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Amazon is Offering Free Audio Books for Children!

(All posts may contain affiliate links and/or sponsored content. Please see my disclosure policy)

Audible, an Amazon company is offering Free Audio Books for Kids right now. This is regularly priced at $14.95 per month so what a nice savings!

All you have to do is download the free app. From there, you will find a variety of children’s stories for all ages including teens! 

GO HERE to take advantage of this offer.

Tips to Prepare for the Unexpected Future

(All posts may contain affiliate links and/or sponsored content. Please see my disclosure policy)

Let’s face it. We are facing unprecedented times in our country. The recent pandemic has caused panic, stress and fear in our lives. Many people are losing their jobs while others are not sure when (and if) they may return to work.

Since many people are facing layoffs and budget cuts, it is important now more than ever to stretch our hard-earned dollars. There are a few things that we can do in the coming months to put money back into our wallets:

Coupons– Even though couponing is nothing like it used to be, you can still save money by clipping coupons from your Sunday paper or from online. I find that there are still great coupons available for items like toiletries and household essentials. A few dollars here and there adds up after awhile.

Money-Saving Apps– One of my favorite ways to save money on each grocery trip is by using money saving apps. Even if you don’t use coupons, consider using money-saving apps. It takes very little effort to use these apps and the benefits are very rewarding! And, you can use these apps in conjunction with each other to really speed up the earning process! I have 3 top money-savings apps that I recommend and use each and every week:

Fetch Rewards– This app has to be the easiest way ever to earn money! Just scan and earn! Yes, it is that simple! Sign up HERE and use my referral code K3DEH. After you scan your first receipt you will get 2000 points! That is almost enough for your first gift card!  

With Fetch Rewards, there are no specific products to keep track of. You simply scan your receipts each time that you shop and the points add up. If you really want the points to add up, there are bonus products that you can purchase which will earn you more points each time that you shop. In addition, purchases from Amazon and other online stores will also count. Simply scan your receipts each time that you shop and watch the points accrue in your account. AND, it only takes 3000 points to earn your first gift card to places like Amazon, Dunkin’ and Target. Save up your points to earn even larger gift cards! GO HERE to sign up for Fetch Rewards and use code K3DEH

Shopkick This app allows you to earn kicks which are rewards points that can be use towards digital gift cards to your favorite stores. Earning kicks is super easy, and this app is one that you can have your kids help you with! It is kind of like a scavenger hunt as you go through the store scanning products to get kicks My boys love to help me with this! 

There are six easy ways to earn kicks while you shop:

  1. Walk into stores.
  2. Scan barcodes of selected products.
  3. Purchase items and submit your receipt.
  4. Purchase items with your linked card.
  5. Make online purchases.
  6. Watch videos.

That’s it! The Shopkick app is so easy anyone can do it! You shop, you get kicks, and you redeem for gift cards! GO HERE to sign up. 

Ibotta With Ibotta, you can earn real cash back every time you shop online or in-store. Simply check Ibotta before you shop in-store or online, travel, dine out, or make a purchase and you can get rewarded with cash back and gift cards to your favorite retailers. Ibotta works with leading brands and retailers to help you save money without the hassle of traditional coupons, or promo codes.

And, now, earn with their newest feature, you can pay with Ibotta, too! When you use Pay with Ibotta, you can pay for your purchases right from the app, and earn cash back on your entire purchase, instantly. GO HERE to sign up for Ibotta.

Stockpile– I cannot stress enough the importance of stockpiling. I am not talking about hoarding.My general rule of thumb is to have enough items (like canned goods, pastas, etc…) in my stockpile to last for several months. This was especially helpful to my family and I when my husband lost his job several years ago. We were able to live off of our stockpile for several months.

One of the ways that you can stockpile is by shopping the BOGO sales at your favorite stores. When items are on sale, buy extra as your budget allows and those items into your pantry.

