Category: family life

5 Expert Tips for Moving on a Budget

moving on a budgetDid you know the average American household spends over $12,000 on a professional move?

Of course, the cost of moving varies greatly depending on several factors. The distance between locations and the weight of your belongings both play a role. However, the fact still remains that a move isn’t exactly cheap.

Fortunately, moving on a budget is a lot easier when you have the right plan in place. There are many steps you can take to ensure you’re not spending too much money.

Here are 5 pieces of advice you need to know before relocating. Read on to learn how to save big on your moving expenses!

1. Leave the Cheap Furniture Behind

It can be tough to sell your old home since it holds so many cherished memories. Similarly, your furniture can have a lot of sentimental value as well. However, moving on a budget requires making some tough decisions.

In most case, it’s not wise to drag along your cheap or old furniture. If the furniture is cheap, it won’t cost you much to replace, and if it’s old, you’ll have to replace it soon either way. All in all, you’ll save money by leaving the heavier pieces behind.

2. Don’t Skimp on the Truck

Most of us are always looking for the best new deals. As a result, small moving trucks seem like such an enticing choice. After all, they’re a lot cheaper, and you’ll somehow find a way to make everything fit anyway, right?

In reality, skimping on the truck can actually cost you more money. If you end up making multiple trips, you’ll have to cover the gas. Therefore, make an informed decision rather than simply choosing the least expensive truck.

3. Research All Your Options

One of the biggest mistakes many movers make is that they don’t research all of their options. They see one appealing price and get tunnel vision.

Before you make your final decision, look at multiple moving companies. To make sure you’re getting a good value, read online reviews as well. Also, make sure the companies have good standings with the Better Business Bureau.

4. Never Buy Boxes

One thing is for certain: you’re going to need a lot of boxes when you move. That said, there’s no reason to spend your money on boxes. Ask your friends if they have any to give you, or check the back alleys of clothing stores.

Additionally, look for creative ways to save space when packing everything. For example, see if you can fit some smaller items inside your washing machine.

5. Try Moving During Winter

Not everyone can control when they move. Sometimes, you have to get to your new job immediately. Other times, you want to get situated in your new home before the kids start school.

However, if you can help it, try to move during the winter. Professional movers offer the biggest discounts from December through February. Conversely, moving during the summer will hit your wallet the hardest.

Final Thoughts on Moving on a Budget

The tips outlined above can help you put together a plan for your next move.

When moving, make sure you do your best to avoid rush hour traffic so you can save you a bit of money on gas. Also, consider using USPS to ship your books in bulk.

Do you have any other useful tips for moving on a budget? What are some mistakes you made with moving in the past? Feel free to share with the rest of us by leaving a comment below!

How to Create the Best First Aid Kit For Emergencies

first aid kitHaving a first-aid kit on hand is one of the best ways to be prepared in the event of an emergency.

You probably have a closet at home that’s filled with band-aids, ointments, gauze pads and aspirin. Of course, it’s great to have these items scattered around your house. You should also have an actual first-aid kit put together.

A kit will undoubtedly come in handy anytime you venture outside the house. All you need to do is grab it and go! Kits can also be handy for in-home usage.

If someone in your family is bleeding heavily, you want to act fast. Having a first aid kit already put together will save you time. Everything will be right in one convenient container.

But what exactly should go in this first-aid kit?

Keep reading to learn how to create the best first aid kit for emergencies.

Container

To create the best first aid kit, the first thing you need is an appropriate container.

There is no hard and fast rule for the type of container you need, but know that there are a few different options to consider.

Plastic containers with snap-top lids are the most popular types.of first aid containers These are great for in-home usage, as they can be easily stored in a closet. And because they’re see through, they’ll be easy to spot.

For first-aid kits stored in vehicles, a backpack is a great option. Backpacks work well in case you have to leave the car. You can easily take the backpack with you on a camping trip without it being a nuisance.

Label Maker

Labeling your first-aid kit correctly will ensure it’s easy for household guests to find.

