Sunday, July 29, 2012

Friday, July 20, 2012

Pinching Pennies: Foaming Soap Dispenser

I finally bought a foaming soap dispenser. This eleven ounce dispenser is sturdy and should last. All that is needed is 10% liquid soap and 90% water. If you use dollar store liquid soap, this really stretches a dollar.

Umbra Birdie Foaming Soap Pump, White

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Free Teaching Downloads

From Teachers Paying Teachers, free and low cost educational packets for all grades created by teachers for teachers(includes homeschoolers). See here.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Monthly Grocery Sale Cycle & When to Stockpile

We all know that produce is seasonal and that if you decide to make a huge batch of strawberry preserves the best time of year to do so would be during the summer when strawberries are in season. 

A savvy shopper waits until a product is on sale and then buys lots of it to get it at its lowest price! The idea is to create a stockpile that will last you 3-9 months or until the product goes back on sale and can be bought at its lowest price. Packaged foods are seasonal, just like produce. Check out the list below and find out when your favorite foods will more than likely be at their cheapest. Read more here.  


Back to school supplies: erasers, pens, crayons, paper, binders, backpacks, notebooks, markers, note cards 
School lunch items: pudding cups, lunch meat, single serve juices, lunchables 
Disinfectants: Clorox and Lysol wipes & sprays 
Seasonal Produce: Avocados, beans, berries, cherries, corn on the cob, cucumbers, eggplants, figs, seedless grapes, melons, onions, peaches, pears (Bartlett), peppers (sweet bell), plums, summer squash, tomatillos, and tomatoes 
Clearance: insect repellent, sunscreen, charcoal, swim suits, gardening supplies and seeds, fans, camping gear

Frugal Fast Food (Tight Fisted Miser)

Stretch your ‘go-to’ money. Coupons, especially BOGOs, will let you go twice as often. Choose the sale items: Subway’s monthly specials often let you choose a foot-long sub for $5 — or less! Many restaurants, including McDonalds, Wendy’s, Burger King, Taco Bell and even Kentucky Fried Chicken, offer a ‘dollar menu.’ Most of those items are now more than a buck — but not much more. 

... Choose carefully — and share. Order large fries for the family, instead of a small packet per person. Or set half your meal aside for tomorrow’s lunch. (Put it in a box, out of sight.) ... A large sandwich can feed two adults. Drink water — and you save not only on calories, but price. 

Healthy fast food is out there! Do what calls “undressing” your food: skip the mayo or sour cream (substitute mustard, salsa or ketchup), or eat your sandwich open-face. Taco Bell offers a ‘fresco’ menu that automatically gives you healthier choices, as part of their “drive-thru diet.” 

Choose whole-grain bread, lower-calorie cheeses like Swiss or mozzarella, and load your pizza or sub with veggies, to ramp up the food value even more. Look for the words “grilled” instead of “fried;” skip “breaded” and “super–.” And don’t assume a salad means low-calorie, unless you’re willing to minimize ingredients like bacon or fatty salad dressing. Kids’ meals have gotten healthier, too. Burger King now offers apple juice, fat-free milk and apple slices on its children’s menu…and other chains have followed suit. 

... Don’t waste a thing. Extra napkins come in handy tucked in the glove compartment, along with that ‘spork’ you didn’t use. Add some zip to chicken noodle soup with a couple of salsa packets, or use your dipping sauce as a marinade for chicken or pork. (They’re great in stir-fries, too.) In their bookThe Phony Gourmet, Pam Young and Peggy Jones wrap leftover burgers in pastry, and serve these ‘pot pies,’ crunchy and bubbling, with special sauce!

