Monday, December 31, 2012

Free "Everyday Prayers" eBook

Today (I have no idea if this offer extends beyond today), the Kindle version of Scotty Smith's excellent, gospel-centered Everyday Prayers book is free! I received it as a gift last year and enjoyed it so much it made my 12 Great Books For 2012 list. You don't need a Kindle to be able to read the book. Amazon provides a free online eReader or  you can even download a version for off line reading (I use the free online version). Happy New Year!


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Free eBook "Luxury of Less" Today!

Today you can download this eBook The Luxury of Less: The Five Rings of Minimalism from Amazon for free! If you're looking to simplify, declutter or move towards a more minimalist lifestyle you'll likely enjoy this free book.

It was written by a friend of a friend and I downloaded my copy already. I have a few other eBooks in my queue before I get to this one but I'm looking forward to it. You don't need a tablet or anything; Amazon provides a free reader (web based and/or downloadable; I use the web based one). Enjoy!


Disclaimer: Prices are subject to change but were valid at the time I wrote this post. I wrote this post of my own free will and opinions and wasn't asked to do so.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Free "How To Stop Your Puppy From Chewing" eBook

This ebook on preventing your puppy from chewing up your home is reported to be free through midnight, Friday, November 23, 2012, courtesy of my writer acquaintance, Annie Jean Brewer. Details available here: I didn't get this one (because I don't have a puppy and my cats don't seem to have a chewing problem) but I did enjoy her last one on decluttering.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Disclaimer/Note: I have no financial relationship with, the author or publisher of this book as of the time of this article (other than as a customer) and I wasn't asked to write this article. The book was free on at the time of writing this article but prices are always subject to change.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Free "Declutter Your Life" eBook

I just got this Declutter Your Life: Reduce Stress, Increase Productivity and Enjoy Your Clutter-Free Life eBook for free at and thought some of you might also be in an organizing or decluttering phase and might like it too.  I haven't started reading yet but it looks interesting.

Here's the description: "Michelle Stewart, author of Declutter Your Life, draws on her professional and personal experiences to craft an easy-to-follow e-book on reducing clutter in all aspects of your life. She shares personal success stories regarding home, office, and mental clutter and talks about how modern culture can lead to anxiety and depression. Declutter Your Life is full of tips for decluttering specific physical and mental areas and Stewart provides advice that can be implemented with a minimal amount of time and money.

Whether the piles of stuff in your dining and bedroom areas are beginning to drive you crazy or you know you need to make some changes to your office space, this book can help. If you are tired all the time because you never have a minute to yourself or you cannot fall asleep due to racing thoughts about what you need to do the next day, this book can help. From social situations and calendar management to tips on relaxation and reducing mental stress, Michelle Stewart walks the reader through actionable steps to a more organized and reduced-stress life. With information on how to get the entire family involved in decluttering, this is the perfect manual for living a clutter-free life."


Disclaimer/Note: I have no financial relationship with, the author or publisher of this book as of the time of this article (other than as a customer) and I wasn't asked to write this article. The book was free on at the time of writing this article but prices are always subject to change.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Free Haircuts for Breast Cancer Survivors At JC Penney Salons

JC Penney is honoring breast cancer survivors by offering them free haircuts in the month of October. For more information call your local JC Penney salon or click here. Furthermore, for every free haircut given to a breast cancer survivor JC Penney will donate a dollar to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Kudos to JC Penney!

I remember reading an article by a physician who specializes in fighting breast cancer and she wrote that she considers each patient a survivor from the day they are enrolled in her care. I like that positive mindset and I've always wondered if this doctor has higher success rates than average (unfortunately I didn't keep the article and don't recall the doctor's name but if you do please share!).

My heart and prayers go out to everyone affected by breast cancer. May God bless and heal you.

Last page of the JC Penney sales circular from this Sunday's paper

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Free Print Subscription to "Our Daily Bread," A Great Christian Devotional

I've enjoyed the Christian Our Daily Bread devotional (published by RBC Ministries) readings for years. It was especially comforting when I was in the military and far away from everything familiar but even today I enjoy the short stories, the rhyming verses and the Biblical lessons. There's something for every Christian in each issue of Our Daily Bread.

