Posts Tagged ‘ cheap ’

$10 FREE – Choose How You Spend It!

Beautiful Gold earrings FREE at Beyond the Rack

I found this great site of designer deals called Beyond the Rack that gives you $10 FREE when you register.

Deals change every few days, so hurry to see what you can get for your $10 today!

Here are some of the things you can get today with your free 10 bucks:

This cute organic girls tee can be yours for only $10

Here are some great deals you can get at a huge discount using your 10 bucks:

Sexy Shoes - only $5?!

Here is the link for your FREE $10 when you sign up.

Share the link with your friends and spread the savings!
Is it really shopping when what you’re getting is FREE?


If you don’t see something you want to use your free $10 signup bonus on today, just check back every few days for all new designer deals.

Starting tomorrow, see all new deals on designer handbags, Jessica Simpson shoes, XOXO, Coash, Dolce & Gabbana, Fresh Minerals makeup and more!


Halloween Costumes For Under $10

In recent years it seems that most Halloween costumes are purchased at stores. We’re spending more money every year buying vinyl cartoon characters or cheap remakes of movie figures for both adults and kids. The creativity that went along with celebrating Halloween has been lost. I still think the best Halloween costumes are the ones that my mom hand-made for me. They were original, they were thrifty, and they really showed me how much my parents cared for me.

If you’re trying to save money on a costume this year, follow these simple steps and make it a truly memorable Halloween.

  1. Plan Ahead. Don’t wait until the week of Halloween to decide on a costume and try to put it together. Think of something you (or your child) like and consider how you might be able to create it on your own without pre-made buying costume components from a specialty store. Think about sketching out a design, or looking online for ideas on how other people may have made a similar costume. Take your kids to the local public library. You can find lots of costume design books to h
  2. Skip the Costume Store. Prepackaged, store bought costumes are cheaply made, but can be hard on your wallet. They’re generally one-size-fits-most and the message they send is that you’re either not very creative or you spent no time planning.Instead, find cheaper alternatives  like materials from a hardware store, craft store, or items you have on hand at home.
  3. Be Realistic. Be honest about your crafty abilities.  How well can you sew? How much time do you have? Carefully consider a costume idea before embarking on a project. If it takes seamstress abilities and you can’t sew a button on, it’s probably not the right project for you. Also be realistic about how long it might take to complete the costume and try to set aside an entire day (or an entire weekend) to work on it – and always give yourself time a few days before Halloween for any last-minute adjustments or final touches.Remember to include drying time (for glue) in your time considerations. Consider enlisting the help of a talented friend or family member if your costume would need small touches that are outside the range of your abilities.
  4. Include your children. If your child is old enough to contribute, let him! Absolutely ask your kids what they want to be for Halloween. It’s a good idea to get a few discussions so that you can help them decide on one that will be “doable.” If they are able to help you paint, glue, decorate, the costume then enlist their help. It will be a fun activity that you can do with your child and will help them appreciate more the costume that they helped create.
  5. Take Photos! Document your masterpiece. You want to remember what your child looked like in your homemade Halloween costume – those pictures make great memories. It’s also a good idea to take photos during the creation process. Who knows, you might be able to help someone make a costume someday with step-by-step photos to boot!

Following is a resource of affordable home-made children’s Halloween costumes. Links to instructions/material lists are provided where available. Each costume is rated with a difficulty level between 1-5. Most of the costumes can be made for free using items you already have. Other items can be purchased cheaply at a thrift store, salvation army, dollar store, or craft store. Many costumes that instruct you to use a sewing machine can also be made using a needle & thread (sewn by hand) or by using fabric glue.

1=Limited crafting ability needed.

2=Moderate crafting ability needed.

3=Require basic sewing skills.

4=Require tools & experience with projects.

5=Seamstress skills or extreme craftiness needed.

Samurai made with recycled materials

Boy in Samurai costume

Recycle me a Samurai.

Skill Level: 1.5
Hi Creativity needed (to make it look as great as this photo!), but it’s a simple cut and paste job.

Cost: $0
You could easily have all the materials needed on hand already. Scissors, watercolor, tape, stapler. And you can find cardboard boxes or a discarded calendar for the “fabric” of the costume.

The armour (body, arms, legs, skirts) are made of cardboard boxes with one side peeled off to reveal corrugation. The cardboard (corrugated side out) is cut into shape to fit your little one and flair is added to the design by cutting shapes into the armour. Staple together pieces of the cardboard where it needs to fit together.Make sure the neckhole is big enough that it can easily be slipped on. You can use watercolors to give the cardboard the leathery color you need.

An old calendar was used to create a helmet using origami and to cut out decorative pieces for the body armour.  Colored tape also works well for this.

