Frugal Living

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  • If you’re like most people, you’ll be looking to take advantage of the many Cyber Monday deals. But with so many sales and discounts available, it can be hard to know where to start. Never fear – this post is here to help! We’ll show you how to get the most bang for your buck on Cyber Monday, without spending

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    Sometimes, the very best gifts are unexpected gestures of love from those closest to you. If you’ve ever been awakened by breakfast in bed, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Those random acts of kindness are the inspiration behind today’s Crafty Christmas Gift. These free Christmas coupon books that can be easily printed from home will get you in

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    Finally – A new school year! And a new plan to keep your kids lunch boxes ideas healthy, fun, and taste good. If you’re anything like me, you’ve seen all these lunch box ideas scattered across Pinterest that look beautiful. But you are keenly aware of 2 things: 1) your kid will never eat it; and 2) when you attempt

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    Did you ever think to yourself, “Geez, if I had only learned all this stuff about budgeting, not using credit cards, saving, and investing BEFORE I got money then maybe I wouldn’t have found myself trying to get out of such a financial mess?”  I know that’s crossed my mind more than once! And you’d think since I am a

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    Do you feel like you’re having the same handful of arguments with your partner when it comes to money? Maybe your flashpoint is household responsibilities or childcare. Maybe your recurring conflict is about sex. For many couples, the issue is money. In this article, I’ll explore how you can change the tenor of your discussions from worn-out argument to constructive

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    When I was in my 20’s I spent a lot. Some I was aware of; some was unconscious. Either way, one day I had to admit to myself I was over $40,000 in debt. It occurred to me that’s kind of how addiction works. Addicts often don’t realize there’s a problem until they are in way over their heads. I

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    Growing up I had almost every birthday party at home. Family, neighborhood friends, and some classmates over for an afternoon of party games and cake. Since I’ve had children of my own, I noticed that trend has changed a lot. Birthday parties centered around events like bowling, arcade centers like Chuck E. Cheese, and the zoo now seems to be

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    If you’ve been trying to budget some of your household and grocery spending, you may have started shopping at warehouse stores like Costco. There is such a variety, from baked goods to engagement rings to tires! So have you ever wondered what are some of the Costco best buys?   Over the past several years I have become a pro

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    Freezer cooking sounds like a great idea: prep meals in bulk, freeze, and reheat. But have you ever wondered if it works for every dish in your recipe collection? I’ll be sharing my best tips and tricks today to have you freezer cooking like a pro in no time!     When I first started trying to save money on

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    Have you ever heard of a Freezer Swap Party? I don’t know about you, but the idea of having a freezer stocked full of ready-to-go meals without my having to do a lot of extra prep work sounds pretty good to me! While I love freezer cooking as a way to save on my grocery budget, I had never heard

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    You may feel as if you are all shopped out after the holidays. Hopefully, your budget isn’t completely busted and you can take advantage of some great deals coming up. Each month, certain items go on sale to lure shoppers in and for retailers to sell items that wouldn’t normally move from the shelves. Keep an eye on the items

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    Believe me when I say, I know this time of year is hard, mama. There are so many opportunities for “comparisonitis,” especially in the days of social media. And as a mom, it’s natural to want to give your kids everything, but you know that isn’t practical. Not only does it not make sense financially, but the kids forget about

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    If you ever wondered how to host a cookie exchange party, I’m sharing the steps right here. You can make it as simple or as glamourous as you’d like!  To be honest, this is one of the most fun holiday traditions I participate in every year.   Luckily, I don’t have to host one, since I have a good friend who

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    In my money-saving and frugal living blog, I share a lot about shopping like where to go for the best deals, how to coupon, and more. Recently I had a reader reach out to ask, “Is it better to grocery shop weekly or monthly?”     Is it better to grocery shop weekly or monthly? Recently I had a reader

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    If you’re anything like me, you might watch those home makeover shows or spend hours browsing on Pinterest looking for decorating inspiration.  Unfortunately, when you start “adding to cart” all those dreamy accessories, it can add up and you might find yourself quickly out of budget! This happened to me, and so I decided to DIY it. Follow along with

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    I don’t know about you, but I can get caught up in watching the decorator shows on HGTV.  But, let’s be honest, an honest to goodness makeover of my master bedroom could easily run a few thousand dollars. And since Erin Napier wasn’t going to show up at my door any time soon, I needed to find a way to

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    It’s said a warm smile is the universal language of kindness. But when you feel self-conscious about your smile, you tend to hide it. And that doesn’t help anyone, right? It dims who you are and it hides your own joy from being a part of the world. Sure there are ways to fix your smile, but maybe expensive cosmetic

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    Aldi vs Walmart – Which Store is Less Expensive? I love both stores honestly. My kids are at the point of their life where they prefer name-brand food for chips and snacks, so I usually go both places.  In this blog post, I attempt to break down some of the most popular weekly grocery items at both stores. I wasn’t

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    There are many great causes throughout the year that offer support and help to those less fortunate. When the Christmas season begins to rev up (that’s around March, right?), some specific giving opportunities move to the forefront. My favorite one is Operation Christmas Child. I know many of you may be wondering what to put in Operation Christmas Child shoebox.  While it

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    I’ve lived in my house for ten years now and was always nervous to paint the paneling in my dining room.  After a lot of research, I realized how to easily paint over wood paneling, and I want to share my tips with you!   You Can Easily Paint Over Wood Paneling When we bought our house in 2010, there

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    Life can be overwhelming. With everything going on – stress about your family, your finances, your health, and your job – it’s easy for burnout to set in. But that’s no way to exist in this crazy world. You deserve more out of life than barely hanging on. It’s time to take a step back and indulge in some self

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    Did you know that sometimes trying to find ways to learn how to save money can actually cause you to waste money? Yes, it’s true! If you’re not careful, what you think is saving you money may actually be costing you more money now or later down the road. And, I’m guilty of doing this as well. Don’t worry, though,

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    When you think of a dollar store, you think of low prices. It’s no secret you can save a bundle of cash by shopping there. Dollar stores can negotiate lower prices with manufacturers because of their enormous buying power, and they pass the savings on to you. You may be wondering if an item you are about to purchase is

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    Are you looking for Free Apps for Kids while they are home during the coronovirus outbreak? Here are 5 of our favorites and as a mom of 6 I know 🙂 I teach people how to budget and listen….I did NOT budget for apps for my children this month. With kids home during the Coronavirus across the country, you may

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    This is another one of ‘those’ topics that I think can get a bit personal for people, Regifting Etiquette. When should you do it and when should you keep the item? The idea of regifting items and when it may or may not be appropriate. Sometimes we are fortunate enough to receive some AMAZING gifts due to the kindness and

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    I remember dreaming of going on a vacation when I was working hard at learning how to budget. It seems like it was a distant dream, but I continued to work hard at getting out of debt and learn how to save on vacations! For many, the idea of traveling may seem expensive and out of reach. And so year after

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    There are so many amazing ways to save money on children’s clothing, but my favorite way is thrift shopping for kids. I have 6 kids and that means back to school time can be VERY expensive! I do a lot of my back to school shopping at thrift stores and I get SO many goodies new with tags for cheap!

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    I’m planning ahead for summer and needed some easy toddler crafts for my young girls.  I came up with this list of simple and fun activities to keep your kiddos occupied all day long! The problem with toddlers is their attention span is so short, so plan ahead and prepare a few of these for the same day. When I was first learning

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    Are you wondering what all the fuss is with monthly subscription boxes? Are you wondering what are the best subscription boxes for women? Stuck on what subscription box to try next? I am going to answer all of these questions today in this blog post. One thing that I recommend in my online course The Financial Renovation, is to cut

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    The excitement of Summer vacation is upon us! Finding cheap, free, and easy Summer activities for kids can make all the difference in your sanity, and their enjoyment. If your schools haven’t let out for the summer yet, they will very soon, and that means your kids will need things to do. I love Summer vacation. I love getting to do

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    I am constantly looks for the best cleaning products for home maintenence. Having a clean house is something that I’ve always wanted in life, but let’s face it….I have four children and it is next to impossible for me to keep a tidy house all the time!  If you know me personally, you know that my house is normally very ‘lived

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    This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Chuck E. Cheese’s. The opinions and text are all mine. This winter has been brutal here in upstate NY, and it has been hard to find things to keep my kids occupied!I was so excited to receive an invitation to attend the grand re-opening of the Syracuse NY Chuck

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    Well geez, with a title like that, there are probably some pretty high expectations for this post. Buckle up! If you are wondering how to get everything you want; my first question is this: Can you actually get EVERYTHING you want in life? So what do you want? A better job? A bigger house? A new car? You could work your butt

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    Whether you’re making lots of money and would consider yourself ‘financially successful’ or you are drowning in debt and have a spending deficit, you can be Failing at Money. Failing at Money has to do with what you do with what you have, NOT how much money you make. We’ve all seen celebrities who live lavish and luxurious lives and wished

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    Almost all of us have succumbed to it. It didn’t even exist 15 years ago, but it’s now part of our daily lives. We love it and hate it at the same time. It helps us keep in touch with friends we wouldn’t otherwise, but it has also become a compulsion that steals our time. There are a few recent

