Online Coupon Class 50% Off Coupon Code

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I earn a small commission if you click and make a purchase. Thanks for supporting Saving The Family Money. Read our disclosure policy for more info.

coupon class button

The Online coupon class can reenergize you! Are you trying to nibble away at that last bit of debt, or pay for a summer vacation?  No matter what your personal goals are, coupon and sale shopping can help you achieve those.  I’ve been asked over the years if I could have an online coupon class for those that aren’t in the area, or would prefer to learn in the comfort of your own home.  With this video series, you can do that!

You can also gift the class to a friend so you can talk about coupons and save together.  Having a coupon buddy is very important to your success and continuation of saving and clipping.

Through the end of April you can get the Online coupon class for 50% off!  Use coupon code

Summersavings2015

and it’s only $15!  Watch at home at your own pace as many times as you need.  The coupon code is good through the end of August so be sure to share with friends.   Click the image above for more details.  This coupon code ends at the end of April so get it now.  Then you’ll have unlimited time to view the series.  Also comes with some great worksheets!

Click here to learn more about the Online Coupon Class

10 Ways To Save Money On Food While On Vacation

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I earn a small commission if you click and make a purchase. Thanks for supporting Saving The Family Money. Read our disclosure policy for more info.

10 Ways to save money on food while on vacation

We are going on vacation with my entire family soon.  It will be my family, my sister’s family, my brother and my parents.  We will be staying in a beach condo with a full kitchen.  We’ve done this for several years now and we all take turns cooking and it is a wonderful time to spend with family.  Generally we all bring some stuff from our pantry and even a few refrigerated items in a cooler for the drive down.  That way we aren’t paying full price for items at the grocery store once we get there.  I thought I’d take this opportunity to share 10 ways to save money on food while on vacation

  1. If you can find a place within your budget that has a kitchen, it makes cooking and meal preparation easier and you don’t have to run out and spend money on eating out 3 times a day.
  2. Look into hotels that have a “free breakfast” option, but keep the price of the hotel in mind. A less expensive hotel may be better than paying a lump sum even if breakfast is free.  My kids are always hungry as soon as they wake up, so if we are staying at a place without breakfast we always pack breakfast items like muffins, or cinnamon rolls or fruit.  If we have a cooler, we pack it with milk for cereal, yogurt or cheese and crackers.
  3. If you are traveling with kids, try to scope out the local restaurants where kids eat free.   Be sure to check guidelines like specific times or days of the week.  Also be aware that many only allow 1 free kids meal per adult meal.
  4. Bring refillable bottles and jugs of water or juice to refill them with.   Refill the bottles when necessary to save on paying full price for drinks while out and about.  Also take snacks so you don’t have to stop often and spend money.  Our kids love pretzels, trail mixes with a few M&M’s mixed in and cheez-its.   Bringing your own snacks for the airport and Disney can be a lifesaver.  Check out my previous post on Saving Money At Disney. Yes you can bring drinks and snacks into the parks!  Bring lots of snacks. It’s always my experience that when everyone is active at the beach, pool or theme park, they eat more!
  5. Check out Restaurants.com for local restaurants in the zip code you will be vacationing in.  We have done this in several places including our trip to Maryland. If you are unsure about doing this before you arrive at your destination, you can take advantage of the hotel computer lab to buy and print your restaurant certificate.  I find this valuable after talking to the hotel staff on restaurants they would recommend.  Keep in mind some hotels charge to print but it’s usually under $1.00.
  6. If you plan on eating out at local establishments, try going during lunch time when prices are typically less expensive.  Then you can eat light for dinner or in your hotel room.  You can buy deli sandwiches at the local grocery store and take it back to your room or eat pool side.  Many times we bring PB&J supplies and make them for dinner.  After a long day out or in a theme park, relaxing in your quiet room can be a life saver.
  7. If your hotel or condo will allow it, bring your own crock-pot and throw dinner in it before you head to the pool.  A simple chicken with BBQ sauce makes a quick and easy meal.
  8. Make a casserole before you leave and freeze it for your road trip.  When you get to your destination, dinner will be ready to pop in the oven.
  9. Plan meals ahead of time.  Between me, my mom and my sister we have 3 dinners already planned.  Each of us will bring what we need for those meals.  That also means one person is not cooking every night.  Love that.  Of course a group of family members in the kitchen together is always a good time.
  10. Have a little fun with breakfast if your room has a kitchen.  Give everyone a baggie and write their names on the outside, and then break 1-2 eggs inside. Have  each person add other omelet type ingredients of their choice in their own bag.  Seal it shut, and mix it up.  Throw them in a pot of boiling water and cook till done.  The kids love this, it’s easy clean up for the adults and everyone gets the omelet they want!  Here are some egg in a bag directions.

