My newest money saving venture is in a mobile app called Ibotta. It is for smartphones (or tablets) and it works for both android and apple products. The app is a free download.

Basically, when you open the app,  there are different products listed with a dollar value beneath them. When you click on a product,  you have choices to earn savings from that product by either watching a video, learning a fact, posting to FB, or doing a poll adding up to the value amount that was beneath the product. The more of the choices you do, the more you earn back. Then, you purchase the specific product from one of the listed participating retailers. Once home, you click redeem and take a picture of your receipt (following the on-screen instructions) and then you choose the product you bought and scan it’s bar-code. You submit it and that’s it.

You get a notification of when your savings are added to your account and it doesn’t take long at all. For me, I got a deposit within the hour. The cool thing is you can cash out and get the money deposited straight into a Paypal account (or you can choose to donate to a school or the United Way).

You can get a $5 deposit for your 1st redemption by using my referral code found here. http://ibotta.com/r/MYq9FA

It’s pretty easy and so far I am liking the offers listed. Why not try it out for yourself??


CVS After Christmas Clearance

Today I went to check out what CVS had in store for their Christmas clearance. I had been there the other day grabbing something else and happened to see a few things that looked interesting but being in a hurry, I didn’t go look.

I was very please with some of my finds!! I scored some awesome products for super cheap! Here’s what I got:

  • 2 packs of Stayfree pads- $3.99 each (on sale B1G1)
  • Batman Hallmark ornament (my husband will love this) Originally $14.99, on sale $3.74
  • Teacher Hallmark ornament (ready for Jazz’s teacher next year) Originally $9.99, on sale $2.49
  • Automatic Candy Dispenser (this is a treat for the hubby for a rough week at work)- Originally $19.99, on sale $4.99
  • 2 bags of Skittles (to go with above candy dispenser) – 2/$5
  • Hallmark Rudolph Recordable book (these are awesome gifts!) Originally $19.99, on sale $4.99

I only used 1 coupon which was a B1G1 free Stayfree pad coupon from this weekends insert which made both packs of pads free.

My total paid was $22.73 including tax. Regular retail on all items would have been $77.94! That’s some awesome savings for some great gifts!

I have heard reports that some CVS stores are at 90% off and there are some electronics included in their clearance. I am half-tempted to go across town and see what the other store has to offer. Have you found any steals in the Christmas Clearance?

Christmas Clearance CVS

Christmas Clearance CVS

Thoughts for the New Year

Anyone who knows my family, knows it was a very difficult year for us last year. We lost my step-father to liver cancer a year ago today and that was just the first of many many losses we felt. My Meme, Oma, an old co-worker, a family cat, and Gram Gabella were all also lost last year. Tie that in with the devastation we saw from Hurricane Sandy to places we have many memories from and the horrendous events that took place at Sandy Hook Elementary school and it’s hard to see any good from the year.

Looking back,  I don’t want to remember it as “the year of doom” that I had previously been referring to it as. I want to remember it as the year Jasmine learned to swim, or the year we had the best summer vacation, or even the year dad got his drum set. It was the year that my baby sister got pregnant and gave us hope for the future and the year my big sister bought a house.

There is lots of good there, I just had to look down deep to find it. One of this year’s resolutions and goals is to always find the good. This year is already looking promising! My sister’s due date is growing near, a cousin is getting married, and things are really looking up. I’m making a point of telling my loved ones that I love them and doing my best to to try and spend time with them. One thing last year taught me was that life is too short and you need to enjoy it while you can.

What’s in my Cart?

Hi all! And Happy New Year!! I have been MIA for a few days with all of the hustle bustle of the holidays, Jasmine being home from school, and 2 pretty nasty snow storms but I am back!

Now, I have not been shopping in a few weeks but we were able to live off of our stockpile until I was able to go shopping today! (whew, no more creative dinners! lol) I wanted to wait until today because today marks the start of ShopRite’s can can sale. Can Can has been around for QUITE a few years. If you don’t know what Can Can is, it’s basically when canned goods are at their lowest price without even using coupons.

Some of the big ticket items are:

  • ShopRite vegetables – $0.33 (I am not a big veggies in a can type of person but I always try to have some on hand, just in case!)
  • ShopRite beans – $0.49 (Perfect for making chili in this cold weather!!)
  • Tuttorosso Tomatoes- 12/$6.88 (These are the big mama-jama cans! Another great priced item that you use all year round)
  • Coke soda can 12 packs- 5/$10
  • Progresso soups – 10/$9.88 (plus, there are coupons available which makes this deal EVEN better!)

There are tons of great deals right now that are perfect for stocking up your cabinets.

I didn’t get a chance to do my usual picture and complete write up of what I bought because of time constraints but I will share with you my final numbers.

Subtotal $248.21……. Amount paid $152.77

I also purchased 123 items INCLUDING a 24 pack of Charmin toilet paper, 2 large packs of chicken breasts and tons of fresh fruits and vegetables.

Not too shabby for my first time back out after my little hiatus…



Christmas Aftermath

Ah, Christmas has come and gone. It was an amazing day filled with family, love, holiday cheer, and the giving of gifts. Everyone was happy and the day was enjoyed by all. I hope everyone had a happy and blessed holiday.

As the dust begins to settle and the wrapping paper begins to be put away, I will be back out in the stores. I will be stocking up on wrapping paper, ribbons, gift tags, ornaments and such all at 75%- 90% off!! I will also be scoring some awesome super deals on toys and gift sets all on clearance that I will neatly tuck away into my Christmas closet for next year.

