Thursday, March 25, 2010

Rite Aid Shopping Trip-week of 3/21: Only $9.95 Out of Pocket!!

Do you see all those different things I got in the picture? Yes, 4 packs of Huggies diapers and Pull-ups, Kotex products, fancy, Organix Shampoo/Conditioner, and some Johnson's baby wash, all for only $9.95 out of pocket! The retail for all this stuff would have been about $72 and if I only got them on sale it would have been about $52. With a well, thought out plan, I used a variety of coupons from the internet, coupons from the mail/paper, Video Values coupons, "try me free" rebates, store sales, and Single Check Rebates to get the price down as low as I did. I did do 2 different transactions in order to use two total purchase coupons. Pretty impressive don't you think? Especially with all those diapers! Yes, I do use cloth diapers most of the time, but I also keep disposables on hand for the YMCA trips, long car rides, night time, etc. Good news though, my middle child is doing fantastic with potty training. I am hoping that by summer I will only have one in diapers!

This is the week to hit up the diaper deal at Rite Aid. There is a fabulous $3.00 off/1 pack of Huggies/Pull-ups that is floating around here. Print two of them and then combine it with the store sale, $8.99/jumbo pack. You can stack it with the coupon you can find on the Video Values site here for Huggies and Pull-ups. And they are offering a $1.00 single check rebate too ( limit 1). You can get one pack for $2.99 and additional packs of pull-ups for $3.99 depending on how many coupons you have!!! What a steal! Don't forget to earn 20 credits to also get your $5/20 purchase. You can get diapers for about 13-15 cents (well, actually only 8 cents for size 3 Snug and Dry) each depending on the size and even less if you use your total purchase coupon.
You can also find a Kotex coupon on the Video Values site. I won't give you ever detail about my deal, unless you really want it. If so, let me know. Here is another total purchase coupon you may like. I do want to thank my friend BA for letting me know about the BOGO deal on the Oragnix shampoo. I was able to combine it with the "try me free" manufacturer rebate making them both free. I am excited to try this new stuff. What do I mean by "try me free?" Well, sometimes products have a little tag or peelie sticker on them offering the item for free after mail in rebate. You just save your receipt and mail it in with the form and in about 2-3 months you get a check back for the purchase price.

Homemade Laundry Detergent

Thanks to my friend BA who blogs at Thrifty Living, I have decided to give homemade laundry detergent a try. (BTW-she has a great blog-I recommend you check it out!) I'm a person who uses cloth diapers so making my own laundry detergent seemed to be the next step. Most people who use cloth diapers also like to be thrifty and earth minded in other ways too (if you haven't noticed?!?!). I must admit, I was quite skeptical of the whole idea though. How could three simple ingredients really get those cloth inserts clean? I had been using Nellie's washing soda since I started cloth diapering in the summer and have been pleased with it, however you have to buy it online and it costs about $9.00 per 50 load bag. Awhile back, my dear friend, had very detailed instructions on her blog about how to make your own laundry detergent. A few weeks ago, I got the ingredients and made my own too. It is unbelievably cheap and unbelievably simple. You have to try it! I even made some for a friend and sent it to her earlier this week. I am looking forward to hearing what she thinks (hint-SB-leave a comment!)

I have been using it for several weeks now and I am very impressed with the results. Very clean and fresh smelling cloth diaper inserts. And then I thought, if I am using it for the dirtiest and stinkiest items in my house, why not use it for all my laundry needs. So, I have been using it for other stuff too and I do think it works very well.

So what's in it:
1/2 cup 20 Mule Team Borax
1/2 cup Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda
1 bar of soap (Yardley Almond) chopped
(To wash laundry you only need to use 1 Tbsp./load!!!!)

Place the chopped bar soap in the food processor and blend to fine pieces.
Add other ingredients and process until it is a fine powder. Make sure the bar soap pieces are nice and tiny to make them easier to dissolve in the washing machine.

I keep the detergent in a plastic container with a tablespoon measuring spoon right in my laundry room. I found the Borax and washing soda at Acme and got them for free with some Acme catalinas I had, but it will cost you about $5.00 and should last awhile. Oh, please note that Borax is an awesome laundry detergent enhancer. I have been using it along with my Kirkland liquid detergent and it is getting my husband's T-shirts (deodorant stains) much cleaner than ever before. I wish I knew about this stuff years ago. I found the lovely smelling Yardley soap on sale at Walgreens for $.79 each.

