Friday, November 28, 2008

Black Friday and Cyber Monday DEALS at SHUTTERFLY!

Shutterfly is totally the way to go for that special loved one! Make all kinds of personalized and BEAUTIFUL keepsakes for Mom, Sister, Grandparents, Newlyweds, and the list goes on and on. How creative can you be? Make a PhotoBook! Shutterfly's books are hardback and pages are front and back. You can customize EVERYTHING about it! I better get busy as well so I can also take advantage of this deal. Thinking my sister has been hinting she wants another one. :-) Don't worry, she doesn't read my blog...she is too busy with her little baby that is 5 months old. I don't blame her.

One great item I saw, that is new to custom ornaments. Very pretty! I want one or four! :-)

Free shipping on orders over $25! See Site for details.

Save up to 30% on Photo Books (30% on 12x12; 20% on 8x8 and 8x11; 15% on 5x7 and 4x4)! See site for details.

Save 30% on CenterStage books! See site for details.
This is a great item for kids as your child becomes part of the story for characters like Diego, Dora, Spongebob and more! Very cute and something that can be kept forever.

Save 25% on mugs (excl. Starbucks), save 20% on keepsake boxes, magnets/mousepads. See site for details!

Happy Black Friday and Upcoming Cyber Monday! Thank you Shutterfly for such awesome deals on such fantastic products!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

I wanted to wish all readers out there a very
Happy Thanksgiving!

Take time to: be Thankful, Rest, EAT, Enjoy Family and Friends, Watch Football Games, Watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade (what I like to watch), and at the end of the day...Make your plan of Attack or Black Friday and Cyber Monday! :-)

Gobble Gobble!

I'm thankful for all my readers and friends out there that share the love of being frugal and "green!"
Happy Thanksgiving!

Take care and Travel Safely!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Creative Ways to Give Cash and Gift Cards 2008

This year is a tight year for many. With it being such a tough (financially) season...Cash and Gift Cards would make great gifts for many! Not to mention this gift is great for those who love shopping the After Christmas Sales or for the people on your list that are just so hard to buy for!!!
With this being such a predictable gift (maybe)...I thought I should repost my "Creative Ways to Give Gift Cards and CASH!" from last year with a few minor tweaks and added links for even MORE great ways by other great sites:

Here is a couple of ways I have seen cash and gift cards given, in an exciting way!

1) Whatever the amount of Cash you want to give, go to the bank and get it in ones!!! One year, my sister's secret santa in the family gave her $50 in ONES, and put in a large box with crumpled up shreds of newspaper! On the box, the label said: "CAREFUL SMALL PARTS!" All the family watched to see what the gift was in all that paper! hee hee Then, we all got it, as she pulled out one crumpled dollar bill after another! Everyone watched on to see just how much money was in there as our limit is only $20 for the family "secret santa" gifts...once she hit $20..we were like much is in there? That is one of those times a video camera would have been handy, and would love to be able to rewind and watch again.

2) My mother, one year, gave my father-in-law money and again in ONES and filled up a little Christmas tree with the ones as "origami money ornaments!" Had to stare at it to figure out it was money on the tree! She gave a "Money Tree!" Sometimes money does come on trees, still not growing on them! :-)

3) For GIFT CARDS and GIFT CERTIFICATES: One year I bought my Mom an Aigner Credit Card Holder, and filled it up with $20 gift cards for many things (about $200 worth)...from grocery store to the movies, to a manicure! Loads of fun in a wallet! Merry Christmas to all and Happy Holidays!

4) For CASH combined with GIFT CARDS and TICKETS to Riverdance: A different year (I believe for Mother's Day)...all my mom wanted was a water pitcher from Wal-Mart that was like $5.00...I got her that (of course) and filled it with other items I wanted her to have: I gave her $20 with a printed note that said for "thrift stores and yard sales" with a cute little graphic on it; There was a gift card but I don't remember what it was for; A matching Aigner Checkbook with tickets to "Riverdance" inside for her, sister, and myself to go all together for a girls big day out. She was speechless! (It was a better year financially that year.)

