Money Saving Tips Archives

January 31, 2014

Dear Readers:

Came across this article today - I knew about some of the items that are mentioned, but was surprised by the others.  This excerpt from the article comes from The Daily Meal.  There is a link at the bottom of the post to read the complete article:

What are some of the deadliest foods the world has ever seen? Poisonous or harmful by design, not accident, and something that has us questioning our sanity when we choose to take a bite?
  • 1 Fruit Seeds

    Like apples, cherry pits contain a type of hydrogen cyanide called prussic acid. Don't go eating a cup of ground pits, or peach and apricot pits for that matter.
  • 2 Rhubarb

    Rhubarb leaves contain oxalic acid, which causes kidney stones. It'll take 11 pounds of leaves to be fatal, but much less to make you seriously ill.
  • 3 Nutmeg

    Nutmeg is actually a hallucinogenic. Yes, you can trip on it, but it's said that eating just 0.2 oz of nutmeg could lead to convulsions, and 0.3 oz could lead to seizures. Eating one whole will supposedly lead to a type of "nutmeg psychosis," which includes a sense of impending doom.
  • 4 Potatoes

    Glycoalkaloids, also found in nightshade, can be found in the leaves, stems, and sprouts of potatoes. It can also build up in the potato if it's left too long, especially in the light. Eating glycoalkaloids will lead to cramping, diarrhea, confused headaches, or even coma and death. It's said that just 3 to 6 mg per kilogram of body weight could be fatal. Avoid potatoes with a greenish tinge. (Helen's comment:  I was told this about the greenish tinge by my grandmother, but never knew why until now.)
  • 5 Almonds

    There are two variations of almonds, sweet almonds and bitter almonds. The bitter ones supposedly contain relatively large amounts of hydrogen cyanide. It's said that even eating just 7 - 10 raw bitter almonds can cause problems for adults, and could be fatal for children.
  • 6 Raw Honey

    Flickr/tesKing-Italy/Daily Meal
    Because it doesn't go through the pasteurization process in which harmful toxins are killed, unpasteurized honey often contains grayanotoxin. That can lead to dizziness, weakness, excessive sweating, nausea, and vomiting that last for 24 hours. Typically just one tablespoon of concentrated grayanotoxin can cause the symptoms above. Consuming multiple tablespoons would be a bad idea.
  • 7 Tomatoes

    The stems and leaves of tomatoes contain alkali poisons that can cause stomach agitation. Unripe green tomatoes have been said to have the same effect. You would need to consume vast quantities for it to be fatal. Not exactly high-risk, but you might avoid eating tomato leaves.
  • 8 Tuna

    The danger in tuna is the mercury that the fish absorbs. Once in your body, mercury will either pass through your kidneys, or travel to your brain and supposedly drive you insane. The FDA recommends children and pregnant women do not consume tuna at all. While it's unlikely that eating a massive amount of tuna in one sitting will kill you, it's a good idea to monitor your weekly intake. Click here to visit the Environmental Working Group's tuna calculator to see how much is recommended.
  • 9 Cassava

    The leaves and roots of cassava are surprisingly rich in cyanide. By this point, we may as well wish cyanide were the most delicious, sumptuous substance on the planet if we had to die to enjoy a bite… there is not much in the way of flavor, though. Cassava is a tropical vegetable originally from South America, but has gained popularity in Africa, particularly for its juice, which can be fermented to produce a drink called piwarry.
  • 10 Cashews

    Raw cashews you might find in a supermarket are not actually raw, as they've been steamed to remove the urushiol, a chemical also found in poison ivy. This chemical can cause the same effect as poison ivy, or poison oak. High levels of urushiol can supposedly prove fatal. People who are allergic to poison ivy are likely to have a fatal allergic reaction to eating actual raw cashews. See more deadly foods at The Daily Meal


August 25, 2013

Create extra kitchen storage:

Use a shoe organiser as a pantry organiserHang a shoe organizer over your pantry or kitchen door and fill it with cooking utensils and supplies that you use every day.

DIY pet feeding station:Make a dog bowl station in your kitchen using empty shelf spaceSource:

Got an empty kitchen shelf? Feeling handy? Cut holes in a the bottom shelf and countersink dog food bowls for a cute and out-of-the-way dog feeding station.

July 7, 2012

Five Car Maintenance Myths

Dear Readers:

I don't know about you, but in today's economy I am watching my nickles (pennies don't count any more - soon to be gone).  When I came across the attached article about car maintenance myths, I thought, gee...way back when, I remember being told to do all of these thingsAnyway I wanted to share with you so you too can save some nickles!   

