The Thrifty Couple http://thethriftycouple.com Helping you stretch your budget in every area of life... Sat, 19 Apr 2014 22:15:18 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.3 He Is Risen Indeed http://thethriftycouple.com/2014/04/18/he-is-risen-indeed-2/ http://thethriftycouple.com/2014/04/18/he-is-risen-indeed-2/#comments Fri, 18 Apr 2014 20:54:40 +0000 http://thethriftycouple.com/?p=70872

He Is Risen

We pray that you and your family may know the riches and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ as you remember His death today and celebrate His resurrection this coming Lord’s Day. It is for His sake we do all things (I Cor 10:31). Soli Deo Gloria!

 

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17 Helpful Household Uses for Lemon Essential Oil http://thethriftycouple.com/2014/04/18/17-helpful-household-uses-for-lemon-essential-oil/ http://thethriftycouple.com/2014/04/18/17-helpful-household-uses-for-lemon-essential-oil/#comments Fri, 18 Apr 2014 20:13:57 +0000 http://thethriftycouple.com/?p=70845

17-household-uses-for-lemon-essential-oil

Even though we are “thrifty” we also try to live and eat as “naturally” as we can on our budget.  Along our thrifty and healthy journey, we discovered essential oils and have been using them now for many years. If you are not sure what essential oils are, you can read up on them HERE

We started using them in our home first and then as we learned more, started incorporating them into natural alternatives to personal care, diet and health.  But, the household uses are still the most popular, easiest and a very beneficial uses around the home!

Replacing commercial cleaners with our own homemade versions was not only healthier, but it was one healthier switch that is far below the cost of commercial cleaning! Just saving hundreds per year is one reason to switch to homemade cleaners!

Well, one of our favorite oils to use around the home is Lemon Essential Oil! It is very useful for many purposes around the home!

These are 17 ways we have used it and there are probably more – so share your ideas too!

  1.  Laundry refresher – if you accidentally left your laundry wet in the washer, you know that it can already be developing a smell – which means bacteria.  It has to be rewashed.  Well, add a few drops of lemon essential oil to help eliminate the odors that developed and freshen your laundry naturally!
  2. Fridge freshener – If your fridge is getting a not so great smell, you can use baking soda of course. But you can up the effectiveness by a lot by adding lemon essential oil to cotton balls and stick into your fridge for a few days.
  3. Microwave cleaner – heat lemon essential with vinegar and water in the microwave to clean and deodorize your microwave. Details on Natural Microwave Cleaning HERE.
  4. Laundry – more than just refreshing day-old laundry, you can just use it in your laundry in each load.  You can add it to your detergent, or even use a bit of vinegar with lemon oil as a fabric softener HERE.  There are lots of ways to add it to your laundry! 
  5. Keep garden pests away – Make a solution of water and lemon oil in a spray bottle and spray your garden plants with it.  They are perfectly safe for your plants, but pests do not like the citrus smell of lemon and will stay away.  Spraying at the base of the plant is best.
  6. Degreaser – lemon essential oil is great for removing grease from skin and surfaces.  Just add a few drops to a soap mixture or baking soda paste and you are set to degrease!
  7. Disinfectant – make a simple disinfectant spray using lemon essential oil. Recipe for a Homemade Disinfectant HERE.
  8. Remove sticky residues – simply use a bit of lemon essential oil and remove sticker residue, tape residue, gum and gum residue and other sticky substances from a surface by rubbing lemon oil into the residue and wipe away.
  9. Polish wood furniture – make a mix of lemon essential oil and olive oil for a natural wood furniture polish.
  10. Perk up, moisturize and clean leather –  Just use a corner of a rag with lemon oil to gently buff leather.
  11. Odor neutralizer – neutralize odors on food surfaces and containers like a sippy cup HERE.
  12. Rag refresher – Does your dish rag need a “pick-me-up?” Well, just put a drop of lemon oil on it before you use it next!
  13. Keep pests away – similar to the garden plants, keep pests out of your home with lemon oil.  You can add it to a spray bottle with water or a baking soda and lemon powder at the doors and windows or other area of your home where pests are a problem. You can also see our Natural Spider Repellant recipe HERE and the Carpet Deodorizer recipe HERE that both repel pests!
  14. Stainless steel polisher – Clean smudges and clean your stainless steel with lemon essential oil.
  15. Brighten carpets – by adding a few drops of lemon essential oil to carpet shampoo mixture.  It will clean and brighten carpets.
  16. Remove tough marks – rubbing a bit of lemon oil into crayons, scuff marks and pencil marks should remove them from most hard surfaces.
  17. Key ingredient in homemade natural cleaners – finally it is a key ingredient in many homemade cleaners. If lemon essential oil was the only essential oil you had, you could make a lot of household cleaners anti-bacterial and deodorizing with the addition of lemon essential oils for no matter what the recipe may be!

Recipes using lemon oil:

  1. Floor cleaners for different floor types
  2. Anti-bacterial Cleaning Wipes
  3. Mold and Mildew Remover
  4. Vacuum Cleaner Deodorizer
  5. Fruit and Veggie Wash
  6. Glass/Window Cleaner
  7. Antibacterial Cleaner
  8. Bathroom Scrub/Homemade Soft Scrub
  9. Stain Remover
  10. Kitchen/Food Area disinfectant
  11. Toilet Cleaners
  12. Carpet/Car deodorizer
  13. Dishwasher Soap
  14. All-Purpose Cleaner
  15. Homemade Jet Dry
  16. Heavy Duty Natural Cleaner

*Whenever you are using a cleaning product, natural or not, you should always test a small area before fully applying, especially when applying to a porous surface.

Where to Get Essential Oils

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We buy ours online most all of the time because it is cheaper.  You can see the 7 Best Essential Oils for Cleaning HERE as they are a great deal and a great start. I don’t necessarily think you need a super high quality essential oil for cleaning.  I just use the cheaper ones for cleaning! Again, you can see our suggestions for the cleaning oils HERE.

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We also do use the DoTerra Lemon Essential Oil found HERE for occasional cleaning jobs, but mostly personal care and natural health care as it is a higher grade and purer form for this use.  This brand is costs more due it’s quality, but it is worth using a higher quality for personal and health use.

You may be also be able to find it at a local health food store.  Please note, these are NOT fragrance oils, but essential oils, which are totally different.  You cannot get them at a store like Walmart or Target.  It would need to be a health food store or online.

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2-Ingredient Ham Glaze Recipe: Makes it Delicious and Moist http://thethriftycouple.com/2014/04/18/2-ingredient-ham-glaze-recipe-makes-it-delicious-and-moist/ http://thethriftycouple.com/2014/04/18/2-ingredient-ham-glaze-recipe-makes-it-delicious-and-moist/#comments Fri, 18 Apr 2014 20:03:57 +0000 http://thethriftycouple.com/?p=70880

2-ingredient-ham-glaze-recipe

I don’t make ham often as it isn’t my favorite (and so whatever mama likes, mama makes :)).  But my family loves it and there is one way of preparing a ham that I actually really do like!

I learned this from my aunt about 15 years ago.  She hosted Easter dinner and made the ham.  It was the first I actually really enjoyed and so this is how I make my ham now!

You only need 2 ingredients!  How simple is that? I am not only about thrifty, but easy too!

Here’s what you need: 2-parts of ginger ale and 1-part mustard! If you use 1/3 cup mustard, then use 2/3 cup ginger ale, etc.

To make:

  • Make your 2-ingredient marinade
  • Prepare your ham by making diamond slices in the top (make cuts about 1/2 inch into the ham both length-wise and width-wise.  This will create “diamond” shapes in the ham and allow the marinade to seep into the ham so that they ham can cook and soak up the flavors!
  • Then pour your marinade over the ham (it will be thicker) and let is seep into the cuts and cook to package directions.
  • Throughout the cooking process, using a baster, suck up the juices that leaked out and baste it over the top again.  You can also use a spoon for this too if you don’t have a baster.
  • Serve and enjoy the sweet/tart and deliciously unique flavors of your Ham.

We have made this for both small and large family gatherings and everyone loved it and no ham was left over.  The slower the cooking the better as the ham just soaks up the flavors more and more the longer it cooks, plus it just falls apart and is so juicy! This cooking method works well in a crock pot too!

You could even cook pineapple slices and maraschino cherries with your ham for an even more exotic flavor! I don’t do this every time, but when I do, my family loves it that much more!

Here’s a printable recipe!

2-Ingredient Ham Glaze Recipe: Makes it Delicious and Moist
Print

Recipe type: Main Dish
Cuisine: Ham
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • 2-parts of ginger ale and 1-part mustard! If you use ⅓ cup mustard, then use ⅔ cup ginger ale, etc.
Instructions
  1. To make:
  2. Make your 2-ingredient marinade
  3. Prepare your ham by making diamond slices in the top (make cuts about ½ inch into the ham both length-wise and width-wise. This will create “diamond” shapes in the ham and allow the marinade to seep into the ham so that they ham can cook and soak up the flavors!
  4. Then pour your marinade over the ham (it will be thicker) and let is seep into the cuts and cook to package directions.
  5. Throughout the cooking process, using a baster, suck up the juices that leaked out and baste it over the top again. You can also use a spoon for this too if you don’t have a baster.
  6. Serve and enjoy the sweet/tart and deliciously unique flavors of your Ham.

 See more Recipes

See our Recipe Pinterest Board

]]> http://thethriftycouple.com/2014/04/18/2-ingredient-ham-glaze-recipe-makes-it-delicious-and-moist/feed/ 0 10 Kitchen Towel Apron: Easy To Make and Only $1.50 for Supplies http://thethriftycouple.com/2014/04/18/10-kitchen-towel-apron-easy-to-make-and-only-1-50-for-supplies/ http://thethriftycouple.com/2014/04/18/10-kitchen-towel-apron-easy-to-make-and-only-1-50-for-supplies/#comments Fri, 18 Apr 2014 18:51:37 +0000 http://thethriftycouple.com/?p=70848

10-minute-kitchen-towel-apron

We have two cool ideas on how to turn a dish or kitchen towel into a full-size apron for a child or even take the idea and make a half apron for you!

This is a fun little project that is cheap and easy! The supplies will cost you only about $1.50 ($1 towel and .50 spool of ribbon).

There are two different tutorials that we found online for a 10 minute and 30 minute tutorial idea.

Each of these are simple. They can be a fun project for kids, handmade gift idea and more.

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First, How We Learn shares how she made an apron in 10 minutes HERE.

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Second, 30 Minute Crafts shows how she made her apron as well and for only $1.50 HERE

Both sites share easy to follow instructions and each one is made a little different, so check them out and make a fun project or gift for someone!

What do you think of this idea?

Do you have an idea you would like to share? Email us at thriftyus@thethriftycouple.com

Ideas and images used with permission. 

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How to Use a Discount Travel Site to Receive the Best Disney Deals http://thethriftycouple.com/2014/04/16/how-to-use-a-discount-travel-site-to-receive-the-best-disney-deals/ http://thethriftycouple.com/2014/04/16/how-to-use-a-discount-travel-site-to-receive-the-best-disney-deals/#comments Wed, 16 Apr 2014 20:55:28 +0000 http://thethriftycouple.com/?p=70827

how-to-use-a-discount-travel-site-to-receive-the-best-disney-deals

Summer of 2013, Disneyland Vacation with Grandma and Grandpa

Are you planning a trip to Disney sometime soon?  What about a trip to Southern California? Well, check out our tips and experiences and find a coupon code too for more money off your trip! 

Well, either way, we wanted to share this thrifty tip with you for this specific travel!

We live in the Rocky Mountain region of the U.S., so when you are a family and you want a vacation, it often leads to somewhere in Southern California, and often Disney makes it on the list.  Despite Alex’s groaning, the rest of the family likes to go to Disneyland.

In fact, we went in our unthrifty days in 2001.  Shortly after we got married.  It was part of the “Show Me Just How Much Debt We Can Get Into“ stage.  As an “unthrifty” traveller, a trip to So. Cal and Disneyland was not cheap! In fact, during that trip – we will call it what it really was: “Debt-land.”

Well, several years later after we paid off over $100K in debt, we had a goal to take our family to Disneyland as the first vacation after becoming debt-free. Our kids really wanted to go and we really wanted to take them!

You can bet your bottom dollar that we shopped around this time and were determined to get the absolute best deal! This a few years ago.  I spent many hours and much time to get the best prices on everything.

When I put together my “own” package by getting hotel here, tickets there, etc.  I had my total price in hand.  Well, I decided to stack this up against travel agents and companies to see if they could do better.

I contacted several different agencies, but one of them was one that is headquartered in our backyard – Get Away Today.

Well, to make a long researching story short…… we ended up buying our Disneyland package through Get Away Today.

They ended up having the best prices that I could find on my own by piecing together the best of the best on my own.  In fact, going with an all-in-one package with them, vs. piece by piece myself, it was around $11 cheaper!

