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A Grocery Budget Makeover?

A Budget Makeover with Groceries is the fastest way to find cash!

If you’re looking for a Budget Makeover – start by changing how you shop for groceries.

Because most of us go to the grocery store several times each week, making a few changes in how you shop is one of the fastest ways to rehab your finances.

How can I lower my grocery bill so I can get ahead on my budget?

Question from an Email Subscriber:

I want to start rehabilitating my finances that will include a budget makeover with groceries. So following your advice, I’m revamping my grocery shopping. I homeschool our 4 young children and they tend to drink a … Read more »

Used Car Buying Checklist: 7 Things to Do When Buying from a Private Seller

Use Car Buying Checklist

We created this used car buying checklist to help our young adult kids evaluate their next car purchase.

We’ve always bought used cars from private sellers in Arizona. Our state doesn’t charge sales tax on cars purchased from individuals and this saves us 8.6 percent on the purchase price.

But we’re always careful when dealing with private party sales and follow the tips in this article. We also use the checklist at the bottom to make sure we don’t buy a lemon

MoneySmart Family Used Car Checklist: This easy to use, Used Car Checklist shows you the things you should check when you … Read more »

Free Air For Tires Near Me: 15+ Places to Inflate Your Tires 

Places to get free air for your tires.

If you are looking to cut the cost of driving your car, then finding free air for your tires can be a good place to start. By keeping your tires properly inflated you’ll save money on gas, your tires will last longer and your car will drive better.

There are likely to be 15+ places near you that will give you free air for your tires. The cost of owning a vehicle can be staggering. Between car payments, insurance, regular maintenance, and gas, you could be spending several thousand dollars a year to drive your car.

Add to that the cost of … Read more »

Get Ink out of Upholstery Fabric: 3 Easy Solutions That Work

Before and after picture if ink stains on upholstery

Do you have an ink stain on fabric or upholstery? There are several inexpensive ways to get the stain out of fabric.

We had a microfiber ottoman that was giving to us. It had blue and black ink scribbles on it. In the video on this page, we show the steps we used to return the ottoman fabric to like-new condition.

In this post, we’ll share several options and show you the two that worked best for us.

Step 1: Test the Fabric

Not all fabrics are created equal. If you have the manufacturers tag still attached to the fabric you should be able … Read more »

Buying Used Stuff: 7 Reasons We Love Buying To Save & Make Money

Buy Used Things - 7 Ways to Find the Best Deals!

If you buy used stuff, it’s a great way to keep money in your pocket. It also increases your buying power further than you imagined. And it can also be a great way to make money.

Buying used things is a great benefit to you, your budget and the environment.

We’ll share why we love buying used things, and where we find the best deals.

We’ll also share how we sell used things we no longer need … and the sites we use to do that.

You’re going to save a ton of money reading this article.

If we’ve missed a resource that you love, … Read more »

Pay Off Your Mortgage Early – Mortgage Free in 9 years Calculator

Pay Off Your Mortgage Early and See How We Paid Off Our Home in 9 Years!

One of the pinnacles of financial stability and security is to Pay off your mortgage early. Owning your home free and clear may seem like a fantasy. But if you follow the 5 steps we took, it can be your reality too.

Some people pay their home off in 30 years, others 15. But there are a group of people who simply hate having a mortgage pay it off quicker.

We paid our home off in 9 years.

Our efforts to pay down our mortgage debt started with just one dollar extra each month . . . but quickly grew to much more. … Read more »

Entitled Kids: 7 Things You Can Do to Stop Spoiling and Start Raising Self-Sufficient Kids

Are You Entitling Your Kids? We Share 7 Ways to Stop Entitlement and Raise Self Sufficient Adults!

Is it possible that our good intentions and generosity could end up entitling our kids? No parent intentionally sets out to create dependent children who expect to be given everything they desire.

If you want to raise kids who aren’t entitled but are empowered – keep reading. We have 7 ways we helped our kids to become Financially strong, fit and independent.

Kids are kind of funny. If we offer to pay for something, they’ll gladly let us do it . . . forever and ever. If we don’t pay, they’ll carry on about how “mean” and out of touch with reality … Read more »

Expired Meat – How Long is Meat Good After Sell By Date?

Is Expired Meat Dangerous or a Deal?

Want to see people turn up their noses in disgust? Just mention that you often purchase expired meat or meat that is going out of code.

“Code” refers to the date placed by a grocer or manufacturer on a grocery item revealing its use-by, sell-by or freeze-by date.

We did an interview on ABC’s 20/20 with Elizabeth Vargas. When she saw a video clip of Steve selecting some discounted ham in a grocery store, she was puzzled.

She said, “You are picking up bargains on items most of us would avoid, like expiring meat.”

