From storing half-cut produce to warming up leftovers, these bags are so handy! I hardly ever have to use throw-away plastic bags or cling wrap anymore. Plus, these make taking food on the go (an essential for frugal living and living with food allergies) so much easier.
I have the Storage (half-gallon size) and the Sandwich size and love them both. Plus, we’re taking a bunch of these on our upcoming spring break where we hit the road in an RV! These are not cheap, but they are a great investment for your health, the environment, and probably your wallet too in the long run now that I don’t have to buy all the plastic wrap and Ziploc bags anymore. If you’ve been wondering about reusable bags for food for kids lunches, I’ve been super happy with my Stasher bags.
I’m a big water bottle girl, as you can tell from my list of frugal living tips. My kids and I bring water bottles pretty much anytime we leave the house. And while I was a long-time lover of the Camelbak’s, I may be converting to these Contigo water bottles instead.
They’re easy to drink from with one hand, keep water the temperature you want for up to 24 hours, and the straw can close down completely to keep germs and dirt off. Plus, if you have curious baby hands around, the button lock adds an extra set of security to keep the lid closed.
If you’ve been thinking about getting a new water bottle so you drink more water and buy less bottled water, I’ve been loving my Contigo water bottle.
The vanilla flavor is rich and delicious. Because it’s naturally-flavored with real vanilla (not artificial flavoring) it’s not fake tasting at all. The low acid works much better for my tummy. It has loads of antioxidants. And it’s organic, yay!
If you’ve been wanting a flavored coffee that’s naturally flavored or if you’ve wanted to try a lower acid coffee, this is my absolute favorite. I usually find a much better deal on this coffee at Vitacost, but if you’re an Amazon loyalist, you can Subscribe & Save to a little better price and keep the coffee coming to your doorstep every month.
I have no idea why I waited so long to get an Instant Pot. I was happy with my slow cooker and didn’t think I needed another kitchen gadget…
However. the curiosity of the Instant Pot Loving Community got the best of me last Black Friday and now I totally understand why. I use my pressure cooker several times per week, almost daily! There’s a reason this Instant Pot has over 31,000 awesome reviews!
Since I like cooking and preparing our food at home but do NOT like babysitting the stove or oven making sure things don’t boil over or burn, the Instant Pot and I get along well. Dump the ingredients, push the button, and walk away. I have this Instant Pot and as I’ve been preparing food for our week vacation on the road, this baby has definitely made my life easier. **BONUS**This baby is $20 off today too. Seriously? It’s like Amazon is in my kitchen right now!
Not only is it a great deal for organic coconut oil, but it’s a smaller container. Sometimes I buy coconut oil in bulk (54 oz) because that’s the oil we use for pan frying and baking, but I definitely don’t have room for or need a giant tub of coconut oil in our RV.
But big tubs of coconut oil are not handy for packing to go camping or keeping in the bathroom for moisturizer or toothpaste like I do. So I am super grateful I have this perfect-sized container to take a long. You can read more about the Brandless products I love in my Brandless review.
Ever wonder how to make money on the road when you have kids? I know I have wondered if this is truly possible. So I checked in with the folks at Outdoorsy to see what this RV living is all about.
Traveling in an RV is exhilarating and relaxing as you can
explore new destinations and return to the comforts of a hot shower and comfy
bed at the end of the day. This comfort and flexibility combined with families disconnecting
to reconnect with one another in life is seeing many families take extended
trips or even move into an RV full time. The wide variety of styles and sizes
of RVs make them perfect for families on the road. It is so tempting to live on
the beach for a while and then head off to the next destination and let your
children explore. Taking the steps to make that a reality seems overwhelming
and many people stop at the daydream.
The most common question asked when it comes to full time RV
living is how do you make money while on the road? As with any lifestyle, the
nuances of life on the road will dictate to some degree the options you have
for making money. Your skillset, distance and access to basic communication
services can all play a role. When you throw kids into the mix then you may
have the extra restrictions of limited mobility away from the RV to contend
with. Here we will look at some options to make money while on the road with
If you are not traveling alone and your spouse can stay home
with the kids or you can balance childcare, then you have many more options for
making money on the road. Even if your spouse also has to work outside the RV,
you can stagger shifts so that someone will be home with the kids when
necessary. Workamping, traveling medical positions and working jobs for local
temp agencies are all great options which can provide good steady income while
on the road.
Attractions, RV resorts, playgrounds and nature hikes are
often just steps away which is great to get the kids out of the RV for a while
so it can serve as an office for almost any work at home job. A long hike,
exploring or visiting a local attraction and then a snack will give a good
chunk of quiet time for phone calls, correspondence and other work. If leaving
the RV, or the kids, is not going to work for your family, there are still many
great options out there. Many parents find altering their hours is a great way
to work while still spending lots of time as a family. Working for a few hours
after everyone is asleep is the perfect solution, especially for parents who
are night owls anyway.
Working from the road is not that much different than working from home. When
you cut out the time it takes a typical person to prepare for work, travel to
their workplace, as well as coffee breaks, lunch breaks and travel time home,
that adds up to a lot of time left to enjoy the RV life from whatever
destination you choose. There are also options for work that is unique to the
Depending on the age of your kids and the position,
workamping can be option. Workamping is just what it sounds like, working at a
campsite in exchange for free accommodations and amenities. Many workamping
positions cover the cost of your site when you work a certain number of hours
per week. Once that minimum requirement is met, you can also earn cash. Other
times, depending on the job duties, a salary can also be involved. Workamping
jobs vary greatly by location from high-end luxury resorts where you gain
access to pools, playgrounds and clubhouse activities to remote campsites where
you have up-close experiences in nature. With older kids, you may be able to
work an office or maintenance job without any problems. With younger kids a
camp host may be more appropriate since those positions generally do not
require you to leave your camper for significant amounts of time. There are
also part time office jobs, gift-shop or café workers and other unique
positions that will offer you a place to park your RV in exchange for various
Working on the road has become a lot easier now that
portable internet and Wi-Fi connections are readily available. Most RVs, even
the smaller ones, have space for a small home office. A good travel laptop,
internet connection and perhaps some equipment unique to your job are all that
you need. Options for earning money can vary depending on your interests and
skills, some people even include their whole family.
