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Ten Garage Sale Shortcuts

Mon, 5/2/2016 3:57 PM

Garage sales are a great way to save! These garage sale shortcuts will help you find more deals in less time, and will help you save more money!

Ten Garage Sale Shortcuts
Ten Garage Sale Shortcuts
    1. There are two kinds of garage sales – the ones where people want to make money and the ones where people want to get rid of stuff. The object is to find the ones where people want to get rid of stuff.
    2. Get a map and newspaper and map out your route. Photocopying a map from a phone book or printing one from the web works great. Using this method, you can easily visit 25 sales an hour. If you’re a beginner you might hit neighborhoods you are familiar with first.

Yard Sales are great places to find great buys at cheap prices.

    1. If at all possible leave the kids at home. If you must take them use a baby backpack or an umbrella stroller to make it easier. Give older children 25 or 50 cents and let them see what good deals they can get. Kids love picking out gifts for grandparents, siblings, parents and other family and bargain hunting helps them learn about money. Bring snacks (animal crackers, cereals, crackers in plastic bag works well) and cold water for everyone and plan ahead for potty breaks. If you have children with you, it’s best only to plan on hitting about five sales until you see how they do.
    2. Wear cool, comfortable clothes. Bring lots of change and one dollar bills. Put your money in your pockets so you don’t have to worry about carrying your purse. Also bring a tote bag in which to carry your finds as you walk.
    3. When you find something you’re not sure you want, pick it up and carry it around while you continue looking. Otherwise someone else may take it while you’re trying to decide.
    1. Always ask politely if they will come down on the price. Most of the time they will. Every once in a while some things are so reasonable that I do not feel right asking for less. Finding women’s sweater’s at $1.00 each isn’t bad, but I still ask if they will take 50 or 75 cents. If I find a name brand sweater in perfect shape for 25 cents, I don’t ask for less.
    2. If there is something you really want, but the seller is asking more than you want to pay, offer them a lower price. If they say no, leave your name and number and ask them to consider selling it to you at your price if they still have it at the end of the day.
    3. Always check items well for hard to see tears, stains, or breakage. Remember it is a garage sale so everything won’t be perfect.

Get good deals on antiques at garage sales.

  1. It is best to go early, but don’t panic if you can’t. Sometimes you get the best buys after lunch when sellers are tired and don’t want to have to drag everything back into the house. It’s great to go on the last day of a sale because most sellers will almost pay you to take things so they don’t have to keep them.
  2. If you don’t have success in one part of town, try somewhere else the next time. Sometimes the best garage sale neighborhoods are the ones you don’t expect.

Don’t be embarrassed about buying at garage sales. Some of the wealthiest women in the world love garage sales – Martha Stewart and Oprah are among them! When you’re done, go home, put up your feet and have a nice glass of ice cold lemonade. Grab the phone and call someone who will share the excitement and appreciate your good buys. Garage sales are like old fishing stories. Die-hards always brag about the one that got away!

 

Additional Hints From a Reader:

Thanks for the article, Tawra and Jill.

I wanted to share with you that it also pays to carry along a box (or boxes) with paper for wrapping if you like to buy glassware or delicate items.

We did estate sale purchasing (and some garage sale shopping) for vintage items for our country store. Taking the time to wrap the delicate items and put them into boxes, well paid for the time (as we quickly learned when some things didn’t make it home unbroken!).

By going shopping together one could drive on to the next sale while the other wrapped those special items!  It was great team work.

And speaking of children going, our oldest daughter does Ebay selling and all of the 6 children are trained into what to look for for value and they each scout out possibilities in different areas while Mom looks also!  The children also take some of their finds and have made very good money selling them on Ebay–sometimes $50-$100 profit!

The grandkids run from 4 to 16.  The 4 year old is pretty much an expert into Pooh and Bob the Builder though! If the sale has any of those products, he isn’t much help with the other items!   :-)   The family of 8 is able to stay completely wardrobed from garage sales (and a few thrift stores) solely–from church clothes to farm clothes!

Thanks for the articles you both write.

–Linda

 

Great Garage Sale Tip!

