Starbucks is launching their 12 Days of Gifting starting Thursday December 1st. Sign up to receive daily text reminders by texting MERRY to 697289 or you can see a list of all 12 offers on the Starbucks website.
They have some really fun offers this year, my personal favorite is the tray of Cranberry Bliss bars for 50% off. If you haven’t tried these yet, you are seriously in for a treat. They are also running deals on holiday mugs, whole bean/ground coffee, tea and other fun items. You even have the chance to get free brewed coffee for a month if you purchase one of the offers!
This is my absolute favorite time of year. I love the holidays. I love watching my kids learn and enjoy the holiday, the sights, smells, sounds, (mostly) joyful people, movies, music, food. You name it.
I always thoroughly enjoy the holiday season, but generally get to the day after Christmas and can’t remember a darn thing we did over the month of December. It flies by in a flurry of shopping, gift wrapping, parties and anything else you can cram in to your days. I find myself wishing that I had done more fun, relaxing things with my kids or spent a night out with just my husband.
What I’ve found is that if it doesn’t make it on the calendar at the beginning of the month, it just doesn’t happen.
There’s part of me that wishes I was super crafty and could make an adorable Advent calendar with all sorts of fun projects, but I’ve decided to admit to myself that it’s just not me. I feel far less stressed out and guilty when I don’t expect Martha Stewart crafts out of myself. If you are the crafting type, check out Thrifty NW Mom and Simply Frugal Mom.
What’s working for me this year is to add all of our scheduled events to my Google calendar (which sends me updates, basically smacking me in the forehead so I don’t forget things). I’m going to add the fun crafts, baking or other miscellaneous things we want to do to my new planner. This way we aren’t tied down to a specific day to bake some magical cookie recipe, which would just cause me anxiety. Generally, things don’t ever go as planned with a 3-year old and an 18-month old.
What I’m adding to my calendar and planner:
Pre-scheduled events – I sat down and wrote out a list of all the things that were already scheduled for the month of December. We have 3 parties so far (that I know of), my MOPS meetings, a MOPS girls night out and a few other things. With this, I also think about lining up people to watch our kids when needed and what I’m going to wear to the different parties. I also plan out any treats or appetizers I may need to make.
Events we want to attend – The next thing I did was add in things that aren’t exactly scheduled, but that we want to do as a family. For example, we want to go Bill’s Berry Farm to get our tree and they are only open certain days. We want to go see the reindeer at Beaver Bark Nursery and the Senske Light Show. You could add church services/programs to this list as well or any other local events you want to attend.
Cooking and baking – I’m going to pick 4 or 5 new fun recipes to try this month and shoot for 1-2 per week. I apologize in advance to my husband’s coworkers and our neighbors. I love to bake, but quickly pass my goods off on everyone else so I won’t eat them all. I’m also going to pick a few kid-friendly holiday dinner recipes to make this month. Every year, we do a fun breakfast with just our little family and Christmas Eve dinner with my mother and sister-in-law. I start planning those menus really early, so I can make sure to not spend the entire day in the kitchen.
Miscellaneous fun – These are going to be the activities that are pretty fluid. I’m going to be ambitious and shoot for 1 or 2 fun crafts from Pinterest. A few friends and I are going to try to schedule a little cookie decorating play date. I’d also like to have a few fun holiday movie nights with our kids, which technically need to be scheduled. Movie nights can’t happen on Sundays or Mondays, some Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Thursdays. Anyone guess why? For some fun “bucket list” ideas, check out Thrifty NW Mom.
Advent calendars – Instead of something adorable and crafty, we have $1 chocolate advent calendars from Rite Aid. This is what I had as a kid and loved every single day of chocolate. I figure my kids probably won’t resent me if I don’t come up with something more elaborate.
This may sound like a fairly micro-managed holiday season to some of you, but I’ve definitely found with young kids like ours, things generally have to be scheduled to be relaxed. I have low expectations of the actual amount of stuff we are going to get done, but I also don’t want to stress out because I have forgotten about an event that was planned several months ago or something else important. I like to know what to expect. I’m really excited about doing things a little differently this year!
I’d love to hear how you manage your holiday season? Are you a go-with-the-flow type person or more of a planner like me? I’d also love to hear some of your favorite holiday traditions, recipes or crafts that you do with your kids or families!
If you live in the Tri-Cities and have not seen the annual Senske light show, you are definitely missing out. The building and surrounding area is lit by over 140,000 lights, with a light show set to the beat of Christmas music. All you have to do is drive over to Senske, park somewhere nearby and tune your radio to 100.1 FM. Prepare to be amazed! They have five or six Christmas songs that play on a loop and the light show is completely choreographed to the different songs.
Time: Runs 5 PM to midnight every night and is totally free
Date: Runs December 2nd to January 2nd
Location: 400 N. Quay Street in Kennewick (Head up from the mall on Columbia Center Blvd. Take a left on Deschutes and it will wind around until you find Senske on the corner of Deschutes and N. Quay.)
