Thought of the Day: Reduce your heating costs!

Don't let your heating bills get the best of you this winter! Cut your heating costs significantly following some of these money saving tips:

  • Check your doors and windows for cold drafts. Use caulk, weatherstrips, draft blockers, or plastic to stop the leaks
  • Open the blinds on the south side of your house on sunny days. The heat of the sun will help keep your house warm. Just don't forget to close them when the sun goes down.
  • Lower the temperature on your hot water heater.
  • Wash your clothing in cold water whenever possible.
  • Cut your shower time in half and save!
    Consider a programmable thermostat, and lower the temp when you are away or snuggled in bed at night.
  • Spend a lot of time in one room? Turn the heat down, and use a space heater in that room.
  • Keep your furnace is tip top shape.
  • Minimize the use of exhaust fans. They will suck the heat right out of your house.
  • Close the vents in rooms you never use. No reason to heat a spare bedroom that is just used for storage. Buy magnetic covers to place over the vents, as well. This will prevent air from leaking out, and send it to the rooms you are using. Remember to close the door. ;)

Freebies & Fun

Pantene Pro-V Restoratives sample

Free Ultra Swim shampoo sample

Free Tums sample and money saving coupons

Free Meeting Solutions sample kit from Post-It

Free Aquaphor sample

Free dog treat sample from Purina

Free Dove pro'age skin care samples

Free Folger's Gourmet Coffee sample[Home]

Free bag of Purina dog or cat food

Free SunMaid recipe booklet

Thought for Today ~ Gas Prices

Though prices have trended down a bit, you'll find the following websites and articles invaluable when it comes to helpful advice on how to keep you gas costs from destroying your budget:

Local Gas Prices by ZipCode
10 Ways to Find Cheap Gas
Are Gas Credit Rebate Cards a Good Deal?
The Price of Gas Is $3 per Gallon?!
Trim Your Fuel Bills
The Best Day to Get Gas

Freebies & Fun

FREE Customized Labels from Kaluha for Valentines Day

FREE Sample of JointFlex Pain Relieving Cream

FREE 2007 Calendar from Arm & Hammer

FREE Workout Video Downloads from Shape Magazine

FREE One Year Subscription to Horse Illustrated

FREE One Year Subscription to Vacations Magazine

FREE Sample of Dove Pro Age

COUPON: $15 off Tax Preparation at Jackson Hewitt
Thought for Today ~ Sleepless Nights

We all have those days; you know the ones, where you have to restrain yourself from using the coffee grinder on the alarm clock. Whether it's the result of a restless nights' sleep, a late party with co-workers, or caring for a sick child that's left you weary and dreary in the a.m., you still need to find a way to function and get busy with the brand-new day.

Here are eight simple steps to help revive your tired body and help get the zip back into your sleep-deprived step.

Read the rest of the article here:

Free Info That's Good to Know

Did you know The Federal Trade Commission offers FREE information and publications on Identity Theft, Credit, Investments, Diet, Health, Fitness, and a whole lot more?
Check out their website at

Did you know The US Department of Health and Human Services offers FREE information, publications, and a great website to help encourage and motivate 9- to 13- year-old girls to make the most of their lives?
Check out their website at

Did you know can subscribe to receive direct notification of new recalls from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, the Food & Drug Administration, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture?
Sign up for these services at

Did you know the United States Department of Agriculture offers dietary tips, resources, kid games, posters, and much more?
You'll find these services at

Did you know the U.S. Department of Labor Women’s Bureau offers current trends, event information, occupational outlooks, wages by area and occupation, and a wealth of information for women in the workforce?
Check out their website at

Do you need to find out information on time zones, find a map of your county, or are you curious to see what the U.S. look like from a satellite view?
You'll find tons of printable and dynamic maps along with articles and information on

All of these websites have a ton of valuable FREE information for you to explore- enjoy!
Thought for Today ~ Holiday Crafts

With Valentines Day and Easter around the corner, it's a great time to keep your children busy building imaginative items for play or crafting cherished keepsakes. Check out the following websites for ideas and patterns:

Michael’s Kids Club -(also offers free in-store activities)

Family Fun -

Sandie Go Zoo -

Kodak -

The Holiday Zone -

Freebies & Fun

FREE Sample of Arm & Hammer Advanced White Toothpaste

REBATE: Prego Spaghetti Sauce

FREE Sponge from Dawn Direct

FREE Travel Mug from GM

FREE Sample of Orville Redenbacher Popcorn

FREE Sample of Digestive Advantage

FREE Gillette Fusion Razor

FREE 1 Year Subscription for Ready Made Magazine
Lengthy List of Mystery Shopping Companies

The following are Mystery Shopping Companies that maintain an Internet presence.

