10 Of My Favorite Christian Workout Songs & 7 Ways To Save Money On Them

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I love to listen to music when I run. My favorite workout songs are Christian. Now I know some of you may be imagining me running to classic hymns from the 1800′s and thinking, how in the world do you run to that. Well, I don’t run to hymns, Christian music comes in as many different genres as there are people. Everything from hip hop to rap to heavy metal all using words that praise our creator.

10 of my favorite christian workout songs and 7 ways to save money on music for your workout

 

I prefer a mix of songs, some with a fast beat for short fast runs, and some with a slower beat for long runs, or runs where I just don’t care about the time. One thing all my songs must have though are words that I understand and love.

10 Of My Favorite Workout Songs

1.  Toby Mac: Eye on it (on the album Eye On It)

2. Skillet: It’s Not Me It’s You (on the album Awake)

3.Mandisa: Overcomer (on the album Overcomer)

4. Group 1 Crew: His Kind of Love (on the album Fearless)

5. Big Daddy Weave: Love Come To Life (on the album Love Come To Life)

6.Britt Nicole: Gold  (on the album Gold)

7. Third Day: Run To You (on the album Revelation)

8. Francesca Battistelli: So Long (on the album Hundred More Years)

9. Steven Curtis Chapman: Love Take Me Over (on the album The Glorious Unfolding)

10. Sidewalk Prophets:  Nothings Going To Stop Us (on the album Live Like That)

7 Ways to Save Money On Your Music Collection

1. Find Stores with Awesome sales

I love Family Christian stores for their amazing sales of CD’s. Yes our family still buys actual CD’s. My SUV has a 6 CD player and no hook up for an MP3 player. We also have several CD players in the house and my favorite way to listen to music while running  is a Sansa clip so I can easily rip CD’s to my computer and place them on my Sansa.

If you love CD’s too chances are their might be a store near you selling CD’s for less than you might think.

2. Wait until the CD is older

A favorite song for me doesn’t has to be the newest and latest. I like songs both new and old.Albums drop in price fairly quickly.

I get $5 CD’s from Family Christian all the time that are 2 or so years old but still very current.

3.  Almost always buy albums instead of singles

A whole album is usually less money than purchasing the same amount of  singles, however sometimes I do stray from this rule. Sometimes there is  just one song or two songs I like on an album, in that case it is cheaper to buy the singles.

4. Look for discounted gift cards to your favorite places to buy  them

Cardpool sells discounted iTunes cards, as well as discounted cards to other various stores that sell music CD’s.

5. Search Yard Sales

Every yard sale season I find at least a small handful of CD’s of music I can add to my MP3 player. Most are pretty old, but they still get my body and soul moving.

6. Keep your eyes peeled for free music download credits

Money Saving Mom lists free credit codes to Amazon whenever they pop up.

7. Join Point & Rebate Programs & Cash Them in For Gift Cards

These programs all have either Amazon or iTunes cards in their reward centers. Here is a tutorial I wrote on ibotta to help you use the app. You might also want to check out this plan for maximizing your Swagbucks so that you can make the most of your Swagbucks account for filling your music collection.

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

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The Best Time Management Tip I Have Ever Learned

The best time management tip I have ever learned I am really still in the process of learning. Oh I know it, I just don’t apply it as often as I should.

the best time management tip I have ever learned

 What is the best time management tip?

Stop trying to be a ” Jack of All Trades A Master Of None”.

According to Wikipedia ” ‘Jack of all trades, master of none’ is a figure of speech used in reference to a person that is competent with many skills, but is not necessarily outstanding in any particular one”.

The phrase “Jack of all trades” was actually at one time considered a positive one, but after the “master of none” was added it soon become a negative one.

I think the reason why was because in our modern world there are just so many more skills that we could develop. In our current day we simply cannot become competent in all the areas that effect our lives.

When the phrase was created, there were no computers, no electricity, no indoor plumping, no cars , no internet, no coupons, and on and on and on. There are simple too many areas in our life to become competent in so we must instead choose those we will become masters of.

Being a master (or expert) in an skill takes time. Time researching ,time practicing, time doing.

We are all given the same 24 hours a day 7 days a week, not an hour more not an hour less. When we spend our time trying to do everything, we don’t have time to polish up and let our God given talents shine.

Yes you have talents. I know what it feels like to wonder am a I really talented in anything. I have just one single top of the class reward in my 40 years of life and it is in……wood working (grade 10). Not exactly a talent I use today.

