Getting Rid of Smells on a Budget

Posted on August 21st, 2014 by Discount Debbie

smells on a budget

All of us want a nice smelling place to live. It doesn’t take over priced products to get a nose friendly home either.

What You Use

What you use to get rid of a scent or odor is actually very important. For example, if you are picking a spray to get rid of an odor in your trash can, you are going to want to get something that is anti bacterial. It’s actually the bacteria in the trash can that causes the scent. Getting a scented spray that isn’t antibacterial is just covering up the odor. Also antibacterial sprays (especially generics and store brands) are very budget friendly. They even have started coming out in scents of their own such as citrus or fresh linen.

If you are more of an earth friendly diva, then stick with tried and true baking soda. Mixed with a little lemon or water it can be used as a spray or a cleaner. It’s also great for getting odors out of the carpet.

Wax Works

One of my favorite ways to replace a  pungent scent with a good one is to use a wax product. I like jar candles or oil burners/wax melts. These items come in a large variety of scents, sizes, and prices. Just make sure all the members of your family can enjoy the scent. Floral scents have been known to trigger allergies. Other scents may remind you of a public bathroom cleaner. Find a few good scents the whole family enjoys and stick with those.

Air

One of the best ways to keep a scent free home is with air circulation. Use fans to move air about or open a window for a little while. Hand in hand with good air circulation, you need good filters. A dirty air filter will toss scents, dirt, and allergens back into your home. Change the air filter according to what is recommended on the packaging.


Making School Supplies Last

Posted on August 19th, 2014 by Discount Debbie

school supplies

I have noticed lately that many stores have tried to make their school supplies more affordable. This is a good thing, particularly for those families that are a little larger than others. Still, no one wants to need to spend more than they have to, so here are a few ways to make schools supplies last, along with your money.

Keep Track of Writing Items

Nothing gets lost faster than pens and pencils when it comes to school supplies. We lose them, give them away, and let others borrow them. This is a shame because often we haven’t used the pencil to its fullest potential. I have noticed that most pens have about two thirds of the ink left in them before discarded or lost. Instead try using one pen or pencil at a time, keeping them stored in a pencil case or bag that fits into a binder. Use the pen until the ink is completely used up or the pencil until it’s down to a nub.

Use Both Sides of The Paper

Some schools have decided to issue their students with laptops for schoolwork, but not all have. Until then, many schools and school students need to both use and conserve loose leaf paper. I have often seen only one side of loose leaf paper used when school work is done. This is sometimes mandatory for types of work that need to be turned in. But when it comes to notes, both sides of the paper could be used. It can help save on paper. If you want to be more extreme, refrain from writing social notes, making paper airplanes, and doodling.

School Supply Advancements

Companies that make school supplies want to keep your business. For this purpose they try to improve their product, and some are pretty good improvements. The best I have seen recently is a binder that has flexible rings and lays flat. This would extend the life of school binders. Don’t buy into every school supply achievement, but keep a look out for improvements that will stretch your dollar more.


Free Tips for Better Sleep

Posted on August 14th, 2014 by Freebie Felicia

better sleep

Sleep is one of the most important things we should be doing in a twenty four hour period. It helps our bodies recharge and allows our minds to organize the information that it has accumulated during the day. Unfortunately many people are finding it harder and harder to sleep. Before scheduling an appointment with your doctor and getting a costly prescription, try some of these free tricks.

Reset Your Internal Clock

When your body clock is off, your sleep schedule is off. When your sleep schedule is off, you can’t get sleep when you want to, and want to sleep when you can’t. It becomes very frustrating. Although I heard the best trick for resetting your body clock is to go on a three day camping trip, it’s not necessary. Spend more time outside. Turn off all electronic devices in your bedroom. Set yourself a bedtime and a wake up time and stick to it. Cover your windows to keep artificial light from creeping in. Your may soon find yourself falling to sleep like clockwork.

Eat Right

Eating the right diet doesn’t just keep you healthy nutritionally, it also helps you sleep. Being overly full or eating the wrong types of foods can cause gastrointestinal distress and keep you up in pain. Small things, like eating a proper serving size, staying hydrated, and not eating overly rich foods at supper can help you in your quest for sleep.