Click HERE for "Five Car Maintenance Myths and Money Saving Truth"

March 30, 2013

Dear Readers:

Here's a helpful hint for those of you who lament about boiling eggs.  Yesterday at work, for what ever reason, the subject of boiling eggs came up.  Several of my co-works were complaining about the mess they have when they boil an egg, or how ugly the yolk looks when they do.  I shared with them the easiest way to boil the perfect egg...and it works everytime.  

  1. Place the eggs in a large sauce pan and completely cover with COLD water.
  2. Place the sauce pan on the stove and bring the water and eggs to a gentle boil.
  3. Turn off the heat, cover the eggs, and let the eggs sit in the hot water for 10 to 11 minutes.
  4. Safely drain off the hot water and rinse the eggs with cold water.  (I like to put some ice in the water so I can quickly cool off the eggs so I can peel them easily.  
I find this method also helps keep the eggs from cracking, although I do occasionally have one that does because I could not see the crack in the shell before I put them in the cold water.  

March 20, 2013
Remove scratches from a DVD 

Photo: William Warby on

Has putting Toy Story on constant repeat finally taken its toll? Even out small scratches from your favourite CD or DVD with a dry cloth and some toothpaste.

Make your own air freshener 

 Make your own air freshener


So apparently, you don’t really need all those scented plug-ins, sprays, or automatic dispensers that look like space ships. This recipe couldn’t be easier. It’s just baking soda, with around 8 drops of your favourite essential oil. Give it a shake every now and then to refresh the scent.


January 13, 2013

Use a straw to prevent necklaces from                                                                              Prevent necklaces tangling It seems whatever way I pack my jewellery, it’s always a mess when I get to my destination. Until now! Stop necklaces from forming knots by undoing the clasp, threading a straw through and re-clasping. So clever! Just remember to take the straw off before you wear it

Dry out waterlogged iphone with rice
Dry waterlogged gadgets with rice
If your precious iPhone takes an unexpected swim, all is not lost. Lots of people have had success in reviving their waterlogged tech gadgets with rice. Turn your phone off, take out the SIM card and place in a bag or bowl of rice for 48-72 hours. Check out video instructions here. Good luck!



December 12, 2012

Dear Readers:

I recently had a friend whose father passed away in another state.   Here is some background:
  1. He is named after his father, so he is a Jr.   
  2. He was not the executor of the estate, he was just helping his mother.
  3. Nor did he jointly hold the credit card with his father

     He notified his father's credit card company to let them know of his father's passing, and gave them a way to contact him if they needed any further information (This was a BIG mistake).   He was assured that they had all the information necessary.  
     A month later, using the contact information my friend left with the credit card company when he initially contacted them to notify them of the death, he received a bill from this credit card company saying he owes them money.  He called them and again explained that his father was now deceased and that his estate needed to be billed.  Well needless to say this went on for several months with the credit card company sending the deceased father's bill to a collection agency (lots of luck with that, guys).  

With that story in mind, I came across this article I wanted to share with you:

Don't Get Stuck With Debt that Isn't Yours
by Roman Shteyn  Published November 29, 2012  FOXBusiness

Relatives, friends and even business partners might think that they inherited credit card debt after someone close to them has died. Even worse, they could be misled by bill collectors into believing that they need to pay off that debt, even though they may not be legally responsible for it.

When a credit cardholder passes away with an outstanding balance, relatives and others can be drawn into the collection proceedings—but not always.

Understanding some basic financial and legal realities associated with credit card debt can prevent you from being saddled with the deceased’s debt load when collectors start calling. It’s important for you to understand what-if any-debt you might be held responsible for especially because some unscrupulous lenders may try to get their money back no matter the cost.

Joint Account Holders can be Held Liable
If you have co-signed for the credit card in collection, then you can be held responsible for unpaid balances. Non-working spouses often have co-signed accounts along with parents on behalf of their children. Increasingly, adult children are setting up joint accounts for their aging parents as a convenient way to oversee their activities. And business partners might use this arrangement as an accounting procedure. Here’s the bottom line: If you have a joint account with someone, then you are responsible for that debt if they pass away.

An authorized user of a credit card does not constitute joint ownership. A student may be authorized to use a parent’s card, for example, but the primary cardholder is not liable for the debt accrued by an authorized user if that person dies.

How Divorce Plays a Role
Divorce can shake up these credit card rules. For example, as part of the settlement one party might agree to pay the credit card debt for the other party. This agreement holds up even if the debtor dies before the debt is paid.