If you need a new tree and ornaments, now is the time to buy one. Don’t pay full price for one next year, buy one now for 1/4 of the price and you will be happy you took the time to do so. It will make next year a little easier on you. Don’t wait too long because many of these deals won’t last!

Christmas from the Heart Part 3

I know you have been anxiously waiting to see the rest of the house, so lets get right to it!!! (If you missed the 1st 2 parts, feel free to check them out here and here)

The Master Bedroom

The Master Bedroom

The Master Bedroom is complete with a California king sized bed that can fit the whole family!! It also has a dresser and vanity table. The Master bed was made from a thick cardboard shipping box with the headboard cut out from the presentation board. I put them together and spray painted them black. I made a mattress out of an old blanket and a piece of fabric. I glued them right to the top of the bed. I then used my sewing skills and made a comforter and a slew of pillows! The dresser was one of the harder pieces I made. It is all made from the board material and the drawers do actually open.

Lipstick, nail polish and perfumes, OH MY!

Lipstick, nail polish and perfumes, OH MY!

The vanity table is made from the presentation board and the top was a plastic food lid that I covered with tin foil. I made some accessories to go atop the vanity using beads and toothpicks. I made nail polish bottles, perfume bottles, and tubes of lipstick. (every girl needs a good tube of lipstick!) I made a clock using the lid of a juice container that I spray painted and a clock face that I drew on white paper and glued inside. I finished it with a clear plastic front. I also put up some pictures and added in a body form mannequin that I had gotten a few years ago.

Family photos on the wall

Family photos on the wall

The pictures were made from small wooden craft sticks that I covered in duct tape and used clear plastic as the glass. I used all pictures of Jasmine’s Barbies that we had taken together one day while we were playing.

The kids room. (sorry about the quality of the picture!)

The kids room.
(sorry about the quality of the picture!)

The kids bedroom was fun to make. Jasmine had gotten bunk beds for her birthday this year so I wanted to include her prized possessions inside her mini house. I used the presentation board to build the frame and the ladder. I made mattresses, blankets and pillows from 2 different color materials and the stuffing from an old blanket. There is a toy box that was a Truvia (sugar substitute) box that I simply spray painted black and then decorated with scrapbooking stickers that I had in my bin. An end table was made using my old reliable presentation board materials and I topped it off with a lamp that I crafted by using a hairspray cap, white plastic bathroom cup, and a toothpick covered in beads.

Kids Bookshlef

Kids Bookshlef

My pride and joy of this room is the bookcase. Again, it’s just rectangles cut from the board and then I spray painted only half of it, leaving the back white. I crafted movies, games, and books to sit on top of the shelves. For the DVDs, I used a Target ad and cut out the pictures of a bunch of her favorite movies and then glued them onto little pieces of the board that I had cut out. I colored around the edges and the back to make them more interesting. For the books, I cut out pictures from a magazine and then glued them to other pieces of board that I had cut, making them look like book jackets. The games are all pictures that had been cut out of Toys R Us’s ad and glued to pieces of the board. Many of them are games that she owns, so it really makes it personalized for her. Wall hangings are all stickers from my scrapbooking bin and the rug was a piece of felt from Walmart.

Relaxing bathroom

Relaxing bathroom

Lastly, the bathroom. I love this room, with the exception of the tear in the wallpaper on the side where I goofed up. It is complete with a sink, toilet, and a tub. The sink is made from the presentation board and a plastic fruit cup. I covered the top in silver duct tape to look like chrome and made the faucet out of a piece of plastic hanger and beads. The door does open and inside is a shelf with bathroom essentials. I cut pictures of shampoo, soap, and other goods and glued them to the inside back. I hot glued a bead on as a door handle. I crafted up the mirror from mirror pieces that were in my scrapbooking bin and hot glued them to a piece of board that I had covered in silver duct tape. The toilet is also made from the presentation board and an empty plastic fruit cup.

The sink and toilet, complete with paper!!

The sink and toilet, complete with paper!!

I used craft foam for the toilet seat and a toothpick and beads to make the hings so it can open and close, 2 more beads, a piece of metal and a piece of white material make up the toilet paper roll on the side, and one last piece of metal make the flusher. The tub was my true work of art. I started with a plastic container that mushrooms from the supermarket came in. I spray painted it black. Then, I used a large tissue box and cut the hole on top to fit my carton in. I used gray paint chip samples that I cut into squares to imitate tile and covered the sides and top of the box. I used 2 silver pushpins and a hook piece from a hanger to make the faucet. I put in some fake snow (or leftover cobwebs from Halloween) to look like bubbles.2012-12-17 10.05.18 The decor in this bathroom was a table stand that has a bucket of seashells, a garbage can, and various wall art and bottles of soap. I made the soap by gluing together beads and adding different colors to the tops. The table is actually a laundry soap cap that was painted. The bucket of shells was made from the cap to a sports drink that I covered in tinfoil and then I hot glued in tiny shells that I had from a trip to Mystic, Ct in 1999. The garbage can is a blue cap from a hair product bottle and the wall art were all in my scrapbooking bin.

So there you have it… my complete work of art!

My fantastically awesome Barbie House!

My fantastically awesome Barbie House!

Altogether, I paid $40 for the shelves, $10 for the floors and spray paint, $7 on fabric, $6 for presentation board, and $2 glue sticks for a grand total of $65!! For her very own CUSTOM dollhouse!! (That can also be turned back into regular bookshelves at a later date!)

I am very anxious for her to open this tomorrow and see all of the hard work and love put into it! I also hope that years later she will remember it as I still remember the presents of love my mom made for me!!