Friday, December 31, 2010
Thursday, December 16, 2010
- Mini pan scrapers (just like the Pampered Chef ones, but free and smaller so you can toss them more frequently)
- Tagging cords going into one of those strip plugs so you know what is what without unplugging the wrong thing, or without following the cord all the way back to the appliance.
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
I'm writing to kindly ask if you could change your blog's name? We own the federal trademark on "Money Saving Mom" and since that phrase is in your blog's name, it actually violates our federal trademark, which would mean you'd be subject to federal fines and more if you continue to use it.
I'm sure you didn't know this and I hate to even request this since I know it's tough to change one's blog name. However, since we have gotten Walmart to stop using them phrase "Money Saving Moms" on a section of their site, our attorney also says we have to ask blogs using the phrase "Money Saving Mom" in their name to discontinue it's use because the size of a company or blog doesn't matter when it comes to the federal trademark rules.
I'll be happy to give you 4-6 weeks to change the name (or longer, if you need it). Please just let me know when it is changed, or if you have any other questions.
Thanks so much!
Money Saving Mom®
Helping you be a better home economist
So, I guess I have no choice, I'm not rich because I don't advertise on my site, so I have to ask you a question - It will be on the side bar after today - What should I name my site?
Monday, December 13, 2010
- Professional Hair coloring - once every 6 weeks, millions of women get their hair frosted/highlighted dyed at the beauty shop. Let's say they spend about $65 - that means in 1 year, they spend about $550 just on their coloring. (That's and entire month's worth of groceries plus some gas)
- Fancy Beauty cream - millions of women also drop $25 or more every 2 months on special creams to make them look younger and reduce eye puffiness - truth is, none of those creams are proven to work better than sleep or hemmrhoid cream. In one year, that's $150 a year (one month of both cable and landline telephone bills)
- Makeup - this is a big variable, but let's go with a nice low figure - say $10 a month on makeup related expenses. Because of what makeup does, it actually makes you look older instead of younger. That's $120 a year, plus now you have to buy stuff to try to make you look younger again. (the equivalent of one month cell phone bill, plus a tank of gas)
- Special smelly body washes and lotions - not proven to do anything more for your skin than regular moisturizing bar soap and basic lotion, costs about $20 a month ($240 a year - or one month's car payment or electric bill)
So beautify smartly, and don't be fooled by ads designed to pull you in, and also, let your natural beauty shine through, and laugh more all the way to the bank!
Saturday, December 11, 2010
Pets can cost a lot of money though. If you are not broke, not behind in your bills, and have an adequate savings on top of that, then have pets, and love them and enjoy them.
If you are behind on your mortgage or your bills, struggling to make ends meet and stressed. You need to find a new home for fluffy. Pets cost money. A minimum of $50 a month just in feeding them (that's $600 a year). I'm not trying to be mean at all, but prioritize. Another thing is if you lose your home, chances are that where you go will not allow pets, so you will have to get rid of them. If you are proactive and give them away, you can find great homes for them where they will be loved, well cared for and possibly you may be able to visit them. But if you are suddenly having to move, fluffy doesn't always get the best end of the stick. I hate seeing animals ditched because people can't afford them anymore - do the loveable critters in your world a favor and don't let it come to that.
Friday, December 10, 2010
- Barnes & Noble
This also works for movies - you can save 50% over Wal-Mart.
Thursday, December 9, 2010
Words to the wise. Milk jugs are great for short term storage of lots of things, but I would not recommend them for long term storage. they are not intended for use in the types of food storage that people don't use for 10 years. I also would never put anything liquid or semi liquid in them. Pretty much anything that has moisture, I would avoid. Just dry stuff. And if you don't want to use them for food, you can use them for your powdered items like laundry soap, dishwasher soap, kitty litter, epsom salts, beads, lego's, etc.
Use your imagination, and use your head. Happy Storage!
My husband is a meat and potato man. So, we eat a lot of meat and potatoes in various concoctions and contortions and whatever. He also only likes leftovers once. Well, okay - new challenge. I know that soup is a cheap meal, and the idea of soup of leftovers is catchy among tightwads like me. But if the family does not like soup, what do you do --make hash!
Easy Leftover Hash
Veggies (fresh and leftover cooked)
Diced Potatoes (about 1 cm so they cook quickly)
Put potatoes in skillet with a little olive oil and cook for about 10 minutes until they are almost tender, and any veggies (I like to add additional onion, celery, carrot, green pepper, etc - whatever I have that I don't want to spoil in the fridge), let those cook a couple of more minutes then dice up what ever meat you had leftover (yes, you can do this with meatloaf and meatballs, and even taco meat, just run a bit of hot water over them to rinse old sauce/seasoning off.). Add the cooked meat and cooked leftover veggies toward the end. Stir until all is hot and potatoes are completely done.
At this point, you can do several things: 1) serve as a dry hash, 2) make a little gravy in the pan with it ( or add some cream of whatever soup you want) and serve it over old homemade bread (soaks up gravy), or 3) top it with cheese and serve.
There are a few things to keep in mind when doing this:
1) match your flavors well - leftover taco meat does better for a soutwestern style hash, so go with those flavors; same for meatballs and italian, meatloaf chunks (minus the tomato topping) do well in a swiss style hash, etc, etc.
2) experiment and write down what you did and how your family reacted
3) this same concept can be applied to making it a hamburger/chicken helper style meal, your meat and veggies additives are just already done for you.
Let me know if you come up with any 'rock star' dishes
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Project 2011. This is my debt reduction goal for next year. This is not one specific thing, this is my total goal, and this does not include regular monthly payments. This is over and above that, principal debt payments.
Do you have debt reduction goals? How much?
