How to Create a Minecraft Bedroom

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how to create a minecraft bedroom | www.pennypinchinmom.com

For the past year, I saved my money and watched for deals on all things Minecraft.  When my kids all went to their grandma’s house for a week, I went into each room, painted and redecorated it so that it would match with their own personality.  For my son, that meant Minecraft.  The kid – well – let’s say he is a tad obsessed with the game!

I collected different items from various sites and then put them all together to make his room truly one of a kind!

minecraft bedding

 

BEDDING.  This is the main focal point of the room.  I was able to find this set on Wayfair.com.  It included the comforter, bedskirt, 2 pillow shams and sheet set.  I actually did not like the way the sheet felt, so I picked up grey ones at Target instead (and it was money well spent).  This bedding has gone up in price since I purchased it and is now $117.

minecraft collage

 

WALL ACCESSORIES.  This was probably the most fun part of the project. I was able to find Minecraft Posters and Decals on Zulily when they had a Minecraft sale. You can find these same posters now on Amazon priced from $3.17 – $5.65.   These same decal sets are priced from $68.49 – 74 on Amazon.

The wall torches were toys he already had, but you can find them at Target for $19.99.  This sells for nearly $30 on Amazon.  They can either stand on a dresser or cabinet, or you can fold down the back, where you will find two slots so you can attach it to your wall.

decor

We wrapped up the decor by hanging 2 black floating shelves, which we purchased from Target.  He is able to put his wood crafts and other important “treasures’ on his shelf.  These are mounted directly above his new desk.

 

furniture

 

FURNITURE.   Since we upgraded my son’s bed from a twin to a full, we had to purchase a new headboard.  We opted for a bookshelf headboard, to allow for a bit more storage.  The one we found was on Wayfair and sells for $137.

Our son also needed a desk and chair, so he would have the proper set up for his homework.  Now that he is in second grade, he will have a bit more to do and we needed to be sure he would have a quiet place to work, without the distraction of the television or other family members.  We found the desk (on sale and used a coupon) at Target and the chair (on sale) at Office Max.

Our son is also 110% all boy.  He has play guns, backpacks, dress up clothes and more.  We wanted a place to store those items, which would keep them all organized, but yet easy enough for him to find and play with when he wanted to.  We did splurge a little and purchased a Footlocker online at Vermont’s Barre.  We were able to use some codes and did save, but it was still cost a bit more.  However, we have been very pleased with the quality and love how much it will hold.

 

wall color=

 

WALL COLOR.  We opted for a soft grey in order to compliment the white trim.  It not only blended with the bedding and decor, it is neutral.  So, if he changes his mind in a few years and wants different bedding, we will not have to spend the time (or money) having to repaint his walls.  Again, we were able to pick up the paint when the store had a sale and did not tint it until we were ready.  Then, we took it back and they tinted it for us — at no charge at all!  We were able to save 40% off of all of our paint by using this easy tip.

 

Our son could NOT be happier with his new bedroom.  He was over the moon when he saw it and he still loves it.  In fact, he even likes to clean it up (at least for now)!

 

Keep Up to Date With Penny Pinchin’ Mom’s Deals

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Keeping Up withWith the constant changes in algorithms on social media, it can be difficult to keep up to date with your favorite pages.  That can mean you might miss out on a great deal or money saving tip!!!   In order to help make sure you NEVER miss anything, there are some easy ways to stay up to date with all of your favorite pages!!

 

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FACEBOOK

If you still want to stay on Facebook, there are some things you can do to ensure you don’t miss out on a deal.

Set up Notifications.  You can add your favorite pages to your notifcations button.   This is the globe image at the top of your page.  When you have this turned on, you will see an update whenever your favorite pages make a post.  You click on here and receive a drop down letting you see the pages at a glance and can click through to the post to learn more.

notification

Turning this feature on is very simple to do.  Head to Penny Pinchin’ Mom on Facebook and under the header, find the LIKED button.  Once you click on here, you will it says Get Notifications.  Make sure that you have a checkmark next to this button so that you keep up with all of the posts.

