Hi there, Sandi here, mom of two little boys ages 7 and 9. I don’t know about you but I’m excited to see the calendar quickly approaching back to school for my boys! Ok, so things my not be the same entirely, some of their classmates might not be there and everyone will be wearing masks like we’re in a strange movie but, nevertheless we digress.
I started shopping today for school supplies and here’s what I found at my local Dollar General!
.25 glue sticks
.75 filler paper
.50 pencil sharpeners
$1.25 Mechanical pencils
Bought all of this stuff in twos (except folders bought 6)
Total $10.90 for almost everything I need in the school supply department for my two lil guys.
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
10 Must Read Money Saving Tips For 2016 1) The more you run around, the more you spend. Those extra trips to the store for eggs, milk, bread…whatever can add up. Do you really ever just buy that when you run to the store? Most of the time probably not. The more times you go to the store the more you will spend. The solution. Meal plan and go with a grocery list. Plan your meals around what’s on sale for the week too. 2) Utilize free public activities. Get your taxes worth! Use free services like, the library, you can check out books instead of buying them, rent movies, music and even use the internet. Walk your kids to the park. If you have a neighborhood park like I do, take a walk, get some exercise (save money on gym as well) my kids love our park. You can take a ball and play soccer, have a picnic, or just use the trail. Our local park has an amazing nature trail and even has work out equipment like exercise bikes you can stop and use. 3) Research sales cycles. I don’t know about you but I love saving money on everything. I rarely pay full price for anything. It pains me to pay full price. Plan ahead. It’s Jan. 2016 now so I like to think 6 months ahead so I will be looking for summer clothing, shoes and even things like camping items, pools, etc. This is the best time to buy these kinds of items when the demand is the lowest. If you are a re-seller (see my eBook Money Making Mommies for more on this) you know this is the best time to buy your inventory for the next season. You can get your max. return this way. 4) Change adds up. Think you can’t save? Think again. When you get paid go to your bank and ask for the amount you would like to save for the week or the month, etc. in change. Want to save $100 every time you get paid? Ask for that amount in quarters. Then put this money in a 5 gallon water cooler jug. Save for one year and then either take to the bank and get cash or even better if your company does 401k matching contributions use it for that. You will have $4800 for just one year, just from some quarters. Not a bad deal right? An easy way to trick yourself into saving. I don’t know about you but for me change feels less like real money, so I’m less likely to use it. 5) If you are thinking of making a big purchase like new furniture. Stop yourself! Think to yourself first….can I buy this used? You can save half or more just by buying used. I have young kids so I took a vow not to buy any new furniture until they are off to college. 6) Evaluate your budget and if you have cut back everything you possibly can. You may just need to earn more money. There are so many ways you can do this at home these days in your spare time. Check out, textbroker, Upwork, Elance, even Craigslist under gigs, sell on ebay (see my ebook How to sell on Ebay like a BOSS: Seller Secrets revealed). 7) Make things yourself. Learning the value of doing something yourself is priceless. Learn how to fix a faucet, dry wall, or even learn how to repair a seam or take in a dress. Save your money and do it yourself. 8) Learn how to do your own taxes. Many tax schools offer free taxes; you can even secure employment this way. You can save hundreds every year just learning this one skill. Save money on other fees like legal fees by learning how to prepare legal forms yourself. Or instead of hiring a lawyer, hire a paralegal. Yes they don’t offer any legal advice but you can save big on things like divorce and bankruptcy. 9) Don’t be afraid of discount stores. I love The Dollar Tree (see my youtube channel mommas2monkeys for haul videos) I find so many things that other retail stores like Target and Walmart have like name brand makeup, hair products, household items, décor, birthday supplies, but for only $1. 10) Sign up for a credit monitoring service. Raising your credit score could mean the difference in thousands in interest or it could mean you won’t qualify at all for that car loan or mortgage. Knowing you score is invaluable.
