Friday, November 22, 2013

Save on Laundry

There are a number of ways you can save money when it comes to laundry.

If you are in the market for a new washer and dryer, think big....The bigger the capacity laundry machines, the less often you have to do laundry.

Try to only do two or three loads of laundry a week.  This will be a little more difficult if you work in an industry where your clothes are completely soiled at the end of the day.  But if you can manage to get two days out of one set of clothes, you've just split your laundry bill in half.

Think about it, you get home from work, whether you work in an office or a factory, you want to get out of those work clothes right away.  So you put on your comfy pair of casual pants or jeans.  You wear them for two or three hours while sitting in your living room, or while having dinner.  Why not wear that same outfit later in the week, instead of tossing them into the laundry right away.

Buy whites, whites and lots of whites!  I'm talking about underclothes.  Sure, you're not going to like folding them.  But, if you only have to wash whites once every three weeks, it's not that big of a deal.  You shouldn't run out of skivvies before you have a full load.  If you do, you're wasting money running that washer and dryer.  So next time you want to splurge on yourself, take an extra ten bucks and buy yourself a pack of new bloomers.

The same with sheets.  You should own at least three sets.  It usually takes two to fill a nice size capacity washer, so why do them ahead of time.

Next, do your laundry at night!  Some people doubt it, but it is true.  Electricity costs less at night, between the hours of 9pm and 7am.  Try it for a month, and see if your power bill doesn't drop.

Finally, watch for sales on laundry detergent.  Not just any sale, because if you look at all of the weekly fliers, you'll find at least one store has laundry detergent on sale every week.  What you want to keep an eye out for is the best deal.  When you get that really good deal, keep that price in mind.  If you paid $10 for 100 ounces.  Refuse to pay more.  That's $5 for 50 ounces, or $15 for 150 ounces.  Just keep that figure in the back of your mind, and when you find that great deal, buy extra so that you're not running out and paying full retail when there's no need!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Open the Blinds! Save on Heating

Open Your Blinds and Save on Your Heat Bill

A lot of people sit in their apartments or houses with the blinds closed for privacy and don't give it a second thought.

First of all, keep in mind, people usually can't see inside during the day.  The reflection of the sun usually blocks their view inside your window.

Second, open the blinds and let the sun shine in!  We shouldn't be surprised that the sun can help us heat our homes in the fall and winter.  It heats the whole planet!

Opening your blinds and letting in the natural heat from the sun, can increase the temperature in your home by 2 to 4 degrees.  That's gonna keep your furnace from working that much harder and also give you some natural light.  Therefore, you're not only saving on your heat bill, but also your 'light bill' as everyone called it when I was a kid.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Don't Shop the Clearance Rack

Ok, I'm not going to say don't shop the clearance aisle or rack, at all.  But you should certainly stay away from that rack if you don't need something, especially if you are the type who can't resist a good deal.

Usually, when you buy something on clearance, it isn't something you need.  Think about it, how many items do you have sitting in a corner, or hanging in your closet with the tags still intact.  You got a good deal on it, but it's money you would not have spent on an item you didn't  need. 

Say it's the end of summer and you completely wore out your summer sandals or were short on summer apparel this year, then, of course it's not only acceptable, but a smart choice to hit that clearance rack.  Find those much needed shorts and get a great deal on sandals for next year.

However, if you are looking at the rack just to see what kind of good bargains they have.  Skip the rack. 

You won't get the good deal on something you don't need, but the money will remain in your pocket!  And that's an even better deal!

Quit Living Week to Week!

Follow these steps, and you'll see how easy it is to quit living week to week.

Stock Up While It's On Sale

All of us have certain items that we use on a regular basis, from your favorite soda or your favorite cereal, to your favorite laundry detergent.  These are items that are always in the house, or we need to pick up if we run out.

If you watch the ads close enough, you will find certain items go on sale at certain times of the year.

For example, my favorite soda is Mountain Dew.  It goes on sale frequently enough, but it's usually at it's lowest price for about two weeks before each holiday.

If I buy a case of Mountain Dew when it's on sale for $5 instead of the regular price of $7, I save $2 a case.  Considering I go through a case about every other week, that's a savings of $52 dollars a year!

If you do this with everything you buy, these savings add up!

Another example, canned vegetables usually go on sale in the fall, just before Thanksgiving.  It's September and I still have enough vegetables in my cupboard from last Thanksgiving, to do me until November. 

