Archive for the ‘Save Around the House’ Category
October 3rd, 2008
September 4th, 2008
The Home Depot has a very interesting FREE clinic on October 23rd in their stores. It’s on how to save money on your energy bills this winter.
Since prices of everything keep going up, this sounds like a great way to find out how you can save money this winter heating your house!
If that wasn’t a good enough reason to go, when you show up at the free seminar, they’ll give you a coupon that’s good for $10.00 off when you spend at least $100.00. The coupon will be good through November 6th, so you’ll have a little time to use it!
June 26th, 2008
A little over 4 months ago, we were lucky enough to get a really cute (and active!) kitten named Halley. She was the first pet we’ve ever had, so we had to start from scratch and figure out what to buy, where to buy it, and more. Since then, we’ve learned a lot about how to save money on everything cat related – food, toys, litter, etc. Here are some of the things we’ve learned.
5 Ways to Save Money on Everything Cat Related:
- Don’t waste money on expensive toys. When we first got Halley, we bought a few toys. While she likes some of them – especially the balls with bells in them – her favorite toys cost us absolutely nothing. She loves to play with the tab that comes from milk containers and candy wrappers. So you can be sure to find something in your home that your cat will enjoy playing with, without having to spend anything.
- Figure out what your cat likes before spending a lot of money on cat furniture or beds as well. We had purchased a cute little scratching post that had a little cubby hole in which the cat could hide in. In the 4 months we’ve had her, she’s gone in it once. She just doesn’t like it! At least she uses the scratching post, so we’re happy with that. Also, some cats love a bed that’s theirs alone. Our cat prefers to sleep in our bed, or on chairs or the floor, and doesn’t even usually sleep on blankets we have out.
- Consider all options when checking out the price of cat food and litter. Yes, there are big chain pet stores like Petco and Petsmart, but you can also get cat food and litter at your local grocery store, Target, Walmart, and many other places. Plus, you can use coupons on these as well. Once you have a brand of food or litter you like to buy, make sure you check out the prices (and sales) of all of the above mentioned places so that you will always find the cheapest prices.
- Don’t always assume you have to pay a lot at the vet’s office to get things done. Just yesterday we saw that our town will have $10 rabies shots for cats in November. Getting your cat spayed/neutered can also be very inexpensive if you look around because shelters and local towns will offer that as well.
- Similarly, you don’t always have to buy pet products from your vet either. There are many websites (and even local stores) that will sell the medications (such as flea collars, things to get your cat to stop scratching everywhere etc…) for a lot less than the vet will, so always do a price comparison.
As you can see, there are a lot of ways you can save money when buying things for your cat. A cat doesn’t have to be a huge expense to the household, and can bring a lot of fun and enjoyment!
June 22nd, 2008
Every time you look, prices keep going up. At the gas station, grocery store, even the airlines, every time you blink you see higher prices.
No matter what you want to do this summer, it looks like it might cost a little more money than last summer. The good news is that there are many things you can do to bring the costs down, and still save money.
Here are 7 ways you can still have a fun summer, do a lot, and spend a lot less money.
1. Look for free (or very inexpensive) entertainment.
- You can take the whole family to the movies for free or $1.00.
- Bring lunch with you and have a picnic at a local park. You can spend the whole day there, and not have to spend a time, and everyone will have fun.
- You can go to a minor league baseball game. You can get great seats for under $10.00 a person, sometimes even for about $5.00 each. Many minor league games even have special nights with free stuff for the kids, or even fireworks for even more entertainment.
- Take advantage of your local library. You can rent book, magazines, and DVDs that can keep the whole family entertained for hours…especially on a rainy afternoon!
2. Plan your meals ahead of time.
It’s very easy to decide to go out to eat when it’s hot outside, it’s almost dinner time, and you have no idea what to make.
If you decide ahead of time what you’re going to make for the week, and even make some of it ahead of time (or use a crock pot in the morning), you won’t be so tempted to go out to dinner. This can really save you money (as well as calories!) since eating out usually costs a lot more than anything you can make at home.
3. Eat what is in season.
Now is the best time for local fruits and vegetables. They’ll be cheap, and taste fresh. If you buy fruit and vegetables that are in season where you live, you’ll spend a lot less on groceries than if you buy out of season items that had to be shipped to your local grocery store. Plus, you’ll have nice fresh fruit and veggies that have just been picked, and you’ll even have the benefit of supporting your local economy.
