10 Ways Thrifty People Prepare For The Christmas Shopping Season

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Tomorrow is the beginning of November and for some that will seem very early to start Christmas shopping, for others it will seem too late (yep, I know at least one person who wraps up Christmas shopping before Christmas in July!).

10 ways thrifty people prepare for the Christmas Shopping Season

For me  though, starting to shop November for the bulk of my gifts is just about right. I do a few things much earlier to prepare but most of my shopping will be done in the last 2 months leading up to Christmas day. I find it leaves me enough wiggle room to snag some great bargains.

Our Christmas budget has always been tighter than I would like, but I have always been able to keep within it using a few thrifty tricks.

10 Ways Thrifty People Prepare For The Christmas Shopping Season

The christmas wallet (small)

1. Make a budget

This is one of the things I usually do way early, as in December 26th. Every December when Christmas is done, I  total up what we spent and decide if some areas were just too tight or if others seemed like they had too much wiggle room and then I decide what we will spend on next years Christmas and divide the number by 12. I either pay it like I would a set payment (such as a phone bill) each and every month, or pay it down like I would a large bill (such as a medical bill) with any overtime my husband gets until it is paid in full. It simple depends how much wiggle room our current day to day budget has. I set up what I call an account “envelope” to gather the money in. Really it is just a sheet of paper with the word Christmas account written on it where I keep track of deposits.

When I am ready to do my Christmas shopping I take out the cash I need and put it in my Christmas wallet, so that I don’t go over budget.

If you haven’t made your Christmas budget yet don’t panic. Here is a great article I found recently that will help : Interactive Christmas Budget Calculator

2. Order discount gift cards

If you tend to shop at certain stores each and every year for Christmas gifts, you might want to see if there are discounted gift cards available for them at Cardpool. Don’t forget to look for discounted cards for restaurants and movie theaters too.

Each year our family enjoys a 3D movie together as a family, a rare treat for our thrifty family, since I know it is going to happen I purchasing a discounted gift card for the theater in our town is one thing I do to keep the cost of a family movie night out more reasonable.

3. Sign up for daily deal sites

Every year for the past few years daily deals have been a great source of thrifty Christmas gifts for our family. Either we have bought gifts with them, or given them as gifts. We have also used them to save money on Christmas entertainment.

4 Thrifty Reasons to use Brad's Deals An online hub for great deals (medium)

4. Sign up for Brad’s Deals

It looks like a daily deal site, but Brad’s Deals is so much more than that. Brad’s deals is a hub of the best deals out their on the web day after day on all sorts of items you might give as gifts such as electronics, clothing, sporting goods and more. I love their daily emails during the Christmas season as they always save me money on at least one gift on my list if not more.

12 Ways To Save Money On Christmas (small)

5. Review after Christmas sales bin to see what gifts they already have

I keep a bin full of deeply clearance after Christmas sales items that I can use to give as gifts to our friends and  my husband co-workers. Usually these are just part of a gift, like a mug that I might fill with chocolate and coffee, or a Christmas tin to fill with my chocolate treats to give as gifts.

6. Search Pinterest for ideas to repurpose what they already have on hand into gifts

One way to avoid having to go out in the bustle of Christmas shoppers and save money is to get creative and use what you already have to make Christmas gifts.  I love using Pinterest to search for ideas to repurpose items. I keep two boards for things I always have in surplus. One board is my Rescue Your Jeans board for ideas of what to do with those too small or holey jeans and the other board called T-shirt Remake, Reuse because being a runner I collect several 5K run t-shirts a year that I don’t wear, but could make into something I could give as a gift.

Your household surplus is probably different than mine, but whatever it is enter it into the Pinterest search bar and I bet dozens of ideas will come up as to what you can make out of it to give as gifts.

no bake christmas (medium)

7. Make a list of all the ingredients needed for baking, cooking as well as supplies for crafts they want to make and then watch for sales

Sometimes I will do a Pinterest search and find I have all but one item needed to make a craft. I put this on my “to buy” list. I also make a list of items I need for all my holiday baking and items for the big meal Christmas day.

By making up this list in November I have several weeks to try and grab the items on sale, or better yet on sale and with a coupon.

8. Follow sites that share great deals

Money Saving Mom is my favorite site to follow for great Christmas gift deals. There are many more great deal sites out there though. I suggest at Christmas time that you hop over to your favorite deal sites Facebook page and click the “get notifications” tab so that you see all their posts in your notification area and can see deals as the come up. You can also subscribe to them and get their deals in your email inbox too.

