Five Back Visa Gift Card Deal! #5Back17

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If you are looking for a great way to stay on budget this holiday season, check out the great offer from Five Back Visa Gift Card!

Pick up the Five Back Visa gift card at Office Max, Lowe’s Hardware Stores and Albertsons Family Stores including: Albertsons, Safeway, and Vons. Buy it online at giftcardmall.com. Put your Holiday budget on the pre-paid Visa Card. That way you can’t go over board! No “shopping hang over” in January.

Five Back Visa gift cards work everywhere Visa debit is accepted, but users earn up to 5% back to their gift card when they shop and dine with preferred restaurants and retailers! Find a full list of participating retailers and restaurants at fivebackgift.com.

Here is a scenario where you can save an additional $19.05 on gifts when you buy a Five Back Visa gift card BEFORE you do your holiday shopping at Five Back preferred retailers and restaurants!
1. Grab a $500 Five Back Visa gift card (including the $5.95 purchase fee)
2. Shop at Five Back preferred retailers & restaurants (find a full list at fivebackgift.com)
3. Earn up to $25 back to your card. $25 – $5.95 purchase fee = $19.05! Save even MORE when you double dip on holiday coupons, sales, and shopping through websites like Topcashback or Mypoints!

Check out my post here for tips about saving when you shop online.

And to celebrate this great deal, you can enter here to win a $50 Visa Giftcard! Woo Hoo! Just in time for Holiday shopping (or buy yourself something nice, I won’t tell!).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This is a sponsored post, thanks to Tatu Digital Media for including me on this awesome offer and giveaway! All opinions are my own!

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Looking for Frugal Fun for Christmas? Check out Neighborhood Light Displays!

file2901261162927.jpgIt’s back… We’ve already been through a few areas, and Henry is itching for a big cuppa Cocoa from Starbucks and a ride in Miss Sally (my car) to go check out all the lights in ONE NIGHT!

We love looking at holiday light displays, and I’ve noticed more neighbors than in past years are putting up lights all over east county! If you want to get out and check out the sites (and lights), here are our favorites:

EL CAJON, 92021

  • Jingle Bell Hill (also known as Pepper Dr. Lights). Solomon Ave./Pegeen Pl. and surrounding area. Off 67 & Bradley. Dec. 8-26, Mon-Th 6-9 pm, Fri-Sun 6-10 pm. There is usually a Nightmare before Christmas house, but we didn’t see it the other night. Henry was bummed.

LAKESIDE, 92040

  • 10248 Paseo Palmas Dr. Nicknamed “Tinsel Town”. Dec. 1-25, 5:30-9 pm. Most of the houses on this street are very well decorated with lights and moving displays!

SANTEE, 92071

  •  Starlight Circle, East and West Glendon Circles. Through December 26th, 7-10 pm. This is extremely popular! You can park and walk through. There are neighbors selling cocoa, coffee, popcorn, and cotton candy. If you walk, take money with you! Starlight Circle even has a facebook page!
  • 9773 Roe Dr. 27,000 Christmas lights dance to 10 songs over 128 computer channels. Food Bank and St. Jude donations accepted. Dec. 3-Jan. 2. Sun-Th, 6-10 pm and Fri & Sat, 6-11 pm.www.DBChristmas.com It is very impressive!
  • I haven’t been by to see if it’s up this year, but in years past…. If you love South Park, after you stop by Roe, cruise down Lake Canyon Drive (in the 9400 block, East of Carlton Hills Blvd) and check out the Woodland Critter Christmas Display.

 

We pack the kids into the car after dark with cocoa and snacks and head out for a drive. It’s a fun way to spend time together, and it’s pretty frugal!

What holiday traditions do you want to share with your kids?

 

Tie Dying: Family Fun!

I love to tie dye! It’s a great way to give clothes that may have been stained a new life. Since I get most of our clothes from clothing swaps, I often find really cute light colored kids clothes with minor stains.

Well, and when you’ve got kids, a lot of stuff ends up with stains, and not just their clothes, I have several shirts that I had to tie dye to cover little people stains from dirty hands and faces rubbing on my during hugs.

There are a lot of tie dye kits available at your local craft store, but what they don’t tell you is that the dye in those kits doesn’t last.  We used this kit last year and the remaining shirts we have have faded to very light pastels. So, if you want to do some awesome, vibrant tie dyes, I recommend using Procion Dyes like the ones Dharma Trading sells.

