LITE Feed (non-deal) Posts – Money Saving Mom® http://moneysavingmom.com Intentional finance. Intentional family. Intentional business. Sat, 20 Jan 2018 22:47:59 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Slow Day: Week 3 http://moneysavingmom.com/2018/01/slow-day-week-3.html http://moneysavingmom.com/2018/01/slow-day-week-3.html#comments Sat, 20 Jan 2018 22:28:54 +0000 http://moneysavingmom.com/?p=253449

Welcome to my weekly Slow Day post, inspired by Monica from The Homespun Heart. My Word for 2018 is Slow and, in the spirit of that word, I’m taking one day each week (Wednesday) off — I’ll be unplugged and offline and plan to move at a slower pace, take time to do things that refresh me, and just really focus on being present and savoring the moment.

Each Saturday, I’ll be sharing a photographic peek into my Slow Day — and I’ll let the pictures almost 100% speak for themselves, instead of giving many explanations. Enjoy a little peek into our lives!

Links to Items Shown in the Post:

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Free Challenge: 31 Days to a Clutter-Free Mind http://moneysavingmom.com/2018/01/free-challenge-31-days-clutter-free-mind.html http://moneysavingmom.com/2018/01/free-challenge-31-days-clutter-free-mind.html#respond Sat, 20 Jan 2018 15:22:32 +0000 http://moneysavingmom.com/?p=253213

Do you feel distracted, overwhelmed, or anxious? Sign up for the FREE 31 Days to a Clutter-Free Mind Challenge.

This challenge will encourage you to break free from social media distraction, focus more on what really matters, and have a peacefully productive and joyful year!

 

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Free Printable Valentines for Kids http://moneysavingmom.com/2018/01/free-printable-valentines-kids.html http://moneysavingmom.com/2018/01/free-printable-valentines-kids.html#comments Sat, 20 Jan 2018 14:11:47 +0000 http://moneysavingmom.com/?p=252896

Download a set of free printable Valentines for Kids. These would make great classroom valentines! They’re SO cute!

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Our Completely Honest Experience With MoviePass http://moneysavingmom.com/2018/01/completely-honest-experience-moviepass.html http://moneysavingmom.com/2018/01/completely-honest-experience-moviepass.html#comments Fri, 19 Jan 2018 21:09:45 +0000 http://moneysavingmom.com/?p=253391

Have you heard of MoviePass? It’s a movie subscription service that costs $10 per month and you get access to one movie per day at participating theaters!

Yes, you read that right. $10 per month for basically unlimited movies! (Well, 30 to 31 movies — or 28 or 29, if it’s February — to be exact. Depending upon how many days there are in any given month! ;))

We love going to movies, but we rarely go because of the price tag. So when I read about MoviePass in the fall, I was all WHAT?? And I immediately started looking into it because I wanted to surprise Jesse with a membership for Christmas.

However, being the skeptic I am, I figured there had to be a catch.

Is MoviePass Really Legit?

So I researched and read reviews, I Googled high and low looking for people who were complaining about the service or who were saying it wasn’t legit or that it was a scam.

To my surprise, all I found out online was that it was really and truly a legitimate deal.

It really is only $10 per month (well, actually $9.95 per month — and Costco is currently offering an even better deal). And there are no blackout dates. As a MoviePass member, you can see up to one standard 2D film per calendar day.

And I found a few friends who had signed up for it and they could only rave about it. So I took the plunge and bought a MoviePass membership for both Jesse and me for Christmas.

(Okay, I admit, I may have sort of really wanted it myself, too. So it was kind of like me buying myself a Christmas present! ;))

Jesse thought it was a really great idea and was thrilled with the gift, mostly because it would mean that we’d be much more excited and motivated to regularly go to movies together! (Something we love doing but rarely make happen, mostly because of the cost involved.)

But he was also a little cynical. As was everyone else we talked to about it.

I’m here to happily report that, a few weeks and multiple movies later, we are S-O-L-D on this MoviePass thing. It is basically a frugal movie and theater lovers dream come true!

If you haven’t jumped on the MoviePass bandwagon yet and you’ve been the skeptic on the sidelines, too, I wanted to do a full-fledged review of the service in this post to help answer many of the questions we had about how this service actually works.

(Please note: MoviePass is not sponsoring this post. We paid out of pocket for our membership and we have no affiliation with them. Though if they wanted to affiliate themselves with me, I’d be all over that because we have become raving fans of this service!)

How to Get MoviePass Set Up

1. Head MoviePass.com and type in your zipcode to see if there are theaters in your area that accept the MoviePass cards. (There are over 4,000 theaters currently accepting the cards. I am guessing they will continue to add new theaters as their service grows.)

2. If there are theaters close to you, sign up for the MoviePass subscription. It’s $9.95 per month. OR, you can purchase an annual subscription at a discounted rate through Costco.

3. Your MoviePass cards will arrive in the mail within 8-10 business days. Please note that your account will be charged when you purchase the subscription, but your subscription dates will be adjusted to reflect the date you actually activate your card (so you’re not paying for a subscription for the 8-10 days while you wait for your card to arrive).

4. Once your card arrives, download the MoviePass app to your phone and connect it to your MoviePass card. (This just basically involves signing in with MoviePass login info and typing in the last 4 digits of your card.)

5. You can then start using your card to get in to a movie every single day! That’s it!

When I posted about MoviePass on Instagram and Facebook last week, there were a LOT of questions about how it works when you go to see a movie. We had the same questions when we signed up and had to figure out a lot of things by trial and error. So I wanted to give you a thorough tutorial on how it works. (Note: They also have video tutorials on their site that are pretty helpful, too.)

How to Use Your MoviePass Card to See a Movie

1. Go to the movie theater and pull up the MoviePass app. (You have to be within 100 yards of the theater to check-in.)

2. Select the theater you’re at and then find the movie you want to watch. Click on the showing time you want to buy a ticket for and check-in. (This does not guarantee your ticket, this just gives your MoviePass card the ability to be used at that theater within the next 30 minutes to buy a ticket.)

3. Go into the theater and go to the self-serve kiosk or the ticketing desk. Ask to purchase a ticket for the movie you checked in for. (Your tickets are not reserved; you need to go in and buy your ticket just like you would usually buy a movie ticket.)

4. Pay for the ticket with your MoviePass card. So long as you buy the ticket within 30 minutes of checking in at the theater, your MoviePass card should work and should cover the entire cost of the movie ticket. (It’s a MasterCard.)

5. Go enjoy your movie and then repeat this same scenario above as many days per month as you would like! 😉

A Few Drawbacks of MoviePass

You cannot reserve your tickets ahead of time. Well, you could go to the theater earlier in the day of and check-in and purchase the tickets and then use them later in the day (we have friends who live close to the theater who do this). But otherwise, unless your theater offers e-ticketing, you can’t login online and reserve your ticket. This means that sometimes, you could show up to the theater and a movie is sold out.

You can’t reserve your seat ahead of time. If your theater has reserved seating and other movie-goers can reserve tickets/seats online ahead of time, you’ll be left with whatever seats are left when you go to get your tickets.

You have to have two separate devices. Your card is device specific, so you cannot use one device to check-in on multiple accounts.

They currently do not issue cards to kids under the age of 18 (because the MoviePass card is a MasterCard). They are supposedly working on a family pass and I hope they offer that in the not-too-distant future!

You can’t see non 2D movies. Per their site, “MoviePass cannot support (in part or entirety) any enhanced or special screenings that involve an upcharge at the theater. Examples of those would include 3D, IMAX, Fathom Events, DBOX, ETX/RPX, film festival screenings, etc.”


As you can see above, it’s a little bit more complicated to use MoviePass than it would be to just buy tickets online or at the theater. But considering the price point, if you see even 2-3 movies per month, it’s totally worth a little extra hassle.