While we try to scan each business to ensure it is on the up and up, be sure to refer to your copy of The Mom's Guide to Earning and Saving Thousands on the Internet to help you to determine which companies are the right choice for you and have the quality programs you desire.

A Closer Look
A&M Business Services, Inc.
About Face
ACRA, Inc.
Anne Michaels & Associates
ACE Mystery Shopping
Amusement Advantage
Anonymous Insights, Inc.
Ardent Services
At Your Service Marketing
Beyond Hello
Business Evaluation Services
Certified Reports Inc.
CheckMark, Inc.
Check Up Marketing
Consumer Knowledge Analysis
Confero, Inc.
Corporate Research International
Coyle Hospitality Group
Creative Image Associates, Inc.
Cross Financial Group
Customer 1st
Customer Perspectives
DataQuest Ltd.
Ellis Property Management Services
Feedback Plus, Inc.
Focus on Service
GFK Mystery Shopping
Goodwyn & Associates
Greet America
ICC Decision Services
Informa Research Services
JM Ridgeway
Maritz Research
Marketing Endevours
Marketing Systems Unlimited
Mystery Guest Inc.
National Shopping Service
Nationwide Services Inc.
NSite Mystery Shopping
The Pat Henry Group
Person to Person Quality
Premier Service
Professional Review
Promotion Network Inc.
Quality Assessment Mystery Shoppers
Retail Eyes
Ritter Associates
Rocky Mountain Merchandising & Research
Satisfaction Services, Inc.
Second to None
Secret Shopper
Sensors Quality Management Inc.
Sensus Research Inc.
Service Evaluation Concepts
Service Excellence Group
Service Impressions
Service Intelligence
Service Performance Group, Inc.
Service Sense
Service Sleuth
SG Marketing Group
Shop'NCheck Worldwide, Inc.
Shoppers Critique International
Speedmark Information Services
Walmart Evaluators
Thought of the Day: Valentine's Day!

It doesn't have to cost a fortune to show that special someone in your life just how you feel. Sometimes it's the little things that say the most. Try some of these inexpensive ideas with your loved ones this Valentine's Day. :)

  • Cook your loved one's favorite meal and serve it "picnic style" in your living room, or den.
  • Make a CD filled with love songs.
  • Printable Love Coupons.
  • Write a poem.
  • Go for a drive, and park someplace with a great view of the sunset.
  • A sexy picture of yourself for your significant other's wallet.
  • 365 Reasons I love You: Take 365 small pieces of paper and write one reason your love your significant other on each piece. Place them in a decorated jar or coffee can, and your loved one can read one each day from now until next Valentine's Day.

Freebies & Fun

emerginC Skin Care samples

Free True Pearls Acidophilus pearls sample

Free Schick Quattro Midnight Razor

Free Lindsey Olive recipe booklet

Free diabetes recipe booklet

Free Adirondacks Travel Pack

Free Common Cents Kit for kids from State Farm

Free Playtex Sport tampon sample or $2.50 off coupon

$5.00 Tylenol rebate on 3 participating products

$10.00 Ensure rebate

$4.00 Beechnut rebate (if link does not work, copy and paste it into your browser)

Rebate for a free jar of Prego Sauce, see form for details

Instant Savings: Save $30 instantly when you spend $99 or more on select Huggies products offered by in Health & Personal Care. Enter code HUGGIE3O at checkout. Here's how. Offer expires January 31, 2007

Thought of the Day: Think Frugal!

Here are a few random frugal tips to help you save a little money throughout the year:

  • Save your paper bags from the grocery and use them to wrap parcel packages and cover your children's school books.
  • Borrow videos from your local library. The library is a great source of entertainment on a cold winter day, they often have activities for children, and some quiet for mom. Best of all, it's always free.
  • Wrap celery, green onions, and lettuce in aluminum foil. They will stay fresher in your refrigerator a lot longer.
  • Shop yard sales! One man's junk is another man's treasure.
  • Cut your Brillo pads in half. They will still work as well, last longer, and sharpen your scissors all at the same time!
  • Check with your pediatrician to see if they have any free samples, or giveaways. Major manufacturers often give doctor's free products in exchange for their endorsement.
  • Kids play hard, every hole in a pair of jeans doesn't mean they are ready for the trash can, though. Try an iron on patch, or cut the legs off the jeans and make them a cool pair of shorts for the summer.

Deal of the Day
Superman Inflatable Suit $4.99 at

Fun & Freebies

Free sample of Degree Deodorant

Free Capella Coffee Flavor Drops

Host a Lazlo House Party get a free DVD

Jergens Moisturizer samples

12 issues of Games for Windows magazine

Free Post-It Flag sample

Free subscription to Dog's Life magazine

Thought for Today ~ Turn Your Old Books Into New Cash!

