Tips to Saving Money on Groceries

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Groceries can be expensive. It's important to utilize different tools to help you save money and not overspend on everyday groceries. Saving money on groceries is not a waste of time. If you save money on groceries that extra money can be used to build up your rainy day fund, retirement, college funds and save you from living month to month. Here are some of my tips on how to save money on your groceries:

1. Create a Meal Plan: If you have a meal plan for the week or month, it will help you know what to buy and what not to. It will also save you from going back and forth to store to buy ingredients or items to create a meal. We have 30 recipes that we rotate in the fall/winter and summer/spring. I buy the same things over and over, which helps me to look out for sales on those items, become familiar with price points at different stores and not overspend by buying things we won't use.

2. Make Your Meals from Recipes/Scratch: Making your meals from recipes will help you save money (not time). Frozen meals and going out for meals are typically more expensive than if you were to make it yourself. Some recipes are quicker than others. It's important to find recipes that fit your budget, lifestyle, and time constraints.

3. Couponing: We save several dollars each month from couponing. Coupons can be found online, in circulars and in the Sunday newspaper.

4. Grocery Store Apps: I have apps on my phone from grocery stores (Target, Fred Meyer, Albertsons) and can clip coupons for in-store purchases and deals. This saves me a lot of money. These coupons can dramatically reduce costs and can sometimes reduce prices lower than the everyday low prices from Winco and Walmart.

5. Savings Apps: I use the apps Checkout51 and Ibotta. I browse through the items I can earn rebates on through the app and upload my receipts right after I am done shopping. If I can save an additional .25 on apples instead of pears and they're cheaper, I will buy apples that week. I never get a huge amount back, but even little amounts back add up over time. If you sign-up for Ibotta using my referral link you can earn a welcome bonus, click here to learn more. I started using Ibotta last fall and earned over $40 back.

6. Buy Bulk: I also have bought items in bulk/large quantities and broken it down into smaller sizing for meals using quart or gallon size bags. This helps me to save money and build-up my food storage supply.

What are some of your tips?

Please note that this post contains referral links.

A Guarded Heart Blog Tour, Review and Giveaway

Wednesday, March 6, 2019


Three years ago, a shocking scandal tore Eleanor Hayward's life apart. With help from her cousins, she decides to reenter society, but it's no easy task when she encounters a man from her past who broke her heart.

Edmund Fletcher thought the past was in the past until he encounters Eleanor at a ball. When he learns more about the truth of their last parting, will the past continue to be in the past or will he find a different future?

I was really excited to sign-up for this book tour. I really enjoyed Heidi Kimball's novella, Second-Chance Christmas, in the novella collection A Christmas Courting and I was interested in reading her debut novel, A Guarded Heart. I enjoyed the characters in A Guarded Heart and the different dynamics between the characters. The regency story was different and unique. The story showed how one person's actions can make a difference for many different people whether for good or bad. The story was enjoyable and kept my interest. It was a fast read and I can't wait to read more from this author. Click here to learn more.


Blog Tour Schedule
3.4.19: Brightly Street, The Keele Deal, My Book a Day, Mels Shelves
3.8.19: Min Reads and Reviews, Literary Timeout, Heidi Reads, Books are Sanity


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Please note that I received a complimentary copy of this book, however, this does not influence my opinion. This post contains affiliate links. The giveaway is run by the publisher. 

Silk18 Shampoo Review

Monday, March 4, 2019

Maple Holistics provided me with a sample of their Silk18 Shampoo to review. Silk18 nourishes hair and cleans it without stripping it. Silk18 contains 18 silk amino acids to help strengthen and fortify hair. It also gentle cleans away dandruff, excess sebum, and impurities to leave your scalp feeling healthy and fresh. The shampoo is sulfate and paraben-free.

I love the natural vanilla fragrance of this product. It smells great. My hair felt healthier after using it. I would recommend following the directions by lathering the product in your hair and letting it sit on your scalp for a few minutes. The product takes a few minutes to penetrate and clean your scalp. It also foams and lathers nicely. The product can be used for everyday usage. I would recommend this product to my friends. I enjoyed trying and using this product.

To learn more about Silk18, clean here.

Please note that I received a copy of this product for free in exchange for this review, however, my opinion remains the same.