It took me a long time to get beyond that voice in my head that says “I am not number one in that so I guess I am not really talented?”. Guess what talent doesn’t mean that you come in first, talent means that it brings you joy, makes you come alive, and your love of it makes you want to improve in it. Your zeal for the skill  enriches not just you but those around you.

I use to think “I am not an Olympian so I really don’t have talent to run”. True but I do have talent to inspire others to try. Talent to teach my children how. Talent to run marathons and use that time to pray and grow closer to God. Talent enough to run with a friend almost every Saturday who keeps me grounded and encourages me to try harder in other areas of life.

What areas of your life make you come alive? Those things are your areas of talent.

Make time for those things, and  stop trying to be an expert at the rest. Now this doesn’t mean that you stop cleaning your house all together because it doesn’t bring you joy to try out new methods of cleaning. There are some things that we just have to do anyways whether we are talented  in them or not.

But it does mean if that area of your life that brings you passion should cause you to flourish financially, don’t think twice about spending money on a housekeeper so you have more time to develop your talent.

It does mean that you can stop stressing out about not having a home that looks like it jumped out of the pages of Better Homes & Gardens and instead you can concentrate on how to streamline the housework so that it gets done to a livable standard, and you define that standard, not the super talented housekeeper next door who cleans her ceiling fans once a week.

(And yes I realize some people actually LOVE housekeeping so if that is you switch out the words about housekeeping in the last 3 paragraphs and put in something you loathe doing)

Set priorities for your time, and those areas that bring you passion, those are the ones that get the most time.

When you do that, trust me the passion will have an oozing effect and soon all those areas you hate to do but can’t delegate (and please delegate all you can) start to get done with less effort and more energy as you know that they don’t have to be done perfectly they just have to been done good enough so that you can get back to working on your passion(s).

So instead of being a Jack of all trades, master of none, become a master of all your talents and delegate and streamline  the rest. When you do, you will discover the passion to enjoy all.

Linked to WFMW, WHW, Wednesday Homemaking Link Up, The Mommy Club,

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3 Snail Paced Goals For The Week: April 14 to 21

(Post includes affiliate links see disclosure)3 snail paced goals for the week

Last weeks goals

View last weeks goals in full here…

1. I got to bed on time and up on time all this week.

2. I mended my daughters Big Joe chair.

3. I sent out the piece of mail.

This weeks goals

1. Fill up and send out a bag of clothes to ThredUp.

2.  Get one extra post done for the blog. I like being a full two weeks ahead (with the exception of my goal posts) so that I can take a Saturday off blogging now and again and not scramble to get posts written during the week.

4.  Help my eldest son complete a few tasks on his to do list.

A picture from our week

All week long I share photos on Instagram so be sure to follow me there.

bare armThat is a picture of my bare arm. Finally for the first time in 2014 I was able to run in a t-shirt and capris.

A post to check out

6 ways big batch cooking in changing my life (small)A few months ago, I started cooking 3 casseroles, soups or stews most Sunday afternoons and it is changing my life.

Books I read this week

I made it my goal to read 1 book a week this year.

I finished: How She Does It and Inspiration To Pay Off Debt

I am currently reading

1. In real paperback form: Longing and Loving (both found at my local library)

2. On my  Kindle Paperwhite: Reclaiming Lily

3. On my Kindle App: Plan to Be Flexible

A deal for the week

Need a gift for an upcoming wedding? Right now ibotta is offering a $5 rebate on any variety of Corelle 16 piece sets. You can pick from various stores to purchase. Not familiar with ibotta? check out my step by step ibotta guide.

3 Things I tossed this week.

Inspired by The Clutter Busting Challenge I decided to toss, sell or give away three things each week and post a picture of it here for accountability.

I tossed 3 nightgowns I don’t wear anymore. No picture since…well…I didn’t think you needed to see my bed clothes!

Need some goal setting inspiration and know how? Follow the Goal Setting & Time Management Tips Board on Pinterest.

 Linked to 6 Goals For This Week at Money Saving Mom

Disciplined Life (150)Want to become better at setting realistic goals and breaking them down into manageable pieces? I recommend Crystal Paine’s ebook 21 Days To A More Disciplined Life.

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101 Blogs Thrifty People Read

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Thrifty people love finding ways to become even thriftier. One of our favorite sources of thrift information is blogs. Blog reading is free. What can be thriftier than that?

101 blogs thrifty people read

101 blogs thrifty people read

Please note these blogs are in no particular ranking order. I just listed them as I thought of them, or found them on the internet . This list is also not a complete guide to thrifty blogs, just the tip of the iceberg. If you have a thrifty blog and it is not on the list make so to leave a comment below with a link to your blog so readers can check it out.

