5 Quick Way to Save Money

Coins with saving message
Coins with saving message

With shopping season upon us each of us are looking for ways in which we can pinch pennies before we scour the mall. There’s lots of things you can do right now that can save you lots of dough. You guys know that I always wanna talk about streamlining things in order to make life as comfortable, fun, and easy as possible. I know there are lots of readers that don’t start saving in January for late November and December shopping. I wanted to give a few last minute tips that can save you some dough so shopping season won’t be having you reaching for your credit card. Cash over credit eliminates January credit card bill stress, right? Ask yourself what services did you pay for that you could be doing yourself. This of course does not just apply for shopping season it applies all year long.

 

1.     Grooming:  For example if you go out to get a manicure and pedicure you may want to touch up your own nails. That is easily $60+ dollars saved!  I have a friend who would regularly take her son to get a haircut and began to discover that he did not need a haircut at frequency she was taking him to barber. Try skipping one or two trips to the hair salon/ barber and try doing your hair yourself, more money saved!

2.     Eating out: Perhaps you regularly go out to eat. (However if you’ve been following this blog you may not be a frequent eater-outter) If you do and you notice you have a pattern such as fried rice on Fridays. Then with a little planning you could have the components ready for fried rice made from scratch that is more economical and healthier. Just eliminating fried rice once a week for the next 6 weeks can result in a $60+ savings. Perhaps eating out is not your thing but you get a Starbucks coffee every day. Yes, I completely get “necessity” to go there, I mean after all its pumpkin spice latte season right! If you eliminate just two cups of coffee for the next few weeks, the saving can really begin to add up.

3.     Landscapers: Because we are in the fall season, the grass does not grow as rapidly as it did in the summer and it may not be necessary to pay the landscaper to come out as frequently. Pay attention to your yard. You may notice that after it rains the weeds may grow around in the front yard.  It is easy to take a weed wacker to get rid of them. Since the grass is not growing, you’ll notice that the grass doesn’t need to be cut but rather that the weeds just need to be wacked. More money saved!

4.     Gasoline: Whenever we get a change in temperature then it’s a good time to make sure that your car tires are properly inflated so you can get better gas mileage and hence save even more.

5.     Movies: Every year there are always some great holiday blockbuster movies. Save money for shopping by not going to the movies between now and then and perhaps rent movies the entire family can watch. Something like the movies may seem small, but a trip to the movies for three can easily add up. Look at it this way, between now and shopping season we are looking at potentially the minimum of two trips to the movies. Doing the math for 3 people then it is easily $45 spent on one visit to the movies without getting any major snack. Hence two trips would be $90, that is $90 that could be saved for something else like holiday shopping. Movie rentals from various streaming services like Amazon Prime or Fandango now can save you a pretty penny.

Remember this money being saved doesn’t have to be spent on shopping. It can easily be saved for rainy day, invested, or put to the side the to use on the kiddos this upcoming winter break, spring and summer break (It will be here before you know it.)

Happy Savings!!! 🙂 

 

3 Ways to Save on New Tires

TireEvery year I plan for things to be different. I think I am never going back to that place, only to go to another place to have the same over-priced experience. If you are like me, when it comes to buying car tires you want quality at a great price. My expectation is to purchase the tires and not to be hit with 3 more additional fees.  I have a few tips that can save you a pretty penny.

  1. Research which tires are best for your car– The factory tires are not necessarily the only option for your car. Each of us live in various conditions and use our vehicles for various things. Snow tires are not needed where I live because it only snows once every few years for 10 minutes.  If you are doing routine things like driving to and from events and never loading or hauling anything, then you would not need tires that were made for heavy load capacities.  Lastly, unless you drive for Nascar you likely will not need tires for higher speed ratings. There is no sense paying extra for a tire that is made to exceed 140 miles per hour when the fastest you drive is only 70 miles per hour.
  2. Comparison Shop- If you have membership to wholesale retailers such as Sam’s Warehouse and Costco, then you definitely want to start there. For well-known tire retailer like NTB and Discount tire search online for coupons and promotions. They likely even have a promotion in your local Sunday paper. Lastly Shop online, since you know your tire size and needs try online retailers like Amazon. It has been my personal experience that you can get a very competitive price from Amazon. In addition to a great price depending on the area Amazon also has and installation service that you can pay for that will come to your home to do the install. The installation service in not necessarily a money saver but it is a great time saver for sure! There are lots of lesser known online retailers like onlinetires.com, tirerack.com & tire easy.com that are also have very competitive pricing.
  3. Purchase and Installation can be separate– Much like my post about how to save on eye glasses, your new tires can be purchased at one place and installed at another. There are lots of little mom and pop tire shops that will install and balance the tires at a nominal fee. Smaller tires shops tend to be able to give a better rate for tire installation because they control what they want to charge for labor. On the other-hand a smaller shop will not likely be able to give you a great deal on four new tires.  Please read my post called The Money Saving Secrets Businesses are Not Going to Tell you, to see how to get the best deal.

