Guest Posts

Guest Posting on my blog is invitation only.
I will consider your post if you are a local blogger or you write about frugality (AND I got a chance to get to know you better through your social media sites).
Please do not send any articles about financial advice. It's outside of the scope of this blog.
I do not accept money in return for guest posting.
Thank you for your understanding.


Written by: Misty

413 {Sparrow} Lane

Hi there! My name is Misty and I am a WAHM, wife, and the one responsible for 413 {Sparrow} Lane! I was born and raised in beautiful New Mexico and this is where my husband and boys (ages 2 and 4) make our lives! 413 {Sparrow} Lane is a blog that features all things thrifty and DIY. I am a firm believer in saving money in many different ways and one of those is simply Doing-It-Yourself! Let me share with you a few ways that I save money by being a do-it-yourself'er:
  • Renovation: There are so many fabulous blogs, sites and tutorials out there! You can learn to do ANYTHING and EVERYTHING through the internet! If you have a teachable spirit and determination, you too can Do-It-Yourself! For example, right now I am in the process of re-finishing my kitchen cabinets. Now, I have NEVER done anything like this, but I found a fantastic tutorial online and figure why not give it a shot! After all, new cabinets can cost upwards of $9,000 and I can redo ALL of my cabinets AND hardware for much less than $800 or so! That in itself is savings of over $8,200! Whew, that's a lot of bones I would much rather spend elsewhere :-D Check out the process here!
  • Home Decor: I LOVE beautiful home decor... but eeeks! It is SO expensive! Pinterest is amazing and I find so many great ideas on there! Find some fun ideas that you would love to have in your home and PIN IT! Typically you can find a great tutorial via Pinterest if not, Google it! Don't waste your time trying to figure out on your own how to create it! Chances are some brilliant mind has already done it for you! With 2 small boys (ages 4 and 2) here at home, my time is a precious resource and the last thing I want to do is rack my brain trying to figure out how to re-create something. Don't try to re-invent the wheel! Checkout my blog for tutorials on re-purposing and re-finishing items. (here I refinished a shelf using Elmer's glue)
  • Wardrobe: There are so many ways to stretch your dollar when it comes to your wardrobe! I rarely have the luxury of purchase "new" clothes (or even gently used ones for that matter). So, in order to keep my wardrobe looking fresh, I only buy neutral "core" pieces (blouses, slacks, jackets). By neutral I mean; tans, greys, black, white and brown. These core pieces will last a long time if you take care of them, and it's much cheaper to throw color into your wardrobe with the use of accessories! I LOVE jewelry and it is the most cost effective way to update a wardrobe, checkout this fun tutorial on stretching your $ with jewelry HERE. You can take the same simple outfit of jeans and a black blouse from day to night simply by changing your jewelry. I highly recommend hosting a "jewelry party" and getting your jewelry for FREE! Everyone loves FREE! Check Premier Designs to find a jeweler near you! (I am highly biased as I am a Premier Designs jeweler BUT I have saved so much money by simply owning jewelry!)
  • Household Stuff: Another way I save a ton of money is by making my own laundry detergent AND dishwasher detergent. It is very gratifying to do, plus it isn't hard at all! STOP right there, I know what you're thinking... Does it work? YES! I have 2 boys and a mechanic husband... believe me it works! For like $6 I have laundry soap for 8 months or more!
  • Learn to Coupon: I am still in the early stages of this one, but I have already cut my household budget in half! I am hooked! Couponing is now how I fund my home renovations! Ania here is fabulous with frugality and there is a ton of info out there on couponing! Don't be intimidated... you don't have to buy 128 packs of gum :) Check out this guest post here at The Frugal Burqueno also!

Just Do-It-Yourself! I believe in YOU and I know you can do it! You've got a cheerleader in me! ~Misty
Check out 413 {Sparrow} Lane for on-going projects, tips, tutorials and more! Follow me on Facebook and Twitter as well!

Written by: Lynn

New Mexico Enchantment

Local Recreation On A Budget

There's still a lot of concern over the state of the economy and many people are still being careful how they spend their disposable income. One area of spending that has taken a hit is traveling.

The good news? New Mexico is full of inexpensive, local attractions.

I'm all about looking around and seeing what is available in your local area.


Lots of fun, cheap things to do in Albuquerque. Some of my favorites are:

1. Hiking the Petroglyphs- Fun & free (except $1 for parking per car). Everybody gets exercise, a little history lesson and chances for great pictures!

