It's a very common misconception that homeschoolers don't participate in the obligatory "back to school" shopping shenanigans that their traditional schooling counterparts do. In fact, it's quite the opposite, homeschoolers loooove shopping for pens and pencils and new clothes. Only, instead of buying button down shirts and khakis, we're buying new pajamas and slippers, because that's obviously what all homeschoolers wear, riiight?
Jokes aside, it is almost that time of year again and if you've got the shopping bug like me, may I suggest you check out Groupon Coupons before trudging into the store. Not only can Groupon Coupons save you money, they could quite possibly save your very sanity. *insert dramatic music here*
There are those who like to brave the crowds and enjoy the thrill of the hunt and to those people, I say: (slow clap) ... Way to go, you are the real MVPs, but for those who, like me, abhor the very idea of schlepping through all those people and all the unorganized chaos that once were nicely arranged shelves, say "hello" to free shipping and no lines from *a ton of your favorite stores. *Actual number of stores is closer to >125. "a ton" was just a guesstimation.
You can start your shopping journey at my favorite-place-to-blow-fifty-bucks-in-just-the-Dollar-spot-alone; Target, where you can score $5 off $50 as well as free shipping on all your favorite items for back-to-school. (obligatory Starbucks drink not available for online shopping, plan accordingly)
Does little Sally need a new backpack, maybe a new lunch box for little Johnny? No matter which item is at the top of your stereotypically-1955-era-named-kid's list, you will find it on Amazon.com. I bet they even have pajamas, if you look hard enough. (wink wink) For a limited time, you can save as much as 70% on electronics and more, clipping coupons and codes as you shop.
After Johnny and Sally get new backpacks and lunchboxes, it's off to the eye doctor for a check-up. You have to make sure they can see the board, so they can be at the top of their game academically. 1-800 contacts is offering an amazing deal, just in time for back to school; $40 off plus free shipping. *certain minimum spending requirements apply
Any good, self-respecting homeschooler knows, Barnes & Noble is where it's at, when it comes to books and educational games and resources. They even offer a 20% educator's discount, if you have proof of homeschooling and for a limited time, you can save 25% off Harry Potter paperbacks. Revisit your favorite childhood stories and introduce your kids to these classic tales. The only thing better than a Harry Potter book, is a 25% off Harry Potter book.
Where in the rule book does it say little Johnny and Susie should get all the goodies? Nowhere, that's where! While you're on your online shopping adventure, stop by Shari's Berries and order yourself a dozen gourmet fancy dipped strawberries for 25% off regular price. Shoot, you deserve it for all your hard work.
There's always so much cool stuff we want to do, trips we want to take, friends we want to visit, experiences we want to have, but life always seems to get in the way... but is it really "in the way"? What if, "life" is the big thing we are always looking forward to. What if the seemingly insignificant things we do on a daily basis are the cool things?
The trips to the library to drop off books, the trips to the store to grab bread and milk (and of course, bird seed, can't forget the birds), the endless loads of laundry you do on a daily basis or the countless number of meals you prepare in a week... what if all of those things are the "thing" you keep chasing?
Instead of always chasing down the next big "thing" (while life gets in the way), why not make the little things the big thing? Make the trip to the library an adventure, not just a chore.
On the way to the grocery store, take a second to talk to your kids. Ask them how their day is going. Tell them an embarrassing story about yourself as a child. Kids love to know you were once "human" too. It is possible to be a parent and a friend. Like everything in life, it's all about balance.
Get the kids involved in the mundane crap you have to do every day. Learning how to do a load of laundry or cook a simple grilled cheese sandwich is an invaluable lesson for them to learn. Remember, Dr. Phil says... "You're not raising children, you're raising adults." ... or at least, I think that was Dr. Phil... whatever, I digress.
Stop looking for happiness everywhere else and just make it yourself. Yep, kinda like magic. It is all around you, you just have to look for it. Once your expectations change, your outlook will follow.
Nowadays we are so bombarded by images on social media showing us what all the "cool kids" are doing. What we should be eating or drinking or wearing, that we have really lost sight of what is really important... how we treat each other, how much time we spend with our loved ones, and of course, how much fun we have.
Stop judging yourself against others and just do you! Do what makes your heart happy and give the other crap a huge "one finger salute". Stop chasing that vacation in the mountains (or don't, you still need goals) and enjoy your life in the burbs; set up the pool noodle sprinkler in the back yard and throw on an old Tshirt and just go for it.
Make all the memories, laugh all the laughs, splash all the puddles and just enjoy your life. We can't all be Kardashians, there have to be a few Dan and Roseannes in the group for it to work.
DISCLAIMER: This post is sponsored by the Barnes & Noble MasterCard, powered by Barclaycard. All opinions are my own.
The last couple of months have been full of some amazing new milestones. My "baby" turned five, my husband and I celebrated fifteen years together and my only daughter graduated high school and recently started college.
At first, things were going really well. We got her moved in, no problem. Her room mate is really cool, she loves her classes, her rug looks amazing with her comforter and she is already familiar with where each of her classes is located.
Everything was going swimmingly, until I talked to her about a week ago and she tells me she still doesn't have a few books she needs. Books?! Dang it!!! We thought of everything else, but we forgot books. We even remembered toilet paper and band aids. How did we forget books?!
What could have been a huge disaster (like a college kid four hours away from home with no money or car, huge), luckily was not, thanks to Barnes & Noble. Of course you know Barnes & Noble has all the newest books, but did you also know they carry new and used school textbooks?
After getting some info on the book she needed, I looked it up on the Barnes & Noble site and sure enough they had it and it was about $30 cheaper than anywhere else I found. I ordered the book, had it sent directly to her dorm room and it was there in a matter of days. Tragedy averted.
While I was able to save the day this time, what if wasn't a book she needed? What if it was something really serious? What would she have done? What would we have done? With her being four hours away, I will always have fears, but there are a few steps we can take to make sure she has a back-up plan, next time. Say "hello" to my back-up plan.... The Barnes & Noble Mastercard.
The Barnes & Noble MasterCard is a great credit card for parents and college students purchasing textbooks and supplies during the back-to-school season (and beyond). You will get 5% back when you use your Barnes & Noble MasterCard to buy school supplies and textbooks at any Barnes & Noble store, BN.com and at campus Barnes & Noble bookstores.
That 5% at back-to-school time can really add up. A recent study by the College Board shows the average cost for books and supplies last year was $1,225 at public colleges and $1,244 at private colleges. Using the Barnes & Noble MasterCard for those purchases at campus Barnes & Noble bookstores or at BN.com could give you an immediate $60 savings.
You will also receive a $25 Barnes & Noble gift card after your first purchase with the card and you will receive an additional $25 Barnes & Noble gift card every time you reach 2,500 points. (1 point = $1 spent) The best thing, in my opinion: there is no annual fee for the Barnes & Noble MasterCard. So you can use it if you need it, if not, just forget you have it. No worries.
While letting go of your favorite (only) daughter is never easy, you can ease your mind, knowing she has a back-up plan, in case of emergencies... and no, Kaylee, Dunkin Donuts is NOT an emergency.
DISCLAIMER: A huge "thank you" to the nice folks at Aldi for sponsoring today's post.
Providing good, healthy food for your family should not cost a small fortune, but unfortunately, for many families, it does. I saw a meme on Facebook a few days ago; it was a picture of a fast food burger, a soda, a bottle of water and a salad. Below each picture was the average price to purchase each item and of course, the soda and burger were about half as expensive as the salad and water. Making healthy food choices should not be this hard.
Since children model what they see, we have been making more of a concerted effort to eat more healthy foods and keep healthy snacks on hand and I have to admit, it can be rather costly, if you don't know a few tricks.
Most bloggers will tell you to get out your scissors and weekly paper and start clipping, not me. I am not a fan of coupons, because most of them are for foods we will never eat. Give me a coupon for fresh veggies and fruit, now, that, I can use! Since coupons are not an option, I had to get creative and think outside the box... store that is.
Summer break is definitely in full effect! If your family is like mine, you're probably being inundated with complaints of boredom and/or constant hunger, which is another whole different problem all its own. For a few tips on feeding your brood, check out my post, 6 tips for saving $ on your grocery budget during summer break.
Unfortunately, feeding them isn't enough, they will also want to be entertained, so here are a few family friendly, fun ideas to help keep your little angels busy and yourself relatively sane, until school starts back.
DISCLAIMER: This is a sponsored post, written by me, on behalf of American Home Shield.
Oh, the weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful. With Jack Frost eagerly nipping at your nose, and many weeks of cold weather still left to bear, one might think it's all just a little too much. Never fear! Before you get all stabby, grab a warm, fuzzy blanket and check out these simple and informative home heating tips fromAmerican Home Shield and home improvement expert, David Leon.
When you own a home, you know that things are going to break down – but when it happens, do you know who you’ll call or what you’ll do? A home warranty is a great way to protect your budget against costly repairs, and save yourself the time and hassle of finding a qualified professional to get major systems and appliances up and running again.
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