Roadmap Savings for Garage Sale Treasures

A woman's hands using an Ipad map to find garage sales.

7 ways to make Garage Sale Shopping more Fun

If you’re going to spend a day driving around and looking for garage sale treasures, try these 7 tips to make your time Garage Sale treasure hunting more profitable (and less expensive).

1. Plan your Garage Sale route

Check out the garage sale ads on Facebook SwipSwap, CraigsList, and yes, even in your local newspaper and select sales in one or two specific geographic areas. More expensive neighborhoods tend to sell nicer stuff, but can often have unrealistic pricing. You can even hit Estate sales in your area, many of them go half … Read more »

Money Smart Grandparents

Money Smart Grandparents can help with expenses, time and more.

Money Smart Grandparents provide practical ways to Help.

We asked our Facebook friends a couple of questions about how their parents had a positive impact on their children. We want to build a brainstorming list of ideas to encourage money smart grandparents to be active participants in their grandchild’s life. Please add your comments to the bottom of this page—we’d love your input.

We’re wanting to encourage a grandchild’s development of financial independence.

Note: All comments go through a manual approval process—so it may … Read more »

11 Awesome & Affordable Spring Activities for families

11 Awesome & Affordable Spring Activities For Your Family!

Spring Activities – if you’re looking for fun, it’s a time full of awesome and affordable recreational events. Spring – the time for plants and trees to come back to life and in many parts of the country families can be outside to enjoy the more temperate weather and outdoor activities.

If we just look ahead at the upcoming calendar & holidays there are plenty of opportunities for fun on the affordable side.


Are there special Spring events in your area that tourists usually attend? Well, maybe you would enjoy them too? How about visiting an open house at … Read more »

Veterans: How to get free event tickets with VetTix!

Free Family Fun for Veterans!

VetTix is a company that shows appreciation to our Veterans and their families with free event tickets. And this blog will tell you all about how it works, and how to sign up for it.

A few months ago a friend of ours sat with his wife in the audience at Symphony Hall in Phoenix to enjoy hearing the orchestra who was accompanied by Phoenix Symphony Chorus. Tickets to the symphony usually cost between $25 and $120, but for our friend Aaron and his wife, who were sitting in some of the best seats in the house, there was no charge.

Aaron … Read more »

How to Help Your Teen Establish a Good Credit Score

Teenagers & Credit Scores: how to help them establish good credit!

Are you wanting to help your teenager establish a good credit score? Teenagers & Credit Scores is a great topic to be concerned about. Raising money smart teens is more than just teaching our kids to work and earn and save and spend carefully. We need to teach teens the ins and outs of borrowing money and being smart about credit.

Question about Teenagers & Credit Scores

I was wondering if you don’t use any credit cards, how did you establish your credit history?  My son is 17 years old and I would like to tell him to only get an American … Read more »

Linen Closet Tips, Tricks and Hacks

How to Organize Your Linen Closest in 4 Hours.

Reorganizing your linen closet probably isn’t at the top of your to-do list! But this task can really free up time and mental energy – here’s why and how.

The Last Time We Reorganized our Linen Closet

For us, it had been about 10 years — raising five kids and being involved in helping them launch as young adults, writing books and speaking around the country took a lot of time and mental energy, leaving little time to even think about this important type of organizing task. We truly had lost track of what was in the linen closet.

 Read more »

8 Easter Traditions, Crafts and Decor for a Fun Family Celebration

8 Easter Traditions & Decorations.

Easter Traditions are a type of glue that holds families together and builds enduring memories. The traditions don’t have to be expensive, elaborate or logical – some can be downright silly. But for kids, having consistent events throughout the year are something that adds stability and anticipation to life.

Here are 8 different Easter traditions and crafts that are part of our family’s history.

1) Jelly Bean Trails

Jellybean trails are a real kid favorite. On Easter Eve, Steve spent at least an hour weaving five trails of jellybeans—one for each kid—all over the house. Each trail ended at an … Read more »

Which Grocery Store Has The Best Grocery Prices?

Which Grocery Store has the Best Prices?

We are often asked which grocery store has the best prices. It seems that many people are looking for a “silver bullet,” or a magic formula to saving money at the grocery store.

In this Q&A we address the issue of where to shop and how to save the most money at the grocery store.

Question about saving on grocery expenses

I’ve watched many of your YouTube Grocery Shopping videos and really want to cut my grocery bill down. Can you tell me which grocery store has the best prices?

Answer about Best Grocery Store Prices

We’re asked this question all of … Read more »

Do warehouse clubs really save you money?

Do Warehouse Clubs Really save you Money?

The concept of shopping in a warehouse and buying directly from a distributor is an appealing idea for money saving minded people. But do today’s warehouse clubs really save you money or are they merely a carefully marketed retail store that has lots of stuff in it, designed to separate you from your money?

