Using Coupon Programs and Meal Planning To Your Advantage

For a busy working mom, one of the most challenging aspects of her day can be meal planning and preparation. With no one to help relieve you of this burden, it can become drudgery in no time at all. The meal planning, the shopping the preparation are all time to consume. If you are watching pennies, then you probably clip coupons and scour the sales circulars so you can find the best deals too. This can take up an awful lot of your time.

There are websites that will help you reduce the time you spend doing many of these tasks. If you are lucky, some of the sites will even help you do more than one of these tasks.

Coupon Savings

Do a web search on coupons and you will find hundreds of sites where you can find and print coupons on all sorts of items you use and a few you’ve never heard of. Some can come straight from the product’s manufacturer. Other are sites who use programming to search the web and compile the coupons in one easy-to-find place. I highly recommend finding one of these.

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Living On The Cheap: 20 Tips To Save Money

If you’re like me, you probably wish you hadn’t wasted all that money all those years ago.  Fact is, it is never too late to learn from those mistakes and even make up for some of that lost cash by seeking innovative ways to live on the cheap.  That said, here are some ideas that can possibly end up saving you some money along the way and help assuage that guilty feeling from being so foolish in the past with your hard earned money.

Shop Online First

With more and more people plugged into the Internet, businesses are getting on board as well.  If you are thinking about a purchase, consider surfing the net first to educate yourself about the product, including the price spread.  You may be surprised at how competitive many businesses are to make the sale.  That can include anything from the cheapest price to free delivery.  In fact, once you have done this, you might just find yourself ordering it online and having it delivered right to your front door!

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How to Make Christmas More Affordable

With Christmas right around the corner, I know many of us are feeling the pressure of all the expenses that come along with it. Children and family to get gifts for, hosting and/or attending holiday parties, Christmas dinner, Christmas tree, holiday lighting, and decorations, it’s like the list goes on and on! Here are some helpful tips to make the season a little easier on the pockets and perhaps even bring a little more cheer to your family!

1. Have a Secret Santa
If you’ll be spending the holidays with friends and family, only needing to buy a gift for one person means less stress of figuring out gift ideas and less money you have to spend.

2. Only Give to the Children
Sometimes we do this in our family. We will only get gifts for each others’ kids and leave it at that. Setting a reasonable price point also means no one will feel they out-gifted the other and kids will feel it is fair.

3. Share the Dinner Responsibilities
Whether you are hosting a holiday party or Christmas dinner, set a budget for yourself and divvy up the responsibilities of cooking with others attending. If everyone brings a dish, that’s less work on you and better on your wallet.

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Coupons are Still Good

Want a glimpse of one of the most successful business marketing models around today? Easy. This Sunday, turn your 10-lb. Sunday paper upside down, open it, and let the entrails fall to the floor.

No joke. Those Sunday newspaper inserts–tagged prematurely by magazines like Business 2.0 as easy prey for an Internet-driven boom in “one-to-one” marketing–still comprise a significant chunk of the newspaper ad business in 2016. And now the quasi-recession has gone, they are enjoying quite a little boom of their own, and they also saw an increase in ads for online GED prep courses as many individuals now saw they needed to get a degree that made them qualified for most jobs.

Behind most of those kitschy, serrated-edged inserts is the 30-year-old marketing services company Valassis, which has not only survived but thrived, since the commercial Internet took off in 1995. As the biggest coupon and insert producer in the country, with fat clients including General Mills and Sara Lee, Valassis has seen its revenue grow from $656 million in 1996 to $1835 million in 2015, and the company expects net income to rise another 15 percent this year. All during the supposed takeover of Internet-based marketing.

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Save $2.44 a Day For a (Comfortable) Week Abroad

When I was growing up, my family went through financial lows and highs, and I never felt rich or poor. I grew up in a large house nestled on a few acres of woods in Georgia that my parents bought when property and building a house was extremely reasonable.

Even in financial pinches, my Dad was always a sharp investor and paid for most things in cash. Money was often unpredictable, and I learned not to depend on it always being there. And I also learned I didn’t need money to have the kind of lifestyle I wanted.

Money was just a tool to me, and if that tool wasn’t available, I just found another one to use.

Travel was also free and plentiful, no matter our financial standing. The two were not mutually exclusive or even related. My Dad (and one of my brothers) are pilots and we always flew standby in any extra seats for free. From an early age, we learned that a vacation started with a 4:00 a.m. wake-up call to hop the first flight out, and the game of “Lifeboat”, or “Who’s Going on This Flight if There Aren’t Enough Seats?”

