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Frugal Photo Friday: How I Pack for a Week in a Carry-on (and save on baggage fees!)

frugalphotofridayx1

Welcome to Frugal Photo Friday! This month, I am partnering with Rebekah from SimplyRebekah.com. Each Friday we are sharing pictures of simple ways that we save money.

I traveled to Colorado on Sunday for the SCORRE Conference (it was life-impacting in so many ways — I highly recommend this conference to every speaker or aspiring speaker. So very worth it!). I left SCORRE yesterday afternoon and flew to Kansas City with some of my team to speak and do some filming at MomCon today.

Then, we left Kansas City this afternoon to fly to Austin to speak at the ReWrite Conference tomorrow (I’m writing this on the plane!). So I’ve been living out of a suitcase this week.

Knowing that I had six flights this week, I was really determined to get everything into a carry-on. Because I couldn’t stand the thought of having to pay baggage fees on multiple flights.

How I Pack for a Week in a Single Carry-On

It took some finagling, but I did it! All 8 outfits — including dressy outfits for speaking — stuffed into one carryon. It felt like quite an accomplishment and saved me some hefty baggage fees, too! 🙂

How I Pack for a Week in a Single Carry-On

I’ve found that rolling clothes up is the best way to pack them — it takes up the least space and it also keeps them from getting wrinkled. Just take them out and hang them up as soon as you get to your destination and they will usually look nice and fresh within an hour or two.

Head on over to Simply Rebekah to see the savings that Rebekah is sharing today.

Now it is your turn to share the simple ways that you save. Post your link below or on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #FrugalPhotoFriday. All of the link-up details can be found here.

Frugal Photo Friday: Stretching Taco Meat

How We Save Money By Stretching Our Taco Meat

Welcome to Frugal Photo Friday! This month, I am partnering with Rebekah from SimplyRebekah.com. Each Friday we are sharing pictures of simple ways that we save money.

One way we save money is by stretching our taco meat. We use this meat in tacos and Haystacks.

Stretching Taco Meat

I brown two to three pounds of ground beef with 1-2 chopped onions. Then, I add in homemade taco seasoning mix (or just taco seasonings).

Stretching Taco Meat

After that, I add in some 2-4 cups beans (most any kind will work — and you can use canned or home-cooked beans) and 1 can of diced tomatoes (or diced fresh tomatoes). I cook this mixture through and it’s ready to serve or cool and freeze.

Stretching Taco Meat

The extra add-ins add some bulk and flavor and add at least the equivalent of an extra pound of ground beef. My family doesn’t even know most people eat taco meat without add-ins since we’ve been doing this all our married lives!

Stretching Taco Meat

Head over to SimplyRebekah to see the savings that Rebekah is sharing today.

Now it is your turn to share the simple ways that you save. Post your link below or on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #FrugalPhotoFriday. All of the link-up details can be found here.

Frugal Photo Friday (on Monday!): Anything Goes!

Welcome to Frugal Photo Friday!  All this month I have been partnering with Rebekah from SimplyRebekah.com. Each Friday we’ve been sharing pictures of simple ways that we save money. This week’s theme is: Anything Goes! For our last week, we want to see any kind of savings you have to share.

So um, I was speaking at a conference on Friday. And I was just a wee bit distracted by all the wonderful people who were there.

People like Rebekah from Simply Rebekah, who is hosting this series with me. Here’s photographic proof we were together — I just wish we had gotten her adorable little Noah in the photo, too!

In the process, my Frugal Photo Friday post never went up. Because I never got it finished. 🙂 But I figured you probably wouldn’t mind if I posted it on Monday. So here goes:

As I’ve mentioned many times in the past, we’re huge fans of oatmeal at our house. It’s quick and easy, it’s filling, and it’s nutritious. Best of all, it’s very inexpensive. I got a 25-pound bag of organic oats from Azure Standard awhile back and we’ve not gotten to the bottom of it yet!

