From Crayons To Coupons

http://crayonstocoupons.com

Two best friends on a mission to help save money. Join us on our adventures of learning to be frugal, motherhood, friendship, and more. We will help you with finding deals, freebies, recipes, advice, basically anything we can, from Crayons to...

Heather is a winner of Top 25 Money Saving Blogs by Moms - 2012

What's the single best decision about money you've made?

The single best decision I have made about money is to be frugal and get the most out of my money. Money doesn't grow on trees and with the way this economy is, it's important to stretch those dollars. I make sure to use my coupons and save anywhere I can, remember every little bit helps!

Does your child receive an allowance? If so, how much? (Please share how old your child is.)

My oldest daughter recently turned 10 and as of right now she doesn't receive a normal weekly allowance, but we do have a sticker chart for her and her sister, and when they earn enough stickers they can trade in for a trip to the prizebox, extra computer time, or in my 10 year old's case, cash. When she earns 10 stickers I award her $5.00 if cash is her choice. She hasn't learned regularity with her chores, so until then she gets no regularity in allowance.

What's an easy way moms can trim their family food budget?

We have 3 tips for trimming the family food budget.

1. Couponing - Every penny saved helps. Put it in a jar and save it to see. That $0.55 here and $1.00 there really do add up. BOGO sales are good.

2. Buy In Bulk/Stock Up - Buying in bulk = Discounts. Known fact: When you get the bigger size, the price goes down. Why buy hamburger meat at $3-4 a package when you can get 5lbs for $10. I have a family of 5 that I feed and I realized that once I had started to stock up on items my family uses when it was on sale it helped. I'll buy 10 boxes of Pasta Roni and that will last us a while, or at least until the next sale occurs, cutting out the trips where I would buy it and it was not on sale.

3. Meal Plans/Cooking in Bulk - Another thing that really helps is planning out your meals. Stick to your plan, make things with what you already have and just get what you need for the meal. Also cook in bulk. Buy the items you need in bulk and make several meals at a once. That also helps save time.


These are things that Jennifer and I believe help. Some other things that can help save are shopping at discount stores (the bread store, Big Lots, Dollar Tree), buy meat packages (you can really get some great savings by going to a butcher and getting all your meat in a package deal), and I like doing potluck dinners weekly as well (every family is responsible for a part of the meal).

What's your best budget tip for shopping for back-to-school necessities like school supplies, backpacks, uniforms, labels and lunchboxes? Include a link to a photo if you have one!

Heather & Jennifer

My best advice for back to school shopping is to watch the sales and make sure you stock up for the whole year. I've been doing back to school shopping for 6 years now and I've taken notice of what items are hands down the cheapest at Walmart and what things to watch for at other places. Having young children it also doesn't hurt to stock up on a few extra arts and crafts supplies (like crayons) for the year, you won't see these prices again until the next back to school sales. Another great tip I would have to offer would be that if your state offers a tax free period for school shopping make sure you save and take advantage! A lot of stores have sales to pull shoppers in on these weekends. If your kid has to wear uniforms I would suggest shopping second hand for uniforms if your school requires them, with the rate at which children grow and stain clothing it isn't worth it to go out and buy all of their clothes brand new.
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What's one of the worst messes your child has made? Please share a link to a photo if you have one.

Heather & Jennifer

Wow, this is a hard one to answer. Messes are a specialty in my household. I think the most memorable one I have (but I do not have a pic) is when my daughter was 2 and she covered the dog from head to tail in butter. It was not easy or fun to clean up.
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At what age did you (or would you) give your child a cell phone? (Please include any contracts or conditions you gave your child with this use)

Heather & Jennifer

Kids and cell phones are a hot topic. I feel that middle school is an appropriate time for a kid to get a phone. That is when they start wanting to do things with friends, have extracirricular activities they may be involved with, and they start wanting to talk on the phone a lot more. My daughter has been asking for a cell phone since she was in first grade. My answer was a big NO. It surprises me how many kids I do see at the elementary level carrying around phones. I know we live in a technology fueled age now, but younger kids should be more worried about recess than checking their phones.
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Do you try to give back when you declutter? Please share your family traditions for benefitting others.

Heather & Jennifer

When I clean things out I usually try to donate anything that is in good shape and could be of use to others. If I don't know someone who could use what I am getting rid of, I take it to a local shelter or thrift store.
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Spring is almost here! What's an activity you love to do with your kids in the springtime? Please include a link to a picture if you have one!

Heather & Jennifer

I love when Spring arrives. After being locked up indoors from the cold weather we spend a lot of time doing activities outside. Normally we kick off Spring with a nice day at the park, picnic included. Invite some friends and start making some plans for the nice weather. It's also a great time to start working on some Easter arts and crafts because it is right around the corner.
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