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If you’re new here, welcome! Let me help you get started. These are the main categories here at MoneywiseMoms:

Family Finance

I blog daily about strategies for family finance and frugality so you can balance your family budget. Here are the top 10 Ways I Make Money and the top 10 Ways I Save Money. You can do all of these, and my goal in 2011 is to go in-depth on those topics so beginners understand how to use the strategies. If you haven’t yet, think about setting your financial goals with your spouse or partner. I review ours quarterly here on the blog, so you can see how it’s going.

Home Cooking

I’ve covered lots of ways to save money in the kitchen. You can browse my family’s favorite recipes, see my How-To Video on meal planning, and learn how to shop smart when you’re on a special diet. I eat gluten-free, and you’ll find those posts and recipes marked with the tag GF.

Around the House

As a busy mom, I rely on these systems for mom survival that help me get through the days with three kids. I went through a DIY phase in 2009 and plan to get back to crafts and decorating once my twins go to kindergarten in fall 2011. There are lots of house projects to be done! In the meantime, see my simple suggestions for organizing to make life easier.

Frugal Fun

Each month, I share lots of ways to reduce your family’s entertainment expenses. No matter what your family is into, there are lots of options:

There’s lots to read! I also love hearing your questions and comments, so feel free to contact me through email or join the conversation on my Facebook page. Thanks for stopping by MoneywiseMoms!

Friday Finds 7/30

It’s the end of July! For some of you, that means school is starting in the next few weeks, but we’re looking at a big empty month (and that’s a GOOD thing). I’m excited to finally take advantage of all those freebie Summer Fun ideas, and my son wants to go back to Home Depot and Lowe’s now that our Saturday mornings are free of swim meets. Here are this week’s finds:

  • Today and tomorrow (Saturday), you can get $2.00 Camis at Old Navy with this printable coupon. The limit is five per person. Thanks, MomsNeedtoKnow
  • Staples has two printable coupons out that are good through tomorrow (Saturday): 20% any one item or 15% off your entire purchase.
  • I love this idea from MoneySavingMom: creative uses for those plastic pencil holder boxes that are on sale during back to school shopping. Check out the first aid kit and more. Great ideas!
  • Spend just $2.00 for a $25 certificate from Restaurant.com* with code PLATE through Saturday, July 31st. I bought one for ZPizza because I’ve been wanting to try their gluten-free pizza crust.
  • Remember that you can get a sneak peek at this Sunday’s coupon inserts over at Sunday Coupon Preview.* 
  • Speaking of coupons, it’s the end of the month, so it’s your last chance to print Coupons.com* coupons before they change over on Monday.

Hope you have a great weekend!

    *Disclosure: This is an affiliate link. Thanks for supporting MoneywiseMoms at no cost to you!

    Summer Fun Recap 2010

    Have you been spending more time in the pool than out? We have! But once a few thunderstorm days sideline you and the kids, you’ll be looking for some new things to do. Remember that there are SO many activities out there to entertain the kids that don’t cost much, if anything. Check out your local newspaper and library for information about free concerts, puppet shows, and special events. Here is a recap of the nationwide programs I’ve shared in the past month or two:

    1. Free and Low-cost Kid Movies: Theaters all over the country are offering free or $1.00 movies, usually on weekdays around 10:00am. Look for your local theater chain in my big list of participating theaters, and see what’s on the schedule.
    2. Summer Reading Programs: We’ve already completed our local library’s program, which set us up with a booklet of coupons for free ice cream, free admission to area waterparks, and more. Next we’ll tackle Barnes & Noble’s and Borders’ programs, which rewards the kids with a new book when completed. If you have a Half-Price Books near you, kids can get a new book each week!
    3. Home Depot and Lowe’s Kids Workshops: Saturday mornings, kids can create with wood and tools at your local Home Depot and Lowe’s in these great FREE programs. Projects are best for kids ages 5-12, and you need to register online for Lowe’s. I post reminders for these the Tuesday before each workshop.
    4. Free Craft Projects: Every Saturday from 11:00-3:00, Lakeshore Learning Stores offers FREE craft projects for ages 3 and up. Their summer-themed projects look like a lot of fun! Michael’s Arts & Crafts offers FREE projects on selected Saturdays. Check your local store’s “Events” page for details.
    5. Free Bowling: The Kids Bowl Free Program lets you register each child for 2 FREE games per day, all summer, and you can bowl along with your kids for a reduced price.
    6. Free Museum Admission: Several programs are offering FREE museum admission to your favorite aquariums, children’s museums, science museum’s and historical venues. Bank of America’s Museums on Us program gives cardholders (but not the kids) FREE admission, and Target Arts & Wonder offers FREE or $1 admission to museums on certain days of the month. The Blue Star Program gives military families FREE admission all summer to great museums nationwide.
    7. The Great Outdoors: Plan a family trip to a historical site for FREE the weekend of August 14-15th, and you can walk, hike, picnic, and explore with the whole family. Check the U.S. National Park Service’s list of over 100 parks offering free admission (and the other 392 who are FREE every day). REI offers a Family Adventure Program; you can download and print a kids’ journal, then check out their suggestions for hiking and biking trails. Once completed, kids return the journal for a certificate of completion.
    8. Free Busch Gardens Tickets: VA and FL residents can register their children 5 and under for a Preschool Pass for unlimited FREE admission (through summer for VA, December for FL). Parents can buy a specially-priced pass to accompany the kids.

    By packing your own lunches, snacks, and drinks, you can keep outings from busting your budget. Enjoy these long summer days with your kids, while you can!