Learn to Save Money NOW at our Live Chat with Top 25 Couponing & Money Saving Mom Blogger Melea! TODAY at 1p.m. PST/4p.m. EST!

Meghan - posted on 05/01/2012 ( 82 moms have responded )

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Hi everyone! This is Meghan, Circle of Moms' Community Manager! Welcome to Circle of Moms' brand new live chat, with our special guest host, Top 25 Couponing AND Money Saving Mom Blogger Melea of Freebies2Deals! She's here today to chat with us about how to save money and stick to a family budget. Join us in this thread for answers to your questions, fun mom chat, and great advice! We'll be starting in just a few minutes.

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Melea - posted on 05/01/2012

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Thanks everyone for joining me in the chat today! It was a lot of fun and great to “meet” all of you! Just keep in mind that there are SO many ways to save money. And we’ve talked about a bunch of them here. So don’t get discouraged! You are all more than welcome to visit www.Freebies2Deals.com and “Like” Freebies2Deals on Facebook. I post deals and freebies that myself and my readers find so everyone can save. Hopefully it can help you guys out on your quest too!

Melea - posted on 05/01/2012

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Sounds great Meghan! One Question I got was "How Can You Save Money When Living Paycheck to Paycheck". I just want to say that our family has been there and done that. I know it felt completely useless...like we would be in a neverending cycle of debt and barely making it. Couponing obviously helped.. but what I think helps even more is cutting back on unncessary costs. You can try to lower your monthly payments on cars, or sell them and pay cash for an older car so you never have a payment. You can change the programming on your Cable bill- or get rid of it for awhile until you get back on your feet... really watch the amount of electricty your family uses and turn off everything and unplug after every use. There are a lot of ways to cut back temporarily to help you get you ahead. Then, any extra money can be put in savings!

Jolene - posted on 05/01/2012

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we do like to eat out sometimes but that will be cut, as will going places esp in the car out to events or w/e...we'll walk to the park or go feed the ducks, do some yard work etc....

Jolene - posted on 05/01/2012

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@melea: yes i have recieved free samples of all sorts of items and i use them for traveling so i dont' have to buy travel items...or i'll use them as back ups if i dont realize im out of something....i have also given away stuff to family that i know they use

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Meghan - posted on 05/01/2012

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You can find more moms to chat with in our community at here in Welcome to Circle of Moms and in our other great communities!

Meghan - posted on 05/01/2012

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Thank you for joining us at this great Circle of Moms Live Chat with Melea of Freebies2Deals! We certainly hope you had fun and learned helpful money management tips!

Melea - posted on 05/01/2012

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Has anyone done things like that when their family was in a tight situation?

Meghan - posted on 05/01/2012

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I think we have time for Melea to tackle one or two more of your questions; if Melea has a question she received previous to the chat, this would be a great time for it, or if you guys have questions for her, feel free to ask now!

Melea - posted on 05/01/2012

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Ooo...Meghan, that is a great question!!! I would love to hear everyone's thoughts on that one!

Melea - posted on 05/01/2012

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@jolene: Isn't it great?? I actually haven't purchased Deodorant for myself in almost 2 years now.. because I keep getting free trial sized versions mailed to me for FREE! I'm trying to see how long I can go with that one... LOL

Meghan - posted on 05/01/2012

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Moms, what about your budget savvy? We want to know: when you accidentally go over budget, where is the best place to cut corners until payday?

Melea - posted on 05/01/2012

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@shelly- Oh, that's hard! Hopefully he will change his mind and finish. But, I do agree with educational things...especially things that can be shared with all of the kids you end up having.

Shelly - posted on 05/01/2012

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I got a free Domino's pizza a couple of weeks ago, but missed it yesterday and today. They're doing a giveaway of their Artisan pizza on their facebook page.

