Monday, March 25, 2013

Saving - Michael's $5 Off $10 Purchase Coupon!

Woot!  If you are signed up for emails from Michael's Craft Stores, be sure to check your email in hopes for this *hot* coupon!  I just received a coupon for $5 off a $10 purchase!

Great opportunity to save on Easter basket gifts or just some fun crafting goodies!

Nice, nice, nice.  Now do I practice restraint or go for it?! :-)

Saving - Easter Baskets & Filler Ideas On A Budget!

Buckets from Dollar Tree decorated
The article below was originally written by me for my MOPS group newsletter.  If you are still looking for ways to save on your Easter goodies, here are a few ideas.

Non-Candy Egg Fillers:
Also, check out this article from last year and this article from a couple years ago to see non-candy egg filler ideas!  Another idea we are doing this year is to put papers valid for one "free" app for their Kindles!  They are always begging, so here is their chance. 

Feel free to leave your ideas in the comments.

Fill Your “Basket” For Less

With Easter just around the corner, we are in full swing of planning family get-togethers, gearing up for Easter egg dying and so many more fun things that come with this blessed holiday!

There are several opportunities to be thrifty at Easter.  Do you get tired of purchasing a new basket each year only for you to have to turn around and find a way to get rid of it later?  Part of being thrifty is thinking ahead about how you can repurpose something.  This will help your bucks go further.  Why spend $8-$12 on a basket you will never use again when you can spend the same or even less on something you can put to use throughout the year?

Combine a few of the suggestions below with your Easter shopping and you will reap savings rewards!  You may incur more cost now; however by planning for items that have a practical use you will save money on what would have been future expenses.

*Look for a container to use in place of a basket that you can see another purpose for!  For example:  If you buy a sand pail with a shovel, you could simply put your normal goodies inside and the pail becomes part of the gift.  They can later use the pail at the beach, at the park or even in your own backyard picking up sticks and bugs!  You can often times find the pails at the Dollar Tree or other dollar stores.  Add a fun bow to it if you want to make it more festive!  Some other container ideas:

- Large Popcorn Bowl found at a dollar store (nice for the older kids too), consider filling it with things like popcorn, movies, movie rental certificate, movie theatre tickets, etc.

- Containers decorated with character templates found on the Internet.  I did something like this for my son’s Angry Birds themed birthday party.  Simply Google the template you are looking for, print, cut and paste/tape it on to a coordinating container (I grabbed mine at a dollar store).  The kids love it!  And you have a fun and festive container to use in place of a basket.

- Watering cans make a fun and cute “basket” too!  My kids love to help me in the yard so having their own watering can would be so much fun.  Or you can buy a large watering can to fill and then have your child decorate it for you sometime after Easter!  They will find joy each time Mommy uses the watering can!

- Large Bowls that can be used for other purposes.

- Small laundry baskets.

- Upcycle an empty ice cream bucket.  Use nail polish remover to clean off the writing on the bucket.  Decorate with a ribbon or start a new tradition that your kids decorate their own bucket and set it out the night before!  If you don’t eat ice cream by the bucket full, ask your friends and family for their empty buckets!

Basket Fillers
*When it comes to filling your “baskets”, it helps to plan ahead and consider things that the child may need now or in the near future.  Consider sporting activities they will be in, activities you do on a daily/weekly basis and growth spurts!  By adding items that will fill these needs, you will avoid the additional expense in the future.  Here are a few ideas.

- Socks & Underwear – most kids need or will shortly need these items.  Pick fun patterns or characters to help make them more exciting when receiving them! (Update: Great clearance on boys and girls undies at Target!  Many packages less than $2.50!)

- Hand soap and hand sanitizer come in fun containers, including popular characters.  Imagine how excited your little one will feel about washing their hands with the special hand soap they received in their Easter basket!

- Band-aids make great gifts!  My kids love receiving character band-aids to stash away for those minor bumps and bruises they like to request band-aids for!

- Bubble bath and bath soap

- Toothbrushes and toothpaste!

- Glue, tape, paper or other things that will be used at art time

- Movie rental certificates, if you already have a weekly or bi-weekly family movie night, why not add a voucher for a movie rental!  Consider other family habits you have such as heading to McDonalds or Cherry Berry.  If you set aside a time for this, why not add a gift certificate to the basket as well!

