As mothers of young children, we spend an embarrassing amount of time at Chick-fil-A. From taking over their play area to sleeping in their parking lot, we’re there a TON. As in, we know the owner and many of the employees by name. We also know ALL the Chick Fil A money saving hacks, and all the ways to cheapskate your way to a free lunch or two. And we are equal parts proud and embarrassed by these facts.
Even though it’s fast food, those dollars spent at Chick-fil-A add up quickly, especially when your kids keep growing and insist upon eating their own food. I keep a VERY tight cash budget, which means that I can only eat out with the kids about once a week- and that’s if I keep our total under $10 for the three of us. So how do I fuel our obsession with CFA while keeping our costs down? We’ve got a few Chick fil A money saving hacks for you to help you make it work.
Trying to figure out what to bring on a cruise? We’re heading away for our annual MomSquad weekend away, and we’ve got 6 things that will help you pack for your cruise like a pro. And also, maybe make it just a little more fun. (Which, it’s a CRUISE. So that’s saying something).
I’m not gonna lie- maybe my favorite thing about having a baby (besides getting the baby, obviously) is decorating that sweet baby’s new room. Is it necessary for an eight pound person to have a space of their own? Of course not. But when you’re a creative person, there’s something magical about prepping for your baby by getting a space ready that’s just for them. When Abram was born, we knew he’d be sharing a space with our guest room (and my crafting space- yeah, there was a lot going on in there), so we decided to go for a feel that wasn’t too “babyish.” We chose to make a blue and gray nursery for him that used lots of letters and sweet, homemade touches. We finished the space just in time for his newborn photo shoot, and were lucky to have Biancca Wallace Photography capture them for us.
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I don’t know how it works in your circle of friends, but in ours? We are heading full-throttle into what we affectionately call Birthday Season. From now until the end of April, we will likely be attending anywhere from one to four birthday parties every.single.weekend. And my kids LOVE it. But my budget? Yeah, it doesn’t.
You think you’re done with your holiday prep. You’ve baked. You’ve shopped. You’ve even wrapped. You have done the impossible- you’ve finished Christmas a full week ahead of time. You pat yourself on the back for a job well done and prepare yourself for a blissful evening drinking a glass of wine and watching “Love Actually” one more time.
And then you get a sweet little note from your child’s lovely teacher (and I mean that. She is SO wonderful), asking that you send twenty identical kindergarten class gifts to school the day after tomorrow. And since said teacher is seriously SO wonderful, you decide to oblige her one last request.
I mean, you cry first, of course. But then you get to brainstorming.
So, if you’re like us and find yourself with one more twenty little preschool class gifts to buy, might we suggest a few ideas…
I’ve been sitting on this MicroHustle for a while, because my husband always says it is so good that I’m going to put this poor company out of business. This store has given me COUNTLESS amounts of free items- we’re probably talking thousands of dollars worth, at this point, and I just don’t see how they can sustain having me as a customer. And if I’m going to put it under by myself, imagine what will happen if I send ALL the Salty Mamas out there to get in on the action? This store may not make it through the week! But I can’t keep holding out on you, so I’m finally ready to give away my secrets for the Kmart Shop Your Way Rewards program.
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It’s that time of year again, folks- that’s right, it’s the happiest time of the year!
Welcome to ONLINE SHOPPING SEASON!
Remember the days when you had to schlep from store to store, children in tow, as you hiked and searched and ran price comparisons and did the returns and exchanges and oh-crap-I-forgot-Aunt-May?
Nope. Us Either.
We’ve been doing our holiday shopping online for YEARS. Not only can it be done while you are trapped under a sleeping baby, but you don’t have to buckle and unbuckle 1 million carseat straps in the process.
And best of all- it can earn you money.
If you haven’t heard of Ebates yet, you need to sign up, like, yesterday. You typically earn a nice little bonus for signing up, which is perfect to get you started (As of the writing of this post, you will receive a $10 bonus after making your first $25 in purchases). After that, you just begin all your shopping trips at ebates.com or on the Ebates app. It’ll take you to the store’s website, and then you just shop like normal. After your purchase is complete, Ebates will add a percentage of your purchase back to your account (varies greatly from store to store) and you can watch the earnings pile up.
You can help your earnings add up faster by shopping on Double Cashback days, and by doing some percentage-and-price comparisons. For example, Amazon and Kohl’s may have the same KitchenAid mixer you’ve been eyeing for the same price (this is the one I just got. Isn’t it a DREAM?), but Kohl’s typically gives higher percentages back through Ebates, so it ends up being a little cheaper in the long run.
