Prepping For Our RV Trip: We Are FINALLY Leaving


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At the end of this week our family of 5 will finally pull out of our neighborhood and begin our 5 1/2 month trip across the States, up the west coast, into Canada and back home again. Every Monday I plan to post a trip update here on the blog.

A Week Of Lasts

Last Shift

On Thursday morning my husband headed out the door for his last day of work for 5 1/2 months.

My husband is an AMAZING nurse. He has a BIG heart and he feels for his patients. He is also a very HARD worker dedicated to his family.

Although he is looking forward to our trip leaving work for him was hard. He will miss serving his patients and working with his co-workers.

The very next day he spent most of his time doing trip related errands. He will be doing a lot more of those this week.

Last Goodbyes

This week we have gotten down to the finals in more ways than just final shift at work. I had my final yoga class on Friday and at the end of it my classmates gave me this card, a few gifts, and sent me on my way with a tummy full of yummy cookies.

We have had several “have a great trip” meals with friends. Every where we go people are telling us how excited they are for us and telling us goodbye until June.

Thank goodness for Facebook, Instagram and texts to keep us in touch with those we love on the road– otherwise I don’t think I would be handling all the goodbyes as well as I am. I know we will be back but I will miss my friends and community.


Last Minute Projects

Confession, I am a huge homebody. I am one of those people who never sleeps well at a hotel. I love my own bed, my own kitchen, my own bathroom. And yet here I am about to leave on a trip that will take me all away from that for 5 1/2 months.

Since my hubby knows all this, he has been very patient about doing things inside the RV for me to make it have that homey touch.

One such project is this .50 cent yard sale frame redo you see in the picture above. It was an ugly brown and gold, he spray painted it for me and then attached chicken wire to the back.

I bought binder clips from hollar and plan to use them to attach pictures, scripture and other things to this frame.

I purchased a Polaroid zip mobile printer so I can print pictures straight from my smartphone as I take them. By the end of the trip this frame should be filled of memories of all the places we have seen on the road.

Psst…want to see pictures of our travels as they happen? Follow me on Instagram.









6 Ways To Earn Money For Christmas All Year Long


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This is the final post in the How To Plan A Christmas To Remember On A Super Tight Budget series and it is perhaps the most important because this post will set you up to enjoy a Christmas To Remember without the super tight budget for years to come.

If you follow the steps in this post you should create a nice steady stream of income that–added up over the course of the year–will give you enough to fund Christmas for your family.

6 Ways to Earn Money for Christmas all Year Long

Honestly a lot of these streams below are very small, more like a drop here and there, but even little drops can add up. Think of the power of a rain storm. It is made up of tiny rain drops, but together they create something that soaks the land.

6 Ways To Earn Money For Christmas All Year Long

If you have been following the series you will recognize many of these streams of income as I mentioned them in the Where To Earn Gifts Cards Fast For Christmas Cash post, the Where to Resell Your Items Online For Quick Christmas Cash, and the How To Use Your Talents & Passions To Generate Christmas cash.

This time I want you to take that information and turn it into sources of income that can produce money all year long instead of just at Christmas time.

How our Family pays Just $45 a Month for Service to 3 SmartphonesHow to avoid high smartphone bills

1. Make Money When You Shop

If you have a smartphone you can use the following apps to earn cash back and more on your purchases, and not just at the grocery store. These apps work at restaurants, gas stations, pet stores, craft stores and more. If you make a habit of using these apps every time you shop you should have a nice sum to cash in for Paypal cash or gift certificates for your Christmas shopping.


The Ibotta app gives you rebates when you complete various tasks for a product in the app and then take a picture of the receipt for the product you chose at the store you chose and upload it to the app. Here is my step by step guide on how to use Ibotta.

Use my referral code QtTQg at sign-up (sometimes they offer a special when you do this–sometimes not).

Sign up for Ibotta here


MobiSave offers cash backs with no thresholds. What this means is if you pick 3 rebate offers all valued at say $0.10 , then go shopping and upload your receipt, in 24 hours you will receive your $0.30 in rebates in the form of a PayPal deposit.

Here is my tutorial for how to use MobiSave: Earn Cash Back On Your Groceries with MobiSave

Sign up for MobiSave here (use my referral code OGHUVPZ)

Receipt Hog

Simply upload a receipt by taking a picture of it with your smartphone or tablet and watch your points and spins add up. There are lots of stores that qualify including Aldi. Read my full tutorial on Receipt Hog here.

