Sunday, October 28, 2012

The coupon class is here!

The coupon class is going to be on another private blog!  It is a place where I hope we can pull up a comfy seat and our cup of coffee and help each other through improving our finances and the quality of our lives!  I have seven years of couponing and frugality experience and hope to not only share what I know, but also to build on it with the ideas of others.  The "other" blog is still under construction but the first post is there and the first coupon class session is ready to post!  If you are intrested, just leave me a comment here with your name (first only is fine by me!) and your email address, as I will use the email to invite you, it is the only way you will see that blog!

And please don't think it is all about reading!  Everyone who is there is welcome to share their ideas in a forum where everyone's ideas are welcome, and bullies, spammers and the like will not be allowed!  And we will also share information on deals when we can.

Your response to this post with your private information will not be shared!

The class and blog are 100% free!  But if anyone wanted to submit a donation to go towards my church outreach Christmas program (gifts from needs to wants for kids) that would be ok also. 

Friday, October 26, 2012

Teachable moments

Sometimes it seems we are always telling our kids something, teaching them something, correcting them for something.  But I think we miss a lot of teachable moments with them.  It is easy to miss them, we get busy, our minds are on other things, all kinds of things happen.  But I think that it is very important that we seek out those teachable moments.  We have been in our church for a few years now, and sometimes I forget that the teaching she usually gets there is more defined for her age group and that there are some things that she is missing!  Of course we teach at home, but who can remember it all?

So last night I caught myself in one of those teachable moments. I had taken Erica out for dinner as a treat because it was just her and I for dinner.  The conversation came up about a woman for President.  I reminded her it was against our religion.  "IT IS???" She asked.  I reminded her there are no women elders in our church.  I asked her why she thinks that is, and she had never thought about it.  So we began to discuss the Bible verses around it.

1 Timothy 2:11-15
11 A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. 12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve. 14 And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. 15 But women will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.

Ephesians 5:23-24

For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. 

I believe that the above verse goes hand in hand with the verse below, meaning that a woman's head is covered by her husband who is to lead and guide her as he is led by the Lord.

1 Corinthians 11:5  

But every wife who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head, since it is the same as if her head were shaven.

So in our beliefs, God is over men and men are over women.  Anything else upsets the balance of power as God himself intended it.  Now this does assume that the man in question is following God, but in the case of our family, he is and I wouldn't have it any other way.

I am always so glad for these teachable moments, because I think they are far more important than the times correcting her and such.   They are moments when I know I have her full attention, because she is interested in the topic at hand and ready to learn.  Of course within this teachable moment, I also had to explain that a Godly man would never use the submissiveness of a woman to mistreat, control or abuse her.  In the case that should happen, he is not the proper head for a woman!  So look for those teachable moments, if you aren't looking for them you will almost always miss them for sure!

Monday, October 22, 2012

How you can feed the hungry in America--Possible online class

Thousands of dollars in coupons go into the trash.  Many people think that they can't save with coupons or that coupons are just a ploy to get you to spend money on things you won't really use.  The truth is, that simple isn't true.  Last week, I purchased 40 boxes of boxed potatoes to give to our church outreach.  Our church outreach gives food every month to those who need it, no questions asked.  We don't ask for ID, for proof of income, anything like that.  We also accept no federal food bank help, because we couldn't offer a devotion if we did.  The devotion is the biggest part of our outreach.

Thing is, it doesn't matter what outreach you give to, it could be one that does get federal funds, it could be the humane society, it could be anywhere.  But those 40 boxes of potatoes, will help at least 20 families, maybe 40.  Just depends on how many families we have who need food when they are given out.  But with coupons, I got them for free.  Wait that isn't true.  I actually got a catalina coupon when I checked out to use on another purchase.  That means I got paid .50 cents a box to purchase them to donate.  Those catalinas may be used for groceries for my family, but if the sales and coupons are good, they may also be used for more food for the outreach.

Thing is YOU can use coupons to help people in need.  Some people will not know how to do this, if that is the case, I can help you learn.  If you really think it isn't something that you want to do, you can still help people.  You can find someone in your area who will help food banks with coupons.  Or I can help you find someone.  The problem with sending them to someone else is that you may have to pay a shipping fee.

Also there is use for expired coupons.  Military people overseas can often use coupons up to six months expired.  There are people and organizations who you can send them to who will send them overseas.  I think you can also send them yourself, but I would have to look that up.  The plus side to this, is that there is often a huge mark up on groceries overseas for our military people.

I have also used coupons to adopt a family at Christmas more than once.  Often I can provide enough food for two weeks for a family.  Twice I have provided a Thanksgiving meal, a few Christmas gifts and at least two weeks of groceries  (including things such as toilet paper and shampoo).  We are NOT rich.  One of those families, we adopted for food and provided Christmas gifts for the child and family gifts (pots and pans etc), while Beloved was unemployed.

