I’ve mentioned before that I would be very cautious about visiting “freebie sites”. Most are contact miners that will sell your contact info to anyone willing to pay for it. Many of them post freebies that require you to sign up for promotional deals or enroll in clubs to get the “free” item. I prefer [...]
I’ve mentioned before that I would be very cautious about visiting “freebie sites”. Most are contact miners that will sell your contact info to anyone willing to pay for it. Many of them post freebies that require you to sign up for promotional deals or enroll in clubs to get the “free” item. I prefer the actual samples or coupons from a known manufacturer.
There are a handful of places that I am willing to go looking for free items online. If you have others that you feel are reputable or if you see a Deal of the Day you want to let readers no about, feel free to post them in the comments below. I would just encourage you to verify it yourself, first, and if there is an expiration date, please post it.
Ok, let’s get started saving money and finding free things to stretch those budgets!
Walmart.com Did you know Wal-Mart actually has a free samples ordering page. It changes regularly and samples from all different departments are offered, so check this one every week or two. Today, I saw Carefree, Prilosec and Pampers samples being offered.
Target Print a coupon for $100 off a complete pair of glasses at Target. Expires Nov. 14
Target $19.00 worth of printable grocery coupons. Expire Nov. 17
Parents’ Choice Baby Formula register for a free sample
JC Penney Their Daily Deal today is a men’s St. John’s Bay flannel shirt (retail $30-$36)
for $12.99. Check your Christmas lists. This deal is only good for today, but their will be a new one every day.
Olay Olay offers free samples of new products, coupons and exclusive offers/rebates.
Proctor and Gamble Register for Proctor and Gambles Every Day Solutions Club and you will receive a monthly newsletter, coupons and free samples. The free samples I saw today were Head and Shoulders, Olay Body Effects, Prilosec, Metamucil Clear and Natural, Pink Lemonade Flavored Metamucil, + a handful of $1.50 or $1.00 coupons.
Dove free Shampoo and Conditioner Samples
Dove Visibly Smooth Deodorant print a $2.00 coupon
This page will continue to evolve over time, but it will mainly be the list of links I promised earlier for adding some extra cash to your bank account and receiving free products. Most “freebie” sites are full of ads and “complete this deal to get something” kinds of schemes. They are e-mail miners and [...]
This page will continue to evolve over time, but it will mainly be the list of links I promised earlier for adding some extra cash to your bank account and receiving free products.
Most “freebie” sites are full of ads and “complete this deal to get something” kinds of schemes. They are e-mail miners and may very well sell your contact information to other sites and vendors. I definitely don’t advocate this type of “free stuff shopping”. If you must frequent such sites, then set up a separate email account that can be used exclusively for that. It will help you filter the tons of spam those kinds of sites generate.
The easiest way I have found to earn extra cash online is surveys. There are corporations and organizations that are willing to pay for your opinion on all kinds of topics and there are a handful of really good websites that connect you to them. There are as many or more that will offer you only sweepstakes entries or other such drivel, so weed through them carefully. Be sure you give completely factual inmformation so you can be matched to surveys where you fit the demographic. It can really skew the results of their survey data if you aren’t 100% honest.
I will start the list tonight, of the survey sites I have found to be legitimate; that pay what they say and pay it when they say they will. I will update it over time if I come across new ones. And I hope you will all feel free to share others that you have had good success with.
Pinecone Research One of my favorites! Every survey is $3. You can receive payment by mail or PayPal. Oftentimes, I will take a survey and then be offered a product to test. Once the product test is complete, I fill out a survey about the product and receive an additional $3. Pinecone Research pays very quickly and surveys are fairly regular. You cannot just sign up with them. They are by invitation only, so as soon as a new invite goes out, I will post and let you know.
Opinion Outpost Sign up with them and fill out as many profile surveys as they offer you. The more detailed your profile, the more surveys you will receive and qualify for. This site pays cash for surveys you qualify for and complete. You accumulate points for each survey and you can cash out with as little as 50 points. 50 points translates to $5, which you can receive as a check or Amazon gift cards. It’s not unusual for me to receive 4-6 survey invitations from them in a day. I may actually only make it through qualification on 1 or 2, but the points add up quickly. I just received another $5 check from them on Monday.
Focus Forward Online Like the others, the more profile surveys you complete the more surveys you will match and be qualified for. You need to accumulate a $10 minimum in this account before you can cash out. Their surveys don’t come quite as often, but they add up when they do. I am at $5 in this account again, so halfway to my next check.
Mindfield Online The cashout threshold for this site is a minimum of $5. I actually did a cashout tonight for $7. They will pay by check or through PayPal, whichever you prefer.
MySurvey.com 1000 points =$10. They pay in cash or you can select gift cards, merchandise or even make a charitable donation. At 535 points I’m more than halfway to my next $10 check.
Do you see how easily these can add up? I fill them out in my spare time, when everyone in the house is asleep and I just want to relax and unwind before bed. I would likely be on the computer anyway, I might as well earn some money for doing it. I wouldn’t be surprised if I pay a large portion of our internet cost, just in what I earn from surveys. I know it’s enough that my husband has started to take notice of the checks as they arrive. Give it a try. You may find it’s an easy, enjoyable way to pick up some extra cash for you and your family.
I mentioned having the opportunity to test free products on occasion for Pinecone Research. There are two other websites where I am registered to try new products. While Pinecone Research requires that all the product information be kept confidential, these two ask you to tell EVERYONE about the products you are testing. You almost always receive a full-size of a name brand product and about 10 coupons and/or samples to hand out to friends. I love both of these sites and have received some great products absolutely free.
BZZ Agent I am currently participating in the Revitalift® Deep-Set Wrinkle 24HR Eye Repair Duo campaign. I received a full-sized product sample to try for 6 weeks. I take before, during and after pictures of the results, complete surveys about what I think and the products are mine to keep. I have received electric toothbrushes, electric shower cleaners, cleaning supplies and more as a member of this organization. I get to try products I might not otherwise have purchased and share coupons with others who might also like to try them.
Pssst I’m newer to this one, but I love it. It’s put out by General Mills and when they release new products, they market them by word-of-mouth with this excellent program. In the last 30 days, I have received full-sized free samples of Progresso Panko Bread Crumbs and Progresso High Fiber Soup. Each of those packages included (10) coupons for $1.10 off those products. Just one more simple way to save money and live abundantly on a frugal budget.
