Enjoy a tasty twist on this classic French cookie! Hazelnut Nutella Macaroons
5 Frugal Ways to Celebrate Valentine’s Day
Valentine’s Day falls on a Sunday in 2016, which is great because it’s a weekend and really opens up the possibilities of how and where to celebrate with your One True Love.
But, the reality is that a lot of us are still recovering from the Holidays so although we want to make the day special we don’t have a lot of money to spend. So what can you do that is romantic but frugal?
Babysitters are pricey. So are meals out. SO skip the cost of both and stay home. Valentine’s Day falls on a school night, so if you are like me I will still enforce regular bedtime. After a nice family dinner, plan something like a fun Valentine’s Day treat for the family. Chocolate Fondue is great! Add in some family fun time, then make sure you put them to bed at their normal time or maybe just a wee bit earlier so you have some alone time with your significant other. I’m not saying put the kids to bed right after dinner, but if you plan out your time a romantic spot in your bedroom with a bottle of wine is a nice celebration at home that won’t cost too much.
My wedding anniversary is the same week as Christmas which never works out for ANYTHING. We have become masters at celebrating before or after. No frills. Keep that in mind for Valentine’s Day. Having it fall on a Sunday also puts a HIGH demand for babysitters but what about celebrating the Wednesday or weekend before? Avoid the crowds and in some cases inflated costs associated with holidays and celebrate early.
It doesn’t have to be Dinner
It can be brunch (especially on a Sunday!) or lunch. Even better how about making a special lunch and meeting your significant other for lunch during the week? Or how about coming home for a romantic lunch when the kids are at school?
Ditch the Sitter!
Babysitters cost as much as dinner. Yes they do, so what is an alternative? If you have good friends, offer to watch their kids in exchange for them watching yours. How about you go to dinner on Friday or Saturday while they watch your kids and they go out on the other day? Or the Weekend before? If you have family nearby, start buttering them up NOW. Sundays may not work well for them, so be flexible and make sure your kids schedules aren’t disturbed too much either
My Funny (or Sexy) Valentine
When we were newlyweds, many many years ago, I use to buy silly notes and put them in my husband’s lunch. I stopped that after a while what with work and kids, but Valentine’s Day is a perfect time to include a note in your significant other’s lunch, wallet, briefcase or leave it in the car visor so it falls on them or whatever works for you. If you really want to heat things up how about a sexy text? Or find on a deals website a boudoir photo shoot or couples massage? I checked on Groupon for romantic ideas, and several places are running great specials for boudoir photo shoots and couples massages, so make sure to look in your area if you want to get adventurous.
The iconic Coke has inspired generations of fans and collectors. Check this list for something unique for that someone you know who NEVER wants that other cola.
Cool Gifts for Coca-Cola Collectors
1. Santa Cupcakes | Source: The Joys of Boys
2. Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer Cupcakes | Source: Frugal Mom, Eh!
3. Easy Reindeer Cupcakes | Source: Stockpiling Moms
4. Christmas Cupcakes with Drizzled Chocolate | Source: Slap Dash Mom
5. Santa Hat Cupcakes | Source: Cincy Shopper
6. Elf Christmas Cupcake Cones | Source: Kitchen Fun with My 3 Sons
7. Rudolph Cupcakes | Source: Cake Whiz
8. Christmas Wreath Cupcakes | Source: More Than a Mom of Three
9. Santa Legs “Oops” Cupcakes | Source: Simplee Thrifty
10. Christmas Tree Cupcakes | Source: Harper Mondays
11. Cupcake Ornaments | Source: Taste Better from Scratch
12. Tootsie Tree Christmas Cupcakes | Source: Kitchen Fun with My 3 Sons
13. Adorable Rudolph the Reindeer Cupcakes | Source: Crafty Morning
14. Snowman Cupcakes | Source: A Mitten Full of Savings
15. Buddy the Elf High Hat Cupcakes | Source: Lady Behind the Curtain
16. Hot Cocoa Cupcakes | Source: Life with 4 Boys
17. Sugar Cookie North Pole Cupcakes | Source: Thrifty Jinxy
18. Santa Hat Cupcakes | Source: Frugal Mom, Eh!
19. Rudolph Christmas Cupcake Cones | Source: Kitchen Fun with My 3 Sons
20. Marshmallow Snowman Cupcakes | Source: Southern Girl Ramblings
I love clothing shopping for my daughter! It is way too much fun to pick out cute clothes oh.my.gosh. The Holidays are almost here and not only do I want to get her some cute outfits, I have a long list of gifts I need to grab for the kiddos in our family! I LOVE Crazy 8. Their sales and their quality have made me a big fan throughout the years. Since I am short on time, I usually head to the Crazy 8 website to shop. Not only does Crazy 8 have a variety of nice clothing for my daughter, they have clothing in all sizes for kids up to size 14 PLUS lots of trendy and fun gifts. Cross off your list without breaking the bank. My girl is going to look ADORABLE and my list of stocking stuffers is DONE! Toddlers, boys and girls they are going to love selection, and I love that they are all under $25.
For my niece I got the Toddler Girl’s EarFlap Hat $6.00, Save 50%, and I grabbed my daughter an Girl’s Ice Skater Tee $6.00, reduced from $10.88! so she can wear to winter camp. My husband’s nephew is going to find the Boy’s Dinosaur Double Sleeve Tee $10, reduced from $16.88 in his stocking ’cause he LOVES Dinos, and he is going to look so stinkin’ cute in the Toddler Boys Dino Earflap Hat $6.00 Save 50%. One stop shopping for the kids it is!
Those were just some of the small gifts I got for the kids and now this is the outfit I put together for my daughter’s Holiday Pictures! This whole outfit was under $20! I picked up the Sugar & Spice Candy Cane Tee for $6, the Girls Skinny Jeans for $10 and the Metallic Leaf Cutout Headband for $2.99!
As you can see, their selection is great, the kids will look AWESOME and the prices are spectacular. Shop Crazy 8 for YOUR holiday gifts!
