Deal of the Day November 21, 2008

Put some Disney magic under the tree this year with savings of 25% off sitewide at Disney Shopping. Apply coupon code HOLIDAY25 at checkout to save on everything from character apparel to toys. While there be sure to check out the ten exclusive to Disney gifts. They include the Disney Princess Magical Talking Throne, Cars Lightning McQueen Race Track Play Set, Limited Edition Mickey Mouse Train Set, Giant Mickey Mouse Plush Toy, Deluxe Disney Princess Cinderella Costume, and some apparel. Some exclusions may apply. Offer ends 11/21/2008.

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Easy and Frugal Halloween Costume and Makeup Ideas

Halloween doesn’t have to be a budget breaker. There are plenty of costumes that can be put together for very little money, and often no money at all!

Real Simple Magazine had some terrific ideas for inexpensive and easy costume ideas. I’ve plagiarized them here, and added some of my own.

  • A green clown wig + a schoolgirl outfit = Broccoli Spears
  • The letter “e” on a piece of paper taped to your chest (but only if a boy) = e-mail
  • A plastic laundry basket with holes cut out for legs + white balloons + a shower cap = Bathing Beauty
  • A white dress + a pipe-cleaner halo + leaves in her hair and “dirt” on her face = Fallen Angel
  • Black clothes + yellow electrical tape down his torso + toy cars + Velcro = Highway
  • A pig nose + a blanket = Pig in a Blanket
  • A white sheet with two holes cut out for eyes = Ghost
  • A blue T-shirt + cotton balls + tape + a water gun = Partly Cloudy With a Chance of Rain
  • A polo shirt + khakis (or madras shorts) + a name tag = Jay Crew
  • A clear umbrella (preferably dome- shaped) + party streamers or metallic ribbons = Jellyfish
  • Two large circles cut out of cardboard with brown dots drawn over them, then connected with string or ribbon near the top to make it like a sandwich board= Chocolate Chip Cookie
  • A hockey shirt , sweatpants and a doll + wearing bright lipstick on her face = Hockey Mom/Sarah Palin
  • ~B00~

    Want to add some pizazz? Here are directions for making face paint and blood:

    How to Make Your Own Face Paint


    Materials Needed:
    • 1 tsp. Cornstarch
    • 1/2 tsp. Cold cream
    • 1/2 tsp. Cold water
    • Food coloring

    Instructions:

    Mix the ingredients together and paint away! This will wash off with cold cream.

    Non-Toxic Fake Blood:

    Materials Needed:

    • 1 c (250mL) peanut butter
    • 1 qt. (1 L) corn syrup
    • 1/2 cup (125mL) soap
    • 1 oz (30mL) red color
    • 15 drops blue food coloring
    1. Mix creamy peanut butter with a sufficient amount of white corn syrup to make a runny mixture.
    2. Add (non-sudsy) soap and food colors and mix well.
    3. Stir more corn syrup in until the desired consistency is reached.
    4. Refrigerate unused blood in an airtight container.
    Inexpensive white corn syrup is said to be thicker and more suitable for the fake blood than its costlier relatives.
    Note: Fake blood can stain, so be careful. Last year my nephew got store-bought fake blood on his parents’ white carpet. They now have wood floors. I think this recipe is less likely to stain, but drip at your own risk…
    Please remember to be safe!  Use reflective tape if you’re going out at night, make eyeholes large enough to see well, and always have a buddy.
    Have a safe and Happy Halloween!

    Deal of the Day September 21, 2008

    Happy Anniversary to Husband!

    Halloween is just around the corner, and you already know that costumes are on my mind.  For those who don’t want to make a costume, check out this deal from Disney!

    This weekend only, buy any costume from Disney Shopping to score a savings of 50% off all costume accessories. Use coupon code COSTUME when checking out. They’re also throwing in free shipping with coupon code TREATS. Shop for costume sizes infant up to adult. Sale ends 09/21/2008.

    Check back tomorrow for another great deal!

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    Your Economic Stimulus Check Didn’t Include Money For Your Kids? You’re Getting Another Check!

    The IRS has updated it’s FAQ’s to provide information for those whose Economic Stimulus Check didn’t include money for their kids, or sent the incorrect amount.  This is right from the IRS website:


    Q. I received my stimulus payment and it didn’t include money for my kids. Does the IRS plan to send me an additional check?