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Best Kept Secret for Budget Friendly Vacations

Most of us love traveling, but it can get expensive FAST! So we’re always looking for coupon codes or hotel promotions because we never like to pay full price for anything, especially vacations! Between gas or airfare, hotel accommodations and always dining out, there’s almost no money left for attractions! When I heard about timeshare rentals and how we could save some serious bucks, I was intrigued. I was glad to have the opportunity to review this service because this is exactly the kind of thing our family could benefit from!

We all know that timeshares exist but I think most of us have this negative idea about them. Having to sit through hours of seemingly endless, uncomfortable, high-pressure pitches, paying big bucks for vacations at the same exact place every year without much variation, high fees, etc., just doesn’t sound like a good deal. Timeshare rentals don’t deal with any of that!

RedWeek offers budget friendly vacations at a fraction of the regular price by allowing timeshare owners to rent out timeshares that they are unable to use! Imagine paying a bunch of money for a timeshare and for whatever reason, finding you can’t go on vacation every year? Those timeshare owners turn to RedWeek for help. They get to recoup some of the costs of owning a timeshare and we get to save money on luxury vacations! Total win-win.

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Teaching Comprehension for Understanding and Engagement

One of my favorite books for teaching reading comprehension is Strategies That Work: Teaching Comprehension for Understanding and Engagement by Stephanie Harvey and Anne Goudvis. It was first published in 2000, and it is still one of the most popular books used by educators. I’m recommending it for parents because they are strategies that are very easy to utilize at home to help children develop deeper comprehension skills.


Strategies That Work relies on 6 main areas.

1. Making Connections: By helping children make different kinds of connections (text-to-self, text-to-text, text-to-world) children learn to utilize their personal and their discussion group/partners to enhance their understanding of a text. Connections begin close to home (self) and then gradually build outward to the world helping students develop a larger sense of context.

2. Questioning: Questions are a normal part of human curiosity. So while reading, questions arise for children and adults alike. Questions that children ask about a text can help us know whether or not they are comprehending the text.

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Couponing Overload: Confessions of a Coupon Addict

First, let me start off saying that couponing has helped my family save thousands over the past 3 years. Without couponing, I would not know what to do.

However, I think we have gone overboard in recent months. Here is how I know we have gone astray:

Calculate the Monthly Budget/Spending
I usually calculate the budget spending for the month and we have gone over the allotment for the last 5 months. At first, I thought it was just the increase in grocery prices, but as I looked closely at the receipts it was much more.
Overspending on Non-essentials
Looks like we got into the habit of spending on things we didn’t necessarily need. For example, the local Save a Lot was closing and they were having a store sale. Instead of my dad getting a few items he got $90 worth of things we didn’t need. (more…)

How to get out of debt

Car loan payments, credit card bills, mortgage payments, bank loans, rent payments…Sometimes it feels that almost all your money is going toward paying off your debts. But, even though it may seem that being in debt is just another part of adult living, this definitely doesn’t need to be this way.

If you manage your money well, living within your means, and even saving for purchases instead of getting them on credit, is absolutely possible. By managing your money well, you can not only pay off some of your debt, you also will learn not to rely so heavily on borrowing.

Bear in mind, though, that there are forms of debt, for example a home loan, that are pretty much acceptable. Most houses will be increasing in value as time goes by, but what’s more important, the interest you pay on a mortgage is tax deductible, which will save you money on taxes.

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Living on a budget – Live within your means

Most probably You have heard this phrase: ‘live within your means.’ But what exactly does this phrase mean?

Very simply put, when you live within your means, you are able to pay for all the things you need in your life without taking on more debt than you are able to handle. Yet many Americans are believing that there’s only one way to get nice things, and that is to get into debt and get them.

Now that could be true for larger purchases like a home or a car, but it certainly does not to apply to many other things that we are needing in life. When you purchase a house, for example, you take a mortgage loan which will put you in debt for maybe as long as 20 or 30 years.

Sure, that is a long period of time, but this sort of debt has also many benefits. Interest paid on the mortgage can be deducted from your annual taxable income, and the money that’s yours in the house (the equity) can be applied for other loans. If you make regular mortgage payments, you will also build up a strong credit score.

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