Save More with Groupon Coupons

Save more with groupon Coupons, groupon coupon

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post, all opinions expressed are my own.
When my twins were born eight years ago our financial world was turned on its axis. Adding two additional people to our family increased our monthly outgo significantly so The Chad and I sought new and inventive ways to make every penny count and stretch our spending dollars. We knew that Groupon offered tremendous savings with merchants for various services, but what we did not know about is Groupon Coupons and savings for everyday items. Continue reading “Save More with Groupon Coupons”

The Alternative to Purchasing Textbooks

textbooks, text books, college books, college educationAs a much indebted college graduate I can share my woes of financial burden and hardship of my college years were spent wasting away in the words and higher learning’s of textbooks. The ever dreaded and might I add bank breaking textbook. Nowadays there are lots of options and alternatives to purchasing textbooks for money savings and recycling.

Much of my textbooks ran in the hundreds of dollars range or they ran into that range due to the fact that I had to have multiple books for the class. Luckily I took a similar class  line as my husband so we were able to share books, albeit some were a bit outdated yet the material was the same. I would shop feverishly to find low priced books or a way to NOT have to buy the books because now I have bookcases stuffed with college text I will probably not refer to again unless I am playing Trivial Pursuit with a gaggle of friends and we are adding alcoholic beverages to the playing lineup. Oh I digress.

However I was introduced to a fabulous website Campus Book Rentals and life saver for college students. Rent your textbooks, purchase at a reduced price and not only do you receive a smoking good deal but the organization supports one of my favorite not for profit organizations Operation Smile.  Campus Book Rentals has partnered with Operation Smile by donating over 1000 life saving cleft lip surgeries this year to children in need. So for every book that is rented a portion of the proceeds help fund Operation Smile.operation smile, cleft pallete repair, Talk about two for one with saving money on college textbooks, but your funds are further being used to support a great cause. Don’t just take my word for it, take a gander and try out Campus Book Rentals for more information on saving money while in college.

Family Recession

The news has sensationalized and down played the truth and reality that is the economic recession. Her effects, downfalls, triumphs, gripes, and how the recession has affected this family amongst the many that struggle each day to survive, maintain their home and not live on the streets, in their cars, or worse.

Our family became afflicted by the recession when DH was laid off shortly after the twins were born. Luckily he had another job lined up before the layoff, however, this was a large reduction in pay. While a job, the position was a struggle and a struggle for our family as we had to learn to scale back when our family was expanding as were our expenses.

But as we began to get traction again, we had yet another blow and The Chad was impacted yet again, and after a few months of struggling we began to find some solid ground. Yet, as with any restless waters, we began to feel our ship sink again when another blow came to us just a few short months ago.

The recession has been a learning experience and has been a tried and true gauge of my testament of love and marriage. Stress levels seek all new highs and lows during a financial crisis. Emotional levels are taxed to their very limits. Evil lurks in the depths of one’s mind and they begin to question their own faith in love and marriage, they doubt their partner and their position in the union, and eventually you feel like checking out. But the truth that has withstood the seams coming apart at their ends is love, truth, family. Without those I know our family would have not been able to weather this storm, on a couple of occasions.

I find solace in knowing I am not alone, but the evil comes in and I feel shame. Shameful for reasons I am not sure about. Maybe because I feel I cannot provide for my children the way I want to. Maybe because I feel I need to be more accomplished for my family. Maybe for the lack of adult time The Chad and I get to share with one another. So I wonder where will life go from here. I wonder how many share in my stress, my concern, who have been impacted, who have survived, and with my wonder I find solace once more. I am at peace to know I am not alone, but also fear no confirmation of having others share in my experience.

Pity too I have become a story I read when I underwrite a file at work, I share in these strangers stories of loss, heartache, stress, and fear. I can sympathize and empathize all at once and I cannot help but to ponder how many of my blog brethren share in my situation. How we hide something so common, but yet we feel so shameful and I think of how many have experienced the recession and lost something even greater than just a job and income. How has life changed for you if at all? What losses have you experienced?

Staycation – Retreat on a Budget

Admittedly the Southwest Airlines commercials speak to me. You know the slogan right? “Wanna get away?”

My rhetorical question in return is “Does the sun rise in the East?”

staycation, hotels, hotels.comAs a mother, adult, and former traveler extraordinaire, I love to get away. But who says you have to reach the far ends of the Earth, comb the beaches of the Caribbean or peruse the boutiques of Europe to consider being on a retreat or to enjoy a vacation. Let’s revisit the first word of this paragraph which will segue into my explanation for a retreat. Mother. Yes, I have child or children in my case, which can often cause a serious reduction in travel. Why? You ask. Well my main reason for a reduction in travel is due to the birth of my twins. You see traveling with two infants and the entourage of gear required for their care could be equivalent to a domestic safari of sorts. However, now that they have evolved into walking, talking, and may I add talking again, little people travel has become less cumbersome. Nonetheless difficult though when you are now the minority and children are the majority.