And if you really love movies and have the wiggle room in your schedule, you could see up to 31 movies in a month — making the price per movie ridiculously inexpensive! 🙂

Jesse and I are planning to go to a movie every Wednesday on my offline day. And we also might hit a movie a few times per month in the evenings, too. At the price of $10 per person per month, that makes for some very inexpensive dates! We also convinced some of our friends to get their own MoviePass so we can do some double dates to the movies.

(Note: We rarely ever buy any food/drinks at the theater because it’s just so pricey and it kind of ruins the frugal aspect of a MoviePass date! We did discover that AMC sometimes prints out a survey with the tickets at the self-serve kiosk and if you fill it out, you get a coupon for a free popcorn! So we’ll definitely be doing that whenever that prints out!)

Have you tried MoviePass? I’d love to hear your thoughts on it if you have!

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I’m co-hosting a FREE class on becoming a virtual assistant! http://moneysavingmom.com/2018/01/im-co-hosting-free-class-becoming-virtual-assistant.html http://moneysavingmom.com/2018/01/im-co-hosting-free-class-becoming-virtual-assistant.html#respond Fri, 19 Jan 2018 21:01:22 +0000 http://moneysavingmom.com/?p=253446

Need some extra $$ in your budget? Want to learn how to earn an income from home — without selling anything?

Carlee and Victoria are two busy moms who needed to earn an income from home in the margins of their days. Neither of them had time for sales parties or the cash on hand for minimum orders, and they both needed flexible hours that allowed them to keep staying home with their precious kiddos.

And they found it!

What Carlee and Victoria discovered (and what I know to be so true, too!) is that there are lots of small business owners who need help running day-to-day operations of their businesses. From posting to social media to writing emails and handling customer service, Virtual Assistants (or VAs) do it all.

And they do it from home.

During nap time, school time, early mornings or after bedtime, these moms work on their computers from the comfort of their homes – and earn an income doing it.

Carlee and Victoria got so many questions about their jobs that they couldn’t even answer them all. So they’ve put together a free class all about what they do, how they do it, and how you can join in, called Moms Work Hard: Earn an Income from Home Without Selling a Thing!

Their desire is empower moms to use skills they already have to work from home for years to come, changing the financial future of their families. They teach methods that not only have been proven by experience, but they also set up VAs and the business owners with support for sustainable, long-term growth.

Would you like to learn more about becoming a virtual assistant? Join us on Tuesday evening (January 23, 2018) at 8 p.m. CT/9 p.m. EST for a free class on how to earn an income from home as a virtual assistant.

In this class, they’ll teach you:

  • How to find margins in your busy days to work from home
  • How to discover the skills you ALREADY have that you can use right away
  • 3 strategies to finding your first work-at-home job
  • How to get on track to positively change your family’s future

Plus, the three of us will host a live Q&A at the end to answer your burning questions! I hope you can join us!

Sign up for this free class on becoming a virtual assistant here.

P.S. If you can’t make it live to the class, you’ll get a link to the replay if you sign up!

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World’s Easiest Breakfast Casserole http://moneysavingmom.com/2018/01/worlds-easiest-breakfast-casserole.html http://moneysavingmom.com/2018/01/worlds-easiest-breakfast-casserole.html#comments Thu, 18 Jan 2018 20:50:30 +0000 http://moneysavingmom.com/?p=253294

Looking for a quick and easy breakfast recipe? This simple Breakfast Casserole one is one we’ve loved for years.

My mom used to make a Breakfast Casserole at Christmastime that we always looked forward to. Her breakfast casserole recipe had a few more ingredients in it, but this version still brings back memories of those Christmas brunches.

This pared down version of my mom’s Breakfast Casserole is one we ate often in our lean law school days. Any time I found a really amazing deal on cubed ham, I’d buy it up and package it in little baggies in the freezer to make this recipe. Then, I’d look for a deal on eggs and cheese and I had the makings of this casserole.

We didn’t eat a lot of meat in those days, so this felt like a really extravagant meal, but it was one I could make for $3 or less per pan by shopping sales and it would make enough for us to get three dinners from. We’d serve it with whatever fruit I’d gotten on sale that week and it’d be a special dinner for us!

My target price for dinners in those days was to shoot for $0.50 to $1 per meal per person and this meal fit that bill. We had such fond memories of it — and it’s one we still make today, even though we’ve raised our grocery budget quite a bit!

I love that this recipe is so versatile! You can add in chopped onions or peppers or spices to jazz it up. If your family likes spicier foods, you can serve it with salsa or hot sauce.

If you’re gluten-free, you can just use gluten-free bread. If you’re dairy-free, well, I can’t help you there. I’m just sorry that you have to live in a world without cheese!

What’s YOUR favorite frugal breakfast recipe?

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My Amazing $20 Thrift Store Haul http://moneysavingmom.com/2018/01/amazing-20-thrift-store-haul.html http://moneysavingmom.com/2018/01/amazing-20-thrift-store-haul.html#comments Wed, 17 Jan 2018 21:01:48 +0000 http://moneysavingmom.com/?p=251782

Guest post from Jennifer

I love thrift stores!

I’m not ashamed of the fact that I love to save money and get incredible deals. Better than Black Friday or any clearance sale there out there, thrift stores are the end-all be-all of bargain shopping.

To me, there is nothing better than a good thrift store haul.

I’ve been “thrifting” for years, and never plan to stop. Where else can you find clothes for the whole family, toys, furniture (our dining room chairs were a thrift store find) electronics, books, bikes, and everything you could need for your home for up to 90% off retail prices?

A good thrift store can be your one stop shop for pretty much anything, and you never know what you’re going to find.

I could go on and on about the thrill of finding a North Face coat for $7.00 or a pair of brand new Keen sandals for $6.00 and Toms for $4.00. I could talk to you for hours about how thrift store shopping helped us during our lean years and continues to help us put more money into our savings.

But right now I will talk about what I got for about $20.00 at my local Salvation Army on a Wednesday in December.

On this particular trip I had my two older boys with me (6 and 8), and we were on a quick trip just to get us out of the house during Christmas break.

We were looking for toys (always), shoes, workout T-shirts me, workout pants for dad and dresses for Maggie (age 3).

Here’s what we got – ALL for only $21.68!!

  • 1 Girls coat
  • 2 Sets of pajamas (one night gown, one footsie PJ’s)
  • 8 T-shirts (2 for me, and 6 for the kiddos)
  • 1 Pair of black leggings
  • 1 Hoodie
  • 1 Dance leotard
  • 1 Dress
  • 1 Pair men’s workout pants
  • 1 Minnie mouse outfit (skirt and top!)
  • 1 Batman helicopter
  • 1 Iron man figure

The Highlights

The black leggings :: I thought I was getting a pair of workout pants for myself (they were in the sweat pant section) but upon further investigation I found out that the pants were actually thick leggings. I found the exact item on the Dillard’s website selling for $37.00!

The Missouri Home Shirt :: I have been wanting one of these shirts for a while so I was so excited to find this gem. This shirt retails for about $16.00!

The boys Nike performance shirt :: My older boys love “slicky” shirts and I love the quality of name brands so when we found this one for only $1.00 we couldn’t pass it up!

The grey hoodie :: This is the most comfortable sweatshirt I have ever owned. Its a bit frumpy but it’s perfect for lazy winter days.

The girls coat :: We needed a casual coat for Maggie and this one was her size and still had the zippered hood attached (that’s a bonus for thrift store coats).

The Minnie Mouse outfit :: It’s just the cutest!! Maggie is a skirt wearing girl and who doesn’t love Minnie? This outfit was $1.00!

The toys :: The Batman helicopter alone is selling on Amazon for $29.00 and the Iron Man figure retails for $10.00. We paid $4.00 for both!

This was just a normal day at my local thrift store! I wasn’t planning on writing about this shopping trip, but once I realized how many great items we found, I couldn’t resist.

