Top 5 Sites For Parents & Kids

It should come as no surprise that we are a family that enjoys the computer. So when we are looking for fun things to do with the kids, we power on the laptop and these are the sites we most often frequent:

1. Parents Connect by Nickelodeon- Parents Connect is where I get the info every week for what’s happening here in Houston. That’s not all they have available:

2. Starfall-I found out about this site a couple of years ago and it is SO MUCH FUN! website for the magazine. There is a LOT of free content on here.
  • Printable Flash Cards
  • Pregnancy Calendar
  • Halloween Crafts for Kids
4. PBS Kids– The site belongs to PBS the TV station and has some of our favorite loveable characters!
5. Playhouse Disney-last but absolutely not least…Playhouse Disney
By no means is this an all inclusive list! To be honest, my favorite places to go for crafts are blogs! Specifically homeschooling blogs. One day I’ll compile that list…although I tried once and it was way too long!
What is your favorite kid friendly site? Let me know in the comments!

Great Money Saving Tips!

I first signed up for this a few weeks ago and I love the newsletter! The tips are really fantastic and always give me something to think about for the day. Most newsletters I sign up for, I find I cancel them pretty quickly. This one seems like a real winner. Sign up today!

This post may contain affiliate links. This means that if you click/purchase/sign up for this offer, I may receive a small amount of compensation for it. A win for you and a win for me! Have a GREAT day!

A Personal Touch Post: Tone It Up Tuesday…on Wednesday

She is the one eating the cake…I gain the pounds?

I MEANT to post this yesterday. Obviously I didn’t, so here goes today. I am joining in with Shibley Smiles for Tone it up Tuesdays. I have a LOT of weight to lose. Like 10 lbs 10 times.

Stop! Just read the 10 lbs and ignore the rest.

Seriously though, I need to lose some weight. I need to be healthier and I need to be lighter and more fit.

Fad diets don’t work for me (do they work for anyone?), I need a lifestyle change.

I have PCOS which is a fancy way of saying my body loves loves loves/hates carbs.
Low carb diets MELT the fat off of me and make me pyschotic. Yes I’ve tried South Beach. Yes I’ve tried Atkins. Yes I’ve tried Weight Watchers. Lost 40 lbs on Weight Watchers and enjoyed myself while doing it. When I’ve gone back on it since though, I unintentionally manipulate the program too much. Just like every other weight loss effort, it backfires on me.

I need a lifestyle change. A diet and exercise overhaul.

I have close to 200 followers on Family Friendly Frugality (a frugality blog with a “personal” touch…here’s my personal touch! LOL), what better accountability than 200 people watching my progress?

I’m starting small. Itty Bitty. Drastic has been done and died. We’re going for baby steps.
This week:

  1. Each day INTENTIONALLY eat a bit less each meal
  2. Each day INTENTIONALLY move more each day
That’s it. Probably sounds silly and easy to most people. It’s not for me. I’m changing my whole life though, so bear with me!
And after I lose my first 10? Make me lose 9 more. 

Want to go on a Disney Cruise?

Sign up for a FREE Disney Line Vacation Planning DVD by clicking the link above. We are so hoping to take a Disney Cruise when the kids are a bit older. How much fun!

  This post may contain affiliate links. This means that if you click/purchase/sign up for this offer, I may receive a small amount of compensation for it. A win for you and a win for me!

Did you know you can buy coupons?

Well you can! Okay first let’s be clear. You are not paying for the coupon itself. You are paying for the time taken to obtain, clip and mail the coupon. They are called coupon clipping services and they are all over the web.
Now why in the world would you want to BUY a coupon? Sounds a bit counterproductive, right? Well, no…not always.
Say a newspaper costs $2 (it does here), and there is a HOT coupon in there for diapers. That one coupon when combined with a great sale at Walgreens/Rite Aid/CVS/Walmart/etc will make that pack of diapers $.10 per diaper. An AWESOME deal! Not so awesome though if you spent $20 to buy 10 papers. What you can do, is visit a coupon clipping service like Coupons and Things by Dede and order only the diaper coupon. Pay for 10 coupons at just a small percentage of the face value rather than buying 10 papers filled with coupons you have no need for

I’ve bought coupons online a few times so far. In fact, I still have a generous stockpile of baby wipes from the 20 coupons I bought back in early July.
Check it out, see if there are any coupons you might be interested in. Some people don’t buy papers at all and just buy only the coupons they want each week from a clipping service. Personally, I always get nervous a coupon I think isn’t that great will be hot in a few weeks when a great sale comes up. Hot coupons go FAST on clipping services.
Check out Dede’s site to learn more:

We Use Coupons also has a directory of coupon clipping services. Click on the box below and go to Coupon Resources on the top navigation bar:

10 Super Easy NO CLIP ways to save at the Grocery Store

So you want to save money at the grocery store?
You don’t have time or maybe you don’t care to clip or print coupons. You can still save money! Your savings might not be enormous, but every little bit helps.

