6 Things That You Should Consider When Buying Online

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6 Things That You Should Consider When Buying Online

Although online shopping has created tough competition for traditional retailers, buyers still have to be very careful when placing orders online. This is the reason many people like to buy from Brick and Mortar stores. They are afraid of being scammed.

#coupons #deals #shopping #extremecouponing #couponing #freebies #grocerystoreads #grocerystorematchups #matchups #discounts #savings

How to Have a Great Morning Routine

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It’s the beginning of a new school year for us and many of you. With that, come new routines — whether you are homeschooling or your kids are going to school in-person.

In this episode, Jesse and I share strategies for having a better morning routine and how to set up a morning routine that serves you and your family well.

We talk about why a successful morning begins the night before, how to tackle the hardest things first, and the importance of creating more than one morning routine.

Say what? More than one routine?

Yes, you read that right. Curious what we mean? Be sure to listen in!

We also share an update on Champ, why Jesse is loving long drives, a new exercise “program” Jesse inspired me to start, why I’m loving velvet hangers, and a book I’m reading right now.

In This Episode: 

[00:33] The babies are joining us for this one! We give a quick update on Champ.

[03:45] What Jesse inspired me to start recently.

[05:36] Taking long drives is saving Jesse’s life this week.

[07:32] Velvet hangers are saving my life.

[09:05] I have been reading You Be You by Jamie Ivey.

[13:29] A great morning starts the night before.

[14:30] Waking up to a clean house is the best. Here’s how to make it happen…

[14:50] How I plan my days using Google calendar and the difference this makes.

[16:27] What a simple morning routine looks like.

[18:06] Do the hardest, most important things first.

[21:39] Let’s talk about why a routine isn’t a schedule.

[24:10] Your morning routine is not set in stone. It is to serve you.

[26:58] What are the things that could consistently interrupt your mornings? Let’s plan for the interruptions so they don’t disrupt our days.

Links and Resources:

How to Listen to The Crystal Paine Show

The podcast is available on iTunesAndroidStitcher, and Spotify. You can listen online through the direct player here. OR, a much easier way to listen is by subscribing to the podcast through a free podcast app on your phone. (Find instructions for how to subscribe to a podcast here.)

Ready to dive in and listen? Hit the player above or search for “The Crystal Paine Show” on your favorite podcast app.

#coupons #deals #shopping #extremecouponing #couponing #freebies #grocerystoreads #grocerystorematchups #matchups #discounts #savings

How to Teach Your Teens About Budgeting

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We have a teen who is earning money various ways and starting first part-time job. We want to teach her budgeting. Putting money into a car, college, clothing etc. Do you have any suggestions of some proven methods of free spreadsheets or website to utilize with her? Need something so she can see savings progress and also what she is spending. -Laurie

What a great question, Laurie! It just makes my heart happy that you are teaching your daughter about budgeting while she is young. So many adults would be in a much better financial position if their parents had encouraged them to start budgeting from an early age.

Here’s my advice on how to teach your teens about budgeting:

1. Set a Great Example

One of the best things you can do for your child or teenager to help them learn financial skills is to model great financial skills before them. Let them see you being thoughtful and intentional about your purchases.

Let them see you waiting to make a purchase until you can afford it, or getting creative to find ways to pay cash for something, or being wise with your money so you have more to give generously.

By the way, if you don’t have a budget that your family follows, now is the best time to do so. Don’t expect something of your teen that you aren’t also doing yourself! 🙂 I highly recommend reading The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey if you need a starting place for setting up a budget.

For more encouragement, read my post on 6 Things My Grandpas Taught Me About Financial Success.

2. Talk About Finances Openly

Many families aren’t very upfront about their finances with their kids. And I think this does a disservice to your children.

I’m not saying you need to share all the details about how much you make and spend, but where appropriate, I think it’s so helpful to bring your kids into financial discussions.

Talk to them about how you’ve set up your budget. Show them what’s working for you. Bring them with you when you go to the bank. Explain why you’ve chosen not to use credit cards or why you pay with cash or why you buy used cars.

