4.27.2011

Grocery Savings

Before you begin reading today's post...I have a confession to make.  The following money-saving tip is one that I put off practicing for over a year, simply because I thought it was too much hassle.  Needless to say, when My Beloved wanted to set a grocery price list notebok up, inside I was in dread.  Once we began making the list though, I began to get excited.  Not only was it not a hassle at all, it was kind of fun!  Who'd a thunk it?   Having visual proof of savings and sale cycles is similar to planning out the best route for garage sales in the spring!   It didn't hurt that My Beloved and I were working on it together, and everyone knows that together is almost always better than alone.  So, read on and trust me, a grocery price list truly isn't that much work to create, is inexpensive, and provides many money-saving opportunities.  Blessed Mama 
Looking for ways to save money on groceries? One of the most popular, and practical, methods is to create a price list. Supplies for setting up a price list notebook are very inexpensive. They are probably sitting around your home just waiting to be used for something.  Paper, writing utensil, and a bit of time.

Time will be the largest investment required for this tried and true money-saving tip.  OK, let's begin.  Make a list of the products your family uses.  Lists can be organized in whatever way works for each household.  Some will be uber organized with separate sections for produce, frozen goods, etc.; others will be set up according to the floor plan of each store. Oh yes, that's a good point. Each store shopped at will have their own list or column within the main list.  There will probably be some lists that are listed with no specific order whatsoever. That is perfectly fine. Whatever works is today's theme. For a span of at least six weeks, keep track of the prices for each item listed at each store.  I know, this seems like way too much work, but it really does pay in the long run.  It does.

After the first couple of months have passed, an obvious cycle of sales and savings at each store will be evident.  This cycle of sales will allow a shopper to see which week various items are at their rock bottom prices in each store.  As a result, plans can be made in advance for the use of specific coupons.  Meals can also be planned to take advantage of the sale cycles. 

Even more savings can be had by continuing to keep records for an entire year.  A year's price list will reveal the sale cycle of seasonal groceries. For instance, in January many focus on resolutions of healthy eating and losing weight.  It is then that oatmeal, protein bars, and other health-conscious items will be on sale.  Other seasonal sales will feauture BBQ sauce and other picnic type products.  Certain items can be added to the pantry and kept several months without spoilage. 

While we at Abundance do not encourage hoarding, we definitely feel there is great wisdom in laying in a sufficient supply for our families and others in need.  Being prepared is an excellent and practical way to experience abundance in our lives.  It also assists in making the best possible use of the financial resources entrusted to each of us.  That being said, why not begin setting up a grocery price list today?   You will be glad you did.

Here are some links to help with getting started:
http://www.fractured.net/article/the-price-book.html
http://www.stretcher.com/stories/971013b.cfm
price list for groceries

4.26.2011

The Links Are Missing!

After viewing the blog, I discovered the links I had included yesterday were missing. You have my deepest apologies for the inconvenience. Here they are with an extra link to a journal site that encourages us to tell our story as a thank you for your patience. Happy Days are here!

http://www.gadanke.com/

http://www.loc.gov./index.html

http://classroomvictorygarden.org/

The Past

Good Morning!  What a morning it has been. One filled with children, school, prayer, and always God.  By the way, do you know what it feels like to type on a keyboard that had pop spilled on it two days ago?  Help! if anyone has a fix for this situation, please send your solution to amothersrewards@gmail.com.  Also, please forgive any spelling errors which may happen as a result - LOL.

As the children and I read of the Puritans and how they have been grossly misrepresented in today's society, the great need for accuracy in the teaching of our nation's history was made so very real.  God forgive us for blindly following and accepting the teaching of men and women whose hearts are turned against God.  Here are a few quotes to read and think on, along with a link to a website filled with free resources, lessons, and links devoted to the history of America.  It truly is a treasure trove of America's history.  God Bless America! 

"Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people He has chosen as His heritage." Psalm 33:12

"I believe that our nation's growing lack of knowledge about our nation's past could eventually lead to its downfall." David Schults, High School Educator

"If the memories of the past are not passed on, they cease to exist." John Eccles, Nobel Laureate

"None of our nation's top colleges...require a course in American history. Nearly 80% of college seniors at these universities and colleges flunked the most basic and elemental questions on American history." George F. Will, Author and Coluumnist, Center for Survey Research and Analysis

"Most textbooks, produced by a handful of giant commerical publishers, are exposing generations of children to cultural and history amnesia that threatens the very basis of American free institutions and liberties, warn leading historians who are calling for better-defined, more rigorous state teaching standards." George Archibald, Washington Times

