Thursday, November 3, 2011

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I just updated this blog to include a follow me on Pinterest button, a subscribe and a search button! Get more information in your inbox and share my ideas on!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Climbing a ladder $afely

Whether you're cleaning your gutters, inspecting your chimney or hanging holiday lights--don't let any chore that requires you to leave the ground set you up for an accident--follow these helpful tips to keep you safe when using a ladder.

Know the proper placement of a ladder (1 foot away from the house for every 4 feet of height your ladder is raised).

Wear gloves to get a better grip and provide a protective barrier for your hands.

Make sure you know the location of power lines attached to your home and avoid these when placing your ladder.

Climb safely by carrying only one item up at a time or use a pulley system,  Keep 3 contact points on the ladder at all times (2 hands and 2 feet equal 4 contact points)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

How to $ave Money when Dining out!

We go out to eat less frequently than we use to...mainly because I have learned to cook restaurant style meals at home.  The money spent dining out one moderately nice meal a week for our family of 4 can easily equal our grocery budget for the week!
Here are a few hints that may help trim back the cost of eating at a restaurant.

1)  Eat lunch instead of dinner because the prices are generally less for the exact same meal and portion size.
2)  Avoid the high price drinks-skip the glass of wine, alcoholic beverages and sodas and stick to water.  If your kids meal comes with a drink, allow the adult to drink that (because my children NEVER drak their soft drinks!)
3)  Use coupons you clip from yur newspaper, sign up for on-line savings at your favorite restaurants, purchase coupons at  Watch for specials such as BOGO free, Happy hour pricing or other pairings
4)  Stretch the entree into two meals.  Ask for a to go box and take a portion of your meal home.  Or take the soup or salad part of your meal home (ask for it to be served to go and you'll never touch it...or miss it)
5)  Dine earlier in the evening or on special days of the week when special pricing may be in effect.
6)  If you are an expensive coffee drinker, learn to make the Latte at home and save yourself the 5 bucks...
7)  Learn to cook some of your favorite meals by GOOGLING copy cat recipes from your favorite restaurants (I've reproduced recipes from Olive Garden, Outback and even Mortons Steak House with great success)

Carve your Pumpkin$

We always carve a pumpkin for HalloweenHere is a great site for some free down loadable patterns: traditional, , cartoons or famous people, animals, etc.
I am sure you'll find a pattern you want to use this Halloween! Along with the instructions for carving your best pumpkin ever!  Happy Carving!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

$hopping Walmart this Chri$tma$ $ea$on

Walmart, the world's largest retailer announced a new holiday policy price-matching strategy.  They'll guarantee the lowest price of any competitor, no matter when you buy during the season. 

Here is how it works
Make a purchase at Walmart November 1-December 25
Save your receipts
If you see an identical item for less at any store, bring the flyer AND your original receipt to Walmart and you'll be issued a gift card for the difference in price.
NO gift cards will be issued after December 25th!

Internet retailers are excluded from this offer.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Di$hwa$her $en$e

Here are a couple ideas that can save you money when using your dishwasher:

Use the lightest cycle possible-not every load requires the power wash and heated drying cycle

Use less detergent-the more soiled the dishes, the more detergent you should use (up to the full amount)
Most dishwashers clean just fine with a teaspoon of detergent

Use a rinse aid to assist with drying

Skip heated drying

Use the rinse and hold cycle for families that don't need to run the dishwasher more than once a week. 

Always run it using a full load (but you knew that!)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Sorry for not posting regularly

Dear FollowersSorry for not posting but I have been super busy with family obligations and training for a half marathon I'll race/walk on November 12th as well as getting some craft items ready for a show I am doing in Late November
Here are a couple of photos of some items I'll showcase here in the next few days and weeks to get your ready for some frugal Holiday decorating.  They'll be lots more where these came from-using recyclables and items you probably already have on hand!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Term Life Insurance

Necessary, but no one likes to think about it
What would your family do if they were suddenly without you?  How would they pay the mortgage?

Much of the following information was take from AAA

1)  With term life insurance, you pay a level premium to the insurance company for a limited period of time (usually 10 or 20 years)—the term. If you die during the term, your beneficiaries receive the death benefit.

2)  Term life insurance is also a good option for covering needs that will disappear in time. For instance, you may decide that you only need coverage until your children graduate from college or a particular debt is paid off, such as your mortgage.
3)  Level term life insurance allows you to lock in a guaranteed premium, usually for 10 to 30 years.  h other types of insurance your premiums can rise as you age.

4)  Term insurance is relatively inexpensive compared to other life insurance. So it allows individuals to afford more coverage, which they can use to help protect their families.

