4 Budgeting Mistakes to Avoid to Quit Being Broke

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budgeting mistakes to avoid

Keeping a budget is one of the most effective ways to save money and be more mindful about your spending. However, there are budgeting mistakes that you may be making that are hindering your saving progress. Once you stop these errors, you will notice you have more money to work with each month.

Read on to find out four common budgeting mistakes to avoid if you want to stop being broke! [Read more…]

Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

Healthy Habits: The Benefits of a Benefiber Routine

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Benefiber CouponDisclosure: this is a sponsored post by Savings.com to share with y’all a great Benefiber coupon.  However, all opinions, anecdotes, and off-color comedy are all my own.

And now my I’m-not-a-doctor disclosure: Please please please please please please keep in mind I am not a doctor.  Heck, I didn’t even enjoy science until adulthood.  So, if you are experiencing any medical issues, please please please -for the love of sweet tea- please talk to your doctor before starting any sort of medically-related program.

This week, my daughter started 2nd grade, which is not totally unlike that time she started Kindergarten, and I felt like I was just trying to stay afloat, getting back in the swing of things.  Typically, I feel like I’m flung in to a swirly chaos for a few days, trying to (re)adjust to a new routine.  During these times of change and transition, I find it super-helpful to keep my routines and habits as intact as possible.  My daily dose of fiber is no exception. [Read more…]

Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

Shopping at Aldi: Hints and Tips

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shopping at Aldi

Shopping at Aldi

If you’re lucky enough to live near an Aldi grocery store, I highly recommend you take advantage of this great, simple grocery store! Here are a few simple tips to get you started so you can make the most while shopping at Aldi: [Read more…]

Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

Back to School Books – Grade by Grade

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back to school booksI can still remember the night before school would start each year, I’d have trouble falling asleep due to excited and nervous jitters about the impending school year to come.  I can honestly say, this was the case as both a student and a teacher.  😀

Some of y’all have kids starting back next week, while others have already started.  In any case, here are some great back to school books to get your kids ready, from preschool all the way through 6th grade.

Super special thanks to Couponing with Rachel for sharing this extensive list!

My Big List of Back to School Books, Grade by Grade

Here are a few books that you may be interested in snagging for your own little ones.  You can find many of these titles at your local library, or snag them off Amazon.

Preschool:

The Night Before Preschool

Big Preschool Workbook [Read more…]

Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

Tangled Hair, Starting Kindergarten, and Doing-It-All

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I originally wrote this almost two years ago, but as I get closer to sending my now SECOND GRADER off to school, and cope with also having a boy in pre-K, there’s still so much of this that rings true.  ….and I still don’t know how to do-it-all.  😉
Starting Kindergarten

Last week proved to be quite a week, to say the least.  My family and I spent the first week in August on vacation in Florida, first hitting the beach, then spending some quality time with the grandparents, and a day at Disney.

We came back on Saturday, and my oldest was starting Kindergarten on Monday.  Seriously, the summer seemed to have just flown by.  I’m proud to say I held it together quite well, and masked my nervousness and sadness at sending my baby off to Kindergarten, in a school with kids all the way up to 8th grade.  It was the second day, when carpool began, where I nearly lost it – watching her walk away with her cute Ariel backpack.  Such a big shot.  What happened to my little baby??

With starting kindergarten, came many many many adjustments, including earlier wake-ups in the morning, adjusting 2-year-old boy’s nap schedules, packing lunch every. single. day AND a snack.  We’re still working on it all.  But so far, neither of my children have starved.  At least not from lack of meals, but perhaps on occasion because I’m mother of the world’s pickiest eaters.  I digress.  I’m figuring out how to get breakfast prepped the evening before, and get lunch prepped on Sunday (freezing PBJ wraps = GENIUS!), and streamline as much as possible…

And now I start (back) to teaching preschool.  We had CPR refresher last week, which was a nice chance to re-connect with friends, co-workers, and teachers alike.  And to watch my son literally skip down the hall as he returned to “school” was priceless.  So in addition to juggling this ah-mazing blog (which I love dearly), two mornings a week of teaching, and trying to maintain a regular gym workout, life has become …hectic.

In the midst of all this, I got a Facebook message from a friend, whom I haven’t actually seen in a very, very long time.  You can read it for yourself:

Starting Kindergarten - Nice Compliment

That got me thinking, how many moms appear to “pull it off” even if they feel like they’re merely in survival mode?  My friend Maria over at Mamalicous Maria offers a candid look at how moms appear -particularly on social media- verses how we actually ARE.  After all, we’ll post 20 pictures of our kids reaching those coveted milestones, those clever jokes/sayings/quips our kids say, and all the cute things in between.  But would we dare post that we just lost our temper and yelled at our kids, overreacted about something small -likely the proverbial straw breaking our mommy camel’s back- and took it out on the kids, or when we knowingly fed our kids junk for dinner because …well, it was just easier, and quite frankly because you “didn’t want to hear it.”