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Join the Facebook Group and add it to your Favorites.  We actually have a group set up where the posts will go on Facebook.  You can join for free HERE.  Once you join, you can then add that group to your favorites so that you see it in your sidebar each and every time you log in!

To add it to your favorites, simply click the pencil next to the group name, when you see it under your Groups.  Click to Add to Favorites and you will see it move up under your favorites, directly under your profile picture!

group1

favorites

 

Create an Interest List and Add to your Favorites.  You can add all of your favorite pages to an interest list and then make that list accessible in your favorites.  This keeps all of your favorite pages in one place, so you can catch up with them all at once!

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Click on the wheel button from the Facebook page and then select Add to Interest Lists.  Then, click on New List.

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On this screen, you will see that the site comes up and is already selected for you.  Just click on the blue NEXT button at the bottom of the page.

Here, type in the name for the list.  You could call it just Penny Pinchin’ Mom, or Money Saving Sites (whatever you would like).  You can then decide if you want anyone to see this or not.  If it is public, anyone can subscribe to the list, so if you want to get the word out about this great list you’ve created, you could select this option.

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You can add additional pages to your list and every page you follow will be in one location.  Once you do this, you want to add this to your favorites so that you can find it quickly.   Just find the List under Interests in your sidebar and click the pencil next to the list.  Check Add to Favorites and you are done!

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Now, this group will also be at the very top of your profile so you can find it quickly!

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PINTEREST

There are several great boards set up on Pinterest to help you narrow down the types of deals or savings tips you might need!  We’ve got ALL of our best tips in our Money Saving Tips Board.  If you want to get out of debt, you’ll love all of the articles (which will be added each week this year) in the Getting Out of Debt Board.  Of course, it would be simpler to just follow my Pinterest page so you get all of the pins we share from my site as well as others I’d recommend!  Visit the Penny Pinchin’ Mom Pinterest page so you can follow it!

 

 

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GOOGLE+

Google+ may seem like a ghost town, but it really isn’t.  In fact, this is the #2 social media site, ahead of Twitter.  The great thing about Google+ is that you can create your own circles to keep certain pages grouped together to check them quickly (as you would using a list or favorites on Facebook).  Even better than that, G+ doesn’t censor the content, you will always see everything on all of the page you are following!

You’ll want to head to the Penny Pinchin’ Mom Google+ page and make sure you +1 it by clicking that image on the main page.

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Once you have done that, you will want to create your circles.  This is easy to do.  From your Home button, scroll down and click on the People button.

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Then, click on Your Circles in the menu bar

circle

Next, click the + in the circle.  In here, type in the name of the circle.

new

It could be something like you would use on Facebook, like Money Saving Sites.  Click on the Add a Person Button and start typing Penny Pinchin Mom and you will see that it comes up.  Just click to add it to the list and then click on Create Circle Button to finish.  You’ve just created a circle!

google2

 

Your circles are all visible from your home page, but you can decide WHICH ones have a shortcut on your menu.  Drag your circles to reorder them to put those you will use the most at the top of the list.  You just literally click drag and drop!  The first circles in your order will be the first ones you see in your menu.  Here is how mine looks:

circle2Main Menu

 

circle1Circles Order

So now, when I am on G+, I just click Money Saving Websites from the main menu and the posts are there!

I can tell you that we put all of our posts on Google+ just like other social media, so this is a great alternative to Facebook!

twitter

TWITTER

We are also on Twitter!  This is can be a simple way to keep up with your sites as well.  There are different platforms out there which you can use to create custom streams and lists to personalize it for yourself.  I personally love using Tweet Deck!  You can create custom streams for your favorite hashtags, sites and more!  You’ll find me on Twitter under @PennyPinchinMom.

You can create a List easily on Twitter just like you do the other sites. Just click the Lists button from your profile page and then Create a List.  Add the profiles you want to follow and then you’ll have one easy list at your fingertips!

lists

 

create

 

 

 

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EMAIL DIGEST

There is also one final way to stay up to date.  You can sign up for the FREE daily email newsletter. We actually have options which allow you to taylor the newsletter to receive just what you want!  You can get all updates, just coupons or even only Target store deals!  Head HERE and sign up — make sure that you confirm your subscription!

