Save Money

Ways to save money, take advantage of discounts, live a frugal lifestyle and be budget friendly. Using online tools and apps to make the most of your checking and savings. Budgeting tools to save money on groceries, utilities and day-to-day living expenses.

Life is Better at the Beach

OBX sunset - Life is Better at the Beach
Life is Better at the Beach

By the Sea, Sure

I’m sitting here on the beach, writing a blog post.

Well, technically not on the beach — But we’re pretty darn close.

I can hear the waves crashing right outside the window where I’m sitting. And I can see the surf breaking, all white-capped and angry, in a hypnotic swirl of repetition.

It’s my family’s annual beach vacation. And right now, it’s raining in the Outer Banks. But from my current perspective, that is totally okay. Because I’m away from work, surrounded by almost all who matter most to me, and am able to relax for a few days.

And I’m writing a blog post.

Why, might you ask, am I blogging while on vacation??

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Looking for Free Stuff? Be Careful — Sometimes Free Isn’t Really Free

sweet bunny rabbits family
Who Doesn’t Love Free Stuff?


Everybody Loves Free Stuff

I was scrolling through Facebook the other morning, when something caught my eye.

It was brown and furry, with big feet, a pink button nose, and long floppy ears. OMG someone was giving away bunnies!!! 

Immediately, I was in love.

And I started going over all these plans in my mind. Plans of how I might bring this little puff ball into my life.

Because it would be as easy as stopping by the local farm, picking out a rabbit, and bringing him home. Easy peasy.

In my town, there are several large farms. These farms sell fresh produce, flowers, eggs, baked goods, various crafts, and are just altogether fun to go visit. Lots of times they’ll support a charity event by selling their wares, and also include a petting zoo to entertain the kids. Or me — cuz, like, I’m just a big kid at heart.

One of the events going on that very day was not terribly far from my house. They were having all of the cool stuff above, plus goats, chickens, and a bunch of other fun activities.

But the part that totally had me lingering on the post was about the bunnies. Apparently the farm was partnering with a local rescue organization to rehome these bunnies for adoption.

And their pictures were sooo cute — big fluffy squishy puffalumps, sitting on the laps of volunteers. They looked so happy, so content, and so cuddly! And they were FREE!!!!

OMG, how could we NOT get a bunny??

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5 Smart Ways to Save on Vet Bills

Save Money on Vet Bills - This little Peanut's vet appointment


I took my little peanut to the vet the other day.

Don’t worry — nothing was wrong with her. She was just due for her annual checkup, and a couple of vaccinations.

Each year, we budget for the expense of an annual checkup for both of our dogs. Some people choose to spread this expense out over multiple appointments throughout the year, to balance out the bills.

We prefer to save up and take care of everything at once, with one large vet bill.

But overall, it’s less stressful for the dogs to only go to the vet once per year, and get everything out of the way.

So as the receptionist presents me with this super-painful piece of paper itemizing each individual charge and service that is rendered, I get to thinking.

There are two ways one can logistically approach this, in order to save on vet bills:

  1. Budget for the entire expense, knowing each year we will have to pay (at least) this amount for each dog.
  2. Find ways to reduce expenses and/or supplement what is being paid for these services, to make it a little less agonizing for all involved.

I, for one, choose to engage both of these practices. Because I do want to prepare for the worst.

And more or less have to — since who has an extra $400 just sitting around, begging to be spent?

But I also want to mitigate the amount spent, and only pay what is absolutely necessary.*

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Ultimate List of College Essentials – Graduation Gifts for Him

College Campus Checklist — Huge Guide with 37 College Essentials for Guys

Updated 5/3/19

High school graduation season — when young adults are full of promise and expectations, ready to begin their journey into adulthood.

Some may be college bound, some may be entering the workforce. Others may make the decision to serve our country.

But one thing’s for sure — their lives will inevitably be changing.

No longer a teenager in high school, they will be encountering new opportunities and facing new challenges.

Having raised two sons myself, I can definitely testify at times it was hard — for all of us.

But once they had that diploma in their hands, it was clearly worth it — the significance of what they’d accomplished — and where it might lead them in the future.

So what kind of gift can you get a graduate to help meet life’s next challenge?

Are there practical gifts that can provide a small boost, that step up to their next stage in life?

I don’t know about you, but I really believe finding a graduation gift for a boy is so much harder than for a girl.

Maybe because my sons are a little more reserved, and less likely to share details or expand on their personal thoughts. I swear, sometimes it’s like pulling teeth to get a full sentence from them!

But I’ve seen many posts out there with graduation gift ideas for college-bound girls, and not so much geared toward males. That’s why I really feel like it’s sooo much harder to find graduation gifts for guys.

I did a lot of searching 5 years ago when my son finished his high school journey and was preparing to go to college.

And then, over those next four years, I discovered what products and tools were the most beneficial to him, and would allow him to begin his own personal journey to independence.

In other words, by providing him with a head start, without hindering his ability to transition into adulthood.

For example, making him a starter kit of laundry essentials, vs. allowing him to bring dirty clothes home once a month for mom to do his laundry 🙂

So call it a college freshman survival kit, or just call it an away-from-home care package.

Here is a SUPER LONG list of college essentials for the guy in your life who is ready to move on to the next stage as an adult. And if you’re looking for some unique yet useful “graduation gifts for him”, look no further. HERE is the only list of items you’ll need. Whether he’s graduating high school, or already a college freshman — these essentials will give him everything he needs to feel at home.

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