Thursday, February 23, 2012

Meeting Nineteen

Guess what today was?!  Our first official meeting where we earned one of our petals!!  If you don't know me, then you don't know that I'm the adult who really does clap and jump up and down when we do exciting things like this (yes, I can be annoying like that).  Today, we worked on the petal honest and fair.

First up though, to start out our meeting, we talked about Thinking Day.  Though it was yesterday and we already had our fair, we still wanted to touch on it.  So, how do you bring Thinking Day down to the level of a kindergartner and first grader?  Tell them what they would be called as Girl Guides in other countries of course!    Seriously, I'm a little jealous of other guides because they have some of the cutest names!  If we lived in Canada, my daughter would be a spark.  I mean how stinkin' cute is that?!  If she lived in England, she would be a Rainbow.  Obviously, Daisies are named for our amazing founder, but I can't help but envy guides in other countries.  The girls thoroughly enjoyed it though.  Some of them were a bit perplexed by being called a Bulbul or Beaver Guide, but Sunflower seemed to also be a hit.

Our discussion was followed by the reading of Lupe's Story from the Daisy Girl Guide's book.  On a more local version of Thinking Day, I asked where Lupine's were from (I might have gotten it wrong, but I said they were from Texas, since most of them could relate to Lupe looking a but like Bluebonnets).  In the story, Lupe's friends all wanted to play different games, and so they did, which worked out perfectly for us.

Our first activity was Duck, Duck, Goose.  I happen to have a handy dandy game book.  It was written/geared towards Girl Scouts too, so was perfect us, especially because it had the rules.  To keep the girls "honest," we asked them to explain the rules, and then began playing.  A few turns in, we pointed out the "wrong" things they had been doing and read the rules, so we could keep it "fair."  Between that, I threw in my own little twist.  When I got goosed, instead of saying duck, duck, I started saying the names of fruits, vegetables and farm animals.  They all though it was funny, and didn't realize it wasn't "fair" until I pointed it out.  Our rule book also told us that we all had to be sitting cross-legged.  To be fair, we told the girls wearing skirts and dresses they could sit on the knees.  It was interesting.  Each turn, if one girl was not being "fair," we asked her to be "honest" and own up to her mistake.  It was also a lesson in humility, but those smart cookies caught on fast.

For our second activity, we took a water break.  I know what your thinking, what the heck does this have to do with being honest and fair?!  Everything!!!  We had some Dixie cups left over from Thinking Day.  I made a batch of Gatorade with my husband's stash of Gatorade powder and threw the two things in my bag.  I asked all of the girls to line.  One by one I gave them each a cup.  As I gave them a cup, I asked them to then go to the end of the line.  They all kept their order, so it my next point of being honest was a bit moot.  From there, I then poured Gatorade for them.  After I poured, I asked them to go to the end of the line, but not to drink any yet.  Here's the twist- some of them got a trickle while others got their cups filled.  It didn't take them very long to figure it out, and they called me out on my unfairness.  I let the girls with filled cups gulp it down and had the girls with very little come get more.

Up next was Mother May I?  Just like with duck, duck, goose, we talked about the rules and then started playing.  The girls had to be honest about how many steps or hops they took, and if they weren't being fair, they had to go back to the starting line.  Once we had all had a go, we busted out the rule book and did the same thing to keep us all honest and fair.

Overall, I think our first petal went well.  Even before we presented them with our game choices, they asked to play Red Rover, yet again.  I'm beginning to regret playing that during Meeting Three since it keeps coming back to haunt us.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Next Year's prep, take 1!

As you already know, I've put Flat Juliette into the works as a tool for our first meeting next year. That's only one meeting, which leaves me with a LOT of work left to do. This year we worked out of 5 Flowers, 4 Stories, 3 Cheers For Animals! And the Daisy Guide book. Our Daisy troop next year will have a lot of new girls since most of this year's troop are bridging to Brownies. I have a lot of things to keep in mind!

