Archive for the ‘Ways to Save’ Category

Household & Grocery Subscription Services You Need In Your Life

Posted by My Dallas Mommy on Thursday, January 26th, 2017 at 5:15 PM
The links in the post below may be affiliate links. Read the Full Disclosures!

Household and grocery subscription services

There are days when a simple grocery list seems so overwhelming.  Packing up the kids, driving to the stores that carry your favorite brands, and spending extra money on items you don’t really need can be a daunting chore.  Why not sit back, relax and order those household necessities online?!  With these subscription services, you’ll score all of the products you need, save a ton of money, and save time.  It’s a win-win-win situation!

Here are our favorite grocery and household subscription services:

Boxed.com

Candy, air fresheners, wine, condiments, laundry soap, diapers…. all of this and more can be found at Boxed.com at GREAT prices!  With their awesome referral program, free samples and bulk purchasing to save you more, Boxed.com offers perks you don’t want to pass up.

BENEFITS:

  • Score $15 off your first Boxed order of $60 or more with this link!
  • Create an account, and share $15 in savings with friends and family, and get $15 Boxed credit for each friend you refer after their first Boxed delivery.
  • Score 2 FREE samples with each box delivery!
  • Shop online OR use the convenient app.
  • Enjoy free delivery on your first order and all other orders over $49! Most orders arrive within 2 business days.
  • Get 1% in Cash Rewards on the total price of your order for every purchase.
  • No membership fees!
  • Buy in bulk and save more, plus that reduces having to shop as often!

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Amazon Subscribe & Save

Save on everyday products to fill up your pantry!  These are regularly scheduled deliveries of the items you want and need for your household from Amazon.  Get everything from cat litter to toilet paper and coffee to cleaners with Subscribe & Save!  Be sure to check out Prime Pantry for more savings, as well!

BENEFITS:

  • Get household items, food, beverages, pet supplies and MORE!  You’ll never run out or have to make extra trips to the store!
  • Subscribe to more, and save more! Get additional savings and deals on eligible subscriptions when you subscribe to 5 or more products!
  • Save 20% on diapers and baby necessities as an Amazon Family Member. Get a FREE 30-day trial HERE.
  • Coupons are available to virtually zip to save more on your purchases!  Combine these with the “buy more, save more” savings to really score.
  • Shipping is FREE on all of your orders!  Most will arrive to you within 2 days.
  • Skipping a delivery is easy, with just one click. You’ll also be notified before a subscription is sent out.
  • Cancel your membership anytime

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Jet.com

This unique site has a real-time savings engine that will drop prices as you shop!  You’ll always find fun games and toys, great household necessities and gift ideas at Jet.com.  From furniture to laundry detergent, this Amazon-like competitor offers some great perks:

BENEFITS:

  • No membership, annual or hidden fees! Just shop and save!
  • Get FREE 2-5 day shipping on $35 or more orders!
  • Get JetCash just for shopping, and use it towards future purchases!
  • Constantly updated with new savings offers, new products and new deals!
  • Save 15% off your first THREE orders!

Target Subscriptions

Shop til you drop with Target Subscriptions!  Pick the everyday products your family needs, and set a delivery schedule.  Even better, you’ll score 5% off just for subscribing, and get free shipping.  Target REDcard holders will also get an additional 5% off!

BENEFITS:

  • Once you’ve subscribed, if the price on any of the items drops or offers more promotional discounts, you’ll receive those discounts on your subscription!
  • Skip or cancel or subscription whenever you need to, with ease.
  • You get the best of Target’s great inventory, at great prices!

Have you had a great experience with a subscription service?  Tell us about it in the comments, and feel free to leave referral links for fellow readers!

Thrifty Tips

September Deals: What to Expect to Find on Sale
Meal Solutions for Turning Leftovers Into New Meals
Choosing Quality Fruits and Vegetables at the Grocery Store
What Foods Can You Freeze? Save Time & Money
Top 10 What to Buy During End of Summer Sales
80 Non-Toxic DIY Cleaners
10 Uses for Muffin Pans
10 Items Worth Buying at the Dollar Store
Signature Mini Meals + 21 Meal Suggestions

+ More!

 

 

10 Winter Energy Saving Tips

Posted by My Dallas Mommy on Friday, January 6th, 2017 at 7:00 PM
The links in the post below may be affiliate links. Read the Full Disclosures!

10 winter energy saving tips

Brrrrr!!!!  With the crazy weather that Texas brings us, it’s hard to keep our energy bills in check. You can save a ton of money by following 10 Winter energy saving tips that will help lower that energy bill and keep you warm and toasty all Winter!

  • Use your ceiling fans properly.  Changing the rotation, alters the airflow.  Have your fan turn clockwise (counter-clockwise in the Summer to cool down your home) to keep the hot air in the room.  Keep it on a low setting and that will gently push the warm air down.
  • Blankets, robes, and heavy socks can definitely keep you warm inside.  Lay an area rug down in rooms you use often, as this will help insulate the floor.  Bundle up with blankets before turning up the heat.  An electric blanket can offer even more warmth, and not force you to heat the entire house!  This best selling heated fleece wrap is the perfect solution.
  • Only heat rooms you use. Close and seal off vents in the rooms you aren’t in like storage or guest rooms.  This will help the flow of energy focus on only the areas you want to feel it in. Space heaters in the rooms you use the most will allow you to turn the heat down in the rest of the house and save on the energy bill, too.
  • Open south-facing window curtains and drapes during the Winter, when the sun is out, and allow your home to soak up that heat it offers.  When the sun goes down, close them to keep the heat inside.
  • Keep the house cooler while you sleep.  Your body temperature will rise as you sleep, and you can bundle up much more under the covers to keep warm.  Electric blankets and microwaveable rice packs are a great way to keep your bed warmer, too. Allowing your thermostat to be turned down 10 degrees for about 8 hours can help you save on your energy bill by about 10 percent each year!
  • A humidifier will add moisture to the air.  When the air in your home becomes dry, it feels colder.  Moist air feels warmer and hold heat more efficiently.  Your humidifier can allow you to lower the thermostat by making it feel warmer!  Try these highly rated humidifiers!
  • Decorating your indoor areas and outdoor patios with lights are a great way to feel festive during the holidays.  Using LED lights can use 75 percent less energy and last 25 times longer.  That means they consume much less energy.  No matter what type of lighting you use, unplug them before going to sleep or leaving your home.  Even if they aren’t turned on, they will continue to draw power.
  • Sign up for Energy Ogre.  No, really – go sign up.  You’ll literally save 40-60% off your energy bill!  Read more about how Energy Ogre helps save Texans tons of money every year HERE!  Why pay a standard rate, when you can save so much money?  Sign up, switch and save.  It’s really THAT easy!
  • Your furnace needs a tuneup!  When it runs efficiently, it reduces energy consumption.  Schedule an appointment and get that furnace it’s yearly checkup.
  • Use exhaust fans in your kitchen and bathrooms only when you have to. pull hot air that is rises to the ceiling out of the room. You’ll need that hot air to keep the area warm, especially after having a hot shower! Use them when you need them, and shut them off as soon as possible.

Thrifty Tips

SEPTEMBER DEALS: WHAT TO EXPECT TO FIND ON SALE
MEAL SOLUTIONS FOR TURNING LEFTOVERS INTO NEW MEALS
CHOOSING QUALITY FRUITS AND VEGETABLES AT THE GROCERY STORE
WHAT FOODS CAN YOU FREEZE? SAVE TIME & MONEY
TOP 10 WHAT TO BUY DURING END OF SUMMER SALES
80 NON-TOXIC DIY CLEANERS
10 USES FOR MUFFIN PANS
10 ITEMS WORTH BUYING AT THE DOLLAR STORE
SIGNATURE MINI MEALS + 21 MEAL SUGGESTIONS

+ More!

Holiday Meal Price Guide – Know Your Prices!

Posted by My Dallas Mommy on Wednesday, December 14th, 2016 at 6:00 PM
The links in the post below may be affiliate links. Read the Full Disclosures!

Holiday Meal Price Guide

The holidays are here, finally! It’s one of the best times of the year to stock-up on several items like boxed potatoes, canned veggies, baking items and more! But how do you know what you SHOULD be spending on these things? What’s the best price for a frozen turkey? What is a good deal on pot roast? It it cheaper to make my own pies than it is to purchase a frozen one? We’ve got you covered!

Holiday Meal Price Guide

Remember: These are stock up prices. This is just a guide for you to gauge what you are paying versus what you could be paying. Get as close to the listed prices as you can when you are shopping for your holiday meals. Watch the blog for coupons on these items!
Holiday Meal Price Guide
Turkey – whole, frozen 39¢-59¢/lb (under 99¢ per pound is a score)
Turkey – whole, fresh $1.39/lb
Spiral Ham – $1.69/lb or under $2 /lb
Leg of Lamb – $8.95/lb (varies depending on location)
London Broil – $1.99/lb
Rump Roast- $2.99/lb
Pot Roast – $2.29/lb
Brisket – $2.49/lb
Roast Beef – $2.49/lb
Pork Tenderloin $2.99/lb
Fish – fresh $2.99/lb
Holiday Meal Price Guide

Stuffing – we can score this for FREE with coupons, but if you don’t, under 75¢ is great

Box Potatoes – 50¢

Canned Veggies – 30¢ or under

Frozen Veggies – FREE – under $1

Gravy – dry packets will be under 50¢, and jars/cans will be under $1

Cranberry Sauce (can) – under $1 (the closer it gets, the more chances of scoring it for 50¢)

Chicken Broth (can) – 33¢

Chicken Stock – FREE – 75¢/box

Olives – FREE to 50¢

French’s Onions $1.50

Rolls/Biscuits (frozen) – 50¢ and under for a Pillsbury package

Rolls/Biscuits (fresh, dozen) – depending on the brand, watch for under $2.50

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Sweet Potatoes – 49¢/lb

Yams – 49¢/lb

Brussel Sprouts – $1.49/lb

Cauliflower – 88¢/lb

Broccoli – 88¢/lb

Potatoes – under $2 for a 10 lb bag (we even see 15 lb bags for $1.99!!)

Fresh Green Beans – under $1 per pound (these prices have changed, too)

Celery bunch – 89¢

Carrot bunch (1 lb) – 89¢

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Whole, frozen pies – we see these on sale with coupons for under $2 each

Milk – $1.99 (gallon)

Heavy Cream – $1 (1/2 pint)

Evaporated Milk – 50¢

Condensed Milk – 75¢

Sugar (5 lbs) – $1.50 (under $2)

Flour (5 lbs) – $1.50 (under $2)

Powdered/Brown Sugar (1 lb) – 89¢

Baking Powder – FREE – 50¢

Corn Starch – 50¢

Marshmallows – under $1/bag

Cool Whip – 50¢ for holiday flavors, under $1 for regular

Canned Pumpkin – $1 or under

Pecans – whole, $4.99/lb

Almonds – whole, $3.99/lb

Apples – depending on the type of apple– 99¢ – $1.49/lb

Chocolate Chips/Morsels – $1 – $1.50

Cream Cheese – $1

Cake Mix – 75¢

Frosting – 75¢

Cinnamon Rolls – 50¢

Cranberries (fresh) – we can get them for FREE, but about $1 per package is good

Butter (salted/unsalted) – $1.50/lb

Pie Crust (2pack) – $1

Pecans – The price of pecans has sky-rocketed! The cheapest we’ve seen lately is $7.99/lb

NOVEMBER: What To Expect On Sale This Month!

