Declutter Challenge 2018

I can do it!

It’s time for our first declutter challenge of 2018 and it’s going to be a good one.  It’s also the time when I have to stretch myself and push myself out of my comfort zone.  You see, as a blogger it’s easy for me to share recipes (such as my favorite egg nog milkshake recipe), or kid’s crafts (such as these really cool borax snowflakes), or a list of my favorite kid’s toys (coming soon!), but admitting (to THOUSANDS of people!!) that I have a problem is hard.  A BIG problem really.  I have a problem with stuff.  I love stuff.  Shiny stuff, new stuff, stuff that promises in a million ways to make me happy.  Ooh, the bondage of stuff.  Although this is a problem that hundreds of thousands of people face it’s still difficult to admit.  I want to keep purging and purging until we’re living pretty minimal….and I’m a long way from that goal so we’ll press on.

Challenge Overview:  This challenge, or game if you like to think of it that way, will last for the full month of January and one participant will walk away with $50 cash!!  Each day you’ll be given an item(s) to get rid of or something to do.  If you don’t have one of those things to get rid of simply choose another item.  This detailed list is just to get your mind stirring and help jump start your purging.

Challenge Prize: In case you skipped the overview above, the prize is $50 cash to the challenge winner!!

Challenge Rules:  We’re all winners by getting rid of our unwanted belongings but I’ll randomly choose a winner from those who reach the end of the challenge and follow the rules.

How to enter:

  • – Look over the list below and throw away one thing(s) for each day listed below.  If you don’t have that item, find something else that you can part with and let go of it.  Even though we’re starting late, you still have to go back and complete the other days to qualify for the prize.  Don’t worry, some are super easy and you can easily wipe out a week in one day.  You don’t have to do the days in order.
  • – Each day take a photo of your discarded items.
  • Create an album in our Live With Less Facebook group and every day add your photos to it.  If you need help with this ask on the Facebook wall and someone will help you.  If you try and can’t succeed with an album you can always make a post on the main wall and each day comment as a reply with the next day’s photo.  (If you have a picture or two that you’d rather keep private but keep going in the challenge you may email them to me at MrsAshleyWalkup@gmail.com with the subject Live With Less.)
  • – Make sure you number each photo as you go so it will be easier for me to check everyone’s work at the end of the challenge.  Just add a #1 with the first picture, #2 with the second picture, etc.
  • *ADDED TWIST* The person who invites the most people who complete the challenge will get $50!  For example if Mary invites 10 and only 2 finish she won’t win the money if the 3 people Sarah invited completed the challenge.  Does that make sense?

Q&A:

  • – When will this challenge start, I just heard about it?  This challenge will be unlike our other challenges where you have to post daily.  I want you to post daily to get in the habit but it won’t be required.  You can start anytime in the month as long as you have it all completed by the 31st.  
  • – If I share pictures of my junk in the Live With Less Facebook group will all of my friends see it?  No, not unless they are in the group.  It’s a closed group.
  • – Will you be sharing the items you’re getting rid of?  Yes!  I’ll be posting in our Live With Less Facebook group daily.  Forgive the bad quality pics, this is going to be a quick thing every day.
  • – What if more than one person makes it to the 31st?  This will be wonderful and I will choose a winner at random…maybe on a Facebook live video if I can convince my daughter to help.
  • – What if no one makes it to the 31st?  Then I’m keeping the money for myself and buy something pretty for myself….and then get rid of something to make room for it. 😉

READ READ READ:

Since I’ve posted about living with less a few years ago I’ve received numerous emails telling me what a horrible person I am for throwing away so much.  If they only knew the internal struggle I have about letting go of a bent paper clip!  Please know that I’m not advocating throwing away everything, do try and recycle, gift, and donate all that you can before trashing things.