States that have community property laws, a spouse could be responsible for his or her partner’s debt even if the account was not a joint one. And if one party receives community property as part of a divorce settlement, credit card companies could go after those assets to square away the debt left by the former spouse.

Don’t Become a Victim
Unfortunately, a death can make someone easy prey for the bill collection industry. The front lines of the industry might contend that there is a moral obligation to pay the debt, but there are legal guidelines that consumers need to arm themselves with.

Some financial institutions are outsourcing collection to companies with special expertise in debt collection of deceased debtors. Although the Federal Trade Commission issued new guidelines in July 2011 to protect survivors, it is not against the law to contact them by phone and letter immediately after a death. 

Given the law regarding joint credit card accounts, spouses, parents and adult children might rethink co-signing. Also, those who are married or who plan to marry in community property states should consult with an attorney about assets and liabilities. When there is a death involving debt of any kind, the first stop should be the law library or the reference desk at the public library to review the law in that state. But the good news is if there is no joint account, it is likely the financial institution issuing the card that will have to absorb the loss.


October 22, 2012

Ten Things You Should Not Refrigerate

Published October 22, 2012
Real Simple

Certain items are at their prime when stored at room temperature.
  • Hot SauceIt can live happily in the pantry for up to three years.
  • Potatoes - Refrigeration adversely affects their flavor, so store in the pantry in paper bags (plastic bags trap moisture and speed decay). Most varieties should last three weeks.
  • Bread - The refrigerator dries it out fast. Instead, keep what you’ll eat within four days at room temperature and freeze the rest.
  • Onions - They like their original mesh bag (or any bag that allows for air circulation) in the pantry. But keep them away from potatoes, which emit moisture and gases that can cause onions to rot.
  • Batteries - Stash in a drawer at room temperature. Extreme cold (or heat) can diminish performance.
  • Garlic - It will do well for two months in the pantry. Store loose, so air can move around it.
  • Tomatoes - They can get mealy in the fridge, so leave them on a counter, out of plastic bags. To speed ripening, store in a paper bag. Once ripe, they’ll last for about three days.
  • Coffee - The fridge (and the freezer) create condensation, which can affect the flavor of both ground coffee and coffee beans. Coffee fares best in an airtight container in the pantry.
  • Nail Polish - Keeping it in the fridge can cause it to thicken. Store at room temperature, away from direct sunlight.
  • Winter Squashes - Varieties such as acorn, butternut, delicata, and spaghetti will last for about a month or more in the pantry


October 19, 2012

This article comes from Yahoo Health and provided by Prevention

Take Meds With the Right Beverage

Before you wash down medication with just any beverage, watch out; common drinks, from fruit juice to coffee, can lessen the effectiveness of certain drugs as well as pose serious health threats when combined with some prescriptions.  Medical toxicologist Lesile Dye, MD, FACMT outlined the top alarming combos.

Grapefruit Juice
Grapefruit juice negatively interacts with more than 50 medications, including statins, coumadin or warfarin.  Because the effects of the citrus juice last more than 24 hours, simply taking your meds at a different time won't solve the problem.

Pomegranate Juice
An enzyme found in pomegranate juice can break down several blood pressure prescriptions.

Milk, Soy Milk, Milk-Based Smoothies
Calcium can interfere with the effectiveness of thyroid medication.  Wait at least 4 hours after dosage to drink any calcium-rich beverages.

Coffee, Green Tea, and Energy Drinks
Caffeine can pose a serious health threat when taken with stimulants.  Avoid a cup of joe when taking ephedrine (appetite suppressants), asthma prescriptions, and amphetamines (such as Adderall).

Sports Drinks
The potassium in these drinks can be dangerous when coupled with some heart failure or hypertension drugs.  Bananas are also very rich in potassium.

Wine (or Energy Drinks)
Skip the dinnertime glass of wine when taking antidepressents; the combo can cause hypertension, headaches, fast heart rate, and stroke. The same goes for energy drinks.

Green Tea (with Vitamin K)
Vitamin K, also found in broccoli and kale, can decrease the effect of blood thinners such as coumadin or warfarin.

October 12, 2012


Cook while you’re not homeFreeze slow cooker ingredients in bags for easy meals 


Here’s a pro tip for mid-week meals. Prepare all the ingredients for multiple slow cooker meals at once, then dump them in to bags and freeze. When you’re ready to cook, simply take a bag out, throw the ingredients in to the cooker and turn it on. When you come home from work, dinner is waiting. Find recipes and details at Mama and Baby Love.

