No Stress Homeschooling – Thoughts On What I Have Learned & Free Resources

11107369_1411576342504043_7942726883185188231_nThis past year was insanely crazy. I mean with all the health issues going on, my fulltime job and 3 kids to educate, it was a busy year to say the least.
So this time around, I’m working on a no fuss homeschooling schedule. No fancy curriculums and no stressful books.
In spending about 10 hours researching, I’m amazed at everything available outside of expensive curriculums that can help kids learn. Last night after I finished researching and reading tons of articles online, I grabbed some mini dinosaurs I bought at a thrift store and in just 15 minutes I taught our preschooler some basic math skills. I had him write his answer on paper and that was it. That’s math class for him and it works great with his learning style and sensory needs.

He starts Kindergarten this year and we’ll be using a relaxed homeschooling approach with him since I noticed that he really dislikes doing worksheets for more than 5 minutes a day. So with him we’ll read books on each subject for 15 minutes a day and use thrift shop finds as visual aids in learning math, logic and science.
His entire homeschooling day will only take about an hour and a half and it’s something I can do on my lunch hour and in the evening after work, so that’s awesome.

When we started homeschooling last year we were sold into the idea that our kids had to follow an expensive, complicated and stressful curriculum. But it was not necessary and now I know that allowing them to grow in the areas they enjoy most makes more sense then forcing them to sit at a desk doing seatwork for 6 hours a day.  Although seatwork is important it should not be the only form of learning and it definitely should not be forced on small children as we were doing erroneously.

Biblically as I look at how Jesus taught his disciples and those around him I am convinced that traditional public school education is completely wrong and leaves many kids thinking they are dumb without maximizing their potential. When I look at Jesus I see a man who taught outdoors, who without having much had everything he needed even though he had no secure place to lay his head each night. When I think of who I want my kids to be like, I envision Jesus and his humility. His love for others, his simplicity and his amazing teaching style. I don’t want my kids to be like Steve Jobs or their favorite sports figure, I want them to be like Christ. To grow up and use their talents and strengths to impact the world for Gods glory.
Sadly, education today is seen and managed in a cookie cutter method. But unfortunately this method does not allow a child to grow, to question and to logically work through life’s ups and downs.

So for us, homeschooling this year will take on a whole new approach. It will be parent and student lead, relaxed yet enriched, full yet not stifling.
I am so blessed that the light bulb finally went off in my head and my “ah ha” arrived before we continued to damage our children’s educational process.

If you are on a home-schooling journey and you are wondering how it can be done, I invite you to check out these links below for some great articles on homeschooling methods, free curriculum, free worksheets and more.
May you be encouraged and inspired to make the best decision for your family.
God bless you!

(Pictured: our smallest child, happy to receive a beanie baby my aunt rewarded him with for sounding out new words.)
Below are some awesome links, I highly recommend you visit if you are wanting to homeschool or homeschooling already:

Teaching our children to write, read and spell

Links to educational sites, free homeschooling resources, fun interactive learning activities, information about homeschooling, and lots of other “homeschooling freebies!”

The best advice of seasoned homeschoolers and other educators

Considering Methods & Styles of Homeschooling

Free Complete Online Homeschool Curriculum List

Homeschooling High school

Preparing to Homeschool: Homeschooling Styles

Online Homeschooling via

50 States Coloring Pages

KidZone Geography United States Printables

500 Free Printable Lunchbox Notes to use at the kitchen table or for a picnic in the park

Free Homeschool Geography Resources

“Devotions” or Devotion?

I just had to share this amazing video teaching by the late Keith Green. It is based on teachings by Charles Finney on what true Devotion looks like. The video is really great and below is a summary of the video teaching taken from the Last Day Ministries website. May you be blessed. by Charles G. Finney Edited and paraphrased by Keith and Melody Green “Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” -I Cor. 10:31

“And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father… whatever you do, do it heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men. -Col. 3:17,23 “For not one of us lives for himself, and not one dies for himself; for if we live, we live for the Lord, or if we die, we die for the Lord; therefore whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s.” -Rom. 14:7-8

These Scriptures reveal the true nature of what devotion to God really is. In discussing this subject, I propose to show: I. What true devotion to God is not. II. What true devotion to God is. III. That devotion, and nothing short of devotion, is true Christianity. IV. Several mistakes commonly made upon this subject.

