Sunday, October 17, 2010

Latest October upate

We did it! We have paid off our final loan leaving us with only a car payment and mortgage. I'm readjusting our monthly payments so that I can increase the amount we are putting towards our car. We are still on bi-weekly mortgage payments as well so we've now made (as of this month) an extra payment this year. I hope to get our mortgage down as much as possible so that we can consider refinancing without having to pay any fees, etc.
What have you all been up to? How have you changed your financial circumstances? Hopefully I've inspired at least one of you to make more sound financial decisions. I have definitely learned more about choosing wisely while shopping and avoiding returns (sometimes returns that never happen!)
Finally, a semi off-topic deal for you. Jo-Ann's has the Cricut Expression (Personal) Cutter on sale for $89.99 down from $199.99. If you have a teacher discount card you can knock another 15% off of that price! Great deal unless you are holding out for the Cricut Imagine (which looks amazing!)

Monday, October 4, 2010


We have managed to go another month on cash alone. As time goes on I find that I am dipping into our savings a lot less, replenishing accounts more, and paying off the last bit of debt we had prior to starting this challenge. My hope is that this next paycheck will pay off the loan and we will be on our way to paying off our car! My goal for that payoff is August 2011 leaving us 1 year shy of our 4 year loan. After that, I will be working towards increasing our retirement savings, kid's college accounts, and paying off our mortgage. My ultimate dream goal is to pay the house off in the next 10-12 years, and I believe that with some determination and organization, we can do it.
I want to make sure we are investing correctly in our retirement accounts as well without sacrificing the here-and-now. You see, I don't want to end up saving so much that I don't get to enjoy my children, some last minute trips or even an occasional date-night-out. It is such a delicate balance.
I've found myself frustrated with couponing as well. As much as I find it beneficial it is such a challenge to have enough coupons to make the trips worthwhile- that is, of course, my experience. I need to get back on track and reorganize my coupons. I have also noticed that I was buying things I didn't necessarily need simply because I had a coupon. Those coupons are so tempting... you buy something then you've created a need for an item you didn't quite have in your life before. For example, I never bought Juicy Juice, but I got a great deal. I had them in the house for weeks and it was so easy to whip one out as a "treat" for my son. Once they ran out I was almost tempted to buy some until it dawned on me that we were just fine before without them. Hence the magic of coupons!
Anyone else set up any goals while I've been away? I would love to hear about your savings tricks, obstacles, thoughts... anything. Come keep me company or this will be a long year!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Taking some time

Well, I took some time away from the blog in the hopes that I might come back rejuvenated. In the time that I was away, we managed to stay away from the credit cards, use cash only or debit for everything, increase our monthly contribution to our car payment (paying an extra 50% more than what is required), and pay off 60% of the amount due on our remaining loan. I'm excited that we're finally getting somewhere with our payments. I've noticed a big difference in my spending habits as well. It seems my husband is still somewhat adjusting to living life on cash, but as time goes on I think he is slowly coming around. The benefits are currently immeasurable. Not only have we learned how to better handle our finances, but we are staying debt-free which is in and of itself the biggest benefit to this whole experiment. We've managed to also create a savings account for Junior that we hope to increase once I go back to work.

These are all of the updates I have for now. I will keep you posted as time goes on. For now, I hope you guys are trying to save a few pennies here and there. I can promise you won't regret it. Anybody have anything they would like to share? I would love to hear your experiences.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

FREE Redbox rentals

I still have some friends paying for their Redbox rentals so this one is for you guys:

DVDKROG (Kroger only)
DVDATWAG (Walgreen's only)

You will see the charge appear as a pending charge on your account then, after you return the DVD, it will drop off.


Saturday, September 4, 2010

We have a winner!

Sorry I didn't post this sooner, but a winner was drawn on August 31st. Congratulations to our winner. I hope you guys make it back here in the future for other giveaways. Thank you for taking part and thank you to Easier Said Vinyl for sponsoring such a fun prize.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Easier Said Vinyl

Don't forget to check out her site! The discount ends this Tuesday! The "W" coupon is still available (check out the article I posted about the Amazon diaper deal.) If you place an order worth at least $15 through Easier Said Vinyl by tomorrow, I will give you a 20% off coupon for The beauty of this coupon is that it can be stacked on an order of diapers and is worth approximately $7 so add that onto the 10% discount she has going and you're getting a great deal! Now get shopping.

