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.

Retailers expect that consumers will shell out more than $68 billion during this back-to-school shopping frenzy.

50.1 million students will attend public elementary and secondary school. So if you do the math, $68 billion divided by 50 million students it comes out to about $1360 per student.

This … 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 »

105 successful dropouts from high school and college #13, #70 & #91 are surprising

105 College Dropouts that proved to be very successful men & women!

You won’t believe some of the people on this list of successful high school and college dropouts.

Can dropouts from high school and college become successful contributors to society?

People like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Michael Dell, and MGM co-founder Marcus Lowe are prime examples of successful people. These are people who didn’t go to college or didn’t finish college.

Is education important? Yes of course.

But is a formal education; public, private or parochial school and college—are they critical to success. Yes . . . and no.

While researching the education chapter for our book The … Read more »

12 Cheap Snacks for Kids: Homemade & Store Bought

12 Affordable Snacks for Kids - Health, Delicious & Inexpensive.

Are you looking for cheap and healthy snacks for kids? This list of 12 different easy to serve snack foods should do the trick. Some are homemade and others are store-bought, but all are inexpensive.

These snack options have been time tested with our five kids and should do well for your family.

Do you ever feel like you’re feeding a bottomless pit?
We’re talking about those kids or teens with “hollow legs.”

Remember when they were babies and we fed them every two hours?  Well, the two-hour feedings start all over again in the pre-teen and teen years.

You want to provide nutritious snacking food … Read more »

10 things you may not know about The Declaration of Independence

10 Declaration of Independence Facts that you may not know!

The Declaration of Independence in the United States is one of the most revered documents in our history. It was a bold statement by oppressed men and women to gain freedom from a tyrannical English government. 

10 Declaration of Independence Facts You May Not Know

But do you know these 10 Declaration of Independence facts about this most famous document?

1) The Resolve to move toward Independence

It was Richard Henry Lee of Virginia who proposed the resolution that “That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent states, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British … Read more »

18 Places To Cash A Personal Check Fast and Without a Bank Account

Writing a check with a gold pen.

Have you ever wondered how to cash a personal check when you don’t have a bank account? Or where you can cash a check right now and what the charges would be?

You might need to cash a check from a friend because you’re traveling out of state, or you could have an online bank or you may simply not have a bank account at all.

If someone writes you a check and you don’t have access to your own bank, you may have a problem.

Don’t fret, there are several ways you can cash a personal check without a bank account.

Here’s how … Read more »

Chick fil A’s Cow Appreciation Day 2019: Dress Like A Cow & Get Free Food

Cow Appreciation Day at Chick-fil-A Abbey & Joe Economides got a free meal.

Chick-fil-A has an annual Cow Appreciation Day – sometimes called  “Dress LIke a Cow Day” others call it “Chick-fil-a Day.” It occurs each year at the beginning of July. And it is celebrated by more than 1.8 million people.


When Is Cow Appreciation Day in 2019

This year Dress Like a Cow Day is being celebrated on Tuesday, July 9. It starts at opening time and ends around 7 pm that day.

This live video was shot on Cow Appreciation Day 2019 with 2 of our grandkids and our daughter-in-law Sarah.


How did Cow Appreciation Day Get Started

Legend has it that in 1995 a … Read more »

10 Great Places to Buy Quality Used Cell Phones & Save

Best Places to buy used cell phones samsung galaxy s8+ and iPhone 8

If you’re in the market to buy a used cell phone, try some of these sites to save some money and get a quality phone.

To make your research easier, we’ve included pricing for a couple of the most popular used cell phones. We’ve also listed the number of phones each site had available at the time of publishing.

Our strategy was to focus on these two phones to get an accurate estimate of platforms that cell phones for less. Our research should apply to other makes and models of cell phones. 

In this article, we researched 8 different places where you could … Read more »

8 Easy Pets for Kids: Choose the Best Pet for your Family

Pets for Kids: 8 Different choices for Your Family!

How do you choose the best pet for kids or your family? In this article, we’ll share our experiences and a list of 8 easy pets for kids and families.

An easy pet is one that doesn’t require constant attention or nurture. And doesn’t cost a lot of money to keep happy and healthy.

We’ll give you a realistic view of the cost to purchase and keep a pet. We’ll also talk about the time commitment required for each one.

Pet ownership in America is huge! There are approximately 70 million dogs and 80 million cats kept as pets.

Of this number, about 7.6 … Read more »

Want Free Stickers? Easy! 112 Companies Who Will 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.

This list is divided into 5 sections.

Companies that have sticker request forms on their sites.
Companies that ask you to send a SASE to receive a free sticker
Websites with a Contact Form to request a … Read more »

Summer Jobs for Teens: Finding Work & Earning Money

Summer jobs for teens - be a barista.

 Is your teen looking for a summer job? There are companies hiring AND lots of out of the box earning opportunities. 

We’ll give you tons of practical ideas to help your teenager find work this summer, and into the rest of the year. 



1. Paying Summer Jobs for Teens

There are lots of jobs for teens in the restaurant industry and others. Here’s a short list of the types of jobs a young person can get near home.


Courtesy Clerk at a Grocery Store

Our son Joe did this and worked his way up into helping promote his stores weekly $5 Friday Deals. Many grocery … Read more »

Best Dish Soap Test: Which Brand Gives Most Value?

Two bottles of dish soap with a ruler in front of them - Dish Soap Testing

Have you ever wondered which dish soap works best and gives you the best value for the money?

We love saving money and were wondering if we should buy the cheapest dish detergent or a more expensive one. Our curiosity finally got the best of us and we put together this test.

