Putting Up the Fall Decor

Putting Up the Fall Decor

The kids have been after me to pull out the Christmas decorations, but before I could do that I had to put up the fall decor; and that meant pureeing all of the free pumpkins that we got this year. Looks like we’ll be eating very well this winter.

Still have some pumpkins on your hands? They’d be awfully tasty in soup, bread or a pie.

Operation Clean Out the Fridge

Operation Clean Out the Fridge

Most of the things on your holiday to do list will end up costing you money, but here’s one that won’t: go through your fridge and freezer to see what you have on hand. Then, start planning your meals around it. It’ll give you a nice break from grocery shopping during this very busy and expensive time of year; and by Christmas, you should have plenty of room for all of those tasty leftovers.

Free Christmas 2012: Stocking Stuffers

This year, if it isn’t free, it won’t be going into our stockings. So how much harder is it to get free stocking stuffers? Not a bit. Take a look at what I’ve gotten so far:

For My Husband

Free Christmas 2012: Stocking Stuffers

All of these instant coffee samples came from a single sample request. My husband will be psyched.

Tea Bags

Iced Tea Bags

And for the days when he’s not in a coffee mood? Tea. These tea bags (many of which are organic) came from five different free sample requests.

Hershey's Simple Pleasures

Because chocolate is a stocking must-have, I snagged this bag of Hershey’s Simple Pleasures at CVS (free after ECBs).

Lindt Lindor Truffles

This bag of Lindt Lindor Truffles (free with a coupon that I scored on Facebook).

Unreal Candy

And this collection of Unreal candy bars (free with Staples Rewards). At this point I probably have too much candy for his stocking, but the kids were with me when I bought it all, so I can’t shift any of it over to their stockings. Lucky him.

Hair Gel

On the non-edible side, I also scored this free sample of hair gel. It’s just the right size for him to take on a trip.

For My Kids

Christmas Candy

I purchased a shampoo and conditioner money-maker at CVS. Then, used the resulting ECBs, along with a few more that I’d been saving, to buy my kids’ stocking candy. I still need to pick up one more Reese’s tree to even things up.

Lego Figures

Both of my kiddos are into Legos at the moment, so I cashed in some of my RecycleBank points for a free $5 eBay gift card, and bought these figures for their stockings.

Colored Glue Sticks

I spotted these colored glue sticks in a clearance basket at Office Depot, and paid for them with My Worklife Rewards. Since there are five glue sticks, I’ll have to hold one back to keep things “even steven.”

Sneaker Keychain

My eight-year-old has been eyeing the sneaker keychains at Staples for a while now. They finally went on clearance for $.50, so I snagged one for her with my rewards.

eos Lip Balm

Last year I stuck an eos lip balm in each kids’ stocking, and they loved them. I’m doing that again this year – only this time, I didn’t pay for them. They were free after Register Rewards at Walgreens.

Lotion Samples

And to satisfy their love of trying out new lotions? A bunch of samples.

Want to see what else I’m going to stick in their stockings? Check back regularly to find out. I’ll be posting updates throughout the season.

See Also:

How to Get New-Release Movies for Free

Like to own movies as soon as they come out, but hate to fork over the cash for them? Then, it’s time to become a rebate stacker.

Do a search for the movie that you want to buy and the word “rebate.” If it’s a popular movie, you should turn up multiple rebate offers (and that’s what you’re hoping for). Review the terms of each offer to see if they’ll accept a copy of the receipt instead of the original. If so, you’ll be able to stack multiple rebate offers.

Pair a couple high-value rebates with a sale (or a coupon), and you’re likely to come out with a free or nearly-free movie.

Here’s an example:

The Brave three-disc Combo Pack is currently available on Amazon for $19.99.

And there are four Brave rebate offers up for grabs …

That’s $23 in rebates for a $19.99 movie!

Now, one thing to keep in mind: If a rebate requires a proof-of-purchase tab from your movie, you’ll only be able to submit as many rebates as you have tabs. Most movies have at least two.

Printable Tea Towel Calendars – 2013

Printable Tea Towel Calendars - 2013

Being a collector of vintage linens, I’ve always loved the tea towel calendars from the 50s. I don’t know why they ever stopped making them, but I’ve decided it’s time to bring them back. And so, I present to you – not one, but two – tea towel designs that you won’t find anywhere, but here. Just print them on iron-on transfer paper, and iron them onto a flour sack towel (or a bit of fabric from your stash).

These would make great gifts on their own or as part of a gift basket.

Printing Tips:

  • The tea towels designs are inverted, so they’ll read correctly when transferred to fabric. Don’t be alarmed when they come out of your printer looking backwards
  • Make sure your printer is set to landscape
  • Read the directions that come with your transfer paper carefully, to ensure you’re feeding it into your printer the right way
  • Do a test run on regular paper (in draft mode), to make sure everything is set up properly before you print to transfer paper
  • For the best results, use your iron-ons soon after printing them

Tip: Target has the cheapest prices on iron-on transfer paper that I’ve found. Their prices are about half what you’ll pay at an office supply store.