The Creative Princess: September 2012

Walgreens Balance Rewards

As a lot of you know, I do the Walgreens Matchups for Money Saving Queen. Late last year I got wind of a rumor that Walgreens was going to come out with a new rewards card. At the time the details were still sketchy and final details had not been hashed out yet. 
I am happy to announce that the new Balance Rewards has officially made it's debut! If you have not signed up yet, it is super easy to do! You can sign up online or in store (which is what I did).

The process of signing up in store is very easy. I did this a few weeks ago just after the program went live. I actually did not even have to ask to be signed up, the cashier took care of everything for me. She told me that I needed to sign up because soon, you would not be able to get the sale prices without the card and that everything will be placed on the card (such as coupons, register rewards, points, etc). I was in a hurry the day I signed up and the entire process took under 3 minutes, seriously fast. I was asked my name and birthday, because I have filled prescriptions at Walgreens before my info was already in the system. I just had to verify and then give her my email address.  That was IT!  SUPER easy!
Since I was in such a hurry, I did not get a lot of info on the program. Once I got home I looked online to see what it was all about. I started reading some of my favorite coupon blogs to get their views on the program, then went to the Walgreens site to read up on everything.

Here is how the program works:
You MUST have a Balance Rewards Loyalty Card in order to get the sale price, receive Register Rewards, Walgreens Savings and accumulate Balance Rewards Points.
Each point earned = $$ in your pocket! You do have to accumulate 5,000 points before you receive $$ off your next purchase though. 
There are MANY ways to accumulate points! You can earn them with select purchases, by filling prescriptions and even by walking! Yes, by walking! There are many, many more ways but these are the easiest to me and the ways I will most likely use the card.
#Cbias #Balance Rewards, Walgreens Rewards, Balance Rewards, Loyalty Card, Walgreens Savings
Since I figured everything out, I wanted to shop! I knew I could shop online but, I recently found out you can shop right through your phone! Seriously, technology is amazing! All you have to do is download the Walgreens app and you are set!
MG was sick last week so I could not just make a run to the store. I had to get creative! Thanks to Walgreens, I was able to pick up just a few things I needed without leaving my couch.  AWESOME!
I was a bit too excited to learn that marshmallows could be purchased through my phone!  MARSHMALLOWS!  This was just funny to me. There is a recipe I want to try using marshmallows but, I know I can get them cheaper at the store, so I passed this time.
As I was shopping, I was having a hard time remembering what all was on sale. I pulled up the Walgreens ad online and continued to shop through my phone. Super easy!

I ended up purchasing trash bags, coffee and some curlers for my hair.  Such a random combination!  lol But, that is what I needed. Since I was home-bound for a few days last week, being able to shop through my phone was great! It made my life so much easier knowing with a few clicks I was shopping for things I needed and they would be delivered within a few days. Thank you Walgreens for making this moms life that much easier!

If you want to see my entire path to purchase and learn even more about my shopping experience, check out my Google+ story!

You can also learn more by visiting the Walgreens site, liking them on Facbook or following them on Twitter!

I am a member of the Collective Bias™ Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™ and Walgreens  #CBias #SocialFabric

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Where are you?!?!

So, those of you that follow me on Facebook or Twitter probably saw my announcement that I would be back to my regular blogging schedule soon.

What you don't know is I wanted to be back like a month ago!  It is so hard getting back into a routine after you have been on a semi-hiatus for such a long time.  Life just kind of stands in the way, you hardly have time to breath some days.

So, what am I doing that is keeping me so busy?
Busy
 Well, both girls have dance on Tuesday now.
 MG goes in the morning and Mads goes in the evenings.  Dance is a good 45 minutes away.  So my Tuesday's are spent pretty much in the car.

I recently became the Coordinator for our girls Ministry Department at church.  That is my Wednesday plus any other day that comes up that I am needed.  I have only been in the position for 3 weeks, and am still actually in training, but so far I am loving it and can not wait to implement some fun ideas I have for the girls.  WooHoo!!

