Keep Your Cool For Back To School Giveaway Event

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Are you already thinking about back-to-school?  Let us help get you ready!
Welcome to the Keep Your Cool for Back to School Giveaway Event!
Hosted by: Southern Mom Loves


All-natural Facial Care Trio: Gel Cleanser, Purifying Toner, Moisturizer
Choice of Little Kid Combo, Stylish Scholars Combo, or Ultimate Back to School Combo
International Moonjar Moneybox, Conversations To Go: Money, & Conversations To Go: Travel

2015-2016 Academic Planner in choice of design & Book: What’s the Deal with Teens and Time Management by Leslie Josel

$25 Amazon eGift Card

Nurtura Replenishing Cream, Banishing Cream, & Firming Cream

It’s That Kinda Day Planner in design of choice
Funbites food cutter of choice


1 WINNER will receive all 11 prizes (ARV $255)! Good luck!
Giveaway begins on 8/1/15 at 1:00 am CST and ends on 8/22/15 at 11:59 pm CST. Must be 18 years or older, open to residents of the US only.

Disclaimer: The participating blogs were not compensated for this post. No purchase is necessary to enter. One entrant per household, per address. All entries will be verified. Void where prohibited by law. Winner will be contacted by email; Please add email hidden; JavaScript is required to your whitelist. The individual sponsors will be responsible for prize delivery to the winner. This giveaway is in no way administered, sponsored, endorsed by, or associated with Facebook and/or Twitter, Google, Pinterest, or any other social media platform.

Contact Holly at email hidden; JavaScript is required if you have any additional questions or comments, or would like Southern Mom Loves to organize your next giveaway.

True Confessions of the Not-So-Frugal Blogger

true confessions of the not so frugal blogger

Raising A Family On A Budget has been a big part of my family’s life for the last 5 years.  I have prided myself on living frugally.  Some of the frugal living bloggers pay cash for everything and are living a debt free life.  That’s just not where we are.  I’ve always been honest that I use credit cards, have college loans, a car note, and a monthly mortgage payment.  Like everyone we also have grocery bills and occasionally go out to eat.  

And there is where I need to get honest with myself.

Last night, I shared this image from Growing Slower on my personal Facebook page:

grocery-budget-chart-spendiAt first, I laughed.  We are a family of 5 and I’ve always prided myself on having a grocery budget around $400-500, so we were well below the “frugal budget” recommendation.  Then I thought about things more, and started chatting with friends.  What about dining out?  What about the big trips I do to the butcher a few times a year?  Or the bulk produce I buy for canning?  Should I include trips to the liquor store?

I decided the answer to all of that was yes.  All food, beverage, pet supplies, diapers, cleaning supplies, and paper products are part of our “Food & Dining” budget.  So after living in the dark for quite a while, probably at least 2 years (my husband handles our finances, and while I know what’s going where, I didn’t pay much attention), I opened up Mint, and clicked on the word budget on the top of the page.  

That’s when I saw RED! [Read more…]

An Introduction to Home Food Preservation – Saturday, August 22


In the last 5 years, there has been a bit of a home canning explosion!  Canning has become trendy.  

Unfortunately, with this influx of people into such a wonderful hobby, there is also a lot of misinformation floating around about what you can can at home.  For example, did you know, you should not can pumpkin butter at home but apple butter is ok?  Or that you need to pressure can vegetables, never water bath can them?

I have been helping out my friends and family with their canning and home food preservation questions, and now I want to help you too.  Join me on Saturday, August 22 from 9a-12:30pm for An Introduction to Home Food Preservation at the RWJ Center for Health & Wellness in Mercerville, NJ.

During this class, we will discuss boiling water bath canning, pressure canning, freezing, and dehydrating and how to utilize these processes to preserve what you grow in your garden, buy at the farmers’ market, or purchase on steep discounts through out the year.  

Attendees who register by July 24, will each receive a copy of the Ball Blue Book Guide to Canning.


Canning: Why I Trust Science Over Grandma

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canning why I trust science over grandma

I have been canning for 15+ years.  During that time, I have made my share of mistakes – hot jar on a cool counter, letting my finger tips get a little too close to the boiling water in the canner, forgetting to skim the foam off my jam – all mistakes that many of us have made, but none of them that could be fatal.

That might sound extreme but that’s exactly what happened this past April at a church potluck when people were served potato salad made from improperly canned potatoes.  One woman died, and more than 30 others got sick.  The cause – botulism. 

Clostridium botulinum is the name of a group of bacteria. They can be found in soil.  These rod-shaped organisms grow best in low oxygen conditions. The bacteria form spores which allow them to survive in a dormant state until exposed to conditions that can support their growth. — CDC

These spores can be killed several ways, with the two most common being acid and heat. [Read more…]

Last Week’s Frugal Accomplishments: July 20-26


I picked tomatoes, zucchini, peppers, carrots, green onions, and cantaloup from the garden.

We picked up our CSA share for cucumbers, eggplant, zucchini, onions, carrots, blackberries, and flowers.

I canned grape jelly, raspberry jam, and mild salsa using produce from our garden and the CSA.

The remaining blackberries and raspberries went into the freezer for smoothies.

I used my $40 rewards credit at OfficeMax to stock up on school supplies and ink for the coming school year.

We turned off our AC for a few days because the weather was beautiful and completely out of character for mid-July.  I really can’t wait until fall when the house can be open all of the time.

