Archive for the ‘Saving $$$’ Category

Feed Your Family For Less

Wednesday, November 17th, 2010

With the holidays right around the corner, many of us will be searching for ways to take a bit of the sting out of our grocery bill. is a new grocery-savings website that provides the latest information on sales at local stores along with an easy coupon-matching service for shoppers.

The process is simple:  Type in your grocery list and up pops a bunch of printable coupons for the items on that list. You can save your selections for future use so you don’t need to keep re-typing them.

Founder Gerald Buckley is a father of four young children and knows firsthand how expensive groceries can be. So he launched Grocio to help give other families a break on their food bill. Check out the site’s video demo.

Great idea, Gerald! We can all use a little help with the grocery bill — especially with Thanksgiving right around the corner.

Halloween Costumes for Baby

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

I just saw the CUTEST Halloween costumes for babies over at and I have to share them with you. While some are a bit pricey, in my opinion, some adorable costumes are just $9.95. Here are some of my favorites, covering all price ranges. (Makes me miss those preschooler days, when Matt was a spider for Halloween!)

Know Just Enough About Personal Finance to Be Dangerous? This Blog’s For You

Monday, May 10th, 2010

Budgeting, college expenses, credit cards, home repairs… sometimes being a responsible adult isn’t all that much fun.

But as parents, we need to make the best use of our family budget. And we need to teach our kids important lessons about how to handle money.

Financial journalist Beverly Blair Harzog has created a wonderful blog, Adventures in Personal Finance, which will help make the whole process a lot more painless. Check it out.

I love the cloud in the sidebar that shows the most popular tags. I’ll bet your biggest concerns match many of those tags. Happily, Harzog’s friendly, helpful style makes you realize it’s all about putting one foot in front of the other on this stuff. Don’t let financial mumbo-jumbo overwhelm you. This blog is a great place to come for easy-to-understand info.

How Much Does the Tooth Fairy Pay These Days?

Friday, March 19th, 2010

The Tooth Fairy might need to get a day job to pay for all those teeth, because payouts for baby teeth are on the rise, according to a new report by Desiree Ferenczi  of Consumer Reports. (Full disclosure: I work part-time as the social-media reporter for Consumer Reports. You can find me on Twitter as @CReporter.)

The  Tooth Fairy is dropping an average of $2.13 per tooth this year, up 13 percent from last year, says a national poll sponsored by (I’m shocked!) Delta Dental of Minnesota.

And it’s quite a range: anywhere from 5 cents to $50 for recently-lost baby teeth, Ferenczi reports.

Are you kidding me? Who gives their kid 50 bucks for a lost tooth?

529 Plans: Saving For College is Easier Than You Think

Thursday, January 28th, 2010
Image via Wikipedia

It seems like not that long ago, my main concerns for my son were potty training and preschool. Suddenly, he’s in middle school, and time is marching forward faster than I can say “SATs, anyone?”

College costs are marching along, too—upward. And parents need to be prepared, says Ron Goldner, a fee-based financial planner with Wealth Strategies Group, Inc. in Memphis, Tennessee.

A 529 plan can help, he says. And while these are tough financial times, even a $25- or $50-per-month contribution can add up to a nice college nest egg over the years, thanks to compounding of interest.

Looking for an easy-to-understand guide to 529 plans? Check out my article over at MetroFamily magazine. To write this piece, I had to make sure I understood this whole thing myself. So I brought it down to the basics. It’s really not as intimidating as the boring term “529 Plan” would make it seem. Check it out, then pick the plan that’s right for your family. Happy saving!

Save $$ on Father’s Day Gifts

Monday, June 8th, 2009

I recently discovered, a clearinghouse for
promotional codes that allows you to get discounts or free shipping at
online stores.

Nearly all Web merchants now have a place in their checkout procedure for entering promotional codes.
identifies these codes and makes them available to everyone. The
company’s staff follows more than 2,000 top retailers to make sure the
codes are accurate and current.

Just in time for Father's Day,
the site offers promotional codes for Jos. A. Bank, Men’s
Warehouse,, and more.