Easier Said Vinyl (Blogger)

Blogging and the Early Edition of my Monday Money Update

So, I am enjoying putting this site together. I hope I've been able to drum up some business for those involved in the giveaways, I like finding deals, and the accountability of publicizing my credit card adventures has kept me on track, however, I feel like I am alone here. I found a wonderful website that connects other mom bloggers, and although at first I was very excited about this, now I realize that my number of followers is up but my audience is still absent. I guess it takes time to develop loyal readers those who will comment on articles, keep you honest, and spark ideas. I feel like I've reached that point where I am looking to take this to the next level. I'll have to think about this one and get back to you all.

Quick money update here. Things are going well. Having extra income is helping out and we've almost reached our goals because of it. Not too much longer. I have gotten several cake orders so that seems to be promising. I'm looking forward to putting those together. I hope they are what my customers were anticipating and more.

Honestly, not much else to report. We're on track, have a couple of bimonthly payments due, and we hope to work towards our car payment next. We looked at bidding out the contract work on our basement, but I think it might take us a few YEARS to save up for that... expensive.

Friday, August 27, 2010

$4 movie tickets through Groupon!

If you head over to Groupon,
you can get $4 movie tickets for use at participating Fandango theaters (retail value is $12 per ticket.) Great deal!! Take advantage.

Extra discounts for you

Use the code "UTAKE20" today (Fri) and tomorrow to get an extra 20% off of everything at!

Use the code "LDAY-195" at Bravado Designs and you will get 20% off your order. (Labor Day weekend sale; expires Monday)

Use code "EED241" at the JoAnn Fabric site and you will get 40% off of one item. This coupon expires on Sunday, August 29th.

Now through September 1st use promo code "LUCKY49" and you will free shipping on your orders over $49 at JcPenney's.

I have always loved these wall clocks.  They are a great way to fill a wall space in a room without spending a fortune yet making a practical use out of the space.  Easier Said Vinyl has them available and I am so tempted to get one for my living room.  What do you all think?  I've seen them in the stores for the same price or more, but what I like about hers is that I can customize it to suit my space.  I can change the font, color, expression, etc. which I can't do with a store bought clock.  Have you guys made it over to her store?  Check out her product line at Easier Said Vinyl.

Awesome Amazon Diaper Deal

A good friend told me about this one and it is definitely worth it. Go to and go to the diapers of your choice. Once there, choose the size you would like then click on the "Subscribe now" button on the right-hand side.  You can subscribe for the service and then cancel it at anytime by going through your account on

After you've subscribed and you are at the checkout page, you will see a box on the right-hand side where you can type in promo codes and click "Apply" when done.  This is where the fun begins.  So far you will see a 30% off promo applied to your order for subscribing to the Amazon service.  Next, you will see two 15% off discounts listed in the itemized pricing on the top right.  Finally, take out your August and September issues of Parents and Parenting magazines.  In them you will find a bright orange postcard that reads "20% off of diaper orders."  As long as these coupons begin with different letters you can STACK them for a one-time use on Amazon diapers.  I had two of these (August and September's Parenting magazines) and ended up getting a 156 count box of diapers for $10.50 with taxes and shipping included!  Not bad.

Let me know how you all do!  I have a "W" code from August's Parents magazine that I am willing to give to the first person who places an order of $15 or more with Easier Said Vinyl.  Please use the code "MITM" in the comment box on your order so we know to pass this along to you.  Each 20% off coupon saved me $7.

RUN- don't walk!  This diaper sale ends August 31st!!!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Baby Legs

For those of you who have newborns you know how much you want them to be warm and comfy, without overheating, while they sleep. Should you put on a blanket? Risky, although a lot of people do it. What about a sleep pouch? They are great, but will they be too warm and will it bunch up? Also, changing him at night might wake him too much if I have to undo the pouch, etc. I was thinking a lot about this then it hit me that I could use Baby Legs to cover up his lower half, leaving him in his onesie, and I wouldn't have to undo a pouch or take off his warm blankie. So, if any of you want an easy way to keep your kiddo warm without the trouble, try checking out:

Baby Legs

More on nursing covers...

I should have included this during BF Awareness Week. Here's a site where you can learn how to make your own cover, if you are a DIYer. Let me know how they turn out. I would love to see the finished products:

Nursing Cover Picture Tutorial

Friday, August 20, 2010

Anyone else snatch up the Gap deal?

