Shop Your Closet to Find 7 Last-Minute Halloween Costumes (For Free!)

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Shop Your Closet to Find 7 Last-Minute Halloween Costumes (For Free!)
Costume parties in and of themselves seem like a great idea. That is, until you realize that you’re about to spend $50+ and countless hours putting together an outfit you’ll wear once before shoving it deep under the bed with the rest of your one-hit-wonder Halloween ensembles. And while I always try to be frugal (because despite my over-the-top holiday enthusiasm, I’m still a Penny Hoarder at heart), I’m also pretty lazy when it comes to Halloween costumes. I always think I’m going to go all out and DIY my costume, but then every year, without fail, I end up running to the store at the last minute and spending a lot of money. There has to be a better way to go about this whole costume business — a way that, ideally, won’t cost any money at all.   7 Last-Minute Halloween Costumes You Can Make at Home If your aim is to wear a completely free (we like free!) costume on Halloween, start with your closet. Chances are you already have a few costume pieces lurking in the dark recesses of your wardrobe. I mean, there’s gotta be a reason you didn’t throw out that Hawaiian print shirt from the summer of ‘92 yet, right?! I started brainstorming and managed to put together seven great options that I could wear to a Halloween costume party — using only things I already owned. 1. Tourist This one might be the easiest costume on this list to pull off. I mean, who among us doesn’t have a pair of shorts, a brightly colored shirt and some tacky socks you can pair with sandals? Slap on a straw hat or visor and some sunglasses and grab a camera or a map and you’re ready to go. A sunscreened nose will only make your costume more realistic (although a little messy). 2. Fortune Teller For this one, you’ll need drapey, flowy clothing, a scarf or headband and lots of stacked jewelry (never enough jewelry). If you’re not totally convinced that your costume is convincing, carry around a prop like a Magic Eight Ball (or a plain glass orb, if you just so happen to have one lying around) and make vague but ominous statements all night about how your friends’ Mondays will go. 3. Minion Overalls were like the parachute pants of 2017: You either own three pairs already, or you’re desperately looking for an excuse to add them to your closet. Add in a yellow shirt (any shade will get the point across), black shoes and gloves and a pair of round glasses or goggles (find an awesome DIY tutorial here), and you’re all set to annoy the living daylights out of everyone at the party. 4. Pinup Girl High-waisted shorts + a button-down shirt + wedges + red lipstick + bandana = perfect pinup girl. Follow a YouTube tutorial like this one to achieve that flawless pinup hair curl (I promise, it’s actually so much easier than it looks), and you’re ready to make old-fashioned gentlemen swoon. FROM THE SAVE MONEY FORUM Teaching Your Kids to Save: I am a Bit Confused (HELP) 10/10/19 @ 12:24 PM Traveling All 50 States On a Budget 10/9/19 @ 8:40 PM Acorns 8/14/19 @ 6:00 PM See more in Save Money or ask a money question 5. Witch This costume is less classic witch and more witchy-esque. I mean, does anyone just casually own a pointy hat? No matter: Throw on lots of black layers, add some dramatic makeup, frizz up your hair and add some drippy black jewelry and no one will even question your costume (mostly out of fear). Bonus points if you’re willing to carry a broom around all night. 6. Zombie This one doesn’t take a lot of… wait for it… brains to figure out. (I know, I know. I already docked myself three whole funny points.) But seriously, all you need is holey, grungy clothes: ripped jeans, an old work shirt, a plaid button-up and a pair of dirty sneakers. This will either read as zombie or “midnight Taco Bell run” depending on how you accessorize — which is why you can’t skip the makeup. Use dark eyeshadow around your eyes and under your cheeks, rat your hair and add some twigs and leaves and you’re good to go. 7. Greaser This one’s a classic, and honestly if you try to tell me you don’t own a white T-shirt and leggings or jeans, I won’t believe you. Tie a scarf around your neck, slip on a pair of sneakers or wedges, throw a jacket (denim, leather or bomber) over your shoulder and you’re good to go. Bonus: This one makes for an excellent couples costume, too. Trick or Treat! Assuming you own at least a pair of jeans and some dark makeup, I’d say we’ve just about solved your last-minute costume woes. Now you officially have no excuse for not showing up to the party in a costume that could shock Frankenstein’s monster to life. Grace Schweizer is an email content writer at The Penny Hoarder. She’s just trying to figure out if there’s a way to combine all her best costume ideas into one. Is there such a thing as a fortuwitcheaserpinuzombieist? This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017. [...]