Read more here.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Sewing Frugality

"...The key to saving money through sewing is to be resourceful: Thrift stores are wonderful sources for fabric. Menswear is currently a huge trend in home d├ęcor. With a couple very simple straight stitches, a pinstripe or plaid men's Oxford shirt for $2 to $3 at a thrift store can be made into a great throw pillow. I saw a fun "Believe Memphis" blanket that someone had fashioned from the Grizzlies' yellow giveaway growl towels. My first sofa was an $80 yellow velour vintage find, for which I fashioned a white canvas slipcover. Buttons and zippers can be pilfered from old clothing being thrown out to save on the cost of notions. Sheets can be used for pattern making. If you go to estate sales or yard sales, bags of fabric or notions can often be picked up for next to nothing." Read more.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Free Homeschool Deals

Savings on Eyeglasses

We ordered from Zenni Optical again this year for eyeglasses. I needed readers and my son needed a new prescription. They are super fast and very inexpensive. My son's glasses were $23.95(including shipping) for silver wire rimmed glasses with a mid-range prescription. I ordered them on 7/2/12, and they arrived today. The only thing you need to make sure to have is the pupillary distance, which your doctor can measure for you, or you can take a stab at it yourself with directions at the site. They offer glasses for as low as $6.95. I ordered my readers from this price range. They have consistently delivered good value for us in the past few years.

Monday, July 09, 2012

Household Savings:Free Telephone Service

We just cancelled our land line after our downtown area began offering free wifi, and we found Google Voice, a  free local and long distance telephone service(USA and Canada only). It has worked well so far with very clear reception. Google voice allows you to forward calls to another phone, takes messages(voice and text), offers call waiting, and screens your calls.The download was easy, and all we needed to purchase was a microphone for the computer.

The only downside is needing your computer up on Google Voice or Gmail in order to know when you are being called. If you forward calls to your cell, you'll know, but this method charges mobile minutes on the cell.  We'll use it for out calling, and scheduled call backs. It would be nice if there was a pop-up when you are online, or at least a ring when you are surfing and don't have the Gmail or Google Voice window up, but the service is free, so I'm not complaining(too much)!

As long as calls are made on Google Voice or from Gmail, cell phone minutes are not counted against your mobile account. In order for it to be free, you must call only from Google Voice or your Gmail , and not from your mobile. If you forward calls to your mobile, airtime minutes apply.  I think this applies to android phones as well. It cannot be connected to a cell in order to be free. See here. 

We'll be saving close to $700 a year with the cancellation of our land line and dial-up service. We also cancelled Netflix because we can see movies online. That will save us another $14.95 a month. We still have our pre-paid cell phones for calls on the road.

My next experiment will be to try Google Voice with an unlocked Android phone with no wireless service. I wonder if it will work? I'll let you know. I know a tablet or mini-PC/netbook would work, but I was looking for something less bulky to use.  I saw a simple netbook online(see below) with good customer ratings for only $99.00 at Amazon. This might be good for traveling and making calls.

WolVol LIME GREEN 7" Mini Netbook Laptop Notebook Netbook WIFI Internet Android 2.2 Flash Player Tons Apps Games YouTube Facebook 3 USB Ports 4gb HD 256mb Ram (INCLUDES: Velvet Pouch Case, Charger, Mini Optical Mouse)

Saturday, July 07, 2012

The Workhorse of Washing Machines

Kenmore 80 series(discontinued). They don't make them like this anymore. This washer is heavy duty and extra large capacity, easy to repair, washes the dirtiest clothes clean, and lasts a long, long time. I just got one on Craigslist for $150.00, delivered and installed with a 30 day guarantee. I love Craigslist! I sold my small Kenmore 90 series washer which was not large enough or powerful enough for our growing family.

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Free Radio History Based Drama: You Are There 1776


You Are There

"July 4th, 1776 Philadelphia" from March 21, 1948
You are there for the signing of the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, 1776 in Philadelphia.  The heat is unbearable and even worse is the horseflies.  The Founding Fathers are interviewed as well as some of the dissenters who are against Independence—who will win?

Monday, July 02, 2012

Printable Vintage Paper Dolls and Toys

Free and fun for summer crafting time...see here for my collection of paper doll and toy printables. We've done a good number of them, and they print out beautifully using Picasa.

About Me

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I'm a homeschooling mom of two, a teen and a little. I hope this collection of mine helps you as much as it has helped us. I have an Etsy shop here: And a blog: