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Let me introduce myself!

Welcome readers. Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Nicole and I live near Omaha, Nebraska with my husband and three kids, ages 18, 15 and 13. I am the author of The Extraordinary Art of Meal Planning,  The Extraordinary Art of Budgeting, and Incredibly Easy 5-Ingredient Meal Plan and Cookbook. I teach Meal Planning Success, Slow Cooker Freezer Meals, Budgeting, Beginning Blogging and Side Hustle classes at Metro Community College, home parties, and church & MOP groups. You can view my upcoming classes and sign up here.

Prior to teaching and becoming a stay at home mom in 2006, I spent seven years in the Navy working in the Intelligence field. The Navy also trained me as a financial counselor. I helped many service members analyze their spending, prepare budgets and make sound financial decisions.

In June 2009, I received my Master’s in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing. I have two undergraduate degrees, one in Business Management and the other in Russian language studies

Transitioning to living on one income has been difficult for us and I started looking for ways to stretch our income. I began actively budgeting, tracking spending, couponing, requesting free samples, entering sweepstakes, using reward programs to earn gift certificates and shopping at Walgreens and CVS. With all the money saving, we were able to pay down over $10,000 in credit card debt in 2008 and are now proudly credit card debt free. It’s a great feeling to make such progress on our debt and to finally be free of it. We were also able to start college funds for the kids and an IRA for me.

I am so passionate about saving money and amazed at how much my efforts have helped our family that I started this blog in 2008. I love to share all my great finds and money saving tips and help others save money.

I appreciate each of my readers who make this all possible. I’m happy to be able provide excellent and useful information to help you save money. I also really enjoy hearing from my readers, so please leave me comments or email me anytime.

As Seen in


Interview – Marco LeRoc TV

Why I quit Black Friday – KETV Newswatch 7
Gain at Walmart – The Morning Blend on KMTV3
Digital Coupon Apps – KMTV3
Metro mom shares how to find FREE stuff – WOWT6

Avoid ending up too far in the red on Black Friday – WOWT6
Planning Ahead to Make the Most of Black Friday – WOWT6
Save Cash with Coupon Apps – KETV7

Cutting Costs: Simple Strategies to Save Money – WOWT6
School Shopping on a Budget – WOWT6
Birthday Parties for Kids – Morning Blend with Momaha
Bloggers From Omaha – Nicole McDonald – Oh My Omaha
Hunting for the lowest egg prices: Where’s the cheapest dozen – Omaha World Herald

Omaha Steak, others tap local bloggers to reach target audience – Omaha World Herald
Are Black Friday Savings Worth the Hassle? – WOWT6
Some People Save Hundreds by Clipping Coupons – Fox 42 KPTM
Money Saving Mom will Teach Basic Budgeting Class – Omaha World Herald
Bellevue family dives into Frugal February – a month with no unnecessary purchases – Omaha World Herald
Bellevue Family says ‘Frugal February’ challenge was worth it: $768 saved – Omaha World Herald

Coupon Collecting Helps Local Author Jump to Top Seller – Fox 42 KPTM

Guest Posts written by me:
Less Stuff, More Memories – Omaha Children’s Museum Blog
Are you Frugal or Just Plain Cheap? – featured on Momaha
7 back-to-school money-saving tips – featured on Momaha
8 Ways to throw the best kid’s birthday party on a budget – featured on Momaha
Six ideas to encourage learning through play – featured on Fat Brain Toys blog
Nine tips for raising independent kids – featured on Fat Brain Toys blog
Say Yes to the Mess – featured on Reruns blog
How to Host a Successful Giveaway Party – featured on Reruns blog
How to Entertain Kids on a Snow Day – featured on Reruns blog
My Struggles as a mom to a special needs child – how I accepted the unexplainable – featured on Reruns blog
Tips to Win Big Prizes from a Sweepstakes Addict – featured on Reruns blog

{ 30 comments… add one }
  • Michelle January 31, 2009, 10:00 pm

    nice to meet you, you seem very accomplished.

  • SWEET SAVINGS January 31, 2009, 11:12 pm

    I found your blog during the giveaway carnival… I’m so glad I did… can’t wait to read more:)

  • Viv (VivLyn) February 1, 2009, 1:39 am

    It’s a pleasure to meet you! I, too, found your blog during the giveaway and have marked it in my favs. Maybe I’ll be able to pick up some good ideas from you.

  • Jessica February 3, 2009, 12:41 am

    nicole…i am so glad we are FIRL. you are great and a good example to follow. thanks for the tips and low down on savings.

  • Wendy aka CalvaryGirl February 4, 2009, 6:18 pm

    Hi Nicole! 😉 Nice to meet you. I enjoy your blog. I’m Wendy, married 33 yo SAHM to a ten year old son and seven year old daughter. We live in NC.

    My Blog: CalvaryGirl
    Calvary Girl Devotions

  • Anonymous December 31, 2010, 10:26 pm


    I was wondering if you go to any stores in Omaha that double your coupons?

  • Anonymous January 12, 2011, 3:58 pm

    im a high school student doing a project on couponing and was wondering if i could get in touch with you about an interview?

