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My Tips to Save Money on Food

February 17th, 2010 at 06:55 am

1. I try to use up leftovers as much as I can. I just bought the book "How to Cook Without A Book". It has basic recipes for all different sorts of dishes and then you can substitute whatever you have on hand for the specific ingredients. It is kind of a silly title since it is a book, so it would more aptly be called "How to Cook Without Recipes". There already is a book with a title like that, so perhaps the author didn't want to be a copy cat. Anyway, despite, the title it is a pretty good book. I checked it out from the library first to see if it was worth getting and decided is was. Lately we have been trying to eat at home more so I needed some more recipes to fallback on.

2. I make a lot of soup in the crockpot. This is a really good way to use up leftovers. The bad part is that the soup tastes a bit different each time, so if I really like the way it turned out it is hard to duplicate. If I don't have enough leftovers I just make soup with some stock and whatver fresh or frozen veggies I have on hand, some beans, maybe a potato and a chicken breast. On many days that is my breakfast and lunch. I make the soup in the morning on the stove and then leave it on warm all day in the crockpot.

3. I shop at Sam's Club for as many groceries as I can. The prices there are about 30 - 40% cheaper than the local Safeway or Lucky's.

4. I charge all of my groceries using a cash back credit card. It isn't much at each shopping trip but it adds up over the year.

5. When we eat out we usually go to some place pretty inexpensive. For Valentine's Day we just went to our local Chinsese restaurant. Since I work at home it is a treat for me just to get out of the house and eat someone else's cooking, but I don't like spending a lot of money on food since it just gets eaten up. It is not buying a blender or a cookbook - something that you can maybe use for years to come.

More tips on lowering your food costs from blogher

Another blogher article

Article on lowering your grocery bill from Mint.com

Inexpensive ipod

June 1st, 2008 at 10:56 pm

I purchased a refurbished ipod last week from Overstock.

By buying it online I didn't have to pay any sales tax. Shipping was only a dollar because I bought it on a weekend when they had a dollar shipping event. Because it was refurbished and an older model, it was around 40% off. I used a coupon code for another seven percent off.

I used some of the money I saved to buy a 2 year protection plan for $20 dollars. So far the ipod works great and is one of my best bargains of the year.

Saving Money on Scrapbooking Supplies

October 16th, 2007 at 03:55 am

Scrapbooking is a fun hobby these days for many people. Craft stores and even specialty scrapbooking stores have many items you can spend money on. Most of the individual items are relatively inexpensive, but over time if you keep doing this for a hobby they can really add up to be a big budget item.

Here are some of my tips to keep keep scrapbooking costs under control.

Getting a Camera

Digital cameras are expensive to buy, but once you have made that initial investment then any pictures you take for your scrapbooks are virtually free once your camera is paid for. I bought a camera that took regular AA batteries, so I would not have to replace any expensive lithium camera batteries in the future. How many times have you been on vacation or at a party only to have your camera batteries give out? If you are more organized than me, maybe this doesn't happen to you, but it happens to me all of the time. So I found it easier to have a camera that took regular AA batteries because then I can find those at any drug or grocery store. And when I'm home I use rechargeable batteries in my camera, which are not only cheaper but better for the environment, too. I bought my battery charger and rechargeable batteries from Radio Shack.


Going Digital

Some people make completely digital scrapbooks these days. It's not for everyone, but other than the camera and perhaps some software costs, the supply costs are virtually zero. If you are more of a tactile person, and want to save money on your books but can't bring your self to go completely digital, take some half way measures. Make your books half 3D objects and half digital. Instead of a ribbon border make a 3D digital ribbon border with a graphics program. My favorite graphics program in Paintshop Pro. It doesn't have all of the bells and whistles of a program like Photoshop, but it is less expensive and for me it was easy to learn to use.


Smilebook
has free software that allows you to make a digital scrapbook uploaded with you own pictures that you can then email, use in blog or print out. Its a cool tool, thought all of the flash and sounds on their web site make it a bit annoying to use. But, hey it's free so I guess I should not complain.

The Right Quotes Can Make the Page More Meaningful

There are many sites where you can get get lists of quotes for free online. I also think a few books of quotations and poems are nice to keep on hand, but these can be very expensive to buy. I've gotten some great deals on quotes and other types of books at www.bookcloseouts.com. I've bought several $40 books of quotes and poems there for a fraction of the original price. The good thing about quote books is that unlike tax and computer books, they never become dated. Some of my favorite quotes to use in my scrapbook pages are from the 1800s and before. Some of the best deals are in their Scratch and Dent section where they have new books at about a quarter of the original price. Some of these books usually have really minor imperfections such as a slightly ripped dust jacket or a small stain on the cover.

Alternatively there are some good places to get quotes online. Site I use are:

Scrapbook.com

Useful Information

Simple Scrapbooks Magazine

Denny's Poems and Quotes