Monday, May 26, 2014

20 Money Saving & Money Making Tips Plus Their Apps!

   How often we go into the stores and purchase things only to later find out there was a coupon, or a sale the next day, a "card" you could have signed up for that was free that gives discounts, and the list goes on!
   Here is a list of personal tips and websites that I have come across or been introduced to that really helps me organize myself, be informed about deals/sales/discounts, and be able to plan ahead for the best prices!

   1) Retail Me Not 

Huge fan of this site! It shares coupon codes, deals, sales that are upcoming, and sales that are currently in progress. There is also an app available for your phone that will notify you, based on your location, of all of the surroundings deals and specials near you. So if you drive 45 minutes down the road to a shopping center for example it updates itself and will notify if there are specials in the surrounding location! Very handy and totally free! 


Visit their website for free lists of coupons. There are sections divided up that allow you to search for grocery deals, in-store offer, coupon codes (for in-store and online purchases), and card linked offers.

This site also has a totally free app as well that you can browse and download tons of coupons from. Save them on your device and use them when applicable.  :) Excellent money saver. 

   3) Red Laser

Another excellent option. If you have this app (free as well) on your phone you can simply scan the barcode of the item you are looking at and it will tell you if sold by any one else and if their price beats the business you are shopping in at the time! 
   For example, my husband was shopping for a nice pair of work boots. We were in a store looking at a specific brand he had chosen for their durability and quality.... Pricing question..... We just picked up the box and scanned the barcode. Instantly we found another local retailer that sold them at a more reasonable price! Yay! 

   This app also offers a place to store all the very many loyalty cards that everyone has these days! You can search for specific items, save items to favorites for later use, or just scroll through the deals that are popular shown on the app without any barcode and find things by retailer or brand... Wonderful and very handy!!! Money saved at a cost of $0.00 expense. Just a little time to research required. 

4) Hobby Lobby, Joannns, etc

Many of these stores offer free apps for your phones that will send you updates about sales and specials they are running so if you know the stores you want a deal from specifically and you want to just access that information specifically look for options online or in your devices app store by retailer. The app for Hobby Lobby and Joanns both will have a place you can click that will give you current coupons with a barcode for the sales representative to easily scan at your time of check out. Very useful. 

5) Bill Tracker

   Bill Tracker is a paid app (there is a free more limited version you can download and try out first) that was less than a few dollars, but not certain of pricing. This app allows you to manage all of your bills. You can enter all of your payments and it will notify you of upcoming automatic payments and payments you need to manually address. You can view your outstanding bills in a calendar view or list view with a total at base for outstanding and a total for the months bills as a whole. Many useful features on this app, but also simple and straight forward. I really love this app. 

6) Living Social
   Living Social is anther great website with a free app to manage things from your phone. 
   You can view local deals and specials, special vacation packages for all over the world, and reduced pricing on tons of your favorite products and websites! Easy to manage, free to join, and wonderful deals!!

7) Groupon

   Another coupon site with a free app as well. Never hurts to have options! This site offers coupons that vary from others at times and I like to scan multiple sites when collecting my coupons for best results. I would definitely suggest adding this to your list. :) 

8) Key Ring

   Just a free useful app to manage all of your store loyalty and discount cards!! It works beautifully!!! You can remove all of those little plastic cards on your key chain, in your wallet, etc! Just launch this app and select the store card you need and the cashier can scan your phone screen. :D 

9) Craigslist 

   Many may be aware of this site, but it's always worth adding to your list of ways to save money!!! Craigslist is a wonderful site to pick up furniture, decorative items, all kinds of home items, baby items, and even vehicles! If you are shopping for a deal you can find amazing deals on here. Sometimes the item you find is basically new (but not at the price new would cost) and/or sometimes it's an item that looks like it's seen far better days BUT it is for sale for almost nothing and with a little DIY project it's an amazing addition to your home. I definitely suggest this site all of the time for a huge range of things!! 
   There are a lot of Craigslist apps out there for free and at a charge. Just take a look and see what suits you best, but the site itself is amazing and free! :) 

10) Kids Meal Deals

   Great free app that gives you local deals and specials for kids meals! Wonderful family app. :) 

11) Wi-Fi Finder

   Wi-Fi Finder is again a totally free app with a great purpose. Find places near you offering free Wi-Fi to go hook up your PC and get some work done while on the go or save some data use on your phone or tablet!! Useful to know these spots. 