March Giveaway Listing (low to moderate entry)

Friday, March 1, 2019

I like entering low to moderate entry giveaways and I share each month some of the blog or social media giveaways I've entered, thought someone else might be interested in entering or that have been submitted to me through bloggers. Check back often throughout the month to see if I have posted more giveaways. If you are hosting a family-friendly giveaway on your blog and would like to see it listed here, please contact me (via email). If you have a won a giveaway that I posted, please leave a comment and share that you won.

Best Babysitters Ever and $100 Visa Card (ends 3.2.19)
Ralph Breaks the Internet (ends 3.3.19)
Ralph Breaks the Internet (ends 3.6.19)
Ralph Breaks the Internet (ends 3.8.19)
Krusteaz Protein Pancakes (ends 3.9.19) 
Physician's Formula Make-up (ends 3.9.19)
The Little Mermaid Blu-Ray (ends 3.10.19)
$25 Starbucks e-gift card (ends 3.10.19)
The Little Mermaid (ends 3.10.19) 
Ralph Breaks the Internet and The Little Mermaid Digital Codes (ends 3.11.19)
Miso Soup Mix (ends 3.14.19) 
The Little Mermaid (ends 3.14.19)
Marc New York Scallop Leggings and Top (ends 3.14.19)
Birthday Prize Pack (ends 3.16.19) 
Tomato Seeds (ends 3.17.19)
Mary Poppins Returns (ends 3.18.19)
Mary Poppins Returns (ends 3.18.19)
Mary Poppins Returns (ends 3.18.19)
Mary Poppins Returns (ends 3.19.19) 
Mercy Watson Books (ends 3.19.19)
Kodiak Flapjacks and Waffles (ends 3.20.19)
Good News! It's Easter Board Book (ends 3.22.19)
Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase Swag Pack (ends 3.24.19)
$100 Visa Gift Card (ends 3.26.19)
$50 Giant Eagle Gift Card (ends 3.27.19)
The Governess of Penwthe Hall (ends 3.27.19) 


After The Rain Blog Tour, Review and Giveaway

Friday, February 15, 2019

After the Rain Blog Tour

About the Book

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Series: Sequel to The Last Summer
Genre: Adult, Christian, Contemporary, Fiction, Inspirational, Romance  
Publisher: Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas
Publication date: February 4, 2019  

Debra Hart is moving on. Maybe. Hopefully. One day. As a radio show host, Debra spends her mornings as Miss Lonely Heart on air, empathizing with all the broken hearts in the Denver metro area. She spends her evenings watching old musicals and trying not to think about the guy who broke up with her and subsequently fell in love with one of her best friends. Alone in a new city, Debra questions where she belongs and who she is now. When she stumbles into the indie music scene, Debra meets singer Ben Price. Rock star appeal, with a day job as a worship pastor, Ben is everything Debra wants to avoid. But he’s determined to be her friend, and it so happens she could really use one. Because try as she might, nothing seems to erase the anger and betrayal she feels. It’s time for a new dream. But how does she start over when she doesn’t even know what she wants anymore?

About the Author

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Brandy Bruce is a mom to three kids, a wife, a writer, a book editor, and someone who really loves dessert. She and her family make their home in the beautiful state of Virginia.

Review

I enjoyed reading Debra's story in After the Rain. Debra finds out how to move on from heartbreak and discover who she is. It's a little depressing at times and I was a little shocked at the "revenge" advice she gives as a radio host. I cheered when she was able to find peace with the past, with God and herself. The story isn't just a romance, but a story in developing and finding yourself as an individual. It was a fun and interesting read. I liked the music references in the book. I also liked how the author changed the character's outside appearance as she finally rediscovers herself and lets God into her life. This is a clean Christian romance.