There's a recommended Bible passage, devotional/story and short poem/quote for each day. The electronic (web) version is posted daily and the print version has three months' worth of studies in a compact book. The electronic version has convenient links to the Bible passages (which you can read or listen to) and the print version easily slips into most pockets and purses. You can view Our Daily Bread electronically here or you can sign up for your own free print copy here. May God bless you!


Disclaimer: I wrote this blog post of my own free will and opinions and have no material connection with Our Daily Bread or RBC Ministries other than as a reader and donor.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

How to Make Easy & Free Bookmarks from Recycled Tissue Boxes

This craft project couldn't be any easier. If you happen to buy a brand of tissues that have a pull tab (like the Kleenex box, above), all you need to do is save the pull tab cardboard piece and make a few snips and you have an instant bookmark. It won't have cost you an extra penny and it's good for the planet (reducing waste, reusing something that would have been trashed or recycled and therefore recycling).

 This is what the pull tab looks like off of the tissue box.

Then I just snipped the four sides so the ridges and half moons were removed and I had an instant bookmark. You could get fancier (for example, you could use a hole punch at the top and add a tassel) but I just use them as is. You could also get a lot more bookmarks out of the rest of the box by using your original as a template (although that's not quite as easy as tear, snip, snip).

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Free 20x20 Family Portrait From PictureMe Portrait Studios

Image source
I'm trying to talk hubby into going to WalMart (the Picture Me Portrait Studios tend to be located in Wal Marts) so we can get a nice family photo together and thought some of you might benefit from this deal too. I don't think they have sitting fees but I'd call ahead to make sure. Click here for your coupon for the free unframed and unmounted 20x20 photo (I don't recommend printing the image of the coupon from my blog as I don't know if they'd take that; they might need to see the url from their own website to consider the coupon valid). Coupon expires 9/30/12 and their website says appointments are booking fast (not sure if it's true or just marketing hype). Happy frugal living to you, dear reader!


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Free Decluttering E-Book by Messies Anonymous Founder Sandra Felton

Image source

Based on the information I received (pasted below) this free clutter busting e-book is a one day offer but if you miss out on the free book there is still lots of great free decluttering information at the Messies Anonymous website Be aware that the website sells lots of products but you don't have to buy anything to take advantage of the free resources. I've read lots of Sandra Felton's books and have gleaned some great information from them. Happy decluttering!


The publisher of THE ORGANIZER LADY® books, Revell Publishers, is once again offering a free download of the M.A. flagship book, Winning the Clutter War by Sandra Felton.

Here are the details for the upcoming ebook promotion of Winning the Clutter War as offered by Revell Publishing. 

The ebook will be offered free on August 8, 2012 midnight to midnight primarily on and

You can link to these two places, basically the book's page on Amazon and B&N:



A note from M.A. headquarters:
If you already have an Amazon account, you only need to sign in and the download is immediately available to you."

Source: personal email

Monday, July 30, 2012

Books for a Quarter!

On a recent trip to my local library they had books on sale for a quarter each (four for a dollar)! Two of my choices are pictured here. Above is a nice hardcover coffee table book with Maryland themed photos. Below is one of Lee Strobel's great faith affirming books. Check out your local library and you may find that they're having a summer clearance sale too. Cheap books make great frugal entertainment!

Monday, June 25, 2012

$10 coupon for Sierra Trading Post

If you click through any link in this email and are a new customer you should receive a coupon for $10 off your first order (and after your order is finalized I'll get $10 off of a future order so thank you in advance if you try them through my link!). 

I've probably saved thousands of dollars over the years by shopping at Sierra Trading Post.  They have a wide variety of discounted outdoor, casual and even dressy, business and home goods. I've bought discounted Merrell, Jambu, Adidas, Asics, Spooney, Teva, Mephisto, Keen and other name brand goods from them at deep savings. My husband (who prefers to shop in brick and mortar stores) has even bought sandals, shoes and shirts from Sierra Trading Post.

When I first started ordering from them it was mostly outdoor and casual items but they've expanded a lot since then. They even have luxury towels like those from Christy of England now. On the rare occasions I've needed their customer service they were extremely nice and resolved things promptly.

