How to Prepare for Hurricanes & Save Money

How to Prepare for Hurricanes
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My area is prone to hurricanes, so I wanted to share ways to save money while preparing for a hurricane.

How to Prepare for Hurricanes & Save Money:

1.  Develop a family plan: Get together as a family and talk about your emergency plan and what to do in case of a hurricane or natural disaster.  Where will you meet, what is the safest location in your house, what if you need to evacuate, what should the children expect, etc. See a checklist here.

2.  Prepare early: The best way to save money is to be proactive and look for necessary items year round. Pick up flashlights, batteries, bottled water, non-perishable food, candles, paper plates and cups when they are on sale.  Even if you haven’t prepared beforehand, don’t wait until the day of the storm to get supplies.  Not only will you probably pay more and find many items out of stock;  you don’t want to be stuck in the last minute craziness in the stores.  Word of a hurricane hits my area and the shelves are literally cleared within hours.

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How to Plan a Weekly Menu {Money and Time Saving Tips}

Menu Planning Chart

It’s 5 o’clock. What’s for dinner?

Do you find yourself struggling for dinner ideas at the last minute or heading through the drive-through after work?  If you do, consider creating a menu plan to help take the stress out of mealtime.

Menu planning is preparing a written calendar of meals in advance. It can be as simple as writing down a dinner schedule for the week or as complex as including breakfast, lunch, and dinner for an entire month.  Whichever route you take, menu planning helps take the guesswork out of meals, which can be a huge time and money-saver.

Why should you plan a menu?

  • Eliminates the 5 pm, “what’s for dinner” question
  • Potential for more variety
  • Save money
  • Waste less

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10 Other Uses for Lotion

Other Uses for Lotion
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I’ll admit that I don’t usually think of lotion as having other uses than preventing and treating dry skin.   However, there are many other uses for lotion from reducing static cling to polishing your shoes!

If you have a bunch of extra lotion bottles cluttering up your cabinets, try these alternative lotion uses so you don’t end up throwing those bottles away!  This is especially great if you purchased a product and didn’t like it on your skin – now it has a new purpose!

10 Other Uses for Lotion:

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Make Your Own Frugal Green Cleaners from Your Kitchen

Frugal Green Cleaners
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For some reason people tend to associate going green with going expensive. If anything, frugal green cleaners can help you live a less expensive lifestyle. Yet you don’t have to forgo quality because nature truly does provide everything you need to live a healthy and clean lifestyle. Nowhere is this more apparent than in your kitchen. Most of your cleaners are already there and you just don’t know it.

Frugal Green Cleaners from Your Kitchen:

Microwave Cleaner

Is your microwave filthy and in need of a good cleaning? Put the chemicals away because you don’t need them. Cleaning your microwave just turned into your easiest cleaning job for the day. Fill a coffee cup with water. Place it in the microwave. Press start and heat it up. Wipe clean. Yes, it really is that easy. As frugal green cleaners go, it doesn’t get any better than this. Be careful not to overheat the liquid or it can explode. To avoid this, you should microwave it in one minute intervals.

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Do You Need Frugal Hobby Ideas?

Frugal Hobby Ideas
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When you need frugal hobby ideas, it generally only requires a bit of observation of the world around you. People are getting more creative every day. They share their creativity on social networking sites, blogs, and in their daily lives. If you pay attention to what is going on in these places, ideas will literally spring up before your eyes. Here are some tips & suggestion for when you need frugal hobby ideas and are not sure where to start:

Craft Hobbies & More:

