I have several social networks that I belong to for personal and also to pick up more readers for my blog. I think using them is a big advantage for your blog. It’s a great way to meet other blog writers, share ideas, and readers. I recently joined Twitter and I love if you follow me. I’ll return the favor. I also joined Networked Blogs through Facebook. I also have the older ones like MyBlogLog and BlogCatalog. I was using Entrecard but I haven’t been as involved with that once since I don’t always have to time to drop cards daily. I’m sure there are some other great sites, but these are a few that I really like. If you have a site that you would like to share then please leave a comment. I love hearing about new websites and ways to pick up new readers.
Today’s thrify living tip is to thin out those ultra concentrated dish liquids. I have noticed this new trend with the ulta concentrated liquids like dish and laundry detergents to even hand soaps. Of course the bottles are getting smaller so I’m not sure how much more you getting for the price increase. I also noticed that the coupon amounts have shrunk (ok pun intended). I used to be able to find $1 and 50 cent coupons, but now I noticed the manufacturers are issuing 50 to 25 cent coupons. I decided to battle this by adding water to thin it out. I found more was being wasted. I put 1/3 liquid into an empty bottle and just add water then shake to mix it up. I can now make a bottle last for several weeks which makes my stockpile last much longer. I recently bought 18 bottles from a CVS sale for $2.xx so this will last well over a year. I find that it bubbles better and the dishes are just as clean.
So you are probably wondering what is a free Christmas spending challenge. It’s a challenge that I’m doing this year to pay for Christmas with our pocket change and the things I get for free. This includes gift certificates I redeem from My Points and other reward programs. I am also using the change we’ve saved in a jar. I normally use this money to pay for presents for our family like DVD movies and games. This year we are on a tight budget like most people so I decided to spend less. I can still give nice and thoughtful gifts without spending a fortune.
I give gifts to around 30 people which includes my family, hubby’s, teachers, mail lady, and such. My hubby and I aren’t exchanging any presents this year unless I can score some great deals on DVD movies and/or games, but I’m not holding my breath. I also buy items for gift baskets that I get for free or almost free. I get lots of compliments on my gift baskets from my friends and family. I have Tupperware left from in my inventory that I will give as gifts. I do plan on making homemade treats this year like chocolate covered mint patties, peanut butter balls and fudge.
I already have several gift certificates saved up. I redeemed 2 $10 Subway gift cards and a $10 Chili from My Coke Rewards. I just ordered another $10 Chili gc so I plan on giving those 2 to a couple. I’m hoping to get the Snow White blu-ray DVD combo pack that will be on sale at Wal-Mart on Tuesday for $9.96 plus tax after I use the $10 off coupon I printed. That will make another wonderful gift. I also got stainless steel water bottles on clearance. I just requested a $50 check from my bank since I use a free checking rewards program. I am getting a $25 CVS gc from My Points which I will use to help pay for the great deals I’m getting. I also did the CVS Monsters vs Aliens deal this past week. I paid $6 for that movie which is a great stocking stuffer for my son. My son’s Christmas and Birthday is already paid for with all those Bionicle Legos we scored last October so click here to read about that great deal. I’m glad we saved them so that is a huge help to our Christmas budget. I found a couple more gifts I had bought but didn’t give them last year. I have a bad habit of forgetting what I buy people earlier in the year, and then buy something else when it gets closer to Christmas. I will report back and update my Christmas spending challenge especially when it gets closer to Christmas.
I do want to apologize for not writing for the last 3 months. So much has been happening in my life that I just didn’t make this blog a priority. I was going to go back to work full-time, but my son had other ideas. I don’t want to get into all the details, but it’s been a very long and stressful time for us. We thought he was ADHD, but had him evaluated with a Pediatric Psychiatrist to find it he is actually Bipolar. I never felt he was truly ADHD, and some scary events took place that really made me question it. I’m glad I did since we took him off stimulants and he has been on a new medicine. His anxiety levels were extremely high which the stimulants contributed it to greatly. It hasn’t been a miracle, but I finally feel we are on the right path. Between the new medicine and therapy we are seeing some improvements and he sleeps and eats so much better now. I have been putting all my attention on him and I’m continuing to stay at home which is where I’m needed for now. I have many years to go back to work so I’m no longer stressing about it. I am going to slowly start getting back to my blog as it’s a nice release, and I could really use to make some extra money.
Today’s thrifty living tip is use a pencil eraser to remove scuff marks from vinyl flooring. This works great since we have vinyl floors in our kitchen. I find it easier than applying lots of elbow grease. Another way to eliminate scuff marks is to use a Brillo pad. Just make sure to rinse very well afterwards. You can also make a paste of baking soda and water and use a scrub pad on the marks. All of these work but I find the eraser is great for small marks. The other methods are better for big or several marks.
My hubby and I went outside yesterday evening to water our plants in the garden. We noticed a cute little bunny eating grass in the yard right outside the carport. It was about 3 feet from the house, and barely flinched as my husband walked near it to take pictures. It’s a very bold bunny, but his friend was more timid since he hopped near the cane fields. They aren’t eating my plants but I only have cantaloupe and watermelon growing at the moment. They do the like the shade my fig tree offers them since I frequently see one sitting underneath it. I just thought it was so cute that I wanted to share the pictures we took. The rabbits are perfectly safe from us since we don’t eat rabbit.
Today’s thrifty living tip is turn down your water heater to 120-125 degrees. I have mine set to 125 degrees which I find is comfortable for us year round. Most people have theirs set at 130-140 which can burn small children. You can save an average of 4% for every ten degrees you lower the temperature. Another way to save energy costs is to wrap the tank with a thermal blanket which can be bought at most hardware stores. If you have an electric tank, then setting a timer will also further your savings. Timers won’t work well with gas water heaters.