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 http://indianamichiganpower.com/save . 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!