5 Ways to Save on Kids Summer Clothing

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5 Ways To Save On Kids Summer Clothing

With Spring here and Summer just around the bend it’s time to start changing out our closets and deciding what we need to buy to fill out our kids summer wardrobes.  With budgets always tight this is a great time to take advantage of our 5 Ways To Save On Kids Summer Clothing.  Not only can you grab great name brand clothing at a fraction of the cost, but you can also make a few dollars back on items your kids have outgrown with some of these methods! [Read more...]

How to Make a Home Gym on the Cheap

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How to Make a Home Gym on the Cheap

Whether you’re self-conscious about hitting the gym when it’s full of tanned, “perfect 10″ beach beauties, or you’re just trying to save a little cash, learning how to make a home gym for less can save you time (driving back and forth!) and lots of money. It can also help you shave off a little (or a lot of) pounds!

Home Gym Essentials

First, you’ll need some space. All you really need to work out at home is your body, because bodyweight exercises are amazing! Plus, you can do cardio without any equipment, too. However, if you’d like to have the full gym experience, here are a few items I suggest to purchase (even one at a time).

Choose a workout area that allows you to move around a bit. Ideally, an entire room (or garage, whatever) is what you want – but not everyone has that much space, so whatever you have… make it work!

If you don’t have a ton of space, I recommend using the living room. Buy a few workout DVDs (I love Jillian Michaels and Leslie Sansone workouts), and get your calorie burn on in the living room!

Like working out outside? Make a slosh pipe! This thing is one crazy workout, and only costs a few bucks.

Yoga Mat – price varies, usually around $20 but this one (in brown) is only $8.99 right now. You’ll use a yoga mat for pretty much everything! Whether you’re doing sit ups on the floor, or any floor work at all, you’ll want a mat to make yourself comfortable. You don’t want an aching back… it will just be one more excuse to stop (or shorten) your workout.

How to Make a Home Gym for Less

Resistance Bands – You can use bands or loops. It seems the loops are a bit cheaper. The loops kind of have a weird smell at first so if you’re sensitive to that, stick with the bands instead. I use the resistance loops and bands for arm and leg work. For legs, step side to side and do side leg raises. For arms, you can do pretty much any exercise that you’d do with dumbbells. My favorites are tricep extensions. Move slowly, creating even more resistance than the band/loop does. This will increase your calorie burn!

Jump Rope – price varies but I bought one for $1.54 on Amazon not too long ago. You can also get a weighted jump rope, but those do cost more. Do 30 seconds of jump rope at first, then work your way up to jumping faster and longer.

If you’re doing interval training, do a few burpees, then a minute of jump rope. Alternate burpees, mountain climbers, jump rope, etc for 20 minutes to get an amazing cardio workout.

Weighted Hula Hoop – You can buy a weighted hula hoop for about $50, or you can make your own. Weighted hula hoops are great, but start light (and only do it for a few minutes at a time), or you’re going to have severely bruised sides. Don’t ask me how I know this. :)

How to Make a Home Gym for Less

Stability Ball - $18.00 (I got this one for $14)- Use in place of a workout bench, and also for other exercises like crunches. Do some research to see which size you need for your height before making a purchase. Stability balls are also great chairs! If you work on the computer a lot (like I do!), sitting on a ball for a few hours a day will help strengthen your core.

These items are what I consider essential for building a complete home gym for less. While you’re still adding to your gym, remember to do lots of bodyweight exercises. Not only will you get used to using your own body as your gym, you’re going to build muscle and stamina in ways that you never thought possible! Also remember to do cardio and weight training!

Is there anything else you’d add to create a home gym for less?

The Ultimate Cheat Sheet On Saving Money

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The Ultimate Cheat Sheet On Saving Money

Maybe you’re living paycheck to paycheck, or possibly not even able to make one paycheck stretch to the next. Maybe your paychecks are enough to pay the bills, but you just feel like there’s more that you can be doing to save for your future. Either way, these tips will help you start to save money immediately. The key is making a plan, and putting it into action!

