Monday, June 28, 2021

Unfortunately Needing to Cancel My Trip

I am bummed out. :(

My trip to Venice which I was really excited about, unfortunately no longer will be happening. 

Since I went to Vienna last March right before Covid got out of control I haven't left the country. (In fact, I came home a day early because all the flights I could find on my original departure date were canceled and the only ones home were one day earlier than I had planned on leaving.) I really love my trips abroad without my kids- the exploration of a new place, change of environment, and a break from my kids does a lot for my mental health, and it recharges me in a way nothing else does.

I was waiting until things finally calmed down enough that travel restrictions were lifted so I could go to another country without having to quarantine there (because what is the purpose of traveling to another country to be stuck in a hotel/airbnb) and finally when I saw that restrictions in Italy had eased, and I was able to find tickets super cheaply, I jumped on it, even though I'd need to take PCR tests before I left and upon returning. Big deal, anything to be able to travel. Knowing that with Corona things still could get dicey I paid extra for flexible tickets just in case.

6 Ways to Save Money on Gas for Your Car 

Gas is expensive. Even if your car is cheap and you have cheap insurance and you do all your repairs yourself, you still need to pay for gas and there's a limit to how much you can price compare for gas. So how do you keep down your costs? See some ideas shared by a reader.

Maintaining and running a vehicle is one of life’s biggest expenses. In fact, it can feel as if filling up your car is constantly draining your bank account. While some people choose to purchase a new vehicle with better fuel economy to fix this, it isn’t possible for everyone. Luckily, there are still a few things you can do to save some extra cash.

Want to learn more? Let’s get started.

Saturday, June 26, 2021

6 Strategies to Win More Without Wasting Too Much Money

 Gambling is a controversial topic, I know. But I maintain that as long as you don't have an addition, and view expenses on gambling the same as any other recreation/blow money and you budget it into your budget, it can fit into a frugal person's lifestyle. But if you are spending money, here are some ways from a reader as to how to make that money go further and maybe even make some money?

Slots have changed a lot in recent years. If you haven't been to a retail casino or visited an online casino website recently, you will be surprised to see just how sophisticated slots have gotten.

Of course, one thing about slots hasn't changed. It's still a challenge to win money when playing slots. Why? The house always has the advantage. In terms of online and live casino slots, the house's advantage could be upwards of 5%. With that kind of advantage, you, as a player, need to use certain strategies to increase your chances of winning.

Here are six strategies worthy of your consideration.

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Should You Have Your Child Skip Grades?

In general I think having kids skip grades is a terrible idea. I'd wanted to write this post for a while, at least the past year, if not longer, and I had intended to call it my anti skipping manifesto. However, over time I've mellowed out a bit and do think there is a time and place for skipping, even if it is not ideal.

Why am I so against skipping grades, one might ask? To be honest, mostly from personal experience.

I skipped grades. And not just one, but 2 or 3 depending on what you consider skipping. And after what I went through, I think having kids skip grades is very problematic.

Lets first talk about why people have their kids skip grades.

How to Give Your Child A Good Healthy Diet on a Budget

Healthy diet? Isn't that really expensive? That is what people generally think. But there are ways to cook on a budget that are still nutritious and healthy and will give your children a nice healthy start in life. Here are some ways to do that, shared by a reader.

Nothing is more precious to a person than good health. As parents, we are responsible for the health and well-being of our children as we want them to grow up to be healthy, well-balanced individuals. Giving your child the best start in life doesn't mean that you have to throw lots of expensive foods and activities at them. There are ways you can give your child food health on a budget, and here are some of them.

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Money Management Tips for Parents

Budgeting is hard. Finances are hard. So many finance blogs and tips out there do not take into account many of the needs that parents have when it comes to finances. Here are some tips from a reader with money management tips specifically for you, the parents.

Whether you are a new parent, or you have had children for a while, money is probably a concern for you. Maybe you are worried about saving money for your child's college education, or perhaps you have simply felt financially stressed since your kids were born. Perhaps you want to send your child to space camp or get them gymnastics lessons. Maybe you'd just like a bigger nest egg to help protect your family. The tips below can help you better organize your finances and manage your money better as a family.

Friday, June 18, 2021

Why The Internet is Such a Useful Money Saving Tool

One of the most well known names in the past for teaching about how to save money was Amy Dacyzyn because of her Tightwad's Gazette with her subscription monthly newsletter for ways to save money. Back in those days if you wanted to learn a way to save money, it was through tips from a friend, reading books, or sharing ideas with larger audiences via newsletters such as those. 

These days, we have it so much easier. There are so many other ways to learn how to save money, and most of those rely on the internet. Here's why the internet is such a great resource that we are lucky to have to help us save money.

