New Home for LittleMissKnowitAll

Posted by littlemissknowitall

March 19, 2010 | Leave a Comment

cincysavers

Thanks to Contentquake for being such a great home and host for so long!  But I’m no longer active here.  You can now find all of LittleMissKnowitAll’s new posts and content over at cincysavers.com!  There I share all the best deals of the week, but we also offer half price gift certificates, local business coupons and even printable grocery coupons!

You can also listen for me every Monday on Money-Saving Monday on the New Re-Wind 94.9, and on Tuesdays on the Jeff and Jen Morning Show on Q102 and the Chris Carr and Company morning show on B105!

Quick tip on Twitter

Posted by littlemissknowitall

May 14, 2009 | Leave a Comment

Note to bloggers and Twitter users who want to say not-nice things about other bloggers and twitter users:  make sure you’re actually DM’ing and not @’ing.  You may not have meant for those comments to be public–but they were.  And just because you delete them from the Twitter stream doesn’t mean they disappear off of Tweetdeck.  And since bloggers talk to other bloggers, and Twitter users can Retweet your tweets…it gets around.  So if you don’t want others to know what you’re talking about, then make doubly sure you’re in private mode first.

Oh, and instead of being jealous of someone’s media attention, how about contacting the media yourself and pitching story ideas?  Not everyone who is on tv asks for it (I don’t call em up and say ‘put me on tv!’), but many do, and its a much better idea to pitch original ideas than to sit around whining about others who do.

Thanks.

Summer Vacation on a Budget

Posted by littlemissknowitall

May 11, 2009 | 1 Comment

School’s almost out for the summer, and with it comes bored kiddos.  They whine and wait impatiently for it to come, but within two weeks you’ll hear them whining “But I’m B-O-O-R-E-D!!”  My solution is to have some sort of weekly plan to help!

Every year we set up a weekly plan.  Mondays are rest/play outside days.  Tuesdays are attraction days–we travel to a local attraction.  Wednesdays are ‘recover from the attraction’ days.  (Really, Mommy needs a day to recover, and so do the kids.)  Thursdays are errand running days.  And then we have Field trip Fridays, when we visit local free spots.  This really helps the kids know what to expect, and for me to know how to plan out the things I need to get done.

But on to the saving money part….you know I always have to share a money-saving tip.  ;)

I always recommend looking into season passes somewhere local.  We have two–one to the zoo, and one to the local amusement park.  We paid a little under $500 for the two–but they are invaluable!  For a family of four to the zoo, we pay just over $100.  The Cincinnati Zoo is in the top 5 zoos in the nation, and can keep my kids entertained (and educated!) for hours.  We go up at least every other week during the summer, and lots in the fall/winter too.  Our membership includes parking, train rides, tram rides (its a hilly park, very nice when you’ve got kids!) and the carousel.  Its a great deal!  Then we also have a season pass to Kings Island, the local amusement park.  Once a week in the morning we’ll hop in the car, have breakfast to go (cereal bars, anyone?) and hit the park as its opening.  Since it includes a special parking zone for season pass holders, we’re up front and ready to go!  We’ll spend the morning riding rides, stop for a picnic lunch and then head over to the water park, where we’ll splash around for a few hours, until 4, when we’ll pack up and head home, just beating the rush hour.  So for $350 a year, we get 6 hours of fun a week, 12 weeks out of the year.  Since its normally $30 a day per person, this is a great deal for us!  We’ll also take a few Saturdays and go as a family, or a weekend and meet grandparents or aunts and uncles there.  Those passes definitely get used!  And I swear, that for two days after Kings Island or the Zoo, my kids are little angels.  They’re so worn out and spun, bounced, swimmed out–they’re like little zombies for two days.  Its SO worth it!!

For Field Trip Fridays we’ll visit various places–the local conservatory, arboreteum, art museum, fire station, zoo, train station, airport, library, etc.  Where would your school take your kids on field trips?  We look for the cheapest (FREE) options, then head there.  Helps keep their brains active and boredom at bay!

