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.

AMC Summer Movie Camp

Check their site and enter your zip code for locations near you.

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
*Excluding applicable taxes & operating costs

Source: AMC Theaters

FREE- Regal Family Film Festival

I have participated in this for the last two summers and it has been awesome, saving me a bunch of money! It's also nice to get the kids out of the house. This FREE Family Film Festival starts when school is out around May 2009. It is held for nine weeks during the summer.

When school's out, kids around the country come to selected Regal Entertainment Group theatres for our Free Family Film Festival. It's a fun-filled nine weeks of movies for kids and their 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.

Check the Regal Entertainment Group site often for dates and locations and times. Have fun!

Catch a Matinee

We never go to the movies and pay the evening price of around $8 a ticket. We always go to the matinee before 5 p.m. and pay around $5 - $5.50 for each ticket. If you're lucky, there may be a theater in your area that even runs movies for $1.00. Matinees aren't just for senior citizens or little kids. The prime evening slot for movies begin after 5 p.m. and that is when you will pay the highest price for a show. During the day is also another good time to go to the movies. They aren't as busy either. You can also go grab lunch someplace and get a lunch menu price for dinner quality entrees.

Team Up For Babysitting

Every parent knows that a good chunk of any entertainment budget gets eaten up just by paying the babysitter. Ask your friends, relatives, or a neighbor and trade off watching each other's kids. How about getting a group of four or five together and you watching everyone's kids on one night a month and be on a rotating basis with the others. That way, everyone gets their turn watching kids once a month and you also get to go out. If you normally spend $10 to $20 a week on a babysitter, you could save $560 to $1,120 per year with your team.

Watch for Discount Days

Many places offer special discount days, such as theaters, museums, galleries, zoos and parks. They may offer standing room only or pay-what-you-can nights. Some even offer free admission on certain days of the month.

For performances, ask about free or drastically discounted admission to dress rehearsals.

Work or Volunteer

Is your cash-strapped teenager always wanting to go to a sports event, concert hall, or a theater? There is a way they can still go and make a buck at the same time. Have them check out part-time jobs at a sports venue, concert hall or theater. Even if they get a job emptying trash or tearing tickets, they might be able to catch a good portion of the show. They could volunteer and inexchange for passing out play bills at the door, they could sit in on the performance when their work was done.

When I was in high school, I worked at the theater and drive-in during the summer. I absolutely loved working there. It not only gave me the money for things that I needed, such as gas money, extra spending money, but I purchased everything myself during my Senior year. I bought my graduation announcements, cap and gown and even my own class ring. It teaches them responsibility and they have their own money. The best part about working at a theater and drive in..... I got into ALL the movies for FREE! My family also got in free to see them too!

Purchase Discounted Products with Blemishes

You can purchase seconds and blemished, refurbished, or discontinued items directly from the manufacturer. This is a great way to get deep discounts on products that are perfectly functional and otherwise would not make it to retail stores because of minor imperfections. Here are some easy steps to help you in your purchasing.

Know exactly what you are looking for.

Get as many details about the product as you can. If you are looking to buy a particular washer, know the make, model, ID number and color.

Compare prices and know what the product costs at a retail or discount online store. It makes no sense to buy a blemished or discontinued product directly from the factory if you can get the same product down the street in perfect condition for the same price.

It's best if you know the terms that companies use to describe defective or blemished products. (The next section contains a list of words that companies often use to describe seconds, defective merchandise and cosmetic blemishes.)

Know what kind of defects you are willing to tolerate.

Visit factory outlets. Many larger manufacturers have affiliated outlets where they send all their discontinued or imperfect items. Often the problems with these items are invisible to the consumer except in the discounted price tags.

Contact the factory directly. Many companies are not large enough to have an affiliated warehouse. In these cases, the best way to find a great deal is to contact the factory directly.

Have all your detailed information on hand when you call or visit the outlet store or the factory itself.

Common Terms

Find merchandise with "cosmetic blems;" these generally don't affect the quality, specifications or functionality of the merchandise.

Look for the cosmetic blem - crooked seams, mismatched colors, small stains or anything that makes the appearance slightly less than perfect.

