Swag Bucks: Come to the dark side....

>> April 28, 2009

Just kidding :-) There is no dark side with SwagBucks. I am slightly disappointed with myself on this program, because why is it I only joined a few months ago? I have earned another $5 Amazon Gift card. I am up to $20! I am really making progress towards Christmas funds! If you haven't joined yet, its super easy and all you have to do is use their search engine. I have trained myself to go to Swagbucks.com instead of google each day. :-) There are other ways to earn swag bucks, but searching is the free way to do so!!


Last Minute Safeway Trip + Frys for Trip Goodies

>> April 24, 2009

Ok. .I really needed soda for the trip + at home.. and I needed to get my last disney gift card, so I did manage another safeway run last night
Sorry no pictures though....

5 24-packs diet pepsi - $4.99 each
1 12-pack diet pepsi $4.99- Freebie Q
1 Bright Green Bleach $1.49- $1 Store Q
1 Kids Reusable Bag $1.99- $2 Store Q
-$2.14 (10% off)
-$10 OYNO Q
Total $38.45 - $31.59 in safeway gift cards and $6.86 OOP.
Earned another $10 OYNO Q!

So... basically for $13.45 I bought A LOT of soda. :-)

I ran out to Frys this morning to fill a couple RXs (and get a $30 Transfer) and pick up a few goodies for the trip!

I did also get the free challenge butter on sale for $1 - .50 IPs! And the $1 Kroger Cheese, which is a great price! These plus the trip goodies were free with my RX transfer funds!

Anyway, we are leaving in about an hour and lucky for me, my mom came by this morning to help me with packing and Quinn. Seriously I would be freaking out if she hadn't helped me! She even cleaned up a bit! ;-) So here a sit with a few minutes to blog because of my mom! Thanks mom!

Ok... have to run and finish up a few last minute things!

California here we come!!



>> April 23, 2009

Ok... managed 2 great orders today at Safeway, although I did have some slight issues at the register. Overall a great trip and even with my difficulties, the staff was awesome. (More about it later).

Order #1

10 Healthy Choice meals 2.99 each ($1.99 each wyb multiples of 5) - $1.00/2
MQs= $1.49 each

1 Bright Green Bleach $1.49 - $1 Ad Q

1 Super cute reusable tote $1.49 - $2 Ad Q= $.51 overage

1 $25 Disney Gift Card

- $2.09 (10%)

-$10 OYNO Q

-$2 OYNO Q

tax $.12

Total $25.91 on safeway gift cards.... (which I had saved for our trip to
buy Disney Gift cards)...

And I earned another $10 OYNO coupon


I paid $.91 + $2 OYNO for the 10 meals and bleach.. since I spent a $10
OYNO, but earned another one, and of course spent $25 in safeway gift cards for
a $25 Disney gift card!!

Then came order number 2....

Order #2

4 Skippys $2.50 - $0.40 and $.50 MQs = $1.50 to $1.70 each

5 Healthy Choice Meals 2.99 each ($1.99 each wyb multiples of 5) - $1.00/2
MQs= $1.49 each and $1.99 (for the 5th one)

1 Kashi Pizza $4.99- Free Q (only took off $4.09 for max value)

1 Bright Green Bleach $1.49 - $1 Store Q = $0.49

1 Super Cute Reusable bag $1.49 - $2 Store Q = $0.51 overage

1 $25 Safeway Gift card

-$2.09 (10% off)

-$10 OYNO Q

Total $28.38 on a safeway gift card

Earned another $10 OYNO Q


Again $25 of the Total on a gift card went towards another gift card, and
my $10 OYNO Q was replaced with another one. So really the cost of my order is
only $3.38 for my goodies....not bad. for the PB and frozen

Ok.. now on to the slight hassle, which was partially my fault on order #2. First on order #1, the free bag Q wouldn't scan and the cashier (actually the produce manager) asked for some help, tried to key it in and it still wouldn't work. However, he was super cool and just keyed in $2 for me. He did tell me it was supposed to be $50 after Qs (which I don't' think it says that on the coupon....) but anyway, he made it work.

