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What's your best tip for keeping your home organized during the busy holiday season?

What's your favorite store bought or homemade cleaning product?

What's the most important home management skill a mom can teach her child?

What is the biggest waste of money every family could avoid?

Rebecca Autry

Paying Full Price for Toothpaste. There are plenty of coupons in the Sunday inserts for a variety of Toothpaste that every family can find one or many that suits their needs. There is no need to pay for toothpaste full price and can be the biggest wast of money for every family. Smaller sizes combined with coupons will have the biggest savings.
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What is the youngest age you would let your child have a part-time job?

Rebecca Autry

It would depend on the job. Because 5 yr old helps me sort coupons and that is my job! When he learns to type and read better I might have him create his own posts so maybe 7 or so. As for a job outside the home it will depend what it is where and how he is doing in school! My mother worked hard for my siblings and I to have fun and get the things we wanted but she also had us work for them thru chores and extra projects. I want to make sure my kids understand that what we have was from the ard work we ourselves put in and if they want anything beyond the necessities and our once in awhile surprises or gifts from celebration they will work for them. My oldest two kids understood that mommy doesnt buy anything unless she has a coupon for it so when christmas came around they would look through the toy books for coupons. I'm a smart shopper and I buy on clearance and with coupons but I'm glad they understand mommy or daddy is not made of money and we do work for the money we have.
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Were there items on your baby registry you would advise other new parents to skip?

Rebecca Autry

diaper wipe Warmer. It sounds great but after awhile you skip the step and figure you can clean the kid faster and they'll get use to the coldness!
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What's the most common financial mistake families make?

Rebecca Autry

The most common financial mistake is spending more than you actually make. Also having added expenses that you don't need like a cell phone yes its convienent but if you cant afford it you don't need it. Paying for cable you can have an alternative like Netflix for less than the smallest package of cable. Paying full price for health and beauty products when you can get them cheap to FREE. Using credit cards for small purchases that add up when it was meant to have for emergencies. You have to be diligent to ONLY spend what you have and NOT beyond.
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What's an affordable and fun family activity?

Rebecca Autry

Well anything outside is great fun but the best and most affordable thing as a family we do is make Forts out of flat sheets through out our house. Each child gets there own and sometimes we even move furniture around to make it more like a maze. We have to complete the entire Fort by adding capes to everyone and pretending we are knights and princesses. Total fun! Even Daddy gets involved!
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What item should moms splurge on?

Rebecca Autry

A baby sitter atleast once a month to have just mommy time. Relax get some chocolate and a nice cold drink and relax by yourself, no kids, no hubby. Get a good book or something that helps you relax. Its important to have alone time just to get away from the hussle of life.
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What's your advice on setting a food budget?

Rebecca Autry

Start writing down the foods you typically buy and menu plan. Be sure to include regular price plus sale prices for those items. Your menu will be based on when you have sale items as they are cheaper. It takes time but in the long run not only will you help yourself stay organized you will also learn to budget your meals and know when a meal is a good price and not a good price. Each family is different in tastes, size and locality so no one will have the same budget as you. That is something you have to figure out with your financial situation.
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What's your kids' favorite backyard game?

Rebecca Autry

A Simple Tag You Are It! Now that my kids a little older they understand if you get touched by the person who is "it" you become "It". I have a 5, 4, and a soon to be 3 yr old and its simple and fun exercise for us all. We also enjoy Ring around the posies!
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What's a great source to buy formal clothing for children?

Rebecca Autry

Every Easter and Christmas we dress the kids in formal outfits and now we have an Aunt getting married next year we are on the lookout for formal outfits. Best places we have found is Ross when they go below $15 for the full outfit for boys including belt! We've also gotten a great deal at Burlington Coat Factory for $10 for full dress suits but the best place we have gotten full dress suits for our boys has been Kohl's at 95% off paying $7 for full outfits best time to find them is after Easter but before Mothers day and after grandparents day we buy 1 size up for the following year. As for little girl dresses we have found the best deals at Macy's on their secret day sales. our daughter is set for a few years since you can't beat $1.99 dress retail value $89 and up. Kohl's has a great value when you find them for less than $5. My bridesmaid dresses came from Macy's and only cost $12 on clearance retail was over $80.
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At what age should children learn to swim?

Rebecca Autry

I would love to say as early as possible but unfortunately with two of my kids having delays I have learned you need to wait till they are ready even if that means when they are 5 or Evan 6 years old.
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What is your best tip for planning an affordable summer vacation with kids?

Rebecca Autry

Look for discounts and freebies. This year we are doing a semi staycation and learned about the Sesame Street Preschool program for Bush Gardens up to the age 5. So yes all 3 of our kids get in FREE and hubby and I just pay. Pack lunches and snacks and plenty of water. Make sure you do items the kids are interested otherwise you wont have fun. Make sure to figure in nap times or relaxation. Fun is great but is tiring. Enjoy Most Historical Markers they are FREE. Make sure the getting there is just as fun as the actual vacation. Look for Museums and places nearby that are FREE or nearly cheap. Most of all, get the excitement rolling for your kids by talking about what you will be doing. Consider marking a calendar to let them know how many days left till vacation time. Make it fun and make sure you show you are excited and having fun.
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What's a great way to relieve stress? (The more unusual the better!)

Rebecca Autry

We all get stressed but a fun way to relieve stress is get the water base crayola washable poster paint. Put up some sheets of paper or poster boardon the side of the house or garage/carport. Be sure to put some newspaper or drop clothes down on the ground. Grab a paintbrush and start dipping it in the paints and splatter the colors over the paper. No need to rush, take your time to relieve the stress. Be sure to clean-up and wash off any paint on the walls or side of the house.It should be easy clean up!
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Do you have any great tips for removing stains? Whether it's mud on carpets or blood on clothes, we want to hear your best stain-banishing tricks!

Rebecca Autry

Windex! It seems to remove just about everything. Spray on stains in clothes or walls let sit for 5 mins and then wash in laundry or damp with a washclothe. It may take a few tries before getting it all out depending on how severe the stain is! Another great way to get stains out of clothes is to use shaving creme. Same way let it stand for awhile and then just wash like normal.
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What are the most important things to do while on maternity leave before going back to work?

Rebecca Autry

I nursed all my kids and my biggest concern going back to work was weather or not I could continue to nurse and pump for maximum benefits to my kids without stressing myself out so what is the most important thing to do is get rest. Its so hard to but you will be glad. Treat yourself to some nice things. You will give up a lot and much of that will help you get through it all.
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