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One of the top ways to stay out of debt and learn how to budget is to learn how to save money strategically through Family Savings Goals. If you are a busy mom like me, you may have great intentions to save money but it slips your mind by the time you get around to it. Getting to the bank

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Saving money at the grocery store is one of the best ways to add money back into your budget each month, save for something big, or slash your debt. Grocery stores are designed to reel us in and trick us into spending more than we intend. The good news is, I know some secrets that will give you extra knowledge

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The store catalogs, magazines, and Instagram feeds have us believe it isn’t a proper holiday without gifts spilling away from under the tree in all directions. But have you heard about the 3 gift Christmas rule?  For about ten years now, this idea has been popular with online bloggers. Your kids only get three gifts chosen from three different categories.

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If you are like many others this time of year – you might be looking for ways to make extra money from home!  When I was working to get out of debt, there were MANY times I did a lot of surprising things to make money from home. That money came in handy for things like buying groceries, catching up

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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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I am a mom of six kids. At one time,  I had two little ones in diapers and another one in pull-ups. Let me tell you, it was expensive!! Since then, I’ve tried just about everything to get free diapers. I’m sharing my best tips for what helped me significantly cut down on the diaper budget and even ways to

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If you haven’t heard about Swagbucks, oh my goodness! Are you in for a treat! This is one of my FAVORITE sites online! Swagbucks is an online membership rewards program that lets you earn money for things you are already buying. You read that right – and as of 2020, they have paid out OVER $423 MILLION in rewards!!  If

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Benjamin Franklin once said: “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”  This is true in life, and especially when spending money. Did you know most people spend almost $950 on gifts, entertaining, and travel each Christmas season?  If you fail to plan your Christmas budget, then you plan to fail at it as well. The key is that

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Extra cash seems almost like an oxymoron, doesn’t it? If nothing else, it definitely seems too good to be true! I allocated my money to bills or simply running my household for most of my life. We lived paycheck to paycheck on a good week. During bad weeks, there were credit cards that quickly resulted in debt. So you can

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I love creating homemade gift mixes for the holidays.  They are such a fun and inexpensive way to show someone you care!  One of my favorites is this Homemade Cinnamon Hot Chocolate Mix.  Throughout the year, I look for mason jars in thrift stores, or I save my glass peanut butter jars.  Then I wash them out and use them

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Once fall rolls around, you can bet my crock-pot is a staple on my counter.  My family can quickly tire of the rotation of fall crockpot meals like stews, chilis, soups, and the like. Imagine how excited I was when this became a popular dish in my family: a Caribbean citrus chicken recipe that is part of my freezer menu

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As you start setting up your Black Friday Budget, JCPenney is a store you don’t want to miss! Even though many of their stores have been closing down across the nation, there are still thousands open. I have one of the rare stand alone stores (not on a shopping mall) in my home town, which I shop at every single

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Think about January – are you stressed because you went overboard for Christmas?  You may now be surrounded by Christmas credit card bills, and feeling flat out defeated.  Are you ready to have a debt free Christmas this year?   How to Have a Debt-Free Christmas: For years, I would have a Christmas hangover in January.  Do you know that

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So many places offer discounts to seniors, but sometimes the details can be a bit hard to pin down.  The best rule of thumb is to always ask if a senior discount is offered!  Some places will even match a discount even if they don’t offer one themselves.  This article is packed with some of the best discounts available at a variety

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I try to mix up our recipes as much as I can in our house. The rotation of beef, pork, chicken, pasta can get pretty monotonous. Stop spending hours scrolling Google and Pinterest looking for delicious baked chicken breast recipes. I am excited to share with you one of our family favorites: Parmesan and Lemon Baked Chicken!   Of all the

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I know we haven’t even gotten through Halloween yet, so it might seem crazy to start talking about Christmas shipping. But you know, once Halloween hits, Thanksgiving and Christmas seem to be right behind. Since this has been such a crazy year, trends are showing people are more eager to enjoy the comfort and celebration of holidays this year, but

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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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Growing up, we rarely used jarred tomato sauce because we always made our own homemade spaghetti sauce. Because I was young, I never thought anything of it. But when I had pasta at a friend’s house and they used jarred sauce, I never liked it much. My dad was generally the one who always made our sauce; it was one of his

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If you celebrate Christmas in your family, you know it can be an expensive holiday. Between giving gifts to family, friends, maybe coworkers or service providers, decorating, baking, and attending parties that might require special outfits and babysitters. . . sometimes this can be over thousands of dollars. Yikes! I don’t know about you, but many people can’t afford that

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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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Let’s be honest. Everyone likes to be treated special on their birthday! Luckily, our favorite businesses have this figured out, and many run promotions to honor you on your special day.  Several give out FREE food and gifts! Have you ever wondered which places are the best when it comes to Birthday Freebies? Birthday Freebies You Don’t Want to Miss

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I talk a lot about Aldi on my page – if you’ve been here a while you know I have meal plans based on Aldi ingredients and I have tips on how to save money shopping at Aldi. Some of my readers have asked about Walmart, especially if they don’t have an Aldi in their area.  This got me curious:

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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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Society and the banks teach out about mortgages at a young age. We hear the terms refinance and 2nd mortgages, but fail to learn some of the hidden ways to pay off that loan earlier. Today I am talking about how to pay off your mortgage fast! These ways are opposite to what you may have been taught – why? Who

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I don’t know about you, but I love going into my local Sephora.  For me, even walking in the door is an experience. I feel welcomed, empowered, and I’m instantly in the mood to buy products that make me feel and look fantastic. Many of you are probably the same: Sephora is currently the #1 specialty beauty retailer in the

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Chances are you have a smartphone. One of my favorite features, aside from having the internet in the palm of my hand, is the convenience apps allow me to have. The push of a button lets me access my favorite podcasts, stores, games, lists. . . well, you know! The problem is, I really do hate shelling out money for

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So… you want to start a grocery budget but have no idea where to even start.  I was there just 6 short years ago when we were in a large amount of debt, so I completely understand how you are feeling.  You know you need to – and want to –  use your available money to pay down your debt,

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Depending on where you are from, you may be lucky enough to have an Aldi grocery store near you. Aldi is currently the third-largest grocery store with locations in the mid-Atlantic, Midwest, Florida, and California. If you don’t have one yet, be patient because they are growing! Aldi is my FAVORITE grocery store, and I absolutely love shopping there.  Today

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What if I told that exactly one year from now, you can be $10,000 richer than you are right now?  We could ALL use a raise this year, am I right? And maybe you didn’t get one… or worse yet, maybe you did, but it was completely negated by the increased inflation!  No worries. I am going to share my best

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I am all about saving money wherever and whenever possible. Sometimes, though, it is easy to fall into the trap of buying extra stuff that is not in the budget just to get the “savings.” But, let’s be honest. That’s not really savings.  What if there were a way to earn extra cash and save on stuff you were already

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I love Netflix, and since everything shut down in March of this year following the Covid-19 quarantine, more than ever, my family and I have been leaning on our Netflix subscription.  The title of this blog post is how to get a Free Netflix Account – so you may be wondering how to do that. Now that the winter months

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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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I am so excited to share with you my Gluten Free Pumpkin Bread Recipe, which is one of my favorite fall foods!   After finding out I had a gluten intolerance issue, the first thing I thought about was my favorite Pumpkin Bread Recipe.   I am so happy that it turned out AMAZING!  The only difference is that it

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It’s not something most of us like to think about as far as making end of life plans. This year seemed to bring to the forefront the idea of, “What would happen if. . . “  So what would happen if something happened and you weren’t able to care for your children, pets, home, adult dependants? You need to have

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Dump Recipes are just the best right? Like with this Crockpot Pulled Pork, just toss all of the ingredients in, no pre-cooking required. Push a button and then walk away. And let me tell you, just because it’s easy doesn’t mean it ain’t delicious! In fact, with this crockpot pulled pork recipe, just the opposite. A small amount of effort will be

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When I first started learning how to coupon and meal plan, my eyes were opened to all of the wasteful spending I was doing, and not even realizing it!  There are so many ways to overspend and break your grocery budget, but by making some simple changes you can really see significant savings!  I wanted to go through and talk

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I confess I’ve been a little obsessed with easy ways to make money lately. Since the beginning of the new year I’ve been selling on Poshmark, an online boutique marketplace to buy and sell fashion items. Within the last five months, I have made over $3,000 through the app (what!), and thought you might want to learn how to sell

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My family LOVES Chinese food, they would order Chinese takeout every night if I let them. That is why I developed this Crockpot General Tso’s Chicken Recipe. It tastes just like the takeout version, but made in less time and for 1/4 of the price!     A lot of my recipes are dump recipes. Why? Because they are SO

