The Ultimate Black Friday Cheat Sheet 2015



Be sure to take advantage of this free list to help make your Black Friday shopping easier! To print the list, you’ll need to use either Safari or Internet Explorer as your internet browser. (I wasn’t able to print it in Chrome.) Hope that helps!

I am so (sooooooo) excited to share this with you! If you’re like me and overwhelmed trying to keep up with who has the best prices on what this Black Friday, this is for you.


In one quick and easy document, here is a huge list (HUGE, folks I’m telling you ~ HUGE) with all the best prices on top selling Black Friday items including tablets, televisions, video gaming systems, video games, printers, appliances, housewares and so. much. more. The list is still being updated as more stores Black Friday ads come out, so keep checking back over the next few weeks to plan your trip well.

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Because Amazon doesn’t offer a traditional sales ad, I’ll continually update those like I normally do, as well as highlight any awesome deals that I see as well. But, I wanted to give you this guide to keep you on top of things! Bookmark this page, print it (although it will be a lot to print?), or keep it handy on your phone so you know exactly where to find those best prices.



Go HERE to access it, and let me know what you think. I hope this makes surviving the Holiday season a little simpler in your home, so you can enjoy the things that matter most this Christmas!


Kohl's 7-Piececomforter sets

And don’t miss all the great deals going on at Kohl’s Black Friday deals that have already started online: 



blackfridayshoppingLooking for more Black Friday Shopping tips? Go HERE to check out these 10 Secrets You Need to Know about Black Friday Shopping 



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10 Secrets You Need To Know About Black Friday Shopping


Good gracious folks, Black Friday is just 3 weeks away from today (crazy!) So, to get you ready I thought I’d put together my most important tips for shopping Black Friday well.




(Nope, me neither, but we’re going to tackle it anyways.) :) Let’s get started.


1. Many stores offer a few “Black Friday deals” all month long . . . 

. . . and honestly, they go in full force on many online sites the Sunday and Monday before Black Friday. Kohl’s came out with their big door busters last year Sunday night, so my bet is that will happen again this year, and online retailers everywhere will start offering great prices.


For most deals though, you really don’t need to leave your home at all, so be sure to watch PPP for the very best deals each day. (You can even sign up for once daily updates, delivered to your inbox over HERE.)


Do know that many of these deals go quickly, so you’ll want to visit a few times throughout the day and follow on Facebook as well to keep up.


To take advantage of Amazon deals, sign up for a free month of Amazon Prime if you haven’t tried them out before ~ you’ll get free shipping on everything you order for the entire month! 


2. Newer Apple products don’t often go on sale at deeply discounted prices.

You may see a few discounts on iPads and iPhones, but don’t expect seriously deeply discounted prices (if you find savings of $50 – $100 off you’ve done pretty well.)

ipad Mini

However, Walmart already has their iPad Mini2 on sale for $199 right now, which is a pretty incredible price. Because it’s not the newest model you’re getting some significant savings, so watch for discounts on older model Apple products is definitely a great way to save Black Friday.


(Amazon does usually offer incredible deals on Kindle products though this month, and have already started discounting their Kindles for Amazon Prime Members!)

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3. Televisions are great to buy on Black Friday.

One of the best times of year to buy televisions is Black Friday, but if you’re not in a hurry you may want to wait until the Super Bowl to purchase one in January.  If you’re looking for a higher end television you probably want to wait for January, however the Black Friday deals on smaller TVs usually can’t be beat.


. . . and video game savings are huge on Black Friday as well.

There are a ton of video game and video game console deals that come out on Black Friday and Cyber Monday as well. However, those deals are already starting on some sites now, so watch the price of the game and console you’re looking for to guarantee the best price.


A peek at last year’s Kohl’s Black Friday deals

4. Buy all your kitchen gadgets on Black Friday.

Kitchen gadget savings will be huge on Black Friday and really throughout Black Friday “week” and Cyber week too. 


So what kind of items to watch for? Usually we’ll see the best prices of the year on Kitchenaid Mixers, Ninja Blenders, Cookware, Pyrex Sets, and just about anything else you’ll need in the kitchen. These are usually my favorite deals of the Holidays, so I’ll be watching right with you!