Jolene - posted on 05/01/2012

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hmmm that's hard but, probably something i know that i will get a lot of use out of. for example right now on my list (esp since school will be out soon) is a compact stroller (i only have a large travel system on and the childrens museums do not like full size b.c. of the crowds) and a water/sand table....but i still hope to find good deals.

i know: memberships i know i will spend a lot on. The Hands on Children's Museum has military deals but are still kinda pricey......on their memberships....i like to spend money on memberships that i KNOW i will use....i hate paying for stuff like the zoo etc when i know i will go there all the time....id rather suck up the money cost up front and get the membership

Shelly - posted on 05/01/2012

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When my son was at home, I would spend more on anything that was truly educational. Not just the fluff stuff, but books, classes, etc. It must have paid off, because he got his Associate's Degree just after he turned 17. Unfortunately, something went wrong, because he quit his 4 year college when he was 18, and with only a semester to go. :(

Melea - posted on 05/01/2012

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There was another thing that I wanted to mention to all of you. I don't know how active you all are with requesting free samples and such.. but just wanted to make sure you knew that companies really do offer compeltely FREE stuff! (No strings attached.) Depending on the promotion, you have to "like" them on Facebook or sign up for emails. Have any of you received FREE samples or goodies from companies before??

Meghan - posted on 05/01/2012

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@Jolene, something you use for the kids! Sorry, that was pretty unclear. :)

Jolene - posted on 05/01/2012

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what do you mean by parenting item like something you use for the kids, yourself or?

Jolene - posted on 05/01/2012

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what do you mean by parenting item like something you use for the kids, yourself or?

Jolene - posted on 05/01/2012

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@melea, yey for family movie night! i didnt think of that but now that you mention it, i think my town also does that for the summer nights!

plus dont forget farmers markets...if you wanna do a lil in season shopping, free music, you get outdoors, spend time with the fam, etc :)

the bay/beach/lakes are near us and is free so we will be doing a lot of that....and my fam likes to bike ride....fortnately i live where it is a very mild and short summer so its not miserable to go outside and do a lot of that stuff ;)

Melea - posted on 05/01/2012

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@jolene: Such a good idea on the Local Events Tips! I know that our State has Movies in the parks on Friday Nights all over. It's free and something fun to do with the whole family! You can usually find info like that on your city's website.

Meghan - posted on 05/01/2012

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Here's another question for all the participants: What is the number one parenting item you think is worth spending a little extra on?

Jolene - posted on 05/01/2012

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@melea: that is a great idea i will def be doing that this week!!! right now pampers are the only ones she won't leak out of esp over night!!

inexpensive stuff: i like to do stuff the library puts on because it's all FREE....esp in the summer with reading programs, here in lacey, they haev a music in the park, scavenger hunts you name it....for free plus if you are in the reading program you read so much and get coupons for your fam to go to the childrens museum, zoo etc

also i check out what the town has going on because most of it is free or extremely cheap....for example, there is an alternative energy fair, family spring fun fair and....soemthing else lol....all for free for the town.....

ALSO i just went to the arbor day celebration a couple weeks ago and got 3 FREE trees to plant (2 dogwoods and 1 red leaf maple) in my yard

so check your local events!!!!

Melea - posted on 05/01/2012

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Just today, I let my readers know that the Summer Movie Program for Kids is Back! If you haven't heard of it, during the Summer, places like Cinemark, Regal, United Artists and Regal Theaters all do $1.00 Kid Friendly Movie showings in the morning!

Jolene - posted on 05/01/2012

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i did not realize that whole foods does their own!! i will def be on the look out!!!

i am starting my garden as we speak, the kids are very excited about it!!

For natural cleaners, I started using Shaklee b.c. I got a free membership for life last month and a good friend will buy a bottle of 10.00 cleaner and it will last her about a year....so i just spent money on products (including ship) that will last me at least a year and that is what i normally spend in 3-5 mos depending on how conservative i am on using product. that for me was a good deal b.c. i could never find cleaner coupons for stuff i feel ok usuing in my home although i have also made cleaner but even then i never see coupons for the ingredients i use....so i am pretty darn excited about my shaklee purchase ( i also have to be super careful b.c. of everyone's allergies in my family!)

