April 29, 2010

Sample Days at Sams

Load up the family and everyone eats for free at Sam's! Just kidding, mostly, but they're going to have 3 days of lots of samples to try out. If that sounds fun to you, maybe you'll want to give it a try. Here are the details.

April 28, 2010

A Few More Deals

  • Just got this from Fat Brain Toys.  I love their selection, and their prices are usually competitive with most other stores.  They have a deal through the 30th only, where if you buy a game from Blue Orange, you can get a travel game free.  This is a $15 value, and I love to have a new game available for summer road trips.
  • Artscow has photo recycle bags 2 single-sided for $5.99 shipped or 2 double-sided for $7.99 shipped.  Use code SSREBAG599 or TWREBAG799 through 5/18/10.
  • $20 off $100 at Office Depot with code 85503502 or print HERE.  They are also apparently trying to keep up with Staples Rewards.  Right now, it looks like they're doing 20% rewards on ink and toner multi-packs and 50% back on cases of paper.
  • Oh no!  I missed 20% off at gap.com.  But, today and tomorrow you can save 15%, then the 30th, save 10% with code GAPSAVEBIG (for whichever day.)
  • Barnes and Noble 30% off coupons
  • Borders has a spend $30, get a free book on your next visit and buy 2 get 1 free on all bargain books (no coupon necessary and through May 1.)
Hope some of these help people.

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A Scattering of Deals

Random stuff from my email inbox, but some seems very good:
  • Farberware pan set from Kohls.  Originally $199, marked down to $89.99, code LOWEST15 makes it 15% off with free shipping makes a 15 piece cookware set $74 and change.
  • Incredible Pizza is offering a free buffet with a $20 game card all summer.  There are also some printable coupons for them HERE.  I have had good luck getting gift certificates from Restaurant.com to lower the bills even further.
  • Buy one get one free Photobooks from MyPublisher.  Use code MOM241.
  • $7.50 in Scrubbing Bubbles coupons
  • For some reason, my computer won't go to VistaPrint to be able to show the individual freebies, but try the link for yourself.  VistaPrint does free deals often (you pay shipping) and they are having 10 freebies in honor of their 10th birthday.  The list I see includes: 250 business cards (I've done this a few times), 140 address labels (this too!), 1 rubber stamp (apparently I'm a freebie hog), 1 sticky note, 1 calendar, 1 photo flip book, 1 tote bag, 1 mug, 1 notebook, and 1 mousepad.  Looks like you can do up to 10 freebies per order.  If that link doesn't work, just go to vistaprint.com.
I may be back with more later, but my computer time is over for the afternoon.

Winding Down April

As April winds down, I see a few good deals on Amazon, and want to remind people of the 2 for 1 magazine deals that will end in a couple of days that allow you to get 2 years of a magazine for the price of 1 year.

There are also new Blu-Ray deals with 3 movies by the same artist for $29.99.  There are several of them, but here are the main ones I see:

Any deals from this month will be ending, but Amazon always has more. 

April 27, 2010

Free Ongoing Activities in Des Moines

  • Did you know that admission to the Des Moines Art Center is always free?  
  • There is also free admission to the Pappajohn Sculpture Garden in downtown Des Moines.
  • The State Historical Building also has free admission, with lots of great permanent exhibits, as well as rotating traveling exhibits throughout the year.
  • The Jordan House in West Des Moines was the site of an underground railroad station.  It's $3 for adults, $1 for children, but there is an open house on Sunday, May 2 from 2-5 pm with free admission for all.
  • Farmers Markets are starting all over the central Iowa area.  Check out Adel on Saturdays 8:30 to 11 am
  • Altoona Fridays 4-7 pm;
  • Ames Downtown Thursdays 4-7 pm, Saturdays 8-1; North Grand (Ames) Wednesdays 3-6, Saturdays 8-12; Reiman Gardens (Ames) Wednesdays 4-7 pm
  • Ankeny Saturdays 8-12
  • Boone Thursdays 3-6 pm
  • Capitol Hill (DSM) Tuesdays 5:30-7:30 pm; Drake (DSM) Wednesdays 4-7 pm; East Side (DSM) Tuesdays 3-6 pm; East Village (DSM) Fridays 4:30-7:30 pm; Ingersoll (DSM) Tuesdays 4-6 pm
  • Indianola Thursdays 6:30-9 pm
  • Johnston Tuesdays 3-7 pm
  • For a more complete list of local Farmer's Markets, check HERE

Do you have any more great free activities in the Des Moines area? Comment here so I can get them added into the post.

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Another Batch of Freebies

Here are a few items I've found lately:
I'm also updating the calendar with more free or inexpensive events.  Don't forget to check the calendar often, as I add whenever I become aware of new events.  There are already a lot of great options for the upcoming weekend.