It may seem like a lot of money to put out, at first, but after a while it will be less than your normal grocery bill. 

Next you'll find yourself only going to the store to buy necessity items, unless there is a good sale. 

Do this with your meats, too.  Keep your freezer stocked so that you aren't running to the store two or three times a week to pick up something for dinner 'tonight'!

You'll find you are not only no longer living week to week, but you also have free time to spend with your kids.  Or you'll have the extra cash to go out for dinner and a movie without worrying about next month's rent!


Monday, August 19, 2013

Homemade Pet Flea Shampoo

Are you tired of paying outrageous prices for flea shampoo for your dog or cat?  Here's a great homemade recipe that can be made with items you already have in your home.

Homemade Pet Flea Shampoo

1 cup dish liquid
1 cup vinegar
1 quart water

Mix ingredients and use just like you would normal pet shampoo.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Increase Your Income

Have a little bit of savings, but don't want to dip into it.  Use it to increase your income, why not, that's what the wealthy do!

Check out Value Line, (you can also find their reviews at your local library), for a list of companies that regularly raise their dividends.

Take that extra savings, and purchase shares of stocks from these companies and enjoy the benefits of quarterly dividend earnings.

Do a thorough background check on the companies' whose stock you wish to purchase.  Find companies that also allow you to purchase additional shares direct.  Save on brokerage fees by only making the first purchase through a broker, and additional shares directly through the investment relations department of the company!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Gift Cards vs. Cash Back

I, for one, have been using the Cash Back program from Discover to make all of my monthly purchases since 2004....that's almost a decade!

Recently, I decided to review their gift card program.  Since I am planning a trip, I have found that it is worth the money to cash in my cash back for gift cards instead of cash. 

If you dine out often, travel or shop at one of their affiliates often, it is definitely worth your time to investigate the program.  You can get gift cards for less cash than the cost of the card.  For example: $50 Red Lobster gift card for $45.  Same deal with Best Western.

An even better deal thru the Discover card is their Hyatt gift certificate.  You can get a $100 Hyatt gift certificate for only $40 cash back dollars.  If you are going to be staying at the Hyatt on vacation, why not save $60!  What a great deal.

Check with your other credit cards and bank accounts as well.  I recently signed up for a bank account that gives 1 point for $2 spent.  The points can be cashed in for gift cards, gift items, and more.  I received 5000 points for signing up for the program.  When I referred someone, I received another 5000 points.  I'll end up with about $75 worth of gift cards with just the sign up points. 

What an easy way to pay for vacation.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Where There's a Will...

I titled this one, Where There's a Will, because I have always believed if you want to do something, Where there's a will, there's a way!

So, let me just tell you how 5 people went to the Brickyard 400 this past Sunday for only $147.00.

I'll begin by letting you know that we found a deal for free NASCAR tickets.  We received 4, but then decided to buy a 5th ticket, for a designated driver at the last minute.

We could only buy tickets by the set.  So we purchased 2 discounted tickets on Stub Hub, for $40 each.  After shipping and fees, we ended up spending $105.  Sold the 2nd ticket for $55, so we only had $50 in the extra ticket.

Next, we spent $47 in gas, roundtrip.  We brought most of our drinks and food, but ended up spending about $50 between the 5 of us.

Not bad for a professional sporting event!

So, the next time you decide you want to do something different, or just getaway, don't say you can't afford it.  Instead say, "Where there's a will, there's a way!"

Look for free or discounted tickets.  Find someone to split the gas.  Bring sandwiches and drinks along, so that you don't have to pay high convenience store and venue prices.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Homemade Hand Lotion

Time to save a little money by making your own homemade hand lotion.

My aunt made this and was giving it away at a family gathering recently.  It smells great, and really moisturizing the skin.

I believe she said you could pick up these small containers at any of the dollar shops, or you can purchase the hand lotion bottles at some craft stores.

Here are the ingredients.

8 ounces vaseline or cocoa butter
8 ounces vitamin e cream
16 ounces baby lotion

This will make a lot of lotion after you get it all mixed together.  Why not give some as gifts to family and friends!  You could even make your own labels to put on the bottles.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Save Your Ignition Tumbler

This may sound a little off the concept of the An Inexpensive Way of Life Blog, however, it is not.