I. What True Devotion To God Is Not.

  1. Devotion does not consist of reading the Bible, nor praying, nor attending meetings. These may or may not be specific instances of devotion, but are not to be regarded as devotion itself.
  2. Devotion does not consist of a private or public commitment of our lives to God. These are to be regarded as special acts – pledges or promises of devotion – but not as devotion itself.
  3. Devotion does not consist of individual acts or exercises of any kind. These may indeed be devotional acts, that is, “acts of devotion,” but let it be remembered that no acts or exercises in themselves constitute devotion.

II. What True Devotion To God Is.

Devotion is that state of the heart in which everything – our whole life, being, and possessions – are a continual offering to God, that is, they are continually devoted to God. True devotion must be the supreme devotion of the will, extending out to all we have and are – to all times, places, employments, thoughts, and feelings. Let your own ideas of what a pastor ought to be illustrate my meaning. You most likely believe that a pastor, in preaching the Gospel, should have only one purpose in mind – to glorify God by the salvation (and later the sanctification) of sinners. Since he professes to be a servant of God, you feel that he ought to study, preach, and perform all his ministerial duties, not for himself, not for his salary, not to increase his popularity, but only to glorify God. Now you can easily see that if he does not have this singleness of eye, his service cannot be acceptable to God. For it is not an offering to God, it is not a devotion to God – but a devotion to himself. Devotion then, in a pastor, is that state of mind in which all his pastoral duties are performed for the glory of God and where his whole life is a continual offering to God. Again, you feel that a minister ought to be as devoted to God in everything else as he is in praying or preaching – and in this you are right! For he not only ought to be, but really is only as devoted in the pulpit as he is out of the pulpit. If he is influenced by selfish and worldly motives during the week, then these same motives are surely in his heart on the Sabbath. If during the week his thoughts are centered upon his own interests, endeavoring to promote himself, you can be sure it’s the same on the Sabbath. You most likely also feel that if a minister’s devotion is merely an outward farce – that he preaches, prays, visits, and performs all his duties mainly for the purpose of supporting his family, or to get honor and attention for himself – you would say that he was a wicked man, and unless he is converted he would inevitably lose his soul. If these are your views on the subject, they are undoubtedly correct. Here, where you have no personal interest, you form a right judgment and decide correctly concerning the character and destiny of such a man. Now remember, nothing short of this standard is devotion in you! Bear it in mind that no particular acts or zeal or gushings of emotion – or resolutions to change, or promises of future obedience – constitute devotion. For devotion is that state of the will in which the mind is swallowed up in God as the object of its supreme affection – in which we not only live and move in God, but for God. In other words, devotion is that state of mind in which the attention is diverted from self and self-seeking, and is directed to God – the thoughts, purposes, desires, affections, and emotions all hanging upon, and devoted to, Him.

III. Devotion, And Nothing Short Of Devotion, Is True Christianity.

Devotion and true religion are identical.

  1. It is impossible for us not to be devoted to the object of our supreme affection. If we love God supremely, He will be the reason for which we live. If an individual loves God supremely, he will be as conscious that he lives for God as that he lives at all!
  2. Nothing short of this can be acceptable to God. Unless devotion be a habit or a state of mind, unless the whole being be an offering to God, He must have a rival in our hearts. This He will not endure. And to attempt to please Him by isolated acts of devotion (when it is not the habit and state of our minds) is far more abominable than for a wife to attempt to please her husband with an occasional smile, while she lives only to please and gain the affections of another man.
  3. A departure from this state is heart-apostasy. Whatever a man’s outward behavior may be, the moment he turns aside from sincere devotion to God – from a supreme consecration of his whole being to the service of God – he has, in his heart, renounced true Christianity. He is no longer in the service of God, but is serving the object upon which his heart is set; and this is the object of his devotion – that is, it is his god.