For more encouragement, read this post on 4 Ways to Teach Your Kids Money Management.

3. Set Up a Budget Together

Help your kids set up a budget from the time they start earning money. You can use a basic budgeting spreadsheet like this one. If you want something a little more complex (or your teen is more of a techie!), there are a lot of apps they can use for budgeting. (Here are 6 different apps to check out.)

Our family uses the You Need a Budget program and we can’t sing its praises highly enough. We use it for our personal budget and our business budget and have also used it with one of our kids who wanted to use it for budgeting.

I’d recommend sitting down together and making out a basic plan of what percentage of their income they want to save, give, and spend. Then, break those down even further by mapping out what their expenses are each month.

Once you have this in place, then it should be pretty simple for them to divvy up their paycheck every week/month into the proper budget categories. If possible, pick some kind of program or spreadsheet that allows them to constantly have a running total of how much they have left to spend in each budget category. (This is why we love YNAB!)

By the way, YNAB offers a free year of their program to college students!

For more encouragement, read my post on 3 Practical Ways We’re Teaching Our Kids About Money.

4. Provide Accountability

When your teen is first learning how to set up a budget, they’ll probably need lots of help from you. You can totally hold their hand at first, but as much as possible, have them be responsible for setting things up, planning out their goals, thinking longterm, and actually doing the work of inputting what they make and spend.

Remember: your goal should be to raise responsible adults not co-dependent kids, so don’t micro-manage their budgeting. Instead, just provide oversight and accountability for them to develop the habit of budgeting.

For more encouragement, read this book on Why We Let Our Teenager Manage Our Budget.

5. Let Them Make Mistakes

It’s easy and natural as parents to want to protect our kids from getting hurt or making mistakes. However, I’d much rather my kids make small mistakes when they are young in order to hopefully prevent much larger mistakes when they are older.

Want more tips on what we are doing with our kids? Listen in to our podcast episode where Jesse shares how we are teaching our kids to be responsible with money as they get older.

What advice or suggestions do you have for Laurie? What are your best tips for teaching teens how to budget?

#coupons #deals #shopping #extremecouponing #couponing #freebies #grocerystoreads #grocerystorematchups #matchups #discounts #savings

Our Best Advice for Brand-New Homeschool Parents


This school year looks a lot different for many families. Some of you are never planned to homeschool and your school went virtual so you’ve been unexpectedly doing school at home. Some of you made the choice to homeschool this year as that was what you felt was the best choice for your family.

In this week’s podcast episode, Jesse and I share some of our best advice for brand-new homeschool parents. While we are currently not homeschooling, we have been asked again and again to share some encouragement that we gleaned from our 6+ years of homeschooling and from being homeschool graduates ourselves.

We talk about how your attitude affects your kids, how to keep things simple in your homeschooling, how to make education a way of life, and why teaching character is much more important than having the perfect curriculum.

In This Episode: 

[00:33] A quick life update and what we’ve been up to recently.

[05:30] Jesse has started adding collagen into his diet and he shares more about that this week.

[07:01] Baby Signing Time is saving my life right now.

[10:34] I have been listening to Be the Bridge by Latasha Morrison.

[12:33] To all brand new homeschool parents, remember your attitude sets the tone for your home.

[14:42] Even if you don’t feel confident or excited, fake it until you feel it.

[17:43] Don’t be a slave to someone else’s schedule or the way they homeschool.

[22:50] Character trumps curriculum.

[25:27] Life is the best classroom.

[27:21] And a word on “writing your own headlines”.

Links and Resources:

How to Listen to The Crystal Paine Show

The podcast is available on iTunesAndroidStitcher, and Spotify. You can listen online through the direct player here. OR, a much easier way to listen is by subscribing to the podcast through a free podcast app on your phone. (Find instructions for how to subscribe to a podcast here.)