WHO wants to win??? Crazy 8 is giving ONE Couponista Queen reader a $50 Gift Card, so you can cross some items of your list. Sweepstakes open to legal US residents 18+. Winner will be contacted at the email address registered and will have 48-hours to respond to claim the prize or forfeit.
PLUS you can win MORE!!! Crazy 8 is hosting a #Crazy8Kid sweepstakes (11/9-12/9), giving away a Crazy 8 $88 gift card to a fan each week. Share how your #Crazy8Kid jumps for joy this holiday season! Follow these easy steps:
- Take a picture of your #Crazy8Kid jumping for joy
- Add the following hashtags to your entry: #Crazy8Kid and #Crazy8KidSweepstakes
- Share on Instagram or Twitter
Couponista Queen was compensated for this post.
Thanks to MidgetMomma.com for Sharing this list of places where Active Duty Service Members, Guard Members and Veterans can get a FREE Meal on Veteran’s Day. Share this information with anyone you know who is a Veteran or Active Duty so they can also take advantage of the offers.
Please remember to bring proof of military service. Proof of service includes Military ID, Discharge Papers, DD214, or being in uniform. What proof of service is required depends on the restaurant and YMMV on hours and offer restrictions. When in doubt, call ahead.
Great Clips: Veterans who stop by any U.S. Great Clips salon on November 11 will receive a free haircut that day or receive a free haircut card to be used by December 31.
Spaghetti Warehouse: Invite a Veteran or Soldier to Lunch or Dinner”, Choose One Original Spaghetti Entree or 15-Layer Lasagne, Get 2nd Entree Free. THREE DAY Buy One Get One Free Veteran’s Day Event, November 9 through 11th. Print coupon here
McCormick & Schmick’s : Complimentary lunch or dinner entrée on Sunday, November 8 in recognition of Veteran’s Day.
Red Lobster: From Monday, Nov. 9th through Thursday, Nov. 12th,Red Lobster is thanking active-duty military, actively serving, reserve and military veterans for their service with a no purchase necessary free appetizer or dessert offer. Guests may choose from a special menu
Red Robin: FREE* Red’s Tavern Double™ burger with Bottomless Steak Fries
Friendly’s: FREE breakfast, lunch or dinner.
- Breakfast Option includes: Big-Two-Do meal, which includes a coffee and the choice between two slices of French toast, two buttermilk pancakes, or two slices of regular toast. Breakfast also comes with bacon or sausage links, and two farm fresh eggs.
- Lunch or dinner includes: an All-American Burger served with fries and a beverage (soda, ice tea, or hot beverage).
Olive Garden: Military members and Veterans get a FREE Meal, their family members get 10% off their meals. Start with unlimited soup or salad and breadsticks. choose from one of the entrées:
- cheese ravioli
- spaghetti with meat sauce
- chicken parmigiana
- garlic rosemary chicken
Bonanza Steakhouse: From 4pm-close get a FREE Buffet meal.
Ponderosa Steakhouse: From 4pm-close get a FREE Buffet meal.
Rock & Brews: complimentary pulled pork sandwich with a side choice of natural fries, house potato salad, pasta salad or coleslaw throughout the day at all of its restaurants in the United States.
Hooters: All active-duty and retired military nationwide to enjoy a free meal as a “thank you” for their service. On Wednesday, Nov. 11, all veterans and active-duty military personnel can enjoy an entrée on the house, served up with warm Hooters Girl hospitality, by presenting a military ID or proof of service at any Hooters location across the country
Little Caesars® Pizza: Receive their free $5 Lunch Combo, which features four slices of Little Caesars popular Detroit-style DEEP!DEEP!™ Dish pizza, paired with a 20-ounce Pepsi product
Applebee’s: Pick from one of 7 meals as a Thank you to service members. Available from open to close. Dine in only.
- Oriental Chicken Salad
- Fiesta Lime Chicken
- Three Cheese Chicken Penne
- Double Crunch Shrimp
- The American Standard
- 7oz sirloin
- Chicken Tender Platter
Golden Corral: Military and Veterans can dine for FREE From 5pm-1opm.
Outback Steakhouse: FREE Bloomin’ Onion® & Beverage at your local Outback Steakhouse on Wednesday, November 11, with valid military ID. And for the rest of the year, they are giving 15% off to military personnel—plus their families. Come in November 12 through December 31 to enjoy your discount, with valid military ID. If you are currently deployed you can still get yours, go here and fill out the form and they will give you a Veterans Day Rain Check for a FREE Bloomin’ Onion®. It’ll be waiting for you, at any Outback Steakhouse in the U.S., when you come home.
Denny’s: Get a free Build Your Own Grand Slam breakfast on Nov. 11 from 5 a.m.- noon.
White Castle: Get a free Breakfast Slider and a small coffee or a small soft drink.
Texas Roadhouse: Pick one of the following meals for free, plus get a free drink.
- 6 oz sirloin with 2 sides
- country fried chicken with 2 sides
- country fried sirloin with 2 sides
- pulled pork dinner with 2 sides
- grilled pork chop with 2 sides
- All-American cheeseburger with fries
- BBQ Chicken Sandwich with fries
- Pulled pork sandwich with fries
- Grilled chicken salad
- Chicken Critter Salad
Chili’s : Is offering all military veterans past and present their choice of one of 7 meals during the dinner hour, or any lunch combo during lunch. Offer only available at participating Chili’s in the U.S. only. Dine-in from limited menu only.
Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt: free cup of froyo, up to 11 ounces. You will have a wide selection of flavors and toppings to choose from, including the limited time only froyo flavors, Pumpkin Spice Latte and the new Salted Caramel Latte.
Krystal: From 6 AM to 11 AM, on Wednesday, November 11, 2015, all active and retired military can receive a free chicken or free sausage biscuit. Additionally, from 11 am to close, everyone can take advantage of $.50 Pups and Corn Pups.
