Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Marcus Theatres Passport

If you or someone on your gift list enjoys going to movies, you may want to check out the Marcus Theatres Passport. For $25 a month (must buy 12 months) you can go to as many movies as you want. Also after 12 transactions at the concession stand you get a free popcorn.

You can have the $25 charged to your credit card each month or you can have the $300 charged at one time. The passport will be personalized so it cannot be traded or used by anyone else. When it is used they will ask for identification for the person using it.

The Passport card is good for every movie, every day of the year even for 3D and movies shown on the UltraScreen. The only things that it cannot be used for is Special Engagement such as the Metropolitan Opera and other events.
The Marcus Magical Movie Passport™ card will be available for use after you get it in the mail. Processing generally takes between 4-6 business days.
For more information or to purchase Passports, visit

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Inspiration When You Need It

The Lucado Inspirational Reader is a compilation of stories and quotes from Max Lucado's many previous books. It consists of 27 chapters, each dealing with a different topic.

It can either be read in order or you can use it for encouragement for different trials you may be going through. There is a topical index in the back of the book so you can easily find pages that deal with what you are interested in.

It is a nice smaller size so it is easy to take along with you, may even fit in some purses and bags. It would also be a nice gift idea.

I received a copy of the book from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their Book Review Blogger program. The only compensation I received was the book and it had no influence on my review.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Unglued Christmas Market

If you are looking for a source for local handmade items for gifts, check out the Unglued Christmas Market at 68 Broadway, Fargo. It will be open from Black Friday until Christmas Eve. It will be open Thursdays 5pm – 9 pm, Friday and Saturday 10 am – 9 pm, Sunday noon-9 pm.

The boutique features handmade items from local and regional artists, crafters and makers. You can also enjoy hot chocolate while you shop and take part in a gift workshop with one of the master crafters.

Kids Eat Free at Juanos

Juanos mexican restaurants are celebrating 15 years of business. To celebrate they are offering free kids meals until December 31 with an adult purchase of at least $8.

This is valid at all Juanos restaurants, 13th Ave S West Acres, 32nd Ave S in Fargo, 19th Ave N in Fargo and 315 Main Ave in Moorhead.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Heirlooms New Location

Heirlooms has moved to 3120 25th St S, Fargo (next door to Village Inn. It is an upscale resale store that supports the work of Hospice of the Red River Valley. It has become a donation destination for finer items no longer needed because of a change in a family situation, redecorating or relocating.

All donations to Heirlooms are tax deductible.
Items you will find at Heirlooms include:
Home furniture: sofas, loveseats, side chairs, ottomans, dining and kitchen sets, coffee and end tables, entertainment centers and desks
Home furnishings: lamps, artwork, collectibles, vases, decorator pillows, bookends and figurines
Linens: placemats, table cloths, table runners, napkins and napkin rings
Tableware: china, pottery and ceramic dinnerware, water pitchers, decanters, candlestick holders, centerpieces
Women's clothing and accessories: suits, coats and jackets, casual wear, sweaters, blouses, blazers, slacks, skirts, necklaces, pins, earrings and bracelets
They also have magazines that have been donated for sale at $1. They only sell magazines that are 1-2 months old. So if you have newer magazines that you have already read, consider donating them instead of throwing them out.

They have moved to a larger space than they were previously in. Along with donated holiday items they also have new gift giving items such as gift books, boxes of candy and more.

They are open in the new location and are having a Grand Opening celebration on Thursday, December 1 from 9 am to 6 pm. They will have refreshments, in-store specials and Heirlooms gift certificate drawing.

Black Friday Shopping

Black Friday is one of the biggest shopping days of the holiday season. Here are some tips to Black Friday shopping. You may be able to find good deals on some things but it is important to shop with a list so you don’t spend the money you saved on things you may not need. Also, if you charge your purchases and cannot pay them off at the within a month or two, your savings may go to interest and finance charges instead.

Here is a blog post about holiday money wasters.

By using a few of these ideas you may be able to save money to use on other things.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Need Gift Cards?

If you are purchasing gift cards for Christmas gifts, you may want to check out Hornbachers. From Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 24 through Nov. 30 you will get a coupon for $20 of free groceries when you buy $100 or more of participating gift cards in a single transaction. The coupon will print out when you check out and may be redeemed on your next shopping trip. The coupons expire 7 days from issue date.

Some of the participating cards are Macy's, Sears, KMart, Applebees, ITunes, JCPenney and Lowes.

You could also purchase the cards to use if you are purchasing gifts at these stores to get the free groceries.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Conscous spending

Just as it is important to make a list and budget for holiday spending it is also helpful to keep your spending under control throughout the year.

One way to do this is to track your expenses. For at least a month, keep track of everything you spend money on. This way you can see how much you spend in certain areas and can use it to develop your budget.

