A guest post: Bundles and Buzz Review

I would like to welcome a guest author to the Nifty Thrifty Lady! The Wonderful mama of three little girls! Tiffany M. When you have little girls you have to be up on the latest trends, fashions, and when you have three you have to be able to find them on the cheap! Tiffany is always on the look out for a great, new and fresh way to save money and try new things. I wanted to share her latest review with you on a Website Called Bundles and Buzz! Everyone likes a little mystery in their life and this an awesome and cheap way to get it plus score great finds for your kiddos! Bundles and Buzz Review: Toddler Package
Today my Bundles and Buzz package came in the mail! You can find them here on Facebook. This awesome company creates surprise packages for Mama, Baby, Toddler, Preschooler, Cloth, and special ones such as Back to School and Summer bundles. They are around $30 and come with $30+ worth of products and/or promo codes. You can select boy, girl, or gender neutral bundles. I selected girl and it was suggested to me by Bundles and Buzz via their facebook page to add in the comments that I have 2 girls and that they may throw in something extra for me! Great customer service!

Now on to the good stuff, here’s what I got in my bundle!
 A Great Big THANK YOU to Tiffany for writing this post and for finding such an awesome Package of Goodies! I know I can't Wait to order one!

What do you think of this deal? Leave a comment in the Comment section!


A new Way to Save at Target!

Well, It would just so happen that I now have to add two more ways to save to last weeks 7 Ways to Save at Target! 

So #8 is signing up for Target's new email. You will be notified with new arrivals, promos, and exclusive offers!

#9 is to sign up for Mobile coupons from Target. These coupons are sent to your phone once a month and all you have to do is show the cashier your phone, they scan the bar code, and Voila! Sign up for Mobile Coupons here

Wow! Target is one of the leading company in offering such a Variety of ways to save money. Which store would you like to learn how to save at next?

Money Saving Wednesday: Baby trade in?

No, I am not suggesting it will save you money to trade your baby in...what you would get in return is no where as precious as a baby! I am suggesting you go to Babies R Us Trade In event!


You take in a used piece of baby gear and they will give you a 25% off coupon towards any one piece of baby gear! This is exciting for all those babies that are outgrowing the car seat carrier (like my little one) or if you are are in need of something in the gear section.

Here is what the Babies R Us website said on the event:

 From Friday, January 18 through Sunday, February 10, Babies''R''Us and Toys''R''Us stores nationwide are holding the Great Trade-in Event, providing our customers the opportunity to trade-in any used cribs, car seats, bassinets, strollers, travel systems, play yards, high chairs, walkers, swings, bouncers, entertainers or toddler/twin beds in exchange for a 25% savings† on the purchase of any new baby item, in any of these product categories, from select manufacturers. 

You can bring in as many items as you would like to trade in and receive a 25% off coupon for each. Only one 25% coupon per new item purchased :)

This is a great trade in!

Babies outgrow things and manufactures are always recalling items. This event can help you stay current and up to date with baby and toddle gear!


7 Ways to save at Target

I love the bulls-eye store, Target, or the more fancier name that I openly admit to not knowing how to write. There are a multitude of ways to save a Target and even more deals to be had. Target is also one of the more tech friendly stores in our area complete with their own MONEY SAVING APP!

SO with out further ado:

7 Ways to Save the Most at Target

1. Get a Target Red Debit Card- This will save you 5% off all purchases and free shipping at Target.com

2. Use Target Coupons  these can be combined with a manufacture coupon, rebate app, and Target Cartwheel.

3. Shop Target Clearance- Look the end caps in the Cleaning section, food section, stationary section, toy, shoe, and Baby section. Below is the schedule for when items get mark to clearance.

4.Target Red Shopping Bag-saves you 0.05 per bag off your transaction. PS. this does not have to be a Target branded bag any reusable bad will do!

5.Pharmacy rewards- fill 5 prescriptions, get a 5% shopping pass

6.Target Promo's with Gift Cards

7. ShopKicks App Earn credits when you walk in a store to earn free Gift Cards

8.Target Cartwheel app is a great way to save 5%-50% on selected items in the store at the register!