I know that doesn’t sound like a lot, but more than just it being cheaper by $11…. they had free gifts for the kids, all of the reservations done by them in an easy package that required very little work, transportation, transfers, coupons, cancellation refund and even extra Disney perks that only come with booking through a company or Disney directly – but at the lowest price through Get Away Today!

Now, the nice thing about what they do is find the best prices based on what you want and they are personal, friendly, easy to work with and very helpful!  Their website is one of the easiest to use, which is GREAT because I spent lots of time on their site by trying several different options to see what came out on top!

Basically, what we wanted was a “good neighbor” hotel as this was much cheaper than a Disney hotel (but they also have the best prices on those, they are just naturally more!), a hotel within walking distance, as well as shuttle so we had both options. A free breakfast, family perks and swimming. 

We also kept our dates flexible, which is just another step in getting the absolute best price!

In the end, our trip was a HUGE success! It was fun, stress-free, all as planned and we received everything without a hitch.  We had one of the easiest trips in terms of planning and executing because we bought a package, which is always a plus – but even better, it was cheaper!

Get Away Today specializes in Disneyland trips.  They have been around for a while and so they now have many destinations globally and Southern California in general.  We do not know if they are the cheapest and best for the rest of the destinations since we have not traveled to those since knowing about them, but since they have a great reputation for Disneyland and millions of satisfied travelers, it is probably going to be one of the best deals for other trips too! But of course, you can always double check this with simple searches on their site.

get-away-today-dest

Head to their site HERE to see all of the Destinations and Options

One comment I wanted to make on this topic.  Last year, Grandma and Grandpa took us to Disneyland.  I was in charge of the package since my parents trust and know my deal hunting skills.  Since it had been several years since traveling with Get Away Today, I did the same process of finding the best deals for what our requirements are and then searching many package and individual options on Get Away Today.  

Again, we were actually going to get tickets and more from Get Away Today as it was again cheaper than anything else I could find. But at the last minute, there was only one option that was better.

My parents went back to school when all the kids left the house as adults. Well, my mom had entered an academic competition and the nationals competition was in Anaheim, CA.  Because hundreds of students were coming into Anaheim, CA for this competition, the association putting the competition on received a big discount for theme park tickets by reserving hundreds of them. So we ended up getting our tickets through this association this time, but the only way we could get it was in my mom’s name and she had to show proof that she was one of the contestants in the competition as well as photo i.d.  These tickets were the only tickets that were cheaper than any dozens of other options we found.

I took this to be encouraging that although we didn’t use them last year when Grandma and Grandpa took us due to the special circumstances, in the future, this is what we will be doing as the competition discount was once in a lifetime (the association goes to a different location each year – we just lucked out that it was Anaheim and that she was a contestant)!

Get Away Today has lots of different specials and discounts depending on the month! They also have some great ways to reserve prices and pay slowly (lay away plan) and many other ways to get a deal and not break your budget.

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See their current specials HERE

Even Better

We contacted Get Away Today to see if they have any extra specials that we can share with you exclusively! Well, they decided to give us a coupon code to save another $10 off your package to So. Cal! That’s great because we didn’t even have that! :)

So head to the Get Away Today site HERE and use coupon code:

ThriftyCouple14

By the way – Get Away Today has a “best price” guarantee – which means that if you find a better price (other than a special circumstance like the one mentioned above), they will not only match it but BEAT IT! YAY!

*As far as we know, this coupon code is good for life as long as you use it! They will honor this code for you no matter when you book!

Be watching as we will be sharing more Disney specific savings tips and tricks in upcoming articles under our travel section of our site.  If you are subscribed to our email newsletter, these articles will arrive directly in your inbox once we post them!

See our Travel Section HERE for more budget travel related articles 

See our Travel Pinterest Board

 

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DIY Lanterns from Coffee Cans http://thethriftycouple.com/2014/04/16/diy-lanterns-from-coffee-cans/ http://thethriftycouple.com/2014/04/16/diy-lanterns-from-coffee-cans/#comments Wed, 16 Apr 2014 20:09:38 +0000 http://thethriftycouple.com/?p=70836

coffee-can-lanterns

These are awesome! Coffee Can Lanterns!

Simply upcycle tin coffee cans into lanterns for festive outdoor fun! Even small/standard tin cans can be turned into a tin can lantern.

These are quite easy to make!

coffee-can-lanterns-how-to

 

Just simply create a pattern, poke holes with the right tools and finish how you want (or leave the old rustic look too!) and you are done!

See the steps and details on this project at Design Sponge HERE.

What DIY projects have you made with tin cans? 

See more DIY Ideas

See our DIY Pinterest Board

Photos and idea used with permission

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Be Intentional Baby Step #30 – Why It’s Important To Keep Going http://thethriftycouple.com/2014/04/16/be-intentional-baby-step-30-why-its-important-to-keep-going/ http://thethriftycouple.com/2014/04/16/be-intentional-baby-step-30-why-its-important-to-keep-going/#comments Wed, 16 Apr 2014 19:37:10 +0000 http://thethriftycouple.com/?p=70822

why-its-important-to-keep-going

It is step #30 of our Be Intentional Baby Step Challenges!

We hope it has been wonderful, productive and life-changing so far.

As a reminder, the 30 Be Intentional baby steps are designed to get you on the right foot, the right track and give you energy, efficiency and organization which will propel you into a life that is able to develop an overall financially smart, happy and frugal home. We encourage couples and families to do these challenges together so the whole house can function well!

As the 30 steps go along, we will be focusing on 5 areas for the Be Intentional Month:

  • Self
  • Home
  • Budget
  • Schedule
  • Frugality

See the full list of baby steps HERE.

So, for your last challenge….. Be Intentional Challenge #30:

Why It’s Important Keep Going!

Yes, that is the next step! Easy enough, right?

Well, one of our goals in our lives as been to make changes in baby steps so that they  become a part of your whole life for life.

In the past, when we have tried to achieve goals, we dive in both feet first and then seem to set ourselves up for failure and break our plan just a few weeks later. We tried the “jump all in feet first” approach with our debt and we kept crashing and failing.  It wasn’t until we finally planned to take baby steps that BIG changes happened!

So just as we stated when we started these challenges,  we have adopted that same idea in all areas of life: finances, routines, organization, healthy life living, etc. And that idea is to…. Be Intentional – Taking Those Necessary Baby Steps for Whole Life Change.

We personally started these baby steps to increase energy, efficiency and organization which will propel anyone into a life that is able to develop an overall financially smart, happy and frugal home.  And by frugal, we’re not meaning cheap! You can be frugal with no matter how little or how much money you have. It is just being good with the money you have.

In our many years of attempted thriftiness, one thing that we have determined is that you can save a buck here and there and grab deals left and right, but for a truly frugal lifestyle, it requires time and organization.  If you do not have those things, then frugality is very frustrating.

You may have added the challenges each day we presented them, which is great! You may have skipped a few, you may have started later in the game, but honestly, it doesn’t matter where you started…what matters is where you are going.

Don’t get discouraged and don’t get frustrated.  Just pick up where you left off, or even start all over and add them in one at a time at a reasonable pace for you.

Finally, one project that we are working now for you all is a separate 30-day email that you can join for the 30-days that will allow you to be reminded of that day’s challenge. So be watching for this soon! 

We also encourage you to keep in touch with us as we will continue to find ways to encourage you in these challenges as well as lots more fun things and themes to come in 2014.

Here’s ways you can keep in touch:

  • Sign up for our free email newsletter HERE which comes out around 3-4 times per week and shares our most current articles and information in one spot!
  • Follow us on Pinterest HERE where we pin recipes, homemaking ideas, articles, DIY, Gardening Ideas and fun ways to live and save every day
  • Follow us on Twitter HERE where every time we put up a post, it is tweeted
  • Follow us on Facebook HERE where we have frugal discussions, share ideas not shared here and more!

One final thing….. we also have a separate Facebook Group with less than 200 members (different from our Facebook page) where you can engage in discussions, receive encouragement and talk to others that are participating in the challenges too for more ideas! Head to the Be Intentional with The Thrifty Couple Facebook Page HERE and ask to join us there! You can also invite friends and spouses too!

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2014 Entertainment Books Only $10.40 (Tax Break Sale Ends 4/17/14) http://thethriftycouple.com/2014/04/16/2014-entertainment-books-only-10-40-tax-break-sale-ends-41714/ http://thethriftycouple.com/2014/04/16/2014-entertainment-books-only-10-40-tax-break-sale-ends-41714/#comments Wed, 16 Apr 2014 15:57:30 +0000 http://thethriftycouple.com/?p=70816

We are posting this great sale on a coupon book we use regularly! This is a great price and so we didn’t want you to miss out in case you wanted one! It goes through 4/7/14 and then it goes back up in price!

Have you heard of Entertainment Coupon Books before?  Well, we are going to repost the same information we shared before to explain what they are! 

These are the big huge coupon books that have thousands of coupons to your local restaurants, services and more and gives you 50% off of that service/restaurant, etc.

They are very popular and we usually get two books each year to re-visit some of our favorite places.

Well, we bring this up right now because they are usually $35 plus shipping, but until April 14th, they are having a sale on the 2014 Entertainment Book at $10.40 plus $2.49 shipping for each book.

That’s a 70% savings.  You can buy multiples for your household, or combine orders with friends.

These are also great gifts as it allows you or your gift receiver to eat out, be entertained, grocery discounts, museums, outings and so many more things in your local area for 50% off.  There are literally thousands of 50% off coupons in the Entertainment Book!

The coupons all expire November 1, 2014, so you will also have many months to use the coupons. And to us there is no question about the value of the book. The hundreds of coupons available to you will usually make up the price of the $35 book in one transaction – but you will only have to pay $10.40 for their “tax break” sale (get it…. 1040 = $10.40 ;)).

This book is HUGE and thick has thousands of coupons in it for 50% off or Buy One Get One FREE coupons for the businesses in your local area!

Let’s give you an example of why we love our book each year.  Our local Kroger affiliate (Smiths) shows the $5 off coupon – on top of all your other discounts and coupons!  What this means is that in using 2-3 coupons between now and November 2014, you can make up the $35 cost of the book and have the rest of the hundreds of coupons to literally be savings throughout the year!   And their image on the top of the page highlights the “$5 off groceries” which just tells us this is available in many, if not all of their books!

Here’s an example from the 2012 book, but we get them every year! There were 4 of these in the book, one for each quarter of the year.

Plus, not only does the book provide awesome coupons to help you save off a purchase you’re already making, but they also offer great FREEBIES even without purchase!  Notice just a few of the great freebies below, on national brands as well, that don’t require a purchase.  If you’re out and about, this can be a nice way to either get a FREE snack or  help compliment a small snack or meal!

These are examples of just a few of the hundreds of coupons found each year in these books!

Again, they normally sell for $35 plus shipping, but they are having a tax break sale to drop the price to $10.40 and $2.49 for the shipping.

Head to the site HERE to buy your 2014 Entertainment Coupon Book for $10.40

Note: Coupons will vary by location but should compare in their awesomeness and great value!

See more HOT deals here!

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Repurpose Egg Cartons to Start Seedlings and Our 2014 Garden Update http://thethriftycouple.com/2014/04/14/repurpose-egg-cartons-to-start-seedlings-and-our-2014-garden-update/ http://thethriftycouple.com/2014/04/14/repurpose-egg-cartons-to-start-seedlings-and-our-2014-garden-update/#comments Mon, 14 Apr 2014 19:40:52 +0000 http://thethriftycouple.com/?p=70797

repurpose-egg-cartons-to-start-your-seedlings-for-your-garden

Just like last year, we are going to share our personal garden updates so you can see “how our garden grows!”

So after sharing our garden planning downloads with you, we are now going to share step #1 update and an idea for your seedlings.

We used recycled cardboard egg cartons to start our seedlings!  We also broke popsicle sticks in half to write the plant.  You have to mark them as you will not be able to tell what you have! They all look so similar at this baby stage! :)

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Just fill with your potting soil, plant your seeds, keep them moist and cover with a cover that acts like a greenhouse.  As you can see, plastic wrap is all we used.

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Once they sprout, you will want to move them under a grow light for the next several weeks until it is time to plant in the ground.

Three of our five trays have sprouted and so they are now under the lights!

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By the way, the big tray on top is home to 72 marigold seedlings that we hope to use as natural pest control!

Last year, we made newspaper pots (see how to make these here), but this year, we recycled cardboard egg cartons to start our seedlings this time.  

We are going to have quite the garden this year and you can see our full planting plan here, but this was all that we needed to start inside. 

So for what we have growing right now inside:

  • Tomatoes (2 types)
  • Bell Peppers
  • Onions
  • Cauliflower
  • Broccoli
  • Kale

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Here’s some pictures of the cute babies that sprouted as of today! Aren’t they just so cute?

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What do you use to start seedlings?