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    Moon Palace Jamaica Grande Review Are you looking for a great family vacation? Recently my family had the opportunity to visit the Moon Palace Jamaica Resort in Ocho Rios Jamaica. We have never taken a big family trip outside of the United States before, so when we were presented with the opportunity to visit a Moon Palace Resort we jumped on

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    On my journey to being as financially responsible as possible, I’ve discovered things I’ve bought that are just not worth buying anymore. Either they are a complete waste of money, I can do it myself for much cheaper, or I can do it myself better. One thing is for sure, it might not be quite as convenient anymore. But think about

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    Too many people believe that being poor is easy. After all, the poor get profound government benefits, right? It’s not as easy for them as you may think. Being poor is more expensive than being in the upper or middle classes in more ways than one. If you’re above the poverty line, this article is sure to show you that

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    It can seem hard to give, especially when your budget is out of control.  But – I have a question for you today…Is generosity part of your monthly budget?   There was a time when we were in a ton of debt and were running a deficit in our budget every month. At one point, we were in the red by

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    Mark and I have been married for almost 15 years. We were married at the young age of 21 and still in college. And when 2 broke college students get married, there isn’t much money for a honeymoon. So our very budget-friendly honeymoon was at the Jersey Shore and we stayed in a beautiful bed and breakfast. Don’t get me

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    I know that’s a bold statement, but I stand by it. I’ve made TONS of slow cooker recipes. You can’t just take a normal recipe you like and dump it in a crockpot. The slow cooker isn’t a magician’s hat. You can’t just throw in some ingredients, and *POOF* out comes a magical meal. Some things work with a slow cooker and

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    Are you tired of struggling? Do you feel like you’re never making any progress? Changing your money mindset might be what you need to get ahead! Like you, we struggled with money. The cash flew out as quickly as it came in, leaving us penniless at the end of every month. Our incomes were fine; we simply didn’t use them

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    A couple days ago, I swam in a hotel pool with my kids. Lauren forget her bathing suit, so unfortunately she had to relax poolside while I held our 3-year old all around the pool. And we forgot their puddle jumpers at home. Sigh. Imagine holding a live salmon around with you while swimming… that perfectly describes Abigail. After “swimming”

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    A family of four is pondering its next steps in their life, many of them intertwined with their household finance issues.  With both parents working full time, they are on schedule to be completely debt-free in two years.  But with two small children in preschool, the mother desperately wants to cut back hours and stay home with her kids during

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    Sometimes, money is just tight. It’s tough! But, don’t give up. You’ll get through it. If you’re looking for ways to save money on a tight budget, but you aren’t actively budgeting, you need to. When you’re on a tight budget, looking for ways to stretch your dollar is first priority. Here’s 7 Ways to Save Money on a Tight Budget 1.

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    Not all Crockpot meals are made equal. Just because someone threw ingredients in a Crockpot doesn’t mean it’s a crockpot meal… or even good for that matter. The slow cooker (or crockpot) is an amazing tool that can make your life so much easier and save you hundreds of dollars a month – if you know how to use it. I’ve been

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    This is Day 14 of the 30 Days to a Debt Free Christmas Challenge Check our Facebook Group to get today’s challenge. Today’s tip is key – How to Evaluate Who is on Your Gift List The holidays are rapidly approaching and for most people it is one of the most stressful times of the year due to finances. I

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    This is Day 10 of the 30 Days to a Debt Free Christmas Challenge Check our Facebook Group to get today’s challenge. Today’s tips will help many of us – Overcoming Holiday Shame It’s that time of year again. Time for the onslaught of perfect holiday decorations, perfect family portraits and perfectly wrapped gifts under the tree. And we can’t forget

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    You’ve got your list and your keys, and you’re ready to head out to go grocery shopping. Not so fast!  There are some major money-zapping items that you should mark off your list right now.  There are so many items that are overpriced in the grocery store, but here are the 14 Items with biggest markups in the grocery store. When

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    There are at least two different places you can find the same product in almost every grocery store. Grocery store product placement can be tricky to figure out, but once you do you will never go to the most ‘obvious’ place to find what you are looking for. One of the many ways that grocery stores make money is from

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    I received a reader question the other day which I thought was a great one to answer publicly on the blog: Here is the question: Is it better to shop each week, or monthly. I noticed I shop monthly and I spend a lot of money in drinks, soda, milk, tea, and use up my budget on those, meats, and

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    One thing that I use every day is my extra freezer…there is so much food you can freeze.  The freezer is a frugal person’s best friend. It allows me to stock up on items at their rock bottom prices and keep them good until we are ready to use them. Foods you Can Freeze: 1.) Meat If you find a great deal on meat, stick it

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    My guess is that you found me because you want to learn how to extreme coupon. Maybe it was because you were watching Extreme Couponing on TLC or a friend loves to coupon. Extreme Couponing means different things to different people, but many of you may wonder “How to Extreme Coupon?”.   By one’s definition, I may be an extreme couponer; I

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    This is a wonderful guest post by Mindy Jensen. She is a licensed real estate agent in Colorado, and flips houses with her husband for fun and profit, doing much of the work themselves. She’s the Community Manager at BiggerPockets.com, where she spends all day doing what she loves – talking about real estate. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook and over

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    AH! I’m so excited! The Recovering Spender is available NOW wherever books are sold! As you may already know, this book details ALL of the Interested in what others are saying? Here is a list of honest reviews of the book, plus some interviews, video reviews, and podcasts! Enjoy! Farnoosh Torabi from Podcast.Farnoosh.TV So Money Podcast Mary Hoover from MissionToSave.com Amanda

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    We made so many mistakes with our money in our first six years of marriage. We made so many that we vowed to each other that we will be teaching our kids how to handle money very early on!  It’s been a challenge at times but we have found many things that work.  I wanted to share with you the

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    The big Red Bullseye. I can spot it from a half mile away. Once I see it, it beckons me. Within seconds, I remember a couple of small things that I have to pick up. Suddenly I’m pushing a red cart holding a $4 latte I grabbed from the Starbucks at the entrance to the store. An hour later, I

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    Clutter steals your joy and robs you of happiness. We can have clutter in our homes, and clutter in our finances. Many of us have so much more stuff than we realize. We hold onto things we don’t even use and trick ourselves into thinking we might need it someday. But, you forgot you even owned it! I have some

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      I hate asking for help. I don’t like looking weak. But the truth is, I don’t have it all together. I think there are times when we all need help, advice, encouragement, and support. I have built my entire website around providing practical and effective ways to live frugally and enjoy life on a budget. Today I am going to share

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    The rush of a good deal… as a spender I can relate. You may not have had a spending problem like I did. Or perhaps you do and you don’t realize it yet. Maybe you’ve spent much of your adult life thinking that money just doesn’t get along with you… and that your spending wasn’t part of the problem. For years

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    The first day of school is filled with the excitement of kids seeing their friends, but it often leaves their parents feeling depleted financially. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be that way! There are so many ways to save on back to school clothes shopping, so here are my top 5 tips: 1.) Spend the most

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    I am a Recovering Spender…. Walking into those big red doors, grabbing a bright red shopping cart, and parading through the clean aisles of my favorite store was something I would do on a regular basis.  Those Target items would be calling out my name, and before I knew it I had walked away spending over $100. In my book

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    Dear Chip and Joanna Gaines, I think you guys are awesome. I really do. I also think your show is awesome. It’s so well done and you come up with fantastic and gorgeous home design ideas. Whenever your clients are choosing between 3 houses, I am always rooting for the true ‘fixer upper’, the house that needs a TON of work. Seeing the transformation

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    What if the American Dream changed from desiring money and more ‘things’ – to desiring financial freedom and happiness? What if Americans had pride in driving around run down, dusty, and dented vehicles? What if you didn’t care about carrying around a designer purse? What if you had a million dollars in the bank, yet no one knew because you lived in an inexpensive

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    Bulk food stores like BJ’s, Coscto, and SAMS club are known for their great low prices on bulk items.  What you may not know is that many of their prices are not actually that great of a deal. In this post I am going to teach you the Best Foods to Buy at Wholesale Clubs. I’ve done a price comparisons

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    It has been six years since I started this website. If you remember that two years ago we turned our attic into an office space, but we have since outgrown it. Not necessarily that we needed more office space (but it helps), but we needed more space for our kids to play. If you remember, we were *this* close to moving just

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    When you are trying to save money, the grocery store is one of the best places for you to start. You can cut your grocery budget down considerably through the use of coupons, knowing how to shop smartly, and by avoiding budget-busting traps. The grocery store is full of items that cost you more, usually due to convenience. However, with

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    There was once a time when Mark and I were pretty financially depressed. We had loads of credit card debt, and didn’t know where to turn. Fast-forward to today, and so much has changed. We’re working a budget, learned how to avoid debt, and we’re just overall a much happier couple. During our financially difficult years trying to survive, we learned a few valuable