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April 26, 2010

Snapfish Mother's Day Deals

There are some great photo deals from Snapfish for Mother's Day, may be worth taking advantage of these.  Get 20% off from their Mother's Day Gift store with code MOMMY20 by April 26th.  They have a few other items that are up to 50% with code MOMSAVINGS by April 26:
  • Collage posters are $3.50
  • T-Shirts $6.50
  • Flip books $2.50
Order 20 or more Photo Cards and save 30% through the 30th with code MOM30CARD through April 30th.

30% off photo jewelry with code MOMJEWEL through the 30th.

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Staples Free Batteries are Back!

They did this before Christmas, but it's back again till May 1st. Buy two large packages of batteries and get the entire amount back in Staples Rewards. Looks like there is also a pretty good deal on printer paper going on as well. You can read about it HERE.

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Great Amazon Deals

I've found a few great deals for your Monday morning on Amazon.  Just going to share a few.

April 24, 2010

More Gardening--Composting

I realize that my posting style is scattered.  It works a lot like my life and my mind.  I would present information in an orderly fashion, but I tend to be inspired by what is going on in my life.  Right now, I'm all about getting the garden ready (and backyard, so the kids are entertained while I garden.)

I have a few more tips that I think will help beginning gardeners.  I think this post and the next will focus on compost and collecting water for the garden, both of which can conserve resources and reduce waste.

I was lucky when we moved in, there was an established garden already here.  My problem was that at the time I was pregnant and the garden was HUGE.  Not having really done much gardening before, it was a challenge.  Then with a newborn and even young toddlers, it is just so hard to find the time you need.  We gradually removed more and more of the garden to lawn, but it was when I stumbled upon the concept of container gardening that I started to do much better.

We already had the compost frame here.  It's a basic and rudimentary wooden frame with a little bit of ventilation.  There are many different types of composters on the market, but something like this will work fine for your needs.  I had to search through my pictures, because I don't think I've ever deliberately taken a picture of my compost bin.
For composting, we just collect food and yard waste and dump it into the compost frame.  You can follow instructions perfectly and use the proper order of materials like HERE or you can be a little more loose.  The difference is that it might be a little slower or not quite as "pretty."  I put in yard waste like leaves, weeds, grass trimmings, and I also put in food waste.  My only rule on the food waste is that I try not to put in any animal products (dairy, meat, though I do put in eggshells) simply because they attract animals and can smell.  I also use the non-shiny parts of the newspaper.

Then I kind of stir it up when I think of it.  I let the rain take care of keeping it moist unless it's been a long dry period.  Then I might add a little bit of water so it doesn't dry out.

I sometimes dream of buying some of the fancy compost tumblers or holders like these:

But it actually works pretty well to collect our coffee grounds, vegetable peels, bread crusts, and egg shells in a coffee can, then taking it out to dump daily in the wooden frame.

This makes some great plant food, and it reduces the amount of household waste we throw out with our garbage.  Talk about green (though it's more brown.)

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April 23, 2010

Bargain High!

We've been saving and planning for a large purchase for the family--a play set for the kids.  This gets a little into my philosophy as well as coupon using, sale watching, and research.  There is a reason why it's called bargain hunting.  You have to carefully stalk your prey in order to be able to afford the best that you can get for the amount you have to spend.

Because of this stalking, I was able to get an $800 play set for just over $600 with shipping and tax included.

I thought I had waited too long, since it is getting close to summer already, and it's usually better to purchase in the off season, but Target put this set on sale for 15% off with free shipping (it weighs over 400 pounds!). I also had a 10% coupon I had been saving, so this made for a great savings. 

Subtotal of Items: $679.15
Shipping & Handling: $259.99
Promotion Applied: -$67.92
Free Shipping: -$259.99
Total before tax: $611.23
Estimated Tax: $36.67
Total for this Order: $647.90

Next, another benefit to online shopping.  I used an online shopping portal to get about $30 back on this purchase, essentially covering the cost of my sales tax.  I'll outline some options:
  • Ebates would have paid 3% cash back on this purchase.  They send payment either through a check or Paypal.  This amount would have been $18.33.
  • Inbox Dollars also would pay 3% in cash.  They send payment in check once you reach the payout amount.
  • Swagbucks would pay 2 Swagbucks for every dollar spent through their store.  The bucks you earn can buy gift cards or other prizes.  1222 SB would be about the equivalent of around $13 in Amazon gift cards if you purchased the lowest cost gift card available, the $5 one for 450 SB.
  • I chose to go through MyPoints for my purchase.  Through MyPoints, you are paid in points that can be redeemed for gift cards.  I received 8 points per dollar for my purchase, which is 4888 points.  This is the equivalent of about $31 in Amazon or Target gift cards, more if you redeem for some of the "cheaper" gift cards.
  • Every purchase is different, depending on which company you are buying from, or how you want to get paid.  Some stores are only available through one portal or another, so be sure to check every time you want to place an online order.

