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Are You Content?

April 17th, 2011 at 03:17 pm

People love to be negative and complain about their life, children, job, marriage, debt, or just about anything. Matter of fact, rarely do you find an advocate for contentment and thankfulness in our busy lives. Thank God we can choose to listen or tune out negativity and constant complainers. Whining and complaining doesn't change conditions, circumstances, or people. Only when we learn to be thankful and content regardless of the situation, by focusing on what is good in our lives, will things start to change.

Stop Negativity - Negative thoughts come every day, but choosing how you respond to them is the key. If negative thoughts control your daily behavior, think on whatever is good about your job, relationship, life, health, height, hair, weight, home, car, child, and finances. Then breath in, exhale, and relax! Itís a great feeling to be thankful and content. It puts you in a mindset of "counting your blessings."

Stop Competing - Contentment stops you from competing with friends, family, and co-workers. You can be frugal, content, and not care what others think or say. Contentment allows you to enjoy and appreciate what you have without feeling guilty and ashamed. Content individuals do not constantly chase after things, but prepares, and watch blessings and opportunities unfold in due season. Content people are happy for otherís success, joys, and accomplishments. Being content brings sound sleep, better health, less stress, and can save you a whole lot of money by just being satisfied and okay.

Be Thankful - Are you content with your spouse, singleness, home, car, earnings, gift, raise, or salary? Someone somewhere has it worst or better than you, but does it really matter? Are you thankful for what you do have? Can you be grateful in spite of your current situation? Situations get hard and feel hopeless at times, but no one said having a ďthankfulĒ heart is easy. Matter of fact, at times being thankful can seem nearly impossible, because life can bring some heavy unexpected blows. However, at the end of the day being thankful is what brings joy and strength.

Contentment Takes Time Ė Being a content person takes practice, patience, and perseverance. It means getting rid of the negative mindset, behaviors, and feelings, and replacing those negatives with feelings of fulfillment, satisfaction, and gladness. The journey to contentment involves taking small practical steps; practicing patience while waiting to hear Godís clear direction, and still persevering to reach your goal, destiny, and purpose.

Let me be very clear, being content doesnít mean youíve given up, stopped trying, or give in to feelings of failure. Contentment means youíre okay and alright until your opportunity, open-door, or blessing comes. One thing I know for sure, ďA happy (content) heart makes the face cheerful.Ē Proverbs 15:13 Ė I couldnít have said it better myself.

So, what about you, do you find it hard to be content?

Are You Happy?

May 10th, 2010 at 07:06 am

Iím choosing to be happy no matter what the cost. Being happy is a learned process and behavior. It can be daunting at times. However, it is better then the alternative Ė misery. Sure everything isnít perfect, and people and situations still get on my nerves. Nevertheless, Iím learning to take control of my emotions, feelings, and choices. No more will I allow them to determine my daily outcomes. Happiness is a choice and I choose to live and dwell in happiness.

It doesnít mean my choice to be happy is easy. Matter of fact, at times it can be pretty darn hard. However, Iíve rearranged my life, home, and time to fit my new objective -- happiness. Wow, what a difference a day makes when your goal is to enjoy instead of destroy everything youíve been blessed with.

When negative thoughts come Iím trying to dwell on what is good and pleasant in my life. When pessimistic feelings and emotions try to take a stronghold, I think about how I am so blessed to have my health, strength, and my ďrightĒ mind. I'm blessed to have my husband and daughter and to be here for them.

My happiness means Iím reading less of the news, and thank God I donít have television to steal my hope, joy, and dreams. In spite of this economy and the doom and gloom that is presented to us daily, I can truly say I am content and happy. I love where I am in my life. Iím happy with my choices. And, Iím excited to wake up each day to see where my life-journey takes me. Happiness is truly a choice worth choosing.

What about you, are you happy?

Has the Economy Changed You?

April 18th, 2010 at 11:05 am

This economy has made people rethink their priorities. People are now evaluating what is important in every area of their lives. Today, everyone knows someone or multiple people unemployed for the first time in their lives. With over 13.7 million people currently unemployed, no one knows who will be next. Individuals that never struggled or had a fear of losing what they worked their whole lives for, aren't sure how they can hold on to what theyíve got.

Foreclosures are at an all time high, and the numbers are increasing daily. Otherwise responsible people are walking away from their homes. Banks are so overwhelmed they are shirking their financial obligations, too. For the first time in countless peopleís lives they now understand what use to be is no more, and that nothing is promised to last forever.

