Tuesday, October 14, 2008

A few frugal tips.

Hair Spray Saver

I recieved some of these from the Dollar Stretcher website.
I learned this from one of my favorite hairdressers (thanks, Odette). After styling my chin-length hair with a blow dryer and hot air brush, there is often a lot of static electricity in my hair and it won't stay in place. Instead of loading my hair down with a lot of hair spray, I was taught this neat trick. Spray your brush with hair spray and then run it through your hair. Very little spray is added to your hair, but it calms down the fly-away look. Your can of hairspray will last a lot longer. If there is a family member who is sensitive to chemicals, this also helps by putting less fumes into the air. I do this whole process in front of the open bathroom window while the exhaust fan is running. You'd never know I'd just been in there with a can of hairspray in my hands. Margie K. in Shoreline, WA

Entertainment Book Usage

If you purchase a coupon book, like the Entertainment Book, you may feel that you never save enough to justify buying it. This time, I saved far more money in coupons than the cost of the book. First, I went through the book and removed any coupons that I knew I would never use. These were for stores that are too far from home or work. I gave away those to family, friends, and coworkers. One person then gave me a few that I wanted from her book, which gave me a little bonus.

Next, I removed any coupons that I thought we would use in the next month. Places that my husband would frequent went directly into his wallet. Places I shop went into my purse. The rest went into the car along with the book. Then, I removed those for places where I go seasonally (like around Christmas) and clipped them to the family calendar. When planning a dinner out, we picked a place from the book. I also put a reminder on my calendar so that I could check the book each month. Lastly, I signed up for the email list for electronic coupons. That way, I get period reminders and new offers for local stores. Also, check the company website. You can buy books at half price later in the year for even bigger savings. Annmarie W. in Philadelphia, PA Lucys Note: I am a big user of the Entertainment books...

Storing Bananas

Putting your bananas in a brown paper bag before storing them in the refrigerator will not only help them last longer, but will keep them from turning brown so fast. Donna Lucy's Note: I haven't tried this one, but I am going to give it a try.

Online Advocate

I shop online. Gas is expensive, and by shopping for basic items on Amazon.com or other online stores, many of the costs of items are within pennies of the cost of the items at Wal-Mart. The ground shipping winds up being less than gas to drive to get these items. And, having them delivered to the house saves time. Katrina
Lucy's Note: There is a lot to say about on line shopping. I am a big fan of it.

Winter Window Prep

I put plastic on all my windows and it helps immensely. I can actually see the plastic bowing out with the wind that comes through my old wooden windows and that cold breeze would be coming into my home without the plastic on the windows. I put it up from frame to frame to frame to sill and I am sure I am saving hundreds on my gas bill because of that. Rosemary Lucy's Note: I have done this before and it really works. A couple of times I have used news papers on the back room windows, upstairs.

Aging Parent Deductions
If you provide more than half of an aging parent's support, you may be able to declare your parent a dependent even if he or she is not living in your home. In addition to getting the dependent deduction, you may also be able to take a tax deduction for your parent's medical expenses. To prove you pay the expenses, pay your parent's bills directly to the provider, rather than giving your parent(s) the money to pay the bill. Click here for more tips.

Ten Steps to Debt Free Living: From www.dolans.com
Ah, to be debt-free. Sounds appealing, doesn’t it? Imagine not owing one plug nickel to a single soul. And not having a stack of bills piled high on your desk every month. Talk about true freedom!

Living a debt-free life ultimately comes down to one very important decision: You can choose to buy “things” whenever you want them (which, unfortunately, often requires putting those items on credit) OR you can opt to SAVE for what you want ... or even forgo some of those finer (and pricier) things in life altogether. Click here to read those steps.

I have a feeling that more and more of us are going to be doing some "belt tightening" in the next few months. I am so grateful that my parents taught me how to do this. We had very little money growing up and every penny counted so we watched those pennies and used them only when we had too. My parents did not have credit cards so we paid cash for everything we owned. Mom and dad were all the better for it.

Have a great week everyone.


At 5:34 PM, Blogger Diane@Diane's Place said...

I'll have to try the banana trick....

We always put plastic over our windows in Winter when I lived at home. It really does help a LOT.

We have double pane metal framed windows now, so not needed.

Hope you're having a good week, Lucy. :o)

Love and hugs,


PS: I'm already using a neti pot, and it does help, but I'm still suffering even after using it for a few months....

At 7:06 PM, Blogger Jess said...

I'm going to check out the debt free living site soon!

Hope all is well with you...and I enjoyed this one... I may try the banana thing too.

Have a great week

At 8:48 PM, Blogger Fred said...

