Frugal Fridays | Page 2

Category Archives: Frugal Fridays

Frugal Fridays | Page 2

Frugal Friday’s – Envelope System

The envelope system isn’t new, it’s been around for a while. But there are still people that don’t know anything about it or how it works. I didn’t until I started listening to Dave Ramsey, he’s a financial advisor with lots of advice and opinions. He promotes using cash to control spending because you spend money differently when you use cash. When your  breaking bills and watching the money disappear your more mindful of your purchases. Not to mention there’s no way to overspend or go off budget. When you pay for things with your debit card you don’t see the money so you don’t feel it as much as when you use cash. I know that’s the case with me, when I have my debit card I may end up putting that really cute “thing” from Target in the cart or maybe make a quick stop at Home Good’s because it’s right there. When I have cash and a list I stick to the list and never spend more than I want to.

envelope system

If your interested in using the envelope system I would suggest you start with a budget so you know how much money you have to allocate to your envelopes. Then you need to assign categories, examples include groceries, transportation, fun money, clothing and so on. Then you fill the envelopes with money, draw half from bi-weekly paychecks and quarters from weekly paychecks. Remember to take your envelopes and spend cash.

When I first started using the envelope system I’d forget to take them and would end up having to use my debit card anyway. My envelopes were plain and ugly and I wanted pretty ones. I mean, sure you can buy some from Etsy and tons of other places online but what’s the point of creating a budget and using cash to control spending just to buy pretty envelopes?  I took a peak in my craft stash and realized I already had everything I needed.

Supplies:

  • envelopes
  • pretty scrapbook paper
  • Mod Podge
  • label maker (optional)

Envelope System

I grabbed some scrapbook paper, traced the envelopes on the back and cut them out. I brushed Mod Podge on the envelope and attached the scrapbook paper. Once it was dry I Mod Podged the scrapbook paper to seal and protect it since they get plenty of use. I made labels for each envelope with my P-touch.

envelope system labels

I love using the envelope system and my pretty new envelopes make me  smile every time I pull them out in the store.

envelope system

Frugal Fridays | Page 2

Frugal Friday’s – Vinegar Extraordinary Uses

Hello everyone, the weekend is finally here!!! I’m back with my second Frugal Friday post and today I’d like to talk about vinegar and its many uses in and around the house. Some of you may be thinking vinegar doesn’t smell good and it doesn’t but the smell dissipates quickly and once you start using it often enough the smell wont even bother you anymore. I can honestly say that because I only use vinegar and baking soda to clean my home. I stopped buying expensive cleaners last year and I don’t miss them one bit. They were costly; the chemicals are harmful if inhaled without proper ventilation (read the label on any bottle), poisonous to children and pets if ingested and harmful to the planet. My homemade cleaners work just as well for half the price. The acetic acid in vinegar is a good disinfectant, it’s effective against E. coli, Salmonella and Straphylococcus. If you cant stand the smell of vinegar but want to try some of the suggestions below I found a solution on Pinterest , you can find it on my board and it works! Pour two cups of white vinegar into a glass bottle, take the skin from one peeled orange and add that to the bottle as well. Let it sit for two weeks and when you open the jar again it’ll have a citrus smell. The vinegar doesn’t bother me but my tween doesn’t like it so I tried this.

Around the House

  • Clean chrome and stainless steel – apply a light misting of undiluted white vinegar from a spray bottle, buff with a soft cloth.
  • Unclog and deodorize drains – pour 1/2 cup baking soda, then one cup of vinegar. After foaming flush with hot water. Wait five minutes  and flush with cold water.
  • Remove light carpet stains- rub a mixture of 2 tablespoons of salt dissolved in 1/2 cup white vinegar in the carpet. Let dry, then vacuum
  • Steam clean your microwave- place a glass bowl filled with 1/4 cup vinegar and 1 cup water, microwave five minutes. Once bowl cools, use liquid to wipe stains away
  • Cut grease- pour 3-4 tablespoons white vinegar into your favorite brand of liquid dishwashing detergent and give a few shakes.
  • All Purpose Cleaner- equal parts vinegar and water, you can add castile soap or tea tree oil if you’d like.
  • Sanitize jars, containers and vases- to get rid of the slimy residue in a bottle or jar fill with equal parts vinegar and warm water, let stand 10-15 minutes. Use bottle brush to scrape off remains before rinsing thoroughly
  • Wash store bought produce- before serving fruits and vegetables rinse in 4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar dissolved in 1 gallon cold water. It eliminates hidden dirt, pesticides and insects

In the Garage

  • Remove bumper stickers- saturate the top and sides with undiluted distilled vinegar and wait 10-15 minutes for it to soak through. Use an old gift card to scrape it off
  • Clean windshield wiper blades- to make dirty wiper blades as good as new, dampen a cloth or rag with some full strength white vinegar and run it down the full length of the blade once or twice
  • Keep car windows frost free- during the winter months spray your windshield with a solution 3 parts white vinegar 1 part water. Each coating may last several weeks.