Look for a defect that will usually affect the product's performance in a "structural blem."

Determine how aggressively you plan to use the product. Because many products are designed to a standard that significantly exceeds normal use, you may get away with a structural blem.

Try "seconds" - products with irregularities or minor cosmetic or structural flaws. Labels are usually marked in some way so that consumers can identify flaws, such as "odd-sized."

Get a bargain with "overstocks." These products are almost always first-quality items. Often manufacturers will overproduce and then need to dramatically reduce prices in order to deplete excess inventory.

Be a little behind-the-times - but richer - with "closeouts." These are products that are usually first-quality items, but no longer included in the manufacturer's product line.

We have purchased a couple of different washing machines, a refrigerator, and a stove at a really great price by looking at their "markdown" section in the store. They all had something very minor that was nothing. I think the washers both had a very small dent in the bottom corner located on the back part of the washer towards the floor. They were going to be up against the wall anyways and noone was ever going to know it was there. It was something that would not affect the way the washer would work. Our refrigerator was missing a very small plastic piece that holds the shelf up in the freezer. It is the end that has the automatic ice maker and since I knew I would not be placing anything heavy on that end of the shelf, we went ahead and purchased it and saved a couple hundred dollars. When we have purchased items on markdown like this, we have always ended up getting a more expensive brand, better item than we normally could have afforded and it brought the cost of the item down to what we could afford.

We have purchased items like this at Lowes, H. H. Gregg, and a local appliance store. We've also found a place that sells items from Habitat for Humanity. Brand new doors, light fixtures, mismatched colors of paint, doors, sinks, many other items at very cheap prices.

Insulate Water Heater

If your electric water heater was built before 2004, it would be a good idea to have added insulation. Wrap it in an insulating jacket such as a Thermwell blanket. You'll save 10%- about $30 annually on your water-heating bill.

Use Cold Water Wash

Faucet Aerators

Try one of the cheapest green gadgets available.... faucet aerators.

They screw into your faucet threading which results in cutting the water flow from 3 to 4 gallons per minute to as little as a half-gallon. They blend water and air, reducing the flow without sacrificing pressure. I use these in the kitchen and the bathroom, especially where the kids are using the most water. I have two boys that help with the dishes and it has cut down on our water usage tremendously.

At 50 cents to $3 a piece, they are well worth the investment. It won't take long to reap the benefits of this tip. Standard faucet aerators will allow flow rates of 2.5 gallons of water per minute. For bathroom faucets, it is suggested that a low-flow aerator that delivers 0.5 to 1 gallon of water per minute will deliver the same force of spray, but often in a more pleasing fashion. You may want to choose one in the kitchen with a higher flow rate of 2 to 4 gallons per minute if you regularly fill the sink for washing dishes. If you let the water run while washing dishes, I would suggest using the lower flow rate of 0.5 to 1 gallon per minute may be more appropriate. Some kitchen aerators will allow you to flip between two flow rates without affecting the water temperature.

Fifteen percent of average household's daily water consumption is through faucet use. In a family of four, where each person uses the bathroom sink for 6 minutes each day, using 0.5 gallon per minute (instead of 2.5 gallon per minute aerator) would reduce the daily household water consumption by 48 gallons per day, which totals 17,520 gallons annually).

Save Money on Electricity

Appliances that include a clock or operate by a remote, as well as chargers, are sucking electricity even when you're not using them. Of the total energy used to run home electronics, 40% is consumed when the appliances are turned off. The obvious way to pull the plug on so-called energy vampires is to do just that -- pull the plug.

Or buy a device to do it for you, such as a Smart Power Strip ($31 to $44, at, which will stop drawing electricity when the gadgets are off, and pay for itself within a few months.


Sunday, April 19, 2009

Beauty Quick Tip

Have you ever sneezed after applying mascara and then you have it all under your lower lash line? Have you ever bumped your cheek with your mascara applicator and had a black smudge on your cheek? Normally, I would take a cotton swab and put some make-up remover on it for the mishap. It can work great, but it will also remove the make-up underneath the mascara such as the foundation and the concealer.