:D

Melea - posted on 05/01/2012

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@Jolene: I know!! My little girl only does good in Pampers.. so we couldn't ever use the Huggies coupons. One thing you can do is write Pampers an email and let them know how much you love their products and their coupons. Usually companies will mail you coupons for giving feedback!! That could be a good way to get coupons from them... and hopefully high-value coupons too!

Melea - posted on 05/01/2012

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@shelly: Beer rebates can be found on the beer aisles. If you don't see them there, you can actually go to customer service and ask them for them. Unfortunately, some people have been stealing entire stacks of beer rebates and selling them on eBay to make money off of. So that is probably why you might not see them on the beer aisle.

Melea - posted on 05/01/2012

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@brook: Your best bet is probably to follow a few bloggers who do the work for you. They will go through the weekly ads and match up the deals with coupons and let you know which prices are the best to purchase that week! That way, you don't have to do much work and you can leave the CRAZY people like me to do it for you! :)

Melea - posted on 05/01/2012

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Gardens are awesome if you have space to do them. Great thought Shelly! For those who are living more organic, don't forget places like Whole Foods and other organic stores usually have their own coupon page you can use to print off coupons just for their store. (Just in case you guys didn't know. )

Shelly - posted on 05/01/2012

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Yes, beer rebates! Where do people find those? I know you can buy them on eBay, or I sometimes get some from a coupon group to which I belong, but where do they come from?

Jocelyn - posted on 05/01/2012

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Yes! What Shelly said. We eat healthy and every product (personal hygiene and cleaning products) are all healthy, too, so not a lot of coupons out there. ;-(

Jolene - posted on 05/01/2012

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@melea: i noticed that huggies always has a ton of coupons come out and not so much as pampers, is there another place online that maybe has them to print that you know of?

Meghan - posted on 05/01/2012

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Moms, we want to hear your money-savvy thoughts, too! What are your favorite inexpensive family activities for a Saturday evening?

Shelly - posted on 05/01/2012

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@Jolene I do have a garden, so that helps. And I did just buy some coupons for organic seeds on eBay, so there are some savings to be had.

Brook - posted on 05/01/2012

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My problem is having all of these coupons and not knowing how to get the best value from them by combining them with the store sales, before they expire.

Melea - posted on 05/01/2012

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@shelly: There is another great way to save on the healthier foods! Use Beer Rebates! And the best part is that there is 14 states that don't require a beer purchase to use the rebate. (Al, AR, CT, HI, IN, KY, ME, MO, NC, NJ, NY, OK, UT AND WV) Depending on the rebate, you could score amazing rebate deals on everything from meat, fresh produce, seafood, and grill items. And you will start to see a lot of these in grocery stores for Spring and Summer! A lot of times, you end up getting food... healthy food for FREE after the rebate comes back to you!

Jocelyn - posted on 05/01/2012

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I also agree with Jolene. It never seems like really healthy (organic) food has good coupons - just junk.

Shelly - posted on 05/01/2012

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But if you are eating really healthy, you're probably also living really healthy and don't use the conventional beauty/cleaning products. It's kind of frustrating to not be able to save like those who eat/use the unhealthy products

Jolene - posted on 05/01/2012

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@shelly that is exactly my problem. I still want to find ways to save on my grocery bill yet have the fresh raw healthy foods....i try to buy in season but it's not always a sure way it seems...just seems like everything is going up in price!!!

Melea - posted on 05/01/2012

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@jocelyn: I totally believe it is! Espeically after breaking down how much you could be making your family each week just by couponing. But, more than that, it actually gave our family room to put money away for savings!! And, believe it or not, we have paid off our debt because of couponing!

Tammy - posted on 05/01/2012

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I love couponing and thanks to blogs and facebook it has made it alot easier and I save alot more

Melea - posted on 05/01/2012

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@jolene: I totally hear you! There are a lot of junk food coupons. But coupons for fruits and veggies, bread and even meat do come. They are just a little more rare to find. If you are eating on the really healthy side, I recommend people to use coupons for all of the Beauty/Cleaning and Paper Goods items instead. That way, the money you are saving on all of those household items will help you with the more expensive healthier items and even out a bit.

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