Lisa in TN sent this and I thought it was a wonderful idea! I am going to use it this summer with the my kids. TJ

 

We go to garage sales regularly and the kids almost always go with us. They’re actually an asset because people who are trying to get rid of things will usually just give each child something. In fact, I have to limit the amount of things they get for free or we’d come home with all kinds of trash.

Here is a suggestion I have for taking kids along (I had to learn the hard way): I have taught mine that sometimes people’s prices are too high and you can tell right off the bat if they’re willing to come down. If one of them asks me if they can purchase an item and I don’t agree with the price, I have a key phrase that I tell them. It’s something like, “I don’t think we need to get that today.” Then they know NOT to ask and beg over and over. They just put the item back and we go on to the next place. Every time this has happened they always have found a better and cheaper item at another sale.

Yard-saleing (as we call it) is a form of entertainment for us. We always pack snacks and water (as you suggested), the kids have their own money, and we drive around for a few hours and see what we can find. People give away the most amazing things. We spend much less than our peers and we have all the modern necessities!

Also, thanks for what you said in the other article about pricing your items low enough when having your own sale. I have been to some places that try to get way too much out of their things! It’s quite irksome. Also, some of the best finds for us have been at the yucky looking places that look like they just have a bunch of old junk. Often we find a buried treasure at these places!

Keep up the good work, Lisa in TN

 

If you want to learn how to have a garage sale, read “How to Have A Garage Sale.”

 

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Categories: Business

How To Clean A Burnt Pot Or Pan

Sun, 5/1/2016 7:09 PM

Here’s how to clean a burnt pot or pan. It’s not east to clean a burnt pot, especially if it’s very burned and greasy but this method should help.

How To Clean A Burnt Pot Or Pan
How To Clean A Burnt Pot Or Pan?

Mary asks:

“Can you tell me the quickest way to remove years of burned on grease on the bottom of my flat pan.”

“I’ve used Awesome, Scrub Free, and Dawn Dish Detergent (the one used for cleaning oil from the birds during Valdez oil tanker that ran aground in Alaska).”

“With the combination of the three, some has come off with hard elbow grease, but would like to use one product that would make it easier.”

Tawra: I am the queen of burning things. One time I even melted the tea kettle to the burner! No kidding, Mike and mom still tease me about it. I have tried over the years many things to save my pots and pans. Here’s what I do.

I wasn’t clear if you meant the bottom of the inside of a pan or the outside, so I’ll address both.

If you mean to clean the inside of the burnt pan, these two things work the best:

  • Place a generous amount of baking soda (about 1/2 cup) in the bottom of your pan. Make sure it covers the bottom of your pan. Fill with water and then simmer for an hour or so. Most of the burned of stuff should come right off. You can do this more than once if needed.
  • If the grease doesn’t all come off the burnt pan with the first method then I take a razor blade and scrape off the last of the burned on food. I scrub with an SOS pad and after that the pans are usually good as new!

If the burned on grease is on the outside bottom of the pan, then go straight to the SOS pad and scrub hard. Unfortunately, the only easier way we have found to deal with this is to buy a new pan, which was the first thing Mike recommended when he noticed “quickest” and “easy” in your question ;-).

Tawra

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Categories: Business

Homemade Baby Wipes Recipe

Sat, 4/30/2016 8:08 PM

Save money using this homemade baby wipes recipe. Baby wipes can get expensive but they’re easy and cheap to make and work just as well!

Homemade Baby Wipes Recipe

I will be honest I haven’t really made homemade baby wipes a lot. When we had kids in diapers we used a baby wipe container and just put some wet rags in there with a wipey warmer. Since I used cloth diapers I just threw them in with the cloth diapers and washed them.

One way people use homemade baby wipe solution is to put the solution in the wipe container and then just dip the wipes in the solution. This keeps the wipes from smelling musty if you don’t use them fast enough.

