6 Secrets to Family Savings for Young Couples

Hi everyone!! Today we have a very special guest post from Hannah at Omaby.com. Hannah writes about pregnancy and parenting. Today, she will be sharing with us 6 Secrets to Family Savings for Young Couples!!

6 Secrets to Family Savings for Young Couples

No one is promised tomorrow, but you don’t want to live your retirement years with just a few options. Or worse, none at all. In this post, let’s talk about the six secrets to family savings for young couples.

Whether you and your partner have one or multiple sources of income, these secrets will help you maintain a good financial footing. As long as you follow them, you can easily make ends meet.

1. Make a budget

It’s always the first step if you want to take control of your finances. Having a budget allows you to understand where your income is going. It also enables you to adjust it based on how much you can afford.

Write down your budget and separate items by categories. Always stick to it. If it’s your first time to have a budget, you may wish to use some of the best online budgeting tools available.

With a budget, you’ll understand your cash flow. You can quickly catch places where you spend more than what you have planned.

2. Live within your means

You must be honest with yourself and your partner of what you can afford. Never go into debt just to get a brand new car if you could only afford a second-hand unit.

Never go on a shopping spree if you knew that you’d be racking up bills on credit card. Keep in mind that if one of you would lose a source of income, it’d be difficult to pay off your debt.

Then, instead of paying with credit card, use cash. However, if you need to pay through credit card, you should be able to understand the difference between needs and wants.

It’s also vital that you cut down on your expenses. One of the most obvious expenses that you could let go is the cable. It’s most likely that you’re wasting a lot of money on pointless television shows.

You may also want to get rid of your gym membership. Keep in mind that you can still exercise at home if you wish to stay in shape without having to spend a lot. On the other hand, you could ask for some deals and prices on your gym membership contract.

6 Secrets to Family Savings for Young Couples

3. Automate savings

It’s most likely that you’re getting paid through direct deposit. If that’s your case, it’s easier to direct your funds into several accounts.

You’ll need to set up multiple savings accounts for specific goals, like a trip to Asia or a brand new car. Doing so will help you see the progress you’re making.

Saving money automatically before it even reaches your bank account will help you save funds in the future. Thus, it increases your contributions in the long run.

4. Get another job or source of income

Chances are, you still can’t pay your bills even if you make a budget and save. That said; consider finding ways that that let you bring in some extra income. It’s either you or your partner who’ll look for it.

The best thing about today is that you can easily make extra income at home working for a few hours a week. For example, if you’re good at web design, you could go to an online marketplace and find clients who need such service.

You may also wish to start a small home business. But avoid those get-rich-quick schemes. They’ll never make you rich anyway.

Another way to earn extra income is to sell online. If you have things at home that you don’t even use or rarely use, you could just sell them and earn.

Or you could rent out your vacant room or basement. On the other hand, if you’re living in a huge house, but you don’t need a huge space, you could downsize and get a smaller home or apartment. Doing so will help you realize the many benefits of downsizing your home to save you money and boost your family savings.

5. Invest wisely

Don’t just put your money in your bank account. Rather, invest it. One of the best ways to invest your money is to buy stocks.

But before you invest, you should talk to your partner. If both of you want to invest in stock market, try asking the help of a financial planner.

It doesn’t matter what your investment choices are. The most important thing here is to review your investments regularly and make sure that the portfolios are balanced.

6 Secrets to Family Savings for Young Couples

6. Have an emergency fund

You may have a great career today or earn a comfortable living. You may not be worrying about your debt today, but how about tomorrow? Because you don’t know what’s coming, you could find yourself unprepared for an emergency.

Couples could easily be under stress after receiving an unexpected pink slip or experience an accident. Illness could also take a toll on your finances. If you don’t have an emergency savings account, your finance would easily throw you off track.

All couples must have an emergency fund, even if you don’t have to worry about your finances today. The fund must be three to six months’ worth of your living expenses. It must be placed in a secure account, such as a money-market fund.

If you have such fund, it’ll reduce stress knowing that you have money to pay off debts. It’ll give you comfort because you know that you won’t be walking a fine line between comfort and tragedy.


Young couples are usually risk-takers. They don’t mind spending a lot of their money because they knew that they have a stable job.