We love to make our own homemade instant oatmeal packets as it makes it so easy for the girls to make their own oatmeal. Plus, it’s just more fun to have it all pre-measured out in a little packet.

The freebies that come in our mail are always fun. You never know what will be showing up next in the mailbox. And every once in awhile, it will be a pretty fantastic freebie like a free razor, or a coupon for a free bottle of Herbal Essence, or I’ve even gotten free Starbucks gift cards before!

The best thing about the mailbox freebies is that they cost me absolutely nothing — just 15 seconds or so a few times per day to sign up for the freebies that are available. It’s totally worth that to me for the surprises that arrive in our mailbox on a regular basis!

Head over to Simply Rebekah to see her Frugal Photo Friday post. And thanks so much for participating in this series; it’s been fun!

Now it is your turn to share the simple ways that you save.  Share your link below or on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #FrugalPhotoFriday. All of the link-up details can be found here.



Frugal Photo Friday: Home and Decor (yes, you can laugh!)

Welcome to Frugal Photo Friday!  This month I am partnering with Rebekah from SimplyRebekah.com. Each Friday we are sharing pictures of simple ways that we save money. This week’s themes are home and decor.

I know, I know. I should not be writing a post on frugal decor. Because if you’ve been around here for any length of time, you know that I have just about zero skills in the home decor department.

I can gush over beautiful pictures of other people’s homes, I can appreciate my friends’ home decor finesse, but when it comes down to trying to decorate my own home, I’m a pretty hopeless case.

But since I committed to do this series, I thought all week long and came up with a few things to show you… bear with me, because it’s pretty slim pickings. 🙂

There are always amazing photo canvas deals floating around the internet and they are a fantastic way to pull off a big wall-hanging on a budget. I took advantage of one of these to blow up a photo I took on that amazing cruise my husband and I took. This photo hangs in our beach-themed bathroom and is a constant reminder to me of a special memory.

{Though I have to admit that my somewhat OCD self still obsesses over the fact that one of the beach chairs is crooked and overturned. I cannot believe I didn’t even notice it — until after I got the picture blown up. Oh well, it’s a reminder that even in the beautiful things in life, nothing’s ever perfect, you know?}

And this is my favorite wall in our home. I smile every time I look at the beautiful faces of my children and I am reminded that the years are fleeting as I see how much they’ve grown up since we had these pictures done late last year (the one with them in green is with their cousin and was taken two years ago — amazing to see how they’ve grown up since then!)

Photo deals abound on the internet or in the newspaper. We usually use a coupon or a Groupon voucher to get a great deal and I only get professional photos done of everyone once a year.

You can purchase frames at the dollar store (you can paint them to match your decor, if you’re handy like that!) or with a coupon at Hobby Lobby or Michael’s. Then, just switch out the photos every year or six months — and you have wall art on a dime.

Oh and that Family decal? I purchased it with a Groupon voucher. Love it!

Now it is your turn to share the simple ways that you save. Share your link below or on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #FrugalPhotoFriday. All of the link-up details and themes for each week can be found here.


Frugal Photo Friday: Kids and Bath & Beauty

Frugal Photo Friday

Welcome to Frugal Photo Friday! This month,  I am partnering with Rebekah from SimplyRebekah.com. Each Friday we are sharing pictures of simple ways that we save money. This week’s themes are kids and bath & beauty.

We love the library! In fact, my kids would go there every day if we could!

We invest $25 per year to get the Gold Card to our local library so that we can have unlimited holds (they usually cost $0.25 per hold) and this is probably one of the best $25 we spend all year. Thanks to our local library, we have all sorts of adventures through books, make precious memories while cuddled up sharing a book together, and learn many new things each week — all for practically free!

{You can see the chapter books we’ve read aloud this year so far here. We also go through dozens of picture books each month, plus the girls and I check out lots of books to read independently.}

Cooking together is a such a fun way to get things done, while enjoying being together at the same time. Plus, I’ve found that it can double as math practice for youngsters: we count the cups and teaspoons of ingredients as we put them in and talk about simple addition and subtraction.

