Friday, December 28, 2012

Shopping After the Holidays

Now with the holidays over you may see sales advertised in many stores.  It could be a way to save money, but only if it is something you need and were planning on buying anyways.  If you purchase things on sale and don’t end up using them, you haven’t saved any money.  The same is true with store coupons you may receive.  If you buy items you weren’t planning on purchasing just because you have a coupon to use, you are not really saving money.  

I received a couple of gift cards for Christmas and have been using them combined with sales to replace some things I needed like glasses and pans.  It may not seem very exciting but I did get a gift card for Clothes Mentor also that I requested.  I feel like I can get more for my money and the items are either new or almost new.  No one knows that I didn’t pay full price for the items unless I tell them. 

Following is part of a post I wrote a couple of years ago about shopping during After Holiday sales to save money.

Shopping After Christmas sales you can save money and be ahead of time next year. When I had my first apartment, I didn’t have much for Christmas decorations, but I scoured the after Christmas sales and within a year or two I had a good collection. Now I pick up things I need for a fraction of original price.

It is a great time to stock up on gift bags, gift boxes, wrapping paper, cards, etc. By having things you normally use on hand ahead of time, saves you from having to buy them next year. Also, if you are just starting out or need a new artificial tree, wreaths and other decorations it would be a good time to look for them. Sometimes you can find holiday wrapping paper that not necessarily Christmas themed that could be used for other occasions throughout the year.

Other things to look for are candles, and candies. If you buy the holiday bags of candies like Hershey’s Kisses, Peanut Butter cups, etc you can use for upcoming holidays. The silver and gold ones can be used for New Years, Red and silver for Valentines Day and Green and gold for St. Patrick’s Day.

If your budget can handle it, you may also be able to pick up some gifts for people to use for birthdays, or even for next Christmas.


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Making Your Own Mixes

Here is a list of recuoes ti nake your own recipes.  The list consists of 31 different categories such as baking mixes, seasoning mixes, and many more.

In most cases, making your own mixes is less expensive than buying store bought and you can control the ingredients.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Free Shipping Day

Whether you have been procrastinating with your holiday shopping or need a few more gifts you may be able to get free shipping.  Over 1,500 merchants are participating in Free Shipping Day on Monday, December 17, 2012.  On December 17 several online merchants will be offering free shipping and other discounts with delivery by Christmas Eve in the contiguous United States.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The 5 Money Personalities

Money is involved in every aspect of our lives so it is not surprising that it is a common reason for disagreements among couples.  You may have heard that fifty percent of marriages end in divorce.  Another statistic is that 70% of divorced couples say that money was a major reason for their divorce.

 In the book The 5 Money Personalities  Speaking The Same Love and Money Language  the authors,  Scott and Bethany Palmer discuss the 5 Money Personalities they have come with after years of working with couples.

Once you realize what your money personality is and what your partner’s is it may be easier to work through your difficulties or to avoid having problems.  The book includes summaries of each personality or you can take a quiz on their website,  Even though you may be able to define what your partner’s personality is, it is important for them to take the quiz on their own.   When reading the descriptions choose a Primary Money Personality and Secondary Money Personality.

The book includes stories of couples that they have worked with and how they were able to communicate about money issues better once they understood how the other was thinking and dealing with money.

It was a quick and easy read and was also informative.  Even if you are in a relationship, it has valuable information to consider with how you deal with financial issues.

I received a copy of the book in return for this review from Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Review of Brush of Angels Wings

I  have read several books dealing with stories about the Amish life, but Brush of Angel’s Wings was the first I have read by Ruth Reid.  She has a way of telling a story that makes you feel like you know the characters.

The main characters of the story are Rachel and Jordan.  Rachel is 20 years old and has no prospects of getting married, which makes her an old maid.  Her family and friends all think she should get married, but she has no interest in it.  She is more interested in helping her father with chores instead of learning how to cook, bake and sew.

Jordan is a son of a woman that was shunned from the Amish.  His father left when he was very young and has had no contact until recently.  Jordan ends up going along with his father on a trucking route and finds out his true colors. 

Rachel is attracted to Jordan but thinks he is more interested in Kayla.  He is not, he is interested in Rachel.  You will need to read to the book to see if they end up together.  It was a book that was difficult to put down, with the twists and turns.

I received a copy of this book in return for a review through the BookSneeze program through Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Bonus Gift Card Deals

With the holidays coming up many stores and restaurants are offering a bonus gift card of a certain amount if you purchase a specified amount of their gift cards.  Besides using for gifts, you could also purchase these if you visit the establishments regularly to get the bonus amount.

