Tuesday, September 30

Super Double Coupons at Kmart!!

I usually don't spend much (or any) time at Kmart because they tend to not have the best deals in my opinion. But Little Miss Know It All has info on super double coupons at Kmart (select regions) starting tomorrow, October 1 through October 5! She's working on posting some coupon matchups

They are doubling all coupons - up to $2! That means $2 coupons are doubling to $4. There is no overage, but this is a pretty fantastic deal.

More details including rules (for my area) are here.

Happy shopping!!

Start Couponing Today - part 1

I've always used coupons, sort of. I would clip them and sometimes file them (or leave them in a stack somewhere) and then when I went to the store with my list, I would sometimes buy sale items and if I had a coupon for what I wanted to buy, then I would use it. Yeah, that's not really the right way to do it! ;)

When you're couponing the right way, it's slightly more time consuming. It requires planning. But boy does it pay off. So this post is to help those of you who do what I used to do learn how do make it worth your while.

The first thing you need to do is get some coupons. The easiest way to aquire them is by buying your local Sunday paper. If you buy more than one copy, then you can get double the coupons. I often do this and recycle the paper, of course. Our local paper is always .99 at some chain and it changes monthly. I always get it when I only have to pay .99 instead of the usual $1.50. Our dollar store sells it too, so if nothing else maybe you have that in your area as well.

Another place to acquire (some of the best) coupons is online. To the right of my page is a widget where you can get some really great coupons by printing them out. Check your favorite company's websites for printable coupons. When I post deals, I'll give you a link to find the coupon online if it's available. Sign up on Hot Coupon World to find some good coupons and take advantage of their coupon database, which will tell you where to find any coupon in circulation.

Meijer Mealbox is Meijer's offering of store coupons online, which you can use in combination with manufacturer coupons. Check there before heading to Meijer because they often include Meijer brand products, national brands and coupons for items you usually don't find coupons for, like produce and meat. (Click on the "Specials" tab on the widget to see available coupons.) One caveat with these is that you can only use one of each coupon per transaction.

Did you know that you can load coupons right to your Kroger Plus card that you can use in addition to your manufacturer coupons? P&G makes their coupons available periodically, as does Shortcuts and Upromise. Check my link to the left to sign up for Upromise and you can even link up your CVS card to not only get coupons, but start earning rewards.

If you haven't registered your shopper cards online, you should definitely do so! Set up an e-mail that you use exclusively for coupons so you can have them sent straight to your inbox. Companies will often mail their most valuable coupons to loyal customers, so if they don't have your address, you're missing out.

So your first task is to acquire some coupons. And you don't even have to worry about cutting them right now. Just keep the Sunday inserts intact. We'll get to the whole organization thing later. But for now start paying attention. I have coupon radar. Look for the blinky machines in the grocery store or any flyers or tear pads when you're out. There are some valuable coupons to be had just lying around out there!

Monday, September 29

Money Making Monday - Mystery Shopping

Want to earn some free meals, merchandise or a little cash? Be a mystery shopper! Mystery shoppers are paid (in cash or product) for evaluating service or products for different companies. The compensation is not huge - this is definitely not something you can make a living with - but it is a fun way to get some freebies.

One of my favorite companies is National Shopping Service. I've done lots of Papa Johns mystery shops for them. Basically, I order the pizza they specify (usually several choices), then I get online and fill out a survey about the order process, take some pictures of the pizza when it arrives, and tell them about the delivery driver (appearance, friendliness, etc.) They send me a check for the total cost of the pizza (including tip and delivery) at the end of the month.

Companies all over the country use mystery shoppers! If you have a favorite restaurant, for example, ask the manager about this the next time you're in. Some others I've worked with include Nationwide Service Group and Bestmark.

Do you shop for a different company? Care to share the info? Leave a comment and help others who are looking for opportunities like this!

Saturday, September 27

Free Starbucks for Teachers and Homeschool Parents

Calling all teachers and homeschool parents! Money Saving Mom is reporting that it's free coffee day at Starbucks this Monday, September 29. Head over there to check out the details.

If you don't fall into the above category for free Starbucks, all is not lost. Just check out my giveaway here for the chance to get some for yourself!

Super Deal Saturday!

Here my best deals at Meijer and Kroger 9/28 - 10/4.

