Right now at TILLYS.COM you can take an extra 50-60% off clearance items! I found these cute boots for $14.97, but there were plenty more to choose from! It’s not just boots, either! It’s clothing, accessories, shoes, bed, bath and kitchen items too. Go to Tillys.com and click on the SALE tab at the top. It should list the price of the item, and then if it’s 50 or 60% off of that. The final price shows up when you add it to your cart. Also, they offer free shipping on orders over $30, or use the code HIPSHIP for free shipping no minimum (thank you Colin at Hip2Save.com! That saves $8 in shipping, so go ahead and order that other pair of boots you were eyeing!) It’s like the old Lay’s potato chip commercial – I betcha can’t buy just one!
**UPDATE** Be sure to look at their return policy. It looks like red tag sale items are final sale, and I think that’s what the case would be here. It’s still a great deal!by jrcsparks with No Comments
Have you been dreaming of getting an iphone? Or are you ready to upgrade your dinosaur iphone? Or are your kids begging you for an iphone? Best Buy has the iphone 5C 16 GB for FREE right now with a new 2 year contract or a 2 year contract extension! They have them available for use with Verizon, AT&T and Sprint. I have never seen them offer this for free, even with a new account.They are normally $99 for the 5C and $199 for the 5S. Even the 4S was $50 to upgrade from the 4 with AT&T!
Well, I’ve been debating on whether or not to upgrade my iphone 4, which I’ve had for 2 years now. I’m still happy with my phone, except for the fact that it only has 8 GB of memory, which fills up fast when you save your pictures and videos to your phone. I have dreamed of having SIRI as my friend, but didn’t really want to pay any more money for her. Well, here was my chance! Yes, I’ll have to wait another year and a half to upgrade when they come out with a new version, and they WILL. But I just did it! Apple products rarely go on sale. And my husband just ran his through the washer, and upgraded to the 5S, so I felt like I should be able to too!
You do have to pick them up in-store, and they didn’t have them available at the store closest to me, but I didn’t mind driving a little bit. The website doesn’t say how long this deal is going on, so I would hurry! If you’re able to do it online, I would. The less time you have to spend in the store, the better. If you’re upgrading, all you have to do is put in your current account info, and you’re all set. AT&T does charge a $36 upgrade fee, and so do most other carriers. You take your old phone into the store, and they will transfer your data and contacts, and setup the basics for you. I even noticed when they sent my confirmation e-mail that you can make an appointment to come in and pick up your phone, so they will be “ready” for you. I don’t know how well this works, but it sounds good! The deal sites like Tanga.com, Groupon.com, and Eversave.com, have been having good deals on new Otterbox and other cases for the iphones too, so sign up for their daily emails to find out when they go on sale.by jrcsparks with No Comments
For those of you who have joined in on the very popular Elf on the Shelf tradition, have you run out of ideas yet? Well, with about week left before Christmas, I know I have! I thought I would share some of the adventures our elf “Jolly” has gotten into this year to give you some inspiration.
My daughter just happened to playing with the Mega Blok Barbie beach house that night and left it out when she went to bed. The funny part is that I was just talking to my older daughter earlier about using the beach house for a “Jolly” adventure, but I didn’t want to have to put it all together after the younger one went to bed! Talk about a co-inky-dink! I just took some of the blocks she had put on the roof and made a chair out of them for “Jolly”. Then I arranged the Mega Bloks people in the lounge chairs beside him and in the hot tub. She even noticed that “Jolly” put all the extra bloks that she left out into a nice neat pile!
When we put the angel on the top of the tree, my younger daughter said, “Look! It’s Jolly’s girlfriend!” We had used the angel in one of Jolly’s adventures last year. So that gave me the idea to have Jolly serenade “his girlfriend” for a new adventure.
This is cake left over from my birthday dinner the night before, but you could use any dessert item!
This is a quick idea that my older daughter came up with in the morning after Jolly “forgot” to move the night before. We left the door open so my other daughter could easily find him, but I wouldn’t leave it open all night.
Another quick and easy idea with easy cleanup. Our elf just happens to have a candy cane glued to his hand, so I used it as the stirrer, but you could just use a wooden stirring spoon too.
