Sunday, May 13, 2012

Free Shutterfly Photo books


There are 2 different free 8x8 hard cover photo book promo codes floating around from Shutterfly.  That means you can get a great Shutterfly book for around 8 or 9 bucks for the shipping charge.  That's the best price I've ever seen.    I love these books.  They are a great way of keeping up with photos. 
One of the codes is 4Y82-D3M9 (Ellen Show promo)
The other is XJPV-2G63 (Family circle promo)
Hurry, I'm surprised these are still active today yet! 
Go to and create an account and add these into your account quickly before they're gone!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Vacation Myrtle Beach  Series day 6
Have fun.  Don't forget your frugal living while you're there.  Make some dinner's in, pack lunches for the beach and buy snacks in advance.  Take from your stockpile from home things such as condiments, dry goods, cereal, etc.  Thing you won't need to buy there. 

Monday, May 7, 2012

Yesterday I went to the flea market to sell some of Samantha's used clothes and toys.  I also made some magnets that I tried selling.  I didn't sell any of the magnets, but did sell a lot of her clothes, toys and household items that i've been collecting.  Inspired by Money Saving Mom.  I loved her series in April and it inspired me to collect 7 items a day to donate or sell.  I don't know how many followers I have, but I'd love to hear your stories of successes for selling things at flea markets/craft fairs/etc.  I've been searching for a way to make some extra money, creatively!  Please share.  I'll pick up on the vacation series again this week!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Day 5 Myrtle Beach Vacation Series
Try to plan ahead on the big things.  Such as if you're planning on doing a jet ski dolphin tour, book ahead for a discount.  Here's a favorite place of mine: Thomas Water Sports
A good dinner show to book ahead
Start planning your MB vacation here:
A good tiger adventure for the kids

The main destination for my family is the beach.  Pack a lunch and enjoy the day.  (Don't forget the sunscreen)

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Day 4 Myrtle Beach Vacation Series
Decide on the drive---Are you going to try to drive right through to the destination or going to split the time and stay overnight somewhere? If you do stay overnight, choose ahead for the best deal. 
You can go through (if you're not a member, join, it's free!)
There are many hotel chains that you can earn cash back on.  I've found that you can usually get a good deal anytime before the vacation, so no pressure to book early.  Of course if you are staying in a place where there's an event going on, you should try to book early. 

You can do gas price checks for your route here, AAA fuel cost calculator.  That way you can estimate your gas price right into your trip. 

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Homemade Yogurt in the crock pot
I attempted to make homemade yogurt in the crock pot last night, it came out pretty good.  My daughter likes it alot.  The link for the recipe I used is below.  If you really do want a yogurt with the consistency that you find in stores, you should follow the geletin tips at the bottom.  Otherwise, it tastes great and I'm going to make some frozen yogurts for the kids too!
Frozen Yogurt recipe

Friday, April 27, 2012

Day 3 in Vacation savings Myrtle Beach series
Some tips for the trip:
If you're driving, pack snacks and a cooler for drinks.  You don't want to have to stop too much and pay for overpriced snacks at gas station/minit markets/etc.  We normally take some fruit snacks/pretzels, Peanut and butter jelly sandwiches, cookies, etc.  You know what your family snacks on so stock up before hand. 
Pack the car so that you have easy access to the things you'll need on the road, such as:
Diaper bag
This is an important part of your trip, make sure you have the necesseties not only for the beach but for the trip down.  Spending unexptected money on the way may hurt your "fun" budget for when you get there. 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Day 2
Ok so you've found the best place for the money and now you just have to wait...ah waiting to go is the worst part!  In the meanwhile start planning.  Make sure that you have all of the necesseties such as clothes, beachwear, sunscreen, etc.  because yes, there is Walmart there, but you will still pay higher prices at the beach. 
Plan on taking whatever you can, if you can take your laundry detergent/dish liquid/cleaners---take them.  If you've decided on a condo, they usually come fully equipted with a kitchen.  Yes, we do eat out, but for lunches on the beach, snacks, and even an occassional dinner you will need to plan accordingly. 
Take a cooler for the beach (and for the seafood you may pick up...we'll talk about that another day) Beach chair, sunscreen, a camera (and film if you have a regular camera), batteries, toiletries, sand toys, swimwear, etc. That's all more expensive at the beach.  If you plan ahead, you can watch for the deals where you live and have it all ready for when you leave. 

Monday, April 23, 2012

Family Friendly East Coast vacation Series

I've decided to do a series this week on a favorite budget friendly vacation spot of mine, Myrtle Beach.

