Meal planning and shopping has changed a bit for me since having kids, but essentially I am doing the same things I have always done. My time is more limited now, so I really try to get it done as quickly as possible. This is my method.
How long can I go without buying our family any shampoo or toothpaste is the question I am going to answer this year. Since the start of the new year I have not purchased any new shampoo or toothpaste for our family, and honestly, I think we can make it all year, or longer without buying any more.
What Inspired this Challenge?
Trying to save money, for starters. But secondly, when I looked in our linen closet and saw that we had several full bottles of shampoo, a few full tubes of toothpaste and like a million samples that were unused I started thinking, “I bet if we were to use up some of these samples that we could go a really long time without buying any product.”
How Did I Acquire So Much Product?
Friday was one of those mornings. Asher was teething, again, and was super whiny and screechy and needy and I had to get out of the house ASAP before I lost my mind. I was so thankful that the rain stopped so we could get out, and also thankful for stores that open early because by 8am we were packed up, in the car, and ready to roll.
I also just have to say that I love Meijer! I always spend more money than I need to when we shop there, so I limit our trips, but either way, I still love it.
We took our time there, exploring the clearance sections and of course we stopped by the fish tanks. Those are always a big hit with the kids. We meandered through the kids clothes section and then finally picked up the few items I actually came into the store to purchase before heading home.
If you have time to browse and can shop during the week and early morning, you can sometimes find some great deals. That was the case today and I was so thrilled. I was able to find some kids Valentine’s cards for 30 cents a box. I don’t know if we are going to save them for next year or just play with them now because they have characters on them my kids like, but either way, we can do something with them. I also found some heart shaped cookies for 80 cents that we very much enjoyed at lunch. And I found chocolate for me and John for about $1 for both hearts.
It makes my day to find such fun deals, and it didn’t put us over budget!
Did it really help with the teething? Unfortunately no, but I guess great deals can’t solve all the world’s problems. The chocolate on the other hand….
What’s a great deal you’ve found lately?
It’s late. You are tired, but you know there is so much yet to do. What should you tackle first? Oh well, forget about it. There’s always tomorrow. But then the morning comes and you wish you had done more the night before because you’re already behind and it’s not even 7am. Can you relate?
I know I can. I’ve struggled with how to maximize my time and energy during the evening hours to make them the most productive they can be while at the same time trying to connect with my husband relationally. It’s the only time we have together, once the kids are asleep. It’s definitely a battle with exhaustion some nights as well. What to do with our precious time?
I need help prioritizing! Thankfully, help is on the way.
I am so excited that Crystal Paine, from Moneysavingmom.com is launching her latest course Thursday with an unbelievable sale, and in this case, the early bird does get the best deal. The Make Over Your Evenings course will retail at $17, but starting at 1am, Thursday, April 21, you can can score this course for $5. That is a great deal! The price goes up as the day goes on. Here’s the break down: Thursday, April 21, CST
1 a.m. to 6 a.m. – just $5
6 a.m. to 11 a.m. – just $7
11 a.m. to 4 p.m. – only $10
4 p.m. – 11 p.m. – only $13
Crystal is one of my favorite bloggers and I have learned so much from her about prioritizing, goal-setting, building a blog, and being authentic. We all need a little help sometimes and she’s made lots of mistakes and come out the other side. I love that she is sharing what she has learned!
Check out her other courses as well:
Gary Chapman, author of The Five Love Languages, has some great insight on relationships and marriage in particular. I think this will be a great read for any married couple! Get yours free thru Feb. 13th.
*Please check the price before purchasing as it may have changed.
Check the price before you download, as it may have changed.
Using Swagbucks is a really simple way to earn money online. You won’t earn a fortune, but without much effort you can you earn $5+ a month. It just takes a few minutes of time. Everyday you can earn a few points by completing a few short tasks and if you a do a few searches a day you can also earn more points.
There are multiple other ways to earn as well: playing games, printing and using coupons, special offers, online shopping, surveys and watching videos. If you use google chrome and download the extension it will alert you of opportunities to earn points while you are shopping online or if a special code is posted on facebook.
It’s amazing how fast the points add up. 500 points is equivalent to $5 and there are a wide array of gift cards you can redeem it for. Personally, I only redeem it for amazon gift cards because the ratio is 450 points for $5. I get a little more for my money and I use amazon alot for various purchases. It’s especially helpful for Christmas shopping, which I can’t believe is coming up in a few months.
Also, if you use Bing to earn points too, you can redeem them for 500 Swagbucks as well. As previously noted, this works out great if you redeem them for amazon gift cards because you get a little more bang for your buck.
All in all I have loved this site. It took me a little while to get used to it, but now that I have I average between $10-$20 per month. I’ll take it!
If you don’t believe me check out my post on How I used surveys, Bing and Swagbucks to purchase an i-pad mini.
Pinecone Research is accepting new applications for survey participants. This is one of the better companies to do surveys with as every survey pays $3. They give you points now that you have to redeem, but one survey is the equivalent of $3. And you can redeem it straight to your Paypal account. There is no minimum.
The surveys are more limited. I probably take 1 every couple weeks. But I do like the payout for anywhere from 10-20 minutes of my time. I have also had a few product tests from them as well, which are always fun.
If interested, register here.
I don’t remember how I got started in online surveys. I think it was in college when I had my own laptop and time to surf the net. I started with ZoomPanel. In those days there was no such thing as Amazon.com or Paypal. I earned points which I redeemed for products. My mom still has the waffle iron we got from those points, but we got rid of the deep fryer.
As time went on I learned about more survey sites and other income generating sites online and as technology has progressed so have the opportunities. I am now registered with several survey sites and other simple search or marketing sites, all of which provide a small steady stream of income. When I say small, I mean small, but over time it adds up. Now I can generally make anywhere from $15-$25 a month for about 15 minutes a day of clicking away on my laptop. And that is just from Swagbucks, Bing and Crowdtap. I also earn money from surveys, but I don’t cash in on those as often so it’s harder to track my monthly income.
This past month we finally saved up enough in amazon gift cards to purchase a 32GB ipad mini, along with a case, screen protector and a usb hard drive. We are hoping to use this as a tool to help John with giving drum lessons. Plus, it’s fun and we can do so much else with it too. A few years ago I was able to purchase my kindle fire with survey money and now the ipad. Not bad for no money out of pocket!
Want to learn more about how to make money online? I will be featuring various sites in the coming months so stay tuned.
The 30 Day Praise Challenge
by Becky Harling
After downloading today and reading the first chapter I am so ready to make the commitment. Unlike some other challenges gone viral (ahem, ice bucket) this is one that I can actually get on board with and that can have eternal value. It’s so hard for me to stick things out so I am hoping the prompts and this blog will help keep me disciplined. If you’d like to join me in this 30 day praise challenge for the month of September download your free copy today. This e-book is being offered free for about a week so you have a little time, but don’t delay too long. And be sure to let me know of you’re on board. Starting September 1st I will be blogging my journey through this challenge. Who’s with me?