Both Cars Paid Off! (Life List Item Crossed Off)

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I put it on our life list last year that I wanted both our cars paid off. I was certain our minivan would be paid off last year (and it was) but I wasn’t sure about my husband’s car – I knew it would be late last year, early this year, and sure enough… We’re [...]

Connecting with Our Teens Using Walmart Family Mobile

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As you know, we’re a huge sports family. My children have practices, games, as well as social lives, and are at the age that they could really use a phone of their own. Sometimes practice gets out early. Sometimes their after-school activities are canceled. Sometimes they have to stay later, and need to get a [...]

Tips on How to Take Your Own School Pictures (and Have Fun Doing It)

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We’ve hardly wiped the sleep from our eyes from the summer yet, and we’re already hip-deep in three school fundraisers, and school pictures were yesterday. What. I mean, holy cow, people. The school’s not messin’ around anymore. No dilly-dallying anymore, it’s game ON, people. Game-freaking-on. Yet again this year, in the flurry and over-abundance of [...]

Sneak Attack on Our Teens with a Walmart Family Mobile Wireless Phone and Plan

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As soon as my kids started school and soccer this year, I knew we were going to need to invest in a cell phone for them. Our current mobile plan asks for a two-year commitment (yikes) and costs $45 (with taxes) for a non-smartphone and $50+ (with taxes) for a smartphone for EACH DEVICE. (Of [...]

Why Our Retirement Plans Changed

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This post is brought to you by Genworth and Brandfluential. We always kid around with our friends about our children. “With the way our son argues, he’s going to be a litigator some day.” We’ll all share a chuckle or two about his arguing skills, and how he’ll single-handedly pay for our retirement with all the money he’ll [...]

DIY School Paper Holder and Glittery Clipboard

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Paper clutter is taking over my life! It’s mind-blowing just how much paper the kids bring home to me daily, on top of the junk mail and all the other crazy stuff kicking around. I knew I needed a solution, particularly for the mounds of school-related paperwork that get placed onto surfaces and then scattered [...]

OshKosh B’gosh New Arrivals

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When dressing my children, I go for adorableness, but specifically aim for durability. We save our children’s clothing to pass down from child to child. All of the younger children have taken pride to wear their older siblings clothing, and it makes my heart sing to see baby after baby, child after child, rewearing clothing [...]

Exclusive Military Only General Mills Coupons

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As if you didn’t already know this, we have a BIG family. And with a big family comes big food costs. It’s actually the most expensive thing we need to budget for. (More than our mortgage!) Being a military family, though, we have the opportunity to shop at the commissary, which is fantastic (and something [...]

All I Want for Christmas… is Christmas

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I didn’t shop Black Friday. I didn’t shop Cyber Week. In fact, I believe there are a total of 3 or 4 presents purchased, and that’s because my husband went and got them. I have lists of things I want to get, but I can’t seem to even begin to look, let alone price, let [...]

Easy Chili Cheese Hot Dogs for Dinner (and Lunch the Next Day!)

baked chili cheese hot dogs

I like making things easier for myself and my family. I make things homemade but I don’t want it to have to be complicated, not with eleventy-billion kids and tons of stuff that needs to be done daily. But when the kids asked for Chili Cheese Hot Dogs like Sonic, I knew I could do [...]

Help Me Choose My Holiday Cards, Please?

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Last year, you lovely people helped me decide which holiday cards to choose. This year, I’m hoping you’ll help me do it again. We trust Tiny Prints with our cards because their quality is unsurpassed, and their choices are original and spectacular. I want to share with you just how much I love them and why [...]

The Story About My Stolen Credit Card

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Once upon a time, there used to be gas attendants who would pump our gas and wash our windshields for us, checking our oil levels while taking cash payments with ease, or running credit cards for payment without incident. We would sit in the comfort of our vehicles, warm, dry, comforted knowing the attendants were [...]

How to Grocery Shop at Whole Foods Market on a Budget

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I was issued a grocery challenge – grocery shop at Whole Foods Market on a budget, by shopping for my family of nine for under $250. I don’t back down to challenges, ever, and I love puzzle-piecing things together to work in our favor. I love seeing how far I can stretch a dollar and make [...]

Printable Weekly Lunch Menu and Back-to-School Recipe Ideas

DIY framed school lunch weekly menu

We are taking school lunches very seriously this year, and taking the banal school lunch ‘bull by the horns’ and wrestling ‘er to the ground. My goal this year is to never hear the words, “Lunch is boring, mom” without spending a fortune. In order to help make that happen, I decided we needed to, [...]

