3 Apps That Will Help You Earn More Swag Bucks

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Recently I was reading a comment thread on Facebook discussing ways to earn Swagbucks and I was surprised by all the people who did not know that Swagbucks had one app let alone 3  you could earn Swagbucks in.

3 Apps That Will Help Your Earn More Swag Bucks

 3 Apps that Will Help You Reach Your Swagbucks Earning Goals

1. Swagbucks: The Swagbucks app allows you to do a lot of the same things as you can do on the homepage of Swagbucks on your laptop. If you hit the Discover tab you can complete offers that interest you for Swag Bucks. Hit the Answer tab and you can take the daily poll. Hit watch and you are taken over to the EntertaiNow app to earn more Swag Bucks (see #3 for further details). Plus earn points randomly when you use the search bar found at the top of the apps home page. You can also check your balance and order rewards through the Swagbuck App.

2. Swagbucks TV :Earn 2 Swag Bucks for every 5 video clips watched up to 40 Swag Bucks per day. Best part, the app plays the videos one after the other without need to chose the next one and press play, meaning you can get the app going and then leave it so you can earn Swag Bucks while working on something else.

3. EntertaiNow: Earn 2 Swag Bucks for every 10 video clips watched up to 30 Swag Bucks per day. This app like the Swagbucks TV app plays continuously meaning you can do other things while it plays.

All three apps are available at either the iTunes store or at the Google Play store.

These 3 apps will help you reach your Swagbucks goals, and if you are wondering just how high you can get your Swagbucks earnings you might want to check out a few of my Swagbucks earning plans.

Not yet a Swagbucks member? Join Today!

Looking for ways to increase your monthly income from home? Follow my Selling & Earning Tips board on Pinterest.

A list of 17+ point progmas that will help your increase your income.Swagbucks is just one of many point earning programs that can be used to earn a bit of money from home. Here is a growing list of 17+ point programs that I have tested and found to work plus descriptions of what parts of each programs I have found to be worth the time and which ones aren’t.

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How To Host A Simple & Fun Wiener Roast Night

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On Tuesdays I share a picture from our week that inspired me to write a post.

Last week we spent camping at a near by state park. Each day I tried to have someone over to spend time with us either on the Kayaks or on the beach or to eat a meal with us and then sit around the campfire talking.

How to host a simple and fun wiener roast nightOne of my favorite evenings, was one of the simplest. I invited my friend and her three children over for a wiener roast. I had not had a wiener roast in years, in fact I don’t think I have ever had one with my children and my oldest is now 18.

When the evening was all said and done I couldn’t help but thank God for it in my gratitude journal and spend a few minutes thinking back on how simple, fun and relatively inexpensive the evening was to host.

Supplies Needed For a Wiener Roast

1. A fire pit

Every wiener roast begins of course with a fire pit. We had one at our campground but if your neighborhood allows backyard fires like ours does, you could buy your own backyard fire pit. We got ours on clearance in September. You could also make your own fire pit using ideas found on pinterest.

a wiener roast gathering

2. Chairs to sit around the fire in

Your can squat around the fire to roast your hotdog and marshmallows but that is not going to be comfortable for long, so I suggest gathering up all the camp chairs you own and asking your guests to bring theirs.

A wiener roast gathering table for food

3. A table near the fire to put all the food

It is a lot easier to place a table near the fire and fill it with all the makings for hotdogs and s’mores, plus drinks, cups, plates and sides, than to have to go inside to outside with them. If you have a picnic table you can drag up near the fire that will work too.

roasting marshmallows part of the wiener roast fun

4. Roasting Forks

We used inexpensive marshmallow roasting forks and they worked just fine for both hotdogs and marshmallows.

