so many fun finds! happy weekend, friends!
Keep on window shopping by visiting all of my Small-Budget Crushes. This post contains affiliate links!!
so many fun finds! happy weekend, friends!
Keep on window shopping by visiting all of my Small-Budget Crushes. This post contains affiliate links!!
This post is sponsored by RxSaver by RetailMeNot and includes tracking links. For more information about tracking links and how to opt out, please visit All About Do Not Track prior to clicking any links found in this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own!
If there is one thing I have learned since my Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome diagnosis, it is just how expensive having a chronic illness can be. The daily maintenance of medications, supplements, therapeutic services, doctor visits, medical devices, and dietary requirements can be extremely taxing on our budget.
That is why I’m excited to partner today with RxSaver by RetailMeNot to share their online tool that helps you find the lowest prescription prices available. You can shop right at your own nearby pharmacy and save tons.
As a budget-conscious person, I also wanted to share with you some strategies I have been using to save money to help offset some of our medical expenses. While we can’t always do financial planning for a chronic illness, we can learn better strategies for managing your money with your chronic illness.
Here are 5 easy ways we saved while not compromising on the care I need to treat my condition!
If you are fortunate enough to have health insurance, it is SO important to read what benefits are covered under your plan. With a brief scan, you may discover potential savings that allow you to explore services you thought you would have to pay out of pocket for. Many plans can offer coverage for items like medical equipment, home health agency services, physical or occupational therapy, and even your chiropractic care.
Two appointments I have been regularly booking, for example, have been for acupuncture (to help treat my TMJ symptoms) and massage therapy (to also work out issues around my jaw and neck).
Those typically sound like spa services, don’t they?
Can you believe they are covered at my chiropractor’s office? I’m able to have these services processed under the umbrella of chiropractic medical care through my health insurance company.
Isn’t that so great?
If you are unclear if a particular service is covered, contact the number on the back of your insurance card to request an associate look at your policy and help you walk through your benefits. This is also a great time to ask about potential discounts for healthy and wellness like discounts on a gym membership, nutritional counseling, or mental health services.
Did you know there are ways to save on prescription drugs whether you have insurance or not? If you can’t afford your chronic disease medications, you can take advantage of apps that save you money on your prescription needs.
Simply head to the RxSaver website (or download the app) to comparison shop the pharmacies near you and evaluate which store offers the best deal for your money.
The nice thing about this service is that they don’t require any personal information to use it and you don’t have to have a membership to take advantage of the savings. Simply enter your prescriptions in, compare prices, and choose the best price and location for you.
When I typed in my own medications, for example, I was surprised to find $20-50 savings on one of my medications thanks to this tool finding the lowest prices for me. Check your own prescriptions right over here.
This quick price check can yield your family up to 80% off at pharmacies nationwide!
When you become diagnosed with a chronic condition, you may find that your days look a lot differently than they did. Honestly, I found that my day was really structured around appointments and squeezing in a little rest.
As we all know, when our days look different our spending can also look different.
This is a great time to reevaluate your monthly subscription services to see if they are being used enough to justify the expense. If they no longer fit with your new lifestyle, consider reducing or dropping services to save money to pay for your future medical expenses.
A monthly gym membership, for example, could be reduced down to a class pass instead that can work with your new daily schedule.
Small switches like this can free up funds for future medical expenses.
Also, consider tweaks that can help you earn money to help offset costs. Moving your savings to a high interest earning online bank, for example, can yield up to twelve times more interest than what you may currently be earning.
As you explore your financial systems, I would also encourage you to get advice from a trusted financial planner to discover ways you can earn more from interest or strategies for investing wisely to help cover any unexpected expenses.
Discussing what your new normal looks like, with your financial advisor, can impact lots of future decisions. This is a great time to go over things like estate plans, life insurance, and strategies for covering your medical costs. The more transparent you are with your financial advisor, the better dialogue you will have to prepare for your future.
Wholesale club memberships can be expensive up front, but can yield great money-back rebates and savings on items or services needed for your health. Just think of all the potential savings on things like vision, supplements, or medical care equipment needs.
Now that I use Instacart for grocery delivery, I discovered that you don’t need a wholesale club membership card to have a grocery delivery service gather your groceries for you. This workaround on the Costco membership means that I can take advantage of all the store has to offer online and have these heavy items delivered to my door.
If you do have a card, you can input your membership number for them to use, securing more in your future rebates without the hassle of shopping for it all yourself.
