If A Thrifty Person Had To Pick Just One Rewards Program

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Recently a reader left the following comment

Sometimes all these different cash savings/rebates websites overwhelm me, and although I would like to. Where would you recommend that I start in order to get the most bang for my buck on gift cards?

I agree figuring out how to use all the different point programs out there can be overwhelming, and I certainly did not start out using 18+ different programs. I started out with just one. If I had to pick a one stop best bang for time spent point rewards company now I would pick Swagbucks.

If you are overwhelmed by all the different point earning programs available, look no further. This program can help you earn anywhere from $5 a month to $100 a month with dozens of simple ways to earn

 Swagbucks is a one stop rewards/rebates  program

Swagbucks offers so many ways to earn that no matter what you are doing online it just might be possible to earn some Swagbucks while doing it.

swabucks homepage image

This is what the Swagbucks homepage looks like. I make it my homepage so I always remember to enter my searches through it to earn points.

If you search the web…

Download the Swagbucks toolbar or make their homepage your homepage, or both so that you enter all your daily web searches through Swagbucks and have the chance to earn Swagbucks each and every time you do.

I recently read on the Swagbucks website that members on average earn 10 points a day doing this which works out to 300 points a month just with this one point earning action. Considering a $5 gift card is just 500 Swag Bucks this action alone puts you well over 1/2 way to earning a gift card each month and you will earn it doing something you have to do anyways.

shop and earn areaIf you buy items online…

Make sure to check and see if Swagbucks offers points per dollar spent.

You can do this by clicking the shop tab at the top of the Swagbucks home page, or you can simply enter the store that you want to shop into the Swagbucks toolbar and if the store you want to shop at offers a cash back through Swagbucks you will get a screen that looks like this….

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Just click on this information and it will take you to the store and track your purchase for cash back in Swag Bucks.

There is a wide variety of stores you can shop at and earn Swag Bucks back on your purchase including thredUp a great place to find deals on gently used or new with tags clothing for almost the entire family (sign up through my referral link and start your account at thredUP with a $10 credit)

Once you click on the square with the qualifying store on it a screen will pop up that says “Congratulations……you are on your way to earning….. Swag Bucks per dollar at……..”.

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Once you hit the Special Offers tab you will see another row of tabs across your screen at the end of these you will see Radio Loyalty

If you like listening to music…

Use the Radio Loyality program available through Swagbucks. For every 30 minutes of listening you are rewarded with a CHAPTCHA code that when you enter it will give you 5 Swag Bucks.

radio loyalty on swagbucksRadio Loyalty is a bit hard to find basically hit the Special Offers tab found under the Discover tab on the Swagbucks homepage. When you do you will see a page that looks like image above the Radio Loyalty tab is at the end.

radio loyality choicesThere are plenty of station choices for everyone. My favorite station is the Classical one, I often turn it on and put my headphones in while I write so that I am not disturbed by sounds around me. I set my cell phone for 30 minutes so that I remember to look for my CAPTCHA code to enter when it pops up. Points are not added instantly and can take up to 1 hour to appear.

daily deals at Swagbucks

 If you buy daily deal vouchers…

Buy them through Swagbucks. Simply enter the name of the daily deal site you want to purchase through into the Swagbucks homepage and if it qualifies for Swag Bucks per dollar back on purchases it will show up in a square at the top of the screen just like the stores that qualify for the shop and earn program do. Two daily deal sites that often offer Swag Bucks back on purchases are Living Social and Groupon.  (psst… if you are not already a member of Living Social you can start your account with a $10 credit towards a purchase of $20 or more using my referral link)

 game section on swagbucksIf you like playing online games….

Check out the game area of Swagbucks. If you click all games and then click free play games you will find free games that you can play for points. I have not used this area of Swagbucks all that often but here is what one reader shared with me about how to earn points playing games

You can get 10 points a day playing games. You get 2 points for every other game you play for free (I’ve never done the tournaments). Swag Jump and Swagasaurus Run can be played in a matter of seconds. My kids like to play them, so a lot of days I have them do the games for me. :)

That mean you earn up to 300 Swagbucks a month just by playing games.

swagbucks tv

My favorite Swagbucks TV channels are the Home & Garden and the Health. When my kids were smaller they really likes watching the Animal channel.

