Saturday, July 7, 2012

School Supplies for Free

Yes, I said free. You can get school supplies for free (or very cheap!) just by shopping at the right time, at the right stores and being smart about it!

A little over a year ago I started couponing (not extreme, just normal) and I’m amazed at the amount of money that I can save when I shop smart. I’m not a fanatic about it. I only shop a couple of stores and if I don’t have time I just don’t worry about it. But when I do have time I save quite a bit.

Anyway, back to the school supplies. Staples and Office Depot (our local chain office supply stores) both offer rewards programs and rebates that often allow you to get stuff for free or very cheap! I’m completely stocked up on pens, printer paper, printer toner, photo paper, and other miscellaneous items! (I really don’t think I’ll run out of paper for at least another year!)

First, let me give credit to the website where I get my shopping info, Southern Savers. She reviews the ads each week and basically makes your list for you. You just go through and check off the things you want to purchase and go to the store and do the shopping. She makes it VERY EASY. (No paid endorsement. I just love the site!)

Sign up the for the rewards program…
You’ll need to sign up for the store’s rewards program. Staples is called Staples Rewards and Office Depot is called Work Life Rewards. You’ll get a membership # but the stores can look it up by your phone number. You can also store it in your iPhone using the KeyRing app. When you check out you’ll need to give them your membership # or phone number. That way your purchase counts toward your reward.

How the rewards work…
You will see items in the ad and on Southern Savers marked “100% back in rewards.” That means you’ll get 100% of the purchase price back as a reward. The reward will come to you in the form of an in-store credit that you can use to purchase other items at the store later. Every two to three months you’ll receive an email informing you of earned rewards. You go on the website, print your reward certificate and take it to the store and spend it on items you need and would have purchased anyway like printer ink, toner, computer accessories, etc.

Important thing to remember…
At both Staples and Office Depot you WILL NOT earn rewards for items that you also use rewards to purchase. So if you use your reward certificate to purchase something that says “100% rewards back” you won’t get a reward for that item.

Most of you have probably submitted a rebate for something before so you probably know how it works. You pay* for the item in the store and mail in your receipt and proof of purchase and receive a check for some or all of the purchase price. It works the same way at Office Depot and Staples. And they make it very easy for you by printing out extra “Rebate Receipts” to mail back in. Staples makes it even easier by allowing you to submit your rebates online at Staples Rebates. My rule is to try to submit rebates (online and in the mail) as soon as I get home from making my purchases. That way I don’t forget and miss the deadline! I usually receive my rebate check(s) 4-6 weeks after submitting them.

*You can use rewards to purchase rebate items. It should not affect your rebate and is an easy way to turn your reward(s) back into cash!

You do have to spend some money out of pocket to get these items but you eventually get it back in the form of an in-store credit or rebate check.

What if the “free” items aren’t things I need?
Could your child’s teacher use them? If it’s something silly, don’t by it because it’s free. I always tell people I don’t buy cat litter when I can get it for free because I don’t have a cat! Be smart. But also think about places you can donate the items like a church, school, shelter, etc.

I’m an example person so I’ll give you a quick overview of what I’m purchasing this week at Staples and Office Depot. Southern Savers did most of the work for me and helped me make my list. I will be sure to check my local ads tomorrow to see if our prices are the same. They usually are.

  • Bic Round Stic Pens $.01 with a $5 min purchase
  • Scotch Super Glue Gel FREE with $1.30 instant savings and $2.99 rebate
  • Staples Multipurpose Paper $.25 with a $6.49 rebate
  • HP Photo Paper $.50 with $.50 instant savings and $8.99 rebate
  • Bic Great Erase Dry erase markers $.50
  • Sharpie Markers $1
  • 2013 Desktop Calendar FREE with $4.99 rebate

Office Depot (All items are 100% Back in Rewards)
  • Avery Index Clear Label Dividers
  • Post It Super Sticky Pop Up Notes
  • Post It Pop Up Notes Dispenser
  • Mr. Sketch Markers
  • Uniball Gel Pens 12 pack
  • Sharpie Markers 12 pack
  • Clean Seal Security Envelopes

I’m pretty excited about this week’s ads and this is just the first really good Back to School ad of the season!

Questions? Leave them in a comment and I’ll try to answer! And be sure to check out Southern Savers for great deals. (Again this isn’t a paid endorsement. I just love the site!)

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Preparing Early for the Upcoming School Year

Yes, it’s a little early but I like to get a head start on stuff when I can. Summer is a great time to do a little prep work to make the “Back to School” season a little less stressful.

Daviess County Public Schools start on August 8th. That’s just a little over a month away!! Most other area schools start around the same time.

