Budgeting

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Congratulations you survived another holiday season! Finally, all the shopping, preparing, rushing, cooking, cleaning, and everything else is either done or winding down. But unfortunately, sometimes the holidays ending doesn’t reduce stress… Sometimes we feel more anxious and discouraged having to face the coming year. You may have spent the last weeks (or possibly months) gearing up for the holiday

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

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

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

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

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  We are a gift-giving family. It’s our love language and it’s truly how we communicate our care for others. We just love to love people by giving them gifts. So, yeah, Christmas gifting is kind of our thing. We love to make lists and think of the perfect gift. And don’t even get me started on how we can

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In today’s digital age age of high-tech credit cards and Apple Pay, using cash is considered old school. But I love it, and it really helps us stay on budget. And by cash, I’m referring to the green stuff. Not a credit card, not a debit card, not a check (ok – now THOSE are old school). Physical, been-handled-by-a-hundred-strangers dirty

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This is Day 29 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. Get your plan ready now with – How to get the most Bang for your Buck on Cyber Monday If you’ve been following me for awhile, you

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

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

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

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

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This is Day 23 of the 30 Days to a Debt Free Christmas Challenge Check your email (sign up here if you aren’t on it) or our Facebook Group to get today’s challenge. Our post today talks about the Unconventional Guide to Black Friday shopping. The thrill of stay up all night shopping with your friends, drinking massive amounts of coffee, and getting hyped up

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This is Day 22 of the 30 Days to a Debt Free Christmas Challenge Check your email (sign up here if you aren’t on it) or our Facebook Group to get today’s challenge. Our money-saving thought for the day – What would the world look like if Black Friday didn’t exist? The term Black Friday was coined in 1905 in

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

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This is Day 20 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. Don’t miss today’s post – How an Amazon Wish List Will Save You Hundreds on Christmas Gifts I remember lying on the berber carpet in our living

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

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This is Day 18 of the 30 Days to a Debt Free Christmas Challenge Check our Facebook Group to get today’s challenge. Great long term perspective today – How Budgeting Can Keep You From Debt in 2016 Can you believe this year is almost over? Hopefully, you had a great year with lots of memorable moments. The end of the year

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

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This is Day 13 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 advice is for parents – 3 Ways to Create the Perfect Debt Free Christmas For Your Toddler This is a guest post from Catherine Alford at www.BudgetBlonde.com Is

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This is Day 12 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 simplification topic – 12 Unique Ways to Simplify and Spend Less This Christmas This post is a guest post from Jason Cabler at Celebrating Financial Freedom What is

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

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

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

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

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We sure do love our furry (and maybe not-so-furry) friends. But boy, can they be expensive! Having a pet doesn’t need to break the bank. Here are some ways you can save cash while still having the pet of your dreams. One big tip in general is to avoid purchasing items from pet stores and veterinarian’s offices. These items tend to

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

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  Listen to our podcast about this below: [smart_track_player url=”https://traffic.libsyn.com/simplerhappierlifepodcast/Episode_48_-_The_Dangers_of_Online_Impulse_Shopping.mp3″ social=”true” social_twitter=”true” social_facebook=”true” social_gplus=”true” ] Shopping online has to be one of the best ways to snag a good deal! It makes comparison shopping a snap, there are no lines, and it gives you more selection than most local stores. Online retailers often offer so many great perks for shopping

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

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Have you ever looked at your bank account and wonder where it all went? You had a budget, you thought you were sticking to it, and yet still you end up running low. Often times we spend more money than we need to on unnecessary expenses or ‘luxuries’, but getting rid of those expenses we become richer. Often what hurts

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

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

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It is no secret that I love shopping at Aldi. I’ve been an avid Aldi shopper for 10 years and I’ve learned a thing or two about the store and how to maximize your savings and time. I love Aldi so much that I’ve created meal plans specifically around their products, prices and store.  You can check those out here.

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

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

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

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

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

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  If you’re looking for some easy ways to save money on books, then you’re in the right place.  Books are so expensive.  Whether you’re looking for bestsellers or classics, anime or easy readers, learn these quick tips and save yourself some big cash. Buy an E-reader Digital books have saved us thousands of dollars. I have a good friend with a

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

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

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

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I am ALL about getting extra money in YOUR pocket. Sometimes that means, saving money, and sometimes that means making money. And I try to provide ways of doing both that you’ve never considered. With that in mind, I created a resource of products and services that will help you enjoy your life on a budget! Budgeting: The Personal Finance

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

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

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

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Ok, I know what you’re thinking, you don’t want to save pennies, you want to save dollars. Don’t we all?! But the reality is that pennies add up to dollars and every penny counts. These are a few easy things you can do around your house, with little money or effort up front, and over time see the benefits of

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

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Gas prices fluctuate, but there are some things you can do in high times and low to save gas.  These seven simple ways to save on gas will save you money and even a little time. 1. Order Your Errands Based on Driving Path Arrange the order of your errands based on a map and traffic schedule.  Avoid idling your engine

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

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If you guys are like me, you thought that the old Rite Aid system of +ups was amazing. I think we were all a bit devastated inside when they updated it to load digitally and be unable to use them for 24 hours, ending our run of turn around purchases. Even so, I adapted, I asked them to print mine

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

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

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When you are working within a budget or simply want to save money, it is important that you think about each and every one of your purchases. Impulse purchases can destroy your carefully-crafted budget. With these simple ways to save on purchases you can be sure that no matter what you are buying you are getting the very best deal possible.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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One early evening last July, a 4-minute freak storm passed though my town. I am in Upstate New York mind you, with almost zero risk for tornadoes… but there were ridiculous wind gusts that lasted only 4 minutes and left half of my city without power for a week – including my house. My brother lost half his roof, and

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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When I first started trying to save money on groceries for my growing family I was overwhelmed at the thought of using my freezer for anything other than ice cubes and ice cream.  Sometimes even the ice cream would come out crusty and dried. Some food you can freeze and some foods just don’t do well in the freezer. I’ve

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

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

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

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I went to do my grocery shopping today, walked into Aldi and screamed!  Why? There was an entire row of NEW Gluten-Free products!  I was so excited! I took some pictures of the products that I found, these are very limited edition so make sure you head over ASAP to grab them! My favorite one was the Frozen Gluten-Free Ravioli!

