Shopping Like a Pro at Target

Target picture

I LOVE Target!  It’s one of my favorite places to shop and of course they are known for having the best deals on clearance.  Here are a few  terms you need to become familiar with when you shop at Target:

  • Target Coupon: This is a store coupon that can be stacked with manufacturer coupons for added savings. Target printable coupons are usually available on the Target website and they are also often included in the Sunday Newspaper inserts.
  • Target Mobile Coupon: You can now register your cell phone to receive weekly text messages that contain special offers.
  • Temporary Price Cut: It’s a temporary sale price offered on a particular item.
  • Target Gift Card Promotion: Target often runs gift card promotions. These promotions usually require that you buy a particular item (or number of items) and when you do so, you will receive a Target gift card at the end of your checkout.
  • Use your Target Debt card, Target Credit Card® or Target® Visa® Credit Card to get every day savings, support your favorite K-12 school, make
    prescriptions rewarding and more.  Click on picture below to learn more!

Target 5% card

Here are a few tips on how to get free stuff at Target?

1) The first way to get free stuff at Target is by combining Target Gift Card promotions with manufacturer and Target store coupons. For example: Target is offering a $5 gift card when you buy one Scrubbing Bubbles Shower Cleaning Kit on sale for $15. There is also a manufacturer coupon available for $7 off one Scrubbing Bubbles kit. After you deduct the coupon and the value of the Target gift card you end of getting the Scrubbing Bubbles kit.

2) The second way to get free stuff at Target is by stacking a Target store coupon and manufacturer coupon on the same item.

3) The last way to get free stuff at Target is by combining a temporary price cut or an every day price at Target with a manufacturer coupon.

Here are a few things to remember when shopping at Target

1) The secret to minimizing your out of pocket expense is by breaking off your transactions and using Target Gift cards you may have received previously on a transaction the second transaction and so on.

3) There is a proper way to hand your coupons when shopping at Target: Always hand your manufacturer coupons first and then your Target coupons.

4) Before you leave the store make sure to check your receipt to verify that coupon discounts you expected were applied. Also make sure to verify that all of the Target Gift cards you expected were awarded. It is easier to correct situations right after you complete the transaction than later.

Target has an official Coupon Policy that clearly states that you can combine one Target coupon and one manufacturer coupon on the same item. Make sure to print this Target Coupon Policy and bring with you to the store next time.

Here is the  unofficial markdown schedule:

Monday – Electronics, Kids Clothing and Stationary (Cards, GiftWrap, etc.)
Tuesday – Domestics, Women’s Clothing, Pets and Market (food items)
Wednesday – Men’s Clothing, Toys, Health and Beauty, Lawn & Garden items
Thursday – House Wares, Lingerie, Shoes, Sporting Goods, Movies, Music, Books, Decor and Luggage
Friday – Auto, Cosmetics, Hardware, & Jewelry.

Holiday Clearance Schedule
50% off day after holiday for three days
75% off fourth day after holiday for three days
90% off seventh day after holiday for 1-2 days.

Do you have any tips you would like to add?  Please share!

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Homemade Pretzel Bites

I’m not quite sure what it is, but there is something irresistible about soft pretzels bites that make them absolutely addicting!  Every time we go to the mall I always get sucked into the pretzel maker stand.  (I typically use this as bargaining to get the kiddos to behave themselves).  So I decided to take it a step further and try making pretzel bites at home. They turned out awesome!   Not only do they pop easily into your mouth, they make fabulous snacks for the kiddos and are very inexpensive to make.  Hands down, these are the best little snack and they are so easy and fun to make!  Just to give you a heads up, you You may suspect that the large amount of baking soda to cook the pretzels is a typo; it’s not. Believe me, it’s the secret to the chestnut-brown color they develop during baking. Without it, the pretzels would look anemic.  Pretzel bites are best the day they are made, but they can be made 1 day ahead and kept in a resealable plastic bag or frozen 1 month. Thaw, and rewarm, if desired, in a 350°F oven for about 5 minutes.