9. Mobile Target Coupons- Get Target coupon sent right to your phone. All you have to do is sign up here and can get monthly coupons sent to your phone that can be combined with manufactures coupons, cartwheel deals and sales/promotions

10. Price Matching- Target now price matches stores like, Wal-mart, Amzaon, and Best Buy including ONLINE! Better yet there is a 14 day guarantee that if the price on an item goes how AT TARGET you can get the difference refunded.

PHEW! Can you believe all of the ways to save at Target? No wonder this is my favorite store! 

Target Clearance Schedule
Monday Target Markdowns: Kids’ Clothing, Stationery (office supplies, gift wrap), Electronics
Tuesday Target Markdowns: Women’s Clothing and Domestics
Wednesday Target Markdowns: Men’s Clothing, Toys, Health and Beauty
Thursday Target Markdowns: Lingerie, Shoes, Housewares
Friday Target Markdowns: Cosmetics, Housewares, Automotive


Tuesday's Tip Day: How to Save on Kid's Clothing

Being the mom of two boys, one at the grand age of 6 and the other 3 months, Clothes are always getting out grown and plain worn out. How do boys do it?! I grew up with two sister and myself, so, I also know that an all girl house is just as demanding on clothes!  I love that my little ones are still at the age where they will wear just about anything. My 6 year old is starting to form a "style" that evolves every month :) I would go broke if I bought brand new, full price, brand name clothes all the time! Here are my tips and trick to shopping for clothes on a very limited budget.

Shop Consignment sales. Last year I found the amazing thing called a consignment sales! (check here for full list of consignment sales in the tri-state area)!  Sales are held twice a year, prior to the change of seasons, Summer and Fall. They have Boy and Girls clothes from ages newborn to teen. The best part is they are CHEAP and many of the clothes were in brand new condition. I was able to get over 15 outfits for the baby, three pair of jean, sweat shirt, and two shirts for the oldest and bottle, baby blankets, and diaper pail for under $60.00 at Kids Closet last year! Some of the clothing even had the tags still on them.
A little tip: Look at the tags on the clothing, at both sales the last day items are marked down 50% so the $2.00 outfit is $1.00! However, not all pieces are like this so looking is important!
Finally, MAKE a little MONEY to spend at the sale! These are Consignment sales so you can sign up to Consign or Volunteer and get a little cash to spend at the sale! I am in love with these sales and as fast as the boys are growing will be making these sales a semi annual trip!

Thred-up. I still want to hug the wonderful lady that told me about Thred-up. This is an online Consignment sale, which sounds a bit scary but the quality is out of this world and you have a multitude of brands and styles, because the site takes cosigners from all over the US. If you sign up today you get Free shipping and 20% off your first order and use this link for a $10.00 credit on your first purchase;) Tip: If you are looking for brand new clothes Check out ThredUp's new section NEW WITH TAGS! Prices are still 60-70% off!

New With Tags-6.49

New With Tags-3.99

Shop Clearance a Season ahead. My kids do get new clothes. I do limit this to Birthdays, Christmas and special events. Even buying new I shop clearance and a few Select Sales. One happens to be going on now! Our Newest Contributor and Online Deal Seeker reminded me of this blowout sale: The Children's Place Monster sale. You can shop the latest style starting at 1.59 and up! I like to buy a season ahead so try predict what size you might need (bigger is better) and stock up!

Do you have a special trick or tip to save on Children's clothes? Leave a comment or contact us on facebook or email!



The Budget Diet: Cutting Costs

I hope that being two weeks into the new year you have figured out a new over hauled budget, your goal for the new year (pay off debt, save up money, ect), and have implemented it into your everyday life. So, I bet when you got down to the part of the budget that included extra spending and eating out, there wasn't a lot of money left. I want to talk a little about "finding" was to have a little more money for this part of the budget or CUTTING COSTS.

To Cut Costs, you need to get familiar with the companies that supply your bills or competitors for that matter. Here are some typical and easy ways to save or cut costs on your everyday utility expenses.

Down grade your cable or dish services- What?! I said it. Take a hard look at how much you pay for those extra sports, movies, and DIY channels. Then Multiply that by 12. On a minimum you would be saving 240.00 a year, most likely more. You could go to a real live game for two, twice on that, or actually pay for a DIY project. We have lived on basic cable for 9 years. The first year we didn't even have Cable! Now a days you could even use Netflixs and Hulu plus, instead of paying the hefty Cable bill.

