Money Saving Mamas: Swagbucks

Money Saving Mamas, get ready for our next app/website that we love for extra cash! If you haven’t heard of Swagbucks, we think you’re going to love it!! It’s a little bit of work, but so worth it!

How it works: 

Swagbucks is a website, and a series of apps, that rewards you for doing certain actions like shopping (think just like Ebates), completing surveys, searching the internet, and signing up for special offers.  Essentially, you earn Swagbucks and then redeem them for gift cards, or a PayPal deposit (so cash!)  Each day you have a to do list that will earn you bonus Swagbucks for completing. You also have a daily goal that you earn you bonus points for hitting, and extra offers available to you.  Every day there are hidden “swagcodes” that give you more swagbucks. Each month, there is a game called “Swago” (just like bingo) that also gives you extra!


Redeeming For Gift Cards: 

Can it really be true? Well guess what it is! FYM Emily has been seriously swagging (yes, she made it a verb) for about three months now and has already redeemed $250.00 in gift cards.  We’re using this as a forced savings. All of these gift cards are to Lowe’s or Target and they will hopefully finance a remodel on our house next summer! Now, that’s an ambitious goal, but we’re hopeful we can get there.  If only Mike would also start swagging- we would be golden! (let’s face it, FYM Emily may just swag for him….)


Just like many of the apps we’ve featured, there are a lot of Facebook groups of other people who come together to find the best deals and ways to use the apps.  We’re in a couple swagbucks groups and have found that they’re extremely helpful.  It is building a community, and it’s nice to know you’re not out there alone on an island and that there are others if you run into issues, or just have questions!

Are you already swagging? Let us know what you think of the app! If not, what are you waiting for? Come on over and join us.

Money Saving Mamas: Verydice

One of our favorite new apps to earn free stuff from is Verydice! Seriously, we’re a little addicted at this point, but it’s so easy, it’s hard to believe it’s real!

In this app you complete tasks  such as inviting your friends and family to play, watching videos, taking surveys or downloading and playing games. Each task you get awarded a set number of rolls.  Then you simply click your screen to roll the two dice. The number you roll equals the number of tickets you earn. For example, if you roll a 1 and a 5, you will get six tickets.  If you roll doubles (i.e. 6 & 6), you will get double the tickets! You can also choose to roll with a ‘multiplier’, meaning every time you roll, you will earn double the tickets, and if you hit doubles with a multiplier you get even more tickets. However, if you do choose the multiplier, it will ‘cost’ you more rolls. So if you choose the 2x multiplier, it takes away 2 rolls, but  the payout is higher – you get double the tickets! The multiplier can be a great way to rake up lots of extra tickets pretty fast!  The other fun thing about this game is when you roll doubles, you have the choice to claim the extra tickets or play a basketball game for bonus tickets!

If you roll all the doubles in 24 hours, you win a jackpot! The amount of tickets in the jackpot will change depending on whether or not you rolled doubles with a multiplier.

Why are the tickets important? Well, that’s the crux of the whole game.  You save up as many tickets as you need to redeem for free stuff! Almost everything is on the list, as it pulls from Amazon.  You can search for items you want and begin to make your list of favorites.  As if it could get better? Everything ships with Amazon Prime, so it’s to your house in two days!!! WHAT?! Seriously, free stuff!

Verydice search

We’ve gotten pretty hardcore about this game, because let’s face it, we love free stuff!  You’ll hear us singing jingles we’ve made up from “you see me rollin'” to “rollin’, rollin’, rollin’ in the free stuff!” and staying up late nights playing games to get those extra 79 rolls- but it’s worth it.  In two months of playing, here’s a peek at what we’ve redeemed!  Melissa and Doug wooden toy sets, a Wonder Crew doll, and Cricut tools! With more tickets saved up, we’re finishing out Christmas shopping and starting on next year!

Verydice Rewards

Think Verydice sounds too good to be true? Think again!! Come join us and start getting your own free stuff.  When you join with one of our friend codes, you’ll get 50 rolls and we’ll get 30.  So thanks for helping us win more stuff!  Just download the app from the app store and add our friend code (you can only add one, so surprise us!)

Friend Codes: 472866 or 947142

Good luck and Happy Rolling!! Share with us in the comments what wish to win!