All the blogs on this list offer unique ideas on thrifty living. Some blogs focus on thrifty living tips, some focus on coupons and deals, some focus on freebies, some focus on inexpensive recipes, some focus on money management,  some of them talk about thrifty one day and other things another, but all of them can help a person who desires to live a thriftier lifestyle.

1. Money Saving Mom

2. Living Well Spending Less

3. Surviving The Stores

4. Free Homeschool Deals

5. The Frugal Girl

6. The Queen Of Free

7.  Northern Cheapskate

8. Earning And Saving With Sarah Fuller

9. Living Richly On A Budget

10. Adventures in Coupons

11. Pays 2 Save

12.  Little House Living

13. Savings Lifestyle

14. Stretching A Buck

15. Six Figures Under

16. Fun Cheap Or Free

17. Thrifty T’s Treasures

18. The Frugal Girls

19. Premeditated Leftovers

20. The Greenbacks Gal

21. Frugal Living Mom

22. Creative Savings

23. A Life In Balance

24. Don’t Waste The Crumbs

25. Simply Rebekah

26. The Peaceful Mom

27. My Frugal Adventures

28. Frugally Sustainable

29. The Prudent Patron

30. Frugal Coupon Living

31. Stockpiling Moms

32. Freebies 4 Mom

33. Squawk fox

34. And Then We Saved

35. The Simple Dollar

36. Wise Bread

37. Motherhood On A Dime

38. Living A Frugal Life

39.  All About The Mommies

40. Meet Penny

41. Frugal Family Home

42. Saving The Family Money

43. Cleverly Simple

44. I Am That Lady

45. The Non-Consumer Advocate

46. Frugal Mama

47. Penniless Parenting

48. Baby Savers

49. Frugality Gal

50. Thrifty Little Mom

51. Sarah Titus

52. Live Like You Are Rich

53. Family Balance Sheet (org)

54. Saving The Family Money

55. Frugal Homeschool Family

56. The Broke Mom

57. Tips & Treasure

58. Frugalful

59. Femme Frugality

60. The Lady Prefers To Save

61. From Foreclosure 2 Frugal

62. Mom Advice

63. Mission To Save

64. A Mitten Full Of Savings

65. Pays 2 Save

66. Living A Frugal Life

67. A Thriftier In Disguise

68. Natural and Thrifty

69. The Centsible Life

70. The Frugal Farmer

71. Moms Need To Know

72. Penny Pinching Mom

73. The Coupon High

74. Thrifty Jinx

75. Queen Bee Coupons

76. Get Rich Slowly

77. Go Gingham

78. The Frugalista

79. The Broke & Beautiful Life

80. Broke Girl Rich

81. Girl Meets Debt

82. L Bee And The Money Tree

83. 4 Hats And Frugal

84. Thrifty Dad

85. Money Bulldog

86. Frugal Rules

87. Christian Personal Finance

88. Passionate Penny Pincher

89. Faithful Provisions

90. $5 Dinners

91. Freebie Finding Mom

92. Freely Educate

93. Frugal Portland

94. Good Cheap Eats

95. Pocket Change Gourmet

96. Freebie Shark

97. The Freebie Blogger

98. Coupon Cravings

99. Moms by Heart

100. Cha-Ching on a Shoestring

101. Passion For Savings

I hope you enjoy exploring the blogs on this list and that you gather tips that will help you live thriftier as read them.

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

Linked to List It Tuesday,

If you prefer to gather your tips by reading books, The Tightwad Gazette is a wealth of Thrifty Living Knowledge. From saving money on groceries, to cooking frugally to finding time to work on thrifty projects The Tightwad Gazette has it!

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Step By Step ibotta Guide

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I have just recently started using the ibotta app and I must say I really like it. My only disappointment with it is that I downloaded it months ago and only got around to using it in the last month. I could have been saving so much more money…or really earning.. since ibotta is a coupon app that pays you using it.

At $2 of redeemed offers you can cash out for a Redbox movie rental. For $5 of redeemed  offers you can cash out for either a $5 Starbucks card, or have $5 transferred to your Paypal account or Venmo account. For $10 worth of redeemed offers you can cash out for either a $10 Regal Entertainment Group gift card or a $10 iTunes gift card.

a step by step guide on how to use ibotta

How To Use Your Ibotta Account

I want to make it clear first that you don’t need a smartphone to use ibotta. You just need a device that you can download the app to and that has a camera that the app can access. I use my iPod.