4. Spend less on your vacation.
You don’t have to fly somewhere to have a fun vacation. Look to travel somewhere that’s nearby. No matter where you live, there are probably many places you can visit that are within a short driving distance that everyone will enjoy. Since you’ll be driving, you can make sure to bring with you breakfast foods as well as snacks and bottled water. This will save you a lot of money as well since you’ll only have to buy lunch and dinner out.
5. Make sure you compare prices.
While this goes for everything else as well, especially use it when you’re planning your vacation. You would be surprised at the difference in prices on the same hotel from one website to another.
Plus, if you’re going somewhere (like a theme park) that has an entrance fee, you can comparison shop to find the best prices on those as well. Consider going to your local AAA or even fast food restaurant to look for those kinds of discounts.
6. Lower your utility bills (as well as gas for your car).
- Dry your clothes outside. It’s beautiful and warm outside. Now is the time to give your dryer a break, and put the clothes outside to get dry.
- If you have air conditioning, still use your fan as well (especially a ceiling fan). You’ll be able to keep your house cooler, and it costs less to run a fan than your air conditioner. You’ll be able to use the A/C less, and still keep your home nice and cool.
- Run your dishwasher and do your laundry at night. In many places, you’ll save money for using electricity at night when it isn’t as hot and there isn’t as much of a demand for it.
- Plan your errands ahead of time. If you know where you need to drive for the week, you can group all of the places that are near each other so you can do them at once. This way you will drive less, and save money on gas.
- You can also use a website like GasBuddy to find the best prices on gas. Make sure you stop to get gas when you’re in the area for other reasons, or you’ll just be wasting what you’re trying to save money on!
7. Mystery Shop so you can do more for less.
If you want to go out to eat or shop, but don’t want to spend your own money, consider mystery shopping. This way you’ll still be able to go out to eat (or buy things) without breaking the bank this summer. It does require a bit of work, but if you don’t mind describing your experience at a restaurant or retail shop, you can get these things for free. I’ve even seen theme parks as well as hotels being mystery shopped, so who knows how much this could help your budget!
May 26th, 2008
Here is a great deal if you’re looking to get 4GB SD Cards. Going through Amazon’s website, they have a SanDisk 4 GB Extreme III SDHC Card with MicroMate USB 2.0 Reader sold through Beach Camera for $42.50 each.
With this rebate you can get $30.00 back when you buy 1, $70.00 back when you buy 2, and $110.00 back when you buy 3 of these cards from a list of retailers, Beach Camera being one of them.
Shipping is free, so when you buy 3 (the best deal of all), you’ll spend $127.50, and get $110.00 back. The total you will have spent for the 3 4GB Sandisk SD Cards is $17.50, or just $5.83 per card. You really can’t beat that!
NOTE: Make sure you buy it through one of the approved vendors. When you go through Amazon, sometimes they have other vendors (including Amazon themselves) as the main “Buy it now” supplier. So make sure you choose Beach Camera or another approved vendor from the rebate. This is good through June 29th.
We just took advantage of the deal today, and I am really excited at the great price! Now we’ll have plenty of SD cards for our digital camera, and won’t have to worry about not having enough room to take all of the pictures we want to when on vacation.
May 22nd, 2008
Sometimes, buying the floor model can save you a LOT of money. I can understand why for certain things you would want to make sure the item you buy is in the box, has all of the manuals, is brand new, and has no scratches or dents, but sometimes that just isn’t important.
Take for example a small stereo. We were looking to buy one for our house. Our house was built with speakers in the ceiling of each room, and was set up so that all we needed was a portable stereo that we could hook up, and we would get great music in each room.
The problem is, with the one we had since we moved into the house, you could only play the radio or 1 cd at a time. Since the stereo is kept high up in our laundry room, it was very inconvenient to get to, so we decided to get a new one that would play mp3’s, and have a better remote than ours did.
Since this was definitely a want, and not a need, we weren’t willing to spend more than $100.00 on it. So, we went to Best Buy to take a look at what they had. They had a few different choices, but one in particular caught our eye. The Panasonic SC-EN37 Micro System had side speakers that we could easily take off and connect the wires to our system, so that was most important to us. It plays mp3’s, so that was great as well. It even would play an iPod, so although we don’t have one now, if we got one in the future, it would be perfect.
