There’s just a FEW days left to get in on the chance to WIN our membership gift pack! Until the end of February, we will continue counting our month-to-month Molly memberships looking for lucky #100. Sign up HERE TODAY and be automatically entered to win this amazing GIFT PACK.
When you purchase an auto-renewing membership for ONLY $3.85/month, you’ll immediately have access to this month’s Money-Saving Magazine as well as over 4 years of back issues! The longer you remain a member, the more goodies you will receive. Over time, additional Molly E-Books such as Molly Gets Organized All In One Place and In The Kitchen With Molly will be added to your account. Oh! And if you don’t agree that my magazine and resources save you well more than $3.85/month, you can quickly and easily unsubscribe at any time. No muss, no fuss!
Discount Home School Supplies (www.dhss.com) is giving away one Fireproof DVD with the Love Dare book and Love Dare Cards to help you celebrate Valentine’s Day. The retail value of all three items is $37.97. Discount Home School Supplies has them on sale this month for a total retail price of $32.97.
Your marriage is worth a date night to watch the DVD. When combined with reading the book and using the Love Dare Cards, you may see wonderful fruit in your marriage.
The movie Fireproof stars Kirk Cameron stars as Capt. Caleb Holt who lives by the old firefighter’s adage: Never leave your partner behind. Inside burning buildings, it’s his natural instinct. In the cooling embers of his marriage, it’s another story. After seven years of marriage, Caleb and Catherine Holt have drifted so far apart that they are ready to move on without each other. Yet as they prepare to enter divorce proceedings, Caleb’s dad asks his son to try an experiment: The Love Dare. While hoping The Love Dare has nothing to do with his parents’ new found faith, Caleb commits to the challenge. But can he attempt to love his wife while avoiding God’s love for him? Will he be able to demonstrate love over and over again to a person that’s no longer receptive to his love? Or is this just another marriage destined to go up in smoke?
For more information about the DVD and book, please visit the home page of Discount Home School Supplies at WWW.DHSS.COM.
SIGN UP and be entered now!
Well, it’s February. We’re full swing into the new year, and I’m busy organizing, planning, and scheduling everything!
As a busy mom, I don many hats: wife, mom, teacher, accountant, maid, chef, chaperone, and bus driver. The fun never stops around here! However, in order for everything to run on schedule and smoothly, everything must be well organized and planned out.
I’ve just sent in my income tax statement and I know I should get a refund check in about 5 weeks, around the middle of March. This year’s refund is about the same as last year’s. Being a big family, we depend greatly on that refund to help supplement our income for the year.
Last year, we took an out of state trip and fitted one child for contacts. The total of those expenses took about $1000 from our yearly budget and savings. Although that may not seem like much, that extra $1000 expenditure made things very tight for us during the last few months. I will be glad to see that IRS refund this year and plan to use it, or “not use it” wisely. I don’t want to be in a tight bind, financially, this time next year.
Plan It All Out
In order to do this we must budget well. This year, I have a child who will not only be starting dual credit at the community college, but also gets her driver’s license and will be spending a week this summer at our local university for String (Violin) Camp. Whew! This will all be figured into the yearly budget. To budget accordingly, we have to plan the whole year out. We’ll sit down with our calendar and make a list of events and expenditures we already know about this year. Those amounts will be figured into our yearly budget so that there will be no surprises or short comings when the need arises.
Molly The Debt Free Frugalista
Also, we talk about being content, enjoying what you have, living within your means and learning to minimize, recycle, and reuse. It’s not always easy being a frugalista. Sometimes it means just doing without. However, sometimes it’s just a matter of figuring how to get the things my family needs in creative ways.
All our needs are provided for and we live well within our means. That gives me a sense of accomplishment and a desire to share what I’ve learned with all of you.
I hope you will enjoy this month’s magazine. Take a little time each day to read over all the articles. Bake up a batch of pancakes with your DIY Baking mix. Sew a comfy new bed for the family cat and spend some time asking yourself, ” Are you content?” and ” How can I enjoy my life and family more?” Make the most of every moment and share with others your experiences and what you’ve learned.
Share a Copy
“Do you know someone that is struggling to make ends meet? Do they need help learning to budget, becoming debt free or finding affordable health insurance and medical care options?