Unfortunately, jobs, these days, can be easily wiped away. The company you’re working now may be in good standing. But it’ll be different a few years from now.

If you have an excellent family saving, you don’t need to worry about the future. But just because you have savings doesn’t mean that you need to spend more. Always look at your budget first before you spend.

These six secrets to family savings for young couples are effective in helping you grow your savings account. Following them will help you get a brighter tomorrow regarding your finances.

Hannah Tong is the founder of Omaby.com, a blog dedicated to providing accurate advice to mothers regarding childcare. She loves taking care of her kids and teaching them the right things. She is also enthusiastic and loves sharing her experiences to teach others about how to care for their families’ health. Check the latest article (Child’s development) here.

Keep up with Hannah on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest

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9 Apps that Pay You to Shop

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Alright, everyone, I’m about to real-talk you for a second: Being an adult is expensive. There are bills to pay, furniture to buy, kittens to feed, and not to mention trying to feed yourself and your family (the human ones).

If you’ve been keeping up with me, here at Blonde Roast by the Coast, you know that I just moved out of my parent’s house into my own home. The idea was exciting and the planning was meticulous, but still, there were unforeseen expenses that have left me feeling EXTREMELY stressed about my financial situation.

I recently got into extreme couponing and the like, but found that it is time-consuming. The easier way to save money on food is through rebate apps. If you combine your meal planning with sales, couponing, and rebates, you are able to save a bunch of money!

9 Apps that Pay you to shop plus a Printable Deal Stacking Spreadsheet!! How to save money shopping for groceries, alcohol, and more!!

My 9 Favorite Rebate Apps

1. Ibotta

Ibotta is the first cashback app I found and it is still my favorite. Not only do you get $10 for signing up but the cash back offers are much higher than other apps. While Ibotta is able to give me hundreds back on my groceries every year, the real reason I recommend it so highly is that they give you back $5 every time you spend $35 at Joann’s Fabrics. I don’t know about you guys, but I’m crafty AF. I just bought a Cricut Explore and I am constantly in Joann’s buying adhesive vinyl, jars to decorate, and everything else I can get my hands on. Once you make enough money in Ibotta, you can either deposit the money via PayPal or use it to buy e-gift cards! Honestly, this app is so helpful and so easy to use, I can’t believe I wasn’t using it in college to save money.

Also, by the way, Ibotta has an excellent referral bonus where you receive $5 for each friend that joins!! That means that when you have your friends sign up through your link you make $5 and your friend makes $10.

2. Checkout 51

Checkout 51 is similar to Ibotta, but the rebates aren’t quite as high value. The upside to checkout 51 however is that you can redeem some of the rebates more than once. For example, I stacked a manufacturers coupon for sponges, with a Target deal to get a $5 gift card for buying however many sponges, with the cash back from Ibotta and ended up MAKING MONEY on the sponges!! Now I have a healthy supply of sponges that will last me a long while. There are often manufacturer coupons, target deals, Checkout 51 rebates, and Ibotta rebates all available on the same item resulting in massive savings!!

3. MobiSave

MobiSave is essentially the same as Ibotta and Checkout 51, but it’s rebates are much lower and the variety isn’t quite as extensive. The real savings comes from the last page in the app where it offers you 75% off your prescriptions with a special code to give your pharmacy. Although this app isn’t quite as good for grocery shopping, if you are already uploading your receipts to Ibotta and Checkout 51, you might as well use MobiSave, too for even more savings!!

MobiSave has a referral program, but you only earn $1 for every friend you refer which you receive when they enter their first submission. 

4. BevRage

BevRage is awesome! It allows you to earn cash back on the purchase of alcohol. Again, it’s easy to stack cash back opportunities on alcohol with BevRageIbotta, and Checkout 51 around the holidays. I got a great deal on some Bailey’s around Christmas by combining all those offers. This is PERFECT for college students because if you’re the one making (completely legal) alcohol runs for your (legal drinking age) friends you can secretly get cash back AND collect money from them!! It is also great if you are the one hosting family parties!! It is such a great way to save money.

BevRage also has a referral program when you can earn $2 for each friend you refer!! 

5. Shopmium

Shopmium is one step down from MobiSave. It really only offers a few rebates at a time, but if you monitor it until you find something that you planned on buying, it can definitely save you some money.

