Sunday, November 23, 2008


As you all know, I have been trying to cut back on our electricity usage by not running the A/C, keeping lights off unless needed, line drying things etc....and the true test came when we saw that our power bill was ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS LOWER than last month!!!!!!!!! I AM SO EXCITED! The work paid off, and at the time we need it most! Just got to keep up the good work, and figure out even more ways to make it lower!!! I am adding smartstrips to our power plugs tonight!!

Tamale Pie!

Okay, so I found a GREAT deal at Publix (courtesy of The Thrifty Mama!) on Martha White Conbread Mixes ( they were 79 cents a piece, and I had a coupon from the Publix Thanksgiving flier that gave me $5 off of 10 mixes plus a 55 cent coupon off of one mix) and I decided to use one tonight with supper. Well, there was an easy recipe on the back of the mix for Tamale Pie.... it calls for two cans of chili (I had some frozen chili from last month in the freezer that needed using up), shredded cheese, and one cornbread mix. You put the chili in the bottom of a 8x8 pan then sprinkle cheese over it, then pour the mix (after you mix it with 3/4 cup of water) over the cheese. Bake for 35 minutes at 375. So easy, so cheap, and SO GOOD!!!

Friday, November 21, 2008


Everyone needs to go get their free Christmas gift ot treat for herself at Silver Jewelry Club!!! They are so sure you will love their jewelry that they will give you a piece for free.... you only pay 6.99 shipping! Click the link on the right side of my page to go there!!! I love mine!!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

10 Easy Tips to save on heating
In celebration of the Freeze Your Buns Challenge, here are 10 tips to save on heating!

1) Lower your water heaterYou can usually turn it down to about 120 degrees without noticing a difference.

2) Lower your thermostatFor every degree you turn it down you will save around 3% of your bill. If you like it warm, turn it down before you leave the house and turn it back up again when you get home.

3) Use free solar energyOpen the shades/drapes of the windows that face the sun. Close the drapes that don't

4) Cover your water pipelinesFoam covers are sold at Home Depot, Lowes, Ace, and other home improvement stores. They are pre cut and ready to go - all you do is slip them around the pipe. Easy peasy and they help your water stay hot

5) Use a programmable thermostatYou can program it to automatically warm up before you wake up in the morning and before you come home from work. It makes lowering the temperature of your home easy

6) Change your air filterThis will cost around $5 and it will save 3-10% on your heating bill

7) Seal leaksIf your door seeps air than add a sweep, if your window frame leaks than caulk it. Wherever you feel a draft, try to close it up :)

8) Clear your heating ventsIf items are placed over or in front of the heating vent it restricts the air flow and causes your heater to work harder.

9) Do not overuse the bathroom and kitchen fansThese fans are designed to expel air to the outside at a super fast rate. Only use them when you need to!

10) Check your windowsIf you can afford the super insulated ones then go with that. They will increase the value of your house and save money on your bill. If you are like us and you can't afford them (yet - we will all get there one day!) then make sure any spaces are patched/caulked and you can also apply a thin layer of plastic to give a second layer. Many stores will sell plastic kits that stick to the frame of the window. They usually cost less than $5 and you can use a hair dryer to shrink them to the size of the window (you will never know they are there if you put them on right). These sheets will really cut back on drafts.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Free Papa Johns Pizza!!

Become a fan of Papa Johns on Facebook and get a free pizza! Click this link to join!!!

Cleaning Idea

Okay, a thrifty, natural way to clean your windows is to use vinegar as I have mentioned before... but adding Newspaper to the mix really makes for a lint-free crystal-clear shine! So instead of using a cloth of paper towels, next time you clean your windows, use that leftover Sunday paper before you recycle it!!!

Monday, November 17, 2008


FREE Photobook from Picaboo. Just pay 7.99 S&H.

Get a free 20-page Medium book
The price of a 20-page Medium Softcover Classic Die Cut photo book will be deducted from your order total ($9.99 value)
If your book contains more than 20 pages, you will be charged for the extra pages
This coupon excludes taxes and shipping fees
Only Medium Softcover and Medium Hardcover Classic Die Cut photo books are eligible for this offer
Coupon expires on December 31, 2008
Applies to US and Canadian residents only
Cannot be used with any other coupon
This coupon can be used by first-time customers only
We reserve the right to change the terms and conditions of this offer without notice

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Free 8×11 Snapfish Photobook

" Quoted from Thanks to Oprah and Snap fish we can all get a free 8×11 Custom Cover Photo book. It includes 20 pages. These are regularly $29.99, so this is a great deal.
The catch… you must follow the link above, create a new account or log into your account and start the book by Friday Nov. 14th at midnight and you must submit the book (order) by Sunday Nov 16th at Midnight pacific time.
While the book is free you will pay for shipping and handling ($6.99) and if you want to add additional pages." Quoted from Southern Savers, which is an AWESOME blog that matches up the deals with the coupons for you!! Go here to visit her site amd to click through to the link that will give you the FREE Photobook!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Revelation of BC Product to be Given Away....