I also have cultivated an Amazon Store with all the stuff you will need , including a kit that contains Procion Dyes- All you need is a bag of Urea and the kit is ready to dye! Procion dyes are best for Cotton, ramie, hemp, rayon- Natural plant based fibers (not linen- that stuff is a bear to dye).  If you have blends with synthetic fibers (like polyester, acrylic, lycra), the color will not be as vibrant. Anything less than 50% natural fiber will end up being pastel.

Since Tie Dying can be a little intimidating, let’s break it down. In addition to your dyes and chemicals…

You will need:

  • A big open space (We use my parents backyard)
  • 2-3 6 foot tables covered in protective plastic (tarps or trash bags work well)
  • 1-2 Large Buckets (5 gallon buckets from Home Depot are great)
  • Access to warm water
  • Measuring cups and measuring spoons (I recommend plastic ones)
  • Plastic bags or plastic wrap (to cover up /wrap up garments after they have been dyed)

Here is my pinterest board with tons of great folding techniques and patterns. You are ready to fold and tie once you’ve selected your garments and laundered them without fabric softener. I love incorporating marbles, canning jar lids, clamps  to make tie dying more interesting.

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Folded, tied, and zip tied!

Once everything is folded/tied and secured (either with rubber bands, zip ties, or cotton string), it’s time to mix the washing soda and hot water. 1 cup of washing soda per gallon of water.  Mix together in the buckets, and soak the tied garments for 15 minutes-1 hour. The washing soda raises the pH of the garments allowing the dye to be more readily absorbed.

Washing Soda is NOT BAKING SODA.  Washing soda is caustic and will hurt you if you submerge your hands in it. Wear gloves when you handle it. Wring out the garments after soaking so they are damp, not dripping.  You can keep using the same water for your entire session.

While your garments are soaking, mix up your dye.  The most dye will come directions, but remember to mix your water with Urea. 1/4C of urea to 1 quart warm water. Urea helps the dye dissolve and remain mixed. It also helps the colors stay vibrant.

TIME TO DYE! Once your soaked garments are wrung out, it’s time to apply the dye. If you aren’t sure which colors will look good together, Get a color wheel. It will help you with color placement too. When you tie dye, colors will run together, so using complementary colors will help your garments look better when they are finished.

Remember to apply dye all sides, and if your garment is bunched up a lot, you may need to squirt dye between the folds to make sure the dye penetrates all of the layers.

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Bags and bags of baby onsies!

After the garment is dyed, place it in a plastic bag, or wrap it up in plastic wrap. You want to lay the item flat.  Let the garments sit for 24 hours (or over night), rinse the garments one at a time under cool water until most of the water coming from our garment is clear or a very pale. Then remove the binding (rubber bands, zip ties, string).

Wash completed garments with Synthrapol. It’s laundry soap that binds the color molecules to the fabric and sheds the dye that is not bonded. Once you wash the finished garments with Synthrapol, the clothing won’t shed dye or rub off on you, you can use your regular detergent from then on out. I also throw a couple Color Catchers in the wash too for good measure.

Once your garments are dry, the are ready to wear! I use the word “garments”, but you can also dye fabric, bed sheets, even pillow cases.

Here is some of the most recent stuff I dyed:


Tie dye shirts make great gifts! You can also tie dye socks- That’s what Bitty Bird is getting in her Advent Calendar this year!

I have utilized Amazon links within this post, prices can change at any time, and I may receive a commission when you click the links to Amazon and purchase items linked. Commissions help cover the costs associated with blogging.

Tons of Freebies from Kroger stores!

I love me some freebies… And right now the Kroger family of stores (which for us So Cal peeps means Food4Less and Ralphs) has a bunch of great freebies that you can load to your club card.

It doesn’t matter which card you have (Ralphs, Food4Less, Kroger, etc), you can load all of these great freebies to one card and head to the store!

Screen Shot 2017-11-10 at 8.39.12 AM.pngKScreen Shot 2017-11-10 at 8.39.07 AM.pngroger has Free Arla Cream Cheese and free Lifeway Kefir Cups! Click this link to get started.

 

 

 

 

Screen Shot 2017-11-10 at 8.46.57 AM.pngScreen Shot 2017-11-10 at 8.44.49 AM.pngRalphs has a free Silk Yogurt Singles here.

Food4Less has a free Nissin Cup Noodles here.

 

Each Week Ralphs/Kroger has at least one free item!

If you are new to Free Friday Downloads from Ralph’s, here is more info about how it works:

WHAT IS FREE FRIDAY DOWNLOAD? An exclusive benefit to having an account online at ralphs.com is FREE products (yes, we said FREE!). When you download the free product coupon, it will be loaded directly to your Shopper’s Card and applied at checkout in-store.

