Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Dollar Tree & Noteworthy!

On a recent trip to our local Dollar Tree I found a few note worthy and stock up worthy items I'll share with you:

Mott's Organic Unsweetend Applesauce 23oz jar

Apple & Eve 8oz. Juice Boxes 3 pack

Metal 8x5 Loaf Pans (not the toss away kind)

Metal 6 Muffin Pans (not the toss away kind)

1 Dozen Medium Eggs

8 oz Block Cream Cheese

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Tin Cans

I try really hard to find interesting and useful ways to reuse things so as to #1)keep them from being garbage and #2)save some money.  Let's take tin cans (from veggies, fruit, etc) - I wash them out, let the kids decorate them with colored paper, or you can use a piece of cloth and some glue and actually make them kinda pretty and wah-lah, you have pencil holders, sorting cans for change, screws,etc, and you could probably use them to start seedlings.  They are a free with purchase item, and reusing something in a creative and useful way is even better than recycling because even recycling uses energy and emits greenhouse gases. 

What other common household item could you reuse creatively?  I'd love some ideas!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Cosmetic Bags

If you don't already own one, please don't buy one - I was in wal-mart today and those things cost anywhere from $5-$25 depending on how fancy you want it to look.  Really?  $25?  For a glorified ziplock bag?

Okay, I personally vote for the ziplock, if something spills inside of it, it's contained, and you can just ditch the 3 cent bag and get another one.  If liquid spills in a cosmetic bag, it's going to leak out through the zipper or the corners and you need to toss the whole bag.

Still don't want to use the ziploc, need something a little sturdier - look around, many items you normally buy come with a sort of baggie - for instance, if you purchase clinique, about twice a year you get a free bag with it; chances are at least 2 of the men in your family have received one too many shaving kits in their lifetimes and never threw away the bag - use it, they are VERY sturdy; pencil holders are made of nylon or burlap, these are very sturdy also and may have more than one compartment; go to the dollar tree and get one, but my Lord, don't pay $25 for one!

What can you do with the saved $25:
1 - milk, eggs, flour, sugar, butter, coffee, half n half, cereal
2 - underwear
3 - socks for 3 people
4 - a movie
5 - a new book
6 - new makeup for your bag
7 - gas for the car
8 - a christmas present
9 - groceries for someone in need
10 - enough packs of seed to plant a full garden in the spring

See, that $25 can be used so much better than on a cosmetic bag

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Credit Card Bonuses

Okay - there are some that like the little bonuses you get with credit cards like sign-on points, purchase points, airline miles, gift certificates, etc.  These are nice and they can save you money.

But. . . . . if you are trying to get out of debt, that means you already have a problem with debt and self-control when it comes to money and getting another card or putting everyday things on a card 'just for the rewards' becomes self-defeating.  You adding to your debt just so you can keep trying to pay it off and all of that hassle is just for 'the free stuff' that may or may not even be useful -

If your debt is under control - of course if you have debt then by virtue of having it means it is not completely under control - then go for the points, but beware of being beholden to a company for 'stuff'.

When you are in debt to someone, you are then under their control in one form or another - always beware of that fact.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


Debt is such a bad word - kinda like saying stupid.  I tell my kids all the time "don't say that word!"

I have analyzed our debt situation, and have a few goals:

House:  Refinanced 2008, not going to worry about putting extra on it to pay it off until the following other things get done -

My Car:  will be paid off in March '10

Husbands Truck:  will be paid off in April '10

Boat:  currently at a not-so-lovely interest rate, when car and truck get paid off, will refi at the credit union and then work our butts off to pay it off in a couple of years or less if we can manage

Computer: relatively new, old one crashed, balance is about 1000, will pay off with tax return

Currently our budget is very tight, it drives us nuts sometimes, but, we don't mind too much because we know that 2 of our cars will be paid off very, very soon, and when that happens, that will be 650 of new 'wiggle room' to put more into savings and into eliminating the boat debt.  We also never use credit cards, and haven't used them in about 3 years now.  If you ever me whip out a vise, it's the debit card, not the credit card.  We agreed a long time ago that we would rather pay cash than put it on a visa/mc/discover, etc.  My husband was looking at our home one day and was making mention of how other homes are so modernly decorated with beautiful carpet and fancy furnishings, my comment was "yeah, but I wonder what their credit card bill looks like."  Enough said there -

I am a decent budgeter, and am relatively creative in how to save a few bucks, but even I have moments of weakness that can be difficult to get under control from time to time.  When things get hairy, I just have to take a step back, look at the big picture, then pull the 'ol bootstraps up and get to work again.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Another Homemade Deodorant Recipe

This may be the easiest one I have ever seen;  thank you to the creative soul who came up with it :)

I implore you to explore their website for more interesting ideas, I added their link to my sidebar.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Milk Prices

What happened?  2 weeks ago milk was 3.29 a gallon and yesterday it was 4.09 - did all the cows in America go on strike?

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Holiday Leftovers

What does a frugal girl do with holiday leftovers?  (Because you know, we hate to throw away money like that!)  So here is my short list:

1)  Leftover Turkey and Ham:  cut off the meat and freeze in small portions to add to soups, beans, salads, etc.;  then take the turkey carcass or ham bone - and boil it to death for homemade stock to divide up into quart sized portions and freeze (say goodbye to Swanson's broth - or any other for that matter). 
Toss what is left of the bones, or grind them down to a powder to add to your garden

2) Cranberry Sauce:  cut it into 1" cubes and place between layers of muffin mix and bake to make  a cranberry filled muffin; use as a sandwhich spread - this is expecially good on turkey sandwiches; repace the grape jelly in cocktail meatballs with cranberry sauce - just as delicious and zesty (maybe just a tad zestier, but it's wonderful)

3) Stuffing - you can freeze it in appropriate portion sizes

4) Green Bean Casserole - I actually don't have a good idea for this one, do you?

5) Pies & Cakes - Freeze them

6) Sweet Potato Casserole - Freeze it