Life gets better as we get older. It may sound trite, but it’s true. As the pressures and insecurities of youth fade, we can finally relax, comfortable in our own skin, and enjoy the simple pleasures and joys of daily life. But it’s silly to deny that as we move into the “back nine” of our lives, we might slow down a bit. Perhaps it’s not quite as easy to open that... [...]
Want to see what we bought for this week’s $70 grocery budget? 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.
Last week, I only spent $60 on groceries, so I went a little bit over this week. Here’s what we bought…
Kroger Shopping Trip #1
2 bags of apples — marked down to $0.99 each
5 bags of Chicken Breasts — $4.99 per bag with Kroger digital coupon
Total with tax = $28.61
Kroger Shopping Trip #2
4 tubs of lettuce — marked down to $0.99 each
3 bags of apples — marked down to $0.99 each
Promised Land Chocolate Milk — marked down to $0.99
Rice Bitz cereal — marked down to $0.79
Cage-Free eggs — marked down to $1.39
Milk — $2.89
Total with tax: $13.80
Kroger Shopping Trip #3
2 Tyson Anytizer Chicken — $3.99 each with Kroger weekend digital coupon
3 dozen eggs — marked down to $0.39 each
Strawberries — $1.67
Carrots — $0.99
1 bag avocados — marked down to $0.99
Milk — $2.89
Cage-free eggs — marked down to $1.29
Tortillas — $1.50
2 Private Selection Chips — $0.99 each with Kroger weekend digital coupon
Refried beans — marked down to $0.49
4 jars Pace salsa — $0.99 each when Kroger weekend digital coupon
Refried beans — $0.79
Total with tax: $28.89
Dinners This Past Week
Frozen Pizza, Popcorn
Slow Cooker Sausage & Sauerkraut Soup, Biscuits, and Apples
Sausage & Sauerkraut Soup, Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins, and Apples
Roasted Potatoes, Roast in the Crockpot, Instant Pot Apples, Roasted Broccoli
Italian Chicken, Salad
By the way, what are your best tips for keeping lettuce fresh? I don’t want all the lettuce I bought to go to waste before we can use it, but it will probably take us at least 5-7 more days to eat through all that. Any great suggestions? [...]
Did you know you can make money creating printables and selling them online? This is such a great way to make some extra income from home!
Guest post from Bridget of SunshineAndRainyDays.com
When my kids were young, I remember putting them to bed and just sobbing. I absolutely LOVED being a stay-at-home mom and didn’t want that to change, but I felt empty. I needed something more — something that would allow me to have my own identity.
As the kids got a little older, I poured myself into volunteer work. A friend and I started a MOPS group at our church, and I volunteered in my kids’ classrooms, with the PTA, and at church. At one point, I realized my volunteer hours had become a full time job. Counting Box Tops is no joke!
When the kids hit high school, the volunteer opportunities started drying up. I stepped away from my roles at church and decided it was time to pursue something just for me!
I followed a few bloggers, took one of Crystal’s blogging courses, and eventually started creating printables. That’s when everything started to click, and I realized I had found what I really, truly enjoy!
Printables made excellent opt-ins for my blog, but then I discovered you can also make money selling printables. Yay!
What Is A Printable?
A printable is a digital file suitable or fit to be printed or published. That’s a stuffy dictionary definition.
Are you ready for MY definition of printables?
Printables are digital files you can download to your own computer and print at home to make life easier, add fun to your life, keep you organized, or help save you money!
Examples Of Printables
The best printables to sell are the ones with everyday, practical uses. Think about what printables might make life easier or more fun, help someone stay organized or save money — the possibilities are endless!
Here are some examples below of printables I’ve created in the past…
Birthday Party In A Box — This one makes your life easier when you want to send a Birthday Surprise to someone you can’t celebrate with in person. You don’t have to come up with your own box decorations because we’ve done it for you!
Leprechaun’s Loot — Surprise your co-workers, friends, and family with Leprechaun’s Loot to make St. Patrick’s Day a bit more FUN!
Medical Binder — This one is a great example of one way to stay organized with printables.
