Earth Day 2014

Earth Day Freebies 2014

Earth Day 2014

Earth Day Freebies & Coupons 2014

Tuesday, April 22 is Earth Day, which means you can snag some great freebies and offers out there! Please note that these offers are good on select days only and some may be while supplies last. As always, I encourage you to phone ahead to inquire if your store is participating (or to check on quantities left) before making a special trip out.

Amazon: Download a free interactive Earth Day children’s storybook. It’s also available to download for free on iTunes.

Care2: Check out a number of free Earth Day e-cards you can send to a loved one.

Caribou Coffee: Buy this Earth Month tumbler and get unlimited coffee refills for free all April long.

Disney Store: Bring in 5 plastic bags and receive a FREE Disneynature Bears reusable tote bag.

EVOS: Come in for a free organic milkshake on April 22, no coupon or purchase necessary.

GlassDharma: Take the quiz (click on the straw’s badge) to get a free glass straw.

National Parks: Get free entrance to all National Parks from April 19-20. For more information and to see the list of parks, please visit the National Parks website.

Pottery Barn: Stop by for an eco-inspired treasure hunt the week of April 21. Find all the clues and you’ll get a free plantable bookmark while supplies last.

Wegmans: The first 300 customers in the store on April 26 get a free reusable bag with plastic bag trade-in.

Whole Foods Market: Save 50% on 130+ eco-friendly cleaners. More details here.

If you’re aware of an offer I’ve missed, please feel free to share by leaving a comment. Thanks!

Mother's Day Under $25 - 1

Mother’s Day Gifts Under $25

Mother's Day Under $25 - 1

Mother's Day Under $25 - 1


Mother’s Day Gift Ideas for $25 or Under!

Mother’s Day is just one month away (May 11, in case you don’t already have your calendar marked). If you’re stumped by what to get the mom in your life, I’ve rounded up several Mother’s Day gifts under $25. Take a look!

 Opi Nail Lacquer 10 Piece set, Take Ten Mini Kit (currently $20.25)

Conair Foot Spa with Bubbles & Heat (currently $19.09)

Authentic Pigment Snap-On Large Canvas Tote (currently $20.32)

Eco Bath Body Gift Basket Set (currently $17.95)

Apollo Pink General 39-pc Tool Set (currently $19.99)

Clinique 8 Pcs Spring Skin Care & Makeup Gift Set (currently $20.99)

Silky Soft Pashmina Scarf Wrap Bright Colors (currently $11.99)

Faceted Lucite Graduated Rhinestones Necklace, 18″ (currently $19.99)

Classic Gourmet Food and Snack Gift Basket (currently $24.74)

Women’s Red Gingham Trim Apron (currently $15.99)

What other Mother’s Day gift ideas do you have?


*UPDATED* Best Prices on Ham at Grocery Stores for Easter


Best Ham Prices for Easter

Best Prices on Ham at Grocery Stores for Easter

Are you planning on serving ham this Easter? If so, you might be interested in the best prices currently available. I decided to take some time to round up the current prices I could find for stores in my area (that would be Puget Sound, Washington).

Remember when comparing ham prices, that there are different cuts of ham. Make sure you’re comparing apples to apples when scouting down the best price.

This list was updated on Wednesday, 4/16.

Spiral Sliced Ham Prices

  • Fred Meyer: $1.88/lb (through 4/19)
  • Fred Meyer: Save $10 on bone-in Spiral Sliced Ham with in-ad coupon (through 4/19)
  • Safeway: $1.99/lb, bone-in, limit 2 (through 4/22) – no change in price from last week
  • Albertsons: $1.88/lb Smoked Cure 81 (through 4/22) – down from $2.49/lb last week!
  • QFC: $1.88/lb Hormel Cure 81 (through 4/15)
  • Top Food & Drug: $1.97/lb
  • IGA – Brown’s Point: $2.29/lb (will open 4/15)

Shank Portion Ham Prices

  • Fred Meyer: $1.49/lb (through 4/19)
  • Safeway: $1.29/lb for Smoked (through 4/22) – no change in price from last week
  • WinCo: $1.68/lb (current as of 4/14)
  • IGA – Brown’s Point: $1.29/lb (will open 4/15!)
  • Albertsons: $1.29/lb (through 4/22)

Butt Portion Ham Prices

  • WinCo: $1.88/lb (current as of 4/14)

Smoked Ham Prices

  • Safeway: $1.29/lb Smoked Rump (through 4/22) – no change in price from last week
  • Safeway: $1.29/lb Smoked Shank (through 4/22) – no change in price from last week
  • Albertsons: $1.29/lb Smoked Shank (through 4/22)
  • Albertsons: $1.99/lb (through 4/22) – down from $2.49/lb last week

Other Ham Prices

  • QFC: $0.99/lb Cook’s Portion Ham, bone-in, limit 2 (through 4/22) – no change in price from last week
  • Top Food & Drug: $2.99/lb Hempler’s Black Forest Ham (through 4/22) – no change in price from last week
  • Top Food & Drug: $3.79/lb Hempler’s Gourmet Half Ham (through 4/22) – no change in price from last week
  • Top Food & Drug: $4.99/lb Haagen Belling’Ham Spiral Sliced, Boneless (through 4/22) – no change in price from last wee
  • Metropolitan Market: $4.99/lb Korubata Ham (through 4/22)

Reader Comments

A couple readers chimed in with helpful price information:

I just picked up an Archer Farms spiral (half) ham at Target for $1.99/lb plus I got an additional 5% off with Cartwheel. There’s also a glaze packet included. It helped round out my $10 off $50 grocery coupon. –  Dora

QFC has both butt and shank pieces for .99/lb! The brand is Cook’s and there is a limit of 2. Definitely the best price I have found!
The weekly ad is good through today (4/15) but I wouldn’t be surprised if they kept the sale going until Easter. – Brenda (Note from Angela: yes! I think QFC tends to have great prices on meat like this. You can see I’ve noted that sale under the section listed “Other Ham Prices” and yes, it does continue through 4/22!

I will continue to add to this list as I’m able.  Please let me know if you’re aware of a store or deal I’ve missed – I know Costco is not on this list, but I will work to get those prices, too.

What is your favorite store to buy ham from? For those that may not purchase ham regularly – do you have any recommendations on the type/portion of ham to buy?


Tax Day Freebies & Offers 2014


Tax Day Freebies - get free stuff to celebrate completing your taxes!

Tax Day Freebies & Discounts for 2014

Tax Day is right around the corner, and you’ll be able to snag some freebies, coupons, and offers to “celebrate” the event. I’ve listed the ones alphabetically I was able to find, but please leave a comment on this post if you’re aware of another one. Also note that some of these do not apply for our region. As always, head to their websites to check on individual store locations.


Remember: most of these offers are only valid on Tax Day (Tuesday, April 15th). Some may have restricted hours you can redeem the coupon, too. So please, read the fine print of any offer you want to use and as extra insurance, you may want to call your local store or restaurant to make sure they are participating.

Arby’s: Print a coupon for a free snack-sized curly fries to use on April 15.

Boston Market: Get two half chicken individual meals for $10.40, no coupon necessary

Bruegger’s Bagels: Buy a Big Bagel Bundle for $10.40 with the coupon found on their Facebook page from April 12-15.

California Tortilla: Say “Taxes Shmaxes” to your cashier to get free chips and queso with any entree purchase.

Chevys Fresh Mex: Now through April 15, you won’t have to pay tax on your order when you show or print this coupon.

Great American Cookies: Free Original Chocolate Chip Cookie per customer at participating locations. No coupon necessary.

HydroMassage: Schedule a free HydroMassage experience with coupon from April 14-18.

Living Social: Save $5 off your purchase of $15 or more. Today only.

Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt: Fill your cup for $4.15 with the coupon that will be available on their Facebook page.

Schlotzsky’s: Buy chips and a 32 oz. drink and you’ll get a free small “The Original” sandwich.

Sonic: Half price teas, drinks, and slushes all day long. More information at their Facebook page.

Please share if you are aware of additional offers!

Easter Spot-the-Differences

25 Easter Basket Fillers Under $5

Easter Spot-the-Differences

25 Easter Basket Fillers Under $5

Need some ideas to fill your Easter basket? I found 25 items priced at $5 or less.

Whether you need items to fill the Easter eggs themselves or to fill up the Easter basket, you’re sure to find something of interest here – check it out!

