Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The Pallet Christmas Tree

We had so many requests from family members to make these really cute Pallet Christmas Trees. Our family knows we collect pallets whenever we can & love to make tons of cool things from them. We had a few pallets laying around (completely free & everyone has them to get rid of--if they're not advertised, you can ask your local grocery stores, furniture stores, warehouses or factories--they want them out of their sight & we get free wood for projects!) We then began to make the cutest, rustic pallet trees! There are so many options to design them, but this is what we chose to do.

First, separate the boards, and then cut them to shape

Make sure you pull out all of the nails first!

After the boards are cut, nail them together
After they're put together, they are ready to paint

Painted and drying off. Voila!

Friday, December 4, 2015

Some Money Saving Beauty Tips

Homemade Beauty Products that Really Work!!

I thought I'd share with you some of the Beauty Tips I use that really work & are soooo inexpensive, Free really....using stuff you have around the home.

1)Baking Soda Face wash(No soap) This may sound weird if you're used to using soap or facial cleanser or foam, but it cleans your face so well & it helps stop pimples!!Note: If you have really sensitive skin, you may want to use every other day & scrub very gently so as not to scrape the skin.
You'll need:
1-2 tsps of baking soda
1-2 tsps of lukewarm water
That's it! Measure these out with a measuring teaspoon & put in a ramikin or small glass bowl to form a paste. Gently apply to skin scrubbing gently in circular motion for about 1-1 1/2 minutes. Rinse face with lukewarm to coolish water. Your skin will feel soooo clean!! It helps to get rid of blackheads too!

2) After the Baking soda wash, I use a lemon juice toner.
You'll need lemon juice & a cotton ball. Easy & cheap right?
Rub on skin with cotton ball. Skin may burn a bit if your skin is sensitive(that's why you rinse your face in step 1 with coolish water ;) ) Let dry for a few minutes.

 3)Honey Mask
 You'll need: Honey! I know right?! :)
Take some honey into your clean hands & spread over face. Leave on for 10-15 minutes. It'll look funny & you may attract bees, but after you've rinsed it off, your skin will be so Super Smooth!!
Directions: After the 10-15 minutes, Rise with cool water til it's all off your face. Then splash with Super cold water to seal your pores. Your skin should feel like a baby's bottom. It helps to stop acne as it's antibacterial. It moisturizes & heals the skin.

I will, on a rare occasion after washing my face, but before the toner, (especially when I'm stuffed up with a head cold) steam my face using hot water to boiling point on stove with a bag or 2 of chamomile tea in it(healing on your face-not sure what exactly it does, sorry) & put a towel on my head & lean my face over with tented towel & the pot of tea on a trivet so you don't burn the table :) & let it steam my face for as long as I can tolerate(coming out of the tent every so often for fresh air, Lol). No more than 15 minutes.It opens the pores, as well as clear the sinuses. Plain water works fine too. I suppose you could put salt in the water too, if you want(Never tried it). My skin does always look & feel better after a day at the beach ;)

So There it is, Folks! So Easy & Inexpensive. Take time for yourself everyday & take care of your skin. You DO NOT need to buy expensive products to have great skin! Natural is Always better.

Any Tips about Natural, Inexpensive ways you have for beauty solutions? Thanks for Reading! Have a Great Day!!

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Affording Christmas

Hi All!
I wanted to share with you some ways I'm affording Christmas on the lowest budget I've ever had.

1)Earning extra money with MySurvey.com. This is a Legit Company & really does pay you! It takes a few
   weeks to earn enough points to put towards a gift card & usually is in increments of $10 gift cards to Amazon, etc. You have opportunities to donate money through your points to Unicef also. I have already earned a $10 "gift card" in the form of a code emailed to me towards Amazon. I'm on my way to earning enough points to earn a $20 credit in my Paypal account next. I have ordered gifts for Christmas already with this extra money & it only takes me minutes a day per survey & they send you surveys constantly! I'm also earning more by referring friends & when they register, you get more points toward earning more money! It's really simple all! If it wasn't, I wouldn't participate.

2)Selling items on ebay & Craigslist. I have made a good amount of money selling items which, I, in turn then buy Christmas gifts with. I need to get rid of these items anyway & it's like extra money you're not expecting like a nice bonus from work or something like that....

3)Hubby donated blood through our local hospital & received 2 gift cards from it. $20 from a local grocery store(they decided to participate too, so nice) & a $20 Visa card. I, unfortunately can't donate blood, but so nice of hubby to. He does it often because he loves to give back, but he was rewarded this last time. You should consider it if you haven't already. It really can save lives & your local hospitals or the American Red Cross(hubby has gone through them too) always do a little promotion to return the gesture.

4)Making Homemade gifts with minimal investment. I do a few things. I make homemade goodies for my neighbors, Crafty items for one side of my family(I use Free Pallet wood for a lot of the crafts-Hubby & I are handy), a Gift Basket for my In-Laws(buying items through Job Lot, Dollar store, homemade goodies, and sometimes a small gift thrown in like a $5 classic movie(eg.:Movie themed basket),a Chocolate pie for my Sister-in-Law, Secret Santa($15 Max.amount) with our Book Club pals plus I usually throw in some dollar store goodies for a raffle we do(FUN!!)I do Lottery tickets for some relatives & small gifts for my parents that I start very early in the Fall buying. Starting Early helps a lot!

5)Taking Advantage of Super Cash through Old Navy(But Be Careful of hidden rules & don't overspend just to use Super cash), Black Friday deals(but only if something you're buying anyway. *Note: A lot of those Black Friday deals come back as it nears the Christmas deadline.

