Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Cleaning Supplies You Can Afford!

Here are a few money saving ideas to use for cleaning jobs around the house. Most are more economical than buying packaged cleaners.

All Purpose Cleaner: Mix 1 tsp. lemon juice, 1 tsp. liquid soap into 1 quart of water. For moping floors, use a pail. For cleaning counter tops and appliances, use a spray bottle.

Bleach substitute: Soak item in lemon juice for 15 - 20 minutes and then wash as usual.

Brass and Copper Cleaner: Combined vinegar and salt to make a paste, rub with a soft cloth.

Drain Cleaner: Weekly - put ½ cup of baking soda in drain, followed by 2 cups of boiling water. For clog - put ½ cup of baking soda in drain, followed by 1 cup vinegar.

Furniture Polish: Mix ¼ cup white vinegar and ¾ cup of olive oil, rub with an old sock.

Mold Cleaner: Cut a lemon in half and scrub. If abrasive is needed use a little salt.

Room Freshener: In a spray bottle mix a few drops of your favorite essential oil with 2 cups of water.

Rug Shampoo: Mix ½ cup mild soap, 2 Tbs. of vinegar with 1 quart of water. Whip into a foam. Apply the foam with a sponge mop and scrub. Let dry thoroughly, and then vacuum.

Scouring Powder: Combined 1 Tbs. baking soda and 1 Tbs. salt; for non abrasive cleanser just use baking soda.

Toilet Bowl Cleaner: Sprinkle ½ cup of baking soda into the toilet bowl, spray on some vinegar and scrub. If you happen to have dentures and use denture cleaning tablets, take 3 overnight denture tablets and drop into toilet bowl; let soak overnight, then scrub.

Window Cleaner: In a spray bottle mix ¼ cup of vinegar into 1 quart of water. Unlike packaged sprays, this will not streak your windows. Use black and white newspapers instead of paper towels to clean windows, they work much better. A great way to save a few pennies and recycle!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Eliminate Your Electic Bill? Too Good to be True?

I ran across this site

OWN POWER-SAVE™ PRODUCTS AT LITTLE OR NO COST! Government Incentives and Rebates Mean You Save Thousands! Decrease or Eliminate Your Electric Bill Today! Power-Save Energy Co.'s unique business model allows us to offer the most sophisticated energy generation and conservation products at the most competitive prices on the market. Additionally, our Power-Save Solar System and Power-Save Wind Turbine are eligible in most states for government incentives that will significantly reduce your costs. In some states, incentives will reduce your investment to $0!
Sign up NOW to Receive All of the Information You Need to Decrease or Eliminate Your Electric Bill Today!

I signed up for the free information, I think this is worth checking out. According to this site, I can purchase this and get a rebate from the state of Colorado for the total purchase price. There are 12 other states that are listed as giving a total rebate.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Free Recreation Verses Expensive Entertainment

You don’t have to spend a lot of money on theme parks, concerts, movies, or plays. Most cities have free attractions; check out this site for inexpensive activities in your city:

Pack a lunch and take the kids to a park. Play Frisbee, or catch, fly a kite. Go on a scavenger hunt. Drive to a lake, take a nature walk, hike or learn how to fish. Take some books, sit under a tree and read. Teach your kids that they don’t have to be “entertained” to have a good time. Recreation does not have to be expensive entertainment.

Friday, April 25, 2008

15 Gas Saving Tips

With the national price of gas currently averaging $3.55 a gallon we are all looking for ways to get the most miles per gallon possible. Here are a few tips:

1. Avoid letting your car idle. Do not let your car idle more than 30 – 60 seconds to warm up, then drive conservatively until it reaches normal operating temperature. If you are going to idle for more than 60 seconds, turn your car off. Starting your can uses as much gas as it would if it idled for 30 seconds.

2. When visiting a fast food restaurant, park your car and go into the restaurant rather than idling in the drive-through. This especially helpful if you are running the air conditioner. Idling with the air conditioning on uses extra fuel.

3. While driving, accelerate slowly, this is not a race, you don’t have to be the first one off the line. Stop driving aggressively! This can be a huge savings. Maintain a safe following distance. Don't stick to the bumper of the car directly in front of you. You will brake more and accelerate more.

4. Clean out any unnecessary items in your car. If you have heavy objects in your car that you don't need, remove them. If your car is lighter, it will use less fuel to get where you're going. This can be a savings of 2%.

5. Remove unneeded racks. If you have a bicycle or ski rack, remove it when you're not using it. It causes drag and lowers mileage.