1. To start your account with $2 click through link and sign up online

Ibotta offers a great sign up bonus, you get $2 if you sign up through a referral link (those words in blue contain mine) . To get your  two dollars  you have to click through a referral link online and sign up for the app right there. After you sign up then you can download the app. Once you have the app downloaded you have 10 days to redeem an offer. You must redeem an offer within 10 days of signing up to receive the $2 bonus.

how to use the ibbota app

This is what your rebate screen should look like. It should show you all the areas you can pick your rebates from.

2. Pick what type of rebate you want

At the bottom of the app screen you will see a lock sign with the words rebates underneath there you can choose what sort of rebate you want to use.

What I love about the ibotta app is that the rebates are not just for food, they are also for movie tickets, restaurants and electronics. For this tutorial I pressed the “Movie Theaters” tab.

pick the store3. Pick the Store/ Restaurant/ Movie theater in your area

There are currently 12 different grocery stores, 1 electronics store, 3 restaurants, 1 health and beauty store, 1 pet store, 1 home improvement store, 2 children’s stores, and 3 different movie theater chains you can pick from.

For this tutorial I picked the “AMC Box Office” tab since that is the movie theater in our town.

pick the product4. Pick the item you want a rebate for

Some weeks there is nothing I want to do a rebate for but the selection changes often so I look before I do my weekly shopping. Just recently my son was going to the movie Captain America with his friends so I picked out that rebate.

complete all tasks

5. After you pick an item you want a rebate on complete the tasks

Once you are on the rebate screen for a particular item you will see circles underneath the item full of various tasks with pink boxes with a lock sign underneath and a price listed beside it. Press on these and do the tasks. This will unlock the rebate so that you can claim it after you purchase the item.

6. Go and purchase the item

Now you can head to the store you picked, or restaurant or movie theater, and purchase the item(s)  that you picked to receive a rebate on. Make sure to keep the receipt so that you can claim your rebate.

verify items7. Verify your rebate

This is a simple process. Click on the redeem circle with a check mark in it found at the bottom of the screen. Your rebate should be there waiting for you to verify. Press verify and once you have doubled checked that you did in fact buy a qualifying item click on the verify circle.

follow the instructions of how to take the photo8. Take photo of your receipt and submit

Once you verify your purchase the submit photo box will become available to use. Press on it and follow the instructions. For a movie stub it was easy, I just had to take one photo. For a grocery purchase you may have to take several photos of the receipt starting at the beginning and going until the end, making sure you get all lines of the receipt.

wait for your rebate

9. Wait up to 24 hours to receive your rebate

Sometimes I have waited hours for a rebate other  times I have just waited minutes, but the ibotta app clearly states it could take up to 24 hours to receive a rebate.

10. Repeat

Repeat the process again and again and watch your rewards pile up. Cash out begins at $2 for a redbox code, but considering a Redbox DVD is less than $2 I would suggest saving up until you have at least $5 in rebates.

cash out11. Cash Your Rebates in for cash

As I mentioned before ibotta offers a few options for payment, you can get a deposit straight into your Paypal or venmo account, or you could choose a gift card for Starbucks, Regal Entertainment Group, Redbox Movie rental or iTunes.

Sure you won’t be able to pay your bills with ibotta, but you will be able to use a device you already own to earn a bit more cash, and small streams can add up.

Looking for more money saving tips, or money earning ones? Follow my Saving Money Tips board and my Selling & Earning Tips board on Pinterest.

Linked to Fabulously Frugal Thursday

a step by step guide on how to use ibotta (smallest)Not an ibotta member yet? Use this link to sign up (or any of the ones above)  and redeem at least one rebate within 10 days and you will receive a $2 bonus (offer may change at any time)

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Words: Keep Writing Them

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Lately I have been saddened by all the examples of internet trolls that are attacking my fellow bloggers, leaving them feeling pretty beat up.

words keep writing themThis saddens me, to my very core. Why do trolls get so much power. Power to create a wound and leave a scar. Power to even in some cases silence the voice of some of my favorite bloggers.

I know trolls don’t listen.What I want to say to them won’t change their minds, unless they change their hearts, and changing hearts is not a business I am in. God tends to be way better at that than I am.

So this post is for those of you that have been harmed.

Bloggers I am so sorry about the trolls. I think you add great value to the internet.

Those Youtube videos that people say they hate, I love them. They allow me to get to know you to such a greater depth than I ever could through the words of a blog post.

That post you wrote, where you shared your motherhood woes caused me to weep tears of understanding. How dare that troll  say you are a horrible mother, YOU ARE NOT. You are human and exposing that side of you encouraged me to also get out of my pit and try again with my own kids.