  • You can also put your homemade baby wipe solution in a spray bottle and just spray their bottom before wiping.
  • If you travel a lot then just put a few wipes in a baby wipe travel case or a plastic ziptop bag and you have them ready to go!
  • Make sure to always keep your container closed tightly so the baby wipes don’t dry out.
  • Don’t forget if you aren’t use a baby wipe warmer you can always decorate the outside of your container to match your nursery!
  Homemade Baby Wipes

1 1/2 cups water
2 Tbsp. baby bath or shampoo
1 Tbsp. baby oil
1 roll paper towels

Mix the water, baby bath and baby oil in an empty round baby wipe container. Cut the paper towels in half using an electric knife. Remove core from the center. Place paper towels in wipe container. Let the paper towels soak up the water solution. Turn every few minutes to allow the solution to reach the middle of the paper towels. If there is still a dry spot in the middle, add a little more water and turn until soaked through. Pull the wipes from the middle of the roll through the top of the wipe container.

*An even cheaper way to make homemade baby wipes is to use wash cloths and wash with your cloth diapers.

For more easy recipes like this to make your life easier, check out our Dining On A Dime Cookbook.

 

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Categories: Business

10 Ways To Save Money On Meat

Thu, 4/28/2016 3:35 PM

Here are 10 ways to save money on meat that will help you lower your food bill while still making great meals for your family.

10 Ways To Save Money On Meat
10 Ways To Save Money On Meat

Anne, one of our readers, asked me the question, “How do you save when your husband is a meat and potatoes man and meat prices are going up so high?”

Anne, I know it is frustrating that prices are rising a bit. I told Tawra the other day I never thought I would see the day when I would crave hamburger. It is so expensive now that I hate to buy it.

Here are a couple of things you might try to stretch your meat dollar and spend less on groceries in general.

  • Stretch any meat farther by using it in casseroles, soups or stews instead of serving it as its own individual serving. If you serve two casseroles and two soups or stews, you instantly have four meals you can use to save money on meat. Then serve your regular slice of meat and potatoes the other 3 nights. That should help save quite a bit.
  • Add filler foods. In some recipes, add filler foods. For example, you can add beans to chili and use less meat. I would break up spaghetti noodles to stretch my chili. Use refried beans for your burritos instead of meat or use a combination of both so you don’t use as much meat.
  • Stretch your meat even more by cutting the pieces of meat smaller than you usually do. In your stews, soups and casseroles you don’t need huge chunks of meat. You could start by cutting the meat pieces half the normal size and, after your family gets used to that size, cut them smaller again if you need to.
  • Use less meat than the recipe calls for. Most families don’t notice if you use half a pound of meat or a full pound of meat in things like lasagne, spaghetti or casseroles. Cut back a tablespoon or two when you make something like tacos or burritos.
  • Buy cheaper cuts of meats and either slow cook them or marinate them. If your husband is not picky about what meat he eats then serve meats like turkey or chicken much more often than you serve roast or steak.
  • Buy whole chickens and cut them yourself instead of using chicken breasts. I know pre-cut chicken breasts are handy and easy to use but the bottom line is they are also more expensive. You can start using thighs instead of chicken breasts to save money, too.
  • Make your meat portions smaller, especially for children. If you do use chicken breasts, cut them in half for younger members of the family and let your family fill up on potatoes, veggies and other things. Cut down on portion sizes for all meats.
  • Watch what other foods you do buy and make sure you use everything. Don’t let food go stale or spoil. Watch portions and adjust them to reduce the food left on plates that gets thrown away at the end of a meal. Looking at how much gets thrown away after dinner is the best way to judge if you are wasting food.
  • Cut back on the amount of food you cook. I knew a woman who was always bemoaning her high grocery bill but she always cooked two or three times the amount of food that her family could eat. Instead of freezing it or otherwise saving it, she would simply throw it away. Look carefully at your food, eating habits and grocery shopping and see if there is anyplace where waste is happening.

    That same woman’s family almost always left 1/4 – 1/3 of a plateful of food per person that they tossed in the trash at the end of the meal. You may say, “I cook double and then freeze the rest or send it in lunches.” She said that, too, but never got around to sending it in lunches and rarely used most of the things in her freezer. Freezing it only to throw it away later is still wasting it.

  • Find another meal or food item that you can cut back on. If trying to cut back on meat at dinner isn’t as successful as you’d like, you might also see if your meat and potatoes husband would be willing to give up something expensive he eats at breakfast like bacon in exchange for something less expensive like oatmeal.

