Celebrating the Holy Days on a Budget

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“Creating the best memories requires no money.”

~ Charlie Lee Austin

 

It is that beautiful time of year again when we celebrate Advent, the time we prepare our hearts and minds for the birth of Jesus.

Raising a family of 6 on a budget, I understand the stress that Christmas can create, a time when we feel the need to overdo everything, gifts, parties, meals, decorations…….but all of this costs money and can distract from the real reason of the season.

I have written a book that lists many of the ways my family has celebrated the hoidays while living on a tight budget –  Frugal Seeds 101 Ways to Celebrate the Holiday Season on a Budget.  It can be read FREE with KindleUnlimited and is available on Amazon in e-book and  paperback.

I would be humbled if you would take a moment to check it out, thank you.

 

~ Wishing all of you a very blessed Advent Season.

 

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summer fun with kids

action beach boy child

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As many of you know I have written a book call Frugal Seeds  Summer Edition:  101 Ways to Enjoy Summer with Your Kids for Little Money.

This is can be read FREE at Amazon with KindleUnlimited or you can purchase the e-book for 99 cents.

From my family to yours……….wishing you a summer filled with blessed memories.

“Summer time is the best of what might be.” ~ Charles Bowden

 

summer edition

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I am excited to announce that we have another book available on Amazon, Frugal Seeds Summer Edition, 101 Ways to Enjoy Summer with Your Kids for Little Money.  This was a true labor of love as the ideas inside this e-book are how I have enjoyed summer with my kids through the years.

I would be humbled if you would check it out.  Free to read with KindleUnlimited and 99 cents to download.

frugal seeds

 

 

person holding a green plant

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The title of my blog gives away the fact that I live with at least one chronic illness.  Now, I don’t want to brag, but I actually live with several, and as interesting as it sounds, it is not a whole lot of fun.  Unfortunately I am not the only one in my family who lives with such a burden.  Every person in my immediate family lives with at least one chronic illness.

As a result of all of our medical bills, we have learned to live on a tight budget.  Over the years I have had to learn to be frugal and about 6 months ago I decided to put some of  my frugal ways into a book,  Frugal Seeds: 501 Ways to Make, Save or Stretch a Dollar.  It is now available in both paperback and e-book on Amazon.  The entire book can be read for FREE with an Amazon Kindle Unlimited membership.

You will notice it is written under a pen name.  This has been done as I working on additional books and I am determined to keep the lives of my children private.  Thank you for understanding.

 

 

free activities for adults

national museum of anthropology building

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Now that it is summer (and I am way late posting this), there are so many free activities taking place around the country.  Just in my small mid-west town we have a free concert series, library summer reading programs, free movies once a week and free lunches every weekday for anyone who is hungry.  So check out what is available in your location………you might be amazed how many free activities are available to you and your family and the free choices can be just as fun as the ones that cost money – without the guilt.

Below is a list of some free activities for adults:

 

Free admission into National Parks

https://www.nps.gov/planyourvisit/fee-free-parks.htm

 

Free admission into museums with Bank of America credit card or

https://about.bankofamerica.com/en-us/what-guides-us/arts-and-culture.html#fbid=WooO27LGd7d/hashlink=museums-on-us

 

Free classes for adults at home depot………yes, they offer free kid classes too

https://www.homedepot.com/workshops/#change_store

 

Free fishing days

https://www.takemefishing.org/how-to-fish/how-to-catch-fish/free-fishing-days-2018/

 

Geocaching

https://www.geocaching.com

 

Places you can volunteer

https://www.volunteermatch.org/

 

Free music app………..makes doing something not-so-fun, more fun with a personalized playlist

https://www.spotify.com/us/

 

Whole foods offers free classes in some locations

https://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/events

 

Some Williams Sonoma stores offer free classes

https://www.williams-sonoma.com/pages/store-events/store-events.html

 

I have written a book, Frugal Seeds 101 Ways to Make, Save or Stretch a Dollar.  I would be thankful if you would take a moment to check it out.  Thank you.

celebrate your day with freebies

 

purple and red balloons

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Here is a list of stuff you can get free on your birthday……….and in case you missed it, check out free food you can also receive on your big day!

 

Acme Comedy Company – free tickets

 

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema – free movie ticket

 

AMC – free gift

 

American Eagle – 15% off coupon

 

Anthropologie – birthday discount

 

Banana Republic – birthday gift (possible coupon)

 

Bare Minerals – free gift

 

Captain Dizzy – free car wash

 

Colombia – free birthday gift & welcome gift

 

Container Store – free birthday & anniversary gifts

 

CVS – special offer on birthday month

 

DSW – $5.00 off

 

Famous Footwear – $10 off

 

Fresh – free gift

 

Harkins Theater – free $5.00 for concessions

 

House of Comedy – free ticket

 

J Crew – 20% off & free shipping on your birthday

 

Kohl’s – free gift

 

Lancome – special gift

 

Office Depot – special birthday offer

 

Old Navy – free gift

 

Out of Africa – free park admission

 

Payless – special birthday offer

 

Redbox – one free night rental

 

Sephora – free gift

 

Ulta Beauty – free gift

 

World Market – free surprise

 

Happy celebrating!

 

~ wendi, pen name Charlie, is the author of Frugal Seeds: 501 Ways to Make, Save or Stretch a Dollar.

resources available from a small town library

 

bookcase books bookshelves hallway

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Here is a list of FREE things currently available from my Midwest small town library.  I have wanted to do a post on all the free stuff that is available to you at your local library as I believe it is an underutilized community resource, especially for those of us living on a limited budget.  Although I knew my small library had a lot to offer, doing research for this blog, I discovered even more resources……….so I encourage you to check out what your local library has to offer you!