Keep your house at a nice temperature- You can save 15-25% off your electric bill in the winter months if you keep your thermostat at 68 degrees and in the summer 75 degrees. Also, dressing for the weather and using a warm blanket helps. To cut the electric bill more, only wash a full load of laundry and in the summer dry your clothes on a clothes line! Check out this info on 100 ways to lower your electric bill.

Give up the land line- Most people have already done this and those who haven't probably just feel too attached to it. I will say I have lived fine without a land line for over 7 years. It also saves you around 30.00 a month or a grand total of 360.00 a year.

Avoid Late fee's- With your new budget all of your bills should be payed on time, so this should not
be a problem. But, if your are notorious for paying bills a day late STOP! You are literally throwing money down the drain. Most companies are charging 10-25% of the total bill and credit card companies charge a flat rate anywhere from 25-35.00! So just Pay those bills on time. If you have a hard time meeting a due date, call the company and ask for the due date to be moved to better suit you. As long as it is in the same billing period they are more then happy to help!

While these may seem like no brainers it is surprising how we take 15.00 here and 25.00 there for granted. Saving 10.00 on your electric bill, 30.00 on your phone, 20.00 on cable, and say 25.00 on late payments gives you 85.00 extra dollars each month to add for extra spending or maybe your just save it!

How do you cut costs? I would love to hear your brilliant ideas!


Tuesday Tip: Organization is money saved

I have been thoroughly cleaning and organizing the house since having baby #2. 
It is AMAZING all of the thinks you find when you clean out closet's and storage spaces. Tuesdays' tip is to get organized and stay organized. It will help you save money period. 
Here are three reasons organization is money saved:

1. You will find things you may be needing to buy
2. You will be able to keep better track of items and not "re" buy something you have
3. You will be able to track when you are low on something and look for the a sale or clearace item, instead of buying it full price.

I always thought organizing had to be massive undertakings, but I am doing one thing everyone two days or so and am in love with how much easier simple tasks are with a clean organized system! 

As you go through and organize your house leave a comment about the things you found!


Start your Budget Diet...

With an overhauled budget of course!
WARNING: This is a long post about how to budget

Making your Over hauled budget. The B word can be scary to face! It means you have to sit down and look at either how well your finances are doing or how well, not so pretty they are. In either case it overwhelming. ( I hope one day I am overwhelmed with having lots of green ;)

So when making your budget do:
  1. Choose a stress free time (no kids screaming and not at 2 am on a work week)
  2. Have whoever pays and contributes to bill paying present
  3. Collect all the information you need before hand, payment due dates, company names, checkbook ect
  4. Use a dedicated notebook or excel spreadsheet  
In order to get the Big Picture of your expensive to include in your budget, I like to get a print out of bank and Credit card statements for a typical month. Not the Christmas season or Vacation season. Maybe February or March. Then use this to calculate your spending that does  not include utilities and necessary payment.