Another one of my favorite ways to stockpile is by purchasing reduced meat at the grocery store. I find that stores like Target, Walmart and Winn-Dixie will mark down their meats in the morning or late afternoon. Thanks to these sales, I always pick up several packs each time that I shop and add them to my freezer. This is especially helpful in situations like right now when there is hardly any meat available to the public.

Cancel Gym Memberships– If you don’t use your local gym more than once a month, evaluate whether or not that is a good investment. This may be a great time to cancel your membership for the time being and to find other free options and apps for exercising.

Grooming Services– Consider doing your own hair and nail services right at home. If you cut your spouse’s and kids’ hair at home think of the money that you could save during the month! Invest in a clipper set to start cutting their hair this month! You may be surprised at what a great job you can do! When it comes to your nails, there are so many great at-home gel kits available. By doing these two services at home, you will put a decent amount of money back into your wallet each month.

Sell Unused Items– During this time while we are home, go through your closets and cabinets to see what items that you can sell. Places like Facebook Marketplace, Ebay and Poshmark (for clothing) are great places to make extra cash from items that you have right in your home.

Student Loans– Due to ongoing circumstances, student loans will be deferred for the next 60 days. (at least, maybe longer) without interest or penalties. Check into this as soon as possible if you are a student.

Mortgage Payments– Contact your mortgage lender as soon as possible to see if your payments can be deferred. For many Americans, housing is one of our largest expenses. If you have lost your job or are facing a layoff, this is the number one issue that needs to be discussed. Many mortgage companies may defer payments or offer mortgage forbearance.

Spending– Track your spending. You will be surprised at how much you spend on things that you really don’t need. Things like daily coffee, trips to Target, etc…can put a generous amount of money back into your wallet each month. Start tracking today and save for tomorrow! I have a feeling that once you start track your spending you are going to be surprised at how much money that you were spending each month on these things!

Change the Due Dates of your Bills– Consider asking your creditors to see if you can change the due date of your bills. If you get paid towards the end of the month, see if your credit card companies and utility providers will work with you and let you pay those bills at that time. In addition, see if you can negotiate for a better deal. You may surprised at what one quick phone call will do!

These are some of my favorite tips and ideas for helping us to get through these difficult times ahead. Please remember above all to stay strong and positive!

Slow Cooker Zuppa Toscana Soup

(All posts may contain affiliate links and/or sponsored content. Please see my disclosure policy)

I don’t know about you, but one of my favorite comfort foods when I am stressed or tired is a big bowl of soup. One of my favorite soups is from Olive Garden. Have you tried their Zuppa Toscana Soup? It is so creamy, rich and delicious! Zuppa Toscana Soup can easily be made right in your own home using your slow cooker! There are many varieties of this soup, but I have found that making it in the slow cooker is not only the easiest, but most flavorful.

Slow Cooker Zuppa Toscana Soup

Ingredients: 

4-5 slices pre-cooked bacon (you can also use bacon and cook it on your own, but I love the quickness that the pre-cooked variety offers.

1 48-oz. carton chicken broth

1 cup water

1/2 cup diced yellow onion (this will be around 1/2 an onion)

1 lb. cooked pork sausage (I used Jimmy Dean, but any brand will work-you can also use Italian if you prefer)

1 pint heavy whipping cream

4 russet potatoes sliced into rounds

3 cups chopped kale (remove the stems)

1 tbsp. diced garlic

freshly grated parmesan

salt/pepper for taste

Directions:

Fry sausage in a non stick skillet. Halfway through the cooking process add the onion and garlic. Drain off any excess fat that you may have.

Add in the pre-cooked bacon to sausage mixture. (If you are cooking your bacon do it separately from this step then add in)

Transfer sausage mixture into the slow cooker.

Add in the chicken broth, potatoes, salt/pepper.

Cook on low for 5-6 hours.

Add in the chopped kale and heavy cream and stir until combined.

Cook an additional 45 minutes on low or until kale is tender.

Serve with grated parmesan and enjoy! We love to have this with crusty bread to dip into the soup! Yum!

