Super Easy and Frugal Moisturizing Hair Mask Recipe

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I was at the beauty store today and noticed how pricey hair masks were…kind of ridiculous when you can make your own at home with nearly the same ingredients (if not better!). So…check out the AWESOME recipe below for a FRUGAL hair mask that will help your damaged, colored, unhealthy hair become soft, silky and shinier! I seriously LOVE this recipe and feel like it has helped a ton.

In case you didn’t know, my natural hair color is pretty dark and I actually bleach it….more than my hair dresser even wants to.  😉 But, ever since using this mask, my hair seems to hold up MUCH better after a bleach session. Yippee!!  🙂

Delicious Repairing Hair Mask:

  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 1 egg
  • 3 Tbsp buttermilk (optional)
  • 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp Coconut Oil (this stuff does wonders and is pretty dang important since it mimmicks our natural oils you lose when dying or bleaching hair!) You can buy it here on Amazon for $7.07 (Reg. $14.99!).

*If you have longer of thicker hair, you can double up the recipe.

What to do:

  1. First, mash up the banana, egg and avocado (blend together)
  2. You will then want to add the rest of the ingredients (doing it in this order makes it a lot easier)
  3. Apply and comb through your hair
  4. After 25 minutes you will want to blow dry your hair for a few minutes (the heat will really help the moisture penetrate)
  5. Rinse and wash out with shampoo and then use your conditioner!

*You can do this recipe about 2-3 times a month.

 

Thanks, She Knows

How to Easily Make Nail Polish on Nails Last Longer!

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Did you know….

You can make nail polish last longer on your nails with vinegar?! Just take a cotton ball and dip it in vinegar then swipe it over your un-polished nail. After it’s dry, polish your nail! That’s it, your nail polish will last longer! Also, using a base coat before painting your nails will help too. I would also like to add that painting a thick coat will actually make it peel off faster. Try to just do a base coat, 2-4 very thin coats of the color you choose and a thin top coat.

**Don’t forget to check out my HUGE DIY Board with a TON of health and beauty tips and tricks here.

Tips to Avoid Bubbles in Nail Polish!
DIY Remedy For Dry Cracked Feet
5 Unique Uses For Lip Balm
How To Remove Chewing Gum From Just About Anywhere
10 Natural Ways To Get Rid Of Ants

Lemon Oil to Lose Weight and Feel Better (Perfect New Years Resolution!)

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I know a lot of you are looking for ideas on how to lose weight for a New Years Resolution…I have a simple yet effective way to help you out! One of my friends told she has been doing this and has watched the inches melt away. I myself have tried and actually feel much better and have more energy!

The tip is Lemon Oil! Yes…you know, that stuff that smells REALLY good?! You can get it here on Amazon or at your local health food store.

  • Add 2-3 drops to a bottle of water and sip it throughout the day. When it’s gone, refill your water bottle and add more lemon. This will help you to get your daily water needed as well as give you the MANY benefits of lemon oil which includes speeding up your metabolism.
  • Every night before bed, run some lemon oil into your problem areas (tummy, thighs  😉 ) and it is suppose to melt it away. Seriously, I know a few people who swear by this!

P.S. – Lemon Oil in your drink actually tastes REALLY good and if you have a hard time with it in water, add it to a Crystal light drink and it makes the drink taste 10 times better!  😉 You’ll also smell really good every night.  😆

How I Use Envelopes to Save and Organize My Money!

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Before I started couponing and when we were living paycheck to paycheck I used the “Envelope system”. Honestly, I have never learned much about this concept nor did I know that a lot of money guru’s endorse it. I purely did it because it was the best way for me to feel organized, use my scarce and important money wisely and put it where it was suppose to go.

I have a secret…I STILL do it! I LOVE envelopes! Every time I go to the bank and deposit a check and get my cash back I ask them for envelopes.

 If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, let me explain it:

I take our paycheck and divvy it all up to the bills I pay every month. So, my piece of paper would look something like this (varying depending on your monthly bills, this is just an example):

Check $xxxx.xx

Cable – $50

Gas $150

Food $100

Credit card $50

Utilities $200

House payment $1500

Extra $20

Dog food $40

Cat food $20

Then, I take the items I would be getting cash back for (Food, Extra, Dog food, cat food). If these were my bills, that would mean I need 4 envelopes.

I also need to figure out what money bills I need for these envelopes so each envelope contains it’s proper amount of money. So for this example, I would need:

$100×1

$20×4

I would then take the (1) $100 and place it in the envelope I label with “Food”. Take (1) $20 and put it in “Extra”, take (2) $20’s and put it in “Dog Food”, etc.

This is so extremely helpful….it really keeps you organized and it helps you to stay committed to ONLY spending that amount on the specified item which will keep you in your budget.

Here’s how I look at it….if I went to the bank and took the total cash back which in this example would amount to $180 and just stuck it in my wallet. I may be more tempted to spend $130 on groceries since I do have $180 – then I would be short in my other categories. Where as with my envelope system, when I go to the store, I know I only have that money allocated for those items so I am not tempted to spend more than what I have in my envelope.

