Money Saving Wednesday: 5 Ways not to Waste Money

Sometimes saving money is as simple as not wasting it! How do you waste money? By buying things you do not need or use.

Here are 5 ways not to waste money and inadvertently save money!  Some of these things are common sense but it's surprising how many people are guilty of wasting money. (Yes, even I used to do most of these)

1) Do not waste food! There are multiple ways you can waste food actually.
The most common way is making to much for dinner and then throwing the leftovers out.

Others include:

  • letting your food go past the expiration date 
  • not using fresh produce in time and it spoils
  • letting leftovers spoil
  • getting foods to "try" and you do not like it, so you throw it out. 

Wasting any food rather it was free or not is money or time down the drain. How do you solve these issues? First, if you are cooking too much and your family will not eat leftovers period, re-examine how you prepare your dinners. For example, if you make the full box of pasta but are wasting half, then just cook half and place the other half in an airtight container. If it is a meat then when you purchase place portions into freezer bags so you can thaw and prepare only what is needed. Now if you family will eat leftovers but not in the same week make enough to freeze an additional meal and Voilia you have not wasted any money and you have a meal ready to go for a busy weeknight (which will save you money when you're not stopping by the nearest fast food joint).
Now if you are letting food expire, come up with a labeling system or organization system that allows you to visually see when item expires. Use a rotating system like FIFO (first in, First out) so you are using products in an orderly fashion. If something is coming close to expiration try your best to use it, donate it, or give it to someone that needs it! If you're  letting fresh produce spoil, learn the best way to store produce to get the longest shelf life and start buying less more often. These two tips are a money saver, My grapes were going bad ALL the TIME but I was washing them as soon as I got them and putting them back in the high humidity part of my fridge. I did a little research and found if I wash them when needed and store in the lower humidity drawer they will last longer. While it isn't as convenient as the pre-packed baggies it does same me from throwing out rotten grapes every week!
Finally, if you like to try new foods but typically end up not liking them and throw them out, here's an idea Host a new food party where everyone brings something  new to them. This will allow for people to sample items at a low cost and with the variety of taste buds someone is bound to like the food! 2) Try on or Return clothes. I am amazed at how many closets have clothes that have tags on them! If you are going to buy something try it on in store and make sure it fits and you like it. It is not thrifty at all to buy an item of clothing, get it home and hate it! But, if you do Return it, Please! I know it is a hassle, but maybe this will help you remember to try clothes on next time. $10.00 here and $5.00 there add up.

3) Make your own Coffee.
Let's play a little number game!
The averaged person spends $20.00 a week on coffee that is $1040.00 a year
We make on 14 cup pot of coffee a day and use 2 bags of coffee a month that is
$16.00 a month or $192.00 a year!
A $900.00 Savings just by making your own coffee!

When you buy coffee every morning you just hand over your money. I know there is something about telling someone you want a "grande, lowfat, skim, yadyaya".  But trust me it is just as rewarding setting the timer of the coffee pot at night. Hey I even think you save money when you buy the Keruig! So, go a little crazy because in the long run you will save money by making your own Coffee.

4) Not claiming point/cash back on your Credit Cards. This is a big one and I am still guilty of it. But, if you have a credit or debit card you are either earning Score points or cash back. Don't let this go unclaimed! I am in the process of getting accounts set up so I can start to use mine. This is a reward and "free" money for you. They are great for the unexpected wedding present or maybe a hotel stay. If you let them expire you are just Wasting Money!

5) Pay your bills on time. Late fees are astronomical  these days and climbing. When you pay your bills late you are usually issued on the next payment. They can range from $2.00 to $25.00 or up! This is just a silly waste of money. If you are having trouble paying the bill do to income, call the company and see if you can work out an arrangement. If you are forgetting to pay your bills on time schedule them automatically or use that nice smartphone to set up reminders. $25.00 every month is $300.00 a year and simply a waste of money!
Save Money don't Waste Money!