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Yankee magazine's 'Living on a Shoestring'
Better Basics for the Home
The Tightwad Gazette
The Tightwad Gazette II
The Tightwad Gazette III
Cheap Talk with the Frugal Friends
The Tightwad Twins
$5 Mom Cookbook
Any of the Mary Hunt Books
Any of the Dave Ramsey Books
Any of the Jeff Yeager Books
Living Well on One Income
Homeschool your child for free
Homeschooling on a shoestring
There are many others, but I wanted to share a brief list of ones I have read and loved
Monday, December 6, 2010
Thursday, December 2, 2010
* deep frying
* cake (very moist results)
* pizza (much better than the stoneware)
* frittata (the crust will be divine)
* shepherd's pie (or chicken pot pie)
* anytime I want to crust a piece of meat before putting it in the oven
* breakfast casserole (allows you to have a good crust on your bottom hash brown layer)
Cast iron takes a little bit longer to heat up than stainless steel (about 30 seconds longer), but it retains heat for many more minutes than stainlesl steel. That means you can turn your heat source off and your food will continue to cook for a while. This means saving gas or electricity depending on your stove type. You save of dish soap because you can't use it on cast iron. It can go from the stove top to the oven, you can put it on the grill, directly on a fire, and even on one of those homemade coffee can stoves! It is truly the most green and economical cookware I have found. Plus it is cheap!
How many cast iron skillets do you have and what do you use them for that's different?
Sunday, November 28, 2010
#1 - How much does it cost to dry a load of clothing in the dryer for 1 hour?
Ok, this one takes some calculation, but here we go:
The average electric clothes dryer burns 6000 watts per hour of use (check yours for a more accurate figure). Our cost per kwh (kilowatt hour) for electricity from October to May is 8.928 cent per kwh (7.227 base rate + 1.701 fuel charge), From June through September the base rate is 8.330 making the total 10.031per kwh. So, the 6000 watt per hour dryer is burning 6kwh. In the summer, that equals 60.186 cent per hour and in the winter that is 53.568 cent per hour. Now, let's assume your family only creates 1 load of laundry per week. That equals $4.21302 per week in summer and $3.74976 in winter. That is $205.18 per year!
Of course that is only if your family creates 7 loads of laundry per week, and if each load only runs for 1 hour. You will have to adjust your calculation based on your family's use to figure out the cost.
There are a couple of things that figure doesn't include. For instance, in the summer, the heat from the dryer makes you house hotter so that your AC has to work harder. In the winter, the extra heat from the dryer is helpful, so it costs a couple of cent less. Another thing - How many of you turn the dryer on "for just a couple of minutes" to de-wrinkle your already dry clothes? that 'just a minute' is usually about 20 minutes and repeates itself because most of us don't even get the clothes out then, so we do it all over again.
#2 - I don't like the stiff feeling clothes get on the clothesline.
First of all, be thankful that you did not live 60 years ago when no one had a dryer. Secondly, that stiff feeling goes away after about 5 minutes of wear.
There are a couple of practical solutions to this problem. One is to take clothes off the line when they are just slightly below dry (very slightly below) and put them in the dryer for 5 minutes (set a timer so you don't forget), and your clothes will not feel line dried at all. Another option is to add some fabric softener to your load. My husband likes Gain and so we use it - of course I only use half the recommended amount, but it still does the trick.
#3 - How much does it cost to put up a clothesline?
Mine was about $25, but I also went ahead and got the green line that is a piece of wire coverend in green plastic. It is heavy duty and has no problem holding up my laundry. The cotton line dry rots and breaks after a couple of months
All in all, lines cost as much as you want to put into them.
#4 - That's a lot of work.
Hogwash. It takes between 5-10 minutes to hang a load of laundry on the line, and 2 to take it down.
#5 - But how about those new 'high efficiency dryers' that don't use as much electricity?
Look at the price tag, they cost a lot more. There is no way they save money.
#6 - I don't have the time, I have 6 children.
If you have 6 children, then you have children old enough to train how to help you. A 6 year old can help with the laundry. My 4 year old is able to help with laundry somewhat.
#7 - I work full-time so it doesn't fit into my schedule.
I have always found this reason to be interesting. Partly because I have heard it from people who are 'out shopping', or always doing leisure activities. Take horseback riding for example. If you have time to care for and ride one of those creatures, then you most certainly have time to hang your clothes out. Of course if you're in debt and have horses, send me an email so we can discuss how to prioritize and the difference between wants and needs. Same thing with golf, going to a weight watchers meeting, reading trash novels, sitting on your bum in the sun doing nothing, etc.
#8 - It's not good for your clothes.
Air drying is best for your clothes. It's the hanging part that some clothing can't tolerate, so there will be some things best to lay flat to dry. But that is the case whether you use a line or the dryer - there will always be things too delicate for a dryer. Another thing is that a high heat dryer actually wears your clothes out faster becuase it shrinks fabrics and pulls at the stiches.
#9 - What do you do about all the lint
Lint is not a big problem with line drying becuase there is no heat and tumbling around creating lint to begin with. The little bit of lint created can easily be removed with a 3 inch pull of duct tape. I have only had to resort to this maybe 3 times, ever.
#10 - I don't want to
Now this is an honest response. No excuses, no nothing. Just an honest "I don't want to". Okay, so keep looking around and find another way to save money, there are plenty of options out there.
But if you find yourself in debt still or getting worse, send me an email so we can talk.
Friday, November 19, 2010
So this list is dedicated to the things that would help a mom save more money:
- A mixer (KitchenAid, Bosch, Hamilton Beach), this is one of those items, that once you have it, you really don't know how you did without it. It kneads bread dough for you to save you lots of time and arm use while at the same allowing you to ease more homemade items into your repetoire. If you want to save people money, tell them a second hand machine is fine with you too.
