Friday
Jan112019

My Financial Resolutions

It's a fresh new year and this is how I am working on my weekly budget.

Financial New Year's Resolution #1: I resolve to not buy stuff I don't need

I've been there. You are in Target and there is 50% off Valentine's Day items and you see the most adorable heart frame. You have to have it, even though you have a stack of photo frames in your pantry. What do you do? Ask yourself if you are going to use it or give it to someone by the end of the year. If the answer is no, pass on it.

Resolution #2: I resolve to pay cash for my purchases

It's tempting to use credit cards on bargains, but what kind of bargain is it if you wind up paying 15% interest on the "bargain" purchase? To avoid using credit cards, plan your purchases ahead of time or control your spending by buying gift cards or only carrying cash to the store.

Financial New Year's Resolution #3: I resolve to think twice before ordering something online

Online shopping is a huge convenience and a money saver, but it can also be a huge temptation. No need to go out in the snow and ice, boot up your computer and there are tons of deals! One trick I've used is if I'm not 100% sure of a purchase, I leave it in my cart and come back to it later. More often than not, I forget about it and I've saved money.

Financial New Year's Resolution #4: I resolve to limit my stockpiling

If you stockpile and love it (like I do), this can be a hard Financial New Year's Resolution to keep. There are several reasons to limit it though. First, rodents and pests are attracted to packaged food. It can be very easy to buy a product (such as one that is grain-based) that already has the pest living in it and it will infest every package of food you have. There go hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars you've invested in your stockpile.

To avoid this problem, do not stock up on grain type food (such as cereal and flour), or limit it. Once a month, check your stockpile for pests and look at expiration dates to see if items should be thrown out. It's a good idea to rotate your stockpile as well to keep using the items. One way I make sure items are getting used is donating every few months to my church food pantry.

Financial New Year's Resolution #5: I resolve to get my overall finances organized

Whether it is picking up Quicken, organizing bills in a filing cabinet, getting ahold of what bills are due is essential. When bills fall through the cracks, then you lose more money with late fees and interest rate increases.

Financial New Year's Resolution #6: I resolve to not go crazy with coupons

When I first started using coupons, I clipped every coupon. If it was a good coupon week, I bought more than one paper. After a few months of this, it became too much work. I started focusing on only clipping those coupons I was going to use. I also paid attention to the items that were regularly on sale (such as Ragu) and stocked up on coupons for those products.

Financial New Year's Resolution #7: I resolve to keep better track of my rebates

Companies love when customers don't cash in rebates or forget to follow up on them. I've been tracking my rebates and other freebies I receive in Excel. In the spreadsheet I list the date sent, company name, dollar amount, company contact information and when I received the offer. Also, if you are sending away a big rebate (for example over $20), be sure to make photocopies and send it certified mail, return receipt. That way, you have proof they received it if you have to follow up on it.

 

Saturday
Jan052019

10+ Apps To Snag Free Food

1. BK app from Burger King. This app gives you access to a regularly updating collection of exclusive coupons. Past offers have included buy one, get one free Original Chicken sandwiches and a free Whopper Jr. with the purchase of large classic fries. 

2. McDonald's app from McDonald's. With the McDonald's app, you get weekly deals on food and drinks. Past deals have included free medium fries with any purchase, free medium shake or McFlurry with any purchase and buy one, get one free sandwiches. 

3. Baskin-Robbins app from Baskin-Robbins. Downloading the Baskin-Robbins app will earn you a free scoop of ice cream, plus access to coupons and promotions throughout the year. 

4. Auntie Anne's. With the My Pretzel Perks app, you get a free pretzel with your first purchase. After that, you earn points with every order that you can use toward future free pretzels. Using the app, you can also check out new product news and access exclusive offers.

5. Krispy Kreme Rewards app from Krispy Kreme. After downloading the Krispy Kreme Rewards app and registering your account, you can receive a free original glazed doughnut. On your birthday, you'll be treated to a gift. 

6. Sonic app from Sonic. When you create an account on the Sonic app, you receive a free medium slush. You'll continue to receive new rewards every month when you reload your MySonic card. You can also use the app to pay at your stall or in the drive-through, browse nearby Sonic locations, check nutritional info and send digital gift cards.