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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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I get a lot of questions about how to use cash envelopes, so I thought I would share my experience with having a cash envelope system wallet. Having a cash envelope walletcan make all the difference when you’re using cash envelopes and learning how to budget. It’s a great way to manage your finances because you get more control over

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Are you considering lowering your cell phone bill? Maybe you haven’t done it because you don’t know how to lower your phone bill. When money is tight (or you want to free up cash to spend on other things), most people start with their food budget. I’m a big advocate for spending less on groceries, but that isn’t the only

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Managing your money is more important than ever when you are going through financial difficulty. If you have an emergency fund, you can rely on that to help make ends meet for a short time, but you can make that money last longer using money saving apps to put a little money back in your pocket. But less than 70%

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Everyone can invest, and there are so many Easy Ways to Invest Your Money. You don’t have to read the Wall Street Journal every day or watch the stock ticker to be an investor. Whether you have millions to invest or can only contribute a few bucks a month, there are easy ways to invest your money. When you think

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Are you looking for an easy freezer cooking meal plan? Look no further because you have found the EASIEST meal plan out there! Not only will this save you time, but SO MUCH MONEY!     I am SO excited to share with you my latest freezer cooking meal plan! If you’ve never used one of my meal plans before,

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Learning how to budget can take some time. Staying on budget is no easy task. To make it easier, I’m going to teach you how to set up a budget planner.  Having a Budget Planner s a great way to get and stay organized. Plus, a money saving budget planner puts your bills, receipts, expense planning sheets, and calendar pages

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Have you heard of Crack Chicken? If not, you are in for a real treat! I loved this recipe so much when I tried it, that I developed a little bit of a different spin on it and made it in my Instant Pot. I hadn’t found of a good Instant Pot Crack Chicken Recipe so I made my own!

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What’s are Best Budgeting Apps for Your Personal Finances?A budget is a powerful tool in your financial toolbox. With so many budgeting apps to choose from, how do you know which is best? Learning how to budget and actually making that budget always makes me feel empowered. It reminds me that I can take charge of my money and create

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We live in a great day and age where we can watch television anywhere we want. There are SO MANY options out there outside of paying the enormous cable bill, so today I want to share my favorite alternatives to cable. When I started learning how to budget, cutting my cable was the first expense I had to let go. It

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In a perfect world, you’d have enough money to cover your bills and have plenty of cash in your emergency fund. What if a crisis happens? Today I am going to talk about How to budget during a crisis in 7 easy steps. But life isn’t perfect. Sometimes a crisis hits, and money gets tight. You might lose your job,

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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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Who says beauty products have to be expensive? With the deep discounts and amazing ULTA coupons, I know SO many ultra savings hacks! Cashing in on deals is a snap.It took me years to figure out some of these ulta saving hacks. I’m so excited to share some of my favorite ways to save money on beauty with you. I

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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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Are you looking for a delicious Instant Pot Beef Empanadas recipe? Look no further because this is your lucky day! Make this Empanada Rice Bowl, top with a green Chimichuri sauce and and toasted tortilla chips! As a debt free life coach my #1 priority is to teach you ways to save money and get out of debt. One of

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I work so hard to make every meal plan better than the last one. That’s why I’m so excited to bring you 20 Slow Cooker Gourmet Freezer Meals! And yes… these are “dump meals” – meaning, you prepping them requires no pre-cooking at all. Just dump the ingredients in freezer bags. Now this one does require you to spend a

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If you’re getting carried away at the grocery store, I know the best budget meal planning strategies to help you cook for less.  The average family spends about $660 on food each month, according to the latest Consumer Expenditure Survey. How much you spend depends on where you live. Rural areas tend to have cheaper food prices when compared to

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Pulled Pork Recipes are my favorite! I love a good pulled pork sandwich or pork nachos for dinner! YUM! I have a lot of pulled recipes that I rotate in my weekly meal plan, so I thought I would share them with you today! I eat gluten free so I eat my pulled pork without the bun but my kids love

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It is no secret that my favorite place to grocery shop is ALDI. I spend a good amount of time in there while creating my Aldi meal plans, and have picked up some secret tips that you probably don’t know about. In this blog post I am sharing my top secrets you don’t know about ALDI.   Oh – and

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You’ve heard about making extra money delivering pizza. But what if you could get paid to deliver food from almost any restaurant chain and do it on your own time, too? That’s exactly the idea behind how to make money with Door Dash. Moms need a flexible schedule. And that’s especially true for any of the side hustles you pick

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As you know, I’m a big fan of budgeting! Cash envelopes are one of the best ways to learn how to budget and keep your spending on track. If you’ve never used them before, cash envelopes can help you save money and get control of your finances. Cash envelopes can simplify how you budget your money and help you learn

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I’m a sucker for new (and easy!) ways to earn extra cash. One of my favorite ways is with apps that let you upload receipts to make money. That’s why I’m excited to tell you about the Fetch Rewards app! Several apps allow you to make money by scanning receipts. Most of them require you to shop at a specific

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Staying on budget is no easy task. To make it easier, I’m going to teach you how to set up a yearly budget planner. A Money Saving Budget Planner is a great way to get organized. Plus, a budget planner puts your bills, receipts, expense planning sheets, and calendar pages all in one place. Think about it: money is involved in

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Are you wondering how to make money doing surveys from home? I’ve done it many times and actually completely funded our Christmas savings account using these! Would you like to earn an extra $100 this month? Earning that, shouldn’t be a problem at all for you using these best survey sites. You really can make money doing surveys on the internet.

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What do you do when you run out of money? With all of the Life Hacks articles out there, here’s one for when you really need help and are out of money. These might not be fun, but being broke is less fun. You can start changing your financial situation right now! Let’s assume that you get paid bi-weekly on

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Budgeting and getting out of debt can be tough work, but once you’re on your way it feels good to make progress. You may be pondering how to budget and save money at the same time. One of the smartest ways to stay out of debt and stick to your budget, is to develop sinking funds accounts. You may be wondering

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Meal planning is a great way to save money on groceries but it can take up a lot of time, too. So today I put together a list of meals for dinner for you. Let’s face it – you’re busy, I’m busy, and kids can be fussy about what they eat. Balancing life’s demands while trying to feed your family

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Since I started teaching others about debt-free and frugal living, I get a lot of inquires asking for free coupons. I do not provide free coupons myself, but I decided to write up a blog post to explain the many ways you can get free coupons by mail. Once you know where to look, when, and how to request them,

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Going out to eat? Don’t leave without these restaurant freebies and NEVER pay full price! We all know that almost every chain restaurant has some sort of email club or app with some perks, but I’ve put all of them in one place!     When you join these email lists, they will usually send you deals and coupons throughout the

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You may be wondering how to stick to financial new year’s resolutions this year. The new year is a popular time to make resolutions about all the things you’ll do better next year. Financial goals are common, such as getting out of debt, building your emergency fund, or starting a side hustle.   The trouble is sticking to your plan.

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Does even saying the word “budget” send shivers down your spine? If you’re overwhelmed by the thought of creating one, have no fear: Here’s how to budget monthly. Creating a budget doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Yes, it can have huge positive effects that trickle into every part of your life, but learning how to budget doesn’t have

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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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Even though I love dump recipes and my two other chicken parmesan recipes, this one is till my absolute favorite.  It is a classic recipe that we make for almost every single one of our dinner guests. Oh – here are my other two recipes before I forget: Crockpot Chicken Parmesan Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan Casserole As a perfect compliment

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If you love pets, starting a side hustle as a pet sitter might be the perfect opportunity to help you boost your income. People are busier than ever and can have trouble finding a trustworthy person to watch their furry friends. Since you love animals, you could watch their pets in exchange for cash in your pocket. In this article

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Christmas is my favorite time of the year. The season is full of joy, gratitude, and quality time with family. Of course, the holidays wouldn’t be complete without presents. How do you pay for all those gifts? You may be wondering how to budget for Christmas this year. It’s easy for me to overspend since I often get carried away

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Shopping with a pre determined budget and from a well thought out shopping plan is the best way to stretch your holiday shopping dollar. But how do you create a Black Friday budget, or a shopping plan for that matter? Black Friday Shopping can break the bank if you aren’t careful. There are so many great deals, so how do you

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With so many fun ways to spend your money, the last thing you want to do is waste it on an overpriced electric or gas bill. Think about it: If you could spend less on your electric bill, what would you do with that extra money? Today we are going to talk about how to save on electric bill and

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On my journey to get my money under control, I’ve become slightly obsessed with side hustles. Making money from side hustles from home in your spare time is thrilling! I’m not the only one who thinks so – already in the U.S., 44 million Americans report having a side gig besides their regular job. While they are a good way

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Remember a time when everyone didn’t have cell phones? Depending on your age, it might be really easy to think back to that time. Maybe you’d like to go back to then? Maybe the idea makes your cringe? Either way, it appears that cell phones are here to stay and it’s a bill we all have to include in our

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Christmas Day is upon us – are you ready? Did you set a Christmas budget and have you been able to stay within your Christmas budget? According to the 2018 TD Bank Merry Money Holiday Spending Survey, 66% of those surveyed said they create a holiday budget and 76% reported that they stuck to their budget. The problem for many,

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You’ve heard me say many times before that a money saving budget planner is an essential part of making your money work for you. Having all your money in one place makes you feel better because you’re more organized. Plus, you can finally stop missing payments and paying late fees.  It makes sense to set up a brand-new budget planner

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A credit score is the new “in” thing. Everywhere you look, companies are giving away free credit scores. If you have good credit, you probably don’t think about it too much. But more than a third of Americans have a “fair” or “very poor” credit rating. If you are included in the third of Americans, you probably want to know

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If you’re wondering how to make money at home, I have a great opportunity to share with you: Teaching kids online. You already have experience tutoring your own kids so why not start one of these  side hustles and get paid for helping other kids? Today I am going to be talking all about how to Earn Money with VIPKid.