12) Gas Buddy

   Just another one of those things that really costs these days! A free app to scout out good gas prices near you! :) 

13) Cozi

   Cozi is an app that offers both a free and paid version, but honestly I use the free version and I love it! You are limited on a few features, but it's not a big deal to me. This is a wonderful app to use for your family or business. Everyone just needs to download this app on their phone and then you are all able to view, edit, and add events or appointments keeping everyone on the same page and aware with ease!!!! Actually this app was recommended by the Duggar family from the TLC show 19 Kids & Counting. They use it to keep all of their family appintments in sync and everyone is able to keep on the same page through this app. Impressive app. I love it! 

14) GoodRx

   If you need an app to help you manage your prescriptions and find the best prices especially if you are paying out of pocket 100% this is the app for you and yes it is free as well!!

15) ShopKick

   By shopping at your favorite stores and using this app you can get "Kick Backs". Just open the app in the store etc and you will receive points that will add up to free items!!! :) 

16) Shop Savvy

   This is a price comparison app that is free with a very user friendly interface! 

17) Snip Snap

   This app is wonderful! Just as the Key Ring loyalty cards app stores all of those many, many plastic loyalty cards this app stores all of your coupons!!! You take snap shots and the app converts all those paper coupons into coupons able to be scanned from your device! You can follow friends, get updates and reminders on upcoming expirations, sync multiple devices for easy access to all coupons from anywhere!! Again a free app that is absolutely wonderful!!! 

18) iBotta
   Purchase items, take a photo and upload proof of purchase for lists of items from over 40 retailers and actual cash rewards are placed in your iBotta account. There are also options to answer questions, watch videos, and answer surveys to earn as well. :)

19) The Square / Register is a great site that offers a free attachment which plugs right into your headset plug on your mobile device, tablet, etc that allows you to scan a credit or debit card and process a sale right there on the go! It is free to sign up, free to order the credit card scanner, and only charges a small percentage off the top of the amount processed. Excellent for someone just personally selling things on Craigslist or various others sites or great for a business owner!! Excellent product!!! Excellent service!!! Highly suggest this!!! There is no charge associated with it if you don't need to use it either so I ordered one right away and I have it just incase I randomly need it and it's no expense for me in the process!  :D 

20) Etsy

   Etsy is just a great site! This site is wonderful gem if you are just shopping for great, unique, personalized items, but also wonderful if you want to sell some special items you have made!!! Incredibly easy to create a store front on this site, very inexpensive to list items, and wonderful apps for free to manage your shop on the go!!! I include this on the list because it's an incredibly cost efficient and popular way to list and sell items in a more business store front themed application. Love it and use it personally!! 

   I just love every single app on this list! All of them save money, all but one is free, and many of them offer for free or with minimal charges to sell and make additional income!!!!!! Hope this list is as useful for your everyday needs as it is for mine and my families!!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Painting 101 / Over 40 Tips & Tricks for a Beautiful Paint Job

   Painting is fun for some and not a favorite chore for others, but either way if you are about to take on a painting project no matter if big or small you will need these pointers!!! Over 40 tips for a smooth paint application, how to never ever have to wash another paint pan again, inexpensive up cycled alternatives to the more expensive paint accessories sold at your hardware stores, and more!

   I found this list on a site and I had to share it!!! Just great idea after great idea all in one list!! Hope it's a useful to others as it is for me!!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

DIY King Headboard / Total King Size Bed Makeover For $82

I am so excited about this project! It is a total redo of our king size bed. A DIY headboard, platform bed concept from up cycled pallets, and a bed skirt! Really a total overhaul of our master bed! 

