LITE Feed (non-deal) Posts – Money Saving Mom® http://moneysavingmom.com Intentional finance. Intentional family. Intentional business. Tue, 23 Jan 2018 22:34:59 +0000 en-US hourly 1 My 12 Favorite 5-Minute Self-Care Hacks http://moneysavingmom.com/2018/01/12-favorite-5-minute-self-care-hacks.html http://moneysavingmom.com/2018/01/12-favorite-5-minute-self-care-hacks.html#respond Tue, 23 Jan 2018 22:34:59 +0000 http://moneysavingmom.com/?p=253787

Do you wish you had time to invest in yourself but you feel like there isn’t a time block in your day to do so? Doing things to refresh and refuel ourselves doesn’t necessarily have to mean we need a free hour or two.

Here are 12 of my current favorite simple self-care ideas — that you can make happen in 5 minutes or less:

  1. Turn on a podcast. I love to listen to podcasts while I drive or wash dishes or clean the kitchen or cook. One of my favorites — especially when it comes to self-care and soul care is Emily P. Freeman’s podcast, The Next Right Thing.
  2. Put on a little makeup. It’s amazing how much happier and put together I feel when I take a few minutes to put on makeup. I recently trimmed my makeup routine down and only regularly use 5 products: a brow pencil, mascara, foundation, blush, and lip stick/gloss. This means I can quickly do my makeup and be on with my day — feeling happier, more energetic, and ready to meet whatever comes my way!
  3. Wear real PJs to bed. It’s only this year that I actually bought real PJs (can you believe that?). I used to just wear workout clothes or sweats to bed. There’s something about actually putting on a real pair of PJs that just makes me feel more relaxed and cared for. That might sound weird, but it’s proved to be very true.
  4. Brew a pot (or cup) of tea. I love making decaf tea with cream. It’s one of my favorite daily rituals and one I look forward to. If I’m feeling overwhelmed or tired, I usually stop and make a cup of tea — just to take a minute to slow down and breathe.
  5. Drink a glass of water. Many of our aches and pains and health problems can be traced back to being dehydrated. Do yourself a favor and drink more water! (Here’s how I drink a gallon of water every day.)
  6. Text a friend. I love to text a quick text to a friend to let her know that I’m thinking of her or praying for her. It’s simple, but those small investments in relationship can pay off in big dividends over the long haul. (Read my post here on how to be a better friend and how to find good friends.)
  7. Make a healthy snack. Food is your body’s fuel. Take care of yourself by regularly fueling your body with good food — like fresh fruit sprinkled with coconut, or fresh veggies with hummus, or peanut butter and celery, or a hard-boiled egg, or a piece of whole-wheat toast.
  8. Go outside. I try to stop at least once or twice a day and just step outside and look around. To breathe in the scents and sights of the world around me. To listen to the bird singing or see the sun rising or marvel at the beauty of creation.
  9. Clean or organize something. I always feel so fulfilled when I take a few minutes to clean something. This might be putting away laundry, or wiping down the kitchen countertops, or putting away the dishes. It gives you a little boost in your day (or at least it does for me!)
  10. Light a candle. There’s something about having a candle burning that just makes a house feel homier and makes you feel like you are taking better care of yourself and your family. Also, a messy house can feel cleaner when a candle is burning! 😉
  11. Make your bed. I know I said that I don’t always make my bed, but after reading the book called Make Your Bed, I’ve been inspired to make this an almost-daily habit. I find that a made bed is a gift to myself. It just makes me happy to walk into the room and see the bed all made — and it truly does inspire me to have more order in other areas of my life, too.
  12. Turn on music. I love listening to music while running or cleaning or reading or making dinner or while working on the computer. One of my current favorites is listening to the soundtrack from The Greatest Showman.

What are YOUR favorite quick and easy self-care ideas? Share them in the comments!

P.S. This post was inspired by my friend, MacKenzie. Read her post on 5 Lovelies for My Current Self-Care.