5)  Return of Premium (ROP) is a feature you can add to a term life insurance policy. If you live to the end of your term, all of the premiums you’ve paid are returned to you.  Adding the ROP feature can help provide the confidence of protection now and cash back later.
6)  Getting term life insurance coverage is simple. It starts with knowing how much you need and how long you will need it. The most important thing is to take action today to make sure your family is protected!

How much do you need?
Dave Ramsey recommends that you have 8-10 times your annual salary in Term Life insurance to make sure that financial needs are met in the event of your untimely death.  Avoid whole life and universal life policies.  The difference (savings) between the Term Insurance and the Whole Life Insurance premiums can (should)  be  invested to build wealth.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

In the event of flooding

I live near the banks of the Ohio River and it occasionally floods.  Thankfully, our home has never been affected, but many of my neighbors have had the water invade their homes. 

FEMA says that 100% of Americans live in flood prone regions and the only differentiating factor is your risk level (low, medium and high)

To prepare for a flood
  • Place irreplaceable items and valuables in areas safe from flooding
  • Back up photographs on a disk or portable hard drive and place it in your safe deposit box
  • Create a binder of important documents like insurance policies and make sure to take it with you if you need to evacuate
  • Know the location of your main electrical switch, water valve and gas main.  Learn to properly turn these off, but NEVER tread into water to do so!
  • Develop a safety plan in case of an evacuation that includes a safe place to meet away from flood waters.  Inform your family members and neighbors (who can inform the authorities or wayward family members where you can be located)
  • Assemble some emergency supplies which should include a first aid kit, bottled water, battery powered radio, flashlight and extra batteries, rubber gloves and boots.
Stay out of flood waters.  As little as 6 inches of moving water s enough to throw a grown man off his feet.  2 feet of flowing water can sweep away your vehicle.  Never drive into moving water.  Remember to take your pets with you in the event you need to evacuate.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Who wouldn't like to get a free piece of Godiva chocolate?
Register at, provide some personal information and instantly receive notification of your free reward. 

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Driving Mi$takes that can Co$t you

Here are some common driving mistakes
1)  Distracted driving:  talking on your cell phone, listening to your I-pod with headphones can endanger your life, result in tickets and missed exits

2)  Not regularly checking your tire pressure:  Low tire pressure uses up more gas.  Tires that don't have the correct air pressure make that vehicle harder to maneuver in emergency situations

3)  Driving too fast on wet roadways:  The first 10 minutes of rain are the most dangerous because the oil on the roads creates a slick surface

4)  Your car isn't properly adjusted to your body:  Adjustable  mirrors, headrests, seat distances and steering mechanisms should be adjusted for each driver before putting the car in drive to assure the safest, most comfortable ride.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

$aving time

Prepare chicken breasts in bulk once a week to use for a quick meal.  If I am grilling dinner, I'll throw on a couple of boneless skinless cutlets for use later in the week.  Seasoned differently, you'll have some variety when you're in a pinch for a quick dinner.

Use your already cooked breasts for
BBQ chicken sandwiches
or top a grilled breast with honey mustard, bacon and cheddar for a delish sandwich worthy of a restaurant
Chicken Cesar salads
use in your favorite chicken pasta salad, or chicken salad

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Ju$t for Mom$ (ok, Parent$) web$ite$

Moms can always use another website so here are a few that have been recommended includes contributions from guest contributors in video format includes information on children by age group, toy reviews, an family travel info connects moms who use their TWITTER accounts and has a community related section
and my favorite  is an all inclusive site, the how too area has tips divided up by such topics as food, beauty, home and parenting. And tabs on each of these subjects and ore for even greater detail and selection.

Keeping your home Trouble Free

Being a grownup isn't all it's cracked up to be...Too many home maintenance chores!
Here is what we are facing this summer
1)  Repair the leak in the basement
2)  Refinish the driveway
3)  Replace many of the 38 windows in our 23 year old home.  We'll do this in waves (either the entire back or front of the house, of the lower or upper level.  I am going for the back of the house first!)  I want the windows with the blinds built in. 
4)  Refinish the entry way hardwood floor
5)  Replace the overgrown landscaping in the front of the house
6)  Replace the shower door and re-caulk the master tub

I am tired already! I'll be broke once we begin this process.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Cheap ba$ket filler

This really is a pretty lame post as they go but thought I'd mention this to you anyway.
I recently had to prepare a very small gift using a mug, gift card and a small package of coffee and hot cocoa as a prize for a work celebration we are having.  The mug was quite tall and the 3 items sank too deeply into it to make a cute presentation.  I was at work, had to think quick and didn't have the time or inclination to run out and purchase some shredded paper to fill the mug.
I took some waste paper, (3 sheets) and using my office scissors, trimmed it into long strips about 1/4 inch wide.  I crumpled them up and VIOLA!  Shredded paper for my gift box. 
I use plain old white copy paper but it would have been real cute with the brown paper wrapping that comes in my office supplies or with colored paper!  Imagine the possibilities!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

I ju$t $tumbled upon thi$ web$ite

Do you love couponing, deals, more reading on frugal living  and trying to get free stuff in your mailbox?  If you do, you don't want to miss this website

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

What if it $tinks?

