Getting Our Finances Back on Track!

dollar-signs

Do you ever feel like you are going in 6 different directions getting very little done and yet exhausting yourself immensely in the process? This is how I have been feeling for basically the entire duration of 2014.

As I mentioned on the Coupon Geek Facebook Page last week I have been filling in as a teacher’s aide who was on medical leave and juggling maintaining running Coupon Geek in my “spare” time. This is why there have been days when the blog has been void of new posts or lacking in the normal quality of substance.

Well, I have come to the end of the school year and my job fulfillment is complete. It was the most eye-opening experience in so many ways–some of which I will share with you over time. But as I stepped back last month and took a good hard look at the state of our house and the path we were on financially, I decided it was time to get it to together so we can have more of a feeling of being back on the right path.

Over the past few weeks I have been outlining ways to save money and how to make the most of the money we have. I have had several heart-to-heart chats with my husband and we’ve been figuring out some short and long-term goals together. I have to say that while finances are not normally a fun topic to have we have had a great time sharing what we foresee our future to be and brainstorming together how we can make those things happen. Not only will I be sharing these money-saving ways with you but I’ll also be doing them along with you as I post them. Together we’ll be able to get organized and save some extra money!

The very reason the Coupon Geek site exists is because of the desire back in 2008 to share these types of ideas with family, friends and those of you that have chosen to follow us along the way. I feel that Coupon Geek was a much better resource back then and I am determined to make it everything it once was! So be prepared to jump in and get real with us and make the most of everything we are all blessed with on a daily basis.

I’m so eager to get this started but I must finish wrapping up a few things this week. So be sure to follow me via Facebook, Twitter and/or Email Newsletter so you won’t miss out.

Seasonal Savings: What’s In Season for June?

A great way to save money is to take advantage of seasonal savings. Time to take a look at what’s in season for your area for June. Be sure to check the What’s in Season Map to see what items you might not only be able to save money on but which tend to be the freshest. I often buy up extra in-season items to freeze for when the prices are higher. Several items freeze easily and can store flat in a Ziploc-type bag in your freezer.

Here’s what’s in Season for Illinois: (Check the map for your area)

asparagus
cabbage
cherries
eggplant
garlic
nectarines
okra
peas
rhubarb
strawberries

These are just some of the things you might see at a discounted price in the grocery stores and what you might find at most farmer’s markets right now. If you haven’t been to a farmer’s market yet, you can use Local Harvest to see if there’s one near you. Some of my favorite things to pick up at ours are eggs, honey, in-season veggies and some of the glorious bread items some of bakers have there.

Also, don’t forget that some Farmer’s Markets offer free activities/crafts for the kids–and sometimes free music. Ours has free music in the afternoon. We’ll pick up some fresh food and then sit and enjoy some free entertainment. It can be a great way to spend time with your family, do some free activities and enjoy some free music. I love that my kids are growing up meeting the people that grow some of our food.

What have you been finding seasonal savings on right now? (And it doesn’t have to be just food!)

What’s New?: Birds of Paradise DVD: Releasing Exclusively to Walmart on 4/1/14

There’s a new DVD called “Birds of Paradise” that will be releasing exclusively to Walmart stores on 4/1/14. The movie has several voice talents including: Drake Bell (TV’s “Drake & Josh), Ashley Tisdale (TV’s “High School Musical”), Ken Jeong (Despicable Me 2), Jane Lynch (TV’s “Glee”), Jon Lovitz (The Benchwarmers), Keith David (Free Birds) and Dallas Lovato (Snowflake And The White Gorilla).

The movie revolves around Jack, an ordinary sparrow that dreams of becoming something more. He is accidentally covered in colorful paint and believes he can now impress Aurora, a beautiful canary. Along the way, they’ll both learn that it’s not what you look like on the outside, but who you are on the inside that truly counts.

activity-sheet

You can download an activity sheet and watch the trailer for this movie.

And stay tuned as I’ll have a giveaway later this week for two readers to win a copy of this DVD!

What’s New? – Pinkalicious: Eggstraordinary Easter Book

eggsordinary-easter

I love to give my readers a “heads up” when I see new things that have been released fairly recently.

I noticed that there’s a newer Pinkalicious book called: Pinkalicious: Eggstraordinary Easter.

I wanted to share as I thought it would be adorable to make a Pinkalicious basket for someone–all full of pretty pink items.

Here are some of the more recent Pinkalicious books in case you missed them:

Pinkalicious: The Pinkamazing Storybook Collection

Pinkalicious and the Perfect Present (I Can Read Book 1)

Pinkalicious and the Cupcake Calamity (I Can Read Book 1)

Pinkalicious Cupcake Cookbook

Pinkalicious: Pink or Treat!

What’s New: Lea Michele’s “Louder” Album – Releases 3/3/14

louder

I know I have several readers that are Glee fans. I just wanted to mention that Lea Michele’s new album Louder will be releasing on 3/3/14.

You can pre-order the CD on Amazon for $11.88 and you’ll also get a MP3 version with it, as well.

There’s a heart-breaking song on this album called, “If You Say So” that’s a tribute to the late Cory Monteith.

What’s New? – Toy Story of Terror on 10/16/13 on ABC

toy-story-of-terror

Time for a “What’s New.” I just wanted to share this as I know there are a lot of Toy Story fans out there and if you are like me, you might not see too many commercials thanks to the invention of a DVR. I happened to see an ad for this while on vacation over the weekend.

ABC will premiere the next in the line of Toy Story flics – this time it’s just a 30 television special called Toy Story of Terror. It’s made by Disney-Pixar and has the same voices as the series, including Tom Hanks and Tim Allen as Woody and Buzz.

The show will air on ABC at 8/7c on Wednesday, October 16, 2013.

Hoping your Toy Story fans don’t miss it! Until then, you can check out the Toy Story of Terror Trailer on YouTube.

Seasonal Savings: What’s in Season for July

Hard to believe it’s already July but it’s a new month so it’s time to take another look at What’s In Season for July in your area. You can check out the What’s In Season Map to see what items you might not only be able to save money on but which tend to be the freshest. I often buy up extra in-season items to freeze for when the prices are higher. Several items freeze easily and can store flat in a Ziploc-type bag in your freezer.

Here’s what in Season for Illinois:

artichokes, blackberries, blueberries, cherries, eggplant, nectarines, okra, peaches, raspberries, rhubarb

Here’s a picture of the things I picked up at our local farmer’s market this last week:

farmers-market-july

I was so happy to see that our Farmer’s Market had lots of choices for blueberries and cherries this last week. We’ve been enjoying these all week as a snack, on our pancakes/waffles and in yogurt. You can use LocalHarvest.org to see if there’s a farmer’s market near you. You might also be able to find a pick-your-own farm where you can pick berries with your family. We do this every year. Not only is it a fun outing but we have amazing blueberries all year as we freeze a lot of what we pick. The kids ask to go every year now.

What is my favorite thing to get at the farmer’s market? Honey! You can’t beat it straight from them. Even the Organic/Natural ones I’ve found in the store don’t come close to the same taste. It’s nice to add to things like Greek yogurt, smoothies, teas, etc. My kids have come to love eating it right off the spoon for a little treat.

I hope you’ll take time to enjoy some in-season items this month!