Hi there! Welcome to my blog! I’m Sandi I’m a momma to two boys ages five and eight. My eight year old has Autism and Selective Mutism. After working a “normal” job and leaving my kids crying at daycare. I quickly realized there has to be a better way. I’ve been literally obsessed with business and home businesses and decided it was my goal and mission to test and try various work from home opportunities and pass this knowledge on to other moms that might be looking for a better way as well.
I started this blog originally eight years ago when my first son was born to fulfill my need for a creative outlet during his nap times, he was just three months at the time. This blog started out as a money saving/couponing blog. I got super excited when I realized how far I could stretch my very tight stay at home mom budget after my son was born. I figured my “finds” should be posted so I can help other mommies stretch their budget as well.
This blog is being updated and revamped. Started as just a blogger blog. I have a huge passion for not only helping moms save big, but also create ways of earning income online as well. After all, it’s not just about saving, but it’s about creating a life you love and earning enough money to enjoy your time. Being a good steward, with not only your money, but your resources and energy as well are all things I aspire to help you with on this blog/Youtube channel. I dedicated a lot of time and energy into testing work at home businesses ideas and passive income strategies to help you build multiple income streams at home, I hope to pass this knowledge on to other moms! I’d love to have you follow along! Mommin’ ain’t easy, but this blog will help you make mommin’ easier!
Check out what I’m up to on Instagram daily @ mommiesmedia!!!! Or on Facebook @ mommiesmedia
Don’t impulse buyIf you see something you love in a store and can’t seem to live without it, but the price tag just doesn’t sit well, do this. Take a pic of the item and brand. When you go home do some comparison shopping. Once you get home you might even forget about it and that will save you a whopping 100% buy not buying it. Shop online if you would be willing to buy it used to save up to 80% off! I know I would. I like to compare prices. You can even use a price comparison app like shopsavvy to see if the item is cheaper online or you can even check out Amazon or websites like swap.com and threadup.com. So that $100 jacket from Macy’s could be $40 online…that’s a pretty big savings. Bonus: Look for for coupon codes at websites like retailmenot.com for percent off and free shipping codes. Also, re-set your browser to a website like swagbucks to make money back on items you purchase online. You can get free gift cards for Target, Starbucks and more! Shop with a planYou make a list when you grocery shop. Why not shop with a plan when you shop for clothes. Go through your clothing and inventory what you have and what you need. Piece together outfits in your closet to see what you are lacking and what you have in excess. This will save you big and you will be able to buy only what you need. Shop at consignment storesConsignment stores are great to find very gently used items for up to 80% off or more. Most of these stores only take the best items that are in style and in good used condition, clean, free of stains, rips and tears. Yard SalesDon’t over look yard sales for clothing. You might be looking for something else like a bookshelf or lamp, but think outside of the box and look for clothing. $1 shirts and purses? Yes please! I’ve found all kinds of name brand items for pennies on the dollar. Tips: Shop early, the early bird get’s the worm right? This applies to yard sales too, beat the crowd and get first pick. Map your route to hit the most yard sales without wasting gas driving in circles. Negotiate, why not ask for a discount? Sometimes I will come across a box of boys clothing and instead of rooting through a huge box I might make an offer for the whole box. Whatever my kids won’t use I can re-sell so it’s a win-win. Learn how to sew. Sewing is not just for grandmas. I love to sew and I can honestly say this skill is invaluable. If you have a zipper that breaks you don’t have to throw out your favorite skirt or if you need to replace a button no biggie, you can find a great designer piece that no one wants that was once loved but maybe has a rip in the seam, why not repair and wear? You can also make clothing for your kids, make costumes, sew home décor items like curtains or make pillows. You can even make a business out of it. EbayEbay is an often overlooked place to buy clothes these days with so many online options I think a lot of us don’t think to use ebay anymore. I recently bought a pair of American Eagle jeans on here for $4.99. I’ve seen some amazing deals on clothing, if you aren’t squeamish about buying