Free and Cheap Weekend Activities and Events

Free Weekend Activities Cheap Weekend Activities SimplifiedSaving.com

Looking for some fun things you can do this weekend that won’t break the budget? As a mom of 4, I totally feel your pain. Family activities can get expensive!!!  With that in mind, I’m sharing this great list of free and cheap events going on across the country!  Some are events that take place on a weekly basis (like Michaels…which we do almost every weekend) and others are one time only events.

If you live in the Fort Wayne area, head out to Glenbrook Square this weekend to check out Canstruction. My family and I love this event. During this event, teams of high school students build really cool structures out of canned goods.  You can then vote on these structures.  They’ll be building the structures this weekend and they’ll be on display for the next week.  At the end of this event, all canned goods will be donated to the food bank!

Make some memories and try a new workshop, lesson, or craft. Share this fun,money-saving list with your friends and family. And, if you know of any others to include, please let us know! It is always best to call ahead and make sure that your local store or retailer is participating to avoid disappointment.

:: Free National Park Entrance

April 18-19th
opening weekend of National Park Week

Find out the list of participating parks (over 405 of them) right here.

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:: American Girl Special Store Events

Special events differ by location. During April, they include Grace’s Sweet Spring Break Event, Adorable Accents: Twists & Braids, Grace’s Apron Craft & Cookie Decoration, Meal & Memories with Dad and Mom and more.

Many of the American Girl in store events are free, however some have a fee and some have age restrictions. Get the details here and find participating stores. Call ahead and make sure that your local store or retailer is participating to avoid disappointment.

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:: Barnes & Noble

Saturday, April 18th at 11 AM

Story time featuring Aqualicious plus related activities at many B&N locations

Most stores have free toddler story time, NOOK events, hands-on learning events and author events – find the times and participating Barnes and Noble stores here.

 

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:: Guitar Center

Saturday, April 18th {no age restrictions for free music lessons}

10:15 AM – Group Ukulele Class

More free classes are offered during the week with their Music Mentor Series. Register at the Guitar Center website here.

home depot workshops for adults

:: Home Depot Workshop for Adults

Saturday, April 18th from 10 AM to 11:30 AM – Organic Gardening

Sunday, April 12th from 1 PM to 2:30 PM – How to Install a Toilet

You can pre-register online here.

whirly twirly windwill Lakeshore Learning

:: Lakeshore Learning Store

Saturday, April 18th from 11 AM-3 PM and a few locations offer crafts every Sunday.

Kids make and take a Whirly Twirly Windmill Craft. Get more information here.

clothespin bug magent

:: Michael’s Kids Club

April 18th – 10 AM – 12 Noon

Kids can make and take a decorative Clothespin Bug Magnet. At just $2 per child, they get 30 minutes of creative craft fun, supplies included. Ages 3 and up. Sessions start every half hour from 10 AM – 11:30. See a store associate to sign up. Get more information here.

williams sonoma free jr chefs

:: Williams-Sonoma Free Technique Classes for Kids

Saturday, April 18th at 10 AM

Junior Chef: Baking Bundts – kids will learn to prepare different flavors and sizes of Bundt cakes with three different glazes. The Jr. Chef’s class is suitable for kids ages 5-13.

williams-sonoma free techniques class

:: Williams-Sonoma Free Technique Classes for Adults

Sunday, April 19th -contact your store for class time

Coffee Techniques Class: Be your own Barista and learn brewing methods and discuss various roasts and grinds that affect your finished drink. To reserve a spot, and find out specific class times, contact your closest store right here.

……… MARK YOUR CALENDAR! COMING SOON……..

:: Free Comic Book Day

May 2nd

Find participating stores here.

: Free Admission to National Public Gardens

May 8th

A favorite annual events just in time for Mother’s Day. Find Gardens Near You

:: Free Art Museum Day

May 18th

Many art museums will be offering free or discounted admission. Find our more information here.

:: Free Zoo Admission for Dads on Father’s Day

June 21st

Most zoos all across the USA offer free admission for Dad every Father’s Day. Contact your local zoo for details.

:: Amtrak Train Days

Kickoff is May 9th at Chicago Union Station

Community events happening all across the USA from May 9th through November. Get more information here.

:: Bass Pro Shops

Friday, Apr 24th from 6 PM – 8 PM and Saturday, April 25t from 12 PM – 5 PM

Instructional Demonstrations, Product Discussions and showing off Product Displays to help you to Gear Up for Your Escape!

Kids Archery Workshops ongoing through November 18th

Most Bass Pro Shops have the same workshops, but be sure and check your local store here before you head out.

:: Home Depot Workshop for Kids

Saturday, May 2nd from 9 AM to 12 PM

Kids Learn How to Build a Picket Fence Photo Frame ~You can pre-register online here.

:: KOA Campgrounds Kids Camp FREE for Father’s Day Weekend

June 19th through June 21st

Kids camp free this weekend. Find the participating campgrounds right here.

:: Lego Stores Free Model Build

Usually held monthly in stores, kids ages 6 to 14 can build and binoculars. Contact your closest LEGO® Store here for details.

:: Lowe’s Build and Grow

Saturday, May 9th at 10 AM

Kids make and take a Mother’s Day Planter. Register at the website here.

:: Michael’s Classes for Adults

Find out more information right here about creative classes happening all week long.

:: Microsoft High Tech DigiCamp for Girls (free)

Microsoft is proud to offer technology programs specifically for youth. Find out more information here.

:: Pottery Barn

May 10th at 10 AM

Botanical flower arranging. Get more information and RSVP here.

