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Amazon Prime DAY!

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Some say this day is BIGGER than Black Friday!! It’s Amazon PRIME Day!! Deals start at 3pm Eastern time TODAY, July 16th! There is still time this morning to start filling your cart with goodies. Think of this as Christmas in July! If you can find some great deals on items you were already thinking about for the holidays, why not scoop up the deals NOW and save them for LATER!

I thought I would highlight a few of the best deals I could find. Full disclosure, if you click on these pictures or links, I may get a little kickback. HOWEVER, I will not share anything I would not be willing to purchase myself. That just doesn’t seem fair.

The biggest savings I can find so far are on electronics…. We are not a big electronic family. Not that it wouldn’t make my hubby super happy to have a 50 Inch 4K Smart TV, but we just don’t have wall space in our 1920’s house for something like that.

Get rid of a monthly cable bill?? Yes please!! Try the Amazon Fire Stick!

For the kids… I might actually scoop up a few of these so we can all stop fighting over devices over here… Amazon Fire 7 for kids is only $69! That’s a $30 savings today!! They also have the Fire HD 8 on sale for $89, but really… are my kids going to notice the HD difference?? Nope! But I will sure notice the extra $20 missing from my wallet!!

Here’s something NEW! Save $10 off of a $40 purchase with Amazon Prime Pantry! I don’t think this is available in ALL areas across the country, but you might be the lucky ones! Imagine doing your grocery shopping online and having it all delivered to your door!?! Even just for days when my kids are sick or I don’t feel like going anywhere this might be worth it. NOT sure how coupons would work with this though… has anyone tried??

Now this I have to say makes me a little upset…

I have been an Audible subscriber for a LONG time because the only way I can “read” a book is if I am listening to it while I fold laundry, do dishes, make dinner, make bread, write blog posts, or while in the shower. Yes, I “read” in the shower! But because I am an “old” member I cannot get this SCREAMING GOOD DEAL!! Curses!!!

Not sure why this one caught my eye…. anyone??? Amazon + Coupons! It’s like my very own heaven on earth!

Or this one?? Looks like another BIG coupon for grocery items. Again, check your area.

Seriously, you just need to hop online and check out all the amazing deals on this blessed holiday!! AMAZON PRIME DEALS!

Don’t have Amazon Prime yet?? No worries! You can start a FREE 30-day trial TODAY and still save a ton!

HINT: Set a reminder on your phone to cancel if it is not something you think you will continue to use. 

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Happy National Donut Day!

Here’s a few more shops that you might have in your area…

 

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Here are some of the sources I used to find these deals…. Just so you don’t think I came up with this out of thin air 🙂

Thrillist.com | Business Insider | Google | Search #NationalDonutDay on Social Media for local results

Summer Shenanigans on the Cheap!

It. Is. Almost. SUMMER!! Is anyone else freaking out about this!?!? By this time next week I will have all 5 kids… at home… all the time! Don’t get me wrong, I ADORE my children, but unless I figure out how to keep them busy we will all have three long months together. So… it’s time to get serious about making some plans. Fear not! We can all have a rad summer filled with fun memories without spending a ton of money! 

 

Google is My Superpower

Your first step to a memorable summer is to do a little research. Search for free activities in your area and make a list. Literally… type in your google search bar: free activities in (fill in your town). Make a list of all the details including address, phone number, and available dates. When you finish your search of free activities, do another search for “cheap activities in (your town)”. There is probably someone else who has done the hard work of gathering all this info… it’s your job to find it!! 

 

It starts with a plan

My most successful summers with the kids have been when we had some kind of consistency. Print out a blank calendar for the next 3 months (HERE is one that is cute and FREE). These are your practice sheets. Write in pencil, move things around, scratch off bad ideas, etc. Write down EVERYTHING that is going on over the next few months and then fill in activities from your Google search. Set up certain “Days” like this as well. Make Monday YMCA day; Tuesday is movie day; Wednesday is beach day; Thursday go to the library; Friday is an adventure day; whatever works for you! The kids will LOVE and thrive on some sort of consistency and you won’t be scrambling to make plans.

 

Get a Group Rate

As you are making plans and doing your research, you may notice a few venues that cost a little bit of money, but if you get a group together, then you all can get a discount. Start gathering your mamma friends and make a list of a few options and a few dates. Sometimes a “group” is 10 or more people. Our family almost counts as a group all by ourselves (hahaha). All it takes is one brave mamma to coordinate and make a few quick phone calls. 

 

Some of the BEST Cheap Activities

To help you get the ball rolling, I have found a few ideas you can use to get started. Click on the links provided and make sure they are available in your area. If you have any other fun ideas, let me know and I will update this post for everyone!