Yes, you did spell a word in your title wrong, but you know what, it made me feel so good, because it made me realize even those with more experience and bigger audiences than me still make mistakes. MISTAKES ARE HUMAN. I am sorry the troll didn’t just simply point out your error and leave it at that.

Bloggers, I love you. You inspire me daily to be a better wife, mother, friend and blogger. I know how much time and effort goes into each blog post and I thank you for sharing the information with me.

Without you bloggers, my home would be messier, my finances would be tighter, my food would be plain, and my inspiration would certainly be at an all time low.

 Bloggers, keep pressing publish, keep sharing your ideas, keep being the wonderful unique creations that you are because you are loved.

Yes the trolls are loud, but bloggers realize this; often those who are inspired by your writing are the quietest because they are busy doing what you inspired them to try. You have not failed, you are succeeding.

Needed a writing boost. I was so inspired by the words of Jeff Goins in You Are A Writer. This ebook helped me go from “I would like to write” to “I write”. 

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6 Ways Batch Cooking Is Changing My Life

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I have been spending my Sunday afternoons batch cooking and it is changing my life.  I know that sounds pretty drastic but it is true.

6 ways big batch cooking is changing my life

6 Ways Batch Cooking Is Changing My Life

1. It is helping my marriage

My husband currently works straight through lunch and dinner. He had this idea when he took his new position that he could come home at 7:30 and just eat our leftovers. Here was the problem with that plan.

There are no leftovers! Since my children are older I often get them to make themselves a simple dinner while I do more blogging work, then I either eat what they made, or since I am trying to lose a few pounds I make a salad or low calorie soup and join them.

None of these meals have leftovers, especially since I now have 2 teenage boys. These simple meals are also the type that really don’t reheat well.

Needless to say my husband was getting frustrated with the lack of food to reheat. His solution was to grab burgers and fries on the way home, or make himself eggs and toast and grumble about it…..which leads to point two of how batch cooking is changing my life.

2. It saves my family money

The hamburgers and fries on the way home was really eating up into my husband personal funds (yes we both have personal money but that is another blog post).

I was  also still buying food for big meals like I use to when my husband was home at least 4 nights a week for dinner (he is now home just 2). When he is home I make things he likes because I know it makes him happy and I like seeing him enjoy it. This food  was siting unused in our cupboards and freezer and therefore wasting us more money.

3. It allows me to cook stress free

Cooking dinner after a long week day stresses me out. I am tired after a long day and so are the kids. There are evening activities we need to get to. I have blogging work I have put aside during homeschooling hours I want to get to.  The kids are in the kitchen trying to do their chores.

Sunday afternoons however, no one is going anywhere. I normally cook after my Sunday afternoon nap, so I am well rested. No kids need to get chores done so I can have the kitchen to myself.

Truth is I love to cook, I just don’t like doing it under pressure. When I cook all the week’s meals in one afternoon I completely eliminate dinner time pressure all week long.

4. It is providing me with a great time of learning

I spend my time in the kitchen with my  Jawbone jambox and my iPod and I listen to Podcasts about blogging. By the time the two hours of cooking is done, I have enough food for my husband for the week, enough bake goods for the whole family for the week and I have gained knowledge of how to be better at blogging.

5. I manage to cook my way out of a job freeing up more time.

If I cook 3 big family sized meals for my husband  for the week I can usually freeze at least one serving of each casserole, chili, or stew . Freezing just one portion of each meal allows me to take a week off a month and doing something else I enjoy.

I also have gained time  once spent weekdays making dinner which has allowed me to take a kick fit class 2 late afternoons a week during a time I would have spent cooking.

6. It is helping my children learn to be independent

My children are currently 11, 13 and 18 and that means they are all old enough to learn how to cook. By having the more complicated dishes out of the way for the week, I have been able to teach them how to make basic simple food for themselves.

Yes they could join dad in eating leftovers all week long, but I normally make him casseroles and stews, since these reheat well, where as my children like “unmixed” food. Meat, veggie and potatoes, more like what I grew up with, so I am happy to show them how to cook that way.

Each month  I pick a child to learn a different recipe and the child and I make it each week for a month so that by the end of the month they can do it all by themselves.

Slowly I am working myself out of a job and that is the point. I want my children to leave our home knowing how to care for a home, themselves, their spouse, their children and others.

A few things I want to make clear

I know it might seem like I am making myself be a short ordered cook, and in a way I guess I am, but please know that Sunday night the family all has to sample at least a bite or two of ALL the food I have made for my husband for the week and then pick their favorite and eat it that night for dinner.

Also know this works for our family and our different dietary needs, which I will spare you the details of.

