Ways I bless our families finances (aka= saving money)

I feel it is extremely important for me as a wife, a stay at home wife, and mother to help save money whenever and wherever I can. I have gotten so much better over the years and thought maybe you all would love to hear some of my secrets, so here we go!

Laundry: This is a big money guzzler in our home. With 7 people to keep clothed, we can spend a small fortune each month on laundry supplies.
#1 I make my own detergent. The powder kind. I tried the liquid kind with the same ingredients but my daughters skin broke out. So now we use the powdered version and it works well. If I have an extremely soiled load I add a scoop of oxy-clean just as a boost. Here is the recipe:
1 bar Fels-Naptha bar soap grated
1 cup of washing soda(in a yellow box in the laundry aisle)
1/2 cup of borax (also in the laundry aisle)

after grating soap finely, mix all ingredients with a spoon or in your mixer for
about 10 minutes. Must be mixed thoroughly. Use one to two tablespoons
per load.

tip: put in machine before adding clothes:)
It cost only 2 cents per load!

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#2 I use softener in the form of distilled white vinegar right into the softener dispenser in the washing machine. It works well to soften the clothes, and takes out most odors.

#3 I do use the store bought fabric softener in a tupperware pickle container with sponges. I cut the sponges in half and dilute the softener 1/2 and 1/2 with water. I fill the container this way. Then when we switch clothes over the the dryer we squeeze out a sponge and throw it in the dryer with the wet clothes. Takes away the static and gives a great smell.

#4 If for some reason we are out of softener, I always keep a box of fabric sheets in the cabinet. I cut the sheets in half and use only one half per load. Works just as well, and you get double for the money.

Food/ Groceries: it seems like this is one area lately that the prices just keep rising and rising. I used to feed our family of 7 for about $100 a week! That included such things as diapers, wipes, cleaning supplies, and pet supplies! Now, we make our own cleaners, use more baking soda when cleaning, and are out of the diaper stage and I still can’t seem to get it under $150 a week. My freezer isn’t big (a standard side by side fridge and freezer) so we shop once a week.

#1 I use coupons! I use digital as well as paper to get the most bang for my buck. Kroger recently stopped allowing both digital and paper but I use digital when I can and other times paper. I try to use the most coupons as I can. Kroger also sends me coupons via mail for products I buy most often so this helps.

#2 I try to shop just at Kroger and Aldi. Aldi is a big money saver on most can goods and milk and eggs always seem to be cheaper there, as well as snacks for the kids.
Kroger rewards me with fuel points when I shop there. Every $100 gets me 10cents off per gallon. I save these all month and usually get 40-60 cents off a fill up once a month. Sometimes even 80cents – $1.00 off.

#3 My cell phone is through Kroger as well. It is a smart phone that I got through the I-Wireless website for about $50. The monthly plan cost me only $25 a month and with every $100 I spend I get 20 free minutes. I even have internet, email, games, coupon apps, unlimited messaging, and maps/gps so I can find my way to places I’ve never been. I was with at&t before and spent nearly $100 a month on just one line. This is quite a super saver!

#4 I try to only buy the marked down/ clearance meat. It is deeply discounted and I usually come home and cook up at least the ground meat or immediately freeze it. It’s just as good when cooked up properly and I can usually save $20-$50 a month this way.

#5 We try to eat fresh fruits and veggies as snacks and canned fruit when we run out of fresh. We spend the bulk of our grocery money on produce. It is healthier and when looking at price per unit it is a lot cheaper than packaged snacks with high sugar and preservatives!

#6 This year we have started a garden. It was a lot of work to begin with but I’m hoping it will save a ton on produce come harvest time:) I have decided to plant what we eat most, Tomatoes, strawberries, and onions. It is not a huge garden but this is the first year and I’m hoping for great success.

Clothing/shoes…… A huge expense around here. We go through socks more than milk it seems! And we go through A LOT of milk 🙂 here are some ways I reduce our cost.

#1 YARD SALES! I go to them from spring to fall always looking for the next size up in clothing for all the kids. I try to pick out classic pieces that won’t look too outdated If they wear them the next year. You can find articles of clothing for some change most of the time.
I also stock up on good sheets, bathing suits, and shoes if they are in good condition.

#2 Thrift stores are a treasure to a family of our size. Most have sales once a month for as much as 50% off store wide. I try to shop on those days to get the deepest discounts.

#3 Hand me downs… And not just for the kids! I will take hand me downs for everyone in the house! Including myself. Hubby on the other hand is a big man so his stuff mostly gets bought new online and with coupons.

#4 CLEARANCE, CLEARANCE, CLEARANCE !!! I can get good shoes for 70-90% off at most retail stores at the end of the season and save the for the next season! I’ve gotten brand name shoes for less than $5 a pair. Not bad for a little waiting!

Pet supplies….. I usually buy dog food when it’s on sale & I have a coupon. I use old stuffed animals from the kids or get them for 10cents at yard sales for chew toys. Ruler loves to play with an unstuffed bear that we cut a slit in the bottom of, then shoved an empty water bottle inside of. He loves the feel and the noise it makes. We also use holy socks and old dish rags and towels tied in knots for tug of war. I reuse grocery sacks for pooh duty clean up as well. I will soon, after watching tutorials, be clipping his nails on my own. I already bathe him with a mild hand soap and vinegar mix. It works well and leaves his coat super shiny!

