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For the Parents For the Family For the Teacher Thrifty
Selling Your Old Cell Phone
Did you get a new cell phone for Christmas? Here is an article from CNET with tips on selling your old mobile devices.
20 Things the Rich Do Every Day
So what do the rich do every day that the poor don’t do? To start, the rich avoid junk food (think how much they save in medical and dental bills!) and the rich get regular exercise (another great health habit). Find more in the article on Dave Ramsey’s blog.
Money Saving Mom Website and Newsletter
This well-established website describes itself saying, “Money Saving Mom® is an upbeat and encouraging blog dedicated to helping you find money-saving coupons and deals, inspiring you to wisely manage your time and resources, and challenging you to live your life with intention and purpose.” Skip around the website and see if it seems useful to you and then subscribe to the newsletter. It’s free, and you can unsubscribe at anytime.
Thrifty Christmas Yard Décor
This is just the beginning of the ideas on a crafty website where your worst problem will be choosing what to do first. This craft uses your old plastic milk jugs to make colorful yard lights!
Shelves and Storage
These 16 pictures show clever ideas for storing books, spices, or wardrobe accessories and using repurposed objects as shelving and storage. See an underused closet get a new life as a mini-mudroom and two items get transformed into chalkboards. Guess where the rain gutters and garden trellis wind up.
DIY Photo Coasters
Trying to come up with an inexpensive, yet thoughtful, gift to make and give for Christmas? Here’s a tutorial explaining how to transform photographs into coasters using plain, white ceramic tiles.
Free Printable ABC Sheets
Cute little animals to color and letters to trace make a nice piece of (very informal) stationery to occupy little ones, and then you can mail them to far-flung relatives. Have everyone who is with you this Thanksgiving write a brief word to the recipient after the kids color the pictures. This is a great project for youngsters who not yet ready for regular lessons still like to “do school” alongside older siblings.
“Homeschooling on a Shoestring”
Vicki Bentley has an article up on the Home School Legal Defense Association website with advice for parents of toddlers to tweens. She notes that while it is technically possible to homeschool with only a Bible and a library card, she suggests a number of other great ways to economize that are somewhat less drastic in the cost-cutting department.
National Split Pea Soup Week – Begins November 11
Split pea soup is healthy, inexpensive, filling, and easy! How can you pass this up?
Free E-book – Nine Ways to Transform Old T-shirts
Use the ideas here to make use of old T-shirts (or free ones given out as promotional items), learn sewing skills, and perhaps make gifts.
Good Cheap Eats – Soups and Stews
Organize a recipe swap with other homeschool moms to get the best fall food. Find some inspiration here at the Good, Cheap Eats website.
Feed the Pig – Savings Advice
Learn the why and how of savings with help from Financial Literacy–it’s even fun! There are videos, a free weekly tip, various calculators, articles, archived tips, and podcasts.
Affording the Homeschool Life
Find these friendly, helpful folks on Facebook and on the blog (second link). The owners say, “Affording the Homeschool Life” is a group for homeschool families to share tips, tricks, and resources for all frugal living topics. Feel free to post questions and please join in the conversation.”
The Best Time to Buy Anything During the Year
Lifehacker offers their guide to the best time of year to purchase specific types of merchandise less expensively, from computer monitors to carpet.
It’s apple season! Take advantage of lower prices and better quality by buying fruit in season. Here are some wonderful ways to enjoy this healthy and delicious fall fruit!
Soap Dispenser Refills
If you love foaming soap but are not such a fan of the price, see this blog on ways you can refill the dispensers inexpensively.
Live Dirt Cheap
Live Dirt Cheap has coupon sources, tips, recycling ideas, and more ways to help your family save money.
Homemade Laundry Detergent
“Living on a Dime” has tons of potential money-saving ideas for helping almost anyone trim the budget. Homemade laundry detergent is one idea many homeschoolers–and others–count on weekly (daily?).
DIY Greeting Card Kit – A Simple Gift for Giving or Sending
With commercial cards having gone way up in price, it is more common than ever to think of that very practical arts-and-crafts project, the homemade card. This short and illustrated blog post lists ingredients for you to pre-assemble in zip-top bags. The writer suggests keeping the bags near another homemade helper, the card occasion notebook (or as we call them, our “paper brains”). The article includes a link to free printables–one to track thank you notes and another to a birthday calendar. Cleverly done kits might even be suitable as gifts, especially to older relatives on limited budgets. Be sure to include stamps, address labels, addresses, and fill out the calendar as well as you can.