Here is a listing I found online of some of the offers being offere.d  There may be some others.  I saw an offer from Tutti Frutti that was not included in this list.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Review of A Season for Tending

I have read several books by Cindy Woodsmall and was excited to read the 1st book in her new series. A Season for Tending is the first book of the new series Amish Vines and Orchards. 

Cindy has a great way of telling stories and describing the life of the Amish people.  It is a story of two Amish families and some of the struggles young people face.  They find out they may need to make changes in plans for their lives to have a better life.

There were some story lines left untold so I am anxious for the sequel that is planned to be released in April 2013.

This book was provided by Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group for review.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Every Penny Counts

On the Suze Orman Show there is a segment called "Can I Afford It".  Viewers send in their financial information and what they are considering purchasing.  Suze looks over the information and tells them if she thinks they can afford to purchase the item.  In some cases, they may be able to afford the item but she urges them to reconsider, thinking their money could be used better on someting else or to save it.

On last night's segment one of the callers was a 59 year old lady that wanted to spend $50 on a toy for her grandson for Christmas.  She was denied.  Their income was from her husband's pension and disability payments.  There expenses were almost exactly the same as their income.  In addition they had $30,000 of credit card debt and a $20,000 car loan (financed for 4 years, Suze recommends not borrowing for more than 3 years).  They had very little in liquid savings or retirement.
Suze denied her, because she said she felt it was more important to put any extra money towards their debt.  She asked how much of her husband's pension she would get if her husband passed away.  She would get half of the amount they are currently receiving.  Suze told her in that case she would be going in the minus each month.

She suggested she spend time with her grandson instead of buying the toy.

At the end of the show, she said it was difficult to deny the lady for the $50 expense but she said in some cases every penny counts to paying down debt and being able to afford things you need.
Sometimes there are kids calling in for the segment.  In many cases, she tells them how much that money would be worth in the future with the power of compound interest and asks them if the item is worth that final amount. 

It is important to spend money on some items but I feel it is also important to consider if it is worth the money your are spending.  It comes down to thinking about the difference between wants and needs.

Baked Sweet & Sour Chicken

I made this recipe tonight that I found on Pinterest for Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken with Fried rice.  It tasted great and was easy to make.

Hornbachers has Gold N Plump boneless, skinless chicken breasts on sale thru Tues, Nov. 13.  The 32 ounce bag is $3.98 the sign states that you save $5.01.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Book Review of The Death by Money

I received a copy of The Death by Money by Tracy Piercy and Lisa Maxwell from Booksneeze as part of Thomas Nelson Publishers.  I have reviewed several books from Booksneeze and enjoyed most of them until this one.  As other reviewers have stated, it is more an essay than a book and just an advertisement for their website,  The piece consists mainly of stating that saving money for the future is not the way they feel you should be working towards your future. 

It also contains a considerable amount of information about the financial difficulties they have had and refers you to their website which you can try for a month for $1 if you purchase the book, then after the first month, it is $19 per month.

The opinions expressed are my own and I was not compensated besides receiving a copy of the e-book.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

21 Days to a More Disciplined Life

One of the blogs I follow regularly is Money Saving Mom.  There is usually great information on money saving tips and other information even if you don’t have children.  Crystal Paine, the blogger of the website did a series on 21 Days to a More Disciplined Life a while back.  She edited the series and added additional information and is releasing it as a 21 Days to a More Disciplined Life E-book.
For a special release price it will be priced at $0.99 from today thru Thursday the 25th.  She will also be hosting a variety of giveaways over the next three days.

Many times when we try making changes in our life we may try to change many things at one time.  You may find better success by concentrating on a few changes at a time.  As the title suggests, the book assists you in making changes in your habits in 21 days.  At the beginning of the book is a sheet to break your main habit (Mega Project) you want to change into 21 different steps.  Each day you will concentrate on a step to move you towards your final goal.  Each chapter ends with suggestions of practical applications and a Mega Project Assignment to lead you toward the change in your habits.

At the end of the book are goal setting worksheets. 

This may be a good resource if you are looking for tips and motivation to either make new habits or break old habits to get more of you want in your life.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

31 Days to Teaching Kids about Money

I was having difficulty posting on this blog last week.

I have been participating in a 31 day series, my topic is Teaching Kids About Money.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Sunday Newspaper Coupons

Updated: Earlier some of the dollar amounts I stated were wrong, Below are the correct amounts and what I spent on my trip to CVS today.

Some people think using coupons is too time consuming but it doesn't need to be. If you flip through the circulars to see if there are any for products that you use you may be able to save some money. In many cases, certain stores will run sales on products that correspond with the coupons in that week's newspaper.