6. Anticipate red stop lights (and stop signs). Look far ahead; get to know your usual routes. You can let up on the gas earlier. Coasting to a stop will save the gasoline you would otherwise use maintaining your speed longer. If it just gets you to the end of a line of cars at a red light or a stop sign a few seconds later, it won't add any time to your trip. Why keep accelerating only to hit the brakes to stop?

7. Park in the shade. Gasoline actually evaporates right out of your tank, and it does so faster when you park directly in the sun - winter or summer. Parking in the shade also keeps it cooler inside, and you will need less A/C to cool off when you get back in. If there is no shade available, park so that your gas tank (the actual tank under the car, not the valve to fill it) is facing away from the direct sun.

8. Instead of running your AC, lower your windows; AC can waste up 15% of your gas. When you are “on the open” road and driving faster, it is better to close your windows and sunroofs to eliminate drag. The point at which AC is more efficient is at 35-40 mph.

9. Go to and find a carpool. Check with co-workers to see if there is anyone that you can carpool with. Use the bus. Take a look at a map, maybe there is a better, shorter route to work. Avoid heavy traffic, and a lot of traffic lights. The shortest route may not always be the most efficient route if you have to stop a lot.

10. Do not rest your left foot on the brake. The slightest pressure could cause a drag that will demand additional gas, and will wear out the brakes sooner.

11. Anything electrical that is on in the cars draws electricity from the battery which causes the alternator to run, which causes the engine to work harder which, in turn, uses more gas. In theory even the radio would decrease gas mileage but it would be so insignificant that you would not be able to tell.

14. Save 3% in gas by maintaining correct tire pressure. My Theory is to over inflate tires by a pound or two of pressure. This makes them roll easier and, therefore uses less gas. Don’t over inflate more than 2 lbs.

15. And to repeat a tip from a previous posting: Get organized before you leave the house! Make a list of the stores/errands that you have to go to and make a mental road map of the shortest distance between stores. Combine your shopping: buy postage stamps at the grocery store instead of making a trip to the post office. Does your grocery store have a Red Box? Get your movie there too. Pick up your dry cleaning on the way to/from work. A little planning will save you big bucks on gas.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Free Magazine Subscriptions

Here are a few links to free magazine subscription sites: 1-800-624-2946

If anyone knows of any other place to get free subscriptions, please let me know! Thanks!!!

According to Kaiser Permanente and the American Psychological Association 63% of Americans reported that money issues were their leading stressor in 2006. Do you suppose it is any different in 2008?

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Save a Little, Save a Lot!

1. Stop your Starbuck habit! If you have to have that cup of Joe in the mornings, buy a coffee maker with a timer or buy a cheap coffee maker and a cheap timer. Your coffee can be waiting for you when you wake up. If you insist on flavoring in your cup, you can buy huge bottles of flavoring that last forever for around ten bucks and small bottles for about two bucks).

2. Read the daily newspaper on the Internet. You should only subscribe to the Sunday paper that includes valuable coupons.

3. Use those Sunday coupons!

4. If you drink soda, give it up! One can of soda contains 12 teaspoons of sugar! If you must drink it, buy it on sale, stock up and take a can from home for lunch instead of buying it out of a vending machine.

5. Drop your gym membership. Buy an exercise DVD and work out at home. Take up walking or running, it’s free.

6. Don’t buy lottery tickets! You have a better chance of getting hit by lightning than winning the lotto!

7. If you smoke, QUIT!! (I know, I know, easier said than done!!) Now’s the time!

8. Stop buying bottled water. Reuse bottles you already have and fill them from the tap. Most cities have water that is better to drink than some bottled water. If you must, invest in a purifying system.

9. Look for free magazines on the Internet and stop buying them. Here is a list of the FREE magazines that I get! These are subscriptions, not just a free issue:

Prevention, e Week, Alzheimer’s Association, Car and Driver, Inc., Turf, Executive Controller, Computer World, Automotive News, Government Video, Elevate, Nutraceuticals, World, Skiing, Water-ski, Business Week, Spin, Antiques, Nylon, Road & Track, Radar, Vibe, Kit Planes, Landscape Care, Blender, Baby, Star, Flying, Boating, Metropolitan Home, Electronic House, Computer Shopper, Charisma, Seventeen, climbing, Redbook, Ellie, Country Living, Gaming, Cosmopolitan, Cosmo Girl and Miracles.

Once I am done with them, I put them on or take them to the library for others to enjoy.

10. Rent your movies for $1.00 from Red Box! Red Box has many locations and rent new releases for only $1.00 compared to Blockbusters $4.99.