I was able to get one for my husband and one for myself. I'm looking forward to doing a little shopping for myself for once. It will be nice. That was a great deal. I may even go for the cheesecake offer. It sounds delicious!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Half off at GAP!!

Awesome Groupon today, everyone! Check this out:

The site is down right now because there's an overload due to demand, but once you can get on, this is a great deal. $25 for $50 worth of Gap items. Use this link to get your deal:
Half off the Gap at Groupon

Here's their description:
Attack the shelves with today's Groupon: for $25, you get $50 worth of apparel and accessories, including sale items, purchased in-store at Gap, which has hundreds of locations nationwide. Today's Groupon is not valid for online or previous purchases, or at Gap Outlet, Gap Factory, or Gap Generation stores.

Monday Money Update (on Thursday!)

Everything is at zero except for our pergola/patio fund. I'll be paying that off in the next 2 months (I hope) and then we'll be working on paying off the car. I've increased our car payment 20% per month now that we don't have a credit card payment to make. That should help us pay it off a little quicker. Then, once we have our construction fund at zero, we'll triple our car payment, allowing us to have it paid off by next summer. By then, I'll be back at work, we'll be credit card free, and we'll, in turn, be able to focus on our mortgage. Our mortgage is next year's goal. I would also like to increase our retirement contributions as well as our childrens' college funds.
What are you all saving for? How are you saving money? What works best for your families?

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Another week...

I can't believe another week has gone by. I have, yet again, not had the chance to update my blog... taking care of 2 little ones and a toddler is no easy feat and even though they sleep a good amount, I am non-stop all day long. I'm actually really enjoying it and have no real complaints. He's a good baby and all of the kids get along very well.

My baby is teething and the poor kid is miserable at night. I've already done Orajel and some nights it helps other nights it makes no difference. He spent 2 nights waking every 30-60 minutes (I kid you not.) Then he graced me with the gift of sleep last night only to revert to not sleeping tonight. I feel terrible for him, but I'm at my wit's end.

Other than not sleeping, we're hanging in. I am still trying out the Grocery Game and reaping the benefits. As I collect more coupons the "game" becomes more interesting. Has anyone else decided to try it?

Off to "bed." I say that in quotations because really it means that I'm going to brush my teeth, put my head on my pillow, and head into junior's room every 30 minutes. God help us.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Take a look at Easier Said Vinyl's product line and how to make old furniture new

How pretty are these boards? What a great way to accent a room without spending a fortune. It also makes an item very unique. I like to buy used pieces of furniture and strip them down then apply a stain or paint color. If you are interested in doing something like that you can very easily get the job done by following these steps:

1. Go to a local thrift shop, scan the newspaper, or go to rummage sales. Find a piece of wood furniture that you like. Make sure it is wood otherwise the particle board will just shred.

2. Pick out a spray paint color that you like. Use a quality spray paint. I like Valspar and have had good luck with it.

3. Get an electric sander and some sand paper. You want something that will simply roughen up the wood not make grooves in it. Some fine sandpaper should do the trick. Pick up a couple of hand sand blocks as well.

4. Go somewhere well-ventilated and start sanding! You want to roughen up the exterior on the wood to give the spray paint enough grooves to stick. Sand the furniture, wipe it down, let it dry then get ready to paint.

5. Work somewhere, again, well-ventilated. Spray the piece evenly and have some fun with your design. Try textured paints, taping off designs on the furniture, cool knobs, contrasting colors, etc. Heck, buy something from Easier Said Vinyl and go to town!

When your done drop by my site and leave a picture. I would love to see the finished product!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Calling all foodies!

I need some GOOD recipes. Some SIMPLE recipes. My well has run dry. I want to make delicious meals in no time. HELP! Submit your best recipes below and I will be forever grateful!!