It sounds so simple (and it is) to make such a huge difference in your financing but let me tell you, for some reason, this little secret works wonders!

This is SO horribly sad…. :( Please Screw Those Dressers into the Wall

secure your dresser

This post is not about couponing BUT it is about something that is SO extremely important and I want you all to read it and SHARE it…please.

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Pin it, Share it, post it to your Facebook page, write it as your status…let’s just get the word out and hopefully save a life.

So last night I read this awful, heart wrenching story and shared it with all of you on the Raining Hot Coupons Facebook page. A lot of you then shared it… I wanted to take the time to write this post and share this story once again as I think it is very important and I believe I have great fans that will help spread the word.

♥ You can read about this horribly sad but true story hereI am so incredibly sorry for that family as well as a lot of you who have reached out and told your story about something similar happening to you.

bolt

A lot of you said you were going to bolt down your furniture now but needed help on how to do it. So see below:

Go HERE for an easy way to secure your furniture to the wall. (Thanks, Candie)

You can also get some furniture straps on Amazon, there are plenty of options.

Also, I thought the idea below was cute, may take some extra work but I know I have some crafters out there.

dresser attached to wall

 

Photo Credit and here

New VIDEO! Easy Way to Organize Kid’s Toys

toys

 

Thank you SO much for all your great ideas on how to organize a kiddos room! This idea has worked the best and so far I love it! Watch the video below to see how I did it. Enjoy….

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organizing kids toys

 

 

Milk Prices on the Rise Again! Possibly up to $8 per Gallon!

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Milk prices are already high in some states, upwards of over $4.50 per gallon! What’s more important is that there is an issue that may make milk prices to increase to over $8 per gallon by the new year! The Washington Post wrote an article explaining all the details about WHY milk prices may go up and here’s the nitty gritty about it.

Why
Congress has not renewed the “farm bill” that renews federal support for dairy farmers

When
Congress has to make some sort of effort on the bill by Dec 31st

What
What happens IF Congress and the Government do nothing: the Agriculture Department would have to buy dairy products at $40 per hundredweight (about twice the current price). This would drive milk prices up to as much as $8 per gallon at stores all over

Now another factor in the milk price rise is there is not as much demand for the dairy product as there once was. The generation that drank mostly milk has now since hit retirement age and older. Newer generations have since come up with milk replacements like soy milk, juices, and more. A perfect example of the supply and demand struggle.

Even with the prices of milk going up you can STILL get it and save money.

  • Walmart allows overage to be applied to the cart so you can always use that overage to cover milk
  • Use ECB, UP Rewards, and Balance Rewards Points
  • Shop around, sometimes convenience stores have milk at a cheaper price

So if prices do go up on milk what will you do? Stop buying milk or find a milk alternative?

A Handmade Birthday Party (Frugal Ways to Decorate)

This wonderful post was submitted by a “Raining Hot Writer” (read more about how you can write a frugal and helpful article and get paid for it here). Thanks to Ellie Bluebell’s House for these ideas and so many more….What creative ides these are! My favorite is the paper chains – definitely using that one!

 Enjoy…

A child’s first birthday is sweet, momentous, and exciting… and also noteworthy because it’s the last birthday party you will have full creative control over.  After the first birthday, you’ll be filling requests for SpongeBob SquarePants themes, skating parties, and the ultra dreaded eight eight-year-olds sleepover.  So have your druthers with number one!

I was very excited about making decorations for Natalie’s first birthday, and I proceeded to Martha Stewart out, big time.  I love those penant-flag banners you’ve seen popping up at cute places, like the Paper Source, and decided I could make one myself, much longer than the kit would allow, and for less than they were charging.  My craft closet was already full of the supplies, after all.

I also thought of making paper chains, like we used to do as kids to count down for Christmas.  Those things give you a lot of bang for your buck, time and materials-wise!  I got five designs of scrapbooking paper (two double sided and one single sided) and started cutting them into 2″ x 6″ strips with my awesome paper cutter, the Handy Guillotine (that is it’s actual product name.  I would have bought it anyway but I delight in calling it the Handy Guillotine every time I use it.  Best $19 I have ever spent). Then all you need is a stapler, and you’re in paper-chain-making business.

Total cost of 16′ of paper chains, $4 (for scrapbooking paper).

 Now onto the festive penant-flag banners…
I will admit I totally eyeballed cutting these, as I tend to do. With paper birthday decorations, eyeball it. I used an Exacto knife, a metal straight edge, and a cutting mat.  I borrowed the shape/design from Paper Source’s kit, with a foldover tab on the top of the flag to wrap around the banner string.
Then I folded each flag’s tab over my natural colored yarn and secured it with craft glue.
Total cost for 24′ of penant flag banner, $2.50 for the yarn (since I had everything else already).  Definitely a savings over the Paper Souce kit, of which I’d have needed two.
I think the thing most people get excited about for first birthdays is the baby’s first cake experience.  The guests, anyway.  They want to see smashing, grabbing, throwing, and sugar rushes.  As a mom, I was thinking, once she tastes frosting, my homemade sweet potatoes are history!  She’s gonna get frosting in her hair/on the walls/in her ears/on the dog/inside the heat registers!
But what are you going to do – deny your child cake for 18 years?  It’s one of those “feel the fear and do it anyway” things.
It’s yellow cake, from a mix, with white frosting, from a tub.  That’s the actual name of the flavor: White.  A drop of red food coloring, and some sparkly pink sprinkles brought it up to Very First Birthday Cake status.