Then my safeway gift card wouldn't slide through to work. The machine couldn't read it and the produce manager had to call another manager to figure out how to "scan" the card. So there were some slight issues with this order, but everyone was super nice and it was ok. I felt bad though since I had order #2 behind me.

Order #2... same issues with Bag Q, except that I asked him to scan it first (before the other Qs) to see if that would work. However my total was only $45.xx, which didn't seem right to me but I didn't want to hold up the line, so I told him to forget about the cute bag. Then as I hand him my other Qs, I realize that the reason it was only $45.xx is that I forgot about the kashi. So I quickly sent my mom to find one (again we are already checking out and scanning Qs). The clerk then says I will just give you the bag, do you really want the kashi? This was very nice of him, but I needed the kashi for the living well deal, and I knew my $10 OYNO wouldn't print without it (I had to hit $30). So I insisted, only my mom couldn't find it. So she is walking back empty handed and there are 2 people waiting STILL in line behind me. Another manager went back to grab me one, I told them I didn't care what kind, that I just wanted to use the Q. They apparently don't carry the entrees, only the pizza which is what they grabbed and then ok-ed it with me.

I didn't care, i just wanted to quickly check out and stop holding up the line. Anyway, all the employees were nice and the person behind didn't look annoyed. I of course apologized for the delay. In the end I think it was only an extra 5 minutes checking out with all the issues, but when you are the cause of the delay it sometimes feels like forever!!


If only the vacuum really worked....

>> April 22, 2009

We went to take some clothes to Twice as Nice for credit, mostly quinnie's wedding stuff and some other odds and ends and look what we found. A "genuine" hoover, that makes a nice/annoying sound. :-) Quinn loves it!

I also picked up 8 more freebie barilla pastas at Bashas yesterday.

Today we went to the mall for the free Disney store promo. We received 4 free water bottles (1 for every 3 bottles we recycled), they are super cute! (Maybe click on the picture to see it better). Plus we found this super cute hat at Children's Place: it was marked $4.99 and then they had 50% off all sale accessories. Plus I had a 15% coupon, that made the hat $2.29 total with tax!
Then we had a freebie lunch at Red Robin! My mom and I both at certificates for a free gourmet burger for our birthdays that are next week! We just paid for drinks and a kids meal for Quinnie! It was a fun b-day lunch!

I hope to hit up Safeway again tomorrow for the "Living Well" promo again, we leave friday afternoon for California, so I am running out of time to take advantage of the deal!


Safeway and Bashas!

>> April 20, 2009

I managed to have a couple of great orders at Bashas and Safeway today!

1st up, safeway and their fun Living Well Promo!


1 $25 Disney gift card

1 Super Cute Reusable Bag on sale for $1.49 - $2 Ad Q= Overage

4 Mac and Cheese= $0.49 each

5 Skippy PB $2.50- $0.40 MQ -
$0.50 Store Q (for 1) = $1.20 and $1.70 each

2 Yoplait Plus $2.50 -
$1.50 IP= $1 each

1 Dial Hand SOap $1- .$35 MQ= $0.30

1 Bright
Green Bleach $1.49- $1 Store Q= $0.49

2 No Yolk Noodles $1.25 -$0.75 IP=
$0.25 each

4 6 pack Arrowhead Waters $1.99 each

-$5/50 Home
Mailer Safeway Q
-$8 OYNO (from bertolli)
-$10 Living Well OYNO
discount on card $1.69

Total $19.12 on a gift card.
AND I earned
another $10 Living Well OYNO Q + (2) $2 OYNO Qs (for the arrowhead)

I am glad I hadn't converted my Safeway Gift Cards to disney gift cards yet, it allowed me to get up to $50 (with the living well $30 promo) and get my fun free bag + use my $5/50 Q. I still have bertolli sauce Qs to use and I think the overlap on the promo ends tomorrow, but the store was out of the sauce. I will try another store tomorrow, but I am going to plan my order without it. Anyway, I am pretty happy with my haul! I only paid $19.12 for my $25 Disney Gift cards with all the coupons!


