The Nadel family- Enjoy reading our everyday adventures!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Living Frugally


I was reading on another blog about "Living Frugally", and I enjoyed what she said. She had some good ideas. I decided to add to it, with some of my own ideas. So here it is! One of my favorite books by the way is called, "The Complete Tightwad Gazette" by Amy Dacyczyn. (I know, it's quite a last name!) But she has some GREAT ideas and recipes in it!
So here are my TOP TEN:
1. Wear handed-down clothes. Find a source for each of your kids, whether it is a cousin, neighbor, church friend, whatever... it will save a BIG bundle if you don't need to buy many clothes for them! Even if you have to "wear them gently" and give them back, it is worth it!

2. Shop second-hand or sales only for adult clothes. We enjoy going to thrift and second hand stores when we need clothing items, and it helps a lot. My DH got a GREAT suit for $5.00!! LOL-- really, that was ALL it cost! He wears it a lot to church and funerals! Also, shop second hand for books. We have several 2nd hand bookstores in town that are great! I can usually pay 50 cents for a good kids' book there!

3. Don't shop for "fun", or in your spare time! It is an easy way to spend more money... stay home and play with the kids!

4. Use coupons, and shop sales/ discounts at grocery stores. I can normally save $5 or more in a trip to the grocery store just from coupons! I MORE THAN pay for my newspaper subscription by the money I save with coupons. I have a system to organize them, and I go through them each week before I shop and pull out the ones I will use for that week. Sometimes the coupon doesn't give more $$ off than the generic item though, and that is important to watch for. I especially use coupons in conjunction with the store sales, and save even more! You can check your store's weekly flyer for when food is discounted. The best way to purchase meat is when it is on sale, and then buy extra for the month! A great author about using coupons is Ellie Kay. I have enjoyed several of her books. She is funny too!

5. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle! We reuse a lot of household items for crafts... old cereal boxes, TP and paper towel rolls, baby food jars (preschools like those as donations too-- I used to be a preschool teacher!) oatmeal containers, newspapers, soda bottles (only buy for bday parties!) boxes, etc, are all great to reuse! Also reduce what you buy, and bring in to your house. When you prepare to purchase an item, ask yourself, Do I really need this right now? I know how tempting it is to buy more than you need, but wait! You will be okay! I also have reduced the amount of baby wipes I use by tearing them in half and using them only when the baby is dirty-- my mom taught me that! I have also made my own baby wipes before, and I use cloth diapers! I figured out that I save ten cents each cloth diaper I use! It was an investment with my first baby, but it has paid off!

6. Make it Yourself! Be Crafty! People love handmade items! This goes for gifts, decorations, as well as food. It is cheaper to make your own granola (and healthier!) than to buy boxed cereal. Also bread is easy to make in a bread machine and healthier too. Granola takes TEN minutes to make (by my recipe -plus bake time) and it is SOO good and filling! When you eat it with yogurt-- it will last all morning! I make my own strawberry jam too-- a freezer jam method that is cheaper when strawberries are in season. I have made several wooden plaques that I bought from Michael's-- into Bible verse name plaques for friends' kids for birthdays and baby showers. It is easy to print, decoupage onto the plaque with Mod Podge and let it dry. A great gift! Also can put Bible verses on plaques too-- like 10 Commandments or Prov. 17:22 or Phil. 4:8. Quick and easy! Last Christmas we made candles and soap for gifts. It was a good learning experience for my kids, and a great family activity! I also sell rubber stamps for Stampin' Up! and I make all my own scrapbook pages and birthday/ thank you cards. People love the cards! An easy gift is to give a packet of cards for Christmas or a birthday.

7. Use eBay to buy and sell unique items. Jamin said this, but it is worth restating! I often will sell used rubber stamps on eBay and buy books or other items for homeschool. 

8. Keep inexpensive hobbies! I am bad about this one... I love to do crafts! Beading, cross-stitch, scrap-booking, card-making, knitting, soap-making, candle-making, etc.,-- so fun and relaxing for me! It can save money, when you give the item as a gift. I sell stamps so that it supports my stamping hobby.

9. Ask specifically for gifts! It may seem tacky to you, but it has really helped us. I tell my parents/ grandparents/ friends/ family via email what we need for Christmas and birthdays. I can "fill in" holes in their wardrobes this way, get the kids games they will like and play with, and I don't have to go through the hassle of exchanging many gifts! Another great idea is to ask for money for their college funds! Then you don't have to deal with more stuff!