If you have to replace the ignition tumbler/switch on your car or truck, it could essentially cost you hundreds of dollars.

For one, the part is pretty inexpensive with a price range from $15 to $30 if you have an older GM or other domestic vehicle.  Plus, about an hour and a half of labor costs (which could range from $60 to $90 an hour).

Although, if you have a newer car, the sky could be the limit for the replacement, up to $650 or more.  Consider the fact that newer model cars have coded keys and ignitions.

So, here's how to save your ignition switch.  The next time you sign up for a new rewards program at the grocery store, put that little tag on a different key ring.  Put your library card, gas card, pharmacy card, all on a different key ring than your car keys.  Even put your house key on a different key ring if you can.

The only thing that should be on your set of car keys is the keys to your car, and the key fob if you have one. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Prepare for Power Outage

Storm season is upon us.  In preparation for power outages, one of my utility companies has sent me this list of "Items to have ready in the event of a prolonged power outage".  So, I thought I would share them with you.
  • Water - one gallon of water per person per day (for at least three days)
  • Food - at least a three-day supply of non-perishable foods
  • Manual can opener
  • Battery-powered radio
  • NOAA Weather Radio with extra batteries
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • Candles with containers
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Matches in waterproof container
  • First Aid Kit, prescription medication
  • Moist towelettes, trash bags and ties for personal sanitation
  • Cell phone chargers that plug into car (or solar charger)
  • Cash or traveler's checks
  • Important family documents in a waterproof container (insurance policies, identification, bank account info)
  • Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each family member
  • Change of clothing and personal hygiene supplies
  • Paper cups, plates, towels and plastic utensils
  • For baby: formula, diapers, bottles, powdered milk, medications
Hopefully you won't need this list, but it is a good idea to have these items handy, just in case.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

How to Save $40 on Your Electric Bill

How to save $40 this summer on your AEP bill….

If you live in Indiana, log in to . If you live in a different state and you are an AEP customer, check your AEP web site for more details.

Click the Residential Peak Reduction tab in the lefthand column.

In order to qualify:

  • You must be an I&M customer living in Indiana.
  • Your home must have central air conditioning in good working condition. Window and wall air conditioning units do not qualify for the program.
  • You must own your home or have the property owner’s permission to participate.

Click enroll online.

Have your bill handy, as you will need your account number.

Agree to allow authorized Indiana Michigan Power representatives to install a control device on your home near your outside air conditioning unit. This device will allow Indiana Michigan Power to adjust the air conditioner compressor so it will run at 50 percent cycling during periods of high electricity demand May through September on non-holiday weekdays ending by 8 p.m., not to exceed fifteen non-emergency and ten emergency events per year.

By participating in this important program, you are helping to reduce peak demand on the electric grid and promote the reliability of electric service when it is needed most. As a program participant, you will receive an $8.00 monthly bill credit during the months of May through September, totaling $40 per year.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Homemade Weed Killer

This is a great time of year to wipe out the weeds along the cracks and crevices of the sidewalk, along the fence row, and other places you will need to weed eat throughout the year.  Get these things sprayed now, and you won't need to worry about breaking out the weed eater so often this summer.

Here is a great Homemade Weed Killer Recipe for you to try.


4 cups white vinegar
1/4 cup salt
2 teaspoons of dish liquid

Mix the ingredients together and pour into a sprayer. 

Remember this is not a weed and feed, this is just a weed killer.  So only spray in locations where you want to complete get rid of all vegetation.

Please let me know if you have any weed killer recipes you would like to share!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Homemade Groundhog Repellent

If you have a new neighbor living under your porch or hanging out in your garden, it's probably an unwanted groundhog or some other type of pest.

You can spend money on a live animal trap, hope you catch him.  Then carry him out and dispose of him at the lake, or whatever way you find fit.

You can also spend money on expensive repellents that need to be sprayed monthly....Or you can try this recipe for your own homemade groundhog repellent from The Gardner's Rake.

Mix 1 tablespoon of hot sauce with one gallon of water.  Spray around the perimeter of the area in which you want to keep away the groundhogs.  You can also spray this mixture on your garden plants, just be sure to wash them well when picked.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Frugal Gift Ideas for Mother's Day

With Mother's Day just around the corner, I thought I would try to come up with some frugal ideas for Mother's Day gifts that she will love.

Here are a couple that my sister and I have actually done.