You can purchase an at-home label maker and put labels on the containers. You will want to label the outside of the container, as well as the smaller containers inside. If you have a backpack, you could sew on a red cross symbol for easy identification.

If you have young children who can’t read yet, put a big red cross on the box and explain to them what it means.

Items

Here is a checklist of items that you definitely want in your first-aid kit:

  • First aid book- A first aid book is essential for knowing how to properly use the items in the kit. Misusage of first-aid could exacerbate the injury or even cause death.
  • Adhesive bandages in a variety of sizes
  • Large gauze pads- you can always cut them up
  • Small pair of sharp scissors
  • Cotton balls
  • Alcohol prep wipes
  • Medical tape
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Non-latex gloves
  • Aspirin/Ibuprofen
  • Tweezers and sewing needle
  • CPR breathing mask
  • Thermometer
  • Sterile Saline

It’s a good idea to check your kit every few months to make sure you are properly stocked up on all of these items. You can restock your items through an online shop like Save Ride Medical. And if you are unsure of what items to use for what situation, remember to read the manual! A first-aid kit can save lives.

Optional Items

Once you have the basics packed, you may also want to think about storing some additional items for your specific situation. Some items you may want to consider are:

  • Bee sting kit
  • Snake bite kit
  • Matches
  • Ammonia inhalant capsules
  • Small knife
  • Paper bags
  • An awesome flashlight 

Best First Aid Kit: Wrap Up

With the information here, you will be able to piece together the best first aid kit you possibly can.

We want to hear about your own kit. What do you keep in your kit? Do you think we covered everything? Drop us a comment below.

Fun Crafts to Make With Your Kids Out of Origami Paper

origami paperOrigami is a great activity to do with your kids for so many reasons: it’s inexpensive, calming, and creative to name a few!

Making crafts with origami paper teaches your kids an attention to detail that they won’t get from an iPad game or coloring book.

It is also so satisfying to make something cool out of a simple piece of paper. Your kids will love to show off their special skill, and they can even make an origami creation as a signature gift for teachers, birthdays, holiday decorations, and more.

Read on to find 2 easy designs to make with your kids out of origami paper.

2 Easy and Fun Origami Paper Crafts To Make With Kids

Origami paper comes in so many different colors, patterns, and sizes. With a little creativity and skill, the possibilities of what you can create are endless!

Try one of these easy crafts to start. We recommend using paper designed for origami specifically, because it is made to fold, crease, and hold its shape. Origami paper is typically square, blank on one side and patterned on the other, enhancing your design.

If you just want to dip your toe in the origami water to see if you and your kids like it, you can start off with printer paper, newspaper, or magazine paper cut into 6x6in squares.

1. Origami Heart

  1. Start with the blank side of the paper facing up in a “diamond” (rather than a square). Fold the paper in half, from top corner to bottom corner, making a triangle shape. Press on the fold to crease.
  2. Unfold, then fold the left corner to the right corner and crease.
  3. Unfold, then take the top corner and fold the point to the center of the paper, which you can find by the cross of your crease lines.
  4. Fold the bottom corner to the new top edge.
  5. Fold the bottom right and left edges to the center crease line.
  6. Lastly, fold the top and side corners down.

You can add “I love you because” notes to these for an extra special touch!

2. Origami Flower

  1. Start with the blank side of the paper facing up in a square.
  2. Crease the paper both ways from edge to edge and unfold.
  3. Fold all four corners to the center point.
  4. Fold the new four corners to the center point as well.
  5. Now, grab one of the four points in the center. Fold it back out to the edge, creasing the middle of the triangle. Repeat this for the other three corners.
  6. Repeat this again with the four corners now in the center of the square.
  7. Fold the outermost corners back, and you have a beautiful flower!

Getting the hang of it? Check out more advanced origami flower designs here.

Now Get To Crafting!

Comment below with your favorite origami craft to make with your kids!

Did you know that Thrifty Momma Ramblings has a whole section dedicated to crafts? Check out everything we have on how to get crafty by clicking here.

The Best Car Seats That Are Affordable

car seatsSo, you want the best car seats to keep your children safe, but you don’t want to have to spend an arm and a leg?