Show them this magazine and let them know we’re here to help. As always, they can get their own copy for just $4.95 a month or become Molly Members for a yearly price of just $3.85 a month. Becoming a Molly Member will gain them access to all of the wonderful money saving, debt busting, economy- busting resources Molly has shared with you. Pass it On!
In honor of the last day of 2012, I’ll be extending our ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP SPECIAL for 7 more days. Did you pick yours up yet? We’re currently offering YOU the price of $29. The normal price is $39 for one year or $3.85 per month. With an annual membership comes every one of my magazines from 2009-2012, all of the 2013 magazines AND all 5 of my E-Books. I’m offering you everything I have to help you kick start the New Year with more bang for your buck. The resources don’t stop there! The 100th membership gift pack has been claimed BUT I’ve put together more goodies for you! Subscription #150 AND #200 will receive The Old Schoolhouse Cranberry totes for you AND for a friend! Will you be a winner?
SIGN-UP is quick and easy (you can also click on the green button on the right sidebar)! Come over now and grab this membership offer before it’s gone. If you don’t have time to dig into all the goodies now, be sure to purchase your subscription and come back later to start saving money in every area of your life!
See you soon, Molly
Search the weekly ads and use coupons. Most grocery ads come out every Wednesday and retail ads come out on Sundays. The age of the giant Sunday newspaper full of ads and coupons has almost passed us by. Now days, you might find good deals in the Sunday paper, but your best bet is to hit the web. One of the best ad websites for supermarkets and retail chains is SundaySaver.com. They post links to almost all of the national chain stores.
Most coupon lovers are familiar with the inserts found in the Sunday newspaper. The three main companies that provide these coupons are Smart Source, Red Plum, and Proctor & Gamble. All three companies also provide coupons online. Providing printable coupons on the Internet makes collecting and sharing coupons with others very simple. In fact, one website, Coupons.com, usually hosts them all in one place.
Make Shopping a Game
Create a monthly challenge. Each month, make it a goal to save more than the month before. Find ways to collect more coupons, stack more deals, and earn more rebates. Over time, shoppers learn pricing and predict when items will go on sale. Look for deals all year long: garage sales, thrift stores, second hand stores, Goodwill, and Salvation Army.
Don’t Forget FREE and FREEBIES
You might begin by signing up for your local Freecycle group. Anytime you need something for yourself, the home, or the kids, ask your Freecycle group first. This is an easy way to receive TVs, electronics, small appliances, clothes, toys, and books. You can also list things you no longer need on this group!
Speaking of books, we all know about Amazon, but occasionally, you can find what you want for free on Paperback Swap. You post the books you no longer want. Other people request those books from you. You mail a book to that person, (at your cost), and then you get to pick a book to be mailed to you! If the book you are looking for isn’t listed, check Deal Oz. This website does the book searching for you and finds the best deals on the web for books, CDs and DVDs.
Lastly, you might be interested in these points incentive programs: MyPoints, Swagbucks, and Amazon. You can earn points toward free gift cards simply by reading MyPoints daily emails, (no purchase required). If you use Swagbucks as your search engine, you also can earn points toward free gift cards, but it’s not as easy as MyPoints. Amazon has started a new incentive program where you agree to review products. If you are chosen. They send you the products free of charge to keep!!! It’s called the Amazon Vine. Check it out!
Here at Econobusters, we’ve set a priority that in all, Christ comes first, and in this month’s Molly Green Magazine, “Molly Makes Merry”, we have tried to help you keep Christ in Christmas with God and family first.
For most of the nation, the day after Thanksgiving, Black Friday, is the biggest shopping day of the year. However, you won’t find me out among the crowds. I usually try to make or buy most of gifts before Thanksgiving, and then I spend the weekend with my family decorating our home for the holidays.
As a busy mom, I do quite a bit of my shopping online. Give it a try, stay home this year and shop online. There are many great deals and incentives on the web. In fact, sometimes, with free shipping, the online deals can be better than the in-store door-busters.
Shopping for Christmas can be fun and I enjoy the hunt for the perfect gift for someone special, but are the Black Friday deals really worth the stress, frustration, and madness? I say,”No, it is not for me.”
Black Friday Deals Online
Computer-based retailers and traditional chain retailers have been listing Black Friday ads, deals and incentives for weeks. Many offer free shipping and are offering Black Friday deals online starting Thanksgiving Day.