5. Hotdogs, buns and condiments

Make sure to have enough hotdogs, buns and condiments for everyone. I allowed for 2 hotdogs per person and we had plenty left over. Buy your hot dogs on sale and freeze them to keep the cost of the get together low. Buy no-name brand condiments to keep costs low too. I stuck to the standard hotdog toppings of  ketchup and mustard (I also wanted relish but it got left behind at the house).

s'more eating part of the wiener roast fun

6. S’more makings

Know where the best prices for marshmallows, graham crackers and chocolate bars can be found by keeping a price book so that you can keep the cost of dessert low too. I suggest just like hotdogs you allow for 2  s’mores per person when buying your supplies, so that you have more than enough (or 3 per person if you happen to be friends with a bunch of sweet tooth people).

7. Ask your guests to bring the sides and drinks

I asked my friend to bring pop and chips and she didn’t mind at all. This keeps the cost of dinner lower for both host and guest. It also makes it easier on the host to set up the evening.

8. Watermelon is always a healthy and simple side

To make sure we ate something healthy I brought a watermelon to the campground with us and sliced it up to serve with the hotdogs, chips and s’mores.

9. Don’t forget fire safety

If you have little ones make sure you go over the rules of how to roast wieners and marshmallows safely. Make sure an adult is close by the fire at all times during the evening. Don’t forget to put the fire out when you are done.

10. Make clean up simple

We used paper plates and cups ( thrifty tip: we labeled the cups with a sharpie marker so each guest only used one for the whole evening). We placed a garbage pail right by the food table and pointed it out to all the children so that they had no excuse not to toss their garbage where it belonged.

What are your tips for a successful wiener roast? Share them in the comment section below.


Looking for ideas for summer fun? Check out my post “10 Thrifty Summertime Friendship Gatherings”

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One Summer Fun Goal For The Week: July 21 to 27

one summer fun goal for the weekLast Week’s Goal

An extended time just me and my husband at the campground did not happen.

My husband ended up working late all week, including the Thursday night when he was finally coming out the campground. We also discovered that we some how missed that it was his turn to be on call for work starting at 7 am Saturday morning. We had friends out to the campground to spend time with us Friday afternoon and evening and we had a blast with them but that meant we really only got a few hours alone together Friday morning and some of that time was spent finding parts to fix a kayak so we could kayak with our friends.

We are not giving up on spending a weekend away though and already have another weekend marked on our calendar.

This Week’s Goal

I am going to set a hopeful goal and a backup goal for this week. I am hoping to do a bike trip with my son that we have been looking forward to for months BUT the weather forecast is currently not agreeing with our goal so my backup goal in case the weather does not change is to enjoy one or two little outings with my sons while my daughter is away.

What I Read This Week

I finished 2 books this week which means I have now read 39 books in 2014

1. Wish: A handful of tissues by your side at all times type of book. A story of facing a battle head on and winning yet being okay with not because you know you did everything you could. (psst…this was a Tyndale Rewards title )

2. The Waiting: A story of facing our fears, and our sorrows. A story of knowing who we are and who we are not. A story that had me laughing one page and crying the next. (psst…I got this title though paperbackswap.com)

What I Am Reading

In Paperback Form

The Search: This is the last of the Lancaster series books, and I am only on chapter 2 so far. Still figuring out the characters.

On My Kindle Paperwhite

How To Homeschool 9th and 10th Grade: (didn’t read a single page of it this week I am having problems letting go of summer time and preparing for the next school year) It is almost that time of year again and my second child will be entering 9th grade this August. I want to start off his highschool years on solid footings so I am looking forward to reading this title.

On My Kindle App

The Choice Is Yours: Life Happens: Walking With God Is A Decision.  I  read a few more pages  of this title this week.

A Find I Want To Share

I got my first bottle of EO organic deodorant Lavender body spray for my birthday in March. I am now working on my third bottle and a 4th is on its way. When I cut out products with chemical based perfumes and parabens the one product I really missed was my body spray. I loved stepping out of the shower and misting myself all over with it. Now with EO  Lavender body spray I can do it again but this time with out the chemicals. The label may say deodorant but truly it is a body spray and does not replace deodorant. The sent is very subtle and not at all overwhelming.

