greenbackgrazers


Its my birthday….and it’s free!!!!!
March 29, 2014, 8:51 PM
Filed under: couponing, Fun on a budget, Life style

Hello my super saver friends!  It’s that time again, yes my birthday and I would like to give you all a gift.  Actually several.

The list this year will begin; for the sake of my local readers,  in the Mont/Bucks County of Pennsylvania.  Then onto the Philadelphia region and nationally.  I will also include a category for kids birthdays.

Keep in mind that you should read the offers first before agreeing.  Some are good only on your actual birthday, where as others are good for a week or even a month.  On occasion, you will find you must enroll 30 days prior to your special day.   Choose wisely.

1) Applebees:  Sign up and get a special treat on your birthday.

2)Carrabba’s – Join the Amici Club and receive offers for complimentary menu items and a special offer on your birthday.

3) Chili’s: Sign up for the email club for free chips and queso as well as a birthday coupon.

4) Country Buffet: Buy one, get one entree for signing up and a coupon for your birthday

5) Cold Stone Creamery: Buy one, get one free coupon for your birthday.

6) Cracker Barrel: Sign up and get a free dessert on your birthday.

7) Dairy Queen: Join

the Blizzard Fan Club for an extra-special coupon on your birthday and surprise on your anniversary.

8)Dave & Buster’s: Get $10 “Bonus Game Play” with purchase of $10 game play just for signing up, plus $5 free game play on your birthday.

9) Dunkin Donuts: Sign up for Dunkin’ Perks and get a free medium beverage upon sign-up and another free medium beverage on your birthday.

10) Friendly’s: Join the BFF Club for a free 3-scoop sundae and birthday offers.

11) Houlihan’s: Free appetizer for joining and free entree for your birthday.

11) IHOP: Join the Pancake Revolution and receive a free meal within 24 hours and a free birthday meal.

12)Longhorn Steakhouse: Join the Western Hospitality Club and receive special offers plus a coupon for a free dessert on your birthday.

13)  Melting Pot: Become a member of Club Fondue, and you’ll receive a complimentary box of Signature Chocolate-Covered Strawberries with the purchase of any Big Night Out, Four-Course Classic or the combination of any two individual entrees and a cheese fondue. You’ll receive this same offer for your birthday.

14) Medieval Times: Join the Birthday Fellowship and the King’s Court to receive a free admission on your birthday.

15) Old Country Buffet: Free entree for signing up and another for your birthday.

16) Old Navy: Sign up for Old Navy emails (all the way at the bottom of the Old Navy homepage) to sign up for coupons and a special birthday treat.

17) Orange Julius: Sign up for a buy one, get one free drink.

18) Outback Steakhouse: Join Outback Rewards and get a free Aussie-tizer with the purchase of two entrees at sign-up and something special on your birthday.

19) Panera Bread: Get a MyPanera card from a Panera associate, register the card online, and you’ll start to receive special discounts, freebies and a birthday reward.

20) Red Lobster: Join the Fresh Catch Club and get a special birthday gift!

21) Red Robin – Yum! Sign up for the e-club to get a free burger and bottomless fries on your birthday.

22) Rita’s: Join Rita’s birthday Club to receive a special birthday treat.

23) Romano’s Macaroni Grill: Offers a $5 discount on any entree when you sign up for their newsletter as well as a birthday treat.

24) Ruby Tuesday: Join “So Connected” and enter your birthdate to join the birthday list. You’ll get a buy one, get one free entree coupon for signing up and a free burger on your birthday!

25)  Sephora: Become a Beauty Insider and get a complimentary birthday gift.

26) Smashbox: Sign up for their rewards program and receive free beauty products during the month of your birthday!

27)  Sonic: Sign up to be a Sonic Cruisers member for a surprise on your birthday (choice of free medium Tots, regular CreamSlush Treat or medium drink).

28) Starbucks: Get a free handcrafted beverage or one free food item of your choice on your birthday.

29) Texas Roadhouse: Join to receive delicious gifts and other fun stuff.

30) T.G.I. Fridays: Sign up for the Give Me More Stripes Guest Recognition Program for a free dessert or appetizer upon sign-up, an $8 coupon good for free food when you spend $100 or more on food, and a special treat on your birthday.

31) Uno Chicago Grill: Free birthday treat for signing up.