Meet needs for little to no cost by recycling what you already have. Explore more than a dozen of your editor’s favorite finds from the world of blogging. Do you know the old saying, “Use it up, wear it out; make it do, or do without!”?
Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-Free
Nothing says we all can’t enjoy some wonderful and different foods found searching for recipes on sites that cater to special diets. Expand your hospitality possibilities! Here is one place to start.
50 Ways to Save Money
This blog post presents 50 general tips on how to be frugal, in addition to separate groups for groceries, household, personal, and entertainment. There are a few links to other posts too.
Women Auto Know
Women may prove easy targets for unscrupulous repair shops or tradesmen, as numerous undercover camera investigations have shown. Women Auto Know takes aim at one area of fix-it know how. Become familiar with its resources now and you will be a tougher target when you have a break down or need to perform regular maintenance.
Dollar Store Crafts
Check out this unusual idea for home décor and follow the links to other dollar store crafts.
Free Software Blocks Ads
Not only are online ads incredibly annoying, they tempt you to blow the budget as you conduct your normal computer activities. Compatible with Firefox and Chrome, “Ad Block Plus” comes to the rescue. Read reviews and evaluations from CNET’s editors and from your peers, other day-to-day computer users, and decide if these free programs are suitable for you. Additional research of other Internet sites is recommended.
Printable Baby Book
If you are pinching pennies but still want a place to record baby’s data for posterity, here are cute pages on which to note the essentials. Decorate a notebook or folder as they suggest or search the ‘net to find a folder or notebook that suits you.
“What if I Had No Money for Curriculum?”
One mom wrote how she would manage with “just an Internet connection, printer, and Kindles.” Even if you do buy curriculum, check her website suggestions to see if any may be useful.
“What if I Had No Money for Curriculum?”
One mom wrote how she would manage with “just an Internet connection, printer, and Kindles.” Even if you do buy curriculum, check her website suggestions to see if any may be useful.
Find ideas submitted by users in categories such as crafts, DIY, gardening, holidays, frugal living, gifts, and mixes. You can post questions asking fellow frugal folks for their money-saving solutions. There are many more along with a free newsletter.
G. A. Henty Classics Free for Kindle
G. A. Henty books are popular with many homeschoolers. Now you can get a number of them free for Kindle. It could be a good way to try out some of his books free of charge–even if you are a “real” book fan.
Grow Food from Kitchen Scraps
Grow some vegetables from scraps left over in the kitchen. Plants that can be grown this way include celery, green onions, and potatoes. See the short article for more and the how-tos that go with it.
Reuse Soda Can Tabs
It may sound a little odd, but here are seven ways to reuse what would usually be mere trash. Ideas range from practical picture or art hangers to crafty bracelets! While on that page to see the ideas, note articles linked at the bottom of the page on reusing hangers, tissue boxes, and pie tins. Teach the art and science of clever reuse to your children early.
Clothes Mending Guide
Make items feel like new when you repair rips, missing buttons, and misaligned zippers with these mending instructions. Mending has gone out of fashion–but it saves lots of money!
50 Ways to Save Money
This blog post presents 50 ways to be frugal in a general category in addition to groupings for groceries, household, personal, and entertainment. There are a few links to other posts too.
Five Easy Ways to Spring Clean the Outside of the House
Whether you are selling or staying–or rent or own your home–here are five easy and fast ways to improve the outside look of your house. Start with a power wash; read more in the short article.
May Issue of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine
Remember to take advantage of the generosity of our friends at The Old Schoolhouse Magazineand see the current issue of this well-known magazine. There is sure to be something for everyone. And don’t forget to claim your free subscription to SchoolHouseTeachers.com–brought to you by TOS–when you register for the convention!
Ten Things to Do This Summer for $1 or Less
Some of the activities on this list may be new to you–such as tour a local factory or make homemade snow cones! Be sure to check the comments for more thrifty ideas and maybe share a few ideas of your own.
Learning A-Z Teacher Appreciation Online Open House – Register Now; Open House Is May 3-7
Learning A-Z will once again open their paid websites for a free week to honor teachers, but each subsection will only be open for a day or two. The sites cover six aspects of reading, writing, math, and science.
