, and coconut into the batter. Spoon the batter into the paper liners, filling each 1 to the top. Top each muffin with dried banana chips, granola, or coconut, if desired. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the tops are brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Cool slightly, remove from the pan, and serve

    Valentines Day coloring pages

    I have been looking all over for some cute, Valentines Day coloring pages- most of the ones I found were extremely ugly! Crayola has some great ones! You can check them out here :)

    I'm sick-ugh!

     I figured I would take this opportunity of being sick to let you know, that cranberry juice is just as good for you as OJ when you are sick. The real stuff, not the cocktail mix- that will just give you a sugar high :)

    But since the world does not stop for me when I am sick (sadly enough, because I would love to spend the day in bed!) I am going to run to the grocery store and to Rite Aid.
    I need to stop slacking off and actually cook, I've been saying it all week but work and sleep kept getting in the way!

    The Rite Aid trip looks promising, I will let you know how that goes on Thursday for Thrifty Thursday!