There is one bright spot in all of this economic mess. People are taking inventory of their lives, relationships, lifestyles, and money. For the first time some people are looking at their real needs and wants, and making sure their needs are actually met. The McMansions, leased luxury cars, and over priced restaurants are no longer a necessity, need, or want. Simpler, smaller, and sustainable is the new ďin thing.Ē Working every hour for things that can disappear tomorrow are not so important.

Affordability, saving money, surviving daily, and trying to keep a balanced life has become high priority. People are going back to the basics of life. God, family, and then work is now important to many. Work is necessary to survive and live. God and family is what sustain us.

How has the economy changed you and your spending habits?

Need to Save on Ink Cartridges?

January 24th, 2010 at 02:53 pm

We have a Brother all in one fax, copier, scanner, and printer. It takes four different cartridges to work. When one goes out the whole machine stops. Yeah, that is right zero copies can be made. In other words the machine was made to force customers to purchase cartridges each and every time one cartridge is used up.

A few months ago, I happen to mention to my neighbor that we needed more cartridges for our copier. She has the same brand but a different model. I told her we usually pay around $14-15 for one cartridge. She then told me, she only paid $4.75 for her cartridges whether they are black or color.

I was skeptical and doubtful that it could be true, but she assured me she had been purchasing these recycled cartridges for years and they worked great. A month ago we purchased a black one. No problem, it worked and looked great. About 2-weeks ago, two of our color cartridges needed to be replaced. We went to the same company.

We received our color ink, 3-times cheaper, and it looks great. We are so happy. In all we paid $14.25 for 3-ink cartridges, instead of $42 or more for three. You cannot beat that savings anywhere. Plus, when we ordered shipping was FREE.

The name of the website to purchased black and colored cartridges to save money is: www.inksell.com.

Do you know any other places to get incredible prices on ink cartridges?

What Can't You Live Without?

November 28th, 2009 at 07:31 am

I use to love to talk on the phone and watch television. Of course that was before the Internet. Now, I could care less if I talk on the phone (if it isn't business related). We are strange, we do not have cable so we get zero channels on our TV. I could actually live without a phone and TV, but if I had to go without the Internet for just one day, OMG, no!

With the Internet, I get connected to people and they connect with me. I get all of my news both local and worldwide from the Internet. Of course, I get all my Hollywood gossip there too. The phone and television were previous distractions, but the Internet has to be apart of my life and I consider it a friend.

Plus, the Internet has saved me tons of money by researching and getting the best deals. It's a great place to check reviews, comparison shop, and get the best discounts and specials. I'm all about saving money. I find my recipes, restaurant reviews, vacation packages, pay my bills, do my banking, find my landscaper, plumber, electrician, and look for my doctor and dentist on the Internet. Additionally, it's on the Internet we have found our homes, keep track of the weather, look for free entertainment, and see what the traffic is like.

I don't have to eat out, go bowling, swimming, golfing, movies, or talk every day to everyone I know on the phone. Just give me my Internet and I will be just fine. I do not like to say addicted, but I don't think I can live without my friend the Internet.

What is it you cannot live without?

Are You Cooking More?

November 21st, 2009 at 03:04 pm

I've always cooked. However, now I'm cooking even more. Food has gotten expensive, so I continuously look for ways to save, cutback, and find better alternative ways to do things. There are three in my family. We spend around $300 a month on groceries, not including supplies. Not a little bit of money, but not a lot either. At this stage in my life I do not eat out much. Restaurant kitchens aren't always clean, neither are people's hands, and the luxury of dining out can add up. We probably eat out three times a month, spending around $30-40; using coupons at www.restaurant.com or www.diningperks.com.

Below is how we save money on groceries and cooking.

1. Have a set amount each week budgeted for groceries, and stay within the amount.
2. Shop for food one day a week. Go through cabinets and refrigerator for inventory. Create a weekly menu, and purchase according to what is on the menu.
3. My husband goes to Wal-Mart for most items and then to Kroger for fruits and vegetable one day a week, like clock work.
4. Once a month I order groceries from www.angelfoodministries.com. For $52 I get enough meat, vegetables, fruits, starches, eggs, and dessert to last a couple of weeks. For us, there is enough meat to last over a month or so. We aren't big meat eaters.
5. I cook on Sundays and Wednesday, only. I usually cook 2-3 vegetables on both days. Also, I mix up pasta, casserole, roast with potatoes and vegetables using lots of garlic and onions, on the other days.