Declutter Challenge 2018

The List:

Day 1- 1 Sentimental thing
Day 2- 2 Red things
Day 3- 3 Unwanted gifts
Day 4- 4 Magazines/catalogs
Day 5- Old coupons
Day 6- Things you can give to someone
Day 7- Glass items (old mugs, dishes with chips, unloved vases, etc)
Day 8- Stationary items (broken pens, extra anything you won’t use)
Day 9- Unfinished project pieces (finish the project this week or consider throwing it out)
Day 10- Old cotton (old t-shirts, cleaning rags, socks, anything cotton you no longer have a use for)
Day 11- Christmas cards
Day 12- Disposable plates, cups, or cutlery (use them up!)
Day 13- 13 items of clothes or shoes (a pair of shoes counts as 1)
Day 14- Duplicates (anything you have two of that you don’t need, two bottles of red nail polish, tweezers, nail clippers, hammers, etc.)
Day 15- Unused old bottles (any empty jars or bottles that you don’t have a use for)
Day 16- Tech (Movies, CDs, video games, random telephone cords, cords you don’t know what they go to but have had 5+ years, etc.)
Day 17- Let go of 1 thing & write a letter/email to someone you’ve lost touch with (no need to provide a picture of the correspondence)
Day 18- Out grown/unloved items (nearly full old perfume bottles, toys, jewelry, etc.)
Day 19- Use something you’ve been saving (decorative soap, fancy dishes for a special occasion, a bottle of sparkling apple cider, whatever you may have that you’re waiting to use “some day” Let today be that day!)
Day 20- 5 Things you can fit in your hand
Day 21- Organize an area that you dread to organize and toss items as you go (before and after pictures are always fun but the items you’re letting go of is okay too if you forget to snap a before pic)
Day 22- Write a list of 22 things that you’re thankful for that money can’t buy
Day 23- Let go of 2 things and make a recipe from an unused cook book (if you can’t bring yourself to do it, let go of the cookbook too)
Day 24- Mend, fix, or glue 3 broken items or toss them (maybe you don’t keep broken things but we always have a few broken things at our house)
Day 25- 5 things from 5 different rooms
Day 26- Move/toss/do 6 things that make you feel guilty (maybe it’s a book that sits on your nightstand and has been laying there unread for months making you feel guilty when you look at it, maybe it’s the dirty windows that irritate you, etc.)
Day 27- Do something you’ve been procrastinating (returning unloved purchases and going through old moving boxes are at the top of my list)
Day 28- Take your donations to a charity 🙂
Day 29- Repurpose/display a sentimental item you’ve decided to keep
Day 30- Find a “home” for lost items that are around your house….as many as you have time for
Day 31- Let go of 12 pieces of paper

If you have any questions or if I missed something please let me know.

Who’s ready to play?  I hope you’ll join me!

Oh, I almost forgot to say something – Happy New Year!!!

Here are two other helpful posts you may like:

200+ Things to Throw Away Now

– How to Get Your Spouse to Declutter Without Nagging

How to Organize your Small Bedroom

Sometimes we find ourselves living in a small home or even a large home that has small bedrooms. Whether you are looking to organize a child’s room or an adult’s room, organizing your small room couldn’t get any easier with these tips.  This post contains affiliate links.

How to Organize your Small Bedroom

Teacups and Saucers

These no longer used teacups or saucers make for great jewelry organization. If you have a nightstand or a dresser that is stocked full of jewelry everywhere, make use of teacups and saucers to creatively store the jewelry in a safe place without looking cluttered. You can pick up these items at a thrift store or from your kitchen cupboard.

Under Bed Drawers

There are many bed frames available on the market these days that have drawers built into them. If you have a regular bed frame, you can easily add those plastic storage bins underneath the bed too. Learn to utilize the underneath of bed area for storage space. This is the perfect place to store clothes, blankets, sheets or toys.

Step Ladder Nightstand

While the average nightstand offers perhaps one shelf and one drawer, using a step ladder nightstand will utilize more shelf space. This is the perfect way to organize your small bedroom so that your alarm, electronic devices, and even a lamp are all in one place that takes up as much space as a nightstand would take up.

Hanging Laundry Bag

There is a great way to store dirty clothes or clean clothes that aren’t yet folded, the hanging laundry bag.  If you have a door on your small bedroom, you can easily hang an open laundry bag hamper on the back of your door so that you can put your clothing in an area other than the floor.

Toy Chest Storage

With a small bedroom for kids, you will have to find a creative way to store those toys. Using a toy chest storage in their bedroom that is either built into a closet, a wall or used on the side of their bedroom for storing toys as well as a top shelf for a play area.

There you have it a few ways you can easily organize your small bedroom without stressing out. Each of these tips should guide you forward in your mission to get that small bedroom organized.