It is easy to lose track of how much you are spending. If you practice conscious spending and think before you spend to make sure you really need/want the item. A dollar here and there can add up quick. Those few dollars saved can add up to something you may want more.

I have heard from some people about their bills being high and I have heard of Target known as the $50 dollar store because even going in for one or two things you come out with $50 worth of items. But if you think about the items before putting them in your cart, you may be able to save some money.

I have some friends that are surprised by how much they save when they watch what they are spending.

With the prices of many things going up and higher utility costs with winter coming it may be helpful to find ways to cut expenses. Some people who have been laid off or have income decreased find that they need to be more careful with how much they spend on things. It may be beneficial to start shopping this way before your circumstances change so you have some leeway if you do find yourself with a decrease of income.

Dave Ramsey $10 Sale

Dave Ramsey is having a sale on many of his products for $10 and $4.95 shipping. This is up to 50% off some of the items.

Some of the items included in the sale are his book, The Total Money Makeover, Financial Peace Junior, the Deluxe Envelope System and his new page-a-day calendar.

The Total Money Makeover consists of his 7 Baby Steps to getting out of debt and staying debt free. It also includes testimonies and stories from many people who have used his system of getting out of debt.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Unique Boutique

Another program to help those in need during the holidays is the Unique Boutique at the YWCA Shelter. On December 9, current and former residents of the shelter will be able to shop for presents for their immediate family members from items that have been donated. They are in need of donations of gifts and wrapping paper. Also, if you are interested in volunteering before the event and during the event. Gifts should be delivered to the shelter by December 5. For more information contact Amber at (701) 232-3449 or

Click here for a copy of suggestions of gifts they are requesting.

The shelter is also in need of items for children and babies at this time. Through September, the childcare center within the shelter has met the needs of 559 children and on average six pregnant women each month. With this demand the supply of baby-related items has been depleted. Click here for a list of items that are needed. Some of the most urgent needs are diapers (sizes 4-6), baby wipes, Good Start infant formula and Winter coats, snow pants and boots (for school aged children).

Another program is to Adopt a Family from the Transitional Housing program for the holidays. By purchasing gifts for a family, you will brighten the holidays for a mom and her children. Gifts must be delivered to the shelter before December 15. To receive a family’s wish list or more information contact Erin at (701) 232-3449 or

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Free Electronics Recycling at Best Buy

Best Buy is eliminating a $10 fee that covered many items disposed of through its in-store electronics recycling program.

Even if you did not purchase the products at Best Buy you can still drop items free of charge at any Best Buy store nationwide.

The stores now accept tube screens up to 32 inches and flat-panel screens up to 60 inches. Other items accepted are DVD players, audio and video cables, cell phones and more.

The recycling programs have collected 83 million pounds of electronics and 73 million pounds of appliances in 2010, and its goal is to collect 1 billion pounds of electronics by the end of 2014.

So if you have items you want to get rid of or if you get new items for the holidays, this is a free and safe way to get rid of the old items.

Watch Store Signs

I have noticed some stores having signs that you need to be careful about what you will be paying for an item. In some stores I have seen big $1 signs. Then I get to it and in small print, it says $1 off.

The other night I was at a store and saw a big sign at the banana display for $0.24. Since bananas are usually prices per pound and have been more than $0.50 per pound this seemed like a great deal. Then I got closer and it was $0.24 per banana.

With the prices increasing, stores and companies are coming up with marketing and packaging so we don't realize the increases as much. Many itmes are coming in smaller packages for the same or higher prices than before.

Kids Card Contest

Edelman Financial Services is looking for children (age 12 and under) to design their company’s 2011 holiday card. The winner of the contest will receive a $500 contribution to a 529 College Saving Plan and have his/her card sent to all Edelman Financial clients.

The artwork should feature this year’s theme of “Why I Save” and use “Happy Holidays” to accommodate all religious denominations. It should also reference Edelman Financial Services; if needed, leave blank space in the artwork to accommodate the company logo.
The artwork can be on any size paper, horizontal or vertical, but the submission needs to be reproduced as a card-sized color print. Computer generated artwork will not be accepted.

All entries must be postmarked by November 21, 2011. One entry per child will be accepted. For more information, official contest entry form and where to send your entries, please go to

Edelman Financial Services is headquartered in Fairfax, VA and provides financial planning and investment management services for individuals and families. Ric Edelman also offers financial education through his weekly radio and television programs, books, seminars and other appearances. I have read some of his books and have seen him of various shows on television.

It is short notice but a chance at $500 for your child if they enjoy doing artwork.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Waiting for Morning Review

I have read several books by Karen Kingsbury and I enjoyed Waiting for Morning as much as the others. She has a great talent of telling stories that you can relate to. One other book I recently read by Karen related to spousal abuse and this one relates to drinking and driving.