Never lose your penPut magnets inside a pen and stick it to the fridge 


Put magnets inside a pen and stick it to the fridge and you’ll always have a pen handy. Unscrew the end of your pen, trim the ink straw a little with scissors and put a few small disc magnets inside.
October 25, 2012
Dear Readers

I have written about the RFD chips in credit/bank cards before.  Yesterday, I received an email with more information about this and wanted to share.  If, after you view this video, you are interested in protecting your cards, on the right side of my web page is the company that can help you do this...IDENITY STRONGHOLD.  

"Wi-Fi Symbol on your Credit Card

I read this about a couple weeks ago, and then checked my cards for the little "Wi-Fi Signal Icon" on each one.  I found none w/that signal on them, but I was determined to watch for it when my cards came in on renewals. Well, yesterday I got my CHASE SLATE card AND THERE IT WAS!  My first time to see it.  I'll not activate that card after seeing this.  I guess I'll go to the bank and see if I can replace it w/a non Wi-Fi (Radio Frequency Card)....?"

August 20, 2012

Filling Foods
Has your stomach ever growled in anticipation of lunch, even though you just ate breakfast?  At some point, we've all fallen victim to an unexplained raging appetite, which can lead to eating snacks that are high in calories, sugar and fat-and, of course, weight gain.  But instead of popping pills that will supposedly curb hunger, turn to something surprising: food.  It sounds contradictory, but eating can actually suppress your appetite-as long as you choose the right foods.  Try one of these extra-satisfying eats to keep your appetite in check. 

There's a reason people are clucking about eggs lately.  A recent study from the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, LA, found that overweight people who ate eggs for breakfast take longer to get hungry later.  The research participants had lower levels of ghrelin, an appetite-stimulating hormone that tells the brain to eat, and higher levels of PPY, a hormone that helps stomachs feel full.  "Eggs are a perfect combination of protein and fat, so they're more satisfying than other breakfast foods," says Julie Kaye, MPH, RD, CDN, a registered dietitian in New York City. Worried about cholesterol?  Don't be.  "Despite the high content in yolks, eggs aren't the main culprit in raising blood cholesterol," explains Kaye. I f you're still concerned, try liquid egg whites, which also contain protein and can stave off hunger. 

The green, creamy flesh of an avocado isn't just tasty-it's also filled with fiber and heart-healthy monounsaturated fat.  In other words, avocados might be the perfect fill-you-up food.  "Foods high in fiber and rich in fat take longer to digest, allowing you to experience less overall hunger-and possibly take in fewer calories," says Erin Palinski, RD, CDE, LDN, CPT, author of the forthcoming Belly Fat Diet for Dummies.  Research also shows that avocados' oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat, tells your brain that your stomach is full.  Just remember that, nutritious as they are, avocados are high in calories-stick to snacking on half the fruit (about 140 calories) each time.  

A serving of beans, lentils, chickpeas or even peanuts delivers the right feel-full combo of lean protein, complex carbs and good fats.   According to Julie McGinnis, MS, RD, a registered dietitian, certified herbalist and owner of The Gluten Free Bistro in Boulder, CO, research has shown that this trio can keep blood sugar stable.  "And stable blood sugar means getting a full feeling-and keeping it," she says. 

Cayenne Pepper
This potent spice is a proven appetite suppressant.  Researchers from Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN, found that people who added half a teaspoon of the red pepper to a meal ate 60 fewer calories at their next meal.  Bonus: Sprinkling half a teaspoon of cayenne pepper over some food can cause your body to burn an extra 10 calories.  Ay, caramba! 

There are lots of reasons to raise your glass for water. H2O is critical for keeping organs, joints, tissues and the digestive system functioning well, but it can also curb hunger, says Elizabeth DeRobertis, MS, RD, CDN, CDE, a registered dietitian in Harrison, NY.  In fact, one study showed that participants who drank two cups of water before a meal ate 75 - 90 fewer calories than people who drank no water at all. 
July 20, 2012
Have you ever wondered why you use certain ingredients when you bake?

Today I came across a web news article that talks about 'baking disasters'.  I thought it would be a good article for both the experienced and the novice baker to read.  I know I learned a few things!   Click on the link below to read the article:


July 9, 2012
These helpful hints come from The Daily Buzz ( 

Keep cakes fresh with bread   [Helen's hint - to keep cookies soft and fresh - I've done this trick for years]

Place a slice of bread on a cake to keep it fresh overnightSource:
Pre-bake your cakes and keep them fresh overnight by placing a slice of bread on top. In the morning your bread will be hard as a rock but the cake will remain moist, ready to ice. We have no idea how it works but Bree from Bake Bree swears by it! (Hot tip: check out her chocolate peanut butter cake while you’re there. OMG!).