I had about 2 days notice to find ugly Christmas sweaters for my husband’s work Christmas party this year. After searching 3 thrift stores, I couldn’t find ONE ugly Christmas sweater! Either a lot of people are buying them for parties at the thrift store, or everybody’s hanging onto theirs for future parties! So after searching Pinterest for inspiration, I went back to the thrift store to find plain sweaters I could make ugly. I found this plain green sweater for my husband, and the Santa at the same store. The santa is actually a toilet seat cover (brand new of course) that I just safety pinned to the sweater! It actually got the most votes at the party! Easy!
Now, for mine. I found a plain green sweater for me that kind of curved out at the bottom like a Christmas tree. Then I went to the dollar store and bought some silver tinsel to hot glue to the sweater. I raided my craft closet, and my extra Christmas decorations and ended up gluing these “floral” picks onto the garland, because I thought they looked like holly berries. I hooked these miniature ornaments right through the sweater, and bent the end in so I wouldn’t poke myself. I wanted to add Christmas lights, and I had a few battery powered light strings I thought I could use. Well, half of one out of three ended up working, but I didn’t know how to attach it to the sweater. I didn’t want to glue them on, because I didn’t know if they would still work, and I didn’t know if they would be too heavy to stay on with hot glue. I ended up just putting them around my neck and down the inside of the sweater like a necklace, and tucking the end and battery pack into my pants. You could see a subtle glow through the sweater, but if I had it to do over, I would have bought a cheap lighted necklace and used that. It ended up turning out pretty well, but it definitely was more work than the first sweater. It was also a little bit of a logistical nightmare to wear. The ornaments kept falling off, and some broke. The light string came untucked from my pants a few times too, and they were a little warm against my skin!
For more ideas, check out my Pinterest board, or just do an internet search in general. You’ll find tons of ideas!
Got any of your own Elf on the Shelf or Ugly Christmas Sweater ideas? Leave me a comment and I’ll add them to the post!by jrcsparks with No Comments
Looking for some cheap stocking stuffers for those girls in your life? RiteAid is having a 75% off clearance sale on selected Revlon lipsticks and nail polishes and Sally Hansen nail polish and nail strips! There is also a $2 off Revlon lip product at Coupons.com. You can print 2 per computer! It makes some of the lipsticks 64 cents a piece! They also have a 50% clearance sale on selected artificial nails and nail strips. And, there is a $1 Impress or Kiss nails or nail art coupon here!
Also, if you haven’t already taken advantage of it, they have an offer on several of their nail polishes on sale this week, with an Up Reward you get back for the full price of the product (limit 1)! See the Rite Aid ad for details. If you’re not familiar with the Up Rewards program, it’s basically like getting a store credit back to use within a couple of weeks, similar to Walgreens’ Register Rewards and CVS’ Extra Care Bucks. All you have to do is sign up for their Wellness card, then the credits are automatically loaded to your card. They’er not loaded until the next day, though, so you can’t use them right away. And make sure you use them before they expire! I usually write it on my calendar so I don’t forget.
Claires.com is also having a huge clearance sale, with up to 75% off tons of items! There are lots of jewelry items from $1.29, and lots of One Direction items! You get free shipping with orders of $20 or more, or if you are a member of ShopRunner, which is free now for selected American Express cardholders, or you can get a free trial. Just a note – the Claires.com website says “an extra 75% percent off of items originally priced at $10 or more, but after spending a half-hour on the phone with customer service last night at 11 pm, I discovered that it is just the price shown in your cart. Still a really good deal on lots of items!by jrcsparks with No Comments
Here’s my 2 cents worth on Black Friday: I don’t think you should have to get up at 4 in the morning, or even worse camp out overnight, to save $100 on a tv! I also can’t stand the crowds! Some people have even been trampled to death trying to get in first on Black Friday! This is crazy people! I won’t do it, and I don’t think you should have to either! There ARE other ways to save money on Christmas shopping!
