Vacation Savings Jar DIY #savingsunday

savings jar

This week we are getting hands on with our savings by making a savings jar! The kids love this part because we hit Michaels and the Dollar Store for fun stickers and a jar. I like to pick out a jar with the chalkboard stickers because we can write where we are going and a countdown on the sticker.

The kids love to decorate with the stickers and talk about how we can save money for the cool trip. They can come up with some awesome ideas on how they can help us save money. Usually it consists of giving up a favorite food they like to eat so it is one less thing to purchase in the grocery order or giving up toys or other things to sell on the yard sale groups. I love hearing them get into all of this and it gives them satisfaction to be a participant in the vacation planning and saving instead of the adults telling them what we are doing and how we are saving for it.

Our jar is Disney themed but you can find cool beach, camping and other destination stickers and you can reuse the jar by taking the stickers off using Goo-Gone or soap and hot water which saves for the next trip. Even if you are using this for your spending money on the trip, it teaches the kids how to save and have fun doing it.

What are you going to put on your Vacation Savings Jar?

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Best Christmas Movies List

Best christmas movies to watch

Yes, I know that I am about to talk about Christmas Movies and it is only August but having a baby due around the Holidays, I just can’t help but already get into the holiday spirit! I started watching Hallmark Channel’s Christmas in July movies (starting July 1st) and thought I was past my Christmas obsession until the other day…

I have been binge watching Grey’s Anatomy (bad, bad idea when you are pregnant!) and they had a holiday episode on the other day and I started crying (hormone overload) about how I wish it was Christmas time. Partly, this is coming from the fact that I keep overheating and would really love the cold winter air. Partly, this is from working on my gratitude journal and the realization that most people only have that thankful spirit in November and December instead of the whole year. The last part comes from the fact that Christmas movies just make me happy and I want to feel happy!

Today is 117 days until Christmas and I posted yesterday a meme on my Instagram and Facebook baby support group that was Elf and said 118 days until Christmas. It sparked a whole discussion about favorite Christmas movies. So, Danyella and I complied a list of our favorite Christmas Movies and classic TV shows to share with all of you.

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This is a PDF version you can download and print to keep track of which ones you watch this holiday season! https-www.facebook.comkaellaboutiqueposts146643746677789

That is our list which some movies are classics, some are black and whites, some are kids and all are just wonderful. What are your favorite Christmas movies? Did I miss any that need to be added to the list?

My Favorite Savings App

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With the hundreds of money saving apps out there it is hard to decide which one is worth your time to download and use. When I was introduced to the FREE IBOTTA app, I was clueless about how it worked but I was intrigued because my friend Erin raved about it. I figured I didn’t have anything to lose just to download it and try it…

One thing I had to learn was the Ibotta uses rebates which collect in your account and you can redeem for money or gift cards. (I will get into that later) Now please now that rebates are different from coupons because with coupons you get the money discounted at the register so pay less. With rebates, you get the money back AFTER you purchase the item.

I was right and super happy that I followed my instinct to try this app out. They have rebates for major stores and websites like Walmart, Amazon, Target plus other local stores which for me the big one is Shoprite. You can search for the type of rebate you want or browse through the stores they offer rebates.

Now please now that rebates are different from coupons because with coupons you get the money discounted at the register so pay less. With rebates, you get the money back AFTER you purchase the items.

Normally, I use Ibotta for my grocery shopping at either Walmart, Target and Shoprite. They seem to be the ones I get the most rebates for plus bonus rebates. (Yes I said bonus rebates…. just wait because it is cool) Honestly, I prefer Walmart because when you go to redeem your rebates all you do is scan the QR code at the bottom of the receipt instead of taking a picture of the ENTIRE receipt. With the other stores, at least so far, you have to take a picture of the entire receipt and if it is to dark or blurry then they reject it and you have to start all over. I just get to frustrated to deal with that sometimes.

After all of that information I am sure you are a little lost, so let me walk you through the process. You must begin this process BEFORE you go shopping because the rebates only count if they are selected before you purchase something! Select the store or rebate you want to look at, click the specific rebate you are interested in, click to get the rebate, complete either the survey or watch the video (its a pain but worth the rebates) and then you can check whether the item you are looking at in the store is qualified for the rebate (sometimes specific flavors or types of items are excluded), purchase your qualifying items, redeem your rebates then watch the money grow in your account.

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Let’s talk about the cool bonuses they offer! If you connect your account through Facebook then everytime one of your friends joins Ibotta they become part of your “team”. When you have a team of friends, you and your friends earn towards different levels of bonuses everytime you redeem a rebate. These rebates start at $1 when you personally redeem 8 rebates and your team redeems $10 in rebates. Then you have different bonuses from manufacturers, stores/sites or Ibotta boosts (the company will give you an added bonus for redeeming so many rebates in a specific time period). These bonuses are how I have really made some extra money.

The last bonus is the invite your friends bonus where you can make $5 for each friend that joins under your referral code. The bonuses escalate with each friend you have join under your code which can add up really fast. I have yet to have someone join under my code because I am not pushy at getting my friends to do the things I am doing. I will share it on my Facebook or Twitter once in a while but that is about it.