 

5 Tips for Storing Legos

5 Tips for Storing Legos

Many would argue that Legos are the best childhood toy for kids. It seems over the years, Legos have not lost their shine and have only increased in value. Over the years kids will accumulate more and more Legos leaving a parent uncertain how to maintain the storage units for these little bricks. If you are a parent who is sick of stepping on Legos all over your home, then these 5 tips for storing Legos will be your saving grace.  This post contains affiliate links.Large Lego Box

I’m a mom who is just starting out on her Lego journey this Christmas and I asked a friend of mine, a more experienced Lego mom if you will, to share her storage ideas with me.  She shared the tips and I found my favorite products to go along with each tip.  Thank you, Brandy!  While I’m not sure what I’ll go with yet, I’m leaning towards the storage drawers.  Do you Lego moms have any tips to share?  Do you keep Lego Friends sets separately from the loose Legos?  I have so much to learn!  Share all your tips in the comments please!

I bought two of the Large Lego Box pictured above.  Do you think that will be enough to get them started?  It’s going to be the big joint gift we give our kids this year.

(Check out my post on How to Save Money on Legos. Even though I just now made my first Lego purchase I’ve been scoping them out since this time last year.)

Stackable Organizer

Containers with Dividers

While this may be a tedious process, consider using containers like tackle boxes that have dividers. These containers will serve as a great way to divide bricks up based on size. Lego playtime will never be the same again when you organize each brick based on size into containers with dividers. Your kids will love being able to find the right brick for the right Lego project every time.  The one pictured above is only $29.95 on Amazon now.

Party Favor Buckets

Party Favor Buckets

You know those party favor buckets you can purchase for your child’s birthday party? Those buckets will work perfectly to gather up Legos in a neat fashion within your kid’s playroom or bedroom. Hang multiple party favor bins from the wall and have your kids sort through the Legos. The Legos can be organized by size, color or similar theme within each party favor bucket. You will be happy because this is the perfect décor addition to any bedroom too.  The party favor buckets above are less than $14 shipped right now on Amazon.

Play May and Storage

Storage Bean Bags

There are many storage style bean bags on the market these days. Consider investing in some of the storage style bean bags where kids can dump all of their Legos inside of this bag, close it up and toss it to the side of their bedroom or in the closet for future playtime. These storage bean bag ideas work perfectly for the parent of kids who don’t want any organization, they simply need a way to get the Legos up off the floor.  The Cinch Playmat and Backpack above is only $17.95 with free shipping on Amazon.

Storage for Legos

Storage Drawer Units

You probably have seen those inexpensive plastic storage containers that have drawers at your local Walmart or similar store. These storage units that have drawers are the perfect solution to any home filled with Lego lovers. Consider investing in a few of these plastic drawer type storage bins to ensure your kids always have a home for their Legos when done playing with them. The price is just right and these often go on sale during the holiday season.  The cart above is my favorite choice for Legos because it has wheels so it can move around easily, has see through bins, and the bins completely and easily life out to carry to your work space.  It doesn’t hurt that it’s attractive to look at too!  Right now, this is on sale for $45 shipped (down from $99) on Amazon.

Build a Lego Room

My last tip for storing Legos is to designate one room in the house that’s reserved solely for Legos. If you have a large enough home, then this option will work wonders. Have the kids work together to bring all of their Legos into this room where they have shelves and bins to organize their Legos in a clever way without ever worrying about their parents screaming as they step on a Lego in the middle of the night.

There you have it 5 tips for storing Legos so that you are no longer the parent who has to tip-toe around their home for fear of stepping on those sharp brick pieces. Legos are a great childhood toy that inspires creativity, now you can use these tips to teach organization and the importance of cleaning up after playtime.

December 30 Days of Giving Challenge

30 Days of Giving Challenge

For just about every year since I started blogging I’ve participated in or led a 30 days of giving each November.  I’ve been blogging since 2009 so that’s quite a long time!

The old challenge went something like this:

The challenge is to give something to someone everyday in December.  Giving doesn’t have to be designated to November!  The gifts can be anything given to anyone…money, food, old clothes, crafts, your time, or even kind words.  I would love to have  my readers join me in this challenge.  The way I see it, even if I don’t give something every single day it will probably would still be more than I normally would have given any other month…and that’s worth it, right?

Here are some of the gift ideas I’ve came up with so far:

  • –  donate can goods to a local food pantry
  • –  donate new toys in your gift drawer or closet to Toys for Tots
  • –  make and deliver a meal to a grieving family or a family with a sick loved one
  • –  donate a couple of hours of free babysitting for new parents
  • –  rake up the leaves in an elderly friend’s house
  • –  clean out your closets to donate to GoodWill or the Salvation Army
  • –  give few more dollars in the plate at church
  • –  prepare a gift for those new to the neighborhood
  • –  send a letter and a box of non-perishable goodies to a soldier
  • –  have the kids make and mail cards to missionaries (or to vets)

The old challenge had zero accountability and truthfully not many people participated, or if they did they didn’t let me know about it.