:: Pottery Barn Kids

April 21st at 11 AM

Decorate biodegradable flower pots and plant seeds for Earth Day. Call your local PBK store here for a reservation.

More to Explore Throughout the Year:

:: FREE National Parks Admission for 4th Graders in 2015 – 2016 School Year

Starting in September 2015, every 4th grader will get an Every Kid in the Park pass food for FREE admission to all of America’s National Parks. The pass will be good for one full year and will be good for the 4th graders & their families as most parks charge admission per car. This is part of President Obama’s Every Kid in the Park initiative. Thanks to Thrifty NW Mom for the info!

:: Apple Camp

Enrollment is open for kids ages 8-12 to attend Apple Camp. This is popular free camp where kids learn to make movies or create interactive books complete with their own illustrations and sound effects. Hurry, spots fill up quickly. Go here to sign up.

:: Athleta Stores

Free fitness classes, group runs and special events at your local store. Visit your local store page here for more information.

:: Apple Store

Free workshops – learn the basic of Mac, iPad, iPhone, or iPod. Learn how to create slideshows with iPhoto. Edit home movies with iMovie and more! Find your local store and make a reservation for a free workshop here.

:: Beauty Events in Stores

Find free beauty events at local stores with free samples and demonstrations. Visit the website that keeps track of these right here.

:: Bowling for Kids all Summer

Kids Bowl for Free all summer at select bowling centers. Get two free games for each child, every day, all summer long. She rental is not included. Check to see what nearby bowling alleys are participating here.

:: Factory Tours

Find factory tours all across the USA, go here, The site has 570 tours and counting! Many are free but some may have an admission fee. (Thanks to the Happy Housewife for sharing this!)

:: Family Movies for $1 During the Summer

Participating Regal Cinemas, United Artists, & Edwards Theaters offer 9 weeks of family movies, rated G or PG, for just $1 on Tuesday or Wednesday mornings at 10 AM. You can see the schedule, starting dates and movies here on the Regal website.

:: Flying Lessons

Young Eagles – kids ages 8 to 17 experience aviation and get free rides in private aircraft flown by experienced pilots. Get more information here.

:: Home and Garden Shows

If you like Home and Garden shows, this site will give you a free pass. Check the ACS Home Show site.

:: Lululemon Fitness Classes

Lululemon locations offer free yoga classes, go here for schedules and locations.

:: Major League Baseball Clinics

Through the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association, kids can attend a free baseball clinic in many locations across the country. The free program is called Free Legends for Youth Kids Clinics.

:: Playground Finder

If you find yourself in a new location and are looking for a playground, use the free KaBoom Map of Play, playground finder and just type your location into the search bar.

:: REI Running Classes

Learn or get back into running with training and techniques classes. Find our more at REI.com.

:: Roller Skating

Kids Roller Skate for Free: Find the closest participating facility right here.

:: Sephora: Free In Store Beauty Classes

Join the Sephora Beauty club ,( free) and attend free beauty classes inside Sephora stores to learn everything from building a skin care routine to creating the perfect smoky eye. Classes are held on Sunday at more than 60 stores across the USA. Check with your local stores for schedules and times.

:: SKI Passport for 5th Graders

Go to www.5thgradeskipassport.com to get a free pass in Idaho or the Pacific Northwest. For other areas, search for your state with the words “5th grade ski pass + your state”, or the name of your local ski resort.

:: Target – Free Community Events

Target is also sponsoring FREE community events ranging from free museum admission, free theater tickets, family activities and tours at some of our countries most famous venues. Times and locations vary by city. Find free family activities sponsored by Target in your area right here.

:: Wine Tasting

Total Wine stores offer free wine tasting classes each weekend. Learn about specific producers, regions and varietals. Where allowed by law, participants receive special discounts on the wine being tasted. View the FREE Wine Tasting Schedule here.

:: More Free Museum Dates

This site, www.freemuseumday.org, tracks free museum days in the following cities: Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Portland, San Francisco Bay Area, and the Seattle Area.

:: Celebrate Crazy Holidays

Make memories and celebrate Haiku Poetry Day, Bicycle Day, Earth Day and more.See the full schedule here.

* For more ideas for family fun, be sure and check Groupon, Amazon Local and LivingSocial in your area. Join each site for free and start having more fun on a budget! These vouchers make great gifts too!

For inexpensive and sometimes free tickets to local events, I am a fan of Goldstar tickets. Watch your emails for the heading “Comp Train” from Goldstar. If you are new, you can set up a free account here.

Be sure and check out your local library and parks and recreation departments for free programs and events right in your hometown!

Thanks More with Less Today!

Ignite Your Imagination with Audible

Disclosure: This post is a sponsored post.  As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.  

A book is a device to ignite the imagination

I’ve always been an avid reader.  Growing up, I always had a book in my backpack and often hidden in my desk so I could read while my teacher was teaching. {Don’t judge me!}

When I was in my late teens, I discovered audiobooks.  They were fabulous cassettes that I could play while driving around or listen to while cleaning my room.  I was HOOKED!  Now, I could “read” anywhere!  When I started traveling, I would buy an audiobook before I left.  My dad shared my love of audiobooks and I could always count on him to have an audiobook to share with me.

Eventually technology changed and books on tape became books on CD.  I liked CDs even more than I liked tapes.  The quality was better and it seems like the availability was better as well.

