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Archive for the ‘Money – Saving & Using’ Category

One way I like to save money is by cutting down on spending. Sometimes it’s easier than trying to earn more money. I’d like to encourage you to take some time now and then to review what you’re spending your money on. Evaluate your needs and decide if you still need the services you’re paying for. Maybe there’s a better option. You might wish to reduce clutter &/consumption. I’ve been doing a bit of housekeeping in this area lately. I’ve made changes to the places our money goes. I’ve got less going out and more staying in my pocket – the difference is about 3700.00 per year. In the past 3 months, I’ve reviewed my home business expenses as well as my personal spending. Here’s what I’ve done and how much I’m saving per year per item.

  1. Discontinued Newspaper, I’m now reading news online. 204.00.
  2. Discontinue Cable TV, I’m now using Over the Air (antenna), Netflix; and the internet for programs. 670.00.
  3. Business Cell Phone Plan, removed long distance calling feature. I am now using Skype for long distance calls on the cell. I have a calling card as backup.  780.00.
  4. Business LAN line, changed supplier. 722.00.
  5. Fax line, changed supplier. 230.00.
  6. Installed Water Meter, I am now paying for the water we use in our home rather than a flat rate. 1116.00.

I hope I’ve inspired you to have a look at your spending/consumption. With a few changes maybe your retirement will grow faster;  or you can go on a vacation sooner; or you could donate the extra dollars to a charity.

I can’t say enough about Skype (or other online telecommunication services). It is so cheap – my plan is under 3.00 per month. I use it for my personal and business long distance calling. I have it installed on my iPod touch and my husband’s iPhone. I’ve installed it on every computer I own. Skype soon will be the only telecommunication service I have in our business office.

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I really like to pay attention to how I spend money and I encourage you to do the same.  I could spend a lot on decorating the home, if I were not careful. Over the years, I’ve begun to acquire a few furniture pieces through  consignment or second hand. For me, furniture consignment/ second hand shopping keeps the cost of upgrading down and therefore savings up. Read on to learn about a few successful purchases I have made.

While browsing around a furniture consignment store a few years ago  my husband and I found a brand new  ‘Snuggler’.  It was the perfect replacement for our existing well used love seat.  We located the same piece in the manufacturers store for much more. We saved about 1600.00.

With fewer of us around the table,  I began looking for a something smaller.  I found the perfect glass top bistro type table online for $20.00.  Were I to purchase this new, I would have paid over 100.00.

 If you are not furniture consignment/second hand shopping, I urge you to consider this. You will be amazed at the quality you can find at a good price. If you’re successful you’ll be able to keep your hard earned money for something else like: retirement savings; child’s education; or a vacation. A word of caution – you need to plan and have patience.

P.S. Consignment stores are a good place to find art and accessories for the home.

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No matter how we feel about our hair, we want it to be healthy, look good, and require little maintenance.  After reading a few books, and researching online, I have come up with a routine that works well. 

Cut hair every 3 months. Trim bangs at home in between cuts when needed – about every 3 weeks.  Use trimming scissors  – not household scissors.  They’re under 20.00 at your local pharmacy. (Search youtube for a bang cutting demonstration)

Color hair every 3 months – if need be.  If you’re not comfortable, use a professional. I use  a color close to my natural ash brown color for ease of maintenance.

Touch up your roots every 8 weeks at home. Using a semi – permanent works well.

Wash hair using Sunsilk Hydra TLC shampoo and conditioner – this contains amino acid and keratin. It is very gentle on the hair and the color stays in longer. I have being using it for 2 years now and it is very gentle. My hair color  fades very little.

Wrap wet hair in a turban and allow to dry almost completely before styling with a blow dryer or straightener.

 Consider giving one of more of these tips a try and you will not regret it. Have a nice day. Linda

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I’ve been making and using my own laundry soap for two years now.  I thought it was a good time to give an update.  I am still very happy with the soap, it cleans very well; is quick to make; and my cost is under 15.00 per year.  Many of my friends have tried it and liked it.

If you are not making your own soap, I hope you give it a try.

Here is a link to my original post. https://flourishnow.wordpress.com/2010/02/12/homemade-laundry-soap/.

Ingredients

– 1 cup grated Sunlight bar soap – about 1/2 a bar (cost 2.00 for 2 bars)

– 2 cups boiling water

– 1 cup Arm & Hammer washing soda (cost for one box about 5.00)

– 1 cup Borax (cost for one box about 5.00)

– 1 gallon of warm water (16 cups or 4.55 litres)

Method

-grate 1 cup bar soap and melt in 2 cups boiling water, stir until melted

-once melted pour into big pot (I used a canning pot)

-add 1 cup washing soda and 1 cup Borax

-stir together – until dissolved

-add 1 gallon warm water (16 cups or 4.55 litres)

-stir until mixed well

-pour into empty laundry containers or a big pail

-use 1/4 cup per load – cold/warm/hot water

-shake or stir each time you use

One batch makes about 6 litres (roughly 1 1/2 US gallons) and costs about 2.00 per batch – maybe less.  You will have enough ingredients to make many batches. I filled a little more than 3 – 1.89 litre laundry jugs for less than a dollar per jug.  As you can see it is pennies per load. The batch may go gel like and clumpy, this is normal. Shake well with each use. Pre treat stains before washing.

–  sud less

– can be used in HE washer

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Ladies, are you line drying your laundry outdoors? It’s one of my favorite chores to do when the weather permits.  My clothes smell so nice and because I’m using home made soap , the scent is natural. You’ll also save money by not using the electric/gas dryer. Follow this link for a few tips about line drying.  For some of you it’s just ‘one more chore’.  I certainly can appreciate this because for a few years there just wasn’t extra time for me hang the laundry.  If you’re not living those busy days now, why not give line drying a chance. You’ll be pleased.

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With lots of bugs in the air, I’ve been using disinfectant a little more lately. I really like the mixture below and I’ve been using it for sometime now. I make a larger batch and keep the extra on hand until I have the time to make more. I use it in the bathroom; kitchen; on door knobs and any other place that needs a good cleaning. It is so easy to make; cost effective; and leaves fixtures very shiny. Give it a try; I’m sure you will be happy with it.

1 TBSP liquid dish soap

½ cup vinegar

½ cup rubbing alcohol

½ c water

Mix and put in spray bottles

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This past summer I came across an article in Real Simple featuring artful outdoor furniture pieces. Being a gardener, I was very interested in acquiring a piece or two. I thought ‘I’ve seen stuff like that at the thrift store’. I decided to keep a look out for older metal pieces that I could spray paint.  In October, I came across a brilliantly blue (painted) vintage metal table.  It was $2.00. I really liked the snowflake pattern and thought the bright blue would look great in my new garden. I brought it home and stored it in the shed.  Meanwhile, in the back of my mind was the desire to add to our living room a visually lightweight, gold colored table.  So just the other day, I decided to spray paint the blue metal table, that was in the shed, gold. Well,  I’m really happy with the outcome. I used Tremclad Hammered paint ($8.99 per can). Just 2 coats and the job was done. I want to stress how home decorating can be done on the smallest of budgets. If you have patience, shop used, and use spray paint! As for the garden piece, I’m confident I’ll find other items at the thrift store or at a garage sale in the future. I hope I’ve encouraged you to reuse where you can and be adventurous with your decorating.

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