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Going Greek? 3 Ways To Save On Sorority And Fraternity Gear

Colleges are almost back in session, and college students are getting prepped for the necessary supplies. It's time to stock up on everything from washcloths to emergency snacks and extra notebooks. In fact, if you aren't sure what all to send to a college student, here's a list of some essential everyone needs.

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3 Beauty Products Worth Every Penny

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I am not consistent with many things (cleaning, healthy eating, etc) and beauty routines are no different. I tend to get excited about something and try it for a few days, possibly a whole week and then I forget all about it and return to my lazy ways. I just can't commit to routines that take longer than 10 minutes. Beauty products are no different. I see adorable younger girls barefaced, their hair tucked messily on top of their heads and dressed in work-out gear. It reads "cute and not trying to hard." There is a certain, ahem, age where this type of behavior no longer works.  What looks relaxed and natural on youth looks more like "I'm tired and I just didn't try" for me these days.

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Major Back To School Deals To Grab Right Now!

School Savings
Where did summer go? I feel certain I only blinked twice, and yet here we are -- suddenly counting down the remaining days until school starts back. Whether it’s a week or a month until your kids return to campus, it’s likely school (and supplies) are on your mind.

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7 Stores For Budget Home Decor (That Doesn’t Look Cheap!)

I can remember when a certain store first started and offered really fabulous finds for clothing and home goods, with shockingly reasonable prices tags. As is so often the case, the store became incredibly popular (ahem- a staple for most families really) and the prices have continued to climb. While I still find myself shopping there, the home decor section is getting more and more expensive. That means I've had to search for new stores and retailers that can give me the same satisfaction. Now, let's be clear: I want cute (and sometimes trendy) home items that function, look great, and don't cost me a fortune, but I do NOT want things that look cheap. Thankfully, I've found lost of other options that have pleasantly surprised me with their home decorating options and overall prices. Here are 7 stores for budget home decor (that doesn't look cheap!)

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5 Frugal Trips To Take This Weekend

I recently ran across this older blog series from the NY Times, The Frugal Traveler and could not stop reading the multiple weekends the writer experienced on a mere $100.  Granted, this writer is traveling all over the world in fascinating cities, where sightseeing alone can qualify as something to do. It all sounds terribly exciting! However, it got me thinking about planning a next-to-nothing getaway for my own family. With school looming around the corner, we've got to get something squeezed in quickly and (as always) inexpensively. After a little digging, I found some excellent opportunities and thought I'd share them. Here are 5 frugal trips to take this weekend, should you also be craving a little excitement on a small budget.

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10 (Almost Free) Ways To Beat The Heat

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  Ah, mid-July. The mid-summer point where temperatures start to climb, and we all swelter a bit more. Even with the heat, I want to get outside as much as possible to savor these last weeks of summer. But where to go and what to do? Most summertime activities have been tried and tested at this point in the season, and even the ever-enticing pool has started to lose its luster. Never fear! There are plenty of options around. With a little creativity and effort, you can enjoy the last weeks of summer while creating great new memories for the whole family. Here are 10 (almost free) ways to beat the heat.

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5 Ways To Quit Impulse Buying

I know you all have been there too. I entered Target with the sole mission of picking up a child's birthday present. I knew exactly what to buy, which section to find it, and I didn't even need to buy a gift bag because I have stockpiled them lately. A solid hour later I sailed through the check-out line with 15 other items. 15!  It started with the genius visual merchandising that drew me over to the accessories. I had time for a quick walk-through. Boom, a fedora marked for clearance wound up in the cart. Immediately the new hat was followed by socks, nail polish, air conditioning filters, a pack of Hanes T-shirts, 5 of the $1 items for kids' entertainment, a tank top, batteries, and 3 packs of gum. Oh, and the birthday present. But they were all on sale! I thought I was supposed to buy these items when I found them for reduced prices, right? Well, considering that my budget for that trip was $15 and my total receipt was for around $78, something is wrong with this scenario. After that trip, I've been bringing it back to the basics and had a little heart to heart with myself about spending. I also ran across this article from Psychology Today on why we impulse buy and found I am guilty of most of those reasons. So, here are 5 ways to quit impulse buying:

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5 Essential 4th of July Dishes

  It seems we are barreling straight into July before I've really had a chance to enjoy June. Is it just me or is it time for a pause, a break, a moment to kick back and soak in all that is good about summer? Luckily, the 4th of July is just around the corner. The 4th of July is a great time for my family to relax and slow down. Since so many people are off of work, we usually wind up seeing lots of friends and family that day. It's a wonderful opportunity to catch up on naps, games, and even ends with fireworks. What's not to love? My favorite part of July 4th is the food. Like Thanksgiving and Christmas, I feel that everyone brings their best dishes and recipes to the table on the 4th of July. Fresh fruit, grilled meats, homemade desserts seem to overflow on this day. It feels a bit decadent....and I'm okay with that. Plus, it's an interesting aspect to incorporate the red, white, and blue color scheme into the mix. So, here's a round-up of 5 fun 4th of July dishes that are guaranteed to bring a smile to any event you attend this year.

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Top 7 Ways To Save Money Every Month

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Setting a Family Budget

Our household recently experienced a change of employment, which meant changes in pay as well. While any increase in salary is obviously welcome, the change in how we get paid has thrown us a curve ball. We've gone from a bi-monthly set pay schedule to a once a month pay schedule. Talk about terrifying. Sure, that lump sum is going to seem great on the first day, but how about stretching it out through the next 30? Not only do we want to stretch every dollar, we want to be 100% debt free as soon as possible. Though we aren't living check to check, it's a giant shift in our thinking. While we've always budgeted and planned fairly well, this seems like the perfect time to reevaluate and examine all the little ways money walks right out of the house each month. Perhaps there are ways to tighten up and save even more each month, which would then leave even more money on the table to pay down our remaining debt.  This past week, I went back to the basics and looked at our daily habits and how they add up either positively or negatively to affect our bottom line each month. Yep, there is definitely room for adjustments.

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Easy Summer Recipes Under $10

If you are like us, summer brings a lovely sort of chaos. Although our speed slows and we spend hours idly lounging with no real objectives, we also seem to have bursts of running to and fro from one summer activity to another. The trickiest part of this for me is we have no set schedule. Camps or clubs are only a week at a time and when I finally get a handle on the rhythm, we're onto the next week. Dinner presents particular difficulty  (why do I feel like dinner time just sneaks up and ambushes me in the summer?) and I often default to breakfast-for-dinner or fend-for-yourself night because I didn't plan very well. Or even worse, we're ordering take out and fast food on a regular basis, blowing right through our grocery budget.

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