Since several Mama's have already given me good thrifty tips, I will post what I am giving away!! It is a Full Size Snowflake Instant Manicure!!! I will post a pic in just a little bit to show you!!!

Cheap and Easy Christmas Decorating!

Okay, after talking to my precious Aunt Marilyn, I now have many ideas on how to decorate safely with two toddlers and cheaply at the same time! She once had two little girls that LOVED to touch their Christmas tree, so she offered a variety of suggestions! These also bring back some of the fun of making your decorations together, and enjoying the process as a family, rather than hurridly throwing ornaments around!
To begin with, and this sounds like such a great afternoon project for Christmas time, they all baked tiny Gingerbread men together and decorated them, then (after leaving a small hole in the top before baking) put thread through the holes and placed them on the tree! If a kid were to happen to get into these, at least it would only be a sugar rush and not something toxic! Secondly, they strung froot loops as well as cranberries and popcorn to decorate the tree. Again, if a child were to happen to nibble some during the making of the garlands, all would be fine, and also they will have such pride in knowing they decorated the tree!

I thriftily and decorated my tree last year (just one toddler then!) by tying bows on the limbs of my tree and hanging candy canes. Simple, yet safe, cheap and attractive.

Finally, the best thing Aunt Marilyn did (after her youngest daughter pulled the tree over) was to take a small circular gate and paint it red, then ring it round the tree to where noone could sneakily grab it's branches!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Monday Giveaways!

CHALKYDOODLES: A WAHM Is having a giveaway/drawing for a cute Holiday Tablecloth on her blog.... She makes the cutest kid-friendly things!

CoCo J Designs- Makes adorable Kids clothing... I am in love with her Christmas Truck Shirt for my boys! She is giving away a $20.00 GC for her stuff!!

I will be adding more as the day goes....

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Free Kotex Sample

Hey Gals! Go to this link to get a free Kotex sample pack! I know it's not the most glamourous sample in the world, but it's practical and....FREE!!!!

Cheap and Non-Toxic Cleaning !!!

Can I just say that I am IN LOVE with using Vinegar and Baking Soda to clean things in my home?? It's great for a lot of reasons, namely because a ginormous jug of white distilled vinegar is like 3 bucks... all I do is add half water and half vinegar to a cheap spray bottle I found at Target and spray away! I have started using it instead of the Clorox wipes that I used to wipe EVERYTHING down with... it cleans up Ben's highchair and all my kitchen surfaces so perfectly that they shine(even my flat cooking top that's impossible to clean if something gets cooked onto it)! I spray it on windows and it gives a better streak-free shine than Windex does any day! My good friend Leslie Holmes also supplied me with some uses for Vinegar and Baking Soda, so I will share those with you now:
1) Clean your toilets with baking soda and vinegar and not only will it deodorize, the vinegar will disinfect and kill bacteria. you can also use this method to keep drains clear and odor free.
2) Spray wood cutting boards with vinegar after cleaning them to can microwave wood cutting boards 5 minutes to kill bacteria
3) Soak sponges in vinegar overnight and then microwave 1 minute to kill bacteria
4)Can wash baby toys in vinegar and hot water
5)Microwave a cup of vinegar for 5 minutes and then wipe your microwave clean- VERY EFFECTIVE and you don't have a chemical smell/residue left behind
6)Can be used to kill ants---WORKS and has no chemicals to hurt kids or dogs

