Great Shopping Day!

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I received several coupons and offers in the mail from different companies in the last week. I wanted to take advantage of a few of these offers to snag more Christmas presents. I needed to look for printed bath towels to make towel wraps as presents. I will post an article on what those are and how to make them soon. I made a day of shopping on Friday with a good friend. I have to share with everyone my great deals.


FREE COFFEE

She wanted to stop at McDonald’s on our way out, and there was a sign stating Free Small (12 oz) coffee for the month of December. We were thrilled and we each got one, and she bought a breakfast sandwich. I’m not much of a breakfast person. She only spent $1.52 for her sandwich. That was a great way to start off my morning. This offer is good for the whole month of December!

ROSS DEALS
My friend wanted to hit Ross to look for her Christmas presents. I went to the towel section. I did find a really cute girly pink and other pastel stripe towel for my project. I ended up putting it back since I wasn’t sure about paying $5.99 for the towel. That was actually a great price for printed towels. Oh well. Live and learn.

I did find a pair of Dockers brand shoe style slippers for my husband’s grandfather. The best part was they were marked down to $6.99! That was the cheapest price I have seen including Black Friday. I found the last pair in black in his size. I also found a bamboo remote caddy to replace mine for $7.99 which is a present for us. The caddy I currently have is being held together by tape. I know pathetic. I also found a great deal for my hubby. He needs a new wallet and is always needing new belts. They had a package deal for both for $12! Both are Dockers and leather so I’m thrilled to have 2 presents for the price of one. I usually pay $15 for his wallet so it was like getting the belt for free. This was the most I spent all day for a total of $30.

TARGET DEAL
I had printed out a coupon to receive a $10 gift card when you spent $50. I did find several things at the dollar hot spot area for stocking stuffers and extras for some of my gifts. I had a $10 gift card to use when I redeemed my rewards. I spent exactly $10.66 so I had to pay the 66 cents out of pocket. I was thrilled to get some more goodies for basically nothing. Since I couldn’t find any towels or bigger items, then I decided to hand my coupon to the lady behind me. She had lots of toys and was so excited that I gave her the coupon. I wasn’t coming back and hated to throw it out so I did a kindness by paying it forward. She hadn’t heard about this deal so she was so excited to receive the $10 gift card for free. I responded with a Merry Christmas and left her all smiles. I was glad I could help someone else save money, and it does feel good to do random acts of kindness.

BED, BATH, & BEYOND DEAL
I had a $5 off coupon when you spend $15 or more. I found a mini-flashlight for my son’s stocking which was $5. He is always begging to use a big flashlight but mostly wants one for bed at night. I know this will make him happy. Again I couldn’t find any towels for my project, but I did find a six pack of washcloths. I always need them and seem to lose them. These were on sale for $12 and so super soft. I hate buying the cheap thin ones as they are so rough to use on my face. I’m glad I spent the extra money as I used one last night. These cloths are wonderful to use when I take off my makeup and especially my eye makeup. You know what, I’m definitely worth it. I spent $14 after coupon. My son’s stocking stuffer was free and just paid for the washcloths.

BURGER KING DEAL
We ate lunch at Burger King to take advantage of the BOGO deal on Whoppers. We each bought a small soft drink. We split the cost on the whopper and we spent $3 each with tax. We didn’t buy any fries. I had a coupon deal for Auntie Ann in the mall and I knew we would be eating a pretzel there so I saved room for it. That deal cost us less than $3 each as well as it was a BOGO coupon. I had a bottle of water with me for both of us. I hate spending almost $2 on a bottle when I can pack a small ice chest for the road.

VICTORIA’S SECRET DEAL
I’m especially thrilled with this deal. I picked up a pack of four smaller sized lotions. It was marked $18 but rang up $10. I had my $10 off any regular priced purchase so I paid $0.87 cents! I had no idea as I really thought it was priced $18. I’m not sure if I am going to give this as set or take out the bottles to make 4 presents. I’m thinking the latter as teacher gifts. My son has 4 teachers and the teacher aide. I love giving them a little something to show my appreciation. I feel this was my best deal of the day!

TOWELS
I finally found a leopard print towel at Kmart for $7 which wasn’t too bad. I also found a wonderful wrist watch for my mom. She had a very specific type in mind and it was the only watch I found for what she wanted. I found the other towel for my project marked $9! I know that towel was much more than I wanted to spend, but it is perfect for the recipients of this project. I bought the bias tape at Hancock’s fabric store and spent $3 with tax for two packs. I wasn’t expecting it to be so cheap but they were on sale. I will break down the prices on that project and all the details in my other post soon.

