About Me

Hi, I’m Leah and I love the challenge of living a rich life on a tight budget. I started this blog to share my strategies for saving time and money with my family and friends and it has grown to reach millions of readers.

I write about my efforts to save money on family travel and everyday expenses. I’m really interested in how living frugally can help my family have what we want in life – more time with each other, healthy and delicious food, a nice place to live, and a chance to travel.

We live in beautiful North Carolina and some of what I write about pertains to folks who also live in the South, but a lot of the tips and ideas apply wherever you live.

Another aspect of living frugally that is important to my family is reducing our impact on our planet’s resources. We try to be conscious of how our buying and lifestyle choices affect the environment. We try to do more with less stuff, limit waste, buy secondhand when possible and choose food that causes the least harm.

I have a BS in Biology and a Master in Education degree (MEd) from The Ohio State University. I was a public school teacher for almost a decade before I started blogging!

In addition to running this site, I also blog (and podcast) about doing Disney World on a budget at The Budget Mouse. I maintain a site for my husband’s wildlife control business as well at High Creek Wildlife Control

Thanks for checking out this site and I hope you will get some ideas that can help your family live a rich life – that is, have time and money for what you really want. Of course, take what you like and leave the rest.

With love,

Leah Crocker Althiser


  • Kari O’Brien

    I’m trying to plan a Disney vacation trip for myself. My 14 year old son, my husband, my mom and my dad. I’ve been 3 times but it’s been years since my last visit. I believe they were just finishing the Africa park. Anyways, we’re looking for a way to do this affordably. We would like to stay at a resort at the park. Help with discounts passes to to the parks would be nice. The dates were looking at are Sunday 4/19/2020-Thursday 4/24/2020. We definitely want to include universal studios and the magic kingdom. Things have grown so much over there so any advice on other parks that we should visit would be helpful. I’ve been to Epcot but was too you g to really appreciate it……I filled out the form for Sierra so I’ll be looking for her email. I look forward to hearing from you both and thank you in advance for all of your help!

    January 14, 2020 at 11:50 pm Reply
  • Whitley's

    Hi Leah,
    I have been wanting to take my family to Disney Orlando, possibly a Fri-Sun trip, come back on Monday. I’m trying to plan this a year out, looking at going in December 2020. Everytime I go to look at the Disney website to plan it I get so confused…so I just found the Mouse on a Budget Website. It let me sign-up for a Destinations Florida travel agent named Siera to get back with me. We would like a whole package we can just pay on throughout the year, with airfare (we live in Texas), staying at the park for 3 days, and possibly meals included…And we are a family of 3. 2 Adults and one 7yr. Old. Any advice? 🙂

    Thanks Leah!

    December 15, 2019 at 9:10 am Reply
    • Leah

      Hi! Siera can definitely help you set up a package you can pay on throughout the year for next December. Look for an email from her (siera@destinationsinflorida.com) very soon!

      December 16, 2019 at 8:27 am Reply
  • Carol Ridgely

    I would like to take my daughter in law and granddaughter to Animal Kingdom on Saturday, Dec. 21. I have been searching the web for discount tickets! Are there any discounts on one day tickets? We are Fl residents but only want one day! Help!!!!!!

    December 11, 2019 at 4:21 pm Reply
    • Leah

      Hi Carol! Unfortunately there are no discount 1-day tickets, even for Florida residents. You can get a significant discount on the Park Hopper add-on but it sounds like that won’t help you since you only want to go to one park.

      December 12, 2019 at 6:21 am Reply
  • Sheila Sheron

    I just downloaded the DOSH ap and Sams Ap which I am already a member. I went to order the disney cards and they DOSH ap is not applicable with gift cards. Is this true?

    December 9, 2019 at 3:33 pm Reply
    • Leah

      Hi Shelia! I have earned cash back on DOSH when purchasing gift cards at Sam’s Club many times despite what it says in the app. I always am sure to purchase other items with the gift cards. At any point they may change this and start enforcing the no cash back on gift cards policy, so be aware that your mileage may vary. But in my experience (and many others I have read online) the cash back works on any purchase.

      December 10, 2019 at 6:26 am Reply
  • Justin Kindrick

    Hi, I’m new to the site, but I’m always wanting to find new ways to save money at Disney World for me and my family. We are wanting to go back to Disney World in 2020, and need some advice on how to save the most money while doing everything we would like to do during our stay. Are there any deals for a 6 night stay at the new Disney Riviera with park tickets for 2 adults and 3 children above the age of 7 in June or September? We are only wanting to do 3 days at the parks during the trip.