7. Schlotzky's. Upon downloading this app, you receive a free small Original sandwich. You can use the app to custom order sandwiches in advance and earn $7 off on your seventh visit. You'll also get special bonuses for sharing the app with your friends and on social media.

8. Steak 'n Shake. You can use the Rewards app to order menu items from Steak 'n Shake and pay on the go. You get a free milkshake after you make your first purchase with the app and earn $5 in credit for every $50 you spend.

9. Jamba Juice app from Jamba Juice. When you use the Jamba Juice app to make your first purchase, you can get $2 off. As a Jamba Juice Insider, you'll also get a free smoothie or juice on your birthday. Using the app, you can track your rewards, browse menus and order ahead at participating locations.

10. TCBY app from TCBY. Download the TCBY app, and you'll score a free treat. After your first freebie, you can earn $3 for every $30 you spend and get a $3 reward for referring friends. Using the app, you can look up TCBY locations and review menus, nutrition and allergy info.

11. Marble Slab Creamery and MaggieMoo's. After downloading the Slab Happy Rewards app, you'll be rewarded with a free ice cream. You'll also receive a $5 off coupon for your birthday and earn points every time you make a purchase at either shop. With the app, you can look up menus, order online and find nearby stores.

12. Rita's Ice mobile app from Rita's Italian Ice. The Rita's Ice mobile app essentially functions as a digital rewards card. After you purchase eight treats and present the app on your mobile device, you'll score a free regular Italian ice, frozen custard or gelati. With the app, you also receive news and special offers from Rita's throughout the year.

13. Checkers: Get a mobile coupon from Checkers for a free Big Bufford burger with any purchase. Sign up here 

14:Chili's: Chili’s is offering free chips and salsa or a non-alcoholic beverage every time you visit. All you have to do to redeem this perk is download their app and become a rewards member!

15. Baja Fresh: Baja Fresh will give you a free taco with any purchase after downloading the app and joining Club Baja. This freebie is valid for a Chicken, Carnitas Baja, or Americano Taco.

16. Wendy's: Download the Wendy’s app! The app has offers goodies like free burgers and free chicken tenders with any purchase. 

17. Panera: Download the Panera Bread app! Once you register for the MyPanera rewards program, you automatically get a free pastry. The more you use the app, the more free surprises you’ll get – like a free sandwich or salad.

18. 7-Eleven: Once you download the 7-Eleven app and sign up for their rewards program, you instantly secure a free coffee. 

Friday
Jan042019

Clever Ways to Organize Your Coupons 


SMALL COUPON ORGANIZER

This is one method I use, because it's easier than lugging around a big binder. Here is a nice one from Amazon.

This system is the best one for someone who is new at using coupons or even a casual couponer.  There are no labels on the tabs, so you will want to add your own.  Here are some sample categories you may want to consider.

Health/Beauty
Refrigerated/Frozen
Meat/Produce
Paper Goods
Household
Pets
Snacks
Retail

Add in any additional sections, or remove those that you do not need. The idea is to ensure you can find the coupons you need when you are ready to use them.

 

CLIPLESS COUPON METHOD

Pick up an accordion file and place your weekly inserts into it, grouped by date. This is a popular method because it does not require you to cut out your coupons until you need them.

Add tabs for each month of the year.  Then, clip together multiple inserts from the same date.  Finally, write the date on the cover and file it away!

Then, before you shop, you find the coupon you need and clip it only then and use it.  That way, you save lots of time trying to clip, sort and organize on a weekly basis.

 

 

COUPON BINDER METHOD

This binder is nice - here are the features!

  • Tall and durable plastic dividers - not cheap paper found in other products.
  • Stretchy elastic sides - fit more coupons and easier coupon searching.
  • Front pocket for your shopping list.
  • Sticker labels use categories from extreme coupon blogs. Blank stickers included for you to create your own categories.

Add baseball card sleeves and divider tabs.  The sleeves are where you will place the coupons once they are clipped.

The coupon binder categories: (Free Printable Dividers Here!)