5. These stores are just a few that offer price matching.
  • Walmart
  • Target
  • Best Buy
  • Lowe’s
  • Staples
  • The Home Depot
  • Bed Bath & Beyond
  • Sears
  • Toys R Us

Take advantage of price matching at several stores to get a great price, in case the item you’re looking for isn’t in stock at your store. If you can bring proof of the price in a physical ad to show to your cashier. (Although most will accept these ads from your Smartphone, having the real ad in hand may make price matching even easier.)

Remember that on some special Black Friday deals retailers may not price match all the deeply discounted deals stores have to offer. To find out if another store is price matching a specific Black Friday ad, call ahead and ask your store management.

6. Don’t forget that many stores also offer price adjustments.

If you purchase an item in a store within a few weeks of a better price during Black Friday sales, check to see if your store offers a price adjustment. While all stores won’t offer that (especially if they have deeply discounted items on Black Friday), it never hurts to (nicely!) ask. Make a quick call to your store to see what they offer.


7. Stores offer huge loss leaders to get you in the door on Black Friday.

Most stores offer a limited number of “loss leaders” which really are your best deals. Stores like Amazon and Walmart tend to also offer these deals in the wee hours of the morning on Black Friday, so keep up with PPP as we’ll be here bright and early working to get you the very best deals.


8. Don’t forget the drug stores.

Y’all, my favorite Black Friday shopping ever happens at the drug stores, and what I love is that they typically are best on Thanksgiving morning. Now, I am not one who likes the idea of stores being open on Thanksgiving at all, but because the drug stores supply their customers with needed medications they really do need to be open to serve those in need.

CVS actually offers their new Black Friday ad at 6PM the night before Thanksgiving at any stores that AREN’T open 24 hours, so if you want to sneak in early you can save big and beat the crowds. I go first thing on Thanksgiving morning before my family is awake, then and home and ready to help with Thanksgiving cooking by 9AM. To see what Black Friday looked like at CVS in 2014, go HERE.

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9. Some “doorbusters” just aren’t worth it.

Some deals are fantastic on Black Friday, however some tend to be lower quality items that really aren’t worth it. Make sure that what you purchase is really what you want, and you’re not just picking up something quickly to get a deal that you didn’t really need in the first place. (Read more HERE.)



10. Keep up with PPP for all the very best deals this Christmas season.

Sign up for PPP text alerts and daily emails to get the best deals, not just on Black Friday but throughout the Christmas season. We’ve got a big surprise that’s going to help you out a ton coming out this Monday, and the whole PPP team is working hard to make sure you never miss a deal.


 Here’s how to sign up for free text alerts: 

  • Text Follow ppphotdeals to 40404
  • You’ll receive a message from Twitter that says “want to tweet? Welcome to Twitter! You’re now following @ppphotdeals and you’ll receive your Tweents on  your phone. (Std msg rates apply. Reply w/HELP for more.)
  • To STOP getting updates, just text Off ppphotdeals to 40404


So there you have it, my top 10 tips! I’d love to hear what other thoughts you have on Black Friday shopping too. I’ll be right here behind my computer bright and early on Black Friday (and the days prior to Thanksgiving as well), so be ready to save big this year!


Looking for more tips on how to save at your favorite retail stores? Here you go:

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6 Things You Need to Do Before Christmas Shopping

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Okie dokie folks, time for a little heart-to-heart about that fantabulous (don’t you love my new word?) Holiday just around the corner. . . Christmas. Grab a cup of coffee and a piece of Halloween candy, curl up on your sofa, and let’s just pretend we’re having a chat face to face about how we’re going to handle this one.


In just a few days, the deals are going to be flying fast and furiously at you (including quite possibly a few hundred here on PPP ~ yikes!), so I want you to be prepared. I promise you’ll see deals on Legos and Powerwheels and Kindles and Barbies and just about anything you could ever imagine anyone on your gift list will ever need.


But that doesn’t mean you have to buy them.


Because the deals are out there, my job is to make sure you see the best of everything, and find you as many awesome deals as I can.  However, I do not want you to purchase a single item that you do not need or cannot pay for even if it’s a dealDid you hear me??? I mean it.


So, how do you know where to start with Christmas shopping? Here are six things you need to do before Christmas shopping:


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1. Consider the 4 gift plan that my friend Lynette uses.

