Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Free Ice Cream and Italian Ice!

If your weather is anything like ours today, it doesn't have you thinking spring, HOWEVER, Rita's is giving away free Italian ice (and if it's like last year, for an additional $1 you can add a scoop of custard on top to make it a gelati, YUM) for the first day of spring.
Also, Dairy Queen is giving away free soft serve ice cream cones (and some will do cups for celiacs like me) at participating locations for free cone day and accepting donations for the Children's Miracle Network.

Lovely freebies to kick off spring, and hopefully bring on some sunshine and flowers soon.

I found out about the Rita's deal through their awesome loyalty program, and I'm working on an e-mail right now that includes a list of my favorite loyalty programs.  Programs that give you deals and steals not just on your birthday, but throughout the year. Stay Tuned!

Friday, March 2, 2018

Free Yogurt!

Another quick post to tell you about another quick deal.

With Chobani's redesigned packaging, it looks like they're on the hunt to keep their customers, and get new ones.

Right now, they have a free Chobani printable coupon on their website. This one can be used for several Chobani products, including my kid's favorite, Chobani Drink (or as they call it, "Yogurt Smoothie!!").


PLUS, on Ibotta, there's a free carton of Chobani rebate that can be used at various stores (Target, Harris Teeter, Wegmans, etc. ).

The coupon on their website is only good through March 4, so get there stat. The rebate on Ibotta has an expiration date of March 28.

Check it out and pick up a delicious and healthy snack (or two) for nothing!

Monday, January 29, 2018

Amazing Deal with Target Cartwheel

A quick post to let you know Target is having a 20% off clearance apparel and accessories deal when you use the cartwheel app! This deal must be used in store FYI.

I had written new shoes for my boys in the February budget, but had to move it to January to take advantage of these great deals. 

All three pair of these Surprize by Stride Rite were $38.21 after cartwheel and Target Red Card (and before tax). To put into perspective, they are normally $30 a pair roughly.


So if you've been needing something from Target for you, or your family's wardrobe, now is the time to get it! This offer is good through February 3.

(P.S. not an ad, just wanted to share so everyone else can save too!)

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

My Favorite Apps to Save You $$

Have you ever been at the check out line and had your eyes grow big as saucers as the cashier read your total back to you?

You walk out of the store, scanning your receipt and wondering, "How did it total up to that much?? There's no way these three bags cost $XXX!!"

It's amazing how a quick run to the store, or even what you think will be a quick online order for essentials, can add up so quickly.

One of my favorite ways to save that doesn't involve clipping coupons (I know some people hate coupons, personally, I have no problem with them) is finding apps that give you money back.

Check out the apps below, and their explainers, and click the links to add them to your phone if you see them (an FYI, you will be giving me a referral credit with some of them, which could give you a credit too!)

Ibotta: Among thrifty shoppers, Ibotta is probably the most well known rebate app. It works at many stores: grocery, big box, drug stores, etc. Recently it started adding online shopping cash back options as well, but I still prefer Ebates (see below) for that.

With Ibotta, you check the items on the list of offered rebates, shop for those items (items available for rebate vary by store) and scan your receipt when you are done shopping and it picks those items out and confirms your purchases.

Sometimes you'll have to scan items if the receipt picture doesn't pick them up.

Savings Star: Savings star can be used two ways:

  1. The incredibility easy way: if your store has a loyalty program, you just enter your shopper number and every couple of weeks it automatically enters your rebates from that store. You literally do nothing, but choose the rebates you want to activate, and then shop for those numbers.  This does take a little longer to get your money back
  2. Scanning the items purchased and then scanning your receipt like most other apps at stores without a loyalty program like Wal-Mart and Target
Savings Star also offers a healthy offer for a produce item, and sometimes has "100% cash back items" on smaller things like candy bars, cream cheese, etc. 


Checkout 51: Check out 51 is super easy. Pick out your rebates, and scan your receipt, and go. Randomly you have to scan an item, and randomly items are only for specific stores. Most of the time, however, it's pretty universal, and easy to use.

Ebates: When I first heard of Ebates, I thought it was a scam. How could I get money just for normal shopping I do online? But, you can. My friend Keri convinced me it was real, and it is a great way to make a little extra change. The cash back isn't crazy, anywhere between 1-8% usually depending on the day (they do promotions, like extra cash back) but if you're going to be spending the money anyway, you might as well! 


Wal-Mart Grocery: I'm going to sound like a total yuppie here, but I hate going into Wal-Mart most of the time. I'm a Target person. However, I love Wal-Mart's prices, and their wide variety of items, and when you're working on a budget with four little ones, price is king if the quality is the same. 

So Wal-Mart's grocery app is amazing because you can shop for groceries right on it, set your order time, pull up in the designated spot and they load your groceries right into your car--you never get out and go inside the store! Plus, there is no convenience charge like many other grocery pick up or delivery services. 

If you use my link above you'll get $10 off your first order too and then you can refer others for the same!

In Total...

These apps can be such  money saving tool if you use them correctly. If you only buy things you needed anyway, aren't sucked into impulse buys on extra items, or special sales on Ebates, you'll end up with extra money from items you would have bought anyway.

The rebates offer various ways for you cash out with your sweet moola. Ebates gives you a quarterly payout with options for PayPal, Check, or gift cards, Checkout 51 and Ibotta let you cash out once you've earned $20 with various gift card options and PayPal, Savings Star lets you cash out once you hit $5 with gift cards and PayPal as your choices. 

Personally, I uses these rebates as my coffee run money and load it as Starbucks gift cards randomly, OR I put it into savings or an extra payment on our cars to get ahead. It's "found money" and an easy way to slip ahead, which I love.

Happy Savings!

Sunday, December 31, 2017

2017 in Pictures

I know it's been awhile..over a year in fact. And if you check out the pictures below, you'll see a few things have changed, or should I say multiplied. Our family grew times two with the birth of our twins Sydney and Laine on June 21.  Blogging fell by the wayside with the demands of a full-time job outside the home, full-time job at home, and spending half the year making sure I cooked two healthy girls while my body slowly became a giant, aching, incubator.

But now we're a family of six, living in one of the most expensive regions in the United States. So people keep asking me, how do you do it? How do both you and your husband work outside the home, have four kids in childcare, still get in your workouts, date nights, and keep sane?

Short answer: We don't.

Long answer: We're thrifty, not cheap, but thrifty.

I know money is sensitive subject, but it's something we all deal with. However, i'm not here to tell you how to manage your money, because managing my own is hard enough.

But, as I get back to regular blogging, I will be focusing more on the tips and tricks that can help families save money, and the little things we do to find a better deal and save both time and money and enjoy our family of six at the same time.

So stay tuned, I may not blog often, but it's my hope to get over here at least every few weeks and share my tips, and hear some from you as well!

Last picture as a family of four

Happy Father's Day!
Bringing the girls home from the hospital
Sydney and Laine's Baptism
Halloween at just over four months

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Fall Update

I've taken breaks from blogging before, but never this long. Never nearly eight months. I could not write again, and no one would notice, but I know I would. I love looking back at my posts and remembering things I would have otherwise probably forgotten about in the hub bub of life.

And let me tell you, life has been a hub bub. I planned to write more after my leap day post, but things got crazier than ever before.

Austin's seizure that I wrote about became prolific seizures, that were happening once or twice a week, and scary, and unpredictable, and very frustrating. And in the middle of all that, I was interviewing for a new job. After being with the same company for 7+ years, the company that moved me to Virginia, so that in itself was scary.

I was sitting in the hospital with Ben, his dad, and Austin when I got the call with a job offer. We had just heard word that all was good with Austin, a negative MRI, a diagnosis (pediatric unexplained epilepsy) and a plan for a drug to help control them, and it seemed like it was a good sign. It was time to make a change and move forward, as scary as it might be.