The benefits of cooking at home:

a) Our gas bill is only $21 a month, because I cook only two days a week. Our stove is gas the rest is electric.
b) We have good food in a clean kitchen made with clean hands.
c) We save a fortune by eating at home.
d) We eat healthier because I'm cooking using fresh ingredients from scratch, and not boxed or processed foods.
e) We are able to enjoy a meal together as a family at the table and talk.

Are you cooking more? If so, how has it benefited you?

This Weekend Was Garage Sale Heaven

August 16th, 2009 at 05:29 pm

I love going to garage sales. I've learned that buying other's "junk" is my treasure.

This weekend my daughter and I went garage sale hopping. My husband packed us a cooler with water and snacks we went on our journey. Our sole purpose was to look for a few items for her room since we are redecorating it. There were so many garage sales my daughter said we were in "Garage sale heaven."

For $11.25 we walked away with the following: a floor lamp -$1.00, a fuchsia colored picture frame - $.25, DVD player - $5.00, pink book holders from Bombay and Company - $4, hair blow dryer - $.25, bulletin board w/diamonds around it - $.25, insulated lunch bag w/shoulder strap - $.25, and a black wood 14" x 20" picture frame - $.50

We probably saved $150-$200 by purchasing items at garage sales. The plus, everything was in like-new condition.

When is the last time you went to a garage sale? Did you get great bargains?

$10K to sell my home...Thanks but no thanks!

February 28th, 2009 at 07:30 am

We are selling our rental property. Yeah, yeah, yeah the economy, housing, lending and everything sucks, but I don't care. My trust is in God. Okay, so I've sold all four of our homes by myself in the past and never had a problem.

This time, I was thinking of using a realtor because I now work and felt I probably wouldn't have the time. But when I found out the fee was 6% and that would cost $10,000, I said, "I will take the time to sell my home myself."

I kept asking the realtor, so what exactly do you do that I can't do? We make flyers, show your home, and market it. Well, okay, I can do all that for less than $10,000. Nobody know and cares about my house more than me.

So our tenants move out officially tomorrow. I will get some work done in the next week, and then the house will go on the market. Yeah, the economy sucks but who cares. I'm excited, I have a new challenge to sell our home. I can't wait to see what happens, can you?

Thanks for no customer service

January 3rd, 2009 at 12:57 pm

I went to the Dollar Store yesterday, and was shocked to hear the cashier, while ringing people up, screaming for the manager -- loud. The manager came, and the cashier told him a worker was driving up in the parking lot, and she was 20 minutes late. Then loudly she continued to complain about the worker, while ringing up customers, and told the manager to call the worker on her cell phone to turn around and go home. For a few minutes they both argued about who should call her, while she continued to ring up her customers. Finally, the manager went into a little office with no ceiling, called the worker -- yelling, and told her to turn her car around and go home. He said, "This time he wasn't playing."

By the time he came out I was in the cashier's line. She now was on her cell phone, while ringing up customers, loudly talking to someone saying how tired she was since she started work at 5:00 a.m. Of course, she had to tell the person on her cell phone about the worker that was 20 minutes late, and how she had to now work double shift and how unhappy she was. Then she told the person on the phone she would call them back in 10 minutes, because she had a long line of customers waiting for her. I was the third and last person in her line.

The cashier is now breathing hard, signing, huffing, puffing, and just plain irritable as we stand in her line. Once the cashier was off the cell phone, she asked the manager about his conversation with the late or fired worker. Then they talked about how trifling she was for always being late. They stated that traffic lights and getting gas is no excuse, and those things are apart of getting to work on time.

When I got to her I said, "Wow...Looks like you've had a really rough day. You've been here since 5:00 a.m.; you must be really tired, huh? I really hope your day gets better and you get some rest. Have a great day."

Geez, and retailers are wondering why they are losing business?

I'm so thankful that I'm thankful

November 29th, 2008 at 07:21 am

Thanksgiving was wonderful as usual. We went to Augusta, GA to spend time with my 4 brothers and sisters, and eight nieces and nephews that live in Georgia. The rest of my brothers and sisters (3) and parents live in Oregon/Washington area. Anyway, our tradition each year in Georgia is to spend Thanksgiving in Augusta at my sister's home. Like usual, we ate so much and it was so good. We all spent the night, woke up early, and cooked a huge breakfast. The breakfast, like usual, was incredible. What I love most is just the hanging out, laughing, talking, reminiscing, and time with a fun and loving family.