Challenge number 1- attempting to plan activities around the petals, but ones that are different from this year's activities

Challenge number 2- incorporating in the journey books Welcome to the Daisy Flower Garden and Between the Earth and Sky

Challenge number 3- planning new/different field trips

Challenge number 4- keeping our budget as low as possible by incorporating more recycled crafts into our meeting plans

Challenge number 5- collecting donations of said recycled materials

Challenge number 6- considering a "journey day" where our new Daisies can have the opportunity to work on 5 Flowers, 4 Stories, 3 Cheers For Animals! Which in turn will earn them the Journey Summit pin

Challenge number 7- organizing a massive SWAP project

Challenge number 8- finding a new co-leader

Challenge number 9- planning projects that can turn into future projects (ie: turning the SWAP project in to pen pals, and turning a school flower garden into an on going thing)

Challenge number 10- incorporating more of the new Girl Scout mantras into our "lesson" planning

It's a lot to digest and comprehend, especially when dealing with a bunch of 6 year olds!  Thankfully, I have plenty of time to work on this.

SWAP project

In my planning for year 2, one of my biggest challenge has been coming up with things that are different from everything we did this year.  Yes, we only have a few girls not bridging, but if I do anything remotely similar to what we did this year, I will catch flack from them!!  We recently received our first SWAP package from a troop out of state (I can not wait to give it to our girls!!).  After a little research time trying to come up with more ideas on what we can do next year, I found one line on Making Friends that really stuck with me- "Girls earn their violet petal for reaching out to swap with other girl scouts."  Why didn't I think of that earlier?!

Going back to my fab Pintrest board, I "met" a leader from another state and we got to talking (like me, she's already planning for year 2).  Some people see Thinking Day as one element to "being a sister to every Girl Scout."  Yes, it is, but you're only "thinking" about them and not truly connecting with them.  SWAPing actually connects you with Girl Scouts, with a tangible item.  For a Daisy, this is simple, and absolutely perfect!  But, doing it with just one troop would be too easy.  So, why not do it with, oh say, one a month, in different states?    That way, not only are you reaching out to many Girl Scouts, but you're also teaching your girls that Girl Scouts are everywhere doing the same things we're doing.

Now, for my shameless plug, please help us out and join in!  Join our 2012-2013 SWAP project!  We are trying to get at least 10 troops in different states, and are really hoping to find Girl Guides in other countries.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Thinking Day fair!

I am one pooped out leader.  How my own daughter is still running around is beyond me (I'm the one that had coffee this morning!).  Our service unit Thinking Day fair, though, was fun and packed!  Apart from our country of Greece, we had other troops there representing the Bahamas, USA, Canada, Austria, Cambodia, Iceland, Mexico, France, United Kingdom, Botswana, Madagascar, Portugal and a few others I have already forgotten (now would be a good time to get out my camera).  After looking around at everything, I must admit that I am biased.  I think our girls did an AMAZING job on our posters.  Granted, we did give them the pictures to put on there, and we the leaders cooked the food, but in the end, it was all them, crookedness and all!  Even after I got a chance to look around, I almost felt like we could have done more, but with Daisies, there's only so much you can expect them to do.

Speaking of food, I've been asked to share our recipes.  And, while we're on the subject of food, you'll have to excuse my very narcissistic statement that is about to proceed this statement- we had the best food there, hands down (I'm a chef, I'm allowed to think that).  We made chicken souvlaki with tzatziki and pita, and baklava.  Even the adults were coming back for seconds!  My own daughter stole some of the food off of our show plates (she's a piggy though, so that doesn't count).  My husband, on the other hand, might have committed a mutiny within our house had we not brought him back any baklava.  Thankfully, we had a minuscule amount left for him, so he was a happy camper too.

Chicken Souvlaki

2, boneless-skinless chicken breasts
1 1/2 t chopped garlic
1 t oregano
3/4 c olive oil
2 T lemon juice

1.  In a bag or container, combine chicken, garlic, oregano and olive oil.
2.  Let marinate 2-4 hours.  Do not over marinate!!
3.  Pre-heat a saute pan over medium heat.
4.  Add lemon juice to pan.
5.  Cook chicken until chicken is done (approximately 10 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken).  **Do not add any oil mixture that was left over from marinating.
6.  Let chicken sit for 10-15 minutes before slicing.
7.  Serve with tzatziki and pita.  Can also be served with cherry tomatoes and onions to make a plate.


