Shutterfly: 50% of All Photo Books

Shutterfly Photo Books 468x60

This post contains affiliate links. You can read more in my disclosure policy. 

Do you have a Shutterfly photo book in progress? If so, check out this deal! Use the code RELAX for 50% off ALL photo books at Shutterfly! This deal is good through May 27th so hurry and get your books finished. I worked on our yearly photo album last night so I could take advantage of this deal. You can also use the code RELAX for 30% off all other Shutterfly products.

In addition, I want to thank all of you who order your Shutterfly products through my links. As a Shutterfly affiliate, I make a small percentage for all orders placed through my website, so I greatly appreciate it. You certainly don’t have to do so, but thank you to everyone who does!

Frugal in Ft Wayne: 5/24 – 5/27

Frugal in Fort Wayne - Top 5 Deals of the Week at Joyfully Thriving

Are you enjoying your Memorial Day weekend? If you still need to pick up some things for your weekend cookouts, there are good deals to be found at Meijer and Kroger. While Meijer still has their ground chuck at $2.99/lb this week (plan ahead and freeze some!), the other good deals I see are at Kroger.

1. Kroger tortilla chips at $1
Buy 3 and get a $1 catalina to use on your next order
Final price: $0.67 each after catalina

2. Ritz and Triscuits at $1.99
Final price: $1.99

3. Heritage Farm boneless, skinless chicken breasts at $1.88/lb
Final price: $1.88/lb

4. Gala apples (3 lb bag) at $2.50
Final price: $0.83/lb

5. Van Camp’s pork and beans at $0.50
Final price: $0.50

Dairy and Diaper Deals with a Question

I did my shopping early this week, as in Monday morning, Nathan and I headed out to do our weekly grocery shopping. He’s gotten to the point where I have to strap him into the grocery cart now because he will try to climb out. He still waves at everyone as we shop and doesn’t mind me meandering the aisles. I think we both enjoy our weekly bargain shopping trips!

We started at Kroger where I stocked up on their great dairy deals. I am so thankful that we live where dairy prices are so reasonable! Here’s what we bought at Kroger.

Kroger - 5/18/15 - $21.67

Gallons of milk were $1.99. They hadn’t restocked the shelves with skim so I bought whole milk for Nathan. I used half of the gallon to make a fresh batch of yogurt and left the rest for Nathan to drink. Cottage cheese and sour cream were both on sale for $1.99. These were the large containers so right at my target price. Cheese was on sale with a digital coupon and I got each of the 16 ounce blocks / bags for $2.99. That is $1.50 per 8 oz which is again below my target price. (If you’re interested in seeing what my target prices are, I have a free printable of my stock-up prices that you can download.) The final purchase was Mom’s Best Cereal. It was on sale for $1.50 and I had a digital coupon for $0.75/1. I’ll buy any cereal if it’s only $0.75 a box!

At Kroger, I spent $21.67. Then, we headed down the road to Meijer where we bought the following.

Meijer - 5/18/15 - $41.77

Memorial Day sales were starting so I bought us two cases of soda for summer travels. $5 is as low of a price as I can find anymore! 80% lean ground beef was on sale for $2.99/lb so I bought 3 pounds. I have 15 pounds in the freezer from the other week but this was a price I rarely find.

I bought a bit of produce for the week and chocolate chips for $2 a bag. Those go together nicely, don’t they? My stockpile was out of deodorant for my husband so I had to buy some at regular price. Sigh. I also bought sunscreen for Nathan for the summer since Coppertone is what our doctor recommends. It was on sale as “Buy 1, Get 1 at 50% Off” so I bought two bottles so we’re prepared.

My best deal came on the diapers! There were some great Mperks deals with these. I had clipped a $3/1 Pampers coupons and a $1/1 Luvs coupon. Neither were on sale but the coupons made the Pampers and Luvs $5.99 each. On top of that, I had a $10 Mperks baby reward so I paid only $0.99 for each package of diapers! And that, ladies and gentleman, is how I have spent (to date) less than $50 for all of Nathan’s diapers.

