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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Possible Free rollover minutes from AT&T

Text YES to 11113020 to possibly get 1,000 free rollover minutes if you currently have an AT&T cell phone plan.

I did and I got a text back telling me thank you, and a will recieve a confirmation upon validation of the account. - Will keep you updated!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

WFMW- school supply store

When I shop for school supplies I always buy extra. I keep the extra in a drawer in my office. Then throughout the year, when the kids run out or need something for a craft project, they can "shop" at my store. This saves lots of dollars over running out to the store in January and paying full price!

That's what works for me!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Meal Plan Monday

Good Morning- Here’s what’s cookin’ at our house this week:

This week we have:

Monday:                       Chicken patty sandwiches (didn’t use last week)

Tuesday:                       Fend for yourself!

Wednesday:                 chicken stirfry and rice

Thursday:                     Fend for yourself!

Friday:                          DATE NITE!/PIZZA!

Saturday:                      spaggetti and meatballs

Sunday:                        breakfast for dinner!

What’s on your table this week?
Thanks to Laura for hosting Meal Plan Monday

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Super Savings Saturday...just a quick run..

made a quick run to Fred Meyer yesterday and picked up the following for only $38.32!
The baby aspirin was on sale for $1.99 and I had $1 off coupons.
Of course I had to get the Twizzlers.. great for date nite!
How did you do?

Friday, August 26, 2011


Look What I Won!!!

This is my biggest one time ever win on Swagbucks!! Yeah!

Today's Tidbits: Free Solar Charger

From Ecoproduct.org Great addition to your 72 hour kit! Click here and fill out the form

Happy Friday!!-- Christmas is coming!!

It's only 3 months till Christmas! 

Have you started planning? I have I use Swagbucks and save all my winnings to get Amazon Gift Cards. I then turn those gift cards into holiday spending money!

Remember TODAY is MegaSwagbucks day.   It’s easy to get at least 4 Swagbucks a day! Do the daily poll, see if you qualify for a survey, do the NOSO (no obligation, special offers) and Invite a friend!

Imagine, really easy saving for Christmas without doing anything more than I do every day! And thanks for signing up under my referral link!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

72 Hour Kits

With the recent earthquakes and now a hurricane moving up the East Coast I thought that I would share my families 72 hour kits.
This is very personalized for MY FAMILY. What would go into each kit is a personal choice made by your circumstances and locale.

  I learn better visually so here are what my kits look like:

First, I have a main "family kit." In the family kit I have 2 backpacks that have 1 set of extra clothes for each member of my family, and an extra jacket for each member of my family. There are also extra backpacks in case we ever have to break down the kit and carry it vs hauling in our car.

I also have a couple of blankets. Inside the main kit, there are 3 small plastic boxes. Inside these boxes I have put in a variety of items:

Some cups, bowls, lids for the bowls, lotion, rubbing alcohol and baby wipes, some purell and other misc.
items. Everything from sewing kits, to glowsticks. From matches to hand warmers. I have included bathroom items such as shaving cream, razors, toothbrushs, toothpaste, dental floss, and feminine products. Also included is a ziplock with a Spanish – English dictionary and a blank notebook, pen and pencil, a puzzle and a deck of cards.
There are batteries, flashlights, candles, plastic bags, combs, bandages, K- rations that my dad gave me. (these have coffee and cigerrettes in them, and since we don't smoke or drink coffe, we would never use them, they would be good in a bartering situation.)
Also some books, my old girls camp manuel and a Book of Mormon. I have also included my "picnic basket" which has these fabulous mugs from BYU Idaho and paper plates, cutlery etc. And probably the most important item: TP.
I also have two different First aid kits:
Should be able to handle any emergancy with these :)
In the food boxes I have things like tuna, chili, sugar, koolaid, ramen, corn, beans crackers and a can opener, and water.

I also have a box with bottles of water in it.
Last year in RS, we made personalized 72hr kits: I also have 5 of them.

Anyway.. hope that gives you some ideas and help.
Please comment if you have questions. You can click on any picture to make it bigger too.

Today's Tidbits!

New members to  Save.More.com that sign up today will get a free $10 credit added to your account.

