I’ve mentioned my small obsession with fresh flowers before. Part of the reason I am so obsessed with them is because you can create something so beautiful for such a low cost. I love creating the arrangement just as much as I love looking at it day after day after day. I am no florist but I do enjoy creating. So, today, I thought I would share with you some very simple tips I always use to make a budget-friendly, DIY flower arrangement.

1.  To start, I always select three main pieces. Greenery, a main flower, and a filler (either a small flower or additional greenery). I love to buy these wholesale and usually grab about 3-5 stems of each. Sometimes I will grab a wider variety of florals or greenery, just depending on what look I am going for and what’s on sale. Some of my favorite chain stores to buy bunches of flowers from are Trader Joe’s, Harris Teeter, and Costco. 

NOTE: Eucalyptus is my favorite greenery right now. Lavender, Limonium, Baby’s Breath, Aster, or even cat tails make for great filler. The main florals I use vary by season but some of my current favorites are hydrangeas, roses, gladiolas, and delphiniums.

2. Cut at least an inch off the bottom of each stem, cutting the end at a sharp angle. Remove all greenery from the stem at least 8″ up the stems.

3. Begin arranging by adding in your greenery first. Loosely arrange it into the shape you are looking for. You want your arrangement to build up from the sides up into the middle so cut lengths accordingly, always cutting to a sharp, angled edge. The trick is to loosely get your shape. You are not looking for perfection. I usually just plop it all in and pull, tug, and snip stems here and there to get an overall even shape.

4. Add in the filler flowers or extra greenery to fill in the blank spaces and add a little more height to the arrangement.

5. Lastly, add in your main flower(s). I add these in so they stick just slightly further out than the greenery. I may pull a bit at the filler flowers/greenery to help them fill in around the main flowers a bit and create volume and even more height to my arrangement. Try to evenly disperse the main flower without being too uniform.

Here is an example of an arrangement that is heavy on flowers. The florals and greenery to make this whole arrangement cost me $15 at Trader Joe’s! 

What do you think? Any tried and true tricks you always use for your arrangements? Let me know in the comments below. If you haven’t already then please subscribe to get updates on all my latest money-saving tips and DIY ideas. If you like this post, then please give it a like so I know to do more like this one.

Have an idea for a post you’d like to see? Drop me a comment in the comment section below. I’d love suggestions from you!


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Target Dollar Spot Clearance Alert

Great. Deal. Alert. Whenever I find an awesome deal on something I was already planning to buy I have this excited need to share. The deals I found today are no different. Target dollar spot items marked as 50% off rang up as 70% off in my store. All of this stuff was between 30 and 90 cents! Could be the same for your store!

You may remember me mentioning in a past post that I am doing some fun, informal preschool stuff with our threenager. I have loved the Target dollar section for affordable and fun preschool supplies. Keeping the projects different keeps preschool exciting for my threenager. And the dollar section at target lets me have a variety of fun while staying on budget.

When I got the Krazy Coupon Lady alert that school dollar spot supplies were being clearanced out at 50% off, I visited our local Target and started rummaging through the 50% off signed section. Imagine my surprise when I hit up the in-store price checker and saw that prices were ringing up at 70% off! I went back to the section, picked up even more supplies, and happily checked out. I am stocked with ABC and counting preschool supplies for the school year. I am not sure if this was a glitch at my store or if all Targets are doing this but it is worth a check, right?


Not only are school supplies on sale, but also party decor and dorm supplies. Have a party coming up? It’s worth checking out your Target’s clearance section before they are cleared out. 

I found the most adorable summer prints that are perfect for any cheery get-together. I am already planning my threenagers 4th birthday party using the supplies I picked up at 70% off! I’m thinking a lemonade stand theme is in the works.

Stop back by and share the deals you found by shopping this sale! If you haven’t already then please subscribe to get updates on all my latest money-saving tips and DIY ideas. If you like this post, then please give it a like so I know to do more like this one.

Have an idea for a post you’d like to see? Drop me a comment in the comment section below. I’d love suggestions from you!




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Target Clearance + Extra 20% Off Via Cartwheel

This week has been an extra exciting week for me in terms of my Target finds. I wanted to briefly share them with you before you head into the weekend. So, here ya go.

THE DEAL: Season end clearance on clothes and shoes PLUS an extra 20% off said clearance items via Cartwheel.

Shoes were the big find for me at my Target but every store will differ. Don’t live near a Target? Target online is also running a clearance plus extra 20% off sale (use code SAVE20). I will note that I found that my in store clearance had better deals than online.

