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How To Make Dehydrated Bananas

How To Make Dehydrated Bananas

HowToMakeDehydratedBananasHi everyone!! It’s been awhile – and for that I’m sorry!  I’ve been so busy this summer enjoying every last second with my kids that I’ve made a conscience effort to step back from my blog.  It’s been a breath of fresh air actually – just taking a break.  I’ve really needed the time to think and just listen to the Lord speak into my life.

My summer has been great!  I hope yours has been too!  We’ve enjoyed tons of time with our family and friends, doing fun crafts – like making homemade chalk (I’ll discuss this in a later post – it was AWESOME!), spending much-needed time with cousins, lots of runs through the neighborhood and of course, tons of swimming!  My adorable neighbor across the street blessed with me with a hand-me-down food dehydrator and I’m trying it out today!  Which is what this post is really about actually – so Katrina, stop rambling all about ‘what you did this summer’….seriously!

We were at the grocery store this morning and there was an awesome deal on ripe bananas – as well as a of bags of discount apples.  All a sudden I remembered that my neighbor said I could have her old dehydrator and viola!  We purchased  about 3lbs of bananas and a couple pounds of apples and as soon as we got home we started prepping the bananas for the dehydrator.  I had the bright idea that I should spray the apples with lemon juice using a small water bottle instead of hand-dipping each one – just seemed a lot faster, and on a day like today, when I still have to find a place for a ton of cereal that I bought with some HOT coupons for super cheap this morning, I don’t have time to waste!  Plus, my daughter has a friend coming over soon and my oldest has a baseball game in a few hours!  I’m happy to report that it took less than 3o minutes to slice, arrange, and spray about 3lbs of bananas.  My dehydrator only has 4 trays, and I filled them all up, so I’ll have to wait until tomorrow to process the apples.  I’m super excited for how quick and easy this process was!  I set the temperature to 135 degrees and I guess they should be done in about 10 hours.

This is a great way to use up those over-ripe bananas that your kids think are too mushy to eat!  We tend to have a lot of those each week – seems like I never know what fruit my kids will want to eat and the poor bananas get ripe so fast!  The ripe ones will taste a lot sweeter too!  I plan to try blueberries soon and of course the apples!  So excited!  I love new ideas like this and also love finding frugal and fun ways to stretch every dollar – especially with our food budget!

How To Make Dehydrated Bananas

You will need:

  • 3-5lbs of ripe bananas (depends on who big your dehydrator is)
  • Food dehydrator
  • Small spray bottle
  • Juice from one lemon or 2 Tbs of bottled lemon juice
  1. Peel and slice the bananas the same thickness so they dry evenly – 1/4″ is perfect
  2. Place bananas in single layer on dehydrator trays
  3. Spray bananas with lemon juice
  4. Turn on the dehydrator and set to 135 degrees
  5. Check bananas in 5 hours and consider flipping over (again depends on the design of your dehydrator)
  6. Cook for a total of 10 hours until bananas are no longer mushy to the touch.
  7. Store in an air-tight bag or container.

Easy, fun, frugal, and so yummy!  Enjoy!


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July 29, 20160 commentsRead More
Homemade Melted Bead Sun Catchers

Homemade Melted Bead Sun Catchers

HomemadeSunCatchersIt’s a snowy April day in Colorado and I’m annoyed.  Super annoyed.  I don’t like snow, but I really don’t like snow in April – and we are just days from May.  I want to be outside doing fun things with my kids, not inside FREEZING and wishing we were outside.  Oh well.  On top of it, my daughter is home sick from school, she’s not feeling terrible, but bad enough to need a day of “rest” which she really didn’t do at all today.  Probably my fault, I’ve never really known how to slow down, let alone sit still – there is always something I should be doing – right?!

