Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Keep Your Home Germ and Chemical Free This Flu Season

With the fear of swine flu high, not to mention the regular run of nasty bugs we can expect in the weeks and months ahead, make sure your first line of defense is prepared—keeping germs at bay on the home front.

Bleach and other chemical cleaners may be effective germ killers, but they can be bad for your health and your environment. Certain natural cleaners have the same powerful antibacterial qualities without the harmful effects.

For all-purpose cleaning that’s powerful enough to kill the vilest bacteria, spray vinegar (which kills most bacteria and germs) followed hydrogen peroxide in its own spray bottle. Hydrogen peroxide kills germs (and whitens—it’s good in the wash too!) like bleach, but is totally safe in the 3 percent concentration that’s found in stores. The combination can’t be beat to stop bacteria in its tracks!

For dishes, use the dishwasher as much as possible—the ultra hot water knocks out unfriendly bugs more consistently than washing in a sink does.

For carpets, upholstery and any surface that can stand heat and hot water, use a steam cleaner, which you can rent at home stores.

Source: All You Daily Savings

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

FREE Fisher Price ~Precious Places Princess DVD

Little girls love playing princess-and they're sure to love all the magical surprises of the new Precious Places™ line from Fisher-Price. Catch Princess Sirina and her friends on this exciting DVD, as they discover their own unique strengths and the magic of teamwork.

Free DVD- Precious Places

Friday, July 31, 2009

Recycling Old Bicycle Tires

Bicycling is an inexpensive way to travel around town and is environmentally friendly. Biking is the perfect way to go. There is one minor expense that seems to deflate the joy of serene cycling; the flat tire follies. Once a tire or an inner tube becomes too old, retire these treasures into the garden. An inner tube with a dozen patches is still excellent for use in aligning and training trees. Simply wrap a cut tube around the young tree trunk in a figure eight with the other end around a stake to guide the wayward tree. Apply pressure and tie off. For small jobs, cut the inner tube in lengthy strips and use as garden ties. The rubber inner tube strips are plant friendly, stretch with the wind, and won't carve into the plant. For tough jobs use cut bike tires. They're reinforced with metal and material and will last a long time. I even saw one gardener using strips of cut bicycle tires as a garden gate hinge. With this rubber material, the possibilities are endless, so go ahead and tire yourself thinking of ways to re-use and recycle.

Re-using "Peanuts" Packing Materials

Have you ever wondered what you could do with the foam "packing peanuts"? You know, those irritating little things that get all over the floor and cabinet when you open a box?

You can put them in a plastic bag and store them for using next time you need to mail a package. Deposit them at most recycling centers across the nation. Did you know you could even use them in potting plants to help in soil drainage? Instead of adding the traditional gravel to the lower 1/3 of the planting container, add unused foam packaging peanuts instead. As a low weight, high volume alternative to potting gravel, you'll find your pots will weigh substantially less, making gardening a little less burdensome. This volume drainage alternative also helps stretch valuable quality gardening materials for other plants. The insulation properties of the peanuts also help to sustain plant roots during cold winter chills.

Reusing Laundry Scoops

Scoop-Out Measured Savings
What do you do with your plastic scoops that are included with your powdered laundry detergents. What about the plastic caps on the fabric softener bottles? Start saving these! They are very handy for mixing gardening chemicals, and they are also helpful in the kitchen. If you purchase bulk quantities of flour and sugar, like I do, you can re-package them in large glass pickle jars. In each container, use the scoops with graduated measures.

To mark the scoop with proper measurements, take a known volume of water and fill up the scoop. Take a marker and mark the known measurement on the scoop using the permanent marker. Liquid detergent and fabric softener measuring tops also work well. Make sure to wash everything completely before using and marking.

Make Fabric Softener Last Three Times Longer

Here is a tip to make your fabric softener last three times as long. Your clothes will be softer than with just plain fabric softener. Purchase a large bottle of softener and pour into another bottle two cups of softener and two cups of white vinegar. Shake this mixture well and then use it just as you would the full strength softener.

Your clothes will be soft, and the towels are fluffier.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Generic Prescriptions- $9.99/ 90 days at Harris Teeter

Harris Teeter's Generic Prescription Savings Club

No Prescription Coverage? No Problem.

We're offering a 90-day supply of more than 300 prescriptions for only $9.99. That means you can save on generic drugs used to treat a tremendous range of medical conditions.