How to make sure you get the best cash back rate when shopping online (medium)

9. Bookmark their favorite cash back websites

  • Top Cashback  (no limit for cash out and an extra 2.5% back if you take an Amazon gift card code for payment makes Top Cashback my favorite cash back site)
  • Ebates
  • Swagbucks (shop & earn area)
  • MyPoints  (shop & earn area)

Cash back sites won’t save you money on Christmas presents but instead earn you money on your online Christmas present purchases. Cash back sites offer you a certain percentage back on purchases made by clicking through from their site to the site you shopped at.  Point companies like Swagbucks and Mypoints offer you points for purchases, and this can be a great way to rack up points for a payout.  Here is a tip, make sure to compare cash back rates before you shop to maximize your earnings.

18+ point programs to help you earn $50 or more in gift cards each month (medium)

10.Up gift card earning activities

I have used point programs for years to help pay for Christmas gifts.  My friends have received gift cards earned through  My Points in their Christmas cards from us. Our children have found gift card codes for Itunes written on cards in their Christmas stockings that came from Recycle Bank. One year I gave my husband a promissory note that stated he would receive the bulk of the Swagbucks I earned for 1 year in Amazon gift cards to load his kindle up with new book titles.

Bonus tip: Don’t forget to start checking printable coupons sites, and coupon apps such as ibotta, Checkout51 and BerryCart: The coupons on these sites will not only save you money on food used in the baking you give as gifts but also gifts like children’s art supplies,  family board games, and even clothes .

Looking for money saving tips? Follow my Saving Money Tips board on Pinterest.

Linked to Frugal Friday Link Up,

Thrifty Christmas Tips (small)You can find all of my Thrifty Christmas articles on one spot.

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Step By Step Guide To BerryCart: A Coupon App For Organic, Gluten Free & Non GMO Foods

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I just recently discovered a coupon app that I am very excited about. BerryCart is a coupon app for all those who love natural and organic foods. It works in a similar way to the ibotta app I love so much.

Step by Step Guide to BerryCart A coupon app for organic, non-gmo, gluten free foodsIf you have read 10 Ways Thrifty People Save Money On Organics you know that my family doesn’t buy 100% organic foods but there are some products that we do prefer organic and we like saving as much money on those products as possible.

The BerryCart app will now be added to one of our ways to save on our favorite organic products.

How To Use The BerryCart App

1.  Sign up for a BerryCart account online. (go here now  to sign up)

2. Download the BerryCart app to your Smartphone or tablet with rear facing camera

sign in to BerryCart app

3. Once the app is is downloaded go ahead and enter your email and password you chose.

BerryCart App Picking your deal4. Press the filter tab to see what stores are available in your area and what products they have to offer.

BerryCart Unlock the savings

5. Pick the product you want to earn cash back on and perform the short tasks to unlock the savings

This is when the BerryCart app begins to remind me of ibotta in that it asks you to preform short tasks to unlock rebates.

For this particular item, Beanitos chips, you had to answer why you wanted to buy Beanitos  to unlock .25 cents (they gave you a range of answers to choose from) and then you had to read one fact about why Beanitos were good for you for another .25 cents.

Please note that the products may have to be a certain size and flavor. For example to receive your rebate on this bag of Beanitos you had to pick the 6 0z bag.

6. Click Redeem

Once you buy the product click the green redeem button and you will be prompted by BerryCart to scan the bar code of the product you bought followed by the receipt.

BerryCart redeem your rebates through paypal7. Redeem your rebates through Paypal

BerryCart lets you have your rebates deposited into your PayPal account when your account  reaches  a minimum balance of $5 .

 

BerryCart Gift card options8. Or if you prefer cash out for a gift card code

I love the gift card area of the BerryCart app. It is full of a great variety of stores currently it includes, Starbucks, Amazon, Target, Gap, The Home Depot, Staples, Old Navy, Banana Republic, and Barnes & Nobles. The size of the gift cards range from $5 to $35. The BerryCart App gift card area also lets you decide if you want the gift card emailed to you or a friend. So if the budget is tight and you want to send your friend a gift card for her birthday, you could cash in your rebates and send her own with the BerryCart app, or send her one just because you know she/he could use a pick me up.

