The Last 4 Years

4th birthday bashFour years ago, late into the night, I was putting the finishing touches on Raising A Family On A Budget.  I didn’t know who would ever even see this blog, but wanted an outlet for sharing the money saving tips I found, online.  My first post went live just before 2a on June 10, and simply stated that this page was a work in progress.  A truer statement has never been made.  Raising A Family On A Budget has been a 4 year work in progress.

I started out “raising the bar, without raising your budget” but the reality was I was leaving a lot of myself out of the equation.  When our family found out we were expecting our third child, our priorities changed, and I figured that was a good time to change the direction of this site – Home Economics for Real Life seems a lot more fitting these days.

Amongst the deals and coupons that have been a cornerstone of Raising A Family On A Budget, I am now (slowly) sharing more review & giveaways, personal anecdotes, gardening projects, recipes, and DIY projects.  In the upcoming year, I will also be sharing our family’s adventure as we begin home schooling/cyber schooling our children.

For those of you who have been with me since the beginning – Thank you for sticking by Raising A Family On A Budget as it grows and continues to evolve.  For those who are new readers – Welcome!  I hope you find this site helpful, informative, and a great resource for helping your family save money.

Let’s stay connected!  I love connecting with my readers and look forward to taking this journey with you.  You can find Raising A Family On A Budget on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+..  You can find my more personal side on Instagram, Pinterest, and through my personal Google+ account.

Thanks to all of you for the last four years!

Save 40% at Jo-Ann Fabric

Joann Fabric & Craft StoreI have several sewing projects on the horizon for this week thanks to spending way to much time on Pinterest, and wanting to make something new for baby.  DIY projects can be fun, but if you aren’t a savvy shopper they can cost more than buying items that have already been made, and that is where coupons come in.

Jo-Ann Fabric currently has a 40% off any one regular price item coupon available.  You can use this coupon on a regular craft item, or on one cut of fabric.

Most Jo-Ann Fabric stores also take competitor coupons, which is a huge help, however you can not use a Michael’s or AC Moore coupon on fabric since those stores don’t carry fabric.  Not a problem, since you can use those coupons on thread, yarn, pins, ribbon, buttons, and pretty much every other supply they have in the store!

I’m hoping to do one last trip to Jo-Ann Fabric this afternoon once my husband comes home from work and then it will be a week of DIY and sewing projects for me.  Yes, I said one last trip – each time I get a little bored over the last few weeks, I’ve popped over to Jo-Ann’s and walked the fabric aisles to pick out a yard or two here, and a yard or two there. Its been just as relaxing as a trip to Target, and has saved me a lot of money by grabbing the items I want when they are at their best prices.


My Love Hate Relationship with Pinterest

Pinterest_LogoIts 2 in the afternoon, and I need an idea for a snack that my son can take to school for the class.  I go to check out Pinterest, and there are a million super creative ideas that would be perfect for children, but how do you have the time to be so creative if you actually have children?  Bleh!  I go with making banana bread.

My daughter announces she wants to be a fairy for Halloween, and while I have a few ideas, a few more wouldn’t hurt.  I start checking things out on Pinterest, and before I know it six hours has passed and while I have found some beautiful fairy costumes, none of them are DIY and they are all for sale through Etsy for big bucks.  I go back to Plan A, make her a no-sew tutu, and buy the fairy wings & wand with a coupon at Joann Fabrics.

I’m tired of the same old dinner recipes.  I pin a ton of recipes that look absolutely delicious and relatively easy to make.  An hour before dinner time, the chicken is defrosted, and I go back to Pinterest to find a recipe for that night, and none of the pins are actually linked to a recipe.  They all just go to photos from magazines, or foodie websites, and that’s if I’m lucky. Ugh!

Does any of this sound familiar?  Then you too have been sucked into Pinterest.  Don’t get me wrong, I do love Pinterest, and check it out about once or twice a week for a little while for ideas.  But that’s it.  Ideas.

I know that some of the things that I see on Pinterest that catch my attention fall into the same category as pages I rip out of magazines – great in theory but not realistic in this season of my life for whatever reason (usually because of finances or time).

But, even still, I love Pinterest.  I hate that I let it suck away my time that I could be doing other things, but I feel like it could be a valuable resource for ideas.  Why not!  There are worse things I could be doing with my time.

I don’t have a separate Pinterest account for RAFOAB, but here is my personal page if you’re interested in seeing what types of ideas catch my attention online.

Do you have a love hate relationship with Pinterest?  Have you tried any of the projects that you have found there?  Were they successful?  I’d love to hear about it!

So, What is Pinterest?

I have been bitten by the Pinterest bug.

At first, I didn’t understand the appeal.  Why go around and “clip” photos of things you like and then “pin” them to your board for all to see?  Then, I actually tried it out and I’m hooked.

You see, the appeal is that you can create a visual idea file of things you like or want to try.

Planning a wedding?  Create a board to gather ideas that you can share with your fiance, florist, wedding coordinator etc.  Having a baby?  Create a board of ideas for the nursery.  Like to cook?  Have a board of photos for all of the yummy recipes you want to try.

The ideas really are endless.  I have a recipes board, one for fun food (making healthy stuff look appealing to kids), cupcake ideas, sewing projects I want to try, and so forth.  I think my two favorite boards are my organization board and the DIY & Crafting Board.  I love flipping through magazines to get ideas for these things, but would end up with pieces of paper all over my desk of projects I’d like to try, that would never happen.  Now, all of those little clippings are on Pinterest and I have them at my finger tips for whenever I get the desire to complete a project.

Follow Me on Pinterest

Just a note:  If you join Pinterest through Facebook, then ALL of your activity will be shared on your Facebook wall.  Join through the link above or by posting a comment below and I’ll send you an invite.  Sometimes, Pinterest will put you on a waiting list, and if that happens then you need a direct invite from someone currently on the site.

So, what do you think of Pinterest?