Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Fun on a Budget Friday Tuesday Edition

Happy Tuesday rockers! Last time I promised that I would talk about ways we save money when we take our little rockers in training with us on our adventures. These are the trips that take a little more planning. Usually, us adults can go without a thing or two throughout a day, but I know (mom of three here) that's not always the case with the kids. Alright, we've already established ways to get free tickets. We've also covered a few simple ways to keep your day or night out reasonably cheap. Remember, the old tips still apply here, we're just dealing with a few extra needs. The packing list: Sweaters, because even in August it can get chilly at night. We also use them to sit on when we have lawn seats since we aren't always allowed to bring in a blanket (Thanks, Ozzy). Ear plugs, because hello, they're children and I'd like them to keep their hearing for as long as possible. Rocker in Training cards. These are just cards I print up ahead of time with every adults phone number on them, just in case we get separated. Luckily, we've never needed them, but all the kids know that if we do get separated, they are to find a security guard and hand them the piece of paper to call us. I list every one's number because you never know who will have cell service. Also, these little cards are small enough to slip into their shoes if they don't have any pockets. Mom's purse list: I don't normally carry a purse at all, but concert days are where I make an exception. I use a small backpack type purse so my hands are free at all times to hold precious little hands. Usually I keep a few band aids, Tylenol, sun block, bug repellent, hand sanitizer, glow sticks and a deck of cards. The glow sticks are great because I can keep track of the kids in the dark and they have something to play with. It's also cheaper to buy a pack at the dollar store instead of paying up to five bucks each at the event. The deck of cards also keeps them busy in between bands. MOM I'M HUUUNGRY!! Yeah, you've been there, right? Remember to plan on bringing snacks for the road to avoid the drive through. Some standards for us are popped popcorn, crackers, dry cereal, cookies and breads from Baking Day, and some fruit. Don't run out and buy $40 extra dollars worth of junk when you probably have some things that will do for the day. About the only thing extra we buy are water bottles, which we hang onto for inside the venue and on the way home. As far as a drink for the road, we just fill reusable bottles from home with water, tea, or even Kool aid. If we have them, we'll freeze juice boxes too. If we need to, I'll also make some sandwiches for a tail gate lunch before we head inside. MOM I'M STIIILLL HUUUNGRY!! Once you're inside the event there is no going back. Always check beforehand to see what they will allow you to bring in. I can't stress this one enough. Rules will vary, but I always pack each person a one gallon baggie of allowed snacks. Then, all of those baggies go into one of those extra extra large Ziplock bags. Everything that isn't factory sealed must be viewable, so these bags are great. I stay away from perishables since ice chests are a no no most of the time anyway. Usually we all get a PB&J sandwich, some jerky or a beef stick, some cheesy sandwich crackers, cookies or breads, hard candies and as many bottles of water that the place allows. In the past we've also taken shelf stable dips in plastic containers (the kind that you don't need to refrigerate until after opening) with chips and crackers. Why do we go through all of the trouble of packing and lugging all of this stuff with us? Because for a family of five, at one of these shows, we would be spending at least $40 for one meal and one bottle of water for each of us. At an all-day festival that amount could easily triple. Sure, we usually will break down and get the kids an order of garlic fries or nachos to share, and sometimes even a slushy, but we always determine our budget ahead of time and stick to it. The money we save allows us to see more shows! Please don't think we eat like this daily. We generally eat pretty healthy, but concert days are a special treat, and if eating beef jerky for dinner allows us the chance to have some family mosh time, we're OK with that. There's a couple extras that I almost forgot. Save all those outer baggies if they don't get too mangled. We've been using the same ones for two seasons. Not the small ones that had the actual sandwiches in them, but the ones that carried those baggies. Also, freeze some water bottles and keep them in a small cooler in the car along with a few extra snacks for on the way home...just in case you hear MOM, I'M HUNGRY (again) before they pass out in the back seat. Finally, remember a couple blankets and pillows for when that time comes :) Until next time, rock on my friends!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Checking In