  1. PinterestPinterest is one of the most popular sites to visit when you need frugal hobby ideas. The images there often lead you to places where you can learn crafting skills and countless other cool ideas. You can even put your own twist on the crafts that you see there.
  2. Use Search Terms – You can always use your browser to find frugal hobby ideas. Just type in a search term for an interest you already have. Add words to your term as you narrow your interests based on the returns you get. The power of the almighty Google is a very effective tool.
  3. Recycle – If you want to save some cash, start looking at items you don’t use. You can come up with some interesting hobbies when you recycle what you already own. These hobbies usually cost you very little and often end up being centerpieces of your collection.
  4. Reading – Check out books from your local library or borrow books from sites such as Kindle Owners Lending Library or  Open Library to get books for FREE.
  5. Puzzles – put together puzzles or complete puzzles such as word search and cross word puzzles from local newspapers.  You can also purchase these items for relatively cheap.  Jigsaw puzzles can be found for less than $1 at garage sales.
  6. Cooking – Cook for pleasure instead of just necessity.  If you like to bake, plan one day a week as a baking day.  You can also put your skills to good use and give meals to friends, neighbors or school fundraisers.
  7. Photography – You don’t need a fancy camera to take great photos!  Start with the camera you already have and play around with light, angles and backdrops.
  8. Couponing – A hobby to help you save money!  See the Couponing Basics guide to get started.

Hobbies Outside of the House:

If you need frugal hobby ideas for outside the house, it usually means you are up for some adventure. Cash doesn’t have to be a problem here because many of the best outdoor hobbies are completely free. Below are some suggestions for outdoor hobbies:

  1. Gardening -  Seeds are inexpensive enough and you can make your own compost so you don’t even have to pay for fertilizer. You can grow your own food and save money on the groceries. You might even sell some of what you grow so you go beyond frugal and make it lucrative. You might even grow flowers instead of food and use them for other hobbies.
  2. Explore – Look into taking nature walks or geocaching in your area. This gives you a chance to get outside and get some exercise. You will probably also get to explore areas you never thought about before.
  3. Foraging – Foraging is a great outdoor hobby because it costs you nothing. You can even reduce your bills by foraging for food. This is also a great way to learn about plants and teach children about the benefits and bounties nature has to offer.
  4. Fishing – enjoy the great outdoors and catch dinner at the same time!  You don’t need to spend a fortune on fishing gear either.  If you don’t already have a rod, take a look at your local thrift shop to find many like new reels.

You hobbies are only limited by your own imagination. When you need frugal hobby ideas, consider what you already have and how you can use it. Hobbies are often a great way to make use of things that are just sitting around the house or branch out your existing interests.

What are some of your Frugal Hobby Ideas?

Make sure to take a peak at our crafts section for specific ideas!

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15 Other Uses for Cat Litter

other uses for cat litter

Ever wonder if there are other uses for cat litter than just a place for your furry friend to potty?  The bentonite clay in cat litter makes it a fantastic absorbent.  I’ve put together a list of some of the more practical other uses for cat litter.

15 Other Uses for Cat Litter:

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June Seasonal Fruits & Vegetables

Seasonal Fruits & Vegetables

June Seasonal Fruits & Vegetables

One of the best ways to save money on Fruits & Vegetables is to buy what’s in season.  Also, you’ll want to stock-up and freeze or can some for later use when you come across a good sale so that you can have a variety to choose from through-out the year.

One of my favorite things to do when apples are in season and cheap is to make homemade sugar-free cinnamon applesauce!  I also freeze all types of berries and pineapples for my protein smoothies.

Here’s what to look for on sale this month at your local Grocery Store and Farmers Markets:

Red Onions
Summer Squash
Vidalia Onions


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Saving Money on Baby Care is Easier than You Think

Saving Money on Baby Care
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Saving Money on Baby Care is Easier than You Think!

Being frugal is one skill that parents have to learn quickly if they hope to survive when baby arrives.  Babies are extremely expensive even in the best of circumstances. If you learn about saving money on baby care before you even have a baby, you will be way ahead of the game.   Many new parents don’t realize how expensive a baby can be and they end up spending more than they have to. Here are some tips that can help you weather the coming diaper storm:

Don’t Fall for Fancy Products

Yes, you do want your baby to smell good. However, many products are sold that you don’t even need. Parents sometimes buy these products just because they are scented. Babies actually have a wonderful smell naturally as long as they are properly changed and cared for. The reality is that these scented products, like baby powder, can cause more problems than they resolve. You probably already have what you need in your own cabinets.

Here are some tips to consider:

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Are You Saving Money Buying Clothing?