A few things you can now to get ready:
  • Update your calendar. Go to your school system’s website and print out next year’s school calendar. Input all holidays, professional days, breaks, etc onto your electronic or paper calendar. There, it’s done. No more trying to remember when school is out and you need a sitter, etc, etc. Personally I prefer Google calendar because it lets me “invite” others in my family to events. I can automatically put all of the same holidays, breaks, etc onto my husband’s calendar. If your family uses a central paper calendar, put the information on that. Whatever your method is go ahead and do it now so everyone is on the same page when school starts. (You could even do the same thing with sports schedules if you have them already!)
  • Need immunizations and back to school physicals? Schedule appointments now! Also with local walk in clinics like Convenient Care and The Clinic at Walmart to see what they offer. You might get in and out much quicker!
  • Order backpacks and lunchboxes. I’m a big fan of LL Bean backpacks. I carried the same one in high school and college and they replaced it once for free because of a tear. My seven year old son has carried the same one for two years and it’s still in great shape. (And he’s really hard on his stuff!) Get them personalized for $8 and save time figuring out which bag belongs to which person! Order now as popular colors and prints will likely be on back order closer to the start of school.
  • I read some suggestions recently on The Organized Wife about color coding your family to help stay organized. You might try this, especially if you have a large crew. Prepare now for back to school by stocking up on color coded items for the entire family! 

What tips do you have for preparing early to go back to school?

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Movies On The River

The RiverPark Center is offering free Movies on the River again this summer on the BB&T Plaza. On Sunday, July 1st, RPC will show Happy Feet Two. The movie will begin at dusk. Concessions will be available. No coolers or pets allowed.

Enjoy dinner downtown before the movie! Check out Colby’s Fine Food, The Miller House, or Famous Bistro. And have coffee and dessert at The Crème Coffee House.

Enjoy a fun night out with your whole family! 

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Aid the Homeless 5K Walk/Run

The Greater Owensboro Realtor Association and Jagoe Homes are sponsoring the 2011 Aid the Homeless Benefit 5K Walk/Run on Saturday, October 8th in the Deer Valley Subdivision. 100% of the proceeds will be given to The Daniel Pitino Shelter, The Bouleware Mission, St. Benedict’s and OASIS.

The Greater Owensboro REALTOR® Association has partnered with Jagoe Homes, Inc. to raise money to help support and prevent homelessness. In 2010, CNN Money magazine named Owensboro in the “TOP 100” Places to live in the United States. We were ranked #93 out of over 30,000 other cities. In the same year, BusinessWeek Magazine ranked Owensboro the #1 place to raise your children in Kentucky.

Yet Owensboro is unable to supply enough housing for its homeless. Our purpose and ultimate goal is to raise public awareness of the homeless in Owensboro, support and offer resources that prevent and end homelessness, to help serve everyone with respect, integrity and grace.

Please help us in getting the HOMELESS back into the RACE again. The Daniel Pitino Shelter, The Bouleware Mission, St. Benedict’s and OASIS offer our homeless support, recovery, health, faith and dignity in all of the services they provide. We all have the opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life that is less fortunate than others.

The Greater Owensboro REALTOR® Association and Jagoe Homes, Inc. are ready to get Owensboro Ranked #1 in preventing homelessness. Please join us. No child or adult should be sleeping outside under the overpasses in subzero or extremely hot conditions.


The Greater Owensboro REALTOR® Association
Jagoe Homes, Inc.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

And The Winner Is....

The winner of the $25 gift certificate to the Fall 2011 Pigtails & Cowlicks Sale is Matt Hill! He was chosen at random by Congratulations! We hope you enjoy shopping for your first time as a Dad! Please send an email to including your address so we can mail you your certificate! Thanks for participating everyone!!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Pigtails & Cowlicks Consignment Sale and Giveaway!!

Need to unload your kids’ clothes, toys, and gear they’ve outgrown and make some money? Need to fill your kids’ closets for the fall and winter season and save some money? Pigtails & Cowlicks is your thing!

For six years Pigtails & Cowlicks has been making it easy for Owensboro area to make and save money selling stuff they no longer need! Local parents, Greg and Elaine Martin, along with an army of volunteers (and I mean army!) put on the sale twice a year, once in the fall and once in the spring. Their upcoming Fall/Winter Sale will be held on October 21 and 22 at the Owensboro Sports Center. Everything from clothing to coats to costumes to toys to strollers to baby monitors will be for sale! 