Guess what we did on this day of cold, sick, snowy rest?  We made homemade melted bead sun catchers!  Super fun, but probably the most stinky craft I have ever done – EVER.  Could be that it’s sooo cold out, and I can’t have every door and window open to push out the smell, but still, it’s a stinky craft.  I’m not looking forward to the look that I’m sure to get of pure disgust from my husband when he gets home today.  I’m positive he will hold his nose and ask me just what the terrible smell as soon as he walks through the door.  The even worst part is that I have cracked a lot of the windows just a little bit, the oven vent is blowing on super high, I have sprayed every can of Glade smelly stuff I have through the house, and I’ve lit every candle in my hous.  Now it smells like burning plastic mixed with lemon pound cake, pear berry, and island tropics! It’s cold and very fragrant in my house right now (my dog is soo cold from the windows open that she is laying directly on the heating vent in the floor)!  It makes me laugh just describing it!   :)

Anyways, we had a great time making this craft - Melted Bead Sun Catchers - that I found on Pinterest from The Artful Parent.  My kids really enjoyed the time together arranging the beads and making cool designs.  It’s crazy how their different personalities come into play – my 10 year old just wants to get them done as fast as he can, my middle daughter very carefully and slowly picks out her colors and arranges her designs, while my youngest just wanted every single bead that the older two “oohed” and “ahhhed” about.  Hilarious!  This craft took us about 30 minutes and the cooking time was close to 25 minutes.  I’m still venting out the house over an hour later and the smell is just lingering.  I’m wondering if some of the beads we used are causing the terrible smell.  We had these very little pink beads that did not melt at all – they just changed to a burnt color – for all I know they very well could be the main cause of the terrible smell in my house.  Sounds like The Artful Parent had good luck with the smell not being too bad.   Besides the smell, this was a lot of fun!

Give them a try when you have a chance (maybe on a warmer day when you can open all the windows to air out the house in case you have a problem with the smell)!

Here’s to being a fun mom that crafts with her kids!  Hugs to you all!


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April 29, 20160 commentsRead More
Why You Should Use IBOTTA

Why You Should Use IBOTTA

WhyUseIBOTTAEver wonder what IBOTTA is all about?  Have you heard people talking about how great it is?  Have you read bloggers who have written about IBOTTA being their favorite coupon app?  Well, you have come to the right place and I’m just one more blogger who absolutely LOVES IBOTTA and would love to tell you why you should use it too (I guess that’s also my way of saying to stop reading right now if you don’t want a super-easy way to save money on the groceries that you already buy).

IBOTTA is a very easy-to-use coupon app for your smartphone.  Available for both Android and Apple devices and is free to download.  If you join IBOTTA via a friend referral code you will instantly earn $10 after you redeem your first rebate.  You can sign up now via my referral code – SIGN UP NOW so you don’t miss out on that extra $10!  The great part signing up via a friend is that your friend also earns a $5 reward for signing you up!  It’s a win-win!  After you have joined IBOTTA you can start referring your own friends and you will make $5 for every friend you refer that signs up via your own personal link and redeems at least one rebate, plus they also earn that $10 reward as well!  Can you see why I think IBOTTA is awesome?!

Don’t wait, go ahead right now and get signed up – SIGN UP NOW, and then once you have the app installed on your phone, continue reading.  I’ll wait, seriously, go ahead.  SIGN UP NOW

Now that you have the IBOTTA app installed, let me give a quick overview of some the great things IBOTTA can do and how you can save
the most money:

  1. How IBOTTA Works: Download the app, unlock rebates by browsing the app before you go shopping, go shopping and buy the items you unlocked, verify your purchases and upload a quick picture of your receipt, then get cash loaded to your account.  SO EASY!
  2. Extra Savings on Groceries:  You will see that the IBOTTA app works at most major grocery stores and you can useIbotta-logo IBOTTA and paper coupons to purchase the same item!  For a lot of things that you mean you can get them for free with the double savings.
  3. Not only for groceries:  I use IBOTTA mostly for savings on my groceries, but you can also earn rebates at restaurants, on electronics, clothing, even movie tickets, and so much more!
  4. Redeem for CASH! After you have earned $20, you can redeem your earnings for cash, or gift cards to great places like Starbucks or the movies!

Now do you see why I love IBOTTA?!  If you still haven’t downloaded the app, do it now,  SIGN UP NOW and start saving and making money today!