After that, I went to the grocery store and saved $54 off a $180 total.  That isn't even including the original prices of the many sale items that I purchased.  I would guess I saved around 45% off my bill if the retail prices were figured in.

April 22, 2010

Freebies and Coupon Codes

  • Shutterfly has two codes available EXTRA29 (says up to 50% off photo books) and SHIP30 for free shipping.
  • Like Mambo Sprouts and be entered to win gift cards.
  • Save 30% on swimwear at Lands End today only using code APRIL22 with pin 8590
  • Free photo coasters, no shipping!
  • 5 reusable shopping totes with a carrying bag for $5.94.  You can get 15% off with code BRADDEAL.  Shipping is $4.98, but it doesn't go up much when you order multiple sets.
Just a few I needed to share.

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Short Notice Free/Cheap Events

  • I just noticed that the Des Moines Botanical Center has free admission for Earth Day. Get down there if you can. If not, it's still a great place to visit, and is fairly inexpensive for every day admission.  They are also having a Blue Ribbon Fair on Saturday that looks like a lot of fun.  I'll stick that into the calendar on the side.
  • Free Horse Show at the Iowa State Fairgrounds, today through the 25th of April, all day long.
  • The Drake Relays are also going on in Des Moines through the weekend.
  • The Shriners are having their annual circus starting April 30th.  I was able to locate free tickets at Casey's, so check your local store.
Apr 30, 2010 (Fri) 7:00 PM
May 1, 2010 (Sat) 9:30 AM
May 1, 2010 (Sat) 2:30 PM
May 1, 2010 (Sat) 7:00 PM
May 2, 2010 (Sun) 1:00 PM
May 2, 2010 (Sun) 5:00 PM
Veterans Memorial Auditorium
  • Don't forget the Toddler Fest this Saturday!  Free admission and a free book for every child attending.
  • Also there is a Lowe's Build and Grow Workshop on Saturday.  If you click on the individual events on the calendar, it will pull down additional information about them.
Don't forget to let me know if you are aware of an upcoming event, locally or nationally.  I'm always on the lookout for cheap entertainment.

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Gardening in Small Spaces, Hanging Baskets

This is another area that I explored last year, and I want to share my methods.  Again, the way I did this isn't new.  I googled and searched and read books to find different ways to do some things.  Everyone has seen Topsy Turvy Tomatoes, but I wanted to try to do this my own (read cheaper) way.  I was able to get hanging baskets with coco liner from Dollar General for about $4.  I've seen them other places for similar prices.

I cut an X in the bottom of the coco liner, then planted some established tomato seedlings so that they came out through the bottom of the basket.  I used good, water-retaining soil and then hung the basket in a sunny area.  I experimented with 2 plants in one basket, and I also planted some peppers in the top of a couple of the baskets and some herbs in others.

My results, including failures and successes:
  • One tomato plant did a lot better than two, and the ones with peppers also didn't do as well, except the smaller variety peppers.
  • These require a lot of water, and because of the small volume of soil, you need to have some that retains water better.  The ones planted in Miracle Gro potting mix fared far better than those planted in regular potting soil. You will need to water frequently.
  • I think the ones with the herbs growing in the top, especially the low-growing ground cover type herbs, were able to retain their water better.
  • The tomatoes I planted in the traditional manner definitely produced more and larger fruits.  The cherry tomatoes did best upside down.
  • The ones in the baskets did have a lot less trouble with pests.

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April 21, 2010

Just a Couple More Deals!

22% off anything at Totally Kids on April 22-24. 

$20 off any order at Spring Hill Nursery.  You will have to pay shipping.

Deals from my Inbox, Part 2

Here are some more great items!
  • Free bacon!  Sign up for Kraft First Taste newsletter.  Go HERE and see if you can have a hot dog house party.   
  • Northern Prairie Chevre (yum!) is having an open house on Sunday, May 2, from noon to 5!  I'll put it over in the calendar, but you will love their delicious goat cheese, and they have lots of baby animals running around for the kids (heh heh) to see.
  • Free shipping at JCPenney.com with $49 purchase, with code 49LPOTS.  They're having a huge sale right now.
  • High dollar Reynold's Wrap coupon
  • Windex coupons
  • $15 in Aveeno coupons
  • Tons of Home Solutions coupons
  • NY&Co has two big coupon codes 4191 for $30 off $75 or 4192 for $70 off $150 through Sunday
  • Barnes and Noble coupon
  • Borders coupon
  • And a new Quiznos coupon
Will post more garden stuff tomorrow, I hope.  Don't forget about the park tomorrow for the local people.  Hopefully it won't rain.

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Deals from my Inbox

Some good deals I'm seeing in my emails today:

This looks like a great deal, under $150 for a great rated portable GPS. It's more than 50% off.