So click here to hop on this bandwagon quick so that you can maximize your earnings before the holiday season. And make sure you’re following us on Facebook! We’re expecting some good deals for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and you don’t want to miss out on our reminders!
This post includes affiliate links in addition to a giveaway provided by Chrysalis Beauty Co. The Salty Mamas may make a small commission from items purchased after clicking through the links. As always, the thoughts and opinions expressed here are our own. Thank you for supporting The Salty Mamas!
I know there are some fabulous mamas out there, but ladies, I am not one of them. Sure, I used to spend big money on make-up back in the day. But those days are loooong gone, and I’ve spent years and years with the same routine- drug-store foundation, drug store eyeliner, drug store blush, and LOTS of drug-store mascara. I just didn’t have the time, the energy or, frankly, the money to put towards my day to day look.
And then my son spent five minutes as a model, and, as a result, so did I. And I received two glorious makeovers as a result. I wasn’t the focus of the shoot, so my makeup was light, natural, and simple. But I still felt like a million dollars, and decided I wouldn’t wait until the next photo shoot to find that oomph again, but that I would find it on my own (which, thank goodness, as there was no next shoot).
I was lucky enough to stumble upon Mama’s Beauty Bar, a Facebook group run by a kind, funny, and talented makeup guru by the name of Beth Griffin. Beth is the owner and operator of Chrysalis Beauty Co. One facet of her business is a makeup line offered up by Younique, a company that offers incredible mascara, lip products, and other makeup. I thought I wasn’t ready to take the Younique plunge, but I watched her incredible Facebook live videos, learned some tips and tricks, and my style started to evolve. And when I won a Lip Bon Bon of my own? I realized that this makeup really was worth every penny!
So I adjusted my makeup budget a little. I did some serious Google Searches, and some serious trial-and-erroring, and stepped up my game by finding the best drug-store make up around (which helped me free up my budget for my favorite splurges from Younique).
Maybelline Fit Me Blush– based on my face shape, the Make Up artist I worked with at the photo shoot gave me the suggestion to use only a bit of blush or bronzer low on the apple of my cheek. After a little searching, I found this blush, which comes in a multitude of shades and adds just the right amount of color for some definition, without going over the top.
CoverGirl Outlast Mascara– While I use my Younique 3D+ Fiber Lashes Lash Enhancer for special occasions, I still prefer my old-school, orange-tube CoverGirl Mascara for the day to day. I get it in ebony black, and lay it on thick in several layers. My mama always told me that a lady doesn’t leave the house without her mascara on, and for the most part I follow her rule.
Younique Lip Bon Bon from Chrysalis Beauty Co. I love the bold lipstick look when I see it on others, but for whatever reason it just doesn’t work for me. The Lip Bon Bons are creamy, subtle, and leave your lips feeling fully hydrated, soft, and lush. They come in five colors, and one of you lucky readers will be winning one of your own in Beth’s favorite color.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m still a model in name only, and only wear makeup about half the time. But all I was really looking for was a way to look better when I wanted to do, and between Beth and that Hollywood Make Up artist, I found a way to do just that.
Today’s Micro Hustle won’t actually make you any money, but it can save you big bucks, and isn’t that kind of the same thing? Also, it’s a Hustle on your kids, which – I think it’s safe to say – we’re all on board for every once in a while! Enjoy!
Ask any Mama what she loves about the fall, and nestled somewhere between a Grande Pumpkin Spice Latte and putting on a cozy sweater will be taking the kids to the pumpkin patch. Because kids and pumpkins are adorable. Need proof? Fine.
The pumpkin patch is AWESOME. Whether yours is in the middle of a city and has carnival style rides, a petting zoo and a concession stand or is out in the country and has apple launchers, a corn maze and homemade cider, every one is full of fun for the family.
Also, EXPENSIVE PUMPKINS.
Yes, the seedy underbelly of the pumpkin patch operation is insanely expensive pumpkins. And while you’re there for the adorable photo ops, your kids are probably there for the expensive stuff – like the rides, treats, and pumpkins. The pain that I feel in my heart – and my wallet – as I hand over a credit card to pay $20+ for a pumpkin that I can get for $3.99 at the grocery store is palpable. But what else can you do? It’s a pumpkin patch – you can’t just leave without a pumpkin!