Remember to post any great links, in the comments below when you hear about them and keep on saving!
A moment of panic, then a wave of nausea, followed by indignant resignation. Yes… it’s time to clean out the refrigerator. The day of dread when all things green and fuzzy lurking in the shadowy back corners of the crisper drawer must be eradicated. The mere mention of this chore brings a flood of tears [...]
A moment of panic, then a wave of nausea, followed by indignant resignation. Yes… it’s time to clean out the refrigerator. The day of dread when all things green and fuzzy lurking in the shadowy back corners of the crisper drawer must be eradicated. The mere mention of this chore brings a flood of tears and “I need to do Math” or “Dad needs me to rotate the tires on the van”. A general hush comes over the household, while they wait to see who will be selected as the refrigerator cleaning assistant.
This may well be the least liked chore in our entire repetoire of chores. It is too horrible to use even as a punishment, being considered cruel and unusual. Each time I manage to whip that overloaded refrigerator back into shape and it gleams and sparkles like new, I vow to never allow it to reach so sordid a condition again. But alas, I live with ….swine. Is that the nice way to say someone is a pig, because I want to be as gentle as I can, but seriously, in the realm of refrigerator encounters, there are some things I just don’t understand.
- What makes a grown man stand in front of the refrigerator, open a container and consume it’s contents and then put the empty container back in the refrigerator? I’m just asking.
- Why would man or beast spill a sticky carbonated beverage on the top shelf, allow it to run off the backside of said shelf, down the back of the refrigerator, onto the second shelf, swirl around the jug of milk and then run off that shelf into the crisper drawer below, finally pooling around an innocent head of cabbage? Why, after witnessing all that carnage, would said man or beast leave it there for Mom to find, after it has solidified into a sticky goo? Really, I want to know the thought process, here.
- If a bag of cheese has a zip-top to keep the cheese from becoming blue-green and hairy, why would someone consciously decide to insert half an onion in the bag with the cheese and throw them, unzipped, into the fridge? It boggles the mind.
- Were they fingerpainting in here or are those catsup, mustard, and chocolate syrup fingerprints?
- Dear Lord, please help me. Did something move back there?
Of course, my favorite guy and the kids can’t take all the blame here. There is always the hermetically sealed container on the bottom shelf, placed there by me in a “waste-not, want-not moment”. After all, someone can have it for lunch tomorrow, or Tuesday or after it has disintegrated into a filmy liquid in the bottom of the bowl. Okay, I don’t really like that container anyway. Just toss it.
I always mean to use all my fresh fruit and vegetables in the order they were purchased — first in, first out. But, good intentions can’t save a fuzzy, gray zucchini. How did that poor guy get past me?
Now see, THIS is a lovely refrigerator. It isn’t mine.
There has to be a better way. There’s going to be a new refrigerator sheriff in town! Seriously though, the cure has got to be routine and education. If I can teach an algebraic equation, then I can teach this, right?
I think the thing to do is to include refrigerator maintenance in the evening dishes routine. As the dishwasher begins his or her task, the young padawan assigned to leftovers and counter wiping, can be taught to check the fridge for spills, drips and obvious signs of spoilage. A Thursday night tossing of old leftovers and some quick reorganization, should have our icebox ready to be loaded with new groceries after shopping on Friday.
Sounds good, right? Pray for me. – lol – I’ll keep you posted on how it’s going and I would love to hear your ideas and tips for keeping the fridge a friendly place.
Going to college after graduation required that our daughters supply copies of their high school transcripts and ACT scores when submitting their college applications. At the bottom of this page, you will find the link to a fillable PDF file of the form I used for their transcripts. In both instances, it was accepted without hesitation by the college. [...]
Going to college after graduation required that our daughters supply copies of their high school transcripts and ACT scores when submitting their college applications. At the bottom of this page, you will find the link to a fillable PDF file of the form I used for their transcripts. In both instances, it was accepted without hesitation by the college.
Note that I did go to Office Depot online and order an official stamp for our school, which I used to emboss the seal in the lower right-hand corner of the transcript. Without a seal, I’m not sure how it would be accepted.
As far as filling out the transcript, it is fairly self-explanatory. There are only a couple of comments I would make about that. Our family selected a school name from the very beginning. In Nebraska, homeschooling families have to use one when filing their paperwork at the beginning of the school year. While I have no concrete evidence to back this up, my belief is that this form would be much less effective if the name of your school has the words “home school or “homeschool” in it. The prejudice that causes our students to be asked to get a GED in addition to the entrance exams and transcripts that their public school peers are accepted with, would probably be showered upon you if you used those words in your school name. It would be like waving a red flag that says, “Hey, treat me differently than any other student admitted to your program.” Our school name is Truth and Light Christian Academy. We know families who have used geographic landmarks near their home to come up with a school name, i.e., Plum Creek Academy, Wolfe Creek Christian School.
Also, under the School Identification section, the school code is not editable. Public schools may be issued identification codes by the state, but religious, or otherwise private, schools are listed only as private.
We elected to use n/a (not applicable) in the Class Rank and Class Size sections. Since in most cases, your student is the only student in their class, these numbers would not have a significant meaning and again, could prejudice a school against your student, simply because they could be identified as a homeschooler. There are several free online GPA calculators that can be helpful in your tabulations for this transcript.
We are proud and blessed to have homeschooled our daughters through high school. They worked hard to complete their course of study, take entrance exams and be accepted to the schools of their choice. Our creation of this transcript form was in no way intended to deceive anyone, but rather to have our daughters’ abilities measured by the same standards as non-homeschooled students. We also have very strong feelings about the stigma of having “GED” permanently stamped on their employment records, since that so often implies a “drop-out”. Not only do we not regret not expressing that Truth and Light Christian Academy is a homeschool, we actually feel that we have unequivocally shown that it is irrelevant. Measured by the same standards as other first-time college students, our oldest daughter completed her first quarter of college, and several others throughout her school career, with a GPA high enough to earn a spot on the Dean’s List. She then went on to complete her degree. The fact that she was homeschooled, has a diploma endorsed by her teachers/parents and did not take the GED had no bearing on her ability to meet high academic standards. The same was true of our second daughter. While she has elected to take a position with a national insurance corporation, rather than complete her degree, she took her ACT’s and was admitted to college based on the same standards as all other American students entering a degree program.
