DIY | Making Your Own Photo Postcards to Send by Mail

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Chances are if you have kids you love to take pictures.. I know I try to take as many as I can. They don’t always turn out, but I try.

When had my first, I used to make the most incredible cards to send to family. This was before I blogged so I had all kinds of time.. I did work full time but looking back, I had so much more of it compared to now.

As each child got bigger, I took less and less pictures. But my goal lately has been to ‘overtake’ them.. (if that is even a word?!)  So I try for at least 100 – 200 each month. I get them developed in the Groovebook (far below) for $2.99 and free shipping.

Sending postcards to family with your child’s picture is a fun way to show them the kids as they get bigger – fortunately there are several low-cost ways you can make your own.

Let the Post Office Help

I have posted this before, and it’s such a great resource. Premium Postcard allows you to upload your image, tap in a message, choose a font & font size and fill in the recipient’s address. Pay a small fee and it’s on it’s way in just a few days.

Make your Own

I have done this for years – simply get your 4×6 Prints at Walgreens (or any other retailer) and turn it over  write a message & the recipient’s address and slap on a stamp.

There is nothing against sending your own 4×6 prints through the mail as a postcard.. as long as you use a stamp. They won’t be as sturdy as if you used backing but they arrive just fine.

Use Groovebook

If you are signed up for Groovebook you can use those to send postcards for even less. A Groovebook allows you to get up to 100 keepsake Photos in a nicely bound book for $2.99 (shipped) each month. It’s the best invention.. the photos are uploaded from your iPhone or Android and are printed in a bound book with perforated pages. Read more by clicking through to my last post.

Use Postcard Backing

You can pick up Postcard Backing that is peel & stick.. for 10 of them you’ll pay around $4. Look in your office supply store.. it’s cheaper than paying shipping at an online retailer. You can peel the backing, stick to your print and send.

Use Postagram

You can score 3 FREE Pre-Paid Postcards with FREE Postage when you download their app…. it’s neat, we have it and use it weekly.

You will be able to use your Facebook photos, Instagram Photos, or Album on your phone to send a personalized picture postcard to any person of your choice.  Once you upload your picture (Facebook, Instagram or other), you hit “continue” they will let you personalize with a message prior to sending. Postage is FREE for those first 3 … and just $1 for subsequent. 

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Use Microsoft Publisher

Design your own – if you have time.. this is a little more elaborate that just uploading a picture.   Publisher allows you to upload pictures, and add embellishments, and paper backgrounds you may have purchased. You can then design your own card, save as a 4×6 or 5×7 and then upload to the Walgreens Photo Portal and get printed.

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TEN Alternative Uses for Mouthwash

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Chances are.. if you coupon, you have tons and tons of mouthwash. We have loads upon LOADS of Listerine, and believe it or not, it comes in handy when I’m mopping my house.

Believe it or not, mouthwash is one item that has several uses – from mopping to laundry. If you have any alcohol based, sugar free mouthwash around your home, here are 10 uses for putting those extra bottles to good use:

Glass Cleaner.  Apply to a damp cloth and wipe down your mirrors. You’ll nee d to dry with a dry cotton cloth.

Freshen your Laundry. Add one cup to a cycle of clothes (in the Rinse Cycle!) – it’ll eliminate the stinky smell.

Treat your Dandruff.  Rinse your hair with 1/2 C. of Each Mouthwash an water after you shampoo.  It might take a few rinses

Floor Cleaner. You can use Mouthwash to Mop your Floors.. just add to Mop Water as you would anything else.

Toilet Cleaner. Pour a cup in your toilet bowl, let it sit 30 minutes an rinse.

Facial Cleanser.  Use a cotton ball dipped in mouthwash as astringent on your face – cheaper, an cleaner than buying brand name facial items.

Pet Pee.  Deter your pets from peeing .. fill a spray bottle with 1 C. Water and 3 Tablespoons of Clear Mouthwash and spritz on the area.

Clean your Hands. After peeling onions or garlic, use it to clean your hands – simply wipe your hands with a cotton ball moistened in mouthwash.

