*Saving you some money in the Rock River Valley*

Welcome to our blog! While a lot of our deals may be specific to the Rockford area, you'll find many deals that are also good nationwide! We hope that our blog will be fun, informative, and that it will help you SAVE SOME MONEY!

Read here about our "Coupon Ethics"

Friday, September 30, 2011

Freelance Friday - ING Orange Checking Account $50 bonus

I opened an Orange Checking account in July and got my $50 bonus in August! Since I first got the idea from TheFrugalGirls and would like them to get credit for their tip, I'm sending you over to their site so you can read more about how to get the $50 bonus. It's easy as pie!

Go get yourself a bonus!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Tuesday Tips - Yarn Letters!

Eighteen25 has a cute and easy Halloween decoration - yarn letters. I am not a huge fan of Halloween decorations - we have a few but mainly we decorate with fall items because those decorations can stay up September, October, and November.

I am going to try this with our last letter initial and see how it turns out! This would be a great decoration for the front door or a family photo wall.

Thanks Eighteen25 for a great idea!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Monday Munchies - Vanilla Bean Creamer

I admit it - I am social drinker . . . social coffee drinker, that is. I like the taste of coffee, but only drink it when I'm really in the mood for it or if I'm with friends and they are having some. But I'm not a purist when it comes to my coffee (a.k.a. black) - I like my coffee doctored up, or drowned in flavor (a.k.a. flavored creamer, sugar, milk, half & half, etc).

I, just like the author of this post for Vanilla Bean Creamer, am not fond of all the artificial ingredients found in most coffee creamers. I've been glad to see some more "natural" choices on the store shelves . . . but who wants to pay that kind of money?? Once I saw this recipe for Vanilla Bean Creamer (by Baking 4 Six) I started looking around for other recipes for liquid creamers. And guess what? There are a bunch!

Here are just a few to get you started:
 Vanilla Bean Creamer (check out her site - she has WAY too many yummy looking things to try!)
Peppermint Mocha
Different DIY creamers and syrups
DIY plain creamer (base to add your flavors to)

Friday, September 23, 2011

Freelance Friday - Lunch Notes

Here is a fun download - School lunch notes from All for the Boys! You can download jokes or blank notes to fill in yourself perfect for your child's school lunch box!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

HOT Hilander deals to be had!

I guess it was just announced in Rockford this morning that Hilander was bought out by Logli. This makes me sad because I have a feeling the prices and sales will not be as good as they used to be . . . but we'll see. Hilander will still be called Hilander, but they will now carry the store brand Shnucks instead of Kroger. Apparently they are planning on hiring back 95% of the current workers there, although each worker must "re-apply" for their job. Glad to hear that at least.

All that to come to this: Hilanders around the city are crazy busy. They are selling all their Kroger brand items for 50% off and anything else for 25% off (except for any alcohol, and vendor items such as brand name chips and pop). This sale will last until Sunday after which they will close down then re-open on Thursday.

Things are flying off the shelves, and at my store there was hardly any meat left. Carts were hard to find and the lines were long. BUT the deals to be had are great. Among other things, I was able to get Kroger brand wipes for 50% off, making them a penny a wipe! I also got some nice "fancy" rice (jasmine, basmati) for a great price.

So, if you haven't already, head to Hilander but expect to have a hard time finding a cart and expect long lines (I waited about 20 minutes in line - not awful, but longer than usual). I can't guarantee what will be left, but it might be worth a trip there!

High Value Coupons!

Don't forget to go to Coupons.com (click the "see all" button in the Coupons.com box on the right of our website) to get some high value coupons! Two of the really high value ones they have are in the "Personal Care" category: $5 off Schick Intuition refills & $5 off Schick Quattro razor or refills! That's about half the price of the item right there . . . and paired with a sale, it might even be close to free.

Be sure to print them soon in case there is a lower print limit!

(I checked around on blogs: it looks like with this coupon the Schick Quattro razors will be free at CVS and Walgreens!)

Wednesday Wisdom - THINK!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Tuesday Tip - Printable Cash Envelopes for Budgeting

We had a wonderful time teaching our Couponing 101 class this weekend - last I counted, we had 33 in our class! Hopefully everyone was able to take some tip away that will help them save money.

Other than we teach in our couponing class, I believe that doing a cash system or envelope system is one of the biggest (if not THE biggest) way to save money. I personally have our grocery, eat out, and "fun money" all in cash each month and this helps me to stay within budget every month. Plus, there are some rare months where I have cash left over in a category and I can use it for something special!

You can go to our post here from January to read why I think this is a great system. Then, once you're excited about it, go here to Today's Nest to print out your very own Cash Envelopes! How fun!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Monday Munchies - Granola bars

Granola bars - I am making these! My kids love granola bars but when I read the ingredients in some of these I quickly put the box back not to mention how much they cost per bar. I have all of these ingredients and they are sitting on my counter along with this recipe for Chocolate Chip Granola Bars from Weelicious!!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Freelance Friday - If I had $100 gift card . . .

So if someone gave you the choice of a $100 gift card/certificate to any store, which store would you choose? Oh, and the one stipulation is that it has to be spent on yourself. In other words, no baby clothes or grocery store!