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Life Update: Pregnancy (week 11) & a trip to South Africa & Herndon, VA

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Life Update: Pregnancy (week 11) & a trip to South Africa & Herndon, VA
Welcome to my weekly life update where I share about my pregnancy & give you a peek into our life this past week. If you want to follow a lot more behind-the-scenes and real-time updates every week, be sure to follow my stories and posts on Instagram. In case you missed last week’s update, check it out here. 11 weeks! I’m so excited to be getting close to the 2nd trimester! This week was a week full of ups and downs. I had some really bad days and two surprisingly decent days where I actually had a few short windows where I didn’t feel nauseous. It was the most incredible feeling and, even though it was short-lived, it was just the encouragement I needed after having a really rough and discouraging week last week nausea-wise. (By the way, it seems that most people have told me that their nausea is always worst in the mornings. For some reason, mine gets progressively worse as the day goes on. By bedtime, it’s at the severe level and often keeps me up for a few hours. I don’t have any explanation for this but it’s how it’s been in all my pregnancies so I guess it just is what it is!) HIGHLIGHTS: I had another doctor’s appointment this week and another ultrasound. Since Jesse and Kathrynne are in South Africa, I took Silas and Kaitlynn with me to the appointment. It was exciting for them to get to see our baby on the screen! Also, my doctor says the baby has grown quite a bit & everything is looking so healthy. NOTABLE: We had the NIPT test done this week. We opted to do it for a variety of reasons, even though it’s not 100% accurate. One exciting side benefit: we should be finding out what we’re having in the next two weeks! We haven’t decided whether we’ll be telling people or not. We didn’t find out with either of the girls but chose to find out with Silas and decided that we preferred finding out to being surprised. However, with Silas, we decided to keep it a secret from everyone, including our extended family. We may or may not do that again. WEIGHT GAIN: A total of 4 pounds so far… which means that I have officially outgrown a lot of my clothes. I ordered a few new tunic tops from Amazon and a few new pairs of leggings. I also went through my closet and pared it down to the looser-fitting tops/bottoms I already own that I can still into comfortably. I’m guessing I’ll be transitioning to maternity clothes sometime in the next 4-6 weeks. (If I remember right, I usually start wearing them around 17-20 week but I feel like my belly has popped faster this pregnancy!) A Peek Into Our Week A number of you have asked for me to post a picture of Quill (our pet hedgehog). He’s doing so well and has grown so big. A Trip to South Africa Jesse and Kathrynne flew to South Africa on Wednesday to visit our friends there and see how things were going with the ministry we support there. (We usually go every year and it’s one of my favorite places ever, but for some reason, I didn’t feel a peace about going this year. It didn’t make any sense at all, but I just felt strongly that I wasn’t supposed to go… little did I know that it was going to be because I was pregnant!) They’ve been sending me pictures of their time there and I am just so happy for them. Jesse said that Kathrynne is having the best time and it warms my mama heart so much to see my girl halfway around the world loving on these kids and teens. While they’ve been gone, we stayed busy back here. I got to interview Aundi Kolber for next week’s podcast episode. I can’t wait for you to listen to this episode; it is fantastic! (Also, we looked like we were dressed for a gender reveal party or something! I didn’t even realize it until I looked at the picture we took together after she left!) I also was so excited one morning to feel well enough to go to Kroger quickly and pick up their Friday-Saturday deals! A Trip to Herdon, VA And then Kaitlynn and Silas flew with me to Herdon, VA for me to speak at the 2:1 conference. (I usually only bring one child with me on speaking engagements, but since they were both on fall break and Jesse and Kathrynne were gone, they both got to come with me!) One of the highlights of the conference was getting to meet Janet Benge, who has co-authored so many of the Christian Heroes Then and Now books. I had to get a picture for my mom. I loved getting to do a breakout workshop about exploding your engagement on Instagram! The attendees were