2. Picnic in the Sandias- Who doesn't love taking a short drive up into the mountains towards Sandia Peak? On your way, pull over and dip your feet in the streams, collect leaves and pinecones, and have a picnic lunch.

3. Old Town- The original epicenter of Albuquerque, Old Town once served as a military outpost. See historic buildings and the almost 300 year old San Felipe de Neri church. Window shopping here is great.

4. Albuquerque Museum of Art and History- Specializing in art, history, and education it's a great experience with several exhibitions and is FREE on Sundays from 9am-1pm.

Santa Fe

Not too far from Albuquerque, and also quite the travel destination in it's own right, Santa Fe is sure to provide you with a day of fun. When I visit Santa Fe I enjoy:

1. The Farmer's Market- Held at the train depot on Saturdays from 8am-1pm, it's free and you never know what deals you'll find on local produce, handcrafts, and prepared food. Lots of food vendors will offer a sample, especially if you ask, making it a great way to try before you buy. Cooking demonstrations, live music, and local artists make it a full day of fun.

a. If you're in Albuquerque, consider taking the Railrunner up. Senior, student, and disabled discount fares plus kids under 9 ride free. Save on gas, folks!

2. Museum Hill- 4 museums in close proximity and the "M" bus will take you between the museums and the plaza ( without breaking your budget. All the museums are FREE to New Mexico residents on Sundays.

a. Museum of Spanish Colonial Art- See how Santa Fe got it's unique look.

b. Museum of Indian Arts & Culture- The first people's history and style influences New Mexico even today.

c. Museum of International Folk Art- Tons of cultural exhibits from all over the world from ceramics to textiles to painting and sculpture.

d. Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian- In an eight-sided building resembling the traditional Navajo Hogan see the impact of Native American art in New Mexico.

3. Palace of the Governors- This museum is in the plaza and was the original seat for the Spanish government to rule New Mexico. See the history of the area and see it for FREE on Sundays as a New Mexico resident.

Ready? Set? Go!

Of course, there are tons more inexpensive attractions that come and go for limited times. The best way to keep track of these is to find a local publication or check your city's website for upcoming events. There is no reason to stay on your couch when your options for getting out are as great as these.

Have a wonderful time exploring your local area and making family memories!

I'm Lynn and if you'd like to see more of why I love New Mexico, come visit me at

Written by: Michelle

Young & Free New Mexico

photo © J. Jordan 2006
You can Still Eat Out!

One of the great things about being frugal is that we’re all out to help each other. It’s not something that is done solitarily, and I think this blog is a testament to that.

With that in mind, I’d like to highlight a website I’ve used for years. I love to eat out, and in fact that is where most of my disposable money goes. As any frugal person knows, though, it can add up quickly--and pretty soon we’re making a resolution to eat in from now on until forever. But you and I both know that doesn’t last very long. We get a craving, we want to celebrate, we don’t feel like cooking. And those are all perfectly good reasons to put away the boxed dinners and have somebody else cook your food for you.

So, to help you (and your wallet!) out, check out It’s is a great website to score discounted gift certificates for restaurants in the Albuquerque and Santa Fe area. The restaurants may vary depending on the week, but that’s also a good excuse to get you to try something new!

What other tools do you use to save while dining out? I’d love to hear about it! Comment below, or let me know on Twitter!

Keep cool my babies!



Written by: Payje
Life All Over

Hi there, I'm Payje from Life All Over.  I take pictures, I travel, I cook, I clean, I coupon, and I am moving to Alaska.  Talk about a BIG road trip.  If you want to share in the joy of our 4,000 mile journey, you can follow along on FacebookTwitter, by email, or just by checking out  I consider myself to be a road-tripping veteran, and I decided to pull my top 5 ways to save on the road together to share with you today.

1.     Gas:  Consider a shopping club membership
It will cost you 50.00 to start up, but I promise you, my friends, it will be worth your while.  If you are road tripping, you will probably be planning your trip ahead of time.  If you are not planning your trip ahead of time, then that is the answer to your question of “why am I spending so much money?”  Anyway, while you are looking at Google maps and planning your route, try to find a Costco or a Sam’s Club in the cities that you are driving through. 
In general, the gas prices at Costco are on average about .10-.15 cents lower per gallon than at other gas stations.  This may not seem like a ton, but it WILL save you a lot throughout the year.   I won’t bore you with the math here (actually I am just really bad at math), but if you are going on a long road trip where you have to fuel up a lot, it is going to save you a decent amount of money right off the top of your trip.

