Back To School Supplies Savings: Parents, Teachers, Day Care Owners and Schools.

Are you looking for where you can find back to school supplies savings? It’s that time of year again. As a former day care teacher, I can still hear my parents bemoaning back to school. I can even hear my teacher friends bemoaning back to school. It is an expensive and stressful time for everyone. With paychecks shrinking and school budgets being cut, everyone is trying to get a deal on all the things their kids (both grown and small) are going to need. Not to mention the fact that you have to go out and run all around town to find what you need. But what if you could cut your running in half? Or at least shave down a quarter? Here is a list of web sites offering discounted crayons, backpacks, pencils, etc for  back to school supplies savings. Parents, teachers and day care owners rejoice.

Back To Class.

Back To School Supplies Savings

School Supplies Savings For Parents & Teachers:

Taking the headache out of all their educational needs with back to class supplies savings.

Discount School Supply-This web site has everything from crayons to construction paper to curriculum. They also offer infant and toddler supplies and products for special needs children. They offer a 110% guarantee, a wide selection and fast shipping. Orders over $99 are shipped free.

Oriental Trading-This company offers backpacks and totes, crayons, pencils and pens, etc. You can also start thinking ahead about upcoming holidays and order early. It looks like they have shipping promotions fairly regularly.

These are two sites where you can find back to a class supplies.

Academia At A Savings.

Back To School Supplie Savings

 Savings For Day Care Owners And Schools.

Here are some other sites where day care owners/school officials can find back to school supplies savings. Find some deals for all your needed supplies.

Classroom Direct-This web site is a great resource for day care owners and school districts. They offer everything from cleaning supplies to educational technology (headphones, computer accessories, interactive learning tools), furniture, physical education needs (balls, fitness equipment and team building resources) and resources for children with special needs. They offer free shipping on all orders $49 or more.

Dollar Days-If you are looking to really break down your budget, this is the site for you. You can choose from price options like price per piece, case price and case pack. They also sell school uniforms as far as pants (khaki & black) and polo shirts in various colors. The only downside to this web site I noticed was you couldn’t see some of the prices unless you had an account and were logged in.

National School Supply-This web site has offerings for just about every kind of teacher you would find in a school. There are specific sections for math, music, science and social studies classrooms, etc. They also have offerings for early childhood educators as well. Other product offerings include test prep, recycled supply products and materials for multilingual learners.

Get Your Back To School Supplies Savings.

No more running around town for supplies parents, teachers and day care owners. Now you know where to get back to school supplies savings online. So sit back, relax and let the stress melt away. With any luck, you’re children will be ready before the first bell rings.

Photo courtesy of newsong via  Pixabay.com

Photo courtesy of Wokandapix via Pixabay.com

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Walk Into School In Style: Back To School Clothes And Shoes At A Discount

Time for new back to school clothes and shoes?  Would you like to find these items at a discount? Is another high end store in the mall, overly crowded Walmart or size depleted consignment shop more than you can take? Are you ready to see the seams of your wallet relax rather than burst? Then check out the following web sites to find back to school  clothing and shoes at a discount.

Back To School Clothes And Shoes At  A Discount.

6P.M.-If your child likes to wear name brands but you don’t like to pay name brand prices, this is the site for you. They offer name brands for a lot less than you would find at the mall. Brands they carry include but are not limited to Adidas Kids, Kate Spade Kids, The North Face Kids and Puma Kids. Shipping rates vary and they have a 30 day return policy. However, they do not accept exchanges.

Schoola– This web site offers gently used brand names at up to 70% off with 40% of the proceeds benefiting kids. Schools can sign up to have a clothing drive which in partnership with Schoola generates money for their school. It’s a win-win for everyone.

Your kids will be back to school with clothes and shoes at a discount.

Walk Into School In Style.