The chambray, off-the-shoulder top was just under $6, the zebra print DV sandals were just under $6, and the neutral tone DV sandals were just over $9 after the 20% discount was applied. It was seriously difficult to decide which shoes to buy. So. Many. Options. You need to shop this end of season sale. Go. Now.

Stop back by and share the deals you found by shopping this sale! If you haven’t already then please subscribe to get updates on all my latest money-saving tips and DIY ideas. If you like this post, then please give it a like so I know to do more like this one.

Have an idea for a post you’d like to see? Drop me a comment in the comment section below. I’d love suggestions from you!

Top 10 Favorite Dollar Tree Purchases

I love the Dollar Tree. Can I get an amen? But not all Dollar Tree purchases are equal. Learned that one the hard way. After years of hits and misses, there are certain items I will always buy from the Dollar Tree. So, today, I want to share my top 10 favorite items I will always buy from the Dollar Store.

1. Storage Bins.

I mean, aren’t these on everyone’s list? $1 for a storage bin. Round, square, tall, short, small, large, and in all colors of the rainbow. I don’t feel like I need to say more. They even have canvas type storage bins if you aren’t feeling the plastic. I organized my kid’s entire closet with pink and blue dollar tree bins. Your next organizing project needs these. Go. Now.

2. Hair Accessories.

Brushes, combs, bobby pins, metal free hair ties, and elastic headbands are some things I always buy from the Dollar Tree. You can’t beat the price. And as fast as us girls go through hair ties and bobby pins, saving a few dollars each time really adds up!

3. Greeting Cards.

Quality greeting cards for such a steal. All these pictured were 2 for $1 and originally between $2.25 and $2.75 each! I stock up whenever I’m at the Dollar Tree. It’s so nice to save money on every greeting card and still be able to buy a quality card for every gift I give

4. Gift Bags.

Speaking of gifts, you can save even more money on your gift-giving by purchasing your gift wrapping at the Dollar Tree. Not just any gift wrap, but the gift bags and tissue paper specifically. I haven’t been as impressed with the quality and value of the wrapping paper but the gift bags and tissue paper are unbeatable! And the selection is impressive. From weddings, to showers, to birthdays, to babies, to generic colors, Dollar Tree has a gift bag for every gift at a steal.

5. Door and Wall Hooks.

Living in a small space, door and wall hooks are a space and sanity saver! (Relating? Check out some small space living and decorating tips here). From hanging towels, to space-saving tricks, to hanging play pots on my daughter’s play kitchen, to kitchen cabinet storage, to extra places to hang backpacks, I use these in every room.

6. Helium Balloons.

If you are going for a cute feel to your decor, then these are unbeatable. $1 a balloon ranging from solid colored stars and hearts to designs that are event specific with messages such as “Happy Birthday”, “It’s a girl/boy”, “Happy Anniversary”, etc. to Disney character designs like Frozen, Minney, Mickey, and more. Tons of options and a great price make this one of my first stops for any helium balloon needs I have.

HERE’S A TIP: Take a look at the balloon list in-store and get your balloons filled fresh, right then, to get the longest-lasting balloons.

7. Disposable Party Supplies.

Tablecloths, utensils, plates, napkins, straws, severware, etc in almost any color. Dollar Tree has it all in a one-stop shop at dollars less than most other stores. I love the square shaped plates for a more unique twist. Straws in a fun pattern or color are always a nice addition and, at $1 for 24, very affordable. And they have the tiniest, silver colored spoons and forks that are the perfect addition for an hors d’oeuvres party. Pop a mini fork into each meatball on a platter of meatballs or a mini spoon into a shot glass of soup topped with a crouton and you instantly step up your presentation.

8. Kid’s Crafts.

Stickers, coloring kits, pom poms, pipe cleaners, glitter glue, balloons, puzzles, and the list goes on. My favorite purchase in this category are the stickers. My 3 year-old cannot get enough stickers. Anyone relate? And thanks to the Dollar Tree I can now afford to supply her never ending need for stickers…Frozen stickers currently lol. They even have  play packs with princess stickers she can stick on and take off the included backdrop for a more interactive experience.

HERE’S A TIP: Anytime I need a little time to get something done I simply pull out my kid craft bin, all stocked from the Dollar Tree, and let my toddler pick out a few fun supplies to play with and explore. She is occupied and using her creative, little mind in a productive way, and momma can get dinner or a little cleaning done. Thank you Dollar Tree.