Posted by My Dallas Mommy on Tuesday, November 1st, 2016 at 5:00 PM
The links in the post below may be affiliate links. Read the Full Disclosures!

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What’s on sale in November?

Chilly air, red and yellow leaves, the smell of cider and fresh pumpkin pie…..it’s definitely November!  This is the month that kicks off holiday shopping deals!  Black Friday is always popular, and so is Cyber Monday.  But, besides the obvious, what else can we find on sale this month?  Here you go!  If you’re looking for great gift ideas, be sure to head over to the blog to join our exclusive MDM Secret Savers Facebook Group, sign up for our FREE *HOT* text alerts and watch the blog for online deals and roundups!

 

Black Friday

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For the entire month, you’ll see great sales and “Pre-Black Friday” promotions!  These are wonderful ways to avoid the rushes and panic of Black Friday sales in-store AND online.  We’ll see everything from jewelry to digital cameras and appliances to TVs on BIG discounts this month!  We anticipate grabbing awesome deals on DVDs and Blu-Rays, tablets, Keep watching the blog so that you don’t miss anything!

black friday resources

Get ready for WINTER!

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Before Winter hits, retailers like to begin putting seasonal items on the shelves.  You’ll see great deals on outerwear like jackets, coats, boots, thermals and much more all on sale this month.  Gloves, cold weather sleepwear, robes, mittens and hats will also be in abundance this month.  Another great buy will be cold medicine, chapsticks, cough drops and all seasonal allergy or cold & flu medications.  Read more about cold & flue essentials HERE.

Halloween leftovers

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All of those Halloween decorations, costumes, candies and party supplies will have to be off the shelves to make room for Thanksgiving and Christmas items. That means we see quicker markdowns on these things.  Stock up for cheap and save for next year, or grab some costumes for dress up when the kids want to get creative!  Don’t forget that candy corn is also enjoyed during Thanksgiving, so stock up now when they are on sale! Store your new decorations away until next year and feel awesome about saving so much money on them.

The great outdoors

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We’ve started to see nice deals on outdoor fire pits and chimenas, and those prices will continue to drop until they are gone from retailers warehouses.  Any other outdoor item like patio furniture, grills, tiki torches and hammocks will be greatly reduced, too.  This is a perfect time to save on these items.

Baking Season

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It’s in full swing now!  We saw quite a bit of activity in the baking world last month, but now it kicks into high gear.  Big sales, lots of coupons and neat promotions will be everywhere for items like chocolate chips, evaporated and sweetened condensed milk, cake and brownie mixes, nuts, coconut, sugars, flours, sprinkles, extracts and even Chex cereals!  Keep your eye on the blog for new coupons and deals at your favorite stores.

Thanksgiving

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Read about stock up prices for everything Thanksgiving meal and dessert related HERE!  We’ll see nice deals in the grocery stores on canned goods like soups, broths and canned pumpkin. We’ll also get nice sale prices on fried onion topping, cranberry sauce, marshmallows, hot chocolate, rolls, gravy, stuffing and more!

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Produce in season this month

  • Apples
  • Artichokes
  • avocado
  • beets
  • bok choy
  • broccoli
  • brussels sprouts
  • cabbage
  • carrots
  • celery
  • chard
  • chestnuts
  • cranberries
  • daikon
  • fennel
  • guava
  • kiwi
  • kumquat
  • lemons
  • orange
  • pears
  • persimmons
  • pomegranate
  • potato
  • quince
  • rutabaga
  • squash, winter
  • sunchoke
  • turnips
  • yams

Thanksgiving Meal Price Guide

Posted by My Dallas Mommy on Tuesday, November 1st, 2016 at 4:00 PM
The links in the post below may be affiliate links. Read the Full Disclosures!

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Stock-up price will vary depending on what region of the country you live in and how close to Thanksgiving you purchase your turkey.  Remember – you’ll pay nearly DOUBLE for a fresh turkey, that you will pay for a frozen bird.  This is important because we are thrifty shoppers and we want the best deal for the most value!   We will say that generally a great stock-up price for a frozen, whole turkey (always buy whole!)  will be between 39¢ and 59¢ per pound.  Finding a frozen, whole turkey under $1 per pound is a good deal.  Do the math and bring your calculator with you!  ALSO, be sure that the butcher’s calculations are correct.  If you are supposed to be paying 79¢/lb, and the total seems a little high, it may just be!

Remember:  These are stock up prices.  This is just a guide for you to gauge what you are paying versus what you could be paying.  Get as close to the listed prices as you can when you are shopping for your Thanksgiving meals.  Watch the blog for coupons on these items!

MEAT

Turkey – whole, frozen  39¢-59¢/lb  (under 99¢  per pound is a score)

Spiral Ham – $1.69/lb or under $2 /lb

SIDE DISHES

Stuffing – we can score this for FREE with coupons, but if you don’t, under 75¢ is great

Box Potatoes – 50¢

Canned Veggies – 30¢ or under

Frozen Veggies – FREE – under $1

Gravy – dry packets will be under 50¢, and jars/cans will be under $1

Cranberry Sauce (can) – under $1 (the closer it gets, the more chances of scoring it for 50¢)

Chicken Broth (can) – 33¢

Chicken Stock – FREE – 75¢/box

Olives – FREE to 50¢

French’s Onions  $1.50

Whole, frozen pies – we see these on sale with coupons for under $2 each

Rolls/Biscuits (frozen) – 50¢ and under for a Pillsbury package

Rolls/Biscuits (fresh, dozen) – depending on the brand, watch for under $2.50

Cranberries (fresh) – we can get them for FREE, but about $1 per package is good

Sweet Potatoes – 49¢/lb

Yams – 49¢/lb

Brussel Sprouts – $1.49/lb

Cauliflower – 88¢/lb

Broccoli – 88¢/lb

Potatoes – under $2 for a 10 lb bag  (we even see 15 lb bags for $1.99!!)

Fresh Green Beans – under $1 per pound (these prices have changed, too)

Celery bunch – 89¢

Carrot bunch (1 lb) – 89¢

BAKING ESSENTIALS

Milk – $1.99 (gallon)

Heavy Cream – $1 (1/2 pint)

Evaporated Milk – 50¢

Condensed Milk – 75¢

Sugar (5 lbs) – $1.50 (under $2)

Flour (5 lbs) – $1.50  (under $2)

Powdered/Brown Sugar (1 lb) – 89¢

Baking Powder – FREE – 50¢

Corn Starch – 50¢

Marshmallows – under $1/bag

Cool Whip – 50¢ for holiday flavors, under $1 for regular

Canned Pumpkin – $1 or under

Chocolate Chips/Morsels – $1 – $1.50

Cream Cheese – $1

Cake Mix – 75¢

Frosting – 75¢

Cinnamon Rolls – 50¢

Butter (salted/unsalted) – $1.50/lb

Pie Crust (2pack) – $1

Pecans – The price of pecans has sky-rocketed!  The cheapest we’ve seen lately is $6.99/lb

Albertsons is launching a new Gas Rewards program and Tom Thumb is expanding their Gas Rewards program with Chevron in Dallas and throughout North Texas!

Posted by My Dallas Mommy on Monday, October 31st, 2016 at 7:00 PM
The links in the post below may be affiliate links. Read the Full Disclosures!

Tom Thumb Gas Rewards

Albertsons is launching a new Gas Rewards program and Tom Thumb is expanding their Gas Rewards program, both with Chevron, in Dallas and throughout North Texas! That means BIG savings for us DFW folks! Shop the great deals in-store, then jump across the parking lot for more deal on fuel for your vehicles.  That’s one-stop shopping at its best!

Tom Thumb Gas Rewards

Shoppers can now earn points and redeem up to 20 cents per gallon in Gas Rewards at participating Chevron and Texaco locations or up to $1 per gallon at Tom Thumb and Albertsons gas stations. Existing Tom Thumb Reward Card members can earn and redeem points by using their Reward Card or phone number. New shoppers can enroll in the Gas Rewards program today by downloading the Tom Thumb or just for U® app, available for iOS™ and Android® devices. They can also enroll online at TomThumb.com or Albertsons.com/rewards. Once registered, you can earn one point for every dollar spent on participating items. Points are redeemable at the pump at Tom Thumb, Albertsons, and participating Chevron and Texaco gas stations.

Tom Thumb Gas Station Rewards

I live in downtown Dallas, and there is a Tom Thumb with a gas station attached to it, not too far from me.  This is where my boyfriend, Bryan, and I always stop for great deals on groceries and gas (p.s. this is Jeni’s boyfriend, Laura is still married to her man for 24 years :)).  It’s super convenient, and makes our grocery and gas outings much quicker with a one-stop-shop.  Not only do we save big time in the store on our purchases, we save money on gas, too.  We saved 20 cents per gallon on our last fill up – that’s under $2 per gallon!  Every little bit helps, and Bryan was pretty excited to see the total 🙂

Tom Thumb Gas Rewards

Rewards expire at the end of the month, following the one in which they were earned, which gives you plenty of time to use them. There is a limit of 200 points for a $0.20 per gallon Reward in a single fill-up at participating Chevron or Texaco stations, and a limit of 1,000 points for a single fill-up at a Tom Thumb or Albertsons gas station.  You can save up your points, and opt not to use them, like we do, too!

Tom Thumb Gas Rewards

The next time you fill up at a gas station, shouldn’t you save more money?  With gas prices fluctuating so frequently, it’s nice to see some consistency and rewards for the money you spend.  Gas prices are up, down and all over the place, but Tom Thumb and Albertsons are consistent in savings!

Best Botox Prices in Dallas ~ Injectable Envy + Other Hot Injectable Prices

Posted by My Dallas Mommy on Sunday, October 16th, 2016 at 7:00 PM
The links in the post below may be affiliate links. Read the Full Disclosures!

Best Botox Prices in Dallas

So how do you know you are getting the best Botox prices in Dallas along with other injectables?  Trust me, I’ve shopped around on Groupon and didn’t have much luck, as what I thought was a deal ended not being such, with up-sells and more.

As many of you know, I’m a loyal customer of HerKare as they have changed my mental and physical well-being treating my hormonal imbalance.

Best Botox Prices in Dallas

Well, I learned a ton about pricing as Injectable Envy just moved into HerKare in Southlake.  Did you know the average cost for Botox in Dallas is $12 per unit. The highest priced botox can be found for $18!

