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Showing posts from August, 2009

Get a Head Start on Christmas Shopping

August has left the building (well, almost), and September is about to make its' grand entry! We all know after September hits, stores will be all about Halloween costumes, snow globes, turkey platters and mistletoe. All at the same time. Yes, there is no point in avoiding it or looking the other way; The holiday season is almost here. And if you are anything like me, once the stores start decorating their shelves with ghouls, witches, pumpkins and tree trimmings, all I feel is a growing sense of panic and pressure.
So I am making a vow to start doing some early online shopping this year. I am making lists of things I know my kids would like to get, and I am going to start shopping around for online deals and sales. The earlier I start, the less pressure I should feel and the better decisions I can make. I hope. To start, I know my daughter wants a new watch to match her new junior high school status. Cute Hannah Montana doesn't cut it anymore. Same with the Jonas Brothers. My…

Plan an Inexpensive Family Time Weekend

Take a deep breath this weekend, put away the credit cards and plan a little family alone time. Saving some money and bonding with your kids on the weekend could be just the thing to make facing Monday morning a bit easier. Avoid cell phones and lap tops. Have plenty of water, lemons and fruits around for a healthy eating/drinking weekend. Try avoiding sugars--soda and junk food for the weekend. Also avoid malls, theaters, bookstores, take-out, restaurants, shopping, movie rental stores, etc..

Here are some money saving and/or free ideas for your family this weekend:

Make a breakfast of Oatmeal and fruit for everyone (yes...everyone at the table enjoying breakfast together. No newspapers, please.)

Take a long walk or hike or bike ride. Bring some water bottles and paper bags to collect rocks, leaves, or interesting finds along the way.

Make inexpensive sandwiches for lunch that you all share on a blanket in the backyard, living room, family room floor, etc.... Enjoy some water with ice an…

Money Saving Dinner Recipe #5 (one skillet meal)

I love easy meals that I can make quickly without spending much time or money. So this recipe from Birds Eye fit the budget bill very nicely, and what's even better--it is a one skillet meal!

Chicken Enchilada Skillet Casserole

You'll Need:


1 bag frozen vegetable medley such as Broccoli, Corn and Peppers (a 1lb. bag works well) 1 package taco seasoning mix (2.25oz)1 can diced tomatoes, not drained (14.5oz)3 cups shredded cooked chicken (hint**left over chicken works perfectly**)1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese8 oz tortilla chips (optional) or tortillas (optional)To Make:
In large skillet, combine vegetables, seasoning mix, tomatoes and chicken; bring to boil over MEDIUM-HIGH heat. Cover; cook 4 minutes or until vegetables are cooked and mixture is heated through. Sprinkle with cheese; cover and cook 2 minutes more or until cheese is melted.

Serve with warm tortillas or corn chips if you like, and maybe add the very inexpensive Cucumber Salad as a side. Serve some vanil…

Save Money by Comparison Shopping

A tip for those considering getting satellite tv services-- there is a site online, www.kaptain satellite.com. that you can visit to find the best deals, promotions and packages on Directv and Dish Network. You can compare the prices for satellite tv from both satellite tv providers, and packaged deals they may be offering just for your state. If you live in Florida, for example, and wanted to get the best deal possible for Satellite TV in Florida, you can do so with just a few clicks.
Saving money means taking your time to compare pricing and package deals.....it may take a little longer than just calling a company and setting an installation date, but it is well worth it to save some money every month.

How To Save Money Everyday : Try This Saving Money Game

Ahh...I love this idea to save money. I read it on www.self.com, and decided I had to give it a try and share here on the blog.

Very simple in method, but will require discipline!

Ready?

Every time a $5.00 Bill ends up in your wallet--SAVE IT.

Told you it was simple. But you have to be strong.

Take every $5.00 bill out of your wallet and save it in a place just for those bills. Only the $5.00 bills. Be it an empty coffee can, an envelope, or a small box....have a place for those $5.00 bills to go, and by the end of the week, you will see how much you saved and be motivated to keep going.

That's it. Make a promise to never spend or break a five dollar bill. Period. Game??

You might also like the article, "Save Money Playing The Grocery Market Game"

Save Money With Online Bargains

If you are looking for more ways to save money using coupons, online coupon codes, cash back shopping and by simply scoping out the best bargains you can find on items you need to buy, then check out these three websites. All three are great and can help you get the best deal for your dollar, so if you have not checked these coupon sites out yet, take a peek now and watch your savings grow!

CouponDivas.com--- Love this website. Moms can find coupons, swap coupons, find family-specific deals, kid friendly coupons, and even where in your area kids can eat free. You can also share great deals and bargains you find.

RetailMeNot.com-- This site has over 150,000 coupon codes and 90,000 printable coupons, There are three ways to search for coupons, deals and bargains on this website:

type in a retail store or website name into the search box to find store-specific deals.

browse through the category listings on the left navigation of the site, to find deals on certain types of products, like sh…

Save Some Money on Auto Insurance

A good way to save some extra money is by making sure you have the lowest prices on your car insurance possible. Compare prices periodically and check to see if there is a more affordable plan than your current one. One of the easiest things to do is get online and compare insurance plans and companies, and get instant quotes. You may find that that you can get a better more affordable plan than what you currently have. And when you save money on car insurance, you can actually make money as well. The trick is in self-discipline. Calculate your savings with the lower insurance plan as compared to your old insurance plan, and put that difference in a savings account. Then not only have you saved money, you have made money as well. And will continue to do make money with the interest on the savings.