Then I started thinking about how thankful I am for the little things in my life. For my husband of 16 years, our daughter, a job, our homes, good health, food, transportation, a loving extended family, healthy parents, clothes, and money to pay bills. I'm just "thankful" for blessings that so many do not have. Yes, the blessings seem simple and basic, but what if you didn't have them? Yes, I am truly thankful that I'm thankful. And in this economy that is saying a whole lot!

The gift of time is free

November 9th, 2008 at 02:29 pm

Today is my 16th year anniversary and my daughter's 11th birthday. We actually celebrated my daughter's birthday yesterday and had a great time. We took her to see High School Musical 3, had lunch at the Cheesecake Factory, took her shopping for clothes, and brought her two finches as pets. Okay, that is way more than we usually spend on birthdays, but she's doing so good as a home schooler and becoming so responsible. We decided to do more than less.

Okay, so today is my anniversary, 16 wonderful years that went incredibly fast. My husband said, "Let's just give each other the gift of time." I thought what a wonderful idea -- time. And, it's free. So we have been enjoying the day reminiscing, laughing, talking, and just having "together" time, ah.

What I know for sure, having all the money in the world or receiving the most expensive gifts will not bring me happiness or keep a happy marriage and home.

Ah, the "simplicities of life" really do work!

I'm saving on makeup and skincare products

October 27th, 2008 at 09:41 am

I've worn Mary Kay products since I was 17 years old. I've loved their makeup, skincare, and even perfumes for years. However, while evaluating my financial priorities and needs and wants, I'm staying focused on what is real important.

Yes, I need makeup, pretty skin, and to smell good, but also I need to re-evaluate if I can get all those things and save money too. I can and have!

Thank God I've found alternative products that I am happy with that have saved me a fortune. You know every penny really does count. I don't think my face and body knows the difference. They're just happy someone takes the time to care. Thank you Wal-Mart and Sally's Beauty Supply!

What changes have you made to save money on makeup and skincare products?

Are you worrying or are you happy?

October 20th, 2008 at 08:23 am

Do you live your life saying, "I'll be happy when?" One thing I know for sure, happiness is a choice and so is worrying.

Regardless of our current economic crisis, I have made the decision to be happy and continue to enjoy life. Yes, we have lost plenty of money, too. However, I've been there and done that before. The season passed, we kept on living, and continued to save. You just do what you can do, right?

When you realize that you have absolutely no control of what will happen in the world and even your life, you just learn to ask God for his favor and blessings.

In spite of the economy I am happy and not worrying. I am doing better than some and worst then others, but I'm happy and okay with life and me. Are you?

Help someone and get a tax deduction

October 13th, 2008 at 01:18 pm

The end of the year is almost here. All through the year my family collect things that are still in good condition, but we have outgrown, do not need or want. We give our items to the Goodwill.
The great part, we are helping someone in need and we also get a tax deduction.

What do you do with items you do not want? Do you give them to others in need?

What are you doing to cutback on spending?

October 9th, 2008 at 12:44 pm

Wow...times are pretty rough for most people. If you have not made adjustments to your way of life by now, I'm not sure what to say. We're frugal, but we've become even more frugal since June. These are a few things we've changed since June.

- went down to one car instead of two
- home school our daughter (hubby does that)
- have limit our 1-2 hour one-day-get-aways to once a month or every other
- haven't went on as many 2-4 day vacations. Have only went twice this year. Usually go 4-5 times.
- go out to eat around two times a month with coupons
- eat more salad and soup dishes with very little meat
- pay bills online or via phone to cut down on stamps
- our entertainment is more parks, walks, board games, and videos
- do not go out of our area to visit people, mainly talk on the phone
- do more home-churching than going to church (been doing that for years anyway)

What have you done to cutback on spending?

When no money comes in how do you cope?

October 1st, 2008 at 12:19 pm

In this economy with people being laid off left and right, how do you cope if both people in a household lose their jobs? That is a very difficult situation to be in. In 2001, my husband and I moved to Washington state. Unfortunately, 9/11 happened a few months later. We ended up living on our savings for 2-1/2 years. It was really really hard.

