Living Frugally

August 31, 2006 at 8:08 pm (Uncategorized)

I have lovingly been nicknamed “The
Queen of Cheap” by the Mom's on one of my Yahoogroups.  I recently
got an email requesting “Would you be interested in sharing your saving
ideas with me?”   This got me thinking that most
homeschoolers are use to living on one income in a two income world!
(Whoa, that would make a great title for a book! LOL)  That must
mean that we have some frugal ideas to live by!  How about sharing
your top 10 ideas for frugal living and homeschooling.

Here are mine…

1. Shop second hand 
–  This is my number one tip.  There is SOOOOO much good
stuff out there that other people are getting rid of.  We buy
almost all of our clothing used.  One day a month we hit the
thrift store and I am always buying a season ahead.  Make sure to
find out about any specials at your local thrift store.  Our gives
a 25% off coupon if you make a donation the same day you shop.  I
NEVER go without a bag or two to drop off.  Yes, you might have to
be a little patient while waiting to find all the things you
need.  But if you are shopping  season ahead you should have
plenty of time to find what you need.  We buy more than just
clothing.  We always try to buy 2nd hand 1st.  My kids love
to go to the thrift shop because it is like a treasure hunt.  You
never know what you are going to find! 

2. Use Ebay
for hard to find 2nd hand items. –  Sometimes there are just
things you are not going to find at the thrift store.  Recently I
needed a Awana Leader Shirt.  It was $24.99 new plus
shipping.  I found it for $4.99 on Ebay plus $5.00 shipping! 
I would not recommend spending a LOT of time on ebay.  It is very
easy to spend way too much money on Ebay!  LOL

3. Use the internet
– When it comes to information and ideas always check the internet
1st.  I am always amazed what I can find online.  I am
completely convinced you could educate your kids completely using just
the Internet and Library.  Don't forget to check out Jamin's Internet Academy every Wednesday on The Company Porch to hear my ideas about using the internet in your homeschooling!

4. Go to used Curriculum Sales
Buy whatever you can used.  Find out where the used curriculum
sales are in your area and check them 1st.  You can also buy used
curriculum on vegsource and ebay.

5. Avoid consumerism
–  Don't watch commercials, don't go shopping.  That is my
best advice.  If you don't see it you are not going to want
it!  Your already a step ahead since your homeschooling and your
kids are not seeing what everyine else has on a daily basis.

6. Be Creative
– When you see something you just gotta have…think…could I make
that?  I hear people say  “I can't sew, I don't have a sewing
machine.”  My response it “Get one!” Do you have any idea how much
money you can SAVE by owning a sewing machine?  You can pick one
up (used of course!) resonably.  Then you can use it to make all
kinds of things that would cost a TON more.  I save sooo much
every year by sewing.  (Not to mention the occasional money I make
doing sewing projects for others!)

7. Trade for goods and services
– Once upon a time we needed a refrigerator really bad …Some friends
were moving across Country and had  fridge to sell.  Problem,
I didn't have the money to buy it.  But…they had tickets to a
College ball game they really wanted to attend (and would have to
travel.) but had no babysitter in the new place they were moving
to.  I on the other hand had one free round trip ticket on my
frequent flyer miles (Which I had earned from my previous job
pre-kids)…Guess who flew in to babysit their kids for a weekend in
exchange for a free fridge?  (Now, that same fridge sits in my
kitchen needing to be replaced because it is now too samll for a family
of 5!  I am on the lookout for a deal!!!)

8. Use Craigslist and Freecycle
–  We are in the process of re-landscaping our frontyard and have
challenged ourselves to doing it for NO MONEY!  So far we have
found rock, landscape timbers and stepping stones.  Yes, it takes
a while to collect all the goodies.  Yes, it takes a lot of muscle
to go collect the goodies.  But, in the end we will have a lovely
front yard that we spent NO MONEY on!  (This is also a great way
to get rid of BIG things you don't want to drag to the thrift
store.  Get someone to come pick it up!)

9. Eat at home
–  Nothing goes through money like eating out.  I LOVE to eat
out, but I love being home with my kids more.  If I have to give
up one or the other, I give up eating out! (We reserve eating out for
Birthdays, anniversarys, traveling and when someone takes us out! 
LOL)

10. Enjoy the cheap life! 
– Living frugally can become fun if you have the right mindset. 
Make a day of going out garage saling as a family.  Learn to sew
and teach your kids.  Build things with your kids.  Take free
classes at Lowe's when your bathroom needs re-tiled.  Don't let
not having money stop you from having a good time.  Just be
creative and think of inexpensive ways to live cheap!  Call all
your local museums and find out if they have free days.  Go to the
drive-in on $8.00 a carload night. (Make sure to pack your own snacks
though!) 

