Thursday, August 26, 2010

Really? Another 14%!?!?!?!?

I received a letter in the mail a few days ago from the power company.  They are raising our rates another 14%.  Now, the letter states that they haven't raised our rates in years, but 2 years ago, instead of 'raising rates', they tacked on an 18% fuel charge to our tab.  Same thing to me because my bill still goes up regardless.  Nickel and dime, nickel and dime us to death.

Anyway, now I have to come up with a 14% deduction on our other bills to make up the difference - I'm gonna have to think on it, but the first three items I have the most influence over are power useage, food cost and gas consumption.  Boy, I have some work to do!

Monday, August 23, 2010


Who loves to pay many hundreds of dollars for a new computer?  Not me.  Well, there are many resources now to get a good refurbished system for around $200 or less.  Dell Financial Services offers factory refurbished off lease systems, as does HP, Gateway, etc.  Ebay lists tons of systems and you can eliminate easily by selecting features you absolutely need and setting a price range (otherwise you are browsing through thousands).  Don't pay retail when you can get a solid discount.  However, if you don't know how to look for potential problems, either find someone who does to help you pick through systems, or go ahead a buy a new one, but try using a coupon or sale, etc and save a little that way.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Paperback Swap

I'm not positive where I initially heard about this, but I think it was Steph G.  But in the past month I signed up for and I am hooked.  I offloaded several books that I was through with and in turn, have received several other books that I was considering buying.  They have rules about the condition the books must be in, so that people make sure they're not mailing out junk.  So far, what I have received has been in pristine condition.  I'll read them a few times, then swap again.  I have also discovered several books on there on my homeschooling wish list for my kids, so I'm excited at the incredible amount of savings I'm having on homeschooling books.

As a side note, I only search for swap books that I can't find at the library for free*

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Soap and Water

Now there's a combination, capable of cleaning, sanitizing, leaping tall buldings in a single bound. . . . .. well, maybe not that, but anyway - it's good stuff.  You know, we have only been addicted to antibacterial this and that for about 15-20 years now, and you have to wonder - "what did they do for the prior 6000 years?"  Well, I have a thought - soap and water.  My grandparents used soap and water for everything (including the inside of my dad's mouth from time to time) and their homes were perfectly clean and sanitary.  Soap + Water + Elbow Grease = Clean.  Nothing need be invited.  Wanna save money of cleaning products - go simple.  It worked for our grandparents, their grandparents, their grandparents, and on back, it still works, we just have to be willing to use it and to sacrifice the flowery smell.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

.15 notebooks

It's back on!!  The .15 notebooks are here again, please get some along with all of the other supplies you will not see this cheap again until next year.  Here's my own list of favorites:
  • 1subject notebooks, college ruled, .15 each (I have purchased 46)
  • 12 ct. crayola colored pencils, 1.00 (I purchased about 8)
  • 11ct. WASHABLE magic markers, .70 (I purchased about 10)
You can use the notebooks for anything.  For instance:
  • Journaling
  • Phone message book
  • Lesson Plans (1 or 2 days per page leaving lots of room to write and jot and tittle)
  • Recipes
  • Lists
  • Kids doodle pads and drawing books (they don't care about the lines, so neither should you)
  • Books just to have on hand to write your thoughts down
Think about it, the cute journals in the store go for an easy 3.50, give you kid one of these, and let him or her draw their own artwork on a piece of paper, or print something cute off of the computer, and paste it on, but don't pay a ton for a notebook

Just write on the front what it's for and who it's for and go with it.  Options:
  • 'Mom's Thoughts'
  • 'Bible Study Notes'
  • 'Jacob's Kindergarten Lesson Plans'
  • 'Booklist, Field Trips and other Enrichment Activities for Kindergarten 2010-2011'
  • 'Recipes and attempted Concocktions'
  • 'Money Saving Mommies best Ideas Ever'  (wink, wink)
  • 'Shopping list'
  • 'Blog ideas'
  • 'Ideas to save more money around my home'
  • the list goes on.......
If you have kids, get a  ton so they have their own, if you do not have kids, I would still get about 25 and have them ready to go anytime.  At .15, that's a bargain.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Shower & Tub Cleaner

I originally posted this on my blog & knew I had to post it here as well!  I was amazed at how wonderfully this worked.  Aside from it being non toxic (unless you swallow tons of Dawn) it's also very cost effective as we probably have the 2 ingredients needed right in our cupboards.  I did use the blue Dawn as suggested, but I'm sure one of the other dish soaps would work just fine as well.  If you try it with other soaps let us know how works.

I promise you won't be disappointed if you try this "recipe" for a shower & tub cleaner.  Especially if you have a textured shower floor & can't ever seem to get it completely clean. 

I clean my shower pretty regularly so you would think the shower floor would be pretty clean or at least easy to maintain.  However, I always seemed to have several gray spots left that no brush or cleaner would pull up.  I even used a Mr Clean Magic Eraser and didn't get the results I was looking for.

So, the other day I opened up the Everyday Cheapskate email from Mary Hunt & one of the paragraphs was about this amazing tub & shower cleaner.

Here is the exact entry taken directly from the Everyday Cheapskate email newsletter dated July 27th:

Tub and Shower Magic. If you haven’t experienced the power of original Blue Dawn plus white vinegar, you are in for a treat. Remove the top of a plastic spray bottle and fill it half full of white vinegar. Carefully heat it in the microwave until the vinegar is hot, taking care not to melt the bottle. Fill the rest of the bottle with Blue Dawn liquid dishwashing soap. Apply the top tightly. Gently shake the bottle to mix. That’s it. You now have a powerful cleaning product that will melt soap scum and tub and shower buildup, clean sinks, appliances and just about anything. Just spray it on, scrub, rinse and be amazed. For tough soap scum build-up, spray the mixture on and allow it to sit as long as overnight. Then, scrub and rinse.

I can speak from experience...this TOTALLY works like a charm.  I had other things to do so I sprayed it on & then went about my business.  Several hours & one scrubby brush later I had a sparkling tub & shower.

So easy, so cheap & totally green.  Plus, I didn't need a gas mask since their were no chemicals!  Love that part.

One thing though...don't pour hot, recently boiled vinegar into a plastic bottle.  It will never be the same again!  Trust me.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Blessing Others

How in the world can blessing others save you money - well, sometimes it does, and sometimes it doesn't, but it is still a wonderful thing to do.  Earlier this week, I received a large envelope full of coupon fliers from Steph G (one of the moneysavingmommies authors), and I received one a couple of weeks ago too.  I am so thankful and feel so blessed to have someone think of me in this way.  What she didn't know is that in the past 6 weeks my husband has worked nearly every single day and, in general, about 70 hours a week.  He was tired at the end of it, and quite frankly so was I.  Receiving those envelopes in the mail melted my heart.  Sometimes I wonder if I have many friends left do to my 'unconventional' homechooling lifestyle, but that little act reminded me that I am not alone, and that there are others who are also struggling, just maybe in different ways.

Thank you so much Steph -

Keep blessing one  another -