- An immersion blender, this is on my list. It makes smoothing out sauces a breeze without having to break out the entire blender. It also doesn't take up a lot of space
- Sewing machine, and maybe a how-to book to go a long with it
- Books, I have a personal recommendation to help keep you in check and inspired in your frugal journey: The Tightwad Gazette I, II & III or The Complete Tightwad Gazette (3 in 1) a word of caution here, the tightwad gazette is for those really wanting to make every cent count, and it's a great read!;
- Dishes & Cookware, some very useful pieces include a cast iron skillet (10in or 12in), bread pans, 9x9 square baking dish, glass mixing bowls in various sizes, a stockpot and 1/2 gallon size canning jars
Look around your kitchen or other areas and try to visualize what would be a helpful addition!
Thursday, November 18, 2010
If this sounds time consuming or boring, then just do in when your sitting in front of the TV not moving anyway. You'll never notice the time was spent doing something constructive.
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Friday, November 12, 2010
If you are in the middle of a project, and find yourself in need of somewhere to sit items...look to your laundryroom! Grab the ironing board and put it to use! This works for hot pans straight out of the oven...or for scrapbook/school projects. It is the perfect place for putting kids' painting or glue projects until they are dry. This can even be used as a sidetable at Thanksgiving, just throw a pretty sheet or tablecloth over it first.
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Today, I was reading the back of a package of Food Lion Sandwich bread. First of all, it contained too many ingredients for me,secondly, it contains soybean/cottonseed oil (aka vegetable oil - and by the way, who actually eats cottonseeds?? NO ONE!! They are not a food, much less a vegetable!), soy lecithin, and soy flour. SOY FLOUR! REALLY!
Soy is pretty cheap, and because of that, it has infiltrated our food supply disguised as health food. I have heard countless 'experts' talk about the health of the Japanes and other Asian cultures, and 'it must be the soy' so they put it in everything. Well, let's talk about the soy and the Asian cuisine. Tofu and soy sauce. Both fermented soy products - in fact, I have never seen any fresh soybeans or other soy products served to the Asians, and you also don't see it in their restaurants. Why would that be? Probably because they already know that fresh soy has chemicals in it that pull nutrients out of the body - when it is fermented however, those same chemicals become neutralized, so that you can get the good stuff out of it - like in tofu.
What does this have to do with saving money - well, when you buy your food, make sure you are getting what you pay for and not lots of unhealthy filler - that'll cost you in the long run.
By the way - the asian cultures are probably healthier than us because #1) they don't eat a lot of processed junk, #2) they eat plenty of fish, both raw and cooked, #3) they don't overeat like Americans, #4) they walk a lot more than Americans. I bet if we as Americans did those 4 things more, we would be a lot healthier even without all of the soy and soy by products.
Sunday, October 31, 2010
24 oz rosemary infused water (you can choose any herb you wish)
3 oz white vinegar
2 oz dawn dish detergent or castille soap
mix in a spray bottle and use generally
* To make your herb infusion, take your fresh herbs of choice, bruise them to help release their oils and stuff them into a mason jar to 1/2 full (or more if you have it). Pour boiling water over it and allow to steep for at least an hour. A note of caution - jars that are not made for home canning are thinner and can easily rupture, so either use the canning jars or just put the herbs in the pot.
Saturday, October 23, 2010
I will figure this out!
I tried 6 things to replace my chemical laden deodorant and they were:
- powdering a clean pit with baking soda
- spritzing a clean pit with rubbing alcohol
- Powdering a clean pit with baking soda after spritzing it with the alcohol
- Spritzing a clean pit with a mix of 1/2 and 1/2 rubbing alcohol and body splash
- powdering a clean pit with baby powder after spritzing with alcohol
- the solid crystal deodorant
#6 - the solid crystal deodorant
Here is why:
All 6 of the options actually did really well, to be honest. I really didn't think they would, but they did. All of the options took care of the stink and #4 would actually emit a bit of the perfume scent. But during this experiment I realized that I have really sensitive pits. I actually had discovered this a couple of years ago, but at that time I just switched to Dove deodorant because of all of the moisturizers, and that took care of it, so I had to rediscover this again. So to give you pros:
- easy, no odor
- easy, no odor
- easy, no odor
- easy, no odor, light fragrance emitted
- easy, no odor, light baby powder scent emitted
- easy, no odor, easily portable, non irritating, no residue or powder to get on clothing
- scouring effect on pit if you forget to rinse before you wash
- irritating after a shave
- combo of the two above problems
- no real cons here, the body splash has aloe to stop irritation
- also no real cons, the powder took care of the irritation
- none, well maybe initial cost for the stick (about $5)
So, I forked over the $5, but it takes a lot longer to use up the solid crystal than the regualar stick Dove which was 3.60. So, I'm happy, and I'll come back to it again one day and let you just how long it took to use it up.
I'm also still doing the shampoo, and by the way, the low sudsing thing is a non issue after the mix has time to sit and blend, because then it suds like crazy!
Thursday, October 21, 2010
I have been on a quest in the past couple of months, I really want to go more eco-friendly and biologically friendly in my home and with my personal care items. Why? Well, several reasons, but I'll only divulge a few here, otherwise this whole post with be tremendously long -
- We have well water in my home and the well is on my property, so I want the things that go down my drain to be eco/bio friendly and nontoxic
- I have been reading up on what many of the crazy chemical ingredients in things do in our body, most of them are carcinogens, some of them are unknown (which may be a bit more scary), so I would like to get rid of them in my older body, but also prevent them from building up in my children's young bodies
- It can actually be cheaper to go clean and green if you homemake your formulas versus buying the conventional synthetic cheap brands over the counter
- My youngest son has problems with asthma sometimes, so I would like to decrease the pollutants and VOC's in my indoor air.
I have a couple of books, one came from the library "Easy Green Living" by Renee Loux is a great reference tool about different products to go greener in your life. The better book is "Better Basics for the Home" by Annie Berthold-Bond. I got that one for free from some stuff my dad had. Another interesting one I got from him was "1001 Chemicals in Everyday Products" by Grace Lewis. Using these 3 together has really been an eye opener for what is in different household products, plus ways to make my own natural nontoxic alternatives.
