Host a Fantastic and Frugal Valentine’s Day Party for Children

5 Easy and Frugal Tips to Host a Fantastic Valentine's Day Party for Kids.  Includes links to some great printables.


Easy Budget Friendly Tips for Hosting a Valentine’s Day Party for Children


Hosting a Valentine’s Day party for children can be a load of fun and accomplished inexpensively with a little preparation and planning.  Jennifer Carver, of Spaceships and Laser Beams, is here sharing her tips for hosting a budget friendly celebration your children will love (we think you’ll love her money saving ideas for invitations, decorations, treats and activities too!)!


Tip #1:  Handcraft your invitations.  Instead of buying expensive store bought, boxed invitations, create your own!  Using basic craft materials and hand cut paper hearts, add all of the essential party details including date, time, and location and whether guests should bring Valentines to pass out or a treat to share.  Another fun idea is to inflate heart shaped balloons with helium and tie the party details to the balloon with pink or red twine.  Hand deliver the invitations for extra excitement (and to save money on postage and envelopes). Not crafty? There are lots of free Valentine’s printables boys and girls will love.

No Spread Sugar Cookies and Perfect Icing

Tip #2:  Invite guests to bring a Valentine’s Day treat to add to your dessert spread.  Whether you are going all out on a full dessert table or just setting up a small display of tried and true favorites, inviting guests to RSVP with a treat they’d like to bring will help you provide a sweet variety, save on out-of-pocket costs and reduce your party prep time.  Plus, most guests will bring something that they personally like, which means satisfaction guaranteed!  Win-win!  One great activity and treat is to decorate heart shaped cookies. Here is a can’t miss no spread sugar cookie recipe and tips for cookie decorating with kids. 


Tip #3:  Choose no fuss decorations from your party and entertaining stash and purchase remaining items at after-Christmas clearance sales or dollar stores.  With many holidays throughout the year that traditionally incorporate red and white (4th of July and Christmas quickly come to mind), chances are you already have a few décor staples on hand that you can reuse and repurpose.  Gather up linens (tablecloths, runners and napkins), serving trays, platters and cake stands and leftover tableware such as paper plates, napkins, cups and utensils.  All of these items will make perfect additions to your décor!


If you plan ahead you can take advantage of after-Christmas sales to bulk up your décor and party essentials.  Many basic red and white items can be found for practically nothing!  Even solid color holiday wrapping paper or something with stripes and dots could be used for a table runner, for making disposable place mats, to line trays or spruce up water bottles.  Plain packaging items on clearance can be used to create party favors or to package sugar cookies if your party includes a sugar cookie decorating station.


Additional items can be purchased from dollar stores.  Many dollar stores sell cute red and pink plastic heart embellished glasses, red and pink plates, cutlery and even small heart confetti.  Add heart shaped helium balloons, some DIY tissue tassel garland, a love banner cut from cardstock and you are set!


Tip #4:  Plan a few simple games and crafts geared towards Valentine’s Day.  Keep costs down by focusing on the sharing of Valentines.  Guests can be invited to bring Valentines premade, or you can provide simple card making materials at the party.  Valentine mail bags or boxes can also be made as a simple craft.  Other party games can include classic party games twisted to match the party theme.  “Cupid Says” or “Pin the Arrow on Cupid” are easy adaptations of crowd favorites.


EverydaySavvy DIY Valentine EOS Lip Balm Card with a Free Printable


Tip #5: Hand Out Simple Favors –  These cute Magical Pony Valentine favors are super cute and so inexpensive. This EOS Valentine card  (pictured above) would make a great favor too!


These five budget friendly tips will help you host a Valentine’s Day party the kids will be smiling about for a long time! Plus they are so easy that you can throw together in no time at all!



Upcoming Metro Detroit Meal Planning Class

savings nation coupon classes detroit mi

This class is cancelled due to the snowstorm. I will update you when it is rescheduled. 

Does getting food on the table stress you out? Then be sure to attend our upcoming Meal Planning class.  This class will help you save time and money plus reduce the stress of the dinner preparation. This is the last class I will be teaching for awhile so don’t miss out.


Topics discussed in the workshop include the following areas:

The Importance of Meal Planning
Learn why and how meal planning can transform your grocery budget, but also your daily routines and the dreaded “witching hour.”

Beginner and Advanced Meal Planning Tactics
The class will walk you through the different phases of meal planning and teach you the ins and outs of 2 different “schools of thought,” so that you can come up with a meal planning plan that works for you.

Time-Saving Cooking Strategies and Shortcuts
Get practical help with how to make the most of the time you spend in the kitchen, making healthy and delicious meals in a fraction of the time!

You will receive a pamphlet to take lots of valuable notes during the workshop. So come prepared to learn, discuss and connect with others who are excited about saving money and time in the kitchen too!

