Saturday, October 27, 2012

Debt-Free Christmas

We are having a debt-free Christmas again this year. I love the feeling of no guilt on Christmas morning. Here are a few of the ways that we are keeping Christmas debt-free: - Kohl's cash. (I give all my Kohl's cash to hubby, who uses it to ship for me, for free!) - Disney Movie Rewards. (Cashed in our rewards for a cool gift for each of the kiddos with free shipping!) - Bank Rewards Points. (Cashing these in for gift cards to use on Black Friday.) - Kids are selling things that they no longer want at Once Upon a Child to "earn" money to buy gifts for each other. - Aldi's has a great selection of toys at good prices. - Three Bags Full children's consignment sale. (This sale is one of my favorites and this year they are having a holiday clothing and toy sale here in my city.) - As always, I am hand-making some gifts. - I am using my checks from my Scentsy business to provide the gifts my kids really want. My business has been such a blessing to our family! - We are limiting our kids to only asking for 3 gifts each from Santa. We have done this every year and found it to be very reasonable. - I am using coupons to purchase household gift items like Pyrex, beauty products, etc. What is your game plan to survive the holiday? PS (For my readers, I am planning on coming back...I really miss this outlet of mine. Watch for a post per week regarding life, faith, family, and savings. I've missed you all!)

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Steak Escape - Kids Eat FREE Weekends

Fellow Newarkians:
At Steak Escape on 21st St, kids eat FREE on Saturday and Sunday with the purchase of an adult combo meal. It is a great deal! They get chicken bites/steak burger/any sandwich + fries + drink + oreos for FREE :)

Just thought I'd let you know. Steak Escape sadly went out of business. :(

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Making Do & Doing Without

Many of our grandparents used this phrase to survive in life:
Use It Up
Wear It Out
Make It Do
Do Without

Today, I propose that this phrase still works today. It is much better than "Just Do It" or "Have it Your Way", financially, at least. Having peace in my life = peace in all areas, including our finances. So I will "do without" happily.

In case you think that I am just typing these words instead of living them, here are 5 things that I am currently doing without:

1. My Rainbow vacuum cleaner - the tub broke in an unfortunate accident and rather than buy a new one, we are borrowing my in-law's back-up vac for the time being.
2. A second car - the muffler needs repaired, but we are CHOOSING (note emphasis here) on waiting for the repair and just driving the other "good" car - and yes, we have been CHOOSING this since October.
3. I have not had a hair cut in over 5 months. I am now a permanent fan of the ponytail and clip.
4. My store bought laundry soap - yes, I made homemade and love it just the same.
5. Our zoo membership - I know that this is whiney, but we have seriously always had this. We don't need it, especially in this bitter cold winter. Does this mean that my kids are missing some homeschool opportunities? Yes, but we are finding new, free ones instead.

There are many, many other things that we are choosing to forego in this season of life. Is it killing us? Nope. It actually is making us more creative with our time and our money. In fact, we just spent the eve making memories by playing a card game called Princess Purple with our kids. (The oldest really needs to work on his poker face, by the way.) A nice night with memories and laughs. It is the simple things, folks.

Can you choose to "do without" something to make your financial future brighter? We all make choices; will yours reflect a (financial) life of peace or chaos?

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Homemade Laundry Soap

Here was the recipe I used today to make no-cook laundry soap. Thanks to my friend, Natalie, for her recipe!

2 bars Fels Napatha grated in food processor
1/2 Lg box of Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
1/2 Lg box of Borax

Mix all together in a recycled big ice cream bucket with lid. Shake it up to mix even better.

Add 1 T to washing machine to wash clothes. Use fabric softner as normal.

(All ingredients were found in the laundry aisle of my local Kroger.)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

My Word For the Year

I have decided to pick a word to focus on for this new year instead of a bunch of lofty resolutions that I will likely not keep. This word is PEACE.

I want PEACE in all areas of my life: in my spiritual quietness, in my home clutter, in my finances, in my children, in my community, in my friendships, in my marriage, in me, period. This means that with all decsions this year I will think, "Will it provide me/my family PEACE?" If the answer is no, it has to go! If the answer is maybe, I will stop and wait awhile. If the answer is yes, you can't stop me from racing towards it!

With so much uncertainity in our lives, collecting unemployment, on a multi-state job hunt, and the like, the thing I crave the most is PEACE. Worry is not an invited guest in this home. He has been kicked to the curb.

I have watched God provide time and time again over the last 3 months. We have been blessed with lots of laughter, times of teaching, reconnecting with each other, friends who pray with us, food in abundance, and tears of joy. The bills are all paid in full. No one is hungry. God is good.

So this year, as I reflect on PEACE in all (even miniscule) areas of my life, I challenge you: What word or phrase can you reflect on in 2012? Could it be SIMPLIFY? TRUST? PRAISE? CONTENT? GROWTH? Your word is and will be as unique as you are - a precious child who our Maker delights in. He sings over you now.

"You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you." Isaiah 26:3