Athlete’s Foot. Soak your Cotton Ball and dabble  between the toes after your shower.

Garbage Disposal.  Pour 1/2 C. down the sink / Garbage Disposal and run the disposal to eliminate a nasty odor.

See more ways to put household items to use… including Lemons, Baking Soda, Vinegar, Peroxide & More.

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Saving Money by Stockpiling Eggs (Freeze for Later Use)

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This week you can pick up Eggs for just $.99 per Dozen at Albertsons – although they aren’t free, they are still a great price. When they aren’t on sale you can’t usually pick up that low…

If you are looking to stock up this week but fear not being able to use them, you can save yourself some expense by purchasing them and freezing them.

It’s actually very simple. If you have an overabundance of eggs, OR, if you would like to stockpile eggs, you can freeze fresh, clean eggs for later use – get those ice cube trays out.. they will come in handy!

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Freezing Whole Eggs:  Crack them, and beat them just until blended; freeze in a storage container that seals tightly and label with the date. Once thawed, 3 Tbsp = 1 Whole Egg.

Freezing Whites:  Break the eggs & separate, being careful obviously – you don’t want the yolk in the white. Pour into freeze containers, or into an ice cube tray & freeze, then transfer to a container that seals tightly. Once thawed, 2 Tbsp = 1 Whole Egg White.

Freezing Yolks: Yolks thicken when they are frozen…. which makes them impossible to use after they are thawed; therefore, to prevent that beat the yolks together with 1/8 tsp of salt or 1/2 tsp sugar per every 4 eggs. Then freeze in ice cube trays & transfer to a container that seals tightly once frozen. Make sure you label with the number of yolks and the amount of sugar/salt you used so as to prevent more salt from being added if you use them in a recipe.  Once thawed, 1 Tbsp = 1 Whole Egg Yolk.

Using the eggs is quite easy – you simply thaw them over night in the fridge. If you are using the whites, let them sit for 20 – 30 min at room temp. they’ll cook better.

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Baking Soda | 20 Popular Household Uses {+ Printable Reference}

 

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Most of us are familiar with Baking Soda – we cook with it. .. some of us use to scrub our bath tub – and, some of us (like my father in law) use it for indigestion (a spoon with some water is similar to using Tums Antacid)….

Some fun facts about Baking Soda that you may not know:

  • Most Baking Soda comes from Wyoming
  • Baking Soda was first Imported from England
  • Arm & Hammer is the most widely recognized brand of Baking Soda

You can pick up Baking Soda in Bulk at Costco – or, opt for the smaller one pound orange boxes at Fry’s and Walmart, and like stores, for just around $1 if not a little more. Keep them in your car to freshen the air, or keep in your fridge to eliminate odor. Use it to make your own soft scrub for the bath tub, and much more.

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We put together 20 fun Household uses for Baking Soda – and you can also print out the sheet as a reference.

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Do It Yourself | Homemade Hair Detangler

DIY Hair Detangler

We are still getting ready to be back in the swing of things this week with school creeping up on us… if you have girls, chances are you probably fight with them to comb their hair. Or you fight with them when you comb their hair.

My daughter is almost 8, and last year we had to chop her hair, because she was not willing to do the work it required to be ready on time for school. After a year of having it just above her shoulders, she is eager to grow it back out long…  I’m wondering how that will work this year but I guess we’ll find out!

But with that comes the responsibility of doing her hair each day. Combing it is a challenge, for me and for her. We keep all the FREE samples we sign up for and use them to put together our own homemade detangled. 

It’s so easy, you won’t ever buy it again at the store.

::: Grab a Plastic Spray Bottle (I got this at Walmart for $1)

::: Gather your FREE Conditioner Packets that you sign up for (each has 1 – 2 Tbsp of conditioner) 

::: Squeeze the conditioner in the bottle – I use 1-2 packets per spray bottle

::: Fill the bottle with water, shake vigorously for 30 seconds to combine.