Earn a free spins when you use my referral code YECT1667 when signing up

Sign up for Receipt Hog here (YECT1667)


If you shop for Organic, gluten-free or NON GMO foods then you are going to want sign up for BerryCart. It works like a rebate program giving you money back for certain natural food purchases when you upload your receipt.

Here is my tutorial for the BerryCart App: Step By Step Guide To BerryCart App

Sign up for BerryCart here


Shopkick is the app that pays you to browse. You don’t have to purchase anything to earn gift cards through the Shopkick app. You simply sign in when you enter select stores and earn kicks just for entering in the store and/or by scanning select products while you shop.

See my tutorial (a Step by Step Guide To Shopkick) for more details.

Sign up for Shopkick here


3 Survey Companies That Really PayI have personally tried out each of the survey companies on this list

2. Answer Surveys


PrizeRebel offers 9 ways to earn points, but it is primarily a survey company. With cash outs beginning at just 300 points for a $3 Amazon gift card code it doesn’t take long to earn enough to cash out. There is also a Paypal option starting at $5. Here is my guide for using PrizeRebel.

Sign up for PrizeRebel here.

 Paid Viewpoint

With Paid Viewpoint you never get screened out of a survey and always get paid a little something for your time. Those are my two favorite things about it. Here is my guide for using Paid Viewpoint

Sign up for Paid Viewpoint here.


In MintVine’s survey area you will find a box beside each survey that tells you how long each survey should take. I have tested this feature out and found it to be accurate. You are also often given a few points for filling out the qualifying questions for a survey you didn’t get into. Here is my guide for using MintVine.

Sign up for MintVine here.


4 of the Best Websites for Earning Cash in Your Spare TimeThese websites offer low cash outs and numerous ways to earn

3. Watch Videos


What I love about InstaGC is the instant gift card cash outs starting at just $1 for a Amazon gift card code. They have a large selection of videos you can watch for points. Here is my guide for using InstaGC

Sign Up For InstGC here.


Swagbucks has several apps in which you can watch videos and earn SB points for doing so. You can then cash in those SB points for gift cards including ones for PayPal. There are 20+ other ways to earn points through Swagbucks making it a great company to generate a small stream of Christmas cash from. Here is one of my many guides on how to use Swagbucks.

Sign Up For Swagbucks here.


How to Make Money from What you Already OwnMy reselling tips page can help you resell your items for top dollar

4. Resell Your Stuff

Perhaps this is the year where you want to declutter your home from top to bottom–if so creating a stream of income for Christmas cash is pretty simple. Find a reselling platform you like and start selling items.

If you prefer, you can host a huge yard sale. If you chose the yard sale option, here is a free downloadable sheet that will help you gather as many items as possible for the sale and here is a post I wrote that will help you host your most successful yard sale to date.

 6 Ways to Earn Money for Christmas all Year Long

5. Sell A Craft Or Product

Are you talented at writing? Create an eBook and sell it on Kindle. Are you talented at knitting, create a product and sell it on Etsy.

Do your research, but don’t stay caught in research mode forever. Get out there! Create and sell your work.


6 Ways to Earn Christmas Cash all Year Long

6. Offer Your Services

Mow lawns, babysit children, clean homes, walk dogs–these are all example of services you could offer. Stick to what you are talented at and have a passion for. You don’t want to offer to walk dogs if you fear them and really don’t like long walks outdoors.

Also study up on the laws in your area. Selling your services often requires a permit and requiring one means following a set of guidelines.

Pursuing one or several of these streams of income should create a small steady stream of income month after month that can fund your Christmas account year after year. Who knows, these streams of income might even add up to something much greater than that–generating greater financial security for your family.

How to Plan a Christmas to Remember on a Super Tight BudggetThis post is part of the How To Plan A Christmas To Remember On A Super Tight Budget Series.

Subscribe and get a free copy of my Christmas on a Zero Budget: Printable PlanGrab your free copy here












3 Things I Am LOVING This Week: December 28


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Our family is down to just over one week before we leave on our BIG RV trip.  I want to live the adventure and not just be along for the ride so until July 2017 things are going to look a little different around here.

A Blog Announcement

Starting next week I will be replacing “3 Things I Am LOVING Lately” with a Monday post that will be similar in layout to 3 Things… but centered around our RV trip. I want to let you see what we have been seeing on the road.

