Category Archives: Freebies

DIY Valentine’s Day Printables

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J and I’s first Valentine’s Day was so special. We had already been dating close to a year at that point and had just gotten engaged a few weeks before. So we wanted to do something that would mean a lot, but also something that was very much ‘us.’

J knows my love of sushi and took me to one of my all-time favorite restaurants. Of course it was packed full of these lovey-dovey couples. We ordered too much food, had a few drinks and we talked for hours. It was amazing. We talked about our future and the dreams we had.

Now fast forward to our 5th Valentine’s Day together. Things have changed. No more expensive sushi dinners. It’s a night for dinner in, a sweet card, and spending time together.  It’s crazy to think about what we talked about that first Valentine’s Day.  We had no idea what our future would hold, and now here we are celebrating our little guy’s first Valentine’s Day. I know he won’t remember this holiday, but I will and that means something.

While growing up my Dad always sent my sister and I our own Valentine. When we were younger he would have our gift sent to ours school for a special delivery. It was amazing having big balloons delivered where everyone saw. I felt so much pride carrying that balloon home on the bus and walking down our street with it. I know I had a huge smile on my face.  I felt so special!

Then as my sister and I got older our Dad would have packages delivered at our sorority house, our apartments and our work. It was nice knowing that my first Valentine was my Dad. He never forgot.

Now that I have a little boy I want to do the same for him. I want to teach him what it means to love someone. That it’s important to remember those that you care about.

Being his first Valentine’s Day means I have to start off a new tradition. I don’t have to go overboard and blow my budget, but I have to take time to do something that’s just for us.

This year, I’m making a sweet picture of him on his first Valentine’s Day.  I plan on hanging it up in my office as a sweet reminder.  

Okay, Okay, I know this isn’t really a gift for him….. but it’s a memory I can give to him when he’s older.

However, I wanted him to have something to give out so I created two DIY Valentine’s Day printables.  

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If you’re little one is older or goes to daycare then this little gift will be great!  Our little guy goes to a sitter during the day.  He has made fast friends with the other kids she watches, so we wanted to do something nice for them.  I’m having a little card printed and will pair it with some candy.  It doesn’t have to be much, but it’s the thought that counts.  I got a little card-making-frenzy and made a second card to hand out to friends and family.  I’m telling you these DIY Valentine’s Day printables took me less than 10 minutes to make then I emailed them to my local print shop.  I didn’t need a lot and since they are not very big they were able to print more than one on a page.  You can have the print shop cut them or if you want to save a little bit of money, you can cut them yourselves.  I think cutting is around $1 for this few pieces.

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You can download the bee printable here.

I also created a second card to pass out to family.  I used canva to create both cards and it took no time at all.  I wanted to keep some space at the bottom to tape a little baggie of candy to.

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Download the puppy printable here.

List of Birthday FREEBIES

list of birthday freebies

I think I say this every year on the 4th – this is my favorite holiday. Not only do I love celebrating this country (with fireworks), but it’s also the start to my birthday week.

This year I turn 30. So I am going to be celebrating all week long until the big 3-0 on Saturday.

I wanted to start my birthday week off right with sharing how to score some free or discounted goods.

I love free stuff! But, who doesn’t?

Now I have signed up for quite a few deal programs and restaurant perks over the years. Every year about this time I start raking in the goods. Free dinners, free desserts, discounted meals, discounted merchandise, etc. I compiled a list of some of my top birthday deals, but there may be more in your area. I stuck with what was around southeast Missouri and around St. Louis since that is where we spend most of our time.  Just search out rewards programs or frequent diner programs for your favorite places.  You never know, they may have something special just for your birthday.

These birthday deals are great for date nights. I’m not someone who gets easily offended when you pay with a coupon, even if it is my birthday. I like it better because I know we’re being responsible with our budget.

