Money Saving

Teens Workout FREE This Summer!

Now through September 1st, teens ages 15-18 can work out at Planet Fitness… FREE!

Summer is right around the corner and for some reason, teens tend to get ‘bored’ in the summer. (Oh, if I could only have 2 glorious months of boredom!!!)

Anyway, enter my favorite gym, Planet Fitness who has a great opportunity for teens… The Teen Summer Challenge!

Teens ages 15-18 can work out for free at Planet Fitness locations from May 15th through September 1st.

Just visit any Planet Fitness location to sign up. If your teenager is 15-17, they’ll have to bring a parent/guardian to sign up and sign a waiver. Then they are free to workout on their own. They just have to work out at the location they sign up at — they can’t workout at other locations.

Also, teens can take FREE fitness classes at Planet Fitness! Just check your local club for specific days and times the classes are offered.

And here’s a bonus: You do NOT have to have a gym membership for your teen to workout!

Lastly, teens who sign up this summer are entered into Planet Fitness’ Scholarship Sweepstakes!

Planet Fitness will be awarding one $500 scholarship in each state and a $5,000 grand prize! Be sure to check out the sweepstakes details.

Also, once they connect with Planet Fitness’ Facebook and Instagram social media this summer, they’ll get a chance to win prizes like movie tickets, wireless headphones and other Planet Fitness goodies! Sweet!!

So do your teen (and yourself) a favor this summer and sign them up for the Teen Summer Challenge!

And parents, if you’re not already a member of Planet Fitness, I highly recommend it!

Memberships start at only $10/mo and you get free fitness training! I’ve got the PF Black Card membership (which is $21.99/mo), and gives you access to the massage chairs, HydroMassage, discounts on drinks and products, massage chairs and much more! And did I mention the massage chairs?

Be sure to check out the different memberships they have available!

To find the closest Planet Fitness near you, click HERE.

Also, check out my blog on how you can get PAID to workout !

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DIY, Home Decor, Money Saving

How $15 and 1 Hour Can Create Big Change

White. Plain white… for 18 years. I had wanted to do a color accent wall in my bathroom for 18 years, but there was always something holding me back…

Fear or worry that my small bathroom would appear even smaller. Would I pick the right color? Ugh. It’s just going to take too much time – the cleaning, the taping, cutting in, etc. I just don’t have time for it!

So a couple months ago I picked out colors I thought would look good, tacked them up on the wall for a couple weeks and finally decided on a Behr paint color called ‘Cricket’. (Eventually I’ll be painting the rest of my bathroom a color called Silver Screen, but first things first!)

Behr paint color ‘Cricket’
Behr paint color ‘Silver Screen’

I’m a bookkeeper and things were so crazy busy during tax season, that I didn’t have (or want) to take time to tackle this ‘huge’ project. So finally I decided it was time!

I ended up getting the paint color matched at Lowe’s and went with a quart of Valspar Ultra semi-gloss. Why Lowe’s? To SAVE MONEY of course!

I get a 5% discount when I use my Lowe’s card!

And with my Lowe’s discount the paint was just under $15!

So armed with my quart of Cricket colored paint, some classical music and a whole bucket of determination, I started my 18-yr-old dream of an accent wall.

Much to my amazement, only an hour later I was looking at a stunningly beautiful change and wondering why it had taken so long for me to do it!

‘Blessed’ sign from Hobby Lobby

This simple, INEXPENSIVE accent wall has added beauty and interest to my boring, small bathroom… and my fear of it making the room look smaller was totally unfounded!

Is there a project out there that you’ve been putting off for one reason or another? Have you wanted to try an accent wall but just weren’t sure? I encourage you to step out and try it!

The only regret I have is that I didn’t take any ‘Before’ pics!

Be sure to share your paint stories with me!

Blog, Money Saving

Starbucks, Matching T-shirts & An Empty Stroller

Black Friday… the ONLY day of the year that I’m excited to get up at 4:30 am.

Sure, I’m excited about a few bargains I’m going to snag, but that’s not what gets me out of bed.

For years now, as many as I can remember, my sister and I get up at the crack of dawn on Black Friday, put on our matching Christmas T-shirts and Rudolph earrings and head out to brave the crowds.

But Black Friday bargains are not what excites me about this day. This day, our Black Friday, is pretty much the only day of the year where we can spend the entire day together without kids. My brother-in-law, sweet soul that he is, generously takes care of the kids while my sister and I get to spend the day together.

