Saturday, May 18, 2013

Birthday Freebies and Mailing List Frebies

Here are some freebies you get either when you sign up for a mailing list, or up for on your birthday.  However, this will add you to their mailing list, so I suggest using a secondary account or 2) signing up when you want the sign-up freebie or a few weeks before your birthday and then unsubscribing after you get your coupon. 

Here they are: (If you click on the restaurant it will take you to their page to sign up if necessary.  Some places you just tell them its your birthday. If Freebie is not mentioned, you'll just have to be surprised!)

Restaurant                       Freebie
Applebees                      Unknown
Arby's                       Signup Freebie: Free Reg Roast Beef w/ drink purchase.
                                 Birthday Freebie: Free 12.oz milkshake w/ any purchase.
Auntie Anne's Pretzels    Signup Freebie: Free sugar pretzel w/any purchase.
                                  Birthday Freebie: Free BOGO coupon for a pretzel item.
Bakers Square                Free slice of pie with any adult entree purchase.
Baskin Robbins               Free 2.5 oz scoop of ice cream
Bonanza Steakhouse       Free steak dinner.
Bruegger's                      Signup Freebie: Free bagel with cream cheese.
                                      Birthday Freebie: Free cookie
Buffalo Wild Wings        Free dessert.
Burger King                   Free Kids meal for each of your kid's birthday
Caribou Coffee              Free drink.
Chili's                            Signup Freebie: Free chips and queso.
                                     Birthday Freebie: Free brownie sundae.
Coldstone Creamery
Country Kitchen            Free dinner entree up to $8 in value with valid ID.
Culver's                         Signup Freebie: Free value basket.
                                     Birthday Freebie: Free one-scoop sundae.
Dairy Queen                  Signup Freebie: One BOGO coupon any size blizzard.
                                     Birthday Freebie: One BOGO coupon for a blizzard.
 Denny's                        Click "Rewards" logo at the bottom right of the page.
                                     Signup Freebie: 20% off entire guest check.
                                     Birthday Freebie: Free Grand Slam breakfast.
Famous Dave's Barbeque Free dessert with the purchase of an entree.
Fazoli's                          Free dessert.
Fuddruckers                  Birthday Freebie: Free 1/3 lb. burger.
HuHot Mongolian Grill  Signup Freebie: Free appetizer.
                                    Birthday Freebie: Free grill meal.
IHOP                           Signup Freebie: Free Fresh ‘N Fruity breakfast.
                                    Birthday Freebie: Free Fresh ‘N Fruity breakfast.
Joe's Crab Shack         Signup Freebie: Free appetizer.
                                    Birthday Freebie: Free appetizer.
Krispy Kreme  
Marble Slab                 Signup Freebie: BOGO Tasty Creation coupon.
                                    Birthday Freebie: Free regular ice cream cone.
Maggie Moo's              Free ice cream cone.
Olive Garden
Papa Murphy's            Free cookie dough with the purchase of any pizza.
Red Lobster                Birthday Freebie: $5 off two adult entrees.
                                   Signup Freebie: $3 off your next purchase.
Red Robin                   Birthday Freebie: Free Burger!
Romano's Macaroni Grill Signup Freebie: $5 off your next visit.
                                    Birthday Freebie: Free piece of chocolate cake.
Ruby Tuesday          Signup Freebie: BOGO coupon for a burger up to $10.
                                Birthday Freebie: Free handcrafted burger of your choice.
Ryan's Steakhouse
Sonic                            Birthday Freebie: Free creamslush, tator tots, or drink!
Taco Johns                   Signup Freebie: Free cini-sopapilla bites.
                                    Birthday Freebie: Free cini-sopapilla bites.
Texas Roadhouse         Signup Freebie: Free appetizer.
                                    Birthday Freebie: Free appetizer or sidekick of ribs.
TGI Fridays              Signup Freebie: Free appetizer or dessert.
                                Birthday Freebie: Free dessert w/ purchase of entree.
Wendy's                       Signup Freebie: $1 off any premium sandwich.
                                    Birthday Freebie: $1 off any premium combo.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Two Easy Ways To Remove Jar Labels

Two Easy Ways To Remove Jar Labels

The following article was found on Mom On Time Out

The holidays are just around the corner and to me that 
means more crafts.  Glass jars are a great way to recycle 
for not only craft projects but are wonderfully useful for 
storage, rustic vases, and even for cleaning solutions. 

