Friday, April 20, 2012

Frugal Friday Link Up--Earth Day is April 22

With Earth Day right around the corner there is information all over the internet (and tv and magazines etc) on ways to save the earth.

Recently our city started taking part in the recycling for points with  I've been a member of recyclebank for some time, earning points for taking quizzes, watching videos, making pledges etc.   I've really learned about a lot of things that are recyclable that I didn't know about!
I am even taking plastic bags to the grocery store for recycling.  I've seen the cans there but never put any thought in to it.   I do use some plastic grocery bags to crochet with, as well as use them for trash bags in the smaller trash cans.  I hadn't, however, thought about the bread bags, newspaper bags, and others.  These are all being sent for recycling through the grocery store.

I've been feeling a lot better about our recycling efforts.

Another thing is what I am learning by sharing things from the 99 Cent Solutions book.  It's been enlightening to know the everyday items that can be used for so many things.  No need to go buy something special, and mostly no need for the unneeded chemicals!

This week I am sharing 3 uses for Tomato Juice from the 99 Cent Solutions book:

1.  Freshen a fridge.  Use undiluted tomato juice on a sponge to wipe down the shelves and walls in your fridge.  Rinse with a warm rag.  If the odor was bad, maybe due to a power outage, you will need to repeat once more.

2.  Clean a cooler.   Pour in a large can of undiluted tomato juice into the cooler and rub it up the sides of the interior and the lid with a sponge.  Close the lid and let it sit for a couple of days in a cool place.  Rinse, wash with dish soap and water and dry.  For an extra added measure, sprinkle a little baking soda in it before you put it into storage.

3.  Soothe a sore throat.  The acids in tomato juice take the sting out of a sore throat.  Use 1/2 cup tomato juice and 1/2 cup of water, and add a couple drops of hot sauce.  Gargle with this mixture several times and the burning will subside. 


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Earthbound Savings: 22 Green Ways to be Frugal


Attention Earthlings: It's time once again for that annual celebration of all things green. Earth Day is nearly upon us and, while many people offer advice on being kind to Mother Earth, too many of these tips don't quite coincide with frugal lifestyles. In an effort to dovetail these two purposes, we offer 22 budget-friendly ways to go green in honor of April 22.

1. Sign up for the "no solicitation" registry.
That way, you can avoid getting credit card offers and other ads which will reduce paper clutter and save trees.
2. Shop online to reduce your carbon footprint and save money.
According to a study by Carnegie Melon's Green Institute, shopping online reduced carbon emissions by 35 percent. The abundance of online coupons from such sites as makes this green practice a no-brainer.
3. Get out of the gym and exercise outdoors.
Freeze your gym membership and save up to 75 percent (or more) per month during the summer. You'll also rely less on those energy-sucking cardio machines.
4. Close blinds on hot days.
Before you head out for the day, close your blinds to keep the sun from warming your home while you're gone. Doing so will reduce your dependence on air conditioning and save energy.
5. Send an e-gift certificate for special occasions.
Not only are e-gift cards super convenient, you're also using less plastic resources and reducing fuel associated with shipping. If an e-card isn't available from a desired retailer, purchase gift cards at a discount from sites like Gift Card Granny. That way you recycle someone else's unwanted plastic and score great savings.
6. Eliminate paper invites and digitize your event announcement.
Save on postage and printing while reducing paper by using sites like to create electronic announcements and invitations.
7. Use an irrigation controller to manage watering.
20 to 50 percent of your water use goes toward the landscape, even more in certain areas of the country. Invest in a controller to schedule irrigation to reduce overwatering.
8. Swap your stuff!
Use to trade books, CDs, DVDs, sporting equipment and other goods. Not only are you saving money, but you're reducing future trash by re-using someone else's stuff.
9. Walk or bike to work to save on fuel.
With gas prices peaking at nearly $4 a gallon, you're doing your wallet and your health some good by walking or biking to work. If this isn't feasible, try public transportation.
10. Wash clothes with cold water.
Though some clothes suggest warm or hot water for washing, you can reduce your monthly heating bills and save energy by turning all cycles to cold. Don't worry, your clothes will still get clean.
11. Use mobile coupons to cut paper clutter.
Download the Coupon Sherpa mobile app to access discounts without using paper coupons. You can also save coupons to your supermarket loyalty card for paperless grocery savings.
12. Plug electronics into power strips.
Buy a surge protector for pricey electronics to save your valuables in the event of a lightning strike, and power down when not in use to cut five percent from your electricity bill.
13. Power down cable boxes.
Doing so will save you $40 per box, annually. You can also cut down on DVD waste by opting for Netflix, Hulu and Amazon streaming.
14. Go paperless.
This is a no-brainer -- when banks and service providers offer you the option to go paperless, take it. Check out Lifehacker's guide to going paperless for more ideas.
15. Hang dry your clothes.
Do laundry on the weekends and hang dry your clothes to save energy and reduce your electricity bill.
16. Shop garage and estate sales for clothes and home goods.
Recycling other people's unwanted items will not only save money but also reduces trash build-up in landfills.
17. Put the blow dryer down.
Consider going "au natural" several times during the week to save on energy spent by blow dryers, flat irons and other electronic hair products.
18. Take short showers.
The feeling of hot water on your skin is often hard to resist, but taking short, cooler showers reduces your heating bill and saves water and energy.
19. Wash dishes in a sink full of water.
Instead of washing dishes with the tap on, fill one side of the sink with soapy water to clean dishes, and only run the dishwasher when it's full to save energy.
20. Get a water filter and reusable water bottle.
Over 80 percent of plastic water bottles are tossed -- not recycled -- yielding 1.5 tons of waste per year, according to Mother Nature Network. Invest in a reusable water bottle (or two) and a filter, if your tap water is lacking.
21. Plant native shrubs and plants.
Native plants and shrubs subsist on whatever precipitation occurs in your area, making them an eco-friendly alternative to non-native plants that require additional watering and maintenance.
22. Use an eco-friendly shower head.
Basic showerheads disperse quite a bit of water per use, so investing in an eco-friendly one like the Oxygenics PowerMassage Handheld Shower Head can save up to 70 percent in water and energy consumption.