30 Days of Giving

The New 30 Days of Giving Challenge!

I want to combine this old challenge with a Live With Less twist!  I want to suggest finding things in our homes that we no longer need or LOVE and give them to someone else.  We can still make meals and cards but it’s my desire for us to find usable things we have just laying around and donate them to those who can make good use of them.  This could be giving an old piece of china to a relative who would enjoy it, passing along a favorite book to a friend, or it could be donating a bag full of items to a charity.  The choice is yours!

By the way, if you’re local to me I know of several families and charities that would love gently used toys and household items.

Giving Challenge Prize!

Wait?  Can you really win a prize from giving away your things?  Yes, you sure can!  I’m going to award one reader a $10 Amazon gift card!  Winner will be drawn randomly from those who have completed the challenge.  Okay, so I know it’s not a HUGE $100 or $300 prize like we’ve had in the past but I’m hoping it will still be enough to motivate you.

Giving Challenge Rules:

  • – You must submit your daily entry by posting photos of your items to be given on the wall of our Facebook group – located here.  Post once and continue posting follow up days in the comments of your first post.  If you’d rather set up an album and add your photos to it, that’s great too.  (Side note, if you’re new to Facebook groups and you don’t want to see notifications when everyone posts you can change the settings in the group.  Message me in the group if you need help with this.)
  • – If you don’t have Facebook you can also email me the pictures at MrsAshleyWalkup@gmail.com with the subject 30 Days of Giving Challenge.
  • – If you know you’re going to have a busy week you can work ahead in the challenge up to five days ahead of time (this is a change from the previous challenge, you can now work further ahead!) and you can be two days late and still be eligible for the prize.
  • We’re going to start the challenge a on Tuesday, Dec. 5th so we can give others a few days to find this challenge and give you who are reading this a head start gathering your unwanted items.  Because we’re starting late you don’t have to give away 30 things, just 1 per day till the end of the challenge.  If you want to do more, by all means please do.
  • – This is a question I would ask if I was participating so I’ll ask and answer it in case you’re wondering to.  Do you actually have to donate the item to, say Goodwill, or can you just set it aside in a box in your garage until the end of the month?  The garage is fine!  There’s no need to make a trip daily to take one item some place.
  • – What if you have so much extra stuff and you want to
  • – Share this with a friend!  It’s easier to stick with it if you have a friend or family member who are joining in too.
  • – Last but not least, have fun!!!

In the words of my wise friend Dawn, “This challenge is about being grateful for what you have and blessing others who are less fortunate!”  I couldn’t agree more!

I’m excited to have you join me.   Feel free to start snapping pics, donating, and posting your pics in our group now but our official start date will be Dec. 5th.

How to Get Organized for the Holidays

The holiday season is quickly approaching. It seems the end of the year always sneaks up on us and then we are wondering how in the world we can get organized for the season. With the holidays comes the desire to have everything in place because you may have more visitors than planned. Each holiday season households all over the world get stressed because they have no idea how to get organized for the holidays. Today, I want to alleviate that stress and help you learn how to get organized so that your holiday gatherings are stress-free and fun.

How to Get Organized for the Holidays

Get the To-Do List Ready

The first step to getting organized for the holidays is to start a to-do list and have it handy. Think about everything that needs to be organized, completed and purchased for the holiday season. Try to organize a to-do list based on priority. For example, if you are having guests over for a holiday feast, you may be more concerned about the kitchen and dining room organization than the bedrooms. Be sure to make a to-do list on what to take care of based on the room in the house and level of priority.

Take Inventory

When you start to get organized for the holidays you will want to know what you already have on hand. Whether you go through holiday décor or storage bin options, it doesn’t matter, simply take inventory of everything you have then create a list of what you need. This will help ensure that you have everything you need to get that house organized for the holidays without stressing.  Have the family take part in this as you all work together to inventory the entire home.

