Thursday, September 15, 2011

Bargain Cooking Class

This is my blog, so I can promote myself, right? A friend and I just started a cooking class for locals. We have talked to a lot of people who don't cook, because they don't know where to start.

We teach a basic lesson each week for 8 weeks, demonstrate a meal to cook, then eat and socialize. It's a blast!

Check out the pictures from our first class: Cooking 101--Essentials Tools and Ingredients

  • If you are local and interested (and not a crazy person), give me a holler and I can give you info.
  • If not, check craigslist or local newspapers for programs near you.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Bargain Preschool Art Class

This year is my last year with a child at home during the school year.

*sniff, sniff*

I decided not to put my daughter into a regular preschool, because...
  • Our Joy School group dissolved.
  • Preschool is expensive.
  • I will miss her too much!
Instead, our preschool is called "Mommy & Me" preschool. (I have never been good at naming things.)

We have a preschool homework book (Costco for $9).
We go to story time at the library (free).
She has scheduled play dates with a few friends (cost: returning the favor).

She also loves art! I tried to find an affordable art class for preschoolers, but $60 was the best I could find around here. Ugh! Then I discovered a program at the Dallas Museum of Art. It's called, "Arturo's Art and Me." Designed for children 3 to 5 years of age, the class has an art lesson followed by art activities. It lasts 1.5 hours, is offered once a month, and is limited to about 10 children. We went today for the first time. It was awesome!

Today they learned about still life. The children listened to a story about still life painting, then looked at two paintings of still life and discussed them. Then the class worked together to create this still life. Sofie placed the orange papaya that is right in front by the black grapes. (I'm so proud of her!)

In the studio, Sofie got to use food as a stamp. The cut pieces of food were dipped into paint, then stamped onto the paper to create their own still life.

Final product:
"Explosion of Food" (Sofie's words)

The cost is $10 per class. However, I became a member of the museum today for $90. That means I can take her to the class for free every month and visit the museum anytime I want (for a year) with another adult and any kids under 12. That's a bargain in my book!

  • Reserve your spot early. I had to plead with them to add Sofie, since the class was already full. They kindly obliged. If you sign up for the newsletter, it will inform you when the classes are available to sign up for.
  • If you don't live in the DFW area, check with your local museum to see if they have a similar art program.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


HI I'm the Bargain Huntress' new apprentice. I have several kinks i need to work out of my system to find better deals. Number one is: I hate finding good deals. Why go through the countless number of extra effort when i have money to get what i want?
Here is a genuine leather $1.99 wallet. Pretty flashy huh? Well across town they're having a HUGE sale, and you can get this fantastic wallet for ONLY $1.97! Well see i have to learn the way of the bargain huntress and force myself to drive across town, spending a dollar on gas in the process and come home to post what a STRIKING deal i got, on my blog.

Friday, June 17, 2011

CoolSculpting by Zeltiq

While perusing my Shape magazine this morning, I read an article about a new procedure that is an alternative to liposuction: CoolSculpting by Zeltiq.

First off, let me explain my view of plastic surgery. I don't ever plan to consider it as an option for myself, exceptin the most extreme case. My main reason for this is that I don't want my daughters to think they need plastic surgery to be beautiful. I want them growing up to love themselves the way they are. Plus, I'm betting the trends will come full circle, and those that have remained natural will be en vogue. That's my two cents!

On the other hand, a procedure like CoolSculpting might be a low-risk alternative to major surgery for those who are considering liposuction. It only takes 60 minutes. This contraption freezes fat cells to kill them and the body's lymphatic system gets rid of them. The FDA recently approved it. "Studies" claim that users noticed a 25% reduction.

Dr. Oz featured CoolSculpting on his show and seemed to be on board. Whether it truly works remains to be seen. The price seems to be comparable to lipo. One session is $750, but it takes a few months to get results. So while this is not a monetary bargain, it may be a health bargain. Not having to go under the knife has its upside!

  • Make sure you go to a reputable place. Check with your dermatologist or MD.
  • Another review.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Old Navy Groupon

I've had great success with Groupon! Used it for excursions, clothing, gifts, etc. Here's one not to miss:

Pay $10 for $20 at Old Navy!
  • Don't wait too long to use it! This Groupon expires July 30th.
  • You can get 50% off the latest, or make clearance purchases dirt cheap.
  • The more you spend over $20, the more you reduce your discount. If you spend just $20, your savings will be 50%. If you spend $40, the discount is reduced to 25%.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Try Groupon

One of my newest favorite places to find bargains is They have great deals on local businesses. You go to, select the city where you want to find deals, then wait for a deal to snatch up.

I found two great bargains recently. Last December they offered a $50 Nordstrom Rack gift certificate for $25! So I found awesome deals at Nordstrom Rack, then basically got another 50% off the discount prices. I bought several sweaters, a pair of pants, tights, and some t-shirts for $25. I'm about to use the other one when I go to Hawaii. I bought surfing lessons for my husband and me. We each get a two-hour lesson for $43 a piece. I was expecting to pay $100. That's over 50% off. I can't wait to go surfing!!!

  • You can choose more than one city to watch (receive emails for).
  • Make sure you read the fine print. Don't waste your money because you weren't aware of all the rules.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Homemade Foam Roller

Have you used a foam roller before? It's almost like having a personal massage therapist. My IT (iliotibial) band, a muscle that runs down the outside of the leg, gets really tight all the time, so I use a foam roller at the gym quite a bit.