  • MyPublisher up to 40% off photo books.  Use code MOM2040 through the rest of the day.
  • 20% off everything at OneHanesPlace, I don't see the coupon code, but the link may work for it.  This is supposed to work on clearance merchandise as well.
  • This looks pretty cool.  Border's will have Avatar for $17.99 tomorrow through Monday, and they have some good merchandise for $5 each (in store only) with the purchase of the movie.
  • This isn't a bargain to me, but I know this Barbie house is hard to find, and Target has it for the deal of the day for 19% off and free shipping.
  • $75 off any HP computer from Staples!
  • Kohls is having a huge sale, get 15% off with code LOWEST15.
I have more, so will be back.

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April 20, 2010

Do You Garden?

I have tried and failed on many occasions to create a garden, all times because I bit off more than I could chew.  Last year, I had some modest success with gardening after some research and stepping down and using a very small area.

With Earth Day coming up, I thought I might share some of the tips I've gleaned from my research for the people who are just starting out with gardening.  Obviously, I am still a novice, so my information is probably not going to be useful to anyone who's been gardening for years.

I decided on raised bed and container gardening last year, and I really liked how much easier it was than tilling up a patch of land and dealing with weeds and critters.  There are a lot of terms for the techniques that I used:  container, square foot, lasagna, and raised bed are some of the types I combined.

My husband built a square frame from 2x4s that was 6 feet long and 2 feet wide, two boards high (so about 8 inches tall.)  There were a lot of things we could buy that would have cost a lot more, but this worked for us.  I then used lasagna gardening to prepare the plot for planting.  What I love the best about it is the flexibility.  Use whatever materials you have on hand, no specific order or method necessary, and the time for the bed to be prepared is minimal.

I then used square foot gardening to plant 12 different crops into that small bed.  I used one square foot for each of the plants that I wanted to grow, and it was moderately successful for most.  My main issue probably had a lot more to do with the weather than anything else.  We had a very cool and wet summer and some crops just didn't fare as well.

It may not be too easy to see from this photo (last July 1), but I really did manage to cram some larger varieties into their own little squares.  The rabbits kept eating anything that got outside the fence, so we never got any squash.  I have a new plan for this year, which I will explain in the next post.

It's not a pretty picture, but this is my small bed all planted and covered in bird netting in order to thwart some critters.  It was amazing how beautiful the soil was.  It was almost "fluffy" and not compacted at all.  We added a new layer of cardboard, some home grown compost, then a little additional soil in order to bring the soil level back up to the top.  I also planted in short rows this time, which I hope will give a little more room for the plants.

This is the start of my new larger bed (8 ft x 4 ft).  You can see I have cardboard, leaves and other yard waste, then some compost also.  I added newspaper and then topped it off with potting mix.  I started the seeds for this section indoors so that they can get ready while this soil gets ready for the new plants.
 Big girl helping out with the leaf layer.  Finished large bed below.

I will post some other things that I tried in an additional post, along with some of the things I am changing this year.

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April 19, 2010

Monday Freebies and Cheapies

Rounding up some good deals for you!
  • Kum and Go coupons, plus on May 1 (no coupon necessary) get a free 32 oz fountain drink with any purchase.
  • DQ Blizzards, buy 1, get 1 for 25 cents, use this coupon.
  • At KFC, buy this gross gross sandwich and get a free drink to wash it down.
  • Then, you can use these free Gas-X strips to take care of the gut ache.
  • Free fries on Friday at McDonald's.
  • Get your free copy of the US Constitution.
  • Free bag with purchase at a grocery store I don't have, but you may.
  • Free Kraft Mac n Cheese.
  • Free toothpicks.
  • Free download of the Barenaked Ladies album.
  • Lever 2000 sample.
  • I'm not a big fan of the daily contests.  I usually prefer the guaranteed freebies I'm signing up for, but this one is a Glee for all, and I LOVE Glee.

Like these freebies? Share them with your friends.

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Amazon Earth Day Bargains

If you're looking for ways to conserve energy or help the earth, Amazon has some really great deals.  Some of these items are hundreds of dollars off, though they were expensive to begin with.  If it was something you were thinking about anyway, now might be the time to do it:

Free shipping, and nearly $100 cheaper than the nearest competitor. The free shipping is a huge savings.

I'll return later today with some more posts.  I've been gardening, and hope to get some gardening posts done throughout the week.  If you know of people who might be interested in any posts I make, feel free to pass them along.  I'm trying to add a button to all new posts to make it easier, but copying and pasting the link works, too. 

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Kids' Story Time at Reiman Gardens

Reiman Gardens is such a great resource in our area. Although it is one place, the flowers in bloom change often, and there are always different varieties of butterflies in the butterfly garden along with the ones "hatching" out front. We have gone once or twice a year for a while, but last year they got the dinosaurs. With two huge dino fans, we purchased a family membership.

The membership is only $55 for the whole year for a family, but beyond free admission, it allows people to get in free to a whole host of activities. There are classes for adults and story times for children, Easter egg hunts, and many other opportunities for fun and learning.