I plan to post another post on how coupons helped us survive the 2.5 years of Beloved's unemployment soon.  It amazes me how during that time, we were still able to give so much to our church outreach!  There were months that we had no money for groceries, we bought only the freebies and ate off of our stockpile.  I didn't have to worry about things like soap and shampoo, we had plenty in the garage.  I won't lie, we ate plenty of rice and beans, but that has always been a big part of our menu.  Many canned goods we got for free during that time, we are still eating.  We still have a ton of free rotel!  I can't stand the heat of the mild, but my daughter prefers it over expensive salsa.  Hey, it was free, she can eat a whole can if she wants!!!!  I can teach others how to do this!  If you are interested let me know!  If I get enough interest, I may do an online class!  The class would help you feed your family and others!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

I have taught myself many things in life

I have taught myself to crochet, knit, make soap and laundry soap, sew, can and dry foods and cook all kinds of things.  Most of these things my mother couldn't teach me because she was gone quite often.  She was being a single mother, going to school and working at times and at other times working two shifts. 

The one thing I struggle with is housekeeping.  I am not good at organizing things, and the clutter gets out of control at times.  I just really lack in this area, and I am not afraid to admit it.  I wish this was as easy to learn as most of the other things I have taught myself.  I mean for sewing, crochet, knitting, canning, cooking it is most times as easy as a quick online search or you can get a book.  But for housekeeping, that just isn't the case.  Combine that with this tiny house, and it is a daily struggle for me.  At this point though, I am determined to win this battle.  I am not sure how I am going to do this, just that I will do it. 

I started with some of my plans today that I hope will help.  One thing I did was throw out a lot.  There are things that we keep that really can go.  Such as the magazines that we like the article in or want to read again.  Or maybe it is kept to cut out one article.  Today they went.  If I didn't get something read again, or cut out and saved by now I am likely not going to get it done so they are gone.  I am hoping that this alone will help some.  I am just giving myself the freedom to get rid of stuff.  To throw it out if it is trash, recycle it, donate it, put it on the curb (I have gotten rid of many items this way, even broken appliances that someone usually thinks they can fix and maybe they can!), whatever but some of it just needs to go!

But that doesn't help the stuff I have to keep.  The soap making supplies, sewing supplies, etc.  I am struggling with those items.  I do use some plastic bins, but then you have to have a place to put them.  So here I am hoping that my brain will grasp better organization and housekeeping skills.  I so wish there was a book for this!  But I am trying to stay positive and keep telling myself I can do this. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Update to my last product review!

On my last product review HERE I wrote that my daughter and I had allergy issues with the strength of the glade oil infuser and that I sent one over to my neighbors house to try.  They really like it and have had no issues with it!  I am glad I sent it over there to give it a very fair trial.  I knew that just because Erica and I had allergy issues with it didn't make it a bad product, as we have those issues with lots of things, including some flowers.  And of course nothing can be wrong with flowers, God made them!  So based on what Erica and I experienced and what my neighbors have experienced with it, I would have to say that it is a good product, but as with anything may not be the right product for all people.  We will stick with the fragrance mist in our home, and my neighbor may stick with the diffusers.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Some great deals and freebies at Kroger this week!

My son called me last night from work.  Since he works at Kroger sometimes he sees some of the great deals that hit.  He called me last night and told me that the boxed scalloped potatoes were a deal and so were the cheap frozen pizzas.  We don't eat that stuff really often but every now and then I need a quick easy side and the pizzas are a treat I sometimes make for dinner when it has been a busy day.  Not the best meal, but paired with a salad not so bad.

So I took Beloved to the yard to get his truck today since he left it there last night for some new tires to be put on this morning and then I stopped at Kroger.  The potatoes are FREE with this deal.  In fact, there are some coupons to be had on them that makes them pay you to bring them home.  The Pizzas end up .25 cents and if you can find four specially marked boxes, there is a $5 online rebate, making them a money maker!  And the cake mixes are .25 cents each I can't make them from scratch for that much.  So here is how you work the deal.  You go through the checkout and pay for five or ten boxes of potatoes.  You will pay either $5 or $10 for this order and will get your $5 off your next order coupons.  Then you do your next transaction and pay with the coupons you just got and will get more coupons.  Repeat as many times as you like.  At the end, you will have saved money and have some coupons left for the next time you come, or you can save your items that you needed that this deal didn't work on to purchase very last, and you can use your final coupons on them.