Ihop: FREE stack of Red, White & Blue pancakes (buttermilk pancakes crowned with glazed strawberries, blueberry compote and whipped topping), from 7 a.m.-7 p.m.
On the Boarder: receive a “Choose 2” or “Choose 3” selection from OTB’s “Create Your Own Combo” menu (up to$10.79 in value)
Bar Louie: From open to close Tuesday, November 10th and Wednesday, November 11th Bar Louie locations across the country will offer veterans and active military personnel a free meal up to a $12 value
Bob Evans: Veterans and active duty military personnel have the choice of the following menu items to eat for free on Veterans Day:
- Stack of Hotcakes (Buttermilk or Multigrain) – A stack of four fluffy hotcakes served with warm syrup
- Fresh Baked Brioche French Toast – Two griddled slices of rich, house-baked Brioche bread, dipped in real egg batter made with natural vanilla and cinnamon, then griddled to golden-brown
- Sunrise Breakfast – Two eggs cooked-to-order, served with choice of hash browns, home fries or grits, and freshly baked bread
- Country Biscuit Breakfast – A fresh baked buttermilk biscuit topped with one egg cooked-to-order, fresh never frozen sausage, creamy country gravy and shredded cheddar cheese. The dish is served with a choice of hash browns, home fries or grits
- Mini Sampler Breakfast – One egg cooked-to-order with a choice of hash browns, home fries or grits. It’s served with two fresh never frozen sausage links or thick bacon strips and freshly baked bread
Here’s the TV schedule for times and days of when your favorite Christmas Movies will be appearing on ABC Family’s 25 days of Christmas. We look forward to this every year, and the lineup looks great!! These are classics old and new, plus great NEW movies, all suitable for cuddling up with the family. Thanks to I Heart the Mart for the list.
Tuesday, December 1
(7:00-9:30 AM ET/PT) ABC Family’s 25 Days of Christmas Schedule 2015
(11:00 AM-1:00 PM ET/PT) Disney’s A Christmas Carol
(1:00–2:30 PM ET/PT) Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmas
(2:30 PM–3:30 PM ET/PT)The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus
(3:30–4:00 PM ET/PT)Frosty’s Winter Wonderland
(4:00–6:00 PM ET/PT)Rudolph and Frosty’s Christmas in July
(6:00–7:00 PM ET/PT)The Year Without a Santa Claus
(7:00–9:00 PM ET/PT)The Polar Express
(9:00 PM–12:00 AM ET/PT): Dr Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas
(12:00–1:00 AM ET/PT)The Year Without a Santa Claus Encore Presentation
(1:00–2:00 AM ET/PT) Rudolph’s Shiny New Year
Wednesday, December 2
(7:00–9:00 AM ET/PT)The Christmas Shoes
(9:00–9:30 AM ET/PT) Frosty’s Winter Wonderland
(11:00 AM–12:30 PM ET/PT)Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmas
(12:30–1:30 PM ET/PT)A Miser Brothers Christmas
(1:30–2:30 PM ET/PT)Jack Frost (1979)
(2:30–3:30 PM ET/PT)Rudolph’s Shiny New Year
(3:30–6:00 PM ET/PT)Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory
(6:00–8:45 PM ET/PT)Dr Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas
(8:45–11:00 PM ET/PT)The Santa Clause
(12:00–2:00 AM ET/PT)Snow
Thursday, December 3
(7:00–9:00 AM ET/PT)Christmas in Boston
(9:00–9:30 AM ET/PT)Mickey’s Christmas Carol
(11:00 AM–1:45 PM ET/PT)Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory
(1:45–4:00 PM ET/PT)I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus
(4:00–6:00 PM ET/PT)Jack Frost (1998)
(6:00–8:15 PM ET/PT)The Santa Clause
(8:15–11:00 PM ET/PT)Fred Claus
(12:00–2:00 AM ET/PT) Snow 2: Brain Freeze
Friday, December 4
(7:00-9:00 AM ET/PT)Meet the Santas
(9:00-9:30 AM ET/PT)The First Christmas: The Story of the First Christmas Snow
(11:00 AM–12:00 PM ET/PT)Rudolph’s Shiny New Year
(12:00–2:00 PM ET/PT)Rudolph and Frosty’s Christmas in July
(2:00–4:00 PM ET/PT)Jack Frost (1998)
(4:00–6:00 PM ET/PT)I’ll Be Home For Christmas
(6:00–7:00 PM ET/PT)Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town
(7:00–9:30 PM ET/PT)Fred Claus
(9:30–11:50 PM ET/PT)ELF
(11:50 PM–2:00 AM ET/PT)Prancer
Saturday, December 5
(7:00–8:00 AM ET/PT)Rudolph’s Shiny New Year
(8:00–10:00 AM ET/PT)Rudolph and Frosty’s Christmas in July
(10:00 AM–12:15 PM ET/PT)I’ll Be Home For Christmas
(12:15–3:00 PM ET/PT)Prancer
(3:00–4:00 PM ET/PT)The Year Without a Santa Claus
(4:00–5:00 PM ET/PT)Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town