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    Mother’s Day is right around the corner, and if you’re short on cash, that can be a mixed bag of news. Mothers do so much for their children, it would just be wrong to let finances get in the way of celebrating. But that doesn’t mean you have to go to the credit cards in order to wish your mom a

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    If you’re doing your best to stretch your grocery budget then you’ve probably noticed that meat can really be expensive. Even worse than that is that cheap cuts of meat seem intimidating if you don’t know how to cook them. Here are my thoughts on 5 cheap cuts of meat you should be cooking with if you’re not already.  I’ve

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    I look at selling your home as an huge money-making opportunity. Here’s why – what is your current hourly wage at your job? If you’re like most Americans, it’s somewhere between $20 and $40 an hour. What if I told you that selling your home will give you the opportunity to make HUNDREDS per hour? It’s true. Thank about it…

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    Saving money on the go is one of those things that makes my life more manageable.  When teaching my couponing seminars, the #1 thing that I hear is that people don’t have time. Listen – I totally get it, I am a busy, working mom of four kids.  Taking an extra hour in my week to spend clipping coupons is

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    Bringing new life to an old piece of furniture is like therapy to me.  In today’s post I want to share with you How to Milk Paint Furniture. Milk paint works a bit different than chalk paint, it typically chips a lot more than chalk paint does, so you need to be prepared to have a more rustic piece. So…

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    Lauren and I have mentioned a few times that in an effort to eat healthier, we try to use grass fed organic beef. Buying healthier meat is one of those things that I think is always a great idea. I’m not going to make a moral issue out of this because I don’t believe that it’s wrong to buy meat

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    Is it your turn to host Easter this year? That can be stressful… and expensive. But it doesn’t have to be. I want to share with you my tips to make hosting Easter (or any Holiday for that matter) enjoyable, easy, and inexpensive. First, let me share a story of how my family (actually, my husband’s family) does Easter. But

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    We have 4 kids. Our house is 1,850 square feet and was built in 1914. There is only one full bathroom. Yes, it can get a little crowded at times. And while we have made many improvements to our house (like a new front porch, new paint, a finished attic), we get the itch to move every once in a while. Not

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      The Crockpot. God’s gift to moms, dads, working people, grandparents… basically anyone who wants to save time and money. And in the past, I might have looked down on the crockpot. I’d always insist on doing things the long way because it was the best way. Well, turns out busy moms don’t have time for the long way. And

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    What type of Money Mom are you? Are you the type of mom who has crumpled up receipts all over the house? Maybe you are the kind who loves talking about your investment portfolio and your kids’ 529 accounts? I was recently inspired to write this article after watching a Buzz Feed Video about 5 different mom types. In this

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    Do you remember your first “big kid” car? Not your very first car you might have owned in high school, but the first car you bought with your own money as an adult? I remember mine very well. But… for a frugal blogger like myself, this is an embarrassing story. It wasn’t a frugal decision at all. Up until I

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    When my first child was born, I had no idea what I was doing or what I would like for him. Now that I have four kids, I’ve realized that there was so much I could get for free! Here are my favorite 12 freebies for new moms.

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    Looking for some awesome and EASY Super Bowl recipes for your crockpot? Look no further! Personally, I think I’m more looking forward to hanging out with friends and eating some awesome food than I am the actual game itself. This is kind of how I view the Super Bowl. Whether you’re into the game or not, just pick a team,

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    One of the best ways to create some wiggle room in a budget is to cut something out entirely or to figure out how to get something for less or for free! One item people consistently pay too much for is toiletries, when you could be getting them for cheap or even for free. Here’s the one thing though, if

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    Do you own an old house and are trying to figure out which project to tackle first? Here are 4 EASY tips to get you started in the smartest way!

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    Christmas is almost here. Your shopping is nearly complete. Your baking is well under way. Friends and relatives are making plans to get together with you in the next couple of weeks. After all the season’s greetings have come to an end, it will be time to ring in a new year. If you are planning on making a New

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    If you’ve recently made the decision to start shopping organically and make healthier food choices for your family, you may have noticed the higher price tags or your grocery bill going up.  There are many reasons why these options often cost more, but I’m not here to tell you why; I am here to tell you that it does not

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    Costco has grown to be the largest membership warehouse club chain in the United States. The warehouse club offers high volume products at low prices.  It seems like people are always at Costco shopping, it is always busy and packed with eager customers ready to fill their carts. While some might scoff at purchasing a membership to buy groceries, you can

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    Are holidays at your workplace a “thing?” I mean are holidays a huge deal where you work? Unfortunately for many people, holidays at their workplaces can be incredibly stressful. Why are holidays so stressful when you’re working? Well, this is really a HUGE question because for some of us, this time of year might have us re-checking out budgets, cringing,

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    Written by a teacher. Let me say, to begin, that being a teacher is one of the greatest gifts in the world. I’m serious. Waking up every day knowing that what you do matters and that you are making a difference to children is amazing. Those of us who teach children do it because we feel passionate about it, and watching them

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    Today is our 27th day of the 30 days to a debt free Christmas challenge, and I thought it would be fitting to do a video instead of a written post. Today’s question is answered – HOW TO STOP THE GIFT EXCHANGE. Here is the question: “Something that we struggle with is getting our families to stop the gift exchange.

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    This is Day 25 of the 30 Days to a Debt Free Christmas Challenge Check your email (sign up here if you aren’t on it) or our Facebook Group to get today’s challenge. Today’s money saving advice – How to Save on a Holiday Party Besides gifts, what is one of the biggest expenses we face this holiday season? If

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    This is Day 24 of the 30 Days to a Debt Free Christmas Challenge Check your email (sign up here if you aren’t on it) or our Facebook Group to get today’s challenge. Our post today talks about How to be thankful by knowing the 4 Ways that society makes us unthankful. Thanksgiving marks the kickoff of the Holiday season. In my book, Thanksgiving all the

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    Potty training… the thing that makes you question your sanity, yet gives you so much joy! I am in the middle of potty training the youngest of my four children this week. I have no idea why I decided to do this a few weeks after daylight savings time. If I could go back in time I would slap myself

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    This is part of the 30 Days to a Debt-Free Christmas Challenge. You can sign up to join! I remember lying on the berber carpet in our living room with a JCPenny catalog. My parents asked my brothers and I to cut out pictures of things we wanted for Christmas and place them in an envelope. The promise of Christmas

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    I love the look of canvas prints, but am honestly too cheap to buy them.  The larger canvas prints can cost over $100.00 each, and with how many I would want in my house I could spend over $1,000.  That is CRAZY! I was over at my friend Mel’s house and saw that she had canvas prints covering her walls. They were

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    For years, I’ve talked about why my kids only get 3 gifts during Christmas. To be honest, when I first changed to only giving 3 gifts it was hard on my kids.  So – how did I change my kids views? In this post I will talk about just that! What’s it all about? We all want Christmas to mean so

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    This post is an extension of the 30 Days to a Debt-Free Christmas Challenge Today’s advice is for parents – 3 Ways to Create the Perfect Debt-Free Christmas For Your Toddler. This is a guest post from Catherine Alford at www.CatherineAlfrord.com Is it just me or did I blink and all of sudden it’s the holiday season? With a full-time job, a

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    This is Day 11 of the 30 Days to a Debt Free Christmas Challenge Check your email (sign up here if you aren’t on it) or our Facebook Group to get today’s challenge. Today’s post for families – How Doing a Secret Santa Saved Us Over $1,000 This blog is a guest post from Michelle Argento at fitnpoor.com and everylittlecent.com I have a

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    This is Day 7 of the 30 Days to a Debt Free Christmas Challenge Check your email (sign up here if you aren’t on it) or our Facebook Group to get today’s challenge. Check out today’s installment – 7 Ways To Make Money by Helping with Holiday Services A lot of people look for ways to earn some extra money

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    This is Day 4 of the 30 Days to a Debt Free Christmas Challenge Sign up for our Facebook Group to get participate in today’s challenge. Today we tackle – How to Survive the Holidays without buying gifts. The holidays are right around the corner and for months now smart advertisers have been pushing one thing: Buy! Buy! Buy! As a busy mom,

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    I LOVE baking and I’ve recently discovered the joys of giving baked goods as a gift. These edible presents are in a special category of do-it-yourself offerings because they’re not only easy (and they make your house smell great while they’re cooking), but they’re delicious, too! One of the most fun ways to take these gifts to the next level

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    After being in $40,000 worth of debt, there were certain things I realized that were things you should NEVER pay for.  It’s funny that after spending money on these things for so long, I didn’t even realize that I should change the way I spent money on them. What is the difference between making an extra $100 a week, or

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    Shhhh! No one will ever know that your cupcakes at the birthday party were from a mix! The good thing about box mixes for baked goods is that most of the ingredients are included. Maybe you’ll need to add an egg or some water, but it’s all there. The bad thing about box mixes is that it really puts a limitation on

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    Stocking up on important items can be a great idea. If you can find some slamming deals and save yourself a ton of money, it’s definitely a win-win, right? Not necessarily, sometimes you can actually waste more money in the long run than what you saved by snagging the deals! It’s similar to how sometimes coupons can make you broke.