Best Botox Prices in DallasInjectable Envy charges just $10!!!!  So to make the math easy, 25 units with Injectable Envy is $250.  At $12 per unit, you would pay $300! WOW!

In addition, Injectable Envy signs you up for rewards programs so you can get manufacturer discounts too! No one has ever shared that tidbit of information with me until now.  I did a bit of research and only found a few others offering that price. If you find one offering Botox for $10 or less, it’s a great deal.  Then do your homework on the person’s experience doing the injectable.

Why does Injectable Envy charge less?  Because, well…they’re good and one of the biggest buyers in the country. Because of that, they get discounts from the manufacturer. Instead of pocketing those profits, they pass those savings on to the consumer. Injectable Envy is a branch of Advanced Aesthetics from Las Vegas.  Samantha Daniel, RN has moved to the DFW Metroplex to build their business in our city and share the savings. She’s been doing this for 7 years now and is well respected across the country for her work.

screen-shot-2016-10-16-at-6-00-10-pmSamantha Daniel’s resume:

Samantha Daniel, RN, is a highly specialized Certified Aesthetic Nurse Injector (CANS) with more than seven years of ongoing advanced training in aesthetics. She is the co-owner of the largest Med Spa in Nevada, based out of Las Vegas. Samantha has injected well over 20,000 clients while growing Advanced Aesthetics into a top ranked national account.  Samantha is a national trainer for some of the leading global aesthetic manufacturers including Galderma and Allergan Cosmetics. She has trained hundreds of doctors and nurses on her technique and is a frequent injector and participant at national aesthetic conferences.

It’s rare when you see prices publicly revealed, but Injectable Envy is proud of their pricing and they want people from all walks of life to have a chance at feeling better about how they look!

Botox: $10/unit

Dysport: $3.50/unit

Juvederm Voluma: $700/syringe – 2nd syringe – $500

Juvederm Ultra XC: $450/syringe – 2nd syringe – $350

Juvederm Ultra Plus XC: $450/syringe – 2nd syringe – $350

Restylane: $425/syringe – 2nd syringe – $325

Restylane Silk: $425/syringe – 2nd syringe – $325

Restylane Lyft: $500/syringe – 2nd syringe – $300

Radiesse: $500/syringe

Sculptra: $700/vial – 2nd vial $500

Kybella: $600/vial – 2nd vial $500

So if you’ve been wanting injectables at a great price, you’re sure to get a fair deal with Samantha and her team!  Happy saving!

Cheapest Botox in Dallas

 

 

 

10 Overlooked Discounts & Deals You Might Be Missing

Posted by My Dallas Mommy on Monday, October 10th, 2016 at 5:00 PM
The links in the post below may be affiliate links. Read the Full Disclosures!

10 overlooked discounts & deals

Who doesn’t love a good bargain? There might be discounts, coupons and other ways to save that you might be overlooking!  Finding savings in coupons you get from your Sunday paper, or the deals we post online is pretty easy.  But there are a lot of other options that get passed by. From now on, keep your eyes open to these great ways to save:

1. Customer Surveys. Taco Bell, Chick-fil-A, and Subway are just three companies that entice you to take a survey with the promise of a reward. Many retail outlets and restaurants want the feedback and are willing to reward you for it!

2. Rebates & Coupons on Packages. “Peelies” are great coupons stuck to products.  You might even find a rebate attached, as well.  Compare the prices of the products, and if you can get a better deal with a mail-in-rebate or coupon, grab it!

3. Ticket stubs. Here in Texas, our sports are everything!  The next time you attend a Cowboys game or any other event or concert, be sure to keep your ticket!  The back of your ticket stub might have a coupon on it, or even a freebie if a team wins or score a specific amount of points.  

4. Work discounts. Cell phone plans might be covered or discounted by your employer!  Be sure to check, because you could be saving a little extra every month. Make sure you ask about fitness centers (gyms) and other public resources – your employer might already have a group account with them that you can be included in!

5.  Receipt coupons. Many store receipts have coupons on the back — especially those that come from grocery store registers. Common discounts include restaurant deals, local dry cleaning deals, reduced ticket prices to local events and more.

6. Car insurance discounts. You might be aware that a good driving record can save you money….but while you’re speaking with your car insurance representative, ask about other discounts.  Student drivers that maintain a good GPA, veterans and the elderly often have discounts waiting for them.  You just have to ask about them. 

7. Cash coupons. Stores like Kohl’s and Old Navy offer some great savings. By spending a specific amount, you’ll receive “Kohl’s Cash” or “Old Navy Cash” that can be used on your next shopping trip.  Drugstores are also popular for giving savings on your next purchase, like CVS “Extra Care Bucks” and Walgreens “Register Rewards.”  These retailers count on you forgetting all about receiving these discounts – so take note of the days you can use them, and mark that on your calendars. 

8. Home insurance discounts. Check with your home insurance company.  There are specific things you can usually do to receive a discount.  Sometimes installing a certain smoke detector or deadbolt can save you extra money you didn’t realize.

9. Online coupons. Discounts online are easy, when you follow blogs like My Dallas Mommy!  But when you’re shopping online or even in-store, retailers will often offer great savings via their app or website.  It’s usually worth your time to save that extra money, just by searching around a little more!

10. Coupon mailers. You’ve seen these in your mailbox – and probably tossed them in the trash immediately. Take a minute to look through coupon mailer packs like Valpak and MoneyMailer.  Don’t pass up a BOGO FREE dinner at a new restaurant, or savings on dry cleaning, car window repair and home carpet cleaning!  You never know when you’ll need to use them!

Thrifty Tips

September Deals: What to Expect to Find on Sale
Meal Solutions for Turning Leftovers Into New Meals
Choosing Quality Fruits and Vegetables at the Grocery Store
What Foods Can You Freeze? Save Time & Money
Top 10 What to Buy During End of Summer Sales
80 Non-Toxic DIY Cleaners
10 Uses for Muffin Pans
10 Items Worth Buying at the Dollar Store
Signature Mini Meals + 21 Meal Suggestions

+ More!

 

Meal Planning Tips + FREE Printable

Posted by My Dallas Mommy on Monday, September 26th, 2016 at 6:35 PM
The links in the post below may be affiliate links. Read the Full Disclosures!

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One thing families struggle with is keeping the grocery bill under control. Going in without a list and buying the first thing that looks good is no fun, and ends up costing way more in the end. Learning how to meal plan and sticking to it is easier than you think. Follow these simple tips to easy meal planning and a cheaper grocery bill.

  • Assign Each Day A Theme – This could make meal planning so easy! Salad Sundays, Meatless Mondays, Taco Tuesday, Wild Rice Wednesday, etc. There are so many options and making out your weekly grocery list would only take a few minutes. Make it fun for the whole family by asking the kids to pick their favorites!
  • Pinterest – This deserves it’s own category. Spend a few minutes daily searching around on Pinterest for great recipes. Pin these to a board called “Dinner,” or something similar. When it is time to prepare your grocery list, all of the recipes will be pinned in your folder.
  • Prepare Your Meat Ahead – When you are cooking, it is easier to prepare almost all of your meat at once. If you are going to be using a lot of chicken, it is easy to clean and dress it all at once, properly freeze and pull out what you need for dinner. This saves time during the week, especially for busy moms.
  • Don’t Forget the Sides – While making out your meal plan for the week, also include side dishes. There is nothing worse than having every night’s main dish planned out, but no sides. What I like to do is make side dishes that can use a lot of the same products.
  • Get Help – It get’s hard trying to figure out something to cook every night of the week, get the kids and spouse in on it. Ask them what their favorite meals are or if they have any suggestions for dinner. You would be surprised at how many great ideas they can come up with!
  • Keep Stocked Up – Keep a stock of basic supplies, both in your freezer and pantry. A few extra bags of frozen veggies or extra rice and cream of mushroom soup can make a big difference. No matter if it’s extra company or an emergency backup, it is great to have a nice stock.
  • Write Your Meal Plan – Having your meal plan listed in a central location will stop the confusion of everyone asking what’s for dinner. A great idea is to print out a free meal planner printable, frame it and hang in the kitchen. Easily fill it in every week and you are ready to go.

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I hope these tips help make planning dinner and cooking dinner just little bit easier. To help you prepare this coming week’s meal I am going to share with you a sample of one of my weekly meal plans. You can also print this PDF “What’s On The Menu” that you can print out and hang on your refrigerator or hang in the kitchen. Hope you enjoy!

Monday – Bacon Cheeseburger Soup

Tuesday – Healthy Beef Stroganoff

Wednesday – Philly Cheese Steak Sandwiches with Coleslaw

Thursday – Chicken Marsala with Fresh Garden Salad *I use chicken stock instead of wine*

Friday – Southwest Stuffed Acorn Squash

Saturday – Chicken Fajita Pasta

Sunday – Grilled Ribs with French Fries and Steamed Broccoli

Print your Free Meal Planner Here

Thrifty Tips

September Deals: What to Expect to Find on Sale
Meal Solutions for Turning Leftovers Into New Meals
Choosing Quality Fruits and Vegetables at the Grocery Store
What Foods Can You Freeze? Save Time & Money
Top 10 What to Buy During End of Summer Sales
80 Non-Toxic DIY Cleaners
10 Uses for Muffin Pans
10 Items Worth Buying at the Dollar Store
Signature Mini Meals + 21 Meal Suggestions

+ More!

 

Ways to Save at the Dentist

Posted by My Dallas Mommy on Sunday, September 25th, 2016 at 11:15 AM
The links in the post below may be affiliate links. Read the Full Disclosures!

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A trip to the dentist can be a pain in the mouth, and a pain in the wallet. So much so that cost is actually the #1 reason people do not visit the dentist more frequently, according to a 2016 report from the American Dental Association.

Unfortunately, dental care for adults is one of the most common exclusions from medical insurance and Medicare. Even with dental insurance, coverage on some of those big-ticket procedures — like crowns, bridges, dentures, braces and implants — can be limited, there might be a waiting period to start on an emergency, and your annual max is only $1,000.

The good news is there are some ways to help make dental care more affordable, and less avoidable.

Here are four tips that can help take a bite out of  dentist bills, thanks to the Consumer Health Alliance. 
First things first: Like most of our healthcare, preventive care is the key — brushing twice a day, flossing daily and keeping your twice-a-year cleaning at the dentist. This will help you to avoid costly problems in the future. Especially for dental care. A cavity that might cost you a couple hundred to fill now could lead to a root canal down-the-road that will cost you hundreds more.

Go to a dental school: The dental student teaching clinic at Texas A&M’s College of Dentistry offers high-quality dental care for much less than you would pay at a practice. The work is done by students under the guidance of a seasoned instructor, plus the tools and equipment are very up-to-date. But, the services may take more time or there might be a waiting list to get in.