Author Interview


1-What was your inspiration for the story?
Once I finished writing The Last Summer and it was in the hands of the editors, I had some time and felt inspired to write Debra’s story. I know some writers are really good at writing consistently, no matter what, but it’s not easy for me to write unless I’m inspired. And this time around I definitely felt inspired. I think it took about eight months to write After the Rain. Once I started Debra’s story, I didn’t want to stop writing until it was finished!   
2-Will there be a sequel?
I’m not sure. I do think there’s room for one more story about these characters, and anyone who reads the first two books will probably know who’d I follow for the third! But I don’t have a story as of right now and I’d need inspiration to hit.
3-What playlist would you have for the book?
I’m so glad you asked! Music is a huge part of After the Rain and it helped me along during the writing. I put together a graphic of my favorites for After the Rain--my list on Spotify is too long to share! “Never Gonna Love Again” by Lykke Li was probably my anthem for this book. I came across it on Spotify and fell in love with it and couldn’t believe how closely the lyrics mirror the book! If you haven’t heard it, please look it up and listen to it!

Snippet

Deb, I miss you. I think about you. Just wanted to say it again. I read the text from Lillian—Lily—Spencer as the elevator doors opened. Then I tucked the phone into my small purse. I walked toward the exit of the condominium building I called home now, catching a glimpse of myself in one of the mirrors on the wall. This woman—with short hair, ringlets barely brushing my shoulders. Dark colors, chocolate-colored eyeliner—nervous about a simple thing like going to a coffee bar. I didn’t recognize her. I stopped mid-hallway and leaned against the wall, my heart hurting. I’m starting all over. No. I closed my eyes. I’d cried all the tears already. None were left. But the pain didn’t stop. A reminder of how much I’d loved Luke Andersen. How ready I’d been to link my story to his for forever. But he’d chosen my friend Sara. Quiet, lady-like, sophisticated, predictable Sara. “Debra?” My eyes opened. Cassidy and Jake, my neighbors, stood in the hallway, looking worried. I must have seemed ill. With one hand, Jake carried a baby car seat, inside it their five-month-old daughter, Gilly, slept soundly. I pushed myself off the wall. “I’m okay,” I said without eye contact. I walked straight out of the building, to my car, and drove downtown.

Giveaway

ATR Blog Tour Giveaway
Giveaway includes the following:
  • Print copy (or e-copy if they want)
  • Umbrella
  • After the Rain guitar-pick necklace
  • DVD of Grease
  • Beatles quote mug
  • Coffee warmer
  • Earbuds
  • After the Rain bookmark
  • Notepad
  • Candy
a Rafflecopter giveaway
 
Giveaway is subject to policies HERE.

Tour Schedule

Are You "Read"y to Be My Valentine? - Book Valentine Idea for Kids and Free Printable

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Looking for something cute to give your kids for Valentine's Day that doesn't involve sugar? How
about a book with a cute tag and ribbon? Here are some book ideas for a cute Valentine's day gift:

  • Lehi, Lehi, What Do You See? by Sandra Meaders - My kids love reading my book at home and at church. They even like pretending it's a doll and pushing it around in a stroller. It helps kids learn about Book of Mormon prophets and colors. 

  •  Jesus Worked Miracles by Heidi Poelman - My son really likes this book. He's read it several times over and over again. It helps kids learn more about Jesus.

  • The Day it Rained Hearts by Felicia Bond - This is a cute Valentine's Day story for kids about a little girl who gives valentines to her friends.

  • Arthur's Valentine by Marc Brown - My kids love reading Arthur's adventure with friends. This is a fun and cute book to read for Valentine's Day.

  • Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin - This book is fun and cute for little kids who love tacos and dragons!

Click here for a FREE printable that you can use to create a bookish valentine to your kids.


Please note that this post contains affiliate links.

Bloodline Blog Tour, Review and Giveaway

Tuesday, February 12, 2019


In 1371, France's queen lies on her deathbed with a secret as to who is the true heir to the throne and would have the power to unite Scotland and France...Skye Armstrong, a flight attendant, returns home to a series of misfortunes ranging from her Auntie is missing and to people trying to kill her...and everything is connected to illuminated pages that she finds in a safety deposit box.

Bloodline is an exciting suspense novel that felt like a mixture between a European version of National Treasure and a James Bond movie. The action in the story immediately pulls the reader into the story. I loved the parts of the book that were like a European treasure hunt. It was interesting in how the characters had to move from place to place looking for clues and hunting down old artifacts. It was also interesting to see how the characters related to each other and how their motives played a role in the story. The part that reminded me of a James Bond movie, particularly near the end, felt like it was a little unrealistic and forced compared to the rest of the book. I liked the idea of something historical making an impact in the future. To learn more about Bloodline, click here.