The real gamechanger for me was the introduction of Audible.  Audible is an app that allows you to download audiobooks to your smartphone or tablet.  Suddenly a whole new world opened up for me.  I could now listen to books while walking around the house cleaning or while exercising.  Dreaded tasks like dishes and folding laundry became enjoyable with the addition of a good book.  I usually alternate between personal development books and fun fiction books. I typically listen to 4-8 books each month. At that rate, I’ll never listen to all the books in the Audible library.  Audible has over 150,000 books to choose from in a variety of genres including classics, bestsellers, personal development, and they even have children’s books!  My kids love to listen as well!

Audible is much more affordable than buying audiobooks at the store.  You can save even more by using Coupons.com Audible coupon codes.

If you’re interested, you can try Audible for 30 days for FREE, but I’m warning you, you’ll be hooked!!! :)

 

 

 

15 Non-Candy Easter Basket Fillers

15 Non-Candy Easter Basket Fillers

When my older girls were growing up, I filled their Easter baskets with all kinds of candy!  I threw in a few practical things like fuzzy socks and my favorite lip balm, but for the most part, their baskets were full of all things chocolate, sugar, and dye!

When the twins came along, we found out that they can’t have dye, gluten or high fructose corn syrup without turning into purple minions.  So Easter baskets have had to change dramatically.  We now do mostly non candy items with a few things like YumEarth Sour Jellybeans, YumEarth Lollipops, and some chocolate.

If you’re looking for some alternatives to Easter baskets filled with candy, this list is for you!

1. Plastic Original Slinky – $5.99

2. Veggie Tales – An Easter Carol – $4.51

3. Crayola Special Effects Sidewalk Chalk – $7.56

4. You Are My Sunshine Book – $4.00

5. Toddler Favorites CD – $5.99

6. Let’s Play! Bug Garden Reusable Sticker Set – $7.99

7. Preschool Color & Activity Book – $5.65

8. Play-Doh Classic Tropical Colors 4 Can Pack – $5.99

9. Uno Card Game – $5.97  {This is a huge hit for all of the kids in our family…ages 9 to 19}

10. Ganz Lil’Kinz Striped Alley Cat Plush – $3.40

11. Melissa & Doug Jumbo Triangular Crayons – $5.98

12. The Little ABC Coloring Book – $1.35

13. Toxin Free Loom Band Refills – $17.90  {I ordered these last week for my daughter’s birthday and was really happy with them.  You can order a kit like this and split it between multiple baskets.}

14. Melissa & Doug Construction Wooden Chunky Puzzle – $9.99

15. Melissa & Doug Sunny Patch Augie Alligator Bubble Saxophone – $6.99

 

 

Gluten-Free Baked Chicken Nuggets

Disclosure:  I received complimentary Zaycon chicken in order to create this recipe.  I have been ordering from Zaycon for 2+ years as they have the best chicken around.  I’m so excited to partner with them in this way. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own!

This past week was Zaycon chicken delivery in our area.  If you’ve never ordered from Zaycon, you’re missing out.  Zaycon provides fresh, high quality products, which come straight from their suppliers…cutting out the middle man which saves you a bunch of money.  The pick-up day happened to fall on a day when we had over 100 people from across the world at our offices for training…which mean that there was no way I’d be able to go and pick it up.  Thankfully, Zaycon pick-up is convenient and organized.  Zaycon Foods, Zaycon, Zaycon Meats, Zycon, Zycon Foods, Bulk Food

You just pull your car into the line next to the truck and they load you up.  You don’t even need to get out of your car!

Zaycon Foods, Zaycon, Zaycon Meats, Zycon, Zycon Foods, Bulk Food

Once I told my hubby how easy it is, he immediately agreed to go.  He’s a sucker for tasty food…and Zaycon has the tastiest chicken!

Once he got the chicken home, he put it in the fridge and when I got home after work I prepped it all.  I usually freeze some as whole chicken breasts, cut some into nugget sized pieces and cut the rest in strips for chicken tenders or stir-fry.

The following recipe was made with nugget sized pieces, but you could also make this recipe using chicken strips instead.

Gluten Free Baked Chicken Nuggets Recipe Zaycon Foods, Zaycon, Zaycon Meats, Zycon, Zycon Foods, Bulk Food SimplifiedSaving.com

My kids are like most kids…they love chicken nuggets.  I’m like most parents…I hate not knowing what is in their food.  Once I discovered how easy it is to make Baked Parmesan Chicken Nuggets at home, I stopped buying bags of frozen chicken nuggets.  Plus, when we discovered my son has a gluten allergy, I was able to tweak this recipe to make Gluten Free Baked Parmesan Chicken Nuggets. (If you’d prefer to use non gluten-free ingredients, I’ve included those as well).  These chicken nuggets are absolutely delicious and even your fussiest eaters will love them!  You can serve them with Asian Garlic Dipping Sauce or serve them to your kids with ranch (that’s what my kids eat them with).

Baked Parmesan Chicken Nuggets Ingredients

2 lb Zaycon Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts cut into nugget size pieces (when I prep my Zaycon chicken, I usually do a few bags on chicken cut into nugget sized pieces so I can easily thaw them and make this recipe)
2 1/2 cups Panko Bread Crumbs (We use Gluten Free Panko Crumbs)
2/3 cup Grated Parmesan
1/2 tsp Sea Salt
2 Tbsp Coconut Oil
1/3 cup Flour (We use Gluten Free flour)
2 eggs, beaten
Cooking spray

Asian Chili Garlic Sauce

If you are gluten intolerant, check the ingredients on the ketchup and chili garlic sauce you use to make sure it’s gluten-free.  I don’t have to worry about this at my house as my gluten-free child dips everything in Ranch dressing.