You will be able to type your information into this form and print it for your personal use. It cannot be filled in and then saved.
We certainly can’t guarantee your student will be accepted to college using this form, but we wanted to share our experience, if it can be of use. Both our daughters, our son-in-law and various other friends of our family have used this form with 100% success. If you have questions about completing the form, be sure to let me know. Having a blessing-filled day!
That recipe title makes me laugh. It looks like it should be someone’s name –granted, that someone would have suffered terribly in gradeschool. Poor kid. Anyway, it is supposed to be a copycat of an Olive Garden favorite. I have only been to Olive Garden once and I didn’t order this dish, so I can’t [...]
That recipe title makes me laugh. It looks like it should be someone’s name –granted, that someone would have suffered terribly in gradeschool. Poor kid.
Anyway, it is supposed to be a copycat of an Olive Garden favorite. I have only been to Olive Garden once and I didn’t order this dish, so I can’t say whether it compares favorably or not. However, when I found the recipe at Recipezaar, it had 64 5-star reviews from those who say it is as good or better.
I had so much fun at my Hunt’s Tomato House Party on Sunday. This is one of the dishes I served. It turned out to be a very hearty, soup that actually thickens over time. The noodles absorb the broth and all the flavors meld into a wonderful, comfort-food-style, Italian stew. I think it was even better the second day. This made a gigantic pot of soup and even after we served it at the party and again for supper, I put half in the freezer. The kids and I are still having the yummy leftovers from the other half for our lunches.
I stuck pretty close to the original recipe, this time, although I did make a few substitutions and additions. Here is our version of this delicious recipe.
1 Tbl olive oil
2 lbs lean ground beef
4 large carrots, sliced thin
4 stalks celery, sliced thin
- 1 small yellow onion, chopped
(3) 14.5 oz cans of diced tomatoes
(2) 16 oz cans light red kidney beans
(2) 16 oz cans great northern beans
8 cups beef broth
(2) 26 oz cartons beef stock
1 Tbl Italian seasoning
2 tsp black pepper
5 Tbl fresh Italian parsley, chopped
2 tsp. Tabasco sauce
(2) 26.5 oz cans spaghetti sauce
1 lb of dried piccolini pasta
Place oil and ground beef in large stew pot or kettle. Saute until beef is browned.
Add onions, celery, carrots and diced tomatoes. Don’t drain the tomatoes. Allow the meat and vegetables to simmer for about 10 minutes.
Drain and rinse all four cans of beans. Add them to the meat and vegetables in your pot.
Add the beef broth, beef stock, Italian seasoning, chopped parsley, Tabasco, pepper and spaghetti sauce.
At this point, bring your soup to a gentle boil. Reduce the heat and allow to simmer for several hours. This will allow the flavors to meld and your house will smell amazing!
15 minutes prior to serving, add the piccolini noodles (or the pasta of your choice) and continue cooking until the noodles are tender.
Serve piping hot with a sprinkle of shredded parmesan or Italian blend cheeses. A lovely side salad and crusty bread are the perfect complements to complete a hearty, delicous meal!
In today’s economy, stay-at-home moms are an even greater novelty than ever before in America’s history. It can be difficult to balance a passionate belief that I’m called to be exactly where I am, at home, with the economic reality that I need to find some creative way to supplement our income. It’s important to [...]
In today’s economy, stay-at-home moms are an even greater novelty than ever before in America’s history. It can be difficult to balance a passionate belief that I’m called to be exactly where I am, at home, with the economic reality that I need to find some creative way to supplement our income. It’s important to start with the simplest and most obvious ways of doing that first — cutting expenses and finding ways to save money, but when the budget has been pared to it’s frugal best, it’s time to actively pursue other possibilities that fit with the call God has placed on me. In Proverbs 31, the wife “of noble character”, looks first to the ways of her household and family, but then continues on. “She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard. She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night.” Then as I continue reading, God shows me, “She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes.” The Proverbs 31 woman, owned her own business, made wise investments and contributed to the prosperity of her family, after her household responsibilities were complete. She found creative ways to use the talents and gifts God instilled in her to care for her family and extended their use to also create income.
My oldest daughter, recently commented to me that she can’t remember a time when I didn’t “have a project”. It’s funny because I never really thought of it in that way, but obviously those watching from the outside, see you more clearly than you see yourself. I have never seen the point of doing any task “half way” and so I tend to invest a lot of myself and my time in whatever I have to do. Hopefully, as they watched my endeavors, my children saw the value of a strong work ethic and the satisfaction that comes from being industrious. Just being still and having nothing productive to do with my time, is not something I can manage for any length of time. I prefer to be “doing” and apparently, my kids have taken notice.
Income generating activity has taken many forms for me over the twenty-six year course of our marriage. As, I reflect back over them I have to laugh as I get a “better glimpse” of what my family must have seen. In the earliest years of our marriage, home party plans dominated my outside-of-home work. I worked well-known standards that you all would know and other lesser known plans. I loved the people and the connection to other women. I was excited about the products and so was a natural at promoting them. These ventures still took me away from home several nights a week and required travel time, too. The business expenses often outweighed the commission percentage that was earned and so with each one, I eventually became dissatisfied and sought a better way. I longed to be at home where I could focus on my family, our homeschool and our home, but generate enough supplemental income to keep us from living paycheck to paycheck.
Home daycare was an obvious choice and one I relied on periodically throughout the years. It provided necessary income in a simple and practical way, but limited our “family time” and strained our homeschool schedule. Each foray into the field of babysitting eventually ended in the realization, that while God had gifted me to provide and care for my own five children, caring for the children of others in our home, presented some challenges that weren’t always fair to our own children. As a short-term way of meeting needs, it would work, but it was not the fulfilling use of skill and talent that I was sure God had given me. I just needed to discover what those were.
February 27, 1998, King’s Harvest was born. It was “my new baby” and a natural for me — Christian homeschool curriculum and educational resources. Our online presence grew exponentially over the next 7 years and soon my “new baby” was grown up and demanding the lion’s share of my time. I loved it! — lol– It was books, it was people, it was writing, it was what I knew. It was also too much as I gave birth to our fifth child and as, in the 6th year, we moved my husband’s parents to Nebraska to help with their care. Instead of running my business, my business had started running me. While I loved every part of it, there was no question my family suffered from my lack of time. Once Mom and Dad arrived, it was clear that the season to operate my own business from home had ended and God had new priorities for that next phase of my life. I retired the business name and sold off the inventory. This began a hiatus of nearly three years where my time and energy were consumed with nothing but the intensive care of our family.