the best and I could have stayed for another hour or two and answered all the questions I didn’t get to answer during the session and at the end! One of my favorite things is getting to help others also fall in love with the power of Instagram. Speaking of which, are you following me on Instagram? If not, you’re missing out as I share lots of behind-the-scenes, money-saving deals, and real-time updates there… many that I never get space to share here on the blog! I also gave the morning keynote sharing how my parents impacted my life and the power of legacy. What I’m… Reading right now: The Only Plane in the Sky (Note: This has a little bit of language in it, but it is a very worthwhile read and I would highly recommend it.) Watching right now: Have you seen the Enneagram Rhapsody? Multiple sent it to me this week and I had to laugh because there was so much truth in it. If you are an Enneagram fan, you’ll probably love it, if you haven’t seen it yet. 🙂 Listening to right now: This week, I’ve been listening to the Serene and Pearl UnShow at night when I have trouble sleeping because of nausea. I love the Trim Healthy Mama podcast and their quirky sense of humor and the way they disagree with one another and tease one another. (A lot of people are annoyed with how they talk over each other on their podcast. I happen to love it — probably because I grew up in a large family and we are always talking over each other and teasing one another mercilessly!) Loving right now: This kimono (I have it on in the photo at the top of this post. It’s perfect to dress up an outfit, so comfortable, and is something I’ve worn multiple times in the last month!) What are YOU reading, watching, listening to, and loving right now? I’d love to hear! In Case You Missed It: Guess what? I actually went to Kroger! Jesse Answers Your Burning Questions 2019 Goals: September Update [...]
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The Demand for Medical Coders Is on the Rise. Here’s How to Land a Gig

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The Demand for Medical Coders Is on the Rise. Here’s How to Land a Gig
After two years of following a doctor around the office as a medical assistant, Raina Diaz was ready for a change. “I wanted to be part of the back end of the medical field,” says Diaz, 47, of St. Petersburg, Florida. She enrolled at her local state college, where she learned that becoming a medical coder could be a way of staying in her field without being on the front lines. Now as a certified coder she analyses clinical statements and assigns standard codes using a classification system.  “I like the solitude, keeping busy reading the reports and figuring everything out,” says Diaz, who specializes in radiology.  According to 2016 data from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the demand for medical coders is expected to rise 13% by 2026 due to an aging population that will require medical care. The average median salary of a medical coder in 2017 was $39,180.  With demand in this occupation increasing, we spoke with professionals working in the field and the classroom about how to become a medical coder. First, What Does a Medical Coder Do?  Before you receive a bill from a hospital or a doctor’s office, a medical coder processes your medical chart. The chart contains your diagnosis, treatment plan and other relevant information. It’s the job of a medical coder to review those records and put the relevant information into a coded classification system, says Kengia Sabree, the health information technology academic chairwoman at St. Petersburg College.  “The purpose of coding is to help reflect the severity of illness,” she says. “So if you’re not coding correctly, you’re not necessarily capturing how sick the patient is or all of the resources the hospital is using to care for the patient.”  Once all the information is coded, it’s sent to the billing department so the hospital or doctor’s practice can bill the patient or their insurance company.  What Kind of Credentials Do I Need?  The two organizations that provide coding credentials are the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) and the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC).  Each specializes in different areas of coding: AHIMA focuses on inpatient coding used in hospitals, while AAPC focuses on outpatient coding for physicians’ offices or clinics.  