Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Do Coupons Really Save You Money?

In the US, there are countless stories of how people drastically cut their grocery bills by using coupons.  Unfortunately, in Canada, we can't get the same results with couponing.  But we still can benefit from using coupons.

The other day, I went shopping and combined some coupons with sales.  I came home with this stash:

Had I bought all these items, at the sale price without coupons and my Checkout51 App on my phone, this would have cost me $17.50.  Again, keep in mind, that is the sale price of most of these items, so if I bought them at regular price it would have been more.  

My Total:


Both of the deodorants and two of the air fresheners were completely Free with my coupons.  All the other items were extremely discounted with coupons.

I did pay $9.00 upfront, but get three back from the cashback rebate program, Checkout51.  To use Checkout51 all you do is upload your receipt and check off the offers you want to take advantage of.  Once you get to $20 you can cash out and they will send you a cheque in the mail.  I got my first check two weeks ago. ;)

When I posted this picture on my Facebook and played a game called "Guess how much I paid for this?"  one of my friends asked me if I regularly bought these items.  That is a very good question.  My answer is YES.  

If you want to save money, do NOT use coupons on things you wouldn't normally buy!  That is NOT saving you money.  The picture above are all products either I or my husband use on a regular basis.

Using your coupons in combination with the weekly sales and mobile cashback apps will dramatically increase your savings.

It takes time to get into the "coupon" groove. At first it can seem really time consuming. I have been couponing for awhile now, but only in the past 6 months or so have I really learned how to get the most out of my coupons.  It still does take time, but not as much as it did in the beginning.  And for me, that time is worth it because it helps with our tight budget.

For many, a big concern is that a lot of coupons are for processed food.  While that is true, I am seeing more and more coupons for health products which even include produce.  I often use coupons for items such as milk, coffee, toothpaste, bread, laundry detergent,  etc.  So while you may see common coupons for things you may not want to buy for your family like pizza pockets, there are many coupons out there that can be used for staples that your family stocks up on.

What about for those of you, who are like me, don't like to be "THAT SHOPPER."  You know, the crazy, couponing, price-matching, money saving lady.  Well, I always try to shop at slower times, and often I will make a joke to the cashier that "I'm sorry, but i am the crazy lady with the coupons."  They usually laugh and then the cashier isn't giving me that annoyed look. ;)  But actually, if you are organized, most cashiers don't mind.

And on the other hand, we shouldn't feel bad about wanting to save money for our families.

I share some of my favorite coupon sites and cashback apps in THIS POST.

Do you use coupons?  Have they helped you save money on your grocery bill?

Peace & Love. :)

Monday, April 27, 2015

Fried Egg and Sweet Potato Hash

Do you have a meal you just love to make and eat over and over again for days on end because you love it so much, but then one day you make something different and you forget about that meal you were crazy about for months?

And then one day, right out of the blue, you remember that meal.

And you have to have it.


This is that meal for me.

Healthy, delicious, and easy to make.  It's my go-to meal when I make the kids peanut butter sandwiches for lunch and I want some "mom" food.

Well, it WAS my go-to meal.

Until I forgot about it.  And just left it behind like it meant nothing to me.  For months on end.

It's okay, delicious fried egg and sweet potato hash, I'm here to rekindle our fire.

Here's how I make this yummy meal.

1 Egg
Sweet potato ( I use about half a potato for myself, but whatever your preference)
Garlic powder
Frank's Red Hot Sauce

1.  Grate your sweet potato.
2.  Fry it up in a bit of oil.  Sprinkle some garlic powder, salt, and pepper on it.  Cook until it starts to brown, but watch carefully.  This stuff turns on you very quickly and before you know it, you'll have burnt sweet potato.  yuck.
3.  Near the end of it's cooking time, push it to the side of your big frying pan and crack your eggs in it.  I like to make my eggs over easy so the yolk is still runny.   I think it makes the dish taste better. ;)

4.  Once it's done cooking, put your potatoes on the plate, mix in some chopped cilantro, and put the egg on top.
5.  Drizzle some Frank's Red Hot sauce over your egg and potato.
6. EAT! :)

By the way, Can I just take this moment to say, whoever created Frank's Red Hot Sauce is my hero? I mean, I am guessing it was someone named Frank....but that stuff is amazing!

