January 17, 2020

Easy Valentine Idea – You are a Beary Good Friend (Haribo Gummi Bears)

Gummy-Bear-Valentine-idea-HariboCheck out this pin and other Valentine ideas on my Valentine’s Pinterest board!

These Haribo Gold-Bears Minis, 54-Count are currently around $12.69 on Amazon. It’s a good quality candy, tastes great, isn’t going to break someone’s teeth – and seriously, who doesn’t like gummy bears?

So I ordered a box of Haribo Gold-Bears Minis and they came in the mail two days later. I tossed one of them into a plastic bag from the Dollar Tree (40 for $1), tossed in some bulk candy from Winco and slapped a label on the top. Tada! We have a Valentine.


What you need:

  • Haribo Gold-Bears Minis, 54-Count – as low as $0.23 cents each
  • Bulk candy – you can use bulk gummi bears, too (check Winco for great prices) – about $.50 cents – $1
  • Plastic, clear loot bag, small – 40 for $1 at Dollar Tree, less than 3 cents each
  • White paper, color printer to print labels (or make your own!)

How to make it:

  • Get all your supplies together
  • Fill loot bag with a little bit of bulk candy or other treats. The Dollar Tree has some great stickers, pencils and other inexpensive toys.
  • Add a package of mini Haribo Gold Bears – make sure it’s facing upward.
  • Fold top done and tuck corners in – almost like you’re wrapping a present. Staple closed
  • Print out your notes. I printed mine on full size labels (since we had them laying around, but card stock or regular paper will work fine). Depending on your printer, you can print one, then take it to an office store and get color copies, might be cheaper – save your ink for the coupons!
  • Have your kids write their names on the notes.
  • Then affix the note to the top of the gift bag. I cut a large piece above the label, so I just folded it over the back side and as a label it easily stuck together. You could staple it if you used card stock.

Here’s a FREE printable for you. Click to enlarge. Hopefully you can scale it on your computer. I’ve never done a “printable” before.


This would work for teachers too – You are a Beary Good Teacher! or I am beary lucky to have you as my teacher!

Please PIN this idea if you like it! What kind of Valentines will you be doing this year?


Check out this idea for Marshmallow Valentines – easy, easy – and fun to make.

December 23, 2019

Gift card BONUS promotions

Gift-card-bonus-offersThis time of year is a great time to take advantage of gift card promotions. Many companies are offering FREE bonus gift cards with purchase. Check out the Amazon Gift Card promotional page for new daily offers.

Although marketed for gift giving – it can also be a great way to get more for your money for restaurants or stores that you personally frequent regularly. For example – if you think you’ll spend $25 at IVARS in the next few months or year – it might make sense to buy a gift card for your future purchase and get yourself a $5 bonus gift card! It would be the equivalent of getting 20 – 25% extra for free.

Tips for taking advantage of these offers:

  • It’s only a good deal if you need the gift card
  • If purchasing for yourself to use, you need to keep it in safe place. Lose it and you’re out of luck.
  • Remember most grocery stores offer gas rewards from gift card purchases – this might be more valuable to you than buying the gift cards directly from the company, even with the bonuses.

Here are some current offers:

Applebee’s – Earn a $10 bonus card when you spend $50 on gift cards. Bonus cards expire 3/1/20.

Bahama Breeze – Earn two $10 Bonus Gift Cards when you purchase $50 in gift cards.Bonus cards are valid 1/1/20 – 3/1-20.

BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse – Get a $10 bonus card when you purchase $50 in gift cards – or $25 bonus card and a 20% off VIP coupon with $100+ gift card purchase. Bonus card valid 1/1 – 2/13 only.

Black Angus – Earn $10 bonus bucks for every $50 in gift cards purchased. Offer valid through 12/31.

Bonefish Grill – Get a $10 bonus card when you purchase $50 or more in gift cards. Bonus card valid 1/1 – 2/9 only.

Boston Market – Get a $5 bonus card with each $25 gift card purchase through Dec. 31

Buca di Beppo – Buy $50 in gift cards and receive a $10 reward card. Bonus card valid 1/1/19 to 2/29/20.

Buffalo Wild Wings – Get a $5 eBonus with purchase of $25 in gift cards. $5 eBonus will be delivered to purchaser’s email address and is valid 1/1/20 – 2/28/20.

California Pizza Kitchen – Get a $20 promotional gift card when you buy $100 in gift cards.

[Read more…]

March 28, 2018

Spring Cupcake Designs – 6 Easy Spring and Easter cupcake designs

Sping-Cupcake-DesignsPIN here

Easter and spring cupcake designs

To celebrate spring (or the hope of spring soon?), I’m re-publishing my Spring Cupcakes designs, originally shared in 2013 . .

I’m not very good about decorating for holidays or going over the top with cutesy seasonal foods. But yesterday I had a wild hair and decided the kids and I should decorate cupcakes. I think it was the sunshine – it makes me do crazy things. I had fun getting creative with the kids trying to come up with fun easter cupcake designs for you. They are each 3 steps or less and EASY. We hope you enjoy them!

