Tag Archive for Saving money

Leftover Chicken: How to Cook a Whole Chicken to Make 3 Meals

Leftover Chicken: How to Cook a Whole Chicken to Make 3 Meals

I saved a ton of money and time buying one whole chicken and making it into three wonderful meals. Buying whole chickens is much more economical than just getting boneless skinless chicken breast. Whole chickens have a better variety of meat and nutrition available as well. Making delicious meals from leftover chicken is super easy.

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Eat Healthy AND Save Money!

Eat Healthy AND Save Money!

Is it possible to eat healthy and save money? I hear people say all the time, it’s expensive to eat well. There are many reasons why it’s much less expensive to eat high quality, nutritious food. Let me show you a new way of looking at it.

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22 Ways to Reduce Expenses for your Childcare Business

22 Ways to Reduce Expenses for your Childcare Business

In childcare, we consume a lot! I hate waste. I hate wasting my time, I hate wasting my money and I hate wasting environmental resources. I can’t stand it. So how can we reduce expenses when there is so much we have to do with our kids? Families are no different than a daycare when it comes to waste. You can use the same techniques to save money in your own household even if you don’t have a daycare.

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How to Stock your Dress up Center for Less

Kids LOVE playing dress up and it’s great for boosting their creativity. Is there anything better than pretending to be a princess, a super hero, or an animal? I love supplying my kids with a ton of creative supplies to enjoy dramatic play.

Kids learn so much through dramatic play. It helps them express their feelings, try different roles and see what it’s like to be someone else, and work through their problems in a safe way. There is so much more going on during dramatic play than meets the eye. They need pretend play for growth and development.

Small receiving blankets and bandanas are a great resource that doesn’t cost a fortune. They can be used to wrap babies, as blankets for playing house, tied up as a pouch to carry things in, You can make them into a picnic blanket or table cloth. Kids can tie them around their heads, wrists, or waist as super hero or rock star gear. The uses are limitless. I always have several available.

Some items from around the house.

Bags of all kinds can be used as diaper bags, purses, totes or any number of other things when kids are playing pretend. Plastic or real keys on rings are a big favorite for kids to pretend they get to drive a car. Kids also love wallets to put their stuff in. They can be old wallets you are done using or plastic toy ones, the kids don’t care.

Another great item for dramatic play is big button up shirts. Kids can pretend they are using them to dress up as doctors, veterinarians or pretend they are suits to be a business person or preacher or whatever they wish. These are always a big hit at Little Sprouts.

Dress up center.

Dress up clothes can be super expensive in the daycare/teacher supply stores. Another great way to get dress up clothes that won’t break the bank is by getting Halloween costumes. Many times I have had daycare parents give me old costumes their kids grew out of. My mother in law used to work at Wal-Mart and she would buy me costumes on clearance after Halloween for my dress up center. There’s nothing like blessings from other people.

Oriental Trading Company offered me some costumes in exchange for my honest opinion about them on the blog. All opinions on the costumes are completely my own. I jumped on the chance to see if their costumes were quality and would last in the dress up center. I chose Captain America, Elsa, and a Ninja Turtle. We have been playing with them like crazy and they are super durable.

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The costumes are not very expensive, click here to see their selection. They are inexpensive enough to use for Halloween or a great price for filling your dramatic play area as well. I prefer to choose costumes that don’t have pants because those are hard for my young children to get off and on by themselves.

dress-up-clothes-for-childcare

Captain America costume.

The Captain America is super cute, equipped with big muscles and everything. Sometimes the kids put it on backwards and have super pumped backs. I think that’s so cute. It came with a mask that looks awesome. The kids all love to be a super hero. Who doesn’t. They have put this costume on and off 100 times and it is still holding up like new. It’s definitely worth the price and a great addition to my dress up center.

captain-america-costume-dress-up-clothes

Elsa Costume.

The Elsa dress is a dream come true for my little girls. Several of my girls have had them at home and loved bringing them over, so I knew the kids would love to have one here. It’s super cute with great features that remind them of the movie. Everyone loves being a princess.

dress-up-center-clothes

Ninja Turtle Costume.

The Ninja Turtle costume is by far my favorite. It has a chest plate and a turtle shell for their back. The costume is super cool looking. It also comes with not just one face mask, but all 4, so the kids can choose which turtle they want to be any time. It’s fun to be able to change your mind. Even better is that 4 kids can be superheroes or Ninja Turtles, so that’s even more bang for your buck.

inexpensive-dress-up-clothes

All of the Oriental Trading costumes are holding up well. I was surprised by the quality for the price they are listed. I would totally recommend you ordering from Oriental for your Halloween needs, and of course, you can do like I did and use them in your dress up center. They are a great way to get costumes your kids will love without having to spend a ton of money. They have a huge variety of costumes to choose from in so many sizes, even for adults.