In the Medicine Cabinet

  • Treat an active cold soar- use a cotton ball saturated with vinegar 3 times a day to dry out
  • Treat a bee sting- pouring undiluted vinegar on the sting will take away the pain, and let you scrape out the stinger with a plastic card
  • Clean your eyeglasses- apply a few drops of vinegar and wipe. Don’t use on plastic lenses.
  •  Ease sunburn and itching- dab the area gently with cotton or soft cloth saturated in white or cider vinegar. The technique works on both
  • Control dandruff- apply 3 tablespoons to your scalp and massage before washing
  • Banish bruises- if someone you care about has a nasty fall, speed healing and prevent black and blue by soaking and applying a gauze to the injured area and letting it sit for one hour

In the Laundry

  • Soften fabrics, whitens & eliminates static- a cup of vinegar will; keep your clothes soft, brighten a small load of white clothes, added to the last rinse will keep clothes lint and static free
  • Removes odors- spray half parts vinegar and water under the arms of any shirt and wash, the odor is gone
  • Clean your iron’s sole plate- to remove scorch marks scrub with a paste made by heating up equal parts vinegar and salt in a small pan. Use a clean wet rag to wipe away the rest
  • Remove rings from collars and cuffs- scrub with a paste made from white vinegar and 3 parts baking soda. Leave the paste for 30 minutes before washing

Good to Know 

  • Keep cut flowers fresh- mix 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar and 2 tablespoons sugar with the vase before adding flowers.
  • Exterminate dandelions and unwanted grass- Spray  with full-strength white or apple cider vinegar. Spritz in its midsection, another near the stem, enough to soak down to the roots. If it rains the next day, you’ll need to repeat
  • Add to a pets drinking water- a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar will give it a shinier and healthier looking coa, and act as a natural deterrent to fleas and ticks
  • Directly protect against fleas & ticks- fill a spray bottle with equal parts water and vinegar and spray directly on the dogs coat and rub it in.
  • Remove wallpaper- Spray equal parts white vinegar and water on paper until saturated then wait a few minutes. Zip it off with a wallpaper scrapper

Who knew vinegar could be so useful and it’s so cheap, at $3 a gallon how could it not be part of the Frugal Friday installment. I hope you found the information useful and maybe you’ll decide to start using vinegar in more places than just your kitchen and save some money while your at it.

Frugal Fridays- Vinegar extraordinary uses

Information obtained from Reader’s Digest extraordinary uses for ordinary things; 2005

Frugal Fridays | Page 2

Frugal Friday’s – Meal Planning

menu planning pic photo came from iheartorganizing.com

Happy Friday!! In the spirit of frugality I’ve decided to start a new series entitled Frugal Friday’s, it’s going to include a variety of money saving ideas. Some that work for me personally, some I’m in the process of trying and some that I plan to try soon. As well as some websites and apps  I find helpful. I love a good craft or DIY project just as much as the next person but I also love saving money. I figure the money I save on groceries, household items and clothing can be funneled to other things like fun money or craft and décor money. Now, I’m no expert but over the past couple years I’ve incorporated some practices that work for my household. I’m not extreme by any means, and believe me there are some extremes out there that I’ve read about or seen on TV that I have no interest in. Have any of you ever seen the show Extreme Cheapskates on TLC? Those people take cheap to a whole new level… If you have Netflix and some time to kill I’d suggest watching an episode or two. My son and I saw an entire season during the course of a weekend this past winter.

We all have busy lives so I don’t like spending too much time on this but you’d be surprised how much you could save with an investment of one or two hours per month. I usually spend an hour or so for the entire month, about 30 minutes at the beginning of the month and another 10-15 minutes each week writing lists, checking sale circulars and going through coupons. It may sound time consuming in the moment but just think about how much time is wasted looking in your cabinets trying to figure out what to make for dinner.

I start by creating a meal plan for the month, Sun-Wed are fresh food nights, Thu and Fri are left over nights and Saturday is quick dinner/take out night. I usually need about 18-20 meals for the month. You’ll need a decent amount of recipes and meals to choose from, I also surf the web for new recipes. We don’t eat any beef or pork in my house and it’s pretty easy to get tired of chicken, turkey and sea food if you don’t change things up. Now, you may be asking, how does meal planning for the entire month save you money?  Well I’ll tell you, once I know what we’re eating I do an inventory of the cabinets to see what we already have and what I need to buy. This way my shopping list only consists of the things I need and I’m not buying food I already have. It also means I have all the ingredients I need on hand so I don’t have to make any quick trips to the grocery store while cooking because something is missing. Those quick trips usually end with a cart full of items I didn’t need but picked up because they were on sale, because the kids wanted it or maybe I wanted it. Planning in advance also allows me to look through sale circulars, the coupon insert in the Sunday paper, visit one of my favorite websites Coupons.com and surf the Cartwheel app from Target for additional deals. At the beginning of every month I make a massive shopping trip to pick up the bulk of what we need from stores like BJ’s, Target, Wal-Mart and Trader Joes. Then I make small weekly trips for milk, fruits, vegetables and other perishables. I also shop at the local Farmers Market when in season; they have great produce at reasonable prices.

Okay, now it doesn’t stop there and this may not be for everyone but it’s what I do and it works for me… I fold my paper into four boxes and write my list based on where the items can be located in the store. What I mean by that is, I write down all the things I need from the fridge/freezer section in one box, all the grain and canned good in another box, all the household items like paper towels and garbage bags in another box and so on. This way I’m not walking back and forth through the store wasting time. I get everything I need from one section and then I move on to the next. The last thing I do is highlight all the items on the list I have a coupon for. That way I make sure to pick up the correct item and give the coupons to the cashier. I hate going through all the trouble of looking for, cutting out and saving them just to forget I had it. I mean that’s counterproductive people. The most money I’ve ever saved was about $60 but that is not the norm, on average I save between $25-$40 a month. It varies based on my coupons, whose doubling them, what’s on sale and how much I buy. I look at it like this, that’s a movie for me and my son, a case of diapers, an afternoon in the park with Ferris wheel rides, ice cream and junk food or a trip to Michael’s with lots of goodies for my next craft or project. However you slice it, it’s money I saved with a small investment of time. I usually sit in the living room while getting things organized with the boys running around so I’m not really missing anything anyway.

I hope you found this post helpful and it inspires you to create a menu plan, clip some coupons or find other ways to save money based on your own needs and lifestyle. Do you currently have any money saving ideas your using? I’d love to hear about them!

Have a great weekend.