Check back later for a midweek update if I find anything else dealworthy. Our Kroger sales run Monday-Sunday and Meijer runs Sunday-Saturday. Both stores double coupons up to $1.00 but Meijer will only double 2 like coupons.

***In this week's Door Store ads Meijer has tons of store coupons that will be good until 11/1/08. There aren't a lot of deal matchups this week, but hold onto them for the weeks to come!***

Apples .99/lb
Grapes .99/lb
Aunt Millie's Bread .99 - Use .35 q (8/10 insert) = .29
Cheerios Mix and Chex Mix 3/$5 - Use .50 q (8/10 insert) or go here for a printable = .67
Silk Soymilk 2/$5 - Use .55 q (9/14 insert) = .50
Dole Salad Mixes BOGO - Use .55 q (9/14 insert) on each = not sure of exact price here, but approximately .49 each
Splenda 25% off! - Use $1.00 q (9/7 insert) = usually the 1.9 oz boxes are priced around $1.87 on this sale, so you can get them for .87 a box!
Ronzoni Pasta .99 - assuming the Smart Taste is part of this sale, use $1.00 q (8/24 insert) = free pasta!
Skippy PB 2/$4 - Use .40 q (8/17 insert) plus $1/2 Meijer Mealbox q = .70 each
Ore Ida frozen potatoes 3/$7 - Use $1/3 Meijer coupon (this weekend's Door Store) plus $1/2 from All You Magazine - buy 3 bags = $1.67 each
Chi-Chi's salsa 4/$5 - Use $1/2 Meijer Mealbox q - buy 2 = .75 each
Febreeze Air Effects 2/$5 - Use .50 q from Kroger Home Made Simple coupon booklet - sign up here or there will be one in this weekend's insert - $1.50


Don't forget to use your Cottonelle .50/1 q from last weekend's insert and get your free toilet paper! If you missed out on those coupons, you can order some on ebay.

Grapes .99/lb
1/2 gallons of milk and juice - 4/$5
Huggies Jumbo packs $9.99 - Use $1.00 Shortcuts q AND a $1.00 Upromise q (click on my link to the right to sign up and load coupons) AND any manufacturers $1.00 q = $6.99
Eggo Waffles 2/$4 - Use .55 q (9/21 insert) = $1.00
Sargento Cheese - 2/$5 - Use $1/2 q (8/3 insert) - Buy 2 = $2.00 each

Friday, September 26

Dave Ramsey's take on the economy

In the wake of everything that's been happening around us, it's hard for many of us to understand what's really going on. We are followers of Dave Ramsey and his Financial Peace Program. Here are some simple answers Dave offers for what's going on right now.

My first Freebie Friday giveaway!

I'm joining in on the action with my first giveaway in honor of Freebie Friday! Starbucks is one of my favorite treats and I just discovered that they now have a Pumpkin Spice Frappucino! I'm giving away a $5 Starbucks giftcard.

To enter, just leave a comment! You can get an additional entry by linking to my post in your blog! Just leave your link in your comment!

**AND THE RANDOMLY SELECTED WINNER IS: Suzanne!! Email me with your address and I'll get your Starbucks card in the mail. Thanks for participating, everyone!**

Freebie Friday!

There are some alleged (to me) CVS beauty book coupons in some CVS stores. If you're lucky enough to have ever spotted one, you know what I'm talking about. For me, I have never seen a single one in the many stores surrounding my house.

But not to worry! Bargain Briana is giving some away here! These coupons often coincide with some great CVS deals and you can stack them with manufacturers coupons for even better savings.


Enter to win a Wow Wow Wubzy DVD from Mommies With Cents

Win a 2 year subscription to All You Magazine - this is the magazine with all the sweet coupons! - from The Thrifty Mama

Are most people couponers?

Andrea, from Mommy Snacks - one of my favorites! - participated in a guest post today from Keeping the Kingdom First, which is another great blog. They're talking about couponing statistics.

What do you think? I know when I go to the grocery store, it's rare that I see other people using coupons at the checkout. Sometimes if someone in line with me has an item I have a coupon for, I'll share one with them. During the "electricity extravaganza" last week (or fiasco, as my mom would probably say), I gave a man at Biggs' $6 worth of Energizer battery coupons. He didn't have any and that's typically what I see in the store.