In some of the store flyers the coupons in the newspaper will be noted next to the item, showing the end price you will pay. In our area newspaper three of the stores that had sales corresponding to the coupon items were Walgreens, CVS and Family Dollar.

In the coupon inserts I received there were four coupons for hair products that were buy 1 shampoo and 1 conditioner and get 1 free styling product. These were for Suave Professionals, Tresemme', Degree for Men and Dove. At CVS, with an Extra Care card and the coupon you could get 2 bottles of Tresemme for $7.00 (Regular price is $4-5 per bottle)and get a free styling product (the coupon took off $6.00) or 2 bottles of Suave for $2 (Regular price over $2 per bottle) and get a free styling product (the coupon took off $4.00). If you don't have an Extra Care card you can apply for one at the register and receive a percentage of what you spend back quarterly. If you don't want to apply for one, they may have a card you can use to get the sale price.

Another insert had coupons for Pepsi, Lays, Tostitos and other products.

A dollar here and there may not seem like a lot but the savings can add up quickly.

After writing the original post I stopped at CVS.

After sale prices and coupons I paid $13.35 and got $1 ECB to use on a future purchase. I purchased

1/2 gallon of milk
1 Tresemmee shampoo and 1 conditioner (got free mousse)
1 Suave Professional shampoo and 1 conditioner (got 1 free mousee)
1 Crest Pro Heath rinse (regular price $6.49, on sale for $4.45 - $1.00 ECB - $1.45 coupon in today's paper= final price $1.99.

My receipt shows I saved $20.14 today and spent $13.35.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Dollar Store Groceries

When you think about groceries at a dollar or discount store you may think of expired items and dented cans.  This is not the case in most instances.  There are various reasons that items end up at dollar or discount stores such as changing of packaging or discontinued items.

The above photo shows 10 items I recently purchased at a dollar store to show what can be found.  There are a variety of other items available.  Some stores are adding dairy and frozen food items.  Many of the frozen food items are processed items but some have frozen vegetables and other items.  Some also carry fresh bread and buns at certain times.

The items in the photo were each a dollar, I figured you could save more than $5 on these items compared to the prices at grocery stores.  Savings per item is between $0.30 to almost $1.00.  The sell by dates were between 2013 and 2015.  The tomato soup was 16 ounces instead of the 10.75 ounce can that is usually close to a dollar in the grocery store.

You will not have the selection that you have at a grocery store, but you may be able to save some money on items you need.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

101 Crockpot Recipes

As I have posted previously, one way to save time and money is to use a crockpot to cook meals.
Here is a link to a blog post with 101 crockpot recipes.  The recipes cover main dishes & soups, side dishs, desserts and beverages.

Some people use crockpots in the summer so they don't heat up their kitchens.  I tend to use it more in the winter months for soups and other comfort foods.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The 7 Mindsets to Live Your Ultimate Life

This evening I attended an event based on the book, The 7 Mindsets To Live Your Ultimate Life by Scott Shickler and Jeff Waller.  The event was advertised for parents and teens but it was informative for everyone.  Scott Shickler was the presenter and he is spending a few days in the area speaking to over 3,000 students.

The 7 Mindsets are based on a 10-year multi-million dollar research effort.  The book is a result of this effort, a comprehensive blueprint for happiness, meaning and success.

The 7 Mindsets in the book include Everything is Possible, Passion First, We are Connected, 100% Accountability, Attitude of Gratitude, Live to Give and The Time is Now.

I have not read the book yet but am looking forward to reading it. 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Groceries without Coupons EBook

I have written an E-book about saving on groceries without using coupons, it is for sale on Amazon.  Even if you don't own a Kindle you can download a program to read Kindle books on your computer, IPad or mobile phone.

Some of the topics covered in the book are what to look for in the store, menu planning, freezer cooking and more.  It is $0.99 and currently can be borrowed for free if you have an Amazon Prime Membership.

My upcoming classes are based on this ebook.  The classes also include information for the Fargo Moorhead area stores.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Mummy Treat Jars

If you have been hooked by Pinterest, you know it is much easier to pin things than getting around to trying the ideas.  Tonight I made a mummy from this posting.  I used an empty peanut jar, but you could use any kind of jar or can.  I found the gauze at the dollar store, so I got two jars out of a dollar package.  I had the eyes on hand, so it was an inexpensive and easy project.

Here are some other Halloween ideas I have pinned.


