Choosing to Be Thankful, Even When Life is Hard

Today is a day when we celebrate our blessings and reflect on all the wonderful things we have to be thankful for. It’s a good thing to stop and express our gratitude — we all have much to be thankful for.

However, some of you are probably really struggling this Thanksgiving. Maybe your husband recently left you, or your child has been diagnosed with a terminal illness, or you are battling an addiction, or your finances feel like they are in shambles and you are just digging yourself into a deeper hole because of unemployment and ever-mounting bills.

Life is hard and messy sometimes — and just because it’s Thanksgiving doesn’t mean that the pain and burdens are lifted. If this Thanksgiving finds you in a difficult place in life, may I encourage you to read my post on Hope for Women Magazine on Choosing to Be Thankful Even When Life is Hard?

Here’s a snippet:

My husband was rummaging through old financial statements not too long ago, and we were aghast to read some of the numbers. During the first year he was in law school, there were six months when we made less than $900 — and some months it was as low as $650.

I recall that season of our lives fairly vividly, but seeing those numbers on paper again after a number of years was a shock to our systems. I’m still not sure how we made it on so little!

During those years, we lived in a little basement apartment that only had four windows on one side. I could plug the vacuum cleaner into one outlet and vacuum the entire apartment without ever switching outlets…Click on over to read the full post.

Our struggles during the lean law school years pale in comparison to many of the struggles you are facing. But I hope that the words I shared might encourage some of you.

Don’t lose heart. Don’t lose hope.

Choose gratitude today — even when it feels impossible. It might not change any of your circumstances, but I promise that it will transform your attitude and lift your spirits.

A Heartfelt Word of Thanks to Each of You

By the way, can I just say thank you to each of you for everything you mean to me and how you bless me on a daily basis?

Thank you for your kind words, your encouragement, and your constructive criticism. Thank you for reading here, commenting, and emailing.

As those who know me well can attest to, my years of blogging have been a journey of growth, learning, and stretching for me. It’s not always been easy and I’ve made oh-so-many mistakes along the way, but God has taught me much through it and changed me from the inside out as a result of blogging.

It’s brought me from a place of insecurity, legalism, and being a people-pleaser to a place where I feel whole, free, and truly happy in who God has made me to be and what He has called me to. And you’ve been a part of that journey with me.

Whether you’ve read here for years or just weeks, THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart for reading here and being apart of the Money Saving Mom® Community. Words cannot express how much you mean to me and how much I’ve learned and grown as a direct result of each of you. I love each of you and am eternally grateful for you.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Why I Won’t Be Out Shopping on Black Friday

Why I Won't Be Out Shopping on Black Friday

It might surprise you, but I don’t go shopping on Black Friday.

I know, I know. That statement might sound a bit antithetic to my usually frugal, money-saving ways, but it’s true.

Here’s why: The Black Friday deals online are just as good, or even better, than the in-store deals.

Yes, seriously. And I’ve proven this theory throughout the past few years by meticulously comparing the prices online versus the prices in-store. In almost every case, the online prices were better than the in-store prices.

Plus, you don’t have to wait out in the cold for three hours, and you can avoid all the stampeding and shoving crowds at the stores. Instead, you can get up a little early on Friday morning, sit in your PJ’s, sip your cup of coffee, and browse online.

There are other perks to shopping online for Black Friday:

1) You Have More of a Selection When Shopping Online

Typically, online sites are stocked better and have more variety than you’re going to find in-store. However, do note that the deals still sell out fairly quickly online. So if you see a deal ahead of time you’re particularly interested, you may want to wait up until midnight to go ahead and get it, as it may be sold out by the morning.

2) You Don’t Have to Drive to Multiple Stores

One of the biggest headaches of Black Friday shopping is strategizing where to be when and how you’re going to be multiple places in time for the great sales. Save gas and time by just clicking your way to savings.

Tip: Set up an account the day before on the sites that have hot sales that might not last long online on Black Friday. That way, when you order, you can just login and go through checkout quickly.

3) You Can Use Online Coupon Codes

Many online sites will have coupon codes available for free shipping or 15% off that you can stack on top of their fantastic Black Friday sales. Before placing your order, check RetailMeNot.com to see if there’s an online coupon code available for the site you’re ordering from.

4) You Can Get Cash Back

Set up a free account with cash-back sites like Ebates and Mr. Rebates and click through their site and search for the online site you’re shopping with before placing your order. You’ll usually get anywhere between 1% to 15% cash back for each online purchase. While it might only be a few dollars per purchase, these trickles add up to a nice check every three months!

If you love the thrill of the hunt and enjoy long waits and big crowds, be my guest and go out shopping on Black Friday. As for me, I’ll be snuggled up under a blanket with my mug of coffee and my laptop on Black Friday morning getting great deals from the comfort of my living-room couch!

Psst! Want to shop from home, too? Be sure to stop MoneySavingMom.com, where I’ll be live-blogging the best online Black Friday deals and coupon codes as they become available.

What about YOU? Are you planning to stay home on Black Friday or do you love the thrill of going out and bargain-hunting?

Trying to Decide Whether You Should Stay Home on Black Friday?

If you’re trying to decide whether or not to stay home on Black Friday, you can check out the links to some of the most popular Black Friday store ads below:

You can see all the latest Black Friday Ad Scans at BlackFriday.fm

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Kohl’s: Fitbit as low as $44.99 (with Kohl’s Cash Back and rebate)

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Kohl’s has a great deal on the Fitbit. You can get the Black Friday price now by ordering online, plus if you add a little extra to your shopping cart (like a washcloth for $1.50), you can get it for as low as $44.99. Here’s how:

Buy a Fitbit for $99.99
Submit for $25 Mail in Rebate
Get $15 Kohl’s Cash Back
$59.99 after Kohl’s Cash Back and rebate

You’re now a penny away from getting another $15 in Kohl’s Cash which would lower the final price to $44.99. Add a small filler to your cart to get this low price.

Note: as of posting the rebate is not available. It should be available at any time so as soon as you see it pop up, go ahead and order your FitBit.

Thanks, My Frugal Adventures!

Check out all the latest Kohl’s Black Friday deals at BlackFriday.fm.

(Note: The links in this post are affiliate links. Read our disclosure policy here.)
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Family Christian Stores: Little People Nativity Set only $21.49 (free in-store pickup!)

doorbusters-50off-LPN

The Little People Nativity Set is on sale for Black Friday at Family Christian Stores! Hurry over to Family Christian Stores and add the Little People Nativity Set to your cart and the price will be just $21.49, with free in-store pick-up.

If you don’t want to mess with in-store pickup or don’t have a store nearby, shipping will probably be around $3.98.

This popular toy always sells out fast, so act now to get this Little People Nativity Set at this HOT price!

This sale is valid November 26-27, 2014 only.

Thanks, My Frugal Adventures!

(Note: The link in this post is my referral link. Read my disclosure policy here.)

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K’Nex 375 Piece Deluxe Building Tub for just $11

K'Nex Tub for $11 shipped!Both Walmart and Amazon have the K’Nex 375 Piece Deluxe Building Tub on sale for just $11. This would make a great Christmas gift!

Order here from Walmart and select in store pickup for free shipping.

Of if you prefer Amazon, click here to order for the same price.

Thanks, My Frugal Adventures!

(Note: The links in this post are affiliate links. Read our disclosure policy here.)
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