HOW DOES IT WORK? Visit this page on Fridays

DOWNLOAD the digital coupon for the free product (make sure to download between 12:01 am and 11:59pm PT). View the coupon under ‘My Coupons’ in your account online or in the mobile app.

You have two weeks to redeem this coupon in store! Pick up the product at your local Ralphs store and digital coupon will automatically apply at checkout.

Free Water & Energy Savings Kit from SDG&E!

Screen Shot 2017-11-09 at 1.26.41 PM.pngThis offer ends 12/3117, so order ASAP!

If you are an SDG&E customer, check your emails for this offer!

When you install a Water & Energy Savings Kit, you can save up to $100 per year in water and energy costs. This kit is valued at $30 and you have been pre-qualified to receive it at no charge.

Take advantage of our improved online order process and receive your kit sooner. Quantities are limited so order now while supplies last.

The Water & Energy Savings Kit includes:

•1 Low-Flow Showerhead

•1 Kitchen Faucet Aerator

•2 Bathroom Faucet Aerators

•1 LED Sensor Night Light

 

I just ordered ours! Anyway we can save money and natural resources is a win-win in my book!

Free fun from Lego!

Screen Shot 2017-11-08 at 11.49.51 AM.pngHenry loves Legos (Duh, you may have gathered that from reading this blog), and they are pretty expensive. There are never coupons and most Target and Toys r us deals/coupons specifically exclude Legos.

However, you can still score some cool freebies and deals from Lego!

First, sign up to be a Lego VIP here. It’s free, and here are just a few of the benefits…

  • Points towards valuable rewards! Get a $5 reward for every 100 points earned!
  • Members-only gifts and more! VIPs enjoy access to special promotional gifts throughout the year.
  • Monthly promotions! Earn bonus points on select LEGO sets every month, both online and in store.

Once you are signed up as a VIP, you’ll be able to register for free Monthly Mini Model Build at the LEGO Store. Registrations start the 15th of the month prior to the event (e.g. sign up in November for December event), and space is limited at each store, so don’t wait. We’ve done a couple and they are always fun!

Don’t forget that Toys R Us also has fun, free lego events a few times a year as well. It’s important to RSVP to TRU events, so you definitely get a kit.

Lastly, did you know there is a free Lego Magazine for kids age 5-11? You can sign your kids up for a free subscription IMG_0236.jpg. The latest issue arrived yesterday and Henry poured over it for hours. The magazine is packed full of comics, activities, LEGO® fan creations and building tips (Henry’s fav part), and kids receive the magazine 5 times a year!

 

And here is a tip on how to keep your feet Lego-free…. When the kids play Legos, I spread out a huge table cloth and pour the Legos onto it. Once play time is over, I pick up the cloth and pour the Legos back into their big tote.

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This set up provides hours of fun, and just a few minutes of clean up. And the best part… No stepping on tiny pieces of Lego in the dark, unleashing a torrent of swear words and threats of bodily harm to those under the employ of Lego.

We have a lot of Legos- Hand me downs from friends who have outgrown them, some from when Tyler was a kid, and some sets and kits that Henry has been given. Even though we save all the directions, there is nothing more satisfying to me as a parent than to see Henry and Bitty express their creativity through building.

This is a combine. Henry built it all by himself. Not bad for a 6-year old who has never seen one in real-life. The big wheels in the front moved. Screen Shot 2017-11-08 at 12.14.44 PM.png

Talk Back: What are your money saving tips for Lego Lovers?

New Month, New Coupons!

I know I’m a few days late, but with this heat, we’ve been keeping extra appliances off, and that includes the desktop computer.

file000786402730Here is your monthly reminder!  A new month means new printable and electronic coupons!

Check out the following sites:

One of my favorite website is the Sunday Coupon Review.  It helps me plot out scenarios in advance and I can email friends to ask for coupons in advance. Remember if clipping coupons isn’t your thing, but saving money is, check out my list of Smartphone apps that can save you the big bucks! New offers are added on the Smartphone Savings Apps all the time!

Here are just a few of the new coupons that have me excited:

Save $0.55 on the purchase of one (1) HERDEZ® Salsa (15.7 oz. or larger)

Save $5.00 on any ONE (1) Culturelle® Kids product

Save $1.00 on any ONE (1) Vermont Creamery Fresh Goat Cheese Log (any flavor 4, 8 or 10.5 oz sizes)