Archive for the ‘
Ways to Save ’ Category
Friday, May 17th, 2013
Featured on Good Morning America and Google Play, Ibotta is a fun and easy way to earn each time you go to the store. Here’s how it works.
1. Sign up for Ibotta and download the app
2. Before you shop, choose your favorite products and complete the tasks; the more you complete, the more cash you’ll earn.
3. Buy your chosen products at over 41+ retailers where Ibotta works like Target, Walmart, CVS and your favorite grocery stores.
4. Verify your purchases by uploading a photo of your receipt and scanning the product’s barcode.
5. When you are ready to cash out, you can transfer the money you’ve earned to your Paypal account.
Ibotta adds new product offers all the time. The more you use it, the better and more personalized your offers become.
I don’t have a smartphone right now so I can’t try it out myself, but one of my friends uses this app and loves it. She said it is super simple to use and has been a relatively easy way to earn a little extra money.
You might also like Saving Star e-coupons- another easy way to save!
Thursday, May 16th, 2013
Do you have textbooks or other books lying around that you no longer need? Cash4Books will buy your used books from you and even pay your shipping costs. And even better you can earn a 10% bonus on your buyback total when you sell at least $15 worth of books and use bonus code ThriftyFrugalMom! (Offer valid through June 30, 2013.)
Enter your book information and instantly get a price quote to see how much money you will make. If you choose to sell your books, payments will be made via check or Paypal.
DETAILS ABOUT CASH4BOOKS:
- Quick and easy to use. It usually takes less than 5 minutes to create an order.
- Fast payment- will issue payment within 1 business day of receiving the books. Offer a PayPal payment option and cover all the associated fees.
- Free shipping.
- Excellent service. Cash4Books has a toll free number (1-877-243-5935) and customers can talk to an actual human. Customers can also check the status of their orders at any time and will be sent emails letting them know when their books are received and when their payment will be issued.
Saturday, May 11th, 2013
Make your own Foaming Hand Soap from regular soap.
Why I recommend it:
It is an incredibly easy way to save money plus it literally takes a couple of minutes.
You might wonder, why use foaming soap instead of regular soap in the first place? I like it for a number of reasons. It lasts longer, so it saves money. Personally, I prefer the way it feels and washes. And I have little kids. If you have kids you know that even when they try not too, they tend to use way too much soap. With foaming soap even if they get too much, it’s at least wasting less soap than if they were using regular hand soap.
How much will it save me?:
One small bottle of hand soap will usually make me 4 to 5 bottles of foaming hand soap. A small bottle of hand soap often costs around $1 for the generic brand. If you use one small bottle of hand soap a month, you’ll save at least $9 a year! That’s enough to get almost 3 gallons of gas, 3 small lattes, 2 1/2 gallons of milk….well, you get the picture. Obviously if you use more soap or use a more expensive brand of soap you’ll be saving even more money!
Making your own hand soap is so simple your child could probably do it. Here’s the steps:
1. Pour 3/4 to 1 inch of hand soap into a foaming hand soap dispenser.
2. Slowly fill almost to top with warm water. Filling it slowly is important so that you don’t get all sorts of suds.
3. Put on the soap dispenser top.
4. Gently shake until soap is mixed into water.
5. Use and enjoy saving money every time you wash your hands!
* Wondering where to get a foaming hand soap dispenser? I just bought some Foaming Hand Soap at the store and used that dispenser when it was empty. Many of them you can easily remove the label to just have a plain bottle. You can also buy dispensers at places like Walmart or Target.
* Almost every kind of hand soap that I have used has worked for this, although I have discovered that some seem to mix up better than others. I typically use the Softsoap brand but have also used Melaluca, Mrs. Meyers and Bath and Body Works. The Melaluca and Mrs. Myers worked the best but I don’t usually feel like spending the extra money for that kind of soap.
I’ve linked up this post to Mostly Homemade Mom’s Show and Share Wednesday post.
Tuesday, April 30th, 2013
I’m probably strange, but every time I throw food out, I see money being wasted. Dollar signs kind of float in front of my eyes and I sometimes feel a bit guilty. It is true though. Throwing out food is basically throwing out money. After all, it is estimated that the average household throws out $590 worth of food a year!