My first experiment is the basic shampoo formula:
- 10oz water (I have a reverse osmosis unit, so that's where mine comes from)
- 2 oz castille soap (I keep Dr. Bronner's Baby Mild on hand)
- 1 tsp glycerin
So, I used it tonight, and I will say it doesn't give your hair that slippery feel while you wash, which is different, but not a big deal. It also doesn't get as bubbly as shampoo, which is fine with me because it also doesn't leave a residue. I did not use conditioner (although the book gives a recipe for one) because I wanted to test the shampoo formula first. So, I let my hair naturally dry, and as of right now, it feels about the same as it does after a shampoo with a little bottle conditioner or one of those shampoo/conditioner combos. I wonder if it's because the natural stuff didn't strip my hair of all of it's natural protection.
I will use it without the conditioner for a few more days and come back with the results.
If you are considering go more natural formula in your home and body care, here is a short list of the most common ingredients in most of the formulas:
- castille soap
- white vinegar
- baking soda
- aloe vera gel
- alcohol (she calls for a lot of vodka in the book)
- essential oils (there are listed in the book as optional, but lavender and tea tree are the most common)
I can't wait to see how the next formula I try works out!!!!
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
- Baking Powder
- Some cosmetics
- Canned foods (it's what the can is made of)
- Many cooking utensils, pans, etc.
So, I was doing a little research, and I thought about the homemade deodorant recipe posted here by one of my comerades, but until I have the materials, I just wanted something easy. I came across 2 things: isopropyl alcohol and baking soda. For the isopropyl alcohol, just simply fill a small spray bottle with it, then spritz your pits a couple of times a day. The alcohol kills the bacteria since that's what causes BO anyway, but allows you to sweat, which is one of the ways the body detoxifies itself. For the baking soda, the instructions said to put some in a small tupperware style container, take a large facial powder brush and treat the baking soda just as you would facial powder - dip, tap, brush on delicately. Done. So, this is the one I tried today. It was not hot, so even though I perspired, I was not drenched. However, I did run/walk intervals for about 2 miles today. And you know what - NO STINK! I was impressed.
So, I will try this for a few days and just see if it holds up, and I'll let you know. I may still try the alchol one too, or maybe some combination like a 'spritz, dry, powder' routine. I'll get back to you on that one.
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Word to the wise, if you have GPS, use it for yard sales! I was taken directly to where I wanted to go each time even in our local 'turn and twist' neighborhood. When I saw an unadvertised yard sale, I was able to make a quick stop, then when I was done, my GPS had me back on track to my destination. I did make a few excellent deals:
- A comb binding machine for $5 (not the $35 version, but the 330 page $250 version)
- A multi function, leather desk chair for $20 ( about $200 or more new) with just a few small scuffs on the botton corners (nothing a little shoe polish won't fix)
- A cast iron bundt pan, in good useable condition
- plus a few odd and end items, but these were my biggies
Thursday, September 30, 2010
Anyhooo - I was checking prices a few days ago and noticed something - a quart sized jar of dill pickle spears was about 2.99, and a gallon sized jar of whole dill pickles was $4.50. Really? So, I bought the big boy and just cut several of the ones at the top into spears before I stuck them into the fridge.
And, now I will have a glass gallon sized jar to reuse after the pickles are gone - or at least low enough to put into a couple of quart sized jars!
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
I used to buy the Clorox and Lysol brand quick wipes all the time, but at $3 or more a pop, that can get pricey. So, I did a little research on other sites and came up with a formula and method for my own at a fraction of the price. I purchased 2 square shaped tupperware-style containers at my local Wal-Mart (about 2.50 for a pack of 2) and of course you pick the size that fits the size of the wipe. I also bought a top quality white napkin (the ones that are folded into quarters like bounty or brawny) (about $3 for a large pack) I stuffed the square container full of the napkins. Then I used a high quality all purpose concentrate like Lysol and diluted it according to package directions. I poured the mix over the napkins a cup at a time until they were well soaked. I closed it up and left it overnight so that the solution could have time to soak into the middle of the stack. Then I just labeled the container as such and use them whenever I need a quick wipe
If you already have a containter these will fit, then that will trim your costs. But do yourself a favor and don't skimp on the cheap napkins, because they won't hold up over time. The Bounty ones held up for me for a month. Then I had to make it again anyway, so it may have actually gone longer.
Saturday, September 4, 2010
The economic times are not showing any signs of improving, so take advantage of the fact that we live in a throw away society and go get those things you need that others are just "throwing away" ;)
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Anyway, now I have to come up with a 14% deduction on our other bills to make up the difference - I'm gonna have to think on it, but the first three items I have the most influence over are power useage, food cost and gas consumption. Boy, I have some work to do!
Monday, August 23, 2010
Friday, August 20, 2010
As a side note, I only search for swap books that I can't find at the library for free*
Saturday, August 14, 2010
Sunday, August 8, 2010
- 1subject notebooks, college ruled, .15 each (I have purchased 46)
- 12 ct. crayola colored pencils, 1.00 (I purchased about 8)
- 11ct. WASHABLE magic markers, .70 (I purchased about 10)
- Phone message book
- Lesson Plans (1 or 2 days per page leaving lots of room to write and jot and tittle)
- Kids doodle pads and drawing books (they don't care about the lines, so neither should you)
- Books just to have on hand to write your thoughts down
Just write on the front what it's for and who it's for and go with it. Options:
- 'Mom's Thoughts'
- 'Bible Study Notes'
- 'Jacob's Kindergarten Lesson Plans'
- 'Booklist, Field Trips and other Enrichment Activities for Kindergarten 2010-2011'
- 'Recipes and attempted Concocktions'
- 'Money Saving Mommies best Ideas Ever' (wink, wink)
- 'Shopping list'
- 'Blog ideas'
- 'Ideas to save more money around my home'
- the list goes on.......