The Ultimate Cheat Sheet On Saving Money

Set up a savings account. Even if you don’t have a ton of money to put in the account, having it there will hopefully keep saving money on your mind! Setting up an account that earns interest is your best bet, so shop around before settling.

Budget that moolah! Set up a budgeting worksheet, and stick with it. Income in, expenses out. It’s really simple if you write it down!

Unplug. Not only will unplugging save you money on your electric bill, if you’re watching less television, you’ll see less ads. Less ads = less things you “need” to buy = money saved. Pay attention to what your energy bill was last month, and this month. Start unplugging as often as you can, and see how much your bill goes down next month, and the month after. Take the extra money that you saved on your bill and put it into a savings account.

Sell your stuff. We all have clothes in our closet that we haven’t worn in ages. Why not sell them? You’ll make someone happy by giving them a discount, and you’ll make a few bucks to put into your savings account. Win-win!

Meal plan. Meal planning will save you time and money every single week if you stick with it. Keep track of how much you save by creating a menu plan, and put that money in savings.

Sign up for rewards! Whether it’s at your favorite coffee joint, or at your local grocery store, rewards = money saved. If you’re signing up for online rewards programs, set up a separate email account so your main account isn’t flooded with this types of emails.

Ditch the addictions. Do you have to have that $5 coffee each day? You might think so, but cutting back to once or twice a week would save you sooo much! The same thing goes with cigarettes, alcohol, or any other expensive habit (like eating out at lunch every day). Ditch the habit completely, or at least cut back to once or twice a week, and notice how much you save!

Cancel memberships. Do you have a gym membership that you use just a few times a year? What about the beauty box subscription you don’t really care for? If you’ve got a subscription or membership to something you’re not using, ditch it!

Budget shop. Hit the yard sales, hit Goodwill, ,shop at Schoola and hit thrift stores! These places will save you a ton of dough if you shop smart. Don’t buy junk you don’t need – stick to the basics.

DIY. Even if you aren’t crafty, in this Pinterest generation, it’s soooo easy to make your own birthday, Christmas, and even anniversary gifts. They don’t have to look cheap to be cheap. If you’re shopping at stores like Michael’s and JoAnns, be sure to print coupons before you go.

How do you save money? Leave your tips in the comments!

4 Ways to Save On Your Next Family Vacation

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Road trips are so fun! Whether it’s just you and the hubs, or you pack the entire family up and travel across country, the experience is a once in a lifetime (or maybe once in a summer) opportunity!

4 Ways to Save On Your Next Family Vacation

The most important thing to remember when planning your road trip is to HAVE FUN! Yes, it will get kind of crazy, stressful, and even hectic at times. But at the end of the day, you want to be able to look back on your trip and know that everyone enjoyed it. For me, enjoying a road trip also includes saving big bucks.

4 Ways to Save On Your Next Family Vacation

1. Save on travel.

Figure out which will be cheaper: driving, flying, or taking a train or bus. Factor in gas, wear and tear on your vehicle, and time if you’re taking a car. Factor in baggage fees, flight tickets, etc for plane trips. If you’re taking a train or bus, factor in the cost of the ticket(s) as well as the cost of renting a car once you arrive, unless you have family or friends to escort you around when you arrive.

If you’re taking your own vehicle, do a thorough check and routine maintenance before taking off across the country! Check the headlights, brake lights, wipers, brakes, fluids, etc.

Save money on gas by driving the speed limit, and checking GasBuddy.com for the cheapest local gas prices wherever you go. If you drive a gas-guzzler, renting a fuel efficient vehicle might be more cost effective for your trip. Proper tire pressure will also help you save on gas!

If you’re flying, sites like Travelocity and Cheapoair can help you find the best prices for your flights. Traveling off-season can also save you a few bucks, depending on where you’re going. Flying to/from warmer states is much cheaper in the summer months because the weather is terrible (120*++). Tickets can go up by $200 each in the winter because traveling to the those areas is more desirable in those months.