She continued, “Most people don’t want to buy meat that … Read more »

5 Secrets to Surviving a Financial Crisis or Economic Downturn

5 Ways to Survive a Financial Crisis.

Are you going through a financial crisis or cut in pay?

If your income were to dramatically drop tomorrow, would you survive?

Would you spiral into a financial crisis or would you be able to keep your head above water?

Many financial experts say that Americans who live paycheck to paycheck could be 3 months from homelessness.

We’re going to give you 5 Secrets that we’ve used to survive job layoffs, cuts in pay and a nationwide financial downturn. 

 

How are you doing Financially?

If you were to ask ten different people in your town, “How are you doing financially compared to last … Read more »

Buying a Home with a Low Credit Score: Repeat & First Time Home Buyers

Buying a home with bad credit or a low credit score is possible.

Buying a home with bad credit can really be a challenge. And if you have a poor credit score it can be even tougher. If you’ve always dreamed of owning a home, but you’re struggling with saving a down payment or raising your credit score, we’ve got hope.

There are several steps you can take to repair credit, find a lender, and realize that goal of homeownership. This guide will help you find all the resources you need.

Step One: Work on Your Credit

Bad credit and a low credit score are major obstacles when purchasing a home. Lenders use your credit score to … Read more »

Paying for College With No Money or a Trust Fund

How to Pay for College with no Money - College graduate

A Reader asks How to Pay for College With No Money and without a 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?

MoneySmartFamily: You have more options than you realize.

 

1. Get Government Grants

Fill out a FAFSA application – it’s the Free Application for Federal Student Aid – StudentAid.ed.gov

Do this even if you don’t think you’ll qualify for any student aid. FAFSA … Read more »

Student Loan Forgiveness Programs: Get Loans Discharged Legally

Student Loan Forgiveness - Get Rid of College Debt Forever!

Do you have college loans? Are you looking for a list of loan forgiveness programs? Are you wondering if you can get student loan forgiveness?

Student loan forgiveness isn’t available to everyone, but it is a great way to pay off student loans that have already been accrued!

We’ve scoured the loan forgiveness landscape and found 9 different programs that might benefit you.

College Prices Have Skyrocketed:

Over the past 40 years, gas prices have increased by about 300% and Gold has risen more than 1200%. However, the cost of college has outpaced them both, skyrocketing more than 1600% higher than it was in … Read more »

37 Garage Sale Tips and Tricks: A Guide To Hosting Great Yard or Garage Sale

Wooden yard sale sign posted on a wire fence. Guide to Hosting Great Garage Sales.

If you’re looking for Garage Sale Tips and Tricks, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve hosted and participated in dozens of very successful garage sales.

We’ve written this Garage Sale Guide to help you turn your unwanted treasures into cash. There are 37 ideas presented on this page to help you run an efficient and profitable yard sale at your home. Or to host a rummage sale for a charitable organization where you volunteer.

Hosting A Garage Sale – Where to Start

Have you ever wondered how to host a great and profitable garage sale? We’ve hosted dozens of yard or garage … Read more »

How We Rehydrate Rubbery, Limp Carrots

A Terrific Limp Carrot Fix!

Have you ever purchased carrots that are rubbery, limp and droopy? Have carrots that you store in your refrigerator lost their crispness and crunchiness?

Don’t despair, your produce is not ready for the trash can or compost pile. You can rehydrate limp carrots and return them to their crisp and crunchy original condition.

 

Watch the video at the bottom of this page as Steve demonstrates how easy it is to fix limp carrots.

 

Why Do Carrots Get Rubbery and Limp?

Carrots are a root vegetable and consist of 88 percent water. By comparison, cucumbers are 96 percent water. Carrots get limp when their water … Read more »

Savory Butcher $100 Meat Give-Away

Savory Butcher Meat Give Away August 2019

Our friends Cassie and Erle – founders of Savory Butcher, have asked Annette and Steve to be their celebrity bloggers of the month.

DRAWING: Everyone who opens a Savory Butcher account will be entered in a drawing for a free box of meat. They’re giving away a Fresh Savory Sampler Mixed Box – 26 pounds of fresh meat. Retail Value: $109.00.

We have all the details on how to enter the drawing at the bottom of this page.

BONUS: If you place an order, you’ll receive our 30 Day Meal Plan and a set of our 5 Money-Saving Grocery Forms .pdf.

 

What is Savory Butcher?

Do … Read more »

3 Ways to Save Money on Utilities

Programmable Lux thermostat with a finger pointing to it to adjust it.