Step 1 – Your first step is make a batch of cupcakes. You can make them from scratch or make them from a box (like I did, there is only so much you can expect from a girl in one day).

 Baby-Chick-Cupcake-Spring-DesignPIN here

Baby Chick Cupcakes

1.) Frost it with yellow frosting (I used vanilla frosting with couple drops of food coloring)

2.) Dip in yellow coconut. To make colored coconut, put plain coconut in a Ziploc bag, add a couple drops of food coloring, close bag and mix it around until color coats coconut.

3.) Add two eyes. You can use dark colored candies, chocolate chips or I used frosting. Then add a beak. I used a Reeses Pieces.

I actually got this idea from my Parade magazine.

[Read more…]

March 17, 2017

35 Fancy and Fun Easter Egg Dyeing Ideas

Easter is coming up soon! What’s your favorite way of coloring Easter eggs? If you’re looking to get away from the traditional color tablet kits, we’ve found 35 unique and fun ways to dye your Easter eggs this year.

Here’s what we found:

Need a cute snack for Easter, or maybe to accompany your Easter decorating? We’ve detailed six cute Spring and Easter cupcakes here.

December 10, 2016

Cream cheese spritz cookie recipe

Pin it.

Pulled from the archives, I originally shared this cookie recipe in 2012. Hope you enjoy!

Cream Cheese Spritz Cookies

These Cream Cheese Spritz cookies are so delicious and as far as Christmas treats go – they are really frugal!

Cream cheese is on sale for $0.99 or less this time of year and you only need 1/3 of a block for one batch, the dough makes a lot of cookies and they don’t require a lot of extras – just some sprinkles and they look beautiful, thanks to the shapes you can make with the cookie press.


This recipe does use a Cookie Press. I have a Pampered Chef cookie press but you can also buy a variety of cookie presses Amazon here. This one seems to have the BEST reviews – Kuhn Rikon Clear Cookie Press with Decorating Tips and Storage Box on sale for around $20 right now. I like that it also has six decorating tips!


1 cup of butter (softened at room temperature)

3 oz of cream cheese (also softened)

1 cup sugar

1 egg yolk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

2 1/2 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon salt



1.) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

2.) Using mixer blend together butter and cream cheese until creamy

3.) Add sugar and mix well until light and fluffy

4.) Mix in eggs yolks, vanilla and almond extract

5.) Slowly add your flour and salt, mix well

6.) If you want to add food coloring, you can take a small part of the dough or all the dough and add food coloring for desired color.

7.) Shape dough into a small log and add it to your cookie press.

8.) Press cookies onto an ungreased cookie sheet (sometimes if you freeze your cookie sheets first the cookies will stick better)

9.) I recommend adding sprinkles before you bake – otherwise you’ll need to frost them to get the sprinkles to stick.

10.) Bake for 10-12 minutes, until they start turning a light brown around the edges.

11.) Let cool and eat!

Here are some photos from when we made them!

[Read more…]

November 3, 2016

24 Books of Christmas Advent Calendar – A book a day!

24 Books of Christmas - Advent Calendar - Great idea for small kids. Each night read a different Christmas book together as a family.

Add it to your Christmas Pinterest board here!

If you’re looking for a frugal, long-lasting advent calendar, let me recommend the 24 books of Christmas Advent calendar. My friend DeAnn told me about this a couple years and we’ve been doing ever since! I love that it’s family activity – we take turns opening a different book, each night, and we read the story together as a family. . . usually in the glow of the Christmas tree.


  • As many as 24 Christmas books (they don’t have to be new, I wrap up a lot of the same books every year!)
  • Wrapping Paper
  • Tape/scissors
  • Paper for labels

Basic Instructions

  1. Wrap up 24 of your favorite Christmas books
  2. Label them 1 through 24.
  3. Each night have kids take turns opening a book. You will open #24 on December 1, with 24 days until Christmas. I save The Night Before Christmas for Christmas Eve!!
  4. Read the book as a family each night
  5. You’ll open #1 on Christmas Eve! I saved The Night Before Christmas for that night!


More tips for creating your Christmas Advent Calendar

  • The first night, I had a *new* Christmas book for each kid. Just to start off with a fun treat.
  • If you don’t have 24 books, just wrap up the Christmas books you have! For example, if you only have 12 books, just open a new book every other day.
  • The books don’t have to be new! We’ve picked up many books at thrift shops over the years!
  • Midway through the month, I wrapped up some Christmas workbooks that I found at the Dollar Tree, they include stickers and activities. One for each kid.
  • You can label them or leave them all unlabeled and let the kids pick!

I’d love to hear – do you have a favorite Advent calendar tradition? 

October 16, 2016

Halloween Trick-or-Treat – Hand-shaped Treat Bags

Halloween-trick-or-treat-bags-plastic-glovesPin it!

