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Online Edition

Living a Better Life®
Changing Lives. One Budget at a Time.™

August 2015 - Volume 15, Issue 8
Copyright © by Blue Ridge Publishing, Inc.

Celebrating our 15th year of educating and encouraging frugal families around the world. Dedicated to helping families save money and live better since 2001.

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From the Editor...

We're back! Thank you for your patience while we've been hard at work moving our BetterBudgeting website over the summer. We still have many more pages to move but everything is completely accessible and easy to locate. Now we can enjoy our monthly ezine again and we are very grateful for all of your support. We hope this issue and every issue will be a blessing to you and your family. Please tell a friend about us today and invite them to join us. They'll be so glad you did!

Have you ever wished you could do something as well as other people? It seems to start in grade school, maybe even earlier. There's always someone who runs faster, reads better, writes with more passion, or draws like a professional artist at the age of 7. The list goes on and on, and doesn't stop when grade school is over. 

Thankfully, as we continue on through life we have many options to improve our skills. We can be (or do) better at just about anything we chose. Not everyone needs to be the fastest runner or the most talented artist. Nor does everyone have to be the BEST at managing money. However, when it comes to finances, all of us can do BETTER. And that's why we're here; to encourage, educate, and support each other in this incredible journey called LIFE. 

"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." - Lao Tzu

This issue is packed with goodies you won't want to miss! Including, Traveling to NYC on a Budget, August and September Sales updates, new printable budgeting worksheets for College Students and Medical Bills, Editor's Book of the Month (hint: frugal lunch box ideas!), details about our newly revised Tip Rewards (Pay it Forward) contest, new DIY frugal crafts and recipes to make, our Kids' Site and Laugh Out Loud Joke of the Month, Hot Topics, and, new coupons and discounts! 

How much money do you think we'll save this month? The more you read the more you'll save! 

Until next time... keep budgeting, saving, giving, and LIVING!

Blessings always,

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In This Issue

1) Featured Columns & Guest Articles
2) Free Budgeting Help
3) Editor's Book of the Month
4) Tip Rewards
5) DIY Frugal Crafts and Gifts
6) Frugal Family Recipes
7) Not Just for Kids
8) Hot Topics
9) Coupons and Deals
10) Membership Center

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The Better Budgeting Class
Next session begins October 12, 2015

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1) Featured Columns & Guest Articles

Traveling to New York City on a Budget
New York City is one of my favorite places to travel. I get a thrill seeing iconic places from the movies, catching a Broadway show, seeing the lights of Times Square, hours of shopping and even hitting the beach. All of this fun and pleasure comes at a price though and that's why over the years of traveling to NYC once a year I've learned... read more 

Alfresco August Savings (Annual Sales Calendar Update)
It’s August and summer is sizzling inside and outside of the shops as sales heat up. This year retailers hope to score good grades with their back-to-school savings. So, strap on your backpack and head out to the store with your kids. You can expect to find many alluring deals and discounts to help out with what many parents call... read more

Super September Savings (Annual Sales Calendar Update)
Don't go running indoors yet! It’s still summer at least until September 23rd, according to daylight savings time. There are bright days ahead for late night shopping, plus with the Labor Day holiday (1st Monday in September), you can guarantee that there will be sidewalk sales, promotions, and... read more

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2) Free Budgeting Help

Visit our Better Budgeting page to view more of our budgeting topics and resources. If a friend has shared this issue with you please sign up for your own free membership on the web site or at the end of this issue. Membership includes two free ebooks in your Welcome Letter. If you're already a member and missed these gifts ("Dealing with Debt" and "101 Coupon Tips") send an email to freeebook@betterbudgeting.com and we'll gladly resend them to you.

New Worksheets: We've added 2 new printable worksheets to help with your family budgeting. The first one is for College Students needing to manage their money, maybe out on their own for the first time. The second worksheet is for managing Medical Bills, which we always seem to have way too many of. UGH! 

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3) Editor's Book of the Month

Weelicious Lunches: Think Outside the Lunch Box with More Than 160 Happier Meals
"Filled with lots of great menu planning ideas; tips, tricks, and reusable product suggestions to make lunch fun; inspiring color photographs, advice on dealing with food allergies and so-called picky eaters; and more than 160 tried and true recipes, Weelicious Lunches takes lunchtime planning from hassle to joy!"