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School supplies… We homeschool and shiny curriculum catalogs come as often as daily this time of year. I am often tempted to give into the “promises” they describe. Here are ways we make it work without breaking the bank!

#1 LIBRARY CARD! If you know me, you know I can’t seem to walk out of the library without a large utility tote full of books, CDs, movies and audio tapes. The library is a huge money saver and right now we enjoy using five in a row & hearts for his glory. We do a lot of lap books and note-booking and anything we can find to study we can usually supplement with library resources.

#2 Online math games and printables. You can use a scope and sequence from online and just use free resources online to put together your own curriculum. We do a ton of “living” math, baking, measuring, adding and subtracting and so forth and I feel the children are moving right along.

#3 Science is not my favorite subject so we tend to lean to cool experiments and exploring science through life in general. You can find tons of science experiments to do online for free or through library books.

#4 History we do through reading about it. Not much more can be said there. We talk about current events as well as what the older times were like. We read, read, read about people, places, wars, and different religion and talk about or write reports on what we’ve learned.

Utilities: Here is one are where I wish all my lights were on a remote control that I could turn off anywhere in the house! Turn your light off is a favorite phrase of mine. Not really, but I’m constantly saying it. I do have some tips though.

#1 Flip the switch. Yep, pretty simple but helps alot!

#2 Turn down the water heater to a minimal setting and it will help reduce how much gas it takes to warm your tank back up.

#3 I do ALL the laundry in cold water. YEP! Even the whites get washed in cold and I couldn’t tell a difference but my gas bill sees a difference as I have a gas water heater.

#4 I installed a slow flow shower head. Helps reduce water waste, and I don’t really notice a difference either.

#5 I unplug electronics am getting better about unplugging cords and such when they are not being used. I try to unplug things I know I won’t use for awhile. IE….. sewing machine, laminator, shredder, old laptop that doesn’t get used much, and so on.

#6 We don’t have a home phone. With cell phones being so reliable it’s another expense we don’t need.

#7 I switched out almost all the light bulbs with the cfl or led lights. Saves a ton over time!

#8 I use the crock pot more often and when I can convert a recipe to the crock pot I do. There are a ton of recipe books at the library to help if you need some ideas of what to cook.

I think I’ve covered just about all most of how I save money for our family to be used somewhere else we feel important! I hope you’ve enjoyed these tips and I hope you can also find ways to save at your home. It’s the little things that add up to big things!

HAPPY SAVING!

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Linking to some of these other blogs

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Linking to :
we are that family
Wordless Wednesday
pinching pennies
raising homemakers
Deep roots at home
our simple farm
frugally sustainable
wednesday in the word
ginger snap crafts
my daily walk in his grace
day to day joys
lindas lunacy
heavenly homemakers
slightly indulgent tuesday
tackle it tuesday

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weekly memory verse week 3

If your like me, you tend to open your mouth WAY to soon about almost everything! I have a hard time thinking before I speak. I always end up just saying what’s on my mind. Sometimes Most of the time, I end up wanting to stick my foot in my mouth! I let my emotions in any given situation to take control of my tongue. This brings me to my memory verse this week.

Set a guard over my mouth, Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips.
Psalm 141:3
(NIV)

As a christian, I have to let God control me. I have to let him live through me and part of that means surrendering my mouth to him. Surrendering all that I have to say to him. Letting him mold and make me into what he has called me to be. I need to pray over this verse many times over because this is one area I really seem to fail at A LOT! It is my prayer this week that God shut the door to my lips when things want to come out that I would later regret. Memorize with me, won’t you?

weekly memory verse week 2

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power.

Ephesians 6:10

I thought I would keep the theme and try to memorize the verses that encourage us to be strong in the Lord. The ones that teach us not to loose heart. The ones that remind us to be faithful.

As an unconventional parent, I come across a lot of opposition. I need these reminders so that I know where my strength comes from. So that I know He is on my side. So that I know He shields me and protects me.

What memory verse have you chosen this week? Do you use a bible curriculum? Do you go in a certain order? Comment below and let me know. I’d love to encourage you as well.

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weekly memory verse

We have gotten a bit off track. I’m ashamed to say it but we have not been diligent, and you do have to be diligent, about memorizing scripture. It’s one way to get more of the Word in us. As a homeschooling momma it’s difficult to “get it all done” and this is one area where I’ve been lazy in. I know, lazy seems a harsh word but it’s the truth! So, to get back on track, and to get back to homeschooling for His glory, like I was called to do, we are going back to scripture memorization. I’ve been chewing on this certain verse lately and decided it was the perfect one to start with and I’d like to share it here as well. It gives me a little accountability and we all need that.

Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong.
1 Corinthians 16:13 (NLT)

I hope and pray you get inspired to memorize some scripture as well. You’re more than welcome to follow along here with us or come up with your own. Leave a comment below of tips or tricks you use to get in more scripture.