Hey rockers, I just wanted to check in really quick to let you know I haven't forgotten about you. I apologize for not posting during the last few days. Our family got slammed with a tragedy this week and we've all been trying to cope. Don't worry, Hubby and the kids are all ok. As for baking day this morning, I only baked up one batch of Latte Bars and a few loaves of banana bread for the week. Really not worthy of a picture :) Again I apologize, guys. I'll be back on Monday for regular posting. Have a great rest of your weekend, and as always, Until next time, rock on my friends!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Concert Binder

Happy Wednesday Rockers! I'm a big time binder lovin' girl. I have a binder for just about everything. Seriously, it's nuts. I have one for Christmas, camping, recipes, coupons, the household budget, gift giving, and this lovely little Crazy Concert Crew binder. Alright, alright, I know that chasing concerts isn't for everyone, but you can nickname your own binder depending on your own hobby.
The record setting 2007 concert season was the reason for this little beauty. See, we hit 18 concerts that year. Some of them with up to 10 kids between everyone. We had an absolute blast, but repetitive list making and direction getting got real old, real quick.
At some point I thought it would be useful to make a reference book of sorts, to keep track of it all and something that traveled well, that I could just grab and go. I started by dividing the binder with tabs marking the different venues we'd already been to. Here's a little list of what's in each tab section:
Directions to and from the venue.
The phone number to the venue.
Ticket purchase information.
Parking charges if any.
The number for the local taxi company. Hey, better safe than sorry! You may come across someone that needs it, even if you don't.
Print out of the seating chart
A list of items you are and aren't allowed to bring in with you.
Little side notes of interest, like local camp grounds, gas stations, restaurants, or if there is a serious lack of these things. Really, one of the venues in my book has a note that says "Get gas at the crazy expensive gas station in town if you need it because you'll run out before you get to the next one 30 minutes up the road." Another one says, " Remember, there are two parking lot H's here. Pay attention!"
In the first few pages of the binder I have our packing lists. The "bare essentials" list is, of course, much shorter than the "rocking with kids" list, but it was important to separate the two for quick reference. I also added a reminder page for things like checking the oil and spare tire, and not to forget to let the cat out. Then, for fun, I added a couple empty pages from an old photo album as a safe place to quickly put ticket stubs and other little souvenirs you pick up along the way.
Finally in the front pocket is where I keep the tickets for the current event, a phone card, road side assistance info, any coupons we may need and few emergency dollars. After all, at the end of a long heavy metal night, we all just want to get home safe, right?
Since keeping my concert binder for quick reference works for me, I thought maybe it was worth sharing no matter what your favorite adventures are.
Don't forget to go check out Works For Me Wednesdays over at We are THAT Family.
Until next time, rock on my friends!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Menu Plan Monday 4/19/10

I hope everyone had a great weekend. We had awesome weather in my part of the world all weekend, and got to visit a bit with friends and family. We have a busy week here in the Headbangin' Household so I'm planning quick and easiness so I can keep my sanity and stay on budget. I can't blow it now....we are way too close to concert season!
Monday is baked chicken, baked potatoes and steamed carrots. I love when I can throw and go!
Tuesday is "Clean the fridge soup" and Honey Oat bread from baking day. Basically, I'll throw the leftover chicken and veggies from Monday into the crock pot with whatever other veggies are in the fridge and freezer that need using along with some broth. I'll add a couple handfuls of pasta in about a half an hour before dinner and call it done.
Wednesday will be breakfast burritos and Apple Salad. This is seriously one of my favorite salads. I honestly cannot remember where I got the recipe from and I don't measure any more, but it's just a few chopped apples, a handful of chopped walnuts, a handful of raisins or dried cranberries, and a cup of your favorite flavor yogurt. Raspberry is a favorite around here.
Thursday We will be trying out Taco Pasta because it looked and sounded delicious over at Org Junkie the other week, and I just can't wait any more.
Friday looks like it'll be a grilled ham and cheese sandwich with Baked JoJo Potatoes kind of night.
Saturday I'll make a big pot of spaghetti with a salad, so that
Sunday can be leftovers aka anything night.
Breakfasts this week are cream of wheat, Baked Peanut Butter Oatmeal, Banana Carrot muffins, cereal and peanut butter toast.
Lunches are sandwiches, baked sweet potatoes, and pizza cups from baking day
Desserts are Fruit Cocktail cake, ice cream and strawberry shortcake. We would have had Latte Bars, too, except that batch from baking day are totally gone. I can't wait to make more!
Are you having trouble planning your menu for the week? Check out Organizing Junkie for hundreds of menu plan ideas!
Until next time, rock on my friends!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Baking Day 4/17/10

