Food and drink

That’s it Thursday: Quenching Thirst

Water pitcherI always try my best to be as hospitable as possible. “Would you like something to drink? I have tea, juice, coffee, and water.” Most times it never fails, in which they will ask for water. I am not sure if they are attempting to be polite and maybe somewhere in the back of their mind they believe water is the easier choice or the healthiest choice. So let me preface this by saying, I do not have a problem with giving my guest bottled water. I have a problem with giving them each a cold bottle of water for them to only take two sips from it. I have learned from my mistakes and will no longer allow myself to have partially consumed bottles of water left behind after my guests have departed. I usually take the leftover water and use it to water my plants in an effort to not be wasteful. I have come up with a simple solution. I now pour glasses of filtered water instead of offering bottled water to my guest.  The trick  is to use medium-sized glasses and a pretty water pitcher. A simple elegant setup that would be reminiscent of a social scene from your favorite soap-opera or television show. Why medium-sized glasses? Well it’s a three little bears scenario: the small glass is too small and the large glass is too big, but the medium size glass is just right. What if my guest is really thirsty? The simple solution for an empty glass is to fill it again. Having the water pitcher handy makes it inviting for your guest to pour themselves more water as well. Use a water pitcher, save water, save bottles, and save money!!!

Finance

Paying it forward and Profiting

money finalYou may be wondering how paying it forward can save you money. You likely think I am about to go the direction of others that tell you by making a charitable donation you will be able to save some money come tax time. Although that holds true, paying it forward results in great karma. In case you are wondering who or what karma is, think of it as what goes around comes around. Paying it forward can make the difference in your outlook, a difference in outlook can make a change in your finances. Think about the last time you did a good deed, you likely felt great about doing so and hence radiated a great energy. Follow me for moment, when you have a positive energy, it is amazing the amount of awesome deals and opportunities that will come your way. I am not saying to pay it forward and do a good deed solely to profit, but its an added bonus. Pay it forward and profit.

Finance · Kids and Family

Second Hand is Sometimes Best

Buying second hadn is sometimes best see how at http://wannatalk2us.comIn the past few years  thrifting has become so very popular. I am sure there are a lot of factors that may have contributed to it’s popularity; like the economy, hard to find vintage fashions that became trendy again, or Macklemore’s song “Thrift Shop.” Whatever the cause, there are times when second hand is the best option. When I became very interested in the game of golf, I immediately went online and began to researching golf clubs and equipment. To my surprise it turned out that I had chosen yet another very expensive hobby.  In the blink of an eye my supportive mother,  gave me golf clubs that she purchased from a local thrift store.  They were perfect!! It would have cost me hundreds of dollars to purchase new golf clubs. What made the second-hand golf clubs even more perfect, was that when I was too busy to play golf, I didn’t have the frustration of knowing I had hundreds of dollars of equipment just sitting there. Buying second hand is a great way to save money on a new hobby or  equipment that is not frequently used. I have never seen a shortage of golf clubs, tennis rackets, skateboards and exercise equipment at my local thrift stores.

Think about how many sports you or your children thought they were going to be dedicated to and then soon after quit due to boredom, incompatibility or lack of time.

Yes, you may be thinking ,  “Well I can buy an affordable tennis racket at my local big box store.” Yes, that is entirely true. I use to avoid thrift stores because they gave me the heebie-jeebies, but another way to view it is as a really big garage sale. No matter where you buy a pre-owned item, I highly recommend cleaning it before use. Also, its been my experience that although you may find a tennis racket at a big-box store for $20 it doesn’t compare to the  light as a feather high quality ergonomically designed tennis rackets that cost $150 from a sporting goods store. However there are lots of people out there that paid for a $150 tennis racket that also had to quit tennis and now that racket is sitting in your local thrift store for $5.  A thrift store is great place to pick up high end items for a nominal price. I recently posted about how much I love my bread-maker. I have noticed in the kitchen section of most thrift stores there is no shortage on bread-makers, ice cream-makers, and fondue pots. Recently I was in the market for a paper shredder, I mentioned it to my mom, she went to her local thrift store and found one for me for only $5. When given some thought there was no logical reason why I would need to pay $40 for a brand new paper shredder. It is a shredder, all it can do is shred paper, no real deep thought required. Every thrift store I have been to has an power outlet that you can use to test out devices before purchase. Remember it is a thrift store, so everything you purchase is sold as-is. Be sure to check the quality of the item before purchase. Thanks to technology you can always do a quick google search to find the retail value of an item to ensure you are getting a great deal. Happy Savings!! 🙂

Food and drink

Prepping Fajita Style Veggies

Fajita strip covereditIt is extremely convenient to use pre-prepped vegetables for meal preparation. Cooking at home is a big money saver. However sometimes some of the pre-prepped items can still cost quite a bit more than if we had prepped the items are ourselves. In some cases I highly recommend buying prepped veggies like frozen spinach and okra. However there are times that you will see a price difference of 50 to 75%  more  than if you were to prep your veggies yourself.