Well, I know what I'm having for lunch today!

Peace & Love. ;)

Friday, April 24, 2015

Printables for Home Management

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.  If you decide to purchase the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle at the bottom of the page, I do make a small commission.

Most moms will agree that life is chaotic and busy and that any way that we can be more organized helps us get through our day.  I am a big fan of printables that help me manage my family's life.  

For the most part my favorite planner is called The Well-Planned Day.  I ordered it last Summer after standing on the fence for awhile on whether I was willing to spend the money on a planner or not.  I was not disappointed! Great for homeschooling and daily life. I have kept better track of my bills with this planner.  I will be ordering another one this year.  You can get one too over HERE.

I've compiled a list of some of the many printables floating around on the internet to help you organize your beautiful, chaotic life!

Daily Schedules
Large Family Logistics Daily Schedule
Daily Schedule at The Busy Budgeting Mama
Planning my Day Schedule at Just a Girl and Her Blog

Cleaning Schedules
Cleaning Schedule at Uncommon Designs Online
House Cleaning Schedule at Making Home Base
Clean House Schedule at DIY Home Sweet Home

Meal Planning
Weekly Meal Plan, Here-at Tie Dye Lemonade :)
Cook This at Scrimpalicious
What's For Dinner? at Hello, Cuteness!

Grocery Lists
Grocery List at Suburban Moms
Grocery Shopping List at A Spark of Creativity
The Ultimatest Grocery List at The Grocery List Collection

Monthly Family Budget at Raining Hot Coupons
Monthly Budget Worksheet at The Budget Mama
Monthly Budget at Strawberry Mommycakes

Chore Charts for Kids
Kids Chore Chart at Pinch a Little Save-A-Lot
Let's Get it Done at Hello, Cuteness!
My Chores at Somewhat Simple

And if you are looking for some more guidance and help on Homemaking, The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle is on sale this week for only $29.97.  It contains 100 ebooks, ecourses, and bonuses.  It also includes printables. But this sale ends on Monday, so hurry on over to get it now!

Peace & Love. :)

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Bathroom Makeover on a Budget

I've mentioned before on my blog that I don't really have an eye for home decor.  Our house is like a hundred years old, and some of the rooms make you wonder if it is the same decor from back then. ;)

However, I recently have had more of a desire to add some "spark" into this little old house.  And painting is the easiest and cheapest way.  Here's how I recently updated my bathroom.

I hadn't touched the bathroom paint since we moved in 5 years ago.  It is actually one of the better rooms in the house, so it wasn't on my radar to "fix".  However, it is pretty small which means it would be a nice, easy project to start before I moved on to the other rooms.

Yeah, i took the picture AFTER I put the painter's tape up, but you get the idea.

I had a limited budget, and still spent more than I wanted to on the bathroom, but it wasn't too bad.  I bought one of those small, 1 quart, cans of paint.  I knew the bathroom was small, and I was determined to stretch it! :)  I did use the paint and primer-all in-one type this time, first time ever, and let me tell you, I am converted!!!  No more separate primer for me!

I bought the shower curtain at Giant Tiger for $8.00 which is more than I usually pay for a shower curtain.  I often buy them at the dollar store, but I couldn't find a purple curtain in any of the dollar stores.  

The mirror.'s duct tape. :)  I don't know how long it will hold up, but for now, it makes me happy.  The flowers are just the tissue paper flowers I made HERE, and I used a glue gun to attach them to the corners.  I did see a lot of tutorials online on how to add a frame to a builder's mirror though, so if you want to go that route, just search online and you will find many tutorials.