Now it is your turn! Leave me a comment with a link to your top 10 frugal living tips so I can come read them! Tag…your it!

Click on over to The Company Porch and read my latest ramblings about using the internet in your homeschooling.  I'll see you there!

Jamin

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Labor Of Love

August 30, 2006 at 9:55 pm (Uncategorized)

Make sure to stop by Dandelion Seeds blog to check out the Labor Day, Labor of Love Encouragement for husbands!

What a GREAT idea!

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Mock Sushi

August 30, 2006 at 7:28 am (Uncategorized)

My 12 year old loves Sushi and all things Japan!  So when I found the instructions for Mock Sushi on the Family Fun website I knew we had to make it for his birthday yesterday.

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href=”http://photobucket.com&#8221; target=”_blank”><img
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What
is Mock Sushi?  It is basically a marshmellow treats with gummy
worms in the middle and fruit by the foot fruit rolls on the
outside!  Very cute, very fun to make and tasty too!  Click here to get the recipe and watch a video on how to make it.

Melt Butter and Marshmellows in a pan.
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src=”http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f87/jaminacema/Sushi2.jpg&#8221;
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Mix in the Rice Cripsies!
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Press out Rice Crispies on a cookie sheet.
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Roll gummy worms in the treats and cut log into pieces.
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Wrap Fruit By The Foot around each piece. (Make sure to eat a few while doing this step!)
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src=”http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f87/jaminacema/Sushi6.jpg&#8221;
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Sushi is served! These taste best when eaten with friends!
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Make sure to go for a swim with your friends when your done to burn off all those yummy calories!
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src=”http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f87/jaminacema/swimming.jpg&#8221;
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MY BOY!!!!

August 29, 2006 at 8:40 pm (Uncategorized)

4 weeks old – Welcome to our world!
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src=”http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f87/jaminacema/4weeks.jpg&#8221;
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6 weeks old – You make my heart sing!

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1 year old – Time flies too fast!
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src=”http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f87/jaminacema/1yearold95001.jpg&#8221;
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2 years old – Playing at the park
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3 years old – Your zest for life is contagious!
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src=”http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f87/jaminacema/3yearold.jpg&#8221;
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4 years old – Your 1st tux!
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src=”http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f87/jaminacema/4yearsold.jpg&#8221;
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5 years old – You LOVE all things Pokemon!
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src=”http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f87/jaminacema/5years.jpg&#8221;
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6 years old – Your baby clothes now make the perfect hat!
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src=”http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f87/jaminacema/6years.jpg&#8221;
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7 years old – FINALLY you are a big brother!!!
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8 years old – You keep us laughing!  LOL
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src=”http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f87/jaminacema/8years.jpg&#8221;
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9 years old – Now the oldest of 3!
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src=”http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f87/jaminacema/9yrs.jpg&#8221;
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10 years old – Still Mama's Boy!!
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src=”http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f87/jaminacema/10yrswithMom.jpg&#8221;
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11years old – Just resting on a bed of nails!
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src=”http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f87/jaminacema/11years.jpg&#8221;
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12 years old – Goofy as ever!
You have never stopped making my heart sing!
I never thought I could love you MORE than I did 12 years ago today…But I DO!
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src=”http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f87/jaminacema/12YRS.jpg&#8221;
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How can it be that my baby is 12?  It seems like only yesterday
that this precious little creature changed my life in more ways than I
could even imagine!  He turned me into MOM! 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MY TREASURE! 
I LOVE YOU!!!!
MOM
XOXOXOX

Click here to read my sons birthday Cartoon and wish him HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

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How Many Planets?

August 28, 2006 at 12:19 pm (Uncategorized)

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href=”http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/Grundo/189247/”><img
src=”http://i36.photobucket.com/albums/e10/_shadow_link_/world.png&#8221;
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I
always new it was a crazy world we live in…But now I am not even sure
how many Planets make up our solar system!  Last weeks I
read: 

Astronomers have drawn up a
new way to define the word planet. This would mean adding three new
planets to the Solar System, boosting the current tally of nine to 12.
” 
Click here for more info!

Then the next thing we heard there were only 8? 
Click here for more info!

Remember a few months ago when my kids did Space Camp
We told you then a change was a coming this Summer!  Don't you
love how bloggers are more up on the News that the News Stations
are!  LOL

The one thing this has made me think of is that
all this classifying we do is man-made, not God made.  God knows
how many planets we really have!  He made them all!  We think
we are really smart. Yet here I grew up all my life in a 9 planet solar
system and poof one day when I was 41 it “became” a 8 planet solar
system.  I am SO glad my God is SO BIG!!!