15 Games Under $10!

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We are in uncertain time right now, but I firmly believe that we need to try and live our lives as normal as possible. I love to play games with the boys as it really is a great time to bond and to have fun in the midst of all that may be happening in our world. Here is a huge list of 15 games that I found on Amazon for under $10 each shipped to your door with Amazon Prime! (please note that these prices are current at the time of this post and prime shipping may take longer than the regular 2 day shipping period for this time)

Hasbro Jenga Octagon Game $7.78

Hasbro Connect 4 Game $7.88

Yahtzee $5.99

Jenga Mini $3.99

Clue $7.88

Guess Who? Classic Game $9.97

Sorry! Game $9.99

Connect Four $7.88

Trouble Game $7.88

Orangutwang Kids Game $9.99

Ants in the Pants $9.21

Don’t Spill the Beans $9.26

Boggle Classic Game $9.99

Like Ducks to Water $8.99

Let’s Go Fishin $9.99

+ so much more HERE!

3 Ingredient Lucky Charms Treats

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Do you need a fun and easy treat to make with the kiddos for St. Patrick’s Day? These 3 Ingredient Lucky Charms Treats are sure to be a winner! We make these quite often since they are gluten free!

Lucky Charms Treats 

Ingredients:

  • 10oz Bag Marshmallows 
  • 5 Cups Lucky Charms 
  • 3 Tablespoons Butter 

Instructions:

  1. In large pan melt butter over low heat. 
  2. Pour in the marshmallows & stir until completely melted. 
  3. Remove from heat.
  4. Add Lucky Charms.
  5. Stir until all Lucky Charms are coated in the marshmallow/butter mixture. 
  6. Pour into a greased baking pan or my favorite, silicone pan.
  7. Cool.
  8. Cut into 2 inch squares.
  9. Serve & enjoy! 

 

DIY: Kid’s Homemade Slime Recipe

(All posts may contain affiliate links and/or sponsored content. Please see my disclosure policy)

Are the kiddos driving you crazy? One thing that you can do to occupy their time is to make homemade slime! I recently did this with Brady and we had a blast! This recipe is super easy and literally takes less than 5 minutes to prepare.

Slime Ingredients:

8oz. of Glue. (I used 8oz. of  Elmer’s Glue-All – I would suggest buying a big container like this one to have it on hand)

1 TBSP of Baking soda

Your choice of food coloring

2 TBSP of Contact solution

Optional: You can add beads, glitter and any other fun items that you wish! Look HERE for some fun ideas.

 

Slime Directions: 

Place the 8oz. of glue into a bowl.

Add the baking soda and mix together.

Add food coloring until it is the desired color you prefer.

Add in the contact solution.

Mix together until a ball forms and the mixture becomes harder. The trick here is to keep adding contact solution if the slime is still too sticky to the touch. This cannot be any easier to prepare and it is very budget-friendly too!

Enjoy! Brady and I had so much fun making this!

 

Planning for the Future with Florida Prepaid College Plans

This post is sponsored by Florida Prepaid College Plans. Use Florida Prepaid College Plans promo code SWEET1920 to save on your application fee. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Please see my disclosure policy.

March is here, and that means spring is in the air! While many kids and parents are preparing for spring break, this is also a great time to think about opening a Florida Prepaid College Plan. Don’t forget that Open Enrollment is now through April 30, and you can use promo code SWEET1920 to save $25 off your enrollment fee!

With Florida Prepaid College Plans, you can start saving for your child’s college education early. In fact, did you know that many parents open a Florida Prepaid College Plan for their child when they are born? Not only is this a wise decision that will help your child to attend college with little or no cost, but it will also keep your child from going into debt with college loans. The average student loan debt is over $31,000. Think of how long that would take your child to pay off that debt! Wouldn’t it be amazing if your child could graduate from college debt free? It can be done thanks to help from Florida Prepaid College Plans!

I have decided that there are things in life I am willing to sacrifice so that my children can have a good education. Just think, if you gave up a cup of coffee or snack at your favorite coffee shop several times per week you could be putting that money towards a Florida Prepaid College Plan for your child! In fact, Florida Prepaid College Plans are the lowest price that they have been in over 5 years with plans starting at just $44 per month!