How do you stock your dramatic play area?

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how-to-stock-your-dress-up-center-for-less

How to Save Money on Quality Toys

Toys are a big expense for a family childcare provider. They are a big expense for parents as well. Even grandparents get to buy toys for the little people in their life. In my childcare, things get broken on a regular basis with so many kids playing with them.

Buying a quality toy is a great way for me to save money on this big expense for my business. If I buy a really good quality toy, it’s going to be an investment in the future. If I buy cheapo toys, I may have to replace those in no time. Melissa and Doug make some of my favorite. Every toy they make is high quality, they have many wooden toys, and they are all educational in some way. I love the values they have in their products.

This is a sponsored post. All opinions are mine.

Shop Groupon Goods

When I am looking to save money on toys, I look to Groupon Goods first. Click on the red link to check out what great deals they have to offer. They carry a good variety of Melissa and Doug toys. I can always find some when I’m looking.
saving money on toys

Right now, Groupon Goods has a great deal on foam alphabet floor play mats and many other high quality products. The whole set marked down from $49.99 to $24.99. I love these mats! Click here to check them out. I also saw a great deal on Duracell batteries. 100 AAA or AA batteries for only $27.99. Head over to Groupon Goods to check them out! I know I have tons of toys and other things that need batteries. I love Duracell because they last much longer.

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Buy used toys

Another way you can save money on toys is buying used. I have gotten some of my very best toys my kids have played with for 20 years from thrift stores. I only buy things used that can be disinfected, but I love to scour the children’s used clothing stores for really cool toys that are new to my kids. Don’t forget about garage sales too. You never know what you will find.

Don’t forget, less is more. You don’t need every single toy ever made for your kids to have a good time. Actually, you will find that if you have too many toys out at once, the kids get bored and don’t play with any of them. I keep many of my toys stored away in totes and just leave out a few all of the time. When I rotate new toys out from the totes, the kids find interest in them again and enjoy playing. It really cuts down on behavior problems for me. I would totally recommend it.

Share with friends

Another great idea to get more mileage out of a toy is to trade toys with a friend. I used to have a family provider friend that I shared toys with. We would borrow toys from each other for each unit we were doing. That way we only had to buy half the number of toys over the year. I recommend you having someone you can really rely on to use this method. I have shared things with people for all kinds of reasons and most of them never return them. I only traded with her because she was reliable in bringing them back. I made sure I took good care of her things as well. If you have someone like that, share away!

Shop around

Make sure when you decide on a toy you’d like to purchase; you check in as many places as possible for the best price. If you can buy it local, great. If not, make sure you are getting the best deal. Groupon Goods is a great website to keep in your favorites to check the price on every item. You could save a bundle of cash. We all know daycare is not a lucrative business, so saving every penny is important. Each dollar you save on expenses is another dollar that goes toward taking care of your family. It’s worth the time to check it out. Click here to check out Groupon Goods.

What are your favorite ways to save on toys?

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How to Save Money on Quality Toys

 

How to Save Money on Back to School

This is a sponsored post. All opinions are mine. I love a great deal on back to school. I wait until this time of year every year to stock up on crayons, markers, paints, glue and glue sticks. I also buy folders and spiral notebooks for writing. I LOVE a bargain.

You might be wondering how to navigate all the sales and get the best deals. The best suggestion I have is to use patience. Be willing to watch and wait. Don’t get in a rush to get it all done at once. Every week after the week of the 4th of July, different stores have different things on sale.

This year, a group I’m part of called Replenishing Oklahoma is doing a back to school supply drive for a local school that serves underprivileged students. We are kicking our sale shopping into overdrive to get the very most we can for the money we are raising. We are looking for mass quantities of supplies.

The first thing you need to do is check out the sale ads for the week.

 

Make a list of what you need. Write next to each entry the bottom dollar prices for those items. I have a mental idea because I buy so much of it, so I kind of know what prices are the best around.

back to school savings

Walmart has less sales and more everyday low prices than other stores. Staples has some of the best sales around. I try to keep up with the sale flyers to Staples, Office Depot/Max, Walmart and Target. I also compare prices on Amazon. I used this article from Passionate Penny Pincher to come up with a list of some basic best deals. Then when I see a sale, I can tell if it’s a good one or not. Amazon is usually the best price when buying in bulk, but for single items, I didn’t find any best deals.

