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10 Oct 2011   ·   14 Ladies’ short-sleeved & long-sleeved tees for $2.21 + 6% cashback

Through the end of today, JCPenney has a coupon code good for 20% off any order. You can get some great deals in their clearance section. Here’s how to get Ladies’ long-sleeved and short-sleeved tees for $2.21 plus 6% cashback:

::Click on the Shop Now button on the JCPenney Page on ShopAtHome.

::On the JCPenney website click on “Clearance” and then on “Women”.

::Sort by Price to see the lowest-priced items first.

::Add the Ladies’ short-sleeved or long-sleeved t-shirts priced at $2.77 to your cart and go to checkout.

::Use coupon code BESTCROP to get 20% off. Shipping is free to your local store.

::Within 30-60 days, you will receive 6% cashback in your ShopAtHome account.

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

10 Oct 2011   ·   3
Money Saving Mom

Free ebook: Gooseberry Patch Thanksgiving Cookbook

Download a free Gooseberry Patch Thanksgiving Cookbook.

Please note that the price is currently $0.00, but that could change at any time. Be sure to check the price before checking out to verify that it is still free.

This ebook is specifically for Kindles, but you can go here to download a free application which enables you to read Kindle ebooks on your PC.

Find more free ebooks here.

Thanks, Common Sense With Money!

10 Oct 2011   ·   0
Money Saving Mom

Bissell Stomp N’ Go Rebate + $1.50 printable coupon

Buy a Bissell Stomp N’ Go and use this $1.50/1 Bissell Stomp N’ Go coupon. Then, submit the receipt, the UPC code, and this Bissell Stomp N’ Go rebate to get a full rebate (up to $5.99).

You should be able to get it free plus possible overage after the coupon and rebate.

Thanks, For the Mommas!

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

10 Oct 2011   ·   13 Boys’ Striped Polos for $2.85 shipped to store + 6% cashback!

Through the end of today, JCPenney has a coupon code good for 20% off any order. You can get some great deals in their clearance section. Here’s how to get Boys’ Polo Shirts for $2.85 plus 6% cashback:

::Click on the Shop Now button on the JCPenney Page on ShopAtHome.

::On the JCPenney website click on “clearance” and then on “Kids”.

::Sort by Price to see the lowest-priced items first.

::Add the Boys’ Striped Polos priced at $3.57 to your cart and go to checkout.

::Use coupon code BESTCROP to get 20% off. Shipping is free to your local store.

::Within 30-60 days, you will receive 6% cashback in your ShopAtHome account.

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

7 Oct 2011   ·   107
Money Saving Mom

How I “Professionally” Cleaned My Carpet for $5

Guest post by Melinda from eBay Selling Mom

I was in a jam. I needed to have my living room carpet professionally cleaned, but it was not in our budget.

There was only one thing I could think to do: I had to stick to my guns and stay frugal by using some good ol’ elbow grease, carpet cleaner (I bought it from the Dollar Tree), three large sponges, and a bucket of hot water. Thankfully my living room is not enormous!

I started out by getting the entire carpet wet with very hot water. (If you try this, be sure to wear a pair of rubber gloves so you don’t burn yourself!)

After the carpet was wet, I scrubbed very hard with my carpet cleaner and back and forth motions. Then I went over the carpets again with a sponge and some hot water to make sure the cleaner was pretty much of out the carpet.

I decided that I wanted to make sure the carpet smelled nice and pretty so I sprayed my Homemade Febreeze all over the carpet. (By the way, I actually think my homemade version smells better than real Febreeze!)

Next, I opened all of my windows to bring in the fresh summer air and waited for my carpets to dry.It took about a day for them to dry completely. Once they were dry, I vacuumed up all of the loose dirt and crumbs.

My husband said they looke and smelled better than if they had been done professionally! Even though it was hard work to clean my carpet by hands, it was worth it to save the $150 I would have paid for a professional cleaner.

Melinda is a stay-at-home mom to three beautiful children: Madeline, Micah, and Benjamin. She’s married to her wonderful husband Matthew. In her spare time, she enjoys blogging at eBay Selling Mom.

6 Oct 2011   ·   132
Money Saving Mom

Why running out of money was the best thing that happened to us!

Guest post by Elise Adams from Adams Organizing

Four years ago this August, I was rescued from a life of homelessness and violence when my daughter’s father was arrested. So when I came back to my hometown and began rebuilding my life, I was relieved to get on government assistance. A full fridge and a safe house felt luxurious to me.

After living in hotels, I was quickly content with a subsidized apartment, food stamps, and a little money to pay my utilities. I felt blessed to stay home with my children.

Fast forward a few years… I’m married to the man God picked for me (since my “picker” was obviously broken!) and we have a baby boy. After a job loss and a year on unemployment with a lot of bad decisions in between, we arrived at the the worst day of our life together just four weeks ago. I was getting ready to leave a business trip and we were counting on our IRS tax refund check to catch us up on bills. But it didn’t arrive on time.

