Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Coupon Check

This week-end would be a good time to go through your coupons and clean them out.  A lot of them will probably expire on Tues, so don't miss out on your saving opportunities!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Vocal Point

Join Vocal Point for free & receive coupons for full size products.  This week I picked up my free Breve Creme creamer.  I can't remember if I have mentioned it before, but it's definitely worth it.  I see next week they are going to have a chance for $10 giftcards so now would be a good time to check it out.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Join Right@Home (it’s FREE!) to Get Great Offers and Freebies!

just a reminder about another way to score some great full size product samples… become a member of Right@Home (it’s FREE) and get great offers, time-saving tips and recipes.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Deal searching advice

Here are some notes from my workshop last night.

Why I look for deals
·         Donations – Harvest Ministry, Relief efforts
·         By saving money on what I buy, it gives me more money to bless others.
*     It’s fun & rewarding
Things to keep in mind while seeking deals
·         How far do you have to drive, especially with today’s gas prices.  If it costs you $8 to drive to Wooster to save $5, is it worth it?
·         Take into account your time.  If you work full-time, have young kids you have to take along, it might not be worth your time & energy.  It takes time to study the deals, organize your coupons, & make sure you are buying the correct product.  If you’ll be distracted by the kids & either not get the right product or buy extras because you are distracted, it might not be worth it
·         Are you spending money to save money?  It doesn’t make sense to buy something, even if it’s a good deal, if you don’t need it.

·         You can only use one manufacturer’s coupon on each item.
·         You may use a manufacturer’s coupon only once.
·         You cannot photocopy a manufacturer’s coupon, INCLUDING internet printable coupons. 
·         You must abide by the wording on the coupon, not necessarily the picture. “Save $1 on ANY package/variety/size.”
·         You can usually use a manufacturer’s coupon on a sale or clearance item
·         You can use multiple manufacturer’s coupons in one transaction
·         STACKING COUPONS: Using a store coupon with a manufacturer’s coupon on one item.  This is where the real deals begin, making brand name items cheaper than store brand items.

Where to get coupons:
In the Sunday paper — manufacturer’s coupon inserts:
  • SmartSource (SS)
  • Red Plum (RP)
  • Proctor & Gamble (P&G)
  • General Mills (GM)
Local papers.  Typically have the same coupons, Akron Beacon Journal will have more sale flyers.  If you figure $2 a week for the paper, they quickly pay for themselves with the coupons.
  • The Daily Record –  week-end rate 12 weeks $20.50 carrier, $21.40 motor route, less if you subscribe longer
  • Akron Beacon Journal – week-end rate 13 weeks $26.00 autopay, 27.30 billed
On the internet — internet printable coupons: take into account ink & paper before you start printing lots of coupons that you don’t end up using.

All You magazine – available at Walmart or through subscription.  Pays for itself most months with the coupons inside.

·         Print the rebate form the first time you encounter it.
·         Keep rebate forms in the same place in your house.
·         Create a “rebate” envelope or slot in your coupon organizing system
·         Complete the rebate form and mail it the moment you get home
·         Make copies of everything you mail in. I scan them & save them in a rebates folder on my computer
·         To be extra safe, don’t use the product until the envelope is in the mail

Hoarding vs Stockpiling – If you have more than you can use or you hear of a need & won’t bless others, then you are probably hoarding

On-line Safety Tips

Protecting Yourself and Your Computer

·         Credit Card Information – This is not usually required for your basic freebie but may be for free trials. Never give this information if you do not feel it is necessary for the offer or if you do not trust the website. Always do your research first.
·         Personal Information – Never give your social security number or password information. 
·         Your Computer-. It is always a good idea to have updated virus protection software for your computer.  There are often free after rebate deals.  I’ve read good things about the free antivirus software at avast.com &  avg.com