9. Mailing Supplies.

Small mailing envelopes, small boxes, and packing tape are so affordable at the Dollar Tree. Whenever I need to mail a package, I almost always stop by the Dollar Tree to grab my mailing supplies.

10. Glass Dishes.

I was complimented on my “Pottery Barn Emma dishes” a few months back. Imagine the surprise on my guest’s face when I told them that my dishes are actually Dollar Tree dishes that I bought 7 years ago.  I have seen the same or similar dishes at my Dollar Tree as recently as this week. It’s worth checking into your local Dollar Tree if you’re interested. 12 bowls and 12 plates for $24. Hard to beat that compared to the actual Pottery Barn 16 piece set for just over $140 on sale right now. Even if this style isn’t your cup of tea, they have a ton of options from plain white, to colorful, to floral, etc. At $1 a piece, why not?

HERE’S A TIP: Don’t see what you want at your Dollar Tree? Shop their website. A huge selection and free shipping to store make it hard to beat! (FYI: I already checked to see if they had the dishes I posted about above. They don’t have them listed on their site. They do have some similar bowls here, but are currently out of stock. As I mentioned before, it’s worth checking in store if you’re interested).

That completes my top ten favorite Dollar Tree purchases. What are some of your favorite Dollar Store purchases? Any that you hate? Let me know in the comments below. If you haven’t already then please subscribe to get updates on all my latest money-saving tips and DIY ideas. If you like this post, then please give it a like so I know to do more like this one.

Have an idea for a post you’d like to see? Drop me a comment in the comment section below. I’d love suggestions from you!

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Goodwill Shopping Tips: Back to School Haul Edition

Not all Goodwills are created equal. It’s true. But I can say that, given the chance, Goodwill can almost always deliver. My love for Goodwill has been carried from a poor, border city to a small, southern town to our new home in Scottsdale, AZ (a thrifting mecca) and everywhere I’ve lived in between. So, as back to school gears up and you’re out shopping for those new clothes, I wanted to share some of my favorite Goodwill tips to save beyond the low thrift store prices and examples on the blog today.

1. Color Tags: Some Goodwills offer 50% or even $1 deals on certain color tags. This can vary by day, week, etc. So be sure to ask when you walk in or call if there are any tag deals going on.

2. Coupons: Sign up by email and check your circular for Goodwill coupons. The Goodwills in my area send out 20% off coupons via email weekly (YAY!).

3. Special Days: Some Goodwills have Senior Day, 50% off Saturday, $1 days, etc. Call ahead and see if your Goodwill is running any special days and when and what those days are. The Goodwills in my area are currently running a “Back to School” sale of 25% off!

4. Returns: Did you know you can return items to Goodwill? There are limits so be sure to check with your local goodwill but usually you have 7 days with receipt and tags still attached (2 days for electrical items) and, per Goodwill’s website, you cannot return books, jewelry, watches, records, tapes, CDs, DVDs, furniture, ink, as-is items, and seasonal items.

5. Shop online: Don’t feel like leaving your house? Can’t find what you’re looking for? Intrigued by the idea of online thrift shopping? Try shopping Goodwill online here . I mean, it isn’t the highest tech website but how awesome is it that there is even a Goodwill online???

These are my top money-saving tips that I personally use whenever I buy at Goodwill. If you’d like to see another post on how to generally shop thrift stores then give this blog a like. In the meantime, I have used these tips in my own shopping to score some great deals and want to share just some examples of how these can save you big.

First, I shopped my local Goodwill’s Back to School sale (25% off!) to pick up some great quality clothes that would be super awesome for my little preschooler starting off her first school year EVER (cue tears). Here are my preschooler’s five outfits for just under $16:

Gap Baby pink, linen overalls $2.24; Carters white undershirt $1.49; Baby GAP sweatshirt $2.24; Baby GAP pink corduroys $1.00.

Ralph Lauren dress (new with tags) $4.49; Baby Gap romper $2.24.

I have to point out that this gorgeous dress is handmade! And I scored it for $2.24.

In addition to the back to school sale, here are a few other deals I have scored using these tips. I know I love seeing other people’s hauls and what they were able to find at what price so I hope you enjoy mine as much as I enjoy others!

Both of these dresses pictured above are GAP dresses (with pockets!). I scored them on a 50% off Saturday for $4.99 each!

J. Crew jean dress was a random stop-in purchase for $5.99. GAP maxi dress was a 20% off coupon purchase for $7.99. I must have a thing for pockets because both of these have pockets too!