2. Entertain for free.

Instead of spending a ton on coloring and activity books, print them out from home. Try sites like:

Crayola
The Color
Hello Kids
Coloring Castle
Coloring-Book
Educational Coloring Pages

Download free Kindle books daily from Amazon. By the time your road trip starts, the Kindle will have dozens of books for your little ones to read!

Rent CDs and audiobooks from the library. It’s free, and you can usually renew them online!

3. Save big on attractions.

Check sites like Groupon, Living Social, and Amazon Local for the city or cities you’re visiting. Purchase vouchers, and plan your trip around the attractions you’ll be visiting. You can even save on hotels this way!

When you arrive in the town you’re visiting, check the Visitor’s Bureau to see if they have tickets at a discounted price. Sometimes you can buy a bundle and save quite a bit!

Use Google! When you are searching for an attraction, hotel, etc, type it into Google, followed by “discount”, “coupon”, “deal”, or “savings”.

4. Save on food.

The easiest way to save on food is to pack sandwiches, drinks, and snacks instead of hitting the drive through. Pack simple snacks like trail mix, granola, fruit, cheese and crackers, pretzels, and chips. If you can pack a cooler, sandwiches are a great idea.

Once you arrive at your destination – or even along the way – stop at the beach (or even a roadside park, rest area, etc) and have a picnic lunch. This will save money while allowing everyone to use the restroom, stretch their legs, and get some of that excess energy out of their systems!

How do you save on road trips? Leave your tips in the comments!

7 Quick and Easy Ways to Save $100 Right NOW

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For me, the key to saving is to have a goal in mind. Are you saving to pay for a new pair of shoes? A higher electric bill when summer comes around? Christmas? Disneyland? A new car? Obviously $100 won’t get you there, but it’s a good start.

Quick and Easy Ways to Save $100 Right NOW

Obviously you’re at the right places for learning how to quickly and easily save money (Helloooo, coupons!), but I have a few extra tips for you as well.

7 Quick and Easy Ways to Save $100 Right NOW

1. $5 Bill Jar. The $5 bill jar is an idea that has been floating around Pinterest and other sites for a while now, but basically it works because every time you have a $5 bill, you put it in your savings jar. I know it sounds like a lot, especially if you don’t have a lot, but when you use cash and spend $13 out of a $20 bill, you have $8 left. Keep the $3 for later, and put the $5 in the jar. It adds up fast. Each month, empty the jar and put the money into savings.

If there’s no way for you to save $5 at a time, save your loose change. It will add up to $100 before you know it. When looking for quick and easy ways to save $100, this one is definitely the easiest!

2. Paycheck deductions. If you have a job, and a steady paycheck, this one is a no-brainer. Perhaps only one adult in the house works – that’s fine, too. Even if money is tight, you can afford $25 a week being deducted from your paycheck. Trust me! It will all work out. In a month, you have $100!

3. Sell yourself. Well, not yourself, exactly sell… but parts of you that you don’t need, you can donate and get cash! ;) You can get paid $35+ for donating plasma. If there are two adults in the household, that’s an easy $70. You can also sell your hair, or even extra breastmilk, which would easily bring that total to well over $100!

4. Babysit. This is more earning than saving, and I know this might sound old school, or totally crazy if you’re not a parent already, but babysitting can actually be a lucrative business. Babysitting just a few days a week will quickly and easily earn you $100 (or more!). Especially around holidays, babysitting can be a huge cash cow. For example, on New Year’s Eve, many parents stay home with their kids anyway… and then offer babysitting for $30 (or more!) per kid. You’re already home with your own kids, why not add a few more to the mix? I’ve made $200+ on holiday nights before!

On the same note, you can also offer pet sitting (or walking!), if kids aren’t your cup of tea. ;)

5. Sell stuff. Instead of having a yard sale (waaaay too much work!), list a few items (like your old couch that’s collecting dust in the basement – or the extra refrigerator that’s used twice a year in the garage) on Craigslist or a local Facebook Group that is designed for selling things. If you have scrap metal sitting around your house (or even aluminum cans), you can cash in on it as well.