Use milk bottles for pencil storage

Recycle plastic milk bottles in to pencil holdersSource:
Grab a craft knife and recycle your large plastic milk bottles in to pencil holders. Extra points if you go all OCD and file them by colour. 
[Helen's hint:  if you like to knit or crochet, place your yarn in the bottle and feed it through the mouth of the bottle.  Keeps you yarn neat and untangled, as well as a place to stash your needles when you put down your project to do something else.]
June 21, 2012
These helpful tips come from

Keep your food bills in check by picking up tips to spend less on the everyday essentials.

Cut bread bills.
Look for buy-one-get-one-free deals on bakery items at your grocery store. Freeze loaves that you won't use right away; they should keep for up to a year.

Freeze it.
Buy milk and butter when they’re on sale, then put them on ice. Milk can be frozen for up to three months safely; butter lasts for six to nine months.

Stop at the convenient shop.
Gas stores often sell items like milk and soda super-cheap to entice shoppers to buy more than just gas. Drug stores also often have sales on milk.

Grab a dozen―or two.
Eggs can last up to three weeks. If your family eats a lot of them, go ahead and buy a bunch when you see them on sale.

Stock up on cereal.
Most cereal manufacturers offer coupons and run promotions in September and October to coincide with back-to-school. Unopened cereal lasts for months in your pantry (check expiration dates on each box).

Banish brand loyalty.
Instead of throwing away coupons for unfamiliar brands, give them a try to save some money. Store brands are often cheaper and you might find that the peanut butter tastes the same as a higher-priced version.

Save on meat.
Hit the store the morning after a holiday to get big savings (for example, the day after Thanksgiving, turkeys will be on sale). Get to know the butcher at your grocery store and ask him what days he typically puts the “quick sale” items out (the discounted meats that are nearing their expiration date).

Use powdered milk.
“I keep a box of powdered milk on hand," says Julie Corbet, 47 of St. Joseph, Mo. "When needed, I mix a packet and use it for recipes, sauces and gravy. There is no difference in the texture or taste. I keep the more expensive store-bought milk for drinking. If I don’t need it all, I pour it in with my store-bought milk to stretch it a little further. Don’t tell my son―he doesn’t know that secret!”

Shop with neighbors.
“My neighbors and I buy rice, sugar, flour and butter in bulk and split the items and the cost," says Viki Nazarian, 34, of Northridge, Calif. "We also grow items in our gardens and then share our crops with one another. I grow corn, mint, squash, tangerines and watermelon and my neighbors grow raspberries, strawberries, lettuce and spinach.”

June 10,2012
These helpful hints come from The Daily Buzz (

“File” your clothes

"File" clothing in drawers for easy accessSource:
Avoid messy dresser drawers by “filing” your clothing side-by-side instead of stacking items on top of each other. See the before and after at Apartment Therapy.

May 20, 2012
These ideas come from The Daily

Make a non-slip dish cloth

Make a no-slip tea towel with a strip of velcro 
Attach a strip of velcro to your tea towel, loop over your oven door handle and join the ends – voila, a non-slip dish towel!.

Organize Tupperware with CD racks

Use wire CD racks to organise your tupperware lids 
You need to find a use for those wire CD racks now that no one buys CDs anymore. Re-purpose them to hold your Tupperware lids.
March 21, 2012
These helpful hints come from The Daily Buzz (
Clever idea: how to fold a fitted sheet
For those who can’t stand the scrunching and bunching: how to perfectly fold a fitted sheet.
Clever idea: magnetic bobbypin storage
Forever losing your bathroom essentials? Use magnetic strips to store bobby pins (and tweezers and clippers) behind a vanity door.
February 21, 2012
These helpful hints come from The Daily Buzz ( 

 Clever idea: stocking over vacuum to pick up lost items

Gotcha! Find tiny lost items like earrings by putting a stocking over the vacuum hose.
Clever idea: box lid cupcake holder
Make an instant cupcake carrier by cutting crosses into a box lid.
February 6, 2012
These helpful hints come from The Daily Buzz (
Clever ideas: velcro strip on wall to hold soft toys
Attach a velcro strip to the wall to store soft toys..

Clever ideas: gift wrap storage on cupboard ceiling
Look up! Use wire to make a space to store gift wrap rolls against the ceiling, rather than cluttering up the floor.
January 21, 2012
These helpful hints come from The Daily Buzz ( 
Clever ideas: hull strawberries with a straw
Above: hull strawberries easily using a straw..

