Category: Frugal Living Tips

5 Ways Laser Eye Surgery Helps Parents Literally Keep an Eye on Kids

Laser eye surgery has come a long way in the last 20 years. 

Though some remain skeptical about the process, laser eye correction has proven time and time again to help with long-standing vision issues in people. If you’re a parent, you might find laser surgery particularly helpful to keep an eye on your kids.

When you require glasses or contact lenses to get through the day, you’ve almost certainly run into an instance when you’ve misplaced your glasses or dropped your last contact lens on the floor. Picture going through that with a small child in the equation as well. 

In this post, we’re going to give you 5 ways that laser eye surgery can quite literally help you raise your children. You don’t have to go through parenthood blind anymore.

Laser Surgery Will Help You Keep an Eye On Your Kids

There are countless case studies that show the positive effects of laser vision correction improving the quality of life for parents. It’s true that many have concerns about the cost and recovery period from this procedure, but a little research will show you that they’re unfounded.

Most people report having 20/20 vision shortly after the procedure and it’s actually become quite affordable for a life-changing process. Besides, can you really put a price on your own vision?

1. Long-Term Cost

While the instant cost of Lasik is more than a pair of glasses or a few boxes of contacts, it’s more affordable in the long-term. If you never have to buy those eye care items again, you’re looking at a lot of money saved in the months and years to come. 

2. Supervision

Being able to see without any corrective lenses, you’re simply going to be able to look after your children more effectively.

Little kids need to basically be followed around at all hours of the day. If you can rely on your vision, then there’ll never be any worries about what a child might get into or run off doing. It’ll take a lot off your mind when you can supervise your kids without any trouble.

3. Your Quality of Life

Your own quality of life should take some precedence, as well. The relief of being able to see without glasses cannot be understated. Because of smartphones and laptops, not that many of us have 20/20 vision anymore.

You’ll have a new lease on life when you can get up in the morning and see the sun shining through your bedroom window without putting your glasses on first.

4. Driving 

Whether you’re driving your infant child around while you run errands or you’re driving your teenage child to their extracurriculars, getting them there safe is always the top priority. With corrected vision, you’ll be able to drive anywhere, anytime, without vision aids.

Many people are only prescribed glasses for driving, which leads to many people ignoring those prescriptions. Get laser eye correction and you’ll never have to worry about this huge safety issue.

5. Time Saver During Emergencies

Having kids means that someone else’s life is in your hands. Any parent will tell you that when an emergency happens with your child, it’s hard not to go into panic mode.

When these emergencies occur in the middle of the night, you’ll save so much time by being able to act without having to find your glasses first. It’ll give you a sense of calm and allow you to handle the emergency effectively.

It’s Time to See the Light

Raising kids is difficult enough with great vision, so there’s no reason that you should do it blindly. If you can keep an eye on them, then your life is going to be a lot easier. See your eye doctor today to find out if you’re a candidate for laser eye correction.

If you found this post helpful, come back and visit us for more on parenting and family life.

A Beginner’s Guide to Sports Handicapping: Everything Worth Knowing

Did you know that 42% of U.S. sports fans are betting on their games? The negative stigma surrounding sports betting is fading. Before you jump into sports betting, you should understand the basics of handicapping. 

There’s more to sports betting than having high “sports IQ” or following the culture and politics. Sports handicapping is what determines the odds, which in turn determines your winnings. The odds for the Lakers to win it all next season are low, which is why they’re handicapped to pay out big.

Let’s break it down a little more to see how professional bettors use handicaps to their favor.

How Sports Handicapping Works

There are two types of handicapping in sports: Vegas odds and individual odds. Vegas’ spread is not always about who will win or lose, it’s about creating favorable betting conditions. That is, to favor the house, of course.

For example, look at the odds between two evenly-matched teams, i.e. a repeat matchup of last year’s NBA finals. Golden State Warriors will receive a slight disadvantage if no major roster changes happen. The handicaps will look similar to this:

  • Warriors +10
  • Raptors -10

These odds don’t look very appetizing to new bettors. It’s the proverbial toss-up, but this is a good example of how Vegas makes its money. 