8 Pillsbury Brownies $. 77 each (with raincheck) - $1.00/2 MQs= $.27 each

2 Milks $1.57 each

6 Barilla Pastas $1.00 each- .50 MQs= free

1 Free Reusable Bags (for updating my card into).

Total $5.30 OOP


MIA & Resisting Impulses!

>> April 19, 2009

Look at these gorgeous people!
I have been MIA this week mostly because of family stuff... most importantly because of my brother's wedding. I love this picture.. I haven't tried to edit it yet, but the lovely couple is holding my little lovey and he is smiling!! (As he is desperately trying to squirm down)! We had a crazy hectic week, but it was fun and they had an awesome wedding!
Oh and they were married at the same place that Peter and I were married 5 years ago.
And on a bargain note! Vanessa's dress was a $99 STEAL at David's Bridal. It was very pretty and such a deal!

Here is a little frugal talk though... Both of these items were FREE to me. First the big pop up silver hamper was a hand-me down from my dad... who ALWAYS declutters like crazy when he is back in the states (which he was this week).. and it was perfect timing for us, because I have been on the lookout for a new hamper for Quinn.

The cute little green chair is from my grandma's church. They were getting rid of several and my grandma managed to snag me a PAIR!! They are perfect, sturdy little chairs, in perfect condition and in a GREAT color too! I have been on the lookout for an activity table/chair set for quinn, so its perfect. Now I need to hunt down a cheap/freebie great little table!

I think both of these "finds/deals" is a great reminder for me, that if I can hold off on a purchase that perhaps a deal will find me!


Woooo Hoooo, Great shopping today!

>> April 14, 2009

I had a couple great runs today!

10 Bertolli premium sauces $2 - .75 or $1 MQs= $1 each
8 No Yolk Egg Noodles $1.25- $0.75 MQs = $0.25 each
-10% discount on card = $3 (because it's 10% of pre coupon total of $30)
Total $9 OOP

Now the best part... The "Living Well" promo just started which gives a $10 OYNO coupon when you spend $30 in various products. Which of course the bertolli and egg noodles qualified for. Plus the bertolli sauces are also giving $2 OYNO for every 2 that you buy right now. So I earned (5) $2 OYNO coupons! So I got $20 OYNO back, after paying $9 OOP. A $11 Money Maker! And now I have those Safeway OYNO coupons to roll into more deals!

Check out the list of included items here at PYP.

Ok then we hit Target, and checked out some cool Easter deals, but its only 50% off, so I couldn't buy anything yet. I did pick up another set of 3 sippy cups for Quinn. We are in the process of going towards no bottles of milk. He actually is done converting I guess, he only fussed a ton the 1st few days. I love these sippy cups though as a substitute for a bottle since the spout is soft like a bottle nipple.

3 Barilla whole wheat pastas - .50 MQs= free
2 gallons milk (1% only) on sale for $0.99 each!!!
12 st Patrick's day plates/napkins $0.10 each!!! (wooo hoo this was so awesome1!)
5 large green table covers $.10 each
Total $3.78 OOP

They were out of the free mustard and cheap brownies... and of course I forgot to get rain checks! Maybe I will run back at least for the brownie rain checks, because I love cheap sweets.

Anyway... so happy with the total money maker run at Safeway. My safeway had very few bertolli premium sauces though, so i am glad I didn't trade for a lot of extra coupons, I would be totally stressing the lack of inventory. Also, I am working on these special xmas projects using holiday stuff (a stolen idea from Precious) and I had messed up and missed out on st. Patrick's day stuff. 10 cents a pack is awesome! Plus the table cloths can be used for different parties, xmas or b-day parties.