There is a referral program for Shopmium where you receive $2 for every friend that signs up and your friend receives a free Lindt Chocolate bar!! If you’re feeling kind, you should use my code: AKCYFYKH

How to save money on groceries, alcohol, and more!!

6. SavingStar

SavingStar is an interesting rebate option, because instead of having to upload your receipts, it links with your shopper card! You also have the option to upload receipts if your grocery store of choice does not have shoppers cards (such as Target).

7. Berry Cart

The reason that Berry Cart is such a helpful app is that it gives you rebates on healthy foods as opposed to the prepackaged foods that most of the other apps offer! This app is especially helpful for the health-conscious or those with dietary restrictions such as a gluten allergy.

Berry Cart also offers a $2 referral for inviting friends.

Deal-Stacking Spreadsheet

8. Ebates

Ebates isn’t used so much for grocery shopping, its for online shopping, but the same premise applies. You receive a percentage of cash back based on what store your shop at. For example, Old Navy, Gap, and Khols almost always offers 6% cash back!! That’s a lot of money depending on how much you buy, especially if you shop strategically. Ebates will also search online for coupon codes and other ways to save you money from your online purchase. If you have a Visa credit card, you can also use Ebates in-store!! I’ve already saved a couple hundred dollars using Ebates and I’ve only been using it a couple months!!

If you sign up for Ebates right now, you get $10 just for registering!! They also have a referral program where you can receive $5 per friend who signs up!!

9. TopCashBack

TopCashBack is comparable to Ebates. It offers you cash back on online purchases. The only difference is what percentage of cash back each of them are offering in any given day, so it’s definitely good to check both before making your purchase!!

TopCashBack has an insane referral program, where they give you $10 per friend that you invite!!

As you can see, there are a ton of ways to receive cash back for your in-store and online purchases!! I do all my shopping at Target because their deals/sales occur often, the Cartwheel app allows for even more savings, and they allow you to stack coupons.  Uploading the receipts to each of the rebate apps is a breeze and always results in savings if you do your planning!

Be sure to grab our Deal-Stacking Printable Spreadsheet for organizing coupons, sales, cartwheel offers, and rebate opportunities!!

How do you like saving money on your groceries?


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 Meal Planning and Grocery list so that your trips to the store can be organized and productive!! Even has a reminder for coupons!! 

8 Ways to Save Money on Coffee

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In my opinion, coffee is 100% necessary for survival. It can turn a groggy-eyed zombie into a normally-functioning human and a normally functioning human into Leslie Knope (from Parks and Rec if anyone is familiar).

The only real downside to coffee is that it costs money and has calories if you choose to accessorize it with cream, sugar, flavors, etc.

But don’t you worry, I have some tips and tricks to help you save some dough on your coffee. I can’t help you with the calories though, but I totally wish I could.

8 Ways to Save Money on Coffee

1. Stop drinking Starbucks

I mean it. You’re basic enough without walking around with that red cup in your hand. Not only did I stop drinking Starbucks, but I stopped drinking coffee anywhere but Dunkin Donuts. Starbucks is completely overpriced and the coffee isn’t even that good. I was going to some small town mom and pop coffee shops too which I have also stopped going to (that I actually do feel really bad about because I love small business and plan to open my own coffee shop some day). No matter how convenient it is, do not go anywhere other than Dunkin. Drive 0.4 miles out of the way in order to get Dunks because the difference in coffee price is bigger than the difference in gas price.

Surprise Calorie-Saving Tip #1: At Dunkin Donuts, flavor swirls have calories whereas flavor shots don’t. Many of the popular flavors are available in both forms so you can save some calories getting a French Vanilla or Caramel Flavor Shot as opposed to the same flavor as a swirl.

