April 2012

Find coupons online to save money on groceries

Not all great coupons come from the newspaper.

In the pursuit to save money, many moms are turning to coupons for discounts on everything from toothpaste to cereal. Until recent years, the number of folks who embraced“couponing” was relatively small, but with the economic downturn and jaw-dropping savings televised on shows like “Extreme Couponing” more and more moms are taking advantage of this method of frugal shopping.

 

Even if you're not interested in becoming an extreme couponer like those portrayed on TV, you may be seeking some relief for your household and food budget. Using coupons is a legitimate way to save money on the products you use in your home and can really make a difference in how much you spend from week to week.

 

If you're a super coupon-loving mama, chances are you're no stranger to coupon inserts and online coupon databases. But, if you're just getting started, it's important to know where to go for some great coupons outside of your Sunday paper.

Have a 'Mom and Me' spa day at home

A mother-daughter spa day at home can save cash and give you a unique opportunity to bond.

Every girl loves to feel pampered, whether she's 13 or 33. Unfortunately, going to the spa for a 'mom and me' spa outing can add up quickly and any relaxation you may feel during your beauty day will quickly morph into panic when it's time to pay the piper.

 

Instead of shelling out hundreds of dollars for a few beauty treatments, why not have your own 'mom and me' spa day from the comfort of your own home? Not only will you save a bundle, but you can take pictures, swap stories and even invite a friend or two without worrying about time constraints or feeling awkward about having a little avocado on your faces.

Kinect evens the video game playing field for moms who aren't gamers

Since moving your body controls the game, even non-gamer moms like myself can join in on the fun.

I admit that I have never been very good at playing video games. Sure, when I was a kid, I helped Mario save the princess, but I quickly grew out of that phase and moved on to other hobbies. Since then, video games have become so complex and controllers have so many buttons that I couldn’t figure them out to save my sweet soul. Thankfully, technology finally came through and I can literally get back in the game.

Recently, we purchased an Xbox 360 with the Kinect motion control device. My husband and children can spend hours mashing buttons on games like Halo, but when I try to do something, I get shot down before I've even figured out how to walk without twirling in circles and staring at the sky.

Tips to explore other niches before starting new blogs

"Rather than get crushed under the weight of multiple blogs with different themes, why not give these ideas a try first?"

A common problem amongst long-term, serious bloggers is the itch to start acquiring and launching multiple sites. Last week we talked about the dangers of collecting too many blogs, including diminishing post quality and total blogging burnout. It's hard to keep up with several sites, but still that urge to branch out gets to be really strong and many of us try to do it anyway.

 

Unless you have help from other writers, chances are being bogged—or blogged—down is on the horizon. So, rather than get crushed under the weight of multiple blogs with different themes, why not give these ideas a try first? You won't have to abandon your original blog, but you might just kick the blog collecting bug before it gets too firm a grip on you.

A Mighty Girl

Here it is! The perfect resource for books and movies about mighty girls!

No, it’s not a kids’ meal for girls; A Mighty Girl is a new resource designed for us moms who are just exhausted with today’s media, fighting for balanced portrayal between male and female roles, female characters beyond the sidekick best friend or love interest, and for lead females our daughters can really look up to.

A Mighty Girl is a free source of movies, books, and other media that has been mom-tested and found to include strong female characters who are leaders, dreamers, thinkers; characters who our girls (and boys—boys need good female role models, too!) can really look up to, be inspired by, and connect with.

Turn your vacation photos into a special souvenir

Rather than collecting a bunch of little keepsakes, turn a photo scavenger hunt into a family tradition.

When you're vacationing with your family, there are tons of things you have to carry and keep track of, from luggage to important papers. And, as if everything you brought along isn't enough to lug around, you're compelled to pick up bulky souvenirs, which add weight and take up precious space.

