Ceiling Fan Useage Tips

Use Ceiling Fans Effectively To Save Money - Tip of the Day

Hardware House 415935 Panama 52-Inch Ceiling Fan Brushed NickelWhen you walk into a room with a ceiling fan running it often feels a couple degrees cooler.  So you would think leaving the fans on all the time would cool down your house, right?  WRONG!  Ceiling fans don't cool rooms, they cool people.  They blow air over your skin which cools you down, but the actual air temperature remains the same.  So always turn off your ceiling fans when you are not in the room to enjoy them.  Running ceiling fans in an empty room only wastes electricity.  If you use a ceiling fan in conjunction with air conditioning, you can up the AC by 2-3 degrees and the ceiling fan blowing on you will still trick you into thinking it is cooler than it really is.

(This post is linked at Homebody, We Are That Family, The Thrifty Home, Gnowfglins (Simple Lives Thursday)Coupon Teacher, Fantastic Frugal Fridays, The Frugal Girls, and Life as Mom.  )


Eat Less Meat

Eat Less Meat / Save More Money - Tip of the Day

Omaha Steaks The EmperorMeat is expensive, especially red meat.  By cutting down the amount of meat in your diet you can shave a large percentage off of your grocery bill.  And you need not deprive yourself in the process. For instance, instead of cutting out meat entirely, try cutting back your portion sizes and supplementing the rest with more vegetables or grains.  Try it for a couple weeks and watch your grocery bill (and likely your waist, too) shrink!  Have you already cut back on how much meat you are eating?  And if so, have you seen a reduction in your grocery spending?

Make Your Potatoes Last Longer

Make Your Potatoes Last / Food Waste Friday

When you get a bag of potatoes, immediately go through them and separate out any that are bruised, cracked, or otherwise damaged and plan to eat them first.  These potatoes will be the first to go bad so you want to use them up first.  Also, as they will go bad they will speed up the aging process for the other potatoes (by releasing gasses), which is another reason to use them up first.

And speaking of potatoes, on the Food Waste Friday front I am afraid I found a couple old (very old) sweet potatoes that had turned hard as a rock.   

(Linked at The Frugal Girl.)

Image Credit.

Help Joplin, MO Tornado Victims

Give Back To Those In Need - Tip of the Day

Image info here.
Normally my tips offer ways to save money.  But today I am asking for you to spend money.  The town of Joplin, MO was hit hard by an EF5 tornado last week and now they need our help.  Marie at Family Money Values has been blogging about how you can help the Joplin tornado victims.  Please take a moment to check out her posts if you feel so inclined.

Check Out Craigslist

Craigslist.com Offers Great Prices On Used Items - Tip of the Day

Buy used and save the difference is a great philosophy to have for saving money.  One great place to locate used items around your community is Craigslist.com.  Go check it out!  Have you scored any great deals on Craislist?  Let us know!

Cruise Along

Using Cruise Control Saves Money and Cuts Gas Mileage - Tip of the Day

Use your cruise control on highways and anywhere you will be driving at a consistent, uninterrupted speed.  Using the cruise control will cut down your gas mileage and save you money.  How do you reduce your gas mileage?

Decorating On The Cheap

Yes You Can Decorate For $20!

Decorating need not be expensive! 

I have a weird spot in my living room that needed some serious decorating help.  It is a dark corner... beside the TV and above the dog bed.  It is the one corner of the room that a.) has no natural light, unlike the rest of the room that has great light, b.) has an 8 foot tall ceiling instead of the taller 9 foot ceiling height that is in the rest of the room, and c.) has no real furniture in it to add visual interest.  It needed help.

Here is a "before" shot (if you look carefully you will see a dog leg!).

Go Minor League

Attending Minor League Sporting Events Is A Great Way To Save Money - Tip of the Day

Rawlings ROMLB MLB Specs Single BaseballLove sporting events but hate the ticket prices for major league games?  Check out a minor league game, instead.  Most cities have a minor league sports team in their town or nearby.  The tickets are a fraction of the cost of the major league games, yet they offer a similarly fun experience.  Plus, you get to see the future stars play before they get snatched to the majors! 

Nuke It!

Use Your Microwave Whenever Possible - Tip of the Day

It is getting hot outside here in the Midwest and so I think take this time to remind everyone that microwaves are extremely energy efficient.  They use half the power as their conventional oven counterparts and they cook for a much shorter length of time.  Also, they do not heat up the house the way that conventional ovens do, which helps cut down your cooling costs.

