One Fairly Big Blogging Change I’m Making in 2015

One blogging change I'm making in 2015

Over the past month or so, I’ve quietly been thinking, mulling, pondering, talking with my husband, and considering blogging changes for 2015.

This past year has been one of much growth for me as a person and as a blogger. I’ve truly loved going back more to my roots. And I want to do even more of that in 2015.

One of the changes I’m really excited about for 2015 and have been slowly rolling out over the past few weeks, is that I’m planning to have themes for each day of the week starting the week after Christmas.

I thought through which posts were the most viewed and the most commented on from 2013 and 2014 plus considered which posts I most enjoyed writing. Based upon this information, I put together a list of themes I wanted to cover on a weekly basis and this is what I came up with:

Daily Blogging Themes for 2015

  • What I Cleaned/Organized This Week — This post will be on Monday and will be in the vein of the Clean Your Home for Christmas posts that you all really enjoyed. I’ll post a cleaning project in the morning and a Day in the Life sort of post in the evening to share the results of my cleaning plan. I thought this would be a great way to start off the week. And it would also help keep me accountable to keeping our home organized.
  • What I Cooked/Baked This Week — This will either be a post on a freezer cooking session, a new recipe, or a kitchen flop — something I’m really good at. :)
  • What I Read This Week — This will be a post recapping what I read/watched/listened to/read to the kids over the past week + mini reviews on each item. Plus, I’ll also share what I’m planning to read in the upcoming week.
  • How We Saved This Week — This post will share some simple ways we saved that week. From little to big ways, it will give you encouragement for living a frugal, simple, contented life.
  • What I Tried This Week — This post will either be a DIY idea I tried, something I sewed, or a new idea I tried implementing and whether it was successful or not.
  • What We Did This Week — This will be a peek into our week type of post. I’ve kind of fallen off the bandwagon in sharing these and I’ve missed it (and many of you have mentioned missing these, too).

And That’s Not All

That said, don’t worry: I still plan to share my goals for the week, regular Q&A posts, regular content pieces on a wide variety of subjects as I’m inspired to write them, regular guest posts, and, of course, plenty of deals and freebies and coupons and giveaways.

In addition, you can still count on finding a regular smattering of other eclectic posts on wide variety of topics — as you’ve likely come to expect (or be surprised by!) here.

My goal in having daily posting themes is that having a sort of set posting schedule will help keep me on track and will also provide variety around here, as well as a bit more predictability.

I know that I sometimes get side-tracked with topics I’m inspired to write on and I know some of you enjoy this, but others of you would love a little more consistency here. So I’m aiming for the best of both worlds with this!

As always, I can’t promise that I will follow this outline 100% perfectly every single day of every single week in 2015, because you know how life goes, but I’m really excited about this concept and am hopeful that it’s going to work well and be something that I’ll be able to follow through with. I’m at least going to do my best to stick with it!

I know I say it often, but I feel I can’t ever say it enough: Thank you for being on this blogging journey with me. I am grateful for each and every one of you and what you mean to me. Without you, there would be no reason to blog.

So thank you, from the bottom of my heart. I appreciate all of you more than words can express and am excited for what 2015 has in store!

Coming Up After Christmas

After Christmas, I’ll be sharing my personal goals and some of our family goals for 2015, some thoughts on why I struggled with my goals in 2014, and what I learned from a year that was packed with a lot of new and stretching opportunities. Look for those posts soon!

What would YOU love to see more of here in 2015? What are some of your favorite types of posts? I’d love to know as I plan out posts for the beginning of the year!

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Simple Ways We Saved This Week: Creating art, using the library, puzzles, and why you shouldn’t put egg whites in your coffee!

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The girls have been doing lots of painting and drawing this week — mostly abstract type art pieces. I love to see them being creative and having so much doing it!

Bonus: it’s such a frugal activity — especially when they use art supplies we already have on hand.

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My sweet friend, Victoria, sent me this Craft Night in a Box — complete with a Starbucks gift card! It made for a free night of entertainment and relaxation for me.

I had so much fun working on it last night and am planning to finish my project tonight. If all goes well, I’ll share the finished results tomorrow.

{Isn’t this SUCH a great gift idea? If you know a crafter or a wanna-be crafter, this might be a great last-minute gift idea!}

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The kids have been enjoying some books and this drawing DVD we got at the library last week. Have I mentioned how much we love the library?

If you haven’t visited yours recently, you should take some time to do so — it’s like having thousands of unexplored worlds and ideas at your fingertips, for free!

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I’m loving reading this Lynn Austin novel I requested used from PaperBackSwap, one of my favorite frugal sources for books!

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We’ve been making memories by working on this 2000-piece puzzle that we got from a White Elephant gift exchange earlier this week.

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I got a $5 iTunes gift card with my points on Recyclebank. And I spent it to get some songs from one of my favorite movie soundtracks.

{Oh yes, I know, you might think it’s a little kooky that I love Frozen as much as I do. But here’s the thing: the songs not only make me so happy when I listen to them, but I can relate to many of the themes in the movie because of my own personal journey with being more authentic to my true self in the past few years. So yes, it might be juvenile, but I don’t really care! :)}
Simple Ways We Saved This Week

One way I didn’t save: I could not figure out why the “cream” I was pouring in my coffee this morning looked so watered down. And then I actually read the box. Yikes… Clearly, not all brain cells were firing this morning. Needless to say, I had to pour that coffee down the drain and brew a new cup!

