Monday, July 29, 2013

For Smokers Only: Save a ton of cash with e-cigarettes

I just wanted to take a moment to tell you about e-cigarettes, and how much cash you will save if you switch. I wanted to post sooner, but I feared my enthusiasm was simply brought about by the newness of my stylish e-cigarette. Now that I have some time under my belt, I think it's fair to say that I no longer smoke cigarettes. The statistics shown in my screenshot are for my husband and I combined. As you can see, we have saved well over $2000.00, not to mention the time added to our lives. There are others ways that switching to e-cigarettes can save you money, and perhaps you hadn't thought of these. First, how many times have you run out of cigarettes and had to make a special trip to the store to get them? Gas is certainly not cheap, and all those little jaunts to feed your addiction will add up. Second, burn holes. Holes in your car upholstery, your blanket, your clothes. The saving there are obvious. Third, cleaning expenses go way down once you make the switch to e-cigarettes. No more tar coating your walls, furniture, curtains, etc. I could not believe what a filthy habit I had given up; it took me a month of cleaning to get everything clean again, but now it stays pretty clean. Household cleaners are pretty expensive, and you will use less once you switch. Fourth, insurance premiums will go down after you have quit for one year, because your medical expenses will likely go down as well. We spent around $80.00 for our initial e-cigarette kits, still cheaper than a carton of cigarettes. We are spending an average of $25.00 a month for liquid nicotine. I sometimes spent that much in a DAY for regular cigarettes. We did some research and decided on Halo brand rechargeable, refillable e-cigarettes. I am not necessarily endorsing the brand, but one of the reasons we chose them is because their nicotine is made in the United States, so I feel more confident about the ingredients. Disposable e-cigarettes can end up being costly, but we have really hit our cash-saving groove with the rechargeable ones. Now that we have our hardware, we order bottles of nicotine to keep them filled. Bottom line, if you just can't give up the nicotine, e-cigarettes are the way to go. The cash savings is indisputable, and like me, you may find that you can take it or leave it after a few months. Do your research, and give it a try.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Free Ebooks

Okay, I know eReaders are expensive, but if you have been living the frugal lifestyle, you know you can get one from eBay on the cheap. If you are still thinking they are an unnecessary expense, allow me to enlighten you. If you are an avid reader, you already know how expensive books are. If you are lucky enough to have a friend who reads the same genre that you do, maybe you can trade. You still have to have books to trade, so there is still an expense involved. You can buy them at thrift stores, cheaper than new books but still sapping your hard-earned cash. Now you're thinking, "What about the library?" If you've noticed the price of gas lately, the library costs you money even though the books are free. Not to mention late fees if you forget, or the hassle of having to hurry up and finish a book before the due date. For all the options ranging from brand new books to the library, your cash is still involved. Enter the eReader, a one time expense. I know you're thinking that eBooks cost money, right? Wrong! I purchased a three month old android tablet/eReader from eBay that still had the original receipt and extended warranty with it, and I got it for $85. Since then, I have done my homework and found many sites to get free eBooks. If you are on FaceBook (you know you are), my favorite page is "Free Nook Books etc". While you're on FaceBook, do a search for the page and then "like" it. The wonderful page owner, Tina, posts many free NookBooks every day. These are ePub files and will work on almost any eReader, laptop, or tablet. I was a bit suspect of anything free, but I have read some truly awesome books that were completely free. My other suggestion is your library. Almost all libraries have a digital section now, and you can download to your hearts' content. You do have to worry about the due date, but you never have to worry about late fees because the books just expire on the due date. If there is anyway you can manage snagging a cheap eReader, do it! You will never have to pay for a book again.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Better Than Playing The Lottery

I thought about something today that made me feel guilty - guilty for not telling you about it sooner. There's a great site called Brainbench that provides online testing for employment skills. They also provide certification testing for those interested in being able to verify their abilities in a specialized skill. On the surface, this sounds like something that will cost you money, not make money, right? Wrong! Let me expand on how this turned out to be quite the money maker for me. I ended up with over $200.00 in six weeks. Combined with my Amazon Mechanical Turk earnings, I was able to complete 90% of my Christmas shopping without spending a dime out of my paycheck. First, you will need to register at Brainbench. Then you will need to take some of their free tests. They have many free tests that are basically just for fun. There are personality tests, trivia test, and others that you will enjoy. So far you haven't spent any money and had a little fun. You will then be in their database and will start receiving emails from them. You will receive requests to take beta tests. The key is to respond and take the tests immediately. The minute that email comes in, stop what you're doing and take the test. Brainbench will offer Amazon gift codes for the first 50 people who submit the tests. Every time I have gotten a beta test request, I have gotten a gift code. In some cases, they will offer additional codes for high scores (Sadly, I have never won one of those). If you are really good at the given skill, you might really clean up. Bottom line, after realizing I had done my Christmas shopping, purchased two new cordless phones and eight games from Amazon without dipping into my own pocket, I really felt bad about not sharing this with you all. It's an incredibly simple way to get things you might not otherwise be able to afford. Head on over to Brainbench and get started earning that extra money!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

A New Look At Coupons

I am NOT a Coupon Queen. I am lousy at keeping them organized. I don't get the newspaper and I am lousy at remembering to print them from MyPoints. I have, however, discovered another place to get coupons that I seem to actually be able to manage. I have settled into a routine and it seems to actually be fairly easy. The first thing I do is make a written grocery list. Then I go down the list and think of all the manufacturers for each item. For example, spaghetti sauce would yield Ragu, Prego, Hunts, etc. Then I go to the manufacturers website and look for coupons and offers. I also look at my local grocery store website to see what they have on sale. Last week, they had Smith's milk for $2.99 a gallon. The Smith Diary website had .40 coupons for milk. I got my milk for $2.59 a gallon. I generally shop for a two week supply. My last shopping trip netted me $9.75 in savings. The take-away lesson here is to bookmark all the manufacturers of items you normally buy and check them before you shop. If you really are a Coupon Queen, you can couple your already considerable skills with this little tip and save a ton of grocery money.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Please watch this!

Please take a moment to watch this video. It is America's story, told by someone who lives in my small town.... Bank of America has really shown their evil with this situation.">

Please share this any way you can. Thanks!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Cutting The Cost For Soups and Stews

I just wanted to share a quick tip about a method I use to make a cheap meal even cheaper. We all probably already use leftover chicken or beef to turn it into a second meal of soup or stew. I've found a way to take that frugal meal a little farther, making it even more frugal but still as tasty. So here's how I get the cheapest meal possible from leftovers...when I'm doing the clean up after a meal, it seems there are always just a few vegetables left, but not enough for another meal. I have started keeping a large container in my freezer and I dump that small amount of leftover vegetables in there. I just keep adding to the container after every meal. When I'm ready to make soup or stew, I have a ready source of mixed vegetables without buying any or using vegetables I have in the cupboard. This makes my soup or stew almost a freebie, since it's made of things that might otherwise be thrown out. So, start your veggie container today!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

I really need you all to help

I find that after all of my hard work and frugal ways, I have lost 3/4 of my already meager income due to circumstances beyond my control. I imagine that many of you have tips and tricks you could share. It would help me, and many others, if you would share them here. Thanks!