I. love. this. Honestly, we didn’t start this when my kids were younger, and I kind of wish we had. Back then our budget was pretty tight throughout the year, and Christmas was our time to “splurge” (within our budget) so we bought kids extra clothes they needed, along with fun toys and more.

However, they get a ton of gifts from family, and I think this is a really (really) smart concept to start when your children are young. If you’re new to this idea, see how Lynette breaks it down over HERE. 

2. Set a Christmas budget meeting with your spouse & decide your Christmas budget.

I cannot tell you how very, very, very important this one is, but trust me on this. To make January 2016 happier in your home, you have got to sit down and talk about what you both really want Christmas to look like, and who’s going to purchase which gifts for who.

While my husband and I have always had a Christmas budget, inevitably we both struggle with keeping to our lists (~ahem~). However by going over the plan beforehand it just keeps us working together throughout the frazzled Christmas season.


Set up a budget “date” night and determine exactly how much money you have to spend on Christmas and what to purchase for every single person on your list. (Be sure to include a budget for shipping and gift wrap – those expenses can really add up!)

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Not sure where to start? There are some fantastic free printable gift lists you can print (I like this one and this one and this one), or even use an app like Santa’s Bag to keep track of your list.

Make sure to have a general idea of what the items on your list should cost, and then watch for any deeply discounted savings. In the next few weeks we’ll be rolling out some Black Friday price comparison sheets, so know those “hot ticket” items on your list and watch for savings on them. I really believe just about everything goes on sale during the Christmas season, so be patient and watch for a deal!

3. Decide how you’re going to Christmas shop.

Do you love Black Friday shopping? Is online shopping for you? Whatever you choose, have a general idea of how you’re going to tackle Christmas gift purchasing before you’re bombarded with Christmas deals.

I do about 90% of Christmas shopping online because I’m already here watching deals every day. (Sign up for free daily emails from me with those deals delivered to your inbox every day over HERE.)

While there are some great in-store offers to be had, I’ve found that with all the free shipping and codes available through the Christmas season I can get some incredible deals while shopping in my pjs. Decide what you want Christmas shopping to look like for you, and plan ahead so you’re not stuck at the last minute wondering the best way to get whatever you need.

4. Set a plan for how you’re going to spend.

Using cash will definitely help maintain control of your spending over the holidays, however I know that can be difficult when so many deals are available online. If you shop online, put your budgeted amount into your checking account and use a debit card, and remember to keep a detailed list near your computer so you don’t miss what you’ve spent.

If you absolutely are set on using a credit card to earn points or for other reasons, be sure to write down every single purchase on your list so that you don’t over-spend. As we all know, those credit cards can be a HUGE budget buster!

5. Anticipate how you’ll spend your “savings”. (This is a bone of contention in our home!)

My hubby is one incredibly passionate penny pincher, so he feels that if we get a great deal on an item, those savings should not be spent during the Christmas season. However, I always want to spend the full amount on each person that I budget on my list, so if I find a great deal I’ll buy them more great deals! This is not the greatest way to spend my savings, but we have so many people purchase for our family who are incredibly generous. (And I want to be generous right back!)

However, if your budget is tight this Christmas, don’t spend those savings on more Christmas gifts. Instead, put it right into a savings account. (Wouldn’t it be fun to fund a savings account with extra Christmas spending money because of your penny pinched deals?)

6. Plan what you’ll spend to give to those in need.

A few years ago I shared how just about felt gived out by the time December was over. I realized that much of this was because while I happily said yes to every place to donate early in the Holiday season, by the middle of December I was done: and so was my budget.

Since then my husband and I have an honest discussion about what we want to give together so that we can choose to give to those that we both feel most passionate about. (To see more on giving over the holidays, check out The Advent Conspiracy.)

Ultimately, decide that Christmas is about more than just oodles of gifts under the tree.

I love Christmas presents. 

I love spoiling my kids with fun surprises on Christmas morning.

I am so not against that fun and completely know how magical that time can be.


The gifts are just the icing on Christmas, not the whole cake. Christmas for us is the cooking and baking and decorating and all the wonderful things rolled up into this one just beautiful season.

It’s the giving and music and lights and Silent Night and just the wonder of this special time of year. If you haven’t already, create special Christmas traditions that make Christmas even more precious to your family, no matter the gifts under the tree. Give to someone in need, decorate cookies as a family and let Christmas gifting just be the fun Christmas topper on top of your Christmas tree.