1/3 cup Ketchup
1 tbsp Chili Garlic Sauce

DIRECTIONS

1. Mix sauce ingredients and refrigerate.
2. Preheat oven to 450.
3. Combine panko, parmesan, salt and oil in a shallow dish and mix well.
4. Put flour and eggs in separate shallow dishes.

Gluten Free Baked Chicken Nuggets In Process
5. Place wire rack on baking sheet and spray with cooking spray to help avoid sticking. {If you don’t have a wire rack, you can line your baking sheet with parchment paper instead. It doesn’t work quite as well, but it will do the trick.}
6. Dredge chicken in flour, then dip in egg and roll in panko before placing on rack. Repeat until tray is full.

Gluten-Free Chicken Nugget Recipe: Zaycon Foods, Zaycon, Zaycon Meats, Zycon, Zycon Foods, Bulk Food
7. Bake about 15 minutes, turning chicken halfway.

Voila!  You have delicious Gluten-Free Baked Parmesan Chicken Nuggets!

Baked Parmesan Chicken Nuggets Zaycon Foods, Zaycon, Zaycon Meats, Zycon, Zycon Foods, Bulk Food SimplifiedSaving.com

 

 

Retail Coupon Roundup {3/28/2015}

If you’re planning on doing a little shopping this weekend, make sure to print off these great retail coupons before you go!

Carters – 15% Off Entire Purchase (exp: 4/1/2015)
Express - $15 Off $30, $30 Off $100 or $40 Off $120 Purchase (exp: 4/1/2015)
Kirklands - 15% Off Entire Purchase (exp: 3/29/2015)
Kohls – $10 Off $30 Juniors Apparel (exp: 4/1/2015)
Lifeway Christian – 30% Off 1 Regularly Priced Item (exp: 3/31/2015)
Lord and Taylor – 15% Off Regular & Sale Price Items (exp: 3/31/2015)
Osh Kosh BGosh – 15% Off Entire Purchase (exp: 4/1/2015)
Party City – $10 Off $60 Purchase + More (exp: 3/29/2015)
Rue 21 – 20% Off $50 Purchase + More (exp: 3/30/2015)
Sherwin Williams – 30% Off Paints & Stains & 15% Off Painting Supplies (exp: 3/31/2015)
Staples - FREE 5 lbs Shredding + More (exp: 5/2/2015)

Thanks Surviving the Stores!

Restaurant Coupon Roundup {3/28/2015}

We’re on spring break this week which means we’ll be eating out more than usual!  Eating out sure can get expensive, so I’m so thankful that there are so many coupons available to make it more affordable!  Below I’ve included the top printable restaurant coupons for this week!

I’m really excited about the Sweet Tomatoes coupon as I love eating at Sweet Tomatoes and we don’t have one near us!

Bertuccis – $10 Off $25 Carry Out Purchase (exp: 3/29/2015)
Bob Evans – $4 Off $20 Purchase (exp: 3/31/2015)
Buca Di Beppo – Dinner for Four for $40 (exp: 3/29/2015)
Carrabbas – $3 Off Any Dinner Entree (exp: 3/29/2015)
Carvel Ice Cream – $1 Off Any Cup or Cone (exp: 3/31/2015)
Cocos – Buy 1 Entree Get 1 50% Off When You Buy 2 Drinks (exp: 4/10/2015)
Del Taco - Free Turkey Taco with Any Purchase (exp: 4/2/2015)
Marie Callenders – $5 Off $20 Purchase (exp: 4/5/2015)
Mimis Cafe - Buy 1 Get 1 Free Entree When You Buy 2 Drinks (exp: 3/29/2015)
Monicals Pizza – $3 Off Any Family Pasta (exp: 3/29/2015)
Quiznos – $1 Off Regular or Large Sub or Large Salad (exp: 4/1/2015)
Sweet Tomatoes – 25% Off Dinner Family Combo + More (exp: 4/1/2015)
Village Inn – 20% Off Entire Check (exp: 4/10/2015)
Wendys – Free Jr. Frosty with Purchase for a Year When You Buy Frosty Key Tag (exp: 6/1/2015)

Thanks Surviving the Stores!

Retail Coupon Roundup {3/20/15}

If you’re planning on doing a little shopping this weekend, make sure to print off these great retail coupons before you go!

Aaron Brothers – 50% Off 1 Regularly Priced Item (exp: 3/28/2015)
Aeropostale – 30% Off Entire Purchase (exp: 3/22/2015)
Big 5 Sporting Goods - 20% Off Up to 2 Regular Priced Items + More (exp: 4/24/2015)
Carters – 25% Off $40 Purchase (exp: 3/23/2015)
Express – $15 Off $30, $30 Off $100 or $40 Off $120 Purchase (exp: 4/1/2015)
Hancock Fabrics – 15% Off Entire Purchase (exp: 3/24/2015)
Kohls - 20% Off Entire Purchase (exp: 3/22/2015)
Lord and Taylor – 20% Off Regular & Sale Price Items (exp: 3/24/2015)
Osh Kosh BGosh – 25% Off $40 Purchase (exp: 3/23/2015)
Picture People – $18 Big Bundle Purchase (exp: 3/22/2015)

Thanks Surviving the Stores!

Restaurant Coupon Roundup {3/20/15}

Eating out sure can get expensive, so I’m always on the lookout for deals to make it more affordable.  Below I’ve included the top printable restaurant coupons for this week!