#coupons #deals #shopping #extremecouponing #couponing #freebies #grocerystoreads #grocerystorematchups #matchups #discounts #savings

How to Have the Ultimate Family Movie Night at Home

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

Why spend a ton of money at the movie theater when you can have an at-home movie night that’s just as fun and doesn’t break the bank? Plan the ultimate family movie night at home with these great tips and tricks!

Ultimate Family Movie Night at Home

Guest post from Ivana of Find Your Mom Tribe:

Before my husband and I received the coveted titles of Mom and Dad, a weekly night at the movies was our thing. We’d get tickets to the blockbuster of the week, eat overpriced snacks (or sometimes sneak a Reese’s cup in here and there), and have a fab time.

After our kids arrived, however, we had to get very creative with our movie night ideas. At first when they were babies, watching a full movie in one sitting seemed like a relic of a time gone by.

But now that they are older, we have lots of fun watching different movies as a family – mostly at home, though, since frequent trips to the movie theater as a family of four would definitely break our budget!

Besides, with so many streaming services available, it’s easy to plan a fun family movie night at home. (And if your kids start crying — or worse, fighting — you won’t have to deal with the glares of the entire movie theater).

movie night popcorn in bowls

How to Have the Ultimate Family Movie Night at Home

Over the past few years, we have really improved our family movie night game and I would love to share some ideas with you! And maybe they’ll become a family ritual in your household as well.

1. Make a concession stand.

Snacks are key for any movie-watching experience! You can always just get some popcorn, a couple of packs of M&Ms, some soft drinks, and call it a day.

But what we do to make it really fun is turn our kitchen into a concession stand! It doesn’t have to cost you a fortune either. I just use some colorful cardboard paper and a Sharpie to make a sign. Bonus points if you have some glitter glue to really kick things up a notch!

Years ago, I bought a few reusable popcorn tubs at the Dollar Store and they’re perfect for this sort of occasion, as they really make the kids feel like they’re at the movie theater.

My husband usually takes charge of running our DIY concession stand and we give the kids Monopoly money to “pay” for their snacks and drinks. (Don’t worry, we’re not as bad with the prices, although you could argue it would be a valuable life lesson!)

As we’re still trying to keep our kids from eating too much sugar, we try and only “sell” healthy snacks and drinks to our kids. The funny thing is, I think we could serve them broccoli like this and they would still eat it since they love role-playing so much.

It’s also important to set some ground rules so that you’re not getting up every 10 minutes to get something from the kitchen once the movie starts.

In our house, we usually take a break when the movie is halfway through so that everyone can get refills and run to the bathroom. Ten minutes is typically more than enough time for the whole family to take a break and gather back in the living room to watch the second half of the movie.

2. Design your own movie tickets.

Since the whole point of organizing a family movie night is to create fond memories for our kids to look back on, I also like to create “movie tickets” to give to the kids that they can hold onto as a keepsake.

Again, it doesn’t have to be anything too fancy – you can draw them by hand and color them with your kids as a fun activity.

But if you would like to go all out (and have a bit of experience using design tools or don’t mind learning), you can use computer software to design and print the tickets.

Personally, I love using Pixlr because it’s free, online (no need to download and install anything), and great for beginners!

With a bit of trial and error, you will get the hang of it pretty quickly and your kids will have really cool tickets to remind them of some great family moments.

If you’re short on time and can’t design your own, you can Google and find some free movie ticket printables to use.

family having a movie night on the couch with popcorn

3. Transform your living room.

One of my favorite movie night ideas is to give your living room a fun (but still reversible!) makeover to make the night even more memorable. We usually blow up our air mattresses, place them on the floor, and cover them either with old blankets or bed sheets.

In any case, I try and avoid the couch for one reason only – our kids are still quite clumsy and if they end up spilling their drink, it’s not as big of a deal. Plus, it’s much easier to get rid of any runaway popcorn or chips!

We also like to get all of the cushions out and arrange them on the mattresses so that everyone can lean back and get a comfy seat.

Or you can make a giant blanket fort for extra coziness! Just get the chairs out of the kitchen, drape them with all the blankets you can find and you’re good to go!

