Top 3 Money Saving Phone Apps!

I taught a class earlier today where someone asked what phone apps I recommended for couponers to maximize their savings, no matter what type of couponer they were (extreme, dedicated, casual, or the if I remember to bring the coupons with me to the store couponer). I have written about all three of the apps I recommend before, but here are all three in the same place.


1. Favado  Favado is a mobile savings app that helps shoppers stop overspending by notifying them when their favorite items are on sale. Favado has money saving experts who hand select sales and coupons every week — in more than 65,000 grocery and drugstores nationwide — to enable discovery of the best deals for savings up to 70% on everyday items.


2. IbottaIbotta is a fun and easy way to earn $20 or more each time you go shopping. The more you use it, the better and more personalized your offers become.

Here’s how Ibotta works:

  1. Get the Ibotta app HERE
  2. Pick out the coupons for products you want
  3. Buy your products
  4. Take a picture of your receipt and submit it.
  5. Ibotta will send you cash for your purchases, you can redeem for gift cards for Starbucks, Redbox, and more!
  6. Every time you redeem an offer Ibotta will send you another one!
  7. By using Ibotta it will learn what you like, and will personalize the product coupons it sends you.

3. CheckOut 51:

Here is yet another FREE tool that will help you save even more money while shopping! What if I told you they will pay you for buying the products you already buy!?!

Here is how Checkout 51 works:


1. Sign up Here (it’s FREE!)

2. See what offers are available on the offer page. New offers are added every Thursday at 12 am and expire the following Wednesday at 11:59 PM (see the offers that go live 1/16 below):


3. After you go shopping, submit your receipt, and get cash back for any of the products that you bought that are on the offer page!!


4. Get a check in the mail once your balance reaches $20!!


10 Ways to Encourage Healthy Study Habits

Back to school season is upon us, and while you are stocking up on folders, pencils, and backpacks, you might be wondering what else you can do to help your child prepare for a successful school year. Sometimes, the resources your child needs the most can’t be purchased in store, it is something that comes from you! When it comes to buckling down and developing effective study habits, you can be the most influential as far as how your child approaches studying and how successful they are at it.

Developing effective study habits is a way for your child to feel success in their schooling, and so below you will find 10 ways to encourage healthy study habits. You will see that you don’t need to be an educator or invest in any fancy tools in order to teach your child healthy study habits. You just have to be consistent in following these  tried and true tips. Take a look!

10 Ways to Encourage Healthy Study Habits:


1. Create an exclusive study space.
Your child needs a quiet and organized space that is for studying and homework only. This can be a quiet corner of the house, set up with a small desk and chair or even a t.v. tray and chair if that is all you have space for. Nothing else should happen in this space, so that it is associated only with learning.


2. Have materials organized.
Study time can be quickly disrupted if your child does not have the supplies she needs and needs to run around looking for them. A simple shoe box filled with markers, highlighters, a calculator, sharpened pencils, and scrap paper is all you need. This way, they don’t need to leave the space to find materials. Encourage the organization and maintenance of these materials to be your child’s responsibility.


3. Set a scheduled study time.
Set a time each day in your home that is just for study and homework. This can be the hour you get home from school after the children have had a snack, or perhaps the hour after dinner. Children will enjoy the consistent routine and know that during that hour, learning only is taking place.


4. Shut off distractions.
Your child will not be able to become absorbed in their work if there are televisions and music blaring. Make study time a quiet time. Turn off all cell phones, televisions, and video games. Ask other members of the family to respect this time as well by observing a quiet time.

5. Provide gentle stimulation.
While blaring noises are bad, soft stimulation is good for the brain and can promote learning as well as relaxation. Soft classical or instrumental music is great, or you can turn on a small, trickling tabletop fountain. These soft sounds will promote a relaxed but effective learning environment your child will love.   You can find a small table top fountain for as low as $10.00.

6. Make yourself available.
During study time, keep yourself close. You don’t have to hover, but children should know it is ok to ask for help or guidance if they need it. Encourage your child to work independently but let them know you are in the next room should they need you.

7. Demonstrate how to make study aids.
Children need to be shown how to make flash cards and charts for themselves that can help keep important information organized. Give them the materials and model how flash cards and bullet point charts can be helpful. Model how to use a highlighter to highlight important information as well. You can find reusable dry erase boards perfect for this as low as $2 $2 especially during back to school sales.

8. Encourage open communication with the teacher.
If your child does not understand an assignment, he needs to know how to ask for clarification. Encourage open communication and even role play how this can be done so your child can be comfortable doing this on their own.

9. Create a task chart.
It may be easiest to have a dry erase task chart that your child can write nightly or weekly assignments on and erase or check off as they are completed. This way both of you know what is done and what needs to be done. I have found these as low as $3 that is both child friendly and colorful! I recently purchased a Melissa & Doug organizational calendar and task board for $3 at Goodwill. If you are familiar with Melissa & Doug products, you know this was a great deal!

10. Provide positive reinforcement.
There should be plenty of verbal praise for a job well done. Use encouraging and supportive language to keep kids motivated and feeling successful. Encourage them to pat their own back so to speak when they finish a task or their hard work pays off. Maybe even treat them to an outing, such as a trip to a museum or a historical landmark. Not only is this something the entire family can enjoy, many of these places offer discounted or even free days. As an added bonus your child may learn something while exploring with you, turning this outing into an educational one as well!

