Jan 25

While I really complained about the cost of a new Nintendo Wii since they first came out, I can’t say the $267.49 (tax included, purchased new at my local GameStop) I paid was really of that bad of a deal. Not only are they still selling for insane prices online, but when you figure in how much they are really WORTH, it makes all the difference.

Think of it this way….

- The price of home gym could be anywhere from $300 clear up into the thousands. Plus once you get the home gym, what is there to add to it, and how fun is it?

- A fitness club, at minimum, is going to cost you over $400 a year. Again the fun factor may be missing in some programs.

- YMCA membership in our area costs over $500 per year for a family. Our local Y is pretty sad looking, too, and no where near worth that cost. Plus most the ‘classes’ cost extra.

- Within three days of playing Wii Sports, we played about $200 worth of bowling games, which wouldn’t even include “extra” stuff at a bowling alley or the cost of gas to drive there.

So is the Wii worth the cost? Without a doubt! And with the price finally coming down at a lot of places, now would be a PERFECT time to latch on to one. Check locally or even at Wii on Amazon for some good prices and games to buy. Even after a year, we still play our Wii on a regular basis. ;)

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Sep 3

Maybe it’s because of my upbringing, but I never could understand the concept of a meal in a box.

Once in a great while, I’ll wander down the “box dinner” section of the store, and pick up something that’s “super easy to make and ready in 30 mins or less”. However, I still have failed to see the real purpose of them, other than cleaver marketing.

We made a hamburger helper  beef stroganoff only once. After having to cook the hamburger and add a few other ingredients, I stood scratching my head as to WHY I bought basically the pasta and seasoning in a pretty box when I could have spent the same amount of money (or less) and time doing it from scratch. (Which we have ever since – see our Hamburger Beef Stroganoff recipe here)

Just a month or two ago, I got curious again about the boxes. As you may already know, we have a bread machine that is used on a very regular basis. A box for a wheat bread mix jumped out at me in the store, so I thought I’d give it a shot. Again, I was quite disappointed as I had to add a few of my own ingredients and it was nothing really special (we’ve had better bread from our own recipe collection).

So what about you? Do you use box dinners at all, or are you like me and questioned their purposes?

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Apr 3


I am such a sucker for Joann’s. No matter if it’s online or locally, I’m like a kid in a candy store. So when I see deals like this, I just can’t help but pass them along!

From now until April 15th, get Free Shipping at Joann.com on orders of $35 or more. Be sure to use this code: MARFSA935.

Even though some of you may be like me and not sew a whole lot when the weather is nice, it’s a great idea to go shopping while the shipping is free. I LOVE this store and don’t have any problem finding $35 worth of fun stuff to play with. ;-)

Have fun!

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Feb 18

For those that do own a Wii and are interested in active family games, the page we’ve been working on (Family Games for Wii) for the last few weeks has been updated in a major way. When we first announced the new page, there were only 3 reviews up. After renting, buying, and begging for some reviews, we’ve added a whole lot more!

Keep in mind the ranting system we have is a little different. Instead of just one overall rating of the game, we break it down into seven different sections. For it to rate high with us, it’s got to be a fun FAMILY game that gets both adults and kids up and moving. I can’t be too easy or too hard, must get us active, get everyone involved in the game play, and of course, be FUN!

We know Wii games aren’t cheap, so we hope these reviews will give you a better idea if some games you’ve been eying are worth the money for YOUR family or not. To make buying easier, we’ve also added links to Amazon on each individual review page because we feel this is the most reliable and cheapest place to buy new and used games (again, I must brag about the smoking deal I got on Wii Play and the extra remote from Amazon – it cost me less than half of the retail price, and the only thing “used” about it was the box was open. Both game and remote had NEVER been used! Woo Hoo!).

If you have games you’d like to see on the site or have a game to review, be sure to send us a comment using the contact form on the page. If we are in need of a specific review, we might just pay you for it!*

See Wii Game Reviews.

*Reviews must be positive of games you own and love, use our rating system, and can not be of games already on the list. Please contact us for information before writing the review to check availability. If accepted, payment for review is $5 after the review is received.

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Dec 26

I may not enjoy shopping for Christmas, but I sure to love it after! There’s sales and discounts galore, and it’s the perfect time to stock up on things like wrapping paper, Christmas printed fabrics, and lots more.

Our sister company, Prairie Soy Candles, has put up the Discount Shelf to clear out stock from holiday craft shows. Here you’ll find the last of the Christmas scents, plus several other favorites ready to ship today.

Fabric.com has some smoking deals as well, plus free shipping over $35. With the price of shipping skyrocketing, this is a deal you’ll want to take advantage of!