2. Freelance & Online Options
Freelance design and creative jobs are common among those
who have embraced the RV life. Web design, graphic design, UX/UI design, CAD,
computer programming and freelance writing are all very popular and can provide
excellent pay. They also tend to be deadline oriented which makes them flexible
in the specific hours you spend doing them. This flexibility will allow you to
spend time with your kids when you need to and work when you don’t. Finding
these jobs can be challenging and the competition can be fierce. Start with
what you know and work from there. You can find jobs on online freelance
platforms as well as by networking with those looking for your service.
There are a few people that make money blogging or running a YouTube channel. While this can be a good way to make extra money, they tend to develop very slowly if at all. If your goal is immediate income, going this route will probably not be a good option. Instead, get into blogging and YouTube as a hobby while you work a real job and see how it develops. Within a year or two you may be able to shift from a more traditional job into full time blogging or YouTubing. This can be a great activity for the whole family and some of the most profitable and popular channels started as a family’s way to keep in touch with loved ones all over the world. Starting a blog or YouTube channel is most likely to be successful if it is authentic and exciting and living in an RV has the potential for both of those. If you do go this route know it is not a get rich quick solution.
Tech jobs including app development can provide a good way to make money on the road with kids. App development is different from freelance computer programming in that you are producing an app that you promote and market on your own. App development can include website or web-based apps and services, but it is more commonly associated with standalone smartphone or computer apps. These can include games, utilities or other amps that people can find useful or entertaining.
Monetizing an app can be done in a number of ways including directly selling it through a distribution system like the Apple Appstore or Google Play. They can also include advertising, subscription based content and in-app purchases. Developing apps has become increasingly less difficult over the years, bringing income potential from their development to within reach of those with even modest skills. Developing apps is also a common segue for landing freelance programming jobs.
There are many other products that you can make and sell that are not app related. If you are more of a mechanical or hands on person then custom jewelry, leather products, small signs and custom glassware or tumblers can all be made from an RV. The kids may even want to help out, allowing them to develop some trade skills at a young age. These products can be sold online through marketplaces like Etsy, eBay or even Amazon. Local flea or farmers markets can offer great venues for sales as well. Finally, as a traveler you can follow certain events around the country to sell your products at. For example, if you make western jewelry, following and setting up booths on the rodeo circuit may be a good source of income.
Making money while traveling can create some unique and difficult challenges. Adding kids into the mix can add even more. Still the excitement and benefits are worthwhile as you learn and explore the world. With some of the ideas presented here you should be able bring in the income you need, be that extra spending cash or a full living wage. You should also be able to do it while still enjoying your children and providing the attention that they need. Finally, in many cases your kids can be part of the process which can teach them valuable life skills and help pave the way for their bright future.
If you are thinking about traveling for long RV trips or even making the jump into full-time RV living, you can adapt practically any job to the lifestyle. There are even travel nursing jobs, construction and horticulture opportunities that all work well for RV living. Whatever you decide, it is worth considering renting an RV or even try out a few different styles to see what fits your family best. From there you might just find the thrill of the road is calling and you are ready to make the adventure more permanent. Knowing your options for earning money while traveling in an RV makes that adventure a little bit more realistic.
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About the Author
Shelley Trupert works for Outdoorsy, an RV marketplace for consumers and pros. She has been camping for almost 20 years and is always looking to find the next hike off the beaten path. While she used to enjoy tenting in the wilderness, she prefers to camp in an RV now—whether it is a Class C or a teardrop trailer—to enjoy a little comfort after a long day outdoors and the ease of travel it provides. Her goal is to hike in all of the national parks in North America.
During my time working from home, I’ve gathered a list of the best virtual assistant tools from trial and error. These tools have helped me, and I hope they will allow you to save time and stress less.
These tools and software allow virtual assistants to be more productive and focus on the tasks that allow you to make money – instead of messing around on the tasks that really don’t help your business grow.
I personally use all of these tools. And the best part is they are all free or fairly inexpensive tools that I wish I had found or upgraded to sooner in my work-at-home mom and online business journey.
This post contains affiliate links. For my full disclosure click here.
1. FreshBooks Online for Invoicing and Bookkeeping
I stumbled upon FreshBooks when they were running a deal where all payment fees via PayPal were only 50¢! Since the standard charge is around 3%, I did the math and figured out with all the invoicing I was doing as a freelance editor, writer, and virtual assistant, I would actually save money in fees by using FreshBooks. Little did I know how much time FreshBooks would save me too.
FreshBooks allows virtual assistants and freelancers to:
send quick and professional invoices to clients for one-time projects
automatically send recurring invoices and templates for repeat clients
organize expenses with little effort
see monthly business expenses vs income at a glance
easily see any outstanding balances from clients
If you are looking for an easy way to send professional invoices, track time for projects, and organize expenses then try FreshBooks. They have a free 30-day trial with no credit card required so you can see if you like it as much as I do.
Freshbooks is the best accounting software for freelancers and sole proprietors, which fits many virtual assistants, on this PC Mag review.
2. Calendly for Scheduling Meetings
Calendly is a huge time-saving tool for virtual assistants. The back-and-forth emails to try and find a mutual time is maddening. Enter Calendly…
Calendly works like this:
Set your availability
Share your link in email, on your business Facebook page, or on your website
Clients schedule a time
Meeting is added to your calendar
Integrates with your calendar so you never double book
I also like that you can set an advance notice requirement to prevent last minute meetings and buffers between meeting times. The free version worked fine for my virtual assistant needs but there are advanced features for the paid plans.