Easter Spot-the-Differences

Easter Spot-the-Differences (currently $1.33)

Glitter Easter stickers

Glitter Easter Stickers (currently $1.35)

Easter stencils

Easter Stencils (currently $1.38)

Easter button earrings

Easter Bunny Cute Button Earrings (currently $1.99)

The Berenstain Bears and the Easter Story  Berenstain Bears Living Lights   Mike Berenstain, Jan Berenstain  9780310720874  Books

The Berenstain Bears and the Easter Story Paperback Book (currently $2.76)

Magic wand

Magic Wand (currently $2.83)

Mr. Bubble Bubble Bath

Mr. Bubble Original Bubble Bath (currently $2.85)

The Night Before Easter  Natasha Wing, Kathy Couri  0038332150858  Books

The Night Before Easter Paperback Book (currently $3.04)

Crayola washable crayons

Crayola Washable Crayons 16-Pack (currently $3.49)

Action Bible Songs CD

Classics: Action Bible Songs CD (currently $3.99)

Crayola seasonal egg chalk

Crayola Seasonal Egg Chalk (currently $3.99)

Duck   Goose, Here Comes the Easter Bunny!  Tad Hills  9780375872808  Books

Duck & Goose, Here Comes the Easter Bunny! Board Book (currently $4)

Silly Putty

Original Silly Putty (currently $4.12)

Easter egg puzzle

Easter Egg Puzzle (currently $4.27)

Happy Easter, Mouse!  If You Give...   Laura Numeroff, Felicia Bond  9780694014224  Books

Happy Easter, Mouse! Board Book (currently $4.28)

light up bicycle streamers

Handlebeams Light up Bike Handle Streamers (currently $4.29)

Goody ouchless ponytail holders

Goody Ouchless Tiny Terry Ponytail Holders 42-Pack (currently $4.35)

kids paint smock

Painting Smock (currently $4.52)

hatch and grow ducky

Hatch and Grow Ducky (currently $4.63)

webkinz rabbit

Webkinz Rabbit (currently $4.80)

[Read more...]

25 Festive St. Patrick's Day Crafts

25 Festive St. Patrick’s Day Crafts

25 Festive St. Patrick's Day Crafts

25 St Patrick's Day Crafts

St Patrick’s Day Crafts you can do with Kids

Looking for some inspiration for St. Patrick’s Day? Check out this round-up of 25 St. Patrick’s Day Crafts!

Potted Rainbow Craft // Mom On Timeout

“Lucky” St. Patrick’s Day Printables // Mom On Timeout

Leprechaun Hats Craft // Mom On Timeout

St. Patrick’s’ Day Banner // A Night Owl Blog

St. Patrick’s Day Wreath // A Night Owl Blog

Painted Wood Shamrock Tutorial // Six Sisters’ Stuff

St. Patrick’s Day Rainbow Wreath // Crafts n’ Coffee

Beer Bottle Candle Holders // Practically Functional

St. Patrick’s Day Coloring Page Printable // Scribbleprints

How to Catch a Leprechaun Craft // The Suburban Mom

Fruity O’s Rainbow Color Craft // Hands On As We Grow

Bell Pepper Shamrock Stamps // Learn Play Imagine

Wee Little Shamrock Men // Sweet and Lovely Crafts

Clover Leaf Lei // Simple as That

How To Make Leprechaun Feet // A Differentiated Kindergarten

St. Patrick’s Day Decoration // Rockabye Butterfly

St. Patrick’s Potato Stamping // No Time For Flashcards

St. Patrick’s Day Rainbow Handprint Craft // B-Inspired Mama!

Simple Leprechaun Dress Up // Paging Supermom

Shape Leprechauns // Reading Confetti

Felt Shamrock Hair Accessories // Molly Moo

Shamrock Plant Markers // Domestic Goddesque

St. Patrick’s Day Hat // Simple Crafts

Button Rainbow // Rainy Day Distractions

Paper Plate Leprechaun Craft // All Kids Network

And, if you’re looking for some good ideas for food – how about a rainbow fruit platter for the kids?

Easy St Patrick's Day Idea: Create a Fruit Rainbow | The Coupon ProjectEasy St. Patrick’s Day Idea: Create a Fruit Rainbow!

And how about Skittles Infused Vodka for the adults?

How to Make Skittles Infused Vodka | The Coupon Project

How to Make Skittles Infused Vodka

Valentines Day Coupons, Freebies, and Offers

Valentine’s Day – Coupons, Offers & Freebies 2014

Valentines Day Coupons, Freebies, and Offers

Valentines Day Coupons, Freebies, and Offers

Friday, February 14th is Valentine’s Day and you don’t need to spend an arm and a leg to show your special someone a little LOVE!  Here are some of the best freebies and discount deals that I was able to round up for you. Did we miss something? Please leave a comment so we can update the list.

As always, I encourage you to phone ahead to make sure your local store or restaurant is participating and to confirm any details such as if additional purchases are necessary.

Restaurant Offers

Applebee’s: Buy $50 in gift cards, get a free $10 digital bonus card.

Buca di Beppo: Buy $50 in gift cards, get a $10 coupon from 1-800

Godfather’s: Offering a heart-shaped pizza and a heart-shaped Strawberry Dessert Streusel. Price may vary by location.

Krispy Kreme: Buy a dozen doughnuts and get 12 FREE Valentine’s Day cards, each containing a coupon for 1 FREE doughnut.

Lindt: Stop in for a FREE Lindt HELLO Strawberry Cheesecake chocolate stick

Papa Murphy’s Pizza: Get a heart-shaped pizza for $7-$8, depending on your location. Visit Papa Murphy’s to find a store near you.

Qdoba: Get BOGO entrees (one must be a Queso entrée) when you pucker up and kiss a special someone.

Starbucks: Get BOGO lattes 2/14 between 2-5 pm.

Additional Offers

Frecklebox: Get FREE printable Valentine’s cards for kids.

Groupon Goods: Right now, there is a special “Valentine’s Day” section on Groupon Goods full of great last minute offers including wine, jewelry, or last-minute date night ideas.

Michaels: Stop by for FREE family craft time events on 2/10 and 2/12.

Recyclebank:  Get 20% off an order from for just 25 points (normally 50 points).

Smilebox: Customize these Valentine’s Day trading cards with photos and text and print for free.

Target: Has lots of great coupons, including
$1/1 Hershey’s Friendship Exchange Snack-Size Candy 12.8-16.8 oz. Bag printable coupon
$1/1 Lindt Valentine’s Day Hello Bag or Heart 2.8 oz.+ printable coupon
$1.50/2 M&M’s Candies 9.34 oz.+ printable coupon

Veggie Tales: Has select Veggie Tales DVDs on sale for $6.97 (reg $12.99 and up).  Visit their website, click on DVDs on the menu bar and then Sale to find these deals!

If you are aware of a coupon, freebie, or promotion we’ve missed, please leave a comment!

Want more Valentine’s Day ideas?

Plus, make sure to follow my Project ~ Valentine’s Day for even more Valentine’s Day recipes, decor, and ideas.


Cardstore: Flat Valentine’s Day Cards & Invites – $0.99 each through Friday!

It’s not too late to order Valentine’s Cards! Order online through Cardstore to create personalized Valentine’s Day cards and customize with your recipient’s name and photos. From there, Cardstore can send the card to you, or even better – directly to your recipient.

Through Friday only, you can take advantage of these offers:

What I think are particularly cute are these custom photo cards for kids! There are 4 photos per sheet, and these are eligible for the $0.99 promotion!

Remember, these offers are good through tomorrow only (Friday, 2/7). Head to Cardstore to make your Valentine’s Cards!

Ghirardelli Valentine's Chocolate Squares

Valentine’s Day Gifts for Teachers – 10 Ideas Under $10

Ghirardelli Valentine's Chocolate Squares

Valentine's Day Gifts for Teachers - 10 Ideas under $10

Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas for Teachers

Want to brighten your teacher’s day with a Valentine’s Day gift this year? I found ten items for under $10 – check it out!

Ghirardelli Valentine's Chocolate Squares

Idea #1 – Ghirardelli Valentine’s Chocolate Squares (currently $4.17)

Teaching Is A Work Of Heart Teacher's Coffee Mug

Idea #2 – Teaching Is A Work Of Heart Teacher’s Coffee Mug (currently $8.09)

Angel for Teacher Pin

Idea #3 – Angel for Teacher Pin (currently $8.32)

12 Valentine Pencils

Idea #4 – 12 Valentine Pencils (currently $2.99)

Presto Electronic Timer

Idea #5 – Presto Electronic Timer (currently $3.97)

Hand-Blown Glass Red Apple

Idea #6 – Hand-Blown Glass 5″ Red Apple (currently $7.99)

Apple Memo Pad

Idea #7 – Apple Memo Pad (currently $4.10)

Insulated Lunch Box Cooler Bag

Idea #8 – Insulated Lunch Box Cooler Bag (currently $7.95)

SlimMate Plastic Storage Clipboard

Idea #9 – SlimMate Plastic Storage Clipboard (currently $6.81)

It's Not All Flowers and Sausages  My Adventures in Second Grade  Mrs. Mimi  Books

Idea #10 – It’s Not All Flowers and Sausages: My Adventures in Second Grade (currently $7.18)

What other ideas do you have? Let me know!

25 Awesome DIY Valentine's Day Ideas for Kids | The Coupon Project

25 Awesome DIY Valentine’s Day Ideas for Kids

25 Awesome DIY Valentine's Day Ideas for Kids | The Coupon Project

25 Awesome DIY Valentine's Day Ideas for Kids | The Coupon Project

Follow my Project ~ Valentine’s Day board on Pinterest for many more ideas!

