One down, 5 to go and loving it

This giveaway is now closed. There are 15 entries (16 comments) and I’ll announce the winner along with another great giveaway tomorrow morning!
Well that was a lot of fun. All of the things I’m giving away in the next few days are things I already have – laying around or in my “gift card” or “coupon” folder. I’m really not that organized, it just sounded that way.
So tis the season, right? Well, I personally have a hoarding problem. I’m selfish and often greedy and I don’t enjoy those qualities about myself. So you know what, enough already. I’m giving it away.
The winner of yesterday’s rip roaring giveaway is #3!! Congratulations Stacey! Email me at jodi at jodimichelle dot come to claim your prize. Now read on and enter this one, too!
Today we’re giving away a few things – something for everyone and then TWO somethings for my local friends (please let me know you’re local, as in, West Michigan, when entering the giveaway).
First – for everyone we’re giving away one (1) $30.00 gift card to Target. One entry per IP address, open to all. Ends at midnight tonight.
For my local friends – we’re giving away two (2) photoshoots. With the economy and the holidays I know a lot of people are cutting back on the luxeries, and family or child photos are usually one of those. Each photoshoot is worth $75 and is an hour of “shoot” time and then all the processing time it takes to deliver you with wonderful memories. In your entry, be sure to let me know if you’re local – West Michigan – and that you’re interested in entering for the photoshoot. If you don’t specify these two things I will consider you only entered into the Target gift card giveaway. One entry per IP address, open to all. Ends at midnight tonight.
To enter please answer me this: What are some creative things you’re doing to cut back during this time?
We’re getting REAL creative over here – as Dave Ramsey would say – we’re getting gazelle intense about paying off our hospital bill. Selling one of the cars and various other things that sit around the house, even jewelry. But in the day to day things, we’re adhering to our written budget and trying to be mindful of the “extra’s” that we don’t need – ie eating out and making purchases without coupons or non-sale items. We’re also loving the second hand stores for our shopping needs, clothes, Christmas items etc.
I’m loving getting to know you more through your answers, I’ve got some new, fun ideas for Jessica’s and Oliver’s stocking. Oranges? Love it. Thanks!!
**Target and it’s affiliates don’t know who I am, or care. I’m sponsoring this give away all by my lonesome. But if Target wants to get to know me, they should email me. I love you Target.

16 thoughts on “One down, 5 to go and loving it

  1. hey there! i’d like to enter the Target give away, don’t enter me in the photo shoot even though i’m local, i don’t need any more pictures of me, plus someone with kids should win that one–kids are much cutier to take pics of!
    What am I doing to cut back?! Well we paid off two things that we had to pay, so that felt really good. We doing a much better job of planning out our meals and shopping for grocerys depending on what is on sale. We’ve always done this, but I’m much more conscious right now of leftovers, and stretching our food farther than before. I enjoy making big batches of soup and then freezing those so we can eat them later. (especially chix rice soup, that goes pretty far and is filling… if you get the chix on sale it’s not so bad)
    We also aren’t going out to eat unless we have coupons for our date nights. We use and get gift cards for a great deal! We are staying at home more for date nights, playing board games and baking Christmas cookies. You don’t have to spend money to have a fun date!
    I’ve also been much more conscious of buying the “little extras.” I work downtown and I often would go to the Candy Store or Coffee Shop and get a little snack or cookie! I rarely do this anymore, instead I bring a cookie from home, or a piece of candy that we bought at the store (again on sale!). So I still get a little treat, but it’s from home, so it’s much less expensive. I’m finding that if i save the money I would have spent on these things I can get quite a good chunk of $ at the end of 2 weeks šŸ™‚
    One more and then I’m done since this might be getting longer than Jodi’s post! Since I work at a retail store, I don’t like to feel like I”m too behind the fashions when I’m working. But I really don’t want to buy more cloths right now. So the dilema is: how to look in style w/o spending tons of $$. I have found that accessorizing has been the ticket for me! I can buy a pair of earings (in purple, the hottest color right now) and put that with a black turtle neck and have a whole different look! This also works great with scarves right now, as they are pretty hot. A scarf (i bough mine for $5) gives an outfit an entirely different look for just $5!
    And I have more things that I’m doing, but this is super long šŸ™‚ Thanks for the giveaway Jodi, it’s great!