I should also make it clear that we do still eat dinner as a family as often as possible. If my husband does happen to make it home by dinner hour I have a list of quick and simple meals that the WHOLE family likes made from ingredients we normally have on hand that I can whip up.

On my husband days off (except Sunday)  he cooks for the family so that I can work longer and he makes a family friendly meal like his yummy bread machine pizza.

Do you batch cook? How does it help your family?

Linked to WFMW, WHW, Wednesday Homemaking, The Mommy Club, One Project at A Time, Titus 2sday, Share Your Stuff,

My favorite containers to divide up and store the casseroles and other dishes I make for my husband are these BPA free plastic containers by either Glad or Ziploc. I always keep my eye out during after Christmas sales for holiday themed ones often getting them for less than a dollar for a pack of 4 to 6 containers. 

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3 Snail Paced Goals For The Week: April 7 to 13

(post contains affiliate links see disclosure) 3 snail paced goals for the week

 

Last weeks goals

1. I did see the bottom of the laundry day pile by mid week and I have kept it up all week long. I know it won’t last forever but for now I am feeling pretty empowered by going to bed each night without huge mounds of laundry waiting for me.

2.  I did mend my daughters pants. I  love my Janome New Home sewing machine (newer model than mine shown in link), I can’t get over how much difference it makes to sew on a good quality machine verse the inexpensive $99 base model of another brand I use to own.

3. I did not get to bed by 9 nor up by 6. I caught a cold that had me so congested I could barely breathe and I am on medications that conflict with cold medicine, needless to say I had trouble sleeping. However, I am getting closer to being all caught up on past seasons of 19 Kids and Counting, since they were my friends those hours I couldn’t sleep.

This weeks goals

1. I am finally able to breathe easy at night so I am going to aim to be in bed by 9:30 with lights out by 10:30  and up at 6:30 this week, to give myself time to ween off the late nights the cold got me use to.

2. Mend the hole in my daughters beloved Big Joe chair. I think the dogs nails got caught in the seam and ripped it open a bit (mental note get dog in for nail clipping).

3. Send out a piece of mail that got some how buried and now has been found again, thankfully it wasn’t anything time sensitive.

A picture from our week

All week long I share photos on Instagram so be sure to follow me there.

hand cleaning couchThat is my hand cleaning out the cracks of the leather couch that sits along the wall where the open stair well of our house is located. These cracks constantly get filled with dog hair, I swear the dog must shake out as many hairs as it can as it rushes down the stairs. Inspired by Rebekah of Simply Rebakah Just Clean Something series, I grabbed a rag and cleaned out the cracks this week.

Also thanks to Rebekah’s series I now have a cleaned out bathroom cabinet. All week long when I find myself with just 5 minutes to spare before I need to go on to another task I hear Rebekah’s voice in my head saying “just clean something”. Which is odd because I haven’t ever meet Rebekah in person, so I really don’t know what her voice sounds like yet but I am sure it is Rebekah’s.

A post to check out

step by step grocery shopping with a thrifty person (small)Ever wondered just a thrifty person approaches grocery shopping? Well here is you chance: Step By Step Grocery Shopping With A Thrifty Person.

Books I read this week

I made it my goal to read 1 book a week this year.

I finished: The Listener (psst… got this through paperbackswap)

1. In real paperback form

Good Hope Road (psst….got this from paperbackswap too)

2. On my  Kindle Paperwhite

How She Does It (found it free in Money Saving Mom’s weekday listing of free ebooks)

3. On my Kindle App

Inspiration To Pay Off Debt  I didn’t get further on this ebook simply because I normally read from my kindle app while I am out and waiting in line or for an appointment to begin but with my cold I have been home all week.

A deal for the week

captain america

Did you know that the ibotta app can save you money on movies? My son went to see Captain America with some friends this weekend and I was able to get a $1 rebate back on his ticket. If you have yet to sign up for ibotta you can start your account with a $2 rebate bonus when you sign up through these links to ibotta  first and then download the app and complete one rebate withing 10 days of signing up.

3 Things I tossed this week.

Inspired by The Clutter Busting Challenge I decided to toss, sell or give away three things each week and post a picture of it here for accountability.

barbie stuff I told my daughter to go through her room and place the toys she no longer wanted in the hallway. As you can see she is giving away her entire collection of Barbies, which equals way more than three items. This marks and end of a parenting era for me, toys are on their way out being replaced by iPods and nailpolish, but at least the Duplo and Lego still stayed.

I sold these in under 5 minutes using my favorite way to sell items we no longer want or need.

Need some goal setting inspiration and know how? Follow the Goal Setting & Time Management Tips Board on Pinterest.