Check out vente-privee!

vente-privee

I am ALL about saving money however I can, especially with a family our size. But because I enjoy saving money, that doesn’t necessarily mean I buy the cheapest things available, because I do believe in quality, especially because it’ll last longer. Just because I buy designer doesn’t mean I need to pay full price [...]

Big Families: How Do You Do It? {Grocery Shopping}

grocery shopping tips for big families

“How do you do it?” Series hosted by Lolli from Better in Bulk, Lisa from Crazy Adventures in Parenting, Christine from From Dates to Diapers, Kadi from Our Seven Seeds, and Kate from The Guavalicious Life. Join us each week for more tips from moms of big families! Grocery shopping is a seemingly monumental task whether it’s for yourself, your family, [...]

Big Families: How Do You Do It? {Saving Money}

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“How do you do it?” Series hosted by Lolli from Better in Bulk, Lisa from Crazy Adventures in Parenting, Christine from From Dates to Diapers, Kadi from Our Seven Seeds, and Kate from The Guavalicious Life. Join us each week for more tips from moms of big families! We get this question all the time. “How can you afford to have [...]

Meet Lisa Douglas, Former Brace-Face

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I was the unfortunate victim of being a thumb-sucker when I was young. This only helped my dentist (later orthodontist) stay in business, because I was quite addicted to that tasty kid-sized thumb. So addicted, in fact, I had created quite an overbite on myself, forcing my childhood dentist to give me a retainer in [...]

Invisible Stuff

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Do you have any stuff that goes missing around your house? Stuff that you absolutely.need.right.then. but it can’t be found anywhere? Even with your part-mom, part-cat-like eyes, with their abilities to spot something from another room, the item/s still can’t be found? Y’know, until sometime later, when, all of a sudden, the item miraculously appears [...]

DIY Weekly Menu Board

diy menu board

Pin It I told you a couple weeks ago my plan - to make a DIY weekly menu board for our meal plans each week. With a menu board, you create cards featuring all the dinner choices you make, making it super-easy to create a meal plan for the week, and showcase what’s “on deck” to [...]

What To Do With That Holiday Money?

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Every year my children are given money and gift cards from grandparents, whether for birthday, holidays, tooth-fairy, report cards, etc. I’ve discussed how we save our children’s money in envelopes at home, to include all gift cards they’re given. This year, though, since opening my children’s Kidworth accounts, we can now add their kid contributions [...]

How to Use an Envelope to Help Kids Budget, Save Money, and Christmas Shop by Themselves

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I will never forget the day that my then second-grade children ran in the door from school, ecstatic about a piece of paper they held in their hands. “LOOK, MOM! I CAN GO CHRISTMAS SHOPPING FOR YOU!” Up until that point, our sibling Christmas Shopping for one another involved hand-held baskets being covered by their [...]

The Kmart Layaway Secret Santa

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I love these types of holiday stories this time of year, showcasing the kindness of strangers. This particular story involves a woman, donating a cart-full of toys at her local Kmart, and deciding to give even more. Except, she wasn’t shopping for more toys to donate, she wanted to pay someone’s layaway purchase, too. Three [...]

Helping Kids Save Money – Mom is the “Banker”

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One of our many piggy banks in the house When kids are little, it’s “easy,” isn’t it? Only dealing with coins and piggy banks and little ones fumbling for loose change in daddy’s pockets, or shrieking with delight when a coin falls out of the dryer, or is found in a couch cushion. But for [...]

Post Turkey Day Coma & Cyber Monday Shopping – Yeah, Baby!

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Death by beautiful turkey After taking the holiday weekend off, I am exhausted! And you would THINK I’d be well-rested after “time off,” right? WRONG. Between all the standing while cooking on Thanksgiving, shopping on Black Friday, and decorating the house all weekend, this preggo feels like she ran a marathon! But despite the crowds [...]

Why Layaway Rocks My Socks

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Photo Credit: jimw on Flickr I don’t know about you, but I’m a planner. When it comes to purchasing and giving gifts for the holiday season, I’ve already been shopping for Christmas since almost last Christmas. (I know, it’s a sickness.) I shop end-of-season sales all year round, always having my eye out for the best [...]

Whirlpool Duet Washer Dryer Review and The Adventures of Mount Washmore

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I’ve written many (many) times here about my adventures in Mount Washmore, and my kindergarten ways to tackle it. Moving here to San Antonio was simply a God-send in so many ways. And one of those ways was deciding to sell our old washer and dryer and taking the plunge in purchasing a shiny new [...]