I just placed an order for a pair of Jambu sandals. I'd seen them in a local shop "on sale" for $96.00 (they retail for $99.00). I'd bid on some on ebay but they always went for more than my preferred price point. Today I had an email coupon for 35% off and free shipping so I got a pair of those sandals for $41.57. That's less than half off the retail price. I also bought two pair of polarized sunglasses (Bolle and Optic Nerve), three pair of shorts (Spooney Wear, Filson and Mountain Khakis) and a pair of sports sandals (Teva). I saved up to 85% (after taking my coupon into consideration) and I should be good for the rest of the summer (unless I can find some cute and cool summer dresses that I like more than the ones I already own).

Here's the link for the coupon mentioned above:

What is your favorite place to get bargains on new, brand name merchandise?

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Free Blowout at Ulta

Per Ulta's Facebook Event, you can get a free blowout (your choice of straight or wavy styles).

"FREE blowout using Living Proof products when you book an appointment. Choose your style, straight or wavy & keep it Frizz-Free all weekend long.

Dates: July 6, 13 & 20
Time: 5:00pm - 8:00pm

Call or visit your local ULTA Beauty to book your appointment today!
Appointments limited.

PLUS spend $25 on Living Proof products
and receive a FREE Frizz Restyling Spray 3.4 oz.
A $24 VALUE"

Thank you to my dear friend Lisa for the tip!


Saturday, June 2, 2012

Freebies of the Week: Earrings, Toothpaste & Herb Demonstrations

I thought it'd be fun to start a new weekly freebies feature (at least on weeks that I have freebies to share). This week my favorite physical item freebie is the earrings pictured above that I got at Kohls. They were originally $18, on sale for $9 plus I had stack-able (meaning can be used together) $10 off any $10+ purchase and $15% off purchase total coupons, making them completely free and I was able to use the overage towards another item I purchased (but wasn't free).

My favorite freebie experience of the week was the Herb Demonstrations at the US National Arboretum. In the photo above, Mary Lou Winder demonstrates rose petal jewelry making. There were also interactive displays, question and answer sessions, food, beauty and household herb product demonstrations and more.

Lastly, my free sample of Arm & Hammer sensitive toothpaste arrived. It looks like you can still request your free sample (if you haven't already). I try to only request samples of products I will actually use so I don't request every freebie out there (doing so might be a full time job!). Hope you enjoyed sharing my freebie fun. Happy savings!

Did you receive any freebies this week? Please share if you did!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Free Christian E-Books

Image source
Inspired Reads is a great resource for links to free (and frugal) Christian e-books (thank you to Mary H for the referral!). They're meant for Kindle readers but I believe provides a free cloud drive (online storage) and e-reader (downloadable to your personal computer) to anyone with a valid email address. I use the free program (I don't have a Kindle) and have downloaded several of the free books successfully.  A Time For Peace by Barbara Cameron, pictured above, is currently free at through the link provided at Inspired Reads. As stated on the Inspired Reads website, "Though free at time of posting, prices may change at any time. Please verify that the “Kindle Price” is $0.00. If you see a price for “Prime Members” or “read for free”, then the book is NOT free any longer."

Hope you find a free Christian book to enjoy! May God bless you!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Free Sample of Arm & Hammer Sensitive Toothpaste

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Visit for a free sample of Arm & Hammer sensitive toothpaste. I imagine this is "while supplies last." I requested my sample this morning. They require that you confirm the request by clicking an email link (they send the link after you request your sample). When I confirmed I got a message that they'll be sending my sample and it should arrive in 4-6 weeks. Happy freebie gathering and money saving!

Free Courses from Yale University

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"Open Yale Courses provides free and open access to a selection of introductory courses taught by distinguished teachers and scholars at Yale University. The aim of the project is to expand access to educational materials for all who wish to learn.
  • All lectures were recorded in the Yale College classroom and are available in video, audio, and text transcript formats
  • Registration is not required
  • No course credit, degree, or certificate is available" 
Included in this morning's list were courses on literature, financial markets, chemistry, environmental science and history. It looks like an interesting assortment and you have to love the price (free!). 

Friday, April 20, 2012

Plants for 15 Cents!

