Shaun Groves: Do you want to know if you are an Average American?

 

Shaun Groves has an amazing picture for you to see on his Blog about the “Average American”.

Take a minute today and check it out HERE.

Links for this Week

Here are some of the gems from the Internet that I have found this week….

We are THAT Family: Fifty Parenting Ideas You won’t Regret (50 great ideas for building your relationship with your kids. This is a post to bookmark, print out, memorize, etc ….)

USAToday: Pastor Rick Warren Born Again to Healthier Living (interesting info on Saddleback’s new healthy lifestyle ministry called The Daniel Plan)

Yahoo! : 15 Ways to Reduce Consumption of Single Use Plastic (Quick and simple ideas for reducing your use of consumer plastic)

 

 

If you’re looking for some fun with your kids, Amanda Bennett has her Unit Study on the London Olympics on sale this week, click HERE for more info!

** Please be aware that this is an affiliate link. I can confidently endorse USAB materials.**

(** TIP: Follow Amanda Bennett on Facebook and for FREE she shares some of the links and resources that she uses in her great packages!)

WFMW: Use Coupon Doubling for a Cause

There are lots of resources out there to help with couponing these days. In fact, the whole practice is coming back in to vogue.

What if we started using those savings to help others?

Let me share with you how ….

Couponing can save you and your family hundreds of dollars each month. Recently, I participated in a local grocery store chains super double promotion. They doubled coupons up to $1.99 in value. We ended up saving about $50 all together with our coupons on items that we use everyday. The doubling is an added promotion over and above the value of the coupon.

Now, I’m not an extreme couponer. I do have a binder that I use, but I don’t go pursuing coupons. Other than the Sunday paper, we don’t go to extravagant lengths to get “deals”.

Here are some basic guidelines that I use to keep my couponing from getting out of hand:

  • Don’t clip what you won’t use. If it’s not something already in your house, then you probably don’t need to clip the coupon for it.
  • Don’t buy more than you can reasonably use in a 3-6 month period. Do you really need to buy it now if you aren’t going to use it in the near future?
  • Think about how much room you will need to store these goodies. Where are you going to put all of these things? Do you have room for extras?
  • Don’t let deals become a life priority. There are much more important things in life than getting a great coupon deal. I try not to let couponing take the place of taking care of my families’ needs.

Use your Coupon Doubling for a Cause

We are giving the doubled portion of our take-home from this week’s grocery run to a family in our church that is adopting. This is an easy way for us to meet our goal of saving money, while at the same time helping a cause that we wholeheartedly support.

This week, we saved $50.00 in coupons . $25.00 of that was from the doubling promotion.

 

And if you want to see what a little money can do, read Ann Voskamp’s recent post from today about what giving is doing in Guatemala. (Post: Because saying Thank You can change the World)

If you are interested in helping others, here are some great links to get you started …

Show Hope (Adoption)

Compassion (Impoverished Children)

Samaritan’s Purse (Global Relief)

American Red Cross (Disaster Assistance)

Blood:Water Mission (Fresh water for those without)

International Justice Mission (Protecting the lives of those who are abused and oppressed)

or think of a personal cause or family that you could help

Some great sites for finding coupons include:
Money Saving Mom
Coupon.com
Southern Savers

Using my doubled coupons to help a cause I love, that definitely works for me!

For more great ideas, check out ….

Great Links for your Christmas Eve

Photo from CountryLiving.com

Whether it’s getting the house ready, thinking of others while you’re cooking, building family memories, growing in faith, or hearing a new perspective on the old, old story …

Here are some great links for you to enjoy this Christmas Eve:

Money Saving Mom: Whip your House in to Shape in 2 hours (plus a free downloadable checklist)

Earth 911: Clean up your Cooking (Great tips on how to go green in the kitchen for the holidays)

FamilyFun: FamilyFun Christmas (Ideas for decorations, crafts, printables and activities for the young and old)

Desiring God: Free audio book copy of “When I don’t Desire God” by John Piper (through December 31st)

Focus on the Family: The Innkeeper’s Dream (A Christmas drama presentation of the fictional story told by the innkeeper in Bethlehem at the birth of Christ)

Hope you enjoy!!

