5 Books I read in December – The Frugal Gazette + more

In December, I went through a reading blitz. I tried to speed through some of the books that had been sitting on my shelf so that I could make room for 2017 new releases. These 5 books were actually set aside for my husband, since he usually prefers nonfiction (I don’t.) They’re books that the guys may want to read, but don’t let that stop you from sharing them with the women in your life, too!

Disclosure: I received these books from Baker and Revell Publishing. Post contains affiliate links; opinions shared are my own. [Read more…]

Have a bookish spring fling! Get 2 books for less than $4 shipped

Disclosure: Post contains affiliate links. Opinions shared are mine.

Amazon Prime,  you’ve become my enabler.  I can one-click submit, and end up with 5 new books on my doorstep within 2 days.  The problem is, I never send those books BACK to you.  Now, I’m taking matters into my own hands — literally – and saving a bundle.

How to get 2 books for less than $4 shipped

Does that conversation sound familiar (or maybe a little disturbing?)  If so, you may need PaperBackSwap.  I’ve been using it for years, and I love it!  It’s so easy to exchange my gently loved books for new titles to put on my shelf. In fact, PaperBackSwap should probably be called PaperBackRevolvingDoor for me.  Here’s how to get your books for super cheap, and keep that cycle going!  [Read more…]

The Budget Kit book review

Disclosure: I received this book to review. Post contains affiliate links; opinions shared are mine.
The Budget Kit #giveaway

Is 2016 shaping up to be your financial bang or bust?  The family budget can be a tough ship to sail.  In particular, spring seems to be a pricey time of year for many families. Between all the graduations and weddings, baby showers and birthdays, you may find yourself stretching those dollars a little more.  Tuck in summer vacation planning, and it’s likely that you’ll hear those pennies start to squeak.  No matter the income level, or a lack of budget prowess, The Budget Kit can be a great resource for any household. This workbook-style toolkit is easy to use, and simple to understand.   [Read more…]

Live Your Life for Half the Price by Mary Hunt – book review

Disclosure: Family Christian provided this review/giveaway. The post and giveaway form contain affiliate links. Opinions shared are mine.

Live Your Life for Half the Price - book review and giveaway at savingsinseconds.com

See this banana bread?  It’s all because of Mary Hunt.  [Read more…]

Save time and money with the Ziploc® Vacuum Sealer System #sponsored

Disclosure: I participated in a Vibrant Influencer Network campaign for the Ziploc® Brand Vacuum Sealer System. I will receive a fee for posting. The opinions expressed in this post are my own; I am in no way affiliated with the Ziploc® Brand Vacuum Sealer System team and do not earn a commission or percent of sales.

Save time and money with the Ziploc® Vacuum Sealer System - #sponsored #ad savingsinseconds.com


One of the biggest budget busters in the Savings in Seconds house is wasted food.  I always have the best of intentions when going in with my shopping list; that boneless chicken breast or 3-lb bag of fresh peppers truly does have a place on my meal plan.  As the week goes on, however, there are days when the meal doesn’t get prepared or the leftovers get stashed in the fridge just a little too long.  The next dilemma we usually face is trying to find a plastic container and its lid.  I really do think they run and hide, giggling in the back of the cabinet, because we never seem to find one!  I’ve wanted a Ziploc® Brand Vacuum Sealer System for ages because I’ve heard that they really help to save time and money.   [Read more…]

Start a t-shirt tradition this Thanksgiving

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through the links, I will receive a small commission.
Don't leave anyone out this year - start a tshirt tradition! savingsinseconds.com

Our family doesn’t really have a tradition for the holidays. We all pitch in to make things work; sometimes we travel to another state to visit family, other years they come to us. There have been times we were separated for the holidays or when we went on a vacation instead! I know there are lots of families who have a lifelong standing date for Thanksgiving. Maybe you all head to Grandma’s house for the annual family dinner. Perhaps you take a cruise together to celebrate the holidays. Whatever your tradition, how about starting a new t-shirt tradition this year? [Read more…]

YNAB so you can have Summer Fun

Disclosure: I received this to review. The opinions shared here are 100% mine.

