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Babies & Children

Festive (and Frugal) Family Fun

December 11, 2014 |

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! It’s also the most expensive time of the year, especially for those of us who have to play Santa for the little ones in our lives. In addition to buying gifts for all those people on your list, the holiday season is full of sleigh rides, photos with Santa and other activities that can send your budget into a tailspin.

Holiday memories do not have to cost a ton.  Here are some ideas to get you in the holiday spirit.
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Gift Cards as Gifts - How to Get the Best Deal

November 25, 2014 |

Gift cards might not be the most sentimental choice for the thoughtful gift-givers out there, but I find that they are a great way to say “Thank You” and “Happy Holidays” to everyone from the mail carrier to my child’s ... Read More

Taking the Kids Out to Eat for Less

October 29, 2014 |

Dining out with kids can get expensive. Luckily, there are several ways to feed your family without breaking the bank. Get your kids what they really want to eat with this handy list of places that offer free or reduced kid’s meals. Be sure to call your local restaurant before assuming that the deal is active; some deals are location based, while others may be on a different night than listed here. Most deals also require the purchase of an adult meal and some restaurants limit the number of kids’ meal per adult entree purchased, so check the fine print.

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Amazon Prime: Is it Worth it?

October 22, 2014 |

There is a lot of talk about Amazon Prime. Is it worth the membership costs? What are the perks? At our house, I do a fair amount of online shopping and sometimes wish I was getting the free two-day shipping option. I also have Netflix and love to binge-watch shows in order to catch up. I decided it was time to embark on my free trial to find out if it was actually worth it for my family. Here are my findings. (Please note that your findings may be different than mine, but you can always start your own free trial to find out for yourself!)

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Money-Saving Tips for Labeling School Stuff

October 21, 2014 |

Back in my day, the only labels I saw at school occurred when you ended up with two children in your class with the same first name. From that day forward, one of them got to stick with their first name, while the other was forever after known as "Jennifer R." and labeling of jackets, shoes, etc. ensued. The new rule of thumb in the school system is that your child's name should be on anything and everything that accompanies them to school from their underwear to their backpack. While you are still welcome to get the black sharpie marker out and start writing in every piece of clothing, labeling products and ready-to-go label packages do exist for this very purpose. And, these products are marketing themselves as dishwasher safe, washing machine safe, microwave safe and so on. Whereas your black marker efforts may be completely unreadable after one wash. Read More

8 Simple Steps to Host a Halloween Costume Swap

October 8, 2014 |

We all know that Halloween costumes can get expensive. A brand new costume can cost anywhere from $20-$60! This year, how about hosting a Halloween Costume Swap? All it takes is a little bit of organization and motivation, and everyone can walk away with a new, free costume! Sound like fun? Here’s some simple steps to get you started.

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Cut Costs on Your Kids' Sports

October 3, 2014 |

With the country facing an obesity epidemic, parents everywhere are trying to get their children involved in as many sports as possible in order to keep them active. However, once you figure in league fees, uniforms, equipment, trophies and coaches’ gifts, you can easily spend several hundred dollars per kid per sport.

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Expecting? Start Budgeting for Baby!

September 19, 2014 |

Babies bring a lot of fun and happiness into a family, but all this joy comes with a huge price tag. If you have kids or have ever raised them, you know caring for them is not cheap. The latest statistics from the U.S. Department of Agriculture calculate that it will cost an average of $241,080 for a middle-class couple to raise their baby until age 18 – and that does not even include college tuition. Those who live in the Northwest can expect to spend $446,100 – a whopping $200,000 difference. And just because newborn babies are small does not mean they are inexpensive. In fact, parents can expect to spend $10,000 in Baby’s first year alone!

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Budget-Friendly Ways to Make the First Day of School Special

August 19, 2014 |

Each year, the beginning of a new school year looms over a summer of fun activities, family time and being outdoors. A lot of kids (and parents) look forward to going back to a schedule, while others have a really hard time with it. This year, create something new and special that can be done year after year, and create your own back-to-school tradition. Check out this list for a few ideas. Read More

Don't You Dare Shop at These 5 Stores Without a Coupon

August 13, 2014 |

I love a great sale, but I must admit there's something particularly satisfying about using a coupon to get a deal, especially online. You know that little thrill you get when you punch in the code and watch the discount pop up on your bill right before your very eyes? (I can't be the only one, right?!) There are hundreds of stores with great coupons – just check out ultimatecoupons.com – but the following five are coupon superstars; my go-to stores for savings when it's time for a shopping spree. Read More

Saving Money (and Time) With Google Shopping Express

August 12, 2014 |

One of my favorite ways to kill some time is wandering the aisles of Target and Costco. But when I’m trying to cut back on my spending, that activity can be pretty dangerous because it often leads to unneeded purchases (like that clearance fondue pot that ended up in my cart because it was such a great deal). My solution: Google Shopping Express (GSX). Read More