Baby
Bakery 
Baking


Canned/Boxed Items
Beverages
Condiments
Breakfast
Meat/Produce
Dairy /Refrigerated
Frozen


Household (batteries, light bulbs, etc)
Laundry
Cleaning Products (anything but laundry or dishwashing)
Dishwashing
Medicine
Paper/Plastic (includes disposable dinnerware to toilet tissue)
Hair Care
Oral Care
Soap/Body Wash
Shaving/Deodorant
Beauty/Feminine Care
Snacks
Retailer (includes coupons and Catalina’s)

 

Wednesday
Jan022019

10+ Nursery Organization Tips, Printables, More

The Nursery

An infant comes with an overwhelming new wardrobe, but these clever strategies can help you keep his adorable duds corralled:

Wrangle footwear. Why not line them up on a shelf where they can double as decor or pair them in the compartments of an over-the-door organizer? It can serve as a happy home for all those bodysuits and socks too.

Sort accessories. Use a tool that divides your drawers into oodles of sections to make sure socks, headbands, hats, and other itty-bitties stay put.

Print these closet dividers

Decide whether to hang or fold. Go vertical with dresses, three-piece outfits, and collared shirts. If you're tight on closet space, you can mount a tension rod, and voil: You've doubled your hanging area! No closet? An armoire can solve your problem. 

Print these drawer organizers

Group garb by size. Even before baby makes her debut, you'll have heaps of clothing on your hands—and odds are, sizes will be all over the map. To keep track, hang and fold anything ranging from infant-size to 0-3 months. Store the rest of her togs in space-saver vacuum sacks or laundry bags, sorted and labeled by size. Label an empty box with your baby's size, and leave it in the closet so you can toss in clothes as they get too tight. If you plan on expanding your family, whisk the box up to the attic when it's filled; you can keep it on standby for the next baby. Identify a pregnant pal to be the recipient of your tot's too-small clothes as she grows, and pass them off every few months. 


Get this awesome baby kit from Amazon! Just click below!-


This nice gift pack includes everything you see above, plus more! Many of my readers have sent in photos of what they received, no purchase or shipping req! Completely free, click below-

Get this awesome baby kit, click here!

 

Toys and Books

Once Baby becomes mobile, he can blanket every inch of your floor with books and toys in a moment. 

Store kids' stuff in adult furniture. If your nursery is tiny (and your playroom is nonexistent), prevent the living room from looking like Plasticville by investing in a stately piece of furniture with lots of drawers. An affordable cube organizer, laid horizontally so it isn't a falling hazard, works. As your stuff grows, you can spring for a second cube and put them side by side. Hide toys in cloth bins, and switch to clear media boxes as your child gets bigger and his toys get smaller. Bins and baskets are better for storing all his great reads too, she says—bookcases have a way of becoming disheveled.

Rotate toys. Have two containers, put one out and leave the other in storage. 

Know when to let go. If your kid is no longer playing with a toy or reading a book, ditch it or donate it.You can recycle toys and fund future purchases through StorkBrokers.com (Like a Craigslist for kids' loot, it matches you with nearby buyers and sellers.)

Saturday
Dec292018

21 Uses for Bounce Dryer Sheets

I love the smell of Bounce dryer sheets. Besides popping them in the dryer, did you know you can also use it these 21 other ways?

1. It will chase ants away when you lay a sheet near them. It also repels mice.

2. Put Bounce around foundation areas, or in trailers, or cars that are parked for a time. Will keep mice from getting in.

3. It takes the odor out of books and photo albums that don’t get opened too often.

4. It repels mosquitoes! Tie a sheet of Bounce through a belt loop when outdoors during mosquito season.

5. Eliminate static electricity from your television (or computer) screen.

6. Since Bounce is designed to help eliminate static cling, wipe your television screen with a used sheet of Bounce to keep dust from resettling.

