Saving money with : how to stretch your dollar

I shared last week about the ultra amazing gel mattress topper we ordered out of necessity until we can get a new mattress.

I told you about the 5 or 6 ways we saved and got creative to take that $530.00 price tag down to just over $100. 

Today, I’ll tell you how to utilize Ebates and how simple it is. 

1 example dollar

You head to this website and sign up.  (This is my affiliate link in case you were wondering!)

You will provide information such as your name and address so they can mail your checks! 

Your home screen will look like this:

Ebates 2You can see below that I currently have 2,847 points.  I will continue to save these then slowly turn them in for $5 Amazon gift cards. That is really the best deal!

Okay.  Back to it!  Now that you are all signed up, you’ll want to head to this site before you even begin shopping online.  Every single time.  It is worth checking to see if your store is part of Ebates.  If it is you’ll want to click on it so you can save.  You can see above that if you shop at Groupon (another post for another day), you can get 6% back on your purchases when bought through Ebates. 

{I say head here before you even start shopping because I have forgotten to do it and then realized I missed our on $5 or $10 coming back because I didn’t start at Ebates.}

When you click on that, you’ll see the screen below.  This is how you know you’ve done the right thing so you definitely get your cash back. 


And there you have it.  A very simple way to earn a few extra dollars back on your online purchases.  I earned $12.06 back on my purchase last week.  All it took was a few extra clicks on my mouse!   $12.06 may not sound like much but it could help with shipping.  For me I count any savings as extra McDonald’s caramel frappuccinos I can purchase.  Tee hee. 

My $221.08 shown here has already grown to $233.17.  It may not seem like much but it you shop online at all it’s worth it.  Those of you that order everything online will probably rack up two to three times this amount!!

One additional note.  You may want to put a post-it note or something on your computer as a reminder.  Just until you get used to hitting up Ebates before clicking that purchase button!!!   {affiliate links used}

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5 examples: how to stretch your dollar

I’m sure you have been there too.  Maybe not right this minute but at some point in your life.

A season of life that requires stretching your dollar to the maximum is something most of us experience. 

You may remember me talking about it before.  My husband is in school right now (almost finished though!) and we are making every penny count. 

To make a long story short we’ve been in survival mode.  We’re making any cut we can while also being smart about spending our money.  It’s been great but we’re ready for the next chapter to begin. 

5 examples dollar

So, lately we’ve both been experiencing back problems.  Our current mattress is in desperate need of being replaced.  We’re trying to wait it out.  We a;so cut out chiropractor visits last year to save money. 

We needed to do something though.  Something to ease the pain after waking up in the morning.  Insert a memory foam mattress pad. 

I just happened to look them up on and was not at all surprised by the cost.  It wouldn’t work. Not right now and most certainly for full price!

Seriously, $530.00 for a mattress topper?  Not even a mattress?!?

Well, I was patient. I researched.  I even prayed!

Lo and behold I was able to work it out.  We got creative.  Here’s what we did!

  • Wait for a sale!  We did and it paid off.  The original $529.99 price tag dropped to $238.50!  That’s a savings of 45%!
  • Look for an online promo code or a coupon that comes in the mail.  I had a code that was an additional 20% off.  Saved another $47.70!
  • Before you order/buy, go to Kroger and buy gift cards.  Right now they have 4x the fuel points!  My $200.00 in gift cards will earn me 800 points which is $0.80 off at Kroger fuel stations.  Keep in mind that is for up to 35 gallons.  We use all 35 gallons when we fill up both cars so that’s another $28.00 in savings!
  • If you are ordering online like I did, use  (that’s my link attached, I’d love if you signed up so we can earn cash back together!)  Kohl’s had 6% back at the time I ordered.  On my final order total (which was $201.00 before tax), I’ll earn $12.06 back in a check!
  • Now, if you are a Kohl’s shopper you already know about Kohls Cash.  This sale happened to be during that time.  So, on my $200 order I earned $40 in Kohls cash which can be used in a few weeks.
  • If you are counting…this is actually number six.  {This one is a bonus}  Free shipping!  I try to never pay shipping if I can help it.  They had free shipping over $50 so I didn’t really save any but I didn’t spend any either.

So to save you the math on this one here’s how much I paid for that $530.00 mattress topper.    $110.74!

Of course, it’s creative.  I have to wait for the Ebates check (worth it), I’ll use the $40 in Kohl’s cash on something else I would have purchased anyway (socks, kids clothing, etc), but let’s get serious here…

That’s a final savings of just over 79%.  Not too shabby!   I’m no coupon queen but I can do my research and do my best to make my money work for me. 

If you aren’t on, I highly recommend it.  To date, my total cash back is $221.08.   <—- tweet

Maybe that $12.06 doesn’t make it seem worth it but the $221.08 over the past few years is pretty big!  I’d love if you’d use my link as well.  Let’s earn $$ back together!