So for the rest of the guests… cuppycakes!
Coconut and Birthday Cake flavors. I used a semi-homemade approach to these, and doctored up a white cake mix (again, how is “White” a flavor?) with coconut milk and some other things as recommended by this recipe on Allrecipes.com.
Total cost of  cake and 36 cupcakes, $16 (including fancy $4 sprinkles and $2 candle from Mrs Cook’s).

How to Make Foaming Dish or Hand Soap and Save Tons of Money

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Have you ever bought that foaming dish soap or hand soap? I have and I love it but what if you could make your own and save over $5.00 a refill (like you’d pay in the store).

You just need the foaming soap dispenser (buy at Walmart, Target, etc – a one time expense) and liquid soap which you can usually get for FREE with a coupon or for inexpensive.

Here’s how:

1. Rinse out your foaming soap container.
2. Fill the foaming container 1/4 with regular Dawn Dish Soap.

3. Then slowly fill up the container with water (you can tilt it so the water goes down the side and not onto the soap that way you don’t get a bubbly mess).

4. Put the top back on and slowly tip back and forth to mix (do not shake).

That’s it! You can use an 8oz bottle of the regular soap to make about 9 refills of foam soap which will bring you lots of savings!

 

Thanks, Mojosavings

Going Green – With Kids!

Getting kids excited about going green isn’t difficult at all, if you go about it the right way! Many kids love to get dirty, so they’re really going to enjoy the gardening and creating a compost pile. Other kids love incentives, so read on to find out how to get your kids to GO GREEN with you!

Reduce, reuse, and recycle.

When the kiddos want paper to draw on, make sure they’re using both sides. After they’re done, have them recycle the paper.

Doing something as simple as letting the kids sort through the family trash and put recyclables in the proper bins will get the entire family started with recycling.

Teach your kids not only how to recycle, but why they should recycle. You want it to be something they want to do even when you’re not around.

What would the world look like if nobody reused or recycled? It wouldn’t be a pretty picture. Have the younger kids draw a picture of what they think it would look like, while you talk with the older kids about the serious consequences of trashing the Earth.

Gardening and composting.

Kids will love to help you make a compost pile. You don’t have to have a lot of room to create one, either! You can start with a compost bin under the kitchen sink, with materials like coffee grounds, orange peels, and veggies. Shake the bin a few times a week, and let it get some sun a few hours a day.

You can also start small with gardening, by growing herbs inside. If you have room to expand, create an organic garden in your back yard and use your compost to help tend the garden.

Explain to the kids what composting is. Check Composting101.com for info. You can even print off some worksheets from the internet to help answer some questions they may have about it.

Use less.

Teach your children why you aren’t buying bottled water. Show them that by walking to the store instead of driving, you’re helping the planet.

Use reusable grocery bags, and give them incentives for helping you remember to actually bring the reusable bags to the store.

Check out books from the library or buy used books instead of purchasing them new. Borrow videos from the library, or buy them locally – if you order them online, think about the resources that are being used to get the products to you.

Give.

Donate used clothes and toys to charities, homeless shelters, or stores like Goodwill. Let them shop around at places like Goodwill as well – you’d be surprised at the gems they will pick up!

Turn it off.

Give them an incentive to keep lights turned off, and electronics unplugged, when not in use. Shut off the water while you brush your teeth, and have them do the same. The incentive doesn’t have to be monetary, you can start a chart to see who can be the most energy efficient. The winner wins a walk to the park with Mom!

Not only will these things foster good deeds, it will also help them grow up with more efficient habits and will help others be green in the future. Read with them, 10 Things Kids Can Do to Go Green and Reduce Environmental Impact. It’ll get them thinking, and learning!

How to have a Successful Road Trip with Children

Planning a road trip with kids can be a little hectic, but if you follow these simple steps you’ll be smooth sailin’ all the way to Memphis – or… wherever you’re headed!

Preparation

It’s a good idea to start talking about the road trip a few weeks before you plan on leaving. Always be positive when discussing the road trip. Call it a vacation, an adventure, whatever you need to, to get the kiddos excited! This will also help once you’re in the car. If a little one starts having a meltdown, you can remind them of how awesome this adventure is going to be, but everyone has to put on their happy face or it won’t be as fun!

Packing

Pack some surprises for the road. I like to call it a “Treasure Box”. We play “I Spy” for a little bit, and they get “coins” for each thing they find. After a few rounds of I Spy, let them cash their coins in for a prize. You can stock up on toys and coloring books from the dollar store, so the Treasure Box doesn’t break the bank.