According to data gathered in a Books In Print, over 4 Million books are available for commercial sale. Chances are, you are housing many of these titles on your desk, in overloaded bookcases, dusty attics, and forgotten storage boxes in the back of the closet.

Did you know many of these books could be turned into cold hard cash just in time for the vacation you've been planning, or to gather extra funds for the new DVD Recorder you've have your eye on?

Read the remainder of the article here:

Freebies & Fun

FREE Sample of Earth's Best Rice Cereal for Babies

FREE Sample of Folger's Gourmet Selects[Home]

FREE Animal Poison Control Magnet

COUPON: Free Day Pass for PetsMart Doggie Day Camp

FREE Sample of Huggies Pull-Ups

COUPON: $3 off Iams Mulit-Cat Food

FREE Free "What To Expect" Guide To A Healthy Home
Thought of the Day: Save more at the store!

Cheerios or Toasty Os?

One costs a lot more than the other, but is it better than the other? Generic foods are a great way to save a buck at the grocery store. Don't be afraid to try the generic versions of your favorite brand items.

Experiment, and you may just find a new family favorite that you wallet will thank you for as well!

Freebies & Fun

Free hand sanitizer and fridge magnet

Free coloring book

Free welcome gift from Frazoli's

$1.00 off the new Bounce Lint & Freshness Roller

Free Woolite Liquid sample from Quality Health

Free Space Camp DVD

$1.00 off Downy Wrinkler Releaser

Sweepstakes antry and a free pumpkin recipe book from Libby's

Free sample of Digestive Advantage from WalMart

Free full version of Caribbean MahJong (download)
Recipe for Today ~ Easy, Inexpensive Chicken Tortellini Soup

Chicken Broth (8 cups)
Black Pepper, Ground
Cheese Tortellini (1 package)
2-3 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1 Carrot
1 Celery Stalk

Slice thin carrot and celery stalk. Coat bottom of large pot with olive oil. Add carrots and celery slices to pot, sautee over a medium heat for 10 minutes.

Reduce heat. Pour chicken broth into the pot, cover pot, increase heat to high and bring to a boil. When liquid reaches boiling point, stir and reduce heat to medium. Simmer broth for 5 minutes over medium heat.

Add ground pepper to broth (to taste.) Add tortellini to broth and continue simmering over medium heat until tortellini is fully cooked (al dente.)

Remove soup from stove. Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes. Serve and enjoy!

Note: This basic mixture may be modified and added to easily. Add mushrooms or any number of vegtables and spices to taste. It's a great way to use left-over chicken too. Just chop left-over chicken into small pieces, adding them in at the same time the tortellini is added.

Freebies & Fun

FREE Sample of Pure & Basic Natural Bath & Body Wash

FREE Subscription to Grand Magazine

FREE McGruffs Surprise Party Comic Book

FREE Subscription to Gaming Monthly

FREE Corkscrew from Sutter Home

FREE AT&T Alascom 2007 Calendar

FREE Sample of Sunsilk

FREE Sample of Dove Advanced Color Care
Contest Fun

GE's "Beautiful Room Sweepstakes"

Orbitz Spring Break Sweepstakes

Yves Rocher Dreams Come True Sweepstakes

Quaker Weight Control "Take Control"

Better Homes and Garden Contest ~ Win a $1000 Haverty's Gift Card

Sephora "Gift Yourself" Sweepstakes;jsessionid=4PTWLKGVEKCSHLAUCJBRXCQ

Good Luck!

Freebies & Fun

FREE Sample of Sensodyne Toothpaste

FREE Sample of Viactiv Flavor Glides

FREE Sample of Move Free Advanced

FREE Sample of Digestive Advantage

FREE Sample of Airborne On-the-Go

FREE Shaker Cup and Sample of Konsyl Fiber Therapy

FREE Sample Of Eucerin Redness Relief

FREE Sample of CardioEA Advanced Aspirin

FREE Sample of Swiffer Duster
Deals of the Day

40% off Purchase at Use Code FF7JL307

70- 90% off Modular Wall Systems at Pottery Barn

Freebies & Fun

FREE Sample of Reynolds Slow Cooker Liner

FREE Sample of Sun Frog Deck Cleaner

FREE Sample of Olay Definity

FREE Ping Pong Rules Poster

FREE Minwax Easy Weekend Projects Booklet

FREE Charmin Extender

REBATE: $10 Rebate from Colgate w/ qualifying purchases

FREE Charmin Fresh Mates 10-Count Sample Pack

FREE Deck of Cards from Barcardi
Thought for Today ~ Frugal Scrapbook Ideas

It's time to get those holiday pics in your scrapbook, but the expenses can add up rather quickly! In fact, it's estimated that consumers spend billions of dollars on scrapbook items each year.