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    If you try to Pinterest “how to organize your pantry,” it looks like an ad for baskets, containers, and chalkboard signs. That’s all adorable and rustic, but sometimes less is more.  This post is about how to organize your pantry or stockpile in a way that helps you keep track of what you have (not how to make it look

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    Warehouse Club Price Comparison: Costco vs. Sam’s Club vs. BJ’s – which store is cheaper? I’m definitely a fan of warehouse club stores for many products (although not everything), but for lot’s of items, they can be great. But if you live in an area that has the big 3 warehouse club stores, Costco, Sam’s Club, and BJ’s, how do you

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    The hardest part of cleaning out my closet is deciding what to keep and what needs to move on.  Here are some tips for how to decide which clothes will make the cut! First, make sure that you follow all the rules here for cleaning out your closet the right way.  There is a method to this madness. 1. Trick yourself

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    With fall upon us, back to school shopping for kiddos, and the thrill of jeans-and-a-hoodie weather right around the corner, you are more than likely itching to do a little wardrobe rehab of your own. I know I am!! We both know how easily an adult closet can spin out of control, so I try to follow some hard and

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    Fall is upon us, which means that it is time to start swapping out your summer shorts for cuddly sweaters and jeans. It can get expensive if you need to update your wardrobe, so here are some ways on how to update your fall wardrobe for free. 1.) Sign up for Swagbucks If you’re like me, you’re online all the time, whether

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    I love to have quality photographs of our family to display in our home.  It’s fun to watch the kids grow and change through the years.  But photographers, cameras, and portrait prints can be very expensive.  Here are some tips I’ve found to help save money on photographs. 1. Save Big on Digital Prints It’s fun to have those cute

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    I have been a couponer for a long time and still love the thrill of a great deal, but some of my eating habits have changed in the last few years, which has forced a change in some of my shopping habits!  Just like many of you, my family and I have been trying to eat more healthily, specifically eating

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    Going to the grocery store can be a little depressing sometimes, can’t it? The dollar signs just seem to rack up and yet your cart doesn’t seem any larger than any other time. Obviously shopping is a necessary evil, but here are 5 habits to help you save money at the market. 1. Shop the “Last Chance Section”      

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    Last month, I posted about joining a CSA as a way to eat healthy and still try to save money. Obviously, there are still items you need to pick up at the store that you can’t get from a CSA, but sometimes it can be hard to find good deals if you have specialty items (organic, gluten-free, kosher, etc.) you’re looking

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    You read that right – how to roast coffee with a bread machine. If you’ve been a long time reader, or caught our segment on Nightline, you might know that I have been roasting my own beans for a while. And rather than spend hundreds on a nice coffee roaster, I’ve spent about $50 and can roast a whole pound

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    Let’s face it, looking good can be very expensive. There’s makeup, skin care, clothes, bags, accessories, and shoes (lots and lots of shoes) to buy. And when those gorgeous pair of shoes you saved months for get a scratch it’s important to have an inexpensive way to fix them. These 10 inexpensive fashion hacks will save those pricey shoes as well

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    When you are living a frugal lifestyle, sometimes the best place to save money is inside your own home. You can clip coupons and bargain shop in an effort to save money. You can also find simple ways to repurpose items in your home to save money. I’ve pulled together a number of ways that do not require a lot

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    We have lived in our house for five years now, and every time I walked into my downstairs bathroom I wanted to puke. That is a pretty long time to hate a part of your house, but I just didn’t have the time to do it. I’ve been planning and searching Pinterest for well over a year now, trying to

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    As many of you long-time readers know, we live in an old house. With 4 kids, we feel like we’ve outgrown it. But we are staying put. In fact, 2 and a half years ago, we were THIS close to moving. We even had a purchase contract on another house. But we had second thoughts… we love our old house.

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    We all do a lot of laundry over the summer with all of the adventures, swimming, working out, etc. These are some tips to help you save money on laundry while still keeping everything so fresh and so clean! I do need to add a small warning: while these ideas will help you save money on your laundry, they might

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    The kids are going back to school soon, and I always love to get their teachers a gift to start the year off.  I am all about practical gifts, and honestly teachers love them the best! This year I was thinking about a new gift idea, and decided to make them a Teacher Field Trip Survival Kit.  This kit was

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    One of the biggest ways we waste money in our grocery budget is by having to throw out uneaten food. Let’s face it, although some leftovers get gobbled up, we often find ourselves with odds and ends. Every little bit of leftovers you have to throw out is money you could have saved. So how can you make the most of

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    If your decorating budget is tight, chances are you know all about Ikea. The Swedish superstore is known for its budget-friendly, stylish furniture. However, sometimes the quality of the items, while attractive, is not always the greatest. Due to the softer wood that is used to manufacture them, they may only hold up for a few years, especially if you

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    I LOVE thrift store shopping, but you have to know how to do it right to score the best deals.  I did some thrift store shopping today, and decided to record a video for you to help you get designer clothing for less at thrift stores. Here are some of the tips I mentioned in the video above: 1.) Check

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    Inside Dollar General stores you can find hidden gems that you would be paying almost 2-3 times more in a posh/upscale store.  I decided to put together a list of my Dollar General deals: The top 32 best things to buy at Dollar General, plus some money saving tips along the way. I love finding good deals more than most

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    In the summer it can be really easy to fall into the trap of convenience when it comes to food! Summer can also be a great time to find a day or two to try cooking new things. There are many kitchen staples, foods you buy all the time, which you can easily make from scratch if you have a

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    If your fridge is anything like mine, every couple of weeks you clean out old food that you forgot about, didn’t eat, and has gone bad. Oh, the guilt! Not only are there starving children all over the world, but I feel like I am throwing my money away (because I am)! Time to re-organize the fridge so that we

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    If you’re trying to eat more organic foods, you’ll quickly find that the prices can be quite different than on conventional items.  Here are some simple ways to save on organic food that will help you fit more organic foods into your family’s budget. Buy Organic (even if might not be certified) Do your research to find companies that operate

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    Who doesn’t want one of those gorgeous, fancy yards you see in the pages of magazines or featured on TV? Unfortunately a lot of those lovely features come with a not so lovely price tag attached. Don’t lose hope though! There are plenty of frugal ways to spruce up your yard when you’re living on a budget! Here are a

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    Before we can get started looking deeper into your organizational style, I have to take a minute to debunk a common myth about being organized.  It is a common belief that being organized is a strength you either have or don’t.  This is NOT true; everyone can be organized, but they have to do it in their own way.  The

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    Your garden is just starting to gear up and the thought of all those fresh vegetables is exciting. Sometimes though, you may end up with far more vegetables than you were expecting! It can be incredibly difficult to keep up with your garden output. So, what do you do with those extra vegetables? How can you make the most of

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    A few months ago, one of my dear friends had something somewhat disastrous happen. No one was hurt, nothing was broken, and there was no financial loss. But it was heartbreaking. Several years worth of photos – gone. The hard drive on their computer suddenly crashed, and poof. Everything was gone. There was no hard drive backup, and that was

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    I know summer might have just started, but if you’re hanging out at home with the kiddos all summer, those days can be long! One way to help ensure that you have activities to do during the summer is to set up a temporary summer craft station! You have to be willing to give up this space for the summer,

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    With the arrival of June comes the arrival of the unofficial “wedding season.” The summer months are a very busy time for weddings. People seem to want to have their weddings during the warmer months. And if you know a lot of people getting married in the same year, those warmer months can quickly become very expensive for you. With

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    Part of the fun of summer is being really spontaneous, accepting last minute invites, and going on random adventures!  This can be hard to do if it requires packing, your stuff is all over the house, laundry has fallen off the priority list, etc.  Pre-packing a few grab and go bags is one way you can prepare for last minute

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    Summertime is almost synonymous with outdoor fun.  If you spend any time outside, then you’ll know that mosquitoes love summer, too.  Here are some quick tips for how to avoid bug bites this summer. 1.) Remove Standing Water Mosquitoes live and breed around bodies of water.  Get rid of their habitats by dumping any water out of kiddie pools and

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    There’s no time to get bored in summer when you put together this inexpensive and super fun DIY bug collecting kit.  I gathered all the supplies from Dollar Tree.  That means each item is only ONE DOLLAR!  You might even have some of these items in your home already. This would also be a great gift idea for someone that

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    One goal we have during the summer is to enjoy the outdoors and good weather as much as possible. While many summer activities seem to be tied to expensive outings, there are plenty of affordable or free things to do outside to have fun! Here are 8 great activities you and your family can try out this summer: Leaf Art: Different

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    This past weekend I had the privilege of speaking at the first ever Happy Mommy Box Retreat.  It is rare that I get to go away and speak at an event about motherhood. Why? I do not consider myself to be one of those ‘moms’.  I actually felt very inadequate to be speaking at a motherhood event, because I never feel like

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    Summer is a great time of year and can be so much fun. But what do you do on those days when it rains? Avoid hearing the chorus of “I’m bored!” Here are ten rainy day activities that you and your kids can enjoy. Cooking/Baking: Most children love baking with their parents. Give them a choice of cookies, muffins, breads, or whatever

