Is Giving Meal Choices a Good Idea?

Plenty of parents I know make up separate meals for the kids and the adults or older children in the family. One mom and dad actually make an average of three different dinners each night, just to make sure that everyone in the family eats. Now I understand that certain childhood disabilities, from diabetes to autism, may require special diets, and in those cases parents have to do what they have to do. That isn’t what I am talking about.  More so, I am referring to families with healthy, average children who have fallen into the pattern of becoming short … Continue reading

Summer Vacation Savings

Spend less this year on your summer vacation, no matter where you plan to go! Compare Rates There is more than one way to go on vacation, so make sure that you do your research before booking anything. Compare costs for both packaged deals and separate travel and accommodations. The only way to know if you are getting a good deal is to compare it to other offers out there. Sometimes you can save quite a bit of money just by choosing to start your vacation on a certain day of the week. While this may not make much difference … Continue reading

Four Ways to Downsize the Gimmies

Don’t let the “Gimmies” take over your home. Use the following advise to downsize the constant requests for stuff from your kids. Limit Media Exposure The number of commercial ads that our kids are exposed to on a daily basis is staggering. All of those ads have just one purpose, to sell us stuff, our kids included. The more ads our children are exposed to, the more things they will believe that they have to have. These ads are very clever at manipulating our children into never being satisfied and always wanting more. Limiting the media exposure our children receive … Continue reading

End of Month Spending Check

Tomorrow is the last day of the month, and it is time to do an end-of-month spending check. In January, I have been focusing on groceries and food, keeping track of our spending in those areas and saving as much as I can. Writing down what I spend on each trip to the grocery store has helped. While I still don’t have a lot of coupon use, I’m paying more attention to the sales and not buying things that we don’t need, purchasing more fruit and less snacks for example. This has made a difference. I’ve also been more conscious … Continue reading

Forget the Fiscal Cliff; It is the Dairy Cliff that Will Get Me

We are all are more than a bit concerned about the approaching fiscal cliff, but what about the dairy cliff? That is the one that I think is going to get us. We go through about three gallons of milk each week, along with about 20 cups of yogurt and a pound of butter (sometimes more). I haven’t even mentioned cheese, yet. It has its own overflowing bin in the refrigerator. No, I’m not raising sumo wrestlers, just kids who are active and happen to take their own lunch and snacks to school each day. Lest you think that we … Continue reading

Extra Expenses of Caring for an Elderly Parent in Your Home

If you will be caring for an elderly parent in your home, you may need to budget for some extra expenses. Even if your parent has his or her own income to pay for items such as prescription medication, you still may have additional costs that creep up and raise your bills at the end of the month. Make sure to put a little extra aside in the following categories of your budget. Electricity With an extra person in your home, you may see an increase in your electric bill. Many elderly people can’t get around and tend to watch … Continue reading

Five Ways to Get Amusement Park Discounts

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Do you think that you have to pay hundreds of dollars to visit an amusement park? Well, sure, if you don’t know the secret to getting amusement park discounts. Combine the strategies that work best for you and save big when you have a fun family day at the park. Save the difference for souvenirs, lots and lots of souvenirs, another trip back again, or a trip somewhere else! End of Season Discounts The end of the summer or early fall may mean that you can score some great end of the season discounts at the amusement parks. As the … Continue reading

Crafts for Less

Logan and I have always loved doing crafts together, but they can get rather pricey if you’re not careful. When I got divorced I was afraid this little bonding time would be over. How could I possibly afford to get craft supplies when I could barely get food on the table? This year all those uncertainties have gone out the window. I discovered the joy of crafting for less! Logan and I have been doing countless Christmas crafts this year. Tonight I pulled out the popsicle sticks. If you look hard enough you can usually find a box of 1000 … Continue reading

Protecting Your Holiday Cash

Happy Cyber Monday!  The day many of us celebrate finding phenomenal deals on holiday gifts for loved ones, and then wallowing in mild discontent knowing that even though we saved some dough, we’re still out a good chunk of change. Like it or not, Cyber Monday has morphed into the biggest online shopping day of the year.  This is great news for tech-savvy individuals, but if you are a parent or grandparent, who hasn’t embraced the convenience of online shopping, today can be bittersweet.  While you’d love to take advantage of the amazing online sales, there’s a bit of hesitation … Continue reading

10 Ways to Save on Your Next Trip to Hawaii

Last year, my then six-old daughter celebrated her 12th visit to Hawaii. However, to her, the Aloha State is more than just a top tourist destination, it’s also home to grandma, grandpa, and a huge network of aunts, uncles and cousins. I kid that she would have been marking trip number 20 if it weren’t so dang expensive to fly from Wisconsin to Hilo. Fortunately, once we land in the “Land of Aloha” we score free room and board. Bottom line: traveling to Hawaii is not cheap. However, there are ways you can save on your next vacation there provided … Continue reading