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 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 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?

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

thrifty bookworms and swagbucks the perfect romance (smallest)Can’t find some of these thrifty reads at your local library? No problem use Swagbucks to pay for them. Click through to read how to earn $25 a month in Amazon gift cards to pay for books as well as ways to make those gift cards stretch further.


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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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Step by Step Guide To Shopkick

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I was researching for a project when I stumbled upon someone talking about the shopkick app. The writer mentioned that to earn points you didn’t need to buy anything, you simply had to check in at the store and scan products as you shopped.

step by step guide to shopkick the app that pays you to browse

As a person who loves point earning programs that actually pay, I immediately knew I wanted to check shopkick out  and then report my findings to my readers so that you too could start earning gift cards through shopkick.

Step by Step Guide To Shopkick

Although I now own a smartphone (Tracfone started offering them at a rate that was just slightly higher than what we were paying pre-smartphone) I wanted to try shopkick out using my 4th generation iPod so that those of you who don’t yet own a smartphone could see that the shopkick app still works even when you don’t have a data plan smartphone.

I found out that as long as the store you wanting to use for shopkick has free wi-fi, you can indeed sign in and collect kicks. I used my iPod at my local Meijer that offers free wi-fi and was able to claim clicks with no issues, proving that as long as you have a device with a rear facing camera for scanning you can use the shopkick app in free wi fi hot spots.

1. Sign up for shopkick

Follow this link and enter you cell number to receive a link to download the shopkick app.

Yes you could download app directly through your app store but if you use the link   you will be supporting me and my family through a small referral bonus at no cost to you. My family and I want to thank you in advance for using the referral link as it helps me be able to add to our families income, through providing you with ideas of how to add to your own families income here on the blog.

shopkick choose the area

2. Pick Your Area

After you have signed up and downloaded the App you want to pick the area in which you are planning to shop. It is very easy to change the area at any given time should you be shopping in a different town from time to time.

shopkick pick your store3. Pick the store

I was going shopping at Meijer so I picked Meijer for this tutorial. I first signed in to Meijers free wi fi through my iPod settings and made sure my location services for the shopkick app was on (also found in iPod settings). Then I went into the shopkick app and picked Meijer in my hometown.

shopkick scan area4. Click on scans to view what is available to scan

I clicked on the “Scans” area. In some stores there will be another box above the “Scans” area that will say ……kicks when you walk into….. Which means you earn points just for walking in the door and having that store picked and your locator on.

In the “Scans” area you will find a visual list of all the products that you can get kicks for scanning. For maximum rewards you could scan everything available but what I did was make a mental list of what was available to scan for kicks and then as I saw them while shopping for items on my list I took the time to scan them. I saw several items available to scan as I shopped, so this plan gave me rewards for very little extra time spent shopping.

shopkick pick the item you want to scan

5. Click on the item you want to scan

I saw the Similac formula across  the aisle from the cottage cheese I was buying so I decided it make it my first scan. Simply click on the picture of the item in the list of items to scan that you are ready to scan.

shopkick scan the barcode6. Click the scan icon and scan item

Once you have the item in your hand go ahead and click the scan icon found on the lower corner of the picture of the item you are scanning (it will show the amount of kicks you earn and have a barcode symbol on it). This will load up your camera and enable you to use the scan function of the app to scan the items barcode. To scan simply  line up the items barcode inside the square space of the scanner and hold still. In a few short seconds it should say “verifying scan” on the screen and a second or two later it will flash with a picture of your kicks earned inside a blue circle.

shopkick view balance choose reward

7. To view balance and choose a reward click on the person symbol

Your profile area will help you find out what your current balance is as well as all the current rewards there are available and how many kicks each one is. It is also the area where you will find your own referral link for sharing the app with your friends so that you can earn your own referral kicks (under invite & get kicks).

shopkick picking out a reward8. Choose the  reward you want

To view the rewards and figure out which one you want to aim for click on the  browse rewards tab found in your profile section. Scroll down and look at all the different options.

The apps has three reward options, electronic gift cards, physical items, and donations.

If you pick out a gift card, you may have several options for rewards. For instance the Target Gift card at the time I write this is available in the sums of $2 for 500 kicks, $5 for 1250 kicks, $10 for 2500 kicks, and $25 for 6250 kicks.

Shopkick is forever offering special deals for certain stores like the one that showed up on the app as I was writing this article where you got 200 kicks for walking in the doors of Macy’s or American Eagle.  Those type of deals would make it fairly simple to get to the 500 kick minimum Target gift card cash quickly.

So far I am very impressed with the selection of things available to scan as well as stores in which you can scan.  I will definitely be using the shopkick app in stores with free wi fi and I will be doing it in the same way I did the other day, I plan on taking just a few seconds to look up what is available to scan and then as I spot them shopping for items on my grocery list scan them, making shopkick a simple way to add a bit of earning to my weekly grocery shopping trip.

Sign up for your own Shopkick App. today.

Looking for more ways to earn money? Follow my Selling & Earning Tips board on Pinterest.

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

Make sure to visit my Point Programs page for a list of sites and apps that can help add a bit of wiggle room to your families budget.

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Picture From Our Week: 6 Ways We Saved Money On Our Teenage Bedroom Makeover

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Last week I gave you a bit of a peek at the room we finished for our 18 year old son. As I was sharing a few of the details I thought it might be fun to do a run down of all the ways we saved money in the room.

6 ways we saved money on our teenage bedroom makeover

First lets start with a room tour.