Clever ideas: use a walnut to heal furniture scratches
Rubbing a walnut over scratches in your furniture will disguise dings and scrapes.
January 12, 2012
These hints come from The Daily Buzz!
Cleaver ideas: wet wipe dispenser as plastic bag storageVia:
Re-use a wet-wipes container to store plastic bags.
Clever ideas: baby powder to remove sand from feetVia:
Add this item to your beach bag. Baby powder gets sand off your skin easily – who knew?!
January 1, 2012
These hints come from The Daily Buzz!
Clever ideas: store bedlinen sets inside their pillowcasesVia:
Overhaul your linen cupboard – store bedlinen sets inside one of their own pillowcases and there will be no more hunting through piles for a match.
Clever ideas: bowl as iPhone sound amplifierVia:
Pump up the volume by placing your iPhone / iPod in a bowl – the concave shape amplifies the music.
December 29, 2011
Dear Readers:

Being a retired RN, I am a BIG advocate of washing your hands and keeping your kitchen clean.  In today's email I ran across this article and wanted to share.  
You always knew your dishwasher was convenient. But did you also know that it's one of your best allies in keeping your kitchen safe from contaminants? The dishwasher sanitizes everything that goes in it, says Bonnie Richmond, senior lecturer in food safety and sanitation at the Hotel School at Cornell University, if you use the dry cycle. During that cycle, the internal temperature of the dishwasher reaches 170°F, which is required for sanitizing. (Sanitizing is the process of reducing harmful microbes to an acceptable level. Sterilizing is the process of removing all living organisms - something we can't aspire to in our own homes.) 

Here's Richmond's first rule of thumb: Run anything through the dishwasher that can go into it, including plateware, glassware, flatware, plastic cutting boards, and sponges. Anything that touches raw meat and fish, or their juices or blood, should be placed in the dishwasher immediately. That means if you use a sponge to wipe up the counter where meat juices have spilled, you should toss it right in the dishwasher and get out a clean one. At the very least, your sponges should go into the dishwasher every time you run it. Be sure to keep a backup supply on hand so you are not tempted to use a dirty one. 

One thing you can't put through the dishwasher is your hands. Always keep a bar of soap or soap dispenser next to the kitchen sink. To ensure that you are not spreading contaminants, wash your hands thoroughly whenever you enter the kitchen, between each kitchen task, and before you leave the kitchen.
December 26, 2011
These hints come from The Daily Buzz!
Clever ideas: WD40 for cleaning crayon off TV screensVia:
Remove crayon masterpieces from your TV or computer screen with WD40 (also works on walls).
Clever ideas: keep a cut apple from going brownVia:
Stop cut apples browning in your child’s lunch box by securing with a rubber band.
December 22, 2011
These ideas come from The Daily Buzz -
Clever idea: bread tags as cable labelsVia:
Bread tags make the perfect-sized cord labels.

Clever idea: egg cartons for Christmas ornament storageVia:
Use egg cartons to separate and store your Christmas decorations.

October 10, 2011

Here you are in the grocery store and you have some decisions to make - by remembering these suggestions you can save money and/or get more value for your money by buying more nutritious food.

Decision 1:  Should I buy brown eggs or white eggs?  Yes, brown eggs look pretty but they cost more.  Most nutritionists state that there is NO difference in food value between white and brown eggs.
Decision 2:  Fresh vegetables vs frozen vegetables?   
Truth be known - frozen are more nutritious because they are picked at the peak of freshness, while fresh vegetables are generally picked before they are fully ripe so they can be shipped.  

Decision 3:   Do I take the time to read the label on the whole wheat or multi-grain bread I usually buy?  It pays to read the label - the term whole or whole grain should proceed the grain's name - if it doesn't, it is probably made with refined white flour.
July 28, 2011

Dear Readers:

Received an email today that I would like to share with you.  If you like blueberries, i.e. blueberry muffins, cereal with blueberries, etc., then be careful what you buy.  Who would have thought Kelloggs, Betty Crocker, and General Mills products could be deceiving? Watch for yourself and then READ THE LABELS.
Click HERE to see the video. 

June 22, 2011

Shopping Trip to the Grocery Store

Today on my way home from work, I decided to stop and pick up a few items at the grocery store.  If you are familiar  with my web page, you may remember that I live in northeast Tennessee (God's Country by the way).  My favorite local store is Food City and it happens to be on my way home, so that's where I headed.