7. Dissolve soap scum from shower doors. Clean with a sheet of Bounce.

8. To freshen the air in your home, place an individual sheet of Bounce in a drawer or hang in the closet.

9. Put a Bounce sheet in vacuum cleaner.

10. Prevent thread from tangling. Run a threaded needle through a sheet of Bounce before beginning to sew.

11. Prevent musty suitcases. Place an individual sheet of Bounce inside empty luggage before storing.

12. To freshen the air in your car, place a sheet of Bounce under the front seat.

13. Clean baked-on foods from a cooking pan. Put a sheet in a pan, fill with water, let sit overnight, and sponge clean. The anti-static agent apparently weakens the bond between the food and the pan.

14. Eliminate odors in wastebaskets. Place a sheet of Bounce at the bottom of the wastebasket.

15. Collect cat hair. Rubbing the area with a sheet of Bounce will magnetically attract all the loose hairs.

16. Eliminate static electricity from Venetian blinds. Wipe the blinds with a sheet of Bounce to prevent dust from resettling.

17. Wipe up sawdust from drilling or sand papering. A used sheet of Bounce will collect sawdust like a tack cloth.

18. Eliminate odors in dirty laundry. Place an individual sheet of Bounce at the bottom of a laundry bag or hamper.

19. Deodorize shoes or sneakers. Place a sheet of Bounce in your shoes or sneakers overnight.

20. Golfers put a Bounce sheet in your back pocket to keep the bees away.

21. Put a Bounce sheet in your sleeping bag and tent before folding and storing them. It will keep them smelling fresh.

Thursday
Dec062018

Boxed Review- Groceries To Your Door

From snacks to household cleaners, office supplies and more, Boxed.com has you covered as the easy, quick way to get everything you need. No trip to the local warehouse store required!
Go here to get your Boxed deals and get FREE 2 day shipping on $50+. I ordered from them a few weeks ago and loved how fast everything shipped. 

They also offer regular deals and promotions. Boxed is a time AND money-saver!

 

I also just ordered my mom a surprise package of her favorite treats. It arrived very fast by UPS and she loved it. My mom is elderly and lives 10 hours away, so this was a nice way to help her out with some groceries. 

Live in an apartment? Boxed is perfect for stocking up on everything you need, no lugging up the stairs/elevator required!

Check it out here! And be sure to refer friends and receive $15 per friend who places an order!

 

Friday
Sep282018

DIY School Kit For Teen Girls

Puberty can be a really difficult time. Here are some ways to prepare your daughter.

Prepare Your Child

Be sure to let your teen know that you can answer questions and that you don't feel funny doing so.  A book about puberty would also be helpful.

Instruct

Your teen will also need to know that personal hygiene will be more of an issue now, so remind your child that showers should be frequent, as should deodorant use and other personal hygiene practices. How to shave, deal with acne, or manage oily hair will be important to teach her. 

Be Patient

You know your child better than anyone, so follow your instincts when deciding how to deal with an overly emotional teen. Help your teen learn how to properly deal with her changing emotions. Sometimes a little time alone can do wonders, or physical activity might do the trick. 

Don't Dismiss Physical Changes

Depending on the day, your teen might be excited about the changes or horrified. Don't dismiss your child's feelings. Provide support and help your tween troubleshoot the changes he or she is going through. Acne can be especially problematic for your teen, so be sure to address it and if necessary, consult your child's pediatrician for advice on managing it. 

Communication

The teen years require a great deal of support, from both family and friends. Be sure your child has a strong social circle and friends to talk to about problems and challenges.

 

PRODUCTS TO PACK IN YOUR DAUGHTER'S SCHOOL KIT

Deodorant

Travel sized deodorant or wipes are a good idea to keep on hand. Target is an awesome source for travel size items to include in your kit.

 

Pads or Tampons

Include pads and tampons in your kit. 

Always savings

U By Kotex Free Samples

Stayfree coupons

Change of Clothes

It’s helpful to have a change of underwear and shorts/pants. 

Wipes

A travel-size package of wipes (flushable if preferred) for discreet cleanup. It’s also good for a quick cleanup after gym class or recess if there’s just no time for a shower or if she is just too embarrassed to take a shower.

Pain Relievers

Since most schools do not allow students to self-medicate, you have to decide what to do for your own child. Include a small package of pain relief in her emergency kit. Travel sized packages are discreet and easy to tuck in a pocket. 

