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Archive for the ‘Saving Money’ Category

As a single mom, I look to save money in every area. I buy items I REALLY want on eBay for a lot less than I would pay in the store. Items like Mary Kay, Hanna Andersson outfits I want for Grace, CD’s, etc.

I also shop clearance racks a lot, I’m always amazed at what I can find on Clearance at Target and Gymboree. I was able to get some of Grace’s school uniform shirts on the clearance rack at GYMBOREE for $3.21! You just can’t beat that.

My other favorite place to save money is at the thrift store. I am always amazed at what I find there. Grace and I call it “treasure hunting” I’ve found her American Girl dolls, Hanna Andersson outfits (that look like new) recently, I found for myself a pair of Born Sandals and a pair of Uggs. Seriously, they were like $7.99 each, and both looked like new. I also found several pairs of capris for myself for this summer (last years are way too big…YEA!!!!) You just never know what you’re going to find at a thrift store. I have way too much fun in them.

Another place I go to save money is a liquidation outlet in our area. This place has food, clothes, toys, household items…..you name it. Most of it is name brand and is very inexpensive. I got myself some Calvin Klein summer tops the other day for $8.99. They are super comfy and I love them, especially for $8.99.

I try to stock up on things we need in the future when they’re on sale now. I have a rubbermaid bins in the garage that have all of Grace’s winter clothes for next winter already and dress and tennis shoes for her in the next 3 sizes she’ll need. All of them are items that I’ve found on clearance dirt cheap or are items that look almost new that I found at thrift stores.

Plus, I love putting clothes in her closet at season change, looking at the tags and saying to myself, I still can’t believe I only paid $3.99 for those shoes!

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Here’s a quick and easy recipie for homemade pancakes that your family will be sure to love.  No more buying pancake mix at the grocery store.

2 Cups Flour
2 Tablespoons Sugar
4 Teaspoons Baking Powder
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
2 Eggs
Milk

In a medium size bowl, mix all ingredients.  Add milk until it’s the desired consistency.  I like a thicker pancake batter so my pancakes are nice and fluffy.  Leftover batter can be stored in the fridge for future use, or you can make up all the batter and freeze the pancakes your family doesn’t eat.

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I needed a hair cut SO BAD this week, I hadn’t had it cut since February, so I called my friend Carrie who always cuts my hair and begged her to fit me in this week. (She’s going on vacation next week, so I’d have to wait almost 2 weeks if she couldn’t do it this week.)  She was able to fit me in on Tuesday morning, and as I went to write her a check for my haircut, she said, “Before you write a check, what are you doing tomorrow morning?  Could you watch my daughter while I go to the Doctor?”  Of course I told her that would be fine, and she suggested that we just trade babysitting for a hair cut.  

 Not only was this a HUGE blessing, but it’s also a great way to save money!

 This is the first time I’d traded services with Carrie, but two of my friend Patty’s girls take piano lessons from me; Patty pays 1/2 of their tuition and they watch Grace every Friday afternoon for me for FREE! 🙂

I’ve also traded piano lessons for massages when one of the mom’s I taught for was a massage therapist. 

There are so many other things you can trade.  I hemmed up a pair of pants for a friend of mine and he replaced the break lights in my car for me as a trade. 

If you have any other ideas on ways to save money by trading services, please comment.

P.S.  This is one of the best hair cuts I’ve had in a long time!

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Here’s another way to be frugal…..it’s called Swagbucks. My sister told me about it, it’s a search engine that rewards you for using it. As you search for things, you randomly earn “swagbucks” then you can go shopping in the Swagstore. You can get gift cards for Amazon.com, Starbucks, Target and more for FREE by redeeming your swagbucks! My sister has gotten several giftcards already and has only been using it as a search engine for a few months…..so give it a try! Here is the link to sign up:  http://swagbucks.com/?cmd=sb-register&rb=

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I’ve always been a very thrifty person, but with the state of the economy, I, like everyone else, am looking for new ways to save money.

