DIY Water Bottle Carriers and the Gift of Healthy Water

Disclosure – This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #40Pounds #CollectiveBias

DIY Water Bottle Carriers and the Gift of Healthy Water

Our usual back to school activities typically include getting new shoes for the kids, buying school supplies from the list provided by their teachers and making sure the kids have a new outfit or two to start out the school year. The kids are allowed to have certain kinds of clear water bottles at their desks so this year I also made them all water bottle carriers so they could more easily carry their water and keep the bottles out of their backpacks to reduce the likelihood of wet books and homework.

[Read more…]

Try A “Live Cheap For A Year” Challenge

With the economy as it is, we’re all probably thinking “I’m living as cheap as I can”, however here are a few things to consider that could add up to big bucks by the end of the year! Before I begin, let me suggest this —- find a LARGE container (bank, coffee can with a lid, etc) to put your savings into!

1. Save all your pocket (purse) change.

At the end of each day empty your pockets or purse of all your change and put it into your “savings” container. How often do you pull out quarters, dimes and other change to pay for things that you might not have bought if you’d had to “break a $20” or dig into your dollar bills.

2. Cut your own hair.

While you may or may not be able to do this for yourself, depending on your hair style, how about cutting your kids hair? A friend of mine purchased an inexpensive hair cutting set and routinely cuts her husband and 3 son’s hair. At $10 – $12 (or more) for each hair cut, she’s saving close to $50 a month on hair cuts. Put THAT into your “savings” container and see the dollars add up.

3. One weekend a month stay home and buy NOTHING.

This means no “order in” pizza and no purchased movies on TV. Make it a weekend with the kids – playing their favorite games or if you don’t have kids, you can invite some friends over for a card game. If “fun” isn’t your main goal, try using the weekend to clean up the yard, clean out a closet or two or shampoo the carpets.

4. Don’t throw anything away.

Remember the old saying – “one person’s trash is another person’s treasure”? Find an area in the garage or a spare room to accumulate things you won’t be using anymore then every few weeks or every couple of months, either hold a yard sale, put your items on CraigsList or on Ebay or find a community yard sale activity that you can participate in.

5. Buy cheap.

Whether you’re looking for car parts, home decor items, childrens toys, books or whatever it is — before heading out to the super centers to buy retail, check CraigsList, Ebay or even some of the Goodwill stores near you to see if you can stretch the dollars that you have to spend.

6. Decide What You Want

Last but not least — at the beginning of the year decide what you want to use those savings for — perhaps you can save up enough to cover the cost of all your Christmas gifts at the end of the year without going into debt, or perhaps you can save up for a family vacation, or at least determine to save enough to make an extra house payment or two or put some extra chunks of money on a current credit card. If you don’t have something in mind to use the money for, you’ll find yourself dipping into that “savings” container throughout the year for stuff you really didn’t have to have anyway.

Let us know if you think of other areas that can be added or what you might want to do with your “savings” when December comes around.

Boost Your Budget Pantry Challenge

In January of this year I participated in a Pantry Challenge where we attempted to eat from our cabinets, pantry, freezer and stockpile as much as possible and keep our spending for the month to a bare minimum.  It was a lot of fun and actually pretty amazing to see just how little we could spend for the month.  Another great side effect was starting out the year so far below budget!

I’m excited to be doing a Pantry Challenge again in January 2012 and I’d like to invite you to join in!  I’d also love to find a few bloggers to co-host this event by hosting the challenge linky on their blogs and doing a post each Monday of the month. 

Jan 2nd – Goal Week

Jan 9th – Update

Jan 16th – Update

Jan 23rd – Update

Jan 30th – Final Notes

This is not a “no spend” month, this is a “make do with what you have on hand and spend as little as possible” month.  Everybody’s personal goals will be different and we can each set our own rules – the point is merely to challenge ourselves and start off the new year with a boost to our budgets!  We’ll also be giving away a $25 Coupon Clutch gift certificate each week to one participant who either leaves a link to a challenge post or a comment about their challenge goals.  Won’t you join us?

If you’re a blogger and you’d like to help co-host this event, simply leave your blog name and info in the linky below and I’ll email you soon with the linky code and further details.