With the know-how of our expert pharmacists, the convenience of picking up your prescriptions while you shop and our new Generic Prescription Savings Club, we hope to serve you better than any pharmacy in town.

Here's how you can save:

$9.99 for a 90-day supply of over 300 generic prescriptions
Save at any Harris Teeter Pharmacy location
$4.95 annual enrollment fee, per VIC card
It's easy to enroll. See store pharmacy for details
Click here to see the list of the 300+ generic prescriptions.
Click here to see a list of Frequently Asked Questions.

7 days Gym Membership Pass

24-hour Fitness, Sign up HERE!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Reserve the 2010 Entertainment Book, Receive the 2009 Book FREE

For nearly 50 years, Entertainment has been helping people save in tough economic times with the big Entertainment coupon book. Today, more then ever, people realize that the premium 50% off and 2-for-1 coupons found in the book help them save on everyday essentials right in their neighborhood including:

* Dining
* Shopping
* Movie Tickets

* Groceries
* Services
* Travel

* Attractions
* Car Care
* Home Furnishings

Plus, with each book purchase you get online access to hundreds of additional local printable coupons and incredible online shopping discounts not found in the book.

Reserve your 2010 Book HERE and receive the 2009 Book FREE

FREE Chocolate Fridays!

Mars is giving away 250,000 coupons for free chocolate every Friday through September! Coupons are available beginning at 9 a.m. EDT. You can keep signing up until you have reached the maximum number of four coupons.

You can redeem your coupon for M&M's, Snickers, Twix, Dove, 3 Musketeers, or MilkyWay.

Sign up HERE for FREE Chocolate every Friday!

5th Annual Cow Appreciation Day at Chik-fil-A

Friday, July 10, 2009

Come into any Chik-fil-A Restaurant dressed as a cow and receive a FREE meal!

Show your appreciation for the cows while eating more chicken. Put on your best cow costume and join us for free fun on Friday, July 10, 2009. Don't have a costume? Make your own using our starter kit. Plus, you can add to the excitement by entering our Kids' Photo Contest and Facebook Photo Contest.


FREE Mocha Mondays at McDonalds

Get a FREE sample of iced or hot mocha every Monday until August 3, 2009. 7 a.m. until 7 p.m.

Start your working week with a complimentary McCafe Mocha, the sweet side of Expresso.

Limit 1 sample sized 8 oz. mocha or 7 oz. iced mocha per person per visit.

7/13, 7/20, 7/27, 8/3 Promotion Dates

While supplies last!


Earn Extra Money Mystery Shopping

What is Mystery Shopping:

Mystery shopping, also known as secret shopping, involves posing as a regular customer in order to evaluate the goods and services that a business provides. Your findings are reported back to the client, and used to improve their services.

How Mystery Shopping Works:

A business hires a mystery shopping company to evaluate their services; and the mystery shopping company, in turn, hires shoppers to perform those evaluations. Shoppers are given a list of things to evaluate/note during the shop. This may include:

* how long it takes to be greeted
* speed of service
* cleanliness of the location
* compliance with company standards – dress code, signage, greetings, etc.
* listening for specific services to be offered
* names/descriptions of employees

After completing a shop, the shopper submits her evaluation and receipts. Payment is made one to eight weeks after submission of a successful shop.

What Types of Businesses Use Mystery Shoppers:

* restaurants
* hotels and resorts
* retail stores
* grocery stores
* movie theaters
* car dealerships
* amusement parks
* gas stations
* and many others

How to Find Mystery Shop Assignments:

If you're new to mystery shopping, is a good place to start. It provides a database of reputable mystery shopping companies, as reported by actual mystery shoppers – so the information is more reliable than what you'll find through a web search.

Spend some time looking through the database. Then, form a list of the companies that you're interested in working for, and submit an application with each one.

Once your application is approved, you'll have access to the company's database of shops. Check it often for shops in your area, and apply for any of interest.

How to Avoid Scams:

Unfortunately, not all mystery shopping companies are reputable. To avoid falling for a scam, you should avoid any company that:

* requires you to pay a fee – you shouldn't have to pay anything to get assignments
* advertises for shoppers in newspaper help-wanted sections or through unsolicited e-mails
* requires you to pay for and earn a shopper certification
* guarantees you shops or a set income

For even more protection against scams, look for companies that belong to the Mystery Shopper Providers Association (

What the Typical Mystery Shop Entails:

Every mystery shop assignment is a bit different, but most assignments will require you to complete your shop on a specific day and time. It will also require you to listen for certain services to be offered; to ask specific questions and remember the answers you receive to those questions; and to note the details of your surroundings – everything from the cleanliness of the bathrooms to whether signage is placed appropriately. It may even require you to try out specific services (say a new burger at a fast food restaurant); to take photos of the location; or to record conversations that you have with employees.