Looking to do something fun and different with your kids for Valentine’s Day? Check out the following cute DIY ideas!

Fingerprint Valentine’s Card // Celebrations

DIY Secret Message Valentines // Craft, Interrupted

Knighted Valentines // Craft, Interrupted

S’mores Mason Jar Valentines // A Night Owl Blog

POPCORN Teacher Valentine // Staying Close To Home

Boy Valentines: Free Printables // Someday I’ll Learn

Secret Message Valentines // Formula: Mom

DIY Minecraft Valentines // Club Chica Circle

DIY Valentine’s Mailbox Craft // Parent Place

I Like You “Berry” Much Valentine // The Nerd’s Wife

Handmade Valentine: DOH You Want To Be Mine? // The Nerd’s Wife

Free Valentine Printable // Good Gravy Designs

DIY Hidden Message Valentines // Formula Mom

DIY Heart Shaped Crayon Valentine // Simmworks Family

3 Awesome Valentine Card Printables // About a Mom

Mouse Valentine Tutorial // 7 On A Shoestring

I a-s’more You! Valentine // TSJ Photography

“Blowing Kisses Your Way” Bubble Valentine (With Printable) // The Mother Huddle

Heads or Tails Valentine // The Mother Huddle

Love Bug Valentines // DIY Cozy Home

Will You “Chews” To Be Mine? Valentine Tutorial // It Happened Like This…

DIY Bouncy Ball Valentine // Fabulessly Frugal

“My Heart Bursts For You” Valentine Printable // Itsy Bitsy Paper

Nerdy Valentines // No Biggie

I’d Love To “Hang Out” With You {Clothespin Valentine Tutorial} // Simply Kierste

Valentine’s Day-themed bento lunch // The Coupon Project (that’s me!)

Want more “pin”spiration? Make sure to follow my Project ~ Valentine’s Day Pinterest board!



Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas for Him – 25 Creative Ideas Under $25


Valentine's Day Gifts for Him: 25 Creative Ideas under $25 | The Coupon Project

Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas for Him

Looking for a unique, yet budget-friendly Valentine’s Day gift for your man this year? Look no further… I’ve got tons of ideas for you!

Ear BudsIdea #1 – Panasonic Ear Buds (currently $7.18)

Art of Shaving

Idea #2 – Art of Shaving 4-Piece Set (currently $23.58)

Whiskey StonesIdea #3 – Whisky Stones (chills drinks without diluting!) (currently $6.99)

O'Keeffe Hand CreamIdea #4 – O’Keeffe’s Working Hands Hand Cream (currently $6.99)

vday5Idea #5 – Camera Lens Travel Coffee Mug (currently $7.99)

Best Husband Ever T ShirtIdea #6 - Best Husband Ever T-Shirt (currently $16.99+)

Fire Starter

Idea #7 – Bear Grylls Survival Series Fire Starter (currently $10.72)

[Read more...]


FREE Christmas Movies to Stream for Amazon Prime Members


I always have to watch Christmas movies this time of year! If you are an Amazon Prime member, you can take advantage of a few FREE Christmas movies available on Amazon Instant Video!


An American Christmas Carol: retelling of Dickens’ classic set in Depression-era New England. I watched this last night and honestly thought it was going to be cheesy, but really loved it! If you love a Christmas Carol, I recommend this. Heartwarming!


National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. Funny movie in the series of Griswold “vacation” movies. I will add I watched this last year and hadn’t seen in quite some time and found there were a couple scenes that you might want to be wary of if you have small children around. (Maybe better for once they are in bed.)

jingleallthewayJingle all the Way.  Description from Amazon: “It’s right before Christmas and high-powered businessman Howard Langston is fighting a shopping war in order to buy his son the hottest action figure of the season — Turbo Man.”

planesPlanes, Trains & Automobiles. OK, so this one isn’t Christmassy per se, but it always makes me think about the holidays! It’s the funny story of a man trying to get home for Thanksgiving and all the mishaps that follow him when an unlikely travel partner tries to “help.”

christmaslodgeChristmas Lodge. Description from Amazon: “Mary Tobin has wonderful memories of family gatherings at the Christmas Lodge. When she arrives for a weekend vacation, she quickly realizes that the lodge that she loves has fallen into serious disrepair. With a lack of funds and a looming deadline, she not only restores the Christmas lodge’s charm but finds love along the way.” (I’ll admit it, I’m adding this to my playlist now. Looks cute!)


A Christmas Snow. This looks like a good one to watch after the Christmas Lodge. Here’s the description, from Amazon: “”A Christmas Snow” is a heartwarming story about faith, hope and restoration with a silver lining. After a fluke winter storm right before Christmas, Kathleen (Catherine Mary Stewart) finds herself trapped in her own home with two unlikely guests, Sam (Muse Watson) and Lucy (Cameron ten Napel).”

fireplaceFireplace for your Home. Here it is! That fireplace to put on your TV with Christmas music!

liberaceLiberace’s Christmas Special. Also going on my playlist.

lawrenceLawrence Welk Christmas Shows. Covers the years from 1958, 1959, and 1966.

miracleThe Miracle on 34th Street. A Christmas classic.

santams3Santa Claus: Mystery Science Theater. If you didn’t think Santa Claus could be creepy or boring, watch this.


Santa Claus Conquers the Martians. I love this movie – and it’s a crying shame it’s not a Christmas classic! Basically, the people of Mars are upset that Santa doesn’t visit their planet so they come up with a plan to kidnap Santa. The special effects are AWESOME. This movie was actually riffed by Mystery Science, but it’s not free. You will just have do your own riffs. Best watched with a big group of friends.santaclausSanta Claus: the Movie. OH MY GOODNESS. I totally forgot about this one, until now! Remember this ’80s gem where Dudley Moore plays the elf named Patch? I think I am going to watch this tonight.

joyeuxJoyeux Noel: Merry Christmas. Description from Amazon: “Based on the true story of three armies in the bloody trenches of World War I – and the miraculous Christmas Eve truce they unexpectedly forge.” This one got really strong reviews!

allstarThe All-Star Christmas Show (Bob Hope). 50 stars come together for a special Christmas Show. (If the picture isn’t clear, these “stars” aren’t likely to be current celebrities. Heads up!)


Jack Frost. The sweet tale of how Jack Frost became human so he could fall in love.

mrmagooMr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol. Animated version of A Christmas Carol! Very cute.

veggietalesVeggie Tales: The Little Drummer Boy. The Veggie Tales uncover the real story of Christmas.

If you are not an Amazon Prime member? You can sign up for a FREE 30-day trial. This will give you instant streaming access to these and thousands of additional FREE movies and TV shows as well as free 2-day shipping on most items across Amazon.


Home Depot: Save at least 25% on Holiday Decor + FREE shipping on many items!


There is a great deal happening at Home Depot right now on holiday decor! Most of it is already discounted (up to 40%), plus you can use coupon code HOLIDAY25 to save an extra 25%! However, Queen Bee Coupons noted that in some instances – particularly on sale items, the coupon code seems to be taking off closer to 40% than 25%.


Take this for example: 7.5 ft. Pre-Lit LED Wesley Mixed Pine Tree with Multi-Color Lights was $179.00, but it’s on sale for $107.40. When I added it to my cart and used coupon code HOLIDAY25, the price dropped to $62.65 + FREE shipping! That’s a whopping 65% off!


Here’s another good example:


This 4.5 ft. Pre-Lit Artificial Wesley Pine Potted Tree with Clear Lights was $59.98, but it’s marked down to $41.99. Use coupon code HOLIDAY25 and the price drops by 15% – nearly 40% – to $26.99. Notice that even though shipping is supposed to be free for orders of $45, it’s showing free on this one:


Shop all the holiday items and see what you can find.

Regarding shipping – while it seems to be free on many items sitewide, in many instances, you can also opt to pick-up in store. You might wish to go this route if you’d like to have the items to decorate your house for Christmas now, or want to make sure you receive them in time for Christmas.

Thanks, Queen Bee Coupons!

Best Prices on Holiday Dinner - Ham, Turkey, Roast, Seafood

Best Turkey, Ham, Roast, Lamb & Seafood Prices at Grocery Stores: Just in time for Christmas Dinner!

Best Prices on Holiday Dinner - Ham, Turkey, Roast, Seafood

Best Prices on Holiday Dinner - Ham, Turkey, Roast, Seafood

While most people opt for turkey on Thanksgiving (or maybe ham), Christmas dinner can vary greatly from table to table! Just the other day I posed the question on Facebook: “what you eating?” and I got answers ranging from oysters to tamales! I still wanted to offer up a round-up to help track down the best prices on a variety of main-course meats and seafoods for you. This morning, I scoured the ads for a number of Puget Sound area stores and have compiled them for you below.