As you will see below, in the end, I went on and wrapped up the project and pitures without the bedskirt, but  I plan to add a bedskirt that starts at the top of the box spring and drops to the floor. So in the end The actual pallet platform will be pretty much covered by a straight pleated tan colored bedskirt to tie it all together. This is a project I will go to Hobby Lobby for and then sew to my needed dimensions. :)

As you will see I am starting from the floor up with a new base for the bed (bye bye old frame) and I will be using up cycled pallets. You need four pallets to make the king size base for your bed or eight if you want more height. If you add four more to make a stack of eight they just stack on the other four. It probably would be a good idea to secure the stacks of four on top of the base four to each other somehow so that they are sturdy and in no way wobbly or dangerous. Just ensure your dimensions are the same or super close on all four pallets especially height! Regarding the color of the pallets we debated between staining the pallets and painting them white. White paint won because I really liked the brightness of it on the pallets and we had that already lying around the house :) We just put the pallets outside and used a super fabulous electric spray painter and before you knew two beautiful layers of white paint were on all four pallets. As soon as they were dry they were in the bedroom and laid out to the dimensions of the box spring.... Rewind..... So the pallets went into the bedroom and I found out that some of my measurements were off! It happens sometimes... :) oh well so out the pallets went. A few cuts to slightly reduce width and length and then I pulled the nails out of the side support boards where we cut off some length and moved those in attaching again this time with screws instead of the nails that were originally in the pallets. This was just for ease and took only a couple of hours to correct. Measurements fixed! We secured the pallets together and the base of bed is done! Cost...... FREE. (Often your local hardware stores or anywhere that receives large amounts of palletized shipments will just give these away if asked. That was what I was able to do! Yay!)

Box springs and mattresses were put in place and now we move on to the upholstered headboard! I decided I wanted an odd number of square upholstered boards set side by side as a floating headboard. I had seen various ideas and decided I loved the odd number of three large squares mounted behind bed as the headboard. The size of each square needed to be between 24-26" to extend the full width of the king size mattress when side by side. When I went shopping for my boards I figured I would have to buy a large single sheet of plywood, but was so excited to find pre-cut boards already measuring 24x24 at $6.00 each.
This just made it easier for me because I could just start upholstering and did not need to worry about cutting boards etc. I purchased foam sheet (pictures below with dimensions) from Hobby Lobby along with my fabric. Used 40% off coupon and fabric was $47.00
Foam was $11 total for all boards.

Love Hobby Lobby!!!!! I didn't get batting after a long conversation debating it with my very sweet and patient mom and with the Hobby Lobby lady who also went over the whole project concept with us. My fabric is nice and thick and I cut foam to slightly overlap the boards for a more fluffy / less straight lined look. I wanted it to look comfy and inviting! So my roll of foam was 2 x 27 x 76 and I cut three pieces if foam to the measurement of 25x25 to overlap the 24x24 boards.
When cutting my fabric I allowed 6" of length beyond the 25x25 measurement so that I had no issues getting a sufficient amount of fabric to staple to my board. I was scared of that and I definitely didn't want to shred my fabric on the back of the board for it to just loosen and come off after all of this work.
I folded my ends under and stapled into that to give more support for the fabric under the staples.
Took me a few hours to upholster all three boards and then it was done!!!

Made a couple of pillows with left over fabric from the headboard as you can see in pictures below. Also, I will probably pick a couple of brighter colored throw pillows to put on the bed also for additional spice :) 
I purchased hardware to attach my upholstered boards to my wall and screws with anchors in case I had to mount them to the wall in between studs in some places. I really wanted these sturdy and not a risk of falling or slipping. I wanted them mounted securely. The hardware total was about $6.00. Total cost of new headboard $82.00!!!! I'm very happy with this project. Super thrilled to have the bedroom redone and at such a great price! Also, this was my first upholstery project so it's not a gorgeous picture of the back of the upholstered headboard pieces, but it's not that bad for a first time either! I'm so excited and now I am trying to figure out more projects with upholstery to do around the house!!! Hope this is helpful and inspires you to remake a space in your home as well. :D 

Thursday, May 15, 2014

New Daisy Coaster Crochet Project! ( Free Pattern Included )

   I am so excited about this new pattern I learned. My mom found, shared with me, and since we've made dozens. They are fast and not difficult once you get through one or two of them. 
   We added cork to the bottoms of ours to make a more efficient coaster and we really love them! 

Link for free pattern shown below :)