Back To School Clothes and Shoes At A Discount

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Shoes n’ Such

BurkesOutlet– Burkes offers great prices on kids clothes and shoes, up to 70%. They offer $5 shipping on your entire order, everyday. There are some down sides though. They don’t offer exchanges, you have to place a new order which will include shipping and handling. Also, their brick and mortar stores are only located in Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, West Virginia and North and South Carolina. Still, I think it is a site worth checking out.

thredUp– This is the largest online thrift store offering 90% merchandise and free shipping over $79. You have to acquire an account before you can browse merchandise. This site offers kids clothes and shoes at a discount.

FabKids– Fabkids has a lot of cute styles for kids at reasonable prices. Outfits start at $29.95, dresses $19.95, pants from $19.95 and tops from $14.95, if you are a VIP. There are two ways to shop on the site. You can shop via regular membership in which case outfit pricing starts at $42.00. Or you can go VIP which includes 50% off retail pricing, your first outfit is $15, you get exclusive VIP pricing, personalized outfit picks and rewards earnings. How does it work? You get a personalized FabShop on the first of the month which includes styles handpicked for your child via their style team. You have to choose by the 5th of the month weather you are going to shop or not. If you do not take action, your credit card will be charged $29.95 on the sixth of the month. The good news? You can cancel any time. Talk about clothes and shoes for back to school that rock.

Back To School Clothes And Shoes At A Discount Made Easy.

These web sites should make clothing and shoe shopping for back to school fairly easy. No fighting crowds or cramming in dressing rooms. Now that’s called back to school shopping for clothes and shoes at a discount. Your child’s closet will be ready to go way before the bus shows. They will be going back in style,you can relax and smile, and they will be looking cool for back to school. I hope you enjoy  shopping for back to school clothes and shoes at a discount.

Photo courtesy of MAKY_OREL via Pixabay.com

Photo courtesy of PurPura via Pixabay.com

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Today is Dairy Queen Miracle Treat Day

Dairy Queen Miracle Treat Day is here! When you buy a blizzard today, part of the proceeds go to the Children’s Miracle Network.  Why do I love this so much? Well, I was born three months premature and spent four and a half months in our children’s hospital.  Some of the doctors and nurses that treated me and took care of me in the NICU are still working there today.  It’s important to me to give back when I can. Over the years I have helped with my Dad’s charity motorcycle ride, answered phones at the telethon, etc.  Being able to treat myself to some ice cream while giving back is a win-win for me.

Dairy Queen Miracle Treat Day.

Dairy Queen Miracle Treat Day

So go out on your lunch break or stop by with your kids. Enjoy delicious blizzard favorites like  peanut butter cup, Oreo, french silk pie, or the blizzard of the month. Donating to Children’s Miracle Network is like giving back to your own kids and kids in the community. You hope you never have to use their services on an emergency basis, but you can take comfort knowing they will always be there. Go donate a miracle on Miracle Treat Day.

Photo courtesy of AnnRos via  Pixabay.com

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How To Make A Monthly Budget

How to make a monthly budget? A lot of people are confused by this.  Okay, so you’ve decided to take the bull by the horns and get your finances under control. You have listened to various financial experts and are going to start doing a budget every month. What information do you need? How long is this going to take?

I’ve been doing my budget for eight years and it usually takes me about an hour a month to write it all out. I do this before the following month even starts so I have a very good idea where we are at.

Here is how to make a monthly budget in just a few easy steps.

Step 1: I gather my checkbook, log into my bank account and grab a notebook. I take note of the balance in my checking account and then subtract what hasn’t come through yet. I write this number on the top left hand side of the page.

Step 2: I add my estimated paycheck amount to my bank balance for the first week.

Make A Budget

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Step 3: At the top of the page I account for our expenses for the month in two columns. Then I make four columns for the rest of the month. I label each of these columns according to how many weeks in the month. (Week 1,2,3,4,etc.)

Step 4: I go back to the page with our expenses listed and make notes of the due dates for each bill then allot a certain amount for weekly expenses like gas and groceries. Then I look at the calendar and plan out what bills are going to be paid which week.