How Much Mystery Shopping Pays:

Mystery shopping is not a way to get rich, nor is it a full-time job. Expect to make $10-15 per shop in addition to any merchandise or services that you receive during the course of the shop. A typical restaurant shop, for example, might result in a free meal plus a small shop fee for your time.

What It Takes to Be a Good Mystery Shopper:

* attention to detail
* a good memory
* objective evaluation skills
* the ability to perform and submit shops promptly

Tips for Success:

* Apply to a lot of mystery shop companies to increase your chance of getting regular assignments
* Check for available shops often – the good ones go fast
* Don't accept a shop unless you are sure that you can complete it. Many companies will remove you from their list of shoppers after just one failed shop
* Be willing to accept last-minute and less-than-glamourous shops when starting out – this will improve your standing with the company
* Read over the requirements of a mystery shop several times before attempting the shop. If you miss some of the details, you won't be paid

Starting Out with a Mystery Shopping Company:

When starting out with a new mystery shopping company, there are several things that you can do to ensure that the relationship is a good one. This includes:

* Starting with a shop with no or low out-of-pocket expenses
* Waiting to receive payment from your first shop, before taking on additional shops
* Evaluating whether you are being fairly compensated for your time. $20 may sound like a fair payment until you discover you're spending five hours on each shop
* Evaluating how easy to use and reliable the site is. If the tools are difficult to use, you may find your earnings doesn't justify the hassle

Disclaimer: Mystery shopping ads found on this page may or may not be for legitimate companies. Research all companies carefully before submitting a shopper application.

Source: About.Com:Frugal Living
Check out for more tips and information.

Product Giveaway to WLS patients!!!

My sister is giving away products on her website to WLS patients! Go check it out!
Prizes: FREE Celebrate Vitamins (specific to your wls procedure) to one lucky winner, a case of Kay's Naturals product to two lucky winners! We sure have some great bariatric companies who give lots of wonderful products!

Here is what will get you entries (if done between July 7th - July 14th):

* Become a member of Recovering Fatty website (see "Login" box on Home page; 1 entry, existing members will automatically be entered) Please note: the RF website membership and RF forums membership are two separate entities; both will get you an entry to the giveaway.
* Post a comment on any blog entry on the Recovering Fatty website as long as its done between July 7th - July 14th (1 entry total, NOT per comment)
* Become a member of the RF forum before the giveaway ends on July 14th (1 entry, existing members will automatically be entered)
* Post a comment on the RF forum between July 7th - July 14th (1 entry total, NOT per post)
* If you have a blog or website, add me to your blogroll but you will have to contact me to let me know it's there. Existing links do qualify, so shoot me an email (1 entry)
*To follow me on Twitter and Facebook, go to my site and click on the links.
* Send me an email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it (1 entry total, NOT per email)

Clean Your Makeup Brushes

Are your makeup brushes a little worn, caked up with makeup? That will clog your pores, causing acne. Don't throw them away. Clean them and they will be like new! Take a little baby shampoo and put in just a little bit of water in a bowl. Swish the brush bristles around in the water and baby shampoo. Wipe the brush off and lay to the side to dry.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Regal FREE Family Film Festival

REG’s Free Family Film Festival is Now Showing!
When school’s out, kids around the country visit selected Regal theatres for the Free Family Film Festival. It’s a fun-filled nine weeks of movies for kids and parents. Since 1991, Regal has provided this service to the community, and best of all it’s FREE!
Selected G & PG movies start at 10AM each Tuesday and Wednesday during the festival. First-come, first-served seating is limited to theatre capacity. The Free Family Film Festival is safe, lots of fun and a great way for kids to spend a weekday morning in the summer.
Tickets for our 2009 Free Family Film Festival are exclusively available at select theatres’ box office on the day of the show.

Find a location near you!

Cinemark/Century Theaters - $1.00 Summer Movies

•10 Weeks Of Fun Films For Kids•
•A Different Movie Every Week•
•Weekday Mornings This Summer•

All 10 movies can be purchased in advance for $5.00, or can be purchased separately at the box office for $1.00 per show.

$5 Series punch cards are limited and are available while supplies last.
Admission with a series punch card is limited to one person per card per movie.