In this scenario, you would need to look at the betting line. If you have a lot of disposable income, you could actually make money betting for the favorites (the Raptors). For example, if the money line is $500, you would make $100 for betting the Raptors.

Things get a little more appetizing when looking at point spreads. 

Cover the Spread

It may appear that betting a lot of money on regular-season games on teams that aren’t favorites is all risk for little reward. That’s not the case when you factor in the point spread. Using the previous game scenario, you can bet that the Warriors will lose by ~10 points. 

The Warriors still have an amazing team and it’s a regular-season game. If they keep it a close game, even if they lose, you still cover the spread and win. The handicap odds in sports betting make every game competitive.

Beating Vegas at Their Game

The handicaps that are given out for every game, nearly every sport, and everything in-between aren’t infallible. The oddsmakers are very good at what they do, but they’re subject to biases, too.

Professional bettors know this and they take advantage of any edge that comes their way. For instance, it’s not uncommon for betting odds to drastically change throughout the week before a big game. This is because as new information comes in, oddsmakers have to adjust the handicap to maintain the house advantage.

Well, as any sports fan knows, news leaks and inside information can change the outcome of any game. If you do your research, you can definitely outsmart the smartest of bookies. The tradeoff is needing to devote a lot of time into combing stats, injury updates, and multiplying that for every game you bet on.

For hardcore sports fans, they already do this on their own anyway. Does mixing business and pleasure work, though?

Maximizing Value

To succeed as a sports bettor, you can’t bet as a fan. You have to leave all emotions out of your decisions. This is purely logical, value-based research. 

To get around this distraction of fandom, a lot of sports fans will keep their betting to sports they only casually watch. Or, if there’s a sport that doesn’t have any local market, you can avoid “homerism” completely.

Part of the reason why you can’t afford to invite hometeam biases is due to how Vegas places odds. You may feel personally slighted if they put your team on a 20-point handicap. “My team will easily cover that spread,” is what you say to yourself.

There are some sports bettors who can use their intimate knowledge of home teams to their advantage. This takes experience and lots of self-discipline. 

When learning the ropes, you should focus on betting volume and increasing the value of bets. You can do this by searching for betting incentives and joining sites that have loyalty programs. Gambling professionally is all about minimizing losses and maximizing the value of every bet. 

Once you master the art of point spreads and leveraging your winnings, you can break away from the bad habits associated with gambling “degens.” That means not risking your savings or food budget because of your favorite teams tanking. This is a numbers game, so if you’re a stats person, you’ll feel right at home.

Tips for Beginners

Rule number one for anyone joining a sports betting site: don’t pay for picks! There are plenty of places that offer free picks, they want you to check it out risk-free. These are the best places to test out and compare betting tools, strategies, and overall functionality.

The easier it is for you to place bets and view statistics/scores at a glance, the better your decision-making will become. It’s also nice to find a site with a sports news ticker so you’re always in the loop. 

Filtering Through the Noise

Sports betting is part science and part self-discipline. It’s nice to find a place with expert advice on industry picks. But, don’t rely too much on what experts advertise as gospel.

Expert handicappers have a vested interest in selling picks that benefit their own profits. Eventually, you’ll learn how to digest all this information about sports handicapping and get into a good rhythm of betting. As long as you don’t approach betting as a complete crapshoot, you can carve out a decent income.

Apply the lessons and strategies on passive income and budgeting found all throughout this blog. Thrifty Momma Ramblings is a great place to learn how to responsibly gamble and earn a little extra spending money on the side. Surprise your husband or kids with your newfound sports betting knowledge!

Hiring Movers? 5 Tips To Find the Best on a Budget

For many, moving is one of the most exciting but also most stressful life events. It needs detailed organizing and a hefty budget, but luckily, it doesn’t have to be a dreaded day, nor does it have to take a toll on your wallet.