Most weeks there won’t be a post on Wednesday’s and Friday’s are going to change too.

Friday’s on the blog while we are on the road will look like this…

1st Friday: Saving Money Tips

2nd Friday: Houskeeping/Decluttering

3rd Friday: Earning Money From Home Tips

4th Friday: Other topics (reading, time management, cooking, fitness etc)

5th Friday: Round up post (10 books I love, my top 10 posts on money saving, etc)

This revised schedule will significantly cut down my work week allowing me to spend more time soaking up the trip but still give you, my readers, your favorite topics each month. The new schedule will also allow those of you who have been telling me you want to follow along on our trip to do just that.

In July when we are all settled back into daily routine I will re-evaluate how the new schedule is doing and decide whether to go back up to 3 posts a week or keep it at 2.


First Thing I Am LOVING Lately…

A family evening at the Indy Zoo Holiday  light show.

My eldest son has been volunteering at the Indy zoo for over a year now. One of his volunteer perks is a free guest ticket for so many hours of volunteering. A few months ago he came home with 4 free tickets and we decided we would save them for the holiday light show the zoo puts on every year.

The show had a very magical feel for it and if you live in the Indy area I would say you need to go and see it at least once.

Second Thing I Am LOVING Lately…

Our new Christmas Eve tradition

Last year at the start of the Christmas season I sat every one down to discuss Christmas traditions. It was painfully obvious the year before that several of our traditions from previous years had been outgrown by our children.

One thing we decide to switch up was when we opened our gifts. We switched it from Christmas morning to Christmas eve. The reason being that “morning” was becoming a flexible term with our teenagers. It seemed like the same kids that could sleep to noon if we let them magically became crack of dawn risers on Christmas morning.

So we decided that after Christmas eve church service we would come home to a finger food feast and then open up our gifts. It is a great family evening spent together and Christmas day has switched focus from gifts to reflection, relaxation, and family time.

Third Thing I Am LOVING Lately…

A new year with a new set of goals

Last week I shared a little about my 3 words for 2017Soak, Create, Share.

This week I wanted to share my goals. They are few in number this year since I want to soak up the trip.

I shared about them in more detail in this Facebook post.

Psst… I would love to get to know you better. Hang out with me in either my Facebook group for people desiring to declutter their homes or on my Facebook group for those who love my thrifty posts & hot deals.

3 Deals That Will Help You Reach Your Goals In 2017

1. 15 Days To A Healthier Your Program

Crystal Paine’s new course 15 Days to a Healthier You is available for $15 but only until January 3rd

When you sign up for 15 Days to a Healthier You, you’ll get access to:

  • Daily 15-minute LIVE videos in an exclusive private Facebook group.
  • Daily lessons covering important topics like why self-care is important, what self-care really is (probably not what you think!), and why self-care looks different for different people.
  • Daily projects to help you stay on track and meet your personal goals.
  • Access to an exclusive members-only private Facebook group where you can find encouragement from others who are going through the series.
  • Daily accountability through the Project Check-In Threads on the Facebook Group where you can share your progress and struggles with all the participants.
  • Bonus links and resources for additional inspiration!
  • Go here for more details and to grab your copy!

 2. Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle  Flash Sale

If one of your goals is to live a healthier lifestyle but you only have a vague idea of how to go about it the healthy living bundle is for you. The package includes 83 digital products on topics like real food recipes, paleo eating, fitness & weight loss and much more.

All together, it’s worth over $2,400! But for today and tomorrow only you can get all those resources for one bundle price of  $29.97.

Go here to check out all the details and grab your copy

3. Herbs & Essential Oils Bundle

Ultimate bundles is also running a flash sale on this year’s  Herb & Essential Oils Bundle . This bundle has 21 eBooks, eCourses, and printable cheat sheets, many of which are written by certified herbalists, aromatherapists, health researchers, educators and more, and are extremely practical and user-friendly. If you have been wanting to learn how to incorporate essential oils into your healthy life style this bundle its for you. This bundle is also just $29.97 Wednesday and Thursday only.

Go here to check out the details and grab your copy

How To Sweeten The Last Two Deals

Put the first bundle in your cart and after checkout you will be offered the second for just $15.

This is the last time these versions of either of these bundles will be offered.

Don’t forget to check out my Hot Deals page for more great deals, such as high value coupons, and free sample listings.