The pictures on the wall are frames I bought from the dollar store awhile back. I made the printables online and printed them out. :)  

The hooks in this picture is our homemade towel and toothbrush rack.  Awhile ago we made it and I just repainted it to match the bathroom now.  All we did was take a piece of wood, bought hooks and knobs at the Habitat for Humanity Re-store, drilled them into the wood, and there you go. ;)  The small mason jar is held on by some kind of plumber's ring.  I think it is called a compression ring but don't quote me on that.  I am considering painting the toothbrush jar white, but I can't decide.  What do you think?  White or clear jar?

So there you have it.  I've officially gotten my feet wet in giving one of the rooms a makeover.  This room is so bright and makes me happy, I may lock myself in there a little longer than usual from now on.  But really, who am I kidding? The kids will still be knocking at the door every few minutes. 

Peace & Love. :)

Monday, April 20, 2015

Cheap, Cheaper, and Cheapest Ways to Save Money

Sometimes it can feel overwhelming to find ways to save money.  We've all seen the articles that give us the basic ways to save money:  turn down the heat and wear a sweater, don't go out to eat, and buy secondhand.  But life can get busy, overwhelming, and complicated.  And sometimes there isn't a once size fits all.  Sometimes we are in a season of life where going through the drive thru to feed the kids may be the only way we can get through the day after rushing around and having a van full of tired, cranky, hungry kids.  But just because we can't make the biggest money saving choice doesn't mean we can't do what we can where we are.  Here are some tips on how to save even a little bit.

1.  You are out and really need a beverage.  

Cheap:  Go to the dollar store and buy a beverage.
Cheaper:  Go to the grocery store and buy a pack of juiceboxes
Cheapest:  Bring your water bottle wherever you go. :)

2.  You stayed out longer then intended and you AND your kids are all getting a serious case of "HANGER."

Cheap:  Go to a cheap pizza place.  We get two pizzas at Little Ceasar's for $5.99 each.   That means 12 dollars feeds our whole family for a meal.
Cheaper:  Go to the grocery store and get some crackers and apples to tide you all over until you get home and can make a proper dinner.
Cheapest:  Munch on snacks like nuts and crackers that you have stashed in the van for emergencies just like this.

3.  You need a piece of furniture for your house.

Cheap:  Wait for an awesome sale at a local budget store.
Cheaper:  Buy one secondhand, either from a thrift store or from a site like
Cheapest:  Put the word out on Facebook and with friends to see if anyone has an extra one lying around they want to sell or even give away. :)

4.Your family is going on a vacation and you need accommodation.
Most often than not, our tent trailer is our go-to for vacation accommodations.

Cheap:  Book your hotel on a budget site such as Priceline or Hotwire.
Cheaper:  Go camping.
Cheapest:  Stay with friends or relatives while you vacation.

5.   You have a tight budget this week for groceries.  You need to get the most bang for your buck.

Cheap:  Shop the sales from the weekly flyers.
Cheaper: plan out your weekly menu, making sure to pick meals around what you have in your pantry and what is on sale that week.
Cheapest:  Menu plan according to the flyer sales and what you have in your pantry, as well as using coupons AND price matching.

6.  Your living room is in desperate need of a new coat of paint.

Cheap:  Buy the paint when it is on sale.
Cheaper:  Look for a "mistinted" can of paint that stores often sell for very low prices.  You may get lucky and even find the exact shade you were hoping for!
Cheapest:  Save all your Canadian tire money you earned from getting gas at their gas station and buy your can of paint with that!

As you can see, there isn't only one way to save money.  If you can't go all out to save on an item, it doesn't mean you have to pay full price!  Sometimes there is some room somewhere in the middle.

Peace & Love. :)

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Mini Crab Stuffed Pitas

I love crab.  and most kinds of seafood.  Sushi is my favorite.  But it wasn't always that way.

Years ago, when my husband and I were dating, he decided that with his parents, he would take me to my favorite restaurant.  So I expected to go to my favorite restaurant, which is called The Mongolian Grill.  You can imagine my surprise when we drove into Red Lobster.  Somehow during our conversations about food and restaurant, I said "I've never been to Red Lobster" which my husband heard "It's my favorite restaurant."

So I ordered a dish I hated as I didn't really like seafood at that time, but didn't want to be rude so I barely touched it and had it packed up stating that I just wasn't that hungry all of a sudden.

