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  • Don’t Let the Pound Rain on Your Holiday Parade

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    This is a collaborative post with Amy (who is obviously from the UK!). Thank you for supporting CFO!

    Holiday season is upon us, and if you’re worried about how far your pound will (or won’t) go when you’re abroad, take heart – and these tips – to help you to make the most of your moolah this summer.

    Save Money When Traveling in Europe

    Look for cheaper fuel

    Head to the petrol stations at supermarkets, as the fuel there is often 10% cheaper than at the stations along the motorways. Petrol is around the same price in the UK as in France, but diesel is significantly cheaper, so opt for a diesel hire car.

    Mark your cards

    It often pays to watch the international money exchange scene for a few weeks before you go away, so you can buy your currency at a good time. Whatever you do, don’t use the kiosks at the airport, as you won’t get a good rate. Once on holiday, use your debit card to withdraw money, but try not to do it too often. You could also use your credit card to pay for things, but this only works if you pay your balance every month.

    Don’t go for the hotel breakfast…

    …unless it’s free, in which case fill your boots (and your face) and make up some ham or cheese rolls for your elevensies. You might find if you’re staying in a hotel that the breakfasts are really expensive – £40 or more. This isn’t your only option – scout out a decent place nearby and head there instead.

    Quaff the local wines

    Locally-grown wines are always much cheaper than the others on the list, and if you’re self-catering, make sure you ask for the local option at the supermarché.

    Stay by the bar

    If you’re on the continent, eating and drinking at the bar is always way cheaper than at a table. For example, a coffee in Rome may be €1, whereas if you head to a table it can be three or four times as much!

    Head off the beaten track

    If you’re in a tourist area, you can guarantee that the cafes, gift shops and restaurants will be much more expensive than the ones a little way back from the hustle and bustle. Go for a quick mooch round the back streets and see what you can find. You’ll probably get friendlier, more personal service too.

    Do your homework so you don’t get a traffic fine

    In most countries in continental Europe, the police will levy on-the-spot fines and there are nearly as many speed cameras as there are in the UK. Another thing to watch out for is the variable speed limits. When you enter a village, town or city, the limits drop to 50kmph or even lower, so do pay attention.

    In France, there’s the added complication (although it makes excellent sense) of speed limits dropping when it rains. On the motorway it falls from 130kmph to 110kmph; on dual carriageways it’s from 110kmph to 100kmph, and on open roads its 90kmph down to 80kmph.

    If you have any great money-saving tips for holidays, let us know in the comments!

    Swagbucks Infographic: Christmas in July

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    According to Swagbucks, Christmas in July is a real thing. People are already saving up for the holidays (and 7% of people started shopping for Christmas the day after last Christmas!). Get more facts in the infographic below:

    Christmas in July | ChiefFamilyOfficer.com

    Swagbucks wants you to know that they are a fun rewards program that gives you free gift cards and cash for the everyday things you already do online. You can conveniently earn points (called SB) when you shop at your favorite retailers, watch entertaining videos, search the web, answer surveys and find great deals. Redeem your points for free gift cards to your favorite retailers like Amazon or Walmart, to name a few, or get cash back from PayPal!

    One of the best parts is that it costs you nothing to join and be a member! You decide how to earn, and you can do it at home or on the go (using their mobile apps). Join today and start earning for December – it’ll be around the corner before you know it!

    As always, thank you if you join(ed) Swagbucks using my referral link!

    Deal Roundup: Target, Walgreens, Dollar Tree

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    A roundup of the hottest deals and scenarios at popular stores like Target – perfect for beginner and expert bargain hunters alike. Thank you for printing through the affiliate coupon links below, which helps support this site at no additional cost to you! As with all deals, availability and prices can vary so be sure to verify them before making your purchase. You can read CFO’s full disclosure here.