 

Last but not least the awesome ways you can redeem your rebates! First you can withdrawl the rebates for cash into your Paypal or venmo accounts with a $20 minimum. Or you can redeem your rebates for cool gift cards like Itunes, Uber, Walmart, Amazon, tons of restuarants and other stores. Each of these gift cards has a minimum that needs to be in your account before you can redeem them. Personally, I use my bonuses to redeem Regal Movies Gift Cards  because Danyella and I love to go to the movies. One $25 gift card is enough for us to buy movie tickets and then I just need the money for snacks. Photo Aug 20, 11 38 13 AM

So far, I have redeemed $271 in rebates over the past year and a few months! That is alot of movies we have seen just for buying things we use. Another nice thing about this app has been finding new foods or brands that I wouldn’t have normally tried but saw a good rebate so I tried it anyway and now have a new favorite. There is money to be made and fun you can have with this app so I highly recommend it. For the little time it takes to find the rebates, you can earn FREE money for the purchases you would be making anyways.

 

If you are interested in the Ibotta App here is the link to the website or you can find it for your smartphone in your itunes or android/google store. 85b1e55bab94bd80c698b64c678125f7

*For those of you that do not want to use the app there is a website version that you can add the rebates to your account but you need the app in order to redeem the rebates.

**Please note that is not a paid endorsement from Ibotta but a review with my own opinions and love for the app and company.

Do Coupons Really Matter?

Photo Aug 13, 12 15 01 PMFor more years than I want to admit, I have been couponing on and off…. though more off then on because I would either forget it was Sunday to buy the papers, I was too lazy to cut the coupons before I went shopping or I would just forget the coupons at home when I was already in the grocery store. Also, I was doubtful that I was really saving any money because I would have to purchase 2 or 3 of a product just to get the $1 off. Well this past week taught me the lesson that I need to learn to be frugal and that there are good coupons and deals if I just pay attention!

So we all know of the extreme couponers that have a format to how they coupon and purchase like $200 worth of groceries for $20 (maybe a little extreme but not really if you watch the shows and documentaries). In my mind, those extreme couponers were a little crazy and had too much time on their hands which I didn’t have. Well now I do have the time on my hands and the financial need to cut down on our spending costs so I better start paying attention to what they are doing and copying their money-saving ways.

My lesson from last week is this…. Shoprite (our local go to grocery store for good deals) had Arm & Hammer laundry detergent on sale for $1.99 plus there was a coupon out in the world for a $1 off the detergent which means you can buy the detergent for just $.99! Well that $1 savings could go towards the fresh fruit and veggies that my family devours in a day or less. Lately, my go to couponing place (when I would remember to look) has been coupons.com because I can easily print of the coupons and why would I need to go over their limit of only printing the coupon 1 time when I don’t usually stock up on things.

Lesson learned because we go through detergent so often with a furry puppy (yes I am one of those anal, I HATE FUR people so I was things almost everyday to keep the fur in control) that I could have purchased 10 bottles easily for $1 but I only had 1 coupon for regular detergent and 1 coupon for the sensitive skin (Danyella and the new baby). So I ordered (yes I order my groceries which will be a future post) 1 bottle of regular scented detergent and 1 bottle of the senstive skin detergent and used my coupons. After putting the groceries away, I was kicking myself in the ass about the detergent situation so I waddled my ass around Shoprite to get more of the detergent without the coupons. (insert crying face emoji here haha)

Next lesson on coupons I learned…. I may never become one of those extreme couponers but this morning I got out of bed early (a rarity just ask my boyfriend) and went to Wawa to purchase 2 Sunday papers to get those coupons. As I am cutting the coupons from 2 different papers (don’t know why I decided to try 2 different papers but something told me to do it), I find out that not all papers have the same damn coupons! The one paper had more coupons than the other but the other paper had a rebate coupon that doesn’t expire until March of next year. Shit now do I buy 2 of each of those papers?

This is a bit overwhelming and a little exciting at the same time. I am trying to find other ways to save money before this baby gets here and we have to add baby stuff to the grocery list. Since this is going to be an ongoing challenge for me, I am starting a series on couponing and saving on Sundays. If you have any tips or stories of your own please feel free to comment below.

Next 5 Months of Boredom or Discovery

 

Well it is official folks… I am on bed rest or at least out of work for the rest of my pregnancy. I had a feeling it was coming because as soon as I am on my feet my body decides that it is going to start acting up. You know the cramps and Braxton Hicks

Photo Aug 09, 9 05 02 PMcontractions that are not supposed to happen until the 3rd trimester! In order to help relieve the pain and my anxiety, my OB thinks staying off my feet as much is in mine and the baby’s best interest and I have to agree.