MORE TO INCLUDE:

  • loose change in case pads/tampons need to be bought at school
  • lotion
  • floss
  • toothbrush/toothpaste
  • hair ties
  • tissues
  • gum
  • nail clippers
  • q-tips
  • electric razor
  • concealer
  • mouthwash
  • Tylenol
  • Body Spray
  • emergency contact list
  • emergency cash

 

Sunday
Sep232018

Sam's Club Money-Saving Tips

Sam’s Club benefits are based on your membership level. Sam’s Club has three: 

  • Sam’s Plus: $100
  • Sam’s Business: $45
  • Sam’s Savings: $45 

 

Earn rewards for shopping 

For every $500 you spend on qualifying Sam’s Club purchases, you’llget $10 back in cash rewards. That’s a 2 percent return on your spending. The cash-back reward is capped at $500 annually. 

Rewards can be used to buy products or pay for your annual membership. Or, you can simply redeem them for actual cash. This benefit is available for Sam’s Plus members. 

Get free and discount prescriptions 

Millions of us take prescription drugs on an ongoing basis. Sam’s Club can help you save a bundle on these medicines. Five drugs are free for Sam’s Plus members. They are: 

  • Donepezil: 30-day supply
  • Escitalopram: 30-day supply
  • Pioglitazone: 30-day supply
  • Vitamin D 50,000 IU: four caps
  • Finasteride: 30-day supply

In addition, Sam’s Plus and Sam’s Business members can get 600 generics for $10 or less, and 8 percent less on many brand-name prescriptions. 

Finally, Sam’s Plus and Sam’s Business members save between 10 and 30 percent when you purchase select brand-name prescriptions without using your insurance.

Save on your next pair of eyeglasses 

Warehouse club memberships can be a great way to save on eyewear. Sam’s Club members who purchase a year’s supply of contact lenses can get $50 off their next pair of glasses. This benefit is available for Sam’s Plus members. 

In addition, all Sam’s Club members can get $40 off second pair of glasses when you buy two complete pairs of regularly priced prescription glasses without using vision insurance. 

Earn cash back with a Sam’s Club credit card 

If you are looking for more rewards, consider opening a Sam’s Club MasterCard account. You’ll receive cash back on the following purchases:


  • 5 percent cash back on gasoline
  • 3 percent cash back on dining and travel
  • 1 percent cash back on all other purchases

Enjoy instant savings

When you join Sam’s Club, you’ll periodically receive an Instant Savings booklet. These booklets contain offers with special savings from Sam’s Club’s top suppliers that are added on top of the member-only prices you pay.

Best of all, these offers are electronically loaded to your membership card and automatically redeemed at checkout.

Pick up perks at the Tire & Battery Center

Sam’s Club members get free flat repairs. That’s true even if you purchase your tires elsewhere. Other benefits include:

  • Free battery testing
  • Free wiper-blade installation
  • Free emergency tire changing when you buy a Premium Tire Installation package

Grab discounted gift cards for your favorite retailers and restaurants

Sam’s Club members can choose from an array of retailer gift cards that the warehouse club sells at a discount.

For example, we recently saw the following deals:

  • $40 of App Store and iTunes gift cards for $36
  • $50 in Smash Burger gift cards for $39.98
  • $100 in Buca di Beppo gift cards for $74.98

Get email alerts and check out Shocking Values

Sign up for email alerts from Sam’s Club, and you’ll learn about ways to save when shopping online every day.

In addition, visit the Sam’s Club website’s Shocking Values page to find out about the latest deals. We recently saw an $80 Chaps women’s down vest for just $19.98 and the Shark Rotator Lift-Away vacuum for $129.98, a $60 savings.

Shop through a cash-back site

You can save even more at Sam’s Club when you shop through a cash-back site. For example, Ebates members recently could get 1.5 percent in cash back on Sam’s Club purchases simply by shopping through Ebates.

Get free Sam’s Club gift cards

Discounts are great, but free is even better. Join a site like Swagbucks and you can get free Sam’s Club gift cards simply for filling out surveys, watching videos and participating in other online activities.