IV. Several Mistakes Commonly Made Upon This Subject.

  1. Many imagine that there is a real difference between “devotional” and other kinds of duties – as if a man could be “doing his duty” in that which is not devotion to God. The duties of devotion are generally supposed to be prayer and reading the Scriptures, together with singing and praying in the fellowship of God’s House. On the Sabbath, men imagine themselves to be devotional, while on weekdays (except for those few acts they call their “devotions”) they are serving themselves and are supremely devoted to their own interests. Now all such ideas arise out of a total absence of true devotion; and individuals who entertain such views do not yet understand what true Christianity is. Nothing is “duty” if it is performed for God. A man that is truly religious is as devotional in his daily business as he is on the Sabbath. The business of the world is performed by him with the same spirit and purpose as he prays, reads his Bible, and attends worship on the Sabbath. If this is not the case, he has no true religion.
  2. Now there are some people who really live for God and are obviously in a devotional state of mind, who do not seem to realize that every act devoted to God is as acceptable to Him as prayer or praise. If by necessary responsibilities they are kept from spending much time in prayer or going to a lot of meetings, Satan takes advantage of their ignorance and brings them into bondage. He tries to persuade them that they are neglecting their duties to God by attending to other things.  Now you who are devoted to God, should understand that if His providence should confine you at home to nurse the sick, or prevents you from observing those hours of secret prayer that you are used to keeping, you are not to be brought into bondage or condemnation by this – if you are conscious that these other duties are being done for the Lord.
  3. Others think that devotion can be sincere, but yet extend only to certain duties. That is, that a man may pray sincerely and from right motives, and yet be worldly in the transaction of business. Now a little reflection will convince any honest mind that this is naturally impossible. Devotion to God cannot be sincere any further than it annihilates selfishness. Devotion and selfishness are eternal opposites.
  4. Many mistake the religion of emotion for that of the will. You can see this from their lives – they weep and appear to melt and break down. They promise to change and offer entire consecration to God. But attempt to do business with them the very next day, and you will find them supremely selfish – they are not devoted to God at all, but to their own interests. They are ready to take any advantage, even of their brethren, to benefit themselves. Now it is obvious in this case that their melting and breaking down was merely a gushing of their emotions – not a will surrendered and devoted to God.

Some Helpful Remarks

  1. A spirit of devotion will turn the most constant cares and the most pressing labors into the deepest and most constant communion with God. The more pressing and tedious our duties – if they are performed for God – the deeper and more continual our communion with Him. For whatever is done in a spirit of devotion is communion with God.
  2. They are not Christians, who do not hold communion with God in their ordinary employments. If you do not hold conscious communion with God in your ordinary business, it is because your business is not performed in a spirit of devotion. If not performed in a spirit of devotion, it is sin. For “whatever is not of faith is sin.” (Rom. 14:23)
  3. They are certainly not in a sanctified state, who cannot attend to the ordinary and lawful business of life without being drawn away from God.
  4. Whatever cannot be done in a spirit of devotion is unlawful. If you feel the inconsistency of performing it as an act of devotion to God, it is unlawful – you, yourself being the judge.
  5. Anything not right or wrong in itself may be either right or wrong, according to whether or not it is done in a spirit of devotion. Therefore…
  6. A selfish man may condemn a godly person for doing something that would be sinful if he, himself did it – because the motives of his heart are all wrong. The selfish man assumes that the other person’s behavior is also wrongly motivated. On the other hand, a sanctified person may give credit to a selfish person when it is not due, taking it for granted that, “when the act is right, the motive is right.”
  7. There is no peace of mind but in a state of devotion. No other state of mind is reasonable. In no other state will the powers of the mind harmonize. In any other state than that of devotion to God, there is an inward struggle, and mutiny and strife in the mind itself. The conscience rebukes the heart for selfishness. Hence, “‘There is no peace for the wicked, ‘says the Lord.”(Isaiah 48:22)
  8. They have “perfed peace whose minds are thus stayed upon God” (Isaiah 26:3) in an attitude of constant devotion. It is impossible that they should not have peace, for devotion implies and includes peace.
  9. And now beloved, do you have the spirit of true devotion? Do not reply, “I hope so,” for nothing but a conscious awareness should satisfy you for a moment. If you are devoted to God, you know it – and if you are not conscious of being devoted to God, it is because you are not devoted.

“Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh shall from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit shall from the Spirit reap eternal life.” (Gal. 6:7-8)

(Article Edited and paraphrased by Keith and Melody Green) ©Last Days Ministries. All rights reserved.

How much more are we than a snowflake?

Photo credit:

Photo credit:

Does God see me?
Does he even know my name; what I have felt and endured.
My sadness, my sickness, my sorrows;
the pain hidden behind my smile.

I think that all of us at one point or another have asked these questions.
For some, these questions have led to a life of distrust and lost faith in a God we cannot see, feel or touch.
For others these questions have led to an even deeper faith and trust in God.

Sometimes the hardest part of having faith is letting go and trusting that an unseen power has the ultimate control of our life, and nothing we can say or do can interfere with his plans for us.

As I thought about this tonight I came across some absolutely stunning pictures.
Pictures of real snowflakes.
I reflected on the perfection and beauty of each snowflake.
Delicately crafted by the creator of the universe.
Just image the detail and love placed in the creation of each snowflake, each one displaying Gods radiance and splendid design.
How much more are we than a snowflake?
Our God, the designer of the universe finds pleasure in making each snowflake uniquely radiant.
And yet we his children wander the earth defeated and burdened down wondering where he is and why he hides his face from us.

Tonight I was reminded that he does not hide his face from his beloved.
He may be silent for a season but he is watching and still in control.
His blessings are all around us yet in our haste we miss out on them.

A snowflake, a river, a singing bird, a quiet stream all point to God’s marvelous hand and power.
We just need to listen, to be free from the constant noise our world throws at us. And when we lay still, we will be able to appreciate his graceful display of power and love in our life.

A snowflake, such a beautiful picture of God’s love for us.
A reminder that he cares even about the minute details of our life.

Let us then give thanks for our life, for breathing, for being able to smile even though sadness may crowd our hearts.
Let us give thanks for moments of stillness, when the world moves a mile a minute and God just rests besides us, waiting for us to let go and trust him.
Let us give thanks that his glory is evident even in a snowflake.

PS – for an amazing collection of snowflake pictures click here.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Silence is the Secret

We all long to be closer to God. But that requires something simple and often overlooked—the willingness to be still.

by Drew Dyck, In Touch Ministries 

I recently attended a large conference for church and business leaders, featuring big names like Colin Powell, Jimmy Carter, Jack Welch, Tony Dungy, and Rick Warren. But one speaker listed on the program seemed out of place. She wasn’t a prominent politician, business tycoon, or megachurch pastor. Rather than a suit, she wore a simple white robe and headscarf. Known as “Mama Maggie,” she is a diminutive woman who works in the slums of Cairo, Egypt.

When she walked onstage, the crowd erupted. Visibly moved by the reception, she stopped midway to the podium, pressed her hands together and mouthed words that were lost amid the thunderous applause. Then she lowered her body to the floor and prayed for a moment before rising to speak.

Silence is the Secret

She was worth the attention. Mama Maggie has dedicated her life to serving homeless, starving children in Manshiyat Naser (or “Garbage City” as it’s known in Egypt). She founded an organization called Stephen’s Children to help the countless boys and girls who roam the trash heaps looking for scraps of food. Today, the organization has thousands of volunteers, scores of whom were helped by the charity as children.

Of the many things she shared with us that day, one has stuck with me. “Silence is the secret,” she said to the crowd. “Silence your heart to listen to your spirit. Silence your spirit to listen to His Spirit. In silence, you leave the many to be with the One.”

That evening, I had the opportunity to interview her, and I was struck by the palpable humility and incredible gentleness of spirit she exuded. It was plain to see that everything about her grew out of a deep intimacy with God.

Quietness, both of mind and spirit, is essential for communing with the Almighty. “Be still,” the psalmist writes, “and know that I am God” (Ps. 46:10 NIV). I think it’s important to note that the stillness precedes the knowing—not the other way around. Without first quieting our hearts (and minds and mouths), we’ll never realize the deep intimacy with God we so desperately crave.