Monteau top and white COTTON:ON 91 jeans were random stop in purchases for $4.99 for the top (again with side pockets!) and $7.99 for the jeans. These KUT From The Kloth jean shorts were a 20% off coupon purchase for $4.79.

This gorgeous Janie and Jack linen romper was just $2.99! I couldn’t resist it for my little guy. And the tees are Baby Gap and Children’s Place from Goodwill’s Back to School sale for $1.49 each. I just love our little man in a pocket tee.

Do you have a favorite Goodwill purchase? I couldn’t be happier with my little preschooler’s new outfits. I cannot wait to see her in each one. And I have been loving my “new” clothes too… especially the pockets lol.

Any tricks you always use when shopping for back to school clothes on a budget? Please share them in the comments below! If you haven’t already, please subscribe to get all my latest DIY and money-saving ideas. And, if you enjoyed this post, give it a like so I know to share more shopping tips and hauls like these.

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Costco Gold Membership Groupon Deal + 10% Cash Back Using Ibotta

In light of my recent Costco posts here and here, I feel like I need to share Groupon’s Costco membership deal. Maybe you already saw it. But, if you haven’t, check it out here.


In a nutshell, this deal offers you their $60 gold star membership for…$60. BUT, Groupon also includes with that a $20 Costco cash card, coupon for three free Kirkland products (paper towels, Vitarain water, and a whole pizza), $25 off an online order of $250 or more, and $75 towards Costco travel opportunities. So, basically $45 to use at costco or, free products valued at just over $35, and money towards various Costco travel options in addition to your membership. Check out Groupon for more specific details and limitations.

Also, don’t forget that you can get 10% cash back on Groupon purchases by purchasing through the Ibotta app. Don’t have it, feel free to sign up using this link so you get free cash and so do I. Win, win.

Lastly, consider upgrading to executive (once you are a gold member) if you spend over $58 a week at Costco. If you spend more than that, check out my blog discussing how you can even make money by upgrading to the executive membership (item 10) here.

Just wanted to get on and share these deal breakdowns with you before they end.

Happy shopping!

FIVE Budget-Friendly Tips for Decorating Your Next Event

A few weekends ago I went to a family get together with some of my husband’s co-workers and their families. This was my first get-together like this in the new city. I was helping with organizing said event and, of course, I volunteered to do the decor. I wanted the space to be decorated but I also didn’t need to sink a bunch of money or time into it. So, I set out to come up with some easy decor for a budget-friendly and easy set-up and used some of my top tips along the way. So, today I am sharing FIVE tips and tricks I used with you.

1. Pick a theme and stick to it.

This really helps me focus in on what I can actually use, makes my life so much easier, and ultimately saves money in the long run. I struggle when I haven’t really thought through a theme. I tend to feel all over the place and end up with too much decor that doesn’t flow together. A theme gives me boundaries to work within. A theme helps me evaluate every idea by asking myself, “Does this tie in and really add to my theme and the atmosphere I want to create?” If not, it’s out. Really take the time to think through the atmosphere you want to create before you start anything else. It pays off over and over and over. 

For this event I chose a more sophisticated country chic theme because, for me, it’s an easier and more affordable look to put together. And I do so love easy and affordable :). 

2. Shop your home (and your friends’ homes).

Take inventory of what you already have that falls within your theme. Do you already own vases, mason jars, galvanized buckets, linens, whatever you can use for your own theme? Also, rethink purposes and really challenge yourself to think how you can use what you already have. Do you have a picture frame that could double as a menu (I did and it’s pictured below)? Do you have bushes that you could use for greenery? The more creative you can get with what you have the more you save. I mean, I’ve used curtains as linens for multiple events including this one.


3. Decorate a few main areas.

Instead of spreading out the decor and, therefore, making each area feel a little sparse (ie: cheap), use most of your decor in one or two areas and really do them well. Maybe a really dressed up food table and drink/dessert table. Or maybe a really cool looking coffee station. Or even just a long, family-style table loaded with decor and food lined down it. So many options you can play with. For this event, I combined the food, desserts, and drinks onto one table and focused all my decor on that table to create one focal point that easily directed everyone to where the action was happening lol. I didn’t get a chance to snap a picture once the food was laid out but here is a plain shot that helps you get the idea of just the decor:

4. Use fresh flowers and linens whenever possible.

Flowers are such an easy way to immediately dress up your decor. Now, I have to admit that I am a fresh flower junkie. Most any week you can find fresh flowers in my home. So, naturally, fresh flowers and/or greenery is usually a part of the decor. But here is where it becomes cost-saving. Most any flower I use is from a yard with permission or in a wholesale bunch from somewhere like Trader Joe’s or Costco. Sometimes I even use bush cuttings from my and my neighbor’s back yard to create a greenery arrangement or even a faux succulent. The arrangements pictured here cost me $8 total to make. A quick stop at Trader Joe’s and I had fresh flowers and eucalyptus that I arranged for my event…and my home afterwards, lucky me. I think they really make the area pop don’t you?