I’ve already posted about what I do to save money on gas.  This week, I discovered a way to save money on some grocery and personal care items.

I am a Wal-mart grocery shopper.  I am always amazed when I go to other grocery stores how much LESS items are at Wal-mart.  And even if you only save .20 or .30 cents on each item, it all adds up in the end.  Wal-mart WITH COUPONS is an even better way to save money, but I’ve made a discovery……

The other day, we went to our local Dollar Tree.  I shop the Dollar Tree pretty frequently to pick up prized for my piano students, but I don’t usually go through the food section……I discovered that our Dollar Tree carries a lot of BRAND NAME food items.  Here’s what we found:

*Colgate toothpaste (even at Wal-mart, Colgate is almost $3.00)

*Colgate kids’ toothpaste (same as above.)

*Big cans of Spaghettio’s (not the small ones that are usually .89c, the big ones that are around $2.00 in the store.)

*Kool-Aide Brand Popsicles. (These are about $2.50 at Wal-mart)

*AAA, AA, C, and D batteries (several different brands, Sunbeam, Energizer, etc and these were packs of 4 & 8 Batteries.)

*Pringles Gourmet Chips (I think they’re called Pringles Selects, they had BBQ, Garlic Parmesan, Sweet Potato Cinnamon and a few other kinds.  These also run about $3.00 at Wal-mart.)

I was AMAZED that they carried these items and there were other brand name items that we didn’t purchase this week, so I think I’m going to start checking at the Dollar Tree on my way out to Wal-mart to see what items on my list  I can pick  up for less.

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So, earlier this year when gas prices were still pretty high…..oh, let’s say around $4.31 a GALLON, I posted what I was doing to save money on gas.  Basically, I started filling up once a week when my car hit 3/4 of a tank, and I started buying mid grade.  It seemed to help a little bit.

Now that gas is going down ……mid-grade is $1.72 here (which is nothing short of a miracle.)  I’ve decided to keep the same gas purchasing habbits to see if it really does make a difference, and……….

Back in the old days (when gas was $1.25 a gallon) my habbit was to fill up my car every two weeks when it was on empty and buy the cheapest gas I could find.  In those days, I averaged $47.00-$52.00 a month on buying gas.  I still own the same car and by using midgrade and filling up at 3/4 of a tank, I am now  spending on average $40.00 a month on gas…..which means that if I’d know then what I know now, I would have probably only spent about $30.00 a month in gas.  I was talking to my mom about this the other day, and really back in those days when gas was so inexpensive and you didn’t have to BUDGET for it, we really wasted a lot of gas.  It took paying almost $5.00 a gallon for people to find creative ways to save money on gas and to use less gas…..I’ve decided that I’m going to be a mid-grade user for life.

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I came across a recipe to make your own laundry soap, I was watching “17 Kids and Counting” (about the Duggar Family.) and they were sharing some of the things they do to save money.  The mom said that they can do their laundry for the month (180 loads) for $2.00 because they make their own laundry soap.

Here’s the recipe for you:
Homemade Liquid Laundry Soap- Front or top load machine
4  Cups hot tap water
1  Fels-Naptha soap bar
1  Cup Washing Soda
½ Cup Borax

– Grate bar of soap and add to saucepan with water. Stir continually over medium-low heat until soap dissolves and is melted.

-Fill a 5 gallon bucket half full of hot tap water. Add melted soap, washing soda and Borax. Stir well until all powder is dissolved. Fill bucket to top with more hot water. Stir, cover and let sit overnight to thicken.

-Stir and fill a used, clean, laundry soap dispenser half full with soap and then fill rest of way with water. Shake before each use. (will gel)

-Optional: You can add 10-15 drops of essential oil per 2 gallons. Add once soap has cooled. Ideas: lavender, rosemary, tea tree oil.

-Yield: Liquid soap recipe makes 10 gallons.

-Top Load Machine- 5/8 Cup per load (Approx. 180 loads)

-Front Load Machines- ¼ Cup per load (Approx. 640 loads)

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