Misc

Watch those prices this week! Items are selling out and big price changes!

Just yesterday I posted an Amazon Wii Toy Story deal for $9.99, today the price is back to $22.22! We are going to see prices drop and fall all week long and again as we get closer to Christmas. We are also seeing items selling out faster than we can blink.

My only advice, when I post a *HOT* deal, know it may not last very long. If this is an item on your list and the price is within your budget, grab it. These are deals I’ve been watching for some time and can tell you when the lowest prices has come around!

Misc Nov 21, 2011 in

Black Friday and my two or three cents!

Since I have been frugal blogging, each year I get a little sick to my stomach with all the “Black Friday” ads and deals. Personally I like “Cyber Monday”… no lines. I use to be one of those who would run to the nearest retailer at the crack of dawn to get the $1 sweater, so don’t get me wrong, I love a great deal. But over the years I’ve noticed many of the Black Friday deals are not deals at all so I’ve been staying home.

I’ve noticed many of the retailers inflating their prices before hand and then cutting them 80% the day of the sale to make it look like you are getting a steal. I’ve also noticed the quality of Black Friday deals to be less than great at times. If you buy a mixer for $2, you’ll get a $2 mixer. The strange thing about this year, so far anyway, is the deals are duds. I haven’t seen anything that would get me out the door and into the store.

I know a lot of us are on budgets and holiday shopping can be very hard on the pocketbook. I just want you to know I’m going to be posting as many of the Black Friday ads in advance so you can plan ahead. If you don’t see that amazing deal, you don’t have to wait in the ridiculous lines and help out your wallet by staying home!

With all that said, there is now a temporary Black Friday link on the home page. I’m going to try to have all the ads up by mid week so you have plenty of time to plan ahead!

What is on your holiday list? I have a few things that I’m looking for and would love to know if I can help you too!

Misc Nov 13, 2011 in , · Expired!

What’s for dinner? 11/7

Wow! It’s been a really long time since I’ve shared the “What’s for dinner” planning. My husband is trying not to gain as much weight during “our” pregnancy so I really need to be more aware of what we are eating.

Here is what we are having for dinner this week…what about you?

Monday: Flank pepper steak with onions and peppers, rice, asparagus and garden salad.
Tuesday: Crock pot pork loin with tomatoes, zucchini and onion, rice, and green salad
Wednesday: Shredded pork loin, roasted veggies, spinach salad
Thursday: Sheppards pie (sub mashed potatoes for smashed cauliflower) salad
Friday: Free night aka “Pizza Night!”

If you are having a hard time with meal planning, check out the video about how I plan out my meals. I also put together an easy menu planner for you to use.

Do you buy “daily deals?” How organized are you?

Do you buy a lot of “daily deals?”  I know I buy way too many and forget about a few of them. I’ve been trying to come up with a way to organize them for a long time. Now with City Pockets, we can finally get organized.

Not only will City Pockets organize your deals by expiration date but there is also a market place to sell those deals you might not get to. What a great feature to have all in on spot! And get this, it’s totally FREE!

For more information head over to City Pockets. They don’t have all the daily deal sites yet, but they have a lot and keep adding them as they grow.

Here are several of the deal sites that you can link up with City Pockets.

I think we might have a giveaway to kick off our Monday morning with one of those daily deals I might have forgotten about!

Daily deals Oct 9, 2011

Parents Best Local Mom Blog Nomination

Wow! I was so shocked to get an email from Parents.com letting me know Frugal Day was nominated as one of the best local mom blogs. I wanted to say a huge “thank you ” to all of our readers. Without you, we wouldn’t be here. Thank you so much for the nomination!

Feel free to head over to Parents.com to vote for us!

Misc Aug 22, 2011 in

Milk Mustache Campaign…Send me to NYC!

Got Milk? While I was at BlogHer I got the chance to make a short video to support the Milk Mustache Campaign as NoThankYouPlease.com. Our goal was to tell you how we incorporate milk into our morning routine. There were so many great entries and one lucky winner will be going to New York City to meet the new celebrity who will be sporting the Milk Mustache! The winner is selected by how many votes each video will receive.

Head over to the Milk Mustache Campaign and watch my ten second video! Help send me to NYC and vote for my video! You can vote once a day until August 31st!