Sound familiar?  Yep.  Thought so.  We put our best (social media) face out there, thus creating this false ideal of what motherhood should look like.  The truth is, we don’t “do it all.”  We do the best we can with what we have – and sometimes our best is simply “survival mode”, or something not too distant from there.  And that’s ok!  I, for example, FINALLY tackled the piles and piles of papers and …junk that had accumulated on the kitchen table.  (You know how every house has that one “catch all” area for junk?  I have such an area in every.  single.  room of my house, y’all!)  While I finally got the table quite presentable, clean even, I discovered the kids had scattered toys ALL over the den; the boy dumping out every single kids’ book in his possession.  Oi.

I digress.  (surprise!)  It’s been quite a week.  (The fact that it’s taken me WELL over a week to get this typed up and posted should give you some indication of just how hectic life has been.)  But we are all here, and we have all survived.  More or less.

Oh, and Monday night, I indulged, letting my daughter brush my hair.  When she’s fully in the mood, it.  feels.  fantastic.  So she started going to town, as I laid on my belly on the bed, reading stories to her and her brother – part of our nightly ritual.  All of a sudden, I felt a familiar tug as she started rolling the comb up my hair – before I could say anything, I found myself with a brush firmly tangled in my hair.  We finished stories with a comb in my hair.  We said prayers with a comb in my hair.  I rocked my son with a comb tangled in my hair, and tucked my daughter in with a comb in my hair.

Then, I enlisted my husband’s help in de-tangling that confounded comb out of my hair.  The struggle was real, y’all.  Things weren’t looking hopeful, and I was trying to figure out how on earth I could possibly CUT the comb out and still do ….something…. with my hair.  (And still be able to donate my hair in the process.)  And then I told him he could snap the comb in half, if he thought it would free my hair.  *light bulb*  In the end, my hair came out, the pieces of the comb were recycled, and my hair was de-tangled.  Eventually. Soo, alls well that (split) ends well, right?  😉

Starting Kindergarten - Comb Tangled in Hair

I conclude simply with this. I put the question back to you all, mothers of the world – or mothers reading my blog: How do YOU do it?  How DO you do it?

You may also like to read about A Message from My Daughter:
A-Message-From-My-Daughter_profile.jpg

Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

Cow Appreciation Day is Coming!

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Cow Appreciation Day 2016

July is known for many things, and many occasions. Most notably, we Americans get all red, white, and blue for the 4th of July. But for the die-hard chicken lovers, we know something spectacular occurs later in the month: Cow Appreciation Day.  Around Atlanta, and across the country, folks will dress up as their favorite bovine, in order to snag some free Chick-fil-a chicken.

There are some changes this year for Cow Appreciation Day 2016, as you may have heard.  First, hours are from 6:30 am to 7:00 pm.  Second, all participants who dress up will receive an entree.  In years past, it was up to the individual location’s discretion to discern if you were fully or partially dressed, to determine if you got an entree or a full year – but this year, all locations are offering an entree for all levels of dressed-up.

It’s a tradition I’ve been embarrassing my kids with for a few years now, and I’ve no intention to stop anytime soon.  However, I’m not (totally) ashamed to admit, I am a walking, talking Pinterest fail.  So, my costumes over the years tend to lack in imagination.

A few years ago, I think I reached my creative peak, by including my son’s Beanie Baby monkey, per my son’s request in the festivities. But of course, except for the collage below, I totally forgot to snap good pics, because, well, that would’ve just been *too* easy…

 

So, I reached out to some of my blogger pals and fellow Chick-fil-a Mom’s Club members, and came up with a few ideas for you, in case you want to go beyond just pinning the paper cutouts to a white t-shirt.  🙂
Of course, Chick-fil-a has some great ideas to get you started, and this year they’ve included some creative extras.  Check out their printable cow templates!

Cow Appreciation Day 2016 costume ideas

First, Lani of Life Anchored created this adorable cow onesie.  My favorite part?  There’s NO SEWING involved!  Plus, it could easily be done as a regular shirt, not just for a onesie.

Easy-No-Sew-Cow-Costume

 

Tabitha, over at Saving Toward a Better Life, created a simple and adorable cow costume with a simple trash bag.

trash bag cow costume
And of course, Lindsey of Redhead Baby Mama, created a round-up of cow costumes, as well.

Cow Appreciation Day Costumes - Redhead Baby Mama

And then make sure you also watch this tutorial on how to make a cute cow tail.

So seriously, how will YOU participate in Cow Appreciation Day this year?  Comment below with your ideas, or with how you intend to participate in Cow Appreciation Day.

Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

CVS Curbside Pickup Service

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Disclosure: I’m working with CVS Pharmacy to help spread the word about CVS Curbside Pickup.  All opinions, bad puns, and over-excited zeal expressed are all my own.  All product claims and program details shared should be verified at CVS.com or with the appropriate manufacturers.

BIG news for the Atlanta, Charlotte, and San Diego area, y’all!  CVS now offers curbside pickup in these areas.  Yep, you can now make an online order at CVS.com and they will bring it to you curbside.  No need to even turn off the engine!

CVS Curbside Pickup - what's so great?

Do y’all know what a game-changer this is?!?  No more schlepping the kids in to the store, chasing them or lugging them around, trying hard to keep them from touching every.  single.  thing in the store.  Heck, you could pickup your CVS order in your PJs.  Or this summer, keep the kids in their wet bathing suits, and you in your cute bathing suit cover. [Read more…]

Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

Help for My Achy Knees #TryLivRelief

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Disclosure: This post is sponsored by LivRelief, for which I receive a form of compensation; however, all opinions, bad puns, and gripes of old age are 100% my own.  Following is my LivRelief review, as well as my own getting-older pity party.  Bear with me.  😉

LivRelief Review - Sorry, you have to see my pasty legs and knees

So, y’all, in about two months, I’ll turn 36.  Although it seems like I *just* turned 30, my body in the last year or so has given me plenty of reminders that I’m no longer in my early twenties.  Namely, my back and knees: years of stomping on the diving board have left my knees with a constant crackle to them.  And my back, ugh, my lower back continuously reminds me that my four-and-a-half year old son is growing up, and getting FAR too big for me to pick up.  **sigh** [Read more…]

Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

Small Space Solutions for Your Home

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Disclosure: I am participating in this campaign as part of a promotional program with At Home and MomSelect; in exchange for promoting this campaign, I received a form of compensation.  However, all opinions, bad puns, and questionable taste in decor are completely my own.  

So it’s come to this, y’all.  It’s mid-June, and I must begin talking to you about (gulp)  back to school.  Yep.  BTS.  I know, I know.  It seems kind of cruel, and I apologize for even entering those three cruel words when we are mopping up the humidity off our brows.

At Home Small Space Solutions BTS checklist

The folks at At Home want to help you make the most of impending back-to-school, particularly if you’re headed off to the dorms, or a small apartment, or even a small classroom.  (Let’s face it, as a teacher, even the most spacious classroom will require careful use of every. single. inch!)  I’ve toured the store, and found some helpful small spaces solutions, as well as enlisted a few DIY solutions on my own.  Additionally, they’ve compiled a magnificent back to campus checklist for your convenience!  (I gave you a peek ^^^ up there.) [Read more…]

Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

How to Save with the Atlanta Braves

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Atlanta Braves Discount TicketsAs a member of the #BravesBloggers, I was recently treated to a game and a tour of Turner Field, as well as a bag full o’ swag.  However, all opinions, reminiscings of childhood days, and random ramblings are 100% my own.

I’ve been in Atlanta all my life.  I remember going to Braves games before they were good.  (Does Dale Murphy ring a bell?)  I come from a LONG line of Braves fans: my mom was at the World Series game at Atlanta-Fulton County stadium in ’95 when they won.  My grandaddy faithfully watched games all season long, again this was back before they were “good”.  And I watched the Atlanta Braves become a powerhouse basically through the span of my teen years.  My family attended games at their inaugural season in Turner Field in 1997, so it’s only fitting that I partner with the Atlanta Braves this summer in their final season at The Ted. (I’m not hip.  Do people still call it The Ted??)

Atlanta Braves Discount Tickets - beer is good

As an Atlanta native, The Braves are intertwined with the culture fabric of summers in Atlanta to me.  Tailgating at Turner Field should be part of your summer bucket list, even if you only check it off once or twice.  Even if the Braves aren’t as hot as they were in the 90’s, they are still an integral part of our hometown lore.  I mean, just look at the Chicago Cubs, they’ve been stinking it up for over 100 years, but going to Wrigley Field is a part of Chicago culture.  (….unless, like my Chicago-native husband, you had a White Sox hat affixed to your head for years during your childhood.  But that’s a story for another day.)

I digress.

Being Atlanta’s FRUGAL Mom, I’m frequently asked about ways to save at local events and attractions.  It’s a huge part of who I am and what I do.  So when folks heard I was an Atlanta Braves Blogger this season, the question I heard most was about Atlanta Braves discount tickets.  SO, I wanted to share some awesome little money-saving tidbits with y’all.  But this goes beyond just discount tickets for Atlanta Braves games.  I want to show you how to save even once you’re INSIDE Turner Field.