Saturday, September 15, 2012

Grocery Budget Class

With the current economy, people are looking for ways to make their money go further.  There are small changes you can make in the way you shop to save money instead of clipping coupons. 

I am offering classes on how to save money on groceries without needing to clip coupons.  $10 fee, Thursday, September 27 from 6:00-7:00 pm  or Saturday, October 6, from 11:00 to noon.  The classes will be held at 1100 32nd Ave S, Moorhead.  Please RSVP to or (701) 293-8808.  I also have other upcoming classes planned, let me know what days and times work for you if these dates don’t work for you.  The fee includes a workbook and doorprizes.

Topics covered in the class are shopping tips, where to shop, making the most of your grocery budget, using what you already have and more.




Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Free Kid's Haircuts

JCPenney salons offered free kid haircuts during the month of August.  Nationwide they gave 1.6 million free haircuts.

Starting November 4th they are offering free cuts for kids every Sunday.  It is advised to call ahead to make an appointment.

Also, they are offering free haircuts for breast cancer survivors during October since it is Breast Cancer Awareness month.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Organizing Your Important Documents

Crystal from Money Saving Mom recently profiled a series on organizing your important documents.  It will take some time to organize your documents and information but it will most likely save you time and maybe money in the long run.

 It was a 5 part series. Part1  was an introduction to the series.  Part 2  was on Family and Personal Information. Part 3 was on Finances and Other Accounts.  Part 4
was on Property information. Part 5 was on some final suggestions and tips.
As with other organization it is important to find a system that works for you so you will continue with it.  The same goes for budgeting and personal finance

Monday, September 10, 2012

Saving on Fall Wardrobe

With fall on its way it, does your wardrobe need refreshing?  One way to save money of clothes is to shop at resale stores. 

Clothes Mentor at 2551 45th St S in Fargo has recently expanded their location.  This Friday and Saturday, Sept 14 & 15 they are having a storewide sale of 20% off.  I was recently there and saw a number of items that still had the original store tags on them.  Some items were jackets originally marked $99 and they have them marked at about $20-$30.

Another resale store in the area is MyBest Friend’s Closet at 11 9th St S, Moorhead.

Both stores have a wide selection of clothes, shoes and accessories.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Layaway Wars

A couple weeks ago I wrote a post about
Holiday layaway programs.  Since then some stores have either lowered layaway fees.  Here is an article with the updated fees and information.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Tips to Retire Rich

There is an article in the latest issue of Kiplinger magazine on how to retire rich.

Some of the ideas in the article are to participate in your company's 401k plan or invest in a Roth IRA, pay off student loans and don't cash out your 401k.

You may not think you can save much but just by starting by saving some you will have more than if you don't start at all.  Start with a small amount if you need to and gradually increase as you can.  

Thursday, August 30, 2012

LifeHacker U - Free Online College Classes

At LifeHacker there is a listing of free online college classes.   Classes are offered for computer science & technology, Finance & economics, Science & Medicine, Mathematics, Law and more.  Classes offered in the finance & economics category consist of budgeting, personal finances for different ages, Finding money to start a business and more.  The classes are taught by professors from MIT, Yale, Berkley and more.   

I looked briefly at the Budgeting class information and Personal finance information.  It appears to be helpful information on budgeting and personal finance planning.  The classes I took a look at was information you could work at your own pace and start at any time.

 Here is what LifeHacker has to say about their online university:

“The beautiful thing about taking classes online is that you can pick and choose the classes you want to attend, skip lectures and come back to them later(in some cases – some classes require your regular attendance and participation!), and do examinations and quizzes on your own time. You can load up with as many classes as you choose, or take a light course load and come back to some of the classes you meant to take at another time that’s more convenient for you.

With Lifehacker U, you’re free to take as many or as few of these classes as you like, and we’ll update this course guide every term with a fresh list of courses on new and interesting topics, some of which are only available during that academic term.”


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Quick meal ideas

With school and other activities starting it may be getting more difficult to find time to cook meals.  Following are a couple blog posts I found with ideas of quick meals and crockpot meals.

Jessica from wrote a post about quick meals and crockpot meals.  On there was a post about crockpotfreezer meals.  These are recipes where you put the ingredients together ahead of time and store in the freezer.  Then you just need to thaw the bag and put the ingredients in the crockpot to cook.  Most of the recipes in the post do not need to be thawed before putting in the crockpot.
I made these brownies a couple weeks ago and they were easy to make and tasted great. 

Monday, August 27, 2012

The MoneySmart family system

The MoneySmart family system was written by Steve & Annette Economides who are known as America’s Cheapest Family. 