Go check out your local thrift stores, there are bargains to be had and deals just waiting to be found.

Seriously, go!

No one will judge you — the only people that will even see you there are fellow thrift store shoppers. Just remember, not every trip is a success, but you never know what you can find.

I love thrift stores!

I’m Jennifer and I live in Blue Springs Missouri. I’ve been married for 11 years to an amazing man. I’m blessed to be a stay at home mom of 4 kids (Henry-8 Charlie-6 Maggie-3 James-3). I love to watch TV, craft, bake/cook, thrift shop (obviously) and hang out with my family.

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Did you sign up for the free Photography Class? http://moneysavingmom.com/2018/01/sign-free-photography-class.html http://moneysavingmom.com/2018/01/sign-free-photography-class.html#comments Wed, 17 Jan 2018 20:25:27 +0000 http://moneysavingmom.com/?p=253116

Just a reminder! This class is tomorrow! Have you signed up yet?

Have you always wished you could learn how to take better photos? Do you wish you could figure out how to get your camera out of auto mode?

If so, I want to invite you to join me for a free LIVE Photography Class I’ll be hosting with Courtney of Click It Up a Notch. Courtney is the force behind Click it Up a Notch which was named by the Huffington Post as one of the Top 5 Blogs for Momtographers. She helps over 50,000 photographers each week learn how to capture their life, beautifully.

In this class, she’ll teach you:

  • What you should be asking yourself each time you pick up your camera
  • The one piece of equipment she wishes she hadn’t wasted her money on (and what you should buy instead)
  • The #1 composition mistake that will kill your photo & what to do instead
  • One simple tip that can take your photo from flat to fabulous
  • 3 simple things you need to do EACH time you pick up your camera
  • How forgetting to take this one shot can impact the story you are telling

This online class will be at 12 p.m. CT/1 p.m. EST on Thursday, January 18th. Go here to read more and sign up.

Y’all. I cannot wait for this class because I have so much to learn when it comes to photography. And whether you want to take better photos for your blog or social media, or whether you are considering photography as a side business down the road, or whether you just want to learn to capture the every day moments with your kids, I think you’ll love this free class.

Click here to sign up for this free class on 5 ACTIONABLE tips to better blog photos.

P.S. Because we know the importance of investing in yourself, we want to encourage you to show up live. We will be doing a fun giveaway for live attendees only as an extra incentive to make it a priority to show up live! Sign up here.

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How Stitch Fix Can Save You Time and Money (plus try your first box for FREE right now!) http://moneysavingmom.com/2018/01/stitch-fix-can-save-time-money-plus-try-first-box-free-right-now.html http://moneysavingmom.com/2018/01/stitch-fix-can-save-time-money-plus-try-first-box-free-right-now.html#comments Tue, 16 Jan 2018 21:10:32 +0000 http://moneysavingmom.com/?p=252952

(Note: This post was sponsored by Stitch Fix. All opinions are my own. Read our disclosure policy here.)

You’ve probably heard of Stitch Fix — the personal styling service that sends a box of clothes (called a “Fix”) to your door step based upon what your size and style preferences are. (Stitch Fix currently carries women’s sizes 0-24W and XS-3X, maternity and petite, and men’s sizes XS-XXL.)

It’s a dream come true for someone like me who hates shopping and finds it so exhausting and time-consuming to go to a store, search endlessly through racks and racks of clothing, and then try things on, only to discover that most of the items don’t fix or won’t work.

But is Stitch Fix really a way to save time and money? Well, that depends upon your preferences and personality!

If you like wearing quality pieces, you don’t enjoy shopping, and you’re not on an extremely tight budget, this styling service can be a lifesaver for busy women — and it can be a fun way to brand out and try new styles!

Here’s how Stitch Fix can save you time and money:

How Stitch Fix Can Save You Time

  • You don’t have to mess with shopping — it’s SO much easier than going shopping! You don’t have to drive to multiple stores or walk around and around the store trying to find something you like.
  • You get to try the items on at home. I despise fitting rooms at stores. Maybe I’m weird, but I just do. There is often poor lighting. Sometimes you have to wait in line. Many times, they have a limit of how many items you can bring back to try on at a time. And the whole thing just feels stressful to me. With Stitch Fix, I love that I can try the items on at home when it works best in my schedule. I can see if they match items I own already and I can take my time deciding whether I want to keep them or send them back (you have a few days to decide after you get your box).
  • Your stylist gives you ideas of what to wear your items with. I love the styling cards they gave you with each of the items to give you ideas of how to accessories a piece/what to wear it with. These are great especially for someone like me who often struggles with how to put outfits together. (See examples of the Style Profile cards here.)

How Stitch Fix Can Save You Money

  • You get to set your budget for what they send. Although the prices at Stitch Fix are going to be much more than what you’d find at thrift stores or on the clearance rack at Target, I love that they give you the option to set your price preferences for certain clothing items and they also offer you the option to set a budget for the entire cost of your box.
  • You don’t end up buying things you don’t love. I find that I am more apt to only buy what I really love when I get to try things on at home and have a few days to decide versus having to decide when I’m in the dressing room at a store.
  • They have a number of lines with very affordable items. Some of their items start as low as $20!
  • You can change your profile at any time. You can update your profile if your spending preferences, sizing, or likes change. You can do this whenever and however many times you want.
  • Returns are incredibly easy and free. You just send whatever you don’t want to keep back in a pre-paid envelope. So simple!
  • There is no subscription required. You can get a Fix anytime you want. Either on-demand or regularly — every few weeks, once a month, or every season.
  • You pay $20 to have your Fix curated by a personal stylist, which applies towards anything you keep. If you keep all five pieces, you get a 25% discount on your entire purchase!

{I absolutely loved both this sweater and these jeans that I got in a recent fix. They fit me perfectly and are in some of my very favorite colors!}

{These shorts and earrings were one of my favorite pieces in a Fix I got a few years ago. I get asked all the time where they are from! I ended up getting them in khaki and turquoise because I loved them so much!}

{These pants were one of my favorites from a Fix last summer. I struggle to find pants and jeans that fit. That was, until I tried Stitch Fix! Now, almost all of the pants and jeans I wear are from Stitch Fix!}

Tips To Get a Fix That Fits Your Style

Make Sure You Fill Out Your Style Profile Carefully — Be really, really honest in your style profile. Make sure all your sizing and preferences are absolutely accurate.

Request a Stylist — If you know someone who has gotten fixes that you especially love, you can ask them who their stylist is and you can request that they assign the same stylist to you. No guarantees, but I’ve heard of this working for people. You can also request to have the same stylist you had last time (if you liked them) or a different stylist (if you didn’t like what they chose).

Leave a Note For Your Stylist — Please do this. Tell your stylist exactly what you are looking for and what you aren’t looking for. They do read these notes and try to honor them.

Give Incredibly Honest Feedback — Seriously, don’t shy away here. I’m brutally honest and I’ve seen that it makes a huge difference when I leave 100% honest feedback. Don’t hold back!

Stick With it For a Few Fixes — It took several fixes for my stylist to really get what I liked. I’m very picky on the clothes I keep. Since I have a minimalist wardrobe, I have to really love a piece of clothing to keep it. As the stylists learn your fashion tastes and what you don’t like, they will do a better job choosing for you. After I had done several fixes with them, I noticed that they were sending me fixes that were much more in line with my style.

Request Multiples of An Item You Liked — If you liked a specific dress, shirt, or pair of shorts, you can ask if they have it in any other colors. I’m the kind of person who loves to get multiples of the same style (it simplifies things!), so this has worked well for me! (For instance, I got multiples of this dress and these pair of shorts — just in different colors.)

Have you been wanting to try Stitch Fix? Try it risk-free this month, with the styling fee being waived!! This is unheard of!

Try Stitch Fix Risk-Free!