Since the end of March, Austin has been seizure free, and is happy as ever. 




Everett started speech therapy himself in April and now is a talking machine. He's finally communicating his needs and wants, but isn't always happy when he doesn't get everything he wants, and claims he needs, the minute he wants them. He and his brother are really forming a relationship which is so fun to see. They also now team up on their dad and I. =)


And now, Ben has a new job as well. He took a leap out of the news business, and is quite happy with it, and as are we as a family.

Roughly a year ago I told Ben I felt like I was barely keeping my head above water, even drowning some days. Barely having enough time for anything, both working crazy hours and times,  and even though we were working our asses off, we were just making ends meet.

I said we weren't living, we were existing.

I pleaded that we needed a change.

I didn't know what, but something had to give, and I'm happy to say a year later things have changed because we decided they needed to. Life feels less like work most days, and I couldn't be happier. I'm still not a millionaire, and I still have a messy house defined by crumbs and toy clutter, and a random 5-10 lbs that creeps up on me if I'm not careful, but I'm not grasping at straws to make life go most of the time, and that feels good.

So there you have it, the only things that stays the same is change itself, but here we are, standing on the other side.

Monday, February 29, 2016

Leap Day 2016

This year's Leap Day gives me an extra 24 hours to make sure I get in a blog post while it's still February. I at least like to make sure I do a new post once each month, and so here is February's.

This month has been all health up and downs. Not to sound geriatric, but we were in and out of doctor's offices all month.

Everett's ear drum ruptured and his tubes are non-functioning, and with that brought an ear infection. We have an ENT assessment for whether he needs another set of tubes later this week, and a speech assessment as well for his lack of words (his biggest word choice, "MOMMMMMM!!! MAAAAAAAA!!" for everything when he needs/wants something and "apple" to point to the apple TV remote).

We all caught some form of a nasty virus. Austin caught it so badly that he actually had a seizure from dehydration while we were waiting to be seen in the Urgent Care waiting room. The scariest five minutes of my life, as his eyes rolled in the back of his head while I was holding him, and then his body proceeded to convulse uncontrollably, while I screamed for help.

Doctors and nurses came running from the exam areas, good Samaritans stepped in, one lady to play with Everett and keep him distracted, a man helping me move furniture so Austin wouldn't hit his head during the seizure and helped me get him on his side. It really brought me even more faith in what people will do for one another when they need each other.

An ambulance ride to the ER, bags of fluid, blood tests and a chest x-ray later, our Austin is back to being his spunky self. We knew he was coming back around when he pointed out the lack of hand dryers in the ER bathrooms and yelled at the x-ray tech who was trying to get him to sit up straight, "Hey, you stop using hurting hands!"

Resting in the ER with Mom

We've all had a bit of the virus he had since, Ben getting in the worst this past weekend. I pray we're all on the up and up to being healthy now!

And how could I forget our sweet Cooper. The Yorkshire is growing older and at his sedated tooth-brushing we do every few years, the vet had to pull six of his teeth last week. He of course was extremely pathetic and whining, and wanted everyone to love him the most. And of course, we did.

Cooper taking care of Austin when he was sick

The spring race season is upon us as well. Ben is all about it this year, although he's worried his bout with sickness will hold him back. I told him not to worry, he's done the training, missing his longest run this weekend before his half-marathon will not kill him, and his body needed the rest.

I had a great dinner out with some of my runner friends last weekend. It was lovely to see each other not in sweaty clothes or at the crack of dawn!
 

And, if you'll notice in the above pic, I'm getting old and need to wear glasses in low and darker lighting now. I can't drive at night without them, but can still see fine during the day, and enjoyed my nearly 12 years glasses and contacts free post-Lasik.

Onward to March, and here's hoping the whole month is like a lamb and not an ounce of lion!

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