reader tip of the day

from yellow rose jasmine:

My tip for the day: from experience, I actually did this- try those composite 'sticky back' tiles if you want to make a cheap linoleum floor look like you redid it in tile. I even got the ones that appear to have 'grout' and it turned out awesome. My bathroom floor would have cost me about $500 to have it done in tile (got several estimates), but the composite tiles were $35 plus 1 day of my time. The kitchen would have been $1400 dollars and cost me $230 to do it myself this way with cool 20 inch European looking stuff. I was careful to do everything as right as I could, sealed and caulked and all. I had never done anything like this before. I've had these floors for over 2 years and they still look brand new. My bathroom even survived a flooding by my beloved nephew and is good as new!

Any other money saving ideas..
all are welcome.
I do have an upstairs bathroom that needs some serious help.
have a good one.


do it yourself to save some money....

Hey guys,
I am back...it's been awhile..
like I said...I am all for anyone with ideas just throwing them out there. I want this to be an open forum.
But to the subject of this post.
Easy (or easier) ways to save money on Groceries.
You can do quite a few things...coupons...shopping sales and stocking up then.
But for day to day purchases you can do a few simple things.
1.)Don't buy premade or premixed anything.
Not even chicken noodle soup.
egg noodles are basically a buck fifty for one big ole bag (make it two).
Or even better use flour and eggs and milk and make your own for even less.
A whole chicken is about 4 or 5 bucks.
a can of off brand carrots (or better yet fresh carrots...a buck or so)
and celery which is a buck or so and one onion...25 cents.
Chicken bullion which is about 3 bucks for a bin of it.....and that will make a ton of soup...not jus this batch...so you maybe use one dollar of it..
four cans of progresso soup is 5 bucks.
For like 10 or 11 dollars you could have four meals of chicken soup. I mean to feed a family of four...so at least 16 servings...

nuff said.

vegetable soup is another one you can make and then freeze.
get the little plastic containers (or even tupperware if you want to make an investment)
spend a day or two at the beginning of the month and make 20 or so meals of soup for the month.
You'll save a ton.
I think I will do this, this coming sunday and post some pics.
It will give you an idea of how far the food will go.
Most of saving money is simply time spent as opposed to money spent.
Doing it yourself instead of having it done.
I intend to invest in some tools so I can do some basic home repair myself.
Do any of you all have money saving meals?
Do you do your own car maintenance or home repair?
Drop me a comment.


Starting food storage...

There are some obvious obstacles to starting food storage.
Here were some of mine.
1.) Money
Where was I going to get the money.
How much would 'it' cost?
Was it worth the investment
(This is what I will be dealing with tonight.)

2.) Space
Where would I put It?
Where did it need to go?
What could I get rid of to make room?

3.) Won't people think I am an end of the world kook?
Who cares.
You won't when  a natural disaster happens.
When you or your husband loses their job and you don't have to worry about the cost of food because you have enough stored to last a few months.

You see, food storage isn't just about  inflation, or end of the world hysteria.
It is about being prepared for very real world  problems like unexpected job loss or unexpected expenses.
So Let's do our first real blog about money.
That is really where the rubber meets the road.
Maybe you are lucky and have lots of money just laying around, waiting to  be used.
I wasn't so lucky.
I had to 'find' money.
Where can we find money.

1.) Get rid of fast food...This ties in nicely with my other blog about weight loss. lol.
How much money are you spending on eating out?
That is found money.
For the 20 dollars it takes to feed a family of four at Mcdonalds (and that is being cheap)...
Do that once a week.
It's 80 dollars a month (math genius here :o))
What can you get for 80 dollars a month?
Let's see, a 20 lb bag of rice at walmart is 14 dollars.
If you buy one bag of bulk kidney beans 25 lb bag...28 dollars.
Right there you have a complete protein.
Meaning it can take the place of meat.
All that for 42 dollars.
You could be buying emergency rations
Each bar contains 3600 calories (or 9-400 calorie meal bars) for about 7 bucks a pop.
Now these aren't something you are going to want to eat for a year, but it is relatively inexpensive to get a quick three day supply for your entire family.
You could keep these in your care for road trips etc.
A three day supply for a family of four with 1800 calories apiece...52 dollars.

Another way to 'find' money.
Horror of horrors....lol.
Shut off your cable or satellite television.
I did this a year ago and it is the best decision we have made as a family.
We spend more time together.
My kids read, play the wii, or browse the internet.
You can get tv shows off hulu if you really want to watch something.
The biggest difference (besides the part where I DON'T pay a cable bill)
My kids don't invent new wants every two seconds.
Their christmas list this year, respectively...four items each.
On average savings....around 50 dollars a month (600 dollars a year).
That would be about 35 cans of chunky soup.
250 packages of ramen...
Well, you get the picture.