Saving Money Buying Clothing
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Are You Saving Money Buying Clothing?

There are plenty of ways you could be saving money buying clothing. If you aren’t saving money right now, it’s time to learn the ins and outs to start. This is especially true if you have children. Since they tend to go through surprise growth spurts, a few tips can help you save quite a bit.

Practical Tips to Save Money Buying Clothes:

Plan Ahead at the End of the Season

Clothing stores tend to put just about everything on clearance at the end of the season. You may not need these items until the next year, but you can always pack them away for a new wardrobe next season. Sometimes you can even get clothes for under a dollar at the end of the season. This makes end of season shopping well worth your while. If you happen to be buying for your children and they still can’t wear them the next season or they happened to grow more than you expected, you only lost a couple of dollars. You can probably even get more than you spent by selling the item online or a yard sale.

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Centsible Chic: DIY Chair Makeover

DIY Chair Makeover

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How many times have you been driving down the road, and seen a sad little chair just hanging out on the curb? Maybe it is a tad dirty, scratched up, or just plain ugly.  Either way it is destined for the garbage dump. Or is it?

Why not rescue that ugly or beat up old chair and turn it into something amazing? With just a little work and minimal supplies, you can easily make an old chair into something new and fresh. Not sure how? Take a look below at how you can get “centsibly chic” and do your very own DIY chair makeover!

DIY Chair 1

First, let’s take a look at the supplies you will need. You may not use all of these items, but they are helpful to have on hand just in case. Most of these items can be found at your local craft store.

Supplies Needed:

-An old chair. Look for something solid. Everything else in the way of flaws can typically be fixed so don’t get too hung up on those. Check out your local thrift stores and garage sales for inexpensive finds. Our sample picture chair was a garage sale steal for just $1.

-Paint.  Spray paint or roll on paint will do. Choose a color and finish that speaks to you! For our sample picture we used “Colonial Red” by Rustoleum for around $3.50 a can.

-Paint brushes

-Sandpaper, mid grade

-Old towels

-Drop cloth

-1 yard of fabric. For our sample picture we used a piece of upholstery fabric found at a yard sale for just $1. Visit thrift stores or browse the bargain bins at your local craft store.

- Staple gun, staples



-Baking Soda


1. Before you begin, lay a drop cloth down to protect your floors or driveway.

2. Next, take a damp cloth and some basic household cleaner and wipe down the hard surfaces removing any dirt and debris.

3. Using your sandpaper, lightly sand any flaws or scratches to smooth them out. Lightly sanding the wood will also help the paint adhere better.

4. Remove the chair cushion by unscrewing the four screws that can be found underneath the cushion. Set these aside in a safe place so you don’t lose them! Set the cushion aside.

5. Now you are ready to paint! If rolling on your paint, apply two coats and allow for plenty of drying time in between. If spraying, hold your can a good 6 inches away and begin spraying, moving the can slowly. Apply a second coat if needed.

6. While your paint is drying, you can start working on the seat cushion. If it is stinky or dirty, you can sprinkle some baking soda on it and use a vacuum attachment to clean it off. You can also give it a generous spray of Febreeze to freshen up the fabric and remove odors.

7. Now that your cushion is all fresh and clean, you can recover it with the fabric of your choice. To do this, turn it over and place it face down on the back side of the fabric. Pull the fabric over the sides of the chairs, and pulling it tightly, use your staple gun to secure it into place. Do this slowly while pulling slowly, so you can be sure you get a good fit that is wrinkle free. Staple all along the perimeter of the seat, being careful not to cover the drill holes.

8. By now, your paint should be dry and your cushion can be placed back on the chair. To do this, simply put the cushion back on and use the screws to secure it.

9. To finish, you can take your sand paper and lightly distress the corners for an aged look, or just leave as is.

DIY chair 2

That’s it! In no time flat and with minimal supplies;  you can turn an old chair into something chic! This chair is now a far cry from its original form, and looks like something straight out of a boutique. Little would anyone know it was really a garage sale find. So keep your eyes peeled and the next time you see a piece that needs a little TLC, you know exactly how to do it.

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