Someone suggested to me the other day to let the mascara mishap dry completely and then use a longer bristled eye shadow brush to sweep away the mistake. Isn't that cool?

Whisk away the mishap and the concealer stays intact. Got to love it!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Making Play Dough

I haven't seen a child that did not like to play with play dough or clay. As a mom of three children and three grandchildren, I know that play dough can become a mom's best friend or worst enemy. It depends on how you handle it.

Create a play dough kit for some entertainment with your children. It will contain all the essential items needed for creative play with this fun substance. Take the kit out when it's time to play and when playtime is over put it up until next time. Have very specific rules for the play dough kits and hopefully, your carpet or tables won't get ruined by their creations.

You can have a fun activity ready for your little one.


--Large plastic tub or storage container with a lid.
--Fresh supply of play dough or clay -- can be homemade or store bought.
--Inexpensive or old cookie cutters
--Cutting utensils such as plastic butter knives, pizza cutters, etc.
--Plastic coated place mats to protect their work surface
--Optional: garlic press, forks, melon baller, rolling pin, or other items.

You will enjoy making this homemade play dough with your children. It's inexpensive, fun and an educational activity for your children.

Here is the recipe for play dough:

1 cup of all purpose flour
1 cup of water
1/2 cup of salt
1 TB of oil - any oil will do
2 TB of cream of tartar
1/8 to 1/4 tsp of food coloring paste

Less coloring will produce a pastel color and more will produce bold colors. You may need to experiment a little.

Mix all the ingredients into a pan and blend with a whisk.

When all ingredients are blended, place the pan on the stove on medium to medium-high heat.

You will need to mix continually until the mixture thickens. It may take 3 to 4 minutes.

When the mixture starts to clump and is difficult to mix, take the pan off the stove.

Pour the dough on a floured surface and when it is cool enough to handle start kneading like bread dough.

Remove from the floured surface when the dough is no longer sticky. Knead away from the floured surface until all the flour on the dough is absorbed and the dough is smooth and pliable.

You're done!

To store, keep in:

A plastic wrap
A plastic bag
Or an airtight container such as Tupperware.

In another storage container, place all of the other goodies. The standard items can be dull butter knives, pizza cutters, rolling pin, and cookie cutters. Make sure that you have a plastic placemat for each child could work on.

Another important issue, which will help keep your sanity is clearly defined rules. The children need to know that misuse of the items would cause the play dough to be put away. Have rules such as: No play dough off of the placemats; If you drop dough, you must pick it up right away; Only 5 minutes per tool if someone else would like to use it; Everyone cleans up their own space.

Of course, you will want to create your own rules and guidelines that will fit the needs of your home. You will find that because the play dough kit is easily portable and it's all contained within the storage box, it's easy to remove the kit when play is out of hand and put it away for a specified amount of time.

Watch This Link of an 8 yr. old making Playdough

Help Stamp Out Hunger

Please support the National Association of Letter Carriers and Campbell's Soup Company to help stamp out hunger. In addition to your contributions, Campbell will donate 1,000,000 cans of soup to support the drive. Just place non-perishable food items in a bag by your mailbox before your mail delivery on Saturday, May 9th.

For more information, visit:


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Keep Soft Drinks from Going Flat

This tip came from Rachel Ray this morning while watching the Rachel Ray Show.

How many times have you opened a two liter soft drink and put it back in the fridge and return to it a few days later and it has lost all of the fizz? It's then nasty and we have to throw it away.

According to Rachel, before putting the lid back on the bottle, sqeeze the bottle until the drink reaches the top of the opening and then put the lid back on the bottle. The bottle is going to be flattened and look a little weird. That's okay! She says you will also be able to fit them into your fridge a little easier and they won't take up as much room.

When you return to your favorite soft drink it will be nice and fizzy!

Thanks, Rachel!

Source: RachelRay Show

Keep Ice Cream Fresh

This tip comes from the Rachel Ray show. I was watching her this morning and she offered this great tip.

Have you ever bought your favorite ice cream and taken a couple of spoons out of it and put it back into the freezer and then gone back to it a couple weeks later and it has started to dry out? Follow this simple tip and it will be as fresh as the day you purchased it.