10 Ways Thrifty People Save Money On Camping

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Camping is something that I still feel like I am learning all things thrifty about. My family and I have been campers for 4 seasons now and I have learned a lot about how to keep the costs of camping down in those years, and am still learning.

10 Ways Thrifty People Save Money On Camping


10 Ways To Save Money On Camping

How To Save Money On Camping Supplies

1. Borrow

If this is your families first every camping excursion buy as little  as possible and borrow all that you can. This will allow you to make sure that your family really does enjoy camping before you invest money in a tent, sleeping bags and all the other things you think campers need.

2. Buy it used

Craigslist and Facebook buy and sell groups are great places to look for second hand tents, and other camping supplies.Don’t forget to look at yard sales too, I have found all we needed to outfit our new to us RV from various yard sales.

3.  Buy it on clearance

Even camping supplies go on sale as summer turns to fall.

4. Share

This differs from borrowing because you are purchasing articles together with friends and then using them at different times. Most people camp perhaps 2 to 3 weeks a year at most, so there is time in the season to share your stuff with others. Pick your friends or family wisely for this though, as it takes just the right friends to do this with and will require some written rules so that feelings are not hurt when lets say the tent breaks on your camping outing and the other couple expects you to pay the whole replacement cost even though it was a normal wear and tear break.

5. Use Reselling and Point Programs to help you with costs of supplies

For most families things like camp supplies are not going to be a regular line on the family budget. If you want to invest some money in camping supplies but can’t find the money in your regular pay checks, perhaps you could go through your house from top to bottom gathering all the things you don’t need, and throw a yard sale, or list big items on Craigslist. Consult my Reselling page for a list of all the different ways you can earn money reselling your items.

If you simply don’t have many items to sell, with a little more time you could earn the money for what you need through point programs. I have a list of 17+ programs that can help, as well as a plan for earning $30 each and every month with Swagbucks without filling in a single survey.

How To Save Money On Each And Every Camping Trip

6. Shop around for a campsite

Prices of campsites really do vary. For instance in our area we got to a great state park for right around $20 a night, but we have seen other private campgrounds in our area with less to do on their land charging as much as $70 a night.

7. Plan your camping trip menu at least one full week in advance

This is where I failed big time this trip. I made our menu up the evening before we left and went grocery shopping only 3 hours before departure. Needless to say we ate a lot more processed food than my tummy and my wallet liked.

By planning ahead you can think through how to simplify recipes for campground cooking. For instance you can make up homemade baking mix that you can use for pancakes and biscuits and even a quick pizza dough,  oatmeal packets, cookie dough, and even freezer bag crockpot meals (if you are RVing it like we do) which will save you time at the campground and money.

8. Make a master list of supplies

Nothing is worse than getting out to your campsite and realizing you forgot the tinfoil that half your recipes need forcing you to pay premium price for it at the campground store.  A master list stops this expensive problem in its tracks. Here is a basic outline of what to put on your master camping list.

9.  Plan for the unexpected

Bring along basic first aid items as well as Tylenol, Cough Drops, Benadryl and those monthly unmentionables.

These should go on your master list (number 8) but I listed them separate because it took me a few camping trips to realize that all these items should make it on my master list because you just never know and camp store Benadryl has high mark up, but when your daughter has a swollen face from mosquito bites that the bug spray didn’t seem to stop her from getting, you will pay anything to make the sweet thing feel better.

10.  Plan for a rainy day

The weather app may say 10 days of full sun ahead, but it isn’t always right and some rain may fall on your camping getaway. Instead of letting rain send you to the movies and dinner out in a nearby town thus emptying you pocket book, plan what to do should rain fall before you even leave the house. Here are 10 rainy day camping ideas that have worked for our family over the years, that are fairly inexpensive, another treasure trove of great ideas are these camping activity bags not all of them could be done in the rain but most of them could be and many of the supplies for the bags could be purchased at dollar stores.

