5 Reasons to Stock Up on School Supplies

5 Reasons to Stock Up on School Supplies

Is it just me or does anyone else have a hard time resisting a box of new Crayola crayons for 25 cents this time of year?  Or how about a package or markers for just a little bit more.  Then there's glue and scissors and notebooks, oh my! In July, August, and September, the deals on school supplies abound!  I've been shopping school supply sales long before I had kids in school (and after I was out of school myself).  I have my school supply stash all in its own special box.  That helps me ... read more

My Elastic Waistband and Your Budget

My Elastic Waistband and Your Budget

About two weeks after delivering my littlest little one (and by littlest, I mean my youngest... at 10 lb 6 oz, she was actually my biggest) I put away my maternity clothes.  I boxed them up and stacked the boxes in our enormous wall of boxes in the kids room (Have I ever mentioned that we have zero closets in our basement abode?  True story.). Now before you start getting jealous, I'll make it very clear that my regular clothes still didn't fit.  Not even close.  Of course I was tired of my ... read more

Expanding Opportunities for Earning Through Learning

Expanding Opportunities for Earning By Learning

I really enjoy learning.  Unfortunately being a professional student not only doesn't earn an income, it is also very expensive.  I often try to find a balance by finding ways where my learning can lead to earning. Sometimes it's not even in ways that I planned.  For example, in college I took a guitar class just for fun.  I had experience in music but was a complete beginner in guitar.  I really enjoyed it so I kept practicing and learning on my own.  After performing at a talent show years ... read more

Raspberry Frozen Yogurt– An Easy and Delicious Summer Treat

Homemade Raspberry Frozen Yogurt

If you've made your own ice cream before, you know that making your own ice cream is not necessarily a frugal experiment.  Heavy whipping cream is not cheap!  Buying ingredients to make ice cream probably costs more than just buying the ice cream. Frozen yogurt is a different story though.  My kids still call it ice cream, but it's much cheaper than ice cream.  It's much less fattening as well!  Win- win!  For my raspberry frozen yogurt I always use homemade yogurt that I make by the gallon ... read more

Waiting for a Prime Deal

Waiting for a Prime Deal

On Amazon's Prime Day, my mom called me with some questions.  She wanted to know some details about my awesome sewing machine.  She knows that I absolutely love it. She got to try it out when she came to visit was hoping to get a similar one for a great deal during Amazon's supposed big sale. The sewing machine she was thinking about looked like it might have been on sale, as the Amazon price was quite a bit lower than the published retail price, but I was skeptical.  I looked around a bit, ... read more

Is buying a used car worth it? A Case Study

Is a Used Car Worth it-- A Case Study

Does a used car save money? Or is a used car a money suck?  One of the main reasons many people prefer to buy new (or slightly used) cars as opposed to very used cars is the cost of maintenance.  People figure that the cost and trouble of maintenance will add up to be close to the cost of a newer car. Now that we are retiring our van, I thought it would be fun to make it as a case study and see how the costs stack up. 1997 Plymouth Grand Voyager At Purchase Purchase date: May 2011 Age ... read more

8 Myths About 529 College Savings Plans

529 Myths

Until recently, I had a general understanding of 529 plans, but there were a lot of things I didn't understand.  Call it irony or a vicious circle, but being in the trenches of student debt payoff, I hadn't taken the time to research and investigate college savings options for my children.  Recently we made the decision to start contributing to 529s for each of our four children.  The more I learn, the more I am happy that we got started. Today I want to address some of the my myths and ... read more

Tips for Living With Family to Save Money

What you need to know before moving in with family

Do you know the number one contributing factor to our debt repayment success thus far?  I'm not talking about dedication, hard work, perseverance or other important characteristics.  I mean a solid, measurable contributing factor.  It's our living situation. Anyone who has looked at our monthly budget reports quickly notices that we don't pay any rent or utilities.  Even taking our higher gas budget (because of the commute) into account, we easily save $1,200-$1,500 or more per month living ... read more

How to Camp For Free– Free Camping Hacks

Free Camping

My husband and I both love camping, so it's not surprising that our kids do too.  We go camping as often as our schedules allow. Some people's idea of camping is a 20 foot by 20 foot space with a paved parking spot, fire ring and a picnic table, with some trees in sight.  Not us.  When we are spending time in the outdoors, we want to spend time IN the outdoors.  No pavement, no picnic tables, no neighbors. It's hard for me to imagine paying good money to sleep in a tent on a small grassy ... read more

Zucchini Brownies with Perfect Chocolate Frosting

Zucchini Brownies with Perfect Frosting

In addition to talking about budgeting and finances, I love to share from-scratch recipes, frugal dishes, and ways to use garden produce.  Today I am sharing one of my favorite ways to eat zucchini-- zucchini brownies!  Zucchini lovers and haters alike will love these moist, chocolatey brownies.  Hiding zucchini in brownies is a great way to trick picky eaters into getting some veggies.  The frosting is dreamy.  As a bonus, zucchini brownies don't even require eggs! We started a garden the ... read more