About Holly

Holly Johnson is a wife, mother of two, and frugal lifestyle enthusiast. She is the co-founder of Club Thrifty and a staff writer at Get Rich Slowly, Frugal Travel Guy, and U.S. News and World Report's "My Money Blog." Holly has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Kiplinger Personal Finance, Fox Business, and Daily Finance.

Vanilla Reloads Are Dead: What Now?

DSCF3121As many of you know, CVS stores recently decided to stop allowing customers to buy Vanilla Reloads with a credit card.  At first, I was disappointed because I literally have eight CVS stores within 5 minutes of my house, and all of them were Vanilla Reload goldmines.  On the other hand, life goes on.  Most good things do come to an end, and the fact that some people were buying 5K per day probably wasn’t helping matters.  The good thing is, I was only using Vanilla Reloads to meet the minimum spending requirement on a specific card.  Now that that’s done, I couldn’t care less about Vanilla Reloads.  Here’s why:  [Read more...]

I Hate Spam: A Rant

spamI awoke this morning to 100 new emails, which is pretty typical for a weekday.  Unfortunately, about half of them weren’t actually addressed to me.  Another handful made absolutely no sense.  I even got this one today:

 

 

[Read more...]

Saving for the Perfect Vacation

How-To-Save-For-VacationFor most people with kids, the past few weeks have offered a welcome respite from school, also known as Spring Break.  That means that most of my Facebook friends have headed south, as evidenced by the many (MANY!) status updates that have indicated so.  And I can’t blame them.  Still, it’s been slightly painful watching so many people leave town to do something fun, when I’ve been stuck up here in the rain and cold.  It even snowed yesterday.  What in the hell is up with that?  Fortunately, my own vacation is coming up in two short weeks and I’m taking my family to the beach.  I cannot wait!

Read More at VOSA.com…..

Restaurant Dining: Fighting the Urge to Splurge

tofuNow that I work from home, I have a little more time to prepare healthy meals.  I’ve even been known to bust out a new recipe from Pinterest or Continental Simple Recipes on occasion, or try a new creation of my own.  On days like those, I feel particularly accomplished- like I’m Wonder Woman- and like I can do it all.

But it isn’t always that way, especially when I’m really busy.  There are days that I literally work online from 7:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. without realizing how late it is.  And on those days, I panic.  Sometimes I even make Worst Mom Ever meals like packets of oatmeal with a banana on top (last week), boxed mac-n-cheese (the week before), and Red Baron pizza (I can’t believe my kids will eat that).  Other days, I get super stressed when I realize that we are running low on groceries and have to fight off the temptation to take everyone out to eat.  And it works…most the time. [Read more...]

5 Best Wifi Calling Apps

wifiAre you travelling again and worried about managing your daily expenses?  Are you determined to stay in touch with family and friends? Here are a few apps that you can rely on for cheap calls that won’t burn that hole in your pocket!  Most people don’t know it, but wifi calls are great way to save money, and all you need is a wifi connection. You don’t even need 3G or 4G. If you are using an iPhone, an Android, or any other smartphone, here are some of the best apps out there for international calling: [Read more...]

Be Frugal Where it Counts

frugalFrugality is one of the Puritan virtues, and is a founding philosophical precept of this country. It’s wrapped up in a mythos of self-determination and self-reliance…and it has fallen somewhat out of favor with modern audiences.  Look at me, being all philosophical….. [Read more...]