Quick Bashas Deals

>> April 12, 2009

I didn't manage to make a CVS run this weekend. I really wanted to go yesterday and use my $15/75 and $20/100 CRT Qs. I had come up with a few decent runs, inspired by other bloggers. However, our plate was SOOOOO full yesterday, that unless I was willing to go at 10:30 last night, then it just wasn't going to happen. I made a conscious choice to take a bath and read, which led to my jammies, which meant it was unlikely that I would run out once Peter got back from the D-backs game. Which is unfortunate because our budget was shot and we really needed a few essentials that the big $$ CRTS could help with.
Anyway, I did make a quick run to Bashas this evening. My dad wanted a few things, so I threw some deals on his order. Here are the highlights....
3 Barilla Whole Wheat Pasta $1- .50 MQs= free
2 French's Honey Mustard $1- .75 MQs= free (+ it gave me a $1 OYNO Q)
1 dz eggs .99
5 Frosted Flakes (I left 2 with my brother) $1.99 each- $1.50 MQs = $.49 each (+ I received 2
free MILK Qs)
2 McCormick Real Vanilla Extracts $1.50 -.75 MQs= $0.50 each
I did pretty good. They were completely wiped of mustard, I was lucky to get even two. They had plenty of pasta, but we were in a hurry (grabbing ice cream) so I didn't want to bother with 2 orders. Hopefully I can hit a different bashas tomorrow and grab some additional mustard and pasta!


Easter Events (Take 2)...

>> April 10, 2009

Easter Egg Hunts:
Ok. So I have been on the "hunt" for a free Easter egg hunt. :-)

I found a few listed online in the Tucson newspaper, but none really worked for us, location-wise. However,luckily I don't have to be lazy and keep the details to myself. Tucsononthecheap has put together a nice list that I can share. They aren't all free, but they sound fun!

Also another non-freebie, but goodie is at the Reid Park Zoo. We will be there tomorrow morning for a fun outing with friends, but we aren't planning on doing the egg hunt events. Quinn is a little too young and I am a little too frugal to pay extra for it. However it is an option and does sound like fun!

"Easter Egg Hunt
Saturday, April 118:00-9:00 a.m.
$5 each adult, $8 each
child, 2-14Under 2 FREE if not hunting for eggs
Bring the whole family
to the Zoo for an Easter Egg Hunt! Live animal encounters, crafts and even a
visit from the Easter Bunny are included in this program."

And of course don't forget... the Easter Bunny is free at Walmart this weekend. We went last weekend (see our fun here!)

Call and check with your store, but I know our local walmart is having it again Saturday and Sunday from 10-2. Plus you can pick up a super yummy, FREE treat. In fact maybe we will try again, I checked back this week and they didn't have our picture...
They say you have to claim them the same day, but they did have a stack of photos they let me leaf through to find ours. I am not sure what happened to our "Official" photo. No big deal since we took our own that day anyway. And now maybe an incentive to snag another cupcake. :-)


Fun Friday Freebies

Here are a couple of fun freebies to snag (and they are practical too)!

Free Grocery Tote:
Precious at Frugal Makes Cents found this freebie grocery tote from Frys (Kroger). All you have to do is "create" your own bag and then you get a coupon attached to your Frys card to pick up one in the store.

Free Mr. Clean Magic Erasers:
Stephanie at Savvy Savings Tucson found free Mr. Clean Magic Erasers. These are great little cleaning tools!

Free Bread:
Possibly free bread at Super Target. We don't have a Super Target in Tucson yet, so I can't confirm this.. but check out Jane4girls post here.

Free Ketchup:
And of course the ketchup coupon from a few days ago. If you missed the post, here is the link to Deal Seeking Mom to read all about it.


Frugal Fix: BlackOut Curtain

>> April 09, 2009

Ok... so summer is fast approaching (really fast in the desert... it was HOT yesterday). And while the heat isn't generally an issue for me, I must now take exception to the sun rising SOOOOO early. I am a decent sleeper and if I am tired, a little sun in the morning is no big deal for me. Our bedroom window faces west mostly, so we don't actually get direct sunlight in the morning.