Cutting Down on the Junk

·         Email Address – Anytime I give out my email address, I understand that there may be some unwanted email (spam) headed my way. There are also plenty of freebies that require you to sign up to an email list, and they can really build up in a hurry. To keep your regular home email clean, sign up for a free email account that you use just when you sign up for freebies. Hotmail, Gmail and Yahoo all offer free accounts that you can sign up for in just a few minutes. You can always unsubscribe to newsletter once you complete the deal.
o        If you do start receiving large amounts of spam, most virus scan programs, like McAfee and Norton, have built in spam filters that work with your email program.
·         Phone Number – Some offers will also ask you to fill in your phone number. Unlike your address, they don’t need your phone number to send you a freebie, so if it is not required on the form, don’t fill it in. Some forms will allow you to fill in “UL” or “unlisted.” Remember to register your home & cell phone numbers to the National Do Not Call Registry 1-888-382-1222

Inbox Dollars

Inbox Dollars is another opportunity to earn free money.   Sign up and start making money by reading emails, taking surveys, trying products, shopping online and playing games. Membership is free and you even get a $5 bonus when you sign up.

You can request a check once you reach $30.  They do take a $3 processing fee from the check. 

I only read e-mails & occasionally buy things where the reward covers my purchase price.  The money does add up.  3 times I've gotten offers to get $8 cashback on an Entertainment book, which I was able to combine with Ebates.  They also offer $4 cashback with Vista print.  There are often free items where you have to pay shipping for $3 to $6, so depending on what you order, you can make money.

Free AAA Trip Tiks

One thing I remember about all of our vacations growing up is our AAA Trip Tiks.  I loved to follow along & flip the pages to see where we're going. 

You can make your own (not the flip kind) on AAA's website even if you aren't a member.  You can't save your trip but you can print it.

It has lots of cool features.  You can add all your destinations.  It even allows you to select from popular attractions & hotels so you don't have to enter addresses.  Even with our GPS I still make one for our trips.  It allows you to see mileage & time for each leg.  You can also zoom in & it will show you attractions & hotels along the way.

Dolly Parton Imagination Library

The Dolly Parton Imagination Library gives a FREE book each month to kids ages 5 and under. This program is not available in all areas. To find out if the program is available in your area or to register, click here.

We have been doing this program for over a year.  They have each received some fun books.  They come about every 6 weeks or so.

Bzz Agent

When you sign up for BzzAgent, you'll get the opportunity to join our word-of-mouth campaigns. As part of the campaign, you'll:

  • Get free product samples to try yourself
  • Help friends discover cool stuff by sharing your opinion
  • Influence the brand with your feedback
  • Plus, you'll often get free product samples for your friends, too. Sweet!

BzzScapes is the part of BzzAgent.com dedicated to product reviews from you and other BzzAgents. Share your opinions of products, whether you love 'em, hate 'em or kindasorta like 'em. Of course, you'll also find a wealth of honest and informative reviews from other consumers.

I have been part of this for 3 years+ & have gotten lots of fun products & coupons.  It's often a full size product to try & coupons for free products to give away.

Menard's & Nickel's

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Menards & all of the freebies I get there.  There's a Nickel's Thrift store beside Menards that is worth checking out.

Menards – 21 south of 30  It’s like a Lowe’s or Home Depot, but they also have food.
Every week in their sale flier, there are items available for great prices after sending in a rebate. Many are free after rebate (FAR), but they have a clause that you must spend $10 in non-rebate items to qualify for the free rebates. This clause does not affect items that are not FAR. Your rebate is only available in the form of a Menards "rebate check", meaning you use it just as you would a gift card.
So, you go choose your items, and the first time you shop, you will pay full price Out of Pocket (OOP). Your receipt will have rebate receipts attached, and each will have a rebate number on it. Near the exit door, a counter has all the rebate forms in numerical order. Choose the ones you need.
At home, fill out your forms (I use address labels so it takes one second each), address your envelopes, make copies or scanned versions, put in the forms and rebate receipt and you are done. I don't even have to cut out UPC's. In about three weeks, your rebate "checks" should start coming in the mail.
The next time you shop, use the checks instead of cash, and depending on how much you spend, you can greatly reduce the chance of ever having to spend money OOP there again. If you do have to spend $10 to qualify for a free rebate item, this can also come from your checks.