Some links in this post are affiliate links, thanks for using them – while they help you save money, they also support me and my blog.

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March 12, 20160 commentsRead More
7 Budget Birthday Party Ideas For Girls

7 Budget Birthday Party Ideas For Girls

budgetfriendlybirthdayI’m a big planner – I like to start planning for my kids’ birthday parties about 4-5 months in advance.  I do this because I’m a tad bit neurotic, but I also do this to save money.  When you plan in advance, you are able to start thinking about what you’ll need and can pick those items up whenever you see them on sale, instead of having to buy them the week of the party at a more expensive price.  You can always save more money when you have more time to shop around.  To save money you need to be consistently patient as you look and wait for deals.  My two oldest kids have birthdays 2 weeks apart, so I tend to plan way in advance because I have to do two parties near the same time.  While researching ideas, I’ve gathered my top 7 unique, easy, and frugal birthday party ideas for girls.  My daughter’s birthday comes first and she is turning 7 this year, and after gathering all these great ideas from other amazing moms, we have picked the theme for her party that I’ll tell you all about in the next few months!

Top 7 Unique, Easy, and Budget-Friendly Birthday Party Ideas for Girls 

  1. Art Party - There are lots of things I love about this party, especially the 6 layer rainbow cake!  Being an artist myself, I love the idea of sharing that love with a bunch of other little artists!  If you have a budding artist, this is a great party idea with lots of ways to keep the kids busy!  I’ve tried the marble painting idea in this post and it’s so much fun.
  2. Slumber Party - Who doesn’t love a good old fashioned slumber party?  There are so many fun things you can do with the actual ‘slumber party’ being the theme of the party.  I love the revised Spin the Bottle game – I know my daughter would love this since she loves to paint her nails all the time!  There are many other good ideas on this post of frugal and fun ways to have a great time hosting a slumber party that your daughter and her friends will love!
  3. Cheerleading Party - My daughter loves cheerleading and this is the party we did for her last year which had a cheerleading theme!  We made easy invitations from home and had very simple decorations.  All the girls got their faces painted, they got to make their own megaphones out of poster board, and they made simple hair ties to match their new pom poms.  As an added bonus they got to learn a cheer and they performed it for the parents!  If your daughter loves cheerleading, check out this very budget-friendly cheer party!
  4. Cooking Party -  Such an adorable idea for a party!  The cooking courses are simple and fun and what could be easier than salad on a stick and english muffin pizzas?  Yummy!  Instead of having to make an elaborate cake all the children get to decorate cupcakes instead!  With cooking as the theme, you don’t have to purchase any extra snack foods! Great for your future chef and her friends!  I’ve even seen some easy chef hats on Pinterest that you can make out of poster board and tissue paper that are adorable!
  5. Tea Party - What group of girls doesn’t love to get dressed up and have a fancy tea party?  Adorable and budget-friendly ideas on how to decorate and save money on the entire party.  Wait until you see the fancy cake!  This party is so cute and fancy and will be a big hit that I’m sure your daughter and her friends will remember for a long time!
  6. Science Party - Do you have a future scientist who loves to experiment?  She and her friends will love this science themed party full of frugal science experiments that will have them in awe!  I really like the notebook idea for young scientists to take notes about each experiment, as well as the great idea for lab coats.  Plus, a party schedule and printables are also included!
  7. Breakfast In Your PJ’s Party – YUMMY!!! This party includes all things breakfast – doughnuts, pancakes, cereal, and all while in your pajamas!  What fun?!  This party is great if you don’t feel like doing the sleepover the night before, but want to still achieve the same sort of idea.  The pancake relay game sounds like a lot of fun and is super simple to do.  All in all, this looks like a great party theme with some really simple and yummy food!

So many great ideas by some amazing bloggers!  I hope you all enjoy this list as much as I do and that it gives you lots of great ideas for the next birthday party you host.  Sometimes the best ideas are the simple ones!  Enjoy!

Ibotta-logoDon’t forget to shop early, use your coupons and pay attention to all the great extra savings you can achieve using my favorite coupon app – IBOTTA - when you are buying items you need for your party.  The great thing about signing up with IBOTTA is that you will automatically earn a $10 rebate after you redeem your first offer!  It’s a quick way to not only save money, but make money!

