Monday, January 31, 2011

Tips to prepare for a winter storm

I've found that being prepared for the storm, usually makes the storm stay away...hope it works this time! Saint Louis is under a blizzard warning with accumulating ice and then large amounts of snow. My Brother and his family went through an 18 day isolation- due to ice (without electric, water, or being able to drive anywhere).  Some of the best tips to make it through an emergency like this is:

*Put a pair of big socks on over your shoes to walk on ice!!  It works!!

*Fill your bathtub up with water so that if you lose power/water, you can use it to water animals and flush the toilet.

*Use oil lamps for light, they put off a bit of warmth too!  But get batteries ready for flashlights too!

*You can bring in solar outdoor lights if you get desperate!!

*Get all your dishes and clothes/blankets washed up in case you need them all before electric comes back on.

*Be prepared to hang blankets in doorways to keep ONE room warm...and cuddle up!

*Charge up cell phones, laptops, and have a battery operated radio nearby.

*Wrap your water pipes that are near an outer wall with newspaper and duct tape.  Leave your water drip a tiny bit, and open cabinet doors if your sink is on an exterior wall.

*Have food that is ready-to-eat, beef jerky, crackers, tuna, granola, etc...and plenty of drinking water.

*If you have to travel, fill your gas tank in case you get stranded. Pack extra clothes in case you need a hotel.  Don't forget  food, drinks, and a thermal blanket. 

*STAY IN if at all possible!! 

If you have ideas to add, I would LOVE to hear about them!! 

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Advertise on your blog   posted about using blogsvertise   I am a newer blog, but definitely want to get started making a few extra dollars here and there, so I just signed up...we'll see and I'll keep ya posted!

This blog may contain advertisements/product reviews and generate income and accept advertisings/ads and links within.

Join Disney Rewards

Thanks to budget savvy diva for posting this, I love Disney !

Join Disney Movie Rewards !!! If you watch Disney movies anyways, why not add up some points!  PLUS, here's an EXTRA reward code to get 5 more bonus points!!!    T5WM52PA7L

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Hand made bird feeders

My son had a school project to make different types of bird feeders. The first one was a pine cone covered in peanut butter and then rolled in birdseed. Then hung by a string for the birdies to feast on!

Then my friend, Karen told me about an easier feeder to make that the birds will like even let my two year old make the next one:   Tie a string around one half of a whole wheat bagel, spread peanut butter on the flat side, then dip into bird seed and " TA DA" !!  And it even gets better, she said to zip them up in a ziploc with the string hanging out so that when we were ready to hang them, we just tie it to the hanger and then unzip the baggie and another "TA DA" !!!  No bird seed astray! 

The third and final one was made out of a big empty peanut butter container.  We cut out an area toward the bottom  for the birds to be able to reach through, poked a hole in the lid to tie the string and then filled with an inch of bird seed!   Super Easy and THREE feeders our birds should be totally covered!!

Scared to buy lettuce in bulk?

I am usually scared to buy produce in bulk, because I know it will spoil before it gets used. The romaine lettuce that I buy in bulk at Costco always get used in time because I "double-duty" it!

It only costs $3.87 for 6 heads of romaine heart. I know that's alot of lettuce!! That's amazing, because the price of just one of the little bags of salad mix can be almost that much.

I wash it, then cut "sandwich sized" leaves off the leafy ends to add to all of our lunch sandwiches and roll-ups. I place those leaves in a gallon ziploc with a folded paper towel to keep it fresh, seal it up and put it with the sandwich making stuff. I cut the leftover parts of each head and place in a large bowl with airtight lid for our salads that we have with dinner each night!

I mix up our salads so that we don't get tired of the same thing each night.  Some nights it's Caesar, other nights, I add in spring mix lettuce, or different cheeses, veggies, and dressings to add variety and USE up all that lettuce!!!

For around $4, we have lettuce on our sandwiches and salad for 2-3 weeks !!!

Follow along with us!!!

And Money Saving Momma was born...

Thought I'd share a bit about how this blog came to be!!!

Last Friday, my husband's company had a total shake up, and I was scared out of my mind.  I touched on how it went down here.    But, as of now, he is still employed.  He is no longer with the same company, has to drive 3x further, but STILL HAS A JOB!!!  Prayer works, because this is nothing less than a miracle!!!

During the last week, in my worried state of mind, I packed tons of stuff to sell at our local consignment store, I reduced our utility bills by getting rid of any extra programming and services, and quite spending.  Like, literally stopped going anywhere that wasn't a totally NEEDED!  We made meals out of what we already had and bought minimal groceries.  I didn't have to get gas, because I barely drove, and while it has only been a week, it was EXACTLY what I needed to become more conscious of everyday spending. 