Keep in mind that the grocery service does not typically purchase a lot of the over-the-counter medications you need though and that section of the store can save hundreds on your health expenses.
No grocery delivery in your area?
As a small town girl, I feel your pain!
You may consider doing a grocery pick-up service and having someone at home to assist you with the heavy lifting.
I have found a rolling shopping cart saves me time and energy on my grocery days. #stillwinning
Lastly, if I learned anything from my Dad, it is that it never hurts to ask for a discount! Many places I visit offer a discount card for repeat visits, a reduction on medical bills if paying out of pocket, or can share samples of prescription medication that can help offset a bit of your day to day expenses.
I highly recommend asking too if there are discounts for students, seniors, military, long-term disability, or being low income discount. I have often been surprised what discounts I had at my disposal that I would have never known about if I had not asked.
Not only is asking about a patient assistance program at your various appointments beneficial, but it is also something you should look for when shopping for items you may be purchasing online.
In fact, many expensive medical devices or medical supplement sites may have a page dedicated to Assistance Programs, on their website. These programs allow you to apply for a set discount on your purchases that can save you a lot of money or can be covered by your health savings account.
Just like being transparent with your financial advisor, I encourage you to have transparency with your physician about your budget too. When our son’s medication skyrocketed hundreds, we set up an appointment to discuss alternatives that wouldn’t be as costly. By having this conversation, we were able to switch our son to a higher milligram pill that could be split into two doses, giving us twice the amount of pills for a lot less.
Don’t forget though, you have a patient assistance program right in the palm of your hand. The RxSaver app can help you narrow down who has the cheapest prescriptions in your area and get you back to resting in no time flat.
This post is sponsored by RxSaver by RetailMeNot. All thoughts and opinions are my own!Pin It
So many fun finds today! xo
Keep on window shopping by visiting all of my Small-Budget Crushes. This post contains affiliate links!!
From our marriage & parenting contributor, Mary Carver.
Since she was a preschooler, I’ve taken my oldest daughter on a date after the last day of school. It’s an opportunity for us to have some sweet, one-on-one time, but also a time for us to reflect on the last nine months. I ask about her favorite parts of the school year, the hardest parts, and what she learned. But then, we turn to the future.
Making plans for the summer is one of our favorite things to do. Because yes, I’ve trained my daughter to love lists and schedules and plans just as much as I do. Parenting win! But seriously, we do love it — me because we come up with a plan on how to survive the summer months and her because she gets to share her ideas and have a bit of influence on what we do.
That’s not to say I show up at our lunch date with a blank calendar. No, by the time school is out, I’ve already registered my kids for camp parents’ night out or open houseparents’ night out or open house, made hotel reservations for any trips, and started talking to possible babysitters for the days I just have to get some work done. But we still have plenty of summer hours to fill and plenty of days to plan.
Are you worried that I’m that uptight mom who over-schedules her kids? Wondering if my girls even know how to play on their own? Longing for the days of old, when kids got out of school and then spent three months playing pickup ball, riding bikes, and catching fireflies?
I know. Me too! So don’t panic. I promise that’s not what I’m about. If you crave structure and need to have a general idea of what you and your kids are going to do this summer, but also want to leave plenty of space for regular old playtime, I’m here to help. This is not possible. We can do it! Read on for tips for planning a sweet summer!
Pull up all the websites in all the tabs. Camps, churches with VBS programs, library programs, bucket lists from Pinterest, summer school listings on the district website, road trip itineraries — get it all in front of you.
Are you going to do all these things? Heck no. But you want to know what your options are before you start picking and choosing the few things you’re going to do.
Summertime is the perfect time for trying out a new hobby, activity, or sport. I couldn’t fit a full week of art camp into our budget, but I signed up my youngest for a morning drawing class. And I’m not sure my oldest will like karate (we’ve tried it before, but I’m determined to have her try again), so rather than commit to a weeks-long session, she’ll attend parents’ night out or open house at the local martial arts school to test it out.
Do you always watch fireworks from the park down the street? Do you kick off the season with a big barbecue or just by pulling out the fire pit? Are summer afternoons time for bubbles and sidewalk chalk and bike rides? Do you let the kids set up a lemonade stand every year or go geocaching in the woods behind your house? Are they (and you) looking forward to their annual visit to the grandparents’? Whatever you’ve made a habit of doing year after year — big or small, at home or on the town, silly or serious — make sure to include these things on your summer agenda. And if you’re not sure which activities or outings your kids are counting on this year, just ask them! You might be surprised by the things they remember and love the most.