Christmas Trivia Printables — These make Christmas party planning easier, the party more fun, you’ll impress your guests with your organized game, and you’ll save money because it’s a super inexpensive way to entertain!
How To Create Printables
In the beginning, I created printables using a combination of free programs like Canva, PicMonkey, Numbers, and Pages.
Then, I discovered Affinity Designer. I now create all of my printables in Affinity Designer and can make them look just the way I want with this one app. It’s so easy!
Here’s how to create a printable:
Come up with a printable idea.
Make a quick sketch of your design.
Set up your page in your design software.
Design your printable.
Include your URL and copyright symbol.
Print your design to try it out.
Save as a PDF to share.
For more in depth instructions on creating printables, be sure to check out my guest post over at Your Blogging Mentor.
Where To Sell Printables
Are you excited to create printables, but you aren’t quite sure where to sell them? You actually have quite a few options!
Here are just a few ideas:
1. Gumroad — This is a marketplace for creators to sell their products. I like Gumroad because you can start selling printables without a monthly fee — which makes it a great way to test out your new products. At the time I wrote this article, they take $0.30 + 3.5% one-time fee per sale. You only pay the fee if your product sells, so there’s very little risk. And Gumroad collects the money for you and deposits it (minus fees) into your account. You can go here to see an example of a product I have listed on Gumroad.
2. Shopify — While I still have a few sales trickling in from Gumroad, I pretty much have exclusively switched over to a Shopify store. I love Shopify, because it allows me to create an entire store with different printable collections and they offer a great user experience for your customers. There is a monthly fee, so this is only a good option if you’re at a place where you’re selling printables on a regular basis.
3. Etsy — I have not personally ever sold anything on Etsy, but I know plenty of people who do and are very successful with it! The advantage of Etsy is the massive number of people who frequent the site looking for specific item. Buyers may stumble upon your printables in Etsy through a search on the platform.
4. Teachers Pay Teachers — If you plan to create a lot of educational printables, Teachers Pay Teachers is an excellent platform for you to sell on. Your very first product that you list has to be free, and then you can start charging after that.
5. Sell as a virtual assistant — If you aren’t interested in starting a blog or having your own online store, you have other options — one of which is to sell to bloggers! Most bloggers don’t have time to do everything, so they hire virtual assistants to create printables for them. A great way to find work with bloggers is by searching for Facebook groups where you can advertise your printables to bloggers. One example is this VA for Hire Facebook group. Once you make a sale, you can use a PayPal business account to invoice and collect payment.
6. Create printables for people you know — Another option is to create printables for people you know! Showcase your work on social media and get the word out that you are creating printables for others. As you do more and more work, the word will spread! It can be fun to create printables for customers, because you get to experiment with bringing their vision to life! Just be sure to correctly estimate how long the work will take you and decide on a fair hourly rate that’s worth your time.
Tip: When you create printables for others, be sure to look at it as a business transaction. They will likely have changes they would like you to make and that’s okay! That’s a part of the process and it’s important to not take it personally. Over time, you will learn the likes and dislikes of your customers. This will make future projects go quicker!
It’s nearly impossible to be on every platform, so I recommend that you just pick one to start with and dive in! Learn everything you can about the platform and try it out.
How To Advertise Printables
Once you’ve created a few printables, you need a way to point buyers to your product — which is where advertising comes into play!
If you’re looking for some easy ways to advertise, try one of these:
1. Advertise Through A Blog — The first printables I sold were through blog posts on Sunshine And Rainy Days. I used Gumroad to sell those printables and it worked quite well! (You can see one of my early months of sale from back in 2017 above.) And blog posts continue to be the primary way I advertise printables!
2. Create Pinterest Pins — Pinterest is considered a search engine and many people go to Pinterest to find ideas and solve problems. Create your Pinterest pin, highlight your printable, link it to the product, and pin away! Don’t forget to add keywords and hashtags in the description to help Pinterest users more easily stumble upon your pin in search!
3. Share On Social Media — You can also share your printables on social media with a link to your product. Share on your own page or in Facebook groups. (Just be sure to read group rules to make sure you’re allowed to share in the group.)
