Party on a Dime

We’ve had a very busy weekend.  My son’s birthday was on Saturday, we had a party for him on Sunday and on Monday a big special surprise.  But it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg to have a great celebration here’s what we did to save.

  • I started buying gifts right after Christmas.  We managed to pick up legos at 50% off and through the year I’ve picked up all the gifts for his birthday and Christmas at 50-75% off.
  • We went to a Character Breakfast which we do every year and is a bit of a budget buster.  But to help we made the reservation for 10:30 and since it was a buffet we managed to eat enough to not have to get lunch later in the day. Shawn's Birthday 023
  • For his party I’ve been shopping sales and Sav-A-Lot to make sure we had food and drinks.  Hot dogs, chips and hug jugs make for very happy kids and are really easy on the budget.
  • I made cupcakes instead of a cake because they are easier for kids to eat.  They are also really cheap and with printed decorations I found online they looked really good and cost nearly nothing.
  • I picked up fabric from the remnants bin at Joann’s and sewed the goody bags and filled them with clearance finds, homemade crayons, copied coloring pages, and a few things from Oriental Trading Company (not a bad place to find lots of great goodies)shawn's birthday 002
  • And for his big surprise we went to the brand new Lego Land.  With careful planning and quick action when I got the lego catalog we were able to go for $55.  Lego offered free admission to their VIP members so we signed up so that hubby and I got in free, my mother in law signed up so she could also get in free and then we paid for Shawn’s ticket and received $10 off it. Legoland 031
  • We had a fantastic time at the park and did purchase lunch while we were there we could have packed a lunch but I was so exhausted from the rest of the weekend festivities that I didn’t.  We were surprised to find that the food costs in the park were very reasonable.

So there you go.  We spent less then $50 on probably $150 in presents and that cost was spread out over the year, we spent less then $25 on goody bags, decorations and food for his birthday party and had a fantastic time.  With lots of careful planning we were able to have a fantastic weekend without spending a small fortune.  Plus since I’ve been buying presents all year we have plenty of gifts for Christmas and won’t have to be spending much with the exception of a few gifts he may ask for I am done with his presents for the year.  You have no idea how great it feels not to have to rush around in holiday craziness at the stores to pick up presents.

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Halloween Savings at my favorite store!!!

Click here to see all the great deals and coupons available this week to get you ready for Halloween!!!

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Savings, it’s really the small stuff

When you are trying to trim your budget it really is the small stuff that you need to look at.  Those sodas or coffees at the gas station really add up but there is more you can do than just cutting out your morning caffeine fix.  Here are a few things we’ve been doing to save.

  • The weather has been cool so I’ve been keeping the A/C off and just running fans.  I read somewhere you could use lots of fans for a lot less than the cost of A/C unfortunately the humidity got the best of me last night and I had to turn on the A/C.
  • We’ve been keeping the lights off when possible. 
  • I grouped all my shopping trips together and went to Sav-A-Lot, Aldis, Micheals, and Kohls.  I’ve been finding that shopping at Aldi’s and Sav-A-Lot are really helping fill in the holes from the grocery sales.  Now to convince my Walmart to pricematch Sav-A-Lot so I can pick up a few things closer to home.
  • We managed to cut out all trips to grab a quick snack or a drink by making sure we planned out trips and packed accordingly.
  • I picked up tickets to two free events the apartment complex is hosting.  One for Shawn to paint a pumpkin which will save me the cost of at least one pumpkin this year and the other for an Adult Halloween party.  My mother in law will be here then so Dave and I can go out and have free drinks and snacks.
  • I made invitations for Shawn’s birthday party using cardstock I got free at Staples.  They cost me almost nothing and came out much better than the store bought ones.
  • For entertainment we’ve been using video games and watching TV since we pay for overpriced cable we might as well use it.
  • I’m also working on some homemade Christmas gifts that will save us money over buying gifts.

