1040753_10101164933730339_1086265053_oI got all these groceries for $1.71 tax included the other week. Do you want to learn how? Follow Thriving on Thrifty to find coupon deals on everything from groceries to clothes to toys to beauty and fitness products plus much more. Link up with me on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, email, or by RSS feeders.

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You may be trying to figure out this summer’s vacation plans still or you may have already completed this years fun-filled activities and looking to plan for next year. Either way, every weekday over the next 2 weeks, I plan to give 10 ways to have an affordable vacation. I hope you check back each day to learn a new tip in your perfect, affordable vacation. If you have found a way to have a nice, affordable vacation, please comment below or submit it in my submissions area.

Idea #1: Have a stay-cation. Okay, so I know this doesn’t sound like that much fun, but you really can turn this into a cool, affordable idea if you work at it. I know a lot of families that can’t get away due to job or money constraints and a stay-cation may be the perfect option. Plan a week or even just a few days to be on “vacation” at home. Just because you are at home doesn’t mean you can’t get away from the stresses of life. Make a point to have all your chores done in advance like you would for any other vacation. Get your laundry done and you could even have your meals ready. Check out some freezer crock-pot recipes to get prepared in advance. Whatever you do, make sure you make it like vacation as far as making sure you don’t spend the week doing weekly chores. You wouldn’t be doing them if you went away, right? Then make a fun-filled schedule for the whole family.

Try a camping trip in the back yard or maybe have a movie and ice cream night. You could snag you a free Redbox rental code when they become available or you could Join Amazon Prime – Watch Over 40,000 Movies  for a FREE 30 day trial and make some home-made ice cream to go along with it. How awesome does that sound? If you have a park nearby, you may want to take the kids there for the day. Do you live near mountains or a lake? How about a day of hiking or swimming? Or maybe your town has shopping or historical areas that you could go explore. My whole point is to find the things your family loves to do around your own home. A lot of times we miss out on activities close to home because we are always looking to get away for vacation. Most towns and cities have a list of local activities on their website. Check it out and you may be surprised as to how much your hometown has to offer.  Just because you don’t spend a lot of money or travel hours away doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a relaxing vacation.

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All new moms have certainly learned how expensive a new member of the family can be. I’ve found ways to save money that I personally used plus some I wish I had done myself.

1. Making your own baby food:

I can’t recommend this money-saver enough. I got a Baby Bullet for my baby shower and absolutely loved it. I used it to make fruits and vegetables and would make large batches to save time and would freeze them to maintain freshness. It really didn’t take as long as I thought it would, and it allowed me to know what was truly in my baby’s food.  Next time around, I also plan to mill my own grains for baby cereal. I didn’t realize the other attachment had this feature until my son had almost outgrown baby cereal.


2. Breast Feeding or Formula Couponing:

I personally breast fed, which of course saves you money on not having to buy formula. But for those who can’t or don’t want to breast feed, there are so many coupons out there for you. Sign up for Gerber or Enfamil coupons and they will send high dollar, money-saving coupons right to your house. I was constantly getting them in the mail and I didn’t even use formula.


3. Cloth Diapers:

Cloth Diapers was on my radar at one point before having my son, but I ruled it out during my rough recovery so it was one less chore. So I personally did not do this, but I may attempt it the second time around. I know many people that do use cloth diapers though and claim it’s not as tough as it seems plus it saves a lot of money. Check out Diapers.com for a wide variety of cloth diaper or disposable diaper options. For new customers, if you enter my referral code totreferal at checkout you get 20% off your first order. Plus new customers can get free shipping for their first 3 months when code GOCRAZY is entered at checkout.


4. Homemade “Toys”

This tip is good for the first year and beyond. I heard so many people tell us that a child is more interested in the packaging than the toy, but as first time parents we were determined to get our little man the coolest toys out there. Even with my couponing skills, with the exception of a few toys, it was a waste of money . He is more interested in our old credit cards, cell phones, and the cabinet full of tupperware. It’s amazing what babies and toddlers find interesting. Now obviously, make sure whatever you give them is safe and clean, but save a few hundred on their toys for the first year or so and re-use your old stuff as toys.  What is old and outdated to you is a new treasure for a 1 year old.