    A: Yes. The Internal Revenue Service will mail out approximately 350,000 additional economic stimulus payments starting in early July after discovering that some tax returns were improperly filed and did not capture the information needed to generate the $300 in qualifying child payments.

    In some instances, taxpayers did not check the proper box to trigger the $300 child payment. In other instances, a few tax software products primarily used by tax professionals did not capture the proper information needed for issuing the child stimulus payment.

    To fix the problem, the IRS is taking extra steps to identify the affected taxpayers and send them separate checks to cover their qualifying children. The IRS emphasized that the corrected checks will be mailed automatically, and taxpayers don’t need to call or take any additional steps.

    The vast majority of tax returns with child payments were completed accurately by taxpayers, tax professionals and software providers. The IRS estimates that more than 99 percent of nearly 36 million returns eligible for child stimulus payments were filled out accurately by taxpayers, meaning that less than 1 percent will need the additional check mail-outs.

    The additional payments involving qualifying children will be made starting in early July. These payments will be made by paper check, even if people received their regular tax refund or initial stimulus payment by direct deposit.

    Taxpayers in this situation received — or will receive in the next few weeks — stimulus payments falling $300 short per eligible child.

    The additional checks will be mailed as the regular weekly round of stimulus payments wrap up in early July. The regular stimulus payment timetable will not be affected by these additional checks.

    The issue with the child payments involves the Child Tax Credit checkbox on line 6c, column (4) on Form 1040 and Form 1040A.

    For the stimulus payments, IRS systems look for information in the checkbox area to generate the $300 qualifying child stimulus payment. In instances involving paper returns, taxpayers did not check this box when completing their return. In some instances, tax software may not have checked this box, meaning the $300 payment was not triggered.

    The IRS has worked closely with the two affected software vendors on this. The IRS appreciates the willingness of these firms to help identify the problem. They have reported to the IRS that their software has been corrected.

    The majority of the tax software issues involve commercial versions used by tax professionals and tax preparers. Included are Petz Enterprises’ professional and on-line software as well as ProSystems fx Tax software and on-line CompleteTax software from CCH.

    Taxpayers with questions about whether they are affected can contact their tax preparer or software provider.

    For taxpayers who haven’t filed a tax return yet, the IRS urges them to update their tax software before filing to ensure proper handling of their economic stimulus payment. Paper filers should make sure to review the eligibility requirements for qualifying children and check the box on line 6c, column (4) if appropriate.

    I understand that kinks have to be worked out, and mistakes happen.  But mistakes cost money, both to the government (and, ultimately, you and me) as they correct them, and to the taxpayers who took the word of their government and counted on the money being there when their government said they would.

    This is why I don’t count my chickens before they’re hatched.

    Frugal and Heartwarming … Perfect for Dad

    Father’s Day crafts are in the curriculum for, I’m guessing, every preschool in the country this week. Son’s school is no exception.

    When I picked him up from school yesterday the teacher handed me their chosen craft, and it brought tears to my eyes as I read it. It also made me wonder why they used a foot stand-in because feet so large certainly do not belong to my little boy!

    But indeed they do. They had to talk Son into taking off his socks, as he thought it would be a great idea to leave his socks on.

    Click on the photo to see it larger – and be able to read it without granny glasses. It’s easy enough to make at home, so I encourage you all to steal this idea. We’re going to frame it.

    And no, I didn’t miss the numerous punctuation errors and misspelling. Just another little thing that shouldn’t happen coming out of a school, and another reason I’m happy I decided that enough is enough. Son’s last day is Tuesday, and he will be going to another school this fall.

    Still, this school has been a good experience for Son. It’s funny how well this project represents our experience of this school: sloppy and fuzzy, but its heart is in the right place.

    Deal of the Day May 29, 2008

    It’s Disney Deal time!

    Disney Shopping makes all your dreams come true with 20% off purchases. Apply coupon code BONUS20 when checking out. Other outstanding savings include up to 50% off luggage, and swim merchandise. Shipping is just $5 on orders of $50 or more when coupon code SHIPFOR5 is used. Some restrictions apply, see site for details. Expires 05/29/2008.

    Check back tomorrow for another great deal!

    Subscribe to my RSS feed to make sure you don’t miss a thing!

    My Economic Stimulus Check Didn’t Include Money for My Kids!

    Many of you reading my article My Economic Stimulus Check Didn’t Arrive When Promised are saying that you did receive your Economic Stimulus check, but it didn’t include the $300 per child at all, or it didn’t give you $300 for every child you have.