Bob Evans – $4 Off $20 Purchase (exp: 3/31/2015)
Buca Di Beppo - Dinner for Four for $40 (exp: 3/29/2015)
Carvel Ice Cream – $1 Off Any Cup or Cone (exp: 3/31/2015)
Dennys – $5 Off $20 Purchase (exp: 3/23/2015)
Einstein Bros Bagels – 20% Off Any Purchase (exp: 3/25/2015)
Logans Roadhouse – The Logan 11 oz Sirloin Steak, Farm Fresh Salad, 1 Side, and Choice of Appetizer for $11.99 (exp: 3/26/2015)
Marie Callenders – $5 Off $20 Purchase (exp: 4/5/2015)
Mimis Cafe - Buy 1 Get 1 Free Entree When You Buy 2 Drinks (exp: 3/29/2015)
Souplantation – 25% Off Dinner Family Combo + More (exp: 3/25/2015)
Village Inn – $5 Off 2 Entrees & 2 Drinks or $2.50 Off 1 Entree & Drink (exp: 3/27/2015)
Wendys – Free Jr. Frosty with Purchase for a Year When You Buy Frosty Key Tag (exp: 6/1/2015)

Thanks Surviving the Stores!

Zaycon Chicken is Back!

Disclosure: Zaycon provided me with a complimentary case of chicken, however, I have purchased all my Zaycon chicken in the past. As usual, all opinions are my own!

chicken_A
Hey local Fort Wayne friends (and everyone else too)!  I just wanted to let you know that Zaycon chicken will be delivering to Fort Wayne on March 24th, 2015. If you live elsewhere in the country, Zaycon is probably heading your way too, so be sure to check the Zaycon website.

I absolutely love Zaycon chicken.  If you’ve never ordered from them before, Zaycon sells 100% natural chicken with no added hormones, additives or artificial ingredients.  The chicken breasts are boneless and skinless and are sold by the case…which is 40 pounds.  The price varies by event, but it is significantly cheaper than grocery store prices for meat of this quality.  For the upcoming Fort Wayne event, the chicken is $1.99/pound or $79.60 per case.  The chicken is fresh not frozen, so you’ll want to process it when you get it.  I typically make 20 freezer meals from each case (crockpot meals, stir fries, etc).  You get to choose how you process it, so you can freeze it, can it, or make pre-made meals like I do.  I also like to throw some in the crockpot so that I have cooked shredded chicken on hand to add to recipes.

You don’t want to miss out because it will be while before Zaycon will be back with chicken.

Click here to learn more or place your order! 

 

 

Easter Chick Cupcakes

Easter Chick Cupcakes SimplifiedSaving.com

I can’t believe that I’m already planning for Easter.  It seems like the first part of this year has flown by!

Since Easter is less than 3 weeks away, I thought I’d share a fun recipe for Easter Chick Cupcakes.  These cupcakes are absolutely adorable and they’re easy to make!

Easter Chick Cupcake Recipe

Here’s what you’ll need:

If you make your own buttercream frosting, you’ll also need the following:

  • 5 tablespoons salted
  • 5 tablespoons shortening
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk

Easter Chick Cupcake Ingredients

 

1.  Prepare cupcakes according to box cake mix instructions.  While your cupcakes are baking, make the buttercream frosting {recipe below} or if you’re using store bought frosting, you can take this time to call a friend, clean your kitchen, or whatever else is on your to-do list.

2.  Use yellow food coloring to dye your frosting until you reach the desired color.  Save a small amount of buttercream frosting and dye it a bright orange.

3.  Frost entire cupcake with yellow frosting.

Easter Chick Cupcakes In Process 1 SimplifiedSaving.com

4.  Dip your cupcake into yellow sugar sprinkles.

Easter Chick Cupcakes In Process 2  SimplifiedSaving.com

5. Add chocolate chips to make the eyes.

Easter Chick Cupcakes In Process 3 SimplifiedSaving.com

6.  You can also add a dab of white frosting to make the eyeball detail.

7.  Using a rosette-frosting tip make “chick wings” on the sides and then sprinkle a small amount of the yellow sugar sprinkles on top.

Easter Chick Cupcakes In Process 4 SimplifiedSaving.com

8. Use a small amount of your orange frosting to make a beak and feet for your chick.

Easter Chick Cupcakes In Process 5 SimplifiedSaving.com

Voila!  Super easy and super cute cupcakes that will delight kids and adults alike!

Buttercream Frosting Recipe

Why buy buttercream frosting when it’s so simple to make it?  Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 5 tablespoons salted butter
  • 5 tablespoons shortening
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk

 

1.  In a large bowl, beat butter and shortening together with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. The mixture should be noticeably lighter in color.

2.  Beat the vanilla extract into the butter mixture.

3.  Add sugar, one cup at a time, beating on medium speed until fully incorporated.

4.  Add milk, one tablespoon at a time, beating on high until you have a rich and creamy buttercream frosting.

See…I told you it was easy!

 

Restaurant Coupon Roundup {3/13/2015}

Eating out sure can get expensive, so I’m always on the lookout for deals to make it more affordable.  Below I’ve included the top printable restaurant coupons for this week!

Bertuccis – 15% off Dinner Purchase (exp: 3/15/2015)
Blimpie – Free Regular Sub When You Buy Regular Sub & Drink (exp: 12/31/2015)
Buca Di Beppo – Dinner for Four for $40 (exp: 3/29/2015)
Carrabbas – 15% Off Entire Meal Purchase (exp: 3/15/2015)
Carrows – Buy 1 Get 1 50% Off Entree When You Buy 2 Drinks (exp: 3/20/2015)
Chuck E Cheese – 15 Free Tokens With Any Food Purchase and When You Wear Green (exp: 3/17/2015)
Del Taco - Free Turkey Taco with Any Purchase (exp: 3/19/2015)
Longhorn Steakhouse - $3 Off 2 Adult Lunch Entrees (exp: 3/15/2015)
Marie Callenders – $5 Off $20 Purchase (exp: 4/5/2015)
Monicals Pizza – $3 Off Any Family Pasta (exp: 3/29/2015)
Quiznos – Free Chips and Regular Fountain Drink with Regular/Large Sub, or Salad Purchase (exp: 3/25/2015)
Smokey Bones - $5 Off $15 Purchase (exp: 3/15/2015)
Sweet Tomatoes – 25% Off Dinner Family Combo + More (exp: 3/18/2015)
Village Inn – 20% Off Entire Check (exp: 3/20/2015)
Wendys - Free Jr. Frosty with Purchase for a Year When You Buy Frosty Key Tag (exp: 6/1/2015)

Thanks Surviving the Stores!

