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.