Step 5: I add all our bills for each week. Gas and groceries are included every week.

Step 6: Next, I go back to the balance in my notebook and start subtracting bills. If I get to the end of Week 1 and there’s a balance leftover then that money gets rolled over to the next week and added to the next paycheck. I keep doing this until all bills are accounted for. If there is a balance leftover at the end of the month, I split it and put half of it in savings. That is how to make a monthly budget.

When you first get started, it isn’t going to go smoothly. Things will come up, you will forget small items like birthday presents, flea treatment for the dog or your kid’s soccer cleats. It takes about 90 days before everything is smooth sailing, but the peace of mind you will have knowing exactly what comes in and goes out will be priceless. This is how to make a monthly budget.

Photo courtesy of wapczocha via  Pixabay.com

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Discount Web Sites For Music, Movies, Books And More

Do you want to find some priced just right discount web sites? Are you a savvy shopper? Keep a close eye on your budget? Are you an entertainment lover, wine connoisseur, or candy fanatic? We all love to treat ourselves once in awhile. But books, DVDs and CD’s can be pricey. Wine can sometimes be out of sight and the packaging of candy seems to be getting smaller and smaller. The following web sites will help you indulge in your passions and save some cash. Here are some great discount web sites when you want to treat yourself to music, movies, books and more.

If you love music, try:

SecondSpin.com: I love Second Spin and have ordered from them various times. They offer used CD’s, DVD’s and Vinyl and prices are very good. They often run promotions and specials. Shipping is a standard $3.99 on all orders in the U.S. They also have a great variety. Order something that is defective? No worries, they will send you a return label for an exchange. This must be done within 30 days of ordering. Looking to make some money? They will buy your used CD’s and DVD’s. They will even reimburse you for the shipping.

Deep Discount.com: Deep discounts offers new movies/tv shows, cds, vinyl, fitness accessories, Blu-ray and DVD’s, electronics, video games, etc. Everything on the site is brand new.

More Discount Sites…

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If you love Books, try:

Book Outlet. I came across Book Outlet last year when I was Christmas shopping. They have a good selection of discounted books. Sometimes you will find what you’re looking for and sometimes you won’t. They do have really good prices. I got my Mom a cookbook by chef Lydia Bastianich for $13.00, normally $30. I also ordered other books for friends last year. Another perk is every time you order a book you get a $5 coupon for your next order. (Limit 1 coupon per order regardless of quantity.)

Thriftbooks. Thriftbooks is a new and used book store online. Each book must pass a quality control test before being offered for sale. Orders over $10 have free shipping. They are environmentally conscious in that they ship books in 100% recycled packaging. Also, if there is no demand for a book they either donate it to charity or recycle it, keeping more waste out of our land fills. They have reasonable prices and a very good selection.

Priced just right discount web sites.

Even more discount web sites.

If you love wine, try:

WineExpress.com. Wine Express has a lot of wines to choose from. You can purchase by the bottle or by the case. You can shop by type, country, expert rating, price, on sale, etc.

Tastingroom.com. Tastingroom.com sells sample size 50ml bottles. These are about the size of a pour at a wine tasting. Not only is this a great site for wine connoisseurs but also for those just learning about wines. This is because consumers can buy mixed sampler packs at extremely reasonable prices.

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If you love candy, try:

 Discount candy

Thewholesalecandyshop.com This web site is a candy lovers dream. You can buy all kinds of candy in bulk which is good for larger families. (Think treats for potty training? Or a special treat in a lunchbox?) You can also buy single candy bars as well. They also sell cough drops in bulk which would be good for large families in the winter time. This would also be a great web site to look at around Halloween time. They have lots of variety and good prices.

These are some great discount websites. So the next time you want to go on a mini shopping spree, have had a bad day, or just want something new, surf on over to these sites. You may find what you really want at a steal of a deal. Think of it as discount web sites at their finest.