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Gretchen’s $51 Grocery Shopping Trip & Menu Plan http://moneysavingmom.com/2018/01/gretchens-51-grocery-shopping-trip-menu-plan-2-2.html http://moneysavingmom.com/2018/01/gretchens-51-grocery-shopping-trip-menu-plan-2-2.html#respond Tue, 23 Jan 2018 16:49:10 +0000 http://moneysavingmom.com/?p=253747

Dillons

1 Kroger Ice Cream – $2.50

1 Kroger Cottage Cheese – $1.89, used $0.40/1 mailer coupon – $1.49 after coupon

2 Simple Truth Coffee K-Cups – $4.99 each, used $2/2 e-coupon – $3.99 each after coupon

2.45 lbs Bananas – $1.20

1 pkg Chobani Yogurt – $1.49, used Free e-coupon (no longer available) – Free after coupon

4 Kroger Frozen Veggies – $0.88 each, used $0.40/2 mailer coupon – $0.78 each after coupon

1 loaf bread – $1.99

1 Kroger Peanut Butter – $1.79, used Free mailer coupon – Free after coupon

Total after coupons: $18.28

Aldi

1 pkg Frozen Chicken Breasts – $5.99

1 bag Potatoes – $2.29

1 pkg Lasagna Noodles – $1.25

2 dozen Eggs – $1.59 each

1 gallon Milk – $2.08

2 cans Green Beans – $0.44 each

1 pkg Grapes – $3.15

1 bag Spinach – $1.29

2 Cucumbers – $0.49 each

1 loaf Bread – $0.83

1 pint Grape Tomatoes – $1.29

1 Pineapple – $1.19

1 Jelly – $1.59

1 Frozen Orange Juice – $1.19

2 lbs Butter – $2.46 each

2 pints Blueberries – $0.49 each

Total: $33.08

Total for all groceries: $51.36

Menu Plan for This Week

We still have some veggies and fruit leftover from last week that I’ll be using up this week.

Breakfasts

Toast & Eggs x 4

Cereal x 2

Cinnamon Rolls, Fruit, Juice

Lunches

Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwiches, Sliced Veggies x 2

Mac & Cheese, Apple Slices, Grapes

Cheese, Crackers, Fruit, Veggies

Baked Potato Bar

Leftovers x 2

Dinners

Friends for dinner (We’re having a BYO Meat Grill-out and Game Night) – I’ll thaw out a few chicken breasts for us and will be making a fruit salad as well.

Lasagna, Steamed Peas, Spinach Salad

Venison Roast, Potatoes, Carrots, Homemade Bread

Chicken Noodle Casserole, Spinach Salad, Fruit Salad

Waffles, Eggs, Bacon (leftover from last week)

Out to eat (Papa Johns Pizza using coupon codes!) 🙂

BBQ Meatballs (using ground venison), Biscuits, Green Beans

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What I Read & Watched This Past Week http://moneysavingmom.com/2018/01/read-watched-past-week-2.html http://moneysavingmom.com/2018/01/read-watched-past-week-2.html#comments Mon, 22 Jan 2018 22:15:47 +0000 http://moneysavingmom.com/?p=253695

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

This week, I finished reading Courage to Soar by Simone Biles. It was an easy read (written more for teens and pre-teens), but it was pretty interesting to hear her backstory. As she appeared so confident and happy at the Olympics, it was insightful, and (dare I say?) encouraging, to read of all of the struggles she went through to get there.

It’s so easy to watch someone perform flawless routines and just assume they have natural talent and forget that there is so much hard work that has gone on behind-the-scenes to get to that place where it looks effortless.

Overall, the book was pretty well written and a fast read. It was a little “fluff-y”, but it had some good nuggets of wisdom and inspiration throughout it and I think it might be a great book to give to your daughters or a great book to read if you love gymnastics or are fascinated with Olympic athletes in general (I fit into both of those categories!)

I’m also slowly reading — and absolutely loving — Mom Set Free. I love it so much that a new friend and I started doing a book study on it last Saturday. I can already tell it is going to be so good to read through it and discuss it with another mom!

What I Watched Last Week

Jesse and I didn’t get to go see a movie this past week because the kids were home from school due to the snow AND because the theater was closed due to the snow. We’re hoping to find time to catch a movie this coming week.

(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. Read my in-depth review of MoviePass here.)