Sign up here for a BerryCart account today, and start earning rebates on your Organic, Gluten Free, and GMO free purchases.

If you love coupon apps make sure to check out my step by step guide to ibotta as well as my how to use Checkout51 posts.

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If you love earning gift cards and more with your smartphone, tablet, or computer, check out my list of 18+ point programs to help you earn gift cards and cash from home.

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8 Books To Help You Get Organized For Christmas

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Next week November while be here and to me that is the month where I start thinking about what I want to do the same this Christmas as last as well as what I want to do differently.

8 books that will help you get organized for Christmas

I also start thinking about what handmade gifts I want to make, and what new recipes I want to make for my own family.

Pinterest is a great place for my searching and I do have Christmas boards there including

But my favorite place to find ideas for Christmas is still books.

4 Touch And Feel Books To Read To Get Organized For Christmas

I like ebooks but I love old fashioned turn the page, paper and binding books more. I try to read at least one new Christmas title every November whether it be a nonfiction one about keeping Christmas debt free or a fictional story that I can get lost in for hours.  (these of course are all also available in Kindle edition for you kindle lovers :) ) .

1. The Red Glove Collection by Karen Kingsbury

The Red Glove Collection  are  heart touching stories about the true spirit of giving that we all should embrace at Christmas time. Warning have tissues ready.

2. The Purpose Of Christmas by Rick Warren

I first read The Purpose Of Christmas last Christmas season and I really loved how it put my heart where it should be at Christmas time. I kept it (and I rarely keep books) and plan to reread it again this year. It is a short and simple read that can be read on a long afternoon or a few short evenings.

3. The Affordable Christmas: How To Have A Fabulous Holiday Without Breaking The Bank by Mary Hunt

I read The Affordable Christmas years ago when it was an earlier edition and called Debt Proof Your Christmas . It is cram packed with valuable information on how to keep the costs of Christmas affordable for any budget.

4. Gifts For Giving by Gooseberry Patch

I got Gifts For Giving a few years back on clearance and love all the great recipes and suggestions of how to pack them for gift giving as well as labels you can photo copy.

4 ebooks To Read To Get Organized For Christmas

Two things I love about ebooks, are that they are often short enough to read in one quiet afternoon and two that I can take fit them in my purse and take them anywhere. I really love reading on my Kindle paperwhite, but I also like using the app on my pay as you go smartphone and for the recipe books I like the refurbished iPad we bought for homeschooling as I can see the photos in color and put it on a stand for easy viewing as I am making the recipe.

1. Planning  For A Stress Free Christmas by Mandi Ehman

For just .99 cents and packed with all types of great tips to help you get organized for Christmas  the ebook Planning For A Stress Free Christmas  is a steal. Mandi tackles topics such as the Christmas card list, getting the house ready, planning Christmas activities, doing volunteer work and more.

2. 101 Days Of Christmas by Mandi Ehman

If you don’t like spending hours searching pinterest for great recipes for Christmas gatherings and great handmade gifts for gift exchanges then spending $3.99 on 101 Days of Christmas :101 Recipes & Crafts For The Holidays will be worth every penny to you. A one stop book full of all sorts of recipes and craft ideas to last the whole season long.

3.  A Simple Season by Jessica Fisher

I read and reviewed A Simple Season a few years back. I still stand by what I said in that review. If you are just starting out in your homemaking adventure and you want a book that will hold your hand and guide you through the holidays from Thanksgiving to New Years A Simple Season is the ebook for you.  If you have been homemaking for years you are still going to learn some great new tips from this ebook, making it well worth the read.

4. Christmas Recipes From My Table To Yours by Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures

Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures is one of my favorite recipe blogs. I love that by purchasing one of the blogs ebooks I don’t have to click around the site looking for Christmas recipes instead the are all in one ebook.  Christmas Recipes From My Table To Yours is a collection of simple doable recipes for the holiday season.

What are some of your favorite Christmas book titles? Share them in the comments with me.

thrifty bookworms and swagbucks the perfect romance (smallest)Want the titles above but can’t fit them in your budget? Here is how to use Swagbucks to pay for your bookworm habits and how to make the giftcards you earn through Swagbucks buy as many books as possible.

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Tuesday Links: Last Minute Halloween Costume Ideas

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Tuesday links 30 or so link to articles on one topic for you to explore, learn, and apply to your lifeHalloween is just days away now! And if your family is like our thrifty family you don’t spend much on costumes, in fact we normally spend zero unless we find them at a deep discount after Halloween and stash them for next year.