I plan to go tomorrow and do this deal for the church outreach.  Next month will be the big month they do for Thanksgiving, so I don't know what exactly they plan to do this month, but if need be, they will keep until January.  I think my favorite part of doing deals is being able to get free and/or dirt cheap stuff for the outreach.  We (the church) really enjoy being able to help those in our little town who need the help, and the past few years, the numbers of families have really climbed. If you can get free items but you won't use them, consider getting them to donate!  There are many hungry people right here in the USA that are falling through the cracks.  It is easy to donate, just find a food bank and take them in, I think some will even come to your house and pick the stuff up.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Has another week really gone by already? Another product review!

It has been a busy week and it went so darn fast.  Here it is Sunday already and I am wondering how we got here!  Erica had a busy weekend.  She had a full day yesterday at the youth pastor's house.  It was a day of games.  She had lunch and dinner there also, that gave beloved and I a chance for a date night.

I have tried a new Bzzagent product.  I guess I will go ahead and tell you all about it!  I tried the Glade Expressions Collection of home deodorizers.  First off I tried the Oil Diffuser.  I tried the pineapple and mangosteen scent.  I loved the scent.  The oil diffuser had one problem in my home though.  It was very strong, and really started messing with my sinus and allergy issues.  I left it sit another hour or so thinking it would lessen a little bit until my Daughter came home, and she said something about it right away.  Within about twenty minutes, she was complaining of her allergies.  Due to the fact she has allergy related asthma, I threw it in the outside trash right away.  Part of this may have to do with our very small house.  In a larger room or larger home, this may not be an issue.  It would likely also be less of an issue in homes where nobody has the severe allergy issues that I sadly passed on to my children.  I will have a part two of this story though.  I had purchased two of these when I picked up the first one.  The first one I had a free coupon for, and then there were other coupons and there was a good sale at the store that day so I had picked up two of them.  The second one is across the street at my neighbor's house.  I haven't gotten back over there to get their opinion yet.  I couldn't stand to throw it away, and opinions from their may be more fair since the product just had to go here.

I did also try the Fragrance Mist spray in the same scent.  It smells equally good, and is a little strong but of course I have way more control over the amount in the air, and when and how often it is sprayed since it isn't continuous like the oil diffuser is.    I have had much better luck with that.  It allows me to get a nice boost of scent in the house when and where I want it, without making anyone sick with allergies, sinus or asthma issues.  So for my use, it is much better.  Beloved has requested some for his semi.

I realized the other day that we are coming up on a huge anniversary here.  Beloved has been an Over The Road (OTR) truck driver for a year at the end of this month.  It has not been an easy change for us.  Honestly, I am glad we have a pretty strong marriage, I can see how this could rip some people apart.  It can be very stressful and hard for the whole family.  The good thing is that Beloved and I are good at talking it out with each other, and with the kids when need be so we all get past it.  It isn't always easy, but it is the turn our lives have taken and we have to make the best of it.   Sometimes when the days are really hard, we have to remind ourselves that it could be worse.  We have to remember the two and a half  years he was unemployed, that being the reason for going to truck driving after over twenty years in plastics manufacturing.  We have been married twelve years now.  We were very used to being together, and it is just hard to be apart sometimes.  But it does help us appreciate more the time together and try to use it wisely.  On Saturdays, you rarely find Beloved and I apart. 

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Of laundry disasters and new recipes

Beloved brought me a true laundry nightmare when he came home late last Friday night.  The day before when he was filling the semi, one of the pump handles flipped out and spilled diesel all over him.  The lever was set to keep pumping, because on a semi you have two tanks one on each side.  You have to start the one on the drivers side before you can start the one on the other side.  So at least one has to be set to keep pumping.  Well somehow during the fueling process, one of the handles popped out of the tank and spewed diesel fuel all over him.  I washed them once with my normal laundry soap and vinegar, then air dried them.  They still smell awful.  It is oil based, so I am thinking perhaps I should soak them in some Dawn detergent and baking soda.  I am not sure even that will do the trick.  It is a pair of shorts and a T-shirt.    If anyone has any ideas, I am all ears er um eyes lol.

Also on the home front, I am digging for some new recipes for smoked sausage.  Beloved doesn't exactly love it, but I got a great deal on some, so I am hoping to find a recipe with it that will encourage him to like it a little more.  I don't buy it often.  Erica and I like it well enough, but I know only very limited ways to use it, and since Beloved doesn't like it as well as some things I don't make it so often.  If I don't find a recipe I think we will really like, I will just use it on nights he is out on the truck, but if I find new recipes, it is always a good thing!

We had a wonderful lesson at church tonight.  We are doing Acts now and I am learning a lot.  On Sunday evenings, it is more of a Bible study than a sermon, and Pastor always picks a book of the Bible and we study it all the way through.  I really like it that way, I learn a ton.  Of course sometimes we turn to other books to see the similarities between two verses or explain the passage a little more or such, but the book we are on is the main study.  Acts being a book about the first church, it really has a lot of useful stuff!