Happy Saturday everyone! There's nothing like the sound of Harleys and Slipknot on a Saturday morning! We had an awesome surprise visit from my brother and parents who rode down this morning. Here's what I got done for the week...
The pan that is already half eaten was the new recipe to try this week. They are Latte Bars and they are awesome! I didn't put the pecans in, added a couple dashes of cinnamon, and sprinkled the chocolate chips on top instead of mixing them in. I really should have made two pans. They were easy enough to be an everyday recipe, but taste fancy enough to add to the Christmas list.
Next was a double batch of Fruit Cocktail Cake. Do you remember the cuppa-cuppa cake that Dolly Parton talks about in Steel Magnolias? It's that cake.
I also made the usual Peanut Butter Baked Oatmeal to freeze for the week. The kids just love the stuff. There's a batch of their favorite Banana Carrot Muffins, Honey Oat Casserole Bread, and some pizza cups that I threw together using my favorite pizza crust recipe and random leftovers in the fridge. As always, I tossed in some sweet and regular potatoes while everything else baked to reheat throughout the week.
That's all folks! It's an absolutely gorgeous day out, so I'm going to get out back and plant a few things in the garden. I hope you all have a great rest of your weekend!
Until next time, rock on my friends!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Fun On A Budget Friday 4/16/10

Happy Friday! We all need a little fun from time to time, right? Friday seems like the perfect time to talk about fun. So, how in the heck can you afford to have fun when you're living paycheck to paycheck? Let me throw in my two cents! Last week we talked about ways to get you to events for free. Since we all know that getting your tickets is only the first step, what about the rest of the trip? Tip number one: Car pool! If we have a group of people going with us, we always, always try to squeeze into as few cars as legally possible. That way the cost of gas and parking fees can be divided up accordingly. We usually save up our recycling money for part of our "concert fund" throughout the year. Then, I'll toss in any rebate or survey money I earn and before we know it, we've got a few tanks of gas saved up and ready for the next adventure! Tip number two: Try to avoid the drive through. Chances are you'll know about your upcoming outing for a while before you're leaving. (This doesn't always happen in my world, but I'll talk more about spontaneous adventures later). Plan on packing your meals, drinks and snacks for the road. Also, call ahead to find out what you are allowed to bring into the venue. This will limit your trips to the over priced concession stands. I have a concert coming up in a few weeks that I'll use as an example. I already have the tickets. I've got the recycling ready to cash in this weekend for gas and parking. This is an indoor show, and I've called the arena to find out what foods and drinks we can bring in. Nothing. Oh lovely joy! That's alright, we've been down this road before. I'm making ice and storing it in empty bread bags that I've saved so we can pack a small ice chest. I don't like taking perishables, but cold drinks are always nice. If we have soda, I'll pack it. If not, I'll make some iced tea. We'll fill a couple Big Gulp cups we've saved for the road and pack extra in an empty water jug. Chances are, I'll throw in a few beers for the guys. Don't forget to pick your sober driver ahead of time!! For snacks, I'll pop some popcorn, bag up some cookies from Baking Day, and throw in whatever nuts or crackers are in the pantry. This is an evening show, so I'm expecting that we'll eat dinner before we leave, but if all hell breaks loose, plan B is to heat up a couple homemade hot pockets to eat on the road. The only thing we should have to buy inside the arena will be a beverage. The main point I'm trying to make is that it won't cost us a fortune to have a great time. I won't blow the household budget because I've planned ahead. I won't blow the grocery budget, either, because I'll shop at home first, and make do with what we already have. It won't be fancy, but it's rock and roll...it doesn't have to be. This is an easy trip because the kids aren't coming. Next week, I'll talk about how we roll when we have our little rockers in training with us. Until next time, rock on my friends!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Just another Thursday...