Recipe:

1 1/8 cups water (70 to 80 degrees F)

3 cups all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons brown sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast

2 quarts water

1/2 cup baking soda

coarse salt

Pretzel Bites 1

 In bread machine pan, place the first  four ingredients in order suggested by manufacturer. Select dough setting (check dough after 5 minutes of mixing; add 1 to 2 tablespoons water or  flour if needed).Pretzel bites 2

When cycle is completed, turn dough onto a lightly floured surface. Divide dough into eight balls. Roll each into a 20-in. rope; form into pretzel shape. In a saucepan, bring water and baking soda to a boil. Drop pretzels into boiling water, two at a time; boil for 10-15 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon; drain on paper towels.  Place pretzels on greased baking sheets.  Bake at 425 degrees F for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. Brush with melted butter. Sprinkle with salt..Pretzel bites 3

Here is a great Cheddar Dip:

12  ounces good-quality Cheddar cheese, cut into 1-inch cubes

6 to 8 tablespoons dry white wine or water

Make Cheddar Dip:
Purée cheese with 6 tablespoons wine or water in a food processor fitted with knife blade, stopping and scraping down sides with a spatula occasionally, until mixture is creamy and smooth, about 2 minutes. Thin to desired consistency with additional wine or water, adding it 1 tablespoon at a time. Serve immediately, or chill, covered, and return to room temperature

ENJOY!!!

Turning Bar Soap into Liquid

photo(31)You can turn any bar of soap into liquid soap.  Why you ask?  Why would you want to turn a bar of soap into liquid?

I am glad you asked!

Bar soap is cheap!  You can buy a two pack at the dollar store, or get it for free with coupons at the grocery store.  This is not always the case with liquid soap.  Body wash, hand soap, dish detergent and laundry soap all can be made with liquid soap.  So here is how you do it:

photo(33)

1.  Take your bar of soap and look at the weight.  Take the weight of the soap and multiply it by 4.  That is how much water you need.  (This bar is 4 ounces, so I need 16 ounces of water.)

photo(34)

2.  Put your bar of soap in a ziplock bag and pour the water into the bag.

3.  Zip it up and squeeze the bag a few times each day.

4.  In 4-5 days you will have liquid soap. (The picture at the top shows the finished product!)

In the bar of soap I used for these pictures I paid $.50 for it.  This turned into 16 ounces of liquid soap.  I will later turn this into men’s body wash.  Even with the BEST coupon, you will never find a bottle of body wash for such a FRUGALTASTIC price!

Keeping the Kids Covered……

I hate laundry.  Hate. It.kids clothes

Maybe it is just because I am so bad at it.  Seriously.

But this post is not about my confessions, it is about how I go about buying all the clothes that lead to laundry.

Face it, clothes are not cheap!  My kids will not stop growing so I always need more.  Here are some of the ways that I do all I can to be frugal:

1.  I NEVER turn down offers for hand me downs!  If someone says they have some clothes and ask if I am interested….the answer is always YES!  I don’t always keep everything I am given, but I do go through it and pull out what we like.  I have received some of the most adorable, barely used, clothes this way.  I just bag up the stuff that we don’t want and pass it on or donate it.

2.  I SAVE clothes.  I keep tubs in my garage for every size.  When my youngest in each gender out grows something, I give them away.  I have heard many people say that they are not going to keep things for two years until the next child can fit in them.  I say……then give them to me and I will!!!!

3.  I shop online.   I do not like to pay for shipping because it adds a lot to the cost of the clothes.  Many stores are great about offering free shipping with no minumum order.  (Kohls, Children’s place, and Crocs)  I have scored some GREAT bargains this way!  Just sign up for the eclubs and scan the emails for free shipping codes!  (Just last week I bought my daughter adorable glittery t-shirts from Children’s place for $2.50 with free shipping!)

4.  Dillards.  Yes that is correct.  Some of my most successful shopping sprees have come from here.  A few times a year they do a sale that is 30-40% off their already reduced clearance.  I have brought home bags full of clothes for just a couple of bucks an item.  Jeans for $4.  This is GREAT quality stuff that will make it through multiple kids!  Make sure to sign up for their email list to be notified when the sales are coming.

5.  I go to the Salvation Army.  I know, many people would die before they bought clothes this way, but I will buy jeans and shorts there every year.  My local store throws all clothes on half-price every Wednesday!  I have found Gap, Gymboree, and Old Navy jeans in like new condition for $2.

6.  Shoes.  I rarely get hand me downs that are not good for anything other than playing in the rain.  This is something I almost always have to purchase new.  With ten little feet to keep covered I am always on the look out for a bargain.  I go to Burlington often for shoes.  They have good brands that are significantly cheaper than anywhere else.  I also shop at Academy for athletic shoes.  I used to go to Wal-Mart or Target but the shoes fell apart before my kids outgrew them.  I  have also found great deals in the clearance section at department stores.