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Photo courtesy of  JeffersonLiu via Pixabay.com

Photo courtesy of Pexels via Pixabay.com

 

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But Why Do A Budget?

Why do a budget? It’s that time of the month again. You sit down to pay the bills and once again, you are having a mini coronary because there is too much month left at the end of your ‘shoestring’ budget. I hear it all the time. “I don’t have grocery money.” “I’m behind on my light bill.” “I’m so stressed out.” It’s not that you don’t have enough money, it’s that you have a hard time managing it. And that’s okay. There is nothing wrong with you if you struggle in this area. It wasn’t until I picked up the book The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey eight years ago that I learned how important a budget is.

I know what you’re thinking. Why do a budget? They are no fun and too hard to stick to. The number one reason I can give you to why you need a budget is that you will know exactly where each dollar is going and your stress level will go down. Maybe not at first, it takes tweaking and adjusting over about a 90 day period. But once you’ve got it down, you’re gold.

Why do a budget?

Why do a budget?

Here are some of the biggest perks of doing a budget every month:

*Knowing exactly what your monthly expenses are. Sitting down and listing your expenses on a piece of paper let’s you see where all your money is going. It is quite an eye opener. (You know, like that $180 cell phone bill you pay every month.)

*It helps you figure out what can be eliminated. When we got serious about getting out of debt, we didn’t have cable for about two years. We also got out of our pricey T-Mobile contract and started paying about $100 for both of our cell phone plans with Straightalk. ($80 savings right there-Boom!)

* Seeing exactly what’s coming in and going out is a stress reliever. When you can look and see exactly what needs to get paid during a certain week, it’s liberating. When you’re not struggling to remember due dates, it’s a huge relief. Not only that, you will feel like you’re giving yourself a raise. There have been times I have found an extra $50 hiding in there because we removed something (cable, high phone bill, take out) from the picture.

I have been doing a budget now for eight years. Every month, pencil and paper. (Yes, I’m old fashioned that way, I’m a writer after all.) But you can also use the software of your choice, whatever is easiest for you. I’ve learned over the years that money management is 80% behavior and 20% head knowledge. Our budget has worked wonders over the years. Try it and see if it makes a difference. Who knows, you may go from ‘but why do a budget?’ to ‘how did I ever manage without?’

 

Photo courtesy of fancycrave1 via Pixabay.com

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Grinding Down Your Grocery Bill Savings

Do you want to grind down your grocery bill savings? Everybody wants to save money on their groceries. Feeding our families is one of the most expensive feats we have to do and if we’re not careful, it can get out of control. Grocery bills can climb to astronomical heights by not paying attention to what you put in your cart or how much it costs. Here are a few tips to make your next trip to the grocery store easier and cut down your costs too. This is called grinding down your grocery bill.

Grocery Bill Savings

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Make A List-I know this sounds obvious, but you wouldn’t believe how many people I see just throwing things in their cart without a care. Making a list helps itemize and organize your ingredients and keeps you from making impulse purchases.

Plan Your Meals Around What’s On Sale-Look at your circulars and take note of any meats, veggies or dairy that’s on sale. Then build your menu around it.

Look for discounted meats-Meat can make a huge dent in a grocery budget. Look for meats that are discounted, there is nothing wrong with them. Just because the expiration date is a few days after you buy it or the day of, does not mean it is spoiled. Take it home and put it in the freezer. On one of those weeks where money is tight, you will be thankful to have a full freezer.

Look for discounted bakery items-Every store has a display of discounted bakery items. This display can be a gold mine when you are looking for rolls for your sandwiches or a cheap treat. But only buy what you need, as these breads tend to spoil faster than the ones in the traditional bread aisle.

Eat one to two meatless meals a week-Not only is this healthier for you, it will shave some dollars off your budget. So bring on the mac n’ cheese, salads and vegetable quiche. Your wallet will thank you.