Right now, the dinosaurs have moved on south, but they have the (world's largest?) garden gnome.

The reason I'm discussing Reiman Gardens right now, however, is the story time coming up tomorrow on my calendar. They do want people to pre-register, but the story time is free with the price of admission or completely free for their members. The story time always comes with a make and take craft.

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April 17, 2010

Pre-Order Deal for Alice in Wonderland

This looks like a great deal if you are wanting to get Alice in Wonderland and maybe need another Disney title as well.  Amazon's pre-orders are a great idea, because of their price guarantee:

Amazon.com's price for not-yet-released items sometimes changes between the time the item is listed for sale and the time it is released and shipped. Whenever you pre-order a book, CD, video, DVD, software, or video game, the price we charge when we ship it to you will be the lowest price offered by Amazon.com between the time you placed your order and the end of the day of the release date. A pre-order price guarantee message will appear on your Order Summary during the checkout process. If you use 1-Click ordering, pre-order price protection will be automatically applied. The order summary in Your Account will reflect the lowest price within 24 hours of the price change.

I've done this before, and the price dropped about 60 cents, and they immediately credited me.  I didn't have to do anything at all to get it.

So, Alice in Wonderland.  They have the DVD/Blu-Ray combo pack available for pre-order at $31.49.  If you pre-order this title and one other Disney movie, you will get an additional $10 off.  Choose two day shipping, and you will receive the DVD the day it is released.

Here are three DVDs that are included in the promo, but it looks like there are a lot of choices:

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April 16, 2010

Bargains, Freebies, and Trials

Here are a few good items I've discovered in my email today:
  • Try out some Lash Boost mascara...They'll give you a coupon and you can win prizes.  challenge.lorealparisusa.com/lashboost to take the 4 Week Challenge.
  • Or try out some Revitalift challenge.lorealparisusa.com/revitalift to take the 8 Week Challenge.  I'm guessing you could do both!
  • Get an I <3 Earth totebag.  Until Earth Day, this bag is marked down, and AFTOTE10 will get you the bag for $10.
  • Busted Tees is having a $10 mega sale and you can get $5 off an order with code PICKLEBT1008.  Some of them are very very funny.  Browsing these tees is like shopping in the greeting cards section to me.
  • Have you gotten a free tote bag from Earthbound Farms yet?  You have to get 100% on their quiz, and you have to take it at the right time of day, but it's explained pretty well HERE.
  • Also, remember that there are a lot of great free kids' activities tomorrow morning!  We'll be making the rounds, so say hi if you see us.

    Mini Social has Primigi Shoes and Melissa and Doug

    I love this site, and they change their deals every few days.  You can read more about the site HERE.  I got both of my kids' Easter dresses almost free using their coupon codes, and they now have some really great shoes and Melissa and Doug summer fun toys and some great puzzles.  You do have to pay shipping, but the code PEACH10 will take $10 off any total (even if the item you buy is $10.)  This set is $12, so it'd be just $2, and looks like loads of fun.  Enjoy.

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    Hooked On Phonics Deal

    This isn't a brand new deal, but it's still available and looks great for anyone with young ones they want to teach.  The clearance section of Hooked on Phonics' site is priced way down, and if you use code SLICK50, you can get the items at an additional 50% off. 

    Just as an example, the Toddler version of Hooked on Phonics was originally $65, is marked down to $19.99, and would be just $9.98 using the code. 

    Lands End 25% off and Free Shipping

    Lands End is having their Family and Friends event for four days only, so this deal is good starting today and going through Monday, April 19.  Use code SAVE25 and Pin 3454.

    There's a Land's End ad on the bottom right with the same 25% off deal, if the code doesn't work for you.

    Maybe this is a good time to discuss my Land's End love.  First off, the quality of their clothing is exceptional.  Yes, the prices often reflect that, but there are deals to be found at Lands End.  There is the Overstocks section, which has last season's items, or maybe odd colors or only one size, but you can score some good deals there.

    Within the overstocks section, there is the "not quite perfect" area, but most of those items will say what their particular defect is.  It's a lot like factory outlet shopping, but with many items, the flaw is very minor.

    One of my favorite parts of the overstock section is On the Counter.  They put certain items on the counter every week on Saturday for greatly reduced prices.  Then the price starts dropping from there.  On Monday, they drop the price by 25%, Wednesday 50%, and Friday 75%.  Very few items last through Friday, but it really works well if you are either very large or small sizes, or petite or tall.  It's kind of thrilling to wait the prices out and see if you can get the best deal.

    Because of the way that I shop, I am usually purchasing a season or even a whole year ahead.  It's no big deal if I miss this deal, because another one will come along.  This helps me to be able to be a little extra selective about the items I buy or the prices that I pay.