What is a Warehouse Club?

Warehouse clubs are in truth a retail store, that has been strategically designed to look like a warehouse. They utilize tall heavy duty shelving, high ceilings, wide aisles and simple cement floors. a

They carry a wide range of merchandise from mega-sized groceries to … Read more »

Why This Dad Gave His Teen a Classic Car – 1965 Mustang – An Idea in MoneySmart Parenting

Why you should give your Teen a Classic Car.

What should parents do about Teens & Cars? Is it Money Smart parenting to give your kids a car and a computer? One dad thinks so.

We receive a monthly newsletter that deals with family issues and were sent a link to an intriguing article about a family with 12 kids.

Why We Thought This Dad was Smart

The dad of the family wrote the article and shared how as an engineer he earned a good salary but determined not to financially support his kids at HIS EARNING LEVEL.

Instead, he taught them to work and to save and to plan. All of the kids paid … Read more »

Tips on freezing & cooking meat

What is the best way to freeze & cook meat?

Freezing meat bought on sale is a great way to save money at the grocery store. But if you don’t properly store and protect the meat, your savings can be wasted due to freezer burn. If you follow the steps listed below you’ll rarely be disappointed.

Reader Question about Freezing Meat

How do you freeze filet mignon, and keep it from getting dry and tough? We recently purchased filet mignon from Costco, ate two of them (they were delicious) and froze the others. When we defrosted and cooked them, they were awful. Is there is a better way to store them to preserve … Read more »

Smart College Idea: Save 80 Percent – Dual Credit at Home

A College Degree for $3100, yes it's possible!

If you have kids who want a fast track to a college degree or, if you’re an adult looking for an inexpensive and fast way to finally finish that degree, you’ve GOT TO READ what Becky and her kids have done. It’s absolute GENIUS.

We met Becky Muldrow in San Antonio, Texas at a conference where we were speaking. Becky is a mom, and a smart one at that. With 10 kids she has to be. But what stood out most to us was her absolutely ingenious way of helping her kids get through college in less than 2 years, at … Read more »

Intolerant of Overpriced Lactose Intolerance

Here's a great solution for Lactose Intolerance!

If you’re lactose intolerant, finding a solution to enjoying dairy is not an easy or inexpensive project. In this article, we’ll share the different lactose intolerance solutions we’ve tried and the ones that worked.

Trying to eliminate bad gas:

Over the years Steve has tried dozens of enzymes, home remedies, and Lactaid knock-offs in a search to allow him to eat yogurt, ice cream, and other dairy products without intestinal “repercussions.”

He tried apple cider vinegar – 1 tablespoon 20 minutes before eating dairy – it worked fairly well, was inexpensive, but very inconvenient—and it burned.

We … Read more »

How to Find the Perfect Neighborhood for Your Family

New housing development from the air.

The location of your home is just as important as the home itself so finding the perfect neighborhood for your family is essential.

It can seem like a lot of work but taking the time out to investigate the area you are interested in can prove to be worth it in the end. In as much as it’s important for you to feel comfortable in your home, you also need to make sure that the environment around you is safe, conducive and habitable for you.

Some things that make a great neighborhood include good nearby schools for your children to … Read more »

Should You Pay for Your Child’s College Education?

College chorus singing at a graduation ceremony.

This is a Guest Post from our frugal friend Kayla Sloan.
Kayla is a personal finance blogger in her mid-20s who loves to write about money topics of all kinds. You can follow her on her journey out of debt on her blog at

There is no doubt that having a college education can help secure a better future for your son or daughter. College graduates have better career choices and make higher incomes over their lifetime than those who don’t go to college. But if you child didn’t get any sports or academic scholarships to help cover those costs, should you … Read more »

College Answers: Paying for College Without Debt or Trust Fund

College Answers: No debt and No Trust Fund

Question: My daughter is a senior in high school and is preparing to head off to college. We have no money saved for her college expenses and feel like loans are the only option we have. What should we do?

College Answers: You have more options than you realize.

1) Appy Yourself for College Answers

Fill out a FAFSA application – it’s the Free Application for Federal Student Aid – Do this even if you don’t think you’ll qualify for any student aid. FAFSA weighs many different aspects of your finances including your income, your child’s income, the number … Read more »

How to File your Taxes for Free

Free Tax Help - How to File Your Taxes for Free.

Free Tax Help and Getting your taxes filed doesn’t have to be expensive. If you’re a lower income family, just starting out after college, a senior, military or former military family, there are lots of options for getting your taxes filed for free or for almost nothing. We’re hoping that you’ll check out these three options and be able to save a boodle! We’ve personally used two of the three services, and Steve’s dad was a volunteer with the last one.

