12/29/10

Wallet-Friendly Wednesday, 12/29-1/4

Bargain Brag Wednesday

December 29, 2010

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! I hope you all enjoyed your Christmas celebrations. It was nice to take a break from normal life, and spend time with family. This was the first Christmas that my toddler was really able to get into. It was fun to watch her open presents and enjoy all the delights of the season—goodies, fun with her grandparents, the Christmas tree, Christmas lights, etc. It was amazing to think that this time next year, we'll have a 3-year-old, and a 6-month-old! Crazy!! Life changes so quickly! Anyway, I hope you all are enjoying this fun season.

Wallet-Friendly Wednesday is an opportunity for you to share your latest bargain shopping finds, thrift store outfit deals, DIY projects, side-of-the-road pick-ups, consignment shop steals . . . ANYTHING you've done that's saved your money. Use your imagination! Share whatever you've done to save money recently! List it here so that other Bargain Shopping Paradise readers can get inspired. It's a great way to share ideas, and I love seeing how creative everyone gets when it comes to saving money! Please only list family-friendly links. Include your blog name and the name of your "brag" in your link.

Click on the images below to see the original posts, tips, and step-by-step instructions:
  • I'm not a seamstress, but I LOVE these adorable handmade stockings by Staci at "Just Sew Sassy." Aren't they yummy?

  • One of my ALL-time FAVORITE Christmas treats is peppermint bark. I haven't had any yet this year, so the simple peppermint bark recipe from Shantel at "it's a pricele$$ life" made me drool. Oh yum!!!

Thank you all for sharing! It's so fun to read about your projects and ideas!

If you've never bragged about your bargains before, start now! Simply blog about your most recent bargains and link back here! I'll feature my favs from your links in next week's WFW post. Can't wait to see your ingenious bargains!

This Wallet-Friendly Wednesday post is brought to you by . . .

25% off $125 at Sierra Trading Post. Use code: ALDEC2KX. Valid 12.2.2010 to 1.6.2011

12/24/10

Merry Christmas!


"The people who walk in darkness will see a great light;
those who live in a dark land, the light will shine on them. . . .
For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us;
and the government will rest on His shoulders;
and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Eternal Father, Prince of Peace."
--Isaiah 9: 2, 6 (NASB)

12/22/10

Wallet-Friendly Wednesday, 12/22-12/28

Bargain Brag Wednesday

December 22, 2010

I can't believe that Christmas is THIS coming weekend! My brain just can't handle that. I hope you all have a wonderful, hopeful, and VERY merry Christmas!

Wallet-Friendly Wednesday is an opportunity for you to share your latest bargain shopping finds, thrift store outfit deals, DIY projects, side-of-the-road pick-ups, consignment shop steals . . . ANYTHING you've done that's saved your money. Use your imagination! Share whatever you've done to save money recently! List it here so that other Bargain Shopping Paradise readers can get inspired. It's a great way to share ideas, and I love seeing how creative everyone gets when it comes to saving money! Please only list family-friendly links. Include your blog name and the name of your "brag" in your link.

Click on the images below to see the original posts, tips, and step-by-step instructions:

  • I decided this week to just feature everyone! So, click on the thumbnails below to view the different projects and money-saving ideas that were shared last week.








Thank you all for sharing! It's so fun to read about your projects and ideas!

If you've never bragged about your bargains before, start now! Simply blog about your most recent bargains and link back here! I'll feature my favs from your links in next week's WFW post. Can't wait to see your ingenious bargains!

This Wallet-Friendly Wednesday post is brought to you by . . .

Year End Cruise - Exp 11-30-10 (300x250)

12/17/10

I confess . . . I've been making my own deodorant!

It's funny, but I feel a bit strange about "coming out" with this. I have been making/using my own deodorant. There—I said it. It's true! Are you shocked? But, the truth is, I don't stink! I really don't!