Like most people, my sister and I both have very busy lives. I have a full-time job, a bookkeeping business on the side, and this blog. She is a mom of three – two teens… and a 4 1/2 year-old – all which have varying activities throughout the week and keep her hopping. She is also the admin for their construction business and a model on HSN! Honestly I don’t understand how she does it all!

So when Black Friday rolls around, we are so grateful for the chance to be together, uninterrupted.

We have done these Black Fridays in cold weather, rain and blazing hot weather where it doesn’t feel like Christmas at all.

And my sister is amazing. Over the years, to keep our tradition going, she has braved the Black Friday crowds with plantar fasciitis, being eight months pregnant, and two weeks post hysterectomy! She is a beast!

Our first stop is always Walmart to snag some kind of fantastic Black Friday deal.

Then we are off to Target where we grab a much needed white peppermint mocha and some more Black Friday finds.

Be sure to check out my Secrets to Shopping at Target!

It’s usually about 630am by this point and we are starving! So now it’s off to Chick-fil-A for their scrumptious Chick-n-Minis!

With renewed strength, we head to Kohls or Lowe’s or Home Depot.

Check out these great holiday shirts from Kohl’s. That’s where we found this year’s matching Black Friday T-shirts!

Then…we bravely head to the mall with our empty stroller.

I know, an empty stroller you ask? Yes. And you should see some of the looks we get while we are out and about. An empty stroller is the perfect Black Friday shopping accessory.

    Drink holders – check
    Undercarriage storage – check, perfect for any Black Friday finds!
    Empty stroller seat – – more storage for Christmas presents,… Or we can just sit in it if we get tired.

There have been many years where one (or both) of us have had little to no money to spend on Christmas presents. But we still go Black Friday shopping.

It’s turned into not about buying, but about spending treasured sister time together. We always enjoy a good laugh, sing Christmas carols at the top of our lungs as we drive to the mall, and have the best time together.

So don’t be afraid of the Black Friday hustle and bustle. Instead, embrace it! Grab your sister, brother, mom, dad, or best friend and make it an adventure AND a tradition!

What are some of your Black Friday traditions? Be sure to share my blog and leave a comment below!

STAY SANE AND SAVE BIG:

Click here to see what 3 things we never go shopping without on Black Friday!

Money Saving, Money Saving Apps

Avoid Black Friday Burnout!

This post may contain affiliate and/or referral links to products or services, but only things that I truly love and recommend. See my disclosure policy here.

My sis and I were ‘doing our thang’ at Kohl’s on Black Friday last year and found the cutest Star Wars shirt and leggings for my niece.  As we turned to make our way to the registers, we were met with a line of bleary-eyed, haggard-looking people that literally went half-way to the back of the store!  Well, there was NO WAY we were going to stand in that line!

So I quickly popped out my iPhone and went to Kohl’s online to see if they had my niece’s sizes in the Star Wars clothing… and they did!  BUT… I didn’t buy them just yet.

Relieved, we happily jumped into the minivan, got cozy, turned up the Yuletide tunes and clicked on the Ebates app.  Then the heavens opened and the angels sang… there was a 6% cash back deal on Kohl’s thru Ebates!  Thank you, Jesus!  So not only were we able to save ourselves time in line, an aching back, and throbbing feet, but we were able to save an additional 6%!

Ebates is just one of the apps we use on Black Friday… so be sure to get S.E.T.!!!

Get S.E.T.!  This Black Friday, make sure you have these 3 apps before you hit the stores!

Shopkick

What’s better than having gift cards to use for Black Friday shopping?!

Here’s how Shopkick works…you collect points and redeem them for gift cards.  What I love about Shopkick is that you can earn points FAST!

Collect points by:

  • Walking into stores – yes, literally walk into a store, open the Shopkick app and you get points
  • Scanning items in stores – the app will let you know what products in the store are available to scan
  • Purchasing items in the store – usually you earn 1 point per dollar spent

And when you Shopkick on Black Fridays, get ready to score BIG POINTS!  I usually use my points right away, mostly on Target or Starbucks gift cards.  My sister, however, scans throughout the year and saves the points for high-value gift cards.  She’s got over 11,000 points right now!

UPDATE: you can now redeem your points for CASH!!

Sign up here and Shopkick your way through Black Friday!

