Moms Of Faith

Posts Tagged ‘Tipster Tuesday

I have recently been interested in trying out some online scrapbooking sites, since I personally have ZERO crafty talent.  Seriously.  Not a crafty/artistic bone in my body.  This has always been a bit of a bummer for me, both of my parents are talented artists and the gene just skipped my generation.  My only hope now is one of the girls inherits it.  Back to scrapbooking though.  You see, I love the look of scrapbooks, but just don’t have time of artistic talent to undertake a project like a scrapbook.  Recently, I have been yearning for some really cute scrapbooks of KG’s 5th birthday and would like one of her first week of school.  So in doing some research I have found that you can get this done for free online wiby using some really adorable and well put together scrapbooking sites.  A couple of the sites that interest me most include: you can create a beautiful scrapbook in less than five minutes and add music, videos, and of course pictures.  The fantastic themes are designed by Hallmark, Making Memories, and many more.  You can even email, blog, or save your scrapbook to your hard drive. site has more thingamajigs and dohickeys to layer on your special pages than I have ever seen.  This site includes hip templates and even allows you to create your own by using their selection of thousands of different stickers, frames, fonts, and backgrounds.  You can email or upload your pages to your blog for FREE.

I know there are tons of these on the inter-web, but these are the only two I have had time to try out.  Please leave me a comment if you know of any more great sites to help my poor un-crafty self.  For more helpful tips, checkout BeCentsAble‘s Tipster Tuesday.  and If you aren’t already check back with BeCentsAble on Monday and Thursdays for their Grocery Gathering.

As a proud mama, there is nothing I like better than to have my girls pictures done. But as a frugal mama, there is nothing that irks me more than the astronomical prices most studios pay just to have my daughters sit still (ha.) and smile (ha. again.) This is the exact reason I adore Picture Me! Studios, formally Walmart photo studios. I recently signed up for their e-newsletter and just today I recieved an email with a couple of great coupons. $4.99 for their “Introductory” package plus a “FREE” 10×13. This is a great deal! I’m not sure why they call in an “introductory” package, as far as I can tell there is nothing “Introductory” about it. If you watch their instore deals, they often mimic the email deals. I checked last weekend and yep, there it was the package plus the “FREE” 10×13 for $4.99.

Now, don’t get me wrong, this isn’t like having your kid’s photos done by a professional photographer…but you aren’t paying for a professional photographer. You’re paying a miniscule amount for priceless photographs of your babies. I’ve never had a “terrible” experience…though I have called and complained about a particular photographer who didn’t want to take the time to get my girls to smile…I got a free “introductory” package. These pictures are always good quality and at a good price.

I’m sure there are similar options at other venues. I know Olan Mills Portrait Studios (Meijer and KMart) runs great deals frequently also. They are currently running a special for their introductory package for $9.99. You can print this coupon here. To sign up for great email offers from Picture Me! Studios click here.

For more great tips check out BeCentsAble‘s Tipster Tuesday.

And for a great deal on Digital Pictures head over to for 400 FREE prints and a 8×8 Photo Book! All you have to do is run don’t walk your fingers over to and register on their website. It’s a really simple process (1 page) and the pay off is wonderful! I mean, who doesn’t love free pictures of their children? We’re using ours to send pictures of the girls to relatives who sometimes miss out on pictures of them. Now, you don’t get all 400 upfront, you get them 100 at a month. For instance, I get 50 4×6 pictures and 50 5×7 pictures from April 29 – May 29, and so on and so forth. The free 8×8 Picture Book isn’t available yet, it becomes available on My 31…but it’s already been credited to my account. But hurry…this offer is only going until they reach the target of 20,000,000 free prints credits granted the offer will be discontinued.