Pro Tip Aspiring coders should have an idea before they begin their studies of what kind of setting they want to work in so they can pursue the right certification. If you’re interested in following the hospital track, look into obtaining the Certified Coding Associate (CCA) entry-level credential through AHIMA. But if working in clinics or outpatient centers sounds like a better fit, then go for the Certified Professional Coder (CPC) entry-level credential with AAPC. Obtaining the CCA can demonstrate that you know the basics of coding, but it may not open up all hospital job opportunities. The Certified Coding Specialist credential (CCS) is a more advanced certification that requires on-the-job coding experience before you’re eligible to take it.  “If you want to advance in a hospital, you’ll need a CCS after one year in the field,” Sabree says. Do I Need a College Degree for Medical Coding? Sabree says aspiring medical coders have two options to consider when they begin their studies. They can take the core classes needed to prepare for the CCA exam, or they can earn a Health Information Technology associate of science degree — the parent degree for medical coding. Students who want to get into the workforce as quickly as possible should pursue a medical coding certificate, Sabree says. This certificate program includes essential classes like anatomy and physiology, medical terminology, intro to health information management, coding classes and field experience.  While that may be the quickest way into the field, Sabree encourages her students to stay and get their two-year associate degree. If the coder ever decides to go into management or move up the ranks in a hospital, they will need to obtain the Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) certification. “It may be a little bit easier to earn the associate’s degree in the beginning to prevent you from having to go back to school,” she says.  Plus, any extra experience and schooling in the beginning can give your resume a boost when applying for those competitive entry-level jobs.  “It’s a very difficult profession to be in without some good educational background and experience,” said Melissa Myrick, director of health information management at BayCare Health Systems in Clearwater, Florida. “We turn away coders quite often based on not having enough education and background for our positions.” Both Sabree and Myrick warn potential coders to research coding programs thoroughly before enrolling and make sure they’re accredited. “We see so many billboards and flyers about becoming a medical coder in 10 weeks or six months,” Sabree say. “Those are what I call the fly-by-night programs. There’s something that you always have to keep in mind wherever you go: [The schools] have to be programmatically accredited.”  Check to see if the school or certificate program is recognized by AHIMA or AAPC. You can check your school’s accreditation through CAHIIM here or AAPC here.  FROM THE MAKE MONEY FORUM Part-Time Remote Opportunities 6/21/19 @ 2:36 PM A Make money watching videos 5/30/19 @ 1:00 PM D Sell photos 6/24/19 @ 7:40 PM Earning Money 6/24/19 @ 5:18 PM A See more in Make Money or ask a money question How to Become a Medical Coder – Who Is Actually Employed Once you have your degree and credentials, it’s time to start applying for jobs. Sabree tells her students to look for positions such as “coding apprenticeships,” “coding level one” and “coding trainee.” “Those are the coding positions that are geared toward people without having the experience, and then the facility typically guides you from there,” she says. Some medical facilities give exams to figure out which types of coding are best for the new coder. X-rays, electrocardiograms and emergency room coding are typical entry-level coding gigs. Myrick says most coders will need to start there before moving to more complex specialties.  In recent years, the option to work from home has become more available. Sabree says some places are hiring people to work remotely right away, while others require coders to meet productivity goals before giving them that option. Who is best suited for this line of work? Lifelong learners who are interested in medicine. A Word About Automation Like many professions, computer automation is disrupting the medical coding field. Computer-assisted coding already does some of the work that humans used to do. But not all of it, and that’s key. Simply put, computer-assisted coding, or CAC, automatically generates medical codes directly from clinical documentation. And with the advent of electronic medical records, where every piece of a patient’s information is contained in a unique field rather than scribbled in a doctor’s handwriting, it’s easy to see how computers can do that work. But there’s always the possibility for error, [...]