Now what in the hell am I going to do for the next 4-5 months? Since I had a feeling this was coming, I started to make my plan over the weekend to apply for financial aid and college. I still have a semester to finish of my theatre associates degree from the community college I attend when Danyella was in preschool so I do have some credits that will transfer over… hopefully! Since the new community college does not offer a theatre degree, I opted for a fine arts degree which between the fall and spring I should be able to finish up to transfer to a “big person’s college or university”. Yes, to me attending a 4 year school is like finally growing into an adult because you need at least a bachelors in order to a decent job now.

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I am going to be the old, pregnant mom in my classes which makes me feel soooo self conscious because I hate that I have gotten this old and haven’t finished school. On the bright side, having school and homework will keep me super busy since I will not have to work to occupy my time. I love anything to do with art so getting my associates in Fine Arts will allow me to transfer to a 4 year college to get my bachelors in Art History which I would love to take to the next level and get my Masters as well. The art classes will do me a double good because I will be working towards my degree plus releasing my stresses through my art.

Another project that I am going to try and undertake while on bed rest, is to actually start making all these patterns that I have collected over the past 10 years. So I will be going through all my patterns and making one of each to either give as a gift, keep for my family or list on my website. Some of my most popular items came from patterns that I wouldn’t have normally tried because it was either a request or went with yarn that I fell in love with and needed a fitting pattern.

Let’s hope that the next 4-5 months brings alot of self discovery and adventure instead of sleep and boredom. When I am bored it is never good for myself and really not good for the loved ones that are around me because I get very demanding and bitchy. For their sake, keeping busy is the best thing….

Benny the Bunny

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How in the hell can we adopt a bunny when we have to move? How can we adopt a bunny with a crazy puppy that loves to scare every animal that comes into yard? How can we adopt a bunny when I may end up on bed rest for the next 4-5 months? How are we going to convince a landlord to take us plus our crazy puppy plus a new baby bunny?

It is fair week so I knew that Danyella was going to become Bunny obsessed since we never held up our end of the deal… buying her a new bunny after Hannah the Havana died. Well she worked every angle she could from pouting to getting angry to begging. She tried it all and it worked.

Maybe it is the hormones that made me go soft with this decision but I did feel bad because instead of buying her a new bunny we adopted Max the crazy puppy. Don’t get me wrong, she loves Max but to her we all share Max but a bunny would be all hers like Hanna

h was all hers. I understood that somehow the non animal lover has raised a true animal lover but the timing is all wrong right now.

We need to move and find a landlord that will take us and our puppy which is hard enough but now we have to add a baby bunny to the list. Plus this just adds to yet another thing we need to move. Oh how do I end up agreeing to this craziness? I end up agreeing because I want to make her feel like she is important while I am having to take the time to take care of myself and the baby which cuts into things Danyella and I had planned for the summer. Good ole guilt trip….

Danyella had everyone riding this guilt trip until we agreed to adopt Benny the Bunny. Yes she loves to name her animals to rhyme… Benny the Bunny and Hannah the Havana (type of bunny she was) plus it was hard to find somet

hing to go with Lop (the type of bunny Benny is). I do have to say, her love for animals have made me a little softer in my years with animals and their dreaded fur!

I am sure there will be future posts and pictures about the newest member of our family so stay tuned!

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17 Weeks

0c51b4d6e768a4b380e500cf7242117d Today marks 17 weeks into my pregnancy! I am almost to the half way mark which has been roller coaster of symptoms and hormones so far. Now I am on bed rest for at least the next 2 weeks though I have a feeling it is going to end up being a lot longer.

Everyone talks about the pregnancy glow and how the 2nd trimester is the best trimester of the pregnancy but I beg to differ right now. At 17 weeks, I am still dealing with morning sickness though it has gotten much better and I can hold down most food. Instead of the beautiful glow, I have a face that is breaking out in acne which I have not dealt with before even with the other pregnancies.

My cravings have been not so great…. anything made from potatoes plus candy plus anything that someone might say that makes me hungry in that instant moment. Like today, a friend of mine in a conversation about her dad mentioned Arby’s, and I wanted a Roast Beef and Cheese sandwich asap! To bad there isn’t an Arby’s in my area. This week is our county fair which is food heaven to me. So for dinner my parents, daughter and I are going to eat dinner at the fair so bring on the pierogies!

Then we come to my hormones…. oh they have been off the charts! I have teetered between rage and anger to crying at everything! My poor boyfriend has been at the receiving end of my yelling and most of my crying so he has been a trooper with coping with me. Christmas romantic movies have been my downfall lately. It is like my body just wants me to cry and cry and cry a little more!

On a bright note, I have survived 3 days on bed rest so far and have started a baby blanket for Baby Evelynne. I do have a little more energy which has been nice to clean more of the house as we prepare to start packing soon. I am taking this bed rest just like the rest of life, one day at a time.

Photo Jul 26, 10 52 02 AM Here is Baby Evelynne at our appointment last wednesday. She is facing and kicking my back. According to my apps, she is as big as a white onion, a turnip, a pomegranate, Creme Brulee, Game Controller or a chipmunk! She is growing so fast and I cannot wait to meet our baby girl in 5 months!