Welcome to my FIRST link up party!!!
Please feel free to link up anything related to helping us save money in our homeschool (or life in general) adventures! It could be a free resource or printable, a free or inexpensive activity, recipes, money saving tricks, etc.
I’ll get the ball rolling by reminding you of the recent FREE printable packs available on THIS blog!
Valentine Printable Packs for Preschool and Early Elementary:
Winter Olympic Themed Printable Packs for Preschool and Early Elementary:
I can’t wait to see what great resources and ideas you share! I’m hoping to make this a weekly link up. Please mention the Thrifty Homeschool Thursday Link Up in your post and link back to this (hopefully weekly) link up. Although you don’t have to include my banner, you are welcome to copy and paste the “Thrifty Homeschool Thursday” banner at the top of this post and include it on your blog or post.
Ok… so you’ll either think this tip is brilliant or pathetic. Either way… don’t judge me!
When you go to a fast food restaurant, keep the extra ketchup/ sauce packets you are given. Keep a stash at home and save yourself a little when grocery shopping.
Hang on to your extra napkins and plastic knives, spoons and forks as well.
If you know us at all, you know that we are HUGE fans of Chick Fil A! However, as “quick- service” restaurants go, Chick Fil A is not the most money efficient option out there.
When we feel the need to feed our family addiction, we let the kids share a meal. Usually the kids are filled up. Sometimes, they start in on mine or their daddy’s meal. If they are still super hungry, they can grab a snack when they get home.
Of course, meal sharing goes outside of just Chick Fil A. We apply this principle to other restaurants as well. My husband and I will sometimes share a meal as well.
Other tips for eating out:
1. Take drinks for the kids with you or just get water.
2. Look for coupons, in store specials, etc. You can follow a lot of restaurants on Facebook and keep up with their special offers.
3. Choose restaurants that don’t require tipping.
Oh… And here’s a Chick Fil A tip you may not know…you can trade in your un-opened kids meal toy for Ice-Cream!
How do you save money when it comes to eating out?
With the holidays coming up, I’ve definitely started thinking about gift giving. With a tight budget, it’s hard to know how to use our resources wisely. In the past few years, I have learned to crochet, knit and sew. These skills have come in quite handy when it comes to the holiday season… my downfall however, is not planning well and then getting overwhelmed with trying to finish it all.
Look for ways to involve your kids and your spouse in the gift making process. Here are a few of my favorite homemade/ handmade gift ideas:
Cookies!- Have the family work together to make some yummy cookies. Let the kids decorate some brown lunch bags to put the cookies in. Who doesn’t like cookies?
Gifts in a Jar– Google gifts in a jar and you’ll come up with TONS of ideas. You can layer all the dry ingredients needed for soups, cookies, cakes, etc… stick a bow on top of the jar and tie the directions on with a pretty little ribbon… Tada… another gift. The kids can help with this one too… let them help measure and pour.
Ornaments– perfect for grandparents!
Last year we made monogrammed burlap pillows. Even my youngest got in on the action.
The possibilities are endless!
What are some of your favorite homemade/ handmade gifts?
If you read our family blog, this is a post I wrote about a year ago. It always seems to be one of the most clicked on posts. I struggle with needs vs. wants. I do. I’ll admit it. What I think I need one day is really nothing more than a want the next. A couple of months ago, my husband’s car quit working. To me, we NEEDED his car fixed or to get a replacement. We simply could not function as a one car family. With him driving for his job and me homeschooling the kids, having two cars was a must. But…we couldn’t afford another car. We couldn’t afford to get his fixed. And for two months.. guess what… we somehow survived. We’ve been blessed beyond measure to have been given a car this past weekend for which we are so grateful. It wasn’t a need as I saw it a couple of months ago. It was a want… it was a comfort… it was security. We were fine with one car, but I am so thankful that now we have two…
Anyway… here’s the post for today:
Our pastor has been doing a series of sermons from Proverbs. He has covered a number of topics- wisdom, marriage, and most recently money. Money is a hard issue to discuss. My husband and I are finding that as we seek wise council in regards to the handling of finances, we receive a myriad of answers. We have asked many people who we consider wise, maturing Christians and have received conflicting answers on the best way to honor God in the area of money.
Questions that crossed our lips especially while my husband was in seminary: how do you tithe while living on support? How do you tithe when your income doesn’t meet your basic needs? Is it wise to give while in debt? Should you tithe if it means going farther into debt? Is tithing limited to money or can it be giving of your time and other resources? We don’t have the answers to these questions.
One thing I appreciated in our pastor’s sermon a couple of weeks ago is the idea that everyone has different chores in the kingdom of God- so, the way we use what we have, the amount of resources we are given…will look different from one person to the next. We have to be cautious not to pass judgement on someone because of what they have… or because of what they don’t have.
Needs v Wants… What do we need…what do we want? Because of seminary, we had to learn to live with what we need and not so much worry about what we want. Part of me wants to take pride in that fact… But I have ask myself how would I act if I had the money to indulge in what I want? Would I still pinch pennies and be frugal? I hope so.
Many people today wonder about the presence of supernatural activity in the Bible (angels and demons, spiritual warfare)… Does it still exist today or is that all a thing of the past? Friends of mine that are missionaries in developing countries would say yes as the have experienced that kind of thing first hand. So… Why not so much in America? We don’t need Satan to distract us from God… We do it to ourselves with all our stuff that we “need”.
