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Save Money From home – Redecorate your decorations

24 Jun

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My house has recently been organized, rearranged, and basically cleaned!  So today, I am going to redecorate my decorations.  Swapping out pictures; moving sconces from the bedroom to the living room;  and pulling out candles and decorating items that I have had stored are the final touches on sprucing up the place. 

 

With our temporary living arrangements, we can’t paint or do too much, so it’s easy to want to “redecorate” without redecorating.

Saving Money From home – rearrange your furniture

17 Jun

 

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Want new end tables, but they aren’t in the budget?  Buy some time to save by rearranging your furniture!  And think outside the box – could you use furniture from the bedroom in the living room?  I’m not saying move your bed into the kitchen, but my bed side tables are actually end tables!  Gives your entire house a fresh new look!  I’m going to be rearranging today in addition to my weekly routine cleaning.

Saving Money From Home – shop in your TOY BOX

9 Jun

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Anyone know how to make a child NOT want a new toy every time you take them to the store???  I just don’t think such a child exists!  So this challenge is intended for parents, not children:  saying NO.  In my opinion, it is important to teach children that they do not get something the WANT every time they go to the store for several reasons.  Here are a few: 

1.  Teaching them the value of money.  I think it is important to teach children to save up for something they want.  They can earn money, use their gift money, etc.  But if they want it bad enough, they will save for it.  If they don’t really want it that bad, they don’t really need to bring it home.

A few exceptions:  (1) birthdays and special occasions.  If a child has worked hard all year, and gotten all A’s – why not let them pick something out!  (2) grandparents.  feel free to spoil your grandchildren as much as you want!  (but this only applies to children whose parents monitor their behavior and how they treat their grandparents – demanding or tantruming to get their way is NEVER acceptable.)

2.  Teaching them how to be respectful when they don’t get their way.  Tough lesson to learn in life.  Let them learn it from you instead of from the world.  It’s easier!

3. Children need to learn the word no.  How to use it and accept it!  I firmly believe that children who have heard no are more likely to use it when they get into tough situations – i.e. Saying no to drugs. 

So parents, remember that we are doing them a favor AND saving money at the same time!

1.  Prepare them.  Before you go into the store, tell them that they will not be getting new toys today.  Tell them that it is because you are choosing not to spend money on new toys and that it isn’t a punishment.

2.  Promise them an alternative.  Promise them their favorite meal if they don’t ask for a new toy; promise to let them invite a friend over this weekend if they are nice in the store;  Do NOT promise anything that costs money!  Do not make the promises if they are demanding or tantuming in the store!  And do NOT make a habit of this!  The first few times are ok to teach them the ropes, but after that, it should just be their job to behave without expecting anything in return. 

3.  Promise them your time.  Tell them that they can’t have a new toy, but you will play ____ with them when you get home.

I know, I know.  This is supposed to be about shopping in our toy boxes, so back on subject.  If you are not in the practice of telling them no, or they are not used to hearing it, expect a huge fight! 

 

Be prepared!

 

By organizing your child’s toys, you can help them learn no without as much of a struggle and reduces clutter!  Here are a few ways to prepare while going through the toy box today:

1.  Pull out some toys that your kids love and have forgotten about. Put them in a secret hiding place ready to pull out after your next adventure to the store. 

2.  Package toys.  I use the nice zippered pouches from sheets, curtains, and toys to pre-package toys.  We have a pouch for church, a pouch for each vehicle, a pouch for shopping trips.  If he doesn’t see them any time but then, he is excited about them and is entertained by them longer. 

3.  Store half of the toys.  After a few weeks of playing with the first half of toys, they will be excited to get a whole new set of toys! 

4.  Replace batteries.  It’s like brand new again! 

5.  Rearrange everything!  Put the books on the dresser and the stuffed animals on the shelf.  Put their tent in the corner and fill it with random toys they seldom play with.  Make usually inaccessable toys accessable and suddenly they have a room filled with NEW!

 These are just a few of my ideas and insights for reinventing toys to save money and reduce clutter.  I KNOW some of you more experienced moms have more!  Care to share any of your tips with us?