Since I have a small freezer in my basement, the one area of the store I always check out is the meat aisle.  As expensive as meat has become, even if I do not need the particular item today, if it is a good deal I purchase the meat and freeze it for later.  Today, I made some great buys, so for those of you that live in my area and have a Food City near you, you may want to check these out.
  • Boneless, skinless chicken breasts - $1.99 a pound (Great to use with my Chicken Parmesan Recipe of January 20, 2011.)
  • Bottom Round Steak - $2.69 a pound (These are great to use with the recipe I posted on May 19, 2011 - Saucy Skillet Steak or the recipe of December 30, 2010 - Swiss Steak.)
  • Ground Chuck - Family pack - $3.29 a pound  - hard to believe that the ground chuck cost more than the bottom round steak (Use the ground round with my recipe of February 10, 2011 - Ground Beef Stroganoff)
When I got home I immediately packaged the meat into serving sizes - dated the packages and put them in the freezer.

Also, while I was there I found pitted cherries in a can.  This item for some reason has been difficult to find, and since I like to make my cherry pie filling from scratch, I have been on the hunt for this item for several months.  (Future recipe for my recipe page.)   

You may have noticed that 'food' coupons are pretty scarce.  Partly due to the time of the year, but also, to the economy.  If you have the room, it pays to have a freezer large enough to take advantage of local sales.  If not, be flexible enough to alter your weekly menu to accommodate some of these deals.   

Good Shopping!

June 16, 2011

This evening after getting home from work, I decided to work in the garden.  While I was pulling the weeds, I was thinking about trying to find a product that would kill the weeds but won't hurt the environment as well as my pets.  When I finished the yard work, I went into my home office to catch up on my emails and to post on my web page.  As I have mentioned before, I subscribe to a great newsletter, . and what do I find in one of my emails, but an email from them talking about using a natural weed killer that is safe to use around pets.  So I decided to share it with my readers:
  • You will need..1 Gallon of White Vinegar, 1 Cup Kitchen Salt [the cheaper the better] and 6 to 8 drops of dish soap.
    Pour out 2 cups of the vinegar and save.  Add the salt and dish soap to the vinegar.  Shake until you can see little or no salt remaining.  Pour the mixture into a spray container and spray the weeded area.  Take care not to spray any plant you do not want to kill, as this mixture will kill 98% of anything it touches.  It will take a little longer to work than products like Roundup but it's safe for pets and humans to be around plus gets the job done.
    Bonus Cleaner:
    Pour the 2 cups of vinegar into a spray bottle, add 1 cup of water and 3-5 drops of dish soap.  You now have a surface cleaner that will clean windows, counters and bathrooms.

May 14, 2011

As I have mentioned before, I subscribe to a great newsletter, This week she had a couple of tips I thought worth sharing with my readers: 
  • A handy use for your cell phone is to make your grocery list on your cell phone notepad.  Most of us carry it with us at all times, so it's easy to add an item when we remember it plus you do not forget your list when it's time to shop.  

    • Fly season is coming.  To keep flies out of the house, plant Basil in a small pot and place it on the the window seal. Flies move away because of the aromatic scent of the basil plant.

    May 10, 2011

    Dear Readers

    I subscribe to a wonderful newsletter at:  
    She has great ideas, tips, and recipes.  There is one tip that I really wanted to pass on and it has to do with your safety and I quote it directly from her newsletter - 
     "...never input your home address into your GPS and save it.  If your car is stolen, your GPS will tell thieves where to find you and they might come searching for more things to steal.  If you need to use your home address to get directions or mileage, input an intersection near you."

    I never, ever, gave this a thought until I read this tip in her newsletter.  It is one of those things so obvious that you don't see it. 

    Oh, yes, another tip from me.  Don't leave your garage opener in your car.  All a thief has to do is break into your car, and then he has the 'key' to your home.  

    March 8, 2011

    I know what you're thinking - "this crazy woman is going to tell me that white vinegar can save me money?  She must be sniffing the vinegar jug."  Well, prepare to be amazed, especially when you think about the cost of some of these products versus the cost of white vinegar.  I buy white vinegar by the 2 gallons at Sam's Club and I use it the following ways:

    • Laundry - I use approximately 1/2 cup in the final rinse instead of fabric softener on those items that will be going in the dryer.  
      • This removes the soap residue, which make can make dark clothes dull; help remove stains (particularly if you pre-treat the clothing prior to washing), prevent yellowing, and actually act like a fabric softener.  
      • The saving is not buying or using as much of your fabric softener.   I do use fabric softener on occasion on those delicate items mostly for the scent, but I still add the white vinegar.  It makes my sweaters look great!
      •  It also is wonderful on removing odors - I have the 'dynamic duo' - my dogs, Beck and Maxine, who are outside most of the day.  Needless to say I have the dreaded "dog laundry"  - bedding, towels for wiping them off on rainy days, etc.  Using the white vinegar really gets rid of the dog order from these items.  
      • Using the white vinegar in my washer also helps keep the washer and the hoses clean.
      • This isn't a laundry tip, but the prior hint above about washing machine hoses reminds me of what my HVAC guy told me to do.  Several years ago when we upgraded our HVAC system, I was told that once a month pour 1 cup of bleach down the drain pipe of the unit that goes to the outside.  Last year during the annual maintenance, the HVAC guy said to change that cup of bleach to 1 cup of white vinegar.  It will do just as good a job keeping the pipe clean, but also, it will better for the environment. 
    • Personal Care - Why spend money on those special products for dry feet or toe nail fungus.  Just do the following:
      • Take 1/2 gallon of white vinegar and enough warm (not hot) water to cover your foot.  Soak for approximately 20 minutes.  Remove and briskly towel dry your foot.  Repeat with other foot.  Do this approximately 2 to 3 times a week and your feet will be as soft as a petal, and your toe nail fungus will be gone as well as foot odor.   
      • White vinegar has an antiseptic quality - so it can be used on cuts.
      • Sprained your ankle? - use 1 gallon of white vinegar and enough cold tap water  to cover your foot.  Place your foot in a large brown paper bag (yes, I said a paper bag) and put the  bagged foot in the vinegar/water solution.  Soak for approximately 20 - 30 minutes.  It will feel like you have put your foot in ice without the danger of ice, but it helps reduce the swelling and pain.  
    These are just a few of the benefit of white vinegar and will be doing another Money Saving Tip on this subject in the near future.

    March 4, 2011

    Dear Readers:

    Was just web surfing and came across a great idea for using the plastic bags your clothes come in from the dry cleaners, plus you get the benefit of recycling these things.  
      Tie a knot in the part that sits on the hanger so it's closes like a bag, and use them as kitchen can liners (30-gallon size) , or bag leaves and yard trash with them.  With the small ones use them in your bathroom wastepaper basket.  According to what I read they are strong and watertight, and easy to save by folding and pushing the air out of them then storing in a box or in small plastic bag from the grocery store. 

    January 2011

    How many times have you jumped into the shower, shampooed your hair, or used a liquid body wash, and watched all those beautiful suds go down the drain and thinking "Wow, I'm really clean. Look at all those suds!"
    Sorry, to burst your 'bubbles' (couldn't help myself). Think of those suds as pennies, nickels, and dimes going down the drain. You are actually using more shampoo, etc. than necessary and the companies that make those products love you. Don't you just feel the warmth!
    Here are a few tips to help stretch the dollars you spend on these products.

    1. Use your hair conditioner prior to shampooing your hair. I know that some of you with fine or thin hair stay away from hair conditioners because they make your hair 'flat as a flitter' as my husband would say, however using it before you shampoo will remove a lot of debris that your shampoo can't remove thus making the shampoo work more effectively, and it will not leave your hair flat. Just be sure to rinse the conditioner well from you hair before applying the shampoo.

    2. If you have short hair, put a small amount of shampoo in the palm of you hand (about the size of a quarter), rub it between your hands and apply to you hair OR you can do what I recommend for those with long hair. Using a squeeze top plastic bottle (available at most stores like Wal-Mart) fill it with half water and half shampoo. Mix well.

    3. Body wash - I keep a pump type plastic bottle in my shower. I fill it with half water and half body wash and mix well. Rather than a washcloth I use one of those nylon round balls with the little rope attachment. These seem to help spread the bubbles better than a washcloth.
    These little ideas will keep you from buying these products so often and thus stretch your dollars!

    December 9, 2010

    Identity Theft Information

         Today I received an email from a friend of mine about RFID chips.  Now, if you are wondering what in the world is an RFID chip, let me explain what I've learned.  RFID stands for Radio Frequency Identification Technology.  These RFID chips are embedded in your bank cards, credit cards, passports, clothing, etc. to name a few items. 
         You may have seen the advertisements where people are buying something in a fast food restaurant and just simply wave their card past a 'scanner'.  These cards have the RFID chip.  Eventually, even if you don't have a card now with this technology, when you get a replacement card, it will most likely have it.  I have attached a link to a video that explains this technology further and how it can be used for 'electronic pickpocketing'.  The man in the video is the CEO of  It is worth your time.