6. Keep the change. If you don’t use cash, sign up for a “keep the change” program through your bank. They will automatically put the change from each purchase into your savings account. You wouldn’t believe how quickly this adds up to $100! Just think about it: say that each “change” purchase averages $.50. You swipe your card several times a day, or at least several times a week. Before you know it, you’ll have $20 in your account… then $50… then $100!

7. Car maintenance. Make sure you replace your air filter, get regular oil changes, and rotate your tires on a regular basis. This will not save you actual cash in your pocket each time, but it will save you more than $100 over the course of a few months. This goes for household air filters as well!

Frugal Easter Ideas

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Frugal Easter Ideas

Frugal Easter Ideas

Easter can get expensive – fast! Use these frugal Easter ideas to save money this Spring.

Save money on the baskets!

Some Easter Baskets cost upwards of $20. That doesn’t even include what you put in the basket! Instead of spending big bucks on a basket (aka toy holder), make your own! Not only could you weave your own basket (if you have time), you could even use just a paper bag that is decorated for Easter (think bunnies, eggs, etc).

The Dollar Tree (and similar stores) also has baskets for just a buck. If you don’t have a store local to you, look online at OrientalTrading.com and see if you can score a good deal.

Some other ideas include plastic pails (like for summer – double use!), hats, organizing containers, lunch boxes, and any other type of container that can hold the Easter bounty. Containers with lids and/or handles are best for smaller kids.

Save money on the basket fillers!

Some of my favorite things to put in Easter baskets are not candy items. They get candy too often from school, neighbors, friends, family… why give them even more on Easter? Make it fun by adding some of these things to their Easter baskets. Making a “theme” for the basket is a good idea, but having random stuff thrown in is fine, too!

  • Beauty theme: makeup, nail polish, brushes, hair accessories
  • Rough n Tough theme: cars, trucks, train tracks, shovel and other outside toys
  • Princess theme: dolls, clothes, accessories, jewelry
  • Sports theme: favorite sports balls, cones, bike accessories
  • Toddler theme: homemade playdough, wooden toys, ABC blocks
  • Crafty theme: rubber stamps, stamp pads, ribbon, glue, scissors

Artsy theme: markers, crayons, coloring books, free coloring sheet printables

Stalk Amazon!

Amazon has the best deals on so many things! Stalk Amazon, and stalk early — you can buy a few things year round and save big bucks.

8 Easy Ways to Save Money

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8 Easy Ways to Save Money

To be a successful saver, you will need to turn the act of saving into a lifestyle.  Many people don’t think they have enough money to be able to save, but in most cases that’s simply not true. There are many ways to save money that are often overlooked. Follow these money saving tips to get on the right track with saving – whether it’s for college, retirement, or a family vacation – saving is important. [Read more...]

52 Week Money Saving Challenge

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52 Week Money Saving Challenge

In January, everyone seems to go a little overboard trying to lose as much weight and save as much money as they can.  While getting fit physically and financially are great ideas, setting a long-term goal with milestones can help get you past the February slump. This year, I’m using a modified version of the 52 Week Savings Challenge to help me reach my financial goals. If I save the bare minimum, I’ll have $1,378 in my new savings jar and you can too! [Read more...]

Reader Shopping Trip: Free Lunch Meat and Yogurt Using Store Clearance Prices!

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tali clearance

Reader Tali sent us over a picture of the great deal she scored at Albertsons! It definitely pays to watch the markdowns in the lunch meat and dairy section! Tali was able to pick all of this up for FREE using coupons and store clearance prices!

The items that are marked down in the dairy and meat sections are usually short dated, so you will want to use them up right away or freeze them, but this is a great way to score amazing deals!

Safeway and Albersons are the places I have seen the best markdowns, but the next time you are at any store, make sure you browse through these two areas watching for those manager’s special stickers! You are sure to score some terrific buys!

Thanks for sending us over for us Tali! It’s great to see how to save on meat and dairy products!