If you plan to purchase anything online such ebatesas party decor, make sure you use eBates to earn extra cash back on everything you purchase!  eBates is a great site that you will want to check out and start using anytime you shop online – it’s very simple, you just use the eBates site to earn additional cash back on your online purchases.  You can shop at major retailers like Walmart and Target and earn an additional percentage back on your total purchase!  When you refer your friends to eBates they pay you $25 for each referral!  It’s another great way to save and make money!


All photos and content are copyrighted and from the original blogs on which they reside.

Some links in this post are affiliate links, thanks for using them – while they help you save monney, they also support me and my blog.




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March 7, 20161 commentRead More
5 Simple Ways To Save Money

5 Simple Ways To Save Money


If your family is anything like mine, you may have some months when your finances are tighter than others.  It might be due to a job loss, or you woke up and realized it was December and Christmas was around the corner.  Or simply, there were a lot of unforeseen budget items that came up that you had not planned for, like soccer registration, especially when you had no idea your kid could even kick a soccer ball!  Those little things add up and all a sudden your monthly finances are stressing you out and you realize – ouch – I need to either make our money stretch really far this month, or maybe make a few quick bucks.

This is exactly what happened to us this month – we did our monthly budget committee meeting, planned and spent all our money on paper and then the month started to play out.  Things were being added that we hadn’t planned, and we were left shuffling money around to accommodate.  There were a few things I wanted to purchase mid-month that unless I could make a little bit of extra money, I wasn’t going to be able to purchase them.  I didn’t worry though, I realized there were a few things I could do today to make a little bit of extra money and there were a few things I could do to save some money, so I got to work!  The best way to make some money is to get to work!

  1. Sell Some Stuff:  We all have stuff sitting around the house that we could sell and make some quick money off of.  If the weather is nice, have a garage sale!  Round up some old stuff that you don’t want or use and sell it!  Garage sales are not only done in your garage anymore – there are now online garage sale groups that might be right in your neighborhood.  All you do is post a picture and you wait for someone to buy it!  I’m part of a bunch of online groups local to my area through Facebook as well as a site called VarageSale and Wallapop.
  2. Shop From Your Own Pantry:  In our house, our grocery fund is one of the largest funds we have – when I want to save money, I know I can if I work extra hard at planning my meals ONLY with the stuff that is on sale that week, using my coupons (which I do every week no matter what), and shopping from my own pantry.  I have a stockpile for a reason, to buy items when they are at their cheapest amount and then use them —- so go and use them!  If you make a clear effort to plan meals using mainly what is already in your pantry, you can really cut your grocery budget.  You can’t do this every week, but it’s a great habit to put in place at least once a month.
  3. Swap Babysitting: In my house we try to make it a priority to have a date night at least once a month, and a lot of times this requires high babysitting fees.  When money is tight, it’s a lot easier to just forego the date night – but we all know it’s super important to have time alone with just our spouse.  Instead of paying for a babysitter, offer to do swap babysitting with a good friend.  You watch their kids one evening so they can have a date night, and then swap the next weekend where they watch your kids.  Saves you money and you might like the idea so much that you won’t ever have to pay a babysitter again!
  4. Use Coupon Apps:  I grocery shop once a week and although I save money when I use paper coupons, I love actually making  money – which I can do by using coupon apps. Coupons apps pay you a little bit extra for things you already buy.  Ibotta  (yes this is my referral link, so I thank you in advance for signing up!) is my favorite coupon app and every week I make extra money on top of the savings I get for using paper coupons, just for buying what I was already planning to buy.  It’s a win-win and after my account accumulates a decent amount I can redeem my savings for gift cards or cash!  I love to redeem my savings for movie gift cards for date nights!  Read a recent post I wrote all about using coupon apps to save money  - read now.
  5. Use Cashback Sites:  I use a cashback shopping site called to earn money on things I already buy!  One thing I buy consistently with Ebates is a water filter for my refrigerator – I buy it from Lowes or HomeDepot through Ebates and then go pick it up in the store in to save on shipping fees and I receive cashback from doing this!  It’s awesome actually!  If there are things you know you need, and can shop for and buy online, then why not use a cashback site to buy those things?!  This process works really great for essential things you need and it’s even better when you can pair it with sites that offer in-store pickup or free shipping!  Plus, if you refer other people to their site, they pay you for your referral!  You can sign up here - (yes this is my referral link, so I thank you in advance for signing up!) - SIGN UP NOW for Ebates.  You’ll be shocked how many stores you can shop at using Ebates and just think of the savings you will have!  Stores like, Old Navy, Amazon, Macy’s, etc!