Misc Aug 16, 2011 in

Tide You Over Tuesday: Chocolate Cream Cupcakes

When I was a kid, we were allowed Hostess Cupcakes as a rare treat. The first thing I’d do is pick off the white swirls. Then I’d eat the frosting. I’d then split it open and scoop out the yummy cream filling. Lastly, I would eat the cake. Not much has changed, if I had one now, I’d eat it the same way.

Our friend, Rick, makes a great Chocolate Cream Cupcake similar to that childhood treat. Thanks Rick for sharing your cupcake recipe with us for Tide You Over Tuesday!

These cupcakes are hands down the best I’ve ever tasted (of their type); though that could be because Charlotte & I made them together, and it felt so good eating them. They certainly do beat the original hostess cupcake though. Just be prepared for some serious temptations for the next 2 days while they sit around. We usually give away as many cupcakes as we can right away, so we’re limited from the start. But giving these things away is really really tough for us.

*To ensure the correct consistency of the filling, use marshmallow creme (fluff or Kraft Jet-Puffed Creme) and not marshmallow sauce.

Cupcakes
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup boiling water
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon instant espresso
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Filing
3 tablespoons water
3/4 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
1 1/4 cups marshmallow creme (*see prior note)Glaze
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
3 tablespoons unsalted butter

1. Make batter. Adjust the oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour 12-cup muffin tin. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in bowl. Whisk water, cocoa, chocolate chips, and espresso in large bowl until smooth. Add sugar, sour cream, oil, eggs, and vanilla and mix until combined. Whisk in flour mixture until incorporated. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups. Bake until toothpick inserted into cupcake comes out with few dry crumbs attached, 18 to 22 minutes. Cool cupcakes in tin 10 minutes, then turn out onto wire rack and cool completely.

2. Prepare filling. Combine water and gelatin in large bowl and let sit until gelatin softens, about 5 minutes. Microwave until mixture is bubbling around edges and gelatin dissolves, about 30 seconds. Stir in butter, vanilla, and salt until combined. Let mixture cool until just warm to touch, about 5 minutes, then whisk in marshmallow creme until smooth; refrigerate until set, about 30 minutes. Transfer 1/3 cup marshmallow mixture to pastry bag fitted with small plain tip; reserve remaining mixture for filling cupcakes.

3. Assemble cupcakes. Microwave chocolate and butter in small bowl, stirring occasionally, until smooth, about 30 seconds. Cool glaze to room temperature, about 10 minutes. Starting around the top rim cut down & inward with a knife around in a circle to create an inverted cone going into the cupcake. Saw the cone off of the bottom of the lid so it becomes flat (but not too thin!). Try to keep the lids with their respective cupcakes – they’ll fit back together nicer after filling. Fill cupcakes with 1 tablespoon filling each. Replace tops, frost with 2 teaspoons cooled glaze, and let sit 10 minutes. Using pastry bag, pipe curlicues across glazed cupcakes. Serve. (The cupcakes can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 2 days.)

Rick is a stay at home dad to an awesome 3 yr. old. Together they explore, play, & bake. When the schedule allows he’s at the hockey rink pretending to be an NHL player. Rick credits his baking inspiration to Cook’s County. You can find Rick over at rickandsharon.net.

Misc Aug 16, 2011 in , ,

Where we’ve been

BlohgHer is over and now we are on vacation! I wanted you all to know there will be some awesome giveaways coming your way, I’m so excited! I’ll be back up and running in a few days.

Misc Aug 8, 2011

Meal Planning Made Easy!

While I’m at BlogHer this week, I thought I’d pull a few post out of the archives. This post is also a reminder to me that I need to get my weekly meal planner up are running again! It’s so easy to do and saves so much time and money!

Ever since I started trying to find ways to save, it’s always come back to the same things: time and money. I’ve come up with a way to save on both. If you’re trying to find ways to save, here is one of the easiest ways to begin. Meal planning is so easy, and it’s one of the best ways to start. You can start by printing the Frugal Day Weekly Meal Planner to get you started. continued

Misc Aug 3, 2011 in

10 tips to starting your own blog

As I’m getting ready to head off to BlogHer 11′ later this week, I wanted to share a post that I thought might be helpful to any of you thinking about starting your own blog. I posted this yesterday over at NoThankYouPlease.

First, I’ll acknowledge I’m not a blogging expert. I do however have three different blogs that I write for and maintain. They’re each very different, and I have a love/hate relationship with each one. Mostly love.