As a finishing touch, it’s nice to hang some inexpensive string lights to create a cozy atmosphere.

4. Take it outdoors.

With summer right around the corner, one of the best at-home movie night ideas is to take it outside, although you might need a couple of extra gadgets for an outdoor movie night, such as a projector.

The good news is that these types of movie projectors are pretty affordable these days and you can use them indoors as well, so it’s good value for money.

This is also a perfect opportunity to invite the neighborhood kids over! Just make sure to tell everyone to bring a foldable garden chair or sleeping bag with them unless you want to spend days removing grass stains out of blankets.

5. Go offline.

When I say “go offline”, I don’t mean canceling your Netflix subscription and digging up old DVDs and VHS tapes.

Instead, grown-ups should put their phones on silent mode at the very least, although my husband and I make a point of turning the WiFi off on our phones during family movie nights.

Whatever work-related text pops up during those two hours can definitely wait, and all kids deserve to have time with their parents being fully present for the family fun!

Family Movie Ideas

What Movies to Watch

My husband and I often use the family movie night as an excuse to rewatch all the movies we liked when we were growing up. But our kids end up loving them just the same most of the time, so I don’t feel like we’re in the wrong here!

Of course, we always make room for the kids. I can’t count the number of times we watched Cars and Frozen (I know that my daughter wore her Elsa costume for at least 50 percent of those viewings) and luckily there is no shortage of good kids’ movies coming out on a yearly basis.

When it comes to movie night ideas with kids, you just can’t go wrong with an animated Disney movie or a beloved kids’ classic.

Here are some of our personal faves:

  • Ratatouille – I could watch this story of Remy, a rat who dreams of working as a chef, any day, anytime;
  • Moana – My seven-year-old daughter loves this one and knows all the words to “How Far I’ll Go”;
  • The Lego Movie – If you haven’t watched this one yet, do yourself a favor and do it ASAP! It’s genuinely hilarious for all ages and I guarantee you’ll have the “Everything Is Awesome” theme song stuck in your head for days;
  • Toy Story 3 – Any movie in this franchise is gold in my opinion, but the third installment in this series gets the most rotation in our household which is why I picked it over the others;
  • Wall-E – Way more than just a kids’ movie, Wall-E does an amazing job at teaching little ones about the importance of protecting our environment;
  • Harry Potter – This is a classic that we haven’t introduced to our kids for one simple reason – they’re still a bit too young, but we’re definitely counting down the days until they get to watch it for the first time!
  • Shrek – Any movie with a talking donkey in it is an Oscar-worthy movie if you ask us. On a serious note, though, Shrek belongs to a category of kids’ movies that even grown-ups will fully enjoy!
  • Finding Nemo – Who knew fish could be so funny and heartwarming at the same time? Apart from being a classic, it was my son’s favorite for the longest time, so I couldn’t leave it out.

A family movie night at home is guaranteed fun for your kids, even when you’re on a budget. Plus, it creates a kind of warm, family atmosphere that makes for wonderful memories later on in life!

Whether you decide to go all out or keep it simple with some snacks and comfy pajama pants, there’s always a way to incorporate fun movie night ideas into your family tradition – and it’s never too late to start!

Ivana Davies is an educator turned stay-at-home mom. She’s a proud mom of a beautiful 7 year old girl and a playful 5 year old boy. Since she didn’t have a clue about raising kids, she had to learn it all in a hard way. Ivana managed to find so much information online and it inspired her to turn to blogging to share her experiences and struggles as a mom. Her blog, Find Your Mom Tribe, is here to help you connect with other moms, as well as to share mom hacks, information, and tools to help you on this parenting journey.

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Parenting a Passive Child (our best tips!)

A few weeks ago, Jesse and I recorded a podcast episode sharing our thoughts on parenting a strong willed child (or a “strong child”, as we prefer to call them). We got so many great responses from people about that episode, but one was a question from a mom asking if we could talk about how to parent a child with the opposite type of personality — one that is more passive and people-pleasing.