Nickels Bakery Thrift Stores – 21 South of 30 & 807 Spruce Wooster
Nickels Thrift stores are a great place to get incredible deals on breads, buns, & dinner rolls.  You don’t always know what you will find, but often you can get a loaf of bread for $1.  In the Entertainment book there is a coupon for up to $5 off, so if you buy $10 worth of food, it will cost you $5.  They also have reward cards that you can get stamped & earn a free item.

Tips of Eating Out

Daily deals – These include groupon.com, livingsocial.com, dealpulp.com.  They have Akron & Cleveland locations.  They offer various ½ price or more gift certificates for restaurants, golf course, spas, etc.

Radio deals – There are a few local radio stations that offer ½ price gift certificates to various restaurants.

Facebook - sometimes if you "like" companies on facebook, you can get extra coupons.

Entertainment Books – These books sell for $35 in Oct/Nov.  As the year goes on they get cheaper & cheaper.  You can also find deals through Ebates.  Not only do they have great B1G1 free restaurant deals, but lots of travel & store deals.  There are 6 - $5 off of $50 Buehlers coupons which alone can pay for the book.  There is a Canton or Akron version.  I usually get Canton.  It also includes some Holmes County things.  Akron would have some Cleveland things as well.  If you are traveling in late summer or fall, you might want to consider on for vacation if they are deeply discounted.

IShopStark.com – There are various restaurants and stores offer coupons & discounted gift certificates for Stark, Wayne, & Holmes counties.

Restaurant.com coupons - Restaurant.com allows you to buy a restaurant gift certificate at a deep discount.  You can often find codes for an extra 70-80% off, making a $25 gift certificate less than $5.  You will need to check the requirements on the restaurant you are purchasing from they usually require a $35 minimum purchase (or require you to purchase 2 entrees). You spend $35, and then you can use the $25 certificate, your out of pocket for the restaurant portion can be as low as $10, you do have to pay sales tax and tip on the total amount. When we go, our final total will usually end up around $22 – $25.

Orrville School cards. – for $10 you get a card good for 1 year.  Dairy Queen (Orrville) $1 off any size moolatte or blizzard;  Gionino's buy any large pizza, get a free tossed or spinach salad; Senor Pancho's 10% off your purchase;  Taco Bell, Free small drink with $2 or more purchase;  Buehler's Scenic river coffee $1.00 off, East of Chicago, Barn Stone Cafe, Heartland Point Cafe, Dalton Dariette, Mrs J's Restaurant, Michael's Bakery, Kraus' Pizza(Dalton), Trendsetters, Putt n stuff, Carmichael sports, Smuckers store, expert T's (Orrville), the bouquet Shop, Audrey's Attic, Flynn's Tire, Wayne Lanes(Wooster), Riceland Golf Course, & the Pines Golf Club.

Restaurant Deals
  •   Sunday - Taco Bell - $0.59 crunchy tacos, including fresco style
·         Mon-Fri 3-6 Applebee’s - $4.50 appetizers 3-4 appetizers can make a meal for a  family.  Make sure you check with your Applebee’s before you order.
·         Monday & Sat nights – 1 free kids meal per adult entrée at Buehlers.
·         Tuesday night – Taco Bell - 1 free kids per adult combo purchased.
·         Wednesday night –  McDonalds all Happy Meals $1.99, Pizzazio’s 1 medium 1 topping $4.98

Dairy Queen Blizzard Club - You can join the blizzard club for free.  You get various B1G1 free coupons throughout the year.  Don’t print them off until you are ready to use them because they expire 2 weeks from printing.

Many reward programs offer birthday freebies or offers.  Also someone reminded me that you can register your birthday with your Buehler's advantage card & get a coupon for a free meal the month of your birthday.

CVS for beginners

My notes on CVS

How to read the CVS deals of the week
Extra Bucks
Prints at the bottom of receipt
Shows where to find them

Before You Pay - sign up for a CVS Extra Care card.
·         This can be done in-store or online. Once you have your card, create an account at CVS.com and register your card. This way you will be able to view your rewards online and earn rewards when making online purchases. It is important to check “Yes” when asked if you would like to receive emails from CVS.   If you include your phone number, they can look up your number without the card.