So I was intrigued when I heard a lady that spoke at the mom’s group I attend talk about this idea of creating a soup bucket. To eliminate the whole leftover dilemma, she simply keeps an ice cream bucket in the corner of her freezer and whenever she has leftovers that she knows won’t get used, she just throws them into the bucket. When the bucket gets full, she dumps the contents into a pot and makes a soup/stew out of it, adding other ingredients to improve the taste if necessary. Now maybe that just grosses you out, I don’t know. To me it sounded interesting and like a fun challenge. I was curious to see if I could make something delicious out of all those random leftovers!
I’ll admit that I didn’t implement this idea right away, mainly because I figured we do a good enough job using up our leftovers that I thought it would be a waste of my time to try it. But during the next month I was amazed at how many times I threw stuff out that would have easily been “soup” material. Finally I bit the bullet, got my container and started my own soup bucket.
Soup from my last soup bucket- the gourmet tasting one.
We had “Soup Bucket Soup” three times over the last year and believe it or not, each one was pretty tasty! No, none of them looked like gourmet soups but one of them did taste like it! (I share my secret to that gourmet taste below.)
I’ve learned a few things over this last year about using soup buckets, one of the key things being that leftover sauces and seasonings from dishes such as Ham Loaf (I like to scrape the juice left in the pan into my soup bucket) and Herb Roasted Chicken (any of the leftover butter/seasoning mixture gets scraped into my soup bucket) give an incredible flavor. We had our last Soup Bucket Soup two weeks ago and it was seriously so good that we were wishing I had a recipe to make it again. I had scraped various leftover sauces into the Soup Bucket and it created a rich flavor that was simply delicious!
When I go to make a meal with my soup bucket I just add extra things as needed. One time my bucket was mostly liquids and a few vegetables. So I added some cooked ground beef and cut up a bunch of potatoes and threw them in. And if the bucket doesn’t have a lot of sauces or seasonings in it already I like to play around with adding things like Italian Seasoning, Thyme, Oregano, Basil, Garlic Powder and even Chili Powder.
Still a little hesitant to try a soup bucket? Here’s some tips for you.
Leftovers that Work Well in a Soup Bucket:
* potatoes, cut up
* tomato products
* cooked beans
* cooked rice
* cooked pasta
* sauces from meats
* herb sauces like I mentioned above
Things to Add to Help the Flavor/Consistency:
* any of the things from the above list
* tomato juice
* tomato chunks
* chicken broth/stock
* seasonings like I mentioned above
- Italian Seasoning, Thyme, Oregano, Basil, Garlic Powder, Chili Powder
* whisk a little (maybe a Tablespoon) flour with some milk (maybe a cup or two), add to the soup to make it creamier and to thicken it slightly
* cottage cheese
- I had some of this that was going to spoil and I added it to my last soup bucket. It just added a nice creaminess.
* cream cheese
Do you ever make soup from leftovers? What are your tips?
For other recipe ideas, check out Balancing Beauty and Bedlam’s Tasty Tuesday, Blessed with Grace’s Tempt My Tummy Tuesday, Semi-Homemade Mom’s Show and Share Wednesday, and 33 Shades of Green’s Tasty Tuesday.
Wednesday, April 17th, 2013
Laundry. We all have to do it, right? So why not save a little money while doing this necessary evil? Follow the tips below and you’ll do just that!
1. Wash only full loads
Doing this not only saves electricity, it also saves water and laundry detergent. After all, we use pretty much the same amount of all of those things whether we do half a load or a full load, right?
2. Look at those labels
This might sound obvious, but think about it. When was the last time you read the instructions on the clothes that you are wearing right now? If the item says “Wash in cold water” you might get by with using warm water but typically hot water is disastrous. And if you dry “line dry only” items in the dryer, chances are that you’ll be greeted with a smaller version when you retrieve it thanks to the heat shrinking it.
Occasionally you can get by with ignoring the laundry labels, but it’s always good to check and make sure you at least know what is recommended. I don’t personally follow every label to a “T” but I do recommend at least observing the two things I noted above: not washing “cold water only” items in hot water and not drying (at least not fully) “line dry only” items in the dryer.
3. Wash in cold water
While some clothes require hot water to get them sanitized (think towels or gym clothes), most clothes get clean just fine using cold water. At the very least, instead of using hot, use warm.