Friday, August 6, 2010
Thursday, August 5, 2010
Thank you so much Steph -
Keep blessing one another -
Friday, July 30, 2010
Sunday, July 25, 2010
- I like the zote soap, it works fine and it's less expensive than the fels naptha
- If you freeze your own leftovers, they microwave and serve up just like stouffer's for a fraction of the cost, and it really beats going for take out because you have not planned well.
- you can buy from sam's club online and still get really great prices on things and the shipping is usually included in the price - plus it took my order 4 days from ordering to my doorstep, so I was a happy girl.
- you can't get everything you can get inside sam's from the online store, but also, there ther things you can get online that you can't get in store.
- Half.com also has great prices on nintendo Wii games
- Dell financial services has an outlet and you can get a dell refurbished computer with warranty and great specs for a fraction of the cost (like 60% less than brand new - and with WARRANTY!!)
That's a few things I've discovered in the past month since I last blogged. I have more though, but I'll save them for another post!
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Monday, June 21, 2010
For the solution: once the bottle is empty, bore a hole in the top big enough for a funnel to fit, then add your own solution and then just stick a cork in it. If your cork is too big, just trim away on the cork or you can make your hole a little larger. But I recommend manipulating the cork versus the bottle. I personally like to use a white vinegar and water solution, but you can just use your favorite bottle cleanr and dilute to package directions.
For the pad: You can go several ways with this, but something reusable seems to be the cheapest. I use plain old bar mops for dishtowels, and after one gets too stained, it makes an excellent replacement pad, just clip the backside with clothespins, binder clips or whatever you have handy, and when you're done, toss it in the wash. You can also use old washcloths, microfiber cloths, or even old cloth diapers.
Happy Swiffering the cheap way!
Thursday, June 17, 2010
By the way:
Fels Naptha is 1.39 for a 7ish ounce bar and Zote is 1.39 for a 14 oz bar.
I'll use it and review it.
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Did you know you can compost right in your flowerbed/garden. I never knew this until a gentleman in my neighborhood did it. The trick is that you spread it out instead of dumping it into one huge pile, and you use one of those 3 pronged fork things (looks like a small pitchfork) and you turn your soil frequently. What I discovered is that doing this helps the material you are composting decompose faster, and at the same time, you are turning your soil often which helps aerate it, and because it's turning, water absorbs more quickly and weeds are easier to pull, plus there are fewer of them. Now I don't turn all of my soil at once. I have 3 distinct patches of garden, so if I turn one every day or 2, I can keep up with it. I also don't have tons of stuff to compost. Mostly peeling, eggshells and stems and seeds. We don't generally have cooked veggie leftovers. I did it with rotten tomatoes that fell off the vine last year and within a couple of weeks, the seeds had sprouted into new tomato plants!
If you are still a little fidgety about putting your compost all over your garden, then just pick a small corner and do it there, then you just have to turn that one small patch every couple of days. It'll work the same without have a big ugly separate pile to have to maintain. Just have little ones instead.
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Take yesterday for instance, I had a family pack of drumsticks I got on sale, and I decided to cook them all at once so I would have easy to reheat leftovers for lunches a couple of days. In addition to those, I took a glass corning baker put a little oil in, chopped some zucchini that a neighbor gave me, added a tad of emeril's seasoning and put that on the grill (in the dish, uncovered), and I took 2 twice baked potatoes out of the freezer (from yesterday's post) allowed them to thaw a little while (maybe half hour), them put them in yet another small glass corning dish and pt that directly on the grill too and let them cook. A word of caution on the corning dishes though, make sure you don't put them over high heat. My grill is one of those where the left and right are separately adjustable, so I can turn down the side with the corning.
I have even baked bread on the grill on a very low setting when the power went out after I had proofed it one day. Took about the same amount of time, and it somehow even browned some - I don't know how on earth that happened.
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
So far, everything I have made, frozen, thawed and used has been just fine. Even the twice baked potatoes, and I wasn't too sure about how that one was going to turn out, but it was fine. I just made them up, then instead of going into the oven for the second baking, I wrapped them individually nice and tightly and popped them into the freezer. When I wanted them, I took them out, let them thaw for maybe 30 minutes, then put them in the oven with whatever else I was cooking (last time was the toaster oven). I have also done the second baking of these on the grill too, and they were still fabulous.
The cheese has also done well. The only difference I can tell is that pre-frozen cheese crumbles a little easier (it doesn't fall apart in your hands, but when you're shredding it, it crumbles a little, but not in a bothersome way, I just happened to notice it). The preshred I put in the freezer is great too, no complaints there. It all melts just fine.
So there, cook once, eat 2,3,4 times because the extra is frozen and ready when you are. Dinner in a snap. This also helps ward off last minute take out because of planning issues.
Pasta and rice look a little strange frozen, but when they thaw, they look normal again, I dont' really understand why, but I'm also not going to waste brain cells on it, I need all I got!
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
So, on my way back from homeschool convention (which was awesome as expected), my sister and I stopped at Sam's, and I purchased more chese then ever before in my life.
- 5lb loaf of sharp cheddar $10.50
- 5lb loaf of mozzarella $11.25
I really hope this experiment works. My family loves cheese and this way it was half price!
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Sunday, May 23, 2010
Sewing can be as cheap or as expensive as you want it to be. I would suggest that when you are beginning, get some old fabric from your grandma's closet or a thrift shop so that you're not wasting 10.99 per yard fabric on a skirt that is not done well. I personally have used some of my husband's pants that he wore only once then they shrunk on him - he could't wear them, so they became fodder for my play. The skirts were made from new material, but the leftover bits became parts for bags, hair wraps, etc. A small cosmetics bag can be made from just a few small bits of fabric. These are good practice pieces! Old T shirts can have a new life as reuseable shopping bags is torn apart just a bit and resewn.Sewing is also a practice of independance. I no longer NEED a Vera, I can make my own duplicate to the dimensions and level of organization that work for me!
Friday, May 14, 2010
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Have fun doing it yourself!