Zapier’s blog lists Calendly as the “best meeting scheduler app for letting others schedule meetings with you.”
3. Trello for Project Management, Pitch Tracking, and Weekly To Dos
Trello is another free virtual assistant tool I love. There are a lot of things to keep track of as a virtual assistant or freelancer, and Trello has been a lifesaver for my own projects and the projects I manage for clients.
I have Trello boards that are shared for working together with clients and I have boards that are for my own work. Ok, I admit…I even have Trello boards for myself that have nothing to do with work! My life would not be organized without Trello.
LastPass is another one of the best tools for freelancers and virtual assistants because it allows you to securely and easily share passwords. Often times a business owner is leery about giving out their passwords, but as a virtual assistant, you need access to their accounts to do work for them. This is were LastPass saves the day.
LastPass allows you to:
store passwords so you don’t have to remember them
customize access those sites (without actually sharing the password)
change your password in one location (but everyone with access to that passwords automatically gets the new password)
So as a virtual assistant, you might need access to a client’s blog, email provider, Canva account, and many others. With LastPass, a client can grant you access to those accounts without actually sharing the password. It’s a very slick way for virtual assistants and business owners to securely share accounts and passwords.
Slack is a great tool for virtual assistants to keep in touch with clients and team members. With different channels, tagging of individuals, and private messages, Slack can virtually eliminate email communication for a team.
Without a ton of lost emails, Slack can:
be a means for quick communication 1:1 or for a whole group
share updates, ask questions, and make decisions
store files, links, and information in a searchable database
have different channels for different teams, professional development groups,
Slack is one of the best tools for freelancers and virtual assistants who want to stay in touch with clients without the frustration of emails.
6. Canva for Branding, Social Media and Graphic Design
Canva is my favorite virtual assistant tool for creating designs. The templates and layouts are a huge time saver for anyone who doesn’t want to spend a ton of time on designs or doesn’t have a lot of design skills.
Canva is perfect for your own business and client work, including:
website headers and blog banners
social media posts and headers for each platform
and so much more
I started with the free version but once I started using Canva for more and wanted to keep track of branding for several websites, I was thrilled with what the paid Canva for Work had to offer.
CloudApp is amazing. I searched long and hard before I found a free screen recording tool that wasn’t ridiculously limited. I didn’t think I was asking for much in a free screen recorder, but apparently I was.
I’m thrilled that CloudApp allows me to:
record my screen
record my voice (optional)
record my webcam (optional)
share recordings with others online.
store recordings in the cloud
CloudApp has been the answer to my screen recording prayers, and I am so happy someone else recommended it to me.
Toggl is simple tool for tracking your time. The information with collect with a time tracker like Toggl can help you be more effecient, earn more money per hour, and make smart decisions about which services you offer.
Toggl is a great freelancer tool for:
tracking your hourly time for each client or project
figuring out how long each type of work takes you
better estimate how long future projects will take you
Knowing how long projects take you will be key if you move from charging an hourly rate to a project fee. Doing a project rate is one way to scale because as you get more efficient, you’re earning more money for your time.
9. Zoom or Skype for Discovery Calls and Client Meetings
As a virtual assistant, you will need a tool for making calls and talking with current and potential clients. I’ve used both Skype and Zoom for these calls and both can get the job done. The ability for group calls, screen sharing, and chat messages are features I used most as a freelancer.
10. Google Voice for a Business Phone Number
You can get a free phone number through Google Voice, which you can use as your business phone number. The number can forward to your cell phone so you will still get the calls but you don’t have to give your personal phone number out to the everyone on the internet.
11. Google Drive for Collaboration and Cloud Storage
Google Drive is a key collaboration tool for virtual assistants and freelancers. It’s another free tool where you can store, share, and work on 15 GB of files for yourself or with a team. Google Docs (similar to Word), Google Sheets (like Excel), Google Slides (like Presentation) and Google Forms (surveys) are common ones virtual assistants use.
12. Dropbox for Sharing Large Files
Sometimes as a virtual assistant you will need to share or receive files that are too large for email. Dropbox is perfect for this and it’s a common tool that others are familiar with. The basic version is free and gives you 2 GB of space, allows you to sync files across devices, and share folders and links.
13. PayPal for Collecting Payments
PayPal is the tool I’ve used to collect payments from clients since I started freelancing. It’s been easy and I’ve had no complications receiving payments from clients.
14. SiteGround for Website Hosting
SiteGround is the website hosting I use for this site and it’s an affordable option for virtual assistants or freelancers who want their own website. While you can get by without a website, I personally think it sets you apart and adds a layer of professionalism when you have a website others can check out before considering hiring you.
Summary of Best Virtual Assistant Tools to Grow Your Business
When you maximize your time as a virtual assistant with tools that allow you to focus your time on the tasks that actually make you money, not only will you make more money but you’ll be happier too. When you find the tools that help you get the job done right and faster, you’ll have more time for things in life you love most.
Recap of the best tools for freelancers and virtual assistants:
Here are Easter basket ideas and gift ideas for toddlers who love trucks, trains, construction vehicles and all things with wheels.
1. Dump Truck Paw Patrol Easter Basket Idea
If your toddler boy or girl loves dump trucks, here’s a unique Easter basket idea that themed around Paw Patrol. This Easter basket includes bubbles, stuffed animal and water bottles, which were all ideas from above. Insert your child’s favorite character if Paw Patrol isn’t his thing. This idea came from TheKeeperOfTheCheerios.
Tonka Dump Truck
Built Tonka tough with sturdy steel construction
Movable steel bed for dumping
Fill with Easter basket goodies your toddler loves
Another cute spring Easter basket idea is to use a new pair of rain boots as your Easter basket.
Using rain boots is a unique and practical Easter basket idea for toddlers to get ready to stomp in the springtime rain puddles. Here are a few pairs that are cute, fun, affordable and have 100+ excellent reviews from parents.