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I love shopping as much as the next person but too much spending can derail your budget pretty quickly. Ever since I started paying off debt and learning how to budget, I haven’t spent nearly as much time shopping as I used to. That’s when I got to thinking: What if you could make money by turning your love for shopping

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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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Between groceries, clothes, and extra trinkets (that I just have to have), my purse is full of receipts. I bet you have handfuls of them lying around, too. I’m always looking for new ideas to make money and the number of ways to cash in by scanning your receipts is unbelievable.  If you’re looking for an easy way to earn

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In my online course The Financial Renovation I teach my students to use cash when learning how to budget. In the past year I’ve been trying out different prepaid debit cards as an alternative to using cash envelopes, and I am considering switching to using a Prepaid Debit card instead of cash. You may be wondering How to Budget your Life

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Being a mom with kids in school is hard work! Even when school’s out for the summer, the job doesn’t end. Before you know it, Fall is right around the corner and it’s time to shop for back to school. There are usually different school supply lists to work off of, clothing to be purchased, and it can get SO

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Years ago, I had an enormous amount of credit card debt. For the longest time, I ignored it. But one day I got smart and faced my fears. I wanted to learn how to stay debt free. Debt is truly a financial drain. I blasted through my credit card and student loan debt, and learned how to budget. I started using

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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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Are you struggling to stay on budget because something always seems to pop up? Do this cause you to spend money that you don’t have? That is why it’s helpful to use a Yearly Budget Planner. A yearly budget planner helps you organize your year so that those unexpected expenses don’t continue to break your budget. Today I am going

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Have you ever wondered why you just can’t make ends meet each month? Wondering How to Budget with No Money? Maybe why your income and spending just aren’t adding up? Well, the majority of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck. Why? For some it’s because they cannot stop spending their money. Many times, this comes down to intentionality. From all

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In 2006 I moved from NY to the Carolinas. The one thing that stuck out to me when we first moved there was their barbecue. It was different from New York and I immediately had to know how to make it. My favorite recipe was this North Carolina Pulled Pork. I finally decided to share it with you all! You

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Ya know what’s discouraging? When you’re trying to get better at something, but it just isn’t panning out. You’ve followed the steps: 1,2,3 and it just isn’t working. You ask, “What am I missing?” Today we are going to talk about what to do when your budget doesn’t work. What happens when you do your budget, you’ve cut all you

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I have been getting this question a lot, so I thought I would answer it in a blog post. The question is How to Convert Slow Cooker Recipes to an Instant Pot. It is pretty simple but in order to understand how this works, you need to know what the difference between how a Slow Cooker and an Instant Pot work. A

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Do you love Crock Pot Recipes as much as I do? I use my Crock Pot 4 or 5 nights a week. It is the perfect way to cook when you have a large family and are typically busy during the day. I typically make a few of these dump recipes at once, stick them in the freezer, and then

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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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This may surprise some of you, but I have a love/hate relationship with budgeting. And it’s been mostly hate over the past few years. I recognize how important it is, and when I’m going strong, it can almost be enjoyable. But if you fall off the wagon – gosh, it is HARD to climb back on. And prior to 2008, Lauren and I NEVER EVER EVER budgeted. So although I like numbers and spreadsheets, budgeting doesn’t come naturally to me at all. I have to work at it.

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There are so many reasons why you need a budget planner. In this article I will break down those reasons and some helpful tips and tricks to stay on track with your budget planner. A Money Saving Budget Planner is the #1 Financial Tool that I absolutely NEED in my life! I was sick and tired of having bills all

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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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Are you wondering how to throw a wedding on a budget? Can you believe that the average cost of a wedding hovers right around $30,000, give or take a little. That’s a significant portion of many Americans’ annual income! If you don’t have a budget, you’ll pretty much always spend more than you wanted, which is why planning your wedding on a

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Are you searching for birthday freebies for kids? Look no further because here is a HUGE list of birthday freebies for kids. Before we get started, here are some other blog posts that I recommend reading as well. They all talk about getting more free stuff! Birthday Freebies How to get Free Coupons in the Mail How to get Free Diapers

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We all need insurance on our cars and home, but how often do we consider the bill we are paying? Perhaps we get upset every time our auto insurance payment goes up, but homeowners insurance is often built into the escrow payment on our home, so we might not know exactly what it is. If you haven’t been actively managing

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Are you looking for a way to manage your finances and budget? You may need a Money Saving Budget Planner to help. Using a Money Saving Budget Planner is essential when it comes to managing your household finances. In this article I am going to break down the best tips and tricks for using a Money Saving Budget Planner and

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Are you looking for the best budget spreadsheet? Budgeting is what saved my finances and what got me out of debt. And while learning how to budget generally isn’t fun, I’ve got an awesome way to make it a lot easier. I’ve got the BEST budget spreadsheet for you. Even if you suck at spreadsheets – just give this a

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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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Are you looking for links to free budget planners? Are you wondering how start your first budget? There are so many difference resources out there, it can be hard to know which money saving budget planner is going to be helpful. That is why I put together this list for you of the top free budget planner ideas that you can

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Having trouble getting started with a budget? Are you feeling like you are always trying to play catch-up with last month’s expenses? Follow these foolproof tips to FINALLY get control of your household finances!

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Have you been searching high and low for the best budget planner? Look no further, because I’ve tried them all and have found the budget planner that I go back to year after year! What money saving budget planner is this? The Personal Finance Planner is the one that I chose! Here are the questions that I asked myself when

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Subscription services are everywhere these days. You can find a subscription service for just about anything you want. Some of them can be really convenient and helpful, but some of these subscriptions are pretty useless… especially if you forgot you were paying for them. The creators of ‘Ask Trim‘ ran into this problem in their own finances and decided to do something abut

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Have you ever started a budget only to fall off the wagon later? Are you budgeting will improve your future? Starting a budget is pretty straightforward. Maintaining that budget is another story. I believe maintaining a budget is sometimes difficult because it’s not always easy to see the long-term benefits. But the long-term benefits are real – and I know several of

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There are so many Benefits of Using a Budget Planner! So why aren’t you using one? Maybe you aren’t sure how to budget yet. The benefits of using a budget planner are many, but it does take some work and dedication. Today I am going to show you what I think are the greatest Benefits of Using a Budget Planner, and how

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A few weeks ago I posted a huge article titled Freezer Cooking 101 – Everything you need to Freezer Cook Like a Pro.  Freezing foods is a great way to buy things on sale and preserve them for later.  Most foods can be frozen with no problems.  It is important to note that some foods need preparation before being placed in the

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Hey, friends! Did you know that groceries are the #2 highest budgeted item right underneath your mortgage? We spend the most money usually on these two items. If you use your meal planner and plan out everything ahead of time you can save SO much money! I made 20 meals for $150 from my Aldi freezer meal plan! It’s that

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May 2019 Budget Plan With Me Highlights Budgeting Insights from Live Questions: If your income is variable, I suggest budgeting off your lowest income month. Your first month of budgeting is about tracking your spending and gauging your weaknesses so you can make a plan for them going forward. Sometimes you have to sacrifice small things for greater gains. Using

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I have a large family and I often get asked How I Feed My Large Family on a Budget. The answer is that I plan plan plan. Planning is key when it comes to saving money on groceries, which is why I love to put together on of my freezer meal plans. I did my April budget planning video over

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This post is sponsored by H&R Block. All opinions are my own. It is April and you still haven’t filed your tax return yet. Are you stressed? You don’t have to be because there are options. In my previous post I shared the differences between H&R Block online vs. Turbo Tax, which resulted in my recommendation of H&R Block. If

