Wednesday, March 30, 2016

How to Save Money on ANYTHING

FTC disclaimer:  This post contains affiliate links.

Every couple of months I receive an e-mail asking, "How can I save money on going to Disney World?"  I've received the same question about XBox Ones, PS4s, flights to Hawaii, and more.

Did you know you can save money on anything?   Well, kind of.  So often I see people who only want to save towards big purchases and don't think about the smaller ones.

Here are a few tips.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Book Review: The Mexican Slow Cooker Cookbook

FTC disclaimer:  I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a review.  All opinions are my own.  This post does include affiliate links.

I love Mexican food.  I don't have a lot of time.  But I do have a slow cooker.  Add in Deborah Schneider's book The Mexican Slow Cooker: Recipes for Mole, Enchiladas, Carnitas, Chile Verde Pork, and More Favorites it doesn't take long to get something started for dinner and then let it simmer all day!

Because I grew up in a rural area in a family that was all "meat and potatoes", as much as I enjoy Mexican food, I tend to stick to favorites.  I never learned to make such wonderful things such as tamales, but  also I had no idea there are so many different variety of tacos.

Some of the ingredients would be difficult to find where I live in West Virginia.  (prickly pear cactus anyone?)  While this cookbook says it is readily available at Mexican markets, we don't have one anywhere near I live, so some of these recipes aren't things I can make, at least not at this time.

I also very much appreciated the many photos in this book because I might not have any idea what Puchero de Res is, but I can look at a photo and think how delicious it looks.

This cookbook is well on its way to becoming a staple in my kitchen!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Five Myths I believed about Student Loans

I realize graduating from college almost 20 years ago makes my experience with student loans totally different than what today's kids are facing, but here are a few things I wish I had known.

I though the future was so far away I'd never have to pay back my loans.  I know this sounds silly, but when I took out my first student loan at age 16 (I graduated high school at 15.), I didn't really comprehend this.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Tips for planning ahead for recurring expenses.

Did you know that with some bills if you pay the year in full you can get a discount?   I do this with my house insurance, and I'm working towards being able to do it with my car insurance.  Here are some tips when you decide you want to go this route.

* Sit down and figure out what your expenses are such as income and property taxes, costs associated with Christmas, back to school, and even your family vacation.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Why I love Kindle Unlimited

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I absolutely love Kindle Unlimited.  You can sign up for 30 days for free, and then after that it is $9.99 a month.

The reason I love it so much is because I love reading three types of books that are very highly represented in Kindle Unlimited.

Gift ideas for the senior citizens, the elderly, or people who have everything

FTC disclaimer:  This post contains affiliate links.

Postage stamps -- even better if you order from Zazzle and put a photo on it.

Playing cards -- either large ones if they have difficulty seeing or add a photo to the back

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Five Simple Ways to Improve your Password Safety Habits

FTC disclaimer:  I am a member of the U.S. Cellular Blogging Brigade.  This is a sponsored post, but all opinions are my own.  I only recommend products I believe in.

U.S. Cellular offers a FREE PRINTABLE Parent Child agreement to help you discuss safety of the Internet, cell phone usage, limits, and courtesy with your teen or tween.  You don't even need to be a U.S. Cellular customer to access this, although I have been for 10 years and highly recommend them. 

I have always been frugal.  As that evolved into the digital age, I found myself having so many online accounts I couldn't keep track of them all, let alone the passwords.  I am a member of so many different points rewards programs and frequent flyer programs that I don't even know what all I have signed up for until I go to sign up again and it tells me I have an account.

One of my biggest headaches online was when my e-mail got hacked.  I thought I was safe using a foreign word as my password, but obviously there are people all over the world who use the Internet.

