The 12 Must-Buy Items From Aldi To Get You Through The Week

Grab your free printable Weekly Menu below!

 

One of my bigger goals this year was to cut our monthly grocery budget down by $100 per month to a whopping $300, per month for a family of 4 (which includes two grown-ups, a child with an adult-sized appetite, and a child whose twin is really a mouse for the way she eats).

In prior years, our grocery budget was $400, and we saw great success with setting our grocery bill at that amount. That success translated to us being able to pay off all of our credit card debt as well as paying cash outright for both cars.

Yep, free and clear! Thanks to finally kicking our tushes into gear, setting a budget for our monthly grocery bill, and sticking to it month after month for the past 18 months in counting!

We had found our groove and we want to keep that momentum going.

In the beginning, I thought it was a lofty goal. I mean, when January 1st rolls around, naturally you start thinking of all the things you would do differently this year than you have done in years past.

Maybe it’s me being naive, or maybe not, but I was just gonna roll with it.

I am happy to report that it is now March, and we have gone well past the 21-day point of developing and maintaining this habit of ours, to meal plan on a weekly basis and keep tabs on our budget. (My other big goal is to lose 10 pounds—-mission, complete.)

After all, we are still gung-ho, at the moment, and riding this high wave of success thus far, in the new year with achieving our saving money goal as well as our weight loss goals, so woohoo!

So, we (meaning my son and I) have devised a plan to do plan our weekly menu every Sunday morning during breakfast together. He is a big foodie fan, so this is always a fun task for him.

My daughter, on the other hand, can care less. But that’s another story for another day.

We normally do a “big to us” grocery list bi-weekly at Kroger, Meijer, or Walmart. Whichever one has the best weekly sales on the things we would normally eat.

We then pick up any staples that we might need or happen to run out of at Aldi.

This is a running list of the staples I usually buy whenever we do our grocery shopping at Aldi.

Most of the time their prices are usually better than the other chain grocery stores I’ve mentioned above, like Walmart.

 

Note: Keep in mind that these are the current prices in the midwest. However, they may be vastly different according to your region. We also supplement our staples with weekly sales from our local grocery store chains, swap extras with friends and family, and grow our own herbs & a couple veggies in our backyard.

 

Here is a sample price list of our family’s staples from Aldi:

1- Milk———————————$1.09/gallon
2- Eggs———————————$0.89/dozen of large sized eggs
3- Greek Yogurt———————-$0.39/cup
4- Sliced Bread———————–$0.75
5- Shredded Cheese—————–$1.99/16 oz. bag
6- Frozen Ground Turkey———–$1.89/2 lb. tube
7- Peanut Butter———————$1.99/jar
8- Whole Bean Coffee—————$3.99
9- Cereal——————————-$0.99
10- Idaho Potatoes——————-$1.99/5 lb. sack
11- Produce on Sale——————$0.89/lb. (green grapes, Roma tomatoes, lettuce, broccoli, etc.)
12- Chicken Breasts——————$1.69/lb.

 

Here is one of our Weekly Menu Plans for reference: (This menu plan was inspired by Gretchen’s Weekly Menu Plan from www.moneysavingmom.com. )

I love seeing first-hand how Crystal and her sisters show their weekly grocery shopping haul as well as give a break down of their plan each week. So much so that they’ve inspired me to do something similar for my family as well.

Check out our sample weekly menu plan below:

  • Sunday: (Breakfast = milk, cereal & fruit),

(Lunch = PB&J sandwiches, baby carrots & cukes w/ ranch, and fresh cut fruit),

(Dinner = Roast Pork w/ roasted veggies & Mashed Potatoes)

 

  • Monday: (Breakfast = milk, banana bread & fruit),

(Lunch = Deli Turkey & Cream Cheese Pinwheels, baby carrots & cukes w/ ranch, and fresh cut fruit),

(Dinner = All-in-one Turkey Taco Hamburger Helper Replica)

 

  • Tuesday: (Breakfast = OJ w/ Fruit & Granola Yogurt Parfaits),

(Lunch = Mac & Cheese, baby carrots & celery w/ ranch, and fresh cut fruit),

(Dinner = Zupa Toscana Replica w/Italian Bread)

 

  • Wednesday: (Breakfast = milk, nutella toast & fruit),

(Lunch = Pizza Day @ school=Kids buy lunch),

(Dinner = Beef Broccoli Stir Fry w/Rice)

 

  • Thursday: (Breakfast = milk, overnight oatmeal jars w/fruit & chia seeds),

(Lunch = PB & J “sushi rolls”, mozzarella cheese stick, grape tomatoes & bell peppers w/ ranch, and fresh cut fruit),

(Dinner = Chicken Tortilla Soup w/ guacamole & nachos)

 

  • Friday: (Breakfast = milk, cereal, & fruit),

(Lunch = Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, baby carrots & cukes w/ ranch, and fresh cut fruit),

(Dinner = Fresh Spring Rolls w/Shrimp & Miso Soup)

 

  • Saturday: (Breakfast = Pancakes, Bacon, & Eggs),

(Lunch = Refridgerator Refresh aka clean the fridge for leftovers),

(Dinner = Grilled Salmon, Asparagus & Portabello Mushrooms, w/wild rice & quinoa)

 

 

Some Helpful Tips To Consider:

  • Be sure to bring a quarter ($0.25) to rent their shopping cart while you are shopping.
  • Bring your own shopping bags from home.
  • Or you can also buy their plastic or paper bags for $0.10 each
  • There are also plenty of empty cardboard boxes around the store that you can grab for free.
  • Aldi does not accept manufacturer coupons.
  • However, on rare occasions, they do distribute generous store coupons in the mail. (We’ve seen some coupons that were $5 off $25 total purchase around Thanksgiving or a store grand opening.)

 

But lately,  because of all the weekly download Friday deals or freebies and also gas points, it’s been Kroger Click List for the win!

Aldi doesn’t have that.

However, it really pays to check your weekly sales ads so you can double check the prices in your local area for yourself. Or you can just follow your favorite deals blog to get a more complete list of what’s on sale before you head out to do your weekly shopping.

My family and I have benefitted so much from learning and implementing some of the coupon strategies these ladies have generously shared with us over the years.

If you are overwhelmed with keeping up with the day-to-day life and saving money on your grocery bill, check out these awesome ladies here: moneysavingmom.com, passionatepennypincher.com, freestufffinder.com, and krazycouponlady.com.

These are some of my personal favorite deals blogs that I have followed through the years to help my family and I get our heads in check when it comes to all things family and personal finance related.

I have also created two versions of this free printable Weekly Menu to help you and your family plan out your meals at home so that you can save your hard earned cash. Just print it out, laminate it, and stick it on your fridge.

 

Pair it with a dry-erase marker and it will save you time and money from having to hit the drive-thrus.

Enjoy!

How To Streamline Your Entire Life So That You Can Finally Be Able To Enjoy It!

Get Instant Access to my freebie printable Daily Planner Sheet below!

 

Ever wonder what the difference is between you and that rich guy standing in front of you in the check out line at the store?

Why does it seem like everyone else is enjoying their day taking their sweet time, while you are running around looking like a hot mess like a chicken with her head cut off?

Why is it that you are always scrambling for time and you just can never seem to find enough time in your day to get it all done. So you rationalize by telling yourself that:

 

a.) Those folks just aren’t real! No one looks that perfect. Come on! That’s just a smoky mirrors trick!

b.) They don’t know the struggle! They probably have maids, a nanny, maybe even a butler or two?

 

Man, what I wouldn’t give to my very own Alice or Mr. Belvidere right about now. (sighs)

How do they make it look so easy and come out looking like a million bucks every day?

Then there’s me, I’m constantly rocking the “I give up,” look. I literally look like I got ran over by an 18-wheeler. I am just struggling to stay alive and keep it all together.