2. Sign up for the DD Perks App

Alright, let me real talk you guys for a second about DD Perks. It. Is. A. Lifesaver. Especially if you live in New England. Every time the Patriots win, you can get $0.87 coffee with your DD Perks app. So essentially, the entirety of New England gets $0.87 coffee every Monday from November to February. They don’t only do local deals. They will have specials where certain drinks are half priced after 2PM or you get bonus points if you buy this combination. Once you reach a certain point value, you earn a free beverage. I cashed in a free beverage this morning and it was a delightful feeling. You get free beverages for your birthday and every time you refer a friend. But you have to do it through an email address so I’m not even getting anything for telling you guys about it…

3. Order on the Go

You thought we were done talking about DD Perks? Nah. There’s more. The DD Perks app now lets you Order on the Go which means you put in your order from bed and then click the “I’m ready to pick up” button once you get in your car. Once you get to your favorite Dunkin Donuts, your stuff will already be waiting at the Pickup Location and you can walk straight there and grab it while everyone in line gives you a dirty look. This way you avoid the waiting in line, getting hungrier and hungrier, and deciding to get a couple donuts by the time you get to the register.

Surprise Calorie-Saving Tip #2: The DD Perks app is very good about showing calorie counts for different foods, so by ordering from the app, it will be easier to make a healthy choice than just by what looks healthy in-store.

4. Sign Up for Auto Reload to Your DD Perks Account

For a limited time, those who sign up for an auto reload in their DD perks account get three times the points on purchases, meaning you’re spending the same amount of money but receiving more free coffees. The auto-reload works two ways – you choose whether you want it to reload based on time or based on the balance in your account. If you have it reload once a month for a specific amount, that is your coffee budget for the month and you won’t have to worry about exceeding it. You will just have to go without after that, I suppose. If you limit how much you have to spend, you better bet you’ll be visiting on $0.87 coffee days.

5. Invest in a Good Coffee Machine

I know, I know. It’s counter-intuitive to spend money to save money, but sometimes you have to do it. I just bought this Keurig and I love it. Kcups come in so many different brands and flavors, just like regular coffee without the trouble of having to grind up beans or fumble around with pouring grounds when you wake up and you’re still dreaming about Ryan Reynolds. You can make a single cup as opposed to a whole pot since not everyone in a family likes their coffee to taste like literal dirt (like my dad does with his columbian roast). Kcups are less messy than a wet filter full of grounds and Keurigs are much easier to clean than other coffee makers. I run a container of vinegar through mine just about every other week.

6. Invest in a Coffee Press

“But Blondie, I only like iced coffee, and I don’t want to pour my hot coffee over ice because it will water it down” Okay, zip it. I get it. Some people are iced coffee people. I sure am if the temperature is above 35F. That’s why I invested in a coffee press. Coffee Presses use regular grounds and hot or cold water to make the perfect coffee. You can either use hot water heated in a microwave or tea kettle and let it steep for just about as long as you would tea, or you can use cold water and let it steep overnight.

Surprise Calorie-Saving Tip #3: Cold brewing coffee is said to make it less bitter, so if you were to invest some time and money in cold brewing, you might have to invest less in flavored creamers and sugars.

7. Buy Coffee in Bulk

This is just Shopping 101 if you use a lot of something, you should buy it in bulk or buy greater quantities online. We drink a TON of the Dunkin Donuts Original Blend, so we either buy it from Amazon or convince my dad to take us to BJs with him to get it there, because we can’t afford our own membership right now. When we first bought the house and didn’t have our lives together, we were running to the store like once a week to get kcups and it was so expensive. Bulk is definitely a much better option for coffee-lovers. 

8. Invest in a Yeti

I always had a really hard time taking coffee to go because I always find travel mugs to pick up the smell of whatever you put in them. I would have different mugs for different drinks – one for coffee, one for chai tea, one for cocoa and so on. A. that was inefficient and B. it all got ruined the day that my sister put a chai tea in my coffee travel mug. Something about the smell seeping into the plastic turns my stomach, so I was buying travel dixie cups instead. Also expensive and also inefficient. Then one day, the man came home from work with a Yeti for me and my life changed. Now I can take whatever drink I want wherever I want without an issue. I just wash it with baking soda and vinegar once a week when I do the Keurig.

So, there you have it, you guys. 8 ways to save money on coffee.
What do you think? Going to try some of these out? How do you save money on coffee?

Happy Caffeinating and remember Choose Death Before Decaf!! 


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CYBER MONDAY DEAL!! $25 Gift Cards for $2.

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TODAY ONLY Restaurant.com is selling $25 Gift Cards for $2.