32) Victoria’s Secret: Sign up for the mailing list to receive a coupon for $10 off a $10 purchase.

33) ACE Hardware: Sign up for ACE Rewards and get a $5 off coupon on your birthday.

Regionally

1) DSW: Join DSW’s rewards program and receive a $5 gift certificate on your birthday.

2) CVS: Register for a CVS ExtraCare Card and get $3 in ExtraCare Bucks every year on your birthday.

3) American Eagle Outfitters: Sign up for AERewards and get 15% off during your birthday month.

4) Friendly’s: Join their BFF Club and get a free three-scoop sundae just for enrolling, as well as free birthday offers for your entire family.

5) P.F. Chang’s: Sign up for their email updates and get a free dessert on your birthday.

6) ChicK-fil-a- free meal on your birthday.

Nationally

1) Waffle House Regulars get a free meal too.

2)  if you’re in California, snag a trip to Catalina Island.

3) Cinemark will give you a free concession (read: popcorn) if you sign up for their email list.

4)  Ice cream you can have FREE DIPPIN’ DOTS

5) Missouri residents can receive a free lottery ticket by signing up for the email list.

6) If you’re on Foursquare, check to see if people have left tips re: free birthday drinks, appetizers, etc. at your local spots.

7)  And, since humans aren’t the only ones with birthdays, sign up your pet for Petco’s Birthday Club for special treats and savings.

International

1)If you happen to be in South Africa, enjoy a trip on the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway.

2)Delta will give you $100 off a trip booked through one of their vacation packages during your birthday month.

Kids

California Pizza Kitchen: Free CPK kids’ meal for his or her birthday and a $5 discount for signing up.

Burger King: Free kids’ meal on his or her birthday when you join the kids club.

Olan Mills Portrait Studio: Sign up for the Birthday Club and get a free package on your child’s birthday (ages 3 and younger).

Ringling Brother’s Barnum & Bailey Circus: Free ticket for children 12 months and under. Does not expire. See details here.

Sonic:  Kids ages 12 and younger can sign up for the Birthday Club for a coupon for a free Wacky Pack Kids Meal on their birthday.

Toys”R”Us: Sign up kids 10 and under for Geoffrey’s Birthday Club for a free party planner with a special offer, a birthday greeting card and $3 gift, an in-store celebration (including a birthday crown, a balloon, and an in-store announcement), and even a birthday call from Geoffrey himself.

Walmart: Free 8×10 custom collage for signing up for emails from Picture Me Portraits.

Disney: Register for Disney Movie Rewards and you’ll receive a credit for a free Blu-ray movie on your birthday.

Barnes & Noble: Sign up for their Kids’ Club and your child can receive a cupcake on their birthday.

Bashas’: Register your child in their Birthday Club and they’ll receive a free cake every year through age 10.

Bob Evans: Sign your children (12 and under) up for theBob Evans Birthday Club and the’ll receive free kids’ meals on their birthday.

California Pizza Kitchen: Sign your children (10 and under) up for the CPKids Birthday Club and they’ll receive a free meal during their birthday month.

Chuck E. Cheese’s: Join their email club and receive special offers and freebies for your child’s birthday.

Kmart: Join their Birthday Club and get a $5 gift card for your child’s birthday, plus a birthday gift pack.

Advertisements


Make your own greeting cards…
February 8, 2014, 2:18 PM
Filed under: Craft Ideas, Fun on a budget

These days everyone is talking about how to save a buck.  But there are certain things you hate to skimp on.  Gifts and cards are just two of them.  But good news homemade gifts are back with a vengeance.  Just check out any magazine today and you will see homemade businesses and craft kits through the mail.  Wait you say I don’t have the money to special order crafts and gifts.  Martha Stewart I am not.  Well hold on to your to your glue guns and pinking sheers, YOU CAN DO IT!

As promised in all my blogs; it is my goal to empower you to be independent and comfortable with your own talents.  I’ll share with you websites and examples of how to create and purchase one of a kind items for gifting.  We discuss the art of card making, gift giving, and supporting small businesses, and finally using friends and family talents.