The book covers the steps they used to teach their kids about money and finances.  One of the things they use is the 5/50/500 rule of life.  Each chapter ends with ideas to use the 5/50/500 rule in relation to the topic of the chapter.

There are five stages to the 5/50/500 money rule:

The $5 stage: ages 0 to 5

The $50 stage: ages 6 to 11

The $500 stage: ages 12 to 17

The $5,000 stage: ages 18 to 23

The $50,000 stage: ages 24 and beyond

Some of the other topics covered in the book are saving, spending, giving and sharing.  Instead of giving their children allowances they each have a Point System, where they get paid for each point they earned.

The 4 categories of their Point System are:

1)      Morning point – They earned a point they had to eat breakfast and get ready without complaining or procrastinating

2)      School point – a point was earned for following the instructions they were given from their teachers and parents.  It also included doing their homework. 

3)      Chore point – Each child had some daily age and ability appropriate chores. 

4)      Round-up point – Round-up time is at the end of the day where the kids and parents round-up all of the items they left out during the day.  They earned a point by helping with the round-up.

As with other books, all of the ideas may not work for you but there may be ideas you can use in your family.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Walmart Holiday Layaway

I realize school is just starting but it is also a great time to start your holiday planning if you haven’t already.  Here is a blog post I wrote last year about saving money and time by planning ahead for holiday expenses.

 One way to purchase items over a period of time is with layaway.  Walmart is offering holiday layaway beginning September 16 and running thru December 14.  Items that can be put on layaway include toys, electronics, small home appliances and select sporting goods such as trampolines and large exercise equipment.  Each item must be at least $15 and the total layaway purchase must be at least $50.

A down payment of 10 percent or $10, whichever is greater, is required and will be applied to the purchase.  There is also a $15 fee to open an account.  If the order is cancelled or not paid in full, the $15 is not refunded.  Shoppers who make their final layaway payment get a refund of the $15 fee in the form of a Wal-Mart gift card.

Layaway plans are also offered by Kmart, Sears and ToysRUs.

Even though with layaway programs you avoid credit card debt and fees, you still need to monitor what you are spending so you are able to make the payments as they are scheduled.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Make Your Own Coloring Pages

You can make your own coloring pages from your own photos.  On the website you can upload a photo and it will instantly create a coloring page that you can print.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Party Bar Ideas

One way you may be able to save time or money when planning a party is by having a party bar.  Once you pick a theme, have ingredients ready and the guests can make their own treats.  There are various ideas such as breakfast bars, pasta bars, chili bars, cupcake fondue and others.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Finances for Singles

I was included in this recent article on tips for Singles to handle their finances.  I feel one of the most important things for anyone to do is track your spending and know where your money is going.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Dave Ramsey 10 Days of Deals

Dave Ramsey is offering sale prices on many of his products during 10 Days of Deals.  Today's deal is the Graduate's Survive and Thrive bundle. 

You can also enter at for a chance to win $6,576 that they will be giving away to one lucky winner on August 31.  He picked the amount of $6,576 since that is the amount of the average credit card debt.  The average monthly payment on that amount of credit card debt would be $197/month.  What could you do with an extra $197/month?

Monday, August 20, 2012

Getting Started with Coupons

If you are looking for information on couponing you may want to check out Pick Another Checkout Lane Honey.  Through September 15 they are offering get two copies for the price of one. 

 I have not read the book but I ordered the two books and have seen great reviews of it online.  It includes information on where to find coupons, how to “stack” coupons and other tips on using coupons.

Many people think couponing is too difficult but if you start small to get the hang of it, you may be able to eventually save substantial money on your grocery shopping.  One tip is to clip any coupon you think you will need, many times stores run sales on items that you may have coupons for to make the savings even higher.  Recently, I found a box of cupcake mix in the clearance cart and I had a coupon for it.  I ended up getting a $3.00 box of cupcake mix for $0.25.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Make you Own Convenience Items

One way to save money is to make your own convenience items.  One idea is to buy chips, crackers and other items in a larger quantity and package in smaller snack size storage bags.  It may be considerably cheaper to do this than to buy the products already in snack sizes. 

Another idea is to make our own oatmeal packets.  By making your own you can save money and you can make the flavors you want.  If you buy variety packs you may get flavors that you don't necessarily like.  Also, you know the ingredients that are in the homemade packets.  If you won't be using them fairly quickly you can keep them in the freezer to keep them fresh.  I have also heard of people storing the used bags in the freezer until they make another batch.