Merry Christmas!

It’s not too late to think green this Christmas!

green_xmas by dqmarkham

The holidays are always a difficult time to shift in to “greener” living. There are so many traditions that are tied to consumerism that it can be difficult to make new habits and traditions. Here are a few quick, easy ideas to green your Christmas …

1. RECYCLE, RECYCLE, RECYCLE!

Here are some of the items that our local recycling department takes during the holidays:

     Live Christmas trees (remove ornaments, lights and tinsel)

corrugated cardboard

chip board (paper roll tubes, cereal boxes, toy packaging, etc)

glossy magazines/catalogs

greeting cards

SBS board (shirt boxes, toy packaging, etc.);

wrapping paper (no bows or foil)

Google your local recycling/solid waste service and find out what you can recycle in your area.

2. SHOP GOODWILL!

If you still need that last minute stocking stuffer or gift, try checking out your local Goodwill. This is the time of year when donations are up because folks are cleaning out and getting ready for the tax season. You can find some great stuff at a bargain price. You not only save money, but you also reduce demand for new products, which require more resources to produce and stock on store shelves.

3. PLAN FOR NEXT YEAR!

Now that we are starting to get in the final days before Christmas, you can start thinking about next Christmas.

Will you be changing or adding decorations? If so, think ahead to shop after Christmas sales. Save money and buy something that’s already been made. Even just buying wrapping paper and decorations at the after Christmas sales allows you to buy things that are already produced, instead of creating demand for brand new items.

4. CHALLENGE

How will you go greener next year? What is one step that you want to try to make next year to make your holidays just as special, without wasting and hurting the environment or others on the planet? Write your next step down and then slip it in to your 2012 calendar for November. You’ll have plenty of time to make it happen with that little step of preparation.

On my list is cloth bags from the Container store that I hope to pick up at post-Christmas price.

Please share your ideas in the comments for this year or something that you want to try next year.

Frugal Friday: Replace your own watch Battery

It really pays to DIY!

Recently, I went to get my watch battery replaced. At the kiosk in the mall, this service costs $10. On a whim, I decided to ask if I could just buy the battery that I needed.

Eureka!

For a mere $6, I went home with an Energizer watch battery. I pulled out my hubby’s small flat screwdriver, popped off the back and placed the new battery inside. In less than 5 minutes, I had a working watch and saved $4 in the process.

Now, you may scoff at saving $4.00. If you think of it, though, I saved 40% off for doing it myself, which makes it quite a deal.

In perspective, listen to what you could do with the $4.00 you save …

Gift 21 – Milk

A cup of milk seems so simple, but its essential nutrients like protein and calcium are vital to poor children fighting malnutrition. That’s the reason we provide milk and other nutritious items to many schools, orphanages, and hospitals in poverty-stricken countries. A gift of $4 can provide a week’s worth of milk, so we can help a needy child grow “in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men” (Luke 2:52).

or ….

Gift 38 – ‘Jesus Loves Me’ Lambs

War, disaster, or illness can be so traumatic for children that they sometimes stop speaking or withdraw from human contact. To comfort these little ones, Ruth Bell Graham came up with the idea for our Operation Christmas Child teams to hand out toy lambs that would play the sweet melody of ‘Jesus Loves Me’. For $4, this cuddly lamb will reassure a hurting child of the Good Shepherd’s love and care.

These are gifts from this year’s Samaritan’s Purse Christmas Catalog.

Makes you want to go change your own watch battery doesn’t it!

So that you can change the world …

Helpful links:

WikiHow’s How-To-Guide for watch repair

Samaritan’s Purse Christmas Catalog

The “Why” …..

Please take a minute and watch this short news segment ……. (Click HERE)

And tears well up in my eyes as I hold my chubby little 9 month old.

Why, Lord, am I so blessed?

Why, Lord, is THAT mother, holding that skeletal infant not?

In my small life, I have watched one of my children suffer for a season and  even the memories of it still sear my heart.

What must it be like to feel so helpless, so powerless to care for your own?