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    It’s that time of year: EVERYTHING starts coming home from school, and then it piles up, you can’t find it, and you can’t remember if any of it was important! This happens to all of us. A couple days ago, we tackled how to organize end of the school year clothes, supplies, backpacks, etc. But what to do with all

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    The end of the school year is such a rush. Everything is winding down and it’s a time for relaxation (hopefully) and fun! By being proactive you can make the beginning of the next school year less stressful for yourself by doing some organization. Here are some organizational tips to try with all those school ‘things.’ There are three main options

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    Summer Goal Setting The weeks and days leading up to summer seem to crawl by. As the weather gets nicer we come up with all of these grand plans and ideas for how to fill the time. But guess what? Sooner than you can blink (or so it seems) September is right around the corner and few if any of

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    I had a conversation with a friend yesterday about homeschooling, and I said these exact words: “I don’t think I am the homeschooling type of mom.” She responded, “I don’t think any mom feels like they are.” It really got me thinking about why I don’t homeschool my kids, and I came up with a few reasons why it just

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    Our favorite place to vacation is Topsail Island, NC.  We always book our rental home through HomeAway and VRBO. This post is brought to you by HomeAway, to help you save on vacations too! Everyone has different ways to vacation. Some like to go to Disney, some like to be tourists, but we like to do NOTHING on our vacations. My family’s ideal of

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    There are two ways of thinking about the dollar store – either it is inexpensive junk or bargains galore. Depending on the type of shopper you are, you may avoid it because you think everything in there is poorly made or miniature size. Or you may it and buy everything you normally have on your shopping list assuming you are

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    Is it impossible to eat healthy without breaking the bank? It definitely isn’t if you are crafty with your shopping! One of the most common mistakes shoppers make are buying healthy foods that are not easy to translate into multiple dishes. Cooking healthy does not need to be expensive or inconvenient. Here are the 11 Cheap and Ridiculously Healthy Foods

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    These 10 Easy DIY Beauty Products are a collection of recipes that anyone can put together for greater health and more radiant beauty. When I started trying to live a more natural life, the first place I looked was my cleaning products.  After I found some good alternative recipes for cleaning products, I overhauled my beauty supplies and toiletries.  Our family

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    Printing a lot of coupons can get expensive, especially if you have the wrong kind of printer. I’ve received questions from readers about how to save on printer ink, so I thought I would give you my tip on how to save money on printer ink. I used to have a cheap HP printer that I bought for around $30 at

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    There are several easy steps that you should take if you want to successfully learn How to Clean Your Dishwasher. 1.) Sometimes there’s just gunk in your dishwasher. Your dishwasher has a drain in the bottom.  It can get clogged with chunks of food and miscellaneous other junk if you’re not careful.  To clean the dishwasher drain, remove the bottom

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      Growing up, I remember driving down the road with my dad.  We were passing an old abandoned building, and he started to dream about the ways he could use that empty space. I was challenged from the very beginning to think BIG, and not let anyone else tell me I can’t do anything. Although my dad was not an entrepreneur, he

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    Seven years ago I sat on my bed in my huge master bedroom, in the house that was making us dead broke. I had laid all of the credit card statements on the bed. I was getting ready to confess to Mark how much debt I had racked up.  As his feet hit every step of the staircase, my heart

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    Feel confident that you are taking care of your baby naturally with these DIY baby products.  Gather these 5 natural ingredients and 2 multi-purpose essential oils, and make these homemade baby products.  These DIY baby product recipes will show you how to mix and create 7 simple baby care products naturally at home. I’ll also share with you some easy

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      Are you looking for an easy last minute Mothers Day gift? I have the perfect gift idea that will cost you under $5.00!   First, you will need small flower pots. I got these for $0.77 each at Walmart. You will also need Duck Fabric (made by Duck Tape). I found this in the crafting section of Walmart, it

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    It’s CLEANING TIME!  And what better way to save money that to make your own DIY Household Cleaners. This creative combination of supplies is an awesome way of using 5 essential oils and 5 natural ingredients to make 10 DIY household cleaners.  It’s so simple to get started with these recipes. If you’ve ever thought about cleaning your home with natural ingredients

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    Almost ten years ago, I gave birth, at the age of 24, to a precious boy named Andrew. I was a first time mom; young, naive, and so excited to be a mommy! I was a typical first time mom, worried about all the germs and outside things that could harm him.  I was also THAT first time mom that was

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    The following post is a guest post from Tasia from BataviaBestBargains.com. ***************************************************** The way I grocery shop for my family is to restock my pantry instead of making specific meals. I decide what my family is going to eat based on what we have on hand, what’s on sale, and leftovers. This ends the running to the store many times a

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    I have written an article on Food Co-Ops in the past, but many of you asked for more information on the benefits. I shop at a Food Co-Op for one main reason.  Cheaper and healthier products for my family.  I tend to waver on the line of half organic and half ‘regular’ foods.  If my budget allowed it, I would shop

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      Diaper cakes are something that I love to put together for new moms, but you may be wondering how to make a diaper cake!  Why? Because they are cute and fun to make!  No – diaper cakes are not cakes that you eat. I wanted to share with you how I make mine and exactly how many diapers you

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    This activity uses scripture, music, and crafts to teach children about Palm Sunday. Resurrection Sunday and Palm Sunday are such a great time to teach children about how Jesus lived and what he accomplished on earth.  The kids get to experience the expectation and excitement of Jesus’ earthly ministry by celebrating Palm Sunday. When Jesus rode into Jerusalem on Palm

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     This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BringingInnovation #CollectiveBias Taking care of the environment is always important to our family, but that doesn’t mean you have to spend a lot of money doing it. There are so many frugal ways to be eco-friendly, so here are my top 10 ways

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    The biggest hurdle many beginning home gardeners face after the Seeds or Plants question is where and how much work will this involve.  Here is a simple guide to beginner gardening to help you start nice and easy and know what you are getting yourself into: 1.) Pick your Garden Spot Wisely Make sure that your garden spot isn’t too far from

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    As a busy mom of four, I am always look of the next best thing when it comes to kitchen gadgets. I have a small obsession with purchasing them to be honest, I really LOVE inexpensive gadgets that make my life a lot easier!  I have a list of my top 10 must have kitchen gadgets for the busy mom, all

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    A couple of weeks ago the Flu hit our house HARD!  It was a two week long sickness that affected four of us – thankfully two of my kids got away without catching it. The worst part of the flu, was when my baby girl got it. She is 18 months old now, and she was so very sick. It

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      I live in New York State, which means we get a LOT of snow! Today my kids are actually home from school due to a snow day, so in order to keep them occupied I started looking around Pinterest to find some indoor snow day activities. I decided to put together a list of some of the best ones I

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    Today was a crazy morning, my three oldest children woke up before me and fed themselves breakfast.  That sounds like music to any moms ears right?  Well – not this morning. This mornings breakfast was served by my son, and it included Organic Cheerios from Aldi topped with red sprinkles. Not any red sprinkles – but the kind that you only

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    To be honest, the inspiration for this DIY Upcycled Corn Bag came from years of blood, sweat, and cold feet! I’m not sure why my feet are always so cold.  Maybe it’s the weather.  Maybe it’s genetics.  My husband swears my cold feet have been used as icy weapons on chilly nights when we might have had some unresolved conflict.

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    I wanted to let you in on a little tip that I do when I run out of ink and I don’t want to miss out on printing coupons.  Am I the only one that waits until last minute to order my ink/toner? I ran out yesterday so I “pretend” to print the coupons and then actually print them when

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      I have four small children and the deodorizer products in the store always warn against using the powder around kids and pets.  I think that is crazy, so I came up with my own that is safe to use around both kids and pets!  It smells better too! Here is my recipe for homemade carpet deodorize.  Remember that while

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    Are you wanting to get back in shape but just don’t have the money to spend on a gym membership?  I am in the same position and as a busy working mom, I also don’t have much time.  I wanted to put together a post on how to workout for free, for not just you but for me too! Here

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    Do you remember that feeling you had when you were a child and your mom or dad had you help them with something around the house?  That feeling of being proud of something that you worked so hard for.  I remember making science projects with my dad as a child. We would go in the garage together and build and invent to

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      I LOVE candles – but I hate the expensive price tag that many of them come with! I started doing some research on how to make homemade candles and found out that the supplies can be even more expensive to buy and make your own. So – off to the Dollar Store I went – hoping to find some

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    Do you love coffee and have you ever wondered how to roast your own coffee at home? There is a small (but growing) community of people who roast coffee at home very inexpensively.  No pricy coffee roaster needed, just a decent air popcorn popper. You can also roast coffee in a brand machine, here is my post about how to

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    Disclosure: This post has been sponsored by TracFone – all opinions are 100% my own. I have to be honest – the thought of my nine-year old having his own cell phone kind of freaks me out!  I know many other 9-year-olds who have their own iPhones for various reasons, but I always thought I would be one of those

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    I’m sure you’ve been there before… your kids are eating breakfast and you hop on the computer or your phone and scroll through your Facebook news feed.  One of your good friends posts a bunch of pictures from their latest vacation to Hawaii.  It looks soooo awesome and you would love to go someday, but it is nowhere on your