By searching online you can find several recipes for making your own convenience items.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Birthday Specials

With my birthday coming up next week, I have started getting free birthday offers in my email.  Here is a list of  some birthday deals

You can get a free meal at Grazies on your birthday.  Paradiso and Mexican Village offer a free meal on your birthday.  At the SpeakEasy if you show your ID on your birthday you will receive a $10 gift card to use anytime throughout the year.   At Tutti Fruitti you can get a free 12 ounce yogurt on your birthday.

There are some deals that are available for days besides your birthday.  By signing up on their websites you can get a free meal at Huhot, free noodles at Noodles & Company and a free drink at Caribou Coffee.  The Huhot coupon is valid the week before and after your birthday.  I received the Noodles & Company coupon about a week before my birthday and it is valid until about 2 weeks after my birthday.  I got a coupon from The Spicy Pie for a free slice with up to 3 toppings.  I received the coupon about 5 days before my birthday and it expires on my birthday.

There may be other offers that I am not aware of and I did not check all of the offers mentioned so some may not be valid.

For some of the deals you need to register on the company’s website and some you only need to show an ID.

Feel free to leave a comment about any other deals you are aware of.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Homemade Baking Mixes

I discovered a couple recipes on pinterest recently.  I made these>brownies
last night and they were great.  You could make up several bags of the dry ingredients since you have them out and add the wet ingredients when you want to bake them.  The blog post states that the cost per bag is $0.30  compared to over $2.00 for the mixes you buy in the store. 
Here is a Peanut Butter cookie recipe with 4 ingredients.  I haven’t tried them, but the Pinterest comments said they are supposed to be the best.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Money Puzzles

I have discovered some websites where you can make you own puzzles and writing sheets.

Click here for handwriting sheets, a word search and a crossword puzzle.

I will post the solution to the word search on Sunday.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Looking for Input

With my business I have been focusing mainly on budgeting and finances.  After reviewing the views my July blog posts received, there were considerably more views on the posts relating to money saving tips (cooking tips, repurposing ideas, etc).

Please leave a comment or email to if you would be interested in workshops in the Fargo/Moorhead area with money saving tips, recipes, repurposing items, etc.  Also, include any other topics you would be interested in.  I am also working on some e books and other projects.
Thank you in advance for any input.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Raising Financially Confident Kids

I recently read Raising Financially Confident Kids by Mary Hunt.  It is the story of the plan they used with their sons to teach them how to handle finances.  Their sons are in their 30s now so the numbers used are about 20 years old but it gives you an idea of how the plan works.

The plan they came up with that when each of their sons started sixth grade they would get a certain amount each month to pay for all extra expenses such as video games, friends birthday party gifts, etc.  The starting amount was $50 a month and each year that amount increased but the items they were responsible for also increased.  The only stipulation was that they had to put 10% away to give away and 10% into savings.

When their oldest son got the first salary, after taking money out for giving and saving he had $40 left.  He then wanted to go to ToysRUs and she was hoping he was buying a gift for a friend, but instead he bought a toy that came to $39.92.  That meant he had $0.08 left for the month.  It was difficult to not give him any extra money for the month, but by going without things he learned a lesson and the following months he was more careful with his money.

Both of their sons were able to buy their own cars when they were 16 with money they had saved over the years.  The way their plan was set up was that the “salary” would be over at the end of the summer after they graduated from high school.  Their sons are now in their 30s but with their savings plans they were both able to purchase homes when they were 25 years old.

The last few chapters have ideas of how to implement the plan with different age groups such as The preschool years, ages 6-9 and ages 10 thru teen. 

In addition to teaching their kids about money, they also were more conscious of their own spending.  She also figured they probably saved money because they gave their kids a certain amount of money each month that was usually less than the amount they would have given them if they had asked for money throughout the month like they used to.

Debt Proof was started by Mary Hunt in 1992 when she and her family were getting out of debt. According to the website its mission is to provide a plan that equips you with the best ways to get out of debt, a way of life that allows you to live below your means abd a  simple approach on how to save, give, and pay off credit card debt

Saturday, August 4, 2012

A Trip to Sam's Club

This weekend, Friday - Sunday Sam's Club is having their free weekend, where non-members can get the same prices as members.

If you are a non-member you will need to go to the service desk and show your drivers license.  You will get a card with a temporary number to use that day when you check out.
I have been doing more baking lately and have seen on several blogs about yeast being considerably cheaper there than grocery stores.

I went to Sam's yesterday and got 4 POUNDS of yeast for the same price as a 4 OUNCE jar at the grocery store.  That's a savings of about $120 instead of buying the same amount in jars.
I also picked up a couple of other things spending about $30.  Although you may be tempted to buy things you may not necessarily need because it seems like a good price, you need to keep an eye on how much you are spending.