Retail Coupon Roundup {3/13/2015}

If you’re planning on doing a little shopping this weekend, make sure to print off these great retail coupons before you go!

Aeropostale – $10 Off $50 Purchase (exp: 3/17/2015)
Ann Taylor – 15% Off Entire Purchase (exp: 3/15/2015)
Bealls - 25% Off Your Purchase or 30% Off With Bealls Card (exp: 3/19/2015)
Carters – 20% Off $40 Purchase or 15% Off Entire Purchase (exp: 3/18/2015)
Express – $15 Off $30, $30 Off $100 or $40 Off $120 Purchase (exp: 4/1/2015)
Famous Footwear – 15% Off Entire Purchase (exp: 3/15/2015)
Kirklands - $10 Off $50 Purchase (exp: 3/15/2015)
Kohls – $10 Off $30 Kids Apparel Purchase (exp: 3/24/2015)
Loft Outlet – 10% Off Entire Purchase (exp: 3/15/2015)
Lord and Taylor – 20% Off Regular & Sale Price Items (exp: 3/24/2015)
Osh Kosh BGosh - 20% Off $40 Purchase or 15% Off Entire Purchase (exp: 3/18/2015)
P.S. from Aeropostale - $10 Off $50 or $25 Off $100 Purchase (exp: 3/17/2015)
Party City - $10 Off $60 Purchase + More (exp: 3/17/2015)
Picture People - $18 Big Bundle Purchase (exp: 3/22/2015)
Yankee Candle – $15 Off $45 Purchase (exp: 3/15/2015)

Thanks Surviving the Stores!

Restaurant Coupon Roundup {3/6/2015}

Eating out sure can get expensive, so I’m always on the lookout for deals to make it more affordable.  Below I’ve included the top printable restaurant coupons for this week!

Black Angus Steakhouse – $42 Campfire Feast for Two (exp: 3/23/2015)

Blimpie – Free Regular Sub When You Buy Regular Sub & Drink (exp: 12/31/2015)

Buca Di Beppo – Dinner for Four for $40 (exp: 3/29/2015)

Carrabbas - 15% Off Entire Meal Purchase (exp: 3/15/2015)

Corner Bakery - Free Latte or Small Espresso Beverage with Breakfast Purchase (exp: 3/11/2015)

Einstein Bros Bagels - $3 Off Bakers Dozen Box (exp: 3/25/2015)

Logans Roadhouse – The Logan 12 oz Ribeye Steak, Farm Fresh Salad, and a Side for $13.99 (exp: 3/1/2015)

Longhorn Steakhouse – $4 Off 2 Adult Entrees (exp: 3/15/2015)

Macaroni Grill - Buy 1 Get 1 Express Dinner Entree (exp: 3/1/2015)

Marie Callenders – $5 Off $20 Purchase (exp: 3/1/2015)

Mimis Cafe – Buy 1 Get 1 Free Entree When You Buy 2 Drinks (exp: 3/8/2015)

Monicals Pizza - $3 Off Any Family Pasta (exp: 3/29/2015)

OCharleys – 20% Off Entire Purchase (exp: 3/1/2015)

Quiznos – $1 Off Regular or Large Sub or Large Salad (exp: 3/11/2015)

Sweet Tomatoes – 25% Off Dinner Family Combo (exp: 3/4/2015)

Village Inn – 20% Off Entire Check (exp: 3/20/2015)

Thanks Surviving the Stores!

Retail Coupon Roundup {3/6/2015}

If you’re planning on doing a little shopping this weekend, make sure to print off these great retail coupons before you go!

Aaron Brothers – 50% Off 1 Regularly Priced Item (exp: 3/14/2015)
Aeropostale – $10 Off $50 Purchase (exp: 3/17/2015)
Bealls – 20% Off Entire Purchase (exp: 3/10/2015)
Big 5 Sporting Goods – $10 Off $50 Purchase (exp: 3/9/2015)
Carsons - Extra 30% Off Yellow and Black Dot Womens Apparel Purchase (exp: 3/11/2015)
Carters - 20% Off $40 Purchase or 15% Off Entire Purchase (exp: 3/10/2015)
Dress Barn – 30% Off 1 Clearance Item (exp: 3/8/2015)
Express – $15 Off $30, $30 Off $100 or $40 Off $120 Purchase (exp: 4/1/2015)
Kirklands – $10 Off $50 Purchase (exp: 3/8/2015)
Kohls – $10 Off $25 Men’s Apparel Purchase (exp: 3/15/2015)
Osh Kosh BGosh - 20% Off $40 Purchase or 15% Off Entire Purchase (exp: 3/10/2015)
P.S. from Aeropostale – $10 Off $50 or $25 Off $100 Purchase (exp: 3/17/2015)
Staples – FREE 5 lbs Shredding + More (exp: 5/2/2015)
Yankee Candle - Buy 2 Large Jar, Tumbler or Vase Candles Get 2 Free (exp: 3/8/2015)

Thanks Surviving the Stores!