Before replacing the lid back on the ice cream container, put a sheet of plastic wrap over it and then put the top back on the container. Place in freezer and it will be fresh the next time you get ice cream.

Thanks, Rachel!


Monday, April 13, 2009

Make Your Own Liquid Soap

1 bar (3.5 oz.) soap with moisturizing cream
3 cups water

Makes 3 cups


Shred bar of soap. Place in large bowl. Add water. Microwave at high 5 to 6 minutes, or until soap is dissolved, stirring every 2 minutes. Let stand until cool. Fill soap dispensers.

Credit Karma-FREE Credit Score

You can get your FREE credit score at Credit Karma.There are no obligations to sign up for anything and you will not be billed for your score.

Get Paid for Your Old Books

"Do you have books in good condition? Go to, type in the books’ ISBN numbers (which you’ll find on the back cover or on the copyright page in the front of the books), and see if you can get cash for them. Complete the transaction online, print out a prepaid mailing label, pack up those books and send them in. In just a few days you will either receive a check in the mail or a deposit to your PayPal account. You won’t pay a cent— not even for postage... Your humble columnist has been cleaning out her burgeoning library, pocketing more than $200 so far."
Mary Hunt
Woman's Day magazine, Sept 2008

Inexpensive Cheese Sauce

Do you have a recipe that calls for cheese spread or perhaps Velveeta? I don't know about you, but I really do not like paying almost $5 for a box of Velveeta. I have found that if you use the Ragu cheese sauce in a jar, it works great! It is also great on nachos! I love using it on broccoli and cauliflower too.

Zenni Optical- Eyeglasses for as little as $8

Using the latest modern materials, manufacturing and marketing systems we bring our product direct from our factories to you. No middlemen, no retail overhead, and practically no advertising budget,(we leave it to you, our satisfied customers to spread the word), we do not pay for or sell expensive, or even inexpensive, brand names, but only our own manufactured brand ZENNI.

Eyeglasses are definitely a personal fashion and style item, and to that end we strive to provide a fashionable and stylish product. More importantly, we feel prescription eyeglasses are a health item necessity for most wearers, and to that end we take considerable pride in being able to bring to all a very high quality product of great durability, safety and comfort at truly reasonable and affordable prices.

Zenni Optical


I have looked all over this website and I think once I get a new prescription for my eyeglasses, I am going to order a pair. I am at the point in my life that I now need bifocals. According to the site, I can get them for around $30.

They have metal, plastic, stainless steel, bifocals, children's glasses, half-rim, and full-rim. They even have goggles available.

I would love to hear from my readers if you have ordered from this company and what your opinion is.

Source: Zenni Optical

Dave Ramsey's Town Hall for Hope

Connect with families across the nation for a truly radical message: HOPE.

Tired of hearing the fear, doom and gloom that’s filling the airwaves? Join Dave Ramsey for a nationwide town hall meeting and discover what’s happening with the economy, how we got here, and where we’re going. Plus, Dave will answer your questions live throughout the event!

Join us for this free event April 23 at 8:00 p.m. EDT in one of the thousands of venues across the country as we stand together to reignite the fire of hope!

About the Event
When is the event?
Town Hall for Hope

April 23, 2009, 8:00 p.m. EDT / 7:00 p.m. PDT
Host organizations on the west coast have the option of airing the event at either 5:00 p.m. or 7:00 p.m. PDT. Please see your preferred host location for details.
What is Town Hall for Hope?

Town Hall for Hope is your opportunity to sit down with people in your community for a nationwide town hall meeting led by Dave Ramsey. Thousands of venues across the country will host the event, broadcasting Dave's live presentation. In the opening half hour, Dave will offer straight talk about the economy, recession, foreclosures and more. He'll carefully explain where we've come from, where we are now, and what we should be doing with our money during this time. Then, Dave will spend an hour answering your questions live!

We'll take questions by phone, email, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and more! Check out our Get Involved page to see all the ways in which you can join in the conversation! And remember, this is a free event!

