7 Ways to Save on Children’s Toys

1.) Buy secondhand

You can find many high priced toys for 50-70% (sometimes even lower!) buy shopping used.  There are so many avenues to find secondhand toys. Consignment sales, children’s consignment stores, thrift stores and yard sale are among some of the best places to find great deals on toys. Many of my baby toys for both children came from yard sales and hand me downs!

2.) Buy less

My husband and I are currently on a process to minimalize and declutter our home (more on that later) and this is one area that I am trying to get better at.  My daughter is just as happy painting on a piece of paper as she is playing with toys. And honestly, I myself get overwhelmed when there are toys EVERYWHERE.  My solution?  I am going through and donating and consigning toys that are no longer used. I now really consider the items (and toys) that I am bringing into our home.

3.) Buy clearance

This is one of my favorite ways to buy for upcoming birthdays and holidays.  The key to toy clearance is to know when to buy.  Most stores will start to mark clearance right after Christmas and continue to mark down late January- early February. Another great time for toy clearance is in July when many stores will begin to bring in their fall/winter items and clearance out spring/summer items!

4.) Trade or borrow

If you are lucky enough to have friends and family that also have children, then this is a great option! My friends and I will share toys and baby equipment and then return once we are finished or another friend has a child.  This is a great way to save some money and to return the favor for someone else! Maybe even consider splitting the cost of a high priced item if a few of you will be growing your families.

5.) Use Coupons

Yes, there are coupons for EVERYTHING. Closer to Easter and Christmas you will see more printable coupons for toys, games and books. Target will also have great discounts through their Cartwheel app during these times.

6.) Use household items


One of my son’s favorite toys is a wooden spoon and a pot. I swear this entertains him longer than any other baby toy that we own. Most evenings he will play with his pot and spoon by my feet while I cook dinner. This is a great way to get creative and see what items in your home you can use as kid craft projects as well. Moms be cautious to what your husband comes up with!

7.) Find free toys online

Freecycle- This is great option where all items listed are FREE!

Craigslist- There is a section for “free” where people will list items that they are going to give or throw away.

Local facebook groups-In my area, we have a local Facebook group for “all things free”. Try searching in your area for a similar group.

Always keep in mind when receiving free items you may have to pick it up from someone’s home.


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Creating a grocery budget

The first step in learning to save on your grocery purchases is to sit down and set a weekly grocery budget. This budget will be different for each person/family. I purchase groceries for a family of five on a weekly basis, so my budget may be higher than a family of three. The steps below, I based on my personal shopping habits and how I set my family’s grocery budget. I encourage you to make this your own and use the steps below as a guide.

1.) Make a list of essential grocery items (weekly).

Essential grocery items for me are vegetables, fruits, bread, milk, eggs and some meats. I want you to make this list as detailed as possible.  For instance,

-6 bananas per week (individual)

-1 bag of apples

-1 loaf of bread

-1 gallon of milk

-2 dozen eggs


-Peanut butter

-1 box of cereal

And so on…

2.) Put a price to those essential items.

I want you to estimate the price per item that you are currently spending.  Of course, as you continue to coupon and shop sales, the price that you pay for items will decrease over time.

-6 bananas or 1 package ($2.00)

-1 bag of apples ($4.00)

-1 loaf of bread ($2.00)

-1 gallon of milk ($3.00)

-2 dozen eggs ($4.00)

-Rice ($2.00)

-Peanut butter ($2.00)

1 box of cereal ($2.00)

As you begin to coupon and stockpile items you will be able to build a surplus of “essential” items (step 5) at rock bottom prices and not have to purchase on a weekly budget. Therefore, saving you money on future grocery purchases and lowering your grocery budget.

3.) Make a list of “extras”.

“Extra” grocery items are the ones that are not needed, but everyone should splurge a little so, let us be realistic with this budget. For instance,

-1 bag of chips

-1 box of crackers

-That box of cookies that your toddler MUST have.

