Some Curriculum Changes

Posted on January 15, 2011. Filed under: Daily life, Homeschool, Karate, kids, Money | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

The end of 2010 was a time of change for the munchkin and I.  He finished his spelling program and his science program well ahead of schedule (like in 1 semester instead of 2).  At the same time, we slowed down in math to consolidate multiplication and division facts, so we haven’t finished our 1st semester of math yet.  No sweat, he started the school year 2 years ahead of grade level in math, so if he finishes it 1 2/3 years ahead…well, I think he’ll be fine.

So here’s our updated curricula:

  • Math – Singapore Math 3A, followed by flashcards/worksheets/computer games to solidify facts, then moving into 3B when he’s ready
  • Spelling – we have started Megawords 1 and will be learning rules of syllabication, this will probably last us the rest of the year
  • History – still Story of the World 3, no changes there
  • Science – we finished The Elements and are now using living books about chemistry and watching videos from The Happy Scientist website, and in the spring we’re going to do a science project
  • Language Arts – still plugging away with MCT Island level, we find it to be a great program
  • Logic – he finished the Mindbenders logic puzzles book and has moved into a Critical Thinking Academy brain teasers book

He still goes to the public school one day a week for their gifted pull-out class.  And we are still doing piano lessons, martial arts, and painting, and we have added scheduled ‘outside time’ and home ec projects as well.  Home ec has been fun – often we do a cleaning project, but sometimes we cook something, or repair something, or work in the yard or garden…mostly just whatever needs to be done around the house.  I think it is good experience for him to see what is involved with keeping a household running.  As he gets a bit older and has more of an allowance to work with, I plan to add budgeting as part of home ec as well.  Right now he only gets $2 a week for chores; it is hard to budget when he doesn’t even have enough to buy a Happy Meal each week, lol!


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Free GoGurt!

Posted on July 2, 2010. Filed under: Coupons, Freebies, kids, Money | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

Yup, another freebie from MyBlogSpark!  This time they teamed up with Yoplait to give offer a free trial of Simply…GoGurt.  They actually sent me the package some time ago, but y’all know I am super frugal so I waited until the GoGurt was buy one, get one free at Publix (my favorite grocery store).  That way I was able to get 2 free boxes with one free product coupon.

So my son tried the Simply…GoGurt yesterday.  He loves it!  I had to institute a rule that he can only have one a day, or he would have eaten them all.  It is quite convenient too – it comes in tubes, like the plastic tubes of icy pops, you know, the ones that are basically frozen juice mixed with sugar water a food coloring.  Simply…GoGurt is definitely healthier, and just as easy to transport.  It can be frozen too, to make your own frozen yogurt treats for a hot summer afternoon.

Remember, the Simply…GoGurt is a different product than the regular GoGurt.  It is made with milk from cows that have not been treated with rBST/rBGH (hormones), no aspartame or other artificial sweeteners, and no corn syrup, high fructose or otherwise.  It uses vegetable juice to add coloring instead of artificial dyes.

Yoplait is offering coupons for readers who want to try Simply…GoGurt.  Click through and get your coupons here.

We will be keeping this one in stock at our house.  😉

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I Heart Publix

Posted on April 12, 2010. Filed under: Coupons, Daily life, Money | Tags: , , , , , , |

My favorite money saving site, I Heart Publix, is one year old this week!!!

If you haven’t checked out this site yet, and you live in an area with a Publix, you should absolutely pop in for a visit.  Michelle puts up a sneak peek at the weekly Publix ad on Mondays with corresponding coupons listed for each sale item – so you can start gathering your coupons and planning your meals for the next week way early.  This has simplified my life in many ways, plus saved me a ton of money.  And as part of the birthday celebration, she is giving away some awesome stuff – today it is a $50 Amazon gift card!  Thanks Michelle, and happy birthday!

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Adventures in Grocery Shopping

Posted on August 22, 2009. Filed under: Coupons, Daily life, Money | Tags: , , , , , , , |

I have recently started couponing to try to save money on groceries.  It is actually tougher than I thought it would be, because to get the best deals you have to really watch sales and combine them with coupons.  I am starting to get the hang of it though – I actually saved more than I spent this week.  I got a little over $130 in groceries for $65.06!  I didn’t buy any meat this week since we are pretty well stocked there, but I did buy a lot of produce and filled out the snack drawer, and the rice and canned goods.  I have been following several couponing blogs for tips to help get started – my favorites are I Heart Publix, Money Saving Mom, and Thrifty Florida Mama.  None are in my area, so the deals are a little different, and two of the three aren’t in Florida and have posts about grocery stores I have never even heard of, but they still have a lot of good info and links to printable coupons.  So for anyone who needs (or just wants) to save money and has about an hour a week to spend on meal and grocery trip planning, these websites will help you get started!