used it’s a great way to get designer clothing for at least 50% off or more. RossI love Ross! Ross is my go-to spot for last minute event dresses. I have been able to find super cute name brand dresses for as low as $8.99. I’ve seen tanks and summery tops for as low as $2.99. Be sure to have some time on your hands because you will need to sort though a lot of items to find the goldmine. Always check out the clearance sections of the store too. You can find some amazing deals for very little cash. CraigslistEver think to shop Craigslist for clothes? Craigslist is a good resource for all things used. I’ve seen bags of clothing sold as a lot of here for as low as $20-$30 or even kids clothing and shoes. It’s a great place to unload your unwanted clothing items too. Just group sizes together to get the most bang for your buck. I don’t know about you but I can’t spend time taking a bunch of individual pics. I fold the clothing up nicely, take a few pics from different angles and list. No fees and a time saver! Thrift Stores I love thrift stores! Every time I go I feel like a kid on a treasure hunt. It’s so amazing what you can find, for basically pennies on the dollar. Here’s a tip: Never judge a book by it’s cover There’s a thrift store in my area that I would often drive by but never stopped in because from the looks of the outside I didn’t think it was my kind of store. It looks old, cluttered and nothing outside looks appealing This is an example of a page. Well, one day recently I decided to go in and I was blown away by the things I found! How about nice designer shirts for .50. Some of the shirts were a size up but I’m going to alter those (see where sewing skills come in handy?). I also found a brand new bed set with all the pillows for $30. I was able to negotiate and get it for $20, it’s doesn’t hurt to ask right? All they can say is no! I also found a set of old fashioned malt mugs for .50 each and some Toms glittery shoes for $1. See my hauls on youtube. I have two channels mommas2monkeys and mommiesfrugalfinds. I do Dollar Tree and thrift hauls as well as money saving and money making tips and more. Dollar StoresWhat?! I thought this was about saving on clothing you might be saying to yourself! It’s is. Here are some clothing items you can find at dollar stores. Socks Slippers Flip flops Plain basic t-shirts (perfect for projects too) Nylons Tights Scarves Bars and panties (some dollar stores like .99 stores) Leggings Buy off seasonBuy when the price is right and the demand is low. I just bought my boys Teva’s for summer for $9.99 and $7.99 on ebay. I bought a size up for both. I’m just going to put them away for warmer days ahead. They will get a ton of use out of these this summer I’m sure. These are so versatile. I have one pair I’ve had for about 10 years and they still look new. If you buy quality you can get a lot of use out of your clothing and shoes. I hope this helped give you some ideas of ways you can save hundreds on clothing every year! More articles like this to come as well as haul videos.
I started this silly little thing called a blog when my first son was born, as a hobby. My son is now five and I have since decided to take it from “this silly little blog” to ” my business”. When I started hardly anyone knew what the heck a blog was, now everyone and their grandma has a blog. So here’s what I learned along the way. I think this info would of use to a blogger starting just out, or someone considering starting one. #1 It’s not all rainbows and sunshine….it takes so much work and dedication. Full time bloggers work all day everyday. More than forty hours a week. I personally work til 2am sometimes. I do my best work late at night when my kids are in bed. #2 You have to have a good support system and an understanding family. Because it takes so much time you need to manage you time well. You will also need childcare sometimes so you can work interrupted, something I needed to learn a long time ago, after posting some pretty crazy posts. You have to be able to focus and working when hearing mom I need ____, is just going to leave you frazzled and of course with a crazy messed up post. Bloggers who glamourize working at home with kids aren’t being real about it, it’s a challenge and a juggling act everyday. #3 You can’t do it all yourself, even the most technical writers/bloggers need some help. There is so much work to be done. From designing your blog, to coding to affiliate links and other links like products you sell and social media. #4 It takes money, as a money saving blogger, I tried to start this business free. You just can’t *period*. Some folks may beg to differ, but as someone who found out the hard way, trust me on this one. If you want to take it from hobby to business you have to invest some money. It really does take money to make money. You can start out free to get the