Schedule:
Feb. 15: Getting Your Read on Aimee Brown, Bonnie Harris, Why Not Because I Said So

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Please note that I received a free copy to facilitate this review, however, my opinion remains my own. This post also contains affiliate links. The giveaway is facilitated by the publisher and is responsible for prize fulfillment.

Escape to Everly Manor Blog Tour, Review and Giveaway

Tuesday, February 5, 2019


Lizzy's Uncle Cline arrived unexpectedly after the tragic death of her parents to claim his inheritance and to take care of his charges. Uncle Cline is determined to send Thomas, Lizzy's young brother, to sea and to marry her off to an older gentleman. To protect her brother and herself, Lizzy and Thomas run away and find refuge in an old cabin wherein they meet the mysterious Mr. Barton.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Escape to Everly Manor. It's a book I would easily recommend to family members and friends. It's a book I would reread as well. The characters were engaging and likeable. The situation was unique and different. I get tired of Regency romances rehashing similar plots and this book was different and entertaining. The writing was on target and had some unexpected twists.  I also liked that Lizzy was willing to look out for her brother and to protect him. The minor characters were also excellent. This is a must read for romance readers. I can't wait to see what the author, Chalon Linton, does next. To learn more about Escape to Everly Manor, click here.

Blog Tour Schedule
Feb. 6: LDS Writer Mom
Feb. 7: LDS and Lovin' It, Katies Clean Book Collection., Heidi Reads, Singing Librarian Books   
Feb. 8: Fire and Ice Reads, Books are Sanity, Wishful Endings, Literary Timeout, Kindle and Me, Getting Your Read on Aimee Brown., Empower Moms, I am a Reader, Why Not Because I Said So



a Rafflecopter giveaway


(Please note that I received a free copy to facilitate this review, however, my opinion remains my own. The publisher will select the winner and handle the prize for the giveaway. There are also affiliate links on this post, which will help facilitate with the maintenance of this blog.)

Whiteout Blog Tour, Review and Giveaway

Friday, February 1, 2019


After driving for a long time, Frank Sawyer's car drifts into the next lane and hits a van on a Montana highway. From the wreck, Frank encounters a mystery man and a dead passenger that was shot. Before he can figure things out, Frank is struck from behind and knocked unconscious.

Frank Sawyer isn't the perfect protagonist and has some interesting "quarks." At times the main character is unpredictable, cocky and a "little" too paranoid. Frank never received care from his injuries and I wonder if that's why his behavior is a little peculiar. The other characters in the book have several issues that Frank slowly discovers as he's left stranded in a little town with several big mysteries. It was an interesting story to read. After I read it, I wanted to have a discussion about it with a friend. It was a very different and unusual read. It's not the typical suspense story. To learn more about Whiteout, click here.

Blog Tour Schedule
Feb. 1: Literary Timeout, Life is What It's Called


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Please note that I received a free copy to facilitate this review, however, my opinion remains my own. This post contains an affiliate link. The giveaway is facilitated by the publisher. 

February Giveaway Listing (low to moderate entry)

Friday, February 1, 2019

I like entering low to moderate entry giveaways and I share each month some of the blog or social media giveaways I've entered, thought someone else might be interested in entering or that have been submitted to me through bloggers. Check back often throughout the month to see if I have posted more giveaways. If you are hosting a family-friendly giveaway on your blog and would like to see it listed here, please contact me (via email). If you have a won a giveaway that I posted, please leave a comment and share that you won.