My mom loves Halloween. So when she was going to be town the week before Halloween she insisted on bringing supplies for these Halloween Hand Treat Bags. Who am I to pass up someone else paying for Halloween trick-or-treat supplies? I said sure, whatever you’d like. . ..

I have to hand it to her. They are sort of cute.


They are really easy – basically she bought a box of vinyl gloves (non-powder, not latex) and she filled them with candy and tied them off. Specifically she used Sixlets and Tootsie Rolls for the “fingers” (you can also use Smarties) and then bulk and bagged individually wrapped candy from WinCo to fill the palm area.

And they were so easy, my kids helped her make them!

For a little something extra she put a plastic Halloween ring on one of the fingers.

So I guess this is what we’re giving out at our place, thanks to my mom. I was going to stick to toothpaste (joking).

Do you have any fun trick-or-treat ideas? Do you do goody bags like this for your kids class? 

November 22, 2015

BEST Turkey and Ham prices for the week


Buying a ham or turkey is usually the biggest expense in your holiday meal. If you plan to purchase one between now and December, I thought I’d lay out all the best options available. Be sure to check out our simple guide on How to Brine a Turkey!

ALBERTSONS – thru 11/26

Honeysuckle Frozen Turkey, 10 – 20 lb – FREE with $150 purchase
$0.68/lb with $50 grocery purchase

Butterball Frozen Turkey, 10 – 20 lbs, per lb – $1.59

Cook’s Smoked Shank Portion Half Ham, per lb – $1.79

Jennie-O Fresh Turkey, 14 – 20 lbs, per lb – $1.79
While supplies last

Cook’s Smoked Butt Portion Half Ham, per lb – $1.99

Hormel Cure 81 Spiral Sliced Ham, per lb – $1.99

Butterball or Foster Farms Fresh Turkey, 14 – 20 lbs, per lb – $2.19
While supplies last

Hill’s Smoked Boneless Ham, per lb – $5.49

Jennie-O Whole Frozen Turkey Breast – B1G1

FRED MEYER thru 11/28

Kroger Frozen Turkey, 10 – 20 lb – FREE with $150 purchase and in-ad coupon; Limit 1
$0.69/lb with $50 purchase and in ad coupon; Limit 1

Kroger Spiral Sliced Ham, per lb – $1.69

Butterball Fresh Turkey, 10 – 23 lb, per lb – $1.99

Foster Farms Fresh Turkey, per lb – $1.99

Foster Farms Fresh Turkey Breast, per lb – $2.79

Private Selection Ham, per lb – $2.99

QFC thru 11/26

Private Selection Frozen Turkey, per lb – $0.69 with $30 in store purchase, Limit 1

Cook’s Portion Ham, Bone-in, per lb – $1.29, Limit 2

Hormel Cure 81 Spiral Half Ham, Bone-in, per lb – $1.69, Limit 2

Northwest Natural Fresh Turkey, per lb – $1.79

Private Selection Frozen Turkey, Bone-in, per lb – $1.79

Butterball Frozen Turkey, 10 – 20 lbs, per lb – $1.89

Butterball Fresh Turkey, per lb – $1.99

Mary’s Free Range Turkey, 10 – 20 lb, per lb – $2.49
Vegetarian Fed

SAFEWAY thru 11/26

Honeysuckle Frozen Turkey, 10 – 20 lb – FREE with $150 purchase
$0.68/lb with $50 grocery purchase

Butterball Frozen Turkey, 10 – 20 lbs, per lb – $1.59

Honeysuckle Frozen Turkey Breast, Whole, Bone-In, per lb – $1.79

Jennie-O Fresh Turkey, 14 – 20 lbs, per lb – $1.79
While supplies last

Butt Portion Ham, Bone-In, per lb – $1.99

Hormel Cure 81 Spiral Sliced, Bone-In, per lb – $1.99

Open Nature Whole Turkey, All Natural, per lb – $2.49

Caranado Spiral Sliced Half Ham, Bone-In, per lb – $2.99
Honey or Hickory Smoked

Butterball Frozen Turkey, 10 – 22 lbs, per lb – $2.99

Safeway Select Whole Boneless Ham, per lb – $3.49

Foster Farms Whole Turkey Breast, per lb – $3.49

Butterball Frozen Smoked Turkey, 10 lbs – $29.99

TARGET – thru 11/28

Market Pantry Frozen Turkey, 10 – 24 lb, per lb – $0.79

Butterball Frozen Turkey, per lb – $0.99, Limit 2

Market Pantry Frozen Turkey Breast, per lb – $1.29

Archer Farm Spiral Sliced Honey Ham, per lb – $1.99


Spiral Ham, per lb – $1.98


Kirkland Signature Spiral Sliced Ham, per lb – $1.99

Kirkland Signature Master Carve Ham, per lb – $2.49

Hempler’s Black Forest Ham, per lb – $2.89

Kirkland Signature Roasted Turkey Breast, per lb – $3.99

Do you have know of any other good deals on turkey or ham? 

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