feel for things, but to step it up, it’s going to take a little moolah. Of course you can start for less than $100 to start, which is nothing though compared to what some full time bloggers make. Upwards of $10,000 or more a month. You need to buy a domain…which you can buy really cheap though godaddy and you need hosting. I have hosting for my other blog mommiesfrugalfinds.com through godaddy. It’s a work in progress, Will be switching to Bluehost soon, most successful bloggers have Bluehost. I will be eventually transferring this blogs content to wordpress. If you start on wordpress you should buy a designer template for better SEO, which basically means more visabity. #5 Blogging can be discouraging. It’s hard putting my heart and soul into this business, I’ve been blogging five years. Only to read stories like one blogger makes $10,000 a month after only one year of blogging as a single mom making $700 a month. There’s no way, I’m sure someone helped in one way or another. She makes the bulk of her income from this story selling books about her life storyvand how her husband left her, and she went from homeless to making well over $10,000 a month. Knowing what I know about this business. There is much more to this story. Like maybe her ex was a doctor and she ended up getting alimony or something, it just seems pretty unrealistic, but I guess there are exceptions. One can assume or speculate, it just blows my mind. Or the story about a crockpot blogger who started a blog and within weeks ended up on the Rachel Ray show, not knowing anything about crockpot cooking she winged it and quickly became an overnight success. In the world of blogging you hear stories like these all the time. It has made me want to quit so many times. Why do I keep going? Because I love blogging and writing and I love helping other moms. I’m not in it to make money, though it would be nice to make $10,000 a month, not gonna lie. #6 Make sure your heart is in it because it takes time to make decent money blogging. If you are starting a blog for income alone. Don’t start a blog at all, go into another field. #7 People are not going to understand this business…like “what’s a blog”? Most people have no idea this is a big business, as well as a platform for other endeavors. You might have to just not tell anyone about it and work on it secretly. There is so much negativity surrounding anything where you make an income online or anything unconventional. If you tell anyone what you do you will usually get a confused or glazed over look. Just smile and move on. Don’t let others opinions or misconceptions bring you down. Just keep doing what you love. #8 The competition is feirce and it’s not pretty. Other bloggers will steal ideas, steal tags or titles and then every blogger in that niche has the same posts. That can be super frustrating. But I just keep going and make sure I follow all competition to ensure I’m posting unique articles. #9 In order to draw readers in you have to grab attention… you have to have a great title for posts and a reason to get someone to read it….just keep your integrity. Many bloggers sell their soul for readers. Just be yourself and be real, that will eventually shine through, making your voice unique and authentic. I would rather have my integrity and no readers than a million readers because of a title that was less than honest or using someone elses idea. #10 You will face criticism and critique and you have to be ok with this. You develop a tough skin from this business. You have to not care what others think and just be true to yourself. There will always be someone who doesn’t like what you have to say, not value your opinions or are just simply mean spirited and bored. Even these people are valuable to this business because the truth of the matter is, if they are reading your content, you are still getting views and that ultimately leads to a higher Alexa ratings… that’s what you want as a blogger. #11 Never stop learning and growing everyday. I learn something new everyday. Study, read, explore, learn and ask questions. I read a lot and if their is something I need to learn (like video editing for example),I watch youtube videos or turn to google. There is always room for growth and improvement. Always strive to make your blog, and your business better. #12 Most bloggers don’t make the bulk of there imcome from blogging alone. Revenue is made from multiple sources by selling ad space, affiliate links, affiliate programs,YouTube channel, marketing programs and products like, ebooks, courses, fitness programs, printables, digital downloads, etc. A lot of bloggers also write for other websites, do public speaking or teach. Blogging is really launching pad for other opportunities and income streams. I’m going to be doing some more posts about this subject..the truth about blogging in the months to come.