American Girl Blaire Wilson Doll (ends 2.2.19)
Starter Garden Pack (ends 2.3.19)
Nutcracker and the Four Realms (ends 2.4.19)
Nutcracker and the Four Realms (ends 2.6.19)
$10 Starbucks Gift Card (ends 2.7.19)
$100 Minted Credit (ends 2.8.19) 
$75 Teleflora Gift Card (ends 2.9.19)
Wonderful Halos (ends 2.9.19) 
The Little Mermaid (ends 2.9.19)
Grinch Movie Prize Pack (ends 2.10.19)
$20 Domino's Gift Card (ends 2.10.19)
Nutcracker and the 3 Realms (ends 2.13.19)
3 Ulysses Press Books (ends 2.13.19)
The Grinch (ends 2.13.19) 
$25 Digital Gift Card and Entenmann Coupons (ends 2.13.19) 
Delsey Weekender Bag (ends 2.14.19)
American Girl Blaire Wilson Doll (ends 2.16.19)
$50 Nordstrom Gift Card (ends 2.17.19)
Disney's Little Mermaid (ends 2.17.19)
$25 Sprouts Gift Card (ends 2.18.19)
Little Mermaid Blu-Ray (ends 2.21.19) 
Little Mermaid Digital Downloads (ends 2.21.19)
Ralph Breaks the Internet Blu-Ray (ends 2.21.19)
Minnie Bow Be Mine DVD (ends 2.21.19) 
$50 Etsy Gift Card (ends 2.24.19)
Bundle of Timeless Treasures Polar Opposites Fabric (ends 2.25.19) 
Little Mermaid Digital Codes (ends 2.25.19)
Ralph Breaks the Internet Digital Code (ends 2.25.19)
Girl Scout Cookies (ends 2.26.19) 
Red Carpet Themed Products (ends 2.27.19)
Ralph Breaks the Internet (ends 2.27.19)
$50 Target Gift Card (ends 2.27.19)
Little Mermaid (ends 2.27.19)
$25 Victoria Secret e-Gift Card (ends 2.27.19)
Little Mermaid (ends 2.27.19) 
$50 Container Store Gift Card (ends 2.28.19)

Enduring Promises of the Heart Book Blast

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

enduring promises of the heart book blast

About the Book

enduring promises of the heart

"What if I told you there is a way that we could all be happy? That if I were to propose to you, your father couldn’t deny us?” “What is it, John? Tell me!” Just then the basket hit the water and the sea began to stream in through the spaces between the reeds. This was the end. The year is 1887, and the small community of Pleasant View is abuzz over Penelope Pottifer’s serialized romances in the local paper. Since the release of the first volume, the thrilling story has captured the hearts and minds of the entire town— and several towns over! Each successive edition of the Pleasant View Gazette spins a breathtaking tale of kidnappers, pirates, and forbidden love. Between volumes, however, Pleasant View resident Mary Clarence, the story’s toughest critic, hears a rumor that Penelope Pottifer is not, in fact, the author’s real name. Determined to uncover the mystery, Mary drags her friend Elizabeth Black into a hunt for the elusive author’s true identity. But fiction and reality seem to entwine when along the way, Mary and Liz discover unexpected truths, exciting adventures, and dramatic romances of their own.

About the Author

bop_valerie-50
Valerie has a love for stories with happy endings and bright comedy. A native to the California high desert, she now considers Utah her home where she lives with her husband, three children and two chihuahuas. Growing up in a family of seven kids, Valerie learned to embrace her unique creativity and way of looking at the world and hopes it will enrich other's lives. In 2015 she published two children's books, Singing Not so Sweetly and Anabelle Loves Babies. She believes writing is the ultimate end-all for creative pursuits because there are no limits to what you can create. A picture may say a thousand words but a novel is usually around seventy-thousand.

Facebook Party

book launch fb party
Join the party HERE.

Giveaway

enduring promises of the heart giveaway
Enter the giveaway HERE. ​ Giveaway is subject to policies HERE.

Why You Want To Join Reward Programs

Monday, January 7, 2019

Many people cringe or roll their eyes when asked to join a reward program for a brand and don't understand the benefits of having more email and mailers mailed to their home. Reward programs can save you money. When you save money, that money can be put towards your savings or retirement.