Amazon has expanded to sell everything from toys to household items, but it is still a front-runner for media and electronics. Many items are being offered at 40%-50% off, and most items qualify for free shipping with a $25 purchase. This is a good place to start shopping for Nitendo DS, Xbox, and PS3 games. Also, hard to find toys like Lego sets can easily be purchased on Amazon and shipped straight to the recipient. Some items can be gift wrapped as well.
Another place I frequent is Walmart.com. Many of the same deals you find in store are also listed online but with free shipping to your home or your nearest Walmart location (Site to Store). The nice thing about Walmart.com is that if you need to return the item, for any reason, you don’t have to ship it back. It can be returned, refunded, or exchanged at your local store.
Almost every store in America now has a website for online shopping. However, do beware of shipping charges. You’ll save gas money by staying home, but that savings may disappear after paying shipping charges from online retailers. Look for free shipping incentives.
Retailers are desperate for sales. Black Friday sales aren’t necessarily the best deal. As the holidays get closer, more deals and bargains will be posted online.
Look For and Create Other Gift Options
A gift is a gift, and it really is the thought that counts. So many of us are struggling just to pay the bills, keep a roof over our heads, and food on our tables. There are no rules to gift giving. The best gift is a gift from the heart.
If you enjoy baking or crafts, find a way to make your gifts this year. Many women I know knit, crochet, make soaps, or candles. These are all great gift ideas. Don’t bust the budget or go into debt just to give someone gift for Christmas. Some of the best gifts are free gifts. In fact, the best gift I ever received was FREE INDEED.
Remember, keep Christ in Christmas.
Please Share Your Christmas Gift Giving Strategies!
We want to hear from you. Are you planning to shop Friday? What’s your strategy? What deals have you found? Are you shopping in stores, online, or both? Do you make your own Christmas gifts? If so, please share with us your creations. We’d love to hear about your gifts “from the heart.”
This is the time of year when planning ahead becomes so very crucial to getting everything done. For most of us as moms, we stay busy tending to our families and various projects within our churches and communities. Sometimes, I get so busy that I forget I need to go grocery shopping.
Make a List and Take Inventory
This past weekend, I finally stopped to take inventory. The next few weeks and months are going to be crazy. Thanksgiving is 2 weeks away. The holidays will bring with them a host of social events, luncheons, dinners, cookie swaps, etc. How am I to remember everything? How am I going to be able to afford everything? The answer…shop sale ads, clip coupons and buy in bulk.
First, I sat down and made up menus for the five special dinners I knew I was going to have during the holidays: Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve,Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. I made a list of everything I would need and then I added to that list my normal everyday groceries, toiletries, etc.
With that done, the next step is to strategize how to afford everything. It’s not easy. However, I figured by shopping the weekly sales ads, cutting coupons and shopping in bulk, I could cut the cost down and buy just about everything I needed for the next two months all in one day. I know from experience that this is the time of year to stock up on poultry, baking needs and canned goods. They’re all on sale.
Did I succeed? Yes, I did. It took some time to plan out the list, shop the ads,print and cut the coupons, but in the end, I bought two months worth of groceries and toiletries,(which included diapers and pull-ups for two kids) for a grand total of $460. That breaks down to $230 a month for a family of 7,(and that includes my 5 special dinners).
Match Store Sales To Coupons Available
Start by searching store ads in your local area. A great way to find these ads online is by using the website SundaySaver.com. Match store ads with coupons for some great deals.The three main coupon manufacturers in the USA are Smart Source, Red Plum, and Proctor & Gable. Their coupons can be found online and in Sunday papers. Also search Coupons.com, Pillsbury and Betty Crocker websites for coupons.
To avoid going to several different stores, I also comp and match prices at Wal-Mart.
Stocking Up and Buying in Bulk
On this particular trip, I was able to buy everything at Sam’s and Wal-Mart. I buy my toilet paper, chicken, cheese, breads, and spices from Sam’s. My best buys at Sam’s were toilet paper at $.44 a roll and boneless skinless chicken breast for $1.84 a pound. When I went to Wal-Mart I price matched Albertson’s and Kroger’s sales. My best buys at Wal-Mart were on ketchup for $.49 a bottle, $.99 for a 5 pound bag of flour, $1.99 for 4 pounds of sugar, $1.99 for a pound of real butter, $1.99 for 10 pounds of russet potatoes, $3.88 for 8 pounds of oranges, $2 for 18 eggs and $.50 ea for canned vegetables and soup.