Monday Money Update

We made it another week. We took some money out of our savings' account to pay for our house project, but other than that, we have survived on one paycheck! I started watching my friend's son today so I actually made something. I am pretty excited about that. It was not all that different having a third in the house. There was some juggling that took place between nursing mine, making lunch for mine, and bottle feeding the third, but it worked out. I even managed to eat my own lunch and clean the kitchen after lunch without any tears! Perfect.
I am putting the money earned into savings. 30% goes to my husband (pimp fees - kidding! He travels so he needs cash.), and the other 70% gets stashed. This will help pay for Christmas, miscellaneous items, and groceries or the like down the road.
We had a few unexpected bills this month, but I plan on paying them off stat. Once those are paid we are truly at ZERO so next month we should have about 25% of our cash flow open up for us. That will make things more comfortable.
I start the second part of my cake decorating class tomorrow. I hope to drum up some business soon. I think that would make some decent money. Anyone else do anything from the home that brings in income? What is it? Do you enjoy it? Please feel free to share your thoughts below.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Coupons- ice cream, clothing, and more!

This coupon will get you 2 Like It Size Creations for $5. Get your two by using this coupon. Hurry it expires August 15th!

Express stores is offering $15 off of $30 or $30 off of $75!  This coupon expires TODAY, but it is valid on your online purchases.  This is a good one...   Click here to save on your Express purchase!

Children's Place is offering 20% off your purchase by using this coupon. It is valid until September 1, 2010. is having a great sale on everything! Check out their clearance items, including swimsuits (this is the time to buy next year's swimsuit...) I think they have some really cute products on their site, generally 60% off or more.

Free nursing cover to celebrate World Wide Breastfeeding Week!

Udder Covers is running a promotion where you can get any of their regularly priced covers ($32) for free just by using the code "Breastfeeding". Once you get to Udder Covers click on "Shop Now" and select the cover or gift set you would like. Type in "Breastfeeding" as the code and it will bring your total to $0. All you pay is the shipping. You can also use this promo to get a 3 piece gift set for only $5 plus shipping!
Just one example. This one is called The Carson.

I have an Udder Cover myself and they are of good quality. I find the material a little thin (not see-through), but it is very practical and you can't beat FREE! If you want a top-notch quality cover, either purchase one from Easier Said Vinyl (she makes beautiful ones with thick material in the $20s)- just send her an e-mail request through her blog.- OR visit Bebe Au Lait I LOVE my cover from Bebe Au Lait. The material is what makes it awesome. The patterns are adorable as well. Again, don't get me wrong, Udder Covers and Bebe Au Lait have the same bones, but you can tell the difference in the two products. There is also a difference in price: Udder Covers= FREE. Bebe Au Lait=$30s and up. Easier Said Vinyl= $20s and up. (Bebe Au Lait and Easier Said Vinyl being very comparable.)

Bebe Au Lait is running a 20% off special right now so act fast!

Check one or all of them out, just be sure to support your breastfeeding mamas this week! :)

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Featured Seller- Easier Said Vinyl (August 2010)

This giveaway is going to be a lot of fun! Easier Said Vinyl has agreed to not only giveaway the vinyl piece below (measuring 23" w x 5 1/2" h), but they are also offering 10% off from now until August 30th!

("Girls" can be swapped out to read "boys")

This would be a great time to start decorating anything- just use your imagination. What room is lacking that one designer detail? Do you like the family decals you see on peoples' cars? Are you interested in putting reminders around the home in a stylish way??

I can guarantee that you will like the quality of her work. This is a good friend of mine so I've had a chance to scope out her product line and see multiple examples of her work in her shop as well as in her home.

Take advantage and purchase while the sale is on. You won't regret it! I promise.

Use the code MITM when placing your order so that you may get 10% off.

Please remember that to enter the giveaways you must be a registered follower of my blog. Also, your information is NEVER shared with anyone. I am the only one who has access to your name and e-mail address. No worries!


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Awesome Groupon today for Shutterfly 8x8 photo book!

Today Groupon has a Shutterfly 8X8 20 page photobook for $10- That's a 67% savings (off of $30). This is a great deal. I LOVE Shutterfly and have used them for years to compile all of our treasured pictures into one book. If you haven't tried them before, I can attest that their picture quality and customer service are fantastic. I have never had a problem with them, shipments have always on time, and I could go on and on about the picture quality. Just awesome.

If you are looking to make a picture book, this is a great opportunity to try them out and see for yourself. I am so happy and pleased that Groupon has this deal today! Very cool.


Click here to be redirected to today's Groupon deal - Shutterly 8X8 20 page photobook.

Here's the fine print:
  • Expires Feb 15, 2011
  • Limit 1 per person. Valid for one 20-page 8"x8" hardcover photo book only. Additional pages $1/page. Tax, shipping & handling not included. Must have or begin a Shutterfly account. Not valid with other offers. No cash value.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Grocery Game really does work!