See more Gardening Tips

See our Gardening Pinterest Board

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8 Cute Easter Treats Ideas and Recipes http://thethriftycouple.com/2014/04/14/8-cute-easter-treats-ideas-and-recipes/ http://thethriftycouple.com/2014/04/14/8-cute-easter-treats-ideas-and-recipes/#comments Mon, 14 Apr 2014 19:21:15 +0000 http://thethriftycouple.com/?p=70784

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Easter is around the corner and so we thought we would share some final Easter treat ideas with you that are pretty simple and fun to make and eat!

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Sleeping Peeps idea – simply dip the bottoms of these bunnies in white chocolate and use candy circles for the dots for the “blanket” look! More details at the Wilton site HERE.

 

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Rice Krispies treat idea by making them round and topping with Easter themed edible treats on top! More details at the Wilton site HERE.

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Easter egg huntin’ in grass cupcakes.  Quite simple.  Just make cupcakes and then using a piping tool or ziploc bag with a corner cut, pipe the green colored frosting in grass shapes and hide the eggs on top! More details at the Wilton site HERE.

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This one is so cute! Carrot looking chocolate dipped strawberries. Dip strawberries in white chocolate dyed orange and let it dry. Then pipe more chocolate in strips and while it is still wet, sprinkle with orange sprinkles! More details at the Wilton site HERE.

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Pearlized Easter Egg Pops – cake pops shaped like eggs, dipped in white chocolate dyed in pastels. Then pipe white chocolate and spray with pearlized food spray. More details at the Wilton site HERE.

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Chocolate Dipped Peeps! Dip the bottoms of Peeps in chocolate and then in sprinkles! More details at the Wilton site HERE.

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Easily make candy Easter grass cup to hold all kinds of treats or cupcakes! See the basic steps below!

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More details at the Wilton site HERE.

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Finally, we threw this last one in here because if you have a bit of skill, you can pull this one off! It isn’t the easiest, but it is certainly cool! Find out how to do this step by step on the Wilton site HERE.

See more Recipes 

See our Holiday Ideas Pinterest Board

(c)2014 Wilton Industries, Inc. Used with permission. www.wilton.com.

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25 Ideas to Get Discounts To Amusement and Theme Parks http://thethriftycouple.com/2014/04/14/25-ideas-to-get-discounts-to-amusement-and-theme-parks/ http://thethriftycouple.com/2014/04/14/25-ideas-to-get-discounts-to-amusement-and-theme-parks/#comments Mon, 14 Apr 2014 18:53:56 +0000 http://thethriftycouple.com/?p=70777

25-ideas-to-help-you-save-on-amusement-park-tickets

As we continue to share ways to save on travel and fun while on travel, we wanted to share ways to save on one of our favorite vacation activities – AMUSEMENT PARKS!

We are a roller coastin’, bumper car ridin’, seat droppin’ kind of family! Yes, we do love to visit amusement parks of all kinds, sizes and places.

Yes, we have been Disneyland as a couple in our “unthrifty days” and as a family in our “thrifty days.”   But this post isn’t going to address just Disney, in fact it’s actually not going to address Disney much as this is a totally different ball game!

Along with visit Disney on both sides of our lives (the thrifty vs. unthrifty), we have, do and will continue to visit amusement parks of all kinds! So we have a few different experiences on both sides of the budget spectrum, which means we can offer even more tips for you.

In fact, in our previous “unthrifty days” (read our deep in debt to debt-free story HERE) we would go on a whim, drop a load of money at the gate paying full price and not think twice about the person standing in line next to us on a ride in the park bragging about their discount into the park while rolling our eyes as if we didn’t care. Well, we didn’t care – until one day when we recognized the reality of our debt-load and how stupid it was to not get a discount (not to mention the foolishness of being there when we couldn’t even afford it). We used to think it would be too much work to try and scope out a discount. Arguably, some discounts will be more work than others, but some are hardly any effort and certainly worth seeking out!

So today, as a family of 7, before we head out to the theme parks, we plan, budget and seek out those discounts. Honestly, discounts to any theme park are a dime a dozen. We can pretty much guarantee you a discount to any theme park if you just look in the right places. So we’ve rounded up a list of ways to save money on those tickets so that you have “no excuses” to save a buck before you go!

25 Ways to Find an Amusement Park or Theme Park Discount

  1. Check directly on the theme park’s websites. In this day and age, if a company is offering a discount, it will most likely be found somewhere on their website! This can be quite honestly the easiest way to get a discount and at least save something off the gate entrance price. Rarely do we NOT find a discount on their website.  But even though you may find a discount on the site, you may find bigger discounts else where…. so keep reading!
  2. Quickly find out about discounts by calling the customer service or the management desk. Most representatives will be clueless and confused as to why you are asking if there is a discount somewhere, but simply calling and asking directly may save you time if you get a helpful employee! Ask to talk to a supervisor or manager if the person you are speaking with doesn’t know of any discounts. Always be very thankful and kind – this is the best way to get information from anyone.  They don’t have to tell you, but being nice will almost always guarantee that they will!
  3. Check for discounts for memberships you may have. If you are a part of any of these groups, then check on a AAA, AARP, Sam’s Club or Costco. We have found that you can get a discount to most theme parks through one (or all) of these outlets!
  4. Check with your local banks and credit unions, even if the theme park is not local. What I mean is that we have a lot of credit unions in our area and the area we grew up in. None of them are close to Disneyland, but almost all of them offer discounts and discount packages to Disney and other Theme parks nationwide.
  5. Get a multi-day/multi-attraction discount pass. If you are planning to stay multiple days and hit multiple attractions, then consider a multi-day pass or a multi-attraction pass. Theme parks like Universal Studios or SeaWorld have offered “Buy One day, Get One free.” Disney’s park hopper passes are cheaper per day the more days you purchase. Also, the CityPass is a popular way to go (for visiting multiple attractions) as you save 30% right off the top going through CityPass directly. You can actually get discounts on the CityPass itself through AAA, Costco and more! These multi-day passes can also apply to the smaller and local theme parks too! Even our local metropolis offers a multi-attraction pass that is a superior discount to the local zoos, museums, aquariums and more!
  6. Search online or call hotels local to the theme park and see if they have a package deal. In our area, several of the surrounding hotels offer discount packages with a room to the local Lagoon theme park. They are not widely advertised, but they are common. If you call one of the local hotels and they do not have a discount package deal, ask them if another hotel in the area does – you can usually find one within a phone call or two. We did this a couple of years ago when we visited the Creation Museum in Kentucky. We called a couple of hotels and one gave us a list of hotels that offers discount packages. As it turned out, we were able to stay at a Comfort Inn for $99 a night (for our whole family of 7) and this included the room and 2 adult tickets to the museum. Since the adult tickets were $25 each, we received $50 in tickets and a room for $49. The regular room rate was around $85 and discounted room rate of $70, so we were happy with the savings. We actually stayed two nights and received 4 adult tickets. Although we only needed 2 adult and 3 kids tickets (2 of our 5 kids were free :)) it was still cheaper to use the adult tickets for two of the kids than pay the discounted room rate and buy 2 additional kids tickets. So be creative in the process too! *As a side note, if the Creation Museum is on your list this year, doing a package deal like the one mentioned is even better for 2014 because kids 12 and under get free admission this year!
  7. Have a travel agent work up a deal! Contact your local travel agents and tell them that you are looking for discounts galore and see what they quote you for a price! You never know, but they might actually be able to grab bigger discounts with their insider information than you can find! If not, it gives you the basis to try and beat that price you are quoted! We will be sharing details on this specifically for Disney, which is the only vacation that we have booked through an agent due to the discounts.  Watch for that special article in a couple of days!
  8. Check on the discount prices using your Entertainment Book. This little (BIG) book is not only filled with coupons to your local businesses, but both in the book and then access your online account as there will be many more offers online, including many theme parks!
  9. Check with local (to the theme park) restaurants/businesses, Coke Cans/Convenience Store Cups, etc. We live near Lagoon Amusement Park and many local fast food restaurants, locally distributed soda cans (e.g., the Coke cans distributed in our area) and convenience store cups will have a coupon for a discount into this local park. Even when we were down in CA, we ate at Wendy’s (using our free fries coupons) and noticed that the drink cups down there had an $8 discount to SeaWorld or San Diego Zoo. So you could potentially find these all over the local area of the theme park. 
  10. Check the local physical phone book. Whether you live locally or are staying at one of the local hotels, we always see coupons in the local phone books for some discount off of the attraction tickets!
  11. Check the hotel displays. This is one of the oldest and most common ways to easily find a discount and we typically find these discounts to be the lowest offered as they are so common, but they are a discount none the less! Those displays house dozens of flyers to attractions in the area and many of them will have an attached discount or coupon. 
  12. Reserve/purchase your tickets in advance online. We saw this recently on LegoLand. They were offering weekday tickets for 40% off when ordered online and in advance for a short time! We don’t see this discount often, but you might be able to find it.  Again, it goes along with checking the companies, website. 
  13. If you are local to the theme park, consider season/annual passes. In our area, we mentioned the Lagoon Theme Park. They sell season passes which make up the cost in just over 2 visits to the park all season! In addition, some season passes are cheaper if you buy in groups, so if you know others looking for season passes, then you can make one big group purchase and split the costs and get your additional discount!
  14. If you are a large family, consider a family season/annual pass, even if it is for a one-time visit! This one may sound quite strange – but we saw this in action when we went to the Creation Museum a couple of years ago. We went with another family that had 8 kids. The Creation Museum offered a family annual pass no matter how many family members there were. They literally saved a bunch of money by purchasing this pass than individual tickets. Even if they hadn’t planned a road trip back there within the year, this one visit made it worth the money! Obviously this only works if they do offer a “family” annual/season pass and your family is large to justify it! 
  15. Consider going with a large group for a group discount. This would even work if you are not local to the park and going on a road trip with a large group too! Many theme parks offer discounts with a group. A group is sometimes considered 8, 10 or 12 or more! Even if you don’t intend to “hang out together at the park” consider teaming up with others for this group discount!
  16. Check with your employer for a discount! One of Alex’s previous employers corporate offices are based out of San Diego. They offered discount tickets to the San Diego attractions, even for their employees in other offices across the country.
  17. Look for the Buy One Get One days. We have seen so many theme parks offer “buy one day get the second day free” deals for certain times or seasons. Consider attending the park during one of these times.
  18. Find out if they offer discounts for students or military. If you are a student somewhere, many theme parks will offer special discounted rates for students when you show your student id. Just like the students, if you are either retired or active duty military, almost all theme parks offer some sort of discount for you and your family when you show your military id.
  19. Check with your insurance. This one may be interesting, but we have noted that many insurance companies offer discounts for their clients just by being a member of a certain insurance group. We would recommend calling your insurance agent to find out if they offer discounts for their members!
  20. Check to see if they offer discounted days with canned food donations. Another popular discount we have seen has been with the donation of food items that they will turn around and donate to a food bank. This is such a great idea and not only do you get your discount, but the community is helped too!
  21. Avoid Peak Season or days. You will find it more difficult to find discount tickets especially during the peak times as they know they can jack up the prices. If you avoid a peak season or day, you will get more for your money as you will be able to do more. :)
  22. Is there a bundle package offered that will include tickets, parking and maybe food? Many theme parks also offer an all-in-one package and they will bundle options that will ultimately give you a discount. We did this at Sea World a couple of years ago.  They had tickets that weren’t a lot more than gate admission that was “all-inclusive” of attractions, foods, parking and refreshments. This was a good deal at the time, but if you will not be using all of those options, this wouldn’t be a way to go. 
  23. Is there a discount option if you enter the park after a certain time of day? Some theme parks will also offer a discount if you enter after 1pm or 4pm, etc. We have seen these tickets discounted as much as 50%. So if that extra 2 or 3 hours in the park is not worth double the expense, then consider this option!
  24. Ask a local or an employee. If you know locals or employees, they will have insider information or even possibly free entrance for friends because they work there – you just never know what you might find out!
  25. Finally, follow the theme or amusement parks on social media! Following their Facebook page and Twitter (and more) can be especially beneficial! Often times, they will share or show a discount for their social followers.  There was a big one recently where a large theme park emailed a good discount code to it’s Facebook followers for a short time window.  This was not advertised on their site and it was a very good discount if you claimed it during the time they ran the promotion on their Facebook page.

A few extra notes: 

One big thing to consider when seeking out a discount is: “What are the restrictions on your discount tickets?” and consider the “nickel and dime” expenses. Answering this question can save you from regret later as some discount tickets might not be all that they are cracked up to be!

  • Is there certain times only that you can enter (time of day, season, blackout dates, etc.)?
  • How much will parking cost?
  • Are there rides/attractions that are not available with this ticket?
  • Any other restrictions or considerations that you need to weigh?
  • With all of that in mind, we recommend taking a quick look at all 25 ideas above and select your best and biggest discount option from the list!

Are there any discounts that we may have missed? Please leave a comment below for all to take advantage of!

Watch for Disney specific related articles coming up soon!

