Friday, August 23, 2013

Watch This Space!

Something is brewing...
Some ideas are stewing...
I'll soon be renewing...
My blog!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Homeschool Discussions

A colleague recently answered the call to begin home-discipling her children and asked me for some advice. In the process of suggestions on curriculum, and teaching philosophies, and understanding the laws in her state, and casting a vision for her homeschool, I came across some interviews and presentations I gave (with Amy on one occasion) and shared them with my friend.

It was helpful to me to listen to them again and I wanted to just take a moment to collect them all in one spot. So, here they are:

I also highly recommend Homeschooling the Gifted Child by Faithe Thomas, for which I wrote the foreword. Every child is gifted with special strengths and abilities given them by God; pick up this Kindle book for God's instructions on how train them up according to their gifts.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

"18 Kids and Counting" Giveaway!

"18 Kids and Counting" Giveaway!

Everyone loves giveaways! Enter to win the complete second season of 18 Kids and Counting on DVD! With over seven hours of family-friendly episodes (including two bonus specials), this three-disc set will provide entertainment for all ages!

Go to the Duggar Blog to enter!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Coupon question: How do I eat healthy and save?

Q: Most coupons are for prepared foods that are truly not good for you. How can I eat healthy and still save?

Actually, most coupons are for non-food items: health and beauty, paper products, over-the-counter medicines, etc. And those are typically your biggest cost items at the grocery store. Slice your spending on those and you'll have more to spend on healthier foods.

But, as you'll find in the mini-course, the biggest paradigm shift you have to make has nothing to do with coupons, but buying at the lowest possible price and stockpiling. THEN, you stack savings by using coupons, if any, rebates, loyalty cards, and register rewards, etc.

Hope that helps.

Monday, February 08, 2010

The Secret to Couponing: Buy Low, Use High

I recently received this question from a friend:
Ok. I watched this. Seemed rather simple. But I didn’t see anything healthy in her pantry. I saw lots of boxed foods and frozen pre-made food. My biggest expense is fish, veggies, & meat. You are the coupon guru…..are you able to save on healthy fresh food? Yes, I saw she got fish. But it was a ¼ pound of various fish, not one type of fish. I want only the healthy fish.

The main key to winning with couponing is NOT using coupons. It is stacking savings. What that means is you want to buy when you can get the product at its lowest possible price—its "rock bottom" price.

Dollar for dollar, item for item, your goal is to buy as much as you need to last for 3 months (about how long it is between rock bottom prices) when the price gets as low as it will go. For most of your grocery purchases, you can stack savings on top of the rock bottom price by using store coupons, manufacturer coupons, your store card, and rebates. On some items, the coupons are a little harder to come by, but that doesn't change the principle of "buy low, sell (use) high."

For "healthy fish," you need to watch the flyers and track when it sells for the least and stock up and freeze as much as you'll use in 12 weeks. If it's a certain brand you want to buy, look up the brand online and see if they have (a) coupons on their website; (b) an email newsletter in which they send out coupons; and/or (c) a contact email that you can request coupons.

For more, see my article on Frugal Hacks: Five Secrets to Maximizing Your Coupon Savings.

Hope that helps.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

5 Secrets to Maximizing Coupon Savings

I didn’t realize she was talking to me, at first. Undeterred, she tapped me on the shoulder and repeated her emphatic question, “How did you DO that?”
"That" was checking out with two carts overloaded with groceries with an initial total of $498 and then paying only $187 for all of it while receiving a handful of coupons from the cashier.
I looked at my questioner's shopping cart with a few store brand items and then back into her imploring eyes and I knew what she was thinking. I had been there myself only a few months before. But that was before I learned the five secrets to taking home carloads of brand-name products for much less than I used to scrimp and save on generics.
Though I had some dairy products that I needed to get home quickly, I was able to quickly share with this desperate mom a few of the secrets I had discovered.
  1. Buy lowIt’s the classic investment strategy: Buy low – Sell high. With a slight variation. In this case, you’re going to buy low and USE high, meaning: You will use the products you bought at a low price later, when the price is higher.

    Every week, grocery stores drop a portion (about 1/12) of their merchandise to its lowest offered price. Over a three-month period, almost the entire store goes to its rock-bottom price. And that’s when you should buy your groceries from that portion of the store.
    You’ll use it later; when the price has gone back up.
  2. Stack savingsMultiply your savings by using a store coupon in conjunction with the rock-bottom price. Throw in a manufacturer’s coupon for more savings. Use a store loyalty card, store rebates, and manufacturer rebates, to stack on even more.

