Every Some Mondays (heh!), I answer a few of the questions that my readers send me. If you have a question you’d like me to answer in a future Q&A post, just leave me a comment here or email me (thefrugalgirl [at] gmail [dot] com) and put Q&A in the subject line. I look forward to hearing from you!
I am curious about your take on the Capital One acquisition of ING DIRECT. I started an ING account this summer at your recommendation (remember the July 4 sale?), but Capital One isn’t exactly a name I associate with frugality.
Oooh, that’s a really good question.
I believe Capital One actually acquired ING back in February of this year, and I was bummed out when I heard the news. I’ve adored ING since they opened their virtual doors back in 2001, and I liked that they were a smaller, different company.
My past experience with mergers has been less than fabulous (Mr. FG’s last two companies were bought out, and things went really downhill after the mergers.), so I’m in a slightly suspicious wait and see mode right now.
Capital One has owned ING for a while, and I haven’t noticed any negative changes yet, but I’ll be on the lookout as they start to roll ING into their own Capital One brand.
So, I guess I would say that for the moment, I still feel comfortable recommending ING savings accounts, given that I personally own a ton of them at this point. I like that there’s no minimum opening balance required and that you can have as many accounts as you want (I use mine as virtual budget envelopes.)
As they do every year, ING is going to be offering some pretty sweet Black Friday deals, and I’ll share those with you all once I get the details. I’m not quite as enthused about promoting these deals as I have been in the past, but hey, free money is free money and if you decide down the road that you don’t like what Capital One is doing, you can always close the account.
If you’ve got $250 to put down, you could always open an ableBanking account instead of an ING account…ableBanking is still a really small, different bank (their customer service is great too!), and I do feel 100% comfortable recommending them.
Anyhoo, I’ll keep you all posted with my ING thoughts as things progress with the merger.
(I know Karen already has an ING account, but if you’re wanting to open one, don’t do it right now. Wait for the Black Friday savings bonuses!)
When you go through the freezer or pantry and eat down what is in there… how do you come up with recipes? I wind up with odd bits that I don’t have recipes for often, and am not sure what to do with them. I hate to waste, so we wind up with weird meals to use things up. I would love to find a better way (and so would my hubbie!)
I don’t think I have a set method for this, since what’s in my freezer and pantry varies so much! I generally just take stock of what’s in there and then try to think of meals that would use up those foods.
For instance, if I find some frozen lunch meat, I either put stromboli or paninis on the menu (paninis are good for using up odds and ends!) Or if I find the last bit of a package of bacon, I cook it up and sprinkle it on top of that week’s pizza.
Soups are a good way to use up odds and ends as well, if you can round up enough things that would complement each other. Scrambled eggs and frittatas are also good ways to disguise random ingredients.
If I have just a small amount of something, I often make a single-serving meal to use it up. For instance, if I have a bit of cilantro left, I might make a small batch of guacamole and eat it at lunchtime.
My husband and I have one child, a daughter who is not yet school age. Currently we are leaning toward not having any more children, though this could change. Ordinarily, I do not think socialization need be an issue with homeschooled children, even though that is usually the big objection people raise to it.
However, what are your thoughts about homeschooling an only child, with no other children present? Do you think socialization would become an issue for that situation, with the child home all day with only the parent to talk to? Do you think this would be too confining or limiting?
I guess I just might worry that my daughter would start to feel a little stir-crazy, wishing she had someone besides me to hang out with all day… I would imagine then that special care would need to be taken to socialize her outside the home, such as with volunteering within the community, or possibly finding a homeschool group in the local area (and of course encouraging friendships with other kids)? We are active in our church, so that would be at least weekly interaction with peers, and others outside the household/family. But what about the day-to-day monotony of it? Do you think that teaching and learning can be done well in a one-on-one-every-single-day kind of atmosphere?
I’d say that this will depend a lot on your daughter’s personality. If she’s the sort that thrives in big groups of people, she might be unhappy being homeschooled. But if she’s more of an introvert, having a quieter, more one-on-one educational experience could be really great for her.
As you say, though, homeschooling doesn’t have to mean that you’re at home all day, every day. If I were homeschooling an only child, I’d definitely look for fellow homeschooling families and for a local homeschool group as well. And I’d be a lot more intentional about arranging playdates with other children (as it is, my kids stay pretty busy playing with each other and with neighborhood children.) I’d also probably do more extra-curricular group activities than I currently do with my own kids.
In a nutshell, yes, I think it could work out just fine. It just would probably look different than homeschooling does for larger families.
Readers! Do share your thoughts on these questions…I’d love to hear what you think.