Category Self help

5 Ways to Maximize Savings on Groceries

You’ve clipped your coupons and looked at the sale ad, but are not sure what to do next! Don’t worry, you aren’t alone. Each of the suggestions about coupons here and rebate apps here are great on their own, but in the end the best way to maximize your savings on groceries is to combine all the knowledge you have into a master plan! Here are my top 5 ways you can maximize your savings.

#1: Make a List

The best way to save money is to have a plan. And the best way to remember your plan is to write it down – a.k.a. make a list! Every week before my shopping trip I write down exactly what I’m going to purchase….down to the size, brand, and quantity! I spend time figuring out what I want to purchase BEFORE I head to the store and make sure all the coupons I’m planning to use are t...

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Organizing Important Paperwork Before Doing Your Taxes

It’s that time of year again that I always dread – tax time. We usually get money back so I shouldn’t dread it, but it requires gathering so much paperwork and since sorting papers isn’t my favorite activity I never look forward to it. I have a filing system that works great, when I actually use it. It’s nothing fancy, but works for us and makes gathering the papers no big deal once they’ve been filed.

I use a two drawer filing cabinet to store all of our important papers, but a file box would work too. I have folders for a variety of different categories labeled in one of the drawers (I don’t keep them in alphabetical order, but it would make it faster to find things later)! Over the years I have found that having these folders keeping me organized makes life so much easier ...

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Couponing 101 for Beginners

Using coupons is a great way to save money, but learning all the rules and lingo can be VERY confusing! I recently sat down with some friends who were totally new to couponing – they were starting with just the knowledge that coupons come from the paper! We worked through the very basics of coupons and how to best maximize your savings when you start out using this information (I also included some of the acronyms so you can better understand the other coupon blogs you read). They left feeling empowered to purchase their first paper and get started on their coupon adventure. Happy Saving!

(Personal note: Our family mostly shops at Meijer stores, which have the MPerks progam, but the coupon basics apply even if you don’t shop there.)

Before you begin there are two important rules to remembe...

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Cherish the Simple Things


Cherish the Simple thingsToday has been a day filled with screaming, whining, hitting, and never ending lessons on sharing so I feel like I’m at my whits end! Caring for children isn’t for the faint of heart and the number of things I never expected to have to teach my children grows daily, but the moments of peace and understanding are bright spots in the journey. “Cherish the Simple Things.” I have this saying in the window behind my sink, which is a great reminder to remember that I need to cherish something at every stage, especially the small moments that may be overlooked through the chaos.



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Child-led Potty Training

Get Potty Trained

I’ve never considered myself a super laid-back mom. I enjoy being in control, by nature, and running my family is no exception. However, kids can’t be controlled…they have a mind of their own and certainly mine have come with a stubborn streak (must be from their dad!). In order to cope, I try to live with the mantra ‘choose your battles’. I just can’t make everything a big deal so it always goes my way and emotionally survive the drama! Potty training, for me, is one of the things I choose to not make a battle. My husband, on the other hand, has thought our daughter should have been trained a long time ago, which has led to more than one disagreement and fit of tears...

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This is NOT what I had in Mind for Motherhood

motherhood journeyI dove into motherhood with my eyes wide open, full of expectation and dreams for what having a family would be like. As a child my family did so many wonderful things together and as I grew the adventures I had with my friends were amazing too, so I have learned that I love making memories with people (and capturing them in pictures, but that’s another post). When I was pregnant with my first child I wanted so badly to start making memories with her right away. I wanted to jump right in to traveling together and taking her to ‘see’ all sorts of new places as soon as possible. I spent the first year of her life including her in all our activities and trying to squeeze in as many new ‘first’ experiences as possible.

Over time reality hit me like a rock in the face. I discovered ho...

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Necessary Mom Time: adult coloring

adult coloring coverIt has been a very busy month at our house: between crazy work hours, illness, out-of-town guests visiting, and I’m sure a million other things I’ve promptly forgotten, this mamma has been a little bit worn out lately. I often find myself taking the few minutes of quiet I have to finish up chores around the house. But I know for the sake of my family I need to take time for ME too. Because I’m a mom of young kids and am always totally exhausted I haven’t found as much joy in some of the things I used to do – like reading or sewing — so I’ve been exploring new ways to stay creative and not just mindlessly waste my time on social media and have re-discovered that I like to color!

Have you tried the new craze of adult coloring books? I’ve tried a couple different options and have ...

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Post 6 coverPlease tell me I’m not the only one who has toddlers that struggle with sitting still and being quiet when out in public. We prefer to do activities with our whole family and sometimes those activities aren’t exactly “kid-friendly” so they get bored quickly and then it never fails that they decide to be extra noisy at the wrong time! We discovered that bringing along what we call the quiet bag (essentially a portable ‘busy bag’ that encourages quiet, independent play), full of an assortment of activities, has helped us survive our endless doctor’s visits, meetings, church services, hockey games, and a variety of other random situations where we needed our kids to be quiet. Plus we have the bonus of them learning to be polite in more ‘adult’ situations, which is so valuable...

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