1,  32 oz container plain yogurt  *can be substituted for plain Greek yogurt
1 large cucumber, diced finely (chopped) *can be substituted for English cucumber
1 T chopped garlic
1 T oregano
1 T mint
2 T lemon juice
1 t ground black pepper
1 t sea salt

1.  Combine all ingredients and mix.
2.  Refrigerate at least 4 hours before serving (over night is better)


1 1/2 pounds walnuts, chopped (chop by hand to avoid releasing of natural oil)
1 T pumpkin pie spice
1 package phyllo dough
1 pound unsalted butter, melted
For sauce:
3 C water
3 C sugar
1 3/4 c honey
1 t lemon juice
2 t vanilla extract

1.  Preheat oven to 350 F.
2.  Mix chopped walnuts and pumpkin pie spice until blended, set aside.
3.  Line the bottom of a 9x13 Pyrex or ceramic dish with butter.
4.  Place one sheet of phyllo on butter.
5.  Brush the sheet of phyllo with butter.
6.  Place another sheet of phyllo dough and brush butter on top of it.
7.  Repeat this until there are 8 sheets of dough with butter between.  (the dough will be a little too big for the dish, it's ok!).
8.  Place half of the walnut mix onto your buttered pyhllo dough and evenly spread.
9.  Repeat the phyllo and butter process using 4 sheets this time.
10.  Spread remaining walnuts over new layer or phyllo.
11.  Again, create a layer of 8 pieces of phyllo with butter.
12.  Spread remaining butter on top of the final/top phyllo layer (if done properly, you won't have a lot left).
13.  Using a sharp knife, cut baklava into bite sized pieces.  (you will need to periodically wipe your knife off to avoid sticking problems).  ****Yes, you need to do this now!  This is so that the sauce you will add later on can soak in.
14.  Bake baklava for 40-50 minutes, until top is honey brown.
15.  While baklava is baking, combine sugar and water in a 6 qt. stock pot (medium-large) on high heat.
16.  Bring water and sugar to a boil.
17.  Once liquid looks clear (sugar has dissolved), reduce to low heat and stir in honey, vanilla extract and lemon juice.
18.  Simmer over low heat for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally.  (sauce will not completely thicken, that's ok!)
19.  When baklava is removed from oven, immediately add sauce (distribute evenly).
20.  Let sit for at least one hour before serving.
21.  Baklava can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks, and can be frozen for up to 6 months.

So, take all the food we made, estimating 200 people (kids and parents, maybe siblings too), and try hunching over a tiny table trying to get it in little Dixie cups for sampling.  We were lucky and had our fearless leader's husband there to help us out.  While we dished it all out, our fearless leader gave out our "stamps" and SWAPS.  It seemed to work for us, so all the more power to us.  Still, I'm tired and my back aches, but, it was worth it!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Meeting Eighteen

Today, one of the things we worked on was the pin My Promise- My Faith.  Before meeting 18, we sent home a short worksheet with the girls to help us out with this meeting.  Realizing that religion is a sensitive issue for some, the note that we sent home with this worksheet recognized this and gave the parents the option to opt out of this activity.  We asked the following questions:

What religion do you practice?
What specials days does your religion observe?
What do those days represent?
What makes your religion so special?
Is there anything else you want to share with us?

Most of the girls forgot to bring the sheet back with them, but we still had a nice discussion about it.  We tried to bring up the major religions, but did not have time for them all.  We touched on Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Church of England (I'm pretty sure the girls think King Henry VIII was a you-know-what after we explained that hodge podge), Protestants, Lutherans, Judaism, Catholicism and a few others I have surely forgotten by now.  Our discussion started out as what are some religious holidays you celebrate?  We then had to clarify the difference between "American" holidays and religious holidays.  One kid asked if black Friday was a holiday and everyone thought Thanksgiving was religious based.  There was a good bit of confusion when we got into explaining the small differences between all the religions and holidays, but they seemed to understand the overall lesson/point- we're lucky to live in a country where we are free to practice our religions, all of them believe in God in one way or another, and most religions teach people to be kind, loving and accepting.