Some days it just seems like being an adult is literally like folding a fitted sheet. (I saw this on a t-shirt and it just about sums up my life!)

You know there’s got to be a super secret magic formula to it but you just can’t even wrap your mind around it somehow.

I mean something has got to give right? How do they do it all?

Aha! The answer is that they don’t!

How? Why? Because they streamline their lives with technology like smartphones and devices like Alexa, Siri, and automation subscriptions like Amazon Prime Delivery, and Audiobooks.

Automation (as in cold hard machinery like Alexa not sweet and lovable Alice from The Brady Bunch) is the secret sauce to looking like you just don’t care!

So if you want to start getting hip to the modern times and look like you seriously belong in this century. There are some must-have goals to get you on the right track to streamlining the chaos that is your life:

 


1- Daily Goals: whether you go old school by using paper & pencil and/or digital, plan to win by planning ahead. Currently, I am using both my Google calendar as well as my paper planner. We hve been getting several power outages this year and technology is not as reliable in my neck of the woods. Therefore, my handy dandy paper planner is always available to save me much-needed time and sanity in my day.
            -Digital Calendars: Google calendar, Apple/iCalendar, Cozi, or Asana

           -Paper Planners: The Living Well Planner, The Happy Planner

 

 


2-Meal Planning Goals: don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.

-Freezer meals are the unsung heroes when it comes to saving your tummies and your wallets. They are cheap, efficient, and delicious if you cater to your own taste palette. Try: My Freeze Easy, Once a Month Cooking, or Eat At Home  

-If you’d rather have the convenience of an all-in-one meal plan and a choice of picking out your favorite dishes to cook your meals fresh from home, then try a meal delivery service like; (EMeals, BlueApron, HelloFresh, Plated, SunBasket),

-For free and seasonal meal ideas use store websites to plan a week’s worth of meals based on what’s on sale for your local store during that week. Stores like Kroger, Aldi, Meijer, & Walmart posts meal suggestions with pictures, ingredients, types of cuisine, and types of diet such as Vegetarian or Gluten to help you cater to your own family’s needs.

-To save even more cash, be sure to use a combination of rebates Apps like Ibotta, BerryCart, & Checkout 51, and store coupons, digital coupons, as well as printable coupons, and manufacturer’s coupons during your grocery trip.

-Grocery pickup (Walmart, Kroger pickups) and delivery options (Instacart, Amazon Prime or Pantry), shop locally and digitally at the same time with (green bean delivery service)



3-Cleaning Goals: multi-task, divide & conquer, and let go of perfection.

Baths: clean the walls of your tub or shower while you actually shower and you’ll kill 2 birds with 1 stone!

Kitchen: ill your sink with hot soapy water before your meal so that you are ready to tackle your dirty dishes while the stains are fresh and loose making it easy to rinse or jet load them right into the dishwasher for a quick rinse.

Toilets: spray after you go potty, put a multi-surface bleach cleaner under each sink so that you’ll always be ready to go (no pun intended)

Delegate: divide and conquer, enlist your army of munchkins and colonel hubby to help out.

Beat the Clock: set a 15 timer so that you can sneak in a quick work out when you try to beat the clock while you clean, finally check it off on your calendar/planner. (If that won’t do, try the 4, 5, or 7-minute workouts on YouTube, they’re wonderful! Every little bit only helps you get even closer to your goal!)

 


4-Personal Finance Goals: Do you know how much you’re spending, down to the penny?

-Set a budget and do It often with free digital apps like mint, personal capital, digits, or you can use budget spreadsheets or even plain old paper & pencil as long as you are diligent about assigning a category for every dollar.

-Want the next coolest toy? Figure out what you can cut from your budget. Make a line item for your specific need/want. Assign a deadline & make it a savings goal. Think ahead and plan for a future use, trade a service or go halfsies, or flip and sell an unwanted item to get quick cash for your new toy.

 


5-Relationship Goals: “Life is short man! Make your moments count.”  “Love like you’ve never been hurt before.” It doesn’t have to mean expensive gifts or exotic trips. Simply spending time together as a family and avoiding toxic people and/or situations. Go on a bike ride together. Roast marshmallows and make s’mores while stargazing. Play a game of Monopoly. Cook with your spouse and kids. They love to help, so let them, and show them how much you appreciate it when they do! (See #8!)


6-Fitness Goals: If you’re trying to shed some unwanted pounds, try the free version of the Lose It! App. It allows you to track your weight, track your meals by calorie intake, and your physical activity. Remember to drink lots and lots of water (think close to a gallon a day!), and replace your regular meals with veggies instead of meats. Weigh yourself each morning, and exercise at least 30 minutes daily, while listening to your favorite podcast or watching your favorite show with your family. Kids are a great motivator when you are trying to lose weight because they are full of energy and they just cannot get enough of your attention.

 

 


7-Education Goals: Read something fun for at least 20 minutes, instead of watching TV. You’d be surprised at how much more productive you are as well as how much more you’ll learn in the process. We are using our kids’ favorite pastimes (such as their devices and video games) as a treat for the time they put into doing their homework because they seem to have a natural aversion to it. Just like we tend to have a natural aversion to exercise. 😉 I like the Little Things App, listening to kindle/audiobooks & podcasts, watching YouTube tutorials & webinars on Udemy, Khan Academy, while I am working out.



8-Whatever you do, do it together! Pick a fun project and do it together as a family. Then randomly choose someone who’d enjoy it and gift it away to them!

 



So go forth and win at life and then pay it forward!

Want to add more fun back into your hectic schedule and enjoy more time for yourself and your family every day? You can do that by getting instant access to my free printable Daily Planner sheet below.

Enjoy!

 

 

Disclosure:

The purpose of this blog is to provide insight and enjoyment only. I am not nor do I claim to be an expert or professional in any manner. All opinions are 100% my own. Please do not copy any content from my website without my prior permission or written consent from me. However, you may link directly to my post for reference and to give credit.

 

Disclaimer:

This website contains affiliate links and sponsorships. I do not endorse nor would I recommend any products that I have not used nor trust to my readers. Thank you so much for your continued support in helping our small blog grow- at no costs to you whatsoever.

 

Contact:

Please contact me directly via email:  admin@fulloffortunes.com, if you have any questions and/or comments. Thanks for stopping by! ?

The 5 Amazing Benefits of Milk Jugs That You May Not Know About Yet

 

My family consumes a ridiculous amount of milk on a weekly basis.

And for you comic aficionados reading this, think Galactus consuming mass amounts of planets.

Yeah, that’s how we consume milk in this family…

Thus I have amassed a ridiculous amount of milk jugs in my possession.

Cues music by Kelise: “My milk jugs brings all the boys to the yard…” 

Have I piqued your interest yet? If not, carry on with your day and let’s pretend you did not just read that out loud.

But if so, great, read on… 😉

And because of this, I have decided to make the best out of this plastic predicament by doing what I do best, by collecting them.

Hey, if you can’t beat them, collect them, right?

  Why would anyone want to collect milk jugs, you might ask?

  Is this woman off her rocker?!

  And to that, I would say,

Why, to hold water, of course!

What on Earth for? Might you ask?

Why to water my flowers and my veggies! (It most definitely IS NOT for bringing any boys to this yard, that’s for sure! 😉 )

 Yep, that’s my answer and I’m sticking to it, for now.

At least until they get busted.

Because after all, they are made out of plastic, and plastic doesn’t last forever, amirite?

In my attempt to live a greener, thriftier, healthier lifestyle, I am all about collecting and holding on to these milk jugs because:

  1. As of writing this post, I am a stay at home mom of 2 kiddos living off of my hubby’s single income.

2.  I want to lead by example and instill in my kids the value of living green and protecting our planet.

3. I am thrifty  (aka cheapskate). Since our water bills are generally more expensive in the summertime due to the hot weather coupled with our desire to maintain a robust growing season. It just made perfect $ense (pun intended) for us to conserve the grey water from our washing machine.