Town Hall for Hope

FREE Budgeting Forms from Dave Ramsey

Free Budgeting Tools For Your Financial Peace
When you spend your money on paper and on purpose each month with a written budget, you’ll actually experience more freedom than before! These basic budgeting forms will get you started.

Quickie Budget
Monthly Cash Flow Planning
Irregular Income Budget

Financial Peace University is the most important step to changing your financial future. It takes the head knowledge from the books and the radio show and turns it into real action.

FPU is a 13-week life-changing program that empowers and teaches you how to make the right money decisions to achieve your financial goals.

Find out how you can get involved and transform your future!


Dave Ramsey's Envelope Budgeting System

I am a believer in Dave Ramsey's system. We have used it many times to pay down debt. A few months ago, we had gotten behind on our mortgage and our bills. We were struggling. My husband sat down and made the budget until the end of the year. (I'm talking about 4 months or longer). We stuck to the budget and did not buy any extras. We started the envelope system. I have heard about it through Dave's seminars and I have even sat in on a 12 week class and attended every one of them! My husband decided to put it into motion this time. We had an envelope for all of our utilities, our mortgage, gas for our vehicles, and food. We added up the expenses for the month and divided that total by the total of weeks in each month. What my husband did was budget weekly what we would have to have going towards the utilities, etc. Example: If our electric bill was going to be around $200 for the month, we would put in $50 each week going toward the electric bill. That way, when it was time to pay it, we did not have to come up with the whole amount out of one paycheck. We did this for all of the subjects, including our mortgage payment. Within a couple of months of doing this, we were back up on our feet again. Now, our mortgage has been caught up and believe it or not, this month, we will have the money a week ahead of schedule. We have been paying it automatic draft and on time the first of each month. We have even been paying ahead towards the principal.

I strongly suggest checking out Dave Ramsey's envelope system and read some of his books. He has a radio show you can even listen in on.

Here is some information about his envelope system.

Dave Ramsey's Envelope System

On a budget? Still over-spending? Trying to figure out the best way to organize your finances and spend wisely?
Get on a Simple System
I found out that Grandma's way to handle money still works. People used to always use cash envelopes to control their monthly spending, but very few do in today's card swiping culture. The envelope system is a key component of the Total Money Makeover Plan because it works. Here are a few simple basics for starting a cash envelope system:

1. Budget each paycheck. Budget is a dirty word to most people, but you must budget down to the last dime if you're going to successfully implement the envelope system.

2. Divide and conquer. Of course, there will be budget items that you cannot include in your envelope system, like bills paid by check or automatic withdraw. However, you can create categories like food, gas, clothing and entertainment.

3. Fill 'er Up. After you've categorized your cash expenses, fill each envelope with the money allotted for it in your budget. For example, if you allow $100 for clothing, put $100 in cash in your clothing envelope for the month.

4. When it's gone, it's gone. Once you've spent all the money in a given envelope, you're done spending for that category. If you go on a shopping spree and spend the $100 in your clothing envelope, you can't spend any more on clothes until you budget for that category again. That means no visits to the ATM to withdraw more money!

5. Don't be tempted. While debit cards can't get you directly into debt, if used carelessly, they can cause you to over-spend. There's something psychological about spending cash that hurts more than swiping a piece of plastic. If spending cash whenever possible can become a habit, you'll be less likely to over-spend or buy on impulse.

6. Give it time. It will take a few months to perfect your envelope system. Don’t give up after a month or two if it's not clicking. You'll get the hang of it and see how beneficial the envelope system is as you dump debt, build wealth, and achieve financial peace! See....simple!

Certainly, some bills may come in at different times of the month, so you'll need to adjust your written game plan to take it one step further. You need to plan the budget based upon your pay periods.