Friday Faves: Beautycounter

**This post contains a product review, while we were given the product, our opinions are all our own.**

I’ve heard a lot of talk about many different cosmetic companies, so I was hesitant to try another, I don’t have a great skin care routine (or any skin care routine if we’re being honest) and I’m really bad about self care.  Just like many moms, I’m the last one I think about.  So when a friend introduced me to beautycounter, I had my reservations.   Boy was I wrong.

Let’s talk about the company first.  By now, I think you have a good idea for who Sherrie and I are, we like to save money, we like to buy natural when we can, reduce our carbon footprint, and we’re very hesitant on what we put in and on our and our little ones bodies.  Beautycounter is the perfect cosmetic line for us for these reasons alone!

The beautycounter mission: To get safer products into the hands of everyone.   They’re not in your face, they’re not obnoxious with their marketing, they simply say, the health and beauty industry isn’t regulated like others and they will do something about it.  Pulled directly from their website:

“We deserve better, and we’re doing something about it.

At Beautycounter, we’re committed to a health and safety standard that goes well beyond what’s required by U.S. law: We’ve banned the use of more than 1,500 questionable or harmful chemicals through our “Never List”—all while ensuring our products perform and that they’re as indulgent as any other luxe shampoo, lipstick, or oil in the market.”

Also, browsing their site, I noticed that corporate social responsibility is really important to them.  They have three trusted charitable (non-profit) partners that are working towards similar missions, they’re listed front and center and they call out how they’d like you to support them.  For us mamas who like to give back, this is huge.

So let’s talk about the product.  Before I dove in, I wanted to get my feet wet with one simple product.  A friend is a consultant and she suggested I start with a face wash.  Now this is going to sound gross, but I don’t have a special face wash, frankly, it’s a miracle if I take my makeup off at the end of the night.  I usually just wash my face with my washcloth in the shower.  But, knowing I’m nearing the age of 30, it may be time to pay more attention!

I was so excited to receive this face wash in the mail, I immediately tried it out.  What I noticed as I started to use it was how light it was, you don’t need a ton, and it doesn’t fluff up in a huge lather like others I had used.  It’s light, feels awesome, and really works.  It scrubs away the grossness, and when you rinse and dry it feels like you’re touching brand new skin.  No film or residue leftover like I’ve had previously with some of the name brands.

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I then went about my day, later on I took a selfie to send to my husband who was away and drill and I was blown away by how great my skin looked!! Seriously, it never looks this good!

Lesson learned, I’m a convert.  I love the way my skin looks and feels using the cleanser, and I love even more that there are no chemicals or harmful products!  Jen, my consultant knew exactly what to recommend, and I know she’ll have the best products for you all as well- so head on over to her Facebook page, like it, and be sure to reach out to get your own skin care routine set up- trust me, you’ll be glad you did!

5 Ways to Make the Most of (Children’s) Consignment Sales

It’s Fall y’all! (well almost) and we’re excited because this means it’s consignment sale season!

In our area, there are two major consignment sales that happen in the spring and the fall, you’ll want to check around your area because they are awesome!

Let’s just talk about the clothing for a second, some are lightly worn, but many things you will find here are brand new with their tags! FYM Sherrie was able to score all Under Armour and Nike clothes for Logan for summer at one of the spring sales, they have all sizes, and the pricing is amazing!

It’s the same thing with toys, we usually find more Melissa and Doug and Fisher Price Laugh and Learn toys than we can possibly bring home! They even have outdoor toys, slides, playhouses, wagons, kitchens, and more.

If pricing wasn’t already great, anything left on the last day (usually Sunday) becomes half price!

Pretty much everything you can imagine are at these sales, and they’re a great place to stock up pre-baby as well!

Here’s our top 5 ways to make the most of these consignment sales.

1- Sell: If you can get on the list to be a consigner, it’s totally worth it.  FYM Emily has been doing this for about a year now, while it is some work to get everything ready and drop it off, it’s a great place to get rid of things that you no longer use or clothes that no longer fit.  Otherwise it’s just taking up space in your house.  Also, you’re making money! You even have the option for everything to be donated, so you don’t have to go get it! Score!  And as a consigner, you get special passes to shop early, which means you have access to the things that go fast! Bonus tip: If you don’t want to sell, but have extra time on your hands, you can volunteer.  If you volunteer for 8 hours over the three days, you also get in early.

2- Get an Early Pass: After the consignors and volunteers get in to shop, the next two categories of people who can get in are new moms (pregnant or a child under a year) and military (with ID).  Both of these categories can bring guests! So team up with a buddy and head out to shop.