Cleaning the labels and the sticky residue off of jars can be an 
intimidating and time-consuming process.  I'm sure we've all 
tried peanut butter, vinegar, hot water, soap, dishwasher, 
oils, etc.  The list goes on and on when you ask people
how they remove their labels.  I've tried a variety of methods 
and have narrowed it down to the two that I find most effective 
and efficient.  You pick which one works for you!  

Gather up several jars at a time to be more efficient.  
 I like to do lots of different sizes and shapes  - some of the 
jars even have really beautiful designs on them.
For each method, remove as much of the label as 
possible first.  An easy way to get the adhesive to release 
is to fill the jar with really hot water.  Be careful when 
handling the jar and don't burn yourself!  

Let the jar sit for a few minutes so the adhesive can turn more to a liquid and then start gently peeling off the label.

First Method: Olive Oil

Olive Oil is my favorite method because it's 
eco-friendly and is super easy.  Pour a couple 
drops of oil onto a paper towel and rub at the 
remaining residue from the label.  Keep rubbing 
until all residue is gone.  This should only take a 
minute or two.  Make sure to wash your jar 
afterward to get the oil off.  I just run mine 
through the dishwasher. 

Second Method: Polish Remover
This method is actually a little faster than the olive oil but you have to deal with the fumes from the nail polish remover.  (You can see here that I combat this issue with "cucumber melon" scented remover :) )  Pour the polish remover onto a paper towel or use the applicator if yours came with one.  Scrub away at that label and adhesive and it will just slide right off.  Quick and easy!  Again, make sure to wash the jar afterwards. 

These two methods are fail-proof.  I have never had a jar label that I couldn't remove using one of these two methods.  Next time you are about to throw out a glass jar think of how easy it is to re-use it and try one of these methods.  Let me know what you think.

Linking up here and Home Stories A2Z Tutorials and Tips


(A Kid Concoctions Original)
 "For his 6th birthday, our son Kellen wanted a pirate-themed party where we would give out mystery rocks, store-bought stones with tiny treasures inside, as favors," says Danita Thomas. "Rather than buying them for the 15 guests, John suggested trying to make them. He remembered his mother making stonelike clay with used coffee grounds when he was a kid. So after some experimenting, we came up with our own surprise-filled mystery rocks that turn trash into treasure."

1 cup flour
1 cup used coffee grounds (set them out overnight to dry)
1/2 cup salt
1/4 cup sand
3/4 cup water
Small prizes, such as plastic toys, dice, and marbles

Heat the oven to 170 degrees. In a medium-size bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Slowly add the water, stirring until the mixture forms a dough.

Roll a piece of the dough into a ball roughly the size of a baseball. Use your finger to bore a hole to the center, push in a couple of small prizes, then seal the hole with more dough. Repeat this process with the rest of the dough.

Place the stones on a baking sheet and cook them for 40 minutes, then allow them to cool completely before giving them to the kids to break open (easy to do by hand). Makes 4 treasure-filled stones.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Super Hero Cape-No Sewing!

Super hero cape from a men's t-shirt. No sewing required!  Genius!

Freezing Food to Avoid Waste and Save $$

Here’s my list of freezable foods.

I’ve personally had success freezing everything on the list below. However, I’m always looking for more things to freeze, so if you know of anything I missed, please share your suggestions in the comments below.