Now we are back in Atlanta, but I really feel for people in that situation. Especially if they do not have money saved. Here are a few suggestions to make ends meet and bring in extra income, if you are in that "season" of no income.

- Still track your expenses and budget your money
- Rent out a room or two if you can (do you have a basement?)
- Sell things you do not want, use or need
- Get part-time jobs and still look for full-time jobs
- Have garage sales
- Baby sit kids for money (if you love kids)
- Try to get contract work

Have you ever been in that situation? What did you do?

Restaurants: smaller portions higher prices

September 29th, 2008 at 11:13 am

There is a common pactice currently going on in the restaurant industry. In the last month or so I have noticed consistently that all their menus have changed. The prices have increased. Some much higher on average then others, but what they all consistently have in common is smaller portions.

I understand raising the prices. I mean, these are hard times. But, come on, smaller portions, too? I mean we do notice things, most of us.

I work hard for my money. I want to get what I pay for. High gas, food, energy, and everything else personally affects me too.

Eating out is a choice. I've decided to eat out one time a month. Our solution: we decided to increase our grocery spending to accomodate the things I like when I eat out. Also, we will get food to go, so we do not have to leave a tip, and use coupons (like buy-one-get-one-free).

I'm trying to hold on to as much money as I can. The world indeed wants to separate us from our money, but they will have a hard time getting mine.

Falls coming, open the windows and save

September 17th, 2008 at 02:08 pm

I'm happy. For the last 3-4 days the weather has been in the 70's and we haven't had to turn on the air. Our home is all electric, so our bills range in the amounts of $80-$140 depending on the time of year. However, when I see Spring or Fall coming, I'm so happy. Lower bills!

To save, we just open the windows and let the cool breeze come through. If it gets a little bit stuffy, we turn on the ceiling fans. At night, it's even cooler so we open the windows just a little. Uh, how nice. We are heading towards the time of year that we will not need to turn on the air or heat. Probably for around 2 months.

It's nice being able to appreciate the simple things in life, isn't it?

We got 10 magazines for free

September 15th, 2008 at 11:38 am

I stopped buying magazines years ago. However, whenever I would visit friends and family, instead of talking, I spent my time devouring their magazines. I absolutely love to read.

Then one day Delta Airlines sent me a letter saying 14,000 of my frequent flyer miles had expired. Huh? Because I had not accumulated new miles in three years. However, I still had 4,000 miles left. I was mad as I don't know what. Also, my husband and daughter had around 4,000 miles each, too.

I had an idea, we'll use up all the points and get something we want. Well, the only thing we had enough points for were magazines. Now, we get around 10 magazines a month. I love laying in bed just reading. The best part, it didn't cost me a dime. I now have enough reading material to last until I retire.

Do you know ways besides the library to get free magazines?

A breakfast dinner saves the day & money

September 10th, 2008 at 03:20 pm

Some days just before grocery shopping, when the food is getting low, and you're too tired to cook, a breakfast dinner is the solution. It beats going out to eat and spending money, right?

For "breakfast dinners" we may cook omelets, pancakes, grits, biscuits, cereal w/fruit, turkey bacon, and eggs.

Do you ever have breakfast dinners? If so, what do you cook?

Pie and snacks cost $1.81, I promise you!

September 8th, 2008 at 01:43 pm

Snacks have really gone up in price. Of course Iím always thinking of the best way to save money. So about a month ago we started making our own snacks each week. Well, as you know Saturday mornings are grocery shopping day for my husband (in 16 years of marriage I've never been grocery shopping). Now, that's another story.

Anyway, my husband picked up a pumpkin. I do not like store brought pumpkin pie. But I love homemade pumpkin pie, so I decided that would be our snack this week. Of course I couldn't leave out the seeds. The small pumpkin he purchased only cost $1.81. I made a wonderful pumpkin pie, and garlic flavored pumpkin seeds. They were a hit! The seeds were delicious by themselves, and we sprinkled some on salad. You really can't beat spending $1.81 on snacks. The one pumpkin probably saved us around $4.00-5.00 this week.

Do you like pumpkin? If so, what do you do to stretch your dollars with pumpkins?

We shaved our heads to save money

September 2nd, 2008 at 10:22 am

My husband use to have hair. He would go to get his hair cut every two weeks. His haircut would cost around $12, and he would usually give a $2 tip. Well, one day he walked in and they announced the price had increased to $14. That day, my husband came home and stated he was going to shave his head. He just couldn't see paying $384 a year (including tip) for something he could do for free. He went from nice brown wavy hair to smooth skin on his head.

