Wednesday, April 28, 2010

WHAT WOULD YOU WANT?

Well hi there friends in the blogland! I have to tell you my mother loved all your gifts! She said to extend a sincere thank you to you and she said she will thank you “in person” over the PC as soon as she is back! I gotta tell ya, her room looks like the local florist shop LOL and I think its great. She smiles all the time when she looks at it! It’s awesome! Shoot, you are amazing the nurses too! Mom thinks it’s just the coolest thing LOL! And Tabitha, she almost cried when I told her about your donation to the Animal Rescue in her name… she said “That’s my girl” and got teary eyed… so thank you. That touched her so much!

Ok today’s frugal corner… gotta keep earning my title, right? LOL! Anyway, I ran across this article… not sure how… but it was interesting and I wanted to share it with you!

A Frugal Mom’s 5 Ways to save money

There are plenty of ways to get exactly what you want without spending a dime and without doing anything illegal. Jennifer Jolly gives you five ways to save money.

1.Stop spending more than you absolutely have to:

One of the easiest ways to cut down the family budget fast is to get cell-phone savvy

Stop spending more than you have to - get cell phone savvy and find prepaid, no-contract cell phone plans where you only pay for what you need. There are plans out there now that offer tremendous savings each month - Boost Mobile is expected to launch a new unlimited plan in the near future that offers a nationwide home calling area for one low monthly fee - that's a great value in today's economy.

Prepaid wireless plans are a great way to save money - they can often be paid by the minute, day or month to let you control exactly how much you spend, and with no contract, you can make changes to your service whenever you need to.

One of Boost's camera phones, the Motorola i776, is only $99. Again, no contracts, just buy what you need.

Also, see billshrink for an excellent tool that asks you a few questions about your current plan, and then finds alternatives for you.

Another way to save is to comparison shop:

By spending ten minutes or less online doing a little comparison shopping for things like insurance, you can save tons of money.

More than a third of drivers say they never shop for car insurance.

Evaluating your car insurance regularly is a great way to save. If you've moved, gotten married or bought a home, check with your insurance company - you may be eligible for lower rates.

Auto insurance rates can vary greatly from company to company, so shop around to find the best deal. It only takes about 8 minutes to get a quote and check comparison rates at progressive.com.

2007 data showed people who shopped around and switched to Progressive insurance reported saving over $350 on their annual premium.

2. Don't buy when you can borrow:

For the family:

Santa brought Jennifer Jolly's daughter a Wii for Christmas and they were super psyched, until they realized that the games they wanted to play on it cost about $60 a piece. That's where Gamefly comes in.

Rent video games for your kids, don't buy them. Use Gamefly.com, the Netflix of the video game world. Gamefly.com lets you try all the games you want for as long as you want while only paying $15.95 a month. Rent 1-4 games at a time and keep them for as long as they like. Your favorite gamer can try all of Gamefly's 6,000 titles without breaking the bank. Through GameFly, you can purchase used video games at a very discounted price too

On a more decadent note:

Designer Handbags, sunglasses, jewelry and watches:

Bagborroworsteal: for about $40 you can borrow a Coach, Gucci or Louis Vuitton handbag that would cost you $1,000 or more to buy.

Frombagstoriches: They will rent you a designer bag, best used for special occasions like an Oscar party, your wedding or the prom because the rentals can get expensive and before you know you could have just bought one.

If you want a bag that stands out for a hundred dollars instead of thousands, renting makes sense.

3. Swapping is HOT!

The average consumer spends about $1,750 a year on clothing and its upkeep, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' most recent Consumer Expenditure Survey.

Free Books, DVD's and Videogames:

Swaptree allows people to trade used and like-new books, DVDs, CDs and video games with other people online for FREE. Users list items that they are looking to trade, select items that they would like in return, and Swaptree's technology connects users with someone to trade with. It's up to the user whether or not to accept or reject the trade. And, since swapping on the site is free, users only have to pay for S&H. Over 1 million people across the country trade on Swaptree.

Free Clothes, accessories and cosmetics:

Clothingswap: Simply bring clean, gently worn and new clothing, shoes and accessories that you no longer wear or use. SWAP and take home your favorites for free. All unclaimed items are donated directly to local non-profit shelters and charities to help those in need.

Swapstyle is an online fashion swap party where you can and lots more with people from all around the world at any time, day or night. You pay the cost of shipping and a small fee to register.

About swapping stuff, On barterquest you can not only swap dvds, books, games and cds but anything you can imagine! clothes, electronics, even services!