Printables Have Huge Potential!
Last year, the kids wanted to throw a Christmas Party for their friends. I [...]
Home improvement projects are never as simple as you initially imagine. Each time you run into a problem, need more supplies or have to outsource labor, the price goes up and up.
You need all the savings you can get. Before your next visit to Lowe’s, try one of these 18 tips and tricks to save money.
How to Save Money at Lowe’s
Lowe’s slogan is, “Do it right for less.” Read these savings strategies before you shop.
1. Be aware of the current sales promotions. Lowe’s has a savings section of its website that shares the latest deals. Flip through the weekly sales ad and make sure to check out what’s on clearance. When you’re in the store, keep your eye out for yellow tags that indicate marked-down prices.
2. Download the Lowe’s app. The app, which is available to download for free on Google Play or the App Store, helps shoppers compare prices, check availability, read product reviews, watch DIY videos and more.
3. Sign up to receive Lowe’s emails. You’ll find exclusive offers and sales promotions in your email, plus the weekly ad, DIY tips and sneak peeks of upcoming in-store events. Register for emails by clicking the link at the bottom right side of Lowe’s homepage. You can also sign up for mobile alerts for savings opportunities.
4. Sign up for a MyLowe’s account. You may not benefit from direct savings from your MyLowe’s account, but you’ll be able to keep track of past purchases with this tool. Having that knowledge comes in handy when you’re shopping for replacement tiles or the same shade of paint you bought two years ago.
5. Use the price match guarantee. If you find another retailer selling the same product for less, Lowe’s will match that price. If you’re comparing prices to an online retailer, you must factor in the cost of shipping and handling. Lowe’s also has a price protection policy, which means if there’s a difference between Lowe’s in-store price and online price, you pay the lesser of the two.
6. Take advantage of free shipping and delivery. Lowe’s offers free shipping on qualifying online orders of $45 or more, or you can choose to have it shipped to your nearest store for self pick-up for free. The retailer also offers free delivery and connection for major appliances (like washers and dryers) as long as you’ve purchased new connectors (like your dryer vent) from Lowe’s.
7. Use Lowe’s Advantage credit card to save 5% off everyday purchases. If you buy something over $299, you may be eligible for six months of no-interest financing. There’s also low-interest financing for orders over $2,000. Lowe’s has a payment calculator so credit card holders can figure out their monthly payments.
8. Take advantage of Lowe’s military discount. Active military personnel and retired veterans can save 10% off eligible purchases every day. Another bonus: Lowe’s has special priority parking spaces for vets.
9. Purchase a discounted gift card. Sites like Raise, CardCookie and Gift Card Granny sell Lowe’s gift cards for slightly less than the card’s value — meaning more savings for you.
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10. Check for rebate offers. Visit Lowe’s online rebate center to see if a recent purchase or an item you’re considering buying comes with a rebate. You can submit your rebate online and check the status of when you can expect your money to arrive.
11. Use coupons and promo codes from sites like RetailMeNot, CouponCabin or Groupon. Some store managers may accept coupons from competitors like The Home Depot, but that’s not a company-wide policy. You also might find coupons for Lowe’s in the moving package when you change your address at the post office.
12. Know the right time to shop. You’ll find major sales around Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Black Friday and Christmas. Lowe’s also has a big sale in late March or early April called Spring Black Friday. A few times a year, the retailer holds special sidewalk sales where you can find substantial deals. If you’re shopping for a specific item — like tools, a grill or patio furniture — our guide on the best time to buy anything can help.
13. Ask for a lower price for damaged or used goods. Put your haggling skills to use to negotiate deals for a floor model or items that may be slightly damaged or worn. Lowe’s will often discount paint that was returned from another customer or scraps of lumber left over from cutting a piece for someone else. You may also find deals on wilting plants that need a bit of reviving.
14. Exchange dying plants for new ones. Lowe’s has a one-year plant guarantee. You can get a replacement plant if its perennials, shrubs or trees don’t make it through the first year. Just bring in the drooping plant and your receipt for an exchange.