Declutter Toys & Other Stuff

Get the kids on board with organizing for the holidays by going through their own toy bins. Have kids set aside toys that are no longer played with and donate this pile of unused toys to community organizations who give to needy children for the holiday season.  (Check out our post on how to help kid’s donate)  Decluttering is the most important step in getting organized for the holidays as it frees up much-needed space. Any item you or your kids haven’t used in the last six months is open to being donated. Learn to let go of toys and other items to make room for organization. (Check out our most popular decluttering posts)

Sort Decorations

With every holiday season comes the desire to decorate the home. Sort through the decorations you have compiled over the years. Organize them into bins based on the holiday season and find a good storage place for them so they are out of sight during the offseason. When you sort decorations you will soon find items you don’t use or will want to use this year. Having bins that are labeled and in a conspicuous spot will help ensure you have an organized home when those guests arrive.

Overall the way to get organized for the holidays is to take into consideration what you no longer use, what you need to put into storage bins and what your main mission is. If you are hosting guests, then you may organize a bit deeper whereas if you are just having a household holiday gathering with minimal guests, you may not do as deep of an organizing effort.

Save Money and Energy With ENERGY STAR Appliances from Best Buy

The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.

Saving money and conserving energy is important to our family.  Turning off lights and conserving the utilities is helpful but I’ve been told that the biggest difference is made by having ENERGY STAR® appliances.

Besides our refrigerators, the appliances I use most are the washer and dryer.  I feel like the mountain of laundry is endless!  Did you know that using an energy efficient washer and dryer has a ton of benefits?  Check out this video to see how you can save money and save energy when you buy ENERGY STAR washers and dryers.

Energy Star Laundry

Benefits of Using ENERGY STAR Washers and Dryers:

  • –  Save Money – ENERGY STAR certified clothes washers and dryers save energy, which means that you will save on energy bills.  Many are also equipped with advanced features that make cleaning and drying easier and more effective.
  •  –  Environmentally friendly – Saving energy means that ENERGY STAR certified washers and dryers help protect the climate, which means that your kids and the planet will benefit for years to come.
  • –  Better for your clothes – ENERGY STAR clothes washers use a variety of sophisticated cleaning methods that are gentler on your clothes, while ENERGY STAR clothes dryers use less heat and sensor drying which reduces wear and tear on clothes from over drying.  I don’t know about you but I pamper my clothes so this is a big one for me!

ENERGY STAR certified clothes washers and dryers are 25% and 20% more efficient, respectively, than standard models.  That should help you save a lot of money on your utility bill.  In fact, a new ENERGY STAR certified washing machine will save you about $45 a year on your utility bills compared to a standard model. You will save $490 over the lifetime of an ENERGY STAR certified washing machine and even more than that with an ENERGY STAR washer/dryer pair.

If all clothes dryers sold in the U.S. were ENERGY STAR certified, the energy cost savings would grow to more than $1.5 billion each year and 22 billion pounds of annual carbon pollution would be prevented.  This is equal to the emissions from 2 million vehicles!  Wow!

SHOP ENERGY STAR APPLIANCES AT BEST BUY

WHAT TO LOOK FOR:

ENERGY STAR washing machines incorporate the following advanced features:

  •  – Multiple configurations– ENERGY STAR certified clothes washers are available in either front-load or redesigned top-load configurations which include technology innovations that help save energy and water.
  •  –  Sophisticated wash systems– ENERGY STAR certified top-load machines clean your clothing just like standard models without wasting water to fill up the tub. Instead, these machines use sophisticated wash systems to cycle clothes through a mixture of water and detergent, allowing the clothes to be cleaned without using excess water or detergent.
  •  –  No central agitator– Front-load machines tumble clothes through a small amount of water instead of rubbing clothes against an agitator, while advanced top-load machines lift and tumble clothes through a reduced stream of water. Both designs dramatically reduce the amount of hot water and energy used in the wash cycle.
  •  –  High spin speeds– Efficient motors spin clothes two to three times faster to extract more water. Less moisture in the clothes means less time in the dryer and less energy spent drying clothes.
  •  –  Long live your clothes– Front-load and advanced top-load clothes washers’ sophisticated wash systems use a variety of methods to lift and tumble your laundry, lengthening the life of often-washed items. Additionally, because they are so gentle, many models can safely clean silk, wool and other hand-washables.

ENERGY STAR certified clothes dryers incorporate the following advanced features:

  •  –  Low Heat Setting– Longer drying cycles on a low heat setting use less energy. When you purchase an ENERGY STAR certified clothes dryer, look for the cycle that uses the least amount of energy, sometimes known as the “energy-saving” selection.
  •  –  Steam Cycles– Many ENERGY STAR dryers also include convenient features, such as a steam cycle that can help save time on ironing clothes by preventing wrinkles.