Regal Summer Movie Express. They offer $1 movies every Tuesday and Wednesday during the summer. The movies are always G or PG so super kid friendly. Our Regal near us does not offer this which I just cannot believe… and trust me… I have written to a few people… but when we lived in Vegas this 2 hours a week was a lifesaver and something my kids looked forward to every week. 

Cinemark Summer Movie Clubhouse – $1 per show OR $5 for 10 movies! The closest one to my family is 30 miles away, but guess what?? With travel and movie time that is now 4 glorious hours of quiet once a week! Bring it on!! 

Libraries or Community Rec Centers – In some areas they may offer family nights for free or a nominal fee. Do a search for “outdoor movies” in your area. Or, you can usually search your rec center activities online and sort by price. Most libraries also do a summer reading program. Get your kids involved and make it a weekly trip to report on their reading and maybe get a prize at the end! Keep reading charts visible and make reading a priority this summer! 

Get Outdoors – Take a hike, go to the beach, go to a local swimming pool or splash pad. It’s summer for crying out loud! Soak up that vitamin D. Just make sure you you pack some sunscreen (that you bought with a coupon of course).

Get Crafty – Michaels, Joann, Lakeshore Learning, Home Depot,  all have FREE kid activities on the weekends! Why not add a few stops to your Saturday errands and get the kids imaginations running. 

Plan a theme day – If you need to switch up your routine, think of adding a little spin on your day. We used to go to to the Natural History Museum all the time, but one day I decided to spice things up and make a whole day around “Dinosaurs”. We had Fruity Pebbles for breakfast, went to a park that had a sandpit with some dino decor, popped into the museum for a little fun, then came home and ate dinosaur chicken nuggets for dinner. The final piece of the day was a little “Jurassic Park” right before bed (because I love to terrify the kids right before they fall asleep). That last one may have come to bite me in the rear, but this was WAY before “The Good Dinosaur” was made and I had enough of “The Land Before Time”. Whatever you decide, go all in with your theme. It will be a blast to plan and so much fun for your kiddos. 

 

Invest in Fun! 

You will likely have to invest a little bit of money in your summer fun, but you don’t have to go full boar and spend hundreds of dollars on day camps for your kids. Instead, look at spending that money on family memberships that you can use throughout the year. SET A BUDGET! If you can only afford one membership this year, start saving now to add a little more fun for next summer. Or buy a membership once every three months. That way you aren’t saddled with a big bill each summer. 

Children’s Museums | Natural History Museums | Zoos | Rec Center Memberships

 

Use What is in Your Backyard! 

Wherever you live… YOUR CITY IS AWESOME! Get to know the fun things that are offered right in your own backyard! It may take a little digging, but with a little bit of time invested you could quickly fill up your summer calendar and get to know some really cool (and sometimes free) things right in your area. 

 

I wish you all the best this summer!! If you have any other fun suggestions on how to make the next three months fly by, leave a comment or send me an email (livelifeonlessinfo@gmail.com). We can get through this together!! 🙂 

Happy Mom’s Day! Last Minute {and cheap} Gift Ideas!

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Happy Mother’s Day to all you beautiful women out there! Whether you have kids of your own or you know some young people, your example and influence is something to celebrate!!
If you are looking for some fun last minute gift ideas for your mothers, sisters, aunts, grandmothers, friends… here are a few I found that will be easy on your wallet as well.
Makebreak Mothers Day Box, Saturday May 5, 1 to 3pm
This weekend at Michaels craft stores, you can help your kiddos make a frame that you would actually put up in your house :-). OR send hubby with the kids so you get a picture frame AND a break at the same time – WIN!
Michaels
Also this weekend at Joann, your kids can make a cute card for FREE! Joann Fabric stores do a FREE kid craft every 2nd Saturday of the month! Just go ahead and put it on your calendar… right now… go on….
If you are in a crafty mood, here are a few cute crafts you can whip up for that special lady in your life. You might even have some of the things on hand. If you don’t the supplies should not cost very much.
Thumbprint Heart Charm Pendants at thatswhatchesaid.com
Thumbprint Heart Pendant Necklaces | That’s What She Said
Last-minute Mother's Day gift ideas: DIY Ring Holder by Mama Papa Bubba
Hand-Shaped Ring Dish | Mama. Papa. Bubba.
A Gradient of Fruity Flowers | OneCraftyThing.com
Make your own edible bouquet | One Crafty Thing
Beautiful DIY Bird Nest Necklace in under 30 minutes
Bird Nest Necklace | Busy Creating Memories
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Grandkids Subway Art | My Computer is My Canvas
All else fails… Go for CHOCOLATE! But make sure you check to see if there are any coupons out there :). Search the Coupon Database for “Chocolate” and see if you can’t find some yummies just about any mom would love!
I wish there was more I could do to show my love and appreciation for the wonderful women in my life who have been my example and who have taught me how to be the mom I am today. My best Mother’s Day advice: Take care of yourself and remember that YOU are the PERFECT mother for YOUR children… no matter what! {HUGS}
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Save at the Pump – Cutting down when you fill up!

