Monday, November 27, 2006

Frugal Home Repairs and Money Saving Tips - Save Money every time you flush

Save money every time you flush the toilet - or in other words: "Don't flush your money away!" How? Fill a medium sized soda or juice bottle with water, and place it inside your toilet tank (not the toilet bowl - just imagine how icky THAT would be!) Place the lid back on the toilet tank.

Each time you flush, the tank will not need to fill completely up with water, as the filled bottle will be displacing some of that water. Over time, this can save you a whole lot of money. And, when shopping for a new toilet, be sure to purchase one of the new water-saving varieties that use less water to begin with.

Frugal Food & Coupons - How to Take Coupons to the Supermarket

I used to have a HUGE photo album with pockets that I took to the supermarket with me while I shopped, getting a few stares along the way! :) People must've thought I loved to look at old photos while looking for canned goods. Anyway, I've found an easier way to carry coupons...just use an envelope.

On the front of the envelope, you can write down your list. Inside, tuck all of the coupons you plan to use. And you can carry an additional small assortment of coupons in your purse - the high value coupons that might come in handy when you see a good sale at any given time. But, for the most part, I find that the envelope coupon method works great...and you don't feel quite as goofy as carrying around a huge box or album full of coupons!

How do YOU sort and carry your coupons? If you have an idea to share, please send it in to me at

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Getting out of Debt - Step One - Figuring out WHAT You Owe

Now, this may be a very scary step to many who are deep in debt - figuring out exactly what you owe. Most of us in debt do anything we can to AVOID those harsh, cold numbers of our debt - we'll do anything to ignore it and pretend it just isn't there.

But, if you're serious about getting your debt under control, you need to face these scary numbers once and for all. :) ANd remember, it's the first step of a plan that will help you eliminate that debt, so you should actually feel empowered by doing this. (But, feeling a little overwhelmed is okay too! In fact, it just makes you human.)

So, sit down with your bills (which may have remained unopened because you were too scared to look at what you owe!) and get out your handy calculator. Getting a brand new notebook for your Debt Reduction Plan is a great idea - or you can use your computer to create a file for that.

Write down everything you owe, so that you have the hard facts right in front of you. This is the very first step to getting in control of your debt - acknowledging and viewing the real numbers. This is one of the hardest things you may ever do, so just hunker down and do it - don't procrastinate! Just keep reminding yourself that this is the first step in getting back in charge of your financial life...and that the discomfort now will be worth it later on.

I'm proud of you! Now you know the real situation you're in financially, and next we'll learn how to take that information and start working on a plan that will work for YOU and YOUR FAMILY.

Make Money Tips - Find a Need and Then Fill It

When you're trying to get your debt under control - or just trying to save more money - you might often also think of ways to EARN extra money. But, where can you start?

  1. Do your research! Find a need in your community, and then fill it. It could be something like a petsitting service, or a service to visit lonely seniors.
  2. Online, it IS possible to make money. But, don't get caught up in get rich quick schemes, which will only leave your wallet emptier than ever before. Selling on eBay is one possibility to earn some extra cash by getting rid of clutter around your home. Read some stories of REAL people who are earning a living on eBay - these stories, by the way, are FREE. Their tips are inspiring and can help you make a go of an eBay career.
  3. Ask around - when you come up with an idea, ask your family and friends if it's something they think might work.

Finding a real work at home job is possible, but only if you're willing to take some time and thoroughly research your options. Have fun!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Frugal Cleaning/Home/Life - Using Coffee Filters in All Sorts of Amazing Ways

Coffee filters are for more than JUST brewing a great cup of Java! On my Happy Slob's Housecleaning Blog I came up with some great cleaning uses for coffee filters.

But, beyond cleaning, coffee filters are a great way to:

  • Portion out snacks for yourself or for your kids. They're easier and cheaper than using paper plates for things like a hot dog. Great way to portion control snack sizes too, especially if you're trying to cut back a bit and lose some weight.
  • Store individual servings of things you eat often, but don't always want to measure out - like your morning oatmeal! Just put out some coffee filters and measure out 1 serving size of oatmeal into each one, then all you need to do for your morning bowl of oatmeal is grab one coffee filter full of oats, pour it into a microwave safe bowl, add some water and pop in the microwave.

Have more ideas on how to use coffee filters? Please email them to me - and I'll be sure to add them.

Frugal Food and Recipes - Make Powdered Milk Taste Better

Trying to save on your milk costs, but hate the taste of powdered milk? :) No need to fear, frugalites! Just add a bit of good natural vanilla to the milk to improve the taste a whole lot, and make sure to mix up the milk the night before you're going to use it. Give it a good shake or stir before using. The vanilla adds a nicer taste than the powdered milk alone.

I have two ways to make your own good vanilla extract, posted at: Enjoy! (This idea is also great for gifts!)

Friday, November 17, 2006

Cheap Homemade Air Freshener Recipe - Just Lemon Juice, Baking Soda and water

Freshen up your bathroom (or other smelly areas in your home, like where the kitty litter box is) with a simple recipe that adds a fresh lemony scent AND naturally neutralizes odor, instead of masking it.

2 tablespoons baking soda
2 teaspoons lemon juice
About 1 cup of water

Mix together in a clean spray bottle with a fine mist setting. Shake very gently, and spray away nasty scent and odor!

(PS. Got the inspiration for this simple recipe from the show: "How Clean is your House?" I love those two ladies!)

For us frugalites, the best news of all is this - this homemade air freshening formula is literally only about 10 cents or so per bottle! If you have access to a lemon tree, it'll be even less! And you can get a fabulous little spray bottle for this to keep in the bathroom for a buck at a dollar store.