Have you ever thought, “Hmm, this name-brand product costs twice as much as the generic; is it twice as good? Oh, it’s all just advertising hype, there can’t be that BIG of a difference — I’m going to save the money and buy the generic.”

Well, when it came to dishwashing … Read more »

22 Best Trusted Survey Apps: Earn Cash from your Phone (2019)

A girl holding a cell phone taking a survey.

Would you love to find the best mobile survey apps that could earn you money? We’ve done all the work for you!

Do you enjoy sharing your opinion about things? Most of us do.

We’ve researched the 23 of the most popular survey apps that pay you for sharing your opinion.

The promise of making money for answering surveys might sound too good to be true. And there are some instances where it is.

It’s true that some survey companies might be less than ethical. But the list below only includes legitimate survey companies with good reviews.

These survey companies will help you earn some … Read more »

Inexpensive Summer Activities – For Kids & Families

Inexpensive Summer Activities - Fun for Families and Kids #SummerFunKids #ReadingProgramsKids #SummerMoviesKids #SummerActivitiesKids

If you need Inexpensive Summer Activities for kids and families this summer, we’ve got 13 great recreation ideas that you’re going to love. These Summer activities are perfect for kids and adults.

It’s June and school’s out …what do you do to help your kids have healthy fun in the summer? Is it an afternoon at the movies, a visit to an amusement park, or an afternoon at the mall? How much will that cost you?

Perhaps you might want to consider tackling a large project, learning a new skill or participating in community service. These activities can also be fun and … Read more »

50+ Best Retirement Gift Ideas

Best Retirement Gift Ideas #RetirementGifts


Do you need some retirement gift ideas? Are you looking for cheap, fun or decadent options? We’ve got lots of ideas.

Watching your retiring coworker walkout of the office on your last day might be a bittersweet moment. After decades of perseverance, they’ve made it to the “golden years.” They deserve the perfect retirement gift!

If your colleague or friend is leaving the office for the very last time, then make sure to send them along with something to remember you by.

We’ve got ideas for retirement gifts to fit every budget from cheap to extravagant. And gifts for friendship, whether acquaintances or … Read more »

Fathers Day: Serving & Teaching Your Kids to Work

Steve and Joe Economides standing in front of a cubbie hole shelf unit they built.

The typical Father’s Day celebration is to wait on Dad, hand, and foot, hand him the remote control and let him do whatever he wants for the entire day.

Try a Different Kind of Father’s Day

This Father’s day we’d like to encourage Dad’s everywhere to make it a day when they serve their families—giving time and love to their families, and receiving much more in return. 

There is no better Father’s Day present to receive than to have little hands squeeze your face after you fix a broken toy or finish swinging your child at the park. 


How about Work-Play 

We had several of … Read more »

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

Great Vacations with Limited Funds are Entirely Possible!

Have you ever thought about great vacations with limited funds? And what about this summer? 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 … Read more »

Sonic Drink Specials During Happy Hour Deals (Save 50%)

Sonic Happy Hour & Sonic Drive In = Happy Hour Deals Galore!

Have you ever gotten a Sonic Drink Special during their daily Happy Hour? Sonic is America’s Drive-In fast food restaurant.

They serve up Happy Hour deals every day (Monday – Sunday) between 2 and 4 pm. We confirmed this information and updated in December of 2017.

We drive by a Sonic location several times each week. But it wasn’t until a few months ago that we discovered these half priced Happy Hour Deals (an online friend gave us a tip).
You’ll want to see these amazing deals!

If you’re looking for some awesome drink deals and some tasty snacks check … Read more »

53 Fun, Inexpensive & Interesting Hobbies

Fun, Inexpensive & Interesting Hobbies #InterestingHobbies #InexpensiveHobbies #FunHobbies #INeedaHobby #AffordableHobbies #MakeMoneyHobbies

Have you ever said to yourself, “I need a hobby.” Are you looking for some fun, inexpensive, or interesting hobbies to try?

Hobbies are a great way to challenge you, learn a new skill or provide some extra income. And they’re especially fun if they don’t cost a lot of money to get started.

If you’re looking for something new, check out these 53 choices.

Fun & Interesting Hobbies that Became Successful Businesses

Check out this list of people whose hobbies turned into huge earning potential. They each created a successful business from an at home hobby

Mrs. Fields Cookies. In 1977 Debbie Fields … Read more »

7 Rental Car Hacks for Business or Vacation

These Rental Car Hacks will save you hundreds of dollars on your vacation!

Want to save money on your next rental car? You’re going to love these cheap car rental hacks. We’ve tried every one of these and they really work to cut the cost of your trip.

Renting a Van for Vacation – Our Story

How these Rental Car Hacks that saved us $200+! 

We were traveling to Richmond Virginia to speak at a conference and to spend a few days vacationing with family and friends.

There were six of us traveling, plus luggage for one week … and 24 cases of books.

Rental Car Hack #1: Compare Prices

We reserved a minivan for seven days with Read more »

Could You Be Living Below Your Means Like These 2 Pro Athletes

What does living below your means do for your life?

What does living below your means . . . mean? Does it mean a life of deprivation? Does it mean a life of constant coupon clipping, or a life of regularly saying, “We can’t afford it?”

Living below your means – something different.

Maybe it’s saying yes to your top priorities like paying off debt and building savings/retirement.
OR,  it’s saying, “I’d love to take a cruise, but this year we only have enough money for a driving vacation.” And then making it a fantastic, fun family memory.
Maybe it’s saying, “I’m making great money right now, but this may not last, so we’re going to … Read more »

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.

10 Ways to Eat Yummy Vacation Meals on a Budget

1) Eat out Selectively on Vacation

When we fly to a destination and stay in a hotel we save money on food by minimizing the number of meals we eat at a restaurant. … 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 »