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This blog post is part of a series sponsored by H&R Block. All opinions are 100% my own. Are you wondering which company to use to file your taxes online? The two most popular online tax preparation websites are H&R Block Online and TurboTax. In this post I am going to talk about H&R Block Online vs. TurboTax and which one I

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The best time to get started with surveys is the new year. No joke – I did this for years to make extra money and it paid for my ENTIRE Christmas! If you’re looking for ways to make extra money using survey sites, you’ve come to the right place! In fact, this was and still is one of my favorite side

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Tax Seasons is in full swing. How do you plan on filing this year? Are you going with a tax professional or do you prefer to file online from the comfort of your home? What you need to take notice of this year is the new tax reform changes that are in affect for 2019. This year I’ve teamed up

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Tax season is here! Are you worried or stressed by doing your taxes? I have some great news. I’ve teamed up with H&R Block to show you how to easily file your taxes without any stress this year! As a busy mom of 4 kids, it can be overwhelming to keep myself sane during tax season. I thought many of

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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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When I became the sole breadwinner of my home, I started shopping around for health insurance products. Because of the Affordable Healthcare Act (ACA, or “Obamacare”), I knew that I had to make a decision, but I needed something affordable that could fit within our budget. Nothing seemed to fit just right, but in my search, I ran across something totally

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The creation of the ALDI meal plan really started when my husband and I were in $40,000 of debt and we were running at a $1,000 deficit each month. Something needed to change . The fastest way to cut down our deficit and see immediate results was at the grocery store. I started shopping deals, clipping coupons, and taking advantage of stock-up

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Being debt-free, and living happily within your means is something everyone wants to accomplish! Since I began my journey of financial freedom a decade ago, one little thing (well, I guess it’s actually a BIG thing when you think about it…) that has bugged me is the lack of practical tools for the everyday person trying to get their budget and their

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The other day I was cleaning out a bookshelf and there were so many books that I didn’t need anymore. They were only there collecting dust. I wanted to see how I could easily sell used books online and after being contacted by this company called Decluttr, I knew exactly what to do. I write a lot about things to sell

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Setting and achieving goals for ourselves is important. I would even say it’s vital… especially when it comes to money. It is possible to get things you want without going into debt, and SmartyPig is proof of that. Let me share with you this SmartyPig Review, in hopes you realize just how amazing it is! SmartyPig is a type of ‘micro savings’ program that helps you

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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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Have you ever made a financial decision that you immediately regretted? I’ve made SO many of those, as I document in my book The Recovering Spender. I’ve learned a lot about bad financial mistakes over the years, the good and the bad.  As we go through life and realize that we have little control over the things happening around us,

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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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Freezer meals are the best thing since the invention of the freezer. They make meal time prep shorter and easier, not to mention the money you’ll save just by making crockpot freezer meals. If you’re a beginner or a freezer cooking veteran, implementing these Freezer Cooking Tips have saved me time, frustration, mess, and money. I have been freezer cooking and developing entire crockpot

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What is better than a rib-sticking, hearty, complexly flavored bolognese? How about when it’s an Instant Pot Bolognese Sauce Recipe that will take literally 45 minutes from start to finish? And most of that time is spend cooking in the Instant Pot, so you don’t have to do anything. Too good to be true? Nope. You’ve got to give this

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Tacos might be that one meal that everyone in my family agrees on. We might not have them every single week, but definitely at least twice a month. And instead of buying taco seasoning packets, I just started making it myself. I’ve experimented and tweaked this taco seasoning recipe so that it’s absolutely perfect. And although I know those taco seasoning

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Slow Cooker Chili is quite possibly the best thing on the planet. Especially in the Fall and Winter, and Spring, and … well, I think I love chili anytime! I enjoy it so much because it is SO EASY to prepare, it is PACKED with flavor, and it’s so hearty. These three Slow Cooker Chili recipes are very different from

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One question I am asked on a regular basis is, “How do I save on meat and produce at the grocery store?” I understand! Meat and produce can be quite expensive and rack up your grocery bill every week. If you think about it, it is kind of unfortunate that the healthiest and most natural foods are the most expensive

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It’s no secret that college tuition costs have risen pretty drastically over the years. If you want to help finance your children’s college career, it’s never too early to start, and it’s never too late either. Some parents are still on the fence on whether to help pay for their children’s college at all. That is a good discussion to have.

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The Pork loin is an awesome cut of meat! It can be cooked so many different ways and works amazingly in the Crockpot or Instant Pot! With these recipes, there’s a little something for everyone. We’ve got sweet, savory, smokey, creamy, and Cuban recipes. With all those, something will definitely hit that craving! 6 of my all-time favorite Pork Loin Recipes 1.

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I think everyone is wondering how to make extra money on the side. I mean, who couldn’t use some extra dough? If you have a little free time and some drive to build that emergency fund, pay off more debt, or save up for a vacation, here are 5 ways you can make an extra $500 on the side. 5

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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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You may have read my article revealing I am a Recovering Spender. I know I am not alone. There are countless recovering spenders out there that struggle with impulse buying. I’ve even been known to spend too much from time to time. Let’s face it: spending is fun. And sometimes, it can be even more fun to make spontaneous purchases. So

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Should you consolidate student loans or not? This is a question we have an entire generation asking. Is it worth it? What are the advantages and disadvantages? If I have some federal and some private student loans, can I refinance them together? There is a lot to consider, and there’s a lot at stake. The total US student loan debt amount

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Banks without physical branches are on the rise. This might make some of you a little uncomfortable, but it actually makes complete sense for many Americans. Because there are no brick-and-mortar locations to acquire, staff, and manage; online banks like Chime Bank Review can pass along those savings to you by offering some pretty impressive rewards. “What if I ever need to physically go to

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If you’ve been following this website for any length of time, you might know my love affair with the Pot Roast. And Pot Roast in a Crockpot? It’s a match made in heaven! There are several reasons why the pot roast is so amazing: It’s cheap. Regular price, it’s around $5 per pound. But you can often find it on

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I LOVE me some Philly Cheesesteak! And while I admit that I haven’t been to either Pat’s or Gino’s in Philladeplpia, this slow cooker Cheese Steak Recipe is pretty incredible. And it’s basically a dump recipe, which is my favorite kind. Just throw everything in the slow cooker. I wasn’t actually able to make them for my family for dinner.

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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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Let’s face it, being in debt is not fun. And unfortunately, most Americans have this in common. Did you know that the average American household credit card debt is over $16,000? And that doesn’t even take into account auto loans, college loans, or mortgages. If you’ve been wondering if you should pay off debt or invest in retirement, I’d like to propose

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If you love a good pot roast but are looking for a new twist on it, you’ve got to give this Asian Pot Roast a try! Pot Roast is just amazing. I swear, every time I create a recipe using a chuck roast, I must sing its praises. It’s just got that rich, rib-sticking quality that leaves you so satisfied.

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Who doesn’t love free stuff? When it comes to Enjoying Life on a Budget, sometimes some free stuff can really help! I’ve compiled a list of some of the best internet freebies I could find. If you’re just looking to give up your name and email address in exchange for a thimble-full of shampoo that’s not what these freebies are.

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Many people have been trying to answer the question of How to Budget when you don’t make enough money. It’s a difficult place to be in for sure. But just because you don’t make enough money to cover your expenses right now doesn’t mean you have to throw up your hands in defeat. you can get through this! Here’s how to budget

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A new year is always a good time to reevaluate your budget. Are you spending too much? Are you saving too little? Do you have a vacation planned in the new year that needs a savings plan? Whatever your reason is, if you are looking for some ways to cut expenses this year, I’ve got 20! You could still be

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I gotta be honest. Writing this article wasn’t very fun. Getting your spouse on board with finances can be excruciatingly difficult. I get lots of emails daily, and some of the most powerless and helpless-feeling readers who reach out to me are those who feel stuck because of their spouse’s reluctance to come together with money. Why? Because money and relationships

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If you’ve ever asked yourself, “Why am I broke all the time?” or “Why do I feel broke?” or “How come I never have money?” Sometimes it’s perception, and sometimes it’s reality. But in any case, we all know that our culture lies to us daily. We’ve gotten used to it. Just watch any advertisement. “Take this pill, you’ll lose

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When you think of the word “investing”, do you get intimidated? Well, if you have shied from Retirement Investing for one reason or another, let me break it down a little for you. It doesn’t have to be as intense and intimidating as it may have been. There are two main stereotypes we imagine when thinking about a person that is

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Are you looking to consolidate credit card debt? I can certainly say from experience that I understand the discouragement you feel when you don’t think you’ll ever see the end of your debt. I think most people dealing with credit card debt have trouble knowing where to start. But, you can do something about it. Debt consolidation isn’t for everyone, but it

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I had a lot of you asking for a DirectTV Now Review, so I put this article together to help you navigate this awesome program! Now called AT&T TV Now. It sure seems like Cable TV is on the run with all of the cheaper and more flexible alternatives to cable there are. Well, one of the newer kids on

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It was hard convincing my family to stray away from boxed macaroni and cheese.  I grew up with it.  My husband grew up with it.  It was basically what some of my kids survived on in their picky years. The tide turned for us when I saw Rachael Ray make homemade cheese sauce only one time, and I knew that

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This may surprise some of you, but I have a love/hate relationship with budgeting.  I find myself asking the question, why is a budget necessary? It’s been mostly hate over the past few years.  I recognize how important it is, and when I’m going strong, it can almost be enjoyable.  But if you fall off the wagon – gosh, it

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What’s worse than getting dinged $35 multiple times for overdraft fees? Not much. Believe me, I’ve been there. Here’s how to NEVER pay these pesky fees again!