Here's what I got today:

9 two-packs of Bounty paper towels
8 Oral B Indicator toothbrushes
9 Gillette Shaving Gels
18 Aussie Shampoo/Conditioner/Hair-Care products
4 jars of peanut butter
2 loaves of Aunt Millie's bread
6 twelve-packs of Coke
4 boxes of Cheez-Its
3 one liter bottles of Crest Pro-Health Mouthwash
7 6.4 ounce tubes of Crest toothpaste
4 24-packs of Crayola Crayons
1 10-pack of Crayola markers
1 pair of scissors
2 Gillette body washes
1 lb. of bananas
4 1/2 gallons of milk
5 lbs. of chicken legs/thighs
2 individual serving bottles of Nesquick
1 1/2 gallon of Land O' Lakes creamer
2 8 packs of Juicy Juice

My total was $307 before using my store card. It was then $149 with the store card and their current promotion. After using my coupons, my grand total was $81.66!!! How wild is that??! I'm pretty happy and PROUD. I tell ya', my palms were sweating. I was so nervous going up there. I was prepared for the worst, but then the cashier took all of my coupons and started scanning them. You could see the number dropping... the woman behind me was just staring in disbelief. It was pretty cool.

It was a good day. :)

Monday, August 2, 2010

Tax free shopping

Don't forget tax free shopping is here. Check to see if your state is listed:

Tax Free Shopping Information Sponsored by

Tax Free Week:
Washington D.C. - repealed for 2010?!?!?!
West Virginia

Tax Free Weekend:
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
South Carolina

I did it!!

I printed out my Grocery Game sheet, printed out my coupon, bought extra papers, and went to the store. I was able to get the following:

11 tubes of toothpaste (2 free/9 at $0.25 each) = $2.25
1 box of Tampax Pearl Tampons (40 ct.) at $2.99
1 100 oz. bottle of Tide Free at $6.99
1 64 oz of Tide Stain Release at $3.99
1 54 oz bottle of Downy at $0.99
5 containers of macaroni salad, potato salad, and sweet slaw $1 each = $5 total
After tax = $25.08

I saved a total of $57.38

WOOOHOO! Okay, so it wasn't free, but that was really cheap! I usually spend $25 on just the Tide and Downy products alone so having one year's worth of toothpaste plus some food and fem products is phenomenal!

I go back tomorrow for some freebies so I'll report back then. There were a lot of great coupons in this week's paper so I hope you all stocked up.

For those of you that are interested, try the Grocery Game out. At least do the free trial. Go to The Grocery Game and if you could, please let them know I sent you. Use and I would so very much appreciate it!!

Monday's Money Update:

This is my stock-up-week. I am going to get as much free stuff as possible. There are a ton of great deals right now so I am pretty excited. My goal tomorrow is to get some of my husband's items for free. Wish me luck.

I start a job out of the home next week so that will bring in some money. I am pretty excited about that. That should really get us back on our feet then we'll just ride the wave until I go back in March. We are still credit card free even though I think it has been hard on my husband. He's dealing but I think he just wants to give in sometimes. I just keep reminding him what a difference this will make for us down the line.
My cake decorating class ends this week and I'll be taking class 2 in August. I ordered my business cards through Vistaprint and have gotten a good number of supplies. I still need a lot more. There is a 14 year old girl in my class (there are only two of us) and she comes into class every week with more and more. I can't believe I am envious of a kid, but her mom has really given her a wonderful set of gifts so she can start her business. Yes, she is 14 and wants to decorate cakes on the side.
Anyway, not much to report this week. Have any of you tried I like it, but I only have one complaint: I can't get all of my accounts to show up so my books aren't 100% balanced. They are looking into it though to see if they can add the missing account on.
Thanks for the support, you all! Knowing you are checking in and keeping track has really helped me continue down this path the right way.

Look what I found at Avy's Sew Right Creations...

If only I had a little girl...