Homeschooling on a tight budget is tough, but do- able. We were blessed this year to be given our materials by grandma and some other generous folks. We got our school supplies at a discounted price through one of those daily deal sights (Plum District… I think) as well as from my sis in law who “donated” printer paper to our school.
However… even without these generous gifts, homeschooling is still possible. I have noticed that different people take different approaches. I have enjoyed using the My Father’s World curriculum for the last two years. With a baby/ toddler in the house and now a new baby on the way… this mama’s brain is fried!… Having the curriculum laid out for me with all the lessons already written has been very helpful.
Some people, however, prefer to write their own unit studies and lesson plans. This is how I did it when I was teaching. When I began teaching ten years ago in the public school system, I taught four year old kindergarten… which was still fairly new. The state I worked in did not have state standards for 4K. The school I worked for was just beginning their preschool program. I had free reign… which was fun, but a bit daunting at the same time! I was allowed the freedom to come up with my own curriculum, lesson plans, unit studies, etc. It was fun. Planning for homeschool really isn’t that different. Instead of planning for a classroom of kids who are all the same ages… I just have to plan for my kids who are different ages.
Thankfully, there are great websites out there to aid in this process. This is where the money saving part of this post comes in. Here is a short list of a few great websites with unit studies, free printables and other great resources for teaching and homeschooling.
Super Teacher Worksheets
A to Z Teacher Stuff
These are just a few of the great resources out there. I encourage you to google “preschool unit studies” or “elementary school unit studies,” etc. Take the suggestions from these sites and adapt them to your style. Also… utilize your local library!
You can also check out this list I compiled with the help of friends of great educational game sites.
I’d love to hear back.. what are your favorite sites to use when homeschooling?
I wish I could tell you that I am an eco- friendly, go green kind of girl… I wish I could say that I recycled every recycle-able item in my home and worked hard to reduce waste and had a compost pile in the backyard and grew my own vegetables and fed my children only organic foods that came from eco-friendly farms… I would love to be that kind of girl… but I am not.
I would love to have the mental energy to devote to eco friendliness. I do recycle (when I can). I do not purposely waste paper. I try to remember to take my re-usable grocery bags to the store.
I say all this to preface this post because I want you to know that I’ve started making my own all- purpose cleaner… not because I am going green… but because we have no green… and this cleaner is super inexpensive to make.
Here’s the recipe I’ve been using:
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup baking soda
1/2 gallon of water
I mix it up and put it in a spray bottle. It’s great for bathroom and kitchen cleaning.
Google “cleaning with baking soda” for more great ideas.
When I can be frugal and eco friendly at the same time, I am happy to do it.
I came across this site while hopping around today. It is an educational site that enhances reading comprehension, attention and focusing, sequencing, etc. … an online adventure for ages 4- 7!
Click below to go to the Kabongo Site. Enter the code LEARN to help access premium games. Now.. you can go and sign up for free anyway… BUT… if you enter the code LEARN, you can get one more level of games for FREE (a $4.95 value)… you’ll be asked to put your card info in… but as long as you type LEARN in the promo code area, you won’t be charged anything.
I recommend this… my kids are excited already!
We have been blessed to rarely have to buy clothes for our kids. Each place we have lived, we have found friends who passed clothes down to my kids. I am praying we’ll find some friends like that soon!
We just moved from Florida to the mountains of North Carolina. While in Florida, it is still sweltering.. here, there is a definite fall nip in the air. The temps are in the fifties when we wake up in the morning. So… last week, I headed to the basement to pull out some warmer clothes for my little monkeys. The girls were set. They are still thriving on hand me downs. Baby girl is reaping the benefits of having a Big Sis and Big Sis is reaping the benefits of having a slightly older cousin. But… when I went to pull out some things for Big Brother… I realized that we’d come to the end of our hand me down storage. I only found a couple of articles of clothing that were seasonally and size appropriate.
I started looking on ebay and trying to hit up sales online. I looked at many of the places that boast having affordable prices… but I just can’t justify spending $15 on a pair of pants my son is only going to wear for a season. We looked around at Sam’s and Walmart and again came up short. I kept getting outbid on ebay.. plus I didn’t really want to pay the shipping.
So… the boy and I headed to Goodwill the other day and hit the jackpot. We got six pairs of pants for $13… and they are nice… Cherokee, Old Navy, Gap, Oshkosh and more. For less than what I would have paid at the store for one pair of pants, I got six pairs.
I don’t have a problem shopping at thrift stores… I think some people do… I think there is a stigma about it. I remember in high school, going to Value Village to buy tacky clothes for fun… I never thought about actually buying wearable clothes.
It takes a little more work to sort through the clothing racks, but it is totally worth the trouble!
Okay… so you’ve seen IPads ad Kindles and Nooks where you can take your digital books on the road with you… right?
But… did you know that Amazon has a free Kindle App for most smart phones or your PC? Just head on over to Amazon and check it out.
AND… you can periodically find great books for your Kindle for FREE on Amazon. Nothing says Money Saving to me like FREE!!!!
Here are a couple of books I’ve recently downloaded for FREE!!!
Pride and Prejudice... and a number of other Jane Austen books
We could have even bought the husband’s textbooks through Kindle for a cheaper price (if he hadn’t just checked them out of the library instead). I am digging the Kindle app.. makes me feel like I am keeping up with the times without paying the inflation!