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

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

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

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

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Are you trying to get your house ready to sell?  Are you overwhelmed by trying to figure out how to do it without going broke?  My husband and I have sold two houses in the past ten years using these principals, and think they will help you in getting your house sold for top dollar! Selling your house can be

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

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

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The hardest part about budgeting is actually sticking to it and making it work.  It took us three years to figure out the best way to actually stick to a budget, and I want to share with you the 4 steps we have created to a budget you can stick to.  I share many budgeting tips and strategies in my e-Course

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

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

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

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This is a guest post from Brad Barrett. He is a Certified Public Accountant, husband, and father to two lovely little girls.  He is an avid traveler and through his site RichmondSavers.com he helps teach people to travel the world using rewards miles and points.   ********************************************** My wife and I absolutely love to travel, but as I’m sure you

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

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

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

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It is that time of year – where everyone is hustling around trying to get a tax appointment lined up so you can see how much of a tax refund you get. Or maybe, you are brave enough to tackle the job yourself! Doing taxes yourself is definitely doable, but here are some reasons why I recommend hiring a tax professional

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

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

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Have you filed your taxes yet?  If you’re like most Americans, tax time doesn’t mean “pay up”; it means an extra chunk of money in your pocket.  If you are married and/or have a couple kids, the amount of this refund can be quite large. Marketers and advertisers know that you have more money than normal, and they want it

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

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

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

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

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

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If you live in the Northeast, have you looked at your most recent utility bill?  I used to have a cheap energy supplier, but that seemed to change overnight.  I heard in the news that the price of electricity was increasing dramatically for some customers, and I guess I was hoping that we weren’t one of them.  Well, I was

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Are you wondering how to negotiate cable prices?  Sick of paying too much for cable? My friends have called me the cable negotiating guru, because I know how to negotiate them down so I never have to pay full price. How to Negotiate Cable Prices Is your cable bill one of the largest bills in your monthly budget?  If so, I

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

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Taking a vacation with the family doesn’t have to break your bank.  There are many ways to take a wonderful trip and still stay within the budget.  Here are some ideas that my family has found helpful. When planning a trip, first choose your destination.  It helps if you are flexible on dates or locations.  You can also read my

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Disneyland is said to be the most magical place on Earth, but how do you save money at Disneyland you may ask? The rides, the food, the landscaping, the shows, fireworks, parades, they are all top of the line and created to amuse the child in all of us! Disney does it right when it comes to entertaining their guests,

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

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If you are a first time Aldi shopper – you may be wondering what tastes good and what to buy there.  I decided to put together a list of 30 must buy items at Aldi that we purchase every single month, to help you know some things to look for. Oh – and in case you’re interested, I’d LOVE to send

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Have you ever heard of a Freezer Swap Party?  I hadn’t until my sister Jenna introduced me to her swap, so I went and observed her it with many of her friends.  It is a great idea, you make one meal and then go and swap out your meals with the other freezer meals that your friends bring.  The goal

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

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

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

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

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    The following is a guest post by Adam Hagerman. Adam is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER and professional who helps individuals and families eliminate debt, set financial goals, save more money, create a budget, and MUCH more. Start your journey to financial freedom today by gaining access to his free financial toolkit and extremely useful newsletter. ***************************** I don’t know

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

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

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

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

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

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

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If you want to get out of debt and learn how to budget, it is important to have a clear vision of where you are financially before you get started. You need to ask yourself why you want to get financially healthy. Where are you going with your money and how can a budget take you there?  If you were a marathon runner,

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  We’ve talked about how to save money on your healthcare coverage and the other options for health care coverage, but one area where I was having problems saving money was on my medications. I have a thyroid condition so I need to take a medicine called Synthroid every month, when I had traditional health care coverage I was paying $35.00

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

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

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Love it or hate it, the Affordable Care Act has created a conundrum for some families and individuals.  While many will be eligible for subsidies from the government to help pay for premiums, there is a sizable cohort who earn too much income to get much assistance, yet aren’t wealthy by any stretch of the imagination. And if they do

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I announced earlier today that Aldi is testing out a new gluten free line of food in their stores called “live Gfree’.  It is a special buy right now, meaning they are there only for a limited time and hopefully if people buy enough of it they will stay there permanently. These products seem to be all labeled as ‘Certified as Gluten free’.

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

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

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

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

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Financial success. It’s something that even many wealthy people think they haven’t achieved. Could you be one of them? If you make just $27,000 per year, did you know you’re in the top 1.63% richest people in the world by income? In one hour, you make $14.06 while the average laborer in Indonesia makes just $0.39 per hour. It would also take

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Lauren and I love coupons. In fact, we were able to cut down our grocery bill from $1,000 per month down to $200 per month – and we owe a healthy portion of that savings to coupons. But that doesn’t mean that it’s always smart to use coupons. The truth is, there are times to use coupons and instances when

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