If you have a large space to fill with plants, starting them by seed could save you a bundle of money. For less than $6.00 ($2.00 for seeds and less than $4.00 in peat pots and we had the potting soil left over from last year) we should end up with over 40 zinnia plants (God willing, of course). That brings the per plant price to less than 15 cents! My local dollar store didn't have the kinds of seeds I wanted for landscaping my front yard but they did have sunflower seeds, vegetable seeds and more for 25 cents a package. That would bring your costs down even more.

There's also a certain indescribable (and priceless) joy that comes with growing plants from seed. It's truly exciting to see them sprout above the ground, grow their first true leaves and eventually flower in your garden. I like to save the seed packet and write the date I planted them (the above packet's seeds were planted on the 16th) right on the packet. I used to tape them into a notebook but it got too messy. I think pictures will be much neater.

These Mexican blanket flower seeds were packaged to be planted in 2010 but they were free (can't get cheaper than that!), courtesy of the Maryland Master Gardeners at the 2011 Montgomery County Fair. I figured that if they grow it'll be a bonus and if they don't I can always reuse the soil and pots.

I also planted this package of purple zinnias today. I think the red and purple will look nice together. The purple will go in a full sun area and the red on the border between sun and shade and even a bit into the shady area.

Have you ever planted anything from seed? Did you enjoy the process? May your gardens be bountiful and may God bless you dear reader!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

$14.99 Spring Reading Nook Makeover

Our living room is still under construction from last November's flood but work is stalled and life goes on and I decided my reading nook (currently a loveseat, and a tv tray which you can't see in the photos) needed a spring makeover. The beige fleece pillows had gotten lumpy and needed to be replaced and I wanted some more color around me when I read.

My dear friend Renee knit me this fantastic lap afghan which is perfect for reading so first I added that to the area. It's like getting a big hug from her every time I use it (thank you Renee!). I also had the blue and yellow pillow with pink embroidery from a previous year so the only money I spent out of pocket was $14.99 at Target for a two pack of the solid blue pillows. One is pictured above.

 The two pillow look didn't quite do it for me so I got one of my non lumpy beige pillows and sandwiched it between the two bright blue pillows.

Then I decided the brighter pillow would look nice over on the left, and I could pop it on my lap to support whatever book I'm reading in the nook. My little cat approved and decided it was also a great sleeping nook.

When my cute little black cat is awake she prefers the higher ground atop Renee's afghan.

Hope you enjoyed my frugal decorating process! Have you done any frugal redecorating you're proud of? Please share if you have!

PS I'll probably re-purpose the lumpy pillows into some craft project so they're in my sewing pile now until inspiration strikes.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Simply Said Giveaway Contest

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My friend Taylor is having a giveaway a day this week in celebration of her 25th birthday. Today's featured giveaway is a neat set of Simply Said products. There's no cost to enter but you get different number of entries for different tasks (I'll get 3 for blogging about the giveaway) and you have to be a follower Taylor's blog in order to enter (see source link below for more information). There were only 7 entries when I started writing this so unless that changes dramatically your odds of winning are pretty good. Also, you still have time to enter yesterday's Scentsy giveaway and there are four hours left (as of this moment) to enter the previous day's custom made tutu giveaway. Good luck to you if you enter!


Monday, April 9, 2012

Enter to Win $40 in Scentsy Products

Image source
My friend Taylor is having a giveaway a day this week in celebration of her 25th birthday. Today's featured giveaway is a Scentsy Sampler valued at $40. There's no cost to enter but you get different number of entries for different tasks (I'll get 3 for blogging about the giveaway) and you have to be a follower Taylor's blog in order to enter (see source link below for more information). There were only 36 entries when I started writing this so unless that changes dramatically your odds of winning are pretty good. Good luck to you if you enter!


Friday, March 30, 2012

Clearing the Junk Might Save You Money At the Gas Pump

Photograph by runron
Most of us know, at least theoretically, that less weight in the vehicle means it will take less gas to fuel our drive. Most of us probably also figure that we don't have more than a few pounds of extra stuff in our cars. I read a Dollar Stretcher article in their free Dollar Stretcher Tips e-newsletter this morning, however, where one such person was really carrying around an extra one hundred and twenty (120) pounds worth of stuff in her trunk! This included expired safety items (which aren't that safe when expired), a collapsible kennel for a dog who passed away years ago and "spare" clothing she could no longer fit into.