Florida Prepaid College Plans allows you to plan for your child’s future education without stressing and worrying about the details. They do it all for you! Simply pick the plan that fits into your savings goals and lock in the cost of college for less! You will get such peace of mind in knowing that your child’s future is covered. In addition, Florida Prepaid College Plans are  guaranteed by the State of Florida — you will never lose your investment.

Which Schools Accept Florida Prepaid College Plans?

One of the biggest concerns that I hear from many parents is not knowing which Florida Schools accept Florida Prepaid College Plans. The answer to this question is almost all of them! While Florida Prepaid Plans were designed to be used at in-state public institutions, the amount covered by the plan can also be used at technical and vocational schools. Both Florida Prepaid College Plans and Florida 529 Savings Plans benefits may be applied to any eligible educational institution, as defined in s. 529 of the Internal Revenue Code. See the entire list of schools by using the Federal School Code search through the U.S. Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid Office. I have the entire list for you below as to which Florida Colleges and Universities that accept Florida Prepaid Plans.

Florida Colleges and Universities that Accept Florida Prepaid College Plans:

  1. Broward College – Fort Lauderdale
  2. Chipola College – Marianna
  3. College of Central Florida – Ocala
  4. Daytona State College – Daytona Beach
  5. Eastern Florida State College – Cocoa
  6. Florida Gateway College – Lake City
  7. Florida Keys Community College – Key West
  8. Florida SouthWestern State College – Fort Myers
  9. Florida State College at Jacksonville – Jacksonville
  10. Gulf Coast State College – Panama City
  11. Hillsborough Community College – Tampa
  12. Indian River State College – Fort Pierce
  13. Lake-Sumter State College – Sumterville
  14. Miami Dade College – Miami
  15. North Florida Community College – Madison
  16. Northwest Florida State College – Niceville
  17. Palm Beach State College – Lake Worth
  18. Pasco-Hernando State College – New Port Richey
  19. Pensacola State College – Pensacola
  20. Polk State College – Winter Haven
  21. Santa Fe College – Gainesville
  22. Seminole State College – Sanford
  23. South Florida State College – Avon Park
  24. St. Petersburg College – St. Petersburg
  25. St. Johns River State College – Palatka
  26. State College of Florida – Manatee-Sarasota
  27. Tallahassee Community College – Tallahassee
  28. Valencia College – Orlando
  29. Florida A&M University – Tallahassee
  30. Florida Atlantic University – Boca Raton
  31. Florida Gulf Coast University – Fort Myers
  32. Florida International University – Miami
  33. Florida Polytechnic University – Lakeland
  34. Florida State University – Tallahassee
  35. New College of Florida – Sarasota
  36. University of Central Florida – Orlando
  37. University of Florida – Gainesville
  38. University of North Florida – Jacksonville
  39. University of South Florida – Tampa
  40. University of West Florida – Pensacola

Do Private Schools Accept Florida Prepaid College Plans?

The answer is YES! With your Florida Prepaid Plan, the value that you pay to the other schools is the same as they would have paid to a Florida school. Even if you save with a traditional Prepaid Plan and your child decides to attend private school, you can still use your plan, you are just responsible for the difference. This is so great to know! I think most people are under the impression that their child has to attend a state school with Florida Prepaid and that is simply not the case.

Can My Child Attend an Out of State School?

I have good news! Your Florida Prepaid College Plan travels too! The plan will pay the same amount as it would pay at a public college or university in Florida. Plus, if your child returns to a Florida school, the Plan qualifies them for in-state tuition. I would encourage you to check out the full list of these schools by using the Federal School Code Search through the U.S. Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid Office.

How Do I Get Started With Florida Prepaid College Plans?

Now that you know a little bit about which colleges and universities accept Florida Prepaid College Plans, you are ready to start saving for your child’s future! I realize that many people such as myself may be on a strict budget and don’t feel that they have the extra money to set aside towards a college fund for their children. Think again! My husband I personally love Florida Prepaid because they make saving for college easy, affordable and stress free! Florida Prepaid has plans for every budget.