I swear I am the ONLY person in my house who can smell a rotting onion or potato in the pantry!  The thing could putrefy before anyone besides deal old mom searches out the stink and removes the offending object...We've all had those (embarrassing )bad smells emanating from some place in the kitchen and they can be hard to get rid of so here are a few ideas to keep the kitchen odor free.

Garbage disposal:  pour a cup of boiling water through the disposal which will clean the blades.  Follow with the peels of a lemon or orange.

Fridge:  give the interior a good wipe down occasionally with a clean rag dipped in diluted white vinegar, place a new box of baking soda in the back and dip a cotton ball in vanilla extract (place it in a bowl) on the lowest shelf.  Remove after a few days>  Of if you prefer, use coffee beans/used grounds instead.

Dishwasher:  Don't let a half full dishwasher stink up your kitchen.  Rinse dishes if they are going to sit for more than a day or two.  IF a really bad odor persists, you may have to clean the filters.  Some food particles may be stuck.

Stove:  Turn on your range hood when you cook, clean the grate over the fan, which collects grease.  Clean your oven occasionally along with the drip pan under the burners to remove food particles that can create a smell. 

The bathroom:  For those embarrassing "personal odors", light a match to quickly dispel the stink.  That's probably why a wise hostess has a candle burning in the powder room during her parties...

Baking soda, white vinegar and borax (like a concentrated baking soda) work wonders at removing odors. 
Brush your dog regularly, vacuum regularly and light a candle

Monday, April 11, 2011

Clean it like you mean it

I love a clean house but don't often have the time to do it as well or as thoroughly as I'd like and I am too cheap to employ a professional cleaning lady is what works for me

De-clutter before you begin to clean

--remove items from table tops and counters

--throw away junk mail and newspapers

Work Clockwise and set a time limit

--set a time limit to assure you'll work efficiently. Play lively music to get you going and make it seem less a chore

--If you are using a cleaning product (toilet bowl or tub, for example) Spray first and allow the product to work while you focus on other cleaning tasks. This uses less elbow grease

--start at the entrance of a room and clean clockwise until you are back at the entrance of the room

--vacuum first and then dust to catch what dust you stirred up while vacuuming

IF you are dusting walls and baseboards, light fixtures, etc be sure to dust those first and then do the furniture after you've vacuumed


--use only a few cleaning products that work for you

--I LOVE microfiber cleaning cloths. Dampen slightly and use to clean glass table tops, mirrors and windows. These are perfect dust catchers and even work on your blinds.

--Mr. Clean magic erasers work for those fingerprints on door and banisters-no scrubbing required

--Scrub using BOTH Hands for more power or wash with the right hand and dry with the left hand

--reduce clutter (knick-knacks) to make cleaning easier

--sometimes good enough is...well, GOOD enough!

--get in the habit of putting things away or wiping up the spill as soon as you you're done (let me know how you teach this to your pre-teen)

The devil is in the details

--don't forget door handles, cabinet pulls, behind the appliances on the counter

--sometimes just replacing that nasty shower curtain liner or the stove burner is more efficient than cleaning it

--if you're in a pinch, only do the room that company will see or hit only the hot spots (clean the toilet, vacuum high traffic areas)

$mells? How to air out your house just in time for $pring!

Time to open the windows and get some of that fresh spring air smell inside! 
Here are some tips on the BEST way to bring only the best of the great outdoors inside.

1) Keep the screens in so varmints don't get in along with that fresh spring air.
2) If you have double hung Windows, open the top and bottom equal amounts.  Warm air will escape out the top and the cooler air will enter through the bottom of the window.
3) Open windows across the hall from each other.  Outside air will enter through one and that stale air will exit through the other.
4) Change your furnace filter regularly.  Run your A/C on low to filter out particulates (which trap odor molecules)
5) Place fans strategically in conjunction with your open windows to get the most benefit
6)  Clean your blinds and windows while you are at it to maximize that spring cleaning feel.

