Pinterest Worthy: Autumn on a Budget

I love decorating, but let’s face it- sometimes it can be costly. I do what I can to avoid a strain on the wallet.

Happy Fall!

Happy Fall!

Autumn starts the holiday season at Bedford Manor. The above collage is from three years ago. I haven’t started to put out my decor this year but that will change in 36 hours.

I get a lot of decorating tips like most of us, from Pinterest. And my mom. She’s the Queen of Budget Decorating.

Just check out these fun and frugal ideas for bringing the colors of the outdoors, indoors.

Autumn Potpourri in Ceramic Basket

Autumn Potpourri in Ceramic Basket

A small bag of autumn-themed potpourri adds color and fragrance. If you don’t have a holiday dish, use a glass bowl.

Leaves in a Basket

Leaves in a Basket

A garland of multi-colored artificial leaves can be immediately put in a simple basket. Place on your fireplace mantel, hearth, coffee table, or on a bookshelf.

Squash in a Planter

Squash in a Planter

This is great for outdoor patios as well as indoors. Put a disposable container upside down inside a bigger planter, cover with newspaper or other buffering, and place assorted miniature squash and pumpkins on top.

Scarecrow in Leaves

Scarecrow in Leaves

A miniature Scarecrow sets well atop a small assortment of artificial leaves in a bucket or basket.

Apple Cider Arrangement

Apple Cider Arrangement

A single bunch of artificial apples with small flowers fits nicely in this Apple Cider Barrel.

Scarecrow on Butter Churn

Scarecrow on Butter Churn

A fun Scarecrow overlooks an assortment of silk flowers in a papier mache pumpkin basket.

All the decor in these photos was purchased at our local Michael’s Arts & Crafts store, for $5 each or less.

Now that’s Autumn on a budget. My mom’s got skills.

Hey, Mom . . . can you come over on Saturday?

And Frankly, My Dear . . . that’s all she wrote!

You may also enjoy reading:
Bunco at Tiffany’s
Why I Don’t Go To Carnivals in October
Slightly Sweet: Pie Crust Cut-Outs
This Thing Called Pinterest
Another Post About Pinterest.

Clipping Coupons, Part II

This couponing gig is more fun than Disneyland!!

Okay, so on my second day of couponing, I first started by getting organized. I went to the local office supply store and spent less about $14 to get small plastic envelopes and one big one, and a pack of labels.

I came home and sorted my coupons and fliers. I now have categories for: Specific Stores (department stores like Kohls or Payless Shoes), Pet Care, Restaurants, Dairy/Meat, Canned Goods, Refrigerator/Freezer, Beverages, Desserts/Sweets, Condiments, Snacks/Chips, Cereal, Toiletries/Hygiene, Household Items, and Receipts.

The big envelope holds the small envelopes and the weekly store fliers. I. Am. Ready!

After checking in with my Coupon Coach to verify my strategy, I headed off to the local Walgreens. Walgreens is a beautiful place. A land of free flowing sales and wonderfully attentive clerks. A cool, clean atmosphere. And best of all, sales.

Walgreens doesn’t require a Club Card to get their bonuses. They’re available to everyone, all the time. The trick to working them is to know ahead of time what you’re looking for.

If you read my post last week, Nail Polish: If You’re a Guy, You Just Don’t Get It, you’ll understand my excitement at paying just $0.88 for NYC nail polish at Winco. Obviously I’m not into spending much beyond that. But when it’s right, it’s right. And there I was at Walgreen’s, ad in hand, looking at Revlon nail colors. I bit. I bought.

I made four transactions tonight. Four wonderfully successfully cheap transactions. For being my second day of couponing, I call it a huge success!

First, the nail polish. $4.00 plus tax. But I got $3 RR (Register Rewards) back.
Second transaction: Two deodorants on sale, 2/$5.00. I used the $3 RR from above, so only paid $2 plus tax, AND got back $3 RR again.
Third transaction: Two bags of Brach’s autumn mix candies, 2/$3.00. I used the $3 RR from #2, no tax, and got back $1 RR. Can you imagine? THEY paid ME $1 to take the candy!
Fourth transaction: 12 rolls of Cottonelle toilet paper, on sale for $5.00. I used a $1.00 store coupon, $0.75 manufacturer coupon, and the $1.00 RR. Walgreens will let you stack coupons for the same item, as long as your total items equal your total coupons. Meaning, because I had two Toilet Paper coupons, I needed two items in this transaction. So I picked up a $0.49 Snickers bar. The toilet paper cost me just $2.25 plus tax.

All told, I purchased $23 worth of goods for less than $10 Out Of Pocket. That’s “OOP” in coupon lingo. Another important word in the Couponing World is “Stockpile”. As in, I now have 12 rolls of toilet paper in my stockpile cabinet.

Hey. It’s a (cheap) start. Egypt wasn’t saved in a day. The point is, it was saved.