    November 10, 2019 at 2:00 pm Reply
    • Leah

      Hi Justin! I’m going to send your question on to Siera my expert Disney travel agent. Discounts haven’t been released for next July yet but she can help you get the best prices regardless.

      November 12, 2019 at 8:56 am Reply
  • Becky

    I have been wanting to take my girls to Disney World but can’t seem to figure out the best deals on my own! I would love to camp at Camp Wilderness but I am up for any suggestions and tips you can share.

    November 5, 2019 at 4:58 pm Reply
  • Donna

    Leah, you are a blessing. We live an hour away from Disney and I haven’t been able to take our 2 children yet because it’s sooo expensive. At one time, I thought it would be cheaper if we bought a package and stayed at one of the resorts. I haven’t found that to be true either. Any suggestions you have would be helpful.

    March 27, 2019 at 1:05 pm Reply
  • Nancy Saunders

    Hi Leah, I am glad I found your post. I was searching on line looking for any discounts for Disney World, that’s how I found you. We are like you, WE LOVE GOING TO DISNEY WORLD! But it’s very pricey as you already know. We are considering using the DVC Rentals, we had never heard about them until we read your posts. I saw that you are sending someone your guide to Disney on a budget information, would you mind sending it to me as well? Thank you for all the great information! We live in NC as well, small town called Parkton. 🙂

    January 22, 2019 at 4:40 pm Reply
  • Lindsey lanier

    This is such an amazing site!! We are from mount holly NC.. we are able to take our 2 kids this sep to disney ! Our first time planning it .. do you have any good tips and ideas for us ! Trying to learn to save as much and allow kids to do as much as possiable ! You seem like the woman to talk to lol ..

    January 18, 2019 at 2:36 pm Reply
  • Katy nolan

    Enjoyed a few of your articles and planning an extended family trip soon. Maybe first week of september but really want to avoid all Halloween stuff . Any suggestions?

    January 11, 2019 at 11:37 pm Reply
    • Leah

      Hi Katy! Halloween decorations go up in Magic Kingdom in mid-August (it’s crazy, I know) due to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party beginning then. But there isn’t much Halloween at all outside of that park until October. Hope that helps!

      January 12, 2019 at 4:54 am Reply
  • DungN

    You’re awesome! Thank you so much!

    February 18, 2018 at 11:01 am Reply
  • DungN

    Hi Leah,
    Thank you for the great tips. I was just wondering how dining plan works at the Cinderella Royal place. I saw you mentioned about saving the credits to eat there. Does it mean we would need 4 table meals for 2 adults there? Thank you

    February 18, 2018 at 8:29 am Reply
    • Leah

      Yes, you’ve got it right… it is 2 table service credits per person for Cinderella’s Royal Table. It’s also worth noting that gratuity IS included in the cost (or dining plan credits) there, unlike other table service locations. So you will save about $12 per person on tips!

      February 18, 2018 at 8:55 am Reply
  • Cindy

    Hi Leah.
    I was wondering how I can check dvc for more than 1 room? I need 4 rooms.

    February 2, 2018 at 7:54 pm Reply
    • Leah

      Hi Cindy! I personally don’t know of a way to search for four rooms at once. I have to refer you to David’s Vacation Rentals who I know can help you find availability. Here’s a link to their site: http://bit.ly/2EDsycG Hope that helps!

      February 3, 2018 at 4:19 pm Reply
  • Bill Crocker

    I just love your blog Leah. Of course I am biased. I am your very PROUD Dad.
    Love you girl.

    December 9, 2016 at 12:05 pm Reply
    • Leah

      This means the world to me. Thanks, Dad. 🙂

      December 10, 2016 at 5:35 am Reply
  • Catherine Howard

    Hi Leah! This is Cayte (Katie) from Long Beach! Just wanted to reach out to you and let you know how fantastic it was meeting another strudlette 🙂 I LOVE your blog! Will definitely be checking it out on a regular basis. I hope we run into eachother next summer, and for years to come. Your fellow Rockportian at heart – Cayte

    July 13, 2015 at 4:57 am Reply
    • Leah

      Cayte! How great to hear from you! Thanks so much for stopping by and saying hey! Hope to see you again in Rockport, too. 🙂 The best place in the summer.

      July 13, 2015 at 11:26 pm Reply

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