This year, the annual light show will kick off on Friday December 2nd from 5 PM to 8 PM. Photos can be taken with Santa, then emailed to you for a suggested donation of $5. All proceeds will go to 2nd Harvest. You can also bring non-perishable food donations and drop them off in the 2nd Harvest buckets. There will also be hot cocoa and candy canes available.
For more information on the light show and donating to 2nd Harvest, click here.
This is such a fun recipe! They are especially tasty with an orange marmalade dipping sauce. Even if you aren’t the biggest coconut fan, give them a try!
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup beer
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups flaked coconut
3 cups oil for frying
In medium bowl, combine egg, 1/2 cup flour, beer and baking powder. Place 1/4 cup flour and coconut in two separate bowls.
Hold shrimp by tail, and dredge in flour, shaking off excess flour. Dip in egg/beer batter; allow excess to drip off. Roll shrimp in coconut, and place on a baking sheet lined with wax paper. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat oil to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) in a deep-fryer.
Fry shrimp in batches: cook, turning once, for 2 to 3 minutes, or until golden brown. Using tongs, remove shrimp to paper towels to drain. Serve warm with your favorite dipping sauce.
Jessie is the mother of two sweet kids and the author of Bites, a recipe blog that will make your mouth water. Make sure to follow Bites on Facebook so you don’t miss a single recipe.
Through end of day today, November 30th, you can order 10 stationary cards or 20 photo paper cards from Ink Garden for just $1. Shipping is between $3.29 – $3.99. You could pay as low as $.21 per card, shipping included!
Head on over to Ink Garden to start designing your card. Use promo code HOLIDAYCARDS at checkout.
Head on over and “like” Target on Facebook and you will be directed to print a coupon for a free $10 Target gift card when you spend $50 in-store. The coupon expires on 12/3, so you would have to use it soon. I figure some of you are planning some Target shopping for the holidays and this would be a great way to save some extra money!
Today’s Spotted Fox deal is fantastic: Buy a $30 voucher to Applegate Nursery Christmas Trees for just $15. If you are new to Spotted Fox, sign up through this link and you will get an automatic $5 credit, making the deal just $10.
Applegate Nursery Trees are grown in Washington and are available for purchase in the Ranch & Home parking lot in Kennewick. They have trees ranging in height from 4 feet to 12 feet, as low as $19.99.
Amazon has a really fun daily deal today in Movies & TV: The Fraggle Rock Complete Series Collection for just $44.99. This is a 20-disc set, making each disc just $2.25 each. Shipping is included. If you’re like my husband and I, we love to show our kids the fun cartoons we watched when we were young. This show was so much fun!
Zaycon Foods is back at it! They are currently taking orders for fresh hickory smoked sliced bacon at $2.97 per pound. This is a fabulous price for fresh high-quality bacon and if it is even half as good as their chicken, I’m totally in. Several readers and friends have told me the bacon is amazing quality!
Your order will consist of 30 pounds of bacon for a total of $89.10. I realize this sounds like a lot of bacon for one family, but you could either freeze it in smaller quantities or split with friends.
This sale is running in conjunction with the ground beef event, so it looks like all bacon pick-up locations will be the same as ground beef. The beef events are sold out in our local area, but you can still add bacon to your order.
There are several other pick-up locations all across Eastern and Western Washington, Oregon and Idaho. To see additional events, sign up for a Zaycon account and click on “My Account”. Orders must be placed by December 3rd.
If you aren’t familiar with Zaycon, they sell products straight from the farm, never frozen. At your specified pick-up location and time, you just swing on through with your order confirmation and pick up your stuff. You don’t even have to get out of your car.
The new Costco coupon mailer starts this Thursday December 1st. I wasn’t super excited about much in the new booklet, but I did find a few deals worth mentioning.
Duracell AAA (24 ct) priced at $10.99
Duracell AA (40 ct) priced at $13.99 - $2/1 instant savings (limit 1) $8.99 – $11.99 after instant savings *$.30 – $.37 per battery
Finish Powerball Tablets (100 ct) priced at $14.99 (limit 5) Use $3.25/1 coupon from home mailer $11.74 each after coupon or $.12 per load *My store had bonus packs 100 ct + 100 ct, which would make these less than $.06 per load. This is an AMAZING price, especially when buying in this quantity. Check the end caps at your store for these bonus packs!
Kirkland Signature Disinfecting Household Wipes (220 ct) priced at $9.99 (limit 3)
Use $2.50/1 coupon from home mailer $7.49 each after couponor $.03 per wipe
I know there are a few other good deals this month, but these are what stood out to me. I’m super excited about the Finish deal! Leave a comment if you see any other good prices for this month.