At Meijer, I spent $41.77. When you add it to my Kroger shopping, I spent $63.44 this week. It brings my total for May to $142.02. I still have $60 of my monthly $200 grocery budget to spend. Not bad at all so far! How are you doing this month?

Now comes the question. I enjoy sharing my grocery trips in pictures because it holds me accountable, but I want to know this. Do YOU like this feature? Is it too detailed or too frequent? Would you prefer it as a monthly feature or do you like seeing it every week? Would you like me to share our weekly menus along with the shopping trips? I’m pondering a lot of these ideas and would greatly appreciate your feedback! Thanks, everyone!

Kroger: Friday Freebie Hershey’s Chocolate

Kroger Free Hershey's Chocolate

Today’s Friday Freebie at Kroger is for a free Hershey’s with Caramel chocolate bar (1.1 oz). The coupon is only available to download today but you have until June 7th to redeem it. Free chocolate? What a great way to start off a Friday!

Friday Freebies on May 22

Friday Freebies - Featuring Free Ebooks at Joyfully Thriving

The end of the school year is in sight! We have a long weekend ahead of us and then I only have 3 remaining music classes to teach. Even though my husband has 4 days left, he’ll finish before me, due to my part-time schedule. Even as we wrap up another year of teaching (my 11th!), we’re looking ahead to the summer.

Since it’s Friday, it’s time for another list of free ebooks. Thanks to Shelly at Frugal Family Home for her help in compiling this list of Kindle freebies! Remember that Amazon pricing, promotions, and availability are subject to change at any time without notice. Please confirm the price before completing your purchase. Also, some of the links below are my referral links. You can see my disclosure policy for more information. If you are reading this in a reader or email, due to Amazon’s policy, you must click through to my website for the links to work.


Running Home

A Mighty Fortress

Thunders Shadow


Non Fiction

Home Gardening 101

Trust Your To Do List

Minimalist Budget

Beginners Guide To Sewing



The Hoosier Mama Book of Pie

Healthy Dump Dinners Diet

Frugal Cooking with Beans

Kids Books

The Fairy Tales of the Endless Space

Sing-Along Construction Song

Cedric The Shark Get’s Toothache!

Heart Tied

7 Prep Steps for Successful Garage Sale Shopping

Before you go looking for garage sale bargains, read this list of tips to help you make the most of your garage sale shopping!

Spring is the time of garage sales! I always enjoy the treasure hunt of garage sales to see what bargains I can find. Are you the same way? If so, here are a couple things I’ve learned to do before I start shopping to maximize my time – and savings.

1. Make a wish list before you shop.

I start my list months ahead of time. Think about what items you would like to find as well as your target price. If you’re looking for clothes, what sizes? Are there certain brands or products you’d like to find? Be specific and keep updating your listing.

My garage sale list currently includes Little People (with a $0.25 each target price), books (especially nice board books and hardcover quality children’s literature), glass serving dishes, wire baskets, Melissa and Doug toys, and a food dehydrator. I’m also watching for surprise finds like low-priced Legos or Duplos, as well as children’s clothes for Nathan. I’m always looking because I bought an entire paper sized box full of Legos for only $5 once. Amazing find!

2. Watch for neighborhood sales.

This makes good sense. Garage sales are fun but if you can shop at several that are close together, you will maximize your garage sale shopping time while also saving on gas. It’s not always possible but do watch for neighborhood sales. You’ll soon learn which are the best neighborhoods for yard sales, too.

3. Plan out your route the night before.

If you are serious about a productive garage sale morning, make your plan the night before. I now use Craigslist as a main source for finding new garage sales. Once you have your list, highlight the ones that sound interesting, make a logical driving plan and print out any necessary driving directions. It’s much better to take a couple minutes and plan ahead so you can be ready to go first thing in the morning. That leads me to my next tip!

