Tips to Reign In and Out Of Control Family Budget: Shopping Around to Save!

683459ee810703fe032903d2443bf58d.jpgToday I’ll be sharing some ways to save money that takes a little more work but can definitely pay off in the end.

For some of us, this may seem like too much work, and that’s ok. Just because it’s something that my family does, doesn’t mean it’s right for everyone.

Insurance: Most companies offer a discount if you have more than one kind of policy. Example: State Farm offers a Multi-line discount. If you have your cars and another type of insurance (homeowners/renters/condo insurance, or a life insurance policy).

Some insurance companies serve a specific audience- for example, USAA is an insurance company for active duty or retired military. Because they serve a specific audience, they offer very competitive rates.

When you shop for insurance, have copies of all of the policies that you want to compare. That will help you see apples to apples. You can’t compare and try to save money if you don’t know what you’ve got. This is also a great time to go over all of your coverages and see if you need to increase or decrease coverages.

Due to state and federal regulations, you usually can’t shop for health insurance unless it’s open enrollment or you’ve had a qualifying life event (married, divorced, had a baby, retired, lost your job, etc.). Luckily, Tis the Season for open enrollment! We purchased insurance through the state exchange a few years back, before we had employer-sponsored insurance. It was not too difficult to navigate, and there are discounts available for a lot of people!

Cell Phones: This is my least favorite activity, but it can a money saver. Once again- have a copy of your contract or a copy of a recent bill that outlines everything your plan covers before you get started. If you are looking for a pre-paid plan, Tello has some great money-saving plans!

Internet: I hate dealing with our internet service provider. I always feel like they are trying to upsell me, no matter why I am calling in. We’re looking at changing our plan soon. The big kids school recently sent home information regarding a program that Cox offers called Connect2Compete. For those families that have qualifying social service(s), Cox can provide internet service for $9.95/month! That’s a great deal.

 

Talk Back: I’d love to hear your success story! Share how much you’ve saved by shopping around for your insurance, cell phone service, or internet service.

My Favorite Pantry Staples!

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I’ve used the term “Pantry Staples” a lot recently, and some of you may not know what that means.

Pantry staples are food items that most people have in their cupboards all the time. They are commonly known as “ingredients”.

Here are the 25 pantry staples that we always have on hand, and below them, you will find links to recipes containing these staples.

I’ve linked to these items on Amazon, which is where I buy a lot of our pantry staples, especially if there is no local deal. I do surveys and research studies to earn Amazon Gift Cards that I use to purchase items.

My Amazon List of Hewes Family Pantry Staples

  1. All-Purpose Flour
  2. Rolled Oats
  3. Baking Powder
  4. Baking Soda
  5. Kosher Salt
  6. Baking Cocoa Powder
  7. Crisco Shortening
  8. Coconut Oil
  9. Grapeseed Oil
  10. Chocolate Chips
  11. White Sugar
  12. Brown Sugar
  13. Powdered Buttermilk
  14. Jasmine Rice and/or Brown Rice
  15. Canned Tomatoes
  16. Tomato Sauce
  17. Tomato Paste
  18. Canned Black Beans
  19. Canned Chickpeas
  20. Canned Kidney Beans
  21. Broth (a mix of Veggie and Chicken)
  22. Noodles/Pasta/Macaroni (Usually one package of each)
  23. Tuna Pouches
  24. Peanut Butter (Or other seed/nut butter)
  25. Vinegar (Usually a couple different types)

 

Recipes using Pantry Staples:

Recipe: Chocolate Chunk Cookies (Made with Olive Oil)

Tasty Chewy Brown Sugar Oatmeal Cookies!

Family Recipe: Cocoa Brownies

Recipe: Not Your Average Taco Salad

Family Recipe: Chicken Tetrazzini

New Recipe: Shakshuka

Recipe: Colonial Chowder

40 Piece Set Rubbermaid Set free with TopCashBack!

I’ve written before about how awesome TopCashBack is, and right now if you haven’t checked it out, you can score a Rubbermaid TakeAlongs Food Storage Containers, 40 Piece Set, Ruby Red for free (after cashback)!

It’s quick and easy! Purchase is Required to Obtain Deal.

How to get this freebie:

  1. Visit the offer here
  2. Create your account with an email and password
  3. Click on the “Get Offer” button and it’ll take you to Walmart.
  4.  Add “Rubbermaid TakeAlongs Food Storage Containers, 40 Piece Set, Ruby Red” to your cart and shop as you would normally then checkout.
  5. This is a Free In-Store Pick Up offer.
  6. Once you checkout, in about 14 days $9.98 will post in your TopCashback account.
  7. Congrats on your freebie!

* New TopCashback members with no previous purchases or cashback through TopCashback only. It ends December 27th at 23:59 PST!

Free In-Store Pick Up Offer!

How do you get it?  Visit Walmart through TopCashback, purchase a Rubbermaid TakeAlongs Food Storage Containers, 40 Piece Set, Ruby Red for $9.97 and then shop as normal. Within fourteen days $9.98 cashback will post in your TopCashback account.