    April 15, 2010

    Month of the Young Child Park Day

    Thursday, April 22, 10am-12pm, Brookside Park
    Celebrate the Month of the Young Child with a morning at the park! Smyles and the Bookmobile will be there to check out books and share the fun. There will be a variety of activities for children. The rain location will be Ames Public Library’s FTB Auditorium.

    This one is also over in the calendar, but I wanted to make sure that everyone sees it.  It almost always rains for this event, so it's good that they have the rain location all set up.  Hope to see people there.  

    Making it easy for you to share the event with your friends.

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    Toddler Fest

    There's a great free event going on next Saturday for Story County toddlers (or pre-schoolers).   The Story County Toddlerfest has free admission, and lots of fun activities geared toward the pre-school set.  A lot of local agencies will have booths set up with little games for the kids, and I think there has been a bounce house in the past.  All toddlers who attend will receive a free book.

    I put it in the calendar on the right, but I wanted to highlight and explain the event a little bit more.  This event moves around throughout the county, and this year it will be in Huxley.

    Huxley, IA
    3 C's Recreation Center
    505 N. Main Ave.
    Saturday, April 24, 10 am-noon

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    Good Amazon Home and Garden Deals

    Amazon has this pretty cool 4-for-3 promotion that seems to always be going on.  Every once in a while, I go in and start looking around to see what kinds of deals I can find.

    Here are a few of my favorite deals in Home and Garden.  Some don't qualify for that promotion, but still qualify for "cheap enough."

    This cooling rack is always out of stock when it hits $9.99, so I'm excited to finally catch it in stock.  Below is a pair of steamers I'm thinking about.  Still in the research phase on this one.

    Under $8 for TWO snugglies! Can't beat it. Too bad it was so hot in my house last night that I couldn't even use the top sheet.

    Not exceptionally cheap, but cool. The second one is very inexpensive, but looks pretty nice, too.

    Last but not least, this bunch of cool tools are all under or around $5, eligible for the 4-for-3 discount (maybe only the pink ones?), and look to be good for gifts or your own use. The reviews look good on them as well.

    Happy shopping!  Maybe you can use your Swagbucks Amazon cards for some of these.  I know that's what I'm doing with mine.

    Tax Day Freebies!

    There are several places that have rounded up the tax day freebies, and I must say I'm disappointed.  I don't see a whole lot that applies in my part of the world, except the Starbucks one.  Since I don't believe in reinventing the wheel, here's a link to Deal Seeking Mom's freebie round-up.

    I did notice that a lot of the furniture stores are paying your sales tax for you, so that's an automatic 7ish% discount.

    April 14, 2010

    Free Quench Body Lotion

    Just got this one in my mail, thought it was too good not to pass along.  Buy a full sized bottle of Olay Quench, and then fill out this handy little rebate form to get the total cost back. 

    You'll have to get it by April 16th and mail by April 30th to qualify.  You should be able to use coupons but still receive the shelf price back, and here's another rebate I found when looking for printable coupons to share.  I know there were a lot of Olay coupons in the P&G coupons a couple of weeks ago, so you could use those.

    Quiznos Coupons

    I still can't think of Quiznos without remembering that crazy mutant hamster singing, but if you love Quiznos, there are some good printable coupons out.  They expire 4/25, but I have had luck printing as many as I want.

    And the mutant hamster, for your viewing pleasure.

    Fun Children's Activities

    Coming up this weekend, there are several fun and FREE activities for children.  I've started putting things into the calendar on the right, and I also want to post about some as I learn of them.  As always, I'd love to have input from readers.  If you've tried out these activities, let's get a review.  If you know of a free fun activity coming up, let us know.

    The latest one I'm adding is an activity at Toys R Us--it's a Thomas and friends fun day on Saturday, April 17th.  To sweeten the pot, they've put out a $5 coupon to use in store.

    Borders is also having their Fancy Nancy party at 11 am.  We've been to several of the Borders parties, and they are fun.  They always have fun activities, contests and giveaways, and usually snacks and drinks.

    Lowes is having their Build and Grow clinic at 10 am.  This is fun!  The kids get their own little apron and safety goggles, the activities are fun and simple to make, and they get to take the project home with them.  You are supposed to pre-register for this one, and you can do that HERE.

    There will be a bike rodeo for children at the Nevada city hall at 9 am on Saturday as well, with safety inspections and free bike helmets for the kids who need them.

    Veggie Tales Sale

    I just got this one in my email--Veggie Tales DVDs for $5 each.  Looks like there are quite a few of them at this price.  Look HERE for the sale, and you can use code SHIP225 for free shipping if you spend over $40.

    April 13, 2010

    Aveeno Shampoo Freebie and Coupon

    Just received this in my mailbox, and I thought it would be a good one to share.  If you sign up for their newsletter, you'll also get a lot of great coupons from them.

    Aveeno sample

    Amazon Deals

    This Mags sale is through April 17 only, and it has some really good magazines for $5-$10.