I know that there is a Publix location where we will be going, so I will be calling to find out what competitor coupons they accept.   I have also accumulated several Publix coupons to take with us.  Between all of us, we tend to split up our transactions anyway and I can divvy up the coupons to everyone.  That way no one family bears the bulk of the food costs.

Planning a Staycation this year?  Check out the huge list of over cities with Staycation ideas.

 

 

This post may contain affiliate links.  Click for disclosure policy

How To Make A Disney Cruise Fish Extender

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I earn a small commission if you click and make a purchase. Thanks for supporting Saving The Family Money. Read our disclosure policy for more info.

How To Make A Disney Cruise Fish ExtenderWe’ve been on 3 Disney Cruises so far and this June trip we decided to take part in the Fish Extenders.  Each cabin on the Disney Cruise has a Fish next to the cabin doors.  These are hooks in the shape of fish, like starfish, seahorses etc.  Disney uses these to leave you paperwork, welcome letters etc.

Fish Extender

Fish Extenders are pocket banners, bags or anything you’d like to make, that allow other cruise passengers to leave you gifts.  Usually you join a group of 10 or so families that will be on your cruise ship and exchange gifts.  It’s kind of like a secret santa!  You can find a group for your cruise dates, in a forum or on other social media sites like Facebook.  Just do a search for your cruise dates.  The group I found was on Facebook and we had a wonderful group leader who created google docs and broke everyone up into groups of 10.  Some forums are no longer allowing outgoing links, such as google docs, so more and more people are creating Facebook groups for their cruise dates.  Using a google doc just makes it easier for everyone to add their names, kids names, cabin number etc.  Our group even added the family members favorite Disney characters and colors.  If you wanted to make personalized gifts, you have all the info.

I knew I’d want our Fish Extender to be personalized and I wanted to be sure it was something we could use on future cruises.  There are a ton of Fish Extenders on etsy, but you know I like to DIY stuff!  You can hang a bag from your fish hook, sew together a couple canvas bags or anything simple!

I went to JoAnn Fabric to start my project and was so excited to find this Disney cruise fabric. Of course it was on sale!  Make sure you buy enough to fit the number of pockets you want.  I bought enough to fold in half so the back of the fish extender was this fabric also.  I then purchased 3 fabric quarters in matching colors and double fold binding.  If you have extra pocket fabric, you can make your own binding by cutting fabric and folding it over and ironing it.   The top pocket will be yellow for hubby and I and the bottom 2 will be for the kids.

IMG_2908

Here is where I asked for help.  I am not a sewer but I can get by.  I knew I wanted the pockets personalized but didn’t want to do iron-ons.  I asked my crafty Aunt and she recommended her friend, My Mimi Made It on Etsy and she also has a Facebook page.  And she’s local!  I contacted her to request help with the pockets.  I gave her an idea of what I wanted and mailed her the 3 fabric quarters along with the cruise fabric so she had the colors.  When she finished and mailed them back I was thrilled!  The embroidery is beautiful!

Fish Extender personalized

I then laid out the Disney cruise fabric to figure out how big I wanted it and where I wanted the pockets.  I wanted to make sure some of the cruise fabric showed in the front.

My Fish Extender ended up being 34″ long and 8 1/2″ wide.  You can make it as short or as long as you want.  But the width you want to be sure you stay near 9″ or under. You don’t want your fish extender hanging out into the hallway or impeding your doorway.

Here is what you’ll need for a basic Fish Extender:

  • Fabric – Backing fabric of your choice and fabric to make enough pockets for your family
  • Double fold binding – to trim and secure pockets to the backing fabric
  • Thread
  • Fusible bonding (optional depending on the weight of your fabric and preference)
  • Sewing machine – don’t worry, you really only need to know how to sew a straight line
  • Iron
  • Damp washcloth to use with fusible bonding
  • Dowel rod to hang

Below you’ll see some extra’s I decided to do, but a basic fish extender won’t take many supplies.

I used fusible wonder-web to give the pockets and main fabric a bit more strength.

I folded the pockets in half and put fusible bonding in between each so the pockets were thicker and stronger material and the inside pockets match the outside, for a finished clean look.  You don’t have to do this.  Or you can use any fabric.  The edges will be sewn into the binding so you don’t need to worry about clean edges.

fusible pocket

My pockets were pretty big :) .   Each pocket was 8 1/2″ long and 12″ wide.  Keep in mind you will need to sew a pleat in the pockets so you’ll be able to actually put items in the pockets.  So my finished pocket was the width of the fish extender 8 1/2″ wide.  You’ll have to determine how big you want your pockets.  We were given some pretty big gift items, like a picture frame, so I was glad I had big pockets.  I tried to put a few bigger items we gave out in some small fish extender pockets and it was a tight fit for some.