Hopefully these suggestions will help you find ideas that will work well for you. If you’d like more details, I have included a lot of ideas just like this in our Groceries On A Dime e-books.

-Jill

You might also check out these articles:

Children, Wasting Food and Portion Control

Save Money in the Kitchen

 

Lower Your Food Bill With Food You Family Will Love!

Would you like to serve food that will lower your grocery bill and your family will love to eat?

Click here to get the Dining On A Dime Cookbook, with tasty recipes and great tips to make your life easier and save you money!

 

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Categories: Business

How To Make Lye Soap – Lye Soap Recipe

Thu, 4/28/2016 2:15 PM

Here’s a step by step tutorial for how to make homemade lye soap, along with a lye soap recipe, pictures, a video tutorial and helpful tips!

How To Make Lye Soap - Lye Soap Recipe

I’ve always been fascinated with old fashioned homemade soap. I don’t know if it’s the lover of all things pioneer in me or what, but I’ve just always thought it was cool. When I  graduated from high school, I went to Silver Dollar City in Branson and saw their soapmaker work and I was in love!

It was just so cool how they had this huge pot of soap boiling and it turned into soap after 3 hours. Then, a few hours later, after it had set up in the molds we could buy it and take it home! ( I later learned this is hot process soap but I’m going to give you directions for cold process soap.)

After high school, I got a job as a dried floral florist in Estes Park, Colorado and, at the same place, we made handmade soap.  So I did a LOT of stirring at that job and loved it. We didn’t have stick hand blenders back then so you had to just stir it by hand for 30 minutes to an hour, but it was worth it.  I just loved all the different smells and colors and additives like lavender that always made the soap smell so good. 

Flash forward a few years: A marriage and a few kids later we went back to Silver Dollar City and I saw the soapmaker again. I told her I  wanted to get back into soapmaking only to have her tell me that you couldn’t make lye soap at home anymore. Apparently, some governments outlawed selling lye at the hardware store because people were using it to make meth.  I was just heartbroken. 

Well, 22 yrs. after I first made soap at that shop, I’m back at it again. I just happened to go to my local hardware store last fall to see if I could get lye drain cleaner and, to my delight I discovered it was available again!  And…. I’ve been making soap and making more soap and making even more soap! I mean I now have a LOT of soap. I don’t know why I like it so much. I guess just all the smells and colors and the HUGE variety you can make! 

So today I’m going to give you my very basic homemade lye soap recipes. I’m making some pretty fancy soaps now but there is just nothing like a good bar of old fashioned lye soap.  I will share some pictures of the soaps I’ve been working on below. 

 

How To Make Lye Soap

Before making soap, be sure to wear gloves, long sleeves and goggles to prevent burns from the lye if you should accidentally spill or splash it on yourself. If you get lye on yourself, don’t panic. It’s not going to melt off your skin or anything. Just flush with water and wash off with soap. Be extra careful to never get it in your eyes. If you get it in your eyes, then you should seek medical attention immediately. If you get lye on your skin, just be sure to flush your skin with a lot of water. 

You can use any kind of mold that you like to make your soap. Now that I do a lot of soapmaking, I use silicone molds, but you can use a box, cardboard box, drawer organizer or anything like that.  If you want to calculate the volume of your mold you can find out how to do that here.

This recipe is for a 1 1/2 lb. batch of homemade soap. The 1 1/2 lbs. is the amount of oil you use in your soap.  If you have a bigger or smaller mold, be sure to run your soap through a lye calculator like this one. Each oil uses lye differently so you need to do this every time you change your recipe and add or take away oils. 

Lye Soap Recipe

Lye- 3.31 oz. (Found at small hardware stores sold as drain cleaner. Look for “100% lye” on the bottle.)
Distilled Water – 7.92 oz. (Very hard tap water can make your soap slimy, so distilled works best.)
Lard – 24 oz. 
essential oil  3-4 oz. (optional)

If you aren’t using a silicone mold, line your mold with a trash bag or a grocery sack with the inside of the bag toward the soap (so the print on the sack doesn’t get on your soap). The bag will keep your soap from sticking to your mold.