If you like watching video shorts…

Check out Swagbucks TV on your laptop or desktop computer. You earn 3 Swag Bucks for ever 10 video clips watched up to 150 Swag Bucks per day.  You can also leave them open in another tab of your laptop as you work in another tab and earn points as you work.

If you have a smartphone or a tablet check out the 5 video watching apps that Swagbucks offers to earn Swag Bucks in.

  • Swagbuck TV App 36 daily Swag Bucks
  • EntertainNow App 18 daily Swag Bucks
  • Sportly.TV App 18 daily Swagbucks
  • Lifestylz App 18 daily Swagbucks

If you are a video watcher these options can keep you in videos all day long. Of course you can also get the app running and let it earn points for you as you do other things.

swagbucks couponIf you print printable coupons…

Check out the Swagbucks coupon area and earn points when you redeem them. You will receive 10 Swag Bucks for every coupon you redeem. Please not it takes a while for coupon points to show up in fact it could take up to 12 weeks.

sharing swagbucksIf you love sharing great deals with your friends…

Once you are hooked you are going to want to tell your friends and Swagbucks rewards you for that too. You get 10% of what your Friend earns through Swagbucks (for certain point actions only) for life.

How it is possible to earn $100 in gift cards from Swagbucks each monthIf you want to spend just a bit more time online earning more gift cards….

Swagbucks has several options for people wanting to earn more points than just those they earn from every day online actions. For instance you can

  • do the daily poll
  • do the daily NOSO
  • do the daily encrave
  • fill out surveys
  • do online tasks
  • search out offers to complete

Truly Swagbucks is so flexible any person who uses a computer can use it and earn at least one $5 gift card each month  and many will easily earn enough for the  one reduced point 2200 Swag Bucks $25 gift card per month each member is allowed, without taking any extra time out of their day to do extra point earning actions over at Swagbucks. However you could earn much more than $5 to $25 in gift cards; I have readers reporting earnings of $100 a month.

Here are 2 testimonials I have received or readers earning $50 or higher each month with Swagbucks

“I’ve gotten $100 in Swagbucks for a few months straight. Before that, I’ve gotten $50 a month.” (left on my post about how it is possible to earn $100 a month with Swagbucks)

 

“Hi and thanks for a good post. I started Swagbucks Nov. 30th, I didn’t set the world on fire but did manage $75 in earnings. “(comment was left January 3rd 2015 meaning in just over 1 month she earned $75 in Swag Bucks)

 

So if you too are overwhelmed by all the point programs out there and it is stopping you from even trying, I suggest you first start with Swagbucks. I truly believe it to be one of  the best one stop rewards program out there.

Sign Up For Swagbucks here

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

Already earning gift cards through Swagbucks? Increase your monthly gift card earnings with this list of 18+ point programs.

 Linked to Frugal Friday,

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Snapshot Thursdays: Family Vacation

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Snapshot Thursdays 3 pictures from my week to give you a peek into my daily lifeWelcome to Snapshot Thursdays. Please join me on  Instagram  to see more pictures I share all week long.

Downtown ChicagoDuring our winter weekend away my husband told me he had a 3 day weekend following my birthday and told me I could pick any where I wanted to go. I chose Chicago.

We have lived just hours away from Chicago for almost 13 years now and only visited the windy city once. I had so much fun on that trip, I wanted to go again.

Chicago did not disappoint we had AMAZING weather. The first warm weekend of the year with above average highs.

Yes, traffic was horrible, and  we did have a disappointing visit to the Shed Aquarium that consisted of a 2hr wait to get in only to discover the aquarium is so small it only takes about an hour to see the general admission areas. However we didn’t let those things put a damper on the rest of the weekend.