I know there have been many posts through the years about the joys and evils of buying seasons passes, but it’s been my experience that when used often these can truely be a blessing! We have a year round pass to the Louisville Zoo, now granted we only use this pass for about 6 months out of the year but we get our money’s worth. Both girls absolutely LOVE animals, so we drive down (it’s about a 45 minute drive) and spend the whole day there. This could get expensive if when we went we bought food, drinks, train passes, bought pictures or gifts, etc. We don’t. We bring a picnic lunch, which my girls like better anyway, lots of drinks and our own camera. Once a year, usually the last time we go, we allow KG to pick out one gift from the Gift Shop.  The great thing about our Zoo is that 25% of our membership price goes to Conservation Projects all over the world!

Now, this may not be a good investment for everyone. If you plan to only visit the zoo once a year then buying the tickets out-right is the best bet for you…but for us, this saves us anywhere between $100 and $184 a year! Thats a HUGE amount of savings for us! Not only that, but if something happens and we need to buy food, drinks, or gifts while we’re there we get a nfity 25% discount on all items! This year we are planning on purchasing the Dual Family Membership, which will allow us to get into the Zoo and the Science Mueseum all year! KG is just starting to get really interested in science so now seems like the time to be exploring the Science Museum. The Science Museum is particularlly great around here because it is so geared to children and has a fantastic 3D movie theater! I am really looking forward to a summer/fall of exploring and learning with the girls and the peace of mind that I am not breaking the bank or the budget to do so! And if you save a little year round, you don’t have to worry about coming up with the up-front money it requires to purchase these passes!

For more Great Tipster Tuesday Ideas, check out BeCentsable’s site!

How do you save money and still provide your family with educational/fun activities?

I don’t know about you, but here in our home time is a very precious commodity. Hubby is only home 2 hours with the girls everyday and in that time I have to get him ready and get anything that I need done but can’t do when the girls are awake. In light of all of this, scheduling has become ever more important. I am not going to pretend that we stay on any kind of set schedule or that we are even able to always keep our loose one. But MOST days we are able to stay inline with our basic schedule. Here is a glimpse of what an average day would look like in our house.

6:45-Mommy gets up, makes a cup of tea and does some internet work. Work=blog reading, signing up for samples, updating personal blog, surveys, daily Girlfriends devotional, and any mystery shopping work that needs to be done.

8:30-Start waking hubby up. Usually the girls get up at this point and watch “Handy Manny” in Kat’s crib until 9am.

9:30-Breakfast for girls. Hubby is usally trying to finish getting ready.

10am-Daddy leaves for work. Seaseme Street for the girls and laundry for me.

10:30-Reading with the girls. Playtime.

11am-Naptime for Kat. Book, song, prayer, sleep. KG normally uses this time for PlayDoh or markers, since she can’t use them while Kat is up. I use this time for blogging and reading.

12:30-Kat gets up and we get dressed/ready to go for a walk…weather permitting.


3-Naptime. Here is where scheduling really comes in handy. We have a strict routine we keep here. Bible story, song, prayer, sleep. This works great for us. Naptime is set in stone, nothing changes about this time. Ever.

4:30-Girls get up and I get dinner started. Dishes get done now, as I’m doing dinner. Laundry.


8-Bedtime for Kat. Book, song, prayer, sleep…see a pattern?
KG gets the time after Kat is in bed for just Mommy and KG time. We play board games, card games, color, read…just about anything she wants except watch TV.

9: Bedtime for KG. Book, song, prayer, sleep. Daddy should be getting home about this time to give KG kisses and say goodnight.

11-Bedtime for Mommy. Hubby normally stays up until 1am or later.

Now this isn’t an all inclusive schedule..but it allows my girls to have a good idea of what is going to happen during the day. The gaps you may have noticed in the time are usually filled with chores, such as cleaning the bedrooms, bathroom and the ever messy kitchen. I swear it doesn’t seem to matter how often I clean it always needs it.

I would love to hear about how YOU schedule your day or how you manage time more efficiently…please share you ideas and for more tips check out Tipster Tuesday on BeCentsable’s blog.

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