Light Up Unicorn Rain Boots
These purple unicorn and rainbow rain boots can make even rain days a little brighter with their cute design and light up style.
5. Potty Seat Easter Basket Idea for 2 or 3-Year-Olds
Your toddler will be potty training sooner or later. So consider using a cute potty seat as a practical Easter basket to get him excited about the idea.
Frog Potty Seat Easter Basket
We have and like the Froggy Potty Seat pictured above, but it’s pricey on Amazon right now, so the similar seat below and the Penguin Potty Seat at Target are cheaper alternatives to make this Easter basket idea happen.
Another key for letting your toddler be creative and work on fine motor skills of painting (without a ton of worry and cleanup for mom) is a good art smock. Long sleeves and a waterproof material makes these smocks for 2-to-6-year olds easy to clean.
Here are some more ideas of things to fill your shopping cart Easter basket.
2-Pack Bento Snack and Lunch Box
Another way to make packing and eating easier is using a food portion container that’s leak-proof like the Bento box. The small sections encourage toddlers to eat vegetables and a variety of food groups.
Straws in a durable stainless steel water bottle makes meal time and snacks on the go more fun. Plus, it encourages toddlers to drink water all day by having a cute and easy-to-use water bottle like this.
A food jar that’s vacuum insulated can make meals on the go much easier as it keeps food hot or cold for 5-7 hours. Since this one has higher ratings and is less expensive, this would be a great non-candy but food-related gift for toddlers.
To Sum It Up: Unique and Simple Easter Basket Ideas for Toddlers
Most of these items can be found at dollar stores, Walmart, Target, and Kohls. But if you’re wanting something delivered to your door fast from Amazon, this list of Easter basket gifts with great reviews from parents and grandparents will make your Easter shopping fun and easy.
Ibotta Referral Code [SBHIWHB] and Ibotta Review by Mallory Herrera, a mama who loves using the Ibotta app to save money on groceries.
Take it away, Mallory!
This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may make a small commission at no additional cost to you.
If you are anything like me, you’re always looking for easy
ways to save money. Having a good budget in place is great, but who couldn’t
use a little extra cash? Especially if you’re saving money on things you’re
already planning to buy–like groceries!
To help me save money on my grocery budget, I love using the
What is Ibotta?
Ibotta is an app that you can download on your phone that
will pay you money based on the items that you buy. Yep, really, it’s that
The app is also completely free to use, which is a huge
bonus when you’re trying to save some extra money. Who wants to pay for
something that’s supposed to save you money? I know I don’t.
Is Ibotta Legit?
If you don’t believe me, Ibotta is repeatedly listed on the most highly regarded personal finance sites as a top coupon app:
Add your favorite stores to your profile. This simple Ibotta trick will make your shopping trips easier.
Browse “Find Offers” on the app by store or category.
Select the offers that interest you and they’ll be added to your “My Offers” list.
*Occasional opportunity to complete an extra task to add even more offers to your account, such as watch a quick video.
Step 3. Go Shopping
Buy items from your “My Offers” list at any Ibotta retailer. Some offers are retailer specific, so be sure to keep an eye on that.
Step 4. Get Cash Back
Cash back rewards can be collected in a couple of ways. You can link your store’s loyalty card or upload your receipt manually. I personally like to upload my receipt to make sure that I don’t miss anything.
Specific retailers, known as preferred partners, require that users connect their loyalty card and add offers prior to shopping.
Your credits will automatically be submitted once you scan your loyalty card at checkout. There’s nothing more that you have to do.
Once you’ve finished your shopping trip, tap the “Redeem” button on the navigation bar.
Select the store where your receipt is from.
Take a picture of the receipt. If the receipt is long, you can take multiple photos. A few stores will require you to scan the QR code or receipt barcode to get your cashback.
Occasionally, you will be asked to verify the item that you purchased by taking a photo of the barcode.
In addition to cash back rewards earned from shopping trips, you can also purchase items through the Ibotta app to receive cash back.
This is how I make all of my Amazon purchases these days. I just click on Amazon through my Ibotta app, do my shopping, and the money is automatically added to my account in a few days. I love it!
Tip: If you add items to your Amazon cart before going through the Ibotta app, those purchases won’t qualify for cash back. The items must be added to your cart after starting your shopping experience through the Ibotta app. I learned that the hard way.
Earn Real Money
Once you’ve reached $20 in your Ibotta account, you can cash
out using PayPal or Venmo. I’m talking about real money. Not points, or
credits, or any other made up currency. Real cash.
Can be used on fresh foods like produce rather than just pre-packaged, processed foods.
Can get cashback on organic foods like organic milk and free-range eggs.
Can get cashback on “any brand” items rather just the major companies (e.g., any milk, any beef roast, or any bread)
Can be used on meal subscription boxes such as Blue Apron and Hello Fresh.
Can be used on non-grocery purchases like Uber rides
Can be used on baby essentials like diapers, pull-ups, and formula
Free Ibotta $10 Welcome Bonus – Why Does Ibotta Give You Money?
You read that right. Ibotta will give you a $10 welcome
bonus just by registering with the referral code SBHIWHB.
You’re probably wondering why Ibotta is giving away money,
right? It’s because they want you to use their product.
Giving you a bit of money to get started not only entices
you to reach that $20 payout threshold by actually using the app, but it also
means that once you do reach it, you probably won’t stop. You’ll see how easy
it is to save money with the Ibotta app, and you’ll keep using it.
You get money on your cashback offers, and Ibotta gets money
from the retailers. Everyone wins!
The Ibotta app is completely FREE for you to use. You never
have to pay for offers and you never get charged for cash-outs. Ibotta makes money
from the retailers themselves.
When you purchase something from Amazon but use the Ibotta
app first, Amazon does not keep all of the profits. Ibotta gets a small slice
of the money because they referred you to the Amazon store.