10 ways to save money at the grocery store without clipping coupons:

  1. Shop the sales. When you walk in the store, grab the sale ad…the items on the front page are typically the best deals. The biggest picture of meat is generally considered their “loss leader” and it’s a great time to stock up.
  2. Look for managers specials throughout the store. These often have red stickers. They are on manager special because they are close to their expiration date typically. Meat that is close to expiring can be 50%-70% off…take it home and freeze it and you only benefit!
  3. Instore promotions. Many stores have instore promotions such as buy 5 participating items get $5 instantly off of your bill. It is SO HARD for me not to say that you can get really extreme savings using coupons with these promotions but…oops I already said it. Even without coupons, store promotions can really reduce your grocery bill
  4. When something is a good price…stock up. Don’t just buy one, buy enough to last your family until it goes on sale again. Sale cycles vary but if you buy about 6-8 weeks worth of an item…you should be safe not to have to buy it again until it is on sale
  5. Buy in bulk. Not in a stockpiling sense, but rather than buying the smallest bag of rice…buy the largest. Now if we were talking coupons, I would actually be encouraging the opposite. With coupons, bulk isn’t always better if you can get the item for free or almost free if you buy a smaller amount. Without coupons though, buying in bulk is generally the cheapest way to go.
  6. Store brand. Every grocery store has a store brand line of products. Some have several versions of their store brand. HEB store brand food is amazing. Normally name brand doesn’t taste that much different than store brand. Even if it does..that doesn’t mean better. You just might have to give the store brand a try for awhile to change your taste buds.
  7. Don’t impulse buy. Walk in with a list and stick to it. If you don’t actually see the store ad until you walk in the door (which I don’t recommend, most stores mail their ads out the day the sale starts..or you can obtain it online), and you see a sale on a protein not on your list, decide if you can sub in the sale protein instead. Same with produce and dairy.
  8. Try not to buy convenience foods. You can make so many convenience foods at home and make them much healthier (see: freezer burritos). Convenience foods and junk foods can rack up a bill VERY quickly. That doesn’t mean you can’t have snacks or sweets, just make them yourself from scratch.
  9. Store cards. Not every grocery store has loyalty cards, but many do. In some stores you can’t take advantage of most of their sales unless you have a loyalty card. (we’re not talking about coupons right now, but you can even load coupons on to these cards). Some cards even rack up points for free food or gas.
  10. Shop with cash. Erin Chase at $5 Dinners recently wrote a good post about how shopping with cash keeps her grocery bill in check. I can’t claim to do this as often as I should, but it is a good tip to put into practice.

***Optional*** (but a bit more work)

  • shop at more than one store…this is called “cherry picking” where you only pick the best deals from each store
  • make use of instore by the registers, hanging on the products, shelves, etc

So there it is…my no clipping advice for grocery shopping. When you are a thoughtful shopper and you take just a bit of time to check out sales and stock up on items when they are a good price…you can expect to save between 10-25% on your grocery bill…if not more!

Happy Shopping!

Great Financial Tips for Women-A Can’t Miss!

There are some really fabulous articles about saving money, investing money and getting out of debt on Daily Worth.
Just sign up right here for their newsletter and you have access to all of their money saving tips. Today’s great post has to do with budgets. Something we all need! I get their emails daily and honestly, it is a great jump start in the morning!

2 days+3 grocery stores=enough juice to feed 10 baseball teams

My last few weeks of shopping trips have been kind of run in, get what’s on sale and run out. This week I saw some good stock up opportunities, so I took advantage. We are pretty well set on chicken, juice and canned fruit for awhile though. Here’s my freezer:

Jam packed with frozen veggies, homemade bread crumbs, frozen fruits and of course tons of meat. Pantry is pretty packed too

There is no way in this world that I will show you my fridge though. I don’t know what it is about the fridge, it’s always the hugest mess! Probably because EVERYONE goes into the fridge, so it’s not just me going in and out.

That kind of quantity of food in my freezer and pantry was never possible before coupons. It makes me so happy to look at it.

So now onto my shopping trips. I hit Kroger yesterday and Randalls and HEB today. It was a 3 store shopping kind of week.

Spent $63.42
Saved $24.53

I bought the sausage and the pork butt all on manager special. I needed the oil since I was totally out so I paid full price for the olive and the vegetable. Butter was on sale so I stocked up. Frozen veggies for $.88 each and the lunchmeat was 2 for $5 and I had a $1 off 2 coupon. Canned veggies were $.66 so I bought a few since we were running low on corn and carrots. Split Chicken breast was $.99  a lb so I bought 2 packages of that.

Spent $46.05
Saved $55.40

Randalls is having their $5 off 5 participating items this week. That made the capri sun only $.99 a box. So I bought 9…it has a long shelf life and it’s super easy to throw into my bag if we’re going somewhere and I need to make sure I have something for the kids to drink. Canned no sugar added mandarin oranges and peaches were $.99 each as well. Some veggie and fruit and a basil plant and some saltines (the 10th item for the multiples of 5 for $5 deal). There were also some hang tags on the lawry’s marinade making them only $1 each. The sirloin steak was super cheap only about 10 bucks for 2 enormous steaks. (not pictured a 10 lb bag of potatoes)

HEB (savings at HEB according to their receipts are NEVER accurate)
spent: $59.87
saved: $6.12

I’m sure I saved more than that. I think it was more like $15. I’m not sure why it doesn’t add up right. They had some 5 for $5 deals so I bought the kool aid, the yogurt and the corn tortillas for $1 each. The chicken breasts were on sale for $1.99 each. I know you see bread there…I HAVE been making all of our bread with my breadmaker. But my husband noticed it was starting to get a bit tedious for me. So he suggested I buy our sandwich bread and spend time making stuff I really enjoy making in the bread maker. Kind of a relief. I’m excited to make more pizza dough and bagels now!
I bought some of the HEB brand rotisserie chicken salad as well. It’s like $6 for a small tub…but I swear, i would stand outside and sing it’s praises for free if HEB didn’t kick me off their property. It’s THAT good.

Total of grocery store trips this week:
Total spent:
Total saved 
$86.05 (according to cash register receipts)

So I saved close to 50% this week. I spent more than I typically budget week to week, but there were some good stock up opportunities. Next week I’ll probably spend much less than that.
I know I’ve stopped doing the coupon matchups for Houston area grocery stores, they took hours and hours to do and to be honest, I’m not sure anyone used them. If you did, I’ll be happy to start again. Just let me know!

I linked this post up:

Did you get any great deals this week?

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