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If you are living on one income, paying off debt may seem impossible. But, don’t lose hope! If you’ve been wondering how to get out of debt on one income, here’s some great steps to get you going! 6 Steps to show you How to get out of debt on one income 1. Evaluate your Unconscious Spending Habits  The first place to

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One of the hardest things for many of us is coming up with a practical budget that is not overly complicated. Learning how to budget your bills is a very important first step. The theory is simple enough – “Don’t spend more than you make”, but the execution take a little more work.  A commonly asked question I get is –

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We’ve all been there, probably more than once. I know I had to learn how to handle money when my budget was running out in the school of hard-knocks. But, when your money is running out, it’s easy to react emotionally. Some people freeze and do nothing, others by ignoring the issue, others by spending more as their form of therapy. My goal

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Mark and I eat at home on a regular basis using my ALDI MEAL PLANS. Not only does it save money, but it’s typically healthier, too. I usually do my meal planning and grocery shopping on Sunday afternoon and come home with some pretty amazing grocery bargains which keep us from eating out most weeks. But sometimes, it’s nice to eat out.

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Tax season is here which means that you may get an Income Tax Refund! If you’re one of the 100.3 million Americans that received a tax refund in 2015, you probably expect to get that extra bit this year as well. This is exciting! Who doesn’t love extra cash? The average tax refund in 2015 was a little over $3,000, with

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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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Your family will go wild for this Baked Orange Chicken Recipe.  The flavors are bright and delicious and it’s a tad bit healthier than takeout since there’s no deep frying involved! The ingredients for this recipe are pretty basic.  You might need to pick up a few things at the market, but I promise that all of these elements are necessary

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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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This Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Wing Dip will be the most sought after food item at your Super Bowl party for sure! Sure, there might be other Buffalo Chicken Dip Crock Pot recipes out there, but there are a couple things that make this one absolutely perfectly creamy, spicy, and tangy. Do you want to know the secret? Well, it’s

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Whether you’re in debt or not, learning how to budget money is essential for your future. You don’t have to sacrifice your life to do it either! You might need to adjust your value system a little bit and learn what tools will work for you. But trust me, it will be worth it. You will be happier, feel more

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One of the main objections to budgeting is that it “complicates” financial management.  What about Financial simplicity? But budgeting solves plenty of problems – primarily overspending. There are many financial solutions to financial problems that at first sound complicated – but when you dig deeper you can find ways to implement them with simplicity. Albert Einstein once said: Everything should

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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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The phrase, “There’s a market for everything (anything), ” is really true. This is great news for many of us that are looking for things to sell to make money. We aren’t going to head down a path of ‘questionable’ items or ideas. We’re G-Rated here, folks. Besides, there are so many legitimate (albeit creative or uncommon) things you can sell

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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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It’s not often that I rave about a product. But in this Instant Pot Review, you’ll see why I’m raving about my Instant Pot. I’ve had several readers over the past couple years tell me “Lauren, you gotta try the Instant Pot!” or, “Lauren, we need Instant Pot recipes!”, and I just didn’t get what all the fuss was about. But

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I almost feel like ‘cheap’ is the wrong word. ‘Inexpensive’ is a more correct word I think. ‘Cheap’ can imply low quality, which is NOT true for ALDI. But, I’m splitting hairs. I get it. I digress. So, why is ALDI so cheap? Their entire vision and mission revolves around one guiding principle: “Great quality shouldn’t come at a high price;

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A Prime rib dinner is just amazing. But let’s kick it up a notch, shall we? How about a garlic crusted Prime Rib Roast with a Red Wine Reduction Sauce? Sure it sounds fancy, but it’s super easy! I’ll show you how to make this and get that perfectly cooked prime rib for your show-stopping Holiday dinner. For this recipe,

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Figuring out how to budget is hard enough on it’s own when you have a set paycheck that doesn’t generally change. But what about how to budget on an irregular income? That’s when things get a bit trickier. And that’s when people often stop trying. I’ve had SO MANY emails from readers suggesting that there’s no point in budgeting if

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If you have a lot of student debt, then I’m sure you’ve considered consolidation. Whether it’s the right move for you or not depends on your situation. I’m here to provide info as to why it might be a great idea, and also provide the best consolidation of student loan information that I’ve found. Long story short, it might be wise

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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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Learning how to save money for Christmas can be an exhausting task, that is why I created my 30 days to a debt free Christmas challenge. For years and years, I was stressed out over how to afford Christmas for my kids and my family. It began to steal my joy around the holidays, and it became harder and harder

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A couple months ago I posted a Facebook Live video where I talked about a new way we are saving money on our cell phone bill through Republic Wireless.  I’ve been using Republic Wireless almost exclusively for two months now. So I thought it would be a great time to share my detailed Republic Wireless review. And while I’ve been

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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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If you’ve been asking, “How do I budget my money?” You’ve come to the right place. If budgeting has been intimidating, overwhelming, or seemed impossible for you, I assure you; you can do it! If you’ve tried and failed, it’s OK. This time can be different! If you’re wondering where to start or how to keep going, I’ve got you covered. Budgeting is

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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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Wondering how to start a cash budget? And why you might want to do so in the first place? You’ve come to the right place. But first, do not confuse a Cash Budget with living paycheck-to-paycheck.  They are NOT the same thing. They’re actually kind of opposites. If you are familiar with budgeting at all, a Cash Budget takes your budgeting to

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If you’re interested in Mystery Shopping Jobs, it’s important to learn How to Mystery Shop first. There are some top secret tips to make the most amount of money possible, and not get caught in a scam. This is Day 5 of the 30 Days to a Debt Free Christmas Challenge!  Remember to join our Facebook Group to get today’s challenge.

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I love me some Chicken Cordon Bleu. But I’ve always felt it could be better? I mean Swiss cheese? We can do better than that, right? And I’ve got nothing against ham; I think it’s pretty darned delicious. Even the sandwich type of ham. But still, we can do better. I’ve had this idea rolling around in my head… what

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Discussions about life insurance can be tricky… maybe that’s why so many Americans put it off. You may have asked yourself or your spouse, “how much life insurance do I need?” And then never really looked into it long enough to determine a real and researched answer. As a result, as a nation we are woefully underinsured. In fact, although

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Living paycheck to paycheck sucks. I think all of us have been there at one time or another. You know the feeling – the money from tomorrow’s paycheck (and then some) is already spent before you even have it. Many of us are stuck there, and can’t seem to get out. Here’s how to stop the cycle of living paycheck

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Have you been wondering how to make money at home? Times have changed. The internet has brought the marketplace right into your own house. There are so many avenues available to us to make extra cash, or start a second career right from home! Believe me, I’ve got some awesome tips, and with so many options, at least one will be right

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This is Day 17 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 big challenge – How to Tell Family Members to Stop Buying without being a scrooge! Chances are that if you are trying to make some major

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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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This is Day 9 of the 30 Days to a Debt Free Christmas Challenge Check our Facebook Group to get today’s challenge. Today’s best advice for moms – Let Go of Mom Guilt and Create a Holiday Within Your Means Working mom guilt is a very real thing. It’s no wonder — the prevalent sentiment of our time is that

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I remember the first Christmas where we weren’t stressed over money. It was a strange feeling, mostly because for the five years prior we had charged Christmas on credit cards and gotten into more consumer debt.  If you can relate to this at all – Christmas Debt Relief is here! That memorable year, we decided to start giving our kids only three

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Todays post is all about those hidden holiday costs that sneak up on you and threaten to blow your Christmas Budget. This is Day 3 of the 30 Days to a Debt Free Christmas Challenge Make sure that you join our Facebook Group to get the daily challenges. Setting your Christmas budget is super important early in November, so here is