Here are 3 links to help get your creative juices going for last minute Halloween costumes, that you can create with what you have on hand.

1. 28 Last Minute DIY Halloween Costumes

2. 10 Costumes From Your Closet

3. The Ultimate List of Last Minute Costumes

And just in case you still need to grab some candy here is a coupon for you….

$1.00 off TWO (2) MARS Halloween Fun Size Bags

Stop Soaking & Start Doing

A sponge can only soak up so much soapy water before it becomes unable to do the job it was intended to do. A water logged sponge cannot scrub anything.

Stop Soaking and Start Doing

The same applies to people who absorb knowledge but never use it.  Stop soaking and start doing.

This post is as much for me as it is for my readers. I admit I am often more of a soaker than a doer.

I am not saying one shouldn’t research a topic before jumping in, only that there is a point when you must put down the books and simply start.

So much more is learned in the doing than in the researching. We learn from our mistakes. It is in doing, that  we find out what specific areas we really do need to research more and what areas of our ventures seem to come natural to us and therefore we need not waste time researching.

A prime example of this in my life is in blogging. If you read my first post, (yes it is rough and very humbling to read now), you will see that it was my husband that gave me a push to stop soaking and start doing. He gave me a firm deadline, one week to learn all I could about blogging and then get it up and running and press enter.

Oh what I have learned from doing, instead of soaking. I still have a lot more to learn but I am amazed at what I have learned so far and I don’t regret my quick start at all.

I want to encourage you this week, to take some time to think, what areas of your life are you holding back in because you think you don’t know enough about them to jump in fully?

Don’t become the useless sponge, instead soak up just enough to become usable and then learn the rest in the doing.

Stop soaking and start doing.

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20 Websites Thrifty People Use To Save Money On Clothes

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More and more lately I am shopping online for clothes and I have discovered quite a few sites that help me be thrifty when shopping for clothes online.

 

20 websites thrifty people use to save money on clothes

 20 Websites Thrifty People Use To Save Money On Clothes

Please note: Some of these sites I have personally shopped at and some of these sites I have researched reviews for before sharing with you. Those I haven’t tried are on this list simply because I feel confident that I would be willing to try them myself when the right deal came up, and therefore feel okay about sharing  them with my readers.

Free Sources

1. Free Cycle

My town is a bit too small for a good stream of Free Cycle sources of free clothes, but I took the time to search larger centers and found that Free Cycle has a lot of free clothes, especially infant and maternity clothes.

Online Consignment Stores

Why this thrifty gal likes Twice for saving money on clothing (medium)

2. Twice

I have personally used Twice to purchase some dress pants fairly recently and I was very happy with how their site worked. Twice consigns women’s clothing only and only certain brands.

a thrifty women's first thredUp order and why she will order again (medium)

3. ThredUp

I have used ThredUp several times for both my daughter and I. Thredup has clothes for infants , kids, teenagers and women, as well as purses, shoes and accessories.

4. Swap.com

Swap.com consigns infant, kids and maternity clothing as well as toys and other child related items.

5. Threadflip

Threadfllip differs from the other consignement stores listed as you are dealing with individual sellers  as well as the company selling for individuals. Items listed included women’s clothing, shoes, handbags , jewelery and accessories.

Daily Deal Sites

why this thrifty woman love zulily (medium)

6. Zulily

I have personally used Zulily several times now and am very happy with my purchases. One draw back is there are no returns so make sure you are very familiar with what you are getting .For instance I stick to brands I already own items of and love on Zulily .

7. Rue La La

If you like designer brands, Rue La La is the daily deal site clothing site for  you.

4 Thrifty Reasons to use Brad's Deals An online hub for great deals (medium)

8.  Brad’s Deals

More of  a deal hub than a daily deal site Brad’s Deals, keeps you up to date on the best sales around the web for your favorite name brand clothing.

Discount Sites

9. Overstock.com

With shipping of just $2.95 for orders under $50 and free shipping for orders over $50, Overstock.com receives a thrifty green light. How great the deals are really depends on what you are looking for and when. I would suggest hopping around at a few sites to compare prices before ordering.

10. 6pm.com

One friend of mine is so in love with 6pm that whenever I go to her house lately she points to at least one or two items she bought at 6pm since my last visit and tells me how I just have to share it with my readers. I did a bit of surfing around 6pm.com  and I agree some of the prices really cannot be beat.  Best of all 6pm.com offers free standard shipping on all orders regardless of size.