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4) Tip Rewards

"Pay it Forward" Money Saving Tip of the Month

We're excited to announce our NEW monthly Tip Rewards contest! The awesome rewards are still the same (25.00 cash and clipped grocery coupons valued over 200.00) but the submission guidelines are a little different and should make it even easier for you to win. Now, instead of trying to submit a NEW money-saving tip that hasn't been shared already (not so easy to do after our many years of sharing tips), we invite you to "Pay it Forward" and send us a brief story about your favorite financial or money saving tip that has been passed down to you by a family member, friend, mentor, or elder. Example: Your mom, dad, aunt or uncle, grandparent, teacher, caregiver, employer, pastor, friend, neighbor, just about anyone! 

Submission Guidelines: Please include as much information about your tip as you can, such as the special TIP someone shared with you, WHO that person is (name and relationship - or anonymous), and HOW you have been able to use the tip to save money either recently or over the years. You may also include anything you'd like to add or specify about the tip or person who shared it. Submissions will edited for spelling, grammar, and punctuation if needed.

Submit your Tip Reward story to editor@betterbudgeting.com

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5) DIY Frugal Crafts and Homemade Gifts

Birth bath with clay pots

How to Make a Birdbath with Clay Pots
This beautiful birdbath is relatively inexpensive to make. I made it out of Terra Cotta Pots. I bought the pots and small saucer for 1.00 each (on sale) and the larger saucer for 7.00. The pretty blue glass beads were left over from my wedding. they were originally purchased from... read more

Ombre Glass Vase

How to Make an Ombre Glass Vase with Repurposed Wine Bottle
Home décor projects can add new color to a dull room, but they tend to be very costly. Follow this craft project to add a fresh look to a bedroom without breaking the bank in the process. Repurpose a wine bottle using... read more

Crafters: We'd love to feature your frugal craft and gift idea in our next issue. If you're not a crafter but know someone who is please invite them to join us. You do not have to be a professional writer to submit. We offer free editing when needed. Craft articles for our next issue need to be submitted no later than the 15th of the month.

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6) Frugal Family Recipes

Chicken with veggies and bowtie pasta

Chicken and Vegetables with Bowtie Pasta
Here's a one-dish meal I put together when chicken was on a great BOGO sale at Publix. It takes a little time to prepare but it's simple and only requires a few ingredients. And, it turned out FABULOUS! Get recipe...

Chicken Alfredo

Easy Chicken Alfredo
Here's another one of our favorite chicken dinners that is quick and easy to make. It's not as fancy as homemade but it gets an A+ from mom and dad on a busy school night. Extra bonus points: The kids love it! Get recipe...

Frugal Cooks: Do you have a recipe to share that could help our frugal families save money and feed their family on a budget? If so, please submit your recipe(s) today at editor@betterbudgeting.com. If selected, your recipe may be printed on our recipe blog, and in our next issue, so be sure to let us know if you'd like us to include your name or if you'd prefer to share anonymously. You may also include a photo of your recipe, though it is not required. Thank you for your frugal love and support. We could not do this without your help! :o)

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7) Not Just for Kids

Kids' Site of the Month

Why is the Ocean Important?
The ocean covers 70% of Earth's surface. Learn more at nasa.gov/ocean...

Laugh Out Loud Joke of the Month

How does the ocean say hello?
Answer located at the end of next section!

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8) Hot Topics

China’s 'Black Monday' Spreads Stock Market Fears Worldwide
Stock market jitters spread throughout Asia and the rest of the world, and Wall Street sustained a major plunge (down more than 1,000 points within just a few minutes of open), after Chinese stocks recorded their biggest slump in eight years during what China’s state media dubbed “Black Monday"... “A lot of questions are being asked by investors,” said Chris Weston, chief markets strategist at IG in Melbourne. “This is a confidence game, and when you don't have confidence, you press the sell button.” Read more at The Washington Post... 