Eat your leftovers-Leftovers are great for lunches. It’s healthier and will save you a ton of money compared to buying take out or eating from the vending machine. Once a week, have a leftover night to make sure things get eaten up.

Use what you have-Don’t feel like going to the grocery store? Having a week where money is extremely tight? Challenge yourself and use what you have in your fridge, freezer and pantry. A bag of salad and chicken breasts can become lemon pepper chef salad, for example. Get creative.

Eat Before You Shop-This is crucial. If you go to the grocery store hungry, you are bound to come home with more than what’s on your list, mostly impulse buys. It’s happened to me. So by all means, eat before you shop. This alone will add up to grocery bill savings.

And one last tip for those of you who really struggle with the whole grocery thing; recipes, lists, ingredients and all. It’s okay, you’re not alone in your struggle. I love food and planning a menu but even I get stuck sometimes. Although I haven’t tried this yet, I have thought about it.

Try eMeals– Basically, you pick a meal plan based on your family size and eating style. Each week your meal plan arrives with seven days of meals including entrees and sides. You also receive a detailed grocery list organized by section. If you choose a specific grocery store your meal plan will be coordinated with weekly sale items. As of this writing, plans range from $30 (3 mnths), $48 (6 mnths) and $58(12mnths) for two people. Prices are the same for a family menu which feeds 3-6 people.

In conclusion, there are many ways to save on your groceries. Get creative and have fun with it. Your wallet will thank you and who knows, the money you save could be used for a special night out once in awhile too. Now that is what grocery bill savings is all about.

Photo courtesy of ElasticComputeFarm via Pixabay.com

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Sweet Sips And Treats For A Steal This Summer

Do you need a sweet sip or treat for a steal? Have you had a rough day? Or maybe it’s your lucky day and the food or beverage you are craving is being honored on it’s National Day. Like you, I love food. But more importantly, I like to save money. The following tips are how you can get your sweet sips and treats for a steal this summer.

National Food Days (Treats For A Steal)

Fried Chicken Day (July 6)-KFC and other national chains as well as local restaurants usually commemorate the holiday with deals.

IHOP- On July 12, IHOP will be celebrating their 58th anniversary. In honor of this, they will be offering 0.58 short stacks of pancakes from 7am-7pm.

National Ice Cream Day(July 17, 2016)-This year National Ice Cream Day falls on the third Sunday in July. Keep an eye out on Facebook and ‘like’ the official pages of Baskin-Robbins, Cold Stone Creamery, Carvel, etc to see what’s being offered. Also, don’t forget to contact your local ice cream shops as well.

National Hot Dog Day (July23)-In the past, 7-Eleven and Quiktrip have offered free or discount hot dogs. Contact your local convenience store for details.

National Waffle Day (Aug 24)-Restaurants such as Bob Evans, Denny’s and Waffle House typically offer coupons, BOGO meals or a free waffle.

Sweet Sips And Treats For A Steal.

Sweet Sips For A Steal.

Dunkin Donuts-Love iced coffee/tea? Dunkin Donuts runs a .99, any size iced coffee or tea from 2pm-6pm on a fairly regular basis. I do know it is a limited time offer. Iced coffee is my downfall. 🙂

National Root Beer Float Day (Aug 6)-In the past, A&W has offered a free float to each customer.

Now those are my kind of sweet sips and treats for a steal this summer.

 

Other Sweet Sips And Treats.

Here are a few other ways I have found to get treats at a discount.

Join the DQ Fan Club– Want more ice cream? Go to Dairy Queen online and sign up for their Fan Club. You will get six coupons a year for a BOGO medium size blizzard.

Blue Bunny iscream Team-Looking to save some money on the treats you bring home? Join the Blue Bunny iscream team to receive coupons, enter contests and sweepstakes and learn about new products.

Here’s to a happy, healthy summer of sweet sips and treats once in awhile this summer. You deserve it.