"A union depending not upon the constraint of force, but upon the loving devotion of a free people; and that all things may be so ordered and settled upon the best and surest foundations that peace and happiness, truth and justice, religion and piety, may be established among us for all generations." Rutherford Hayes


Please visit this site as well as some of the many, many links available on it.  This is NOT just a site for those who homeschool!!! A grandmother I know has visited this site and thoroughly enjoyed visiting the other sites linked to it. It is a tremendous resource for those with school-age children, no matter what their educational setting.  How much easier social studies projects and assignments would have been with a resource like this.  As it has already been pointed out, even those without any children in the home can utilize this site.   An added bonus is that American Heritage has been shown to increase student's performance in history and social studies, AND no teaching experience or training is necessary.  It is also FREE of charge.

I have posted this information knowing that it isn't new news.  A Mother's Rewards has posted about this site before.  The need to learn the truth of our nation's history is even greater now than several months ago.  Let us not only learn the truth of this country's origins, but humble ourselves and pray, seek God's face, and turn from our wicked ways (II Chronicles 7:14) as our Puritan forefathers did.  May we no longer blindly listen to and accept every teaching from every textbook.  Most importantly, may we long for God to be pleased and glorified in everything that is said and done.  America...God shed His grace on thee.









4.25.2011

History Websites!!! Yea!

Lots of words are rolling around the country concerning taxes and the like, not many of them good.  Well today is a day of good news!  Tax dollars at work have aided in creating The Library of Congress website.  This website contains an abundance of historical information and resources.  Homeschoolers, teachers, and history buffs perk up!  This is a place for you.  Classroom resources are available for all grades.  Photographs, posters, interviews, all combine with information to add interest to history. 

Another website that got me super excited was the Classroom Victory Garden website.  The WWII Museum out of New Orleans has put together a visually appealing site with historical information presented in a way that interests the youngest and the oldest reader.  A variety of hands on activities cement these facts for kinesthetic learners. 

History is a study of the past that teaches us how to live in the future.  Enjoy these sites today.

4.13.2011

Be (in)couraged

Do you ever get tired?  Today's post at (in)courage was written just for the weary and worn.  Be refreshed and revived in both your spirit and body today.  There are two posts that will bless as well as refresh.

Also check out the new ebook by Sarah Mae - 31 Days to Clean - How to Have a Martha House the Mary Way.  Doesn't the title make you want to read it, like NOW?  Me too.

As Tigger, Winnie the Pooh's friend, says "Ta Ta for Now".  Remember, The King is Coming!  

The King is Coming!!!

In the early hours of morning while the little man in my arms surrendered to sleep, a dream played on.  The dream itself wasn't one of great length or much excitement.  As a matter of fact, it only went so far before reaching a certain spot and there it stayed.  Normally I wouldn't have paid such a small, "insignificant" dream much attention, I almost didn't this one either.  Until...a voice spoke soft into the ear of my heart "Do you think that maybe this dream means something?"  So soft and quiet that had the traces of sleep not remained so heavy and deep I would have missed it entirely.  A meaning?  Truth bloomed quickly as the realization that the dream hadn't been the product of last night's pizza, nor was it insignificant took root.  The dream meant something.  It had a message, in a song.  The song from the dream sang on and on inside.  It's still singing loud.  The small dream of the early morning hours contained a very large message, one needing spoken and shared,  The King is Coming.   The King is Coming!  Praise God! He's coming for me.




 Praise God, He's coming for me.




The market place is empty

No more traffic in the streets

All builders tools are silent

No more time to harvest wheat

Busy housewives cease their labors

In the Courtroom no debate

Work on earth is all suspended

As the King comes through the gate.



Oh, the King is coming

The King is coming

I just heard the trumpet sounding

And now his face I see

Oh, the King is coming

The King is coming

Praise God

He's coming for me!



All the railroad road cars are empty

As they rattle down the tracks

In the newsroom no one watches

As machines type pointless facts

All the planes veer off their courses

No one sits at the controls

For the King of all the ages

Comes to claim eternal souls.



Oh, the King is coming

The King is coming

I just heard the trumpet sounding

And now his face I see

Oh, the King is coming

The King is coming

Praise God

He's coming for me!



Happy faces line the hallways

Those whose lives have been redeemed

Broken homes that He has mended

Those from prison He has freed

Little children and the aged

Hand in hand stand all aglow

Who were crippled, broken, ruined

Clad in garments white as snow.



Oh, the King is coming

The King is coming

I just heard the trumpet sounding

And now his face I see

Oh, the King is coming

The King is coming

Praise God

He's coming for me!



