Realistic Budget Tips from a Full-Time Working Mom


Who doesn’t enjoy saving money these days? Kids, gas, groceries, life. We are all looking to save a buck here and there.

My whole life I have grown up shopping “sales” thanks to my budget conscious parents.  Thankfully, this has helped me in my adult life and has helped me save and budget money through the years.  

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy Starbucks and other ‘splurge-worthy’ items. Speaking of Starbucks, if you go here in any capacity you better have the app downloaded on your phone! You earn free drinks, and they also offer promos from time to time.




In fact, many chain restaurants have apps. It may be annoying to have another app on your phone, but ultimately it’s saving you money for the hassle! Who doesn’t like Chick-fil-Al?!  To find these apps you search on your phone’s app store. These are FREE APPS!  Take advantage.

Even Fry’s (Kroger) has an app you can download coupons. Frys every week has a coupon for four times the amount of points than what you purchase; that will help you rake up those fuel points.   

Coupon Mailers

Coupon mailers are another good, easy and inexpensive way to save money. These are the mailers that we consider junk mail. They are worth a double look! Especially Val-packs!  Bosa donuts does a free donut every week! Sweeties Candy Store puts a coupon out for two free candy bars! Many neighborhood restaurants put ads in the mailers as well, especially pizza like Papa Murphy’s and Barro’s.

Digitally, follow some of the sales groups that share lighting deals. (Warning, if you’re trying to control spending, this may not be a great idea, but for those who really shop sales, they can be helpful.) Our favorite one: FabYOUless Finds by Tara.

Forgo Groupon

I know we all know about Groupon, but did you know you can call the business directly and they will give you those rates. Groupon takes a cut from these businesses’ so the business would appreciate you going directly to them and asking for the current deal. This greatly helps out those small businesses out there!

If you haven’t tried the Get Out Pass, you need to. We’ve saved a ton of money by having a pass for each family member this year. It’s an annual pass you access on your phone (an app) with more than 75 attractions you get in for FREE with the pass. 

It includes attractions for kids entertainment (Uptown Jungle, Extreme Gravity Zone, KTR Chandler, laster tag, Fatcats, etc.), athletics games (Rattlers, Mercury, etc.) and even date night ideas (ax throwing, escape rooms and even shooting ranges). 

We paid $45 for the pass and have redeemed it so far for $105 worth of admissions just at three locations so far (Pangea: Land of the Dinosaurs, Uptown Jungle and KTR Chandler).

Protip: we have a discount code for you! Use XOXOEVM for the best possible discount on the pass.

Meal Planning

We all hate it, but it helps save how much you are spending on groceries. Plan out the meals for the week and sit down and write a list. Ordering groceries ahead can help the pocketbook, too. We all know it’s hard to avoid impulse food buying at the grocery store.

One hack some of us swear by: Citrus Pear! It’s a freezer meal prep class that leaves you with a month of ready-to-cook meals that are dump and go (and no weird cream soups EVER included in them). 

We’ve done the math, and Citrus Pear comes out to $2.28/serving, that’s half the price of a happy meal, and so much healthier, too. Classes are offered in Queen Creek, Maricopa, Mesa and Gilbert and each month’s menu is new and seasonal. 

Another hack I do: Prepped by Brek, a local, East Valley ready made meal prep delivery service often runs flash sales of extra meals they sell on their Instagram stories. I order up all their extra meals and freeze them at work for easy lunches. By buying the flash sale meals instead of their pre-orders I save $1-2/meal.


Our family recycles daily.  Did you know that you can turn your aluminum into cash? 

It’s simple, keep a trash can in your garage that is just for cans and turn them in.  It doesn’t pay a lot, but hey a dollar here and there is worth a lot these days, especially for kids to earn.

We go through a lot of cans at our house, who else has an energy drink addict in the house?!

Auto Deposits &  Kids Banking

Who is bad about putting money into savings? I have a direct deposit setup with my company. I have a set amount taken out and put in a savings account for this reason! I send the money off before I even see it. Most direct deposits have this capability.  

Also, if you haven’t set up your kids with their own savings accounts, check out the five ways I fund my kid’s account.

I am always available on instagram to answer any other money saving ideas!!

This post is a sponsored post written by East Valley Moms on behalf of some of the brands featured in the post, but all opinions are 100% ours. Thank you for allowing us to partner with brands we believe in to continue to bring you free content!


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