Those are some of my personal examples...What are yours? are just a few other great sites with this topic...Enjoy! I know I there are so many ways to gift cash and cards...don't be boring, plenty of ideas here not to be! :-) (I do understand getting in a hurry at is ALWAYS appreciated!)

ThriftyFun (for cash)

ThriftyFun (for gift cards)

I will be looking for more to add (after work today)! Happy Monday and Happy Holidays...have an Excellent Turkey Day!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Fun Gift Idea: The gift of "Blast from the Past!"

I was just thinking and it struck me that a wonderful gift idea (not to mention "green") is to purchase a "Vintage" gift to buy back someone's "past" on ebay! Okay...that is a loaded sentence...let me break that down into some fun gift ideas for you:

First, I have to give a "serious" example and then to the "fun" examples:
A few years back I searched ebay regularly in hopes to find my mom a yearbook from her childhood. When she was growing up her family couldn't afford yearbooks for her or her siblings. The only one they owned was my mom's senior yearbook from high school. Now back to the gift part of the story: Can you believe I found a yearbook that I thought "Might" have my mom in it (on ebay) and emailed the seller and he looked and found her for me AND he said he had a stack that she might be in! SHE WAS! The seller was extremely generous and sold me the elementary books for $5.00 a piece and high school books for $10 a piece. I ended up getting her like 9 books that she did not own with her and her sisters and brothers in! What a FIND! She was speechless. She also had many hours of fun with her sisters and brother sitting down and looking at these books. Even though I got a great seriously can't put a price on such a gift!!!! Truly Priceless!
The seller also sent it media mail and charged very little for the shipping. What a great seller and helpful! I will have to see if I can find his seller ID and recommend him to you all...he sells only vintage items on Ebay!

Okay for my "Fun" ideas:
Whatever era the lucky recipient had their childhood for movies from that time period or clothing or some "fad" item. Give this as a gift...they will have so much fun strolling and laughing down memory lane! For something like this...nobody beats ebay!

Personally, I would LOVE to have a Jordache Purse I had as a child and if I got that as a gift...Man...that would be AWESOME! Or should I say "Radical?" :-) Go 80s!

Speaking of 80s...if that lucky person is a child of the 80s (such as myself): Might I recommend my Squidoo Lens where I have collected a load of FUN items for these folks...including myself:
GenX; I love the 80s!

How we save $$$ on gas

Now, this probably won't have much effect for other people but this is what we (husband and I) do to save money on gasoline for our vehicles.

My husband has a truck (F-150) and I have a car (Corolla). Obviously, we all know the Corolla would be better on gas mileage etc... My husband's truck is surprisingly pretty decent on isn't four wheel drive (maybe that has something to do with it?). Anywho, my husband's job is twice the distance of my job from our home. Sooo, since my car is better for distance and takes much less gas....we switch vehicles to go to work. We have saved so much money with this obvious logic. I wanted to share this tidbit as I don't believe I have ever made a post on it.

There are some days that I need my car...for instance...I have to attend a meeting or leave my work for some reason (ex: doctor appointment, etc...) and thus traveling more than to and from work. Basically, whomever is traveling the most miles that day gets the car! :-) Silly sounding maybe...but sure has saved us money. Estimated savings (for us and our travel) per month is from $80-$100 per month varying due to up and down price of gas and where else, besides work, we have traveled that month.

Here is our breakdown (estimate on average): (Estimates are Price Per Month)

(Price break down if we didn't switch vehicles)
$200 Truck (Husband)
$60 car (Myself)
$260 (total price per month on both vehicles)

(Price break down NOW that we do switch vehicles)
$100 Truck (Myself)
$80 Car (Husband)
$180 (total price per month on both vehicles)

A savings is a savings! Find it where you can!

Does anyone else out there do something like this to cut cost on gasoline?

Friday, November 21, 2008

Black Friday...This year...staying home!

"Black Friday" this year will be a bit boring for myself; however, relaxing. I am too "lazy" to get the great deals on "Black Friday". I will stay in the "black" by not spending as we are already in the "Red!"