Five Tips To Help You Ease Back Into Your Back to School Schedule

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Back to School Schedule Tips | www.pennypinchinmom.com

 

School is staring soon (if it hasn’t already done so where you live).  Whether you start next week or next month, you know how tough it can be for the entire family to move back into that Back to School schedule.  You can actually slowly transition your family to help them change their routine, so that when school starts, you have one less struggle to deal with.  Check out these five tips to help your family east back into your own Back to School Schedule.

Bedtimes.  This is a big one.  During the summer months, we all love to stay up later as we want to enjoy being outdoors and there is really no need for an early bedtime.  This is a big change for kids (and even adults).  Slowly start to move back the bedtime around 5 – 7 days before school starts.  For instance, if your child’s school year bedtime is 8:30 p.m. and during the summer they are allowed to stay up until 9:30, start backing bedtime by 10 – 15 a night until they are back to that earlier bedtime.  Then, when school starts, you will be back to that bedtime and (hopefully) have fewer struggles at bedtime.

Waking up.  This is another one which is tough!  Kids (or at least mine) love to sleep in during the summer months.  This is partly because they can, but also because of those later bedtimes.  As you change the bedtime, you will also want to do the same for waking in the morning.  You will want to do the same thing as you did for the bedtimes.  If your child sleeps until 9:00 a.m., but they will need to be up by 7:00 a.m. for school, start to wake them 15 – 20 minutes earlier each day until they are waking up at their school wake up time.  You might try to do this for at least 1 – 2 weeks before school starts, so your child gets use to waking earlier.

Eating schedule.  During the summer months, you eat breakfast just when you wake up, which may make your lunch and dinner schedules a little off track.  Help your children get into a school eating schedule.  Have them eat breakfast shortly after they wake in the morning.  If you know (approximately) when they will eat lunch at school, start to work that into their routine.  Make sure you have dinner at a decent time, which would allow ample time for baths and homework in the evenings.    This helps train their brain into knowing the times of day they will eat.

Practice your night time schedule.  To help your mornings go smoothly during the school year, it can be helpful for your kids to set out their clothes before they go to bed.  Have them begin doing this a week or so before school begins so they can get into that habit.  Remember that anything you can do at night to make your morning better is always a good thing!

Stay home.  If you can, try to stay at home and do not plan any vacations or trips a week or two before school.  Trips and vacations sometimes take some recovery time (sleep and attitudes) after you get home.  Keeping a simple, stay at home schedule can help ensure your kids are not overly stimulated or tired, which can also help that back to school routine.

What other tips do you have to share?

I’m Not Perfect. And I’m MORE Than Fine With That.

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perfect

 

This summer I’ve struggled.  In fact, I’ve struggled a LOT.  Summer is not just sleeping in, swimming pools and hanging outside.  For me, it is trying to strike a balance between running this website, TV segments, interviews, family time and being a mom.  Truth be told – most of the time I don’t do it very well.

I struggle day in and day out to meet the needs of my kids and at the same time, tending to my business.  It may mean a phone call runs into the time I should watch the movie with the kids or that I have to reschedule a meeting so I can spend the day at the pool.  It means that something goes to the wayside.  It means….dare I say it…….I am not perfect!

There.  I said it.  In fact, let me say it again:

 

I AM NOT PERFECT.

 

You know what? I’m fine with that.  The reason is because when I do something, I do it completely.  When I work, I give myself 100% to what I am doing and it means my kids have to wait an extra few minutes for breakfast or for the movie to be turned on.  The same is true when I am in Mom Mode.  I don’t check Facebook.  I don’t answer questions.  I don’t look at emails.  I may even miss sharing a hot deal!  Why?  Cuz I am not perfect and can not do it all.

 

I CAN NOT DO IT ALL.

