Saturday, September 5, 2009

Favorite Things: More Savings from Tiny Prints

Brand new to Tiny Prints -- Studio Basics, a line of cards, announcements and invitations that average about $.70 per card in tons of adorable designs. Check out these to-die-for birthday invitations. $3 shipping on all Studio Basics orders until September 9th with the code SBSHIPSALE. Just about a hundred more reasons to love Tiny Prints.

Deal of the Day: Tretorn Sneakers

Inspired by my friend Sarah's Facebook post, these adorable Tretorn tennies are today's deal of the day. How can you resist those adorable laces? And the price is right -- only $24 when they normally sell for $40. This style is also available with navy blue accents or in all white. Maybe even better yet is the fact that these shoes are machine washable. So dig in the dirt and run in the wet grass and wash the mess away. Perhaps matching mother - daughter pairs are in order?

Friday, September 4, 2009

Favorite Things: Medi Buddy First Aid Kit

This neat idea was suggested by Marni from Sacramento. It is a compact, purse ready first aid kit for $4.99. The hard case clicks shut to keep little fingers from trying on all of the Band Aids at once. It comes stocked with bandages, burn cream, gauze pads, antibiotic ointment, and antiseptic wipes. Best of all, the products are all latex free. Being prepared in style for under $5. That's what I call cheap and cheerful. Check it out on the me4kidz website.

Deal of the Day: Kids Eat Free at Ikea, Sat. Sept. 5 - Mon. Sept. 7

While you are out taking advantage of Labor Day prices at Ikea, stop by the in store restaurant and grab this deal: "Kids eat free at IKEA over the Labor Day weekend. Choose any three kid-sized items to create a meal including five meatballs, Mac and Cheese, PBJ sandwich, kid's yogurt, two cookies, chocolate milk, and more! No adult purchase necessary. Kids under 12 years old only. $2.49 value. Participation varies." If you're good, maybe your kid will share with you. Check here for store locations.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Cheap and Cheerful Challenge: September Savvy Shopper

I'm the first to admit that finding deals at Target is one thing while getting a bargain basement price on a high end item is another. In order to sharpen those savvy shopper skills, we present the September challenge. Four high end items and four weeks to find some fall fashion steals. Can you find the following? If you can find these Fall must-haves, please share with the class. Email us at

Item 1: A hot handbag for under $50; should be made from high quality materials
Item 2: Little black dress for Fall for under $60; should be fashion forward and available in many sizes
Item 3: A funky necklace for under $20; anything goes!
Item 4: A must have beauty item for under $5; use your imagination!

Ready, set, grab those high end deals!

Deals of the Day: Labor Day Weekend Sales

* PAPYRUS: 20% off everything online and in stores, including custom printing; Online code is 20EVERYTHING

* SNAPFISH: The notebooks that I mentioned last week are 35% off until September 6; use code NOTES35

* GAP: Until today online and until September 7th in stores, buy one kid or baby pair of regularly priced denim and get a second pair for $10

* TINY PRINTS and WEDDING PAPER DIVAS: 15% and 20% off various invitations, photo books, and save the date cards

* BROOKS BROTHERS: Up to 70% off in stores, ending September 7th

And I am sure there are many more sales out there ... Please add a comment and share your shopping strategies for the weekend.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Deal of the Day: 35% Off at The Picture People

I posted a Picture People coupon previously and heard from many of you who took advantage of the savings. Here's another deal, valid for a Free Portrait sheet and 35% off other prints until September 12. Bring in a copy of the image above, with email code BGCER written on the bottom for your discount.

Deal of the Day: 10% Off Myself Belts

I've written before about these adorable, velcro closure Myself belts. Right now, you can get 10% off any order with the code FALL09 until September 15. Visit their website to see all of the adorable styles. Some belts are already on sale for under $10 so another 10% off would make a super buy.

Cheap and Cheerful wants to know: Which belt would be your first choice?

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Deal of the Day: Puddle Jumper Shoes

Fun styles, flexible soles, fantastic prices. Check out the big sale at Puddle Jumper Shoes. I'd love a pair of the navy polka dot Mary Janes for myself! These shoes wear well and even at the regular price are a bit more affordable than other similar brands. Happy Shopping!

Favorite Things: Cafe Press T-Shirts

What to get for the guy who has everything? I know I've faced that dilemna more than once when looking for a fun birthday treat, a playful Father's Day item, or just an everyday-I-Love-You treat. If your man has a sense of humor, check out the cheeky tees from Cafe Press. This one is my personal favorite. Because, come on, "life moves pretty fast and if you don't stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it."

