Survive Cold and Flu Season with this List

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Just don't let a minion give you your flu shot!

Just don’t let a minion give you your flu shot!

Well, cold and flu season is upon us as the leaves change colors and begin to cover our front lawn.  I love fall and everything that comes with it, accept those dreaded soar throats, congestion, and body aches.  With seven people in our house, it’s nearly impossible to get through the fall and winter months without any cold or flu symptoms sneaking in to spoil the holiday season.

Here are just a few things I like to keep on hand to get us through those unfortunate times when those little organic lifeforms get us down.

Cold and Flu Survival Kit

    1.  Soup (I would recommend something organic with garlic)
    2. Vitamin C drops or supplements
    3. Lozenges/Cough Drops (Try Ricola Extra Strength Cough Drops)
    4. Cough Syrup (I like Matys All Natural Kids Cough Syrup or make your own!)
    5. Nasal Spray
    6. Kleenex
    7. Orange Juice
    8. Tea (I recommend the Seasonal Tea Sampler)
    9. Tylenol Cold and Flu
    10. Children’s/Infants’ Tylenol
    11. Apple Sauce
    12. Clorox Wipes
    13. Water/VitaminWater

In addition to all of the personal care items above, you’ll obviously need lots of sleep.  So, plan for someone else to watch the kids if you’re the one that’s down for the count.  Don’t push it, or you’ll get worse and won’t be able to take care of anyone!  You’ll need someone to take care of you!  So, everyone get lots of sleep to prevent and fight sickness.

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New Gluten Free Coupons

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Where to Find Gluten Free Coupons, Codes, and Discounts

 

Gluten Free Coupons can be found in magazines, your local paper, online, or in your local grocery store’s ad or coupon book. Get great deals on gluten free products and food when you use gluten free coupons and coupon codes. Look for sales on gluten free products online and in stores before shopping and using your gluten free coupons on double coupon days. Get extra cash back when you use a cash back credit card or shop online through Top Cash Back or Ebates.

Amazon always has Amazon Gluten Free Coupons available to clip and discounts available for prime members and through the subscribe and save program, where you’ll get an extra 15% off when you subscribe to 5 or more items.

Get Printable Coupons at Coupons.com

 

Coupons powered by Coupons.com


 

Rudi’s Gluten Free Coupon

 

Udi’s Gluten Free Coupon

 

Glutino Gluten Free Coupon

 

Delallo Gluten Free Coupon

 

Canyon Bakehouse Gluten Free Coupon

 

Pamela’s Gluten Free Coupon

 

Larabar Gluten Free Coupon

 

General Mills Chex Gluten Free Coupon

 

General Mills Cheerios Gluten Free Coupon

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The Stigma of Direct Marketing

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After having my first child in 2005, I became a stay-at-home Mom.  For the first few months, I was busy with my little girl.  But, after falling into a rather predictable schedule, I became antsy and started looking for a hobby.  That’s when I found candle making.  It was therapeutic and I was actually really good at it.  After perfecting them, I decided to try and sell them.  I even went so far as to rent out a booth at a craft fair to try and sell them.  And, even though I didn’t sell very many the first time around, I was instantly hooked on running a business.

About a year later, I had to accept the fact that candle making and toddlers do not mix.  My little girl was becoming more of a handful and I had less and less time to actually make the candles.  When I became pregnant with my second child, I knew I needed to either give up the candle business or find another way to keep it going.

I never thought of joining a direct marketing company.  That is, until that moment I realized it was the perfect alternative to giving up my business.  I had heard all of the usual stigmas surrounding direct marketing/direct sales/multi level marketing companies.  Most of them stemmed from people that had a bad experience with pushy distributors/consultants that only cared about making money.  But, when I went searching for a company I could trust, I was pleasantly surprised by what I found.  I found women, and men, that actually used the product or service they were selling.  I found passionate people that loved the social part of their business just as much as the product they represented.  I found quality products with great reviews and a fan base.  I found a family!

I finally settled on a candle company I could believe in and hit the ground running.  I did shows, fundraisers, and connected with people online.  I bought candles for myself and my family and friends.  They were great candles and I wanted to share them!  I built a team of my own and trained them to just let the product speak for itself.  And it did!  I was doing well, and my team was doing well.  But, as time went on and family life consumed more of my time, the business took a back seat.  I no longer had the time or energy to put into my business and it slowly started to close shop.  I stopped ordering candles for customers and handed over all of my inventory and leads to one of my team members.

Although my team continued to build their own businesses, after a while I stopped getting candles for myself.  I had lost my passion for the product.  I stepped down as team leader and decided to focus on just being a wife and a mother for a while.