Saving Money Via the Internet

Let's start with the simple things. Hey, you're here, which means you know about the myriad websites such as this one where authors like myself share their tips to their readership and I can impart to you my exhaustive knowledge about how to save money. Ok that was a joke, a kidding pat on the back, but really, I also use other websites to learn other ways to save money. 
Around the house and my day to day life I generally know how to do things, but for example when traveling, like for my next month's trip to Venice, I just search the internet for frugal things to do in Venice and I get many different sites with many different ideas on how to save money there and am able to compile my own list which I then will share with you when I return. In the past, you could only ask individual friends who had been there for their knowledge or hope that someone wrote a guidebook, but now the wealth of knowledge about the world, including many ways to do things cheaply, is at your fingertips, many via blogs like this one.

Dog Proof Your Home By Following This Guide

As someone who loves her dog but last week her dog stole a whole expensive steak out of the pan before dinner and who found a half eaten loaf of bread under her blanket, I can assure you that dogs are adorable but really big trouble makers. They're animals, howe4ver, and you can't hold these things against them. You need, however, to dog proof your home to prevent these things from happening.

Dogs such as teacup Frenchies are known to be playful and curious animals. So it comes as no surprise that over 63 million American households have a dog. Unfortunately, the average home has numerous hazards for curious dogs. So when it comes to bringing a new puppy or dog into your home, ensure that you practice your due diligence when it comes to securing your bathroom, kitchen, garage, and your yard.

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

A Helpful Depression Analogy And What Can Help Ease The Pain

I have discussions a lot with people regarding mental health, depression, etc... I also am a big proponent about talking about how medication has been helpful for me and made a huge difference in my life.

One of the concerns I hear from people about medication is that it will change someone's personality and make them not them anymore. That their depression is just who they are, and you can't change someone's essence. And if you do manage to take away their depression you will take away all their feelings and they won't be a "real person" anymore.

The other day I was having a discussion with a person who had this concern, and I came up with an analogy that I think works really well to explain how depression works, how medication works, and other things related to depression.

How To Get Kids Interested In Sports

Some of my favorite childhood memories were playing sports. I was on softball leagues for at least 4 or 5 summers growing up and they provided me with such joy. In today's age, though, sometimes it is hard to get kids to want to be involved in sports, because they would rather just play on a phone or computer. But sports are important for so many reasons. If you want to get your children interested in sports, here are some helpful suggestions from a reader.

Sports can be a fantastic hobby for children. Playing sports is, of course, good for their health, but it can also teach them important skills like discipline, good sportsmanship, and teamwork. If you’re also interested in sports, playing or watching sports can also be a good way to bond and spend time together as a family. How can you get your kids to be interested in sports?

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Kidiosity- A Fun and Helpful Tool for Parenting

I've been a mother for 13.5 years and I've often thought that parenting should come with a manual. Even though I feel pretty well educated and informed on how to be a good parent, sometimes things come up that really throw me in for a loop and I am floundering and wish I had some type of guide.

In addition to that, with our busy lives and all our stresses, it is important, still, that we make time for our children, to show them that we love them and care about them, that they matter to us, and that they are important parts of our lives. Some parents are chock full of ideas as to how to spend this time with their children, and others are too stressed out to come up with good ideas to do with their kids, and this is where Kidiosity comes in. 

Kidiosity, both a website and an iOS app, was developed by its creators as a way to solve a common problem in today's world- the disconnect between parents and children. Its goal is to help strengthen families and better prepare children for success in life. It does this via three different methods:

Practical Tips To Start An E-Commerce Business On A Budget

There are only so many ways you can stretch a penny before you simply cannot anymore, and sometimes the solution instead of being more and more frugal is to increase your income. One of the most common issues is people need to work from home and an e-commerce business is a good way to earn money and often from home. Let me just clarify, I'm talking about actual e-commerce with you being your own boss and not, absolutely not, a multilevel marketing scheme which will just be flushing money down the toilet and will not help you financially. Here are some tips from a reader as to how you can start an e-commerce business without breaking the bank before you end up making a return on your investment.

Starting an e-commerce business is one of the most budget-friendly startup ideas out there. Even so, if you're hoping to get an e-commerce business off the ground on a tight budget, there are several practical ways that you can stretch your budget while you're getting started. To help you start raking in profits without much capital, we have listed these practical money-savvy tips.

Friday, June 11, 2021

Minty Baby Peas Recipe- Easy, Gluten Free, Allergy Friendly, and Vegan

I had this recipe in my to post list for almost two months, but forgot about posting it until I purchased more baby peas and was going to make it for dinner tonight. Baby peas are much tastier, in my opinion, than regular peas. They are sweet and tender, and if prepared right, completely not mealy.

When I was a kid I hated peas. Like really really hated them. But there was one way my mom would make them that I enjoyed, and I shared that recipe here (back when I was 9 months pregnant with Anneliese!). Then I grew up and my taste buds matured and now I like peas all ways, and will even eat canned peas as a snack. But baby peas are still my favorite type of peas, and in my opinion, are things even pea haters may like. They don't need so much flavor and definitely should not be cooked a lot, or they will get mealy. This recipe uses only a light amount of seasoning to highlight the baby peas' delicious flavors. I hope you enjoy it.

