Real Secrets to saving money and getting more

save money

diy deodorantLet’s erase everything you have
learned about being a consumer. EVERYTHING! YES, you can avoid overspending and still live high on the hog. It’s NOT impossible.

As a working mother of nine, I can’t muster the willpower to give up anything that makes life a little easier — like our minivan, our weekly trip out to Monkey Joe’s, Mr Nigels Music and Earth Fare or my monthly networking gatherings. But guess what these thing together cost no more than $20 – $40 a week.

While I spend little, my husband saves more. yes, he’s that guy that grabs all your peppermints  from the welcome desk and the honey from your gas station. to his credit, he’s also the one that makes sure that the priorities are paid and in place.

Don’t let anyone tell you that you must spend a whole lot of money to have a high quality life! I’m gonna share my top secrets with you so you can do it too!

Cupcakes from Emma Southern Queen Cakes- YUM!

Cupcakes from Emma Southern Queen Cakes- YUM!

Barter- To trade goods or services without the exchange of money. Moms can do it. Can’t do hair but can make a mean pot of beans… Barter! Even small businesses can engage in this practice as a way to get some necessary task done without putting additional strain on the budget.  I’ve had wonderful parties and incredible yet useful goodies that I have acquired via bartering. Keyword: Bartering- NOT free stuff- my time,resources is always of equal valuable. 

We got coupons from the store. It gave us $7 to use as we choose. My husband got cash back. Which IS rare.

We got coupons from the grocery store. It gave us $7 to use as we choose. My husband got cash back. Which IS rare.

Growing your own food is easy. Start small.

Growing your own food is easy. Start small.

Cooperate /do it yourself-  These are actually 2 different things. I just wanted to keep my points at four. (get it Friday Four) When you co operate you work with others. Think community garden. That’s a great way to not only save money, but to ensure you’re eating GMO free food. You’ll learn a lot too. Seasoned farmers/gardeners love to give tips. When you learn to do things for yourself you gain POWER. For it is the essence of empowerment. I’m not saying go live off the grid, but being able to fix a tire, repair your own computer, even make your own bread is a major money saver. You can learn many skills FREE online.  I recently learned how to make my own kombucha. A friend taught me.

doula Jabelaa-001Sell Something- If you’re anything like me, most times I can fin something in the house to use as a gift. Giving is a GREAT thing but why not open an online store an sell it? You could even have a online yard sale or a make an offer theme.

Volunteer- Find a group online or locally that need your help. You’ll be surprised at the resources that will be opened up for you just by saying “Yes, I’ll help you.” We have gotten pounds of food for free by helping set up for events. This tip works great for fee based community events and other personal services.

There are people out here who believe that in life you must have money to live well  Truth is nothing is free. It will cost you time, money or both. But you and your family is worth it right?

See more shopping tricks here – Grocery Sale Cycles    money grow

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Friday Four: Sometimes even moms need a time out.

Thank Goodness it Friday!!! My husband is officially on for the weekend. Have you ever had on THOSE weeks that you just couldn’t finish anything? Yes? Well here’s your high five, because that’s exactly how my week went. I needed a serious time out!

They're trying to get me!!!!

They’re trying to get me!!!!

This week I stayed thigh deep in the game of Life! Schooling ( to continue home schooling or new zip code), loss of our faithful “Lucy Suzie Woo” (our mini van), getting ready for Cirque du Soleil Quidam and  my weight (yikes!).

Having the children lesson plans indeed make my day much easier, but if I didn’t have to do it at all I probably wouldn’t. But compromising their total wellness is not an option. Maybe it’s time to move in a different zip code. Till then back to the books. The kids have year end testing coming up soon!

Per DNPE: We must operate for a school term of at least nine calendar months on a regular schedule excluding reasonable holidays and vacations.  (DNPE strongly advises a school term of at least 180 school days; typical school days of at least 5 1/2 hours in length; and, typical class periods for grade 9-12 students of 50 minutes each.)

2. 8 people are sharing 1 Impala. Well, we, the parents are, my minivan burnt up aThank you and goodbye Suzy Lucy Woo - you served us well. Rest on. few days ago.  Only our 20 year old can drive, but he’s in college. Have you seen my weekly calendar? (Click here) We are never home! Thank goodness I have a wonderful assistant organizer to pick up my slack. Sure we are making less of a footprint in the ozone, I do miss the space and being able to take all the children with me…..HOLD UP! I maybe missing a blessing in this one. 🙂 Maybe I won’t rush Roger to buy a new ride from the DWI Police auction just yet.