We are huge fans of the entertainment books, primarily because the girls are always going out.

If they are going out with friends, we look for a coupon. No coupon? No deal. We send them to a place that they can get a discount.

I sometimes used to use hairspray when I had the ponytail. Just what you wanted to hear. :)

At 8:58 PM, Blogger Susie said...

Great tips! I'm going to try the banana one :)

At 5:29 AM, Blogger Ian smith said...

Dawn at Frugal for Life posted an important reminder: free things must have value. Just because something’s free doesn’t mean it’s a good deal. I mention this point from time-to-time because it’s important. (And because I have trouble remembering it.) If it’s not something you’ll use or appreciate, it’s just clutter. And clutter is never “free”.

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At 6:42 AM, Blogger Leslie said...

Online shopping is one of my faves. I've posted about coupon codes in the past. You can get % discounts + free shipping if you just look for the codes to enter during checkout. Also, many stores have a large selection of clearance items online that you wouldn't find inside the actual store building.

At 12:26 PM, Blogger Big Dave T said...

My parents only got a credit card for traveling. Otherwise, they don't use it.

I check on-line for discount coupons. Just today I got $5 off an oil change because I checked the car dealership's on-line website.

At 12:46 PM, Blogger Jim said...

Hi Lucy -- We don't buy entertainment books anymore because we don't use them enough.

Your source was wrong (for the way I've been taught) on bananas.
Brown paper bags helps them to ripen quicker, so put the green ones in there.
Plastic bags keep the bananas from getting over-ripe to soon. Their skins will turn brown but inside they last longer.

At 4:36 PM, Blogger Oh great One said...

LOVE online shopping! I can do it when I want and don't have to worry about munchkins seeing what they are getting for Christmas! Walmart has an option for site to store shipping that is handy. You pick out your stuff and pay for it then they ship it to the store you choose. You save on shipping charges that way.

At 6:09 PM, Blogger Putz said...

i think jim is wrong on the bananaz....ihave never heard such a story

At 9:39 PM, Blogger Mountain Mama said...

Thank you for more great hints. I used to put plastic on my windows too but now am blessed to have double glass.
I'll be sure to tell my girls about the hairspray on the brush and will do it myself too.
Do you let the spray dry before brushing it through your hair?

At 4:26 AM, Blogger Merle said...

Dear Lucy ~~ Some great tips there from Dollar Stretchers this issue. I get it too. Thanks for your comments and like you I never considered myself JUST a Mom
I was very proud of the fact and we sure do have a lot of hats to wear. Take care, my friend, Love, Merle.

At 1:12 PM, Blogger Putz said...

maybe you have an inner ear problem, whenever i look straight up, i go down hard to thwe ground

At 5:20 PM, Blogger Cliff said...

There's going to be trouble in the Morrow household and you're going to be the cause when I start in with the hairspray tip. We go round a round because I claim she sprays it into the air 'beside' her head and not on it.
I spent an hour last week washing the walls in bathroom. Hairspray.

At 7:43 PM, Blogger OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

These are some WONDERFUL Tips, Lucy...As Always!
I'm definitely going to try the Bananas-In-A-Brown-Bag suggestion! It makes sense, if you think about it!
I haven't used Hairspray for over 40 years...I'm just grateful I do not need to use it, because those fumes would be horrific for my lungs.

Thanks for ALL the Great Tips, Lucy!

At 2:14 AM, Blogger Marla said...

Thanks for visiting my blog. I love to read all those household tips. My hubby always hated the hairspray. He would make sure he was far away when I used it.

At 3:10 AM, Blogger Smooth Sailing said...

Thanks for coming out to my blog. Did you find me through Scarlet?

Thanks for all the tips. Debt free is the only way to go...SAILING. Sorry about your sister and IKE. We have been his by two hurricanes and then IKE and Gustav in either side of us this year! Rode out Wilma on our boat. Come back soon. I like your blog.

At 4:21 AM, Blogger LZ Blogger said...

Lucy ~ I'll have to tell Mrs. LZ about the hair spray / hair brush trick. She has naturally curly hair, but often wears it straight and irons it (which can be) a task. She may like that little trick on her straight hair days! THX! ~ jb///

At 2:20 PM, Blogger Jamie Dawn said...

Spraying the brush with hairspray does work. I also spray my hair the regular way since I have fine hair and it needs some extra holding power.

Those tips about ways to get your money's worth from those entertainment books are really helpful.
I have coupons that expire when I just put them in a drawer instead of "planning" to use them.

Great tips, as usual.


Happy Sunday, and I hope you have a wonderful week!!


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