Day 1
First, booking your place to stay.  Normally I start looking in January to book our vacation for July/August time frame.  The reason being is that you have the most choices available.  Sure you can grab a place around the time you're ready to go, but it's more than likely going to cost you more because you won't have as many choices.   Going with Family?  Get those plans nailed down first.  I can't tell you how many times i've made plans with someone that didn't work out, but if you are confident that you have the right people in line, it can save you even a greater amount of money.  For instance, if I were to find someone who needed 1BR I could split the cost of this condo and we could live happily ever after.  You have to be sure of that, because even if you both go in your own direction, you  have to spend the week with them.  I've searched and searched, done a lot of research on my most favorite place to be, the beach. I live on the East Coast, so that is mainly my destination for a value vacation for the family.  My family consists of 3.  For all the reasearch I've done, I always come back to Myrtle Beach for the most budget friendly.   Typically I can get an ocean front 2BR condo for around $900 for a week during peak season.  That's a great price for the entire East Coast.  Normally I search VRBO or Home Away to find deals on condo's directly from the owner.  Normally it is a little more cost effective rather than going through a realtor.  Condo's in the same building are priced at a higher cost going through a realtor.  Based on the qualities that you want, you can have a pool, elevator (which is important because you'll be grocery shopping), restaurant's on site, etc. 

Friday, April 20, 2012

Try new things to make extra money...

Today I wanted to write something short about how to earn some extra cash.  Whether you're trying to save for a vacation, new roof, or something special to you; we all need extra cash.  Figure out what you are passionate about and love.  I love shopping and I love trying to save the most money when I shop.  Clipping coupons, finding great deals and doing whatever you love to do is something you look forward to.  That's me.  :)
All of my adult years, I always looked for opportunities to make extra cash.  I've been a small Hoagie shop owner, Tupperware lady, Avon Lady, sold flowers at a local flower tent and now i'm into customizing acrylic cups for resale.  I've sold on Ebay, Craigslist, yard sales and Flea Markets.  Just figure out for yourself what you love or what your goal is and go for it.  REMEMBER THIS:  If something you try doesn't work out for the best and you decide it wasn't meant to be, you didn't fail.  At least you tried.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Free K-Cup sample pack from Tully's

Hurry, these go fast!  You can get a free sample pack of Tully's K Cup's just for liking their Facebook page.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

How to save with Ebates

Recently I joined Ebates.  Ebates is a site where you earn cash back for shopping thousands of shops online.  I learned a trick that you can do to.  Here's the deal.  Go and join Ebates by clicking on the link in this post.  You can then search Plastic Jungle while you log into your ebates account.  Plastic jungle is a place where you can buy unwanted store gift cards for less than their value.  Usually up to 25% off their value.  (My choice is Kohls, but there are many, many, choices)  So I buy the card, wait a couple days for it to come in the mail and then go back to Ebates to shop online at Kohls.  You should shop at Kohls while the things you are looking for is on sale and then get your items and go to the checkout.  You can then google the internet for coupon codes  I always use Retail Me Not, they always have the codes I need for at least 20% off at Kohls almost anytime.  So you're at the check out, put in your coupon code and then your gift card code.  You can get some great steals.  For example.  Recently I purchased a gift card at plastic jungle for $63 for $75 at Kohls.  Then I shopped on a 20% off day and they were giving Kohls Cash.  The retail value of the merchandise I received for $63 was $137!  Then I received $10 in Kohls cash for my next purchase and I earned almost $5 in cash back from Ebates.  So in Essence, I paid $48 for $137 worth of clothes for my 3 year old's summer wardrobe.  Not too shabby! 

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

New again

Today I'm committing to re-starting this blog, and my goal is to make it bigger and better than ever.  I realize I got off track last year and didn't follow through.  I found that I've done that with several things that mean a lot to me and i'm going to start again, using the "bite size pieces" concept that Money Saving Mom talks about in her recent book.  I've spent a great deal of time reading her blog, and others, in my quest to save my family money on anything that I possibly could.  So please read and check back often, as each day you'll see another post, re-organization of this page, and some tips for your family to save money.  Every so often, you may see one of my rants, such as yesterday's post.  I'm sure you'll enjoy it all.  Send me comments, suggestions, or ideas!  Any comments are welcome.  Tammy-------

Monday, April 9, 2012

When did Easter become Christmas?

We had such a nice Easter this year with my 3 year old Samantha.  We woke up and the Easter bunny was kind to her, a nice basket with a few assorted candy, some fruit snacks, home made peanut butter and coconut eggs, 1 doll and a couple pair of flip flops that she would use for the spring/summer.  Sensible, I spent less than $30 on everything.  We went to church, went to our sister in laws where we had a nice Easter dinner and spent the afternoon with family.  She had fun playing ball and just hanging out with the extended family.  Great Easter!!!  Then I see the posts of kids who woke up to bikes, 7 movies and clothes, quads, expensive gifts.  I'm just wondering when Easter turned into another version of Christmas and what it really means to you and your family?