I have really great news! If you’ve been wanting to see what Stitch Fix is all about, but that $20 styling fee was holding you back, now is a great time to try it out!

Through the end of January, Stitch Fix is waiving the styling fee on your first box as a new customer — meaning you’ll pay nothing out of pocket! I’ve never seen them offer this kind of deal!

Want to get started with Stitch Fix? Here’s how:

1. Sign up for a Stitch Fix account.

2. Fill out your style profile. You’ll give very specific details on sizes you wear, styles you like, colors you like, types of clothes you like, and what types of clothing you are specifically looking for (more casual, all business, a mix of both, etc.) You can be very detailed in your descriptions and even share a Pinterest board with them to give Stitch Fix some ideas of your tastes in clothing.

3. Choose your budget. Stitch Fix allows you to set your price preference by item category (denim, tops, dresses) so your stylist knows to send you items that fit within your budget. You can also request to stick within a certain budget for the cost of your entire box.

4. Go to checkout and pay a $20 styling fee (styling fee is waived through the end of January!!).

5. One of the Stitch Fix stylists will take your style profile, sizes, and preferences and put together a box of clothing based upon what they think you’ll like and what they think will work well for you.

6. They’ll send you this box in the mail. You’ll have a few days to go through the box, try on the clothes, and then choose to keep any that you liked and ship back any that didn’t work (they provide a postage-paid envelope for you to use).

Go here to sign up and try your first month of Stitch Fix for FREE.

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Gretchen’s $57 Grocery Shopping Trip & Menu Plan http://moneysavingmom.com/2018/01/gretchens-57-grocery-shopping-trip-menu-plan.html http://moneysavingmom.com/2018/01/gretchens-57-grocery-shopping-trip-menu-plan.html#comments Tue, 16 Jan 2018 17:24:34 +0000 http://moneysavingmom.com/?p=253027

Aldi

1 gallon Milk – $2.08

1 dozen Eggs – $1.59

2 pkg Blackberries – $0.89 each

2 cans Cream of Chicken Soup – $0.49 each

1 pkg Yeast – $0.89

1 bag (3 lbs) Grapefruit – $1.99

1 pkg Green Peppers – $0.99

1 bag Spinach – $1.29

1 bag (3 lbs) Apples – $3.19

2.09 lbs Bananas – $0.92

1 loaf Bread – $0.89

1 pkg Crackers – $1.49

1 pkg Baby Carrots – $0.99

1 can Tuna – $0.70

1 jar Spaghetti Sauce – $0.99

3 Cucumbers – $0.49 each

1 bag Frozen Broccoli – $1.19

1 bag Frozen Chicken Breasts – $5.99

1 lb Butter – $2.55

1 Sour Cream – $1.19

Total: $33.15

Dillons

I did a Clicklist order this week so I could use my free coupons before they expired. 🙂 

2 pkg Blueberries – $2 each

1 Larabar Bites – $2.99, used $1/1 e-coupon AND $1/1 SavingStar.com rebate – $0.99 after coupon and rebate

1 Arla Cream Cheese – $2.99 (I had a free e-coupon for this but it didn’t come off. I didn’t realize it until I was already home.) 🙁

1 Chobani Yogurt – $3.99, used Free e-coupon – Free after coupon

1 gallon Milk – $1.89 (This was cheaper than Aldi, so I went ahead and bought another gallon.)

1 dozen Eggs – $1.69

1 Cinnamon Toast Crunch Bites – $3.29, used Free e-coupon – Free after coupon

1 Hormel Bacon – $5.49, used Free e-coupon – Free after coupon

1 Kool Aid Jammers – $1.79, used Free e-coupon – Free after coupon

1 Kroger Mayonnaise – $1.69, used $0.25/1 Ibotta rebate – $1.44 after rebate

1 Kroger Spaghetti Sauce – $0.99

1 Kroger Instant Oatmeal – $1.49

1 Mott Fruit Snacks – $2.19, used Free e-coupon AND $0.50/1 SavingStar.com rebate – Free plus overage after coupon and rebate

1 Philly Bagel Chips & Cream Cheese Dip – $1.67 each, used Buy One Get One Free e-coupon – $0.83 each after coupon

1 loaf Sara Lee Bread – $3.29, used Free e-coupon – Free after coupon

1 Simple Truth Turkey Breast – $3.49, used $1/1 e-coupon – $2.49 after coupon

1 Simple Truth Kettle Corn – $2, used Free e-coupon (no longer available) – Free after coupon

1 Simple Truth Ketchup – $1.69, used $0.30/1 e-coupon – $1.39 after coupon

1 Tropicana Orange Juice – $2.99, used $2/1 e-coupon – $0.99 after coupon

1 Zone Kids Bars – $4.29, used Free e-coupon AND $1.50/1 Checkout 51 rebate – Free plus overage after coupon and rebate

Used $0.25/1 Ibotta rebate for any receipt

Clicklist Fee: $4.95

Total after coupons and rebates: $24.72

Total for both stores: $57.87

Menu Plan for This Week

Breakfasts

Eggs, Toast, Grapefruit x 5

Cereal

French Toast, Bacon, Orange Juice

Lunches

Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwiches, Carrot Sticks, Apples x 2

Tuna Salad Sandwiches, Cucumbers, Blackberries

Cheese Quesadillas, Apples, Blackberries

Turkey Sandwiches, Sliced Veggies

Leftovers x 2

Dinners

Homemade Cheese Pizza, Breadsticks, Spinach Salad

Venison Stew, Blueberry Muffins

Slow Cooker Ritz Chicken, Steamed Peas, Blueberry Muffins

Venison Burgers (using buns from the freezer), Chips, Spinach Salad

Spaghetti, Homemade Bread, Steamed Broccoli

Slow Cooker Cheesy Chicken Penne, Fruit Salad

Out to eat

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Free 5-Day Happy This Year Challenge http://moneysavingmom.com/2018/01/free-5-day-happy-year-challenge.html http://moneysavingmom.com/2018/01/free-5-day-happy-year-challenge.html#respond Tue, 16 Jan 2018 16:58:10 +0000 http://moneysavingmom.com/?p=253054

Want to start the new year off with a boost of happiness? Sign up for this FREE 5-Day Happy This Year Challenge!

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Free God Made Me Special Printable Pack http://moneysavingmom.com/2018/01/free-god-made-special-printable-pack.html http://moneysavingmom.com/2018/01/free-god-made-special-printable-pack.html#respond Tue, 16 Jan 2018 14:48:42 +0000 http://moneysavingmom.com/?p=253031

Download a free God Made Me Special printable pack for kids.

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What I Read & Watched This Past Week http://moneysavingmom.com/2018/01/read-watched-past-week.html http://moneysavingmom.com/2018/01/read-watched-past-week.html#comments Mon, 15 Jan 2018 22:10:20 +0000 http://moneysavingmom.com/?p=252998

Welcome to my weekly Book-ish post where I share what I’ve been reading and watching recently. If you missed it, you can see my Reading Goals for 2018 and 44 Books I Plan to Read This Year.

What I Read Last Week

Last week, I read And It Was Beautiful. This book is written by the late Kara Tippetts — a blogger who passed away from cancer a few years ago. It’s beautifully written, moving, and inspiring.

It really challenged me in how I mother. Am I embracing the everyday, ordinary moments? So much of the time, I think that I miss a lot of moments because I’m not not slowing down enough to see them.

I’m also slowly reading — and absolutely loving — Mom Set Free. I love it so much that I asked a new friend if she’d be interested in doing a book study on it together. We start that on Saturday and I’m really excited about it!

What I Watched Last Week

Paddington 2 — Silas and I went to see Paddington 2 together and he really loved it. He said it was interesting and sad. I thought there were some really beautiful parts of it… especially the encouragement to be kind and nice to everyone. We definitely need all the reminders of that that we can!