Tuesday Tip: Think spring, Think Green


One of the many ways to save money on fruits and vegetables is to have a garden each year. You can reap so many rewards from growing and caring for your own foods. I will be starting a Garden series in the spring with my journey as I plant my first garden on my own:)
I wanted to share with you a local workshop that lets you create a rain barrel!

Fairview's 3rd Annual Rain Barrel Workshop on April 13

HAGERSTOWN, MD (February 26, 2013) – The third annual Rain Barrel Workshop at Claud E. Kitchens Outdoor School at Fairview will be held on Saturday, April 13, 2013, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. More than 100 families have participated in past workshops. The rain barrel workshop provides individuals and families an opportunity to complete the simple assembly of a rain barrel kit and learn more about conservation and water recycling. Admission is free; the cost of each rain barrel kit is $40. Pre-registration is requested so that sufficient materials will be available for everyone wishing to assemble a rain barrel. Only cash will be accepted for the purchase of materials. To pre-register, contact Darlene Reid by email at reiddar@wcps.k12.md.us. The registration deadline is April 8.
To get to Claud E. Kitchens Outdoor School at Fairview, take Exit 18 off Interstate 70 at Clear Spring. Go north into Clear Spring on Maryland Route 68 and turn left on U.S. Route 40. Continue one block and turn right at the traffic light on Martin Street. At the end of Martin Street, turn right on Broadfording Road and travel approximately 100 yards. Turn left on Draper Road. The entrance to Claud E. Kitchens Outdoor School at Fairview is about 1/3 of a mile from this intersection on the left.

Just to put this into perspective, purchasing your own kit would run anywhere from $90.00-$200.00! For $40.00 you will be instructed on how to assemble, maintain, and learn about water recycling!

I Will be there! I hope to see all you inspiring and professional gardeners there too!



A Mommy Story

Greetings all! I just wanted to explain why you haven't heard much out of us lately.

Friday morning around 5 am I had to take my littlest man to the ER. He had been seen at his pediatricians office Wednesday and left with being prescribed breathing treatments every 4 hours until better. Friday we woke up nice an early 4 am to have a breathing treatment, Colton is 4 months and didn't mind the treatments so that made it very nice! In the middle of this his breathing became very labored and his little stomach was moving at a rapid pace, which, is a bad sign for anyone. I debated over finishing the treatment, I mentally talked it through (no one was up yet), and decided that I needed to take him to the ER. I woke up the big man of the house and told him I was taking Colton in and to get Chris on the bus. We packed up and left ASAP. The drive in was the longest drive I had ever taken. So many things go through a mothers head when their children are sick. It is the most helpless feeling I have ever had. We arrive at the ER and thankfully it was empty. They take up back to triage immediately. Of course they ohh'd and ahhh'd over the cute baby and asked the typical questions. I was not in the mental state at that time to embellish on anything or tell them cute stories. Once we made it to the ER room, a PA came in quickly listened to little Colton's chest and said "He has RSV and will need to be admitted for observation, fluids, and breathing treatments". My heart sank and I held my tears back. I knew this meant IV's, not so nice treatments (at least not the way that mommy's treat their babies) and sleepless nights. The Nurses came in and out trying to make small talk and reassure me that he was in the best place. I knew that but it didn't help my heart. I prayed continuously for the process to be as painless and fast as it could be for Colton.

Three hours into the ER we didn't have a room to be admitted and the nurse said that Colton's Oxygen level was not good. With RSV the Bronchial tubes swell and constrict oxygen to the lungs. So they had to start oxygen. Yet again my heart sank and my prayers got more frequent.

Photo By of Aunt Dani
I will not go into all of the details of the ER and 2 day stay. It was a heart scaring experince for our whole family. Thankfully Colton will not remember it.

He is home with us now and doing 100% better. He has to continue breathing treatments at home and have many follow ups so that he doesn't regress.

With all of that being said, I will just be popping in and out until he is all better. I love and miss all of you but my obligation is to my family.

RSV is running high this season, while we were admitted so was 4 other babies and there were 2 leaving. If your little one is having any breathing issues or a cough take them into the doctors. It is nothing to mess around with.

I will return soon!