It’s funny how you start to define yourself and who you are by what you are doing. For three years, my time was full to brimming over. The blessing of caring for elderly parents is a full-time job and it was such an honor to be allowed that. I had a toddler, a college student, a high schooler, and two elementary students. We also moved to a new home, planned and celebrated a wedding for our oldest daughter and moved her and her new husband to Colorado Springs, CO. I spun the plates and kept things running, wearing all my different hats. Again, I loved it! It’s who I am. I am at my best surrounded by people who need me. And then, the folks were gone. There was not only the grieving, but the overwhelming sense of, “Now what?” Just when you think you know exactly who you are and what you are about, God stretches you a little more.
We built a house and moved again. It was time, to jump in and find a way to generate income. In my usual, “just do it” fashion, I bypassed God, and headed straight for what I knew would be a simple, quick-fix — home daycare. We welcomed two adorable children into our new home and thoroughly enjoyed the chance to interact with them and I was again contributing to the family budget. The strain on school time and limitations placed on my ability to come and go, soon started to wear thin. Our daughter and son-in-law had moved back to our hometown and started their family. Grandbabies! Without a doubt, a little touch of heaven here on earth. I needed more time with them, too. Seeking and searching, always seeking and searching — What was right? How to do what I knew I was called to do and still alleviate some of the financial burden our family was facing.
I have been writing since I was a child. It is an outlet and a passion that I didn’t always share with other people, but has always been a part of who I am. In school, my writing was always complimented and others enjoyed reading it. Packed in a box of most special treasures, I have a worn copy of a teen magazine that published one of my poems, when I was in high school. Writing was something I could do for fun. People enjoyed it and it made me feel confident that there was one thing I might be good at. Along the way, I was encouraged several times to “write”. Here’s the thing. When you think there might be some small chance that there is something you can do, that God has gifted you in a certain area, it is much safer to just sit on that thought and hold onto it in safety. Who wants to take a chance that you might not be as good as everyone says? If you fail, then what? Maybe you’ll discover you don’t have a gift. Your “talent” was a childhood fancy and if you let go of it, you will lose it. So, of course I started another job.
Technology has provided a means to work for large corporations, from the comfort of your home. Telecommuting has been around for awhile, but the trend toward eliminating high-overhead call centers and replacing them with people trained to take the same calls from their own home offices has exploded in recent years. I spent a little over one year earning money in this way, working for three major corporations that are commonly known. The income was excellent for working out of my house in my pajamas, much more than I could have earned working in a local business in town. The time constraints are real however, as the schedules are not always as flexible as you might need. There are no paid sick days, as a matter of fact, as an independent contractor, there is no “time off”. If you are scheduled to work, you work. Again, not a great fit for a wife and homeschooling mom whose first priority is her family and home.
“Be still and know that I am God.” I passed that billboard, probably a dozen times over the course of the two years when I was scrambling around doing the next thing that I thought would solve our financial problems. I didn’t really start paying attention to it until, the hours at my “call center” work-at-home jobs started drying up. I would log in to set my schedule and there were no hours available to take. The first week, I accepted this as a fluke and enjoyed the vacation. I had been running around like a chicken with my head chopped off, after all, trying to keep up with work, homeschool and my responsibilities at home. This would just be a nice break. The second week, I was a little more concerned, but we had three birthdays in July and a brand new grandson. There was plenty to occupy my time. By the sixth week, I was utterly broken and so frustrated. “Lord! What do you want me to do? How can it be right for me to just sit by while we sink?” – “Be still and no that I am God.”
Obviously, if you have made it this far into the story, you already know “being still” is not my long suit. I talk, a lot. I do things. Its what I do. It’s who I am. “Lord, please — sit still?” In less than two months, our home sold and we were moving again. I had the ability to switch my paperwork and phone lines and take the work-at-home jobs with me, but somehow I knew God was closing that door. “Be still.”
“You have such a gift with words. You should write.” For several years now, someone very dear to me has encouraged me to pursue writing. “I don’t know how. What would I write? Who would pay me to do that?” It came up again recently, and during a time when I was being reminded that God often “speaks” to us through others. I started doing some online investigating and discovered that if I had some recent examples of my writing and an online presence, I could apply to be accepted to do freelance writing. “Ok Lord, I hear you.”
Last week, I was accepted as a freelance writer for Textbroker. The articles are short (350-500 words usually) and the pay per article has varied from $3 to $7, so far. I can research and write one in fifteen to 30 minutes. The assignments I’ve had so far have actually made me laugh. I’m learning quite a bit about things I never knew I should know. I wrote, “How to Rent a Portable Generator”, “Lowering Your Cholesterol with the Mediterranean Diet” and “Luxury Wedding Venues in Scotland” in one short session. Plus, in the bargain, I got this blog. I love it! I don’t know if God gifted me to write for income, but most certainly He has allowed me to enjoy it. What I earn is dependent on how much I work. I control my schedule and work around the needs of my family. Seems like it can work, but will it be enough? Well, there IS one other place I could try.
Overwhelmed and intimidated best describes the way I have felt about applying to write at Demand Studios. Expectations are high and quality closely monitored. This is a much more professionally demanding organization. Articles are not anonymous and are often published with the author’s byline and bio included. I don’t have a bio. I would need a resume and more writing samples. I made a point of avoiding this application and the impending rejection it held for me. “Lord, if I am supposed to be a writer, then please make it clear, so I have no doubts.”
Last night in a fit of sleeplessness and hotflashes, I carried my laptop into the front room and filled out the application, uploading my resume. There it was. Done. There was no way to get it back or avoid the voice of those saying, “You’re not a writer after all.” And to top it all off, there would be no instant answer. I would have to wait to hear the dreaded words. At 11:30 a.m. this morning, I received a welcome letter and New Writer’s packet from Demand Studios. Faithful, as always, He made it clear.
I don’t know what I will be doing in the future, but today, I am a writer. God has allowed me to use what I love to “plant a vineyard” and I just want to say an enormous thank you to the one who kept encouraging me to “consider the field” and encourage all of you to “be still and listen” for the one He may be using to speak His plan into your life.