Don’t forget to put on your safety goggles and gloves before you mix the lye and water.

Measure the lye and water in separate containers.  Pour the lye into the water. (NEVER, EVER POUR THE WATER INTO THE LYE!! It can cause dangerous reactions.)

When you pour the lye into the water, the mixture will get very hot– around 200 degrees. Let it cool to at least 120 degrees, but you can go as low as room temperature. Then, warm your oils so that they are within 10 degrees of your lye water solution, at least 120 degrees but you can go down to room temperature just as long as they are both the lye water and oils are within 10 degrees of each other. (For example, if the lye solution is 115 degrees, oils can be 95-125 degrees.) You can put your lye solution in an ice bath (as I demonstrate in the video) to make it cool down quicker. Otherwise, it will take around 30- 45 minutes to cool down.  

When your lye water and oils are at the right temperature, then slowly pour the lye water solution into the oils. Stir just briefly to mix. Then, using your hand blender, blend until it traces, about 2-5 minutes. Trace is when you lift the blender out and you see dots where the soap had dripped from the blender and it stays on top for a second or two before it blends back in. (Here’s a great tutorial on trace if you want more information.)

After your lye and oils come to trace, add your essential oil if desired. Stir until mixed and then pour into your mold.

Move your soap into an area that is safe from kids and pets. Then cover it with a towel. If you think your towel will fall into the soap, you can put a box or shoebox on top of it first and then put the towel over it all.  Then let it sit for 24 hours. After that, you can remove the soap from your mold and cut it with a big knife. 

After you have cut the soap, let it cure for 4-6 weeks and you will have homemade lye soap!

You can watch how I made this soap from beginning to end in our video to give yourself an idea of just how easy it really is to make homemade lye soap. 

There is a TON of information all over about all the details of soap making, including lots of different recipes, so just search it out if you want to add different flavors or colors. Here are a couple of my favorite places to get soapmaking information:

Here are some of my most recent recipe soaps:

Homemade Lye Soap

 

Homemade Lye Soap

 

Homemade Lye Soap

 

Homemade Lye Soap

 

Homemade Lye Soap

 

Homemade Lye Soap

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Categories: Business

Wonderful Ultimate Homemaking Bundle Deal For You!

Wed, 4/27/2016 11:02 AM

This Ultimate Homemaking Bundle – with over 95% never-before-included resources – is available to you now for 97% off, but only for a few days!

Every once in a while I run into some pretty cool people, and like to share about them with you. Today I want to tell you about a wonderful team I’ve been working with recently, Ryan and Stephanie from Ultimate Bundles. For several years now, they’ve been putting together some incredible eBook and eCourse bundles.

You’ve probably seen some e-book bundles around from time to time, but they’re not all created equally. What I love about Ultimate Bundles is the sheer quality of the resources included each bundle, they way they tie them together to make them instantly actionable, and the physical bonuses included with each one.

And because I know how much you care about the home and life you’re cultivating for your family, I have a feeling you’re going to love their newest bundle, and I want to let you know that it’s available now for just a few days.

It’s called The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle (2016 Edition). See? I knew you’d be interested!

You can get all the details here!

 

The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle contains 93 superb eBooks and eCourses designed to help you:

  • cut down your time in the kitchen with crockpot freezer meals and make-ahead breakfasts
  • organize and declutter your home
  • teach your kids to clean (and create a chore system that works)
  • save money by making DIY personal care and cleaning products
  • create realistic weight loss plans and add more healthy movement to your life
  • learn how to keep your kids safe online
  • start your own business or find a great work-at-home job
  • get the mothering encouragement you need on the hard days (no matter what stage or age your kids are at)
  • and even relax and recharge in the evenings with a little adult coloring

 

The combined value of everything in the bundle is over $1,000, but you get everything for a humongous 97% off!

Worried about information overload? Don’t be: there’s a handy Interactive Quick Start Guide to help you take action right away.

Ryan and Steph (and their awesome team) only put out a few bundles each year – because they spend so much time researching which resources would be BEST suited to the needs of people like you. Because of their commitment to including only the best eBooks and eCourses, over 17,000 people like you purchased last years edition of this bundle alone. That many people simply can’t be wrong!