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February 15, 20160 commentsRead More
Katrina’s Coupon Tip #13 – Buy In Bulk

Katrina’s Coupon Tip #13 – Buy In Bulk

KCouponTip_BuyInBulkWhen you come across an amazing deal on something that you use regularly – then go ahead and buy it in bulk!  Today is a perfect example – I found a GREAT deal on ground beef at my local grocery store.  This was a totally unexpected deal because I had not planned on buying meat at all.  I found 3lb rolls of ground beef for $3.79 total…not per pound – but per 3lb roll!  That’s just a little over $1 a pound!  Which is an awesome deal!  There were lots and lots and lots of rolls – so I went ahead and bought in bulk – 60lbs to be exact!  Yes, you heard me right – 60lbs of beef, 20 3lb rolls.groundbeef_300x800

My family loves ground beef, especially for tacos, which just so happens to be my husband’s favorite meal.  I know we will use our beef over the next year and we have a very large professional grade freezer in our garage for meats and frozen items we buy in bulk.  I’m super excited about our great deal today!  You can find great deals like this at your local grocery store by talking to the manager and asking when certain departments mark stuff down, and then be the first one there to get the great deal!

*** I can let you in on a little secret…a lot of grocery stores mark down perishables (like meat, dairy, and fruit) during the week to make room for fresh products to fill the shelves over the much busier weekends.  There are lots of great deals to be found during the week!

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February 12, 20160 commentsRead More
How To Shop From Your Own Pantry

How To Shop From Your Own Pantry

howtoshopfromownpantry“Mom, what’s for dinner?”

Let me paint a picture for you.  It’s 4pm, you just walked in the door from picking up your kids at school.   All of your kids are talking at the same time, telling you about their day, as well as throwing all the papers from their backpacks at you.   It’s at that moment that you realize you forgot to set out anything for dinner.  While you try to focus on helping your kids with homework, you can’t stop thinking about what to make for dinner.

If I were in “super-mom” mode, I would have planned my dinner for that day and had the meat defrosting by 10am.  When I’m in “super-duper-mom” mode I wouldn’t even have to think about what I’m having for dinner because I would have planned that over the weekend before I did my grocery shopping.   I would know, down to the day, exactly what I was having for dinner for the full week.  I try to have my menu planned each week before the week begins, but let’s be honest, I’m a super busy mom and sometimes my “super-duper-mom” cape goes missing for weeks on end.

When I’ve neglected to plan, that means it’s time to go shopping in my own pantry!  The great thing about being a howtoshopfromownpantry2couponer is that I usually have a well-stocked pantry.  Not only have I purchased stockpile items at rock bottom prices, but now I can literally go shopping in my own pantry to create a very inexpensive meal for my family!  While this can seem daunting, it’s actually quite fun to see how creative I can be with whatever we have on hand.  It’s also a great way to save money!  Rather than running to the store to pick up a few items that would create a meal for that evening, I’m saving money by putting in a little extra effort to be creative and use what I have.

Honestly, I enjoy the challenge.  I don’t know that everyone would, but for me, it kicks the chore of cooking dinner up a notch!  I challenge you, beginning Monday of next week, to dig through your pantry and try to create a week’s worth of meals.  Plan it out ahead of time, and only go to the store if absolutely necessary – and if you do go to the store, go only ONCE – pick up all the little filler items you need to complete your meals and then make it work!  If you can shop from your own pantry for a full week every couple months, just think of how much money you would save!  This next year I’m going to try to do this every few months!
I’ll let you know how it goes and I’d love to know if you already do this and if you have any tips for me?!