The Right Temperature

Many people wake up feeling uncomfortable due to room temperature. Either it is too hot or too cold to sleep. What helps is to have your home climate control set to a moderate temperature (such as 75-78 degrees) at all times. Change your blanket and sheet fabrics due to the weather as well. Flannel sheets may be wonderful during the winter, but a light cotton blend may be better during the summer. Last of all, if you are like me and can’t sleep without a blanket covering you, even when it’s hot, try just covering your feet. I have found that just covering my feet will satisfy my mental need for covers.


Different Ways To Save Money

Posted on August 13th, 2014 by Discount Debbie

saving money

Different people save money in different ways. What may work for one person doesn’t always work for another. Here are a few ways to save money that have worked for some of the people in my life.

Pull a Twenty

When you are at the store or out getting fast food get twenty dollars cash back. Then put that twenty dollars into a savings account. Make this account difficult to access. There shouldn’t be a cash card for it. Arrange it so that you must go to the bank to withdraw the money. This is great as an emergency account. If twenty dollars is too much, pull an extra five or ten dollars instead.

Change

I am a big fan of the way change adds up. If you use cash regularly, have a place to toss your change for a rainy day. Most of the time people don’t keep track of their change. It ends up in the couch, behind the dresser, or randomly in the laundry or on the floor. Rather than losing your profits to cleaning day, save your change in a jar or in a drawer. Keep track of it. You’ll be surprised how it adds up.

Have It Taken Out

Many banks will offer to make a deposit into your savings account from your checking account. You don’t handle the money. This means that you won’t be tempted to spend it on something else. If you don’t have an account yet, look for a bank that also offers a high interest rate for your account. You can even gain interest on the money that you are saving.

Savings In Savings

Some people enjoy to celebrate what they save in bargains, coupons, and discounts by actually saving it. Keep track of how much money you save from your money saving activities and set it aside in an account. Overtime you will see how much your efforts have added up.


Saving Money With E-cigarettes

Posted on August 13th, 2014 by Discount Debbie

e-smoking

Most smokers I have met reach a point where they wish they could quit smoking. At the very least they wish they could find an alterative that is cost effective and a likely solution. The gum tastes nasty and the patch can be misapplied. Quitting cold turkey would be ideal, but not realistic. With these thoughts in mind it’s time to consider the e-cigarette. The e-cigarette is more cost effective, replacing a pricey carton of cigarettes with a $5 pack of cartridges or $15 of vape juice for a lesser price and higher yield. It tastes better, is healthier for those around you and, in the words of one friend, “Doesn’t make you want to hate your life.”

Vaping, or the use of an e-cigarette, is a newer option for the retiring smoker. You can choose either a small e-stick that looks like a cigarette or a liquid to vapor device. The upside to the smaller version of the e-cigarette is that it can be bought cheaply as a disposable device. A more permanent device may cost more but can be reloaded. The downside is these smaller e-cigs are easier to  lose. People are so used to flicking a dead cigarette out the window or stomping on it to snuff it out they will do so without thinking. On top of this, they are small and easy to misplace. They can range in price from a two or three dollar disposable to a sixty dollar starter kit. I don’t recommend this item to those who easily lose items. You will pay almost as much as you did in cigarettes if you can’t keep track of the cartridges, e-cig, or charger.

The larger liquid vapor device is more child friendly and usually needs to be unlocked before use. Just remember to store the liquid out of a child’s reach. The liquids that can be used in them come in a very wide variety of flavors. They can also have varying levels of nicotine including none at all. The cost comes with replacing the liquid and heating coil in this device. It is, however, less likely to misplace this item compared to its smaller cousin.

Have you or a friend tried to quit smoking? What worked for you or them?


Saving Money on Insurance

Posted on August 8th, 2014 by Discount Debbie

insurance

Insurance is one of the most frustrating purchases to make. On one hand, we are spending money on something that may never happen. On the other hand, we would be very sorry not to have it should the necessity for it arise. Sometimes it’s against the law to be without insurance. Other times it just costs more than we would like to spend. For whatever reason you choose to hold an insurance policy, here are a few ways to keep your insurance from being more of a burden than it’s worth.

