Giveaway: Build a Budget that Works by Jessi Fearon

So, you all know that I try to be thrifty by doing DIY projects, making food from scratch, using coupons, find deals at the Thrift Stores and finding the best deals on the new items or services we need to buy.  Well, another way is by keeping your family on a budget (and one that works is even better).

Jessi Fearon sent me a copy of the Build a Budget that Works  book to review as part of her book launch.

I am glad I got it since it reminded me of categories that I sometimes forget to budget for (like recently needing tires for our truck [which I found a sale on] and now it sounds like we will need them for the car also this year – ouch,  definitely not something I planned for, but I will be looking for a deal on those also).

I will continue to tweak our budget using the tips in Jessi’s book.

So,  would you like to win a FREE copy of the Build a Budget that Works book?  I was given one copy to give away to a reader.

Between now and Thursday 20 November 2014 make a comment (which will be delayed in posting since I have to approve them) with your name and email address.  After that I will pick a winner using a Random Number Generator (hey, I have to use something nerdy).

Good luck!   – H

Bealls and smartphone coupons

Have you heard of Bealls?  I heard from friends that they are ‘big’ in Arizona (and Florida).  Well, they have started opening stores in Northern Nevada.

When they had their grand opening the daughter and I were able to get boots on their ‘Buy One and Get One Free boots and shoes’ sale.  (Oh, and mine are really comfortable and cute.)

Bealls, boots


I signed up for text messages from Bealls.  This last week I got a 30% off ‘coupon’ on my smartphone.  It was good on sale items and for more than one item.  I didn’t think I needed anything, but I saved it anyways.

Well, the husband announced on Saturday morning that he needed some new shirts.  We were going to town anyways so I figured we would stop in Bealls (he hadn’t been in there yet) and see what they had.


We found some nice shirts on sale for great prices and a jacket he needed.

So, we bought three shirts and the jacket for $89.  I saved $130 and $36 of that came from my smartphone coupon.  Not bad!

The other advantage was we didn’t have spend time (and money for gas) driving to a bigger city to look for clothes.  Besides, he said he didn’t want to buy shirts from Costco since he would then look like everyone else at work 🙂

And, the old jacket has been relegated to the garage – yay!   (Which is a good thing since one of the pockets ripped when we were walking Pepper this afternoon.)

Where have you been finding great deals?

Later – H



Udi versus Rudi Gluten free bread and Walmart

So, for a few years now we have eaten Udi Gluten free bread.  The family likes it toasted and plain (when we rarely eat a sandwich).  Up until now we have been buying it at Trader Joe’s.  Well, this spring Costco (yeah!) started carrying a larger loaf in the frozen food section (in ours it is near the frozen berries – who would have guessed).

Anyways, I had seen coupons for Rudi Gluten free bread, but had never seen it in a store.  Well, the last time I was in Walmart (yes, I go there now, but not often) I went looking around and I found Rudi Gluten free bread in the frozen food section so I picked up a loaf.

The first time I tried the Rudi Gluten free bread I made it into toast.  It was tasty and didn’t fall apart.

On Father’s Day we took a picnic so I took some Rudi Gluten free bread (frozen when we left the house, but defrosted by the time we got there).  I hate to say it, but the bread fell apart as we were eating it.

(Note:  I did email the company that makes Rudi Gluten free bread and got a response that their bread does crumble.)

So, even though I don’t go to Walmart often I will be using the coupons I find to get some reduced gluten free bread for making toast in the mornings.

Oh, and both Udi and Rudi Gluten free bread are made in Colorado.

What new gluten free products have you tried lately?

Later – H

Target pick up in store

Did you know that you can place an online Target order and pick it up at your local store?  I didn’t until this afternoon.   (Also, since I was able to order online I went through a reward site also – every little bit helps.)

The husband had asked for new Norelco Shaver Replacement heads as a Father’s Day present, etc.

Well, I went searching and found that Target had them listed for good price and had an instant $5 coupon.  They were not available to order online, but they said they could be picked up in the store.  So, I ordered them at 1:15 PM (received the order email at 1:22 PM) and at 1:34 PM I got a text message that it was ready to be picked up!

Note:  It appears their standard hold time is 2 days after you place the order.  I wish that was a little longer since we have to go to the next town to go to Target.

Luckily, we were going to that town today since Pepper (the Golden Retriever) was going to Social Hour this afternoon.  I popped into the Guest Services area of Target afterwards and picked up my package.

Since I like a smooth-faced husband I gave the replacement heads to him tonight.  Maybe by Father’s Day he will be smoother 🙂

Note:  I wasn’t given anything for this post.  I was just very impressed to see that I can now order online and pickup in the store and how fast it was available.

Dirty / Clean sign on Dishwasher

So, quite a few years ago I made this Plastic Canvas / Cross-stitched Dirty / Clean sign for our Dishwasher.  I had a hook on the dishwasher that it hung off for years.  Well, fast forward a few years and we got a new Black Dishwasher.  I bought a package of small Clear Command Hooks.  I love the hooks, but the ‘hook’ portion is not as big as the old white hook (which was still attached to the dishwasher when it was removed) and the sign fell off when the dishwasher door was opened (which was getting really annoying).

cross-stitch, cross stitch, DIY

I finally realized that one way to solve the problem was to add a magnet to the back of the sign.  I went to Michael’s and found the package of Business Card size magnets (and of course used a 40% off coupon).

I first just peeled off the backing of the magnet and pressed it onto the sign.  That lasted for about a week before the magnet stayed on the dishwasher door and the sign was on the floor 😦

DIY, cross-stitch, cross stitch

Then I realized that I could use the Hot Glue Gun  to glue the magnet to the back of the sign.  Amy – did you catch that I actually used a ‘blogger’s tool’?

So, I think that solved the problem.  The sign has probably stayed on the dishwasher door for at least two months.  Hopefully it doesn’t fall off again.

cross-stitch, cross stitch, DIY, magnet

This was definitely cheaper than buying/making a new Clean / Dirty sign for the dishwasher (even though I love the look of the signs made with the Scrabble Tiles).  Maybe if I find some Scrabble Tiles at the thrift store I will make a new one.

What small project have you worked on lately?

Later – H

Book Review – The Lazy Couponer

I picked up The Lazy Couponer by Jamie Chase from the library.  I have been using coupons for years, but I figured I might learn something new.

I have picked up a few tips so far and I haven’t finished the book yet.  But, I have been slow at reading it so it is due back at the library.  I will be checking it out again so I can go over (and finish) it again.

She has a lot of really good hints about how you can stack a store coupon (and shows examples of how to tell if it is a store or manufacturer coupon – something I couldn’t always tell) and manufacturer coupon for the same product.

I added this book to the following page:

Places to print coupons and Books related to coupons

What books have you read lately and would recommend?

Later – H

Updated places to print coupons page and book review

I just found a website that lists the coupons that are available for the name-brand products sold at Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, etc so I added it to the page showing places to print coupons.

Have you ever read (really skimmed) a book and felt like you could have wrote it?  Suddenly Frugal by Leah Ingram (written in 2010) is a book I saw in the new section of the Library (which I have been to a lot in the last few months).

I hoped to learn a few tricks, but I didn’t really learn anything new.   IF you don’t follow a lot of frugal steps already I think this could be a really good book to look at.   (Note: I got nothing for this review and it is only my opinion.)

Later – H


Printable coupons

I have always used coupons, but I figured it was time to get busy finding more ways to get coupons other than the local paper.

So, today I created a permanent page that contains the places I have found to print coupons from home.


Note:  most of the sites post new coupons at the beginning of each month.

I will update the page as I find new sites.

Later – H