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5 Easy Summer Crock Pot Recipes

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  Like most of the US, our region is already suffering from sweltering weather. This early onset of heat has us more lethargic than usual and losing motivation for even the most menial of tasks. For example, cooking feels like too big a project to tackle these days. Usually in summer, salads are the go-to food since they are light, easy and cheap. However, there are only so many salads a family can tolerate. The food budget has taken a beating too since grabbing food out seems to be happening more and more. Imagine then, the delight and surprise when friends brought a crock-pot meal down to the pool one evening. Crock-pot meals are a life saver in the winter. Why not summer too? After all, crock pot recipes tend to feed more, cost less, and require so little work. Yes, yes, and yes please! Once you start searching, you'll be amazed at how many summer crockpot recipes are available. Here are 5 easy summer crock pot recipes to get started:

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Best Tips For Budget Family Vacations

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Summer is finally here! Schools are out across the country, pools are open and everyone is in flip-flops again for the next couple of months. Naturally, many have already mapped out a trip for the season. We weren't as certain one would work, but now have a strong urge to get something on the calendar. We are working with a tight budget, so we plan to use these tips we learned to score budget family vacations:

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Father’s Day Gifts: Tools, Tech, and Ties

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According to a recent article, Mother's Day spending was expected to be higher than ever this year. Seems that families really want to be sure mom feels the love. But what about dad? Well, apparently we spend far less on Father's Day gifts. In fact, Father's Day may just be the smallest of the gift-giving holidays. Granted, we don't feel you have to spend a fortune on Father's Day gifts, but we do think a thoughtful gift is a must. Luckily, there are some standard Father's Day gifts you can grab without going over budget! Here's what we think make pretty great Father's Day gifts:

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5 Great Gifts For College Graduates

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Let's be honest, the best gifts for college graduates would involve jobs and/or money. Cash is truly a fantastic gift for a recent grad, especially if you give it in a clever manner.  However, there are a number of other great gifts for college graduates that they would truly appreciate. After all, this is a time in a graduate's life where any and all assistance is greatly appreciated! So, if you haven't grabbed something yet, here are 5 great gifts for college graduates:

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Top Mother’s Day Gift Deals

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Don't panic, but did you realize we are about two weeks away from Mother's Day? I know, I know - it snuck up on me too this year. So I snuck a peek at last year's round-up of ideas and while I still like all of them, I need something more this year. Granted, moms all over are ecstatic to simply get the gift of time off or the gift of fun time with the people they love most (no chores allowed of course). However, every once in awhile it's just nice to get an actual present and so for Mother's Day this year I plan on giving something and, fingers crossed, maybe getting something too. Of course, let's not be hasty; I still need frugal Mother's Day gift options that won't blow my budget. Thankfully, most of the gifts I want to give are pretty traditional which means there are a lot of sales and coupons for them. That's why I've rounded up these top Mother's Day gift deals:

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5 Smart Ways To Use Your Tax Refund

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Next week brings April 15th, the big TAX DAY for most Americans. While the task of filing taxes brings much anxiety, most people (around 70%) still get a tax refund. That means many people will find in their bank account or mailbox a small lump sum that perhaps wasn't already accounted for in the budget. What's a family to do with a tax refund? Obviously, that's a very personal decision, but here are 5 smart ways to use your tax refund:

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How To Be A Frugal Foodie

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Being a Foodie Can Be Expensive

I know a handful of people that eat to live, placing very little emphasis or thought on food. Those people completely baffle me. I love food: the colors, the flavor combinations, the endless possibilities and the sheer pleasure of enjoying a delicious meal. As I get older, I find myself becoming even more interested in cooking and embracing my more adventurous side with meals. The one large, and it is LARGE, drawback to being a foodie is cost. Delving into the world of truffles, imported cheese, and gold leaf does add up quickly. Thankfully though I have also learned a few tricks to help my family eat the best without breaking the bank. After all, saving money is still the bottom line these days. Here are a few simple tips on how to be a frugal foodie:

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8 Easy Money Saving Strategies For Spring

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Spring is days away-days! Daylight savings has happened, wrecked havoc on us and our schedules, and its seems everyone is ready to embrace a whole new season now. A new season often leads to additional expenses in the budget: higher utility costs, more expensive entertainment options, etc. Fortunately, spring seems to usher in more opportunities to cut costs instead. With minimal effort, a household could save hundreds over the next three months. Here are 8 easy money saving strategies for spring:

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3 Ways To Welcome Spring (When It Still Feels Like Winter)

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  It's beginning to feel as though spring is never actually going to come this year. All over the US, cities are experiencing the coldest temperatures on record and spring is supposedly a scant three weeks away. So, what's a stir-crazy family to do? First of all, we keep referencing those free ways to beat the winter blues to keep our spirits lifted. Plus, it's time to get determined and creative and forge ahead with some activities that welcome spring anyway! Here are 3 ways to welcome spring (when it still feels like winter):

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10 Tips To Save Money On Your Spring Break Trip

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Remember all the tricks to help beat the winter blues, and how one idea was to go ahead and plan a vacation of some sort? Well, if you are like me, you may have spent more time daydreaming than planning. Since I'm one of the millions stuck under piles of snow these past few weeks, I've been particularly drawn to daydreaming about beaches and warm weather. But I haven't pulled the trigger on any real plans yet, which means I'd better move on planning my spring break trip! You too? If so, here are 10 tips to save money on your spring break trip:

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