5. Hand Me Down Clothing

Fortunately for me, I have a nephew 1 year older than my son, so I get a lot of hand me down clothes. For those who don’t have family or friends with children close in age to their kids, you should take the time to check out consignment shops. If you are anything like me, I’m not in the mood to hunt down nice clothing at consignment shops, so I let the consignment shop come to me. ThredUp is an online consignment shop featuring children’s clothing. Everything I’ve ordered from there has been in excellent condition. Plus, you get $10 off when you make your first purchase. This makes for a pretty awesome deal!

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Below are several websites and apps that I have had a relative amount of success with. None of these will make you rich, but most of them offer relatively simple work for decently nice rewards. I’ve found that with using several of these sites versus focusing on just one, I have more options of the “jobs” that will work for me and my schedule and aren’t so time consuming. Browse through them and decide which ones will work for you. I have listed them in the order of my personal favorites.

Ebates: This is probably my highest recommended site. I absolutely love it. I signed up mid-2012 and have already gotten over $300 back. It’s pretty simple. You just go through their site each time you shop and you get a certain percentage back based on what store you use. The site links you to various popular stores including Walmart, Kohls, Target, etc. Honestly, if you shop online, I don’t know why you wouldn’t use it. Right now, they are offering a $10 gift card for signing up and making your first $25+ purchase.

Viggle: Viggle is actually an application for Smart phones, tablets, etc. I just recently started using this site and love it. You get Viggle Points for checking into whatever you are watching on TV plus you can make bonus points for checking into specific shows, watching ads, playing trivia games, etc. Every time I change channels on my TV, I also pick up my phone and check in. It’s really that simple. The points translate into rewards like Lowes, and JCPenny gift cards plus many other rewards to choose from. It’s not something that will make a lot of money but for a relatively small amount of work, it’s worth the effort to get a few rewards here and there.

MyPoints: This site has the same concept as Ebates. It’s an online shopping site as well. This site also offers other ways to make “points” which translate into rewards. The “points” can be made by shopping, taking surveys, completing various tasks, etc. Right now, they are offering $10 worth of points for making two purchases through their site within the first 30 days of registering. Join MyPoints

Inbox Dollars: This is a site that allows you to make money by completing tasks, watching vidoes, etc. My favorite part of this site is that you get $5 right away by signing up through this link. Plus, they send you “Paid” emails each day that gives you money just for confirming the email (generally no further action is needed than just clicking to confirm the email). This paid email option sets this site apart from other similar sites as you can make a little money by simply checking and confirming your emails. The downside to this site is that you have to hit $30 before they will pay out.

JunoWallet: This is a new application that I have just started using. I really liked it at first because I was able to watch videos and make a little money here and there for relatively little work, but the more I’ve used the app the less videos they have given me . If you like doing tasks for money, this is a good app as they usually have quite a few tasks to complete. You can trade in your “money” for gift cards, and they have quite a nice variety of gift cards to choose from. So far I’d give this app a so-so rating. If you use my referral code RL2037968, then you will start out with a $0.25 bonus and I get a bonus too.

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Welcome to Thriving on Thrifty! I am so excited you decided to check out my blog for its debut. You can use the links at the top or to the left of the page to connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, email, or by RSS feeders to make sure you don’t miss out on any new, exciting posts. Please take the time to take a tour of my site and all that it has to offer. This site is here to help others learn to save money through deals and couponing while still living a quality lifestyle in various areas of life including beauty & fitness, money and time management, and other creative, cost-cutting ideas. As I find new deals and ideas, I will update my blog regularly.  I am always looking for new, exciting deals and other ideas, so I would love participation from my readers. If you have deals, ideas, or guest posts you would like to submit, please feel free to do so in my submissions area of the site or through the comments section in the various posts. Also, if you are interested in advertising on my site or if you have a business that is running a promotion or deal you would like to advertise, please contact me for further information. As a special promotion, I have made the Kindle version of my book, Paycheck Sized Savings, available for FREE for July 15, 2013 and July 16, 2013 on Amazon as a thank you for all of your support. Thanks so much!


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