15. Learn DIY skills for free. Check out Lowe’s How-To Library to learn how to tackle small projects so you don’t have to pay a professional for the cost of labor. The store also shares gardening tips if you don’t have room in your budget for a landscaper. You can watch Lowe’s YouTube channel where new DIY videos are regularly posted.
16. Occupy the kids with a free craft project. Children can participate in free crafts projects through Lowe’s Build and Grow program. This program is currently only available at store locations near Charlotte, Nashville and Seattle, but the company plans to expand it nationwide.
17. Buy in bulk. Lowe’s has special deals for contractors who buy materials and supplies in bulk. However, you don’t have to be a licensed professional to benefit. Ask for the bulk-price deal if you’re doing a major home renovation that calls for buying a lot of the same product.
18. Get free design advice. If you need advice for your remodel, get assistance from store technicians at the service desk or use the virtual room designer tool.
Bonus Savings Tip: If you’re a Lowe’s employee, you can get up to $2,500 to become certified in a trade (such as carpentry or plumbing) as a part of the company’s Track to the Trades program.
Nicole Dow is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder.
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. [...]
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.
Still needing some school clothes? Old Navy has kids uniform polos for only $3.40!
Right now, Old Navy is offering up to 60% off kids back to school clothes! Plus, today only, you can get an extra 15% off your order when you use the promo code EXTRA at checkout!
Here are some deals you can score…
Get Boys or Girls Uniform Polos for just $3.40 after the promo code!
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Choose free in-store pickup to avoid shipping costs.
Valid today only, August 21, 2019.
Thanks, The Krazy Coupon Lady! [...]
Want to know what books I finished in July? In 2019, I’m sharing the books I read each month and what my honest thoughts were on those books. If you love books, you don’t want to miss this post! (You can see all of my book reviews for this year here.)
I set a goal to finish 80 books in 2019 and a second goal that 40 of those books will be books I already own. (You can see which books I picked to read from those I already own here).
By the way, I’m truly loving using GoodReads to track my reading. You all were right! It is really motivational to see my progress! And I’ve been ahead on my goal for the last month!
I finished 7 books in June —- yay! Here’s what I read + my honest thoughts on each of the books:
Becoming Mrs. Lewis
I am so conflicted on what to say about this book. On the one hand, it was a very well-written story that was pretty captivating, but on the other hand, I struggled to like it.
It’s the unconventional love story of C.S. Lewis and his wife. It was both beautiful and tragic and not at all what I expected.
I wanted to like it, but I just couldn’t.
Some of that was because I think there was too much fiction woven in and I didn’t know what was fact and what was fiction — and that bothered me. Some of it was because I was concerned with Lewis’ relationship with Joy when she was still married. If it were true, from my vantage point, it felt like it crossed some lines of emotional attachment that shouldn’t happen between two people when one of them is married.
If I could tie up this review with a bow, I would. But I can’t. Because I just don’t know what to say or think about this book.
Have you read it? If so, please let me know what you thought of it. And please let me know if you disagree with me and why! I really wish I could be persuaded to like it.
Verdict: 3 stars
This book moved me at a deep level. While I felt like sometimes I wasn’t poetic enough to understand the depths of what was being communicated.
It felt so raw and honest and vulnerable and yet so beautiful and rich and inspiring. I didn’t want it to end.
Two of the quotes that were the most meaningful to me:
“We don’t get to the truth while we’re deeply invested in what’s false.”
“God’s story is a narrative of emancipation.”
Of all the books I read in July, this was my favorite… thus, the 4-star verdict.
Verdict: 4 stars
Preach to Yourself
I wanted to love this book and I did love many parts of it. But I felt like it was hard to slog through at times. Some of the chapters felt really long and drawn out.
And yet, some of the sections were so powerful and so important. For instance, this passage is GOLD:
“Many of us — maybe all of us — don’t live what we say we believe… We say we depend on God, but we act like we’ve got to make it happen on our own. We say we believe God can heal, but we’re walking around with decades-old wounds. We say we believe God is at work, but we’re asleep at the wheel of the one life He’s given us.”