Additionally, taking trips sans kids can also be difficult. Finding adequate care takers and or family willing to assume your children for a day, week, or even a few hours can be a rather disheartening to the couple wishing to have adult relations outside of the home where they can once again enjoy the company of their date. I know the hubs and I daydream of what life was like without children when we traveled and literally those memories are now daydreams for us.

But we are not letting the days of whine and runny noses get us down! In fact, my mother was so kind to gift us for Christmas gift cards for a weekend or night away from home. When we opened the gift and read the note, the feeling was much like letting the crazies out of the asylum to run the streets for the night. We could taste sweet freedom once again. In fact we got so caught up in getting away we couldn’t decide where the hell to go!

Have no fear though, the hubs is a resourceful geek of sorts. Bless him for having a account where he has been booking almost all of his travels for business, since he travels every other week he has become a domestic expert of travel accommodations. When the time came for us to book our retreat away from the kids, we looked at all the local resorts and spas within the Phoenix metro and downtown area. Finally we found a resort, spa, and casino close to home and even better, the price was right! So the hubs booked us a night at the Radisson Ft. McDowell Resort and Casino.

I was leery to say the least since the resort’s casino was known for being less than favorable. However, after reviewing the beauty shots of the resort on I was put more at ease and looking forward to our night and almost half day away from the kids to reconnect. I was put at even more ease when I saw the total cost of our sans kids retreat. $89 a night! With a sleep number bed, hot meal where I wasn’t required to cut anyone’s food but my own, no fighting kids for my own bed and pillows, and no worries of who would drive home due to the fact we both had some juicy alcoholic beverages. We just walked from the resort’s restaurant to the elevator and then to our room, a most pleasant evening, to which we retreated to enjoy additional quiet time as adults, reconnecting. Furthermore, we got up early enough the next morning to drive home but detoured for some breakfast at a local cafe.

Needless to say I was stoked we were able to get away and even better, helped us to stay on and within our budget, but were able to stay in a five star resort all  the more. Have you ever thought about a stay-cation when you cannot always get away for an extended vacation? Do you have the same struggles of child care when wanting to go on a date night?

5 Money Saving Ideas for Single Income Homes

In this crap of an economy some families are thriving, some are striving, and others are literally barely surviving. I have to say that I am a family that teeters on some days. My DH works in the building materials industry (doors, lumber, windows, stuff to build houses) and lets say that his industry is barely alive. With that I have figured new ways for saving money, cut home costs, cut major spending costs, and cut corners without sacrificing the way we have become accustomed to living. Some moms may know these little tricks and tips and others may not, some may be totally ecstatic about the idea and others may think the whole idea is hokey. Whatever your stance may be, these are my ideas, tips, and tricks and they do not reflect your particular lifestyle etc. So now that I am done with my basic disclaimer here are the goods for some money saving ideas:

1. Buy as much and as many canned, dry goods, condiments, cleaners, tiddly items you can at the DOLLAR store. I mean Dollar General, Dollar Tree (who also offers larger wholesale type quantities if you need, AND they accept Food Stamps), Family Dollar.

Buying from these stores does not mean that your food will taste any different, be any different, look any different or that you are less of a human being because you shopped at a discount store. I bought Velveeta Shells and Cheese there, name brand Spaghetti O’s, Duncan Hines brownie mix, you name it I got it there for more than HALF of what I would have paid for the generic at my local grocers, and guess what….ALL THE SAME!

2. CLIP THOSE COUPONS!!! That’s right, clip the coupons when you get them and then HOLD ONTO them. What? Why? Well because manufacturers know that you will clip those coupons and then go right out and spend full pop on the item with that coupon.

Rather, you wait for the following week, or maybe the week after to see if your item goes on sale. This is the coupon game. Watch for the weekly circular to see if your item goes on sale AND then use the coupon. Also use grocers that apply double coupons. Here in AZ, we have double coupon grocers everyday. Only special occasions do they triple your coupons.

3. Buy canned or frozen produce. Yes we all LOVE LOVE LOVE our fresh produce. I am a victim of loving my fresh produce. But when I saw how much of my beloved I would throw out each week because the items would spoil so quickly (even with my Debbie Meyers Green Bags) I decided the time had come to buy frozen or buy canned. In the frozen I buy my broccoli, corn, cauliflower, spinach, the foods I love to steam for dinners. You can buy a package of frozen spinach for almost more than half you could for the fresh, and its the same, at least the end product.