(5:00–7:15 PM ET/PT)The Polar Express
(7:15–9:30 PM ET/PT)ELF
(9:30 PM–12:30 AM ET/PT)Dr Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas
(12:30–2:00 AM ET/PT)Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas
Sunday, December 6
(7:00–9:00 AM ET/PT) A Very Brady Christmas
(9:00–11:00 AM ET/PT) Home Alone: The Holiday Heist
(11:00 AM–12:00 PM ET/PT) The Year Without a Santa Claus
(12:00–12:30 PM ET/PT) The Little Drummer Boy
(12:30-2:30 PM ET/PT) Disney’s A Christmas Carol
(2:30–4:45 PM ET/PT) The Polar Express
(4:45–6:30 PM ET/PT) Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas
(6:30–9:30 PM ET/PT) Dr Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas
(9:30-10:00 PM ET/PT) Beyond the Shadows: The Making of Shadowhunters
(10:00 PM-12:00 AM ET/PT) National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
Monday, December 7
(7:00–9:00 AM ET/PT) Home Alone: The Holiday Heist
(9:00–9:30 AM ET/PT) The Little Drummer Boy
(11:00 AM–1:00 PM ET/PT) Three Days
(1:00–4:00 PM ET/PT) Love Actually
(4:00–6:30 PM ET/PT) Fred Claus
(6:30–8:45 PM ET/PT) National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
(8:45–11:00 PM ET/PT) The Santa Clause
(12:00-2:00 AM ET/PT) The Mistle-Tones
Tuesday, December 8
(7:00–9:30 AM ET/PT) Fred Claus
(11:00 AM–1:00 PM ET/PT) Secret Santa
(1:00–3:00 PM ET/PT) The Mistle-Tones
(3:00-4:00 PM ET/PT) Pinocchio’s Christmas
(4:00-6:00 PM ET/PT) Disney’s A Christmas Carol
(6:00–6:30 PM ET/PT) Frosty’s Winter Wonderland
(6:30–8:45 PM ET/PT) The Santa Clause
(8:45–11:00 PM ET/PT) The Polar Express
(12:00–2:00 AM ET/PT) Snowglobe
Wednesday, December 9
(7:00–9:00 AM ET/PT) 12 Dates of Christmas
(9:00–9:30 AM ET/PT) The Little Drummer Boy Book II
(11:00 AM-12:10 PM ET/PT) Pinocchio’s Christmas
(12:10–2:20 PM ET/PT) Prancer
(2:20–4:30 PM ET/PT) Snowglobe
(4:30–6:00 PM ET/PT) Mickey’s Twice Upon A Christmas
(6:00–6:30 PM ET/PT) Mickey’s Christmas Carol
(6:30–8:45 PM ET/PT) The Polar Express
(8:45–11:00 PM ET/PT) ELF
(12:00–1:00 AM ET/PT) The Year Without a Santa Claus
(1:00–2:00 AM ET/PT) Rudolph’s Shiny New Year
Thursday, December 10
(7:00–9:30 AM ET/PT) Prancer
(11:00-11:30 AM ET/PT) Nestor, The Christmas Donkey
(11:30 AM–12:00 PM ET/PT) Frosty’s Winter Wonderland
(12:00–2:00 PM ET/PT) Rudolph and Frosty’s Christmas in July
(2:00–2:30 PM ET/PT) Mickey’s Christmas Carol
(2:30–4:00 PM ET/PT) Mickey’s Twice Upon A Christmas
(4:00-4:30 PM ET/PT) The Little Drummer Boy
(4:30–5:30 PM ET/PT) Rudolph’s Shiny New Year
(5:30–6:30 PM ET/PT) The Year Without a Santa Claus
(6:30–8:45 PM ET/PT) ELF
(8:45–11:00 PM ET/PT) National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
(12:00–2:00 AM ET/PT) Santa Baby 2: Christmas Maybe
Friday, December 11
(7:00-9:00 AM ET/PT) Desperately Seeking Santa
(9:00–9:30 AM ET/PT) Frosty’s Winter Wonderland
(11:00 AM–1:00 PM ET/PT) Holiday in Handcuffs
(1:00-4:00 PM ET/PT) The Family Man
(4:00–6:45 PM ET/PT) Fred Claus
(6:45–9:00 PM ET/PT) National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
(9:00 PM- 12:00 AM ET/PT) Dr Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas
(12:00–1:00 AM ET/PT) Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town
(1:00–2:00 AM ET/PT) The Year Without a Santa Claus
Saturday, December 12
(7:00–8:00 AM ET/PT) Jack Frost (1979)
(8:00–9:45 AM ET/PT) Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmas
(9:45–11:30 AM ET/PT) Mickey’s Twice Upon A Christmas
(11:30 AM-12:15 PM ET/PT) The Bells of Fraggle Rock ABC FAMILY PREMIERE!
(12:15-1:20 PM ET/PT) Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas – ABC FAMILY PREMIERE!
(1:20–2:30 PM ET/PT) The Year Without a Santa Claus
(2:30–3:30 PM ET/PT) Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town
(3:30–4:00 PM ET/PT) Frosty’s Winter Wonderland
(4:00–6:00 PM ET/PT) Rudolph and Frosty’s Christmas in July
(6:00–9:00 PM ET/PT) Dr Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas
(9:00–11:15 PM ET/PT) ELF
(11:15 PM–2:00 AM ET/PT) Fred Claus
Sunday, December 13
(7:00–8:45 AM ET/PT) Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmas
(8:45–10:25 AM ET/PT) Mickey’s Twice Upon A Christmas
(10:25-11:05 AM ET/PT) The Bells of Fraggle Rock ABC FAMILY PREMIERE!
(11:05 AM-12:10 PM ET/PT) Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas – ABC FAMILY PREMIERE!