Linens are another way to really dress up your event. Not knocking the plastic ones because they really are awesome in a pinch, but there is no denying real linens take the event up a notch. No need to buy expensive linens unless you want to make the investment. I’ve used a cheap linen cloth I bought by the yard and just unrolled it down the table. The raw edges went with the theme and I loved the textural detail of the frayed linen. I’ve used, as i mentioned before, curtains from my home and even sheets. And there is always the thrift store option…which brings me to my next point.

5. Consider Goodwill or other thrift stores.

Goodwill is a goldmine for party decor! So, many people head to the dollar store, spend $20 on supplies, and call it a day. But wouldn’t they feel awesome knowing that instead of plastic table cloths and cheap, paper decorations they could have galvanized buckets, real linens, and unique vases for the same amount? Almost everything pictured here, with the exception of the flowers and pie sign, is from various trips to Goodwill. A few stops at my local Goodwill on their 50% off Saturdays and I had most everything used to decorate this event for under $30 and most of it I will get to use over and over again!

What do you think? I was pretty pleased with how everything turned out and how budget friendly it ended up being. It was so fun to get to better know my husband’s co-workers and their families.

Any tricks you always use when decorating? Please share them in the comments below! If you haven’t already, please subscribe to get all my latest DIY and money-saving ideas. And, if you enjoyed this post, give it a like so I know to share more tips like these.

Shark-Themed Party and Mini Shortcakes

Baby A turned 1. O. N. E…ONE! And just like every mom when her precious baby’s first birthday looms, I found myself wondering how it was even possible that he joined our little family almost a year ago?!?! After recovering from the shock, I turned my attention to planning a first birthday. How could we celebrate baby A and his first year of life?

I began thinking through what we could do to celebrate. Here is a summation of my thought process. I started by asking myself how we could host friends in our little apartment? We could have the party outdoors! How could we do something outdoors in the July desert? We could have it in the morning at the pool! What theme goes well with a pool party? An underwater theme! And it just so happened that A just got a new pair of shark swimming trunks. Sharks.  And just like that it was decided. An early-morning, shark-themed birthday party.

Next was the menu planning. Early morning party = breakfast food. Breakfast is easy, affordable, and has so much presentation potential. I focused on strawberry shortcake in different forms and added in fresh fruit and an egg casserole to complete the menu. Easy to prep the day before or morning of and so good!

One sheet cake of strawberry shortcake is all I needed to make the smash cake, mini cakes, and trifle. I simply baked a sheet cake of strawberry shortcake. I “cheated” and used the gluten free bisquick mix and recipe right on the box. So easy and delicious! 

I used round cookie cutters to cut out A’s smash cake and the mini shortcakes. 

The mini shortcakes were topped with a dollop of jam and then cream cheese frosting, a fresh strawberry slice, and shark fin cupcake topper made by the awesome Sonora Handmade

A’s smash cake was simply outline in piped cream cheese frosting and filled in with jam on top both layers and then lightly frosted on the outside to get a naked cake look (and also lock in the moisture). And topped with a laser cut number “1” also made by Sonora Handmade.

I crumbled up the leftover shortcake and topped with the leftover strawberry jam, strawberries, and whipped cream in a glass bowl to get a quick and easy trifle.

Three different presentations out of one recipe.

The decor was a mix of things I had and a few things I picked up. I used galvanized buckets, linens, and severware I already had. I purchased sharks (which doubled as party favors), plates, napkins, forks, and straws from the Dollar Tree. I also picked up some balloons for the backdrop from Party City. Cut out a few shark sillouhettes from blue bags. And, lastly, I added in fresh flowers. Fresh flowers are always such a nice touch for any party and I scored all the greenery and flowers for this party for $10 total from Trader Joe’s!

What do you think? I was pretty pleased with how everything turned out and how budget friendly it ended up being. It was such a precious time with friends celebrating our sweet boy.