Today's deal of the day is Two Expandable Vases ($12 Value) plus FREE Shipping!
  • Vases are unbreakable and expandable
  • Choose from a variety of colors, patterns & shapes
  • Free shipping
(Thanks for using my referall link to sign up!)

Daily deal site Eversave is giving new and existing customers a $10 credit, but today is the last day to use it. If you haven’t already added the credit to your account, just register or log in and you should see it up at the top right next to “Save Rewards.”

Putting your Financial House in Order Part TWO

Yesterday I talked about how to increase your income. Today I will discuss trimming your budget and the outgo.

My number one priority is tithing. I always pay it. No matter what, I believe that the Lord has blessed me in ways I can’t even name because of this.

The 2nd priority is the mortgages; you have to have a place to live. I have been working with the bank to modify our loan and finally got the rental to pay for itself, I don’t make any money with it, but at least I am no longer losing money. - If you are having trouble in this area, call your bank and let them know. Most of the time they will have some sort of program to help you with this.

Next is insurance, car, home, life and disability. Some will say you don’t need life or disability. I say it is a small price to pay for the piece of mind. If we hadn’t had disability insurance on my husband, when he had his accident, we would have lost everything waiting for Social Security to be approved.

But call your agent; discuss your situation and what is right for you. I also mentioned to my agent that I was paying the car insurance semi annually and he noticed we had been on a monthly bill cycle. By having him switch us to the semiannual cycle we save $200 a year.  I still take what I would have paid monthly and put it into my “escrow account”- more on that later.

Also make sure your coverage amounts and deductable is something you can work with. I just had 2 house fires in the same house 3 weeks apart and was glad I had a deductible I could work with – twice.

Look at the other categories in your budget.  Call your utilities, see if there is a different rate plan you qualify for.  Do the same with your credit cards and student loans. With my credit cards I was able to put all the balances into 1 card with a 0% rate until March of next year. That means EVERY CENT I send is to the balance and I ALWAYS send more than the minimum payment. (Every month the minimum goes down, but I keep paying what my budget calls for, even if it's only an extra $5. Hopefully we will have paid off the card by the time the interest rate goes up)

My student loan put me on a graduated pay back scale, that means for the first 2 years it was a steady amount and then each year it goes up a few more $$ per month. But I am prepared for that.

I have sections in my budget for medical, food, gas, savings (joint savings, escrow account and boys college fund).
What this means is that each fund is allocated a certain amount each month. If I don’t use all the money in the medical, but I go over in food, I can mix and match.

I have my bank do automatic transfers every payday. I put money from my checking to our joint savings, the boys’ college funds and our escrow account. This is done even before I sit down to pay the bills so it is gone, never see it, never am tempted to not add to savings to pay something else.

Our escrow account is a “slush fund.” Every month money is deposited into this account and I use it to pay the car and homeowners insurance, and the property taxes every year.  I also use it for maintenance on the rental and to pay the deductible on our property claims.
I put money into it every month, but what I put in doesn’t give me quite enough to fully fund the account. So every tax season I put a bit of our refund in there also to help pad the account.

My MISC fund is another “slush fund.” But this is for those little unexpected expenses such as stamps, school supplies, a new pair of shoes, or a haircut. None of these things needs their own category, none of them is every month, but they still need to be accounted for.

One of the biggest ways I have cut expenses is in using coupons for my grocery shopping. I cut, clip and scour the ads every Sunday afternoon and figure out a meal plan and what to buy based on sales and what is in my pantry.

I also save money by letting the bank pay my bills. Yup, they pay them, I  signed up for online banking, it is free from my bank, I just log in and tell the bank who and how much and when to pay based on my paydays. I no longer spend huge amounts of money on stamps, or checks and it has cut my bill paying time in half!

By budgeting and classifying where every dollar that comes in and goes out, I have been able to get our spending under control and feel more and more like my financial house is in order.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Putting your Financial House in Order Part ONE

I was asked to speak to the LDS Medford 1st ward Women's group last night. My topic was putting your financial house in order. I felt it was valuable enough information to share with you here.


For me this meant I had to know my INCOME and my OUTGO.  The easiest way for me to do this was to do a budget. So several years ago I did this.