Friday's I work on the Walgreens and Target matchups for my friend Sarah over at MoneySavingQueen.com.

So what am I doing the rest of the week?  Well.....working!  lol  Right now I am working as a Campaign Leader for Collective Bias. The campaign I am currently working on is for Nestle Lean Cuisine. I work with 4-10 different bloggers each week until December.  This weeks theme is Lean Cuisine and Couch-to-5K!  I am SO excited about this round!  Since I am the CL I can't actually participate in the campaign but I have already decided I am going to do my own version along side the ladies that will be participating in this round.  I will try to post for you as I go.  I even bought some new walking/running shoes yesterday to celebrate!  HA!  We are "officially" doing the program for 2 weeks, feel free to come do it with us!  I absolutely love working with these bloggers and Collective Bias.  It is an AWESOME community to be part of, it is really more like a family.

If you want to see what exactly Cbias is, check out this video.

Pretty cool right? And I get to be a part of that! Eeek!  Yeah, I totally freak out a little everyday because I am helping make history!  

The rest of my time is spent playing with, cuddling, hugging and loving my sweet girls.  I had a not so great freak out moment last week when I realized MG starts Pre-K next fall.  I mean seriously, it was bad.  lol I mean that's it, once she starts school that's it! I will be turning her over to someone else for 8 hours a day and that makes me so sad.  I know she is going to do great, it is me that is going to be the one crying like a big ol baby in the hall of the school.  Let's not even start talking about the fact that Mads will be in upper elementary next year. OH! MY! GOSH!  So yeah, needless to say, I am cherishing as much time with both my babies as possible.  It won't be long before they are grown with families of their own. *sigh*

SO!  All of that to say, I will be back to my regular blogging schedule soon.  But my soon, and your soon may be totally different.  I hope you still love me anyway.  Feel free to come chat with me on Facebook or Twitter, right now I am looking for fundraising ideas, but nothing that kids have to sale and nothing from a direct sales company.  Not that I don't love direct sales companies, it's just not what we are looking for at this time.

I hope you all have a great weekend!

Much love,
Brandi

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Earning Money for Your School while You Shop with Jingit!

Have you heard of Jingit?
Jingit, #Jingit4Edu, #Cbias, Walmart, General Mills, Box Tops for Education
Jingit is an AWESOME site that allows you to earn money while you shop!  It's totally cool! Right now they are partnering up with General Mills and Walmart to not only allow you to earn money while you shop or watch ads online, but also earn Box Tops for your child's school!
Jingit, #Jingit4Edu, #Cbias, Walmart, General Mills, Box Tops for Education
I remember when Box Tops for Education started, 1996 if you are curious, I was still in High School and thought people were NUTS collecting these little stamp like things to earn money for our school.  I totally did not understand at all.  As the years went on and my mom became more and more involved in our STEP program (think PTA, but way better) I became even more aware of just how awesome the Box Tops program was.

Once Mads started school (many years later) and we started getting fliers sent home to send in Box Tops, we started collecting.  Mads LOVES going to the store with me and finding products with the Box Tops label on them. I also look for these products and more often than not will choose one item over another just because of the Box Tops.
Jingit, #Jingit4Edu, #Cbias, Walmart, General Mills, Box Tops for Education
I was SO excited to learn how EASY it was to use Jingit to earn even MORE Box Tops for Mads school!  All you do is sign up and download the Jingit App for your smartphone. Then, select the school of your choice and start earning!
#Jingit4Edu, #cbias, General Mills
 As you are shopping you "Check In" to select products, scan the barcode, answer a quick question about a product nearby and earn!
Jingit, #Jingit4Edu, #Cbias, Walmart, General Mills, Box Tops for Education
Because I had played around on the Jingit website before leaving home, I had already earned some money. After I completed my shop I checked to see how much I earned....$3.48 for myself and 16 extra Box Tops for Mads school!  That's awesome!
Jingit, #Jingit4Edu, #Cbias, Walmart, General Mills, Box Tops for Education
Jingit allows you to earn up to $10/week, that's $40/month! If you start using it today, you could have an extra $100 in time for Christmas! That's great! Plus you will be earning extra Box Tops for your child's school, this is also great! I know schools are hurting right now, each school can earn up to $20,000/year by participating in the Box Tops for Education program. That could go a long way and every little bit helps them get there.  I love knowing that by using Jingit I am helping our school reach their goals and I am helping my daughter feel great about her school
Jingit, #Jingit4Edu, #Cbias, Walmart, General Mills, Box Tops for Education
To learn more about #Jingit4Edu check them out on Facebook and follow them on Twitter!