Say that you get paid twice a month. If you can write down which bills you plan on paying from each paycheck, you will not be left with a surprise bill. Spend each month's income and each individual paycheck on paper BEFORE it comes in.
Have Some Fun
I also have no problem with you adding an envelope with money just to have fun with! As long as you and your spouse have agreed on it, you are fine. There should be no lying. Agree on your budget, agree on your fun money, and be open. Fun money can be anything you want it to be. There are no rules on that envelope, unlike money in the "entertainment" envelope that is used specifically for entertainment.
What people are saying about the Envelope System:

* I have noticed that since I've started using the envelope system, I'm spending about $60 less per two-week period than when I used a debit card. I think it's because when I lay three $20s down for groceries, IT HURTS! When I paid with debit, it didn't really register with me. - My Total Money Makeover member mgtyjoe

* I finally know where every dollar goes, and I love it. - My Total Money Makeover member rb4580

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Thursday, April 9, 2009

Shredding Cheese

I have found it more economical to buy cheese in a block form instead of shredded when I need shredded cheese. It only takes me a couple minutes to grate it myself. I purchase block cheese when it is on sale and put it in the freezer and take it out when I need to use it. It is easier to grate while it is frozen. The cheese does not get clogged up in the holes on your grater and the block you are grating does not end up crumbling.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Things to do with Alka Seltzer

Clean a toilet. Drop in two Alka-Seltzer tablets, wait twenty minutes, brush and flush. The citric acid and effervescent action clean vitreous china.

Clean a vase. To remove a stain from the bottom of a glass vase or cruet, fill with water and drop in two Alka Seltzer tablets.

Polish Jewelry. Drop two Alka-Seltzer tablets into a glass of water and immerse the jewelry for two minutes.

Clean a Thermos Bottle. Fill the bottle with water, drop in four Alka-Seltzer tablets, and let soak for an hour (or longer, if necessary).

Remove burned-on grease from pots and pans. Fill the pot or pan with water, drop in six Alka-Seltzer tablets, let soak for one hour, then scrub as usual.

Unclog a drain. Clear the sink drain by dropping three Alka-Seltzer tablets down the drain followed by a cup of Heinz White Vinegar. Wait a few minutes, then run the hot water.

Get short-term relief from nicotine withdrawal symptoms. As long as you're not on a low-sodium diet or have peptic ulcers, drink two Alka-Seltzer tablets dissolved in a glass of water at every meal.

Soothe insect bites. Dissolve two Alka-Seltzer tablets in a glass of water, dip a cloth into the solution, and place the cloth on the bite for twenty minutes.

FREE Movie Code- Red Box- April 6, 2009

I just received the text message on my cell phone from RedBox giving me the FREE Movie Code to use at any of their RedBox machines for a FREE movie rental. I have a couple of articles posted previously for you to find out all about RedBox. It is the way to go now on renting movies. They only cost $1.00!!!!! With a FREE movie code, they are absolutely F-R-E-E !!!! What could be better than that???

Here is the free coupon code for Monday, April 6, 2009. Expires at Midnight Central Time (CST). Forward this to your friends and they can use the same code!


Go to their website on Wednesdays and receive the FREE movie code for Wednesday.

Source: RedBox

Removing Smell from Towels

The smell may be coming from your water, however here is what I would suggest doing:

  1. Make sure your washing machine is clean.
  2. Use the hottest setting to clean these items-most of them are probably made from cotton so they can withstand the heat.
  3. If the items are white, use bleach which will kill any bacteria, help make them whiter and help get rid of that smell.
  4. Try adding 1/4 cup baking soda to your wash to also help eliminate odors.

Removing Oil Stains from Husbands Work Clothes

My husband is a heavy equipment operator. He comes home everyday covered in diesel and asphalt. Every inch of his pants are covered. I add oil eater to the load, but everything stains and still has that asphalt/diesel smell. What should I do?

I would recommend using Orange Glo or Citra Solv (or other orange derivative products). Citra Solv tells you to add a bit to your wash for a cleaning boost, but I would soak the clothing in a mixture of this and water for a while, even overnight. I would also give those oxydol type cleaners a try.

Other suggestions:
Pine-sol. I have used the PineSol on his clothes and it has worked. Maybe a pre-soak would be good as well.

Soilove. If you can find it available in your local grocer, is Soilove. It is made by America’s Finest Products Corporation in Santa Monica, CA. I used to work in a laundry in Las Vegas and we went through a case of this each month on simple things, but at home I would go through a couple of bottles also on things that my family would get into. This product is GREAT! Just a little hard to come by in my new area. If you can find it, put a spray bottle replacement in the top and use it on all kinds of stains. It works!