Time is money right? You either have enough money and very little time or you have an abundance of time but lack money. The trick to living well is finding a balance between these two things. I wanted to show you how I make things work as a stay at home and work at home mom. I have two boys, one is in pre-school, which has weird hours. Hello, 12-4? This might be the weirdest school schedule ever, but we make it work. My other son is 2 1/2 so he is home all day. I also have my own school work to do (finishing my B.A. in Business/finance). So here’s a break down of how I make it work. This may or may not work for you, but it might help give you a general idea of how this works. Typical day Wake up at 7 (sometimes a little later depending on how my night went and how long I worked) *****must have coffee***** I emerge from my zombie like state with my hair standing on end and my grinch pj’s on. Just kidding, well kind of. Then (assuming boys are still sleeping) I get to work. I jump online. I check both email accounts. Check on my blogs, check ebook sells. Go on Up work check messages or finish up projects and then jump on Pintrest look for some pins. Apply for freelance work, finish writing assignments, send emails, add affiliates links (sometimes),ebay shipping (I print labels and answer emails)then etsy, the same thing. do some listings, check fiverr (I sell gigs on here and I hire exclusively on here) super cheap work done like editing or graphic design. I do all my own writing as of now. Which is getting difficult and time consuming but I won’t hire out for this unless I have to. (two hours work) I work online for about 2 hours then I get ready, then make breakfast around 10. This is when boys wake up. We eat, get showers, get ready for the day, come back down stairs and then I will jump back online for a few minutes and boys will watch cartoons. (2-4 hours work done in morning) I then drop of my oldest son at school, then run errands, if I have packages going out I mail those, go to the grocery store ( about twice a week) go to the Dollar Tree (I find myself there alot for office supplies, cleaning supplies or things like paper towels, shampoo ,etc. or even snacks. On Mondays I try to make it a habit to going thrifting for re-sell items (more on this later) About 1 make lunch, or my son and I grab lunch on the run if we are in a huge hurry(I know I get the mother of the year award for that one right? Eating in the car). Ideally my younger son lays down for a nap for a couple hours when we get home. (two hours work) I clean up the kitchen, run a load of laundry then I get back on the computer to get more work down. I just started a youtube channel so I will do videos a few times a week. Some of the videos I do are Dollar Tree and thrift hauls, I make money making videos about re-selling and parenting, lifestyle videos, beauty products hauls and reviews. Then around 3 I start thinking about what I’m making for dinner and maybe desert. I will go ahead and prepare some of it, then clean up the upstairs like put away laundry and straighten rooms and wipe down bathroom. Then I go pick up my other son at 4. I get home, finish up dinner, we eat and during the summer we go for a walk to the trail or the park. We spend some time as a family watching a movie or playing a game or something. After the boys go to bed which lately has been the most challenging part of my days. I will work 2-4 hours. Sometimes from 10-2. I love this period of time because there are no distractions like the phone ringing or mom I need___. No knocks at the door or mail deliveries, just peace-and-quiet. So that’s my typical day seven days a week. I should add that twice a week I have to work on coursework too so at night I have to put work aside and do school work about four hours a week. Which isn’t too bad….I make it work. Looking at this is eye opening because I am putting in more time than ever. About 50-55 hours a week but I have never wanted to work so much or so hard. Working for your own cause and your own dreams makes you more motivated than ever. A lot of what I’m doing now is to building up passive income. Knowing the sacrifices I’m making now will help my family and I in the future and I won’t have to work as hard plus my family will have a good foundation to build on, that keeps me going! More on making passive income and why it is so important to your future in a post to come this coming week. I make less money now but I also have less expenses than when I was working so financially it makes sense. My monthly income is around $1700. Since I’m home more I spend about $200 less on gas (I now spend $50 a month on gas) and I eat lunch at home most days so that saves about $100 a month. I don’t have to buy special clothing so that saves about $100 a month and I have coffee at home. I was spending about $5 a day on lattes. This saves another $100. So $500 right there saved by working from home. More on this subject to come.