Then one day I had enough. I was paying $75 every six weeks to get my hair done. It would take hours out of my day, and it was probably costing me about $800 a year. I wanted low maintenance, too. My husband went to Wal-Mart purchased a kit with clippers and everything. So I cut my hair into a 1/2-inch afro. Now, it takes me two minutes to do my hair, literally. I love the freedom and the money it has saved us.

Best part, my husband still thinks I'm beautiful, and he looks very handsome, too.

So, how much are you spending on hair care? Would you be "crazy" enough to do something drastic like we did to save money?

We spent $22 on gas for our car this month

August 29th, 2008 at 11:35 am

I couldn't believe it when my husband told me that we only spent $22 on gas this month. Yes, we still have two more days left, but geez we still have over a 1/2 a tank left in the car. I know it's unusual, and it is for us too. However, when we decided in June to home school our daughter, and go down to one car to save money, who would have thought.

Okay, I admit most people do have to leave the house. But I work from home, our daughter's piano class is 10 minutes away, our bank is 2 minutes away, and the grocery store is 10 minutes away. We go to church once a week, which is 25 minutes away, and we always do everything to avoid traffic. My goodness, we live in the burbs of Atlanta, and it is pure "traffic hell" at certain times.

Anyway, to think I'm excited about having paid $22 for a 1/2 of a tank of gas, when it used to cost us $12 to fill up the whole tank. We will probably fill up the gas tank on Sunday, because the gas station on the way from church has the cheapest gas. My husband will only put the medium grade gas in our car.

How much do you spend on gas each month, and have you done anything drastic to cut down on gas expenses for your car(s)?

I'm drinking more water for my health & to save

August 20th, 2008 at 11:17 am

Okay, everyone knows we need water to live, right? I mean, water is what makes our bodies operate. Soda and juice habits can be expensive, and can do damage to your body. So I suppose water is the answer, and I'm not talking about bottled water either.

People drink bottled water because they feel it is safer. We're told and programmed to believe that bottled water is cleaner, safer, and healthier. However, a study that did a comparison of tap and bottled found that there was no difference.

Well, you know I'm all about saving money and being healthy. I do not necessarily like bottled or tap. Bottled water was costing us about $10-15 a month. Now, we use filters on our tap faucet and our water pitcher. We have double filtered water. It probably saves us around $90 a year. What is most important, we feel we have made steps to have safer, cleaner, healthier water on our terms.

Do you drink water? What do you do to save money and have healthier water?

Bad news has made me evaluate life, health & money

August 18th, 2008 at 07:53 am

Today I received bad news. I found out my roommate from 17 years ago died after being in a diabetic coma. She was only 41 years old. I had no idea she was even sick. She lives in a different state. We kept in touch via email, but we had not had a real phone conversation for two years. She had emailed me that she was coming to town, and wanted to meet in Atlanta this August. I'm heartbroken, devastated, and re-evaluating my life, and how everything I do affects my life, health, and finances.

Like me, she worked from home. I know working from home you can get into a routine that excludes exercise. You sit and sit, and maybe you hardly take a break. Sometimes I do that. Hearing about my old roommate, I realize how precious life is. How blessed we are to have good health. And how not taking care of yourself can ruin your life, health, and money.

Yes, healthcare is expensive. However, there are some things we can do that are preventative. Cook and eat right, take the time to exercise to circulate your blood, and be in tune with your body to make sure things are functioning properly. Bottom line: if you truly care about your life, do what is necessary to stay healthy. By staying healthy hopefully it will not rob you of your life, health and wealth before your time.

If this helps one person, I will feel like I'm made a difference today.

I love PIZZA but Geez is it worth the price?

August 13th, 2008 at 07:24 am

One food I love is pizza. Pizza is fun, good, and if you do it right you may be able to get at least three food groups on it. Anyway, at my favorite pizza place, the pizzas start at $20. That's a lot of money for bread and sauce. So we decided to do something about it.

