About Me

leah althiser headshot

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 at High Creek Wildlife Control. And my newest site is The Practical Horsewoman, all about my life as a horse owner and aspiring Dressage rider. 

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


  • Jen kasper

    Hi! Looking for a place with a view, can be for 4 or 5 but may be 2. I turn 50 on may 18, 2021. Want to be near contemporary or animal kingdom. Want one park a day x 4 days, 5 days with 2 to travel. What can you do for us?

    September 8, 2020 at 8:46 pm Reply
  • Jeanette Zeitler

    Do you have any idea when Walt Disney World will reopen this year @ full hours? We would like to come to the park & Animal Kingdom & DisneySprings but don’t know when to plan. Can you give us some help?

    May 1, 2020 at 12:18 pm Reply
    • Leah

      Hi Jeanette! Unfortunately I have no idea when Disney will reopen and what it will look like there when they do. I expect limited capacity and masks will be involved but I have no idea about a timeline.

      May 2, 2020 at 7:55 am Reply

    I came across your site on Yahoo, in an article about baking without butter.
    I’ve been baking for 50 years, and these cookies take the cake. Five stars to you from this hard to please baker. Thanks, you little Sweetie!

    March 24, 2020 at 6:44 pm Reply
  • 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
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