Happy cooking! Happy Saving!


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December 31, 20150 commentsRead More
How To Get Your Family To Eat Leftovers

How To Get Your Family To Eat Leftovers

20151218_184051There is a simple solution to leftover boredom and it’s called…Mystery Dinner!  It’s been a really long week, Christmas is just around the corner and I’ve been sick with a terrible sinus infection for the last 14 days – so as you can imagine, this momma is tried and didn’t want to cook.  I realized that I had cooked quite a bit this week so we had a bunch of random leftovers. While I don’t really like leftovers all that much, I do like that they are  a great way to be economical and save my household some money.  You know me, I love saving 20151218_182101 money!

The average American household throws away a lot of excellent food, in the form of leftovers, just because eating out is a more fun, or because they just don’t like leftovers.  While I completely agree, eating out is a lot more fun, I do love coming up with a ways to save m20151218_182343oney and if eating our leftovers will do that, then I’m all for eating what’s left in the refrigerator. Tonight we had a bunch of things to choose from, but not enough of any one thing to feed us all, so I decided to have a special “Mystery Dinner” like my mom used to do when I was kid!  In fact, my amazing mother still has Mystery Dinners with my kids when they are at her house!  If you have never had a Mystery Dinner then you are in for a real treat!

All you need to do is get out all the leftovers and start coming up with some fun and mysterious names for each dish.  Add them all to a hand-written menu and call your family to dinner!  Have each family member choose a few items from the menu without telling them what they are actually ordering.  It can be pretty funny when their plate is served and it has some pretty interesting items on it!  I pulled out these leftovers from my refrigerator:  homemade chicken noodle soup, bow-tie buttered pasta noodles, Italian sausage and pasta sauce, edamame, taco meat, Mexican rice, sweet potato hash, chips and salsa, yogurt, and bananas.  Like I said, a wide variety of random stuff!  I started trying to come up with some menu items based off what I had and here is the list I came up with:

Main Dish:

  • Frozen Snow Balls - buttered noodles20151218_182427
  • Melted Snow Balls - buttered noodles with italian sausage and pasta sauce
  • Lily Pads - edamame
  • Shoveled Snow - sweet potato hash
  • Frozen Rock Canyon - nachos created from the taco meat, mexican rice and chips and salsa


  • Grassy Field - Key Lime yogurt with banana and a shortbread cookie
  • Sunset - Raspberry yogurt with banana and a shortbread cookie

I g20151218_182153ot everything warmed up then I called my family to dinner!  For special effect I made them go outside and ring the doorbell!  Once they came in, I escorted them to their table (which was just the regular kitchen table) where I placed a menu and a couple card games to keep them busy while I prepared their order.  I got my notebook and pencil and waited on them.  After reading the menu everyone just giggled!  They had no idea what was what!  It was a blast!  I allowed them each to pick three items listed under Main Dish to get the ball rolling.  When their food arrived they all laughed, a few were pleasantly surprised, and one was not happy at all about his Melted Snow Balls!  After they all figured out what each menu item was they asked for their favorite item as a second helping.  Next, they all wanted to order dessert and thankfully, everyone was happy about it!20151218_184328

Overall, the night was really fun!  We ate up a lot of our leftovers and I didn’t have to spend hours in the kitchen making a brand new meal.  :)  We saved money and also had fun creating a brand new family memory.  I can tell you, days later that I overheard the kids talking about how much fun they had at Mommy’s Mystery Diner and they couldn’t wait to do it again!  I dare you to give it a try – pull out those leftovers, put your creative cap on and have some fun with your family!  I’m so glad we did!

Have any of you ever tried a Mystery Dinner?  How did it go?  What did you serve?

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December 21, 20150 commentsRead More
How To Make Money While Staying Home

How To Make Money While Staying Home

Have you ever rolled out of bed, stumbled down the stairs, and looked around at your messy house filled with toys that you didn’t feel like putting away last night, knowing it’s just another day and you probably still won’t get the toys put away?  Besides never getting the toys put away, you still have to get the lunches made and the piano practice done and on and on and on and on…all within the next hour before you get kids off to school?