I help her comb her hair .. and we start by spraying with detangled prior to doing it in pigtails or ponytail – this works super for us. 

And it’s a great way to use all those extra packets you have at home.

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DIY: 2 Ingredient Shower Cleaner Solution

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Over the last few years i have shared this multiple times on the blog – I actually ran out last night & had to make some more. It truly is the best shower cleaner solution you will ever use.

I try not to buy commercial cleaners, as with 4 kids, someone always has their hands in the flashy colored bottles – no matter how high or out of reach I keep them. .. my 2 year old is a Ninja at climbing and getting into almost every household area.

Grab a used spray bottle (I use the Lysol one in the picture and have now for 2 years). If you choose to buy a spray bottle in the store, make sure you do not go for the ‘cheap’ one – as the plastic will melt with the hot vinegar.

Grab Vinegar, and Blue Dawn Dish Soap, and give this a whirl:

  • 10 oz. Blue Dawn Dish Soap (we use the Blue or Green)
  • 12 oz. Vinegar – head in the microwave OR on the stove 

Heat the Vinegar 2-3 minutes until hot. Then, pour the Dawn into the spray bottle first, then use a funnel to add the vinegar in – gently turn to combine. You do not need to re-heat the mixture when you use.

Simply hang in the shower and spray the shower after each use – for a more heavy duty cleaner, spray the shower thoroughly and let sit overnight (the solution does smell – so if you use it, try to do when you’re not using the adjacent room).

One thing to note:  I prefer the BLUE Dawn – in this case today, I did not have any left, so I used the green. But the Blue is Phosphate Free – so is a little safer to use.


How To Make your Own Weed Killer

 

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Over the last few months I have had an unbelievable response to the Weed Killer I posted using Vinegar, and Dawn Dish Soap. 

I wanted to remind you that not only can you fight soap scum in your bathroom with Vinegar, you can also use it to kill those weeds in your front yard.  We have use this, and it WORKS for us. 

Some of you have mentioned it not working – I’m not sure how you’re using it, but I sprayed my yard back in March and the weeds have yet to pop back up. So we have been successful with it – I give my kids the assignment of sprinkling the salt (just because they are always bored) and then I go back behind them and spray with the sprayer.

Home Made Weed Killer

Homemade Weed Killer can be made with a variety of combinations:

  • ONLY Vinegar
  • Vinegar + Blue Dawn Dish Soap
  • Vinegar + Lemon (great if you have a lemon tree)
  • Vinegar + Essential Oil

Using Vinegar ALONE is just as effective as using it with Dish Soap; however, if you wish to combine with Dish Soap use 1 Tbsp (1 oz) per Gallon of Vinegar… I prefer blue Dawn, you might feel like the purple strikes a chord with you.

I find that Costco & Fry’s are the best places to buy Vinegar – 1 Gallon is $2.29 at Fry’s (Versus $5.50 at Safeway for the generic brand).

Alternatively, combine Vinegar with Lemon Juice (as lemon increases acidity so it’ll thus increase the effectiveness of the solution).

OR, you can combine Vinegar with Clove Essential Oil (see my post HERE on how to get started on Essential Oil) – it makes it a little easier to stick to the plants.  Some questions we had:

Can I use Apple Cider Vinegar
Yes – I have, in a pinch and yes it works just fine. 

How long does it keep?
I would suggest making enough to spray your yard – I haven’t ever kept large amounts for a long period of time to be able to tell you how long it lasts.

Does it Kill Grass?
Yes – so try to avoid spraying it on grass, and on places you wish to grow a garden because it will sterilize the soil.

Does it Affect Pets
As with anything you spray around your home, keep your pets away. 

What is the purpose of Table Salt?
The Table Salt works to provide a surface for the liquid to “stick” to. You are not required to sprinkle salt – but if you are anxiously worried that the solution isn’t “sticking” and sprinkling it makes you less anxious than go for it. Or, if you have kids, and you want to give them something to fight the “boredom” you can give them a container of Table Salt and tell them to go at it.