$25 gift cards on sale for $2 CYBER MONDAY 2016

All you have to do is:

  1. Go to Restaurant.com.
  2. Enter your zip code or the zip code of the person you are buying the gift card for.
  3. Add gift cards to your cart
  4. Enter coupon code CYBER to receive discounted prices.
  5. Make the purchase how you normally would
  6. Print the certificate and dine out as soon as you want!

Let me know what you snag!! I got 4 gift cards for the honey and me, 2 for my sister, and 2 for my parents. Spent $16 for $200 worth of FOOD!!


An Open Letter to Girls Thinking About Joining a Sorority


It’s safe to say that my college experience would have been completely different if I hadn’t joined my sorority. I still don’t know if it was overall good or overall bad. It kind of feels like a wash. I don’t know if I think that my sorority enriched my life so much that it was worth everything I put into it. It started off great. I got my bid. Got my big. I loved the chapter I joined. But after four years of growing and changing, the chapter I left was not the one that I accepted a bid from in Fall 2012. The chapter that I graduated from was corrupt. The sisterhood was a façade. Our sisters were bullying each other while other groups on campus bullied us too.

Freshman year was amazing. I joined an amazing group of girls who I admired and looked up to more than I even knew was possible. My big was the coolest person I’ve ever met in my whole life. She and I didn’t really have much in common, but maybe that’s why we got along so well. What we did have in common is that we were both from out of state. So she totally knew the struggle I was facing when I didn’t get to go home to my family. My grandbig was a senior when I entered the chapter. She was on EC. She was the leader that I aspired to be some day. I loved almost every girl in my pledge class. We were small so we were tight. We stuck together through everything. Second semester of my freshman year, my big took another little which stung a little bit, but could having a twin really be that bad?

Sophomore year was full of my sorority. I lived with 3 other girls in my pledge class which was great. I held many positions including VP. I organized meetings and helped officers plan their events. I really enjoyed being on EC. I loved the responsibility, but the president at the time was constantly undermining me at every turn. She was a complete control freak and refused to let me do any of my work without her looking over my shoulder, but I understood. If I was president of this chapter, I might do the same, and I really hoped I would find out some day. I took a little my sophomore year. It was kind of an interesting scenario because my little was actually older than me, she just decided to rush as a sophomore instead of a freshman. She and I got along great! We had many classes together and we could enjoy each other in and out of sorority life.

Junior year is when everything hit the fan. First of all, I decided to take two littles, which I thought meant that I was doing something nice. This way two girls get their first choice of a big, right? Wrong. It just created a tension and a competition between those two girls for who could paint me the bigger canvas or who could write the longer Instagram caption for my birthday. I lived in an on-campus apartment with two of my pledge sisters and one other sister. When the third sister literally went crazy and threatened to hurt one of us, she moved out and one of my littles moved in. One of the littles in competition for my love. This didn’t bode well for ANYONE. I ran for president of the sorority that year and lost… to my big’s other little. To the girl who joined late, stole my big, and then stole the presidency from me. I accepted a different position and became the New Member Educator. Losing the presidency sent me into a huge downward spiral. I didn’t want to deal with any of it anymore. I didn’t want to live with my pledge sisters anymore. I was tired of putting up with their mess and their noise.

Eventually, though, I got over it. Senior year, I became the New Member Educator that I remember having as a Freshman. The one who is so peppy and responsible and inspiring and I initiated all but two girls who received bids. I took ANOTHER little senior year because the chapter that was once so full of life had become apathetic. Nobody wanted to be a big sister. Nobody wanted to put the effort in to have a position. Everyone just wanted to wear the letters around campus and not have to do any work. At a big school that is probably possible, but in a school as small as mine and a chapter as small as ours, everyone has to do a little bit of work to keep the chapter afloat. I lived senior year with the same girls as junior year – two pledge sisters, and one of my littles. Everything was fine until we all received our littles who were also the new members I was educating. These girls were brats. These girls were bullies. These girls had never made it out of middle school. They were all about spreading rumors and making petty comments behind everyone’s backs. One of my roommate/pledge sisters littles tweeted something so mean about me when she was upset one day that I almost dropped my sorority after eight semesters. After four years of the work I put in. After the amount of money I poured in. After all the presents I gave to my littles and roommates – to have someone PUBLICLY bully me ON SOCIAL MEDIA was the last straw. I reported the tweet she sent to our (adult) advisers who assured me that they took care of it. I know nothing of her punishment, nothing of what compelled her to attack me, and nothing of how to force myself to get over it. This all happened in May and it still keeps me up at night.