Following the workshop, attendees will leave with a better understanding of all the different ways to make a meal plan. All the tips and tricks to making meal planning successful, along with cooking strategies and shortcuts to help you spend less time in the kitchen, while still making fabulous meals for your family.


Meal Planning Simplified – Metro Detroit

Febuary 2, 2015

Clarkston Independence District Library
6495 Clarkston Road, Clarkston, MI 48346

7:00 — 8:00 PM

This class is sponsored by the library and free to all attendees. You do not need to be a Clarkston resident to attend.


Sign Up Here To Reserve Your Spot


Hope to see you soon!


Betty Crocker & Pillsbury Coupons, Samples and Recipes

Get free Betty Crocker coupons, Pillsbury coupons, free samples and a free e-cookbook  worth $10.99. No strings attached.


Saving money and eating well are on many of your lists for the upcoming year. Here are some great freebies and coupons that can help you! There are no strings attached and they often will send you new products to try out! I love both of these and have been signed up for these newsletters for over 3 years.




When you sign for the FREE  Betty Crocker newsletter, you’ll get coupon savings up to $250 per year, access to free samples and their best recipes!

This is great source of coupons and recipes! Plus when you sign up you also get a recipe ebook worth $10.99!







You also sign up for a FREE email for the best of Pillsbury! Get exclusive coupons (up to $250 per year in savings), access to free samples (quantities limited – one per member), their hottest recipes, and more!

Plus when you sign up you also get a recipe ebook worth $10.99!







Looking to learn more ways to save money at the grocery store? Be sure to check out this article about how to save 50% off your groceries in under an hour a week! 

Easy Ways to Save Money Groceries – Learn How To Save On Groceries

10 easy ways save money groceries

Easy Ways to Save Money Groceries

Would you like to save money on groceries?

Saving money on groceries doesn’t have to be difficult.  Here are some easy ways to save BIG on your groceries in under an hour a week.  You realistically can save 50% off your groceries by following theses easy savings strategies.


1. Sensibly Stockpile – When items are on sale buy enough to last for about a month. (unless perishable)   This enables you to never pay full price. This is a change in mindset for more people but you will see a HUGE impact on your grocery bill with this small change in shopping habits.


This tip works especially well for meats.  You can freeze your sale priced meat and use it for meals throughout the month and you won’t have to buy any at full price! Meats not on sale can cost $3 or more a pound than sale meats. If you want to really stock up, I love Zaycon foods.  I buy boneless skinless chicken breast from them at stock up prices. Plus this chicken is 100% natural with no added hormones, additives or artificial ingredients.


2. Easily Find Weekly Sale Prices and Coupons That Will Save Even More – Use the Favado Smart Phone App and Weekly Store Sale Lists /Coupon Matchups on to help you find coupons and determine which items are on sale this week at the grocery store. The app will even alert you went your favorites are on sale and you can search across grocery stores for the best price on items you need. Items marked with a star are the best deals on the week.


Favado Grocery Savings App


3. Meal Plan Around Items in Your Stockpile and What is on Sale.  Did you find a great price on chicken? Be sure to  plan some chicken meals.  Did you get  5 boxes of almost free pasta last week?  You will need to plan some meals with pasta.  This strategy is especially true for produce since you can not stockpile because of spoiling. Be sure to look at produce on sale and use this in your meal plan.  Another great positive of a meal plan is that you will be sure to use the groceries you buy and not let them go to waste.  Meal planning is one of the easiest ways to save money on groceries plus save on the stress of coming up with dinner ideas each day!


eMeals Free Trial


Have trouble with meal planning? Check out emeals which is a great service that you can try out for free for 14 days. After the free trial, it costs as low as $5 a month.


4. Use Less Meat & Other Higher Priced Ingredients –  Consider a few meals in a week without meat. This will save you money. Also when you have meals with meat consider proper portions sizes. It will help your meat go farther. When I buy large boneless skinless chicken breast, I cut it into thirds and each person gets just a  one third portion.


5. Shop at Value Grocery Stores like Aldi – Aldi has great everyday prices on basics like milk, eggs and spices. They also have great produce specials each week. Here are some of the reasons I love to shop at Aldi and you should too. 


6. Limit  Brand Loyalty - Name-brand items tend to be more expensive unless you have a great coupon. Be sure to consider house brands and other name brands.  These are usually placed on lower or higher shelves. So be sure to look up and down when grocery shopping. The most expensive items are right at eye level.


7. Check Unit Price – Most people think that if they buy the larger item that they are getting a better deal. This is often not the case. Be sure to always check the unit price when shopping.


8. Avoid Buying Prepared and Packaged Goods – You are almost always going to pay more when the store does the work for you. Wash and cut your own veggies and you can save.