As I sipped my first cup of coffee this morning, I glanced out the kitchen window. Finally, the sun is shining instead of another day of wind and rain. I flip the switch on the radio, grab my sweater and coffee, and headed out back. This is my favorite part of the day. I gave a quick look at the blueberries and raspberries along the fence. Full of blooms and babies, they reminded me of my good friend that gave me these when we first bought the house. It hasn't even been a year, and I am amazed at how many berries I see starting. I'm thankful for my friend's giving heart. As I walked further along the fence, I sipped my coffee and heard Sixx A.M.'s "Life is Beautiful" through the window. I can't help but chuckle at how fitting the song is for my morning. I glanced at the blossoms on the upside down strawberry plants on the clothes line. I'm happy to see that the little guys are doing well. It's amazing what you can do with a few ice cream buckets and scissors. Underneath the strawberries sits our baby apricot tree. He's not much to look at yet, but I can see evidence of blossoms coming soon. I glanced up at the apple tree. The poor thing was almost dead when we moved in, as was the orange tree. They hadn't been watered in a year, so the story went. Now, months later, they are both beautifully full of thousands of blossoms. I can't wait to share the harvest with friends. I walked over to check the peach tree. He's had a rough week. The wind from our last storm snapped him almost in two. We've done an emergency tape job, and five days later, I'm thankful to see he shows signs of life. I know he needs all the help he can get, so I tell him "C'mon little dude, you can do it," and continue with my walk. We've dug up most of the lawn along every outer wall of the yard and replaced it with rows and rows of corn, tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, jalapenos, artichokes, onions, peas, green beans and herbs. We also dug up the flower bed outside the kitchen window to make room for zucchini, lettuce and spinach. As the morning sun warms my back, it reminds me of how much work and love we've put into this garden. A jolt of relief combined with panic come over me as I think of all the food we'll have this summer....and all the canning, pickling, peeling, chopping, freezing and pitting that comes along with it. I hear "Psychosocial" by Slipknot start playing through the window. My coffee up is almost empty, and the dogs are chasing each other at my feet. I know my morning ritual of checking the garden is almost done for today. A final check of the tomatoes reveals about half a dozen new blossoms on Mr. Stripey, a new flavor this year. After I reposition a couple of the vines from the peas onto their poles, I stood back up and gave a long look at the whole yard. I can picture what it will look like in another month. Full of colors and bushy vegetable plants, these babies will soon be feeding my babies. What else can I say? It's just another Thursday for the Headbangin' Housewife. Life sure is good. Until next time, rock on my friends!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Thinking About Christmas!

I know it's only mid April, but I can't help thinking about Christmas. Even though I'm up to my rear end these days in our garden and planning end of the school year events, our annual camping trip and who knows how many concerts and road trips, Christmas is always in the back of my mind. It'll be here before you know it...happens every year.
Spring time is the perfect time to try any of those new Christmas cookie and candy recipes you came across last December. You know, all the ones you clipped and put in the "I'm so going to try that next year" pile. Why on earth would make these now? Well, because it's better to find out in April that a recipe is a total flop, than during your last minute baking (you know we all do it!) throughout Christmas week. I usually try at least one new holiday recipe on my baking days, during spring...before it's 110 degrees outside and I don't want to bake at all in the summer. This saves so much time, money, energy and stress during the already hectic holiday season.
I also plan for any homemade gifts that I'll want to give. I already know that I'll need jars for gift mixes. I'll be looking for these over the next several months at the thrift shop and yard sales. Plus, they are on sale during the summer months, so I'll be stocking up as I find the deals. I definitely want to try making this salt scrub and this sugar scrub in the near future. If they are keepers, I'll be set for the girls this Christmas. I think the guys will be getting this drink and these goodies. I'm still on the look out for simple additions to these gifts, but at least I have a head start.
Getting a head start on Christmas during the spring Works For Me! For tons more rockin' tips and tricks check out Works For Me Wednesday!
Until next time, rock on my friends!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