Thursday, September 25

CVS Deals for 9/28 - 10/4

Here are the best deals I've spotted at CVS next week:


Covergirl Clean Makeup $5.49 get $5.49 in ECBs (limit 1) - Use $1 q from any recent inserts or this weekend's = moneymaker after ECBs! There will also be a BOGO coupon in this Sunday's paper. All Covergirl is Buy 1 Get 1 50%. Get 3 products (including the foundation), use a BOGO coupon and 2 $1 q's to save even more!

Buy 2 Colgate toothpastes or toothbrushes 2/$5 get $2.00 in ECBs (limit 2) - Use .75 q from 9/7 insert, $1.50 off Colgate Total June, July, Aug or Sept All You Magazine or on each item

Buy 2 Sunsilk (full line) 2/$7 get $2.00 ECBs - Use $1.50/1 coupon from 8/17 insert (on each item) = $2 after ECBs

Gillette Fusion Razor $9.99 get $5.00 ECBs - Use $4.00 q from this weekend's insert = .99 after ECBs

Buy 2 Gillette hair care 2/$9 get $2.00 ECBs - Use $2.00 q (on each item) from this weekend's insert = $3.00 after ECBs

These deals don't include ECBs, but they're still worth a mention

Febreeze Air Effects 2/$5 - Use $1.00 q in this weekend's insert = $1.50

Benadryl $4.99 - Use $1.00 q from recent inserts, there is also a $1.00 CRT if you've gotten this at the bottom of your CVS receipt = $3.99 or $2.99

Revlon Makeup B1G1 50% off - Prices start at $3.49, so use $2 q's from recent inserts or the recent B1G1 lip color coupon for better savings

Band-Aids, Neosporin $4.49 - Use $1.00 q from recent inserts or $1.00 CRT = as low as $2.49

Remember, CVS' policy is that you can use one coupon per item, even with a buy one get one sale. You can also combine one CVS coupon with one manufacturer's coupon. Don't forget to register your CVS card at, so you can receive valuable coupons in your e-mail! If you have any $/$$ coupons, you can save even more!

Free DVDs for your little guys

Fisher Price is offering a couple of DVDs for free right now! These are suitable for young boys. The site says 12-14 weeks for delivery, but I believe it only took about 8 weeks for mine to come, so this could be a nice little stocking-stuffer for Christmas!

Planet Heroes DVD

Geo Trax DVD

The Geo Trax DVD states it's for children 2 1/2 and older. My 4 year-old loves it! The Planet Heroes may be for a slightly older child, maybe 3-4 and older.

Making Money with Market Research Studies

One great way I've discovered to make a little cash on the side is by participating in market research studies. Basically you are entered into a company's database and they call you when they have studies that fit your profile. If you qualify, they invite you to participate in the study. It consists of anything from an hour long discussion to taking a product home and trying it. Typically the pay is somewhere between $50-$100. I'll take $50 to sit in a room and tell you what I like about the diaper brand I use!

It's difficult to qualify for the studies on a regular basis. They like to keep their panelist pools fresh, so they normally won't accept someone who has participated in one of their studies in the last 3-4 months. I have signed up with several different companies in order to spread this out a little bit.

This week is quite a money maker for me. I'm participating in studies with MarketVision Research for laundry detergent, Evenflo for baby carriers and AIM Marketing for liquid dish soap. I once was involved in a Procter and Gamble study on dishwashing detergent that ended up meeting one hour once a month and paid $60 each time. Now that's a nice little money making plan!

If you're in my area (Ohio), there are several options available, including Qfact (which offers childcare!), Procter and Gamble - Consumer Village and Discovery Center and MarketVision Research. There are others throughout the country, so if you know of any, please comment and let others know!

Tuesday, September 23

Smithsonian Museum Day

This Saturday, September 27th is Smithsonian magazine's Museum Day. You can get into some museums in your area for free. You can download the pass here and find locations that will honor the card here.

It's always nice to find a new place to take the family, especially when you can try it for free! You might just find a new favorite place to visit - just in time for the winter weather, when a variety of indoor activities is a must!

Super Deals!

I'm going to combine a few things today, but normally I would like to get this posted on Saturday. I have the Meijer deals for you today. For more deals (including CVS and Kroger - which I will usually have) visit Mommy Snacks!