How cute is that tutu??? She has some adorable things right now that you all have to check out. Look at this:

How perfect is that for Christmas?  It would make such an adorable outfit for some Christmas pictures!  You guys should pop on over and see what else she has.  Let her know I sent you and maybe you'll get some special treatment. ;)

Avy's Sew Right Creations

Sunday, August 1, 2010

My apologies

I kid you not: My life is not usually that exciting yet for the past week I have found myself without any time to write on this blog. Part of it has been my second son's growth spurt. That kept me up for nights with extreme fatigue the following mornings leading to afternoon naps instead of blogging. Also, we've been enjoying the remainder of the summer. School is starting soon so we've been out playing with the neighborhood children, squeezing in visits to family, and not following a real schedule. *Gasp* In any case, sorry that I've been so bad about updating everything. I promise to do better at it starting this week!

Well, our July giveaway ended yesterday and the winner was drawn today! An e-mail has been sent out notifying the person of their recent luck. Thank you to all of you who entered. Keep checking back for more giveaways... Especially this month. We have a fantastic giveaway hosted by Easier Said Vinyl. You'll LOVE what she has in store for all of you. The prize will be listed this week.

Thanks again for understanding and check back in tomorrow for Monday's Money Update.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Just a reminder about our giveaway!

You could be the lucky one to win the keepsake boxes pictured on the home page. Please remember to sign up as a follower then submit your name and e-mail address for a chance to win! Don't forget your information is NEVER shared with anyone (absolutely no one!) Make sure you visit Clothes to Home as well to see what other items she may have in store for you. :)

Stay tuned on July 31st to see if you were the lucky winner. A new contest will begin on August 1st for Easier Said Vinyl. Make sure to keep checking back!

Clothes To Home

Some worthwhile "Daily Group-ons"

Washington D.C.-->Take a proper water road ride with today’s Groupon. Choose between two cruise options from Spirit Cruises:

* $58 for a Spirit Dinner Cruise (up to a $113 value with taxes and fees), with a complete dinner buffet, grand views of DC's waterfront, and on-board dancing. This deal is valid through December 30, 2010.
* $24 for a Spirit of Mount Vernon Excursion Cruise (up to a $46.54 value with taxes and fees), including the cruise to and from Mount Vernon, estate admission, and a narrated Potomac Tour. This deal is valid through October 30, 2010.

This Groupon can also be used for the Colonial Market & Fair on September 18 and 19 as well as Fall Harvest Family Days on October 23 and 24.

Chicago-->For $7, today's side deal gets you $15 worth of upscale pub fare and potables at Jefferson Tap & Grille in the Near West Side.

Jefferson Tap & Grille serves a variety of beers and seasonal cocktails alongside a menu of tasty traditionals. Sample appetizers such as five mini cheeseburgers on butter buns served with pickle chips ($8.99), or the healthy pita pizza on a crispy naan crust, topped with low-fat mozzarella, basil, onion, tomato, and red pepper ($8.99). Wraps, salads, and sandwiches are plentiful. Try the hearty sesame lime steak wrap ($10.99), grilled strips marinated in lime sesame sauce in a honey wheat shell. Or opt for a barbecue beef sandwich ($8.99), thin slices of beef smothered in house barbecue sauce and crowned with provolone, served with a choice of fries, tater tots, or hand-cut sweet potato chips and house-made coleslaw.

This Groupon is for dine-in only.

Orlando--> Back when the snickerdoodle and the Thin Mint were nothing more than dance crazes, sock-hopping teens secretly wished for tiny candied Frisbees to complement their moves. Wishes do come true with today's Groupon: for $5, you get a half-dozen specialty cookies (a $10 total value) from Breck's Gourmet Cookies, located in downtown Kissimmee. Shipping fees for phone orders are not included in the value of your Groupon.

More than six years of experimentation and concoctioneering has led to Breck's current lineup of more than 30 succulent cookie varieties, all baked fresh in-house from natural ingredients each morning. Creative daring abounds in the chewy and rich signature selections. Break a reverent tongue's sugar fast with a tasty handheld treat of toffee chocolate chip or butterscotch white-chocolate pecan. Traditional confectionists may appreciate the tastes afforded by classic cookies such as the chocolate chunk, while modernist cookie monsters speak highly of the delicious societal commentary present in each white-chocolate macadamia. Since Breck's conveniently allows you to order its delectable delights over the phone, today's Groupon makes an appealing deliverable treat while the public awaits cocoa-flavored stamps and salted packing peanuts.