Blessings to You

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Funny Moment of the Day

So I just had to share with you all real quick what happens at our dinner table. First we eat there. We school there. We read the bible together there. We also do just about everything else there too. From crafts to putting together light fixtures. Anyway, I’m sure you get the picture. 

Tonight while enjoying a lovely homemade pot of vegetable beef soup, and lively conversation as always, we got to talking about what kind of veggies were in the soup. We had some potatoes, tomatoes, corn, beans of different varieties, onions, carrots, and peas. While digging through her soup to only get her favorite veggies out, Magic Bean asks “where do peas come from?” Well, they grow in the garden answers dad. I answer with, they grow in pods. Then she proceeds to say the funniest moment of the day. You ready for this? “Like the kind whales are in?” I think I about spit my soup across the table laughing! Oh that silly girl……..

 

 

By the way, we did correct her and she officially knows how and where peas grow:)

We are crazy! Or are we?

We stick out like a sore thumb anywhere we go. It’s true! We go to dinner with the family, people look at us when we hold hands and pray. People look at us when our kids are being quiet and respectful in the restaurant. When we’re out shopping people often comment “Are they all yours?” That one is especially true when I’m with the children by myself. Even as we are in the process of finding a home church, people look and stare. They are blown away that we teach our kids to stand and worship. They are blown away that if my children feel led they will lift there hands in praise. They are baffled that a 4 year old little boy can sit still for an hour sermon and not make a peep. And that’s without toys or coloring or any of the like. Our neighbors think we’re crazy for sitting outside and playing with our children when they are outside. Our home has become the “street” hangout. If we’re out, we have a ton of neighbor kids here wanting to play and hangout. Our own family thinks we’re a tad bit crazy. One, for wanting more of a gang. Two, for holding our kids to high standards. And three for not giving in to the latest and greatest fashion and techno craze. Maybe we are crazy. Maybe we are weird. Maybe just maybe these things are true but hear me out. I don’t think it’s a great example to pray over our meals JUST at our home, so we pray wherever we eat. I don’t think it’s too much to train your child to sit through a dinner, be it 15 minutes at McDonalds, or an hour at a sit down place. I don’t think it’s crazy to take 5 kids grocery shopping or to the hardware store, or anywhere else that might otherwise not be fun for them. I don’t think we are crazy for teaching our kids to worship and praise GOD for everything they have in this world. For the very breath they breathe to the smallest toy they have. I do think it’s odd that we are the only ones 99% of the time outside playing and investing in our children. And to me, it’s an investment and a lesson. One day they will have kids of their own and i hope and pray they will play outside with them too. I don’t think it’s crazy at all to want as many children that God wants to give us. Each and every one of my children have been given to me from the ONE above. Not one of them was an accident or something I wished for. He knows what he’s doing and I trust HIM. I don’t think I’m crazy for wanting and teaching my kids to be Not of this World! Seriously?!?!?!?!? Have you looked at this world and the standards or lack thereof. I want my kids to be Jesus Freaks! I want my kids to be radical for the things of God. And finally, I don’t think I’m all that crazy for NOT spoiling my kids rotten with things! And they are just that….. things. They will eventually need better things than temporal fashions and overpriced media junk that they will never be allowed to use for lack of parental controls. So yeah, maybe we are a little crazy. Maybe my family does stick out, and I’m ok with that because I’m living and raising and teaching them to live like a Romans 12 christian!

Romans 12:2
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what Gods will is- his good, pleasing, and perfect will.

Because…………. NORMAL IS NOT ENOUGH

Blessings,
Tiffany

Linking to some of these other wonderful blogs:
Linking to :
we are that family
Wordless Wednesday
pinching pennies
raising homemakers
Deep roots at home
our simple farm
frugally sustainable
wednesday in the word
ginger snap crafts
my daily walk in his grace
day to day joys
lindas lunacy
heavenly homemakers
slightly indulgent tuesday
tackle it tuesday
hearts 4 home thursday

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Repurposed jeans

” Mom, I think we should start wearing longer skirts and dresses.” These were the sweet words Dexter says to me after noticing that most girls her age are wearing daisy dukes and low cut tops. We’ve always tried to teach the girls modesty. No short shorts, no bikinis, no low cut tops. But when your child finally gets what modesty is all about, that it’s more than clothes, that it’s more than being or dressing appropriate, it tends to touch your heart. You see, for us, modesty is about keeping yourself pure. Pure for there husbands(eventually). Pure for God. Pure for themselves. I try my hardest to the best of my ability to be an example to my girls especially. So imagine my delight when those words came out of her mouth!
Below you’ll find a little pictorial of how I turned a pair of jeans(free to me) into a cute skirt for the Princess! As soon as I was done and she modeled it for all to see, Dexter brings me a pair of jeans and says “mom, will you do mine next?” YES! Why yes I will!

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I started with a pair of jeans
Then I cut the seam out of the entire leg and crouch area
Next I put a panel of fabric inside front and back and pinned in place
Finally I sewed it down what were the legs leaving the raw edges of the jeans for character
I put a small hem in the bottom after she tried it on so i would know where it would hit her

And VIOLA! And super cute skirt that she can wear to romp in or to church!

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