Now, some things are worth keeping (jumper cables, safety kit with current items etc.) but it might be worth taking a few minutes to go through your vehicle today and see if you can lighten your load, which could translate to saving money on gas too. As a bonus, using less gas is also better for our planet (as many thrifty strategies are). Wishing you happy and frugal travels!

Free Tomato Plant Starter Kit from Light Life

Photograph by jeltovski
If you read my inspiriational/photography blog you know I love gardening and if you follow this blog you know I love a good deal. Well what could be better than a good deal on gardening? 

"How to get your FREE* Tomato Plant Starter Kit:
1. BUY two Lightlife® products.
2. COMPLETE this mail-in order form.
3.* MAIL the order form, along with two Lightlife UPC symbols, and the original cash
register receipt dated March 5, 2012 to May 31, 2012"

Sources: My dear friend Lisa's Facebook post and

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Featured Deal Diva & Refund Cents Recommendation

Screenshot from on 3/29/12
Went to Refund Cents to check the current rewards for writing and to my delight found that I'm the currently featured Deal Diva of the day for my JC Penney clothing deal. I've probably been subscribing to and writing for Refund Cents for more than ten years. They point me to a lot of great deals. If I had to guess I'd say their advice has probably saved me thousands of dollars over the years.

Just today I was able to purchase about $50 of merchandise for tax only thanks to advice from the site. They tipped me off to the fact that the $5 off 2 Revlon products Target coupon could net me free beauty tools (I'm now stocked up on nail files, clippers and buffers) and that Rite Aid had Carefree panty liners on sale for $1 each and there is a current $1 off one of any Carefree coupon. Thanks to some fantastic coupon buddies who give me their unused coupons (Thank you Pam and Al!!!) I was able to do the Revlon deal eight times (in one transaction) and the Rite Aid deal sixteen times (in four transactions) and I've now got about a twelve month supply plus extra to share with charity. I had enough coupons to do each deal more times but I like to leave plenty of stock on the shelves for other shoppers.

I currently have an online only subscription ($12 a year) but when I renew I'll likely go back to the print magazine (costs about twice as much more but includes free online subscription). Getting the print magazine reminds me to write for them, which gives me free issues (extending my subscription) and in the long run saves me more money than the online only version. Of course, it would be more frugal of me to just put a regular writing for Refund Cents reminder in my calendar and stick with the online only subscription. I've got until May to decide.

Disclosure: Because of my personal positive experiences with Refund Cents I am an affiliate with them and if you purchase from Refund Cents using the links above or this link I may receive a small financial incentive.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Quick and Easy $1.98 Manicure

While waiting for an appointment earlier this week I learned that the person would be a while so I decided to do my quick and easy manicure. There happened to be an Ulta in the shopping center so I popped in to see what I could find. I had coupons but the best deal for products that would work as base coat, top coat and color coats was this set of Wet n Wild products for 99 cents each. Surprisingly I hadn't used Wet n Wild nail polish in the past (at least that I can remember). At home I tend to use Avon's nail polish (I used to be an Avon Representative and fell in love with their polishes) but I'm always up for trying something new and frugal.

My hands were clean so all I did was sit down, hold a hand in the air and paint on the base coat (clear bottle), let it dry a minute and repeat with two thin coats of color (hot pink bottle) and then after they were dry I finished with a top coat (clear bottle - I figured it could serve as both even though the bottle didn't specifically say whether it was a top coat or base coat). As part of my top coat layer I first swiped the clear liquid horizontally across the tips of my fingernails as I've found this helps forestall chipping.

It's now four days into the manicure and it still looks as great as it did on day one. You can kind of see my thumb nail in the cherry blossom photo above. I'm pretty happy with my $1.99 manicure. I like how shiny the finish is but I might be tempted to try their long wear version in the future.

If you wanted to save even more money you could probably skip the clear coats and just pick a super light color of polish. Then you'd have a 99 cent manicure. Just be aware that if you don't use a base coat your nails may yellow.