Make a throw pillow with pictures.  Here is a link to a sample from Country Living.

My sister is quite the seamstress, so she came up with the idea on her own.  She made a pillow case and then used an iron on technique to put pictures of each of us kids when we were younger.  Mom loved it.

Another one of my sister's great crafty ideas was a notepad with pictures on it.  Here is a how to link from Chica and Jo.

You can put pictures on it, your mom's favorite flowers or animal pictures.  Of course, don't forget the grandchildren.

Take the notepad, add a pen, pencil and eraser and you'll have a great care package for Mom!

Happy Mother's Day, everyone!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Homemade Febreze

If you use a lot of Febreze, you might consider making your own Febreze.  I found these instructions on Facebook from

It seems to be quite a popular article, so I wanted to make sure Courtney received credit.

Here's how she says to make it:

What you'll need:
1/8 Cup of fabric softener (I used Downy April Fresh)
2 tablespoons Baking Soda
Hot tap water
Spray bottle (I used my empty 27 oz. Febreze bottle)

Using a funnel, pour fabric softener and baking soda into your spray bottle. Fill spray bottle with hot tap water and shake well. Don't forget to twist the nozzle over to the LOCK position if you're using a Febreze bottle, or you might fall on your hiney. Now go spray every fabric surface in your house and take a nap on your very comfortable and now un-stinky couch. :)

Store-bought Febreze: $5.59
Homemade Febreze: $0.15
Total Savings: $5.44 OR 97.3%!

Thanks, Courtney Luper, for sharing this great idea with everyone!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Transplant Flowers and Bulbs

Spring is the time of year when everyone is starting to plan their new flower beds and gardens.

It is also a great time of year to transplant hostas and daylilies. 

Why not plan your flower garden around transplanting as many items as possible.

Transplant your daylilies to thin them out and help them grow better. 

To save money on flowers, you can barter and trade with friends.  You'll also end up with different varieties in your garden.

Daffodils can be transplanted about 8 weeks after the bloom fades.  Tulips should be transplanted in the fall, about 6 to 8 weeks before the first frost.

Do a little research on your varieties and determine when is the best time to transplant.  Fill your yard, without breaking your pocket!

Another idea to get more perennials is to place an ad in the paper, or on a free online advertising site.  You can offer to thin someone's flower garden for free, as long as you get to keep the excess plants. 

A lot of elderly people may need a hand in their garden, or just enjoy the company.  See if there is anyone you know who would enjoy you stopping by to lend a hand, and give you a few starts from their garden.

Good luck with your new flower garden!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Earn a Quick Buck

Are you looking for a way to Earn a Quick Buck? 

Sometimes, we just need a little push to get us through a couple of extra bills and we'll be fine.

Or, perhaps you're like me, and you're always looking for a way to earn a quick buck.

Open a New Checking Account

Collect Aluminum Cans

Visit An Auction

Find Free Stuff

Learn to Earn for Free

When you are bound and determined to make an extra buck, you will find a way.

It's like I always say, where there's a will, there's a way!

Good luck!

Find Free Stuff

Find Free Stuff

This is a great time of year for garage sales.  When you're out and about on the weekend, stop by any garage sales you might see.  Keep an eye out for the free box.  Most of the time these items are something for which someone else may be willing to give at least a few cents, if not even a buck or two.  The people having the garage sales, usually just want the items to go away.

Put these items in your own garage sale and make a few bucks, for free! 

You can also get free stuff on the internet.  Check out this free gram of fine silver.  It may not be a lot, but every little penny counts!

While you're at the garage sales, you might also look for items people are selling at a cheap price.  If you learn the value of things, you can put them in your own garage sale flip the items and make a few extra bucks.

Visit An Auction

Visit an Auction

Most cities and towns have an auction house that has a regular auction day every week or two.  Visit an auction and see what kind of deals you can find.  It's best just to watch, your first day out, and just get the feel of things. 

Once you get a grasp on how things work, see what kind of great deals you can get.  Perhaps you can buy a whole table full of stuff for a dollar.  Take it home, sort thru it, then have a garage sale to make some extra money on the weekend.  Or, if you come home with a real deal, you might be able to list some things on eBay or another auction site and make even more money!

Collect Aluminum Cans

Collect Aluminum Cans

Most of us try to recycle these days, and I'm sure you probably already know you can get cash for your aluminum cans, even if you don't live in a state that requires a deposit.

