Vacation Meals on a Budget: 10 Ways to Save on Food While Traveling

Save Money with Vacation Meals on a Budget!

Vacation meals can be expensive! But with vacation meals on a budget and a little planning and creativity, you can enjoy awesome food. Even while you travel, you can spend much less than the average person doing it. We’ve got lots of ideas for having a great vacation on a budget and it all starts with saving on vacation meals.

Table of Contents

1) Eat out Selectively on Vacation2) Restaurant Savings while on Vacation3) Keeping Your … Read more »

Companies with Excellent Customer Service

Top Rated Companies for Best Customer Service.

Getting excellent customer service from a large corporation is one of the seven wonders of the world . . . well, at least it seems that way. We love dealing with companies who have well-trained employees who really seem to care about their customers’ problems.

Companies with Bad Customer Service

We have had a number of frustrating interactions with companies lately – mostly internet/cell phone and utilities. Poor or non-existent customer service has become the norm. Long hold times and getting disconnected on phone calls is so frequent that we’ve come to expect it.

Celebrating Companies who Provide Excellent Customer Service

So when we … Read more »

Should You Buy Your Teenager a Car? Why this Dad Gave a 1965 Mustang

Why you should give your Teen a Classic Car.

Have you wondered if you should give your teen a car?

Are other parents in your area doing it and you’re getting pressure from you child?

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

We didn’t give any of our kids a car. But we did help them save and shop and buy their first cars for cash. 

When we heard about this dad who gave his teenager a 1965 Mustang, we thought he’d lost his mind. 

Why We Think This Dad is MoneySmart

The dad of the family wrote … Read more »

27 Fun & Frugal Family Vacation Ideas!

Fun & Frugal Vacations- 27 Money Saving Tips for Food, Lodging & Activities.

Frugal Family Vacations don’t have to be boring. And fun vacations don’t have to be expensive to be memorable.

We’ve compiled a list of ways for you to have fun and frugal family vacations. This list comes from friends and our own experience. We’ll share more than two dozen money-saving vacation tips for meals, lodging, and activities. You’ll make great memories on a budget.

27 Fun Ideas for Frugal Vacations

Our Facebook Friends asked, “Can you share one of your tips for saving money while on vacation?” Our first book, America’s Cheapest Family Gets You Right on the Money, has an … Read more »

Organic Food on a Budget: 11 Ways to Save Money & Stay Healthy

Organic Food On A Budget #OrganicFoodSavings #OrganicOnABudget #SaveMoneyOnGroceries

Are you looking for ways to eat healthier organic food on a budget? Have you ever asked, “How can I save money on organic food?”

We are always asked about how to save money on organics every time we do a grocery seminar or take phone calls during a radio interview on grocery savings.

Organic Food Does Usually Cost More

Organic food products, on average, cost 50 percent more than standard foods. But you could end up spending 100 percent more, especially on dairy products and meat.

Organic Food Sales are Growing

According to Nielsen, U.S. retail organic food sales totaled … Read more »

How to Save on Lunchmeat: Slicing A Shank Ham!

A shank ham on a cutting board.

Are you looking for ways to save money on lunch meat?

Steve wanted to see what kind of “deal” we could get on ham lunch meat if we sliced up a smoked, shank ham for our sandwiches. Could we get quality sandwich slices for less?

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.)

In this article we’ve also placed two videos:

How to slice a shank ham for inexpensive lunch meat
Three ways to buy lunch meat and save money.

Video: 3 Ways to … Read more »

Great Vacations With Limited Funds – Having Fun on a Shoestring Budget

Great Vacations with Limited Funds are Entirely Possible!

Is your budget limited for vacation this year? If you’re thinking you can’t take a vacation, think again. We’ve got lots of frugal and cheap tips to make your vacation memorable on a shoestring budget.

If your only option is a Vacation with Limited Funds, can you still create a fun and enjoyable memory? Here’s how we and several other frugal friends have enjoyed great vacations on the cheap.


Great Vacations on a Shoestring Budget

Yes, money is tight, unemployment is still high and the economic climate is uncertain. But if you’re thinking there is no way that you can take some well-deserved … Read more »

Cutting the Cost of Cutting Glass

How to Cut Glass at Home by Yourself. A Great Cutting Glass Project.

Do you know how much does it cost to have glass Cut?

Do you think that cutting glass at home is too hard, or dangerous?

Getting a piece of glass cut from a hardware store has become harder and much more expensive than 20 years ago.

Years Ago: We had 6 small pieces of glass cut for the outside lights/lanterns on our garage. We bought a large piece of glass for about $15 at Home Depot and they cut it for free.

Things have really changed since then.  We were looking at a $20 charge for 3 small pieces of glass.