Yes, it’s true that many distributors and consultants for direct marketing companies will quit.  But, I’d like to look at it more like moving on instead of quitting.  I learned a lot during my time as a candle business owner.  I learned how to connect with people, generate leads, build a basic website, and how to run a successful fundraiser (I even ran a successful fundraiser in New York from my home in Wisconsin!)  I learned about marketing and social networking.  But, most importantly, I learned how great it felt to build something that was mine.  I learned that hard work can get you places you’ve never been before.  I learned that direct sales companies are a great way to empower people to share their passion, make friends, and become financially independent if they play their cards right.

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Facebook Pros and Cons

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Connect With Friends and Family Using Facebook

add-as-friendFacebook is a free social media site that connects people all over the world.  Having a free Facebook account and complete profile can help you stay connected with old friends and relatives near and far.  If you like seeing and reading the latest memories being made, then Facebook is the way to go.  I personally love Facebook for how easy it is to find my friends and family, connect with them, message them whenever I want, and browse the latest uploaded photos and share my own.  I also love that I can customize my Facebook feed so that I know what is going on immediately with my closest friends and family.

The only down side to connecting with friends and family would be connecting with people you may not want to connect with.  It can be awkward to get a friend request from someone you don’t really want to connect with.  But, there’s always the option to ignore the request or unfriend them at any time.  You can also simply block them from showing up on your Facebook feed.

Facebook Events

Have an event you’re planning?  Facebook is a great way to invite your friends and family to your party or other eventcreate-new-event for free!  You can easily let them know the date, time, and location along with any other details.  Your friends and family will be able to RSVP quickly on Facebook, which is great if you’re planning something last minute.  I’ve had plenty of friends throw an event out there last minute, and anyone who didn’t have plans for the weekend now has plans!  It’s great!  You can make it an open invitation or private, depending on the type of event.

Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do to spice up the look of your invitation other than change the heading image on the event page.  You also can not include friends and family that aren’t on Facebook.  Still, it saves you time and money using the Facebook events feature for those that are on Facebook.

Facebook Groups

facebook-create-group-3Starting a group on Facebook is a great way to connect with people who share your interests.  I have friends who enjoy playing ultimate frisbee and are able to coordinate their games easily using Facebook.  Everyone can communicate by posting on the group’s Facebook page.  And, it’s an easy way to remind those that tend to forget.

Again, you will not be able to include those that do not have a Facebook account.

 

 

Games on Facebook

There are so many great things about Facebook, it’s hard to see the bad.  The pros I’ve talked about so far include game-collections-v1-500x351connecting with friend and family, sharing information and photos, planning events and inviting guests, and starting a group.  Other pros that I haven’t really explored might include games and pros for business.  I don’t really play games on Facebook, but I know a lot of people that do and love it.  Some say they are addicting, especially Candy Crush.  So, I wouldn’t recommend starting to play them unless you’ve got some time to kill.

Facebook for Business

Blue-Money-Sign2-261x3001A free Facebook page for your business can help you connect with clients/customers and generate new leads.  There are also ways to promote your page with Facebook and advertise using Facebook for a fee.  Exploring those options if you have a website or business can be very beneficial and help you acquire new customers and increase revenue.  You can check out the Facebook page for my blog at www.facebook.com/famfinfun.

 

 

 

To read what others are saying about Facebook and to help you make a more informed decision about letting your child use Facebook, visit Common Sense Media.  If you’d like to share your own Facebook pros and cons, please comment below.  Thanks for visiting FamFinFun!!

 

 

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How to Get Free Food from the Grocery Store

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Getting free food from the grocery store only takes about an hour of planning each week.  It’s a great way for us moms to contribute a bit to the family finances.  So, instead of just feeling like I’m always the one spending money, I can know that I’m doing my best to save the most on food.

 

5 Simple Steps to Getting Free Groceries

  1. Shop at a grocery store that has double coupon days and then plan to go shopping on those days
  2. Save the grocery store insert and in-store coupons that you get in the mail each week
  3. Look at all of the sales and specials and find manufacturers coupons to match the items that are on sale
  4. Take the sale price and subtract in-store coupons and doubled manufacturers coupons to get your final price
  5. Decide whether or not the end price is worth the purchase and add it to your shopping list

If you don’t have much time, but you’re curious about what some of the free items could be at your local grocery store, you can get a list at Money Saving Mom.  You can even sign up for their e-mail list that will keep you updated on the latest coupon match-ups for the week.  The lists aren’t always complete, but it’s a good place to start.  I usually find more products than what they have listed.

To find manufacturers coupons, you can look through your Sunday paper and/or find printable coupons online through Coupons.com, Save.com, ShopatHome.com, CouponNetwork.com, and through various social media and product sites.  You can always do a search for the specific coupon you’re looking for.

