Homemade Gift Tags

Good Morning! I don’t know why I am shocked each year when Christmas is coming. We have been so busy working that I don’t have a tree yet, no cards ready, cookies, well that is another story. This weekend is going to be full-out Christmas mode.

Here is an idea I have heard for years, but now I see how cute they are. Gift tags from old Christmas cards. Yesterday, when I was cleaning at the church. A little box with a sign that read for faculty and staff enjoy! There in the box was homemade gift tags made with love by an 80 something sweetie. Here are the ones I took.

What I liked and made them more special is inside she wrote To and From not on the back of the gift tag, but on another piece that was cut along with the card.

All The time she took what a sweet gift. Have a blessed day, Candy

Ways to Stretch your budget

I think most of us are looking for some magic pill to help us get through this tight time. I know there isn’t a quick fix but if we continue to help each other, a new day will come.

I thought today we could talk about ways to stretch our budget.

  • No spend days– I have read different ways to have a no spend day some say don’t spend anything unless you need too, you can pay regular bills and I say spend no money that day. Telling yourself you can’t spend any  money makes you really think about the purchase.
  • Summer activities are coming and I know it is hard to add extras into the budget keep your eyes and ears open for free and inexpensive things to do. For example:  The Toledo Zoo Celebrates National Tourism Week
    Lucas County residents receive free admission to the Zoo when they arrive on Mondays between 10 a.m. and noon. In honor of National Tourism Week, we are extending this benefit to non-Lucas County residents as well.
    On Monday, May 11, between 10 a.m. and noon, mention “National Tourism Week” at the admission gate and receive free admission!

In The Kitchen

  • Use your kitchen make your own dinners and use the leftovers.
  • Make your own cooking spray- put vegetable oil in a spray bottle I bought mine at the dollar store for $1
  • individual and prepackaged snacks are expensive. example: make pudding and put into individual storage containers.
  • We make our own yogurt but if you don’t have the time why not buy the big container and separate into the smaller storage containers.

Laundry:

  • use less soap- In our home Laundry soap seems to last a long time so this last time I wrote the date I opened it on it. I use about 1 teaspoon each load and use a little Borax. Today, I finished the bottle I opened on January 17, 2009. I had my son figure it out for me that is 109 days. woohoo!
  • use cold water- I use cold water to wash our clothes except for sheets and whites, thanks to Oprah.
  • wash only full loads- You will use the same amount of water and energy if it is 1 sock or a full load.
  • Hang your clothes out or In. Shelia told me how she hangs clothes in a spare bedroom in the winter on a clothes rack.** Hanging your clothes also extends the life of your clothes, that lint trap if clothes fibers.
  • Empty the dryer lint trap and if you use fabric sheets cut them in half.
  • Make your own fabric softener, use less of store or homemade or use vinegar.

Bartering

Water

  • This is a big issue for my family. The water rates in my town are higher then other areas. and the rates have went up over 100% in the last 3 years. I don’t know how others in our area are doing but we are drowning in water rates. To save water

The Library

  • Is a gem for free! Renting books, DVD’s, Video’s and even Magazine’s so you don’t have to buy the subscription read and bring it back.
  • Free or inexpensive classes on a number of subjects.
  • If you are unable to afford Internet service many Libraries offer free internet service.

The Internet

  • I learned how to cut hair
  • make a coupon binder
  • free activities
  • Recipes for frugal dinners
  • Coupons to save money
  • All things that are helping me stretch my budget

At the Grocery Store

  • This is something I just learned and couldn’t wait to share. When you are at the grocery store buying your greens give them a shake. They grocery store has a sprayer to spray the veggies and that water weighs, making your veggies cost more if sold by weight.
  • Shop alone and save money

Listen to lessons from the past

  • I have said it before, but watch senior citizens they are an untapped resource. I am amazed by how seniors take care of what they have, they are good stewards. Live within their means and most that I know are very giving!

Frugal/money saving tips

There are many ways we can stretch our budgets. I love when we can share our ideas. Please contact me with your budget stretching ideas. (and as my friend Ernie says) Be Blessed, Candy

Many Americans are struggling to make ends meet and it is getting to closer to home. I am seeing friends move due to their job situation, families moving in together and the one that really breaks my heart is our parents that have worked a good portion of their lives to retire and now that they are retired, have lost a great part of their savings and are struggling again. I thought retirement was suppose to be the best days.
The current economy has really put a wrench in things because seniors are fighting for jobs with teenagers. Seniors are in fear they may lose their pension or insurance. With seniors living longer it really puts them in a predicament.
Here are some tips for seniors and most of them we all can use:
  1. Ask about senior discounts or senior days when you are at your favorite stores.
  2. AAA and AARP offer discounts for travel
  3. Prescription: Ask your Doctor for free samples, generic when medications are needed. Also, some Pharmacy’s offer senior discount.
  4. Pill slitting- A higher dose in a prescription doesn’t cost anymore, so why not ask for a double dose and cut them in half and get double for the money.
I want to let seniors know I am looking for ways to help all of us middle age with children, empty nester’s and yes even seniors to Deal with it, simply and work together to get back our security!

Have a blessed day! Candy