I began this journey back in August, when we bought our first house, and were trying to cut corners in some areas. I had been curious about the homemade deodorant thing for a long time, but just had not found the guts to actually do it. I admit, it started as a motivation to save money. However I have also been uncomfortable with the links between aluminum found in most antiperspirants/deodorants and cancer, as well as the warnings about not allowing infants to inhale your deodorant when breast-feeding. So, all of that was enough for me to consider the idea. But, I was still having a hard time actually making the mental jump to actually following-through.

Then, I read "Follow-Up: The Simple Organic Natural Deodorant Challenge" from Simple Organic. I'm a fan of that site, if you can't tell from my other mentions of it. This was a turning point for me. I really identified with her—I felt like making your own deodorant just wasn't me. I'm just not like that! I had tried other "natural" deodorants, and they were ok, but not great. So, Katie convinced me to try the homemade route. It seemed easy enough to make, so why not? I used the same homemade natural deodorant recipe that she links to in the article. I decided to use cornstarch instead of arrowroot powder, since I didn't have arrowroot powder on hand, But, I did have to go out and get some coconut oil, which I found easily enough at my local grocery store.

It was super easy! You literally just mix all the ingredients together, and viola . . . homemade deodorant! It does smell good, too. It makes me think of the beach. Mmmm! I also had to get over the fact that I needed to apply it with my hands. There was just something about it that didn't seem right! But, I kept reminding myself that I was dealing with coconut oil, cornstarch, and baking soda—no big deal! I can do this!

So, I started using it just before we moved. I thought that would be a good test, since I knew I'd be working hard and doing a lot of sweating and running around. I may have been seen smelling my armpits a bit more frequently during that time, simply out of paranoia, but it seemed to be working just fine. Even after all that work, I didn't stink! But, I still wanted to give it some time, just to make sure it worked.

Now, four months later, I'm still using it, and it's still working! That first batch lasted through the beginning of December, and I just made a new batch about two weeks ago. I believe that conventional deodorant would typically last me about three months. The only cost was the $9.99 for the organic coconut oil. The jar is huge, and I feel like I hardly made a dent in it so far, since the recipe only calls for 5-6 Tbsp. It will take me a long time to go through it. I had plenty of cornstarch and baking soda on hand, so those ingredients did not cost me a dime.

The only downside I found—yes, only one—is that you have to be careful about white streaks on the outside of your clothes. But, you have to watch out for that with most mainstream deodorants, as well, so it's really just the same problem you have to watch out for anyway.

Not only did I find a natural homemade deodorant that works, but it is much cheaper than conventional, aluminum-laden brand name deodorants. It smells good, keeps me dry AND stink-free, is budget-friendly, and is much, much healthier for me and my children. I still have a hard time believing that I actually am using homemade deodorant, and am a little anxious about admitting that to all of you (I really don't know why), but there you have it. It works—bottom line!! If you've been on the fence, wondering if you should give it a try, you should! If you're not convinced about the health concerns and aluminum, allow yourself to be convinced by the fact that it saves money. If you still aren't convinced, you're welcome to come over and smell me. :o)

12/16/10

DEAL ALERT: 15% off one item at Dick's + free shipping (today only)

Dick's Sporting Goods is offering 15% off a single item, today only, and free shipping on orders of $49 or more. You can also earn an extra 3% cash back on your Dick's purchase by joining Ebates for free, or visiting their site first.

12/15/10

DEAL ALERT: 100 free prints w/ $5 order @ Snapfish

Snapfish is offering 100 free 4"x6" prints with any order of $5 or more, now through December 19th. Just use coupon MERRY1213 at checkout to get your free prints.

And, if you join Ebates (for free) or visit the site first (if you're already a member), you'll earn an extra 10% cash back! That's a good deal!

DEAL ALERT: 75% off @ Sierra Trading Post (today only) + extra 20-25% off select items!

Use coupon code BNT4214D today only at Sierra Trading Post to get 75$ off over 5,000 items, AND receive an extra 20-25% off select items.

Earn an extra 2.5% cash back on your Sierra Trading Post purchase by joining Ebates for free (or visiting their site first, if you're already a member).