I recently updated my Pantry/Household Stock-Up List with tons of Costco prices. If you are looking for a specific price or looking to compare a Costco price with what I consider a stock-up price, definitely check out the list.
As most of you know, I have been participating in a blogger program with Franz Bakery over the last few months. I just wanted to take a quick moment to thank Franz for allowing me to be a part of this. I have been reviewing several of their products and they truly made the morning after Thanksgiving deliciously sweet. And caused me to add an extra workout after eating an entire bag of gingerbread cookies.
Their commitment to quality ingredients and amazing food is apparent every time I try a new product. They also are very committed to their neighborhood and community. I posted a few weeks ago about their “Help Us Help Your Neighbors” promotion, where they are giving away $500 to 10 deserving people, families or organizations. Read my original post for more information.
After being gone for the holidays for five days, I had to make an emergency trip to the store for something fresh. We have been eating Peeled Snacks in place of fruit, which is fine but not a permanent solution. I had been excited about some of the deals this week using the Fred Meyer Friends & Family shopping pass, so we headed there.
Here is what I bought with my pass (plus a box of oranges):
I also headed in with a list of some of the items you all have mentioned you were looking for, hoping to scope out a good deal. If there is something specific you are looking for, it might be worth taking a look around armed with your bonus coupons and shopping pass. I was able to get my brother’s Christmas gift for slightly less than Amazon is asking and it wasn’t even on sale!
LeapFrog Leapster 2 on sale $39.99 Use 10% off Home coupon from weekly ad
Use 15% off Friends & Family Shopping Pass $30.59 after coupon and shopping pass *The lowest I’ve seen this so far was $24.99 on Black Friday
Pillow Pets (standard and Pee-Wee) on sale $15.99 Use 10% off Home coupon from weekly ad
Use 15% off Friends & Family Shopping Pass $12.23 after coupon and shopping pass *Amazon did have these for cheaper on Black Friday, but this is the best price I’ve seen in-store
Men’s, Women’s and Children’s Outerwear on sale 50% off
Buy Boy’s or Girl’s Snow Bib Overalls marked down to $19
Use 15% off Apparel coupon from weekly ad
Use 20% off Friends & Family Shopping Pass
$12.92 after coupon and shopping pass
There are TONS of deals available on Plum District today, just use promo code cyber40 at checkout to receive your discount. Be sure to check your local area as well, there are some fun local deals to be had.
There are still several deals available that I posted about on Cyber Monday. I wanted to give you a quick round-up, just in case you missed it in all the shopping chaos! Free 2012 Hidden Pictures Calendar when you purchase Highlights High Five magazine The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition $24.95 after gift […]
Tri-Cities Computer Consulting is family owned mobile company located in Pasco, WA, providing computer services and support at a reasonable price to the Tri-Cities and surrounding areas. Beau is willing and able to make the foreign language of computer terms and jargon more understandable and relatable to everyday consumers. They offers a variety of services […]
Eversave has a fantastic deal today: Buy a $50 voucher to Lock & Lock for just $23. Promo code CYBER is still working as of 5:30 AM PST, dropping your price down to just $20. If you are new to Eversave, you will get a $3 sign-up credit, making your deal just $17. Lock & […]
Amazon has The Ultimate Matrix Collection on Blu-Ray today for just $25.49, shipping is completely free. This is the Gold Box Deal of the day, so once it sells out, it’s either gone or the price will go way back up. I’d snag it now if you are interested! Learn how to earn […]
When you order a subscription to Highlights High Five magazine, you will also receive a free 2012 Hidden Pictures calendar. Our 3-year old gets this magazine every month and LOVES it. It has so many fun stories, activities and “finding things” pictures (as he calls them). I think this would make such a fun gift […]
Tanga has a one-year subscription to Shape for just $2.44! This offer is valid through Tuesday November 29th at 7 PM PST. You can buy up to three years and each subscription has 12 issues, only 20 cents per issue! Go here to order, subscription will be $24 Use promo code SHAPECM to drop the […]
I’m SO excited about this deal. Today on Zulily, you can score a $100 Travelocity hotel gift card for just $50. Use promo code GA5867 to save an additional $5, making your gift card just $45! You must book your travel by June 30th, 2012, so you have plenty of time to use it. My […]
In the spirit of the shopping season, we are excited to share with you some of our favorite things! Our hope is by sharing our tested and approved ideas, it may help buy for some of the people on your list and come up with a wish list of your own. Every Monday for four […]
Flirty Aprons is offering 40% off all aprons plus free shipping today. Girl’s styles are as low as $15 and women’s are as low as $17 with promo code CYBERFLIRTY. My friend Sarah bought me one of these for my birthday this year and it is SO cute. I wore it a few weeks ago […]
Hi! I'm Melody from Tri-Cities, WA, the mother of two young boys and passionate about getting fit, eating healthy and saving money. I am dedicated to helping you live a fabulous life for less and hope you will join me on this journey!