One time my brother in law was wondering why I don't have a Sam's membership.  I said living alone I don't usually need the large quantities like they sell there and many things I can get for less watching sales at the grocery stores.

So I better get baking to start using my yeast. 

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Make Ahead Breakfasts

Mornings can be hectic for most families.
Jessica from GoodCheapEats has ideas for making Make Ahead Breakfasts.  Her ideas include a breakfast bar with ingredients for smoothies, cereal, etc.  Other ideas are oatmeal packets and baking mixes.

 I have also heard of some peole making up a bunch of pancakes and waffles and freezing the leftovers.  They can then be heated in the toaster or microwave on busy mornings.  There are also recipes online for breakfast burritos and homemade McMuffins.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Life Skills for Teens

Today is July 31 and I have completed my goal of writing a post each day of the month with financial or money saving tips.  I hope you have found the tips helpful.

Today I am sharing 10 life skills teens should learn before they leave home.

1)      Paying bills – know to check statements for errors, pay attention to due dates so they are not charged late fees.  Now with auto banking it may be easier to pay bills but you need to make sure you have enough in your bank account to cover them.

2)      Budgeting – It is important to know how much income you have coming and how much you need for expenses.

3)      Scheduling – As it is important to budget your money, it’s also important to manage your time.

4)      Meal planning – If you have something planned it may be less tempting to stop for takeout.

5)      Grocery shopping -  

6)      Cooking – With the convenience of dining out I believe cooking is becoming a lost art.  But when you consider the cost of dining out you can save a lot of money by cooking at home.  Many grocery stores have items available that are partially ready to make meal preparation easier (i.e. rotisserie chicken).

7)      Laundry -

8)      Car Care

9)      Computer skills

10)  Voting

Click here for previous posts.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Organizing with Shoe Organizers

One of my goals for the next month is to post each day of July about a List of 10 dealing with a personal finance or money saving idea topic.

Here are some ideas of using the over door shoe organizers for things besides shoes.

2)      School and craft supplies.  I use one to keep craft ribbon in.

3)      Grow plants and herbs

4)      Bathroom supplies such as medication and toiletries.

5)      Office supplies

6)      Car organizer

7)      Pantry items such as seasoning packets, fruit snacks, etc.

8)      Pegboard storage for tools, etc.

9)      Barbie doll holder for Barbies, clothing and accessories

10)   Toy storage

Click here for previous posts.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Kitchen Substitutions

One of my goals for the next month is to post each day of July about a List of 10 dealing with a personal finance or money saving idea topic.

Cooking at home can save money, but if you end up buying ingredients for certain recipes that you will not use often may end up costing you money.  You may be able to find substitute ingredients.  Also, if you can find substitute ingredients if you run out of items it will save you time and money from needing to make an emergency run to the store.

Here are some ideas of kitchen substitution ideas. 

1)>Cream soup mix can be made up and kept on hand.  It may cost less than buying cream soup by the can.

2)      If need an egg for baking you can substitute 1 tsp of cornstarch plus ¼ cup of water.

3)      If a recipe calls for buttermilk you can mix 1 Tbsp of lemon juice or vinegar with milk (enough to make 1 cup).  I have used lemon juice to do this several times.  I have also seen the idea that if you buy buttermilk and don’t use the entire carton, freeze the remaining milk in ice cube trays and keep in freezer bags to use at a future time.

4)      For tomato soup use 1 cup tomato sauce and ¼ cup water.

5)      For 1 cup of cream use 1/3 cup melted butter and ¾ cup milk

6)      For 1 cup corn syrup use 2/3 cup sugar and 1/3 cup water

7)      For 1 cup honey, use 1 ¼ cup granulated sugar and ¼ cup water

8)      In salad dressings mayonnaise can be replaced by sour cream, plain yogurt or pureed cottage cheese.

9)      In place of sour cream use plain yogurt.

10)  To make tomato juice combine ½ cup tomato sauce and ½ cup water.

 Click here for previous posts.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

DIY Gift Ideas

One of my goals for the next month is to post each day of July about a List of 10 dealing with a personal finance or money saving idea topic.

Here are some ideas for DIY gift ideas.

1)      Make Personalized Cake Carriers and Platter

4)      Here are 37 ideas for Gifts in a Jar


7)      Spa Cupcakes

8)        Baby shower gifts

9)      A list of DIY Gifts

Click here for previous posts.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Olympic Activities

One of my goals for the next month is to post each day of July about a List of 10 dealing with a personal finance or money saving idea topic.