What to include in your budget?In a simple word EVERYTHING! I like to micromanage my budget because I fell like there is 1. less room for no nonsense spending 2. you will know if something went wrong with your budget very quickly. So, what does everything mean? Rent/Mortgage                   Allowances
Electric                               Gas
Water/sewage                     Groceries
Oil heat                               Husband Spending
Cable                                  Wife Spending
Cell Phones                         Extra Spending(birthdays, anniversaries, ect)
Land Line                           Children Expenses
Student Loans                
Credit Card Payments
Medical Bills
Life Insurance
Prioritizing is next. If you are you are trying to save money or put extra towards debt this means that you will have to cut back or even out some area's of your budget. You should always pay your Mortgage and main utilities first! Let's face it there is no need to buy groceries or clothes if you don't have a place to keep them, water and electric to wash them. Now figure up the grand total for those bills and subtract from your total monthly income. With the money remaining move to your second priority.
Credit Cards and personal loans. Making these your second priority and paying them on time are very important. Low or bad credit is crippling in so many ways. If you are trying to add extra to pay off you will want to try and double your payment. This is because when you break down a CC statement most of the money you actually pay go towards interest and other fees. You may even want to call the CC company and pay by phone for the option to put the extra on the principal of the loan. (Beware, they will try to sell you a product but just say no!) I also suggest working at paying off one at a time, chooses the one with the highest interest rate (Tip. if in good standing call and see if you can get it reduced, saying you found a balance transfer with 0% financing usually helps).
Now you have your major bills paid, your credit cards paid, next would be Medical Bills. These can be just as damaging to your credit as lines of credit! So if you have many and they are in large amounts, call the source and set up a payment plan. They are all willing to work with you, now it may be more then what you were expecting at first but be assertive and tell them you can pay this and not one penny more. Make it a reasonable amount. Not 5.00 for a 500.00 bill, but maybe 50. 
Fourth priority is Groceries and Gas. I know you need to eat and to eat you have to have work, so you need gas. Your grocery budget should be 100.00 a month  per person so for a family of 4 = 400.00. Now of course at The Nifty Thrifty Lady I am not going to let you pay that! But to begin with budget about 10 or 15 % of your left over budget for groceries and then another 10 or 15% for gas.
Finally your spending and savings. I like to put a set amount in saving each month because we are still trying to build a savings. Then I like to take the remaining money(which maybe very, very small) at this point and put it towards all other costs. What is left is all the things that don't have to be done, they are luxuries. Going out to eat, the movies, giving the children an allowance. Shopping for new clothes, yes even Vacations. Again, I now things will arise. But instead of going out to the 5 star restaurant, go out to Olive garden or Longhorn, and yes use a coupon! Shop, Clearance or Consignment stores for clothes. Sign up for Groupon and save on day trips instead of paying hotel costs for a Vacation. Or better yet take a StayCation and Visit the history in your town. See if there is an extra fundrasier you can do to help cover the cost of uniforms or warm ups for the children. ALWAYS, ALWAYS ask for a special or discount everywhere you go, they can only say no and in most cases they will have something. If you are Military, student, or senior you are almost golden. Think outside the box for birthday presents, making homemade gift for a year is not going to seem cheap and they might like it more then you think! At the beginning of each year I like to review, tweak, and overhaul my budget. I also do this for major life changes (Births, job changes, raises,) and new major expenses (New car, repairs, major medical). Making a budget and sticking to it is a must but there are times you need to adjust or things can get really hairy! 2012 was a constant re-do on our family budget! We had:
  • New job
  • Part time job
  • Full time job
  • HELLO Baby #2
  • New Truck
  • Major Medical
  • Single family income
Each time I had to adjust mostly savings and extra spending. However, Making a budget on Jan 1. and sticking to it until Dec 31. is probably not a good idea.

Paying your bills. Choose two times a month if you are paid bi-weekly or weekly. The 1st and the 15th are suitable. Figure which bills can be paid when, then call the companies and ask for then to move the due date to either the 2nd or the 16th. This will give you no room to let a bill linger and the average 24 hrs to process a payment on line. 

Remember your main Goal and make 2013 the year you Budget goes on a Diet!


Have a Snuggie? Watch a free movie!!

Tonight Only at the Leitersburg Theaters, wear your snuggie for any showtime 7:00pm or after and get in free!

Don't forget Leitersburg Theater's also offers free refill's on your popcorn on drink!

Start the New Year off with a Budget Diet!

Source Happy 2013! A little tid-bit about 2013 it is the first year since 1987 to have 4 different numbers. Ok, that has nothing to do with budget or savings but is was interesting!

I hope everyone had happy holidays! This year was spent with the family all home, my Father-in-law was able to share Christmas with us at home, after recouping in New York from a major surgery, my Sister, Brother-in-law and New nephew was up from Florida and of course we celebrated our newest edition's first Christmas!


 Starting the New Year on a New BUDGET

Let's jump right in then shall we! At the beginning of each year we all make resolutions and vow's to start anew. Usually they are to get fit, start a new career path,or work of getting out of debt.  Well as I am not a professional financial counselor  here at The Nifty Thrifty Lady I can help you save 50-90 percent on your grocery, personal,and extra spending cost so you can put that money towards other debts or maybe even college tuition ! 

How to start? Sign up for Daily email Alerts with the top coupons and deals to start saving you money. 

What to learn how in person? Come over to the Clear spring Library on February 23, 2013 at 10:30 and learn all there is to know about couponing! Register here!

All this month learn the where, when, how, and what of couponing and savings money in the Budget Diet series! 

 Want to get started now? Shop The after Christmas and New Year Sales:
Target In Store Clearance on holiday items, toys, and baby
The Children's Place Monster sale Save 20% with code P4K713