Now do the same as in Step 2 and put an estimated price beside each “extra” item and total.

4.) Total

On average, my essential items total around $30 per week and my “extra” items are around $10.  This totals $40 per week. This should guide you into what your weekly and monthly budgets will look like.  Now a few more steps…

5.)Add a small stock pile budget.

Remember before adding a stock pile budget, be sure to total the amount for step 4 (essential & extras). Each family budget limits will be different. Once you see that your essential and extra items will cost $40 per month then you know, based on your personal limits, how much you can contribute to stockpiling each week.

I personally set aside $10 per week to purchase extra items that are at stock up price. This budget may vary per person, but I do encourage you to try and at least budget $5 per week to begin to see a decrease in your budget in the future.

6.)Final total.

Add step 4 (total) and step 5 (stock pile budget).  My total per week is $50 per week.

7.)Stick to it.

This step can be the most difficult while starting to shop on a budget. If you notice that after a few grocery trips that your essential items cost more than initially estimated, then adjust your budget accordingly. I would try not to add much more to your “extra” or “stockpile” as these are items that are not needed. On the flip side, if you notice you have money left over each week from your budget, then maybe you need to decrease your budget. Remember this is a process.

The two things that help me to stick to my budget are:

  • Make a list.

The key to success is planning!

  • Set aside grocery cash.

I set aside cash each month for groceries ($200 monthly total) and bring my allotted amount each week.                        This really helps me stay accountable and think about each item that I add to my cart.

I encourage you to try this approach for 30 days, which is the amount of time it takes to develop a habit.



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50 freebies on your birthday!

Birthdays are a time for celebration, so why not celebrate with all things FREE? I look forward to my birthday month for all my freebies that I get to enjoy throughout the month. You could practically eat for free your birthday week!

1.) AMF Bowling

Sign up for their Pinsiders Club and receive free bowling.

2.) Arby’s

When you sign up with Arby’s emails you will receive a free milkshake on your birthday.  You also will receive a free classic roast beef sandwich when you first sign up.

3.) Au Bon Pain

Join their Eclub and receive a free birthday lunch.

4.) Auntie Anne’s

Get a free pretzel on your birthday when you sign up for Pretzel Perks.

5.) bareMinerals

Join their Friends and Benefits Program and receive a free gift on your birthday.

6.) Baskin Robbins

Join their Birthday Club and receive free ice cream on your birthday.

7.) Benihana’s

Receive a FREE $30 gift certificate when you register for their Chef’s Table.

8.) Bonefish Grill

Sign up to be a Bone Fish Grill Insider to receive special offers on your birthday.

9.) Boston Market

Receive a free birthday offer when you sign up for their VIP Club.

10.) Buffalo Wild Wings

Join the Buffalo Circle and receive a free dessert on your birthday.

11.) Captain D’s

Join their D’s Club and receive a free offer on your birthday.

12.) Cinnabon

Get a special gift on your birthday when you sign up for Cinnabon Club. You will also receive a coupon for a Free Minibon once you register.

13.) Cold Stone

Receive a BOGO coupon on your birthday when you sign up for My Cold Stone Club.

14.) Cracker Barrel

Go to Cracker Barrel on your birthday and you will receive a free dessert, no sign up needed!

15.) Dairy Queen

Sign up for their Blizzard Fan Club and receive a BOGO blizzard coupon on your birthday.

16.) Denny’s

With ID, you will receive a free Grand Slam on your birthday. Don’t forget your license!

17.) Dunkin Donuts

Sign up for their DD Perks and receive a free beverage on your birthday.

18.) Friendly’s

Join Friendly’s BFF Club and receive a free sundae on your birthday.

19.) Fuddruckers

Join their Fudds Club and receive a special offer on your birthday.

20.) Hard Rock

Receive a special offer for your birthday when you sign up for Hard Rock Rewards.

21.) Hooters

Join Hooters Eclub and receive a free birthday gift.