3- Make a Game Plan: These sales can be extremely overwhelming, so it helps to have a game plan.  Make a list of the three priority things you’re looking for, and go in order of what you think will sell quickly.  There will always be clothes, hit them last. the hottest items are usually outdoor toys and play kitchens- make a beeline.  If you see one you want, grab the claim ticket! You do not have to carry it around.

4- Bring a bag (or Wagon):  Seriously, you can get out of control quickly, so bring a bag or even a wagon, something so that you can put the things you want in.  Once you think you’re done, step to the side and go through it all, you want to make sure you really want or need everything you’re getting.

5- Leave the Kids at Home: These sales are not only extremely overwhelming but they are packed and usually in large venues like indoor soccer arenas.  Do yourself a favor, leave the kids at home.  It will be considerably easier to move around, get what you need and focus if you’re not trying to chase your toddler.

Happy Bargain Hunting!


Budget Meals Eggplant Lasagna

Budget Meals: Eggplant Lasagna

By now I think you know we are Money Saving Mamas! So we thought that we would share with you some of our favorite budget meals.  One of the many reasons we don’t eat as much takeout as we used to is because of how expensive it is.  FYM Emily does the math in her head every time she cooks, it’s astounding how much cheaper (and healthier and more delicious) you can make food at home, and it doesn’t have to take a lot of time or be labor intensive!

As the end of summer is approaching and our veggie garden is in full bloom, we thought this would be a great recipe to share!

Here’s what you need: 

Two Eggplants (home grown- no cost)

Small Container Ricotta Cheese (15 oz) ($1.79 at Hannaford)

Bertolli Rustic Cut Spicy Marinara Sauce ($1 money maker with Hannaford Rewards)

1 Cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese ($1.89 for a full bag at Aldi)

1 Egg (89 cents a dozen at Aldi)

Italian Seasoning, Salt, Garlic Powder

Garlic Texas Toast ($1.99 at Aldi)

First, you slice your eggplant into 1/4 inch thick slices, we did this with a knife, but you can use a mandolin for easier. Eggplant is full of water, so you want to lay the slices out of paper towels and sprinkle with salt to draw out the moisture, let them sit for 10 minutes and then pat dry.

Meanwhile, beat an egg in a medium sized bowl.  Add ricotta, mozzarella (1/2 cup), garlic powder and Italian seasoning and mix until thoroughly combined.  Set aside.

Once your eggplant slices have been patted dry, place on a cookie sheet and cover with foil.  Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes.  This will make them flexible, but not fully cooked.

Then it is time to assemble! Pour a small amount of sauce on the bottom of your casserole dish.  Layer Eggplant slices, then cheese mixture, then sauce until you reach the top.  Sprinkle the rest of the mozzarella cheese on top of the last sauce layer.  Bake on a cookie sheet (to catch drips) at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 minutes.  Let sit for 15 minutes.

Budget Meals Bertolli Rustic Cut Sauce

While your lasagna is sitting, bake your Texas Toast according to package instructions.

Budget Meals Texas Toast at Aldi

Then, enjoy!! This was delicious and even better, the entire thing was $2.33! Not even per serving, but total! And it made 4 servings.  When’s the last time you took your family out to eat for $2.33?

Budget Meals Eggplant Lasagna

Have you tried this? We would love to know what you think of it!  And share your favorite budget meals with us on our Facebook Page!


Money Saving Mamas: Hannaford Rewards

We love Hannaford for it’s  everyday low prices and high quality, but given all the other stores we can shop that will  double manufacturers’ coupons, we’re usually only at Hannaford to grab a couple of things when we return our Clynk bags. So we were super excited when they announced a new Hannaford Rewards app and program!

When you download the app it is chock full of coupons (it appears these were limited, cannot guarantee they’re still available).  We got an entire list of products for free (about $50 worth) such as Mt. Olive Organic Pickles, Chick Pea Snacks, Dole Jaya Juice, Seventh Generation Dish Soap, Noosa Yogurt, Ciao Bella Gelato, Laughing Cow Cheese Wedges, Bertolli Rustic Cut Pasta Sauce and so much more! But the best of all was a coupon for $5.50 off a $5.50 or more purchase! The best part was that these appear to be store coupons, so if you had a manufacturer coupon or there was a rebate available on another app, you could combine them and make money.  We actually found a $1 coupon on the Bertolli rustic cut sauce!