SAVING ON UTILITIES 

We’re in the dog days of summer (in the U.S.) and depending on where you live, you’re either enjoying the nice weather, sweltering in the humidity or broiling in the dry heat. For many people, summer is a time for relief from the high utility costs of the winter. But for us in Arizona, this is our most expensive season.

1) Planning Ahead for Utility Savings

The time to prepare for your most expensive utility usage season is NOT usually in the middle of that season.

If your winter utility costs eat you alive, prepare in the summer with:

Additional attic insulation … Read more »

Saving on Back-to-School Clothing — 5 Frugal Fashion Tips For Kids

Back-to-School Clothes: 5Frugal Fashion Tips for Kids!

We’ve got Frugal Fashion Tips for Kids when you’re shopping for back-to-school clothes. These will help your kids to look nice, be a little trendy, and not cost a fortune.

We outfitted 5 kids with wardrobes each year. We also found lots of ways for them to look fashionable while staying within our frugal spending limits.

5 Ways to Save on Fashionable Back-To-School Clothes

Parents spend a lot of money for Back-to-school sales for clothing each year. According to a Parents.com survey of 1000 families, 60 percent said that they would spend more on back-to-school clothes for their … Read more »

Head of Lettuce – What is the Best Price, Weight & Nutrition

Buying Leaf or Iceberg Lettuce? Which Lettuce is best to buy?/ #BestLettuceDeal/ #BuyingLettuce/ #BuyingProduceCheap/ #BuyingProduceOnABudget

Leaf or Iceberg Lettuce . . . do you know which type of lettuce costs more?

Have you ever tried to calculate the best price for lettuce? Do you know which type of lettuce is the most nutritious? We answer all of these questions in this blog.

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 Complex 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 the price per … Read more »

College Home Study Program: Degree for $3100 – Dual Credit at Home

A College Degree for $3100? What About College Home Study? What About an Online College Degree? #CollegeDegree$3100 #OnlineCollegeDegree #CollegeHomeStudy

This College Home Study Program is amazing, clever, very different from other programs and inexpensive too.

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 … Read more »

33 Places that Buy Used Cell Phones for Cash – Broken or Working

Trade in Used Cell Phones for cash.

Have you ever wondered, “who buys used cell phones?” Many stores are willing to buy used cell phones for cash.

Do you have some old cell phones sitting in a drawer? Would you like to turn that outdated technology into cash?

This article will help you turn you unneeded phones into needed money.

We’ll share stores that are nearby where you can get cash today for your phone.

And we’ll also share several online options where you can get a quote and then mail your phone in for a cash payout.

Listing of Local Stores That Buy Used Phones Near Me

You might be surprised at … Read more »

Want Free Stickers? 127 Companies Who Mail You Stickers

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. 

There are 5 Sections in Our Free Sticker List:

64 Companies that have sticker request forms on their sites.
19 Companies that ask for a Self-Addressed Stamped Envelope (SASE) to get free stickers
13 Websites with a … 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 said or done in the past six months:

 

 1) I go to the store several times each week.

Going to … Read more »

Saving on Back-to-School Supplies — 5 Black Belt Tactics

Back to School Supplies - 5 Ways to Save Big Money.

The late summer months are the best time to stock-up and save money on Back to School Supplies. 

Unfortunately, if you’re not careful, this can be one of the most expensive times of the year for families with young children. Why?

The reason is that back-to-school costs can really take a toll on your family’s household budget.

According to the National Retail Federation, retailers expect that consumers will shell out more than $80.7 billion during this back-to-school shopping frenzy (k-12 and college combined).

50.1 million students will attend public elementary and secondary school. So if you do the math it comes out to almost … Read more »

Finding the Cheapest Place to Buy Meat Near Me

Discounted cheap meat - family sized.

Are you looking to save money and find cheap meat near your home? These strategies could save you thousands of dollars this year.

Years ago, it was the man’s “job” to hunt for the meat to provide for the family. All it cost was a few days’ trudging through the forest, and some bullets or arrows. Then there was time to clean and dress the meat, a man’s muscles to lug it all home and space to store it.

Today, in our more “sophisticated” society, both sexes are responsible for putting meat on the table. The … Read more »

How Long Can Eggs Last Unrefrigerated and Refrigerated?

How long can eggs last unrefrigerated?

Have you ever thought long and hard about the eggs we eat?

What About Questions Like:

How long can eggs last unrefrigerated and refrigerated?
Or, “How can you tell if the eggs you have are going bad?
Does the nutritional value of an egg change as it ages?

 

Egg Storage Around the World

One of my favorite things to do when I travel is to visit local grocery stores. I enjoy comparing the similarities and differences. In Iceland, grocery stores have a line of cookies called “Maryland.” In France, quail eggs are a common grocery store item.

One notable difference between Europe and the United … Read more »