Looking for more camping ideas? Follow my Family Camping board on Pintrest. Love money saving tips? Follow my Saving Money Tips board on Pinterest.

Linked to Saver Tips Tuesdays,

Check Out My Other Articles On Camping

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Instead Of Writing A Blog Post I Built Memories

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Instead Of Writing A Blog Post Today I Built Memories

A sunset at the reservoir where we are camping.

My family has had our RV out at a local campground for almost 2 weeks now. There have been sleepovers with friends, time spent swimming , kayaking, hiking, biking, hanging out around the campfire and lots of time spent reading.

Needless to say there hasn’t been as much time for blogging. An hour at the observation center each morning (the only area of the campground with WiFi)  and a 1/2 hour in the evening. There was also a full afternoon spent at home catching up on laundry while I wrote posts for this week.

I love that my job allows me to be this flexible, but still even with it’s flexibility I fell short this week of finishing all 5 posts that I typically write in one week by one post, which would be the post for today (I have a thrifty post ready for tomorrow).

Instead of  writing a blog post for today, I went kayaking with a friend and caught up on her life.

Instead of writing a blog post for today, I  sat around a campfire talking with my kids.

Instead of writing a blog post for today, I took my daughter and her friend out kayaking to a nearby island where they spent over an hour swimming and laughing.

Instead of writing a blog post for today, I went running with my son.

Instead of  writing a blog post for today, I made memories.

I want to encourage you to do the same. What things in your life can you cut out for just a little while, to make room for a little more memory building time? DO IT. Grab those children, those friends, and take the time to build memories, in memories relationships are built and in relationships life is lived.


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Paid Viewpoint: Survey Taking Simplified

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I have tried quite a few survey companies over the years and very few have I kept, but Paid Viewpoint is definitely a keeper.

Paid Viewpoint Survey Taking Simplified

Are you tired of long drawn out surveys? At Paid Viewpoint, their  average longer survey is reported to be about 5 to 6 minutes long and most that I have filled out so far have only been 2 minutes or under.

Do you hate it when you spend precious minutes filling out preliminary questions only to be booted out of the survey and earn nothing for your time spent? Paid Viewpoint pays you for each and every survey you complete, and you are not invited to a survey unless you qualify.

Sure the pay per survey is still low, I did a bit of research and it seems that the range is anywhere from .03 cents to .75 cents per survey meaning this point program will not make you rich, but when you add it to stream of other simple point programs  you could start seeing a total from all point programs combined that could put a bit of wiggle room in a tight budget.

A Few Things To Know About Paid Viewpoint.

1. You must have a PayPal account to be paid

Paid Viewpoint pays out only to PayPal accounts when you reach $15  in your account.

2. Make sure you enter all your information correctly

For some reason Paidviewpoint.com has a strange policy that if you change either your cell phone number or your email after you have signed up your funds are frozen for 180 days. They say that it is to avoid having people break the rules of having one account per person. So make sure to double check and triple check your account information before you press enter and you should be fine.

If either your email or cell phone should change however know that you will not be able to cash out for 180 days

3. Surveys will come to your email and are on a first come first serve basis

Surveys come to your email box in the form of links that you click on to go to the survey, so make sure that in your settings you have the email notifications on. At first the surveys you get  will be short 2 minute surveys that are worth .10 cents on average. I have been averaging one a day in my email account. These are called “trait” surveys and are meant to help Paid Viewpoint to get to know you better.

Once you have earned a higher trait score (more on what that is in a minute) you will start to receive “market research surveys” which are reported to be 5 to 6 minutes in length and have higher payouts (since I just started with Paid Viewpoint in early July I have not yet had one of these surveys yet but will try to update this post  with how long they took and what I was paid once I get a few).