Mixing Fun and Frugality: Blog Swap

This guest post by MoneyCone is a part of Yakezie blog swap on 'Fun And Frugality'.  You can view my post over at Money Cone

Latte Sipping 'Frugal' Mac User!

I like to consider myself frugal. Most of what I buy usually reflects my frugality including my Mac.


Mac? Now I don't live in denial. A Windows PC *is* cheaper than a Mac, I do realize that. At the same time, I do love my Mac! Mac's are fun! (Plus, I get my dose of Windows at work!)

But how should I justify the premium one has to pay for a Mac?

I've purchased 3 Macs so far. Not at the same time though! Combined they cost quite a pocketful! But I've never paid more than 50% of the retail value of a Mac other than for my first Mac!

Here's how I save money on my Mac purchases.

  • I skip the long lines at the Apple stores and instead buy from Amazon deferring taxes.
  • Most Mac users recommend extended protection, I do have them, but I don't pay a penny! I use my credit card to double my coverage.
  • My card provides 3% cash back on the purchase!
  • I do memory upgrades myself by buying Memory modules online at a fraction of what Apple charges (I also run Windows on my Mac which requires more memory than what comes installed).

But how do I pay just 50% of the retail value? I never buy a newer Mac before selling my existing one! Mac's have a much better resale value and it's a cinch to sell on Amazon! I collect the cash (I've sold all my Macs at about 50-%60% of the purchase price), put in the rest 40% - 50% and get a new one!

Now, I'm not one of those who must have the latest and greatest gadget at all times! I had to upgrade my first Mac since Apple decided to move to different chip effectively rendering all new software unusable on newer Macs! (Usable actually, but slow)

The second upgrade was due to the nature of my work, I needed a slightly bigger screen. And I've been with this MacBook ever since and don't intend to upgrade unless some thing drastically changes!

About the latte sipping part? Does making your own latte count as being frugal?!

MoneyCone blogs about personal finance and investing on his HOWTO blog.

Honey Doesn't Go Bad / Food Waste Friday

Fix Crystallized Honey - Friday's Tip of the Day

Great Lakes Select Honey, Clover, 32-Ounce Bottles (Pack of 3)Think your honey has gone bad?  Think again!  Honey is the only food that is not perishable.  If it hardens or becomes crystallized, simply microwave it on medium power for 30 second intervals until it liquefies again. 

This week I am happy to report no food waste in my home.  How did you do?

Linked at The Frugal Girl.

Steamed Asparagus Recipe

Steamed Asparagus - Frugal Recipe Feature

25 Asparagus Roots with Free ShippingThis is a great time of year to get asparagus at the grocery store for a great price.  However, do you know how to cook it?  Cooking asparagus can be tricky.  I have found steaming it to be a fast, easy, and healthy way to prepare this delicious vegetable.

1.) Take your asparagus stalks.  Bend them and then break (or cut) at the spot where they bend.  Save and freeze the bottoms for use when you make chicken stock(NOTE: Breaking the bottoms off the asparagus ensures you are not eating the tough parts).

2.) Take a paring knife and gently rub the blade down the sides of each stock of asparagus.  This will get rid of the 'stringiness' you can encounter when you eat asparagus.

3.) Place the asparagus stalks in the top part of a steamer, cover, and steam for 20 minutes (or until tender).

Linking to Around My Family Table, Frugal Follies, and The Grocery Cart Challenge.

Homemade Rain Repellent

Baking Soda Repels Rain - Thursday's Tip of the Day

Instead of buying expensive rain repellent products for your windshield, wipe your windshield with baking soda, instead.  It will repel the rain at a fraction of the cost!

Make It Yourself

Make It Yourself And Save Money - Wednesday's Tip of the Day

Learning to make things yourself that you would normally buy can save you lots of money.  You can see a couple examples of how I have done this with shelf dividers and seed starter kits.

Homemade Seed Starter Update

Do homemade seed starter kits really work?

Earlier in the year, I wrote a blog post on how to make homemade seed starter kits from egg cartons.  This is an easy DIY project that can save you a lot of money.  Since then, some have wondered if this project was really practical and how well it works.

So... I thought a little update was in order.  A few weeks ago I planted some zucchini seeds in one of my homemade kits.  Here are the results:

money saving tips seed starter kit

I'd say things are progressing nicely!  I plan to plant them in the garden next week.  I ought to have more zucchini than I know what to do with by mid-summer!  Do you have any thoughts on using zucchini in unique ways? I'd love to hear them!