Places To Find Free Shipping Codes and Discounts

11. Retailmenot

There are other coupon/free shipping code companies out there but Retailmenot is my favorite. I find the site simple to use and I rarely come across a code that no longer works.

Sites That Offer You Cash Back On Purchases

12. Top Cash Back

Top Cash Back offers cash back at stores that I couldn’t find in other cash back programs. I also like that you get more cash back money when you choose a Amazon card over a paypal payout.  That additional 2.5% makes Top Cash Back cash back deals often higher than any other online cash back company.

13. Mr Rebate

Offering rebates at 2000 different online stores Mr Rebate is worth checking out.

14. Ebates

Ebates run great promotions that can result in high cash back values for stores like Walmart, Old Navy and more.

a step by step guide on how to use ibotta (medium)

15. Ibotta

Ibotta is so much more than a grocery rebate app. It offers rebates for online clothing stores as well.

Sites That Offer You Points For Purchases That You Can Cash In For Gift Cards

How to earn 30 dollars a month with Swagbucks (medium)

16. Swagbucks

Using the Shop & Earn section of Swagbucks is a great way to boost your Swagbucks earnings and earn more gift cards that you can use to buy more clothes.

7 ways to earn gift cards with my points (medium)

17. Mypoints

Often Mypoints has higher point values in their shop and earn area than other point programs or cash back programs. A benefit I like about using Mypoints is often the shop and earn section will share discount codes you can use towards your purchase as well or instead of points.

Additional Ways To Save On Online Clothing Purchases

18. Discount Gift Cards

Cardpool is my favorite place to buy gift cards at a discount. I buy them for those stores we shop at over and over again online and off line. It is a great way to stack up savings

19. Facebook Buy & Sell Groups

I often see stacks of clothing in a certain size available for sale as a lot in my local buy and sell facebook group.

20. Store Email Clubs

Sign up for emails from all you favorite stores and you are sure to get special discount codes from time to time as well as heads up on the best sales of the season.

Bonus Tip: Don’t Forget To Be A Thrifty Ninja And Stack The Savings

Here is an example of how you can use the various 20 sites above to stack savings.

  • You sign up to receive email updates from Brad’s Deals and see that a dress you wanted is deeply discounted today at Kohls
  • You have a discounted gift card from Card Pool you can use to purchase the dress
  • You are on Kohl’s email list and have a discount code you can enter
  • (If you don’t have a discount code from an email you can search for one at RetailMeNot.com to see if there is one out there)
  • You make sure to shop through a cash back site such as Ebates to receive money back one your purchase (don’t forget to compare to see which site is offering the best cash back)

In the end not only did you get the dress at good discount but you saved even  more with the help of discounted gift cards, discount codes, and by purchasing through a cash back site, making a great deal a steal of a deal.

What sites do you use to save money on clothing?

Looking for money saving tips? Follow my Saving Money Tips Board on Pinterest.

Linked to Frugal Friday Link Up Party, Mom2Mom, Saver Tips Tuesday, Thrifty Thursday,

20 ways thrifty people save money on clothing (button)Interested in saving money on clothing off line as well as online? Check out my 20 Ways Thrifty People Save Money On Clothing.

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10 Ways To Earn Cash With InboxDollars

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InboxDollars is a point program that pays you in either a check or a deposit on a special Inbox dollar Visa cash card once your account reaches the balance of $30.

10 Ways To Earn Cash With InboxDollars

InboxDollars doesn’t have the high income earning potential of Swagbucks but when you stick to the simple point earning activities on Inbox and add its earnings with other simple earning point earning activity programs it is a way of making a small amount each month from home in that down time at the end of the day when all you feel like doing is putting your feet up and watching TV.

10 Ways to Earn Cash With InboxDollars

These 10 ways to earning actions are listed in order  from what I consider  simplest and least time consuming to actions that you might not do daily or are more time consuming.

1. Sign up

Sign up for an account through this link in blue, and start off your account with $5.

2. Paid Emails

Each day click through the paid emails either on the site directly or through your email box or through the InboxDollars App.  and earn .02 cents per email. On average I get 1 to 3 emails paid emails a day. Doing this point action takes just seconds per email and is such a no brain cells required action.

