Wednesday, January 30, 2013


 Today I'd like to welcome Kristen from Joyfully Thriving as my guest blogger.  Thanks Kristen for your help while I'm  busy with moving.

Kristen writes about all things frugal (including free samples) at her website, Joyfully Thriving. A pastor's daughter who now teaches in a parochial school, she is well equipped in the art of thrifty living. Kristen writes to encourage others in their frugal journey so we may all thrive joyfully in the process! 

 There are many thrifty and frugal strategies that one can employ, but my favorite technique is one that anyone can quickly do. What is that, you ask? Request free samples. Take a look at what samples arrive in my mailbox on any given day.

Now, what samples, and where do you find them, and why should you? Let me give you my top five lists of all things relating to samples. Here are my top five reasons for signing up for samples.
  1. It’s nice to open my mailbox and receive something other than bills.
  2. It doesn’t take long to regularly see the results of my sample requests, as evidenced by my full mailbox.
  3. I like getting something for nothing.
  4. My travel bag is always lighter thanks to the little shampoo and conditioner samples.
  5. The coupons that come (most of the time) with the samples help round out my coupon box. I’m saving money by requesting samples!
I request many samples, but my favorite samples / freebies to request are as follows.
  1. Shampoo and conditioner. We all need to wash our hair so these samples will never go to waste.
  2. Laundry detergent. Nothing makes laundry easier than knowing you are washing your clothes with free detergent.
  3. Deodorant. These samples come in mini containers that are perfect for travel and last for at least a week - perfect for vacation time!
  4. Food samples. Why shouldn't we try new foods for free?
  5. Magazines. I haven't paid for them in years because free samples / trials abound with no risk and prompt delivery!
In my years of requesting samples, here are the top five things I’ve learned about samples.
  1. Always use a junk / spare email account when registering for samples. Most times, you won’t receive email but you don’t want it filling up your main email account.
  2. Don’t be disappointed if a specific sample doesn’t come. 9 times out of 10, my samples arrive but I don’t expect them until I see them in my mailbox.
  3. Request samples through reputable sites such as Freebies4Mom, Money Saving Mom, or the ones that I post at my site, Joyfully Thriving.
  4. Don’t spend lots of time searching for samples. When a good one comes along, sign up quickly and then go on your merry way.
  5. Have fun with the little frugal moments as well as the big!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

MOVING TIPS (part 3)

Here are just a few more trips to help make your move a little less stressful.

Relocation Reminders
(I have this in my moving binder.) 
 Change of address forms sent to post office.
Change of address to all subscribed papers and magazines
Transfer insurance policies or set up new ones before leaving.
Notify electric, water, gas and phone companies when to discontinue your service.
Children's school records
Doctor and Dental records

Pack a box with first arrival essentials.

(When our daughter went off to school , I told here she needed one of these boxes.  
She thought it was a bit silly, but thanked me for it later!)

 Light bulbs and flashlight 
 Medicine, Shampoo and soap
 Trash bag
 Toilet Paper 
Paper plates and cups along with plastic silverware
 Basic tools - hammer, pliers, screwdriver 
Paper towels and napkins
 First aid items 
 Make sure this box is in an area in the truck that will be taken off first, and placed in an area that is easily accessible.

(Here's my arrival box that I've started to pack.)

Monday, January 21, 2013


In my last post Tips For Moving   , I covered making a moving binder and packing essentials .  Today I'll be adding a few more tips.  We have always done all of our own moves, and never had the privilege of having professional movers do the job for us.  The tips I'm giving are what I've learned doing our own moves and could be different if you are dealing with a moving company.

3. Pack efficiently.

-Try to pack one room at a time placing items for the room in clearly marked boxes.  If you mix things from different rooms in one box it makes for mass confusion when unpacking.
-Make sure all the items you're packing are clean and or laundered.
-Place sheets for bedrooms in a dresser drawer .  This makes it easy to find the bedding when you are setting up the beds.  
-Use suitcases to pack extra clothing to save space.
-Fill every available space - we have packed clothing in our freezer.  Dishtowels in our microwave and light weight items in the washer and dryer.
- Do not pack items that are combustible.  If packing liquids such as laundry soap, place it in a plastic bag and then in a plastic tub with a lid.  If the liquid leaks it will not be running over all your other items in the moving truck.  When moving in the winter time and cold weather, I don't pack any of the liquid items just to avoid any items freezing.

4. Label Each Box Well

Place a label on each box and at the top of the label write which room it is for.
Under the room name include some of the main contents in the box,
marking fragile items clearly.  ( I mark FRAGILE in red).

-I used recipe cards and self stick labels for marking our boxes.

Thursday, January 17, 2013


Hi everyone! I'm planning to share a few post over the next few days on moving tips. My post may be a bit brief for a while because of being so busy with moving.

Tips For Moving

# 1  Create a moving binder.

Keep track of everything in a binder - moving costs, estimates and an inventory of your items.
Keep a log of transfer of records - school, dental, medical records, newspapers, magazine, change of address and change of email address.

#2 If you're doing your own packing, 
get the essential supplies. 

Collect boxes from grocery stores or buy them from a moving company or large stores such as Home Depot.   Mattress bags or boxes are a must to prevent damage to your mattress.

We have found these items to be essential along with many rolls of packing tape and paper.  We usually go to our local newspaper office and buy unprinted paper end rolls.  This works great for wrapping and does not give off ink like newspapers do.

Shrink wrap and bubble wrap are also two must haves. 

You can use this to wrap around mirrors, photos, and other delicate items.

Monday, January 14, 2013


 I know I've been MIA this past week, but it's been a bit busy here with packing in full bloom.  You might be wondering about the progress of our move.  I'm starting to feel like I'm drowning in a sea of cardboard boxes.  The parsonage isn't that large and with everything having to be placed in boxes, we are now walking through allies of boxes.

If you've ever done a large move across  the country yourself, you'll know what a HUGE and daunting chore it is.  First it's the going through and sorting of everything.  Then the endless yards of paper and wrapping of each item.  There are the many trips to the grocery stores for FREE moving boxes, and numerous trips to Goodwill to get rid of the stuff you've purged.

I feel like I'm living in limbo, our house doesn't feeling like home anymore.  Once the pictures come off the walls and curtains come down the house starts to have an empty feel to it.

I'm hoping to do a post (if I have time) on tips for moving. I think I've learned a few things along the way that are helpful, since this is our 13th move in 33years of marriage.  I'm also still looking for a few more people willing to do a guest post for me.  The post doesn't have to be a new post, you could share a post you've done on your blog already.  Please send me an email if your interested.




Saturday, January 5, 2013


Happy New Year everyone!   
I wanted to pop in quickly and let you know that I haven't forgotten about you completely.  There are many changes taking place here at Thrifty Parsonage Living.  In fact we have taken on a HUGE life changing project.

 My husband has had several inquires over the past months and now has received a call to serve as pastor to another church.


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