Best Buy is committed to positively impacting the environment and its communities.  Conquer your mountain of laundry with an ENERGY STAR washer and dryer from Best Buy!  For more information visit your local Best Buy or check out the Best Buy Blog.

Insanely Genius Car Hacks

This post is brought to you by Kim’s No Bull.

We spend a lot of our lives in cars and these trusty tips will hopefully make your car driving experiences even better.

Car Cooling Hack

Cool Down the Car Quickly

When you’re car is sweltering on a hot day here’s a trick to cooling it down quickly.  Roll down one window and open and close the door on the other side five or six times.  This will push the hot air out and allow cooler air to come in.  My husband told me this tip and I didn’t believe it till I tried it for myself.  It really works!  This is a great car hack.

Key Fob Car Hack

Put Your Key Fob to Your Chin to Increase Distance

If you’re in a large parking lot and can’t find your car, try placing the key fob on your chin ti increase the range of the signal by a few car lengths.  This cracks me up but hey, if it works, why not?  Apparently, the fluids in your head turn into an adequate conductor.

Windshield Crack DIY

Paint Small Windshield Cracks With Nail Polish

We learned this trick the hard way.  We recently moved to a house with approximately a million oak trees and a bazillion falling acorns and one giant acorn feel with such force that it gave our windshield a small crack.  We researched and found this trick.  Once year later and it’s still staying small!  To slow the spreading of a small crack, paint over the crack with clear nail polish on both sides of the glass.

Gas Gauge Hack

Look at The Gas Gauge to See Which Side to Fill Up

If you’re driving a rental, a new car or if you’re just incredibly forgetful here’s an easy way to figure out which side the gas tank is on.  Look at the gas gauge and there will usually be an arrow pointing to which side of the car the gas tank is on.

Photo of Where You Parked

Take a Photo of Where You Parked

This is a tip I used myself when I was at Disney World and on busy days where my mind is clouded with a hundred odds and ends I plan on using this to remember which floor I park on at the hospital.

Pizza Warming Hacks

Keep Pizza Hot With Heated Seats

If you have seat warmers turn them on to keep your carry-out pizza nice and warm on your trip home.  I hope you’ve found these car hacks helpful, if you have any to add please leave them in the comments.

Top Road Trip Tips when Traveling With Children

This post is brought to you Kim’s Toyota.

Tips for Traveling with Kids
It is almost time for vacations to begin and families getting out on the open roads taking road trips! So many wonderful memories come from family vacations, and spending time in the car site seeing all over the globe! Today I wanted to share some of the top road trip tips when traveling with children. These will make your life and theirs a little easier!

Car Sick Travel Bag: You never know when someone will end up getting sick, so I recommended making a car sick travel bag. Include medicines like anti-nausea, anti-diarrhea, gas medicines, something for headaches and so on. Just make sure you pack medicines for any occasion. I also toss in some sacks in case someone does have an upset tummy, you are not left in a bind. You can store it in a gallon bag and tuck in in the trunk or under a seat.

New Movies for Kids: If you have tablets or a portable dvd player, think about doing new movies for the kiddos. You can rent some from a Redbox if you have a dvd player, or download and/or stream from the tablet. Either way this is a great way to keep them occupied for awhile. You can also download fun games on tablets for them to play.

Prevent Boredom: Like above with the new movie idea, you can also think about other activities to keep your children entertained. Try to find new things like car bingo, or go to your local dollar store and find new toys for them. Anything you think your child might enjoy and be entertained for a little bit.
Shower Caddy Basket to Hold Crayons: Pack up some fun coloring or activity books. Then take a little shower caddy basket, that has the suction cups on the back, and stick it to the window. Then when they need a crayon they can reach up in the caddy to get a crayon or pencil. It keeps the crayons from falling into the seat or on the floor.

Pack Snacks: This is a great one to save a little money and to have snacks when your kids get hungry. Take sandwich bags and pack up some of their favorite treats. Like crackers, cookies, licorice, whatever you want. Then create single serve snack bags. When they get hungry let them pick out a snack to enjoy.

Bathroom Breaks: Be prepared to have more pit stops then if you didn’t have kiddos with you. They will need to stretch their feet and go to the bathroom more than adults. So just make sure to allow yourself the time to have those stops and let them burn a little energy off.