I will never forget that night! I cried myself to sleep wondering, “How could I be back in such a desperate place?”

Then something twisted deep inside my stomach. I promised myself that we’d never be in such a desperate situation again. No matter what it takes, I told myself, we will not ever run out of money so completely that we are afraid that we won’t have enough to pay rent.

For some of you this is a shocking story. How can anybody allow themselves to sink to such desperate situation? Didn’t we know any better? Are we crazy? Or maybe we’re lazy?

Yes, in some ways, to all of those questions. Yet, what I believe kept us stuck in a situation that most of you would find unthinkable is the very same reality that keeps Dave Ramsey’s listeners leasing cars and using credit cards: Denial.

It was easier to pretend that we aren’t really poor. As long as the lights stayed on and we weren’t evicted we could pretend we were safe and secure.

This is why I am so thankful that we ran out of money that day four weeks ago. I am so glad that I cried myself to sleep that night, promising my own soul that we’d do whatever it takes to climb all the way out of poverty.

Today, just four weeks or so later, we have made huge changes:

  • My husband is working 42 hours a week now and he is taking a full class load toward his nursing degree.
  • I’ve totally re-focused my blog on this whole area of personal responsibility.
  • We’ve changed how we budget–using only cash for everything after bills.

No matter where you find yourself today financially, might you still be indulging in a bit of denial? Are there areas that you let slide because it’s easier? Maybe you are struggling with unemployment or are taking government assistance to get by? I’d love to hear your stories!

Elise Adams is an author, motivational speaker, and radio personality who is determined to help everyone she meets ‘survive, thrive and get on with their lives’.  She blogs over at where she openly and candidly attacks the tough topics of addiction, chaos, and homelessness from a personal recovery perspective. Her latest project is a Free Video Class she calls ‘How to survive ANY crisis without Losing your Sanity’. Elise, her husband, and three toddlers (three other kids live with their other parents–can you say ‘blended family’?) live in the Pacific Northwest.

photo credit

6 Oct 2011   ·   12
Money Saving Mom

MySurvey: Earn cash or rewards for taking surveys

Looking for another survey company to sign up with? Definitely check out This is a survey company I’ve used myself and my readers have also recommended.

With MySurvey, you earn points for every single survey you take–even those that are just qualifiers! So you will never waste time and effort on a survey only to discover you don’t qualify. You can redeem your points earned for cash or prizes and every 1150 points equals $10.

Sign up for MySurvey here.

Find more legitimate survey companies to sign up with here.

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

6 Oct 2011   ·   147
Money Saving Mom

My Crock Pot and Oven Pumpkin-Cooking Experiment


For the last few years, I’ve always just purchased canned pumpkin at Aldi or on clearance after Thanksgiving. And I’ve always had a decent supply of it on hand by buying extras when I found a good deal.

Recently, however, my supply was dwindling and, since our Aldi doesn’t have canned pumpkin in stock yet, I’ve been having trouble justifying spending almost $2 a can for pumpkin. But Fall isn’t the same without baking pumpkin recipes, so what was I going to do?

My friend tipped me off to a sale Walmart was having on pie pumpkins last week so we bought five with the intention of cooking them and pureeing them for the freezer. I decided to do a little experiment and compare how much time and effort was involved in cooking them in the crock pot versus the oven.

How to Cook Pumpkins in the Crock Pot

(original recipe from The Happy Housewife)

I sliced the softer pumpkins (leaving the harder ones to bake whole so that I didn’t cut off my finger in the process of trying to saw into them!).

Then de-seeded them with an ice cream scoop.

What a mess!

Finally, I put them in the crock pot with a cup of water and turned it on high for four hours.

For much more detailed instructions, see The Happy Housewife’s post on how to cook a pumpkin in the crock pot.

How to Roast Pumpkins Whole in the Oven

For the pumpkins that I cooked whole, I just washed them off and coated them with coconut oil and stuck them on a baking sheet and roasted them for a little over an hour at 400 degrees.

See more detailed instructions on how to roast a whole pumpkin without cutting it here.

The Final Results

The oven pumpkins were much easier to do (no cutting involved and they were ready a lot more quickly). The seeds and pulp came out easily and I just scraped out the pumpkin with the ice cream scoop.

The crock pot pumpkins were a little more time-consuming upfront because you had to mess with cutting and scraping out the hard pulp. They also took longer and I felt like they weren’t as sweet and well-cooked when finished. (Of course, maybe they just weren’t as good of pumpkins, either?)

After scooping out the fruit, I pureed it in the Vita-Mix for a minute and then scooped one-cup servings into individual baggies and froze them in a big ziptop bag.

Well, I didn’t quite freeze all of it since I used some right away in the Pumpkin Baked Oatmeal–a recipe we’re looking forward to having for breakfast tomorrow!

All totaled, I got nine cups of pumpkin from the five pie pumpkins, plus seeds to roast. I’m not sure that the time involved made it worth the small savings, but it was a fun project to tackle anyway!