For example, I found a fajita mix of veggies that appeared to  be a little less than 2 cups of veggies for $3.99.  I purchased the same components: 1 green bell pepper, 1 red bell pepper, 1 onion, and 1 jalapeño for $2.14.

fajita vegsfajita veg label

 

After slicing the veggies I still had an entire half of onion remaining. In addition to that I made 4 cups rather than 2 cups for the $2.14.  If we did the math on two cups then my actual price $1.07 for 2 cups of fajita style veggies that were prepped by me. That is more than a 70% price difference for something that would take less than ten minutes or so to do (less than 3 minutes if you are really handy with a knife)

IMG_20150920_195113_606plate of veggies

Wanna talk about streamlining things a step further?

1. Prep enough veggies for another meal
2. Freeze them in a freezer-safe bag
3. Use the frozen veggies in a future meal

Self-Prepped frozen veggies allow you to:
1. Have control over your ingredients-you can add as little or much as you like
2. Saves money
3. Saves time

Extra tip: If I know that I am going to be using the same veggies later in the week but (Maybe diced instead cut into strips) for something like a soup or casserole, then I go ahead a pre-cut more veggies and then refrigerate them in a container to use that same week.

Don’t know how to make fajitas? First check out some Basic Knife Skills and then check out this great recipe Oven Baked Sheet-Pan Fajitas

Finance · Kids and Family

How to save big on School Projects

Learn how to save big on your child's next school project.School is back and in full swing. The kiddos are at the point where teachers are going to assign some project that will have you driving your child from one store to the next to acquire supplies. The cost of supplies can quickly add up, not to mention there will likely be more than one project to do this school year. There is no way avoiding the laborious task of finding and buying supplies to make the most awesome project in hopes of getting the teacher’s approval. We want to talk about how to get supplies without breaking the bank.

1. Preparation is key– Easier said than done sometimes. Even as adults we sometimes put things off until the last minute. There should be no surprise when children do the same. Be proactive, ask the teacher at P.T.A. meeting if there are any upcoming projects. Having some notice can make the difference between buying last minute over-priced supplies in the middle of the night at the nearby local drug store or having the opportunity to get the best bargain else-where.

With a little preparation you can save big. Amazon is a great place to buy supplies at great prices. Not only are you able to take your time to find a savings, but you also get the luxury of comparing the quality of the supplies without having to leave your home. All glues, glitters, and clays are not created the same. The customer feedback on Amazon’s site can help you better pick the correct supply the first time around.

2. Check out your local crafting store– We all know that we can go to the local Wal-Mart, yes they have bargains but when it comes to variety, then Wal-Mart does not compare to your local craft stores like Hobby-lobby, Joann’s Fabrics, and Michael’s. These stores offer major savings. Michael’s and Hobby Lobby both offer 40% off coupons in Sunday’s paper almost year round. In addition to that all three have printable coupons on their websites and sometimes have mobile coupons as well. Forty percent off can be a pretty penny saved. Often the coupons is for 1 item, however all of the aforementioned stores take the 40% off of the priciest item, so there is no need to do a separate transactions to capitalize on the discount.

Continue reading “How to save big on School Projects”

Finance

Save on your Goods and Services

Money secret

The sales-person at a department store, your cable provider, and  the local carpet cleaning company all have one major thing in common. All of the aforementioned businesses plus many others want to have you as a repeat customer. They also want you to share your awesome experience and advertise for them whether it is by word of mouth or social media.  It’s that simple, however, they are in the business of making money. They typically are not going to voluntarily just give their potential profits away. Why should they? Businesses have no incentive to provide you with a good or service at a rock bottom price. The advertised bargain typically is enough  to draw in more potential customers. There are however more bargains and deals that can be acquired besides the advertised ones.

Continue reading “Save on your Goods and Services”