Don’t forget to bring some special snacks – fruit snacks, bananas, or whatever tickles their fancy! Before you leave, be sure to grab some baby wipes and trash bags for messes and snack wrappers in the car.

Before you leave, check out Pinterest for printable road trip game ideas. There are tons! Pack a jump rope, and some other “active” toys to play with at rest stops. It will wear them out and they might even take a nap while you’re driving! Wishful thinking, perhaps, but one can dream…

Don’t forget music. Sing-a-longs can make the trip super fun!

Hitting the Road

To avoid such frequent stops, pack sandwiches or make your own Lunchables with cheese, crackers, and deli meat.

If possible, gas the vehicle up the night before so you don’t have to make a stop right away. If your vehicle has DVDs, consider renting a few new ones from the Redbox. You can return them at any Red Box kiosk, so you won’t have late charges.

Start your trip off on the right foot – bring some CDs and start a sing-a-long to set the mood.

Have fun

I think the most important piece of advice when going on a road trip is just to have fun! You’re building memories that your kids will cherish for years to come. After 100 “Are we there yet?”s, you may forget that you’re creating memories. Maybe you should write it on your hand. That always helps me remember things! 🙂

Okay now your turn, what are some tips you have for a fun road trip with kiddos?!

Splurging – Why I Think It’s a GOOD Thing!

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Splurging….It’s a scary yet awfully fun word.

For people who love to save money, this word can be scary. It’s scary because we spend all this time to clip coupons, watch for sales, match coupons with sales, get cash back online, research things before we buy them, etc. So when you “splurge” it can almost feel like you are throwing all that saved money away.

It’s a fun word because let’s face it, we all love to get something we really want whether it’s a $150 pair of designer jeans because they are the only kind that fit, a luxurious car because you want to feel safe and comfy while driving…you want the new Coach purse that was just released because hey, it’s just cute and makes you feel good….There’s my key point – it makes YOU FEEL GOOD. That’s what really matters right?

Basically what I am saying is there is a always a good and bad way to look at splurging. I like to look at it “the good way”. I personally believe it is OKAY and actually a very good thing to splurge….in moderation of course.

Now, moderation can vary for everyone. It all depends on how much money you have leftover after each paycheck, how many bills you have, etc.

I splurge…I splurge on things like vacation with my family (to me this is a great way to use our money I work hard to save. I love to create special memories the kids will always carry with them) I splurge on my purses – I am a sucker for Juicy Couture. Yes, these can be expensive but I feel that I work hard to save money and deserve to spoil myself when I want. And guess what, you know when I buy that purse I am going to try to find the best deal on it whether it’s at Nordtsrom Rack, online with cash back or with a store coupon and sometimes even used – if it’s in good condition it still makes me FEEL GOOD when I wear/use it.

If you have a hard time feeling like it’s okay to splurge or shall we just say “treat yourself” then I have some tips to help you out…

1 – Set aside a certain amount from every paycheck, yes, even if you live paycheck to paycheck. Be creative and think of ways to do this. For example if you pay $50 on your credit card every month maybe choose to pay $25 every other month. Yes, I just told you to pay half of your payment to your credit card. I am a strong believe that we need to live life to the fullest and spending all your money to pay bills will not make you feel good. Don’t get me wrong, it feels good to pay off debt but what if you can still do that and spoil yourself at the same time…that, FEELS even better! Take that extra $25 and save it – save it for your special splurge. Splurging always feels better when you do it big….I mean what sounds better, splurging on a dinner out or on a new purse? Save it till you reach $100 and can get that new purse.

2 – Spend some more time one or two weeks to really hit those sales up and save big on groceries using coupons. This is possible. I know that the more time you spend clipping, matching sales, finding deals, etc, the more money you can save. I mean some of those “Extreme Couponers” basically treat couponing as a job. This is something you could do for 2 weeks strong and all the money you saved by working that extra time couponing, SAVE it and SPLURGE with it! It’s almost it’s own form of making money.

Anyway, I hope you all feel like you deserve a great splurge every once and awhile because we ALL do.  What are some things you like to splurge on and please, if you have any tips on how to splurge efficiently please share for the people out there who feel “guilty” spoiling themselves. 😉

10 Ways to Save Money on Utilities

Sometimes we forget to do the simple things to save money….like turning lights off, so below are some easy reminder of ways to lower your utilities! Lowering your electric bill isn’t just about saving money, it’s also about saving energy. Use these tips to help you easily do both.

*Get more FRUGAL Articles from Raining Hot Coupons here*

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1. Turn off lights when you’re not using them.

Yes, this is a simple one, but it’s something many of us forget about from time to time. It’s the little things that add up.

2. Don’t window shop the fridge.

Refrigerators are one of the biggest energy users in our homes, so you want to make sure it’s operating efficiently. The quicker you get in and out, the colder your refrigerator will stay without having to use extra energy. Remember to vacuum the refrigerator coils and defrost if necessary. Also, keeping the fridge and freezer stocked will help conserve a bit of energy as well.