So as you can see, my sorority experience was less than ideal. I used to tell people that a sorority could be whatever you made it. If you wanted it to be rewarding, it could be but you would have to work hard. If you wanted it to be a cakewalk, it could be but you really wouldn’t get anything out of it. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. I worked very hard for my sorority and for my sisters and still got burnt in the end.

If you plan on joining a sorority, that’s great. You probably won’t have the same experience I did. But if you are on the fence and you aren’t sure that you really want to put so much time and money on the line to get scorched in the end, do some thinking and some soul searching. Plenty of girls make it through school without joining a sorority and they turn out just fine. Always remember – professional fraternities are always an option.

Happy Deciding!!

Blonde Roast by the Coast

Dunks is Better than Starbs – There I Said It

Alright you guys before you get out your torches and your pitchforks just hear me out:

The way I see it, there are two types of people in this world: Dunks people and Starbs people. Some will argue that there are also people who don’t drink coffee, but honestly that concept is just so foreign to me that I have a hard time recognizing them as people.

10 Undeniable Reasons Dunkin’ Donuts is Better than Starbucks


1. Origin

Massachusetts – ever heard of it? Home of the Boston Tea Party, Midnight Ride, Boston Massacre, and most importantly John Krasinski. Much like the Red Sox, Patriots, Celtics, and Bruins, Dunkin Donuts is another powerhouse that reigns from good old MA.

2. Cost

No one in their right mind can argue that Starbucks is a better value than Dunks. At Dunks, a medium iced is a medium ices is a medium iced and no matter what you add to it (with the exception of a Turbo Shot) you will be charged as such. At Starbucks, I think they charge you for how many syllables you utter. “I’d like a Venti Iced Peppermint Mocha” is a lot of syllables and it is definitely reflected in your total. Even if you order a black coffee at Starbucks and add your own cream (like a peasant) it is more expensive than a coffee of the same size prepared the way you actually want to drink it from Dunks.

3. Volume

Not only does a Dunkin Donuts “small” cost less than a Starbucks “tall” but Dunks also gives you more coffee in your cup.

4. Quality

Not only is the cost higher and the volume lower at Starbucks, the coffee is also burnt. I’ve taken to calling the establishment Charbucks because it tastes like a burnt tire that drove through a field of coffee grounds.

5. Perks/Rewards

The DD Perks app is constantly putting on new deals. Get this for $1 after 2PM. Buy one of these, get one of these half priced. The Starbucks Rewards Program is just that – a rewards program. Starbucks will reward you for going there, but not give you any incentive to go there with any sort of special promotions or deals.

6. Local Deals

Depending on where you are in the country, the DD Perks app also does specials for your local professional sports teams. I love it because, let’s be honest, getting a free coffee after the Patriots win means getting a free coffee almost every week from November to February.

7. Fresh-Baked Treats

Dunkin Donuts bakers get there early in the morning and bake all of the muffins and bagels. Depending on the store, they might bake their own donuts or they might be delivered from their local donut factory to then be filled, frosted, and decorated by the morning baker. Starbucks (food) is all frozen, pre-packaged garbage that they just heat up in a device that’s like a microwave.

8. Carbs

Not only is Dunkins’ food actual real, cooked food, its also much carbier and just overall tastier. When I have a coffee I want a muffin, bagel, or donut. I don’t want some weird Spinach and egg wrap thing. I have acid reflux and I feel like that would just give me indegestion. Coffee is acidic, therefore you need something really carby to protect your stomach lining. Trust me.

9. Hot chocolate

Not only is Dunkin Donuts’ hot chocolate exceptionally amazing, they also have FLAVORED hot chocolates and they will put FLAVOR SHOTS in you hot chocolate for you too. Mint Hot chocolate is my favorite, but it’s a seasonal drink, so I will settle for a Hot Chocolate with a Coconut flavor shot for the rest of the year. The Dunkaccino is also a grand beverage invention. It’s a combination of hot chocolate and coffee which is great for if you don’t actually like coffee that much but need caffeine.