I would probably choose IKEA or this great online store I just discovered, "see Jane work." I love any store that will help me get organized or that offers cool/cute office supplies. I mean, how cute is this stuff?

What about you? What store would you choose?

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Toddler Thursday - Name on a notecard activity

The Amazing Mess has a great activity for preschoolers that will help with recognizing their own name.

It requires three items that I'm sure you already have around the house. . . . click here to see this simple activity!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Tuesday Tips - 6 Creative Uses for Borax!

Loved this article from The Krazy Coupon Lady: "6 Creative Uses for Borax"! Borax is on my shopping list and I am going to give some of these a try right now! I seriously thought it was just used in making your own laundry soap. . .

Monday, September 12, 2011

Monday Munchies - S'mores Truffles!

Want the taste of s'mores without the smokey clothes smell? These look like a little bit of work, but might be fun to bring to a fall party . . . or to put in a gift tin can full of all kinds of truffles!

Yum! I want one now . . . !

It's a Coupon Class - FREE

This Saturday at 10:30 am at the Rockford Public Library on East State Street, we will be teaching Couponing 101. Come learn the basics of where to get coupons, and how to store and organize them.

You can go here to register for this Saturday's class. Then stay tuned for Advanced Couponing in October, register here. Both classes have limited space so make sure you sign up if you are interested! There is no fee to attend the classes.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Freelance Friday - Blessing Bag

Do you ever pass someone on the street corner asking for money and wonder how you can help? I know I do . . . and I thought this idea from KWAV for a "Blessing Bag" was awesome! The items in this bag you can get for free or almost free with coupons!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Toddler Thursday - Once Upon a Book

Totally Tots has an adorable book recommendation... Designed by God so I must be special and lots of fun activities based on the book.

This is always a great idea to create some activities based on a family favorite book!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Wednesday Wisdom - Happy People

Again, can't find the source of this. I repinned it on my Pinterest board a while back and now the original link to this is no longer valid. Cool quote though!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Tuesday Tip - Homemade cleaners

Here are some links of DIY homemade cleaners I've been wanting to try. I especially like cleaning wipes some I'm excited to try those!

Frugal Girls' Homemade Glass Cleaner

Homemade Ginger's Homemade Cleaning Wipes

Green Anthropology's Homemade Cleaning Wipes

And I'm planning on trying this trick out to clean my stove burners . . . because I've tried everything else to clean them (OK, maybe not EVERYTHING).

the V Spot's Cleaning Stove Burners

Monday, September 5, 2011

Monday Meals - Super Healthy Kids

Super Healthy Kids is a fun website with a blog you can follow with all sorts of fun healthy meals for your family.

I thought this "donut" sandwich was adorable for school lunches and would work for pb and honey or meat and cheese too! Adorable!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

5 Free Veggie Tales Super Silly Songs

Though I am not a super huge fan of VeggieTales videos, I think some of their songs are hilarious. My favorite? "His Cheeseburger" - it's absolutely, ridiculously, silly!

Amazon.com has Five Super Silly Songs downloads for free right now (one of which is "His Cheeseburger"). Download them before this offer is gone!

Thanks TheFrugalGirls.com!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

1,000 Free AT&T Rollover Minutes

Go here to MoneySavingMom to find out how to get 1,000 free AT&T rollover minutes. I did this back in February and again this time and it worked!

Free iPhone and iPad backgrounds

I really, really, really like Becky Higgins' stuff. I'm planning on using her "stuff" for scrapbooking (easy, simple, and nice).

Right now she is offering free backgrounds for the iPhone and iPad (scroll to the bottom). Which one is your favorite? Right now the "Amber 2" is on my iPhone homescreen.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Freelance Friday - Chronicles of Narnia in MP3

I'm excited about this free download of the complete series of the Chronicles of Narnia on MP3 . . . and thinking that when our daughter gets older, we can listen to this together (of course there are so many chapters that it will take us many months to get through all 7 books)! Or I could listen to a chapter a day while doing housework! Or I could do both. I love these books!

The easiest way to download the complete series is to follow this link

then click on the iTunes "Subscribe to this podcast" on the right hand side (see image below).

When iTunes opens up, you'll see "The Chronicles of Narnia." Click on the small arrow to the left and a "Get All" button will appear (see image below).

Click that and watch iTunes download the complete series!


Thanks Money Saving Mom for bringing this to my attention!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Get Money Smart in 2011 - September

Here is this month's Get Money Smart in 2011! August's post is here.

Gather an emergency package. It's a good time to make sure you're prepared for natural disasters. Go to www.ready.gov for information on emergency preparedness, including what financial documents you'll want to be able to grab if you have to evacuate your home.

Cut auto-insurance bills. Compare your premiums with those at other companies to find a better deal. You can compare multiple insurers online at sites like Answer Financial, Insure.com, InsWeb, and NetQuote - just google them!

Start making holiday travel plans. Reserve now to get the best rates availability. Ask about discounts for booking early.

Toddler Thursday - Funny Font Book

Go to Simply Made here and download for FREE The Funny Font book she put together. This is a great idea to help young readers who may know their letters be able to recognize "funny" letters.