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Hi Fellow Mom Bloggers,

We would like to talk about this subject with all of you, Because I think it is a good time, to start helping eachother during these trying times. With tips,ideas,links,information on how to get free stuff,saving money,coupons,donations,etc. We could all use these tips, especially mothers.
I have come across many posts from mothers, who are in desperate need of jobs, or work at home employment, or who don't have enough money to buy food and clothes for their children. Your Comments and Tips, are really important.

-Angela & Angelica

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This is what I blog about most - budgeting, money and making ends meet. There are plenty of us out there who are in need of work, extra work to make it through the down times. Today's Budget
I do lots of things. Here are just a few...

- Wal-Mart has free samples. I only request a sample for what I use.
- I also periodically check the corporate sites for the household items that I use. Sometimes they have coupons or free offers.
-Several friends and I have started coupon exchanges. We trade coupons and coupon books, saving money on newspapers, etc. looking for them. Several of us do this and we really don't use the same products so it works out great.
- I stock up on things that I use often when on sale. For instance....if Ragu is 10 for $1, I buy 10. Yes, it may cost me $10 but I just saved more money in the longrun and lots of times, I have a coupon.
- I do shop at thrift stores. There are so many new clothes there...why not!
- Shop at Dollar Stores for things like chemicals, snacks, etc. They have so much there.
- I love Aldi's. My fruits and veggies are priced much lower there.
- Use local folks for produce when possible.
- My newspaper is online now so I don't subscribe to it anymore. $70/year saved.
- No more long distance on my home phone. I have a cell and it has everything. My home line is basic. I saved $20/mo!
- Before grocery shopping, I make a list. If it's not on there, I don't need it.
- No sodas. They are unhealthy and expensive. If I want something fizzy, I'll have juice with a little seltzer water.
- I don't always buy in bulk. Just because it is bigger doesn't always mean it is cheaper.
- I buy cheaper cuts of meat and use my crock pot and Lipton soup!
- Breakfast is a once a week meal. My kids love pancakes and getting them during the week is like a treat. They are quick, easy and cheap!
- No more bottle water. Not only do the bottles add to pollution but it's expensise buying a case. Get a Brita water bottle and refill it.

These are just a few...

I have a few links for you! CafeMom has a terrific Stretch Your Budget group - good tips and advice from other moms.

A post with some good ideas is Couponing Online: Stop Online Before You Shop At The Store! by Stefanie Fauquet. She suggests going online to get coupons. The newspaper is a great source and worth getting Sunday delivery since you'll end up getting more coupons that what you pay for the paper. Plus you get all the sale fliers, which will help you find deals, too.

The Complete Tightwad Gazette book by Amy Dacyczyn. Her books and newsletter was a lifesaver for us while my husband was going through graduate school.

- Making your own cleaning products.
- Sharing a Sam's Club or Costco membership with a friend or two.
- Carpooling and ride sharing.
- Finding a discount grocery store that specializes in overstocked items. Our local one is awesome. The boxes may be beat up but the prices are amazing. I get most of my organic apple sauce, soups, and cereals there.
- If you have a chest freezer, go in with another family on a side of beef or a large order of pork/chicken.
- CSAs - Community Supported Agriculture. You can buy a share at a local farm and get fresh produce. It's worth doing especially if you go in with another family.
- Grow your own veggies and herbs. Freeze and can what you can't eat.
- Go fishing! In many states, kids under 12 or 16 don't need fishing licenses. And there are clubs out there that will teach your kids to fish if you or your spouse doesn't know how. (Same with hunting.) You can borrow gear from friends and eat the catch.
- Angel Food Ministries - you do not have to be on WIC, food stamps, etc. to use this service.
- Brew your own beer. It's a bit expensive to start, but cheaper in the long run, especially if you like higher end brew
- Crockpots and bread makers - you can pick up used ones at thrift stores.
- ask your doctor for a medicine sample instead of filling a prescription
- sell stuff on ebay, Craigslist and at garage sales
- don't buy books, get them at the library
- trade your old books at a used book store
- if your eyeglass RX has changed, get new lenses only, not lenses and frames
- see if your family can make it on one car, not two
- Planned Parenthood has a sliding scale for exams and birth control

And bottom line, don't be afraid to ask for help. See what services your family is eligible for like the free/reduced lunch program, tuition assistance for preschool, WIC, food stamps, free vaccinations, etc. It's about making due until you can get back on your feet again.
I try to help out as much as I can - personally and with my blog. For instance, my son's school was collecting toys for a foster home that they had adopted. I was shocked to see how little had been collected - like 10 toys (and two of those were from us!). So, we pulled together 10 toys to give. It's not a lot, but every little bit helps!


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