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Betty Crocker magazine cover

Posted on August 9, 2009. Filed under: Daily life, Money, Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , |

I got to vote on another Betty Crocker magazine cover yesterday – this one was for the Christmas cookie edition that will come out in November.  They had some awesome looking cookies, and the information pack they sent along with the potential covers talked about some truly yummy sounding recipes.  None of them waistline friendly, of course, but we are talking about Christmas cookies here.  And brownies.  They had a best of brownie recipe section too.  I love brownies.  Yummmmmm….sorry, I got distracted.  Anyway, here is the cover I voted for:


Pretty, huh?  Keep an eye out for this magazine in a few months!

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Adventures in Making Jam

Posted on May 8, 2009. Filed under: Money, Recipes | Tags: , , |

A friend recently gave me some fresh produce that I haven’t been able to use all of, and the fruit was getting quite ripe.  I was wondering what to do with it, since my diet limits my fruit intake, and my little guy has been under the weather and so hasn’t been eating much.  I didn’t want it to go to waste – a part of my new budget mindedness is using everything we have in a timely fashion, thereby not wasting money on things we buy but don’t use.  Just because I didn’t buy this fruit is no reason to let it be wasted!

So I hit the internet for inspiration (of course), and found a great recipe for a small batch of jam!  I am currently cooking down my 1 1/2 ripe mangos, plus a small can of pineapple chunks for a little extra flavor, honey, a small pat of butter, and a little lemon juice.  If it turns out well I’ll post the exact recipe.  It is smelling pretty good so far, so I’m hopeful!  🙂

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Adventures in Budgeting

Posted on March 17, 2009. Filed under: Daily life, Money, Weight loss | Tags: , , , , , , |

Everyone is  trying to cut back these days.  Everywhere we turn we hear more gloom and doom about the economy, especially the stock market.  We’re all tightening our belts, and my house is no exception.  We started this process by cutting down or out miscellaneous spending and trips, staying with family for the trips we do take, and skipping the restaurants in favor of home cooked meals.  When our budget remained a bit tight, we added scheduling drives into town (we live about 15 miles out) so we could get things done with minimal use of gas, and we started a garden (yes, it is done now – I’ll post more on that later), and I turned into the electricity nazi (“TURN OFF the light when you leave the room!”).  We’re doing fine at this point, but I have sort of gotten into the spirit of things, so we are trying an experiment based on the 30 Days, $30 experiment by the author of the blog Less Is Enough.

After discussion with dear hubby, we decided $1 per day per person was not practical for our family.  For one thing, my husband eats more than $1 worth of food every day no matter how cheap the food is.  For another we have a 5 year old who needs balanced nutrition.  So we have decided to plan as low budget meals as humanly possible and to use what we already have in the pantry as often as humanly possible (our natural tendency is to keep an overstocked pantry, most of which never gets used) and to keep track of every single food purchase to come up with a realistic weekly budget.  We just started this past weekend, so we don’t have a lot of data yet, but by the end of the month we should have a rough idea of how much it will take to feed us.  This is, unfortunately, going to impact my weight loss efforts.  I have been eating meal replacements from my doctor’s office, but in the budget cuts those went away.  I am going to continue my diet preparing my own foods in the appropriate proportions, so hopefully I will still reach my goal by then end of April as planned.  I’ll post more on that later too.

Anyway, in my efforts to be both frugal and healthy I have been searching the net for tips and articles, and this is one of the best I found.  It is from the blog Divine Caroline, which I had never heard of before today, but I will certainly be visiting again.

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Playing with Money

Posted on March 5, 2009. Filed under: Money | Tags: , , |

I love the stock market.  All the ups and downs, wild excitement, gambling with huge amounts of money – it’s great.  Unfortunately, I don’t have huge amounts of money, or even small amounts, to spend on such a risky business.  Thankfully I found UpDown.  It is a site that gives you a pretend portfolio of $1million to invest, and it keeps track of real time stock prices so you can see how you would be doing if it was real money – for free.  They pay dividends when the stocks pay dividends, they charge a fee per trade, the whole bit.  And if you beat the market, you actually earn a little cash.  Now, I beat the market by about 5% this month, and I only earned $.01, so you’re not going to get rich doing this, even if you are crazy good at it, but it is still fun.  So if you are like me and enjoy playing with money but can’t afford to do it for real, go try it!

Practice invest

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