I'm excited to be participating in my very first Menu Plan Monday! We had a great time with our friends this weekend, and even though there were eight people here instead of the usual five, I managed to make way too much food. The good news is, dinners will be super simple this week as a result.
Monday: Homemade Macaroni & Cheese with steamed broccoli and carrots, french bread
Tuesday: Wendy's Chili burrito supremes (I mix the chili with cooked brown rice and add cheese, veggies and sour cream)
Wednesday: Slow Cooker bean soup with ham, corn bread muffins
Thursday: Chicken stir fry
Friday: B.L.A.T.'s (Bacon, lettuce, avocado, tomato sandwiches) with Jojo potatoes
Saturday: Pizza using this crust recipe
Sunday: leftovers aka anything night
Breakfasts: Breakfast Casserole, cream of wheat, cereal, and Baked Oatmeal
Lunches: Grilled Cheese sandwiches, PB&J, leftovers and baked sweet potatoes...all with fruit, yogurt and Carrot Cookies
Desserts: Peach Cobbler, Chex Muddy Buddies, ice cream and Banana Boats

For plenty more great menu plans, visit Orgjunkie. Have a great week everybody!

Until next time, rock on my friends!

Free National Park Week Coming Soon!

The Headbangin' Housewife loves camping about as much as concerts, so when I found this freebie I just had to pass is along! The National Park Service will be waiving entrance fees from 4/17/10 to 4/25/10 for National Park Week. You can find out more information here. A big thank you goes to Free Sample Freak for this awesome heads up! Until next time, rock on my friends!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Baking Day 4/10/10

Happy Baking Day! I usually do my baking and get a head start on cooking for the week every Saturday. What did I do today?
A batch of chocolate chip bar cookies, made with holiday M&Ms
A batch of carrot cookies
A peach cobbler
A batch of corn dog muffins, although these are totally gone already lol
not pictured is a huge pot of Wendy's Chilli for tonight's dinner and then the leftovers will be used for burritos for tomorrow night's dinner. I'll also make banana boats for tonight's dessert.
It was another small list this week, but we have friends staying with us for the weekend and had a "make up" Easter egg hunt since we were all together.
I'll finish up the baking later in the week.
What did you bake today?
Until next time, rock on my friends!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Another Great Freebie at Walgreens!

Today only (4/9-10) over at Walgreens photo you can get yourself a free 8x10. Just put in code BIG8X10 at checkout. Shipping will also be free if you choose in store pickup. I know just the picture I'm going to enlarge. Have fun!
Until next time, rock on my friends!

Fun on a Budget Friday!

Happy Friday! We all need a little fun from time to time, right? Friday seems like the perfect time to talk about fun. So, how in the heck can you afford to have fun when you're living paycheck to paycheck? Let me throw in my two cents! This Headbangin' Housewife loves concerts and road trips. I always get asked how on earth we can afford to go to so many shows (the record is 18 concerts in one summer). Well, honestly, we win them. Not all, of course, but as many as we possibly can. See, the radio is always on at our house. Always. So we have signed up for every newsletter or Twitter or Facebook that we can find for every radio station we listen to. Then, when we find out about a contest or give away, we simply try. Yes, that's all folks...we try. We get the redial ready on every phone in the house and when it's time to call in...woo hoo! It's true, you don't always win, but you'll never win if you don't try. Another way I get our concert tickets is through programs like My Coke Rewards where you simply enter codes from soda bottles and boxes. Then, you redeem your points for Ticketmaster gift cards, or gift cards for whatever you happen to be into. My new favorite way to earn Ticketmaster gift cards is through Swag Bucks where you do your internet searches through them and earn points for all sorts of prizes. My Points is another great way to earn points for gift cards as well. These are the easiest ways we make our concert adventures happen without breaking the bank. But getting our tickets is only the first step. How do you get through the rest of the trip when money is tight? Stay tuned next week! Until next time, rock on my friends!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Clearance Shopping!!