{Pictured: Making Homemade Pumpkin Spice Lattes with Silas.}

Who says you have to buy expensive toys to have fun? Our kids love playing with boxes, creating with paper, and pretending their playset in the backyard is their spy team headquarters. A little imagination and creativity can provide hours of free fun!

{Pictured: The Paper Doll Chains we made for our Early American History study recently.}

Kaitlynn made a picnic for us to enjoy outside on the deck while we worked on our homeschool lessons one day this week (she even put a fresh flower she’d picked on each of our trays!). Free Vitamin D, fresh air, and memories all while getting lunch and lessons in = score! 🙂

Um, I’ve got pretty much nothing on the bath & beauty part as that’s not really my cup ‘o tea. Unless you count the fact that I don’t use shaving cream or that I only have six mix and match outfits. 🙂

Head over to SimplyRebekah to see the savings that Rebekah is sharing today.

Now it is your turn to share the simple ways that you save. Share your link below or on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #FrugalPhotoFriday. All of the link-up details and themes for each week can be found here.



Frugal Photo Friday: Making Starbucks at Home

Frugal Photo Friday

As you well know, I tend to be just a little bit frugal. Er, well, maybe more like a lot frugal. My husband says that if I were left on my own, I’d never spend any money on myself. I love to spend money on others, but when it comes to me, I’ll just keep using and re-using whatever I already have.

That’s not always a bad thing… especially considering all of the money it has saved us over the years. Sometimes we lose sight of just how much these simple things we do really benefit our lives. And it’s time that we celebrated the simple savings!

Welcome to Frugal Photo Friday! For the next month I am partnering with Rebekah from SimplyRebekah to bring you a fun series dedicated to inspiring others and celebrating our simple savings. We’ll be sharing photos each Friday of simple ways that we save money. And we’d love for you to join us!

How it will work:

Each Friday in October Rebekah and I will share pictures on our blogs that demonstrate ways that we save money. At the end of our posts we’ll have a link-up where you can share a link to your own blog post. Your Frugal Photo Friday post should include at least one photograph along with a brief caption or story that explains how you saved money.

We will have themes for each Friday. Feel free to share photos that fit either of the themes for that week.

October 5 – Kids, Bath & Beauty
October 12 – Food & Fun
October 19 – Home & Decor
October 26 – Anything Goes!

The Details:

  • No blog? You can also share your pictures on Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #FrugalPhotoFriday.
  • Frugal Photo Friday posts will go live on Friday mornings and the link-up will stay open until Sunday night at 11:59 PM.
  • You will only need to share your link on one of our blogs and it will automatically be displayed on both blogs.
  • Please link directly to your Frugal Photo Friday post and not to your homepage.
  • Feel free to grab the Frugal Photo Friday button to use in your post.
  • Please include a link back to Money Saving Mom or Simply Rebekah in your post so others can be encouraged by all the savings.
  • There is no time limit on your savings. We want to see things that saved you money this week, last month, last year, or beyond!

To kick things off, Rebekah and I are each sharing a photo of a simple way we save. Here’s mine:

Making Starbucks at Home

Wait, you don’t think Starbucks coffee is frugal? Well, let me tell you, it’s a whole lot cheaper to make your own Starbucks at home then to buy it at the coffee shop.

Sure, I’d save even more money if I gave up coffee altogether. But brewing my morning cup puts a smile on my face. I sit and savor it — and it just starts my day off on the right foot.

After lots of practice, I’ve learned how to make coffee at home just exactly how Jesse and I love it. In fact, we both agree that I can brew a better cup of coffee than any coffee shop we’ve visited.

So not only have we saved a lot of money by making coffee at home, we just plain think the coffee we make at home is better. Win-win!

Head over to SimplyRebekah for her photo and tip on how she saves money on gift wrap.