(This post is linked at Homebody, We Are That Family, The Saved Quarter, The Thrifty Home, Gnowfglins (Simple Lives Thursday)Coupon Teacher, Fantastic Frugal Fridays, The Frugal Girls, and Life as Mom.  )

Alternatives To Kindle

Kindle Alternatives - Tuesday's Tip of the Day

Kindle: Amazon's Original Wireless Reading Device (1st generation)You don't have to buy a Kindle to get the cool features of one.  Amazon offers Kindle apps for Mac, PC, iPhone, and Android, to name a few (click here for all the free Kindle reading apps).  You can download and read Kindle books from just about any electronic device you already own.  Now, if you are an avid reader the Kindle does offer a few unique benefits (like the tres cool "paper" appearance of the screen that reduced eye strain), but for most of us these extras are not necessarily a necessity.

Don't Trust Ebay

Price Shop Before Buying On Ebay - Monday's Tip of the Day

Just because something is used, doesn't mean it is cheaper.  Although as a general rule, I think buying used items on eBay is a great way to save money, you still need to be a smart consumer.  For instance, I recently looked up the price for a Velocity Micro Cruz T301 and found listings at $269+.  However, the manufacturer lists it for sale at $199 and it can be purchased on Amazon for just $188.  Make sure you know what an item is worth before buying it used or through an auction.

Happy Birthday To Me!

The Single Saver Was Born <cough cough> Years Ago Today!

"The Single Saver" and her Grandmas! 
Today's tip is to take advantage of birthday savings.  Birthdays are a great time to get freebies!  I found a great list of birthday freebies/offers here, compiled by Real Simple Saving Methods.  How many of those did you know about?  Are there any you know of that are not on the list?

Install A Ceiling Fan

Ceiling Fans Help Keep You Comfortable In The Summer

Looking for a cost effective way to cool down in the summer without having to always run an air conditioner?  Install a ceiling fan!  They are more cost effective to run than an air conditioner unit, and are cheaper to purchase and install, too!

Picnic Food Safety Tip / Food Waste Friday

Keep Food and Drinks in Separate Containers - Friday's Tip of the Day

I am back, following the Blogger chaos!  With picnic season fast approaching, it is important to think about food safety and preservation.  A lot of food each year is wasted at picnics simply because it goes bad before the end of the day.  Here is one tip to help keep your food lasting all day, and keeping it safe to eat, as well.  Separate your food into a separate cooler than the drinks are housed in.  Why?  The beverage cooler is almost always opened much more frequently, resulting in a loss of temperature.  Keeping your food separated ensures it will stay cool.

In A Pickle

As for my food waste this week, it wasn't my best.  I cleaned out my refrigerator and threw out two half-used jars of pickles. 

(Linked at The Frugal Girl.)

I'm Back!

Blogger Temporarily Shuts Down

Blogger had a major meltdown the last couple days.  The good news is that this rarely happens and Blogger worked hard to resolve the problem.  The bad news is that it seems my posts from Wednesday on have vanished.

Luckily, when it became apparent Blogger was having issues I copied those posts to my email, and if the problem is not resolved by later today I will repost them.  So if you are looking for the lemon dill sauce recipe, do not despair... it will be back one way or another!  

I am also going to hold off posting the Food Waste Friday / Tip of the Day post for today until I am sure things are back to normal here at Blogger. 

Lemon Dill Sauce - Frugal Recipe Feature

Eat Like Royalty on a Pauper's Budget

One way to eat well on a limited budget is to add sauces to your food.  Sauces can enhance almost any meal, and are a trick used by chef's all over the world.  One of my favorite sauces to make is a Lemon Dill Sauce.  This particular sauce is delicious on fish, but can also be used with chicken. 

Save Money With Board Games

Ditch The Movies For Some Old Fashioned Fun - Thursday's Tip of the Day

Today's tip is a cheap date night idea.  Do you feel like the only things you do on dates or when going out with your friends cost you money?  Going to the movies... restaurants... shopping... theme parks... etc?  Next time, host a game night and ask everyone to bring a dish to eat, or make a cheap pizza, and enjoy a frugal evening of fun.  I have yet to encounter anyone who doesn't have fun while playing board games with friends or family!

Don't Open The Oven

Keep The Oven Closed For Energy Savings - Wednesday's Tip of the Day

When using the oven, refrain from frequently opening the oven door to check on the food's progress.  Each time the door is opened, a large amount of the oven's heat escapes and the oven has to use more energy as a result.

Rags To Riches

Ditch Paper Towels And Use T-Shirt Rags, Instead

Is making rags a useful craft?  Is it a money-saver?  Is it both?  I’ll let you decide. (Tuesday's Tip of the Day!)