Linked to 10 Goals For This Week At Money Saving Mom 

Disciplined Life (150)Want to become better at setting realistic goals and breaking them down into manageable pieces? I recommend Crystal Paine’s ebook 21 Days To A More Disciplined Life.

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Step by Step Grocery Shopping With A Thrifty Person

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Grocery shopping for a thrifty person begins before the grocery store and ends well beyond it. In fact the actually “in the store purchasing part” is the quickest part.

step by step grocery shopping with a thrifty person

 Step by Step Grocery Shopping With A Thrifty Person

Weekly

1.Grab a piece of paper and write down the words lunch and dinner and the numbers 1 to 7 under each one: I go into how I write my simple menu in more detail in this post, but essentially that is all it is 7 meal ideas for lunch and 7 for dinner.

2. Look in the cupboards and see what you have left and try to think of what meals you could make with it: For instance if you have tuna, mac and cheese, and half bag of frozen peas, you have the makings of a tuna casserole. Write tuna casserole down as a meal idea for dinner. Repeat this process until you run out of meals you can make with what you have on hand. Then start listing what you need to buy to fill out the menu. Perhaps you have spaghetti noodles and hamburger but need the sauce so that you can have a spaghetti dinner.

3. Now that you have the starting of a list and a menu go through the cupboards again: This time mark down what staples you are running low on like milk, butter, eggs and flour. You might be able to do this during step 2 but my brain can’t seem to think about meals and staples at the same time so I do it separately.

4. Find out what is on sale and add it to your list: With the list of what you need on hand it is time to see what is on sale. I visit websites of the stores I frequent and note if any items I need are on sale, I also note items that are on sale that we don’t need now but use all the time. This allows me to pick the items up at rock bottom prices.

5.  Fill up store cards with coupons: I do a lot of my shopping at Meijer and use their Mperks program to save more money than just shopping sales. I load my card before I leave for grocery shopping. The card is digital and accessed by punching in my number at the check out.

6. Check the coupon data base at Money Saving Mom for printable coupons: With my list of needs and sale items I plan to stock up on in hand I then cruise on over to the Money Saving Mom coupon data base and punch in my items to see if I can find any printable coupons for them.

7. Check to see if ibotta has any offers I can do: I just started recently using ibotta, and am still getting the hang of it but ibotta is already turning out to be a great way to earn cash back or gift cards for purchasing items already on my grocery list anyways. Just this week I saved .50 cents on milk.  (sign up through my link to the ibotta website and then download the app. and you will earn a $2 credit to kick start your cash back fun! The credit will appear after you redeem you first rebate. Please note you must redeem an offer within 10 days to receive your $2 credit )

8. Check to see if I have any coupons for what I am buying in my coupon collection. I have a very small coupon collection  made up of coupons I find in stores, emails, magazines, and other sources.   I gather  the ones I will be using that day with the ones  these with what I printed off that day from the coupon data base (point 4) and put the all in the front of my coupon organizer.

9. Break  list into 3 to 4 stores: I keep a price book and by doing this I know where it is cheapest to get items on my list. Shopping at 3 to 4 stores in my area works well because they are all on the same road and all within minutes of each other. Your town may not be set up like mine and you may prefer hitting a different store each week that has the best sales.

10. Scan the store for clearance items and unadvertised sales as you shop: This is the tip I use to shop for most of the meat my family eats. I look for mark down stickers and stock up and freeze it in meal friendly portions and then plan our future meals with what I bought this week.

11. Watch the screen as my items ring up: I estimate I save us at least a few dollars a month by watching the screen for errors as it scans and checking my receipt over quickly before I leave the store.  A few dollars might no seem like much to some but when added up over time it makes a significant difference.

12. Cut up fresh foods intended for snacks and place in area they will be seen an eaten: Once I get home and get the food away, I take the  time to cut up cheese blocks into bite size pieces, so it doesn’t get pushed into the back of the fridge to mold. I cut up fruits like cantalope, watermelon, and pineapple into bite size pieces so that the kids can help themselves to it before it perishes. By preparing our perishables right away for eating, I save money by reducing our food waste.

13. File away catalinas: Miejer prints out catilina coupons with most orders and I like to go through them and file those I will use and toss those I won’t once I am home.

Once every other month or so

14. Stock up on lower price items in other towns: Every other month or so I find myself in a larger center for some type of errand, while I am there I take the time to visit other sources of groceries not available to me in my small town. One place I visit is a bread discount store that saves my family close to $100 a year just in bread.

