Read These 12 Tips and Save on Halloween Costumes for Your Kids

How to save on Halloween costumes for the kids.

Halloween is great fun!  I can honestly say it’s one of my favorite holidays.

Here’s the one holiday where you are allowed to dress up and go around asking people for candy.  And they give it to you!

I remember how exciting it was going around town in my Halloween costume, getting candy from all of the neighbors.

Some years I would really score.

We’d go visit my grandparents in the Bronx (Co-Op City) and go up and down their apartment building visiting as many doors as I could (don’t worry, the grand’rents and the ‘rents made sure all the candy was good to eat).

And do you remember those old Halloween costumes?

You know the ones that came in a box and it was made up of a thin plastic mask with eye holes that hurt and the mask would be full of sweat before long (because it was a big piece of plastic covering your face) and it was held onto your head with an elastic string with a couple of staples that usually didn’t last the night and the body of the costume was a plastic sack-like piece you climbed into which also didn’t make it through the night?

Those were AWESOME!

I remember one year I was Chewbacca and another I was Yoda (I remember terrorizing my younger sister with those masks too.  I was such a stinker!).  I’m sure I was Superman and Batman as well.

I love being able to go through all that now through the eyes of my kids.

But have you seen the price of Halloween costumes these days?!?
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Setting Up Your New Freshman: How to Decorate Your Dorm Room for Less

How to decorate your dorm room for less

There are very few rites of passage bigger than the day a grown child moves out of the house and onto the college campus. 

This is the child’s first major step toward adulthood and independence, and it can be an exciting time for both parents and children.

What is not so exciting is the expense of setting up new living quarters.

Whether college students live in the dorm or in an apartment, getting settled can cost a pretty penny.  However, there are ways to curb those costs.

12+ Money Saving Tips to Furnish Your Dorm Room for Less

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Extreme Couponing: Do You Really Save or is it a Waste of Time?

Is Extreme Couponing Worth It?

Extreme couponing has become quite the craze and there’s no denying there can be significant savings to be had; but at what cost?

This sounds like an oxymoron – but depending on the circumstances, couponing can come with a hefty price tag.  There are some great deals to be had out there and there is no debate that coupons can save you a bit of money but let’s closely examination this activity. Continue Reading

Free Museum Days From Bank Of America with Museums on Us

Happy penguin at aquarium

Wouldn’t you love to visit more museums?  

What generally holds us back from going out to more museums is time and money.  Let’s face it, not only can it get expensive for a family to go to the museum these days but it can get pretty hectic too (at least it is with our small army of kids).

Still, we try to do what we can to schedule trips out when we can.

That leaves the money part of the equation.

Some years ago, we discovered that Bank of America® actually has a great program called Museums on Us®.  

What is Museums on Us?

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Do This: Save Money With a DIY Self-Reliance Mindset

Save money with a DIY self reliance mindset.

Although I live outside Chicago, our winters  in recent years have been decidedly mild. 

For example, in the 2012-2013 winter, by January 31st, we had only received 3.5 inches of snow TOTAL.  This year, winter was back with a vengeance.  By January 31st, 2014, we had received 48.5 inches total of snow for the winter.

Add in many days of sub-zero temperatures, and well, it’s been a rough winter.

When we had a 50 hour stretch of sub-zero temperatures (one of those days had a high of -16 degrees), I knew that we should let the water drip to avoid having our pipes freeze.  However, when I went to take a shower, the water continued to just drip even though it was turned to full strength.  I called a friend who told me the pipes were likely frozen.  My husband set up space heaters in the basement where the pipes are, and within 5 hours, our water was flowing again.

That night, I saw on the news that we weren’t alone.

Many, many people had burst pipes or pipes like ours.  I was surprised to see that some homeowners paid good money to have someone else come out to their houses and run a heater by their pipes to thaw them.

This situation just illustrates how far we’ve come from the do-it-yourself roots our grandparents and even parents had.  Now, we work hard at our jobs and call someone else to do everything for us.

Develop a Mindset of Self-Reliance and DIY and You Can Save Yourself a Lot of Money

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Tips to Save Big When Traveling on a Tight Budget

tips to save big when traveling on a tight budget

Just a month into our relationship, my husband and I took a trip to New Orleans. 

Later, we went to Memphis.  Then we flew to Japan.

We did all of this travel the first year we were together.  Simply put, we love to travel.

However, we don’t have the money to travel now as we did when we were first dating.  Since travel now usually includes bringing along our 3 kids, expenses can add up fast.  But we didn’t want to give up travel all together.

Instead, we found frugal ways to travel.

Gone are the days of staying at a bed and breakfast and eating out every meal when we vacation.  Instead, we travel in a much more practical manner, but we still get to explore places we’ve never been before, which makes scrimping all worthwhile.  Because we want our kids to travel and see the world, we’re glad to cut corners to do so.

We’ve learned many strategies for saving on travel.

Here Are Some Tips to Save Big When You Travel On a Limited Budget

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Frugal And Free Things To Do And See In New York City

Free and frugal things to do in NYC

New York City.  The city so nice they named it twice!

Before I show you frugal, cheap, and free things to do and see in New York City let’s look at the first paragraph from Wikipedia:

New York City (officially The City of New York) is the largest city in the United States, with its metropolitan area ranking among the largest urban areas in the world. Founded as a commercial trading post by the Dutch in 1625, it served as the capital of the United States from 1785 until 1790, and has been the nation’s largest city since 1790. Located on one of the world’s finest natural harbors, New York is one of the world’s major centers of commerce and finance. New York also exerts global influence in media, education, entertainment, arts, fashion and advertising.  The city is also a major center for international affairs, hosting the headquarters of the United Nations.

Pretty cool, huh?

What is NYC?

First off I think we need to put some borders on NYC.

Most people think of NYC as Manhattan but you’d be doing a disservice to yourself if you only looked to Manhattan for things to do.

NYC is made up of five boroughs – Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Staten Island.  All but the Bronx are islands.  I tried to spread the love around the entire city as much as I could but don’t be offended if I don’t give every borough equal weight.

So here are Frugal And Free Things To Do And See In New York City (in no particular order):

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