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A Better Cash Back Program

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So, I’ve been doing some research on the cost of diapers and decided that I would organize my findings on blogger.  I’ve been doing this for about a month now and have found some great websites in the process of finding the best prices on diapers.  Until recently, I had been using Ebates as my preferred cash back website.  And, although I still use that website on occasion, I’ve found another cash back website that yields higher cash back (at most of the major retailers.)  This has been very beneficial considering the holiday season and the online Christmas shopping I’ve been doing.

Many of the top retailers are on this new cash back website that I use.  It’s completely free to join and completely free when you redeem your cash back.  You simply search for an online retailer, click the “Get Cashback Now” button, and it will automatically record your visit and purchase.  You will then receive a notification via e-mail with information about your cash back.  I’ve only been using it since the beginning of November and I’ve already earned $15 cash back.  It can really add up over time.

Interested in signing up?  Don’t forget, it’s completely free to join and free to redeem your cash back.  

Right now, you can get 12% cash back at Drugstore.com.  You can also get 6% cash back at Kohls, 5% back at Walmart, and 6% back at Target.  There are many many more online retailers to choose from.

In an effort to maintain full disclosure, I would like to inform you that the following banner contains my referral link and I will receive up to $10 when you sign up and you receive cash back for online purchases.  If you also love the website, you can also receive $10 for referring your friends and family.  I will not receive anything for your referrals.  This is NOT a pyramid scheme or scam of any kind.  It is a real cash back program that rewards their users with cash back when they shop online through selected online retailers.

If you would like to get cash back for your online purchases, simply click on the banner below or go to TopCashBack.com.
Online Cashback

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Save on Diapers, Entertainment, and More + Free Shipping

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I spent almost the entire day searching for the best deal on diapers.  Right now, my two youngest are in diapers.  So, we could really benefit from getting the best deal on diapers possible.  I didn’t want to find just any one-time deal.  I wanted to find the lowest price per diaper, and I wanted to get free shipping.  And, by ordering online, we will also be saving time and money on gas.

As I started my search, I found the obvious choice.  I didn’t even have to finish the chart I started!

 

Incomplete Diaper Price Chart

In the end, I signed up for Amazon Prime with Amazon Mom.  Amazon Prime includes free instant video and music , a 5% discount on products including diapers, free shipping, and a free Kindle book each month.  So, instead of keeping our Netflix account open for about $8.50/month, we can get the same thing through Amazon Prime for $6.50.  This gives us a discount on entertainment, select products including diapers, AND we get free shipping!  Plus, signing up for Amazon Mom/Family is totally free and gives you an additional 20% off diapers!

Once the final calculations were done on size 3 diapers, it came to 0.17/Huggies Diaper, 0.17/Pampers Diaper, and an amazing 0.13/LUVS Diaper!  Deals on Chemical Free diapers included 0.23/Seventh Generation Diaper, 0.23/Huggies Pure & Natural Diaper, and 0.24/Earth’s Best Diaper. *Prices are subject to change.

So, you just pick your preferred diaper brand and sign up to get a box shipped to you every month or every 2 months depending on the quantity in each box of diapers.  I was surprised how easy it was.

 

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A Poem About Money

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My husband wrote this poem years ago when I was going through a poetry phase.  It’s a little silly in some parts but has an overall great lesson to be learned.  I hope you enjoy it.

 

A Poem About Money

I’m looking at a penny sitting lonesome on the street

And I can’t help but think of how it reminds me

That if I were to pick it up and receive it as my own

No one would care

They may wonder why…

 

So I’d tell them a story of when I was a kid

How I lived on the street and my home had a lid

Where the sound of a car horn was my ambient noise

And I had hypodermic needles to play with for toys

 

When it rained I’d get wet, when it snowed I’d be cold

And the corner of Concord and 1st is where I thought I’d grow old

People ignored me and counted my worth

Just like the pennies which had fallen to earth

 

So I collected each one to make as a friend

And before I knew it, one became ten

As I saved that small ten, I still found more

And in just a few short years, I had ten thousand in store

 

I became quite well known to entertain a laugh or two if you threw me some change

In their arrogance they chuckled that I would scurry to obtain

Money so worthless they were glad to throw away

And just as my pennies grew in numbers so fast

So did the people who would throw change for a laugh

 

When I was a few years older, I had saved quite a bit

So I bought the small store on the corner where I would sit

I really only bought it cause I knew it so well

I didn’t have much of anything that I could sell

 

Well I rented it out for the right market cost

And I changed just like that from servant to boss

Then I learned from a paper that I found on the road

That a bank would lend me money, in lieu of the store that I owned

 

Then a man that I knew cause I saw him every day

Who owned the building that was down the street a little way

He told me of how he wanted to sell

So I said, “Sure!  I’ll buy your hotel!”