We tried out Chicago hot dogs and loved them. We tried out Chicago deep dish pizza and loved it. We also did a few more things than just eat.

field museumOn Saturday we visited the Field museum it had some excellent exhibits but my favorite part was the architecture of the building itself, with its ornate ceilings, archways and columns.

chicago waterfrontSunday morning I woke up and noticed right away how beautiful the weather was. As soon as the children and hubby were up I suggested we go on a family walk together. My husband suggested the lakeside around the Shed aquarium we planned to visit that day. It was a great suggestion, and a highlight of the trip for me. Being born and raised on an Island there is just something about water that soothes my soul.

The weekend went so fast but was so much fun. With our eldest being 19 now I know the years of family vacations with all 5 of us are rapidly coming to an end. The years went so fast.

Where do you like to travel together as a family?

3 Deals So Good I Had To Share

Terri Blackstock’s Truth Stained Lies (moonlighters series book 1) is just $2.99 on Kindle right now and the second book in the series is just $4.27.  (price can change any time so make sure to check it before you buy)

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Craftsy is having a Spring Blowout Sale on select knitting and crochet kits. These kits include the pattern and all the yarn you need to make it. The yarn in these kits are from high quality brands. They are also selling just yarn.

View the knitting kits here

View the crochet kits here

View the Yarn here

  Click the image and head over to enter the Duraflame Rest & Relax with stax® Giveaway for a chance to win one fire pit, duraflame stax® fire logs, 2 duraflame chairs and 2 duraflame blankets.Great way to get the backyard ready for some summer relaxing.

Something New

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Screen Shot 2015-03-20 at 9.27.26 AMThe above is a screen shot taken from Mail Chimp when I mailed out my first weekly newsletter last week.

 

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How do you get a weekly newsletter? Well you might not have even noticed the slight change in the look of the subscription box in the sidebar of my blog. But it is actually a big change.

That box use to take you to Feedburner where you could sign up to receive my posts delivered to your email inbox on a daily basis as they were posted.

feedburner box (!)

If you prefer that don’t worry you can still get my daily posts as they are posted by clicking on these words in the sidebar “Sign up to receive posts as they are published here….“.

However if you would prefer just one weekly email from me containing links to that current weeks posts and a personal letter written from me, click on the big box that says “sign up for a weekly digest of posts here“.

You will notice there is no subscriber freebie to entice you to click and here is why: I want you on my list because you feel I add enough value to your daily life to be worth the time to open up my email and read it, not because you wanted the freebie.

I am planning for the newsletter to go out every Friday. If you want it you can sign up right here.

subscribe box for bottom of posts

52 Weeks To A Simplified Home: Project 12

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This week I finished the downstairs bathroom.

bathroom cabinet popcorn makerYou are probably thinking “is that a popcorn maker in the bathroom?”Why yes it is. Let me explain. I was short on kitchen cabinets for our small appliances, and then my husband put in these cabinets in the bathroom just off the kitchen. I wasn’t sure what to do with all the space, and then I saw an opportunity.

It might seem a bit weird to store a crock-pot, a roasting pan, a deep fryer and a popcorn maker in your bathroom, but it works for us and hey I am not ashamed to admit it “we are weird”.

seventh generation our families favorite cleanerFirst I took everything out of the cabinet and wiped it all down with our families favorite cleaner that you can get from ePantry (psst… get $10 of your first order using my referral link) . ePantry delivers cleaners right to my door at competitive prices, giving me one less excuse not to get my cleaning done.

upper bathroom doneThe upper cabinet didn’t end up looking all that different.

lower cabinetThe lower cabinet however is much more organized. The top shelf is now entirely open for clean towels. As you can see there are currently none. I have a tonne of laundry to catch up on.

I gave the paper towels their own basket and placed the car interior cleaners behind them. I know a lot of thrifty households don’t use paper towels, but I think my husband would hold a revolt if I stopped buying them much like the one he held when I tried to switch us over to 100% homemade cleaners, and since he likes to help me out by cleaning then I think I can make paper towels work in our budget. We do also use rags as much as possible.

What did you declutter this week?

52 weeks to a simplified homefree printable plan (small)

Grab the plan and declutter along with me.