[Note: At the time of living in our previous house, we were lucky enough to have the washing machine dispense water into the laundry basin/utility sink. That made it much easier for me to fill up my milk jugs directly from the hose.]

4. I want to show my kids and lead by example that it is possible to live well and do so within our means by not spending money on unnecessary things. Find ways to stretch out your usage and reuse and recycle items for other purposes other than what they were originally intended.

5. I get a great work out from going back and forth to collect the water and hand watering the garden myself rather than relying on a garden hose. I get to kill 2 birds with 1 stone, or rather “fill two needs with one deed,” (is what my husband likes to say). I get to work out while my flowers and produce gets to reuse water that would otherwise be thrown down the drain anyhow. I think of it this way, if it’s all going down the drain anyway, then why not recycle it in your plants. The folks in California would gladly nod their heads to this in unison.

Here is how I use the milk jugs:

If you feel inclined to do so, take the caps off and drill a few holes in them. And there you have it, your very own version of a DIY watering can.

But- if you don’t care about whipping out a tool, then don’t worry about the drill. The purpose of drilling the holes in the caps is to control the water flow in your milk jug.

I’ve done it both ways: drilling the holes in the caps, and just leaving it as is. And what I’ve found is that it really doesn’t matter.

Your plants will love you for it despite the little holes and they will return the love with beautiful blooms and gorgeous fruit.

 

Label 1 jug for my Produce (fruits and veggies):

  • Whenever I wash my produce, (usually on the same day that I go grocery shopping) I would wash and cut up my fruit and veggies and put in baggies or plastic containers and plan out our meals for the week.

 

  • I only save the rinse water that I have just washed my produce with inside the milk jugs labeled:                                                                                                          For Fruits & Veggies ONLY.

 

  • I only use those particular jugs that are labeled: For Fruits & Veggies ONLY, to water the fruits and veggies that I grow in my organic garden. (This is my preference but you can use whatever you would like to use that is safe for yourself and your family, to each their own.)

 

  • Quick Tip: If your kids are helping you water your garden, draw a picture of some fruit on the label: For Fruits & Veggies ONLY, so that they can quickly identify which is which. This was especially important when my kids were toddlers and did not know how to read yet. Even still, they were eager to help in any way they could and they were proud to be able to do some small task on their own! 😉

 

Label another jug for my flowers:

  • Now, whenever I do my laundry, I save the rinse cycle water or grey water and collect it in my milk jugs.

 

  • This grey water is only to be used solely for the purpose of watering flowers. (Not to be confused for the other jug, again, this is my preference only here as well. But you can do whatever suits you and your family.)

 

  • These jugs are labeled: For Flowers ONLY, I would also draw a picture of a flower on these jugs with a sharpie, so my kids can quickly tell the difference.

 

  • The reason why I separate them by label and by cap color is so we do not use the wrong jug to water the wrong things.

 

 

  • I use a capful per gallon of water of liquid feed fertilizer every two weeks to treat my flowers and it helps them maintain their blooms even longer throughout the spring, summer, and even well into the fall. (I try to keep them alive through Thanksgiving, weather permitting some years.)

 

It’s a very cheap and effective DIY project that cost you nothing more than the cost of the milk that your family would otherwise consume anyway. 

What otherwise would have ended up in the dumpster, now has yet another purpose. 

Yay you, kudos! ☺

You’ve just done your part in helping to save our planet, thank you! 😉 

I am curious about how the rest of the world recycle, reduce, and reuse. Here are some more ideas around the web to help you figure out what to do with all those milk jugs:

http://cooldiyideas.com/16-creative-ways-to-reuse-and-upcycle-milk-jugs/

http://www.wrappedinrust.com/18-ways-to-reuse-your-plastic-milk-jugs/

What are some of the ways that you and your family have started to implement in your own homes?

 

 

6 Things You Must Do To Finally Eliminate Chaos And Embrace Order This Year

Photo Credit: Canva.com

 

Sigh, another year has gone and passed. As 2017 comes to a close, let us usher in 2018 with renewed hope and energy.  And let’s direct that renewed hope and energy inwards starting with us and our homestead.

If there was anything I have learned from the previous years, it was always a lingering regret of mine that I could have been a little bit more organized and a lot more intentional about my plans so that I could have reached my goals.

Every year, like clockwork, I have this little pep in me to start the new year off on the right foot with a clean slate and pour my thoughts out onto paper, all the things that I want to do during that particular year.

That’s all it ever was, just arbitrary things like painting the house or start a veggie garden or to simply just, put things into my phone’s calendar.

What actually ends up happening instead is me uttering for the hundredth time,

“Where in the world did I put my phone?”

“Has anyone seen it?”

“Are you kidding me? How in the world did it end up in the fridge?!”

This year is the year that I will get my life back in order once and for all!

Since I’ve discovered that I also like to moonlight as a detective (I leave myself post-it notes all over the house), I have found myself less likely to stray from my own worse enemy, short-term memory.

Here’s my 6 point checklist for how to combat my short-term memory loss and get us all back on track this year by slaying goals like fruit ninja:

 

I have used the Happy Planner last year and that was ok. However, this is the planner I am using this year and I love it! It has everything that I didn’t even know I needed, without me having to buy any additional sheets since it’s already included.

 

1. Plan It: For starters, I’ve been using a planner off and on during 2016 and 2017. I have noticed that when I actually take the extra 5 seconds to write things down in my planner, I tend to stick to it and things magically get done. Most people use either write out their plans using pen and paper planner or a type it digitally, directly into their phones or sync it up to their Google calendars to keep their lives in order. Me? I like both. In case, 1 dies unexpectedly, I’ve got a backup plan somewhere. I prefer to write it down, but I can’t stand the clutter that I create in the process, so I copy it digitally too.

  2. Divide & Conquer: If you’re married with kids, consider yourself lucky because you have a second battalion that you can enlist to fight your war against clutter. It’s pretty obvious that your family was the culprit behind your war on clutter, to begin with, so it’s only fair that you enlist them anyway. Make it a game and treat them to dinner or a treat at their favorite restaurant when they are finished helping the family stay clean and germ-free. Just like the FlyLady does, remind them that “many hands make less work and more time for play.”

 

This is a screenshot of my Iphone’s timer. However, I prefer the timer on my kitchen stove.

3. Set a Timer: If you must use your phone timer, great! That will work just fine! However, I prefer my kitchen timer because it is located in the central hub of our house and because no one knows exactly where my phone is at this very moment. This goes hand in hand with writing out your plan, see above in step #1. If you’re anything like me, you get sidetracked so easily that before you know it, the day is over and you feel as though you’ve accomplished nothing. Setting a timer will give you the motivation you need to stop dilly-dallying around and finally be able to knock out that task. You’ll be able to get more done in less time. It holds you and your kids accountable so they won’t see you as the bad guy when you try to enforce homework time. Remind them that we work now so that we can enjoy playing later.

Our weekly meal plan is nothing fancy. It’s a $3 dry erase board from Target that my daughter picked out. But don’t let the small price tag fool you. It’s nothing to shake a stick at because though it may be cheap, it makes up for its size and price by keeping us all within our food budget!

 

4. Meal Plan: If I have not said this before I will reiterate it again, I hate cooking, I only cook to survive. It’s true, my family will tell you a different story but that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. That is why I meal plan so that I can spend less time cooking and more time enjoying my family all while saving our hard-earned money. Thanks to MoneySavingMom.com, 5dollardinners.com, and PassionatePennyPincher.com, I have discovered that meal planning is a viable way to pinch our pennies so that we can pay down our debts. Not only is it much friendlier on our wallets, it is proving to be kind to our waistlines as well.