    Deal Roundup - June 20, 2016 | Chief Family Officer

    Target: Triscuit for $1
    Buy: 2 Nabisco Triscuit Crackers at 2/$4 {price may vary}
    Use: $1/2 Nabisco Triscuit Crackers coupon from 5/22 Smart Source
    Pay: $3
    Submit for: $1/2 Triscuit Checkout 51 rebate
    Final Price: $1 each
    Ends 6/22. If you are a new Checkout 51 members and sign up using my referral link, you’ll get a FREE $5 bonus when you submit your first receipt (and so will I, so thank you)!

    Target: Wheat Thins for $1.13
    Buy: 2 Nabisco Wheat Thins Crackers at 2/$4 {price may vary}
    Use: $0.75/2 Nabisco Cookie or Cracker Product coupon from 5/22 Smart Source
    Pay: $3.25
    Submit for: $1/2 Wheat Thins Checkout 51 rebate
    Final Price: $1.13 each
    Ends 6/22. If you are a new Checkout 51 members and sign up using my referral link, you’ll get a FREE $5 bonus when you submit your first receipt (and so will I, so thank you)!

    Walgreens: Ziploc Containers for $0.48
    Buy: 2 Ziploc Containers 2-3pk at 2/$5.50
    Use: $1/2 Ziploc Containers coupon
    Pay: $4.50
    Receive: $1.50 Register Reward
    And receive: 50 Everyday Points ($0.05)
    Submit for: $2/2 Ziploc Containers Checkout 51 rebate
    Final Price: $0.48 each
    Ends 6/25. If you are a new Checkout 51 members and sign up using my referral link, you’ll get a FREE $5 bonus when you submit your first receipt (and so will I, so thank you)!

    Dollar Tree: Glade Moneymaker
    Buy: 2 Glade Wax Melts 6ct at $1 each
    Use: $1.25/2 Glade products coupon
    Pay: $0.75
    Submit for: $0.50/1 Glade Wax Melts Ibotta rebate
    And submit for: $1/2 Glade Wax Melts Refill Checkout 51 rebate
    Final Price: $0.75 Moneymaker
    Ends 6/22. Note that selection at Dollar Tree varies by location. Via Printable Coupons and Deals.

    Cook Your Way to a Healthier You

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    The following is a post from Leona Jones. Consideration was received for the editing and publishing of this post.

    It may seem as if everywhere you turn there is a new diet fad on the horizon. While there is nothing wrong with trying a new diet here and there, there are some things you can do to make them more interesting. Here are some ways you can cook your way to a slimmer, healthier, and happier you.

    Upgrade Your Cooking Utensils

    Don’t expect to be able to cook five-star meals if you don’t own quality cooking materials. Cheap pots and pans may be great on your wallet for the short-term. However, you’ll end up spending far more money in the long run because they’ll need to be replaced more often. Since there are several types of cooking materials available, you may need to experiment with several brands before you find a good cooking set that you feel completely comfortable with. (Ed.: I love the Cuisinart stainless steel pots and pans I’ve purchased on sale at Amazon [affiliate link] – they’ve held up well through many years of use.)

    Invest in Some Cooking Lessons and Cookbooks

    Although there is no shortage of recipes available on the internet, there are still some things you can learn from cookbooks and cooking instructors. You don’t need to go to culinary school if that isn’t your career path of choice. You can sign up for lessons and get cookbooks from your local bookstore, library, and online. (Ed.: I learned a lot from watching Sara Moulton’s old “Cooking Live” show on Food Network. She has lots of videos on her web site.)

    Learn How to Stage Your Foods

    One of the biggest factors that can make or break anyone’s appetite is the way a dish looks. Dishes and meals that are put together sloppily are not as tantalizing and appetizing as foods that are carefully and artistically plated. Think colors, shapes, and textures; they all contribute to the final appearance of any dish.

    Learn the Art of Food Pairing

    They may look good together, but not all foods taste and go well together. This is where the art of food pairing comes in. For instance, a meal composed of meatloaf and mashed potatoes is a great dish for anyone who wants to enjoy a comfort meal. However, the pairing of these two foods can lead to digestive complications. Mashed potatoes are a source of starch and saturated fats that may lead to slow digestion and constipation because of its incompatibility with the protein in meatloaf.