    They are also having a good sale on some of the Corelle dishes sets.  I love these, and they are down to $25-29 for a 16 piece set (4 place settings).  A couple of my favorites:

    Those are the best deals that I see for now, will be back with some more new posts later.

    April 10, 2010

    Free Fun Activities Calendar

    I am trying to add free fun family activities to a calendar on the right sidebar, and I need your help!  If you know of an activity that we can share, please email me or leave a comment in any post, and I will try to get it added to the calendar. 

    So far, I've added some Lowe's and Home Depot children's workshops and the Sample Sunday event that I posted about earlier. 

    Free* Family Activity

    Tomorrow is another sample Sunday in Central Iowa!  If you've never done it, you really must give it a try.  There are four great local businesses (all near Woodward, IA) that open their doors for people to come out and give their wares a try.  The reason I put the asterisk in the title is that you will want to buy all the things you sample.  Here's the link to the farms participating.  If you click on each individual link, you'll get the information on what events will be going on at each farm.

    Pony rides and grilled brats for all!

    Rainy Day Games Sale at Amazon

    Even though it's gorgeous and sunny here, Amazon is having their rainy day games sale.  They have a lot of board games and handheld games for 50% or more off.  I'll post the link to the sale HERE and then a few of my best deals.

    April 9, 2010

    $1 Off Seventh Generation Products

    I noticed that there's a link to a $1 off coupon for Seventh Generation products in the ads at the lower right of my main blog page.  When the Qdoba one was there, it was there for quite a while but rotated in and out of the ads, so sometimes it would be there and sometimes not.  If you don't see the coupon, just wait till the next time you come back or hit refresh.

    Friday Deals

    • Here's a freebie I may have posted last week, but it's still available.  Fan Pacific Rim Risling on Facebook and get a free cube calendar.  First, fan them HERE, then fill out the address info HERE.  It's for the first 15,000, and they only have 11k fans so far.
    • JC Penney is having a big sale.  Coupon HERE and if you want to shop online for their sale, you can get $4.99 shipping with code HB2JCP
    • Remember earlier when I posted about Staples offering free paper?  They now have a $10 coupon.
    • Toy R Us has some great weekend deals this weekend.  Here's the ad for some great stuff on Friday and Saturday (including BOGO books!) and HERE is their regular weekly ad.
    • 30% off Border's coupon.
    • Reader's Digest for $3.99 a year!
    • Family Fun, Shape, Taste of Home, Weight Watchers, Natural Health for $2.25 a year, up to 4 years!
    That should be good for now.

    April 8, 2010

    Free Potty Training DVD

    My little one is in this process, and she's always singing along with the commercials about the Potty Dance.  If you want to pick up your own DVD, get one free HERE (while supplies last.)  I also have been using the Nickel Game (only pennies) along with the potty training with quite a bit of success.

    Sorry for the hit and run posting, but I'm not having much time to sit down and sift through all my mail at once.

    Free Pictures!

    • Looks like you can get 50 free prints when you join CVS Photo if you haven't already.
    • More Snapfish deals!  APRIL7BD will get you 10 free 5x7s with any purchase
    • APRIL8BD will get you $10 off $30

    Software Deal of the Day

    This looks like a great game/learning tool for children.  $7.99, but for today only.

    Free shipping with Prime, which reminds me that I --think-- that you can get a free 1 month trial of Prime by adding this book....
    by clicking "add to cart with free 2 day shipping."  Then continue to check out.  On the last page should be your option to get a free 1 month trial.  You will not need to actually complete the check out.  Be sure to go back and unclick the "auto upgrade."

    Body Shop Great Coupons!

    You can choose your savings with one of three codes, today only.  Need to stock up?
    • Free shipping when you spend $30 -- LUCKY1
    • $10 off $40 -- LUCKY2
    • 25% off $40 or more -- LUCKY3
    This is online only, and only today.  Enjoy!

    April 7, 2010

    Free EFT Movie Viewing

    I have gone to sessions with Sanja Cooklin and truly got a lot of good from my time spent with her.  She's kind, empathetic, and a great talker and listener.  She also gives people great tools for dealing with stressful situations, addictions, and more through her use of EFT (or "tapping.")  Tomorrow in Nevada and next Wednesday in Ames, you can get a free look at EFT.  Sanja will be presenting the movie "Try it on Everything" free in the following locations:
    Nevada Public Library
    631 K Ave
    Thursday, April 8, 6 pm

    Ames Public Library
    Community Room
    515 Douglas
    Wednesday, April 14, 6:30 pm

    Deals from my Inbox

    Here are some more of the good deals that I've found, some of which also help some charities.
    • CFI (Children and Families of Iowa) has a great restaurant deal going right now.  Donate $10, every bit of which goes to CFI, and you will receive 10 coupons for 5 BOGO meals at Applebee's and 5 BOGO meals at Carlos O'Kelly's.  Click HERE for the charity's homepage.  The ad is on the right, about halfway down the page.
    • Here's a shoe deal that will benefit the March of Dimes.  You can get 10% off certain shoes, and for every pair purchased, Famous Footwear will donate $5 to MoD.  Click HERE for the coupon.
    • The Mini-Social (I've blogged about it HERE) has Diesel Shoes right now, along with some other great products right now.
    • Some coupons for organic food products.
    • Free sample of Pantene from Vocalpoint. 
    • Use a Mac?  You can download the Kindle for Mac free here, then get free downloads from the bestseller list.
    I still have more deals.  Keep checking back.  Also, if you are a new reader or think you may have missed some freebies, click on the freebies link on the sidebar and find some that might still be active.