  • weekly ads  
  • coupon booklets found in the store (released periodically)
  • coupons that print at the kiosk inside the door
  • coupons e-mailed to you
What Are Extra Care Bucks– You earn Extra Care Bucks (otherwise known as ECBs) by purchasing qualifying items. Each time you purchase one of these items and use your Extra Care card, a slip will be printed at the bottom of your receipt showing the amount you have earned.

Always scan your Extra Care Bucks card at the kiosk when you enter the store for more coupons.
The slips can be used like cash, though they do have some restrictions: prescriptions, gift cards, money orders, postage stamps, pre-paid cards and  are excluded (restrictions may vary by area) and no cash back can be given if the ECBs you are paying with total more than your actual total.

Remember to save your slips and keep them in a safe place. Each slip has a barcode which the cashier will have to scan when you check out. The barcode links them to your Extra Care account so they can only be used by you with your card. They also have expiration dates, usually a month, and even though some cashiers can “push through” expired ECBs, you don’t want to risk losing them.

ECB deals can be found in the weekly flyer and list how many of an item can be purchased and still earn ECBs. This limit usually ranges from 1 to 5 of each item.

You will also earn 2% of your in-store and online purchases in the form of ECBs and $1 in ECBs for every two prescriptions purchased in-store or online. These ECBs will print out on the bottom of your receipt once every three months. Remember to have your Extra Care card scanned with each purchase or your account with not be given credit.

One of the biggest days for deals at CVS is Thanksgiving.  I will often do multiple transactions on this day or if I have a lot of deals so I don’t end up with lots of ECBs to use.  If there is a line, be courteous & go to the back of the line after each transaction.

Rite Aid for Beginners

Here are some of my notes from my coupon talk last night that I didn't have time to go over.

lSingle Check Rebate
lsubmit on-line & receive check
lUp Rewards
lprints at the bottom of receipt
lWhere you can find them
lVideo Reward
lwatch ads  & earn coupons

Before you pay  - sign up for UP Rewards
·         Using your Wellness card, you can earn dollars off a single item.  You also earn 1 point for every dollar you spend.  UP rewards print at the bottom of your receipt.  These expire in 2 weeks so watch your dates.  If you include your phone number, they can look up your number without the card.

Rite Aid offers many deals each month in the form of single check rebates (SCR). A list of the rebates for the current month can be found in the rebate directory at the front of the store.

Rite Aid store coupons, single check rebates, and manufacturer coupons can all be combined for great savings.

  • weekly ads  
  • coupon booklets found in the store (released periodically)
  • Video Values coupons (watch an advertisement video and print a Rite Aid coupon)
  • tearpads frequently found in the cosmetics display area
Here’s how you do a SCR deal at Rite Aid:
1. Buy the rebate item at Rite Aid. Keep your receipt.
2. Create a SCR account at riteaid.com
3. Once logged into your SCR account, enter the receipt information. Within a day or two, the rebate will show whether it was accepted or not (as long as you buy the correct stuff, it will be accepted).  I don’t use the item until I make sure the rebate shows up in case I need to return it.
4. Submit that month’s rebates at the end of the month. You can only “submit” your rebates one time each month. For example, if you hit the “submit” button on January 15, you cannot do any rebates that may come up for the rest of January. You will want to wait until the end of the month to submit.
5. Rite Aid will mail you one check that can be cashed at your bank or at Rite Aid for cash.

If I'm buying a lot of items that come with Up rewards I'll do it in multiple transactions so I don't end up with lots of rewards.  If I do this, I go to the back of the line to be courteous to other customers.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Interested in Couponing?