Joann.com also has some great deals, with up to 60% off some regular products. Everything from fabric to crafts to sewing machines are currently on sale. Plus you can take 40% off one regular priced item by using the code “EEC001″ at check out.

Don’t forget your local stores when hunting for after Christmas deals and happy shopping!

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Dec 16

The closer it gets to Christmas, the more I’m dumbfounded with the prices of Nintendo Wii’s. Even on eBay, they are selling for no less than $300. I scanned the internet last night and found no great deals from trusted companies.

But I have to ask – did anyone even LOOK offline? Yesterday I just happened to hit both Walmart and Target, seeing that Target still had quite a few of them in stock at their “normal” price of $250 even though Walmart was sold out (it’s a small town Walmart, I wasn’t surprised). Our local GameStop had them last week as well, from $250 and UNDER.

So why is everyone spending so much on these “toys”? Have we become a nation so driven to give our kids whatever they want that we are willing to spend ungodly amounts of money to please them? To me this is absolutely insane. It’s a TOY, no matter how cool it is.

Yes, I want one, but I’m not about to pay twice as much for it just so it’s sitting perfectly under our tree come Christmas morning. But that seems to be what half of America is doing, when I’m sure it’s not sold out EVERYWHERE like many stores and eBay sellers are saying. No, that’s completely untrue, since I saw no less than 5 of them at Target just yesterday, and at least three or four at Gamestop last week.

Instead of falling pray to the price gouging on the internet or even paying full price offline, I’ve decided to wait until Christmas is over. I’ll be looking around offline and online after Christmas, possibly scoring a Christmas present someone didn’t want for relatively cheap. If the prices are still horrible, I’ll just wait until my son’s birthday come May.

Really, is a game console THAT important? Not to me it’s not. Instead of buying a Wii, we’ll just concentrate on the GameCube games. Why not? They work with the Wii, and my son is perfectly happy playing his GameCube.

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Aug 4

A month or two ago, before they even started work on our house, my daughter found something of interest at the dollar store. It was a small wood hanging picture that says “Angel” on it. Very simple, very cheap (we were at the REAL dollar store, where everything is a dollar and no more)……yet it  made her so very happy. She decided it would go up on her wall as soon as they were done with her room.

Now that they are just about finished with her room, we’ll have to be on the look out for more things just like that. Even though she begged for pink walls, I decided they would be white and we’d decorate. I know from experience little girls don’t always like pink for long, so painting her walls pink would have been asking for trouble.

Some of the decoration we’ll be adding will be regular posters (like the ones you find at Walmart for a few bucks), more pictures like we found at the dollar store, and of course her own handmade decorations. Whatever can be easily removed later on. She’s also getting shelves built right into the wall, so I’m sure a few items will be displayed there too.

It’s not hard to please a 5 year old, and you can do it as cheap as possible if you know where to look. ;)

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Aug 1


I absolutely love these sales, and I love shopping from this store too. I got an email the other day stating the $1.95 shelf at Fabric.com
is fully stocked. Sweet! I peeked around a bit and there’s quite a bit to chose from. Really you can’t beat the price, and I’d chose this store over Walmart any day.

They’ve also got a nice deal for first orders. When you use the code “FIRST”, shipping is only $2.95. Since shipping costs are skyrocketing, you can’t beat flat rate shipping! Just be sure to make it worth the cost and order as much fabric as you can. With the holidays sneaking up on us here soon, now is a great time to stock up.

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Jul 11

The Scholastic Store.
is currently offering free shipping on all orders over $39. Just use the code: SMRAFF.

This is a little short notice because the sale ends in 4 days, so hopefully you catch this before it’s over. If you are looking for summer reading or getting ready for school, this is a great deal to take advantage of.

Hurry! Ends July 15th!

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Jun 27

It’s easy to rack up a list of various memberships. No matter what it may be, all those “really cheap” memberships start to add up after awhile. A few dollars a month here, another few there……..before you know it your memberships are costing you more than some of your regular bills!

This week I challenge you to take a look at your budge and all those monthly memberships. How often do you REALLY use half of them? Are you going to the YMCA, gym, or an online site as much as you told yourself you would?  Are you using your membership several times every single month, or just “once in awhile”?

Run the numbers in your head really quick – if your gym membership is costing you $15/mo (hypothetically – I have no idea what it really costs, we don’t have them near here), and you only go once every three months, is $45 for one day really worth it? Same goes for YMCA memberships. Those can be paid for daily, and possibly worth it if you are only going once or twice every few months.

Sit down with your budget and take a real close look at those monthly membership. If you aren’t getting your money’s worth out of them, cancel. You’d be surprised how much you end up saving!

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