TMR Frugal Living Tip #74

Monistat as a Makeup PrimerToday’s thrifty living tip is instead of using an expensive makeup primer, you can use Monistat Chafing Powder-Gel. You read this correctly Monistat. I can hear you saying I am not putting stuff made for feminine itching on my face! Gross!

I realize this sounds a little crazy but it really works great as a makeup primer. The reason it works so well is that it contains dimethicone which is the same ingredient that the other expensive makeup primers use. It’s a fraction of the cost plus you will get more for the money.

I was skeptical at first as I have used MAC primer which is wonderful. I never tried Smashbox, but I know it’s another very popular makeup primer. I found it at my local Wal-Mart for $6.37 plus tax, and I read that it will last for at least a year. You don’t use much as in the size of a dime. Trying is believing, and it really does work!

I live in very humid south Louisiana and if the heat doesn’t melt off your makeup then the humidity will. My makeup still looked wonderful at the end of the day especially my eye makeup. I couldn’t believe how well this stuff works and for a fraction of the more expensive primers. I also have oily skin but my face doesn’t look like an oil slick at the end of the day. My foundation went on flawlessly and it just feels nice. Some people say it can be hard to find and not found in Canada.

Leave me a comment either if you have tried it or you want to try. I would love to hear from you.

Tips for Saving Up for Your First Home

Today it is harder than ever to buy a house. Prices for homes have skyrocketed during the last decade making it even more difficult for young first time buyers to succeed at ultimately purchasing a place they can call home. Saving for a house is not an overnight process, and it takes a great deal of time and strategic money management. You can begin this process by speaking to a lending institution. They can help you learn all you need to know about what you can afford, interest rates, and the type of loans that are out there for you. They will be knowledgeable about important information.

One of the main components of saving up for anything, especially a house, is to cut back on luxuries. For example, if you are someone who tends to eat out for every meal then you might want to consider cooking at home for a change. If you are an avid gym-goer then taking up running, instead of paying for your membership, would be a great money saving move. Also consider cutting back on cable, learning to optimize your gas, and even raising your car insurance deductibles. Although these are some helpful money saving tips, you do not have to give up every luxury you enjoy. Just remember that the more you cut back on, the more you save, and the more you save, the closer you are to buying a home!

Now for some of you I must ask that you keep a very open mind to the next money saving suggestion. Here it is… Move back in with your parents. Even if you have to pay your parents some sort of rent to live back at home, you will be saving money. Think about the free utility, free laundry, and of course home cooking! If this advice is taken it will only put you into your very own home faster.

For such a thing like buying a house, you are allowed to take money from your 401(k). Although lenders don’t view this as a debt, the money still needs to be paid with interest over a time period of years. Remember that it is best to stay with your current employer until you have fully repaid all the money because if you leave your employer you will have only 90 days to repay the money. View all your options before you take funds from your 401(k). Make sure that there is a greater benefit from taking these funds than alternatives such as a paying for mortgage insurance or a second mortgage.

Keep in mind that the road to buying a house can be a long one. Consider speaking with a lending institution and the valuable tips for cutting back on spending. Also consider the idea of possibly moving in with your parents , even though it doesn’t sounds like the most desirable option. Once you have stabilized good money management you can consider options such as taking funds from your 401(k). If you take the advice given then the time it takes you to purchase a home can be exponentially decreased.

TMR Gets a Long Overdue Facelift

So I haven’t posted in over two months. I know it’s terrible, but life has really gotten in the way since last year. I finally gave my blog a long overdue face lift. I hope everyone likes it. I’m not sure if I’m happy with all the text colors but it will do for now. I’m pleased with the template design, and I find it a little whimsical. It fits with my blog perfectly I think. So let me know what you think.

I had posted an update in February about how things were going for my family. If you had read then you know that I had a lot going on between my son and myself. I am happy to post that things are so much better for both of us. He finished the 2nd grade making straight A’s most of the year with only 2 B’s on his report cards. He finished the year very strong and should have a much easier time in 3rd grade. I’m very hopeful and just extremely grateful we found some wonderful people to help us.