Any ideas or traditions for celebrating first birthdays? Please share them in the comments below! If you haven’t already, feel free to subscribe to get all my latest DIY and money saving ideas. And, if you enjoyed this post, give it a like so I know to do more like this one. Up next week is an easy decor set-up for your next dinner party. 

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10 Favorite Costco Purchases that Save (or even make) You Money

I already mentioned in a previous blog post that we recently moved across the country. While we wait for our old house to sell we have a pretty strict budget to follow. It’s doable and comfortable but doesn’t leave room for much extra. So, anytime I can shave a few dollars off a necessity like food I get super excited because that leaves a few extra dollars to spend on something else…something fun…or save…there’s that too.

During this transition time and hyper budget awareness, my love for costco has grown into a weird obsession. I’m drinking the Costco juice. So, in light of that, I wanted to share my top five favorite and budget friendly Costco purchases that almost every family can use. Wait, did you just say five favorites…but doesn’t your title say 10? Why yes it does. When I first mentioned this idea of doing five to my sister she responded, “Impossible. Make it ten.” So, per my sister, here are my top 10 favorite Costco purchases that help me save money. And, sidenote, I focused in on items I think almost every family buys and include different ways to use them so hopefully this is helpful.

1. The rotisserie chicken. 

This THREE pound, ready-made dinner is such a steal at $4.99 a chicken! That’s $1.66 a pound (of course poundage includes bones). Pair it with some veggies, put it in a soup, salad, or pasta, shred it for tacos or chicken salad. I mean the options on how to use this bird are endless! I can easily get two or three meals for my entire family out of this chicken. Simply add in a side or two and you can make each meal for just a few dollars!

2. Cheese. 

Specifically the Kirkland block cheese. A 2lb block of cheese in my store is currently running roughly between $4 and $6 depending on the type of cheese you want (Colby, sharp cheddar, mild cheddar, etc.). I buy one block of sharp cheddar every week and use it on everything from omelettes, to salads, to sandwiches, to pasta. So versatile and cheap!

HERE’S A TIP: Consider buying the sharp cheddar over other varieties. It takes less sharp cheddar cheese to get that satisfying cheese flavor than, say, a mozzerella or mild cheddar. And using less saves you money and calories in the long run!

3. Bananas.

Costco sells one bunch of bananas for just under $1.40. You get eight bananas in a bunch. That’s roughly 17-18 cents a banana. Enough said.

4. Eggs. 

Eggs are a poorman’s protein gift. Cheap, filling, and, depending on what you think about the yolk, a nutritional bonus. I just bought a 5 dozen box of eggs for just over $4. That’s just under 86 cents a dozen. And I bough them for under $4 last month at about 77 cents a dozen. Use them for a quiche, a banana egg pancake, veggie omelette, to top off a sandwich, in soup, etc. Be creative by making this poor man’s protein the star of your dish. And by buying in bulk I never run out which makes it easy to declare an omelette night whenever we need to cut costs.

5. Chips. 

Tortilla chips are my love language. This crowd pleaser is at Costco. Under $4 for a 3lb bag and they are delicious! It’s super easy to grab this bag of chips and one of costco’s delicious salsa choices for an easy party pleaser. Throw leftover veggies and meat over some chips, top with your Kirkland sharp cheddar cheese, and warm for an easy, clean out the fridge nacho night. The options are endless and so is this giant bag!

6. Organic Spring Mix. 

At under $4 for a lb container, this salad mix is a budget pleaser. Top with veggies and hummus, leftover meat and salsa, berries and feta, hamburger meat and condiments. Seriously, I’ve been eating a salad a day just using leftovers from the night before (I included a few pics of said salads below). This giant tub easily gives me 8 full meal sized salads and I’m avoiding waste by using leftovers to create my salads.

7. Oil. 

Specifically their kirkland brand olive oil. Cold pressed, Italian grown olives, and quality tests have shown it is at the top. It’s delicious and not heat processed…my two requirements. 2 liters will run you about $15 and has lasted me over 6 months now (so prices may have fluctuated since then but I wouldn’t know because I’m STILL using the same bottle). Other honorable mentions include their coconut oil and avocado oil.

8. Gift cards. 

Gifts, occasional eating out treat, date night, whatever. Costco regularly sells their gift cards to places such as restaurants, the movies, amusement parks, etc. for around 20% below their value. We picked up a discounted restaurant gift card and use it once a month or so for a little Saturday treat. Add in restaurant freebie offers (like free apps or dessert or birthday offers) and you are getting a great deal on an occasional treat.

