Thursday, September 30, 2010

Simple Ways to Save Money for Christmas

With Christmas right around the corner, I know many people who have been preparing for the dreaded question of "How are we going to afford Christmas this year?" Which most of us ask this question about one thing or another. So I thought I would share some tips that I have on saving money and preparing for the Christmas season.

1.) Buying Gifts:
                A.) I literally start buying Christmas gifts the day after Christmas for the next year, you can get great gifts at 1/2 off the day after Christmas. From gift sets, to holiday clothing, to bath and body sets, ect. You can save a LOT of money this way.

                B.) Shop seasonal clearance and do themed gifts for Xmas, you can get up to 50-70% off (sometimes 90% off if you find the right store) seasonal clearance when they are restocking for the new upcoming season. A great idea is for someone who likes to decorate their home, make them a seasonal gift basket. If you have many women to buy for in your family, you can do a different season for each woman. Do one for winter, one for fall, one for summer, and one for spring. Things you can find on seasonal clearance are candles, lawn ornaments, dishes, home decor, ect. You can create a complete gift set for under $20 easy and make it look like you spent $75.

               C.) If you have younger children, an easy way to save money on Xmas presents for them is get them from yard sales or rummage sales. Most children don't care if things are new, they just care that they have a new toy to place with. You can get playsets, dolls, cars, and all kinds of things pretty cheap at yard sales, and save a LOT this way. So you can buy a few things that are new, like electronic items and such if you want, and the other things reuse and recycle from a yard sale.

2. Wrapping Paper:

                 A.) Another great thing to buy the day after Christmas, find a dollar store you can get them for $.50 a roll. Or places like Walmart you can get them 1/2 off and spend $2.50 on 3 rolls to save for next year.

                 B.) for kids gifts, use the comics from the news LOVE cartoons...this is a fun thing for them.
                 C.) have children, take different occasion wrapping paper, wrap using the white side out, and let the children color the wrapping paper for whomever the gift is for. Makes a nice addition to someone xmas present if the child helped make it.

3.) Decorations:

           A.) hand make them. You can spend $100 of dollars each year on decorations. If you are crafty and have children or crafty friends, you can have people over and make spend an evening making decorations for your trees & homes.

          B.) this is yet another thing that is great to look for the day after Christmas for 1/2 off, stores want this stuff out of there...get some really great deals.

          C.) yard sales, when people collect too much stuff you can ALWAYS find holiday decor at yard sales, in good condition for a decent price.

4.) Food:

          A.) if you like having get togethers but are worried about the cost of food, turn it into a pot-luck gathering. Have everyone bring their favorite holiday dish, or if you are doing some sort of themed party, have them bring a dish to fit that theme.

         B.) clip coupons, during the holidays coupons are always a HUGE help, but the nice part is most of the time when a coupon comes out, the item goes on sale at the store that week or the week after, so you can SAVE a ton if you check the ads and see whats on sell too.

         C.) make large amounts of item that can be frozen or kept. If you are having a gathering make MORE than what you need, it may seem like you are spending more, but you can always keep the leftovers and have a few dinners made for throughout the week. So it helps save in the long run.

Well I hope that some of this has helped you.
Until Next Time:
Mom of Many

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Creating A Budget & Budgeting Tips

Just about everyone has to budget these days. Some people have a hard time figuring about a budget for them. I am a budgeter, with being an at home mom I have to be. It is so hard living from paycheck to paycheck, but 85% of Americans don't have a choice but to live this way. But it doesnt have to be. Here is a tool that I often use:

this is a budgeting work sheet similar to the one I use to get our budget on track. Of course I have tweaked mine a bit to make it work for us, which you can do the same for you.

Now we get bi-weekly paychecks and here are two options of different things you can try to see if they work for you, now of course not everyone has these bills, but you get the idea of how to split up costs:

paying with the 1st pay of month:

electric/utility bill
credit cards

paying with the 2nd pay of the month:

credit cards
car payment
food & necessities

Sometimes we have those added bills in too like insurances for vehicles, and inspections, birthdays, childrens activities, ect, so each pay we try to keep a little in the account to help with those when we come.

Now sometimes the method above doesnt work for everyone, some people may have to do something similar to this:

1st pay:

1/2 mortgage/rent
1/2 car payment (or a loan if you do not have a car payment)
odd and end other bills utilities, credit cards, ect

2nd pay:

1/2 mortgage/rent
1/2 car payment (or loan if you do not have a car payment)
other bills utilities, credit cards, ect

Now this method depending on your payment schedule can really help you out. If you do online banking, and send in 1/2 payments every two weeks you will save interest on a little of it each month, which will allow you to pay off whatever sooner. This is the method I try to use most, saving money where ever I can but it is sometimes hard to get started, but if you get money back on income tax in the spring it is a good time to start this because you can make sure you pay one big payment on time then start paying each pay after that so that you do not miss any payments or do not become short on a payment.