22.) IHOP

Receive a free meal on your birthday when you sign for their Pancake Revolution.

23.) Jack in the Box

Register for their emails or text messages to receive a special offer on your birthday.

24.) Joe’s Crab Shack

Sign up for Joe’s Catch and receive a special offer on your birthday. Plus, you will receive a free appetizer once your register!

25.) Krispy Kreme

Join their eClub and receive a free donut on your birthday.

26.) Macaroni Grill

Sign up for their email club  and receive a free dessert on your birthday.

27.) Maggie Moo’s

Sign up for their Slab Happy email  and receive a free birthday surprise.

28.) The Melting Pot

Join Club Fondue and receive a free chocolate fondue for two on your birthday.

29.) Moe’s Southwest Grill

Join their eWorld and receive a free burrito on your birthday.

30.) Noodles and Company

Receive a special offer on your birthday by joining the Noodles Family.

31.) Olive Garden

Join Olive Garden’s eClub and receive a free appetizer of dessert on you birthday.

32.) On the Border

Sign up for their Club Cantina and receive a special offer on your birthday. You will also receive free queso on your next visit once you register!

33.) Panera Bread

Sign up for MyPanera and receive a free pastry on your birthday.

34.) P.F. Changs

Sign up for P.F. Chang’s Preferred and receive a free appetizer or dessert during your birthday month.

35.) Qdoba

Sign up for Qdoba Rewards and receive a special offer on your birthday.

36.) Redbox

Receive a free one night birthday movie rental when you sign up for Redbox Play Pass.

37.) Red Lobster

Join the Fresh Catch Club to receive a special offer on your birthday.

38.) Red Robin

Sign up for Red Robin Royalty and receive a free burger during your birthday month.

39.) Rita’s Italian Ice

Sign up for their Birthday Club and receive a free birthday treat.

40.) Ruby Tuesday

Join their So Connected email club to receive a free burger or garden bar entrée on your birthday. You will also receive a free appetizer for signing up!

41.) Sephora

Sign up for their Beauty Insider rewards and receive a special offer on your birthday.

42.) Smashbox

Sign up for their rewards program and receive a free gift during your birthday month.

43.) Sonic

Receive a special offer on your birthday when you create a My Sonic account.

44.) Starbucks

Receive a free birthday drink when you sign up for Starbucks Rewards.

45.) Steak n’ Shake

Receive a free menu item on your birthday when you join their eClub.

46.) Texas Roadhouse

Sign up for their email club to receive a free birthday gift.

47.) TGI Fridays

Sign up for TGI Fridays Rewards to receive a free dessert on your birthday.

48.) Ulta Beauty

Sign up for their Ultimate Rewards program to receive a free birthday gift.

49.) Waffle House

Join the Waffle House Regulars Club to receive a free waffle on your birthday.

50.) Zaxby’s

Join the Zax Email Club and receive a free Nibbler on your birthday.  You will also receive a free sandwich meal for joining!

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Shop With Me: Super Doubles #1

Let me start off with saying that I am normally up and early at Harris Teeter for Super Double coupon events. This time I decided that I was going to take it easy and just go when I woke up and not rush. I am currently in the process of  a “eating down the stockpile” phase. This is basically where I focus on all the food items in my stockpile and pantry and try to make meals with things I have on hand versus continuing to add with couponing.  I will go a little more into this in another post at a later time.

There were a lot of FREE items with paired coupons and Super Doubles, but I tried to focus on getting items that I was either running low on or did not have. Since I have a truckload (or close to) of shampoo, deodorant and other products I tried not to focus on getting those items, even if they were free.

With that being said, here is my first haul of Super Doubles.  Many items were already out of stock since I went later during the day, but I was okay with that. Also, the chocolate chips were a NEED for our tradition of Sunday morning pancakes 🙂 . That added close to $4.00 to my total, but my husband and children almost refuse to eat pancakes without chocolate chips.