Once you have each pocket cut out, you can sew binding tape on the top to finish the top edges.  Do this BEFORE ironing a pleat or sewing it onto the backing fabric.   I chose to match the binding to each pocket bit you can choose one color to make it easier.  Or you can even make your own binding with extra fabric.  Just cut out long pieces and fold and iron.  I did this for the blue pocket because I couldn’t find a blue binding that matched it exactly, so I used leftover fabric.

Here is how to sew double fold binding onto the top of your pockets.  Turn your pockets over so the wrong side is showing. I hope you can see the details in these pictures even if the fabrics are the same color!  Open the double fold binding and pin the top edge to the top edge of the back of the fabric.

double fold binding

Then sew along the inside of the first fold.

sewing binding

Turn the pocket over to the right side of the fabric and fold the binding over the top.

double fold binding on pockets

Once you fold over and cover the rough edges of the top of the pocket, sew a straight line on the bottom edge of the binding.

how to sew on binding

Here are two of the pockets finished with the binding on top.

fish extender pockets

I then folded a pleat into both sides of the pockets and ironed them down.  My pleats were about an inch but a 1/2″ would probably be fine.

Lay out your backing fabric and decide how much of it you want to show.  I cut mine 34″ long and 17″ wide.  You’ll be finishing the edges with binding so you don’t need to worry about rough edges.  I folded this in half the long way so it’s now 8 1/2″ wide and I ironed fusible bonding in between.  Then take your bottom pocket and use the instructions above for the double binding tape and secure the bottom pocket to the bottom of the fish extender backing.

fish extender bottom pocket

Be sure to pin the pleat down so it will be sewn that way on the bottom of the pocket. Here is the finished pocket sewn with the binding and the pleat.

fish extender pocket pleat

For the other pockets, you will not be able to sew the binding the way you did before because you don’t have an edge to the backing fabric.  For these, I just folded the binding over the bottom of the pockets and sewed it directly to the backing fabric.

Now you can sew the binding onto the edges of your fish extender.  This will secure the pockets on the sides and give you a clean finished look.  I chose a yellow binding.

side binding on fish extender

The top of the fish extender will need a dowel rod or something similar to hang from your fish extender hook.

I took a piece of dowel rod from the garage that I had and matched up wood round dowel caps with flat pieces of wood. I found these at JoAnn Fabric.  This is obviously NOT a must do, but I LOVE the outcome!

Mickey ears

I used a very small saw to make 2 indentions in the round cap.

Mickey ears dowel

Then I cut off a small edge on the round flat pieces.  This was so I wouldn’t have to cut a very big area into the round knobs, to get the effect I wanted. Mickey

I super glued the found flat pieces to the round dowel knob and voila!  Mickey ears!  After pushing them onto the dowel rod, I spray painted it black.Mickey dowel rod

To finish off the top of your fish extender you can fold over your fabric and sew in the dowel.  I folded over the top and ironed some fusible bonding on the back to give it a clean edge.  I had some Mickey buttons from my scrapbook collection, so I made 2 straps with leftover fabric.  I sewed these on and stitched the buttons on. I used leftover binding for the hanger.

Fish extender-1

I am THRILLED with the outcome!  If you don’t want to have your pockets embroidered, you can buy iron on letters or images from the craft store.  The options are limitless.

Please let me know if you have any questions!

Other posts that may interest you:

Affordable Disney Cruises

Disney Tips

Home Depot 25% Off Select Items Today Only

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I earn a small commission if you click and make a purchase. Thanks for supporting Saving The Family Money. Read our disclosure policy for more info.

25 OFF ★ Sneak Peek Promo Code Inside

Home Depot is rolling out Red White and Blue deals and they have an online coupon for 25% off select items! Free ship to store or home on over 400,000 items!  Use coupon code HDSNEAK25 (case sensitive) at check out to get your 25% off.  This is a one day only code! The code is case sensitive!

Some of the items included:

  • Garage organization
  • Fans
  • Lighting
  • Furniture

Go to Home Depot Online here, to find the items included in the sale. 

See what you can score a deal on!  Remember to use coupon code HDSNEAK25 at check out to get your 25% off.