Meijer 9/22-9/27

  • Grapes - .97/lb
  • Strawberries - 1 lb. for $2.00
  • Asparagus - $1.99 lb.
  • Squash (acorn, butternut, spaghetti) - 2 lb. for $1.00
  • Progresso Soup - $1.25 (.50/2 from 9/7) = .75 each
  • Purex - $1.99 (.50) = .99
  • Macaroni - Buy 3 get 3 free
  • Pasta Roni/Rice a Roni - $1.00 (if you have any $1 printables from a few weeks ago - no longer available online) - free!
  • Starkist Tuna Pouches - 20% off - ($1 from 9/7)
  • Post Cereal - 3/$7 - (no current coupons that I know of) - Buy 3 Post cereals, 100 calorie packs or South Beach Bars - get $3 off a gallon of milk
  • Coffee Mate - $1.50 - ($1 printable here) - .50
  • Yoplait yogurt, kids, drink or Trix - $2.00 (.50 from 9/7 or $1.50 printable here) - $.50 - $1.00
  • Athenos Feta Cheese - 1/2 price - no coupons, but still a great price!
  • Tyson Boneless Chicken/Anytizers - $2.50 - (.55 from 9/7) = $1.50
  • Green Giant Items (various frozen varieties) - $1.50 - (various coupons from 9/7) - .50 - $1.00

Monday, September 22

College Grad!

I've taken a couple of days off from posting, because it's been a busy weekend around our household! My husband has finally graduated from college with his Bachelor's Degree. It's really been a long road - about 9 years of off and on coursework, but I am so proud of him for finally finishing. I don't think we'll know what to do with him actually having free time (and neither will he). We had a big celebration for him this weekend because this is really a big accomplishment for him.

Serge finished his degree after someone suggested an online university to us. I wasn't sure about them and so I did some research. I found a good site called which not only has all kinds of great information, but it even includes a forum where you can hear from real people who actually take college courses online. (As you know, I'm a big fan of that!)

I discovered that most online programs are actually part of actual colleges with real buildings and not just virtual creations. The program Serge did was very simliar in cost to what we were paying at the local university. The difference was that he was able to do this easily while working full-time. Instead of scheduling classes and having to work around his school schedule, he's able to work a regular 8 hour day and do his coursework at home whenever he had the time, without ever having to "go" to school. Basically his classes lasted 5 weeks. He bought a book for each class and was required to participate in discussions through board postings and write a paper for every class. He was even able to get federal financial aid and he recieved employer tuition reimbursement for it.

I would recommend to anyone who is having trouble doing college the traditional way - especially if you're working full-time or you have children - look into online colleges. They are legitimate and a great way to earn your degree when you have more obligations than the traditional college student.

I will normally be posting more on the weekends and surrounding days, such as good grocery and drugstore deals for the week - but for this weekend, I think Serge deserves a post of his own.

Thursday, September 18

Taylortown Preview

The Taylortown Preview is up for the week. This is a site that shows the coupon inserts that are going to be in the upcoming paper each week. We don't always get all of them, but it's usually pretty accurate.

The key to couponing is to actually have coupons, so aside from internet printables and other sources, the Sunday paper is a great place to start. You can check out on the right of my page for lots of great printables.

I use this preview to determine how many newspapers to buy. I'm not seeing anything too exciting this week, so I will probably just buy one or two papers. If there's just a coupon or two in a given week that really looks good, I can always buy them on ebay.

Buying coupons outright is not a legal practice, per the wording on the coupons, but many sellers put their coupons on ebay and what you're actually paying for is the time and effort for them to get the coupons and send them to you. It can often be worth it. The most recent coupons I bought were 20 .50/1 Cottonnelle coupons for $1.49. Since Kroger has 4-packs at .99 for their everyday price, I got 20 free 4-packs for the $1.49 I paid for the coupons! I'd say that's a good deal!

Transcription - How I got started

I got such a response in comments and email about my post on transcription that I want to expand on it a little bit. I've found that when you're looking for a job working from home, it can seem a little bit overwhelming and it really helps to hear how a real person actually started doing it. Let me tell you exactly how I became a transcriptionist.

I knew this was going to be a good fit for me because of the nature of the work and the schedule. The process takes a couple of weeks or more, so I got started several weeks before I would leave my full-time job. (Keep in mind this is definitely something you can do on the side while continuing to work full-time. I think it's a great way to just earn extra money!)