I hope you’ll find some deals here on PPP, and my promise to you is that I’ll only post items I see at their lowest prices or so close to that pricing that I don’t want you to miss it. But, I do not want you to spend one single penny on things that you have absolutely no business buying.

Got that? :) 


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Go get your kids ready for a few days of Halloween festivities, enjoy an extra piece of chocolate for me, and watch for the online deals to go a wee bit crazy here over the next few weeks. But, in the midst of it all, take a deep breath, determine to stay really focused on only what you need to purchase (and even more focused on what this season is all about), and choose to enjoy every bit of the Christmas season as it races its way towards us.

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Can You Shop Aldi Only? How To Make Aldi Your One Stop Store


Could you shop Aldi only? I shop Aldi occasionally for produce, milk, spices and eggs, but have never gone to the store expecting to buy my entire grocery list there.


However, yesterday when I was shopping I noticed that they really do have everything. And the because they don’t have so much of everything (for example 101 types of cereal in the cereal aisle like our local Kroger and Meijer do . . . ) I can get in and out without spending hours perusing the aisles.


As a busy mom, spending way too long at the grocery store drives me nuts, and I love that Aldi is small enough that I can quickly get in and out of the store. And, if I forget an item at the checkout lane it doesn’t take me too long to run back through the store to get what I missed.


So I started looking closely and questioning if you could buy absolutely everything there? Here are the things I noticed . . .

Aldi has an abundance of snacks, including gluten free options. They also carry Pepperidge Farm Goldfish (priced at $1.85 – I usually only buy them on sale at Kroger for $.99, so that’s pretty pricey for me but their store brand is priced at $1.49 per package at least?)


Aldi has tons of baking products. I tried to see if there was anything they were missing, but couldn’t find anything  we would need that wasn’t there. They have olive oil (for just $2.99!), real vanilla, cooking spray and spices.

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I tested their Aldi brand semi sweet morsels (for research purposes of course . . . you’re welcome.), and honestly they taste almost identical to Nestle Morsels. At $1.79 per bag that’s a pretty incredible price (they rarely go below $2 at the grocery store), so I may switch over to buying them completely. (Which is saying something, I’m pretty picky when it comes to chocolate chip cookies!)


Aldi has a  huge selection of bread products. I was shocked at the price of English Muffins there – I’ve paid as much as $3 for them at the local grocery store, but Aldi had them for just $.99!

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They also have gluten free items, and be sure to watch for discounts on bread as well. My store had a huge bin of discounted bread for $.25 per loaf (several different types, including whole wheat and low calorie breads, which was all incredibly fresh when I checked it.) I asked the cashier about it and he said their policy is to not let it get closer than 5 days out from their sell by date, so definitely watch for those deals when you’re there!


Aldi has a huge selection of dairy products, including eggs, milk, cream cheese, real butter, and even coffee creamer. The best price I noticed was on their store brand cheddar cheese (16 oz. for $3.29), and I’m pretty sure you could find everything your family would need when you’re there.

The toughest one for me to buy of course at Aldi is . . . meat. I have never bought meat at Aldi (I’m just funny about that!), but when I asked my cashier he shared that most of their chicken comes from the Tyson distributor, and even looking at the packages they had Butterball Turkeys and Appleton Farms Hams. The prices were decent (although I have seen better prices occasionally on sale at my local grocery store), and Aldi allows you to return items if you’re not pleased with them so their meat might just be worth trying out.


(I’ve had several friends buy meat at Aldi and they’ve been pleased with their meat ~ I’d love to hear your thoughts if you’ve purchased meat there!)


Aldi has paper products and cleaning supplies, however you won’t find the jillion items you might see at a larger grocery store. We’re almost out of toilet paper (gasp!) so I bought some of their store brand TP and while I don’t love it quite as much as Quilted Northern, it wasn’t too bad. :)


They do carry some name brands (like Tide laundry detergent), but the price on that at Aldi is high. If you love name brand items at all I wouldn’t recommend shopping Aldi because even though they carry a few of those items they just don’t have great prices on them, but if you’re willing to try Aldi store brands you can easily save!

