Homeless is looking more like you and me!

In the United States there is a new image of  homeless. The growing number of homeless  is looking  a lot like you and me.  Imagine wandering  your days away with your children in tow.  All your possessions in a black bag and of all the things in your life you miss, the top of your list is your own hot shower and bathroom. If you can’t find a shelter for the night then you and your children will wander the streets until the next sign in. If you are lucky enough to find shelter your family maybe  separated and you don’t know who is sleeping next to you or your babies.

I don’t know how many of you have been camping. We love camping and we love coming home even better. Many towns and cities are having an increase in tent cities popping up. I noticed many of the tents aren’t  the nice tents and campers we have all used, they are tarps with wooden props. No water or electricity, that I only experience on an occasional vacation. If they are blessed there is an portable potty, blessed!

My car well we have a van and I have been watching more and more stories of people living in their cars. In some cities there are safety parking lots set up by churches. These are parking areas for those who sleep in their vehicles and this is a designated safe area.

I have seen over the years all the stuff we think we need, bigger is better, keeping up with Jones and finding out the Jones are probably in worse financial state then we are. With the homeless stuff isn’t important. Your focus is on where will I sleep and/or what will I eat. I see families moving in together to make ends meet, but was surprised to hear  did you know many of the parents that are homeless won’t tell their children because they don’t want to worry or stress them out.

I have been watch Youtube videos of reports from other countries about our homeless and economic crisis. I was sadden because the greatest place in the world to live and now many of our own can’t take care of themselves. The entire world is looking at us and how we handle this downturn.This time will affect how they see us forever.

For the last two and a 1/2 months, a few from my church and myself go to downtown Toledo to serve eggs to the homeless. It started out getting out of my comfort zone and has become meeting with friends. My favorite thing is listening to the stories and I am finding even the volunteers are out of work. Many of us are only a few checks away from living in a tent, our car or standing in line for a hot meal or a pair of gloves. Do what you can, because those aboard are watching! We live in a great land and I know with some work it will be restored.  Here is a new site about President Obama Renew America Together. Lets help each other and make it through this difficult time. God’s blessings on you, Candy

Challenges & Lessons from the Past

Seniors are one of our greatest treasures and  we don’t use their wisdom like we should! This past summer I had the pleasure to talk to some Seniors from our local Senior Center.  One of the questions I asked is what they did for entertainment when they were younger? Seniors played cards, listen to the radio and dancing. Lately when I ask a senior if they liked dancing they smile and say yes. I wonder what our children are going to say when they are senior citizens when asked what they did for entertainment? I played video games, how sad.

One of the main tips I received from the seniors was Learn to live within your means! In our society this is hard with everything out there. Oprah had a challenge for families to live with less for one week. When I read the challenge I thought wow no problem we can do it until I got to the line For entertainment, you’ll have to rely on each other. For one week, I’m asking you to give up your iPods and video games, and your computers only get turned on for homework. TV is limited to one hour per night-one TV only. In today’s society we are so in to communication and technology we don’t know any different. Can you Imagine no TV, cell phones, video games, IPODs or computers. Are you starting to sweat and heart is racing, None!  Could you do it for a week and spend time with your family? Today is Ash Wednesday in our household, the beginning of Lent. A time to reflect on our relationsip with Christ. A time of sacrifies. Maybe this would be a good time for my family to try to live on less. Here is Oprah’s Challenge I know it is from some time ago. I’ll keep you posted and God’s Blessings, Candy

I have found some freebies and wanted to share. If you haven’t joined P&G Everyday Solutions they have some free samples for you to try, click here and go to samples and coupons.This is For U.S residents only.

There is a Mr Clean 3X the cash sweepstakes where you are enter to win $3000 you may enter once everyday until April 5, 2009. Who couldn’t use money right now. Click here to enter for U.S. and my Canadian friends may enter here

Scotch- Brite is giving away a 2009 Smart  car for two you may enter everyday This is for the U.S. (excluding AK and HI) Please read the rules. You may enter once a day and this ends October 31, 2009

Series: How to cut you Bills Part 3

I think we are on a roll and I wanted to get to our  part 3 in our series How to cut your bills.

My mom always taught me it doesn’t hurt to ask, sometimes they may say No but they just might say Yes. With the current state of our economy many providers for different services are nerves about losing many customers. Before you call any of the service you would like to negotiate with have your latest bill handy.

– Here is a list of services you can call and ask if the they will lower your bill. I would say any kind of service that  there is competition, try. The first person you speak with may say no but ask to speak to someone in customer retention, they have more influence on reducing your bill and keeping you happy. Mention other offers competitors may have. I have played hardball before and had to cancel a service so be prepared!