The Art of Card Making

The origin of exchanging handmade greeting cards can be traced all the way back to ancient Chinese culture.  Today, card making is a worldwide hobby, especially popular in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States.  One in six U.S. households participates in making cards.  The top occasions/themes for making cards are: Birthdays, winter holidays (Christmas, New Year’s, etc.), thank you, Valentine’s Day, and Mother’s Day.  Card makers prefer stamps and rub-ons for use on their holiday handmade cards.   Creating a handmade card brings a special kind of joy. There’s joy in the process of creating, as well as in giving and receiving handmade cards.   It is energy, time, and love that says, “I really care about you” in a world of impersonal communications such as e-mails.  Beneath the cardstock and embellishments is emotion from the card maker–encouragement, celebration, commemoration, and love.  Instead of being thrown away, they are cherished and displayed.  It’s a RELATIONSHIP BUILDER.  They spark deep connections, express feelings, evoke laughter, and warm the hearts of friends, relatives, and co-workers.

Here are some that I have made they can be simple:

Cell phone pics till Feb 14 storm 485 Cell phone pics till Feb 14 storm 486 Cell phone pics till Feb 14 storm 489

Or more intricate:

Cell phone pics till Feb 14 storm 472 Cell phone pics till Feb 14 storm 1083 Cell phone pics till Feb 14 storm 1085

You can use stickers and pre-packaged cards with envelopes.  The prepackaged cards can be purchased at your local craft store for less than $10 for 50 count.  I use coupons at AC Moore and usually find them on sale for about $8 a pack.  I buy card and paper stock only when on clearance and sale.  Most times I buy after holiday and save.  Other places to find cheap supplies are dollar stores.  The one around the corner from me has great stickers.  I also check the $1 bins at craft stores like Joanne’s and Michael’s.  Hot glue guns and glue sticks are essentials for crafting.  If you are still feeling discouraged look to local library or museum that offers classes.  In our area the Mercer Museum in Doylestown offers card making classes at Valentine’s, and local community centers as well as churches may have crafting nights.  Calvary Church Souderton currently has crafting on Wednesday and Friday evenings.  Check the website or call the office for more information.  Or purchase from other folks you know have talent.  They’ll be encouraged by your support and you’ll be adding to his or her income:)

Gifting-  there are a few things to take into account when choosing a gift for someone.

  1. Think about what they like, but also what maybe an “inside joke” or a memory between you two. Never ask what they want, it sort of ruins the surprise. Just stay aware of things. Like brands, colors, styles, movies, music, things they collect, etc.
  2. Think about places you two have gone. For example: your cousin and you went to a concert, get her something from that band. It’s more personal than a gift card.
  3. Make sure to keep it a secret, and if you tell anyone make sure they keep it secret too! Most people say they don’t like surprises but they really do.
  4. Make sure the gift looks presentable. For example: if you get a book, wrap it, and add a card. Or if you buy a clothing item make sure it’s wrapped in a box or shopping bag.
  5. Personalize a gift, always. Even if it’s just a card.
  6. If you don’t have money or truly have no idea what to get the person. Make up coupons. Like “I.O.U. one shopping day to anything you want” or “One manicure & pedicure, just us!” for guys “One day doing anything you want, fishing, football, washing cars – you choose”. They are all personal and all something you can make memories while doing. You can even bring a camera or buy a disposable for the day.  Reserve this only for those closest to you.  I.E. spouse, sibling, parent, of best friend.

Frequent small businesses.  Often they have a unique selection and offer free shipping or pick up.  Sometimes they may offer gift wrapping.  This introduces the receiver of the gift to a new experience or place to find something that they enjoy.  This goes double for shopping for gifts while on vacation.  Try charity shops that sell all sorts of stuff, also get charms for a charm bracelet. I know it sounds dorky but it has been nice years later to of back through and have all your memories in one place.   Local businesses appreciate your purchase and you know you are spending wisely and purchasing quality.

Lastly, utilize people you know.  I recommend a cousin by marriage Sandra.  She was recently honored by having her creations added to the presenters bags at a Oscars.  She has an Etsy site:

I also have a friend Kelly, who enjoys knitting and crocheting She has made baby booties and baby blankets.  These make memorable and special gifts when you don’t know what to give.   If you are interested post a comment and I will put you in touch with her.

Another friend Kathryn who uses glass as her medium and creates her own ornaments and jewelry.  I purchased her ornaments as gift this Christmas.  It was in expensive and fast and once again no shipping.  Once again if interested please post a comment and I’ll put you in touch with this talented artist.