Unfortunately, however, we are rarely silent. After a few seconds of quietness, we get fidgety. We start reaching for our gadgets or talking to avoid awkwardness and boredom. We can blame our technological devices or hectic work schedules or busy family lives, but the truth is, we avoid silence at all costs.

Silence is the Secret

A recent study conducted at the University of Virginia testifies to this sad truth. Researchers found that people preferred pain to being alone with their thoughts, even for a few minutes. Asked to sit in a room with no distractions for 15 minutes, participants were offered the option of giving themselves electric shocks. Around half of the people—all of whom had felt the painful jolt beforehand—chose to zap themselves just to break the monotony. (One participant opted for the shock 190 times.)

As Christians, we should find this aversion alarming, because being silent is essential for spiritual maturity. Quietness is to our souls what sleep is to our bodies: It helps us heal and gives us time to grow. Silence—that essential pause from the torrent of noise and busyness—enables us to hear our Creator and move closer to Christ. But finding this silence amid the cacophony of life can be difficult when a thousand things compete for our attention. Even when we get alone with God and try to quiet the buzz in our brains, the mental clutter of worries, fears, and unfinished tasks surges to the surface. It takes concerted effort to cultivate silence, especially in today’s world. But it’s a challenge we must accept. Our spiritual vitality is at stake.

And there’s more. Silence is something even greater than a tool to deepen our spiritual life; it’s the natural reaction of mortals to the presence of a holy God. In Scripture, when people encountered Him, they fell silent or spoke in hushed tones, fearful their sinful lips would incur divine judgment.

Take Isaiah, for instance. When he saw the Lord “high and exalted,” the only words he could manage were ones of despair: “Woe to me!” he cried, “I am ruined!” (Isa. 6:5 NIV). Ezekiel, too, was overwhelmed by his vision of God. After seeing Him in His glory, the prophet said nothing; he could only fall face-first to the ground (Ezek. 1-3).

Another example is Daniel, who could stare down lions, but when the heavens opened before him, he “bowed with [his] face toward the ground and was speechless” (Dan. 10:15 NIV). Likewise, the revelations of heaven the apostle John received left him lying on the ground “as though dead” (Rev. 1:17 NIV). And though there is no shortage of dialogue in the book of Job, silence reigns when God shows up. “I am unworthy—how can I reply to you?” Job says. “I put my hand over my mouth” (Job 40:4 NIV).

Silence is the Secret

But their reactions are radically different from ours. Drop in on an average church service, and you’ll hear loud celebratory music sung by cheerful, upbeat worship teams. There’s nothing wrong with this, of course. We need to be joyful. But there is little time spent standing in awe of God. Can we be shocked into silence by God’s unbridled majesty? Is it possible for us to stand in perfect stillness before His holiness? The answer to these questions is most definitely yes. Yes, we can.

But believe it or not, this isn’t a new issue. In the 17th century, a man named Isaac Watts complained about lackadaisical worship. He objected to “the dull indifference, the negligent and thoughtless air that sits upon the faces of a whole assembly.” His father challenged him to create hymns that would inspire more fervent worship. Watts did just that—and ended up writing some of the best-known songs of the English language, including “Joy to the World.” But it is the final stanza of “Eternal Power” that perfectly describes the worship that can come only with silence:

God is in heaven, and men below;
Be short our tunes, our words be few;
A solemn reverence checks our songs,
And praise sits silent on our tongues.

Watts understood something we would be wise to embrace—that worship sometimes demands wordlessness and that the purest praise often arises from hushed lips. Silence is an acknowledgment that we stand in the presence of a holy and remarkable God. It signals that we’re ready to listen, to receive, and to simply stand in awe of our Creator. It is when we intentionally close our mouths that we can experience a fuller measure of God’s greatness and grandeur.


Illustrations by Jeff Gregory

A Prayer for Weakness – Upon the Waters -& Amidst the Desert

Today I wanted to share a prayer I wrote and one of my favorite songs for when I cannot see nor know what God is doing in my life. May you be blessed and your spirit made strong.