 

365 Ways to Love Your Child

365 Ways to Love Your Child - Caryl Waller Krueger - Hardcover - Special Value

Love makes the world go round right?  But it’s also the glue of families, communities, and nations.  This wonderful book describes very specific ways to simply love your child.  The wonderful thing about this book, you can start using the ideas right away!  You don’t need to  buy anything or spend time on fancy preparations.  It’s doing ordinary, everyday things with a special “extra” your children will love.   John 15:13 There is no greater love than to love and to be loved.  Here are a few of my favorites from this wonderful book!

  • Once A Day: As you say goodnight to your youngster, think back over the day’s events.  Whether it was a day of disaster or harmony, you can still end the day on a loving note.  Get up from the sofa, take time to walk to a child’s room, give a hug and a kiss and tell that child how much you treasure him.  Never let the day end without this expression of love.  (This works well on spouses, too!)
  • Whispers: Not all family conversations have to be heard by everyone.  Whisper a love message in a child’s ear as he leaves for school, goes out to play, does his homework, goes to bed.  Follow your whispered message with a soft kiss.
  • Have You Hugged a Tree Lately?: When in the park or walking down the sidewalk together, count how many trees you can hug together.  (your hands and your child’s hands must meet around the tree trunk.)  Each time your hands meet, say, “I like this tree, but I love you so much more.”
  • Care Enough: Love protects!  Show your children how much you care for them by keeping them very safe.  Talk about these situations: when there is a fire in the house, when someone knocks on the door, when they’re approached by a stranger, when they’re home alone and the phone rings, when they see matches, poisons, guns, and so forth.  Tell them that you want them to know about these things, not to make them afraid, but because you truly care for them and want them to always be safe.
  • Wonderful Warm Bath:  Who says a bath has to be at bedtime? Sometimes a warm bath can be restful when tired, soothing when tense, comforting when angry.  While you can only recommend this soothing time to teens, you can lovingly lead little ones to a bubbly tub bath to help them calm down while you read to them.
  • A Secret:  We all love being confided in.  Tell your child a secret, something “only between you and me.”  It’s a good way to teach children to be confidential, and your child feels special when you trust him.
  • Feed The Birds:  Make a comparison between your love for a child and a mother bird’s love for her babies.  (If you have a cat and kitten or dog and puppy, you can use that example as well.)  Show how the mother feeds her babies, keeps them warm, protects them from danger – just as you do for your child.  Care for hungry birds in the cold winter by hanging and filling an inexpensive bird feeder.  Talk about caring for birds and other small animails as opposed to killing them for target practice.  Be supportive of your local animal-care agencies and go to visit them just to look.
  • Room Service:  Surprise a child when she’s getting ready for bed by bringing a snack or tray (milk and a cracker is enough) to her room.  Sit down and chat about the day.  She’ll feel very loved to have you waiting on her with this treat.
  • Certificates Of Love:  Make a little booklet of handmade certificates that your youngerster can redeem from you.  The certificates can purchase a trip to the zoo, a day without chores, his favorite meal, a video party with friends, a manicure and pedicure, free admission to an event, an oil change and car wash for a teen’s car, a three dollar “discount” at the toy store, an up-front seat in the car for one week.
  • What Mother Taught Me:  Very often a mother (or father) passes on to a child the loving words of wisdom from her own mother.  One little rhymn from a mother to a daughter falls in this category.  Help your child memorize it.

                                                   Don’t look for the flaws in life,

                                                   But even if you find them,

                                                   Be wise and kind, and somewhat blind,

                                                   And look for the virtues behind them.

Do you have any good reads to help in your mothering adventure?

Molding Clay Recipe

You could buy a tub of baking clay from the local arts and crafts store, or if you are a frugal gal who wants to save a little extra,  you could make your own with a few simple ingredients!  This recipe is super simple and lots of fun!

Clay1

What you need:

1/2 cup cornstarch

1 cup baking soda

3/4 cup water

Mix all the ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Stir gently until mixture starts to become firm.  When the mixture is a soft clay consistency remove it and place it on a clean surface to cool.  When it is cool you can start to knead it and it will firm up even more.

clay2

Clay3

Mold clay into desired shapes.  Let it dry overnight.  Enjoy!

 

Got Milk?

Milk

I don’t know about you, but we go though a TON of milk around here.  I  found a great deal  on milk and decided to see how it would freeze.  To do so, I simply removed a cup of milk from each gallon (to allow for expansion), and froze them in the original container.  When I noticed I was getting low, I threw one in the refrigerator to thaw and shook before serving.  I read that freezing milk might change its consistency slightly but I did’nt notice any difference.  Make sure you freeze a gallon to start to see if you’re satisfied with the results, before you freeze a bunch!  I hope this saves you a trip or two!

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