Fed Might Not Raise Rates as Expected
In a note to clients on Monday afternoon, Barclays economists Michael Gapen and Rob Martin wrote that US financial market conditions have deteriorated in recent weeks, and this has, in effect, tightened financial conditions already. This move comes as many expected as recently as last month that the Fed would raise rates for the first time since July 2006 at their September 16-17 meeting... in addition to tighter financial conditions, "our decision to delay our outlook for the tightening cycle stems from the effects of a stronger US dollar, lower oil prices, and weak global demand on our outlook for US inflation." Read more at Business Insider...

Chipotle to Hire 4,000 New Workers in One Day
The company said Monday that it's planning a mass hiring for September 9 that would increase its workforce by about 6.7%. On that day, every Chipotle across the U.S. will open early to interview 60 applicants at each location. The new hires will be in entry-level positions that earn an average hourly pay of $10 an hour and get a 401(K). Chipotle also began offering all staff access to paid vacations and tuition reimbursements in July. Read more at CNN...

Turning Summer Internships Into Jobs
As the end of the summer approaches, many rising seniors and recent graduates are wrapping up their summer internships. Fortunately, many companies do extend job offers to current and former interns. So, how can you make sure that you'll be one of the interns to make the transition into a full-time-employee? Even with numbered days left in your internship, you still have time to increase your chances of getting hired now or down the road. Read more at USA Today....

Belk: Largest Family-Owned Department Store Chain in the U.S. to Be Sold
Charlotte-based, Belk Inc., has agreed to be purchased by New York-based private equity firm Sycamore Partners for 3 billion, including the company’s debt. The deal effectively ends local control of the 127-year-old company that began in Monroe and grew into the largest family-owned department store chain in the U.S. Belk stressed that the its leadership and merchandise offerings will remain largely unchanged after the deal, though analysts say new owners may try to make the chain more profitable through initiatives like store closures and job cuts. Read more at The Charlotte Observer...  

Back to School: Why August is the New September
There are more than 12,000 school districts in the country, and all sorts of laws and reasons govern when they can start and who decides. All the education experts I spoke with seemed to agree that through the 1980s, Labor Day still ruled. But by the mid-1990s, especially in the South, districts began to hop aboard the August train. The last time schools started after Labor Day in my current home of Atlanta, it was 1996. This year, districts in states from Florida to Kansas to California will start in August and end around Memorial Day. Read more at CNN...

(Answer: It WAVES!)

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9) Coupons and Deals

Printable Grocery Coupons - Save more by printing coupons each week on our grocery site.

Free Birthday Treats - Help us continue building our delicious list of places that offer free birthday desserts, dinners, coffee, and more!

Publix Digital Coupons - Looks like it's been awhile since I shopped for groceries at Publix. (Love the store, and the BOGOs, just not the crazy-high prices for items not on sale.) They may be a little late to the digital coupon party, having not required a shopper's "rewards card" previously, but now you can sign up for their extra coupons online with your My Publix account and add them to your order when checking out at the store. Simply by entering your phone number. No card required. Kudos to Publix!

10-15% Off Gift Cards - We're not sure how long this temporary price cut will last but at least for now you can save up to 10% off digital gift cards at Target and 15% off iTunes gift cards in store and online.

1.00 Atlanta Sunday Newspaper - Get the Sunday Atlanta Journal Constitution delivered locally for 1.00 a week with 13 or 26 week subscription. This is the lowest price we've ever seen on the AJC Sunday paper!

Popeyes Coupons - Check your local Popeyes restaurant for new coupons. Ours is offering a 5 piece chicken dinner with 2 sides and 2 biscuits for 7.99, or a free 2 piece dinner with purchase of 3 piece dinner and 2 drinks.

Free Cheryl's Cookies - Get 6 cookies and pay only S&H of 6.99, AND, receive a 10.00 reward card for next purchase at Cheryl's Cookies.

Have extra coupons you are not going to use? Please consider helping out with our Military Family Coupon Project. Expired coupons (up to 6 months past the expiration date) can still only be accepted overseas. Our base lists are updated every month. As more of our troops are coming home please donate your unused current coupons to military families locally. Thank you to all of our volunteers!

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10) Membership Center

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