With a little planning and the right moving company, you can settle into your new home hassle-free and happy.

Start by doing thorough research on the companies you’d like to hire. Ask family and friends for recommendations, and don’t go for the cheapest option.

Keep reading to discover 5 ways to lower the cost of hiring movers and find the most affordable moving company.

1. Do Proper Research

Moving on a budget doesn’t have to be low-quality or stressful. In fact, with proper research, you can find a great affordable moving company. Start by looking for local companies online and look through their websites and social media channels.

There’s a lot to discover about a company through their online presence and the way they talk to their customers. Read customer reviews thoroughly, and contact potential companies to see how they communicate.

2. Ask for Recommendations

The safest way to find a reliable moving company is to ask for recommendations from family and friends. Write down every detail you learn about the companies, write down contact information, and anything that might be useful for you.

When you narrow down your choice, make a list of the companies and contact each one individually to get an estimate. You’ll get the most accurate quote if you can get an in-house estimate from the movers.

3. Compare Movers

Once you have a list of cheap moving companies, take some time to compare them. Compare prices, online reviews, availability, and offers/packages.

This will give you a better feel of value for money, and what you’ll need to do yourself, and what to delegate to the movers.

4. Reduce the Amount of Stuff

During moving, you’ll realize just how much stuff you’ve accumulated. The best way to start fresh and save money is to reduce the load. As you pack each room, set aside all the things you don’t use anymore, and that are broken, old, or outdated.

This will help you snag a great deal with the moving company because the less stuff you have, the lower the price.

5. Choosing the Right Time to Move

The time of year you choose to move can affect hiring movers cost, with peak season being between May and September. During the off-season, moving companies typically lower their prices, and if you move in the middle of the month, you’ll save even more money.

Make sure to book the movers well in advance so you can prepare better and have everything ready on moving day.

Get the Best Cost of Hiring Movers With These Tips!

Whether you’re moving across town or to a new city or state, moving is rarely easy and hassle-free.

These tips will help you lower the cost of hiring movers and reduce the stress of moving day.

Need more thrifty tips? Check out some of the other money-saving and frugal living articles we’ve written.

How to Get the Best Massage at the Best Price

When you get home from work, you try to relax, but your back is sore and your feet are killing you! Aching muscles are a real pain, but most muscle soreness goes away with a little massage.

The ancient treatment of massage therapy is still very popular today! In the US, 15.4 million adults use massage to relieve their muscle pain!

There’s only one problem. Paying for professional massages can get very expensive! How can you afford that?

We’re here to help! Keep reading to learn some tips and tricks for getting the best massage possible, no matter what your budget is!

Look for Coupons and New Customer Deals

Everyone loves a good sale and getting a great deal on a massage will have your muscles and your wallet feeling good! Many massage therapists offer coupons from time to time if you know where to look.

One great place to look is Groupon or other marketing groups. They offer coupons for different massage therapists in your area. Discounts vary from person to person, so be sure to know how much your therapist charges for a massage before a discount.

Also, check with all the local massage therapists to see if they are running any specials or if they offer a new client deal. Not all therapists can afford marketing, but they are more than willing to offer a little discount for you to give them a try. Before you make a decision, check out client reviews to make sure your chosen therapist knows their stuff.

Get the Best Massage at Home

There are tons of at-home massage machines on the market at every price range. Big spenders can go for a massage recliner so you can get a full-body massage while watching TV! If the big stuff is not in your budget, spring for a smaller, more area-specific body massager.

Some machines attach to your favorite chair (or your office chair) and massage your back when switched on. Now, any chair you have transforms into a massage chair!

One of the most enjoyable experiences after being on your feet all day is a good foot massage! Check out online reviews to find the best foot massager for your needs. Voila, no need to hassle your significant other anymore!

Check out the Massage Therapy Schools

One of the best ways to find a discounted professional massage is to go to a massage therapy school! Most massage schools offer discounted or free massages so their students have clients to fine-tune their skills on.