Friday, May 7, 2010
- Meal planning with baking scrutiny - what I mean here is that in the summer it is hot, and the AC is on trying to cool it down, so the more I bake, the more heat I'm putting out into the room and the more the AC is having to work to counter it. That means using more elctricity. So, I'm working on my meal planning to include multiple meals so that I can have one or two baking days, but still have food for the week without having to heat my house up every day or 2 for baking. Stove heating only takes a few minutes and doesn't heat up the house nearly as hot or as long, so that I don't mind. Of course this also means planning my baking days around the coolest days o the week also to help the AC bill - we'll see how that one goes
- Hanging clothes on the clothesline
- Using our fans
- Going outside more
- Drinking lots of cold liquids
- Keeping extra bottles of liquid in the freezer to freeze and help keep the temperature in the freezer steady, and it helps keep the freezer from running so much, the trick is tospread the bottles out a bit.
- Keep unused electronics off when not in use. You would be suprised how much heat a computer and other electronic devices create when they are not being used. They also could use a cooling off period anyway to rest the motors.
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Sunday was a beautiful day, and I still had to cook, so since my kitchen was hot already, I cooked extra to be prepared for the week so I would not have to heat the kitchen up again quite so hot.
Here's a brief list of things that are easy to cook extra of on Sunday afternoon (or any day) and keep for several days in the fridge:
- Noodles - something fun like penne or farfalle are very versatile, just add a sauce or heat in a pan with some butter and salt.
- Rice - I'm thinking rice as a quick side dish, added to burritos, fried rice with leftover meat and veggies, etc.
- Bread - if you're heating up your oven for 1-2 loaves, why not go ahead and make 6-8 and freeze the extras
- Veggies - if I'm making frozen peas for tonight I can double the amount and have them again a couple of nights from now as another side
- Potatoes - twice as many mashed potatoes means potato cakes later in the week! Or shepherd's pie topping ready to go!
- Meat - this one is a little trickier because meat is best on the first go around, unless it's sauced or seasoned for a specific dish, then you can't really tell. For intance, if you are having meatball subs on Monday and Tacos on Thursday, go ahead and cook all of the ground beef while the pan is hot, ten your taco dinner just took 15 minutes less and you didn't have to heat up the pan or the room all over again. Chicken can be done similarly if you're heating up your oven for one, can you fit a second one in there if you are having another chicken dish in the near future?
Friday, April 2, 2010
I purchased a Vera Bradley bag brand new from an exchange list (I'll describe this is another post later) for $30 shipped, carried it for 6 months, and now I want something different, and so I listed it on craigslist for $30, and got an offer. So if I sell it, I basically got to carry a $98 Vera in perfect condition for free!
Plus, craiglist has no seller fees, except for a few things, but I'm not sure what. It also has local branches kind of like freecycle so the participants (generally) are local folk.
Have a wonderful day and go see craig and his marvelous list!
Friday, March 26, 2010
- Cost - about 1.50 for a pack of 10 single edge (which is what you want)
- Grout - after you scrub grout, there is usally this little bit of gunk you just can't get out, well, I get it out with virtually no effort with a razor blade
- Gas cooktop - you know what I mean, the little bit of dried oil, butter, food, etc that get burned, brown and stuck on right there under where the flame comes out, a razor blade takes them off easily, just be careful not to dig so you don't scratch your surface
- Nonstick cookware - **don't do this if you have any type of warranty because it will nullify it. But if you have the cheaper kind, I personnally have used a razor blade to get stuck on pam spray off before. My hubby is usually the only one to use the nonstick and clean it, and sometimes if little bits of the spray gets left on, it will burn on and it's hard to get off -
- Glass - get stray spray paint or other stuck on matter off of glass in a cinch - I personally love to do this on my toaster oven because it's hard to clean the door
- Small appliances - I have a kitchen aid stand mixer that I use almost daily. I wipe it down after I use it, but sometimes I like to take if apart and just give it a good bath. Well, since I make a lot of flour products, bits of flour dust get left behind when I wipe it down, and because it's not far from the stove, grease particles maket he flour stick, and sometimes you get gunk around the screws in the back of the machine, so when I give my mixer the spa treatment, I get the razor blade out and scrape gently around the joints and screws and my baby comes out clean as a whistle.
- I use a clean razor blade to slash bread tops before baking too, you can get pretty creative with the art this way because the slashes are so clean.
- On humans - do I really need to get into this, just don't use it on people
- On animals - can't think of a good time to use it on critters either
- If you have a mentally unstable person living with you - then you may want to forego razor blades in the home at all
**Please read disclaimer to the bottom right of this blog!
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
There are some things that need medication, but as this wise older woman has so clearly pointed out, people don't take the time, put their hands on their children and fervently pray. They also don't use common sense. They say things like "Oh, it's just a $20 copay" or "Medicaid is paying for it anyway."
People please - there is no such thing as free healthcare - that is except for taking the time to pray over your sick loved one. There is no charge for prayer. Medicaid costs, copays cost, even free clinics need donations because they cost money to operate. Prayer is and always will be free of charge.
Common sense if free too, if you don't have any, I suggest you find someone who has some and begin to ask them questions so that some seeds of common sense and wisdom may be planted in you to cultivate and grow and use yourself - then pass it on to another person in need of more common sense so that one day, it may actually be common again!
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
- Jungle Book 2
- The Rescuers
- Jillian Michael's 30 day Shred
- Denise Austin Pilates
- Denise Austin Yoga
- Disney Classics Collection (includes Casey at the Bat, Morris the Midgette Moose, Ben and Me, and several others on the same DVD)
Take a few moments, and find a good DVD/book/CD from your local library system and entertain for free!
Saturday, March 20, 2010
- Vomiting one time is not a medical emergency. Vomiting many times and not being able to keep any liquids down to compensate for the fluid loss, or adding in fever or diarrhea deserves a call to your doctor (who has your medical history available and can make the determination on whether or not you need immediate medical attention). And remember vomiting has a functional purpose too, it's not all bad.