I remember when I had this exact morning about 3 years ago, and I remember thinking – “gosh, this sure is fun – said no mom – ever.”  But then my thoughts jumped to the fact that already two of my kids are in school all day and I only have one still at home with me.  In a few years he will be at school all day as well – and once he is, then WHAT??  What would I do with my time all day long?  Yes, for the first week I will eat bon bons and watch soaps all day.  Actually, I don’t like either of those things, so I probably won’t do that.   The quiet will be nice – but only for a couple days.  I know myself well enough to know that I’ll go nuts if I don’t find something to keep me slightly stressed and busy.  That’s how I roll – I function so much better on the edge of panic.  It’s also how I get a lot done – I fill my days from sun up, to sun down with some type of work, and I tend to be very effective.  If I don’t have something to keep me actively busy and full of purpose, I will flounder.

Since I know all of this about myself, and because I’m a planner, 3 years ago I started looking for things I could do to keep busy when all three kids will be in school full time.  If you have read my blog for awhile now, you know I’m an entrepreneur5MM_Cover_295x448 at heart,  so naturally, I began to think about business ideas and ways that I could earn and save money from home.  After a lot of research and prayer, about a year ago I started actively working on a new business that I plan to work on full time when all three kids are in school, and I’m so excited!

If you find yourself in the same place I did, wondering what you’ll do once kids are in school full time and wanting to make or save some money, then here are some ideas for you.  I’ve also written a really great eBook, 5 Money-Making Ideas for Stay-At-Home-Moms, that you can download FREE now that explains many of these ideas and even a few more in detail.

  • Shop at thrift and consignment stores.  Don’t freak out – you really can find some amazing deals at thrift stores for your family and you can save a lot of money.  Especially if you shop on their 50% off days!  Yes, it takes some work to really look for stuff, and you tend to deal with long lines, but you can find some really great deals!  Some of the best deals I’ve found have been on sporting equipment for the kids (especially on cleats) and maternity clothes.
  • Sell your stuff at consignment stores.  Not only should you shop at consignment stores, but you can sell your used stuff at them as well!  I know some mommies who sell enough of their own stuff that they can then use their store credit to turn around and buy whatever they need, and are never7BigMistakes_Cover_295x448 really paying out of pocket for clothing!
  • Use coupons every time you shop.  Join a coupon group where you can share deals and swap coupons.  Get your kids involved and have them help you clip coupons!  If you get a system down, you can use coupons every week, save money, and not have it take up too much of your time.  I explain a lot more about how to do this in another eBook I’ve written, 7 Biggest Mistakes Couponers Make – you might want to download that one as well. :)
  • Have a garage sale.  We all know this is a lot of work, but you can make quick money by having a garage sale!
  • Start your own business!  This is my favorite idea of all – I love to SAVE money, but I also love business and I personally want to earn money.  The best way I know to earn money from home is to start a network marketing business.  There are so many of them to choose from with great products like jewelry, bags, makeup, energy drinks, etc!  It’s all about finding one that fits your lifestyle and has the potential to earn the amount of income you are looking for.  Some people just want the free stuff that you get from having a few parties, some people want to earn enough money to make the car payment, and some people want to find a business that replaces their spouse’s income.  I was looking for a serious business model, with a company that had ground-breaking products that no one else offered, and that had the income potential to replace my spouse’s income and bring him back home to work with me in business again.  I’m so happy because I’ve found it!

Download my eBook for more ideas on how to save and earn money from home – it is possible!  I’d love to hear your ideas on how you save your family money or how you make money at home!  Please share them in the comments below!  Hugs!