I am a member of a vast number of reward programs. They are FREE to join. Here are some of the ones I belong to:
  • Pampers Reward Program - For every Pamper product that you buy, you can input codes into their app to accumulate points for toys, coupons or diapers.
  • Disney Movie Rewards - If you like Disney movies at all, this program is a must. Disney Movie Rewards sends out codes for free points via email and twice a month offers rewards to answer Disney trivia via an app on their Facebook. Sometimes they have a promotion to gain more points during holidays or movie/dvd releases. You can earn rewards by purchasing movies or seeing movies in theaters. You can redeem points for movies, toys, gift cards and more.
  • Kellogg's Family Rewards - If you upload a receipt with any Kellogg product on it to Kellogg's Family Rewards, you can earn points for coupons, gift cards and more.
  • Huggies Rewards: If you take a picture of your receipt with a Huggies product you can earn points to accumulate enough points for diapers, gift cards and more.
  • JcPenney Rewards: If you are a member of JcPenney Rewards and they have your mailing address sometimes they send you a $10 coupon off of anything over $10. Now sometimes people go crazy and spend a few hundred and are excited to get $10 off. I only buy a little over $10. I shop the clearance racks and/or the sales. With that $10 coupon, I am spending less than what I would spend at Walmart, Target and/or a thrift store.
  • Kohls Yes2You Rewards: Kohls has a reward program (not their credit card) and for every $100 you spend you get a $5 reward coupon. They also send you coupons via mail and email. Kohls will send a $5 coupon on your birthday. The coupons are worth it. If I find a shirt a little over $5 for my kids, I am spending less than I would at a consignment store or discount store.
  • Red Robin Royalty Member: On your birthday, Red Robin will send you a coupon for a free burger. Also, your 10th burger that you buy using your membership card is free. You can also sign-up your kids to get free burger on their birthdays!
  • Eddie Bauer Adventure Rewards: Eddie Bauer Rewards frequently send out a $10 Reward Coupon that you can use online and in-store (outlet and regular stores). You can use this coupon on sale items and accessories. We usually pick up a free pair of socks or cheap shirt!
  • Albertsons Just 4 U: Albertsons has weekly digital coupons available in their Just 4 U app and sometimes they have specialized coupons like a $1 off any pasta (pick up a pasta product for a $1 or just over a $1 for a cheap product), 10% off any cheese or etc). The Just 4 U coupons change weekly and depending on what store you frequent. You can also earn rewards on your purchases for free products or gas.
  • Fred Meyer: With the Fred Meyer Reward program, you can get special coupons, earn gas perks and earn points for a reward rebate. We quarterly get high value digital coupons (sometimes for free products) and almost every Friday I can download a digital coupon for a free item.
  • Express: Express has a reward program that allows you to earn points for signing in, participating in a shopping guide, and linking your social media accounts. I've earned a couple of little rewards and have used it to get a shirt really cheap and free earrings. Make sure that if you get anything with the rewards that you earn that you post a review with a picture to earn even more points.
What reward program do you belong to?


January Giveaway Listing (low to moderate entry)

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

I like entering low to moderate entry giveaways and I share each month some of the blog or social media giveaways I've entered, thought someone else might be interested in entering or that have been submitted to me through bloggers. Check back often throughout the month to see if I have posted more giveaways. If you are hosting a family-friendly giveaway on your blog and would like to see it listed here, please contact me (via email). If you have a won a giveaway that I posted, please leave a comment and share that you won.

Kanoodle Board Game (ends 1.3.18)
Maxi Cosi Magellan Car Seat (ends 1.4.18)
$50 Disney Gift Card (ends 1.5.18)
Meant for You by Ranee S. Clark (ends 1.6.18) 
Diess Kitchenware 5-piece Nylson Utensil Set (ends 1.7.18)
30 Days to Understanding the Bible (ends 1.8.18)
Happy Gift Card (ends 1.8.18)
Favorite Things Prize Pack (ends 1.10.18) 
Happy Lady Gift Card (ends 1.13.18)
Year Worth of Cheese (ends 1.20.18)
American Girl Blaire Wilson Doll (ends 1.21.18)
American Girl Blaire Wilson Doll (ends 1.22.18)
American Girl Blaire Wilson Doll (ends 1.23.18)
Sydney to the Max Prize Pack (ends 1.25.18)
KEVA Plank Set (ends 1.25.18)
4 Free Alpha Burrito Coupons (ends 1.27.18)
$50 Loft Gift Card (ends 1.27.18)
Nutcracker and the Four Realms (ends 1.28.18)
Nutcracker and the Four Realms (ends 1.30.18)
American Girl Blaire Wilson Doll (ends 1.30.18)
Ticket to San Diego Nourished Festival (ends 1.31.18) 
Made With Love By The Dutch Lady Designs