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Nothing can be more frustrating than writing a huge check for a car repair, so learning how to save money on auto repair is crucial! As we all know, car repairs can be quite expensive and drain your wallet in no time. But luckily, you don’t always have to suffer. There are plenty of precautions you can take with your

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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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Looking for an amazing and easy meatball recipe? You gotta try these. PERFECT. The seasoning is spot on. The texture is just how you like it. They are easily cut with a fork, but they won’t fall apart if you decide to cook them in sauce for a couple hours. Just make sure to use an awesome homemade spaghetti sauce with this

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Are you interested in learning how to make money doing surveys? If so, you have come to the right place! One year I saved up 100% of my Christmas budget just by taking using the best survey sites, so today I want to share with you some of my tips and tricks on how I did it. Make Money doing surveys First

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Dump recipes save you not only time but loads of money! The term dump recipes refers to recipes that you will literally dump all of the ingredients in a bag, baking pan, or slow cooker and then cook as directed. These recipes are perfect for busy parents, because you can make them before work and then come home and have dinner already

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Most Americans are not ready for retirement. In fact, “nearly half of families have no retirement account savings at all,” the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) reported. In September of 2016 CNBC reported that “the average American between the ages of 56 to 61 has retirement savings of only $163,557.” This is a problem people… why is this happening? Yes, life is hard. And

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  I receive reader question daily and this is a fabulous question that I received last week: “How do I shop online when I am on a cash budget?“. Well to start off with, for years I did not shop online at all – when we were at our hardest time financially I had to say no to most online

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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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Overwhelmed. Stressed out. That seems to be the mantra of family finances in this day and age. Does it seem like literally everyone and everything is vying for a piece of your hard-earned money? And then, once you decide to get your financial house in order, it’s not like the stress goes away. It’s still there, but now there are additional pressures.

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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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Wouldn’t it be great to know where every penny of your money is going all the time? We all want to have control over our finances. We all want to eliminate debt, to save more, to make a little extra cash… To be in more control. This type of control is a good thing because it involves your Financial Situation, Financial Health,

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Plenty of people want to replace their income with an online side hustle – whether that hustle involves online writing jobs, working as a virtual assistant, editing, or harnessing some other talent they have. But, how can a person go about it when they’re already working full-time? This is a question I asked myself a million times when I started

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With an alarming percentage of Americans living paycheck-to-paycheck, it is no surprise that the average American home has over $90,000 in consumer debt, totaling to over $3 trillion nationwide (source). Wow. This debt includes credit cards, car loans, and student loans. so it doesn’t even count mortgages. Crazy. Here’s the correlation between these reports: Since most Americans are living paycheck-to-paycheck, they

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I have a secret to share with you… I’m not naturally a thrifty gal. I have to try to be this way. It gets easier, but it will always be a struggle from time to time. After the full force of raising 4 growing children had begun to really set in – I was thrust into a tailspin of discontentment. My house…

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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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Buying a house ridden with black mold; losing your job after buying a home you couldn’t truly afford; taking out a car loan payment beyond your means; refinancing your home because you can’t cover the payments… Are we all just one decision away from financial ruin? Eight years ago Mark and I made many horrible decisions. One of them was that

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Wow. This is pretty awesome. I’m guessing you need a bank account, right? And I’m also assuming that you have a job where you can be paid via direct deposit, right? If so, you might as well get some cash by opening up a new bank account. Chase Bank, which has locations basically… everywhere, is offering to PAY you $200 if

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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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The Countdown to the release of my book The Recovering Spender is here! Pre-Order the book for a guaranteed copy on September 13th, and get $75 in freebies including a FREE Video Course. Do you know how sometimes you need to clean and declutter your house? Well, the same is true for your finances. If you did a credit report that listed all of

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Why does it always seem to happen? You make enough money to cover your bills and necessary spending with some even leftover… yet at the end of almost every month, you find that your bank account is lower than where it began… either that or your credit card balances are higher. So where does it go? You don’t feel like you spent

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The Countdown to the release of my book The Recovering Spender is here! Pre-Order the book for a guaranteed copy on September 13th, and get $75 in freebies including a FREE Video Course. Money and relationships. They don’t always mix so well, do they? We all know that finances are the number one reason for divorce. This is not hard

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Are you wondering how to budget? Are you feeling like you are always trying to play catch-up with last month’s expenses? For so many years, and I didn’t budget. I was scared to… and honestly, it was because I didn’t know how to do it. I tried several times, and each time – I totally sucked at budgeting. Keep reading as I show

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New recipes, bigger portions, and a fantastic new layout. I’ve been working so hard on this freezer cooking meal plan, and I know that you will love it. As always, it’s set up so that you can be in and out of the store in about 20 minutes at ALDI (but it will work great at any grocery store), and

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Four months ago, I sent out an email looking for a family to help.  I received hundreds of requests, but after careful consideration chose the Spinney Family from Cincinnati, OH. For the past three months, I’ve been flying to Cincinnati to help the Spinney family get out of debt and get their finances back under control.  I filmed their progress

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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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I can’t quite say enough about this Lemon Chicken Thigh dish. I put it together and I knew it would be pretty good… but it was quite a bit more than that. It was absolutely fantastic. To start with, I’m always a fan of chicken thighs in the slow cooker. In addition to being super cheap, they just work better than

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Nine years ago, I laid out my debt on my be – in the huge master bedroom suite in the house that I have just had custom built for me. On the outside, I was the epitome of having it all together. I had a Cadillac and an Audi in the driveway of my new luxury home. But no one

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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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Everyone wants a high-paying job.  But what is a job that pays well with little college education? One problem is that many high-paying jobs require years and years of college education. That means having to fork over a bunch of money for tuition and books.  That means having student loan debt. Plus, the longer you’re in college, the less time

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A new school year. And a new plan to keep your kids lunch boxes 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 to make the lunch, it will

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Anyone who has been following me for any length of time knows what a fan of Chicken Parmesan I am. I have a Slow Cooker version, and the ULTIMATE Chicken Parmesan recipe as well. But this is even easier. Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan Casserole. And it’s so good! Now if you want to use jarred sauce, be my guest (but

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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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Are you buried in debt? As the bills pile up, thoughts of filing for bankruptcy might be on your mind. It’s a scary and sometimes hopeless feeling (trust me, I’ve been there myself), but you have options but you need to know the bankruptcy facts first. Eight years ago, when our home was hopelessly underwater and we were in tons

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My favorite kind of meal – with this slow cooker chicken pot pie, there are no sides necessary. The meat, vegetables, and the biscuits are all you need. And there is absolutely no canned cream of chicken soup in this – but don’t worry, it is still very creamy and amazing – just like you’d expect a pot pie to

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If you have a leaner cut of beef, like a Flank Steak, Sirloin, or London broil, this Spicy BBQ grilled steak recipe will hit the spot! Looking for something a little different than the same old grilled steak? Well, this Spicy BBQ Steak definitely kicks things up several notches! I’m not usually one to use sauce on a steak, but

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Are You Making These 5 Critical Financial Mistakes? Struggling with money can be a lonely, stressful feeling. But money doesn’t have to be the source of problems and pain. Proper money management can relieve those feelings of uncertainty and replace them with a sense of stability and comfort. Managing money isn’t an impossible dream or unattainable goal. It’s a skill

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Whether you are looking to boost your income, pay off debt, or increase your savings, side hustles might be exactly what you need. A side hustle is a second job that not only brings in money but also allows you the flexibility to work your full time, regular job. Any of these 24 awesome side hustles can give you the income

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When it comes to debt payoff, there are competing theories as to which is the best way to do it. Many ascribe to the “debt snowball method” where you start by paying off your smallest balance first. The other popular method is to pay off the balances with your largest interest rate first. I took an in-depth look at both debt

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Perfect for any time of the year, your family will absolutely LOVE this Chili Lime Grilled Pork Loin! The marinade is easy, and it’s easy to cook. My favorite thing about this recipe is that it works well grilled (my favorite way to make it), roasted, or in the slow cooker! So you can prepare this well ahead of time,

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Purchases that pay for themselves are often called investments and for good reason. These investments won’t literally print out money (I wish), but they will help keep spending down. Purchasing items that can save you money over the long-term are such a good idea, it’s worth incorporating into your monthly budget. Be careful, though. If you’re broke and don’t have much

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Sticking to a grocery budget can be hard! Heck, I make a living teaching people how to save money – primarily through groceries – and it can still be hard for me. But food remains that one area in your budget that can make you or break you. And if you’re having trouble getting your budget to balance, your food spending

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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.  My love of