This tip is yet another reason I use vinegar to clean.... Little Zack likes to "help" me clean the windows and other things, and this way, I can let him help and know that he won't get hurt from the cleaner!
Not only does this cut down on my cost for buying cleaning supplies, it's safer too!
As far as baking soda goes, you can do many wonderful things with it as well! To begin with, as we all know, it will pull the stinkiness out of anything... you can put it in a cup in the fridge and all of the nasty food-mixing odors will go away! I sprinkle it in my dirty cloth diaper pail to do the same thing. Here are more suggestions from several websites that I have learned from:
1) Adding baking soda to the bathwater will reduce ring- around-the-tub and soften your skin. Use 2 tablespoons for a tubful of water.
2)For tough grout or tile stains, use a paste of 1 part bleach to 3 parts baking soda.
3)Add a perpetual air freshener to the toilet area by keeping baking soda in a pretty dish on the back of the tank. Add your favorite scented bath salts to the mix, as well. Change every 3 months.
4)Use a baking-soda paste to remove mildew stains on grout. Apply the paste, scrub it with an old toothbrush, and rinse the paste off.
I hope these tips help.... please feel free to add more in the comments and add my blog to your follower status!!!
Lemon Juice is another great tool To clean with... more on that later!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

BeautiControl Giveaway!

To attract more people to my blog in hopes of sharing my information with others, I will be giving away two Beauticontrol Products for free!!! Leave me a comment sharing an original Thrifty idea or method you use to make your budget stretch farther! I will be posting pictures of the products a little later, and will also tell more about how BeautiControl and Spas have helped me in my efforts to save money!!! Winners will be chosen November 20th! Good Luck!!

Cloth Diapering Part Two

So what is the upkeep and care for diapers you may ask... I chose originally to wash everyday because I only had enough diapers to diaper both of the boys for one day, ans also the more frequently you wash, the less the diaper pail smells (this can be combatted by putting some baking soda in the pail...neutralizes the smell! )but now I usually wask every other day because I have more diapers to work with for Ben, then, rather than throwing them in the dryer (takes about an hour and a half to dry a big load of diapers because of the absorbancy) I have started line drying his diapers for several reasons (weather permitting of course). To begin with, I am a sucker for the smell of sunshine... and those diapers (and towels and whatever else I hang outside) smell soooo good after they dry. It also uses less power to dry them, therefore we spend less money on power. Also, the sun has antibacterial qualities that bleach stains and any kind of lingering bacteria out of the diapers
. To wash the diapers, I use Charlie's Soap, which is all natural ( and very cheap to use.... it leaves no residue on your clothes or on the diapers, and is ultra sensitive, so it won't irritate sensitive hindparts. We switched over to using Charlie's Soap on all of our laundry, that way we don't have residue from other fabric softeners or soaps in the washer. Charlie's Soap is very economical as well... I bought a 5-gallon bucket of it last April (*it only takes one tablespoon per wash) and I know it will last at least until next April...which means we haven't bought laundry detergent or softener since April! That stuff adds up and gets expensive!!! If you have softwater, you can also use it in the dishwasher! Amazing stuff, and totally non-toxic. So as you can see, Cloth diapering has led me to save money in other ways.... which I will continue to highlight in future posts such as thrifty cleaning solutions and couponing and ways to keep kids and yourself happy on little money!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Cloth Diapering... What's the deal? Part One