Disney Store 20% Off Twice Upon A Year Sale

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I earn a small commission if you click and make a purchase. Thanks for supporting Saving The Family Money. Read our disclosure policy for more info.

Extra 20 Off Twice Upon a Year Sale | Disney Store

The Disney Store is having a two day online exclusive sale.  The Twice Upon a Year Sale is going on with items on sale and you can get an extra 20% off with coupon code extra20 at checkout.

They have items as low as $1.99 on sale and with the extra 20% off you might be able to stock up on some gift closet items.

If you’re a Dooney & Bourke or Vera Bradley fan, you can get 30% off right now as well.

DIY Wood Signs

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I earn a small commission if you click and make a purchase. Thanks for supporting Saving The Family Money. Read our disclosure policy for more info.

DIY Wood Signs

By Contributing writer Laura.

Out of all of the projects in my home, my homemade signs DEFINITELY get the most “how did you do that?” reactions.  Making signs started when I had lots of wall space to fill and after numerous attempts at finding LARGE signs in retail shops, I never saw any that had the right quote and right size all in one.  Making a sign on a budget gives you versatility and over time you can simply paint over it and start fresh as your decor changes.

All 3 signs are made the same.  As you will see, the width of the wood and the orientation are different.  The beauty of this project is that it’s ALL up to you~choose your preference and don’t look back!!  I have found that the wider wood takes less time because of less cutting, less screwing and not having to paint the gaps and is a much easier process. Since I have several signs around my home I like to switch it up a bit!!  I hope this post inspires you to make a focal point for your home that is uniquely yours!

Supplies Needed:

Wood~I buy unfinished CHEAP wood from Home Depot.  Choose a WIDTH and buy enough pieces for the size of your sign.  (SUMMER sign~3 pieces of 8 foot wood for less than $5) ALSO purchase the wood for the back of the sign~this is a personal preference.

Screws~I used 1 1/4 inch screws and prefer the black ones~no reason other than sometimes I leave the black showing.

Paint~ 2+ colors.  One will be the color of the background and One the color of the letters.  For the SUMMER sign I used acrylic craft paint in white, 2 different shades of blue and yellow.

Paint brush

Chipboard~ this can be found at Hobby Lobby or Michaels.  It is cardboard letters used for scrapbooking.  A whole pack is normally no more than $5 and they go half off quite often. Font is up to you.  For the SUMMER sign I simply used a font that fit the wood!

Sandpaper/Stain/Wax: OPTIONAL~ I like all things rustic.  Sanding and staining also covers up imperfections and with DIY projects thats a PERK!!

Step 1: Find a quote that you LOVE! Any quote, saying, song lyric, etc..

Step 2: Purchase the wood based on the size of sign you are creating.  If wood is sold in an 8 foot piece, think about how it will cut down to avoid waste.  (the SWEET SWEET LIFE sign is 24 inches X 43 inches which was 7 pieces of wood at less than $1 each) If you do not have a saw to cut it, ask your home improvement store to cut it for you.  ! It may not be a perfect cut but check and hopefully its close. Make sure you buy wood for the back of the sign.  Not too thick as you want it to be close to the wall.  This needs to be just under the width/length of the sign. ALWAYS make sure all the wood is straight and not warped~ its never 100% perfect but some are crazy twisted or damaged!

Step 3:  Once your wood is cut, lay it out.  Some wood has a rougher side. Some lay flatter than others.  NONE of my signs are the exactly perfect as far as length of the slats so I make sure I mix them so it looks like it was meant to be that way~ thats what RUSTIC is all about :)

IMG_0346

Step 4:  Screw the top wood into the bottom pieces.  I prefer to drill a small hole with a drill bit.  It makes the process of using screws much easier.  Its a pain to do this extra step but it really makes a difference.  If you choose not to make sure you put pressure on the drill and wood when you are installing the screw. You will see in the picture below that some of the wood split when the screw went in~ pre-drilling a hole prevents this from happening!

IMG_0348

Step 5:  Paint the background color on the wood.  A little sanding before painting is always good but not necessary.  Paint the back first. let it dry and then paint the front.  I have spray painted signs and I have painted them with craft/acrylic paint.  Its your choice!
IMG_0349

**At this point in the picture examples I changed signs~ You will see they are put together the same way just different widths of wood!! The SWEET SWEET LIFE sign was my 1st sign I have ever made.  You will see on the SUMMER sign that my edges are closer to the same.  I have them both hung, imperfections and all, and I LOVE them both!!  If you are not happy with the way the edges line up, STOP during the assembling process and trim/sand and adjust!

