Favorite Apps: Apps That Save You Money

Since our budget has fluctuated so much in the last few months, I’ve been attempting to become a little more frugal with the little bit of money that we have so that what we have might stretch a long way.  Of course I’ve received much help from my coupon-fanatic best friend of 15 years and some extremely helpful websites (I’ll share those at another time), but I definitely appreciate the little helpers that I can carry with me everywhere right on my phone.  I hope you’ll try them out and find that they help you stretch your dollar too:

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Cartwheel: This Target app allows you to save money on many different items at Target.  You might check this app when you have your grocery list to maximize your savings or just browse through it to see if there are any good deals you can use on those things you don’t need but were hoping for a good deal on.  Add the savings you want to your personalized Cartwheel barcode and have the cashier scan it when you’re checking out.  You can use these savings on top of your other coupons, and they can be used as many times as you like before they expire!

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Favado: Use this app to search out the best deals at your local stores.  You can search deals by store or type in the item in the search bar to find out which store has the best deal.

 

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Mint: 
You may have already heard of this app, as it’s been around for quite a while as a supplement to the website.  I use them all together to track my spending: managing my checkbook, tracking what we spend money on, and budgeting for the upcoming month.  We’ve also used it to build up our emergency fund and also to pay off our debt.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Unit Price Compare: I’m a big proponent on comparing unit prices before I buy something.  I like to make sure I’m getting the most I can for my money.  It’s not always easy to compare unit prices when you’re tired and stressed (or if it’s been that long since you had a math class…).  Just plug in the unit and size of the items you are comparing (less any coupons you are using), and it will tell which is the best deal.

Sometimes You Just Need a Day Off

For those working Momma’s out there…sometimes…(and I hope you realize it) you just need a day off.  If I share anything in common with any of the other working moms out there in the world, I could probably bet that many of you hate taking a day off.  For some of you, it just means there’s that much to catch up on when you get back to work.  For others, it might mean that your short on pay for a day.  I have been both of those.

But really, no matter what your situation (and I can say this, because I’ve worked full time, stayed at home, and worked part time–sometimes all at the same time and sometimes at different times–at some point in my life), you JUST NEED TO TAKE A DAY OFF.

What prompted me to write this today was Wednesday.  I drove all the way over to work only to realize that I forgot my key.  And being the only employee with official hours on Wednesday this week (I work at a small church), there just wasn’t anyone to let me in.  As I drove back home to get my key, I tossed around different scenerios in my head.  When would I make up that forty minutes I just lost?  Do I just call it a day?  Do I work late?  After weighing my options, I just decided to call in.  (Please keep in mind that you can’t just take off whenever you want–unless, of course, you are your own boss–but check in with the boss first to make sure it’s approved!)

Now back to WHY I needed the day off: I made the mistake earlier this week of thinking my workload this week had lightened since Easter.  Not so much.  Since I try to save as much money as possible by shopping at different places depending on deals and coupons, I had several places to go.  I had meat to separate in the basement refrigerator (we buy in bulk), Sunday School items to prepare, among other things to take care of.  So i took the morning to prepare my lists and head out to the various stores.

Thank goodness I did, or I never would have gotten everything done!

If you’re behind at home, and it’s stressing you out; if it’s affecting your mood; if you’re just worn down; if you just need one day without someone needing you every second…find a babysitter, call in sick…just take the day off.  Your kids (and probably your husband, if you have one) will thank you for it.

Planning for Summer: Play Dates

Less than a week ago, after picking up Princess Anna from preschool, she announced from the backseat that this summer, after camp and after her birthday could she have a sleepover at her friends house?  And could she play at her friend’s house?  Because she would have fun.

Now a planned out family summer is fun and all, but sometimes kids just need time to blow off steam with their friends.  Her preschool friend doesn’t live quite as close to us as some of her other friends, but even last summer we made sure they had plenty of time just to play.

That being said, one of the first things I wanted to do when planning this summer was to include her friends.  Last year we had an absolutely wonderful time during spa day, so we wanted to make sure they were included in that.  Craft day was also a hit, and they were there that day also.  And of course a play date here and there.  Now that I have her friend’s vacation schedule, I know when to plan the activities that they won’t want to miss!  But don’t let the play date schedule run your summer.  You still need time to unwind, and you still need family time.  We’ll shoot for play dates every other week maybe, and I think that should be a good balance.

Missed my post about summer trips to museums?  Check it out here!  And keep watching for my next post in my Planning for Summer series: theme days!