3. What’s your water heater set on?

Turn down your water heater to 120 degrees. You won’t need it any hotter than that for a shower (ouch!), and it’s a big energy-drain if it’s much higher than that.

4. What about lighting?

It’s best to use natural light when at all possible, so open the curtains and raise the blinds! Replacing your incandescent light bulbs with the higher efficient fluorescent bulbs can also help because they use less than half the amount of energy! These bulbs do cost quite a bit more to purchase, but they last longer which will save you money in the long run.

5. Clean.

Keeping your air filters clean is a great way to save some money. Dust and dirt can hinder air flow, so keeping them clean will help.

6. Use a fan, or open a window.

If the weather is nice, open the windows and let the breeze flow through the house. Using a fan will also help the room you’re in feel cooler, but leaving it on while you are gone is pointless. It’s not like the air conditioning unit, and it won’t keep it much cooler while you’re not in the room. Fans basically cool us off, not the room.

7. Wash cold, and air dry.

Wash your laundry in cold water if at all possible, and then hang it outside on the line to dry. Keep in mind this requires good weather, and if you or your kids have allergies it may not be a possibility because allergens can get onto your clothes.

8. Get rid of the less known energy-suckers.

A few things are sucking energy from your home and you may not even realize it: TVs, VCRs, computers, and even microwaves. If you plug these items into power strips instead of the wall, you can turn the entire strip off between uses instead of having to unplug everything each time.

9. Apply weather stripping.

Some houses, especially older ones, tend to let cool air escape in the summer (and let cold air in, in the winter). Weather stripping can not only save you lots of cash, it can also conserve major energy.

10. Use a Crock Pot.

It may seem like a crock pot would use a lot of energy, since it’s on all day, but it’s usually cooking at a low temperature so it’s not going to heat your entire kitchen up like your stove and oven do.

How do you save money on utilities?

Things to Save Money On, You Normally Wouldn’t Think of

I thought it would be fun to sit down and think of a list of things (and create one with all of your input too) to save money on – these may be things you would not normally know how to save money on or even think it was possible.

Please feel free to help out and leave some of your own tips in the comments. What do you save money on that most people wouldn’t think of and how do you do it? I will pick my favorite comment/tip and they will get a special surprise!

1 – Hotels….I’m  not sure if a lot of you know this or not but when you book a Hotel online it is almost always a little cheaper than doing it over the phone. Easy right?! You can also Google coupon codes for the specific Hotel you will be staying at. Or, check their website for special promotions. Plus, go though Shopathome.com and earn cash back for booking online – this can REALLY add up!

It never hurts to ask…..This is a true story and awesome tip I learned for a Hotel I just love. If you go to Las Vegas and need a nice yet affordable place to stay, on the Strip and in the middle of my favorite part of The Strip (right by the shopping). I highly recommend Treasure Island. They have remodeled the rooms and they are very modern and nice. My favorite part is the FREE buffet….say what?! YES! One time while making a reservation in person, the very nice gentlemen offered my Mom and I 2 FREE Buffet vouchers (valued at $27 each!). We were like umm, what? A little skeptical at first but he assured us they would work and we would not be charged. So we took them, thanked him and headed off to the yummy buffet (which is quite tasty and has THE BEST dessert section – especially for free). They have eclairs, chocolate covered strawberries, cotton candy freshly made there, gourmet ice cream, etc. NO, I am not getting paid to do this post, LOL I truly love this Hotel. Anyway, it worked out great and we got nearly $60 worth of dinner for FREE!

My point is, every time I stay there now I always ask about the 2 free buffet tickets (even over the phone for reservations) and guess what?! Two out of three times I’ve asked since then, I got them and they were included in the same price I would have paid for the room without them.  The one time they couldn’t do it, they offered me a Buy 1 Get 1 FREE Buffet voucher and yes, I took it…who can pass up that kind of dessert! 😉 Anyway, be sure to ask for special perks like that (especially in Las Vegas and especially at Treasure Island)!

2 – Medical expenses and credit cards – Did you know that you can save money on these 2 things?! Yep, it’s true and I learned it from an episode of Oprah. The main one is for credit cards. You can almost always call your credit card company and get your interest rate reduced! You may get lucky and the first person you talk to may do it for you but if not, don’t give up! Try, try again….call back and ask another representative. Try it out…it really works.

If you have large balances on credit cards, you can call the company up and ask them what kind of a pay off they can get you if you pay it all in full RIGHT NOW. Tell them you do not have enough money to pay the full balance but if they can settle with an amount that works for you then BAM, you could save thousands! YES, THOUSANDS! I have heard of people having $6,000 credit card bills and getting a settlement of $3,500 if they pay it in full right then. It’s worth it and it can save you a ton of money…then, cut up that credit card and pay cash (that’s a-whole-nother money saving tip). 😉 Don’t forget, “try, try again” until you succeed. You can also do this same thing for medical balances and they are almost always willing to help in some way.