20 Do-It-Yourself Homemade Art Supplies
These art supplies may not only be thriftier than their store-bought cousins, but they’re often available 24/7 since you may well have the “recipe ingredients” already.
Recycled Backyard Projects
Now that it is spring, our thoughts naturally turn to the growing plants outdoors—and indoors! Recycle an old dustpan into a bird feeder. An old Altoids tin becomes a simple and inexpensive gift for the garden enthusiast in your life. Convert a cardboard box of your choice (they used “Animal Crackers®”) into an indoor planter. Get more ideas from the Birds and Blooms “Recycled Backyard” page.
If you somehow missed the news–the Duggars are coming to the June HEAV Convention! Here are recipes the family has amassed over the years, in addition to financial tips, homeschool recommendations, and marriage resources. Some ideas will save money, some will save your credit rating, some will help save your sanity, and some will help save a marriage–and saving a marriage is priceless!
Freely Educate is great site for parents, homeschoolers, and other educators to find a wide variety of quality, free educational offers. New ones are posted most weekdays.
Mr. Printables for Kids
Find such categories as stationery, learning, activities (games, puzzles, coloring, and more), parties, holidays, crafts, and more! These resources will come in handy in so many areas of life.
Top 10 Thrifty Homeschool Blogs
Check out these 10 blogs for ideas–all selected by other homeschoolers–as the Top 10 Thrifty Homeschool Blogs.
The Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC) Passport Program begins its new year of shared admission on April 30, 2013. Read up on the program details that allow family members to join one museum and get free general admission to other participating museums. Grandparents are sometimes happy to contribute to the effort and can take the kids to a fun and educational spot during visits. Check with the museum you contemplate joining to see if they offer membership reciprocity with other museums, historic sites, and zoos (AZA). Current lists are at the site.
Free Financial Freedom E-book and Phone Consultation
Focus on the Family is among those sponsoring a free e-book and phone consultation to help you on your way to financial fitness. Talk to someone who understands and can help you with a free debt analysis and financial fitness book based on biblical principles.
Homemade Baby Gift: A Hankie Baby Bonnet
This sewing tutorial shows how to turn a gorgeous hankie from an estate sale, yard sale, or Grandma’s attic into a beautiful baby gift for as little as $.25–if you are able to discover a bargain. Create a future heirloom as well as a cherished gift. Crafters may find a hobby or business opportunity.
Ten Uses for Plastic Milk Jugs
There’s nothing thriftier than reusing what would ordinarily be trash. Here are gardening and other uses for the humble empty milk jug.
Saving Potato Water
Who knew that saved potato water (water you boiled potatoes in) could be saved and used in bread and rolls, soups, and other dishes–even in chocolate cake? Read more in this short tip.
PVC Pipe Bike Rack
Here are directions for a bike rack that even younger children can help assemble. Organize that jumble of bikes in the garage and get ready for warmer weather and family outings.
Uses for Recycled Magazines
Here are links to tutorials on making jewelry, furniture, crafts, and more, all from old magazines!
Repurpose a Playpen or Crib into an Indoor Laundry Rack
If you have an old (and possibly unsafe) wood slat playpen or crib, here is one way to get more use out of it–convert it into an indoor clothes drying rack with these directions.
Produce Selection, Handling, and Storage
See these tips for selecting, handling, and storing produce to get the best and make it last. You’ll save money while you eat your daily fruits and veggies.
Back to Basics Mini-Challenge
Check out these 10 categories to see if any appeal to you. Some will certainly help save money (using more dry beans) and some might encourage you to eat more healthful foods, protecting that precious commodity – your good health.
List of Free Kindle Books
Thousands of Kindle e-books–including classics, children’s stories, cookbooks, DIY manuals, and more–are available free of charge from Amazon. The following site offers a list of freebies updated regularly and geared towards homeschoolers. Find books on subjects from the U.S. Constitution to National Parks.
If this page doesn’t work, simply go to the homepage by clicking on the logo of this downloadable curriculum site and looking lower along the left sidebar for the “Free” symbol. The site always has lots of smaller free items and sometimes big ones! Sign up for their newsletter and get reminders about the freebies! Don’t miss CurrClick at the convention this June!