Monday, March 14, 2016

3 Tips for Fast, Easy, and Fun Scripture Memorization

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When I was in high school, I memorized the entire book of Matthew.  All 28 chapters.  Every verse. (There are 1,071 of them, by the way!)  Needless to say, I was the top Bible quizzer in my part of the state, and in the top half in our region of the country.  But it wasn't always easy for me to memorize Scripture.  I had to find the way that worked for me.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

How to Create a School and Office Supply Stockpile on a Budget

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Have you seen prices on notebooks and crayons in February?  They certainly aren't on sale by any means! If you ran out of glue when your son was working on his science fair project, you likely ran to the store and could have kicked yourself for not buying another bottle when it was on sale during back to school sales.  You had the hassle of going to the store, and you also had to pay more than you would have in August so he could cover Saturn with copious amounts of glitter.

The first thing you need is a storage spot.  A shelf in a closet, a bin in the garage, a box under the bed in the guest room.  Just somewhere heat won't melt crayons and no musty smells will get into paper.

First, decide what you need.  This will vary depending on if you have children or are stocking for your home office (or both!).  Then it will depend on how old your children are.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Tips for Familes to Focus on the True Meaning of Easter

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Easter is just around the corner, and it doesn't matter if you celebrate for one day, or for a whole season, with the egg hunts, plush bunnies, and chocolate filled baskets, it's sometimes too easy to get distracted about why we celebrate the holiday.

I have friends who do everything fun on the day before Easter.  They are Protestants, so they have no problem with that.  Personally I would not want to make Holy Saturday a "fun" day but would instead opt for Easter Monday to have the egg hunt, give fun gifts such as candy and bunnies. (And hey, if you want until the day after Easter, if you get up early enough you might be able to take advantage of half off sales!)  On Easter Sunday, they give their children gifts, but they are usually something like a Bible, spiritual DVD, or the like.  You could even give a milk chocolate cross on this day as well.  (Maybe if you stock a basket with treats that are good for the soul you wouldn't even have to have a second gift giving day.  There are plenty of candy with Bible verses on them.  Stickers are always loved by children as well!)

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Why you shouldn't compare your "Amount Saved" with someone else's

I often hear people bragging about how much they saved on something.  While it's true that they got a discount, but you have to wonder how much they spent, and if they purchased something they didn't need.

I donate items, sell on eBay, as well as buy items for my household.  Last month, I posted a photo of a receipt on social media where it said, "Today you saved $1200.00".  Many people commented on it.  But how I did it was Christmas items were 90% off and I bought tons of stuff to sell on eBay.  I was asked how I did it, but honestly, all it took was putting items in my cart.

As an eBay seller, I got a great deal.  I spent a little over $200 that day and made it back in a couple weeks with the stuff I purchased and still have stuff I can sell for quite some time.  However, as an individual, there was little that I wanted or need.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

My 5 Favorite Chapter Books When I was a Child

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Even when I was a child, for me to declare a book a favorite was a huge honor.  I was a voracious reader and even skipped the library's reading club party to try and finish more books than another girl.  (I lost by one book.)  I would sometimes do nothing but sit and read all day in the summers.   I didn't realize what a luxury that was, but now I long for those times.  I can, however, revisit childhood favorite books.

Here are my five favorites in no particular order:

Katie Kittenheart by Mariam Mason.  This is the sweet story about a girl who wants to be a teacher someday.  That someday comes sooner than she expects as she has to watch over the lower class at school during a flood.  Obviously, this would never happen today, but as a child of the 1980s, I felt it could have happened during the time period in which it was set.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Five Tips to Save Money on Gasoline

FTC disclaimer:  This post contains affiliate links.

Even with gas prices dropping, I am sure everyone still wishes there was a way to get gasoline even cheaper.  Well, there is!  Here are a few things I do.  Each station is different, and promotions may vary, but here are some ideas for you to see if they will work for you.

*The GasBuddy App.  I think most people have heard of this.  You can look up to see what stations near you have the cheaper gas.  I've seen it vary as much as ten cents a gallon with stations on different sides of the road.