Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Cheap Halloween Decoration

Over the Summer I picked up a couple of toy dolls on the cheap at yard sales.

You could do this project with Dollar Store toys, but I paid half that for both my dolls by shopping at yard sales.

I had 40¢ in my pocket so I offered that for this doll and my offer was accepted.

This doll (fashion doll head) was in a 10¢ box:

Then all you basically need is paint, scissors, any accessories, and imagination.

I painted this one, and used my staple-gun and hot glue gun to give her a nasty gash on her face.
Her "teeth" are the tips of toothpicks.

The other doll I cut/plucked her hair with pliers and dyed, and painted. That's pretty much it.

There's a lot more ideas for Creepy Altered Dolls on Pinterest and the Internet, ranging from simple to advanced.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Putz/Glitter House

What is a Putz? 

Technically the German word putz means something "to put," but in German-American vernacular, it means something like "putter around." That relates to the subject of this web page because German-Americans and related cultures have been setting up little villages around the Christmas tree or Nativity for at least a century and a half. And generally, once the houses and accessories came out, family members (usually the mother) would "putz around" with the pieces until they were "just right.

"For many years, the "putzers" would use toy wooden houses or house-shaped cardboard candy boxes from Germany. But the advent of 8-bulb electric Christmas light sets brought about a new kind of putz house - Japanese-made cardboard houses decorated with sparkly materials and/or fake snow and equipped with translucent (usually cellophane) windows that glowed when you stuck a C6 light through a hole in the back. For over thirty years, mass-marketers like Sears-Roebuck offered fairly simple versions of these, usually in sets of eight.

Collectors collect these old Christmas decorations, but you can make your own future collectible Putz/Glitter house and buildings for a whole lot less.

Depending on what you already have in your Craft Stash, you can make them for pretty much nothing.
About all you really need is a cereal (or other) box, school glue, acrylic paint, clear glitter and some embellishments.

I had everything but the pink paint I used for the fence, which I bought at Walmart for 50¢ (52¢?) for a small bottle.

I'm not going to do a whole tutorial here about how I did mine, because, to be honest, I'm not too good at reading directions.
I read like the first line, then the rest is, "blah blah blah".

So, I made a lot of mistakes in making mine.
Mostly, there aren't any mistakes in crafting - you "customize" your version - but in this particular instance, I cut the windows/doors after I'd glued it together. I didn't put cellophane in the windows/door. My fence doesn't look great. There's no hole in the back for lighting.

Instead, you should visit Little Glitter for more detailed and correct directions.

This particular house is called the Little Charmer, but there's an easier version called The Cottage, to start with (of course I didn't start with the easy version!). 

The website provides pdf files of patterns for you to print. I found that printing directly from the webpage didn't work, and I had to Save and open the pdf file for them to print the right size.

I used a cereal box to cut out the main parts like the walls, roof, chimney, entrance.

I used thicker cardboard from a shipping box and cut triangles to go inside the pointed parts to reinforce the roo(ves), and the house base.

Eventually I used the thicker cardboard for the fence, too, but I ought not have.

I painted the entire thing white as a base coat, then after it dried, I painted the house blue, the chimney red with white "snow fall", and the fence a light pink. Touched up any white parts that needed it.

After the paint dried, I glued the house to the base.
I used my paintbrush to spread glue on sections at a time and sprinkled on the iridescent glitter.
The glitter looks different colors in the picture, but it's not.

Then I added my embellishments, stuff I already had in my craft stash, and a dude and a girl showed up in the front yard. 

Check out more Putz/Glitter Houses on Pinterest.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

CVS 09/07

CVS has a few Freebies this week:

I had a $5.00 CVS e-gift card that I had earned from Swagbucks, so I started out buying the CVS Nicotine Transdermal System Stop Smoking Aid for $4.99.

With tax, my total was $5.34.
I paid with my $5.00 e-giftcard and 34¢ cash.

I received $4.99 ECB (Extra Care Bucks).

The 5 ct. box of Mucinex Allergy is on sale for $7.50.
- $2.00 coupon from (one of) today's (9/07) SS insert
= $5.50 + .53 tax

Paid with my $4.99 ECB and $1.04 cash.

I received $5.50 ECB.

Get $7.00 ECB when you purchase Any Physician's Formula make-up item.
Prices start at $6.99, $7.49, and up.

I found a concealer priced at $6.99 + 49¢ tax.
Paid with my $5.50 ECB and $1.98 cash.

Received back a $7.00 ECB.

Spent $3.36 cash
Have $7.00 ECB
= $3.64 profit on my money

*While I did spend the $5.00 e-giftcard, it didn't cost me anything, so I count it the same as I would a free Dollars-off coupon.