Free Block-of-the-Month Quilting Course
Parents, would you or your children like to learn to sew or quilt with structured lessons from your own home? Would it be even better if they were free? You will get a whole month to do one block, and will have a small quilt suitable for a small project (wall hanging or pillow) at the end of the year.
Homeschool Co-op and Free Homeschool ID
Many discounts for educators or tickets for students require valid identification as a homeschooler. Two of the best ways to obtain a homeschool ID card are to join HEAV or HSLDA. If a need arises before you have a chance to do those, you may print your own free ID card via the Homeschool Buyers Co-op or buy a professionally made version from them. The Co-op is a way to save money by arranging to join quantity discount buys too.
Free Family Handyman Newsletter and DIY Goofs Contest
Get ideas and instructions for all sorts of indoor and outdoor projects. Select any of the free newsletters by clicking on “Free Newsletters” in the upper right corner. You can also read about others’ DIY goofs or enter your own for cash (if published).
Free Printable Word Search Puzzles (Adults and Kids)
Choose from dozens of themes for word search puzzles. There are separate levels for adults and children. Some puzzles can be worked online without printing.
Save on Groceries When You’re Sick
In this blog post, “Living on a Dime” site owner, Tawra Kellam–who has health issues–passes on a number of useful tips for feeding a busy family even when you don’t feel like cooking.
Cabbage is a less common source of Vitamin C and a relatively inexpensive food, so this lady collected over 200 cabbage recipes. They require varying amounts of time, effort, and other ingredients to complete, but do use cabbage. Sort through the categories and find some you like. Steamed, sliced cabbage with a little butter, salt, and pepper is the cheapest form, and a super-easy veggie to serve!
Turn Paint Chips into a Dry Erase Calendar
Turn an old picture frame and paint chips into an inexpensive, reusable monthly (or weekly) calendar. You’ll need 35 chips, a 12″ x 16″ frame, and a dry erase marker to create your own version.
Free Printable Calendars for 2013
Pick and choose to customize whatever style of calendar pages you need. If one month has a unique schedule (such as an expected baby or a long road trip), you can print just that month in a different style that meets your needs.
Last-Minute Gift – Skateboard Sling
Directions say this sewing project is simple enough for beginners. Whip one up–or let a learner try it–and make a snowboard or skateboard carrier.
31 Days of Giving on a Budget
This particular day happens to discuss helping even the youngest children give to others. The other 30 days have additional ideas to help families give even when budgets are tight.
Bookshelf with Planks of Wood and Two Ladders
If you need more shelf space and lack the time or skills to build, try this. As the title suggests, you’ll need ladders and wood!
31 Ways to Earn Extra Cash Before Christmas
Some ideas will be quite obvious (make a budget and stick to it), but there may be some that will be new to you and help you find a little extra money.
Free Printable Grocery Lists
Shopping without a list can be disastrous on the budget! Download free, printable grocery lists for any occasion, and never be caught “open-handed” again.
Free (Bad) Apps Can Steal Your Data
Read Kim Komando’s recent article warning about malware masquerading as free apps and learn about security for your mobile devices.
Sale Candy Makes Inexpensive Holiday Wreaths
Get your free candy Christmas wreath PDF e-book from Living On A Dime® and take advantage of any sale candy you come across. Site owner Tawra Kellam says it may only cost $2 to make the sweet treat and decoration–if you can resist eating the candy as you are making the wreath!
Found Object Art as Centerpiece
Use a found object art activity as your Thanksgiving centerpiece and you have a thrifty tip that will let the kids showcase their talents and help the budget too.
Jan Brett Freebies
Subscribe to Jan Brett’s newsletter (or just visit her site) for fabulous, printable material from seasonal coloring pages and full-color bookmarks fancy enough to give as greeting-card gifts (print on cardstock), to teaching material for younger kids and drawing lessons sophisticated enough for adults! A famous children’s author/illustrator, Jan keeps sharing new resources year after year and offers access to older, archived items.
Free Christmas Planner
Yes, it’s time to jump in now for a “mostly Frazzle Free Christmas.” (Sign up now to be alerted earlier next year and get the full eight-week version.) You can download an e-Book, checklists, and printables free of charge. Be sure to tell family and friends so they can relax and enjoy the moments more fully. See the second link for their Facebook page.