I had decided to start losing weight at the end of last August. I had tried several times in the past, but I would never stick with it. I would quit all my bad habits at once which would overwhelm me. Then I would completely quit and undo any bad habits I had stopped. I decided to try a different approach by doing it with baby steps. My first step was to quit drinking soft drinks. I thought I had acid reflux, and I was drinking alka-seltzer 3-5x a week. Some days twice a day! It was craziness and I had to stop. I switched to sweet iced tea so no caffeine withdrawls or headaches. I would make a gallon of tea and put 1/2 cup of sugar so it wasn’t very sweet at all. When I got used to that, then a couple of weeks later I cut it down to a 1/4c. Then I finally got used to drinking it without any sugar. I drank more water and I lost 6 pounds in 10 days! That was amazing and 2 weeks later I noticed that I wasn’t having heartburn anymore. It finally dawned on me that the soft drinks were causing my heartburn. Once I quit drinking them it magically went away! That saved me lots of money as soft drinks are expensive. Then I was able to take another step by watching my calorie intake. I made switches from honey wheat bread to dark German bread. I also quit eating white rice by switching to brown. All of these small changes made big impacts on my appetite. I started walking with my Leslie Walk-Away-The-Pounds DVD’s at the end of December. I began slowly and kept challenging myself with slightly harder workouts. I was out of breath but I never quit. I also didn’t berate myself if I had to modify or quit. I just told myself tomorrow you will do better and I did.

I will say that my biggest motivator came in October. I got my prescription for Zoloft and my doctor ran a blood test on me. The results came back that my sugar level was elevated (126) and my cholesterol was 190. The worst part was she wanted me to take Glucophage since I was pre-diabetic! I was shocked and refused it. I had already lost 17 pounds at that point, and was committed to losing this weight on my own. I knew I could do it and I would prove to her that I didn’t need a diabetic medicine when I wasn’t truly diabetic. I had talked to a good friend of mine who is a diabetic and former nurse. She was also shocked and told me no way. She advised me to get a glucose meter and just check my blood after eating to see what would trigger it. I learned a lot by talking with her and really changed my eating habits more than I had. My blood sugar level went to normal quickly and has stayed that way since. I haven’t had a formal blood test but am planning one soon.

We finally got to Disney World at the end of April. I was down 65 pounds and it felt wonderful. I got to a size 16 in bottoms and XL in tops. I had prepared myself for all the walking before we went. Walking around WDW was a piece of cake. We also hit the beach in Panama City. It was a very long overdue vacation and our first family trip ever. I wasn’t even worried too much about the long drive. It was fine and we saved a lot of money by driving instead of flying. We broke up the drive by spending the night in Tallahassee. My husband and son have never been outside of MS or TX so it was a great experience for them. We had a wonderful time and didn’t want to leave. We can’t wait for our next family trip which we hope will be next year. I’m going to wrap up this super long post soon. I am down 75 pounds as of today. I have lost 10 dress sizes and am currently wearing a LG in tops/14-16 in bottoms. I still have another 55 pounds to go but I know I will get there.

I have also started working part-time again as a merchandiser/mystery shopper/demonstrator. It’s not really steady right now, but it’s harder with the summer. My son is home with me so I can’t really dive into it like I want. I did just pick up a great job that has wonderful hours and nice pay. Once he’s back in school, then I’m sure work will pick up for me. I’m going to try really hard not to neglect this blog anymore and adding posts regularly. Thanks for letting me share. I’m not planning on leaving for long periods of time anymore. I will make this blog more of a priority again. I really enjoy having it to share my good deals, thrifty tips, and even about my family.

TMR Frugal Living Tip #73

Today’s thrifty living tip is use cheap hairspray, in a can, to stun roaches. We get the big tree ones in the house, and sometimes they move too fast before I get a chance to smack them. I use a can of cheap dollar store hairspray which stuns them so I can smack them. It’s cheaper than roach spray but probably not better chemical wise. Of course you can buy an all natural roach spray that is good for the environment. I also use a very heavy coffee table book that I bought at a yard sale for 50 cents to smack them. I am squeamish about seeing them so I cover the book in plastic grocery bags and tie them at the end. When I see a roach crawling on the floor, I just drop the book on it. I then let hubby deal with cleaning it up.