 Okay, please share your tips on things to save money on that you normally wouldn’t think possible.

Birthday Balloon Wreath Craft Idea!

Here is a super cute & frugal Birthday Wreath! It’s really easy to make & very inexpensive! What I love most about this wreath is you can store it & reuse it for other household birthdays or give it as a gift!

Enjoy…

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What you will need to make this Birthday Wreath:

Straw or Styrofoam Wreath
Balloons (around 200+)
U shape floral pins
Birthday Ribbon/Curly Ribbon
**If you use a straw wreath I suggest wrapping it with clear plastic wrap for a tighter hold**

Directions:

1.Prep your wreath by wrapping plastic wrap tightly around it.
2. Take your U shape Floral Pins and lay the balloon about halfway.
3. Start poking the Balloon pins into wreath… Keep in mind you can crisscross and or overlap them no special order just “play as you go”.

Keep in mind the fuller you want your wreath to be the more balloons you will need to use. I have seen some with over 2000 balloons added around the wreath! It’s totally up to your personal taste!

Morning Glory Muffins Recipe (Healthy Breakfast Option!)

This wonderful post was submitted by a “Raining Hot Writer” (read more about how you can write a frugal and helpful article and get paid for it here). Thanks to Ellie Bluebell’s House for these ideas and so many more….I’ll be trying these healthy muffins out…I always seem to have a hard time eating breakfast. I love cereal and it’s so easy but honestly, I’m sorta getting sick of it so these sound yummy!

 Enjoy…

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I have been wanting nothing but baked goods lately, and I figured that if I’m going to eat baked goods, I should attempt to make them healthy ones and got out the Kitchen Aid.

 Chock full of fruit and nuts, and they really do live up to their name (ahem), a connection I didn’t even make until someone asked me, “well, do they work?”

 I guess my first thought at the name was of the flower, but just look at the healthy cast of characters.  You make the call…

I couldn’t help but tweak the original recipe to make it even healthier, since I was planning on eating a lot of these muffins.  I subbed whole wheat pastry flour for half the white flour.  More fiber, are you crazy?  Maybe.  Probably.

Morning Glory Muffins

Makes 18 regular size muffins or 12 regular plus some minis (great for little hands and, let’s face it, soo much cuter)

*Oven to 350

Ingredients:
1/2 cup seedless organic raisins
1/3 cup walnuts, toasted in the oven at 350 for 10 minutes, then cooled and chopped
1 cup flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour (plain ol’ whole wheat flour would be great, too)
1/2 cup sugar
2 1/4 t cinnamon (just eyeball it)
1 1/2 t baking soda (don’t eyeball this one)
1/4 t salt
1 medium carrot, peeled and grated
1 organic Granny Smith, peeled and grated
3/4 c chopped pineapple (canned is ok, fresh is better)
3 eggs
1/4 c canola oil (next time I’m using coconut oil for sure)
6 T unsalted butter, melted
1 t freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 t vanilla extract
1/2 c shredded, unsweetened coconut (look for this in the bulk section!)
1/3 c coarse raw sugar
Don’t skip toasting the walnuts – it brings out their flavor and makes your kitchen smell heavenly.
  • Put raisins in a small bowl and fill with hot tap water.  Drain after 10 minutes or so of soaking.
  • Sift flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt into a big bowl.  In another, combine raisins, walnuts, carrot, apple, pineapple, eggs, oil, melted butter, lemon juice, vanilla, and coconut.  Mix with a wooden spoon.  Add dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
  • Don’t overmix or you’ll have hard little death cookies instead of muffins.

  • Spoon batter into oiled or papered muffin tins, filling them quite full since they don’t rise much.  I could have filled them more full (see picture).
  • Sprinkle coarse, raw sugar (like Sugar in the Raw) atop each muffin.  It doesn’t take much, but don’t skip this step.  It gives a sweet little crunch and a bit of a glaze to the top of your Glories.
  • Bake until lightly browned: 35 minutes for regular sized muffins, and 20 minutes for minis in silicone mini muffin pans.
  • Have some right out of the oven.  Why wait?  It’s practically a fruit salad it’s so healthy (I get great joy from being a baked-goods-enabler).  Don’t think about the almost-a-whole-stick-a-buttah.  In fact, a little salted butter on these muffins is really good.

Save Money with Diapers…Cloth Diapers?!

This wonderful post was submitted by a “Raining Hot Writer” (read more about how you can write a frugal and helpful article and get paid for it here). Thanks, Colleen….I’ve always been “afraid” to use cloth diapers but seeing that picture of all those diapers…that’s pretty scary!

 Enjoy…

As a family, my husband and I save money with diapers.

 How is that? Diapers are expensive after all.  1 easy fix. We only use cloth diapers.  We decided, well I mostly decided to cloth diaper while I was pregnant with my son.  I began searching and scouring the Internet, online forum websites and cloth diaper stores.

