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Holidays can be fatal to your budget…but only if you let them.  As you know, I am a self-proclaimed cheapskate.  Not a day goes by that I don’t try to think of new, creative ways that my family can use to save money and/or get something for free.  Some of my ideas are unorthodox but they work for us.  Certain holidays are not celebrated in my family, at least not on the specified day or in the traditional sense.  Valentines Day is one of those holidays.  So, while everyone is trying to outdo one another with flowers and candy, the Lane family is plotting how we can have the most fun with the least amount of money!  Here are some of the things we do for Valentines Day:

* We buy our candy on February 15th.  It’s still fresh and it’s always around 50% off.  No, it’s not the BEST deal but it’s the best selection and sometimes that works out better.  Buy the leftovers later to use in recipes and so forth.

*We go out using one of our Christmas gift cards, combined with a coupon of course. We also either go to lunch or a few days early or late.  Get caught in a crowd or pay holiday prices?  What do you think I am, an amateur?!?!

*We buy our decorations on clearance.  The Lane family stocks up on Valentines decor and cards one year in advance.  This way, you don’t have to rush out at the last minute plus you get everything at the best price.  Just be careful that nothing has a year on it.

*My flowers come from a grocery store, again, the day after.  Grocery store bouquets are just as pretty and they usually have some leftover after the holiday, on clearance.  Just put those babies in water and add some Sprite. They will perk right up!

*We might make a special dinner at home.  Restaurants cost a small fortune.  Plan a menu of what you would order at your favorite restaurant and then find the recipe.  Make it at home, together.  Thank you, Pinterest.

*Use your imagination.  Make your loved one a gift.  Those are more heartfelt anyway! I made this man-bouquet for my husband a few years ago.  I used a vase and ribbon that we already had and cheap heart sprigs.  The jerky and candy were on sale too.  It costs around $5 to make and he loved it.

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These might be common sense but I hope you might rethink how you spend Valentine’s Day.  Don’t let card companies and jewelry stores tell you how to celebrate!  🙂

So, what are your plans this V Day?

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Want another way to get free stuff in the mail?  One website and newsletter that I always use is FreeFlys!  They have a daily e-newsletter that they send and they update their website very frequently.  Your best bet is to follow them on Facebook though.

You might miss some of the offers if you only follow the newsletter. They update their Facebook as soon as they get an offer so get them on your newsfeed!  They post all sorts of offers, such as samples, couponing, contests, and the like.  You won’t be disappointed.  I get a lot of my free stuff from this site.

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The pictures I posted today are pictures from their Facebook.  I didn’t take the photos.  However, if you have seen my Mailbox Monday posts, you can see that it’s possible to get a nice amount of free stuff in the mail!  So, go give FreeFlys a try.  Let me know what you think!

This is not a sponsored post.  All opinions are my own and I was in no way compensated to tell you about this product/website.

I know, I know.  It’s not Friday.  However, I wanted to share this site with you since I get a lot of freebies there.  I was too busy living it up in New York City on Friday and didn’t have enough time to post!

Enough bragging though, The site is called PinchMe!  I think it’s fairly new but it’s wildy popular.  They open with free samples on Tuesdays and they email you about it.  Your best bet is to run like lightning to their site though because the samples run out EXTREMELY fast!  They send them all in one box, which is nice because it feels like Christmas when they come in the mail.  They are all substantial sizes too!  I’ve gotten some really nice samples from them.  They also have small surveys after you receive the box to see if you like the samples and whether or not you would buy the product again.

Here’s a picture of one of my PinchMe boxes:

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My daughter and I can both vouch that the chocolate bar was delicious.  The hand cream was a great size for my purse and the SnapPea Crisps went into the diaper bag for an on-the-go snack.  A big thumbs-up from the Lane household.

Sign up for PinchMe and if they ask, please tell them that I (ducktapegurl or Stacy Lane) sent you.  I hope you enjoy it! Let me know if you do!

This is not a sponsored post.  All opinions are my own and I was in no way compensated to tell you about this product/website.

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Last week was pretty awesome, as you can see!  I won a coat for my son on twitter from @HallmarkBaby.  I won an Annie’s Organic Pizza kit (pizza board, cutter, coupon & t-shirt) from Little Island Studios.  I got a perfume sample from Elizabeth Arden.  My US Weekly was a free subscription.  I got the nail goodies from Kiss during a giveaway from Influenster.  The serum I got from a giveaway on Physician’s Formula’s facebook page.   I also received the free cookbook that I am featured in from Gooseberry Patch!  What did you get in the mail last week?

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Each Monday, I post all the freebies that I got in the mail last week on my Instagram page.  This week, I got a ton of free magazines, a coupon book, dishwasher detergent, scent booster, air freshener, hair oil and vitamins!  What did you get in the mail last week?

I wasn’t paid by any of these companies to post their products.  I only post what I’ve gotten absolutely, 100% free from sample offers, contests, newsletters, etc.

As promised, I am going to start posting ways that I get free stuff in the mail.  I don’t think you have to spend a ton of time online in order to get a happy mailbox.  It just takes some strategic planning and some good websites to follow.  That said, here is one trick you should follow if you start getting freebies.

Create a free email address that it dedicated to your freebies.  No one wants to clog their email with a ton of junk that they never read.  So go to yahoo or gmail, whichever you choose and get a free email that you put on all your forms for free stuff.  That way, when you get bombarded with emails that you don’t want, you can just periodically go and delete them all at once!

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One site that it reliable and worth your time is pgtryit.com.  They are run by Proctor & Gamble so every time they have a new product or something they want to focus on, they give out samples. Every once in awhile, they allow you to get a sample box of products.  It’s nice because it’s stuff that you actually use!

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Here’s one that I recently received in the mail.  (You’re getting a sneak peek at Mailbox Monday, if you follow my Instagram, Facebook or Twitter!)

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That little booklet is filled with coupons!  They will even email you when it’s time to get more samples. I’ve seen people post P&G boxes with 5 or samples at a time too. You can then rate them on the site or tweet about your experiences (#TryitLoveit).  I love telling everyone about freebies I’ve gotten or how well (or not so well) a new product works.  Companies love feedback too.  I feel that this site is well worth my time.  How about you?  So, go sign up and watch the freebies start rolling in.

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This is not a sponsored post.  All opinions are my own and I was in no way compensated to tell you about this product/website.