Quinn's bedroom faces the same direction as well, but apparently little kids are NOT programmed to turn back over and sleep longer when faced with a little light... (MEANING, the little guy that runs out household has been getting up at 6ish in the MORNING!)

We already have nice wood blinds and a "wimsy" curtain hanging in his room(see picture above), but we needed something MORE. I headed to walmart to see what they had to offer. There was BlackOut curtains for $25, which seemed WAY TOO pricey for me particularly considering the window coverings we ALREADY have in there.

Plus I already have blinds hanging IN the window and a curtain rod ABOVE the window. I wasn't sure how I could hang another curtain, if I could sneak another curtain rod in the window with the blinds still installed. Plus, the price was deal breaker for me anyway.

There was also a BlackOut shade (that pulls down) for $5-7 depending upon the size, but when I called my husband, he said we couldn't temporarily take down the blinds and install the shade because its too big of a pain on a masonry wall.

I hunted through the clearance curtains looking for a dark one in a thicker or lined material. The prices were as low as $5-$9, which wasn't bad. However, I wasn't sure about how to hang them (I was thinking about tacking it up).... but I was afraid that the curtains would be too HEAVY for the tacks. I thought about black sheets too, but even dark sheets are pretty thin and I again worried that too much fabric (when doubled up) would be too heavy to tack up.

Luckily... I ran across some standard vinyl tablecloths (with the light flannel-ish backing) for ~$5! I was able to get a large table sized one for $3.79 with coupon overage! I picked out the darkest color I could find, which was a redish/brown color.

When I came home, I found I was doubly lucky. I was able to just about fold the table cloth in half (doubling up the thickness) and tack it up before Quinn's nap. This was only a temporary fix because I want to be able to remove the tablecloth and let the light in on a regular basis. I knew that tacking it up each day would eventually stop working, too many holes in the same location would weaken the drywall.

My husband suggested "industrial strength" Velcro! I actually had some left over Velcro pieces from a previous project stashed away in my sewing junk. First I stitched up along the top and bottom in a few places to keep it "folded" together.

Then I stuck a 2 inch piece of Velcro across the top on both sides. We then removed the blind "valence" piece and attached the other half of the Velcro to the main/heavy duty part of the blinds.

I mainly wanted to do that so that when we are done with this, we can throw the blind valence piece back up and no one would see the Velcro.

I know have a pretty decent "blackout" solution for a very frugal price. And I can remove it from the window each day to let the light in! Here are some pictures of the project.

Here you can see the tablecloth behind the curtain.

Here you can see how the velcro is attached to both the blind and tablecloth.

Here is the window without the "blackout" solution. You can compare it to the top photo, which has the blackout shade installed, you can see it makes a huge difference.


Overage at Walmart

We hit up walmart to use some of the $4 Pace IPs (Find them here)!

I actually wanted to pick up Quinn's free Easter Bunny photo, but they didn't have one...I am not sure if someone picked it up, or the camera messed up or what.. No big deal, since we took our own photos, heck it may be just the incentive to go back this weekend (The Easter Bunny is there from 10-2 again on Saturday and Sunday) and have another delicious cupcake!!! Of course that would be torturing Quinn, since he wasn't the biggest fan of the Easter Bunny this year. Hmmmm a yummy cupcake, in exchange for traumatizing my only child..... :-)

Anyway, on to the shopping.
5 Pace Salsa $2.98- $4 IPs= $1.02 overage each
Mini blind cleaner $2.88
Vinyl Table Cloth (for a sanity project, I will post about it later) $5.50
Total $3.79 OOP

My mom's order
3 Pace Salsas $2.98 - $4 IPs= $1.02 overage each
1 Cake mix
1 small bottle canola oil
1 candy (to cover the overage)
Total $0.47 OOP

My mom didn't grab anything for her overage, so she "bought" my cake mix and oil. How nice! :-) They cost less than the $3.06 overage she was getting, so she had to grab a candy bar too.