As a way of saying, “thank you” for using their app, Ibotta
gives you some of that money back too! So basically, you either:
buy something for $20 and it all goes to Amazon,
or you buy something for $20, but you and Ibotta
each earn some of that money back
Either way, you spend
$20 on something. Apps like Ibotta are just an easy way to put some of that
money back in your pocket.
How Do You Get Paid with the Ibotta App?
Now that we’ve talked about how you can make money with the
Ibotta app, let’s talk about how you can actually get paid.
Once you reach the $20 payout minimum, you can request to
have your funds transferred to:
your PayPal account
your Venmo account
redeemed as a gift card
There are lots of gift card options, like Amazon, AMC
Theatres, American Eagle, Barnes & Noble, Kohls, Nike, Sam’s Club, Southwest
Airlines, Sephora, Target, Home Depot, Whole Foods, Panera Bread, and many
more. A few gift cards will have a $25 minimum, so keep an eye on there’s a
specific gift card you’d like to earn.
It’s easy to link your PayPal account to your Ibotta account
from inside the app. Just follow these steps:
Go to your Account on the navigation bar located
at the bottom of the screen.
From there, you will see how much money you have
in your Ibotta account. Tap “Withdraw Cash.” You will be able to choose to
withdraw all of it or just a portion. Just type in the amount that you want.
Tap on the “Link Account” next to PayPal.
You’ll be asked to verify your Ibotta account,
so just type in your password. From there you’ll be directed to log into your
Once you’ve logged in, you’ll need to approve
linking your PayPal to your Ibotta account with the prompt.
Once you’ve completed that, go back to the
“Withdraw Cash” page and get your money.
Just click on “Withdraw Cash”, enter the amount
that you want, and tap “Transfer Cash.” Easy-peasy.
Your payment can take anywhere from 2-24 hours
to arrive. Once the money is in your PayPal account, you can do with it as you
How Do You Link Ibotta to Venmo?
Similarly, you can link your Venmo account to your Ibotta
app to get paid that way too. Here’s how:
Go to your account at the bottom of the screen.
Tap “Withdraw Cash”.
Select the Venmo option and enter your name and
email address exactly as you have it with Venmo. You might be prompted to enter
your Ibotta password as well for verification.
Transfer your cash in what ever increment you
Just like with PayPal, the money can take anywhere
from 2-24 hours to show up in your account, but once there you can easily
transfer it to your bank account.
Ibotta Tips, Tricks, Hacks, and Hidden Bonuses
Now that you know how easy it is to save money using the
Ibotta app. Let’s talk about how you can save even more.
Just because you’re using the Ibotta app to save money,
doesn’t mean that you should forget about using actual coupons. Using printed
or digital coupons on your items and then getting cash back for that item
through Ibotta is an amazing way to double up your savings.
I’m not saying that you have to become an extreme couponer
(though if you do, teach me your ways), but using high-value in store coupons
combined with earning money back can save you a good chunk of change throughout
Did you know that you can upload your receipt to Ibotta and
to Checkout51 as well? You do now!
Get more savings and more money back by uploading your
receipts to both the Ibotta app as well as Checkout51 app. Every little bit
Use a Credit Card to Earn Points
If you have a good credit card that offers points or cash back for grocery purchases, then you can use it to increase your savings as well. If you earn 1-5% through your credit card plus you earn money back through Ibotta, you can double up on your savings.
Remember to only use your credit card if you can pay it off the same month. If you can’t, then those interest rates you’ll be paying won’t be saving you any money in the long run.
Ibotta Hidden Bonuses
Under your account dashboard, there is an area called “Bonuses.” These are ways to make extra money off of your purchases by completing different challenges.
Some of the Ibotta bonuses are product-specific, like I earned extra money by buying 5 dozen of a particular egg brand. (I didn’t have to buy them at the same time, just over a certain time period.)
Some bonuses are more general, such as “make 5 qualified purchases during a 30 days.”
The bonuses are often high-value ($10-$15 each) and really add up. They are a great way to make more money with the Ibotta app.
How to Earn More Bonuses With Ibotta Teamwork
Speaking of bonuses, the Ibotta app also lets you earn exclusive bonuses as a team.
As a team, you’ll be able to earn extra bonuses and offers, which means that you can make even more money fast.
There are four different levels available each month. Each level will have a personal goal and a team goal. At the end of the month, you start over at Level 1 again. It’s a fun way to get involved with your friends and encourage saving money together.
Ibotta Review: Use the Ibotta Friend Referral Code and Start Saving Money Today
Here’s the recap of this Ibotta review:
Download the free Ibotta app.
Ibotta referral code to get your $10 welcome bonus: SBHIWHB
Find offers and go shopping.
So, what do you think? Are you ready to give the Ibotta app
I thought so.
Download the Ibotta app today and use the Ibotta promo code SBHIWHB to get your $10 welcome bonus to start earning money back right now!
How much money have you saved with the Ibotta app?
About the Author
I’m a mama that loves wine, coffee, and baby snuggles trying to make it through this crazy adventure called motherhood. I started Mama on Parade in order to help other new moms navigate their own motherhood adventure. Being a mom is hard and there is too much mom-shaming and mom-guilt out there. So if I can help just one woman make her journey easier, then I will call my blog a success. You can follow my motherhood adventure on Pinterest and Facebook!
Save This to Pinterest So All The Other Pinterest Lovers Know How Easy it
is to Save Money with Ibotta
Wondering if the Living Well Planner is worth it? Is it the best life planner for you? This Living Well Planner review will answer all your questions about the planner that was designed by Ruth Soukup of Living Well Spending Less.
This post may contain affiliate links, which means at no cost to you, I may receive a small commission if you purchase a product through my link. Sometimes, you actually get a better deal by using my link. Enjoy this completely honest Living Well Planner review!
Living Well Planner Coupon
Before we dive into the full planner review, I know you love a great deal and are wondering if there are any coupons for the Living Well Planner.
Good news! There are two special Living Well Planner discounts!