Can I Use Epsom Salt
I haven’t tried Epsom Salt, but salt in general is not a necessity. You can give it a try, let me know how it works. 

 

Hydrogen Peroxide | 20 Popular Household Uses {with Printable}

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Over the last few weeks, many of us have stocked up on Hydrogen Peroxide – we probably didn’t go looking for the deal… at least for me it was a great way to add a filler to my Walgreens trips without a lot of out of pocket.

All these weeks later my mudroom is full of these little bottles – so I decided to put together a fun and helpful list of 20 possible uses.

I usually use mine in the laundry, but since I have so many bottles I’m using as my counter cleaner – and it works super.

Some fun facts about this stuff that you may find as interesting as I did:

  • Fruits & Veggies naturally produce this stuff (you didn’t know that did you?)
  • Your white blood cells produce Hydrogen Peroxide to fight infections.
  • It is safer to use than chlorine bleach.
  • AND it is used to treat drinking water and eliminate bacteria, chemicals & more.

20 Household Uses for Peroxide

You can print this list out for reference and hang on your fridge (that’s where mine is) – or laminate and keep in a household binder for reference.

I’m sure there are many more uses, but for the sake of time (and because 20 fit on one piece of paper!) – we kept it at 20. 

Do you have one that I should add? If so, feel free to comment – and I can re-do the list at a later time & include your tip.

Clean your Washing Machine

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How long has it been since you last cleaned your washing machine? I cleaned mine today – it needed it before I took off with the kids to see a movie…….. we cleaned it last month but it NEEDED it!

Cleaning your washer with Vinegar is the easiest thing you could every do, & believe it or not, your washing machine NEEDS to be cleaned.

The dirt that is washed out of your clothes will produce bacteria in the machine, even with a stainless steel drum – bacteria can accumulate in the hoses also, which also need to be taken off and cleaned regularly too. Cleaning your washer will lengthen the life of your machine… and save you money later on.

It’s as easy as grabbing a few cups of Vinegar from your pantry:

  1. Pour 2 C. Vinegar into the machine, add a drop or two of Tea Tree Oil as well (if you have some)
  2. Run it for 3 minutes on hot
  3. Then stop the machine – however you do that – I have to push the button in.
  4. Let it sit overnight
  5. The next morning, pull out the knob, let it finish, and then run a rinse cycle on cold

(You’re not required to use Tea Tree Oil – should you have it, you can.. if not, Vinegar works just fine by itself)

How to Clean your Dishwasher | 5 Simple Steps

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Lemonade Kool Aid is super yummy – it’s even better when you can use it for household tasks too – it makes it a double duty item.

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Did you know that you can use it to clean your dishwasher? And it’s much less expensive than the regular commercial cleaners. Through 7/13, pick up Kool Aid packets for 2.3 cents each at Safeway. I grabbed 26 LEMON variety. One for each week for the next 6 months.

1.  Purchase unsweetened Lemonade Kool Aid.  It must be the Lemon – the content of Citric acid and lack of color are important.

2.  Sprinkle the contents of the packet in the dishwasher powder holder… close it. And then close the dishwasher.

3.  Remove ALL the dishes from the dishwasher.  Your load should be empty.

4.  Run a Normal Cycle Wash.

5.  Open up the dishwasher & use as regularly scheduled.

Make sure you stick with the regular Unsweetened Packets; you cannot replicate this using the sweetened Lemonade Variety – it has to be the packets without sugar.

Allergy Relief with Essential Oils

 

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Last week I let you know that I recently found the need to get rid of all my commercial cleaners, and gave them to mother in law because I have a small one that crawls on my floors to get around…and her body (tummy& arms) were breaking out in a huge rash.

In that same post, I let you know that each week I’m going to be writing about more ways you can incorporate Essential Oils into your personal and household care – what a great way to start than talk about something that bothers most of us in Arizona: Allergies.

Anyone who is familiar with Essential Oils knows that there are differences in quality – you can pick up lesser priced oils at the grocery store, and in some cases online stores – but most are non-therapeutic trade – which are not recommended for topical or internal use.