See our Travel Section HERE for more budget travel related articles 

See our Travel Pinterest Board

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Our 2014 Garden Planning and Free Garden Planning Downloads for You http://thethriftycouple.com/2014/04/11/our-2014-garden-planning-and-free-garden-planning-downloads-for-you/ http://thethriftycouple.com/2014/04/11/our-2014-garden-planning-and-free-garden-planning-downloads-for-you/#comments Fri, 11 Apr 2014 16:41:59 +0000 http://thethriftycouple.com/?p=70728

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We are going to share our step-by-step garden plan with you again this year as we know many of you loved to see what we were up to with our gardens last year, pictures from our garden growing indoors and out! It helps to see other’s gardens and plans to help you plan your own.

But this year, it is even better! Alex – the awesome other half of The Thrifty Couple, created downloads for me to use to help me have an even more efficient and effective garden plan.

So….. I am sharing these downloads he created for me with you too as you prepare and plant gardens this year! Isn’t that awesome?

So I am going to show you my garden plan this year, and share the downloads below in case you would like to use any of them!

Well, let me start off by saying that last year we switched to square foot gardening after a few years of rough gardening and rough results from “row” gardens. We struggled with using the actual ground as our soil. In our area, the soil is terrible, filled with clay and very high maintenance.  Weeds, tough ground, terrible soil, etc.  So we finally made that switch and last year was finally awesome!

We followed Mel Bartholomew’s Square Foot Gardening Book. This is the EXACT one that we use!

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You can see the details and information on this book on Amazon HERE.

So of course we are doing square foot gardening again.  Not only is it low maintenance, but has very little weeds and nutrient rich soil for our food!

We also use Heirloom Seeds - I hope to harvest my own seeds to use again from these same plants!

The boxes were very easy to build and we will share very soon how to build your own boxes.

Here’s the steps I follow to plan and plant a produce garden!

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Step#1 – Figure out what varieties I want to plant!

  • I use the Planting Schedule download and fill in the first line with the plant.
  • Then using planting guides or on the seed packs themselves, decide which ones need to be started indoors and which ones are planted directly in the ground.
  • I wait on the number of plants until another step. So I skip to the last section and write the start date based on when I want to harvest that food!  Often, I will be starting seedlings and different intervals to have food coming in at different times and not all at once!

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Step #2 – Complete the Companion Guide

  • It is important to figure out which foods are friends and which ones are enemies – to put it in simple terms! This is called companion gardening and it is a simple, but very beneficial step to take to have a healthy, flourishing, bountiful garden!
  • I use the Companion Guide download. In the first box, write the plant name.  Then there are two sections – one for the “Friends” and one for the “Not’s.”
  • To find the friends and not’s of planting together, I use Almanac.com or OrganicGardening.com sites.

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Step #3 – Write out your plan

  • Whether you are planting square foot gardens, rows or something else, it’s best to write it out so you don’t over or under plan.
  • For square foot gardening, it’s easy to write it out! I just use the Square Foot Garden Planner download to write what food will be planted in each “foot” and then the number of seeds or plants to be planted in each square foot.  You can research online how many of each type of plant can fit in a square foot, or use the official square foot gardening book which lays all of this out!

Step #4 – Finish the Planting Schedule

  • Go back to the first download and now fill-in how many seeds you need to plant.  It is best to add 10-20% more to plant as you will often lose some.  Worst case, if they all sprout and grow, then give some of your seedlings to others and bless others! But this excess will hopefully make up for seeds the don’t sprout or plants that don’t turn out very healthy.  So if I want 4 of something, I will plant 5 or 6, etc.

Finally, once you are all planned out…. get growing! Follow your “start dates” and start your seedlings!

So here’s what we are growing this year.  We have 6 square foot garden boxes this year (last year we had 4) and a potato tower that we are building for potatoes.

But here’s what’s going in the boxes:

  • 32 peas
  • 4 Tomatoes
  • 4 Cabbage
  • 4 Kale
  • 8 Cucumber
  • 6 Broccoli
  • 6 Cauliflower
  • 4 Pepper
  • 128 Carrots
  • 32 Beans
  • 32 Corn
  • 4 Spaghetti Squash
  • 36 Onion
  • 4 Zucchini
  • 4 Mixed Lettuce (this is one where you cut and it keeps regrowing)
  • 4 Spinach
  • 64 Radish
  • 8 Watermelon
  • 8 Cantaloupe

We already have a bunch of fruit all over our yard….. details on this on a later garden update!

So all I needed to start in the house was:

  • Tomatoes
  • Cabbage
  • Kale
  • Cauliflower
  • Pepper
  • Onions

So that is what is on our light table now, along with a tray of 72 Marigold plants that we hope to use as a natural pest control.  I will be writing later what we are using for a handful of natural pest control ideas!

What are you growing this year?

Here’s those downloads for you to use if you would like!
Please note, if you are reading this email in our rss feed or our email newsletter, you may have to click to the post HERE to print this download. 

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<== Download your Planting Schedule page HERE

 

<== Download your Companion Gardening Planner page HERE 

 

<== Download your Square Foot Garden Planning page HERE

See more Gardening Tips

See our Gardening Pinterest Board

]]> http://thethriftycouple.com/2014/04/11/our-2014-garden-planning-and-free-garden-planning-downloads-for-you/feed/ 3 Maximize Amazon Subscribe and Save to Receive Even Better Discounts http://thethriftycouple.com/2014/04/11/maximize-amazon-subscribe-and-save-to-receive-even-better-discounts/ http://thethriftycouple.com/2014/04/11/maximize-amazon-subscribe-and-save-to-receive-even-better-discounts/#comments Fri, 11 Apr 2014 15:08:09 +0000 http://thethriftycouple.com/?p=70726

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Note from The Thrifty Couple: This is written by our friend Theresa (mom to a family of 11) who has been using the Amazon Subscribe and Save program for a while now and is sharing how it all works and the benefits of it! We also use Amazon Subscribe and Save monthly as it is like shopping Walmart’s prices, but online, plus even more discounts to make the prices better.  But we will let her tell you all about it! 

The UPS delivery woman knocks briskly on my door a lot around the beginning of the month, leaving my porch filled with awkwardly stacked boxes. That’s because my Amazon Subscribe and Save order arrives between the 1st and 7th every month. I love Subscribe and Save.

Getting Started with Subscribe and Save

The Amazon Subscribe and Save program can be a convenient and easy way to save money. Here are some basics if you are ready to try it out!

Not all grocery items are part of the Subscribe and Save program. If they are available for subscription, you will see an option to subscribe to the item under the “Add to Cart” button. To subscribe, just select the quantity and frequency of delivery, and click subscribe now.

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If that seems like a lot of commitment, don’t worry! You aren’t marrying it, you can change any of the details about your subscription at any time. It is easy to access your Subscribe and Save subscription page from the options under the “Your Account” tab. You can even cancel an item before the first shipment is sent if you change your mind, just as long as you do it before your order is prepared.

If you end up running out too soon, or not needing the next shipment, you have the option to change the schedule to make the delivery frequency anywhere from 1 month to 6 months apart. Or, if you end up getting a great deal somewhere else on a usually delivered item, you can skip a delivery with one click.

Amazon will send you an email every month before they get your Subscribe and Save order ready, reminding you that your order is shipping soon. This is your chance to make any changes. I check mine over carefully to make sure that I want to get all the items this month that are scheduled to come.

Subscribe and Save Discounts

Getting the best deal on Subscribe and Save takes some savvy shopping and knowledge of how the program works. Let’s talk discounts.

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Every subscribe and save order gets a 5% discount off the regular “Add-to-Cart-and-Ship-Now” price . For veteran coupon shoppers, this doesn’t sound like much. Don’t worry, it gets lots better! If you subscribe to 5 or more items to be delivered on your monthly delivery day, you will get 15% off your entire Subscribe and Save shipment. For Amazon Mom’s members, that 15% gets bumped up to 20%. So make sure you are signed up for Amazon Mom, which also gets you 20% off of diapers and wipes subscriptions, regardless of how big your monthly shipment is.

If you haven’t already done it, you should sign up for a free 3 month trial to Amazon Mom which includes Prime benefits. That’s a great way to get the best available discounts and see if Subscribe and Save works well for your family’s needs.

Stacking Discounts with Coupons

Alright, so 15% or 20% off is more like honest to goodness savings, isn’t it? The real fun starts though, when you realize that you can stack Amazon coupons with a Subscribe and Save discount. The coupon applies only to the first month’s delivery of the item. However, since it is so easy to cancel, signing up for a Subscribe and Save shipment with every intention of only getting that first, deeply discounted order is no problem. Just make sure you are checking over your order thoroughly every month when you get that reminder email to make deletions and any other needed changes to any previous orders.

There are two basic types of coupons at Amazon: the fixed dollar off amount, and the percentage off.

The best strategy for the dollar off type is usually to look for the smallest unit available. A $1.50 off coupon might not make much of a dent in the price of a 6 pack of deodorant for instance, but can make a single deodorant a screaming deal after discounts. These dollar off coupons for small items can be a great way to build up to the 5 items a month needed to get your 15% (or 20% for Amazon Mom’s members) off for the whole order.

For the percentage off coupons, the percentage is figured from the original price. So a 25% off coupon stacked with a 15% discount makes for a true 40% off. These coupons are often a great way to stock up, if you have the margin in your budget to buy a case. Of course, I do find with my 9 children (4 of whom are teenagers), there is no such thing as stocking up, there is only more to eat!

Sometimes coupons stick around for a month or more, sometimes they only last a very short time. Check out the Amazon coupon page HERE to find out what deals are currently offered.

Recurring Shipments

There are several items that I just find very convenient to be shipped to me. I get a case of high quality toilet paper and paper towels at a great price, shipped every other month without having to wait for sales or coupons, wrestle it into a cart, then in and out of the car. I appreciate that a lot. Coconut oil, Larabars, and tea are other items I have in my recurring shipments. Just check the prices on items you normally get locally or through a co-op and see if Subscribe and Save is cheaper.

When shopping for items for recurring delivery, make sure you check all sizes, flavors, and quantities available. There is often a significant difference in per unit price between these variations. Like box and mortar stores, Amazon does provide a per ounce or per item price to make comparison easier. Look for it right after the price on the product description page. Just like regular stores though, sometimes the unit being used isn’t consistent, so you have to figure it out yourself!

If you happen to see a coupon for an item that is already part of your regular shipment (as has happened to me a couple times), the only way to take advantage of that deal is to start a new delivery order for that item. Then just make sure you go and cancel the other standing delivery if you don’t want to be receiving two of the same. Your most recent Subscribe and Save orders will be closest to the top on your Subscribe and Save account page, scroll down to find the one you need to cancel. Sometimes a coupon you used to subscribe the previous month will still be valid, and you can just rinse and repeat.

Here’s hoping you find some great Subscribe and Save deals, and your UPS deliveries are exciting every month!

See more details about:

Amazon’s Subscribe and Save home shopping delivery service HERE

Amazon Mom’s Discount Baby products program HERE

Amazon’s available monthly coupons HERE

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8 Clever Kitchen Organization Ideas http://thethriftycouple.com/2014/04/11/8-clever-kitchen-organization-ideas/ http://thethriftycouple.com/2014/04/11/8-clever-kitchen-organization-ideas/#comments Fri, 11 Apr 2014 14:08:25 +0000 http://thethriftycouple.com/?p=70736

clever-organization-ideas-to-help-you-organize-your-kitchen

Organization is something that many of us strive for and so it is helpful to have a handful of ideas in your back pocket!

So here’s 8 more to inspire some kitchen organization!

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Under sink organization ideas @ I Heart Organizing

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How to organize cooking magazine recipes in an index binder @Mad in Crafts

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Recycle milk cartons as storage containers and get free labels @ Sewlicious Home Decor

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Use a towel rack to store pot lids above the stove @ For Rent

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How to organize glass and bakeware @Inspiration for Moms

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Mason jar spice storage idea @Darice Craft Blog

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Organize storage lids with cd racks @ Astute Homestead

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Fridge organization idea for easy and practical use @ Echoes of Laughter

See more DIY Ideas 

See our Organization Pinterest Board

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How to Make Hollandaise Sauce In a Mixer or Blender – Quick, Easy and Tasty Recipe http://thethriftycouple.com/2014/04/09/how-to-make-hollandaise-sauce-in-a-mixer-or-blender-quick-easy-and-tasty-recipe/ http://thethriftycouple.com/2014/04/09/how-to-make-hollandaise-sauce-in-a-mixer-or-blender-quick-easy-and-tasty-recipe/#comments Wed, 09 Apr 2014 19:18:17 +0000 http://thethriftycouple.com/?p=70704

easy-hollandaise-sauce-recipe

There is a very easy, very creamy, very yummy, very quick way to whip up Hollandaise Sauce.  We have Hollandaise sauce a couple of times a month on eggs benedict and on roasted asparagus.  It is a favorite sauce in our house!

I use to do the double broiler thing, which was tedious, time consuming, and finicky!

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Then I heard about someone using their blender to make Hollandaise sauce.  Well, I decided to try it in my Kitchenaid Mixer and it worked like a dream and I have done this ever since…. so I thought it was time to share it with you!