Prior to the sale, consignors (sellers) register on and then begin finding high quality, gently used kids’, teens’ and maternity items they want to sell. Through the website they price and print out tags for each item. (That may seem complicated but, trust me, it’s NOT.) Consignors also choose to discount items the second day of the sale and if they want to donate the items (more on this below) or come back and pick them up after the sale. They place tags on each item according to the site’s instructions and choose a “Drop Off Appointment” to drop off their items. During the appointment a volunteer looks over each item to check the quality and condition and decides if it will be included in the sale. (As long as you follow the suggestions and guidelines on the site, your items will likely be accepted.) Then you just leave your items and wait for a check for 70% of the sale price minus your $7 consignor fee! It’s that easy and it’s a fabulous way to get rid of all your stuff at once! Consignors also get to shop an exclusive presale!

You DO NOT have to be a consignor to be a volunteer! There are three levels of volunteers, each with its’ own benefits. And there are lots of “jobs,” some of which don’t even involve being at the actual sale. Some of the benefits of volunteering include shopping the exclusive presale which gives you “first dibs” on sale items and the opportunity to earn an extra 5% on your consignor earnings if you are also a consignor. Check the website for details and to sign up.

Pigtails & Cowlicks allows local vendors to participate in the sale. Vendors have tables and their items are purchased separately from the consignment sale. Many vendors feature kids’ items such as bows, monogramming, custom art work, etc. Check the website for details on participating as a vendor.

You shop!! As stated above, consignors and volunteers have access to exclusive presales but the sale opens to the general public on Friday, October 21 at 8am. On Saturday, October 22 the sale opens at 8am and many items are half off. Check the website for advice on shopping!

New Moms get the best perks at this sale…they get to shop early! New Moms includes anyone expecting a child, parents with a child less than 12 months, anyone in the process of adopting a child, and anyone fostering a child under the age of 12 months. Grandparents who fit the criteria are also welcome to register for a pass. The New Moms Pre-Sale is only open to 150 people so register now if you are eligible!

The Blessings Closet is one way Pigtails & Cowlicks gives back to the community. They partner with local churches, schools and non-profits to distribute invitations to families to “shop” for free after the sale is over with the items consignors have chosen to donate. 

Now the most exciting part of this post…a GIVEAWAY! The winner will receive a $25 gift certificate to use at the Fall/Winter 2011 Pigtails & Cowlicks Sale!
You will receive one entry for each activity listed below:
  • Comment on this blog and tell us why you'd like to win this giveaway!
  • Follow Family Friendly Owensboro by email by entering your email address on the site at the top right side.
  • Visit and ask to be included on their email list.
  • Register as a consignor and/or volunteer at the Fall/Winter 2011 Pigtails & Cowlicks Sale.
  • Follow FamilyFriendlyO on twitter.
  • Share the giveway with others via email, facebook, twitter, your blog/website, word of mouth, skywriting, sidewalk chalk, etc, etc.
You MUST LEAVE AN INDIVIDUAL COMMENT on this post and tell about each thing that you did. 

Winner will be announced on Sunday, Sept 18 at 5pm CST.

Due to some new facebook rules, "liking" Family Friendly Owensboro or Pigtails & Cowlicks on facebook will not get you an extra entry but we'd still love for you to "like" us!

Thursday, September 8, 2011


Are you longing to experience authentic community, support, personal growth, and spiritual hope, all to help you be the best mother possible? You need MOPS! MOPS is designed specifically for expectant mothers and mothers with children through kindergarten. The group meets at Bellevue Baptist Church every second and fourth Thursday of the month, September through May, 9:00am-11:00am. (Moms DO NOT have to be a member of Bellevue or any church to attend.) Meetings include breakfast, childcare, speakers, crafts, and more. Daytime outings for moms and kids will also be planned throughout the year. For moms who can’t attend meetings during the day there is Mom's Night Out, where women meet during the evening to socialize and have fun!

Sept. 8 - MOMSENSE- First Meeting
Sept. 22 - Reading Readiness: Scrabble
Oct. 20 - Couponing: The Price is Right
Nov. 10 - Discipline: Battleship
Dec. 8 - Christmas Meeting: Guess Who?
Jan. 12 - Winter Fun Indoor Play: Monkeys in a Barrel
Jan.26 - Spa Day: UNO
Feb. 9 - Topic Breakouts: Clue
Feb. 23 - Feeding Your Family: Hungry, Hungry, Hippos
Mar. 8 - Self Defense: Stratego
Mar. 22 - Building Children's Faith: Legos
Apr. 12 - Tea & Testimony: Connect Four
Apr. 26 - Media: Trouble
May 10 - Last Meeting: Monopoly

* Note: MOPS follows the Daviess County School Schedule: If school is delayed or cancelled then MOPS will not meet that day.

Childcare is provided...1st timer is free, $5 per meeting after.

Mom’s Night Out Events:
September 12 at 6:30pm at Olive Garden

For more information contact Cathy Thomason, 270-316-2020 or