This year marked 20 years of homeschooling for our family. In that time, our two oldest have graduated, gone on to college and on with their adult lives. We have since been blessed with a son-in-law and three beautiful grandbabies. God is definitely good! We still have a senior, 7th grader and a 3rd grader [...]
This year marked 20 years of homeschooling for our family. In that time, our two oldest have graduated, gone on to college and on with their adult lives. We have since been blessed with a son-in-law and three beautiful grandbabies. God is definitely good!
We still have a senior, 7th grader and a 3rd grader at home, which means I still have plenty to learn and at least nine more years to learn it. –lol– . That being said, we are NOT experts or the final authority on homeschooling. I certainly have some ideas and experience I am willing to share, but each homeschool is as unique as each homeschooling family. The only yardstick to measure yourself against is the one the Lord puts on your heart for your family. Don’t let anyone tell you there is a right or wrong way to do it.
This post, with some editing, is actually an excerpt of an article that I wrote a few years back, when we were still operating our homeschool curriculum business. I promise new content in this category in the very near future, but in the meantime, I hope you will be able to glean some helpful information about how to begin your homeschooling journey.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5
If you have already reached the conclusion that God is leading you to homeschool your children, then you have obviously begun to lay the questions and decisions at His feet. That IS the first step in any homeschooling plan. It is so easy to get caught up in the curriculum buying, and the lesson planning, and the “fixing up” the perfect school room, and suddenly find yourself, (and your checkbook), knee-deep in books, manipulatives, and various other school paraphernalia, without any real clue what to do next.
Before you can educate your children, you need to let God educate you. Take the time, now, to pray and seek His guidance for ALL areas of your homeschool, and the rewards you reap, later, will be immeasurable. Ask Him to guide, and instruct you, through the people He puts in your path. Read books, talk to other homeschoolers, contact a support group, or maybe, attend your state’s annual homeschool convention. (For a listing of state homeschool organizations visit HSLDA) As you study and research, pray that God will help you to sift all the information you receive, see His plan for your own unique homeschool and family, and discard the rest. Then, trust Him to do it!
HSLDA is also the place to go for up-to-date information on the homeschool laws in your state and who to contact there, to get started. Homeschooling is legal in all 50 states, but the laws governing it are different in every state and you need to have the current information for your own.
“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.” James 1:6
Deciding On a Teaching Method or Style
As you begin to gather information and resources you should visit with other homeschoolers, contact your state homeschool association for information on homeschooling in your state, perhaps join your local homeschool support group, contact the HSLDA for information and, if you can afford it, membership. Use the library, or borrow from other homeschoolers, to begin sifting through all the wonderful books and guides on homeschooling, that are available. If you have the chance, attend your state’s annual homeschool convention, and take several seminars that interest you. These are the BEGINNING steps in building your homeschool. Buying curriculum and setting up your schoolroom are definitely important, but they come later in your planning. Remember, everything has a season and a purpose! Gather your information, first, and then you can use what you learn to make a blueprint for the homeschool that best suits your family. You will need time, to study and sift all that you learn. You will find that the information contains many varied viewpoints and ideas, and your job will be to take out what is useful to you, and know when to disregard those things that are not. As no two families are identical, neither will any two homeschools be exactly the same .
When you begin to sort the information you have collected, you will soon see that homeschool styles seem to fall into four basic categories. Those could be labeled: Textbook, School-at-Home Style; Unit Study Style; Un-Schooling Style; and what I will categorize as a Combination/Eclectic Style. All methods are valid and within the individual families who implement them, can be successful. The one you choose will depend on your family’s favorite ways of learning and teaching, organizing and working.
The Textbook, School-at-Home Style seems to best fit the family who enjoys clearly-defined structure. It most closely models the public school classroom we are all familiar with. Mom or Dad become the “teacher”, mixing brief periods of lecture with textbook reading and workbook activities. If your family will best benefit from a clearly defined class schedule, prepared lessons, and the smooth flow of one book for each subject, you will enjoy this type of program. It seems to also be favored by parents who may have to work outside the home part of the day, and need very specific, clear-cut plans for their children to follow, in their absence. This method works well for students who prefer to be self-directed or self-taught, too.
The Unit Study Style of homeschooling involves building your own curriculum around literature, projects, and activities in one general theme. As many academic subjects as possible are covered within that theme, and although textbooks are occasionally utilized as resources, they are not viewed as the main source of learning. Several different themes will be covered in any given school year. Themes can involve the study of a country, a character trait, a period in history, or a type of invention. The possibilities are limitless. This method can be fun and exciting, with lots of opportunity for hands-on and activity. Students learn to analyze many different resources and weigh them against their own beliefs, to seek the truth. They learn to think. They learn not only by reading, but by doing. It is also more labor-intensive for the parent. Many experienced homeschoolers are writing Unit Study guides, now, that can provide the outline plan for your unit study; so you are saved the time of writing your own. However, you will still need to allot time for trips to the library for books, and for finding the other resources and materials necessary to complete the unit. This is not stated as a draw-back, but simply as a fact. There WILL be a larger commitment of planning time on your part. If you have all the resources in place, and your plan clearly laid out, this method, too, can work for the self-teaching student. But, you MUST do the necessary preparation.
The Un-Schooling Style tends to leave the student to explore the world naturally. Un-schoolers fill their homes with resources and books, that are available to their children at all times. They play with them and allow them to play and “learn” as they interact with their environment. When a child is curious about a subject or asks a question, he is then provided with information and resources to help him find the answer. This method is child-directed, not parent-directed, so you must be willing to step back and let your child show YOU what they are willing and ready to learn. It takes advantage of those wonderful “teachable moments”, when a child’s curiosity is piqued and he is hungry to find the answers. People who use this method can be very happy and successful in their homeschooling. You just have to be certain it fits your family and your style of interaction and discipline.
The Combination/Eclectic Style is the preferred method in many homeschools. It is your own family’s unique blend of the text-book and unit-study methods. You can balance the need for structure with the creative unit study approach as the dynamics of your family changes from year to year. And believe me, it WILL change. You may move, have a new baby, start a new job, whatever the upheaval might be. At any point, what worked previously, may not be as good a fit as before. This style allows you the flexibility to adjust to a more textbook, pre-planned schedule to accomodate different demands on your time. At any time you can work a unit study back into your schedule or move back to that more hands-on method in total, as your circumstances permit. Start with a concrete plan and then allow yourself the flexibility to work within it, using resources and texts you already own.
