Living on a budget

I have been a stay at home mom for eleven years now and my husband has been disabled for almost two. Trust me when I tell you that we can make a dollar stretch a long, long way. Lol

The way we have done this is by listing all of our bills so that there are fewer surprises. I love Google Sheets because I can start on my tablet and edit from my phone or vice versa. An added bonus is that it’s free! This step may take a little bit to fine tune because you’ll need to average some things, like your utility bills.


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Another thing is my husband buys discounted meats at our local grocery store. They’re not out of date or anything, they’re just close. If we won’t use them that day then we toss them in the freezer. We have eaten steak for $2/lb this way.

We buy online when we can. We have Amazon Prime so we get free shipping. That means we don’t use gas and we don’t have to load and unload three kids. Win-win!

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I earn a little extra money doing surveys and reading emails from Inbox Dollars. It’s not a fortune, but $35 every couple of months adds up.

My favorite way to earn extra money is through Ebates. I don’t buy anything without searching for it through their database. I got $40 back Christmas shopping last year!


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So $75 every couple of months may not pay your bills, but it will buy extras you want that you couldn’t afford otherwise.

We also save money by using Cricket Wireless for our cell phones. We have three phones with unlimited everything for $90. We have been with them for nearly three years now and have never had any problems. I highly recommend them! I’m not being paid by them to tell you how much I love them. Lol

What are some of your favorite ways to budget and save money?

Homeschooling: What you need to know in Alabama

According to Homeschool Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), Alabama is a moderately easy state to homeschool in. Basically, all that you are required to do is join a church/cover school when your child turns six. That cover school then reports to your local superintendent that your child is enrolled in their school and you’re good for that school year.


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So, how do you choose a cover school? Personally, I prefer an inexpensive cover school with limited regulations. I chose New Hope Academy for these reasons. There’s a cover school in my small town, but they want $200, to approve your curriculum, and a detailed spreadsheet on how many times your child went to the bathroom. Okay, that last part is an exaggeration, but the list is still extensive. My children are my own and I am responsible for them in every aspect of their lives until they turn 18. I don’t need to pay someone to be in our business 24/7, that’s ridiculous to me. If you like structure then maybe it would be okay for you, I don’t know. That’s for you and your family to decide.


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If you don’t want to do a cover school then you can simply do public school at home. It’s not homeschooling, it’s just public school without 30 other kids influencing your child. You still have the same curriculum and such as the schools and often it’s free. Do your own research to see if it’s a good fit for your family. You can do that here.

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If you have any questions please email me, I am always happy to help! You can also comment below and I will assist you from there. Thank you for reading!

Knitting: What you need to get started

The great thing about knitting is that you don’t have to use a pattern. You can just start knitting. This guide is for us rebels who just want to get started.

First, check your yarn for what size knitting needles are recommended. That’s the X in the picture below. You can use a different size, but I tend to follow the recommendation when I’m free-handing it. Lol This includes length. You don’t want to use short, straight needles if you’re making a blanket (or a shawl 🙋) and you don’t need a 60″ circular needle to make a dish cloth.

Now you need to look at your yarn again for how many yards are there. You may need to look for a chart on Pinterest to see how many yards you need for what you’re making. You don’t want to be in the middle of a blanket and run out. Unless your yarn doesn’t have a dye lot number. Then you can just buy more and continue. If there’s a dye lot that means there could be variations from one skein of yarn to the next. Not something you want to risk.

Jerry Brown Arts Festival

My family and I went to the sixteenth annual Jerry Brown Arts Festival in Hamilton, Alabama last Sunday (March 4, 2018). It was amazing! Jerry Brown was a famous potter who has pottery on display at The Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. He was the only potter east of the Mississippi to use a mule to turn his pottery wheel!

One of my favorite vendors was George Jones, Jr. who hand makes old fashioned brooms. He grows many of the materials himself and they are gorgeous! You can find him on Google and YouTube.

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My second favorite was Rock’n Silver. The necklace above of the tree was made by Mary and/or Linda Rogers (I’m sorry I didn’t ask who made it). It is made of silver and malachite. It is gorgeous in person and makes me think of my family tree with it’s roots and many leaves. It is my favorite piece of jewelry as it goes with everything and I love that it was handcrafted here in Alabama.

My second purchase was two soaps from The Vintage Soap Wagon. I bought the Tobacco & Bay Leaf and Rose Bouquet. I assure you that the first smells like a nice cologne and not like cigarettes. I’ve been using it myself all week and I love how it lathers and the scent lingers.


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There are a lot of very talented people here in Alabama and it was wonderful meeting some of them. Next year I know to bring more money because I could easily buy something from every booth knowing it is good quality and hand made locally.

Genealogy meets home design

I have always been a huge fan of Lucille Ball. I grew up watching reruns of I Love Lucy and The Lucy show. My biological maternal grandfather’s family is from Jamestown, N.Y. (her hometown) so I was secretly hoping that there was a connection there, but there wasn’t one.

Imagine my surprise when I discovered that we are distantly related on my biological father’s side! It made my week, I won’t lie. So now I’m wanting to start collecting things with her on it. I’m not a big collector normally because I hate clutter, but I’m having to get over that with three kids.


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I’m thinking about making my kitchen/dining room into a 1950s style and decorating it with Lucy memorabilia. That way it all ties in.

Are you related to anyone famous? Who or who would you like to be related to? Comment below!

Real life Design on a Dime

My husband and I bought a used trailer in 2016, about four months before I had our last baby. It was remodeled, but we despise carpet so we knew that was going to have to go right away. With three kids, four (then) dogs, and four cats carpet is awful. I have been dragging my feet on budgeting to replace it because what I really wanted (tile that looks like wood) would be super expensive. Our home is 1,180 sq ft. Multiply that by almost $4/sq ft and a single income family will have to stop eating for a while to cover it. Lol

So my husband started watching Craigslist and Facebook groups. He found a warehouse in Double Springs, AL that is super reasonable. We bought laminate flooring for .40/sq ft! Then we got new linoleum for the bathroom for .30/sq ft. You can’t beat that for new flooring! We have a friend who volunteered to put it down for us because my dh is disabled.

Since we saved so much money on flooring we decided to buy copper-looking fixtures for the kitchen and both bathrooms. Y’all, this manufactured home is going to look like a high end mansion once we’re done!


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I promise I’m not trying to brag. My point is if you look around you can find good deals to make your home look the way you want it. Even on a tight budget. Just choose one thing and go from there until you’re happy.

Why you can homeschool

I have seen a lot of people lately saying that they wish they could homeschool, but can’t for whatever reason. Many think they have to dedicate eight hours a day (you don’t), spend a fortune on curriculum (you don’t), or that they’re not smart enough (you probably are a lot smarter than you give yourself credit for!). Today I want to encourage you to consider homeschooling.

1) “I don’t have enough time.” We actually don’t have a set schedule for learning, we’re more free-range. Our kids learn to read, write, add, subtract, etc by doing it when they need it. For example, my ten year old loves YouTube. If he wants to watch a video then he has to type it in and search for it on his own. History and science is generally taught on field trips or spending time outside. If I have to I will print worksheets.

2) “It’s too expensive.” Lots of homeschoolers are single income families so budgets are tight. We buy used curriculum occasionally, but most of the time we go outside or use free worksheets like I said above. I pay $2.95 a month and HP sends me ink when I start getting low. I love it!

3) “I’m not smart enough.” If you graduated from high school then you can teach your children through high school. If something doesn’t make sense to you then research it until it does. You will learn more teaching your children than you probably learned in school.


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What’s holding you back? What are some reasons you have heard?