Shop Around

The first thing you will want to do when searching for insurance is shop around. Don’t just go with the company that your family has always been insured with, or what was recommended by a friend. Don’t only get one quote. Compare and price as many companies as you can find. Take notes on what you discover about each one. Know what insurances they offer and at what price. Then make the best decision for both your family and your finances.

Company Loyalty

Many companies offer a number of different types of insurances. We need car insurance, home owner’s or renter’s insurance, and life insurance. We need medical insurance. In some places we need special insurance based on flooding or earthquake possibilities. When we get most or all of our different types of insurance coverage from one company, our company often offers a discount to reward our customer loyalty.

Very Basic Coverage

Along with offering different types of insurance, insurance companies also offer a variety of insurance packages. Some have all the bells and whistles while others only cover the very basic needs of an individual being insured. If you are trying to follow the law by having a certain type of insurance, but have a tight budget, I suggest getting these basic packages. As your needs and financial situation changes, so should your insurance policies.


Saving Money When Eating Out

Posted on August 7th, 2014 by Discount Debbie

eating out

Eating out for whatever reason can be expensive and yet we do so anyway. We do it for work, on the go, or for celebrations. Luckily there are a few ways to lower the cost.

Share

Lately my husband and I have been sharing a meal when we go out to eat. We have found that the meals at restaurants are big enough for two both in portion and nutritional value. This reduces the need for a take home box or food waste. It also is likely to be a more healthy meal than fast food, but at a smaller price. Eat where a family member is working and you may get a discount as well.

Go Big

When sharing a meal isn’t an option, the other option I choose is to go big. I pick the biggest appetizer the restaurant has. This is usually the sample platter. I have found that most appetizers are less expensive than the main dishes. Most appetizers are also often the size of a meal I would normally eat. In many places there is enough variety to enjoy the same restaurant a few times.

Eat Outside

If you have children it is far more likely that you will get more bang for your buck if you eat outside. While most restaurants offer a children’s menu that features food more child friendly and less expensive, most children still don’t enjoy sitting down for an extended period of time to eat it. Instead when it comes to eating with children it is better to have a picnic or BBQ. These foods can be fruits and vegetables or sandwich supplies. Not only are these items usually a more healthy choice, the often cost less. Purchases, such as peanut butter or jelly, also last longer and can be used in other meals.

 


Dueling Household Diets on a Budget

Posted on August 6th, 2014 by Discount Debbie

grocery shopping

Not everyone eats the same. Not even in the same household. My husband refuses to eat any type of fruit. My son is a growing toddler that need a variety of foods and I’m a vegetarian. We live on a budget and can’t have a different grocery list for everyone. Here are a few ways our household copes without much drama.

Find The Place You Meet

There are many foods that we have in common. My husband love 100% juice which is good for our son and also vegetarian. Also both the guys in my life are lactose intolerant making our breakfast drink choice almond milk or soy milk. Sometimes we meet this happy medium by getting the chocolate version of soy or almond milk. Another product we have met in the middle over is bread. My son needs a whole wheat bread, but my husband love white bread without any seeds or add ins. Our compromise is a seedless honey wheat bread.

Meal Planning

All family members are a part of meal planning. Just because I’m vegetarian doesn’t mean everyone else is. Rather than making two separate meals, or making my family miserable, we have learned how to make our meals in stages. For example I make pasta and make the sauce and meat separate. I don’t add the meat in mine, but my family does in theirs. I get my vegetarian meal, and they don’t have to eat my diet.

Vegetarian Dishes That Work

My husband has found that he like vegetarian hot dogs. He says his stomach feels better when he eats them versus meat hot dogs. He feels the same way about vegan ice cream and yogurt. Here we don’t meet in the middle. We just buy the vegetarian brands we know work for our family. At the same time we know that vegan cheese just won’t cut it for the rest of the family.

How do you manage dietary differences in your household without breaking the budget?


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