10. Service

I, personally, find Dunkin Donuts employees to be friendlier. Probably because all Starbucks employees are either hipsters or pretentious, but my coffee is always ready a lot faster at Dunks. Dunks seems to have it figured out better where they have people at the registers (managers, usually), people making drinks, and people making food (bakers, usually). This way everyone has their own job and no one is in each others’ way. At Starbucks, the person who takes your order has to go walk around and make your coffee, and then they have to go put your weird spinach wrap in the “microwave” too. Same with the person on the other register, and same for the person working the drive thru. So everyone is constantly in each others’ way, bumping each other, and while they’re holding hot coffee and that just makes me anxious.

I hope this post has enlightened you to the superiority of Dunkin Donuts over Starbucks. If you disagree, I would love to hear your opinion!!

Happy Caffeinating!!


An Open Letter to Girls Thinking About Going to College Out of State

As I have mentioned, I am from Massachusetts but went to school in Tennessee. My college experience was excellent and terrible – sometimes at the same time. Here are ten things I realized way too late about going to school out of state.

An Open Letter to Girls thinking about going to college out of state


Traveling is more expensive than you think

Plane tickets are expensive. Gas is expensive. Traveling is expensive. If you will be responsible for paying for your own traveling, this is something major to consider. My dad and I decided that he would fly me home for Christmas and Summer. All of my other flights were my responsibility. I missed every Thanksgiving and I missed three out of four Easters. It’s hard to shell out $500 when your monthly income is $0.

You will miss your family on holidays even if you don’t think you will

Luckily, I had an uncle nearby when I was away at school. He let me stay at his house whenever I wanted and I spent every holiday there which was nice – but it was not the same as being at home with my family. All your friends will leave for the holidays and you will be stuck at school with nowhere to go. Your friends will offer that you can come spend the holiday with their family but it won’t be the same either.

Your family will do stuff without you

All four years I was away, my family had already gotten the Christmas tree by the time I had gotten home from school. That had been a family tradition for all of us to go together, but I missed it four times. Christmas isn’t the only thing: I missed September trips to the Cape. I missed family weddings. I missed cookouts and picnics and quality time with my family that I will never get back.

Everyone will continue to age

Just because everyone is healthy when you leave as a freshman, does not mean everyone will still be healthy when you get back after senior year. I will never forget the day sophomore year that my mom called me to tell me that my grandfather had a stroke. That phone call wrecked me. There is no worse feeling than being trapped somewhere when all you want to do is get home. My dad also underwent a pretty serious operation during my senior year that I couldn’t be around for and that was an even worse feeling. Not only will your human family members age, but your pets will too. Think about the average lifespan of the breed of dog or cat you have before you make that decision.

Your pets will start to favor your siblings

This was a serious problem for me, right here. The amount of Saturday morning Snapchats I received from my sister snuggling with my cat was almost enough to make me drop out and move home. Karma used to sleep with me every night, and she continued to sleep in my room for a while after I left, but it was a cold winter and she needed my sister’s body heat. Also, your pets may be afraid of you for a while once you get back, especially if they don’t recognize your smell.

You will be miserable and alone the first time you get sick

Luckily for me, I didn’t get majorly sick until the second semester of my senior year. I had somehow gotten strep (which my biology major roommate diagnosed me with) and needed to get antibiotics. But where do you go to the doctor when you’re out of state? I ended up going to the Little Clinic in Kroger and they took great care of me. But I really did miss having my mom there to make me tea.
On the other side of this, you may be able to get through it if you have a mom-like friend. My junior year all three of my roommates came down with the flu all at the same time. Don’t ask me how I avoided catching it because I really have no idea. But I took great care of those girls. I went out and got everyone the cough drops they like, Vics Vapor Rub, tissues, soup, tea, anything else they wanted. The thing is, though, if I had caught that flu too, we all would have been out of luck and that week would have been a lot worse.

Your health insurance may not be valid

Many people use the a Minor Med type facility when they have a non-urgent medical need, which is great, but the problem from being an out of state student is that those Minor Meds are associated with local hospitals and therefore take local insurance. Your insurance may work just fine, but I have heard many horror stories of people receiving treatment and then owing an enormous bill they weren’t expecting.