Fall/Halloween Treat

Last week I picked up candy corn and peanuts on sale in preparation of making this delicious Fall treat: Candy Corn "Payday" Mix.

Mix equal amounts of candy corn and salted peanuts and shake, and they will taste like a Payday candy bar.

I'm not sure I've ever eaten a Payday candy bar, so I can't swear to the claim, but I do know this treat is yummy.

I ended up having to make it two times last year!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Grocery Shops

Haaah, I change my Blog name to reflect the fact that I'm shopping less, and my first posts back are shopping trips.
*Smh, lol.

I have shopped some over the past few months, but I haven't bought any newspapers for the coupon inserts in quite awhile so it's only been with whatever coupons I was able to print.

First stop, Publix

$2.89 BOGO ($1.44 each) Lipton Tea Bags
- $1/1 Lipton
- $1/2 Lipton Items Target 
= +11¢

$2.49 BOGO ($1.24) Dole Fruit in Water, Gel, etc.
- .50/1 Printable or Printable (Doubled)
=  25¢ each

$2.65 BOGO ($1.32) Wishbone 16oz Dressing
- $1/2 Publix coupon from Advantage Buy Flyer (expired 9/05)
= 82¢ each

$5.99 BOGO Peter Pan 40oz.
= $2.99 each

$2.00 each (5/$10) Pillsbury Ready to Bake Cookies
- $1/1 Printable or Printable
- $1.10/1 Printable
- $1/2 Target
= 50¢ or 40¢ each

$1.00 Pillsbury Grands
- $1/3 Printable
= 66¢ each

$2.00 each (2/$4) Rice Krispies, Cinnabon, or Jif cereal
- 50¢ Printable (Doubled)
= $1.00 each

$1.50 (2/$3) Betty Crocker Frosting
- $1/2 Printable
= $1.00 each

Total $20.88 (including tax)

I also used the $10/$50 Mastercard Gift Card wyb $50 of groceries coupon from the Health & Beauty Punlix flyer.
After a $4.95 Activation fee, I made a profit of $5.05 on my money (spent $44.95 for a $50 card).

Next stop, Kroger

Love Kroger's Mega sales for buying cereal.

Mega sale = get $5.00 off wyb 5 items.
(Prices below are Mega Sale Prices.)

$1.49 Big G cereals
- $1.10/2 Printable
- $1/2 Printable
- .50/1 Printable
= 99¢ or 89¢ each

$2.49 Planters Peanuts
- $1/2 Printable
= $1.99 each

$2.99 Breyers Ice Cream

Non-mega Sale items:

$1.88 Kroger frozen Potatoes

50¢ Burger/Hot Dog buns

Total $33.32 (including tax)

Walgreens week of 8/31 - 9/6

On Monday, my son had some errands to run so I went along and made a stop into Walgreens while we were out.

This week Morton Epsom Salt is $4.00, get $4.00 RR (Register Reward), making it free after reward.

I was interested in the Doritos, on sale for $1.99 during a 4-day Labor Day sale, the Big G cereal on sale for $1.99, and the Brach's candy on sale 2/$3.00.

As I was planning to buy the sale items anyway, I went ahead and bought a package of the Epsom Salt since it was free, and used the $4.00 RR I got back on the rest of my order.

Total approx (lost or threw away the receipt) $9.00 + tax.

Another deal I had been looking to get was the Scope Mouthwash, on sale for $2.99, and get a $2.50 RR. 
I printed 75¢ off 1 coupons, which means in the end I made 26¢ profit on each bottle.

I bought Epsom salt, then used the $4.00 RR to buy the Scope and (2) bags of candy, then used the $2.50 RR from the Scope to buy another bag of Epsom salt, three times. 

The OFF! Mosquito Clip-on is on sale for $4.99, and the refill package for $2.99.
At there is a $4.00/1 printable coupon for the Clip-on, and a $2.00/1 coupon for the refills, making these 99¢ each.

Total $12.42 (including tax)

*There were some other deals, mainly a Pantene deal, that required coupons from newspaper inserts, which I didn't have as I haven't bought papers in a few months and have just been depending on printables the little bit that I've gone shopping.

**I didn't buy more Big G cereal since they are $1.49 at Kroger with the Mega sale this week, which didn't start until Wednesday, so I didn't know about it on Monday.

Friday, September 5, 2014

New Name

Decided to give the Blog a new name. 

Previously, "The Great Coupon Experiment", and "The Great Shopping Game" titles reflected the times when I first began to learn about using coupons (with sales and stockpiling), and then once I got the hang of it, it was a game to see how much I could buy for how little money.

Eventually the game changed for me and I started (coupon, stockpile) shopping less, and turned to trying to find other ways to live more frugally.

Hopefully the new name will be a better fit, and I can get back to posting here again.
(I've still been blogging, it's just been at my other blog: