If you have been following my last few blog posts, then you are aware of my “Experiencing God Around the Kitchen Table” series based upon Marilyn Blackaby’s book. Today, I am going to share our recent discussion from chapter two, where we focused on frugal living. Inspired by the Blackaby’s faith in God to provide for them in their ministry, despite their meager beginnings, prompted me to host a “Coffee & Cost-Savings” session. The Blackaby’s trusted God through church changes, unexpected ministry changes and one of their children’s health challenges. There was also a very touching account of a missionary named Mary Slessor who despite her lack of financial funds adopted multiple twins because in the country she served, they were considered evil; therefore, in danger of being put to death. Can you imagine not only adopting one newborn, but two at the same time when you are not financially secure??? I can’t, BUT God can! And He did through this beautiful missionary. When I think about how skiddish I get in our day-to-day lives regarding finances, I am ashamed when I consider how people who leave all means of earthly financial security to serve our Lord.

The scripture I shared at the end of our session was from Malachi 3:10:

Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.

The whole reason any Christian should desire financial stability and success is so that they can liberally and freely contribute to the kingdom of God and further share the gospel message. As such, some of us shared some cost-savings tips, and I think you will really like them!

I kicked off the experiential part of our session with a demonstration of how to make laundry detergent. The cost savings can be up to .20 per load against leading brands of detergent. Here are the photos from my demonstration:

Secondly, Angie provided us two helpful documents. She could not be at our class that night, but sent them to me in advance to share with the others. One is a 5 page document of all kinds of money-saving tips that she uses. The second document is a spreadsheet to use for calculating you’re yearlong savings. Here they are:

Couponing Tips
Copy of Savings Spreadsheet Template

*Disclaimer: Angie did not create the worksheet. She downloaded it from a website that offered it freely, but she could not recall where it came from. So if anyone knows, please let me know so I can give them the credit.

The last experience of our “Experiencing God Around the Kitchen Table” session was a presentation of how one of my friends, April, shops Goodwill stores like a pro and makes out like a bandit!

Here are a couple of cute dresses that were a regular $7.49, but 1/2 off on Saturdays – WOW! April’s daughter likes to pull up the outfits she has pinned on Pinterest when doing her Goodwill shopping in order to find similar outfits – Great idea!

And look at these fabulous quilts made from quilt tops!

“The quilts are a passion of mine…the tops I get are the “un-finished” product of lots of hours of hard work…I get those sometimes for $6.99-$15.99…just depends on who is pricing them (I’m told)…I have a person that then puts them together for me…The bottom 3 in the picture are my “finds”…the other was a gift…made in 1938 (not a goodwill find)” ~April.

I believe April said that when her quilts are finished she has about $55 invested in each one. Aren’t they gorgeous? She showcases them in her home on an antique ladder. Love it!

Here are April’s other Goodwill shopping tips:

If you shop on the 1st Saturday of the month everything in the store is 1/2 off. Goodwill Specials Everyday: 50% off the Color of the Week

Here is a rundown for Goodwill’s weekly discounts:

1st Saturday of the Month*: 50% off everything!
Sundays: 99¢ clothing on the Color of the Week
Mondays: Receive $5 off for every $25 you spend**
Tuesdays: Receive two points for every $25 you spend when you use your MyGoodwillRewards card
Wednesdays: 99¢ clothing on the Color of the Week
Thursdays: Seniors 60 or older with a valid ID receive 20% off regular-priced items
Fridays: Receive two points for every $25 you spend when you use your MyGoodwillRewards card
Here’s what you need to know about our color-coded tags

Almost all of a store’s merchandise will have either a blue, yellow, orange, green or red tag, based on how long the item has been in the store. Check the Color of the Week signs so you’ll know what the discount is on the item.

My advice: If you find something that you like, buy it. It may not be here the next time you visit the store!

Discounts: Students, seniors 60 and over and all military (with valid ID) receive a 10% discount every day off regular-priced merchandise.

People go through three conversions: their head, their heart and their pocketbook. Unfortunately, not all at the same time. Martin Luther

To catch up with all of the great tips my women’s ministry is sharing, click on these links below:

Click this link for the “Around the Kitchen Table” series kick-off
Click this link for the “Around the Kitchen Table Food Tasting for Healthy Eating
Click this link for the “Around the Kitchen Table” Pinterest Boards

Gina Duke is the Director of Women’s Ministry at her church where she has implemented a Women’s Involvement Ministry, called “Joppa”. This project came from one of the many “Idea Starter” suggestions. Gina is an organizational leader imparting biblical and practical solutions for authentic Christian Living. She is the founder and president of Churchtown Ministries, and author of “Organizing Your Prayer Closet” (Abingdon Press). For more posts like these, go to GinaDuke.com or follow her board, “Joppa” on Pinterest – Gina Duke/ChurchtownMinistries. You can also follow her on Instagram and Twitter @TheGinaDuke

Click here to check out the other fabulous bloggers I like linking up with weekly!

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