4. Your Trait Score Is Important

Your Trait Score is a measure of your consistency of answers. This is why I think at first you answer so many trait surveys before you get a higher paying  market research survey.  Paid Viewpoint wants to make sure you are taking the time to  fully read the surveys and give honest answers so that they are truly helping those who pay them to give surveys to their members. Once you reach a trait score of 9000 the website states that you will start receiving more per answer.

I have been a member for 2 weeks so far and already have a trait score of 1390 and it is growing with each survey that I am completing. I am receiving a new survey on almost a daily basis so I am guessing it won’t take long to reach  the 9000 trait score.

Why I am going to stick to using Paid Viewpoint

After using Paid Viewpoint for the last 2 weeks, what I like the most about it is how quick and simple the surveys are to complete. I also loved that I am paid for my time from the first question. My biggest pet peeve with other survey companies is answering 2 to 3 minutes worth of questions only to get kicked out of the survey before it is completed and not earn a cent, with Paid Viewpoint that doesn’t happen, I am already accepted to every survey I am invited to and I will be paid something for my time.

Not a member of Paid Viewpoint yet? sign up today.

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

Like point reward programs? Check out my growing list of 17+ point programs that can help increase your income. In the post I tell you what I like about each point  program and which activities earn you rewards the fastest.

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A Picture From Our Week: Simple & Thrifty Table Centerpieces

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This picture really isn’t from last week, but the week before, but  the end results of my last minute effort to make centerpieces for the 4th of July tickled my thrifty bone so much I had to share it.simple and thrifty table centerpiece ideas

We had 3 families over to celebrate the 4th of July with us. Between us we have 13 children. Little children don’t balance paper plates on their laps as well as adults do.

Up until this particular party we usually had the children sitting on the floor around coffee tables, not exactly making them feel like important guests.

I wanted to make the little visitors feel a bit more special this time. Of course, I decided I wanted to do this 30 minutes before guests arrived. These photos showed what I was able to pull off in 15 minutes so I could still fit in a quick shower and greet my friends with actual clothes on (we are close but not THAT close :) ).

Simple and thrifty table decorations for the 4th of JulyI started by dragging 3 card tables down from the attic. I have used these table for over 10 years now for yard sales and secondhand homeschool curriculum sales so they have more than paid for themselves. I then remembered that I still had the red and white checkered tablecloths from my daughters Teddy Bear picnic from years back stored with my other table linens.

I took all the chairs from around the dining room table which was going to be holding all the food for the party and therefore would have no room for seating and placed them around the table.

wooden primative houses as 4th of July table centerpieces

It was a breezy day and since I was setting up the tables on our front porch I knew I needed centerpieces that would hold the tablecloths down. That is where the creativity began.

I didn’t have time to run to the store for centerpieces , nor did I want to spend any money, so I used what I had on hand. I took the wooden houses off a table on my front porch and spaced them evenly around the table.

Glass jar full of ribbon for a quick and simple 4th of July centerpiece.I found 3 green glass ball jars that I had purchased at yard sales years ago and then went to my craft cupboard and found my big box of ribbons I had purchased also at a yard sale for just .50 cents one year. I dug through the ribbon box until I found one roll of blue ribbon, one roll of red and a roll of white (well silver and white but close enough).

I cut the ribbon into 3rds and placed one of each color in each jar, then placed the jars between the houses.

Each family as they arrived commented on how great the tables looked, and not a single child sat around a coffee table this year.

The total cost: Zero!

The houses, jars, tablecloths, tables and chairs all went back to their homes. The ribbon from the jars is back in my ribbon box to be reused on gifts or perhaps even on the 4th of July next year.

Now you might not have any of these things in your home, but you don’t have to the real lesson here, is to look at what you do own in a different way, and use it to create your own table and centerpieces for guests. 

You might not have card tables, but perhaps you have a long piece of wood and some saw horses you can make a table out of. You might not have as many chairs as I do, but perhaps you have benches, or you can ask your friends to each bring a few. You might not have glass jars, but you probably have a few glasses. You might not have ribbon, but perhaps you have marbles to weigh the glasses down with and pretty flowers growing in your garden to place inside them.