In addition to saving on the small stuff I’ve been working hard on my crafts to prepare for lots of shows/markets this fall.  I have a call in to someone about getting into another couple of markets.  I’ve sold some of my items from my Etsy store and my website at   If you get a moment I would love for you to check out my items and let me know what you think.  I also have some new items posted on Facebook and I believe the prices are very good for handmade work.  If you are looking to try and make some extra money figure out what you are good at and run with it.  From babysitting, to handyman work, painting, crafting, alterations there are lots of options out there. 

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A favor to ask

of my local readers or anyone visiting Disney before October 21st.  My son’s PE department is doing a fundraiser partnered with the Little Miss Matched Store at Downtown Disney.  They have entered a design and the more votes they get the more money they’ll earn.  The PE department is in dire need of funds they are really trying to get a gym built for when the weather is bad.

All you have to do is head to the Little Miss Match store and tell the cashier you’d like to vote for Four Corners Charter School they will give you a sticker for each member of your group and all you have to do is stick it on Four Corners sheet.  There is absolutely no purchase needed so if you happen to be at Downtown Disney please head in and vote for Four Corners Charter School!!!

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How we’ve been saving

Here are a few things we’ve been doing to save money.

  • We’ve been blessed with cooler weather so the A/C has been off since Saturday afternoon.  We have a few fans running but this should really help save on the electric bill.
  • A very good friend moved this weekend two weeks earlier then scheduled so we inherited a bunch of groceries.  With the addition of her stuff we have a very full freezer and fridge so we are eating from the stockpile to free up some space.
  • We had a yard sale this weekend with my friend.  I sold some stockpile type stuff and made a good chunk of money.  I could have made more if I had been in the stockpiling game this summer so I’m going to work at building a big beautiful stock for the next sale.  We used all the money earned to pay down some bills.
  • I’ve been driving as little as possible.  Dave has to go to work so we can’t shave much of his bill but I can stop going out as much.  I’ve been making only planned trips and maximizing my mileage by stopping at all the stores along the way.
  • Today I did two loads of laundry and used sample size detergents that I got for free.  I’ve noticed my sample boxes (old wipe containers) have been getting full so I’m on a quest to use them up.
  • I called and argued with the cable company today.  One of their techs came out on Friday and messed up the wiring that gave us spotty TV and no internet all weekend, they came yesterday and fixed it but I still felt we were owed something.  They are giving me a credit and “rebundling” my package to lower our bill.  Don’t be afraid to call and ask the worst they can say is no.
  • I worked on making some crayons today for my own trick or treaters and to get a head start on a few orders I’m hoping to get.  I posted about my Halloween special yesterday and I’m hoping that it makes me some money!!

So how have you been saving?  I plan on heading out to the grocery stores on Thursday so I will be clipping coupons and matching sales tonight and tomorrow to be prepared.  I’d love to hear what you are doing this week!!

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A Halloween Special

at TiffanyMitchellDesigns!!  For a limited time you can order larger quantities of my handpoured crayons at a great discount.  These crayons are great to hand out to your trick or treaters, goodie bag fillers for birthdays, or little Christmas goodies for the kids in your life (or your childs class)

crafts 002 crafts 001

You can purchase 56 Lego Brick, Witch Fingers or Mickey Head crayons or 70 Lego Figure or Star crayons for only $10.  Your crayons will come in packages of 2 with a label identifying them as crayons (so no one accidentally tries to bite one) ready for you to hand out to all the cute ghosts and goblins on Halloween.  Shipping on these is going to be $3

For the Star Wars fans 

crafts 005You can pick up 24 of these adorable R2-D2 crayons for only $5!!!  They will be packaged the same and come in more colors than the photo shows.

No color requests can be made on this special order.

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And the winner is…

The winner of the General Mills Star Wars giveaway is…

AubreyLaine said...

I like tiffany mitchell designs on fb!


Congrats Aubrey you have 24 hours to contact me at bellemitchell702 @ gmail dot com with your full name and shipping address so we can get your prize pack in the mail to you!!

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