I’ll be back next week showing you how to use your new Ebates account!!
{affiliate link used}
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S.e.x. {How to Maintain Your High-Maintenance Marriage}

Is this happening?   


We are going to discuss this topic. The dreaded and perhaps somewhat taboo topic of s.e.x.  

Why is that?  We should be discussing this topic at length and often!  It is not just a one time conversation. 

Let’s be honest here. 

This is a HUGE subject.  The benefit of this collaborative series is that you have five different women discussing from five different perspectives.  You can pick and choose who and what you relate with.  Be sure to head to the other blogs listed at the end of this post!

**Oh and I’m updating to let you know that the s.e.x. is in an effort to avoid having this post marked as spam.  Our email subject to each other with our links was titled ‘sex link {not spam}’ which was just way too funny.  Thanks Emily for the laugh!! **


There are multiple directions to take this topic. Here are a few questions perhaps you can ask yourself.  Please, please consider reading these with your spouse and taking the time to discuss it.

  • Do you and your spouse talk about it?
  • Are you both satisfied with the quality?
  • Is the frequency to your liking?
  • Is it a priority in your marriage? 
  • Is sex with your spouse conditional?
  • Is it the first or last thing you think about? 
  • Could television, social media, or something else be keeping you from it?
  • Do either of you withhold s.e.x because of anger or resentment?
  • Are either of you selfish in regards to this subject?

S.e.x in a marriage is super duper, uber important!!!   <—– Tweet it

It just can’t be the last thing on the to-do list.  Clearly there are other aspects of life such as kids, jobs, and other circumstances that demand our time and energy.  It’s important though to make an effort to leave a little something at the end of the day (or every other, or weekly, or whatever the two of you decide).

One way to ensure there is a little something is to keep the spark alive.

Can I state the obvious here?  Men are different than we are.

Let’s have a show of hands.  Has this ever happened in your house?  You have an argument with your husband that goes unresolved.  The two of you have been snippy all day then surprise, surprise, he’s somehow still up for bedtime festivities.

Ladies….are they kidding us?

I’ll be a little transparent here.  If we’ve been arguing or snippy with each other all throughout the day, the last thing I’m thinking about at the end of the night is s.e.x.  I’m still angry, hurt, frustrated, or whatever else until it is resolved.

Guys can somehow put their angry feelings aside and still make the magic happen.   I don’t know about you but I’m not built like that.  If I’m angry, I’m angry.  There is no going back just because it’s the end of the night.  

We have dubbed a little saying in our house called ‘prep the engines’ which helps us remember this.  If we happen to get into a little tiff earlier during the day and realize it’s festering into a huge issue, one of us will say this.  Usually it’s me.  It’s me because I know that I’ll be the one not in the mood later on if we don’t fix it.

It’s a gentle reminder that we are heading down a road that could ruin our evening.  It’s also a little reminder that s.e.x doesn’t start in the bedroom. 

I know I’m not alone here.  There is a little thing called foreplay.  I don’t believe foreplay is just what happens ten or fifteen minutes prior to the s.e.x.capades.  

It’s how we treat each other all day.  It’s stealing a hug in the middle of the day, kissing hello and goodbye.  It’s sending an ‘I love you’ text in the middle of the day, dancing to your song, and doing something special for your spouse.  It is going the extra mile. 

It is feeling wanted, feeling needed.  

In a nutshell, it’s prep work.  Being treated in a way that makes you want to jump into his arms at the end of the night (and vice versa).  It’s the anticipation.  It’s knowing that you will connect at the end of the long, stressful day. 

We can’t treat each other like garbage all day then expect to turn up the heat at night.  This will simply make you (or him) feel used which isn’t a foundation for a healthy sexual relationship.   

I know this is a woman’s perspective, well, because I am one.  Also because woman are a little more complicated when it comes to the physical part of marriage.

I will leave you with this little tip I’ve figured out over the years.  It works both ways.  If you prep the engines a little for your husband, believe me when I say that he will love you for it. 

Just because he can go zero to ready in .2 seconds doesn’t mean he doesn’t enjoy the anticipation!  You can make a huge change in this area today simply letting him know you still have the hots for him. 

When is the last time you’ve initiated things?  Have you kissed him a little longer than just a peck recently?   Have you put forth the effort to look irresistible when he walks through the door? 

What can you do today to prep his engines? 


Kayse @

Monica @ Elevate Ideas

Emily @ Primitive Roads

Jamie @ Brown Paper and Strings

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Laughter {How to MaintainYour High-Maintenance Marriage}


Why did you fall in love with your husband?

Have I ever told how why I fell in love with mine?

I fell in love with him partly because of laughter.  That may sound strange but it is one of the main reasons.

You see, I don’t show emotions like excitement well.  I don’t know why.  It’s as if I’m so excited my heart and mind forgot to share the information with my face.