Anyone interested in learning about couponing?  I'm doing a workshop at our Ladies Spring Tea at church (Orr CMA).  Cost is $5, including a meal.  It's Sat May 14 at 5.  Let me know by Sunday if you are interested.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Sign Up for Right@Home for Coupons, Offers & More

If you aren’t a member of Right@Home yet, they offer a regular e-mail newsletter with alerts to coupons for a variety of different products they make like Pledge, Windex, Glade and Scrubbing Bubbles.
Just go HERE to fill out the form to sign up. They also offer sweepstakes, contests, great rebates and they always seem to be very generous with their free sample gift packs and coupons. By signing up you’ll be among the first to know about these special offers.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Dollar General New Rewards Program

Dollar General just started a new rewards program called Rhythm and Race Rewards that will run through July 31st. With the purchase of each participating product, you’ll get one point, and points can be redeemed for gift cards ($5 for 10 points), Racing Memorabilia, and Grand Ole Opry Gear.
Here are a few of the products that are participating in this promotion:
  • Huggies
  • Axe
  • Degree
  • Fresh Step
  • Betty Crocker
  • Glad
  • Cottonelle
  • Scott
  • General Mills
  • Clorox
  • Hellmans
  • Dove
  • and many more!
Go here to see the complete list, and check out the bonus items that are participating each month.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Kid’s Birthday Club at Kmart = Birthday Fun and Treats!

I love Kid’s Birthday Clubs!!! Right now, Kmart is offering a Kid’s Birthday Club and when you sign up (it’s free!) you will receive:
* $5.00 Birthday Bucks
* Birthday Crown
* Happy Birthday Certificate
* Birthday Fun Pack with surprise goodies!

Check out this post for more birthday freebies

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Why I love being a Bzz Agent?

This has been my best week as a Bzz Agent.  They send me free products or coupons to use or give away.

Earlier this week I got 4 full size Super Stay 24 2-step colors to try or give away.  This is a new product from Maybelline that doesn't cake, fade, feather, or transfer.  Should be a fun product to try.

Today I got 2 coupons for free half gallons of Silk & 5-$1 off coupons to share.  They have  soymilk, almond milk, & coconut milk.  I think I'm going to try the almond & coconut milks.

The other package I got today had 5 full size products from SC Johnson - Pledge, Scrubbing Bubbles shower foamer, Scrubbing Bubbles Toilet Cleaning Gel (especially excited to see if that works), Glade plug-in & a Glad Candle.  Along with $58 in coupons for SC Johnson products.  JACKPOT!!  This should motivate me to clean.

I also signed up for L'Oréal® Paris The One Sweep™ Eye Shadow and Double Extend™ Eye Illuminator Mascara & Marzetti® Otria® Greek Yogurt Veggie Dip campaigns.  I'll let you know what I get from those.

I recommend signing up to be a Bzz Agent.  It's free & easy.

Helpful Hints

4 things I think of with the time change this week-end.
  1. I changed the bedroom clocks when I got this morning so at least I'll wake up on time.
  2. Change the batteries in your smoke detector
  3. Is your bed uncomfortable?  When was the last time you flipped it?  We Flip in the Fall & Spin it in the Spring.  An easy way to remember what we need to do.
  4. Have a baby that you are trying to get to give up their pacifer?  This week-end worked for both of my kids.  They were so tired Sun afternoon, that they didn't even notice they didn't have their pacifiers & never asked for them again.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Free Online Games for Preschoolers

I was excited to see this post because we mostly do pbskids.org, but are getting tried of playing the same games.

Here are 9 free online sites for preschoolers:
online games for preschoolers
1. Seussville
online games for preschoolers
2. Funschool
online games for preschoolers
3. Jelly Telly
online games for preschoolers
4. Sesame Street
online games for preschoolers
5. Starfall
online games for preschoolers
6. Sprout Online
online games for preschoolers
7. Nick Jr.
online games for preschoolers
8. Disney Junior
online games for preschoolers
9. Fisher

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

FREE Printable Valentine’s Day ‘Love’ Coupons

Printable Valentine’s Day Coupons are the perfect fun, frugal gift for your man!
Yep ~ we frugal girls loooove are coupons, don’t we?? ;)
Just go here for some FREE Valentine’s Day Printable Love Coupons!
Cut around the dotted lines, then punch holes in the circles.
Create a sweet little cover and back for your coupon book, tie with ribbons…  and there ya go!

