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It’s inevitable. We all find ourselves at Chuck E. Cheeses with the half-eaten pizza, soda cups strewn around the table in every flavor, including the infamous suicide soda cup, pockets empty, and kids begging you to take them to the ticket counter so they can buy the same toys they got in Susie Q’s birthday gift bag a month ago. And you are now out about $40 some dollars. Makes you want to curse that stupid rat and buy a chain so you can rake in all those tokens!
All is not lost! I have some tips for you to use when visiting the fat rat, to help save you money and some of your sanity.
Sign up for the Chuck E. Cheese mailing list. You get an email about every month with new coupons for tokens, food, and drinks.
Check the website for the reward calendars. Have your child complete one of the rewards and turn it in for 10 free tokens! http://www.chuckecheese.com/promotions/rewards-calendars.php
Eat before you go. The pizza is expensive, at about $10 for a medium cheese pizza. Little Ceasars cost $5 for carry out!
Play Skee Ball online and win up to 40 tickets! http://www.chuckecheese.com/chuck-e-games/games/skeeball.php
Turn in those $25 coupons you get in the emails and you get around 165 tokens (.15 cents a token depending on the deal for the month), but don’t use them all up in one visit. Give each kid about 20 tokens and let them run loose and when they are done, they are done!
My fav, turn in those pizza and drink coupons every once in a while and upgrade to the plastic cups for 99 cents each. Bring those cups back with you and get some free soda!
Go early in the morning and go Monday through Thursday. This way you avoid the crowds and large birthday parties. You can also catch the employees who are there early testing out all the machines and they leave the tickets they win on the games. Great way to get a get at least free tickets!!
I hope that helps! Let me know if you guys can think of any more money saving tips!
Have some mushy, old bananas sitting in a bowl that no one will eat? Well, don't throw it out!! Make some banana bread!!
I have an easy recipe that will get rid of them and make a yummy dessert or quick breakfast.
3 overripe mashed bananas (brown spots make them extra yummy)
1/2 cup (or one stick) of butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 to 1 cup walnuts (optional)
How to make:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degress F, spray some non stick spray onto a bread loaf pan
2. Mix the softened butter and brown sugar until well incorporated and fluffy. About 5 minutes on a medium-low speed
Almost! Not quite as fluffy and mixed.
Just like this! Light and mixed!
3. Add the eggs and mashed bananas
Looking kinda runny now.
4. Pour in flour, salt, and baking soda, mix until it's just moistened. Then add the optional walnuts. Pour into the baking pan and bake for about 55-60 minutes.
This recipes makes a heavy, dense loaf. It will not be light and fluffy like angel food cake, but it tastes awesome! Just store in a ziploc bag right on the counter. Add a nice light dusting of powdered sugar and *drool* it's a yummy dessert!
Laundry detergent is expensive! Especially with kids, who can dirty 5 shirts in a single day. You can easily go through a bottle a month. So, to make things cheaper I make my own detergent. I've used it for months now and I cannot tell the difference in cleaning between the brand names and my own. Although I always keep a bottle of Shout nearby, just in case! ;)
You can find many recipes online for powdered and even liquid laundry soap, but I find using the powered much easier since I don't have room to store a 5 gallon bucket anywhere for the amount the recipes call for. This is the recipe I use to make my detergent. You can find all these items in the same laundry aisle as the big boys!
1 bar of Fels Naptha
1 1/2 cup of Borax
1 1/2 cups of Washing Soda
Grate the bar of Fels Naptha, it should look like the picture below (although you will get much more out of the bar, I just took this picture after I started the batch)
Now you can do 1 of two things here. I like to grind everything together to make a fine powder, but if you don't feel like dirtying anymore appliances you can leave the the Fels Naptha as is and just add the Borax and Washing Soda and POOF! You're done!
But if you are feeling up to it or just OCD like me, then lets GRIND!
Mix the Borax and Fels Naptha together in your grinder. I find mixing the fels naptha with the boarx while grinding makes less mess and the soap grinds up more finely instead of becoming a big goop.
Once you're happy with the powder, just add the Washing Soda and you're finished!
The end result of the grinding should look something like this.
For the laundry, use 1 Tablespoon for a small load and 2 Tablespoons for a large load. You can always mess around with the amounts of each ingredient depending on how you like the mix.
So what is the cost break down of this cheap soap??
1 bar Fels Naptha - .99 cents
1 box 55oz washing soda - $2.50
1 box 76oz Borax - $4.00
With my math it breaks down to less than $2 a batch. Depending on the prices you find the items at. Remember this is a homemade recipe and it is low sudsing, but your clothes will still come out clean!