Aldi also has pet food, a few pet treats, and kitty litter. I had no idea they carried pet supplies at all, but my dog loved the treats I brought him home yesterday. :)
Aldi does carry a very small selection of toiletries, including personal care items, shampoo, and soap. I also noticed sunscreen, razors and even batteries, so you might really be able to make Aldi your one stop shop!


When I asked the cashier about things he’s heard people complain about missing at Aldi he mentioned shaving gel and bug spray ~ so you might have to head to another store every once in awhile. But, as I went through the store I realized they really do have just about everything we use (just packaged as Aldi brands), so I’m seriously considering trying a month to see how switching would effect our grocery budget.


I won’t try to make the switch until January (the grocery store sales during November and December are too good to miss!), but maybe we’ll try out a January-Aldi-Only-Challenge here in 2016. Anyone wanna join me? :)


If you shop only Aldi I’d love to hear your thoughts, and I’d love to know how you’ve saved by shopping there. Leave a comment to share ~ I love hearing from you!


Looking for more about shopping Aldi? Don’t miss these posts!


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The Once A Month Grocery Shopping Experiment Week 4: I Finally Did It!


After failing a bit last week at our once a month grocery shopping experiment, I’m thrilled that this week was a success! I went to the store just once, and spent just $13.80, well under my budgeted weekly bill of $25 that I’d planned during this month for weekly “extras” like produce and milk that just wouldn’t last the full month.

(Read more on my month long plan over HERE)



Here’s what our totals look like so far this month: 


I am planning to head to Fresh Thyme Market this Wednesday to stock up on more produce (they have watermelons for $2 – love that!) I’m also hoping for a decent sale on chicken, because honestly as long as we have chicken at home (we have completely depleted our stockpile), I think we could go another week or two for the most part just cooking up what’s in the kitchen.


I have missed a few sales and may swing by Kroger over the weekend to stock up on those, but in all honesty feel like we’ve spent so much less by having a better monthly plan in place prior to shopping. If you’ve been working to cut your grocery budget I’d love to hear what you’re doing too – leave a comment to share your thoughts!


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The Once A Month Grocery Shopping Experiment Update 3: I Failed.



Sooooo . . .


I kinda failed yesterday.


Yup, yes I did.


I made my shopping list, then took a peek at the Kroger ad (added a ton of Kroger digital coupons to my card), and headed to the store with my cute 8 year old in tow.


Um, we didn’t fair too well on the Once a Month Grocery Shopping Experiment when we shopped.




Here’s why.


There were a ton of things on sale at pretty incredible prices using just Kroger ecoupons, and while I did pass over quite a few deals, there were several that seemed to jump right on into my cart. Y’all remember that we moved to Ohio a year ago, and being a girl who’s lived mostly in the South her entire life the thought of shopping in the wintertime just makes my stomach turn. So, I stocked up on a few things that were just too good to pass up (because really, winter’s coming soon?), and went over budget.




(See how I’m about to justify this trip?)


We are way under budget for the month on food so far. By purchasing most of our groceries at the beginning of the month, I can easily make dinner without an extra trip to the store, so we’ve eaten more meals at home than we normally would have and saved by not making extra trips to the store.




Here’s what I bought for $48.71 . . . 


And here’s what we’re donating to our local food pantry . . .


I just couldn’t pass by the All Detergent for $1.99 (with just an e coupon ~ yay!), and my kids love having muffins for breakfast in the winter. Because I still don’t have a printer connected at home (so hoping that will be done in the next week), I really wanted to take advantage of the great ecoupon offers while they were available.


Here’s what our totals look like so far this month: 


Honestly we are still a little low on produce, but I’d really like to wait until Wednesday when the new Fresh Thyme ad pops up. (Don’t forget Sprouts & Fresh Thyme offer double ad Wednesdays which makes for a ton of great produce savings.) And our kitchen is still packed with plenty of meals to cook, so I’m really thinking produce and milk will be all we’ll need next week (and possibly the rest of the month if we plan things right!)


If I can keep our grocery expenses under $400 for the month of August (which seems very doable to me right now), that comes out to $100 per week for 5 people including a teen and tweenager. So, it may not be perfect but I’m still pleased with it!