9. Gas. 

See those lines at the Costco gas station and wonder what’s up? Well, in my experience, gas has consistently been about 15-20 cents cheaper a gallon at the costco pump. If you have 2 cars that you fill up weekly then you save roughly $6 a week, $24 a month, or almost $300 a year! Obviously this can vary based on your car and fill up schedule but you get the idea. Combine your already low priced gas with a special cash back of 4% when you use the costco credit card and you’re saving big time! Make your money work for you my friends.

10. Costco’s executive membership.

 Math alert. If you don’t like math then the bottom line is if you spend over $58 a week at costco then you should upgrade to the executive. Now, for the number crunching. You get 2% cash back on most every purchase except gas. This membership upgrade costs more up front ($60 for regular and $120 for executive once prices have gone up). BUT the executive pays for its extra cost over the course of a year IF you spend at least $58 a week over 52 weeks ($251.34 a month and $3016 annually). You can even make back more money than it’s extra $60 cost. For example, assuming you buy about $100 of groceries a week at costco then you’ll get 2% (or $2) back a week for 52 weeks which equals $104 back in a year. Pair that with an additional 2% cash back on almost anything by using the costco credit card and you can easily get $208 cash back a year (and more if you spend over $100 a week)! Plus, costco has a satisfaction guarantee and will refund you your money if you decide the executive just isn’t working for you. Who does that???

HERE’S A TIP: don’t have a Costco membership? You can have a friend who is a member buy you a gift card to Costco. That Costco gift card gets you in without a membership. This is a great way to shop your Costco and get a feel for savings before committing to a membership.

Obviously store prices fluctuate and my prices may be different from yours but I tried to give a general price range to give you a few ideas of how you can be saving and even making money at Costco!

So, my friends, I hope this has been helpful. What are some of your favorite, budget saving purchases from Costco? Are you drinking the Costco juice? Let me know in the comments below. And, as always, please subscribe if you haven’t already for all my latest money saving ideas. And if you’d like to see more posts like this one then give this post a like. Coming up soon on the blog are two budget friendly events complete with menu and DIY decor ideas that I hope will help inspire you for your next event. Until next time, consider sharing this post with a friend.

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FIVE Tips to Maximize Use and Enjoyment of a Small Space

My little family recently moved across the country. In the process we downsized from a four bedroom, over 2000 sq foot home with a nice back and front yard and large garage to a two bedroom, under 1300 sq foot apartment with a small balcony. It’s been a challenge to downsize. Everything we own has to be questioned. Does it have a place? Is it a need? Will it fit? In the process of downsizing I’ve tried some things that have helped me utilize the stuff I own in the space I have. So, today I want to share FIVE tips for maximizing use and enjoyment of a small space with you today. Let’s get to it.

1. MULTIPURPOSE: can this item or room serve more than one purpose?

This was especially helpful when thinking through what furniture to bring. Instead of just a side table I wanted each side tables to have another use. For example, our couch side table is actually a storage ottoman. Our bedside tables are a bookshelf on my husband’s side and a desk on my side. I saw a storage basket with a wood table top at Target that would make a great side table and storage for extra blankets. Multipurpose to the max. You get the idea.

So, what furniture can serve multiple purposes? Any creative ways to rethink your furniture uses?
This works not just with furniture but also with your space. Can this room have multiple purposes? For example, our dining area is also a play area. Our bedroom is also an office. The key is to keep it organized and clutter free so the two purposes don’t overwhelm the room.

2. VERTICAL: how can I store my stuff vertically instead of horizontally?

Vertical storage (think up the walls instead of across the floor) is a great way to maximize storage in a small space. For example, door hooks (dollar tree!) are a great way to create extra storage. You can use door hooks to hang towels or pool floaties or shopping bags or whatever your need may be, freeing up floor and shelf space. We also used some command strip hooks to create places to hang our backpacks and essentials we need when heading out the door (baby carrier, nursing cover, etc.). Again, using wall space instead of floor space.

Rethink what you have. How can it create some vertical storage for you? For example, I did not have any cube storage shelving. Instead, I had a tall bookcase and some storage cubes. I combined the two. 1Cubes can help organize everything from toys, to clothes, to craft supplies and takes up very little space when stored up in a tall bookcase. I even used an over the toilet organizer in my small laundry room to make a space for cleaning supplies and bulk toilet paper and paper towels instead of buying a shelving system. Again, creating storage up the wall more than across the floor.