I don't think I've ever been to Red Lobster since.

But I have acquired a taste for seafood.  Actually...I LOVE it.  And if you love it too, go and make these cute little mini crab stuffed pitas.  Cause anything mini is more fun. ;)

Disclaimer;  The crab I use is the artificial crab.  As much as I would love the real crab, this stuff is easier on the budget. :)


Ranch dressing
Chopped tomatoes
Mini pitas

Chop up the crab and mix it with some ranch dressing.  Sprinkle salt and pepper on them.  Slice open your absolutely adorable pitas.  Stuff them with some of the crab mixture and chopped tomatoes and sprinkle with cheese.  Serve and enjoy!!

Peace & Love! :)

Monday, April 13, 2015

DIY Spring Burlap Bunting

I don't want to jinx it, but I think Spring might actually be here.  This is Canada though, so I can't put it past the weather to throw another ice storm or snowfall at us.  I told my husband to take the snow tires off, and then I told him if it snowed after that it would definitely be his fault. ;)

Nonetheless, it was time to change out my Easter decorations for some basic Spring decorations.  I really wanted to make a Spring bunting out of burlap.  So if you want one too, follow along to find out how to make your own Spring burlap bunting!

The supplies you will need:

Freezer paper
Hemp Cord (or string of some type)
Silhouette, cricut, or an exact-o knife if you don't have a cutting machine
White acrylic paint
Sponge paintbrush
Glue gun

First thing you want to do is cut out a triangle template out of a piece of paper.  Use that template to cut out your burlap.  I wanted to spell Spring so I needed 6 triangles of burlap.

After this I modpodged both sides of the burlap.  This prevents the burlap from fraying and also stiffens it.  At first I was a little panicky because it didn't seem like the modpodge was drying clear, but I left it overnight and by morning it was perfectly fine.  So give it time to dry.

The next step was to use my glue gun, fold over the top of the triangles around my hemp cord, and glue it on.  I made sure to leave lots of extra string on both sides of the bunting.  I also cut the excess burlap off once I folded over the top so it wasn't sticking out on the sides.

Then I used my silhouette to cut out stencils from freezer paper for the word "SPRING".  If you don't have  silhouette you can just use an exact-o knife.  It will take longer, but it will work.  I ironed the freezer paper unto the burlap.

After that I painted the acrylic paint over the stencil.  I used more of a dabbing motion rather than stroking because I didn't want the paint to run underneath the stencil.

Let that dry for a bit, and then peel the freezer paper off of the bunting.  Hang where you want!

If you want a copy of that printable in the middle of the shelf, I found it over HERE.

Peace & Love! :)

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Glade Coupon- Buy 1, get 2 FREE!

There is a fantastic coupon available over at  Buy one Glade Aerosol or Ultra and get 2 FREE!!!  Last time I bought these air fresheners they were a dollar at Walmart.  So head on over and grab this awesome coupon if you are an air freshener user!! :)  Click HERE to get it.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

DIY Rubber Boot Flower Pot

Do you ever look at your child's feet in rubber boots and wonder how a chunk of rubber can look so adorable?  Oh man....little feet in rubber boots leave me completely undone....

Photo Cred: Liza Carew

See how cute his little feet are??  I totally can't pull that off.  See?
Photo cred: Liza Carew
I totally don't have the same cutness factor...even with the exact SAME boots.

So, yeah, I'm weirdly attached to my kids' rubber boots.  Which means I don't like to get rid of them.  So I decided to upcycle one of my children's rubber boots into a flower pot.

The boot was cute on my child's foot, but the Ninja Turtles didn't really go with my decor.  

So I spray painted it.  And added flowers.  I bought these flowers this past weekend which was Easter weekend.  Selection was slim and prices were I wasn't too happy with my choice.  Maybe next batch of flowers that enter this house will look a little better.  Maybe some rainbow coloured daisies??   I will say though, it's amazing how much cuter these flowers look in the rubber boot than they did in the pot!

What about you?  Are you attached to your children's boots?