Curious how much you’ll save? Check out how much energy is used depending on the temperature selected:
4. Only launder when needed
Some of you might cringe at this one, but I honestly don’t think it is necessary to wash every item of clothing every time you wear it- especially things like sweaters that are worn over other pieces of clothing. Often we wear a piece of clothing for just a couple of hours and immediately call it dirty. But is it really?
Wondering why it’s such a big deal to not over-launder? Every time you wash a piece of clothing it wears it out, especially so if you use a dryer to dry it. By not washing it as often, you can extend the life of your clothing a bit longer.
5. Treat stains as soon as possible
The longer a stain sits on fabric, the more it soaks deeper into the fibers and then it becomes harder to get the stain out. And if the stain dries it becomes even more difficult. One trick that I use with baby clothes that are soiled by dirty diapers that leak is to at least keep them wet until I am able to treat the stain. It helps me out in the long run!
While I’m talking about stains I thought I’d mention that two of my favorite stain fighters are Oxi-clean and FelsNaptha soap. I love Oxi-Clean for stains that have set or just won’t come out with anything else. It’s worked great at whitening old baby clothes too. FelsNaptha soap is my go-to choice for a great an inexpensive stain remover. I simply rub a bit of the soap on the stained area. wet it a bit and scrub a bit. And most of the time the stain is gone! I’ve used this on many things including grass stains.
6. Cut back on the amount of laundry detergent
Did you know that you don’t have to use the full amount of most laundry detergents to get your clothes clean? I’ve found that I can cut back sometimes as much as half the amount and not notice any difference. Experiment a bit. Hardness of water and the kind of laundry detergent makes it vary, but I can almost guarantee that you don’t need the full amount. Oh and this tip goes for liquid fabric softener too!
7. Use a Mesh Laundry Bag for Small or “Fragile” Items
This is one of my favorite laundry tips ever. Everyone knows that mesh lingerie bags work great for laundering intimate articles of clothing. But did you ever think of using them beyond those lacy pieces of clothing?
When my son was a baby I got so tired of trying to find his itty-bitty socks in the laundry. They’d get stuck inside pant legs or just somehow mysteriously disappear. So I started putting them in one of my mesh lingerie bags when I did the laundry. It works like a charm. No more lost socks around here!
I also use mesh lingerie bags for things like sweaters or my daughter’s delicate dresses that have lace or tulle on them. Anything that seems like it might easily get caught on another piece of clothing gets tossed into one of my bags. It has definitely helped keep my clothes looking newer much longer!
8. Turn clothes inside out
While I love using my mesh lingerie bags I can’t use them for everything. Some things are just too big. Dresses, sweaters and other items that might snag or pull get turned inside out reducing the chances of any damage happening to the outside. Again, a simple thing, but one that has helped me keep my clothing look nicer for longer.
9. Avoid using your dryer
Did you know that most households can save $25 a month by not using a dryer? Not only do dryers hog electricity, they also are hard on your clothes. (Where do you think all that lint comes from?) Use a clothes line or a drying rack as much as possible. And if you must use a dryer, don’t use it any longer than necessary. Over-drying clothes quickly weakens the fibers reducing the life of your clothing.
We live in the city and don’t have much space but we found a retractable clothesline that we use outside that works really well. I love being able to hang laundry out! Between that and our drying rack we use our dryer very little. When I do use it, it’s often just to “fluff” our clothes. I’ve learned that by drying our clothes for about 15 minutes in the dryer before we hang them, I rarely have to iron anything- it fluffs them just enough to get the wrinkles out.
Just a quick personal story. My husband and one of his friends were talking about their electric costs and discovered that his friend’s electric bill was consistently at least $30 more a month than ours. After discussing it a bit they figured out that the only big thing we do differently is use our dryer very little. That was an interesting discovery to me. I knew not using our dryer much saved us money but I didn’t realize it was that much!
10. Keep dryer lint cleaned out
Again, a no-brainer, but something that is so easy to forget to do! But by keeping your dryer vents cleaned out you can save up to 30% of your dryer’s typical electricity usage because your dryer doesn’t have to work as hard.
Have you done any of these things and noticed a difference? What do you do to save money on laundry?
Image Credit: Shutterstock- Clothes hanging to dry on a clothesline