The films that have been selected are rated either G or PG

Click HERE to get a location nearest you

AMC Movie Theaters- $1 Summer Movies

All admission and concessions proceeds* from AMC Summer MovieCamp will benefit Variety – The Children's Charity and the Will Rogers Institute.

Families, schools and organizations alike are invited to see great kids' movies during AMC Summer MovieCamp. Available at select AMC theatres, this fun-filled program brings you:

* $1 movies from June 17 – August 5
* Shows starting at 10:00 a.m. every Wednesday
* Great field trip opportunities – groups can purchase tickets one week in advance starting June 10 at the box office or online at participating theatres

Find a location near you

*Excluding applicable taxes & operating costs.

Movie Schedule**
June 17:
Space Chimps
June 24:
Kung Fu Panda
July 1:
Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa
July 8:
Tale of Despereaux
July 15:
Horton Hears a Who
July 22:
The Spiderwick Chronicles
July 29:
Nim's Island
August 5:
Star Wars: The Clone Wars

Find a location near you

AMC KidsPack™
Only $3.00** for:

  • Kids’-size drink
  • Kids’-size popcorn
  • Kids’-size snack

Upgrade your KidsPack snack to a regular candy
for $1.00.

**Exclusive during AMC Summer MovieCamp.
A $2.75 Savings.

Find a location near you

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Hot Website to Find Lost Money

Type in your name and state at and the site will search it's database to find out if you're owed cash from forgotten bank accounts, utility deposits, reimbursements and more.

Beauty Routine Using Lemons

Freshen up your skincare regimen with lemons! Their enzymes and fruit acids exfoliate skin, leaving it glowing. Their fragrances offer aromatherapy benefits, enhancing your mood.

Antibacterial Lemon Foot Bath:

3 quarts warm water
3 tsp. coarse salt
4 slices fresh lemon

Stir all ingredients until salt dissolves. Soak feet for 15 minutes, squishing lemon slices with toes to extract their skin-softening juices! Rinse well.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Removing Ticks Safely Without Pulling With Tweezers

I have heard this suggestion once before and would like to thank Nicole, a friend of mine on MySpace, for bringing it to my attention this morning. I had completely forgotten this helpful suggestion.

A pediatrician suggested this very easy way to remove a tick and is safe to do without pulling with a pair of tweezers, which can sometimes result in part of the tick staying embedded in the skin.

It also works in those difficult places such as in between the toes or in a head full of dark hair, etc.

Apply a glob of liquid soap to a cotton ball.

Cover the tick with the soap-soaked cotton ball and swab it for 15-20 seconds.

The tick will come out on it's own and be stuck to the bottomm of the cotton ball when you lift it away.

This technique should work each time you use it and is much less traumatic for the patient and easier for you to remove the tick.

Unless someone is allergic to soap, it should not be damaging in any way.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Product Placement and the Price Customers Pay

Despite what they say in their advertisements, stores aren't out to save shoppers money. Their business is to make money, and the better they are at doing just that the more profitable the franchise. Often by saving money on one item a customer is tempted to spend more on another item since it was "saved money." By becoming familiar with stores' tactics, it becomes easier to avoid the temptation.

Eye Level Shopping

Stores plan displays carefully. They know the average height of a shopper, and they plan those eye level shelves slyly. Walk down the cereal aisle of a supermarket and inspect the layout. Eye-catching, brand name products are at eye-level while the store brand is usually above or below. Look at the bottom shelf. Kids cereals tend to be placed lower to meet kids' eye levels, leaving the healthier adult cereals at the adults' height.

Sale items are also placed at the eye-level. Often the sale item looks reasonable, so a shopper won't ever look below that shelf. The store brand item which costs less without the sale is below eyelevel, and therefore rarely noticed.


Many department stores count on the store layout to do the selling. Flanking the walkway are clothing displays that claim to be "hot spring fashions" or "new styles." For the repeat customer, it is nothing new to know that these items will be replaced with other items in a few weeks. The stores are playing the game of "get it while it's here or it'll be gone." What only the savvy shopper will know is that in a few weeks these items can be found in the corners of the department and often at a much lower price than they started. Be patient and buy later. Styles don't fade after only a few weeks.