As an example of the way an eclectic style of homeschooling can work, we moved from an almost exclusively unit-study approach to a full-textbook approach for our high school students in 2001. The younger two that were in school at that time, used a mix of textbook and unit study. With the impending arrival of our fifth baby, the time-consuming demands of teaching beginning phonics along with reading and math concepts while keeping up with middle and high school subjects and the demands of a growing business; our needs, and thus the format of our lessons, needed to change.
In the Combination/Eclectic Style, many skills are acquired through daily chores, responsibilities and activities. It is not uncommon for a math lesson on fractions to be more effective in the kitchen, than in the textbook. Younger students can learn the early concepts of classification, sorting and sequencing while drying dishes or sorting laundry. High school students can read a textbook about child-rearing, marriage and dating, or some other character quality; or you can teach them what the Bible instructs about these matters, give them hands-on experience with their younger siblings, and model kindness and service for them when you help them to scoop snow from an elderly neighbor’s walk. They can listen to great tapes on courtship or conduct interviews with several couples about what they believe are the most important qualities in a strong, Christian marriage. The model of you and your husband will be a great teacher, as well.
How about a family garden? Mathematics, science and spelling, writing, literature and art can all be easily incorporated. Use your imagination. The possibilities for hands-on, real-life learning are limitless; and your students deserve academic credit when academics are being utilized in their daily activities. It is possible to follow the progression of a good textbook and supplement your unit study method in those areas where your student demonstrates a strong curiosity. For instance, they can certainly read all about weather from a science textbook, but how much deeper would their understanding be if they graphed and charted data collected from their own backyard weather-station; made a poster of cloud types; read biographies about Galileo who invented the first thermometer in the 1500′s or Ben Franklin whose experiment with lightning is legendary; or learned the difference between Toricelli’s barometer invented in the 1600′s and Vidie’s aneroid barometer, which was not developed until 1843? What impact would a tour of a television station’s meteorology department have?
Textbooks can even be used as a resource or reference tool, rather than a one-stop information purveyor. Students can also write a report or keep a journal of all the information they collect and learn. In that way, they will also have the opportunity to use spelling, grammar, and composition skills. Which subjects are restrained to textbook learning
and which ones become full-blown units with research, projects, and activities will most likely be determined by the interest level of your students, the resources available to you, and the amount of time you are able to invest. This blending and balancing of two or more styles can often afford parents and students the opportunity to work around their family’s schedule, varied grade-level teaching, and unexpected interruptions. While the unit studies provide an opportunity for “delight-directed”, hands-on exploration and learning, the structure of an occasional textbook assignment affords parents the chance to work away from the student, and the student an opportunity to use self-discipline and review or reinforce concepts. Those using this method of homeschooling, tend to work within a basic time-frame, but have the flexibility to lengthen or shorten specific class-periods, as needed. A BALANCE of what works best from each method, is the foundation of this Combination/Eclectic Style.
Designing Your Blueprint: What to Teach When
Once you’ve decided what style of teaching will best suit your family, you’re ready to put more definitive plans on paper. For each grade level you are teaching, you will want to teach certain subjects, and within those subjects, specific skills or concepts. Your blueprint will actually be an outline that lists each of those subjects and skills. If you are using the Textbook, School-at-Home Method, this work will already be done for you. If you are curious as to how your curriculum company has blueprinted your courses, you should write or call them and ask for a Scope and Sequence. That is the outline they have devised.
If you are using the Unit Study or Combination/Eclectic Methods, you are going to need to set aside a little time to develop your own outline, (or Scope and Sequence). If you aren’t sure what skills are typical at each grade level, I would recommend browsing through the Typical Courses of Study at World Book, to get some ideas. I have always chosen to submit this information to our state each year, rather than designating specific textbooks that I may end up changing or supplementing later. Use this Course of Study as a basic framework and edit it to add or omit those skills or topics that you decide are in the best interest of your own family. Please, remember that anyone else’s Course of Study or Scope and Sequence is simply a model for you to follow and use as reference. They are not set in stone and it is expected that you will make modifications to meet your individual homeschooling needs and goals. Also, take note of how many of the same skills and concepts are taught at each and every grade level, just increasing their reading level and depth of information as students advance. Knowing this, it is not always practical to have a separate textbook for each subject at each grade level (especially in elementary grades). My personal recommendation is to find one or two outstanding textbooks, reference guides, or unit study guides for each subject, that you can use for ALL students, and adapt the material and assignments to the appropriate age/grade levels, as you present it. This works particularly well for history, geography, health and science in the elementary school years.
Once you have completed your outline for any given subject, make a list of the books and resources you already have, that you can use to teach these skills and concepts. Then make another list of books you can find at your local library or from other sources at no cost, and finally a third list, containing books and resources you still need to buy. You will be amazed, with careful planning, how inexpensively you can build an exceptional homeschool program for several grade levels at once. Again, you are going to have to invest some time, but the benefits will be huge.
Choosing Books and Curriculum
A few wise purchases as you begin homeschooling, can save a lot of money in the future. Look for resources and reference material for you, the teacher, that will cover many grade-levels at once, (and most importantly for our family), that are non-consumable. We are willing to pay a higher price for a hard-cover textbook that can be passed down from student to student, instead of purchasing consumable workbooks for every student in every grade. Also, the more good literature you put in front of your children, the better readers, writers, researchers, and analytical thinkers they will become. From our personal experience and point of view, the best investment of your money will not be new formal textbooks every year of your child’s elementary school education, but outstanding literature and reference material that can be used over and over again, throughout all your students’ academic careers. Even if you move to the textbook style in high school, you will find that these earlier reference and resource materials will be invaluable for your older students’ review and research.
The main thing to remember in selecting curriculum is the style that you originally determined best fits your family. Purchase only the resources, textbooks or unit studies you need to meet your goals within that teaching method. Just because something looks interesting or exciting to you in the moment, or someone you know has used it and “just loved it!” doesn’t mean you will have the interest or time to implement it yourself, if it doesn’t fit the way you like to teach and/or the way that your students like to learn. Stick to your chosen method and you will be less likely to be disappointed and purchase items that end up sitting on the shelf.