4. Arrive near the beginning of the sale, if at all possible.

There are two sides of the coin when it comes to sales. Some people love to show up right away for the best deals while others prefer to wait until the end of the sale for extra bargaining power. I’ll be honest that I arrive in the morning but not usually first thing. With a little one at home, it just doesn’t happen right now. Whatever you do, please remember to be polite and don’t arrive until the sale is advertised to start!

5. Pay with small bills and change.

You’re going to a garage sale – not a bank. Yes, we expect the people we are buying from to be prepared with change but it simply isn’t good etiquette to pay for a $0.50 item with a $20 bill. Buyers and sellers will all be happy when you are prepared to pay with small bills and change. I personally like to bring lots of $1’s with a couple $5’s and a couple dollars in quarters.

6. Don’t be afraid to negotiate.

This is still the hardest one for me because I want to be polite. Still, I do like a good bargain. At a recent garage sale, I found 3 books that were marked at $0.50. I asked the owner if he would take $1 for all 3 and he easily agreed. When negotiating, do make reasonable requests. If it is the first 15 minutes of the sale, the owner is probably not going to sell a $25 piece of furniture for only $5. With negotiating, I never cut the price more than in half. I also remind myself to ask because the worst thing that can happen is that my counter offer is denied and I pay sticker price.

7. Be patient and appreciate the unexpected bargains!

Garage sales really are a treasure hunt. You never know what you are going to find! Be willing to look but be willing to walk away. When you drive up to a garage sale, you will never know what bargains you might (or might not) find. The only way you can find a good garage sale deal is to patiently shop the garage sales. Have fun while you do!

Do you have any prep tips you would add to this list? What’s the best bargain you’ve (so far) found at a garage sale?

Before you go looking for garage sale bargains, check out these tips to help you make the most of your garage sale shopping.

Capture the Moment Review

Capture the Moment

This post may contain affiliate links. You can read more in my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting Joyfully Thriving!

I love pictures. I love taking pictures. I love looking at pictures. My one sister has become quite the photographer and I aspire to be as good as she has become. I saved up and purchased a Canon Rebel T3 before my son was born. Using a DLSR has improved my photography but it has also reminded me how much more I still have to learn.

I love photography because I love capturing the little moments of life. I am drawn to the simple and ordinary which I want to remember. For that reason, I was eager to read the new photography book, Capture the Moment by Sarah Wilkerson.

Capture the Moment is exactly what the title says. It’s a photographer’s guide to finding beauty in the everyday moments of family life. It was an easy book to read because on each page was a gorgeous picture. The photographs were taken by a wide variety of photographers but every one shared focused on everyday life. Beside each photograph was an instruction with a short paragraph of explanation.

One of my favorite photographs in the books was the one of a little girl walking down a dirt road, holding a bouquet of yellow tulips, with an old farmhouse blurred in the background. The title said “Consider visual progression” and went on to explain how and why do to do that.

This book was a visual book – perfect for experienced and aspiring photographers. The photographs quickly showed you why these elements (ie title instructions) were so important. I also appreciated that the explanations were short and to the point.

Between each chapter of photographs, there were photography exercises for you to complete on the various subjects explained. I have not yet had time to complete all of them, but they appeared to be good exercises that focused on improving your photography.

If you are a photographer who loves capture the everyday moments, you would enjoy flipping through this book. If you are a mom who wants to savor more fleeting moments of your child’s life, take a moment to peruse this book. Capture the Moment is a beautiful one to read.

Please note that I received a free copy of this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Shutterfly: Free Magnet


Today and tomorrow, Shutterfly is giving away a free magnet to all customers when you use the code LUCKYME at checkout. Shipping and handling still applies. I love the 3 by 5 size but I also like the set that comes with 4 mini magnets. They are all about an inch in size and you can put different pictures on each one – essentially getting four magnets for free! Whatever you chose, order your free magnet while it’s available. These make great gifts, too!