This years edition of The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle – with over 95% never-before-included resources – is available to you now, but only for a few days.

But it’s only available until Monday, May 2nd at 11:59 PM Eastern Time so check it out now!

Click here to find out more and buy The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle (2016 Edition)!

Have a great day!

     -Tawra

 

P.S. This bundle also includes over $300 worth of incredible bonuses from fabulous companies – such as a FREE Kids Discovery Box from GreenKidCrafts.com (24.95) and a FREE online class from Craftsy ($29-$69). That brings the actual value of the Bundle up to nearly $1300! Check it out here!

 

(Because I’m working with Ryan and Stephanie, I will receive a commission if you purchase this bundle, which partially supports our work at LivingOnADime.com, but I only recommend things that I actually like and I’m sure you’ll love this one! Enjoy!)

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Categories: Business

Countertop Disinfectant Recipe

Tue, 4/26/2016 4:42 PM

This easy countertop disinfectant recipe is a great disinfectant that can be used for most cleaning needs and it will save you a lot of money over buying it at the store!

Countertop Disinfectant Recipe
Easy Homemade Countertop Disinfectant Recipe

2 Tbsp. ammonia
1/2 cup rubbing alcohol
1/4 cup vinegar
water

Put ammonia, alcohol and vinegar in a spray bottle and fill with water. This works especially good for counter-tops but may also be used to clean showers, toilets and sinks. Great for most cleaning needs.

Important tip: NEVER mix ammonia and bleach.

This Homemade Countertop Disinfectant Recipe is from our cookbook:

 

Lower Your Food Bill With Food You Family Will Love!

Would you like to serve food that will lower your grocery bill and your family will love to eat?

Click here to get the Dining On A Dime Cookbook, with tasty recipes and great tips to make your life easier and save you money!

 

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Categories: Business

10 Garden Tips For The Best Garden EVER

Mon, 4/25/2016 11:24 AM

Here are 10 garden tips and ideas sure to give you the best garden ever! Check out our tips for easy composting, cheap and natural weed killer, organizing your garden shed, free seed starting containers and much more!

10 Garden Tips For The Best Garden EVER
10 Garden Tips For The Best Garden EVER

Did you know that I went to school for horticulture and that gardening is my passion! It’s kind of funny that I’m running a website on saving money when my true love is gardening.  Of course, gardening does not have to be expensive, and for me, it definitely isn’t! I spend less than $50 a year on my gardens and my gardens are pretty big. Here are some of my top tips to save money in the garden and have the BEST garden EVER!

The tips are below, but here’s a video we made where I actually show you the tips in action:

 

  1. Use diapers in the garden– Yes, seriously! The water absorbing granules in diapers work great at helping keep your container plants moist, so they don’t dry out too quickly. That way, you can water less and your plants get more even moisture. The granules are safe and, in fact, they are the same stuff that you can buy in garden stores to help keep your plants watered.
  2. Compost in place. I just throw most of my compostables into the garden and compost in place.  If it’s a large item, like half a watermelon, I will bury it a bit but with most scraps, I just pull back the mulch lay the compostables on the ground and put the mulch back on top of it, so that it rots right there in place.
  3. Use vinegar to kill weeds. Just spray vinegar on your weeds and they will die. If you just put it on the leaves there isn’t enough acid in the vinegar to impact the ph of your soil. I buy the large bottles of white vinegar, which are much less expensive than weed killer and very effective for most weeds.
  4. Use milk bottles, water bottles or other containers as drip irrigation. Just poke a small hole or two in the base with an ice pick. Set next to your plant and put some rocks in the bottom to weight it down so it won’t blow away. Then, when you water, just fill up the jug and you have an instant drip system for your plants! Then your water will soak in slowly instead of running off.
  1. Use broken mini-blind slats to make labels for the garden. Cut them down to the right size (3-4 inches works well) and use a permanent marker to label them. I can get 175 plant markers out of a small mini-blind and up to 500 markers out of a large mini-blind. You can also cut up a yogurt container or other container into 1-2 inch pieces to use for garden markers.
  2. Use a shoe organizer to store your small tools. They’re great for storing all kinds of small garden tools and supplies. Many shoe organizers don’t work so well for organizing shoes, so they’re cheap and plentiful at garage sales!
  3. Use cardboard and newspaper for mulch. Just put the newspaper and cardboard under your mulch. This way, you don’t need as much mulch and it completely smothers the weeds so you don’t have weeds coming up.
  4. Use buckets or planters to water new trees. Drill a few holes in the bottom of a bucket or planter. Fill with some rocks so it doesn’t blow away. You can also use the rocks to partially obstruct any large holes that might let the water out too quickly. Then just fill the bucket with water and it will slowly water your plants.
  5. Set a small plastic or clay pot over plants to protect them from frost. Just put one pot on top of each plant. Remove in the morning so they don’t get too hot.
  6. Use toilet paper cores for planters. Just snip four small cuts along the bottom edge and fold inward to close one end. Then plant the tiny cardboard “pot” with soil and your seed. When the plants come up, just put the entire thing in the garden. The cardboard will decompose as the plant grows.