Speaking of what the kids want… Now’s the time to get them involved in the process of making plans! You might not want to give them carte blanche with your calendar, but you can give them some leeway. Perhaps come up with 10 ideas for summer projects and ask them to pick three. Or sit together and sift through all the ideas you found when you did your homework. Make a giant wish list, then pare it down to what’s doable for your family. 5.
While we want to keep our kids (and maybe ourselves) busy during our break and while we want to do everything we can to make summer fun for everyone, there’s something to be said for downtime. Unscheduled time. Blank space on the calendar and breathing room in our souls. Let them be bored sometimes. Stay up late and take naps. Leave room for spontaneous playdates or game nights or pizza picnics on the back porch.
Only you know what the right amount of rest is for your family. And this is something that will change from year to year (maybe from day to day)! So, give yourself time to figure it out and room to adjust. And just know that what works for other families might not work for you. And what worked just fine last year might be completely different from what you need this year.
Now, don’t get me wrong. If your family is all about baseball and that’s all you do, all day, every day, that’s awesome! I mean, it is not for me — but I’m not your kid! If your family is all in with an activity or hobby or sport, go for it. But for many of us, a little balance goes a long way.
When I’m making summer plans for my family, I try to balance all the things: indoors and outdoors, sports and art and science and music, active and resting, fun and learning and chores and more fun, planned and unplanned, time with friends and time reserved for family. Do you think I ever get that balance right? No, of course not. But I try, which means we end up with more balance than if I didn’t try at all.
That’s it. That’s how I plan our summers and what I recommend to you. But more important than following my steps and suggestions is following your heart and what you know about your family. Choose the things that work for you, that bring you joy, that keep you sane, that create the summertime memories you — and they! — will treasure forever. And let the rest go.
May was a bit of a blur and I’m so happy to be back at my desk and sharing on the blog again! I squeezed in so much this past month including a trip to Austin for the Mom 2.0 Summit, a trip to Kansas City to celebrate a fellow mama’s 40th birthday, an incredible Mother’s Day date with my childhood best friend, and too many celebrations to even count!
The blogging conference felt eye-opening in many ways. There has been a strong shift in this industry that many of us are struggling to weather. The industry continues to ask more and more and more, but the real shift is moving from blogging evergreen searchable content to the Instagram platform where things only stay in our feeds for a short time. In fact, many couldn’t weather these changes if they didn’t have their ad networks running (myself included).
It gave me a lot to think about, on my way home, and what pivot I will need to do to stick around. I’m thankful I had started that process with growing our book club and building out our first reading retreat (this July!!). I have also started the outlining process of writing my first ebook on life hacks for moms with chronic illness. It is something I have been carrying around since this journey began and I’d love to pass it on to someone else.
I still have so much to share and do here so I don’t feel done yet, but I think it is good to talk about this stuff in real ways with you!
Should we move on to the happy list? Let’s do it!
Have you been missing the 3 little things list each week? Just so you know, this feature didn’t go away…it just moved over to my newsletters each week.
Today I wanted to share what you might have missed this past month in one big giant happy list!!
I was on the hunt for some drug-free pain relief this winter and stumbled upon this book that delivers a 3-minute strategy for chronic pain. This doctor offered some miraculous stories of people being able to overcome pain through this simple stretching routine that can be done daily to help relieve body pain. The poses are similar to yoga poses that I have done, but what makes it different is the sequential order of the movements and the holding of the movements versus a yoga flow.
For the last month, I have been doing this routine daily and I am seeing a remarkable difference in my pain. Along with this simple routine, the book offers targeted pain relief exercises for specific types of pain through an encyclopedia of exercises to try to help with pain management.
Dr. Weisberg encourages readers to make this a part of your daily routine, like brushing your teeth, to see the best results.
If you struggle with chronic pain, from an injury or a chronic pain illness, I can’t recommend this resource enough. Not only have the exercises been helpful, but it also offers strategies for routines that will help with your spinal alignment.
I have a growing appreciation for John Mulaney and was so excited to see that he had a new Netflix special out.
My husband and I watched it and belly-laughed through the entire thing. Mulaney is a breath of fresh air when it comes to humor and he isn’t too proud to not lean into how our humor changes as we get older.
Normally, I find his comedy to be really conservative and this time he brought some humor into today’s politics, our jobs being taken over by robots, and how annoying it is that his college is asking for donations (relatable!).