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Alaska Airlines Credit Card Adds Discounts for Lounge Access, In-Flight Purchases

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Alaska Airlines Credit Card Adds Discounts for Lounge Access, In-Flight Purchases
Bank of America® and Alaska Airlines recently rolled out new perks for cardholders of the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card. New and existing cardholders get 20% back on Alaska Airlines in-flight purchases and a 50% discount on lounge day passes when they pay with their Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card. Here’s what you... Meghan Coyle is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: mcoyle@nerdwallet.com. The article Alaska Airlines Credit Card Adds Discounts for Lounge Access, In-Flight Purchases originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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Chase Launches Student Credit Card in Branches Only

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Chase Launches Student Credit Card in Branches Only
If you’re a college student who isn’t ready to throw a graduation cap into the air just yet, take a look at the hat Chase just tossed into the ring. A few months ahead of the new semester, the issuer has launched Chase Freedom Student, a credit card designed for those still in school. As of June 9,... Melissa Lambarena is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: mlambarena@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @LissaLambarena. The article Chase Launches Student Credit Card in Branches Only originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
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Make Your Money Work for You: The Ultimate Guide to Setting Financial Goals

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Make Your Money Work for You: The Ultimate Guide to Setting Financial Goals
Saving money is all well and good in theory. It’s pretty hard to argue having more cash in your pocket could ever be a bad thing. But what are you saving for? After all, money is just a tool. If you don’t have solid financial goals, all those hoarded pennies might end up floating in limbo when they could be put to good use. Figuring out where your money should go might seem daunting, but it’s actually a lot of fun. You get to analyze your own priorities and decide exactly what you think you should do with your hard-earned cash. Talk about adulting, right? But to make the most of your money, follow a few best practices while setting your goals. After all, even if something seems like exactly what you want right now, it might not be in future-you’s best interest. And you’re playing the long game… that’s why they’re called goals! What to Do Before You Start Writing Your Financial Goals To keep yourself from deciding your financial goals are “buy the coolest toys and cars, get deeply into debt and watch my credit score plummet” — all super easy to do — we’ve compiled this guide. It’ll help you set goals and create smart priorities for your money. That way, however you decide to spend your truly discretionary income, you won’t leave the 10-years-from-now version of you in the lurch. First Things First: How Much Money Do You Have? You can’t decide on your short- or long-term financial goals if you don’t know how much money you have or where it’s going. And if you’re operating without a budget, it can be easy to run out of money well before you run out of expenses — even if you know exactly how much is in your paycheck. So sit down and take a good, hard look at all of your financial info. A ton of great digital apps can help you do this — here are our favorite budgeting apps — but it can be as simple as a spreadsheet or even a good, old-fashioned piece of paper. It just takes two steps: Figure out how much money you have. It might be in checking or savings accounts, including long-term accounts like IRAs. Or, it might be wrapped up in investments or physical assets, like your paid-off car. Assess any debts you have. Do you keep a revolving credit card balance? Do you pay a mortgage each month? Are your student loans still hanging around? Take the full amount of money you owe and subtract it from the total amount you have, which you discovered in step one. The difference between the two is your net worth. That’s the total amount of money you have to your name. If it seems like a lot, cool. Hang tight and don’t let it burn a hole in your pocket. We’re not done yet. If it seems like… not a lot, well, you’re about to fix that. Keep reading. Create a Budget Once you’ve learned your net worth, you need to start thinking about a working budget. This will essentially be a document with your total monthly income at the top and a list of all the expenses you need to pay for every month. And I do mean all of the expenses — that $4.99 recurring monthly payment for your student-discounted Spotify account definitely counts. Your expenses probably include rent, electricity, cable or internet, a cell phone plan, various insurance policies, groceries, gas and transportation; and