"Black Friday" comes from the color of ink on retailers reports for their yearly sales. Typically some stores (or many...not certain of exact statistics) are in the Red for the year before "Black Friday" and the go into the "Black" on "Black Friday" as a result of huge sales that day and through the Holiday shopping season. This is when stores really start to see profit. Many stores meet and exceed quotas thanks to "Black Friday." I used to work at a department store years ago and remember my commission would be in the "red" (aka: not making anything besides my hourly) and I, myself, would start making commission and thus going into the "black" on "Black Friday." I must say, I don't miss it. Maybe that is the reason for my lack of motivation to get out and about on that day. I hated getting up sooo early and always said when I get out of retail..."I'm sleeping in!" I guess I am doing that out of respect for my past self this year. :-)

For all of those brave shoppers out there, I did find this one site that you can sign up for email alerts on the latest black friday ads and updates:

I believe I am most interested in "Cyber Monday" this year and want to see what it is all about as I have never taken part in this day.

Cool Stocking Stuffer? How about a Custom ACEO?

My husband is now offering Custom ACEOs in our Etsy Shop!

What is an ACEO? For those who don't know, here is the short of it:
ACEO=Art Cards Editions and Originals. This came from ATCs which means Artist Trading Cards. They were originally created and traded between Artists. Naturally, someone found a way to make money from it, changed the name to ACEO and sold them on Ebay and now has become a huge hit for collectors and Artists alike. They are a fun size (same as a sports trading card) of 2.5" X 3.5" (this is what makes it an ACEO or HAS to be the exact size or it doesn't qualify). The size is the only "rule" an Artist has to follow for it to qualify as an ACEO or ATC. Typically they are flat and fit into a sports trading card sleeve, but many break this un-announced rule, including myself. :-) These are great because they are so many ways to display them. You can put them in tiny cute frames, set them on easels. Put them in a basket inside their sleeves...sit them on a coffee table for mini-art conversations! If you just want to collect...just get some sports trading pages/sleeves and put them in a book. You can collect hundreds/thousands and they do not take up the space that collecting large pieces would!

Now that I have stated my case on how cool ACEOs/ATCs are (even though I was just explaining them): what are you waiting for? Get started with a Custom ACEO of a Loved One by My Husband or take on some searches on Ebay or Etsy: Type in the Search boxes: ACEO and whatever topic you would like, for example: ACEO Cats

These would make an Awesome Personalized Stocking Stuffer! If interested for Christmas, you need to seriously get your order in ASAP. Christmas is less than 35 days away and he would need a few days to complete the drawing from YOUR photo of an animal or person. Also, you would need to allow shipping time and consider the holiday rush and potentially slow shipping when everyone starts spending up a storm on the 'net!

The Custom ACEOs are a nice low price of $25.00 for one Subject! An Economical way to collect ORIGINAL HAND-CREATED (DRAWN in this case) ART!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Kreativ Blogger Award! Yay! Thank you Frugal Shopping With Julie!

One of my favorite bloggers gave me the "Kreative Blogger" award!
The blogger/blog is Frugal Shopping With Julie by Julie!
I have found so many great deals on Julie's blog...I just love her blog...well written, beautiful design and not to mention the BARGAINS one can find!
Thank you Julie from Frugal Shopping With Julie!

Upon receiving this award, I have to list 6 things that I am thankful for and then pass this award along to 6 more wonderful bloggers!

I like this kind of award because I am blessed to say I could list a thousand things I am thankful for, but will stick with the six that is requested! :-)

Here it goes:

I am thankful for...
  1. The fact I have way more than 6 items that I feel blessed and thankful for. God's many Blessings!

  2. My Son...he is a joy even when he is not necessarily being joy. (3 years old)

  3. My Husband....a wonderful man that puts up with me and my oddities.

  4. My Mom, Sister and Niece (5 months old)

  5. Friends (Work and Home)

  6. Having a sense of humor (most of the time): I love to laugh!

I could definitely keep going! I try to give thanks for my blessings every day!
Now I will pass this award on to six bloggers whose sites I enjoy. I have many to choose from so I will just direct you all to six and am certain it will spread through to all my favorites out there!