It was so funny that we are going to watch it again with our teenage son, a boy whose humor could only be matched by John Mulaney.
Definitely add this one to your weekend Netflix binge!
Have you heard of the concept of food rescue? I had read about this happening in other countries, but had never seen this in action in the states…until this past month.
Cultivate Culinary, a local nonprofit, is feeding area kids with the extra food from catered events in town and even area schools are sending food to be packaged for students that need meals on the weekends.
Shared in this news article, “Mostly, we rescue food that’s been made but never served by catering companies, large food service businesses, like the school system,” said Jim Conklin, Cultivate. “You don’t always think of a school. Over-preparing is just part of what happens,” said Conklin. “We take well-prepared food, combine it with other food and make individual frozen meals out if it.”
Right now they are preparing hundreds of meals weekly that go home in insulated backpacks for kids in need.
If you are looking for a place to volunteer with friends (or to make new ones), consider volunteering. It is so fun and it feels really good knowing you are helping our kids!
It’s also a great place to make a donation to support their efforts to feed kids in need.
I shared a quick video and pic from my time this week volunteering.
I, honestly, can’t wait to go back!
There is a new favorite candle over at our house and it is the Warm Rustic Woods candle from BHG.
I am not a big fan of floral candles and I can find the food scented candles to be a little overwhelming.
This fragrance is slightly more masculine, but warm and delicious. It is one of those scents you can use all year long and never get tired of.
If you are looking for a new candle, you can’t beat the price on this one.
Make it last even longer with a candle warmer instead of burning it!
I have dry skin and I have never been able to find a primer that didn’t dry my skin out more than it already is.
e.l.f started carrying a glow primer stick, that contains coconut and shea butter, and I thought I would give it a try since it seemed geared towards people with my skin type.
I can’t rave enough how awesome this primer stick is and how moisturizing it is to my skin. It adds a subtle glow (no fake glitter effects with this one) and you can’t beat the price at just $8!
If you have dry skin and are hunting for the perfect primer, give this affordable option a spin.
Last month my husband and I watched the new Homecoming documentary from Beyonce and, I’m almost positive, our mouths were hanging open the entire time.
Homecoming documents the grueling schedule and work that went into Beyonce’s triumphant return to stage following the birth of her twins.
She was the headliner for Coachella and decided to use this opportunity to educate and represent all aspects of black culture in one of the most phenomenal show displays that I have ever seen.
She was responsible for every element of this show from writing, directing, producing, and starring and had made all decisions down to those nitty gritty details of measurements of seating on her stage.
As a mom, she gives you an intimate look at what a sacrifice this was and I am blown away by her discipline to get her body back back in such a short time all while managing the incredible duties of this show.
More importantly, her work shows us what is possible when we have a platform and how we can use it to teach people in incredible ways. We all might not have a platform like her, but what could we do in our smaller ways to bring joy and love to others?
I could go ON and ON about the incredible representation and inclusivity that she pulled off, but I just think you should watch it.
I am looking forward to listening to this album now that I have seen the show. It’s incredible!
I might be the last person in the world to know about the free YouTube fitness channel, but PopSugar’s free workouts have really been making my workouts a ton of fun! I love to do my favorite spinning routines and then polish them off with a 10-minute sweat session through this YouTube channel.
If you think ten minutes sounds so easy, go ahead and give this booty blast workout a try and tell me all about how you almost died too.
Prefer a barre-driven workout? This workout blew me away at how challenging it was while feeling restorative at the same time.
I am excited to explore more classes and love that these save me a ton of money on a gym membership while giving me the variety that I am after.
Class lengths can be anywhere between a short and effective ten minute sweat sesh to forty-five minutes in length. Bringing in a variety of fitness instructors, you can take advantage of loads of different workouts from cardio dance to weight lifting to yoga.
Basically, no excuses.
I managed to leave behind my sleep mask in a hotel room this month. For me, a good sleep mask is essential for a good solid night’s sleep. When my husband found out, he ordered a new mask for me, and for himself, and I have to say, this guy NAILED IT!
This cotton sleep mask is beautifully designed, in a way that TRULY keeps the lights out when you wear it. Made of breathable cotton, the nose area has a foldable piece of boning that allows you to shape it around your own nose, to keep all the light out from that area.
Straps are usually troublesome for me, but this is wide and has the clasps in an area that doesn’t cause discomfort for side sleepers. At under, $10, I can’t rave enough!