Spontaneous Purchases

Most people know about the temptation of items in the checkout line. Known as impulse buying, the idea is to add a few more items to a purchase at that last moment. Stores make thousands of dollars on impulse buys in checkout lines, and their placement of the items shows that they know about it. Look at the selection for a moment. Candy? Magazines? While waiting in line the brain is idle and it convinces itself that these items are needed. Instead, save a task for waiting in line such as sorting coupons or making next week's meal plan while the contents of the store are fresh in mind. Avoid reading magazines that spark interest and end up on the conveyor.

There are other types of impulse buying that profit stores. Salsa is marketed alongside chips, and ice cream cones are displayed on racks in the ice cream aisle. Ask yourself these two questions: Is a more cost efficient brand available in the aisle where these products are usually displayed? Do I really need cones to go with my ice cream anyway?

Cakes, pastries, and other luring goodies are also found in the aisles at the end of the grocery store. By this time shoppers are tired and often hungry. The temptation of the sugary snacks is too much, and yet another purchase is made. Resist by eating before leaving the house or shopping the store "backwards" and ending by the paper goods rather than the bakery.

By keeping the stores' selling tactics in mind, a shopper can avoid overspending. Before leaving for the store create a list and stick to it. It's when a person strays from that list that stores are happy.

About The Author: Kelly Ann Butterbaugh is a freelance writer who regularly contributes to a variety of magazines as well as online newsletters. She teaches writing in the public school as well as at the collegiate level. Contact her at or visit her website at

Source: Thrifty Fun

Put Away Money Saved or It's Not Saved At All

"A penny saved is a penny earned," said Benjamin Franklin.

However, what good is a penny saved if it's spent on something else? Think of it like this: if you purchase a pair of pants on sale for $6 off the ticket price, where does the $6 go? Does it stay in your wallet only to be spent on something else, or does it go in a savings fund to pay for something more enjoyable like a vacation or new TV? Why not turn the saved money into something great by doing the obvious - save it. Today Franklin's maxim should read, "A penny saved is a penny spent on something else."

Use Cash

The easiest way to save money is to save real money and not the abstract idea of money represented by plastic cards. Shop with cash. When that pair of pants rings up $6 less, put the $6 in a separate divider in your wallet. At the end of the day, empty the "saved" section into a larger savings at home or even a separate bank account.

See the Savings

It's easy to come home from a day of shopping and claim to have saved nearly one hundred dollars, but to actually see the money is something else entirely. Usually what happens is that a shopper saves money on a few items only to spend it on others. This seems productive, but what was purchased which was really needed? If sweaters are on sale for 20% off, do we really need three or will one suffice? Do you ever really see the 20% savings or hold it in your hands. Shopping is more powerful if you do the holding rather than the imagining.

Reap the Benefits

Some trips can be prosperous to the "savings" account. Weekly trips to the grocery store can equal $10 or more in coupon savings. Markdowns at large chain stores can also add to the final total of savings. Upon returning from the grocery store or another larger shopping trip, tally the savings from the sales receipt. Then, write a check or deposit cash in the amount of the savings into the "savings" account. Don't round either; we tend to round down when it comes to putting money away rather than round up.

Enjoy Your Earned Savings

Now comes the best part - enjoying the savings. You'd be surprised how quickly your sum of saved money grows. Plan what you want to do with the money ahead of time; it will motivate you to save even more. Aim high and save for a year or more to reward yourself. Buy a new TV for the family room or take a weekend getaway with someone special. Encourage the children to help you to save and allow them to help to choose the reward. In the end it is teaching good savings habits with a concrete reward.

About The Author: Kelly Ann Butterbaugh is a freelance writer who regularly contributes to a variety of magazines and has written a history book for middle readers. Visit her website for writing help, lesson plans, history fun, or work for hire at

Source: Thrifty Fun

Natural Weed Killers

Here are some suggestions that people have suggested to me on how to kill weeds in your yard, along with taking care of fleas, beetles and ant hills.
Suggestion #1: Using equal amounts of Dawn Dish detergent and Pine Sol, use a spray bottle hooked to your hose and spray your yard, cracks, along the side of the house. This mixture takes care of fleas, beetles and destroys ant hills. It also makes your grass greener and is safe on your flowers and plants.

*DO NOT put Pine-sol on your animal to take care of fleas! There are dangerous chemicals in Pine-sol that could harm your animals health.

Suggestion #2: Stir 1 gallon white vinegar, 1 pound of salt, and a generous amount of lemon dish detergent mixed with a watering can, sprinkle this mixture on the unwanted weeds. The weeds will be dead by morning and the mixture does not hurt animals.
Suggestion #3: Pour white vinegar directly out of the bottle on the weeds. The weeds will be dead in the morning. You could even put the vinegar in a spray bottle and use. It also works good on cracks in the driveway.