 

Being perfect is overrated – and honestly unattainable.  I would rather be happy and my family be happy than strive for perfection.  That is just too much pressure!!  So I do what I can.  There are days when something suffers as it doesn’t get the attention it needs.  I may end up losing my patience with the kids when I am trying to work on a deadline and they are fighting in the background.   I don’t necessarily post every deal I see.  I may even post a deal and then it turns out that the coupon is gone by the time the post is on my site.  These things make me less than perfect and I am fine with that.

I am me.  That is all I can be. God did not make me perfect.  He made me flawed because that is who I am suppose to be.  I am suppose to have this personality.  I am suppose to be this kind of wife and mother.  I am who I am suppose to be.

 

I AM WHO I AM SUPPOSE TO BE.

 

So, I say, that is good enough for me.  I am not perfect.  However, I am a great mom.  I have employees who love me.  I am a great friend.  I am a loving spouse.  And the thing is, I sometimes fail doing those things too.  But you know what, that’s OK.  After all, between perfection and happiness – I choose happiness.   Hands down.

vitaminwater® and vitaminwater zero® Bonus Packs Now Available at Sam’s Club

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vitaminwater in Sams Club | www.pennypinchinmom.com

We all know the importance of drinking water and how good it is for our body.  However, not all of us can handle plain water (it actually makes me feel water logged and sickly).  However, if my water has some flavor to it, I can drink it by the gallons.

A few years back, my husband and I both learned about vitaminwater® and vitaminwater zero®.  We each tried it once and were hooked — and it is now one of our favorite bottled waters to purchase!  In fact, with this recent heat wave and these extreme temps we’ve had here in Missouri, staying hydrated has been even more important than usual.

When it is warm, we don’t spend much time outside (like most people).  However, we still do try to make it to the pool.  What is funny is that people think that if you are in the pool and staying cool, there is no need to drink to stay hydrated — and that is not true!  My kids know that we can’t head out without water to drink and I have them stop and take some small drinks several times while we are taking a dip in the cool water.  I don’t want anything to happen to them to make them get dehydrated.  That would make for one rotten summer’s day!!!

As I mentioned, my husband and I both tried vitaminwater® and vitaminwater zero®.  My personal favorite is acai blueberry pomegranate — sooooo yummy!!! My husband really loves two flavors – lemonade and also orange-orange.  I’ll admit that even those that he loves are tasty, but I always go back to my first love!!

If you want to find a great deal on vitaminwater® and vitaminwater zero®, visit your local Sam’s Club.  Right now, they have 15+3 bonus bottles available in the stores!  Some areas are even offering free samples in the store!    Prices do vary a bit based upon each region, so you will have to stop in to find out what you will pay.

As a mom, knowing my kids are drinking something which is naturally sweetened, keeps them hydrated and they LOVE — well it makes me soooo happy!!

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Coca-Cola. All opinions are 100% mine.

Sonic’s Shake Up The Competition Challenge: McDonalds vs. Sonic. Which Did We Choose?

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Sonic Shake Up The Competition Challenge | www.pennypinchinmom.com

Sonic recently contacted me about a challenge they were running called — Sonic’s Shake Up The Competition Challenge.  They wanted to put one of their delicious shakes up against the competition and prove that they were tastier.  I asked my five and nine year old daughters if they would help me taste some shakes and they immediately said YES!

We first stopped by Sonic and picked up a small vanilla shake and small chocolate shake.  Then, we drove to McDonald’s and ordered a small McCafe vanilla and chocolate shake – so we could have a good comparison.

When we got home, the first thing we did were some comparisons:

 

FLAVOR VARIETY

 

When we went to McDonald’s they only had 3 varieties of shakes — vanilla, chocolate and strawberry.  Compare this to Sonic where there are more than 25 and it Sonic wins hands down when it comes to variety and options for consumers.  My girls are anxious to go back and try one of the unique flavors found only at Sonic.

 

PRESENTATION

 

We carefully looked at both shakes.  Both came in the same type of cup with a large plastic covering on the top, to prevent drips.  Each one even had whipped cream and a cherry topping it off, so they were well matched in that department

However, the Sonic cup was styrofoam, which prevented melting.  The McDonald’s shake came in a plastic cup and by the time we got home, some of their product had already melted.