To clean blinds and windows arm yourself with a MR Clean magic eraser (new) and several microfiber towels and a few rags.
Lightly moisten the magic eraser with water and clean the blinds by stroking the eraser across the blinds. 
Wipe clean with a damp rag, dry with a clean rag. 
Moisten half of a microfiber towel and "wash" the window".  Dry with a clean microfiber towel.  Viola!  Sparkling clean with no streaks or use of chemicals!

Thursday, April 7, 2011


I am so excited.  I just noticed this BLOG now has 3 followers!  It's not many...but it's a start/.  Thank you all so much for following!  I hope I am able to inspire you occasionally!

Please respond and let me know where you are most challenged, what topics you'd like to see covered and how YOU live a frugal lifestyle!

Happy Savings!

Friday, March 18, 2011

$tay out of Hot Water

Did you know that in many homes the cost of heating water is the third largest energy expense?
To reduce your water heater's consumption of energy try the following:

1) Turn the water heater thermostat down to 115-120 degrees (or between low and medium)
2) Fix leaky faucets promptly. One drop of water per second adds up to 250 gallons of water a month
3) Baths use more water than showers, if you limit your shower time. Try setting an audible timer til you pare your routine down to a reasonable time (really useful for teenage girls!)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

$howing the Love-$ugge$tion$ for the Frugal

These suggestions for showing the LOVE can be used for any occasion, not just Valentines day

They're creative so they require more preparation and thought than CA$H

1) Fill a car, locker, shower, closet.,mirror or other small area with post it note messages of love and encouragement (I love you, you can do it, you're the best, You make my day, etc.). Put this into action before your sweetie makes a a big presentation, goes on an important job interview, heads off to college or takes a big exam or you want to propose or tell your husband you're expecting your first baby.

2) Text a message of love and encouragement

3) Write it on the bathroom mirror with window paints

4) Hand make a card with all the reasons you love someone

5) Pray aloud for the person you front of them

6) Send an e-card

7) Use candy to send your message
Now and Laters: I love you NOW and I'll love you LATER
100 Grand: I wouldn't trade you for 100 Grand
Kisses: any number of sentiments
Snickers: Thought you could use a laugh today
Crunch Bar: Call on me when you are in a crunch
Sugar Daddy: Sugar, you sure are sweet, Glad you're my baby's daddy!
etc., etc., etc.

8) Make a coupon book of favorite activities the tow of you can share (ice cream, star gazing, TV show, etc.)

9) Hide a note in the sock drawer, lunchbox, favorite CD case

10) and my favorite-write a letter telling that special someone why you love them. This is a wonderful birthday or anniversary gift for the person who has everything!

Have a day filled with Love!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Do not $quander time for that is the $tuff life is made of

--Benjamin Franklin said it...but how do you do it?
that's 24 hours, 1449 minute or 86,400 seconds each day
Here are a few ways to get more meaning out of your day while getting more done

Make the drive time do double duty
--have your children make lists of what you need to buy at the grocery, do when you get home, what to pack for the sleepover, fun things to do this weekend, etc.
--listen to books or the bible on CD
--call your mother
--schedule a doctor appointment
--let your kids do their homework, recite times tables, read aloud, check spelling words
--pray aloud
--sing along with the radio
--check your route and do errands to and from other appointments
--store your coupons in the car so you'll always have them handy when making a last minute stop for groceries, a dinner out or gift
--select doctors, orthodontists, dog groomers for their proximity to where you live

Use your Computer or cell phone
--send e-vites, e-greetings or reminder lists to your children
--register on line for coupons added directly onto your grocery shopping rewards card
--keep your lists organized at, the are all in one safe place, these never get lost and you can print them when you need them for shopping (I also make lists of books I want to read, movies I want to see, etc.)
--do your birthday or Christmas shopping

Organize your closet
--sort items by color to easily find that white shirt
--organize a week worth of clothes, including accessories so you can get dressed with less stress in the morning (Works great for kids too)
--learn what works for you in the clothing department and spend less time feeling guilty about that purchase that never gets worn because the color is wrong or horizontal stripes make you look too wide

Whittle out Worry
--keep a notebook at the bedside, desk and even the bathroom if necessary to record what needs to be done. This helps me cut down on insomnia
--take 5 minutes before going to bed to get organized before settling in for the night
--BREATHE deeply
--leave items in the same place every day (bills, the keys, your glasses)
--keep a few generic gifts on hand for last minute presents (We stock a gift box under DD2s bed with an I-tune (or other) gift card and a favorite spray/lotion combo from a bath store...just in case she gets a last minute invitation to a birthday party ...OR I've forgotten!)