Your bank may not have a branch there

When I started school, I was using Bank of America and everything was fine – those banks are everywhere, but my sophomore year my dad decided to switch us to a smaller, local credit union with lower fees, but that credit union didn’t have any branches near my school. I would either take out a lot of cash to travel to Tennessee with me (which is risky) or use the ATM at school and pay a fee to take out my own money (which is ridiculous). Although this is by no means life threatening, it is annoying, and definitely something to keep in mind.

You may starve if you don’t have a car

The uncle that I previously mentioned had decided to get a new car just as I was starting school so he sold me his old truck which I used whenever I was down there. It was a good thing too. The cafeteria at my school closed at 7PM every night. That is so early!! You are going to need a snack past 7PM sometime in the four years you are at college, I promise. Also if you stay on campus during Spring Break or Fall Break, it is likely that the cafeteria will not be serving food at all and you may need to find your own.

Even if you don’t think you will meet a boy, you will meet a boy

I tried for a long time to do the long distance relationship while I was in college. I’m not saying that long distance relationships won’t work. They definitely can if you’re with the right person. The right person for me wasn’t the guy I was in a relationship with. My right guy was the one I met senior year after doing long distance for three years. Even if you don’t think you will meet a boy at your school, you will. Even if you think college isn’t the right place to date because you need to focus on your schoolwork, you will. I never thought I would meet someone down south but I did and it was a huge problem in my life when I had to end my long distance relationship. That’s a hard thing to do.

Four years is a long time and although transferring is an always option, it is and expensive and lengthy process which might cause you to lose some of your credits. I was determined to finish what I had started and graduate from the school I had started at, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t struggle. Looking back now I don’t know if I’m glad I chose that school or not there were definitely a lot of ups and most certainly a lot of downs. I’m not trying to talk you out of anything. I just really want to make sure you know what you’re getting into by going to school out of state. Don’t make this decision without weighing each of these and thinking about how they will affect you and your family. You are not the only one that will miss your family. They will miss you too.

Happy Deciding!!

Blonde Roast by the Coast

How to Save Money on Coffee

This post contains affiliate links

How much money do you spend on coffee every month? If you track that number, the answer might surprise you, but fear not. There are ways to save money and you’re about the learn the best one.

How to Save Money on Coffee

The year was 2016. The month, a beautiful sunshiny May in central Massachusetts. Your girl, here, had just graduated from college (finally) and started her dream job as a Mechanical Engineer at a Biomedical company in her hometown. She was living at home with her parents who she missed so much while she was away at school, commuting 1.3 miles to work, and eating completely for free at home. It was the life.

But then, something started happening. The excitement of her new job was starting to wear off and she started getting the 10AM blues. You know the one. The one where you need a certain something. You need that afternoon pick-me-up. YOU NEED COFFEE.

Luckily for her, there was both a Starbucks and a Dunkin Donuts within walking distance of her wonderful working establishment. So she grabbed a friend and they walked to get their caffeine fix. As a born and bred Masshole, there was no way she would pass up Dunks for Starbs, that would just be wrong. So she opted for the better (and cheaper) choice and headed out.

Knowing that she has had stomach problems in the past and that stress ulcers were a definite possibility for someone as Type-A as she, she decided to order a Reduced Fat Blueberry Muffin with her coffee. Her total came out to $4.02, she paid the nice man in the ugly brown apron, and headed back to work. She sat in her cubicle enjoying her treats and continued working.

As the summer drew on, her trips to to Dunks became more frequent. What started as a once a week treat turned into an every day necessity. Some days, she would just get the coffee, some days a muffin as well, and some days a bagel instead.

As the responsible girl she was, she tracked her spending meticulously. She had just finished her Engineering Economy class and knew exactly how much she needed to be saving to afford the house she wanted to buy, or the car that she knew she would need eventually, or just to increase her “in case of emergency” savings account. But there she was spending $30 per week at Dunkin Donuts. For coffee – something she could easily make at home.

She knew she had a problem. She knew she needed to make a change. So that’s what she did. She made one of the most important purchases of her life and invested in a Coffee Press.

Click here to get yours!!

This coffee press was amazing. She could make Hot or Iced Coffee. Warm or Cold Brew. Her days of spending an excessive amount of Dunkin Donuts were over, and she can finally rest easily enjoying her Iced Coffee from home.

Happy Caffeinating!!

Blonde Roast by the Coast