5. Switch-It-Up: Make a list, lots of them, in fact. Make them pretty, hang them up for your family to see, including yourself and your entire family in your tasks and goals. Then, everyone can either pick and choose their task or have mom & dad randomly assign them. This holds everyone accountable and we can all encourage one another so that Mom doesn’t always have to be the bad guy for yelling at her kids 20 times for them to put away their toys. We have found that it is a lot more fun to get each other on-board as a family to complete a task together so that we can all reach an end goal, such as  (drum roll) family game night!

6. Do Your Part: Do your part and go the extra mile. Not only does it spread goodwill within your family and friends, but it also instills a sense of responsibility in your kids when they see you overcome your own struggles and worked hard to complete a tough task. Along with that same thought, my daughter opened and ate a fortune cookie this week that read: “No one has ever died from sweating too much.” Now that’s what I call a smart cookie! 😉

 

 

Try these 6 things: keep on top of things with a planner, divide and conquer by delegating some tasks to your kids, set a timer to prevent shiny object syndrome, fatten your wallet by creating a weekly meal plan, switch up your routines whenever you get stuck in a rut, and finally do your part and go the extra mile.

So there you have it. If you’re looking to finally tame the chaos monster this year, look no further than the list above to keep your year free from chaos and achieve more than you have than ever before.

How do you conquer the chaos in your life? Share your thoughts below.

 

 

 

Disclosure:

The purpose of this blog is to provide insight and enjoyment only. I am not nor do I claim to be an expert or professional in any manner. All opinions are 100% my own. Please do not copy any content from my website without my prior permission or written consent from me. However, you may link directly to my post for reference and to give credit.

 

Disclaimer:

This website contains affiliate links and sponsorships. I do not endorse nor would I recommend any products that I have not used nor trust to my readers. Thank you so much for your continued support in helping our small blog grow- at no costs to you whatsoever.

 

Contact:

Please contact me directly via email:  admin@fulloffortunes.com, if you have any questions and/or comments. Thanks for stopping by! 

How To Save Time & Money With Walmart Grocery Pickup

(Note: Although, I was not compensated nor was I sponsored by Walmart for this post during the time it was published, all opinions, recommendations, and reviews are 100% my own. If, however, I may be compensated or sponsored by them in the future, I will update this post accordingly to reflect it as such.)

 

screenshot on 2/12/18 @ 11:42pm

 

Do you have a Walmart Curbside pickup location near you?

Omigoodness!  Guess what we just got here in town- grocery curbside pickup from Walmart!

Unless you’re a “kool kat” who lives in a hip and trendy place like SoCal, grocery curbside pickup will make your heart skip a beat too, like mine just did! It’s the next best thing since sliced bread.

 Do you have a local Walmart Curbside Grocery Pickup service in your area? Click here to check whether or not you do. If you do not have one yet, chances are it’s coming to an area near you soon.

 

 

Here’s how it works:

  1. Location: Simply click on the link above & type in your zip code to see if this service is available in your area. If it is, select your store where you’d like to pick up your groceries

 

screenshot on 2/12/18 @ 11:42 pm

 

 

2. Select: Select your groceries from the list of drop-down categories or do a manual search for your favorite brand of products

 

screenshot on 2/12/18 at 11:46 AM

 

3. Add: Then add any specific quantity of items to your cart

 

screenshot on 2/12/18 at 11:44 AM

 

4. When: Select the date and time that you will be picking up your groceries (usually available within 24 hours of your order confirmation)

 

5. Pay: Click the check out button and choose your payment option(s)

 

6. Confirm: Walmart will email your receipt and order confirmation. They will also give you a reminder call 15-30 minutes of your selected pickup time.

 

7. Pickup: Finally, drive to your store of choice (based on the availability of service in your area) at your scheduled time of pickup. Follow the signs to the curbside pickup area. If you don’t see the concierge, call the number that is posted on the orange Curbside Pickup sign on the front or sides of the building. Then, simply wait for your Personal Walmart Shopper to bring you a swag bag full of freebies (see pic below) along with your groceries.

 

 

How awesome is that?! ☺

Imagine staying in your favorite comfy pajamas as you hop in the car and simply pick up your groceries!

Or how about skipping the whole makeup routine altogether?!  

Think of how much time you could save?!

Personally, this saves me at least a good 20 minutes. Since I’m not prepping to go out in public, I don’t have to worry about my hair, face, or clothes. I just throw on a t-shirt and some jeans and then execute my “weekend mom routine.” I can easily, and more than willingly, set aside my “business mom routine” for a more important day.  

Now that’s a score for us introverts! Don’t you think?

This brings me to the MAJOR benefit of using the Walmart Groceries Curbside Pickup service:  no more interacting with that disgruntled employee whose ready to harp on the next live creature they see.

Another great benefit of using the Walmart Groceries Curbside Pickup service is that you are not constantly wasting your hard earned cash while cruising the grocery store with impulse buys.

10 for $10 specials anyone?

While a deal on a 10 pack of tuna might seem enticing to you, at first, unless you are looking for specific alternatives to eating meat, you may find those packets may expire faster than you can care to consume them. Thus wasting you more money.

Been there, done that, rotten food really sucks… 🙁

Yes! Sign me up yesterday, why didn’t they think of this sooner?

Yes, please!

Check out my free swag bag of goodies below!

They definitely made me feel like a modern-day Queen of Sheba here.

 

For my first grocery curbside pickup order, a really sweet Walmart Personal Shopper lady gave me a free swag bag of full of goodies that included:

  • a bottle of Snapple Straight Up Tea,
  • a bag of Paqui Brand Tortilla Chips,
  • a sample packet of Suavitel Fabric Softener Beads,
  • a sample bar of Quaker Oats Cranberry Almond Breakfast Bar,
  • and a handful of mixed flavored Dum Dum lollipops for my kiddos

 

 

Here are some things to consider before your first Walmart Groceries Curbside Pickup:

You must have a minimum order of $30 to be able to pick up your groceries.

Pros:

-Updated as of 8/30/2018: You can now download the Walmart Grocery app onto your smartphone to order groceries from the convenience of your fingertips while you are on-the-go running errands! Once you’ve installed the app, just type in your zip code to find the nearest location and start grocery shopping on your phone.

-Unlike regular grocery stores, Walmart Groceries Pickup is open all the time because you place the order and decide when you want to pick it up. 

-You can pick up your groceries on the same day if you place your online grocery order by 10 AM that day.

-You can use Walmart Groceries Curbside Pickup online & via mobile!

-You can use the coupon code below to save $10 on your first grocery purchase of $50  or more to save yourself some cash.

-You can use rebate apps like iBotta, Checkout 51, BerryCart, etc. to save even more money in your wallet.

-Your first three grocery shopping trips are free and then you will be charged $4.95 each time after that.

-If you happen to order an item that was out of stock, you can decide whether or not you want a comparable item by checking the “Allow Substitution” checkbox.

-Many times they will offer to swap out a bigger and better item for you,  like 3 lb. bag of organic Fuji apples if they are out of the 1 lb. bag of regular fuji apples for the same price.

-Your Walmart Personal Shopper will hand pick your produce, deli, or meats to make sure they are as fresh as possible.

-You can also specify in the comment box what you are specifically looking for and they will honor your requests for free.

-Household items like toothpaste and detergents are included in this service.

-I can scroll through my cart and look to see exactly what’s inside without the distractions of people, orchids, rotisserie smells, and background noise. (Thus sparing me from my guilty pleasures aka Reese’s peanut butter & Skittles.)

-I can shop in peace, from the convenience of my laptop. Instead of worrying about my kids clearing out the entire ice cream aisle when I’m busy being distracted by said orchids from above ^.

-I can scroll through and look at my previous order history and see what I can add or subtract to my grocery budget for the week or month.

-I can also use the scroll feature to see all the necessary ingredients without making an extra shopping list or meal plan.

-Seeing it all digitally saves me time and money as well as paper.

-What do you know, my pros list is longer than my cons list!