First I wrote down all sources of income from me, my husband and our rental income. Then I wrote down our outgo. In this I included mortgages, tithing, utilities, credit cards, student loans, insurance (home, life and car). I also have sections for medical, food, gas, savings (joint savings, escrow account and boys college fund). I have sections for expenses for the rental house (water, garbage and sewer). Last, but not least I have a MISC fund.

I added up the income and I added up the outgo. Unfortunately the outgo was way more than the income so I needed to find a way to make them balance.

At first I concentrated on the income side, I flat out needed more. My husband could not go and get a job, he is disabled and on a fixed income. And there has been no cost of living raise for the last 3 years.

I looked at my income. I was already maxed out at the wage I was at and not due for a raise till next year. So I pick up all the extra hours and overtime hours that I can. That helps, but still not enough. So I went and got a second job. I was able to find something that is related to my main job, a great boss who is very flexible with my hours at my main job and who pays decent. The drawback to this job is that it is caregiving for the elderly and hospice patients. So if a patient on hospice dies, then unfortunately for me, there go my hours. 

I also do things online to make money, none of it will get me rich, but every penny counts. I do surveys, I do mystery/secret shopping, I work on Amazon’s M Turk doing small tasks and I have my blog. All of these things add up to a few dollars every month that I put either in my PayPal account or my Amazon account and I am saving for the holidays. 

At this point I feel like I have done everything I can to increase the income side. Tomorrow I will talk about how I trimmed the outgo side.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

$10 Customer Apprection Credit!

Eversave is offering new and existing members a free $10 credit. Just sign up or log in to your account today – the credit expires August 26 so redeem it soon.

Don't Forget...

I have been asked to speak again at the LDS Medford 1st ward Relief Society group TONIGHT!!! My topic is "Putting your finacial house in order."
If you can't make it.. then stay tuned because

 TOMORROW I will be doing a short series on the same subject!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Meal Plan Monday

Good morning! This last week was better than the previous! Thank goodness! Hopefully this week will be drama free J
- Oh and 3 weeks and counting till my son’s wedding!

Now on to the menu.

This week we have:

Monday:                       Chicken patty sandwiches

Tuesday:                       Fend for yourself!

Wednesday:                 terriakiyi steak and ric

Thursday:                     Fend for yourself!

Friday:                          DATE NITE!/PIZZA!

Saturday:                      soup and sandwiches

Sunday:                        BBQ chicken breast and fixin’s

What’s on your table this week?
Thanks to Laura for hosting Meal Plan Monday

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Super Savings Saturday- STAPLES edition

Shopping this week was a quick and easy job..
Just got the staples. Yes, we drink a lot of milk!!!  Total for above pictured: $22.86

Friday, August 19, 2011

Just a reminder...

Today is Mega Swagbucks day, where your chance of winning higher value Swagbucks has increased!

Don’t forget to do all your searches with Swagbucks to earn those digital dollars! It’s easy to get at least 4 Swagbucks a day! Do the daily poll, see if you qualify for a survey, do the NOSO (no obligation, special offers) and Invite a friend!

And thanks for signing up under my referral link!

Thursday, August 18, 2011


Now thru Saturday you can get a FREE 8x10 COLLAGE PRINT from Walgreens Photo when you use code PRINTONE. I love this freebie because it makes a great gift. I also use it to make a collage prints of my boys or my flower garden or.. The possiblities are endless! enjoy!
(To make it ABSOLUTLY free, have it sent to the store for pick up to avoid shipping charges.)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Saving on school photos

With all the talk of back to school and trying to save $$, one area that seems to get over looked all the time is school photos.

For my unique family situation, all I need/want is 1 8x10 and 1 5x7 of each child (3 of them). That's it.. no wallets, no dozens of other sizes. Just the 8x10 for my wall and the 5x7 for gramma's wall. (My mother/father in law passed before we ever had kids.)

The school packages that had an 8x10 and a 5x7 were usually very large, lots of sizes and usually cost about $30 each. (That's $90 folks!!) That is too expensive for 6 pictures!

I don't need pictures to send to my siblings. It's nice but realistically they look at them, maybe post on the fridge for a month or two and get tossed. That's a big waste of money!

So I came up with a solution. I don't get pictures thru the school. And that's ok.
The school will take a picture for their file, but I don't buy the package.