Anyway...stay tuned for my frugal "black out curtain" fix. :-)


Is ketchup good with everything?

>> April 07, 2009

Quinn thinks so!!!

I just saw this over at Deal Seeking Mom, send for various coupons including one for a free bottle of ketchup.

Quinn has decided he LOVES ketchup, so I definitely can use a free bottle of ketchup. I need to watch for more ketchup deals this summer (when you typically find ketchup deals), because we will be going through a lot more ketchup now!

Sign up here!


CVS Storage Deals...

So I ran out last night to check my fave store for any storage deals that might be found. Lucky me, they had quite a selection with NOOOOOOOO sale signs! They rang up 75% off!! I love "HIDDEN" treasures.

So here is a picture of what I bought....

various prices @75% off.. most of the small Rubbermaid things were $0.75, the big Rubbermaid with extra pieces inside was $2.50, 8 total Rubbermaid purchases - $6 MQs...

Plus some other storage things you can see in the picture!! Blue green open bins for $.83 each + fliptop sterilite shoe box things for $0.69 (I did pay full price for these back in Feb). I was very happy to snag these at 75% off, they are really cool little bins for stockpile storage. I also got a double pack of clear storage bins about double the shoe box size for $1.99.
Also the $ sections.. which is really $1, $2, $3 section was 90% off. I snagged 2 sets of magnetic clips for $0.20 each and 1 cute latex glove thingy for $.29.

- $10 ECBS

Total on a gift card $0.62
I think I did well spending the $10 ECB ... I bought lots of organizing things and 2 of the Rubbermaid things are for my mom (which is why I was short 2 Rubbermaid Qs). So really $1.50 of it was for her.

Oh and there are under-the-bed storage bins too (I snagged some this weekend... and GASP..... didn't blog about it..) and also some more of the cute blue/green bins in other sizes.

Order #2
I also snagged 2 J&J bubble bath - (2) $1.50 MQs

Total on a $3.23 giftcard +$0.14 OOP.

That completed my baby deal on my dad's card... so I earned another $10 ECB!

Anyway.... I think I need to stop looking for organizing bin thingies.. because I have BLOWN most of my ECBS and I only have a total of $24 left in ECBS and NO gift cards.
I am very CVS $ poor right now. I am hoping a good MM deal will come soon!!!


CVS Monday...

>> April 06, 2009

Ok. So I broke out my dad's card to do a little more baby deal shopping.

4 MEGA Huggies Wipes- $5 and $3 MQs

2 Rubbermaid large round containers $0.75 each - $1 MQ= $.50 for both (my mom took one)

1 Crayon beginnings toddler crayons 50% off = $2.00

And a great find.. my mom found for me...
1 Sunbeam Heating pad 75% off= $7.49

-$2.99 and $4.99 ECBS

Total $5.87 on a gift card (need to spend $5 more to earn $10 for the baby deal)

I am pretty stoked about the cheapie baby wipes, now I need to figure out the cheapest way to spend another $5 (not sure if I have any more high value printable huggies Qs), so that I can earn $10 ECBS back. I am totally wiped out on ECBS for my dad's card.

My best find now (in hindsight) is the heating pad. My mom found it stashed somewhere.. (not sure where exactly maybe back in the regular clearance section which is pretty Hit and Miss, well more MISS at this store). I don't have a heating pad and I was just thinking about the fact that I occasionally would like one. I borrowed my mom's for the last half of my pregnancy, so I never knew what I was missing before. :-) What is even better, it was 75% off and I spent no CASH on it!


Baby deals at CVS

>> April 05, 2009

I dug around and found 3 formula checks and managed to do 2 great baby deals today.

