Wednesday, July 31, 2013

10 Places to Bargain Shop, #3

Hello again! We are on day three out of ten of different places to bargain shop.  Today's post is dedicated specifically to one store: Wally World.

3.) Wal-Mart: This superstore needs a number and post all by itself! For starters, they are one of the cheapest stores around and most of their items are of pretty good value; not to mention they sell just about everything! Here are some of the great things about Wal-Mart:

-Free site-to-store shipping: you can go online to their clearance section and get things like clothes (like, full outfits for babies and kids) for less than $5.00; 2 pack crib sheets (which can be cut and used for other things) for $4.00; and so many other things that aren't clearanced in-stores and not pay shipping. Great deal, isn't it?

-Price match: I LOVE that Wal-Mart does this. The other day, I gathered all of the local back-to-school sales ads and took them to Wal-Mart with me. I bought all (except her backpack, nap mat, and Ziploc baggies because we already had those things) of The Diva's school supplies PLUS some extra supplies for my office/craft area for... $8.72! And it was all name brand - Crayola, Elmer's, Bic, etc. My husband was amazed! Just make sure to get the specified brand that is in the ad.

-Clearance Aisles: OMG! We have a smaller Wal-Mart, but there are 5 aisles dedicated just to clearanced items. Plus, there are always sales racks located throughout the entire store. It's like Heaven for cheap people like me! AND when you visit Wal-Marts in other cities, you will be amazed at some of their clearance items because they (usually) have different items than you do in your home store. I know we're going out of town on a family vacation and all of us girls have already decided we're going to spend a day raiding the Wal-Mart in that town!

Wal-Mart has a lot of other great options to help you save, but that list could go on and on forever (I'm a big fan of this store and website). If you've ever been to a Wal-Mart, you understand my obsession.

Thank you for reading; look forward to the next post in the series tomorrow!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

10 Places to Bargain Shop, #2

Welcome to day two of my ten places to bargain shop and why.  I can't wait to get these done so everybody else can save in some of the same ways I do. [Not to mention I started two new projects last night and am excited to be able to share those with you as well!] Today's place to bargain shop is...

2.) Clearance Racks - Probably one of my more favored places, but also one of the most 'expensive' on the list. When shopping, I always make sure to look at the clearance racks first.  EVERY store has them (some have racks, aisles, and baskets located throughout the entire store) and you would be surprised what you could find at an amazingly low price. Here are some of my most recent scores:

-Old Navy: Clothes for The Diva at $1.49-$2.00 each; shoes for Baby Boy at only $2.79; Steelers shirt for The Hubby at $4.49; maternity shirt for me at... $1.99! I love Old Navy!

-Sears: Summer shirts and shorts for The Diva for next year at $2.00-$3.00 each; onesie for Baby Boy for $1.59 (We have a very small Sears that consists mainly of tools, so I usually don't even enter the place, but I had Baby Boy on my bladder and it was a long walk to the main bathroom, so I went in and was surprised by their prices. I'll have to make sure to check them out more often.)

-Jo-Ann's Fabric: Flannel for $2.99/yard; knit fabric I'll use for a shirt for The Diva at $1.25/yard; Returned 100% wool yarn for only $2.75; 100% polyester thread (500 yards) for $0.99 each.

-Hobby Lobby: This store always gets me and my checkbook in trouble. I recently bought some Tulle in all colors for $0.25-$0.49 from their remnants basket;  some ruffle bottom diaper covers I'll use for photography at $2.75 each; and even scored a lime green 1950's style suitcase for $7.99 (baby portraits will look great with that! )

There are several other stores I have recently saved money at by buying from the clearance racks, but I'll stop my list here. Look forward to another post tomorrow, which will be day three in the series. Thanks for reading!

Monday, July 29, 2013

10 Places to Bargain Shop, #1

Over the next ten days, I'm going to tell you 10 different places to bargain shop and why. They would all be in one post, but I just kept coming up with good reasons and knew it would be too much to type our read at one time. Ready to save money? Let's get started!

1.) Garage/Yard/Rummage Sales - Whatever you call them, they are great places to save money. My mom and I usually go yard sale-ing once a month, and always make sure to look them up in our local paper to get a route mapped out of the ones we wanted to hit first and would be most disappointed if we missed.  That way we aren't just blind driving and we don't waste money, gas, and time.
Note: If you don't want to spend the money on a news paper for just the garage sales, you can usually just look them up online at your local paper's website. 

Here are a few things I have gotten this season:
-Disney VHS movies - $0.25-$1.00 each
-Baby Onesies - $0.10-$1.00 each
-Carseat with 2 Bases - $1.00 (expires in 2015)
-White Bassinet - $ 10.00
-Girl's Clothes - $0.10-$0.50
-Burp Cloths - free (had some light staining I was able to get out easily)

I have found many more items, but wanted to share these because they are my favorites. Tomorrow I'll post #2. Hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Baby Gender Announcement

We got to find out the sex of our precious baby yesterday. Since we wanted to announce in a cute, yet not over-the-top kind of way, I made two signs:one that said "IT'S A GIRL" and one that said "IT'S A BOY". In this post, I'll just go over how I made the signs and then I'll show how we announced.

Materials needed:
-Cardstock or poster board cut into 8"X10" (that way it can be framed for the nursery)
-Crayons and Markers

I started off by penciling the places where I would be writing. I left a border along the edges and gave myself a line that each letter had to reach, so they would all be even.

Then, I penciled in my letters. If you look closely, you can see where I wrote a normal letter and then went around it to make a bubble letter, which I am terrible at drawing. After that, I erased my original pencil lines to give me a better idea of what the signs would look like.
Note: I left the "O" in "BOY" empty so that I could cut it out and add the sonogram picture. Same with the box after "GIRL".