Next up on the agenda was working on the safety pin.  We started out with stranger danger and did some role playing.  We had an awesome parent and an aunt come help us out with this, and the girls seemed to enjoy the role playing too.  When we got to stranger danger, we let them all yell it out just so they knew what to do, and we told them this was one of the few times they had permission to scream at the top of their lungs.  We closed out stranger danger by calling them up one by one and asked them what they would do in certain situations, ie: a stranger asks to come to their house for candy, asks you to help find their dog, asks you to go take a ride with them, ect.

I have to pause for a moment to tell you about one special little girl.  For the purpose of this blog, we'll call her Daisy today.  When Daisy first came to us at the beginning of the year, just getting her to whisper into our ears was a task, and we could barely hear her whisper!  Little by little, Daisy began to come out of her shell.  Now, she'll openly talk to us all.  Granted, she still is soft spoken, but considering what she was like back in September, this is a big deal!  Daisy is also, hands down, one of the smartest kids I have ever met.  There are days where she makes me feel like my two college degrees are worthless.  One day, this kid is going to do big things- she is going to be famous for that little brain of hers!  Well, when we called Daisy up for her turn, our fearless leader, recognizing her vast intelligence, gave her a bit of a hard question that ended with, what would you do if that stranger tried to take you?  As serious as can be, with a stone face, she told us she would kill him!  Everyone started laughing, and Daisy was not too pleased with that.  We were thrown off because we assumed she'd give us the same answer the other girls had been giving us- kick and scream, and yell stranger danger.  Even when we were roll playing and I pretended to grab her, she kicked me and started screaming!  It took us all a moment to come to our senses after that little shock, but we told her no, we don't kill people, but in this situation, you have permission to do bad things like hitting the stranger.   Later on, I was telling a friend about this who was a leader herself for a few years, and she made a good point.  If anyone ever tried to kidnap Daisy, and she actually did kill them, any sane judge who she was brought before might applaud her.  So, today's lesson learned- you really do have to watch out for the quiet ones!

Once we finished stranger danger, we did stop, drop and roll.  Most of the girls knew of the concept, but some of them had never seen it demonstrated.  Guess who got to roll around on the floor first to show them?    Ok, it wasn't that bad, but then we let them all do it and that was chaos for about 30 seconds.  Next lesson learned- do this in a big space.  Normally, we meet in our school gym, but it wasn't available for the day, so we were in a small classroom.  There were a few bumps, but nothing major, thank goodness!  We did also touch on a few things, like things to do while selling at cookie booths and going door to door.  The blondie in me forgot one of the most basic things- look before crossing- and you bet we will mention that at our next meeting!

As for what's up next, we have our Service Unit Thinking Day fair this weekend (yes, it's a little early, it was a scheduling thing for us), Mardis Gras parade in town, and the arrival of GIRL SCOUT COOKIES!!!!  Seriously, if my little brother calls me one more time to ask if the cookies have come yet, I might send his box out last.  For a grown man, he can sure be impatient!  But, the lure of the famous cookies can do that to any sane person!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Thinking Day Prep!

Our service unit does a big "fair" for Thinking Day. It's really something else. All of the troops are assigned a country and get to do a display/booth about it. We were assigned Greece.

During meeting 13, we tried a variety of foods that we planned out. We strategically placed some of those Greek foods in there so that the girls could choose what we would make for it. In the end, they choose the souvlaki. So for our food tasting, we will have the souvlaki with tsaziki and baklava at our table.