I will begin by discussing Cloth Diapering, because this, coupled with Grocery store planning/Meal planning are the things that really started me on my pilgrimage to Thriftyhood.
Okay, so initially I was turned off by the idea of using cloth diapers with my children... I pictured the white kind with diaper pins and rubber pants that people of my parents generation grew up wearing and leaks bursting forth at pricisely the worst moments possible. I have found in talking to other Moms my age that they also have these preconceived ideas of CDing, and these visions are simply not the the reality of today (THANK GOODNESS!). There are so many different types of cloth diapers and systems that it can be very overwhelming to drive into this lifestyle change, but there are many sites that yield a pleathora of information that will win a Mom on a budget or a Mom concerned about the effects of the diapers' chemicals on her baby over instantly!
I wanted to use cloth diapers when Zack was born, but everyone discouraged me, and I knew absolutely NOONE locally that used them... my only experience in talking with Moms about CDing was online on my Fertility website ( He had colic, and we had so many other issues with him that I let the CDing slide, and THANKFULLY my sweet gradparents, Mimi and Popdaddy, would buy us cases of diapers from Sam's Wholesale, which helped out our budget TREMENDOUSLY... but when Benjamin came along, the story changed. Any disposable diaper I put on him gave him an AWFUL rash... so bad in places that he looked like someone had scalded his tender little skin. Cloth Diapering became my only option, and in truth, I wish I had done it all along!!!
I was instructed by my FF pals to go to to learn about the different systems available ( the more basic the cheaper... the most user-friendly are the most expensive, as is true with almost everything!). I initially chose Prefolds with water proof wrap covers to diaper Benjamin, and multi size fitteds to use on Zack with waterproof wraps. (I decided that if I was going to CD one child, I might as well do both!) The PFs are the white rectangular diapers of olden times, but are usually aalot thicker now and therfore more absorbant, and are fastened by a triangular piece of plastic that has teeth like a comb to keep the diaper together. I eventually converted to using cotton flannel fitted on both kids (they look just like a disposable diaper except they have real velcro and cute patterns on the cotton flannel, and you can either cover these (to keep the liquid from coming out) with a fleece soaker, which look like underpants that you just pull on over the diaper and are super easy to sew on the sewing machine, or wraps that are colorful and made of a waterproof material that is reathable on the inside and a cloth on the outside, and this velcros over the diaper.
I found a lady on one of my favorite websites that is a work at home mom (WAHM) who sews diapers. I ordered 20 Diapers from her at 7 dollars a piece, and although I have added a couple here and there to the stash, it was enough to diaper both of my boys for a whole day (I put them in the washer every night before bed) . Now Ben has the stash all to himself because Zack is potty trained and wears real underwear unless we are going somewhere, then I put a Pull Up him just in case. Think of how much money we have saved! On average, as a 10 month old, Ben goes through 8 diapers a day... younger babies use more each day... so that's 224 a month just for Ben, and 2688 a year (that should actually be a higher number since the younger babies use more) and a pack of 40 diapers costs about 20 dollars now.... it turns out to be $1344 a year just for Ben if he were to wear disposable diapers... compare that to my initial investment in diapers of Less than 200 dollars for BOTH boys together... it's a no brainer in my opinion. In my next post, I will discuss Diaper Care and how to deal with (ick) DIRTY diapers, because a lot of people are turned off from CDing because of this unknown.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Starting Anew!

I have been making many efforts to save money around the house lately.... and here is a short list of things I have been doing: Turning off the A/C and Leaving the windows open, Cloth Diapering and Early Potty Training, Making all of Ben's Baby Food, Line Drying all of Ben's diapers and the endless towel load, Couponing in conjunction with sales that are going on at Rite Aid, CVS, Publix and Walgreens, using homemade cleaning supplies like vinegar instead of expensive store bought kinds, reading the blogs of several very Coupon Savvy women, especially The Thrifty Mama and A Full Cup ( a message board that discusses all of the sales going on and how to better use your coupons), Cooking in Bulk ( I learned how to make a Ton of Burritos to Freeze from a Blog Called Engineering a Debt Free Life, by where each burrito comes out to be about 70 cents a piece.... Zack LOVES these for lunch!), Using Cloths/rags instead of Paper Towels, and the list goes on. I will be featuring a specific part of my efforts in each individual post, and including links to many great Money Saving and Natural blogs! Enjoy!

Monday, August 11, 2008


I have recently made my entrance into the world of couponing... a tight budget combined with the enjoyability of saving money has brought this about!! One of the first questions I had when I started this journey was where do I find good coupons. I obtained a Sunday subscription to our newspaper (that's when the good coupons come). Also, ask your friends and neighbors to save their coupon sections of the newspaper for you! Extra coupons can come in handy! There are also many wonderful online sites that provide printable coupons for almost anything, and here are a few of my favorites:
You can also find coupons for sale on Ebay as well as other coupon selling websites.

Another question I had was "How on Earth do I organize These things?! My friend Danielle started couponing recently, as well, and she showed me her system. You will need a 3-ring binder, dividers (think for different subjects when you were in school!) and plastic page protectors. Designate each divider for a different area of the grocery store, and make separate dividers for other stores you frequent, such as CVS or Walgreens. I also have one divider for all fast food and another for all retail stores (Bed Bath and Beyond etc). Place a plastic page protector after each divider. Place the clipped coupons designated for each area into the appropriate plastic page protector. Then take a piece of paper and tape it to each divider to keep a running list of the coupons inside...include the Brand name, amount of value, and expiration date.
I have also learned that the coupons are more valuable if you use them when a sale for that product is going on. the website can tell you when certain items will be on sale at certain stores. Very helpful.
Save coupons that you think you will never need, as you may be able to trade it to someone else for something you DO need! There are many coupon swapping websites available...just search for them!
Another way to learn how to maximize your coupon value is to network with others online that are doing the same thing. I love 's Thrifty Families Thread. Such helpful girls!!