Penny Pinching Peach

For the semi crunchy, homeschool friendly and totally frugal!


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Christmas Candy Blessing

Christmas candy

So, you have no money to spend for Christmas? You’re not the only one!

This year has been one of getting extremely creative and being very wise with very little. Christmas has just upped that to a whole different level!

I have been putting off buying Christmas candy for my kids’ stockings. I just didn’t have extra money and they are always with me, anyway. The other day my husband kept the two older kids after we figured out our grocery budget, so I could get a break and concentrate on shopping. I’d waited almost two weeks to go for anything other than a gallon of milk and some bananas, because I could cook with what I had and we didn’t have the money for more. I wanted to get my babies some candy for their stockings! They expect candy canes and chocolate, so I wanted to at least get one package of each. I set my budget at a whopping $1.00 maximum, and was confident I could do it. I only had change in my purse and wasn’t using my debit card before I hit the grocery store, so that was it.

“Penny Pinching Peach is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com”

Need to make your own candy with your tight budget? Check out this book that is as low as free, and includes many candy recipes! The Ultimate Christmas Recipes

I carefully planned out my deals and stackable coupons and headed into CVS. With thoughtful selection and mental mathematics, I did it!! I was able to get two bags of two different flavored Hershey’s kisses, a pack of candy canes AND two plastic candy canes filled with gummies! My total savings was- wait for it- 100%!!!! I handed the cashier the 38 cents of tax that wasn’t paid by my overage (the tax itself was supposed to be $1.20) and couldn’t stop myself from exclaiming “Yay!!! I had nothing in my budget for Christmas candy, so thank God for coupons and bargain shopping!”. She laughed and said “That is awesome!”.

Moral of the story? God will provide, positive thinking pays off….and penny pinching is AWESOME!!!

Looking for more ways to stretch a very tight budget further? I can help you do what I do to help my family, and get free clothes and earn free books!! It’s so simple and they are really high quality items you receive! You won’t regret it!

 


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God Used Couponing to Answer My Prayers

TrustProv

You can get the link to print this at the bottom!

 

This week God used my couponing and bargain shopping skills to answer my prayers. I was literally down to my last pull-up for my 3 year old (and it was a princess one left over from my 6 year old’s potty training days) and a couple of days worth of diapers for the baby, squeezing my toothpaste tube for the last drops and about to start using my children’s, nearly out of shave gel and moving on to random substitutes, and still needed to get things like milk, bananas and such to feed my kiddos in the way they are accustomed. I was figuring on skipping the extra stuff I needed, since I can live without them, but getting everything we needed for the kids and to get the extra things we needed to cook within budget. (I’m a couponer and hubby is a hunter, so we could eat without shopping for awhile, but we needed the things we go through weekly.) Hubby makes enough money, but we have been carrying two mortgages & double electric, water, insurance for over six months now due to multiple closing delays and it is killing us. I said a prayer, put it out of my mind and went to bed trusting. That’s something that comes hard for me- to simply trust.

The morning came and I got online with my list and coupons handy. I looked up my local stores for deals on the things I really needed, browsed my coupon sites (like Swagbucks, my personal favorite place for printing coupons). I found bargains on most things we needed, with many store and manufacturer coupons I could stack.

I spent $26.94 for $104.90 worth of items at CVS, which is over 74% savings! I walked away with a bunch of things we truly needed- like three packs of Huggies diapers, a pack of pull-ups, wipes, toothpaste, shave gel, razors, canned veggies. I also scored plenty we could just enjoy, like three packs of gum, a candy bar, mentos, vitamin water, some mascara and lipstick. I also have $4 in Extra Care Bucks I can use later if something else comes up that we need, and I didn’t count that into my totals. They paid me a penny each for buying the makeup, 50 cents for buying the veggies and 99 cents for buying the packs of gum! I haven’t bought makeup for myself in a very long time, since I was unable to coupon for awhile due to bed rest and recovery. I could make do with my old makeup, but I am grateful for fresh supplies. I would share how y’all can do it, but I was only able to go shopping and verify the deals on the very last day they were available and that’s not really the point of this post.