In today's economy, one never knows when something like this might happen.  It has happened to so many others and although I consider myself a thrifty person, I know there are ways we can get by on less.  So, I went searching, and with the advice of my dear friend and awesome blogger, April, my Money Saving Momma blog was born.    I am so excited to be blogging and sharing tips with others, and hopefully, someday earn money doing reviews/advertisements on it.    Maybe all this happened for a reason, it brought my husband and I closer and reinforced our faith that God will provide.  I am so grateful for my family and friends who kept us in their prayers, it worked!!

If anyone has money making ideas, or tips on how to live on less....please comment, every opinion matters :)

Saturday Savings Blog Hop

Just Married with Coupons

Friday, January 28, 2011

Healthier Homemade Chocolate Long Johns

If you haven't tried Nutella spread, now's the time! We love it... It's hazelnut butter with cocoa added. It has the texture of spreadable chocolate...YUM! My sister spreads it on fresh white bread to make Healthier Homemade Chocolate Long Johns for my kids (and me!) It is delicious and would stand up to your favorite chocolate long john AND save money.  Give it a try!!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Friday Blog Hops

Smart and Trendy Moms

Have you seen Sandra Lee??

Just in case you haven't seen Sandra Lee's Money Saving's AWESOME!! It's on FOOD NETWORK. She creates super-delish meals, keeps it low cost and even makes planned leftovers. She keeps a running tally of money spent. I have tried several of her recipes and they are ALL great and easy too!! Check her out at     Money Saving Meals

I got my own signature!!!

I decided that I needed a signature and found out a super easy way to do it over at   It just walks you through it all!  So happy and excited to figure out this "blogging" thing, one tiny step at a time!


Thursday Blog Hop

FREE Family Circle

Grab 2 months FREE (no strings attached) Family Circle Magazine

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Heat....stay outta my closet!!

In the winter, I turn down my thermostat to save money on the HUGE gas bill.  My family makes fun of me, but I go around before bed and before leaving the house and close all closet/pantry doors and even make sure the shower curtains are closed....I mean, why heat the walk-in closet?  Isn't that a few extra square feet that our heater doesn't have to warm?  I also close down all blinds and curtains.  In my defense, some of my heat outlets are located on the floor close by the showers, closets and windows... it seems like they would blow right toward them if I didn't patrol it!!  LOL !!  Every little bit, right?!?!

Wednesday Blog Hop

Save Calories AND Money

We are so used to making large meals, that the thought of making "just enough" seems crazy!! I have found that since I am buying family packs and portioning out meat to freeze in seperate packages, we only eat one regular portion.  Scaling down on portion size saves us calories AND money.  I serve a salad with every dinner (bought in bulk at Costco) and one dinner serving is plenty!  If there are leftovers, I send it with Billy for lunch or incorporate it into another meal or side dish!  Now I need to learn how to fix meals and freeze them for EASY nights!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Good-bye Channels (Save on Dish Network)

Well, with the recent job scare, I just down-sized my Dish Network. It is one monthly cost at the bottom of the "necessity" list, since we don't have an antenna, I wanted to try to keep "some" television, not just rid of it. I can't believe how hard it is to get rid of channels that you have grown "used" to having. But come on, I shouldn't be feeling sorry for myself, I'm just getting rid of channels, NOT some huge sacrifice! It will decrease my monthly bill by 55% though!!!! I am now paying $20.99 for the Welcome Pack. I don't believe they advertise this program, openly, but if you have a life-changing event, they will give it to you!

Here is what we now have: (the biggest change will be NO Disney or Nick for the kids, they don't need to be watching so much TV anyways, right?)

Welcome Pack
100 Home-local weather
102 TV Guide
103 PPV Movie Previews
107 Comedy Central
110 Food Network
112 Home & Garden
120 History
127 Oxygen
128 Women’s Entertainment
130 AMC
137 QVC
139 TBS
161 MTV2
166 Country Music
175 Boomerang
179 Discovery Kids
183 Learning Channel
185 Hallmark
203 Bloomberg Info TV
214 Weather
222 Home Shopping Network
228 Shop NBC

Not bad, huh????