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    The smell of pumpkin pie and turkey in the oven and the hustle of getting everything on the table at the same time, are some of my early Thanksgiving Day memories. My absolutely favorite Thanksgiving Day memory was knowing that after we cleaned up after dinner, we could rush up into the attic and pull down all those dusty blue

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    A couple weeks ago I wrote a post about ‘How to put the meaning back in Christmas‘, but I have to be honest with you, I am struggling with Christmas this year! I am tired of the overabundance; every day I pick up my kids toys after they are randomly scattered around the house, and I get frustrated. Why? Because they

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    The smell of pumpkin pie and turkey in the oven, the hustle of getting everything on the table at the same time are some of my early Thanksgiving Day memories. My absolutely favorite Thanksgiving Day tradition was cleaning up after dinner and then rushing up into the attic to pull down all those dusty blue storage bins full of Christmas

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      Five years ago I was packing up my two children, ages 4 and 6 weeks old. We were headed to the best sale of the year – TRIPLE coupons at Harris Teeter. I had spent the previous two days planning out my shopping trip and if all went as planned, I would be getting over $400 worth of food

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      One thing that I love to make and set on the stove is fresh potpourri.  The scent of the citrus and cinnamon makes my entire house smell amazing! I am sharing my favorite recipe for how to make potpourri. This also makes a fantastic Christmas gift, I give mine away in a mason jar! Just make sure you make it

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    I have been hinting lately about being on a Candida diet, and have gotten emails and tweets from many of you asking about why I am on such a crazy diet.  After thinking about sharing this for a few weeks I decided that maybe my story can help others. It is a very personal story about my health issues; but

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    I am a mommy of four beautiful children, and shopping for kids is SO expensive. My kids outgrow clothes before they wear out, so it is essential for me to purchase quality pieces for less money. When I had my first child I wanted everything new and perfect, but what I found is that there are so many cute outfits

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    I have a confession to make. When I first started to use coupons, I ended up spending more money than I was saving.   Every Sunday I would hear the thump of my Sunday papers getting thrown on my porch at 4 am, some days I would be so excited that I couldn’t fall back asleep.  I would get up,

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      Often times opposites attract.  That may be fun and cute until you realize that you have just married your financial opposite.  Research says that money issues are the #1 reason for divorce, so how do you work together when you are complete opposites?  I wanted to share our story with you – I am a spender and Mark loves

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    Lately, there has been one thing that has been tugging on my heart. I recently read this article that said that 40% of women are Pinterest depressed.  I define Pinterest depression as feeling like you can never be ‘good enough’ – feeling like you can never be a good enough mom, wife, home decorator, cook etc. Do you go to

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    Do you have any Frozen fans in your home?  I have three daughters under the age of five years old, so our house is still talking about Frozen.  My middle daughter turns four this year and she wants a Frozen Birthday party and a Frozen Birthday Cake.   I decided to look around for the best Frozen Birthday Party ideas

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    We spend a lot of time and effort preparing balanced and healthy options for our children’s school lunches, but wouldn’t it also be nice to add a little entertainment to that mid-day meal? Today’s craft – 20 printable kid-friendly joke cards – do exactly that! For this craft, all you’ll really need is some white cardstock paper and a color

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    These past two weeks have been some of the hardest I’ve had in a long time!  My youngest sister (and one of my closest friends) moved out of the country this morning, along with her two children and her husband.  We’ve known this was going to happen for a long time, but it’s just one of those events that you

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    Over the weekend Mark and I had a HUGE garage sale to get rid of things we didn’t need anymore. We previously used our attic for storage, but now that it’s been turned into our office we put all our stuff in the basement.  We couldn’t even walk in our basement because it was overflowing with junk, so we decided to have a

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      One of my favorite things about summer is sitting on my back deck with my husband after our kids go to bed, and enjoying a nice glass of wine. Since I hate to pay full price for anything, I’ve found many ways to save on my wine purchases. Here are my top tips on how to save money on

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    I am not sure if you heard about the storms that came through Upstate NY Tuesday night, but we got hit and were without power for several days…which explains why you haven’t heard or seen much from me this past week!   The first night we were all excited and thought, “Let’s have wine by candlelight.”   The second day we

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    This is a sponsored post, I am a Kmart blogger, though all opinions are my own. This summer we have decided that we are taking time to stop and smell the flowers, to start enjoying the outside more with our children. The summers are short and full of life experiences, and I have to stop letting this time pass without

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      I asked my kids what they thought about coupons – then video taped them and their answers. You won’t want to miss this video 🙂 Make sure you subscribe to my You Tube Channel for more money saving videos.

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      I LOVE using homemade lotion, so I thought I’d share my favorite homemade lotion recipe.   You only need three ingredients. Unrefined Coconut Oil (I got mine from Aldi for only $4.99 – a GREAT price!) Vitamin E capsules (they need to be liquid capsules or geltabs so you can squeeze the Vitamin E out) Peppermint Essential Oils. (They

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    Lauren and I both work from home. Now, before you think that’s a dream-come-true, realize that with working from home comes several challenges. It’s not always a blissful situation! But we’ve found a few Time management activities and tricks that make working from home… well… WORK! When you have kids (we have 4), there’s always at least one child who

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      One of my favorite baths to take is a detox bath, so I wanted to share with you my favorite detox bath recipe.  A detox bath may help the body to flush out toxins, and it great to take when you feel like you are coming down with something. You can save a lot of money making this yourself and

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    In case you missed the post earlier this week about our attic renovation, I detailed how all of the work and supplies totaled just about $14,000.  Anyone knowledgeable in real estate or home values will rightly ask – did we increase our home’s value enough to make the project worth it?  As with most home improvement projects (unless you are

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    I know many of you who follow this blog have been very interested to see what our newly renovated attic looks like… so here it is! In this post, I’ll share what we did, why we did it, and how much it cost. When we found out we were pregnant with our 4th, we immediately decided that our house was

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    The times of HUGE luxurious vacations are slowly disappearing, and many Americans are starting to save their money and instead have a StayCation.  What is a Staycation?  It’s a time that you vacation in your own city, seeing it through the eyes of a tourist.  You can choose to stay at home and Staycation (which is the less expensive option),

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      I have been looking around for some deck lighting this summer but it is SO expensive and not in our budget. I figured I could make my own for less money, so obviously I drove over to my favorite store,  Dollar Tree. Here is what I picked up for $12.00. I ended up not needing two of the clothespins packages

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    Making your own baby food is something that can save you SO much money! Here is a short video to show you how I make my daughter’s baby food in two minutes or less: There are two products that I highly recommend for making your own baby food. Keep in mind that products marketed towards moms wanting to make their own

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    I went on 9-WSYR today to talk about creative and inexpensive Mother’s Day gift ideas! You can find the recipe for the Homemade Sugar Scrub here.   You can purchase this 3 Piece Canister set from Walmart.com for $16.97. The chalkboard stickers, mini pots, and Duct Tape fabric sheets can be found at Walmart or at your local craft store.

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      Homemade sugar scrubs are so easy to make and smell fantastic!  I keep a jar of this next to my kitchen sink so that I can use it to scrub my hands after I have cut peppers or onions to help get the smell out!   You only need 4 ingredients to make this recipe:  Olive oil, sugar, and

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    This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Cardstore. I am typing this post tonight while sitting outside of my girls bedroom so they don’t get up for the 100th time…Every night they need a snack, a cup of water, they hurt their knee, their stuffed animal needs a bandaid, etc etc etc… I have mascara smeared

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      Last week I wrote about why I refuse to rob my kids and there were some fantastic tips and comments.   In the comments there were a lot of people who talked about not paying their kids to do chores around the house because they are a part of the family. I do see what they are saying, but do disagree

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    It is finished!!  I am thrilled to share with you our newly re-designed dining room!  It took us about 2 months to get everything put together, but it is so worth the wait! Before we get started, here is the before picture (it is so painful for me to look at!) WOW – what an improvement!  We have lived in

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    I am almost done with my dining room re-decorating!  It has been a very large project for us, but I am happy to say that we are putting the finishing touches on it and will share it soon! So far we have: Painted the wood paneling Found a new rug for inspiration on the design Refinished an old dresser found

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    I love the selection of organic items that Costco carries. I don’t buy much from there as it can really add up, but there are a few pantry staples that are really worth it if you have a Costco nearby. Here are some organic staples that I get from Costco: 1.) Kerrigold Butter This super food is a must have

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    Lauren wasn’t always frugal in the grocery store.  Before we came to terms with our awful spending habits, either one of us could just go to the grocery store with a loose plan of what we wanted.  We would go up and down every aisle, and get whatever we thought we needed. But when Lauren got on this couponing kick,

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    I mentioned that I am re-decorating my dining room in my dollar store re-decorating post last week.  We are still in the process of completing it, but so far we have painted our paneling and have painted some furniture. Just to remind you, this is what it looked like before we moved the kids playroom into that back room.  I am