Natural Organic Weed Control

The natural way to control weeds is to build the soil by increasing the organic matter and most weeds won’t be a problem. In the interim, hand pull problem weeds, spot spray with vinegar-based herbicides and apply corn gluten meal at 20 lbs./1,000 sq. feet spring and fall prior to seed germination.

For winter weeds spray between Christmas and New Years with vinegar. The best mixture is full strength 10% pickling vinegar into which is mixed 2 oz orange oil and 1 teaspoon liquid soap per gallon of vinegar. This technique works fairly well any time during the winter when the summer grasses are dormant.
Weeds in Paved Areas

Weeds can be controlled with non-toxic products. . Forget using black plastic, toxic chemical herbicides, salt and bleach. Remember one of our primary rules – do nothing to harm the life in the soil. Bleach and toxic chemical herbicides are poor choices, but there are some good ones.
To keep the weeds out of a decorative or utility gravel area, the best approach is to design them out from the beginning or use organic products later to kill the weeds. Salt, toxic herbicides and bleach should never be used because they contaminate the soil long term. They also leach into the water stream. To head off the problem, install the gravel in a thick layer – 6-8” after scraping away all grasses and weeds.
For additional control, add a layer of white caliche rock before putting the gravel on top. Any weeds that grow through the gravel can be sprayed and killed with a mix of 10% pickling vinegar mixed with 2 ounces orange oil and 1 teaspoon liquid soap or you can use commercial organic herbicides. There are also commercial products now available. Vinegar sprays can also be used to kill weeds in the cracks in sidewalks and driveways.

Weeds in Beds

Weeds in beds can be killed by removing the tops one last time and then covering the problem area with 1/2' of compost followed about 5 layers of newspaper. Wet it all down and cover the paper with 2-4" of shredded mulch. Spot spray any weeds that manage to come through with the vinegar herbicide.

Vinegar Herbicide Formula:

1 gallon of 10% vinegar
Add 1 ounce orange oil or d-limonene
1 teaspoon liquid soap or other surfactant (Plant Wash)
Add molasses at 1 tablespoon per gallon to the vinegar formula
Do not add water

Source: The Dirt Doctor-Howard Garrett

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Grease Getter

Another way to take greasy stains out of concrete is to first pour a pile of clay cat litter on the stain. Let it sit for several hours, then sweep it up. Then spread some powdered dishwashing detergent (the kind you put in the dishwasher) on the spot, and let it sit for about 15 minutes. Next, pour a little boiling water over the detergent, scrub it off with a stiff-bristled brush, and rinse well.

This solution isn't just for car grease- it'll work if you spill something oily on the concrete while you're barbecuing too!

All-Purpose Clean-up Solution

Looking for a general, all-purpose solution for cleaning the outside of your house? Here's a handy recipe that will clean almost anything- be it stucco, siding, or a concrete patio. You should have everything you need in your garage or basement, or even under your kitchen sink!

1/3 cup of powdered laundry detergent
2/3 cup of powdered household detergent
1 gallon of water

Mix it all together, put on a pair of rubber gloves, and you're good to go! That's all there is to it! Apply the solution to a bristle brush to scrub out the stains. If you're cleaning something that's mildewed, use less water and add about a pint of household bleach.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Touch Up Scuffed Walls Fast

While rearranging the bedroom furniture, your dresser slid against the white wall and left a big black scuff mark. To easily conceal the damage, skip the melamine sponge (which may discolor the paint) and do this instead: In a bowl, combine one part water and three parts powdered milk. Stir the mixture and brush over the blemish until it's no longer visible. Then let dry for 24 hours before applying a few coats of clear nail polish. This final step will seal in the cover-up and re-create a glossy finish that blends in with the rest of the wall, so your handiwork goes undetected.

Erase Hairline Cracks in Fine China

You've noticed a tiny crack in a plate that's part of your china service. Before you replace it, try this: Place the damaged dish in a pan with 1 1/3 cups of powdered milk and 3 3/4 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then let simmer over low heat for 45 minutes. (Allow the mixture to cool before handling). As the milk bubbles, the protein "casein" expands to fill in fissures, bonding the china together flawlessly.