As you can see, these tips make encouraging healthy study habits a cinch. Give them a try and see how easy it is to raise lifelong learners. You may just be surprised how well your child will respond to these very basic tips. So give them a try and enjoy the results!


New School Year Means New Beginnings


Recently our family has made it a point to have family movie night (where even I put down my computer gasp ;)). Last night we watched the movie Forrest Gump (one of my favorite movies). My son laughed throughout the movie and afterwards said he really enjoyed it. We said good night and everyone went to bed or so I thought. Sometime in the night my little one crawled in beside me and woke me with a question.

“Momma were kids mean to you because of your cerebral palsy (leg braces) and left arm curled up?” Wow umm didn’t think I’d have to explain this to my child in the middle of the night. However I was honest with him.

Many of my readers know I have cerebral palsy which has required me to wear leg braces and arm braces of various sizes and lengths ever since I was 10 months old. I am proud to say I was a Shriners Kid! Years of physical, occupational, and speech therapy have helped me to the point that when I wear jeans, most people do not even know the struggle I have fought. However that was not always the case.

When I was in elementary school, the kids were very cruel to me, mostly in the 4th – 6th grade. They would call me names, laugh and point at me, and would not let me play with them. One was so cruel that he broke my arm! Till this day I still remember EVERY single one of their names.

As I got older though, I made some great friends, and high school was awesome even a safe haven of sorts for me. I had a few big brothers who NEVER let the few bullies in high school bother her. The two who were always close by were Brian L , who would simply give a bully “that look” and they would back off, Brian later in life fought his own health battles and overcame them , and Ricky H who always turned my frown into a smile and is now a decorated member of our Armed Forces.


When I got into college I had a ton of big brothers. They were the entire Georgia Southern University football team. I was a football manager for the wide receivers. My wide receivers were very protective of me. On my first date in college, they were all in the dorm lobby with their arms crossed as I got into my dates truck. Till this day I still smile when I think of them being so protective of “their football manager Melissa” I still talk to a majority of my protective big brothers even after 12 years!

I finally realized it didn’t matter what others thought of me, but how I treated others. One moment that makes we well up every time I think about is this. 21 years later one of my tormentors that made life miserable for me in elementary school, actually apologized to me!!! She said having children of her own, she wanted to make sure her children never did that to anyone else. That apology meant the world to me and was the greatest gift ever!”


Now I surround myself with kind people, in life and work (seriously the bloggers and companies I work with are AMAZING). I do not allow people that would hurt me in my life anymore.

“So please always be kind to others, ok?” My son’s response? “Ok mommy I love you!” He then wrapped his arms around my neck and fell asleep.

As a new school year starts, please talk to your child about bullying and why no child should be allowed to bully another child and why no child should ever feel they are any less important than another child. It starts at home!


New: Walmart Savings Catcher

If you shop at Wal-mart you will like their new program that is now working nationwide!


“If a local competitor has a lower advertised price, you get an eGift Card for the difference”

It is actually very simple and only has a few steps

  1. Enter your receipt number or scan the barcode here
  2. Walmart will match the price of any local competitor’s printed ad for an identical product.
  3. If Savings Catcher finds a lower advertised price, you get the difference, back on a Walmart Rewards eGift Card!

You can submit up to 7 receipts per week to Savings Catcher.

There are a few promotions that Savings Catcher do not include: 

  • Items that require a separate purchase to get the advertised price (example: “Buy oatmeal to get cereal for $1.”)
  • Items with no actual price that require a purchase to get a free product (example: “Buy both oatmeal & cereal to get milk for free.”)
  • Items that require a purchase to get a gift card (example: “Buy a 12 pack of paper towels to get a $5 gift card.”)
  • Buy one get one free (BOGO) deals where no item price is listed (example: Peter Pan Peanut Butter, buy one, get one free. Save up to $2.50.”)
  • Going out of business or closeout prices.
  • Percentage off (example: “All mascara, 40% off.)
  •  Online purchases

I am interested to see how this program plays out. This could be very good for consumers. What are your thoughts?


FREE App Helps You Save Up to 70% Every Time You Shop!

What is Favado?

Favado is a mobile savings app that helps shoppers stop overspending by notifying them when their favorite items are on sale. Favado has money saving experts who hand select sales and coupons every week — in more than 65,000 grocery and drugstores nationwide — to enable discovery of the best deals for savings up to 70% on everyday items.

How do you redeem the savings?

A: Add the items you need from the store’s deals list to your shopping list. Never forget your list again or exactly what you were supposed to be buying:


(This picture is my friend Jeff K’s grocery shopping list, it said he was supposed to get some “stuff”). Shakes my head, looks like he would benefit from the shopping list you can create on Favado!


Any printable coupons that are combined with the sales can be printed out on your home computer, after you email yourself your shopping list. Any coupons from the newspaper or a magazine can be clipped and taken to the store to redeem.

Super Saver Shoppers can save up to 70% by using coupons every week combined with sale prices, as well as additional store promotions and offers.