    Eat Smaller Portions

    No matter how good something looks, overindulgence can lead to a bigger waistline, higher numbers on the scale, and health issues. Get in the habit of consuming smaller meals throughout the day to facilitate proper nutrient absorption, digestion, and more energy.

    Make it Spicy

    It is possible and more beneficial for you to enjoy better health by incorporating the use of more spices into your cooking. The right combination of herbs and spices can create a powerful and more flavorful experience in your mouth and aid in digestion as well. Spices can also help to lessen your dependence on fatty and sugary condiments and food additives.

    Open Up Your Taste Palette

    Don’t get stuck in a rut and make the same old meals every day. Experiment with different foods so you can discover more of the culinary delights that are out there. Trying out new foods can make it easier for you to eliminate unhealthy ones from your diet.

    Switch to Plant-Based Foods

    Some popular organic food chains like Whole Foods sell products that are made by popular food engineering companies, such as Hampton Creek. What is Hampton Creek? It’s a leading food-tech company that produces popular food products, such as eggless mayonnaise for people who are heath conscious about what they eat. Many plant-based foods are easy on the digestive system, which can aid other body functions, leading to improved overall health.

    Cook With More Liquids

    Foods that are high in water content, such as certain fruits and vegetables can infuse your dishes with more liquid. Liquids help to improve and maintain proper electrolyte balance in your body to promote healthy cell function. Fruits and veggies are also foods you don’t necessarily need to add a lot of heat to in order to incorporate them into your meals. Try them raw, steamed, and baked for added variety and presentation points.

    With the right approach, cooking and eating healthy foods for a better you doesn’t have to be bland and boring. Use the above suggestions to help you to get the look and physique you want. Remember, in order for you to improve what you look like on the outside and how you feel, you need to be careful about what you consume and put on the inside.

    Deal Roundup: Vons/Pavilions, Ralphs, CVS, Target, Whole Foods

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    A roundup of the hottest deals and scenarios at popular stores like Target – perfect for beginner and expert bargain hunters alike. Thank you for printing through the affiliate coupon links below, which helps support this site at no additional cost to you! As with all deals, availability and prices can vary so be sure to verify them before making your purchase. You can read CFO’s full disclosure here.

    Deal Roundup - May 18, 2016 | Chief Family Officer

    Vons/Pavilions: Buddig Deli Meat for $0.49
    Buy: 5 Buddig Original Deli Thin Lunchmeat at $0.69 each
    Use: $1/5 Buddig Original coupon
    Final Price: $0.49 each
    Ends 5/24.

    Vons/Pavilions: Farm John Hot Dogs for $0.75
    Buy: 2 Farmer John Meat Wieners or Turkey Franks at $1.25 each
    Use: $1/2 Farmer John Hot Dogs from 5/8 Smart Source insert
    Final Price: $0.75 each
    Ends 5/24.

    Nabisco 20ct Multipack for $5.49
    Buy: 1 Nabisco Single Serve Snacks 20ct at $7.49
    Use: $1/1 Nabisco Multipack from 4/24 Smart Source
    Pay: $6.49
    Submit for: $1/1 Nabisco Multipack Checkout 51 rebate
    Final Price: $5.49
    Ends 5/24. The price works out to 27 cents per multipack, which is a great deal!

    Ralphs: Oscar Mayer Lunch Meat for $1.25
    Buy: 1 Oscar Mayer Zip Pack Lunch Meat 8oz at $2.00
    Use: $0.75/1 Oscar Mayer Lunch Meat Zip-Pak coupon
    Final Price: $1.25
    End date unknown. Via Southern Cali Saver.

    CVS: Tic Tacs for $0.44
    Buy: 2 Tic Tac 60ct at $0.88 each
    Use: B1G1 Free Tic Tac Mints or Mixers coupon
    Final Price: $0.44 each
    Ends 5/21. Via Wild for CVS.