Some other cheap entertainment…have the kids work on a play or talent show for a week–then get all the neighbors together for a big show!  This is a great idea for Fourth of July or the end of summer vacation.  Go on nature walks.  Take duck tape and wrap it around their wrists, inside out.  (Sticky side out.)  Let them pick up goodies they find along the way, sticking them to the tape.  Things like leaves, sticks, fossils, etc.  Neighborhood parades are always fun too!  And no, I don’t mean official ones.  Pick a date and invite the neighbor kids.  Each family can decorate their bikes, trikes, scooters, wagons and so on, then parade up and down the street one night!  This can be a one-home thing, or a whole street thing.  Put some oom-pah music on the radio and let the kids go at it!

There are tons of things you can do this summer–a little money spent in the beginning could go a long, long way!

Good Morning to Me!

Posted by littlemissknowitall

May 9, 2009 | Leave a Comment

What a wonderful thing to wake up to–my standing freezer, one of two, is above 32 degrees.  Its stuffed to the gills with green giant steamers and kraft cheese!  AAAARRRGGGGGHHHH!!!!

The other freezer is also stuffed to the gills…so now I need to figure out where to store all this food I’m frantically cooking up!  My husband has woken to the need to hump a freezer to the basement–and we don’t have a cart to do that with.

Oh what a fun day lies ahead!!

Burnout

Posted by littlemissknowitall

May 9, 2009 | Leave a Comment

Ah, so it IS possible to hit coupon overload!

I love what I do.  I always say that God gave me the job and ministry I never knew I always wanted.  Yet I seriously need a break!

In the past two weeks I’ve taught four classes, been on tv three times, done two more radio/magazine interviews, and run Littlemissknowitall.net. I’ve got three more classes next week.  I’ve kind of hit the edge on coupons!

I’ve gotten so busy teaching about coupons that I rarely actually get to use coupons.  Yesterday was my first serious run in at least six weeks.  The last big sale I hit up was the Kroger Mega Sale in March.

So even though there’s a giant coupon swap with all of my favorite coupon queens tonight, I’m taking a break for the weekend.  And even though I love what I do, I think I’ll be taking more in the future.  Seriously, I update Littlemissknowitall.net 7 days a week the past few months.  I need to start taking some time off each week!  Maybe Mondays…and Saturdays.  We’ll see!

KFC Madness

Posted by littlemissknowitall

May 7, 2009 | 1 Comment

It seems half the country was trying to take advantage of the free grilled chicken at KFC last night.  We swung by our local KFC on the way to church last night, thinking we’d have a nice family dinner.  I was expecting it to be busy, but wasn’t expecting this:

It was slammed.  You couldn’t even get into the parking lot.  I live in KY, and I have never seen KFC that busy!

And now it seems some stores aren’t honoring the coupon.  Either because they can’t keep up with demand, or because they just don’t want to.  As franchisees, the wording on the coupon allows them that decision.  So if you printed the coupon yesterday, make sure to call your local KFC before heading over to make sure they’re honoring the coupons.

I’m going to wait a few days and let things die down a bit.  Its been obvious to me that the local franchises weren’t prepared for this kind of response.  Several tales recount stories of stores running out of chicken, and others being woefully understaffed.  Since the coupons are valid until the 19th, I think I’ll just wait and have lunch with my friends another day!

Welcome!

Posted by littlemissknowitall

May 5, 2009 | Leave a Comment

Are you looking for coupon deals and matchups?  Looking for ways to save money on everyday items?  Then visit us over at Littlemissknowitall.net. If you’re looking for tips, general life musings, and the writings about the life of a coupon queen, then hang around!

Gardening and Life

Posted by littlemissknowitall

May 5, 2009 | Leave a Comment

I was sitting outside this morning, enjoying a cup of tea in my garden in the short time between monkey #1 heading off for school, and monkey #2 waking up.  It had already been an exciting morning–we woke to find that the baby birds right outside our front door were hatching.  That also meant Momma Robin was even more protective than before!  So I’d headed out to survey the garden, enjoy a little quiet time before the madness of the day ensued.

As the son rose and hit various parts of the garden, I was enjoying surveying all the beauties coming alive this spring after three years of work.  Yet as the sun rose further, it was highlighting all the weeds and problems in the garden as well.  That set me to thinking, and I made this vlog.


And yes, we live really, really close to the airport.  ;)

Do You Have What it Takes to Blog?