“Penny Pinching Peach is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com”

Want to learn to shop effectively at CVS? This ebook Get Paid to Shop at CVS – Shopping Secrets Revealed is free with the Free Kindle Unlimited App!

From there I went to Winn Dixie with the goal of spending only $30 so I could qualify to get a $5 ham, and using coupons to keep it at that total, since I needed to keep it at that. I was able to get everything we needed, four packs of cream cheese & two bottles of McCormick vanilla extract for a steal to use for special treats (coupons and BOGOs), and keep the total after coupons at that $30!

If you are still reading along, bless you! I am sure you can probably appreciate the joy of a great deal when you have a very tight budget. If you can’t understand the joy of God allowing you to use your gifts and hard work to provide when it’s difficult and you’re struggling feeling helpless and anxious….well, I hope you can discover that feeling! It is both humbling and hope restoring all at once.

Moral of the story? It pays to talk to God about your needs and trust that He will provide. It also pays to use whatever skills, resources and abilities you have of your own to meet those needs. When you put His blessing together with doing your best with what you’ve already been given, amazing things can happen… even if it’s just getting everything you need with a few extras!

In the midst of the holiday shopping frenzy with Black Friday, Cyber Monday and all of the high pressure advertising of specials being ran to tempt us, it can be difficult knowing that you have to pass up the bargains no matter how great they are. It can be tempting to spend money you don’t have for things you don’t need. I know I can’t do much shopping this year. I’m okay with that. I have a couple of things tucked away that I managed to get one way or another and know I can at minimum afford to go to the Dollar Tree to stuff my children’s Christmas stockings. If you’re stretched thin this year and feeling bad about it, just know that it’s okay. Adults can understand no presents. Children don’t need as much as most of us think to be happy. Take the focus off of gifts and you can make it joyful without much money!

This has been a year of change for my family. Change can be expensive, overwhelming and difficult. It can also bring about wonderful results. I’m sure a seed isn’t particularly happy about being thrown in a hole, buried under dirt and drowned by water day in and day out. After many days, when the sun shines down on the seedling now peeking through the soil, the seed can just begin to see that it was for the best that it went through that dark time. When that seedling becomes a full blown flower, it can rejoice in the miracle of that dark time turning into something so bright and beautiful! I’m hoping that is how things turn out for us! I feel like I’m in the barely peering through the dirt phase now.

Are you going through a rough time? Having trouble trusting God and calming your anxiety? You are not alone. He has not forgotten. You are not the only one who just can’t handle it all sometimes. It will be okay!

For more encouragement in this area, please read my post about struggling. You are not alone!

Please click if you want your free printable scripture verse!

http://thebrowntribe.net/2015/11/gratitude-throce-and-link-up/

 


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Dinner For a Dollar

Dinner For a Dollar

Dinner For a Dollar

“Dinner for a dollar?!?”  they exclaim, “It can’t be done!!”.

Let me tell ya, honey, it most certainly can! Tonight I made this delicious pasta dish for less than a dollar. It fed my five year old, two year old and me with leftovers…and we all ate seconds!

I am challenging myself to stretch our grocery money as far as possible, and cook from the pantry as much as I can to help with a money crunch while my husband is taking a career furthering class for several weeks and missing a lot of work to do so. I haven’t been shopping in about a week and a half, so I am doing pretty well with it thus far.

I found some pasta with no crazy ingredients, just semolina and durum flour, marked down for 25 cents each when I was shopping a couple of weeks ago, so I grabbed several packages. I used half a pack of those noodles for this dish, plus a can of Italian diced tomatoes (66 cents), a sprinkling of parmesan, a handful of mozzarella cheese and the last few slices of ham lunchmeat we had in the pack before we go grocery shopping tomorrow.

Dinner For a Dollar? It's Doable!!

Dinner For a Dollar? It’s Doable!!

I mixed the cooked pasta with the tomatoes, let my oldest sprinkle on the cheese and the shredded lunchmeat and warmed it in the oven for about five minutes. TADA!!!! A super cheap and yummy supper created in less than 10 minutes! 🙂

While this cost me less than a dollar, with more average prices it might cost closer to two dollars. Even still, it’s a budget friendly and speedily prepared meal for the penny pinching parent who is crunched for time.