I am a member of the Collective Bias™ Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™ and Jingit #CBias #SocialFabric All opinions are my own.


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Homegating Potato Skins

Homegating, Taligating, Recipe, #GameTime, #Cbias, Bacon

As my little family and I were sitting around Saturday enjoying a day FULL of football, Mads got SO excited!  She flipped around in her chair and said:

"Oh my gosh! There are five seasons!"

I looked a bit bewildered, to say the least, and asked her what on earth she could possibly mean.

"There are five seasons! Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall.....and.....FOOTBALL!"

HAHAHAHA!! I about fell over from laughing so hard!

College football is a BIG thing in our house.  I actually like football and keep track of the polls and such.  But, don't ask me any info on any player....or team.  Chances are I will not be able to answer you.  lol  You see, I know enough to ask my hubby the right questions and to keep the conversation going just a bit.

Each new season we have a homegating party, just the 4 of us.  We have wings, nachos and....Potato Skins! My FAV! I was always very intimidated to make them, I just thought it would be hard.  

It is SO not hard to do!

You start by pre-baking your potatoes.
Homegating, Taligating, Recipe, #GameTime, #Cbias, Bacon
Then, you cut them in half....
Homegating, Taligating, Recipe, #GameTime, #Cbias, Bacon
and scoop out most of the potato.
Homegating, Taligating, Recipe, #GameTime, #Cbias, Bacon
Next you place them on a baking sheet, cut side up, and brush with oil.
Homegating, Taligating, Recipe, #GameTime, #Cbias, Bacon
Then you flip them over, cut side down, and brush with more oil. Then bake!
Homegating, Taligating, Recipe, #GameTime, #Cbias, Bacon
 You will flip halfway through and continue to bake just a bit longer.  While the potatoes are baking, fry some bacon. Then you will chop your bacon into little pieces.
Homegating, Taligating, Recipe, #GameTime, #Cbias, Bacon
Obviously I like my bacon just a bit....crispy.
Once the skin on the potato is crispy sprinkle a bit of cheese, or a lot of cheese, whatever you prefer, on the potatoes and bake for just a bit longer, until the cheese is melted. Top with bacon and chives and a bit of sour cream and you have the perfect treat for your next home/tailgating party!

Homegating Potato Skins
6-8 Small-Med size Potatoes
6 Half, or 3 Whole, pieces of bacon (I usually cut my package of bacon in half, thus the half pieces)
1 pkg Shredded Cheddar Cheese
4 Green Onions, chopped
Oil
Sour Cream or Ranch Dressing

Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Wash then bake potatoes as normal, about 45 minutes-1 hour.
Cut each potato in half.
Scoop out each half into a bowl
Place potatoes cut side up on a baking sheet and brush to coat with oil.
Flip potatoes to cut side down and brush to coat with oil.
Bake cut side down for 10 minutes.
Remove potatoes from oven and flip, bake cut side up for 8-10 minutes.
Remove from oven and sprinkle with cheese.
Place back in oven and bake until cheese is melted.
Sprinkle with bacon and pieces and chopped green onions.
Serve with Ranch Dressing or Sour Cream.

Homegating, Taligating, Recipe, #GameTime, #Cbias, Bacon

Enjoy!


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