Take a treasure hunt around your home, and get into your creative zone, and see what you can come up with to make your guests feel just that much more welcomed.

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One Summer Fun Goal Of The Week: July 14 to 20

(post contains affiliate links see disclosure)one summer fun goal for the weekLast Week’s Goal

We did in fact go camping, but my preparation wasn’t what it could have been.

My families RV is currently set up about 20 minutes away from our home at a state park. For the most part we have been there for the week, coming into town just for church, and this week soccer and gymnastics. We took the RV out Wednesday afternoon. I went shopping for the groceries Wednesday morning after planning what we should eat Tuesday night. The last minute meal planning led to a lot more packaged food being ate all week than I would have liked. Live and learn I guess.

This Week’s Goal

Enjoy an extended time just my hubby and I at the campground

My hubby and I were planning on camping just the two of us the week our boys were a way at church camp but instead we ended up staying home and my husband finished the remodel of our son’s room while I blogged and watched our daughter. Since we missed out on date time at the campground that week we plan to make up for it this week.

What I Finished Reading

I always tend to read more when camping now that my children are older and entertain themselves more when camping so I read 3 books this week.

1. Life With Lily: I love The Adventures of Lily Lapp series. Yes I know they are meant for the 8 to 12 year old crowd, but the innocent stories of Amish childhood draw me in.

2. The Choice: One Suzanne Woods Fisher book was not enough for me, so I went on after Life With Lily to read The Choice in an evening and a morning. I thought when I started it that I have the book all figured out but then it took a twist I wasn’t expecting and then another, and I was hooked. So hooked in fact that I went over to Paperbackswap.com and requested both The Waiting and The Search, book 2 and book 3 of the series, and  I am anxious to get started on them.

3. A Life Of Miracles: What One Ordinary Family Gained When They Gave Up Everything To Follow God . I found this book fascinating. One family that sees so many of God’s miracles in a life time, from financial windfalls that come at just the right moment, to physical healing and amazing appointments that could have only been of God.

What I Am Reading

In Paperback Form

Wish: I am a few chapters in this Tyndale Rewards find, and I already know that I am going to need to carry tissues where ever I read it.

On My Kindle Paperwhite

How To Homeschool 9th and 10th Grade: It is almost that time of year again and my second child will be entering 9th grade this August. I want to start off his highschool years on solid footings so I am looking forward to reading this title.

On My Kindle App

The Choice Is Yours: Life Happens: Walking With God Is A Decision.  I didn’t read a single bit of this title this week, I am however still pondering on what I have read so far.

A Find I Want To Share

Inbox Dollars
isn’t a high earning point reward program, but it is another great online point program that when added to a stream of other point earning programs can create a small steady flow of monthly income from your computer at home.

I have tried Inbox Dollars  out for the last few weeks, and I would suggest that if you don’t have a lot of time to spend you stick to doing  the conformation emails and the videos on a regular basis. From time to time  check out the offers section to see if you can find any quick to complete offers to add to your earnings. Inbox dollars also has a shopping section found under the “more” tab that allows you to earn points when shopping through their links at places like Old Navy and Walmart.

I would not recommend the survey section unless you can do it while doing some other mindless activity like watching TV, since when I tried a few  I was kicked out of all of them after several minutes and earned nothing.

Make sure to take the time to fill out your profile, as there is several easy money to be earned when you do.

Join Inbox Dollars  through my referral link and start your Inbox Dollar Account with $5

10 Books That Will Make You A Thrifty Ninja

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When I was first married I knew a small handful of  thrifty tricks but I soon realized I was going to need to learn a whole lot more of them if I wanted to be the at home mom I desperately wanted to be and not dig us further into debt (don’t worry we soon dug out of debt but that is another story).

I became a homemaker 19 plus years ago, so the internet was just really in its beginning stages and there was nothing like pinterest. So I turned to books to learn all I could about living thrifty.

10 books you need to read if you want to be a thrifty ninja


Today I still think reading books is an excellent choice for learning. The shear length of them as apposed to blog posts allows the author to go way more in depth than a blog writer can which means that you will learn more in depth secrets of how the thrifty stretch a buck  as far as humanly possible

10 Books That Will Make You A Thrifty Ninja

1. The Complete Tightwad Gazette

The Complete Tightwad Gazette is actually a collection of 3 books in one with added content. This is the ultimate thrifty collection of books. What I love most about the series is that it truly does cover every area of life and teaches you how to save money on it. I also love that the author Amy encourages her readers to take thrift to the level they desire and to meet goals of their choosing.

2. The Money Saving Mom’s Budget: Slash Your Spending, Pay Down Your Debt, Steamline Your Life, and Save Thousands a Year

Written by Crystal Paine of Money Saving Mom the book The Money Saving Mom’s Budget is packed full of ideas of how to not only save money but make room in your daily schedule to perform the actions needed to save more money.

3. Cut Your Grocery Bill In Half With America’s Cheapest Family: Includes So Many Innovative Strategies You Won’t Have To Cut Coupons

If you want to cut your grocery budget yet still want to eat a healthy diet I highly recommend reading Cut Your Grocery Bill In Half. The family does use coupons but the book contains so many more ways of saving money on foods that you can’t normally find coupons on.

4. America’s Cheapest Family Gets You Right On The Money: Your Guide To Living Better, Spending Less, And Cashing In On Your Dreams

Written by the same authors as number 3 America’s Cheapest Family Gets You Right On The Money will help you understand how you can pay for vehicles cash, how you can live without debt and how you can live a life of less and yet feel like you are getting more.

5. Money Saving Secrets Of The Amish: Finding True Abundance In Simplicity, Sharing, and Saving

Money Saving Secrets Of The Amish goes further than buy less and you will save money. It will help you look closely at habits that with a little effort could be changed and when they are could save your family and others a significant amount of cash.

6. 1/2 Price Living: Secrets To Living Well On One Income

1/2 Price Living is written for those moms who don’t want to return to the work force, or those that have but want to come home. It shows you how to chop expenses in all areas so you can afford to be a stay at home mom. The book has a chapter on how to run an at home business without letting it take over your life in case living off one income just isn’t possible for your family even with all the cost chopping tips found in the book. I love the last chapter which is how to give even when your budget is tight.

7. Miserly Moms: Living On One Income In a Two Income Economy

After Tightwad Gazette Miserly Moms was one of the first books I read on how to trim expenses. This book contains some great frugal recipes as well as tips to cut your expense in all areas.

8. Pocket Your Dollars: 5 Attitude Changes That Will Help You Pay Down Debt, Avoid Financial Stress, & Keep More Of What You Make

Pocket Your Dollars is unlike any book on thrifty living that I have ever read before. The author divides the book into three sections. Section one addresses attitudes that keep you from managing your money well, and I suffer from a few of them from time to time. The second section teaches you the skills you need to help you turn your wrong attitudes about money around and the third section offers simple budgeting advice. If you keep falling off the thrifty wagon this is the book for you.

9.The Cheapskate Next Door: The Surprising Secrets Of Americans Living Happily Below Their Means

Written from inspiration the author received while doing an across the nation bike tour with his first book, The Cheapskate Next Door is full of real life examples of people living very happily on less than they make. These people share their secrets as well as their stories of why they continue to be thrifty even when they might not need to be.

10. Debt Proof Your Christmas: Celebrating The Holidays Without Breaking The Bank

Debt Proof Your Christmas is crammed packed with ideas of how to reduce every area of your Christmas budget. I think it is a must read for all those on a tight budget, as it takes what can be a very expensive time of the year and turns it into an affordable one.

What thrifty reads would you add to my list?

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No Bake Chocolate Nut Bars

(post contains affiliate links see disclosure)no bake chocolate nut bars sweetened with honeyI was in the grocery store the other day and was just a bit hungry I went over to my favorite display of Mariani Honey Bars and picked out a new variety I had not seen before called “Chocolaty Peanut Butter” when I bit into it I thought to myself this bar tastes so much like a recipe I have had since my college days and haven’t made for a while.

I went back to the display the next week and picked up another bar, this time I didn’t eat it but instead kept it in tact so that I could read the ingredients and then alter my recipe accordingly and test it for texture and flavor.

I didn’t really have to alter my original recipe much, I simply swapped out the rice krispies for natural puffed rice,  and the sunflower seeds for raw almonds and unsalted raw peanuts.

crushing nuts for no bake chocolate nut bar

To make the nuts blend into the bar better I placed them in my food processor and used the pulse setting for 60 t0 90 seconds.

chopped nuts for no bake chocolate nut barsHere is what the nuts looked like when I was finished pulsing them.

mix for no bake chocolate nut barsI then  lightly greased my 9 by 12 metal pan. Inside I placed the 3 cups puffed rice, 1 cup chocolate chips, the 1 cup nuts ( 1/2 cup almonds, 1/2 cup peanuts) and stirred them around until the ingredients looked well blended.

peanut butter and honey mixture for no bake chocolate nut barsNow it was time to break out the honey and peanut butter. For this recipe I always use 100% natural peanut butter, which means the only ingredients listed on the label should be peanuts and salt, no sugar, no added fat.  I swirled the honey and peanut butter together in a small saucepan and then put it on medium heat. I kept stirring it until it started to bubble just slightly, at that point it is also more runny than when it started.

mixing ingredients no bake chocolate nut barsNext I poured the peanut butter and honey mixture over the rest of the ingredients and start blending it in.

stirred no bake chocolate nut barsThe batter started to form into one big ball of chocolaty nutty goodness.

pressing no bake chocolate nut barsI got out a large metal spoon and start pressing down the bar until it filled the whole 9 by 12 pan and then smoothed it out. Finally  I placed it in the freezer for 30 minutes to firm up.

storing no bake chocolate nut barsTo store the bars I first cut the pan into 14 long and skinny bars, and then I wrapped each one in wax paper since they tend to be a bit on the sticky side. I placed the wrapped bars in the freezer on a cookie sheet  for an additional 30 minutes and then placed them all in a gallon ziplock bag. They will keep several months this way (if you can keep your hands off them that long :) )

I eat mine either directly from the freezer or I take one out and place it in a sandwich bag and pack it along places as a snack. Either way it is super yummy and very filling since it packs a lot of protein from all those nuts.

And yes these no bake chocolate nut bars do taste a lot like the chocolaty peanut butter bars by Honey Bar, in fact I think I like them even better, and they are a lot less expensive.

no bake chocolate nut bars sweetened with honey and packing a protein punch

Looking for more no bake recipes? Follow my No Bake Treats board on Pinterest

No Bake Chocolate Nut Bars


  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 1 cup natural peanut butter
  • 3 cups puffed rice
  • 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup raw almonds
  • 1/2 cup raw peanuts


  1. pulse the peanuts and almonds so they are slightly crushed
  2. lightly grease a 9 by 12 pan
  3. add nuts, puffed rice and chocolate chips to pan and stir
  4. place honey and peanut butter in a sauce plan and place on stove top at medium heat.
  5. keep stirring hone and peanut butter until well blended
  6. pour honey and peanut butter mix over ingredients in 9 by 12 pan
  7. combine ingredients until it forms one big chocolaty lump
  8. with the back of a metal spoon press the lump down to fill the 9 by 12 pan evenly
  9. place pan in freeze for 30 minutes take out for 5 to 10 minutes and cut.
  10. wrap up bars in wax paper and store in a zip lock bag
  11. will keep in freezer for several months
  12. eat frozen or allow to thaw.
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