Like I shared last week, even if your grocery budget doesn’t look exactly the way you’d hoped, even small steps are progress. While I didn’t stick perfectly to my goal this week, we did much better than we normally do and have definitely shaved some moo-lah off of our grocery bill for the month. If you’ve been working to lower your grocery budget, try determining the number you want to spend and then working to shave off a few dollars each month to reach your goal!


Our pantry, fridge and freezer are still well stocked with plenty of food, and I really think I may be able to lower our bill even further next weekend. So far I really do love the idea of shopping this way, and can’t wait to see where our totals end up at the end of this month!  If you’ve tried grocery shopping like this before, I’d love for you to leave a comment and share how it’s worked for you.


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The 5 Day Teen (Or Tween) Budget Challenge Update


I’ve been meaning to update you all week on how the 5 Day Tween Budget Challenge went in our home, and goodness I learned so much! My daughter Caroline did a great job handling her budgeted money (she was highly motivated because she knew anything she saved would be hers to keep.) Here’s how she did:


  • Tuesday – $2.25 at Family Dollar
  • Wednesday – $49.03 at Kroger and Sam’s Club (she cooked Chicken Pot Pie for dinner)
  • Thursday – $0 (she made pizza for dinner)
  • Friday – $15 at Panera (the kids had a babysitter while I worked during the day, and decided to go out to lunch with the sitter), Caroline cooked breakfast for dinner
  • Saturday – $28 for lunch at Culver’s (at her dad and brother’s request)
  • Total = $94.28 (which included a few splurges ~ she could have done it for less and I think would have if she hadn’t had a little peer pressure from her family!) :)

Do you know what I learned from this experiment?


Your kids are watching you.




My kid is watching me.


I wish you could have seen my surprise when Caroline walked into my office on Thursday morning and asked for my Kroger password so that she could login and check out their e-coupons.


And every time she went anywhere she checked our Entertainment and Enjoy the City Coupon Books to see if there was a deal or two there.


And while she was making dinner, she set the table, tidied up the kitchen, and had everyone wash their hands before heading in to eat.


Just like I do.


That girl is watching me.




As our kids are getting older (and probably because of the business that I run here on PPP), we talk (a lot) about our finances. But, giving them real access to how money works is new to them, so this has been a huge eye opener for our children. Even yesterday when shopping with my 15 year old, I realized he’s soaking it all in. (The thought of spending $25 on a t-shirt to him was crazy ~ he even made the comment that Goodwill is the best place to shop – ha!)


No matter where you are in your finances, your kids are not going to start out with what you have, so teaching them now how to handle their money can shape their financial future forever. I’ll keep you posted on how my son does on the challenge (I’m curious to see myself), but definitely recommend handing your kids the reigns on your family’s budget for a few days if they’re old enough so they can learn under your guidance at home.

New to budgeting and don’t know where to begin? Here are a few posts to you get started:


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How To Slow Your Spending With One Simple Step


Ever struggle with the temptation to purchase something on a whim?


You’re not alone.


However, this one simple step might just transform the way you spend.


Every single time you’re considering purchasing an item.


*Every time.*


Ask yourself:


In one year, will I be glad I purchased this?


In one year, will I be glad I spent these few dollars at the Dollar Tree?


In one year, will it matter that I splurged on more expensive meat at the grocery when another cut was on sale?


In one year, will I be happier because this t-shirt is in my closet? 


In one year, will this super cute pillow that I just need right now still be super cute? (heck, in one WEEK will it still be super cute? This one comes from experience . . . ahem.) 


In one year, will our family be glad we went out to eat at a more expensive restaurant when we could have eaten somewhere a little less pricey (or, even stayed at home?)


In one year, will my child still enjoy that toy they’re convinced they just need right now?


In one year, will I be thankful I paid $2 for that soda when I could have gotten water for free?


In one year, will I be glad my child had that darling designer outfit to wear to school?


In one year, will these jeans really be just the pair I need?





Don’t sacrifice what you really want for what you want right now.


We’re all at different places in our lives and in our finances, and you may be at a place where splurging on a yummy meal at a fancy restaurant or buying your kiddos super cute boutique clothes totally works for your budgetBut if you’re not in that place, this may be a time to reign things in so that your long term financial goals aren’t sacrificed for that short term “I want it now” mentality.