Finding and Living Your Calling

When I was growing up, I wanted to be a singer, then a trauma surgeon, then a singer, then a special ed teacher, then a musician, then a teacher, and by the time I was 3/4 of the way through college, I had no idea what I wanted to be.  After college, I worked a variety of management and sales jobs.  Then I went back to school to study music…again.  I then began teaching piano lessons and singing jazz.  And then I went  back to working another sales job.

Somehow I found myself in my mid-thirties, married with kids, and I still had no idea what I wanted to be when I “grew up”.  Although I’ve had lots of great jobs, I always felt like I was created for more. There was a sense of unrest…of unease.  I watched people who were obviously doing what they were created to do and I wondered when I would find my calling.

I now know that I’m not the only one to feel this way.  I’ve had so many conversations with different people who are in that same spot…feeling stuck, but not knowing what they’re looking for and longing for!

The Art of Work 600 Square

If you’re in that spot, I highly recommend that you pick up a copy of Jeff Goin’s new book, The Art of Work.

If you don’t know Jeff, he has one of the fastest-growing blogs in the world and has made waves online with his quickly growing platform.

In the past few years, he’s inspired millions (literally) of people to go beyond the status quo and live a life that matters. And in this new book, he’s encouraging you to discover your true calling, that thing you were born to do.

The message of this book is so important that Jeff wants to get it into as many people’s hands as possible. So for a limited time, you can get it for free (just pay shipping) at this link: The Art of Work

I had the privilege of reading it already and it is soooo worth reading!  If you’re struggling with finding your purpose, pick up a copy of this book!  If your spouse or a friend is struggling, grab a copy for your friend!  You only have to pay shipping!  Plus, Jeff is offering $250 in bonuses if you jump on this. I can’t guarantee that all of the bonuses will be available for long, so if you’re interested, I’d check it out now!

Click here to order your FREE copy of The Art of Work!

Restaurant Coupon Roundup {2/27/2015}

Eating out sure can get expensive, so I’m always on the lookout for deals to make it more affordable.  Below I’ve included the top printable restaurant coupons for this week!

Top Restaurant Coupons:

Black Angus Steakhouse – $42 Campfire Feast for Two (exp: 3/23/2015)

Blimpie – Free Regular Sub When You Buy Regular Sub & Drink (exp: 12/31/2015)

Buca Di Beppo - Dinner for Four for $40 (exp: 3/29/2015)

Carrabbas – 15% Off Entire Meal Purchase (exp: 3/15/2015)

Corner Bakery - Free Latte or Small Espresso Beverage with Breakfast Purchase (exp: 3/11/2015)

Einstein Bros Bagels - $3 Off Bakers Dozen Box (exp: 3/25/2015)

Logans Roadhouse – The Logan 12 oz Ribeye Steak, Farm Fresh Salad, and a Side for $13.99 (exp: 3/1/2015)

Longhorn Steakhouse - $4 Off 2 Adult Entrees (exp: 3/15/2015)

Macaroni Grill - Buy 1 Get 1 Express Dinner Entree (exp: 3/1/2015)

Marie Callenders - $5 Off $20 Purchase (exp: 3/1/2015)

Mimis Cafe – Buy 1 Get 1 Free Entree When You Buy 2 Drinks (exp: 3/8/2015)

Monicals Pizza - $3 Off Any Family Pasta (exp: 3/29/2015)

OCharleys – 20% Off Entire Purchase (exp: 3/1/2015)

Quiznos – $1 Off Regular or Large Sub or Large Salad (exp: 3/11/2015)

Sweet Tomatoes – 25% Off Dinner Family Combo (exp: 3/4/2015)

Village Inn – 20% Off Entire Check (exp: 3/20/2015)

Thanks Surviving the Stores!

Retail Coupon Roundup {2/27/2015}

If you’re planning on doing a little shopping this weekend, make sure to print off these great retail coupons before you go!

Carters – 20% Off $40 Purchase (exp: 3/4/2015)
Express - $15 Off $30, $30 Off $100 or $40 Off $120 Purchase (exp: 3/1/2015)
Kohls – 15% Off Entire Purchase (exp: 3/1/2015)
Lord and Taylor - 20% Off Regular, Sale & Clearance Items (exp: 3/2/2015)
Osh Kosh BGosh – 20% Off $40 Purchase (exp: 3/4/2015)
Party City - $15 Off $80 Purchase (exp: 3/1/2015)
Rue 21 – 30% Off $50 Purchase (exp: 3/1/2015)
The Limited – 50% Off Up to 3 Regularly Priced Items (exp: 3/3/2015)
Yankee Candle - $15 Off $45 Purchase (exp: 3/1/2015)

Thanks Surviving the Stores!

No Bake Reese’s Fudge Bars

No Bake Reese's Fudge Bars SimplifiedSaving.com

 

I’m convinced that few (and I mean VERY few) things taste better than chocolate and peanut butter!  If you’re looking for an easy recipe that will have your friends and family raving, don’t miss this No Bake Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Fudge.  It’s seriously out of this world!

Ingredients for No Bake Reese's Fudge Bars

Here’s what you’ll need:

Directions:

1. Line a 9×9 pan with parchment paper or wax paper.  {Apparently, this was not my day.  This recipe works best with a 9×9 pan, but I only had a 7 x 11 pan. Also, I prefer parchment paper but I only had wax paper on hand.}

No Bake Reese's Fudge In the making from SimplifiedSaving.com

2. Place peanut butter cups in an even layer on the bottom of the pan. {I used 15.}

3.  Place chocolate chips and sweetened condensed milk in medium saucepan over low heat. Stir until chips and milk are melted together.