I take my kids and camera and go for a drive. I take the pictures. Back before digital cameras I would take a whole roll or two. Then develop them myself and pick the best shots for me and gramma.

I have been doing this for years. Saves me lots of money, I get to choose the picture and we get to spend some quality time as a family.  This year, my youngest is in 8th grade but both my older boys are working and college. I still do our outings every fall. This year will be a bit different as my oldest is getting married!

I will probably use wedding pictures this year for my yearly shot!

Today's Tidbits

Payless Shoes- FIVE days to save- Shop during BOGO and get 1/2 off your second item (of equal or lesser value) and until Sunday take an additional 30% off your purchase price with coupon code 53833. Flat rate shipping of $5.95 or have shipped to store for free.  Don't forget to shop thru Ebates to get cash back.

Today's Daily Deal at Target is The ClosetMaid 3 shelf organizer in white, with free shipping. TODAY ONLY.

Amazon is having a 4 for 3 sale on books. Order any four eligible books under $10 in our 4-for-3 Books Store and they will give you the lowest-price book free at checkout. Great time to stock up for birthday/school or the holidays!

Bath and Body Works is offering $1 shipping on purchases of $25 or more. Use code PUMPKIN at check out. TODAY only. Halloween PocketBac's are 5/$5. Stock up now for Halloween treats! And don't forget to shop thru Ebates to get cash back!

Today's free download for the Kindle is of Escape from the World Trade Center ($3.99 value), "the riveting account of Leslie Haskin's escape from the World Trade Center after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001."

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Organizing tips part 2

Just some of my favorite organizing tips:
  • Open the mail over the shredder or recycling bin, and get rid of the junk immediately. Pay the bills and take care of all correspondence. This forces you to make quick and definitive decisions so nothing piles up in your hallway or anywhere else

  • Keep each kid's tests, drawings and papers in a large plastic box, and go through the boxes with your children at the end of each school year. Let each child keep one thing and you keep one thing. File them away in a file marked with that school year/grade. Store each folder in a separate plastic bin for each child.

  • Treat organization the same way you would a diet or exercise plan: as a lifestyle change. To maintain results, you have to do a little bit and often. Lists are great to help break down big projects in to more manageable ones.

  • Hang two canvas totes, marked with REPAIR and DONATE, from hooks in the laundry room, As you do the laundry sort items that are too-small, worn-out, or snagged into the bags as soon as they come out of the dryer.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Meal plan Monday

Good Morning! I thought last week topped the week for craziness! And I was gonna take a mini vacation this week… None of that happened however this did: I got sick for all 4 days off; our rental house had a pipe burst and then a SECOND fire in less than 30 days! What a wild week! I am praying that this next week goes better:

Now on to the menu.

This week we have:

Monday:                       French toast and sausage (left over from last week)

Tuesday:                       Fend for yourself!

Wednesday:                 BBQ Steak with fresh corn on the cob

Thursday:                     Fend for yourself!

Friday:                          DATE NITE!/PIZZA!

Saturday:                      lasagna and Texas toast

Sunday:                        Zombies (it’s a baking sized sheet homemade calzone)

It has been really hot this past week and will continue to be so, that’s why we are trying simple meals.   

What’s on your table this week?
Thanks to Laura for hosting Meal Plan Monday

Sunday, August 14, 2011

How I make money online- JULY 2011 edition

I try to spend a few minutes everyday making a bit of money. Click here to see my post about the different ways I do this.

For July I earned
I also recieved a BIG FAT CHECK from Ebates, for $11.28. That is a rebate for all the online shopping I did last quarter.

From M Turk I earned $17.26 (about 30 hours of my spare time.) They pay you by check or by adding the money to your Amazon Account.
For a total of  $53.54. Not bad for a few minutes work each day! Happy Holiday Shopping!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Coming soon...

I have been asked to speak again at the LDS Medford 1st ward Relief Society group on Aug 23.
My topic is "Putting your finacial house in order."

Starting Aug 24 I will be doing a short series on the same subject!

Stay tuned!

Super Savings Saturday! IT ROCKS

 I stayed in budget today! and was able to get all of the above at Fred Meyer for only $8.21!
All of this was $42.28 at Winco Grand total for both stores was $50.49!! yeah!