I was looking at a pic of my oldest son the other day and thought to myself. Look at that smile! Not a care in the world. He radiates geniune happiness and loves life. I think as adults we get caught up in making money and working at a job we often times hate. We trade our precious time for a few bucks, are on a schedule and never spend enough time, well, really living. No not existing…. But really living. And by that I mean enjoying what you are spending your time doing, everyday. Living with purpose, with fulfillment. So how do you live ‘like a four year old’? #1 Don’t let the little things bother you. I spent too much of my life overanalyzing stupid things like, why did that person say this or do that. I’ve come to the realization that the only persons actions I can control are my own. How I react to the things people do make all the difference. #2 Make time to do something that brings you joy everyday. Whether that means taking a walk after dinner, playing with your kids outside doing cartwheels on the lawn, put on a pair of roller skates or just allow yourself to indulge in a bubble bath and read a magazine. #3 Don’t let your life be all work and no play. This past year I have been on kind of a spirtual and personal journey. I have a lot of goals that I’v been putting off for years that I only this year, started really pursuing. Most of my goals have been financial and business related so this next year (2016) I’m making it a point to find more balance, not work less but just enjoy life more. #4 Take time for friendships. This is something I’m guilty of not doing as much as I should. I need to take more time out for friends. I find that picking up the phone and talking with a friend you haven’t talked to in a while really helps your mental mindset. Or meeting up for lunch. #5 Enjoy little moments and little victories. If you want to really enjoy life. View life though the eyes of a child! Kids light up when they accomplish little victories like catching a ball or putting a puzzle together. Why not enjoy little victories too? We as adults put so much pressure on ourselves to do better, have more, buy a bigger house, t.v or car. Celebrate the little things like getting your daily to-do list done or finishing that project you’ve been putting off. #5 Do what you love. If you are working at a job you hate find a way to transition into doing what you love. Find a way to make a living doing what you love. For me this is writing and making things. I write to help people. I feel like that is my calling and purpose on this earth. I remember working jobs I hated just to make a living and it was literally soul crushing. Everyday I would wake up feeling like a robot, like I was living life on autopilot just going though the motions. Now I own my time i make money the way I want to. Could I be making more money working at a job I hate, yes! But being happy is more important than money. You could be the richest person in the world, but if you aren’t happy or living with purpose then it is really worth nothing. I came to the realization that after the calculations (cost of working outside of the home) I realized my actual take home pay was $600 a month. To have someone else raise my kids for a lousy $600 a month and be a grouchy, worn down, tired, unhappy mom. It just didn’t make since. It’s actually pretty easy to make $600 a home check out my other blog bringingmomshome.blogspot.com for more on this subject. #6 Help others. Kids have such open hearts and are full of compassion. My oldest son has such a tender heart. He notices when someone needs help. He asks me questions about people he sees that are down on their luck. And I think he’s old enough to understand. He likes to help and says things like “mom, that person needs a coat on” or “do you think that person wants a cheeseburger”? He is a smart little cookie. Do you find joy in helping or serving others? Why not find joy, by bringing it to others. Do someone small everyday to make a difference. This Christmas Eve I fed a homeless man in my neighborhood. I try to makr it a point to think about people who are in a bad situation. After my divorce I was once there. Here I was with no car or house, two kids under 3 and $100 to my name. That was almost two years ago. I lived at a womens shelter for a few weeks and with my mom. Thank god it was only briefly but that was such a humbling and scary experience. Through a series of events. A sweet friend of mine gave me an old car that she wasn’t using.I also met my current boyfriend who started out as a good friend that has helped me so much along the way. I’m forver grateful for the things he’s done for my boys and I. I wss able to find a job and a place and through working hard and never looking back life is so much better. I just look at people who are homeless differently now. I’m only one person so I can’t help everyone,but i do try to pay it forward when I can. I think there is no greater joy than feeling useful and helping someone in need. Happy new year!!!! Hope you have joyful and prosperious 2016!