If you suffer from Allergies, here’s a great way at treating yourself without spending money at the drugstore on medicine:

Lemon.   Energizing. Circulatory Support. Cleansing.

Lavender.   Skin irritations. Balancing. Relaxing.

Peppermint.  Energizing. Digestive Support.

Copaiba (Optional).  Physical discomfort.

Apply Topically, Use a Diffuser or Take Internally.

To read more about how to get started on Essential Oils read my last post.

You can find inexpensive diffusers on Amazon – they do vary in price quite largely – I have one similar to this one HERE that sits in my bedroom. They do have some with a nightlight as well.

Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.  The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please confirm any information obtained from or through this web site with other sources, and review all information regarding any medical condition or treatment with your physician. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on this website

Salt | 23 Household Uses {with Printable Reference}

 

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Chances are, if you have been reading my site for the last 6 months, you have a ton of salt in your cabinet. From THIS deal here, to THIS deal where we scored FREE Morton….it’s probably all hiding in your cabinet.

I counted 5 today in mine…. we don’t use too much in our cooking, so it sits for rather long periods of time. Because I and a nerd (I admit… who else wears socks with flip flops?) and I love finding unique facts about things… I read today a few things I did not know about one of America’s favorite restaurant items:

  • We need salt daily – but no more than 200 mg
  • Salt works wonders to get stains out of carpet. Did your kids spill a big gulp? Dump (and I mean DUMP) and entire canister of salt on the stain… let it sit for 10-15 minutes and vacuum. I haven’t tried that myself but I heard it works super. 
  • 90% of the salt people intake is from processed foods – not from your own cooking (Wow!)

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Have a ton of salt in your cabinet like I do? Time to find another use for it… we put together 23 Household Uses for Salt – you can print, and keep as a reference, or PIN to your Pinterest Board to give you ideas next time you have an over abundance of it in the house.

Lemons | 20 Popular Household Uses {with Printable}

 

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If you are in Arizona, chances are that at some point in time.. you have had an overabundance of Lemons. We have a TON of lemons in the fall – practically overflowing off the counter.  But

As much as I use them for Lemon Bars, Cleaning, and tossing in the garbage disposal, I can’t seem to use them all fast enough and have to give them away…

Here are some fun facts about lemons that you may not have known:

  • They soothe chapped lips. Rub on your lips at night, wash off in morning.
  • Along with Coconut Oil, Lemons, when rubbed into the scalp, can treat dandruff.
  • California and Arizona produce 95% of the entire US Lemon Crop (wow.. isn’t that amazing?!)
  • Lemon Juice is 5% Citric Acid – which prevents many fresh fruits from spoiling (for example – Apples)
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We put together 20 popular uses for Lemons that you can print and reference – so that this winter when they start producing on our trees here in Arizona, we can find a use for them (and maybe share the lemons with neighbors who can put them to use, too!)

Saving Money at Ikea | Tips for Discounts on Furniture & Other Household Items

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I posted this last  month, and wanted to post it again… for those of you who missed this. My good friend Danielle is an Ikea-aholic – she has all kinds of tips for saving at this popular store – she shares some of them with us below.

Do you love Ikea? Many of us do…. just recently, I discovered that Ikea has an “As-Is” Section. I had no idea that I could pickup even greater deals at one of my favorite stores.  My friend Danielle is one of the biggest fans of the store, and was excited to share some tips to saving huge at one of the most popular Home-stores around.

I’ve been IKEA-obsessed for over a decade. Even though I know the store and the products like the back of my hand I still take my time to prepare for my trips online because IKEA can be an intimidating place.

First thing’s first, create a profile on IKEA.com. This will allow you to save items to a shopping list, see if they’re in stock, and even see what isle and bin numbers they’re in if you want to avoid IKEA all together. Pop in, get out, go home and build some things!

Take some time to browse IKEA.com and their digital catalogues. This should reduce the amount of time that you’re actually in the store. Their displays and new items can easily distract first timers!