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      Let’s get real here, when you are making the transition to eating more healthy or organic food the price tag can be a little shocking. It’s true that if you switched overnight, and traded item for item what you eat now to all organic, it would cost significantly more. Does that mean your grocery bill has to be the

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    The first day that Mark was home after quitting his job he suggested I go get ready in the morning and he would watch the kids. I showered without anyone trying to jump in with me, I got dressed without anyone screaming my name, and was able to put my makeup on before going downstairs.  It was a DREAM…but so

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    I have a confessions to make…I am extremely disorganized!  I am going crazy being inside all day with all this snow we still have and was getting the urge to do some spring cleaning. Here is how my mind works – if I don’t have a specific place to put something, it doesn’t get put away.  I just forget about

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    I asked on our Facebook Page what areas they you need help budgeting for; one answer that frequently came up was how to plan ahead on gifts. I would recommend that everyone starts a gift closet; this is place where you store gifts that you have found at a discounted price.  I have my gift closet in tupperware bins in

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    Everyone knows that you pay for convenience in the grocery, but how much more are you really spending? One of the biggest ways to save 50% or more in the grocery store without coupons is to skip pre-cut foods! Many busy people buy pre-cut and packaged foods to save time and energy, but did you know that you could be

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      Abby is almost 7 months now (can you believe it) and I have been struggling…struggling to lose the baby weight I gained with her. I gained around 40 lbs with her and lost 20 of it after I had, so I have around 20 lbs left to lose. I have never had trouble losing weight before and I know

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    I am doing something a little differently on this post – I have asked a friend of mine Carol McLeod from Just Joy Ministries to guest post for us.  Her Latest book is called No More Ordinary.  You can read more about Carol on her blog and also order her book here. With my theme this year being JOY I

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    *sorry there are no images! They all must have gotten lost when I switched from IamThatLady.com to Laurengreutman.com! :-/   Here are a few fun and funny things from my week. Does anyone else feel this way in the morning before their coffee? Hannah got her first big girl hair cut – Thanks Andrea 🙂 Abby started sitting up and

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    Approximately 40% of American workers describe themselves as living “paycheck to paycheck”, and 20% or workers have been unable to make ends meet at least once in the last year.  These aren’t staggering statistics at all.  If we aren’t there ourselves, most of us have friends who are.  Lauren and I are there sometimes… self-employed income isn’t uniform. Just getting

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    You may have wondered where I got the wall art that I had up on the walls in my girls bedroom re-design. I actually MADE them with scrapbook paper, dollar store flowers, and doilies! The total cost of the project was right around $15.00. I was able to make all of the wall decorations for so little and they look

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    The last thing any home gardener wants to find on their plants is bugs, so it is important to figure out how to protect your garden from pests. Who want to go through all the trouble of growing your own food and then spraying with all sorts of chemicals? Thankfully there are many safe alternatives that will kill the pests

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    Abby is now 6 months old so I thought I would put together a list of my favorite must-have baby products to help many of you new moms out.  She is our 4th and last child and she has also been our most difficult so far.  We just started doing some sleep training this past week and because of that

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    When Should you Plant? After you’ve decided on your gardening plan for the year, you’re good to start getting ready to plant your plants.  Each area of the country has different planting dates, classified by zones or regions.  When it comes to planting a vegetable garden, it’s best to know when your last average frost date is, so that you

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    Yesterday I spent 2 & 1/2 hours grocery shopping.  It was one of those rare weeks where we were really low on food and I needed to work really hard to stay within our budget.  I was successful and actually come in $8.00 under budget!  I was exhausted from shopping at 4 different stores (I normally only go to 1),

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        I have posted a few times on how my family bought 1/2 of a cow a few months back, many of you have wanted more details so I thought I would share with you my very small bit of knowledge on this.  I did some research online before finding a farm that we liked, and what I thought was

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      I have been in MAJOR declutter and cleaning mode lately, but what I find is that I go crazy one day and then am too tired the next day to clean again.  I decided that I need to pace myself, so I created a cleaning list and schedule for our family.  This way we can all pitch in and

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    Do you always have issues with draining your ground beef?  I’ve tried it all; paper towels to sop it up, draining into a dish (but then the ground beef goes with it.) Here is how we do it in our house – it takes a pan and a colander. Simply place the colander inside the cold pan, dump the ground

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    Valentine’s Day is a day to show your loves ones just how much you adore them. Maybe a  bouquet of flowers, a special dinner, or even a box of chocolates. But why should the gestures of love end on February 15? With today’s craft – Valentine’s Coupons Made with Love – they don’t have to! This craft is super simple

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    These Mother Day Crafts ideas are projects that kids of all ages can make! I personally love the jewelry plate and the handprint sunshine! Which ones are your favorites? Salt Dough Flower Fingerprints Recycled Bottle Suncatchers Handprint Flower Pots Paper Bead Earrings Ribbon Wrapped Photo Wreath Toddler Silhouette Painting Sharpie Tile Coasters Interchangeable Blocks Handprint Sunshine Canvas Mini Photo Keychains

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    It has been almost a week since Mark had his last day at work, and to say I am living in a dream would be an appropriate statement.  Waking up and knowing that he is here with me is simply AMAZING!  I’ve heard from so many of you who were inspired by our decision for him to quit his job

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    Scratch and dent* stores are great places to find deeply discounted grocery items.  But not everything there is a great price like you may assume.  There are many items at these stores that are actually more expensive, but you can also find many items with HUGE savings.  My favorite discount store to shop for food items is Big Lots; if

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    I’ve purchased probably close to a hundred Lego sets over the course of my childhood, and my kids’ childhoods (and counting).  Over this time, I have NEVER been shorted a piece.  EVER.  They must have some amazing quality control at Lego. But this past Christmas Day was different. When my 8 year-old son opened the LEGO Batmobile and The Two-Face

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    There is NO worse smell to me than the smell of a cleaning oven.  It makes me sick to my stomach and I have to have all of my windows open, UNTIL I found this solution.  This is a super easy and natural way to clean your oven, plus the lemons that you use actually make it smell good! Here

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    Mark and I have made a tough decision this year, and that decision means being broke again.  Why, you may ask?  The biggest reason is that we felt like our life was stuck in a vicious cycle; we worked hard all day, only to put the kids to bed and spend the night on the couch exhausted.  However, through those

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    If you recall, last week we talked about how to save money with meal planning.  I shared with you a few resources like Emeals that you can use to keep meal planning very simple and easy for you.  Today I will talk about the thing that you need most when you first start meal planning – your weekly store flyer.

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    This post is part of my 30 days of Frugal Tips series.  For more Frugal cleaning tips, check out the rest of my series frugal tips here. Are you looking to get blood out of your clothing? Here are a few simple tips on how to get it out of it for good, with things already laying around your house.  You should not

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    Here is a collection of 25 Religious Easter Coloring Pages designed to gives kids – and some adults – a fun lesson in what the day is all about. So what is Easter all about? Lost in all the hubbub surrounding the Easter Bunny, painted eggs, and marshmallow Peeps is the fact that Easter is, at its heart, a religious

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    Here is another Frugal Tip for you tonight. In order to get wax out of your carpet, you need 2 things. An iron and a piece of paper or a dish towel.  Before you start this you will want to use a butter knife to scrape off as much of the wax as possible, then vacuum up any left over

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    Recently, I’ve begun experimenting with some alternate ways of cooking; mostly alternate ways of cooking meat.  By far, the most interesting method I’ve come across is a method called “sous-vide” (pronounced “soo-veed”).  Basically, this method of cooking amounts to vacuum-sealing meat (or whatever you’re cooking) and using a water bath heated to a specific temerature to cook the meat.  There

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    A friend of mine shared this great question/response quote on Facebook a while back; you might have seen it before. It’s hilarious because there is quite a bit of truth in the response, and we can all relate to some degree – even if we’re not into cats or arguing with strangers.  Here’s my history with smartphones: I was a late

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    Is your fridge SO dirty that you can’t even stand to look at it anymore?  I totally understand because mine was always the last place that I wanted to clean, UNTIL I figured out how to do it in 30 minutes or less!  This takes some energy, because for this half hour you will be working your tail off, BUT it’s worth

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    Are you looking for a way to get wine stains out of your carpet?  One tip – do NOT use warm water, this makes the stain grow. When cleaning up wine, always use cold water at first. Here are a few quick and easy ways to get it out with things already around your home! 1.) Hydrogen Peroxide method: Make

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    Is your microwave covered in yucky, caked on food?  Here is how to clean your microwave in 2 simple steps with things you already have in your home. Here is what you will need: 1/2 cup vinegar 1/2 cup hot water Lemon {optional} Here are the directions for how you clean it: Place a bowl with the vinegar and water

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    Are you looking to learn How to make your own Laundry Detergent? Laundry Detergent, even the ones labeled “free and clear,”  often have additives that bother people with sensitive skin. If you’ve tried many different detergents, it may be beneficial to learn how to make your own. Here are two different “recipes” for laundry detergent. You may find that one works

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    This post is part of my 30 days of Frugal Tips series.  For more Frugal cleaning tips, check out the rest of my series frugal tips here. Having a stainless steel fridge with kids around is basically a nightmare!  Their little fingers are all over it all day long and one of my friends told me of a way that she

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    As me and my team take some time off to spend with our families this Christmas – we all want to wish you a VERY Merry Christmas!  This has been a crazy year for me, full of a lot of ups and downs, but this website is always such a relief for me to come here and share my love.

