"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding." Proverbs 3:5

Thrifty Thoughts and Frugal Finds

Crazy Crayons

We’ve been having some technical problems with our computer so I’m a little late getting around to these posts . . . .

We decided to make some of our Christmas presents this last year. Since we knew our nephews liked to color, I made them some crazy crayons!

Here’s my process:

1. First, I chose colors in similar shades, tore off their wrappers, and broke them up into little pieces.

2. Next, I put the little crayon pieces into tin cans (the smaller the can, like a small olive can, the better), putting all the blue pieces in one can, red in another, white in another, etc.

3. I put all the cans on a cookie sheet and then put it in the oven on the lowest heat setting our oven offered, checking every few minutes or so to see if they were melted.

4. Once melted I took out the cans and poured the melted crayons into candy molds, alternating colors in each mold. I found that the crayons hardened back up very quickly so I usually only took one can out of the oven at a time.

I don’t have step by step photos, but here is how they turned out:

If I had taken step-by-step photos, they would have shown the melted crayon I got ALL over the kitchen counters, the floor, cookie sheet, and on me. Let’s just say it was a colorful project. 🙂 I also would have taken one of the burns I got on my wrist from the oven rack. Twice. Be careful pulling those tins out!

If you’ve seen other tutorials, most of them say to put the crayons directly into a mini muffin or cake tin, and then pop it into the oven. I use my mini muffin and cake tins pretty often and wasn’t sure if the crayons would ruin them, so I used a plastic candy mold (do not put these in the oven!). If you have an old mini muffin tin that you don’t care about, I’d recommend that you do it that way. Much less mess!  Otherwise, you can find a plastic candy mold at any craft store.

Good luck! 🙂

This post was featured on Tip Me Tuesday, Skip to My Lou, Kitchen Fun with My 3 Sons,  Flaunt it Friday, A Bowl Full of Lemons, and The Frugal Girls.

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I Love Clearance Sales!

I’ve been looking for some new serving platters for quite some time, but haven’t found the right ones for the right price yet. Today I was poking around the Christmas clearance section at Albertsons and found this beautiful platter for $5.99!  Can you believe it?! $5.99! I looked for some matching pieces but they had all been snatched up. Oh well, I still think it was a great find.

The photos are from my cell phone and don’t do it justice, but I am one happy camper. Now I just have to find a cupboard it will fit into . . . 🙂


Hey Molly Fans!

Ever wonder what Molly Green’s voice from Econobusters sounds like? Now you can find out! 🙂

Listen to her free seminars on Super Storage Solutions and Frugal Entertaining Options on her new YouTube Channel.

More frugal fun to come!


Homemade Memo Board

The one room in our house that I have been having a hard time decorating is my office. So, when I saw Sharon White’s tutorial on how to make a Memory Board, I was super excited. Now I must confess something. My board isn’t as frugal as Sharon’s. She did a fantastic job of using things she already had around the house. I’m just learning how to become crafty (this is my first real project in a long time!) so I didn’t have a lot . . . ok, any of the materials I needed or that she used. I’m pretty happy with how it turned out though. It’s functional (currently holding pictures from my last trip home) and it adds a little bit of fun to my wall! 🙂

Rhinestone hot glued onto a plain old thumb tack

If you’d like to check out how Sharon created her memo board for next to nothing (her “board” and “fabric” were recycled from other things!), you can find it in Molly Saves in the Office!. It’s being offered for free during the month of January (today’s the last day!) when you sign up for Econobuster’s free newsletter.

 


More Free Stuff and How to Find It

I meant to write this blog way back in Oct. or Nov. but time got away from me.  I have been finding all kinds of great deals and things for FREE and wanted to share with you!  Unfortunately, most of these things are not available now, but there is more out there.  You just have a little time and patience and know where to look! 

Here are a few of things we’ve acquired for free or for super cheap over the last couple months:

  • Coupon for a free box of pasta (manufacturer’s coupon)
  • Coupon for a free bottle of Advil (manufacturer’s coupon)
  • Free eye shadow, liner, and mascara sample from Sephora.  (Birthday present for signing up on their mailing list.  GOOD sized samples too!)
  • Free granola bars, full-sized (I cant remember what brand or where from.  James ate them too fast!)
  • Free 1 year subscription to Martha Stewart Living
  • Coupon for a free hand sanitizer Pen (CVS mailing list)
  • Free face mask (from redeeming our CVS extra care bucks)
  • Free remote control car (CVS extra care bucks) I used this as a topper for a cake I made James.  Now he uses it to chase Malakai away from Pepper’s food.
  • Free Starbucks drink, any size and any drink I wanted (birthday present for registering my gift card.)
  • Free Starbucks flavored via (Walmart, I think.  It came with several packets!)
  • Free sample of Starbucks Vanilla Fusion (Starbucks website?)
  • Free Renuzit air freshener (Manufacturer’s coupon or Facebook)
  • Free 3 month subscription to a wood working magazine
  • Free 3 month subscription to Family Circle
  • Free milkshake at Arby’s
  • Free ice cream at Cold Stone
  • Free Blockbuster rental
  • Anxious for Nothing: God’s Cure for the Cares of Your Soul By John MacArthur
  • Tortured for Christ by Richard Wurmbrand  (James really liked this one and you can get it here.)  
  • Free travel pillow from Sleep Number (Facebook) I was especially excited about this. I have been wanting to get a travel pillow to support my neck on long car rides.
  • We also have full year magazine subscriptions to ESPN, Outdoor Photography, and Better Homes and Garden for only $3-4/year each!
  • $1 Flip-Flops at Old Navy 
  •  

I’m sure there is more but I can’t remember the rest.  I tried to list where I found each of the deals, if I could remember. It’s been awhile on some of those!  A few came directly from the manufacturer’s websites when you sign up for their newsletter and others from when you “like” them on Facebook.  I’m sure your thinking- but who has time to look at all those websites every day?  That’s the cool thing about it.  There are tons of blogs and Facebook sites that do the work for you.  All you have to do is subscribe to their newsletters or become their friend on Facebook and then you only have to spend 10 or 15 minutes a day checking a few sites to get tons of great deals! Some of my favorites are Molly Green, Econobusters, The Frugal Girls, and Thrifty Homemaker.

