Exercise on a budget

It is the beginning of a new year, which means most people are going to be ready to shed a few extra holiday pounds (or 10…but whose counting). If you are like me, having a gym membership is really not worth it with a demanding work schedule and two little ones at home. Or maybe you do not have it in your budget to spend on a monthly gym membership. My husband and I recently decided to cancel our gym membership and to try and focus on different activities that we could do within the home or outside to stay active without spending money.

1.) Exercise outside.

This one may seem like a no-brainier, but if you are like me and live where it gets pretty chilly in the Winter then this one may be a little difficult to achieve. Some of you may be luckily enough to live in Florida or California climates and if so then get outside and enjoy!  If you have children, take them on a long walk or jog in the stroller. We have a double stroller so its pretty much the equivalent of adding 100 additional pounds to your walk(insert muscle emoji here).

When Spring and Summer rolls around my family pretty much stays outside whether we are at the local pool,  hiking, biking or even taking the dog walking. I even saw a local stroller work out class that includes your child and stroller at a nearby park.  How neat! Exercise is the time to get creative without going broke!

2.) YouTube videos.

You can go purchase the latest craze workout video such as p90x or Insanity (which may cost you a pretty penny). But, you can also search on YouTube for different work out videos that are suited to your style of exercise. I personally love yoga.  It calms me after a long day, but yoga is also great for strengthening and toning! I found an excellent YouTube channel called Yoga with Adriene that I use a couple times a week.

3.) Purchase home equipment.

If you are thinking about purchasing any home workout equipment, January is the month that you will see most sales for these items. If you are like me and stick to only a few machines when you go to the gym (treadmill & elliptical) then you may want to consider purchasing your own machine instead of paying a gym monthly for the same machine. A few years ago we decided to purchase a treadmill to use at home and searched Craigslist and were able to get a very nice treadmill that normally would have sold for over $500.00 for only $75.00 in excellent condition!

4.) Discounted gym memberships.

If the gym atmosphere is more of your style then find a local gym that is offering sign up discounts.  January is definitely the month to find some pretty steep discounts as many people are looking to join a gym for the new year. Some gyms offer monthly memberships for as little as $10/month. You can also, ask your gym to waive your sign up fee. It doesn’t hurt asking.

5.) Gadgets.

Did you know your FitBit and Apple Watch can do more than just count your steps? For Father’s Day, I surprised my husband with a Fitbit Blaze watch. As the fitness fanatic that he is, the gadget became his back up exercise routine. Many watches like the Fitbit Blaze, offer free exercise programs on the  watch itself. So instead of heading to the gym or even going outside for a run, use your watch as a workout program in your own home.

6.) Instagram and Pinterest.

Just in case you didn’t know, Instagram and Pinterest are hands down awesome places to find workout programs and routines. Often you can find personal trainers, fitness professionals, or wellness gurus giving away endless amounts of exercise programs on their pages. Each program provides you with pictures and videos of the exercises in a step-by-step fashion. You can have a personal trainer at the tip of your fingers!

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10 Brilliant Thrift Store DIYs

I am a big fan of thrift stores. I find excitement in the idea of possibility finding something really cute, quirky or one of kind. Thrift stores are also an excellent place to find items to make your own without spending a ton of money to add the “pop” to your house. I put together some fantastic ideas of really easy projects that you can do from some very common thrift store finds.

Easy and cute book ends.

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This would be beautiful in a bathroom.

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This may be my next DIY project!

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How awesome would this be for the kiddos?

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This would be a lovely gift.

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I already have so many doilies to use for this project.

I love the blend of old and modern!

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My dad used to have a pair of these. I wish I would have seen

this before they were donated!

Find project here

 

How cute for an entry table or desk?

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Simple and easy with items you probably already have.

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Love this for a bathroom or powder room!

Find project here

I hope you found these as inspiring as I did!  If you have your own DIY projects please share in the comments below.  I would love to see everyone’s creative ideas. Now I am off to Goodwill…

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How To Save on Children’s Clothes

I am a firm believer in not paying full price for children’s clothes.  My children grow out of sizes every other week and if they are not growing out of clothes they are getting food, dirt, glue and any other liquid imaginable on their clothes. Why would I want to pay full price for something that will probably not last a year?!? Here are ways that I personally save money when purchasing clothing items for my children.

Clearance:

Target. I know I say this all the time, but this is literally THE best store for all deals! Sure, you can go into the baby/toddler section in Target and spend $30.00 on one outfit, but if you know how to shop you can spend $4.00 on the same outfit at the right time! Target is known to mark clothes down to 70% and sometimes as low at 90%.

I always make a habit of checking the children/baby clothing clearance section each time I am in Target, which is about 4 times a week…but who is counting? Baby and toddler clothing generally will get marked down on Tuesdays and sometimes will get marked down with seasonal markdowns if the clothing is related to the season. You will not always find clothing marked down this low, but most of the time you can find clothing at least marked to 30%-50% off the original price.

Walmart. I am not a frequent Walmart shopper, but they do have some good mark downs occasionally when it comes to children’s clothing. If you are a frequent Walmart shopper I would suggest at least browsing the children’s clothing section for mark downs. Search for the yellow balloons or signs labeled “clearance”.

Thrift/Consignment stores:

This one is a no brainer, but I know many people are a little weary to go into thrift and consignment stores if they have never been in one.  You can find children’s clothes that cost upwards of $40-$50 brand new for $1-$3 gently used!

Yes, I will agree these stores can be overwhelming when you first walk in, but once you master how each store works you can be in and out in no time. The most common thrift store that most people are familiar with is Goodwill (which is one of my favorites), but most areas have their own local thrift stores as well.

My rule of thumb when shopping at thrift or consignment stores is to only buy brands that you are familiar with and you know will last. I also only buy clothing that are VERY gently worn. I have found so many brand new children’s clothes with the tags still on them at thrift stores.

Many thrift and consignment stores will also have special discounts, clearance and other promotional savings that can help you save even more money. One of the local children’s consignment stores in my area will have a clearance event twice a year where they mark down the previous season clothing to make room for the upcoming season. If you wait until the end of the promotion they will mark the clothes down up to 90%. That is 90% off the already reduced pricing! I have gotten jeans, shirts, and jackets for as low as .25 cents! How awesome is that?!?

Yard Sales:

Yes. Yes. I know. Yard sales are not for you, but I will hands down say that this is where you will find the BEST deals on clothes! Generally most people that are selling items at yard sales are just wanting to get rid of their items and make a little money and realistically what they don’t sale will probably be donated to a thrift store.

I remember driving by a yard sale later in the day and seeing a box outside labeled “free stuff”. This was the same yard sale that I had stopped by earlier in the morning. People selling items often do it to create more space and decrease clutter.

I have found so many high brand clothes for both of my children for around .25 cents- $1.00 per item.

Buying in advance:

Any frugal shopper will tell you that when you find rock bottom prices on items you buy as many as possible until the next sale. The same is to be said for clothing. When I find rock bottom prices on children’s clothing I will buy a few sizes up for each kid so when they grow out of their shoes I simply pull the next size out of storage instead of going to the store to pay full price.

(Side Note: I keep storage bins in my attic for each of my children labeled with sizes that I can go “shopping in” when they need clothes instead of heading to the store).

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Hello World!

Thanks for visiting Coupon Saving Mom! I have spent countless hours trying to put my couponing knowledge in this site to help others save money on everyday purchases.  I hope you will continue along with me on this journey of savings!

All feedback and questions are greatly appreciated 😉

Sincerely,

Elizabeth (Coupon Saving Mom)

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