First of all, I have always wondered why the stores have to have all their sales at one time, on one day? Why can’t they spread it out over a few days? Do they really want to have to pay extra staff to handle all those crowds? People can only be in one store at one time, so they’re limiting their customer base. Wouldn’t they want to spread the buying out over a few days or weeks? Well, it seems they have finally come around! This year you’ll notice a lot of Pre-Black Friday specials, starting with Walmart yesterday at 8 am. Other stores are having specials starting Thanksgiving Day. with different specials throughout the day, on Black Friday, and Saturday. Kmart sent an email to shop your way rewards members saying that they would have access online to the Black Friday specials early, at midnight Sunday, Nov. 24, before the public. I assume that means you can actually purchase the items on Sunday online, at the Black Friday special prices. If you’re not a member, sign up! It’s free! I’ve noticed a lot of other stores starting their “Black Friday” prices online early. If you subscribe to your favorite stores email lists, you should get emails about their early sales. Most places are also offering free shipping with a minimum purchase. Don’t forget Amazon too! They have some great prices leading up to Black Friday. They have free shipping on selected items with a minimum purchase of $35!
Many stores have sales throughout the year that are often as low as the Black Friday prices with coupons. Watch the weekly ads in your newspaper, look at their ads online, or subscribe to the newsletters of sites like Hip2Save, Money Saving Mom, or mine (this one!) for great deals and ads with coupon matchups for your favorite stores. While I don’t do the ad and coupon matchups (there are PLENTY of other blogs out there that do that), I will post about great little unadvertised deals and clearance prices you might like to know about. 99% of the coupons I use, I print online. So you don’t have to search through coupon inserts and cut them out. Most sites will let you print 2 of the same coupons per computer.
Ebates, Shopathome, and RetailMeNot, are cashback and online coupon sites that offer all kinds of savings. The cashback sites off a certain percentage of money back in the form of a mailed check when you purchase online with participating retailers. This can be anywhere from 1% to 40%, so if you’re making a big purchase, this could save you quite a bit! They also have printable and online coupon codes for most of their participating retailers. Some are for free shipping!
For those of you who have bought Entertainment Books (I know some of you got talked into buying one for a school fundraiser. I know I did!), check the retail section. There are some in-store coupons and lots of online coupons. When you activate your membership online, you’ll also have access to more coupons you can print out. AND, if you download the Entertainment Book app, it will show you discounts available at stores near you, some being printable and others you can show on your smartphone.
Many stores and restaurants are offering discounts on their gift cards right now. Some are offering bonus gift cards you can use for yourself. Kroger, right now, is offering 4 times the fuel rewards points on gift card purchases. If you’re not familiar with Kroger’s fuel reward system, for every dollar you spend, you earn a point. Once you earn at least 100 points in a month, you can use them for 10 cents off per gallon of gas, up to 35 gallons, at Kroger gas stations. So if you have earned 1,000 points in a month, you can use them for $1 off per gallon! That could be $35 off, if your car can hold that much, or if you have some empty gas cans to fill up! So, you can buy a gift card to give someone as a gift, OR you can buy a gift card to use to purchase your high ticket items at that store, and get bunch back in fuel points!
I personally use all of these methods, and avoid the stores on Black Friday like the plague! I just recently bought myself a new laptop for $229 at Best Buy, and it’s a Toshiba Satellite, not one of the cheap ones! This was a weekly advertised sale, and is comparable to Black Friday prices. I used all of these methods to find any additional discounts. I couldn’t find any, but it was still a really good price. I did forget about the gift card/fuel points scenario, and am kicking myself in the but for it right now! That would have been 80 cents off a gallon!
So, think about all of these ways to save money on your Christmas shopping, whether they’re gifts for someone else or for yourself, and I promise you, you will save money! Don’t fall for the Black Friday hype! Stay at home and shop in your jammies!
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/kathmandu/312160878/”>SPakhrin</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>cc</a>by jrcsparks with No Comments
Just wanted to let you all know that Target has marked down their Halloween clearance to 90% off! The candy and food items are marked 70% off! I was at the Target in Bellbrook/Sugarcreek and the Target Dayton Mall today, and they both had small sections of items left. Not a huge selection of costumes, but lots of accessories, makeup, pet costumes and miscellaneous. The candy they have are the giant trick-or-treat size bags, so in case you didn’t get enough candy last week, this is a really good deal (could be used for holiday parties, winter birthday parties (pinatas), or to donate to your children’s teachers). They had some huge packages of cinnamon and sugar kettle corn ( with 20 individual packages inside) for only $2, and a huge bag of marshmallow covered kettle corn for $1.19, along with Halloween cake mixes, cookie kits, and various other baking items.