The following picture is our laundry room that we can close the door to lol. But by using an over the toilet bathroom storage unit I created the perfect shelving system for cleaning supplies, bulk supplies, and hangers/laundry needs. And you can also see the pool toys hanging on the back of the door.

With little ones vertical storage can be a little more challenging but think creatively and question everything. Can this be safely stored vertically?

3. MINIMALISM: is this really necessary?

Clutter can make a small space feel even smaller and, if you’re like me, take the enjoyment out of the space. Clutter isn’t something we all try to accumulate. Its just the accumulation of things we can’t “live without”. During this move, I found that all the things I couldn’t live without I mostly could live without. It was tough but good. I’m not a person who wants to do minimalism to the max (ie: almost no decor anywhere). I want to feel free to decorate my space. But I did try to limit it and really give myself push-back on whether each item would really add to the decor or just be more clutter. In a small space it can feel cluttered so quickly. So choosing your favorite pieces and being picky is important.

The room I want to focus on under this section is the bathroom. It is definitely the most minimalistic place in the whole apartment. But it makes it so easy to keep clean and decluttered which leaves more time for other things I actually enjoy. Happy momma.

Minimalism applies not only to trinkets and decor, but also to furniture. Bulky pieces aren’t great for small spaces. You know this. So when shopping what you have or what new pieces you want to invest in, look for simple, clean lines. It can really make your living space feel so much more open when you have clean lined furniture and a few select pieces of decor.

What is in your space as decoration that is really just collecting dust and giving you one more thing to clean? What furniture or color scheme just makes the whole room feel dark and cramped? Consider getting rid of it all together or sell it and buy something else that works better.

4. ROUND and/or COMPACTIBLE: does this come in a round shape and/or can it be easily compacted when not in use?

The only furniture we really needed to buy was a bed and a dining table. When choosing the dining table I had to keep a few things in mind. I knew I wanted our dining room to double as a play room and, therefore, I knew I wanted a round table. A bonus was that it also has leaves that can fold down. As we all know, a round table (dining, side, or coffee) takes up less space and can visually make the room feel more spacious. Add leaves that fold down and it’s a total small space win. I love that we can fold the leaves down and push the table aside as a two-seater or pull it out and put the leaves up for guests or family dinners when our kids will actually stay sitting. Bonus is it doesn’t feel cramped either way.

What rooms could use a roomier feel? Any way to add circular furniture to replace blockier options? Only using a furniture piece occasionally? Is there a way to buy a compactible version?

5. ORGANIZE: how can I create a space for everything I want to keep?

Lastly, as I mentioned before, a small space can start to feel so cluttered if you aren’t careful. A few out of place items and chaos is creeping into your environment. Especially if you have small children.

Create spaces that are practical and livable. What I mean by this is let your kids have play areas, just make them easy to clean up. Keep cozy blankets and TV-trays accessible, just find a place to easily store them so they aren’t visually cluttering the space. Let your husband have a pile of papers that he just doesn’t want to deal with immediately, but put them in a basket. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but organization is the key to thriving in a small space.

To save space by organizing, here are just some of my ideas I am currently using. I store the kids foldable chairs, yoga mat, internet router and modem, and TV trays behind the couch. Behind the couch is often just wasted space. Redeem it by using it for storage. I have bins in a tall bookcase that hold toys, craft supplies, and clothes and turns the dining room into a play room that is easy to clean up. My husband has a basket to throw all those random papers into that he plans to deal with later. When it starts to overflow he knows it’s time to just purge. We have a basket for tv controllers. We store tons of blankets in a basket by the tv making them accessible, I don’t have to fold, and it looks pretty stored away by the fireplace. Our kids’ stuff like socks, shoes, diapers, wipes, even their pjs (don’t judge…I just want them fast when bedtime comes and I don’t care if they’re wrinkled lol) etc. all have their own bin in the kids’ closet (thank you Dollar Tree!). I can just toss said random items into their individual bin and they are “cleaned up” out of sight. I could go on and on but you get the idea.

How can you create a space for each item that gives it a home and keeps your small space from feeling cluttered? What items tend to clutter and pile up the most? Start with those!

I hope these tips helped! Let me know what other tips you may have in the comments below. And, if you haven’t already, then pease subscribe to get updates on all my latest money-saving tips and DIY ideas.

If you like this post, then please give it a like so I know to do more like this one. Thanks all! Until next time, consider sharing with a friend.

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