I started learning about the different companies on WAHM. There are certain companies that will hire with little or no experience. Those are the ones I started sending my resume to. Initially I got hired with a company called Morningside Partners. They emailed me after they received my resume, with a sample test to complete. I returned that and soon I was ready to start working! However, I didn't do much work for them because I found their format for requesting work a little too complicated back then.

Then I decided to post my resume on Guru. A lot of people also use Elance. These sites have both companies and individuals looking for anything from ongoing transcription work (and many other fields) to a one-time project for a college student. Don't shy away from the one-time jobs - often they'll take someone inexperienced and you could get lucky and end up with long-term work that way. Not to mention it's a great way to build your resume.

I got my first real job (that I did for a long time) on Guru. They emailed me after I had bid on their job (through the Guru website) and I began working for them. The pay was small - about $40 per audio hour - but for a newbie it was totally expected! I was soon bumped to $50 an hour.

The key to making money and having steady work is to contract with at least two companies. I soon found another transcription opportunity that interested me on WAHM and contacted that individual. He hired me within a couple of weeks. (You will often not hear specific company names discussed because of company policies but don't worry - it is not difficult to find out where they are. Check out my original transcription post to find a link to companies that hire newbies.)

Eventually I even got hired on with a third, very well-known transcription company. I then stopped working with the original company I'd contracted through. Honestly, I have two small kids and I'm only working nights and weekends so two is enough for me. The first company paid the lowest for the amount of work - that was my bottom line.

So now I work with two companies. One company that pays very well (but is very strict on grammar rules and style) takes a one-month hiatus in the summer, so I did lots of extra work for the other company. The other company assigns weekend work that's not due until Monday night and the other company doesn't have Monday work, so that's when I do it.

I've been doing transcription for about two years now and I really enjoy it. I love the flexibility of hours and the fact that I can take work only when I want it and it really doesn't matter to the company if I don't. I do often work weekends, but I do the work at unimportant times to avoid missing t-ball games or taking the kids to the park on a warm afternoon, so it doesn't really bother me.

I'll post more about a typical schedule for me and details like that later. If you have any questions, I'd love to hear them. Please feel free to ask - this is why I started this blog!

Wednesday, September 17

Miles of Marketing

In my quest to look for different streams of income - which is key to really making a sustainable income when doing part-time work at home - I found Miles of Marketing, about a year ago. I've done a few campaigns for them and they're a really great company!

I've asked the owner of Miles of Marketing, Liza Lowenberg, to give you an idea of what exactly a Miles of Marketing Representative does:

Earn cash while you drive, run errands, host play dates or even enjoy lunch with friends. At last, you can get paid for being a Mom.

All stay-at-home and work-at-home moms are eligible to be a part of this new mom-based business.

The company's goal is to employ stay-at-home and work-at-home moms to advertise to the same demographic. We come in contact with different people through playgroups, classes, restaurants, schools and businesses. Our exposure is vast.

Because we are so consumed with our children and their activities and pop culture, it is hard for us moms to be "in the know." M.O.M.'s goal is to change that.

Every typical campaign runs for 2 weeks and pays $100.

Responsibilities include:
1. Driving around with a 14x14 magnet on your car advertising the product
2. Handing out marketing materials that a client provides
3. Spreading the word about the product to moms, playgroups, etc.
4. Posting chatter on 2-5 online message boards
5. Sending a final report, at least 2 pictures of your car with the magnet on it and actual copies of the online posting.

Upon signing up, you will be entered into our database. The client chooses which markets they’d like to use and how many reps they like to market the product. We strive to have all mom reps working all the time, but this is not a full time position.

Please go to for more information. If you’d like to sign up, please follow the instructions on the "make me a mom rep" page.

This is 100% legitimate. We've had current press releases in Brand Week magazine and The Hollywood Reporter and you can see an interview with owner Liza Lowenberg that was on ABC News on the home page of

As I mentioned, I've done a few campaigns for Miles of Marketing. (Above is one of my photos from a campaign a few months ago.) It's truly an ingenious way to market products! Who better than moms to know what other moms like and get the word out? We talk to so many people in an average day! Why not make money while you do the things you do anyway?

If you have additional questions about them, please feel free to ask. Thanks again to Liza from Miles of Marketing!