Remember when I posted about Easter Clearance last weekend? Well, I went to check out my local Target today. I got to the Easter aisle just as the super awesome store employee was changing the signs to 75% off! Check out all the goodies I got...
3 baskets to put away for next year
2 packs of silly putty to put away for summer
4 pkgs of marshmallows for baking or for banana boats
5 various egg dye kits
a package of fancy Wilton cookie cutters and a container of candy decorations for Mothers Day
2 talking eggs because they look fun for camping
4 packages of Playdoe
2 decks of cards for camping
2 packs of two gift bags for birthdays
1 pack of paper plates
1 pack of Easter tissue for next year
3 pkgs of Easter grass. Red for Valentines and Orange for Halloween
1 pkg Pixie Sticks
You'll never guess what I paid! I got all this for $20.83! The baskets alone would have cost me $24.00 if I'd have paid full price. I love my job on days like this! What kind of deals have you come across?
Until next time, rock on my friends!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Free Photo Prints at Walgreens Today!!

Hurry over to Walgreens photo because today only (4-7-10) you'll be able to get 20 free 4"x6" prints. Be sure to use the code PRINTS20 at checkout. Shipping is also free if you choose in store pick up.
Until next time, rock on my friends!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Why bother? It's only a dollar.

Coupons, coupons, coupons. Some people don't even look at them when they arrive in the Sunday paper. They pass right by the tear pads and blinkies at the grocery store. They think coupons aren't worth the time and effort to clip and collect. They say, "Why bother? It's only a dollar." Only a dollar, hu? So, if a dollar falls out of your pocket, why do you bend down and pick it back up? Why bother? It's only a dollar! I know at my house we can't afford to be wasteful with any of our dollars. In this economy, I don't know many people that can. Coupons are a wonderful way to help stretch those dollars. Heck, they even make dollars in some cases! You don't have to be an extreme couponer to see real savings, either. Every little bit helps, right? After all, if all you do is use one $1 off coupon per week, you'll have saved $52 over one year. That's a weeks' worth of groceries for some people. It's only a dollar. Here's another way I think about a wasted dollar. I stop and think about what that dollar could have bought. A pound of meat, five pounds of potatoes (on sale this week), a loaf of bread, almost two pounds of bulk oatmeal (at Winco), two pounds of bananas (again at Winco), or even a dozen eggs. Any of these things are a dollar or less. They all could have been purchased with that wasted dollar. My friends, I want you to get the most of your dollars. I want you to be able to pay for everything you need, and I want you to be able to have some fun. Those little coupons are dollars that the manufacturers are handing to you to spend. Use as many as you can. Save as many dollars as you can. Don't let yourself think "It's only a dollar." Instead, think of ways you can use the money you are saving as it builds up. Some people use the extra money to keep the lights on or pay off debt, while others save to buy a car or house (I'm raising my hand here). And some save for family fun, like theme parks, camping trips, ball games, or concerts (devil horns go up on this one). If someone handed you an extra buck or two each week, what would you save for? So get those scissors out and start clippin'! And as always, Until next time, rock on my friends!

Monday, April 5, 2010

I'm in love with Bertha

Oh Bertha, how I love thee! She is one of my best friends. She's not much to look at, but she's beautiful to me. Some people call her a waste of time, but not me. I hold her tight and walk proudly with her, despite the strange looks we may receive. The thought of losing her breaks my heart, as I can't imagine my life without her. She's taught me so much about frugality, and even helped my family save enough money to buy our first home. Oh Bertha, how I love thee!
No, I'm not leaving my husband for a woman. I'm simply talking about my love for Bertha....otherwise known as my coupon binder.
Do you have a Bertha? Why or why not?
Until next time, rock on my friends!