Try a dental savings plan: A non-insurance dental savings plans can save you anywhere from 20% to 60% off the regular cost of dental procedures. Membership plans are similar to a wholesale store like Costco, but for discounts at the dentist. You get a list of in-network dentists and a discount on procedures when you visit those providers. Plans also have no waiting periods and may include discounts on cosmetic dentistry and braces. To look for options and participating dentists in Dallas, check out DentalPlans or Careington online.

Speak up: Ask your dentist for a discount or options to pay over time. Some practices may also offer reduced prices for referrals or if you’re paying upfront with cash.

Create a Gift Vault: Stock up & Save More Throughout the Year!

Posted by My Dallas Mommy on Tuesday, September 20th, 2016 at 7:00 PM
The links in the post below may be affiliate links. Read the Full Disclosures!

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After each holiday throughout the year, retailers need to deplete their stock to get ready for the next season or holiday. Spending less, and getting MORE is a mantra around here, and we do that by stocking up on gifts for holidays, celebrations, birthdays, anniversaries and more, all year.  Why spend full price on items you need or will need,  when you can purchase them early for less, and store them until you’re ready for them?  We call these our “Gift Vaults.”

This is especially nice when you have a last minute birthday party for one of the kids’ friends, forgot about a special birthday and don’t have time to run out to find a gift, or want to put together a gift basket for a teacher, co-worker or friend that isn’t feeling well!  This is perfect for ANYONE that purchases gifts ANYTIME during the year.

Not only can you store gifts for the future, you can store the wrapping supplies you’ll need, too!  Use a separate tote, or put them in with the gifts!  Any way you do it, you’ll be glad you did!  Where do we store these gifts?  Here are some ideas!
gifts

Storage Totes
Storage totes are a great way to stock up on gifts, and keep them until you’re ready to wrap them up and hand them out.  Tuck it away in a closet, corner, garage or anywhere that is convenient, yet won’t get the kids curious about what’s inside.  As you collect them, just toss them in the tote.  When you need to have a last minute gift, this is especially nice, because you’ll have some great options if you’ve continued to shop all year.  Check out some affordable options HERE and HERE.

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Under Bed
If you’re limited on space, consider storing your gifts under a bed!  There are lots of great under-bed storage options available (see some HERE) that slide perfectly under the bed and stay hidden.

Closets
Re-arrange your closet to create a space perfect for gift items.  This works well if you don’t have the space for a tote.  Before using a tote, I used a medium sized duffle bag that I stashed in the corner of my closet to store gifts in.  This kept them hidden, but in a convenient spot, all together.

* Dates to Remember Sheet
Another suggestion is to create a gift list.  This can be stored with your stockpile of gifts, and help you remember important dates for your loved ones!  This will keep you more organized, and help you know what gifts to be on the lookout for, every year.  An example of this gift list could be something as simple as this Dates to Remember FREE printable:

dates-to-remember

Hopefully now, when you see some awesome online deals that we post, you’ll change your thinking from, “I’ll have to get that for John’s birthday in June,” to “John’s birthday is in June, but this is an incredible price.  I’ll get it now and store it away, so I save more money!”

How to you organize and store away gifts?

80 Non-Toxic DIY Cleaners & Hacks

Posted by My Dallas Mommy on Thursday, September 8th, 2016 at 6:00 PM
The links in the post below may be affiliate links. Read the Full Disclosures!

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What can you do with salt, vinegar and baking soda?  A LOT!  Making DIY cleaners that are natural and non-toxic will save you a ton of money, and keep your family safe. You’ll never have to buy household cleaners again after you read this awesome list.  Whether you need a great all-purpose cleaner, or want to find some simple ways to solve common household problems, you’ll find it here.

All-Purpose, every day DIY Cleaners

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All Purpose Cleaner: 1/2 cup vinegar + 1/4 cup baking soda stir into 1/2 gallon of water. Safe for basins, tubs, tile, windows, and mirrors

Bathroom Mold: one part hydrogen peroxide + 2 parts water in a spray bottle. Spray on mold, wait an hour, and rinse

Carpet Deodorizer: sprinkle baking soda on carpet and vacuum normally 2 hours later

Carpet Stains: equal parts vinegar and water. Spray on stain, let sit for 3 minutes, clean with a brush or sponge using soapy water

Coffee or Tea Stains In Mugs: put some vinegar on a clean sponge and wipe the stained area clean, wash normally

Coffee Maker or Tea Kettle: bring 2 cups water+1/4 cup vinegar to boil inside maker, wipe with clean cloth and then wash normally

Cutting Board Cleaner: rub a slice of lemon across the cutting board to disinfect it. If there is a blood stain, or other type of strong stain, squeeze the juice out of a slice of lemon on the stain, leave on ten minutes, and then rinse with warm water.

Dishwashing Stained Dishes: in the sink add 3 tablespoons of vinegar to the soapy water in the sink

Disinfect Kitchen Sponges: put them in the top rack of the dishwasher when you run a standard load

Disinfectant: 2 teaspoons borax + 4 tablespoons vinegar + 3 cups hot water. Put in a non aerosol spray bottle. Note that this is not an antibacterial cleaner, and kitchens and bathrooms do not generally require antibacterial cleaners

Drain Cleaner: 1/2 cup salt + 4 liters of water, heat until hot but not boiling and pour down the drain

Drain Cleaner (extra strong): 1/2 cup baking soda pour down the drain and then 1/2 cup vinegar, pour down the drain. Wait 15 minutes and pour boiling water down the drain. Do not use on plastic pipes, only metal ones

Metal, Laundry & Furniture DIY Cleaners

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Fresh Grease Stains On Carpet: sprinkle corn starch on spot wait 30 minutes before vacuuming

Furniture Polish For Unvarnished Wood: 2 teaspoons olive oil+2 teaspoons lemon juice, apply small amount to soft cotton cloth, wring cloth to mix fully into cloth, apply to furniture using wide strokes

Furniture Polish For Varnished Wood: 3 drops lemon oil+1/2 cup warm water, mix well, spray on slightly damp cotton cloth. Wipe furniture with cloth, finish wiping with dry cotton cloth.

Heavy Duty Carpet Cleaner: 1/4 cup salt+1/4 cup borax +1/4 cup vinegar. Rub into carpet, leave for three hours, vacuum

Laundry Detergent: 1 cup Ivory soap +1/2 cup washing soda +1/2 cup borax. 1 tablespoon of the mixture for light loads and 2 tablespoons of the mixture for heavy loads

Lime Scale On Bathroom Fixtures: squeeze lemon juice on lime scale, let sit for 5 minutes, wipe clean with wet cloth

Marks On Walls And Painted Surfaces: apply baking soda to a damp sponge, rub ink spot, pencil, crayon, or marker spot gently, then wipe and rinse

Metal Cleaner And Polish For Aluminum: use soft cloth with a solution of a shake of cream of tartar and a small amount of water

Metal Cleaner And Polish For Brass Or Bronze: dip soft cloth in a solution of baking soda and lemon (enough lemon juice to wet the baking soda)

Metal Cleaner And Polish For Brass Or Bronze #2: dip soft cloth in a solution of vinegar and salt (enough vinegar to wet the baking soda)

Metal Cleaner And Polish For Brass Or Bronze Tarnish Remover: apply a spot of ketchup to a soft cloth and rub over tarnished spots

Metal Cleaner And Polish For Chrome: polish with a small amount of baby oil on a soft cloth

Metal Cleaner And Polish For Chrome #2: polish with a small amount of white vinegar on a soft cloth

Metal Cleaner And Polish For Chrome #3: polish with a piece of aluminum foil shiny side facing outward

Metal Cleaner And Polish For Copper: soak a cotton rag in a pot of boiling water+1 tablespoon salt”+1 cup white vinegar. Apply to copper while solution is hot, let cool, wipe clean

More Metal DIY Cleaners

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Metal Cleaner And Polish For Copper Tough Stains: sprinkle baking soda on a soft cloth and then wipe

Metal Cleaner And Polish For Copper Tough Stains #2: squirt lemon juice on a soft cloth and then wipe

Metal Cleaner And Polish For Copper Cookware: sprinkle juice from a lemon wedge with salt, scrub

Metal Cleaner And Polish For Copper Cookware Tough Stains:  apply a spot of ketchup to a soft cloth and rub over tarnished spots

Metal Cleaner And Polish Gold: clean with non whitening (regular) toothpaste on a soft brush

Metal Cleaner And Polish Gold #2: clean with a paste made of salt and water (just enough water to wet the salt)

Metal Cleaner And Polish Gold #3: clean with a paste of vinegar and salt (just enough vinegar to wet the salt)

Metal Cleaner And Polish Gold #4: clean with a paste of flour and water (just enough water to wet the flour)

Metal Cleaner And Polish Silver: line pan with aluminum foil, fill with water, add one teaspoon baking soda+1 teaspoon salt. Bring to boil, immerse silver, polish with soft cloth

Metal Cleaner And Polish Stainless Steel: clean with a cloth dampened with white vinegar

Metal Cleaner And Polish Stainless Steel #2: clean with a cloth dampened with a small amount of olive oil

Metal Cleaner And Polish Stainless Steel Cookware: 4 tablespoons of baking soda+1 quart of water, apply using soft cotton cloth, wipe dry using clean cloth

Metal Cleaner And Polish Stainless Steel Sinks: club soda poured on a cotton cloth, wipe clean using dry cloth

Mothballs, Mold, Oven, Shoe & Plastic DIY Cleaners

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Mold And Mildew Remover:  white vinegar full strength apply with sponge

Mold And Mildew Remover #2: lemon juice full strength apply with sponge

Mothballs: cedar chips wrapped in cheesecloth

Mothballs #2: cedar oil on a cotton cloth (aromatic cedar, a.k.a. juniper)

Moth Repelling Sachets: lavender wrapped in cheesecloth

Moth Repelling Sachets #2: rosemary wrapped in cheesecloth

Moth Repelling Sachets #3: rose petals wrapped in cheesecloth

Moth Repelling Sachets #4: dried lemon peels wrapped in cheesecloth

Oil And Grease Spot:  pour baking soda on spot and scrub with wet brush

Oven Cleaner: moisten surfaces with sponge and water. 3/4 cup baking soda + 1/4 cup salt + 1/4 cup water mix until thick paste, spread throughout oven interior avoiding bare metal and openings. Let sit overnight, remove with spatula and wipe clean. Rub gently with steel wool on tough spots

Plastic Food Storage Container Stains: fill with warm water and 1 tablespoon of baking soda, let sit overnight, wash normally

Reduce Static Cling Naturally: dampen your hands and shake out individual articles of clothing as you take them out of the clothes dryer

Rust Remover: sprinkle salt on the rust, squeeze a lime over the salt until the salt is soaked. Leave on for 3 hours, scrub clean

Scouring Powder: baking soda on a damp sponge for the top of the stove, refrigerator

Shoe Polish: 2 drops olive oil+2 drops lemon juice, apply to shoes with thick cotton rag, leave on for three minutes, wipe and buff clean with a dry cotton rag

Tub, Toilet & Strong Odors DIY Cleaners

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Stickers On Walls Sponge: vinegar over the stickers, let sit 15 minutes, rub off stickers

Stone and Brick Tile Cleaner: 1 cup white vinegar+1 gallon of water, rinse with water

Strong Odors Around The House: bowl with dried herbs in the room with an odor

Strong Odors Around The House: small dish with baking soda and lemon juice in it

Strong Odors In The Garbage Disposal: put a 1/4 of a lemon slice in the garbage disposal and grind it up

Strong Odors In The Kitchen: keep a small dish of coffee grounds on the counter

Strong Odors On Kitchen Utensils And Cutting Boards: wipe with vinegar before washing. Will remove onion, garlic, and fish smells.