There are many sites comparing the cost of disposable diapers to cloth, and a varying range in the cost difference. Being that I use cloth, I have no idea how much we would have spent on disposable diapers.  From the cost comparison websites, they claimed disposables for the first year of your babies life you could spend approximately 1,000 all the way up to 2,500.  Obviously that is a big gap, and that cost varies greatly on where you live, tax, the diapers you buy, and if you are using coupons and buying on sale.


With that being said. I have spent a little over 500 dollars purchasing all of the diapers I have, and that includes me having enough diapers to actively diaper 2 children, even though I only have one. Darn compulsive shopping and cute diapers! (Side note: Have you seen how cute new cloth diapers are?!) They have ones that go on  just like a disposable, but with lots of colors, patterns, and velcro-type tabs.  So easy and very frugal!

My top positives of cloth diapers:
1- You can use them for subsequent children. I will not need to spend any more money buying diapers when we have another baby.
2- It is good for the environment.  I saw the picture above and thought, wow.  That is a lot of diapers.
3- No trips to the store when you need diapers. Just some laundry!
4- No chemicals on your babies skin.

I own a lot of diapers, I have varying sizes, types, brands. I have never used a pin, it’s not needed.  When people look at modern cloth diapers, they see the cost of 15 a diaper (there are more expensive, and less expensive) and think no way, I could buy a whole jumbo box for that. But eventually those diapers are gone. I have my diaper forever, well not forever but it can and will last through several children, and eventually it pays for itself. The second thing I hear all the time is dealing with the poop. Let’s face it, babies poop regardless, you still have to deal with the poop. And I have never had poop anywhere but in my son’s diaper. We don’t have extra garbage. I do need to buy detergent, I wash them every 2-3 days, use a bit extra water, electric for washing, but I hang them out to dry, so there is not a lot of extra that I noticed a difference.

Bottom line: I know it’s not for everyone, but if your looking to be frugal it is amazing for that. We even use homemade cloth wipes out of flannel. They are very soft and my husband and I both agree they work better.  I suggest to you to take a look if your expecting, have children or want to in the future. There are amazing new products out there to make it affordable and easy. And a lot of the diaper stores do rewards programs, giving you points for every purchase; and not to mention the sales and online giveaways! I just ordered 90 dollars worth of products and didn’t have to pay for any of it!

Ways to Teach our Children Good Money Management Skills

This wonderful post was submitted by a “Raining Hot Writer” (read more about how you can write a frugal and helpful article and get paid for it here). Thanks, Bobbie….I love all these unique ways to help Children learn about money!
Enjoy…
We strive to be wise with our money and practice it in many ways. However, sometimes we fall short in helping our children learn the wisdom of our ways.  Yes, they learn by example, but there are also practical ways to teach them.  Here are just a few examples that you may want to implement into your own lives.
1. Instead of giving them a general set allowance each week,  create a set amount of money for each chore that they complete in the week.  You decide what their minimum chores would be for the week and also what their minimum allowance would be as well. You also decide what their maximum chores would add up to as well.  This teaches children the pride of earning their cash per chore rather than earning a set amount no matter how little or much they do in the week.
2. When they have a birthday or receive money of any kind you can teach them the importance of savings by allowing a certain percentage to always go to their savings account at the bank, no questions asked. If you are trying to teach them the importance of 10% tithing , you could in addition, set aside that amount to drop into the offering plate on Sunday.  Show them the balance of their savings account each time to get them excited to see their money growing.  Give them goals on what they would like to purchase with their savings.
3. Instead of giving material gifts, how about the gift of a savings bond?   Children may not appreciate this in their younger years, but when they are older, they will thank you ten-fold and teach them the valuable lesson of patience with watching money grow.  You could even ask your children if they would like to buy a savings bond from the money they have in their savings account.  The possibilities are endless.
4. When going to an big event such as the Circus, be specific with your children on the amounts you would like to spend and stick to that. This teaches them the value of items as well as teaches them not to spend on demand and foolishly.  Teach them good habits and a healthy awareness.
And who knows your children may be stock-brokers by the time they reach age 3… wishful thinking I know.
Happy Frugal Parenting!
Image by Timeout Kids.

How to EASILY Clean Your Messy Microwave!

This wonderful post was submitted by a “Raining Hot Writer” (read more about how you can write a frugal and helpful article and get paid for it here). Thanks, Jessica….this is a fantastic idea and does work!

Enjoy…

I always hated cleaning the microwave, not sure If that just me. But between splattered sauces, melted and crusted cheese, and who else even knows what the kids put in there, I have despised this chore.

There is actually a really simple solution that does not require noxious fumes from oven cleaners that have to sit for an hour before they “work” … and even then you need a butter knife to scrap things out of there.

A very simple solution to getting that microwave looking new and smelling good again is actually one of those “duh, why didn’t I think of that” solutions.