2.       Eating out and activities:  Daily deal sites
Everyone knows that I’m a big fan of daily deal sites like Groupon and Living Social.  You might love them because without them you wouldn’t have gotten to go to that fancy pants restaurant last weekend, or you would have had to send your kids to the Glamour Shots store at the mall for their senior photos.  Well, you can translate your daily deal site love into vacation savings!  Here’s what you do (this is all part of the “prior planning” thing we were talking about earlier):  You most likely know where you are going on your trip, even if you like to make it seem sort of spontaneous.  Add the cities you will be staying in to your list in Groupon and Living Social, that way you will get the deals for that city sent right to you.   This is a vacation and you’re going to be eating out and doing the tourist thing, but you may just be able to do it for half price if you play your cards right.

3.       Hotels, shows and events: Travelzoo
I find Travelzoo to be the best friend a traveler can have.  They have our backs whether we are traveling to Tahiti, or to Denver.  Sign up for the Travelzoo weekly top 20 list, and they will send you the best deals from around the country (and around the world).  Their hotel deals are fantastic, they get you four and five star hotels for 2 star prices (so you don’t have to bring your own sheets, or worse yet, sleep in your car everywhere like my boyfriend and I used to do!)  If you have been monitoring the top 20 for a while and haven’t seen the city you are going to, check out the rest of the site… the deals aren’t quite as good, but they still beat the heck out of snuggling up in the back of your car on a deserted road somewhere.  And they’re still affordable.

4.       Pack your lunch silly!
This may be completely obvious to you, but I still think it deserves a spot on the top 5 ways to save on a road trip.  You may be eating out when you reach your destination, but I strongly believe that the absolute best way to save money on the road is by bringing your own food.  As a general rule (and we road trip a LOT), my boyfriend and I stick to eating out only at dinner time. 

This is how we do it:  I always bring a large cooler, and a recycle bag full of dry food.  The cooler usually has lunch meat, jelly, condiments and drinks, and the dry food usually consists of bread, chips and crackers, cookies, fruit, poptarts, peanut butter, etc.  If you are a couponer, you most likely have a stockpile of these things at home already, so just load up the car and bring them with you.  Even if you are eating fast food, your bill will come to between $10 and $25 per meal, whereas if you are eating coupon food, your meals will be closer to 1$-2$ each, then you can go ahead and eat out for dinner.  I also think this is great because you can find pretty places to eat your picnic and get to know different places better, rather than just getting to know each McDonald’s.

5.       Bring your coupons, but don’t stress about it too much.
I would definitely suggest bringing your coupons with you (some of you are reading this, aghast, saying “I never go ANYWHERE without my coupons!”)  You never know when you may need any little thing that you forgot to bring, and if you don’t have your binder money (that’s what I like to call my coupons) then you are just SOL.  Save money on your trip like you would at home, but don’t freak out about it.  You don’t have to frantically do matchups for every store along the way, or try to foresee each potential hazard, just go with the flow on this one.   DON’T FREAK OUT IF YOU HAVE TO PAY RETAIL.  And if you have followed all of the tips above, you will be just fine.  So drive off into the wild blue yonder, and enjoy your trip!

Written by  Lisa Simmons

Couponing in the Q 

One of my biggest joys since I started couponing has been cooking off of my stockpile! I used to spend Sunday mornings going over my cookbooks, finding recipes I wanted to make that week and make my shopping list from there. Occasionally I would look at an ad for sale prices, but most of the time I just bought items off of my pre-made shopping list. I was careful not to pay top prices for too many items and I may have saved a dollar here or there but since I began couponing I shop and cook completely differently.

Yesterday I wanted some lunch. I looked in my stockpile (full of items I’ve purchased with coupons at stock up prices) and found a few basic ingredients such as Zataran’s Yellow Rice and some evaporated milk. I knew I had chicken breasts in the freezer, so combining my ingredients, I then consulted my cookbooks. I found a simple recipe for chicken curry and voila I had lunch! I didn’t have to make a shopping list, leave the house and go to the store or spend any money! I simply opened up my stockpile doors, found some ingredients and had lunch made faster than I could have ordered take out!

There are many benefits to couponing, the biggest one being saving money. But there are also many other benefits such as convenience, peace of mind and being creative when cooking off of your stockpile!

Visit for Couponing101, HOT coupon match ups & deals and much more!