 

The street that I grew up on, I now own every store

And my purse at the bank just grows more and more

Now the very same people who found humor in my want

Now pay me rent on the first of every month

 

Although a penny by itself is rather worthless indeed

When put into a person’s hand, it’s potential is freed

 

Author:  Jesse Lee

Money Poem Image

 

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How We Made Extra Money Using Craigslist, Ebay, and Rummage Sales

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I love looking on Craigslist at what people in my area are selling or trying to barter.  It can be a great place to find stuff you need, sell stuff that you don’t need, or resell something to make extra money.  Sometimes you can even find some good stuff for free that you can sell to make extra money!  This weekend, I will be listing a bunch of our stuff on Craigslist to make extra money.  We’re hoping to get enough money to replenish our emergency fund after we cleaned it out to buy a used van (more about that later.)

I would normally blog about Frugality on Fridays, but I’ve decided to combine topics today.  Topics will include Frugality, Fitness, and Fun.  And, they will all relate to making extra money with Craigslist somehow.  So, here we go…

Frugality

  • Make extra money by listing things you don’t need anymore on Craigslist.  Easy, right?  Just look around your house, take some pictures of the things you don’t need anymore, and post it on Craigslist for free!  Then, just wait for someone to call you, pay you, and pick it up. And, if there’s no one in your area that wants it, there’s sure to be someone out there in eBay Land that wants it.  We actually tried selling a Limited Edition Harley Davidson Leather Jacket on Craigslist, had someone come take a look at it, and they passed it up for $300.  Then, we listed it on eBay with a starting bid of $0.99 with no reserve.  The winning bidder paid $600!  So, we made twice as much money by listing it on eBay.
  • Save money when you purchase things on Craigslist.  Make sure you don’t pay the asking price by offering to pay cash at a lower price.  We bought our used mini van off of Craigslist just yesterday.  We offered them cash if they would knock off $600.  They agreed and we are now the proud owners of a 2005 Chrysler Town and Country that we paid only $2800 for.  Many people are more than willing to negotiate and come down on their asking price.  Just have the courage to ask and bring cash if you can.Garage Sale
  • Have a Rummage Sale and list it on Craigslist!  Some of my family will be having a rummage sale this weekend and I was more than willing to put an ad on Craiglist for them.  Why wouldn’t you put your rummage sale on Craigslist?  It’s free advertising!  Of course you’re going to list your rummage sale on Craigslist when it’s free!  Who’s going to pass up free advertising?

Fitness

  • So, I purchased a Malibu Pilates Chair with 3 Workout DVDs from a woman off of Craigslist for only $25!  It was still in the box!  Everything was still in the packaging.  It retails for around $500!  It will give you a great workout if you have a little extra space.  Sadly, I found that we don’t have a little extra space.  At least not any usable space.  Having 4 small children doesn’t really allow for personal space other than our bedroom.  If I were to set the chair up (which I did by the way) in my living room, my kids would think I had bought a jungle gym for them to play on in the house (which they did by the way.)  My two year old especially couldn’t keep his hands off of it.  So, back in the box it will go.  I’m still debating whether I should keep it or sell it and make some money off it.  I’m leaning toward selling it to make some extra money.
  • The Malibu Pilates Chair is a great exercise tool and would be great to have if I had my own workout room.  I’ve discovered, though, that I really only need a couple of 3 pound weights and an exercise mat to get a good workout.  I’m thinking that I’ll try making a couple hundred dollars off of the Malibu Pilates Chair and put that money toward my healthy food plan.  What is my healthy food plan you ask?  It’s simply that, a plan to eat healthy.  I plan… to eat healthy!  But, healthy food costs a lot more than empty calories.  So, we just have to make it a priority to eat healthy.  Which means, any money we can spare will go toward healthy eating.  It’s a work in progress.  Just put some of that “extra money” toward buying some cook books with gluten free and sugar free recipes.  I made the gluten free/sugar free chicken fingers last night and they were AWESOME!

FUN!

  • Isn’t it fun to go to rummage sales?  I just love looking through all of the junk until something catches my eye.  My husband and I mostly go looking for things that we can purchase for less than $50 and sell for over $100.  We did make a large purchase one time, though.  My husband found a Vintage Slingerland Drum Kit and paid $300 for it.  We turned around and sold it for $800.  That was the most we’ve ever made on a resale item.  And, the whole experience of buying it and finding out how much it was really worth was a lot of FUN!  It’s such a thrill!
  • When finding things on Craigslist, at rummage sales, and at thrift stores, it’s not really about making money.  Making extra money is a nice outcome.  But, for me, it’s mostly about FUN!  It’s fun to hunt for treasure!
  • Want to read some Mindless Banter about Rummage Sales?  Check out my husband’s blog post.  You’ll either laugh until you cry or be completely dumbfounded.
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