3 Deals So Good I Had To Share

These board game coupons are one of my favorite ways for grabbing birthday and Christmas gifts for my gift bin for less. Combine them with a sale (I think there is current one at Target this week) and you can sometimes spend just a few dollars on a game worth close to $10 or more.

$3.00 off Monopoly, Scrabble or The Game of Life

 

$4.00 off MOUSE TRAP or HUNGRY HUNGRY HIPPOS game

 

$4.00 off TWISTER or TWISTER MOVES game

$3.00 off Monopoly, Scrabble or The Game of Life

$4.00 off MOUSE TRAP or HUNGRY HUNGRY HIPPOS game

$4.00 off TWISTER or TWISTER MOVES game

An Important Investment Financial Advisors Don’t Talk About

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I mentioned before that I received an inheritance from my mom and then my mom’s mom (my grandma) and how my husband and I used them to become debt free.

an important investment financial advisors don't talk aboutWhat I want to talk about today is how we invested a good portion of the 3 rd  inheritance in 4 years  that we received. With our debts paid including the house. With a 3 month emergency fund in place. With a plan to save each month for vehicle replacement. With a rental home to help us with our monthly bills.  We moved on and invested  in memory building.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe took the children on a trip to Disney World. All 5 of us had never once been there. In fact it was our first family trip ever.

A and C in battleWe learned  about American history as a family in West Virginia. My husband is a history buff so he planned it all; the rest of us were surprised by how much we loved learning about my hubby’s favorite subject, especially when it was brought to life in front of our very eyes.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe went skiing as a family. My husband and I both loved skiing as teenagers and thought it would be fun to share it with our children who are almost all now teenagers themselves (that last one becomes a teenager officially in June).

chicago tripAnd thanks to applying our  thrifty travel tricks to all our trips we had enough money left over for a long weekend trip to Chicago where we enjoyed a few local sites and deep dish pizza.

As we drove home my husband and I realized this will likely be our last family trip where we simply get in the car with the children and go. Our eldest in now 19 and has a job and coordinating time off for all of us to go somewhere is going to get a lot more difficult.

Which made me realize I am so glad I put that money aside out of my grandmother’s inheritance for family vacations.

Sure we could have saved up money for some type of vacation as a family some how, but by using the inheritance we were able to have choices that would not have been available to us in our current income bracket.

I am not sharing these things to boast but because I want others to know it is okay to splurge on family time. Splurging is something I have trouble with myself. In fact, I had so much trouble that it took me weeks of prayer and seeking wisdom from others before I gave myself the green light and started planning all the above.

Some people might think our investment in these things was unwise . That we should have saved that money to help pay for our children’s college. That starting a retirement fund would have been wiser.

Perhaps they might be right….but here is why I am okay with our decision.

My grandma sent me money every birthday and every birthday she would say “make sure to spend this on yourself”. When her inheritance came I knew she would tell me to use a portion of the money to do the same thing she had been telling me all those years.

Before my mother passed away I made a promise to her to take the kids on a family vacation with a part of my inheritance. I didn’t  do it for years. I thought I would be wiser to invest the money in rentals and then let the rent money save up for vacation, but if you read about our debt free journey you know that plan back fired.

So when my dad’s mom (my grandma) passed away and I received my 3rd inheritance in 4 years I wanted to fullfill my promise to my mom and do what grandma always told me to do.

These 2 women knew me pretty well. They knew I would be thrifty with the money they left me. They knew I would make wise decisions with it but they also knew one more thing; I am sometimes too hard on myself when it comes to how I spend my money. I try to make the best use of every penny but forget that sometimes the best use is to enjoy it by building memories with those I love.

Because money isn’t the only thing in life where you are only given so much; we only have so much time with our loved ones.

Just as we are not guaranteed our next pay check, we are not guaranteed our next breath.

Yes prepare for the future, but don’t forget to enjoy today. There has to be balance.

No you do not have to go to Disneyland to build memories. But  to make memory building experiences happen you do have to make quality family time a priority both in your budget and on your calendar.