You called me out upon the waters… the great unknown.
You called me apart to the desert…….to experience the arid climate of the human soul.

You called me to set my feet firm on sinking grounds.
To look up to you,
to keep my eyes fixed on you
regardless of the ground beneath me.

My heart yearns for you so
and is so heavy that I cannot sing my worship to you
only pray silently, that your spirit would govern over all the unrest,
weakness, fear and uncertainty that has woven webs around your servant.

Hear your servant oh Lord, Let your glory shine down from heaven.
That this broken vessel would be filled with your power and made whole in your sight.

“And he said unto me, my grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9

You called me out upon the waters… the great unknown
Yes, you called me to wander in the desert,
to witness your great hand at work.

And although the heat may wither a thousand flowers
and there may be no water to drink
I know that I am safe
under the shadow of your wings.

Although I cannot sing, your praises are in my heart
although I cannot see what you are doing
I know your spirit goes before me

Hear your servant oh Lord,
let your glory shine down from heaven.


I Am Who I Am

He whispers this to us, time and time again.
His gentle spirit reminding us of who he is and who we are.

“I Am Who I Am”, says the lord of the universe because he is confident in his plans for us, for a broken humanity.

He is confident of his plans for the woman who cannot bear her burden after years of bleeding and no remedy. (Mark 5)
He is confident of his plans for the woman who with a bowed head approaches the well to hear all that she ever was or did. (John 4)
He is confident of his plans for his humble servants who endure trial after trial and are broken into pieces like a loaf of bread.

“I Am Who I Am” he says to us because he is absolutely sure of who he is and who we are in his sight.
In our sinful humanity we are feeble, weak, dirty and blemished.
In his holiness he is pure, just, loving and merciful.

We need to encounter him,
to be cleansed by him,
to be made strong in his presence so that we may endure the many trials that confront us daily.

I may never be able to rest in my daily circumstances or find peace in them but I can certainly rest in “I Am That I Am”.
Although a thousand may fall at my side, (Psalm 91)
although rumors of war may fill the air. (Matthew 24)
although financial crisis may strike,
although laughter may turn to mourning;

I can find solace and peace in “I Am That I Am”.


Friends, let us rejoice in our present trials as the apostle Paul reminds us. Let us find comfort in knowing that those who walk through the valley of the shadow of death are not alone and once they leave the valley they are made stronger.
I believe that God uses greatly those who have been thrown into a fiery furnace and have endured countless tests and trials.
No gold is made pure without fire. Let us then be persistent and keep holding on to the Word of God and to our salvation with fear and trembling.

To him be the glory, honor and praise now and forevermore.
“In spite of sorrow, loss, and pain, Our course be onward still”
Adoniram Judson

I Saved Over $200 This Week – Secrets of an Upcycled, Jesus Loving, Frugal Mom on a Budget

Okay, so if you read my upcycled homeschooling on a budget post a few weeks back you know that financial times for us have been rough due to my husband not working as a result of 3 emergency surgeries since last year. Needles to say my already frugal habits have been pushed, stretched and multiplied.
Supporting a family of 5 on a small budget of one income while paying for hospital bills, groceries and utility bills can be difficult if you don’t plan accordingly.  Planning accordingly means intentionally taking manufacturer coupons, online coupons and competitor coupons to my local grocer when shopping to add to my overall savings. In most cases many grocery stores will honor competitor coupons while also allowing you to use a manufactures coupon and a discount coupon from their store. That can equate to lots of money in savings. If you read through towards the bottom you will discover another great way to get actual cash back in your pocket every time you shop. Its so simple its silly!

For me, saving money comes naturally as I absolutely despise paying full price for anything. What makes it difficult at times is that I don’t like to pay full price and I don’t like to purchase cheap things or bad food. We eat healthy, I cook almost everything from scratch and Organic is the way to go in our home. An example of my dislike of cheap things is my preference over the years for Timberland Earthkeepers, Kamik and Sorel boots. These are all conformable, durable boots that help my back pain, feel great on my feet and can be very inexpensive if you know how to shop.
I mean a few years ago we literally saved $200 on a pair of Kamik boots that normally cost around $300. After a few online coupons they were purchased for under $70 with free shipping and have lasted me many years. Other boots and clothing items have been purchased in thrift shops and online using promo codes that can easily be found by entering in Google the online store you shop at and adding promo code next to the store’s name.
In seconds you will find tons of promo codes that can be used during checkout online shopping.