Carbona. Use Carbona for grease stains then Gain to get rid of the smell - my husband worked on a fish boat for years & the only thing that got rid of smell was Gain Laundry Detergent.

Dawn dishwashing liquid. Something I found that takes out grease, oil and gasoline is Dawn dish detergent. You don’t want to put it in your washing machine, but soak the clothes in a tub of scalding hot water and dish soap until the water cools enough to take the clothes out, wash them with regular detergent and baking soda on hot with a cold rinse……….it should work!!

Vinegar. It really works wonders! My husband works drilling natural gas, and comes home with diesel, acid, and oil on him all the time. I simply wash his coveralls with hot water, soap, and white distilled vinegar. All of his buddies have come to me and asked me what I do to keep them so clean! They all do it now!

Hand goo. My brother was an auto mechanic for years and he used the “hand goo” that Mechanics use to get their hands clean. He just rubbed that into the stains and threw them in the washer! It worked great!

Can of Coke or soda. A can of Coke in the washer to get stains out of my husband and kids clothes. It works great. Not the good stuff the generic stuff works the best.

Cleaning a Glass Shower

Glass showers are tricky to clean because they show every bit of soap film and scum that normally would hide on a porcelin-walled shower. You would think that using window cleaner would do the trick but it really doesn’t dig deep enough into the grimes to lift it off. Today I tested window cleaner on one side of glass versus Fantastik All Purpose Cleaner with Bleach and the Fantastik worked extremely well whereas the window cleaner did not.

The cleaners that claim to be shower cleaners that you just leave on and walk away from have never worked for me, particularly on my glass shower. If you have been reading my blog much, you’ll know I am a fan of white vinegar and use it for everything. I particularly like the idea of spraying vinegar, combined with a little lemon juice or lemon oil on glass doors, because then you know you are not inhaling something toxic while cleaning an enclosed space. It also happens to work really well.

My mother has always kept a squeegee in her shower and in fact buys me a new one every time she comes to visit. I rarely use it but she uses hers after every shower. This probably makes life easier in the long run, especially if your shower is a small stall.

Mr. Clean or Magic Erasers. The Mr. Clean (or generic) Magic Erasers work miracles! I tried almost everything–and I do still use a squeegee every day–but the Magic Eraser is wonderful.

Laundry Powder. Another way to clean your bathroom glass is to clean with laundry powder. Use the scrubber that you use to clean the dishes. You can clean whole bathroom & glass.

Use Rain-X afterwards. After cleaning my all glass shower I use “Rain-X” on the glass. It works great and the water just beads up and rolls away, just like on my car windshield.

Cleaning Grout

I have tile floors in my kitchen, dining room, and bathroom. I would like to know the easiest way to glean the yucky looking grout in between the tile without having to get down on my hands and knees and scrub it with a toothbrush.

~Losing the Grout Battle!

The most popular way to clean grout is to take an old toothbrush and scrub the grout with a store bought cleaner, vinegar, or other cleaning aid, so, you are presenting a challenge, which I like!

One product that we have had luck with as far as cleaning grout with out scrubbing is Klean Strip Green which I found at Home Depot in the paint section.

If your tiles and grout are white, here is a non-scrubbing method:

What you need:

  • Spray bottle
  • Rubber gloves
  • Chlorine bleach
  • Warm water
  • Bathroom cleaner
  • Sponge

What to do:

  1. Put on rubber gloves for protection for your delicate hands.
  2. Fill the spray bottle with one half chlorine bleach and one half warm water. Be careful dealing with the bleach. Avoid skin and eye contact especially when undiluted.
  3. Adjust the spray bottle’s nozzle so that it shoots streams rather than a fine mist.
  4. Spray directly to the grout in sweeping motions. Make sure to soak the lines.
  5. Let it stand for 15 to 20 minutes and let the bleach do the work.
  6. Follow it up with a sponge down with the suggested mix of bathroom cleaner.
  7. Rinse.