Hannaford also rolled out a rewards program with this app. Every time you buy a Hannaford brand product, 2% of the price will go into an account and be deposited as a reward coupon each quarter.  So, we made the most of our $5.50 coupons by buying meat that had coupons on it (we freeze it right away) and getting the 2% rewards back.  We will continue to check out and use this new app- it’s a great way to grab some extra freebies for your household!


Ready to get started? Download the app here! Happy Saving Hannaford Rewards Shoppers! If you downloaded it and got some coupons or used it in store- let us know how it went! Join our Facebook group, Money Saving Mamas and share with us!

Doc McStuffins Color Wonder

Friday Faves: Crayola Color Wonder

Have you tried Color Wonder with your kids? We are constantly blown away by this product.  Essentially, Crayola promises that your children will only color on their coloring book.  How?! They have special markers that only show up on their special color wonder paper.  MAGIC.

Crayola Color Wonder Marker

We were skeptical, to say the least, assuming they either wouldn’t work after a while, or they would be dull in color – and we couldn’t have been more wrong.  These are our favorite way for our toddlers to color – no mess and no “art” on the walls, floor, or self!

 Crayola Color Wonder in Action

Madeline is obsessed with Doc McStuffins, which is great for us because Crayola seems to have partnered with Disney.  They have so many themed coloring books to choose from and are a pretty good value considering how long they last in our house.

Doc McStuffins Color Wonder

Still a skeptic? Check out this video- it’s true!

Crayola Color Wonder in Action!

They don’t just make coloring books though! Sherrie was able to score this awesome stamp set for Logan after Christmas on clearance.  To say that Logan loves to color is an understatement and color wonder makes it mess free!



Have you tried these Crayola products yet? Let us know in the comments!


Common Illnesses: MRSA

**WARNING: Post may contain images that are difficult to look at.**

Writing this post is so hard, but it’s important to know what can happen to your children. In late June, Madeline contracted community MRSA. Mike, FYM Emily’s husband, is in the Army National Guard, and while away for his drill weekend he contracted community MRSA on his leg.  Despite being very clean with changing his dressing and bandages, Madeline contracted it on her chin.

MRSA, or Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus, is caused by staph bacteria that has become immune to antibiotics and can be very dangerous.  It typically often begins as a painful skin boil. It’s spread by skin-to-skin contact. At-risk populations include groups such as high school wrestlers, child care workers and people who live in crowded conditions (Mayo Clinic, 2017).  Madeline is at a stage where when she hugs you, she hugs your thigh, so it was probably only a matter of time before she got it.

Madeline had come home with what looked like a pimple on a Thursday evening. She woke up at 4:30am on Saturday screaming, and I realized that the “pimple” had burst and was bleeding.

 After calling the pediatrician (who said she didn’t need to be seen), we went to a family barbecue for the fourth of July holiday.  All day long the pocket kept swelling and redness seemed to spread up her face and jawline.  We decided to be safe and head to urgent care who immediately sent us to the pediatric ER at Albany Medical Center.

She was seen very quickly and they determined that she had two abscesses that required draining.  This meant she had to be put under, which is extremely scary, but if MRSA is left untreated it can spread to the bloodstream and other organs,  so it was necessary.  Madeline was a trooper, but was admitted to the Children’s Hospital for IV antibiotics and monitoring.  The culture of the abscesses was sent out for 48 hours of testing.

In the 6 days we spent in the hospital, Madeline had to be put under twice to drain the abscesses.  She had a team of 6 plastic surgeons and 8 pediatricians (including residents).  She received 5 days of constant IV antibiotics (through three different injection sites).  It was only on the last day that we gave her oral antibiotics and she was able to move freely.  The whole time she was a trooper!


While we were at the hospital my parents were at home furiously preparing the house for her return.  Because MRSA can live on any surface, anything and everything she had come into contact with needed to be cleaned.  This meant bleaching a lot of toys, washing everything that could be on the sanitary cycle (super hot water) and throwing out anything that could not be cleaned. On the plus side, my house is a little less cluttered, but it was a nerve wrecking time not knowing if we got everything.

There are only a few ways to keep MRSA from spreading and the best way is to ensure you are constantly washing your hands with soap and water, not hand sanitizer or antibacterial like Purell. This can actually kill off the good bacteria on your skin.  This was the perfect time to teach Madeline how to wash her hands herself.

About a month out, we are glad to say Madeline has fully healed and has not re-contracted the disease.  We’ve had a follow up with the plastic surgery team, and provided she is protected from all sun exposure, her scaring should heal fine.  However, it is quite common and extremely dangerous, so we need to be careful to ensure she doesn’t contract it again.  If you think your child has contracted MRSA, call your pediatrician and go to urgent care or the ER immediately.  This is not one to joke around with or wait on!