Softer Skin in Minutes

It's now time to break out the skirts and short-sleeve shirts. The winter months have zapped our skin of its usual radiance, leaving it dull and ashen. You can get the glow back with a milk-and-honey bath. Pour 3 cups of powdered milk and 1/2 cup honey under running water, then get in and soak for 15 minutes. The milk's lactic acid gently sloughs off the layer of dead cells, allowing the honey ( a natural humectant) to penetrate deeply into skin, leaving it soft and supple.

Soothe Poison Ivy Itch

Now that Summer is right around the corner, we will be dealing with poison ivy again. When calamine lotion does not take care of the itch, try this fast-acting alternative: In a shallow bowl, combine one part powdered milk with two parts water and add a pinch or two of salt. Using a cloth, apply to the infected area and leave on for 20 minutes. Repeat this process three times daily. the absorbent salt granules will soak up poisonous oils from the skin's surface while the anti-inflammatory compounds in the dry milk instantly calm irritation.

Speedy Furniture Varnishing Tip

It's that time of year when we are working on projects around that house that we have put off for so long. The weather is nice and you've decided to stain your patio set. You are dreading it because of the time commitment that you think it is going to take. Here is a tip from the pros: Put on a rubber glove, then top it with an old sock. Dip your covered hand in the varnish and use it to coat the furniture. Not only do you cut the labor in half by using your fingers to get into every crack and crevice, you'll also breeze through cleanup by throwing away the sock instead of having to wash paintbrushes.

Fix Pen Marks on Handbags

You discovered a pen mark across your new leather handbag. Don't panic! Squirt anti-bacterial hand gel onto a cotton swab and use to lightly cover the stain. Wait 10 to 15 seconds, then remove any excess with a clean cloth. The alcohol in hand sanitizer will dissolve the ink's oils, making the stain come right off. The gel also has moisturizing properties, so it won't dry out leather.

Pro-tip for Perfect Picture Placement

I wished I would have thought of this one a long time ago. I am always re-arranging pictures around on my walls and find it very difficult to place them right where I want them when it's time to put the nail in the wall. Here is a tip that will make that process much easier. Grab a thumbtack and tape it with the pointy side outwards. Tape the thumbtack directly under the mounting bracket. Then position the picture where you want it placed on the wall and push to make a slight indentation on the wall with the thumbtack. You will soon be creating a museum-worthy display.

Tip on Mail Photos

Don't discard that empty light-bulb package. Instead of buying padded envelopes to mail pictures in, use the empty cardboard from the lightbulbs to mail pictures. Flatten the lightbulb packaging and slip the photos inside before placing them in an envelope. The corrugated cardboard will protect the pictures and be delivered crease-free.

Check the Unit Price

Start checking grocery store tags to see how much an item costs per ounce, per pound or by some other unit of measure. Comparison-shop by unit price and save.

A pack of 40 diapers at our local drug store cost $13, or 33 cents per diaper. A box of 144 diapers cost $35, or 24 cents per diaper. A difference of 9 cents may not seem like much, but when you change a diaper six to eight times each day, that amounts to a savings of $16 to $22 per month.

Don't buy in bulk if you won't use it all -- otherwise, you wasted your money, no matter how good a deal it was.

Use Coupons

I'm sure you already know all about grocery coupons, but don't overlook bargains for dining out.

At you can get a $25 gift certificate to local restaurants for only $10. Use the coupon once a week, and you'll save $60 per month.

Before you dine out, check out the web at and you can quickly find printable coupons and codes for dozens of eateries.

Buy Generic

My husband laughs and says that when he was growing up, he thought a name brand was called "Generic". My parents raised us on generic foods also. When we shop, we purchase the store brand instead of the name brands. I was behind someone a few weeks ago and every single item in a lady's cart was all name brand items. I'm talking the most expensive, best item you could buy. I think she spent over $300 at the store in one visit and she did not have that much. I was thinking to myself, "I sure would hate to pay that every week". Many times, people get caught up on name brand items. I will tell you that the store brands, many of them are just as good, if not better than the name brands.

We also shop generic on prescriptions as well. My husband is on different types of medications and we recently went from paying $500 a month (with insurance) on all his medications to $80 EVERY three months with all generics. We were already getting a couple of his medications on generics. We asked the doctor to change all his prescriptions to the generics. It has saved us MUCH money!

Check the pharmacies that have the $4 medications and this will also save you much money. I have earlier postings about this.