Here’s how to do this in either a blender or a mixer!

What you need:

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 8 TBSP of butter (1/2 cup or whole cube)
  • 1 TBSP lemon or lime juice
  • A couple of dashes of Cayenne Pepper (Tabasco or Frank’s Red Hot works too!)
  • Optional: 1/2 tsp mustard – we don’t use it as we like the other flavors alone, but classic Hollandaise does have it.

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First, put the eggs, lemon juice and Cayenne Pepper (and mustard if using) in the bowl of the mixer or blender.  Blend on medium speed for about 2 minutes.

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While this is blending, melt the butter completely in the microwave or stovetop until hot.  Important: dump the butter into the mixer or blender immediately while it is at it’s hottest.

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Then turn the mixer or blender to high speed and mix/blend for about 4-5 minutes until your Hollandaise is a nice creamy texture!

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Then serve it immediately in your favorite dish, recipe or vegetable…. like Asparagus!

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A couple of notes:

  • You cannot successfully reheat Hollandaise sauce.  It will cause separation and lumpiness.  You can re-blend it and add a bit of hot melted butter, but this is the only way.  So make it moments before you need it.
  • The hot butter and the friction from the machines is enough heat to safely heat the eggs for consumption.  We’ve made this several times and it is heated perfectly this way.

Here’s a printable recipe for you to print and keep in your home binder!

How to Make Hollandaise Sauce In a Mixer or Blender – Quick, Easy and Tasty Recipe
Print

Recipe type: Sauce
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6
Here is a very easy, very creamy, very yummy, very quick way to whip up Hollandaise Sauce
Ingredients
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 8 TBSP of butter (1/2 cup or whole cube)
  • 1 TBSP lemon or lime juice
  • A couple of dashes of Cayenne Pepper (Tabasco or Frank’s Red Hot works too!)
  • Optional: ½ tsp mustard – we don’t use it as we like the other flavors alone, but classic Hollandaise does have it.
Instructions
  1. First, put the eggs, lemon juice and Cayenne Pepper (and mustard if using) in the bowl of the mixer or blender. Blend on medium speed for about 2 minutes.
  2. While this is blending, melt the butter completely in the microwave or stovetop until hot. Important: dump the butter into the mixer or blender immediately while it is at it’s hottest.
  3. Then turn the mixer or blender to high speed and mix/blend for about 4-5 minutes until your Hollandaise is a nice creamy texture!
  4. Then serve it immediately in your favorite dish, recipe or vegetable…. like Asparagus!
Notes
You cannot successfully reheat Hollandaise sauce. It will cause separation and lumpiness. You can re-blend it and add a bit of hot melted butter, but this is the only way. So make it moments before you need it.
• The hot butter and the friction from the machines is enough heat to safely heat the eggs for consumption. We’ve made this several times and it is heated perfectly this way.

 See more Recipes

See our Recipes Pinterest Board

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It is step #29 of our Be Intentional Challenges!

We hope it has been wonderful, productive and life-changing so far.

As a reminder, the 30 Be Intentional baby steps are designed to get you on the right foot, the right track and give you energy, efficiency and organization which will propel you into a life that is able to develop an overall financially smart, happy and frugal home. We encourage couples and families to do these challenges together so the whole house can function well!

As the 30 steps go along, we will be focusing on 5 areas for the Be Intentional Month:

  • Self
  • Home
  • Budget
  • Schedule
  • Frugality

See the full list of baby steps HERE.

We are now nearing the end and since we have almost come full circle, we want you to gather the family around and have a quick meeting! What will this meeting be about…. well….

Baby Step #29

Find and fix those things sabotaging your baby steps

Have A Family Meeting To Review, Discuss and Figure Out How To Solve The Biggest Obstacle Preventing You From Doing These 30 Challenges

As we are coming to the end of the 30 day challenges, one of the last things we encourage you to do is to sit down as a family on the couch, even at the table during a meal – whatever it takes and find the obstacles that are preventing you from completing your challenges.   Even if you are a single person, go through this with yourself and decide how you can improve, what you need to eliminate/change to make it happen, etc.

Then after you discuss your progress and changes you need to make, be committed to keeping those changes and following through.  These are excellent lessons and habits for your kids too as they prepare for a productive, but less stressful, and successful future!

In the course of the 30-day challenges, here’s obstacles that we have found and fixed:

  • How a Television show is sabotaging our Be Intentional Plan
  • We have also decided that we will reserve all of the other tv times to Friday nights.  It is too difficult for us to “wind down” and get to bed on time with watching tv after the kids go to bed. Per the recommendation of a friend, we invested in the Brain Games books which has been a great way for us to wind-down and relax in the evenings instead. Remember we can watch our favorite television shows on our own time without cable or DVR with using our Roku and Hulu Plus account
  • We realized that we wanted and needed more family time. So we are adjusting our schedule to where we actually work less (getting the same amount of work done in less time) and spend more time together as a family after working hard during the allotted times.  So, adjusting our lives and productivity (which the 30-day challenges help you to do so that you can get more done in a short amount of time) so that we can accomplish more in less time and then have more intentional family times.
  • Spend less time online.  Both of us enjoy the social sites, especially Facebook.  But we often find that we get sucked in really easily and we think we are only on for 5 minutes…. but then in reality it is 20 minutes or more! So instead of cutting it out, we’ve decided that we will allow ourselves to get on, but to set a timer.  This has really helped us not lose precious time!
  • We also had a really hard time with our 5:30 wake-up time and we were really struggling to hit it (even though we use to for many months last year, we just can’t seem to this year).  So we set a new wake up time goal of 6am which gives us 7.5 hours of sleep and that seemed to help so far!

One final thing….. we also have a Facebook Group where you can engage in discussions, receive encouragement and talk to others that are participating in the challenges too for more ideas! Head to the Be Intentional with The Thrifty Couple Facebook Page HERE and ask to join us there! You can also invite friends and spouses too!

Photo Credits: MetroLife.org, StLouisChildrens.org

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10 Popular Mother’s Day Gift Ideas Plus Ideas From $2 – $20 http://thethriftycouple.com/2014/04/09/10-popular-mothers-day-gift-ideas-plus-ideas-from-2-20/ http://thethriftycouple.com/2014/04/09/10-popular-mothers-day-gift-ideas-plus-ideas-from-2-20/#comments Wed, 09 Apr 2014 14:55:33 +0000 http://thethriftycouple.com/?p=70680

mothers-day-gift-ideas

Mother’s Day is coming up and so we wanted to share all sorts of ideas from our 20 Homemade Mother’s Day Gift ideas, to the most popular gifts to buy online for a good price from Amazon.

So here’s 10 of the most popular ideas on Amazon!

Willow Tree Mother and Daughter

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Description from the site: “Mother and daughter-celebrating the bond of love between mothers and daughters.Willow Tree is an intimate, personal line of figurative sculptures representing qualities and sentiments that help us feel close to others, heal wounds or treasure relationships. Susan Lordi carves each original piece with this thought in mind. Her figures continue to evolve as she identifies emotions so important for us to convey and renders them in simple, pure gestures. These art forms beautifully express love, closeness, healing, courage, hope all the emotions of a life well lived.”

“I’m A Mom, What’s Your SuperPower?” 12oz Coffee Mug

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Description from the site: “Hand painted ceramic decal message mug. Red background with message ‘I’m a Mom. What’s your super power?’ Raised message and dots with purple interior. Measures:4 1/2″ H X 3″ Opening. Holds 12 oz. Dishwasher safe/FDA approved/Microwave safe. Gift Boxed.”

Bracelet Mom Dangle Heart Charm with Wings

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Description from the site: “Mom bracelet depicts the love and devotion, of a mom, she is your mirror, shining back at you with a world of possibilities. Free Organza Gift Bag included. She is your witness, who sees you at your worst and best, and loves you anyway. She is your partner in time, your midnight companion, someone who knows when you are smiling, even in the dark. Bracelet Mom in Dangle Heart Charm with Wings on Bracelet Gift Idea Bracelet for Mom.”

WORLD’S GREATEST MOM Parking Sign

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Description from the site: ?This is a brand new 12″ tall and 8″ wide sign. Our novelty signs are made from outdoor durable plastic with professional grade vinyl graphics. These signs will never rust or fade, perfect inside or out (4-5 years outdoors)! The sign has round corners and a hole pre-drilled for easy mounting. This item is in stock and ready to ship, generally the following business day. Please check out all our other signs, they make the perfect gift for any occasion.The perfect gift for Mom. Reserve her spot with no question. Embossed aluminum sign with baked on finish. Two holes for easy mounting. Made in the USA.”

“A Mother Holds Her Child’s Hand” Heart Pendant Necklace

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Description from the site: “Celebrate the special bond between a mother and child with this sentimental heart-shaped pendant. This ribbon loop heart pendant is inscribed with a message that celebrates the enduring nature of a mother’s love. The pendant is threaded on an included 18-inch box chain. Choose from sterling silver or 14k gold plating.”

Malden Bronze Script Mom Picture Frame

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The Bronze script frame shares special a special moment in time with others. This is a casted metal frame with the sentimental words “I love you”. Share the memory for a lifetime.

Willow Tree Mother and Son

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Mother and son-celebrating the bond of love between mothers and sons. willow tree is an intimate, personal line of figurative sculptures representing qualities and sentiments that help us feel close to others, heal wounds or treasure relationships. Susan lordi carves each original piece with this thought in mind. her figures continue to evolve as she identifies emotions so important for us to convey and renders them in simple, pure gestures. these art forms beautifully express love, closeness, healing, courage, hope all the emotions of a life well lived.

Mothers Are Forever Gift Box

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This gift includes: -Mothers Are Forever Book Inspirational thoughts and love for Mom -Pear Blossom Moisturizing Body Wash -Pear Blossom Moisturizing Body butter -3″ Aromatherapy Pillar Candle -Terry cloth & Sisal Loofah sponge -Rose Petals fizzies -White gloss gift Box. A wonderful gift for many occasions!

“Best Mom Ever” T-Shirt

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This cute tee has several color options available and is 100% cotton. Machine washable.

My Mom’s the Best Mom (Hardcover)

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She was there from your very first memory. She plans your birthday parties, but yells when you forget to put away the toys. She kisses the bruises and scrapes and fevered forehead, and makes them better. She stands up for you at school, but brooks no nonsense when it’s time to do homework. She cuts out of meetings to see you play soccer, and tells you a joke after the game you lost. And while Dad says you look perfect no matter what, Mom gives it to you straight–including when you really are perfect. The relationship between a mother and child is as honest as it is loving as it is pragmatic as it is forever.

Also, if you have a specific budget in mind, check out our gift lists in these budget price ranges as you may find something special there!

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Be sure to see these lists for even more ideas on the cheap:

Please note, any of the above prices can change at any time without notice.

See more Hot Deals

 

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Free Homeschool and Educational Materials For April 2014 http://thethriftycouple.com/2014/04/09/free-homeschool-and-educational-materials-for-april-2014/ http://thethriftycouple.com/2014/04/09/free-homeschool-and-educational-materials-for-april-2014/#comments Wed, 09 Apr 2014 13:28:03 +0000 http://thethriftycouple.com/?p=70656

free-homeschool-and-educational-materials

We are going to share a few of our favorite free things with you once a month – educational freebies! As The Thrifty Couple and as a homeschooling family, these are like treasure chests!

Even if you do not homeschool, these resources are very helpful to keep kids busy with learning activities!

Here’s this month’s freebies:

Free Kindle Books For Children – The top 100 completely FREE Kindle Books for kids!

Interactive Sight Word Reader from Educents

How To Help Children Improve Their Memory & Learn More Using Memory Pegs

Easter Scriptures Handwriting Practice Copywork

Free Printable Everyday Math Books From The 1920s – 2nd – 8th Grade

Antonyms Worksheets – 98 activities and puzzles bundle

Math Games Multiplication Download – PC Only (Windows Vista/7/8/2000/XP)

Greek and Latin Root Words Flash Cards

Free Frozen Themed Math Worksheets – Addition, Subtraction, and Multiplication available to download

FREE Earth Day Printables & Worksheets (must create an account and log in to download worksheets; many of the worksheets are completely free)

Printable Mandarin Chinese and Spanish Flash Cards from Parents.com

Three NASA Imagers units to teach Understanding Light, Remote Sending, and Biodiversity

Free BIG Handbook of Nature Study (books 1 – 6 in PDF form)

LEGO Build – Google Chrome application that lets you build online with virtual legos!

Free Spring Number Activities Set For Preschoolers

Maps Of The World – 96,000 completely free maps of the world!

Complete 10-week poetry course for kids

Free Puzzlemaker – create and print customized word search, cross-cross, math puzzles, and more using your word lists.

Free Everyday Arithmetic Books (for 2nd – 8th grade)

Daily Grammar – free online grammar program with 440 lessons and 88 quizzes!

Reading Eggs FREE 14 Day Trial

Elementary Geometry Interactive Math Software from A+ TutorSoft

How To Draw Birds PDF eBook

Anatomy Arcade – free flash games and videos that make basic human anatomy come alive!

