Book Review: The Money Saving Mom's Budget by Crystal Paine

The Money Saving Mom's Budget by Crystal Paine was written to help you slash your spending, pay down your debt, streamline your life, and save thousands a year. Crystal is a blogger over at Money Saving Mom and I've enjoyed her posts and tips on saving money. So I was really excited to get a chance to read and review her new book that just came out on January 10th.

The Money Saving Mom's Budget is an easy to read book with budgeting advice and ideas that are simple, helpful, and creative. My favorite part is that the book doesn't just tell you how to save money. It also provides advice on changing other circumstances or habits that can get in the way of your money-saving goals.

Chapter Two is called "Are the Chaos and Clutter in Your Life Keeping You from Financial Success?" I can speak from experience that when my house is messy and disorganized, my life feels more chaotic and my bills and budget take a backseat. Not only that, but when you have too much clutter, you don't always know what you have (even in the fridge or pantry) and often end up buying more because you didn't know you already had that item! This chapter inspired me to deal with cleaning and reorganizing my house before I even began to look into getting my finances in order. It also gave helpful tips on how to efficiently and quickly tackle the clutter. I cleaned out my closets, rearranged my TV room, and reorganized the whole house, plus I gave several bags and boxes of stuff I no longer need or use to a local thrift store! I was able to do this all in one weekend and it was very empowering!

The Money Saving Mom's Budget offers simple and effective advice for creating - and sticking to - a budget, reaching financial goals, saving for the future, and getting out of debt. There are tools in the back of the book (charts, lists, worksheets) that can be filled out to help in your budgeting goals. Crystal also offers creative ideas to save money including not only couponing but also things like making homemade cleaners, finding deals on vacations and entertainment, buying in bulk, and taking advantage of free or cheap health tools instead of a gym membership. Plus you'll find some great ideas on making extra money too, like how to get started with freelance work or odd jobs.

The last chapter of the book is about choosing contentment in your life. I really appreciate that Crystal points out that although budgeting and saving money is important, it's also important to appreciate what you already have and to be grateful for everything, whether you have $100 or $100,000. Here is an excerpt that I really enjoyed that applies to everything in life:
 "Contentment is a state of the heart, unaffected by outward circumstances. Contentment is a choice. You can choose to be miserable in a situation or you can choose to bloom where you are planted."
 Not only is this a great book, but all proceeds from the book are going toward the Child Survival Program in the Dominican Republic! You can order The Money Saving Mom's Budget on

Disclaimer: I was given this product free of charge for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own experiences with the product. Individual results may vary. No other compensation was given.

Free Mason Jar 12 oz. Glasses (Set of 6), Lip Balm & Free Shipping

Right now, you can score a free set of mason jar glasses along with free shipping at The Original Firefly! The best part is, no credit card information is required!

They are also offering FREE lip balm right now too!

Hurry and order your mason jar glasses and lip balm while they're still FREE! 
This offer may not last long, so be sure the price is still listed at $0.00 when you order.

Novartis Recalls: Excedrin, Bufferin, NoDoz and Gas-X (Refunds Available)

Just an FYI to anyone who has not heard, Novartis Consumer Health (NCH) is voluntarily recalling all lots of select bottle sizes of Excedrin® and NoDoz® Alertness Aid products with expiration dates of December 20, 2014 or earlier as well as Bufferin® and Gas-X® Prevention®* products with expiration dates of December 20, 2013 or earlier, in the United States. Click here for a list of products affected in this recall.

NCH advises consumers who have purchased these recalled products to discontinue use and return them to NCH for a full refund. You can read more details about this voluntary recall and how to return your products for a full refund plus shipping reimbursement HERE. (Store receipts are not necessary to get your refund.)

I actually do have some Excedrin products I've been using that are on the list, so I plan to return them for a refund. Again, be sure to check the list of products affected and if you have any of the products, follow the instructions to get your refund.

You can email any questions to:

Walgreens Prescription Savings Club - January Special

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Walgreens for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

As you may have heard, the negotiations between Walgreens and Express Scripts did not go through for a new contract and as a result, Walgreens is no longer part of Express Scripts’ pharmacy provider network as of Jan. 1, 2012. This was not the decision of Walgreens but rather a decision on the part of Express Scripts, which is now unfortunately forcing people with certain insurance benefits to go elsewhere to use their in-network pharmacy benefits. This does not affect everyone - only people with certain prescription insurance plans are impacted; You can check at your local Walgreens pharmacy or look at the back of your insurance card - if it says Express Scripts, you may be affected.

Fortunately, I wasn't affected however this did affect my sister because of her insurance plan and she was very upset to have to switch from Walgreens as we are both loyal Walgreens pharmacy customers. Walgreens is making an effort to minimize the inconvenience for people like my sister who now have to switch pharmacies.