In the mean time, I finished watching all of Gilmore Girls — including the new Year in the Life. Sad to say, I just was really disappointed with the last few seasons of Gilmore Girls and the Year in the Life version.

I thought the last few episodes and the Year in the Life version were mostly boring and I was disappointed with choices that the characters made. I watched it while doing other things, otherwise, it would have been too boring to just sit and watch (sorry to all of you Gilmore Girls fans!). I really did love the first few seasons. I kind of wish they had just stopped after those… and I am second-guessing my decision to finish out the whole show.

This week, we also started watching Arrow. I totally surprised myself by really enjoying the show. We’re only 6 episodes in, so I can’t speak from great experience, but so far, we’re enjoying it. Have you watched it? (Note: This is definitely more of a PG-13 type of show.)

We also loved watching the next episode of This is Us — I can’t stop talking about what an amazing show that is!

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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Sign up for this free class on how to become a virtual assistant! http://moneysavingmom.com/2018/01/sign-free-class-become-virtual-assistant.html http://moneysavingmom.com/2018/01/sign-free-class-become-virtual-assistant.html#respond Mon, 22 Jan 2018 19:57:25 +0000 http://moneysavingmom.com/?p=253680

Just a reminder! This free class is tomorrow night. Don’t forget to sign up, if you haven’t already!

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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A Peek Into Our Lives This Past Week (+ 2018 Goal Update #3) http://moneysavingmom.com/2018/01/peek-lives-past-week-2018-goal-update-3.html http://moneysavingmom.com/2018/01/peek-lives-past-week-2018-goal-update-3.html#comments Sun, 21 Jan 2018 21:50:36 +0000 http://moneysavingmom.com/?p=253484

Welcome to my weekly post I share a peek into our lives, talk about things I’m loving, share links to interesting articles or helpful ideas I’ve collected throughout the past week, and just talk about whatever is on my heart! 🙂 

This past week was full of unexpected changes of plans and learning to be flexible! The week began with the kids being off school for Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Then, a snow and ice storm was predicted for Tuesday morning, so they were off school again on Tuesday and then again on Wednesday (because the snow and ice were still on the ground) and then one was off on Thursday, one had a late start, and one had a normal day.

We didn’t end up having a “normal day” until Friday. In addition, this meant that many other plans for the week were cancelled or changed, too. And that much of the week was pretty up-in-the-air while we waited for the roads to clear and the sun to come out and melt the snow.

I’m not the most flexible person and don’t usually do well when I don’t know what’s going to be happening or what the plan is. But I’m grateful that God has been teaching me and growing me in this area and, overall, I was able to have a really calm and cheerful attitude this past week — even though my neat little plan went out the window. 🙂

On Wednesday, my Offline Day, the kids were off school, too. So we got to have an incredibly relaxed day. See my post on that Slow Day here.

Speaking of my Slow Day, when I made the commitment to have Wednesday be my completely offline and unplugged day every week in 2018, I honestly didn’t know if I could do it.

I mean, hello, I run an internet-based company that is our family’s livelihood and the livelihood of my employees’ families.

What if me going dark in the middle of the week put too much strain on the business? What if it meant a nosedive in profits?

The first week, it was stressful leading up to Wednesday. I worked extra hours to get everything in place so I could go offline. I felt anxious about it.

And Jesse even looked at me Tuesday evening and said gently, “The whole point of you going offline is so you can slow down and have a sort of Sabbath in the middle of the week. If it’s going to cause you this much stress leading up to it every week, it’s probably not worth it.”

I responded, “I know I’m stressed about this, but I also know that it’s always hard to change habits and pave new paths. It might take me a few weeks, but let me stick with it long enough to know whether I’m making a big mistake or not. I don’t want to give this idea up too soon.”

He agreed and we went to bed that Tuesday night. And then my Wednesday offline day happened — and it was AMAZING! And I knew it was exactly what my soul needed to have more breathing room.

The second Wednesday, there wasn’t so much tension. I only had to work a little extra. And it was, again, an amazing thing to experience a middle of the week offline day.

This past week, there was zero stress leading up to Wednesday. Instead, there was sheer anticipation and, dare I say it, giddiness? Especially because it was a Snow Day, the kids were home from school, and almost everything was cancelled!