Downmarket Downton-Victorian entertaining economically
February 8, 2014, 10:15 AM
Filed under: etiquette, Financial tips, Fun on a budget, Holiday Fun

How many of my readers are Downton Abbey fans?  I know I am.  I have found myself swept up in Downton fever.  This public broadcasting station hit is a great escape based in historic setting around real events.  Like many I have enjoyed getting to know the Grantham and the Crawley families.  I tune in each week to check in on friends upstairs and downstairs.  I also have been intrigued by the customs and practices of the era.   I wanted to learn more about societal practices and behaviors.   I researched on-line, read books and  watched documentaries.  The more I learned the more I wanted to know.

” I always thought that people who made a big deal about good manners meant that they were stuck up, or trying to act better than you .   Having good manners is a way to put everyone around you at ease. – (Blast from the Past).   Victorians were big on manners and social graces as well as charity and kindness and hospitality.  I myself love entertaining and making people feel at home when they visit my home.  I believe in todays age of fast-paced, computer age, cell phone addicted, I-pad loving world; we have lost the human touch somewhere along the way.  I think it’s about time we bring it back into style; even if it’s in a small way.

Dining in Victorian times was an event.  People sent invitations thru the mail or even by messenger.   There were expectations of dress, topics of discussion, introductions and decorum.  I will pass along how I created a Victorian Dinner Party on a budget.  First we will start with the invitation.   When planning a formal dinner party, the hostess had to carefully select guests  it was indeed a necessity to have a socially harmonious group of guests.  After selecting a date and creating a guest-list, invitations were written by the hostess and sent two days to two weeks before the party, depending on the occasion. Guests were expected to send a reply, especially if they were unable to attend.   According to Godey’s Lady’s Book, one should specify the number of guests invited in the invitation, so that the invitee might dress to suit the occasion and avoid the embarrassment of improper attire. It was customary for men to wear black pants, a waist-coat, jacket, white tie, shirt and gloves, and for female guests to don formal evening dresses and gloves, which were removed at the table.

 
sample invitation

Cell phone pics till Feb 14 storm 1084

 

When guests arrived, they were met in the entry, where they would remove their jackets and hats before being led into the parlor to be greeted by the host and hostess. A knowledgable hostess would be dressed and waiting before the designated time of the party, in order to greet any guests, who, in an attempt to be punctual, had arrived ahead of schedule. To arrive before the hostess was ready was indeed an embarrassment.  Drinks are offered by the hostess at this time.  A good host or hostess will have non alcoholic beverages to offer should there be a guest who does not drink.

I choose two couples of the same age group and status.  I informed my guests by the style of the invitation and noted dress to impress on the invitation.  The cost of the invitation was only the cost of stamps for me as I am an avid craftier and used many of the supplies I already had.  The picture above was found on a search for Victorian Valentines.  I printed it out and then cut the image to fit my greeting card size and then used a combination of stamps and paper to personalize.  I also looked up the proper manner of addressing the invitees as it was quite formal then.  These sites were quite helpful;  http://www.foodlovelaughter.com and also http://www.angelpig.net.

Cell phone pics till Feb 14 storm 1156

Next I set about finding out what was served at a typical Victorian dinner party.  I found that most were 12 course!  But upon further research I had heard that 8 course dinner could be acceptable.    The guests examined their menus, always written in French while they awaited the first part of the three course meal. They were not expected to eat everything offered, and could pick and choose which foods they wanted as they sat around the ornate table, which usually had a decorative centerpiece, like flowers or a fruit pyramid (“Dinner at Eight”). Some possible food items included soup, venison, poultry, vegetables, and for dessert, and imported fruits (Margetson 79). Oysters were also frequently served (Margetson 86). Here is a sample menu.