Happy spring, my frugal friends!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Great Deals at Whole Foods' Giving Table

I bought this beautiful long stemmed rose for $1 at the Whole Foods giving table earlier this week. According to the staff member who assisted me, the store donated the flowers and the whole dollar went to charity. Whole Foods is having various items at their giving table every day through March 31, 2012. The staff member who assisted me said all their stores nationwide are doing these daily giving tables in March. Today they had large bottles of Martinelli sparking cider for $2, bags of walnuts for $1 and Lake Champlain chocolates for 50 cents each at my local Whole Foods. One day earlier this month they had $1 giant cookies (normally sold for $1.99 each in their bakery) and $2 nougat wedges (normally sold for $7+). It's worth taking a peek at the giving table when you're at Whole Foods this month. You could save a bundle and help others at the same time!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Celebrity Michelle Williams' Fresh Peach Makeup Look the Frugal Way

I adore this fresh spring "peach accents" look on Michelle Williams. It's really tempting to go out and buy what's in articles like this (especially when my coloring is similar to that of the celebrity) but it's far more frugal to first raid my own makeup stash and see if I have something similar first. The article indicates that the two items featured cost $100.00 total. I really didn't want to spend $100.00 but I did want to replicate Michelle Williams' look in the photo.

It turns out that I already had almost perfect matches for both the blush and lipstick pictured, only I had a gloss in stead of a regular lipstick. That means I was able to duplicate Michelle Williams' look with no additional out of pocket cost by shopping in my own makeup stash (making it essentially free for me), saving $100.00.

If I hadn't already had good matches I would have taken the clipped article with me to a local shop and matched up some inexpensive items (I literally hold the color part of the package next to the makeup in the picture. If the store has an area with natural light from windows, I try to do my comparing in that area.

I wasn't planning on a blog post for this so didn't jot down the name of the magazine but I'm guessing it was the current issue of Shape, a women's fitness magazine. The flash distorts the colors a little bit but you can still tell it's a good match. The color matches are more obvious in natural light without the flash. Hope you enjoyed this post on obtaining celebrity makeup looks on the cheap!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

USAA Educational Foundation Offers Free Publications

The USAA Educational Foundation offers a wide variety of free educational information on their website and paper versions of the publications can be ordered free of charge through the website or by calling 1-800-531-6196. A few of the many available topics include, parenting skills, financial management, identity theft, travel security, divorce, marriage, elder care, military benefits, choosing insurance and even buying and selling homes and cars. While these publications are especially helpful for military families, the sound financial concepts apply to most Americans.

 The publications are numbered from 505 to 598 and they separate their many available publications into five broad categories: vehicle, family, financial, house and insurance. You can order topics individually or in "packets".

The "Basic Money Management" packet includes publications on the following topics: 504 - Get MoneyWise; 534 - Get CreditWise; 521 - Get InvestmentWise; 536 - Building And Maintaining Good Credit and 516 - Retirement Planning In Your 20's And 30's. The "Disaster Preparedness" packet includes publications: 524 - Preparing For Disaster; 522 - Recovering From Disaster and 506 - Managing Your Personal Records. Currently, there are 12 different "packets" available and almost 100 different topics.

I sometimes use these publications as handouts and learning tools when coaching and/or teaching classes and find them to be excellent resources. Not only are these publications useful for individuals and families, but also for charities that provide educational services. You can order up to 100 copies through either of the methods mentioned above but if larger quantities are needed be sure to call 1-800 531-6196.


Note: Originally published at

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Free Subscription to "In Touch" Magazine

Here's a fabulous freebie for you, dear reader. I've been a subscriber to In Touch Ministries' free In Touch magazine for years and the Christian living articles have blessed me greatly. Every month has a different theme with a variety of articles on that theme as well as a short daily devotional for each day of the month (combining weekends into one devotional for both days). While donations are welcomed, the magazine is offered completely free of charge and is available in English and Spanish. The current issue is also available on the In Touch Ministries website. To get your free subscription click here or call 1-800-IN-TOUCH.

Note: I have no material connection with In Touch Ministries or In Touch magazine except as a subscriber and donor.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Inexpensive Winter Gear for Freezing Children

All the items pictured here came to less than $15 at my local thrift store! They happened to be having a half price sale on certain clothing today and I scored two winter jackets, fifteen winter hats, two scarves, a pair of mittens and a pair of gloves for freezing children. That brings the average cost per item to less than 71 cents, including the winter jackets!