Free Seeds!

Happy Monday everyone! I hope you all had a rockin' Easter. As things were winding down last night in the Headbangin' Household, I caught this great freebie on the news. Go get yourself signed up for a free seed packet sample and catalog. I did find a few vegetables to choose from, which was exciting, but they have some great flower samples as well. Until next time, rock on my friends!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Baking Day

Happy Baking Day! I usually do my baking and get a head start on cooking for the week every Saturday. What did I do today? Boiled 2 dozen eggs for coloring tonight. These will be devilled eggs tomorrow, snacks and egg salad sandwiches during the week. Baked a batch of peanut butter baked oatmeal and bagged up in the freezer for breakfasts later in the week. Made cake balls, aka cake bombs for desserts during the week Baked a batch of gingerbread cookies for snacks and lunches. I know these seem odd for this time of year, but I bake based on what I have on hand. These were the winner this week. I also threw a few sweet potatoes and a pound of sausage links in the oven while everything else was baking. We can just reheat and eat later. It was a small list to accomplish this week, but we still have pumpkin bread and corn dog muffins in the freezer from last baking day. I also figured I'd cut it short since I'll be back in the kitchen for Easter cooking tomorrow. What did you bake today? Until next time, rock on my friends!

Easter Clearance

With Easter coming up tomorrow, I wanted to remind everyone to be on the look out for Easter Clearance over the next week or so. The longer you wait, the deeper the discount so get while the gettin's good. Here's a little list of things I look for every year: Candy, candy, candy! Pastel M&M's are a great substitute for chocolate chips in cookies, and look really cute on top of brownies and layered in jar mixes for Mother's Day or birthday gifts over the next couple of months. Hershey kisses are also handy for baking Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies and can be melted down for dipping. All other individually wrapped candy will come in handy as pinata fillers, or for goody bags at birthday parties. The kids don't care what color the wrapper is, seriously. Paper goods. I don't know about you, but I can't stand spending money on things that wind up in the trash anyway, so clearance is the only way I roll. I always look for paper cups, napkins, table cloths and plastic silverware. Again, for birthday parties, baby showers or Mother's Day, the pastels are perfect. Also, we don't care what color we use while camping or when we are on a road trip. Pre filled baskets. I usually wait for these until they are close to free. Then, I break them down and use the contents for birthday gifts and fillers for goody bags. I also like to stash a few things, like sidewalk chalk and jump ropes, for when the kids have cabin fever during the summer. Plastic eggs. Why spend full price next year when you can get them for a few cents now? Just stash them until next year. The glow in the dark plastic eggs are a favorite around here. They make a great night time "treasure hunt" during sleepovers and camp outs. Stationary. Things like pencils, erasers, stickers and little notepads come in handy all year. The school is always in need of supplies and again, these are handy little items for birthday parties. The object of the game is to get as many things you need (or will need in the coming months) for as little as possible. You don't have to go overboard, but if you happen upon a bin of goodness for .25, make sure you look twice for useful items that you would otherwise pay much more for later. Happy shopping! What things do you purposely look for on clearance after the holidays? Until next time, rock on my friends!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Crazy Cheap Homemade Weed Killer

I was reading here about a homemade mixture to get rid of weeds, and decided to give it a try last weekend. Holy cow, this stuff absolutely rocked! It really worked, and worked that day! Not only is it way cheaper than Roundup, but I don't have to worry about the dogs when I use it. It certainly doesn't smell like roses, and stings like a mo' fo' if you get it in a cut, but I know I'll survive. I'm always on the lookout for non chemical concoctions for the yard and garden, and for about $3.50 a gallon, I'm happy to pass this one along! Thanks to New Life On A Homestead for the great recipe! Until next time, rock on my friends!