Posted by littlemissknowitall

April 25, 2009 | 1 Comment

Writing

There are a lot of blogs out there.  No really, according to technorati there are some 24 million blogs in the US alone.  Some good, some not so much.  Most of those 24 million blogs are personal blogs of people sharing their photos and stories with their family and friends.  I’m not going to comment on those, as personal blogs are personal, with a voice all of their own.

But many of those 24 million blogs are not personal blogs.  Somewhere along the way word got out that blogs were a money-making enterprise.  Somehow, some way, people got the impression that if you open a blog and just start writing about something, you’ll get ads and make a full time income in only a few hours a week.

And if you’ve ever actually blogged, you’d know that just isn’t true.

I’ve done pretty well at blogging.  I’ve been blogging for two years as a hobby, only in the last six months moving to a blog meant for large readership.  I can tell you after two years that its not as simple as write and make money.  It takes a lot more work than that—and even then, the bulk of blogs consider ourselves lucky if we can pay for the web fees and the water bill each month.

Many people think they should blog because they can, and they love whatever they’re talking about.  Others blog just because they want to make money.  Some are good writers and think they should write, so why not blog?  I want to suggest that only certain types of people should really attempt blogging.  I know I’ll offend some, but after two years of experiencing the ups and downs of blogging, I wanted to share what I’ve learned.

Its not enough to love your topic.  Everyone has something they’re excited about—a hobby, a pastime, a job—and they love talking to their friends and like-minded individuals about it.  There are a lot of bloggers out there who think that its enough to love talking about something.   I want to submit that I don’t think that’s enough.  When I first started blogging for Contentquake, my friend Joe at EachNoteSecure told me to only blog about things that I was truly passionate about.  Exited and knowledgeable is very different from true passion.   Do you wake up thinking about your topic?  Do you think about it several times a day?  Do you drive your family and friends (and everyone you meet in the grocery store lines) nuts talking about it?  That’s a blogger who’s going to have good success, in my experience.  I’ve blogged on politics, something I love.  I had decent readership, about 200 people a day.  But when I found my passion—teaching others to save money—that’s when my blogging went from a hobby to a successful blog.

See, its more than just loving to talk about something.  Its that burning, I-must-talk-to-someone-about-this-or-I will-burst, die-hard, annoy everyone you know kind of passion that makes a good blogger.  And here’s why—blogging is so much more than posting a couple times a week.  Its more than just sharing information.  Good, even great, blogs convey a passion in writing week in and week out.  Blogging is hard, you have to post regularly.  Everyone hits burnout and writer’s block.  Its those with the dying passion who make it past that.  Those who just love what they’re talking about—they often don’t come back.  Its just too much work!

Let me put this another way. If I didn’t have the blog, it would HURT. I would not just miss it—I would feel cooped up, like I wasn’t telling enough people. I’d be in the stores, on the message boards, at church, even at restaurants—anywhere I could tell people about saving money, that’s where I’d be.

Its that kind of passion that helps make a successful blogger. Others sense your passion and catch it. Not everyone will succeed, but having that kind of driving passion is what makes the difference between a blog that fizzles after a few months, and one that goes on for years. Some are even not such great writers–but the passion is so palpable, so contagious, that it doesn’t matter. Its that passion that gets bloggers beyond the normal barriers that pop up from time to time. That kind of driving passion makes all the difference in the world.

Ever had one of those days?

Posted by littlemissknowitall

April 13, 2009 | 1 Comment

Ever had one of those days where you have a job sitting in front of you, all the tools arranged and things set up, and you just can’t bring yourself to do the job?  I’m in that place.

Last week I took 36 hours and disappeared on a short retreat–some time just for me and God.  I got some much needed rest, took lots of time to pray and read, and just contemplate where my life is headed.  God was faithful–as he always is–and really gave me some good direction.  I left the retreat feeling rested and peaceful.  The hard part is learning to bring that kind of rest, peace and overall balance (there’s that word again!) into daily life.

So here I sit, matchups and deals to post, but all I want to do is go take a nap!  Or take a walk!  Enjoy a giggle or two.  Don’t get me wrong, I love being LittleMissKnowitAll.  Its the job God’s given me that I never knew I always wanted.  Its just sometimes, I wanna play a little hookey, and come back to the job later.  Anyone want to join me?


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