(12:10–2:15 PM ET/PT) Rudolph and Frosty’s Christmas in July
(2:15–4:30 PM ET/PT) ELF
(4:30-6:45 PM ET/PT) Disney Pixar’s Toy Story
(6:45-9:00 PM ET/PT) Disney Pixar’s Toy Story 2
(9:00–9:30 PM ET/PT) Disney Pixar’s Toy Story That Time Forgot
(9:30 PM-12:00 AM ET/PT) Disney Pixar’s Toy Story 3
Monday, December 14
(7:00-9:00 AM ET/PT) Mr. St. Nick
(9:00-9:30 AM ET/PT) ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas
(11:00–11:30 AM ET/PT) Frosty’s Winter Wonderland
(11:30 AM–2:00 PM ET/PT) Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
(2:00-4:00 PM ET/PT) Disney Pixar’s Toy Story
(4:00-6:00 PM ET/PT) Disney Pixar’s Toy Story 2
(6:00–6:30 PM ET/PT) Disney Pixar’s Toy Story That Time Forgot
(6:30-8:45 PM ET/PT) Disney Pixar’s Toy Story 3
(8:45–11:00 PM ET/PT) The Santa Clause 3: The Great Escape
(12:00–2:00 AM ET/PT) Snow
Tuesday, December 15
(7:00–9:30 AM ET/PT) Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
(11:00 AM-1:00 PM ET/PT) Desperately Seeking Santa
(1:00–3:00 PM ET/PT) Santa Baby
(3:00–5:00 PM ET/PT) Santa Baby 2: Christmas Maybe
(5:00–6:00 PM ET/PT) Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town
(6:00–8:15 PM ET/PT) The Santa Clause 3: The Great Escape
(8:15–10:30 PM ET/PT) ELF
(10:30–11:00 PM ET/PT) The Little Drummer Boy
(12:00–2:00 AM ET/PT) Snow 2: Brain Freeze
Wednesday, December 16
(7:00–9:00 AM ET/PT) Three Days
(9:00–9:30 AM ET/PT) The Little Drummer Boy
(11:00 AM-2:00 PM ET/PT) The Family Man
(2:00–4:00 PM ET/PT) Christmas in Boston
(4:00–5:00 PM ET/PT) Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town
(5:00–6:00 PM ET/PT) The Year Without a Santa Claus
(6:00–8:15 PM ET/PT) ELF
(8:15–10:30 PM ET/PT) The Polar Express
(10:30-11:00 PM ET/PT) Nestor, The Christmas Donkey
(12:00–2:00 AM ET/PT) Desperately Seeking Santa
Thursday, December 17
(7:00–10:15 AM ET/PT) The Family Man
(10:15 AM–1:30 PM ET/PT) Love Actually
(1:30–4:15 PM ET/PT) The Preacher’s Wife
(4:15–6:30 PM ET/PT) Snow
(6:30–8:45 PM ET/PT) The Polar Express
(8:45–11:00 PM ET/PT) Disney’s A Christmas Carol
(12:00–2:00 AM ET/PT) Holidaze
Have you ever taken a look at how your grandparents or great-grandparents lived? Chances are, they were really, really good with their money. Why do you think that is? Basically: they lived through times when things were hard…and I mean harder than you have (hopefully) ever experienced. They may have lived through the Great Depression. The Dust Bowl. World Wars. Been immigrants. Been part of big families with not enough for everyone. They may have been poorer than you can imagine. Because of that, they learned to do things differently than you and I have. I remember many stories told to me by my grandparents and great aunts and uncles, fascinated by stories of no running water and no electricity. Nothing compares to the life of comparable luxury we enjoy today — some of which is in part to their hard work and sacrifices to make future generations of the family successful. Here are some of the best lessons I learned from the “Olden Days” that still apply today. I try to incorporate these into our life and am teaching my daughter the same.
- Waste Not Want Not – Your grandparents learned to use everything until they couldn’t use it anymore, and most of us could take a hint from them. Are you using everything in your life until you no longer can? For example, using chicken or beef bones until they’re mush to make stock then using the mush to make pet food, or keeping a bag in the freezer for vegetable scraps to use for stock or soup. Make sure you extend this to every single area of your life and use the last of your makeup, toilet paper, ink in a pen and more. My grandma always saved the last slivers of a bar of soap in a jar, and she added a little water to make her own Soft Soap.
- Save every dime (0r penny) you can – Savings account looking a little bare? Or is it non-existent? Take a tip from your elders and save every penny you can. A penny saved really is a penny earned. In fact, a lot of people who were kids during the depression later invested those pennies and are living quite comfortably now thanks to that smart thinking. In that vein, try to use coupons and shop sales. Saving a few dollars (to a few hundred a month) just by using coupons really does add up.
- Let go of your pride – Ask anyone who grew up in that time period and they will tell you that they were willing to do any job at all to help take care of their families. In today’s world, it’s common to think that we’re above a certain job because it may pay less or we may just feel it’s “beneath” us. If things are rough? Nothing is beneath you when it comes to feeding your family. What you may think of as a menial job, they thought of as opportunity. Do the same.
- Get Creative with your meals and eat at home – Some of the most memorable meals are the simplest and this holds true for cooks during the Depression Era. One of the best tips is to replace ingredients with cheaper ones. Lentils or beans are great for substituting ground beef and you can easily stretch most soups or casseroles with rice or egg noodles. Want to use the meat but make it go further? Mix in some oats or oatmeal. And save meals out for special occasions. Even a drive through trip can cost $20! Planning ahead for those busy nights by having some meals in the freezer will save your budget, and taste much better than a burger in a bag.
- Skip the store and make it yourself – Depression Era families learned how to make things at home instead of buying them. This could include things like toothpaste, deodorant, laundry soap, bread and more. All of these things are much cheaper to make yourself than to purchase.
- Grow it yourselves – Most families had gardens and they were a necessary part of life if you wanted to eat. Victory Gardens were popular during World War II, and many families depended on what they grew to feed the family. There was no super grocery store to run to when you needed food, and many families could not afford store bought anyhow. If you try, make sure that you include things like celery that can be grown from scraps so that you don’t waste anything. And a compost pile is a great way to recycle food scraps into beautiful organic fertilizer.
- Fix It Yourselves – Have a skirt that needs hemmed? Learn to do it yourself. Need a rip sewn? Learn to mend it yourself. Plumbing need fixed? You guessed it, fix it yourself. Your grandparents learned to do it themselves (often by sheer necessity) and you can too. Your wallet will thank you, and you will feel accomplished. And these days Google and YouTube are fabulous resources of information for practically anything you want to learn to do. Just know when you really should call that professional to be safe.
- Trade for it – Money was not the only commodity, and in fact trade was very common. People traded things they had or services they could do for things they needed. Doctors were often paid in eggs or crops. My own grandmother used to trade her excellent sewing skills for things the family needed all the time.
