5 Ways We’ve Saved Money This Week 46

5 Ways We’ve Saved Money This Week 46

disclosure

It’s already another Frugal Friday again!  This is the 46th edition of the 5 Ways We’ve Saved Money This Week series.  That means that there’s a long list of ways to save on this site.  You can read through the entire series here if you are looking for extra money saving tips.

I’ll confess that I’m not a morning person.  So getting back into the habit of getting up for school is hard.  Being tired is a spending trigger for me.  The temptation to grab a pricey pop (Coke, soda…what do you call it?) on the go is strong.  But I’ve been avoiding it!  That makes me feel like Superwoman.

(more…)

How to Freeze Corn the Easy Way

How to Freeze Corn the Easy Way

disclosure

There are lots of reasons to learn how to freeze corn.  Maybe you were blessed with a windfall like us.  Or you grew your own great crop.  Or maybe you even happened upon an amazing deal at a farm stand or supermarket.  Don’t let it go to waste!

Freezing corn is simple and requires little equipment.  Today I’m going to teach you my little “cheater” tricks to freezing corn the easy way.

(more…)

Groupon Goods: You’ll Be Surprised at What You Can Find

Groupon Goods: You’ll Be Surprised at What You Can Find

This sponsored post is brought to you by Groupon Goods.  All opinions are my own.

A great way to save money is to look for deals throughout the year on gift items.  One site you won’t want to miss is Groupon.  They always have super savings.  But today, I want to introduce you to another part of Groupon: Groupon Goods.

Who doesn’t want to get ahead on some Christmas or birthday shopping?

(more…)

9 Things I Learned in My First Year of Blogging

9 Things I Learned in My First Year of Blogging

Medium Sized Family has turned one!  I’m so excited about reaching this milestone.  I actually published the blog in July 2015, but I didn’t tell a soul about it until August 6, 2015.  So I consider that to be the blog’s “birthday”.

I’ve come a long, long way since those first posts.  When I look back at some of my first work, I’m a bit embarrassed at how little I knew.  But more than that, I’m proud of how far I’ve come!  I’ve learned a ton about things I didn’t even know existed a year ago.

I’ve made new friends and met some fabulous readers.  I’ve learned about some of your struggles, and I’ve learned how to better handle my own.

(more…)

5 Ways We’ve Saved Money This Week 45

5 Ways We’ve Saved Money This Week 45

disclosure

Happy Frugal Friday!  I like to spend Fridays tracking some of the ways we’ve saved money over the past week.  Writing this series has held me accountable, and I consider it one of the important methods we’ve used to pay down debt in our #yearofno.  If you like, you can read through the entire series.

School is back in session for us this week.  I’m not sure if that helps me save money, since the kids are always need money for something school related.  But at least we have a routine again.

(more…)

7 Ways to Pile Up Christmas Money: Simplify

7 Ways to Pile Up Christmas Money: Simplify

Today we are going to wrap up the final post in the 7 Ways to Pile Up Christmas Money series. If  you missed any part of the series, be sure to go back and read through all the ideas.  You’re sure to find something to put to use.

So far we have talked about ways to find money and ways to stretch that money across your list of giftees.  Now let’s talk about stretching your Christmas money by simplifying.

(more…)

My S.M.A.R.T Yearly Goals: August Check In

My S.M.A.R.T Yearly Goals: August Check In

disclosure

Yeah, I know.  Here we are halfway through August and I’m just now getting my July progress put up.  Summertime is nuts!  I’m sure you’ve been as busy as I have been.

I’m almost looking forward to the routine of the school year.  Almost.

But lets get down to it!

(more…)

7 Ways to Pile Up Christmas Money: Do It Yourself

7 Ways to Pile Up Christmas Money: Do It Yourself

Today we are going to continue our series on 7 Ways to Pile Up Christmas Money.  If you missed any of the previous days in the series, you can find them at the bottom of this post.

Today we’ll talk about another method for giving gifts:  do it yourself Christmas presents (DIY).

Some of you are saying “Wait a minute.  You, the self proclaimed Non-DIYer, are going to tell me to do it myself?  Ha!”  But give me a chance to explain myself here!

I am not a crafty person.  Some people (like The Prudent Homemaker) virtually ooze creative juices from their every pore.  Those people can lovingly craft gifts for every person on their list, and everyone would be joyful to receive such gifts.

(more…)

Back to School Tips: How to Get Back to the Routine

Back to School Tips: How to Get Back to the Routine

disclosure

I don’t know about you, but I feel like I can never collect too many back to school tips.  This time of year brings up mixed emotions.  I don’t enjoy alarm clocks and keeping up with school supplies.  But it is nice to get back to a routine that works well for us.