Indian Ladder Farms

Local Love: Indian Ladder Farms

We’re always looking for fun, local things to do with our little ones.  Since Madeline is a berry fiend (no joke!) we thought she might enjoy a trip to go berry picking but had no idea where to start.  FYM Sherrie has taken trips to Indian Ladder Farms with Matt and Logan in the fall seasons, and pointed us in their direction.  And boy, were we thrilled! We’ve now been a few times!

Let’s start with the berry picking! The bushes were FULL of big, juicy, amazing blueberries!! Picking two quarts didn’t take more than 15 minutes, even with a toddler in tow! Madeline loved walking through the bushes, pulling the berries off (though some she chose we’re quite ripe) and stuffing them in her mouth.  Seriously, I couldn’t hardly pick fast enough to keep up with her eating! She even made friends with fellow pickers (and sampled their blueberry bounty as well).

Indian Ladder Farms

It didn’t end there! What I LOVED about our visit was how much there is to do at the farm.  We could have chosen to pick raspberries as well, but instead we opted to walk the farm.  It is a working farm and they have so many animals that you can see and interact with.  We’d never taken Madeline to a zoo, and we thought this would be a good test, knowing how much she loves our dog, Bruce Wayne!  To say she loved them would be an understatement.  There are so many animals at Indian Ladder Farms including, sheep, goats, a HUGE bunny, baby bunnies, chickens, cattle, and a massive turkey.   She squealed with delight, said hi to everyone and everything she saw and really got a kick out of daddy feeding some of the animals.

 Indian Ladder Farms

Indian Ladder Farms

Once we were able to pull her away from the wildlife, we stopped into the cafe and store.  To say it is full of country charm is an understatement!! The adorable shop is filled with unique gifts, homegrown produce, local milk, and the most delicious baked goods.  Even in the middle of august, it is safe to say, Madeline loves cider doughnuts! I cannot wait to go back for apple picking!

What I didn’t know, and will be nice to explore on a date night, is that Indian Ladder Farms also has a brewery and cidery on site.  In the afternoons and evenings, you can do tastings- Mike and I will love that, as we love hard cider!

I am already planning our next trip back- this is a family favorite and a staple in the warm weather months for sure!



Friday Faves: Melissa and Doug

Have you ever found a company that just can do no wrong? You love everything they make? That’s how we feel about Melissa and Doug! If you don’t know  about this company and the amazing products they make, you need to!

Melissa and Doug are actually a married couple, they’ve been married over 30 years! And together they have six children.  They founded the toy company with one mission:
To provide a launch pad to ignite imagination and a sense of wonder in all children so they can discover themselves, their passions, and their purpose.

This is exactly what our kiddos need! We are all about learning and letting them discover and grown on their own.  We love these toys so much because not only do they allow that, but they are made with an amazingly high quality.  We’ve found that our kiddos spend the most time with these toys just because they love them so much! Here are some of our favorites!


Melissa and Doug make so many kinds of puzzles!! We love them all, they grow with our kids.  From wooden puzzles with knobs, to just big pieces, to smaller grips that make noise, to mix and match there are so many stages of development that these puzzles span!

Pretend Play:

Melissa and Doug have AMAZING wooden play food!  They come in themed sets like this cupcake set that Logan has, and there are so many different ways to play with them.  They’re not only adorable,  they’re perfect for learning.

Madeline hasn’t started playing with them yet, but we have mix and match wooden animals as well as a fishing game by Melissa and Doug! These are great ways to learn while again having fun! We can’t wait to show her and see her develop new skills.

One of the things we included in our Easter Egg Hunt this year were letter magnets by Melissa and Doug.  We wanted to be able to have the kids learn letters in a variety of different ways, and magnets are a great one.  They will grow with our children for a while, after recognition they will grow to reading and spelling and sight words! We love that we know they will last for a long time!

Dress Up:
Something our kids love is playing dress up. Who says costumes are just for Halloween?! Melissa & Doug offer a variety of dress up costumes such doctor, firefighter, police officer, chef, the list goes on! Each costume features jackets and tools to match the occupation – so much fun!

Our kids have and use so many of their toys that we had a tough time narrowing it down! Are you as big a fan of Melissa and Doug as we are? We want to know your and your kiddos favorites!