Don't Buy Bottled Drinks by Singles

Don't purchase a soft drink or a bottle of water individually. Purchase them by a six-pack or by case. You can usually find them on sale. Buying them individually you will spend at least $1.00 - $2.00 each drink. Example- We drink a lot of bottled water around our house. My husband used to purchase it and take a case on the road with him (when he was truck driving). By purchasing it by the case, it cut down on him grabbing a bottle or two at the truck stops every time he stopped. We could purchase a case of our favorite bottled water for $3.88 for 24 bottles. If he would have bought singles at least $1.00 each, he would have spent at least $24. What a savings!

My kids like to drink Mt. Dew in the cans. I found it on sale the other day for around $4.00 a case. Much better than paying at least $1.00 out of a machine or from the convenience store.

Bring Your Lunch to Work

Spending just $2 a day on a home-made lunch versus $6 a day on the sandwich shop next to the office will save you about $80 a month and $960 each year. WOW!

Breaking Restaurant Routine

(Picture shown is from one of our most favorite restaurants... Famous Daves!)

You could also try something different and cheaper. Pick up a restaurant guide or a tour book of your city for budget-friendly suggestions. Go online and find sites that you can print out coupons to your favorite restaurants. If you are wanting pizza, many pizza restaurants will actually match prices of their competitors! If you eat out three times a week, cutting just $5 from each meal ticket will save you $60 a month.
Or, try something different –- and cheaper. Pick up a restaurant guide or a tour book of your city for budget-friendly suggestions. If you eat out three times a week, cutting just $5 from each meal ticket will save you $60 a month or $720 a year.

We used to eat out on the weekends, especially on Sundays after church. Sometimes during the week I would run to McDonalds and get something for the kids so I would not have to cook. It was so much easier, but it also takes its toll on the finances. Very rarely do we eat out on Sunday afternoons anymore. Usually I will prepare something at home in the crock pot or in the oven and it is ready when we come home. There are 8 in our house now, (the 3 month old doesn't eat out of course) so you can imagine how much we would end up spending every time we eat out. When we do go out, we expect to spend anywhere from $75 - $100 (with tip) at a decent sit down restaurant. Folks, that really adds up quick!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Fewer Trips to the Grocery Store

Believe it or not, making less trips to the grocery store WILL save you money! Almost half of all shoppers that go to the store three or four times a week spend far too much money. Shoppers go in for a "quick trip" and they usually end up spending 54% more than they had planned.

If you go to the store three times a week and spend $10 on impulse buys each trip, that adds up to $120 extra per month. But if you go only once a week, you'll spend $40 per month on impulse buys. That saves you $80 per month, or $960 per year.

We were going to the store once a week and getting our groceries for a week at a time. Now that my husband has changed jobs and gets paid bi-weekly, we now go once every two weeks. We actually sit down and make a menu up for two weeks at a time going over our items on hand and comparing it to what we will need to purchase at the store. This not only cuts down on impulse buying and buying things we do not need, but it cuts down on food sitting in the cabinets that we will not use. It used to be nothing for us to spend $150 a week and sometimes more than that on groceries and it still seemed like we didn't have what we needed. Now, we can get by on spending anywhere from $50-$100 a week.

I encourage you to give this a try! It takes discipline to take time planning your menus. There are many, many wonderful blogs on the internet with great recipes. Many have even planned the whole week of menus for you. There are many sites that have recipes posted for you as well, thus making it an easier task for you to accomplish. Going to the store does not have to be such a dreaded thing anymore.

I actually enjoy cooking more now that I don't have to spend so much time in the kitchen each evening looking through the cabinets wondering what I can "throw" together to cook. Now, we know from day to day and I already know that I have everything I need in the cabinets and don't have to make an unexpected trip to the store. Life is so much simpler!

Inexpensive Entertainment

If you enjoy student musical performances, film festivals, art exhibits, theater productions, dance recitals, sporting events and more, try looking around college campuses. Many are free or incredibly inexpensive to attend.

Cobb Theaters- FREE Summer Shows

Visit the Cobb Theater site for more information and for location near you!

Clearview Cinemas-Free Admission

It's Never Too Early to Make Your Summer Plans!

8 week series of family films

Thursdays 10:30 am

Starting June 26th

Check their website for schedule and locations near you!

Classic Cinemas- Wednesday Movies $1

The Wednesday Morning Movie Series will be returning for the summer on June 17th! This year, the series will be 9 weeks and will run every Wednesday starting June 17th - August 12th. The series will only be showing G and PG rated films, which makes it perfect for all ages! Admission is only $1 per person.

Check their website for the movie schedule and location near you.