  1. Grab a bowl, coffee mug, or any microwave safe container that can hold a soapy wash cloth that has not been wrung out.  Put the wash cloth in the container; throw that bad boy in place the container in the microwave, set the time for about 3 minutes.  
  2. When the buzzer goes off be really careful because the container and wash cloth are going to be scorching hot. This is where having tough skin or dish washing gloves come in handy, if you don’t have either like me, just take the container out and let it cool a bit until you can tough it without being burned.
  3. It may not look like it but most of the hard part of the job has already been done! Just take the wash cloth out of the container and wipe down the microwave. All the stuck on yuckies are now soft enough to be wiped right off with very little effort.
  4. If your wash cloth gets too cold or you got sidetracked and the container sat in there too long, just turn it back on for a few minutes and give it another go.
  5. Use a dry towel and wipe out any water or soap that accumulated in there and you are all done.

Congratulations, your microwave should now look as good as new!

How to Save Money on Baby Expenses (Online)

This wonderful post was submitted by a “Raining Hot Writer” (read more about how you can write a frugal and helpful article and get paid for it here). Thanks, Kara….love this topic!

How to Save Money on Baby Expenses    

Are you interested in getting the most for your money when it comes to baby expenses such as diapers, wipes, etc?  I have searched everywhere for the best deals and it just so happens that they are only a click away.  You don’t have to leave your house and can get diapers and wipes shipped directly to your house in 2 days!

How?

Amazon Mom is a offering a FREE 3 month membership program that helps families save money (you can earn more free months, see below).

What are the benefits?

You receive 20% off diapers, wipes, and other items when you click the subscribe and save button on the right hand side of the screen.  Then, you get to pick how often you want to item delivered directly to your home.  Don’t worry if you only want a one time delivery, you can subscribe for a month or two later and then cancel the subscription right away so you only receive the initial purchase.  You still get the discount!

As a member of Amazon Mom you also qualify for free two-day shipping for THREE months!!  Just wait… it gets even BETTER!!!  As long as you are using your account Amazon usually will extend your free shipping period.  I have had my account for over 7 months and they keep extending my free shipping benefits.  You will also get free shipping on all your other Amazon purchases as long as the item states that it is “prime eligible”.

How can you stack coupons with the 20% discount?

Each week Amazon Mom will email you a list of upcoming Amazon Mom deals and you simply click on the email and are directed to a whole list of coupons that you can click to “clip”.  The coupons change every week so I simply wait for the brand of diapers and baby items I use to have a coupon available and then I stack the coupon with the subscribe and save discount, as well as free shipping!

What are you waiting for?  Click here to sign up today!

Read more about this amazing program by clicking here.

*HOT* I Am Looking for Some “Raining Hot Writers” – Write a Frugal Article and Get Paid by Me!

Update – I’ve had a pretty good response to this and have received several great articles. It’s going to take me some time to go through them but please, please don’t think I am not going to post your article if I have not responded to you yet. I have them all in a special folder in my email, and will get back to you ASAP. When and if yours is posted, you will get payment as soon as I post it so please don’t worry about that.

I am super excited to tell you all about an idea I’ve been having for awhile. I am always getting emails with questions, and great ideas for topics of discussion! So, I started thinking…with all you creative Raining Hot Coupons’ readers, I would LOVE to get YOUR help!

I am looking for some “Raining Hot Writers”! It will be a great way for some of you Stay At Home Mom’s and Dad’s to earn a little extra MONEY here and there too!

Here’s my plan and my idea….

I would love for you all to write up a post about whatever “Money Saving, Frugal” topic you’d like! This is the creative part…thinking about what you would like to tell others.

Here are some examples of past topics:

  • How to save money when planning a Birthday Party
  • How to Meal Plan
  • Freezing Food
  • How to save money on “Knock-off” brands
  • Saving money purchasing online
  • Parenting
  • Paying down debt
  • Organizing Bills
  • Frugal Recipes
  • ETC….(I’m excited to hear your topics)

I’m going to pay you too! If you’re topic gets posted, you will get $5 cash via Paypal! Plus, there is NO LIMIT on how many times you can contribute….hey, I may even want to hire one of you to do this on a consistent basis for Raining Hot Coupons!

Depending on the quality of the articles and how much the RHC readers enjoy them, I may pay more in the near future for each article but right now this is a test to see how it goes. I may post up to 1 (maybe even 2 a day). That means you could earn a good amount of money submitting your articles each month. 😉

Rules….Darn those things….Let’s call them Guidelines!

* You will need to make sure your content is original and in your own words.

* Make sure you are giving CREATIVE and UNIQUE tips that most of us may have not though of or ever heard of.

* Personality – please don’t make this boring…we want to read fun pieces with your personality infused – be cheesy…nothin’ wrong with that! 😉

* Please add a photo or two to your post. If you find this photo on another website please just be sure to include a link to their website at the bottom of the post.

* Remember, this is a coupon, money saving site so if there are coupons for products or links of places for them to save money, etc, don’t forget to include links in the post too!! I Love these!

Finally…

Email your article to me at sarah@raininghotcoupons(DOT)com – If I choose to post your article, I will let you know and send your payment or gift card (whichever you choose!).