This recipe is gluten free, dairy free, allergy friendly, and vegan, and it is a delightful side dish.

Minty Baby Peas Recipe- Easy, Gluten Free, Allergy Friendly, and Vegan

How to Find The Most Practical and Professional Cooking Tips Online

Growing up, when we wanted a recipe, we looked in cookbooks. Of course, some cookbooks were purchased as is, others were a collection of recipes written on index cards that we collected, and yet others were cut out from magazines and newspapers. However, these days we have so many more options and ways to learn cooking, because of the internet. Here are some ideas sent in by a reader about how you can learn to be a better cook using tech.

If you have a passion for cooking and love to whip up delicious food from time to time, you must always look for opportunities to update your skills. Even as a home cook, you may take the art of cooking quite seriously and strive for perfection. There is a certain level of discipline and practice required in cooking that you will be able to find out with the help of websites like Prepared Cooks.

If you are looking for some vital tips that will help you sharpen your cooking skills, you can try several online avenues. Here are a few ways you can find the most professional cooking tips online:

Money Problems You Might Be Facing And How You Can Fix Them

Wouldnt it be nice if no one in the world had money problems? Unfortunately that isn't the case and there are far too many people who are struggling financially and have different types of money problems. Here are some common money problems and some suggestions on how you can fix them, sent in by a reader.

Everyone is going to experience money problems at some point in their life. This is not something to be embarrassed about or ashamed of because we will all be in this boat at some point. The more important thing is how you face the problem, how you come up with the solution, and how you manage the situation as a whole. In this article, we’re going to be looking at some of the money problems that you might be facing, and looking at some of the things that you can do to fix them. Keep reading down below to find out more.

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

My Upcoming Trip to Venice!

Recently, one of my kids, I forget who, asked me "If you could have any job in the world, and it didn't matter what degrees you had, and you didn't have to worry about money or any technical things, what job would you want?" It didn't take long for me to answer "Travel Blogger". And then I added that luckily, I almost do that. I blog about living frugally, but now I also write about my frugal travels when I manage to go on such trips.

Of course, it doesn't help that Covid got in my way, and also made me worried that I would never be able to travel internationally again on a budget, because I worried that all the frugal airlines would go out of business and I'd be priced out of international travel. But fortunately, my fears were unfounded.

I went into the year of the Covid lockdowns having just come back from my trip to Austria, mostly based in Vienna, but also taking a one day trip to a place on my bucket list- the Alps. (I definitely plan on going back to the Alps and for longer, but that was a delightful day trip.) To be honest, it made it much easier for me to tolerate the year of more or less being stuck at home after having been abroad for a week and a half just prior to that.

But more than a year after that, the travel bug has returned. And fortunately, with it, ease of travel restrictions to other countries.

Tracking your kids with a smartwatch - the future is here!

In some ways I am anti tech. Ok, not really, I just hate learning new tech. But I love the concept of smartphones. I love how it gives my kids independence, and my favorite feature of those is the GPS aspect, because I don't have to worry about where my kids are and them getting lost. GPS trackers for kids are wonderful inventions. Here is some more info from a reader on the topic.

When you don't know where your kid is, it's difficult not to be concerned. We'll show you how to locate them and save your sanity with the help of a GPS smartwatch for kids.

It just takes a few seconds for certain children to become distracted. If your kid vanishes from view, they'll normally reappear in a blink of an eye. Yet you can't help but be concerned.

Then, when they're old enough to walk home from school on their own but they're not really aware of the time, there's no reason to fret if they're a little late. After all, friends can be consuming. Strangers, on the other hand, can be too.

When you don't know where your kid is, it's difficult not to be concerned. However, there is now a remedy to this issue: smartwatches. What kinds of child trackers are there?

Thursday, June 3, 2021

Thinking About Purchasing Glasses and How to Do It Money Smart

Glasses have been on my mind lately.

First of all, my son Ike recently started taking fencing classes and while he loves them, he was finding it hard to wear glasses when he was wearing the mask, so he asked for contacts. I wasn't sure it was the best idea, because he is only 11- his brother got contacts at 13 and 11 just seemed young to me for that responsibility. In the end, I decided to go ahead. 

When Ike got checked before getting contacts, I found out that his prescription changed yet again. Since I was in a rush when I was getting him those, I ended up holding off on getting him a pair of glasses and just got him contacts, planning on going back to get him glasses to wear when he isn't wearing contacts. But once I started thinking about it, I realized I already had the prescription, no need to buy locally- I can get from a cheap online glasses place.  I'm thinking of getting him from Smart Buy Glasses that have cheap glasses for as low as $7 with a free prescription. (Turns out I wasn't so wrong about responsibility with contacts and ages- he lost 2 contacts, one from each eye, within the first few days he had contacts. Fortunately, since then he hasn't lost any.) And I am thinking that in the future I want to price compare contacts locally with online- I get online would be significantly cheaper.