  • Cable – Many are getting rid of their cable. I enjoy it in the winter but may in the summer.Well I called Buckeye Cable to see if I could lower my bill. I have a bundle for cable, internet and phone. The best I could do is get rid of my home and save $20 a month.
  • Internet
  • Home Phone – I am thinking of getting rid of my home phone
  • Cell Phone – Both girls have jobs now, the time may be right for them to pay their bill.
  • Gas
  • Electric
  • Gym membership – If you have one
  • Car insurance- If you have an older car look into collision coverage.

Why not ask and maybe you can reduce your bill and keep more in your pocket!

  • Paying bills on time saves late fees and your credit rating. If you are late on a credit card many companies are even raising  interest rates.
  • Our new President has challenged banks to lower home payments, So why not call your bank and ask what they can do to help you.

I am going to go over my bills tomorrow and start making my calls. I will update you and how about you call yours. Let us know any savings you receive. God’s Blessings, Candy

I saw a commercial for a free Kashi entree and here is the site for you to get yours.

Hello and Welcome! I have heard that if you have Yahoo.com email you can’t comment me so I am working on that, I am no expert at these things and have called the experts. Sorry for any inconvenience You can drop me a line at:

Deal with it simply

P O Box 563

Maumee, Ohio 43537

I would love to hear your survival stories and how you are staying a float during this down economic time.

God’s Blessings, Candy

Forget the toxic cleaners

I have been receiving many of your stories. Some of the stories are how you are surviving in this down economy. Some are tips and I don’t want to keep them all for myself and am going to share.

Today, one of my guest post is from Janet at Green Teams Toledo.  She has a heart for the environment and here is here post.

After having to close our business at the  NorthTowne Mall back in 2001 it became clear to me that my opportunities to work part time supplementing our income had come to a close.  Those extra dollars really paid off when it came time do the little things in life like an activity with the kids or simply a small gift or treat.  Staying at home would require sacrifices that almost grounded us.  But in all of that you begin to see the world from a different perspective.  I became a home school mom and a work from home mom. I found ways to supplement my income by taking care of lawns, selling items on Ebay and saved money by using resources such as the Goodwill and Rummage Sales.  But it wasn’t enough when it comes to really feeling like you could contribute in some way beyond your personal needs.  Then while home schooling I became more Internet conscience and began to research the internet for solutions to my headaches.  I found a company that allowed me safer less toxic products.  Very hesitant at first I decided it would be worth the try and followed their advice to box up my old stuff and go from there.  Just a mere 6 weeks into the change, I noticed that I was headache free.  I still am to this day.  Unless of course I am around a bunch of perfumes or chemicals like paint and ink.  I never knew these chemicals had such an effect on me but they did and still do to this day.   I continue to use safe products that do make a difference in your life.  If anyone is interested to learn more you can contact me at Greenteamstoledo@yahoo.com for more information.

Getting rid of my headaches has set me on a journey.   There is purpose in life to be served here while supplementing your income and keeping your family safe.

I also received this from Graham in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Also concerned about toxic cleaners. Here is Grahams post.

Cleaning products are expensive and in fact often dangerous to your health, especially the fumes.  You don’t need many products under your sink!  I use a lot of vinegar and/or baking soda for almost everything around the house.  Both products are inexpensive.  I use vinegar and water to clean windows (wipe them with old newspapers instead of expensive paper towels).  Vinegar is fantastic for cleaning glassware…especially coffee pots.  Combining baking soda and vinegar is a great way to clear slow drains!  I use baking soda as a face scrub….way cheaper than buying a brand face scrub and it works just as well.

More tips here Baking Soda and the Arm & Hammer site.  Here is a site with 131 uses for Vinegar.

Have a blessed day and keep the tips coming. Thank you Janet and Graham.


How to save on your water bill!

My water bill keeps going up and I have checked for leaks (We had a running toilet and thought that was the problem. I was eagerly waiting to see how much I reduced my bill). The bill increased so we started to recycle gray water, we take short showers and the bill keeps going up and I can’t keep up.
I called the water department and was told our rates went up 28 percent, and last year we had a 70 percent increase, which equals 98 percent. How can people make it if they aren’t frugal? Some of these tips are very simple and you may already know but, others are easy things to do to save more.
Here are some water-saving tips:
1. Check for leaks, drips and running water. Think of it as money going down the drain and get them fixed.

2. Only wash full loads of laundry and dishes in dishwasher. It doesn’t matter if there is one thing or a full load; you will use the same amount of water.