other looser categories like charitable giving, entertainment and travel. Pro Tip Print out the last two or three months of statements from your credit and debit cards and categorize every expense. You can often find ways to save by discovering patterns in your spending habits. It’ll depend on your individual case — for instance, I totally have “wine” as a budget line item. See? It’s all about priorities. Start by listing how much you actually spent in each category last month. Subtract your total expenses from your total income. The difference should be equal to the amount of money left sitting in your bank account at month’s end. It’s also the money you can use toward your long-term financial goals. Want the number to be bigger? Go back through your budget and figure out where you can afford to make cuts. Maybe you can ditch the cable bill and decide between Netflix or Hulu, or replace one takeout lunch with a packed version. You don’t need to abandon the idea of having a life (and enjoying it), but there are ways to make budgetary adjustments that work for you. Set the numbers you’re willing to spend in each category, and stick to them. Congratulations. You’re in control of your money. Now you can figure out exactly what you want to do with it. How to Set Your Financial Goals Before you run off to the cool-expensive-stuff store, hold on a second. Your financial goals should be (mostly) in this order: Build an emergency fund. Pay down debt. Plan for retirement. Set short-term and long-term financial goals. We say “mostly” because it’s ultimately up to you to decide in which order you want to accomplish them. Many experts suggest making sure you have an emergency fund in place before aggressively going after your debt. But if you’re hemorrhaging money on sky-high interest charges, you might not have much expendable cash to put toward savings. That means you’ll pay the interest for a lot longer — and pay a lot more of it — if you wait to pay it down until you have a solid emergency fund saved up. 1. Build an Emergency Fund Finding money to sock away each month can be tough, but just starting with $10 or $25 of each paycheck can help. You can make the process a lot easier by automating your savings. Or you can have money from each paycheck automatically sent to a separate account you won’t touch. You also get to decide the size of your emergency fund, but a good rule of thumb is to accumulate three to six times the total of your monthly living expenses. Good thing your budget’s already set up so you know exactly what that number is, right? You might try to get away with a smaller emergency fund — even $1,000 is a better cushion than nothing. But if you lose your job, you still need to be able to eat and make rent. 2. Pay Down Debt Now, let’s move on to repaying debt. Why’s it so important, anyway? Because you’re hemorrhaging money on interest charges you could be applying toward your goals instead. So even though becoming debt-free seems like a big expense and sacrifice right now, you’re doing yourself a huge financial favor in the long run. There’s lots of great information out there about how to pay off debt, but it’s really a pretty simple operation: You need to put every single penny you can spare toward your debts until they disappear. One method is known as the debt avalanche method, which involves paying off debt with the highest interest rates first, thereby reducing the overall amount you’ll shell out for interest. For example, if you have a $1,500 revolving balance on a credit card with a 20% APR, it gets priority over your $14,000, 5%-interest car loan — even though the second number is so much bigger. Pro Tip If you’re motivated by quick wins, the debt snowball method may be a good fit for you. It involves paying off one loan balance at a time, starting with the smallest balance first. Make a list of your debts and (ideally) don’t spend any of your spare money on anything but paying them off until the number after every account reads “$0.” Trust me, the day when you become debt-free will be well worth the effort. As a bonus, if your credit score could be better, repaying revolving debt will also help you repair it — just in case some of your goals (like buying a home) depend upon your credit report not sucking. 3. Plan for Retirement All right, you’re all set in case of an emergency and you’re living debt-free. Congratulations! We’re almost done with the hard part, I promise. But there’s one more very important long-term financial goal you most definitely want to keep in mind: retirement. Did you know almost half of Americans have abs [...]
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This Week’s $70 Grocery Budget (+ our menu plan!)

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This Week’s $70 Grocery Budget (+ our menu plan!)