Deal Tip – add the expiration date to your calendar with a reminder that pops up about a week before. You don’t want to miss out on a freebie because you forgot, right? Most companies start sending birthday freebies the month of your birthday so you have some time to use them all.

birthday freebies

Food Birthday Freebies

Applebees – Free dessert.
Arby’s – Free 12oz. milkshake with any purchase.
Auntie Anne’s Pretzels – Free pretzel (that’s what I received last birthday.)  They also send monthly coupons all year long if you sign up for their newsletter.
Baskin Robbins – Free 2.5 oz scoop of ice cream on your birthday plus other promotions when you join the Baskin Robbins Birthday Club.
Bob Evans – Free dessert and/or free kid’s meal.
Boston Market – Free kid’s meal coupon for kids under 12.
Buffalo Wild Wings – You either get a free dessert straight up or with a $5 purchase, depending on your location.
Burger King – Free kid’s meal to all kids club members.
Chevy’s – Free dessert.
Chick-fil-A – Free meal, good for two months!
Country Buffet – Join the Mega Bar Meal club and get a free meal on your birthday AND a free meal just for signing up!
Country Kitchen – As long as you have valid ID, you get a free dinner entree up to $8 in value.
Cracker Barrel – Come in on your birthday and you will get a free dessert.
Culver’s – Free sundae.
Dairy Queen – Free BOGO ice cream coupon via e-mail.
Denny’s – Free original Grand Slam breakfast, but only on your birthday!
Dunkin Donuts – Free Coffee!
Dutch Bros. Coffee – Stop in on your birthday and get a free coffee as your birthday freebie.
Einstein Bros Bagels – Free bagel and shmear
Famous Dave’s Barbeque – Free birthday surprise and free kids lil’ wilbur meal.
Fazoli’s – Join their eFamily and get a coupon for a free dessert.
Firehouse Subs – Sign up and get an email for a free sub.
Great American Cookies – Free cookie!
Hard Rock Cafe – Free dessert.
Hometown Buffet – Join the Mega Bar Meal club and get a free meal on your birthday AND a free meal just for signing up!
Hooters – 10 free hot wings.
Houlihan’s – Free coupon for an entree during your next visit up to a week after your birthday.
HuHot Mongolian Grill – Free dessert and free kid’s smores
IHOP – Come on into IHOP and get a free meal (a sundae at some locations) on your birthday. (May not be available in all areas.)
Jack in the Box – They have a printable coupon for a free dessert valid only on your birthday.
Krispy Kreme – Free half dozen glazed donuts and a coffee mug with either coffee or soda in it! You might want to sign up ahead of time (only at participating locations).
Logan’s Roadhouse – Join their Nut Club and get a coupon for a free slice of cheesecake.
Lone Star Steakhouse –Free Appetizer!
Maggie Moo’s –Free Birthday Surprise!
Marble Slab Creamery – Kids can join the Marble Slab Kids Club and get a free ice cream cone on their birthday up to age 12.
McAlister’s Deli – Free birthday surprise.
Mimis Cafe – Free entree with purchase.
Moe’s Southwest Grill –Free Entree! and Free Kid’s Birthday Meal!
Noodles & Company – Free meal coupon for your birthday when you signup for their newsletter.
Old Chicago Free Pizza!
Old Country Buffet – Join the Mega Bar Meal club and get a free meal on your birthday AND a free meal just for signing up!
Old Spaghetti Factory – Free Kid’s Birthday Meal!
Old Spaghetti Warehouse – Join the Warehouse Club and get a coupon for a free meal on your birthday.
Olive Garden – Free birthday surprise.
Orange Julius – Free birthday drink.
Outback – Get a free dessert.
P.F. Chang’s – Free cake or cheesecake via their e-mail list.
Papa Murphy’s – Sign up for their e-club and get a coupon for a free cookie dough on your birthday.
Qdoba Mexican Grill – Free burrito on your birthday, as well as free chips n’ salsa just for joining up.
Quizno’s – Join their mailing list and get a free cookie on your birthday. You’ll also get a coupon for a free Sammie when you sign up.
Red Lobster – Join the Overboard Club and they will email you a surprise for your birthday.
Red Robin – Free Gourmet Burger if you pick up a Red Royalty Card at your local restaurant and then register it online. You also get a dessert when you say it’s your birthday in the restaurant!
Starbucks – If you have a gift card to their store, register it and receive a free coffee on your birthday. If you shop there often, it might be worth buying a gift card just to get the free coffee!
Steak ‘n Shake – Free steak burger with cheese and fries.
Texas Roadhouse – They send a coupon for one free appetizer or sidekick of ribs.
Waffle House – Join their Regulars Club and get a special coupon.
Wendy’s – Free kids meal for the little ones and a free frosty for us adults.
Zio’s Italian – Come in and get a free dessert on your birthday.

