Thursday, August 30, 2012

Great Deal on Cat Litter

Arm & Hammer Double Duty Clumping Litter, 37-Pound This is $13.98 with free shipping on Amazon.

I just ordered three and there are only 15 left. The prices change on these, so it may not always be this inexpensive. I ordered a 27 pound box for $10.00(now $15.00) last week before I saw this deal. Family Dollar had 14 pound containers of Tidy Cat on sale for $6.00, so this is much less expensive.

Off-season Hotel Deals











We found a good deal for a short vacation. We are taking it in the middle of the week in October, off-season. We got five days on the beach with a view of the ocean in Atlantic City for $279.00. A super price if you are able to take vacation days during the off-season, and in the middle of the week when business is slower.

We used Hotels.com and stacked two coupons with the 20% discount offered at Hotels.com. Click through Coupon Cactus for 4% off. This can be stacked with another 10% off through 9/13/12 with online coupon code: AUGI:NY2SP7T.

 If you get on the Hotels.com mailing list, sometimes they have 24 hour 50% off sales, and offer coupons and rebates throughout the year. After ten hotel nights booked through Hotels.com, you receive one night free. So far, I've liked the deals that I've received and the one night free! We've used them for the past three years for their good rates, coupons, and rebates.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

30 Signs of a Frugal Upbringing

Frugal folks come from all sorts of backgrounds. Some were raised in typical American families with traditional buying and spending habits and came to embrace frugality much later in life. Others were raised by parents or grandparents who made simplicity part of everyday life — from the way they cooked and cleaned to the way they fixed their cars and celebrated holidays. For those of us in the latter group, we can spot another member a mile off...

1. You skip the headlines in the Sunday paper and head straight for the sales inserts.
2. You’ve washed (or seriously considered washing) tin foil to use it a second time.
3. You remember smuggling homemade snacks into the Saturday matinee.
4. You know how to buff your shoes to high shine by adding a bit of water or heat to the polish.
5. You’ll still stop to pick up a penny.
6. You ignore the suggested use or recommended quantity directions on most products.
7. There’s a coupon organizer in your purse or car (extra credit if it includes a calculator).
8. You save rubber bands or twist-ties....

Read more here.

Dollar Tree to Accept Coupons

Aug. 22--The Dollar Tree, which has done well during the recession and lagging recovery with its $1 or less pricing, has decided to add another weapon to its retail strategy. Starting Sunday, the discount retailer will start accepting coupons at its 4,000-plus U.S. location... more here.

I hope they limit coupons per purchase or the shelves will be cleared off!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Fall Squirrel Cut-out

Five Money-saving Tips to Avoid Food Inflation


(MoneyWatch) Severe drought across much of the U.S. is likely to produce steep inflation for a wide array of goods, from gasoline to beef, says Steve Cunningham, an economist with the American Institute for Economic Research.

That's because corn -- a crop that has been decimated by drought -- is used as feed for beef and poultry; is manufactured into ethanol, a gasoline additive; and is cooked into corn syrup, a sweetener in everything from cereals to ketchup. And, of course, that doesn't count corn's simple uses, whether to be eaten alone or made into anything from chips to tortillas....

Stock up on beef and chicken now, because farmers may slaughter more livestock in the next few weeks to avoid the higher prices of feed. That could create a temporary drop in beef prices before prices start to soar this fall.

Avoid processed foods, many of which include high-fructose corn syrup as an additive. Not only is the additive fattening, it's likely to become increasingly expensive, pushing up the costs of all sorts of processed foods.

Eat fruit. The hot temperatures that have damaged the corn crop have been great for fruit farmers, so eat grapes.

Substitute. Oatmeal makes for a healthier breakfast than Fruit Loops, and it's a fraction of the cost. Fish is a healthier alternative than beef, and it's completely unaffected by the drought. Other foods that use simple sugar, instead of corn syrup, are also likely to avoid the big hike in cost that could result from a corn shortage.

Go local. If you don't live in the drought-plagued areas, buying fruit and vegetables from local farmer's markets -- and even livestock, poultry and eggs from local farms -- can save a bundle.


Read the rest here.

Friday, August 17, 2012

North American Bird Identification and Nature Sounds Videos

The Music of Nature

Click on "play all" and it will play through 59 different birds including a few frogs. The birds are up close and identified, and play their songs for a few minutes each. My cats loved these! And my daughter began learning bird names and calls. We listened again later in the evening and read a chapter from The Tale of the Jolly Robin.

HT to Easy Peasy - All in One Homeschool

Be Scrappy: Scrapping Various Household Items for Cash

This was interesting. A website which helps you learn how to scrap items that you wouldn't want to donate. Maybe they are too broken, odds and ends, or the thrift stores won't take them. Once you strip the item of metal, if needed, then you take it to a local scrap yard for weighing and a cash payment. We've done this in the past when we added new gutters. We took the old ones to the scrap yard and got back a nice bit of cash. If you Google "scrap metal" you should get a listing of scrap metal recyclers in your area, if any.