3.) Get rid of your fancy  cell phone.
Get a 'pay as you go' for emergencies only.
biggest bennie besides the fact that you don't have the phone ringing when you are trying to go to the bathroom...
money, money , money..
That and you aren't constantly within reach of everyone...
we should all have some alone time.

4.) Pay attention
Money that goes in drips and drabs is like a leaky faucet.
Late fees for movies
library book late fees
interest on credit cards
paying for insurance that is double coverage..like emergency road side assistance on your auto insurance and triple A.
Not having updated your insurance for a while..not looking to see if you are eligable for a lower rate with a different company..or maybe moving your  car and house insurance to the same company to take advantage of bundling and getting a discount that way.
Paying attention to how you use your car.
Meaning...can you do all your errands on one day instead of three seperate days.
Can you car pool
Are your tires properly inflated, and is your care maintained.
It can save a ton in gas over time.
Turn your lights off.
Put your appliances on a power strip and when you are done using them turn off the power so you don't have a phantom energy draw on appliances you are not using.
How much is that latte...could you make it cheaper at home.

5.) coupons.
I started using coupons in conjunction with weekly fliers and I have saved on average 15 dollars a week...
or 60 dollars a month.
This takes some effort.
don't just use a coupon because you have it.
Use only coupons for items you already buy.
peruse ads (like king souper or krogers)
find out when they are going to have big sales like 10 for 10...
or keep an eye out for big half off sales.
Then with your grocery budget set aside 10 dollars for stocking up per week.
Take your coupon and combine it with a 10 for 10 or something.
for instance....
I bought 10 tubes of Colgate for 5 dollars.
How...I had saved up 5-1 dollar off Colgate coupons.
They were a part of a 10 for 10 dollar deal.
after you buy 10 of any given item you get them for half off.
So, I bought 10 and used my 5 coupons.
You see, if the store has a coupon and a card...you can still use a manufacturer coupon on top of the store discount.
I have alot of toothpaste for storage.
Pretty cool huh.

Another good money saver...
Well, do we really need everything brand new?
This is especially silly if you have small children.
I am sure we have all had this happen to us.
You buy a cute little outfit from gymboree for 30 dollars.
They wear it two or three times and then YOU sell it for 5 bucks if you are lucky.
I love good will and I love thrift stores.
I bought a ton of really nice clothes for church from a local goodwill in town.
I went to the rich part of town and scored a ton of really nice skirts and shirts.
Stuff from Ann taylor loft and brand name articles.
Nice shoes.
I look like I spent quite a bit..but for around 50 dollars I bought myself a wardrobe that people think I spent well over a thousand for.
I let others spend thousands and I reap the rewards in a nice wardrobe and a thicker pocket book.
Well, That is all for tonight.

If anyone can think of more ideas...put them in the comments below and I will add them  to my list.
This is all about the free exchange of ideas.
Have a great night guys.


Be Prepared....

Hey to anyone who wants to read this!

I have started this blog to document my attempts at becoming prepared for most eventualities and to share whatever I learn with whomever wants to read it.
I also started this blog because I wanted to condense some of the information I have gleaned over the last two years of reading, into one place.
When I talk about this stuff, no one seems to know where to go to get this information.
It can seem overwhelming.
I know I felt overwhelmed when what was happening started to creep into my conscious mind.
I know there is some scary stuff going on right now.
This will not be a place where I will be beating the fear drum.
I will be pointing out some of the indicators which have caused me to make this endeavor a serious one.

We have lived in a time and place that has been relatively prosperous and peaceful.
In the whole stretch of time, there have been few times when anyplace has been this untouched by famine or war.
We are some lucky people.
However, we seem to be entering a period of economic and political uncertainty, and I don't see us coming out of it anytime soon.
We are devaluing our dollar by monetizing our debt, and our politicians don't seem to have the intestinal fortitude to do what it would take to stop spending and start paying down our debt.
So what are we to do?
Sit with folded hands and wait for inflation?
Or should we do all we can within our means to prepare.
I believe prior planning prevents poor performance.
I have listed numerous links to the left of the page.
There are links for food storage and food calculators.
I will be adding more informational links as I go.
Right now I am in the process of cleaning out our garage so we can store items in there..
Things like soap and laundry detergent.
As much as possible, all food should be stored in a temperature controlled environment.
So it should be inside.
This will prolong the shelf life of your food.
Alternating heat and cold will cause food to deteriorate quickly.
You'll want to protect your investment.
If you are like me, and have limited funds and limited space, you won't want to waste money on unnecessary spoilage.

So This blog will not only consist of what I am buying, but how I can lower the overall cost of preparation.
I will be adding videos on couponing, On how to store grains, and sugar and dry goods.
I will talk about food storage rotation, canning, gardening, food dehydration and when the best time is to buy clothing, and other items for less than you would normally pay.
My next post will be on Sunday.
I will talk about a good way to start your food storage and some food storage options,
As well as finding places to store your food and deciding which food to store.
Have a Good Weekend,
See you Sunday.