I'm always up for a
discount, and when I'm shopping on the Web, there's nothing better than
free shipping! So I'll be checking out for Father's Day.

Get Your Consumer-Information Fix at @CReporter

Monday, February 2nd, 2009

Are you, like me, a big Consumer Reports fan? Wish you had a place to go for great links to all things consumer-related?

Starting today, I'm the social media reporter for Consumer Reports, and I'll be sharing all sorts of great info over at If you're on Twitter, please follow and say hello. You'll also want to stop by CR's terrific blog.

Not on Twitter? It's easy — and free — to get started. Just go to

I'll still be here, of course, bringing you lots of great parenting ideas as always. I see this new project as a great complement to what I'm doing here. After all, who needs helpful consumer information more than parents?

P.S. Stop by the CR blog to learn more about tomorrow's free breakfast offer at Denny's. Bring the kids!

Want Free Shipping? Look Here

Friday, July 25th, 2008

As a busy parent (and someone who is tired of watching too many dollars flow into my gas tank), I love the idea of shopping online. (What did I ever do before and their free shipping for any order of $25 or more?) Besides, we all know how much fun it is to drag our little ones from store to store…

Now there’s a website that will clue you in on lots of other online retailers that offer free shipping. Launched last December, includes more than 800 name-brand stores. You can search by brand or category.

You’ll find free-shipping offers from JCPenney, Target, Bloomingdale’s, Kohl’s, Sears, Best Buy, Old Navy, Nordstrom and many more.  Macy’s offers as many as 15 free shipping coupons at one time.  

Just heard yesterday that’s stock is going up, up, up, and that it’s attributed to the fact that they offer this free-shipping deal to those of us who don’t want to waste gas running to brick-and-mortar stores. I love that so many stores are jumping on that bandwagon. And thanks to this great new site, it’s easier than ever to find them.

Gas Prices Got You Down? Vacation at Home

Friday, June 6th, 2008

Wondering how high airline ticket prices will go as you're planning that family vacation? Thinking that a driving trip will break the bank?

There's another option. Check out my article, "Vacationing at Home," over at You'll find lots of tips for making family memories right in your own backyard. (And I promise, this doesn't involve mom doing any dishes! I mean, there are limits, right?)

Of course, vacationing at home still means VACATIONING. I highly recommend going out for yummy breakfasts at every opportunity… And for the price of a tank of gas these days, you can buy a lot of banana pancakes with whipped cream!

Dreaming of a Green Christmas

Wednesday, November 28th, 2007

I’m happy to welcome guest blogger Leah Ingram today. Leah is a magazine journalist and author as well as a blogger on The Lean Green Family. Be sure to check out her blog!

I’m Dreaming of a Green Christmas

It shouldn’t come as any surprise that this year is going to be the greenest Christmas (and Hanukkah) of all time-at least for the folks on my "nice" list. My mission in nearly everything I do and buy this holiday season is to have green in mind, which hopefully won’t cost me a lot of green.

For starters I’m still searching the Internet for the best recycled paper holiday cards. (If you know of a website, please let me know.) Hallmark stores sell recycled paper greetings, but only in single cards, not the boxed kind for the holidays, though you can order (PRODUCT) RED recycled cards for the holidays from Worse-case scenario: I print my family newsletter on recycled paper, send it in a recycled envelope, and skip the cards altogether (though I don’t think my family newsletter will go over well with my clients).

As far as holiday wrapping goes, I don’t plan to use it this year. Instead, I’m going to hit my local Wal-Mart this week, and stock up on their $1 reusable bags that say "Paper or Plastic? Neither" (pictured at left). These bags will become my default packaging for holiday gifts.

With regard to the gifts, I’m going for items in the simplest packaging, such as CDs, DVDs and video games, which come in containers that double as storage vessels. Also, I found some cool recycled rubber doormats on which are right in my price range. And, as I’d blogged earlier, I am doing the lion’s share of my shopping via the Internet to save fuel (though the family and I did spend this past Sunday at the mall, and we will be one of those crazies up at 5:00 a.m. and in line on black Friday).