Loft bed room from enteranceThis is what the room looks like when you view it from the door way. It is a small room so we wanted to really maximize the space. Thankfully the room had a vaulted ceiling so we used this to our advantage and created a loft bed for our son 8 feet up in the air so that his over 6 foot high self can walk under it without any problems.

couch and tv areaUnder the loft sits the yard sale couch and dresser that I found at a community rummage a few weeks back. 

tv areaMy husband and I decided against making this corner into a closet area as our son doesn’t hang a single item of clothes anyways,  and although it seemed like the most logical area in the room for a closet it was needed for his TV and gaming console more. If we should put our house up for sale, we already have plans to create a closet so that this room can be considered a 4th bedroom and add value to our home.

loft areaAbove his media area is his bed. My husband cut the top off an old ladder of his and added a wooden railing to it to make the ladder for the loft bed.

loft bedOur son picked out the duvet cover a few months back when he and I went to Ikea together to get inspiration for how to make the best use of the space in the room. I had a clearance found down comforter to place inside. We reused his mattress and pillows from the room he shared with his brother.

study area of teen roomWe reused his desk that was a yard sale found sofa table my husband altered and a yard sale found book case from another room. His alarm clock was originally in this room and was also yard sale found. The chair was in this room originally and was target clearance.

 6 Ways We Saved  Money On Our Teenage Bedroom Makeover

1. Yard sales

All pieces of furniture in the room with the exception of the mattress and the desk chair were found at yard sales. The curtains were also from a yard sale. All together we spend less than $200 on all the pieces.

Here are my best tips for successfully shopping yard sales.

2. We used odds and ends leftover from other projects

We painted all the furniture the same shade of black using floor paint that we had leftover from a previous project.

3. We used clearance priced items

The down comforter I got at Aldi’s for $15 on clearance.

Here are my best tips for shopping the clearance racks.

4. We used discounted gift cards

My husband used discounted gift cards from Cardpool to pay for all the supplies he needed saving us 7% on  the cost of supplies.

Here is how our family has saved up to $50 a month by using discounted gift cards.

5. We used free labor

My husband did 100% of the work for this room saving us the cost of labor.

6. We repurposed items from around the house

The chair, desk and alarm clock were in this room when it was a school room. The book case was in another room where it wasn’t really fitting, so we swapped it out for this room.

Our biggest savings were found in the couch we got for $100 and the dresser for $35. We had budgeted significantly more for these two items thinking that we might not find items small enough to fit in the space in the second hand market and would therefore have to buy them new. When I found both a couch and dresser for significantly less than what we budgeted my husband and I decided to use the money saved to update our other 2 children’s rooms.

How do you save money renovating?

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

Linked to One Project At A Time,

swagbucks image (200wide)

Another way to bring down the cost of renovating that we didn’t use for this project is to cash in Swagbucks points for gift cards for stores that sell renovation and interior decorating supplies. Here is how you can earn $30 a month in Swagbucks with no need to fill out time consuming surveys.


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Vera Bradley Backpack Giveaway

(post contains affiliate links see disclosure)



Giveaway Details

:Monday, July 7th at 9:00 AM ET to Wednesday, July 9th at 9:00 PM ET.
Ninety-Five (95) winners will receive Vera Bradley Campus Backpacks.
Winners can pick from the following colors: Pink Swirls, Ziggy Zinnia, or African Violet.
Each backpack is valued at $109.
Users can enter the giveaway by heading to the Vera Bradley page on and submitting their email address on the form at the top of the page.

The winners will be chosen via a lottery drawing on Thursday (7/10) and notified via the email address they used to enter.

Click Here To Enter

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One Summer Fun Goal For The Week: July 7 to 13

(post contains affiliate links see disclosure)one summer fun goal for the week

Last Week’s Goal

We had an amazing 4th of July Celebration with some of our closest friends.

My husband spent Tuesday with the children cleaning up the backyard while I worked on the blog then on Wednesday I got all the groceries in the morning with my daughter and then spent the afternoon cleaning up the house with all three of my children. Friday morning my husband prepared the backyard for the party with my daughter while I blogged, and then he left with all three kids for the parade while I did some last minute preparations and blogged a bit more. At 3 pm all our friends started arriving and we spent the afternoon and evening watching the kids play, eating, and finally watching our town’s fireworks from our backyard. We are blessed to live just up the hill from where our town holds its fireworks.

This Week’s Goal

Prepare for and then go camping

What I Finished Reading

I did not finish a single book this week.

What I Am Reading

In Paperback Form

Kisses from Katie: I just bought Kisses from Katie, through one of my favorite sources for inexpensive summer time reading,  a yard sale. I have heard great things about this book and am looking forward to digging into it. Still haven’t started this yet, since I have been reading off my kindle paperwhite lately.

On My Kindle Paperwhite

Don’t laugh…I am currently reading Life With Lily, yes I know it is a book for 8 to 12 year old girls, but I love stories of the carefree lives of Amish children so much that I couldn’t resit it when I saw it for free on Kindle a while back. I am really enjoying this book, it is a carefree summer time read.

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

Paid Viewpoint The survey site where you are paid for every surveyI was researching point programs that are simple and effective when I found Unlike most survey companies pays you cash for every survey you complete. Sure it isn’t much per survey, in the last few days I have been a member I have been offered one survey a day and each survey was worth .10 cents so far( the rest of the earnings seen in the picture above were for filling out my profile page).

However the surveys are short, most under 2 minutes, and you get paid something for each and every survey you take the time to complete (a lot of companies screen you out within the first few minutes of your time and you get paid nothing). I also like that they pay in Paypal payments once your account reaches $15.  You can use that cash for whatever you want, where ever you want.

Combine the tiny drip of income from with other point  programs and you could find yourself creating a small steady stream of money to help your families finances or to help pursue your passions, which in turn could help your families income.

Not a member of Paid Viewpoint? Sign Up Today!