However, consider this, take a stroll down your neighborhood and see if you find some aluminum cans.  Especially this time of year, early spring, there are cans laying along side of the road that someone has thrown out of their car window.  I usually do this about once a month, and end up with at least a grocery bag full.  It's also a great way to get a little exercise and get out and enjoy the weather.

Open a New Checking Account

Open a New Checking Account

Today, I went down to my local bank and signed up for a new checking account. They were sending out fliers, open a new account and receive $100.  That's free money...and if I could make an extra $100 a day, that would $36,500 a year!  Wow!

Now, you're probably wondering, what's the catch.  For this particular bank, I only had to sign up for eStatements and use the debit card 8 times a month.  Sounds simple enough, doesn't it.  They even give you the first set of checks for free.  Plus, they give loyalty points.  So, down the road, I might decide to stick with this bank.  We'll see how I feel, after I receive the $100. 

The fine print stated after using the debit card 8 times a month for 2 months, it will take 5-7 weeks to receive my $100.  So, to me, that's money in the bank!

Look for other types of opportunities like this in your mailbox. 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Thrifty Idea Gift Baskets

Gift baskets are a great idea for that aunt or neice that you really don't know that well.  Put a bunch of small items in the basket, and they're sure to like at least some of them.  And best of all, if it's something they won't use, they usually know someone who will.

Now here's the thrifty part of the idea.  You know all of those little sample packets you receive in the mail and don't use.  How about filling the basket with little samples. 

You can save the sample items throughout the year, and make for a great gift basket at Christmas Time.

Search the internet for web sites offering free sample links.  A number of times, you'll see something in which you may not necessarily be interested, but that special person might enjoy.

Visit Free Samples and Stuff For YOU for ideas!

So, start that basket now.  And best of all, it doesn't even have to be a basket.  A plate, a wrapped piece of cardboard, or anything sturday can be a platform for a gift basket.  Just put it all together and wrap with inexpensive wrap and tie a ribbon on the top!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013


Are you wondering why you have so many icicles on the edge of your roof?  Looking at your neighbors house, wondering why they don't.  Or perhaps, they have a few, but not nearly as many as you.  And one more question, why is the snow melted on your roof, but not your neighbors?

One answer....Ice Dams.

Ice dams are formed after a snowfall and several days of freezing temperatures.  The heat from inside of your home rising into your attic, and causes the snow on the roof to melt.  The water from the melted snow runs down your roof and freezes when it gets to the overhang. This part of your roof that hangs out past your house is cold, because it doesn't have the heat from the attic rising into it.

The next question you may be asking, "How do I get rid of ice dams?"

Two answers....attic ventilation and insulation.

First of all, make sure your attic is properly insulated.  This will help keep the heat from your home, in your home. 

Second, proper attic ventilation will help keep the roof the same temperature as the outside air.  This will keep the snow on your roof from melting.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Save on Entertainment

With the new year upon us, it is a good idea to take a look at our budget and think of ways to save.

Take a look at your entertainment budget.  Are you splurging more than you should?

One thing we may not think about very often is our television entertainment.  With the new age of the internet and computers, how often do you actually watch that movie channel.  And, are there other ways to watch movies.

Most new television models have a plug for your computer, so they may be used as a monitor.  Others even have network accessibility, in which they can be used just like a computer.

If you have your internet thru the same provider as your television, you can probably watch all of those shows that you dvr, online. 

So, take a few minutes this month to review what you're watching, and see if there isn't some way to save on that much dreaded cable bill!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Programmable Thermostat

The cost of a low end thermostat is approximately $25.  Programmable thermostats are estimated to save up to 7% per month in utility costs.

Let's look at some numbers.  First of all, we'll be generous and for the sake of round numbers, let's say your gas bill averages $100 in the winter.  In just 3 months of winter, you will practically have the cost of the thermostat paid in full. 

If your gas bill is $300 a month, the programmable thermostat will pay for itself in just a little over one month.  The other 2 months of winter you will save the $21.  Not to mention the savings in the fall and spring, when the days are cold enough to run your furnace.

They are really easy to program.  Even most of the cheaper models have 4 different programming levels per day, and 2 cycles per week.  One cycle for weekdays and one programming cycle for weekends. 

As far as replacing the thermostat, there are directions in the box and they are easier to replace than setting up your average entertainment center or home computer system.