- Learn Needs vs Wants – Money does not in fact grown on trees, and when budgets are tight needs vs wants become stark reality. I am not talking about basics like food, shelter and utilities. I mean the extras that we THINK we need. Not sure if you really need something? Try this test: Consider the thing you need/want. Would you be willing to have the thing or the same value in cash? If your answer is the cash…you probably don’t need it, you just want it, so consider carefully. Things like satellite tv, data packages on smartphones, and expensive coffees out are all nice. But if you need cash more, then you need to consider cutting back. Brew your own coffee. Sign up for Netflix. One trick I do when I want something is figure out how long I have to work to pay for that item. Usually it goes right back on the shelf.
- Hand it Down and Pass it On – Ok this one can be really fun! I try to shop at thrift stores, and I learned this from my grandma who dressed very nicely on the cheap! There are some good thrift stores nearby and the clothing is great quality, so when I have NOTHING to wear (lol) I head to the thrift store to satisfy my shopping bug without breaking the budget. Here is the fun part — When I am done wearing something, I put it in a bag and then I pass the bag to a friend. I get bags passed to me. Take what you want and add to it and pass it along. It is a great FREE way to rejuvenate your wardrobe. And for kids, definitely pass those clothes (and TOYS as well!) on or even SELL them on resale sites. And invest in classic items for things like coats, boots and bags. Fads are pricey and often poor quality. Sometimes it is a better value to spend a little more on something that you want to use for years.
- Sell Sell Sell – One man’s trash really IS another man’s treasure! I sell things we no longer need on Facebook resale sites. You would be surprised what people will buy, so give it a go. My grandma sold jelly and jam. My grandpa earned extra cash working on boat engines in his spare time. My other grandma made custom draperies at home. If you have a hobby, see if there is a way for you to get paid to do it!
- Live Below Your Means – This one is really the biggest. My grandparents lived in the same small house they bought in 1942. They raised 4 kids in it and lived there proudly until the day they were unable to care for themselves. They didn’t buy a new car every year, they used it till it wore out. They could have afforded more than they had, but they didn’t spend frivolously or foolishly. My parents still live in the house I and my brother grew up in. Don’t take on debt for bad reasons, like keeping up appearances. There really do come those rainy days (Or months. Or years even.) when NOT keeping up with the Jones’ pays you back in spades. My grandparents eventually needed their savings to take care of themselves in a decent place when the time came, and our family felt better that they were well cared for until they days they passed. They taught us all well, and I am trying to live their lessons and teaching my daughter the frugal way.
This is a sponsored post. Couponista Queen was compensated for it.
It’s one colossal party on ice, with all your favorite Disney friends at Disney On Ice presents Let’s Celebrate! Presented by YoKids Organic Yogurt. Join your favorites like Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald and Goofy as they celebrate a Very Merry Unbirthday Party with Alice and the Mad Hatter; a Royal Valentine’s Day Ball with your favorite Disney Princesses (including Cinderella, Ariel, Belle and Tiana), a Hawaiian luau with Lilo & Stitch; a whole new world with Jasmine and Aladdin; a winter wonderland with Woody, Jessie and Buzz Lightyear; a Halloween haunt with the Disney villains and much more. Come join the celebration you’ve been waiting for when Disney On Ice presents Let’s Celebrate! skates into your hometown!
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This is a sponsored post. Couponista Queen was compensated for it.
This is a sponsored post. I received a promotional item as a thank you for participating.
Have you ever had a great idea for one of your favorite brands? Ever wish you could share your ideas directly with brands that actually listen to you? C Space is a company that helps brands grow by connecting them directly with their customers. They bring the customer and the brand closer together, combining ideas and opinions and help create positive change.
You’re invited to join the new, private online C Space Launch Community where you can interact with other members like yourself and impact a variety of brands – over 500 and counting! Brands like Twitter, Hallmark, Nestle, Unilever, Colgate, Godiva and Samsung (to name a few) work with C Space. Have a say in what comes next by signing up with C Space and be a part of the Launch Community. Interact with others, engage in activities, surveys and discussions that interest you, and earn Amazon gift codes for your participation. I got in and am very excited to get started!
This is a sponsored post. I received a promotional item as a thank you for participating.
Are you famous in your family for last minute gift buying? Do you spend too much because you don’t plan ahead? If so, I have the answer for you – Build yourself a gift closet! What in the world is that? Pretty much exactly what it sounds like. It doesn’t have to be a closet, but it is a stash of gifts that you can go to whenever you need one before going out and buying one. That’s all fine and dandy, right, but building one frugally one does take a bit of time and planning. After all, if you just ran out and bought a bunch of gifts to stock it with, you would be broke in no time. Check out these tips on how to build your gift closet without breaking your budget.
Start small – As I said earlier, the last thing you want is to buy a bunch of gifts all at once. Instead, start small. Buy one or two things at a time when you find them on sale then stash them away. Shop throughout the year with your recipients in mind.
Start early – Some of the thriftiest shoppers in the world start early…as in the day after Christmas early…for the next year. Why? Because clearance deals are too good to pass up during that time period. Start building your gift closet as early as you can and you’ll not only save, but you’ll score awesome gifts, too.
Scour the deals – Not only should you make friends with your favorite deal blogs, but you should also get to know the clearance section at your favorite stores and websites. On top of that, you may want to consider signing up for your favorite cash back website to help you save even more on online purchases. And if you shop Kmart or Sears and thousands of other partners, sign up with Shop Your Way and make me your Personal Shopper. It is FREE and you earn points on every purchase = cash money off your next one.
Use Free Gift Cards – When you’re using gift cards to pay for something? You’re not using cash. See the savings? If you aren’t sure how to get started earning free gift cards or want to start earning more, check out these 10 ways to earn free gift cards.
Think ahead – Your child might like Dora now, but will she the next time Christmas rolls around? If not and you don’t have any other little ones to buy for, you may want to stay away from toys and things that they may grow out of before you can gift it. Stick with the classics, as well as stocking gifts for kids birthdays
Check the thrift stores and garage sale sites for your area – I kid you not, I have scored some terrific, unique and brand new gifts at places like Goodwill and on the garage sale Facebook sites for my area (Search Facebook garage sale or buy sell trade then your local city, town etc.)