This was such a great suggestion and Jesse and I loved getting to talk about this and give some ideas and suggestions that we’ve learned over the years from parenting our child who is more on the passive side. I’ve had to learn to slow down, listen better, and not try to push them to make a decision before they are ready. It has been so good for my fast-moving, quick-thinking personality and I’ve learned so much by doing so.

In this episode, we share lessons we’ve learned, how changing our perspective allows us to parent with greater patience and understanding, and how much our passive child has taught us.

We also share some life and family updates, an app Jesse is loving, how protein is making such a difference for me (and why I changed my mind about collagen!), and the audiobooks we’re both listening to!

In This Episode:  

[02:16] A little family update + what our topic is today.

[06:32] The Couch to 5k App is saving Jesse’s life… again!

[08:02] Protein is saving my life.

[11:33] I’ve been reading The Way I Heard It by Mike Rowe.

[13:43] Jesse is still on Scribd and is listening to Vince Flynn’s series.

[15:42] We received an email from a listener asking about how to parent a child who has a quieter more passive personality. 

[16:57] How you communicate your conviction will look different from person to person.

[19:56] People-pleasing can be positive or negative.

[23:41] Let them take their time in making decisions.

[26:11] Listening is a lost art. You have to show that you value what they have to say.

[27:44] Learn about their personality and call out their strengths.

[29:47] Love them for who they are.

Links and Resources:

How to Listen to The Crystal Paine Show

The podcast is available on iTunesAndroidStitcher, and Spotify. You can listen online through the direct player here. OR, a much easier way to listen is by subscribing to the podcast through a free podcast app on your phone. (Find instructions for how to subscribe to a podcast here.)

Ready to dive in and listen? Hit the player above or search for “The Crystal Paine Show” on your favorite podcast app.

#coupons #deals #shopping #extremecouponing #couponing #freebies #grocerystoreads #grocerystorematchups #matchups #discounts #savings

25 Budget-Friendly Snack Ideas for Kids

Looking for some easy snacks for kids on a budget? Check out these 25 super simple ideas that kids are sure to love!

{Looking for even more tips & tricks? Be sure to see this list of other kid-friendly snack ideas, plus check out this one simple tip for reducing the cost of snacks! And remember — making your own snacks will almost always save you more money in the long run!}

easy snacks for kids on a budget

25 Easy Snacks for Kids

Thanks to our Facebook followers for helping to provide many of these great ideas here and here!

1. Roasted nuts or seeds with your favorite spices/seasonings.

2. Homemade hummus with veggies or whole grain crackers.

3. DIY Veggie wraps with hummus, veggies, cheese, beans, etc. (Great cold or warmed in the oven for a few minutes!)

4. Homemade “lunchables” with sliced cheeses, cold cut meats, and crackers. Throw in a fruit or cookie for fun!

5. Yogurt (mix in fresh fruit and toppings for a twist!).

6. Hard-boiled eggs.

7. Fresh fruit.

8. Trail mixes — either homemade or store bought.

9. Rice cakes with peanut butter.

10. Homemade smoothies. (Freeze discounted fruit ahead of time to save money!).

11. Beef jerky.

12. Granola bars

14. Apples and peanut butter.

15. Air-popped popcorn.

16. Energy bites.

17. String cheese.

18. Frozen grapes.

19. Berries dipped in Greek yogurt and frozen.

20. Homemade healthy cookies.

21. Healthy homemade muffins.

22. Celery with almond butter and raisins.

23. Applesauce. (For a special treat, try this recipe!)

24. Homemade popsicles.

25. Homemade fruit leather.

Looking for even more snack ideas?

Do you have any other easy snack ideas for kids on a budget? We’d love to hear in the comments!

Cut your grocery bill!

Need more help saving on groceries? Go here and sign up (it’s free!). I’ll send you my 10 Easy Ways to Cut Your Grocery Bill By $50.

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Can You Buy Coupons?