Yes, these are students, so they don’t have a ton of experience in the field yet, but rest assured that every student has done enough study to know how to work out your knots. There are even teachers nearby in case the students need a little guidance.

If you can, try to pick a student massage therapist who is about to graduate. Those are the students who know all their techniques already so you have the best chance of getting an amazing massage.

Check with your local massage therapist school before you go. Some schools insist that “clients” book their appointments in advance while other schools allow walk-ins. If you’re short on time, you should make an appointment so you don’t have to sit in the waiting room for a long time.

Save a Few Bucks Every Day

When you have no expendable funds to spend on a massage, try making little changes to save a few pennies here and there. Anytime you save money, add it to your massage fund jar. Once you have enough money in the jar, go get a relaxing rubdown!

Go through your closets and take out any clothes that no longer fit or that you don’t want to wear anymore. Take those items to a local consignment shop or even sell them yourself online or in a yard sale! You’ll never guess how much money you have lying around in goods you don’t want or need anymore!

Instead of going out to lunch or ordering delivery food, pack a lunch from home (like last night’s leftovers)! If you save $5 a day by not eating out for lunch, you’ll have $50 in only 2 weeks!

Ask a Friend or Family Member

If you are in pain and you have no money to set aside for the massage fund, there is one more option. You can always ask a family member or a friend to give you a massage.

You may have a massage therapist in your family, or your friend has her massage license. Offer to pay them for their services, but they may insist on giving you the family discount.

Try suggesting to your significant other that you exchange full-body massages before bed. That way you both get to feel better, for free! All you need is a little massage oil or lotion and a place to lay down!

No matter who is willing to work out your muscle pain, be sure to show your gratitude in some way. If they feel like you didn’t appreciate their kindness, there’s not going to be a second massage!

Treat Your Self… to a Full Body Massage!

No matter if you enjoy a home massage or if you go to a fancy spa for a professional one, massage is a great way to relieve your muscle aches and pains. Regardless, any massage that makes you and your body feel good is the best!

If you can, spring for a massage that is more of a full-body affair because your pain can originate in surprising places. 

We hope you enjoyed reading this article and that you learned one or two ways to help you afford the best massage you can get! If you need more advice on saving money and getting thrifty, check out the rest of our blog posts today!

Cruising With Kids? 8 Brilliant Tips on Taking a Cruise With the Family

What if you were trapped on a boat with uncontrollable monsters?

We’re not talking about the latest Hollywood horror movie. Instead, we’re talking about taking a cruise with your kids.

A cruise can be a magical experience for your entire family. Or it can be a trip from hell that leaves you longing for home (which is one reason why many cruises entirely forbid kids).

Wondering how to make cruising with kids easy and fun? Keep reading to discover our best tips!

1. Do Your Homework

When adults plan a cruise for themselves, they usually focus on exotic destinations and not the cruise itself. When you’re taking kids on a cruise, you need to have a different set of priorities.

For example, you’ll want to see what kinds of childcare options are available. This helps to determine whether you and your spouse can actually enjoy any one-on-one time during the cruise.

You’ll also want to research meal options and times. If your kids are picky eaters, it’s important to know that they’ll have food to look forward to.

Other factors include the cost of the cruise, the time of the cruise, and the size of the room (more on that later). Your goal is to not have any unwanted surprises once the cruise begins.

2. Child Activities and Clubs

The good news is that most cruises have special activities and clubs for kids. The bad news is that some of these activities and clubs are better than others.

Before your trip, check out what age level the cruise club is designed for. And really explore the potential activities to see if they are something your children will enjoy.

If your children are in different age groups, check to see if multiple clubs are available. The last thing you want is a surly teenager stuck doing basic kiddie activities.

3. Test Voyage

Obviously, there are many cruise options, with some being longer than others. Take it from us: you should try a shorter cruise first to see how the kids handle it.

No matter how much research you do, a shorter trip is your best way of finding out how kids react to the cruise experience. You’ll want to know if it stresses them out, if they get seasickness, and so on.