LEGO Chemical Reactions – chemistry activity using LEGO bricks to represent atoms bonding into molecules and crystals

FREE Science Experiment Notebooking Pages

Free History Curriculum options

Mi Vida Loca – free Spanish curriculum from the BBC

Free Interactive Music Theory Drills from FiveJs

Book Adventure – free quizzes and prizes for books kids read offline

Free Wordly Wise 3000 Flashcards for iPad

100 FREE Worksheets for 1st Graders

Free Introduction To Linux online course – starts summer 2014 but registration is open

Free Study Guides for popular classic books from the Glencoe Literature Library

HUGE list of FREE educational videos from Watch Know Learn

FREE Codecademy lessons in JavaScript, HTML, CSS, PHP and more!

Free Language Arts Worksheets from School Express

List of Free Learning Resources for Preschoolers

Free Printable Family Travel Maps from I Heart Family Travels

FREE Online Art Classes For K-12 from Art Class 4 Home

Free Shakespeare Copywork: Quotations From Shakespeare’s Plays

9 Free Creative Writing Lessons – geared towards 5th – 7th Grade

Free 48-page History Worksheets eBook

10 Different Completely Free FULL Homeschool Curriculum Options

Free Multiplication Copywork (2-12s)

FREE You Be The Chemist Activity Guides – for K-4 or 5-8

Benjamin Franklin’s Secret Message – Free PhysicsQuest Workbook

Free Science Curriculum – several listings of completely free general science curriculum options

Handwriting Worksheet Generator – make full-page custom handwriting worksheets

MIT Open Courseware for High School Students – many subjects available to take online for free!

FREE Phonics to Vocabulary Workbook (Grades Pre-K – 5th available)

Learn the Months & Seasons Free Charts & Worksheets – 16 page download

Unit Study for Teaching Children About The Five Senses

Do you know of any more?  Please leave a comment below!

Huge thanks to How To Homeschool for Free for providing this roundup!

 

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8 Steps To Get The Best Deal on a Hotel Room http://thethriftycouple.com/2014/04/07/8-steps-to-get-the-best-deal-on-a-hotel-room/ http://thethriftycouple.com/2014/04/07/8-steps-to-get-the-best-deal-on-a-hotel-room/#comments Mon, 07 Apr 2014 20:55:24 +0000 http://thethriftycouple.com/?p=70651

8-steps-to-get-the-best-deal-on-a-hotel-room

We are heading into the season of travel and so many of us are looking for a great deal on a hotel! It is a challenge to save on a hotel, especially when it is in hotel season.

Even as The Thrifty Couple, we love to travel.  In fact, in our “unthrifty” beginningstravel was where much of our accruing debt went to.  So once we got out of debt, we certainly wanted to find a way to travel in budget and for less.

When we can save big money on a hotel, it means our travel budget is stretched further and we can do more with the money we have.  It often means an extra day of travel or a nicer hotel from the savings!

Before you even begin, you need to have your travel budget in mind and more specifically, your hotel portion of the travel budget.  Once you know what you have to work with, you can then get quite creative with that budget.

Here’s your 8 steps to get the best hotel deal!

  1. First visit sites like Travelocity.com, Priceline.com, hoteldiscount.com, and hotwire.com
    • These are the ones we typically refer to for our “price point,” that is the price we need to beat and to help us determine hotels in the area that are the lowest cost with the amenities that we want.
    • We rarely actually make a reservation through one of these sites for a number of reasons: we can usually beat the price, the cancellation policies typically involve a fee (vs. typical cancellations with the hotel by 6pm the day of for no charge), plus I like being able to investigate and have a little more control over what we are promised in the reservation.
  2. Then we start searching on each individual hotel’s site for deals, email lists for offers and then also act as if you are going to make a reservation through their site directly to see what prices you get.  Compare with the prices from the popular travel sites above.
  3. Check coupon books that you may have (like the Entertainment Book) to compare offers. However, please note one trick that we have found with coupons for hotel rooms…… they base the coupon discounts off of the highest room rates, which in turn isn’t often cheaper than using some of the other tricks to get the best deal! So we rarely use a coupon!
  4. In addition, you should also check Groupon and Living Social discount group buying sites to see offers they may have that you may not be able to beat! Last year, we travelled for the first time from a discount hotel offer to NYC.  It was a GREAT experience, we received the rate promised with no issues and this did end up being the cheapest option for us for where we wanted to stay – Times Square.  However, this trick does not work every time, nor often.  We find this trick to really only be useful for tourist areas and in areas that are highly desired – like Times Square, NYC.  What we mean, we could have gotten a better rate staying in another part of Manhattan using the other tricks we provide here, but we really wanted to stay on Times Square and so this was the best option by far for that highly desired area!
  5. Join the hotel’s rewards club! In order to take advantage of this, you have to stay often at one hotel chain.  I am not sure if we have ever earned a FREE night for that reason – but it certainly doesn’t hurt if you have enough points to use it.  Many times you will receive snail mailed or emailed special offers just for being a rewards member, even if you don’t have enough points for free nights.
  6. Call the hotel directly once you have narrowed down an approximate price point, amenities and location.  CALL DIRECTLY – not the 1-800 number.  You want to call the actual hotel you plan to stay at – you probably have to look this up on dexknows.com as many of the hotel’s websites just have the reservation line listed!
    • When you call, see what the “best they can do for you” is! Most often, we find the price to be cheaper than any online source! This is especially the case for smaller towns and areas, or small resort towns or the hotels in suburbs. Then find out if they take an discounts for travel clubs (AAA is a very popular one), airline miles members (e.g., many hotels have discounts for Delta Skymiles owners – even if you didn’t fly for that particular trip), senior discounts, student discounts and military discounts.   This is a good time to mention that coupon you may have to see what it can do for you in addition to the rates they quote you!
    • When you call, we also have already checked their online prices and have those up on our screen to compare with them on the phone.  In our day and age, many websites will have better prices online, but this allows you to get the best price online or over the phone directly with the hotel.
  7. If you can travel last minute or spontaneously, you may be able to score even greater savings by following the steps above. Many hotels want to be as full as possible and give even deeper discounts last minute to fill empty rooms! We usually plan far ahead, but then check right before we leave to see if something can be adjusted to save more (of course prior to the last date we can cancel for our current reservation) because we can cancel existing reservations usually before 6pm the day of arrival!
  8. Upon arrival – see if they will upgrade you to a better room, a continental breakfast to a hot breakfast (if offered), a better view, etc.!! Don’t count on it, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to ask!

Tips to consider when staying at a hotel, motel or resort:

  • Find a room with a fridge and microwave – this can contribute to many savings for breakfast, snacks and possible lunch like items!
  • Find a hotel with a good cancellation policy – like being able to cancel up to 6 pm the day of checkout with no fees to do so – you never know what is going to happen and this could get you if you have to cancel a trip due to sickness, etc!
  • Find a hotel with a FREE breakfast - again, this will contribute to a huge amount of savings!!
  • Find a hotel where kids eat FREE if you are traveling with your family.  This greatly helps to ease the food budget!
  • Find a hotel with FREE parking – most are this way, but you will want to double check as that extra $5 -$10 a night needs to be taken into consideration!
  • Find a hotel that will give you a FREE rollaway or FREE crib (or factor the price into your total price) if you need this extra bed.
  • Always find out the hotel room capacity as you can be fined for exceeding this capacity! Don’t get caught – the state of CA is the most particular about this! (This is where condo and timeshares will come in for a large family.
  • Find a hotel that offers amenities that you want to enjoy during your stay and possibly contribute to some savings – like a swimming pool as this becomes a FREE activity.
  • Always consider safety and security – this is #1 for us and is a much bigger factor than “just the cheapest hotel you can find”! This was very much the motivation for us wanting to stay on Times Square for our first trip to NYC, the safety factor.
  • Factor tipping for your maid service into your budget. They will make your stay much more pleasant! PLUS it is a very nice gesture.
  • Consider buying a discounted gift card to the hotel chain you are staying at to pay for your trip.  After you make a reservation, you can go to a site like Cardpool HERE and search for the chain you are staying at and order a gift card and then pay for part of it with this gift card that you got for a 4-10% discount! It’s one final way to save more!

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4 Herb Gardening Tips and Ideas http://thethriftycouple.com/2014/04/07/4-herb-gardening-tips-and-ideas/ http://thethriftycouple.com/2014/04/07/4-herb-gardening-tips-and-ideas/#comments Mon, 07 Apr 2014 20:53:17 +0000 http://thethriftycouple.com/?p=70659

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Herb gardens are so easy to grow, they are practical and they can be done indoors and in small spaces if needed!

With that, here’s four additional ideas for herb gardening!

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How to Root Herbs @ Gardenista

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How to Build a Stacked Herb Garden @ Fancy Frugal Life

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Upcycled Hanging bottle Herb Garden @Urban Organic Gardener

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How to Harvest Herbs @ Practically Functional

See more Gardening Tips

See our Gardening Pinterest Board

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20 Varieties of Heirloom GMO-Free Garden Vegetable Seeds (1,000′s of Seeds) Only $29.95 http://thethriftycouple.com/2014/04/07/20-varieties-of-heirloom-gmo-free-garden-vegetable-seeds-1000s-of-seeds-only-29-95/ http://thethriftycouple.com/2014/04/07/20-varieties-of-heirloom-gmo-free-garden-vegetable-seeds-1000s-of-seeds-only-29-95/#comments Mon, 07 Apr 2014 19:31:28 +0000 http://thethriftycouple.com/?p=70673

survival-seed-vault

Right now, you can get a great deal on Heirloom seeds kit with thousands of kits. This has 20 different varieties of seeds. Many of you have asked for “where to buy” Heirloom Seeds after we shared our post on 6 Reasons To Use Heirloom Seeds“ article.

We’ve been on the hunt for the best deals on Heirloom seeds and we were very happy to find this one for you!

You can get this kit of 20 packets of seeds that will store for a long time for only $29.95 with free shipping for Amazon Prime or a $35 or more order.

Here’s the details on these seeds that you can get for a good price through Amazon right now:

  • Survival Garden Seeds Hermetically Stored For Greater Shelf Life
  • Heirloom Survival Seeds Are Open Pollinated & 100% Non-GMO
  • Survival Seeds May Be Planted, Harvested, and Replanted Endlessly
  • Manufacturer Has Signed Safe Seed Pledge
  • Waterproof Emergency Seed Supply

Could you feed your family from your garden if you *had* to? What if you simply decided you wanted to?

This emergency survival seed vault was created to serve that very purpose. With a large selection, this seed bank contains 20 varieties of easy-to-grow heirloom vegetable seeds. All seeds are packaged in jumbo-sized triple-layered foil packets.

These packets have built in zip-lock, so they can be resealed once opened!

Detailed planting, harvesting, and seed saving instructions are included!

The survival seeds are shipped sealed in a metal storage container, and contains:

  • Blue Lake Bean Over 150 seeds
  • California Wonder Pepper Over 70 seeds
  • Scarlet Nantes Carrot Over 800 seeds
  • Marketmore Cucumber Over 150 seeds
  • Parris Island Cos Romaine Lettuce Over 900 seeds
  • Golden Acre Cabbage Over 530 seeds
  • Detroit Dark Red Beet Over 260 seeds
  • Lincoln Shell Pea Over 100 seeds
  • Lucullus Swiss Chard Over 160 seeds
  • Beefsteak Tomato Over 180 seeds
  • Champion Radish Over 320 seeds
  • Green Sprouting Broccoli Over 500 seeds
  • Waltham Butternut Winter Squash Over 100 seeds
  • Bloomsdale Long Standing Spinach Over 260 seeds
  • Yellow Sweet Spanish Onion Over 145 seeds
  • Golden Bantam Sweet Corn Over 250 seeds
  • Hales Best Cantaloupe Over 70 seeds
  • Snowball Self-blanching Cauliflower Over 285 seeds
  • Black Beauty Zucchini Over 50 seeds
  • Crimson Sweet Watermelon Over 60 seeds

This is a GREAT price on Heirloom seeds!

Head to Amazon HERE to get these Heirloom Seeds kit for a great price!

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Be sure to read our article HERE on Heirloom Seeds!

See more Gardening Tips

See more Amazon Deals

See our Gardening Pinterest Board

Thanks Surviving the Stores

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DIY Upcycled Denim Placemats http://thethriftycouple.com/2014/04/07/diy-upcycled-denim-placemats/ http://thethriftycouple.com/2014/04/07/diy-upcycled-denim-placemats/#comments Mon, 07 Apr 2014 15:55:07 +0000 http://thethriftycouple.com/?p=70665

diy-upcycled-denim-placemats

This is a cute and practical idea for old jeans.  Turn them into denim placemats for all year fun, but the will be especially useful for those outdoor summer meals!