 

Cons:

-Although they do accept manufacturer coupons inside their stores, one of my biggest gripes is that Walmart Curbside Pickup does not accept coupons.

 

-You can use their Walmart Curbside Pickup $10 off of any $35 grocery purchase coupon code only once and it is only reserved for 1st-time customers only.

 

-You cannot combine your 1-time coupon code with any other offers.

 

-Variety of food items are limited especially specialty international cuisines.

 

-While you can go inside and grab a package of sushi from the refrigerated section of the store, you cannot order these via Walmart Curbside Pickup (at this time).

 

-Also, depending on your location and season, we have found that on several occasions, advertised items like mini bananas were not available when we came to pick up our groceries.

So either, this needs to be updated or it was erroneously advertised.

Although we may have been a little bit disappointed by this, it was not enough to stop us from automating our grocery errands with Walmart Curbside Pickup service.

 

   Score!!  Woohoo!

Dare I say, “fancy schmancy?!”

 Thank you, Walmart! You’ve really made my day that much sweeter.☺

 

   As if that wasn’t enough to entice you, Walmart is now offering a limited time discount code for first-time customers to simply try out their free grocery curbside pickup service!

 

  You will receive $10 off a minimum purchase of $50 and free grocery curbside pickup order with the link below:

https://refer.walmart.com/welcome.html

Try them out for yourself and let me know if it has changed the way you grocery shop too.

 

Disclosure:

The purpose of this blog is to provide insight and enjoyment only. I am not nor do I claim to be an expert or professional in any manner. All opinions are 100% my own. Please do not copy any content from my website without my prior permission or written consent from me. However, you may link directly to my post for reference and to give credit.

Disclaimer:

This website contains affiliate links and sponsorships. I do not endorse nor would I recommend any products that I have not used nor trust to my readers. Thank you so much for your continued support in helping our small blog grow- at no costs to you whatsoever.

Contact:

Please contact me directly via email:  admin@fulloffortunes.com, if you have any questions and/or comments. Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

 

 

 

How To Save Time & Money With Kroger ClickList

 

(Note: Although, I was not compensated nor was I sponsored by Kroger for this post during the time it was published, all opinions, recommendations, and reviews are 100% my own. If, however, I may be compensated or sponsored by them in the future, I will update this post accordingly to reflect it as such.)

 

 

screenshot 2/12/2018 at 11:37 AM

 

 Have you heard of the new grocery pick up service trend lately? Seems like everyone is hopping on that bandwagon too, and for good reasons. 

If you haven’t, you are surely missing out.

But that’s ok because I will let you in on the secret.

If you have, it is awesome and man does it make life a whole lot easier. Why?

Because you order your groceries, online! Yup! That’s right, online! (cue the singing angels)

Then you drive to the store and pick up your groceries.

Umm, so that means, in your pj’s, face naked as the day you were born and not one stitch of makeup to save your life, hair like an endangered bird’s habitat, all the while knowing that you are being quietly judged by the wait staff.

Yes please, I’ll take that.

What in the world?! How awesome is that?!

They even have people who select your groceries fresh to the pique of perfection for you on the day of your pick up!

Say you want slightly green but kinda yellowish bananas that are firm to the touch but still soft and sweet when you first bite into it?

Done! Just like that.

Man, that is some serious luxury! 

If this is your first time using Kroger’s Click List grocery pick up service, here are a few things you need to know to make this whole experience even easier.

 

screenshot 2/12/2018 at 11:38 AM

 

 

First:

  • Go to www.kroger.com (on your phone or computer, not available in the app yet)

 

  • Click on Digital Coupons, on the top menu bar or the left sidebar under the Savings tab

 

  • Scroll through to browse the coupons that are available 

 

  • Click Load to Card to select the coupons you want to use

 

 

Second:

  • Go to the left sidebar and click on the Click List

 

  • Use the search icon (magnifying glass) to search for items that you want -or-

 

  • Do a manual search on the left sidebar under each of the store’s categories

 

  • Select the quantity you want

 

  • Add it to your cart

 

Third:

  • Click on your shopping cart to edit items or to check out

 

  • Choose your pickup location by typing in your zip code

 

  • Choose the date and time you’d be available to pick up your groceries

 

Fourth:

  • Bring your Driver’s License or valid form of identification

 

  • Bring your credit or debit card with you

 

  • Remember to bring any additional paper manufacturer’s and store coupons you’ve clipped by hand to deduct from your total bill

 

  • You can also clip them digitally under the Savings tab, this makes it quick & effortless to save money

 

  • Follow the Click List signs in the parking lot

 

  • Once there, call the phone # on the parking sign in to let them know you’re here and in which parking spot #.

 

  • Lastly, save your receipts and upload a pic of it via your smartphone to rebate apps such as: ibotta, check51 amongst many other rebate apps to save even more cash!

 

Here are just a few of the pros and the cons that I have discovered from my recent experience(s):

 

screenshot 2/12/2018 at 11:40 AM

 

Pros:

  • Update as of 6/17/2018: You can now download use the Kroger app just like you would with the kroger.com URL on a desktop or any other device, including clipping digital coupons and placing online orders!

 

  • Convenience! Their hours of operation are from 7am-9pm, 7 days a week!

 

  • They also have same-day 2-hour pick-up now, based on first come first serve online reservations!

 

  • Your favorite items are saved from your previous grocery shopping trips, so you can buy repeat items if you need to do so.

 

  • The Sales Items of the Week category shows you which of your favorites are on sale that week highlighted in yellow.

 

  • You can combine your favorite sale items with the store digital coupons in the green font below each item to save even more.

 

  • You have the power to control what you want to buy before you pay because you can see your cart total adding up to the right of your screen (that means no more sticker shock when you get to the cashier!)

 

  • Because they will not care what you look like, just roll outta bed and go.

 

  • You don’t have to get out of your car, sans makeup ok! 🙂

 

  • You will save time and won’t waste a whole day walking around aimlessly through the store. 

 

  • You will save more money with their store and manufacturer’s coupons and see your cart before you pay.

 

  • There are more than 40,000 variety of items to choose from while you shop.

 

  • If your item is out of stock, Kroger will ask if you would like to allow a substitution and give you a comparable item in a bigger size for the same price of the original item that you’ve ordered at no additional cost.

 

  • Your first 3 orders are free and then you will be charged $4.95 per order thereafter. But I have found that by using a combination of digital and printed store and manufacturer’s coupons, I am saving an average of $25 from using the coupons before I even combine it with the sales. Therefore, the $4.95 means diddly squat to me since I am saving much more than that anyway.

 

  • If you ordered your groceries to be picked up the next day then you can make changes to your online order by midnight, the day before your scheduled pickup.

 

Cons:

  • Out of stock items, generally, most cashiers will replace your item with a similar brand item that’s bigger and better quality item for the same price.

 

  • Cannot place a ClickList order on Kroger app yet, it’s desktop only, for now.

 

  • Cannot order prescriptions thru ClickList, at this time.

 

  • You cannot make any changes to your online order on any Same-Day pickup orders.

 

  • There is a $4.95 service charge for additional orders after your 3rd free order

 

  • When it comes to cashiers, most are really nice and are genuinely great people. But be mindful that there is occasionally a bad apple here and there. Just remember to smile and be as polite as possible and rest assured that there is a survey on your receipt to fill out and give feedback (keep it civil and constructive) about your experience. They really do listen! 😉

 

screenshot 2/12/2018 at 11:41 AM

 

Some more things to consider:

  • You will need to have a major debit or credit card ready to be able to place your order online since no other forms of payment are accepted at this time.

 

  • You will be given an estimate of your costs, before coupons.

 

  • Your cashier person will adjust the final total when you arrive for your order pick-up.

 

  • Even with a few cons, I have found that it is definitely worth the time and effort to at least try it out.

 

  • After my first few times using Kroger’s ClickList, I received a free bag of their store brand Candy Corn, package of Chips Ahoy Cookies, as well as a Meal Planning Kit, just for being a repeat customer.