- Homemade coupons for special outings like a trip to the park of their choosing.

- Bubbles.  We go through so many; it is a sure win in their baskets each year.

- Bypass the candy and include their favorite snacks or breakfast foods.  For example, my kids love the mini muffins that come prepackaged.  We don’t get these very often, however they would be excited to receive them in their basket and you can check breakfast off your grocery shopping list!

- Books cannot be left off the list.  Picking out a great book or two for the basket will reap rewards the whole year through.

Easter Egg Fillers
*Another great way to save at Easter is to fill Easter eggs with items that have a greater purpose than just candy.  I cannot tell you how much candy gets thrown out/donated at my house following holidays like Valentines and Easter.  Some non-candy ideas to fill your eggs:

            - Undies for the smaller kids can easily roll up and squeeze inside the eggs.

            - Hair clips, barrettes and ponytail holders.

            - Stickers, simply cut apart sheets of stickers into one or 2 to add to each egg.

            - Chuck E Cheese tokens (I snag some from our leftover stash- seriously!).

            - Coins that they can add to their piggy bank!

            - Favorite snacks (Fruit snacks, animal crackers, goldfish, yogurt covered raisins)

            - Lip balms/chapstick

            - Legos

            - Fishing lures

            - Hot wheels

            - Barbie outfits

            - Necklace

            - Earings

            - Puzzle pieces (add one or 2 to each egg to add up to the whole puzzle)!

            - Homemade coupons

Note:  You may be surprised to know that many items suggested above can be found at the Dollar Tree for $1!  Things from character hand soaps and hand sanitizers, Barbie and super-hero band-aids, watering cans, character toothbrushes, etc!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Saving - JC Penney Clearance PLUS Coupon!

Headed to JC Penney yesterday for some socks for the hubby and was excited to find some fantastic sales going on!  Not so sure my 4 year old felt the same, cause then Mom has to look around!

We found LOTS of things ranging from $1-$3!  This included items in infants, kids, womens and mens!

Some of the fun deals we found:
Hello Kitty purse $2
Long sleeve superhero and other printed boy t-shirts $1
Tablet sleeve $1
Neck ties $1
And so much more!

And to make it even better, head on over here to grab a coupon good for $10 off a $50 purchase!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Saving - Half Off Gregg's Sub Station! Woot!

If you haven't tried Gregg's Sub Station yet on 41st Street, you are missing out on some yummy subs!

For those of you that I know LOVE Gregg's just like me and for those that are ready to give them a try, I have a fantastic deal to share with you!

Head on over to and grab today's Sioux Falls deal to score 50% off at Gregg's Sub Station.

For $20 you will receive 2 vouchers of $10 each.  Use them up before June 17th!

What a fantastic way to save on the family budget for some great food.  I know a lot of you have summer sports starting up soon with practices and games running from here to there.  Think of how convenient it would be to grab some subs for the road!

Tell us - have you tried Gregg's?

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

LLS GIVEAWAY & Review: Little Passports!

UPDATE: Just received notification that the first 17 customers to order a 12-month subscription will receive a 17% discount using code LUCKY17 at checkout!  Good luck!  Head on over to Little Passports now!
You know those excited little voices and super excited faces when they open the mailbox and see that an item inside has their little name on it?!  Super exciting!  Who doesn't love to get mail anyway?  I think I get a little giddy when I see I have something in the box!  What is it?!  What is it?!  What is it?!  :-)

I have got some fun information to share with you!  Little Passports was kind enough to send my kiddos (ages 4 and 6) the first month of their USA Edition Subscription to try out.

What is Little Passports?  A subscription service started by moms where you can choose from 3-months up to a year and your child(ren) will receive a packet in the mail full of adventure.  Choose from either the World Edition or USA Edition and follow characters Sam and Sofia on their adventures.  All along, learning and exploring.  Depending on your subscription, you will learn about different parts of the world or explore the states.

The kids (and I) have fallen in love with this fun subscription after just our first month!  No, seriously.

South Dakota is included in the landmark states!!  The kids were so excited!
The kids received a map of the United States with different landmarks and the capitals clearly marked.  I could not believe how excited they were to learn so much!  Little Passports makes it easy to engage them with questions for them to explore and dream!

