Book Review: The Money Saving Mom’s Budget

The Money Saving Mom's Budget: Slash Your Spending, Pay Down Your Debt, Streamline Your Life, and Save Thousands a Year

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When Crystal Paine AKA “Money Saving Mom” offered bloggers the opportunity to review her new book The Money Saving Mom’s Budget, I jumped at the opportunity!  Crystal’s book will be released on January 10, but you can pre-order a copy here.  I am a huge fan of the Money Saving Mom blog; Crystal has a very balanced approach to frugality, budgeting, DIY-ing, and life in general, and I appreciate everything I have learned from her.

When I heard she was writing a book, I was very excited; however, since I follow her blog, I wasn’t sure how much “new” material I would really learn from the read.  I was pleasantly surprised!  The book is similar to her blog, but she has new and different material in the book as well.

One thing I’ve always appreciated about Crystal is her focus on goal-setting and breaking goals into bite-size pieces that are easily attainable.  She gives very detailed goal-setting help in the beginning of her book.  Another thing I love about the book is the appendix full of forms for budgeting, goal setting, and time management.  Crystal not only teaches you how to implement money saving principles, but she also gives you the tools to do so.

In chapter 2, Crystal discusses clutter…something we all have to some extent.  She poses the question, “Are chaos and clutter keeping you from financial success?”  Often we have so much “stuff” in our homes and lives that we can’t think straight, much less stick to a budget and focus on saving money.  Crystal guides you through very practical steps to taming the clutter in your own life and home.  Step by step and room by room, you will learn how to not only eliminate clutter, but also turn that clutter into cash.  (Something that I’ve already implemented thanks to craigslist and ebay!)  With minds and homes free of clutter, it’s so much easier to focus on budgeting and being a good steward both of money and time.

The book spends a good bit of time discussing how to set up a budget, implement a cash envelope system, lower your grocery bill, and save money in general.  These chapters are helpful for those who are new to these principles, as well as those who might want a refresher course or a few new tips.

In her last chapter, Crystal focuses on contentment.  It’s easy for us to look at other people  and wish we had their job, could save as much money as they do, etc.  However, we should instead be thankful for what we do have and focus on all we have been blessed with!

The Money Saving Mom’s Budget is a great read for someone who wants to get out of debt and start living on a budget, as well as someone who wants to learn more about saving money and squeaking more savings out of their monthly spending.  I highly recommend the book!



ps  I received a copy of The Money Saving Mom’s Budget in exchange for reviewing the book; however, all opinions in the book review are mine!  🙂


Menu Plan Monday

Main Meals
Copycat Panera Broccoli Cheddar Soup, Baking Powder Biscuits
Baked Chicken, Rice, Green Beans
Leftovers from Thanksgiving
Lasagna Casserole, salad
Homemade Pizza, raw veggies
Leftovers from Thanksgiving

Of course, I have all kinds of yummy Thanksgiving food in the works…

Thanksgiving morning, we’ll be having our traditional Apple Baked French Toast

For our big yummy meal (of which we will surely have leftovers for a very looooonggg time), I’m making:
turkey, stuffing, green bean casserole, brussel sprouts (My hubby’s the only one who loves these, but I love him…hence, they’re on the menu!) potato filling, sweet potato casserole, rolls, cranberry relish, and pumpkin pie.  So far, I think that’s all  🙂

Have a blessed Thanksgiving with your family as you reflect on the many blessings from the Lord!

1,000 Gifts

51.  answered prayers
52.  seminary food give-away – so many blessings!
53.  holding a brand new baby and getting a teeny tiny smile
54.  God supplies all our needs
55.  God is never late
56.  connections with fellow music teachers
57.  chilly evenings
58.  an evening of peppermint tea, the 5 Browns, and piano planning
59.  God’s changing work in lives

Fridge Makeover

This post has been in the works for awhile, and I’m just now getting around to finishing and publishing it!  Many apologies…

You know how the outside of your fridge gets cluttered?  So many cute photos, honey-do lists, important dates to remember, magnets…and on it goes.  I really wanted a clean-cut look to the fridge…so I ran with this idea I found on pinterest…

Now I have my calendar in a cute frame, and all those pictures in matching frames!  No more clutter, very clean cut, and super cute!  🙂

And the top of the fridge?  Well, I’m in love with that too.  I’m enjoying the fall pumpkin theme alongside the bright yellow pitcher…keeping things both seasonal and cheery!  The wooden crate/basket is great for stashing things in like the candle lighter, pizza menu, and any other random things that might need a home in the kitchen!  🙂

Anyone else have any tips on how to keep your fridge doors clutter-free?