It describes the power alcohol has over some people and how it can affect families when people are killed.

The story is of a Christian family that has everything they ever wanted. Then on the way home from a fishing trip a father and daughter are killed by a drunk driver. The story tells of how the wife and other daughter need to deal with the aftermath of the accident. Along with dealing with drunk driving the story also deals with suicide.

After the accident, the wife Hannah gives up believing in God since he let this happen. At the end of the story one of the policemen at the scene of the accident tells her that her husband’s last words were to forgive. She realizes even though she wants the driver to pay for what he did to her family she also needs to forgive him to be able to go on with her life.

It is a very good story and the book was difficult to put down.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Kids and Money Gifts

There are many different types of banks to help kids learn about saving. One I have found is Money Savvy Bank. They come in different colored pig banks and also football banks. They have four separate chambers for Saving, Spending, Donating and Investing. I gave these to my 6 nieces and nephews last year. I do have some of these on hand if you are interested in them.

Financial Peace University Junior is aimed at children from ages 3-12. It teaches children the importance of saving, spending and giving. There is a also a selection of books.

Generation Change is a program for teens with a workbook and DVD lessons.

I have put together a Page a day calendar with websites and other resources to teach kids about money.

Gift a Book

With so much talk about money and the current economic conditions, you may know someone who could be helped by reading books about money.

There are many books on the subjects of money and finances. I will share with you a few that I have enjoyed and have found helpful. Dave Ramsey is the author of The Total Money Makeover, EntreLeadership and developer of Financial Peace University. Financial Peace University is a 13 week course to help you get a handle on your debt and stay out of debt. It is offered at many area churches and other places.

Another author that has written a number of books that are easy to relate to is David Bach. Some of his books include Smart Women Finish Rich, Smart Couples Finish Rich and The Automatic Millionaire.

One of the blogs I follow is Money Saving Mom. Crystal has written a book that is coming out in January. As stated in her blog post, it is a comprehensive step-by-step plan to take you from financial mess to financial success.

In my next post I will offer book and gift ideas for children.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Half Price at Savers

Savers, 1623 38 St SW, Fargo is having a half price sale on Friday for Veterans Day. You can get 50% off all used clothing, shoes, accessories, and items tagged bed & bath. They are open from 7 AM to 9 PM. This sale is good at all US Savers stores.

Savers is a second hand store and the proceeds go towards local charities.

The store usually has 50% off sales on certain holidays, New Years Day, Presidents Day, Fourth of July, Veterans Day. Also, throughout the year, each day they have 50% off a certain color price tag.

Buying at second hand stores, you can get more for your clothing budget. Also, if you have been losing weight, it is one way to buy smaller sized clothing as you lose weight without having to spend a lot of money. Especially if you are trying to lose quite a bit and will be going through multiple sizes of clothes.

Other things to look for second hand are formal clothes. Usually, they are only worn once or a few times by the original purchaser and you will probably only want to wear it a few times too. So if you can find something that fits your purpose for a fraction of buying new, why not?

I have also purchased household items, such as bundt cake pan, angel food cake pan and other items second hand. In some cases, people donate items they do not need or items they have received as wedding gifts and don’t want or need. I bought a set of bowls once and there was a wedding card still in the box.

So if you are trying to make your money go further, check out second hand stores and you will never know what kind of treasures you may find.

Its a Wonderful Night Event

The It’s a Wonderful Night shopping event at West Acres will be held Sunday, November 20, from 6 -9 pm. Tickets for the event are $5 per person (children 6 and under are free) and are available at West Acres or participating organizations.

During the event you can register for door prizes and some stores will be having special savings and discounts.

The entire $5 price of the ticket is donated to the organization that you bought the ticket from. I used to belong an organization that participated in this event. I believe if you buy a ticket at West Acres you can put the name of a participating organization on your ticket and they will receive the money for it. Click here for a list of participating organizations.

Sunday, November 6, 2011


Following are some of the crafts I have made for the holidays and am working on more items.

Necklaces made from neckties
Fleece neckwarmer/headband
Kids and Money Calendar
Money Savvy Money Bank


Teacher Jars

Post It Note Holders

Saving on Holiday Meals

Just as with holiday gift shopping it is important to budget for your holiday meals. Many of the grocery stores currently have and will have baking items and other holiday items on sale in the coming weeks.

Sunmart is offering Holiday Bucks to use on future purchases. You can earn up to 4 Holiday Bucks per shopping visit. You can earn 1 Holiday Buck per $30 spent per shopping trip up to $120. The Holiday Bucks can be redeemed through December 31.

If you have a list of items you will need that can be purchased ahead of time you can add them to your shopping a few at a time instead of a large bill at the end.