      Scattering of Random Deals

      I have a lot of cool things in my inbox today, so I'm just going to do a quickie post with everything good.

      This DVD player is a deal of the day, so today only.

      April magazine deals for Amazon look good! Get two years of some magazines for the price of one year, making some really awesome deals! Click the link to see all the magazines included in this deal, and here are a few of my favorite deals.  There are a lot of others for $8-10 for two years. 

      Bath and Body Works is offering a cute free tote with any $25 purchase today only.  It says you have to click through the email link, so give this one a try.

      I'm not sure how it will work to stack, but there is a code for a free Signature Collection travel sized item with $10 purchase. Use SAPPHIRE at checkout or APRILSHIP for $1 shipping.

      Get a free ream of copy paper from Staples with this printable coupon, 4/7-4/10 only.  This coupon may only be good once.

      I have a lot more deals that I hope to get posted, but this will be a good start.

      April 6, 2010

      Freebie Central

      I just received two great freebies in the mail yesterday, so that made me want to seek out a few more.  I may as well share with all my readers while I'm at it, right?
      • Free Dove hair care
      • Free sample of True Lemon
      • Free trial pair of contacts
      • 50% off coupon for Michaels!
      • Free sunflower seeds
      • Free rainforest stickers
      • Give kids good schools, and then get some stuff to show your support
      • Urban wildlife sticker
      • Free coffee from McDonald's?  It used to be on Mondays, but ended.  If you try this out today, please let me know how it works.  I don't know if you need the coupon or not.  There's also no dates on it, so I have serious doubts.

      Borders Deals!

      I just received an email from Borders--are you a Border's Rewards member yet?  It's free to be a member, and you get some really great coupons.  This current coupon is good 4/6-4/8 (through Thursday, so act fast) and it gives you buy one get one 50% off almost every item they sell.  You can also use the discount online with code BSE7442K.

      Write this down on your calendar, too.  Borders is having a poetry party for kids on April 17 at 11 am.  They usually put out some good coupons to coincide with this party, too, so keep an eye out.

      April 5, 2010

      Snapfish Deals

      I just got this in my inbox from Snapfish.  If you need photos or other photo gifts, take a look.  They have deals every day.  Through April 7, get 100 prints for $10 total with shipping.
       The rest of the days:
      • Classic photo book for $10 with code APRIL1BDAY good through 4/7.
      • 2 collage photo mugs for $10 with code APRIL3BDAY good through 4/7.
      • Most of the rest have already ended, but there are still 5 more deals.  Get on their mailing list or check back to see the rest of the deals.

      The Nickel Game

      Some friends asked me to post this, because it seems to be really working for us to get the behaviors we want.  First off, I'm a huge believer in this man--Thomas Phelan, with his "1-2-3 Magic" system is pure genius.  If you can get your hands on the DVD, it's a lot easier to understand how the system works.  It's not just a matter of counting to three, or we'd all be doing just fine.

      Once you get the kids to stop the bad behaviors with the Magic, you can move on to his "More 1 2 3 Magic" for some good ideas on starting the behaviors you want.  In this one, he has a lot of good strategies, and I've used several of them with a little success, but I needed the big guns recently for the kids.  They were thinking they could watch TV all day, and I was constantly picking up after them.

      In the back of my mind, I remembered Phelan's story of a long car trip to Disney World, where he gave his kids their souvenir money one quarter at a time as long as they were sitting quietly in the car and not fighting.

      Using that as my basis, I devised a plan.  My kids are younger (6 and 3) so the money values may have to vary accordingly, but I decided that I would give the kids 20 nickels a week.  On Monday, they get a little dish with 20 nickels ($1) but they have to pay for their "screen time."  A 30 minute TV show, computer time, or video game time costs a nickel.

      I will pick up your coat off the floor if you neglect to hang it up, but it will cost you a nickel.  It's not all negative cash flow, however.  I also pay them for doing extra jobs or if I catch them doing something good, and the money that's left over at the end of the week goes into their bank for later fun spending.

      Another friend of mine has tried it out, and it is working for her kids, even with older ones.  The money amounts could differ depending on the ages of your children, but this is working very well for us, while at the same time teaching the children about money and math.