So, despite some of the chapters feeling longer than necessary, this book has some very valuable stuff and is worth the read.
Verdicts: 3 stars
Last Christmas in Paris
This book had been recommended to me as one to read since I loved The Geurnsey Literary and Potato Peel Society. It’s the love story of a soldier at war and his friend’s sister at home.
They began writing letters just to keep each other company. But slowly, ever so slowly, it morphed into more. It’s a fairly slow-developing story, but there is a lot of history woven throughout and I learned quite a bit about World War I. (I realized I have read a lot about World War II, but very few books about World War I.)
The book is epistolary, which means the story is told through letters and telegrams. I found it fascinating in the afterward to discover that the authors wrote the bones of this book as actual letters back and forth.
Verdicts: 3 stars
It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way
Lysa always has a way with words to penetrate your heart and challenge you, while also drawing you in with her funny and authentic story-telling.
For some reason, though, unlike her others books I’ve read, I felt like this book was missing something. I’m not sure if it’s because she wrote it while still very much in the midst of the story that is a big story arc for the book or if it was something else. I couldn’t put a finger on it.
I do feel like the book would be a real encouragement to someone who is going through a difficult time when life feelings overwhelming, hard, and just doesn’t make sense.
Verdict: 3 stars
Kind is the New Classy
This is a quick read (or listen) and definitely had some valuable content. However, I have to admit that I was sort of turned off by how the author seemed to drop in unnecessary details that just felt kind of prideful.
I know that we all come at things differently and only God knows someone’s heart, however, I hadn’t said anything to Jesse about this and was listening to the book when he was in the room and he picked up on this same thing, too.
I think there is a lot of helpful inspiration in this book, I just struggled to love it because I kept getting hung up on the presentation.
Verdict: 3 stars
Monica asked me if I would write an endorsement for her brand-new book. Since I love her work, I said yes!
Here was the endorsement I wrote after reading it:
In Beauty Maker, Monica invites us on a journey to cultivating more beauty — in our surroundings and in our souls. Her words inspired me to prioritize taking time to create more beauty in our home and to prioritize taking time to be a noticer of the beauty that is all around me.
My favorite part of the book? The rich and yet simple photos that showcase how Monica lives out her message in her everyday life.
Verdict: 3 stars
Important & Super Honest Note:
I’m kind of not wanting to hit publish on this post. Why did I ever commit to writing honest reviews of all the books I read anyway?? I want to be truthful, but I also want to be kind and gracious… and I struggled with how to strike that balance well in my reviews today.
I want you to know that I’m not going to sugarcoat my feelings, but I also know that authors are real people who have put so much effort into their books that it’s hard for me to write reviews that feel like they lean toward being negative.
Ugh. This is the part of my job that is so hard sometimes.
If you felt I didn’t communicate graciously or you are the author of any of these books and you felt hurt by what I wrote, please let me know. This is an area where I’m still a big work in progress and I don’t want to offend or hurt anyone if I can help it!
What have you been reading recently? Any books you think I really need to read soon? I’d love to know! [...]
Knowing how to plan for retirement is a must-have for any soon-to-be retiree. It’s especially important if you’d like to keep a steady income stream, travel and enjoy your golden years. Having a plan in place will ensure that you’re ready for what’s ahead. If you need help with your own retirement plan, consider The Only Retirement Guide You’ll Ever Need... [...]
Whether you use the internet for business or pleasure, there’s a chance you’re paying too much for it. The cost of internet service is only going up — even with lower-tier plans. If you can’t live without the internet, here are some of the best ways to cut your costs: Companies like BillCutterz and Trim will evaluate your monthly bills — for internet and other services &# [...]
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.
Planning to do a grocery pick up order at Walmart soon? You can score $10 off a $50 purchase right now!
Walmart Grocery Service is currently offering $10 off any $50 purchase when you use the promo code LA9ARAAC at checkout!
This is valid for new and existing customers.
You can enter your zip code here to see if this service is available at your local Walmart.
Valid through December 31, 2019. [...]