I bought in bulk wherever I could. Most everything I bought falls into two categories : dry goods and freezable. I will still go by the store every now and then for fresh milk, fruits and veggies, but the majority of what I bought will last through New Years.
Save Money by Planning and Organizing
With a little, time effort and planning, I was able to buy everything I needed from now until New Years. It’s easy to do. It just takes time to plan it all out.
Check the sale ads each week. Match the top sales with coupons available. Make menus around those top sale items and buy in bulk whenever possible.
The shopping trip itself took 5 hours. However, I took 3 of my daughters with me and we made a fun filled day of it. Quality time and quantity savings all in one afternoon. I’d say that was a good way to spend day. Wouldn’t you?
Feel free to comment. I want to hear all about your big shopping trip. How much did you save? What were your best buys?
Have you seen today’s Freebie on our Econobusters with Molly Green Facebook page?
That’s right, Domino’s is luring in customers today by giving away 100 slices of pizza at each store from 12-2 PM.
However, being the frugal Econobuster that you are, you know that one piece of pizza is not going to satisfy, and Domino’s hopes you will like their pizza so much, that you’ll buy one, or two or three whole pan pizzas and take them home for an average price of $7-$11 a pizza!
“Forget about it!”
Take the pizza delivery guy off speed dial and out of your contact list and let me show you how you can have a cheap fun family pizza night.
Family Sized Pizza at Home
Making pizza at home can be quick and easy. I use my Kenmore mixer with a dough hook attachment.
- 2 Tbsp Rapid Rise Active Yeast
- 1 Tbsp Sugar
- 2 Cups of Warm Water
- 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 5 Cups of All Purpose Flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- In a small plastic bowl, add yeast, sugar and 1 cup of the warm water.Let that stand and begin to activate for at least 5 min.
- In the mixer bowl, add flour, salt, olive oil and the additional cup of water. Lastly add the bubbling yeast mixture
- Start the mixer on low and slowly increase speed until the dough hook begins to work the dough into a ball and pull the dough off the sides of the bowl. Let the dough hook do all the work for you kneading and forming a good solid dough ( about 3-5 min on high speed)
- Stop mixer, place dough in a cool dark place, ( a greased bowl works) Let it sit and rise for 1 hour
- At the end of the hour, grease a rectangular cookie sheet, roll and flatten and form the dough to the pan. Poke holes in the bottom of the dough to allow air to escape when baking. Now you are ready to top the pizza.
- Top the pizza first with a layer of cheese: mozzerella, cheddar, whatever the family likes. Then a layer of spaghetti or pizza sauce (cheap store bought from the jar works fine), and then top with the family’s favorite toppings!
- Bake at 400F for 20 min. Let cool 5 min, cut and serve!
Keep the pizza theme going with fun family games. If fresh dough is used, have a dough tossing contest. Purchase a few unfolded pizza boxes from the local pizzeria and have a pizza box folding race to see which family member can fold boxes the fastest.
As for us, we make it a movie night too! This has become a weekly event at our house, and would you believe, my family actually prefers our homemade pizza to store bought or take-out. Sorry Domino’s.
Share Your Pizza Night With Us
If you enjoyed this post and decided to give it a try. Share with us how it turned out and how you and your family made your own Family Fun Pizza Night!
In just 8 days, guess where I’ll be? At the Expo! Will you be there?
If you’re not familiar with an expo, it is an exposition of all things wonderful. I’ll be speaking at The Old Schoolhouse Expo, have you heard of it? This is truly where frugal meets FABULOUS! You will be blessed by this absolutely FREE night of encouragement and homemaking helps brought to you in the comfort of your own home! I will be talking about homemaking how-to’s and ways to hone your skills on a frugal budget. Malia Russell from Dinner 9-1-1 will also be speaking about “Freezer Cooking Four Ways–Getting dinner on the table using the freezer”.
There are always amazing giveaways and tons of fun to be had- not to mention AMAZING tips and information! Put it on your calendar and come visit me! After my talk, there will be a time of question and answer. I’ll be available to answer your questions, personally! It’s easy (and fast!) to sign up, see you there!
Join the Free Online Schoolhouse Expo on Thursday, September 27th at 7 pm EDT!
(6pm CDT, 5pm MDT, 4pm PDT)
Home Economics and Bulk Food Preparation with Malia Russell and ME!
There are limited (FREE) seats for this webinar, Sign up now!