 

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Categories: Business

Cleaning A Textured Shower Floor

Sun, 4/24/2016 10:44 AM

Try these ideas for how to clean a textured shower floor. Because of the texture, it can be difficult to get shower floors clean, but these tips will help!

How To Clean A Textured Shower Floor
How To Clean A Textured Shower Floor

Nina from Nevada asks:

Do you have any suggestions for cleaning a textured shower floor? The Mr Clean Magic Erasers work OK, but they are really expensive and don’t last long. I’ve also tried bleach and a scrub brush but that didn’t really get the floor clean.

 

I’ll start with the cheapest.

Use ammonia to clean it. Let it sit and then use a stiff brush again. (Be sure that you don’t use Ammonia if there is still bleach there. When Bleach and Ammonia mix, they create a toxic gas, That would ruin your whole day 😉 ) Ammonia works well for a gummy greasy scum build up.

You may try soaking it in vinegar and then scrubbing it with the stiff brush. This works best if you have hard water deposits or mineral build up.

I use a cleaner called The Works for those really hard areas. You spray it on, let it sit five minutes and then use a stiff brush and most of it comes out. It’s pretty cheap, about $2, a bottle at Wal-Mart or most Dollar General type stores. It is by far the best cleaner we have found for cleaning very dirty bathrooms.

The trick is going to be to let it soak to loosen the grim and then scrub really well. You may have to use a really stiff brush such as a grout brush to get it clean.

Tawra (Who has had plenty of practice cleaning that nasty stuff off of big mistake houses that we have rented.)

 

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3 Quick And Easy Ideas To Make Dinner FAST!

Fri, 4/22/2016 6:24 PM

Try these 3 quick and easy ideas to make dinner fast! Eating out frequently is one of the biggest mistakes you can make with money but these ideas will help you save!

3 Ways to Make Dinner FAST! Cooking Made Easy!
3 Quick And Easy Ideas To Make Dinner FAST! – Make Life Easier Without Eating Out

I have been saying this for years and I just heard it on Oprah so I’m sure that makes it true! Going out to eat is one of the biggest mistakes people make with their money. Most people would experience a radical change in their finances if they would cut back on eating out even a couple of times a week, let alone all together. I think that the main reason that people go out to eat is for the convenience. I hope to show you how eating at home can be convenient, too.

We seem to be people of extremes and that definitely spills over into our thoughts about meals. We have the idea that there are only two choices when it comes to providing dinner for our families. The first is to go out to eat and not lift a finger. The second is to become Betty Crocker, an Amish grandmother and Martha Stewart all rolled into one. Oh! And don’t forget to roll in Mr. Clean for the clean up!

It doesn’t have to be an all or nothing situation. For those of you who are extremely frugal, some of these suggestions might seem wasteful, but if making everything homemade is overwhelming to the point that you won’t be able to keep it up, try some of these suggestions to make dinner easier without eating out.