I don’t recommend the purchase of any formal “curriculum packages” for children before the second grade. While you may find that you need a phonics program or a beginning reader, and some math flashcards, etc., I urge you to evaluate the “packages” that load you and your student down with workbooks, workbooks, workbooks. There is no better way to stifle a natural curiosity and love of learning than tying a 4-, 5- , 6-, or 7-year-old to an endless barrage of workbook pages that have little or no relevance to the world as they relate to it. We often receive requests for and questions about “pre-school ” and it usually surprises the caller to find that we are opposed to its use. This is again, a personal view, and not a set-in-stone standard. Other very successful homeschoolers most certainly would disagree, but I would implore you to get lots of information and views on the subject before making any decision to spend money on pre-packaged, formal curriculum, at this age. A book I can personally recommend is “Home-Grown Kids” by Raymond and Dorothy Moore. This can, often times, be found in local libraries.
One of the main arguments of the parents of pre-schoolers, that have contacted us, has been that their students are “extremely advanced”. Who among us hasn’t felt exactly the same way at times? Just remember that your child was able to achieve this “advanced” status without benefit of formal curriculum and with a large measure of your love and time. Children’s attitudes toward school and learning are established at young ages. Be certain that the tools you are using in the “pre-school” years are ones that inspire curiosity and a love of learning. Our personal experience is that sitting for hours filling out workbook pages will not achieve that in the same way as spending time with you, the parent, and a “putting their hands in it” style of learning for your youngest learners.
During those earlier years, your children will benefit much more from your own personal attention. So much of what you do in your day-to-day living will teach them the skills they need. My strongest recommendation is to read, read, read–to and with them! You could certainly purchase an organized phonics curriculum, many do. I personally have never found one I like. I have tried Alpha-Phonics, Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons, Christian Liberty Press, ABeka and many others. I have always gone back to teaching them on my own.
Now, after having spent plenty of time on that particular soap-box, I need to make a confession. The Lord saw fit to humble me in my unswerving self-sufficiency when it comes to the area of phonics when we reached 2001 and I was teaching our middle-child to read. The simple method I used with our older two daughters was quite frankly, completely unsuccessful with her. By spending a few weeks working through ”The Reading Lesson”, she picked up enough phonics to be able to begin pouring over the American Girl books that she loved. She has shared with me, now that she is older, that she often read the books multiple times, each time understanding and learning words she
had missed before. She is a strong reader, now, and not because of any great skills of mine. This is further evidence of God’s awesome and infinite wisdom in creating each uniquely individual child. We, as parents, never “arrive” and know it all. He provides us the same opportunities for growth and learning as we learn to nurture each of our children along a path uniquely designed to fit their own needs and learning patterns. That is very difficult to accomplish in an institutional school setting.
So, I use this addendum to qualify the next few sentences. I honestly know it can work very successfully for some students; experience has shown me that it won’t necessarily be so simple for all students. So please keep your individual child and family in mind and in your prayers as you plan a phonics and reading program. If you can read and you understand phonetic sounds, you CAN do this without incurring so much expense. You simply have to discipline yourself to spend a little time each day with your child, reading and reviewing sounds. The more you read to them, the more they will learn to love reading. Here are some fun, interesting and inexpensive ideas for reinforcing and even building reading and math skills for elementary-age students. These don’t require textbooks or formal curriculum, either.
- Have your student(s) retell a story back to you or help them make a puppet show or play about a favorite story. This will confirm their comprehension.
- Have them dictate stories to you, before they are able to write. You will be able to talk about sequencing and order of events, descriptive words, and basic grammar and sentence structure. After, they can write, encourage them to write stories, poems, letters to friends and grandparents, keep a journal, etc. All of these will help in penmanship, grammar and composition skills.
- When your kids are with you in the kitchen there are unlimited opportunities to work on Math concepts. How many more plates do I need to put on the table to have enough for the whole family? If I need ½ c. of butter for one batch of cookies, how many will I need for a double batch or a half batch? How many spoons high is this cabinet door?
- Classification, grouping, and sorting skills are simply taught while doing dishes or laundry. Lets put all the bowls together, all the pans together and all the plates together. Now, what’s another way to classify them (sort them)? How about, glass, metal, and plastic; or dishes, pans, and utensils. Sort laundry as whites, darks, and colors; or socks, shirts, and pants, etc.
- Give your children a weekly snack budget to be responsible for, when you are grocery shopping. They can learn to recognize different coins, count change, add and subtract, get the best value for their money.
These are just a few examples of many, many ideas for using everyday activity to teach early skills. A little creativity on your part, an occasional book from the library, some internet resources, etc. and you will be able to compile a list that is too long to ever achieve, without spending a penny on formal curriculum. And remember, children will more readily retain information and skills that they see have practical application to their daily lives. Once again, the investment of your time, will be a savings financially and a more effective means of teaching in the long-run, in these early years.
Regardless of the method you use or the grade-levels you must teach, the most important thing I can share with you is to pray and plan before you purchase. Recognize the “season” in your homeschooling – are you in the buying season or still in the preparations season? Make the preparations and curriculum selections that will fit your needs and goals., but remember that you can’t do that if you haven’t given lots of thought and prayer to exactly what your needs and goals are. You may opt to spend more time and less money in preparing your curriculum, or maybe trading off higher expense for the extra convenience of pre-planned curriculum will suit you better. You simply can’t know that without some time to research and reflect on your family’s learning styles, time constraints and finances. No one way is correct, but there IS a way that is perfect for your own family.
I hope you find something here to serve, inspire, and excite you for your own homeschooling journey. God has chosen you specifically from all the available people, to be your child(ren)’s parent. He recognizes traits and skills in you that are critical to their development and for yours. No other is better equipped or prepared to make these decisions. You are perfect for this job. God never makes mistakes. Trust Him to guide you in your choices as you “train up a child in the way he should go…” You will be an awesome success! If I can ever be of service or answer other questions, please don’t hesitate to e-mail me.
Follow this Link to Review and/or Purchase great homeschooling resources from Christian Book Distributors.
Some of my very most favorite things: Parties with friends and/or family Serving delicious food (and eating it) saving money Eating yummy party food Free Stuff! Did I mention eating? – lol – It always seems to be an integral part of gatherings in our home. Being the hostess of a house party, sponsored by houseparty.com [...]