Get FREE SHIPPING on any purchase of $50 or more
Get the Living Well Planner Limited Edition for just $25 (that’s a 50% discount!)
The best part? No coupon code is needed to receive these special deals. Just use the button below to add it to your cart.
The Living Well Planner is a lively, high-quality comprehensive organizer and planner that helps you plan and achieve a life you love.
In addition to long-term goals for the year, motto statements and a focus word of the year, there are pages for important dates, important information (like emergency numbers, bank contact info, medical policy numbers, etc), and motivational quotes throughout.
Each month includes pages for:
Month at a Glance
Thoughts and Thanks
Notes and Ideas
The weekly plans include a vertical column for each day, broken up into hours from 6am – 10 pm. This is perfect for time block scheduling. There is also space to write your top 3 must do tasks for each day and daily meal planning space. The weekly page includes an extra space to make a list or write notes and jot any big days coming up.
Living Well Planner Flip Through
Watch the video below to see inside my Living Well Planner. I cover my top pros and cons about the planner now that I’ve used it for several months.
Living Well Planner Pros
It’s Pretty, Lively, & Fun!
When I received my Living Well Planner in the mail, my first thought was how gorgeous it is!
If you’ve been frugal shopper and tried to use your own printables or cheap planners from discount stores, you will be shocked at how fancy a planner can be. If you get giddy about using pretty stationary and supplies, you’ll be excited to use the Living Well Planner.
Living Well Planner Stickers!!
I have not used stickers before, but the sticks that come with the Living Well Life Planner are so fun! They include but are not limited to:
Need to do today
and much, much more!
There are even extra stickers you can add to your planner. The stickers are a great way to make your planner more fun and visually appealing so you want to stick with using it and can keep everything organized.
It’s High Quality
The paper, divider pages, tabs, and cover are all sturdy and high-quality material. With the quality spiral binding, it is easy to keep open so you can see your planner and notes.
Goal Planning & Free Crushing It Course
The Living Well Planner is perfect for anyone who loves or needs help with goal setting. Everything is covered when you buy this planner, including areas to plan out all of your goals:
Big 3 goals
Breaking down goals into bite-sized steps
Personal growth goals
Fun & recreational goals
Health & fitness goals
Home improvement goals
Personal relationship & connection goals
Plus, you get a free email course called the Crushing It Bootcamp that will inspire and show you how to plan and achieve a life you love. This is what I work to do and inspire you to do every day.
You also get exclusive access to the Crushing It Facebook Group for extra goal planning and accountability support.
Monthly Budget Pages
One of the main reasons I decided to try the Living Well planner to organize my family (besides the fact that it’s gorgeous) is that it included budgeting pages right inside for each month.
As you turn the pages for your planner, you will be reminded to budget each month by using this planner. This is great for anyone new to budgeting.
Monthly Divider Tabs
The pretty colored tabs are sturdy and they come without words. You can add stickers to them for each month. So no matter which month of the year you get your Living Well planner, you can have the monthly divider tabs in the order you need them.
These tabs have been convenient for quickly finding the month I need, like March to see when spring break is.
Ability to See Month, Week, Day and Hour at a Glance
Depending on the page you have open, I like that with this planner you can get an overview of an entire month, week, day or hour. The month pages are great for seeing what’s ahead while the weekly and daily sections are great for scheduling appointments, prioritizing your tasks, to do list, and reminders.
Meal Planning Space
The bottom of each day has a dedicated space for meal planning. It includes 6 lines, so there’s more than enough space to plan your meals, snacks, and other notes about food you want to remember.
When I started using my Living Well Planner, the hardest part for me is the biggest pro for others, so I’ll put this in both. The fact that it’s undated is a pro because you can start whenever you like.
This is also great if you tend to hop on and off the planner train for weeks at a time and hate wasting pages that you don’t use.
Living Well Planner Cons
Although you will probably find a lot of things you love, there are some downsides that I found in my Living Well Planner review. Admittedly, I’m being a bit picky here, but this is my honest opinion.
Pro and Con: It’s Undated
If you like to plan ahead, like I do, you will need to spend some time filling in all the pages because the Living Well Planner is undated (as noted above).
I’m a total nerd about planning and organizing. So filling in months worth of dates was a small pain.
It’s Pretty Big
The Living Well Planner is pretty big. There’s a lot of space to write all the things you’re keeping track of, but that comes with a sacrifice.
This planner is not easy to toss in your purse and take with you. It’s better for sitting on your desk or in your command center by the kitchen.
Family Planner and Organizer Hack
I’ve had a wire book stand similar to this that I’ve shuffled around but never really found a use for before that works perfectly for displaying my Living Well Planner by our family command center.
This keeps it upright and insight for the whole family to see.
Switching to this budgeting sheet has been a bit of a stretch for me. I like that my Google spreadsheet adds up my expenses automatically and I can easily customize the budget categories.
If you’re not already in the habit of budgeting and want a budget right inside your planner, however, these budget sheets could be a positive for you.
If you don’t get the Living Well Planner during a sale, it’s $55. At first, I had sticker shock at this price. But when my planner arrived in the mail, I was not disappointed.
Ruth created a high quality product that’s more like a life organizer than just a weekly calendar.
Living Well Planner vs Erin Condren LifePlanner
Erin Condren LifePlanners are also gorgeous, inspirational, focused on goal setting, and made with incredibly high quality. The price is right around $50-$60 too. Compared to the Living Well Planner, Erin Condren planners are simply more customizable.
You can personalize the planner:
front and back cover
weekly layout (vertical, horizontal, or hourly)
color theme (colorful or neutral)
There are several different Erin Condren planners to choose from, including:
Coiled LifePlanner (most similar style to Living Well Planner)
Deluxe Monthly Planner
If you’re ready to find a planner that’s customized to fit your unique needs, then you’ll find what you need in an Erin Condren planner.