3.  Use The InboxDollars Toolbar

You earn .01 cent for every 2 qualified search through the InboxDollars toolbar to the maximum of .15 cents per day.  You can download the toolbar for easy access  and earn but  you can also access the tool bar at the top of the InboxDollar’s home page or use the search feature in the app. When you use the toolbar 4 days in a row during  one calendar  week  you get a .05 cent bonus.

4. Radio Loyalty

This is another easy section to earn points. Simply click through to radio loyalty using the “more” tab found on the InboxDollars home page. Scroll down to radio and click on it, then click through to Radio Loyalty, pick a station you like and listen to it in one tab while you work on your computer in another. Set a timer to 10 minutes and whenever it goes off click on over to Radio Loyalty and enter the code you are given. For every 10 minutes you listen and enter the code for you get .01 cents. I couldn’t find a limit on this so this could add up depending on how many hours you spend on your computer daily.

5. Deals

Under the “deals” tab on the homepage for InboxDollars you will find the words “Groupon” and “Coupon”. InboxDollars gives you 8% cash back on any Groupon purchased through their website, and .10 cents for any coupon that you print from their website and redeem.

6. Shopping

If you shop online you might as well earn cash back. Click the “more” tab on the Inbox Dollars home page and scroll down to the word “shopping” click on it and see if where you want to make your purchase is one of the 34 online shops available. What you receive in cash back varies from store to store. For instance when I checked the Shopping area during writing this you got 2% back for Walmart and 3% back for Kohls.

7. Refer Friends

Once you have used InboxDollars for a while and decide you like it, why not share it with your friends through a referral link provided by InboxDollars under the “refer friends ” tab. If they sign up you get 10% of their qualified earnings for as long as they remain in the program.

8. Videos

The video section of InboxDollars requires you to pay attention somewhat as you often have to answer questions. Which is why it is low on my list of simple ways to earn with InboxDollars. However not all videos require this, you just have to check out what is available at the time. Look for the word “social vibe” those are the ones you have to interact with.

9. Offers

When I looked at the offers area to write this post there were currently 134 offers.  I found most of the offers to be mostly valid, with only a few spamy ones mixed in. They varied in value from .25 cents to $10. Some of the offers I saw included points for first time purchase at Vista print, or for signing up for various survey companies, and sign ups for email newsletters from various companies.

10. Surveys

I am not a huge fan of Surveys as they often are time consuming and usually  low paying. However, they can often be multi-tasked. I have met several women who love doing them while cuddling up next to their hubby who is watching sports. It is a way to cuddle and earn at the same time.

If you have tried Inbox Dollars what is your favorite way to earn points using their program?

Not an InboxDollars member? Sign Up and start earning.

A list of 17+ point progmas that will help your increase your income.

 Sure using InboxDollars is not going to make you rich. But when you work a few point programs together each month it is possible to earn enough to pay bill or two each and every month by just doing the simple point earning actions in several programs either daily or a few days a week.

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4 Of My Families Favorite Bread Machine Recipes

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Considering I have been talking about my trim healthy mama eating the last two days today’s post seems kind of  ironic, since you don’t eat much bread at all on THM. However, my family isn’t eating THM just me and we all love our bread machine recipes so much that I doubt even I could give them up entirely , say hello to an occasional cheat meal of bread machine pizza.

4 of my families favorite bread machine recipes

We have been using our bread machines (yes we have 2)  regularly now for  over 8 years. In that time we have tried out a lot of different recipes some we have loved and those are on my Bread Machine Tips board, others we tossed completely and those that I am talking about today are the ones we tweaked to make our own.

4 Bread Machine Recipes My Family Loves

bread machine stuffed pizza bread (medium)

1. Bread Machine Stuffed Pizza Bread

Bread Machine Stuffed Pizza Bread were simple pizza pockets but they took to long to roll out so I made one long loaf out of it one day and renamed the recipe. The possibilities are endless with these, you can do just peperoni and cheese, or chicken with cheese and broccoli, or use up whatever odds and ends you have in your fridge and create your own pocket.

Jack's Bread Bread Machine White Bread (medium)2. Jack’s Bread: Bread Machine White Bread

Jack’s bread is a favorite with a bowl of crock pot beef stew around our house. It of course is served warm and smothered in butter.

bread machine pizza3. Bread Machine Pizza Dough

My husband makes amazing pizza using our recipe for bread machine pizza dough. He is always playing around with the toppings. Recently I treated him to a cast iron pizza pan from Zulily. I didn’t think his pizza could get better, but that cast iron pan made the crust even more amazing.

bread machine hamburger buns (medium)

4. Bread Machine Hamburger Buns

These Bread Machine Hamburger Buns are a favorite of my middle child. After perfecting the recipe, I just can’t handle store bought rolls anymore. They are also good for sandwiches.