Free Valentine Activity Sheets

Need an activity to keep your kiddos busy while you’re cooking up dinner tonight?  Go HERE to choose from five free Valentine’s activity sheet downloads courtesy of Toys R Us.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Inbox Dollars

Inbox Dollars is another easy way to make free money.  Sign up and start making money by reading emails, taking surveys, trying products, shopping online and playing games. Membership is free and you even get a $5 bonus when you sign up.

You can request a check once you reach $30.  They do take a $3 processing fee from the check.   I recently requested a check for $81.  They credited my account $3 for making the request, so it canceled out the $3 free.

I only read e-mails & occasionally buy things where the reward covers my purchase price.  The money does add up.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Entertainment Book

Most years my husband & I don't buy an Entertainment book because we felt we didn't eat at most of the restaurants in the book.  Last year we bought one cheap half way through the year.  We found the travel section has great deals on rental cars.

I have recently bought my second one for this year.  The first one was $12.50.  The other one was less than $10.  Both of them bought with deals through Ebates.  The main reason for 2 this year is Buehler's has changed their coupons & you get 6 coupons for $5 off of $50.  These coupons alone make it a money making purchase.

I finally had time to look through the book today.  Obviously there is restaurants & travel.  I found some other coupons I tore out so I don't forget.

  • 15% off shoebuy - I had a deal on gift cert for that last week
  • 50% any regular item at Smuckers
  • $5 off at Nickles
  • 3 Pat Catan coupons - including $5 off $25
  • 15% off Lillian Vernon
  • Free portrait plus 40% off Picture People
  • $5 off $25 to Ace
  • Various stores at the Lodi Outlet mall
  • 3 week free Blockbuster by mail
  • Free trial of Netflix
Plus there is admission into lots of area attactions & sporting events.

I encourage you to look through your books so you don't miss out on savings.  I carry one in my trunk just in case we want a coupon at the last minute.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Easy Chicken Recipes

I should have posted this one of the last 2 weeks when chicken was on sale at Buehler's.  This morning I put 3 packages of chicken in the crockpot.  I love to do chicken this way to use in recipes.  I usually measure it out & put 2 c. in freezer bags to pull out when recipes call for shredded or cut up chicken.

Shredded Chicken
6-8 chicken breasts
1 can chicken broth if starting to dry out
Mushrooms, optional, depending on what I’m using it in

Add enough broth to cover chicken breasts. Cook on low all day or high for 4-5 hours. Shred chicken breasts with a fork.  I don't always add chicken broth unless I'm going to have it in the crockpot all day.

Barbecue Chicken-
12 oz. bottle barbeque sauce
½ c. Italian salad dressing
¼ c. brown sugar
2 T. Worcestershire sauce

Taco Chicken -
add to the chicken before cooking 1 taco seasoning packet

I used it in quesadillas but would be good in tacos, burritos or Mexican chicken salad. I used a mild taco seasoning packet.

Recipe I'll probably make for supper tonight using my chicken.

Hearty Chicken & Noodle Casserole
1 can (10¾ oz) Cream of Mushroom Soup
½ c. milk
¼ tsp. black pepper
¼ c. Parmesan cheese
2 c. frozen mixed vegetables
2 c. cubed cooked chicken
3-4 c. med egg noodles, cooked & drained
1 can mushrooms
½ c. shredded Cheddar cheese
½ c. French fried onions, optional

Stir soup, milk, black pepper, Parmesan cheese, vegetables, chicken, & noodles in 1 ½ quart casserole. Bake at 400 for 25 min. Stir. Top with cheese and onions.
add to the chicken before cooking