4.  Once everything is nicely melted, spread evenly over peanut butter cups in prepared pan.

5.  Crumble remaining Reese’s Peanut Butter cups and sprinkle them over the fudge, lightly pressing them into the fudge.

6.  Allow to cool completely then cut into squares and serve.  {You can cool it on the counter or in the fridge.  I prefer making it in a pan that has a lid that goes with it.  I think it keeps the fudge better…but that’s just my opinion.

Warning: This is fudge is highly addicting and really rich!  Try not to eat it all at once!

Retail Coupon Roundup {2/13/2015}

If you’re planning on doing a little shopping this Valentine’s Day weekend, make sure to print off these great retail coupons before you go!  Also, if your man hasn’t made it out to get you something special, make sure you have him print these coupons off so he can get more bang for his buck!  I always send my hubby to White House Black Market for gifts!  I sure do love that store!!!

Aeropostale – $10 Off $40 Purchase (exp: 2/22/2015)
Bealls – 50% Off Red-Lined Clearance Purchases (exp: 2/19/2015)
Bonton – $10 Off $25 Regular or Sale Price Purchase (exp: 2/18/2015)
Carsons – $10 Off $25 Regular or Sale Price Purchase (exp: 2/18/2015)
Carters – 15% Off Entire Purchase (exp: 2/16/2015)
Dress Barn - 30% Off 1 Clearance Item (exp: 3/8/2015)
Express - $15 Off $30, $30 Off $100 or $40 Off $120 Purchase (exp: 3/1/2015)
Famous Footwear – 15% Off Entire Purchase (exp: 2/16/2015)
Justice - 40% Off Entire Purchase (exp: 2/23/2015)
Kirklands – 15% Off Entire Purchase (exp: 2/16/2015)
Kohls - $10 Off $50 Jewelry or Watch Purchase (exp: 2/17/2015)
Loft Outlet - 10% Off Entire Purchase (exp: 2/16/2015)
Lord and Taylor - 20% Off Regular, Sale & Clearance Items & 20% Off Sale & Clearance Jewelry (exp: 2/18/2015)
Osh Kosh BGosh – 15% Off Entire Purchase (exp: 2/16/2015)
P.S. from Aeropostale - $10 Off $40 Purchase (exp: 2/22/2015)
Shoe Carnival - $10 Off $50, $20 Off $100, $30 Off $150 or $40 Off $200 Purchase (exp: 2/17/2015)
Talbots - 40% Off 1 Regularly Priced Item (exp: 2/16/2015)
White House Black Market – $20 Off $80 Purchase (exp: 2/17/2015)
Yankee Candle – Buy 2 Large Jar, Tumbler or Vase Candles Get 1 Free (exp: 2/16/2015)

Thanks Surviving the Stores!

Restaurant Coupon Roundup {2/13/2015}

Eating out sure can get expensive, so I’m always on the lookout for deals to make it more affordable.  Below I’ve included the top printable restaurant coupons for this week!

Blimpie – Free Regular Sub When You Buy Regular Sub & Drink (exp: 12/31/2015)
Carrabbas - 15% Off Entire Meal Purchase (exp: 3/15/2015)
Carvel Ice Cream - Buy 1 Get 1 Free Classic Sundae (exp: 2/15/2015)
Chick Fil A – FREE Iced or Hot Coffee Every Day in February (exp: 2/28/2015)
Corner Bakery - Free 6 Pack Cupcake Bites with Adult Entree Purchase (exp: 2/22/2015)
Del Taco – Free Medium Drink When You Buy Epic Burrito (exp: 2/15/2015)
Dickeys Barbecue Pit – $5 Off XL Family Pack (exp: 2/17/2015)
Einstein Bros Bagels – 20% Off Bagel Box (exp: 2/23/2015)
Firehouse Subs - Free Cookie with Any Sub Purchase (exp: 2/15/2015)
Huddle House - Free Waffle with $5 Meal Purchase (exp: 2/15/2015)
Jacks - Free Make It Large on Lunch or Dinner Combo + More (exp: 4/12/2015)
Jersey Mikes – Free Chip & Drink When You Buy Regular or Giant Sub Purchase (exp: 2/15/2015)
Macaroni Grill – $10 for 2 Express Lunch Entrees (exp: 2/15/2015)
Maggianos - $5 Off Lighter Taker Menu (exp: 2/24/2015)
Marie Callenders – $5 Off $20 Purchase (exp: 3/1/2015)
Mimis Cafe – Buy 1 Get 1 Free Entree When You Buy 2 Drinks (exp: 2/15/2015)
Monicals Pizza – $13 for 16 Inch Thin Crust or 14 Inch Pan 1-Topping Pizza (exp: 2/22/2015)
Peets Coffee and Tea – Free Small Milk Chocolate Almond Mocha When You Buy Simply Oatmeal, Artisan Baked Good or Fresh Food Item (exp: 2/16/2015)
Smoothie King – $4.99 Medium Smoothie (exp: 2/24/2015)
Souplantation – 25% Off Dinner Family Combo (exp: 2/18/2015)
Steak Escape – Free Small Fries & Small Drink with Any Sandwich Purchase (exp: 2/28/2015)
Sweet Tomatoes – 25% Off Dinner Family Combo (exp: 2/18/2015)
Togos – Free Regular Sandwich When You Buy Regular or Larger Sandwich, Chips & Drink (exp: 2/22/2015)

Thanks Surviving the Stores!