The Kardashians are a glamorized, highly publicized, and an idealistic version of the modern day ‘Jonses’. Ok minsus, sex changes, alcoholism and big butts. Why do we as Americans watch this show anyway? I have watched this show a few times, I have a weakness for reality T.V. what can I say? For me the reason why I watch this show is just for the simple fact that these people have problems too. Just because they have millions of dollars doesn’t buy them a free ticket to a problem free existence and that makes me in some small way feel better about my life, wow did I really just admit that!? Some of what they go through feels very staged but in a way they are just a typical family underneath it all. While we might be able to relate to them in some ways, we all can’t live that lifestyle. We have what I like to refer to as ‘iwantitis’ we want what everyone else has. The latest iPhone, the bigger house, the more impressive car, the latest tech gadget but living this way is not going to buy happiness. It will keep you in debt, working long hours, paying for a house you only sleep in, financing a car you practically live in and providing for a family you rarely see. Is this happiness? What if we could change our mindset? Sc$#@ the Jonses!!!! Do the Jonses pay your bills? No! Focus on your own life, your own dreams, and your own goals, I changed my mindset. I used to care about what others thought about me. Now, the older I get the more free I feel, and I hope that transcends into my blogs and other work. I kind of speak my mind and am little more brash and realistic rather than idealistic. Now that doesn’t mean that I’m not optimistic….omg that sounded like a hip hop song, sorry about that. The point is, you can have a better life and be happier if you shift your mind set! Stop caring so much about what others are going to think and live your life. Do what makes you happy. The money will come. If you find a way to make money doing what you truly love that to me is true happiness. For me 2016 is all about new beginnings…making changes, tying up lose ends, saving money, building on what I started and finishing projects. I tend to take on too much at once so I’m definitely going to prioritize and try to be on more of a schedule. And decide what’s working, what’s not and emphasize my strengths rather than weaknesses. I don’t care anymore what the Jonses are doing or the Kardashians for that matter. As long as my family is taken care of, I’m doing the best I can everyday to make tomorrow better, I am on the right track and I’m happy, that’s all that matters. I’m just having faith, working hard and trying to save as much money as I possibly can. Here are some of the things I’ve been doing to save money and live better. Some tips for saving in 2016 1) Buying used (stop yourself from buying that $2000 sectional) that same one might be on craigslist for $200. Save yourself $1800. 2) Go out to eat less, (I was spending $600 a month on just groceries now about $400) how much is dinner out? $60??? I can practically buy a weeks worth of groceries for that much. Try to eat at home more. If you work at home this is easy. If you work outside the home try bringing leftovers for lunch instead of frequenting the drive thru. 3) Buy used but gently worn clothing. I buy most of my clothing used. I use websites like, ebay, swap.com, and Thred Up. I also frequent thrift stores, consignment stores and yard sales. I still wear nice, name brand clothing, those who know me would call me a bit of a fashionista. 4) Reduce your flexible monthly bills and expenses. Switch companies, compare prices. 5) Save up for large purchases like a car, electronics or furniture 6) Pay yourself first. Make sure necessities are taken care of first always put some money away for a rainy day. 7) Trick yourself into saving. For me this is putting change in a jar. Change to me doesn’t feel like real money so I’m less likely to spend it. Also, when you go to the bank if you are having a hard time saving money. Ask for that amount you want to save per month in change. Want to save $100….Ask for it in quarters then add it to your change fund. If you do this you will probably have over $2000 saved at the end of 12 months. It’s amazing how it adds 8) Focus on your monthly bills that can be negotiated or reduced. Things like cable, entertainment and even car insurance can be reduced. Can you live without cable and just have Netflix? Can you switch insurance companies? Maybe entertainment will be less eating out or movies out? The less expenses you have the more financially free you will be. 9) Find ways to not only save money but also focus on bringing in extra money. If you are a stay at home mom then you have time on your side. Can you sell on eBay? I’ve been selling on eBay for years and it’s a great way to bring in an extra paycheck. Do you write? Take on some side gigs for people that need work done but lack time to do it. Sign up for a freelance virtual assistant job. There are so my companies that hire V.A’s it is a win-win situation. You do a project for them, you get paid. They save money by hiring per project rather than taking on a new employee full time. Sell on craigslist flip furniture….there are so many things you can do to bring in extra money. You can afford to be a stay at home mom, you just might not realize it yet. See my other blogs for more money making, money saving and work at home ideas Bringingmomshome.blogspot.com Mommiesfrugalfinds.com
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