I wish that I could say that I make time to exercise, but  I don't. So I get a little help from HerbaLife. (I'll choose my on GMO's thank you)

yourself?” If so, you ‘ll have to tell me how it is, because I can’t relate to that, myself. I am the tightest mother of 9  that I’ve ever seen. Thanks to Herbalife,  🙂  and Earth Fare I’m able to maintain, I really have to exercise more though.

Holy Cow, from EarthFare

4. Cirque Du Soleil Quidam is coming to CHARLOTTE!  I can’t wait! They have a fantastic buzz going around on the net that it’s the show to see. I can’t wait to discover it myself. I am stilling looking for a winner for the family four pack. To get them, all you have to do is comment in this post, pretend you’re a contortionist & take the picture, then share your it on our facebook page!Quidam_Charlotte_300x250_date

To State Farm, team 10 guy that jacked up my damages claim.

To State Farm, team 10 guy that jacked up my damages claim.

Gotta go now, QC Supermom

Wednesday Wow! Being a SAHM

pinn teachus-001I am a proud mother of 9. Yes, I said NINE. Three short of a nice round dozen. I have been a stay/work at home mom for over ten years now, and have learn to enjoy every minute of it! I love, love, love being with my children and watching them grow every step of the way and I am constantly amazed at the things they do and say-and how quickly they learn. They are like sponges -and constantly absorb the world around them. Yet,

being a stay at home mom is anything but easy. I don’t try to have a perfectly clean house, ironed shirts, or gourmet meals. Walk into my house between 8-noon,you will see my 2 year old writing(on walls) or in front of the TV watching PBS or Nick Jr. You’ll see my 4 year old on his laptop or study book, the 5 year old inside his study book or other manipulatives, the teen girls engaged in their self guided assignments or at the library doing research. By 3, it’s free time till 5:30 dinner and bedtime by 9pm.

romans

 I have been told you have your hands full more times than I would like to have been. Well I do. I go to the market daily. Twice a week we go to story time,Kid Yoga & UNC Charlotte Early Educator learning stations at the library. The 1st Saturday of each month, we go to the Kids Workshop at Home Depot, on Thursdays we eat dinner at Earth Fare (kids eat free*)  and on Mondays, we are at Monkey Joes. Since I also home school, we do a science project every 3 weeks and the remainder off the week are intensive study days. Sundays I’m day off. My husband take over.

Motherhood is a full- time job.  I think the key is making sure you get some grownup talk and support routinely. I am a founding member of Queen City Stay At Home Moms, and it’s wonderful if I do say so myself. Since everyone there was on single income, most of the activities are affordable. Try to find something that you can do that’s just for you, and do it with out the kids. And last but not least, don’t forget to squeeze in a date night with the hubby every once in a while! 😉

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Hopefully, I’ve alleviated some fears of  becoming a productive Stay At Home Mom.  At the end of the day, if given the choice, stay at home!  The financial aspects of it have never been easy, but so far it’s worth all the conservative spending, home made veggie pizza, and the millions of educated play dates we’ve attended. Ultimately, it’s up to each family to decide what is right for them. Just make sure you have a good support group of friends, and try to enjoy every minute with your little ones. They grow up way too fast!

If you know a SAHM or dad, forward them this blog post and consider it a round of 

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applause for all they do. You deserve it!  Well, till the next “boo-boo”, take care,  QC Supermom

Friday four: Going GMO Friendly

October 2012 marks the third annual Non-GMO Month, and the celebration could not be more timely.

The Fresh Expo was a great start! It got my mind  running. I got empowerment. I would really feel like a failure if I didn’t take advantage of the information I learned. The recipes seem over whelming, as well as the idea of the upfront expense but bottom line I gotta start somewhere so that my kids will thank me later.

Continuing from Wednesday, my last post, here’s what we’ve been up to in the QC.

We watched  Food Inc. last night at the Mecklenburg County Cooperative Extension   with a few friends and my children. We do good, in the light of  shopping but I think we can do better. We have habits that are not aligned with the overall goals of our family. Being a mom of daughters, it’s even more of a goal to teach them how to eat well at  a young age. (Yes, it’s equally important for my son’s to learn as well.)

Here are four things to know when you are playing GMO roulette!

1.Educate yourself. Did you know that researchers in France just published peer-reviewed research showing that Roundup herbicide and GMO Roundup Ready crops can cause tumours, multiple organ damage and lead to premature death? For the most comprehensive, up-to-date resource on the web for news like this about the GMO issue, check out the Non-GMO Project’s Facebook page. If you’re not on Facebook, you can watch the home page of the Project’s website for the same news feed.

This is a conversation I had with a college friend:

  • Renee/her: Read a book over the summer called Seeds of Deception. Scared the you know what out of me. Great read but only if you want to know the truth and unfortunately people find it easier to ignore.
  • me: You’re right Renee. We watched Food Inc. again…..I’m certain that we will be going GMO free 100% real soon. I feel that to not make a change after learning is child abuse.