3 ways to afford memory building family time on a tight budget

 3 Ways To Afford Memory Building Family Time On a Tight Budget

1. Earmark a side income or financial windfalls

Set aside  money earned by throwing a yard sale or gift cards  earned through Swagbucks for family experiences. Or earmark  your yearly tax return or that Christmas bonus check as family vacation money. If you receive an inheritance like we did, or another type of financial windfall consider setting aside a portion for family fun.  You could also set aside money from a more regular source like revenue from some form of home childcare or weekly selling on eBay or Etsy.

2. Be Creative

If you are actively paying off debt and just can’t afford to divert a penny to fun until the debt is paid, or your budget is just too tight,  start thinking outside of the box. Camp in the backyard. Swap homes with friends in another city. Look for free community events. Memory building doesn’t have to cost a dime.

3. Ask For Memory Building Gifts

If you have a family that loves to shower your children with gifts each birthday and Christmas ask them instead if they could bless your child with a membership to the local zoo, or the children’s museum. Suggest that grandparents go into together and surprise your child or children with a Groupon deal to a water park motel that the whole family can enjoy.

Of course all the money in the world isn’t going to help build memories if you don’t make time in your life to hang out and spend quality time with your family. Sit down with your calendar and pencil in a weekend trip, or a day trip and don’t let life swallow that time you set aside. Make time to build memories with family a priority, because if you don’t you will run out of it.

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Learn all the tips and trick we used to make our vacation fund go farther.

Linked to Mom2Mom,

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10 Tools Thrifty People Use To Save Money On Groceries

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While finishing off writing 10 tools to help you get & stay debt free I began thinking of other areas of my life where I use tools to save money. The first area that popped into my mind was the tools I use at the grocery store to help me save money on groceries.

10 tools thrifty people use to save money on groceries Do you know what they are

My toolbox for grocery savings has changed a bit over my 20 years as a homemaker but a lot of it has stayed the same.

10 Tools Thrifty People Use To Save Money On Groceries

1. A budget

The best way to save money is to set a limit on how much you can spend. Without a price limit it is extremely hard to stay serious about trying to save money.

If you haven’t yet set a grocery budget and are wondering where to even begin, see if you can find out what you are currently spending on groceries. Dig through your receipts and bank statements.

Start with that as your starting point and then challenge yourself to lower it by $5 a week. Keep it at that level again and then reduce it by another $5 a week. Repeat until you have gotten to the point where you simple can’t keep that budget even with shopping like a thrifty ninja. At that point bump it up $5 and keep it there. (changing it when either prices go up or families needs change; as in your children become teenagers with stomachs that pack away food at an alarming rate :) )

If you are new to the budget thing I suggest also shopping with cash envelopes in hand. It is impossible to go over budget with cash.

2. A List

If you want to stick to a thrifty grocery budget never set foot in a grocery store without a list. Not only will you come out of the store with things you don’t need but you will also walk out forgetting things you did need which will mean another trip to the grocery store. Multiple trips to the grocery store each week reap havoc on a grocery budget, not to mention the waste of time and gas.

3. Wisdom

Those who get their groceries for rock bottom prices were not born with the knowledge they learned it. Go to your local library and find the section on finances and you will find a section of books filled with tips on how save money on groceries. Blogs are also great sources of thrifty grocery shopping knowledge as well as Pinterest.

4. A Price Book

More important than coupons is a price book. In a price book you keep track of the price you pay for the items you buy. Then you compare the prices you have been paying for one item to what that item is selling for at another store, or website. You want to note sale prices too.

You can also note in your price book the price of  store brands compared to the name brand you have been buying,   to see if they have a cheaper price on the product (tip: when trying out a new brand for a product you love in another brand, get the smallest size, that way you are not going to waste that much money if you hate it. Should you love it, then go back and purchase the most economic size).

5. A Calculator

The calculator can be the one on our phone although I prefer a simple handheld  inexpensive calculator that fits in my purse.

The calculator can be used to total groceries as you shop so you don’t go over budget. I also use mine to compare prices while in store to make sure I am getting the best price per ounce.