I created a menu with 8 courses.  Course 1- is soup.  I choose butternut squash soup I purchased (boxed) and topped with French’s Fried Onions in the center before serving.  Course 2- is called kickshaws- our translation is appetizer.  Usually you would serve 3-4 options so guests can partake or decline.  I served 2 options Caprese bites, and Spinach pastry puffs.  Course 3-Sorbet for cleansing of the palate only.  One small scoop served in a footed dish.  Course 4- Fish, I opted for a small serving using tuna, rather than a full serving of fish as dictated by the custom of the day.  Course 5-Salad with assorted dressings.  Course 6- Main dish.  I chose teraki seasoned pork loin with mashed potatoes and haricot.  Course 7-Fruits, cheeses, pastries dessert.  I served assorted berries, cheeses, and dessert.  My dessert was a layered creamcicle cake.  Course 8- Tea, coffee, assorted chocolates, cookies.  Served in the study ( my case the living room).  If you serve wines with each course choose the glass champagne-dessert, Burgundy, Bordeaux-duck or pheasant or wild game and red meat or fish, and White-served with soup, salad, fish, white poultry meat.  There should be a separate glass for water.

Cell phone pics till Feb 14 storm 1117 Cell phone pics till Feb 14 storm 1116

I asked a friend who is a professional waitress and she became “the help.”  She dressed in style and did a magnificent job serving and timing the dinner.  I would recommend having a Butler, and two maids if you can.  Also be sure to coordinate with the help the timing of dinner and order of courses, about half an hour to 45 minutes should do the trick.  There should be no verbal communication during dinner with the help unless absolutely necessary.  Plates should be cleared between courses.  This is where having two sets of hands makes the flow of much more professional. When setting the table I recommend “The Little Book of Etiquette” by Sheila M. Long.  Silverware is used from the outside in.  The last step in setting the table is to space the settings 16 inches wide.  This gives each guest plenty of room.

Napkin folding adds an extra touch of flare to your table.  This site http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/26/napkin-folding_n_4340900.html by Huffington post was very helpful and easy to follow.  I choose the Bishop’s hat but the rosette is even simpler.  When doing the rosette I would recommend a colored napkin.  You may also find several examples on you tube.

When announcing dinner, the hostess will say, “Dinner is served.”  At that time the guests will be escorted into the dining room the hostess escorted by man-of-honor, or other ranking member of the party.  The Host, by lady-of-honor or high-ranking woman in the party.  If having a party of 10 or more, choose a seating partner for each woman ahead of time and use place cards.  If 10 or less in your party you as the hostess should direct the guests to their assigned seats.  The male escort shall seat the female by pulling out her chair.

The atmosphere is of utmost importance.  Think the five senses, Smell-candles or the food prepared, Sight- place setting and table scape, sound-classical music with conversational decibel levels, Touch- feel of fabrics and clothing, and Taste of food.  Above all a good hostess makes her guests feel at ease.  Some tips to making your guests feel at ease;

1) Place your napkin in your lap to signal it is time to do the same and begin.

2) Finger bowls-should be used after serving messy foods or after the fish course, or just before dessert.  The Victorian tradition is to use rose-water which can be quite expensive and found at Whole Foods or other organic stores.  Or make your own.  this YouTube video was helpful; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JT8TZfqeCtw.  Another less time-consuming and expensive is lemon water.  You can make this with real lemon pieces or lemon juice and warm water.  Promptly clear these once all guests have finished.

3) As a hostess you should continue eating until the last guest has finished so as not to make anyone feel uncomfortable.  As someone who gets very excited about the next thing, I look up and pace myself accordingly to my guests. Its hard at first but you get the picture.

4) Eat something before the party to help maintain your energy throughout the evening.

5) Be cheerful, interested, and no matter what happens, relaxed.  Your mood sets the tone.

6)  Always entertain with in your means.  Guests come to a party to enjoy one another’s company!

Knowing the correct dining etiquette gives you more confidence so you can relax and enjoy social gatherings, no matter how formal.  Entertaining around the dinner table can promote both business and friendship.  Have fun!



Mother May I…spend less money?
May 9, 2013, 8:53 AM
Filed under: Fun on a budget

Try these helpful money saving hints for Mother’s Day or any other day!

From May 18th to May 20th, come out to CVS and receive a FREE L’Oreal Revitalift Miracle Blur sample and a coupon! Demonstrators will be on site explaining how Miracle Blur works. Miracle Blur is Revitalift’s first finishing cream that delivers instant results.  Not only does it deliver anti-aging benefits, it diffuses light on the skin for a soft –focus blurring effect upon application. To find out if this event is near you, just enter your zip code on the top right of this page.