Queens--> With your kitchen's paella pan and wine glasses inhabited by the evil spirits of dead rice and grapes, cooking Spanish meals at home has become both time-consuming and spooky. Get quality cuisine without interference from crazed kitchenware with today's Groupon: for $15, you get $30 worth of fine Spanish fare and drinks at Cocina Latina Bar and Grill, located down the street from the Queens Courthouse in Kew Gardens.

Pick up a few small tapas-style plates, such as chorizo al vino tinto (sausage sautéed with onions and red wine, $8) and camarones encocados (coconut shrimp with orange dipping sauce, $8) and pass them around the table, sharing the experience like a drum circle. After the communal service, stake your claim on one of the menu's 11 hearty entrees. For a traditional Spanish dish, opt for the paella Valencia: chicken, chorizo, shrimp, mussels, clams, calamari, and octopus (small $20, large $36). Or, side some yucca cheese fries ($5) with the arroz con pollo (slow-roasted chicken in sofrito sauce with rice casserole, greens, and sweet plantains, $12).

Cocina Latina's house wines (red or white) are $6 a glass, so ask your server for the current vino. Or, cool tonsils with a classic piña colada ($8) while the earthen tones and smooth lines in the dining room cool eyes hot from watching too many Internet videos of dancing hotdogs. The chicly clean space has tiny tables along the wall, high ceilings, and elegant fleur-de-lises crawling like caterworms along the warmly lit walls. Ample parking is available nearby.

To find these deals and others click here and enjoy!

(All descriptions were taken directly from Groupon's site.)

Looking for the best, the BIGGEST, and the boldest family resorts out there!

Okay, all of this budgeting has us needing a major vacation! I am looking for the best pool resort out there. Huge resort with a wave pool, rides, toddler area, etc. We've tried the Great Wolf Lodge Resort in Charlotte with limited satisfaction. It was way overpriced and simply "okay." I would have rather gone to Disney for the money we spent.

So, where do you all go? The Wisconsin Dells? Nickelodeon Theme Park? Myrtle Beach? We need something kid-friendly and with a phenomenal pool area. Let me know what you all find or what you have experienced that you would recommend. I've created a poll to get an idea of where you guys have gone and what places you may have loved. Please vote for your favorite spot and then add a comment below letting us know a little bit about your adventure. If it is a generic location (i.e., Florida), could you let me know what city and what resort? Thank you all!

Want a free backpack??

If you head into Staples between now and July 31st you can get a rebate for 100% of your money on any backpack. Yes, that means any backpack is essentially FREE... All you have to do is pick out the backpack, fill out a form, and you will get 100% of your money back in the form of a Staples gift card for future purchases. Backpack purchases may be made in-store, by phone or online to qualify.

Monday, July 26, 2010

A couple of coupons out there...

The Huggies $3 coupon is back out, they have some great Scott coupons (of course, I just bought toilet paper!), and Fruit of the Loom is trying to up their sales so look out for those valuable coupons.

Also, Kmart has started a new program (actually, they updated their old one) where now, if you sign up, you will get 10 points for every $1 you spend. Not bad! Might be worth checking out especially if you are interested in spending more time there.

Where did the time go?

This weekend just flew by, ladies! It is time for our Monday Money Update. Things are definitely challenging. I'm finding that things can be a little tighter than I had thought, but this is because of one payment that ends this month! After this August payment, about 12% of our budget will open back up PLUS I will be bringing in money from taking care of a friend's child. This will mean that we can loosen the belt a little bit and finally start feeling more at ease. This has been a rough start because we went completely cold turkey. I tell you, no matter how many times people tell me they are "doing the same thing" because they pay their credit card off monthly, I don't buy it. I've done both now, and living credit card free is much harder. I actually think that living on cash only might be easier because you have what you have in your hands; there is no risk of overdrafting. That being said, I am going to try out the Dave Ramsey method of cash-only. I know I had a lot of cons listed about going with cash only, but my foot is now in my mouth (ah, the beauty of the internet...) I think we'll have a lot more saved and left over if we don't have that temptation of The Card. Anyone else living on cash only? How do you like it? Any suggestions or discoveries along the way? I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Finally, has anyone checked out in the meantime?

Just a little side note about the Grocery Game. I ended up having to go shopping again this week because I didn't have my normal stash. That was a little frustrating and an expensive recovery. I'm not 100% sold on it yet, but I keep hearing that it takes time.

That's it for now. I will update some deals for you all that I've found.