Sunday, April 11, 2010

Sweepstakes and Freebies

Win a Trip to Jamaica or an instant win T-shirt

Win Travel Accessories

Win a trip to Florida

Win a Trip to the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia

Taste for Life has a couple of fun contests


Free freebies from Kroger. I ordered popcorn

Free Special K bar and coupons

Gardening Tips

Before transplanting your seedlings, they need to be acclimated to the outdoors. Set the containers in lightly shaded locations for a couple of hours the first day. Take them out daily for a week and leave them out a little longer each day. The night before transplanting, leave them outside overnight. A cloudy day is best to transplant seedlings to their outdoor garden bed. If the weather is hot, do the transplanting in the morning or late afternoon. Water after planting to settle to soil around the roots. Water the area the afternoon before you transplant the seedlings.

If you are worried about the ill effects of the chlorine in your tap water, let the water stand 24 hours in an open container. The chlorine will escape into the air. Warm water is better for the plants. Cold water will shock them.

To help vegetables and other sun-loving plants get more sun, create reflected light. Set the containers next to a white or light colored wall.

Aphids and caterpillars do not like mint. Put one tablespoon of mint in a trigger spray bottle with 2 cups of water. Spray onto the plants.

Pepper your lettuce to keep out rabbits.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Save Money-Organize

My house is too small. I have too much junk. I do not have a bit of organizational skill. But, I am tired of buying things that I know I already have somewhere, in some corner, drawer, box, under the bed. So, I am working very hard to get organized. I am getting rid of alot of the stuff that I haven't touched in years, like all the Tupperware that I only have a lid or a container, but not both. I am also moving furniture around to make room and I am trying to use the pieces more effectively. Oh, and it is amazing what you find under and behind things. The missing tweezers, for example.
After cleaning some of the untouched drawers and cabinets, I now have 5 rolls of packing tape, 3 pairs of tweezers, 5 pairs of fingernail clippers, and the list goes on. Like I said, organize and you will save money

Sunday, March 28, 2010


I had discovered auctions a couple of years ago. I quit going because I got tired of going alone. I now have an "auction buddy". I am not sure that is a good thing. Don't get me wrong. I am having a good time, but I am coming home with way too much stuff, most of it junk. When you find that one item you really want, some how they sell it with a ton of stuff you don't want. My house is becoming full again, so I have to resort to freecycle, recycle, Blujay, and ebay. When all else fails, there is always the trash can.
Not only are auctions fun and inexpensive, you can start your holiday shopping early. You can find many items that have never been opened. Your friends and family all collect something special and they don't care if it new or used. Do you want vintage furniture? Go to an auction. Just keep yourself budgeted and don't get carried away in the moment. Go early and get an idea of what you want and watch for it. Sometimes it will get mixed up with a lot of other things and you will miss buying it. Most of all, have a good time.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Homemade Cleaners

General Purpose Cleaner: 2 teaspoons borax, 1 teaspoon dishsoap, and 1 liter of water. Mix into a spray bottle.

General Purpose Cleaner #2: Fill a spray bottle 3/4 full then add hydrogen peroxide. Put in a couple of drops of dishwashing detergent (Dawn is a good choice since it is a grease cutter)

Heavy Duty Cleaner: 4 liters of hot water, 1/4 cup cloudy ammonia, and 1 teaspoon baking soda. Double ingredients except for water if you need a stronger mixture.

Oven Cleaner: For a fresh spill, wet and sprinkle with baking soda and scrub with a soft nylon scrubber. For normal cleaning, make a paste with baking soda and water. Apply to a warm oven. Leave to dry. Clean with a brush or a scouring pad and hot water.

Pot and Pan Cleaner: Borax with hot water

Wall and Floor Cleaner: Borax with hot water.

Saving a Little Here and a Little There (it adds up)