Strong Odors While Cooking: 1 tablespoon of vinegar +1 cup of water simmer on a back burner on the stove

Strong Odors While Cooking: 1 tablespoon of cinnamon + 1 cup of water simmer on back burner on the stove

Toilet Bowl Cleaner: 1/4 cup baking soda+1 cup vinegar, pour into toilet and let sit for five minutes. Scrub with brush, rinse.

Toilet Bowl Cleaner For Stubborn Stains: 2 parts borax and 1 part lemon juice on toilet brush, scrub with brush and rinse

Tub And Tile Cleaner: rub baking soda with a damp sponge, rinse with water

Tub And Tile Cleaner For Tough Spots: wipe surface with vinegar then follow with a damp sponge with baking soda on it. Use sparingly on grout because vinegar can break it down

Wood, Window & Vinyl DIY Cleaners

Vinyl And Linoleum Cleaner: 1 cup vinegar+1/4 cup borax+1 cup of warm water, use sparingly on linoleum

Vinyl And Linoleum Polish: 1 cup vinegar+3 drops baby oil+1 gallon of warm water, use sparingly on linoleum

Wallpaper Remover: equal parts white vinegar+hot water. Apply with sponge over wallpaper to soften adhesive, peel off lifting edges and reapply to stubborn patches. Run a fan to dissipate the vinegar smell

Water Rings On Wood: apply toothpaste or mayonnaise to a damp cloth and rub into spot, buff surface after ring is removed

Window Cleaner: 2 teaspoons of white vinegar + 1 liter of warm water. Clean with crumpled newspaper or a 100% cotton white cloth. Don’t use colored newspapers. Don’t clean  windows when the sun is shining on them, or if they are warm to the touch as it increases streaks once the windows dry. Don’t use more than 2 teaspoons of vinegar, or overtime you can cloud the glass of your windows.

Wood Floor Cleaner Damp Mopping: equal parts white vinegar and water + 15 drops of peppermint oil, shake to mix

Wood Floor Cleaner (painted):  1 teaspoon washing soda+ 1 gallon of hot water

Wood Floor Cleaner (unpainted): 1 part vegetable oil + 1 part vinegar, rub in well

What DIY cleaners do you use at home?

Want more Thrifty Tips?  Head over HERE to check them out!

Restaurant Rewards Programs & Clubs (Huge List) + More Tips For Dining Out

September Deals: What to Expect to Find on Sale

Meal Solutions for Turning Leftovers Into New Meals

Choosing Quality Fruits and Vegetables at the Grocery Store

What Foods Can You Freeze? Save Time & Money

Top 10 What to Buy During End of Summer Sales

Restaurant Rewards Programs & Clubs (Huge List) + More Tips For Dining Out

Posted by My Dallas Mommy on Friday, September 2nd, 2016 at 5:00 PM
The links in the post below may be affiliate links. Read the Full Disclosures!

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Going out to eat doesn’t always have to be a budget pincher!  By joining restaurant clubs and rewards programs, you’ll get freebies, discounts and special, exclusive promotions!  You’ll be able to afford more nights out with the family, treat yourself to special lunches with the girlfriends, and grab dessert for cheaper.   

Here’s a list of 48 restaurants that offer perks for joining their clubs and rewards programs. Just click the link and sign up. Note that this list is national, so be sure to check locations before you get their emails:

Hover over the box below to use the zoom tool, if needed.

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Bring the entire family with you when you venture out, and let the kids eat for FREE! This is a great way to save money and enjoy some family time together!  Each day of the week offers a new restaurant and new dining experience, where you can score FREE food for the kiddos.  That should save you some extra money for dessert 🙂

Kids Eat Free on Sunday
Kids Eat Free on Monday
Kids Eat Free on Tuesday
Kids Eat Free on Wednesday
Kids Eat Free on Thursday

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Saving money while you dine isn’t hard. In fact, one of the easiest ways to save is to purchase discounted gift cards.  Why pay full price, if you can score a gift card for 5-20% off?  Raise.com is a great site, always offering up new gift cards to your favorite restaurants and food & beverage places. I save at least $20 a month by purchasing gift cards for Starbucks through this site!

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Local deal sites like LivingSocial and Groupon are also great places to score some awesome deals on restaurant savings!  Try a new restaurant with a Groupon, or get a great deal on your local favorite at LivingSocial.

You never have to pay full price for the dining experience you want.  Use these tips and save BIG money – allowing your family to venture out more often.  And, save room for dessert! 🙂

Want even more?  Check out all of the current restaurant deals and freebies we have posted recently!  

How do you save money when you dine out? 

Ways to Save Money Eating Out

Posted by My Dallas Mommy on Sunday, August 28th, 2016 at 8:00 PM
The links in the post below may be affiliate links. Read the Full Disclosures!

Ways to Save Money Eating Out
Dining out is still considered a luxury for our family.  It’s rare that we actually do it because we save more eating at home.

But there are ways to save money eating out too! And with the kids in school and parents running around from event to event, eating out is sometimes a necessity. And let’s admit it, it’s nice eating out because there is no prep time, no dirty dishes and no menu planning.

Ways to Save Money Eating Out

Here are some obvious and not so obvious ways to save money eating out:

Restaurant Deals Tab

Perhaps the easiest thing you can do is look under our restaurant deals tab where we post some of the hottest new deals and coupons to help you save!

ways to save eating outUse the Right Credit Card

Use a cash back credit card when eating out. Getting 1-2% back may not sound like much, but the savings add up when combined with these other strategies.

Dine midweek and Early-bird specials (i.e. late lunch)

Weekends means crowds.  Many restaurants try to entice customers to dine on slower nights midweek by offering specials that can save you a lot of extra money.  Geno and I often have date nights during the week as it is less expensive eating out and cheaper getting a babysitter!

Eating before 6 p.m. can save you money with early bird specials! Most are available to all customers and offered at many dining establishments.

Kids-Eat-FreeKids Eat Free

Take advantage of the kids eat free offers all throughout the week.  That can be a great savings when you just have to pay for adults.  We have a full run down of places where kids eat free!

Eat Out on your Birthday

Check out these places that give you free stuff on your birthday. Free food ROCKS!

Eat at the bar or eat appetizers and sides

A number of restaurants offer a special bar menu that is considerably cheaper than the regular menu. Also, many restaurants offer a happy hour every afternoon, which includes drink specials and appetizer deals. You’ll also find appetizers and sides for your meal can end up to be much cheaper as well!

Sign up for emails and text alerts

Many restaurants offer email or text programs. When a restaurant offers these programs, make sure and sign up. Often, the best discounts can be found in this way.

Discounted gift cards

Mid-priced restaurants are becoming more and more promotional in recent years in an attempt to get customers in the door. Some chain restaurants, are directly discounting their gift cards as a backdoor way of lowering menu prices. Keep an eye out for offers like a $100 gift card discounted to $80. Another option is to take advantage of gift card programs like Tom Thumb where you get extra gas rewards for buying the gift card.

Screen Shot 2016-05-02 at 1.59.55 PMGet social

Follow the Facebook page or Twitter feed of your favorite restaurants and eateries. Many post exclusive deals and coupons, so give these social media outlets a quick glance before heading out the door.

Use coupons

We post coupons every Friday on the best coupons available.  Just look under our restaurant deals tab and scroll down and look for Weekend Restaurant coupons.  You can also search for a discount or coupon online. After all, there’s no sense paying full price for your next meal when a coupon is available for the taking.

Search For The Discount & Local Offers

Many sites such as Groupon offer discounts on popular restaurants in your area that you can widen your palate with new options in eating out.  Many restaurants also offer discounts to senior citizens, teachers, military personnel, college students, kids/toddlers, and others.

Screen Shot 2016-05-02 at 2.00.54 PMDrink water

Restaurants depend on the profit from sodas to help them make money. On average, a soda or tea costs about $1.75 – $2.00 not including tax. Instead of ordering soda, drink tap water with your meal. You will be healthier and your wallet will be heavier.

Dine out for lunch

Lunch menus are 25% cheaper than dinner menus.  Eat your BIG meal at lunch and smaller servings/meals at dinner.

Skip Dessert

Unless you have a coupon or free dessert, skip it!  Dessert is the often most expensive part of the meal.

Know the Management

Some of the best deals happen at any restaurant when you eat there frequently. Make sure and visit with the management each time you go into the restaurant. They will appreciate your regular business and often give you additional discounts or free food as an award.

Happy Hour Specials

Some restaurants give you deals like 1/2 off appetizers or reduced-priced meals during certain parts of the day (typically from 5 – 7 PM).

Screen Shot 2016-05-02 at 2.02.24 PMGet It To Go

To avoid paying an 18-20% tip on your bill, get the food to-go from the restaurant and eat it at home.  You should ALWAYS tip at least $1-3 dollars though on your to-go bill though!

Make It A Tapa Party

If you are with friends, have everyone order an appetizer or salad for everyone to split on separate plates and then divide the check by the total amount of people.

Share a large meal

Take advantage of big portions by splitting one with a dining companion.

Frequent Eaters Discounts

Many chains offer discounts to diners who eat there often. Keep these cards in your wallet or purse so when you decide to eat there at the last moment you have the card handy.

Eat beforehand

If you’re ravenous by the time you reach the restaurant, you’ll be tempted to order more. Nibble on a snack before you head out so that you can order from the menu with a cool head.

Top 10 Best Camping Tents From 2-Person to Family Size

Posted by My Dallas Mommy on Friday, August 26th, 2016 at 5:30 PM
The links in the post below may be affiliate links. Read the Full Disclosures!

Top 10 Burger Joints in Dallas

Welcome to our new series, “My Dallas Mommy’s Top 10”!  Each week, we’ll highlight a top 10 list of our favorite things!

Top 10 Best Camping Tents

It’s camping season!  Whether you need a 1-person tent or 5-room tent, you want quality and affordability.  Shopping for a great camping tent doesn’t have to be frustrating, because we’ve rounded up our favorite camping tents for you!  We factored in price, ratings, quality, durability and assembly when compiling this list.  So without further ado, here are the Top 10 Best Camping Tents!

