Saturday, March 27, 2010

God Works in Mysterious Ways

Knowing that your dream of being a stay-at-home mom is about to become reality... 

Realizing that your husband is just as excited about it as you...


Giving your official notice of resignation and finding out from your boss that by resigning your position, you have just saved your unaware 62 year old coworker from losing his job due to budget cuts...


A Week of Modesty

God has really worked in our lives in the past year in regards to modesty, and I've noticed it more than ever this week. 

1.  This week, my niece decided to clean out her drawers to give herself more room.  She took all her old jeans (that she stopped wearing about seven months ago) and bagged them up to hand them down to some girls who might wear them. When she told me what she was doing, she commented, "I would feel uncomfortable wearing jeans again after getting used to wearing skirts all the time."

2.  I heard my niece ask my nephew if he is going to make his future daughters wear skirts.  He replied, "Yeah, skirts and culottes.  They're not going to be wearing jeans or anything!"

3.  My niece and I were talking yesterday about how our one year anniversary of attending our church is coming up next month.  She said that she can remember exactly what she wore that first Sunday.  She said, "I wore a tight blue shirt and that really short plaid blue skirt.  I would be embarrassed to wear that now!"

4.  My niece commented to me one day at the store that "everyone looks so strange to me because I'm not used to seeing girls in jeans anymore."

5.  She also, out of the blue this week, told me some ideas she has for a way to come up with a modest swimming outfit.

6.  And last but not least... I'm not sure if this one technically falls under the "modesty" heading or not... but my husband cut his hair yesterday for the first time in 21 years. 

Lots of changes this past year.  :)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Thought for the Day: You Can't Change Anything!

This is written inside of one of my Bibles.  I don't know where I got the quote from, but it's simple and profound all at the same time.  I have a friend who I think might need to hear this today.  :*)
You can't change anything.  All you can do is trust the Lord and be faithful to Him.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Frugal Friday: Coupons

Coupons, Coupons, Coupons!

(and something to keep them in...)

One of my plans on how to save/make money after I quit working is to get serious about using coupons. And save the difference, of course! :)

Visit this site to send someone a "Tater Taunt". It's a cute little talking tater tot who will say whatever you type. You email it to a friend and Sonic emails you a $0.99 coupon for a Route 44 drink. You can send as many taunts per day as you'd like, but can only receive a coupon once per day.

Ask me for an email invitation to join MyPoints. Please? :) At MyPoints (which is free to join, by the way), you earn points that are redeemable for gift cards and other items. One great feature is the coupons. There are tons of grocery coupons (and other types) that you can print off, and each time you print and redeem a coupon, you earn 10 points, plus a 25 point bonus if you print and redeem ten or more coupons per month. You can also earn points by reading emails, using the MyPoints website as your starting point for online shopping, taking surveys, referring others, etc, but even if you don't care about actively pursuing the points, you'll still enjoy having access to these coupons! If you decide to join, please give me the opportunity to send you an email invitation so that I'll receive credit. :)

The 2010 Entertainment Coupon Books are now 50% off! I got mine last week and as always, I love it. If you've ever bought one and used it, you know that it's a great value... especially when it's half price. You can quickly earn your money back just after using a few of the coupons. You could buy it from their website for $17.50 (free shipping). Or... hint, hint... you could join MyPoints and buy it through the MyPoints website for the exact same amount, while earning 750 points! (Roughly translated, 750 points is equal to about $5.00.) You can also enter your zipcode here to see all the restaurants, stores, etc. whose coupons are in the book.

Last week, my friend Bridget sent me this link and this link on how to make a coupon organizer. SUCH a good idea! Basically, you take a three ring binder, fill it with plastic baseball card collecting sheets and divider sheets, and put a coupon in each slot. I started mine last night (pictured at left). If you're working with a small amount of coupons, one of those purse-sized flip photo albums would work well.

If you have any coupon tips/tricks or know of any good coupon-related websites, be sure to leave me a comment!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Modern Day Idols

If you're willing to sin in order to get something...

or sin in order to keep something...

or sin because you don't get something...

that thing has become an idol in your life.

~paraphrase of a quote from Idols of the Heart by Elyse Fitzpatrick (which I have not read)~

Friday, March 5, 2010

Make a Change and Save the Difference!

Since I'll be quitting my job in exactly ten weeks (but who's counting?!), being frugal is going to become a way of life for me. Join me every Friday as I share tips that I learn along the way on my journey to frugality! Have some frugal tips of your own? Know of some good blogs/websites that deal with frugal living? How about some legitimate ideas of making extra income? Leave me a comment! (Please note: Spam and/or scam comments regarding extra income will be not be published.)

Today's tip: Save the difference.

If you're familiar with the Duggar family, you've probably heard them mention their motto "Buy used and save the difference." I think that's a very wise way to live, but what if you're not in a financial position to "buy new"? What if you "buy used" because that's all you can afford?

Try this instead: Make a change and save the difference.

If you were going to pay full price for something, but are able to pay less... save the difference. If you normally spend a certain amount on something, but decide to cut it out... save the difference.

Here are some ideas on how to save the difference, most of which we are currently doing!

  • Did you clip coupons this week and save $5.46? Transfer that $5.46 over to your savings account. At that rate, you could save almost $284.00 per year!

  • Do you normally order a beverage when you go out for dinner? Order water for your family of four, and your savings account just increased by about $8.00.

  • Do you have a child whose haircuts cost $10 or $15? Build up the nerve to cut your child's hair yourself, and you can transfer that $10 or $15 to your savings account.

  • Shop the dollar menu. When our family eats fast food, we typically would each order a meal costing about $5.00. Recently, we have set a $3.50 limit per person. That means that if four of us go out for fast food, we used to spend about $20.00, but we now spend about $14.00. Later, I go online and transfer the $6.00 difference to our savings account.

  • Don't be afraid to ask for a discount. My husband and I went jeans shopping last weekend. He found the style of jeans that he prefers, but there was only one pair remaining in his size. That pair had a small flaw on the leg. I jokingly made a comment that if this had happened to Jim Bob Duggar, he would have asked the cashier to give him a discount. Well...he thought that sounded like a good idea, so off he went to ask the cashier. She called the manager, and voila! A twenty percent discount. Our savings account is now $7.14 happier. :)
"Saving the difference" can really make a difference.