Peace and Love! :)

Monday, April 6, 2015

Sweet Red Pepper and Caper Quinoa Salad

It took me a really long time to learn how to say "quinoa."  I spent most of the time saying, "you know, that grain that's like rice...."

It's not even a grain.  It's a seed.  So apparently I didn't even have that part right.

For those interested, Quinoa is pronounce "Keen-Wa."  Sounds like something from Star Wars, in my opinion.

But, moving on....

I love quinoa salads.  Cold's so delicious, and you feel good after eating it because it's so healthy.  And there are so many different ways to make it.  Here is the most common way I make quinoa salad.

I make quinoa in the rice cooker. Once a friend of mine wondered why people owned a rice cooker if you could do the same thing on the stove, and rice is relatively easy to make.  I told her it was for people like me who successfully ruin rice on the stove every SINGLE time.

I also lit two kettles on fire on the stove, but that is a story is for another day.  Clearly I have problems working my stove.

Anyways, making quinoa in the rice cooker is so, so easy.  two cups of water, 1 cup of quinoa, push the cook button and BANG! You've got yourself some perfect quinoa.

After that, I throw it in the fridge and let it get nice and cold.

Then, I add some of my favorite ingredients.

Now not only do you have a delicious recipe for quinoa, but you will be able to pronounce it properly! :)

Peace & Love. ;)

Friday, April 3, 2015

The day the earth shook

Easter weekend.

It's here.

Today is Good Friday.  The day when Jesus was crucified.  The day He made the ultimate sacrifice for us.  For our children, for our spouses.  For me.

For ME.

Oh, how He loves you and me.  Will we ever understand just how much?  Will we ever be able to comprehend how much He cares for us?  That He would lay down his life....

That someone would lay down their life for ME.

I curl up on the couch, Bible open,  reading every word about that last supper.  Trying to picture what those last moments were like.  I read about Pilates, about the they yelled "Barabbas" instead of Jesus when given a choice to pardon a man.  I read about how they whipped Jesus before His crucifixion, and I feel my stomach tie itself into knots as images play out in my mind.

Today, we remember.  We acknowledge.  We pause to think about His death on the cross. Because no chocolate bunny can come close to the love we were shown that Good Friday so long ago.  No pastel coloured jelly bean could fill us the way Jesus does.  Not. Even. Close.

The struggle.  The walk to Calvary.  The blood that was shed for us.

And for a moment, the skies were dark, the hope was lost....

Until three days later.

The tomb.  The stone rolled away.  The EMPTY tomb!  Hope has returned!


May you and your family have a blessed Easter. May you fall at HIS feet in awe at HIS indescribable gift.  May you feel His deep, deep love.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

How to Curl Hair with Rags

I love curls!!!   And I seriously can't get enough of little girls in curls.  The way their hair bobs when they twirl adorable!  Here is how to curl hair with rags.

First, find an old bed sheet.  Cut it up into strips you can tie around the hair.  My strips were probably about 1 1/2 inches wide and 6 inches long.  I cut about 20 strips.

Then, go and find a super cute model.

Yep, she'll do. :)

Make sure the hair is damp.  Then I like to separate the top layer with an elastic.

Next, grab a section of hair. Take the very end of the hair and wrap it around the middle of a rag strip  couple of times.

Now, roll the hair up to the head.

Tie it up.  One knot will do, you don't need to double knot it.  

Now do that to the whole head.  
(there may have been a little brother who really wanted to be in the picture as well. :))

Side note:  How come kids can pull off anything?  I mean, that kid could go outside with rags in her hair and people would still think she was adorable.  If I go out with rags in my hair I would get some strange looks and possibly some people whispering to their kids to "stay away from the crazy lady."

Sleep on the rag curls.  Which are actually pretty comfortable.  Take them out in the morning.  Run your hand through the hair gently.  And there you go!  That is how to curl  hair with rags!  Now go, curl your hair, your child's hair, even your dog's hair! :)

Clearly someone thinks she's a movie star with all the sunglasses she wears....inside the house because one can never be too careful.

Peace & Love! :)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...