Visit the National Public Gardens Day website at Better Homes and Garden and click on Click to Find a Garden Near You to open up a PDF file of the public gardens who are offering free admission on National Public Gardens Day.  The public gardens are organized by state and you can visit the website listed to get more information on a particular garden.  Get Your Coupon for Free Admission: Click on Get Coupon and fill out your name, email address, zip code, the local garden you’d like to attend, and the number of people who you’ll be going with. Signing up for the Better Homes and Gardens newsletters are optional.  Click Submit and then Free Admission Coupon to open up your admission ticket for your public garden.  Tip: Each coupon is good for up to two people to get free admission into the garden but you can print the coupon as many times as needed to accommodate everyone in your group.

Coloring Castle’s Printable Mother’s Day Coloring Pages

Mothers Day Coloring Pages© Coloring Castle

Coloring Castle has some wonderful Mother’s Day coloring pages and you can download as many as you want.

In addition to the Mother’s Day coloring pages there are also cards that can be printed and colored.

 

May 12th Jazz Vespers?-  6:30 pm Zwingli UCC 350 Wile Ave. Souderton, PA.  Free will offering will be taken.  215-723-1186 or 215-723-3909 for questions.

May 13th- 7:30pm View and Brew Movie night.  Sellersville Theater.  Showing:  Smokey and the Bandit

Looking forward to updating your beauty routine for the Spring? Be sure to go to Walgreens on Saturday, May 11th and try Coty and Elizabeth Arden fragrances, and the latest Sally Hansen products! This is a great opportunity to experience new celebrity fragrances such as Faith Hill’s Vintage Soul 2 Soul and Halle Berry’s Closer. Elizabeth Arden fragrances will also be featured: Britney Spears, Ed Hardy, Jennifer Aniston, Mary J. Blige, Red Door, Sean John Empress, Tommy Girl, Taylor Swift, and Elizabeth Taylor White Diamonds. What’s more -Walgreens will be offering special discounts on these fragrances.

Beauty Advisors will also be showing customers how to use Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs products and demonstrating Insta-Dri Fast Dry Nail Color which dries in just 60 seconds. Airbrush Legs is a must have to cover up imperfections as the weather gets warm enough for skirts and dresses. Don’t miss out on great coupons Airbrush Legs and Insta-Dri Fast Dry Nail Color for these products while you’re there.

This event is at all Walgreens, to find one near you go tohttp://www.walgreens.com/storelistings/storesbystate.jsp?requestType=locator

May 18th 9 am-3 pm.  Church of the Holy Spirit, Sumneytown Pike and Barndt rd, Harleysville.  Local artisans, crafters, plants and hanging baskets will be featured.  Food, flea market, ,kids activities, and pie baking contest!

 



Seven Ways to Save

1.  Save money with the library

Normal = Pay for things that the library offers for free

If you can get past the frequently outdated décor, public libraries are home to a wealth of resources. Of course you can borrow books instead of buying them, but they also often have subscriptions to high cost services or publications like Hoovers or Valueline. Our local library has grown a huge collection of popular CDs and DVDs over the last few years. So, it can be a cheap (free) ways to catch a few good movies. If you must be “Normal” and buy used at least.

2. Simplify your wardrobe

Normal = Buying clothes that you like without looking at the wardrobe as a whole

Don’t buy clothes that will only work as one outfit. Look for clothes that you will be able to wear with many other things, creating multiple outfits. Instead of buying that green and purple striped coat that will only go with one or two outfits, you could get a solid color gray that will work most of what you wear. Spend less money on the trendy items that won’t be in style long, and spend more on quality items. You really can do this and still be stylish at the same time. Simplifying your wardrobe is just one way you can save money on clothes.

3.  Make money with your clutter

Normal = Garage sale or throw away clutter

It is easier than you may think. eBay and Amazon.com make the process a breeze. Sign up for an account, take a few digital pictures, post it, and watch the buyers come to you. HINT: The biggest key I have noticed is selling brand name items and taking a few seconds to think, “If I wanted to buy this item, how would I search for it?” If you do this, you will be much more successful.  Of course, some of your junk won’t be worth the effort of selling it online. For that stuff – maybe garage sale, maybe just save yourself the hassle and give it to the thrift store.

4. Maintain stuff

Normal = Buy new, don’t maintain, it breaks, then buy new as cycle repeats again and again.