And you can still make a short trip feel very special. Pick one designed for a holiday to make some very special memories. If you’re lucky, you may just kick off a new family tradition!

4. Saving Money

Let’s face it: cruises are always going to be an expensive vacation. However, it’s important to try to save money, both before and during your vacation.

If the destination isn’t too important, you can afford to be selective about the cruise. This lets you find a trip that is suitable for your budget.

One area where it makes sense to “splurge” a little bit is the cabin itself. You typically get what you pay for, and trying to cram your entire family into a tiny cabin is a decision you will regret almost right away.

Pay special attention to cruises that offer free or reduced rates for children. This alone can save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars!

5. The Day Before

What do you think causes the most anxiety during a family vacation? The surprising answer is “time management.” It can be stressful to herd slow children from one place to another when you are on a strict schedule.

That’s why we recommend arriving at least one day before the cruise begins. This helps you settle in and avoid the stress of last-minute packing and racing down the road to arrive on time.

And the extra day can also help children physically and mentally adjust to their vacation. That means they are likelier to have a positive frame of mind once you set sail (harder to do if they are still shrugging off jet lag)

6. Trips to Shore

Taking a trip to shore with your family can be a pricey proposition. If you can afford it, though, this can make for an unforgettable experience.

These excursions can let you visit cool destinations in exotic cities all around the world. Alternatively, they can let you enjoy some “fun in the sun” on a faraway beach.

To really win some points with your children, make them part of the process. Kids are usually very excited to plan some aspect of your family vacation.

Such an excursion also gives them something to look forward to and makes for a nice change of pace and environment during the cruise.

7. Cabin Fever

Many couples bring their children on a cruise because they want to recreate their fun experience on the ocean. However, what works for a couple doesn’t always work for a family, especially when it comes to the cabin.

A typical cabin is very small. This is usually fine for a young couple, but a family (even a small family) may be way too cramped inside this space.

It’s worth trying to get a stateroom that has features such as dividing curtains and a balcony. These, along with separate seating areas, can give everyone a bit more room and privacy.

8. Safety Gear

As you know, being on a cruise is like being in a small city. It’s important to bring the right safety gear to keep track of your family and keep them all coordinated.

Walkie-talkies are a great way to quickly communicate with your family. They are more effective in certain areas than cellphones and are especially good for children who do not have a phone of their own.

You’ll also want dry-erase boards or post-it notes so you can leave messages for each other back in the cabin. This helps reduce the panic of wondering “where is everyone?”

Don’t forget to see if the cruise has a special app. This can provide yet another way for your family to keep in touch.

Cruising With Kids: Making Magic Memories

Now you have our top tips for cruising with kids. But do you know who can help get you on the ocean quicker?

We understand cruises are expensive. To see how we can help you save money for your family cruise, check out our tips for working parents to earn extra money!

7 Seriously Fun, Low-Cost, Fall Activities for Families

Doesn’t the word “autumn” perfectly represent the season?

What other word could be better suited to describe all that fall goodness of breezy, cozy, laidback days, long walks down pretty roads, and some well-spent time with the family.

Of course, finding fall activities for families can be hard. Sometimes it’s too expensive, and sometimes it’s hard to get everyone on the same page. But here at Thrifty Momma Ramblings, we happen to know that good things don’t require a big budget.

So here are 7 super fun, cost-effective fall activities that the whole family is bound to enjoy!

1. Nothing Says Wholesome Family Fun Like Camping

The fall is such a beautiful time to spend some time with nature. Pack up your bags and board games and head out to a camping spot to create some lovely, happy family moments.

2. Pre-Halloween Adventures at a Pumpkin Patch

It’s fall and Halloween all at once. It’s fall-oween!

And nothing represents this than a full-grown Colorado Pumpkin Patch! Get your kids in the car and drive off to pick and choose some delicious pumpkins for the fall.

3. A Graveyard Exploration for the History and Thrill

And speaking of Halloween, how about a graveyard tour? Granted not every family may enjoy this, but if you think yours would – go ahead! It’ll be a fantastic time to explore some beautiful graveyards and historic cemeteries.