The Kardashians are a glamorized, highly publicized, and an idealistic version of the modern day ‘Jonses’. Ok minsus, sex changes, alcoholism and big butts. Why do we as Americans watch this show anyway? I have watched this show a few times, I have a weakness for reality T.V. what can I say? For me the reason why I watch this show is just for the simple fact that these people have problems too. Just because they have millions of dollars doesn’t buy them a free ticket to a problem free existence and that makes me in some small way feel better about my life, wow did I really just admit that!? Some of what they go through feels very staged but in a way they are just a typical family underneath it all. While we might be able to relate to them in some ways, we all can’t live that lifestyle. We have what I like to refer to as ‘iwantitis’ we want what everyone else has. The latest iPhone, the bigger house, the more impressive car, the latest tech gadget but living this way is not going to buy happiness. It will keep you in debt, working long hours, paying for a house you only sleep in, financing a car you practically live in and providing for a family you rarely see. Is this happiness? What if we could change our mindset? Sc$#@ 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
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas….everywhere, literally everywhere you go. Is it just me or does it come earlier and earlier every year? It seems like Halloween isn’t even over and you start seeing Christmas decor. So this year instead of turning my head and thinking omg, I am so not ready. I decided to embrace the thought of decorating early. (See pic, this is my house, not bad for $60 spent at the Dollar Tree right?) Yes, our tree is already up!!!! since November 8th! I did this for several reasons. First of all last year was really hard emotionally and financially. I just left my husband after being Married 16 years. Just getting thru everyday was more of a priority. I put everything off but in the end with a little help I was able to have a great Christmas for my boys. Secondly, I feel like I’m just In a better position this year emotionally as well as financially. More reasons I wanted to get it out of the way because I am going back to school and working hard on a lot of projects. My boys love Christmas and my oldest son’s bday is Dec. 22 so I also have a bday the same week as Christmas…then mine is two weeks later. All of the best Christmas decorations are fully stocked. Waiting really limits the possibilities of getting what you want. As soon as Thanksgiving is over it is game on! And shopping becomes like wrestle mania! You have to fight for what you want. (Wait isn’t that true for really anything? Lol) I was able to get some awesome decor at the Dollar Tree, all of it fully stocked!!!! And super cheap got everything for $60! They really have stepped it up and got better quality items too. It would be a tragity to buy this stuff anywhere else. I think we saved around 75 percent by shopping here compared to maybe Target or Walmart Ok enough about decor…back to having an amazing Christmas on a tight budget. Here are some tips and tricks. #1 set a limit per child. Obviously older kids are going to want more expensive gifts so they may only get a few while the younger ones will get several smaller cheaper gifts. I only have young kids ages 2 and 4 so they don’t understand prices or brands which makes shopping easier. #2 Think outside of the box. Shop other stores you may have overlooked before. Ever thought to Christmas shop at Walgreens? I shop there every year to get toys. Now I don’t get all of the toys there but I finish my shopping there. I have been able to get two carts full of toys for less than $100 buy utilizing there sales with the buy two get one free or buy three get two free toys! Be on the lookout for those sales! #3 Use layaway. I usually only use Kmart for Christmas layaway but this year I think I will use Walmart and see if I can save more. The down side is not being able to put clothes on layaway so I may go to Kmart as well. Layaway is awesome because you can pay in payments and you don’t have to worry about hiding the gifts, you can pick up the week of Christmas wrap it all and find a temporary hiding spot. #4 If you are on a very tight budget and you are going through hard times and don’t see how you are going to pull off the holidays here are some ways you can get help. Call the Salvation Army and sign up for food baskets and toy giveaways. Call churches and see if they offer any help What organizations are you involved in? So many organizations offer help. My son’s school offers all kinds of resources (head start) a great program for low and moderate income kids and their families. Cal for referrals to other programs and resources. I don’t think you necessarily need to be homeless. It doesn’t hurt to call and ask. Social services can offer resources or give you some suggestions # 5 Plan early. Start as soon as possible, setting money aside and planning your Christmas budget. Also, prepare for unexpected guests and have little gifts on hand for gift giving like boxes of candy, lotions, small gift baskets, etc. #6 Start a change fund for Christmas in Jan. (While this won’t help this year it is an idea for next year so you won’t stress out last minute). How this works is put all of you change in a big jar or five gallon water jug. All of you change at the end of the day is put in it. If you save all coins you could have around $3000 on average at the end of the year. #7 Cut your budget per gift in half if you spent $20 on each giftlast year try cutting it to ten. There are so many good deals that this is easy with a little planning and you may have to shop several stores and have a little patience. #8 Does it have to be new? If you have really little kids to buy for, do they really care about the box? No, they just rip into them. They want the toy! If there is a toy your child wants that’s out of your budget you might be able to find it used on eBay or craigslist, or even a thrift store, yard sale or consignment store. Just make sure all the pieces are there and it’s clean and in good condition. You could even trade old toys for store credit to get new ones at some children’s consignment stores #9Sell old items like toys and clothing on capitalist and eBay for extra Christmas money. #10 Make gifts. If you are crafty you might be able to make things like leg warmers, scarfs, gloves, hats, blankets or jewelry. Try reusing materials. You can repurpose old clothes to make a quilt. For jewelry you might be able to redesign old costume jewelry and for leg warmers, think old sweaters. #11 Black Fiday and Cyber monday. If you can brave the long wait, crowds snd chaos uou can get some great deals. I personally like cyber monday better, it’s less stress for sure and a lot of stores offer free shipping. #12 Gift wrap cards and postage. Use flat rate priority for everything. This is a money and time save for several reasons. No weighing, if it fits it ships. Try redesigning the box to fit more. The flat rate envelopes can hold more if you make the bottom flat. Another plus, free tracking and insurance and drum roll.please, no stress, just schedule a pick up. The post office will come get it. Just print your labels at usps.gov and schedule a pick up. They will even drop the boxes off, just go to usps.gov to order supplies. Cards and gift wrap can be purchased at dollar stores. Why would u want to shop anywhere else? And spend double or even triple. You can even use fabric scraps and old ribbon to wrap gifts. Hope these tips helped relieve a little holiday stress! Wishing you and your families a wonderful holiday season!