I am so happy to be here on The Thrifty Couple to share one of my favorite projects and tell you a little about Today’s Nest. This Upcycled Denim Placemat is easy to make and will make a great addition to your summer table. The tiny pocket is perfect for cutlery or a place card. Not only will you be making something useful, but you’ll be keeping some of those worn out jeans from the trash, too.

Here are the steps to make your own:

  • Remove pockets from the jeans.
  • Cut out panels from adult jeans and make rectangles of them.
  • Cut and sew panels to fit the project.
  • Attach a pocket from kid sized jeans.

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  • Cut out backing fabric and put the whole thing together with no-sew tape and an iron (or sew if you want).

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See more details on this project on Today’s Nest.

While you’re checking out the placemat article, be sure to browse around the Nest a bit. You will find everything there from recipes to fitness, DIY to budgeting. I started Today’s Nest in 2010 to bring together all of my experiences and share with readers. My work in finance, fitness, and design laid the backdrop for what Today’s Nest is today. These days, I am a freelance food & lifestyle photographer/stylist, but I still find time to make regular updates to Today’s Nest, usually 4-5 times per week.

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Pull-Apart Pizza Bread Recipe (Including Healthier and Gluten-Free Variations) http://thethriftycouple.com/2014/04/04/pull-apart-pizza-bread-recipe-including-healthier-and-gluten-free-variations/ http://thethriftycouple.com/2014/04/04/pull-apart-pizza-bread-recipe-including-healthier-and-gluten-free-variations/#comments Fri, 04 Apr 2014 19:47:49 +0000 http://thethriftycouple.com/?p=70596

pull-apart-pizza-bread

Would you like a fun, easy, creative and kid-friendly way to enjoy pizza?

Well, give pizza a new spin with this: Pull-Apart Pizza Bread!

It is bursting with the pizza flavors, fun to eat, great for parties, great appetizer, get togethers and pleases everyone!

Here’s what you need:

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  • 1 cup of Mozzarella Cheese
  • 1/2 cup of Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 8oz. package of pepperoni with each slice cut into quarters – tip, stack many slices at once and cut them all at once to save time!
  • 1/3 cup of Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 TBSP of fresh minced garlic or 1/2 tsp. of garlic salt or powder

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  • 1.5 TBSP of Italian Seasoning (or a combo of parsley, oregano, basil)
  • 2 TBSP of Olive Oil

And of course….

  • The CRUST/BREAD/DOUGH!

Ideas for the crust:

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  • Or just buy the premade pizza dough like Pillsbury

Here’s how to make it:

  • Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees
  • Grease a cake pan, bread pan or a bundt pan.  A Bundt pan is a FUN way to make it and you can even put the dipping marinara in the middle.  It’s fun for a party, but really, any of the pans will work!

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  • Make your dough and roll it out and use a pizza cutter to cut it into about 1″ squares. It does not need to be exact, as you can see, I did this part pretty quickly without dwelling on the sizing to exact measurements!

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  • Then roll the pieces into little balls and throw in a bowl!

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  • Then throw the rest of the ingredients in, except the cheddar cheese, and mix by hand to coat it all well and evenly.

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  • Then put the mixture in your pan you intend to use.  Sprinkle the cheddar cheese on top!

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  • Now you are ready to bake it at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until the top is crusty and brown!

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  • Then dump out the bread onto your serving dish. To help it come out with ease, run a butter knife along the edges of the pan to loosen the bread.

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Yummy!

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Are you ready to dig in?

  • Serve warm with a marinara or pizza sauce for dipping!

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Make it quicker:

  • Use canned biscuits and cut each biscuit into 6-8 pieces and roll in the balls.
  • Use mini-pepperoni to avoid cutting it up!

Make it healthier:

  • Use a whole wheat dough from scratch or from cans.
  • Add ground flax seeds in your mixing process.
  • Make it vegetarian.
  • Use a nitrate free meat, even the sausage we show here instead of pepperoni.
  • Use Turkey pepperoni.

Make it gluten-free:

  • Use an all-purpose gluten-free flour to make a dough
  • Use 2 gluten-free pre-made crusts cut up into chunks. Note, it will not really puff up, but 2 crusts gives you the density you need.
Pull-Apart Pizza Bread Recipe (Including Healthier and Gluten-Free Variations)
Print

Recipe type: Appetizer or Main Dish
Cuisine: Finger Food
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 5
Well, give pizza a new spin with this: Pull-Apart Pizza Bread! It is bursting with the pizza flavors, fun to eat, great for parties, great appetizer, get togethers and pleases everyone!
Ingredients
  • 1 cup of Mozzarella Cheese
  • ½ cup of Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 8oz. package of pepperoni with each slice cut into quarters – tip, stack many slices at once and cut them all at once to save time!
  • ⅓ cup of Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 TBSP of fresh minced garlic or ½ tsp. of garlic salt or powder
  • 1.5 TBSP of Italian Seasoning (or a combo of parsley, oregano, basil)
  • 2 TBSP of Olive Oil
  • For the dough: make your own or buy 1 refrigerated pizza dough
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees
  2. Grease a cake pan, bread pan or a bundt pan.
  3. Make your dough and roll it out and use a pizza cutter to cut it into about 1″ squares. It does not need to be exact.
  4. Then roll the pieces into little balls and throw in a bowl!
  5. Then throw the rest of the ingredients in, except the cheddar cheese, and mix by hand to coat it all well and evenly.
  6. Then put the mixture in your pan you intend to use. Sprinkle the cheddar cheese on top!
  7. Now you are ready to bake it at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until the top is crusty and brown!
  8. Then dump out the bread onto your serving dish. To help it come out with ease, run a butter knife along the edges of the pan to loosen the bread.
  9. Serve warm with a marinara or pizza sauce for dipping!
Notes
Make it quicker:
Use canned biscuits and cut each biscuit into 6-8 pieces and roll in the balls.
Use mini-pepperoni to avoid cutting it up!
Make it healthier:
Use a whole wheat dough from scratch or from cans.
Add ground flax seeds in your mixing process.
Make it vegetarian.
Use a nitrate free meat, even the sausage we show here instead of pepperoni.
Use Turkey pepperoni.
Make it gluten-free:
Use an all-purpose gluten-free flour to make a dough
Use 2 gluten-free pre-made crusts cut up into chunks. Note, it will not really puff up, but 2 crusts gives you the density you need.

 

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natural-egg-dyes

If you are wanting to try dyeing eggs with natural food dyes, then this post is for you! It is really easy to make natural dyes and dye your eggs with these instead.

Here’s the list of foods that will create natural dyes and how to do it!

*TIP: on each of these, the color will be more vibrant the longer the eggs soaks in the natural dye. So soak according to your desired color brightness!  You can even leave them submerged overnight in the fridge.

Blue – Red Cabbage

Cut 1/2 of a red cabbage into chunks.  Then boil the red cabbage in 4 cups of water. Then add 2 TBSP of vinegar.  Cool to room temperature. Remove the cabbage chunks and submerge eggs until desired color is reached. 

Yellow – Turmeric
Boil 1 cup of water.  Then stir in  2 TBSP turmeric powder (ground turmeric) – a coffee mug works best. Then add 2 tsp. white vinegar. Submerge eggs until desired color is reached.
Lavender – Grape Juice
Mix 1 cup of room temperature grape juice with 1 TBSP of vinegar – a coffee mug works best. Submerge eggs until desired color is reached.
Brown – Coffee
Mix 1 cup of room temperature strong coffee with 1 TBSP of vinegar – a coffee mug works best. Submerge eggs until desired color is reached.
Pink – Beets
Peel and cut a red beet into chunks.  Then boil the red beet in 4 cups of water. Then add 2 TBSP of vinegar.  Cool to room temperature. Remove the beet chunks and submerge eggs until desired color is reached.
Orange – Yellow Onion skins
Remove the brown skins from 6 yellow onions.  Add to a pot with 2 cups of water.  Bring to a boil.  Then simmer for 15 minutes.  Remove the onion skins. Add 1 TBSP of vinegar. Cool to room temperature.  Submerge eggs until desired color is reached.
Red – Paprika
Add 3 TBSP of Paprika to 4 cups of boiling water. Then add 2 TBSP of vinegar.  Cool to room temperature. Submerge eggs until desired color is reached.
This gives you 7 color varieties that will all be richer in color the longer the soak (or you can make the solution stronger by adding more of the color creator to the water/vinegar listed.
Feel free to print these instructions to keep it handy!
Natural Egg Dyes Recipes
Print

Recipe type: Appetizer
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Check out these natural and easy ways to color your eggs for festive fun!
Ingredients
  • Natural foods and spices (listed below for desired color)
  • White Distilled Vinegar
  • Water
Instructions
  1. Blue – Red Cabbage: Cut ½ of a red cabbage into chunks. Then boil the red cabbage in 4 cups of water. Then add 2 TBSP of vinegar. Cool to room temperature. Remove the cabbage chunks and submerge eggs until desired color is reached.
  2. Yellow – Turmeric: Boil 1 cup of water. Then stir in 2 TBSP turmeric powder (ground turmeric) – a coffee mug works best. Then add 2 tsp. white vinegar. Submerge eggs until desired color is reached.
  3. Lavender – Grape Juice:Mix 1 cup of room temperature grape juice with 1 TBSP of vinegar – a coffee mug works best. Submerge eggs until desired color is reached.
  4. Brown – Coffee:Mix 1 cup of room temperature strong coffee with 1 TBSP of vinegar – a coffee mug works best. Submerge eggs until desired color is reached.
  5. Pink – Beets: Peel and cut a red beet into chunks. Then boil the red beet in 4 cups of water. Then add 2 TBSP of vinegar. Cool to room temperature. Remove the beet chunks and submerge eggs until desired color is reached.
  6. Orange – Yellow Onion skins: Remove the brown skins from 6 yellow onions. Add to a pot with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil. Then simmer for 15 minutes. Remove the onion skins. Add 1 TBSP of vinegar. Cool to room temperature. Submerge eggs until desired color is reached.
  7. Red – Paprika: Add 3 TBSP of Paprika to 4 cups of boiling water. Then add 2 TBSP of vinegar. Cool to room temperature. Submerge eggs until desired color is reached.
Notes
This gives you 7 color varieties that will all be richer in color the longer the soak (or you can make the solution stronger by adding more of the color creator to the water/vinegar listed. You can also soak in the fridge overnight for the most vibrant color!
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handmade-mothers-day-gifts

Mother’s Day is coming up and so it is a great time to start planning those handmade gifts…. you know, the ones that mom’s truly LOVE!

We wanted to share 20 Handmade Mother’s Day gift ideas with you to help you come up with the perfect gift for your mom!

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DIY Portrait Silhouettes Idea @ Crafty Texas Girl

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DIY Family Pillowcase with Names of Family Members Painted on @ I’m Topsy Turvy

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DIY Stenciled Tea Towels @ Number 2 Pencil

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DIY Cake Stand @ Number 2 Pencil

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DIY Stencil Monogrammed Candles @ Damask Love

DIY-frosted-candle-holder-sm

DIY Frosted Candle Holder @ A Mom’s Take

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DIY Monogrammed Family Tree Canvas @ I’m Topsy Turvy

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DIY Coconut Oil Honey Hair Mask @ Mad in Crafts

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DIY Stenciled Kitchen Dish Towel @ The Country Chic Cottage

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DIY Lemon Sugar Scrub Recipe @ Thrifty Jinxy

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DIY Embellished Journal Gift Set @ The Country Chic Cottage

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DIY Raspberry Coconut Oil Body Scrub Recipe @ Mad in Crafts

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DIY Painted Handle Spoons @ The Country Chic Cottage

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DIY Dry Erase/Paint Strip Menu Planner @ A Mom’s Take

*Just be sure to ask if you can purchase the paint strips for a project!

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DIY MOTHER Quote Frame @Keeping It Simple

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DIY Felt Book Hugger Bookmark @ Organized 31

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DIY Clipboard Photo Display @ Positively Splendid

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DIY How To Make Cinnamon Roll Roses and the Banana Bacon Cinnamon Roll Recipe @ Snappy Gourmet

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DIY Tin Can Painted Vases @ Artsy Chicks Rule

See more DIY Ideas

See more idea on our Holiday Pinterest Board

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2014 Entertainment Books Only $15 Shipped Free ($10 for Each Additional Book Too) http://thethriftycouple.com/2014/04/04/2014-entertainment-books-only-15-shipped-free-10-for-each-additional-book-too/ http://thethriftycouple.com/2014/04/04/2014-entertainment-books-only-15-shipped-free-10-for-each-additional-book-too/#comments Fri, 04 Apr 2014 13:05:58 +0000 http://thethriftycouple.com/?p=70642

Have you heard of Entertainment Coupon Books before?  

These are the big huge coupon books that have thousands of coupons to your local restaurants, services and more and gives you 50% off of that service/restaurant, etc.

They are very popular and we usually get two books each year to re-visit some of our favorite places.

Well, we bring this up right now because they are usually $35 plus shipping, but until April 14th, they are having a sale on the 2014 Entertainment Book at $15 for the first and $10 for each additional and all shipped FREE!