That being said, it was nice to be able to look through the plastic cup to determine which flavor was which.  I had to taste the ones from Sonic to find out which was chocolate vs. vanilla as we could not tell since they both had whipped cream over the top of them.  Maybe someone can invent a see through cup that insulates as well as styrofoam does?  ;-)

 

TASTE

 

This was, of course, the most fun part of all!   I grabbed a blindfold for my girls and me.  I had each of them try it and then I did so myself.   I didn’t tell them what we were doing, just that we needed to do something fun to try two shakes.  They did not know that Sonic was the one sponsoring this challenge, so they wouldn’t think to select them.  When I did my own challenge,  I even made sure as to not touch the cup so I would not be influenced at all.  Click below to find out which one each of us selected!

 

EMMA

CHARLOTTE

 

Both of the girls tried the vanilla shake.  They said that both were pretty smooth, but the McDonalds one tasted more like milk than a shake, as it had already melted so much.  I asked them if one was sweeter and they said that the McDonalds one was sweeter, but a little too sweet for them.

 

MOM


I tried the chocolate versions of both shakes.  The McDonald’s McCafe shake was a little too sweet for me.  It was almost “too chocolatey” and had more of a chocolate milk consistency rather than the thick creamy taste and texture I like in a shake.

When trying the Sonic shake, it was very light and creamy compared to the McDonald’s shake which was thinner and soupy (for lack of a better word).

 

TEXTURE

 

The McDonald’s shakes had melted quite a bit so they were rather thin and soupy, whereas the Sonic shakes stayed frozen longer, which resulted in a creamy, thicker texture.  I did take a spoon to check for lumps and they both did a great job as they were LUMP FREE!!!  (Just what I love in a good shake).

 

MELT FACTOR

 

I’ve mentioned this a few times above, but the McDonald’s McCafe shake melted much more quickly than the Sonic version.  I prefer my shakes thicker whereas others love them thinner (and easier to consume using a straw).  That is totally a consumer’s preference, but the fact that the Sonic one did not melt as quickly earned it two thumbs up in my book.

 

I will admit that I figured at least one of us would select the McDonald’s McCafe shake as the better option.  Seeing that all three of us chose the same one really says a lot – that we either all love the same types of products or that Sonic’s shakes really were better.  I guess that means you’ll have to conduct your own challenge to find out for yourself!

sonic shake taste

 

This was a sponsored post on behalf of Sonic.  Gift cards were provided to cover the costs of the products purchased.  All opinions are my own and were not influenced by any parties.

Back to School Savings Tips | How To Use Penny Pinchin’ Mom to Save Time and Money!

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back to school tips on penny pinchin mom | www.pennypinchinmom.com

Even if you are not yet in Back to School shopping mode, there is a good chance you will be very soon.  This can be not only a stressful time of the year for families, but also is usually very expensive!  That is why we are here to help!  There are tips and resources right at your finger tips to help you save not only money – but time in getting ready for back to school!

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All information can quickly be accessed through the main menu.  If you click on Back to School, you will see a menu drops down.  Under here you will find the following (I will give more details for each category in more detail below):

  • Price Comparisons Database
  • 2014 Tax Free Shopping Schedule – by State
  • Back to School Deals
  • Clothing & Uniform Deals
  • Helpful Tips and Ideas
  • Freebies and Resources

 

WEEKLY PRICE COMPARISON DATABASE

 

This database is updated each Sunday morning with the current store deals (including coupons).  We list all of the prices for the supplies you need.  You can search by store, product or even price!  The stores include:

  • Target
  • Walmart
  • KMart
  • Toys R Us
  • Staples
  • Office Max / Office Depot (same store now)
  • CVS
  • Walgreens
  • Rite Aid

 

2014 TAX FREE SHOPPING SCHEDULE

 

Many states offer a tax free shopping weekend for your back to school items.  Make sure you carefully review your state’s specifications as there are limits as to the items included, as well as spending limits.

 

BACK TO SCHOOL STORE DEALS

 

These are the individual or additional deals which are found at various stores (which may or may not be listed on the database).  This is a great way to find those deals which come up after the weekly ad has come out whether it be through an online retailer or due to a newly released coupon!

