saving money this holiday season.

What things are you doing this holiday season to stash some cash?  I have grand plans to make things but we all know how that tends to go.  I do plan to shop some Black Friday sales (I love but I am going to stick to doing so online.  Why so?  Well so I can use Ebates and stretch my dollar farther!  Why did I not start avidly using this site sooner?  Really?!  Cash back…coupons…promos… What’s not to love?  I haven’t found a site where I didn’t get cash back on top of my great discounts (ok…just checked Woot…that one didn’t work).  Ebay, Amazon, Target, Home Depot, even Groupon is on there (and if you haven’t checked that one out you seriously need to).  I know I haven’t been around much but I’ve had good reason… And this little tip to stretch your money I just couldn’t miss out on sharing.  🙂  Every penny counts!

So if you don’t already use Ebates do it now!  It’s free… and for a limited time you’ll get a $5 referral credit when you make your first purchase through the site if you use this link.  Bonus!



Want to save big around town?  Check out Groupon.  It utilizes the power of collective buying to score big discounts on things around town.  Each day features a new deal.  Sometimes it’s restaurant gift certificates for 50% off or more (IntaJuice–mmmmm), sometimes it’s exercise classes (I’ve scored 40 sessions of Bikram Yoga for just $20 and yesterday they offered BootCamp for an equally sweet deal), sometimes it’s shopping, and sometimes it’s activities (today is paintball).  All you need to do is enter your email address.  Great opportunity for some excellent gifts at low prices for you as well!

wood up.

If you are anything like me you are thrilled at the idea of making your own stuff and particularly of building something…but are scared to actually do it.  Well check out this fabulous blog, KnockoffWood, full of easy and wonderful DIY wood projects.  Oh the furniture!  My husband manages a warehouse with pallets galore so I was particularly excited about the pallet projects suggested.  I found out about this site through a friend who has built, on her own, a wonderful entertainment center thanks to the site!

interesting article on online couponing.

Check out this article in the New York Times on the information that can be obtained about you when you use online coupons.  What are your thoughts?  Personally, it makes me feel a bit happier that I get the bulk of my coupons from my Sunday paper. 

happy earth day.

It’s Earth Day everyone.  Go here to see a rundown of some freebies offered thanks to Earth Day.  Let me know if you are aware of others and I will update this post throughout the day as needed.  Do something good for the earth today.  🙂

*The Drive-Ins here will be showing free movies today.  New Moon, Alvin & The Chipmunks Squeakquel, and 2012 in various combos so you can see what you want first.  Gates open at 6.  Shows start at 8.  Now if the weather will just cooperate….


I admit, I’ve been mia.  It’s been my life as of late.  It started with a miscarriage and concussion in October.  It’s lasted because the health problems since then have perpetuated.  I am happy to say that I am finally on the mend!  I have been going to physical therapy to cope with vertigo issues due to the brain injury and, let me just say, I had no idea previously just what a crippling effect vertigo can have on your life.  Thankfully I am finally thinking straight and functioning again.  Hallelujah!

I have to say, Grocery Smarts has actually saved me a bit in these last 6 months.  I think that in that timeframe I have gone actual grocery shopping (list, plan, etc) two, maybe three times.  I couldn’t think straight enough for a list and I physically couldn’t handle it- whether for an inability to drive or to perform the back and forth movement that grocery shopping demands.  Can you imagine?  So my dear husband has coped with stopping on his way home or making the occassional trip to the best of his ability.  We have largely eaten from our food storage that has been sufficient because of Grocery Smarts.  I’m so grateful that I had the foresight to make freezer meals and we had some of those for the really bad days.  I’m so grateful that my husband is quite capable of making spaghetti and chili and other assortments.  I’m grateful we had frozen meats and veggies and canned fruits and pancake mix for when it was just too crazy for either of us to do any grocery shopping. 

There is a really great sale at Albertsons this week and I am so happy I finally feel well enough to go!

So, I need to get back in the swing of things but I need your help.  In the time I have been gone there have been some changes with Grocery Smarts.  There is a new class format.  There are new hostess incentives.  There are new referral programs.  Still the same great price on papers though! Can you help me?  Call me if you would like to order any papers.  Emailing is best (be sure to include the best time for me to call you) at halabilly {at} gmail {dot} com.  Better yet, host a class!  I realize that this is the best way to get back into business and I feel terrible that I’ve left so many hanging for so long.  Hostesses are no longer receiving $20 gift cards for hosting a class, but are instead able to receive a limitless amount in gift cards contingent on the number of households who sign up for a paper.  This makes it more beneficial to everyone.  Remember, the class is free, the website is free, but I still only get paid by subscription and my time is just as valuable as yours.  As a thank you for your patience and understanding I am offering both hostess incentives (old and new) for any hostesses who contact me and book a class within the next MONTH.  So you have until the end of May to book your class and I will say it needs to be held before September.  Once I’m booked up, I’m booked up and the promotion will end.  So drop me a line at the email listed above….and thank you all for your understanding!!!

see a show.

Tis the season for locals’ discounts at the Vegas shows.  Here’s a couple of my favorites to get you started.  Keep an eye out for more as they come.  They usually go through about February or March.

Blue Man Group.  Oh, how I love the blue men!  I have seen them three times now (once way back when they were at the Luxor, another time on their Rock Concert tour, and then a few years back at their current venue) and I would happily go see them again.  Locals get tickets for just $42!  Use code: LOCALS50 and call 702-414-9001.

(note: I just checked about using the code online.  It is a bit confusing but can be done.  It looks like not all seats are $42 but are definitely discounted. For example, I could get excellent seats for $66 when they are normally $143!)


Phantom of the Opera (the Las Vegas Spectacular).  Also showing at the Venetian.  I saw the regular Broadway show on Broadway itself just a year ago.  It was great!  I’m curious what they have done with the Las Vegas Spectacular but I hear great things about it.  This offer is good through March 31, 2010.  Use code LOCAL50 for $50 off Golden Circle and Rear Orchestra sections.  Use code LOCAL49 to get select balcony seats for just $49.  Visit this site to get your tickets.