--have kids make their school lunches as you are cleaning up after dinner (less mess and it is done without a rush the next morning)
--allow kids to do their own laundry (after you've taken the time to teach them) even your 8 year old can do a load of towels each week
--ask for help before you need it from both your spouse, kids or neighbor and avoid blowing up (setting the table, unloading the dishwasher, picking up the kids from practice or picking up the dry cleaning). Reciprocate often.

--I give each person a SIMILAR gift each year
Books, hand knitted scarves, hand made greeting cards, ornaments, even gift cards
It's fun to select a theme and then find just the RIGHT gift for each person and it works for every holiday/birthday/person/occasion (wedding, baby shower)
--I purchase birthday cards for the entire year in one or two visits. That way I always have the card on hand for that special someone. I also stock up on a few sympathy, anniversary, get well and thinking of you cards

Monday, January 24, 2011

Overlooked items on your Honey Do List$

Clean the Dryer Lint Trap
Vacuum high traffic areas to preserve the life of your carpeting
Check your Carbon Monoxide detector (especially during cold weather months)

Clean the refrigerator door seal with warm soapy water
Eliminate odors and gnats in the drain by running 1/2 bleach down the drain followed by a gallon of water
Run a half a lemon or lime through the garbage disposal to keep it sweet smelling
Replace your furnace filters

Twice a Year
Change the batteries in your smoke detectors, vacuum out any dust that may have accumulated
Inspect your homes foundation for cracks
Clean exterior light fixtures (I do this at the same time I clean the exterior windows)
Clean out your gutters
Vacuum the coils on the back of the refrigerator
Wipe down the baseboards with a lint free cloth, vacuum air exchange vents
Use up whatever is in your pantry and freezer
Have your carpets professionally cleaned to extend their life

Inspect your washing machine hoses and replace if brittle or cracked
Inspect the wood trip or siding on your home for termite or wood wasp damage and treat as necessary

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


I am an avid coupon user and take advantage of the coupons you can load on your Shopper Card at Krogers.

Did you know that you can combine the coupons loaded on your card with the printed coupons you cut from the newspaper or get on-line?

Kroger dose put some of their PRIVATE SELECTION Labels on the e-coupon site but most of the coupons are for national brands, which tend to be more expensive. If you pay attention, purchasing the brand name items can be more frugal than buying the store brand if you are able to combine 2 coupons.
For example, I recently purchased TAMPAX pearl, on sale for $6.99. I had an e-coupon for $2 and a clipped coupon for $1 making my total price $3.99, which was cheaper than the store brand.

I load e-coupons onto my card weekly, then I print the e-coupon list, match it up with my clipped coupons and then go shopping with this in hand.

Expired coupons fall off the card when no longer valid.

Kroger also allows me to redeem coupons which I failed to present at checkout and refunds me the money. This is great when the coupon was forgotten at home, DH shops or I make an unscheduled purchase and have failed to pull the coupon prior to checkout.

Always review your receipt for accuracy once you are home or better yet, try to keep on eye on the scanned price as you are going through the checkout to assure you get to take advantage of any sale prices.

Monday, January 3, 2011

New Year$ Re$olution$

So many people make New Year Resolutions...I figured I do the same!
Here are a few of mine

1) Use what I have on hand: This includes craft supplies, pantry and freezer items and clothing
I intent to re purpose existing items, complete unfinished craft projects and use what I have instead of purchasing new items (including both craft and food items). I figure these will free up TIME and money plus rotate the inventory.

2) Eliminate shopping as a sport. While I don't shop for clothing on a regular basis but do frequent Target and craft stores. I have so many items on hand I could open my own novelty or craft/fabric/yarn store. I can use my stash of items as gifts or donate to a worthy cause.

3) Eliminate reading sale ads and Internet shopping ads. I love reading the Sunday paper ads while drinking that first cup of coffee in bed (before church) but This habit has give me a bad case of the WANTS.

4) Get my stuff posted on ETSY and E-bay and stash the cash.

5) Save a percentage of my paycheck FIRST. I'll tithe second and then pay bills third. I do have MORE THAN ENOUGH...If you struggle with savings I advise a direct deposit from your paycheck directly into a savings account ( divert to my credit union account for large ticket items like Homeowner dues and football tickets). Think there isn't enough money to save? Start with $10 each payday.

6) Save coins to use as DISNEY dollars for our summer vacation.

7) Eliminate waste buy turning off lights, take shorter showers, conserve energy by lowering the thermostat, eat the leftovers, wear clothing a second time, and again...use what I have instead of buying something new!

Good Luck with your resolutions and remember you can start fresh again each day!