Happy Savings Happy Health!!

 

Summer Reading Adventures

Summer ReadingSummer is totally upon us. The kiddos are out of school. Let’s face it, everyday is not going to be some ultimate outdoor adventure. Throughout the country the weather has been outright strange. Here in Houston the April showers are still pouring in the month June. That means indoor entertainment is key. One great way to still have an adventure, despite the weather, is to venture into a book. Reading is beneficial regardless to age. Yes, I know you are thinking, “I thought today was Money saving Monday, books cost money.” Yes indeed that is true, but there is a free route that is often neglected. Our public libraries are filled with books. Not just books to check out physically, but even e-book can be checked-out online. Yes indeed, you read that right, you can go online to you local library site and check-out e-book and have them instantly for you intellectual consumption. I recently utilized the process and it was great, not to mention a time saver, I didn’t even have to drive to library. If you are wondering about how you return an e-book, no worries, the book will simply no longer be available on your device after the check-out period. Which is great which mean not late return fees!!! Try it out you and your family could begin and new adventure right now. Time saved and money saved!!!

5 Crunch Time Bathroom Tips

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We all have had those moments in which we discover company is in the way over at the worst possible time. You guys know what I am talking about, they  call to say they are on the way and will be at your home in a few minutes. Usually it would not be a problem, but this time around there was a sleep-over two night before and you were down with flu. The bathroom is not gross but it’s not knit-picky house guest ready. I have a few tips that will have the restroom ready in a crunch and the stress off your shoulders.

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  1. Keep wet wipes in the restroom– We have all experienced dried mouthwash, toothpaste residue droplets, and dried liquid soap on the restroom counter and sink fixtures. In a crunch the counters can be quickly wiped down with wet wipes and none will be the wiseressential-oils
  2. Keep scented cleaner or essential oils to create a fresh smell in the toilet– If you generally keep your restroom clean but want to create the illusion of extra freshness then I recommend adding a couple of drops of cleaner into the toilet. Your guest will think you just scrubbed the restroom before their arrival.trash-can
  3. Keep dryer sheets in the hamper and waste baskets– you know what you may have put in the waste baskets but there is no telling what the kiddos put in there or a guest. Its easier to stay on the safe side and to use either scented trash bags or dryer sheets to ensure that there is no questionable smell emanating from the waste basket.baseboard
  4. Do a quick swipe of the base boards with a dry cloth– Lets face it, for any of us that need to style our hair on a regular basis there are fly away strands of hair that end upon the floor and especially on the base boards. Trust me when someone needs to use your restroom the baseboards are noticed if they are not clean, and unnoticed when they are perfect. shower curtain
  5. Close that shower curtain or shower door, whether it’s clean or dirty no one wants to see inside of your tub. If you have a really nice shower curtain and it is closed, it adds to the ambiance of a well maintained restroom. Leaving the shower curtain open is the equivalent of leaving kitchen cabinets open. No matter how clean the kitchen, it will appear dis-shoveled if the cabinet doors are left open.

Wanna talk about a load off? These tips will save you time and stress next time unexpected company comes over!! Happy Savings! Happy Health!!

Caring for yourselfSelf care consists of the actions that you use to take care of your physical, mental, and emotional health. Self care is unique for everyone. Good self care is a challenge for many people and it can be especially challenging for survivors of interpersonal violence and abuse. When you have a lack of self care it can lead to other problems. Problems like burnout. Burnout is a state of emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. It occurs when you feel overwhelmed and unable to meet constant demands. As the stress continues, you began to lose interest or motivation that led you to take on a certain role in the first place.