“Penny Pinching Peach is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com”

Need more recipes on a dollar budget? Check out this ebook on Amazon, Easy Recipes: Budget Dinners: Eat Well for A Single Dollar, as low as free!

What is the cheapest home cooked meal (that your family actually enjoyed ) you’ve made recently? Want another delicious pasta recipe? Try my You Can Have Your Cheese and Tomato Sauce, Too, Pasta Casserole!

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Vamping It Up With Vivacious Savings at Vistaprint

Vivacious Vistaprint Savings

Vivacious Vistaprint Savings

Here is a great deal from Vistaprint! I just ordered some adorable little business cards for my blog from them. From past experience, they have nice products at very reasonable prices. I’m excited to share these terrific deals with you.

First, choose a code for the product you are most interested in purchasing:

Free shipping on your entire order: VPSHIP341

30% off customized t-shirts and 15% off all other products: VPSHIRT30

40% off the highest priced item in your shopping cart: VPDEAL817

25% off invitations and cards: VPINVITE25

20% off and free shipping on an order of $25 or more for new customers only: VPFIRSTORDER

You can also get 250 free basic business cards without a code through their site, as well. Just look for “Free Business Cards” under the Business Cards tab. I did that, then added 250 for just over $3 when that option popped up after my order went through. 🙂

Next, use my link to get $10 off the finest business cards, stationery, invitations, and more at Vistaprint.com. Make an impression.

http://vistaprint.tellapal.com/a/clk/1mKG13

What would you like to order from them?


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Makeup Without Money

    Part of my beauty stash

    Part of my beauty stash

I never pay retail for makeup or nail polish.

By combining sales and coupons, I try to get at least 75% off of any cosmetics that I buy, if not free. The other day I let my daughter pick two new colors for her nail polish stash, paid for 100% by $1 off any Wet & Wild product coupons. Happy mommy, happy little girl, happy pockets! 🙂

Want a few easy pointers for getting bargains on makeup? Here ya go…

Always shop ahead.

Don’t wait until you need a certain product to buy it. You don’t have to keep a huge stockpile, but if you find a great deal on a beauty item that you definitely use, go ahead and buy it.

Keep a couple of extras of any commonly used makeup or nail polish at all times, and you’ll never be forced to pay retail because you ran out of something you won’t walk out of the house without.

Don’t be stuck on one particular brand, unless necessary.

My skin is sensitive, so I have to be careful about skin products. I don’t just buy anything because it’s pennies on the dollar. For things like mascara, lip gloss, eye shadow and nail polish, though, I can get by with a variety of types & brands.

Clip all the cosmetics  coupons, then watch the sales ads for chances to combine them.

This takes all of a few minutes a week while doing the rest of your coupon and sales checks, so it’s not a huge commitment. If you get store coupons for a percentage off your purchase or money off beauty items, that will give you great value when stacked with manufacturer coupons, too.

Feel beautiful and fiercely frugal, all at the same time! See how I save on buying clothes online!


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Swagbucks Savings!

The mask & cape were gifts purchased with Mommy's rewards programs

The mask & cape were gifts purchased with Mommy’s rewards programs

This post has been updated to add some tricks I’ve learned since I originally posted this last year. I hope that you will enjoy Swagbucks as much as I do! Please follow my referral code at the end to join and reap the benefits of this awesome program!

I want to share one of my very favorite points earning programs with y’all! Swagbucks is easy to use, and the points add up very quickly. I actually paid for most of my daughter’s 4th birthday presents using Amazon gift cards that I earned through Swagbucks and SavingStar by doing things that I would do with or without rewards programs!! I got over $35 worth of adorable gifts for my daughter from Amazon, with only $6 out of pocket expenses after using the gift cards I’d saved up from those two programs! Talk about doing the penny pinching mama dance!! 🙂 I’m already racking up points to use for some of my Christmas shopping in a few weeks. (There are other pay-outs, but the Amazon gift cards are my favorites.)