The Darkest Hour — Jesse and I went to this on our anniversary and Jesse loved it. I thought it was interesting, but definitely not my favorite movie. In fact, I may have fallen asleep for a few minutes during parts of it (we were in the theater with recliner seats!)

By the way, we got MoviePasses for Christmas and we have fallen in love with them. You just can’t beat $10 per month to be able to see one movie of your choice every single day. I’ll be doing a really in-depth review of it on Friday.

We also loved watching the next episode of This is Us and Designated Survivor — two of our favorite shows.

How I Find Time to Read

People are always asking me how I find time to read. Honestly, it’s because I love to read, because I’ve chosen to prioritize it, because I don’t have a lot of other hobbies, and because I can’t not read. Also, when you love something, you usually can find ways to get creative to find time to fit it in — even if it’s in the little nooks and crannies of life.

I wrote a post on 3 ways to find more time to read — even when life is busy. And here are 7 more ways to find time to read.

What did you read and watch this past week? Any books or movies you really think I need to read or watch?

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I’m co-hosting a free Photography Class on Thursday! http://moneysavingmom.com/2018/01/im-co-hosting-free-photography-class-thursday.html http://moneysavingmom.com/2018/01/im-co-hosting-free-photography-class-thursday.html#comments Mon, 15 Jan 2018 19:30:25 +0000 http://moneysavingmom.com/?p=252978

Have you always wished you could learn how to take better photos? Do you wish you could figure out how to get your camera out of auto mode?

If so, I want to invite you to join me for a free LIVE Photography Class I’ll be hosting with Courtney of Click It Up a Notch. Courtney is the force behind Click it Up a Notch which was named by the Huffington Post as one of the Top 5 Blogs for Momtographers. She helps over 50,000 photographers each week learn how to capture their life, beautifully.

In this class, she’ll teach you:

  • What you should be asking yourself each time you pick up your camera
  • The one piece of equipment she wishes she hadn’t wasted her money on (and what you should buy instead)
  • The #1 composition mistake that will kill your photo & what to do instead
  • One simple tip that can take your photo from flat to fabulous
  • 3 simple things you need to do EACH time you pick up your camera
  • How forgetting to take this one shot can impact the story you are telling

This online class will be at 12 p.m. CT/1 p.m. EST on Thursday, January 18th. Go here to read more and sign up.

Y’all. I cannot wait for this class because I have so much to learn when it comes to photography. And whether you want to take better photos for your blog or social media, or whether you are considering photography as a side business down the road, or whether you just want to learn to capture the every day moments with your kids, I think you’ll love this free class.

Click here to sign up for this free class on 5 ACTIONABLE tips to better blog photos.

P.S. Because we know the importance of investing in yourself, we want to encourage you to show up live. We will be doing a fun giveaway for live attendees only as an extra incentive to make it a priority to show up live! Sign up here.

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17 Delicious Sugar-Free Crockpot Freezer Meals http://moneysavingmom.com/2018/01/17-delicious-sugar-free-crockpot-freezer-meals.html http://moneysavingmom.com/2018/01/17-delicious-sugar-free-crockpot-freezer-meals.html#respond Mon, 15 Jan 2018 14:18:30 +0000 http://moneysavingmom.com/?p=252902
(Note: The links in this post are affiliate links, and we will be compensated when you make a purchase by clicking through our links. Read our disclosure policy here.)

Kelly from New Leaf Wellness put together a list of 17 Delicious Sugar-Free Crockpot Freezer Meals. Her free download includes 7 printable recipes and a printable shopping list.

Psst! Looking for even more freezer cooking meals? Be sure to check out the extensive New Leaf Wellness eCookbook Collection! It has something for everybody — even those with specific diets such as gluten-free, vegetarian, paleo, and more.

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Free Printable List of 100 Things to Declutter Painlessly http://moneysavingmom.com/2018/01/free-printable-list-100-things-declutter-painlessly.html http://moneysavingmom.com/2018/01/free-printable-list-100-things-declutter-painlessly.html#respond Mon, 15 Jan 2018 14:15:47 +0000 http://moneysavingmom.com/?p=252899

Trying to simplify this year? Download this free printable list of 100 things to declutter painlessly.

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A Peek Into Our Lives This Past Week http://moneysavingmom.com/2018/01/peek-lives-past-week-4.html http://moneysavingmom.com/2018/01/peek-lives-past-week-4.html#comments Sun, 14 Jan 2018 21:53:47 +0000 http://moneysavingmom.com/?p=252843

We celebrated 15 years of marriage this past week. 15 YEARS, people!

There were many times (especially around year 5-6) when I never thought we’d make it. It was just too hard — and I threatened to leave many times.

There are still days when it isn’t easy. In fact, on one of those days recently, I told a good friend, “I love my husband so much, I just don’t like him very much right now.”

Love isn’t about how you feel or how he makes you feel. Love is a choice. It’s getting up every day — on the good days and on the rough days — and saying, “I choose you.”

Jesse, I didn’t know the wild ride I was in for when I married you at 21. I couldn’t have dreamed of some of the high highs and low lows we’d experience. I couldn’t have imagined how challenging and yet how amazing marriage would be. Thank you for sticking with me, believing in me, never giving up on me, and always choosing me. Thank you for being my very best friend and loving me on my best days and my worst days. I chose you on our wedding day and I still choose you today. I love you! ❤️

Jesse and I were privileged to get to go to this Meeting of the Masters evening event and morning mastermind put on by the folks from the Ziglar team. We got to hear from Zig Ziglar’s son, from Kevin Harrington (one of the original sharks on Shark Tank), and Michael Jr. (he’s a comedian who packs a punch — we laughed until we cried and also felt invigorated to use our lives well).

At the Mastermind, we all went around and shared the one thing we want to accomplish in 2018. (Mine? To invest in the lives of women in my local community in 2018 and build more intentional face-to-face relationships.)

It was moving, stirring, and very inspiring and we were honored to get to be there. One of the beautiful souls I loved meeting there was Lady J.

The first two days of this past week, I was kind of a hot mess. I felt high strung, frazzled, overwhelmed, and irritated.

And my attitude seeped out to pretty much everyone close to me. I snipped at my kids. I yelled at Jesse. I got frustrated at one of my employees.

I realized that I didn’t have grace to extend to others because I wasn’t accepting the grace God was extending to me.

I was feeling like I needed to control every little thing in my life — and it wasn’t working. And I was beating myself up for it and feeling guilt and shame about it. This translated into all the stress I was feeling.

So I gave up — on trying to micromanage and instead let myself rest in the grace my Heavenly Father was extending to me.

Let me tell you, fully resting there made me breathe a big sigh of relief and I’ve been a whole lot happier as a wife and mom and employer since then.

“Lord, let me rest in your abundant grace today — in the middle of the real and raw and messy and interruptions of everyday life. Let me relinquish my need to control all the details to You, the Ultimate Controller of all things. Let me accept Your invitation to rest in Your abundant love for me. Let me soak in your grace and let it seep out to everyone I come in contact with today.”

2018 Goals Update

Personal Goals

1. Read 100 non-self-help books that will build me up/encourage me/inspire me/recharge me. (Fiction/story-driven/biographies/inspirational living books/devotionals.) See the list of 44 books I plan to read this year.

**Progress: 3 books read so far (look for a book update coming tomorrow)

2. Read through the entire Bible.

**Progress: I’m using the Robert Murray M’Cheyne plan and am on Day 14 — yay!

3. Write one handwritten note to someone every week.

**Progress: 3 notes written this past week

4. Run 500 miles.

**Progress: 20.5 miles run so far

Marriage Goal

5. Go on an overnight trip with Jesse without the kids.

Family Goals

6. Read 10 books aloud with the kids.

7. Take the kids to South Africa.

8. Go on a family road trip.

Financial Goals

9. Save up to pay cash to finish off an office for me and workout room for Jesse and me in the basement in our new house.