2.Support mandatory GMO labeling efforts. Tell your community about it! Find out if there are any mandatory labeling efforts in the works that you can support in your state. And no matter where you live, be sure you’ve signed the Just Label It petition to the FDA!

3.Host or attend an event. Check out the Non-GMO Month events calendar, and consider adding an event of your own. One powerful but easy idea? Host a film screening in your living room. Invite friends over to watch Genetic Roulette or The Future of Food and serve Non-GMO Project Verified snacks! Last night, I took all of my kids to watch Food Inc.  Lisa Leake, of 100 days of  Real Food, was there as a guest speaker. What a realistic and down to earth mom she is. I brought home some amazing literature to share with my sahm’s.

4.Find a Non-GMO Month Retailer near youMore than 1,300 natural food stores across the U.S. and Canada are participating in Non-GMO Month this year. These retailers are offering clear labeling, educational materials, and great deals on verified products. Show your support for their efforts by shopping at their stores and thanking them for being part of Non-GMO Revolution!  We frequent Earth Fare because of their coupons and other community engagement incentives.

Here’s more tips to get you started:

CLICK HERE!

Also, be sure to stop by my facebook page to win prizes from

Swircles & Happy family!

Friday Four: TGIF….SERIOUSLY!

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I have had the

L O N G E S T

week ever.

I wasn’t sure if there would be any post made for this weeks Friday Four!

I must really like ya’ll or love to feel like there is need for me to release online in the form of a blog!  I guess it’s a resolution of the both. 🙂

Doesn’t that mean I need a life?

ImageThe above picture was Monday. The girls & I took off. We left the fellas at home  & got our Girls Night Out -on!

Can you say it was just what the Dr ordered? We had a blast. Tuesday, I had to see my mid- wife! I LOVE Melissa C. She doesn’t do all those extra things regular OBGYNs do in ya “privates” to check the baby.

Then Wednesday was Pre School Pre-view  for the boys. They LOVE the interns at Imaginon! I wish the UNC Charlotte instructors would extend their semester so they can work their magic on the kids a few more Wednesdays out of the week.

Thursday morning…was….Monkey Joes. It was free. You do NOT not PASS UP A FREE PLAY DATE AT MONKEY JOES! EVER!  Image We finished four hours later at Earth Fare for dinner. YUMMY! I even took my husband dinner. Why not the girls you ask? Well I’ll tell you. Because I had to pick them up for Citizens In School. It was a fantastic workshop that helped inform parents about their services and how to prepare our children for high school.  There was a nice turnout. I ate AGAIN.  Out of all the people that was there, both of my girls won prizes!  Cassie for filling out a “Did you know” type of questionnaire & getting them all correct, before anyone else- & D for answering a “You been should’ve known” question. I’ll be honest with you, I appreciated Cassie’s book. It provides in depth solutions to high school. It was comparable to a blueprint to graduation and college.  But D’s, it was a $25.00 gift card to Chili’s! Talk about a 2Fer’!ImageImage I’m  glad we went.  So was one of the counselors from their school. So much so that he had them gift bags at school the next day. First stop Friday was to take a tour of the Ronald McDonald House.    I figured since we’ll be there next Saturday for the shopping trip, it would be nice to know what it looks like inside. It’s such a lovely place. They think of everything. I think we’ll have a great fundraiser! Folks seem genuinely eager to help!!!  We’ll see though. Later that evening I had to dash to the girls school for the last day of the bogo free Book Fair. YOU DON’T MISS BUY ONE GET ONE FREE FOR BOOKS!!!!! EVER!!!!! The counselor must’ve though that is coming for the gift bags because he started making them as I got closer to the front desk. Poor fella!  He obviously never seen my cape!  I don’t do bags full of candy!  I guess because I’m  8+months pregnant, I look like a unconscious slop bucket…..and my kids.  NO THANK YOU- I took much of the candy out of their bags before they even seen what was inside.  (Not all because I do like to dabble in Reese cups everyonce in a while. You can’t blame me, the baby wants it’) We ended up giving loads of  it away at the library and market.  We made a revised one & on Monday they will give  it to him  as thank you’  gift! Saturday……….we had to go the dryer——- Yes, I said Saturday.  (I’m using Sunday as my new Saturday this week, which is highly possible to be changed at any time! )

So as I was saying; the girls had training for the revised Loaves & Fishes pantry. They have a new procedure to empower more efficient shopping and family empowerment choice.  My kids have been volunteering for over 7 years now. It helps keep them humble. On our way home, we stopped at a block party!  AND YES, I ate there too. What a week!