But you canleave without a GIANT pumpkin…..
Enter…..The Pumpkin Fairy!
Oh you don’t know about the Pumpkin Fairy? Well let me introduce her to you! Because she may very well change your life at the Pumpkin Patch this year! You see the Pumpkin Fairy is a beautiful and magical fairy that can turn tiny (read: cheap) pumpkins from the pumpkin patch into big, beautiful pumpkins – overnight!
Confession: The Pumpkin Fairy isn’t real, folks. But it can be real in your house this year if you follow these steps!
First – you gotta sell this to your kids. Start laying the groundwork immediately. Tonight, when you put them to bed, don’t forget to tell them about the legend of the Pumpkin Fairy!
She’s beautiful, with orange hair and a dress made from pumpkin seeds and the stringy stuff inside the gourds! And every October she visits all the little children to turn their baby pumpkins into big magical pumpkins! (This may be harder if your kids are used to picking out a giant pumpkin at the patch, but you can talk them into it – I believe in you! I mean, who wants one of those big pumpkins, when you can have a pumpkin that has been made out of magic???)
Then you go to the patch. Remind them of the new plan – tiny pumpkins kids! The cheaper smaller, the better! Let them pick any pumpkin they want out of that bargain bin!
When you get home, find a nice easy spot to put your pumpkins! Don’t do something stupid like put them under pillows. The Pumpkin Fairy is a LOT bigger than the Tooth Fairy and isn’t as good at sneaking around- especially after a glass of wine or two. The porch is an excellent spot.
Then, tuck the kids in.
Have a glass of wine and watch Real Housewives while you wait for them to fall asleep. You’ll be kicking yourself next year, and spending big bucks, if you get caught. Then – swap out those pumpkins with the grocery store ones you’re hiding in the trunk of the car. If you want to get REAL fancy, sprinkle some glitter around. Fairies are notorious for getting glitter on everything.
And that’s it! You saved a ton of money and made a Pinterest-worthy tradition that will have you looking like a) a money saving genius and b) Mom of the Year
One year, for Jaymi’s birthday, she made it her mission to travel around to all the different places that would give her something free on her birthday. She ruled out the free ferry ride to Catalina, but she vowed to tackle every.other.thing.
She’s never been so sick in her life.
Do you have any idea HOW MANY PLACES will give you free food and drinks on your birthday? It’s kind of ridiculous, but also, it’s kind of awesome. So, without further ado, a list of places that will give you something FREE for your birthday (food, drinks, and otherwise!).
1.Kohl’s- As part of their Yes2You Rewards program, you will receive a coupon for $5 off a $5 purchase (aka the holy grail of coupons). That’s $5 free dollars to spend on the item of your choice!
5. Einstein Bros. Bagels–By registering for the emails (adorably called the Shmear Society), you’ll earn yourself a free breakfast sandwich when you purchase a drink.
6. IHOP– One stack of free pancakes, coming right up! You can sign up here.
7. Denny’s will give you a free grand slam, and you don’t even have to sign up for anything for that one. Just show your valid ID on your birthday, and breakfast is on them!
8. Starbucks– As long as you have an account, you will get one free drink of your choice. Any type, any flavor, ANY SIZE. So that means if you want a Venti Maple Pecan Latte with Extra Whip and a Shot of Espresso, they’ll give it to you for FREE, along with a complimentary tummyache.
10. Old Navy gives their email subscribers a free gift on their birthday. Head to their website at oldnavy.com and then scroll down to where it says “Sign Up For Email.” Make sure you update your preferences when prompted to do so, as that’s how you’ll get your birthday email.
11. Victoria’s Secret– Sign up on their website here. They want you to think you have to sign up for a credit card for this, but you don’t! Just scroll down to the bottom where it says “Get Exclusive Angel Offers.”
12. Krispy Kreme– sign up for their eClub, and you’ll get a free donut when your birthday rolls around.
13. There are plenty of other places that will give you something, like a free dessert, on your birthday, but honestly, that’s a LOT of places (Black Angus, Chili’s, Applebees, TGI Fridays, Outback Steakhouse, etc). So if you’re heading to a restaurant to celebrate, make sure you check their site or ask your server to see if they offer something to the birthday boy or girl.
So there you have it, our (partial) list of places that want to help you celebrate your big day (or, in some cases, your big month!) in style. Got any that you would add to the list? Tell us about it in the comments below!