6. A Quarter

Thrifty people shop in no frill grocery stores like Aldi and Ruler Foods. These grocery stores don’t hirer a person to clean up their carts for them, instead they make sure the job gets done by their customers by charging a quarter for a cart. I keep one in my car at all times (pity the poor child who takes mom’s car quarter :) )

7. Reusable Grocery Bags

No frill grocery stores also charge for bags and there is no way thrifty people are going to pay for those each and every week when they don’t have too. Instead I use various cloth bags that I make sure to wipe out and dry each week.

Honestly though many times I forget them and when I do I either search for boxes as I shop (no frill grocery stores keep the product in the big box it came in) or I place the items in the back of my SUV without bags and when I get home I take bags out to the car to make it easier to transport the food into the house.

8. Store cards or  Store Apps

I shop the sales at my local Meijer and often save even more with their Mperks program where I load up coupons to my cellphone number on my laptop before leaving the house. It takes me just a few minutes and each trip it saves me $1 to $2. That really adds up over the course of a year.

Check the stores in your area to see which ones have cards or apps you can use to cut costs.

 9.  Paper & Digital Coupons

There are so many different places to find coupons beyond the Sunday paper nowadays.

There are printable coupons found at sites like…

You can also get access to printable coupons by signing up for email newsletter for companies like Betty Crocker, and General Mills.

There are coupon apps offering cash backs such as …

  • ibotta: good not just for groceries but for many different household expenses.
  • Checkout 51: Love Checkout 51 because it can be used no matter where you shop and has whole food items.
  • BerryCart: Gluten free, Non-GMO, Organic and natural food cash backs are available at BerryCart.
  • Snap: Can claim the cash backs no matter where you shop and often have cash backs on basic food items like bread.
  • Saving Star: Can either claim the cash backs with a receipt or link it to your store loyalty card.

And then there is  Favado  “a mobile savings app that helps shoppers save time and money by discovering the best deals in more than 65,000 grocery and drugstores nationwide. The Favado app uses real-time couponing data to provide access to exclusive matching deals (coupons plus in-store promotions) for ultimate savings. Other features include planning tools for weekly shopping trips and insider access to unlisted deals.” (website description)

I haven’t finished trying out  Favado yet but it is on my thrifty to do list.

10. Discounted gift cards & point earned gift cards

If you shop at stores like Walmart or Target you can grab a gift card using  Swagbucks to do thinks that you already do online anyway like searching the web, or shopping online. There are lots of other similar programs so make sure you check out my list of 18+ point programs for earning gift cards.

Another way to increase your savings is to buy discounted gift cards from places like Carpool. Cardpool has gift cards to natural food stores like Whole Foods and Trader Joes as well as grocery chains like Albertsons and Kroger.

step by step grocery shopping with a thrifty person (button)Now that you are armed with the tools you need to save money at the grocery store make sure you check out my step by step post on how a thrifty person grocery shops.

Linked to Frugal Fridays, Thrifty Thursdays,

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Snapshot Thursday: Love, Food & Colds

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Snapshot Thursdays 3 pictures from my week to give you a peek into my daily lifeWelcome to Snapshot Thursdays. Please join me on  Instagram  to see more pictures I share all week long.

chicken pot pie with loveLast week my husband was off work before dinner time. I kindly asked him if he would mind putting together the ingredients for chicken pot pie so I could get some more blog work done. He answered sure and so I let him work away at it coming down at dinner time. This is what greeted me at the dinner table. I of course had to snap a photo of it.

SO SWEET! This is one of hundreds of things I love about my husband. Small acts like this really speak to my love language.

free moes bday mealI enjoyed so many birthday freebies last week, but my free Moe’s entree with drink purchase has to be one of my favorites. I love the close talker salad and Moe’s is one of the few places where I get a pop. They have one of those machines with all the different flavor mixes. I love the cherry vanilla coke.

our new cold medsMy son came back from his missions trip with what we thought was just a cold but soon became a fever. He was kind enough to give it to his sister. They each took a turn sleeping one whole day away followed by another where they napped frequently. I attended to them with my 3 favorite cold products. Fisherman’s Friend cough drops (taste awful but really work), Maty’s all natural vapor rub and Emergen-C. I also made sure my remaining well child kept his distance and downed an Emegen-C daily to avoid the flu.