6) Lunch with some friends in January as a late gift to eachother. We also exchange homemade items with eachother. I have one friend who makes her own Amazing soaps, lotions, etc. & I make body butter, scrubs & may start my own perfumes soon(maybe:) )

7) Layaways that I start in September & October. If you're still lucky enough to have a Sears & a KMart near you, they have No Money down Layaways with not a lot of restrictions. Walmart has layway again but with restrictions, fees & it just doesn't seem worth it.

8)Dollar Stores for Stocking Stuffers!

These are some of the ways I save. With my children being older now(I have a College Student & a High Schooler), they understand the Value of money & are appreciative of less gifts with more value. Hubby & I only fill stockings & 1 or 2 gifts for eachother. We sometimes do homemade coupons for eachother too(Eg.: Free Massage for 1/2 hour or Free Movie of your choice Night). I Hope these ideas help. What are some of the Ways you save for Christmas?

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Monthly Shopping Update

Hello All!
Here's the Update to my monthly shopping journey, or should I say, Flop? Because of the Thanksgiving Holiday, I failed miserably. I did;however, manage to cut it back to every 2 weeks & only stopped in the store 2 other times & this is why:
Where I live, one of our grocery stores is Big Y. They were giving out $7 off coupons for Turkey. It expired on Nov.26. I received the coupon in the first week of November. Their Turkeys were too expensive. At our other grocery store, Stop & Shop, they were honoring the Big Y coupons and their Turkeys were .59/lb. The only thing was you had to purchase $25 worth of groceries to get the $7 off. Well, we needed to buy more for the Thanksgiving meal anyway, so we did meet the requirements. We purchased a 21 lb. Turkey for $5 and some odd cents!!! Wow!! Totally worth it!! Well, Big Y was giving them out again at the courtesy desk, if you didn't receive one in the mail, well, we did, but in my husband's name. I got another one, because "I" didn't receive one. (We're both savings card members). So, we used the coupon again & received another $25 worth of groceries plus the Turkey deal. Same price at .59/lb, this time spending $4 and some odd cents!! Wow!! On top of this, where my hubby works, the boss gives out Free Turkeys(approx.13 lb) every year. We used the first one we bought for Thanksgiving, we'll use the 2nd Large one for a meal in the Winter, & the free smaller one, I'll be bringing to my Mom's house for her Christmas celebration, as she only wants a small one because she makes a ham as well. That's my contribution to the meal. I'll be making 2 desserts too. ;) So I did run a few times to the store, but it was extremely worth it!!
The Groceries ran a little more than usual as we had my father over for a big dinner the day after Thanksgiving(that's our meal at our home so we have it the way we want it & have our own leftovers-we go to my Aunt's house for the actual Thanksgiving day meal). Our monthly grocery shopping ventures total came up to $562. Not bad for 2 Vegans(our kids) in the house, a Gluten free diet(me: I have Celiac disease) & a Holiday! Next month may be similar, but I feel we can do better. I'll rehash this subject next month.

 Note: I think for now, anyway, that Grocery shopping every 2 weeks works better for our family than the Once a Month shopping does.
 Any ideas for saving on groceries? What do you do? Do you shop once a month? Once every 2 weeks? Any Tips for Saving?
*I should also say that I don't use coupons as often anymore, as it's difficult to find coupons for our products, but I'm hoping to rectify that soon.
1)A Monthly Menu helps
2)Pantry meals many nights help(use only what's in your pantry for a meal- you need to be stocked)
3)Grocery lists with coupons, if have any
4)NEVER shop hungry!
5)Try to shop alone, or with people who have the same goals in mind
6)Meatless meals more than once a week(Beans are great protein & fiber source & quite inexpensive)
Have a Great Month of December & Happy Holidays to all!!

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Grocery Shopping for the Month/ November

November 1, 2015

Hope you all Remembered to Turn your clocks back last night & are Enjoying your Autumn. Autumn, for my family means so many things: Apple Picking, Pumpkin Picking, Jumping in the leaves after meticulously raking them for hours, cold nights by the fireplace, reading a book, playing board games, sitting by the firepit outside wrapped in blankets & drinking tea while our son entertains us with his mad skills on his guitar, baking, comforting meals with tons of leftovers, watching movies as a family, planning for the Holidays & enjoying Halloween & Thanksgiving with extended family. Times have changed. We have a Junior in College & a High School Freshman. But we still enjoy time together when we can. We are so Blessed that our children still want spend time with us.
We're trying to start grocery shopping for the month & cooking our meals ahead of time. I have read many Pinterest pins & blogs from people who do this very thing & it's very Inspiring! I have decided to challenge myself for real this time & do this. It's going to be difficult seeing as we're in the month with Thanksgiving! I won't be cooking this meal until the day before. I am hoping to stay in the budget of $550 for the month of November. I will post on December 1st how it all turned out & break it down the best I can. Feel free to leave any tips! :) Grocery shopping is where my family has to cut back tremendously! We have a lot of special circumstances as well:  my son is vegan, my husband & I used to be, but we still eat Turkey & fish, but that's the extent of meat products for us. I am also living with Celiac Disease, so I have to eat a strict Gluten Free Diet. I have found some great recipes, but Budgeting is very difficult. I'm going to try this month. Our Favorite Stores to shop are Aldis, Super Walmart, Price Rite &Stop & Shop. We also frequent our local grocery stores like Big Y & Adams IGA, I've started to shop for certain items on Amazon & through a local Co-op for specialty items. I'll let you know how it all works out.
How do you save with groceries? What are your favorite tips?


This is the First Post on this New Blog. So, Please bear with me as I'm still learning the ins & outs of writing a Blog on my own. I have another one with my daughter that we haven't written in, in ages & I'm on my own now. ;) I wanted this one to be different & Share some of my ideas for living Frugally. My Family & I are in the process still with this & are by no means experts, but hope that it can help someone & would love feedback as well as your ideas too. Hope you Enjoy!