You’ve come to the right place.

We reviewed the best convertible car seats, the ones that can grow and change as your child ages, to get you the most for your money.

The best part? All of these are under $200.

Let’s break it down.

The 3 Best Car Seats Under $200

The most important factors to consider when shopping for car seats are:

  • safety
  • durability
  • comfort
  • and cost (in that order)

Keeping your child safe from impact, air bags, and other dangers in the car is obviously the most important factor.

Once you find a car seat that meets safety standards, you’ll want one that is going to survive spills, crumbs, crafts, and tantrums.

You’ll also need one that can keep your child comfortable enough to nap in and help them stay happy in the car.

Here are our top 3 choices:

1. The Evenflo Maestro Booster Car Seat

This versatile car seat can hold children from 22-50 pounds as a car seat and 40-110 pounds when converted to a booster.

This car seat is definitely safe, as it was awarded Best Bet by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

It is easy to install and transfer between vehicles because it is lightweight and comes compatible with standard LATCH systems.

The pad is comfortable and machine washable, making spills and messes no problem to clean up.

Believe it or not, this car seat and booster is super affordable: at only $80!

2. The Safety 1st Grow and Go 3-in-1 Car Seat

3-in-1 car seats will cost you a little more up front, but their outstanding lasting power will save you from having to buy a new car seat every time they outgrow a weight class.

This one, however, is still super affordable at only $169.99.

It has superior side impact protection, an easy in, easy out harness system, and a machine washable pad.

This seat can start off rear facing with your newborn as small as 5 pounds. It can support rear facing seating up to 40 pounds, so you don’t have to switch to the traditional front facing until their legs outgrow it.

It can then convert to front facing and hold up to 65 pounds until you’ll eventually need to convert it into a booster.

3. Baby Trend EZ Ride 5 Travel System

This is the best jogging stroller and carseat combo. If you’re constantly on the move, this is the right car seat for you and your child.

Surprisingly, it’s only $139!

The car seat can support up to 50 pounds and has incredible versatility features to make it fit your needs.

It has a height adjustable handle, a drink and snack tray, a 5 point harness system. All this and it only weighs 36 pounds altogether.

Now You Know!

See? A great and versatile car seat can be affordable! The trick is to decide which features are most important to your lifestyle.

If you liked this post, check out some other recent highlights, like this one on cutting waste or this one on eating healthy!

Awesome Sweet 16 Party Ideas That Won’t Break the Bank

sweet 16 partyIs your daughter about to turn 16?

She might imagine stretch limos and pop stars at her party, complete with 200 of her closest friends.

You as a parent probably have a more realistic vision. You certainly want to celebrate her big day in style, but you don’t want to break the bank doing it.

Don’t worry. Planning an awesome sweet 16 party doesn’t have to cost a fortune. With a little research and creativity, you can throw a party she’ll remember forever.

Here are some tips for planning a sweet 16 party on a budget.

Prioritize

If you’re on a tight budget, a surprise party probably isn’t the way to go. A better option would be to sit down with your daughter and find out what’s most important to her.

Does she want a big guest list or just a few close friends? Would she like the party to be at home or a different venue? What type of food, music and decor does she want?

Depending on her preferences, you may be able to pick one area to splurge while saving in another. If you need help estimating costs, try downloading a free event budget template.

By talking openly about the party, you can plan an event that will thrill your daughter without draining your bank account.

Take Advantage of Technology

Back in the “good old days,” throwing a birthday party often meant hiring a professional photographer and a live DJ.

But this is 2017, and times have changed. All your daughter’s friends certainly have cell phones, and they’ll probably spend most of the night snapping selfies. Then everyone can upload their pictures to a photo-sharing site or a Cloud folder after the party.

There’s no need to spend money on a DJ, either. Have your daughter create a playlist of her favorite songs or use a streaming service like Pandora to pump music into the party.

Sweet 16 Party Invitations

In today’s age of electronics, traditional paper invitations are becoming a rare sight.

Impress your daughter (and her friends) by creating beautiful custom invitations for her sweet 16 party. Use fun scrolling fonts and bright colors to match the decor and festive spirit.