The first thing you need to pay attention to is “good through” dates as these are varying greatly from store to store:

Top Food & Drug: 12/24
Winco: Subject to change at any time
Fred Meyer: 12/21
Safeway: 12/25
Albertsons: 12/25
Metropolitan Market: 12/24
Grocery Outlet: Subject to change at any time
Tacoma Boys Markets: 12/24

Second, make sure you are comparing apples to apples when reviewing this list! It’s not fair to compare a $2.99/lb bottom round roast with a different cut that’s been dry aged. Obviously, a fresh, free range turkey is going to be spendier than a frozen conventionally-raised one.

Best Ham Prices, Christmas

  • Safeway: Smoked Shank Ham $0.99/lb (limit 1; while supplies last)
  • Safeway: Spiral Sliced Half Ham $1.99/lb (limit 1; while supplies last)
  • Safeway: Hormel Cure 81 Boneless Half Ham $3.99/lb (while supplies last)
  • Albertsons: Hormel Cure 81 Smoked Spiral Ham $1.77/lb
  • Albertsons: Cooks Smoked Shank Portion Ham $1.47/lb
  • Albertsons: Steakhouse Choice Beef Rib Roasts $6.97/lb
  • Winco: Cure 81 Bone-in Half Spiral Ham $1.76/lb*
  • Winco: Bone-in Shank Portion Ham $0.98/lb*
  • Top Food & Drug: Cook’s Spiral Sliced Half Ham $1.97/lb (limit 1)
  • Top Food & Drug: Cook’s Shank Portion Ham $1.29/lb (limit 1)
  • Metropolitan Market: Korubuta Ham $4.99/lb (I’ve sampled this before and it’s AMAZING!!)
  • Grocery Outlet: Spiral Sliced Ham $0.99/lb
  • Trader Joe’s: Spiral Sliced Half and Quarter Hams $3.69/lb

* Winco prices can vary greatly by location. These were the prices found at our local Winco store last weekend.

Best Turkey Prices, Christmas

  • Albertsons: Fresh Jennie-O or Foster Farms Turkeys $0.99/lb
  • Safeway: Safeway Select Fresh Turkey $1.69/lb
  • Safeway: Fresh Butterball Turkey $1.99/lb
  • Safeway: Fresh Nature Open Range Turkey $1.99/lb
  • Winco: Frozen Turkey $0.68/lb*
  • Winco: Butterball Frozen Turkey $0.98/lb*
  • Top Food & Drug: Butterball Frozen Turkey $1.29/lb
  • Top Food & Drug: Fresh Butterball or Jennie-o Turkey $1.99/lb
  • Metropolitan Market: Free Range Turkey (fresh) $2.89/lb

* Winco prices can vary greatly by location. These were the prices found at our local Winco store last weekend.

Best Roast Prices, Christmas

  • Safeway: Rancher’s Reserve® Beef Ribeye Roast $5.99/lb
  • Safeway: Rancher’s Reserve® Beef Round Sirloin Tip $2.99/lb
  • Safeway: Rancher’s Reserve® Beef Loin New York Strip Roast $4.99/lb
  • Safeway: Open Nature(TM) Frenched Lamb Rib Roast (imported) $11.99/lb
  • Albertsons: Steakhouse Choice New York Roast $4.97/lb
  • Albertsons: Steakhouse Choice Boneless Beef Top Round Roast $5.99/lb
  • Albertsons: Steakhouse Choice Boneless Beef Bottom Round Roast or Boneless Beef Eye of Round Roast $4.49/lb
  • Fred Meyer: Whole New York Holiday Roast $3.47/lb (today only 12/18 – save $10 off $20 roasts!) (limit 1)
  • Fred Meyer: Rib Eye Roast $5.88/lb (limit 1)
  • Fred Meyer: Boneless Bottom Round Roast $3.48/lb
  • Top Food & Drug: Rib Roast, bone-in $6.97 (limit 1)
  • Top Food & Drug: New York Roast, boneless $6.97 (limit 1)
  • Top Food & Drug: Eye of Round Roast $2.99/lb
  • Top Food & Drug: Bottom Round Roast $2.99/lb
  • Top Food & Drug: Sirloin Tip Roast $2.99/lb
  • Top Food & Drug: Top Sirloin Roast $4.99/lb
  • Metropolitan Market: Locally Grown Dry Aged Beef Rib Roast $16.99/lb
  • Metropolitan Market: Dry Aged New York Strip Roast $16.99/lb
  • Trader Joe’s: Full Cooked Prime Rib Roast $15.99/lb
  • Tacoma Boys Markets: Angus Standing Rib Roast $9.99/lb
  • Tacoma Boys Markets: Angus Standing Dry Aged Rib Roast $11.99/lb
  • Tacoma Boys Markets: Kobe Petite Sirloin Roast $6.99/lb

Additional Meat Prices, Christmas

  • Safeway: Pork Loin Crown Roast $3.99/lb
  • Safeway: Open Nature(TM) Whole Semi-Boneless Leg of Lamb $4.99/lb
  • Albertsons: Fresh Leg of Lamb, bone-in $5.99/lb
  • Albertsons: Fresh Leg of Lamb, boneless $7.99/lb
  • Top Food & Drug: Fresh Leg of Lamb, semi-boneless $7.99/lb
  • Top Food & Drug: Rib Rack $2.69/lb
  • Top Food & Drug: Lamb Rack $9.99/lb
  • Metropolitan Market: Naturally Raised Leg of Lamb, bone-in $7.99/lb

Best Seafood Prices, Christmas

All seafood is previously frozen unless otherwise indicated.

  • Safeway: Large Cooked Shrimp $7.99/lb
  • Safeway: Fresh Dungeness Crab (cooked) $4.99/lb
  • Safeway: Live Pacific Black Mussels (subject to availability – call ahead) $4.99/lb
  • Safeway: Extra Jumbo Raw Shrimp $9.99/lb
  • Safeway: Fresh Norwegian Atlantic Salmon Fillets $9.99/lb
  • Albertsons: Wild Large King Crab Claws $8.99/lb
  • Albertsons: Wild Large King Crab Legs $14.99/lb
  • Albertsons: Wild Lobster Tail $4.99/lb
  • Albertsons: Scallops $7.99/lb
  • Albertsons: Raw Shrimp $8.99/lb
  • Albertsons: Cooked Shrimp $10.99/lb
  • Albertsons: Wild Sockeye Salmon Fillets $10.99/lb
  • Albertsons: Wild Snow Crab $6.99/lb
  • Fred Meyer: Wild Alaska Snow Crab Clusters $8.99/lb
  • Fred Meyer: Wild Alaska Sockeye Salmon Fillets $12.99/lb
  • Fred Meyer: Wild Colossal Mexican All Natural White Shrimp $12.99/lb
  • Top Food & Drug: Lobster Tail, Wild $5 each
  • Top Food & Drug: Elliott’s Crab Cake $1
  • Top Food & Drug: Kulshan Wild Sockeye Salmon Fillet $12.99/lb
  • Metropolitan Market: Wild Caught True Cod Fillet $8.99/lb
  • Metropolitan Market: Wild Lobster Tails $6.99
  • Metropolitan Market: Large King Crab Legs $19.99
  • Metropolitan Market: Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon Fillet $12.99/lb
  • Tacoma Boys Markets: Salmon Fillets $7.99/lb
  • Tacoma Boys Markets: Wild Lobster Tails $9.99 each
  • Tacoma Boys Markets: Large King Crab Legs $13.99/lb

Another tip for good seafood at low prices would be Hmart. I could not find an ad for the Washington area, but they have a huge selection, including many fresh and live options.

Are you aware of a great deal on turkey, ham, roast, or seafood I’ve not listed? Maybe at another store in the area I neglected to include on my list? Please feel free to leave a comment below for other deal-seeking readers!


Free Personalized Video Message from Santa!



You can create a FREE personalized video message from Santa through Portable North Pole! I did this last year for each of my kids and it was a big hit! Simply enter some information about the recipient of the video (are they naughty or nice? what special gift are they hoping for this year? which state do they live in?). I just finished up this year’s messages, which I’ll play for them when they get home from school today.

Please note that you’ll be able to watch the video for awhile, but a download will cost you. There are other paid options for this service, but they are pretty obvious. I just stuck with the free options for my video messages.

Head to Portable North Pole to create your own messages!



12 Days of Christmas: Frugal Makeover Edition


For 2013, the total cost to buy your True Love all the items listed in the 12 Days of Christmas would run you a whopping $114,651 (source: Huffington Post). When I heard this figure the other day, I accepted that as a challenge to redo the 12 Days… on a budget. With that, here’s the new, improved, and 99% discounted version for my frugal-loving pals.

1st Day of Christmas: Partridge in a Pear Tree

2013 Cost: $199.99


How about instead of one partridge – you get an entire Partridge Family CD – for the low price of $7.29 on Amazon? As far as the pear tree goes, you can buy a pear rootstock at Raintree Nursery right now for just $3.50 (or as low as $1.85 each if you bought 25+).  Sure it may not be a lush pear tree full of fruit, but how would you seriously gift that to your True Love anyways?