Vegetables: $1/2 coupon= .34 cents each

Buffalo sauce: .75/1= FREE

Riceworks chips: $1/1= FREE

Suja drinks: $1/1 (hang tag found on product)= FREE

Canned tomatoes: $1/3= .33 cents each

Robitussin: $2/1= $1.99 each

Kotex pads/tampons: $2/1= .19 each

Hummus mix: $1/1= FREE

Chocolate chips: $3.97 (not on sale, but needed)

Total spent: $16.XX (79 % savings)


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10 Cheap and Easy Valentine’s Day Crafts

Holidays around our house calls for festive pancakes and breaking out the arts & crafts! With Valentine’s Day being no different, I have been searching for some fun activities to do with my daughter.  She is in that fun stage where she thinks arts & crafts are the highlight of her day and I can’t disagree! I am a kid at heart.

I am hoping to get started on a few of these this week.  The DIY bird feeder makes me feel like Spring is just around the corner so this will be first on my list. Enjoy!




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9 easy ways to save at Target

1. Manufacturer Coupons

Targets does accept manufacturer and printable coupons like most major retailers. Target does follow the limitations that are written on each manufacturer coupon.

2. Target Store Coupons

Target offers printable coupons directly from their website.  These can be used with Manufacturer coupons and the Cartwheel App. Target printable coupons can be found at here.  You can only print two coupons per device (computer, phone or tablet).

3. Target Mobile Text Coupons

Advertised– Most weekly Target circulars will have a coupon than you can cut and use in store. If you look at the coupon it will normally advertise that you can save for instance, $5 off a $20 specified brand when you text SAVE to TARGET (827438).

Non-advertised– Most weeks there is also unadvertised mobile coupons which you can find listed on signs throughout the store.

Some mobile coupons will be a dollar amount of a specific product such as $1.00 off any Dove item.  Some coupons are department specific such as save $5 off any $25 personal care purchase.

All mobile coupons have a limit of one per transaction.

4. Cartwheel App

Target has their own savings app available for most smartphones. I love this app so much that I created a separate post (here) about how wonderful it is, but here are the basics.

  • Cartwheel has both percentages off and manufacture coupons directly from your phone.
  • Once you load the coupon to your Cartwheel you then have the cashier scan your barcode for your savings to be applied.
  • Cartwheel percentage coupons can be combined with Target coupons AND manufacturer coupons! That means triple the savings!
  • Want to learn more about Cartwheel? Check out my Cartwheel post.

5. Gift card promotions

Each week Target will offer a gift card promotion on several products. Such as, receive a $10 gift card when you buy 2 packs of diapers. These promotions will typically follow the sales week (Sunday-Saturday) so you typically will only have that week to save with each specific promotion.


Did I mention clearance? This is my favorite way to shop for most items at Target!

You can find clothes, household products, toys and much more marked all the way to 70% off and sometimes higher than that! One of my favorite activities is grabbing a coffee and walking the aisles of Target to spot clearance within the aisles and the end caps.

I do understand that not everyone has time to scope out every Target in their area, or even one. I want to encourage you to build relationships with peers in your community. Ask friends and family members to keep an eye out when they see items on clearance.

7. Price Match

Target will price match any item on their website or competitor’s prices if it is below the price of the item in store. I try to make a habit of checking the major retailer’s websites (Walmart, Amazon, etc…) before checking out to ensure that I am getting the lowest price possible.  If you happen to purchase an item and then realize that it is cheaper with one of their competitor’s prices, then Target will honor within 14 days.

“We’ll match the price if you buy a qualifying item at Target then find the identical item for less at Target.com, select online competitors, or in Target’s or competitor’s local print ad. Price matches may be requested at time of purchase or Price adjustments within 14 days after purchase.”

8. Reusable bag

If you bring your own reusable bag for checkout then Target will take off .5 cents off your total purchase!

