Monday, December 27, 2010

The cost of food

Nearly breaks most peoples bank. When I ask people what their biggest expense is, it generally comes back to FOOD. I don't know if thats going out to eat, or if that comes down to just simply the cost of food which is kinda ridiculous if you ask me.

So.. I have a few tips. Not a ton, but a few. Don't buy all your groceries at the same place. careful not to do the running around town thing. If you are spending in gas what you save at the store its NOT worth it unless of course your company pays for your gas. Then gas away! You KNOW that meat is going to be cheaper at Kroger and fresher... so make your meat list for Kroger. Make your canned vegetable list and dry food lists for the other stores.

ARe you limiting yourself on grocery stores? Does your town have some random off brand stores? I know Hot Springs has Save-a-Lot which is an AWESOME place to buy off brand cake mixes, chips, off brand cokes(the brand names will crack you up so its worth it just for that). Canned vegetables are like 33 cents a can vs. .69 at walmart. Worth the trip? If you need more than 5 cans it sure is. Milk is cheaper there, butter is cheaper there and lunch meat. So... if those are items you use a lot, then save money and shop there! Don't be afraid to branch outside of Walmart and Kroger.

Coupons...we have talked about this before. Not ALWAYS a good idea...but if the coupon beats the off brand price then its worth it.

Also... go to You can buy some AWESOME deals that way. These boxed sets of food are supposed to feed a family of 4 for a week. Its worth a shot... if it works then WOWZERS! You have fed a family of 4 for $41 bucks a week. If it doesn't...then you add another package, or you cut your grocery bill down to a minimum AND buy the as well.

Just some ideas. I hope they help!

Never forget the little things

I am not a financial wizard. I wish I were... but I have lived through financial hardships, financial GOOD times, and learned a bit along the way. One thing I commonly hear people say is "I don't have any money left over to save." Well, thats because you are doing it wrong. How many times have you been told to save FIRST? Well... I realize that is easier said than done. So... let me break it down for you and make it make more sense. I had to do this to myself too, so don't feel like somethings wrong with you because you DON'T get it yet.

Do you smoke? Well, quit. And take that $4.85 every other day, or every day or however much you smoke and every time you WOULD have bought cigarettes, go withdraw that much from checking and place it in an envelope. At the end of just ONE month you will be suprised how much is in there.

Do you go to Starbucks of a morning? Yea... you need to quit that too. Put that $5.00 in that same envelope or open a savings account.

Do you go to the movies waayyy too much? Bring it down a notch... Go one time less than you would have gone in a month. That will save on movie tickets, popcorn and cokes. Thats $20 more bucks to stash away.

Do you ALWAYS buy CD's when they come out? Hey, I love my music... BUT...what if you wait a day or two after the cd is released and hit up your local FYE or movie store and buy the used version? You know its not very used b/c all they did was buy it and burn it. You can save big $$$ if you do that.

You will have your list of other ways to save. My point is you CAN save... you may just have to save along the way. Every little bit helps. If you are only putting back $30 bucks a month it will add up. That is $360 dollars a year... not too shabby.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

A year in pictures...

I love pictures. I love getting family pics, I love talking selfies of Jere and I in the car, I love taking pics of Ava making crafts or just plain ol' looking adoreable. I also LOVE to get pictures taken. I love the planned outfits when the whole family is "matchy matchy". I love those black and white photos where everyone looks so poised and perfect... But i got to thinking...WHAT in the world did I spend on pictures this year??

we had professional pictures done, I bought 2 sets of Ava's school pictures, I took over 7600 pictures in 2010 according to "MY PHOTOS" on my computer. We had Christmas card pictures taken. I blew up some pictures to fit frames for the wall. I made photo books of Ava's year, of our wedding, and several for gifts.

so...what in the world did I spend on pictures this year?! Do you REALLLLLY wanna know....?? I have 3 albums full, sent out 30 Christmas cards, made photo books for Christmas, for birthday gifts, .... I spend $198.25 on pictures THUS FAR in 2010. HECK of a deal!!!!!

Go to Create an account. upload all of your photos to them. You will recieve a coupon every week. Sometimes you get 50 pics for $5.00. Sometimes you get $5.00 off any order. Doesn't matter b/c they are ALWAYS good coupons. So only order photos when you get those. They come on Sundays so get ready for them.

Befriend on facebook photographers. Local, starting out photographers. They constantly post contests. GET INVOLVED in those! you just may win. We won, and it was the perfect gift! :)

When it comes to school many do you REALLLY need? Make out a list of who will be recieving a copy of this picture. Nobody wants extra ones laying around the house...that seems so wasteful. So make a list and buy the package that is CLOSEST to the number that you need. Don't get stuck with 11x14's that you KNOW you will never put up. Thats kinda silly...:)

So...if you are camera happy and love some pictures then you need to set out a plan. How many pictures are you going to take per month? how many of those will you buy?! Keep your albums up to date and you won't be likely to OVER buy pictures. Consider pictures for gifts. Every grandparent or aunt wants a picture of that sweet little kiddo. It's affordable and personable.

Hope that helps. Send me your tips! Click on an ad before you go! thanks!

It's the MOST wonderful time of the year...

Because EVERYTHING IS CHEAPER! :) I have talked before about THIS being the time of year that you go otu and buy gifts for NEXT year. HOPEFULLY you have been saving your money. :)

Go buy wrapping paper, gift sacks, tape, and bows for NEXT year. Don't over do it...thats the hard part. You don't need a ton more ornaments, you don't need a ton of crap to set out...but you WILL need more paper.

JCPenney's is THE place to be over the next week. Forget if its Christmassy or not...if it is something that can be worn in the winter time, its gonna be on sale. And not just 20% off...but MAJORLY discounted.
And more than anything the men's clothes will be hugely discounted. Not quite sure why, but i'm just telling you they will be.

Also...are you one of those families that does pj pants on Christmas Eve? (I now know of 4 families that do that and I think its the cutest idea ever.) Anyway if you are... Old Navy, Rue 21, Sears AND Belk will have their pj pants on sale.

There are TONS more good ideas of places to go. I haven't looked at any ads from the paper this week to see of any new but the ones I listed are always on my "To do" list after Christ

so go...find some bargains and get ready for a Happy New year of money saving tips! :)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


Movies! Wow! HOW expensive can it get? Now almost everything comes in 3D and theatres can charge up to $5.00 bucks additional on EACH ticket to wear glasses when you would have seen the movie even if it WASNT in 3D...its SUCH a messed up ordeal.

So now going to the movies can be a $40.00 date, or a $60.00 family outing. Its QUITE ridiculous if you ask me. So... I started looking online for ways to save money on movie tickets. Of course matinees save you money, Tuesday is "stimulus tuesday" at Carmike's so popcorn and cokes are only $1.00. Of course thats a SMALL, but still. I went to to see if they showed anything... and guess what?! They DID!

Go to Click on tickets, and you will see a tab that says "get free tickets". you have to sign up for one thing or another. I signed up for a free 7 day trial to keep an eye on my credit. You can sign up for recipes over email. Whatever...they don't COST anything, but when you do that and follow the process all the way through you recieve a free ticket code and it WORKS! So... do that once a month? once a week? once a still get a free ticket.

So take your hubs out for a movie on YOU, he doesn't have to know that his ticket was free :)