Do an internet search for “Samurai Hat Origami” instructions, or Use these Instructions.

*Optional: Attach pieces of braid or rope for more texture and to turn tennis shoes into “sandals.”

Newspaper Dress (various costumes)

The dress instructions are for an adult, but can be modified for many children’s costumes.
If your child is eco-conscious, she would love to have a princess dress made out of newspaper!

Pleated dress made out of newspaper.

Fairytale dress for an eco-loving girl.

Skill Level: 3

Cost: under $5

To make a newspaper dress you will need: a stack of newspaper (like the Sunday edition of the New York Times), 2 feet of velcro, a spool of white thread, a basic sewing machine (and basic sewing skills), straight pins, a ruler, a pencil, a pair of scissors, a belt.

Costume Ideas using this dress:

The Recycling Fairy: Add some wings and some glittery makeup and you are the perfect eco-fairy.

As the basis for any costume that requires a fancy dress: Add some paint and sequins and you could be an awesome, recycled rendition of any princess or queen.

Complete, very detailed instructions with photos can be found at Instructables.

Click here to see a color photo of the dress.

Human Lego Brick

Lego Brick Halloween Cotume

Build yourself a Lego Costume for Halloween.

Skill Level: 1

Cost: $10 or less

This is fairly easy to make even for those of us without sewing skills or loads of creativity genes. This costume can be cheaper if you have all the materials on hand. Otherwise, you can usually find round craft boxes on sale at a craft store and the other materials are relatively inexpensive.

Materials needed for this project: One cardboard box large enough to fit over the costumee’s torso; Six round craft boxes – We used 7″ boxes but depending on the size of the wearer or the type of brick you are replicating you could go smaller or larger; Box cutters, Spray paint, Hot glue gun and glue, Duct or packing tape, Pencil, Ruler.

Find a box large enough to fit your child, tape the sides securely, then cut head and arm holes. Find some round boxes (without the lids) and hot glue them in place to replicate the “pegs” on the logo blocks. After you let the glue dry, spraypaint with the color of your choice and you’re good to go! If you have more than one child, you can make the same costume in different colors and/or shapes for a family theme.

Complete instructions with photos can be found here.

Alternate instructions for Lego costume using paper bowls instead of round boxes.

Easy Trace & Paint Skeleton Costume

Skill Level: 1

Easy Skeleton Costume

Trace pattern, cut, paint, and wear!

Cost: $5 or less

Using materials you have at home or can easily buy, make a customized skeleton costume for your little one. Materials you need are: black long sleeve shirt and pants (or leggings or long johns), white fabric paint, freezer paper, pencil, iron, glow-in-the-dark fabric paint (optional).


Sketch bone shapes onto the papery side of freezer paper. Carefully cut out the bones from the paper and discard the bones. Keeping the paper (with bone-shaped holes in it), turn it plastic side down in place onto the fabric. Iron in place. These are your stencils. Now paint inside the stencils using the flat end of stiff brush. Allow the paint to dry completely before removing the stencil. If you like, you can trace inside the bone using a glow-in-the-dark ink or paint.

Full instructions with photos here.

Many more cheap and fun costume ideas can be found on

  • Octopus – Skill Level: 2, Materials needed: Hoodie, needle & thread, stuffing, suction cups or foam circles.
  • Garden Gnome – Skill Level: 3, Materials needed: Clothes from your closet or thrift store, red material for hat, felt, fake fur, sewing machine or needle & thread.
  • Make a Jem/Rockstar Wig – Skill Level: 1, Materials needed: 2 wigs (pink and purple/silver), scissors, wide-tooth wooden comb, hair elastics.
  • Super Mario Brothers – Skill Level: 1, Materials Needed: overalls, t-shirt, ball cap, felt pieces, black marker.
  • Star Trek Costume and Badge – Skill Level: 2.5; Materials needed: oversize t-shirt, black fabric, scissors, thread/sewing machine, cardstock, aluminum foil, printer, glue.
  • Darth Vader – Skill Level: 2, Materials Needed: cardboard boxes, paint, glue gun, scissors, decorating supplies.
  • Thomas the Tank Engine – Skill Level: 4-5; Materials needed: shopping cart, cardboard box, spray paint, painter’s tape, some other heavy duty tools & supplies.
  • Storm Trooper – Skill Level: 3-4; Materials Needed: Foam sheets, velcro, hot glue, helmet, scissors, decorations.
  • Football Jersey & Pads – Skill Level: 3, Materials Needed: Adult football jersey, foam, scissors, sewing machine.
  • Christmas Elf – Skill Level: 2, Materials Needed: Old Christmas Sweater, Scissors, pins, sewing machine or needle & thread, stuffing, yarn.
  • Spooky Bat – Skill Level: 2.5, Materials Needed: Black Hooded Sweatshirt, black umbrella, scissors, needle & thread, pins, pliers.
  • Learn to Sew: Halloween Costume Video
  • Videos Instructions for TinkerbellBetty Rubble, Alice in Wonderland, Batgirl – Skill Level 3-4; Materials needed: fabric or oversized t-shirts, chalk, pins, sewing machine or needle & thread.