New Cost: $10.79
Savings: $189.20!

2nd Day of Christmas: Two Turtle Doves

2013 Cost: $125.00

Think twice before gifting live birds for Christmas! I mean, all you’ve really done is given your True Love a responsibility to feed, care for, and shelter a new pet. If Turtle Doves are anything like pigeons, they’ll be pooping everywhere, too. Plus, $125 is lot of money, especially if you’ve already plunked down $200 for another bird and a tree.

I found a real deal for you for Two Turtle Doves… it’s this exciting Kindle book called (wait for it…) Two Turtle Doves. And it’s only $0.99!


New Cost: $0.99
Savings: $124.01!

3rd Day of Christmas: 3 French Hens

2013 Cost: $125.00

Seriously? More birds? Anyhow, I’m pretty sure the last thing any reasonable person wants to do is plunk down 125 smackers on three birds for a Christmas gift.


Well the good news is I found these adorable plush French Hens from the Audubon Society for just $6.99 each on Amazon ($20.97 for the set of three). They even make an authentic french hen sound when pressed, so I doubt your True Love will be none the wiser.

New Cost: $20.97
Savings: $104.03!

4th Day of Christmas: 4 Calling Birds

2013 Cost: $599.96


How about instead of 4 calling birds for $599.96 you buy 4 bird calls for $24.40 on Amazon ($6.10 each)?

My Cost: $24.40
Savings: $575.36

5th Day of Christmas: 5 Golden Rings

2013 Cost: $750.00


Let’s face it: solid gold is expensive. One easy workaround is to simply buy 5 gold-plated rings. A quick search on Amazon produced this frugal option – a girl’s gold-plated crystal rose ring for the low price of $5.28. You could  buy 142 of these rings versus 5 of the fancy pants ones. Think about it.

My Cost: $26.40
Savings: $723.60!

6th Day of Christmas: 6 Geese a-Laying

2013 Cost: $210.00


At this point, maybe you should just buy your True Love a farm to put all these birds! Instead of real live actual geese that will lay eggs all over your living room, how about this charming garden banner for the low price of $9.99 on Amazon? As a bonus, all 6 geese are displayed on the banner which means you’ll only need to buy one. Score!

My Cost: $9.99
Savings: $700.01!

7th Day of Christmas: 7 Swans a-Swimming 

2013 Cost: $7,000.00

Thank goodness this is the last of the days of Christmas where the gift involves fowl! And it’s a good thing – those 7 swans will run you a whopping $1k a pop!


I think your True Love and 6 of his/her closest friends will have a much more enjoyable time on these inflatable swans. They are $36.59 each right now on Amazon.

My Cost: $256.13
Savings: $6,743.87!

8th Day of Christmas: 8 Maids a-Milking

2013 Cost: $58.00

I’m beginning to wonder how some of these figures were calculated. Really, $58 sounds like a steal for 8 maids a-milking to me whereas the swans sound wayyyy overpriced. But of course, I knew I could top $58. I asked my husband for help on this one and he reminded me of this fun candy:


I found 1 lb bag of Milk-Maid Candy for $9.99 on Amazon (as an add-on item), but I suspect you could find it cheaper elsewhere. Maybe WinCo carries it in the bulk bins? I’m unsure how many candies are included in a 1 lb package, but I’d venture to say there are at least 8 pieces.

My Cost: $9.99
Savings: $48.01!

9th Day of Christmas: 9 Ladies Dancing 

2013 Cost: $7,552.84

At $7,552.84, that’ll run you $839.20 per lady dancing. I’m curious what kind of ladies are doing the dancing, and for how long. I’ve got to believe you could go to your local shopping mall or grocery store and easily convince 9 random ladies to do Gangnam Style for you for even a small fraction of $839.20. Heck, I’d do it for $25. (Note to everyone reading this if you find me in your local shopping mall or grocery store.)


Perhaps more enjoyable (and coordinated) than random ladies in a shopping mall dancing to Gangnam Style would be to see the classic Nutcracker Ballet performed by Pacific Northwest Ballet at McCaw Hall. Believe it or not, you can buy discounted tickets right now on Goldstar for nearly 40% off! Tickets start at $25, so as low as $50 for you and your True Love to have a special night out.

My Cost: as low as $50
Savings: $7,502.84!

10th Day of Christmas: 10 Lords a-Leaping

2013 Cost: $5,243.37


I’m guessing it’s going to be pretty hard to find actual Lords that are available to stop by your True Love’s house and leap around. (Do we even have Lords in America?)

Instead – how about this charming Blackberry Phone cover for $8.45 on Amazon?

My Cost: $8.45
Savings: $5,234.92!

11th Day of Christmas: 11 Pipers Piping

2013 Cost: $7,552.84

I find it funny that the cost for 11 Pipers Piping is the exact same cost of 9 Ladies Dancing. What are the chances of that? Now my daughter just so happens to be named Piper and she loooveeesss tootin’ away on her recorder. Recorders are very inexpensive to buy and are guaranteed to provide maximum musical enjoyment for your True Love.


I found this cute pink recorder for $4.99 on Amazon. All you need to do is purchase 11 and find 11 cute little girls named Piper willing to play them. (I’m sure my Piper will oblige.) Of course, if you can’t find 11 girls named Piper, chances are any 11 random kids will work just fine for this not-to-be-forgotten Christmas gift.

My Cost: $54.89
Savings: $7,497.95!

12th Day of Christmas: 12 Drummers Drumming 

2013 Cost: $2,854.80

The 12th Day of Christmas ends with a bang – but it doesn’t have to end by going $2,854.80 in the red.

drummerThis cat drum toy is $4.44 on Amazon (and hey, it even ships free!). Yeah, I recognize that it doesn’t entirely look like a cat, but it’s definitely got a drum, and that’s the main point of the 12th Day of Christmas.

My Cost: $53.28
Savings: $2,801.52!

Ready for the final tally? Drumoll, 12 strange cat drumming toys please….

Before Cost: $114,651 
My Cost: $526.87
Total Savings: $114,124.13 – a total savings rate of 99.5%!

So there you have it. You don’t have to take out a second mortgage to make the 12 Days of Christmas possible for your True Love this year. You’re welcome.

The Elf who Fell off the Shelf

The Elf who fell off the Shelf

The Elf who Fell off the Shelf

The Elf who Fell off the Shelf

It’s December 5th and our Elf on the Shelf is laying face down under the dining room table. He’s been there since December 2nd.

I bought him last year – in late November – on a whim. I’d seen some elf talk on Pinterest and Facebook and mindlessly purchased one for our own. Gosh, I couldn’t deprive my kids of this neat Christmas tradition, could I? Everyone else was talking about Elf on the Shelf, posting about it, pinning crafty ideas with him. Apparently I needed one. Thank goodness it arrived just before December 1st – a narrow scrape. Phew.

At first, it was fun coming up with fun places for him to hide and having the kids hunt for him first thing in the morning. But two weeks later, I was beginning to have some issues with Elf on the Shelf:

  1. Sometimes, I would forget to hide him the night before. I’d remember when the kids came downstairs only to find Mr. Doodlehead in the exact same place he was the previous morning.
  2. Other times, my hiding place was a little *too* good, wasting valuable morning time and risking my kids getting off to school on time.
  3. I began observing the elaborate adventures other elves were having (via my Facebook newsfeed, Pinterest, and blogs) and began to feel woefully inept.
  4. Quite frankly, the whole thing started to creep me out a little bit.

In a fit of frustration, I wrote the post I Suck at Elf on the Shelf: A Month of Terrible Ideas.

This year, with a grudge and a sigh I fished out Mr. Doodlehead from the garage and read the blasted story to my kids. They’d forgotten we’d named him Mr. Doodlehead entirely, so I asked if they wanted to rename him. They came up with the name Michael Mike Vanson, which somehow seems creepier to me than Mr. Doodlehead.

My daughter asked, “Mama, the Elf isn’t real is he?” To which I said, “no, Sweetie, he’s not. But he’s a really great story, right?” Now haters gonna hate, but sorry, there is no way in God’s green earth I want my daughter to believe we have a creepy little Elf making mischief around our house and flying to the North Pole every night. No way I’m telling her that’s real just because some author came up with a brilliant marketing idea. (As you can see, I’m having even deeper issues with this whole thing as we go.)

It was at this point I figured, the cat’s out of the bag, so why should it be *my* responsibility to hide Michael Mike Vanson each night? So this year I told my kids let’s make a game and YOU take turns hiding it. So that night, my daughter hid Michael Mike Vanson and the next day my son found him in the playhouse. That night he hid him under the dining room table, which was a terrible spot because he’s pretty much in plain view and we found him before the night was out. And he’s been there since December 2nd and guess what? NEITHER OF MY KIDS HAVE SAID A WORD ABOUT IT SINCE.

There is a point to all this post and it has to do with traditions.