To avoid draining your budget with expensive scrapbook items, first follow these tips:

Deal of the Day

FREE Digital AudioBook download at from Scholastic (Grades K to 8 titles)

Freebies & Fun

FREE Sample of Reynolds Slow Cooker Liner

FREE Noxema Razor

FREE Sample from Chicken from the Sea

FREE Sample of Greenies for Cats

FREE Samples of Playtex Sport

FREE Wristband for Moms!

FREE Red Heart Truth Pin from Leggs
Thought of the day: Free Trials

Many companies have gotten hip to luring potential customers into purchasing their services by offering free trial subscriptions. While I would almost always recommend "try it before you buy it" when possible, these companies will continue to charge you for their services at the end of the trial period whether you want them or not!

Remember to keep track of your free trials expiration date, and if you do not want to continue the service, be sure to cancel before the trial period is up.

Deal of the Day

$15 off $25 at Catherines ~ Coupon code: 776807901

Free Shipping at JCPenney ~ Coupon Code: BBENERG6

Fun & Freebies

Free razor from Noxzema

Free slow cooker liner sample from Reynolds

Free Nestle's Hot Chocolate sample from Quality Health

Free Fibersure sample and $2.00 coupon

Free Olay Definity sample

Coupons for Auntie Annie's Pretzels

Thought for Today ~ Are Your Investments Liquid?

The new year is a great time to get your finances in order, but sometimes it's hard to know where to begin and it can be a little scary to think your dollars may not be easy to access if you have immediate needs.

If this pertains to you, read on...

Deal of the Day

Take $10 off your purchase of $50 or more at Use Code NEWYEAR

Take $25 off your purchase of $100 of more at JcPenney Use Code NEWSTART

Freebies and Fun

FREE Sample of Pure Decadence Cocoa

FREE Sample of JLo Glow After Dark

FREE Sports Injuries Packet

FREE Issue of Teen Ink Magazine

FREE Sample of Nescafe Tasterchoice

FREE Message Magnet from St. Joseph Hospital
Thought of the Day: New Year; save more!

This is just a friendly reminder use coupon codes, whenever possible, when shopping online. Every time we forget to look, we could be losing 5, 10, 20% savings or more!

Check out for a list of up to date coupon codes for hundreds of stores.

Deal of the Day
Free poster sized print, you pay shipping only

Freebies & Fun

Sign up for the "Eat Better America" newsletter and receive free samples

Free sample of Del Mar

Free Red Dress pin

Chicken of the Sea Tuna coupon

$2.00 off Head & Shoulders Intensive Solutions

Free Air Maui Adventure Map

Free cholesterol information kit
Thought for Today ~ Avoid Being a Victim of Coupon Fraud

As the New Year brings new savings, here's a refresher on how to spot a coupon scam. This information will save you from unnecessary embarrassment at the check out line but also helps to keep the freebies flowing for all.

Read the full scoop here:

Deal of the Day

2 Cent Prints at Use Code 2CPRINTS

Freebies & Fun

FREE 1-Year Subscription to Hollywood Life Magazine

FREE 1-Year Subscription to Electronic Gaming Monthly Magazine

FREE Sample of Celestial Seasonings Tea

FREE "Quit Easy" Stop Smoking Book

FREE Sample of Gevalia Coffee

FREE CD-R Media 10 pack coupon for Office Depot B&M

FREE 2007 World Heritage Map
Thought of the Day: Save in 2007

Budgeting provides financial peace of mind, and allows you the ability to plan long term. For many people, the thought of setting up a budget is overwhelming, and seems next to impossible to accomplish without the help of a financial planner, an accountant, and Albert Einstein. The reality is, without a budget, most people really have no idea what they are spending on a month to month basis, and often underestimate their expenditures by as much as 25%.

Start slow. Take a few months and really keep track of the money you are spending. Write down every purchase, and at the end of the month, determine what has been spent on entertainment, utilities, household, etc. This should show you areas in which you overspend, allowing you to scale back and start saving more money.

Remember to allow for emergency purchases in your budget. While this is a difficult category to estimate, if you allow X number of dollars every month, and then have no need to tap into those monies, it really adds up, and becomes money in the bank!

Fun & Freebies

Free 7 Day Supply of Coffeemate

Free Tin of California Almonds

Free Samples From SpaLook

Save $5.00 on Crest Whitestrips

Free 8 Week Membership to Bally Total Fitness

Free Deck Cleaner Sample

Free Eukenuba Puppy Kit

Free Bake Sale Planning Kit From Splenda

We Wish You a Healthy
and Freebie-Filled New Year!

Much love,
Barb and Maureen