Summertime is an expensive two months at our house.  We have a lot of expenditures around the end of the school year, from field trips to birthdays.  It’s also more expensive to be at home during those months because we tend to eat out more often, go on little day trips, and generally relax a bit more on our budgeting.  Those little outings really add up.  Using You Need A Budget (YNAB) has helped me stay on track.  It was really nice to go shopping last weekend knowing that I had set aside the money to buy my kids new shoes!  YNAB makes it convenient (and pretty painless) to set aside money for those little events that can easily become a crisis if you don’t budget for them.  Check out my review and tell me how YNAB could help you save money! [Read more…]

If You Need A Budget, Check Out This Post!

Disclosure: I received this software free for review. The opinions shared here are 100% mine.

Did you ever put something off because you knew it would hurt?  Perhaps a dentist appointment, getting a bikini wax, or maybe starting a new diet?  Well, I’ve tried several debt-reduction programs with varying success.  In one of the online forums I belong to, I read about the You Need A Budget program and wondered what all this fuss was about.  I kept seeing “YNAB” mentioned and doggone it, I had to be part of it.  It’s kind of like my friend Marsha — she says when she sees a line, she figures she is supposed to be in it.  So after checking out the YNAB program, I thought it was time to get a real-time budget going on.  My little envelope system has long gone by the wayside.  With online checking, I’m sort of out-of-sight-out-of-mind; the checkbook ledger is in the pits of my purse. And really, who has time?  Well, I need to make time because it’s ridiculous (and scandalous) to waste the lion’s share of our income on restaurant meals like we do.

So here we go.  Ripping off the band-aid. [Read more…]

What are your kids doing with their summer job money?

Disclosure: I received books to review. This post contains affiliate links; if you make a purchase through them, I will receive a small commission.  I use the commission to sponsor giveaways like this one.

When I was about 13 years old, a neighbor asked me to babysit her children. It was the first time I had ever been paid to babysit (before, I had only watched my brother or my mom’s friend’s children.) Their family eventually grew to include 4 kids and I babysat them for several years. Earning my own money was really exciting, plus I could do my homework at night while the kids slept. It was a great job and I appreciated having the chance to do it. Unfortunately I completely wasted the money I earned! I’m sure I spent it on NKOTB t-shirts and stamps to mail letters to pen-pals or something completely cheesy like that. No one really talked with me about saving, budgeting, or planning for the future. Would I have listened at that time? I’m not sure. Still, it’s worth noting that money DOES grow over time.  My husband worked 20-30 hours per week from the time he was a teenager all the way through college.  We’re still in massive debt from student loans, car payments, and a mortgage.  Isn’t it amazing that all this can be avoided simply by investing at a young age?  [Read more…]

How to spend the last few dollars in your grocery budget

Many of you use the envelope system to keep your grocery budget in check.  While our family doesn’t strictly adhere to a fixed limit each week, we have a budget in place and try to stick with it.  We’re working toward becoming debt free so it’s important to be aware of what we’re spending.  There are thin weeks when I feel like Old Mother Hubbard trying to find a bone in the cupboard, then there are weeks of abundance when we don’t even have to go to the store.  I find that the summer months tend to be leaner for us because we’re more tempted to eat out or spend more on entertainment.  Since I use coupons on most store trips, our grocery bill is usually reduced by $10 or so by the end.  That means there’s a little extra.  Sometimes I use that cushion to buy a gift card and save it for Christmas.  Last year that saved me when we had several gift cards already in an envelope, ready to give.    I’d like to give you another idea that will help keep the kids busy and also keep your pantry stocked!   Whether you have 50 cents or $5 extra, there’s something constructive to do with that money.

Staying within your Grocery Budget - how to spend those extra dollars  -- savingsinseconds.com

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