Free Children's Book

If you've been snapping up boxes of Pop Tarts lately - either through the Kellogg's Fuel For School Promotion or with the Target giftcard offer a couple of weeks back - check the back of your boxes! Some of them have an offer for a free children's book when you send 2 proof of purchase tokens on the back of the box. I ended up with about 8 boxes of Pop Tarts after all of that and some of them did have this promo, so I guess the kids will be getting some new books just in time for the chilly weather. I noticed this is only for boxes actually purchased at Target. The form to send in with your tokens is here.

Tuesday, September 16

Work At Home Possibilities - Transcription

When I first started searching for work-at-home positions, one of the first things I landed on was transcription. I thought this would be a good fit for me because I am a quick typist and the nature of the work was completely done online, so it wouldn't matter that I had the kids at home while I was working.

There are several types of transcription, including medical, legal and general. I do general transcription. Unlike the other types, which require (often expensive) training, there is no specific terminology involved with general transcription. You can transcribe anything from teleseminars to insurance recordings to House and Senate Hearings and beyond.

What is it? Transcription involves recieving an audio file, often from an FTP transfer, then listening to it and typing (usually a word document) in the format the company uses. Typically when you're hired on with a company, they will give you the information on how to recieve the files they give you, as well as their guidelines for creating the document. Different companies have different rules for everything - abbreviations, font, spacing, etc.

What equipment do I need to start? Transcriptionists use a special program to listen to the audio that has the ability to stop and start the audio as you need to. I use Express Scribe, which is a free program you can download. It has instructions on how to download audio with the function keys or if you choose to purchase a footpedal (which you typically do not need to start with), it is compatible with that. You will also need a good pair of quality noise-cancelling headphones. You can get a good pair at any Radio Shack or Wal-Mart. I am currently using this set, which I love! They are wireless, which is an added bonus. Do not try to do transcription with earbuds. Your ears will not thank you!

What else do I need to know? Transcription is not for everyone. If you don't type close to 80 words per minute, it may be difficult to meet turnaround times, which can vary from a couple of hours to 48 hours or more. The general rule of thumb is that it takes a beginning transcriptionist 1 hour to transcribe 15 minutes of audio. Tigerfish has a transcription test available on their website, which you can check out to see if this might be an option for you.

How do I get started? First you'll want to set up a resume that you'll use specifically for transcription positions. For more on that, read my post here. I also recommend you set up an account on, which is where I got my first transcription position.

In addition to people who will browse on Guru looking for freelance transcriptionists, here is a list of companies that sometimes hire people with little or no experience.

My biggest advice is to just jump in and get your feet wet! The beauty of transcription is that it's something that can be done any time of the day. Companies don't care if you're up at 11 p.m. or 1 a.m. doing work, as long as you have it to them by their deadline. That said, I am often just picking up work to do at naptime. It's a simple way to earn income even if you're still working full-time. If you find that you do well with it, you can turn it into your full-time job and enjoy the benefits of a more flexible schedule.

MoneySavingMom - one of my favorite blogs - also did a post about getting started with transcription. Check that out here.

Monday, September 15

Thankful for electricity

We are experiencing a massive power outage in our area, courtesy of Hurricane Ike. We've never had winds this strong! If the wind gusts were Category 1 hurricane force winds, I can't imagine the damage a real hurricane could cause!

We are so thankful to be fortunate enough to (hopefully) dodge this bullet due to our close proximity to the local substation. I say hopefully because you just never know who could end up losing power while they're trying to restore it! Our neighbor told us that he's lived here for more than 20 years and has only lost power for any extended period only a handful of times.

However, the rest of my family - parents, brothers and sister - are all without power. I took the kids out this morning foraging for provisions for all of them. We waited over an hour for ice! Thank goodness for those great managers at our local Biggs for passing out cookies and bottled water.

Anyway, this situation has caused me to think about stocking up for the winter. Snowstorms and power outages are not uncommon in our area during the winter months (or in March of this year!). While my grocery stockpile should at least provide us something in the event we're snowed in, I'm going to need to start building a stockpile of things like bottled water and batteries. Look for a more detailed post on this topic a little later.

Saturday, September 13

Finding Work at Home

In the world we live in today, it's much more common for both parents to work. I personally know so many moms (so I'm sure there are many more) who would love to be able to stay home with their kids, but their budget won't allow it. Working at home is an ideal situation in most of these cases. "But it's so hard to find a work-at-home job," people tell me. "Everything is a scam. It's hard to know what's legitimate." Absolutely. Both things are true. But if you're willing to put a little time and effort into it, then there is something out there for you.

