Sunday, January 11, 2015

31 Ways to Save Money this Month

1.      Make a budget.
2.      Use coupons and shop the sales.
3.      Take unwanted clothing to consignment shops.
4.      Make a donation to a non-profit and get a tax receipt.
5.      Eat leftovers.
6.      Use a cash back website like Ebates when shopping online.
7.      Plan a free date night using these ideas.
8.      Create a meal plan and shopping list before going to the store.
9.      Make your own household cleaners.
10.  Buy store brand items instead of name brands.
11.  Call your cable or internet provider to see if there is a way to lower your bill.
12.  Use in network ATMs to avoid those crazy fees.
13.  Get rewards cards for all the places you shop.
14.  Pay your bills on time to avoid late fees.
15.  Replace the filters in your home.
16.  Wash your laundry in cold water instead of warm/hot.
17.  Make gifts instead of buying them.
18.  Cut back on convenience foods and cook more from scratch.
19.  Make your own laundry detergent.
20.  Buy used.
21.  Shop for holiday items after the holiday and save for the next year.
22.  Swap babysitting with friends or neighbors.
23.  Pack your lunch.
24.  Borrow books, movies, and music from the library.
25.  Go meatless for dinner at least once a week.
26.  Create a price notebook.
27.  Make your coffee at home.
28. Invite friends over for a potluck instead of heading to a restaurant.
29.  Don’t shop convenience stores.
30.  Pay bills online to save on postage.
31.  Buy in bulk and share with a friend.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Creating A Masterpiece

Last year at a local homeschool conference, my 9 year old daughter had the opportunity to participate in a hands on arts class offered by Creating a Masterpiece and taught by Sharon Hofer.  The class she took utilized pastels.  By the end of the lesson, my daughter walked away with a complete piece of artwork.  I was amazed!!  I decided to purchase one of her DVDs to take home and try with the other girls.

This is the curriculum that we purchased.

Creating a Masterpiece is a DVD driven, art curriculum where the teacher and creator, Sharon Hofer, walks the student through step by step to create their masterpiece.  Her videos are not only for those who like pastels, but she utilizes many different mediums including crayon, ink, pencil, watercolor and much more.

While we purchased our curriculum almost a year ago, we finally got around to getting the supplies and pulling out the DVD to give it a try.  Once we gathered everything together and started the video, I realized that I did not have the correct colors of pastels.  I was missing one of the colors they were going to need.  Guess that's what I get for buying my pastels when we lived in South Korea almost three years ago.  We were able to improvise and the girls had fun and made a mess while watching the video and creating their artwork.

And here is the finished product...a masterpiece.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Sale AOP at CBD

Click Here

Mark your calendars for the one day only sale on Alpha Omega Curriculum at on January 13, 2015!

Week One - No Spend

So this month I am doing a No Spend January/Eat from your Pantry.  If you want the specifics on what that means, go here to my previous post.  In essence, I am only spending $150 on groceries this month for my family of 7, when we normally would spend about $150.00 a week.

Before starting I did stock up on frozen veggies, milk, eggs and bread, which went into the freezer.  I made one trip to the grocery store this past week and struck gold, while only spending $26.00.

One of our family's favorite fruits is strawberries.  When I buy them, we can go through a pound or two at a sitting.  I am pretty picky about price and will not spend more than $2.50 per pound.  When I went to the commissary before starting this challenge, one pound of strawberries was $4.99.  That's ridiculous to me!!  I opted out on that purchase at the time.  But when I ran to the store this week, they had two pound packages of strawberries for $1.99.  YES!!!

This is cheaper than frozen berries right now.  So I took advantage of the sale and stocked up.  I bought 14 pounds of berries.  I forgot to take a picture before we washed, ate, cut, froze and dipped strawberries in chocolate.  They were YUMMY!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

31 Things to Do Instead of Spending Money

Since this month is a no spend money, I thought I would look up some fun things that could be done each day instead of wanting to go shopping or out and spend money.