Over the years, I’ve found some excellent resources that keep our family on track.

Here are my best back to school tips.

Back to School Tips- How to Get Back to the Routine. Looking for ways to simplify your back to school routine? Here are some tips to keep life flowing smoothly without all the hassle.

One last fling

While you’re figuring out schedules and supplies, don’t forget about having some fun, too!  Was there one thing you’ve been meaning to do all summer, but just never got around to it?  What would your kids love to do one last time?  Try to fit in that trip to the pool, a backyard camp out, or one more night of catching lightning bugs.

Supplies

Look back over your school shopping lists to be sure you didn’t miss anything important.  And if you know the kids will need a refill of certain items (I’m looking at you, no. 2 pencils) halfway through the year, buy extras while they are on sale.

Be sure to check out my 5 Best Ways to Save Money on Back to School Supplies.

Packing Lunches

Ugh, I don’t miss packing lunches over the summer!  But it’s a great way to save money over the cost of a school lunch, so we always try to pack as often as we can.

I’ve simplified that process as much as possible.  Even a kindergartner can pack parts of their lunch, so be sure to ask the kids to pull their own weight!  We always put lunches together the night before.  Refrigerated items can go in a basket marked with each child’s name for simple mornings.

Get more tips on simplifying lunches (plus a free printable!) here.

Know Your Schedule

I’m lost without my calendar.  With so many kids in different activities, it’s too hard to keep track of everything.  At the beginning of the school year, I try to find a school calendar and enter as many items on my own calendar as I can.  So in August, I already have some idea of what next May will be like for us.

Of course, sometimes things change.  So you’ll want to double check items on your calendar throughout the year.

I love using my Cozi calendar, because it’s free (#yearofno approved!).  It has an app that both Hubby and I can access (so we can schedule appointments on the go).  Plus it’s color coded, so I can see at a glance that our oldest needs to be here while my youngest should be there.

Have a Routine

When I first decided to put a routine in place for our family, I was too strict.  We were to eat at noon, followed by naps at 1:00 on the dot.  So if we were out running errands, I’d drop everything to be home by noon exactly.  I was lost when we deviated from that routine.

Now I realize how silly that was.  When you have a young family, you have to have a fluid routine.  A general plan or checklist of things that have to be done each day is good, but it has to move with life.

Now I’ve got my own plan.  Each morning, I must empty the dishwasher, run a load of laundry, make the bed, and choose supper.  Even if I don’t do anything else on a busy day, our family will be able to run smoothly.

The kids have expectations for the morning, too. They must:

  • dress down to shoes
  • eat breakfast
  • brush teeth
  • put together lunch (packed the night before)
  • gather everything needed for school

That must be done before any reading or play happens.

If this is an area that you struggle with, I recommend Make Over Your Mornings by Crystal Paine (Money Saving Mom).  I took this course myself, and it has a wealth of information to make your life flow more smoothly!  I am NOT a morning person (you don’t want to try to talk to me before coffee!), but even I got a lot out of this course.  So don’t worry that she’s going to hound you to get out of bed at 5 am.

There’s also a Make Over Your Evenings course.  I haven’t tried that one, but I’m sure it’s also excellent.

Both of those courses are on sale for only $10 right now.  But you’ll need to act by August 15th to get that low price!

Bedtime

Many people suggest that you acclimate kids to an earlier school year bedtime a bit at a time.  Move their summer bedtime forward 15 minutes each night until you’ve reached your goal.

I’m sure that’s great information, but I don’t find that it works well for our family.  I prefer to make sure they get up a bit earlier each day leading up to the big morning.  But we mainly use the “It’s the first day of school! Get out of bed!” shock method.  My kids adjust fine within a few days.

I do find it important to have a bedtime routine.  It’s great for everyone in the family!  Give your body a signal that you’re getting ready to lie down for the night.  Try washing your face (or showering) and reading for a bit (if that’s calming for you).  Another trick?  Let the kids stay up an extra half hour to read.  It’s a great way to encourage your kids to love reading!

These back to school tips will have your family ready to go by the time the bus rolls up your street.

Need to find a way to raise funds without asking parents to give even more money?  This fundraiser is the easiest one I’ve ever done.  You can raise money for your school group without asking friends and family to spend a dime!  Check it out here:

A New Fundraiserfor Groups That Hate to Sell

 

What’s your best back to school tip?  Be sure to share below!