The goodies in our packet!
They also received a Field Guide, Scratch Book and disposable camera!  We are currently busy completing a scavenger hunt of our very own city, taking pictures of different items on our list.  Did you know we had a spell of 3 days where the sky was NOT blue!  Boy were my kids anxious and bummed, as this is one of the things on their list and thought it would have been one of the most simple to check off.

Seriously excited, Elizabeth!
If you are looking for something to engage your children during the cold months or even to take you on an adventure outdoors for the nice weather months, I would definitely suggest you take a look at Little Passports!  We've just started our adventure and can't wait to keep going.

Alex had so much fun with it all!  He even had fun popping the bubbles on the inside of the package that everything came in, after he got ready for bed!  (You know I am thrifty and try to use everything to it's fullest extent - but this was his idea - and I loved it!)

Little Passports would like to give one lucky Living Laughing Saving reader a FREE 3-month subscription of your choice of the World Edition or USA Edition!  How exciting is that!!!

To entre this giveaway, simply fill out the form below in it's entirety prior to Thursday 3/7/13 at 11 PM Central Time!  Good luck!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Saving - DQ: Buy 1 Blizzard Get 1 $.99!

Through March 24, you can grab a second blizzard for just $.99, equal or smaller size of your first one purchased! (No coupon necessary!)

Buy a large blizzard, get up to a large blizzard for $.99.

This really made me crave a Mint Oreo Blizzard.  Mmmm!  What is your favorite flavor?

Saving - Sam's Club Membership Deal!

Wow, check out this fantastic national deal from Living Social!  Just $45 will grab you a year's membership to Sam's Club, $20 Sam's Club Gift Card & food vouchers valid for an Artisan Fresh Rotisserie Chicken, a 16" Artisan Fresh Take-and-Bake Pizza, and two boxes of 6-, 12-, or 24-count Artisan Fresh Cookies!

If you are not currently a Sam's Club Member you can take advantage of this great deal. 

FYI:  Sioux Falls folks - I did call the store and they say they are a participating location.  Feel free to call them if you want to hear it for yourself. :-)

The fine print:
Limit 1 per person • Valid for new Sam's Club Members only • New Member is defined as someone who does not have a currently valid membership • Voucher valid for one-year Membership, $20 Sam's Club gift card, and $19.84 worth of foodservice vouchers • Foodservice vouchers include one Artisan Fresh Rotisserie Chicken; two boxes of 6, 12, or 24 ct. Artisan Fresh Cookies; and one 16" Artisan Fresh Take N’ Bake Pizza • Gift Card cannot be used toward Membership fees • Offer is not valid for renewals • Not valid to redeem until 3/7/13 at your local Sam's Club location • Offer valid for Sam's Club purchases only • Membership expires one year from the date the voucher is activated • Vouchers valid only at participating locations; Visit to find a location • Other conditions apply, see deal for details.

Saving - Aquarius Beads Half Off!

If you haven't checked out Aquarius Beads in Sioux Falls yet, I would recommend them for a fun and unique adventure.

Whether you are looking to learn how to make beaded necklaces and bracelets or just looking for a fun and unique way to spend some time with the girls, you will have fun at Aquarius Beads.

Check out this fantastic deal at where you can grab 50% off!  Get 2 $15 vouchers for just $15.  Nice deal!

When my daughter was readying to enter Kindergarten I took her for a morning at Aquarius Beads and she picked out all the beads to make a bracelet.  She wore the bracelet to school on her first days/weeks of Kindergarten so that when she was sad or scared she could look at her bracelet and know how much we loved her and were proud of her.  After a few weeks she wore it less and less as a 'security' bracelet and now wears it for fun, always remembering our special morning and that SHE made her bracelet.

Aquarius Beads makes it super easy to put a project like this together.  They give you a tray with measurements on it and an idea of how far to go.  You simply lay your beads (chosen from tons of fun beads) on the tray in the order you wish them to be.  Then you simply string them on your chosen material and finish it off with an enclosure piece.  All along you choose your beads and materials so you are in control of how much you are spending too.  The staff was very helpful!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Living - Elegant Mommy Turns 5! Celebration!

A shout out for Elegant Mommy as they turn 5.  Check out the flier above for further information.