These Bloggers and their Blogs are AWESOME! You will gather so much useful and interesting information from each of them! I am pretty sure if they aren't a favorite of yours already, they will give them a visit and see which ones will become your favorites!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

One way to save NOT to Waste it! is a new site that dedicated to help folks realize their unneccesary spending and "confess" this spending. You can also calculate your wasteful spending. I know, sounds like a "blame game" that may not be of interest UNLESS you actually think about it...we ALL are guilty of this from time to time or in a past where we weren't careful. I believe this site helps us to see where we can improve our spending efforts and maximize our dollar in a more meaningful way.

There are so many ways that we can stop the "waste"...for examples:

  • Turn of lights when you leave the room
  • Resist the urge to spend at the check out (the ever so popular Impulse does add up over time)
  • Do you really need that extra bottle of window cleaner that is on sale when you already have two bottles at home?
  • When buying it really important to buy an extra gift because it is on sale when you already have that person the "perfect gift?"
  • Don't throw out cans ....recycle them in some fashion, donate, take to a recycling center, an Art Room (hmm...I am collecting to do some art projects with my students and cans I don't use...go to my fifth graders who are recycling to pay for their beach trip!)
  • Think about it, this list can go on and on and on....take time to figure up your wasteful spending....SAVE that money, put it in a jar...and put it to Good use...debt reduction (a bill)...or put it in a savings account for your child. Put it to GOOD use! It does add up!

Happy Saturday! What can you do not to general or money! :-)

Psst...sometimes that wasteful spending is good for the soul...we need it once in a a meal out etc...don't beat yourself up....but stop where you can! :-)

Check out other folks' stories on

Great site for saving money, being Green, and staying "Afloat"

I was surfing my email account and I ran across this blogger in my "email bag!" This gentleman has a wonderful blog and I am recommending it to all my readers new and old. He has excellent collections of money saving tips, tips to stay afloat, and much much more. I intend to check this blog out regularly because I am forever looking for more ways to stretch a buck! Check out Master your Card below! Two Thrifty Thumbs up! :-)

Master your Card

Thursday, November 13, 2008

PetsMart's November Coupon

PetsMart is where we like to get items for our toy poodle Phoebe! This month's coupon is linked below.

PetsMart's November Special! Click the link below for coupon:

Save 15% off your order of $60

This is Phoebe...and she is wearing a funny hat, yes. :-) It is a little Romanian hat we got from this summer's trip there and we were bored and took a picture with her wearing it.

Thrifty Thursday Celebration: Two months and a Low Electric Bill

I wanted to call this Thrifty Thursday Celebration as I feel a need to celebrate the fact that two months in a row, we have had an Electric Bill lower than $100! Pretty exciting and thank goodness because finances are tough right now for us. Last month's was $91.00 and this month's is $92.00! I feel that is pretty awesome because the most recent bill holds a few cold days and running the heat at night! I am pretty excited about that and hope to maintain these low bills over the winter months. YAY!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Wordless Wednesday! Son's Costume: Little Chef!

My little nice chef is first...the second is my mean Chef Ramsey! :-) (Yes, I asked him to make that face for the purpose of the picture.)

The Little Chef! This is my son and his Halloween Costume from this year October '08!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

New Year Approaching: A Personalized PHOTO CALENDAR = Great Gift!

Before you know it, we will be turning to a New Year! Are you ready? Is the people you are giving gifts ready? Possibly a Personalized Photo Calendar is the Answer!

VistaPrint is offering Awesome Deals on their Custom Calendars! Prices Ranging from $3.49 - $12.99 with many starting at $7.99 for the 12 month calendars with your photos for each month. You get to start by selecting the borders for your pages and you even get to choose number sizes and fonts for your calendar part of the calendar.

One of my favorite VistaPrint Products is their Custom Caricature Products like address labels and you design the Caricature of yourself and your family members...all the way down to the family pets. I love it! Sooo cute! This also could be a cool fun gift or Stocking Stuffer! Something useful, fun, personalized and cute! These are priced right as well starting at only $3.99!

Some VistaPrint Classics are their fabulous deals on Custom Holiday Cards as well as the age old but must have Business Card! (You can try their Business Cards for FREE even.)