The next part to Thinking Day will be the passports. When each girl arrives, they will be given a passport to collect stamps at each booth. Let me just tell you now how hard it is to find a Greek stamp! The closest I could find was a set of travel stamps that had the Parthenon on it, but I was not about to spend $30 on the set of 8! Thankfully, Cricut had a sale directly on their website. They had several cartridges that were perfect! The Destinations cartridge was one of them, and at the time, I was able to snag it for $20. The cartridge has SO many locations on it, and is something I can use for future Thinking Days. We printed out their Parthenon with one of the labels that said Greece, and mounted it like a sticker to use for the passports.

Next up was the SWAPS. If you have never been to the site Making Friends, then you don't know what you are missing! It is scout central and SO much more. They had several great ideas on what we could do for our SWAPS, including print outs for miniature post cards! One piece of advice- before you buy anything from their site, price shop. We found a few things that Hobby Lobby had for cheaper, but other thing that Making Friends price just could not be beat.  We shopped around got our pins and beads from various spots.

The next step is the costumes. We are not required to wear costumes, but we are required to have at least two girls in costume to represent our troop in the parade of countries. I was honestly overwhelmed when I did research on what we could do for costumes. There was the obvious, a toga, which can easily be done with an old sheet. The next thing that popped into my head was the Balkan Dancers (though at first I could not remember what they were called, so I Googled "Greek dancers"). It's easy to do a simple version of that costume- peasant shirt (or white, long sleeved shirt), red vest, black skirt, and some of those cute socks that make your legs looked like their laced up (which most little girls LOVE), or something similar, along the same lines (just look up the photos, the costumes vary, but have the same basis). I thought that we should give them one more option, just in case, and the thing that kept coming back to my mind was the Olympics. After all, Greece is the birthplace of the Olympics. I'm not talking about Spartacus era costumes though, I'm thinking more along the lines of sports. Not everyone is about to run out and get an equestrian outfit or wet suit, so for our kids, it was easier to give them the option of dressing up like someone from their favorite sport. Some of them already have soccer and softball uniforms, so it's very easy for them.

Our next component is our display, which we will be working with our girls on. There's a lot of information to put out on Greece as you can see from all of the above. They will be narrowing it down during our meeting.  By letting them pick and choose what to put on display, it will give them a chance to learn more about Greece.

The last component to our preparations will be the paper dolls.  Along with the passports, each girl will be receiving paper dolls.  We are then supposed to provide some sort of an outfit that represents our country.  Making Friends has a lot of outfits, but nothing that we can truly use to represent Greece (that might make sense to most of the girls there).  They do have a few sporty outfits, but once they take those home, I feared that they might not make that connection.  I printed out one of the dolls and a few outfits and drew up our own toga for the dolls.
It's a little rough, but it fits the doll, and unlike many of the other print outs, it has those handy dandy tabs that most paper doll clothing has.  

After everything I have printed out, I am almost certain the printer and my Cricut hate me right now, so they will be getting a much needed break for a few weeks.  

Meeting Seventeen

This was my first meeting back after spending all of January playing Sicky Vicky.  We got so lucky and had an Aunt of one the girls come in to take my place.  To that Aunt, I cannot thank you enough for all of your help!  That Aunt is also our Cookie person this year, and she has been doing a phenomenal job!  Seriously, I cannot say thank you enough to her!

Meeting 17 was a hodge podge of signs.  Today's lessons learned- don't forget to remind the girls that when you have a lot to do, please hold comments until the end so that you don't get off track, but valid questions are of course welcomed.  Needless to say, we ran a bit over on our meeting, whoops!

First up, Thinking Day prep.  We got two tri-fold poster boards for the girls to decorate.  We made a bunch of slides on Power Point about Greece and printed them out.  This was also a great opportunity for us to sit down and talk about the country we would be representing at our Thinking Day fair.  The first part was of course tying our taste test back into this.  Once again, our smart cookies remembered this activity, and they all made that same grimace when I reminded them about the cucumber in the tzaziki.  We also told them about baklava, which we did not get to try, but they all said it sounded like something they wanted to try.  I found a few great pictures of it, and when they first saw it, they said it looked weird and gross.  One girl was very observant and reminded us that sometimes, things that might look gross may taste like the best food ever.  Once we finished going through all of the slides, we laid it all out and let them go to town.  They did an amazing job!