Saving Money from home – shop in your COSMETIC BAG

3 Jun

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This is a tough one!  With couponing, I get all these free or cheap make-ups, facial washes, lotions, soaps, shampoos, and to be honest – I stick with my brand loyalties.  When you are prone to break outs or have sensitive skin, change is SCARY!!!  Needless to say, there are still a TON of products that are sitting untouched that will not hurt my skin or make my hair frizz.  So my goal today, in addition to my usual Thursday cleaning and deep cleaning the kitchen, is to go through my cosmetics stash and make a plan to actually USE some of the products that I have.  Anything that I will not use, I will pass along to someone that might use them!

 

Seriously, what better way to brighten up a girl’s day than to get a new color of nail polish?  Or find a new color lip gloss that you had forgotten that you had?  This could be fun!

Saving Money from home – shop in your LINEN CLOSET

27 May

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As you probably know, Thursdays are my house cleaning day!  It works out nicely for me, because I typically spend Fridays running errands, meaning that the house stays clean for the weekend, and I get to enjoy my family instead of cleaning the house.  So, in addition to my usual house cleaning chores and deep cleaning the bathroom, I am going to add to my list Shopping in my Linen Closet!

 

The purpose of cleaning out my closets is to save money by reinventing what you already have.  Instead of buying a new shower curtain, I’m going to either: 1) find another shower curtain I have in storage or 2) find a way to liven up the one we are using now.  I will do the same with my towels, my bed linens, rugs, etc. 

 

Since we used to have 2 bathrooms and a guest bedroom, and now rent small 2 bedroom, 1 bath homes, I have multiple sets of linens.  I use one set for fall/winter and one for spring/summer.  My spring/summer set is lighter and white and I typically spruce up the pillows to introduce new colors. 

 

I am going to do my best to provide before/after pictures…it may not be much to look at, and I may back out of that!  We will see!

 

Happy Thursday!

Saving Money from home – shop in your PANTRY

21 May

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In addition to my weekly chores and deep cleaning the living room, I will be preparing to clean out the pantry by first  using up all the food!  This is a tried and true technique that is recommended by the majority of couponers – don’t buy any more groceries for X amount of days and eat what you have!  Instead, shop in your pantry and eat what you have.  As I mentioned earlier this month, we are way over budget!  So, my goal for the rest of the month is to buy only necessities and eat what we have!  And I have to say, so far we have NOT gone hungry at all! 

 

So, much like I pulled out everything from my closet last week and re-organized finding clothes that had been hidden for months, I will do the same in my pantry/freezer. 

 

How many meals can you come up with? 

 

Here’s my meal plan for the rest of the month based on just what is in the freezer:

 

  Breakfast Lunch Dinner
Day 1 Fruit and Cereal PB&J, yogurt, and chips. Lemon Pepper Chicken, baked potatoes, Broccoli and Rice.
Day 2 Oatmeal and Cinnamon Toast Chicken Noodle Soup & Crackers. Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and English peas.
Day 3 Fruit and Cereal Chicken Salad, yogurt, and Chips. Oven fried chicken, okra, and corn.
Day 4 French Toast & Bacon Grilled cheese and tomato soup. Hamburgers, French Fries, and Fried Zucchini.
Day 5 Fruit and Cereal Hot Pockets, yogurt, and chips. Grilled chicken & brats, grilled potatoes, corn on the cob
Day 6 Biscuits, Sausage, and Egg Cheese & Crackers/Peanut Butter & Crackers leftovers
Day 7 Fruit and Cereal Hot dogs, chips, and yogurt Tacos
Day 8 Fried egg & Toast Peanut Butter & honey Sandwich, banana, & Chips Ham, parmesan potatoes, and green beans
Day 9 Fruit and Cereal leftovers Sloppy Joes, French fries, and lima beans
Day 10 Waffles, Sausage, and Egg Spaghetti-O’s, crackers, and jell-o Fish Fry
 
From this plan, I only need to buy milk, bread, eggs, bacon, and produce!  Wow!  I can’t believe I have enough food here to have a different meal every day!  (or at least a main course).  The only down side to this plan – I hate to see my grocery bill next time!  I will be out of EVERYTHING!!! 

Saving Money from home – shop in your closet!

12 May

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A few years ago, I cleaned out my closet a little differently:

I pulled everything out, but as I put it back in my closet, I arranged entire outfits on one hanger(including accessories)! 

 

Why I haven’t done this again since, I do not know!  It had so many benefits?!  Sounds like a good project for today!