Our plan is to move all of our homeschool materials out of the dining room and into the living room.  There were shelves that I want for this project, but we aren’t planning on working on things until August.  However, IKEA has the shelves on sale for 15% off through the end of July, so I bought them yesterday, and we are going to store them in the garage until we are ready for this project.

What did you do last week to save money?

Last Week’s Frugal Accomplishments: July 20-26

**Posts may contain affiliate links.  When you print a coupon or make a purchase using an affiliate link, Raising A Family On A Budget makes a small commission.  Thank you for your support.

herr's snack factory

On Monday, I took the kiddos to the Herr’s Snack Factory Tour.  The tour is free, and we had a great day out with friends.

Last week, we harvested grape tomatoes, plum tomatoes, beans, a few blueberries, green onions, carrots, and herbs from the garden.

We did a meat order from Bringhurst Meats in Berlin.  By purchasing meat in bulk, we saved more than $6/lb on beef.

I bought locally grown corn, watermelon, and cantaloup which is cheaper than buying stuff from clear across the country.

I negotiated a case discount on raspberries at our local produce market, getting them for $15 a case.

Prime Day was last Wednesday, so I started looking at my shopping list and things we needed. On that day, I found some deal on the fermentation lids, Gorilla Self-Standing Bags, and Hoover Clean Plus carpet cleaning solution that I needed, and used a gift card that I had earned from Swagbucks.

I saved 5% on diapers using my Target REDCard, and earned a $10 Target Gift Card for buying two packs of Huggies.

Every day last week, I met my Swagbucks goal.  This made my total earning over 2200 Swagbucks, so I cashed in for another $25 Amazon Gift Card.  I am averaging one $25 gift card a month, and while I’d love to save them up for Christmas shopping, the reality is that we need stuff now so I’m using them as I earn them.

My husband took a packed lunch to work every day last week using up dinner time leftovers for his lunch.

We set the thermostat to away when we weren’t home so that we weren’t cooling the house when we weren’t there.  Having a Nest Thermostat has saved us a lot of money over the past few years.



B1G1 50% School Uniforms at Target!

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School uniforms are on sale at Target!  Right now buy 1, get 1 50% off all school uniforms.  Plus, you can save an additional 10% when you use promo code JULY through tomorrow, Saturday 7/18.  

Don’t forget to use your Target REDcard and save an additional 5%, plus get free shipping, every time you shop!

Check Out the Latest Printable Coupons

**Posts may contain affiliate links.  When you print a coupon or make a purchase using an affiliate link, Raising A Family On A Budget makes a small commission.  Thank you for your support.

printable coupon round up

Check out the newest printable coupons available from

$1.00 off any ONE (1) V8 Veggie Blends
$1.00 off any TWO (2) V8 100% Vegetable Juice
$1.00 off On any one (1) Pearls Olives To Go
$2.00 off One (1) EVOL Frozen Single-Serve Meal
$2.00 off (1) Aleve 40ct or larger
$2.00 off (1) Aleve-D product
$15.00 off 1 Sodastream Sparkling Water Maker
$3.00 off any TWO (2) Coppertone Kids Products

Buying Produce in Bulk: The Best Prices for Stocking Up

buying produce in bulk

Sometimes, you need to buy produce in bulk.  For our family, that usually means I’m going to be doing a lot of canning, dehydrating, freezing or baking!  Although we have a sizable garden, there are some things we can’t grow in our zone, or we can’t grow enough of or its not producing yet, so that’s when I look to buying in bulk. 

There are many options for where to buy bulk produce – Aldi, the grocery store, warehouse stores like BJs and Costco, Restaurant Depot (if you’re lucky enough to know someone with a membership), produce markets, farmers’ markets, and direct from the farmers.  On any given day, for any given crop, one of these stores would be a better option over the others, so its important to know your prices and comparison shop, just like you do with any major purchase.

But how do you know what price to look for and whether or not you are getting a good deal?

One trick to getting  a good deal is buying produce when it is in season for your region.  Not only will this produce taste better, but it is often at the best possible price because it is abundant, and does not have to travel as far to get to you. [Read more…]

Check Out the Latest Printable Coupons: Dreft, Lunchables, Windex, Crest, Scope, & more!



**Posts may contain affiliate links.  When you print a coupon or make a purchase using an affiliate link, Raising A Family On A Budget makes a small commission.  Thank you for your support.

printable coupon round upCheck out the latest printable coupons that are available from  Each coupon can be printed twice per computer.

$2.00 off ONE Dreft Newborn Detergent
$2.00 off ONE Dreft Beads
$2.00 off ONE Dreft Active
$3.00 off on any 2 boxes Carnation Breakfast
$1.00 off (1) LUNCHABLES Combinations With Drink
$3.00 off ONE (1) DulcoGas 18 count or larger
$0.50 off any ONE Windex Aerosol Glass Cleaner
$2.00 off ONE Crest Pro-Health or HD Toothpaste
$0.50 off ONE Scope Mouthwash 237ml or larger
$1.25 off TWO Scope Mouthwashes
$0.50 off ONE Crest Kids Toothpaste
$0.50 off ONE Crest or Oral-B Kids Toothbrush
$1.00 off multipack of PEDIGREE canned dog food
$1.00 off any SHEBA or SHEBA Perfect Portions
$3.00 off (3) PEDIGREE Treats For Dogs
$2.00 off (1) IAMS™ canned cat food multipack
$1.00 off (1) IAMS™ Dog canned food or singles