STP is also guaranteeing Christmas delivery, via standard ground shipping, through December 20th!

Wallet-Friendly Wednesday, 12/15-12/21

Bargain Brag Wednesday

December 15, 2010

It's only 10 days away! We've gotten all the gifts for our family . . . except my daughter's presents! We know what we're getting her, but I guess this will be a last-minute kind of year. Anyway—so there were so many FABULOUS ideas shared last week, that I'll be showcasing a few more than normal. They were all so wonderful, I just couldn't narrow it down! Here we go . . .

Wallet-Friendly Wednesday is an opportunity for you to share your latest bargain shopping finds, thrift store outfit deals, DIY projects, side-of-the-road pick-ups, consignment shop steals . . . ANYTHING you've done that's saved your money. Use your imagination! Share whatever you've done to save money recently! List it here so that other Bargain Shopping Paradise readers can get inspired. It's a great way to share ideas, and I love seeing how creative everyone gets when it comes to saving money! Please only list family-friendly links. Include your blog name and the name of your "brag" in your link.

Click on the images below to see the original posts, tips, and step-by-step instructions:

    • I WILL be making one of these art buckets (maybe two!), because I'm a novice watercolor painter, but also because my daughter loves to color and create. What a great idea! Thanks for sharing, Laura @ Laura's Thoughts!

    • I love how Erica @ Thrifty & Fabulous used Dollar Store finds to create some gorgeous Christmas decor:

    • I just love how imaginative (and wallet-friendly) these adorable T-shirt capes are! Thanks to Joanna @ The Project Corner for sharing this great idea.


    • You have to check out these simple, cheap, gorgeous pieces of wintery wall art from Christina's Adventures:


    • And last, but certainly NOT least . . . isn't this gorgeous?! I wish I had a mantel, because I would totally copy this gorgeous Christmas mantel from Get Nestled In . . . Simply and Affordably:



    Thank you all for your wonderful ideas and projects. The beauty of all of these is . . . we can all do them! We can all create these fabulous things, without severely affecting our budgets, and maintain our ability to be wise with our finances. Great ideas everyone!!

    If you've never bragged about your bargains before, start now! Simply blog about your most recent bargains and link back here! I'll feature my favs from your links in next week's WFW post. Can't wait to see your ingenious bargains!

    This Wallet-Friendly Wednesday post is brought to you by . . .

    Motherhood Winter Logo_468x60

    12/10/10

    DEAL ALERT: Save 80% at Restaurant.com (ends 12/12)

    We've been eating out a lot more lately. Well, I guess that's had a lot to do with my morning sickness, but it's still been a lot more than usual. If you're eating out more during the holiday season, you need to take advantage of Restaurant.com's 80% off deal! Use them for yourself, or give them as a gift! Now through the 12th, use promo code JOY and shave 80% off the cost of your gift certificate purchase.

    AND . . . if you join Ebates for free, you can earn 15% cash back on your purchase at Restaurant.com!

    DEAL ALERT: Save 20% on OldNavy.com today only!

    Today only, you can save 20% off your entire purchase at OldNavy.com with coupon code ONGIFT20 (excludes Everyday Steals and sweaters). Plus, you can get free shipping on orders of $50 or more.

    Now, if you plan on taking advantage of this deal, you might as well earn some cash back through Ebates, too!! Seriously, if you shop online, and aren't a member yet, you need to be. Join for free (or visit, if you're already a member), and get an extra 8% cash back on your Old Navy purchase!