 

CLOTHING & UNIFORM DEALS

 

Wether your children wear uniforms or their own style of clothes to school, you need to save.  We’ve got an entire category dedicated to these deals just for you!  If we share any ways to save on clothes, uniforms or shoes, we will place it here so you can quickly find it.

 

HELPFUL TIPS & IDEAS

 

We’ve got some great articles to help you save money on your shopping.  We also share other tips to help you with organizing, schedules and more!  Refer to this to get some great advice to some of your back to school questions!

 

FREEBIES & RESOURCES

 

This section is just what it says.  If there are any freebies you can use for back to school, we will share them here.  In addition, we share resources such as homeschooling sites, forms and more!

 

If you have any questions at all, we are here to help!  Just leave us a comment on the site or Facebook.   You can also email me by clicking on the Contact link at the very top of this website!

Our goal is to truly help you with everything you need for back to school – whether your child is entering kindergarten or college.

 

Paying For College: Beyond the Basics — Books, Laptops and More!

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Paying for College -- Dont forget other itesm | www.pennypinchinmom.com

 

When your child is accepted into college, your first thoughts are probably tuition. Once that shock wears off, you’ll need to consider the necessary supplies for your student’s success. Save yourself a headache and use a college dorm room checklist to get started. Once you’ve covered the basics, students (and their parents) need to budget for additional, but necessary, expenses.

 

It’s The Little Things

 

There are the essentials such as an alarm clock, a desk lamp and maybe even a mini fridge. You can also help prepare your student with a care package or going away present filled with these often overlooked but ultimately highly appreciated items:

Another smart consideration for your student is signing up for Amazon Student. With two-day shipping, subscribe-and-save options, streaming of music and movies and the first six months free of charge, it’s worth looking into.

Also, suggest that your child call their future roommate ahead of time to coordinate some of the bigger items. When I headed to college, I purchased a microwave and futon and my roommate got a printer and mini-fridge that we could both use.

 

Book Smart

 

Depending on the course load and how many credit hours a student takes, college textbooks can cost well over $1,000 dollars a year. Due to copyrights, specialized materials and even sheer volume, the cost of textbooks has only increased in recent years. Also, some classes use books that contain removable pages, which double as worksheets. For the courses that don’t require customized books, there are many money saving options.

Around 70 percent of students believe that older editions of their required texts are usable. If there are multiple editions of the book, it doesn’t hurt to send an email to the professor or to their TA inquiring if an older edition will suffice. If this isn’t an option, skip the lines at the bookstore and use the web to broaden your search.

Websites like Big Words and BookRenter are trusted online options for buying (and selling) college textbooks. Big Words does the searching for you while BookRenter provides the service its name implies. Encourage your student to sell their books back at the end of the semester. Many parents mistakenly believe that their student ought to hold on to their textbooks, which quickly depreciate. And, of course, there’s also the growing trend of e-textbooks.

 

Reliable Technology

 

With technology so highly integrated into today’s college experience, a student with reliable equipment at their disposal has an edge in the classroom. Granted, there are computer labs and printings stations on every campus, but let’s face it, laptops and tablets have replaced the college-ruled notebook. Professors record podcasts of lectures, provide PDFs of study guides and some even require discussion through online forums.

Spend the money on a dependable laptop or tablet, but take advantage of back-to-school sales. Big Box stores like Sam’s Club and Costco are also worth looking into as well. If you don’t find what you want there, contact your school’s IT department. They can typically provide university sanctioned promotion codes to stores or websites for equipment and for necessary programs, such as Microsoft Office Suite. For peace of mind, don’t overlook purchasing an external hard drive and a USB stick, just in case.

 

Navigating the necessities to prepare for college is one thing. Preparing your budget for the next 4 (or more!) years is something else entirely. Next week, it’s all about budgeting for parents. For more advice on navigating financials or saving for higher ed, click here for friendly advice from the CommunityAmerica Credit Union Savin’ Mavens. This post was written by Maven Kat Hnatyshyn, a branch manager at CommunityAmerica.