Ebates

How Ebates works… shop via laptop, smartphone or in-store and get cash back on purchases.  Cash is sent via check or Paypal.

Ebates is not just for your laptop anymore!  Use the Ebates app and not only get cash back on mobile purchases but also get cash back in-store!  For example, at Bed Bath & Beyond you can get 4% cash back when you shop in-store.  All you have to do is link your debit or credit card to Ebates, put that ‘As Seen On TV’ gadget in your cart and head to the registers!

Use Ebates like we did at Kohl’s and did a mobile purchase to save money and avoid those long Black Friday lines.  Or use in-store and save moolah!

Sign up for Ebates here!

Target

If you are planning a Black Friday trip to Target, make sure you have the app!

The Target App features these FOUR great benefits:

  • Cartwheel Savings – just scan items in your cart and Cartwheel will let you know if there are any savings or coupons to use!
  • Target debit or credit card – Not only do you get 5% off when you use them but on the app, they make check-out quick & easy… just scan your barcode and you’re done!
  • Target Gift Cards – you can store any Target Gift Cards on the app and use them at check out
  • Find LOWER prices – use the Target app to scan items and see if there is a lower price for the item online.  If you find a cheaper item, purchase via the app and be sure to use the ‘Pick Up Item In-store’ when you check out.

Be sure to check out my blog on ‘Target’s Genius Plan… and Why We Love It!” for more info on how to save BIG at Target!

So now that you’re S.E.T. for Black Friday, what items will you be shopping for?

Money Saving

Smell Good Savings and Five Freebies

This post may contain affiliate and/or referral links to products or services, but only things that I truly love, have tried and recommend. See my disclosure policy here.

You know that I’m all about saving money, so I have to share this great deal with you!!!

First of all, I have to say I love Mrs. Meyer’s cleaning products! My favorites are the Basil and Radish countertop cleaning sprays. They make my kitchen smell so good – – and Lord knows it needs it!

Plus I love the fact that their cleaning products are plant-derived with natural essential oils. Win-win! And you know what else? They are just so pretty — love the packaging!

Anyway, Grove Collaborative has a fantastic deal on their fall seasonal kit, so I decided to try the apple cider one!

Now, as much as I would like to keep everything for myself, some of these are going to be Christmas gifts! So shhh…


What I BOUGHT – totaling $21.98 :

Seventh Generation Multi-Purpose Wipes in Garden Mint – these smell AMAZING!!! $2.99 (will definitely be ordering more of these!)

Mrs. Meyer’s – Fall Seasonal Kit in Apple Cider – $18.99 which includes:

  • 1 x Seasonal Hand Soap
  • 1 x Seasonal Dish Soap
  • 1 x Seasonal Multi-Surface Cleaner
  • 1 x Seasonal 4.9 oz Soy Candle
  • NOTE: I love the Apple Cider multi-surface cleaner so much that I had to buy more to give as Christmas gifts! LOVE LOVE LOVE it!

  • What I got FREE:

    • Mrs. Meyer’s – Hand Soap (Lavender)
    • Mrs. Meyer’s – Dish Soap (Basil)
    • Mrs. Meyer’s – Multi-Surface Cleaner (Rosemary) – love this scent too!
    • Grove Collaborative – Cleaning Caddy (look how cute it is!)
    • Grove Collaborative – Walnut Scrubber Sponge, Set of 2

    That’s right – – I got everything pictured below for just $21.98 with free shipping!

    Want some FREEBIES too? Get five free products on me when you make a $20 purchase! PLUS you get a free 60-day VIP trial and FREE shipping!

    How it Works

    Once you sign up, your order is set to repeat the following month.  But you don’t have to re-order everything from your current order…Nor do you have to order monthly!  Just go in and remove the items you don’t want and/or add any items you’d like to try.  And if you don’t need anything right away, then adjust it to ship the following month.

    There are order minimums though:

    • $10 minimum order for monthly recurring shipments (with $2.99 flat rate shipping)
    • $15 minimum order for “Ship Now” plans (which just means you gotta have it now!) for VIP members (FREE Shipping for VIP members)
    • $30 minimum order for “Ship Now” plans for non-VIP members

    Non-VIPs pay a flat rate of $2.99 shipping. VIP members always get shipping FREE.

    What’s a VIP member?