Filing your income tax return doesn’t have to be a taxing (or expensive) proposition.

Filing taxes is an annual ritual that … Read more »

10 Out of the Box Ways for BigTime College Savings

10 Out of the Box Ways for BigTime College Savings!

If you’re looking for ways to save money on a college education, this blog will give you plenty of out of the box and unconventional options. The college landscape is changing so rapidly that savings can be found in the most unusual places, especially if you’re willing to research, question conventional think and dig a little deeper.

This is blog #5 in our College Savings Series. Scroll to the bottom of this page for links to the entire series.

College Prices Are Rising Faster

In the past 30 years, college costs have risen faster than gasoline, eggs, homes and gold. As in any … Read more »

15 Ways to Wreck Your Food Budget

15 Ways to Wreck your Food Budget - Tips for Saving Money!

Learning to manage your food budget is one of the fastest ways to start turning around your family household budget. We see so many families practice grocery shopping habits that drive their food costs through the roof. If you’ve never been shown how to master the art of food shopping and meal prep, don’t feel bad. It’s a much easier game to learn than you realize.

Take the Quiz and See How you Do

Put a check mark next to any statement that describes something you’ve done in the past six … Read more »

Here’s What You Should Know About Speculative Trades and Investments

Orange tree seedlings in potting soil.

Investing is simply the art of making your money work for you instead of you working for money. People have different kinds of investment comprising different kinds of assets but the general theme is that investments are a way to initiate a multiplier effect in wealth building. Savvy investors tend to mix up their portfolios with a blend of conservative assets and speculative assets. Conservative assets provide stability and income over the long term while speculative assets deliver short-term bursts in capital gains.

Interestingly, the layman idea is that investing sounds like a good and noble cause while … Read more »

5 Reasons it Might Be Time to Sell Your Home

For Sale By Owner Sign in front of a house.

Selling a home is all about timing. The two facts that are usually at play are personal finances and the market conditions. A rule of thumb is that when the market is up, sell. Right now it’s terrific news for homeowners looking to sell, as the market is undoubtedly in their favor. Whether it’s planning for retirement, the future, looking for more capital to reinvest in new property, or simply because you want to move, 2017 appears to be the year to do it. Why? Well, a lot of reasons.

Mortgage rates are still low.

Sure, if you do some research you’ll see … Read more »

How to Maximize your FAFSA and Pell Grant Money

How to Maximize FAFSA and Increase Your Pell Grant Money

Debt Free College Series # 4 – FAFSA and Financial Aid

We have  5 kids who have attended college, and we have filled out FAFSA applications for every single one of them. As a matter of fact, several times for each of them. We’ve learned a few tips from our own experience and from financial aid experts, that we would like to share with you, for how to maximize the FAFSA process and receive more Pell Grant awards.

FAFSA or the Free Application for Federal Student Aid can earn your student as much as $5920 in Pell Grant money from the Federal government. … Read more »

Use Your Head When it Comes to Lettuce – Iceberg vs Leaf

Which Lettuce is best to buy, Iceberg or Leaf Lettuce?

Have you ever tried to calculate the best price for lettuce? What about Iceberg or Leaf Lettuce . . . do you know which type of lettuce costs more?

There are several ways to save money when buying lettuce. We outline a couple of our tricks on this page.

Finding the Best Deal on Lettuce is More Complicated than you Might Think!

Calculating the best price on lettuce is more than simply looking at the sale flyer. To determine the best deal we consider price per head, weight per head and we also throw in the nutritional value. So you see, it’s not just … Read more »

Is there Gold at the end of the Scholarship Rainbow? Hack!

A pot of Gold at the end of a rainbow - How to find college scholarships

Are you looking for tips and tricks to land more scholarship money for college? This blog presents lots of proven ways to find more scholarships, prepare for them and win more awards.

What if there really was a pot of gold waiting for you at the end of the college scholarship rainbow. And what if you KNEW that with some effort, discipline and organizational skills you could find the path that leads to that pot of gold and take some of it to the bank? What if instead of each semester of college costing you between $5000 and $50,000, because you … Read more »

How to get Inexpensive Lunchmeat from a Shank Ham!

Can you get Inexpensive Lunchmeat from a Shank Ham?

Steve wanted to see what kind of “deal” we could get on lunchmeat if we sliced up a smoked, shank ham for our sandwiches. We bought our shank ham on sale for 97 cents a pound. Because the Smithfield ham we bought was smoked, it was ready to eat (no need to cook it.)

The Lunchmeat Estimate

We wanted to determine how much lean, sliced lunchmeat could we get out of an 11.19-pound shank ham. The ham cost $10.85. We thought that there would be about 20 to 30 percent waste when we subtracted fat and the bone. So our expectation was that … Read more »