Saturday is officially our pizza day. My husband shops on Saturday, so he picks up a large french bread loaf. That is our crust. Okay, so one way I make my pizza is to:

- cut the french bread in half
- put both halves on a large cookie sheet
- spread spaghetti sauce on the bread (as thick or thin as you like)
- sprinkle some cheese
- sprinkle ground turkey
- slice tomatoes (thin) and spread over pizza
- cut thin sliced onions and spread over pizza
- sprinkle more cheese on top
- bake on 350 degrees or so, and leave in for about 15 minutes (maybe 20)

We experiment with other types of pizzas with french bread too. A nice salad on the side is icing on the cake. Yummy, yum, yum!!! We figure we save at least $13-$15 making our own homemade pizza. The plus, we know our hands and kitchen is clean, and our food is fresh.

So have you come up with any creative ways to save on pizza?

A painless way to save on utilities

August 8th, 2008 at 07:40 am

Many people have problems figuring out how to save on utilities. But the reality is there are many ways you can save money on utilities. One of the things that we do to save money is to only use our washer and dryer when it is completely full loads. Also, instead of using the heavy load, we use the minimum load and wash using cold water. Also, we take the lent out of the dryer after each load dries, so the dryer will dry and run more efficiently.

Next, only use the dishwasher when it is full. Every time you use it, if it isn't full you are using lots of hot water and electricity. Save by making sure the dishwasher is full. Additionally, as an alternative use more paper plates, and use the dishwashing only once or twice a week.

Finally, turn off lights when you leave a room to save on your electric cost. Unplug the television, radio, iron, and other appliances when they are not in use. If they stay plugged in electricity is still going through the current, and you are still being charged.

So, what do you do to save on utilities?

Simple ways to save on groceries

August 4th, 2008 at 09:29 am

We're always thinking of ways to save money. Always! Well, my husband does all the grocery shopping and he does an excellent job. We spend around $250-$300 a month for a family of three on groceries (food). Then we spend around $100 for supplies. My husband shops every Saturday morning at 6:30 a.m. at Super Wal-Mart. No traffic, hardly any people, so he gets in and out.

We always brainstorm on how to save and do things better. Well here are some ideas we implemented to cut our grocery bill.

- instead of buying a six pack of yogurt. We now purchase one large container, and put it in individual containers with lids. Instead of six, we now get around ten yogurts.

- instead of buying cold boxed cereals, we now purchase hot cereals like grits, cream of wheat, and oatmeal. We discovered it's more cheaper, more filling, healthier, and by rotating the three, it last almost a whole month.

- instead of using a pound of turkey hamburger for one dish, I use it for three dishes. The benefit, I stretched it by making it last, and I usually end up cooking once a week instead of two or three.

Do you have any tricks to save on groceries? I'd love to hear them.

I get $75 today to say what I think

August 1st, 2008 at 08:04 am

Today I'm going to a focus group for 90 minutes. Fridays are usually my slow day, so this opportunity came up and I took it.

About 3 times a year I'll do a "focus group," which means a face-to-face survey to find out what you think. They do not sell you anything, you get refreshments, and a check or cash when you leave. I've gotten as much as $150 for 90 minutes. Focus groups can be 45 minutes to usually 2 hours. You can make as much as $200 or sometimes more.

So today, it will take a couple of hours out of my day including drive time, but it's worth it. I usually meet other nice business professionals, eat a few snacks, and walk away with quick easy cash. I even met a girl in college that makes her living only doing focus groups. I'm only signed up with one company, but she was signed up with alot. She said it's the only way she makes her living. I guess, depending on how busy they keep you, you could easily make $400-$500 a week for a few hours. Can't beat that.

Have you ever done a focus group before?

Our daughter got a new computer today for FREE

July 29th, 2008 at 10:33 am

We decided to home school our 10 year old daughter while on vacation in May. We were sick of the public schools using children as fundraisers, and always marketing their contradictions to us (i.e. fast food, yucky lunches, candy, etc.). Plus, we felt she wasn't being challenged academically.

A friend in Washington State told me about a home school program called K12. She said, they supply the curriculum, supplies and books, assign you a teacher, give you a computer, and the best part it's all FREE.

My daughter has wanted a computer for years, but we told her she would need to save up for one. Well her computer from K12 arrived today. Yippy!!! To our surprise it was a brand new HP with a flat screen monitor and a new HP printer. She is in heaven and so are we. That one decision probably saved us $1,200 or so.

Also, home schooling will allow us to save by not having to purchase school clothes, gas, supplies, and the endless "begging for your money" that schools do.

I DO NOT hate public schools or their teachers. We have just found an alternative for education, and a way to save more money. What do you think?

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