Since the Summer Olympics start today, I am sharing some activities to get in the Olympic spirit.

1)  Activities at Activity Village

2) has a post with activities

6)      Olympics Books and activities.  You may be able to find books about the Olympics at your public library.

7)      Make the Olympic logo using paper plates

8)      Make Olympic ring cookies

9)      Make am Olympic Ring pizza

10)  Olympic Rings can be made from milk jug rings and yarn

Click here for previous posts.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

DIY Wall Art

One of my goals for the next month is to post each day of July about a List of 10 dealing with a personal finance or money saving idea topic.

1)      You can make wall art with
scrapbook paper or fabric on boards.  I made a few like this with scrapbook paper and covers of cardboard boxes.

2)      Paint ceiling medallions and hang on your wall.

3)      Here is another idea with scrapbook paper or fabric in a frame

4)      Use spray paint and doilies to make a masterpiece

5)      Make button art

6)      Make art with wooden letters and a canvas

7)      Put ornaments in a shadowbox

8)      Paint cardboard or wooden letters.

9)      Drawers as hangers

10)  Art using frames

here for previous posts.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Christmas in July E books

Today is July 25, which means it is 5 months until Christmas.  A couple blogs are offering e books with ideas to get ready for the holidays.

Lynn from Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures is offering a free holiday e book.

Jessica from Life as Mom has a holiday e book for sale.  There is special pricing through July 31.  She is also hosting several giveaways that you can enter through the weekend.

DIY Doormat Ideas

One of my goals for the next month is to post each day of July about a List of 10 dealing with a personal finance or money saving idea topic.

Here are 10 ideas I found to make DIY doormats and also to use them as wall art,

1) You can use dollar store doormats and paint to make doormat art and another example of doormat art

2)  You can use doormats forDoormat stencils

Click here for previous posts.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Gluten-free and Allergy free Resources

One of my goals for the next month is to post each day of July about a List of 10 dealing with a personal finance or money saving idea topic.

Below are 10 blogs and other resources with information and resources for Gluten-free and allergy free diets.

1)      Erin Chase from $5 Dinners has a started a blog relating to Food Allergies on a Budget

2)      Jungles Deals and Steals recaps  deals each day that are on

3)      Two of the gluten free and allergen free shopping options in the Fargo Moorhead area are Syndey’s Health Market and Simply Savory.

4)      Gluten Freely is a resource for gluten free recipes and information.

7)      Gluten Free Goddess

10)  Shop at local establishments, farmers markets and CSA (Community Support Agriculture).  This is the second year I have been a member of a CSA and have really enjoyed it.  We get a weekly box of vegetables from June through October.

 Click here for previous posts.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Money Quotes

One of my goals for the next month is to post each day of July about a List of 10 dealing with a personal finance or money saving idea topic.

Today I am sharing quotes about money.

“The art is not in making money but in keeping it”  Proverbs quotes

“A penny saved is a penny earned.”  Benjamin Franklin

“If you don’t put a value on money and seek wealth, you most probably won’t receive it.  You must seek wealth for it to seek you.  If no burning desire for wealth arise within you, no wealth will arise around you.  Having definiteness of purpose for acquiring wealth is essential for its acquisition.”  Dr. John Demartini

“The number one problem in today’s generation and economy is the lack of financial literacy.” Alan Greenspan, former Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board

“The indisposable first step to getting the things you want out of life is decide what you want.” Ben Stein, Actor and Author

“The best thing to spend on your children is your time.”  Louise Hay

“Nothing will work unless you do.”  John Wooden

“Yesterday is a cancelled check; tomorrow is a promissory note; today is the only cash you have so spend it wisely.”  Ken Lyons

“Time is more valuable than money.  You can get more money, but you cannot get more time.”  Jim Rohn

“Remember that credit is money.”  Benjamin Franklin

Click here for previous posts.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Back to School Shopping Tips

One of my goals for the next month is to post each day of July about a List of 10 dealing with a personal finance or money saving idea topic.

Yes, I know it’s early to be talking about school starting but you may be able to save money and some stress by starting to plan back to school shopping now. 

Here are some articles and blog posts I found with back to school shopping tips.

2) Office Max Back to School specials for July 22-28

5)            Saving on Clothes

6)      Saving on School Supplies

 7)      The 14th Annual United Way of Cass-Clay School Supply Drive 2012 is accepting donations of new backpacks and school supplies and monetary donations through August 1st.   

8)      Office Depot Back to School Shopping

9)      Clothes shopping tips

10)  Back to School clothes shopping

Click here for previous posts.