Among their efforts, Walgreens has offered a special discount on annual membership for its Prescription Savings Club. An individual can join the Prescription Savings Club at Walgreens during a special January promotion for only $5, or $10 for a family membership, and receive savings on more than 8,000 brand name and all generic medications. More than 400 generics are available with a three-month supply for less than $1 a week. Regular annual membership is $20 for an individual and $35 for a family.

Let's continue to show our support for Walgreens! I personally have always used them for my pharmacy needs and will continue to do so! Show your support by following Walgreens on Twitter and Walgreens on Facebook!

Visit Sponsor's Site

Free CBS Watch Magazine Subscription (first 50,000)

Free subscriptions are limited to the first 50,000 subscribers. Subscriptions are valid for 3 years. Offer ends 1/31/12. Free print subscription offer is valid in the U.S only. Please allow 6-8 week for the delivery of the first issue. Watch is published 6 times a year. Cover price is $3.99.

Apply to host a Pull-Ups House Party - 500 spots guaranteed!

Hurry and apply for the Pull-Ups House Party to get a guaranteed spot! The first 500 people to apply — who have a potty training child — will get to host a Your Day, Your Way: Pull-Ups® Potty Dance House Party. Don’t miss your chance to start the potty training journey the FUN way with Pull-Ups® and House Party. At your party, toddlers will get excited to start potty training as they learn The Potty Dance, and stay motivated along the way. 

Get your potty training party started
Sign up to host a party on February 25 and you and your Big Kid® are sure to have a blast! Everyone will have so much fun singing and dancing that they'll never look at potty training the same way again! 

Hurry, you only have until January 26 to apply! But only the first 500 applicants are guaranteed!
Your exclusive Party Pack will contain:
  • Pull-Ups® coupons
  • Pull-Ups® DVD and dance mat
  • Pull-Ups® Potty Dance rewards stickers
  • Pull-Ups® Potty Dance door hangers
  • Potty Dance Inflatable guitar
  • And more
If you're not a member of House Party, you can easily sign up and then apply for this party!  I have hosted two House Parties before for the PlayStation Move and Playstation Everybody Dance game. It's a lot of fun and the party packs are awesome! It's completely free and all you have to do is invite people to your party, take pictures and/or video and post them to the House Party site afterward!

Free Sample of FiberChoice

Sign up for a free sample of FiberChoice fiber supplement HERE
Just click on the "Get Yours Now" banner in the Sample area to sign up! 
You can also print a $2 off coupon by clicking the coupon banner.

Free Sample of ZarBee's All Natural Cough and Sleep Drink

Like ZarBee's on facebook and receive a Free Sample of their All Natural Cough and Sleep Drink 
and a $1 off coupon.

Free Nescafe Taster's Choice Sampler Pack

“Like” Nescafé on Facebook to get a free Nescafé Taster’s Choice sampler pack!

Offer good in the US only. Offer valid only while supplies last. Limit one (1) sample pack per person and maximum two (2) samples per household or address. Please allow 6-8 weeks for delivery.

Free Music Album from Amazon

You can download Music To Open The Heart And Calm The Mind for free from Amazon! 

This free seven-track collection of music contains nearly an hour’s worth of relaxing music you can play on any MP3 player.

FREE Audiobooks from Books Should Be Free

I love audiobooks so I'm excited to finally find a resource for FREE audiobooks! Check out the free classic audiobooks available on Books Should Be Free

The books are read by volunteers so some of the readings are better than others, but there are so many great books to choose from and it's completely free! I downloaded one already - The Hound of the Baskervilles - which I remember reading in the 8th grade and have always wanted to read again. The reader seems pretty good so far and I am pleased with the quality!

Books Should Be Free is a great resource for free audiobooks. From children's books to classics to fiction, it's definitely worth checking out.

Right On The Walls Vinyl Wall Art {Review & $25 Gift Code Giveaway}

Right On The Walls® is a design & print company offering high-quality personalized unique decor & gifts for all occasions. They offer a huge variety of wall art and vinyl decals, plus specialty items like car decals, ceiling ornaments, clock kits, wedding decor, and photo gifts.

I've applied several different vinyl decals to the walls in my home over the past couple years- from generic wall art to quotes, but I had never seen or used a wall decal clock kit before, so I decided to choose one for my review. I picked out the Fishing Clock from Right On The Walls which made the perfect Christmas gift for my dad since his favorite hobby is fishing! My parents have a "bar room" in their lower level which is decorated with various brewery and bar art as well as fishing memorabilia and art, so I knew the Fishing Clock decal would make a great addition to the decor of the room.