PS -- Anything you could ever want tee, you can find it or design it on this site. There is literally something for everyone, whether you might agree with it or not, to be found at Freedom of t-shirt speech is our fundamental right, right?

Cheap and Cheerful August Challenge Winner: Julie from Seattle

Hey Julie, A very official judging panel has deemed your laptop case find as the best Deal Detective bargain in August! Your prize is a subscription to your choice of one of the following magazines: Metropolitan Home, Town and Country, Food and Wine, or Travel and Leisure. Email me at to tell me your choice and share your address.

Congratulations to all of our August Deal Detectives! I loved this challenge and hope you will participate again!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Cheap and Cheerful Cooking: Cheesy Stuffed Shells

Cheesy Stuffed Shells
Another great Melissa D'Arabian recipe. Who can resist this much cheese?

Ingredients for the Sauce
Kosher salt
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup grated carrot
1/2 cup grated zucchini
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup chopped celery
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
Freshly ground pepper

For the Shells
1 12-ounce box jumbo pasta shells
8 ounces silken tofu, mashed (or substitute ricotta cheese)
1 10-ounce box frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 1/2 cups cottage cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 clove garlic, minced
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Cooking spray

Preheat the oven to 350. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Make the sauce: Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the carrot, zucchini, onion and celery and saute until soft but not brown, 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the basil, oregano, tomato paste, crushed tomatoes and 2 cups water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, prepare the shells: Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook for 8 minutes; drain. Mix the tofu (or ricotta), spinach, cottage cheese, parmesan, 1/2 cup mozzarella, the egg and garlic in a medium bowl and season with salt and pepper.

Mist a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Spread about 1 cup of the sauce in the dish. Stuff the cheese mixture into the shells and place in the baking dish, open-side up. Pour the remaining sauce over the shells. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover, sprinkle with the remaining 1 cup mozzarella and bake for 15 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving.

(Photograph by Ngoc Minh Ngo)

Deal of the Day: Adorable Under $20 Sneakers

You can get Converse Star sneakers at Target for every member of your family for under $20 a pair. Adult styles are $19 and the mini versions are $17. Classic colors in a simple style.
Perfect for those final lazy days of summer or for jumping into piles of fall leaves.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Cheap and Cheerful August Challenge Latest Entries: Julie and Caitlin

While at WalMart, Deal Detective Julie from Seattle spotted this Jackie McFee spotted laptop case. Adorable. And only $5 at WalMart when it retails for $14.99 online. She went for the yellow one. What would you choose?

I had missed an email Caitlin from Granite Bay about the Paul Frank tees from Target before posting it myself. She has purchased a few of the $5 tees from Target and says her boys love them. I bet her cute boys would look adorable in this one!

Thank you both for the great shop sleuthing!

Last Chance! Cheap and Cheerful August Challenge Ends Tomorrow

Have you been a skilled Deal Detective this weekend? You have one more day to let Cheap and Cheerful know about your incredible bargain spotting adventures. Leave a comment here or email us at Winner will be announced on Tuesday!

Cheap and Cheerful Cooking: Paula Deen's Peanut Butter and Jelly Ice Cream Sandwiches

Paula Deen's Peanut Butter and Jelly Ice Cream Sandwiches
If you are able to resist these, something is probably wrong with your tastebuds.

Ingredients for the Magical Peanut Butter Cookies:
1 cup peanut butter, creamy or crunchy
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Ingredients for the Strawberry Ice-Cream:
1 cup whole milk
1 cup whipping cream
2 cups half-and-half
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups diced strawberries

For assembly:
6 tablespoons strawberry preserves
Peanut butter chips or chopped peanuts, optional

Directions for the Magical Peanut Butter Cookies:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a large baking sheet. In a mixing bowl, combine the peanut butter, 1 cup sugar, the egg, and vanilla, and stir well with a spoon. Roll the dough into balls the size of walnuts. Place the balls on the prepared baking sheet. With a fork, dipped in sugar to prevent sticking, press a crisscross design on each cookie. Bake for 12 minutes, remove from the oven, and sprinkle the cookies with some of the remaining sugar. Cool slightly before removing from pan.

Directions for the Strawberry Ice-Cream:
In a small bowl, whisk together the first 5 ingredients. Puree the strawberries in a food processor and add to cream mixture. Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker. After freezing in the ice cream maker, transfer to a container and place in the freezer, to freeze solid, for 6 hours before serving.

For assembly:
Spread the strawberry preserves on a peanut butter cookie. Top with a small scoop of strawberry ice cream and cover with another cookie. Roll sides in peanut butter chips or peanuts, if desired.


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