Retail Birthday Freebies

CVS – If you have an Extra Care Card, register it online and get $3 ECB on your birthday.
DSW Shoes – $5.00 On Your Birthday.
Famous Footwear – Free Birthday Surprise.
Hallmark – 20% off coupon for one item and a free card.
Helzberg Diamonds
 – Sign up for free email updates and receive a coupon for free pearl earrings for your birthday.
Journeys Kidz – 15% off gift card for your child’s birthday.
Kmart – Children get $5.00 Birthday Bucks, a birthday crown, happy birthday certificate, and birthday Fun Pack with surprise goodies!
Missouri Lottery – Free-play ticket.
Old Navy – Get a coupon on your birthday.
Proctor & Gamble – A batch of BOGO coupons for various products.
Sephora – Sign up as a Beauty Insider and get a free gift from Sephora on your birthday.
Swagbucks – 50 free Swagbucks
The Children’s Place – Register for their Birthday Club and receive 15% off on yours and your child’s birthday + coupons during your birthday week.
Toys R Us – Sign up ahead of time and once your child’s birthday rolls around, they’ll get a personalized letter in the mail. Plus, bring your child into any Toys R Us and they’ll get a hat & balloon before having their birthday announced over the loudspeaker. You’ll also get a $3 gift card in mail.

Ulta Beauty – Free Birthday Surprise!
Walmart PictureMe Studio – Free Birthday Portrait Collage!
World Market – Free Birthday Gift!

I told you there were quite a few birthday freebies to sign up for.  If you don’t want you inbox to be overflowing with promotional emails then you can do what I did.  I created an email account specifically for these freebies.  That way I can go in and check them on a regular basis, but it’s not overwhelming my other inbox.

 

How to Get Free Mac Makeup

How to Score Free Mac Makeup

Alright, I have a confession to make. Mac Makeup is my favorite. I blame my sister for my obsession. It started because of her.  She introduced me to it years ago when I was in high school and I’ve never looked back.  But… free Mac makeup makes my heart pitter-patter.

I just think their quality is outstanding and the fact their makeup stays in place all day is a major win for someone like me. I have a habit of touching my face without thinking about it and most other makeup brands are gone before lunch, but not Mac.  I try not to splurge on too many items since we’re working hard at sticking to our budget, but I just can’t convince myself to put that cheap of products on my face.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan of Covergirl products and use those, too.  But I have pretty sensitive skin so anything lower in quality will usually cause me to breakout after one application.

It’s no secret that Mac isn’t the cheapest around. But quality is worth it when it comes to putting something on my face. I have to admit that I can’t always afford Mac. But when I splurge for it, I make it last as long as possible!

Over the years, I’ve learned the ways of Mac.  Just like any good cult-follower there are tricks you need to know.

I wanted to share how to score free Mac makeup with you.

Mac has this awesome recycle program that rewards their loyal customers.

free mac makeup

Turn in 6 empty Mac containers to any store and they will give you a free lipstick of your choice. They have so many lipstick color choices to choose from and they average about $17 each. Quite a savings!

Just remember to hold onto your Mac containers.

I keep a plastic bag under my bathroom sink and whenever I empty one out, I just toss it in there. Then when I’ve saved enough, I make a trip the Mac kiosk in the mall. I would love to live near an actual Mac store, but I think that would be dangerous.

Another money savings tip for Mac Makeup: If you setup an appointment to have one of their makeup professionals work their magic on you then you usually get a coupon for any of the products they used. It’s not too bad of a deal!

How to Score a Free Breast Pump

Affiliate Disclosure: I am grateful to be of service and bring you content free of charge. In order to do this, please note that when you click links and purchase items, in most (not all) cases I will receive a referral commission. You will not pay more when buying a product through my link.

 

How to Score a FREE Breast Pump

Now that the baby is almost here, the anxiety of being a parent is setting in.  I’m sure I’m not the only first-time mom that feels this way.  I’m not worried about the delivery mainly because I will be in a hospital and know that I can trust God to make sure me and the baby are okay.  However, I am starting to freak out about leaving the hospital.  I’m going to be a mom.  It’s a scary thought!

Deep down I know I will be a great mom and can’t wait to meet my little boy.  But I just want to make sure we have our bases covered.  After having some amazing baby showers, we really did get most of what we need or what we think we’ll need.  One thing still puzzled me … a breast pump.  I really had no experience with them and didn’t know what to look for or what to avoid.  Luckily I had a few friends recently have a baby and they were a huge help.  I had even heard that some insurance will cover the cost of a breast pump, too.

I love a good deal and do you know what’s better than a good deal?

When you can get something for FREE!