This popular website features inexpensive–and in this case, cook and freeze ahead–meals for a family dinner. Back to school times can be hectic; it could be a good time to make some dinners ahead and be ready for a no-time-to-cook evening.
Breakfast Tips from Living On A Dime®
Never let lack of planning or preparation rob you of a smooth-running, nutritious start to the day! These organizational tips for breakfast could be a cooking lesson for students too. The first link is to the printer-friendly version of the free newsletter and the second link is to the website’s homepage.
One Harvest Food Ministries
One Harvest essentially fills the void left by the end of Angel Food Ministries with their discount food boxes. To find a location near you, click on “Locations” on the red banner. The search feature may work best if you enter the town and full state. Try “Norfolk, Virginia” to see results in the entire Hampton Roads area.
If you don’t find one in your town, try nearby towns to which you are willing to drive. Also, your church may consider becoming a partner (host) site. Click on “Become a Partner” to join the effort to bless people with a lower-cost food source. There are now sites in several southern states, including Virginia and North Carolina.
Thrifty Ideas and Music: Opera for Everyone
Opera–frugal?! Yes! On this site find free downloads of the famous “Opera for Everyone” series (with printable teaching manual!) and a few links to more resources for learning about this sometimes neglected part of music appreciation.
Free Thanksgiving Worksheets and Printables Galore!
Use some of the serious educational material (especially the last three in the listed set of resources in the site), coloring sheets, games, and loads more on many age levels. Great as a filler or to keep kids out from underfoot. Enjoy!
Find labels, place cards, menus, and a traditional kids’ Thanksgiving placemat to print.
Get a selection of free Thanksgiving-themed recipe cards, notepads, and shopping lists to enrich your holiday. Why not tie up a small bundle of recipe cards with your Thanksgiving recipes and give them to guests?
Mom, Tawra Kellam, although not a homeschooler, is an expert on stretching a budget in a frugal family with kids. If you haven’t visited her site before–or if it’s been a while–check out all the areas of life she covers in their own well-organized categories. There is something there for everyone!
Free Printable Family Trees
There are a dozen or so choices of styles and numbers of generations in these free family tree templates.
Free Printable Road Trip Games
Download and print the games, see the travel bag tips, and a bit more to make your travels more fun.
Free Medical Reminder App
If you need regular medication, or a family member does, this free app will help remind you. It can also remind you of appointments and other health-related needs. Reminders can be sent by e-mail, text messages, and voice calls.
Frugal Easter Ideas
See sales tips, do-it-yourself egg dyes, ways to use leftovers, and ways to minister to others; this set of articles has much to choose from.
Price Comparison Shopping Site
Find useful cost comparisons of all categories of consumer goods on one handy website!
Gluten Freely Frugal
Many are affected by in intolerance to foods with gluten and therefore use substitute products–some of which can be costly. Here is a “GF” flour mix to make from scratch from the Gluten Freely Frugal website. There are other free resources on the website listed under freebies, under recipes, and elsewhere on the site.
“Tips to Help Save on Gas”
First, a look at the car, then the driver: check tire inflation, dispense with unneeded vehicle weight, and plan errands. Next, keep the gas tank at least half full of fuel at all times. Then, alter your driving style to minimize braking, avoid the left lane–and keep your speed down. See the article’s full edition for a discussion of air conditioning vs. open windows. Consider gas reward credit cards, but read the rules carefully and always pay the full balance if you choose that route (sorry about the pun). Also, read the article for details on how much shopping around makes sense. Lastly, check fuel price websites such as AAA’s. Some sites, such as Gas Buddy’s, have phone apps too.
Free Virginia Travel Guide
Request a free copy of this 226-page Virginia Travel Guide via the website. You may see other offers too.
Easy Custom Skirts for about $10
Follow the easy pattern and directions in the photo-tutorial for a customized, warmer-weather, high-low linen skirt. The fabric can cost as little as $10. If you use lightweight fabric, just tack in a simple lining to the bottom edge of the inside waist area, or wear a slip. There are more skirts under this post, which you can also make exactly the length and size you wish, and in a fabric you choose. The website has a good selection, or you can visit your favorite store.
25 Ways to Save on Groceries
While you may do many of these thrifty things in your home, some may be new. Consider trying out a new idea. Challenge your children to critique these ideas or add more of their own.