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YOWZA!!
With summer just around the corner have you been seeing an increase in gas prices where you live? I always notice this little uptick in price right before prime vacation times (which is just rude). If prices get much higher we may need to revisit some summer plans because I almost need to take out a loan to fill our Suburban every week! Prices here are slowly creeping up to $3 a gallon! For a 30 gallon tank in “the burb”… this is NOT cheap and makes my stomach turn every time we have to fill up that beast.
I know we can’t be the only ones faced with this issue so I did a little digging and found some great tips on how to help ease the burden at the pump.
Drive Less – Or at least more efficiently
This may seem obvious, but when we are used to just jumping in the car and running a quick errand we may have to change that thought process just a little with prices on the rise. Maybe save your errands for one day and map out the most efficient route so you do not end up backtracking. This will take a little more planning, but if you could cut out one or two days of driving each week all together that could save bunch!

Buy Gas Early in the Day – Timing is everything
I learned this when we lived in Vegas. Buy gas early in the morning especially in the summer. The gas itself is cooler earlier in the day making it more dense. You end up getting a little more bang for your buck this way. If you live somewhere that actually cools down at night, you can fill up then as well. Avoid getting gas when temps are at their peak because as temperatures rise, gas density falls and you get less of it when you pump. Thank you science!

Buy Gas Early in the Week
Prices rise towards the mid to late days of the week. Plan on heading to the pump Sunday, Monday or Tuesday for the best deals. Stations tend to raise prices as the week progresses – very sneaky.

 

Slow and Steady Wins at the Pump
I’m really going to sound like your mom here, but keep it slow on the road! The faster you drive it will increase drag on the car and causes you to burn more fuel (yeah! More science!). Focus on driving at or just below the speed limit, driving smoothly, and not breaking or accelerating too quickly and you will be using your gas more efficiently.

Care for Your Car
  • Make sure you have enough air in the tires. This will improve your gas mileage by 0.6% on average—up to 3% in some cases.
  • Get the junk out of the trunk. Lighten your load to squeeze a few more miles out of your tank.
  • Is it time for a tune-up? Take your car in for a yearly checkup, make sure you are changing the oil regularly, and make sure you are using the right oil for your car.
Shop Gas Stations.
If you are planning your errand days, add a little extra planning for your gas run. This will give you the time to shop around for the best prices at different gas stations. Stations close to a freeway exit will tend to be higher because the demand is higher and most people just want to fill up and jump back on the highway and be on their way. You can check out a few apps to find the cheapest station near your home to save a few more bucks.
  • Gas Buddy – This app will show you the prices of all the gas stations in your area. There is also a trip calculator to help you budget for those summer vacations.
  • Gas Guru – Similar to Gas Buddy, but Gas Guru allows you to save some of your favorite locations.
  • Waze Navigation – You might have used this app to notify you of traffic issues (or police presence), but did you know it has a gas price finder as well?
Rewards Programs – Grocery & Gas
Here’s a fun trick on how you can save on gas while saving on your groceries… Just like most of your grocery or drug stores, some gas stations also have rewards programs. For example, Speedway here in Ohio gives us every 7th soda free, and we often receive freebies like a free Gatorade or hot dog or something. All we had to do was sign up, and scan our card every time we shop. Between myself, my husband, and our teens using the same rewards account, we get a LOT of free fountain drinks :). Most gas station rewards will also offer you cents off gallons of gas. Every little bit helps so why not take advantage!
If you have the added bonus of having a grocery store program that ALSO gives you points or cents off at the pump when you buy groceries, you might want to focus on shopping those stores for the next few months. Little hint: Don’t waste your points on a half tank. Some rewards have limits on gallons of gas that can be discounted. Make sure you know the rules.
BUDGET! 
You will really win this summer if you budget accordingly. Hopefully, you already have a good idea of how often you need to fill up. Try going to the pump more frequently and not when your gas light comes on. Also, make sure you have that money set aside specifically for gasoline.
BONUS TIP!! 
I LOVE to buy gas cards at the grocery stores when the stores offer money back or bonus points for buying gift cards. Have you ever seen that deal? This is a great way to keep your gas money set aside. It is also a great way to maybe get some free grocery money if you get those cards at the right time. I want to be clear… I do NOT want you getting a gas credit card! Buy a gift card to your favorite gas station and when the money runs out, it runs out. It may force you to follow a few of these tips and stick to your budget, but it will be worth it not going in debt over fuel.
I hope there are at least a few tips you can put in place to start saving at the pump. Of course, you can also just save a bunch of money and buy a new hybrid or electric car :). I hear the new Tesla is pretty amazing (right, Dad?).
Have fun planning your summer! Let me know if you have any more great tips for saving at the pump!
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