Feel free to comment and share your ideas for inexpensive (or FREE!) Halloween Costumes.

Money-Saving Coupons for Back-to-School

Back To School Savings

Save on School Supplies

The 2010-2011 school year is right around the corner. You know what that means – new school supplies for your kids (or for yourself if you’re taking adult courses). Last week we alerted you to Tax-Free Shopping Days for school clothes and supplies. Today we have found some coupons for you to save on the supplies you need – or even get free supplies!

Pilot Frixion Erasable Gel Pens, $1.99
$1/1 Pilot Frixion Gel Pens, exp. 8-28-10 (Walgreens, Aug)
$1/1 Pilot Pen printable
$1/1 Pilot Pen printable
FREE after coupons! (info from

If you have Dollar General Stores in your area you can get some great deals on Back-to-School Products (check other dollar stores for deals, too).
Visit their website to “Fan” them on Facebook and receive coupons every Friday. View their full weekly ad here.

School Supplies
2/$1 Deals
Marble Composition Book
Raymond Geddes 24 ct crayons
10 ct pencils
Poly or Fashion Folders

B1G1 Free Deals
Poster Board, 22×28
Poster Board, 11×14 (5 pack)
Duck Bulk Packaging Tape
Duck Mailing Tape with Dispenser
Duck EZ Start Packing Tape
Super Glue, 2 pack
Multi Point Pencils, 10 ct.
Assorted Art Skills Poster Board Accessories

$1 Deals
Poly Spiral 5×7 Notebook
Fashion Notebook
Zipper Binder Pouch
Glue Sticks, 2 pack
Fashion Mechanical Pencils, 4 pack
12 ct, colored pencils
Retractable Gel Pens, 2 pack
Retractable Fashion Pens, 2 pack
Pocket Highlighters, 2 pack
Clear or Invisible Tape, 2 pack
Security Envelopes, 40 ct.
Shoe Box with Lid
Mead Trapper Portfolios

Family Dollar also has deals through August:

5 for $5 Deals
Yellow Wood Pencils, 24 ct. or Colored Pencils, 12 ct.
Notebook Paper, 150 ct.
Pencil Box
Trio Ballpoint Pens Pack or Black Stick Pens, 10 ct.
Top Flight Composition Book, 100 sheets or 1 Subject Notebook, 70 sheets
Kids Scissors, 2 pk. or 2-hole pencil & crayon sharpener
File Folders

$2 Deals
1″ Fashion View Binder
Jumbo Key Calculator
1″ Poly Binder
Dry Erase Markers, 4 pk.
Jumbo Highlighters, 5 pk.
Elmer’s Purple Glue Sticks, 2 pk.
Mechanical Pencils, 5 pk

5 for $5 Disney Products
Stationary Sets
Marker & Activity Set
Notepad/Stamp Set
Memo Pad/Pen Set
Pencil Pouches

Also, more deals under $1 – Lunch Kits & Backpacks ($6 or $8), storage containers, school desks & college supplies.
Check the Back to School Ad for deals in your area.

Awesome Deals aboud at Staples and Office Max this week!
Don’t miss the Penny Deals at Staples–Valid Sunday 8/15 -Wednesday 8/18.
1 cent notebook. Limit 6. Minimum purchase $5.
Staples Copy Paper Ream. Limit 2. After EZ Rebate.

Also, 50 Cent Deals– Limit 2.
Mini comp book
Staples dual dome pencil sharpener
Westcott plastic ruler
Staples 1 hole punch
Staples glue sticks 4 pk
Staples 100 ct push pins clear & asst
Slider pencil case
Pentel Hi Polymer white handheld erasers

Dollar Deals–Limit 2.
Pentel RSVP Ballpoint Pens 5 pk
Quartet Enduraglide Fine Asst 4+1
Staples 3 hold binder punch
Westcott 6” scissors
Staples small binderclips
Assorted really useful boxes
Ticonderoga red check pencils
Sharpie marker fine 5 pk
Staples poly zippered envelope
Staples pocket exp file
Mini legal pad 3×6 3 pk

And the Penny Special at Office Max: (Limit 6)
Schoolio 2-Pocket Folders $0.01

Under $1 Deals (Limit 3)
6″ Plastic Proctractor – $0.05
Schoolio Crayons (24-Pack) – $0.05
Paper Mate American Classic #2 Pencils (10 Pack) – $0.15
Crayola Crayons (24 pk.) – $0.20
Schoolio Washable Fine or Broad-Line Markers – (8pk.) – $0.25
Schoolio Composition Book (100 sheets) – $0.50


If you have several kids, a home-school group, or many families that want to save money together, you may want to consider the Bulk School Supply Ordering Program from Dollar Tree. You can order online and pick up the items at a store near you with Free Shipping.