- Fever of 100.5 is not a medical emergency. A fever of 105.0 however, is a different story - and please don't not treat the fever because you don't want to 'mask the fever', we want you to treat a fever that's high instead of letting it just get higher and higher and possibly have febrile seizures. If the fever is 102.0, treat it and call your doc to see what they think-. Also remember that fever too has a functional purpose and is also not all bad - it's your body's way of killing off bacteria and viruses. Most health professionals don't even recommend treating a fever under 101.0, but if you're concerned or want to hear the opinion of someone who knows you personally, ask your faily doctor or nurse since they know your history and can give you more personalized information based on your medical history.
- Eat healthy - people who eat nothing but junk don't have the optimal physical condition to naturally fight off infections
- Exercize - people who exercize regularly are generally healthier (this doesn't mean you need a membership, this means get your butt off the couch and clean your house, cook your own meals, work in your flowerbeds, walk the dog, play with the kids, go for a walk, etc) MOVE MORE!!!!
- Wash your hands - this can't be said enough, but wash your hands with plain old soap and water several times a day - when they are dirty, before you eat, after using the bathroom, and after play.
- Don't be a germa phobe - things like over using hand sanitizer, scrubbing every surface with bleach like a mad woman and spraying lysol on everything is not necessary. DO take precautions, DO practice good hygiene, but DO NOT obsess to the point of craziness. And believe it or not (and you can research this for yourself) exposure to normal germs is good for your immune system. Now I'm NOT saying to go lick the dog or the gas station bathroom floor, but if your kid eats a God-knows-how-old Cheerio out of the corner of your living room, don't head to the ER to get his stomach pumped either.
- Call your doctor's office for questions, that's why they are there
- Invest in one of those home remedies or home medical manuals, they have lot's of great informaiton out there (and you can find them at most thrift shops)
- Get plenty of sleep - this also helps you fight off infections
- Get annual exams, once a year check ups for healthy adults is a good way to catch problems before they become BIG problems. Regular cholesterol, glucose, triglyceride screenings are helpful in making sure you are doing your part in maintaining good health.
- Immunizations - this one is controversial, so all I'm going to say is to do your research and make your decision then take whatever precautions are necessary depending on what your decision is. We personally did not get the H1N1 vaccine, but my kids are also not in public school or daycare, so our risk was lower than some other groups.
Friday, March 19, 2010
Thursday, March 18, 2010
There are also, several sites that offer free printables for homeschool planning and household planning. My favorite is http://www.donnayoung.org/ and the best part is, she is still adding to the free database.
So go check her out, there are tons of homeschool planning resources, but there are other things too like household planners with calendars, timers, checklists, etc.
Free, did I mention Free! Not $40!
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Vinegar and Water Cleaning Solution and spray and medium mist (enough to dampen the surface - more than a light mist, but not a soaking either) and I just left it there. It took a couple of hours to air dry but the urine scent was gone. The area does not smell like vinegar either. I mean if you stick your nose right up to the surface (I did just to check to make sure the urine odor was gone) you can get a faint vinegar smell. But it's very very faint, and only if your nose is stuck right up on it. Move 3 inches away, and you can't smell it at all.
I have used febreeze a lot for many household surfaces, and it works well, but urine and feces are tough odor and vinegar generally kills both odors well. This is very important if you have small children :)
*** I generally use a 1:10 white vinegar:water ratio for my home all purpose cleaning, and this same stuff is what I sprayed on the area. If you have pets it may take a higher concentration, or even straigt white vinegar spray. Let me know if you try this.***
Can I do it? Can I really go to a cash only?
My husband gets paid on Monday, and when I deposit his check on Tuesday morning I am going to keep out $75 for groceries, and try to do $75 weekly on the cash system and see if I make it - I'll let you know if I can pull it off or fall on my face!!
Monday, March 8, 2010
There are too many types of curriculums to list, but I will say that the 'all-in-one' packages can easily be $1000 per student per grade level. The only time I would recommend one of those is in the case of Missionaries, who are going to be overseas and need everything handy at any given time or if you live in a remote area where you either can't get to the library easily or you plan on being snowbound for a few months.
I personally put together several things to form my curriculum. I start by going to the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction Website and looking at what the state has the other kids doing in that particular grade level. I actually print it out and as we cover the topics, I check them off in red ink so I can have the visual of 'complete.' Anyway, the only real curriculum items I purchase are math and learning to read materials. Things to complete Science and Social Studies are easily found at even small libraries, and literature is probably either in your home already, at the library, or in the thrift store. I do Handwriting and Grammar at the same time through copywork. I read my son the sentence, have him look at the words and we work on pronounciation, then I write it on writing paper and skip lines so he can copy it on the line directly below. We talk about how words are spelled and what types of punctuation are used and why. a Kindergarten doesn't need to diagram sentences, but when we get there, we can do it the same way. Plus, he gets practice writing lots of different letters instead of a boring page of nothing but the letter p which would bore both me and him stiff in about 10 seconds. I would rather kill 2 or 3 birds with the one stone and one time frame and move on. Plus copy work helps with retention.
Anyway, everyone has their own particular style of homeschooling, but just because someone tells you to 'buy this because it's the best,' don't jump into it, just wait and look around. Best for their kid is not necessarily best for yours!
Friday, March 5, 2010
Friday, February 26, 2010
On a motivational note, if you have a 'pay off list' or 'debt snowball' that you're working on paying off, please post it somewhere that you will see it everyday to remind yourself of your goals!