If you would like to protest Pluto getting the boot you can buy your “Save Pluto!” t-shirt or mousepad here!  (No, I'm not kidding!  LOL)

The thing that most upsets me about this whole thing is that I can no longer use Interplanet Janet to accuratley teach my kids about the Solar System!

Jamin

To read my ramblings on The Company Porch every week
Click here.

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Homeschool Humor

August 27, 2006 at 4:40 pm (Uncategorized)

Have you ever done a google search for the
words Homeschool Humor?  Well, it's not like I didn't have 500
other things I should have been doing, but I for some reason I just
googled it!  I am dying laughing!!!!

Click here to read my FAVORITE!  Entitled:

Home Eating a Threat to
Public Kitchens?
State Allows Growing Trend of Eating At Home

By Angela Paul

Ahhhh…But there are more:

http://homeschooling.gomilpitas.com/weblinks/laughing.htm

http://homeschooling.gomilpitas.com/humor/Homeschooling.htm

http://homeschooling.about.com/b/a/216365.htm

Get ready to giggle!!!

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Fuse A Bead

August 27, 2006 at 1:58 pm (Uncategorized)

People frequently ask me what the
kids do while I sew.  The truth of the matter is they are usually
sewing too!  LOL  I get out a paper bag for scraps and
everything I don't need I throw in the bag.  The kids have free
reign with those scraps.  They will sit at the table and pin
things together and then bring them to me to sew on the machine. (The
older 2 sometimes sew them themselves.)  Here is another thing I
have found lately that they have also been enjoying while I sew. 

Fuse A Beads:

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target=”_blank”><img
src=”http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f87/jaminacema/fuseabeads.jpg&#8221;
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These are great to do while Mom is sewing because:

A.  The take a lot of time and concentration.
B.  I already have the iron out and for the “fuse” part you need an iron.
C.  All 3 of my kids like doing them.

I bought this kit at Micheal's when
I had a 40% off coupon.  I think the largest kit was $12.99. 
They ranged from a couple dollars for a small kit.  The kit
includes frames to make your creations on, beads and a waxy paper to
use when you are ironing them.  My kids have been having a blast
with these and we will be getting more next time I have a coupon!

If you want a zillion cool ideas of things to make with these click here.

Jamin

Want to read my ramblings on The Company Front Porch every week?
Click here

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Big Comfy Couch

August 27, 2006 at 1:52 pm (Uncategorized)

Remember that show The Big Comfy Couch?  Well, here's a couple photos from The Big Comfy Couch at our house this week!

My 2 year old playing hide and seek.  We actually had trouble
finding him!  No one was looking for him IN the couch!  LOL
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src=”http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f87/jaminacema/CouchHiding.jpg&#8221;
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Precious Snuggles!
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src=”http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f87/jaminacema/snuggles.jpg&#8221;
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Now it's time to go do a 10 minute tidy up!  “Hey, who made this big mess?”

(These are lines from the T.V. Show The Big Comfy Couch in case you think I have lost my mind!  LOL)

Jamin

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The Power of 10

August 27, 2006 at 2:39 am (Uncategorized)

You HAVE to go check this out.  I had to watch it a
couple times, it moves kind of fast.  Try to read the captioning at the top each
time the pictures changes.
 
http://micro.magnet.fsu.edu/primer/java/scienceopticsu/powersof10/index.html

Wow, very cool!!!

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My 1st Poncho

August 26, 2006 at 10:08 am (Uncategorized)

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I made a poncho!  It was actually an accident…Last Oct. we were
driving across Counrty.  It was 1:30 in the morning and I was
trying to stay awake to keep my hubby company.  We were somewhere
in Texas and I saw a Wal-Mart.  I asked my hubby to stop so I
could buy some yarn to make a baby afghan.  This is why you should
NOT pick out yarn at 1:30 in the morning!  LOL  I don't know
what I was thinking, but I got about 12 inches of the afghan made and
decided it was NOT  good color for a baby afghan.  I put it
away when we got home and forgot about it.  Well, a couple of days
ago my daughter and I were searching through my old yarn scraps for
some yarn for her to knit a hat.  We came across the strip I had
made and my daughter asked what it was.  Before I could answer she
wrapped it around her shoulders like a shaw….When I saw her do that I
realized with a few stiched I could make it into a poncho for
her!  I grabbed some yarn and a needle and in couple minutes my
mistake was transformed into an adorable little poncho! 

I think she looks adorable in it!  (BTW, don't you just love the
red cowboy boots!  I got them at the thrift store for $5.00!)

Want to read my ramblings on The Company Front Porch every week?
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