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    My kids always wake up SO early on Christmas morning, and we have the rule that they can get their stockings before we wake up. This usually means that my 8 year old wakes his younger sisters up at 5am, they sneak down the stairs, grab their stockings and head back up into their bedrooms.  They open their stockings and

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    It was time to clean my washing machine because it was starting to have that funky smell….you know the one!  I have tried a few washing machine cleaners out there, and nothing has taken away the smell.  I do at least 1-2 loads of laundry every day, and I think my laundry breeds overnight because I can never get caught up

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    Welcome to this year’s Homemade Christmas Gifts Series. We will feature nine homemade Christmas gift ideas over the next two weeks, so make sure you stay tuned to learn how to make some of these great gift items. This week we will talk about how to create your own Homemade Sugar Scrub – this is the perfect gift for someone

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    Welcome to this years Homemade Christmas Gifts Series.  We will feature many nine Homemade Christmas gift ideas over the next two weeks, so make sure that you stay tuned to learn how to make some of these great gift items. This week we will talk about a great gift idea – making Chocolate Chip Cookies in a Jar! These are

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    This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Pull-Ups® Training Pants. If you have been following me on Twitter or Facebook the past two days, you know that I have been gearing up to start potty training my 3rd child.  Kaylee will be 3 in April, so she is a little older than 2 & 1/2 right

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    Are you sick of spending so much time shredding chicken with 2 forks? Why not spend that time doing other things that mean more to you? Here is a super simple way to shred chicken in under 30 seconds with your KitchenAid Mixer.  I actually like to put my chicken in the crockpot to make this even easier!  You can

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    Are you looking for an inexpensive table centerpiece idea this year?  I wanted a new a Christmas Centerpiece, and buying one is just not an options because they seem to be SO overpriced, so I headed over to the Dollar Tree to get the supplies.  That is my favorite Dollar store to shop at because they seem to have the highest quality

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    There are so many times that I get a great deal on something, but I can’t fit it in my refrigerator.  There are also times where I have a lot of fresh herbs and spices but can’t use them quickly enough, so here are 7 ways to flash freeze food that you eat on a regular basis. Hopefully this can

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    Many of you have been asking me to make a video on how to save money with a baby.  I took some items like diapers, wipes, and formula and showed you the best ways to dave money on them! My stock up prices are $0.17 and under per diaper and $0.11 and under per wipe. If you cannot see the

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    This week on THAT Lady TV I continue to talk about ways to save money on gluten-free food.  One of the many ways to save is to know which products are good and recommended before you go buying a whole bunch of different food. In this Episode of THAT Lady TV I talk about some of my favorite Gluten-Free foods

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      During the summer it seems that my son is the one that I have the hardest time keeping busy – so here is a list of 25 boy crafts and boredom busters for boys! I hope this will help you keep your boys a little more occupied! Dinosaur Ice Eggs Recycled Lego Man Crayons Despicable Me Stuffed Minions DIY

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    I showed you the finished project of my daughters’ room last week and promised I’d show you how to make the bed canopies for only $13.00 each! It was a fun project that I came up with because my budget for their bedroom was getting maxed out and I really wanted to create these fun focal points. Here is what

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    I re-designed my daughter’s bedroom this past weekend and I shared my July Ditto diy Project with you late last night – about how I made my framed art work above my daughters’ beds using old windows.  Today I will show you a couple more details about how I re-decorated their bedroom for under $200.00 and most of the items

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    Welcome to the July {ditto} DIY challenge! Once a month ten very different bloggers are hosting this challenge to recreate in our own homes a project or design element inspired by a haute couture design. The idea is to inspire everyone to incorporate fine design elements into your own home in a way that fits your own style. (For more

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      We’ve been talking about gardening the past couple of weeks and so far we’ve covered the following topics: Guide to beginner gardening How to create a container garden Best plants for container gardening If you’ve been wanting some great Raised Bed ideas, you’re in luck. Here are some of the benefits and tips on how to make Gardening with Raised

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    I have recently become obsessed with Mason Jars and this is my newest project that I did in my house.  I bought a package of the large Mason Jars at the store for around $6.00 (included 12 jars) and have been using them to organize around my house.  This picture was taken in my bathroom, I was getting sick of

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    Your dream day has arrived, he proposed and you accepted and the special day is here….Your Wedding Day.  Weddings – how to save on your flowers is a very important topic to most. Why? Because wedding flowers can take up thousands of dollars of your budget, so here are some simple ways on how to save on your Wedding Flowers.

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    Last week we talked about How to Create a Container Garden and this week we will talk about the Best Plants for Container Gardening.  Just about anything can be grown in containers, although there are a few that do better than others. Here are some common vegetables that do great in containers: Lettuces of any variety: Black Seeded Simpson is

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    One way to spruce up a room with little money is to update your lamps!  These are the lamps that were in our Master bedroom before I re-designed it, with a simple coat of black spray paint and new lampshades, they have turned into this…. The total cost of updating my lamps was $23.00!  That is a whole lot less

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    Container Gardening is perfect for anyone who is wanting to start their own home garden but who have limited amount space or are limited in what they’re able to do to their yard.  With container gardening there’s no tilling the ground and very little weeding that will need to be done.  Plus, you can place your containers right on your

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    I love shopping at thrift stores, it is just one of my favorite small ways to save money.   Today I went to my local thrift store to see what deals they had on children’s clothing + I was looking for a small table to put on my porch.  I didn’t find the table, but I did find some cute name brand

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    We have been having some issues with fruit flies this year, and no matter how much we hide our fruit and produce they were still there. I tried creating a funnel and putting a pieces of fruit at the bottom, it didn’t work. I also tried putting apple cider vinegar in a bowl and covering it with saran wrap that

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    Mother’s Day is just around the corner, so here are some Mothers Day Coloring Pages for your kids to color for their mom. For most of my readers (i.e. moms), that means a day of hugs, kisses and pampering (or at least attempted pampering). By the end of the day, you might wish every day was Mother’s Day, but let’s

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    With the weather starting to warm up, many people are thinking about throwing their first cookout.  If you missed my segment on News Channel 9’s Bridge Street program today I talked about ways to save on a cookout.  There were a few products that I featured on my segment you can see those below: The George Foreman Indoor/Outdoor Grill – priced

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    Weddings can be SO expensive and they really don’t have to be.  I was married at 21, we were still in college without jobs, but we were able to have a beautiful and elegant money for very little money! Here are my tops 5 tips for How to Save on a Wedding Dress: Shop the $99.00 Sale at David’s Bridal.

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    There are many ways to save on Streaming Videos and get rid of cable – so today I will try to help you learn how to save on streaming videos. The video below shows many different ways on how to save while streaming videos into your home, but I wanted to highlight a few of them below: Purchase a Roku

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    I have baby on the brain lately, because I am about to have my Fourth Child!  We found out we were expecting another baby the day after we moved into our new house.  Thankfully we got a 4 bedroom house, but one of the bedrooms was unfinished.   I didn’t want to spend a fortune decorating her nursery, so here

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    We’ve all been there. You want… no… NEED a date night out, away from the business of life, but you don’t have the money! Well, you’ve come to the right place! These date night ideas are all FREE! They might not be what you’re used to, but that can be fun! One thing I know for sure: I remember more experiences I

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    It has been a little over 6 weeks since you set that New Years resolution to eat healthier, and you may be struggling to stick with it.  One area where you may be struggling is finding ways to eat those sweet indulgent treats while still staying on a budget.  Today I was on News Channel 9’s Bridge Street Program talking

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    If you’re looking for a simple Valentine’s craft that you can do with the kids, Wax Paper Crayon Hearts definitely fit the bill.  I love easy toddler crafts and this one is great for small children (despite the ironing). When I was first learning how to budget I had to start doing free activities with my kids and this was

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    Remember Valentine’s Day in grade school? Getting cards and giving cards was so much fun, especially when one of those cards was from that boy who you’ve had a crush on since forever (about two weeks ago). To make the day a little more special for your little Valentine and give them something to store their haul in, try making

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      Every year we get to that time when we have to decide what to get your kids teachers, I have some fun and practical ideas that you can gather together to make some fun and memorable baskets for those special teachers in your lives. Hallmark has a great selection of Teacher Ornaments to give – we like to pick

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    Organic Foods can be expensive, so how do you save on them?  One tip is to know which items are on the Top 12 Foods to Eat Organic List, and are important to purchase organic.  Based on this article by EWG Foods, you can save money by only focusing on the foods that ‘matter’ if they are organic or not.

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    My guess is that you found me because you want to learn how to extreme coupon by watching Extreme Couponing on TLC. Extreme Couponing means different things to different people, but many of you may wonder “How to Extreme Coupon?“. By one’s definition, I used to be an extreme coupon. I do get great deals and spend very little out

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