So I decided to checkout the possibility of getting a free pump.  Because breast pumps aren’t cheap! They can range anywhere from $150 to $300 depending on the brand, style and gear you get to go with it. That’s a hard pill to swallow when you’re pregnant and the cost of diapers, wipes, clothes, and everything else is starting to sink in.  Now I want to share…

How to score a free breast pump with just a few clicks:

free breast pump

I really wanted a Medela breast pump after talking to a few people. First, it was a brand I recognized and second, I heard good things about them. So I went to their website where they have a handy look up to see if your insurance covers the cost of a breast pump.

insurance covers breast pump

You enter in the name of your insurance carrier and the state you live in. Then it will take you to suppliers. I clicked on the first one I saw because again, I recognized the name and I tend to overthink things a bit. So it was just easier to go with the first.

For me the first on the list was Aeroflow Breastpumps. You can go to their website and see if you qualify through insurance.  The whole process is really easy. Seriously!

how to get a free breast pump

I filled out my contact information and insurance information. The next day I received an email letting me know which pumps I qualified for.  There were some that were free and some that I could upgrade to for a discounted price. I decided to stick to the 100% free since this was my first-time and I had no idea about any of these.

free breast pump

They even sent me a few free storage bottles, too!  So excited about that freebie!

score a free breastpump

Tip: I would do some research on the different pumps that are offered to you.  That way you can really know the benefits about each one before making a decision.  You may decide it’s worth upgrading to a different pump or doing a breast pump package.  

Tip: When you register for your baby shower, go ahead and add some accessories that fit your free breast pump. I added some medela freezer bags, breastmilk bottle, sterilizer and other goodies.

30 Free Weekend Activities

30 free weekend activities

I love having free time on the weekends and with tax season winding down… I’m going to enjoy having both Saturday and Sunday back.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m super grateful to be busy during tax season and I really don’t mind working longer hours. But it will be nice not having to set an alarm on Saturday morning anymore.

I came up with 30 free weekend activities for us to do. I can’t wait to get started on my list.

30 free weekend activities

Free weekend activities to do at home

1) Movie Day at home – we have a ton of old movies that we haven’t watched in a long time. We can have a movie marathon, curl up on the couch and just enjoy some down time.
2) Try some new baking. This past summer, I got really into baking cookies and decorating with royal icing. I need more practice, but it was super fun to mess with during those long summer days. There are even some Youtube tutorials you can check out.
3) Catch up on your favorite Youtube stars. I have a few Youtube channels that I follow and I’m not the best on staying current with them. So it’s nice to just take some time to catch up on them all.
4) Read a good book. You can head to your local library to rent a classic or something that catches your eye.
5) Start a new DIY project or if you’re like me… finish a DIY project that’s been in limbo for awhile
6) Go for a long walk. I love this idea. There is a nice walking trail not too far from us. We usually only take 1 or maybe 2 dogs with us. It’s too hard with all three, especially since one doesn’t like to walk long distance, one wants to play with everyone, and the other one doesn’t like strangers. So we typically stick to where we each control one and we’re good to go.
7) Go for a picnic – no boat and don’t like fishing, then just have the picnic!
8) Go swimming at the community pool, neighborhood pool, or a friend’s house
9) Start a garden
10) Catch up on your favorite TV shows

30 free weekend activities

Free activities to do with others or out and about:

11) Geocaching – if you’ve never heard of it, then look it up. It’s awesome! It’s basically a scavenger hunt. You can do it with kids, without kids, with a group, or by yourself. You just need a GPS tracker (preferably not a cell phone in case you lose signal). We’ll take our old Garmin GPS with us. You type in your coordinates and then go hunting for a little token. You can keep track of everything through their website.
12) Have a game day with friends. Invite some friends over to play games. We have a few outdoor lawn games, bag toss, washers, etc. It’s nice to get together and just play.
13) Visit a free museum. Around here there are a few art or history museums that don’t charge admission.
14) Go camping. This one might not be entirely free depending on where you camp since some campsites charge a small fee. But it’s never very much and it’s fun to just get out for the weekend.
15) Go boating. I understand not everyone has a boat, but for J and I this is a favorite past time. I pack a picnic lunch and then we’re off for the day.
16) Go fishing. Last summer we found a few good spots that don’t require a boat. So we like to pack our lunch, grab some snacks and take off for the day. Make sure you have your fishing license though!
17) Volunteer at a local charity
18) Go sledding (if in the winter)
19) Have a bonfire with friends and neighbors
20) Go for a hike