9.  Search Grocery Coupon Database – Wondering if one of the products you need has coupon?  Use our grocery  coupon database to check for  coupons for all the items on your list. Spending just  a few minutes using the database to search for coupon can help a bunch. Be sure to bookmark the grocery coupon database and check it each time before shop. You can search for a brand name or just a general item like cereal or mustard.

You can grab coupons, free samples and recipes from Betty Crocker and Pillsbury here. 


10.  Use Smart Phone Apps and Digital coupons – You can save even more by using smart phone apps and digital coupons. Two of my favorites are Checkout 51 (no smartphone required) and Ibotta. Each often have rebates on milk and produce!!! You also can get digital coupons for your favorite store. Locally, Kroger has digital coupons and Meijer offers the Mperks program. I also love to save at Target  with Cartwheel and text coupons.


The most important thing to remember when using all these tips is to Make a Plan and Stick to It! 


Grocery stores use all kind of marketing tricks to try and get you to spend more. Be sure to do your research with the Favado Smart Phone App Weekly Store Sale Lists/Coupon Matchups  and  grocery coupon database to make a great list.


If you use this grocery list along with a meal plan, you can save 50% or more or groceries. You will be amazed at how much you can save in under an hour a week.


Looking for more tips on how to save money on groceries?  Check out our grocery saving video series here.


Want to get easy savings ideas and tips for living your best life in 2015? Be sure to sign up for our free newsletter. You will also receive an “Easy Ways To Save $1100 this year” e-book. You will receive in about one week’s time


How to Save at Target – Coupons, Price Match, Red Card & More

how to save at Target

There are so many ways you can save money at Target. They offer a number of store specific coupons, accept manufacturer coupons and price match. Here’s your guide to How to Save at Target.

[Read more…]

5 Ways To Save Money on Halloween Costumes


Here are 5 ways to save on Halloween costumes.  It is easier than you think to spend less on Halloween costumes. [Read more…]

Easy Ways To Save Money on Entertainment

easy ways to save money on entertainment

Most people can stand to save a little cash and one of the first places they look to slash the budget is entertainment. Unfortunately, entertainment is also one of the most…well…entertaining parts of our lives. Nobody wants to give up on their fun, right? The good news here is entertainment can be trimmed without giving up all your fun. You have to pick and choose the forms of entertainment that are most important and get rid of the excess. Here are some easy tips:


Investigate your viewing habits – Entertainment begins and ends with the television for most people. Whether you view your favorite shows and movies online or through the Cable, we all partake of this type of entertainment in some format. How do you watch your shows? If you are paying for the one million channel system and only watch five or ten, you are not making the most of your entertainment dollars. Cut back on your channels and you will never even realize you did in most cases. Also don’t be afraid to switch or renegotiate services to get a better deal.  When you call to renegotiate your rate, be sure to ask for the cancellation department. When you say you are canceling your service, they will almost always offer you a better deal. Most often the new rate will be for a limited time so be sure to mark down that date on your calendar and call to renegotiate again. This is a pain I know but I often end up saving almost $100 a month.


Consider an online experience - The beauty of watching your shows online and ditching the television is one way to cut your entertainment budget severely. All you have to do is investigate Netflix, Roku, Apple TV, Google Chromecast and various other avenues of online viewing. You can generally find anything you want to watch…and watch it on your own schedule. Add in the fact that it is far cheaper than Cable and you have a clear way to save cash.


Consider free museums and parks – Pretty much every city in America offers up free entertainment in the form of museums and parks. Spend some time enjoying these with your family and bring along a picnic lunch. You don’t have to spend a fortune to have a wonderful time at one of these wonderful places.


Buy seasonal packages - For ball games and various other entertainment venues, season packages will save you a ton of money. If you are a regular at the opera, for example. you may as well go ahead and spend the cash to buy season passes. At least you will get the best possible rate by doing so. We do this with a season ski pass. We also buy it early to get the cheapest price all year. The early pass cost equals just 4 days of skiing so after those 4 days it is like we are skiing for free!


Use coupons or vouchers – You can often find vouchers for restaurants and other entertainment activities at daily deal sites like Groupon and Living Social. You can find great coupons for restaurants from the entertainment book. I buy this coupon book each year and always more than save the money it costs. I also love to follow restaurants on social media. They will often offer up special coupons for their fans.


Learn to entertain at home – Home is one of the best places to have a good time and there are countless ways to change it up. Have a family game night, bring the friends over for a cookout, hold a pot luck, or simply gather and play board games or just talk. Don’t be afraid to ask people to bring a dish. Most people are so happy to have a chance to get together that they are more than happy to bring a dish.  Find some tips here to save on the food you purchase for the get together. The last thing you should have to do is spend cash when you are trying to save on entertainment. Make your own fun that is free!