I can hear the chariots rumble

I can see the marching throng

The flurry of God's trumpet

Spell the end of sin and wrong

Regal robes are now enfolding

Heaven's grandstand all in place

Heaven's choir now assembled

Start to sing Amazing Grace.



Oh, the King is coming

The King is coming

I just heard the trumpet sounding

And now his face I see

Oh, the King is coming

The King is coming

Praise God

He's coming for me!



Oh, the King is coming

The King is coming

And now his face I see

Oh, the King is coming

The King is coming

Praise God

He's coming for me!

Praise God

He's coming for me!


"The King Is Coming" is by Bill Gaither.

4.11.2011

Coloring Our Homes For Love

Color, what a powerful tool in creating a welcoming home.  Every homemaker has his/her own color preference.  Sometimes, however, every one needs a little push encouragement to step out of the proverbial comfort zone and experiment with something new.  Get ready!  Here's that push!

Home is a place where life is lived, hopefully to the fullest.  It is a place for warm and cozy get togethers, playful times of fun, and intimate spaces.  Color can help a homemaker create exactly the mood needed and/or desired throughout the home.  As a general rule, the richer the colors, the more the space will welcome.  Longing for warmth?  Red is a perfect choice.  Various shades of plum and cranberry also provide warmth to a space.  Are the seasons changing?  consider an addition of soft colors. 

Color can be added in many ways.  Curtains can be changed, throw pillows added, or a throw rug laid down.  Painting the walls definitely changes the mood in a space, but incorporating color needn't be a major alteration.  A vase of yellow daffodils in early spring, a nest of faux blue robin eggs, the light pink and creamy swirl of seashells, or the springtime green of grass grown in a container, all of these are small yet simple ways to enhance the home through color. 

Not only does color alter the mood in a home, but with it a space can be redefined.  A throw rug in a complementary color can create an intimate spot for gathering in the midst of a large space.  Coordinating colors used throughout a home provide a sense of harmony and unity.  How open, clean, and spacious a tiny space done in varying shades of white appears.(Think a spa at home)  Bright and vivid spots of color throughout a room create a surge of energy while the softer, more restful shades of blue soothe away the cares of the day. 

As a person considers what they want their home to say, how they want each space to function, color can be a huge help in the creation of a blessed home.  As Spring warms the air and breezes blow fresh through the screen, a new dash of color in the home will refresh not only guests but dear family as well.  I hear a rush of change bringing new life to the home through color.  The time has come to jump out of the old and into the new.  Get ready, take a deep breathe.  Now let it out.  OK, here we go.  Ready, Set, Jump!  into color.  Blessed Mama 

4.08.2011

Love Letter From God

This coming Monday, in a county church, there will be a woman speaking on God's Love Letter.  The theme for the evening is Love Letters, and I couldn't think of one sweeter than God's Holy Word.  As I go through the memory files of my life, the memories God has given me of His Word flow rich, strong, and sure.  Like a flood, His abundant, yes amazing, grace rolls throughout the years.  It saturates the story of my life oozing out all over the place in a wild and crazy abundance.  Many testify that God is good and they are blessed.  So do I. 

Thank you, Lord for prompting men to write your letters of Love to me, letters of Yourself and who You are.  They are life and breath to me.  Together, You and I, have loved full and deep, rich and strong.  I Love You, God.  There is none like You.  You are the lover of my soul.  It is to You, through You, because of You I sing Your song and write of You.  I am overwhelmed by Your extravagant love for me.  May Your Letter of Love, the Bible, be hidden in my heart now and forever.  To God be the glory great things He has done.  In the name of Jesus, Amen. 

I fervently encourage you to spend time soaking in the Word today and in the days to come.  I pray that God will put within each of us a ravenous hunger and a thirst for His Word.  For it is certain we will need the Sword of the Spirit to fight the fight of faith and keep us from sin.  No time is more meaningful or sweeter than time spent with the Father reading His Love Letter to us.  He and His love for us are not moved or swayed by the decisions and actions of men.  As all around us things, people, events are shaken, God alone is sure and true.  How I love His letter of love.  Thank You, God.  Thank You so much.

The Fragrance of Simple Pleasures--It's Fabulous

The Simple Life, simplicity, living simply, are all terms heard frequently now a days.  As the world around us spins out-of-control at breakneck speed, many are experiencing the sweet comfort provided by a simpler way of life. 

Pondering simple pleasures is the focus for Fabulous Friday here at Abundance.  Simple pleasures, what are they?  Perhaps thinking back to our childhood will help us recall.  Let's think back to when we were little, way back.  Remember picking flowers for mom, grandma, that favorite teacher?  The scent of freshly laundered sheets snapping on the line?  How about the fragrance of freshly cut grass?  Ahhh, yes, smelling the roses.  The memories are coming in wave after sweet-smelling wave. 