1. Baked Goods:

I’ve been known for baking huge batches of sweets in one day and then freezing them for our enjoyment over the next few months. This save me tons of time — we LOVE our sweets!
Brownies & Cookies: Yup, I do it all the time. Just put them in resealable bags or storage containers with tight-fitting lids and they’ll last as long as you can resist them!
Breads, Buns, Muffins, and Rolls: Just double-bag them to prevent freezer burn and they should be fine for several months
Cupcakes & Cake: Yes, I’ve frozen cupcakes and even full cakes! You can frost cakes before or after freezing them, but if you use store-bought frosting, you’ll want to wait to frost them until after they defrost…trust me, I know!
Granola: We love homemade granola but if I’m going to make it, I only make a huge batch….and then freeze it in mason jars or zip-top bags.
Pies: I don’t usually freeze pies, but if you do, just make sure to freeze them BEFORE you bake them.

2. Baking Supplies:

I freeze many of my baking supplies in shoe boxes in our freezer! {Shoe boxes stack well and allow for ventilation.}
Chocolate: I store all my baking chocolates in the freezer because I think they keep for much longer this way and taste “fresher”. Plus it frees up more space in my cabinets.
Nuts: I store all our nuts in the freezer to keep their oils from going rancid. I first heard this tip from Rachel Ray and it seems to work — so it must be true!
Flour and Sugar: While it’s not necessary, I often freeze my flour and sugar — especially in the summer when our house is more humid.

3. Dairy:

I’ve saved a bunch of money by purchasing dairy products in bulk and freezing them. From my experience, most dairy products should keep for at least 6 months.
Butter/Margarine: No trick here, just stick the whole package in the freezer and remove when you’re ready to use.
Block Cheese: I freeze cheese ALL the time, just remember to slice and shred it before you freeze it, otherwise it will crumble.
Cream Cheese: Believe it or not, you can freeze cream cheese. It might be a bit “lumpy” after it defrosts but it still tastes the same.
Milk: I don’t have the need to freeze our milk on a regular basis, but I do it whenever we go on vacation. Just remember to pour about 1 cup of milk out before freezing.
Yogurt: Freeze yogurt for a delicious, healthy treat. I let it defrost a bit before eating so it’s really creamy.

4. Fruits:

Before freezing fruit, make sure it’s washed, dried, and divided up into smaller portions. This will make it easy to quickly grab what you need without defrosting the entire batch. Fruits should keep for up to a year if properly sealed.
All Fruits: You can pretty much freeze any fruit you plan to use in smoothies because it will get mashed up anyway, however, don’t plan on freezing fruit simply for eating — it will be really soggy.
Berries: I freeze all kinds of berries for pancakes and smoothies. I also keep 2-cup containers of crushed berries to use for making jam, ice-cream toppings or, for berry shortcake.
Bananas: I peel any rotten bananas and put 4 bananas in a bag or freezer container. Then whenever a recipe calls for bananas, I just grab a container to defrost {most recipes call for 3-5 bananas so I figure I’m safe with 4!}
Jams and Jellies: I usually can my jam, but my mom and mother-in-law always freeze it. Freezing jam is quicker and easier…so if you have the freezer space, here are 20 delicious freezer jam recipes to get you started!

5. Herbs & Vegetables:

Herbs: I freeze fresh herbs in ice-cube trays to use for soups, stews, and casseroles later in the year. Here’s a free Herb Reference Sheet that explains how you can use and preserve different herbs.
All Veggies: To save myself some time — here is a link to my Vegetable Freezing Worksheet. It’s a list of 20 different vegetables and how to freeze them … and you can print it for free!

6. Meals:

I’m always making double batches of our favorite foods to store in the freezer. Then on busy days, I just defrost one in the morning, and it’s usually ready by dinner time.
Soups, Stews, and Broths: I divide these up into 1 or 2 cup portions so they defrost quicker. Here are some of my favorite soup recipes.
Casseroles: I’ve frozen everything from lasagna and fajitas, to enchiladas, chicken dishes, and more! Just make sure all the ingredients are fully cooked before you freeze it. When you’re ready to eat it, just defrost and bake as normal.
Pasta Sauce: We usually never go through an entire batch of pasta sauce in one meal so I just pop the leftovers in the freezer for the next time we eat pasta.
Meat: You can freeze cooked meat, raw meat, ground meat, shredded meat, “whole” meat, etc. Just make sure it’s properly sealed to prevent freezer burn. {I once had a whole turkey in the freezer for about 18 months and it was absolutely delicious when we cooked it!}