FREE resources:

Museum passes

Books

DVDs

CDs

Audiobooks

Magazines

Newspapers

Free rooms that you can reserve for studying or meetings (has computer, white board, and markers)

WiFi

Charging stations for electronics

Links to two local newspapers through their website

E-books

Hoopla – movie, documentaries, TV shows, audiobooks, comic books and ebooks

Play-a-ways

Xbox & Wii games

Portable internet tablets that can checked out and used inside library

Faxing

Notary Public

Cynoculars – can be checked out for home use

Portable recharger – can be checked out for home use

WiFi hotspot – to check out for home use

Computer Lab

Monthly book club – adults

Monthly book club – homeschool grade school

Needle art group

Knitting group

Crocheting group

Ukulele classes

Paws to read – kids read to therapy dogs to increase reading skills

Story time for babies

Story time for toddlers

Saturday  crafternoons  – drop in crafts for school aged kids

Weekly teen classes

OverDrive – audiobook and book downloads

My  library rewards – receive points for checking out items and earn free food, classes and museum passes from the surrounding communities

RB digital – free e-magazines

Tumble book of the day – animated audio kids’ books

eSebco database – digital nonfiction childrens’ books

MyON books – digital childrens’ books

Exam proctoring

Genealogy room – Librarian to assist with your research needs

Childrens’ area – w/books, tables, computers and lego play area

Teen area – booths, tables, books, board games, coloring sheets

Inter-library loans

Bookmarks

Community events information

Paper recycling

Please take some time to see what your library has to offer you……..

~ wendi, under the pen name Charlie, is the author of The Frugal Seeds: 501 Ways to Save, Stretch or Make a Dollar.

 

 

 

Until next time….

learning for free

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Being chronically ill I spend a lot of time in bed or resting on the sofa.  If you are anything like me you have also accomplished two things through rest: One,  found the end of the internet, and two, watched more Netflix then you ever thought possible.

There are moments during my day when I feel as if I am wasting my time just watching tv.  Granted, there are days that I am doing my best just to focus on a show, but other days I know I could push myself to do a bit more.  So, I started brain storming ways I could use this time to expand my horizons beyond the four walls of my home.  So I started researching things I could reasonably do from home on a (very small) budget.

I first compiled a list of sites that offer free books so I could spend more time reading with no extra cost to me, unless I needed to print the book out for easier viewing.  Still a huge bargain on my part  (and no late fees from the library).

I then thought about taking a class as I have always loved to learn.  But, at this time in my life I am not able to consistently attend a class in a college setting.  So, I started searching for on-line classes and found that there are TONS of free college and continuing education classes available at our fingertips.  Below is a list of places that offer free classes to anyone willing to sign-up.

Happy learning!

 

https://www.coursera.org/

https://www.khanacademy.org/

http://www.openculture.com/freeonlinecourses

https://www.edx.org/

http://academicearth.org/

https://alison.com/

https://www.class-central.com/university/stanford

https://www.edx.org/school/harvardx

https://oyc.yale.edu/

https://www.class-central.com/university/berkeley

http://oli.cmu.edu/learn-with-oli/see-all-oli-courses

https://ocw.mit.edu/about/

https://www.codecademy.com/

https://www.memrise.com/

https://mises.org/mises-academy

https://courses.fee.org/collections

https://christianuniversity.org/courses/api/grid/post_type/courses/sort%5Bcourse_number%5D/ASC/

https://www.open2study.com/

http://oedb.org/open/

http://mooc.org/

https://www.futurelearn.com/

https://thegymnasium.com/

https://www.saylor.org/about/

http://www.bolc.co.uk/free-online-courses-with-certificate

 

Wendi, under the pen name Charlie, is the author of Frugal Seeds: 101 Ways to Make, Save or Stretch a Dollar.  I would greatly appreciate it if you would take a moment to check it out.  Thank you.

Free Reading Sites

books stack old antique

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Those of us who are chronically ill tend to spend our free time participating in less physical activities such as reading.  Since most of us are on a budget due to those endless medical bills, I have done my best to compile a list of websites that offers free reading material.  It is my hope that this list will be beneficial to even the biggest bibliophile.  Happy exploring!

 

https://www.goodreads.com/shelf/show/free-online

http://en.childrenslibrary.org/

http://rivetedlit.com/

http://www.readprint.com/

http://www.gutenberg.org/wiki/Main_Page

https://www.wattpad.com/

https://www.fanfiction.net/

https://www.bookrix.com/books.html

http://www.read.gov/books/

https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Main_Page

http://www.openculture.com/free_ebooks

http://manybooks.net/

http://www.online-literature.com/author_index.php

http://freecomputerbooks.com/

https://librivox.org/

http://www.authorama.com/

https://archive.org/details/texts

https://www.questia.com/library/free-books

https://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Main_Page

http://www.bibliomania.com/

https://openlibrary.org/

http://www.sacred-texts.com/

https://www.free-ebooks.net/

http://digital.library.upenn.edu/books/

https://www.smashwords.com/books/category/1/newest/0/free/any

https://mises.org/wire/ten-books-read-free

https://fee.org/books

wendi, under the pen name Charlie, is the author of Frugal Seeds: 101 Ways to Make, Save or Stretch a Dollar.  I would appreciate you taking a moment to check it out.  Thank you.