Another budgeting tip: if you have credit cards and you have been paying on time and have done really well with them, call them up and ask them to reduce your interest rate, I have done this with some of ours and most of the time they will accommodate to keep you as a consumer. However this does not always work for store credit cards, this works mainly on ones like VISA, MASTERCARD, OR DISCOVER. Let them know your situation, let them know you have been a good customer of their card, and they should be willing to help.

Hope these few tips help in some way. I am sure I will have more soon!

Until Next Time:
Mom of Many

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Going Green & Crafty for Fall

A lot of us love to decorate for the seasons and the holidays. But sometimes it is just so expensive to go out and buy all sorts of decorations. And some of us are just not crafty enough to do tough projects. So here is something very simple and easy that I came across as a fall project to help decorate your home. This is even a project that if you have children, you can make this fun for them, as they can do a scavenger hunt to find some of the items that you are using. The best part you are going green, saving money, and making your home beautiful and smell good all at the same time :)

Autumn Potpourri

You will need:
  • Clove essential oil
  • Acorns
  • Small pinecones
  • Birch bark strips
  • Small maple leaves
  • Spices: cinnamon sticks, whole allspice, star anise, whole cloves and whole bay leaves
  • Rose hips
  • Nuts: hazelnuts and chestnuts
  1. Gather the items listed above.
  2. Place all the ingredients except the birch bark strips, whole bay leaves and small maple leaves in a large plastic or nonporous bowl.
  3. Add a few drops of essential oil to the mixture and toss with your hands. (Wear gloves to keep your skin from absorbing the oil.)
  4. Slowly add more essential oil until the smell of the potpourri suits your taste.
  5. Place the potpourri in your desired container.
  6. Add the birch bark strips and leaves.
  7. Toss gently. 
Hope you will enjoy making it! And please don't forget to enter our FREE giveaway from REBEL: TLCs on our Featured Business Page, and post your comment on the review log for REBEL: TLCs!

Until Next Time,
Mom of Many

Friday, September 24, 2010

Review: REBEL TLCs

So many of us have all those tupperware containers in our cupboards, or if you are like me; you have coll whip containers, butter containers, and others hiding in there as well. But after time goes by you always lose the lids and are left with a container without a lid to cover so you resort to a plastic wrap, foil, or even throwing the bowl out. A new way to store clutter of mismatched lids, is:


I have personally had a set of REBEL: TLCs made and absolutely LOVE them. They are great for everything! Completely safe to use on your food, these bowl covers are water resistant, mold resistant and so much more...I grab for these for every thing now! Use them to cover left overs, glasses, pop cans, even apples cut in half. There are so many uses for them! And the BEST part, you are helping the environment, because with REBEL: TLCs you wash them right in the washer with your dish rags and you pull them out put them in the drawer and they are ready to be used again. No throwing away old foil, no more trying to find matching lids, no more plastic wrap!!!

REBEL: TLCs also make dry sachets and owie packs as well. Though I do not own a dryer satchet, I do have several owie packs and these are absolutely great for toddlers! They are filled with rice and kept in the freezer. We use these for fevers, the kids take them to bed and it helps them to relax and bring the fever down. You can also used them on scraps, bumps and bruises! They are wonderful!

Pictures of my Complete Set of TLCs!

Below are pictures of my complete set with extras I had ordered! My owie packs are not shown.

Want to WIN some TLCs to try for yourself? Go to our featured business page as REBEL: TLCs is our very first featured business from 9-24 thru 10-8 you will have a chance to enter to win!!! Post a comment here of what it is asking you to do...and on the 8th we will announce the winner!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Coming this week: Our FIRST WAHM business with free giveaway!

We received some exciting news last night! One of the WAHM's I have worked with before has agreed to be our very FIRST featured WAHM business! We are so excited. We will be posting this mama and her business in the featured section on Friday!!! She will be posted there for 2 weeks and you will have the 2 weeks to enter for her giveaway specifically for our blog followers! Please tell all your friends to join our blog the more the merrier, anyone can join and they can enter for the free giveaway too!

Until next time,
Mom of Many

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

News Blog: Sports Reporters In Locker Rooms: My opinion, What's Yours?

Because it is Tuesday and I do not have much time to do a blog today I am having a news blog today.

I am so fed up with hearing about this sports reporters controversy over being in the locker room. It is all over the place now, and has stirred up so much stuff.

For those who haven't heard about this. Apparently a woman sports reporter went into the mens locker room after a game this past Sunday to receive catcalls and was embarrassed over it. Ok heres my view on this. If you are a woman, walking into a locker room of half naked men, after a game when everyone is hyped up...expect them to be rowdy.

Now the controversy is should women be allowed in the mens locker room? Should anyone be allowed in the mens locker room?  My question is: are men allowed in the womens locker rooms at the Olympics or any other sports event?  I do not believe that men are allowed in the womans locker rooms? So why should women be allowed in the mens? But then you would have people complaining over it being a sexist thing.