I’ll be honest, there are a few splurges that we enjoyed even when money was tight in our home that I’m totally thankful for. I don’t regret our vacations, some date nights with my husband, or a few special outfits for our children’s baby pictures. (Although I enjoyed those special outfits bought at consignment stores much more than the ones I paid full price for before I knew any better!)



I do however look back and remember times when I really thought I just needed an item for our home, so I spent too much on items we absolutely didn’t needWithin months I was disappointed, and hated that we’d just thrown money away.


While it’s totally okay to splurge on a super cute top every once in awhile or a fun meal out, if you’re in a place where you really need to change your family’s finances, this may be the time to skip some of those splurges. Not only will it help your budget, it may just help de-clutter your home too. :)


So, the next time you’re at a store and just convinced you *need* a new item, take a minute to think about whether in one year you’ll be oh-so-glad you have it. Try saving those pennies towards your long term financial goals, and I’m betting you’ll be amazed at how quickly your spending slows down!



Looking for more like this? Here you go . . .

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7 Simple Steps To Strategic Coupon Shopping



At least once a week I receive an email from someone who’s seen Extreme Couponing on TLC or just heard that couponing can save you  hundreds of dollars each month at the grocery store, but they’re not sure where to start. The truth is, saving oodles of money using coupons can happen, however it takes a lot (a LOT) of work.


And, coupon shopping trips on TLC aren’t always a great example of reality tv. :)


However, I promise you can save every single time you shop with coupons if you follow these seven simple steps to strategic coupon shopping, and transform your family’s financesWe’re not talking anything extreme, we’re talking simple, doable methods that will help you save a bundle every time you head to the grocery store.


Let’s get started, shall we? 😉


1. Learn the lingo.

When you’re looking at coupon sites some of the terms that seasoned couponers use may not make sense at all. Go HERE to learn all the coupon abbreviations so that you understand what folks are talking about and don’t get overwhelmed before you even start.

2. Start finding coupons.

There are tons of coupons you can easily use if you just know where to find them. I print most of my coupons (that way I can choose the coupons I want), however you can also find them in your Sunday paper, at your local grocery store (these are called peelies, blinkies or tearpads), and even sometimes in fliers mailed out to your home.

Also take advantage of ecoupons available at many large grocery chains, including Kroger, Meijer, Publix, Target, and many more. These are a great way to save when you don’t have much time to clip coupons, and usually can be downloaded to your smartphone.

3. Choose one store to use coupons at, and read every thing you can online about their store coupon policy.

Once you’ve chosen the store that you feel offers the best deals in your area, learn every single thing you can to find the deals there. While I love sharing as many deals as I can with you here on PPP, do your research and a little google searching to learn as much as you can about shopping that one store with coupons. There are tons of great forums out there (Hot Coupon World has always been my favorite), so be sure to check those too and see what people are chatting about in the store you’ve chosen.


We share store coupon matchups here on Passionate Penny Pincher for 25 grocery stores, so check to find your stores coupon matchups before you shop (you can even create a free printable grocery list to make shopping easier.) If you have a store in your area that doubles coupons I recommend trying to learn their coupon policy first, as they should offer some pretty extreme savings especially when you combine those double coupons with a few sales.

Easily Organize Coupons

4. Organize your coupons before shopping.

I’ve tried every method of organizing coupons known to man, but different methods work for different people (and what works for you now may no longer work in a few years!) Here are three different methods to try:

I currently file my coupon inserts by date, but actually use printed and e-coupons for most of my shopping trip, because those work best for me right now. Find which method works best for you, and stick with it once you’ve started!

6. Shop the sales ad (and don’t use a coupon just because you have it.)

Instead of going to the store with the mindset that you need certain items on your grocery list, plan to shop as much as you can based on what’s on sale along with coupons. If Saltines are on sale but Ritz crackers are on your list, you may need to change which item you purchase to get the most bang for your buck.

Eventually you’ll get a decent stockpile by shopping what’s on sale, and can “shop your stockpile” once you’ve rounded out the deals. Your goal is to buy as much as your grocery budget can afford when you combine a sale and a coupon to stock up on great deals. (Don’t have a grocery budget? Take a minute to check this out.)

And remember that while a high value coupon is exciting, you want to wait to use that coupon when the item is also on sale at its lowest price, so you “double dip” on your savings.  Have a high value coupon but don’t know where to find that item on sale? Check out this database where you can type in the item you’re looking for and it will tell you which stores have it on sale this week. Easy!