 

Rather than collecting chachkis along the way, why not turn some of your vacation photos into the souvenir? It can even be part of the vacation fun. Since you'll most likely be taking a ton of pictures anyway, you can easily include a little photo scavenger hunt into the itinerary.

Have you caught the blog collecting bug?

Have you ever been bitten by the blog-collecting bug? I'm not talking about your first blog. You know—the one you started when you just needed a little place that was all your own? We've all got that precious first blog that began as a mish-mash of funny kid stories and sleep-deprived rants about infomercials.

 

But then something happened: you got serious. After you'd been writing awhile, you started to want to gain a larger audience beyond your family and friends. So, you did a little research and found it would be easier to build a bigger fan base if your blog was more focused. So, you wrinkled your nose, but reluctantly complied, because with all the work you put into that written extension of yourself, you wanted it to reach people that would “get” you.

Visit your nearest lake to experience a much-needed break

Low-cost way for you to unwind

 

One of the best things about spring and summer is getting to hang out at your nearest body of water. Most people live in destinations that don't have an ocean nearby. Head to your closest lake that has a beach attached to it where it's OK to swim. When you hang out and swim in the water you may find your anxiety disappears while feelings of peace and well-being come front and center in your mind, which is important for moms who need a chance to spend a day recharging.

 

Go with or without your kids to reap the full benefits of spending a day a the lake. Some women enjoy going with their kids and find that this is the easiest way they can experience relaxation while others need to go with their husband or a close group of friends to recharge. One of my favorite ways to unwind is to go to a lake that's close by to where we live with my husband and baby. Going with my family brings on a sense of relaxation, better than if I went alone.

Suck the Marrow Out of Life

Just Don’t Slurp the Straw

I love going to new places with my family. I love to watch my daughter’s eyes light up when she sees something new or experiences something for the first time, whether it’s feeding a goat or riding on a carousel. But it kind of ruins the moment when some yuppie with a fanny pack and two bags of gear has to set up his tripod in a perfect pose to capture every damn second of his baby’s life.

Everywhere we go as the weather warms up is teeming with people who act like tourists but they aren’t tourists; they are simply new parents—or seasoned parents!—who can’t bear to let a moment pass without capturing it forever. Hello, I am trying to actually LIVE in this moment, and if you could move your damn tripod so my kid can stick a bottle in the goat’s mouth, I would appreciate it, thankyouverymuch.

Simple toys that kids always enjoy

Some things are just timeless...thankfully.

A parent can go broke buying fancy electronic games and toys. Every time you walk down a toy aisle, your head feels like it could explode from all the new, ridiculously expensive, “must-haves” for kids these days.

 

These toys, with all their bells and whistles, are cool and sometimes even educational, but they're also often loved momentarily and then soon forgotten. It's like every parent knows: you can spend $50 on the toy, but the kid will be more interested in the box.

 

While there's no escaping the purchase of some of these more extravagant modern toys for birthdays and holidays, there are several staples that have been around for decades and still boast astonishing popularity amongst the kiddies. And, the coolest part? They're simple and cheap—my favorite combination!

Benefits of chewing on a stick of gum

Indulge your inner child

 

How many times have you stood in line at the grocery store check-out counter, listening to your kids nag you for a package of gum? I know plenty of parents who go through the shopping ritual of fending off the impulse buys calling the name of their children. I also know a lot of adults who love chewing gum but may not get it every time because of warnings from a well-meaning dentist about how sugar destroys your teeth. Put your dental fears to rest because most gum nowadays comes in a sugar free form that doesn't harm teeth in any way. The last time my husband and I went to the store he hand to search hard to find a package of gum that contained sugar.

Money making scams

Find real work-at-home opportunities

We all dream of staying home with our kids, but for some of us it can only be a dream. The reality is that most families think they need two incomes to survive, which is often the case if we have overspent and found ourselves in debt. Single parents must work, since they are the sole bread winner. This desire to stay at home makes many of us a target for online work-at-home scams.