Saturday, August 8, 2009

Cheap and Cheerful Challenge: Found at Home Depot

Todd from Sacramento found this super deal at Home Depot. Small storage bins -- perfect for shoes, toys, tools, or even makeup -- for just $.99. He also reported that 18 gallon storage bins, in cute colors, were on sale for $3.44. Thanks for entering the August Deal Detective contest. Who's next?

Friday, August 7, 2009

Favorite Things: Itsy Etsy Booties

These baby shoes are beyond cute. Handcrafted with wool felt and adorned with the sweetest details, these would make a sweet surprise for any little walker in your life. You can buy them here. Just two more little reasons to love Etsy.

Deal of the Day: Tax Free Days at Kohl's

If you're a California resident, you can take advantage of two tax free days at Kohl's. Pay no sales tax today and tomorrow, plus this event is paired with their biggest sale of the season with up to 55% percent off clothes for kids. Also, for those early birds out there, you can save even more during Saturday morning power hours. Whether you are scooping up some back to school deals or stocking up on household goods, this sale is certainly worth a look.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Deal of the Day: Free Peet's Freddo (August 7th)

On Friday, August 7th from 2 - 3 pm, you can get a cold treat from your local Peet's Coffee. An 8 oz. Mocha or Caffe Freddo is yours just for stopping by. Check here for the location nearest you.

Favorite Things: Online Photo Class

I just finished this class and it was amazing. And at only $50, it is a great deal. Personally, I think the instructor (who also happens to be a dear friend) could charge at least twice as much and still get tons of interested students. If you want to learn more about photography from the comfort of your own home, check it out. Class starts on September 1st.

Deal of the Day: Further Discounts at Smith and Hawken

If you have a Smith and Hawken location near you, it looks like there are still some deals to be discovered. So if you are looking for outdoor furniture, potting supplies or gardening gadgets, it might be worth a drive to the mall. Their online store is no longer up and running but the online merchandise has been distributed to the brick and mortar stores so new things are arriving and the stores will remain open until everything is gone.

Cheap and Cheerful Challenge August: Deal Detectives

Don't forget -- This month's Cheap and Cheerful Challenge is a Deal Detective contest! There is a cool prize in store for the winner.

Here's what you need to do: Find a deal in a store, jot down the price and details, take a cell phone photo (if possible), and email the details about your deal to:

I will post the deals on the blog throughout the month and the best Deal Detective will win a special award!

Are you game?

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Grocery Game: The Best Laid Plans ... A Weekly Menu

Why plan a menu?

1. Wasted food is wasted money.
Would you toss $10 bills into your kitchen trash can? I wouldn't. By planning a menu, you use the food you have purchased before it spoils.

2. "What's for dinner?" is always answered.
You can help make your week less chaotic by having a plan. You can also prep for the night's dinner the morning of, the day before, or even on a weekend day as needed.

3. You can plan for food variety throughout the day.
My kids won't normally eat a fruit AND a vegetable at every meal but they will eat one or the other. If we've planned our fruit for breakfast and/or lunch, then we can enjoy a veggie with dinner. Same thing with protein v. carbs. Well, at least the adults will get this balance. The kids ... well, it depends on the day!

4. You can rotate in new recipes with old standards.
Maybe you are planning on grilling sausages on Sunday, so why not grill the whole package and make a pasta sauce with the leftovers? Having baked potatoes? Find a new potato recipe to try that week. Making spinach salad with dried cranberries and blue cheese? Throw the cranberries in some couscous or add the blue cheese on some hamburgers, perhaps made with meat you've had in the freezer. You have the ingredient on hand that week so you aren't spending any extra cash finding new things to eat. It's a win-win.

5. You'll be amazed at how much your grocery bill shrinks when you don't add "extras" to your cart.
Sticking to the list created by your weekly menu is key. Believe me, you can impulse shop/have retail therapy at the grocery store. If you ignore the "on sale" spices you'll never use, resist the massive bag of Oreos, and pass up the case of juice boxes, you're already on your way to more cash in your wallet. And you can use that cash for a nice Starbucks at the drive-thru location on the way home from the store. After all, saving money doesn't have to be boring.

Deal of the Day: Olive Juice Outlet Sale

Every item is just $10 at the Olive Juice Outlet sale. Olive Juice offers classic clothes for kids in soft, cozy fabrics. It is a small, family run company and I adore their no-fuss designs. There are lots of t-shirts, polo shirts, shorts and skirts on sale. Do check the size charts as they are a bit different than other stores. $7.95 flat shipping fee on your order. The sale ends at Midnight EST on August 8th.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Favorite Things: Peanut Shell Baby Slings

Peanut Shell Baby Slings are certainly functional but they are also stylish. And many of the styles on the website are on sale! Some of the styles that normally sell for $64 are now only $34. The site is making way for new Fall fabrics, but believe me when I say the "old" offerings are just as cute! The site also offers diaper clutches and swaddling blankets that make fun and easy-to-mail gifts. Perfect little presents for new little peanuts.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Deal of the Day: Two Free Jack In The Box Tacos (August 4th)

Two Free Tacos at Jack in the Box. No purchase required. All day Tuesday, August 4th. Click on the image for a printable coupon. Who says nothing in life is free? Mmmmmmmmm, tacos.

Money Mantra #7: Avoid bewitching "bargains"

Are you buying that orange striped polo shirt just because it is 75% off ... or do you really need an orange striped polo shirt? Do you even like orange striped polo shirts? And those notebooks you fished out of the bargain bin? Do you need another notebook just because it is $.99? Perhaps you've been bewitched into thinking that you're saving money because the prices are so appealing? But are you really saving money if you didn't need the item that was on sale in the first place? Three simple rules to go along with this Money Mantra: Make a list of things you actually need. Look for great deals on those items. Don't buy anything else.

Cheap and Cheerful's Bottom Line: If you would not want the item if it was only offered at a slight discount, don't buy because it is offered at a steep discount.

Deal of the Day: 30% off at Ann Taylor and LOFT

From Wednesday, August 5th through Sunday, August 9th, you get 30% off your entire purchase at Ann Taylor and LOFT, in store and online. The online code is FRIENDS30 and if you need an in store coupon, leave a comment here and I can forward you an invitation. And if you think that is a great deal, it also includes 15% off during the same time frame at Ann Taylor and LOFT outlet stores.

Favorite Things: $10 Dinner Show on FoodTV

A new show premieres on FoodTV this Sunday, August 9th and it's called Ten Dollar Dinners.
At Cheap and Cheerful, we love our FoodTV and we love it even more now that it can give us ideas for dinner on a dime! Tune in at 12:30 pm for the first in the series.

Click here to see a quick clip of the new star of this new show.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Cheap and Cheerful Chatter: Why the name?

cheap and cheerful (British informal)
costing little money but attractive, pleasant, or enjoyable

Long story short: I visited my dear friend Angela in London in the summer of 1998. She used the phrase and I loved it. For nine years now, I still use the phrase when someone asks something like, "Where do you want to eat lunch?" ... "Oh, I don't care as long as it's cheap and cheerful."

Favorite Things: Myself Belts

Myself Belts are so adorable! My son has had several different styles in various sizes and they hold up well to toddler boy abuse. At $14.95, they are a fun gift for any stylish kiddo. Created by two moms, the company is growing and the belts can also be found at some Stride Rite and Nordstrom locations. If you buy two belts, you get free shipping. Now, if you could only pick just two!


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