I would suggest that you use the Florida Prepaid Pricing Tool. This tool is a fantastic resource that will help you calculate exactly how much your monthly payments will be for each plan. You simply enter the child’s date of birth and it will give you the monthly cost for each plan! See, I  told you that they make it super easy! There is NO reason to not invest!

When it comes to plan options, there are many different options available. May I suggest that if you are looking for a budget-friendly option that you start small with the 1-Year University Plan? This is the plan that we enrolled Brady with last year and I could not be more pleased. It is such a flexible option and even allows for different family members to purchase an additional year if they want to, adding up to 4 years! It is better to start small than not have anything at all. You can see the entire list of plans available HERE.

So, what are you waiting for? Join my family and the over 1 million other Florida families who have already invested with Florida Prepaid! When you invest in the gift of education, you are giving your children to the opportunity to be the leaders of tomorrow! I am so thankful for Florida Prepaid and we know that Brady has a wonderful future ahead of him thanks to help from our Florida Prepaid College Plan! Use promo code SWEET1920 to save $25 off your application fee. Open Enrollment is now through April 30.

Do you still have questions? Be sure to visit the Florida Prepaid College Plans FAQ question page HERE. In addition, I have several other posts HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE that may also help answer your questions!

Cream Cheese Chicken Pockets

If you are like our family, this March is packed full to the brim of sports, spring break and so much more. I love to have easy dinner options ready for those crazy days! This recipe for Cream Cheese Chicken Pockets always hits the spot for hubby and oldest son Drew!

This recipe is so easy and requires very few ingredients. It is absolutely delicious, and I promise you won’t be able to eat just one! They are so light fluffy and oh so decadent!

Cream Cheese Chicken Pockets 

Ingredients:

1 bag Tyson Fully Cooked Grilled Chicken Breast Strips, 12 oz. shredded

1 7oz. tub Arla Cream Cheese removed from package and softened in the microwave

2 8-count packages of crescent rolls

2 cups breadcrumbs

1 stick butter, melted

salt/pepper to taste

¼ tsp. garlic powder

¼ tsp. onion powder

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Place shredded chicken and softened cream cheese in a bowl.

Add in seasonings and mix until combined.

Unroll the crescent dough. Use 2 squares of dough to form your pocket. Place the chicken mixture inside the dough and fold over to form a “pocket”.

Dip the chicken pockets in the melted butter then into the breadcrumb mixture.

Place the pockets in a baking dish and bake until golden brown.

Serve with your favorite vegetable or salad and enjoy! My guys love this dish and ask for it quite frequently!

This recipe yields 8 big cream cheese pockets

Walgreens Photo: FREE 8×10 Photo Print + Free In-Store Pickup!

(All posts may contain affiliate links or sponsored content. Please see my disclosure policy)

I always love these photo freebies and they make nice and frugal gifts when you add an inexpensive frame! Through tomorrow March 3, Walgreens Photo is offering a Free 8×10 Photo Print + Free In-Store Pickup when you promo code FREEMARCH at checkout. Plus, choose Free in-store pickup to avoid shipping charges!

Please note that this offer is not available in-store or on the mobile app.

Mickey Mouse Personal Pizzas

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Does your family do pizza night? These Mickey Mouse Personal Pizzas are going to a be a fun addition to your weekly pizza festivities! They are super easy to make and everyone is sure to love them!

Mickey Mouse Personal Pizzas

Ingredients 

  • Mini Pizza Crusts
  • Pizza Sauce
  • Mozzarella Cheese
  • Pepperoni 
  • Mini Pepperoni 

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spread pizza sauce over the pizza crust.
  3. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.
  4. Take a pepperoni and two mini pepperoni and create Mickey heads all over the pizza.
  5. Place in the oven and cook for 8-10 minutes or until cheese is fully melted.
  6. Serve & enjoy!