    Target: Totino’s Party Pizza for $0.72
    Buy: 4 Totino’s Party Pizzas at $1.42 each {price may vary}
    Use: $1/4 Totino’s Crispy Crust Party Pizza coupon
    And use: 25% off Totino’s Party Pizza Target Cartwheel {deducts $1.42}
    Pay: $3.26
    Submit for: $0.40/1 Frozen Pizza < href="http://mobisave.com/" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">MobiSave rebate
    Final Price: $0.72 each
    Ends 5/21. Via For the Mommas.

    Whole Foods: Muir Glen Tomato Sauce for $0.69
    Buy: 2 Muir Glen Tomato Sauce at $1.19 each {price may vary}
    Use: $1/2 Muir Glen products coupon
    Final Price: $0.69 each
    End date unknown. Via MySavings.

    Maternity Fashions: Look Great While Expecting – Without Breaking the Bank

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    The following is a post from Jenna Smith. Consideration was received for the editing and publishing of this post.

    As you move further along in your pregnancy, the need to purchase new clothing will be necessary. Naturally, you want to find fashions that flatter your growing figure. However, sometimes finding a balance between comfort, fashion, and affordability can be a battle. It seems you find clothes that are stylish, but they cost an arm and a leg, while the cheaper clothing options are less attractive. Luckily, there are solutions that will allow you to look your best without breaking the bank.

    1. Purchase Pre-owned Maternity Clothes

    You’re only going to be pregnant for the next few months, so spending a ton of money on something you won’t get much wear out of is kind of useless. With the exception of staple pieces that you feel like you “must have,” you can opt to purchase your maternity clothes from an online consignment shop. Check out the site swap.com/maternity-apparel for a good example of your options.

    1. Ask a Friend or Family Member

    If you know someone who was recently pregnant, chances are they have some maternity clothes lying around that you could make use of. Ask if you can either have or purchase their maternity clothes from them.

    1. Check Yard Sales

    Yard sales can be a great place to find great deals on maternity clothing. Since the clothes are really only needed for a few months, many women will put them up for sale after they’ve had their baby.

    1. Purchase “one size fits all” clothing.

    If you want to make the best of what you have, then purchasing clothes that are “one size fits all” or that can adjust with your size can save a lot of money. For instance, purchasing a few t-shirts and utilizing your leggings is a great way to save on the need to purchase maternity pants. Oversized sweatpants or elastic waist pants are another option as they can adjust as your belly grows.

    1. Match Sales with Coupons

    Another way to save money is to match sales with coupons. There are a ton of online coupons you can print and coupon codes you can use to receive discounts. As you view the various sales offered at your favorite retailers, try to purchase things on sale that you have a coupon for to capitalize on your savings.

    1. Go Up a Size or Two

    Maternity clothing can sometimes be pricey because it’s a specialized product. Instead of actually purchasing maternity wear, you can simply purchase clothes that are a size or two too big. This will give you room to grow into them and will also save you money.

    1. Use Belly Bands

    Your pants are likely one of the first things to stop fitting once you become pregnant. While “mom jeans” can be great for comfort, they will also set you back a few bucks. A great option to save money on maternity pants would be to utilize belly bands. They are a neat apparatus that allow moms to wear their pants unbuttoned, providing them with a little extra room to grow.

    1. Make Your Own

    If you’re savvy with a sewing machine, then what better way to save money on maternity clothes than to make your own? There are easy to follow patterns and affordable material that will still cost a lot less than purchasing brand new clothes from a maternity store.

    Some women will tell you the cheapest thing to do is to wear your husband’s big t-shirts and call it a day, but where’s the fun in that? Pregnancy is supposed to be a beautiful time in a woman’s life and she should be able to dress accordingly. Whether you work or stay at home, when you step out of the house you want to feel great, and using the above tips, you can!