The week after Christmas and the week after New Years are the best time to buy your wrapping paper and Christmas cards for next year. Next year will come, so why not save money and be prepared?
If you still have money left, sometimes you can get awesome deals on non perishable gifts that may be marked down as much as ninety percent. One year my teenage daughter went to the store for a Russian Christmas gift, she ended up getting a present of bath stuff for every woman on her list. She paid only ten percent of the retail price. A thirty dollar item cost her three dollars that is why she could get so many gifts.
Get a bin to keep them neat until Christmas comes again, which is sooner than you think. You should probably wait until at least October to wrap them so they look nice at Christmas. Ephesians 2:10 reads, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” If God takes time to be prepared, shouldn’t we?
Beware buyer! Don’t go overboard and buy more than usual or you won’t be saving money.
Merry Christmas and a happy New Year!
At the end of the school year, people that homeschool take all their relevant materials to their evaluator. The students get evaluated. The evaluations get turned into the school district.
Previously I left all the school materials sitting on the shelf, while waiting for the reply from the school district. Have they have approved the work that was done? The school district can challenge the evaluation if they desire, then you need proof of all your work.
New revelation: box the materials you are not going to take to the evaluators. As you are going through the schoolwork, select the materials for the evaluator. The rest of the papers and completed workbooks go into a box. Put the box away in a closet. As soon you receive the letter from the school district with their approval, throw away the box with all the schoolwork in it. This way you go through the materials once and once your evaluations are over, you are finished with the exception of throwing away the box. You can enjoy your summer without the job of sorting last school years papers hanging over your head.
Last winter I paid $10.00 for a bag of frozen blueberries. Because I did not get my kids and myself to the blueberry patch last summer, I had to pay ten dollars for berries! At the local patch where I usually pick, the blueberries are $1.10 per pound. A pound of blueberries is approximately a quart. I encourage everyone to get to your local growers this spring and summer to pick to your hearts content.
Try to harvest and preserve enough for one year. Blueberries are so easy to preserve. You pick the blueberries. You rinse the berries in cold water. You bag them in quart freezer bags and put them in the freezer.
In our area you can pick by yourself: blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, apples, cherries, and pumpkins. Explore what is available in your area and then bring in the harvest. Preserve the food and then give yourself a pat on the back for being prepared!!
Food picked fresh at a local grower whether you pick it yourself or they pick it for you is so much healthier for you. Picking food together as a family will draw your family closer together. Remind your children that we are doing this task together to be healthier, to save money, and to spend time together. Your kids may not appreciate it now, but someday they will. Proverbs 6:6-8 reads, “Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise, Which having no captain, Overseer or ruler, Provides her supplies in the summer, And gathers her food in the harvest.”
What is the least expensive way to make your favorite pickles? Do you have a favorite type of pickle; and you cannot replicate the taste in your homemade pickles? Do you have some room in your refrigerator for a bunch of pickles?
To make refrigerator pickles you make your own brine. You bring the brine to a boil and dip the slices of cucumber in the brine. Instead of making your own brine, take a jar of pickles in which you have eaten all the pickles but still have all the brine left. Cut up enough cucumbers to refill the jar. Be sure to use freshly harvested cucumbers that have not been dipped in wax. Make the pieces no bigger than 3/8 of an inch thick.
Bring the brine to a boil in a saucepan. Dip the pieces of cucumber in the boiling brine. Put the pieces in the now empty jar which will start to heat up the jar. When the jar is full of dipped pieces, pour the heated brine which should have boiled for about five minutes on top of the pieces of cucumbers. Replace the lid on the jar. Allow the pickles to cool to room temperature. Refrigerate them. In about two days, they should be ready to eat.
Now is the time of the greatest portion of the harvest. Tomatoes are ripe which can be made into stewed tomatoes, canned tomatoes, salsa, tomato sauce, and wimpie sauce. Apples are ripening which can be made into applesauce, canned apple rings, and schnitz(dried apples). Pears are ripening which can be canned in quarters, made into pear sauce or dried. Peppers can be made into pickled peppers as well as being a big part of salsa. Peppers can be frozen to be used in chili .
Break open a canning, cook book and see what looks interesting. Then go to your local grower or a farmer’s market and see what is available. The only way to find out if you are able to preserve food for the winter is to try. I taught a woman how to make salsa last year. When we were finished, she kept repeating,”I can make salsa!”
She has taken courses in college and traveled but she was still overjoyed that she could make salsa and can it for the winter. I have many rambunctious boys in my home so I hide my jars of canned food in cabinets, but many women display their hard work on a decorated shelf in the kitchen. Our usefulness to others increases our value to others and our own self-esteem. Preserve the plenty!!!
Just a reminder to watch amounts when you are doing the laundry, cleaning, showering, or doing the dishes. What do I mean? If you are showering just to cool off, time your shower and use a small amount of bar soap. If you are doing dishes and you had a salad instead of fried fish, put less dish soap on the sponge to clean the dishes. When you do the wash and it is only a small load, use less than the suggested portion of laundry soap.
Recently the maker of our fabric softener enlarged their cap. Why? I do not know. When you are accustomed to filling the cap halfway, you are likely to continue filling the cap halfway. Since the cap is larger, you will use more fabric softener. Be alert!
Donna Spudis, August 1, 2015