Not only will this turn the party into a proper event, but it makes a great memento for a scrapbook.

Get Crafty

For party planning on a budget, there’s no better way to save money than to roll up your sleeves and get creative.

Why order an expensive cake from the bakery when you could bake one yourself? Cupcakes are another popular, easy-to-make option.

Rather than ordering centerpieces from a florist, why not make a colorful “candy bouquet” instead? Cover a floral foam box with colorful wrapping paper and make a bouquet of lollipops and suckers. Pop it into a bright box with some tissue paper, and your centerpieces are good to go!

Party favors don’t have to break the bank, either. You could make up a batch of mint lemonade lip scrub for the girls to use during the party. Better yet, divvy it up for them to take home afterward.

With a little ingenuity, you can host an awesome sweet 16 party for your daughter. Check out my craft blogs for more great DIY ideas!

How to Buy Safe Trampolines for Kids and Toddlers

trampolines for kidsKeeping yourself and your kids entertained is not always easy. You can try crafty DIY projects and games, but everybody wants to get outside and get moving eventually. What better way to keep your kids healthy and engaged than with a trampoline?

Trampolining has been shown to have many health benefits. However, for safety purposes, buying trampolines for kids requires a little bit of research beforehand. Ready to find out what kind of trampoline is best for you and your kids? Read on!

Top Things to Keep in Mind When Buying Trampolines for Kids

Trampolines come in many shapes and sizes. There are certain things to look for when purchasing trampolines for kids. The top things to keep in mind are:

Indoors or Outdoors

There are great options for both outdoor and indoor trampolines. When deciding which is right for you, consider the average weather in your area, and also the space available in both categories.

Size

The age of your children and the intention you have for their usage of the trampoline are both important to consider when considering size.

Will they jump on a very small trampoline while inside, watching TV or listening to music? Will they want to jump with their friends or siblings on a larger trampoline outside?

The size of a trampoline is also related to its height off the ground. Since smaller trampolines are generally closer to the ground, they often work better when buying trampolines for kids, and vice versa for the larger ones.

Shape

Trampolines come in a variety of shapes, including circles, rectangles, ovals, and squares.

While you might think a square would be more spatially efficient, the circle is generally the most common. Rectangular trampolines tend to come in larger sizes and are preferred by gymnasts.

Price

Generally, the price of a trampoline goes up with the size. Circle trampolines tend to be cheaper than other models.

Looking for more ways to save? Check out these hot deals.

Ready to start scoping out trampolines for kids? Here are some trampolines for sale!

Tips for Safety

Buying trampolines are a great way to encourage fitness in a fun way, but without careful consideration, they can be a dangerous toy. Here are a few ways to minimize the safety risks of trampolining without diminishing the fun.

Include a Net

The height of a trampoline poses a safety issue, even if you were just walking on it. Add jumping to the mix, and the need for a net becomes abundantly clear.

Trampoline nets should be a minimum of six feet, with a working closure, and maintained in good condition.

Be Cautious of Size to Person Ratio

The space you’re willing to devote to a trampoline is obviously a limit to how big your purchase may be, but the size of the trampoline also limits how many people should use it at any one time.

Small trampolines pose a risk of in-air collisions. For example, any trampoline under 10 feet should be used by only one person at a time.

In contrast, a larger trampoline, like one with a 12-foot diameter, can accommodate two children at the same time.

Not Your Mama’s Baby Buggy: Stroller Style and Tech

baby buggySome people say that motherhood brings with it immeasurable joy. Some people, however, have never actually been tasked with raising infants or toddlers.

Parents still have to go about their daily activities while they lug their new bundles of joy around with them. Needless to say, completing some tasks with a baby attached to the hips is less than ideal.

Parents new and old will be happy to hear, then, that there is a baby buggy for every occasion. There is almost nothing that parents can’t do with the right baby-friendly equipment and accessories.

Traveling? Sure thing. Exercising. Yep.

Interested in finding out what types of baby buggy options are on the market today? Hold tight.

