7 Frugal Ways To Treat Yourself On Valentine’s Day

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winebookFeeling pathetic on Valentine’s Day isn’t just confined to single adults. This festive form of inadequacy begins as early as middle school, when class is interrupted to deliver flowers or artificial leis to the popular kids. We learn a little something called “perspective” in our adult years, but some of those residual feelings bubble up when we find ourselves without plans on Feb. 14.

Though I don’t believe one’s self-worth should be evaluated based on the company he or she keeps during a random evening in mid-February, I do appreciate the compulsion to make plans. With that in mind, consider the following frugal ways to treat yourself this Valentine’s Day.

1. Host a Girl’s Night In
A popular alternative to kissy-kissy couples on Valentine’s Day is a crowd of rowdy girls proudly and publicly declaring their singlehood. While there’s certainly nothing wrong with this, hosting a girl’s night in is financially friendlier and will result in fewer cringe-worthy photos on Facebook. Create a theme — like wine or champagne-tasting — to make the evening more special, and ask friends to bring their favorite bottle of bubbly to cut hostess costs.

2. Try Something New
Skip the Jane Austen movie-marathon in favor of something a little outside your comfort zone. Peruse Groupon and LivingSocial for daily deals on activities you’ve been dying to try. Whether it’s a Thai cooking class or glass-blowing workshop, challenging yourself at a new skill will be far more productive than watching Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy duke it out yet again.

3. Paint ‘n Sip
One of the biggest trends to hit the United States since fondue, “paint ‘n sip” represents a fun and relatively inexpensive way to spend an evening. Get your fellow singletons together for a little canvas time, with a dash of liquid courage to help you make the first brush stroke. These events are designed to be relaxed and unintimidating, so don’t worry if you artistic masterpiece is more Pollock than Picasso.

4. Volunteer
If you find yourself wallowing in self-pity come Feb. 14, consider brightening someone else’s day to improve your mood. Soup kitchens, nursery homes and other establishments welcome volunteers to assist in everyday operations or simply visit with patrons. You’ll likely find the experience much more rewarding than an overpriced dinner-for-two. Check out VolunteerMatch.org for current opportunities in your community.

5. Indulge in Some Retail Therapy
A little retail therapy can go a long way, but that doesn’t mean your credit card balance has to suffer. In addition to coupons and clearance racks, you can buy online gift cards at a discount through GiftCardGranny.com to save some cash. E-cards are delivered within 24 hours and can save you up to 10 percent for both online and in-store purchases to places like DSW, Express and Anthropologie.

6. Pamper Yourself
Schedule a mani-pedi. Drop by your local studio for some candlelight yoga. Curl up with your favorite bestseller and a glass of red wine. As cheesy as it may sound, the most important relationship in your life is the one you have with yourself. So go ahead: blast Beyoncé and celebrate all the reasons you love being you.

7. Disregard It
As you listen to your hitched buds swoon about their romantic Valentine’s Day plans, keep in mind their significant others are likely cursing the corporations responsible for this made-up holiday. My husband’s disgust for the event is so strong he refuses to acknowledge it by name; instead, I wake up to “Happy Hallmark Holiday!” along with an ironically non-Hallmark card. Ultimately, it’s best not to dwell on other people’s plans and focus on making yours unforgettable.


This has been a guest post by Kendal Perez, a frugal fashionista and bargain shopper who helps fellow shopaholics find hassle-free ways to save money. As the marketing coordinator for Kinoli Inc., site manager for a family of money-saving websites, Kendal has the resources to be an extreme couponer but prefers a less complicated approach to staying in-budget. Kendal has been quoted in such media outlets as People StyleWatch, CNN Money, FOX, ABC, NPR and Kiplinger Personal Finance. For savings tips and more information, visit HassleFreeSavings.com.

Taking a Leap and Learning to Soar

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This new year has gotten off to such a great start!

I am so excited to see all that is ahead of me this year, and as January comes to an end I am putting the quote above into action in some very real ways in my own life.

There are so many things that I avoid because I feel that I am not qualified.

I have allowed the enemy to whisper in my ear the very lies I have been known to repeat to myself over and over again until I am so tangled by the lies that I become paralyzed.


You’ll never make it.

You are not good enough.

Who do you think you are?

You can’t do that?

No one will listen to you.

Do any of those sound familiar to you?

This one thing has kept me from moving forward in my own life in so many ways.

I have a feeling that I am not the only one that struggles with feeling inadequate, even if it is only in a specific area and not an overall kind of feeling.

It’s so easy to stay in your comfort zone where things are manageable and unscary. My comfort zone is where I can ignore the seemingly constant reminder of where I come from and who I once was.

It’s time I start reminding myself of who I really am today.

I recently read an article that suggested that there are so many of us that have unknowingly become fear worshippers. I for one will admit that this is so true for me.

Fear of failure is mine.

Up until recently, I would rather stay where I was if it meant I could say I was successful at my life than take a leap into the unknown where the fear of failure was taunting me.17705886_s (1)

This year I decided I was no longer going to stay in my safe place.