Keep reading to … Read more »

11 Ways to Help Kids Save on Your Electricity Bill

In your home - kids save electricity!

We taught our kids to save money on electricity … and everything else. When we received this question from a website visitor from Australia, we thought we’d put our ideas in writing.

Question about how to get my kids on-board with saving money

Do your kids save electricity? How do you get your kids to appreciate ever-increasing electricity costs and to turn off lights and appliances? Mine just seem to walk away and have no care that Australian electricity costs are rising and rising and we now pay a carbon tax on top of this. I nag them to turn off lights … Read more »

Arby’s Roast Beef Sandwich: Get Your Money’s Worth

Get your money's worth at Arbys. #rip-off, #sandwich weight

If you want to know how much an Arby’s Roast Beef sandwich is supposed to weigh, just read our story.

What would you do if you got 30% less than you paid for?

We got “ripped off,” but got it resolved quickly.

We had just completed a Once-A-Month cooking day (website subscribers can read more here) where Annette (with help from the rest of us) prepares between 10 and 17 dinner meals which we store in the freezer for use later in the month.

On our “Once-A-Month” cooking day, Annette gets the night off from preparing dinner (after preparing so many meals, she … Read more »

Bills Keep Piling Up: How Can We Earn More & Cut Expenses?

Several envelopes piled up with past due stamped on them.

What can a family do if they’re struggling to make ends meet each month? School uniforms, back taxes, rent – the bills just keep piling up? We’ve got 18 things you can do starting today.

Our Bills are Past Due!

We received this email from a website visitor.

With grocery, utilities and public transportation prices climbing, our family is struggling to survive. We have a large family and do grow a small garden, but the bills keep piling up.

We’re behind on our rent and income taxes.
Our kids attend a charter school that requires uniforms which we can’t afford.
We don’t have credit … Read more »

Easy Free Stickers: Updated List of 103 Companies That Mail Stickers To You

A mac laptop with free stickers on it.

Are you looking for free name-brand stickers from companies you, or your kids’ love?

At MoneySmartFamily we love free stuff. Especially free things that our kids love or that can be given as gifts.

We’ve researched hundreds of companies and created this easy to use list. We update it every couple of weeks to keep it current and to make sure all of the sites still offer free stickers.

This list is divided into 3 sections.

Companies that have sticker request forms on their sites.
Companies that ask you to send a SASE to receive a free sticker
Companies that you can send an email and … Read more »

Discount Prescriptions: 13 Ways to Get Prescription Drugs Cheaper

Prescription drugs spilling out of a medication bottle onto money.

Are you looking to get prescriptions cheaper? There are tons of ways to quickly and legally get discounts on your medication prescriptions.

Is the cost of prescription drugs making you choke?

According to the Center for Disease Control, 48% of American’s take at least one prescription drug and 21% take 3 or more prescription drugs. Legal, prescribed drug use in our country, and around the world is at all-time highs.

It’s true that properly used, prescription drugs can greatly improve the length and quality of our lives. It’s also true that the cost of prescription drugs can greatly reduce the size of our … Read more »

10 Stores That Will Price Match Amazon Today!

Stores that Price Match Amazon - Amazon Box with store logos on it.

Do you know which stores near you will price match Amazon?

What better way is there to save money than to find retailers who will match or even beat one of the low price leaders? If you want your order today or want it cheaper keep this list handy.

We’ve researched 13 of the largest retailers who advertise price matching policies and have found those who will match Amazon’s prices and a few that won’t.

Amazon’s Market Dominance

Amazon was founded in 1993 as an online bookstore. In 1998 it started to really take off and now Amazon has disrupted and transformed the retail … Read more »

How to Do a DIY Property Tax Appeal and Lower Your Taxes

DIY Property Tax Appeal - how to lower your monthly payment.

Doing a DIY Property Tax Appeal is not something many homeowners think about. But, if you own a home or are getting ready to buy one, you should consider what you will pay in property taxes.

And you should probably look into what similarly sized homes are paying.

When you purchase a house, be aware that many counties base their revised valuations, in large part, on the sale price. The basis for the valuation may be correct, but the details of your property may be misrepresented, which can result in higher taxes.

No matter what … Read more »

37 Fun Family Game Night Ideas and Board Games

Best Family Game Night Games. Games for Kids. Board Games for Kids. Games for Groups.

Have you ever thought of hosting a family game night? Do you wonder which are the best Family Game Night Games?  We’ve got answers and videos.

Nothing brings families together like some friendly competition. And it’s even more fun when you pick some fun games to play together as on a family game night.

And the games we recommend don’t cost a lot of money. As a matter of fact, some are completely free.