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Sometimes, you just make that one recipe that stands above the others. These Food Truck Style Cuban Beef Sandwiches do just that. Now, I love me some slow cooked chuck roast. And I also LOVE the flavors of citrus, cumin and oregano. They work amazingly well in these Pork Carnitas. So I applied a similar recipe to beef… just to

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Credit score got you down? Don’t fret! Help is around the corner to improve that credit score! Maybe your credit score has been an out-of-sight-out-of-mind thing… this article will take you through why you should be aware of your credit score, why it matters, and also how to improve it pretty quickly. Though credit scores aren’t always an indicator of

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Meatball subs are amazing. But have you ever had that problem where the meatballs fall out of the sub and into your lap? Or the ground? It’s horrible… those delicious tender meatballs… WASTED. And I also never really thought of a meatball sub as a summer food. Until now. Meatball sub burger. Problem solved. And honestly, I don’t know why

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You all know I love ALDI grocery stores!  I am actually kind of obsessed with them, and I make that very well known here.  After all, I’ve created entire Aldi meal plans surrounding their products. Did you know you can save even more money at Aldi using 5 super secret ways?  I am so excited to share these, because not only

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If you want to know how to cook steak, the Ribeye is a GREAT steak to start with, and I’ll walk you right through the process… Before I get into my Aldi steak review and directions on cooking the perfect ribeye, let me give you some background on my history with ALDI and why I decided to do this post.

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One of the worst feelings in the world is the dread felt when the phone rings and on the other end is a person demanding money that you don’t have. It’s money that you should pay; you borrowed it, but there’s no money in your account to cover it. Learning how to negotiate your delinquent debt is essential to moving

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Once I realized how well meatballs cook in the slow cooker, I had to come up with a great Swedish Meatballs Crockpot recipe! And this is it! Don’t be afraid of putting raw meatballs in the slow cooker – they turn out just fine. And this is a REALLY easy meatball recipe. Of course, it will take a little bit

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This post was part of the Cans Get You Cooking Blog Tour Campaign. All opinions are 100% my own. Folks, this is one of my favorite ALL-TIME recipes – and it’s also my go-to recipe when I have no idea what to make (which seems to happen lots in the summer). These black beans are just fantastic and so packed with

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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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Do you make decisions based on how it will impact your credit score? STOP! Read this and start living your life for YOU!

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Dump Recipes are my favorite recipes to make as a busy mom of four. Not only do they save me time and money, but they can be amazingly delicious.  This Crockpot Chicken Verde is one of my favorite recipes for taco night, we’ve all but said goodbye to ground beef tacos now! Yes it’s green, but my kids ate this up

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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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If your family loves a home-cooked meal, then you will all love this easy to make Slow Cooker Italian Pot Roast. The herbs are classic flavors – rosemary, basil, thyme, and oregano. Of course, we don’t skimp on the garlic either. The chuck roast is a wonderful cut of beef for slow cooking as it comes out juicy with a melt-in-your-mouth

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If you want to know how to use a crock pot to its fullest potential, then you NEED to know these hacks! In case you can’t tell, I love my slow cooker. So I love slow cooker hacks and tips that can help you use it to it’s fullest potential! And I REALLY love my slow cooker in the summer time. The

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Whether you are trying to save up some extra money for the holidays, an emergency fund, a new project, or just have some savings on hand, sometimes it can be hard to figure out to make a little extra cash. Well, it’s actually easier than you think!

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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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Get ready to RULE Memorial Day weekend. This Raspberry-glazed Bacon Brie Burger will get glowing reviews from your family and guests… just make sure that you leave yourself one to eat. This isn’t your typical bacon cheeseburger. Throw out that floppy, nuclear-orange, plastic-wrapped American “cheese”. Let’s cook a REAL bacon cheeseburger! We all know how well brie cheese pairs so

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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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Lauren and I are self-employed through running this website and our company The Personal Finance Planner. This means we don’t have access to employer-based health insurance. And, if you haven’t noticed, private insurance is pretty expensive.  What does a family do in a situation like ours? How do we cover not only ourselves but our kids?  We use one of Christian Healthcare

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As a working mom of four, you may think that I have it all together. Nothing could be further than the truth… the reality is that behind the pretty Instagram pictures and food dishes, there is a whole lot of stuff that I don’t do. I don’t do these things because in order to say yes to them, I have

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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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Americans own a lot of stuff.  We buy things we don’t need and then complain about the debt. According to NPR.org, the average American house size has more than doubled since the 1950s and it continues to grow. Why might you ask? It probably has to do with all the stuff we’re accumulating in this country. Seriously, do we need it all?

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People are often under the assumption that Aldi stores are full of junk foods.  That may have been the case 10 years ago, but in the past few years Aldi has stepped it up  and are offering a LOT of organic and Aldi gluten-free products.  Aldi’s has it’s own popular organic and all natural brand here in the US, it is

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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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So, you want to learn how to resell? Don’t worry, earning some cash from reselling isn’t all that difficult. But there are definitely ways you can make yourself much more success and have fun doing it! Reselling is taking an item you already own (or purchase to resell) and selling it for (hopefully) more money than you purchased it for. It

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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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This year, you can make your life richer in many ways. You can take time to do yoga, run a half marathon, or take up journaling; each way will surely make you feel richer inside. Take these 6 easy steps to make you financially richer as well! It’s crazy… but small changes can have HUGE impacts on the future. Like, if

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When the venerable chuck roast meets Italian food, you get this Slow Cooker Beef Ragu Sauce. If you’ve been following this website for any length of time, you might know my love affair with the chuck roast. It’s the most flavorful cut of beef, and perfect for the slow cooker. And I also LOVE Italian food, so this sauce is

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I’m not the biggest fan of green veggies… I know I should be. But I’m getting there, and if I can make more recipes like these 10 minute PERFECT Brussels Sprouts, I’ll gladly eat WAY more vegetables! I’m not joking when I say perfect. Oh, and did I mention that there are only 3 ingredients? This method will get you the ideal

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You know I am a huge fan of shopping at ALDI, so I was really excited when my favorite budget-friendly grocery store, sent me an ALDI Delivered box. So I was really excited when my favorite budget-friendly grocery store, ALDI, sent me an ALDI Delivered box. (PS – If you LOVE ALDI, check out my ALDI meal plans!) The box was

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This is a guest post by Kalyn Brooke, author of 31 Days to Radically Reduce Your Expense and founder of The Creative Savings Blog. Some of us are really good at being smart with our money…others not so much. If you had talked with me a mere three years ago, you would have probably placed me in the smart money category. And

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Sweet, juicy, just the right amount of saltiness – this Slow Cooker Honey Parmesan Pork Loin is just amazing. It’s great for any season of the year too, and it’s my favorite kind of recipe – it’s one of my favorite dump recipes! Now I’ve been known to mix ingredients together that you might never put together. For example, my Asian-BBQ

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We all want the best for our kids, right? And we want them to not only have the opportunities that we’ve been given, we want them to have EVEN MORE. Could there be a better example of this than setting up a fund to help pay for their college? Maybe you just had your first child, maybe you hardly feel like an

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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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I’ve got a fantastic slow cooker meal for you today! This Zesty Crockpot Orange Chicken has tons of flavor and is so ridiculously easy to put together. Basically, the recipe goes like this: Chop up some chicken. Dump a bunch of stuff in the slow cooker. After that’s done, mix together some water and some cornstarch for a thickener. Eat!

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Death by a thousand cuts. That’s what I feel like is happening to the average American when it comes to overspending. Do you even check your bank account on a daily basis? Weekly? Or maybe you’re just overwhelmed every time you open it. You check your balance to make sure that you have enough in there… but the transactions section? Now

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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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Here’s a nice twist on your standard Paprika Chicken… and it happens to be a delicious twist. With this BBQ Paprika Chicken, you will basically toss everything in the slow cooker and just let it do it’s thing. And then you come in at the end, add in some sour cream to the sauce, and serve it over noodles. The dark

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The Easter Ham is something I look forward to all year. And this will not disappoint! The only time I make a ham is Easter. And I look forward to it every year – it’s the perfect sweet & salty roast. That’s why a sweet fruit like pineapple works so well to incorporate into it – I know you will

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My son Andrew has been great at chores. I remember this one weekend he cleaned out and vacuumed the car, cleaned the kitchen on Saturday night and kept his room neat and organized. He definitely earned his $5 allowance that weekend (more on paying your kids for chores later) – which put him up to $20. No small amount of

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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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Oh man, you are in for a treat with this Slow Cooker Cilantro Lime Chicken! As usually, this is a set it and forget it type recipe, with just a few small steps at the end. I tried to make this dish taste like the Fiesta Lime Chicken that they have at Applebee’s, but I wanted it to be super