 7. Take advantage of coupon “apps” to help you save even more, every time you shop.

In addition to coupon savings, you can save a bundle using coupon apps. Go HERE to see my favorite apps (and don’t miss this video on how you can save $250 each year with the Ibotta app alone!)

Tin. Isolation on the white.
5. Know your prices.

I know I’ve said this over ~ and over and over and over again, but it’s something I just don’t want you to miss. When you go into the grocery store, you have got to have a basic idea of what regular prices are on the items you purchase every week. This is the only way to know if a “deal” in the store really is a deal (so many stores inflate prices, so it’s hard to really know what you’re getting!)

Print a free copy of my Stock Up Price List (it needs to be updated, but will give you a good starting point!), or create your own list with the items you buy each week using this printable price book form.


Ready to shop?

Okie dokie, this weekI’m challenging you to choose only three deals at your favorite store to try and score with coupons. To help make life easier, these lists may help:

Are you ready? Let me know which three deals you get, and determine to change your family’s finances today!



Looking for more posts like this? Here you go . . .



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15 Easy Ways To Earn 100 Dollars





Feel overwhelmed by your finances? Here are a few simple ways to earn $100 a day and help you reach your long term financial goals.



Sell your stuff.

1. Garage sale – sell 100 items for $1 each.

Think of it as an everything’s $1 sale – if you have bigger stuff, sell it for more! You can also sell online in a local online yard sale, or take things to a consignment store. (See how I recently made $70 in just two hours this way!)

2. Sell books, electronics, and more on Amazon.

Amazon makes it super easy to sell things on line – just type in what you’d like to sell, ship it to them (for free!), and get paid with an Amazon gift card. Easy!

3. Sell gift cards you won’t use.

Have gift cards you’ll never use? Visit where you can sell your gift cards. You won’t get the full face value but you will get a decent rate, so this is a great way to save if you can’t use a gift card you’ve been given.

4. Sell plasma.

Honestly, this would be a tough one for me to do but is a great way to help someone in need and earn a little cash. Check out this article to learn more.


Sell your services.

5. Babysit.

Have kids at home? Offer to babysit for a working mom to earn extra income.

6. Paint a room.

Love painting? Charge $100 to paint a room – odds are someone else would love to have that project done for them, and it’s an easy way to learn some extra cash!

7. Clean houses.

8. Do yard work.

Lots of folks have yard work that needs to be taken care of, especially in the summertime. Offer to weed, mulch or plant flower beds, and charge $100 for your work.

9. Walk a dog, or two.

Live in a neighborhood with many pets? Offer to walk your neighbors pets while they’re away at work each day.

10. Take online surveys or try out Swagbucks.

You won’t quickly earn $100 through online surveys, but each time you take a survey you can earn a dollar or two. The only site that I’ve consistently heard excellent reviews about is Pinecone Research ~ and don’t forget to take advantage of ways to earn for free on Swagbucks too!

11.  Mystery shopping.

If you shop regularly (and don’t have small children), you can sign up to be a mystery shopper at local stores in your area. Check out ways to earn as much as $25 per shopping trip over HERE.


Simple ways to save $100

12. Take a spending “fast”.

For 5 days, determine as a family to spend nothing. No eating out, no grocery shopping, no entertainment, no nothing. Odds are you’ll come up with $100 pretty quickly! (We recently worked on seriously cutting back our expenses for one month, and it was amazing how much we saved simply by really focusing on trimming our budget as a family!)

13. Skip meals out for 2 weeks.

14. Give up cable.

If you’re willing to cut cable, you can save a bundle every month. With free movies from Amazon Prime or Netflix, you may be able to do it without missing many of your favorites, and you’ll save several hundred dollars over the course of one year too! (I’ve heard a Roku and

15. Cut back on housing expenses. 

Skimp on your cell phone plan. Cancel a home phone if you don’t need it. Call you internet provider to make sure you’re getting the best price on the service you need. Look at all of your monthly bills, and see if there are any bills you can change by either getting rid of them completely or making a phone call to get a reduced payment.

What other suggestions do you have on cutting your expenses? I’d love to hear what’s worked for you!



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