Photo courtesy of irfinsyah via  Pixabay.com

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How To Kick Murphy’s Law Out Of Your Life And Your Finances

Everybody knows Murphy’s Law, “Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong.” It never fails, does it? You make plans, have to be at an appointment, waiting to take off on your flight and something goes wrong. Your friend is sick, there’s a traffic jam, or you have a three-hour delay for some reason. For me, I’ve seen Murphy’s law rear it’s ugly head the most when I didn’t have my finances in order. Don’t laugh, it’s true. I can’t tell you how many times I have had a super expensive car repair or a trip to the vet that turned out to be astronomical. How did I pay for all these? On the credit card. This vicious cycle went on until the spring of 2013. That’s when we attended Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University and everything changed. My husband and I started working Dave’s Baby Steps and by the time we were done with step three, Murphy didn’t come around as much anymore. Murphy’s law started slowly walking away.

Murphy’s Law: Proofing Your Life

We learned that there are steps you can take to ‘Murphy proof’ your life as Dave would say. Granted it won’t take your problems away, but it will help keep those ‘emergencies’ at bay. You see, Murphy loves to knock on your door when you are unprepared. However, once you get things in order, he knocks less and less. Here are some steps you should be taking to send Murphy to someone else’s door.

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$1,000 Emergency Fund

Dave says, “The first step you need to take is save $1,000 for a ‘baby’ emergency fund.” There are lots of things you can do to hurry up the process of getting this in place. Take an extra job delivering pizzas, save all your change, sell a lot of things on eBay, sell the motorcycle that has been in the garage for twenty years. This is the foundation. This is your safety net for the roof leaking, the alternator on the car going out, or the washer and dryer breaking down. Also, keep it in a safe place that is easy to get to. One of the best methods I have heard of is in a picture frame with a note that says, “In case of emergency, break glass.” That would put a kink in Murphy’s Law. Continue reading

Borrowing Money: Becoming A Slave To The Lender

Proverbs 22:7 says, “Just as the rich rule over the poor, the borrower is slave to the lender.”

I used to have credit cards and car payments. I’ve made poor decisions like charging a little Christmas here and there. I even put groceries on it once. It’s something we as a society don’t really think about. Every time we add more debt to our lives, we become shackled in chains that grow heavier and heavier. We become slaves to our lenders. Yet, we sign up for it like it’s a way of life.

Little Pieces Of Plastic.
Credit Cards-We rack up tons and tons of debt on these little pieces of plastic. This in turn causes stress over the pending minimum payment. Not to mention all the interest and fees. Yet, people allow the cycle to repeat every month. Therefore, they are on the hamster wheel running and running, and wondering if, and when, they will ever get off. The borrower is in bondage to the lender.
Slave To The Lender.
Slave To The Lender

Lend Me Some Wheels.
Car Loans-I understand that everyone needs a vehicle and that for most people, car payments are a way of life. What I don’t understand, is why people have to buy way more car than they can afford and put that much pressure on themselves. What happens if someone loses a job or has to change jobs and has to take a lower wage? Those payments still have to be made every month. The borrower is slave to the lender.

Two Parties,One Slave,One Lender.
Relationships-This is probably the most heartbreaking of all. We are conditioned to think that we are helping friends and family by loaning them money. The truth is, it only ruins and taints relationships. This happened recently to a very good friend of mine. He went into business with his best friend and agreed to not only loan his friend money, but also buy merchandise for the store on his personal credit card. The store went bust, his friend can’t pay him back, nor does he have any interest in doing so. In the end, my friend had to file bankruptcy because of it. A business and a 30 year friendship completely destroyed.

As a society, we need to think more about how our decisions affect us. Do we really want to open that credit card? Do we really need to upgrade to the newest thing? Can we really afford that much car? How will lending this person money affect both sides of our relationship? In the end, it is our choice weather or not to become a slave to the lender. I have been on both sides of the coin and trust me, freedom is better.

Photo Credit courtesy of AKuptsova via Pixabay.com

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