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If you are living within a tight budget, making it on one income, or trying to pay off debt then saving money can be very difficult. It’s important to have an emergency fund when your are doing any of those three, but what do you do if there’s something you want that isn’t an emergency? Finding little ways to put

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You will be looking forward to dinner all day. But the wait is worth it. This Slow Cooker Pork loin in a Basil Cream Sauce is just fantastic. The seasoning, the spices, the creaminess of the sauce are just perfect. Throw the ingredients in the slow cooker, and just let it cook. Once it’s done, you have one small step

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Looking for ways to make extra money? Whether you are struggling to make ends meet, need to pay for a surprise expense, or you’re trying to save for something extra, finding ways to boost your income is essential. When your day is booked solid and you already work a 9 to 5, it may seem like fitting more work into

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The ingredients list in this chicken dish seem a little crazy – Lemon, BBQ sauce, ginger? What?! But WOW do they work well together! The flavor of this dish is BOLD… I almost guarantee you’ve tasted nothing like this before. You will LOVE it!! You will also love it because it’s a slow cooker meal and freezes great if you want to

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When the weather is cool, a big dish of Slow Cooker Beef Paprikash can really warm the soul and body. This is not a dish we enjoyed when I was growing up. My mom just didn’t venture out of her usual recipes very much. So when I discovered that I love the subtle smoky flavor of paprika this became one

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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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Soups are a staple around our home this time of year. This White Bean and Ham Soup satisfies the hungriest of appetites with only 7 ingredients. I use Great Northern Beans in this recipe. You can use whatever mild textured white bean that you like.  Navy beans could be a good substitute. Make sure that you plan ahead to soak

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I would argue that everyone is an expert in something and everyone has something to say.  If you want to share your opinion or your expertise, learning how to make money writing online would be a great side hustle for you.  While there are many places you can apply, submit, or look into writing, it isn’t always easy to find

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Married? This one is for you. And it’s an important one, too. What happens when you find yourself married to someone who had a different financial upbringing than you did? It’s easy to assume that the one you love is just like you, having had the same life experiences. But you and I both know that isn’t the case. We

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There are so many unique little ways to make some side money these days, but none of them can be as easy as Teespring. Teespring is a website which allows users to create and sell t-shirts. There is no risk involved and there is so much potential to be as creative as you want! You start by visiting https://teespring.com/ and

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One really popular way to plan a trip right now is to book a place to stay using a website where you can rent from real people, like Airbnb or VRBO.  Not only is this a frugal way to plan out a trip, but it can also be a way you can earn some extra money.  Can you believe that

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You know I am a HUGE fan of shopping at ALDI, so much so that I’ve created ALDI Meal Plans  and dump recipes to help you save even more money.  I do realize that maybe not everyone should shop there, so let me attempt to explain some reasons why you should never step foot in an ALDI (note the sarcasm in

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Is your home overwhelmed with kid-clutter? Do you have toys in every nook and cranny of the basement, the garage, and the kids’ bedrooms? It might be time to thin out what your children own, especially the items that are no longer seeing use. You may think donating everything is the best way to rid your clutter, but if you

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I barely caught a picture of these Buffalo Chicken Potato Skins before the family devoured them.  Oh my!  They’re delicious and so easy to throw together. Try them for an upcoming football game or family game night. Some Substitution Ideas for your Potato Skins We used feta cheese because we like the flavor for so many dishes.  Feel free to

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Mary is a single mom to two very active boys. She works two jobs just to make ends meet. When her children expressed an interest in music lessons, Mary’s first inclination was to say, “I’m sorry. That’s not in the budget.” When you are living on a strict budget, like Mary, extras like music lessons, a gym membership, or regular

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Technology is ever changing these days. Due to the constant updating of it, many of us cycle through electronics quickly. Whether it is to pay for a new upgrade or make some extra cash with the electronics sitting around in your home, finding a way to sell them with as little hassle as possible is important. The following 5 ways

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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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Our family loves a hearty meal.  We’ve all got great appetites and love bold flavors.  That’s why we’ve come to love this recipe for Italian Sausage Stuffed Chicken Breast. The chicken is seasoned simply and cooked just until tender and delicious.  This is contrasted with the bold and hearty meatiness of the sausage mixture.  I love the way that the

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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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Do you tend to view your life as a whole unit with interrelated parts? Or perhaps you see it as a compartmentalized set of individual, unrelated parts? If you’re an American, you probably tend to see more of the latter, not the former. But we should remind ourselves on a frequent basis that all areas of our lives affect all other areas of our

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You are IN FOR A TREAT. First of all, this roast starts with my favorite cut of meat for the slow cooker – the chuck roast. It has such an amazing beef flavor. And when cooked low and slow, it becomes so tender. There’s hardly any ingredients in this, and since you end up just tossing them all in the

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In this day and age, one of the largest items in everyone’s budget is student loans. Obviously, if you can do anything to end up with no loans or less loans, you should, but how do you battle those loans down once you have them? One of the most important things you can do it truly understand your loan, the

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Sometimes we can find really creative ways to earn money or save money. Unfortunately, when you’re looking at insurance costs, it’s really pretty straight forward. The most critical thing you can do to cut your insurance costs is lots of research! This might mean reading about several companies, calling to ask about discounts, getting quotes, or finally understanding and fine-tuning

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There’s a difference between being cheap and frugal. Those who are ‘cheap’ are looking to spend the least amount of money right now. Those who are ‘frugal’ are looking to make the smartest financial decisions to save the most amount of money over time. Purchases that will, in time, pay for themselves illustrate this point perfectly. If you are trying to save

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Sometimes it pays to simplify.  This recipe only has 5 ingredients, but it’s loaded with flavor and yum!  Pineapple pork loin is not a new concept, but this easy version takes all the complicated steps and makes your meal truly amazing in one afternoon. I came up with this recipe when I was wanting a little spice and a little sweet.

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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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When I was preparing our line-by-line budget last week, I got to thinking… why does it seem so hard to save money? Why is it such a sacrifice to give? And I don’t know if it’s just me, but it seems way harder now than it was 15 years ago. Is it? And if so, why? I put my nerd hat

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Sometimes flavor takes time.  Since I don’t have a pressure cooker (and I’m just slightly scared of what might happen if I did) this recipe takes a little over an hour to cook, but it’s completely worth it.  It’s not even that much work actually.  You just have to set aside enough time to let all the ingredients simmer to

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When we consider all of the line items in our budget, chances are that your mortgage is one of the biggest expenses.  This isn’t bad, it’s just usually the way it is. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could find a way to chip away at that a little extra?   Obviously, if you chose to buy a house, the

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In need of some compliments and kind words in your life? Then I’ve got a fantastic idea – Bring this Buffalo Chicken Macaroni and Cheese to your next get together (maybe a Super Bowl party). Then sit back and enjoy people coming up to you saying this like: “Oh my Gosh. This is amazing.” or – “Did you make this?! It’s

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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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Sometimes winter overstays its welcome and you just want a taste of summer!  This slow cooker recipe is perfect for those days when you want an easy, tropical meal to ward off the coldness outside. I used fresh fruits in my recipe, but you can easily substitute with frozen mango chunks and bottled juices.  The taste difference won’t even be

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As we examine our budget this month and look for places where we can save money, we turn to our internet bill. It seems there is just no way to avoid paying for internet in our homes. We are becoming a deeply connected society and for many of us, the simple idea of going without internet causes anxiety. If you

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It can be SO Easy to save on your utility bill. Follow these 15 Ways and you will save Hundreds! Many require no upfront cost!

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Oh. My. Goodness. This slow cooker pork carnitas recipe is AMAZING! Juicy, packed with flavor, and so easy to put together! So there are only 9 ingredients, and you throw it all in the slow cooker. Piece of cake, right? You can serve these either as a rice bowl or in tortillas. For these, corn tortillas work best. Fry them

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This dish is one of my all-time favorite easy weeknight dinners.  You can throw this crockpot scalloped potatoes and ham recipe together in 10 minutes and enjoy the aroma all day while it’s cooking.  The ingredients are usually already in my kitchen and pantry so I can whip together Scalloped Potatoes and Ham any night of the week. The ingredients

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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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Comfort food at it’s best!  This slow cooker recipe combines classic American meat and potatoes with bell peppers and onions for a satisfying and flavorful easy meal.  And don’t let the garlic and Worcestershire sauce fool you, kids love this dish!  The bell peppers mellow out the flavors with their sweetness. We used London broil for this recipe, but you

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I am SO excited to bring to you our 9th ALDI meal plan! With this ALDI meal plan, you will see just how amazing the crockpot can be with such little effort! This is such a special collection of “comfort food” recipes that will keep everyone in your family coming back for seconds. And did I mention that these are all freezer

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