Coupons can help you save a lot of money, but cutting them takes time and energy. Plus, you may want more coupons for your favorite products than you can find in the weekly inserts you receive. It’s no wonder that some shoppers look to buy coupons instead of hunting them down themselves.

But can you buy coupons? If so, where? While you can find coupons for sale online, we don’t recommend doing so. Below, we’ll share what you need to know about buying coupons.

Is It Allowed?

Buying and selling coupons is inherently questionable. Look at the fine print on a coupon. Many coupons say that they are to be voided if transferred or sold. This wording would indicate that coupon distributors have not intended for coupons to be used by anyone other than the person who initially received them. In fact, once the coupon is transferred, it may technically lose all value, so redeeming it could be considered fraud.

While the wording establishes that coupons are not intended to be sold, some people sell their clipping services. Coupon clipping services technically sell the service of clipping coupons rather the coupons themselves. While this is still a gray area, it has left room in the market for these services to exist.

Where Can I Buy Coupons?

There are a plethora of coupon clipping services online. For a fee, these services will clip select coupons and send them to you.

However, it is important to note that depending on the wording of the fine print on the coupon, these coupons could be voided and lose all value when you purchase them. While many retailers may honor the coupons regardless of how you obtained them, technically, redeeming a coupon once it is voided could be considered fraud.

Where Can I Get Coupons for Free?

Rather than purchasing coupon clipping services, there are plenty of easy ways to collect your own coupons for free. Weekly inserts in your local newspaper are a great way to start. However, if you’re not up for all the clipping, you might also consider downloading apps from your favorite stores. Many store apps feature coupons you can clip with just a click.

In summation, it is possible to purchase coupon clipping services to get more of the coupons you’re looking for, but we’d strongly advise against it. It’s morally and legally dubious, and there are plenty of free, easy ways to obtain coupons.

The post Can You Buy Coupons? appeared first on Couponing 101.

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How to Effectively Talk to Your Spouse About Money

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

As promised, Shaunti Feldhahn is joining me on the podcast this week to talk about marriage and money. Shaunti and her husband Jeff are researchers who have worked together for years on numerous books and research projects.

Their latest project surveyed thousands of couples on the topic of marriage and money. Throughout three years of research, they discovered five game-changing insights on what is at the root disagreements and tension surrounding relationships and money.

In their latest book, Thriving in Love and Money, they share their findings and how we can learn to get on the same page with our spouse when it comes to money by changing our mindset and approach. They also share how these insights helped to change their relationship — and many other relationships.

If you struggle to have money conversations between you and your spouse, this is the episode for you. Learn more about the psychology behind our money beliefs and why being able to talk about money with your spouse is one of the key factors in strengthening your relationship… even moreso than having a great nest egg in the bank.

In This Episode: 

[02:31] How did Thriving in Love and Money come to be?

[04:56] How the process of researching and writing this book affected Shaunti’s relationship with her husband. 

[06:39] One of the best ways to go through this book is at the same time with your spouse. Learn why.

[08:10] What are the 5 insights detailed in the book? 

[12:19] How many people were surveyed and interviewed in this project? 

[13:52] Shaunti shares the first steps you should take to start opening up channels of communication with your spouse.

[18:34] Listen as I share one of my favorite pieces of the book and why. 

[20:57] Many of us subconsciously believe that our views are right and alternative views are wrong. Here’s how to overcome the tensions that can come from disagreements.

[23:22] Why Shaunti believes that being able to talk about money is more important than having a cushion in your budget when strengthening your relationship. 

Links and Resources:

How to Listen to The Crystal Paine Show

The podcast is available on iTunesAndroidStitcher, and Spotify. You can listen online through the direct player here. OR, a much easier way to listen is by subscribing to the podcast through a free podcast app on your phone. (Find instructions for how to subscribe to a podcast here.)

Ready to dive in and listen? Hit the player above or search for “The Crystal Paine Show” on your favorite podcast app.

#coupons #deals #shopping #extremecouponing #couponing #freebies #grocerystoreads #grocerystorematchups #matchups #discounts #savings