There are hundreds of games suitable for family game nights. After polling every family we know, we compiled a list of 35 of the most popular games and put them … Read more »

Easy Way to Inventory Your Food: Pantry & Freezer

What is the Easiest Way to Inventory your Food?

If you inventory your food in your pantry, freezer, and refrigerator, you are sure to reduce what you spend on groceries. Inventorying your food will help you to save money, waste less food, and spend less time shopping. This is something you will definitely want to consider. Just know that to inventory your food will take a little time. But it also will produce huge savings in your grocery budget! Here’s how we do it.


This is an excerpt from the planning chapter of our book, Cut … Read more »

Check your Receipt – Get the Real Deal

Check your Receipt at the checkout and get your Money's worth.

Shopping sales, using coupons and stumbling across super-discounted bargains are all great ways to save loads of cash.  That is, unless you don’t really get the savings you anticipated. How is that possible? Simple, at the checkout counter you are charged a retail price, or more, on your discounted items and never even know it.

Is this some sinister ploy? No, but we’ve seen a level of incompetence in many retail establishments despite constant scrutiny by state departments of weights and measures and numerous investigative reports about “scanner accuracy.” We are told that if there are errors, they usually favor the … Read more »

Lactose Intolerance Pills: Costco Lactase vs Lactaid® which is Best?

Do you have Lactose Intolerance? Costco (Kirkland) lactase vs Lactaid® which is best?

Searching for the best lactose intolerance pills? Have you tried different solutions for your digestive issues?

We’ve tried a number of natural and pill solutions for lactose intolerance.

We also did an in-depth comparison with Costco Lactase (Kirkland) or Lactaid brand pills. You’ll be surprised by what we found.

If you have lactose intolerance, finding a solution to enjoying dairy is not an easy or inexpensive research project.

We hope you’ll read all of the options we tried, but if you want to get the absolute bottom line, scroll to the bottom of this page. We have a way you can purchase lactose … Read more »

Can a Family Live on One Income?

Mom with two kids and a dog in the forest. Can we live on one income?

If you’ve ever wondered whether your family can live on one income or not, the 5 questions below should help answer your question.

Living on One Income for a SAHM Wannabe

First I would like to say that I am very grateful to have found your book America’s Cheapest Family because ever since I picked that book up my husband and I have started changing the way we live.

We aren’t out of debt yet, but we have paid off some and are working towards paying off the rest.

I really want to be a stay-at-home wife and mother. My husband is very supportive of … Read more »

Teens & Credit: How to Establish Credit as a Teenager

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 … Read more »

Veterans: How to get Free Event Tickets with VetTix!

Free Family Fun for Veterans & Active Military! VetTix

VetTix is a company that shows appreciation to our Veterans & their families, as well as active military 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. They came to enjoy 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 … Read more »

29 Fun & Free Educational Websites for Kids

29 Free Educational Websites for Kids including science, history, reading, math, news, coding and more!

If you’re looking for great websites to enhance your child’s learning you’re going to love this list of the best free educational websites for kids.

It can sometimes be hard to find the ideal balance of fun and learning. The challenge might seem daunting, but have no fear the perfect learning website is out there.

Just check out this list of 29 fun and information filled sites to find the right website for you and your kids!

A Directory of Free Educational Websites for Kids

Preschool – Watch, Play & Learn Sites (3)
Nick Jr.

Nick Jr. has games that feature recognizable characters … Read more »

Frugal Living Helps You Hurdle to Early Retirement

Frugal Living Helps You Hurdle Towards Early Retirement!

Can Frugal Living make a difference in how soon you retire or is it just a waste of time? We’re going to give you one example of the power of frugal living as it specifically pertains to how soon you can retire.

How Much Money Do You Need to Retire?

First, let’s calculate how much money you need to retire for a moment.

Most retirement planning projection systems don’t adequately show the impact of frugal living in retirement estimate calculations—probably for good reason. Most people aren’t frugal!

However, the average person has rarely been shown “The Power of Frugal Living” regarding retirement calculation below. … Read more »

11 Fun Easter Traditions for Families: Crafts, Decor, & Activities for a Great Celebration

11 Easter Traditions for Families - Crafts, Decorations & Activities. #EasterDecorations #EasterCrafts #EasterActivities

Are you looking for fun Easter Traditions for your family? Traditions are a type of glue that holds families together and builds enduring memories.

Fun traditions don’t have to be expensive, elaborate or logical – some can be downright silly. But for kids, having consistent events throughout the year is something that adds stability and anticipation to life.

Jellybean trails through the house are one of our favorite family traditions.

Here are 11 different Easter traditions and crafts that are part of our family’s history.

Jelly Bean Trails

Jellybean trails are a real kid favorite. On Easter Eve, Steve spent at … Read more »