Burnout reduces your productivity and saps your energy, leaving you feeling increasingly helpless, hopeless, cynical, and resentful.  Eventually you may feel like you have nothing more to give. Also without good self care it can also bring about compassion fatigue. Compassion Fatigue is a state experienced by those helping people or animals in distress, it is an extreme state of tension and preoccupation with the suffering of those being helped to the degree that it can create a secondary traumatic stress for the helper. While the effects of Compassion Fatigue can cause pain and suffering, learning to recognize and manage its symptoms is the first step toward healing. Continue reading Wellness Wednesday: Caring for Yourself Helps You Better Care for Others

Summer Electricity Before your know it summer time will be upon us. With summer time comes running the air conditioner which means elevated electricity bills. With a little preparation this summer can cost you less electricity-wise than last summer. First would be to contact your electricity company to see if they have programs that may balance your billing for the summer months. Lots of electricity companies give a balanced billing rate if you enroll before summer officially starts. During the winter you may have noticed a few cold drafts in your home, whether they were near windows or door those drafts are also locations where heat will have the opportunity to enter your home. Now is the time to make sure proper weather stripping is in place. If you have rooms that will not have lots of activity you may also want to look into insulated curtains. Just as you want to keep the heat out of your home, you also want to keep the air conditioning in. If you use timers on various items such as lighting be sure to adjust them. Lights do not need to come on as early in the summer since we have more hours of daylight. If you are not using timers I highly recommend them, they are a great way to have items run for a limited amount of time rather than all day. No matter the time of year if you can replace your older appliances with energy efficient one, you will see the pay off in the long run. What’s you summer saving tip? We wanna hear from you. Happy Savings!! Happy Health!!

Money Saving Monday: Don’t Break the Bank on Eye Glasses

Lady wear glasses holding a piggy bank with glassesNone eyeglass wearers may be clueless of how much a pair of glasses can cost. The rest of us that either wear glasses or purchase them for family members know how expensive glasses can become. For many, new glasses are purchased every other year, and others may wait even longer to delay the expense. Whether we discover that our children, our parents, or even we ourselves need glasses, it is an expense we can still stand to save some money on. It is important for children and people over 40 to have their eyes examined yearly, everyone else in between can stand to have their eyes examined every other two years.

In a lot of families I noticed if one kid wears glasses the others likely will wear glasses as well, the price can really begin to add up. I know from firsthand experience that purchasing glasses can be very expensive. I am here to help, there is no need these days to break the bank to purchase eye glasses. We will cover a few areas that can save you lots of money.

  1. The Prescription-You will need to see an eye doctor first to get a prescription, an eye exam app on your cell phone will not due. If you have insurance then the cost the office visit may be covered, however if you do not then a great way to save is to visit a major chain optometrist. Sam’s, Costco, Walmart, and Sears offer optometrists that can provide an exam at a significantly lower cost than if you were to visit your standard independent eye doctor. Groupon also has lots of great discounts for eye exams coupled with eye glass discounts. I have seen offers on Groupon for as low as $42 for an eye exam. Be mindful, in most cases it will be significantly more expensive to purchase your eyeglasses from the optometrist.
  2. Frames and Lenses– There are numerous ways to save on frames and lenses like getting the frames from one vendor and the lenses from another. There are lots of online retailers that sale frames at prices as low $10 per frame. I can understand the apprehension of buying frames online, however a good bit of the retailers let you upload your photo in order to virtually try on various frames. That lower price point on the frames can allow you to perhaps even purchase a backup pair of frames. Online retailer also sale lenses at great prices; however I would err on the side of caution if you are not getting single vision lenses. Bifocals lenses should really be sized up by a trained professional. Big-box stores like Wal-Mart do a great job of providing low cost lenses also. It can’t hurt to order the frames perhaps online and then get the lenses installed at a big box store. Don’t want to split up the frame and lens order? Then try searching online for promotions from major eyeglass retailers like Lens Crafters and VisionWorks. They almost always have online coupons that can be printed and used in store. The promotions are usually really good like buy one get one free. Lastly, if you are attached to your current frames, then have them adjusted to make sure they have proper fit since they tend to loosen over time and have the lenses replaced.
  3. The extras– be mindful there are extras that all the retailers will attempt to offer. You will need to decide whether you want tinting, scratch resistant coating, anti-reflective coating, transition lenses and/or extra UV protection. Be mindful those extras can add up be sure to see ask if there are any additional deals for the extras. Always be sure to ask the return policy and future adjustment policy.

Happy Savings and happy Health!!