How to Save on Gas with Kroger Fuel Points (WITHOUT shopping at Kroger!)

How to Save on Gas with Kroger Fuel Points (WITHOUT shopping at Kroger!)

The cost of fuel is one of those expenses that is hardest for me to predict when I write out our monthly budget. Every choice we make to leave the house, take a trip, or fill up the tank affects our bottom line. We do several things to cut our expenditures in this category. Those things include: hypermiling to reduce our consumption planning errands like the UPS guys do (right turns, people!) using the Gas Buddy app to find the cheapest gas in our area (and predict rises and falls in prices) A lot of the time — in our town at least — the Read More

If I Could Do My Wedding Over Again ~ Our Cozy Den

If I Could Do My Wedding Over Again 👰🏻💍👱🏼

My handsome hubby and I are coming up on our 12th anniversary next month. A dozen years, wow! Recently, we’ve been spending a lot of time with young engaged couples, and they have eagerly asked our advice — not just for marriage — but also for the wedding itself. I’ve had a lot of thoughts rummaging around in my head, thinking about what we did back then that I would change, if I knew then what I know now. So I thought it would be fun to write about what I would do differently if I could do the wedding over again, and tell my Read More

The NO-PLAN Plan for Middle School Science

The NO-PLAN Plan for Middle School Science

This school year is the first time since I started homeschooling that I have FOUR kids in FOUR different grades… and on top of that I now have a middle schooler, as Connor has entered 6th grade (gulp!) Lemme tell ya, it’s not easy to homeschool a 6th grader and a kindergartener at the same time and feel like they are both getting challenged! So this year I decided to do something a little different in Science. Usually, science is a subject that I teach all of the kids together — what I call Group Subjects. We also have Independent Subjects, which they each do Read More

Fancy Cakes {for dummies!} 🎂

Fancy Cakes {for dummies!} 🎂

You guys know that I’m pretty frugal. I do not like to spend a lot of money on big birthday parties with the full-on Pinterest-worthy theme. I think they are awesome, don’t get me wrong — it’s just not how I choose to spend my hard-earned cash. I do, however, want my kids to feel ✨special✨ on their big day. The way that I do this is by baking themed cakes. I started doing this when Connor turned one. With a few exceptions here and there (like the year the movers were actually packing up our house on Sophie’s birthday), each kid has gotten a Read More

How to Save Money on Homeschooling 📚💰 ~ Our Cozy Den

How to Save Money on Homeschooling 📚💰

Homeschooling can be expensive. When I was a kid, my aunt homeschooled my cousins, and there weren’t many curriculum options out there. Which also meant that families didn’t spend a ton of money. But today, there are literally thousands of homeschool curriculum options, and the money can fly out the window faster than you can count it. In my post about “10 Ways Homeschooling is Cheaper than Public School“, I mention that it’s not necessary to spend money on curriculum. There are TONS of ways to get free curriculum, and even more ways to cut costs on the things you do decide to purchase. Today, Read More

Our Trip to the Creation Museum 🚫🐒 & Ark Encounter 🚤 !

Our Trip to the Creation Museum 🚫🐒 & Ark Encounter 🚤 !

A few months ago, some friends of ours called and said they were planning a trip to the Creation Museum & Ark Encounter — and they wanted to know if we would join them. Um, YEAH we would! Ever since I heard about these places, it was on my list of things-to-see. I absolutely love museums, and we visited many in our travels — but often times I find myself telling the kids “This sign isn’t correct” or “Don’t listen to that video, that’s not right” — because they are presenting an alternate view of history than the one in which we believe. It can be very frustrating, to Read More

Best of Our Cozy Den!

✨Top Posts of February✨

I don’t know about you, but I am ready for March ☘, Spring 🌷, and sunshine☀️! February wasn’t really that bad, weather-wise, so I hope the worst is over and we can move along to warmer temperatures here in Ohio 🌡! Each month, I enjoy taking a peek at my blog stats and seeing which posts were most popular. Often, it surprises me which ones get a lot of shares & views and which don’t. 👀 Let’s take a look back at the TOP POSTS of February, in case there was something you missed! #5. Time & Money: Earning VS. Saving  #4. Why We ❤️ American Heritage Girls ✝️🇺🇸 #3. My Read More

Raising Princesses 👑 {& WIN tickets to see Beauty & the Beast!! 🌹}

Raising Princesses 👑 {& WIN tickets to see Beauty & the Beast!! 🌹}

*I want to preface this by saying that I understand that not everyone will agree with my parenting & religious views. That’s fine! If you don’t agree, just move along and please refrain from commenting.*  Any parent can tell you that raising daughters in today’s society is downright terrifying. The way that women are portrayed, marketed to, lied to, shamed… it’s hard to find your feet at all, let alone stand tall. Right now, my daughters are little — precious things only 9 and 6 years old. So I definitely don’t have it ‘all figured out’. But I did want to share some of the Read More

Why We LOVE Great Wolf Lodge (& how to save money on it) ~ Our Cozy Den

Why We Love Great Wolf Lodge {& how to save money on it!}

You probably know by now that my family is ALL about adventure. We love to get out and experience that big huge world out there. We’ve been to 25 countries so far, but we also love trips in our own back yard. One thing that is an absolute necessity for busy families — especially us homeschooling moms who literally work two jobs around the clock — is respite. Take. A. Break. Mom. For me, that’s what Great Wolf Lodge is. We take lots of great vacations… but even those are a lot of work! Plan the trip. Plan the transportation. Plan the meals. Plan the Read More