 

10 Tips To Help You Save Money On Back to School Clothes

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10 Tips to Save Money on Back to School Clothes | www.pennypinchinmom.com  #clothes #backtoschool

10 Ways to Save on Back to School Clothes

It is time for back to school once again.  It is expected that the average family will end up spending around $635 this season (according to the National Retail Federation).  That includes the much needed supplies, electronics and clothing.

You can actually spend less than this amount by taking steps to ensure you save as much as possible.  You can easily save on your supplies by finding the best deals (see our Back to School Database).   You can also save on your kids’ clothes by following a few money saving tips!  Below you will find ten:

1.  Shop Your Closets.  Before you head out to shop, take a look in your kids’ closets and dressers.  Have them try things on so you can see what fits and what does not.  Then, make a list of the things you will need.

2.  Shop Thrift Stores.  Second hand stores often have items which have little wear.  If you look at how quickly your kids grow and the cost of clothes, this is an easy way to pick up new threads which they will wear for only a few months.

3.  Stay at Home.  Oftentimes, you can find online codes to save on your purchase.  If you happen to also get free shipping, that makes for an even better deal.  This will allow you to shop from the comfort of home without fighting crowds.  You can also save time by not driving around as well as fuel costs.

4.  Put your Phone to Work.  There are many great apps you can download to help you find coupons and discounts.   One of my favorites is CouponSherpa.  They have retail coupons which you can pull up right at checkout. The cashier will scan your phone and you can save – without having to clip a thing before you leave!

5.  Shop The Sales Tax Holiday.  Many states offer a sale’s tax holiday to help reduce the burden to families.  We pay nearly 9% for sales tax where I live, so that can add up to significant savings when we shop over that weekend.  Find out if your state is participating by reviewing our 2014 Sales Tax Holiday List.

6.  Clothing Swap.  Find friends who have kids who might be a size larger or smaller than your kids and do a swap!  You can give them the clothes your kids can no longer wear nd and get new items as well.

7.  Recycle Clothes.  Just because you have a short sleeved shirt doesn’t mean you can’t wear it in the winter.  Just add a long sleeved tee underneath and you’ve got something new for fall and winter!

8.  Shop clearance.  It is still warm outside (and will be for a few more months).  You can find clearance deals on shorts and tees, which is what your kids will start out wearing initially anyhow.  This is a great way to pick up a few items to start off the school year.  That also allows you time to see discounts and deals on the other items they might need later in the season.

9.  Always shop off-season.  This is one you might not be able to do right at this moment, however, when you shop ahead for the next season you can save.  For example, winter items are always put on clearance in January (which never makes any sense to me).  If you can find jeans, coats or other items, pick them up one or two sizes larger for your kids and hold onto them for the following winter.

10.  Keep your budget in check.  Sure, your kids might want the $150 sneakers, but if your budget is set at a $50, stick to it.  They might think it is the end of the world if they don’t have the best, but you need to make sure you don’t overspend.  If your child want something at a higher price than what you are willing to pay, you can always allow them to cover the difference.  They might just learn that they really don’t want that item as badly as they thought, when they have to cough up the cash for it.

What tips do you have to save on back to school clothes?

 

How To Shuck Corn Quickly and Easily!

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How to Shuck Corn on the Cob | www.pennypinchinmom.com

If you are like me, you’ve probably taken the time to shuck your corn before you  cook it.  This usually results in a mess of silk strings and what not ending up all over the counter, floor, etc.  You may also notice that cutting off the ends is pretty difficult to do.  I’ve got the EASIEST tip to make this much simpler!

When you get home with your corn, just take the exposed silks off (they should rip off).  Boil a pot of water.  Place the corn inside of the pan — with the shucks still on!  Cook for around 10 – 15 minutes.  Drain and run the corn under cold water.  Then, take a large knife and cut off one end.  The shuck and silks will slide of easily with much less clean up!  Not only that, it helps to lock in the flavors while cooking, which can result in even tastier corn!  Here’s a short video showing you how this works:



So there you’ve got it!  A SIMPLE and quick way to shuck your corn.  Who knew?!?!