And there are tips to keep in mind that may help you lower you car insurance costs even more. For example, did you know that you may get a lower quote on your coverage if you have automatic…

Make Money With a Blog

If you are trying to make some extra money in order to save some extra money (after all, it's tough to save money if you have none left to save at the end of the day!), you could consider starting your own blog.

The key to blogging is to find a subject you are passionate about. Something that you would enjoy writing about on a daily basis, and sharing with others. Experts in the blogging arena will tell you that niche blogging is a great way to go. The more specific your subject is, the better. Also you want to find a subject that is not overly-saturated in the blogosphere- easy to say, but harder to do.

You might want to consider setting up an e-commerce site where you set up an online store and sell products. In this case, dedicated server hosting is needed.

I know many people that run several blogs and/or websites, and do so full time. If you do fall in love with blogging (easy to do!), and set up several blogs, multiple domain hosting will allow you to host additional domai…

How To Make Extra Money From Home

It is one thing to want to save money, but another if at the end of the day you do not have any extra money to save.

So I have searched around a bit, and will continue to do so, for opportunities to make some extra money from home so that at the end of the day, you might just have some extra money to save for that rainy day!

cash4books.net: Just 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 you will find out right away if you can earn some money for them, and how much.
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 do not even pay for the postage--very cool!

(Also check out: www.sellyourbooksback.com and www.Powells.com)

After you go through your own books, hit garage sales, thrift stores, library sales, Craigs List for free books, etc... If you…

Save Money On Children's Eye Glasses

So it is back to school time once again, and this year my "baby," aka my five-year old son, is starting Kindergarten! Oh my aching heart. We did the Kindergarten check-ups and vaccinations, met the teacher, bought school supplies and new clothes and are ready for the most part. At least he is. Not so sure about me and my achy heart. Sigh. One thing we did not have to get were new eyeglasses for my son however, ....the eye exam was perfect.
But I know many parents will be shopping for new eyeglasses for their children as they return to school, and a great place to find affordable eyeglasses is Zenni Optical. Not only do they offer a nice selection of kid-friendly frames, (see these too cute camouflage frames? My son would have picked these out, I am certain, if he had needed glasses!) but the prices are budget-friendly too! When it comes to our kids we always want the best quality, and we need affordability at the same time. More so in today's economy than ever before. W…

Save Money Using Lemons!

Lemons. Good for your health and good for your budget. These yellow tarty fruits are inexpensive to buy at the grocery store, yet can be used in so many ways. Used in cooking, cleaning, beauty routines...lemons are one of the most versatile and cheap items to have in your kitchen.

I know everyone has found so many ways to use lemons, and I would love to hear some! Here are a few ways I know of that lemons can be incorporated in your daily life that benefit your health and your wallet.

Put lemon slices in a pitcher of ice water and drink that during the day instead of expensive sodas, juices and flavored waters from the store. Lemon is full of Vitamin C, so drinking the lemon water is healthy and will save you money when you skip the grocery store bought drinks! And I find that preparing the lemon water in a pitcher and having it easily available in my refrigerator motivates me to actually drink it. The more convenient the better.

An extra benefit of drinking lemon water besides saving …

Save Money: Make Your Own Iced Coffee Recipe

I splurged a bit today and took the kids to McDonalds for some ice cream sundaes and an Iced Mocha for me. Yum! I loved it so much I knew I had better find a recipe online to make my own Iced Coffee, or I would be spending dollars I should be saving on those Iced Mochas!

So I found this recipe, and the best part is I can make a gallon and save it in the refrigerator for whenever I feel like a glass.

You'll Need:
1 pot (10-12 cups) strong coffee, cooled
1 can Low Fat Sweetened Condensed milk
4 Tablespoons Sugar Free Hershey's Syrup
Skim milk
1 gallon container (milk container is perfect...washed out of course!)
Pour can of sweetened condensed milk and chocolate syrup into coffee and whisk. Add enough milk to fill 1 gallon container. Serve over ice.
Sounds delicious to me. Can't wait to give it a try!

Saving Money Every Day

Here is a quick tip for saving money everyday that I found on Self.com:

Set up a 'daily allowance" for each day of the month, so to speak, for you and your spouse by subtracting your living expenses--mortgage, car, utilities, groceries, insurance, personal savings (or the amount of money you want to hide away at the end of each day) etc.--from your income, and dividing the remainder by 30. Now that amount is the amount you and your spouse can spend each day on whatever.

Now comes the saving money trick: Say you have allotted $20 discretionary spending each day. Try and only spend $15 on "whatever," and save that extra $5.00. At the end of the month, add up the amount saved from your "whatever" money, in this example $150, and transfer that amount into an emergency fund!

New Ideas For Old Items in Your House

Before you toss out old stuff, get creative with ideas to reuse old items cluttering up your shelves and closets. Real Simple.com has some great tips for reusing old items--here are a few of my favorites:

Votive candle holders: Use for toothpick holders, paperclip holders, ponytail holders, marble collections.


Wooden Crates: Make Excellent bathroom storage centers for toilet paper and towels!


Old Books: Can make a free table stand instantly!


Empty Kleenex Boxes: Makes a handy place to store plastic grocery bags.



Extra Stamps: Interesting stamps can make for a fast and cheap nail manicure! Just trim the stamps to fit your finger nail, dampen and apply!


Other ideas: Shared on the Mail Tribune.com:

Trimming tree branches: Save long fallen twigs or branches that are in good condition. Tie in a bunch and let dry completely in the garage. Spray paint them in white, silver or gold and display in a vase or large urn as indoor decorations.

Dry leftover slivers from bath soap bars and place them in…