By now I’m sure you’re wondering how it works, right? Well, let me walk you through the basics…

450 points can be exchanged for a $5 Amazon gift card. There are other payouts, including Paypal payments, gas cards, gift cards to many other popular stores, travel expenses or items in their own Swagbucks store, but this is the only one I’ve used and a simple reference for the value of the points you’re earning through your activities. It is also the best value I have found.

You earn random points by using Swagbucks as your search engine instead of one of the conventional search engines like Yahoo or Google. Just today, I got 10 points for doing a search for photo coupon codes using their site. It pops up when you do the search if you got a code, then you just type it in and enter and it is added to your account balance toward your next payout. Easy peasy!

You can shop through their shopping link with many online retailers, and earn a designated amount of points for every dollar spent. The average points per dollar seems to be from 2 to 7 points, from my observation. This is great if you are doing online shopping already! I earned almost enough for a $5 giftcard just by clicking through their links to order ink for my printer a couple of months ago. I was going to order it, anyway, so that was free money to use for my daughter’s gifts later. 🙂

You will earn 10 points for every coupon that you print and redeem through their coupons link. These are pretty much the same coupons that you get from coupons.com, but you’re getting rewarded for using them. If you’re like me, and use alot of coupons to stretch your budget, this is an awesome way to rack up those rewards quickly! Sometimes you are also entered into sweepstakes for every coupon you print. The other day when I was printing coupons for diapers and groceries, I was also being entered into a sweepstakes for $250!

Swagbucks frequently releases “Swag Codes” that you can enter in a special box in the top of your screen for bonus points. These are usually only good for a short period of time. For example, today there was one that was only good until 5pm EST, and I earned 3 points just for entering “Wagbucks” into the little magic box up there. My favorite site for keeping up with the codes is .

You can also install a tool bar, which I have chosen not to do, since I’m not too fond of tool bars in general. Every day they havea “Daily Poll”, which pays 1 point just for choosing your answer. You are able to participate in surveys, which will pay you a varying amount of points per survey. They have different “tasks” you can do for extra points, such as completing certain searches and informing them of the top 3 sites that show up. If you choose to join various programs using their links, you’ll earn points for doing that. There are video advertisements available at times to watch in exchange for more points. I’ve not taken advantage of all of these opportunities, but there are alot of different ways to keep adding onto that points balance if you have the time and inclination, most of them without spending one red cent! 🙂

Birthday girl. She had a ninja turtle/princess party. :)

Birthday girl. She had a ninja turtle/princess party. 🙂

Another way that you can earn points is through referrals, of course. If you like the program, you share it with others. If they join through your link, you will earn some points from that. If you’re interested in joining Swagbucks after my honestly enthusiastic review here, I’d be tickled pink if you’d use my referral link below. 🙂

http://swagbucks.com/refer/KeishaChelle

If you have any questions, I’ll be glad to try to answer. This really is a great program that I enjoy immensely, and I’m happy to be able to share about it with anyone who will listen! 🙂

Here is a book for Kindle users who are interested in learning more of the tricks to using Swagbucks. It’s free for those of you who have Amazon Prime, too. 🙂 Here ya go: How To Earn Swagbucks: Earn Swag Bucks Quickly to Earn Gift Cards and Cash!


*Penny Pinching Peach is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.


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Happy Birthday Freebies!!

First Birthday

Three out of five members of our family have birthdays coming up in the next three weeks, and I’m already seeing some of the fun free stuff we are going to get in this year. There are alot of birthday freebies out there, and many of them have perks all year long. I’ve seen alot of them, but haven’t take advantage of them all. Some are not in my area, others I’m not interested in, some I just wouldn’t use. I’m only sharing a dozen of the birthday freebies I’ve actually signed up for, used myself and liked, so I can vouch for them. I’m aware of alot more, and plan to sign up for a few new ones I discovered while looking up these links to share with you, so I’ll probably update this list in the future to share some new favorites. I hope you enjoy these as much as I do.

Which birthday freebie are you most excited about getting for your birthday or someone in your family? For free clothes, check out  Schoola Discount Clothing

First Birthday

First Birthday