Step 6: Using your chipboard, lay out your words.  There are going to be words that need a letter from a previous word.  I do my best to leave space to make sure the entire phrase fits before tracing.  TRACE the letters with a pencil.  If you plan to paint the letters black, you can also use a sharpie which will make the painting process easier but I prefer a pencil for most projects.

IMG_0818

Step 7:  Hand paint the letters.  Yes, this is time consuming (that is why my daughter is painting the SUMMER sign!!)  Don’t worry about it being too perfect, especially if you plan to distress it.  You will just sand the mistakes a little more than the other areas :)  For the SUMMER project~ the YELLOW “life gets better” didn’t pop so I took the eraser of a pencil (still attached to the pencil) and lined the letters with blue.

IMG_0865

IMG_0902

Step 8:  Sand the sign.  Sand the edges.  Sand the letters lightly.  This is also personal preference.

Step 9:  Stain the sign (OPTIONAL) Since we live near the beach I am always a fan of making a sign look old.  Some would say stains and dark wax make projects look dirty but I’ll let you decide! Sometimes I use stain (my favorite is COFFEE colored stain from Home Depot) but I also use Annie Sloan Dark Wax.  I am attaching a VILANO sign that I painted white, painted the letters a grayish brown and stained it.  It was a FAIL!  I then dry brushed it with gray paint and then waxed it just hoping all the layers would come together…I just kept going until I liked the outcome so don’t give up if you don’t like it.  Dry brushing simply means taking a dry brush, barely dipping the tip in paint and making random striation marks on the wood.

IMG_0912

You can see by the picture that the SUMMER sign really adds a lot of bang for the buck in this room!  You can start off as easy as the VILANO sign below using one piece of wood that you may already have lying around OR take on a big project for a focal point of a room~ you really have nothing to lose but maybe a little time BUT in the end you may have something you LOVE and will have in your home for years to come!  Check out a few other projects I have made~IMG_2212

IMG_2208

IMG_2209

DIY Learning Games For Preschoolers

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I earn a small commission if you click and make a purchase. Thanks for supporting Saving The Family Money. Read our disclosure policy for more info.

DIY Learning Games For Preschoolers

By Contributing writer Jessica.

My daughter has become obsessed with look and find books, so I decided to use some household items to DIY a few similar games for her.

ipsy bag closeup

Can you feel?

This was so easy to make!  I covered an old oatmeal can in contact paper.  Then, I used a foam sheet to cut a lid for the can.  I made some slits in the foam so that she could stick her hand into the can.  Then, I just hot glued the lid onto the can, glued a ribbon around the seam, and filled it with small objects from around the house.   This could easily be adapted to work with any container.

The point of this activity is to use your sense of touch, practice using adjectives to describe, and increasing vocabulary by learning new words.  The objects stay in the can and she uses her sense of touch to play.

These are some of the questions I asked, and they can be changed up based on what is in the can:

  • Can you find something soft?
  • Can you find something hard?
  • Can you find something smooth?
  • Can you find something rough?
  • Can you find something round?
  • Can you find something large? big?
  • Can you find something tiny?  small?
  • Can you find something fluffy?

Non-example questions can also be asked with older children to stretch their thinking and encourage conversation, such as: can you find something green?  Can you find something with a word on it?

DSC05852

Can you see?

This is another easy and fun game to put together.  I used polly pellets from the craft store to hide the objects.  The polly pellets are nontoxic, and I supervise the play, but rice would also have the same affect.  Another option is to use cheap hair gel to cover the objects.  When my daughter was very little, I did something similar by adding small objects to a bottle of water and gluing the lid on.

To make these bags just add small plastic objects and then cover with either pellets or rice.  I used freezer bags and reinforced the seams with duct tape.   I am going to make a spelling bag next with abc magnets.

We play with these a variety of ways.  I ask her to find a certain color or object, we play I spy, she describes what she sees, or sometimes we use what we see in the bag to make a story.

DSC05879 (2)

We have so much fun playing these learning games together!

*These activities are meant to be played with an adult and would not be safe for children to handle unsupervised.

Game of Thrones Seasons 1-4 DVD Collection Up To 67% Off

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I earn a small commission if you click and make a purchase. Thanks for supporting Saving The Family Money. Read our disclosure policy for more info.

Amazon.com_ Game of Thrones_ Seasons 1-4 Collection [Blu-ray] + Digital HD_ Movies & TV

Today only, save up to 67% on Game of Thrones: The Seasons 1-4 DVD Collection.  This might be a great Father’s day gift!  This is the deal of the day and offer ends 11:59 p.m. (PT) on Friday, June 12, 2015.

Of course there are other deals for Father’s Day that you may want to check out.