Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Decorating Tip

Belinda's post in the Decorating Forum.

Another thing I have done to save money is to save boxes as I buy things and use them for storage in other areas of my home. I just decoupage them with paper or fabric to match the room they will go in. I have found beautiful wrapping paper at the dollar tree and I just use watered down school glue to adhere it and then go over the top too.

Even better protection is given if you go over the final product with varnish. I have used the big diaper boxes from Costco as toy boxes so that the various rooms don't look so cluttered. I cover them with adult appropriate paper that matches the decor of the room.

I put up shelves in my craft room and put all my supplies in different boxes that I have saved. A round grits container is perfect for pens, shoe boxes are perfect for odds and ends, the boxes that paper came in are perfect for other papers. I also printed labels using my computer and glued them right on too.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Save Money While Vacationing

Vacation is a chance to get away from it all, but while you're gone, the bills keep rolling in. Or do they?

You probably know to put a hold on your newspaper and mail, but temporary service suspensions, which are offered for everything from your landline and wireless phones to your high-speed Internet and cable, allow you to shut down your service (and those monthly bills) while you're away. Setting it up is as simple as calling your providers and asking for a "vacation service," or, alternately, a "temporary suspension."

Read the entire article.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Healthy Pet Foods

Pet food ingredients can create a lot of health problems for our pets, and that can cost a lot of money with recurring health issues feeding that drain our budgets for the veterinarian.

Be an informed pet owner when it comes to what's in pet foods. You already know that you feel better if you eat right. Help them to feel better too. View this video on what to look for in pet foods.

Shopping At Your Local Dumpster

Freegans are dumpster divers. While some do it for economic reasons, most dumpster dive for political reasons. By living completely on the trash of others, freegans claim they aren't contributing to big corporations and they're helping reduce their impact on the environment. Visit the Freegans website.

So You Want To Be A Millionaire?

Many people think that the rich were born into money, inherited it, or got lucky. The book, The Millionaire Mind by Thomas Stanley reports that 70 percent of millionaires have their shoes resoled rather than buying new ones. 71 percent make out a list before going shopping. Sounds to me like millionaires are made by being frugal and smart with your money.

Even the rich need a purpose in life, so most of them continue to work or give back to society in some way. When asked what led them to the work they chose, 81 percent said they chose a job that "allowed them to use their abilities." It's okay to do what you enjoy doing for work. You will do a better job working in a realm you love and that will lead to wealth in one way or another.

But being wealthy doesn't stop them from thinking frugally. 57 percent adjust the indoor air conditioner temperature setting during the summer to save energy and 49 percent use coupons for groceries and buy household supplies at warehouse stores. When buying a home, 65 percent take plenty of time to find the best deal, 79 percent research recent home prices near homes they are interested in, and 86 percent never pay the initial asking price. So, it's not cheap to want a deal.

These results seem to indicate monetary success comes more from a person's disciplined spending habits, than just the desire to achieve wealth. Matter of fact, a desire to appear wealthy can keep a person from making wise choices and might present an inability to exercise the discipline needed in making them.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Money From Heaven

There may be money floating around with your name on it. An estimated 24 billion in savings accounts, stock dividends, paychecks, utility deposits, and insurance proceeds are waiting to be claimed.

By law, companies must turn this money over to state governments for safekeeping. To find yours, go to Unclaimed.org which is run by the National Assoc. of Unclaimed Property Administrators, and start by clicking on the link to your state's site.

Check every state you've ever lived in. It's a free service.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Singing Success At-Home Study Course

We discovered this product when my wife purchased it with the 100% guarantee. We actually expected we'd be sending it back, but were delightfully surprised that it was all it said it was.

The Singing Success Vocal Training Program, by celebrity vocal coach Brett Manning, is the only vocal training program that guarantees a full octave increase in your vocal range. And you can do it at home.

You'll learn to sing as easily as you speak, completely eliminating vocal strain, and you will learn to master the techniques of vocal style, including runs, licks and trills. Get a full refund if it doesn't do all it promises. Read more about the Singing Success Program.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Recipe: Homemade Shake and Bake

Shake and Bake coating mix is handy but way too expensive for what it is. The other night, I made my own and it worked beautifully! Measurements are approximate and spices can be adjusted or substituted as desired. (I made this batch for chicken...when I try it for pork chops, I'll use finer bread crumbs and more sage.)

1 cup bread crumbs
1/8 cup flour
3/4 tsp. garlic powder
3/4 tsp. paprika
1 tablespoon parsley flakes
1/2 tsp. each sage, thyme, poultry seasoning, celery salt
1/2 tsp. pepper (next time I'll use a pinch of cayenne, too)

Place all ingredients into a sturdy plastic bag and shake. Wet chicken pieces, place in bag and coat, shaking off excess crumbs. Place on baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes (depending on how much chicken you're using, increase bake time accordingly).

I plan to make big batches and store in mason jars.

MissSuzy's contribution in the Recipes Forum.
"Simplicity of living, if deliberately chosen, implies a compassionate approach to life. It means that we are choosing to live our daily lives with some degree of conscious appreciation of the condition of the rest of the world." Duane Elgin

"Do what is good with your own hands, so that you might earn something to give to the needy." Ephesians 4:28