That’s more than a 50% savings.  You can buy multiples for your household, or combine orders with friends to save even more by getting the additional books at only $10 each!

These are also great gifts as it allows you or your gift receiver to eat out, be entertained, grocery discounts, museums, outings and so many more things in your local area for 50% off.  There are literally thousands of 50% off coupons in the Entertainment Book!

The coupons all expire November 1, 2014, so you will also have many months to use the couponS. And to us there is no question about the value of the book. The hundreds of coupons available to you will usually make up the price of the $35 book in one transaction – but you will only have to pay $15 and the shipping is FREE too!

This book is HUGE and thick has thousands of coupons in it for 50% off or Buy One Get One FREE coupons for the businesses in your local area!

Let’s give you an example of why we love our book each year.  Our local Kroger affiliate (Smiths) shows the $5 off coupon – on top of all your other discounts and coupons!  What this means is that in using 2-3 coupons between now and November 2014, you can make up the $35 cost of the book and have the rest of the hundreds of coupons to literally be savings throughout the year!   And their image on the top of the page highlights the “$5 off groceries” which just tells us this is available in many, if not all of their books!

Here’s an example from the 2012 book, but we get them every year! There were 4 of these in the book, one for each quarter of the year.

Plus, not only does the book provide awesome coupons to help you save off a purchase you’re already making, but they also offer great FREEBIES even without purchase!  Notice just a few of the great freebies below, on national brands as well, that don’t require a purchase.  If you’re out and about, this can be a nice way to either get a FREE snack or  help compliment a small snack or meal!

These are examples of just a few of the hundreds of coupons found each year in these books!

Again, they normally sell for $35 plus shipping, but they are having a special that drops the price to $19.99 for the first book and $15 for each additional book with free shipping.

Head to the site HERE to buy your 2014 Entertainment Coupon Book for $15

Plus, only $10 for each additional book in the same transaction, all shipped free

  • Note: Coupons will vary by location but should compare in their awesomeness and great value!

See more HOT deals here!

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6 Reasons Why It’s Important To Have a 30-Day Vacuuming Challenge http://thethriftycouple.com/2014/04/02/6-reasons-why-its-important-to-have-a-30-day-vacuuming-challenge/ http://thethriftycouple.com/2014/04/02/6-reasons-why-its-important-to-have-a-30-day-vacuuming-challenge/#comments Wed, 02 Apr 2014 19:39:08 +0000 http://thethriftycouple.com/?p=70562

reasons-to-join-vacuuming-challenge

Have you ever had a challenge like this where you are committed to vacuuming all of your rugs and carpets in your home for 30 days straight?  I know it sounds like a boring, monotonous task, but seriously consider it.

I bring it up because I have personally challenged myself to this task several times in my married life and I have LOVED the results of doing this! Admittedly, it has been a while since I have done this.  I usually vacuum a few times a week and as needed.  But it isn’t always each room and certainly not the carpeted stairs.

So you may be wondering why this is such a big deal to me and why I want to introduce this idea to you and see if you want to join me the next 30-days in this challenge?

Here’s those 6 Reasons

  • Reduce allergies – this was actually one of the biggest reasons I started doing this a while ago.  We have environmental allergies to many things: grasses, trees, dust and much more.  Our allergy doctor suggested that we vacuum all of our carpets everyday for one month to suck out as much allergens as possible.

And so that is the first reason and after I did this the first time, I realized there were several other reasons too:

  • Your carpets last longer – when dirt and debris get into your carpet, it breaks it down.  The more dirt and debris in the carpets, the faster it will break down.  So suck it all up everyday and everyday, your carpets should be a little less dirty than the day before.
  • Reduce bacteria and fungus – carpets are gross.  That is why most of the pictures of my house you see on our blog are of hard pergo flooring.  I have never liked carpets as they are a breeding ground for everything.  But we do have our whole upstairs carpeted (except the bathrooms) and our stairs are as well.  So much like the dirt and debris that can pile up, some can carry some bacteria and fungus that you want to reduce to avoid sickness and have healthier air! 
  • This forces a pick up of your home everyday! It forces you to pick up and put things away for 30 days.  This alone is a great challenge for many reasons, but at the very least, it means a clean house for 30-days.
  • Helps your home smell better - when your carpets are not harvesting as much bacteria and fungus, the smell creators, your home will naturally smell fresher.
  • Finally, it creates a “clean” habit.  You know the old adage, if you do something for 30 days, it becomes a habit.  Well, we aren’t suggesting doing this for 30-days to continue vacuuming everyday for life, but rather, get you into the habit of “clean,” whatever that means for your home!

Many of these have benefits that just need that boost a few times a year and then you can go back to your routine vacuuming for maintenance! I am also choosing to do this now as part of my Spring Cleaning.

Here’s some tips to maximize your vacuuming challenge:

vacuum-tools

So will you join us in this 30-day challenge for this month?

The only rule is to vacuum every rug and carpet area everyday for 30-days! I also include edging as it is a big dust trap, but you can decide if you want to add that! 

 I really think you will LOVE the results as well! 

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Be Intentional Baby Step #28: Create Your Thrifty Goals To Continue Baby Steps for Whole Life Change http://thethriftycouple.com/2014/04/02/be-intentional-baby-step-28-create-your-thrifty-goals-to-continue-baby-steps-for-whole-life-change/ http://thethriftycouple.com/2014/04/02/be-intentional-baby-step-28-create-your-thrifty-goals-to-continue-baby-steps-for-whole-life-change/#comments Wed, 02 Apr 2014 19:35:16 +0000 http://thethriftycouple.com/?p=70551

create-your-thrifty-goals

As a reminder, the 30 Be Intentional baby steps are designed to get you on the right foot, the right track and give you energy, efficiency and organization which will propel you into a life that is able to develop an overall financially smart, happy and frugal home. We encourage couples and families to do these challenges together so the whole house can function well!

As the 30 steps go along, we will be focusing on 5 areas for the Be Intentional Month:

  • Self
  • Home
  • Budget
  • Schedule
  • Frugality

See the full list of baby steps HERE.

So we are on the last category and almost to the last step of these 30 baby steps for whole life change.  This next step is for you to keep your frugality or thriftiness going based on the needs in your home.  We have shared a few steps to frugality and thriftiness in our past steps, but it’s time for you to decide what you would like as your goals and aspirations for a frugal home!

Baby Step #28

Write Out Your Thrifty Goals

Basically, what are your goals?

Write these goals out and place them in your home binder.  Coordinate this with your THRIFTY planner and under the first category (thrifty) add a task each week that will help you become just a bit more thrifty each week.

Then as you approach each goal, do some research on our site and the world wide web to see how this goal can be accomplished and work towards it!

It has taken us years to get to where we are at and we have many more goals in mind that we are working towards for the future to become even savvier with our money and enjoy the frugal life!

One final thing….. we also have a Facebook Group where you can engage in discussions, receive encouragement and talk to others that are participating in the challenges too for more ideas! Head to the Be Intentional with The Thrifty Couple Facebook Page HERE and ask to join us there! You can also invite friends and spouses too!

See our Be Intentional Page HERE for the rest of the Baby Steps

See our Be Intentional Pinterest Board HERE

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6 Reasons to Use Heirloom Seeds and the Difference Between 3 Common Types of Seeds http://thethriftycouple.com/2014/04/02/6-reasons-to-use-heirloom-seeds-and-the-difference-between-3-common-types-of-seeds/ http://thethriftycouple.com/2014/04/02/6-reasons-to-use-heirloom-seeds-and-the-difference-between-3-common-types-of-seeds/#comments Wed, 02 Apr 2014 19:32:36 +0000 http://thethriftycouple.com/?p=70547

6-reasons-to-use-heirloom-seeds

We are not master gardeners, but we have been gardening for the past several years and each year we learn more and more and have more and more success.  It’s not easy to be a gardener when you don’t have a green thumb.  However, we hope that our eagerness and desire outweigh our ability.

We preface this post with that thought because we are sharing something that we became aware of a few years ago and now we understand the importance in buying the right type of seeds.

First, there are 3 main kinds of vegetable garden seeds:

  • Hybrid seeds – These are plants that have been bred and cross bred with other plants to create the “super plant” that is more vigorous (saving money for commercial farmers) and often will have the “best” qualities of the two parent plants.  However, the problem with the “super plant” is that you cannot harvest your own seeds for future plantings that will be the same as the hybrids.  The seeds that are produced during harvest from a hybrid plant will not have the same qualities, will not be as vigorous, and will often be useless.
  • GMO or Genetically Modified plants and subsequent seeds - have been genetically altered or changed by using molecular genetic techniques such like a gene cloning and protein engineering. They are infused with pesticides that allow the plant from birth handle the natural elements. There is a lot of question about this form of crop producing, especially in corn; most all of the corn seeds you buy will be GMO seeds.
  • Heirloom seeds – are the “original” seeds from a plant that is many years old and being passed down from plant to plant to plant. The subsequent food from the plant is generally the same (except for an outside form of pollination or an accidental cross-pollination) for years and does not contain modified ingredients or a hybrid plan.  It is basically the “original” original.

Now that we have shared the 3 main types of seeds, let us explain why we buy heirloom seeds now:

  1. Taste reigns as king! Often times, the taste of the food produced from heirloom seeds surpass the tastes of any modified or cross-bred types of foods and often has the richest, purest taste which is as close to the original as possible.
  2. Preserves the original varieties.  With many commercial farms leaning towards hybrid and/or GMO seeds for best vigorous crop production, the original food varieties are at risk of being lost! By planting, growing and harvesting heirloom, you aid in the preservation of the originals and creating more sustainable farming.
  3. You can harvest the seeds more successfully with a dramatically better chance of foods for the future because they are heirloom open-pollinated seeds.  We don’t know about you, but we love the ability to harvest seeds and preserve them for continual ever-growing experience.  Heirloom seeds provide the best and more guaranteed opportunity to be preserving foods for your future and the future of others.  It also saves money to start with the original and then keep growing and growing from that original pack of heirloom seeds over the years.
  4. Better nutritional value in heirloom!?!? – There are some claims that the foods produce from heirloom seeds may in fact have more nutritional value.  We are not experts in this area and have not conducted our own testing, so for this one, we will refer you to MotherEarthNews on this topic.
  5. A different, but beneficial crop for home gardeners.  What this means is that because they are not cross-pollinated or genetically modified, they will grow closer to how they grow in nature.  They will grow with less uniform and may provide intermittent harvesting – perfect for home gardeners.  Other crops from the other seeds usually produce an “all-at-once” harvest, which commercial farmers want as it makes their job much easier.  But as home gardeners, do we want all of our food at one time? Or a more intermittent opportunity for harvesting?
  6. Finally, one point that warms the heart is the heritage that heirloom seeds have.  We have friends that plant corn seeds (heirloom – not hybrid or GMO) from corn that was from the 1800′s. They received seeds that have been passed down for years from this crop.  What a cool legacy from just this one example!

As far as the cost goes, the initial investment is more as we find heirloom to cost more.   But if you consider only having to buy seeds once, then you are set for LIFE if you harvest and preserve correctly.  One way to make them cheaper is if you can get seeds from someone who already grows heirloom seeds, then your investment may be nothing and cheaper than buying hybrid seeds each year.

Along with passing a monetary inheritance to our children, we hope to pass seeds from the plants of their childhood too!

We will talk about how to harvest seeds in another post, we just wanted to explain these differences in this one!

See more Gardening Tips

See our Gardening Pinterest Board

 

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12 Yummy Pecan Dessert Recipes http://thethriftycouple.com/2014/04/02/12-yummy-pecan-dessert-recipes/ http://thethriftycouple.com/2014/04/02/12-yummy-pecan-dessert-recipes/#comments Wed, 02 Apr 2014 18:35:16 +0000 http://thethriftycouple.com/?p=70553

12-pecan-recipes

Did you know?  Did you know that April 14th is National Pecan Day?!?!

Don’t worry, we didn’t either until just a few days ago! So we couldn’t leave you high and dry without some awesome pecan recipes to enjoy this month and especially on April 14th!

Here’s 12 delicious recipes to enjoy those pecans!

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Glazed Butter Pecan Toffee Cookies | Couponing and Cooking

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Mini Apple Pecan Pies | Food Done Light

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Brownie Pecan Tart | Confessions of An Overworked Mom

pecan-brie-bites

Baked Brown Sugar Pecan & Brie Bites | Couponing and Cooking

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 Pecan Pie Bread Pudding | Call Me PMC

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White Chocolate Pecan Popcorn Crunch | SusieQTpies Cafe

And even more shown from the top picture:

Easy Butterscotch Pecan Cinnamon Rolls | Mom on Timeout

Pecan pumpkin roll cake | Roxana’s Home Baking

Bourbon Pecan Pie | My Turn for Us

Pumpkin Dump Cake | illi Style

Chocolate Pecan Sandies | Mom on Timeout

Spiced Pecans | A Family Feast

See even more Recipes on our site HERE

See our Recipe Pinterest Board HERE 

 

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