9. Target RedCard

If you are a frequent Target customer, I would recommend signing up for their red card. Target offers both a Target RedCard debit card and a Target RedCard credit card. If you sign up for their Debit card it links directly with your own bank account so it is just like using a regular debit card. I personally am not big on credit cards, so when I saw that Target offered debit cards, I said “sign me up”!

Each time you use your Target RedCard you will save 5% off on top of all the other savings that Target offers.


Whew!  I know that was a lot of ways to save, but once you get familiar with how to save at Target you will never pick up another item from Target without checking for a coupon or savings on Cartwheel and become a Target savings master!



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DIY: Bathroom Reno Under $300!

I  had our main level half bathroom on my “to-do list” since the day we bought our home. It initially had “lovely” navy, gold, and burgundy wall paper that was removed the first few months after moving into our home. At the time I opted to just paint with some leftover paint in the garage, hence the brown. It was not our first choice, but I didn’t want to spend money to repaint and remodel the bathroom so brown it was.

I had been looking for some Pinterest inspiration and ran across this photo. I knew with the small space we were working with that I would only be able to incorporate a few of these inspirations.

Off to Home Depot we went…

First order of business was to remove all photos, mirrors, the old sink, mirror and tape around the existing crown molding. As a learned tip, remove your base boards before painting if you are putting in bead board. Being our first time installing bead board, we left the base boards while painting for them only to be removed later.  It would have made painting much easier if they were removed first.

After two coats of paint (paint & primer in one), we removed the base boards and installed the bead board. Since we were working with a smaller space this was a fairly quick process.

Once the bead board was installed then we reapplied the base boards and installed the chair rail at the top. I painted two coats of white paint (left over) to the bead boards, base boards and chair rails to give everything a smooth finish.  The natural texture of bead boards will hold all scratches, scrapes and fingerprints.  I HIGHLY suggest painting these once they are installed to eliminate toddler fingerprints from being the artwork in your new bathroom :).  After touch up paint and installing the new vanity and mirror we were done!

I did want to mention that I opted to go for a different vanity because we needed some extra storage in the bathroom.  We choose an inexpensive and small vanity. If you currently have a vanity that has storage you can save even more money by giving your vanity a fresh coat of paint! That was not really an option for us since we only had a sink, but I do plan to use this method when we “spruce” up our other bathrooms.

how to paint your vanity

This project could have easily been finished during the course of a few days (or weekend). We began late on a Saturday and had most completed by Sunday night.  We were not fully able to finish until the following weekend since our toddler wanted to help and we have a 9 month old that thinks anything on the floor is on the menu.


My lovely friend made me the artwork, which is what inspired me to mark this off my to-do list. I told myself that I was not going to hang this until I completed our reno and I was so excited to see it hung in the new space!



Paint: $30 (paint and primer in one)

Bead board: $60

Chair rail: $30

Vanity: $110 (if you opt to paint your own it would save $$!)

Glue (for bead board): $3

Lighting: $20 (found on a clearance a few months ago)

Items we already had:

Brushes, mirror, caulk, nail gun, nails and white paint.

Overall, under $300!


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8 simple ways to save money on meat

1.) Stock up price

Before you try and get the best prices on meat, you must know your stock up price for each type of meat. This can vary for each person depending on what meat you typically use and buy more often.

For my family, we eat chicken for most meals. Chicken is usually a cheaper meat option; therefore, I am able to stock up on different cuts of chicken for fairly cheap. For example, my stock up price for chicken leg quarters (leg and thigh) is .39 cents per pound.  That equals out to about $2.00 per every 7 pounds of chicken!

If your family tends to eat more red meat then you may pay a little more, but you can still find low stock up prices! A good rule of thumb is to look for the normal price per pound and to aim to pay half that price.  For example, if you currently pay $3.99 per pound of ground chuck, aim to stock up when the price is $1.99 per pound.


2.) Buy discounted

Many stores will discount their meat when it is getting close to the “use by” date. Stores will generally put a sticker on the discounted meat.  Look for red, yellow and brightly colored stickers when searching. I have been able to find meat prices marked as low as 80 percent off.  Sometimes I get lucky enough to get meat for free.