In other departments, there is a 2 pack of Puff’s tissues with Christmas packaging that is ringing up at $.29! That’s 90% off! Hurry, before they figure out their mistake and change it back!
I also found some solar landscape lights on clearance for $2.50 a piece, and they weren’t the cheapy looking ones. They were more like columns of metal and glass. Some of mine have broken, or the batteries have died, so I decided to change them out with these. Not a bad price!by jrcsparks with No Comments
Image courtesy of debspoons at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Have you procrastinated on getting your daughter’s Halloween costume again this year? Here is a really cheap and easy solution! Teen Beach Movie is the newest Disney Channel sensation and makes for great costume ideas! My daughter wanted to be a biker girl from the movie, after seeing the movie several times, and seeing the Disney Channel commercial/tutorial on dressing like one of the biker girls from the movie.
All we needed to get was a leather jacket. I decided that the thrift store would be the best place to find one. We lucked out and found one at the first store we went to, and it was “family day” so almost everything was half off! The leather (or pleather) jacket we found had fur trim on the collar and the sleeves, which would not be very appropriate for a beach movie character. Also, the sleeves were a little long. So we (my daughter volunteered to do this part!) carefully took the seam ripper and took the whole collar off the jacket, and took the fur piece off of the collar. I then took the hot glue gun (I wasn’t sure how easy it would be to sew pleather on a sewing machine, plus I’m not that great at it!), and glued the pleather part of the collar back on. You could hand stitch it back on, but it was soooo quick and easy to glue on.
Then, I had her try it on to mark how long I wanted the sleeves to be, leaving about an inch to turn under for a hem. I cut the sleeves off, folded the one inch hem under, and hand-stitched the hem. If you want, you could also use the glue gun here. I just decided to use thread and needle in case she wanted to wear it again next year. Or in case I messed up on the length! Voila! One biker girl jacket!
We needed something to wear under the jacket, and couldn’t quite find anything at the thrift store, so I decided to raid the closets. The colors the bikers wore in the movie were black, white and red, with various geometrical patterns. I found a black and white striped dress that my older daughter had, and just paired it with black leggings for warmth. Add to that some black pleather boots she already had and a scarf (or ponytail holder turned into one), and the outfit was done! If you don’t have the black boots, leggings, or scarf, search the thrift store for those too. You could also add black, fingerless gloves for the full effect (and to keep the hands warm for trick or treat!). Again, THRIFT STORE!! Buy some cheap gloves and cut off the fingers.
All that was left to do was the beehive hairstyle and some eyeliner and lipstick. See the tutorial on the Disney Channel website to see exactly how to do it. But basically just TEASE, TEASE, and TEASE some more, and then spray the heck out of it with hairspray! The makeup is basically a cat eye using eyeliner and a bright lipstick.
If you don’t like this idea, or have a boy you need a costume for, or need a costume for yourself, check out my costumes board on Pinterest. If you’re not a member, sign up NOW! It’s FREE! You don’t know what you’ve been missing!
The Dollar Tree is also a great place to visit to get inspiration and cheap accessories to build an outfit around. Things like fake guns and swords, feather boas, shower caps, etc., can all be found there! Go crazy! It’s all a dollar!
Here is a cute and easy cupcake idea for Halloween I found on Pinterest (again, people, SIGN UP! NOW!), and decided to try out for my daughter’s girl scout Halloween Party. I just used a box red velvet cake mix (you could use any cake mix you have really), some canned cream cheese frosting (again, whatever kind you have), and some m & m’s or other brightly colored round candies. Follow the directions on the box and bake the cupcakes. Easy, right? Let them cool completely (at least a couple of hours), or your frosting will run everywhere. Put your frosting in a cake decorating bag with a flat tip. If you don’t have one, you can also just use a plastic sandwich baggie, and cut off the tip. Basically, you just frost stripes in different directions across the cupcake, to look like the mummy’s bandages, until it’s mostly covered. Oh, first put the m & m’s down for the eyes, so the frosting stripes (mummy bandages) look like they’re going over the eyes. And your done! And how cute are these???!!!