We associate traditions with the holidays and they are indeed a wonderful way to create memories with friends and family. But the Elf on the Shelf has taught me a valuable lesson – make sure they are traditions that are going to matter to you. Especially take care before starting a time-consuming, money-sucking tradition just because 13 of your Facebook friends are posting about it or because Pinterest boards are telling you to do it. I made the mistake and now look. I have a sad little $30 toy laying face down under my dining room table.

The other day I asked my Facebook pals’ thoughts about Elf on the Shelf, and someone sent me a very cool link about a new tradition called Kindness Elves. While I love the idea behind this – there again, I think it’s so important to ask yourself before spending the time and money involved in creating a new tradition like this – is this truly what *I* want to do this holiday season or just a really great idea? Do I have the time and resources to add this to our schedule? Or, is there another activity that I think would be a better fit for my family this year? Do we need to do something EVERY.DAY. until Christmas, or could spending a Saturday helping at a soup kitchen or wrapping presents for the toy drive be just as meaningful?

This goes beyond elves too. Ornament exchanges. Secret Santas. White Elephant Gift Exchanges where you give ridiculous presents. Cookie parties. If you find value in these activities, by all means – yes, continue them – even Elf on the Shelf! (So please don’t hear me just dissing Elf on the Shelf – if this is a meaningful activity for your family, I can’t knock that.) But if you’re finding yourself going, “gee – it’s time to _______________” again and sighing heavily, maybe it’s time to change things up. The holidays are a time to reflect on what this season is all about and often, less activity is more.

So maybe Michael Mike Vanson will end up as a kitschy ornament on our tree this year – or better yet, maybe next year I’ll start an Elf Adoption Program to match gently used elves with families that will appreciate them.

25 Free Christmas Printables | The Coupon Project

25 Free Christmas Printables

25 Free Christmas Printables | The Coupon Project

25 Free Christmas Printables | The Coupon Project

Ready to decorate for Christmas? I’ve got a nice round-up of 25 completely FREE printables! Make sure to click through to the links below to print the ones you want.

Oh Holy Night Printable // Second Chance To Dream

Starlight Mint Mason Jar Lid Printable // One Creative Mommy

Nativity Printable // The 36th Avenue

Fabric Gift Tags // Practically Functional

Can Of Snow Printable // How Does She

Subway Art Printable // Sew Muchado

Christmas Gift Tag Printable // Kelli Murray

Holiday Greeting Tag & Pocket Printable // Eat Drink Chic

Chalkboard Art Christmas Printable // Second Chance To Dream

Dr. Seuss Grinch Christmas Printable // Ali Lily

Let It Snow Christmas Printable // Balancing Home

Santa Party Circle Printable // The Sweet Spot Candy Bar

Christmas List Printables // Craft Interrupted

Ugly Sweater Holiday Card // Love vs. Design

Christmas Tree Poem Printable // Oh Boy! Oh Joy!

North Pole Coloring Page // Free-N-Fun Christmas

Joy To The World Printable // A Night Owl Blog

Christmas Photo Banner Printable Kit // How Does She

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year Printable // The 36th Avenue

Christmas Coloring Pages // The Kidz Page

Holiday Owl Coloring Page // Free-N-Fun Christmas

Christmas Subway Art Printable // Craftily Ever After

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas Printable // 52 Mantles

Be Merry & Bright Printable // Jen’s Favorite Cookies

Come Let Us Adore Him Printable // AKA Design

Want even more Christmas love? Make sure to check out the round-up of Homemade Christmas Gift Tutorials:



Happy Thanksgiving: A Collection of Stories that Captured my Heart in 2013


In the last few years, I’ve become a collector of amazing news stories. With all the glum and scary things in the world, it’s nice to be reminded from time to time that there are still people that are good at heart, that miracles still happen, and that there are still many wonderful things to be thankful for.

Here are just a few of the stories that put a smile on my face this year.


A mom gets the chance to hear her daughter’s heartbeat one last time - (watch video in that link)

danceA courageous breast cancer patient stages a dance party with surgical staff minutes before her double mastectomy  - (watch video in that link)

A dad weeps with joy to learn his son has received a passing grade


A robber apologies 12 years later – and the shop owner offers grace and forgiveness: full story at King5 

loveA love story you won’t soon forget – told in pictures


A man is reuinted with his foster mom at 32 years – and adopted - (watch video in that link)


Anacortes stages a parade for cancer-free child


A 5-year old boy who has been suffering from leukemia gets to be “Batkid” for a day and saves San Francisco

carA son surprises his dad by reuniting him with his first car - that he owned 24 years ago!


A police offer provides a final act of kindess – minutes before he is shot and killed - (watch video in link)

From my family to yours, may God richly bless you this Thanksgiving!

PS would you consider adding to my collection? If you know of a great news story, please leave a link in the comments below. Many thanks!


Homemade Christmas Gift Ideas


Homemade Christmas Gift IdeasOver the course of my blog, I’ve shared a few tutorials and recipes that would lend themselves well for Christmas and holiday gifts! Here are some of my favorites:

Homemade Sugar Coffee Scrub.  Easy and quick to make. Would make a nice gift for a hostess or teacher.

Homemade Spa Gifts in Jars. Additional ideas on the homemade bath salts and scrubs. Easy to customize and very simple to make.

Candied Fruit Tutorial.  I’ve candied ginger, pommelo, and citron (Buddha’s hand). While they all turned out great, citron is my absolute favorite!

Mommy & Me Aprons. Requires basic sewing ability and equipment.

NOEL Boxes. Cute decor for your home or creative gift wrap idea!

Brownie Mix in a Jar. Easy and inexpensive to make. Another good option for a teacher’s gift when paired with box of cocoa!

Peg Doll Nativity Set. Beautiful homemade gift idea!

Christmas Almond Bark. A nice treat to bring to a holiday party.

Homemade Coffee Liqueur Recipe. For the person that has everything.

Fruitcake Recipe. Because what would Christmas gift giving be without a fruitcake? Warning: this recipe takes at least a couple weeks to make and requires copious doses of brandy. Not frugal. Not quick. But, delicious!

Miniature Mince Pies. These things … are amazing. If you’ve never thought of making this traditional recipe, or you think mincemeat just sounds wrong, you need to take a second look. STAT.

Figgy Pudding. Another forgotten about, brandy-laced dessert from Christmas Past. It’s time to bring it back, baby!

Soup Mixes in Jars. An easy, inexpensive food gift idea that doesn’t involve sugar or butter.

Candles in Baby Food Jars. Simple way to repurpose old baby food jars. Easy.

Vintage Snowglobes. Adorable snowglobes using old jars. A fun one to do with the kids. Warning: these might turn out a little *too* cute and you might not want to part with them. (Speaking from experience here.)

Pear Vanilla Bread. Deliciously different sweet bread! Would make a nice gift for a teacher, hostess, coworker, or friend.

snowglobeWill you be making your own gifts this holiday season?


25 Easy Thanksgiving Crafts for Kids



Are you looking for some fun crafts to put together with your kids this Thanksgiving? If so, I’ve got a nice round-up of 25 different kid-friendly Thanksgiving crafts for you to consider!

For the full tutorial for any of these, simply click through to the blog listed below. And in case you missed it – don’t forget to check out my easy Mayflower Craft Tutorial!

Scrappy Pumpkins // Mom on Timeout

Free Thanksgiving Printables // A Night Owl Blog

Pilgrim Turkeys // Mom on Timeout

Thanksgiving “Gobble” Wood Craft Tutorial // Six Sisters Stuff

Pom Pom Turkeys // Mom on Timeout

Gratitude Turkey Craft // All For The Boys

Turkey Napkin Rings // Craft Interrupted

Tulle Thanksgiving Wreath // A Night Owl Blog

Stained Glass Fall Leaves // Mom On Timeout

Paint Chip Turkey Craft // The (mis)Adventures of a “Born Again” Farm Girl

Thanksgiving Pictionary Game for Kids // Somewhat Simple

Free Thanksgiving Printables // Glued To My Crafts

Fall Subway Art Printable // Mom On Timeout

Turkey Treats // The Crafty Blog Stalker

Thankful Thanksgiving Tree // Mama Smiles

Spin Art Turkey Thanksgiving Craft // 2 Big, 2 Little

How To Make Indian Corn // Boy Mama

Paper Roll Turkey // Mess For Less

Turkey Handprint Apron // Kids Activities Blog

Bottled Turkey Craft // The Iowa Farmer’s Wife

November Sensory Tub // Counting Coconuts

Thanksgiving Pumpkin Pie Play Dough Recipe // 2 Big, 2 Little

Fall Leaf Thanksgiving Place Cards // Crafty Crow

Turkey Finger Puppets // The Educators’ Spin On It

Potato Print Turkey // No Time for Flash Cards

Best Turkey Prices

Finding the Best Price on a Turkey

Best Turkey Prices

Best Turkey Prices

One question I’ve been getting a LOT in the last few days is this: “when and where will I find the best price on a turkey?”

While I’ve not seen any stellar prices just yet on turkeys, I thought I’d give you a heads up on what to watch for. Please take this as a best prediction based on past trends, but not a promise. As always, stuff can change from year to year!