A little insight into the unknown for the whole family!

4. Have the Best Kind of Fight – A Leaf Fight

Leaves all around you? Perfect to mess around in, and your kids will love it. Get the whole family outside in the sunshine, basking in the breezy beauty of the fall.

5. Go Fly a Kite Together!

This is super fun in two parts. You can have a blast making a kite together, and then flying it together. Head off to your local park or another open space and indulge in some fall fun.

6. Scare Boredom Away with a Scarecrow

You don’t have to live on a farm to build a good old scarecrow! You just need an imagination. If you want to make it even more fun, make up a whole story behind the scarecrow. Maybe give him a wife and a family just like your own!

Let your kids create rich back stories for them and watch their creativity unfold.

7. Have a Family Baking Session With Hot Chocolate After!

Grab some delicious recipes online, pick up the ingredients and start baking some amazing pies, tarts, and all that good fall food. Make sure everyone is involved and contributing in any little way they can.

Once you are done baking, make some hot chocolate and enjoy a lovely, warm feast together

Want the Best Fall Activities for Families? Get the Whole Family Involved!

The best fall activities for families are the ones that everyone’s on board with. Get the whole family involved in the fall planning and let them weigh-in on what they think the family should do. Follow at least one of everyone’s suggestions, and brace yourselves for an amazing time together!

Want more cost-effective lifestyle ideas? Follow us on Facebook for fun, informative content on fashion, health, and everyday living!

Making a Quilt: 4 Essential Tips for Quilting on a Budget

Quilting was once the pride of thrifty pioneer women. These days, they’re becoming handy projects for the modern-day woman.

And we modern ladies love to be thrifty as well. But if you’re new to the scene, gathering up all of the supplies and fabric takes some extra money we might not have lying around.

The nice thing is that making a quilt doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. There are certain ways to cut back the costs and keep this craft both thrifty and beautiful.

Keep reading to learn more!

1. Repurpose Fabric

We all have clothes and bedding that we should have thrown away long ago but don’t have the heart to do it yet. Well, when it comes time to find cheap quilting fabric, those are the best places to start looking.

Quilting is perfect for the recycle and reuse mentality.

The best part is that finding fabric within your closet ensures that the fabric is unique instead of generic.

2. Never Throw Away Fabric Scraps

Throughout a quilting project, you’re bound to have many different fabric scraps leftover. Make sure to hang on to them for future projects!

You can come up with many interesting designs using up all of those fabric scraps. It’ll push you to think outside the box and the result will be something you’d never have come up with on your own.

If the scraps are too small to work with, then save them for stuffing instead. That’ll cut back on costs even more.

3. Stick to the Basics

There are a lot of unnecessary bells and whistles on the market these days. But it doesn’t matter if you prefer to sew by hand or by a Fabric Bash Quilting machine. It’s always best to keep to the basics.

This not only cuts back on costs for fancy equipment, but it also makes the entire process easier. If you’re an experienced quilter, then branching out might be the right decision for you.

But if you’re a quilter with a budget, then stick to only what you need.

4. Buy in Smaller Batches

When you’re first starting out, it’s far too easy to buy up every cute fabric you see. But this is not good practice for those of us on a budget.

You should still buy that inspirational fabric, but buy it in a smaller yard size. Instead of going with a full yard, get a quarter of a yard instead. You don’t end up using as much fabric as you might first think.

Plus, if you ever end up needing more of one particular fabric, it’s better to go back out and buy more instead of hoarding. You’ll save space in your crafting room and you’ll save money at the same time!

Making a Quilt Is the Perfect Way to Use Up Old Materials

Next time you go through some old clothes, save them! Some of those blouses might be the perfect material for making a quilt that is unique and catered to your style. After all, you’ve kept that blouse for this long, you must love the design.

Instead of throwing it away, use it as the star for your next quilting project. You’ll never have to say goodbye to your favorite outfits again!

For more thrifty content, check out the rest of our blog!