  2. i’d love the photo shoot but am not local. šŸ™‚
    well, we aren’t really cutting back a lot…but i guess that we try to (or have to) live pretty simply all the time. i buy most of our food in bulk (from a buying club) and cook from scratch–saves a lot! and we have a farm–so we are blessed to have all of our veggies/meat/egg/milk from that.
    i love making homemade gifts and have been knitting, sewing, dyeing, baking, etc like crazy and that saves a lot of money at xmas time.

  3. ooo, another great thing if you like to read– i’ve found some gifts for people too–for free! šŸ™‚

  4. Creative things to cut back…well, I’m extremely frugal during “good times”, hesitating to spend money on indulgences as part of my responsible nature.
    So that’s left me feeling like I can afford to spend a little bit more during this stressful economic dip,…trying to grease those wheels a bit. It makes the spending feel a bit more like charity, which eases my guilty conscience.
    I hope you don’t mind, but I’m going to mention this self-sponsored giveaway over at Momversations.

  5. Creativity is my middle name lately. This Christmas almost all of my gifts are homemade, and we’re doing Christmas on a total budget of $150 — that’s right, total … as in parents, siblings, kids, each other, etc. Homemade gifts are so personal, too. I love having the time to think about the person I’m making them for while doing the crafting, be it sewing, tying fleece blankets (Levi’s learning how to do this for a gift this year), baking, painting, etc. Also, we’re totally cutting back on going out to eat … as in, only going when we have a gift certificate from someone (which isn’t often). To help this, with busy schedules, a couple of weeks ago I did a casserole-a-thon with my Mom and we ended up with 36 (4 serving) meals and 7 loaves of bread, and after shopping deals for ingredients we did this all for under $200. So now instead of getting takeout or going out on a night when we’re both working I can have something homecooked that’s healthier and less expensive. Plus, I’m making all of Ezra’s baby food. That saves a bunch (as you know).
    These things are quite time consuming, but I also find that the more time I spend doing them the less I’m out and about therefore the less I spend. Along with that, Steve and I have been doing some more volunteering with different things lately, and helping out friends and family more, which also makes less time that I spend out and about and then, again, less money spent … like when I used to go browse the aisles of Target and would leave with $50 of things I never knew I needed until I got there and suddenly couldn’t live without … :-).
    I also re-read Total Money Makeover. Last month. I get so pumped up by that guy.

  6. oh jodi you are just killing me with all this fun stuff you have going on.
    I would like to enter for the target card and photo shoot. i know the work you do and that is ONE LUCKY gift to win!
    We are trying to cut back and am suprised at how hard we have to work at that sometimes. I am proud to admitt that i have become a coupon clipper and am shocked every trip on how much that adds up and you can save. As a family we are also doing simple things like a budget using envelopes, simple cheap meals and packing lunches the night before so you are not tempted to eat out as much. i am finding saving money to be a fun thing!
    thanks again jodi .

  7. I do many things to save money. My favorite is using coupons from Coke Rewards to buy my diet coke, another thing I do is use target coupons along with manufactor coupons. I stockpile on things when I can get them for free or cheap. It is amazing how much money I save, I also blog about it so I can help others!

  8. Not sure how creative we are this year as opposed to last year. Last year I made my mother-in-law ornaments and that was about as creative as I can be. I did talk my siblings into not exchanging gifts this year with all the kids but that was more sneaky than creative. I guess this year we’re just limiting the number of gifts for the girls because, really, neither of them need any more “stuff”.
    Of course I would love the Target gift card but I would REALLY love the photo shoot!!