You can call to find out about your Dish Network Programming at:

Tuesday Blog Hops


To-the-TOP Tuesday

Leave me a comment and your link and I would LOVE to become your new follower!!!!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Angel Food Ministries

My friend, Karen, told me about  Angel Food Ministries a few months ago.  Just tonight I met a wonderful blogger over at  A Goddess of Frugality  who posted about the same thing!  At first I thought it was only for people who couldn't afford food, but it's for anyone who would like to get prepackaged food at an affordable price.  You do not have to belong to a church, either.  Buying from this ministry helps feed the hungry everywhere!  I am making my first purchase tonight!  I just heard from several people that they really liked the food.     Check them out!!!  Angel Food Ministry's MENU

Different Items at Different Stores

I used to think "convenience" above all!  I would happily pay extra to avoid dragging the kids into several different stores.  When I would make multiple stops, I would end up over spending at ALL of them (partly thinking, " I may not get back here in a while, so I better load up).  Definitely not productive on saving time OR money!  So, now I just make a list for each store and stick to it.  I know there are several items that really save me to buy them at a specific place.  Here's what my list looks like:

I split a membership with my sister and then we share with friends. My aunt has a Sam's Club membership so we can compare prices!  Then sometimes, we buy bulk and split it between us to get more for our money!

peanut butter
Extra virgin olive oil is  cheaper by the gallon!
Specialty cheeses are way cheaper here!
All natural turkey breast is only $3.89/lb (but in a 2.5 lb pkg)
Most of my meats- I separate and package into freezer bags for many meals
Salad mix

Has certain items that are always cheaper, but sometimes doesn't carry items that I need

Fit & Active protein bars
Facial cream ( I know it's hard to believe, but it has retinol & Q10 in it for only $4 & hydrates well!)

Only a few items that are constant for me here, but they run great sales!

100% whole wheat frozen waffles-$1.28/box (always)
Shredded cheese goes on sale occasionally
produce is fresh

I am not proud that Walmart gets so much of my money, but the "one stop shop" is worth quite a bit to me.  This is where I buy most of my stuff.  It is right down the road and consistently has low prices and all under one roof.

Pull-ups  -White cloud is cheaper even than buying in bulk at my Costco
Milk is hormone free now
Boneless skinless chicken breast is $1.78/lb always
Frozen veggies

I just started buying my bread here.  It is NOT outdated.  They carry whole grains.  Name brands.  I can buy 100% whole wheat (exactly what I would normally buy for $2.88 @ Walmart) for 79 cents!!  That's huge savings. I buy a month's worth and freeze it.  Just don't store on top of fridge...just learned that the other's the worst place because of the motor.  Let thaw & store in cool dark area.

Making Money Monday

I found a survey site that pays your paypal account $1.00 per survey.  They pay you weekly and while, under normal financial circumstance, I probably wouldn't spend my time to make a "one" dollar, but when times are tough, a few extra bucks here and there add up to pay part of a bill!  It's funny how the value of a dollar can change with your situation!!

Check it out here
Found them on a review site..pretty good reviews too  REVIEWS
If you have any money making ideas, please share with us!!!!

Monday Blog Hops

Mingle Monday

Just Married with Coupons

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Saving water

Especially in the winter, the water needs to run a bit to get warm.  What do you do with all that running water?  You catch it with a pitcher and water your plants, your dog, or use it to cook with.  I have been doing it for a while and always have a pitcher of water waiting for me to use.  It's better than letting it go down the drain, right?  

I created my own BUTTON !!!


I am so excited and posted this because, it DID save me money!  I thought I'd have to pay to get a button made by a blog designer, but I DID IT !!!!  I used a tutorial A Heart for Home  and it worked perfectly!

Sunday Blog Hop

Thanks, April over at  Party of Five  for sharing this blog hop....JOIN IN!!!!

Also check out


Saturday, January 22, 2011

multi purpose cleaner for pennies

I stopped buying spray cleaners about a year ago.  I now use equal parts vinegar and water in a big spray bottle to spray my counters, tables, and windows.  White distilled vinegar is a popular household cleanser, effective for killing most mold, bacteria, and germs, due to its level of acidity. Cleaning with white distilled vinegar is a smart way to avoid using harsh chemicals. You’ll also be glad to know that it is environmentally friendly and very economical.      Check out  for many more uses.

Heat up the water and lower the bill

One of the very best energy-saving tips I use in my home is to wrap your hot water heater with an insulation kit.  It was so easy to wrap and tape with duct tape.  It saves me approx. $8-12 per month.  That's huge over the year.  Another added bonus...we were able to turn down the temp too!!  You can purchase one for as little as $19

Let em' Air Dry

If your dishwasher gives you the choice...keep the heated dry OFF.  Just prop open the door at the end of the cycle and let them air-dry.   Why pay to heat the air, when they can dry for free?!?!?

Sunday Coupon Preview

Get Set & Save

Each day before we leave for school....I say, "on you mark, get set, SAVE!!!!!!"  The kids run all over the place, turning out lights, lamps, tv's, and radios.  They love to be the first one to save the most.  They also like the idea that the more money saved on electric is the more money freed up to do something better with!

Becoming a Mystery Shopper posted: 4 Steps to Becoming a Mystery Shopper This is one of the extra money-making side jobs that I am going to try out.