1. Reduce your water-heater temperature to 120F and you'll reduce your costs by 10 to 15 percent.
2. Replacing storm windows or covering windows with plastic in the winter will save you 2 to 7 percent on heating costs.
3. Install a low-flow shower head to reduce your water use 30 to 50 percent.
4. Fix leaky faucets to stop the waste of water.
5. Wash your clothes in cold water and save 10 to 20 cents a load.
6. Turn down your air conditioner when no one is home.
7. Maintain proper tire pressure, for better gas mileage and to extend the life of your front suspension
8. Drop expensive collision insurance on older cars
9. When you get new glasses, tint your old ones for sunglasses, or donate them to the Lions Club, who uses them for the needy.
10. Check you local restaurants for advertised specials. Usually one night a week is set aside for specials, or kids may eat free one night a week.
11. If a store runs out of an item that is on sale, ask for a raincheck. Not all stores offer this. Walmart doesn't.
12. When you buy something large from a store that offers free delivery, ask if you can get a discount for picking it up yourself.
13. Always weigh prepackaged fruit and vegetables before you buy. Since the bags sometimes weigh more than the listed weight, buy the heavier bag.
14. Cool hot food at room temperature before putting it inside your refrigerator.
15. Store refrigerated liquids in covered containers. Otherwise they release moisture, which makes the refrigerator work harder.
16. A freezer works more efficiently when it is full, even if you use plastic containers full of water as fillers.
17. Wait until there are full loads of dishes or clothes to wash instead of doing many small loads. Each consumes the same amount of water.
18. Barter services with friends and neighbors. Example: one can sew curtains while you weed her garden.
19. Look through the wholesale listings in your local yellow pages for items that you buy frequently or in bulk. Many wholesalers do sell their products to the public but do not advertise.
20. Local police, sheriff offices as well as the post office and US Customs office, often sponsor auctions to get rid of lost, seized, or abandoned goods. Keep an eye out for these in your local paper. Also, look for advertised auctions at mini storage sites. They auction units that are not paid for or removed after several notices. You can pick up a whole house of furniture for next to nothing.
21. If you are in need of office equipment, the best time to buy used equipment is right after a political election when the campaign offices are closing up. Contact them right away.
22. If you believe you have a leak in your toilet, dump a little laundry bluing or food color into your tank after it has filled and stopped running. If the color shows up in the bowl, you have a leak.
23. Instead of putting bricks in your toilet tank to conserve water, which may crumble and clog the plumbing, use a 1 quart plastic jug instead. Fill the jug with water, screw, screw on the lid and place it in the tank. You can reduce water consumption considerably.
24. Buy frozen juices and add your own water. That is all the bottle juices are anyway, so why spend all the extra money.
25. Check your local restaurants for advertised specials. Usually one night a week there are specials, such as Kid's eat free night, a special price for all you can eat, etc. You may want to call first and find out if there is any restrictions before you go.
26. When you want to go out to celebrate a special occassion, go out for lunch instead of dinner. Meals are usually a lower price at this time of day.
27. Another way to eat out and save is to go to a happy hour that serves appetizers and a variety of snacks. For the price of one drink or a soda and a tip, you can eat and enjoy the company of family and friends.
28. Before you head out to the supermarket, make out a check for a little over your food budget. Any difference between the final total food bill and the amount of the check, stick in your savings account. Using coupons, store specials, two-for-ones, and careful shopping, your savings could add up quickly.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Spend Less for Gas

Get your car prepared. Make sure your tires are filled with the proper amount of air and that they are aligned properly. Take any extra weight from your trunk or even take off your luggage rack if you do not use it. In the winter, remember that snow and ice do weigh alot, so remove snow and icycles before you drive off. Extra weight means extra gas is used to get the car to move. Get a tune up. If all the parts are working correctly, you will spend less on gas. Change filters and oil regularly.
Go to the gas station in the morning while it is cool. Cooler gas is more compact so you get more for your money. Fill up with the octane you really need. Your car may not need the higher octane, so you may save some pennies by going lower. Check your owners manual for this information.
Now for when you are on the road:
Plan your trip. Make sure you know where you are going and plan the best route. You don't want to stop and start a lot if possible and you don't want rough roads. You want to run all your errands on one go-around so have a list of all you need to get done. Car pool if you can. Does your best friend need to go grocery shopping? Do it together. It is more fun that way anyway.
Drive at the posted speed limits. The faster you go, the more fuel is used. Also, paying for tickets is not a frugal thing to do.
Use your overdrive gear while traveling on the highway
Use cruise control to control constant speed and reduce fuel consumption.
Don't tailgate. All the braking isn't good for gas or tires. Hitting the car in front of you isn't good for your wallet or your insurance either.
Don't idle your car unneccesarily. Turn off the car if you have a long wait. Put your car in neutral if you are at a long red light, traffic stop or in a fast food line during lunch time.
Turn off your air conditioner and open windows if you are traveling at speeds under 40MPH. Any higher, it causes air drags and makes your car work too hard, which causes more gas consumption.
Park in the shade when possible, and try to park forward. Reverse uses more gas.