  9. A photo shoot?! Seriously?! Awesome!!!
    Hmm, cutting back….. we’re getting pretty crazy over here too. šŸ™‚ All the gifts I’ve bought for my little guy have come from thrift stores, craigslist or have been at least 50% off AND I had a coupon! šŸ™‚ For our everyday stuff, we don’t go out near as much, we don’t drive as much (luckily gas prices are coming down!) and we plain ‘ol stay home most of the time. We also don’t have any extras like cable or cell phones. DSL is my only tech-y luxury.
    And to save for the things we’ll need for the new baby – I’ve been selling stuff I no longer use on e-bay and craigslist.

  10. I’m not local, but would love to be, how nice of you to offer the photo shoots and congrats to those who win those!
    We’ve been cutting back in a number of ways this year. We drew names with the adults in the family and each of us is just buying for one person rather than buying gifts for everyone. I’ve done a lot of my shopping online where I’ve been able to find great prices and many times free shipping. This saves me the time it would take to go out shopping and the gas money.
    We’re eating out less and watching movies at home from Netflix rather than going to the theatre. (Though with 3 under 3 who could go to the movies anyway?)

  11. ohhh target…loved the disclaimer at the end of your post.
    i’ve been hitting up the second hand stores lately. i found a great used book store where i bought a great hostess present for our holiday party — for (get this) under $2 — but she doesn’t have to know that.
    also, i’m a music lover, and as convenient as it is to click and download music at 99 cents at the itunes store, it definitely adds up. i was in need of some new music so i hit up a buy/sell/trade/used/new music store and got a fabulous natalie merchant cd for two dollars. that’s eleven songs for the price of 2. wooohoo!

  12. Cutting back… we cut back on food this month by eating at other people’s houses! ha ha. Drawing names this year was a really good idea as well. Dog isn’t getting any gifts. šŸ™ I like this whole cutting back business anyway because I hate it when it’s all about presents and not about Jesus and family and what really matters in life. But I do like presents! Especially when they are wrapped and you get to wonder for a little while!

  13. I have been making it my slight obsession to cut back this holiday season. I have 5 children and to even get them the bare minimum for the holidays can add up quick. I have been using the envelope system which helps to keep our budget on track. My newest addiction is searching before I buy ANYTHING. I have found amazing deals on items. I have also been taking advantage of purchases that come with a gift card. We bought an i-pod and got a $15.00 gift card, so then turned around and bought another gift with that. Today I used a free $5.00 gift card to famous footwear and got a “free” pair of slippers, I used a free $10.00 gift card at Penneys and got a free pair of pants, and I also used a free $10.00 Vic Decret gift card and got lotion for my mother-in-law. 3 gifts free…now that is a good day!
    I would LOVE the Target gift card to buy my stocking stuffers that I talked about yesterday, and we are also local and would take the photo shoot as well. Although 5 kids, that might be tricky!

  14. My husband and I are both cheap to begin with but we’re still cutting back…eating home more, no sibling Christmas gifts, second hand shopping, combining little errands into one bigger trip and stocking up on things when it’s on sale. At one time my hubby bought 40 boxes of raisin bran because it was a good deal. Good thing we like the stuff.
    We’re local and a photo shoot would be fun šŸ™‚

  15. I have been shopping a lot at stores that let you use 2 coupons per item, like TARGET, Walgreens, CVS, etc. I also have been going to Super Cuts to get FREE haircuts and my hair colored!!!

  16. I love this giveaway just for the delicious tid-bits on how to save creatively! It’s almost as fun as $30 to Target! šŸ™‚
    Well my latest money saving discovery is price-adjusting! I went shopping at a retail store before black Friday and purchased a lot of my Christmas gifts (some at full price…shame), but then went back on black Friday (not early and not in a rush) and handed the cashier my receipt, asked for a price adjustment, and walked away with $80 back!!! What a rush… Most stores do this within a two week window, and for necessities sometimes coupons and sales don’t coordinate. This way you can have a back up. It’s great.
    Anyway, I am local with a 1.5 yr old and one due in April… I would love, no seriously LOVE, not to go to Sears again!!! My daughter is freaked out by those people. šŸ™‚
    Thanks Jodi!

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