So here is my opinion. I do not think ANYONE should be in the locker rooms, give the athletes a break! Men or womens lockers rooms should be off limits. They just got done with whatever sport they play, they need time to relax, collect their thoughts, reflect, and SHOWER! I understand that news people have deadlines, but if this was a rule for all sports teams, then guess what the news deadlines would have to adjust. I also understand that news reporters think they won't get their stories if they are not in the locker room, well that can be fixed to. They can have designated areas outside the locker rooms for news reporters so that they can catch them on their way out. If that won't work I am sure they can figure out something.

Anyone else have a view on this? Do you agree or disagree? Would you be offended if you were in a locker room of half naked men and they were giving you catcalls? Would you want a man in the locker room trying to interview you when you are half naked?

Until next time,
Mom of Many

Monday, September 20, 2010

5 Tips to Saving Money & Going Green

There are so many ways to be green and simple ways to save money that most people have not even thought of…such simple things we can do with every day things. By doing little things we help the environment and if we all pitch in that can make a huge difference.

Some simple things I personally do:

1. Pillows/Old Blankets, Sheets, & Comforters : most people throw them out once they are done with them, then they lay in land fills to deteriorate. Why not do this instead: if you have a dog they love to use them as beds, you can put it in their crate or even on the floor and they will lay on it. Or if you do not have a dog  most local shelters accept these items so they can use them in the dog kennels so that the dogs are a bit more comfortable. So pillows, old blankets, sheets, and comforters can go a long way even if they cannot work for us anymore.

2. White Vinegar: Did you know that household cleaners have harsh chemicals in them, well vinegar can clean just about anything! Use it in laundry as a bleach alternative, clean your kitchen sink out with it, scrub your litter box with it every so often to take the strong urine smell away, so many things you can do with vinegar! There are many websites on this…I believe one is even called 101 ways to use vinegar! Do you realize how many products you can eliminate and how much money you could save just buying 1 gallon of vinegar?

3.  One of the biggest things we do is FREECYCLE! Do you have old clothing, old furniture, just about anything you do not want in your home you can list on FREECYCLE! Freecycle is a great organization worldwide and in every state in America. Don’t throw your old items in the trash to fill up land fills, give them to someone who can use them. List them on freecycle, everything listed has to be offered or received for FREE! You list them and you pick a person in your area to come pick it up. And other people are offering too, so you may find something you need J Its all about reusing & recycling! Check out to sign up and find your state and county to join!

4. Borax: did you know that if you have pets, that you can use Borax in your home to get rid of fleas? It works, we have used it for years, and it is natural! No harsh chemicals, no having to worry about covering your furniture to put a bug bomb in. Alls you have to do is buy borax, roughly $3-4 a box and sprinkle it on your carpets at the end of summer beginning of fall (when flea season starts since they come in when its cold), leave it set for 5 minutes and vacuum. Make sure you empty your sweeper immediately and take the garbage outside just incase one lived. But what the Borax does is suffocate and kill the living fleas, and it also kills their eggs. We have even used it on our furniture, but depending on your material you may not want to do that. But if you think about it, this is worth meds for getting rid of fleas is EXPENSIVE...not only that, bug bomb, collars, all that can really add up. So if you stop them before they come in think of the savings!

5.  SwapTree: do you know how many books get thrown aside each year…A LOT! People buy books and read them just to set them on a shelf and never touch them again, a lot of paper gets wasted, so why not recycle those old books, and not only your books, your cds, DVDs, video games….as long as they are in good condition you can trade them with other people at  it is a great website that I use myself. The only money you spend is sending your item to the other person, but you trade items so you get a movie, book, cd, or game in return. It is a HUGE trading site and a great way to make sure the books, cds, games, and movies you don’t play anymore don’t end up in a land fill, but someone else can put it to use and you can in return get a new item for yourself as well and most the time you spend less that $3 (most mine cost about $1.75 media mail with delivery confirmation) on shipping depending on the size of the item. So check it out!

Until next time:
Mom of Many

Thursday, September 16, 2010


We welcome you to our blog. Coming soon we will have some reviews of some great mama made items, made right here in the USA. We will also be blogging about every day things that arise in every day life from budgeting, parenting, ways to save money, simple ways to go green without breaking the bank, every day topics that arise, and so much more.

We will also have a Feature WAHM Business of the Month (which we may change the length to Bi-Weekly depending on demand for the spot) any WAHM that would love to be featured please contact us and we'll let you know how to become featured!

Our first real blog will be coming on Monday Sept. 20th 2010, we are so excited! 

We hope that you will love our opinions and hope that you will tell your friends to check us out! We want this blog to be for anyone, not just other moms, but people who enjoy supporting items made in the USA by WAHM's and people that have a general interest in every day life :) If you have ideas of something you would like to hear about or features we can add to the blog we would to hear them. Just click on our profile and email us! Thanks so much from the Opinionated Mama's!