Who qualifies for it?  This offer is available to TopCashback members with no previous purchases or cashback through TopCashback only. However as TopCashback doesn’t limit accounts to one per household, if you’re an existing member now’s the perfect time to tell your husband or wife, mom or dad, roommate, neighbor or anyone else about TopCashback and perhaps they’ll share their freebie with you.

When do you get your money back? Within 14 days the $9.98 will turn payable in your TopCashback account and you can choose your payout method at that time.

Is there anything else important to know?  Transactions must contain at least one Rubbermaid TakeAlongs Food Storage Containers, 40 Piece Set, Ruby Red from Walmart priced at $9.98 to ensure $9.98 cashback is credited to TopCashback accounts. If a different item is purchased under $9.97, the cashback amount awarded will be 1% or less (depending on the item(s) purchased) instead of $9.97.

The deal is:

  • Open until 23:59 PST on Friday, December 27th
  • Subject to Walmart’s Stock supplies and availability
  • Applicable for online sales only, for purchases made directly after clicking through TopCashback.com

Only one TopCashback account is permitted per member

A Word about Black Friday & Deals

767b680147814d41f35a64dae886c225I know a lot of you are excited about Black Friday shopping. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  1. Because the shops are open, that means that some workers don’t get to have Thanksgiving dinner with their families. They spend the day stocking shelves and preparing the stores for Black Friday. Be kind and give them grace.
  2. Workers are people, not robots. Don’t be rude to them.
  3. Most workers do not want to work on Black Friday, because of the crowds, rush, and mass hysteria that Black Friday has become.

I will be posting some Black Friday deals, Cyber Monday Deals,  and Giving Tuesday. Some of these will be affiliate deals where I can earn a commission (gotta pay the bills somehow), some will be deals I think are great but I earn no commission, and Giving Tuesday deals and offers will be ways you can help local charities.

I won’t be turning the blog into OMG!!11!! BLACK FRIDAY!!11!!, but there will be one or two deals daily, or whenever they land in my email inbox that seems interesting or cool.

 

MyPoints: Earn Points with Ease While Grocery Shopping!

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I’ve been a member of MyPoints for Eight Years! I just found out yesterday that MyPoints has a point-earning opportunity while we grocery shop!

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It’s super simple:

Add Deals to Your List: With hundreds of exclusive deals to add to your list from your favorite stores, keep your cash for when it counts.

Shop In-Store: Purchase products from Your Shopping List (at eligible stores) to earn Points. Act quickly before offers expire!

 

Upload Your Receipt & Earn Points: By purchasing select items and submitting your receipt, shopping is simplified.

These deals are only good at select stores, so check on each offer before adding it to ensure that you can redeem it at a store near you.  Here is an example of one of the offers:

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Each offer has it’s own terms, including at which stores the offer is valid. While this won’t replace my use of any of my other apps, it is a nice addition.

5 Gifts for Dinosaur Fans!

**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links. My whole family loves dinosaurs, I think the cat may even like them.

While searching through a couple sites yesterday, I found some awesome, funny, and cheeky dino-themed gifts that would make any dino lovers dream come true.

lady dino.jpgThis Victorian Velociraptor shirt is awesome- and because it’s on Zazzle, you can get it in any size, for any age. Prices vary, but through tonight at midnight save 40% off with coupon code CARDSANDMORE.

If fancy lady dinosaurs aren’t your speed, don’t fear, Zazzle has tons of cute, funny, even scary dinosaur shirts, including officially licensed images from Jurrasic Park.

dino lamp.jpgTwo Words: DINOSAUR LAMP. Ok, maybe I love this because I have an 8-year-old dinosaur lover in my house, but this lamp is 100% awesome. There are several options available at various price points, but tonight through midnight save 20% off with code CARDSANDMORE.

This next item I have and wear frequently. It’s this rocking T-rex skeleton necklace. Channel your inner Mrs. Frizzle!

Speaking of Mrs. Frizzle, while I was looking for new leggings on Amazon last night, I came across this company, Cow Cow. They have Dinosaur Leggings. Not just one or two patterns, but over a dozen different patterns from dino skeletons to realistic dinos, to cartoony looking dudes. I may have added several designs to my Amazon Wishlist.

Now the title of the post says TOP 5, but really, there are so many great dino gifts, that I had to share one more.

Dinopillow.jpgShutterfly has tons of great dinosaur-themed gifts, including school supplies (folders, binders, backpacks), customizable puzzles, aprons, cups, plates, and so much more!

Shutterfly is having a 50% sitewide sale that ends tonight at midnight! No Coupon Code Needed!!

Free 8×8 Photobook from Shutterfly!

Screen Shot 2019-10-21 at 9.42.04 AM.png **This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

Woo Hoo! Shutterfly is hooking you up with a free 8×8 photo book with code FREEPB.

Plus, get 50% off almost everything else by Tuesday, Oct 22, 2019.

I love giving photo gifts for Christmas gifts. Grandparents LOVE photo books, photo mugs, and calendars!

I’ve been collecting photos of the kids all year, and I’ll start working on our photo gifts for relatives in the next few weeks!