If you try it, let me know what you think! Thanks again BA!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Free (treats) and Family Fun to Celebrate the first day of spring!

This is a fun post that I am sure you will apppreciate. Tomorrow, Saturday, March 20th, you can go to your local Bruster's (well, at least here in the MOT area), wear your pajamas, and get a free waffle cone. Its for real, because I saw it on their sign last night as I was driving through town! I am so excited about this. Wouldn't it be fun to get all "dressed up" in your jammies with your family and enjoy free ice cream? That is my kind of fun! Great family day/night activity.

And, if you're not the type to go out in public in your jammies, the fun doesn't end here.....go across the street and get a free medium water ice at Rita's. It appears that all of the Rita's are participating as they are all celebrating the first day of Spring. You can read about that promotion here. Thanks goes to Deal Seeking Mom for letting me know about it.

Should I do both? Oh, would my boys love that! This would also be a great way to go out with friends and/or neighbors too as a way to fellowship and have fun! Anybody wanna go?

Happy Spring! Isn't this weather soooo lovely?!?!

Monday, March 15, 2010

DIY: Family Handprints Wall Hanging

I am super excited to share this "Do It Yourself" project that I just finished last night. Well, almost finished. Now, they just need to be hung on the wall. I take no credit for this idea though. Back in November, I was at a friend's house (she did it herself too) and that is where I got the idea. And she found the idea from here. So, what is it? You take blank, framed canvases, paint them a solid color-use acrylic paint, and then do a handprint of each of your family members on each one. My boys were so excited to help me with this project. Over the past couple of weeks, I have been painting the 5 canvases with 2-4 coats of paint, depending on the color. I picked bold, bright colors, since I will be hanging them in our classroom. Last night, we had a great family evening together, painting out hands and then doing our handprints. And if we messed up, baby wipes worked great to repair them. I must say, I think they turned out awesome. What do you think? So you're probably wondering the cost...well, here it is...$2.79 for each 8 x 10" canvas (about $14.00 total) and about $0.75 per small (not the smallest) bottle of paint and I have a lot left over. So under $20 for a beautiful wall display and great family memory! It would have been $39.99 for the kit from the site I referenced above and that's only for four. I am so thrilled about it! Hopefully we will get them hung up soon for all to see. Even our cute little 6 month old got to participate.

I am a newbie, but I am participating in DIY Tuesday here:


Monday, March 1, 2010

Homemade Play Dough

I have a new blogging friend who happens to be one of my husband's co-workers. She is a fabulous photographer and also a mom of boys. She referred my to this blog, Little Hands, Big Work (by a home schooling mom of boys) and I got the idea and recipe from the blog to make homemade play dough. Thanks CG!!! My boys love play dough and were so excited to help me make our own. It was so easy and the results were great, soft, not-too-messy dough, that made for lots of fun. The boys played for nearly 40 minutes with it at the kitchen counter and played with it while I made dinner that night too. I must admit, I was quite happy it kept them occupied for so long. We used some real cookie cutters and my potato masher to make it even more fun. I will be posting more pictures here. Here's the recipe:

1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
2 Tablespoons Cream of Tarter
1 cup boiling water
1 Tablespoon oil
1 packet of Kool-Aid (I used food coloring)

Mix the dry, add wet, and cook on medium heat in a pan until it firms up into a ball. Let cool (though it is fun to roll it around when its warm). Knead and play!

Mixing in the food coloring...use baggies to protect your hands....

Excited about the creation.

Enjoying the play dough....a lot!

Best kept secret in the MOT area (or at least I think so!)

So, do you have small children, and need something fun, and free to do each week? Well, head on over to my new favorite library in the area on Wednesdays at 11:00 for story time! And, no, its not the Appoquinimick library on Broad Street that I'm talking about. I am referring to the super cute, small and quaint, and very antiquey (if that's a word) library in Odessa called the Corbit-Calloway Memorial Library. Since moving to our new neighborhood last summer, I have been checking out things on "this side" of town and discovered this great, little library off of Main Street in Odessa. What I love about it....the staff is so friendly, the toy area is very organized, the toys are unique and different, the play area is very spacious given the size of the library, good selection of books and DVDs (great to get kids videos from the library if you of the frugal and thrifty type), and the story times are very fun and educational. We really enjoyed ourselves last week and we are going to try to go every Wednesday for it. Hope to see you and your kids there too. Oh, yes, there is a nice story time at the other library too that we used to go to, but I just like this one better....I think its the atmosphere. It reminds me of walking into a piece of history!