3. Showers take less water than a bath. Try to make it a five-minute one.

4. Keep a pitcher of water in the fridge. This way you won’t waste water running until it’s cold enough for you.

5. Add a brick or small filled water jug to the tank of the toilet. This displaces the water and you use less.

6. Remember when mother said “Scrape your plate!” Well, she was right again. Scrape rather than rinse before you put your plate in the dishwasher and this will save water.

7. Shut that water off when brushing your teeth.

8. The joke – is your toilet running? Well, you better go catch it, because it’s running away with your money. To check if it is running, put blue dye in the tank and if the bowl turns blue right away, you better catch it soon or you’ll be seeing red when the water bill comes. (Remember: if you don’t see a color change right away, you will when you flush it until the color is gone from the tank.)

9. Think about installing a separate water meter for outside water faucets if you do outside watering and car washing, so you won’t get charged sewer usage. This will also save.

10.To peel and rinse vegetables let the water go into a small pail to rinse then use that water to water plants

11. This year y dad made a rain barrel for me and I watered my garden and topped off my little pond. This week I will post the directions.

12. While waiting for the shower water to get warm, let it run into a bucket and use that water to flush the toilet the next time. We use an ice cream bucket. it was easier for the kids to fill then milk jugs.

If you have any water saving tips please leave a comment and have a blessed day, Candy

Got tips?

Yesterday, I received a number of tips to hang on to more of our money. I thought today I would share them with you. I think we can all help each other through this down economical time and get back that sense of community generation past have had.

This is what I do to help myself save money:

-I have a separate bank acct at a different bank, and every paycheck I deposit anywhere from 10-50 in it depending on how much the check is.

-I also take the change I have from using cash (pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters) and put them in a jar at work in my desk. No one knows it’s there, but me. Plus it’s locked. I only work 4 days a week (12 hr shifts at night) and forget that it’s there. I never keep spare change in my car, at home or in my purse. If  it’s at work, I can’t use it!
-I also just got my student loan and tax return back, I used 75% of it to pay off my credit card bills, the other 25% is going into my separate bank account.

I try to do whatever I can to help myself save. I’m not hit that bad by the economy, and I consider myself OK financially, but saving a few pennies here and there always helps!

Thanks!

Rachael

I found this out my accident one day and it really works

when trying to get out blood don”t bleach use pure peroxide it works on fresh or dried blood just pure let in foam up and wipe away a lot better than bleach.          Karen


More tips to cut bills!  You have to do laundry, right? Why vent the warm air to the outside?!?  I “recycle” the heat that’s vented from my clothes dryer. I attached the vent hose to the lid of a 5 gallon bucket, drilled 2″ holes along the sides of the bucket near the top(but only half way around), filled the bucket halfway with water, and re-attached the lid.  Not handy?  Have about $15?  Home Depot sells a kit that holds about 1/2 gallon of water, and does the same thing.

***NOTICE: THIS ONLY WORKS FOR ELECTRIC DRYERS!!!***

Gas dryers vent their exhaust fumes (carbon monoxide) through the vent, so  DO NOT USE FOR GAS DRYERS!!!!

Any lint that goes through the vent is trapped by the water that’s in the bucket (think of a Rainbow Vacuum Cleaner), but the heat from that vent goes out into the room.  As a bonus, humidity is added to the room as well, alleviating the dryness that usually comes with winters.  In the summer, I re-attach the vent to my outside exhaust port.

I have my dryer in my basement, and the warm air goes right up through the stairwell into the kitchen and the rest of the house.

Hope you can use this!

Beau

Learn to live within your means! My husband and I have always tried to do this and things don’t seem to be that bad.    Dottie

No is a complete sentence! when you realize this life will get easier. Tim H

Here is  Local tip: I received from a local photography studio and thought I would share.  They are located in Sylvania, Ohio

Our studio does lots of things that can save people money but one thing I wanted to make you aware of was our Senior portrait sessions.  For mom’s of high school juniors its going to be time to shell out lots of money on senior pictures pretty soon.  That usually means for most 300-500 dollars, ouch!   Most people feel the need to get them so their child isn’t the “weird” one that couldn’t get senior pictures and lots over spend by simply not knowing.   Our senior sessions are $100, that’s nothing new super but we also sell image discs with full copyright for $150 so for $250 and tax you can be out the door and have senior pictures done.  Throw in a few sheets of wallets for the friends and your still way cheap.  We put out a pretty high and unique product for the area we think and maybe your tipsters can value from it.  Check us out sometime

-Kris

Check out their Link and tell them you want to Deal With It, Simply! 

Kris Stuart Photography Studio

Here is the WTOL story that was on last night, if you didn’t get to see it. http://www.wtol.com/global/story.asp?s=9873337

Thank you so much for your tips and I will add more as they come in. God’s Blessings, Candy