 

  • It was a cute little appreciation gift they gave me for trying out their service and for being a loyal customer.

 

  • They got an A for effort, right there.  😉

 

  • I have been hooked ever since.

 

Click here to find out more about Kroger Click List.

 

Do you have any curbside grocery pickups in your area? If so, leave a comment and let me know what you think of it.

 

Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

 

Disclosure:

The purpose of this blog is to provide insight and enjoyment only. I am not nor do I claim to be an expert or professional in any manner. All opinions are 100% my own. Please do not copy any content from my website without my prior permission or written consent from me. However, you may link directly to my post for reference and to give credit.

Disclaimer:

This website contains affiliate links and sponsorships. I do not endorse nor would I recommend any products that I have not used nor trust to my readers. Thank you so much for your continued support in helping our small blog grow- at no costs to you whatsoever.

 

Contact:

Please contact me directly via email:  admin@fulloffortunes.com, if you have any questions and/or comments. Thanks for stopping by! ☺

 

 

 

To The Blond Haired Blue Eyed Yeti Who Stole My Heart

Image Source via giphy.com

 

This post is dedicated to The Blond Haired Blue Eyed Yeti Who Stole My Heart,

aka My Dear Hubby.

This is my declaration to the world that my heart is heavy and full.

Not just today, but for the rest of our days together.

I am so lucky that you chose me to be your partner in life.

To the naked eye, we may be as different as night and day.

But look a little closer and you will see that we complement each other in every way:

You are the frosting on my cake,

the Jekyll to my Hyde,

the bacon to my eggs,

the peanut butter to my jelly,

the mac to my cheese,

the fire to my ice,

the Love of my life.

Thank you for your daily encouragement and support. You are my first and only super fan, the one I care about the most in this world.

You have always believed in me even when I don’t even believe in myself.

I am so grateful for the life we have built together. I am so blessed and honored to be a mom to our two tiny humans.

But most of importantly, I am grateful for your love and devotion because you have never once doubted me. You never get tired of reminding me every day that I am enough.

There is no me without you.

Insatiably yours for now & always,

Your Chubby Ninja 😉

via GIPHY

How To Make A DIY Princess Poppy Troll Inspired Costume For Less Than $4

She is all dressed and ready for her Halloween Parade around the school in true Princess Poppy style!

 

The Trolls Movie came out last year during the 2016 holidays season. Since then, my daughter has been head over heels in love and still, can’t stop talking about it! All of the characters in this movie look so colorful and cuddly covered with felt and glitter, how can any normal kid not go bananas? Don’t even get me started on all those cool songs and dance moves, lol.

This is a screenshot that I took on my phone of the fleece fabric blanket from Joann Fabrics that I have used as my inspiration for my DIY Poppy inspired costumes.

What’s not to love? It is sheer sensory overload for any kid. She has seen this movie a grand total of 25 times in counting and does not plan to stop watching it anytime soon. I believe she knows every song and can recount every dance move from beginning to end.

This is a screenshot of the Poppy costume that was sold at the Target Stores in October 2017. My daughter astutely pointed out that it’s not fleece, unlike how it was in the movie. 😉

So of course, she had to be Poppy for Halloween this year, as if there was ever any doubt about that! Out of curiosity, I did some research to see if it would be worth it to buy a Poppy costume or to attempt another DIY project. A brand new flimsy costume from Target was going to cost me $25 before taxes and the wig would be an extra $10, also before taxes.    

Ouch!

Sorry, not going to pay that for something she is likely going to wear just once, smh.

Instead of shelling out more than $35, I decided to attempt another one of my DIY skills on this new little pet project of mine to see if we can get it done much cheaper. And guess what? It’s totally doable!   It’s like a bad case of Deja Vu, but instead of making over my son, I am doing it for my daughter this year! lol Here’s what I did:

On one of my random visits to Joann Fabrics this month, I happen to discover that there was a sale on blizzard fleece, which, coincidentally, bears a really close resemblance to all of the felt material and scrapbook feel of the Trolls Movie. And at 50% off the regular price of $8.99/yard, making it $4.49 I thought it would be worth it to give it a try and make poppy’s famous blue dress. I also picked up a sheet of green felt for $0.25 to make her headband and found pink fabric spray paint on clearance for $1.97 to make her hair. The total cost of this project was $7.21. However, instead of only one Poppy costume, I was lucky enough to have enough material to make 2 of them! Since my daughter and her friend, both love Poppy, I was able to surprise them both with a Poppy costume. This makes each costume (dress, headband, and wig included) cost just $3.60 per kid, which is a win for me! 🙂

This was a super simple project that really did not require any sewing. You can even use fabric glue if you wanted to do so. However, I just happen to have a sewing machine at home and I wanted to test my memory of how to thread it if I ever needed to since it’s been so long since I’ve last used it.  And I’m happy to report that my old noggin’ still works despite the cobwebs!  🙂

If you’d like to make your own DIY version of a Poppy costume for your little one, here is what you will need.

List of materials:

  • pink fabric spray paint
  • 1 sheet of green felt
  • 1/2  yard of turquoise blue blizzard fleece (depending on your child’s dress size)
  • a well-fitting dress (to use as a template to trace around) already have
  • tape measure (already had on-hand)
  • white sewing chalk (already had on-hand)
  • sewing scissors (already had on-hand)
  • sewing machine with white thread (already had on-hand)
  • sewing pins (already had on-hand)
  • white acrylic/fabric paint (already had on-hand)
  • white sidewalk chalk (already had on-hand)
  • green sidewalk chalk (already had on-hand)
  • fake snow blanket (the kind that used to cover the bottom of a Christmas tree)- already have
  • pink long sleeve/hoodie sweater (already had on-hand)
  • pink leggings (already had on-hand)
  • pink boots (already had on-hand)
  • pink glitter makeup/lipstick (already had on-hand)
  • scrap pieces of cardboard to protect the fabric and your table from paint (already have)
  • cup of water (already had on-hand)
  • small sponge (already had on-hand)
  • small detail paint brush (already had on-hand)
  • plastic headband (already had on-hand)
  • hot glue gun (already had on-hand)

 

This was a project fit for the trolls as the majority of it involved cutting and gluing, just like Poppy’s scrapbooking! 🙂

Directions for the headband and wig:

  • Take the snow blanket outside and spray paint it pink. Be sure to place it inside of an open cardboard box to keep the color from spreading and to control the smell. Warning: It smells atrocious! 🙁
  • Follow the direction on the spray paint can. Spray paint one side and wait about an hour or so until it is dry to the touch. Then flip it over and spray the other side. Let it dry overnight.
  • Take a plastic and trace it onto the green felt.
  • Cut out the traced pattern of the headband and hot glue it onto the plastic headband covering its entirety with green felt. Let it dry.
  • Cut out several pieces of leaves in varying sizes with the leftover pieces of green felt.
  • Cut out several pieces of petals in varying sizes with the leftover pieces of turquoise blue fleece material.
  • Assemble the leaves and petals to make two small flowers on the top left of the green headband and one small flower on the top right of the headband using hot glue. Let it dry.
  • Now that the snow blanket is dry and pink, tease it into the best fitting shape and size of your child’s head.
  • Then hot glue the pink fuzz, piece by piece onto the headband until you’re happy with its placement and shape.
  • You are done! Snap a pic of your new Poppy Troll Wig!
I used my daughter’s 5T cheerleader dress as a template and added another 4 inches to extend the hem of her Poppy dress so that she can wear it many more times after Halloween. The girl loves to play dress up with her friends!
This was the messy part. I used a combination of acrylic paints and fabric paints because I ran out of each, so I mixed them and let them dry for 2 hours in between coats.