What was even better, was that it was normally $129.99, but was on clearance for $79.99. That was a great price, so we were excited. Of course, because we like to shop around, we then went home and did some research online, finding out that first – it is a good product, and second – that WAS indeed the best price around. So this past weekend, we went back to Best Buy to pick it up.
Guess what? They were all sold out, and only had the floor model left. Since it looked in good shape, and we could see that it worked, that didn’t bother us. We did ask if we took the floor model, what kind of discount we could get off of it…and this is where I was shocked. The sales woman told us we would get it for $39.99. Talk about excited! We were told that there was no box or instructions, but let’s face it…it’s a simple stereo, we didn’t need instructions, and if we really did, I’m sure we could find them online. We didn’t care about not having a box. It was worth the $40.00 savings not to get a box!
So we ended up getting a really nice new sound system for our house for $39.99, regularly $129.99.
So while getting the floor model might not sound ideal, if you really want a certain model, but don’t want to pay the full price, it’s a great way to save a little bit of money! Usually the store will be willing to negotiate as well, so you might get an even better deal. It’s definitely worth checking out!
May 21st, 2008
If you’re like I am, you love listening to music. Even if you don’t always like music on, you might want to listen to music every once in a while while you’re at home, either while you are relaxing, cleaning, or reading a book.
As you know, CD’s can get expensive, and sometimes your radio just isn’t exactly what you’re looking for. Let’s face it, your radio only gives you a handful of stations you might be interested in, and you might be looking to hear a particular song, or a more particular genre then what the local radio stations play.
This is where Internet Radio comes in! There are so many different websites out there (all free), and many you can even listen to the song you want to – when you want to!
Here are just a few choices you have, and what makes them great. As you’ll quickly see, depending on your mood, you can listen to almost anything you want…even if you don’t know what you want!
Live365 – This Internet Radio station has hundreds of stations. For example, if you choose oldies, first you can choose if you want to listen to 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, or 90s. After you choose that, you get tons of radio stations to choose from, so you’re sure to find a station with a style you’ll like. Since it’s a radio station, there are commercials, but there are only a few. They even have multiple stations that just play Disney songs! So you’re sure to find what you’re looking for.
ShoutCast – This is another Internet Radio website, and they also have hundreds of stations to choose from. Similar to the one above, you can search to find almost exactly what you are looking for. Again, since it is a radio station, you’ll get a few commercials.
Pandora – This is an interesting website. You tell it a song you like, or an artist…and it will play songs that are similar. This is a great way to listen to music if you’re in a certain type of mood, since it will play songs similar to what you entered. It will also play songs that are less known, so you’ll get to hear different songs.
IMEEM – Have a song that you NEED to hear, right now? Go to IMEEM. You can type the song in, and listen to it right away. It’s great if you are in the mood to hear a certain song, since you can just enter the name of the song, and most likely you’ll find it and get to hear the whole song. You can even set up a playlist so you can listen to a whole bunch of songs that you want to at once.
As you can see, there are a ton of ways to listen to music online for free, so you have no excuse not to be listening to exactly what you want to! It’s great, because you don’t have to worry about buying the latest CD’s, or spending any money at all…but you can still listen to what you want, when you want.
February 5th, 2008
The other day Scott mentioned that he’d like to start listening to audio books on the way to and from work. He figures he spends about an hour in the car each day, and never has any time to read…so this way he could listen to all the books he’s been meaning to read.
Without thinking, we headed over to Barnes & Noble to see if we could get a good audio book. Boy were we in for a surprise!! Each audio book was at least $30.00, and most were a lot more than that! There was no way we were going to get any audio books that way.
That’s when it finally hit both of us. We could get the audio books from the library. Not only that, but they’d bring them to our closest library, so we would only have to go a few blocks from our house to pick them up.
We were even able to do one better. By checking out the website for our library, we found out that NJ has a free online audio book rental system. Our county is affiliated with it, so we can just go find a book they have, download it, and listen to it right then. Many you can only listen to on your hard drive or mp3 player, but some you could even burn to cd to listen to it.
So now between the new website, and requesting audio books from our library, he can get all the audio books he wants, and we don’t have to spend a penny.
That made us very happy. It’s just funny that it took us so long to come up with it! I guess when we think of libraries, we just think about books, and forget that they have audio books, music cds, movie dvds, magazines, and more.
