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Rebecca VanderMeulen
Rebecca VanderMeulen loves thrift shops and the grocery-store clearance rack. She grew up in western Michigan and now lives in suburban Philadelphia with her husband and two cats. She is expecting a baby boy in 2012.

How to Plan a Bridal Shower on a Budget – Ideas & Checklist

By Rebecca VanderMeulen

host bridal shower womenBeing a bridesmaid costs an average of $1,695, and of that total, $400 is spent just throwing a shower for the bride. This includes buying a gift, costs for the event, and traveling to the shower.

However, it’s not necessary to spend that much. This past summer, I was a bridesmaid in a friend’s wedding, and spent just under $300 planning and throwing the shower with another bridesmaid. A great time was had by all – most importantly, by the bride.

From choosing a location, to gifts and favors, you can implement a number of money-saving tips and still throw a shower to be remembered.

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What Is the Freecycle Network – Give & Get Free Stuff

By Rebecca VanderMeulen

freecycle logoWe all love saving money on items we buy – but getting stuff for free is even better. Thanks to the Freecycle Network, finding freebies is now easier than ever. Plus, using the site is a great way to get rid of clutter in your home, and it costs nothing.

The concept of Freecycle is quite simple: It’s a large network of people who give things they don’t need to people who want them. It started in Arizona in 2003, and has since expanded beyond the United States into more than 70 countries.

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Discount Grocery Stores: Are They Worth the Savings?

By Rebecca VanderMeulen

shopping at a discount retailerKeeping to a household budget often means trimming unnecessary expenses, but some items are indispensable – food, for one.

You probably already cut coupons and buy store brands just like any budget-conscious shopper. But did you know that some grocery stores specialize in cut-rate food and household goods not “good enough” for your average supermarket?

They might be called “salvage,” “bargain,” or “discount” grocery stores. You might find them in a strip mall or tucked into an industrial neighborhood. Either way, these stores can cut a nice chunk of change from your food bill and enable you to save money on groceries.

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