    • FREE Shipping! You pay an annual fee of $19.99 – it’s sort of like Amazon where you pay a yearly fee and get free shipping on any purchases.
    • FREE Full-size gifts
    • Early Access – get exclusive access to new and seasonal products at the best prices

    Join Today and

    get a FREE Mrs. Meyer’s 5-piece set on me, with your first $20 purchase!

    Money Saving, Money Saving Apps

    Target’s Genius Plan…and why we love it!

    This post may contain affiliate and/or referral links to products or services, but only things that I truly love, have tried and recommend. See my disclosure policy here.

    I absolutely LOVE Target and I think they have one of the best shopping experiences out there…

    I have to say, Target is genius at creating a wonderful shopping experience!

    First, I walk into the store and what do I see? Starbucks! I feel excited and relaxed at the same time!

    Next, with a grande white peppermint mocha in hand, I see the Dollar Spot and find such cute fall decorations. Wouldn’t this festive $3 dollar dish towel go great in my kitchen?

    Now I feel cozy, I’m fueled with java and ready to get that cat food I originally came in to get!

    And I’m also prepped to do some serious saving with these Target hacks…

    SAVE up to 50% on select Toys at Target!

    NUMBER ONE:  The Target App

    This is a must-have when shopping in-store!  Why?

    Target Lets You Scan Items for Cheaper Prices

    Scan every item you put in your cart. Sometimes the item comes up cheaper when you purchase it online.  I find this especially true in the cosmetics area.  For example, I wanted to buy Covergirl Total Tease Mascara.  In the store, it was $7.89, but online it was only $4.59!

    Scanning Tip: scan different types/styles/colors of an item – a different color/size might be cheaper online!

    I’ve also found cheaper prices online in pet foods, essential oils, hairspray and lots of other items.

    If you scan and it’s cheaper, then buy it on your phone and choose ‘in-store pickup’ during the check-out process.  Then you can finish your in-store shopping. Most times I get an email within 10-20 mins that my item is ready for pickup!  But even if it takes a little longer, most Targets these days have a Starbucks, so go enjoy a latte!

    Cartwheel Discounts

    When you scan items, the Target app ALSO lets you know if there’s a Cartwheel discount available.  This discount is anywhere from 5%-50% off or a coupon for a $ amount and is taken off when you scan your app barcode at check out.  These discounts can be on ANYTHING (including Starbucks Cafe items like food, lattes & frappes!), so BE SURE TO SCAN EVERYTHING!

    Gift Cards

    Add any gift cards that you have directly to the Target app and use them at checkout!  No more keeping track of loose gift cards!


    Target Hacks Save Money

    NUMBER TWO:  The Target Debit Card

    Add more savings to your shopping experience by signing up for the Target Debit Card!

    NOTE:  This is NOT a credit card — and that’s what I love about it!  It comes directly out of your checking account.  Perfect for people like me who are trying to stay debt free!

    With the Target Debit Card, you get an additional 5% off your purchase!

    Lastly… and most importantly… when you link your Target debit card and gift cards with the Target app, you can check out completely using only your phone!

    So not only do you get 5% off, plus any Cartwheel savings, PLUS any gift cards, but you can check out quickly…and get to that Starbucks Caramel Frappuccino that’s calling your name.

    BONUS!

    Check out my blog on Target’s new product line, ‘Smartly’, which is designed to save even MORE on everyday items!

    Want even more ways to save?  Find out how I’ve saved over $50 with Ibotta!


    Money Saving

    Mini Cherry Cheesecake Bites | Thanksgiving Recipes – Elves Choice

    Mini Cherry Cheesecake Bites | Thanksgiving Recipes – Elves Choice
    — Read on theelveschoice.com/mini-cherry-cheesecake-bites-thanksgiving-recipes/

    Are you looking for some holiday recipe ideas for Thanksgiving and Christmas?

    Be sure to Check out Elves Choice for some great inexpensive recipes!

    They look delicious – and I can’t wait to try these mini cherry cheesecakes!

    Money Saving

    Bonus for Buying non-GMO products!

    This post may contain affiliate and/or referral links to products or services, but only things that I truly love, have tried and recommend. See my disclosure policy here.

    I just earned bonus cash on Ibotta. Want in? Download the app and get your $10 welcome bonus! https://ibotta.com/r/asasbhg

    Woohoo! Just earned a bonus for buying non-GMO products! And you can too…PLUS get a $10 welcome bonus when you download the Ibotta app!

    Want more info about Ibotta? Click here!