  • Nicole January 14, 2011, 4:54 pm

    In Omaha, there are not any stores that regularly double coupons. Occasionally Kmart and Hy-Vee do double coupon days, but it is infrequent.

    Anonymous, feel free to email me at nicole@momsavesmoney.net with the interview details. I’d be happy to help out with your project. 🙂

  • Hopkins family March 29, 2011, 11:24 pm

    I ran into a fellow couponer at CVS today. I commented on how much I envied her coupon book and then complained about how I was unable to find a blog re:couponing in NE. She told me about this blog so here I am! SO excited to meet you virtually and I will be following!

  • Rob April 30, 2014, 10:23 pm

    hello – I attended one of your classes yesterday which was really helpful. I’m excited to apply some of your techniques to grocery shopping. I’m new to Omaha. My question is how does it work at Baker’s and no-frills with their 10 items for $10 sales. Do I have to buy 10? Or can I just buy one and get the same discount? Thank you.

    • Nicole May 1, 2014, 3:59 am

      Hi! Each item is a $1.00. You can buy as many or as few as you want and will pay just $1.00 each.

  • Wanita September 8, 2014, 5:06 am

    hello dear I was wondering if you would do a class for a fundraiser at the Fraternal Order of Eagles I am an officer at the #147. If you can message me it would be wonderful. If you are wondering what we are Our motto is “people helping people” We are a non profit group. We do help a lot of charities.

  • Diane Biodrowski November 19, 2014, 3:52 pm

    Hi Nicole…….talked to you this morning at Bob’s Fitness…….could you forward that link we talked about…..one one about joining your group. Love your website! Thank you.

  • Amanda Stalnaker April 7, 2015, 3:36 pm

    Hi. I am wondering if you would be interested in talking with a MOPs group about couponing. Please let me know if you are available on the evenings of April 28th or May 12th, and what the cost and time frame would be. Thanks so much.

  • Brianna April 9, 2015, 3:22 pm

    I attended your 1-hour Coupon Clipping class today at Farm Credit Services of America. It was a fantastic class. Your passion definitely comes through when you are conveying all of the information. I could have listened to you share your tips for hours! Thank you so very much!

    • Nicole April 18, 2015, 10:47 am

      Thank you! So glad you enjoyed the presentation and hope you can attend more classes. 🙂

  • Leda Flowers May 4, 2015, 12:37 pm

    Does anyone know about the free yarn and where to get it? It was mentioned at the last meeting that you can get free yarn from someplace please let me know. Thank you, Leda.

    • Nicole May 9, 2015, 7:37 am

      I can’t remember the site she said. From what I understood it was more of a lottery and each person who participated had to send yarn to the winner. The hope is that you will be selected as the winner.

  • jeff smith December 8, 2015, 3:27 pm

    I would like to invite you to give a program at the Bellevue Rotary club .if you are open on feb , 22 or 29.. our members would very much appreciate knowing your story and the difference you have made to so many..pls give me a call 402-505-5410 or send me an e-mail jesmith58@msn.com, thanks

  • charlesetta March 6, 2016, 6:41 pm

    I’m new to Iowa originally from Arizona. I’m a single parent and I am wanting to learn the art of couponing to stretch my dollar just wanting to know when you will be teaching a class again at Iowa Western Community college.

    • Nicole March 7, 2016, 10:26 pm

      Welcome to Iowa! I’ve already taught the coupon class for IWCC this term. I will teach it again there in the fall. I do teach quite a few in the Omaha Metro area this spring which isn’t far from Council Bluffs.

  • Beverly Edmondson September 20, 2016, 4:32 pm

    I appreciate your “Mom Saves Money” Omaha ad portion so much. I live in the middle of Iowa and like to come to Omaha to shop at Baker’s on Wednesday because of the 5% senior discount. Your blog is so helpful because it allows me to know the day before I come if the trip will be worthwhile. It is a 5 hour round trip for us, so it helps if I
    can prepare extra coupons to match the new ad. I’m driving out tomorrow, but there is no Bakers info on the site today. Not last week either….. maybe you are not able to get the ad early enough?

    • Nicole September 21, 2016, 8:07 am

      Hi Beverly, Baker’s changed how they delivered the ads, so I no longer have access to the ad until Wednesday. I will add the Baker’s deals before 10 am on Wednesday.

  • Assiana June 22, 2019, 11:40 pm

    Very interesting.

  • Kelli Mull November 18, 2019, 6:41 pm

    Hi Nicole! Could you reach out to me sometime this week? My number is, 402-650-4576. We meet awhile back, I am from the Hy-Vee on 156th and Maple. Thank you!

  • Nancy L Barrett March 4, 2022, 3:07 am

    Incorrect info on amazon first reads for march 2022. Its only 1 book this month

  • Nicki February 4, 2024, 5:32 pm

    Hi there! I’m also Nicole, but go by Nicki. I live in Lincoln. 😊 I found a recipe post about meatballs and thought I’d say hi! 🙂 I’m happy to have found your page!

    Have a great week!

    • Nicole February 7, 2024, 9:55 am

      Welcome, Nicki! Glad to hear you are enjoying the recipes. 🙂


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