My card
2 Huggies Jumbo Diapers- $5 IPs
1 HUGE Huggies Wipes - $3 IP
2 Easter Baskets
Easter candy to keep DH happy :)
-$5/25 CVS Q
- $4.99, $2.99, $4.00 ECBS
Total on a gift card $1.47
Earned $10 (baby) + $3.98 (Easter baskets)

Mom's Card
2 Enfamil Formula - $5 Formula checks
1 Similac Formula - $5 Formula check
1 Huggies Jumbo Diaper- $5 IP
-$5/25 CVS Q
Total on a gift card $0.40
Earned $10 ECB (baby stuff)

I managed to roll the ECBS on my card, I only bought the Easter baskets to roll them. Plus with the $5/25, the baby deal was a MM for both cards! My mom's card had no ECBS left.

The similac formula will go to the food bank because it only has a few months until expiration. I will save the enfamil for us because it's good until next year (just in case). I am also saving the size 2 diapers... (just in case). Of course we can still use the wipes now. :)

I am quite pleased with today's deals! I may have to see if I can wrangle up another baby deal with my dad's cvs card. :-)


Poor Dejected Easter Bunny

>> April 04, 2009

Ok. I had to share this cute Easter Bunny photo that my husband took today. The Easter Bunny looks so dejected, Quinn did not want to sit near him. There were no happy pictures with the Easter Bunny. We took several shots and I love this one the best. He was totally trying to pull me away from the Easter Bunny. I tried sitting on the bench with him on my lap, but he was hugging me tight, pulling away from the Easter Bunny. Poor Easter Bunny. This situation is cute and funny, but a perfect reason why I don't want to blow in cash on an overpriced Easter Bunny photo. Plus they had free cookies and cupcakes. We arrived about 5 minutes to 2pm (racing to get there before it was over) and there were no cookies left. However, there were plenty of yummy cupcakes and no line. We sat there for a few minutes trying to get Quinn to smile, or sit happily with the Easter Bunny to no avail. I still thought it was a great experience though, kids are just so unpredictable. We will pick up the "free" Walmart version photo in the next few days, it will be interesting to see what they managed to snap.

I totally recommend anyone with some free time to check it out tomorrow or next weekend... our store is having it from 10-2 each day, but call and double check with your store. I love cupcakes!


Vacation Planning Update!

>> April 03, 2009

Ok. A couple of quick vacation planning updates.

California Trip:

I purchased 2 more Shell $25 gift cards using Walgreens RR and gift cards, bringing my gas savings to $105. I also received $16 in Orajel rebates. In addition, I earned another $39 in Disney Rewards, so we have $270 in disney rewards ($20 more than I planned).

I am going reshuffle our gift card funds to balance out the extra disney money I have. I haven't actually purchased the disney GCs with our safeway gift cards yet, so really I have $106.41 in safeway gift cards. Since I have $20 extra in our Disney Rewards, I think I will just use the safeway gift cards to purchase another $80 in disney gift cards, leaving me with $26.41 in safeway funds. I can use safeway gift cards at Vons (in California). Therefore, I can say we are done with our gift card funds for our trip. I only need to come up with another $231.40 in cash. Unfortunately I think we will be a little short, however, I will do my best to figure something out, so that our trip doesn't cost us anything "extra" out of our budget.

Here is our updated list.

Type - $Needed- $Have- $Still Need

Gas- $100- $105- $5 Overage!
Cash- $436.40- $205- $231.40

Disney GC- $100- $80- $0 (because we have an extra $20 in disney rewards already)

Disney Rwds- $250- $270- $20 Overage! (using it to make up the $20 in disney

GC that we are short)

Safeway GC - $30- $26.41- $0 (I think we will make do with the $26.41)

Total still needed is..... $231.40

New York Trip Update:
I found an awesome coupon code for Hertz on slickdeals, but I am not sure if I am supposed to use it or not. Sometimes you can find awesome coupons on the web, but I prefer to know the source whenever possible. Anyway, I did make a reservation for a 1 day intermediate car using the coupon for $34.01.

I plan on watching for other coupon codes and making a back up reservation in case there is a problem when we arrive. Generally, car reservations do no require credit card or pre-payment.