10. Replenish our Emergency Fund (we dipped into it to replace my car when it got totaled because of the carpet beetle infestation.)

Business Goals

11. Increase our gross income from the business by 8%.

12. Launch 5 new courses.

**Progress: 4 Weeks to a More Productive Life launched this in January and we’re currently working on finishing Content Creation 101 — a new YourBloggingUniversity course!

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Slow Day: Week 2 http://moneysavingmom.com/2018/01/slow-day-week-2.html http://moneysavingmom.com/2018/01/slow-day-week-2.html#comments Sat, 13 Jan 2018 20:17:25 +0000 http://moneysavingmom.com/?p=252817

Welcome to my weekly Slow Day post, inspired by Monica from The Homespun Heart. My Word for 2018 is Slow and, in the spirit of that word, I’m taking one day each week (Wednesday) off — I’ll be unplugged and offline and plan to move at a slower pace, take time to do things that refresh me, and just really focus on being present and savoring the moment.

Each Saturday, I’ll be sharing a photographic peek into my Slow Day — and I’ll let the pictures almost 100% speak for themselves, instead of giving many explanations. Enjoy a little peek into our lives!

(It looks like I really need to clean the cover of my Discipleship Group curriculum — yikes!!)

Shown in the Pictures:

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Brigette’s $68 Grocery Shopping Trip and Weekly Menu Plan for 6 http://moneysavingmom.com/2018/01/brigettes-68-grocery-shopping-trip-weekly-menu-plan-6-2.html http://moneysavingmom.com/2018/01/brigettes-68-grocery-shopping-trip-weekly-menu-plan-6-2.html#comments Sat, 13 Jan 2018 16:47:26 +0000 http://moneysavingmom.com/?p=252697

Aldi

1 box Honey Nut Oats – $1.15

1 box Frosty Flakes – $1.49

1 pkg Gluten-Free Spaghetti Noodles – $1.19

2 boxes Organic Bean Pasts – $6.98

1 pkg Premium Bacon – $2.89

2 pkgs Taco Seasoning Mix – $0.70

1 2-lb bag Black Beans – $2.49

1 gallon Whole Milk – $1.56

1 16-oz carton Heavy Whipping Cream – $1.55

1 pkg String Cheese – $1.99

1 jar Cashews – $2.89

2 pkgs Rice Cakes – $2.38

1 pkg Hamburger Buns – $0.59

1 large Eggs – $0.99

1 6-ct box Pure and Simple Bars – $3.99

1 large tub Organic Spring Mix – $3.49

1 pkg Baby Carrots – $0.79

1 pint Grape Tomatoes – $1.29

1 head Cauliflower – $1.79

1 pkg Strawberries – $1.49

2 3-lb bags Honey Crisp Apples – $6.98

1 3-ct pkg Green Peppers – $0.89

1 bag Zucchini – $0.99

1 5-lb bag Grapefruit – $2.49

1 head Cabbage – $1.19

Total: $54.22

Harris Teeter

3 boxes Corn Pops – $5.00, used $1.00/3 Kellogg’s Froot Loops, Apple Jacks, Corn Pops, Honey Smacks, Krave, Frosted Mini Wheats Little Bites or Frosted Flakes Cereals – 1-7-18 RP; Includes 8.7 oz or Larger Only (exp. 02/18/18) (doubled) – $3.00/3 after coupon

1 bottle Garnier Whole Blends Conditioner – $3.50, used $2.00/1 Garnier Whole Blends Shampoo, Conditioner, Or Treatment – 1-7-18 RP; Excludes 3 oz and Care Creams (exp. 02/03/18) (doubled) – FREE after coupon

2 bottles Suave for Men Shampoo – $3.00, used $1.00/1 Suave Men Hair Care Product – 1-7-18 RP; Excludes Trial and Travel Size; Maximum of 2 Identical Coupons Per Household Per Day (exp. 01/21/18) (doubled) – FREE after coupons

2 bottles Suave Professionals Shampoo – $3.00, used 2 $1.00/1 Suave Professionals Gold Or Silver Hair Care Product – 1-7-18 RP; Excludes 2 oz and Twin Packs; Excludes Trial and Travel Size; Maximum of 2 Identical Coupons Per Household Per Day (exp. 01/21/18) (doubled) – FREE after coupons

3 pkgs Blackberries – $2.64

1 pkg Mushrooms, reduced – $1.00

1 pkg Corn Tortillas – $2.49

1 pkg Whole Earth Natural Sweetener – $3.49, used $1.50/1 insert coupon (I’m not sure which insert/date this one was from) (doubled) – $0.49 after coupon

2 jars Polaner All-Fruit Jam – $4.00

Total after Coupons and Tax – $14.20

Grocery Total for the Week: $68.42

Weekly Menu Plan

Breakfasts

Everyone is responsible for making/cleaning up their own breakfast. Choices include:

Cereal, Oatmeal or Cream of Wheat, Toast, Fruit, Fried/Boiled/Scrambled Eggs or Veggie Omelets

Lunches

Peanut Butter and Jelly on Rice Cakes, Peppers, Fruit x 2

Baked Potatoes with Cheese, Roasted Cauliflower, Apples

Leftovers x 4

Dinners

Hamburger Vegetable Soup, Easy Whole Wheat Bread

Slow Cooker Herbed Chicken and Vegetables, Easy Whole Wheat Bread

Pasta with Sauce (I’m going to make a red sauce with meat, and try a Vegan Alfredo Sauce as well), Tossed Salad, Homemade French Bread

Tostadas, Spanish Rice, Fruit

Dinner Out With Friends

Breakfast for Dinner: Pancakes, Scrambled Eggs, Bacon

Hamburgers on the Grill, Seasoned Potato Wedges, Tossed Salad

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Free Printable Goal Setting Worksheets http://moneysavingmom.com/2018/01/free-printable-goal-setting-worksheets-3.html http://moneysavingmom.com/2018/01/free-printable-goal-setting-worksheets-3.html#respond Sat, 13 Jan 2018 14:49:31 +0000 http://moneysavingmom.com/?p=252708

Download a set of free printable Goal Setting Worksheets.

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21 HOT Valentine’s Deals at Dollar Tree http://moneysavingmom.com/2018/01/21-hot-valentines-deals-dollar-tree.html http://moneysavingmom.com/2018/01/21-hot-valentines-deals-dollar-tree.html#comments Fri, 12 Jan 2018 22:46:11 +0000 http://moneysavingmom.com/?p=252768

You all know how much I love Dollar Tree — where every single thing in the store is just $1! Here’s my list of my 25 Favorite Things to Buy at Dollar Tree.

They always have some great seasonal items so I went there recently and snapped some pictures of some great deals I found on Valentine’s Day items.

Here are 21 HOT Valentine’s Day Deals I found at Dollar Tree:

1. Tubs of Valentine’s Cotton Candy for $1 (this would be such a fun treat!)

2. Boxes of Valentine’s Cards (12 for $1 — a great deal!)

3. A 4-pack of Sour Patch Candies for $1

4. A Package of Valentine’s Tootsie Roll Pops

5. 16-Pack of Chocolatey Candies for $1

6. A 4-Pack of Sweathearts for $1

7. A Bag of Chocolate Foiled-Wrapped Hearts for $1

8. A Heart Box of Chocolates for $1

9. A Box of Heart Candy for $1

10. Valentine’s Day Socks for $1

11. Valentine’s Cards — 2 for $1

12. A 40-Pack of Valentine’s Treat Bags for $1

13. Spools of Valentine’s Ribbon for $1

14. Heart-Shaped Paper Doilies for $1

15. Valentine’s Day Paper Plates and Napkins and Cups for $1

16. Valentine’s Day Towels for $1

17. Valentine’s Craft Kids/Supplies for $1

18. Valentine’s Day Tablecloths for $1

19. Valentine’s Stickers for $1

20. Valentine’s Day Lollipops for $1

21. Valentine’s Home Decor for $1

I bought the Love Each Moment board and we have it on our mantel and I love it!