4. When it comes to travel, only rookies pay retail

Leather seats, enough room to cross your legs, free cocktails -- what's not to love about flying business or first class? And it's surprisingly easy to do at coach prices by combining points earned from credit cards and from frequent flier programs on an aggregator site like points.com.

At points.com, you can track, redeem, earn and-for the first time ever, trade your points with other people in order to accumulate enough for a free flight or to do some shopping.

With many airlines, it takes just 10,000 miles to yourself to business or first-class, an easy enough target to reach given the numerous bonus point offers currently available. United Airlines, for example, offers 150 miles for every $250 spent at major grocery chains like Safeway. American Airlines gives you 1,500 bonus miles for trying Netflix.

Second: the airlines are desperate to fill every seat.

There are all kinds of great flight deals out there right now. Go to cheapflights.com to find the best deals - Orbitz, JetBlues, Expedias - they're all there in one place - so you save precious time as well as money. They have flexible booking options that help you to find a good deal to your destination without having to search just for prices on specific dates.

Don't be spooked, we are seeing some of the best travel deals in history right now. If you know what you're doing, you can spend a fraction of what the person sitting next to you on the airplane did.

Third: Just about every hotel and resort has some hot deal right now:

For instance, the swanky Kimpton hotel chain is offering breakfast for a dollar - the very same breakfast that could run well into the double digits each day. Book the "Breakfast for Just $1 More" package and get continental breakfast for two each morning for just a buck! This is good at any of their 44 hotels for stays through March 1st (based upon availability, of course) - that includes any of the Hotel Monacos (Seattle, SF, Denver), any of the Hotel Palomars (SF, Los Angeles) as well as the Hotel Solamar in San Diego. Visit www.kimptonhotels.com for details. Enter "EAT" in the promo code box or request this special package when booking.

5. If you're going to buy, go big, buy a house:

Here's the big ticket item for living large while paying less. If you use a non-traditional brokerage like ziprealty.com, you will get money back in the form of a rebate check.

If you buy a $300,000 house, you'll typically get $1,800 back, enough to buy furniture or pay the closing costs.

On top of that, the ZipRealty offers tons of information and user-friendly tools to help with your search including a new "Foreclosure Search," the ability to rate the agents you work with, and track price reductions for housing you are looking at.

Thinking green? Need a Starbucks in walking distance for your morning fix? ZipRealty features walkscore ratings for every listing that will tell you how "walkable" or "Car-dependent" the house and neighborhood is.

Foreclosure data is cross-checked to ensure homes are bank-owned properties and currently for sale. And if foreclosures aren't for you, the foreclosure search allows home-seekers who don't want to deal with the hassles of a foreclosure house (i.e., more cash needed upfront, having to compete with professional investors, downtrodden properties) to omit these from their search results.




Ok, now I have to ask something. You don’t have to talk about it if you don’t want to… but I would love some feedback here. Ok… now being in a hospital daily, you see some “not-so-great” things. One is the so frail and elderly people who can’t do anything for themselves. I’m talking the (barely) living human skeletons laying in the bed having everything done for them. Could you do that or would you like to be laid to rest peacefully? On one hand, I can see how my family would want me to live… because they love me and don’t want to lose me. But really what kind of QUALITY of life is that? Is it selfish of the family to want the person alive or selfish of the person to want to pass?? Can you see the moral dilemma? I can imagine that its probably a rather painful existence. I can tell you that I do NOT want to end up like that… call it my stubbornness, call it selfish, whatever you want I don’t care. If I am so frail I can’t get out of bed and take care of myself like that… its time to go. I will have led a full life and it will be time to move on. I have an advanced directive and hopefully that will apply to that sort of scenario. I gotta check on that! Is it wrong to think that way? What would you want? Its just food for thought ya know.

Oh, and just in case you or a loved one needs special parking, check with your local DOT for forms to apply for handicapped parking plates or placards to make it a little easier when you go out. If you live in Texas, you can download and fill out the form HERE. Print it off and have your physician fill out the rest. Then depending on whether he/she says you are temporary or permanent, you will get your plates/placards according to color. Take it to your registration office and that’s where you get them.

Ok I want to move on to happier topics… let’s make something cool! One of the things I did/do is sweep my parents house, removing footprints, etc. from the new floors. Mom has a Swiffer mop to use in the house. Well having to buy those disposable pads is not only expensive, but its wasteful. So why not recycle some old kitchen towels that maybe are too stained to display and make a reusable cloth for your swiffer mop! I thought this was super cool and when I get a moment that I am free (HAHA what a joke, right?! Its ok, I told ya… anything for my family!) I am thinking about making one for me and one for my mom… until then, lets file it in the TO-MAKE lobe of my brain LOL! But nothing’s stopping you, so here ya go!



