Thursday, August 29, 2013

40 Ways to Save Money

I posted this list on my old blog site back in November of 2009. Already 4 years ago! It's always nice to save money.

Here are a few ways I've learned to save money. I love to not spend money, especially since doing so helps us to put money away for a rainy day and for when we have kids and I stay home with them.-not for a couple years though. :-)

40 Ways to Save Money:

1. Turn off the lights when you’re not in a room.

2. Pay extra principal on your mortgage every month.

3. Pay off your credit card balance every month.

4. Get a credit card that earns points.

5. Pay your bills online to save on postage.

6. Pay your bills on time to avoid late fees.

7. Carry cash instead of credit/debit cards. It’s harder for us to part with “real” money.

8. Buy generic, in most cases it tastes just as good as the name brand.

9. Make a list for the grocery store, and stick to it.

10. Don’t buy junk food. It’s not benefiting your health anyways.

11. Buy in bulk when you know it won’t go bad before it expires.

12. Clip coupons.

13. Cancel unused magazine prescriptions.

14. Plan a sensible route for your errands and avoid going out for just one thing.

15. Shop at consignment or second hand stores. Some stores have really cute clothes!

16. Rent books, movies, and CD’s from the library. Don’t buy them, especially if you only read them once.

17. Cancel your internet service if you don’t use it much and can get by using your work or library’s internet.

18. Hand-me-downs. I loved getting clothes from my sister.

19. Eat at home instead of eating out.

20. When you do eat out, split a meal.

21. Stop smoking, drinking and chewing. It only hurts your health.

22. Make your own laundry soap.

23. Carpool to work or group activities.

24. Opt for public school instead of private. It can be just as good.

25. Encourage your high schooler to apply for scholarships for college.

26. Open an interest bearing account at the bank, like a CD or Money Market.

27. Don’t run the water while you’re brushing your teeth or shaving your legs in the shower.

28. Ride your bike or walk places if you can.

29. Go to the movies during the week. Around here it’s only $5.

30. Don’t get a gym membership. Run outside (or on the dusty treadmill in the basement) and rent exercise videos from the library.

31. Buy used items. Check out

32. Make your own gifts, if you’re crafty.

33. Shop the sales rack of stores.

34. Reconsider whether you really, really need that new pair of shoes.

35. Go to garage sales. One man’s junk is another man’s treasure.

36. Try to fix things yourself before you hire some help.

37. Wash laundry when you have a full load.

38. Cancel your cable subscription. Spend your time doing other things.

39. Don't impulse buy. Put it back on the shelf and wait a few days or even a month, then decide if you still want it.

40. Stay home and have a family game night instead of going out.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Salmon Patties and Sweet Potatoes

Yummy, healthy and filling! We could hardly clean our plates. :D These salmon patties are great, and have a lot of good stuff in them. I actually got this recipe from the cookbook: The Everything Meals on a Budget Cookbook. So they get the credit, but I'm giving it a thumbs up.

Salmon Patties:1/3 cup brown rice
2/3 cup water
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/3 cup shredded carrot
1/4 cup ground almonds
2 Tbsp flour
1 Tbsp sour cream
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1 egg
1/2 (14-oz) can salmon, drained
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp butter

1. In small saucepan, combine rice and water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 30-40 minutes or until rice is tender and liuid is absorbed.

2. In large saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and carrot; cook and stir for 4 minutes. Remove from heat and combine with almonds, flour, sour cream, salt, pepper, and egg in a medium bowl. Stir in cooked rice, then add salmon and stir gently. Add cheese and mix.

3. Form mixture into four patties. Wipe out large saucepan and melt butter over medium heat. Add patties and cook for 3-5 minutes on each side, turning once, until patties are crisp and brown (cooked min longer to make sure they were done). Serve immediately.

Freeze leftover fish: place fish in a freezer bag or container, seal, label and freeze for up to 3 months. To thaw, place in refrigerator overnight.

For sweet potatoes, clean skins, poke holes with a fork, wrap with aluminum foil and cook in a 450 degree oven for 40-50 minutes or 350 degree oven for 70-80 minutes.

Monday, August 5, 2013

12 Month Old Potty Sign Language

        My son just turned one year old. We've been using the potty with him since he was 3 1/2 months old. Over the past couple of months he's gotten a lot better at communicating with us that he needs to go potty. From the beginning we've given  him communication cues such as the ASL for potty: make a fist and place your thumb between your index and middle finger and move your hand back and forth bending at the elbow. We also make a pss pss sound which Levi will sometimes imitate. We also say potty and Levi will say pa pa if he needs to go. I just thought I'd share some video of Levi doing his signs today.

     When he does a sign we take him either to the potty insert on the big toilet or his little potty on the ground in his bedroom. (My husband likes the one in the bedroom more because we can sit in front of him and look at books or play with toys.)

     Sometimes we won't even have to ask him and he will look at us and shake his hand. If you don't know what you're looking for it's easy to miss.

     We just got done with lunch here. If he refuses to eat I know he's got to go. Sometimes he doesn't do the sign or make the pss pss sound but here he's telling me seriously that he need something. And right after this he had his bm for the day.

     Just chillin on the potty. It's just a typical part of his day. (Daddy got him this toy for his birthday.)

Friday, August 2, 2013

Simply Erin Custom Orders

I welcome custom orders! I'd love to create a beautiful finished product with what you provide to me. It could be fabric to make coordinating baby items or a quilt top needing quilted and bound. I'm willing to work with you on any of your sewing needs. The only exceptions are that I do not do apparel alterations or creation and I will not piece a quilt. (I do provide quilting and binding services though!)
Place your order by September 1st to receive it at my current price of $10/hour. This is an amazing price for the quality of work. I love to sew and take great care in every project that I complete.
Listed below are some ideas of possible projects. If you have any additional ideas, like purses or pillow shams, please contact me. I'm willing to work from patterns as well. I list custom order items and their fabric amounts on my Custom Orders tab at the top of the page. If you would like me to help calculate the fabric total I'd be glad to do that. Also, since these are personal items I prefer to have you purchase the fabric. This way you can get exactly the print you want.

Custom Order Items
Chenille blanket
Tummy time/lap quilt
Security blanket
Diaper changing pad
Burp Cloth
Nursing Cover
Ring sling baby carrier

Quilting Services
I can help you finish your quilt tops. I can do as much, or as little as you would like. The following services are available:
  • Laying out and pinning layers of the quilt
  • Quilting the layers
  • Cutting, sewing and ironing together binding strips
  • Sewing binding onto quilt
  • Hand sewing binding to back of the quilt (pictured above)
*The only batting I will work with is compact batting such as Warm and Natural. I will not do any work with the puffier white batting.

The following pictures are some of the custom orders I've done this year.

Chenille blanket

Diaper changing pads

Burp cloth and nursing cover set

Monogrammed burp cloths

Wet bags/ Zipper pouches


Please let me know if you have any questions. I'd love to work on a project for you!

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