Hurry on over to Walgreens for an excellent deal on the Sonicare AirFloss! These electric flossers actually use water, not air, to floss your teeth. I have a Sonicare toothbrush, and have been wanting to try the AirFloss, but it was so expensive! These regularly sell for about $90 and were marked down to $45.99 at my local Walgreens! There were only about 3 on the shelf so hurry! If you have access to a printer, there is also a $15 off coupon on the Phillips Sonicare website, making them $31!!!
Dollar General is taking 90% off their summer items, such as swim floats, goggles, snorkel sets, summer toys, and swim diapers (50¢ a package!). They’re also taking 70% off select household and garden items! Hurry, though, as these deals won’t last!by jrcsparks with No Comments
It’s almost Halloween, so you should start thinking about Christmas! Kmart is taking an additional 50% off their toy clearance! If you haven’t started your Christmas shopping yet, now’s the time! My Kmart had a huge section of toy clearance, including Baby Alive dolls, Monster High and Bratz dolls, and even toys for boys! The section was not in the toy department, but a few aisles down in the housewares. If you don’t see it, be sure to ask.
They also have a big selection of sandals and flip-flops on clearance for women and children. The flip-flops start at 99¢ (and not just for the basic ones!), and the sandals start at $2.99! Now’s the time to buy for next summer. If you’re a shop your way rewards member, you may find a $10 back in points when you spend $50 digital coupon on kmart’s website.
Image courtesy of Tina Phillips at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Looking for something cheap or even FREE to do this weekend or next in the Dayton/Cincinnati area? I gotcha covered! There are an abundance of fall festivals and events going on the next few weekends, and we should have some beautiful weather to enjoy them! Here are just a few that caught my eye:
11th Annual Chocolate Festival Sept. 28 10am-5pm
-Montgomery County Fairgrounds Coliseum Dayton, OH. Bouncy house for kids, chocolate samples, live entertainment and vendors.
Smithsonian Museum Day Sept. 28
Free Admission for 2 at selected museums throughout the U.S. See the website to search for your local area and for details on getting tickets. Boonshoft Museum of Discovery, Sunwatch Indian Village, and Carillon Historical Park are among the Dayton area participating museums!
Springboro Pointe Fall Festival Sept. 28 11am-3pm
-Springboro Pointe Shopping Center Springboro, OH. Free Pizza, cotton candy, popcorn, face painting, games, inflatable slides, dancing, singing and karate demos. (Bring soda or water to drink. In the past no one has given out drinks!)
Dayton Art Institute Oktoberfest Sept. 27(preview party), 28-29
-Dayton Art Institute Dayton, OH. Beer and wine, family-friendly art activities (noon-6 Sat. & Sun.), big screen tvs in tents for football watching and live music. Tickets are $7/adult and $5/senior or child over 6. Children 6 and under are free. Save $2/ticket by purchasing in advance. See website for ticketing locations.
Learning Tree Farm Autumn Fest Sept. 28 10am-4pm
-Learning Tree Farm Dayton/Miamisburg, OH. Free admission and activities such as hay rides, pony rides, & face painting. There will be exhibitors, quilting, spinning, gardening, bee keeping and demonstrations of sheep herding, sheep shearing, blacksmith.
Applefest Sept. 28 10am-7pm
-Downtown Lebanon, OH. Free admission. Crafts, food and entertainment (fees may apply).
Germantown Pretzel Fest Sept. 29 noon-6pm
-Veterans Memorial Park, Germantown, OH
Midwest Outdoor Experience Oct. 4-5
-Eastwood MetroPark Dayton, OH. See website for schedule of events and hours. Various outdoor activities to try such as ziplining, geocaching, climbing, camping, slackline, fly fishing, biking, dog competitions and play area, live music and beer garden. Sounds like a lot of fun!
Cider Fest Oct. 5-6
-Hidden Valley Fruit Farm Lebanon, OH
Do you know of any free or cheap events going on in the area over the next two weekends? Leave me a comment, and I’ll add them to the list!
Spring Valley Potato Festival Oct. 5-6
- Spring Valley, OH
*Thanks Chrissy for suggesting the Germantown Pretzel Fest and the Spring Valley Potato Festival!by jrcsparks with 2 Comments