  1. Make meals easier by using convenience items. Even if you use nothing but convenience items for your entire meal, it is still less expensive than going out to eat. You don’t need to make homemade bread, muffins, biscuits, or cookies. Buy them already made. You can even buy things like French bread, already sliced and buttered and ready to heat. It’s perfectly OK to use bagged lettuce, baby carrots, or anything frozen.
  2. Keep it simple. Our grandmothers didn’t spend as many hours slaving away in the kitchen as we think they did. Instead of homemade bread or yeast rolls, the everyday meal included store-bought white or wheat bread on a plate with butter and jam. Grandma would open a jar of applesauce, a can of green beans or a jar of assorted pickles. She would toss a simple salad and have all her side dishes for that meal prepared quickly.  For years our family raved about my grandmother-in-law’s great homemade noodles.One day when I asked her for her recipe, she pulled me to one side, laughing, and said “No one else knows this, but I always use frozen noodles!”

    Our grandmothers knew the secret. It didn’t have to be complicated, gourmet, or elaborate for our families to enjoy a meal. It just had to be good, there had to be lots of it and it had to be made with love. It takes only a couple of minutes to slice an orange, apple or banana and lay them on a platter. Throw in some unpeeled small red potatoes to boil, slice pre-cooked ham, heat up a box of fish fillets or lay out a variety of deli meats and cheeses for everyone to make their own hoagies. It can be as simple as that.

  1. Make clean up easy. I line almost every pan I use with aluminum foil or parchment paper, whether I’m roasting a chicken or baking biscuits, cookies or tater tots. I line every casserole dish too. Use paper plates and bowls if it helps. Use disposable pans when you can. You can usually find lots of them on sale around the holidays. Many people feel a lot of guilt connected with using anything disposable. If you are one of them, I give you permission here and now to use these things. Besides, when you eat out, just as much stuff gets thrown away. It’s just that other people throw it away for you. I would much rather see you at home using paper plates and disposable pans with your family than having to work many hours of over time to pay for dinner out. Relax, enjoy your meal. Your family and pocketbook will thank you.

 

For more practical tips and easy recipes to help you save money on food, check out our Dining On A Dime Cookbook!

 

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Easy 2 Ingredient Homemade Pudding Pops Recipe

Wed, 4/20/2016 5:48 PM

This easy 2 ingredient homemade pudding pops recipe makes a yummy snack your kids will love this summer!

Easy Homemade Pudding Pops Recipe
Easy Homemade Pudding Pops Recipe

1 pkg. pudding (not instant*)
3 cups milk
fruit (any kind, optional)

Combine and mix the ingredients only enough to blend well. Quickly pour into popsicle molds and freeze. Chocolate and vanilla pudding may be layered for a fun treat or you can layer fruit with vanilla pudding. Makes 8-10 popsicles.

*Regular homemade pudding may be used instead of store-bought pudding mix.

 

This homemade pudding pops recipe is from our cookbook:

Lower Your Food Bill With Food You Family Will Love!

Would you like to serve food that will lower your grocery bill and your family will love to eat?

Click here to get the Dining On A Dime Cookbook, with tasty recipes and great tips to make your life easier and save you money!

 

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Categories: Business

Easy Homemade Brown Gravy Recipe

Tue, 4/19/2016 12:12 PM

You can make this easy homemade brown gravy recipe in just minutes from the drippings of roast, lamb or any slow cooked red meat. It’s super simple and everyone will rave that this is the BEST gravy they’ve ever had! It tastes just like Grandma’s but you can make it at home, without a “packet”, and the entire family will love it!

Easy Homemade Brown Gravy Recipe
Easy Homemade Brown Gravy Recipe

Meat Broth
1 cup cold water
2 Tbsp. flour or 1 Tbsp. cornstarch
salt and pepper

Add at least one cup of water to the roasting pan of your roast while the meat is cooking. Remove the meat when done and skim off the fat. Put the pan on a stove top burner on medium heat.

Put flour or cornstarch in a jar. Add cold water (1/4 cup dry milk could also be added), cap and shake until all the lumps are gone. Pour the flour mixture slowly into the simmering broth and stir constantly until thickened. If there is a lot of liquid you may need to use more flour. Salt and pepper to taste. Serves 4.

This recipe is from our Dining On A Dime Cookbook. For more quick and easy recipes, check it out here!

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