3 Deals So Good I Had To Share

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All jewelery is 25% off at Dayspring right now including the Lisa Leonard collection when you use the code 25JEWELERLY! at check out. These would make awesome Mother’s Day gifts, birthday gifts or….? (offer ends March 22nd)

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If you are a quilter you are going to want to check out Craftsy’s Spring Blowout  I took a few moments to look at the selections being offered and it is amazing and very extensive. Some kits are more than 1/2 price. (offer ends Monday)

Expecting or have a child in diapers? Join Pampers Rewards program and receive 100 free points toward your purchase of Pampers goods. Save money with exclusive coupons and receive a weekly, customized email, tailored to each stage of your pregnancy or your baby’s development. (click image above to join).

I often see blogs like Money Saving Mom list point codes for the Pamper Rewards program so even if you don’t use pampers you can still collect points to cash out for rewards.

Tips To Help You With Your Spring Break Planning

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If you live in some states you might have already had your spring break but here in Indiana spring break season starts next week. Which means it is time to finalize your spring break plans.

Spring Break Planning Help: Packing, Hotels, Snack Food, Staycation & Vacation

 

Today I am here to help you by providing links to help you with whatever your spring break vacation destination might be.

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How To Save Money On Spring Break Vacations

10 Ways Thrifty People Save Money On Vacations

10 Ways Thrifty People Camp

A Simple Way To Stay On Budget During Vacation

2 Big Ways & 5 Little Ways We Saved Money On Our Disney World Vacation

10 tips for a successful staycation vaction How to fill your week with fun instead of chores (med)

How To Make Spring Break At Home Fun & Affordable

10 Tips For Staycation Vacation Success

20 Ways Thrifty Ways to Spend Quality Time With Your Child

5 Family Outings For $5 or Less

How to maximize your carry on luggage space I can't believe what fit in this bag! (med)

How To Make The Most Use Of Your Luggage Space Whether Road Tripping It Or Flying

How To Maximize The Space Of Your Carry On Luggage

How To Make The Best Room Of Your Trunk For Road Trips

Handy Website To Plan Your Trip

Trivago’s hotel search allows users to compare hotel prices with just a few clicks from over 200 booking sites for more than 700,000 hotels worldwide.

Once on the trivago website simply enter the name of the city you want to book your hotel in, when you want to stay and what type of room you want and let tivago do the comparison shopping for you.

 

Daily Deal Sites For Finding Discounts On Vacations & Staycations

Our family isn’t planning  a spring break getaway this year but we are planning a honeymoon (I won’t say second even though we have been married almost 20 years because we never really had a first) . My hubby and I have been amazed by the great all inclusive vacation deals available at daily deal sites like Groupon.

We have been asking around and found several friends who have booked these packages all who have had great experiences so far. It just might be worth looking into if you are planning a spring break getaway. The great deals book up fast so this might be one to pin and remember for next year.

If you are staying close to home daily deal sites can help make the week a bit more fun. Our family often grabs deals for our favorite restaurants off sites like Living Social & Groupon.

(psst…If your not currently a member of Living Social you can start your account with a $10 credit off an voucher of $20 or more which is good for 30 days when you use my referral link)

caramel crunch (small)

Road Trip Snacks

What road trip could be complete without a few snacks.

Here are two recipes that make great road trip snacks

Here are some of our families favorite ready made road trip treats

Vacation Photo Book For Less

When you get back from vacation don’t forget to gather all those great shots you took with your camera and cell phone and put them into a photo album you can look at together for years to come.

A great way to create photo books of vacation for less is by using Bing Rewards to receive free Shutterfly  photo book codes,(a $29.99 value) that leave you having to pay just for shipping costs (currently around $9).