When I first became interested in learning new ways to save money, one of the tips I saw promoted a lot was to use rags instead of paper towels.  Sure, that seemed like a great idea for a mom with lots of little hands that were always needing wiped and spills that were needing cleaned up, but I just didn’t see how it could really be that much of a benefit to me “The Single Saver.”

Cruise Your Way To Savings

Use Cruise Control - Monday's Tip of the Day

If you want to save money on gas, here is a good tip.  If your commute doesn't involve a lot of 'stop and go' travel, use your cruise control. Using the cruise control will increase your gas mileage, which will cut down on the amount of gas you us. And at $4.00 a gallon, who wouldn't want to save some gas?

Subscribe To A Newspaper

Subscribing To A Newspaper is Cheaper Than Buying From A Newsstand - Sunday's Tip of the Day

If you purchase a newspaper every Sunday in order to get the coupons, you might be better off subscribing to the paper instead.  Most newspapers offer a generous discount per issue to subscribers compared to the newsstand's price. 

Sign Up For Store Discounts

Sign Up On Store Mailing Lists For Big Savings - Saturday's Tip of the Day

Many stores will send you special offers if you are on their mailing lists.  For instance, Home Depot just sent me a coupon for 'buy 2/rose bushes and get 1 free'!  If you are worried about getting too much advertising in your primary email box, just set \up a 2nd account through a free service like Yahoo or Gmail to use when signing up for store mailing lists. 

Separate Bananas / Food Waste Friday

Separating Bananas Keeps Them Fresh Longer - Friday's Tip of the Day

It is said that separating bananas keeps them from aging so quickly.  This is a great way to prevent food waste.

And speaking of Food Waste Friday, this was not my best week.  In addition to a small piece of zucchini, I also had to throw out a serving of soup... sadly, I left it on the counter when I left for work one day.  I had intended it to be my lunch.  Next week I will do better. 

(Linked at The Frugal Girl.)

Learn To Fish

Go Fishing and Save Money - Thursday's Tip of the Day

"Give a man a fish and he will eat for one day.  Teach a man to fish and he will eat for the rest of his life."  Fishing is a fun past time that can yield great results - dinner!  And best of all, it need not be expensive.  All you really need is a stick, a little fishing line, a hook, a worm, and a lake to get started.  Of course, you can also pick up cheap fishing equipment used online or at garage sales.   And be sure to check if a fishing license is required where you live. 

Buy Used Gaming Systems

Buy A Gaming System From A Game Store And Save Big - Wednesday's Tip of the Day

Want a gaming system, like a Wii or an XBox 360, but don't want to spend the money?  In the past I have advised "buying used and saving the difference."  That advise works for gaming systems, too!  Game stores, such as Game Stop, sell used systems which they guarantee will work.  Buying through a store that offers this guarantee is much safer than buying from a stranger on Ebay or Craig's List when buying electronics. 

(Foraged) Greens Cassrole - Frugal Recipe Feature

Foraged Greens Make A Tasty, Cheap Meal!

foraged food money saving tips
I am posting my Frugal Thursday recipe a few days early because I am so excited about it!  Encouraged with my success at cooking dandelion greens, I went to a wonderful seminar last weekend at the local Wilderness Center.  The seminal was about foraging and edible plants and picked Iup many great tips and recipes.  At some point down the line I will be writing more in depth about this topic, but for now I hope you will enjoy this delicious recipe we got to sample.

Splurge A Little on Starbucks

money saving tip

Great Starbucks Deal - Tuesday's Tip of the Day

Love Starbucks?  Can't afford it?  Well, you are in luck.  From May 6th through May 15th (also The Single Saver's birthday!) Starbucks is having Frappuccino Happy Hour each day from 3pm to 5pm.  During that time, you can get a half price Frappaccino!  This is a great opportunity to splurge a little on yourself if this is a treat you'd enjoy.

Linked at Homebody.

Find Cheap Gas

money saving tips cheap gas

Check Gas Prices Online - Monday's Tip of the Day

Gasoline is getting expensive!  Use a website, such as gasbuddy.com, to be sure you are paying the best price for gas in your area.

Buy a Sunday Newspaper

money saving tips extreme couponing

Coupon Inserts Pay For Themselves - Sunday's Tip of the Day

Even if you aren't an "Extreme Couponer" you should buy a Sunday newspaper in order to get the coupon inserts.  Using just one or two of the coupons will often pay for the cost of the paper! 

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