Ways to Get Atlanta Braves Discount TicketsWays to Get Atlanta Braves Discount Tickets

  • Show your military ID – All active, retired, reserve, and veteran military personnel as well as first responders may enjoy 50% off upper box or outfield tickets to all remaining regular season 2016 Braves home games, just go to GovX.com.
  • Use your college ID – For select games during the 2016 season, students with a valid college email address can purchase an Upper Box ticket and get one free, just go to  here to register your email address!
  • Sportsclips $8 Mondays – Get a Terrace View seat in Sections 224L-230R or 223R-229L for only $8 every Monday, for a savings of up to 70%!
  • Coca-Cola $12 Tuesdays – Sit in the Club Pavilion in Sections 321R-337L for only $12! This special Tuesday deal saves you up to 40%!- Sit in the Club Pavilion in Sections 321R-337L for only $12! This special Tuesday deal saves you up to 40%!
  • Gas South –  If you’re a Gas South customer, you can not only score discount tickets, but you can also get two FREE tickets to an Atlanta Braves game.  You can also save up to gas-south.com/offers Sunday through Thursday all season long.  You’ll need to have your account information handy (such as your latest bill) to verify that you’re a Gas South customer.
  • Subway – Yep.  Subway. If you buy a medium drink and get the specially-marked cup around the metro-Atlanta area, there’s a peelie on there for $10 off tickets to an Atlanta Braves game.  You’ll go to the website listed on the peelie, and enter the discount code.  The code is good for up to four tickets, which means you can save up to $40!  Not bad for the price of one drink, huh?
  • Goldstar – Enjoy tickets for $21 each for Friday night Fireworks for June 24 and July 1 through Goldstar.   Want to go when the NY Mets are in town June 23, 25, or 26?  On Thursday the 23rd, there’s a bobble head giveaway, on Sunday the 26th (as always) kids run the bases before the game, and on Friday the 25th, some guy name Flo-Rida is performing.  😉  There’s also discount tickets for when the Miami Marlins are in town, as well as the Cincinnati Reds, San Francisco Giants, and the Cleveland Indians.
  • Also, check out places like Shopper, Stubhub, SeatGeek, and more for savings.

Atlanta Braves Discount Tickets - Things to do at Turner Field

Once you’re actually IN Turner Field, there’s tons of family-friendly activities to do, many that are free!  For starters, there’s The Sky Zone at the very top of the stadium – just follow the stairs all the way up to the very top!  You can sit on some cool coke-bottle shaped oversized chairs, “run the bases” on the psuedo small field, or just admire the magnficent view of the city AND the game, all in one spot.

Perhaps the very best feature for families bringing small kids is the CHOA Hope and Will’s Dugout, which includes the Tomahawk Treehouse.  Yep.  There’s an actual playground at Turner Field!  The Dugout will sometimes have tee balls and opportunity for kiddos to participate in a small game.

Also, did you know every Sunday home game, kids get to run the bases on the field?  If you’re a Kids Club member, your kiddos get to go to the front of the line for this experience.  There are two Kids Club membership options: the FREE membership gets you a passport, lanyard, BOGO ticket offer and stickers for every Atlanta Braves home game attended throughout 2016.  For $25, you get everything included in the basic membership, PLUS exclusive gifts and offers such as BOGO ticket offer and passes to the VIP Batting Practice Experience.  This is a great value if you plan to frequent home games this season with your kids.Atlanta-Braves-Discount-tickets_kids-club

My number one tip for savings once you’re in Turner Field: BYOB.  Well, bring your own soft-sided cooler.  Yep, you can bring your own food, snacks, and drinks inside.  You may NOT bring alcoholic beverages, nor glass or aluminum drinks.

However, I do recommend you try some of the new cuisine available at Turner Field this year, including the new Burgerizza, which is exactly as it sounds: a 20 oz burger, FIVE cheddar slices, and bacon (BACON!), pressed between two Freschetta pepperoni pizzas. My personal -and unexpected favorite- is the “Tater Tot Chop”, which starts with a layer of tater tots pressed in a waffle iron, loaded with bacon (BACON!), melted cheese and jalapenos, topped with a second tater tot waffle and served with Coca-Cola-infused ketchup.  Trust me, you won’t regret trying these dishes at least once!  Also, kids can enjoy a “Sandlot Snacks” kids meal, which include a hot dog, Welch’s fruit snack, and a kids’ beverage with a souvenir cup.

Atlanta Braves Discount Tickets - Great Grub at Turner Field

Two of my blogger friends and fellow #BravesBloggers have must-reads for Turner Field: Lindsay, of Redhead Baby Mama has a fantastic list of must-see offerings at the stadium, and Kecia of Momerish shares a list of kid-friendly things to do while you’re there.

Atlanta Braves Discount Tickets - Braves Blogger logo

Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

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