Jessica from Four Plus An Angel and Liz from a belle, a bean & a chicago dog are hosting a Summer Blog Series. This week, the topic focuses on starting a blog. If a friend approached you and said, “I want to start a blog. Can you give me some helpful tips?“, what 10 things would you tell your friend?

I love this idea because I’m asked this all the time. One of my sites, Frugal Day, has been a great success so far, and NoThankYouPlease is just getting started. I can tell you both the rewards and downfalls that come along with my experience and what ten things I’d share with you before you get started.

  1. Only write about something that you’re passionate about. If you love to knit and knitting is your passion, write about it. If this is something that you love and can talk about until you are blue in the face, then go for it. Blogging is a platform. If you passionate about something, then others out there with similar interest would love to hear what you know and think. If you’re writing about something you love, it will come naturally, and people will see your passion in your writing.
  2. If you don’t like to write, don’t. Going back to #1, people can tell when you’re passionate about something. If you don’t like to write, or your blog becomes a chore… stop. This happened to me recently on Frugal Day when I felt like certain post types on my blog were becoming a drag. I quit writing those post types, and have never looked back. I may have lost a few readers as a result. But not enough to keep me doing something I wasn’t enjoying. Now, my focus is back on the areas that I love.
  3. Have posts written on your blog before you launch. I spent months creating posts before I announced my sites publicly. This created a nice chunk of content for my readers to browse through for their first visit, and gave me a good idea of what I was getting into. If I had trouble coming up with content, this was the time I could reflect on why I wanted to start a blog. If you provide readers with a good idea of the type of content they’ll get form your site, and they find it interesting, they’ll come back for more.
  4. Find and fead other blogs in your area of interest. Know what others in your topic area are writing about, and try to find something different to offer your readers. Comment on your favorite posts and start building relationships with other bloggers and readers.
  5. Take advantage of social networking and public conversations. I can’t even begin to tell you how important social networking is today in connecting with others and spreading the value and message of your blog. If you’re looking to acquire more readers, get going on Twitter very early. There are other social media outlets available, but you know we are primarily a Twitter household! Just like reading and commenting on blogs, you’ll want to do the same with Twitter. Find and follow those blog authors and tweet and reply to those blog authors. You’ll be surprised at the awesome friend network you can create. Remember though, social networking mirrors real life. You will come across that occasional person or reader that won’t be so nice. Let it roll and move on.
  6. Start with WordPress right away. You could start with a tool like Blogger. But ultimately, WordPress provides a lot more flexibility to do exactly what you want to do, both now and in the long-term. This will save you a huge headache down the road if you are serious about getting a blog going. There are tons of themes available to help you easily change your blog’s design. And the WordPress community has created thousands of plugins that extend WordPress’s capabilities to do just about anything you want to do.
  7. Select a great web host. A web host is a service that stores what you write and all the images you include, and makes it available to people who visit your site’s URL. You want a host that provides the right amount of functionality for a low cost. We use Dreamhost for all our hosting needs. Their basic plan is less than $10 a month. It comes with one free domain registration. And they provide simple, one-click installs of WordPress – an added bonus to get you started quickly.
  8. Don’t clutter your blog with a bunch of ads. Unless your site is about ads. Personally, if I go to a site with a bunch of ads cluttering up the space, I typically won’t come back. Keep your site clean and neat, people will enjoy your writing much more. Also, no auto-playing music or sound when you first get to your site. Sure it may seem “cute” for some sites, but not for your blog!
  9. Be patient. You wont have readers overnight. You’ll be lucky if you have ten per week at first, and chances are, they’ll be your own family and friends. I blog because I want to share what I know. It might not be much and a lot of the time I do it for myself. Blogging is not a sprint. If you’re looking to be an overnight success, you’re setting yourself up for failure. Slow and steady wins the race.
  10. Don’t get caught up in the numbers. Enjoy what you’re doing. Know that if you have something to offer, people will keep coming back. You’ll build a community and make new friends. If it’s becoming “work” to you, stop and take a break. Let your readers know. Once you feel refreshed, start again! Most importantly, have fun!
Misc Aug 1, 2011 in ,

About Frugal Day

Frugal Day is a place to share the ideas, coupons, and deals that make it easy to live and shop responsibly. I love to save, and I believe that …

 
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