The Happy Planner is another pretty, everyday planner. There are a wide variety of designs and colors to choose from. It’s also spiral bound and a bit heavier, like the Living Well Planner.
The biggest difference I could find between the Living Well Planner vs Happy Planner is there are no additional pages and resources for goal setting, life reflecting, and practicing gratitude.
The Living Well Planner is likely the better planner for you if you are focusing on goal setting, being more productive, and accomplishing your long-term and short-term goals.
Also, the Happy Planner is dated, so you either have to get this planner with the January or July start. The Living Well Planner, however, can start any day of the year.
While the Living Well Planner is only available in Ruth’s shop, and it has a larger price tag, the Happy Planner is widely available on Amazon for half the price. It’s versatile too. You can add The Happy Planner to your Amazon cart by clicking the button below.
In addition to buying the Living Well Planner, I added a couple extras from the Living Well Shop.
Do It Scared Mug
Do you hate paying for shipping? Me too. Instead of paying for shipping, I’d rather pay $12 and get something I actually can use.
That’s when I spotted the black and gold mug and t-shits. I instantly fell in love. Not only are they my colors for The Common Cents Club, but I’ve used the motto “do it scared” to face ALL my fears since putting myself out there on this blog, in my book, on podcasts, and speaking gigs.
Now when I wake early in the morning, I experience pure joy sipping coffee from my “do it scared” mug, using my stickers, planner pens, and life planner to organize my day and week as a busy mom.
Since I was going all out to write this Living Well Planner review, I decided to load up on the stickers. There was a sale when I ordered and I had a feeling I would be extra inspired to note my meetings, doctor appointments, kids’ activities and reminders if I had stickers for them.
These stickers did not disappoint and I don’t know that I’ll be able to stick fill out future planners without fun stickers like these.
I almost bought these FriXion Erasable Gel Pens I saw recommended by someone else because I’d love to be able to erase changes or mistakes, but then I read the reviews (like I always do) and heard your writing will erase on its own if it gets too warm.
I don’t want to have to worry about my appointments and reminders randomly disappearing if I take my planner to work outside or in the car, so for that reason I’m sticking with the PaperMate Flair Pens.
Sign Up for New Free Organizing Tools in My Freebie Library
Looking for more tools for organizing your life, like a meal planner, budgeting template, and way to organize gift ideas all year long?
Just let me know by tapping the button below and I’ll give you the super secret password to access ALL my favorite freebies for organizing your life and shopping smarter in The Common Cents Club Library.
Is meal planning one of those things you know you should be doing, but you haven’t found the right meal planning template yet?
Have you ever swore you were going do this whole meal planner thing…only to fail after two days?
We hear how amazing meal planning is for saving money, eating healthier, and feeling less overwhelmed by the dreaded 5:00 PM “What’s for dinner? I’m hungry now!” I even swear by it in my 100 easy ways to save money and paying off debt tips.
But it is hard to stick with IF you don’t have the right meal planning template. And let me tell you: I’ve tried it all.
After getting on and off the meal planning wagon many times, I finally found a meal planning template and system that works for me as a busy mom. And I even created a free version of it, which you can access at the end of the post.
Why Other Meal Planner Templates Failed
Note: This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my full disclosure for more information.
But first, why is it so hard to stick with meal planning and why did the other meal planner systems fail?
At first, I felt a little ridiculous even considering buying it. But when I looked closely at what was actually on this weekly meal planner, I started imagining myself as The Meal Planning Queen I had tried to be several times before.
Since I knew how much money I could save if I could stick with meal planning, and it was only $8 for an entire year’s worth of weekly meal planning templates, I gave it a shot.
And I’m SO glad I did.
Why the ‘WHAT TO EAT’ Meal Planner Works
It’s magnetic – It sticks to my fridge…where all the food is to cook and where I look when making a grocery list.
It makes sense. The main space is for planning dinners. We eat the same few things for breakfasts and lunches, so I really don’t need to plan those every day. However, I do plan dinner each day and this meal planner has it laid out perfectly.
It also has a space for planning SNACKS. My 3- and 1-year-old eat ALL DAY LONG, so I need to make sure I have a never-ending grab bag of snacks for them. This was something all my other meal planner templates were missing.
One notepad will last ALL YEAR because there are 60 weekly meal planning worksheets.
It’s cheap. For $8-$9, if it saves you from ordering out even one night you will already get your money’s worth.
I reuse old meal ideas. I run out of ideas after a week or two. So instead of throwing away old meal planner sheets, keep them somewhere so you can pull them out and easily plan out a new week of ideas from those meals you made 3 or 4 weeks ago. This is a huge timesaver!
If you’ve tried meal planning before or have any of the following goals, here are five reasons why you need to try it again.
1. Save Money with Meal Planning
The amount of money you save by planning your meals and only buying the food you need to carry out that meal plan is in the hundreds for most families. You’ll stop throwing away food you don’t use because you didn’t have a plan for what to use it for.
You’ll avoid impulse buys and buying a bunch of stuff “just in case you want to make that one dish this week.”
By finding the right meal planner template for your family, investing a few bucks and 10 minutes each week can easily save you $2,000 or more this year. You will save even more if you usually go out to eat a lot.
2. Save Time with Meal Planning
I know fast food sounds fast, but when you consider the time it takes for a family to decide, order, wait for the food, and eat, it’s really not faster than what you can whip up at home.
And when you create a system of knowing what food needs to be taken out to unthaw, knowing you have everything you need on hand, and only making one trip to the grocery store per week, you’ll end up saving yourself time by planning your meals ahead of time.
3. Lose Weight and Be Healthier with Meal Planning
Eating healthy and losing weight are goals many of us have. But it is hard!
I struggle with it too.
Eating healthy may never be straight-up easy. But when you create a weekly meal plan and buy the foods on your list, then sticking with a diet can be much easier.
4. Meal Planning for Food Allergies and Sensitivities
Feeding a family can be hectic enough without adding food allergies, sensitivities, and intolerances to the mix.