 Post from Here

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Gooey Gunk

Solution A:
1 c water
1 c white gluee
2 T liqiod tempera paint or 7-10 drops of food coloring

Solution B:
1 and 1/3 c warm water
4 t borax laundry booster

How to Concoct It:
1. Mix ingredients in solution A together in a medium bowl
2. In a second medium bowl, mix the ingredients in solution B together until dissolved.
3. Slowly pour solution A into Solution B
4. Roll solution A around in solution B 4-5 times.
5. Lift solution A out of solution B and Knead for 2-3 minutes.
6. Store Gunk in an air-tight container or plastic bag.

Check out more fun ideas from John and Danita Thomas, the Kid Concoctions Couple.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Kool-Aid Play Dough


2 1/2 cups flour 
1/2 cup salt
2 (4 g) packages unsweetened Kool-Aid powdered drink mix
2 cups boiling water
3 tablespoons oil


  1.  Mix flour, salt, Kool-Aid until blended.
  2.  Add oil to boiling water, mix with spoon until cool enough to knead.
  3.  Continue kneading until color is blended.
  4.  Store in air tight bag or container in the refrigerator.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Play Dough

What You Will Need:
  • 1 cup Flour
  • 1 cup Water
  • 1 or 2 drops Food Coloring
  • 1/2 cup Salt
  • 1 tablespoon Salt
  • 1 tablespoon Oil
  • 2 teaspoons Cream of Tartar
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons
  • Saucepan
  • Wooden Spoon
  • Floured Board
  • Resealable Plastic Bag (or other air-tight container)

What You Do:
  • Mix all ingredients together in a saucepan.
  • Have an adult help you heat the mixture on medium heat until it just starts to cook. Make sure to stir the mixture while it is heating. When it is done, the mixture should form a ball and look like sticky play dough.
  • Take the play dough from the pan and put it onto a floured board. Let it sit until it is cool to the touch.
  • Knead the dough by pushing it down and away from you and folding it over, until you have a smooth dough.
  • Mold the play dough into whatever interesting shapes you can think of!
  • When you are done playing, store your play dough in a resealable plastic bag, making sure to get as much air out of the bag as possible.

  • We like to keep our play dough in the refrigerator, where it will last for weeks!
  • Add a very small amount of vanilla, cinnamon, or other scent to make your dough have a wonderful smell.
  • We like to use liquid watercolor paints to color our dough — much more vibrant colors!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Limited Quantities

Does Hy-Vee or Fareway have an item on sale, but you're limited on how many you can buy?  Buy as many as allowed and head to the other grocery store that matches prices. (They accept the other store's coupons too!)  That way you can get twice as many.

Need more than that?  Go back to the store later on in the week and pick up more.  Or, many times at Hy-Vee, if you buy more than the limit, they OFFER to just ring the additional items up under a separate transaction.  I'm always afraid the one checker I go to won't let me do this, so I don't intentionally do it, but it is an option for you to try if you'd like!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Matching Prices

Remember, Fareway and Hy-Vee both match the other store's advertised prices.  Just bring in an ad and they will match the price and possibly save you a trip to the other store.

Forgot to bring the competitor's ad with you?  Both stores have the Penny Saver newspaper they give free.  Both ads are in that paper.  Fareway's is on the same metal rack as their store ads, and Hy-Vee has them on a red shelf right across from where they hang up their adds, at the end of the express lane check outs.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Jewelry Organizer

What a great way to organize all that jewelry!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Eraser Tip for Dry Erase

Glue a pom pom onto the end of your dry erase marker so you always have an eraser close by!

DIY Dry Erase Board

Turn a picture frame into a dry-erase board!