VistaPrint has been around for a LONG time on the Internet. As a matter of fact, this is the first place I ever ordered from and at that time, I bought Business Cards! I also bought a custom address stamp and the Caricature Address Labels! I can say, they are easy to order from and fast on the shipping. You are sure to be pleased with any purchase from VistaPrint. Love these guys! Because they have been around for so long, you can feel secure in placing an order with them.

Have a great day and Happy Shopping for those special gifts...always custom and personalized is sure to win a smile from that someone special! It shows you put thought into your gift and not an "after" thought!

FREE Art Lesson Videos from my Favorite Art Supply Store!

Hey, any Artists or Creatives out there? Love to try new techniques or freshen up the old ones? :-) Check out Jerry's Artarama's New FREE ART LESSON VIDEO LIBRARY! They have mini Art Lessons from Collage/Stamping/Oil/Watercolor/Acrylic/ and so on. Many Mediums and they are pretty good too! I intend to take in all the FREE and watch them all. It will take a while also because it is quite impressive how many videos they have on there!

Get Busy and Get Creative!

and I Love FREE!
Happy Veteran's Day!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Currently Away at an Art Conference

Just wanted any readers out there to know, that currently I am not at home. I am away in the mountains of Asheville, NC at an Art Conference for Art Teachers of NC.

Today I attended a Seminar on Art Education and one Workshop on Knotting. Both were pretty cool and now I am enjoying FREE Wireless Internet Access and maybe a cup of coffee soon that is in the hotel room. Also, I will take advantage of the FREE Breakfast offered by the hotel.

We (husband and son went along with me) don't have money, so we are taking advantage of lounging in the hotel room while I am not in workshops, etc... We took advantage of the Mall's play space for our son to run around and have his little vacation and all for FREE.

We are looking at this as uninterrupted, stress-free, relaxation. No cooking, No cleaning, No Barking Dog and No Toys to clean up/pick up. Just playing on the internet, watching cable, and that is about it. My son is enjoying a few toys we brought for him, leapster, and some movies we brought. I believe we all needed a little getaway and lounging. Not to mention the mountains are beautiful this time of year with the changing leaves and all. FREE Visual Beauty/Entertainment.

Have a great weekend.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

TV Prices Predicted to Drop?

Well, I can't say any of this for certain, but this morning on my local news...they claimed that due to the economy and low sales...that Flat TVs (LCD) are expected to "plummit" in price in the coming few weeks. For example they (local news) were saying a 32" you will be able to (maybe) get for $400; 42" for $700; and a 50" for as little as $1,000. Sounds good, although, in our house, we do not have even the $400 to spare but if You do...Awesome...hang on to your cash for a couple of weeks and do the "wait and see" game. Naturally, the Holiday season is approaching so I would bet this would be normal even if the economy were better because stores love to give crazy deals during the Christmas Holiday Rush. We can't even afford the good deals this year.

We will be watching our spending this Christmas way more than usual. The list is short and inexpensive this year. No worries because Christmas isn't supposed to be about the gifts and that is great. Still, would be nice to be in a bit better financial standing during the season.

The great news is....Tax Time is Nearing! Ya-hoo! I love Tax Time.

Happy Election Day!

Get out and Vote today if you haven't already! No matter whom you are voting is important you exercise your right to vote! I did Early Voting and I am hoping many of you guys did, especially since it appears the lines today are very long and in my State (NC) it is rainy and ugly to be standing in line...but if that is the way it is where you are...Stand in that line anyways...and is just one day every four years and it is only for a few hours (or less)!

Happy Election Day Everyone and Get out and VOTE!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

I love CVS's online Refill Rx Center!

I had to refill a prescription yesterday. (I have done this before but thought I would share how easy it is, in the event someone out there is nervous to use it.)

At (once you have filled a prescription) you can register and go online in your account and "refill" your prescriptions. It is awesome. You just use the information off the prescription you are refilling and follow directions typing it in. Once you have done will show that it was received and "in-process." You also get to choose the time you want to pick it up! I put 5pm yesterday but didn't make I went this morning when they opened..and it was ready! I love the "no waiting" of online refilling! Also, you don't even have to go IN...just use their "drive-thru" pharmacy! Hardly gets easier than that!

CVS Rocks!