And it was another incredible offline day — I did very little other than sleep, hang out with my family, read, work on a few fun projects around the house, and go out with a friend.

On Wednesday night, as I was out with my friend, I found myself glowing and gushing and telling her, “I realize I’m so much happier and more excited about life because of this change! It was worth the struggle!”

The kids made a LOT of slime this week. Kaitlynn taught Silas how to make different kinds of slime and he was very proud of his creations!

I made one of our old stand-by recipes, 4-Ingredient Breakfast Casserole, for dinner on one of the snow days! Yum!

I got another Fix from Stitch Fix and I did an really honest unboxing of it. See the video here. (Also, did you know you can try Stitch Fix for FREE right now? They are waiving the styling fee for your first box through the end of January! Sign up here.)

I told you that one of my goals this year was to stop waiting for community to show up at my door & to start being the invitation.

Many of you have expressed to me that this is your heart’s desire, too, but that you don’t know where to start.

I’m learning that it begins with a simple willingness to say yes & go first.

To be the one to get brave & say, “Hey, I don’t know you very well, but would you like to grab coffee with me?”

OR, “I know you don’t know me that well, but you just moved here and don’t have a lot of support. Can I babysit your kids so you could have a date night with your husband?”

OR, “My daughter is loving getting to know your daughter at school. Could I pick her up to come over to our house for the afternoon after school?”

I’m learning that when I start looking for opportunities to exercise hospitality, I begin to see them all around me.
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This past week, hospitality looked like taking my daughter & her friend out on their day off from school, a few hours at Panera with another friend after dinner, inviting a new friend to start a weekly book study with me on Saturday mornings, & coordinating a birthday Girlfriend Get-Together on Friday night for my friend, Bekah.

That last idea was so simple, but it turned out to be a sort of magical night. I texted Bekah a few weeks ago & asked her to pick a date, a place, & send me a list of 5-10 friends she’d love to invite.

I didn’t know any of the women who came beforehand, but we all felt like close friends when we left. We laughed, we cried, we shared about how Bekah has impacted our lives, we told hilarious stories that shall not be put on the internet, we ate incredible food, & we all left feeling filled up.

You guys, I almost talked myself out of texting Bekah and asking. I usually come up with great ideas and then chicken out based upon past rejection and insecurities.

But we would have ALL missed out had I let my silly insecurities be the boss of me.

I’m so inspired to continue to say yes, to send that invite, to show up, to go first, & to just open my door…even though I know there will be many uncomfortable moments, you have to experience the awkward in order to experience the awesome.

It’s not the perfect parenting book. Or the right chore chart. Or whether we feed our kids enough organic food. Or if we homeschool. Or if we give our kids enough opportunities. Or if we protect them enough…

We can’t save our kids, bubble wrap our kids, fix our kids, or transform their hearts.

We can sure exhaust ourselves trying, though. We can stress and worry over them. We can feel frustrated and overwhelmed by their actions. We can live in fear over their futures.

But none of that accomplishes anything worthwhile.

There is one thing we CAN do and that is to pray. And I believe it’s one of the greatest things we can do on behalf of our kids

Because — as I am learning anew — prayer changes us. One thing I try to do almost every day is to I start my day on the treadmill running & praying over the day and praying for Jesse and each of my kids.

It’s an important piece of my day… to acknowledge my need for God’s help in my parenting, to pray for specific areas where my kids are struggling, to thank God for how He’s working in their hearts, to release my stresses and frustrations in parenting to God, and to ask Him to give me grace to love each of my kids in a way that makes them feel loved.

I’ve noticed that this time in prayer for my kids not only calms me and helps me to rest in Christ’s finished work on the Cross, it also changes my heart and attitude toward my kids, too. You see, I’m much more apt to respond to them in grace and love when I’ve just prayed that I can love them well and walk with them well! 😉

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: 4 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 21 — yay!

3. Write one handwritten note to someone every week.

**Progress: 4 notes written total this year so far

4. Run 500 miles.

**Progress: 29.5 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 in January and we’re currently working on finishing Content Creation 101 — a new YourBloggingUniversity course!

Links You Should Check Out

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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#comments 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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