This is also a great time to stock up on items you may use throughout the year such as flour, butter, nuts, baking chips, etc. Butter, nuts and baking chips can be stored in the freezer so they last longer.

With the prices of groceries continuing to increase, it may be wise to stock up on items now if your budget allows.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Holiday Vendor Shows

With the holidays coming up there are many Vendor and Craft shows planned. Following are some of the shows that I am aware of, there may be more. Some people prefer shopping this way instead of the malls. The Vendor shows consist of many of the home based businesses and people with homemade and craft items.

Saturday, November 5, there will be a Fall Bazaar at New Horizons, 2525 Broadway, Fargo from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm. Items available are crafts, baked goods, Tupperware, rolls, coffee and barbecues

There is a Holiday Shopping event being held at the Fargo-Moorhead Community Theatre on Saturday, November 5 from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm. The FMCT is at 333 4th St S, Fargo

Another one on November 5 is at the American Legion at 303 30th St N, Moorhead. There will be lunch served throughout the day. Proceeds will benefit auxiliary projects involving the troops, veterans, children and youth and community service.

Also, on November 5 there is a Hunting Widows Show planned at the El Zagal Shrine at 1429 3rd St N, Fargo from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm.
On Saturday, November 12, there will be a Holiday Sale at Living Waters Lutheran Church at 4451 40th Ave S, Fargo from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm. Some items featured will be fine arts and crafts from several local artists, pottery, holiday crafts, stained glass, quilts, sculpture, baked goods, cards, jewelry, photography, decorative painting, acrylic canvas, wearable art, lunch available for purchase

On Thursday , November 17 there will be a vendor sale at the West Fargo VFW at 308 Sheyenne Street, West Fargo from 5:30 to 8:30 pm.
Also, on Thursday, November 17 at Fabricators Supply at 806 NP Ave, Fargo from 5:00 -8:00 pm. There are over 20 vendors registered. There will also be raffle tickets sold for your chance to win prizes from the vendors. Proceeds from the raffle will benefit Nokomis Childcare Center.
There is a Vendor Sale planned for Sunday, November 20 at Ramada from noon to 4 with over 30 vendors.

There is a Vendor Sale scheduled for Monday, November 21 from 5:30 to 8:30 pm at the Fargo Doublewood Inn. Proceeds will be going to benefit PATH. There are over 30 vendors registered so far.

I will have a table at the Fabricators Supply sale on November 17 and the Ramada on November 20. With a variety of items, post it note holders, necktie necklaces, teacher gifts, coffee filter wreaths, and more. I will be having posts of items I am making coming up in future posts.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Gifts in Cans


In a previous post I described how to transform a cereal box into a gift/treat box.

I did a similar thing with nut cans and coffee cans. Cut scrapbook paper to make a band around the can and glue the edges together. You can also cut a circle of paper to glue to the top of the can. There are several recipes for snack mixes, here is a blog post I found with some ideas for snack mix recipes. The cans can also be used to give other gifts such as hot cocoa and other drink mixes

Used Book Sales

The American Association of University Women will be hosting a Used Bood Sale this Friday and Saturday at Moorhead Center Mall. The sale will be Friday from 9 am to 6 pm and Saturday 9 am to 4 pm. The books have been donated by the public.

Also, this weekend the Friends of the Fargo Library are having their Fall Book Sale. It is in the Meeting Room at the downtown location from 12-5 pm on Saturday and 1-5 on Sunday. Usually they have a bag sale on Sunday of the sale. I also saw the sale is at the Northport and Carlson locations. I was at the Carlson location today and there were signs for books on sale Friday - Sunday for 50 cents each.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Cereal Box to Gift Box

With a few simple steps you can transform a cereal box into a gift or treat box.

First I cut the top half or so off of the front and sides of the box. Then cut the back rounded so it will make a flap when you fold it over the front.

Then use gift wrap or scrapbook paper to wrap the bottom of the box like a gift, trim the paper around the top and sides and glue (I used glue dots). Then wrap with a piece of ribbon to close.

It can be used for baked goodies, snack mixes and other holiday gifts.

Review of Divine

I have read several books by Karen Kingsbury and was anxious to read Divine. I really enjoyed the book. Her other books have always been interesting but this one pulled me in more than usual. It was difficult to put it down, always looking forward to where the story was going to go.

The story is about Mary Madison telling her story of abuse to another woman who had just left an abusive relationship. She used her story to show that no matter how bad you think your life if and it is not worth living, there is a reason for you to be here. Mary had been taken from her mother at an young age and abused for several years. Years after being rescued, she became an advocate for abused individuals.

Karen Kingsbury has a great talent of storytelling and keeping the reader interested. It felt like you knew the characters.