Friday, November 23, 2012

Awesome resources: Money Saving Mom, Spark People

Each day I will post some useful, unique, poignant or otherwise interesting online find that either I use regularly or found helpful. Today, I am posting two that I use most often.

1) This blog is my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE! Her ideas have changed the way I think about many things, in particular grocery shopping, cooking and finances. There are so many good things to find here, on couponing, saving money, parenting, homeschooling, homemaking, business etc., that I cannot possibly list them all. I use her site each week when making my grocery list, daily to get free items online and learn of deals. I glean inspiration as a homemaker and minimalist and parent, and just generally love her practicality and efficiency.

Her site is the single most influential site when I began to want to live frugally. When I first went to her site I was spending $1,000 per month for a family of three with three cats at the grocery store. I now spend between $240 and $300 per month, again for a family of three and three animals. That's at the minimum, $8400 per year savings!! I'd say it's worth checking out since it's free!

2) Twice in my life I have had to lose 25 pounds, many other times just 5 or 10. I've done paid programs through and, and also read Larry North's Slimdown For Life book, but had just as much or more success with the FREE

I use it now every time I feel as though I've put on a few pounds (when my pants don't fit right anymore) since I don't EVER want to have to lose 25 again, and it helps me each and every time. The last time I needed to lose 25 it took me, honest to goodness, five years to get that off and keep it off. Five pounds per year for five years. Wow, talk about losing slowly! But it was through Sparkpeople that I took those pounds off and kept them from creeping back on. It can be simple and easy - all I do is enter what I eat every day (super easy using their database) and occasionally look at recipe and exercise articles - or it can be more involved with weight loss blogs, inspirational stories, message boards etc. If you don't need to necessarily lose weight, it is also good to help develop a more healthful and well-rounded eating habit as it tracks your protein, carbohydrates, fat and calories. I love knowing that I'm keeping in balance and becoming aware of what my habits are!

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