This morning I wanted to use one, but I'm not at the gym and didn't want to run to the store for a foam roller. So I made up my own version.
I pulled my yoga mat out of my closet and three cans of green beans out of my pantry. Then I rolled the cans up in the yoga mat and secured it closed with the band that came with my yoga mat. It worked like the real thing!

  • If you want to buy one, the cheapest I found online was through for $6 (+ shipping).
  • The nice thing about having your own is that you don't have to share sweat and body fluids with others at the gym.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Cinch! by Cynthia Sass

Over the holidays, I panicked....Not about guests or gifts or gourmet foods. I panicked about my weight. By no means do I think I am fat. I workout, eat healthy, and do pretty well taking care of myself. However, I weigh about 10 pounds more than I did after my 3rd pregnancy. My #4 and #5 children have brought mounds of joy to our home, but they also dragged along 10 pounds and left it mostly around my waist. That's why I panicked.

And it happened to be the same moment that I was perusing Shape magazine's January issue. In this issue was an article about Cinch! by Cynthia Sass. This diet is all about appropriate portions and the right combinations of nutritious foods. I decided to give it a try. After sampling a few of the recipes from the magazine, I wanted more of Cynthia's recipes and more about her diet strategy. So I bought the book...

I know this is not a diet blog, but I've had such great success, I wanted to share. I have lost 8 pounds after 5 weeks--my goal was to lose 10. I feel great--lots of energy, no more afternoon sluggishness, clearer skin, less illness, and less mood swings. The recipes are delicious in my opinion, and my family likes them, too. I could live on this book's principles for the rest of my life.

Since this is a bargain blog, I'll tell you the cheapest place to get the book if you're interested. If you have a kindle, you can get it for $10. That's the cheapest. If you want the hard back, you'll have to pay more, since the book was only published in December of 2010. I paid $25 for it at Walmart. But now you can get it for $14.28 on Choose "Site to Store," and you won't have to pay shipping.

  • Normally, I buy used books, because they come in great quality for cheap. Amazon Marketplace, ebay, and are great places to buy used books. I can usually get any book I want for 1 to 99 cents plus $3 shipping.
  • Most of my books, however, come from the library. Can't beat free!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

LOFT Winter Final Clearance

Head to LOFT for awesome deals! LOFT's Winter Final Clearance Sale offers an extra 60% off clearance prices, which means you can get some great clothing at very low prices.

  • Wear your new winter items a couple of times (for fun!), then tuck them away for next winter.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Dillard's Winter Clearance

Take an extra 30% off already low clearance prices at Dillard's.

Just started yesterday...

  • Check online, but you'll find better deals on Dillard's winter clearance in the store.
  • Dillard's is my favorite department store for clearance sales. You can sometimes find great items for 90% off original price.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Homemade Pillow Pet

Remember how I claimed to be a fashion designer and seamstress? For Christmas, I got brave and decided to try something for real. Behold the homemade pillow pet...

My daughters (3 and 5) have been begging me for one ever since they began to watch Qubo, which has a pillow pet commercial about every 5 minutes. The requests crescendo shortly after each commercial, then die off, only to recrescendo after the next commercial. Needless to say, all I hear is, "When can I get a pillow pet?....When can I get a pillow pet?"

My problem was that I couldn't swallow shelling out $20 to $40 for one of these glorified stuffed animals, so I attempted to create my own.

I went to the store to look at the real thing. I took notes and made sketches of what I thought were the components.

When I came home, I grabbed some fabric scraps and made a quick, small prototype from my notes.

Then I took the pieces from the prototype (after a few adjustments) and drew a larger pattern for the pillow pet.

Here they are on Christmas morning!

The whole thing ended up being easier and quicker than I thought it would be. I spent about $5 and one hour on each homemade pillow pet. My girls love the fact that no one else has a pillow pet just like theirs.

Does anyone want to invent a new genus and species for this animal?

  • Use coupons to purchase the fabric in order to keep the price down. I purchased this fabric at Jo-Ann's.
  • Email me at if you want my instructions and pattern.
  • Visit No Big Dill to see a REAL seamstress in action!

Friday, January 21, 2011

J. Crew Factory Winter Clearance

Take an extra 40% off clearance items on J. Crew Factory online.

Lots of good stuff at good prices.

  • Orders over $100 get free shipping.
  • Use code: MUSTSHOP.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

LOFT Winter Clearance

Shop the Winter Clearance sale at LOFT.

Store Locator

Check out a few of my favorites:

Basic Turtleneck: 12.50

Colorblock Top: 17.50

Cropped Cargo Pant: 7.50

Classic Boot Cut Jean: $25

Drape Neck Tee: $17.50 ( I just bought this one in gray and love it!)
  • Check online and in the store. Sometimes items online are not in the store, and vice versa.
  • Be willing to pay a little more. I've had a lot of Ann Taylor and LOFT clothing over the years (my sister used to work there). The clothing comes in nice fabrics that wash well and stay looking good for a long time. I have Ann Taylor items in my closet that I bought over 10 years ago that still look great.

Friday, January 7, 2011

2011 Bargain Quests

After the Christmas decorations are put away, the melancholy brought on by the winding down of another holiday season gives way to the excitement of kids going back to school, filing taxes, organizing my house, and a list of new bargains to seek.

Here's my list for 2011:

  1. Airfare to Hawaii for 7--my parents have their Mariott timeshare reserved for spring break for us, so I just need to find a great deal on airfare.

  2. Surfing lessons--see #1.

  3. Mattress set--we've had our current mattress set as long as we've been married, almost 17 years. It's time for a new set.

  4. Deck furniture--to furnish the new deck we're building in the backyard. The deck should be complete in a week or two.

What's on your list?