For more bread machine recipes follow my Bread Machine Recipes board on Pinterest.

popular posts bread-machine-recipes-and-tipsFor a complete listing of all our favorite bread machine recipes around the web and on the blog check out my Bread Machine Recipe & Tips page.

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Tuesday Links: Trim Healthy Mama Pinterest Boards

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Tuesday links 30 or so link to articles on one topic for you to explore, learn, and apply to your lifeI mentioned yesterday that  I am trying out the Trim Healthy Mama way of eating. I also mentioned that the book is just over 600 pages long. I confess I haven’t read it all yet. In fact I started the program without having the book in hand first (a very generous friend bought me a copy when she found out I didn’t have one yet) .

I got started by using Pinterest. Thanks to a few good pinterest boards on THM (Trim Healthy Mama) I was able to figure out enough to get going on the THM way of eating, and of course I started my own Trim Healthy Mama board to keep my findings all in one spot.

Here are 3 Trim Healthy Mama boards I have found useful for instruction and meal ideas so far.

Yes this week I am sharing boards instead of article links, I figured this way those of you interested in THM could have a bigger resource to explore.

1. A Trim Healthy Mama Board (group board with several pinners).

2. Trim Healthy Mama (THM) recipes and more. (over 2000 pins on this one)

3. Cooking -Trim Healthy Mama (group board with over 500 pins)

Happy pinning! Learning and applying!

Not Reaching Your Goals? Try Something New

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I have been trying something new for the past week or so. I am not quite sure if  this new habit will be a life change or not but I won’t know that until I at least give it an “all I got to give” try.

When your goals stall it might be time to try something new

What is my something new? I am trying the Trim Healthy Mama way of eating.

I have a few friends who are losing weight and feeling great eating  the Trim Healthy Mama way . We are not just talking about a pound or two either. One friend has lost over 10 pounds and her husband has lost close to 30, and they have only been on the eating plan for the last few months.

As you might know one of my goals for 2014 was to lose the 10 pounds. I lost a few of those 10 pounds over and over but they keep coming right back. My normal eat less, exercise more is not working for me so well this time around.

It might be my age. I did turn 40 this year and every women out there has been telling me for years “just wait until you turn 40, after that weight loss in next to impossible” . It might be the few health problems I have going on right now. It might be that my stage of life has changed and I spend as much time sitting either writing or driving some child somewhere as I once did painting walls and doing grunt work on renovation houses. Obviously painting walls burns more calories than writing.

Whatever it is those same few pounds keep coming off and then coming back on again, all year long. It is time to try something new.

Right now I have to admit, I find the Trim Healthy Mama way of eating a bit overwhelming. It is 600 pages of information to take in. I haven’t come close to reading it all yet. From what I read so far, I like a lot of it, but honestly I don’t agree with some of it . I will be doing a modified THM plan, to better suit some of my health problems.

However, what I was doing wasn’t working at all and unless I want to continue not reaching my goal to get back to what I consider my healthy weight I needed to try something new altered plan or not.

.If you are not reaching your goal, it might be time to try something new

 What is the goal you are not reaching? Perhaps it is time try a new way to reach it

If you are not reaching your goal it might not be that the goal is too hard, or impossible, it might be that you need to approach achieving it in a new way.

It doesn’t matter if your goal isn’t weight loss, try something new, can be applied to any goal you are trying to reach.

Having problems reaching your goal of getting up before the family? Try something new. Perhaps that might mean placing your alarm clock on the other end of the bedroom so you have to get out of bed to turn it off.

Having problems reaching your goal of exercising 4 times a week? Try something new.  It might be you are so bored of your current exercise routine you need to shake it up and try a new class, or perhaps the time slot you set for exercising needs to be changed so it works better with your daily energy rhythms.

I want to encourage you this week to take a look at the goals you set for 2014. Which ones have you not reached yet? It is not too late to reach them. Come up with a plan to try a new approach to reaching them. Try something new.

Wanting help to reach your goals? Follow the Goal Setting & Time Management tips board on Pinterest.

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