Some of my very most favorite things:
- Parties with friends and/or family
- Serving delicious food (and eating it)
- saving money
- Eating yummy party food
- Free Stuff!
- Did I mention eating? – lol – It always seems to be an integral part of gatherings in our home.
Being the hostess of a house party, sponsored by houseparty.com indulges me in all of those. I am a lucky woman! I have had three House Parties in the past: a Grey Poupon Mustard Party, a Velveeta Super Bowl Party and a Clairol Hair Color Party. This Sunday at 3 pm, people will be coming from far and wide to my Hunt’s Garden Fresh Tomatoes Party. Isn’t this a wonderful premise?
There is nothing for your guests to buy — ever. They don’t have to listen to a demonstration and then be hounded by a representative to purchase something so you can receive a free gift. With House Party, EVERYBODY gets free gifts! House party works with major corporations that produce name-brand products. These corporations have recognized that word-of-mouth advertising is not only more cost-effective, but it is one of their most valuable marketing tools. So, they pick a date with houseparty and start accepting applications from around the country, from people who are willing to host a party for them on that date. They select their hosts/hostesses and then provide free gifts for all your guests and free things for you. Everything they can do to help make your party a success from coupons to full-size food products, aprons to recipe cards, cheese keepers to spatulas, party games, music cd’s and more is included in your party pack that arrives via UPS a week or so before your party. The party pack varies from party to party, based on the company providing it. You develop a theme, invite your guests and then sit back and enjoy tasty refreshments, thought provoking conversation and the bounty of free items provided.
This afternoon, I will be attending a Windows 7 Debut houseparty at my sister’s. I happen to know as a hostess, she received Windows 7 absolutely free and there will be gifts for all who attend. Isn’t this amazing!!??!! Plus, like me, when Debi has a party there is likely to be something delicious cooking, even if her party pack only included CD’s! (No pressure, Debi!)
My party pack from Hunts included an apron, spatulas, recipes, (4) coupons for free tomatoes, (15) packets of basil seeds and (15) coupons for $1.00 off diced tomatoes. I used these items and a little frugal ingenuity to make the lovely party favors you see above for my guests.
As you and I become more and more acquainted, I will be sharing about all the ways I save money for my family by completing surveys and testing new products, but for today, I just want to share that I also had (10) coupons for $1.10 off Progresso’s new High Fiber Soups and (10) coupons for $1.10 off Progresso’s Panko Italian Bread crumbs. Our local grocery store had Hunt’s Diced Tomatoes on sale for $1.24 each, so with my coupons, they only cost me 24¢ per can. The cans I had free coupons for are going into the wonderful menu I have planned. The Progresso Soup was on sale for $1.50 each and with my coupons, I got them for only 40¢! Panko bread crumbs are still a fairly new concept in my area, so there was only one store I found that carried them and they weren’t on sale. That was my splurge for the party. They sold for $2.25 each and with my $1.10 coupon only cost $1.15. Add in some clearance planter baskets from Wal-Mart for $1 and a $3 pack of 6 dishcloths, my total cost for each party favor is only $3.29. Without all the coupons, the same items would have cost $6.49. I saved nearly 50% and now, my guests get to go home with these fun baskets which double as “decorations” during the party.
There is no need to add anything to what the companies involved with houseparty.com send you; and other times I have made great party favor bags with only what I received from them, but I was inspired by the basil seeds and the Italian menu theme of my party. A little raffia ribbon from the craft basket to finish things off and I think these baskets turned out pretty well.
- Pasta E Fagioli (a copy cat from the Olive Garden)
- Tomato Cheese Bruschetta
- a lovely salad
- Fudge Brownies
- Ice Cream Punch made with our own Homemade Soda (that’s a blog for another day – lol )
I wish you could be here tomorrow and share in all the fun and food, but I want to encourage you to check out the House Party website. Sign up and get selected for your own houseparty and the great free gifts that includes! You’ll be saving and enjoying festive gatherings in no time!
If your house is like ours, Christmas is going to be filled with tons of rejoicing over Jesus, wonderful smells from the kitchen and the warmth and love of family regardless of what is happening to the economy right now. But if you are like me, you also love to give gifts and get really [...]
If your house is like ours, Christmas is going to be filled with tons of rejoicing over Jesus, wonderful smells from the kitchen and the warmth and love of family regardless of what is happening to the economy right now. But if you are like me, you also love to give gifts and get really tickled watching the kids’ anticipation and excitement. Everyone is going to have to really watch their budget through the holidays and most of us are cutting back, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to share some excellent gifts with your favorite people.
I went back and checked my receipt, so I could give you completely accurate information. Last week, CBD (Christian Book Distributors) had a one-day only $0.99 sale. I picked up beautiful little board books, DVD movies, and tons of great reading for lots of gifts. I received 34 items and the total was only $51.27 (Can you tell I bought a couple things that were more than $0.99?).
I wish I had started this blog sooner, so I could have let you know, but here’s the good news. I checked their site for you this morning and in the Advanced Search section, I selected “under $5″. Sort the list by price in ascending order. The lowest price item this morning is $0.35 and there are nearly 89,000 items priced UNDER $5.
As, I was scanning through the search pages, I realized that once I hit $0.99 (It took more than 20 pages before I got to $0.99), that most items at that specific price were music downloads and there are pages and pages of them. So after going through the first 20 pages or so of the less than $1 items I reversed the search by going up and changing it from Ascending to Descending. I was still in the less than $5 section and out of the music downloads. There were mugs, keychains, novels, childrens books, puzzles, wooden models to build, card games, stuffed animals, Bible studies, pocket New Testaments, CD’s, movies, novels, Focus on the Family Radio Theater CD’s and more. I even saw ministry items, one originally priced at $41.99, now on sale for just $4.99. So dust off your Christmas list and take the opportunity to save for the holidays. I’ll be posting as many bargains as I can find for you between now and then and we’ll all work together to be good stewards of the blessings God has provided.
P.S. If you have a shelf in a closet, or an empty drawer somewhere, or even a nook in the attic, it’s still a good idea to purchase and save items you know you will need later for birthdays, anniversaries, hostess gifts, pastor appreciation, something for a teacher or a graduate, etc. Make a list of all the times you will be gifting throughout the year and remember to include those last minute things like birthday parties or gift exchanges at work. When you find something at a great price, store it and save yourself both time and full-price shopping later.