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Eat at Home Challenge: Day 3 (Chicken Taco Meat) + LAST DAY to get 30% off! http://moneysavingmom.com/2018/01/eat-home-challenge-day-3-chicken-taco-meat-last-day-get-30-off.html http://moneysavingmom.com/2018/01/eat-home-challenge-day-3-chicken-taco-meat-last-day-get-30-off.html#respond Thu, 11 Jan 2018 20:42:59 +0000 http://moneysavingmom.com/?p=252688

Welcome to Day 3 of the Eat at Home Challenge — a one-week challenge designed to encourage and inspire you to make more meals at home in order to save money and eat more healthfully!

I’m following the Eat at Home Slow Cooker Menu Plan and just love it so much!

What I Made Today

This morning, I made Honey Mustard Chicken in the Slow Cooker. It smells so yummy and was so easy to make!

Click to watch the video above for all of the details on the recipe and to see me make it LIVE!

What is the Eat at Home Menu-Planning Service?

I’m using the Eat at Home menu-planning service for my recipes for this challenge. I love this menu-planning service and highly recommend it — especially if you struggle to come up with the time and inspiration to make your own menus.

Eat at Home is a menu-planning service designed to make getting dinner on the table much easier every night. It was a service created by Tiffany, a mom of 4 who loves to cook and loves to gather her family around the table, but has found that if she doesn’t have a quick and easy plan, it’s hard to make that happen.

How Does the Eat at Home Menu-Planning Service Work?

The Eat at Home menu-planning service is an incredible way to help you save time and save money. You don’t have to worry about planning menus OR grocery list, because Tiffany does all of that for you as part of the menu-planning service.

She has designed it specifically with busy families in mind and the menu plans offer:

The recipes can all be fixed quickly, with only a few minutes of hands-on prep. Because the recipes use common pantry ingredients, it’s likely that you have everything you need to make many of the recipes.

It’s so convenient because all the work is done for you! You just choose which menu plan you’ll use, print the grocery list, go shopping, and then spend a few minutes prepping food each day and dinner is D-O-N-E!

When you sign up for the plan (it’s just a few dollars per week — or less!), each month, you’ll get:

  • An entire month of No Sugar, No Flour menu plans, including weekly grocery lists and printable recipe instructions
  • An entire month of Traditional Menu Plans, including weekly grocery lists and printable recipe instructions
  • An entire month of Slow Cooker Menu Plans, including weekly grocery lists and printable recipe instructions
  • An entire month of Whole Food Menu Plans, including weekly grocery lists and printable recipe instructions
  • Each menu plan comes with recipes created for small family (3-4 servings) and large family (6-8 servings)
  • Color-coded grocery lists make it easy to swap out ingredients or whole meals
  • Printable Menus to hang on the fridge or near your calendar, so you can easily see what’s for dinner that week and your family can too
  • Access to the entire month at once!
  • 1 Hour Freezer Stash Plans – a new plan each month to stock your freezer with 6 meals in 1 hour!

You can choose to stick with just the traditional menu plan or just the slow cooker menu plan or just the whole foods menu plan. Or, you can rotate different menu plans on different weeks, depending upon what you feel like cooking or how much time you have!

LAST DAY! Get the Eat at Home Menu-Planning Service for as Low as $1.16 per Week!

If you struggle to make menu plans and would love for someone to make them for you + make a grocery list for you, it’s well worth spending a few dollars every week to let Eat at Home do the work for you.

This week only, when you sign up for their plan (either the monthly plan, the quarterly plan, or the yearly plan, you can get 30% off through midnight tonight by using coupon code JANUARY at checkout!)

That makes the done-for-you menu plans and grocery lists as low as $1.16 per week. And you get access to all three plans and the freezer cooking plans for the whole month at the rate!

Go sign up for this incredible menu-planning service here — this offer ends at midnight!

(Oh and they have a fantastic two-week money-back guarantee if you think you want to try it out but aren’t sure whether it will work for you or not!)

Note: The links in this post are affiliate links, and we will be compensated when you make a purchase by clicking through our links. Read our disclosure policy here.
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Our Current Daily Schedule http://moneysavingmom.com/2018/01/current-daily-schedule.html http://moneysavingmom.com/2018/01/current-daily-schedule.html#comments Tue, 09 Jan 2018 21:16:56 +0000 http://moneysavingmom.com/?p=252482

People often ask if I can share our daily schedule and, while I love seeing posts about these types of things on other peoples’ blogs, I often feel uncomfortable sharing these types of things on my own blog. Why? I think it’s mostly because it feels really vulnerable, because I know some people will nitpick or criticize, and because other people will feel frustrated when they compare their life to mine.

At the same time, I don’t want to live in fear of the 3% and I know that these types of posts can be really inspirational to a lot of people. So, with this in mine, I decided that I’m just going to put our schedule out there in hopes that most people will find it helpful and inspirational.

Before I do that, though, I want to remind everyone — especially the young moms — that I am in a different season of life than you. My kids sleep through the night (though one has a really hard time getting to sleep at night!), they are very self-sufficient, and they are contributors to our home — able to help with cooking and cleaning and pick up and laundry.

So what I can accomplish in a day might look very different than what you accomplish in a day. And that is okay!

Also, I want to give the caveat that this schedule might change next month — or even next week! So don’t hold me to it… because I think good schedules are like good budgets: they are there to serve you and not the other way around!

We try to re-evaluate our daily schedule at least once a quarter — or sooner if the wheels are falling off! 🙂

Here’s what is working for us right now (remember that we rarely ever follow this perfectly, but this is a good idea of what a typical day looks like):

Our Current Daily Schedule

5:00 a.m. — M/W/F — Jesse & Kaitlynn get up and leave for the ice rink at 5:15 a.m. (Jesse then drops Kaitlynn off at school at 7:45 a.m. after her practice)

5:30 a.m. — Crystal gentle wake up (I used to feel like I had to read my Bible first thing in the mornings. But then I realized that it usually takes me 10-20 minutes to wake up in the mornings and so I was giving God my worst time, not my best time. So now, I wake up by scrolling through Facebook and Instagram for 5-10 minutes. Yup, I do. And it flies in the face of every single time management book and expert podcast, but I’ve found that it’s a great way for me to wake up and it’s something I look forward to and savor. Plus, I don’t struggle with getting sucked into the black hole of social media in the mornings since I have things to do and am usually raring to go as soon as I’ve fully woken up.)

5:45 a.m. — Crystal run (I usually answer Instagram comments while doing my warm-up walk and then listen to music and pray over my day and for my family members and other needs while I run.)

6:20 a.m. — Crystal shower & dressed (I lay my clothes out the night before so it makes it so easy to get dressed in something that makes me feel great!)

6:45 a.m. — Get kids up (if they aren’t already awake)… this often involves some coaxing for at least one or two of them and repeated encouragement to get up and get out of bed! 🙂 (The kids are responsible to take their baths or showers either at night or in the mornings every day, to get themselves ready, to get their lunches and backpacks ready, and they usually make their own breakfasts.)

6:55 a.m. — Crystal do her hair and makeup and make the bed/pick up our room (I like to listen to a podcast or music while doing this.)

7:10 a.m. — Crystal be available to the kids — helping them with their hair/making breakfast for them (if they are running behind or sort of dragging), or just being available to talk to them and encourage them (If they don’t need help, I’ll often post my Instagram post for the morning during this time.)

7:35 a.m. — Everyone leave for school — drop Silas off, drop Kathrynne off (Drop Kaitlynn off first on T/Th)

8:10 a.m. — Crystal and Jesse go out to coffee (We usually chat about our day or anything top of the mind, plus read our Bibles/current books we’re reading)

8:45 a.m. — Get home and Crystal get ready for Facebook Live (Jesse is usually working/answering emails/planning his day at this time.)