Even if you buy the best stuff, if you don’t maintain it you will not save you as much money as it could. You’ll then spend less on buying new stuff. When you buy something worth maintaining, take a few minutes to read the maintenance manual, and create a maintenance checklist that you can attach to the item. For important things like your car’s oil changes or tune-ups, put them in your calendar. To make it even easier schedule most of your maintenance all on one day with a Car Day.

5.   Saving energy = Saving money

Normal = wasting energy

Even though, “Being green is so IN right now,” the “normal” thing to do is waste energy. So not only will everyone think you are cool, ;) but you can save money as well. Check out these 10 Energy saving tips.

  • Use compact florescent light bulbs (CFLs) instead of traditional bulbs. Kiplinger’s mentions that, “if every U.S. household replaced just one incandescent bulb with a CFL, the emissions savings would be comparable to taking three million cars off the road for a year.” Supposedly the bulbs pay for themselves (from the energy savings) over the course of a year or so.
  • Add extra insulation to your water heater. If you have a water heater built before 2004, you can wrap it with an insulating jacket and save about $30 a year on your water heating bill.
  • Have your furnace tuned every two years and you will, “save about 1250 lbs of carbon dioxide and 10% on your heating bills.”
  • Lower the temperature on your thermostat. For every degree that you lower your home’s temperature during the cooler months, you can subtract about 5% from your bill.
  • Use cold water to wash your clothes and you can save 50% of the energy that you would use if you used hot water. I honestly don’t know what effect this has on the clothes themselves, so I will have to check with my wife on that one :)
  • Get a programmable thermostat. This wonderful tool allows you to program the temperature of your house on an hour by hour basis. So, it can be cooler when you are gone or asleep and warmer when you are around.
  • Use a weatherstrip around your front and back door and you can save about $30 a year on energy costs.
  • Set your water heater to 120 degrees (Fahrenheit for the international folks). Even if you don’t have a temperature gauge on your water heater, they suggest turning it down, “until the water feels hot, not scalding.” My husband always says this to me all the time.
  • Adjust your lawnmower to the 3-inch setting. They say that longer grass holds moisture longer, so you will not have to water as much.
  •  Wash your own car.  This saves you gas to the wash and money paying for something you can do yourself.  Unless you live in a place with no outside hose.  In this case take it to a friend’s house or if you must pay someone, this time of year lots of kids hold car washes to raise money for sports or trips.  Plus it makes you feel good and encourages the kids to work for the money and help.

6. Buying used stuff always saves money

Normal = Buy new

This is one of my favorite creative ways to save money. I wish we had this when I was in college, I have discovered that you could get textbooks for free, by buying and selling them at Amazon.  Send out an email to family or friends, or just ask around. You might be surprised. I was about to buy a printer, and then found out my mom just bought a laser printer and didn’t need her old inkjet.  Freecycle.org and craigslist.org are also good places to look. And of course, you can always check out garage sales and thrift shops.

7.  Go out to dinner for half price

Normal = Go to the same few restaurants all the time and pay full price

I love to try new restaurants, but since it is quite an expensive hobby – it is nice when you can save a few bucks. Enter the Entertainment Book. This wonderful tool costs about $25, but will pay for itself quickly if you use it a couple of times. It is available for most large U.S. cities and has thousands of coupons to participating restaurants – most of which are buy-one-get-one-free. This is one of my favorites ways to find new places to eat and save money in the process. Also consider Groupon.com or Restaurant.com and www.livingsocial.com who sells $25 gift certificates (with restrictions) for $10 to thousands of restaurants across the country.  Also check your mailers in the Val-pac and local mailers.  You can find lots of new places you haven’t tried yet!



Who likes to party?
June 5, 2012, 12:28 PM
Filed under: Fun on a budget, Healthly Living

Once again its time for Fun for Free with the Greenback Grazer team!  Johnny tell all the good people out there what they can do this week without spending a dime!

This week you can cruise the classic car scene, shop till you drop, peruse antiques, you can party the day away, attend a gardening class taught by professionals, even audition for a theater production.  Is this a free Disney Cruise?  A time share gimmick? Nope.  These are all free events that are happening in our area this week.

Check out the classic car scene at Zion Mennonite Cherry Lane in Souderton from 8-2 June 9th the Strawberry Bash includes flea market as well.