In addition, I came across a Nathan's Hotdog coupon, B1G1 for $0.05. Usually restaurant coupons are only good for a few months at most, but this one is good all year. You can find it here. Also here is a list of locations honoring the coupon here. Once we get a better idea of our travel plans, I can figure out which locations are convenient for us. We plan on eating cheap and NY hotdogs will definitely be at least one meal while we are there, this coupon works great for us!


Frys Spring Fling

>> April 02, 2009

We made it over to Frys by about 4ish today for the Spring Fling. It was a little insane... too bad we hadn't made it over by 3pm. There was no Easter Bunny, but rather an Easter Themed Backdrop with a free photo. We did it anyway, and ended up with a sad, yet cute picture of little Quinn being drawfed by the Easter decorations.

We did do cookie decorating.. well.. I quickly decorated one cookie (because I won't eat them without frosting) and Quinn had 2 plain sugar cookies. We won't calculate the number of cookies/samples that Peter had. :-) I do have to say that there was about 6 kids HOGGING the cookie decorating table for like 10 minutes (no exaggeration) trying to make a tower of frosting on their cookies while their parents looked on and other kids waited as patiently as possible.

We bought some deli meats/cheeses for dinner + a few deals
Deli stuff $10.85
2 Doritos $1.88 each - .55 Qs (randomly stuck on most packages)
4 Wheat Thins $1.25 - $1.00/2
1 3-lb bag of Fuji apples $.99
Total OOP $26.36 - $11.01 (refund from customer service ***) = $15.35
**The wheat thins rang up $3.69, so 10 minutes at customer service later.. I had one box free and a price adjustment on the other 3.

So.. not a bad OOP cost considering $10+ on deli stuff, which turned out to be a really great alternative to going out to eat, which is what we contemplating on the way to Frys. We have leftovers of it and had a nice dinner at home without the stress of spending excess cash at a restaurant and risk Quinn running wild or melting down. :) Plus a fun picture and some yummy treats.

We will definitely be hitting up Walmart this weekend for a real Easter Bunny photo.


Free Easter Events

Free Easter Fun @ Frys Grocery Stores!
Spring Fling – Thursday April 2, 3pm – 11pm
Fun Family Events: Easter Photos, Create Easter Cards, Cookie Decorating and Sampling.

We have gone to these holiday events at Frys before. There is usually specially priced items that are GONGA deals (see store ad HERE), but the main attraction for us is the free cookie decorating and photo opportunity!

I think the bigger stores have more fun things too (like cake walks). At least that is what I am told, since our store is one of the older, smaller stores. Anyway, I love that it starts earlier this time, hopefully we can avoid the rush hour crowd by going early. Plus I don't even tutor tonight, so we should be able to make it over there at some point!
More Easter Fun This Weekend!!
Check out below for more easter fun at Toys R US and Walmart.
Both of these should be national events, although you should check with your stores. :-)
Free Easter Bunny @ Walmart
Walmart is having a free Easter bunny in store on April 4 & 5 and April 11 &12 (10 am -2pm).

This will most likely include a free digital photo and "treats" for the kiddies. I called my store and confirmed the dates/times with my store. We have done the free Santa and Easter bunny photos in our store for the past 2 years. We took our own digital pictures and sometimes would go back to the store and pick up the "official" freebie photo from the photo department. Anyway, this is my fave thing about Walmart, because I hate paying RIDICULOUSLY high prices for a Fun, yet silly photo at the local mall. Besides you never know how they will turn out, if the kiddies will cooperate or if you just chucked $20+ out the window. :-)

One of our pictures from last year is below :-) The official freebie photo had a "spring" border around it and it said "Happy Earter 2008" and listed the sponsers (fujifilm, walmart, etc).

Toys R US
Toys R US is having an Easter Adventure in store April 4th from 12-2pm.

They are advertising free gifts for the kiddies. We have never done this before, so I can't really say for sure what it will be about, but for free.. it might be worth a shot for some free Easter, fun. :-)

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