    All of these savings can be stacked on one product, making your groceries pennies on the dollar!
  3. Buy more than you needWhen you need it right now, you’re willing to pay more for it. But if you can plan head and buy all you can use between rock-bottom trends, when you need it, you will already have it.

    Known as stockpiling or food storage (though many more items than food can be stored for future use), buying more than you need is simply a continuation of “buy low.” You don’t want to run out of something before that low price cycles back around, so buy more than you need, but not more than you will use.
  4. Use a coupon for every itemLeave no product un-couponed. Even on “free” items, use a coupon. When you’re taking advantage of a buy-one-get-one (BOGO) deal, you are getting two products; use two coupons. Although it seems you’ve already gotten one item for “free,” what you really have is two products that have been marked down 50%. You can realize additional stacked savings by using a coupon for each item. Alternately, if you have a “save $ on two” coupon, you can use it in a BOGO deal because you have bought two items.

    Bonus: if your coupon is a manufacturer BOGO and the store is offering a BOGO sale, both items are free. This works because the store marked it down 50% and the manufacturer gave you 50% off, for a total of 100% savings!
  5. Understand the fine printStacking savings is great, but not always allowed. Understanding the fine print on your coupons will let you know when you can—and can’t—stack savings.

    One coupon per customer means you can only use one coupon, regardless of how many items you purchase, or how many transactions you go through. But, do you have other “customers” in your family?

    One coupon per transaction means you can only use one coupon per payment. Check with your store for their preferred method of allowing you to make multiple transactions to multiply savings. Typically, you can make multiple transactions during one visit to the checkout counter.

    One coupon per purchase means you can only use one coupon per item. An individual item is a purchase, not your entire shopping cart, and not everything you ring up in one transaction. If you buy two bottles of shampoo and have two “one coupon per purchase” coupons, you can use one on each bottle of shampoo; each of which is a single purchase.

    Not to be combined with any other offer means any other “offer” from that entity. In this case, you wouldn’t be able to stack a manufacturer coupon with a manufacturer rebate. But if the store puts it on sale, a manufacturer coupon is still redeemable with the store’s “offer.”
Now that I have it typed up, I’m going to print this list and keep some copies with me when I go to the store, for the next person who asks, “How did you DO that?!”

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Putting Christ "Back" in Schools?

To my Facebook friends who have invited me to the Cause: Put Christ Back in Schools

Dear Friend,

Your invitation is one of many I've gotten for this cause and I've ignored them all. I wanted to tell you why, though.

Christ is in schools. King David wrote,

Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; if I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there Your hand shall lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me. (Ps. 136:7-10)

The government-run, taxpayer-funded schools are no different. He is there.

Christ Is In the Schools
He is there whenever two or more are gathered in His name. He is there in the lives of every Christian who teaches, serves lunch, sweeps the floors, and sits at a desk to learn.

But, He is not acknowledged. He is not given His due worship and glory. The State has taken that for itself. And by "The State," I mean: those in authority, those who have elected or appointed them, and those who have—by tyranny and blasphemy—urged those in authority to keep their acknowledgement of God "private," as though God was a concept invented by man, rather than the Creator of the Universe.

The government school system has been set up against God. It usurps the authority given by God to parents to train up children in the way they should go. It perpetuates the lie that church and state must be separate; that the state is not subject to Christ; that God is irrelevant and to be relegated to Sunday mornings and secret prayer closets only.

Rather than trying to put Christ "back" in schools, we should be encouraging Christians to remove their children from these temples of secular humanism that devote hours on end to teaching our children values training, tolerance, private religion, and the "good of the state."

Seventy-five to eighty-eight percent of children of Christian parents who attend government schools turn their backs on Christianity before they complete their teenage years. Do some make it? Sure. But only some.

It's true, Christ is not acknowledged in government schools. It's also true that that is cosmic treason against the King and His Son. Should they be worshipped in schools? Without a doubt.

But given the fact government-run schools—by official policy—do not acknowledge and worship God, should Christians be giving their children—His children—over to their care?

By contrast, if the proponents of another religion set up a "free" nationwide school—let's say it had great academic success, fun extra-curricular activities, and welcomed and recognized students of all religions—would Christians put their children in that school? If once a generation of students had been through that school, what if the leaders decided to stop allowing the outward practice of religions other than their own? Would Christians leave their children there? What if, after another generation, the leaders decided to incorporate their religious beliefs into its daily training, would the Christian graduates leave their children there? After all, "it was good enough for me."

Should Christians leave their children in a school that openly recognizes and practices another religion, while working to put Christ "back" in schools?