Showing posts with label deals. Show all posts
Showing posts with label deals. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

20 Mother's Day Gift Ideas to Honor Your Mother Without Breaking Your Budget



With Mother's Day around the corner (May 10, 2015) it is time to start figuring out what you are going to do for (or with) your Mom. In John's family we have a tradition of buying his Mom a large beautiful hanging flower basket every year. To save money we start looking for deals a month ahead of time. This year we received a $4 off coupon in the mail for a 14 inch  flower basket from Countyside Greenhouse in Allendale, MI. (Those not from the West Michigan area this greenhouse is massive, reasonably priced and AMAZING!) We easily found a gorgeous hanging basket on sale for $24 and with our $4 coupon we walked away only paying $20. (this will test whether our family actually reads our blog!...but I guess our family already knows we are cheap! hence John's brother mentioning it in his Best Man speech at our wedding! lol).

And last year we bought and used a Groupon for Huizenga Brothers Greenhouse to buy her hanging basket. So anway, the point I am making is you can save money by thinking ahead and looking for deals.

For those that need a little help figuring out what to do for their Mom, here is a list of 20 cheap Mother's Day Gift Ideas.

Cheap Mother's Day Gift Ideas:

1. Make her dinner instead of taking her out to a restaurant
2. Pack a picnic and take her to a beautiful setting such as a park, beach, or a place that is special to her.
3. Take your kids to Goodwill and give each child $5 to find something to buy for her or something to use to make into a gift for her (this could get expensive depending on how many kids you have :p.
4. Surprise her with a stay in movie night with her favorite movie or a movie of her choice (like the movie she has been dying to see but no one will watch it with her) and snacks. You can keep the price down by making your own popcorn and using large bags of candy instead of personal sizes. Make it extra special by drizzling your popcorn with chocolate or peanut butter (I have been meaning to try this).
5. Have your kids write and perform a play.
6. Put together a  youtube video and profess your love on-line or make a digital collage of pictures.
7. Use a Groupon deal to go wine tasting, Paint Nite for two, bowling, boat cruise, etc.
8. Use an on-line deal (such as groupon) to order a canvas print of one of her favorite pictures or a family.
9. Do an act of service, especially one she hates to do or has been nagging you to do, such as cleaning out the garage, washing the dishes, de-clutter and organize your closet, clean the bathrooms, dust, etc.
10. Bake her her favorite dessert and customize it with a message.
11. Buy cheap cement mix and garden stepping stones with kid's hand or feet prints.
12. Have your kids paint rocks to decorate the garden.
13. Wash her car by hand (cheaper than automatic..unless you have a deal) and clean and vacuum the inside.
14. Let her sleep in.
15. Surprise her by showering her with gifts the day before Mother's Day so she caught off guard.
16. Ask her to make a list of 10 or more things that would make her feel loved (back massage, washing the dishes without being asked, love note left in her car, date night, you name it...well she names it! Save the list and do one or more of these things on special days such as Mother's Day, birthday, Christmas, etc. A great book to help you with this is The Five Love Languages. I love this book because it explains the different ways (words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service, and physical touch) people express and feel loved. It helps you identify the way she wants to be shown love so you can show your love more effectively. There is even an edition for children so you can learn the best way to show love to your kids.
17.  Have a make up party and let your kids do her make up and take silly pictures afterwards (please note some moms would not find this funny or enjoyable)
18. Set up a hot bath with candles and essential oils and take the kids to the park so she can have a relaxing afternoon or evening.
19. Take her to a movie matinee at a second showing theater for cheap! For those in the Grand Rapids area the Woodland Mall has showings for $5.
and the obvious
20. Make her breakfast in bed (don't do this if she is not a morning person or doesn't usually like to eat breakfast).

The main point is to personalize whatever you do for her so you don't simply spend money on her because that is what is expected. I guess if she really wants a diamond necklace than you  better buy her a diamond necklace. But personally, I would be pissed if John bought me a diamond necklace because it is expensive and I don't really wear jewelry.


For me, the perfect Mother's Day (or any special occasion) would be sleeping in and waking up to a healthy homemade breakfast (like my chocolate waffles with strawberry sauce), not having to do the dishes afterwards, spending time with my family (maybe go for a walk, bike ride, movie, etc) and finally being surprised with my favorite ice cream cake (Peanut Butter Playground) from Cold Stone using the $4 off coupon we got in the mail that I filed away in our coupon folder. So I would cost a whopping $20! But you know what I am doing on  Mother's Day instead...working. But then again my amazing husband usually lets me sleep in and makes me breakfast when I work Sundays so I am one lucky Momma.

Happy Mother's Day!

Coming soon...The best cheap dates without seeming cheap!

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Thursday, February 5, 2015

Grocery Savings



One of the largest portions of our budget as a family is groceries. The price of groceries can add up very quickly especially due to the fact that we are fairly conscientious about trying to purchase organic products whenever possible. This in itself is a financial investment because paying a little more for our fruits and veggies should cost less than potential health problems later due to health hazards related to pesticides and potentially harmful GMOs.



My wife does a majority of the shopping during the school year and I hit the store some more during the summer due to my profession as a teacher. One thing that she has done is she has made a spreadsheet with prices of common items we purchase and where they are cheapest. The main businesses that we shop at which are included on the list are Costco, Meijer, Aldi, and a co-op of Country Life Natural foods. Please note that these shopping options are in the Grand Rapids, MI area. A great idea for a family trying to save money is to make their own spreadsheet with the stores they commonly shop. Then you can easily update prices at each place as you shop using a smart phone.

Here is the spreadsheet that she uses! Feel free to print it off and use it too!
http://goo.gl/1JN2pR

Here is a screen shot example of the spreadsheet but the link is the only way to get a great view.






Of course nothing beats a sale price so double check the sale price against your spreadsheet! You may notice that there is not a lot of animal product options on this list. This is due to the fact that we try to have a whole food/plant based diet for personal health reasons. We also will spend more if an organic option is available. This spreadsheet may be a great starting point for a family to save some money on common everyday items.

Before going shopping she also checks for coupons on  Meijer's M Perks and looks for deals on Saving Addiction http://goo.gl/TFg8Aa.


For more information about Country Life Natural foods check out this link: http://goo.gl/nhh0VI




Another resource that I have heard folks have success with but have not tried myself is the Retail me Not app: http://goo.gl/fL7Fs0



Look forward to reading more about how to save even more money when grocery shopping!

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