It even comes with a handy carrier case that clips to your bags so you never lose it in a hotel room again.
For me, it is all about these little things and I’ve enjoyed getting some really restful sleep with this blackout sleep mask!
I can’t tell you how many of these electrolyte tablets I had shared with friends over my last few trips. Nuun is my favorite brand because they come in a really smart portable canister and the flavors just can’t be beat. I really think of these as a portable IV that is the perfect sports recovery drink or (let’s be honest) the perfect hangover cure.
I double the water on mine, which is the perfect amount of flavor for someone who is a big LaCroix fan. Doing it with the recommended amount of water yields a stronger flavor that reminds me of a Gatorade drink.
The best part is that these are low in sugar and carbs, unlike a lot of the electrolyte drinks on the market. They recently added an immunity-boosting blend that I’m excited to try. As someone who has POTS Syndrome, electrolytes are one of my body’s best defenses against my ongoing symptoms.
Although I feel it goes without saying, ALWAYS travel with a reusable water bottle on your trips. I bring it empty, to get through security, and take advantage of the water bottle filling stations that are now placed in all the airports.
It is such an easy thing to do and many hotels now have filling stations in their lobbies, so you are never without water.
Not only are you saving a load of money, but you are doing a little part for the environment too.
Adding tablets, like these, is a fun way to keep the variety going all week long.
I can’t stop talking about how much I loved the new Netflix series, Dead to Me. If you haven’t seen it yet, I really wish I was you right now. Fans of Big Little Lies will be swept away in this twisty layered plot.
Linda Cardellini & Christina Applegate star in this dark comedy about life after loss. Jen is a real estate agent whose husband is brutally killed in a hit-and-run near their home late one night. She joins a grief support circle where she meets Judy, who also is going through a loss of her own. The two become fast friends and boundaries become blurred very quickly because Jen really needs someone to be her friend through this season.
Jen can’t seem to move forward though until she finds the person who has killed her husband. It consumes her and she is filled with rage and bitterness. Applegate shines in these vulnerable moments that really showcase her acting chops.
Cardellini has a very complex role in this show too where you can’t decide if she is good, bad, or crazy. As secrets are uncovered, it threatens their fragile friendship in some surprising ways.
I love that the episodes are 30 minutes, which feels like the perfect amount of time at this stage in my life, and that each one ends on such a cliffhanger that you have to keep pushing through. I, in fact, finished the whole series in two days and loved how they chose to end the first season with ANOTHER cliffhanger. Definitely add this one to your weekend agenda!
We are reaching that point where everything in our house seems to be breaking on us and I was in desperate need of a new quick vac to replace our broken one. I stumbled upon this Hoover Impulse, on my Target run, and knew this would be perfect for our house. It sweeps all my floors like a dream (carpet, tile, & laminate) and it can be taken apart to be a small handheld vac on your furniture or used with attachments to clean the tops of cupboards and light fixtures.
Basically, it does ALL THE THINGS and is lightweight and cordless.
While I would love the Dyson, this one was in a much sweeter price point and offered similar benefits.
I highly recommend it! It has made me cleaning a lot more fun!
Justin Rothshank is a Goshen potter that creates pieces featuring some of your favorite people on them. For Mother’s Day, I snagged a beautiful mug of our mayor for my Mother’s Day treat. I have to say, these are even more beautiful person and would be a treasured gift for anyone in your life. The mug is just the perfect size and I love leaving it out to display it in our cabinets. I can’t rave enough about the product or how good it feels to support local artists. Check out his Etsy shop!
I hope you enjoyed this month’s round-up of May fun and I look forward to sharing more in June! I hope my month of happy brings a month of happy to you too! If this post doesn’t convince you my newsletter is fun, I’ve got nothing. Sign up over here to get this fun weekly in your inbox.
*this post may contain affiliate links- I only recommend what I love though. Check out past editions of It’s the 3 Little Things!
So many fun finds this week! xo
For many years, I have wanted to do a reading guide for you all, but each year the days would slip away and I would think, “Maybe next year!”
Well, not today, Satan!
I am thrilled to share my first Summer Reading Guide with you! This has been a true labor of love and I’m incredibly proud how this turned out.
Within this 15 page guide you will find:
All you need to do to access the free guide is be an email subscriber! Upon signing up for our mailing list, you will receive a link to the reading guide.
If you decide to read any of these selections, I’d be honored if you used the #momadvicesummerreading hashtag and tag me on Instagram!
Happy reading, bookworms! xo