First you need to determine what your capabilities are. What are your skills? Do you have a degree or certification that could serve you well in a work-at-home position? What are your physical constraints? Do you have high-speed internet or a second phone line? Are there small children who will be home while you're working or do you have someone who can care for them? Or can you work at night when they're in bed?

These are all things to consider before you begin your search. You can find many types of jobs that are done entirely online, with no phone involved, so it doesn't matter what the noise level in your home is! There are also jobs that center around being on the phone, such as call center positions, and those will be dependent on silence in your background.

Now where to look for these jobs? I strongly believe that the best way to find a job working at home is on a central website designed specifically for that. and Work Place Like Home are two great places to start hanging out. They have a different message board for every topic and type of work at home job. I suggest starting in the Telecommuting Moms folder on These sites will not only give you great ideas for where to begin, but they'll also help you spot a scam. If you find a potential opportunity that you're unsure about, search for it on these boards. If you can't find anything, post about it - or ask me here. Fellow work-at-home moms are always willing to help.

Finally, you will want to create a resume designed specifically in order to find a work-at-home position. Create one general resume that you can tweak to fit several types of positions, if you're considering multiple courses to begin with. Here is an example of a work-at-home resume. Obviously it's very similar to a conventional one, but you'll want to include skills that relate to working virutally. I also suggest posting your resume on Guru, which is a job site for employers and individuals looking to contract work. I found my very first transcription position there. You can find side jobs and temporary things that turn into long-term work as well.

That should get you started. I have plenty more to say on the topic and I welcome your questions!

Friday, September 12

Why I Became a Couponer

I never thought my husband would brag to people about how much money I save, but I guess I can't complain about the compliments! I have learned the art of a good deal. I used to despise going to the grocery store. It took so long, I spent so much money and I never felt like I had what I needed once I got home. Occasionally I would use coupons, but here's how I would do it - I would go to the grocery store, locate an item on my list and see if I had a coupon for it. Saving .50 cents here and there didn't seem like much - especially for the time and hassle of clipping coupons!

Then I discovered how real couponers use coupons. It's not about what's on your list. It's about what's on sale. If I take that same .50 cent coupon and take it to a store that doubles coupons (Meijer and Kroger in my area) then that .50 cent coupon is now a $1 coupon. If I wait for a sale, then the deal is even sweeter. Often stores have 10/$10 sales. If I have a .50 coupon (doubled to $1) then those items are free! That's a pretty sweet deal, right?

The key is stockpiling. I might not need the item right now, but I will need it. So why not buy 6 months' worth now for pennies instead of paying full price if I wait until I run out? Recently there was a really good Electrasol coupon for $2.25 off. Stores have been running the Electrasol tabs on sale for $3. That's .75 cents for an item that is normally close to $4.00! I bought about 20. So now the next time I empty a box of dishwashing detergent I don't have to go to the store and spend $4.00 on another box. For the next year, I will use my stockpile of detergent that I bought for less than a quarter of that price per box!

Do I have your interest? Everyone can use some grocery savings, right? It's not hard. And I'll make it even easier with more information to follow.

Thursday, September 11


Thank you for visiting my blog! We are a young family with 2 children, ages 4 and 1. My blog's title, "Violet's College Fund" , is inspired by a goal of my husband, Serge, and I - that we are able to become secure financially and give our kids a head start in life. Like many young couples, we've struggled with our finances - particularly when I became a stay-at-home mom in 2007.

Knowing that our budget was about to get even tighter, I considered it my job to find ways to save my family money and make money as well. I was able to find an actual job working from home part-time and along the way I learned a lot about the process of finding work at home - something I know many, many parents want to find but don't know how. I also learned about ways to save some money. I love finding a good deal and when I score something great, I like to spread the word.

So here you'll find many things. Partly I've created this blog to document our journey to solidifying our finances. I also want to teach other people how they can find a real job they can do at home by sharing what I've learned. Maybe I can help others navigate through that unfamiliar (and scary) territory. I'll be posting great deals at grocery, drug and discount stores so you can learn to cut some money from your budget and put it towards other things. Since I have 2 k ids of my own and we're always looking for fun stuff to do, I'm sure there will be some things there for them as well!