15. Hold an eat from the pantry week: Depending on what we have going on I might put off grocery shopping just one day but only plan 7 days worth of meals meaning I have to get creative the 8th day. If however, I have something happening once a week that has me going right by the grocery stores anyways, like I do currently, then I will try to have a basic food only week ever two months or so. Where all I buy is milk, and vegetables. This clears out our stock making sure nothing goes bad.

14. Make an online order: There are a few items I find cheaper on line than in store, so I stock up on these every few months. For instance I find that my endurance products for my marathon training is cheaper at Lucky Vitamin.

Once a year

11. Carry around price book for a month: at the beginning of each year I like to dig out my price book and spend some time noting if prices have changed since the last time I updated it and if those places that had the lowest prices on certain stables are still the ones with the lowest prices. I might find that peanut butter is now cheaper at an out of town store, or that butter is cheaper at the second store I shop at instead of the first. These things don’t change often so updating my book just once a year seems to work.

Random happenings

12. Look out for discounted gift cards and daily deals: There are a few items I buy at Trader Joes and Whole Foods So I routinely go to the Cardpool website to check for discounted gift cards once a week. These can save me as much as 10% off my purchase. I also find that daily deal sites like Groupon or Plum District will run various promotions for both online and real brick and mortar stores that I shop at from time to time.

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

Linked to Follow Our Thrift,Good Tips Tuesday, Thrifty Thursday,

 On A  Super Tight Budget

swagbucks image (200wide)If you are on a super tight budget you could benefit from spending just a few minutes each day doing daily activities at Swagbucks and Bing. I know from working it out on paper that you can easily earn up to $900 a year in gift cards to help with your grocery bills using these two point programs together. Bing Rewards can be converted to Swag Bucks and then you can cash in your Swag Bucks for Walmart or Target e-cards that you can use at your superstore center to pay for your groceries.  You could also convert your points to Paypal cards and use the money where ever you find the best deals on groceries.

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5 Easter Basket Fillers For Women For $5 or Less

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My husband says I am hard to buy for. I don’t think it is true, so this post is as much for my readers as it is for my husband. Here are 5 things that I would love to see in my Easter basket that cost $5 or less that I am sure other women would love to see in their Easter basket too. You don’t have to purchase all 5 but even if you do the total will still be less than $25.

5 easter basket fillers for women for five dollars or less

 5 Easter Basket Fillers For Women For $5 or Less

1. Gift Cards For  Favorite Beverages

Starbucks specialty coffees. Sweet tea from Chick-fil-la or McCalisters. Or perhaps your woman is more of a fountain pop (or soda) type gal.  A $5 gift card to where ever sells her favorite sipping pleasure, is a much appreciated gift.

2. Chocolate

Most moms will  agree with me when I say don’t get me the cheap dollar store bunny. I am a mom, I put up with strange unusual  punishment, like being asked the same question 100s of times in a row.  I deserve good chocolate for my troubles.  I love Green and Black organics dark chocolate, or Dove milk chocolate, or Cadbury fruit and nut. I could go on but 3 choices seems like enough.

Don’t know what the favorite chocolate of the woman in your life is? chances are their is a bar of it hidden somewhere in the cupboards or the bedroom or both. Either that or wrapper evidence.

3.  Kindle Books

Sure you might not know what book I am waiting to read next but if you give me a $5 Amazon gift card, I am thrifty and will be able to snag 1 if not 2 kindle titles with it to keep me in an alternate world where housework does not exist for hours.

4. A framed picture of loved ones

I know I am not alone on this one, women love framed photographs of loved ones, and nothing is more of a gift than not having to pick out the print, send it to the printers and frame it all by ourselves. Dollar stores sell inexpensive great looking frames. If the woman in your life is a mom of little ones, you can have them embellish the frame with their own personal touch for an even more heart warming gift.

5.  Flowers

A bunch of fresh cut flowers from Aldi are under $5. Sure they won’t fit in a basket but they can be put beside it. A blooming potted plant is a close second (or first with green thumb women who can keep it alive unlike brown thumb women like me).

Bonus tip: Inside the basket place a handwritten note from yourself that lists a few reasons why you love the woman the basket is for, chances are years from now you will still be able to find it tucked inside that folder she keeps in her dresser of notes from loved ones.

Looking for Easter ideas? Follow my Spring Time Board on Pinterest

Linked to List It Tuesdays, Titus 2 Tuesday,

swagbucks image (200wide)Psst….you can pay for a lot of the things above using gift cards earned through Swagbucks . Here are 10 ways to maximize your Swagbucks earnings so that you can not only pay for and Easter gift, but one for Mother’s day, Her Birthday, Wedding Anniversary  and Christmas too!

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