10. Save energy and water! Make sure you have full wash loads, use a clothes line to dry clothes, wash dishes in half a sink of water, don't let water run too long. Fill your watering can with water when you are waiting for your water to get hot! Turn off lights and appliances (printer, etc.,) when they are not being used.

HTH to give you some good ideas. Enjoy trying to live frugally!

I'm so frugal...

Here is a fun post that I hope I will get comments on. I love being frugal, "getting a good deal" and saving money any way I can. Maybe it's because I've needed to in so much of my marriage, or maybe it's being Dutch. My mom always loves a good deal too!

So here goes...
-I'm so frugal that I wash, dry & reuse ziploc bags (until they're holey.) I even have a bag dryer on top of my fridge just for this purpose.

-I'm so frugal that I reuse all the plastic silverware after a birthday party. (washed & dried too, of course!)

-I don't like to go out to eat somewhere unless there is a family night deal or I have a coupon for the place. Even McDonald's!

-I've been known to wipe & reuse my foil, but not everytime!

-I don't like to buy clothes or shoes for my kids. I try to get handed-down clothes or go to Goodwill. I have found lots of great things at Goodwill!

-I make my own laundry soap, hot chocolate mix, oatmeal mix, baby food, etc.,

I'll update with more as I think of it...

Thursday, February 25, 2010


Here are some websites that I go to, great for saving money in this "recession" they say we're having!

Let me know if you have any to add. Most of them you can subscribe to their newsletter and be updated weekly!

Here you go: (must accept cookies) (see below)

Also you can become friends with these places on fb and get special deals when they update every day: freesnatcher, frugalgirls, molly green, money saving mom, we use coupons

Hope this helps you! Pass it on!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Funny kids stories...

Here is a post about cute & funny things my kids have been saying lately...

Mallory tells Bethany she is "adorable", but when she says it, it sounds like she says "terrible". EX: "Aw, Beff, you're so a-derr-ble..."

Last week, we went to Wendy's to get some free Frostys. Mallory was calling them, "Snowmen"-- you know, as in "Frosty the Snowman"...

Caleb and Mallory run down the hall to their bedrooms, and Mallory says, "Last one there is a Rockin' egg!"
We were going to MOPS last week and Mallory was calling it NAPS. We thought it was funny that we'd all be going to church to sleep! Does she think it will be that boring? :-D

We made Valentines last week and Mallory has been carrying them around a lot. She couldn't wait to give hers to Ash-a-wee! (her cousin Ashley)

That's all I can think of for today. Will post more another day... Hope we made you smile at least once!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Valentine's Day party!

Today we had our Valentine's Day party at church, with other homeschoolers from our church. We traded Valentines, played games (like Conversation Heart Bingo!), ate lunch, played, chatted, and decorated heart cookies! It was lots of fun and a good time was had by all (I think!) The Rosales, Durhams, Stobbes, Baileys & Seacrests were there-- about 15-20 kids! Thanks for all the help, Moms. I had a great time, and so did my kids! They had lots of sweets & treats-- candy hearts, suckers, tootsie rolls, cookies with frosting & sprinkles, fruit punch, and cupcakes! Now to fend off the sugar rush...

I've done Valentine parties here at my home for the past 5-6 years, and been to other's houses a few times. I love the hearts, friendship notes and expressing Jesus' love to each other. My friend Beth and I discussed this before New Year's, and thought it would be fun to get together a group of homeschoolers at our church-- something not done before. So glad it all worked out! It was worth the work! We hope to do another meeting soon!


CALEB IS READING!! He finished the book "Teach your child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons" -- which were not always easy, or always 20 minutes a day. It took us a while, since I think I began too early and he wasn't ready. But when he was ready, BOY it was quick & fun to do a reading lesson. He's been sorta reading on his own since Thanksgiving, but not "officially". He got a certificate, and a free Frosty from Wendy's, which we had to go redeem immediately! It was an exciting homeschool day for him and we are very proud of our "Super Reader!"

Thursday, February 4, 2010

100th day of school

Yesterday was our 100th day of homeschool in our house! We had lots of fun reading books about the 100th day, making 100 piece Froot Loop necklaces, and many other things. We did 100 jumping jacks (Mom still feels out of shape!), wrote 100 nouns, wrote our names on the 100s chart- Caleb wrote his 5 letters 20 times=100! We wore our 100 days shirts and Mom wore her 100 button vest that she made when Rebekah was in kindergarten. Bethany loved playing with that! Mallory liked "making the O necklaces with the yarn" -- her favorite part of the day. Caleb liked making a Lego creation with 100 pieces, and Rebekah did too. Rebekah made a house and Caleb made a car. It was a fun day! Enjoy the photos!
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