While this won’t help you for going back to school, you can still get a free pen from Bic (will arrive in 6-8 wks).

At 11am CST every day until September 9, is giving away 1 FREE Bic Pens to the first 1,000 people to respond. You can also get $1.00 off a Bic Pen purchase.

Free Date Nights: Part 1

Think it’s hard to plan a fun or romantic evening without dropping a lot of cash? Well, we have lots of suggestions for FREE and Cheap things to do for all different types of daters. Whether you’ve just met someone new or you’ve been married for two decades, whether you like adventure and unusual dates or you prefer a romantic evening at home there is an inexpensive date for everyone to enjoy.

Part 1 is a listing of Free Date ideas for new daters

If you’re just getting to know each other it can be especially hard to get together in a budget, but don’t be intimidated. Here are some ideas for free dates that will allow you to really connect and learn more about the person you like.

  • 20 Questions & Truth or Dare – playing ice breaker games is a great way to get to know someone quickly. Take turns asking 20 questions about the other person that they have to answer. Try to make most of them open-ended to get a good discussion going, then add in some “what is your favorite…” to get to know their likes and dislikes better. If you are more adventurous, you can play Truth or Dare. You still get to ask the questions, but get some fun dares in along the way. Make sure not to dare anything that will embarass the other person. You can turn this into an outing by walking around town or the park and playing while you walk. It will give you more opportunities for dares (“I dare you to take off your shoes and run through the fountain,” “I dare you to ask that guy with the guitar to play your favorite song.”) and it will let you people watch along the way.
  • Teach Each Other Your Hobbies – do you play an instrument? Are you crafty? You can spend an afternoon teaching your guy to knit or teaching your girl to play the bass. This lets you talk to each other about something that you’re passionate about and what your history is with your hobby. You’re sure to get close and to have some laughs during your instructions. Make sure to keep it light-hearted and fun – you’re not a professor! Enjoy spending time with someone new and doing what you love. Maybe your date shares the same hobby as you, too.
  • Take a Hike. If you like to be outdoors – and you know that your date does, too – plan a local hike. Tell your date to dress casually and head to a local scenic point. If you’re not sure where to go, check your city’s resources to see what parks, bike and walking paths are in the area. If you both own bikes or rollerblades, you could try that, too. Many cities also have free Frisbee Golf courses at local parks. If you both have dogs, invite your date (and her dog) to join you at the local dog park where your pooches can play together, or go on a run with your pets.
  • Explore Your City. If it’s great weather, but you aren’t particularly “outdoorsy” – take an urban hike! Become a tourist in your city. Walk downtown and look at the architecture; sit on a bench and watch the people passing by; walk down to the river and feed the ducks. Many cities have free brochures of walking tours with information about historical spots. Point out your favorite building, or talk about your memories of particular spots.
  • Share Your Childhood. If you’ve lived in your city all your life or close to where you grew up, take your date on a tour of your childhood. If you live a short drive away, drive past the home you grew up in, the schools you attended, and the playgrounds you used to play at. It can conjour up a lot of neat memories for you to share and help your date to learn more about you.
  • Rainy Days. If the weather is poor, don’t cancel your date. It’s a perfect opportunity to stay in. If you have a library card, you can rent DVDs free of charge from your local library branch. You can both go to the library together and each choose a film, or you can choose the movie and fix your date dinner to go along. If you choose a foreign movie, you can pair the cuisine to the film location.
  • Free Summer Events. Many cities have a variety free events during the summer. Do a little research (online or in the local paper) for upcoming events near you. There may be free music at a shopping center, free movies screened in the city park, or free fireworks near the water. Many events are series that repeat on particular days throughout the summer. If something free is happening on a Wednesday night that sounds fun, don’t wait for Saturday for a date! Sometimes it can seem more spontaneous to go out during the week, and make your date feel like they couldn’t wait to see you. They don’t need to know that you’re saving money by taking them out on a different night.

Check the blog again tomorrow for more low-cost date ideas.

In the meantime, feel free to add a comment! Are you dating someone new and trying to find creative ways to save money? Post your inexpensive dating ideas here – we’d love to hear from you!