Second on the list for today was making signs for our cookie booths.  The girls made four signs.  Before hand, I took my handy dandy Cricut and printed out a bunch of stuff for them to use.  I explained it gently to them.  I told them I had really bad handwriting, and sometimes, people can't read what I write, so I printed out all this stuff for them to use.  They made two signs that said "Girl Scout Cookies, $3.50," and two signs that said "Give A Box Of Cookies, Thanks!"  Today's lesson learned- if you print out stuff like this, as a time saver, don't throw it all in one bag, otherwise it will take a while to deceifer it all.  Thankfully, one of parents was present at the meeting to help me (to that parent, if you read this, thank you again for your help yesterday!!!) since it was our fearless leader's turn to play Sicky Vicky.  I know most of you have read Safety-Wise, but this is just a quick reminder that the girls should not be using hot glue guns.  We had a whole bunch of left over knick knacks from various meetings that we got out for them to attach to their signs.  Most of them needed to be hot glued on, so I got on the floor with them so they could get stuff on.

Overall, it was a nice, light meeting, despite all of what we did.  After reviewing the food, they were all hungry, and they all agreed that Greece is a gorgeous country!  Who knows, maybe in a few years we'll get the chance to go there as a troop!

Meeting Sixteen

Sadly, meeting 16 was our last in regards to our journey book, 5 Flowers, 4 Stories, 3 Cheers For Animals!  As a culmination of everything we have learned, our girls made a mural about their journey.  We've learned about caring for animals, different animal habitats and how some of them eat, and so much more I can't even remember off the top of my head.  Once the girls finished and we took a step back, it all started to sink in.  You could see the light bulbs go off in their heads.

Remember our bird bath that we did way back in October?  This spring, that will be our final project from our journey.  The parks and rec department in our county is graciously allowing us to put in front out the county rec center.  They recently cut down an old tree, so we will have the perfect spot for it.  A few weeks before we do that, we're going to tie in a few of our petals into this project.  We're going to be making terrariums with recycled plastic bottles to plant flower seeds.  By the time we go to place the bird bath, the flowers will be blooming, or almost blooming, so that we can plant them around the bird bath.

For us, the adults, there was a touch of melancholy knowing that we had finished our journey, but the girls were just excited to be doing a big project like this!

Meeting Fifteen

Remember the bird nest craft we did? We had a big bag left over of all of those scraps we used for it. The bag had the paper shreds, the flower cut outs, ribbon, foil, string and some other things I have surely forgotten about.  Of course you all know that we're real big on those recycled crafts, so we got to bust out that bag again this week!

In the leader book for 5 Flowers, 4 Stories, 4 Cheers For Animals!  There's an activity about animal masks.  In the new Daisy guide book, there's also some animal masks in the back that you can cut out.  While my fearless leader and I agreed that while those masks in the guide book were cute, they just weren't enough for our smart cookies.  So, we grabbed that bag of recycled wonders, some paper plates and strings and let them make their own masks... I still have that bag left, and I will find a way to use it for things next year!

Our next activity was the backwards bingo game, also an activity from the leaders book, and is associated with Mari's story from the book.  It's a fairly simple principle, and easy enough for the girls to do.  They seemed to enjoy it at first, but that was short lived (how many times have I said that we have smart girls?!)

We finished out our meeting with some more talk about cookies and talk about what's coming up.  Our girls have already exceed our troop goal, how awesome are they?!  Cookie booths will put us over the edge, so get ready for fun stuff next year!

Flat Juliette

Yes, it's not even February yet, but I am already planning for next year and this summer. I've always loved the concept of Flat Stanley. Seriously, mad props to whomever initially came up with the idea.

I got to thinking, did a Google search, and found out there is in fact a Flat Juliette. How amazing is that?! There's several of them floating around in different forms for various projects. I thought, why not do something similar for our girls this summer? Lots of us travel or do cool things over the summer, and this would be the perfect way to keep scouting going through the summer, and make an awesome first meeting next year!

