Curly’s older cousin, Moe, gave her a Tshirt recently that is bright yellow with a hot pink graphic on the front that reads, “My Mom Rocks!” (I’d post a pic, but it’s in the dirty laundry at the moment…) I read it to her the first time she wore it, and now every time she puts it on, she says proudly “My Mom Rocks!” and does a little happy dance. I don’t even pay her to do that – somehow she just knows!
One great thing about moms – among the myriad of great things about moms – is how most of us are on the lookout for the best deal, the best product, the best program, the best idea for our families. That is not to say that dads don’t – but I think moms (or at least the moms I know) are always looking to get the most of something for the least (time, money, effort, etc) ! Call it opportunistic, call it clever – Moms are very resourceful and the world wide web certainly showcases their skills!
Since most moms are looking for ways to save money and time, there are a plethora of websites (I love the word Plethora) offering advice and help to meet this growing need. It just so happens that several of these sites are organized by one or two or several moms who put their heads together and came up with some amazing ideas:
Once a Month Mom. This blog is designed to teach anyone how to cook only ONCE each month! Can you imagine? The idea is to get with a friend and spend one day cooking meals together that will last for a month. With pre-made menu plans, recipes, and shopping lists – these two moms really make it sound possible! I’ve copied some of their recipes to try because they sound so yummy – and they even offer recipes for making baby food. Not only that, but they have a lot of posts linking to online coupons and savings for your shopping needs! Because meals are already prepped, it’s easy to just pull one from the freezer to thaw for dinner, and the idea is that you’re less likely to spontaneously splurge on dinner out (which can cost so much more than cooking at home!) I am starting off slowly – partially because I have a fairly small freezer, but I am looking to move to cooking only twice a month on a regular basis in the next few months.
Do you Coupon? My mom is a serious Coupon Queen! I have been slower to get on that bandwagon, but I’ve been signing up with several free coupon vendors lately and finding some great coupons on things I normally buy. Most of these coupon sites have been linked from great Mommy Blogs focusing on saving money, living frugal and being thrifty! Some of these coupons are available to print from online, some offer coupons for groceries and other items, and at some you can find coupons and you can enter your shopping card information (e.g. Kroger Plus Card) for special coupons & savings at your favorite stores. Then, there are communities (Like the Consumer Queen Message Boards or the Coupon Cupboard Coupon Forum) where members share their expertise in finding the best deals and savings (seriously – one gal bought over 100 boxes of cereal for only $10!!!) and share links to great coupon finds. There are coupon sites like Coupon Suzy (free registration) and The Grocery Game (small membership fee) that also offer tons of savings! Are YOU a coupon expert? Feel free to share great coupon websites or blogs in the comment section!
For all of you gardening types – this website has really inspired me. You Grow Girl is just BEAUTIFUL – and if you need advice or tips for gardening (of any kind) this is a great resource to have. Urban and back yard gardening is making a serious comeback as people are looking to eat better and save money. If you need any help getting started (or expanding your garden) , this site has a lot to offer!
Are you interested in locally grown produce but don’t know how to find it? Check out Local Harvest. After searching on their website, I was thrilled to discover several small family-owned farms nearby that I was only vaguely familiar with (in that – “oh look, they have a farm” kind of way). Not just for fresh, organic produce, but also for eggs, dairy, meat, and more – if you want to save money and support local business, plug in your info and see what you can find. (If you’re looking for heirloom seeds for your garden, they have some recommendations there, as well!)
Moms Budget. This is a site I visited recently for some printables – that I bookmarked to spend more time with later. Tips to manage cooking, cleaning, bills & expenses, as well as health & beauty, recipes, and more, this is a site loaded with information to help any mom with just about any thing.
5 Minutes for Mom. This site by and for moms, which recently featured the Ultimate Blog Party 2009, has so much to offer you really have to visit it yourself. Giveaways, contests, a blog directory, practical tips for just about everything you can think of and several different newsletters – it’s a website worth visiting and subscribing to for a number of reasons. Janice & Susan, twin WAH Moms, built this website to showcase and support moms of all kinds. Resources for working at home, parenting tips, links to mom-owned stores – seriously, I couldn’t list everything they have to offer. So hop on over and check it out for yourself!
Food Storage Made Easy. So you’ve done your shopping with coupons, bought local produce, tried some new recipes, and you just want to do more? This is a blog by 2 moms who are attempting to store a full year’s worth of food as part of an emergency preparedness plan. This takes some serious thought! While I’m not sure I could manage a full year’s supply, for us even an extra month’s supply could be helpful. I don’t think it’s entirely out of the question that in times like these, we should think about being prepared for any kind of emergency, and having even a few weeks’ supply of food stored would be beneficial. This site is FULL of information that can guide you into having a plan for an unexpected event. You can sign up for their newsletter, which delivers a series of “Baby Steps” guiding you into the process of storing food long term. They are also having a giveaway these steps in a new All-in-One Binder – you can enter by clicking on the logo below:
Hopefully you can find something useful at one or more of these sites. If you’re looking for something specific and can’t find it – feel free to leave a comment or contact me and I will see what I can find.
Until next time,