I’m currently challenging myself to stick with a $70 budget for our family of five. This includes almost all of our breakfasts, lunches, snacks, and dinners + most household products (toiletries, laundry soap, etc.). For live updates, be sure to follow my Instagram Stories. See all posts on my $70 Grocery Budget here. Note: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links and we will be compensated if you click through and sign up. Read our disclosure policy here. I was excited about the Buy 5, Get $5 Off Sale that Kroger was running this week! Barbecue Sauce for $0.49 — no coupon needed? Sign me up! I was sad to find that my store was completely sold out of the Pancake Mix that was on sale for just $0.99. But I still have three boxes of pancake mix that I got on sale/marked down, so I can totally wait for another sale! Here’s what I got at Kroger on Tuesday (I especially excited to finally find another markdown on eggs again!): Kroger Shopping Trip #1: Chex cereal — marked down to $0.69 5 dozen cage-free brown eggs — marked down to $0.99 each 2 Moose Tracks yogurt — marked down to $0.25 each 2 Simple Truth yogurts — marked down to $0.49 each Simple Truth Organic Maple Syrup — $3.99, used $1/1 Kroger digital coupon = $2.99 2 boxes Kroger Raisin Bran — $1.49 each Hillshire Farm ham — marked down to $2.19 Hillshire Farm brats — marked down to $1.49 each 3 Bountiful Salad Kits — marked down to $1 each 2 pounds Private Selection Ground Beef — marked down to $3.79 each 1 bag of onions — marked down to $0.99 Vitamin D milk — $2.69 Huggies baby wipes — $0.99 when you buy 5 participating items, used $0.50/1 Kroger digital coupon = $0.49 2 bottles Kraft barbecue sauce — $0.49 each when you buy 5 participating items Suave Kids’ Shampoo — $1.99 each when you buy 5 participating items, used $1/1 Kroger digital coupon = $0.99 2 Speedstick deodorant — $0.99 each when you buy 5 participating items Sara Lee whole wheat bread — $1.49 when you buy 5 participating items Tropicana Probiotic — marked down to $1.29 Bear Naked Granola — $2.49 when you buy 5 participating items, used $3/1 Kroger digital coupon = free after coupon Stayfree pads — $1.99 when you buy 5 participating items, used $2/2 Kroger digital coupon = $0.99 after coupon Total with tax: $44.06 Need an end of year Teacher Gift? Here’s a great idea! Asheritah wrote in and said: “I made your chocolate chip cookies today for my preschooler to take to school. They’re DELICIOUS! I feel like I’m #winning at this mom thing… at least for a nanosecond out of my day.” (By the way, here’s the free label she used.) Did you see my post on 5 Things You Should NOT Buy at Aldi? By the way, the marked down Lentil Salad I got above was kind of blah and I wouldn’t buy it again. I was super stoked that Kroger had a weekend sale on butter! We had just ran out of the butter I bought in the last sale! Did you get your free Core Hydration Water at Kroger? Kroger Shopping Trip #2: 2 bags of peppers — marked down to $0.99 each 1 bag of oranges/lemons — marked down to $0.99 each 1 bag of oranges — marked down to $0.99 2 tubs of salsa — marked down to $0.50 each 1 bottle of organic carrot juice — marked down to $1 Core water — FREE King’s Hawaiian Rolls — marked down to $1.79 5 jars of Prego — $0.99 each with Friday-Saturday special deals 5 pounds of butter — $1.99 each with the Friday-Saturday special deals Total with tax: $24.07 We kicked off 100 Days of Summer Fun on Saturday with walking to Sonic. Our goal is to do some simple family fun activity every day for the next 100 days. If you want to join us, you can follow along with my Instagram stories where I’ll be documenting what we do each day. (And if you want to join us, I’d love for you to share your family fun on Instagram or Facebook and tag me (@themoneysavingmom) and use the hashtag #100DaysofSummerFun.) What We Ate This Past Week Note: When you see the meals below, please remember this: I buy ahead often. Which means that when I find a great deal on something I know we’ll use, I buy as much as I can afford in our budget to have on hand. This means that you aren’t going to see all of the groceries my shopping trip that I used to make all of the meals we ate. Please also remember that I’m putting this out there and it’s not a perfectly balanced menu. This is just really what we ate — and I hope that it encourages you to see the real-ness and lack of perfection here. Our Menu Plan Breakfasts: Cereal, Oatmeal, Scrambled Eggs, Toast Lunches: Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwiches, Carrots, Oranges, Salads, Leftovers, Cookies Snacks: Fruit, Peppers, Popcorn, Ice Cream, Hard Boiled Eggs Dinners: Sunday — Leftover ziti, Bread Machine Buttery Rolls, salad, peas Monday — Leftovers (We apparently made way too much for when we had guests over on Saturday night! Hey, at least it meant I got two nights off from cooking!) Tuesday — Corn bread, ground beef with tomatoes and onions, fruit Wednesday — Leftover corn bread with chili and cheese Thursday — KFC Friday — Breakfast for dinner: pancakes, sausage, fruit Saturday — Leftover pancakes and sausage, frozen pizza + we walked to Sonic and the kids got drinks and chili dogs Grocery Budget Totals Total spent on groceries: $68.13 Cashback earned this week: 136 points for submitting my receipts to Fetch rewards + $0.20 for submitting my receipt to iBotta rewards. [...]
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