Author Archives: Mary

How to Plan a Family Vacation on $30,000 A Year

How to Afford Family Vacation Travel on $30,000 A Year

family vacation

Summer days are fast approaching and I’m already anticipating the kids’ cries of “Mom!  We’re bored!”  In an attempt to prevent that from happening this year, we started planning our family vacation the day after school started in the fall.  You might ask why we start planning the family vacation so early.  It’s simple … we live on a $30,000 a year budget and have to carefully plan luxuries such as vacations in order to stick to that budget.

First Steps to Planning a Family Vacation

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Rite Aid Plenti Point Palooza: Diaper Deal

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post on behalf of Rite Aid but all opinions expressed here are mine.

Rite Aid Plenti Point Palooza: Diaper Deal

Who doesn't love a great deal on diapers? Rite Aid Plenti Point Palooza, is offering a great deal on diapers this week!

Who doesn’t love a great deal on diapers?  Not so many years ago, when our kids were in diapers, a trip to the store always entailed searching out the best deal on diapers.  For a family on a tight budget, finding a great deal on diapers could mean the difference between buying macaroni and cheese, hot dogs, and fish sticks for dinner all week or actually being able to afford to buy some meat like hamburger, chicken, or pork.  With the way prices have increased over the years, I can imagine today’s moms face the same dilemma.

Since our kids are grown and have children of their own, I’ll admit I don’t pay much attention to the price of diapers.  However, this month Rite-Aid is having a Plenti Point Palooza with a great diaper deal!

How the Plenti Point Palooza Deal Works

Simply spend $50 on any participating products and receive 2,000 Plenti points. That’s worth at least a $20 in savings for every $50 spent. In other words, 40% in savings! If you find these items on sale and/or have coupons for any of them, your savings will be even greater.

Here’s the Diaper Deal for You

Every time I have a chance to earn Plenti Points, I scan the ads to see if there are ways for me to add more points to my Plenti account by buying things that are already on my shopping list.  Well, this month, it looks like I’ll be adding diapers to my list and earning 2,000 Plenti Points!

This is what I bought:

4 Pampers Swaddlers @ BOGO 1/2 OFF $12.99 ($12.99 + $6.49) x 2 = $38.96

Who doesn't love a great deal on diapers? Rite Aid Plenti Point Palooza, is offering a great deal on diapers this week!
4 Pampers Wipes @ BOGO 1/2 OFF $3.99 ($3.99 + 1.99) x 2 = $11.96

Plenti Points Palooza


My subtotal was $50.92 and I earned 2,000 Plenti Points (worth at least a $20 value)

Who doesn't love a great deal on diapers? Rite Aid Plenti Point Palooza, is offering a great deal on diapers this week!

To sweeten the deal, there are two coupons available which can be loaded to your Rite-Aid card:

  • $3/1 Pampers Easy Ups Training Underwear OR UnderJams Absorbent Night Wear, Rite Aid Load to Card, exp. 09/23/2017

Who doesn't love a great deal on diapers? Rite Aid Plenti Point Palooza, is offering a great deal on diapers this week!

  • $3/1 Pampers Swaddlers, Cruisers OR Baby Dry Diapers (excludes trial/travel size), Rite Aid Load to Card, exp. 09/23/2017

Who doesn't love a great deal on diapers? Rite Aid Plenti Point Palooza, is offering a great deal on diapers this week!

What Will I Do With this Diaper Deal?

Since I can’t use the diapers, I’ll run the deal and donate the diapers to a local “helping hands” organization.  With a deal like this, it’s so easy to give back to the community.  With the 2,000 Plenti points I earned, the points will go towards filling my gas tank at ExxonMobil next week.  All totaled, my actual out of pocket cost will only be $27.46.

Please share what Plenti Point Palooza deals you find and tell us what plans you have for the savings!



July 19, 2017

Make Home Happen with SunTrust Mortgage

This post was sponsored, and paid for, by SunTrust Mortgage.  All opinions are my own.

Do you need help buying your first home? Read our tips and learn how to choose the right mortgage

Our three kids have flown the nest and a season of change is upon us.  The four bedroom rental we’ve been in for the last five years is just too large now.  Decisions have to be made.  Are we going to rent a smaller house or take the leap and finally buy a “forever” home?  After much consideration, we’ve decided renting is no longer a good option for us and that buying a smaller house is the right move.  It’s a huge milestone for us!

Where to Start the Home Buying Process

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Easy Ranch Pork Chops Recipe – Who Doesn’t Love Ranch?

pork chop

Easy Ranch Pork Chops Recipe

Pork chops, ground beef, and chicken thighs are three items from the meat department on my grocery list every week.  The reason for this is simply because there are so many different meals you can make with these ingredients.  Most importantly, these proteins are the basis for meals which are easy to plan ahead of time.

You have to understand the way my schedule works.  I grocery shop for the whole week after church on Sunday.  Going to the store any other day of the week just doesn’t make sense with our family’s schedule.  With me working a full-time weekday job and my husband working nights and weekends, we take advantage of whatever time we can to enjoy life together as a family.  Meals are an important part of this together time.

In order to accomplish this together time, I plan meals which won’t keep me in the kitchen when I could be spending time with my family.  My go-to recipes have always been ones which are easy to plan ahead and quick to execute.

Everyone in the family enjoys this ranch pork chop recipe because it includes that magic ingredient “Ranch dressing mix.”  You can’t go wrong with ranch in our house!

I like it because it can be prepared ahead of time and freezes well.  The extra added bonus is this pork chop recipe is gluten free, dairy free, and egg free.

Easy Ranch Pork Chops Recipe

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May 15, 2017

Easy Weeknight Dinner Recipes that will Save Time and Money

Best Dinner Meals

Best Dinner Meals

Easy Weeknight Dinners

Weeknights for most families are busy! Working a full-time job and having a husband who works night shifts makes planning the meals we have together important.  Anything that will make my life a little easier is definitely worth sharing, so I thought I would share this with you.

Easy Weeknight Dinner Ideas

These ideas are great for the family-on-the-go or the mom that is worn out and doesn’t want to play short order cook. We’ve all done it. We’ve pulled into that drive-thru lane because we were too tired to cook. Though we know fast food isn’t healthy, the ease of not having to plan (and cook) dinner is tempting.  We frown as our kids insist on French fries instead of grilled veggies or whatever we could have whipped at home. Sometimes it is just easier to grit our teeth and hand over the debit card.

But weeknight dinners do not have to be such a nutritional wasteland. With a little planning, restraint, and determination, you can cruise through weeknight dinners easily.  Your wallet will thank you!

Check out these Best Dinner Meals for the family

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April 5, 2017

Kroger 123 Rewards Visa Card + Nachos Supreme Recipe

This post is sponsored by U.S. BANK and Kroger.

Kroger REWARDS Visa Card + Nachos Supreme Recipe

We haven’t even left for our Spring Break cruise to the Bahamas and we’ve already started planning our next vacation. The question is “how are we going to pay for it?” One way I plan to contribute to making our next vacation happen is to faithfully use my new Kroger REWARDS Visa for our purchases this year. If you’re anything like me, you find yourself constantly squirreling away “found” money for something special. Well, our something special is going to be another fun vacation!

Kroger Rewards VISA

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