Did you know that each IKEA store also has their own page on IKEA.com? For Tempe IKEA click here.

From here you can search for monthly in-store specials and other promotions. Don’t forget to check out their restaurant and market offers as well! IKEA makes a wonderful date night or family night on the cheap!

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MONDAY
IKEA FAMILY Members receive a FREE cool bag with a purchase of $25 or more in the Swedish Food Market. Reg $5.99 Must show IKEA FAMILY card for offer.


TUESDAY
Kids Eat FREE! Children 12 and under can choose from one combo meal valued at $2.99.


WEDNESDAY in the Restaurant
Feed a family for four for only $9.99! Includes two adult entrees (value $6.99 or less – beverage not included) and two kids meals (value $2.99 each).

WEDNESDAY in the Swedish Food Market
20% off ALL Salmon products in the Swedish Food Market including marinated salmon; smoked salmon, frozen; marinated and smoked salmon; salmon fillet, frozen; PASTEJ LAX, salmon spread.


THURSDAY
Roasted chicken with mashed potatoes only $1.99! Reg $3.99


FRIDAY
Fish and chips only $1.99! Reg $4.99

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OK, so you have your list and measurements in hand – lets go to IKEA! Be sure to stop at an IKEA Family Kiosk and get your shiny, orange IKEA Family card! This is what it gives you:

  • Additional discounts in the restaurant
  • A chance to win a $100 IKEA Gift Card 
    every time you scan your card in the store
  • FREE coffee or hot tea at 
    the restaurant
  • More Småland time for the kids— 90 minutes total on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays (capacity-depending)
  • Free frozen yogurt with a purchase of one at regular price when you pick up your card for the first time
  • 90 Day Price Protection

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Once you’ve gotten your little ones squared away, make a B-line for the As-Is section. It’s located downstairs, tucked away between the very last isles of the warehouse and the registers. Chances are, what you’re looking for is already here!

***Shop As-Is on Wednesdays and get an additional 10% off***

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Every price tag looks like this. It shows you the name of the item, the total discount, and WHY it’s in the As-Is section. Some items say damaged, scratched, chipped, discontinued, returned by customer, floor display, or has a missing piece.

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This is the Handyman Corner. Here’s where you’ll find shelves, doors, drawer fronts, and panels. Visit ikeahackers.net for some excellent ideas on how to transform any IKEA item and get crafty!

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The As-Is Mattress section is a steal as well! Your ‘brand new’ reduced price mattress may have has a few hundred butts on it, but that 30-60% discount might make it worth it! Nothing a mattress pad can’t fix right?

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So you’ve managed to pull yourself away from the As-Is section but you’re still on the hunt? Look for these bright yellow LAST CHANCE tags!

When they say last chance, they mean it! These items are being discontinued and transitioned out of the store to make room for new stuff. If you’ve been coveting something and don’t want to risk not having it then you’d better hurry up and grab it.

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However, if you’re a gambler then you can get one heck of a steal! I recently bought a $250 sofa cover for only $50!

If you want to risk even more, these last chance items might even end up in the As-Is section. I was able to score replacement covers for my chair and ottoman at an 80% discount – they would have cost me $98, but instead I only spent $19.80. 

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I totally understand that IKEA isn’t for everyone. If you make the trip and don’t find anything that’s for you, don’t make the whole day a waste. IKEA’s $0.99 toilet brushes and $0.49 dish brushes are SOOO worth it!

For additional help, please visit IKEA’s Practical Tips Page.

Thanks, Danielle!

Fun Way to Use Pool Noodles

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Have kids that need something to do? My kids put these together today – we have a pool and they love to swim.

But they also love to bring their Barbie Dolls in for a swim too. Unfortunately Mom doesn’t love to dive to the bottom to scoop up dolls every time they swim – and since they don’t know how to swim on their own (the dolls)… they make them a nice little boat.

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You could probably use this to put a few cans of soda, and some ice if you are entertaining at home with a pool….. maybe you love to read as you float around in the pool basking in the sun – you could use it to put your book in as you float, too.