4. Buy as much generic and or bulk as possible. If you have an item you are CONSTANTLY running to the store to replenish….buy bulk. By doing so and being a member of a warehouse store like Costco (who I love) and or Sams Club, you can save yourself bundles in dollars and bundles in gas dollars for running back and forth to the store. I compared cereals and milk as those are our family’s biggest inventory turners and we save at least $20 (per store trip) buying bulk than buying at the local supermarket.

5. Invest in those awesome reusable bags. I know, the lover of Mother Earth came out in me with all my green adventures this year. But in all honesty you save money each grocery trip! Bet you didn’t know you get FIVE CENTS off for each bag you use, EACH time you use them at your local supermarket. I shop at Fry’s here in AZ and with having 5-10 bags each time, well that’s an additional 25-50 cents off my bill. Not much, but HEY, every little bit counts.

6. THE BIGGIE….make a list. I think too many times we as Mom’s are so DAMN busy that we forget to make a simple list. We are the Queen’s of multi-tasking so we run our list in our head like a drill sergeant attacking his troops in line. We beeline to the grocery store and end up buying those damned Krispy Kreme’s at the front display, the Ho Ho’s which are near the coffee, and a bag of Doritos’s since they looked so yummy on our way to the check out. All the while forgetting that we needed tampons, mustard, and eggs. So remember to take a few minutes to make a list. Or build your own online @ My Grocery Checklist. I have laminated mine so that I can use it OVER and OVER again with a dry erase marker, or I stuffed mine in a Ziploc Freezer bag until I got it laminated, plastic is about the same. I just check what I need at the time we realize we are out and then done. I don’t have to try to remember later. I mean seriously, three kids screaming and the last thing you can do is remember what the hell to get at the store when you don’t have a list.

Take ’em or leave ’em, just some of my ideas, tips and tricks. I hope these are some great ideas you can use. I also use the Coupon Mom as my reference for what is on sale and what is a coupon based on circulars. The grocery shopping trek is time consuming but so worth the effort when you can add up the HUNDREDS of dollars in savings.

Let me know what you do to save money with groceries, around the house, and things to help your family in these tight times. I would love to hear how other Moms have other neat ideas, please post comments and subscribe so I can see what else you have musing in your home.

All about a bargain and some comedy

Shopping is always an adventure for me. Not only because I have three kids….that is a task I tell you. But because I have twins and for some awful reason I have tattooed on my head:


Yes I get all the dumb twins questions along with the questions that make me ask….”Do I also have I am a dumb and or retarded Mom?” tattooed on my head. I mean I know I had kids…but come on now. So after many stops of “Oh! Are they twins?” I finally have resorted to answering, “No….I liked the little girl so much I stole her since I was sick of this many boys” Thank goodness no one hears what I say since the majority that ask this question need the assistance of a hearing device. So I kindly nod my head like that bobble toy on your dash.
Okay so back to shopping. The kids and I visited Goodwill as I love Goodwill. I think thrift and secondhand stores are awesome for all the treasures, the baby clothes that are awesome and the jeans! I mean come on….jeans should never be donated they are timeless. So there we are shopping and finding all sorts of FABULOUS bargains when this woman approaches me. I am not one to judge, but she screamed DUMB ASS! Here is what fell out of her mouth to me:

(bad accent of some sorts, southern in nature) Oh look……a baby. Oh look, two babies….hmmmm….they ain’t twins are they? They sure as much do not look like each other….they can’t be twins….well….. I guess since one is a boy and one is a girl. Are they yours? Hmmm… these are your only children huh? Amazing what technology can do?

I smiled. If you know me you know I had to refrain from slapping the old hag. So I said ever so politely, “Yes they are twins, they do look like each other even for being opposite sex. And, if your curiosity is killing you that much twins run in my family.”
All I could do was smile and laugh…YIKES!

So then while Grant and I were together looking at some items he makes this utterly random comment to me:

“Mama, I don’t want a shiny pee pee.”

Yup just like that. I about wet my pants and then looked at him like WTF are you talking about? Who is shining your wanker that we need to be worrying about it. So I asked my boy so lovingly:

“Grant-baby what do you mean you don’t want a shiny pee pee?”

“You know Mama….shiny boots, shiny chest, helmet with a feather….I don’t want the shiny pee pee and everything else is shiny.”

Okay….so the knight costumer he has hounded me about has gained more detail. No shiny pee pee. Alrighty. But everything else in the knight costume must be shiny. Got it.