Enjoy! 🙂


Attention Frugalistas!

Guess what? Molly Green over at Econobusters has re-vamped her Money-Saving Digest for 2011 and wants to share the new look by offering the January issue, Molly Saves in the Office! at no charge. That’s right, she’s giving it away for FREE during the month of January!  Hop on over and check it out! Just visit http://www.Econobusters.com and sign up for her free weekly newsletter on the yellow “sticky note” in the upper right corner of the blog. Your welcome letter will include a download link for the January Digest as well as a free Menu Planning E-Book by Sherri Graham. Enjoy! 🙂

 

 


Candy Cane Candle Holder

A few weeks ago I found this Candy Cane Vase tutorial.  I thought it was such a cute idea but our cats will eat anything that resembles a plant or flower.  And yes, I do mean anything. That means real, plastic, and cloth plants too.  So, I didn’t see the point in making it since we could never use it.  A few nights ago I was cleaning up after dinner and was about to throw an olive can into the recycling when I realized that it was the perfect size for the miniature candy canes and decided to make a candle holder!

Isn’t this cute?  I had originally planned to use tealights or votives but James pointed out that the jar candle would look nice.  We just happened to have two jar candles and two olive cans so all I needed to purchase were the candy canes.  I hot glued the candy canes to the cans and then James sprayed them with sealant so they wouldn’t get sticky.  They were quick and easy to make and the best part is that I only spent a little over $1 each on them!

This post was linked to Tip Me Tuesday.


You Win Some, You Lose Some

Sometimes we shop at the $1 store.  I’m not embarrassed to admit that- we’ve found some really fantastic deals there!  We’re pretty picky about what we buy though.  We mostly stick with name brand things (It’s not that we are snooty, it’s just that you can find some strange and funky things there so we just feel it’s safer that way).   It’s a little trick we’ve started doing to save money.  We write-up our grocery list, go to the dollar store first, and then get whatever is left at the grocery store.  Sometimes we hit the jackpot and other times . . . well, not so much.

Here’s what I’m talking about.  This summer I found Loreal’s self tanning lotion for $1. Since I’ve moved here, I’ve made it a practice to never walk out of the house without sunscreen on my face.   I’m pretty fair-skinned anyway, but in the summer this makes my face several shades lighter than the rest of my body.  I’ve used this kind before and it’s usually around $8-10 so it was a GREAT find.

Twice we have found mini roses and a few other beautiful potted flowers.  In fact, about half the flowers on our patio are from the $1 store!

We have found spices without garlic.  These spices are not name brand, but spices are expensive and usually have garlic so we gave it a shot.  Our food has flavor again and my husband is a happy man.

We found sweet and sour sauce without garlic.  Also not a name brand since we’ve never seen sweet and sour without garlic we gave it a shot.  GREAT find.

Crest toothpaste, Aquafresh toothpaste, Campbells soup,  Reach toothbrushes, Soft Soap liquid hand soap, holiday decorations, picture frames, etc, etc, etc.  All GREAT finds.

We have been wanting new pot holders and dish towels and have decided to redo our kitchen in red and sage green (not to be confused with Christmas green).  We found a great deal on dish towels at big lots in exactly the right shades (That is until the green towels turned yellow) but have yet to find pot holders in those colors . . . until one glorious day at the dollar store we found oven mitts.  Not just in the right shade of red, but also the right shade of green.  We bought one of each.

We were so excited that we got home and threw away our old pot holders, and I put the green one in the wash . . . and viola!

 

It shrank 2 sizes.  This darn oven mitt barely fits my hand now.  James has to fold it in half and use it like a pot holder.    I still haven’t washed the red one- partly because I’m waiting for a big enough load of reds and partly because I’m afraid it will come out child sized.

Oh well.  You win some, you lose some.  And at $1 each I still think it was worth the gamble!


Happy Birthday Statue of Liberty!

We’re having a huge sale over at Econobusters.com to celebrate the Statue of Liberty’s birthday that I thought you might want to pass along to your friends. You can read all about it HERE. All of our Molly Members (and anyone who subscribes before midnight Oct. 29) will have access to over $50 in money-saving resources on the 28th and 29th. Check out this link to see a listing of the free resources. They will also receive our current Money-Saving Digest, Socks, Suds and Savings, and the October freebies that are a regular part of our membership as well. Not only that, our November Digest, Preparing Our Hearts and Homes for the Holidays, will be available in their Member Pages for download on November first. Members can cancel at any time, without question, if they feel the membership does not meet their needs. For only $3.95, they can check it out for one month AND take advantage of all the free resources I just mentioned.

If you know of anyone who might enjoy this, please pass it on! 


Another Silhouette Machine Giveaway!

You can win a free Silhouette Machine on Infarrantly Creative’s blog by going to THIS LINK and leaving a comment on their page. You can also get extra entries by following them, posting on FB/Twitter, and writing about it on your blog.

Good luck!