Friday, January 21, 2011

Tips of making photo books

A few tips for making photo books easier
  1. I copy all of the pictures I want to put in my book into a separate folder to make it easier to upload.  I always name my pictures the same when I download them to my computer to make it easier to put them in order.  I use the format YYMMDD (ie 110121 for today).  This keeps pictures in chronological order across multiple years.  My mom & sister use a different format, so I rename theirs to match my format so when I go to put them in the book, they are already in order.
    1. For example, if I'm making a book for 1 of the boys, I go through all my pictures for the year, & copy them into a folder with their name on it.
    2. If I'm really organized, I might do this a few times throughout the year so it isn't as overwhelming.
  2. It takes a while to upload the pictures to Winkflash (or any site you use), so I usually set it up before I go to bed to upload while I sleep.  Winkflash does have a photo transporter that's a little faster.
    1. Again, I try to do this 2-3 times a year so at the end of the year it doesn't take as long.
    2. I try to keep them all in the same folder.  Occasionally I get too many & I have to do them in 2. 
  3. If you do a classic cover with Winkflash, then you can have the title embossed (except on the lighter colors).  If you use a window cover, it shows a picture.  If you are doing a vacation, I think the window cover is really nice.  If you are doing a specific year, I like the classic cover so I can see the title, but that's just my preference.
  4. You can choose a theme, which will automatically set up colors & layouts for you.  Once you select one, I haven't figured out how to change it.  You might want to look at the colors that will be used before you start doing too much work, in case you don't like it.  If you select one & then click create my book, it will get you started.  I think you have to start all over if you want to change all of them.  You can change them as you go, but it's each page separately.  If you add a page after you start, it doesn't change the rest of the book. 
    1. For example, I just did a book that had 4 different pages (Simple).  I added a page in the middle after I had a lot of it done, & it just repeat the color of  the page before instead of changing it to match the pattern if that makes sense.  It was A, B, C, D, A, B, etc.  I added a page between C & D & it became A, B, C, C, D, A, B.
  5. You can have it auto load into the book or do it yourself.  I like to do it myself, but then use their image organizer. If your pictures aren't in order, I definitely wouldn't do auto load. I can do a general layout of what pictures on which page, but it will pick a layout.  I can always change it, but I think it makes it faster.
    1. If you upload your pictures in order & they don't show up in order, go to your home page in Winkflash, you can change the sort on the top right hand top to Title (A-Z) & that will help sort them within your folder as well.
  6. You can put 1 - 9 pictures on a page.  To change the layout, under template, you can pick how many pictures you want to add on each page.  They are also some that include journaling.  The full page ones are nice.  I also use 9 on the page & they aren't too small to see.
  7. You can change the color background, on the background page.  I saw 1 book done with all black background & white font & it looked really nice.  I used to do all white because that was all they had & it wasn't bad.  I like simple so it doesn't distract from the photos.  You can also change the font & size and color of the font.
  8. I don't label every picture if it's obvious what's in the picture.  For the boys books, I just make sure every few pages I have a date somewhere so I know when the pictures where roughly taken.
  9. It does put a checkmark on the picture as you use it, so you avoid duplicates.
I'll add more tips as I think of them.  If you want to see some of my books, just let me know.

This advice comes from making multiple books & learning how to make things a little smoother.  If you only knew how long my first few books took.  I don't give you all of this information to overwhelm you but hopefully make it easier.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

FREE Online Money Management…

I haven't tried this yet, but I have heard good things from different people.

With the New Year here, I wanted to remind you about one of my favorite and FREE tools for managing money. …
Have you heard of Mint.com ? … it is a FREE (which I love) site that helps you manage your money, create budgets, plan events, savings and more. I was skeptical at first, but after hearing great reviews from friends, I have started to track a few of my own projects with the mint software. Super easy to understand…and again … FREE. One of my favorite features is the Budget Planning … you can set it up to track savings for a trip, to get out of debt, to save for a home … and it is all right there in one place.
About Mint.com? Over 1 million people already use our online money management and budgeting software today, and we’re adding over 3,000 users every day. Mint.com is tracking $175 billion in transactions, $47 billion in assets and has identified more than $300 million in potential savings for its users.
To try check it out for yourself … just go HERE and get started. We have been tracking our own finances, goals and accounts for almost a year, and I am really impressed with how organized it keeps everything and how easy that it is to use. I got a little off track somewhere in August, but I am back now, determined to be organized in 2011. I am excited to hear what you all this of this service, it is actually a fun way to get a good look at a very important part of your life, your finances!  My husband and I have enjoyed the charts and graphs as a way to view our financial accounts, goals and dreams. It is a very visual way to get a look at your financial picture!