Travel Systems

Moms don’t have to stop traveling just because they have young children in tow. Life must go on, which is exactly why some families go on the hunt for the perfect travel-friendly baby buggy.

Luckily for these parents, there are several travel systems on the market. These systems usually consist of multiple pieces. Sometimes these sets come with a stroller and a few accessories whereas they come with car seats other times.

The sets which come with car seats are especially valuable to traveling families. They allow families to have both a stroller and a car seat so that their children are always safe and accommodated for when they go out of town.

Of course, parents who are traveling need more than strollers and car seats. They need to plan carefully to make sure that their babies can adapt to their schedules while on vacation. Fortunately, there are already some travel hacks that should help them make the most of their family vacations.

Car Seat Carriers

A new addition to the family can be somewhat expensive. Babies and toddlers require all sorts of specialized items to live comfortably, and some of them are costly. Strollers and car seats can be among these expensive items.

What if, though, parents chose not to buy both items? That is to say, what if they found a cheaper compromise that still kept their little ones safe?

Well, this cheaper alternative already exists, and it’s called a car seat carrier. Though technically not a stroller, a car seat carrier functions similarly to any other baby buggy. Car seats are placed on top of frames and properly secured in order to carry infants and toddlers around.

Car seat carriers also have the added benefit of allowing parents to avoid disturbing their babies while taking them out of cars. Instead of moving their children from a car seat to a stroller, they simply put their car seats on top of a frame and go.

Jogger Strollers

Once parents have children, it can be tempting to develop bad habits. Maybe they’re too busy to mind their eating habits or go and out exercise. Doing so is, however, not okay, so parents should continue leading healthy lives.

This is especially true for mothers who are no doubt going to be exhausted after delivering their babies. How, though, can mothers make time for exercise when they have babies to take care of?

Enter the jogger stroller, a baby buggy which is designed to allow parents to go for jogs with their infants or toddlers. Jogger strollers usually have two rear wheels and one front wheel to allow for smooth jogging sessions.

Despite their convenience, they’re not appropriate for children of all ages. It is not recommended to take an infant younger than six months of age on a jog. Rapid motion can have some dangerous repercussions for babies, so parents should avoid exposing them to it.

Strollers For All Terrains

Some families aren’t super adventurous, which means that most of their adventures probably take place in the backyards. While families can certainly have some summer fun in their yards, some people like braving more uncertain terrains.

Believe it or not, all-terrain strollers exist for those occasions on which families will be strolling through rougher terrains. And, yes, these rougher terrains even include mountainous regions.

Of course, many families probably won’t be navigating rocky terrains with their babies. If they do, though, that’s totally fine. They just need to make sure that they keep their infants and toddlers safe in those types of environments.

Double Strollers

Lots of people have probably heard of double strollers. They are designed for families who need to carry around two children instead of one.

Twins are obvious candidates for double strollers, but parents don’t need twins to make good use of them. If parents have two children who happen to be close in age, double strollers should work just fine for them as well.

Note that not all double strollers have the same features. Some allow moms and dads to change the direction in which their children are facing. That said, do check out some buggy reviews before purchasing a double stroller.

Strollers for Infants and Toddlers

Strollers for infants and toddlers have to be some of the best budget-friendly baby buggies on the market. Some of these are customizable, meaning parents can make small tweaks as their babies grow older. Parents get a lot more use out of them in the long run.

If parents on a budget, they can also invest in convertible strollers which fall under some of the other categories listed here as well. There are, for instance, convertible single strollers which can be turned into double strollers.

Get the Perfect Baby Buggy for Your Little Ones

As frustrating as being a parent can be, it is also full of rewards. Before those rewards can be reaped, though, parents have to learn how to keep their babies safe, baby buggy and all.

But, hey, look at the bright side. They might not have to spend as much money on their buggies if they drop by Thrifty Momma every now and then. We have giveaways and life hacks which should help families keep to their budgets.

Oh, and if anyone has any stroller recommendations for the Thrifty Moms who are reading this, don’t hesitate to share them. We, as well as our mommas, love a good tip.