How did YOU save this week?

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Target: Suave Kid’s Shampoo & Conditioner just $0.27 after gift card — no coupons needed!

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Through December 28, 2014, buy any 4 participating items at Target and you’ll get a free $5 Target Gift Card.

Participating brands include: AXE*, Caress, Clear, St. Ive’s, Degree, Dove, Dove Men+Care*, Q-tips, Nexxus, Ponds, Suave, TRESemme, Simple, Toni & Guy. Excludes trial and travel sizes.

Target Gift Card Deal

Suave Kid’s Shampoo/Conditioner is included in this deal and it is priced as low as $1.52 per bottle. So you can get a great deal on it with the gift card offer. Here’s how:

Buy 4 Suave Kid’s Shampoo/Conditioner at $1.52
Spend $6.08 plus tax out of pocket
Get $5 Target Gift card
$0.27 each after gift card — no coupons needed

Target Gift Card Deals

You can also earn Target gift cards when you buy Holiday Gift Packs:

These deals are available online or in-store. These offers are valid through December 28, 2014. See store for specific details.

{This post is underwritten by Lunchbox, all opinions are 100% my own. Read our disclosure policy here.}

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Gretchen’s $8.70 Target Shopping Trip

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Target Shopping Trip

1 bag Flour – Marked down to $0.46 (This will come in handy with all the baking I’m planning to do the next 2 weeks!)

1 Up & Up Ammonia – $0.99 (I needed this to clean our garage floor and found Target had the cheapest price around town.)

2 Juicy Fruit Chews – $2.50 each, used 50% off Cartwheel coupon AND 2 $0.75/1 coupon from the 9/28 RedPlum insert – $0.50 each after coupons (Cheap stocking stuffers!)

1 Hello Kitty Necklace – $1 (I got this is a gift for a little girl I know and tried to use the 25% off Cartwheel coupon but it didn’t come off.)

1 box Oreo Mini – $3.50, used 50% off Cartwheel coupon AND $0.50/1 printable – $1.25 after coupons

1 Home Alone Complete Collection DVDs – $10, used 10% off Cartwheel coupon AND $5/1 printable - $4 after coupon (This is a great inexpensive Christmas gift that I was thrilled to find!)

Total before coupons and sales: $31.92

Total after coupons and sales: $8.70

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Walmart: Current Deals

Here are the best deals at Walmart right now with thanks to Heather from Passion for Savings for her help in compiling them. The prices below are based on Northwest Arkansas region. Please keep in mind that Walmart deals vary by region so the prices listed here will not be valid at all stores.

Betty Crocker SuperMoist Cake Mix – $1.28
Use $0.75/2 printable
$0.90 each after coupon

Bic Silky Touch Disposable Razors – $2.96
Use $2/1 coupon from the 12/14 SmartSource insert
$0.96 after coupon

Tide PODS 14 ct – $3.97
Use $2/1 coupon from the 12/14 RedPlum insert
$1.97 after coupon

Downy Unstopables – $4.44
Use $2/1 coupon from the 12/14 RedPlum insert
$2.44 after coupon

Oxiclean Extreme Power Crystals Dishwasher Detergent or Dishwasher Booster – $3.97
Use $1/1 printable
Or use $4/2 coupon from the 12/14 SmartSource insert
$1.97 each after coupon

Gillette Foamy Shaving Cream – $1.87
Use $1/1 coupon from the 12/14 RedPlum insert
$0.87 after coupon

Gain Flings 14 ct. – $3.97
Use $2/1 coupon from the 12/14 RedPlum insert
$1.97 after coupon

See the full list of deals at Walmart this week here.

Find

Did you find a great deal at Walmart? Just post about it on your blog and leave your link below. To make it easy for everyone to navigate quickly through the links, your link must link directly to your Walmart deals post. Links going to the homepage of your blog or any other part of your blog besides the direct link to your Walmart deals post will be deleted.

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How I paid for Christmas this year by selling on Facebook Yard Sale Groups

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Traci emailed in this reader tip:

I had been planning a yard sale for months but this summer I decided I didn’t have enough or valuable enough things to make it worthwhile.

About this time, I joined a handful of Yard Sale groups on Facebook and bought a few things through them. After purchasing a few things from others and realizing how easy it was to post things for sale also, I decided to list a few items around the house.

Within minutes — even seconds, sometimes — I had people interested!

I started cleaning out closets and found so many other things that I wanted to get rid of. It felt great to purge and makes some money, too. Items that I have sold so far have been: adult and children’s clothing, toys, kitchen items, furniture, books, and movies.

Money is tight this Christmas, but by selling items on the Facebook Yard Sale Groups, I was able to pay cash for Christmas for my entire Christmas for my family and even had some extra money leftover!
The best advice that I have for selling on local Facebook Yard Sale groups would be consider the time and gas you are spending to buy or sell an item. If you have to travel far, this could be eating your profit or savings.

Post that others need to pick up in your city. I like to try to arrange pickups or drop-offs either in the morning or evening as to not interrupt my daily work, school, and family routine.

I also don’t have strangers come to my home. Remember safety first and it is best to meet in a public place like a shopping center or, even better, the local police department parking lot.

Also remember that people have busy lives and things happen that they have to reschedule a transaction sometimes. With that said, if someone is not being respectful of your time or you are not comfortable with something, don’t meet with them.

I am not stressing about Christmas this year and have not put one thing on a credit card that I will regret having to pay for later! -Traci

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