One of the great things about being frugal is using my bargain shopping skills for sharing with those in need. Whether for yourself or a charity, this tends to be a great time of year to get winter clothing at super cheap prices because the stores are making room for next season's apparel and the bulky winter gear takes up a lot of space in stores. Happy shopping, frugal friends!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Frugal Clothing and Sewing Idea Resource

Image Source

I just love the New Dress A Day blog. I don't have her sewing skills but I certainly admire them. I also admire her frugal habits. She spends about a dollar a day on often out of style and plus sized dresses and sweaters and then turns them into stylish (or holiday themed, as pictured above) clothing her tiny self can wear. Every day she posts a new project so that's 365 free ideas a year. Whether you're looking for ideas on cheap wardrobe items or handy sewing tips the New Dress A Day blog might be just what you need.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Frugal Prescription Glasses Resource

Special running on date of publishing; May expire anytime
Image Source:
Someone asked for a cheap place to buy glasses today so I thought I'd share with you all too.  We get our glasses at Zenni Optical. We've been ordering from them for years and pay about $20-50 per pair although I believe they have glasses as cheap as $6.95 a pair. My husband orders both regular glasses and sunglasses but I mostly get sunglasses from them. We pay the extra for polarization and anti-glare coating but anti-scratch coating and full UV protection are currently included with all of their glasses. If we hadn't just ordered a couple of weeks ago I would now because they're running a buy two pair get one free promotion (promotions may end at any time so be sure to check their website before ordering to see what the current promotion is). The first time we ordered from Zenni Optical it was just to get a spare for my husband but they were such a great buy that we started ordering all of our glasses from them.

A couple tips about ordering glasses online:

1) Make sure you get your pupillary distance when you have your eye exam (or look up online how to measure it yourself). You'll need this measurement to place your order but not all optometrists put the information on your prescription.

2) Measure a pair of glasses you love and compare that measurement to those of the glasses you're thinking of ordering. I didn't do this the first time I ordered and ended up with a pair that were too short. They worked fine; I just didn't like how they let the sun in over the top.

Note: I have no material connection with Zenni Optical other than being a customer. This will be true of all my blog posts unless I specify otherwise. In other words, if I ever do have a material connection I'll share that (like I did with being related to Joshua Otte in my interview with him).

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Clearance Plants

Bromeliad bloom; photo by Phyllis Wheeler
If you have a green thumb, it's worth visiting your local garden center or nursery to check out their clearance plant racks. Sometimes the plants look perfectly fine but they need room for new stock, sometimes they need a little tlc and sometimes, well, they might be on the verge of death. It's still worth a peek if you love gardening.

Before Christmas I paid about $7.00 for a Norfolk pine tree in a tiny 3" pot at the Fort Meade Commissary. This week I found one on clearance at a local garden center for only $1.25! Not only that but the clearance plant is a tiny bit larger than the one I've had since December. I also got two large (over 14" tall) bromeliads in nice ceramic pots for less than $5.00 each. The foliage needs some trimming and they could both use a larger pot but that's still a bargain. The pots alone would normally cost more than $5.00.

I'm guessing that this is a great time of year to get bargains on plants because the holidays are over but (for most of us) it's too early to plant outside and, if my local garden center was any indication, there's not much of a crowd buying plants right now.

Hope you find some great plant bargains!

PS: If you love plants you'll surely enjoy my orchid extravaganza photos on my inspirational blog.

Free Admission to Mount Vernon on February 20, 2012

Good Deal Alert: You can visit George Washington's Mount Vernon home for free on Monday, February 20, 2012. According to the website the free offer is from 8am to 4pm for one day only. It's been years since we've visited Mount Vernon but it was a nice and educational trip. Happy Presidents' Day! For more information please see the source link below.


Post note: My husband and I took advantage of this offer and you can see photos of our trip here, along with one of me and "George Washington."

Free Breakfast at Ikea

Image Source
"Offer valid Saturday, February 18 - Monday, February 20, 2012

Visit the IKEA restaurant before 11:00am and enjoy a free breakfast. Enjoy fluffy scrambled eggs served with a side of hash browns, scrumptious bacon plus a hot cup of coffee, all for FREE!  

Limit one per customer. Offer valid for one breakfast (value 99¢) and one cup of coffee (value 75¢). Offer not valid at IKEA Home Shopping. See IKEA store for details."