Don’t forget the cards – I also stash away cards to save me a trip to buy one at $4.99 while we are dressed and in the car on the way to the event — I like the $1 cards at Family Dollar and Target. I keep a good selection, grabbing a few at a time when I see ones I like. Remember, too, that sometimes a handmade card is just as great and way more personal (and frugal).
Having a gift closet around is a fantastic time saver, money saver and just overall sanity saver. Keep your gifts stashed away where no one will find them and when the time comes and you need one, you’ll be all set with no shopping required!
The Holidays will be here before you know it and there’s no time like right now to start planning your holiday budget. While you should optimally try to budget and save for gifts all year long, you should also look at earning as many free gift cards as you can. It is fairly easy earn them to help pay for gifts, and to pay for regular stuff you need through the entire year.
Yes, you heard me right. Earning free gift cards is an awesome way to make your budget stretch a bit farther than it normally would. There are a ton of different ways that you can earn them, but these 10 ways to earn free gift cards for Christmas are my absolute favorites, and totally legitimate.
Holiday budgets don’t have to be a scary thing. Use these 10 sites and apps to help you make it more manageable, and make sure you check out the BONUS site at the end!
Amazon Trade In Program – Did you know that Amazon will pay you for items you no longer want? Items like Books, DVD’s, Video games and more can all be sent to Amazon to exchange for Amazon gift cards.
InstaGC – Do you like taking surveys and filling out offers or watching videos? If so, InstaGC is right up your alley! The selection of gift cards to choose from is huge and payout is instant when you cash out. 100 points = $1.00 gift card and you earn an automatic 10 points for signing up, plus easy to earn more fast by confirming your email and other easy tasks.
SwagBucks – SwagBucks is still the standard when it comes to search and win. Use it in place of Google, take surveys, play games and more to earn points. Those points can then be exchanged for gift cards or even Paypal! I really just use the search engine portion and I earn $10 worth of Amazon gift cards a month (my choice – they have lots).
ShopKick – Do you have a smartphone? Are you constantly running in and out of stores? If so, put that to work for you! When you head to a store on the list, you’ll be given kicks just for walking in the door of stores like Target, Walmart, and more. You can also earn for scanning barcodes in the store. Trade your kicks in for awesome gift cards like Target, Walmart, Best Buy and more! Best part — the app reminds you when you are nearby so you don’t forget to get your kicks when you walk in.
iBotta – If you’re not already using iBotta, you should be. When you buy certain items and iBotta will pay you cash back! It is so easy even a child can do it. And kids love helping with this. Look through the iBotta offers before you head to the store to help you make your list. There are even offers to save on things like eggs, milk, and produce. You will have to do something quick like take a one question survey to unlock the offer – it literally takes seconds. Then, shop as normal. When you get home you will need to scan the item and your receipt, then you get the offer amount given to you as a rebate. You can choose to cash out your rebates via Paypal or you can get gift cards! Join iBotta and earn $1 extra when you earn your first rebate.
Perk – Another awesome way to use your phone to make yourself some free money is by using the Perk app to watch commercials! There are other apps that will earn you points. They have a very large selection of gift cards to choose from and points generally rack up quickly!
Receipt Hog – Do you shop? Of course you do! Scan your receipts into Receipt Hog and you’ll earn spins to win points. Trade your points in for Amazon Gift Cards.
Bing Rewards – Another search and win that can score you gift cards for Amazon, Sephora, X-Box Live and more!
Harris Poll Online – A true survey company, Harris Poll pays its members for taking surveys in Amazon gift cards. (A Nielsen Company) – Get Paid For Your Opinions! Easy to do.
MySurvey – Another true survey company, with MySurvey you can earn either cash or gift cards. A group of consumers from throughout the United States who influence future products and services by volunteering to participate in consumer research.
Here is a BONUS for you! —
Ever wish you could share an idea directly with a brand (like Walmart) to help create positive change? C Space specializes in bringing the customer and the brand closer together to share ideas directly. Earn Amazon gift cards for monthly participation! I worked with this company last year to connect readers with some MAJOR brands and they are awesome.
We’ve all seen it happen. You’re standing in the checkout lane at the store. There is another coupon user ahead of you. While you quietly watch in silent solidarity, thinking, “YAY! Go sister coupon saver!”, they hand over their stack of coupons to the cashier. She begins to scan each one. Suddenly –
She scans again…
She tries a third time…
*beep!* and then she tells the customer that she cannot accept the coupon because it won’t scan.
Your solidarity sister in front of you gets flustered (I get that, we have all been there!), asking that the cashier hand enter the coupon because it is valid, it is from the newspaper. The cashier declines, and a conversation about the store policy about coupons that don’t scan ensues. Your coupon sister begins to get upset. You begin to cringe, seeing where this is headed. Suddenly that feeling of solidarity dries up and you want another checkout lane, now. You try to hide your huge stack of coupons as the people behind you begin to deep sigh. The irate couponer soon raises her voice and demands a manager. The light goes on and the tension is oh so fun while everyone waits, and finally the manager arrives. After a pow wow, the cashier ends up pretty close to tears and clearly upset, and a manager has to complete the transaction. Ultimately the customer got her coupon accepted, probably just to get her to shut up already. The customer, still mad but smugly gloating, finally leaves. And as for the manager that was called over? Well, this person is just really tired of dealing with coupons and rude coupon users.
Guess what? Now it’s your turn to checkout with your stack of coupons! How do you think your transaction is going to go after all of that?
Having manners at the checkout is something that we should all do. Sounds easy enough. Yes, it directly affects how you will be treated on your current shopping trip (or the next – cashiers DO remember you and they DO know who the difficult customers are!), but it also has a far larger reach than that. When a couponer is rude and demanding, makes a scene, blames the cashier for an issue, tries to get the policy overridden, tries to purposely commit coupon fraud or acts entitled, it hurts every single person that shops with coupons.
