Thursday, October 9, 2008

Helpful money saving and time saving tips

Some money saving tips from several sources. I can't vouch for them, just passing them along:

1. Do your grocery shopping on Sunday. Sunday, for supermarkets, is "bargain day" in the industry, when most things are marked down. Doing your shopping on Sunday and using coupons can save you a substantial amount of money depending on your buying habits and family size.

2. You can save up to 33% on fruits and vegetables by avoiding bagged items like salad greens in the fresh produce section (buy a head of lettuce and chop it yourself) and by choosing bagged, not boxed, items in the frozen section.

3. Some staples are cheaper in the drugstore! A gallon of milk costs up to 60 cents less at the drugstore! Snacks and cleaning supplies are up to 50% cheaper when getting them at discounters like Wal-Mart or Target.

4. Keep an eye on what the store scanner is showing for the price of your item. Shopper lose up to $1 billion every year because of scanner overcharges!

5. Fill two plastic water bottles with about 2 inches of pebbles. Seal and place inside the toilet tank, leaving enough room for about 3 gallons of water. Not only will you save about 10 gallons of water per day, you'll also pocket $40 or more per year on your water bill. You can also buy a "float booster" for $4.95 or so to do the same thing.

6. Use your toaster oven, if you have one, to cook instead of heating up your oven! Cooking a casserole in an electric oven will cost you twice what it will cost in the toaster oven!

7. About Coffee Grounds:
Clean with used coffee grounds! Rubbing coffee grounds on stuck on food, lifts it away!
Been handling fish or onions? Add 1 t of coffee grounds to a palm full of liquid soap and the odor will disappear.
Have a scratch in a favorite table? Boil the grounds in water to make a brown "paint", then fill in the scratch.
Plants lacking some luster and looking droopy? Give them some cooled coffee grounds and some water to perk them up!

8. Dry orange peels on a sunny window sill for about 4 days, put them in small sachet bags and store in closets, drawers, and bathrooms for some freshened air!

9. Got some old panyhose?
Pull a pair over your broom or a yardstick to get those hard to reach areas that dust bunnies and pet hair like to hide under. Secure the pantyhose with a rubber band and start dusting! Then throw dust and panty hose away.

Another good use for old hose is to store onions and potatoes. If you have a cold dark place with some space... put your onions and potatoes in the legs of the hose with a knot between each vegetable. Hang the hose on a nail from a board that will allow air all around the veggies. When you need an onion or potato, just cut below the knot and take that veggie out. This also helps out so that if the onion or potato DOES start to rot, it will only touch itself, not everything else too. (I did this when I lived on Mt Hood and kept them in my cellar. I think I had 1 potato that rotted, but the rest were always fresh)

10. Download free games to your kids cellphones to amuse them for hours on long trips. You can get them from Gamejump or Mobilerated

11. To find the 5 lowest priced gas stations near you, log in to GasBuddy or you can text via your cellphone to, send your Zip Code or city and state, and the info will be sent to your cell phone.

12. Cut your drive time! Get up to the minute traffic reports by calling 866-698-7232 and say the city and street you want to know about, then it will tell you whether your chosen route is clear, closed or clogged!

13. Don't have a fancy GPS, but have a cellphone?? Then you have a GPS! Simply call Dial Directions - 347-328-4667 and give your location and destination. Turn by turn directions will be sent via text message to your phone in seconds.

14. To keep produce from spoiling, don't wash them before you're going to use them... put them in the fridge and keep your fruits and veggies in separate crispers or separate shelves at least. Studies have found that fruits produce ethylene gas which stimulates ripening. (BTW - those Debbie Meyers green bags that you see for sale... they work great!) One more thing, warm or tropical weather fruits like bananas, tomatoes and oranges, should not be refrigerated, it will make them spoil faster. Cool/cold weather fruits, like apples and figs, should be refrigerated, they will spoil faster when left out. Watermelon will spoil faster if you keep it away from cantaloupe and honeydew melon!

15. You probably know that hte back of your fridge is cooler than the front, but the lower shelves are cooler than the higher ones also! Keep perishables like milk, meat and fish as low as you can possibly put them and they'll last a few days longer. Eggs will last twice as long stored low and in the carton they came in.

16. Most people think that storing bread and coffee in the fridge helps them stay fresh - but that is actually not true. Bread dries out and goes stale faster, coffee stays fresher longer in a sealed container in the cabinets where it is safe from fluctuating temps and condensation.

17. Keep your meats and veggies separate. Meats will last one to three days in the fridge, while side dishes like veggies or rice can last nearly a week... unless those veggies/rice are touching meat. Leftovers: store leftovers in containers no more than two inches deep so food will stay fresh longer. Deep containers don't cool down fast enough to keep bacteria from growing in the middle.

18. The lovely Lemon:
To clean graters, halve a lemon and run the pulpy side over it. Any food stuck in the crevices will pop right out and leave a citrusy aroma behind.
To get the buildup from your coffee pot. Swirl lemon wedges, salt and a cup of ice in the pot for a couple of minutes, then dump and rinse it with water.
Toss a lemon half into the water before boiling shrimp. If you're frying or baking fish, squeeze lemon jice on it when its still raw. The lemon will combat the fishy odors before cooking and enhance its flavor.
Add a spoonful of lemon juice to the boiling water before adding rice. You won't taste the citrus and the rice will be fluffier.
Swish lemon juice around your mouth then rinse for an effective mouthwash.

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