30 free weekend activities

Here are some great free activities to do with kids, besides a few from up top:

21) Attend the free movie at the public library
22) Go to the park
23) Ride bikes
24) Work on a puzzle together
25) Create a play or story together
26) Organize a scavenger hunt
27) Read stories at the public library
28) Create science experiments
29) Make a giant slip in slide using a tarp in the backyard
30) Create a scavenger hunt around the house or park

Stay On Top of Your Monthly Bills {Free Monthly Bill Tracker download!}

Stay on top of your bills with a monthly bill tracker

You’re probably like me and are really busy from day-to-day.  It’s hard to keep everything straight that’s on your plate.  You have work to get done, errands to run, bills to pay, and probably even play dates to be at.  You’re trying to do it all and stay on top of everything, but sometimes things slip through the cracks.

You wrote out the check for your car loan, but a week later you find it buried in the bottom of your purse.  Now it’s late.  You panic.  You rush to the post office to get out in the mail.  Now you feel bad because it’s your husband’s car that’s getting hit with the late payment.  You tell him and he seems upset.  It’s the car he bought before the marriage and it’s only in his name.  Now he has a late payment and you don’t.  You said you would take care of it, but obviously you couldn’t.

What he doesn’t realize is that this past week was a doozy for you.  You’re lucky that you remembered to wash your hair that morning (or if you’re like me.. within the past few days).

You need something to help you out.  A tool that’s on your side.  A monthly bill tracker that’s easy to see at a glance.  Not too much information that makes it distracting.  Just the right amount so you can quickly see where you are at for the month.

monthly bill tracker download

That’s where this monthly bill tracker comes into play.  You simply write out the bill’s name, the date it’s due and then mark off when it’s paid.

There’s not even a distracting space to put the amount.  Most amounts like car payments, cell phone bills, cable bills don’t change from month-to-month.  You probably have those amounts memorized by now.  No need to write them down again and take up space on the page.

monthly bill tracker download

There is room in each month’s box if you want to keep track of changing monthly amounts.  I do write down our monthly utilities so I can keep an idea of how much it fluctuates in the cold and warm months.  As you can see it really works great for those payments that are quarterly or annually, too.  Like for us, our trash bill is only due every 3 months.  So each month I transfer money into a savings account that more than covers our trash costs.  When it’s due on the 10th of every month, I transfer $35 from our savings account into our checking account.  I draw an X on the months it’s not due so I don’t confuse myself.  I also added the transfer as a monthly bill to track to make sure I transfer the money.

You really can do anything you want with this monthly bill tracker to make it work for you.

You can either cross off when the payment is made, or do what I do and highlight the box.  I think it’s easier to see with just glancing if a bill has been paid.  I keep this monthly bill tracker with our budget information.  It’s in a file behind my desk so when I pay bills, update our budget or reconcile our check register it’s pulled out.

To download your free monthly bill tracker download

To download your free monthly bill tracker download, click here.

Get it done… (daily to do list and free printable)

It’s no secret the love I have for being organized.  I’ve shared my top tips on getting more organized and my top time management tricks.  Over the years, I’ve learned the hard way when I don’t keep my thoughts together.

daily to do list, free printable

I had found online all of these wonderful daily planning sheets.  But let’s be honest, I wanted something FREE.  Why would I want to pay for something that I could create myself?  So I kept looking, mainly because I was being lazy.  I didn’t want to take the time to create a daily to do list.  There had to be something out there that was perfect, right?  WRONG.

I couldn’t find anything I liked.  I would find one and print it out.  I would try it out for a few days, but never liked it.  I didn’t need one broken up by the time of day.  I don’t care if I get something done in the morning or afternoon.  That’s what I have my Google Calendar for.  I needed something that was daily.

I was fed up.  I had enough.  I finally created my own.  I’ve been using it for well over a month now and I couldn’t be happier.  It’s exactly what I needed.  If only I would have bit the bullet and created it months ago!

Here’s what it looks like.  It has a box for every day of the week, except Sunday because I try not to work on Sundays.  There is even a box to jot down to dos for next week.  I even love the check-off capability.  The OCD side of me loves checking off when things get done.  You can even jot down which week you’re working on in case you’re a planner and have multiple sheets going.

daily to do list, free printable

Click here to download the template to print it out.

If you’re looking for even more ideas on organizing your life, check out how I organize my desktop to be more efficient (there’s even a free template included!).