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November 4, 20150 commentsRead More
Katrina’s Budgeting 101

Katrina’s Budgeting 101

Budgeting101I’m laughing out loud at myself right now.  That title, ‘Katrina’s Budgeting 101’ sort of cracks me up – ok, it REALLY cracks me up!  I feel like I missed the “budget” train my entire childhood, either I wasn’t paying attention all the times my parents tried to talk to me about it or I’m just crazy.  I do remember being a natural ‘saver’,’ when I would get my allowance, I would save it, and save it, and save it.  Then my big brother, whom I thought walked on water, would somehow talk me into going to the local grocery store and using it all to buy “us” candy (which he would proceed to eat most of).  He was a smart big brother, using his money-saving little sister to enjoy an afternoon snack.  I still love you though, Ry-fry (my nickname I called my big bro – Ryan).

I do remember getting my first checking account when I was around 14.  I had a job working with my dad at Promise Keepers, I worked in the mail room (was a GREAT first job) and had so much fun!  There was a bank very close to the office and all a sudden I remember my mom and dad deciding I needed a checking account and a checkbook, and needed to start balancing that checkbook.  To this day, I still have the hardest time balancing a checkbook, thankfully, Cassidy does this for us now.  Anyone else struggle with that?  I really hope I’m not alone on this one…

As I grew up, my dad was always there to fall back on when I messed up with my saving or with my bills and I guess I just assumed that when I got married that my husband would just do the same thing.  I never really thought there was too much to the whole money thing, I just figured someone else would take care of it for me, so why should I have to learn too much about where my money goes?  As I write this I can’t believe how naïve I was!  Ohmygoodness!!!!!

Fast forward a few years and I’ve met Cassidy, the man of my dreams and we are getting married.  We didn’t talk very much about money when we were dating – I assumed he had a lot more money than he really did, after all, he was a college graduate, he had an established career and job with a big company, he drove a very nice car and he also has just envelopesystempurchased his first house (a brand new one that was not huge, but very nice for a first home).  Appearances are not always reality for sure.  While he was very well off for a guy his age, he did have quite a bit of debt from school, his fancy car, and his house.

At that time, first of all, I didn’t care, and second of all, I thought everyone had debt.  As a wedding present, my adopted set of grandparents (long story – but they “adopted” me and loved on me like real grandparents do) gave us Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University kit and a free tickets to a 12 week class to learn all about it.  Although I was not super excited about this gift at all, I loved the KitchenAid Stand Mixer we received much more, we agreed to attend the class.  12 weeks later our lives were radically changed!  We dove in head first, worked extra jobs and a year later we managed to pay off all of our $90,000 in debt and have paid cash and lived debt free ever since.  I’m talking 13 years later, we are still debt free, we use the envelope system for our cash and expenditures, we have a monthly ‘budget committee meeting’ where we both sit down together and work on that’s month’s budget and we LOVE it!

CassKatDave Ramsey says that with most couples, there is usually one free spirit and one nerd.  I’m the free spirit for sure!  I tend to watch a lot of what Cassidy is doing to put together our spreadsheet for the monthly budget, but I’m still present and helping.  Thank goodness I have Cassidy, because if it was just me I know for sure that I would never make a real budget.  I don’t love having to take the time each month to sit down and work on the budget, but I’m always glad we did.  It’s a freeing feeling to know exactly how much money we have.   We try to plan out everything that is happening that month and we truly do spend every dollar we have on paper before the month begins.  That’s the key, to make a zero based budget and to stick to it.  If you spend more out of one category you have to take from another category.  Here is a great post that my husband wrote about how to create a zero based budget, READ NOW.

I highly recommend that if you are married that you do your budget – TOGETHER – it’s so important for couples to be on the same page with their money, otherwise how in the world can you stick to it?  Also, if budgeting, especially with a zero based budget is new to you, then I highly recommend checking out Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University books and courses.  Better yet, enroll in a class near you – you will get so much more out of it if you do the course with a small group of like-minded individuals who can hold you accountable.  In fact, we loved the classes so much and loved what they did for our family that we started teaching his classes at our church!  It’s such a fun class to be a part of and to teach!

I’d love to know if you have done Dave Ramsey’s classes and how much debt you paid off in the process!  Share your stories of success or even frustration in the comments below.



Dave Ramsey did not ask me to write this post about his courses or books.  All opinions are mine.  
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September 10, 20150 commentsRead More