Top 10 Best Camping Tents

The Tent:  Nemo Losi LS 2P Tent
Capacity: 2 Person
Price:  around $400.  We found it on sale at Moosejaw for under $300!
Features:  This tent is waterproof and built from lightweight materials. It has a unique pole structure that gives it extra sturdiness, and space.  With 2 doors, 2 vestibules and a mesh canopy, it’s a great quality tent that will last for years.
Why we love it:  This tent is perfect for the backpacking, hiking couple.  It weighs just under 5 pounds when packed up, so it’s super easy to carry on your back.  It also has an interior floor space of 32 square feet, which is plenty of room for 2 people.

Top 10 Best Camping Tents

The Tent:  REI Kingdom Tent
Capacity: 4, 6 or 8 person
Price:  4-person $389, 6-person $439, 8-person $529, Only at REI
Features:  The Kingdom Tents offer a great place to create a base camp area.  You can have 1 large room, or create 2 separate rooms. It covers 104 square feet of floor area, and has 2 doors.  Another great feature – it has vertical walls and a rectangular floor plan to maximize space.
Why we love it:  This tent is truly amazing.  It has a peak height of 6’5″, and is super versatile.  It also includes a backpack carry bag with pockets for the poles and stakes.  There’s so much room in this tent, you’ll never want to leave it!  Great for a family camping trip.

Best Camping Tents

The Tent:  Marmot Tungsten 2P Tent
Capacity: 2-person
Price:  around $200.  It’s only $160 at Moosejaw!
Features:  Pre-bent corners on the free-standing poles increase inside space.  It has a cool lamp shade pocket that securely holds your headlamp for ambient light.
Why we love it:  This tent is SUPER easy to set up!  It also has 2 doors, 2 vestibules on the rain fly and lots of storage space.  It also has jingle-free zippers, which might not seem like a big deal – until it’s rainy and windy outside and you’re trying to sleep!

 Best Camping Tent Deals

The Tent:  Coleman Camping 8-Person Instant Signal Mountain Tent
Capacity:  8-person
Price:  around $300.  $216.99 at Amazon!
Features:   This general purpose camping tent is a standard for campers that need a durable and efficient tent.  It features a Weather Tec System with patented welded floors and inverted seems to keep water out.  It also features a height of 6’4″ and 14 x 8 ft foot print.
Why we love it: This tent is seriously easy to set up!  It literally takes less than a minute, and has pre-attached poles.  That definitely helps in getting it up and ready in no time.  Just extend and secure the poles.  You could have this tent for years and years – it’s definitely worth it’s price!

Top ten best camping tents

The Tent:  Mountaintop Outdoor 2-3 Person Camping Tent/Backpacking Tent
Capacity:   2-3 Persons
Price:   around $100
Features:   This tent features a waterproof 210D Oxford material on the floor, which is a Urethane coating for repelling water. It’s also anti-tear and moisture-proof.  That helps for dewy mornings!  It only weighs about 5.1 lbs, and comes with easy to assemble pieces (pegs and ropes).
Why we love it:  The all important dual doors are a great part of this tent!  Who wants to climb over their camping buddy when Mother Nature calls in the middle of the night!?  The rainfly can also double as an awning or canopy, which is really nice.  It’s a great overall tent for camping, fishing, hiking and picnics.

best camping tents

The Tent:   Cabela’s XPG Expedition 4-Season Tent
Capacity:   4-person
Price:  around $500 (we found it for only $299 at Cabela’s!)
Features:  4-season tents are amazing – they stand up to snow, violent winds, rain and sleet.  This tent even features a tub-style floor, to get maximum protection from the elements.  The reinforced, continuous pole sleeves also give it durability in harsh weather.
Why we love it:  This sturdy little tent offers plenty of room for 3 adults to sleep comfortably.  Although the maximum heigh is only 4’4″, it’s only meant to be a sleeping chamber, so that works for it.  The waterproof coating and weather-resistant material really makes a huge difference for those that like extreme camping.  It also works well for areas with unpredictable weather.

top ten camping tents

The Tent:   Eureka Copper Canyon 6
Capacity:   6-person
Price:  around $300 (check Amazon prices!  At time of publishing, this was $199)
Features:  This tent has a 10×10 floor space and 7′ center height.  It’s ROOMY!  the full mesh roof not only allows you to see the stars at night, but offers ventilation and circulation.  The large D-style door offers easy entry and exit, too.
Why we love it: This tent is bulkier than the average tent, but it IS a large tent for 6 people.  If you aren’t hiking down a trail, or crossing a river to pitch your tent, this works well.  Move it from your vehicle to the pitching area and set it up easily.  For the price, it’s super spacious and offers a great durable tent for family adventures.

best camping tents

The Tent:   Nemo Hornet 1P Tent
Capacity:   1 person
Price:  around $300 (only around $200 at Moosejaw!)
Features:  A wider head and narrower foot makes this tent perfect for the hiker or backpacker that spends more time out of their tent.  It’s SUPER lightweight for a double-walled tent – only about 2 lbs!  In fact, this is the only 2-lb tent on the market that features 2 doors and 2 vestibules.
Why we love it: The setup and take down of this tent is ridiculously easy.  The hubbed poles create a single pole – so you don’t have to worry about leaving any pieces behind.  It’s also nice and roomy for a single person.  But, if needed, 2 could sleep fairly comfortably in this tent, too. Great for the hiker and backpacker!

best camping tents

The Tent:   MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2P Tent
Capacity:   2-person
Price: around $300
Features:  Weighing in at just over 3 lbs, this lightweight tent offers more than meets the eye.  The almost vertical walls and sides and rectangle floor maximize interior space. It also has kickstand vents that help increase airflow to the tent.
Why we love it:   This tent is pretty amazing.  It has 2 vestibules for storing gear, and built-in rain gutters.  It also is super compact once it’s taken down and ready for travel.  For the price, this is one of the best, and highest rated (not just by us) tents for backpacking and camping in the 2-person catagory!

best camping tents

The Tent:  REI Half Dome 2 Plus
Capacity:    2-person
Price:  around $200
Features:   The “plus” in the name stands for the plus sizing.  It’s 10 inches longer and 4 inches wider than the standard REI Half Dome 2.  It has 4 ceiling vents on the fly to protect it from condensation and allow for airflow.  With 2 doors and 2 vestibules, there’s plenty of storage space and room to move.  The fly can also be used without the tent, as a shelter.
Why we love it: This 5-lb tent is our favorite 2-person tent on the market.  Not only is it really spacious, the price is far less than nearly comparable tents.  It’s made with thicker material than most lightweight tents, so it’s a little heavier to carry long distances but perfect for short trips.  The overhead crossbar creates almost vertical walls and offers more headroom inside the tent, as well. Overall, it’s a great tent offering affordability, durability, comfort, protection and space!

 best camping tents

The Tent:   Coleman Instant Cabin Tent
Capacity:   4-6 person
Price:  under $200
Features:   One piece design allows for set up and take down in about a minute.  The pools are steel, and the material is super durable, so it stands up to inclement weather.  It also has an Illumiline reflective guy line so you don’t trip over the doorway in the middle of the night.  The built-in rainfly is also really handy.
Why we love it: For under $200, you can get a highly rated (see the Amazon reviews!) family tent!  If the price isn’t enticing enough, how about QUICK assembly?  The poles are pre-assembled, so there’s very little effort required to put this tent up.  It fits 2 queen-size air mattresses, and it’s tall enough for adults to stand up-right inside of it with a 6’2″ maximum.  For a family tent, you can’t beat the price, setup time, quality and features.  That’s why the Coleman Instant Cabin Tent is our favorite camping tent for 4-6 people!

 

arrowWant more?  Be sure to shop our favorite places for the best deals on camping tents: Cabela’s, Moosejaw, Amazon and Walmart for the best deals on camping tents!

Choosing Quality Fruits and Vegetables at the Grocery Store

Posted by My Dallas Mommy on Wednesday, August 17th, 2016 at 6:00 PM
The links in the post below may be affiliate links. Read the Full Disclosures!

Choosing quality fruits and vegetables at the grocery store

Eating healthy is really important to my family.  When I shop for fruits and vegetables at the grocery store, I want to be sure they are fresh.  Debbie Meyer GreenBags have saved a ton of my produce from going bad!  These bags keep your fruits and vegetables SUPER fresh for longer periods of time.

If your fruits and vegetables are too ripe, you risk them going bad before using them.  When they aren’t quite ripe enough, you can’t eat, cook or bake with them right away.  Make sure you know the tricks for spotting fresh, ripe and ready fruits and vegetables!  Here’s how to tell if the produce you pick up at the grocery store is fresh and ready to take home:

Choosing quality fruits and vegetables at the grocery store

Apricots  Good apricots are firm and have a nice, solid amber color. Stay away from pale yellow or greenish colored apricots. Apricots that are too soft are no good!

Blueberries  You’ll want to buy firm, dry and brightly colored berries.  If they are dull or watery, pass them up!

Cantaloupe   Perfect cantaloupes have a delicate aroma, yellowish skin and a thick texture on the rind. Do not buy cantaloupes with a sweet and pungent aroma or those that have a soft rind.

Cherries   Pick cherries that have new looking stems and a smooth, shiny surface. Bad cherries have dried steams and dull surfaces.

Grapes   The best grapes are tender, plump, firmly attached to the stems.  Green grapes should have a slight amber blush near the stem.  Bad grapes are brown in color, have a wrinkled surface and brittle

Grapefruit   Don’t bother looking at the color.  Look for heavy, thin-skinned grapefruits that are slightly springy.  Avoid thick or rough skin.

Choosing quality fruits and vegetables at the grocery store

Kiwi  Good kiwi gives slightly when pressed.  If it’s too hard, don’t buy it.

Mangos  Mango can be several different colors.  The best way to test it is to grab a yellow fruit, and expect it to be slightly soft to the touch.  It should have a ripe aroma at the stem.

Oranges   Good oranges are firm, heavy and have a smooth texture all over.  You don’t want oranges that are spongey or rough.

Papaya  Choose fruit with a red-orange skin.  Avoid green or hard papaya.

Peaches  A nice peach is firm and plump. You want it to be yellowish-orange with a little red blush around it.  If it’s super soft, don’t buy it!

Pineapple  Watch for fruit that smells sweet at the stem and is heavy for its size.

Plums  The best plums are those that yield slightly to pressure.  They should have a deep purple color and semi-soft tip.  Rock hard plums should be avoided, as they won’t ripen.

Strawberries  Deep, shiny red skins are what you want.  Avoid blemishes or green spots.

Watermelon   Good watermelons should be symmetrical in shape. They should have a cream-colored underside. Do not buy watermelons with cushiony spots.

Choosing quality fruits and vegetables at the grocery store

Artichokes Choose globes that have tight leaves and feel heavy for their size. The leaves should squeak when pressed against each other.

Asparagus  Good asparagus have closed tips and straight green stalks. Bad asparagus have open tips and the stalks are curved.  This is the first sign of wilting.

Avocados  Avocados feel slightly soft to the touch. Firmer avocados may be ripened at home, but avoid rock-hard ones. Also avoid avocados with cracks or dents.