 

1.  Save Money.  I ended up having an entire month’s worth of different outfits to wear!  I had clothing WITH tags that I had forgotten about!  I had clothing that had been pushed to the back that was out of sight and out of mind!  I had multiples of some staple pieces!  And I was able to pair outfits together that looked great, but that I didn’t normally wear as an outfit.  It saved me money because I always felt that I had something “fresh” to wear.  I didn’t get that feeling of “I have nothing to wear!”

 

2.  Save Time.  Many days, picking out what to wear is one of the hardest decisions to make!  Whether it’s because of a lack of choices or just my mood, it can start a girl’s day off poorly.  Organizing my closet like this saved time by minimizing my choices and keeping me to have to try and find the match to that earring or the cami to go under that shirt. 

3.  Save Space.  I used half of the hangers and half of the closet space!  Instead of a hanger for the shirt and a hanger for the pants, both of them would hang on the same hanger.

 

A few more guidelines for cleaning out your closet:

  1. If it doesn’t fit, pitch it (donate it)!  Unless you are pregnant or just had a baby, get it out of your closet!
  2. If you don’t like it, pitch it (donate it)!  Be honest.  If you don’t feel great in it, then you DON’T like it.  If you haven’t worn it in a year or more, you don’t like it.
  3. Find a closet buddy.  Are you and your sister or your best friend the same size?  Why not swap out assisting each other clean out her closet?  Then, not only do you have a second opinion for any “questionable” outfits, you both may be able to add a few outfits to your wardrobe by trying on the unwanted clothes! 

 

How do you organize your closet?  I’d love to hear more tips!

Thursday is cleaning day! – Laundry Room

6 May

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I got a good start on my weekly cleaning yesterday!  Only have to do the items in bold today!  Also, since I have worked my way through deep cleaning all of the rooms in my house, I plan to start a new series pertaining to cleaning on Thursdays next week!

Routine Weekly Cleaning

  1. Put away dishes
  2. Pick up house
  3. Finish Laundry
  4. Change sheets
  5. Empty all the trash
  6. Clean bathroom
  7. Vacuum all rooms
  8. Mop kitchen and bath
  9. Clean mirrors and doors
  10. Dust furniture
  11. Make shopping lists
  12. Organize Coupons
  13. Clean refrigerator
  14. Clean kitchen sink

    LAUNDRY ROOM DETAILED CLEANING LIST

    1. WIPE DOWN THE TOP OF THE WASHER AND DRYER

    2. CLEAN THE GUNK FROM UNDER THE WASHER LID

    3. THROW OUT EMPTY BOTTLES AND BOXES

    4. SWEEP AND MOP THE FLOOR

    5. REMOVE THE COBWEBS

    6. PUT AWAY ALL CLOTHES

    7. LOOK BEHIND APPLIANCES FOR ODD SOCKS

    8. ORGANIZE PANTRY SHELVES

    9. ORGANIZE CABINETS AND REMOVE CLUTTER

    Thursday is Cleaning Day!

    29 Apr

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    This weekend is our big garage sale!  So I am taking a much needed break, from my routine cleaning.  I did, however, knock out my basics yesterday:

    Routine Weekly Cleaning

    1. Put away dishes
    2. Pick up house
    3. Finish Laundry
    4. Change sheets
    5. Empty all the trash
    6. Clean bathroom
    7. Vacuum all rooms
    8. Mop kitchen and bath
    9. Clean mirrors and doors
    10. Dust furniture
    11. Make shopping lists
    12. Organize Coupons
    13. Clean refrigerator
    14. Clean kitchen sink

    Thursday is Cleaning Day!

    22 Apr

     

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    Routine Weekly Cleaning

    1. Put away dishes
    2. Pick up house
    3. Finish Laundry
    4. Change sheets
    5. Empty all the trash
    6. Clean bathroom
    7. Vacuum all rooms
    8. Mop kitchen and bath
    9. Clean mirrors and doors
    10. Dust furniture
    11. Make shopping lists
    12. Organize Coupons
    13. Clean refrigerator
    14. Clean kitchen sink

    Master Bedroom Detailed Cleaning List

    1.  Polish furniture.

    2.  Clean cobwebs

    3.  Wash mattress pad, dust ruffle, blankets, and curtains

    4.  Flip mattress

    5.  Wash windows & walls

    6.  Straighten drawers & closet

    7.  Clean under bed

    8.  Organize Clothes

    9.  Dust ceiling fan, fixtures, and furniture

    10.  Vaccuum  & Shampoo carpets