Whether it’s opening gifts on Christmas morning or having something exciting happening in my life.  I talk about it but it doesn’t show through very well.

Now let me tell you a little about him.

My husband might as well have majored in laughter in college.  He is by far the funniest man I’ve ever met.

We met in middle school.  We were inseparable from 8th grade on.  Best friends.  I mean the kind of best friend you do everything with.  We’d go to movies, theme parks, and even carpooled to school every day.

We always had a great time together.

Fast forward to our first semester in college.  He went away.  I stayed home and commuted.  We didn’t see each other as much.   I started to miss him so much, looking forward to the next time I’d see him.  I realized how much I wasn’t fulfilled in the relationship I was in.  I realized how much I loved him.


When he was gone, I didn’t laugh as much.  I didn’t have as fun a life without him as I did with him.  Of course he was still in my life but in a different way.

He always made me laugh.  When I say that he made me laugh, I mean made me belly laugh.   I’ve already told you I don’t do that very often. 

Laughter is such an important part of life, let alone marriage.  It can help keep our marriages fresh.  It’s one way we can relieve tension during the rough times.  It’s how we can keep ourselves from stressing out during busy times of our lives. 

As I’ve said before, things have been a little crazy this past year. 

These days I am sometimes so stretched that I feel like ElastiGirl from the Incredibles.  I feel like if I stretch one more inch I may burst.

What keeps me going?

These days it’s looking forward to an evening of comedy-watching with my husband.  A few times a week we have date night in our living room.  We put on our favorite television comedy, forget for a moment about the world, sit together, and just laugh.

Have you laughed with your husband recently?  Do you joke around?  Play games?  Watch funny movies? 



Check out other perspectives on laughter below!!

Kayse @

Monica @ Elevate Ideas

Emily @ Primitive Roads

Jamie @ Brown Paper and Strings

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Service {How to Maintain Your High-Maintenance Marriage}

A little background on me.   Since I was probably ten years old, I couldn’t wait to be a wife and mom.  I wanted a family of my own.  I would spend days upon days at my grandmother’s house and loved every minute of it.  She didn’t drive and she didn’t work.

I found her life to be so fulfilling.  She waited on my grandpa hand and foot.  She raised her kids and helped raise her grandchildren.  We’d bake apple pie, homemade twinkies, and cookies every single time I was there.  We’d play several games of scrabble in a day and turn in exhausted from a day of homemaking.

I wanted this in a marriage.  I wanted to keep the house.  I wanted to not work, bake, cook, clean, be a wife, and raise children.  I still do.

Fast forward to the here and now.

Last year we were caught in the midst of a conspiracy.  It was a leap of faith for him to leave a job after nine years to start a new career.  Then, suddenly, less than a year later unfortunate events forced the owner of his new company to close the doors. 

We were thrown into a new season of life.  A season we were unprepared to deal with. 

The decision to go back to school was one I encouraged.  It was an ideal opportunity and one I completely support. 

You see, I could have been more concerned about what I wanted or discouraged him from following his dream.  I could have whined about the effect it would have on our family.  I could have moaned about how it would disrupt my being home with the kids. 

Had I done any of these things he would have taken another mediocre job to support us for the next 30 or so years.  If I hadn’t supported him in this he could have pushed his dream to the side to do what he felt obligated to do.    

I know this because he did exactly this when we had our first child.  He stayed in a crappy job because it was steady and secure.  In an economy like we’ve had the past few years, it was safe. 

I could have stomped my feet, thrown a fit, and chosen to be selfish.  I could have.  At times I wanted to. 

Instead, I chose to put on my big girl panties and decided to step up to the plate.  <— tweet

The past year has been stressful.  I have stepped into the role of provider while he is completing his schoolwork.  I don’t mind it.  It’s something I can do to support him right now.  A year or two is nothing when looking at the rest of our lives.  

I decided it was my duty to do whatever it took to allow him to fulfill his dream.  Sure, it’s hard on me at times.  It’s true I rarely sleep because of juggling the house, the kids, and two jobs.  The good news is this will be a short season and I can do anything for a short period of time. 

Sometimes being of service to our husbands is more than laundry, making dinner, and caring for the children. <—  tweet

Sometimes it is supporting him in a new endeavor that will forever change the path of his life. 

For better or worse includes anything that falls in between.  Right now we are somewhere in between.  It has been better and it certainly could be worse.

No matter where in that spectrum your marriage may fall, remember that for better or worse isn’t always worse.

I’ll leave you with a few questions I asked myself.

  • Are you feeling like you are smack dab in the middle of the worse?  
  • Could looking at your situation through another perspective help you make it through? 
  • Is there something you could do to be of service to your husband during this season? 


Check out a few other posts in this series with the ladies below! 

Kayse @

Monica @ Elevate Ideas

Emily @ Primitive Roads

Jamie @ Brown Paper and Strings

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