Now, moving on to my savings these past few days; let me share that this week the battery in my truck went and I could not drive the older kids to school. Our little one was in bed with daddy who is still recuperating after a week in the hospital due to an emergency surgery 2 weeks ago.
I felt like crying after hanging up with our mechanic who said it would be $150 with installation plus the gas it would take me to drive almost 45 minutes to his shop.
So what did this frugal momma do? I got online of course.
First with God and then with Google, lol.

I found the battery for my truck at Advanced Auto Parts for $149 and after some online promo codes I paid a total of $90 and picked up the battery in their local store, 5 minutes away. After jumping my jar I was able to make it to their store. And who knew that they install batteries for free! So I walked away saving $60 just on the battery alone.

Later that day, while all were asleep I took a look into our fridge and realized that we were running low on poultry.
Since I only shop during sales and when I have coupons I looked at my coupon stash and realized that I did not have any discounts available. I checked online for the Wholefoods discounts at my local store and Whoelfoods coupon book and was happy to find these GF, antibiotic and hormone free cooked chicken tenders on sale for BOGO free.  The total price of purchase for these was $3.50 per box for almost a pound of tenders. Compare that to purchasing uncooked; antibiotic, hormone free or organic chicken and you would be paying about $8 per pound without a sale plus having to cook it and use other ingredients for an added cost, not to mention your time.
So I was feeling really happy.

But my happiness and sense of frugality continued! I also got a fantastic deal on organic cereal. I used a few coupons inside the Wholefoods coupon book for March/April plus coupons we found at Mambo Sprouts, Common Kindness. and a few other online coupon sites.
I purchased 8 cereals for $1.99 each equating in a total savings of $24. Now, right about here things started to get interesting. While still in the store, I logged into a little App called Ibotta. This App is a must have for all smart phone, savvy and frugal people. It gives you cash back on purchases you make that match the products they are featuring. Turns out they were giving back $.50 per each of the cereals I purchased at Wholefoods. Redeeming your savings is as easy as photographing your receipt with your phone or tablet and unlocking savings by reading, watching short videos or sharing via social media.
With Ibotta I was able to save an additional $4 on all the cereals I purchased making it possible for this family on a budget to enjoy delicious, organic, cereal for the next few weeks at $1.50 a box instead of the regular price of $5.

Now here is a little trick. If you see that Ibotta has $1 back on Milk and you need to purchase 2 milks then ask your cashier to do separate purchases. Or give your older child the money and have him or her check out at a different lane. It is never to early to teach our children the art of good stewardship. By making separate purchases with 2 different receipts, you can redeem more than one item and get $2 back on your purchase. To do this make sure each person in your household opens an Ibotta account so that you can redeem your cash back on each account.
But the savings do not stop here. Be sure to clip online and newspaper coupons for the milk before you purchase it. Check your local store and shop when items are on sale, then use your coupons and redeem your cash with Ibotta.

My savings continued online as I purchased overstock organic cold cuts from Organic Prairie at 50% off with free shipping.  You can visit their site here. Be sure to look on their current specials and discounts on FB and on their website.
We also pack in extra savings purchasing in season fruits, veggies and other foods at local CSA’s and farmers markets. To find one near you click here.
Also remember that many stores will honor competitor coupons, will double the value of coupons and will let you use 2 or 3 coupons per item. I recommend that if you are serious about shopping and saving don’t forget to print out the coupon policy for each of the stores you shop at and be sure to check with a manager each month to insure the policy has not changed.

For more awesome ways to save when shopping at your local grocer, check out this book and this book. They have fantastic info for the frugal momma and papa.

May you and yours be blessed!
Lots of Love,
Mariana AKA the frugal, upcycled, Jesus loving momma!