Total for the day was around $75! I used the money I received in rewards to pay for my purchases. I didn’t spend a dime of my money on any of these purchases. I spent $5 on food for a grand total of $80. I didn’t count the cost of gas, but I don’t do have many shopping excursions. I do most of my gift buying online. I was happy to get items and use coupons to save more money. I have a very gas efficient car which gets averages 37-38 miles to the gallon. I had a full tank and only used a quarter of a tank for the whole day including going to the town and coming home which is 50 miles round trip. I had a really fun day with my friend shopping and saving money. You can’t put a price on a shopping day with the girls.

Create a Family Cookbook for Christmas

My husband’s family shared their favorite family recipes in order to create their family cookbook. They also included family pictures and anecdotes. I think this makes a creative and wonderful Christmas gift the whole family can treasure. Your family’s favorite recipes are kept forever in the family and passed down to future generations. Check out The Family CookBook Project website to create a family treasure below.


TMR Frugal Living Tip #84

hollyjollychristmasToday’s thrifty living tip is take your own Christmas pictures. When I received photo studio coupons in the mail, I would bring my son for his Christmas pictures to save money. The catch was you could only pick the first pose. The whole time I had my fingers crossed the picture turned out nice. I know some photographers would retake the picture if I wasn’t happy with that pose, but many of them are making minimum wage. Taking my child’s perfect Christmas picture is not high on their priority list.

I began taking all of my son’s Christmas pictures when he was about 5 years old. I was already taking pictures of the items I sold on ebay so why not take his pictures. I take shots in front of the tree, in front a white sheet (just like the studios), outside, and maybe on location. I do not own a high quality digital camera, but it is a decent camera. I upload all my pictures on Snapfish. I can edit all the pictures and have the ones I wanted printed. You can add fun borders and other neat options. I’m not sure if you can order the pictures with borders. I think that might be for online use only. I usually spend $20-30 for many pictures in different sizes such as 8×10, 5×7, and wallet. This price even includes the price of shipping.snowflakes

You might be thinking…well, I don’t know. This idea might not work so well if you want to be in the pictures such as a family picture. You might be lucky and know someone who takes good pictures that might do you a favor or barter for taking your pictures. I have a couple of people in my family who love to play photographer for fun. They would never dream of asking for money. Save some money and have fun taking the pictures. I also love the editing. The picture shown is one I took a few years ago and added a fun holiday border.

Visit Gift Card Weekend For a Chance to Win a $20 Regal Gift Card!

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Gift Card Weekend for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

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Christmas is almost here and you still have gifts to buy. Do you have a movie buff on your list? Then you need to visit Gift Card Weekend for a chance to win a $20 Regal gift card.  They are giving away those daily to Facebook fans from December 5-9 (12/5 to 12/9).

All you have to do is like Gift Card Weekend on Facebook for your chance. Share with your Facebook friends and you can receive an extra chance to win for every ‘like’ you influence. Then stick around through the month for more giveaways!

Gift Card Weekend is a once-a-year event where participating retail partners give featured offers for gift cards purchased during the Holiday season and redeemed from January 6 – January 8, 2012. They have other great partners listed below.

Participating stores and restaurants:
-JCPenny
-Regal Cinema
-Subway
-Sephora
-Applebee’s
-Bass Pro Shops
-Adidas
-Buca di Beppo
-Lowe’s
-Spa Finder
-Marriot
-Giant Eagle

Visit Sponsor

EntreCard Top Droppers for November

November has come and gone. We are now in full swing of the holiday season. I wanted to take a little time to thank all of my Entrecard top droppers for November. I appreciate the time you took to read my blogs and for the comments. I have found so many great blogs to read through Entrecard, and have made some good friends. Thanks again for dropping by.

  1. Comedy Plus
  2. Serian Man
  3. Zenith
  4. Dragon’s Alley
  5. Digital Rebel350
  6. Rambling Thoughts
  7. Funky Town Disco Music
  8. Picture to People
  9. Awww…Mondays
  10. My kids are my world

Earn Money While Christmas Shopping

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If you aren’t taking advantage of reward programs, then you are missing out on free money. I don’t mean doing offers where you have to pay like trials, but just for doing the things you already do like shopping or reading emails. You can do those offers especially if it’s for something you will use. I earn money for Christmas shopping.

I have taken advantage of deals where I wanted to try a new service and then I earned points on top of it like Netflix. Many banks have reward programs on their checking accounts and credit cards. I bank with Capital One and earn over 10,000-20,000 points yearly for banking. Some cable companies are offering reward programs. I have a Charter bundle package and I also earn points with their reward program. I don’t know if all cable or phone companies offer reward programs. I would check and most are free to sign-up.