11. Get organized before you leave the house! Make a list of the stores/errands that you have to go to and make a mental road map of the shortest distance between stores. Combine your shopping: buy postage stamps at the grocery store instead of making a trip to the post office. Does your grocery store have a Red Box? Get your movie there too. Pick up your dry cleaning on the way to/from work. A little planning will save you big bucks on gas.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Postage is Going Up, But You Can Still Save

If you don’t already pay your bills on line, now may be the time to start. Postage goes up to 42 cents May 1st. The average household receive about 180 bills a year, that’s $75.60 for postage a year. Most banks have on line banking and free bill paying; take advantage of it and save $75.60 a year!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Simple Tips for Saving Money in the Kitchen

Buy a cheap small plastic pump spray bottle, and fill it with any cooking oil. Use it to oil baking or frying pans. It’s cheaper to use than "PAM"

Dry Bread Remedy - If your bread becomes dried out, try popping it in the oven for a few minutes after adding a little water to it (or microwave with a wet paper towel). The bread will absorb the water and become moister.

Use cloth napkins! Cloth napkins are a “green” way to go and cost less in the long run. If you have a stash of fabric, make your own cloth napkins. Always save the extra two or three napkins they give you at the fast food drive through window. I use these before I reach for a paper towel.

Stock up! When an item you use a lot of goes on sale, buy several. This is money in the bank! Freeze milk, meat, even sick granola bars, crackers, etc, in the freezer to keep them from tasting old until you can use them. Same thing goes for buying in bulk or shopping at a warehouse. Buy fruit when it is on sale and in season. Clean it, freeze it and make pies, breads, deserts, and smoothies all winter long.

Try shopping at small ethnic grocery stores. Their prices on fruit are usually about ½ of name brand grocers.

Check the “bargain bins” at the back of the store. Baked items are especially reduced. You can even find discounted “day old” cupcakes. If you need to provide a treat for the kids, do they really care if the cupcakes are a day old?

Use more pastas and beans with your meals. Making beans from scratch costs about half the price of canned beans. You can cook up a big batch, freeze them and they will be ready to pull out of the freezer for future use, ready to go.

When boiling water, put a lid on your pan, it will boil faster and use less energy.

Never, ever throw food out! Freeze it for later, make a smoothie out of aging fruit, make a “surprise” omelet by throwing in left overs. I have read that the average family of four, wastes $60.00 worth of food a week.

Never ever throw away a plastic container! Instead for buying Tupperware or purchasing other plastic containers, reuse butter, cottage cheese, sour cream or yogurt containers. Yogurt containers (the kind with the snap on lids) are just the right size to fill with cottage cheese, apple sauce or fruit to pack in lunches. The containers can be washed and reused until they break or just thrown away if your child needs a lunch for a field trip and doesn’t want to carry empty lunch containers home.

Remember, waste not, want not!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Tax Day!

The dreaded "April 15th" is here, does everyone have their taxes filed? I have had mine done for a while. We are actually getting some money back this year! Baring any unexpected expenses, I am planning to put the money in savings along with the rebate money.

I'd love to hear what you are going to do with your rebate money?

Monday, April 14, 2008

How to “Meet” Your Grocery Budget

Food prices have increased 4% from 2006 to 2007 according to the Economic Research Service and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. (It seems like more than 4% to me!) The USDA projects an even bigger increase for 2008, UGH!

If your family likes to have meat at meals, you are probably thinking about making some adjustments to your normal eating habits to be able to afford meat, eggs, and dairy. Not to mention juice, fruit, and cereal!

Consider serving meat as a side dish instead of the main dish. Use your crock pot to cook a roast, shred it, add bar-b-q sauce and make sandwiches. Instead of hamburgers, make sloppy joes. Use meat in stir fry over rice, bake casseroles, and soups, top salads with grilled chicken.

As with all your grocery shopping, watch for sales and plan meals around the sales and store specials. Our local store has a section in the meat cooler that is discounted because it is a day old. This meat is perfectly fine for your evening meal or to put in the crock pot.

Approach a local farmer about purchasing a whole beef from him. You will have to pay for processing and packaging, but the cost per pound is usually cheaper than at the grocers. You will also need to make sure you have room in your freezer for this amount of meat.

My family was not particularly impressed with I asked them to consider having a “Veggie” night!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Rub-A-Dub, Dub, Too Much Soap in the Tub

Do you wear an article of clothing and then throw it in the dirty clothes bin? Most of the clothes you wear do not need to be washed after wearing them for one time. Jeans especially can be worn for two or three times before washing them. If you wear a T-shirt under a sweater or sweatshirt, put the T-shirt in the laundry and fold the sweater/sweatshirt up for future use. (Needless to say, undies should go into the laundry after each use!!)

Do you wash your bath towels after every use? When you step out of the shower, aren’t you supposed to be clean? If your body is just wet and you are only drying yourself, why does your towel need to be washed? Hang the towel up to dry and use it again the next day.