With the rise in popularity of extreme couponing, many store policies have been changed to manage out of control or illegal couponers. Some stores have stopped taking coupons entirely, or have stopped taking printed coupons, or have restricted the number of coupons that can be redeemed at a time or the number of products. Most stores will now refuse a coupon that does not scan due to couterfits. All of these things make couponing harder on the honest and well-mannered couponer. Most take this in stride and act gracefully. But I know of shoppers who have been banned from stores because of their attitudes and bad manners. I have witnessed first hand actual arguments over a few dollars worth of coupons. There have even been situations where cashiers have been threatened with guns over coupons! It really is a situation where a few “bad eggs” can ruin things for the entire dozen. In other words, bad couponers can make things harder or even ruin couponing completely for others at a store you love.
Planning a couponing trip and then actually shopping can be stressful enough already without adding anything extra to it. Instead of adding stress by expecting a problem and going in already defensive, try a different tactic:
- Try not to shop hungry = hangry. At least eat a snack so you are less likely to overspend and less likely to overreact.
- Be prepared. Make sure that your coupons are in order and don’t make the cashier and other customers wait while you sort them. Have that stuff ready before you get in the line at all. I find a quiet area of the store to go through them all before I check out. That way I also make sure I got everything on my list AND it gives me a chance to take out the things that the kids (or the hubby) try to sneak in or that I have changed my mind on. When you can leave the kids at home. Less distractions and way less stress for you.
- Take a deep breath before you check out. It really helps to settle you down.
- Realize that cash registers and bar code scanners are electronics. They are going to mess up, and though it is frustrating, patience goes a long way.
- Remember that the cashier is a human being. Remember the manners your parents taught you. Smile and say hello and make eye contact and I guarantee that you just got some points in your favor. Try to develop a friendly relationship with the cashiers so they will get to know you a bit. Your cashier has probably been at their work station for hours. They might be tired, or just having a bad day and really just want to go home. I know, I know… they should love their job or not work with the public. But ask yourself, do you always love your job? No? Then cut them some slack and don’t make things worse by having poor manners. Now that is not excuse for a rude cashier, and if you happen upon one, by all means see a manager.
- If there is a problem, reacting to it calmly and politely will get you a lot farther than getting an attitude and arguing will. Being prepared with the coupon policy or sales ad is helpful. If you DO find yourself in a situation with the cashier or manager:
- Be polite but firm if you believe you are in the right. Try to resolve the situation with the cashier before nicely asking for a manager. If the manager cannot resolve the issue, you can always cancel the transaction and/or contact corporate level customer service. Don’t engage in a power struggle or make a scene. It is better to walk away and deal with it externally.
- Don’t be sarcastic or offensive. Stay calm. Never raise your voice or use profanity or be insulting. Don’t gloat if you “win” and the cashier or manager has to do what you were initially refused. Like my grandmother would say, “Show some class.”
- Admit when you are wrong. Every one of us is wrong sometimes, and a person with good manners will admit it and offer a sincere apology. Saying, “I had no idea that your coupon policy was updated last week. I apologize.”
- Understand that no matter how right you may be that the store has the ultimate say in what happens. So try to make the best of the situation, especially if you plan to shop there again. Employees remember both difficult and nice customers, and it is a lot like Santa. You really want to be on the NICE list because next time you have an issue it might go in your favor!
By showing your good manners, being friendly, and keeping calm, you’ll get a lot farther with your deal shopping than you will if you become irate and upset. Using coupons is a privilege, not something anyone is entitled to. Good manners have always gone a long way with making anything in life more pleasant and less stressful. And I know I could sure use more nice and less stress. Coupon on!
Halloween is one of my favorite holidays to make decorations for. It is so much fun and really gets me in that Fall mood. Check out these great and fun 15 DIY Halloween Decorations and get your spooky crafting on, and pin the post for later reference.
1. Spiderweb Garland | Source: 100 Directions
2. DIY Halloween Wreath | Source: Passion for Savings
3. Easy Halloween Milk Jug Ghost Craft | Source: Drugstore Divas
4. Colorful Skull Luminaries | Source: Crafts by Amanda
5. DIY Fabric Halloween Wreath | Source: More Than a Mom of Three
6. Lovely Lace Pumpkin | Source: Living Frugal with Erika
7. Bat Hanging Centerpiece | Source: 100 Directions
8. DIY Frugal Porch Decoration | Source: Extreme Couponing Mom
9. DIY Skeleton Party Banner | Source: Baby Loving Mama
10. Halloween Footprint Sign | Source: Home. Made. Interest.
11. Jack O’ Lantern Jars | Source: Who Needs a Cape?
12. Halloween Garland | Source: 100 Directions
13. DIY Scarecrow | Source: Living Frugal with Erika
14. Easy Halloween Door Hang | Source: Drugstore Divas
15. DIY Halloween Fabric Strip Wreath | Source: Growing Up Gabel
Measurable Difference® Studio Makeup Collection Train Case Makeup Kit
I really am in serious LIKE with the Measurable Difference® Studio Makeup Collection Train Case Makeup Kit. It contains a nice variety of of make up great for a beginner or a young lady to gain experience with applying makeup, or to have a complete kit for traveling. It includes 24 pans of eyeshadow, 8 lip colors, pencils for brows, lips and eyes, blushers, brushes and more! The case is CUTE and it is convenient. It has a handle and there is space for a good amount of make up. This is so easy to grab and go, while not being so large that it takes up too much room in luggage (preserving valuable space for accessories, shoes and cute bags) or on a vanity.
This is a great picture of all that the kit includes. A nice variety of eye shadows, lip sticks and glosses, blushes, eye liner pencils, and lip liners. It has many different shades and colors to meet any mood. BONUS! It also includes a small compact for the eye shadows and enough brushes to complete the kit.
Measurable Difference® Professional 6-Piece Makeup Brush Set