Beets  Pick firm beets with fresh stems and slender taproots. Avoid beets with wilted leaves, scaly tops, or large, hairy taproots as they may be older and more woody.


Bell Pepper 
 A bell pepper of any color should  have bright and glossy skin. They are firm and thick, while bad bell peppers have soft spots and shriveled surfaces.

Broccoli  To pick a nice batch of broccoli, you want it to be firm.  It should have closed florets and have a deep green color. Stay clear of broccoli that are yellow in color, with open florets and water-soaked spots.

Brussels Sprouts  Choose firm, compact, bright green heads. Avoid sprouts with wilted or loose outer leaves.

Cabbages Firm, compact heads that feel heavy for their size are the best. Check that the stems are also fresh and compact.


Carrot
  Picking carrots is easy.  Carrots that are firm and have a bright orange color are good. Bad carrots have a rough texture, soft and have green roots.

Cauliflower  Choose heads with tightly packed, creamy white florets. Avoid yellowed, spotted, or flowering florets.

Celery  You want firm, unblemished stalks. The stalks and leaves should be green, not yellow.

Corn  Pick corn with bright green husks and moist but not slimy silk. Peel back the husk to ensure the kernels are plump and not dry.

Choosing quality fruits and vegetables at the grocery store

Cucumbers  Choose cucumbers that are uniformly green (not yellow).

Eggplant  You want an eggplant that is shiny, heavy for its size and firm.  A slight bounce back will indicate a great piece of eggplant.  Don’t bother with the ones that are dull or lightweight.

Garlic  Pick firm, plump heads. Avoid heads with soft spots or green sprouts.

Green Beans  Slender beans that snap rather than bend are green beans you want. Avoid bulging or dried pods.


Lettuce, Spinach, and Other Leafy Greens
 Choose greens with fresh, crisp leaves. Avoid any that are wilted or slimy.

Peas  You’ll want crisp, green pods. Avoid bulging, dried, yellow, or white pods.

Potatoes  These should be firm, smooth potatoes. Avoid those with bruises, green spots, or sprouts.

Radishes  Go for radishes with fresh, green tops and firm, unblemished roots.

Summer Squash  The best squash has naturally shiny, taught, unblemished skin. Avoid squash that appear dull or have soft spots.

Sweet Potatoes and Yams  Choose potatoes with firm, unwrinkled skins and no bruises or cuts, as they are highly perishable.

Tomato  Good tomatoes are plump, smooth and have a rich red color. Bad tomatoes look shriveled and have blemishes.

Winter Squash  Choose squash that have stems intact and feel heavy for their size. Avoid squash with cuts or soft spots.

Knowing that your fruits and vegetables are ripe and ready to use or eat will save you time and money.  Cooking some broccoli for the family tonight?  Make sure that head is firm and green!  Baking a peach pie for dessert? Watch for that red blush around the fruit.  Get ready to grab some great quality fruits and vegetables on your next trip to the grocery store!

What tips and tricks do you have for choosing fruits and vegetables?

What Foods Can You Freeze? Save Time & Money

Posted by My Dallas Mommy on Tuesday, August 9th, 2016 at 6:10 PM
The links in the post below may be affiliate links. Read the Full Disclosures!

What foods can you freeze?

What Foods Can You Freeze?

You work hard to get the best deals on your groceries. So when things in your refrigerator go bad, it’s almost heart-breaking to have to throw them away. There are a lot of products that you may not know you can freeze to keep fresh and longer! Another advantage of freezing is that it’s a time saver. Cook your rice, mashed potatoes and more. Freeze them, and thaw out for a quick meal fix!  Here are some foods you can freeze:

Fresh Herbs

If you don’t have a herb garden, it can be expensive and wasteful to buy packages of herbs at the store. Freeze them for long lasting freshness. Once you get them home make sure to wash and shake off any excess water.

For herbs like cilantro and parsley you can keep them standing in a cup of shallow water in the refrigerator. I like to use the bottom half of plastic water bottles before recycling them. For other herbs like rosemary or sage, puncture some holes into a plastic bag. Then simply wrap them in a moist paper towel, and place them in your freezer.

Alternatively, you can pull the herbs off the stalks and chop them up. Take an ice cube tray and fill it with your cut herbs. I love this Elbee Ice Cube Tray. Cover the herbs with water or stock and freeze. Because the appearance is compromised by the freezing process, you’ll want to use them differently.  Soups and sauces are perfect for this method. Here’s a fun tip – instead of water, use stock! That way, when you toss them in your stews, crock pot, soups and more, you’ll be adding even more flavor!

Fresh ginger should be peeled and wrapped tightly before freezing.  When you’re ready to use it, grate and slice away.  Be sure you wrap it up really well before re-freezing.

You can also use those minty ice cubes in teas and alcoholic beverages!

Eggs

When eggs are 99¢ per dozen or less, I definitely want to stock up. But how many eggs can you really use and eat before they expire?

Just crack them into a bowl, pour into a freezer bag or airtight container and freeze!   You can also use ice cube trays – just crack the eggs into the sections, stir them up a little, and freeze! These will defrost and work wonderfully for baking or eating as you normally would!

Mashed Potatoes

Do you have a big family dinner to prepare? Make your mashed potatoes as you normally would, the day before. Then, let them cool to room temperature. Scoop out single portions onto a parchment lined cookie sheet, and freeze. Once frozen, you can put those portions in bigger freezer bags and keep for up to 2 months! What a time saver! When you see potatoes on sale for 78¢/5 lb bag, THAT is the time to stock-up and freeze!

Dairy

There are so many dairy products on the market now.  Wouldn’t it be great to stock up on inexpensive milk and butter?  Now, you can, without worrying about them expiring before you use them.

  • Cheese – You can throw your bricks of cheese into the freezer, as they are (in the plastic wrap), but be warned that the consistency will be altered. If you let it thaw completely before putting it in the refrigerator, this might not be the case, though. I suggest shredding or slicing before freezing. If you shred it, throw in a little cornstarch or flour and shake it around in the bag, before freezing. This will help it to not clump when it defrosts. If you slice it up, make sure to add a divider like wax paper, in between each slice. When a 2-lb block of cheese is $4.99 (my stockpile price), you’ll be able to stock up and save it by freezing!
  • Coffee Creamer – Most coffee creamers are actually dairy-free.  You see them in the refrigerator section at the grocery store, but it’s not necessary.  If you want to freeze coffee creamer, go for it.  Just be sure you thaw it out and give it a GOOD SHAKING before using!
  • Cream Cheese – Freeze and thaw before eating or using. It’s pretty sturdy and doesn’t have much of noticeable change.
  • Butter – Freeze and thaw. Just like cream cheese, the consistency and taste aren’t altered much.
  • Milk – This one you will hear some mixed opinions about freezing. I say YES! When you do freeze it, the milk fat will separate and will look… weird, for lack of a better word. Don’t worry, that’s normal. After you thaw it, give it a good shake to distribute the fat particles. I have used it for cooking, eating, and drinking after being frozen. You will also want to be sure you leave some room at the top of the container you freeze, to allow for expansion.

Breads

I haven’t met a bread we couldn’t freeze. With 2 kids, stocking up on bread is essential in my house. Freeze loaves, rolls, buns, whole, sliced, biscuits, muffins, cakes… Just remember that packaging is super important. You want to keep as much of the air out of the package, as possible. If you have a FoodSaver, just freeze your breads until they are solid, take them back out, place in your special bag and vacuum seal like normal. If you don’t have a vacuum sealer, simply suck the air out of the bags with your mouth. Get all that air out. Then, thaw out your bread and use as you normally would.

The next time you make homemade pancakes, french toast or waffles, consider making some extra batches. You can freeze these on a cookie sheet, then throw them in airtight bags to thaw out and microwave later.  This is a great tip, when time isn’t on your side in the morning.

Fruit

Fruits! They are awesome in smoothies, yogurt, baked goods, pancakes and SO much more. Why waste fruit before you can use it? You can freeze your fruit to help it last longer.  Items like berries and pineapple will freeze better by placing them on wax paper on a cookie sheet. After they are frozen, place in baggies – and you can pick your portion. For bananas, just keep the skin on and toss it in the freezer.

Get the most out of your citrus.  Zest oranges, lemons, grapefruit, limes and mandarin.  Place the zest in a freezer bag.  This will last a long time in your freezer.  You can also use ice cub trays to freeze the juice.

Snacks

Salty snacks are easy to freeze.  When chips, crackers and cookies are on sale, stock up and freeze them. Life gets busy, so when Super Bowl weekend, New Year’s Eve, the holidays, the beginning of school and parties pop up, you’ll be ready. You can throw those bags as they are, in your freezer to keep them fresh! No need to thaw, because they’ll be even crispier frozen!  This is also a great tip for stale chips and crackers.  You can freeze them, and they will taste fresher.

Nuts can also be stored in an airtight container or plastic bag for up to 6 months in your freezer.

Rice, Soup, Chili & Stew

Cook your rice and freeze it.  Simply spread it out on a parchment covered cookie tray.  Freeze until it’s solid, then store in airtight freezer bags. When you need it, just thaw and re-heat.

Soups, chili and stews can also be frozen.  What a great way to keep your leftovers from going bad!  Just place them in airtight containers, and leave a bit of room at the top.  When you’re ready, reheat and enjoy!

Wine

When you have a little leftover wine in the bottle, pour it into ice cube trays and freeze. You won’t be able to drink it, but it’s AWESOME for cooking!

Pasta

Cook your pasta, and freeze in an airtight bag. Reuse it by running warm water over the bag to thaw out.  Re-heat it by placing it in the microwave, and voila, you have pasta ready to eat.  Can you freeze the sauces, too?  Absolutely.  Airtight containers and ice cube trays work well for this.

Corn

Corn is awesome for BBQs and cookouts.  When it’s on sale, grab that deal!  You’ll be able to freeze it for later. Put the ears in the freezer, still in the husk, then microwave for about 5 minutes for perfect corn!

Cookie Dough

Here’s a nice tip for after school treats.  When you don’t have the time during the week, make cookie dough on the weekend, and freeze it.  Make your dough like normal, then freeze in bags OR roll into a “log” for easy “slice and bake” cookies later!

Juice

When you have a new bottle or carton, pour a bit into ice cube trays to freeze for sauces, cooking and baking. Tighten the cap or close the container, and freeze. You need that extra room at the top, because the liquid will expand in the freezer.

Save time and money from now on with these awesome tips on what you can freeze.  Your perishables will last longer, and you’ll be able to stock up when sales hit the stores.

What are your freezing tips?
Share in the comments!

August: What to Expect on Sale This Month In-Store & Online

Posted by My Dallas Mommy on Monday, August 1st, 2016 at 9:43 AM
The links in the post below may be affiliate links. Read the Full Disclosures!