February 4th, 2008
As you have seen over the past two weeks, there are many different ways to save on almost everything in your house. I hope that by my going through our house and giving you some specific example of how we save helps you figure out more ways to save in your life. We still buy things, use name brand products, and yet we manage to save money each month. It is possible, you just need to look at how you can save money on everything that you do.
You can also see how just by doing one or two things can really make a big difference in your savings account. You don’t need to completely change your lifestyle, but if you do a few small things here and there, it will really add up! Then you can take that dream vacation, send your kid to college, buy that bigger house, or whatever else your dream is.
January 30th, 2008
Use energy efficient lights when you can. Not only do they help the environment, but they last a really long time, so you won’t have to change your lights as often. They use less electricity, so you will also pay less on your bills. They might cost a little more to buy, but since you won’t have to buy them nearly as often, you’ll still save money.
Recently they have been discounted at big stores such as Home Depot and Lowes to try to get more people to use them so you can pay the same price as a regular light bulb, or even less. The lights we have in our house are all on dimmers, so we were waiting for them to make these lights that will dim, and I am happy to say that these came out recently!
Another way you can save money with lighting is to put your outside lights on a timer. If you sometimes forget to turn the lights off, or keep them on longer then you need to because you want the lights on when you get home at night, why not put them on a timer? That way you know every night the lights will be on at a certain time, and will go off at a certain time. You won’t have to worry about the lights being on all night, or all day for that matter.
If you don’t already have a thermostat to control your heat and air conditioning, consider buying one. You will save a lot of money if you have timers control the temperatures in your house. If you are out all day, you can set your temperatures in the winter to be a little cooler during the day since you won’t be there to be cold. Just have the temperature warm back up an hour or so before you get home, and you’ll never know you saved money all day!
Are people in the house all day? Well I certainly understand that as I work from home, but you can still use a thermostat to save money. At night, you don’t need the temperatures to be as warm since you’re in bed sleeping. So you can easily have the temperature be a few degrees colder until an hour or so before you wake up.
This way you will save money, and not even notice a difference in your house. You can do the exact opposite in the summer and save all year round.
A fan is a great thing to use in the summer, even if you have an air conditioner. It is less expensive to use than an air conditioner, and can help keep you cool. What you might not know though is that it’s great to use in the winter too. If your ceiling fan has a switch to turn the opposite way, in the winter it will also help bring the warm air back down to you. It will help you heat your house for less.
Now that we’ve gone through the whole house, tomorrow we will do a summary.
When looking for sheets, comforters, pillows, always make sure to look for sales and coupons. Places like Linens ‘N Things and Bed Bath & Beyond always have coupons out for 20% off an item or $5.00 off which can get you a better price on almost anything. You should also look out for sales. Take for example the sheets on our bed right now. We got nice Queen size flannel sheets in navy blue for $4.99 at Amazon. They were trying to get rid of them, hence the amazing price. We have now used them for over a year, and they are still in great shape!
One thing we have in our bedroom (but which can go anywhere in the house) is a great way to help save money.
We have a big coin bank that can hold a LOT of change. Every time we have extra change, we put it into the coin bank, and when it gets full we’ll count it up and put it into the bank to use for something special. If you’re trying to help “force” yourself to save money, this is a great way to do so. Every time you get change back, put it in the jar, and don’t touch it. It will force you to save the money.
We love to read magazines. I am almost embarrassed to tell you how many magazines we get each month. They range from travel magazines to sports magazines to money magazines and more. I really think we get about 20 different magazines (such as Popular Science, Woman’s Day, Money Magazine, Entrepreneur, and many, many more) each month. How much do we pay for them?
Nothing. Many we subscribed to for free because they were offering free subscriptions. For others, we watched some videos or filled out surveys to get the subscriptions. Whenever we do find offers for free subscriptions, we share them in the newsletter.
One big expense for many is clothes. How do we save money on clothes? We wait for sales, and check out the outlets. It’s incredible how cheap a once expensive item will get when it goes on clearance. It doesn’t matter what brand of clothes you like, when the store puts the item on clearance, you will save a LOT of money on it.
I’ve seen shirts that were originally $70.00 go for under $10.00. Earlier this year I stocked up on t-shirts when Old Navy had some nice polo shirts and t-shirts for between $2.99 – $4.99. You don’t need to buy used clothes or non-name brand clothes if you don’t want to. You can still wear any brand as long as you know where to look.
Well, that about finishes up the bedroom. On Monday we’ll go over a few general ways to save money in the house.