  1. The best deals last year came about a week and a half – two weeks prior to Thanksgiving. I’m not at all surprised we’ve not seen turkeys splashed all over grocery store ads. Remember that Thanksgiving is running a week later than normal (November 28th). If I were to make a prediction: we might start to see some turkey deals on next week’s ad cycle (11/13), but I’d bet the majority of them will come on the following cycle (11/20). As Fred Meyer’s ads break on Sundays, I’d watch for the ad that will be released on 11/17.
  2. Most stores will require a grocery purchase for the best turkey price. When looking at where to buy your turkey, I encourage you to first consider where you like to shop. The reason for this is many grocery stores will give you a discounted price on a turkey (or even a FREE turkey), when you spend money on other groceries in the store. For instance, last year you could get a free turkey at Safeway with a $150 grocery purchase. If you normally spend $150 at Safeway, this may be a good route to go. However, if you prefer shopping at Fred Meyer, it might have made more sense to have spent $100 on groceries there and gotten a turkey for $0.59/lb.
  3. QFC is a good store to watch for turkey deals – and possibly, Top Foods and WinCo. In my post on last year’s Best Turkey Deals, I compared the prices of several area grocery stores. Again, the best deal for you may depend on the stores in your area and where you like to shop. That being said, I have to say that my favorite turkey deal the last two years has been at QFC. In 2012, you could score a turkey for $0.49/lb with a $30 grocery purchase. Because QFC is famous for the awesome mix & match promotions they run around the same time, it’s easy to get a LOT of food for that $30. In 2011, the deal was even better: $0.39/lb with a $25+ purchase (and $0.29/lb with a $25+ purchase in 2010). In 2011, Top Food & Drug offered a $0.29/lb turkey with $25+ purchase. WinCo also offers cheap turkeys with a grocery purchase in order to stay competitive, so we’ll make sure to scout out the prices on those as we get closer. In 2010, WinCo had the best deal for the area at just $0.26/lb.
  4. The best price per-pound was $0.49 in 2012; $0.29/lb in 2011; $0.26/lb in 2010. The best price I noted last year was the aforementioned QFC turkey deal. The $0.49/lb price did require a $30 purchase, so it’s important to take that into account. This is up $0.20 per pound from the best price I found in 2011. If you were just looking to buy a turkey (with no additional grocery purchase), I’d try to target $0.79/lb or less. Increase that substantially if you’re opting for a Butterball turkey or a free range, organic turkey such as one sold from a food co-op.

I will make sure to keep you updated on the best turkey prices as I’m seeing them hit the store ads. I hope this post helps you know what to watch for buying your turkey!

PS Don’t forget to download my Best Thanksgiving Food prices pdf = it’s free!

Best Thanksgiving Prices Stock up Sheet | The Coupon Project

Veterans Day Freebies 2013

Veteran’s Day Freebies and Offers 2013

Veterans Day Freebies 2013

Veterans Day Freebies 2013

Welcome! If you’re new to my site, I invite you to subscribe to my email newsletter. Every day, I report on the best deals and freebies I’m finding.

Monday, November 11th is Veteran’s Day! If you are active duty, retired, or reserve military, you can take advantage of many freebies and discounts on these days. I’ve done my best to round up as many as I could find, but if you are aware of one I’m missing? I’d love to know about it to update this list!

As always, I’d phone ahead to make sure your local store or restaurant is participating and to confirm any details such as if additional purchases are necessary. I also strongly recommend that you bring your military ID to make sure you can get these freebies most easily.

Some of these freebies I’m seeing others mention or noted for last year, but haven’t confirmed with the company or seen on their website. I’ve noted these as “unconfirmed” below. Please make sure to call ahead of time! Unless otherwise stated, all freebies and offers will be good on for Monday, November 11th. 

Applebees: Free signature entree for veterans & active duty military. Dine-in and from limited menu only. See Applebees for details.

Brown Bear: Free car wash for veterans & active duty military. See Brown Bear for details. (Note: this is being offered through GraceforVets. If you don’t have Brown Bear in your area, you might have another participating car wash to choose from.)

Chili’s (unconfirmed): Free meal for veterans & active duty military. Watch Chili’s for details.

Denny’s (unconfirmed): All you can eat pancakes from 6am – 2pm for veterans & active duty military. Watch Denny’s for details.

Golden Corral: Free “thank you” dinner for veterans & active duty military between 4pm – 9pm. See Golden Corral for details.

Great Clips: Free haircut for veterans & active duty military. See Great Clips for details.

NEW! IKEA: Free meal for veterans & active duty military Saturday, Nov 9th – Monday, Nov 11th. See IKEA for details.

Knott’s Berry Farm: Free admission for veterans & active duty military November 4 – 27. Additional tickets $22. See Knott’s Berry Farm for details.

Krispy Kreme: Free doughnut and small coffee for veterans & active duty military. See Krispy Kreme for details.

Menchies: Free frozen yogurt (up to 6 oz) for veterans & active duty military at participating locations. See Menchie’s for details.

McCormick & Schmick’s: Free entree for veterans & active duty military on Sunday, November 10th. 50% off select bottles of wine. See McCormick & Schmick’s for menu and details.

National Parks: Free entrance on Veterans’ Day weekend, November 9 – 11. (This offer is good for everyone, not just military.) See a list of participating National Parks.

Northwest Trek: Free entrance for veterans & active duty military. Valid November 10th & 11th. See Northwest Trek for details. (Thanks, Thrifty NW Mom!)

Olive Garden: Free entree for veterans & active duty military. Additionally, military enjoy a 10% discount for all of November. See Olive Garden for details.

Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium: Free entrance for veterans & active duty military. Valid November 10th & 11th. Immediate family will receive 50% discount. See Point Defiance for details.  (Thanks, Thrifty NW Mom!)

Red Robin: Free Tavern Double burgers & fries for veterans & active duty military. See Red Robin for details.

Sea World: 50% off single-day admission tickets for veterans & active duty military. Good for Sea World Florida, San Diego, San Antonio, Busch Gardens, or Sesame Place. Purchase in advance here.

Sizzler: Free select entree until 4pm for veterans & active duty military. See Sizzler for details.

NEW! Starbucks: Free tall coffee for veterans & active duty military. See Starbucks Facebook page for details.

TGI Friday’s: Free lunch from 11am – 2pm for veterans & active duty military. See TGI Friday’s for details.

Make sure to share this post with your military friends & family!

Halloween Candy Buy Back Program

Halloween Candy Buy Back Program: Support our Troops

Halloween Candy Buy Back Program

Halloween Candy Buy Back Program

Did your kids end up with more Halloween candy than they can manage? Or to rephrase, more candy than YOU can manage?

If so, I wanted to share a neat program you might want to consider: it’s called the Halloween Candy Buy Back program! Here’s how it works:

  • Find a participating dentist in your area. (Look for the zip code form at the top of the site.)
  • Candy will be weighed and kids will receive approximately $1 per pound donated!
  • The candy will then be sent to our military troops that have been deployed in harm’s way.

Talk about a win-win, right?

According to what I was able to read on the website, each participating dentist may have a slightly different format in terms of how they pay the kids, additional items they may be collecting, etc. For that reason, I highly encourage you to phone the dentist in your area before visiting to make sure you’ve got all the information you need.

For more information on how this program works and to find a participating dentist near you, please see the Halloween Candy Buy Back site.

I’d love to hear from you if you’ve participated in this program before.

Thanks, Military Wives Saving!

Best Thanksgiving Prices Stock up Sheet | The Coupon Project

Best Prices for Thanksgiving Food Items: FREE Download Included!

Best Thanksgiving Prices Stock up Sheet | The Coupon Project

Best Thanksgiving Prices Stock up Sheet | The Coupon Project

Welcome to November! This is actually the month I learned how to coupon several years ago now and just about my favorite time of year to be a couponer. Why? Because this is the time of year that many pantry basics such as canned fruit and vegetables, flour, oil, and sugar go on sale. I’d like to encourage you to think beyond your Thanksgiving meal when you’re shopping this month and think about stocking up your pantry for the winter months!