5 Oct 2011   ·   57
Money Saving Mom

8 Ways to Be a Better Mom to Young Children

The children and I at Garden of the Gods in Colorado

I don’t know about you, but I’ve struggled with a lot of mommy guilt over the past seven years I’ve been a mom:

“Am I doing enough?”

“Are my children eating right, getting enough sleep, getting enough fresh air and exercise?”

“Am I spending enough quality time with them?”

“Should I be doing more of X with them and less of Y?”

And then I’ve felt like a bad mom for having so much mommy guilt. Yes, I know, I’m hopeless!

In talking to other moms, I know I’m not alone. If you’re a young mom who is feeling discouraged in your mothering today, I wrote an article over on MomLife on 8 Ways to Be a Better Mom to Young Children. It shares some of the things I’ve learned–mostly through error–as a young mom.

I hope it can be a blessing to some of you who are exhausted and overwhelmed in your mothering!

Related Articles:
Cardboard Dollhouse-Making Trumped My To Do List
Training Requires Repetition

4 Oct 2011   ·   157
Money Saving Mom

18 pounds of apples for $3.54!

I had all three children when I went out shopping today, so I almost didn’t make the extra stop at the health food store. But since I was going to be driving right by it and I’d not been there in a week, I decided to go ahead and stop and unload everyone and see if there were any markdowns or other bargains to be had.

Well, imagine my surprise and excitement when, as soon as I walked in the door, I found 3-lb. bags of apples on sale for $0.99! I had to read the sign three times before I was sure that’s what it said.

I got ready to load up my cart, but then I saw the crate where they put marked down produce. Guess what it was full of? 3-lb. bags of apples marked down to $0.59 per bag!!!!

You can just envision my happy dance, can’t you?! I restrained myself and only bought six bags as I didn’t want to take all of them and I also wanted to make sure I didn’t buy more than I can use.

Without a doubt, this is the best deal I’ve ever scored on apples. I’m having visions of apple butter, Homemade Crockpot Applesauce, Slab Apple Pie, Mini Apple Pies, and so much more!

What are your best suggestions for using up a bunch of apples? I’d love to hear!

3 Oct 2011   ·   43
Money Saving Mom

Reader Tip: Amazon’s Trade-In Program

Chelsea emailed in with the following tip:

Last week, I discovered Amazon’s trade-in store, and ended up having almost 400 dollars worth of credit between six text books! After researching what the books were worth, I found that Amazon was offering me a very fair price. I was able to ship the books for free and quickly received the credit in my account.

Besides text books, Amazon also accepts electronics, movies and television series, video games, consoles, and accessories for trade. I would highly encourage MoneySavingMom® readers to check out this program. Paired with free shipping and price matching, the store credit could really come in handy.

photo credit

3 Oct 2011   ·   69
Money Saving Mom

Want to review a pre-release copy of my book?

As most of you know, my book, The Money Saving Mom®’s Budget, is releasing in January 2012. It’s the culmination of years of personally living frugally and simply and teaching others how to have a paradigm shift about money.

I’m more than a little excited about it (more like crazily ecstatic about it!) because I believe its message is direly needed, especially right now as so many people are struggling to make ends meet. I believe this book has the potential to radically change your budget–and your life!

The Money Saving Mom®’s Budget is a comprehensive step-by-step plan to take you from financial mess to financial success. In this straightforward book, you’ll learn:

::How to set big goals and break them down into bite-sized pieces.

::How to prioritize your time and life in order to live intentionally.

::How to streamline your home and life in order to have breathing room to work toward your financial goals.

::My three-step plan for going from no budget at all to a full-fledged, realistic, written budget.

::How to make a cash envelope system work for you.

::How to cut your grocery bill in half (including 25 ways to save money without using coupons!).

::How to save big on restaurants, travel, clothing, utility bills, prescription glasses, gym memberships, and much more.

::And finally, how to cultivate contentment, embrace today, and live a rich and full life, no matter your income.

You know what I’m most thrilled about in publishing this book? That all of my profits are going to Compassion International–an organization that helps to feed and clothe needy children around the globe.

Knowing that this book has the potential to not only change lives in our country, but to also give food, clean water, shelter, and clothing to those who are living in unimaginable circumstances, gave me so much purpose and excitement while writing. I’m humbled to be partnering with Compassion’s ministry to the poorest of the poor.

Would You Like a Free Pre-Release Copy of The Money Saving Mom®’s Budget?

Update: Thank you for your interest! The submission form is now closed.

We are sending out a limited number of pre-release copies for free to bloggers and other media outlets. Would you like to review the book and publish your thoughts? If so, please fill out the questions below.

Please note: Filling out the below form does not guarantee a few review copy or giveaway, but we will do our best to accommodate as many requests as we can. Your information will not be sold but will only be used to contact you about the book and media opportunities with the book.

Having trouble seeing the form? Go here!