  1. Invite a friend over for coffee or tea.
  2. Wash your car at home.
  3. Have a movie marathon with friends.
  4. Go to the library.
  5. Organize your drawer or closet.
  6. Take a nap.
  7. Listen to a podcast.
  8. Play a board game.
  9. Go on a bike ride.
  10. Take a walk.
  11. Go for a drive and get lost.
  12. Bake something.
  13. Write a letter to an old friend.
  14. Have a bonfire.
  15. Paint your nails.
  16. Plant or weed your garden.
  17. Rearrange your furniture.
  18. Gaze at the stars.
  19. Create a bucket list.
  20. Make a monthly meal plan.
  21. Get rid of clutter and donate it.
  22. Go to a park and swing on the swings.
  23. Read a book.
  24. Call a friend you haven't spoken to in a while. 
  25. Watch an old favorite TV show on YouTube.
  26. Try a new hairstyle.
  27. Prepare a bag to give to the homeless.
  28. Organize your refrigerator.
  29. Go on a hike.
  30. Visit with family or friends.
  31. Count your blessings.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Random Acts of Kindness 2015

Joni, a blogger at FreeTastesGood,  is encouraging people to go into the 2015 doing  365 Days of Kindness by performing a random act of kindness everyday.  She is posting videos to give ideas of what you can do to bless others.  Check out her first video.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Eat from the Pantry/No Spend January

Last year my sister and I decided to go for one month with no spending above the minimal needs of our family.  We each had different reasons for wanting to do this but both of us decided make a commitment for the month of January.  My goal was to only spend $150.00 on groceries for the family, mainly purchasing fresh fruits, vegetables and dairy.  This is not much considering our monthly family grocery budget is about $700.00.  

I have decided to do this again for January 2015.  Would you like to join me?

Eating from the Pantry means that we eat the food that is already in our pantry and freezer, while only purchasing the bare essentials.  No spending means.... no eating out, picking up Starbucks, or buying that cute sweater that only costs $5.00 with a sale and coupon. 

The things that are NOT included in our no spend month are:

·                     Rent/Mortgage
·                     Utilities
·                     Tithe
·                     Insurance
·                     Gasoline
·                     Education (both my husband and daughter are in college)

Last year when I mentioned what I was doing on Facebook, some of my friends replied that they would starve, that there is no way that they could eat from their pantry.   I may have an advantage over someone who does not enjoy shopping, cooking or using coupons to save money.  Since my sister and I both have larger families, I have 5 kids and she has 6,  we normally buy things in larger quantities at SAM's Club or even stockpile for our families anyway.  While I keep a cupboard full of things we eat in the kitchen, I also have pantry in the basement.  I always have an extra one or more of many items in my basement pantry.  For example, while I have ketchup, mustard, PB and jelly in my kitchen, I also have at least one more in my basement pantry.  This is just how we roll.  I never want to be stuck without something I might need.

Here is a picture of my basement pantry.  I organized it just for you

 You may be thinking there is no way you can do a month eating mainly what you have in your house.  Let me challenge you to try a week.  If you normally spend $100 on groceries a week, try getting creative with your meals, digging back into your cupboard and using things that you didn't know were there and only spend $25.00 on your groceries.  Also, see how long you can go without buy stuff.  You know what I'm talking about, not needs but wants.   Pepsi at the Dollar Tree...Starbucks coffee...Papa John's pizza....Chinese takeout.  I guess you can see where we like to put our money (though I am not the coffee drinker in our house).  

I will begin this challenge on January 1, 2015, just a few days away.  As I look at my freezer and pantry, I will probably make a run to the store to get a bunch of fresh fruits and veggies and a few more pounds of chicken before Thursday.  If my kids want to spend their Christmas money during January on something, I won’t stop them as I am not forcing them to participate in this challenge with their personal money, but don’t ask me to go out to lunch or shopping, as I’ll have to ask you to reschedule until February.

Happy Saving!!