How to Find Good Deals on Tires

This post is brought to you by Len Stoler Lexus.

Cooper Tires

Having good tires is a must when you own a vehicle. They keep you safe while traveling and tires can affect your gas mileage. It is no lie tires can cost a good amount of money, but I am here to help give you ideas on how to find good deals on tires.

I hope that some of these options might help you in to finding a good deal on tires. Tires truly do play such an important role in driving safety. It is never fun when your tire blows out driving down the road. So make sure your tires are in tip top shape.

Steps to Finding Good Deals on Tires:

Online Deal Sites: If you find a deal site, like Groupons you might be able to score some good savings on tires. They from time to time offer discounted prices on tires, anywhere from 50%-80% off. Sometimes you will have to buy the tires online and others you can get a discounted price for some tires at a local store in your area. It is worth looking at to see if you can find any deals on the tires you need.

Coupons: Every now and again you might find a deal on tires, buy 3 get 1 free, or $10 off a tire. You can search online for deals on tires to see if you can find any. You can search the stores name and coupons on tires, or just search coupons on tires if you don’t mind purchasing tires online. Just make sure if you buy online you watch out for shipping costs. If you have a store near you, you might be able to ship it to the store and pick it up for free.

Buy Used: Buying used tires is a way to save a little money. You can find buy, sale, trade groups on Facebook for your local area where someone might be selling a set. Also make sure to check with your tire dealers around you to see if they have any used tires they are selling. Just make sure they are reputable and you look over the tires when you buy used. Make sure there are no cuts or really worn tread on the tires. Buying used you do take a risk of them not lasting as long as new. But if you don’t have the money for a brand new set this can be an option.

Buy More Tires: I know buying more tires might sound crazy but sometimes buying one tire can be expensive. When you buy say two or more tires you might get a price cut. Check with your local tire dealers to see if they are offering a deal when you buy more than one tire, if the cost per tire will go down.

Buy Locally: Sometimes your local tire dealers can be cheaper then bigger stores online. You don’t have to pay for shipping and handling if you order online. Another note is some stores will put the tires on for free or at a discounted price when you buy the tires through them. So even if the tires are a little more in price, you factor in getting them put on for free, it can be less or equal to what you find online.

How to Create A Money Saving Plan For Buying a New Car

This post is brought to you by Len Stoler Dodge Chrysler Jeep.

Kids in the Car
If you are thinking you might be in the market to buy a new car soon, you might need to create a money saving plan. Buying a new car can be a little pricey with all the extras that go along with your big purchase. So before you head out to go shopping make sure your finances are in order and you know that you can afford the car you want. Now if you have all cash that is great, but if not, buying a car can impact your budget greatly!
Again these are just things for you to keep in mind when you go to buy a new vehicle. It is a big deal to buy a new car, and it can be a little costly. Making sure you still have money left after you make your payments will make your everyday life a little easier, so you don’t feel so strapped.

Time Frame of Buying a Car: You need to make sure to sit down and plan when you want to buy a new car. You may think in a year I will be ready, or even a few months down the road. Regardless you will need to have a down payment most likely for your new vehicle. Some places offer no money down, so you need to consider if you don’t go to a dealership that offers no money down, you might need to put down a thousand or more.

Look at Cars Online: If you have an idea of a vehicle you are wanting, you can look online at dealerships in your area to get an idea of the price range. This will help you to see how much money a vehicle you are really wanting might cost.

Monthly Car Payments: When you get a loan for a vehicle it can vary a lot depending on the price of the vehicle. You could spend anywhere from a few hundred dollars up to a thousand. They do offer ways to figure what your payment would be online for a vehicle, or your dealership can tell you. This is a great way to get a rough estimate of how much your car payment would be each month. Just make sure you also factor in for insurance each month. Most states require full coverage on a vehicle that has a loan against it.

Car Tags and Insurance: Along with buying a car you have to factor in insurance premiums, and car tags and registering your new vehicle. If you have a type of vehicle you want, say a SUV you can talk to your insurance company and they can give you a rough estimate of what that type of car you want would cost each month. Some styles of vehicles (sports cars, etc) can cost a lot more than others.

This is a great way to ensure you can afford the vehicle you want. Sometimes people forget you have tags and insurance that go along with owning a car. You just need to make sure you have money in your budget and then you can sleep easier at night with your new car.