Next, I outlined each letter with a black crayon.I chose crayon so that when I colored the letters with marker later, the marker wouldn't bleed all over the paper. I went ahead and cut out my framed areas. Make sure to just stick the scissors through the middle and cut; that way your announcement sign won't be bent.

Here are the finished signs. We are having a boy!  I used two crayons to make the background have a gradient, or ombre, effect to them. I used markers to color in my letters and used one of the crayons to give each letter a shadowed look by coloring in areas on top of the marker. You don't have to, I just felt like it helped them pop more.

Thanks for reading; look forward to a new post Monday!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

DIY Cardboard Shelf

I want to start off by saying that, although I have a full time job, I like to save as much money as possible. Plus, this helps me put some money in the bank for when I start staying home with the baby. I have quite the addiction to fabric and other craft things and my husband has already informed me he isn't giving me money for my addiction when I run out of money (we'll see-he spoils me ;] ). So, I figure if I put some money off my own back, I won't have to ask him for a while.

We are currently renting a very small two bedroom trailer until we can find a house. It's slim pickins around here and we are pretty picky. The Diva's room is VERY small and has a tiny excuse for a closet.

Since I'm cheap, I like to buy The Diva's clothes at yard sales, thrift stores, in the clearance racks (Hello, Old Navy!), and at department stores at the end of each season. Therefore, I have a few bags of clothes that are too big for her. The space above her clothes rack is where I decided to put the spare clothes. Only problem? No shelf and I'm too cheap to buy one we won't need forever. So, I made one using materials I had at home or had easy access to.

Materials needed:
-Pieces of cardboard
-Ruler and measuring tape
-Scissors or an exacto knife
-Tape or glue
-Fabric (I used some extra I had in a drawer)

I measured my space and decided I didn't want my shelf to be any bigger than 33"X11". I looked through my drawer and found some fabric I was pretty sure would fit around that and then I grabbed 8 beer case flaps that we had at work in our "To Throw Away" pile. After cutting off the end tabs, my pieces of cardboard were 16"X10.5". I cut two of my pieces into 10.5"X3" pieces (I got 6 of these out of two flaps).

Then I measured how they should go and just stacked them together and tagged the edges. You can glue to do this instead, but I forgot my glue at home and tape was all I could find at work.  putting one of the small pieces in between each of the layers of the meeting places of the big pieces to ensure my 'shelf' would not break in half.

Finally, I placed my fabric face down on the table and put my cardboard shelf in the middle of it. Folding each side of the fabric over my cardboard, I pulled tight and tagged the sides down. Here is the finished product:

And here is The Diva's shelf in use. (I organized her clothes by season in some Dollar Tree storage boxes we already had. They work GREAT! )

Thanks for reading; look forward to my next post on Tuesday!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

DIY Cloth Napkins

Hello again! In this post I will go over how I made my cloth napkins for our home. It's so simple- literally took me one day to make all 22 of these bad boys.

My husband has been getting onto me about doing something with my fabric stash for a while now (APPARENTLY he was tired of looking at the overflowing drawers). I've been wanting to make cloth napkins for a few months, so this gave me the perfect opportunity to quit putting it off.

Materials needed:
-Sewing machine
-Fabric (I just used whatever I could find)

I found some thin, white cloth my grandma gave me when she cleaned out her stash last summer. First thing I did (after washing, drying, and ironing) was to mark off and cut out 12" X 12" squares.
Note: I made medium-sized napkins because the large ones drive me crazy, but if you prefer the large napkins I would recommend cutting 17" X 17" squares. 

 Next, I folded each side over 1/4" two times and ironed to make sewing the seams
easier. I chose to go with a red thread because our kitchen theme is red.

I decided on a zigzag stitch - partially because I knew it would hold well and mainly because I LOVE the look of it. I set my alignment to "Left" and put my seam in the exact middle so that I could ensure the stitch went on both sides evenly. MAKE SURE TO BACKSTITCH AT THE BEGINNING AND END OF YOUR WORK!!!

 When I got to each of the corners, I simply kept my needed in the fabric, lifted my presser foot, and turned my napkin until it was realigned on the seam. That way I could just do one continuous stitch.

I did this with each of my napkins and I love the result (even if the picture doesn't do them justice)!! The Diva (aka our 5 year old) was the first one to try them out and told me"I like these.  They're really soft on my face." Score! I  am going to go through my stash some more and shop clearance for holiday fabrics to make themed napkins. Yes, I'm one of those crazy ladies.

Thanks for reading; look forward to another post by Saturday! I seem to constantly be doing something.

Quick update: we have been using these for almost 4 months now and LOVE them! I just throw them in with my towels when I do laundry. Since we first began using these, we have gone through only two rolls of paper towels (used mainly for spills now), compared to the 1 1/2 - 2 we would use a month. Now that's a money saving difference right there!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Hello Out There!

First post. Whew!  The first (big) step to getting my blog started. I've been telling myself I would do this for months, but never got around to actually doing it. No more excuses now!

Hello! My name is Lori, I am happily married to my high school sweetheart and we have one child and another on the way. I currently have a part-time job, but am working on transitioning into being a WAHM (work at home mom) by the time the baby is here in December.

I love creating, sewing, cooking, crafting, shopping (especially those amazing thrift stores!), and doing photography. As I post all of my projects, I will try to remember to put up pictures and instructions for anybody wanting to try them, but I can't promise about the pictures because I tend to get excited and forget about taking them. Sorry in advance!

Look for my next post to be uploaded by Wednesday! I look forward to sharing.