Menu Plan Monday

We were so blessed this week by a HUGE food shower for seminary students.  God was so good in blessing us with so much food!  Because of that food shower, we’re able to eat mostly from our cupboards and stockpile again.  I plan to make a quick trip to ALDI for produce, meat, and a few other odds and ends to complete our meals for the week. 

Main Meals

Hawaiin Crockpot Chicken, rice, salad

French dip subs, salad

Roasted Shrimp, Tomatoes & Feta, rice, veggies

Bacon Wrapped Apple BBQ chicken, roasted potatoes, veggies


Breakfast for dinner

Dinner at friends’ home

Are you looking for new lunch ideas?  I’m not sure where I got the idea, but my new favorite lunch (or in my case supper since Jared works 2nd shift) is spinach salad with hardboiled eggs, dried cranberries, and feta cheese.  Yummy!

linking up with Menu Plan Monday

Menu Plan Monday

I’m doing my best not to go grocery shopping this week, except for a few essentials.  I stopped in at ALDI last week for some produce, etc. and we have what we need.  We’re eating from the freezer and the cupboard supplies this week.  I’m afraid I wasn’t too creative with a menu plan…but this is what I came up with.

Main Meals:
Stuffed Cabbages (leftovers), salad
Lasagna (leftovers), veggies
BBQ chicken (from freezer), rice, veggies
Broccoli soup, Baking Powder Biscuits
Spaghetti, garlic bread, salad
Breakfast for supper
Italian chicken (from freezer), potatoes, salad

Freezer Cooking:
Banana Caramel Pecan Bread
Morning Glory Muffins
Mini Apple Pies
something with pumpkin..suggestions?

linking up with Menu Plan Monday

Frugal Finds Friday

Great deals on meat and other groceries this week at Rainbow!  🙂  I was shopping for 2 extra, and very special people this week, so I spent more than I ordinarily would for just Jared and I.

Boneless, skinless chicken breasts:  On sale for $1.99 a lb…paid $5.50

Chicken thighs:  On sale for $0.69 a lb…paid $3.19

Ground Beef:  On sale for $1.96 a lb…paid $5.88

Apples:  On sale for $0.99 a lb…paid $3.68

Celery:  On sale for $0.98

Carrots:  On sale for $0.49

Cilantro:  $0.79

Broccoli:  On sale for $1.69 each

Organic Girl salad mixes:  Originally $3.99, on sale for BOGO…paid $1.98 each.

Frozen Corn:  Originally $1.75, on sale for $1.00, used a $0.35/1 coupon…paid $0.65.

Sour Cream:  Originally $2.69, on sale for $1.50.

Cottage Cheese:  Originally $2.99, on sale for $1.98.

Land O’Lakes half & half:  $1.84, used a $0.50/1 coupon that doubled…paid $0.84.

Tortillas:  $1.59

Sargento sliced cheese:  Originally $3.99, on sale for $3.00, used a $0.55/1 coupon that doubled…paid $1.90.

Orange jello:  $0.79

Kidney beans:  $0.99

Pretzels:  $2.55

Dole canned pineapple:  $1.59, used a $0.75/1 coupon that doubled and paid $0.09.

Old Orchard cranberry juice:  Originally $2.87 each, on sale for $2.29 each, used a $1/1 coupon that doubled…paid $0.29 each.

Dr Pepper Ten:  $1.66, used a free product coupon and it became FREE.

Total OOP:  $42.33
Total Saved:  $34.36 … … … … …that’s 45%

I also ran to Jubilee for cheese ($1.70 a bag-woohoo!!!), lunch meat, cream cheese, and butter.  I spent $12.00.