I’m part of several reward programs like My Points, Big Crumbs, and now Ebates. I received a $15 bonus for signing up with Ebates. I had to spend $50 online before Christmas. I already made the requirement since I had certain presents to buy that I could only find online. I love to snag deals online as well as in the stores. I spent $60 yesterday on presents and will receive double rewards since it was Cyber Monday. I also use My Points when shopping and it just depends on who is offering the better deal. I can’t cash out my Ebatessince I just joined. I want to share with you the other rewards I’m getting to use for Christmas shopping. I love using these programs which really helps to lower my Christmas expenses. What are you waiting for and start earning rewards while you shop! I know there are many reward programs available, but these are the ones I have used and know have been around for many years. I am looking into Swagbucks.

  • Charter- $25 gift card and $10 gift card
  • Capital One- $50 gift card, $25 gift card, and $10 gift card
  • My Points- $25 gift card and $10 gift card
  • Grand Total- $155 in rewards= FREE MONEY!

How do you earn money for Christmas?

Broccoli Casserole- A Holiday Tradition

Broccoli Casserole- A Holiday Tradition

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I first learned how to make this very tasty broccoli casserole when I was a teenager still living at home. I love to eat this dish every Thanksgiving and Christmas. This is one of those dishes that many people in my family ask me to bring or to make at the holidays. I wanted to share this very easy yet very yummy broccoli casserole recipe. I have to add my husband, who loathes broccoli, absolutely loves this broccoli casserole and will go back for seconds.

Broccoli Casserole

Recipe Type: Casserole
Cuisine: American
Author: Thrifty Momma Ramblings
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 8-12
I normally make this casserole for the holidays which consists of rice, cream of chicken soup, cheese and broccoli. My family can’t get enough of it.
Ingredients
  • 2 Cans of Cream of Chicken Soup
  • 1 cup of uncooked white rice (2 cups cooked)
  • 1 bag of frozen broccoli (I use a whole small bag like Picsweet)
  • Velveeta cheese cubed (at least 1 small 8 oz loaf)
Instructions
  1. Use a 9×13 glass dish like pyrex and you will add enough water to barely cover the bottom. Then add both cans of soup and stir and add in the broccoli. Cook in the microwave uncovered on high for 5 minutes. Take out stir and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Stir again.
  2. Next you will begin to add the rice and mix it in very well. I actually break up the rice into smaller chunks before adding it in the dish. Afterwards, you will add in the cheese. Try to spread it out and then mix it in well. Now you want to spread it out and smooth out the top.
  3. Finally you will put it in the oven uncovered on 350 degrees for 20 minutes and the cheese should bubble. Then take out and let it cool off.

I usually buy Campbell’s Cream of Chicken soup as I find it goes on sale often around the holidays. As for the broccoli, I use Pic sweet frozen florets and one small bag. I usually get them on sale 2/$3 and I use the whole bag. You could use chopped but I just prefer the florets. I prefer to use Velveeta cheese as it melts so well and has a great cheesy taste. I will admit I usually buy the small block of Great Value brand as it’s usually cheaper. I will buy the Velveeta Cheese when I can find it on sale with a a coupon! I will use at least 3/4 of the smallest block. I do slice them into small cubes. It will be easier to mix into the casserole.

I have a smaller microwave so I put a small amount of water along with both cans of soup and the broccoli. Mix it as well as you can and put in for about 4 minutes. I take it out and stir it again. I microwave it for another 4-5 minutes. You might have a couple of pieces of broccoli that are still a little frozen but this is alright. It will finish cooking in the oven.
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Next you will begin to add the rice and mix it in very well. I actually break up the rice into smaller chunks before adding it in the dish. Afterwards, you will add in the cheese. Try to spread it out and then mix it in well.
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Last you will spread it all out after you mixed it well. You kinda just want to smooth the top so it looks nicer. I use a Pyrex glass dish. I find those glass dishes are so easy to cook with, and you just serve from that same dish once cooked. They also clean easier and won’t stain. I have owned my Pyrex dishes for at least 10-12 years. They just last.
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Now you will put the broccoli casserole uncovered into the oven for at least 15 minutes at 350. I personally find 20 minutes is the perfect amount of time to have it cooked and the cheese a little bubbly. The edges may be a little browned but it’s fine. I brought this to Thanksgiving dinner, and there was just enough leftover for me. I was happy everyone enjoyed it so much, but I just wished there was a little more left. If you try this broccoli casserole recipe, then please let me know if you and your family enjoyed it as much as my family does.
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