The Fishing Clock decal looks like a bobber with a fish cutout in the middle and the words "Time 2 Fish" with the 2 looking like a fish hook (very clever!) This decal includes a choice of two separate vinyl colors, so I decided to go with the standard bobber colors of red and white, although you can choose from any of the standard vinyl colors if you wish. I really like the preview feature on the Right On The Walls website, which allows you not only to see the different color combinations together, but you can also select your wall paint color to see exactly how the decal will look on your individual wall.

The size of the Fishing Clock is much bigger than I expected so it really makes an impression and is the center of focus in the room. I've experienced applying two-color decals before (each color needs to be applied separately), but had never applied an overlapping two-color decal before, so it was definitely more of a challenge than the more simple one-color decals.

We quickly discovered that this was a two-person job - I had my dad hold the bottom corners of the decal taught and away from the wall while I lined up the top so that it was perfectly aligned before we let the sticky area touch the wall and overlap the other decal. We had a bit of a struggle with this part, but we finally got everything lined up and applied to the wall. Then my dad put the clock mount together and screwed it to the wall and voilà- a fun and interesting addition to the bar room! My dad was very impressed and couldn't wait to show it off to his friends.

Each clock kit includes a vinyl wall decal, quartz clock motor, mount and hands. The clock uses a single AA battery and just needs to be screwed into the wall after the wall art is applied. The vinyl that Right On The Walls provides is very high quality and easier to apply than other brands I have used in the past. They also provide wonderful customer service - The clock parts were missing from my package, so I contacted the company and right away they shipped out the clock parts plus they included a Right On The Walls mouse pad! It was very generous of them and was perfect timing since I needed a new mouse pad to use at my new job!

Right On The Walls is a great company and I highly recommend their decor and wall art for any occasion or just to spruce up your home! Also just a note, if you're new to vinyl wall art, these decals are completely removable and safe for interior walls, plus they're easy - no glue, paint or special tools needed. Everything you need is included in your package! For more application hints or design ideas, check out the Wallterior Design Blog or Follow ROTW on facebook or twitter.

As a special bonus, the company is offering my readers a special discount code for 15% off your order: BR15DCT. Plus you can enter the giveaway below to win a $25 Gift Code to Right On The Walls to purchase any wall decal!
Win It: One $25 Gift Code to Right On The Walls

To Enter: Log in to Rafflecopter (below) with facebook or your name/email, then click the green "Do It" buttons for more instructions to complete each entry and click Enter.

(If you don't see the giveaway box, click the pink Read More button to view the entire post.)

FREE E-book: Absolutely Organize Your Family

Yet another FREE e-Book download from Amazon - "Absolutely Organize Your Family" by Debbie Lillard (a $16.99 value).  This book has some excellent ideas for organizing your home and keeping your family schedule in order.

Remember, Amazon offers a free Kindle app that will allow you to read Kindle books on your computer or smartphone. If you don’t want to bother installing an app, you can also read books on your web browser with the Kindle Cloud Reader.

*Prices change often, so if it’s still free the price will still be listed as $0.00.

Free Shout Color Catcher Sample

Receive a FREE Shout® Color Catcher® Sample by filling out the form HERE.

Color Catcher® traps loose dyes and dirt released during the wash cycle. At the end of the wash, the dye and dirt come out on the Color Catcher® sheet, not your clothes.

A limited number of Shout® Color Catcher® samples are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Limit one per household. 

Free Sample of Crystal Light Energy

This sample is available to the first 80,000 who sign up so don’t miss out!

Free e-Book: The Cheapskate's Guide to Birthday Celebrations

Download "The Cheapskate’s Guide to Birthday Celebrations" e-Book for FREE! This is perfect for planning children's birthday parties or theme parties - it includes many great DIY tips, fun activity and decoration ideas, and party planning advice!

Download the e-Book from Amazon and read it on your Kindle, Blackberry, iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android, Windows Phone 7, or your PC or Mac! Get your free Amazon reader app HERE. I read my e-Books on my laptop because I don't have any of the other devices, but it works just as well! 

*Prices change often, so if it’s still free the price will still be listed as $0.00.

FREE e-Book: The Cheapskate's Guide to Weddings

Are you planning a wedding, or do you know someone who is? Right now you can get 

Download the e-Book from Amazon and read it on your Kindle, Blackberry, iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android, Windows Phone 7, or your PC or Mac! Get your free Amazon reader app HERE. I read my e-Books on my laptop because I don't have any of the other devices, but it works just as well! 

*Prices change often, so if it’s still free the price will still be listed as $0.00.

50 FREE 4x6 Prints from Shutterfly

FREE Flix Sticks Flossers

Go here to snag a FREE Sample of Flix Sticks Interdental Sticks and Floss In One! 
Just scroll down and fill out the form. These products help remove plaque and freshen breathe.