9:00 a.m. — Crystal do Facebook Live, YourBloggingMentor IG story, MSM IG story

9:45 a.m. — Time together (Jesse and I have this time in our day every day to hang out or do other things… ahem. We try to hang out together at night after the kids go to bed, too, but that doesn’t always happen because it’s too late, one of the kids is having trouble sleeping, or we’re just plain tired and ready for bed. Scheduling morning time to just be together has been so good for us and our marriage.) 

10:45 a.m. — Crystal make lunch and leave for work (I work at my employee’s house. Jesse usually works, goes to Crossfit, runs errands, helps with projects around the house, makes dinner in the crock-pot, and/or hangs out with friends during this time.)

2:40 p.m. — Crystal leave to pick up Silas, Kathrynne, and Kaitlynn

3:40 p.m. — Home/unwind time/snack time

4:00 p.m. — Kids do their chores and homework, Crystal and Jesse work on household projects and chores, make dinner (if it’s not already made and in the crock-pot)

Once all chores are done, if it’s not Tuesday or Thursday (when Silas and Kathrynne have Jiu Jitsu), then once chores and homework are done, the kids can watch a movie/show,work on projects or crafts, play with neighbors, or do whatever else they’d like to do (well, within reason!). Typically, Kathrynne and Kaitlynn need most all of this time for chores and homework. Silas doesn’t have much homework, so he’s usually done by 5 p.m. or earlier.If I get everything done before 6, then I will work on extra projects, hang out with the kids, or read.

6:00 p.m. — Dinner all ready (sides made, table set, phones put away, etc.)

6:30 p.m. — Dinner/family time/Bible time

7:30 p.m. — Kids ready for bed — lunches made, outfits out for the next day, teeth brushed

8:00 p.m. — Kids to bed (This is what we aim for, but we don’t often hit it — especially for Silas and Kathrynne who are the night owls at our house! Since they don’t have to get up as early as Kaitlynn, we let them read or work/play/talk quietly in their room for awhile since they share a room and Kaitlynn is now in what used to be my office.)

Once the kids are in bed, Jesse and I will usually make sure the house is in good order and then we’ll either watch a show or talk or read.

9:30 p.m. — We aim to be in bed by 9 – 9:30 p.m. It doesn’t always happen, but that’s what we shoot for!

So there you have it! A little peek into our ordinary every day lives!

Any questions? I’m happy to try to answer them!

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Eat at Home Challenge: Day 2 (Honey Mustard Chicken in the Slow Cooker) http://moneysavingmom.com/2018/01/eat-home-challenge-day-2-honey-mustard-chicken-slow-cooker.html http://moneysavingmom.com/2018/01/eat-home-challenge-day-2-honey-mustard-chicken-slow-cooker.html#comments Tue, 09 Jan 2018 19:39:54 +0000 http://moneysavingmom.com/?p=252473

Welcome to Day 2 of the Eat at Home Challenge — a one-week challenge designed to encourage and inspire you to make more meals at home in order to save money and eat more healthfully!

I’m following the Eat at Home Slow Cooker Menu Plan and just love it so much!

Details on The Eat at Home Challenge

The Eat at Home Challenge is this week and runs through January 11, 2018. Every morning around 9 a.m. CT, I’ll be on Facebook Live prepping our dinner to throw in the slow cooker for the day so that when 6 p.m. rolls around dinner is READY!

Every day, in addition to doing a Facebook Live video on my Facebook Page, I’ll be posting here on the blog what I made that day, along with a link to my video (in case you missed it).

I’m using the Eat at Home menu-planning service for my recipes for this challenge. You can sign up and get the recipes if you’d like to follow along with me! Scroll down to the bottom of this post for all the details on this menu-planning service + a 30% off coupon code good through Thursday only!

My hope is that this will inspire you with some new recipe ideas, encourage you to not wait until the last minute to think about what you’re having for dinner, and motivate you to eat at home more (even on busy nights!) so you can save money.

I’d love for you to join me in this challenge! To participate, go join the Facebook Page here so you can share what you are making every night and see what readers all over the country (and world!) are making for dinner each night, too!

What I Made Today

This morning, I made Honey Mustard Chicken in the Slow Cooker. It smells so yummy and was so easy to make!

Click to watch the video above for all of the details on the recipe and to see me make it LIVE!

What is the Eat at Home Menu-Planning Service?

I’m using the Eat at Home menu-planning service for my recipes for this challenge. I love this menu-planning service and highly recommend it — especially if you struggle to come up with the time and inspiration to make your own menus.

Eat at Home is a menu-planning service designed to make getting dinner on the table much easier every night. It was a service created by Tiffany, a mom of 4 who loves to cook and loves to gather her family around the table, but has found that if she doesn’t have a quick and easy plan, it’s hard to make that happen.

How Does the Eat at Home Menu-Planning Service Work?

The Eat at Home menu-planning service is an incredible way to help you save time and save money. You don’t have to worry about planning menus OR grocery list, because Tiffany does all of that for you as part of the menu-planning service.

She has designed it specifically with busy families in mind and the menu plans offer:

The recipes can all be fixed quickly, with only a few minutes of hands-on prep. Because the recipes use common pantry ingredients, it’s likely that you have everything you need to make many of the recipes.

It’s so convenient because all the work is done for you! You just choose which menu plan you’ll use, print the grocery list, go shopping, and then spend a few minutes prepping food each day and dinner is D-O-N-E!

When you sign up for the plan (it’s just a few dollars per week — or less!), each month, you’ll get:

  • An entire month of No Sugar, No Flour menu plans, including weekly grocery lists and printable recipe instructions
  • An entire month of Traditional Menu Plans, including weekly grocery lists and printable recipe instructions
  • An entire month of Slow Cooker Menu Plans, including weekly grocery lists and printable recipe instructions
  • An entire month of Whole Food Menu Plans, including weekly grocery lists and printable recipe instructions
  • Each menu plan comes with recipes created for small family (3-4 servings) and large family (6-8 servings)
  • Color-coded grocery lists make it easy to swap out ingredients or whole meals
  • Printable Menus to hang on the fridge or near your calendar, so you can easily see what’s for dinner that week and your family can too
  • Access to the entire month at once!
  • 1 Hour Freezer Stash Plans – a new plan each month to stock your freezer with 6 meals in 1 hour!

You can choose to stick with just the traditional menu plan or just the slow cooker menu plan or just the whole foods menu plan. Or, you can rotate different menu plans on different weeks, depending upon what you feel like cooking or how much time you have!

Get the Eat at Home Menu-Planning Service for as Low as $1.16 per Week!

If you struggle to make menu plans and would love for someone to make them for you + make a grocery list for you, it’s well worth spending a few dollars every week to let Eat at Home do the work for you.

This week only, when you sign up for their plan (either the monthly plan, the quarterly plan, or the yearly plan, you can get 30% off this week only by using coupon code JANUARY at checkout!

That makes the done-for-you menu plans and grocery lists as low as $1.16 per week. And you get access to all three plans and the freezer cooking plans for the whole month at the rate!

Go sign up for this incredible menu-planning service here. 

(Oh and they have a fantastic two-week money-back guarantee if you think you want to try it out but aren’t sure whether it will work for you or not!)

Note: The links in this post are affiliate links, and we will be compensated when you make a purchase by clicking through our links. Read our disclosure policy here.
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Free Printable Punny Valentines http://moneysavingmom.com/2018/01/free-printable-punny-valentines.html http://moneysavingmom.com/2018/01/free-printable-punny-valentines.html#respond Tue, 09 Jan 2018 14:01:32 +0000 http://moneysavingmom.com/?p=252431

Download a set of free printable punny valentines. These are so cute!

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