Disclosure:  This post is shared with information sent to me by Andrea Woroch.   Andrea Woroch is a nationally-recognized consumer and money-saving expert who helps consumers live on less without radically changing their lifestyles. From smart spending tips to personal finance advice, Andrea transforms everyday consumers into savvy shoppers. She has been featured among top news outlets such as Good Morning America, NBC's Today, MSNBC, New York Times, Kiplinger Personal Finance, CNNMoney and many more. You can follow her on Twitter for daily savings advice and tips.

Mrs T's Virtual Chef Video Contest!

Now through Wednesday, May 9th, Mrs. T's is calling all creative home cooks to submit a short video describing their favorite pierogy recipe and why they deserve to be the next Virtual Pierogy Chef. Once all entries have been received, five finalists will be chosen and the winner will be determined by a public vote. The winner will be awarded $5,000, a six-month supply of pierogies and enrollment in local culinary classes!

For additional details and official contest rules, visit Mrs. T's Pierogies Facebook page

Squidoo Hopping--Making My Way Updating

Good Thursday morning! It's that time of the week to share some squidoo love.

I've still been updating---a lot.  Ok, a lot for me is probably nothing to others, but I am slowly working through my messy record book.  As I update a lens it's going into my new notebook where I am keeping the lenses in alphabetical order.

I have the front page in my notebook a list of ways to update lenses.  This list keeps growing.  I started the list by using Virginia Allains lens: Easy Updates for Squidoo Lenses

Here is my list so far.  If you have any other things for me to add to the list, please comment and let me know!

1.  Add a charity to give 10% to
2.  change theme background
3.  Intro--change the title, make sure photo has a file name, first sentence contains key words, make sure the intro is long enough.
4.  Make sure 6 of my own lenses are in the discovery section.
5.  Make sure the table of contents is turned on, or use the table of contents module.
6.  Use lots of photos, graphics, zazzle products related to the lens.
7.  Sign back up for allposters and get some related posters thrown in
8.  Use html for back grounds and borders in modules.
9.  amazon spotlight in the sidebar
10.  add countdowns to appropriate lenses or update the ones already there.
11.  add polls, quizes, duels and/or predictions
12.  add rss feed related to lens
13.  add flickr photos
14.  Use the big arrow module to make a link stand out
15.  feature an important sentence in a talk bubble
16.  check amazon modules to make sure products are still available
17.  check that videos are still available
18.  make intro photo minimum 250x250
19.  make sure all photos that are not my own are properly attributed
20.  place an add on such as the flag counter
21.  Put a related graphic from zazzle in the guest book module
22.  add the follow me on pinterest button
23.  change all featured lenses modules over using  squidtools instead
24.  add a sticky note
25.  check to make sure the topics are correct
26.  check tags

As you can see, I have a lot to choose from, enabling me to do little updates here and there to keep the ranking up a bit along the way.  I am finding this so much more fun than sitting for hours updating just one lens.

Now it's your turn!  Comment below if you have any other update ideas to add to my list.  Link up any blog posts you have about squidoo----or link up 1 or 2 of your lenses.  Thanks!!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

WIP Wednesday--Progress Made!

I'm happy to say I did make progress on both of my quilts this past week.  Mostly due to going to sit n' sew at the local quilt shop.  It's a shame that it takes me taking my sewing machine away from home to get any sewing done.

Here is the scrappy quilt again.  I just have to finish up the binding.  And, again, I do hope to have it done for a TGIFF post. 

I am pleased with my progress on my string type quilt.  I can't believe I thought I would have it done back in February though!

And, here is my 2 week check in on my granny a day challenge blanket.  This is day 109.

I am linking up with the following blogs:
 WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Proctor & Gamble Everyday Solutions Sweepstakes

 Enter for the chance to win a home theater package by Panasonic® - along with the weekly prize of a $50 Visa® pre-paid debit card!

Everyday Solutions

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Join The Housewarming Dyson Giveaway--Free Blogger Event

Mom to Bed by 8 is excited to present the Housewarming Dyson Event from June 1 to June 15. This is a free blogger event and accepting signups now.
Join the Housewarming Dyson Giveaway event today, grow your readership and offer one fantastic cleaning tool giveaway!

As an added bonus:  The two bloggers who refer the most people will receive a $10 Amazon e-code for their effort. Please make sure to add Marsha's Spot in the referred by section on the signup form if you join in.  Thanks!!
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