Floral and Hardy are having a free gardening seminar on June 9th.  Scent additions and making the most of your garden will be this weeks topic.  Just RSVP 610-584-0797 4007 Skippack Pike Skippack, PA.  Also for children they will hold a free terrarium workshop at 10am.

Antique farm and tractor show 10am-3pm hosted by Skippack Historical Society at Allenbach-Cholet Farm 4109 Cremery Rd (behind Cremery Tire), Some items will be for sale  and while admission is free donations are appreciated.  610-724-5664

Also on the 9th in Lansdale party the day away in an old-fashioned block party at the Family Worship Center  1000 Troxel Rd. 11a-4pm.  Food, fun, music and more.  This is a family friendly event.

A Community Giveaway-Everything is free at North Penn Church of Christ from 8am-10am only.  Come and take what ever you need!  call 267-421-9113 for more details.

June 10-11th Auditions for Charlotte’s Web are being held at 7:30pm on Sunday and Monday www.dcptheater.com

There are a few other events that cost minimal cost so check out the following:

Touch a Truck- Admission is $5 kids under 2 free.  June 9th 10a-2p  held rain or shine at Red Hill Fire Company  all benefits will go to Youth and Family Services.  There will be food and games and the first 200 kids will get construction hats.

Pancake Breakfast 8a-11a Lansdale United Methodist Church 300 N Broad St.  Proceeds go to global missions.

Perkiomen Creek Sojourn-June 9th 9am-2pm rent a canoe and join the Conservancy team on 7 mile trip along the creek.  For more info visit www.perkiomenwatershed.org

The Country Store Museum at Red Men’s Hall is now open Sundays from 1:30-4pm.    The Country Store Museum is located on the ground floor of Red Men’s Hall, housing the ‘Historian’s collection of post 1870 manufactured goods in a setting of fixtures  from the old Niantic Store. It exhibits a late 19th century general store where  local families shopped for necessities. Nostalgia pervades this museum with its  clutter. Yard goods, crockery, ground coffee, tobacco, clothing, garden  implements and an apothecary shop surround a pot belly stove where a friendly  game of checkers could be played next to the spittoon.

The shelves of The  Country Store Museum are stocked with fabric on bolts, sewing accessories and lace,  hardware, blue Mason jars, kerosene lamp globes and period boxes of goods.  Portrayed at the store is country commerce bartered homemade soap, baskets, home grown produce as well as pottery and tin ware from local tradesmen. The museum’s  original 1890 ledger from the Hereford Store reveals a great deal of this  barter.

 



Hot Fun in the Almost Summer Time For Moms
May 11, 2012, 8:43 AM
Filed under: Fun on a budget

Weather reports say that this weekend is going to be a hint of summer that will carry over to next week!  Hurray!  So let’s get out there and do something.  Let the wind thru your hair, put your play clothes on, leave the indoor chores at home, and spruce up the yard, take a hike, go for a picnic, go boating or canoeing at the lake.  Whatever you do go out there and save money and spend time together!

May 11-12-Gardners Warm Up!  Whip that outside into shape.  Burpee will host a two-day garden training event at Fordhook Farm it’s research facility in Doylestown.  From 9:30-5pm, guided tours are available, tips and tricks for your flower bed or vegetable garden.

May 11-Second Friday in North Wales.

May 11-Ladies Night Out at The Roadway Inn Montgomeryville.  Ten dollars gets you into this fundraiser for North Penn Relay for Life event.  There will be raffles, prizes, giveaways, and fun and pampering for all who attend.  To purchase tickets call 215-361-6130. There will also be a gold for cash vendor, so bring all that broken jewelry and turn it into cash.  Cash bar will also be on hand.

May 11-12 Smoke in the Valley BBQ Competition @Green Lane Fire Co.  Beer garden, bonfire. 4-11.  Saturday Mango Men bonfire noon-11pm.  Fun and games for kids noon-dusk. Both days will have crafters on hand.

May 11-Lansdale Library Friday free movie War Horse Vine St Lansdale.

May 12-13 Skippack Spring Fest-10am-5pm  Food, vendors, fun, crafts, shops and much more.  Skippack Village.

May 12-Pennypacker Mills Mother’s Day Workshop.  610-287-9349.  Kids will make cards and thoughtful gifts.  Ages 5 and up.