My Spring Garden has Sprung

I didn’t get any fall planting done last year since we had some unusually cold weather early in winter. Our last few winters have been very mild so I guess it was time for colder weather. Spring usually arrives in early February, but this year it waited until late March into early April. We got a late start on getting the garden tilled and amended. I also had to buy tomato and bell pepper transplants at my local nursery. We expanded the garden by several rows and planted new seeds this year. I finished planting all the April crops on Friday evening. Here is what we have planted this year: roma tomatoes, cucumbers, green/red/orange bell peppers, black beans, bush snap beans, zucchini, cow peas (similar to black eyed peas), sugar baby watermelons, and cantaloupe. I already see lots of cucumbers popping up. I also planted marigolds in between the tomato rows which helps to ward off caterpillars. I shall see how this does. I bought three more blueberry bushes which are all flowering. I will have lots of blackberries this year from all the buds and flowering on the bush. I’m very excited about my garden and very hopeful it will be plentiful. I included pictures below.

TMR Frugal Living Tip #72: Cut Face Wipes in Half!

Today’s thrifty living tip is to use a paste of baking soda to get stains out of plastic containers. It will also get out some funky smells. I use cold water to make a thick paste and let it soak overnight and rinse it out in cool water. You may need to do a second soaking but it usually gets out the stain on the first go rounds. Using hot water sets in the stains just like it will on your clothes. I wash it in warm water if the stain is out or mostly out.

New Year Update!

I’m ashamed to admit that I’ve neglected my blog for the last several months. So much has happened that I couldn’t possibly blog about it all. It turns out my son is not bi-polar and we also ruled out several other disorders. Apparently he is now considered PDD (pervasive development disorder), and he does have Sensory Integration Disorder. He is doing much better since his doctor put him on Intuitive. He’s on 3mg daily which has really helped with his anxieties and behavior.

I finally did something about my anxieties in October. I was so ashamed to admit how anxiety ridden I was to my friends and family. A couple of close friends strongly suggested I get on a medicine like Lexapro to help me. I agreed to talk to my doctor and she put me on Zoloft which I’ve been since October. What a difference it has made in my life. I felt so much better after the second week and the worst side effect was being drowsy. A month later that has pretty much went away. I am now in control and have conquered all of the anxieties I was experiencing plus I was able to help my son. I feel like a new woman and like my old self before all this started. I lost my youngest son to Spinal Muscular Atrophy and he was 5 months old when he earned his wings. We decided to stop having more children since it was possible for it occur in the next baby. We had our oldest which is more than many couples. I would have panic attacks in his final weeks and they continued for a few more weeks. It started with one fear that multiplied to several more over the next few years. I kept telling myself it was ok and that I could handle it. But I really couldn’t and became a person who hated leaving the house. I would also stress about having to travel. It was controlling my life, and I even went to therapy which helped some, but the medicine was what I really needed. I’m just glad I stopped ignoring the problem and got the help I desperately needed. My life is so much better, and I love driving again. I enjoy getting out again.

I also started losing weight at the same time. I had really let myself go after I lost our baby. I became depressed and eating was how I comforted myself. I was gaining weight before kids, but I really packed it on after kids. I will write another post about my weight loss journey that I am still on, but I just wanted to write a little about what I’ve been doing the last few months. I plan to write about how eating healthy doesn’t have to be so expensive. I am getting healthier again and exercising daily. It feels good to take care of me first so I can take care of my family. As women we always neglect ourselves and put everyone else first. How can we help others if we don’t help ourselves first? Many of us are also trying to be super woman by doing it all. I can’t and I am no longer ashamed to ask for help when I need it. I enjoy getting some alone time to pamper myself or just go in my bedroom to read quietly. My family knows the rule that when I’m in my bedroom with the door closed it’s my time. If you aren’t bleeding, on fire, or dying then don’t bother me.