I have several food allergies in my family, and when you add my extended family, there are even more. Meal planning has become a way for us to more easily make meals, snacks, and treats that work for each family member’s needs.
5. Less Overwhelm and More Joy Around Meals
I know I can’t be the only one who dreads the hangry 5PM: “What’s for dinner? I’m huuuungry.”
Followed by ferociously hoping something yummy, easy and healthy-ish will magically appear in the fridge or cupboards.
The peace that comes with knowing what you’re going to eat and when allows families to experience less overwhelm in the kitchen and more joy around the dinner table.
More Weekly Meal Planner Templates
If you want to find a new weekly meal planner template but for some reason or another don’t think the Knock Knock WHAT TO EAT pad is the right for you, check out these other meal planners:
Free Weekly Meal Planner Template with Snacks
My Weekly Meal Plan Printable – FREE in my Resource Library
The weekly templates are the same as the WHAT TO EAT pad but in a printable version instead of the magnetic notepad. Sign up to get into the Freebie Library, which includes a bunch of meal planners.
My Monthly Meal Planning Template – FREE in my Resource Library.
The monthly calendar meal planner is also available in the Library. Sign up for access and you can get instant access to of my free meal planners.
Meal Planner with Grocery List Template
I love the Wunderlist app for keeping track of my shopping list, but if you want a meal planner template with a grocery list included check out this one or this one.
If you want meals already included in your meal plan with a shopping list, then $5 meal plan is your easy and affordable answer. Try the Risk-Free 14-Day Trial with her delicious and easy recipes. The grocery list is a convenient addition and can save you a lot of time.
Editable Meal Planner Template
My Editable Weekly and Monthly Meal Planner – FREE in my Library
You can find two editable meal planners in the Freebie Library too: one weekly and one monthly. With these you can fill in your meal plans for the week then save it on your computer or print it out. You can download them by signing up to get the secret code instantly.
Printable Meal Planner Templates
My Printable Meal Planner Templates – FREE resource library include the following options to best suit your personal preferences:
If you haven’t signed up to check out all the goodies in the free resource library yet, what are you waiting for?
Special Diet Meal Planning Templates
Meal planning makes sticking with individual diet needs and goals easier. Check out these options if you’re looking for meal plans for your individual diet goals:
Gluten Free Meal Plans – $5 Meal Plan program has a library of delicious yet easy recipes. You’ll get recipes, directions and a shopping list with your plan. Try it FREE for 2 weeks. Continue for $5 per month or cancel if it doesn’t fit your needs.
Whole 30 Meal Planning Templates – Some worthwhile Whole30 meal planners can be found here or here.
21 Day Fix Meal Plans – Grab a printable spreadsheet meal plan over here.
Paleo Meal Planner (with Whole 30 modifications) – Check out this Word meal planning template on this page.
Vegetarian Meal Planning – Get four week’s worth of recipes and meal plans to fit a vegetarian diet either in Word or PDF.
Meal Planning Template in Excel
Looking for meal planning template for your spreadsheet-loving self? Check out this one and this one.
Finally, if you’re a bullet journal lover, you can create weekly meal plan in your journal too.
Here’s a how-to guide to show you how to create meal plans, shopping lists, and food budget goals with your bullet journal.
Start Meal Planning Today
When you create a habit of meal planning, you will:
stop throwing unused food away
have less overwhelm about “what’s for dinner”
enjoy family meals more
avoid restaurant and fast food because you don’t know what to eat
have a plan prepared ahead of time for your meals each day
know what groceries you need for the week (and what you don’t)
stick to your diet goals, eat healthier, and lose weight
The Easiest Weekly Meal Planner
For me, I’m so glad I found the WHAT TO EAT pad on Amazon. It’s been the key for me to stick with meal planning as a busy mom.
An entire weekly meal plan can be created in less than 10 minutes and if it saves you from going out to eat just one time, you’ll already get your money’s worth.
It’s a no brainer.
The Cheapest Weekly, Monthly, and Editable Meal Planning Templates
But if you cannot get yourself to spend a few bucks on the notepad, at least grab one of the free meal planning templates in my resource library. Print four copies for the upcoming month and sticking them on your fridge.
Sign up below if you don’t have the Library password yet (hint: If you’re already part of The Common Cents Club newsletter, the password is included at the bottom on any recent email).
Use your common “cents” and grab your own weekly meal planner template below so you can start meal planning now.
Whether you have a getting healthier board, a meal planning board, or a saving money board save these meal planning templates to Pinterest so you always have them when you need them. Plus, your friends can start using them too!
Need a gift idea but not up for fighting the crowded stores or searching Google only to be bombarded with ads that won’t stop playing?
Yeah, I hate those too.
So I’ve done hours of research to find you over 90 lists of unique gift ideas to cover anyone on your list without annoying ads.
Not only do the lists below have perfect family gifts, host gifts, teacher gifts, Star Wars gifts and everything in-between, but I checked to verify every list is user-friendly AND you won’t be bombarded with ads either.
Consider it my thank you gift to you for checking out my site. 😉
So enjoy cruising the gift guides below created by some of my favorite bloggers and websites, so you can find the right gift for everyone on your list.
Since there are 90+ gift guides below (and more will be added regularly as I find new great ones), use this table of contents to save you some time.
Tap the link below to jump to the gift ideas you need first:
Remember the reason for the season. The holidays can be as stressful or joyful as you make them. If we focus our attention on giving and spending laidback time together, we can all enjoy our gifts, our gatherings, and our traditions and our family more.
“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.”
“When we give cheerfully and receive gratefully, everyone is blessed.”
— Maya Angelou
“No one has ever become poor by giving.”
— Anne Frank
“Remember that the happiest people are not those getting more, but those giving more.”
―H. Jackson Brown Jr.
Save this Ultimate Gift Guide List to Pinterest and Share it With Your Friends!