Craft Idea of the Day: Reusable Swiffer Mop Covers

Materials:

· Basic sewing supplies (machine, thread, scissors, iron, etc)
· 2 pieces of terrycloth material (eg. towels), at least 12 x 14” each
· 2 large and colorful buttons, or velcro
· Tracing paper

How to:

On a piece of tracing paper, copy the dimensions of the cover using the measurements provided. Using your pattern, cut out two pieces of the fabric.



Fire up your sewing machine and your iron.



Pin the fabric right sides together. Beginning on one long end of the cover, sew around the entire cover using a ½” seam, leaving a four-inch opening for turning. Due to the bulk and nature of the fabric, it will slide around a lot while sewing so be sure to reset the fabric into place here and there.

Using scissors, clip off the corners to eliminate bulk and clip diagonally into the inner (don’t clip the seams, however!).

Turn the cover right side out, using a chopstick to get into those difficult corners.

Press the cover into shape with a hot iron. Press the seams under where the opening is.

Topstitch around the entire cover ¼” inside the edge, thus closing the opening where you turned the cover. Topstitch five horizontal lines along the bottom of the cover (this gives the cover shape).

I use buttons for attaching my cover but if you’re leery of buttonholing on terrycloth (and I wouldn’t blame you if you were!), you could use Velcro for attaching the cover. For the perfectionist, you could place a square of stabilizer beneath the buttonhole area for stabilization of the buttonholes----but hey, it is just a swiffer cover, after all…!

Now try your swiffer cover on. Pull it up snug. On the flaps, mark the placement of the buttons and buttonholes----again, you want the cover to be snug, especially if you will be using the cover wet. For example, I placed my buttons 1 ½” from the edges.

Hold your breath and sew two horizontal buttonholes corresponding to your marks and your button sizes. Sew on your buttons.

Put your swiffer cover on and ooh and ahh with delight for now you can swiff your floors in style!
**Note: This cover is reversible. To make it so, place buttons or velcro on both sides of the flaps.

Isn’t that super cool? I thought it was awesome! I’m a velcro girl myself… I hate buttons. On anything really… I have such large hands, I fumble buttons so much- especially small ones like on women’s blouses, etc. It’s a curse! Now, lets move on to something else I love… FOOD! Now you know I like to make lots of different kinds of soups. I found this soup and made it as a pure experiment… a small batch just out of sheer curiosity. I was actually very impressed with the taste. I was expecting something majorly gross, but it was surprisingly quite pleasing… especially if you like pickles! Yes I am one of those who will try just about anything LOL! Pair this with a hamburger for a super interesting treat.



Polish Dill Pickle Soup

Ingredients

1 pound beef neck bones
1 cup mixed vegetables
2 cups diced dill pickles
2 quarts water or beef broth
2 cups diced potatoes
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
salt to taste

Directions

In a large pot, place neck bones, vegetables, and pickles. Add water. Cook over medium heat for 45 minutes.

Add potatoes; cook until soft, about 20 minutes.

Remove neck bones. Increase heat to medium-high. Combine flour and milk in a small bowl, and gradually stir into soup. Continue stirring until mixture boils. Season to taste with salt.

Well kids, that’s all for me today. I’m fixing to put on my green M&M scrubs and make my way up to the hospital to be with mom. Oh fudge LOL I remember, I have to ask my new “friend” in the hospital cafeteria if she can give me the recipe for the chicken noodle soup my mom seems to like so much! LOL… wish me luck on that one! Ok, well join me back here tomorrow for more “cheap” chit chat LMAO! Ya’ll have a great day and be safe in whatever you do! HUGS!

1 comment:

  1. Debbie "MOM"April 29, 2010 at 2:35 PM

    Hi everyone! Having a pretty good day today. Hubby brought laptop for me to pick out mattress and boxspring so thought I would comment. Thanks for all the well wishes. Something like this happening makes a person think hard about whats important. I miss my home, animals, garden, family time and most of all my independence. I am using my music, kids, husband, and shear stubborness to deal with this. Tabitha.... you rock girl!!!! Keep watching after the little animals. Especially now when so many are in jeopardy in the Gulf. Lets all be watchers!!! Ok. Til next time.

    ReplyDelete