I took a leap!

I am building my wings with the feathers of those who have gone before me.

That’s the thing about this journey.

There is nothing that you are going through now that someone else hasn’t been through.

That means that you can get through it too.

In fact those who are already soaring are offering you their feathers so you can soar too!

Look around for the feathers, the ones that are falling around you to show you the way.

If someone offers you a feather, be sure to accept it….

Are you ready to take the leap with me?


Isaiah 40:31 But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Psalm 91:4 He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.

Zulily $100 Gift Card Giveaway!

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Enter to win a $100 Zulily Gift Card!

Weekly Menu Plan 1/26

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weekly menu planI hope by now you are getting the hang of how I do my weekly meal planning.

As I have shared before, this is the very first step that I recommend when trying to regain control of your budget.

If you take 15 minutes at the beginning of your week to plan your menu you will save money when your shopping because you will already know exactly what it is that you need to buy.  This saves me from buying things I am not sure I will need just in case I do.

It will also save you time.

Spending 15 minutes now can save you valuable time all week long trying to think up a dinner or checking to see if you have the ingredients you need.

Get the whole family involved and it will take some of the planning burden off you.  I always ask each member of the family to come up with one meal idea.

This trick leaves me with only 4 meals to plan myself.

Now on to this weeks menu plan.

Breakfast and lunch is pretty much the same around my house which is why that part of the menu never changes.

Breakfasts – consists of oatmeal, cold cereal, fruit smoothies, toast & poached eggs.

Lunches – consists of soups, peanut butter or tuna sandwiches, and dinner leftovers.

Dinners – I will try to include lots of veggies this week.

~ Monday ~

Beef Barley Stew

~ Tuesday ~

Baked Cod, Broccoli and Brown Rice

~ Wednesday ~

Chicken Soft Tacos

~ Thursday ~

Roast, Potatoes and Carrots

~ Friday ~

Chicken Stir Fry

~ Saturday ~

Lasagna and Spinach Salad

~ Sunday ~

Usually we have a very late lunch and just find something small for dinner. Either way I don’t plan because I like to be flexible for anything that pops up.

Restaurant Coupons

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If you plan on eating at a restaurant any time soon you will definitely want to check out this list of coupons to save on your bill.

5 Ways to Save on Your Restaurant Bill

Top Restaurant Coupons:

Au Bon Pain – $1 Off $5 Purchase (exp: 2/2/2015)
Black Angus Steakhouse – $17.99 Top Sirloin Steak & Grilled Prawns Meal (exp: 2/12/2015)
Blimpie – Free Regular Sub When You Buy Regular Sub & Drink (exp: 12/31/2015)
Bob Evans – Buy 1 Get 1 Free Breakfast Entree When You Buy 2 Drinks (exp: 1/31/2015)
Carrabbas – 15% Off Entire Meal Purchase (exp: 3/15/2015)
Daphnes Greek Cafe – $2 Off Any Entree (exp: 1/31/2015)
Del Taco – Free Turkey Taco with Any Purchase (exp: 1/29/2015)
Dennys – $5 Off $20 Purchase (exp: 1/25/2015)
Dickeys Barbecue Pit – Buy 1 Get 1 Free Sandwich Plate (exp: 1/28/2015)
Einstein Bros Bagels – 20% Off Any Purchase (exp: 2/4/2015)
Macaroni Grill – $10 for 2 Express Lunch Entrees (exp: 1/25/2015)
Maggianos – $5 Off Lighter Taker Menu (exp: 2/10/2015)
Marie Callenders – $5 Off $20 Purchase (exp: 3/1/2015)
Mimis Cafe – Buy 1 Get 1 Free Entree When You Buy 2 Drinks (exp: 2/1/2015)
Quiznos – 99¢ Small Soup When You Buy Regular or Large Sub (exp: 1/28/2015)
Souplantation – 25% Off Dinner Family Combo (exp: 1/28/2015)
Sweet Tomatoes – 25% Off Dinner Family Combo (exp: 1/28/2015)
Wendys – Free Jr. Frosty with Purchase for a Year When You Buy Frosty Key Tag (exp: 6/1/2015)

Thanks to Surviving the Stores for this list!

Printable Organic Coupons

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organic couponsHere’s a round-up of the best natural and organic coupons of the week, compliments of All Natural Savings. New additions and reset coupons are shown below. For the full list of current natural and organic coupons, click here.

$1 off any Alexia product

$1 off any Amy’s Kitchen product

$1 off any Bear Naked granola

$2 off Earth’s Best diapers (zip code 22901)

$.55 off any Horizon mac and cheese or snacks

$.50 off any Pamela’s product

$1 off any Pamela’s product (share and sign up for emails)

$1 off any Silk half gallon

$2 off any Spectrum Naturals product

Buy 1 Zarbee’s Naturals Daily Bees Gummies, get 1 FREE

Buy 1 Zarbee’s Naturals Mighty Bee Gummies, 21 ct, get 1 FREE

Click here to see the entire list of natural and organic coupons available this week.