Directions for making the dress:

  1. Find a sleeveless dress that fits your child well and place it on top your folded turquoise blue fleece. This will be your template, trace the outline of the dress onto the fleece using sewing chalk. Make sure to leave a 1″ allowance all the way around your pattern for seam lines.
  2. Take the turquoise blue fleece and fold it in half lengthwise. This will give you 2 layers for the front and the back of Poppy’s dress.
  3. With sewing scissors, cut through the 2 layers of fleece.
  4. Take the top layer and cut out a v-neck. This will be the front of the Poppy Dress. Leave the 2nd layer as-is, this will be the back of the dress.
  5. Pin the 2 layers together to keep them in place.
  6. I eyeballed and guestimated the size of the saddle-shaped strap that will go over the front left shoulder of Poppy’s dress and cut this piece out to attach it to the inner left shoulder when sewing it together. Then attach the strap alongside the left outer v part of the front of the dress using hot glue for a more finished look.
  7. Make sure your sewing machine is ready to go with white threading in place and sewing together the shoulders and the sides of the dress. (I used a zigzag stitch pattern because I do not have a serger.)
  8. Place a scrap piece of cardboard underneath the dress and trace the fleur di lis pattern onto the bottom hem of the dress on the front using the white sidewalk chalk.
  9. Using the chalk as a guide, go over the pattern using white acrylic paint and fill in the pattern with a detail paintbrush.
  10. Using a wet sponge, blend the white acrylic paint from the design to the hem of the dress to create an ombre effect at the bottom.
  11. Repeat steps 11-13 on the other side (back of the dress) at the bottom hem.
  12. Let each side of the dress dry for 3-4 hours.
  13. Paint a yarn clasp onto the saddle strap front closure of the dress.
  14. Using the green sidewalk chalk, trace a thicker line around the fleur di lis pattern and blend in with your fingers to create a greenish ombre effect around the pattern.
  15. Abra Cadabra! Now we have a finished our very own DIY Inspired version of Princess Poppy The Troll dress! Enjoy!
We hope we’ve inspired you to create your own version too. Let us know how your’s turned out!

 

Disclosure:

The purpose of this blog is to provide insight and enjoyment only. I am not nor do I claim to be an expert or professional in any manner. All opinions are 100% my own. Please do not copy any content from my website without my prior permission or written consent from me. However, you may link directly to my post for reference and to give credit.

Disclaimer:

This website contains affiliate links and sponsorships. I do not endorse nor would I recommend any products that I have not used nor trust to my readers. Thank you so much for your continued support in helping our small blog grow- at no costs to you whatsoever.

 

Contact:

Please contact me directly via email:  admin@fulloffortunes.com, if you have any questions and/or comments. Thanks for stopping by! 

 

HOW TO MAKE A DIY SUPER FIRE MARIO INSPIRED COSTUME FOR $7!

From a regular boy to Super Fire Mario, “here we go!”

 

If your kid is anything like mine, then you can definitely relate. To say that he is obsessed with all things related to The Super Mario Brothers is an understatement.

My 6 year-old-son, eats, sleeps, and breathes all things, Super Mario. The boy wants to embody Super Mario as we all know him.

So it was no surprise when he mentioned that he wanted to be Super Fire Mario for Halloween, again… 2 years in a row now, not kidding.

I was able to find some great tutorials via Pinterest to help me make an awesome costume for him to wear while Trick or Treating. He loved it so much that he still wears it around the house while playing his video games a few times out of the week.

I am so glad that I decided to make it out of a thicker material instead of buying an overpriced flimsy one.

*Side Note: When he was a wee little toddler, Angry Birds seemed to be his thing. His love for Angry Birds was resurrected when we took him and his 4 year-old-sister out to the movie theaters for the very first time last summer.

As a matter of fact, we used to collect all things Angry Birds for him so that we may redecorate his big boy’s room for him one day. But we have since, decided against that and went with Super Mario Brothers instead. Check that out here.

 

“Best. Day. Ever!” was their response when asked how their movie experience went. 

But now, oh no, it’s Super Mario FTW (for the win)!

My son will come to a dead stop, drop whatever he is doing, and come blazing in into the room at full speed just to catch a glimpse of his hero, Mario. And like a moth to a flame, he can’t help but be lured by the siren’s call of that cheerful 8-bit music.

So when I asked the kids what they wanted to be for Halloween, naturally the only answer that uttered from their little mouths were Super Mario and Baby Peach.

As if I even had to ask? Come On! RME (rolling my eyes)

This was shortly after we’ve discovered the old 80’s series episodes on Netflix, The Super Mario Brothers Show, which prompted their decision, of course.

We normally allow each of our kids 30 minutes of screen time per day and a story each night before bed. And naturally, my son would choose to watch The Super Mario Brothers Show each night. He would watch a new episode each night until the entire series was finished.

I kid you not, it took f-o-r-e-v-e-r as we sat through it night after night. :/ So, it did not come as a complete shock to me when he said wanted to be Super Mario for Halloween.

But when my daughter uttered the words Baby Peach, I was blown away. Although she definitely has tomboy tendencies, she’s a girly girl, like her no fear outlook on life.

She’s quite the opinionated little lady who isn’t afraid to tell you what she likes and does not like. Since she does not have a favorite character, she tends to be more random and generalized in her choice of female characters.

I did not think she would be remotely interested in the limited amount of female characters that the Super Mario Brothers series offered. However, if I had to guess, I think she really wanted to share an interest with her brother since they have been the best of friends and also the worst of enemies for as long as they’ve been alive.

Their sibling bond is just so sweet when they are not busy fighting with one another. ^_^

After my fun Halloween costumes conversation with the kids, I set out to shop online to see what I could find. I was immediately blown away by the astronomical prices for these kids’ costumes.

Whoa! Seriously? That’s a whole lotta moolah!

However, I was lucky enough to find a whole ensemble of a Princess Peach costume that included the crown, the dress, and the pinafore on clearance at the Birthday Express online store for just under $7.83!

To get this price, I found an offer coupon in my email from the Birthday Express Store for an extra 33% off all clearance merchandise promo. Then I stacked it with an extra 6% eBates click thru offer to boot!

Woohoo! What an awesome score! 

princess-peach-dress-costume

The only problem was that it was 5 sizes too big and I needed a toddler-sized costume, not a big kid costume. So, I went ahead and snagged it anyway hoping that maybe with some magic fairy dust and a little ingenuity, I can fix that sucker up in a jiffy.

So instead of Baby Peach, we just told her that Baby Peach ate a mushroom and now she’s all grown up and turns into Princess Peach. My daughter was satisfied with that story, so we left it at that, whew! 

Alright!

So that took care of my daughter’s Baby Princess Peach costume request.

 

And with the wave of my wand, she was transformed into Baby Peach.

 

Check!

Next up on the list, Super Fire Mario!

But, I did not have any luck finding a Mario costume for my son that did not blow our budget out of proportions. In no way was I going to be shelling out $29 + tax for something my kid was only going to wear for a grand total of 3 hours of his life. 

I just could not stomach being sucker punched in the wallet like that. So I decided to do the next best thing I could think of. I was bound and determined to make his costume for under $5!

That’s crazy, I know, but I’m cheap like that and dammit I will make this work!

Since I am an introvert, I tend to shy away from people. But I do love me a good DIY project and I never seem to shy away from creating something with my own two hands for much cheaper than I am willing to pay for it.

So naturally, I consulted good ol’ Pinterest for some ideas and omigoodness did it ever deliver!

I love me some Pinterest! Don’t you? Lol 

Inspirational Image: http://i.imgur.com/OEsP9Bj.png

(I did a Google search to find out exactly how to replicate Super Fire Mario to finally appease my son’s obsession. And this was the picture that I ended up using for my DIY inspiration costume.)

I did a quick search for DIY Super Mario Costumes on Pinterest and gleaned thru all the results that came up. After some careful consideration, I chose a handful of what I believed to be the best most thoroughly explained tutorials that I can execute without pulling out my already sparse hairs.