First up, supplies.  The Colorado Girl Scouts have the templates on their blog, yay! Body Uniform  It's two pieces, but to make it easier, you can put the two together ahead of time like so to make it simple.  You should also think contact paper, or another way to laminate it.  I'm thinking about printing it on card stock just to save a few bucks.

My plan right now is to have the girls color/decorate them before our last meeting  so that I can take them home and laminate them.  Then I'll send them home after our last meeting with instructions on what to do.  Since we have kindergartners and first graders in our current troop, we will sadly have to split the troop up next year.  Since I'll be holding a parent's meeting in March, I am planning on taking the Flat Juliette's with me to the meeting to give our new girls something to do while us parent's talk, and so they won't be left out during our first meeting.

Even if the girls only go to the pool all summer, or if they travel somewhere exotic, they'll have a fun way of chronicling their summer, Girl Scout style!  Plus, this activity just planned out half a meeting for me, which made my life easy.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Deals, discounts, and all that jazz!

It's no secret that the economy ain't so hot these days.  Many troops have had to downsize too because of this.  I've enjoyed doing the recycled crafts this year, but sometimes, we have to spend money on activities.  To help everyone out, here's a list I've been putting together of some of my favorite sites to get deals on.  Keep in mind, many of these sites you have to check daily since they change, literally, daily (some, hourly!).  Also, please note that I do plan on coming back to this as I find more deals we can use.  Woot now has several offshoots as well, including Kids Woot, which often has craft supplies.  Occasionally, Woot will do what they call a Woot off, which is like a flash deal.  The deal is there until the product sells out.  All shipping on Woot is $5.  Also a Woot offshoot, but this corner has many other deals listed from other websites.  Since these are often from other sites, shipping is at the discretion of the website.  The offshoots of 1 Sale a Day are always changing, but they do occasionally have stuff we have needed for the troop.  It's worth checking since you never know what they might have.  Same prinicple as 1 Sale a Day, and the same goes for its offshoots.  It does often a toys section that has more than just toys.  Ice Monkey is a little different than the above.  When you open it up, you'll see that it has stock meters.  Ice Monkey will sell a product until their stock is gone.  In other words, sometimes a deal can be up there for a few days, and sometimes it might go quick and be up there only for mere hours.  Just like all of the above, their kids/toys section often has supplies we've needed.  I believe that people underestimate the power of Google shopping.  I can not tell you how many times it has saved me money in the past.  You simply type in the product you are looking for, and it will bring up dozens of cataloged sites that carry it, and the prices they are.  You do have to look through them carefully.  Sometimes the links are wrong, the prices may not always be accurate, but most of the time, you'll hit it off within the first few links.

Amazon Deals  Amazon deals of the day.  Not many people realize that Amazon does this!  Sometimes, the deals are just too good to be true, but they are!  AND, if you sign in to your Amazon account, and scroll down to the bottom the deals page, it will personalize some deals for you based on previous purchases and items in your wish list (at this very moment, one of my wish list items is listed as a deal at nearly 75% off!).

GS Sale/Clearnace  This one might have been obvious, but this is for those of you who might have overlooked that little corner.  We got journey necklaces for our girls here for $1.99 each!!  Right now, as I'm looking at it, they have a 100th anniversary tote bag on sale for $5.96, Sabbath and Shabbat patches for 29 cents (yes, cents, you read that correctly!), and so many other amazing things I want!

I know I don't need to tell you about coupons, but I just want to remind you all of that, since they really do work!  Hobby Lobby and Michael's email them often.  I also know I don't need to remind you about places like Ross, TJ Maxx and Stein Mart, but I will so you don't forget them.  Freecycle and Craigslist can be little gems, when used with caution of course.  Don't forget your service unit!  Some leaders will happily give away their extras.  You can also ask parents.  We have occasionally asked our parents if they wanted to make any donations to the troop, and supplied them with a wish list (this has literally saved our troop hundreds of dollars, and goes to show that parents are awesome).  If all else fails, sell cookies like there's no tomorrow!