What's on sale in August

August: What to Expect on Sale This Month In-Store & Online

Can you believe it’s already August?!  The year is flying by, so with that, comes new sale cycles.  This month brings us a bunch of new and exciting bargains!  First of all, Back to school deals were springing up in July, and we’ll see that continue through August.  Since Summer is only half-way over, so grilling, picnics and BBQs are still showing us some sizzling sales.  What else can we expect on sale this month?  Keep your eyes open in-store, and most of all, be sure to watch the blog for awesome online deals on these items:

Back To School

Back to school and home items on sale in August

Not only do the elementary kids get their school supplies for free or cheap (rulers, crayons, paper, erasers, backpacks, etc.), August is geared a bit more for the collegiate crowd.  Dorm room and apartment necessities are ALL on sale this month.  Watch for things like bedding, small kitchen appliances, starter sets for bathrooms, kitchens and bedrooms on sale.  So, if a college student can use it, it will be on sale.  Think toasters, blow dryers, organization containers, electric toothbrushes, shavers, alarm clocks…..
Also, this is a great time to take advantage of these deals for your own home, or wedding gifts! Another idea is to stock up on these products for holiday gift-giving.

Don’t miss our Back to School Supply Price Guide!  Check out some current Back to School deals we posted!

Athletic Gear & Workout Wear

Exercise items on sale in August


Bicycles, running shoes, yoga gearweights and workout items – all of these things will be marked down this month, as well.  Retailers know that as a result of cooler weather approaching, things like outdoor workout necessities will be harder to sell.  Therefore, they mark them down because they need to make room for the cold weather gear  Bargain Hunters will scoop up these deals on sale and smile about it!  This is a great time to grab those workout shoes or yoga pants you’ve been eyeing.

Tools & Hardware

Tools on sale in August


Tools and hardware don’t go on sale too often.  Mostly, we see a nice drop in prices around Father’s Day, and during the holidays. These are items that just don’t have HUGE discounts consistently, August is a GREAT month to find deals on drills, screw and wrench sets and hardware for your tool drawer!  Also, you have a handyman on your Christmas “to buy for” list, consider grabbing deals this month!  You might also consider that teenage moving into their own apartment or dorm, because could probably use some of these tools, now that mom and dad aren’t around!

Grocery Store Foods

Groceries on sale in August

We’ll see great deals on kid snacks and kid portioned foods this month.  We’ll also find more coupons and deals on things like peanut butter (we usually see peanut butter sales and coupons come out the last week of July). Also, watch for coupons and sales on pasta & pasta sauce, cheese, Lunchables, kid drinks, granola bars, jell-o cups and pudding cups, Ziploc baggies, and snack crackers. So, basically, anything you can toss into a lunchbox (or take on a picnic!) will be on sale this month – and there will be tons of great coupons, too!  Match rock bottom sale prices with those coupons, and you’ll score some awesome deals.

Need coupons?  Head over to our Coupon Database to start printing!

Produce

Produce on sale in August

Finally, produce like apricots, eggplant and squash that take warmer weather for longer periods of time to reach their peak, are prime right now!  Therefore, grab what you can, stock up and freeze!  Why not grab a FoodSaver on sale right now, since you’ll be stocking up?

So, these are the fruits and vegetables that are in season and generally on sale this month:

Acorn Squash
Apples
Apricots
Blueberries
Butternut Squash
Cantaloupe
Corn
Cucumber
Eggplant
Figs
Green Beans
Kiwi
Lettuce
Mango
Okra
Peaches
Peppers
Plums
Raspberries
Strawberries
Summer Squash
Tomatoes
Watermelon
Zucchini

Produce on sale in August

KWTX Viewers ~ Ways to Save Money Series ~ MyDFWMommy

Posted by My Dallas Mommy on Monday, July 25th, 2016 at 6:00 AM
The links in the post below may be affiliate links. Read the Full Disclosures!

Ways to Save Money

Ways to Save Money Series

Over the past several months we’ve shared ways to save money on just about anything. Here is a recap of all our articles! Enjoy!

HOUSEHOLD

Ways to Save on Cell Phone Bills

Ways to Save On Cable Bills

Ways to Save on Internet Bills

ways-to-save-on-energy-billsWays to Save on Energy Bills

Ways to Save on Groceries

How to Buy a Car and Save Money

New Technology Slashes Electricity Bills for Texans

Air Conditioner Refrigerant Costs – How to Determine Fair Pricing

Furniture Buy Consignment ~ Great Furniture on the Cheap!

Buying a Mattress Online~ Crave Mattress Starting at $480 (+ $50 Off)

How to Determine the Right Energy Plan For You – 90% of Texans Being Overcharged

How To Save Money On Tires

Save Time & Money on Your Holiday Baking

How to Buy a Car and Save Money

365-Days-Penny-ChallengeEARNING MONEY

Save More In 2016 – The 52 Week Money Saving Challenge

Real & Legitimate Ways to Earn Money from Home

Loyalty Programs ~ Not So Obvious, But Great Ways to Save

How to Win Giveaways and Sweepstakes ~ Insider Tips on Increasing Odds

PERSONAL CARE

Best Cleansers and Moisturizers For The Money + GREAT Deals at CVS Starting 4/10 + Oil of Olay Deals

Best Sunscreen For the Money

Ways to Save on Prescription Drugs

 

ways-to-save-on-retailSHOPPING & RESTAURANTS

Ways to Save on Retail

Ways to Save Money Eating Out

Kids Eat Free Deals

Birthday Free Offers and Deals

Benefits of Amazon Prime

Additional Ways to Save on Amazon

Ways to Save at Target

Ways to Save at Kohl’s

Ways to Save Money at Home Depot

10 Ways to Save Money at Starbucks

Ways to Save on American Girl Dolls & Accessories

Summer Staycation DFWENTERTAINMENT & VACATION

Summer Deals in Dallas & Fort Worth ~ Free and Cheap Camps, Bowling, Movies and Tons More!

Summer Staycation Guide ~ Dallas & Fort Worth

MyDFWMommy “Plays” and Saves at the Ballpark!

Ways to Save at Hawaiian Falls

2016 Texas Rangers Discounts and Deals

Ways to Save at the Movies

Ways to Save at Perot Museum

Fun & Free Things to Do With Baby in North Texas This Summer

Ways to Save on Travel

Best Frequent Flyer Programs

Ways to Save Tailgating

Ways To Save On Vacation

How to Save on Dallas Cowboys Games

Dallas and Fort Worth Spring Break Staycation Ideas ~ 2016

Additional Ways to Save on Amazon

Posted by My Dallas Mommy on Thursday, July 14th, 2016 at 6:00 PM
The links in the post below may be affiliate links. Read the Full Disclosures!

Ways to Save on Amazon

Additional Ways to Save Money on Amazon

We are in the aftermath of Amazon Prime!  They had some super good deals and I will assume many of you are Amazon Prime members now or at least trialing it.  We’ve discussed perks of Prime and ways to price match.  Let’s discuss additional ways to save on Amazon.

7-Day Price Protection

Amazon will give shoppers price protection for up to 7 days after your item is delivered. To get this, simply start a chat session and tell the rep that an item has gone down in price since you purchased it and they’ll quickly refund you the price difference. To qualify, the item must have been fulfilled by Amazon and not a 3rd party seller.

You can use CamelCamelCamel.com as an easy way to automatically track Amazon prices. You enter the product whose price you want to track, and they’ll notify you via email when the price drops.

Use a Double Browser

Amazon has been known to charge Prime members more for products compared to non-members. Use two internet browsers to see if this is happening.

In one browser, let’s say Firefox, login to your Amazon account and find the item you want to purchase, but DON’T add it to your cart. Just take note of the price. Then in another browser, perhaps Chrome, check the Amazon price. BUT…before you do, be sure to clear your browser’s cookies and cache so that Amazon thinks you’re a non-Prime member. Once you’ve done that, visit the Amazon website and check the price of the item. To get the lower price, simply add the item to your cart using Chrome, then login to your Amazon account and buy as you normally would. If Amazon tries to raise the price on you after you login, you should call them at 1-(888)-280-4331 and make sure you get the lower price.

You can also try using your “incognito” window as well!

Search Results Can Hide the Best Deals

When doing a search on Amazon for a specific brand and model, don’t always trust the search results. When doing specific searches, one of the most secretive ways to save on Amazon is to always dig a little deeper and don’t buy the first item that appears. This is especially true on consumer electronics that sell for more than $100. Always browse through the “Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought” carousel as well as the “Sponsored Products Related To This Item” carousel located on the individual product page. Many times you’ll find a cheaper version of the same exact model, either sold by a 3rd party or the actual manufacturer.

 “Add-On Items” Work Around

If you’re a Prime member, you’ve probably noticed that Amazon has gotten very good at using “Add-On Items”  to save on their overall shipping costs. Instead, you can add all your add-on items to your Amazon “Shopping List” and then buy only when your list reaches $25 and still get free 2-day shipping.

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Trade-In Items for Amazon Gift Cards

Consider the Amazon Trade-In program as a great way to offset future Amazon purchases. The program even looks through your old Amazon orders and will tell you what specific items are worth. But, the items you trade-in do NOT have to be purchased originally through Amazon. Just enter any item and they’ll tell you if they’ll buy it and for how much. Shipping is completely free via a prepaid shipping label.

Use Coupons

Amazon has coupons available and they’re a great way to save money. Go here to check out these coupons.

Here is a breakdown of the most popular coupon categories that they offer:

Diapers Delivered For Free at 20% Off

Do you have a baby in diapers along with a Prime membership? If so, use Amazon Family and get 20% off all diapers mailed to you via their Subscribe and Save program. Free shipping. Cancel anytime. Choose the delivery date that fits your needs.

Save More with Amazon Prime Store Card

Save 5% on Prime Day and every day at Amazon.com. Prime members who open an Amazon Prime Store Card now through Prime Day and get a $50 Amazon.com Gift Card instantly.

How to Get a Price Adjustment

Amazon Price Adjustment

As we tell you often, prices on Amazon can change on a moment’s notice.  If the price goes lower, you can get a price adjustment.  For many, that might seem like too much of a hassle.  But in reality, spending a few minutes can save you some good money that goes back into YOUR wallet. Here are easy steps on how to get an Amazon Price adjustment.

How to get an Amazon Price Adjustment:

1. Go to the Amazon help page. Click on the “Need More Help” at the bottom, then Contact Us.

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2. Make sure you are logged in to your account. Then click on the tab for “most recent purchases.” If you do not see the purchase that you are inquiring about click on the button that says, “Choose a Different Order”.  Select the item and click “done”.

How to get An Amazon Price Adjustment

3. From the drop down menu, choose, “Returns and refunds” and then “Other return or refund issue”. Then in the fill in the blank type, “Partial Refund Price Change”.  Then you can email or call them, or start a live chat.  Explain the price change and you’re DONE! Easy enough and well worth the effort!

Items to note:

  • Amazon won’t adjust on a daily or lightning deal.
  • Limited to 7-days from the shipping date.