She’s got a great site here, check it out for tons of saving ideas!

Please keep in mind that Crayola, Elmer’s and Fiskars are far superior products.

school supply savings, back to school money saving

Generic or Rose Art crayons and markers just do not work as well, stick with Crayola. Elmer’s makes much better glue sticks than the off brand. You might as well throw your money in the trash before you buy that junky glue. Fiskar’s scissors are the only ones young kids can be successful with. You don’t want your child to struggle because their scissors are crap. You won’t be saving if the kids can’t use the supplies you buy.

Item                                      Walmart Regular Price   Target Regular Price       

Crayola Crayons, 24 ct.                   .50                               .50

Elmer’s Glue                                    .50

Elmer’s Glue Sticks 2/pk                  .50

Pink Erasers                                     .48

3 Prong Folders                                .15

70 Sheet Spiral Notebook                 .17                               .17

Filler Paper 150 ct.                           .82

Crayola WASHABLE Markers           1.97                             1.97

Crayola Markers                              .97                                .97

Highlighters, 2/ct.                           .77

Index Cards                                    .48

School Box                                      .57

Crayola Watercolor Paints, 8          1.97

Crayola Colored Pencils                   .97                                .97

#2 Pencils 20/ct.                            .97                         

You also notice that Target doesn’t beat Walmart on everyday low prices. If you want a one stop shop, Walmart is the best deal.

saving money on back to school

Check out the website for Staples, Walmart, Target and Office Depot/Max if you have those stores nearby. There is a link on the landing page that says weekly ad, that’s what you need. Find the things on the list that are on sale and check this list to see if it’s a better deal.

Be careful because lots of times, the sale price at one store is more than the regular price at another. That’s how they get cha. Make sure of the limit you can purchase AND if you have to buy something to get it. This week there was an Office Depot/Max ad that offered a package of pencils for a penny if you spent $5.

Here was the deal I made: There were 24 packs of Crayolas on sale for .25 each limit 3, packs of 5 highlighters on sale for .25 each limit 3, Sharpie markers on sale for .25 each limit 3. We needed all of those items for our supply drive, so I made the deal of 3 packs of crayons, for .75, plus 3 packs of highlighters, bringing it up to $1.50, plus 3 sharpies for .75 each, bringing it up to $2.25. Then we picked up three packs of index cards that were on sale for $1 each for a total of $5.25. When you add the penny for the pencils, it came to $5.26.

Office Depot back to school savings deal

These items rang up $27.37 and we got them for $5.71 including tax.

 

The key to getting the best deals is to plan ahead with the ads. Then after you do that at a couple of stores for two weeks or so, head to Walmart and get whatever else you still need.

groupon

Another amazing way to save is to use Groupon Coupons. You can get discounts at Target, Walmart, Amazon, Staples, and Office Depot by checking here at Groupon Coupons to find even further discounts on the school supplies you need. Click here for instance, to print out a target coupon to get a free $5 gift card if you buy selected school supplies. You could get your glue sticks and scissors at Target and get a $5 Target card to use on something else.

You can use this link to get 20% off or $10 off $50 purchase at Office Depot. You can even shop for your supplies online and get this deal on your total order! Then you could pick up at the store for free to save on shipping. Amazon and Walmart have similar pages on Groupon where you can print coupons for things you need or find special deals through Groupon on stuff you’re looking for. Check the Groupon Coupon website to see what they have to offer. 

When it’s time to work on back to school clothes, check out JCPenney or Kohl’s for great deals on clothes for back to school. Grab some great sales on shoes at Footlocker. These Groupon Coupons are a percentage off your whole school clothes shopping order or whatever else you’re needing at home. Groupon Coupons has so many great ways to save. It can make your back to school shopping so much less painful!

I love checking there before I make a purchase because usually I can find a way to save even more.

 

Go check out Kohl’s for a great deal. You can use the 15% off your order coupon to get a great deal. There is lots of stuff at Kohl’s on sale right now, you can use the Groupon Coupon link to go straight to the sales as well.

Follow Groupon on Facebook or Twitter so you won’t miss a thing! 

Back to school shopping is an expensive time for families. Doing whatever you can to make it more affordable is always worth the effort. I hope you save a bundle with some of these ideas I have shared with you today.

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How to Save Money on Back to School

15 Hacks to Cut Down on Food Waste and Save Money!

15 Hacks to Cut Down on Food Waste and Save Money!

Are you tired of throwing your money away? Groceries are a big expense for your family and much of it gets wasted. Get the most out of your produce. Stop throwing away what could be used. Cut down on food waste and help your budget and the earth. 

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