Don’t run your washing machine on a 15 minute cycle. Most clothes are not so soiled that a three minute wash will be sufficient to clean them. Also remember that the detergent companies are very generous when they recommend the detergent amount to be used. Remember, they are SELLING you the detergent and would like to see you use more than is really necessary. I always use less than half of the recommended amount of detergent. If one item is particularly soiled and others in the same load are not, I use a spray treatment on the extremely soiled article and still only add half the recommended amount of detergent.

Washing your clothes less and using less detergent will not only save you money on detergent, electricity, time, and wear and tear on your washing machine, your
clothes will last longer and look new longer.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Family Meals for Under $10.00

I saw these great recipes on written/submitted by Alison Storm. They look like yummy meals and wanted to share them with you! A family meal for under $10.00, WOW!

Posted on 03/06/2008 on
Feeling like Mexican? Italian? Maybe Greek? No need to head to a restaurant to feed the family, we've got you covered. All you need are (around) $10 worth of groceries, a little prep time and a big appetite.

Recipe #1 - Chili Cornbread PieShopping List1 lb. Ground Turkey - $3.50 16 oz.
Can of Tomato Sauce - $.99 15 oz.
Can of Black Beans - $.69 15 oz.
Can of Whole-Kernel Corn - $.69
2 packages (8.5 oz. each) dry corn muffin mix - $.89
Taco Seasoning - $.79 12 oz.
Can of Evaporated Milk - $1.19
2 Eggs - $.99
Total - $9.73
Step 1 - Preheat oven to 400 degrees and grease a 13 x 9-inch baking dish.
Step 2 - Cook ground turkey in a skillet until there's no pink remaining. Drain the meat. Stir in the taco seasoning, tomato sauce, corn, black beans and 3/4 of the can of evaporated milk. Bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat and allow the mixture to simmer for five minutes. Stir occasionally. Pour mixture into baking dish.
Step 3 - In a medium bowl, combine corn muffin mix, eggs, and remaining evaporated milk. Stir and then spoon the mixture evenly over the turkey mixture.
Step 4 - Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until lightly browned.

Recipe #2 -
Homemade Pizza Shopping ListReady-to-cook Pizza Crust - $2.13
Pizza Sauce - $1.25
Shredded Mozzarella - $2.99
Can of Mushrooms - $.89
Total - $7.26
Step 1 - Open the pizza crust container and spread it out on a cookie sheet. Follow the instructions on the package. Pre-baking may be required before adding toppings.
Step 2 - Top the crust with pizza sauce, mushrooms and cheese. Add other ingredients such as onions, sausage or pineapple. Step 3 - Bake a little longer, until the cheese is bubbly.
Step 4- Slice up and eat.

Recipe #3 -
Turkey Meatball GyrosShopping List1 lb.
Ground Turkey - $3.50
Pita Bread (4-6 slices) - $3.00
1 bunch of Scallions - $.99
Yellow Rice - $.791/4 cup
Plain Yogurt (or Greek Yogurt) - $.63
½ cup of bread crumbs - $.99
1 Large Egg - from your fridge
1/4 tsp. Ground Cinnamon - from your pantry
Total: $9.90
Step 1 - Move oven rack to highest position and heat broiler.
Step 2 - Combine turkey, cinnamon, salt, pepper, bread crumbs, egg and 3/4 of the scallions (chopped) in a bowl. Shape the meat mixture into golf ball-size meatballs, placing them on a foil-lined baking sheet.
Step 3 - Broil the meatballs until they are cooked through. This should take about eight minutes. Turn them once during cooking.
Step 4 - Top or fill a slice of pita with meatballs, yogurt and remaining scallions.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

A Hairy Situation!

Ladies, don’t spend money on those cans of leg shaving foams and creams, instead use hair shampoo or conditioner. Foams and creams are expensive. A bottle of shampoo can be picked up for less than a dollar at Wal-Mart and will last a whole lot longer.

Lathering up from bar soap will work too. However, shampoos and conditioners will not dry out your skin like bar soap.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Don’t Be Lazy, SAVE!

If you are struggling to make ends meet, are you paying for services that you could do yourself? Don’t be lazy, do it yourself and save!!

Clean your own house, make it a “family affair”!
Wash, set and style your own hair, if you have children; learn how to cut their hair.
Wash and vacuum your own car. Learn how to change the oil in your car.
Do your own nails.
Wash your dog yourself.
Do your own yard work.
Learn how to do simple home repairs. Hardware stores give free “How To” clinics all the time, and the library is full of “How To” books, consider trading skills with a friend or neighbor.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Free Candy Samples!

Who doesn't love candy!! Especially free candy!!
Click the link and sign up for a free candy sample!!