Saving money on entertainment is really about paying attention to what you truly like to do. Generally speaking, we all have things that we simply love to do. Identify those things and invest your entertainment dollars in them. This way you get the entertainment fun that means the most, while trimming those things that matter little. Don’t be afraid to make drastic cuts, because you will find other less expensive ways to have a good time.



Great Deal on 100% Natural Boneless Skinless Chicken (No Hormones)- $1.89/ lb

no hormones natural chicken sale discount save

 An attendee at one of my classes mentioned what a great deal this is. I have also ordered myself and love it. There is still time to put in your order.  It is a great way to get hormone free meat at a stockpile price! Locations will sell  out so if you are interested be sure to put in your order.


In my grocery savings classes and in How to Save 50% off on your groceries in under an Hour a Week, I talk about how important it is to pick up meat at low prices and stockpile. That way you are not at the mercy of grocery stores cycles. Here is an amazing deal from Zaycon food. You can get boneless, skinless chicken breast for just $1.89/lb. This is a stock-up price!

What makes this deal even better is that this chicken is 100% natural with no added hormones, additives or artificial ingredients. I am buying this again because the quality is exceptional and this is a stock up price for even lesser quality meat. 

It does come in bulk but you can then freeze it in meal size portions.

  • Comes directly from the processor and has never been frozen
  • Sold by the case – 40 lbs in each case
  • Case dimensions–18 in wide x 12 in deep x 7 in tall

Forty pounds seem like a lot of meat and it is but after prepping and freezing in my family’s  portion sizes. I could fit all 40 pounds on just two shelves in my side by side freezer. I loved that I was stocked for quite a few months and I didn’t have to worry about finding the best deal on chicken at the grocery store.


The pick up dates vary by location but they are all in October  in the Metro Detroit area.

How do you get in on this great deal:



And if you aren’t in Michigan, Zaycon Foods has sales in most of the country. Just check out the Zaycon foods website to find out if and when they’re coming to your area. Plus once you sign up over at Zaycon, they will email you once a sale is coming to your area so you don’t miss out. There are locations all across the United States.  Does 40 pounds of chicken seem like to much for you?  You can always split with a friend but really it doesn’t take up all the much space once you package it in meal sized portions.


Want to learn more about this chicken? Check out this video

Best Backpacks for Back to School & Current Backpack Coupon Codes

If you are looking for back-to-school gear like backpacks and lunchboxes, the best way to save is to buy quality sets with coupons and discounts. I like to spend a little more to on my gear and then have my kids use them for a few years.  Some of the lower quality sets tend to rip, break or have zipper problems mid-year and then you will end up replacing them before the year is over or replacing them yearly. If you use your coupons, you can find durable backpacks and gear with coupons at Land’s End, Pottery Barn Kids, eBags, Garnet Hill, LL Bean and more. Also, many stores are shipping backpacks to your doorstep for free. Instead of spending precious time and gas, stopping at store after store, order your backpack online and take advantage of free shipping offers. [Read more…]

Back to School Savings Tips and Sale Information

This post is sponsored by Valpak. All opinions are mine.

Back to School Savings Tips


Did you know that families with school age children will spend an average of $669.28 on school supplies and apparel in 2014?  Here is some great information and back to school savings tips to help you save some cash. [Read more…]

Bonus Cash For New Capital One Accounts – Up to $200!


Want some extra cash for one of your savings goals? Be sure  to check out these two offers from Capital One! They only come around twice a year and they are a great way to save and get cash back!

One great way to save money is to put it in an account that is dedicated to a certain saving goal.  An Capital One account is a great place to do this especially since right now they are offering  HUGE bonus  for new sign ups!  You can create an account for each member of your family.

I already have one account where we saved for  kitchen remodel and our emergency fund but want to open an account for each girl so they can start saving too. This bonus cash will be a nice start for them.

This would also be a great place to put aside money for a vacation or other savings goals.

You can get a FREE $125 when you open a checking account and FREE $75 when you open a Capital One Savings Account!!

Or you could do both and  get $200!!!

There is a minimum deposit on the savings account but NO minimum deposit for the checking account!

Here are the details on the two offers:

Earn a $125 bonus when you open a 360 Checking account:

How it works:

  1. Open a fee-free 360 Checking® account between June 30th and July 3rd.
  2. Use your Debit Card to make 5 purchases or use CheckMateSM to make 5 deposits (or a combo of both) within 45 days.
  3. Snag your $100 bonus on day 50.




Get a $75 bonus when you open a 360 Savings account

How it works:

  1. Open a no-fee 360 Savings® account between June 30th and July 3rd (with a deposit of $500 or more).
  2. Snag a $76 bonus and start earning interest.
  3. Celebrate the fact that you’re on the road to saving.




Remember you have UNTIL JULY 3  to to sign up for these offers, so be sure to sign up before then to get your free money.


Also, once you create your checking account you can refer two friends and get an EXTRA $100 BONUS!!!

Real Time Analytics