    12/8/10

    Wallet-Friendly Wednesday, 12/8-12/14

    Bargain Brag Wednesday

    December 8, 2010

    The Christmas season is finally here! I love this time of year. I love watching old Christmas movies . . . on VHS, setting up the Christmas tree, listening to holiday music, snow, and just about everything that comes with this season. It's definitely one of my favorite times of the year. I'm so excited to watch my 2-year-old open present this year, and excited that by this time next year, she'll have a 6-month-old sibling to enjoy as well. I have a lot to be thankful for as we celebrate this beautiful advent season. Over the past several years, I have to admit that I haven't been so into the holiday shopping as I once may have been. Is that a sacrilege for me to admit?! After all, this is Bargain Shopping Paradise, right? Eek! I do love a good holiday deal, but I just don't enjoy the crowds and frenzy of it all. In more recent years, I've really enjoyed the idea of shopping online and actually making or creating our gifts! I found some great organic AND wallet-friendly Christmas gift ideas in this article. And, if you're interested, these are some really wonderful "Homemade Holiday" ideas—and here too. So, I'd love to hear about all the money you're saving this holday season, either by shopping sales, using coupons, shopping online, making your gifts, etc. What kinds of wonderful bargains are you getting?

    Wallet-Friendly Wednesday is an opportunity for you to share your latest bargain shopping finds, thrift store outfit deals, DIY projects, side-of-the-road pick-ups, consignment shop steals . . . ANYTHING you've done that's saved your money. Use your imagination! Share whatever you've done to save money recently! List it here so that other Bargain Shopping Paradise readers can get inspired. It's a great way to share ideas, and I love seeing how creative everyone gets when it comes to saving money! Please only list family-friendly links. Include your blog name and the name of your "brag" in your link.

    Click on the images below to see the original posts, tips, and step-by-step instructions:
    • Who doesn't need all the organizational help you can get? Certainly not me . . . I can use all the help I can get! That's why I love these FREE and CUTE printable organizers from Aimee at Sprik Space.
    • I'm just floored at how easy, CHEAP, and fun these paper beads are! It just makes me wonder what I could do with the next round of ads that come through. Hmmm . . .
    • These menu boards are such a fabulous idea from Christina's Adventures! Talk about something great to have around the house . . . or give as a gift.
     
    • These simple, inexpensive, and adorable wrapping paper Christmas trees are adorable! I have to try this! Thanks for sharing, Jessica @ Homemakin' & Decoratin'.

    If you've never bragged about your bargains before, start now! Simply blog about your most recent bargains and link back here! I'll feature my favs from your links in next week's WFW post. Can't wait to see your ingenious bargains!

    This Wallet-Friendly Wednesday post is brought to you by . . .

    Santa 2010

    12/1/10

    Wallet-Friendly Wednesday, 12/1-12/7

    Bargain Brag Wednesday

    December 1, 2010

    Before we get started with WFW, I need to remind you (just in case you forgot) that I'M HOSTING GIVEAWAYS!! Don't miss out! I've already had #1, #2, and #3, and #4 will be happening either this week or next! So, keep checking back on my "Happy 100 Giveaways" to enter . . . and win! There's one more giveaway coming up THIS WEEK, after the holiday.

    Wallet-Friendly Wednesday is an opportunity for you to share your latest bargain shopping finds, thrift store outfit deals, DIY projects, side-of-the-road pick-ups, consignment shop steals . . . ANYTHING you've done that's saved your money. Use your imagination! Share whatever you've done to save money recently! List it here so that other Bargain Shopping Paradise readers can get inspired. It's a great way to share ideas, and I love seeing how creative everyone gets when it comes to saving money! Please only list family-friendly links. Include your blog name and the name of your "brag" in your link.

    Click on the images below to see the original posts, tips, and step-by-step instructions:
    • Last week, I shared some garage sale finds from Shantel at "it's a pricele$$ life." Well, here's what she did with some of them. Check out her fabulous, and really frugal wreath:
     
    • I love these adorable, and wallet-friendly magnets from Christina's Adventures:

    • And finally, I just never knew you could do something like this! Check out Catherine's spray painted belt @ Cat on a Limb:


    If you've never bragged about your bargains before, start now! Simply blog about your most recent bargains and link back here! I'll feature my favs from your links in next week's WFW post. Can't wait to see your ingenious bargains!

    This Wallet-Friendly Wednesday post is brought to you by . . .


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