Target always has excellent mark downs on their meat selection. Target will have red stickers with a certain dollar amount of the price.  For instance, $3.00 off, instead of putting a discount price.  Sometimes you can find meat that is already on sale, plus the discounted dollar amount, plus Targets free 5% off! I know Target is not a common place to think of when buying meat, but the next time you are browsing around the store stopover in the meat section!


3.) Shop meat sales

Meat sales are more common at smaller grocery stores such as Harris Teeter, Lowes Foods and Food Lion than larger stores like Walmart and Target. Common meat sales are buy one get one free (half price) or lowering the price per pound for that sales week. Pot roasts, stew meat and cubed steaks go on sale for buy one get one free every couple of weeks at my local grocery stores.


4.) Use leftovers

Use leftover meat from the night before to create a new meal the next day.  Whenever we have leftover meat, I alter my dinner menu to incorporate the leftovers so that they don’t go to waste.  This is also a great way to save money as you are using the same meat for multiple meals.

For example, when we have leftover chicken, I will normally make tacos, quesadillas or a casserole that uses chicken. When I am not able to come up with meal ideas with our leftover meat (hello, mom brain!) then I pull up Pinterest or Google and type “leftover _____ recipes” and voila!  Minimal thinking involved…


5.) Buy in bulk

You can save a lot of money by buying larger portions of meat and cutting them yourself.  The other day I purchased a 10 lb. pork shoulder on sale for $1.27 per pound and was able to cut the meat to last 7-8 meals!  That is less than $2.00 per meal.

You can also buy bulk meat from places such as Zaycon and your local butcher.  These will typically have a higher up front cost due to the amount of meat you will purchase (40 pounds and up). A great idea is to team up with a friend or family member to split the upfront cost.


6.) Coupons

Yes, there are coupons for meat! It is a common misconception that coupons are only for snack foods.  You can find coupons for produce, diary and MEAT!

These can be found in the Sunday paper, online (check out the page for printable coupons) and through cashback apps (Ibotta, SavingStar & Checkout 51).


7.) Eat less meat

Every meal does not have to include meat.  I repeat, every meal does not have to include meat. There are many easy to follow and delicious recipes that do not include meat. If you and you are willing, try incorporating “meatless Mondays” (or any other day of the week). I am not saying that every meal needs to be “vegetarian”, but try to have one meal be meatless.  If you are currently spending $6.00-7.00 per meal on meat, then that saves you $24-$28 per month on meat. Simply by cutting out meat from one meal per week!

If you are like my husband and refuse to eat a meal without meat, then try to cut back on the portion used in the meal. You can also supplement some meat with beans, lentils and rice to make the meal more filling.


8.) Check the fresh meat

If your store has a fresh meat section (where the meat is cut) check to see the prices of the cuts per pound for their un-packaged meats. At Harris Teeter, the price per pound for chicken breasts is $1.99/lb.  If you look at the price for the SAME chicken breasts that is packaged it is $3-$4 per pound! Often meat and seafood in the fresh meat section will also be on a weekly sale or a manager special. A manager special simply means that the product is being reduced. Often to help with sales.


Take advantage couponers!



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10 Valentine’s Day Date Ideas: Under $20!

With Valentine’s day right around the corner, I know many of you will be trying to come up with some ways to show your partner you care.  Valentine’s day can be one of those holidays where costs can add up quickly.  Dinner, movie, gifts and more can easily add up to over $100!

I wanted to create a list of Valentine’s Day date ideas that are fun, romantic and budget friendly!

1. Romantic indoor picnic

Think of a romantic outdoor picnic and simply recreate the scene anywhere in your home.  Bring out the blankets, candles, pillows and picnic basket.  You can even get extra creative, hang some string lights and make your own “fort” in front of your fireplace!


2. Drive in movie theater

Drive in movie theaters are not commonly thought of for a movie date, but why not?  I love the idea of being in the car, bringing your own snacks (or grab some at concessions) and cuddling with some blankets while watching one of the newest flicks.  Our local drive-in theaters generally cost about $7-$10 per person.  Many theaters even have areas if you wish to camp outside instead of being in your car.  Great way to think out of the bubble!

3. Breakfast in bed

Don’t have time to do a romantic date later in the evening?  This is a creative way to spend time with your partner and not have to spend much.  I love to make themed pancakes for special holidays so heart shaped pancakes are absolutely on my list for Valentine’s day! Check out the post below for some great food inspiration.


4. Ice skating

How fun would this be during the winter time?  I feel like winter is made for ice skating and bundling up. Depending on where you live, you may have an outdoor ice skating area. If not, check to see if your area has an indoor ice skating.

Most ice skating prices average around $10 for both admission and skate rental.  For under $20  you could have a night or day full of fun.

5. Painting classes

You may have seen these advertised as “Wine and Design” classes for women, many of these places offer date nights.  Especially around Valentine’s Day, you will be able to find a lot of partner classes with discounts.  One of the local classes in my area is offering buy one get one for their designated “date night” the Friday before Valentine’s Day. Hint. Hint.

6. Indoor S’mores

Who says s’mores is a only summer time treat?  S’mores is one of my favorite desserts year-round and they are so easy to make. If you have a fireplace, then set up camp and enjoy. If not, check out this awesome idea on how to make s’mores with no fireplace.


7. Outdoor Hike/Walk

This is a great way to spend one on one time with your partner while enjoying the outdoors (and burning some calories!). If hiking and going for walks is an activity you already do together, then try a different park or venture out into a new hiking trail! I’m not sure if it’s just me, but something about walking outdoors really pushes out great conversations.

8. Comedy Club

Love to laugh? Imagine spending your evening next to your partner sharing laughter. One things for sure, it’ll be a fun night! Get ready to share smiles. Many comedy clubs in my area cost $10 or less for tickets.  Of course, if it is a more well-known comedian you may pay a little more.

9. Homemade pizza family night

Planning on spending Valenines Day with the kids?  This is an excellent idea to include everyone…and to be honest who doesn’t love pizza?  Check out this awesome idea for a family pizza bar designed for valentine’s day.



10. Family gift exchange

A family gift exchange is another great option if you plan to spend the holiday with your family.  This is a great way to incorporate everyone in the family in the spirit of the holiday.  You can have each family member create a homemade card and exchange it using the same style as secret Santa.

Do you have your own budget friendly date idea?  Share with me in the comments!  I would love to hear each of your creative date ideas!




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DIY: Recipe art

I think my grandma, is very much like most. She is warm, caring, and at a times overly pushy with making sure that we are fed. Overly pushy for the best reasons. Even now, I still look forward to vising her and seeing what she may have created.

This weekend, I felt the overwhelming feeling of creativity. My kitchen felt like the perfect place to honor my grandmother. I had exactly what I needed. Empty space, old handwritten recipes, and excitement. I’ve been looking forward to doing something with her recipes for quite some time. Most people that I know do not keep recipes written down anymore. Social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest have in some ways taken over.

Yet. I’m an old soul. I love the idea of looking back at my grandma’s recipes and experiencing the beautiful mixture of good times and great food. So I buckled down and got to work. I used my husband’s hammer, a few nails to hang up the recipes. Not only did the project came out beautiful, but it also provides lasting memories to cherish.

Materials needed:

Recipe cards (the older and more worn the better!)

Picture frames

Hammer & Nails


I was able to find these 8×8 frames at Michaels for $5 each (on sale)! They have plenty of options to choose from depending on the wall size you are working with.

I love how this project came out and how each card has bends and stains almost as if I can see my grandma writing down the measurements and directions as she was cooking each dish.

In less than 10 minutes and under $20 I was able to mark this off my to-do list!

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