There are many days when I question all this Blogging. Blogging to find deals. Blogging to find new schooling material. Blogging to decorate. Blogging to write poetry. You name it, we blog about it. Even laundry. Yes, I read a laundry blog sometimes.

It all seems so frivolous in light of thousands, literally, dying today around the world.

So, I have to call this out.

The purpose behind saving money ….

 is to save others.

The purpose behind eating well …

is to have bodies that are able to serve and tell.

The purpose behind conserving our resources …

is so that others are able to have what we so easily take for granted.

The purpose behind parenting well …

is to raise children who know and care and act for others for His glory.

The purpose behind creating a home …

is to create a place where the kingdom comes to Earth and souls are saved and then sent out to impact the world.

Is that too much of just one little Blog, one little person, one little home ….

Yes. It is.

But the Lord has been mindful of me ….

” O Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory above the heavens.
2 Out of the mouth of babies and infants,
you have established strength because of your foes,
to still the enemy and the avenger.

3 When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,
4 what is man that you are mindful of him,
and the son of man that you care for him?

5 Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings [2]
and crowned him with glory and honor.
6 You have given him dominion over the works of your hands;
you have put all things under his feet,
7 all sheep and oxen,
and also the beasts of the field,
8 the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea,
whatever passes along the paths of the seas.

9 O Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!” Psalm 8 (ESV)

And if this little sliver in the cosmos can motivate one other person to share in the heart of God for the world, then glory to God and on we go.

Links to Act:

Give to Compassion or World Vision or Doctors without Borders or Samaritan’s Purse

Participate in the 30 Hour Famine and understand what others endure daily.

WFMW: A Family Closet for a Small Family

If you’ve been reading my Blog this year, you might remember that in March, we did a big clean out of our master closet. It’s been absolutely wonderful to walk in each day and take a deep breath. If you missed it, HERE is the Project Simplify post.

Well,  things have changed again.

We’ve decided to make a family closet where all of the clothes are together.  Hubby, Mom, Emily and Logan all have their items in one place. Reed still has his clothes in his room. Funny enough, he could have joined the rest of us. There was plenty of room.

You might be asking “Why?”

I’m a big fan of large families. One day, I hope to guide a bunch of my own. Until then, though, I find that large families have so much to teach the rest of us. Those folks have got so many parts of life down to a science. Because they have to.

It seems that there are quite a few large families that share one big closet. Probably the most famous is the Duggars. (If you don’t know, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar have 19 kids) Just for fun, you have to check it out …

Duggar Family Closet

Duggar Family Closet

What is in our family closet?

  • Clothes for Hubby, Mom, DD1, and DS2
  • Mom’s shoes
  • Full dresser with 5 drawers – two for Hubby, Two for Mommy, one for kid’s undies/socks
  • Two small shelves of Hubby’s gym bag and shoes
  • Extra storage around the top

Here is what my “small” family of 5 has gained by using a family closet:

  • One stop for putting clothes away. I go straight from the laundry with everyone’s items and put them all away. Saved steps. Saved stops. Especially when you have little ones sleeping and you can’t go in their room, I always know that the master closet, where Hubby and I sleep, is available. If I’m up, it’s open. No piles waiting to be put away.
  • In the same turn, if I want to set out clothes for the next day, I can easily gather up everyone’s clothes the night before (regardless of what time it might be when I get to it!)
  • The kid’s gained a new play area. Is that a fort? hideout? pig pen? It’s always changing!
  • We save time by having one place to dress and undress at the beginning and end of the day.
  • All of the children’s clothes are no higher than their eye level. Everything they need (socks, undies, tops, and bottoms) are within arm’s reach for them. This wasn’t possible in their old closet.
  • As you can see from the picture above, there wasn’t much change in the feel of our closet. It doesn’t feel like everything is crammed in at all.
  • It helps us limit our clothing purchases. We intentionally try to have a small collection of clothes. We are trying to be mindful of the needs of many others around the world who have needs. Our saving money is limited, in a very small way, our demand. We can also turn around with our saved money and very easily direct it to needs (both local and global).

So here’s a pic of our new closet.

It definitely works for me!!

 

Check out other great tips on Works-for-Me-Wednesdays at We are THAT family.

 

Thanks for Visiting!

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