Here are a few tips for getting the best deals on these food items in November and saving on your Thanksgiving Dinner:

  1. Plan your meal early and keep it simple! If you’re hosting Thanksgiving, I’d encourage you to plan your meal now. With your meal plan ready, you can begin to identify which ingredients you’ll need so you can keep your eyes peeled for deals throughout the month. I fully expect to see deals on holiday-related baking and cooking items within the next week. Also, encourage guests to bring a dish and keep things simple! There’s no need to cook a turkey, a ham, 12 side dishes, and 8 pies if you’re serving 6 people!
  2. Keep an eye on unit prices. We’ll be seeing some deals on bagged flour and sugar, but do pay attention to the unit prices. Do they best what you can do buying in bulk at a store like WinCo?
  3. Buy your spices in bulk! Generally you’ll begin seeing jarred spices go on 50% off or buy one, get one free sales this time of year. However, you might be better off just buying what you need in bulk. Several stores in my area including WinCo, Fred Meyer, QFC, and Whole Foods Market have an option for buying spices in bulk. Don’t let the high per-dollar price scary you off – you usually only ever need an ounce or less of a given spice and you’ll end up paying pennies at checkout.
  4. Get your coupons ready! We’ve already started seeing some great coupons come available for Thanksgiving food items. Make sure to gather these and keep them handy. We’ll be getting a number of holiday-related coupons in the 11/3 paper, and I have additionally seen some pop up at and the Wounded Warrior Project.
  5. Watch for Turkey deals about 2 weeks prior to Thanksgiving. I’ll do my best to report on turkey round-up deals as I find them. Many stores will give you a good deal on a turkey with additional grocery purchase. This can be a good deal if you’re already planning on doing more shopping at that store.
  6. Buy a few extras to donate. With the great deals we should be seeing this month, keep your local food bank or church pantry in mind! This is a good time of year to put your ninja couponing and bargain shopping skills to use!

Thanksgiving Food Stock up Prices Download

To help you out, I’ve put together a list of a few items I expect to find on sale this month and the prices I would consider stock-up worthy. Please use this as a general guideline only! Your “best prices” may differ if you prefer organic, a particular brand, or have different stores in your area.

Thanksgiving Food Prices Stock-up List (pdf)

While you are welcome to share this post and “pin” it, please note that the PDF is for personal use only. (If you’ve got an idea for the download and you’re not sure the use would fall under “personal use,” please email me at angela @ thecouponproject dot com to discuss.

If you liked this post, you might also want to check out this round-up of over 50 Gluten-Free Thanksgiving Recipes I shared a bit ago:

50+ Gluten-Free Thanksgiving Recipes

Are you hosting Thanksgiving this year? Any additional Thanksgiving help I can provide? Please share!


Halloween Freebies & Offers

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Happy Halloween! I wanted to make sure you were aware of some of the special deals you can take advantage of today only:

Chipotle: $3 Burritos, Bowls, or Tacos from 3pm – closing. (Original post.)

IHOP: FREE Scary Face pancake for kids 12 & under from 7am – 10pm! One per child; dine in only. Visit IHOP for additional information. (We’ve done this one before; it’s fun!)

Jamba Juice: Kids get a FERE smoothie between 2pm – 7pm at select locations. Visit Jamba Juice for more information.

Krispy Kreme: FREE doughnut when you wear your costume. Visit Krispy Kreme for more information. (Original post.)

Lego Store: Stop by the Lego store in costume to receive a free Halloween Keychain. See the Lego Store for more information.

Old Country Buffet: kids eat free when dressed in costume. Visit Old Country Buffet for more information.

Olive Garden: free kid’s meal with the purchase of adult meal and this printable coupon.

Outback: Kids eat free with the purchase of an adult entree on October 31st. See the Outback’s Facebook page for more information.

Panda Express: Kids eat free when dressed in costume. See Panda Express for more information.

Sonic: $0.50 corn dogs all day. Visit Sonic for more information.

Don’t forget – there are many local churches that offer harvest parties and malls and other places of businesses that offer trick-or-treating. I published a post a couple days ago about some of these Puget Sound area FREE Halloween Events.

Are you aware of other Halloween Freebies or Deals? Please leave a comment below.


Puget Sound Area Harvest Parties and Trick-or-Treat Events


Puget Sound Area Trick or Treat & Harvest Events

If you are looking for a harvest party or safe trick-or-treat location for your kids this Thursday, I’ve got a list for you! Please note that I’ve not personally attended each of these, so do check out the website or call the location for more information.

Unless otherwise stated, all of these events are for Thursday, October 31, 2013.

Puget Sound-Area Church Harvest Parties

Many churches offer up harvest parties for the community each year. These safe, family-friendly events usually discourage scary costumes – so do make sure to check out any costume/make-up guidelines first. Oh! And you do not have to be a member of these churches to attend. They are truly no-strings-attached community parties.

harvestfestivalNorthwest Church (Federal Way)
6 – 9 pm
Games, candy, prizes, bounce house, special area for smaller kids, activities for tweens & teens
More information
PS This is my church and we will be there! Come find us. They do an AMAZING job of this party!

Church for All Nations (Tacoma)
6 – 8pm
Games and activities geared for kids 2 – 5th Grade *peanut-free*
More information 

Praise Covenant Church (Tacoma)
6:30 – 8:30
More information 

[Read more...]

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Our Weekend Visit to Maris Farms & Carving Jack-O-Lanterns

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DSCN2208 (800x652)After a busy fall of getting back into the school routine and soccer, I was kind of thinking we’d skip visiting the pumpkin patch this year. Except little sister got to go on a pumpkin patch field trip to Maris Farms which meant brother felt left out.

So back to Maris we went as a family on Saturday. I have to say, I’m glad we went!

DSCN2164 (800x600)While the admission was a bit higher on this farm, I felt more was included once you’re in. The kids enjoyed riding this cow train.

DSCN2167 (599x800)The kids also loved these pedal carts. And yes, that would be a camel in the background. Sadly, it was an extra $5 to ride so we skipped that.

DSCN2173 (800x600)Corn shooters. I think both of my kids hit a sign at least once each! And yes, this was included with the admission. Even for a Saturday, we hardly had to wait in any line to do any of this stuff.

hayrideThey also have a hayride that’s free with admission.

DSCN2192 (600x800)If you do the corn maze, wear boots! It was really muddy back there. We had one unfortunate incident where sister’s shoe got stuck in the mud and she was just standing there screaming in one socked foot. Yuck! The corn maze took about 30 minutes to complete, in case you’re wondering.


Even though we’d grown our own mini pumpkins in our garden, the kids wanted a few bigger ones for Dada to carve. I was surprised to find the selection was really good – even for the weekend just before Halloween!

Want to see what my husband did?

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The one on the left was just a troll face he made up (but I LOVE it!). The second one is the Cheshier Cat from Alice in Wonderland. While he was contemplating what to carve that pumpkin into, I was drinking out of my favorite Cheshier Cat mug. (At that point, I had to pour my coffee into a different mug so he could use it!) Would you believe these are the first pumpkins he’s ever carved? I was totally impressed.

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The third pumpkin he turned into Darth Vader. (You know, to keep with the lack of a theme we have going here!)

If you’re wanting to check out Maris Farms, they are very easy to get to and I also felt it wasn’t as crowded as another popular pumpkin patch we visited last year (which shall remain nameless). It’s $10.25 per person on the weekend, but if you can make it out on a weekday, the price is $5.25. For more information, check out their website.

Puget Sound Pumpkin Patches, Corn Mazes, and U-Pick Apple Farms | The Coupon Project

Don’t forget: I have a list of Puget Sound Pumpkin Patches you can refer to for other ideas, too!

Do you have a favorite local pumpkin patch?

DIY Sugar Coffee Scrub | The Coupon Project

How to make Coffee Sugar Scrub (Good for gift giving!)

DIY Sugar Coffee Scrub | The Coupon Project

DIY Sugar Coffee Scrub | The Coupon Project

I love sharing ideas for homemade gifts and know that many of you have asked that I share more posts on making your own beauty and cleaning products. Today I have a quick tutorial to share on how to make your own coffee sugar scrub.

 What you will need:

  • 1 Cup Ground Coffee
  • ½ Cup Sugar
  • ¼ Cup Olive or Coconut Oil
  • 1 tbsp Vitamin E Oil
  • Rubbing Alcohol
  • Storage Container – you can buy glass jars like the ones pictured above at many stores, including Fred Meyer and IKEA

Start by spraying your storage container with rubbing alcohol and set aside to dry.

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In a large bowl, mix your ground coffee and sugar. Then, add in the Vitamin E oil and Olive or Coconut oil, and mix until well combined.

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Spoon into your container. That’s it! You can either keep this for yourself, or gift to a friend. To use, gently message into skin as a gentle exfoliate while in the shower. Caffeinated coffee helps redistribute fat cells and decrease the formation of cellulite. The caffeine in this scrub may also appearance of varicose veins. Plus, you get to enjoy the scent of coffee in your morning shower.

Are you looking for more homemade gift ideas? Here are a few other posts I’ve shared at the blog that you should check out:

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Scented Bath Salts & Basic Sugar Scrub Recipe. These beautiful gifts can easily be customized with essential oils and jars.

CandlesinJarsCandles in Baby Food Jars. Repurpose plain old baby food jars to easily create your own soy-based candles.

100_6141 (800x551)Make your own Kahlua. This might be a nice add-on to the sugar coffee scrub!

100_6120 (800x600)Make your own Candied Fruit. Simple tutorial for making your own amazing candied fruit. Citrus such as pomelo and citron work especially well, or ginger.

Of course, I also love to give away homemade canned goods, such as these jams and specialty condiments I preserved a couple months ago.

Do you make your own gifts for friends and family at the holidays? If so, what do you like to make?