Why not take a few moments to recreate sweet-smelling memories in our individual homes today.  It doesn't take much effort, time, or money, yet the benefits could be abundant.  A scented sachet (lavendar is a favorite with many) in a drawer is a simple pleasure.  A little bit of your favorie scent sprayed on notepaper, the bathroom throw rug, or any number of unexpected places has memory making potential.  Boiling a little pot of cinnamon and/or other spice combinations instantly alters the feeling in a room.  Lighted candles not only provide pleasure to the sense of smell, but create a visual ambience as well.  In essence, simple pleasures are little things in our lives that uplift us and create an atmosphere where happiness and contentment abound. 

One of my favorite simple pleasures came about out of sheer desperation.  Company was coming that afternoon.  I can't remember why, but the house had a rather unpleasant odor.  I was in a frenzy not knowing what to do when my husband came to the rescue.  He threw some cinnamon sticks, cloves, and freezer burnt coffee beans in a small pot of water and set them to simmering on the stove.  Viola!  instant aroma, the good kind! filled the room.  The fragrance of coffee and spicy cinnamon created a feeling of warmth and cozy hominess almost instantly.  Simple pleasures aren't complicated.  They may result from freezer burnt coffee beans.  Repurposing at its best.  An abundance of blessed memories are of simple pleasures.  Let's create some of our own today.  Blessed Mama

4.06.2011

Binders - Lifesavers or the Latest Homemaking Craze?

With cries of simplify, de-clutter, eliminate echoing all across the printed page and internet, homemakers everywhere are adapting new methods and ways of organizing their lives.  One of the most widely spread ideas seen sprouting up is that of a Household Notebook.  Practically everywhere a homemaker goes web surfing these days the unending benefits of a Homemaker's Binder/Notebook/Planner are being proclaimed.  Whatever the name individuals attach to this organizational wonder, these planners may very well be the hottest organizational tool around.  Homemakers young and old, working and stay at home, children or not, women (and probably some men too) are making use of this revolutionary, trend.  So, is the Homemaker's Binder as good as they say or is merely a homemaking fad that will eventually fade from view?

Here at Abundance, we have been attempting to implement our own version of a Homemaker's Binder for over a year now.  Our success rate?  Uhm, let's move on to the review of what works, shall we?  OK, for certain things, the binder has been a true lifesaver.  The two most-used sections are the address book and computer log-in and password page.  Love, love, love that one.  Gone is the army of old envelopes, sticky notes, and other small papers containing password and log in information.  Everything is in one place, on one form.  Same for the addresses and phone numbers, necessary information in one, easy to grab place.  I have no doubt that upon completion, the form containing the children's immunization records, sizes, interests, etc. will join the computer info. page as a personal fave.  Christmas lists, gift idea lists, projects to do, are also sections which will benefit our family when completed, of this there is no doubt.

What has not worked for our family?  Meal planning, pantry inventory, and freezer inventory.  Crazy thing is, these are the areas increased organization is most needed.  In an attempt to eliminate areas that are "just taking space" the pantry and freezer inventory sheets have been removed, just for now.  One new area at a time is my plan of attack.  When the meal planning becomes an established habit, then I'll try adding the other sections back in. 

Household notebooks, the latest organizational trend among homemakers, may very well be the greatest discovery of the century.  Today's hectic lifestyle of near constant busyness has caused homemakers to rethink what works to keep the household flowing smoothly and do whatever necessary to create a haven of peace in an  out of control world.  The Homemaker's Binder definitely plays a key role in aiding homemakers in this herculean task. 

Here are some websites that offer household notebook forms for printing free: http://www.avirtuouswoman.org/, http://organizedhome.com/, http://iheartorganizing.blogspot.com/ (only until April 9).  These are but a few of the resources available for free printing.  http://www.notebookingpages.com/ also offers printable forms with darling seasonal graphics for a reasonable cost.  What about you?  Do you have a household notebook?  If you do, what works for your family? 

Here are some page ideas gathered from the internet:
  • movie list
  • dvd list
  • music list
  • take out numbers and menus
  • restaurant numbers
  • monthly schedules
  • chore charts
  • schedule of family events
  • emergency numbers
  • babysitting information
  • medical information
  • blogging ideas
  • business information
  • bank/finance information
  • school schedules
  • important papers
  • pet information


 
It is Blessed Mama's 40th birthday today!
So please help me make this day special by flooding her inbox with birthday greetings! 
 
 
Her daughter-
Not of This World