Monday, February 22, 2010
- Eggs - currently $3 for 18 = .17 per egg, full of protein and other vitamins and only about 70 calories each, and oh, by the way, they are nature made not chemically concocted - although that can be debated a little depending on your egg supplier - I get mine from local farmers, but still a regular grocery store industrially laid egg is closer to as God intended than a poptart ;)
- Oatmeal - about $3 for the 42 oz round box (not the instant stuff) = .10 per serving (1/2 cup dry which equals almost a full cup cooked), and 30 servings per package. A complex carbohydrate powerhouse, minimally processed, few if any chemicals added
- Pancakes - the homemade kind are cheap as dirt, they cost about .65 per recipe and one recipe feeds more than one person, and of course, the homemade kind are less polluted by stuff you can't pronounce
- Muffins - there again, the homemade kind are about .75 per recipe and one recipe makes 12 muffins, and you can feed several people on those also
- Cheese toast, waffles, biscuits - CHEAP> CHEAP> CHEAP!!!
My kids rarely eat boxed cereal or poptarts, or anything like that. We eat homemade pancakes, biscuits, muffins, waffles, cheese toast, etc. They enjoy the occasional cereal treat, but that's what it is, a treat, not a daily staple. And while my kids are realtively picky eaters, they do well with breakfast, and that makes me happy since it's the meal that carries them through their busiest part of the day and the part of the day most of their intense learning takes place.
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
- Clothing - we buy our ski bibs, goggles, etc at yardsales through out the year. The boys have bibs that cost $1 each and they worked fine. We also have hand me down coats that fit well (thank you snippity!), and we purchased new waterproof ski mittens out of the 'sale box' at the local ski shop here for $13.
- Ski Days - go during the week, because the weekends are usually marked up $10-$15 dollars per person per day, ditto for the night skiing - opt to sleep instead.
- Food - the resorts generally have lockers you can rent for .75-$1.50 each, so rent 2, put your shoes, etc in one and pack a lunch cooler to put in the other because a bottled soda is $2.25, a cheeseburger is $5, a grilled cheese is $3.50 and French fries are $3.50. It's cheaper to pack the cooler and pay for the locker a couple of times if you need to go into it more than once than to even buy one soda!!!
- Purchase ahead - if you have a set week you go on vacation, many resorts will offer discounts for buying your tickets at least 2 weeks ahead
- Special discounts - the resort we ski at offers family value packages for skiing, and they also give you 50%-100% off of a child's lift ticket if you bring your receipt or proof of rental for hotel/condo locally
Friday, February 12, 2010
I have purchased cardboard blocks. They work pretty well, but can get expensive. However, since we are so hard on our toys...they get messed up. I've come up with a solution to add to our collection, while making use of what would be waste items. I saved cardboard food boxes. I stuffed them full of shredded paper and crumpled newspaper. Seal closed with packing tape or hot glue, and you have a great toy. Pictured are pasta, bacon and easy mac boxes. I've also used frozen waffle and cereal boxes. My kiddos use these to build castles and towers...but these are versitile, because the kids use them in the kitchen area to cook and grocery shop.
Follow the link and enjoy some homemade toffee.
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Friday, February 5, 2010
Items you need:
popcorn kernals (the big, cheap bags work fantastically!)
a brown lunch sack
a piece of scotch tape
Open your brown bag. Add 1/4 cup unpopped kernals. Fold top of bag over once. Tape it closed. Place in microwave, and cook until popping becomes slow.(Just like prepurchased microwave kind...mine took 1:30). Remove from microwave and open carefully. You can add a little bit of spray butter & a sprinkle of salt if you don't want to eat it plain.
This is so much easier than pulling out the air popper...and WAY cheaper and healthier than storebought! The brown bag can be reused many many times...
Thursday, February 4, 2010
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
If you want to know what to do with the bread loaf heels - buzz them in the food processor and freeze them - you now no long have to purchase bread crumbs!!!
Saturday, January 23, 2010
- don't place syrup into jar until it is completely cooled or you will have crystallization issues (of course if you are a homeschooler and need a science project, this a perfect example of crystallization project)
- If you over-sugar the mix in order to get it really thick, you will get crystallization because a liquid mixture can only hold a certain percentage of sugar molecules before they start reforming again, when the mix is heated, it can hold more molecules, when it cools, if it is too concentrated, they will reform.
- If you get crystals and don't want to waste the syrup, put the liquid and the crystals back in a pan with some water and reboil (I love organic chemistry). then you can cool again to package, or serve warm.
- If you serve the syrup warm or hot, your pancakes don't cool down very much while eating
Friday, January 22, 2010
****Correction - I was mistaken! You can't use paypal - I hope you can soon though :)
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Anyway, I used to use the 'proofing bread' setting on my oven from time to time to control the temp so that my dough would rise properly, but now I use a different method. Instead of leaving my oven on for 1 hour at the proofing bread temp, I just turn my oven on at 350 for 2 minutes and then shut if off. The oven gets warms enough without geting hot, and the stays warm long enough to get the job done! and of course it uses less electricity.
Friday, January 15, 2010
**Ooops - 1:10 on the vinegar and water, course you can go higher if you need it!!
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Thursday, January 7, 2010
The Dollar Tree cream cheese was okay - the texture is not as smooth as regular cream cheese. I used it in a recipe where it was melted and it did just fine. I have not baked with it, and since there are texture differences, I probably won't. It doesn't spread very well either, it crumbles.
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Experiment #1 - Shampoo
- Have you ever really looked up what those chemicals are in your favorite shampoo? - Well, i would suggest that you do so you know how many carcinogens you are putting on you very vascular scalp while it's pores are wide open.
- My mix: 2oz castile soap, 2 tbsp baking soda, 1 tsp olive oil, 1/4 tsp glycerin
- test time - 7 days (will be used for every shampoo)
- hair type - for those of you who have never seen me, my hair is average texture, slightly thicker than average, shoulder lenght, not colored, and curly (well, not keri russel curly , but maybe the julia roberts slightly more than wavy type of curly - something along those lines)
- I will not be using a conditioner or any other styling product during this time EXCEPT a curling iron when needed and a little hairspray. no gels, foams, creams, glossers, puttys, etc.