Scrap metal recycling keeps metals and alloys out of the landfills. I  try to help our local  "recycler" who drives by with his truck the day before trash day. When I can, I save all my metal trash for him and his wife. I'm sure he is able to fill a hole in his family budget with this venture. When I have more time, I'll begin taking our household metals to the scrap yard myself. It would require some time consuming work and organization, and the room to store items until we had enough to make a trip worthwhile.

From ScrapMetalJunkie.com: "People love to talk about recycling like it is a selfless act, strictly done out of love for mother earth. That may be the case for those who set little bits of paper at the street in a green bin. But the real recycling is done for money. It is done for cash money, and I’m not talking Washingtons. I’m talking Benjamins. An average person with a truck can make up to $40,000 a year scrapping metal if they work full time. If they scrap part time as a second job, they could easily make $15,000; thats $290 a week. ...

Scrap metal has been one of the biggest exports in North America for the last five or ten years. It has gained popularity in that time due mainly to the increase in demand for base metals. Copper in 2006 was getting scrapped at around $2.80, when, in 2000, you were lucky to get 50 cents. The trend is likely to continue: commodities are going up, inflation..."

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Using Libraries Outside of Your Area

We visited a town "on the other side" of the water today. They have a historic old town area with antique shops, quaint cafes, and historical sites. After visiting the courtyard of a very old Episcopal church with head stones from the Revolutionary War, we stumbled upon a nice library. It was a very old library, located in a historical building, and stocked with great children's books. It had a mix of great older sophisticated books that our local library has long since discarded, books homeschoolers love; and newer high quality books probably donated by the well traveled hip families who have gentrified the area. Anyway, I was happy to learn that as residents of the nearby town, we could check out library books.So now I have a new source of books!

Sadly, inter-library loan is a pain in our area and costs money. For whatever reason, they don't like to do it, and it is greatly discouraged. It is all right with me because I enjoy getting out of town, and depending on how they are set up, children's areas at libraries can be fun places. The one we were at today had lots of toys, games, and some freebie books and local historical printables. We used one in the martitime museum for a scavenger search.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Silent "E" Rule Children's Free Learning Videos

I found this auto-generated channel(list) on YouTube today for learning the silent "e" rule. We've been working on the silent "e" families this past week, and some of these videos were very helpful for introducing and remembering this rule. And of course, they are free, so a great addition to a frugal homeschooling arsenal of learning tools.

A cute one, Magic E song with a Caribbean flavor.

Our favorites are at the end of my early learning favorites at YouTube.

Mother's Love Good for Children's Brains

School-age children whose mothers nurtured them early in life have brains with a larger hippocampus, a key structure important to learning, memory and response to stress. 

The new research, by child psychiatrists and neuroscientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, is the first to show that changes in this critical region of children’s brain anatomy are linked to a mother’s nurturing.

Their research is published online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Early Edition.

“This study validates something that seems to be intuitive, which is just how important nurturing parents are to creating adaptive human beings,” says lead author Joan L. Luby, MD, professor of child psychiatry. “I think the public health implications suggest that we should pay more attention to parents’ nurturing, and we should do what we can as a society to foster these skills because clearly nurturing has a very, very big impact on later development.”


Read more here.

 10 Ways to Nurture Your Child

Saint Therese Book Giveaway, Enter by 8/13/12

Per author, Margaret Mary Myers,

The drawing will be on the evening of Monday, August 13, 2012.  

You can read about the book at Little Saint Therese Sample Chapter and News or, for my non-Catholic friends and anyone else who might not be familiar with Saint Therese of Lisieux, you can read: Who is St. Therese and What is the Little Saint Therese Book?

I am giving away two copies of my newly printed and bound Little Saint Therese book!

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Frugal Housekeeping - Fuller String Mop

Fuller Brush Wet Mop Complete

Sometimes old fashioned is the best. I just bought a Fuller string mop for my hard surface floors. As advertised, this mop catches the dirt and cleans off easily. I use a string mop, but this one is built to last with all metal parts, and a sturdy mop head with tough non-shedding twisted string. The entire mop is about $14.00, and the mop head is replaceable.

More about the Fuller Brush Company, established in 1906.

Friday, August 03, 2012

Underutilized Community Centers?!!

We pay a whopping $20.00 a year per person to use our community center indoor pools, open gyms, and fitness centers. A better bargain I have not found! Oddly, we are the only family using the pool this summer. Summer youth camps come through, but after that we have the pool to ourselves. It has been nice, but I wonder why more people don't take the opportunity for such a bargain.

We'll be using the pool and fitness center for homeschool P.E. high school credit in the coming years. My teenage son will need 240 hours of physical education for his degree, and we just got approval to use the center for credit.

I'm trying to use the pool at least three times a week for my own physical fitness as well, and I'm teaching my daughter to swim. I feel so much better after having fit in an hour of swimming a few times a week this summer. I have more energy now and unlike other work-outs, I'm not drained afterwards.

Check out your community center resources. It's much less expensive than a private fitness center/pool membership. You might have the center all to yourself during the week!

We still have our little above ground pool, but it's no good for laps. I do get in a little exercise in it like stretching and stationary leg and arm work.

Rebate Directory For New Energy Star Items

If you've purchased an Energy Star product recently, a rebate may be due to you. Check here by zip code to view government rebates for Energy Star purchases. Federal tax credits for energy saving home improvements here.