Where are you going this spring break?

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52 Weeks To A Simplified Home: Project 11

(post contains affiliate links: see disclosure)

I continued work in the downstairs bathroom this week. Next week will be the last week in this room before stepping into a 4th room for this year. I am thinking the next room will be the kitchen, but that could change.

bathroom drawerI decided to do the bathroom drawer and…..

bathroom shoe binThe bathroom shoe bin. Yes I know most people don’t have a basket for shoes in their bathroom. We do! It all started because I was in a hurry to pick up the house one day so a grabbed a laundry basket and threw everyone’s runners in the bathroom in a bin and then left it there. You see when the kids and I work out we tend to head straight to the shower shoes and all. So the bin became kind of handy. There really isn’t room for it though and it is kind of an eye sore so I am going to try and get rid of it.

bathroom junkIt really didn’t take long to clean up the 2 areas. In the end I ended up with an entire plastic grocery bag full of garbage.

bathroom drawer doneThe drawer now just holds, swim goggles, hair accessories and my husbands wrist band support . The goggles and wrist band might find a new home that makes more sense when I declutter the last area of the bathroom next week.

empty basketThe basket is 100% empty and has now been moved out of the bathroom. Hopefully it stays out.

What did you declutter this week?

52 weeks to a simplified homefree printable plan (small)

3 Deals So Good I Had To Share

Enter to win a 7 day trip to Scotland by clicking image above.
$3.50 off (2) packages of PULL-UPS Training Pants
Here are 2 high value coupons for Pull-Ups.
$2.00 off PULL-UPS Training Pants

What True Prosperity Looks Like

One morning with my bible open and the house quiet I came upon the verse that I have read numerous times before but never seen from the angle that I did that morning.

True prosperity isn't money in the bank

PROVERBS 21:5 (NLT): “Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty”

As I read that verse while all snuggled up in a blanket sipping on my morning cup of coffee my heart was suddenly filled with all that I have in my life that I cherish.

When I read that verse before I always thought of working hard to achieve financial prosperity, but on that morning, I had my eyes opened to the fact that prosperity in life is so much more than money.

Prosperity is those friends you hold so dear. The ones that will drop everything to be by your side when a loved one passes away. Nothing will keep them from celebrating the good times with you either.

Prosperity is a tight knit family, who laughs together and cries together.  A family that still loves you even when  you neglect them, or you don’t act the way you should.

Prosperity is a strong marriage. A spouse that is willing to come home and make dinner after his 10 hour shift so you can get more work done. A spouse that brings you chocolate or flowers or whatever just because. A spouse who will hold you when you sob so hard your whole body shakes with grief of losing a parent. A spouse that will laugh with you and not at you.

Prosperity is a caring church. A church that sends you notes in the mail that let you know they are praying for you. A church the arranges to have meals sent to your house when you have a baby, or surgery, or a loved one dies.

Prosperity is great neighbors. Neighbors who will come over and take your kids at a drop of a hat because you have to take care of a family emergency the children don’t need to see. Neighbors that will decorate your house for Christmas, clean your house, mow your yard, or shovel snow because you simply are not up for it  either emotionally or physically.

proverbs 215 Good Planning & Hardwork lead to prosperityRich relationships like these require HARD WORK from all those involved. Prosperity in relationships is not a one way street. It means we have to give our 100%  when the other half just isn’t able too. It means we have to pick up the phone and say we are sorry even when we too are hurt and feel like it isn’t all our fault.

It means we plan our days to include those we love. We plan dates with our spouse. Coffee time with our friends. We choose an activity in our church to be a part of. We plan to make a double batch of cookies so we can take the neighbor some.

To achieve prosperity in relationships means even when we are tired, we need to go that extra mile for those we love.

THAT IS TRUE PROSPERITY. That is love. That takes hard work and planning from all involved.

Let’s do it, let’s avoid emotional shortcuts, let’s push through tired. Let’s love even when we don’t feel it is returned in the same measure it is poured out.

Go out there today, and do the hard work. Prosperity will follow. Your heart will become full.

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