Here are some of the best sources of inspiration I have used for creating my son’s Super Mario Costume. Without these tutorials, I would still be scratching my head in frustration trying to figure out where to begin.

These ladies gave me the inspiration and the confidence that I needed to actually do this on my own.

So without further ado, please check them out for yourself if you are thinking about creating your very own version of a Super Mario costume for your kid and tell me what you think. For more detailed instructions, click on the links below:

Tutorial For the Overalls: http://smashedpeasandcarrots.com/how-to-make-mario-and-luigi-costumes-tutorial/

(With these tutorials, I was able to create the exact look that I wanted for my son’s costume and it turned out beautifully.:) )

Tutorial For the Hat: http://www.fleetingthing.com/?projects=super-mario-hat-pattern-and-tutorial

For full instructions and tutorials on how to create your very own version of this DIY Super Mario Hat and Costume, be sure to click thru to the links in this blog post.

Download Pattern for Hat Here:

http://www.fleetingthing.com/downloads/Mario_Hat_pattern.pdf

Just in case you were wondering about the costs, I have included a break down of the price for each item. Here is a list of materials that I used to create my son’s Super Mario Costume.

List of Materials for Super Mario Costume:

-Boys Long Sleeve White Thermal undershirt size 4-5T (already had in the closet as a gift from his Grandma a couple years ago) Here is a similar one, if you do not happen to have one available on hand. These are pretty cheap and readily available to pick up anywhere, usually under $4.

-Kids White knit gloves (also already had in the closet as a gift from his Grandma) Theses are also easy to find and generally can be found for about $1.

-Black sheet of felt for Mario’s mustache ($1.07 with tax for a 10 pack @ The Dollar Tree)

– 2 sheets of white felt (24”x24,” $1.07 with tax or $0.50 each at Joann Fabrics)

-1.5 yards of red felt material for overall pants ($1.59 with tax, on sale for $0.99 a yard @ Joann Fabrics)

-1 comfortable pair of pants, (preferably jeans that fit your kid perfectly so that it does not expand or contract too much when you are cutting around it.) We already had a pair on hand, so no need to buy one.

-About 1/2 yard of white elastic ¾’ thick to sew onto the back of mustache, this goes around the child’s head above the nose and ears to hold up the mustache (already had on hand)

-1 good pair of sharp fabric scissors (already have on hand)

-Sewing machine with zigzag pattern (already have on hand)

-Your choice of color for thread spool & bobbins, I used white and red for my son

(already have these on hand in my sewing kit)

-2 big yellow buttons ($2.43 with 40% off coupon and tax)

-Light-up Fireball from Target ($1.06 with tax)

Total: $7.23 ($2.23 over budget, not too shabby for a DIY project)

*Note: I realized I needed extra fabric than the tutorial called for because:

  1. I purposely made it kind of big so that the waist and the hem can be let out if he had a sudden growth spurt, or
  2. If you want to stuff a small pillow under the shirt to give Mario his trademark look as though he had 1 too many plates of spaghetti. 
  3. Because I am a figure-it-out-as-I-go, beginner-sewist, who-makes-a-lot-of-mistakes. So please, take that into consideration as you may or may not attempt this yourself. 
The finished product!

 

Super Fire Mario Go!

 

So now that Halloween is over, I wonder what the next craze will be.

 

Super Fire Mario and Princess Peach, ready to win at Trick-or-Treating!

 

Stay tuned for that adventure…

 

 

Disclosure:

The purpose of this blog is to provide insight and enjoyment only. I am not nor do I claim to be an expert or professional in any manner. All opinions are 100% my own. Please do not copy any content from my website without my prior permission or written consent from me. However, you may link directly to my post for reference and to give credit.

Disclaimer:

This website contains affiliate links and sponsorships. I do not endorse nor would I recommend any products that I have not used nor trust to my readers. Thank you so much for your continued support in helping our small blog grow- at no costs to you whatsoever.

Contact:

Please contact me directly via email:  admin@fulloffortunes.com, if you have any questions and/or comments. Thanks for stopping by! 

Rice Done Right! Every Time!

(Note: Although, I was not compensated nor was I sponsored by Zojirushi for this post, all opinions, recommendations, and reviews are 100% my own. If, however, I may be compensated or sponsored by them in the future, I will update this post accordingly to reflect it as such.)

Image Source by Shutterstock

Want hot, tender, melt-in-your-mouth, perfectly cooked, freshly prepared rice? Want it fast and cooked from home every single time? If you answered yes, then read on…

Don’t order takeout, save your money, and make it at home instead. Thanks to my parents for making me eat gobs of rice growing up, I now know how to make it on my own. 😉 Here is the secret on how to do it the right way, once and for all.

 

Directions:

1-Wash once (rinse thoroughly) in lukewarm water, I use long grain Jasmine rice because I grew up eating it and that’s what I am used to eating. But you can choose whichever type, brand, texture rice that suits your taste buds.

2-Tap on the sides of the pot with your palms to level out the rice

3-Fill about 1 inch or approximately 1 knuckle above the surface of the rice with water and cook in a rice cooker on automatic white rice setting (or whichever you prefer using, like Brown, etc.)

4-Stove Top: Cook the rice 20 minutes on medium high heat if cooking on the stove-top oven, stirring often to make sure that it doesn’t spill over and ruin your cooktop. For those of you with a gas stove, consider yourselves lucky, I miss mine so much. My electric stove hates me, it burns all my food, thus I hate cooking. It is annoying for me to stand there for 20 minutes while I babysit my dumb electric stove. But alas, it still works, so I will suffer through it until it dies. 🙁

5-Microwave: Cook for 30 minutes on high setting if cooking in the microwave, stirring often every 10 minutes. This is also very annoying to stand there for 30 minutes while I hangrily wait for my rice. But at least there’s a built-in timer to alert me to care for the rice while I dabble in a side project. 😉

6-Rice Cooker:  Just set it and forget it.  “Easy peasy lemon squeazy,” as my daughter would say.  Oh man, this is by far my favorite method of cooking. Hit the button and walk away.

Image Source by Shutterstock

 

Final Verdict:

Mmmm rice, (drools).

 

When it comes to rice, go for Goldilocks:

Not too wet yet not too dry, but, just right!!!

 

Recommendations:

This is the model that we are currently using in our kitchen. We love it so much that we kept the sticker to remind us that we bought it brand new at one point. We love paying homage to those folks who still leave the plastic wrap on their furniture because we like to think we are spiffy like that too. 😉

If all else fails, try using an automatic rice cooker.

We have gone through our fair share of rice cookers in the past, whether it was a hand-me-down or a cheapie. All of which were cheap in price and also in quality. But my favorite by far is the Zojirushi Rice Cooker, it makes perfect rice each and every time!

This Zojirushi model, in particular, has delivered on its promise of perfect rice and then some. Not only does it perform well, it’s also quite an attractive piece of an appliance in our kitchen featuring its stainless steel exterior to match the rest of our kitchen appliances. Although it is a bit pricey, up front, it will last you pretty close to a lifetime.

And that, to me, is a great investment on any kitchen appliance, especially because rice is a staple in our household. We serve up rice at least 3-4 times a week with our meals.

How did your rice turn out? Let us know in the comments below.

 

Disclosure:

The purpose of this blog is to provide insight and enjoyment only. I am not nor do I claim to be an expert or professional in any manner. All opinions are 100% my own. Please do not copy any content from my website without my prior permission or written consent from me. However, you may link directly to my post for reference and to give credit.

Disclaimer:

This website contains affiliate links and sponsorships. I do not endorse nor would I recommend any products that I have not used nor trust to my readers. Thank you so much for your continued support in helping our small blog grow- at no costs to you whatsoever.

Contact:

Please contact me directly via email:  admin@fulloffortunes.com, if you have any questions and/or comments. Thanks for stopping by!