    The IRS has now acknowledged that this is in fact a “systemic” error, meaning it a problem with the way the affected returns were processed, and that it affects many taxpayers.

    The IRS says the problem occurs when taxpayers complete their return incorrectly or a glitch in some tax software programs.

    The IRS frequently asked questions page has been updated with this news:

    Q. I received my stimulus payment and it didn’t include money for my kids. Does the IRS plan to send me an additional check?

    A: Yes. The Internal Revenue Service will mail out approximately 350,000 additional economic stimulus payments starting in early July after discovering that some tax returns were improperly filed and did not capture the information needed to generate the $300 in qualifying child payments.

    In some instances, taxpayers did not check the proper box to trigger the $300 child payment. In other instances, a few tax software products primarily used by tax professionals did not capture the proper information needed for issuing the child stimulus payment.

    To fix the problem, the IRS is taking extra steps to identify the affected taxpayers and send them separate checks to cover their qualifying children. The IRS emphasized that the corrected checks will be mailed automatically, and taxpayers don’t need to call or take any additional steps.

    The vast majority of tax returns with child payments were completed accurately by taxpayers, tax professionals and software providers. The IRS estimates that more than 99 percent of nearly 36 million returns eligible for child stimulus payments were filled out accurately by taxpayers, meaning that less than 1 percent will need the additional check mail-outs.

    The additional payments involving qualifying children will be made starting in early July. These payments will be made by paper check, even if people received their regular tax refund or initial stimulus payment by direct deposit.

    Taxpayers in this situation received — or will receive in the next few weeks — stimulus payments falling $300 short per eligible child.

    The additional checks will be mailed as the regular weekly round of stimulus payments wrap up in early July. The regular stimulus payment timetable will not be affected by these additional checks.

    The issue with the child payments involves the Child Tax Credit checkbox on line 6c, column (4) on Form 1040 and Form 1040A.

    For the stimulus payments, IRS systems look for information in the checkbox area to generate the $300 qualifying child stimulus payment. In instances involving paper returns, taxpayers did not check this box when completing their return. In some instances, tax software may not have checked this box, meaning the $300 payment was not triggered.

    The IRS has worked closely with the two affected software vendors on this. The IRS appreciates the willingness of these firms to help identify the problem. They have reported to the IRS that their software has been corrected.

    The majority of the tax software issues involve commercial versions used by tax professionals and tax preparers. Included are Petz Enterprises’ professional and on-line software as well as ProSystems fx Tax software and on-line CompleteTax software from CCH.

    Taxpayers with questions about whether they are affected can contact their tax preparer or software provider.

    For taxpayers who haven’t filed a tax return yet, the IRS urges them to update their tax software before filing to ensure proper handling of their economic stimulus payment. Paper filers should make sure to review the eligibility requirements for qualifying children and check the box on line 6c, column (4) if appropriate.

    So, there’s an answer for you. I hope your check arrives quickly!

    And in other IRS snafu news, Apparently the IRS may have deposited your payment into someone else’s account. Sorry, but if you got someone else’s payment you do not get to keep it. You should contact the IRS immediately.

    They make lots of other errors, too.

    The IRS has gotten the vast, vast majority of checks to people when they’re supposed to get there. If you’re not one of that vast, vast majority, though, that’s no comfort, is it?

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Update 6.16.2008 – The IRS knows it messed up on the kids.  They’re sending out more checks.  Click here for more info!

    Deal of the Day April 12, 2008

    This a great frugal activity for the kids to enjoy this summer.  If you’re lucky enough to have one of these theaters near  you.  Which I’m not.  But I’m not going to let my envy get in the way of your good time. Aren’t I a saint?

    Cinemark Theaters, in cooperation with Cartoon Network, is offering 10 weeks of fun films for kids this summer. A different movie will be shown every week, and can be purchased in advance for just $5 for all 10 movies, or separately at the box office for $1 per show. All movies will be rated either G or PG. Check out the site for locations near you. Offer ending unknown.

    Check back tomorrow for another great deal!

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    Deal of the Day March 29, 2008

    Happy Birthday, Vanessa!  Happy Birthday PaidTwice!

    This weekend only, Disney takes 25% off sitewide when coupon code BONUS25 is used. Other savings include their Spring Sale with savings of up to 60%. Coupon expires 03/30/2008.

    Check back tomorrow for another great deal!

    Subscribe to my RSS feed to make sure you don’t miss a thing!

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