Saturday, January 29, 2011

Storage Deals at Home Depot

Home Depot has some great in-store deals on items from their storage department.

You can get a black, 4-shelf, steel storage unit for just $5.00! This was $24.97. Or how about a black plastic storage locker with red handles for $10.00. And this is my favorite - 20-gallon plastic storage totes for $3.00!!! The totes come in light blue, medium blue, tan or brown.

If organizing is in your future, now's the time to stock up.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Site for Excess Fruit and Nuts

I was watching the RACHAEL RAY television show today and a guest spoke of a web site called, where people can locate extra fruit and nuts from their neighbors backyards.

On the surface it sounds as if people would be wandering onto someone's property, but I was intrigued and explored the web site. Homeowner's with excess fruit on their trees can list their property on the site and the type of fruit or nut available. Public areas including parks are also listed.

Now, the fruit may have been exposed to chemicals or something else - there could be reasons why the fruit is going to waste. But then again, it could be that the owner just doesn't have the time or ability to harvest the fruit.

I have personally seen people at the city offices picking wild grape leaves. I can only guess that they are using the leaves for a middle eastern dish.

So why I am telling you this information? Metro Detroit has a lot of fruit production and a lot of hungry people. Perhaps we could make this site available for others to access or create a site specific to the metro area. (Maybe I just volunteered for this activity)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

National Hot Tea Month

January is officially National Hot Tea Month. What better way to get rid of a cold or feel warm all over than cuddling up with a freshly brewed cup of tea. So boost your flavonoid intake and your immune system with your favorite - green or black.

I think I'll make some cranberry scones to go with my mint tea and double my vitamin C in the process. Or you could add lemon to the drink. Whatever you choose, there's a flavor available that's right for you.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Financial Fast

Washington Post columnist, Michelle Singletary wrote an article on imposing a financial fast for a month on your money. She wrote the piece last year and it pertains to anyone trying to reign in their finances.

During the 30 days of the fast, only shop for essential items. Buy food you need to survive, hygiene products or work related necessities. That means wear a sweater you have rather than purchasing the latest trend to go with an outfit.

Singletary also recommends no window shopping or shopping on the internet. Don't even tempt yourself during this self-imposed frugality. Throw away the ads from the stores and don't open a magazine.

This will be tough for me. I like to browse through store aisles and flip the pages of magazines to get ideas. I am confident I can complete this task and be better with my money after the 30 days.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Snow in Michigan

A friend in Massachusetts sent me a photo after their recent blizzard. And we're not talking a dessert found at Dairy Queen. The yardstick showed a measurement of 20 inches! That's just shy of 2 feet of the frozen stuff. Luckily, southeastern Michigan got by with 4-5 inches of snow. Thought you might like to see a photo of puppy romping in the yard after the snowfall. I think she smells a mouse beneath the snow's mantle.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Debt Free Blog

I recently discovered Gail Vaz-Oxlade's blog while watching CBC's "Steven and Chris" show. Gail has written several books on finances and living debt-free. She has her own show and has also written for several large newspapers including the Globe and Mail.

Many of her ideas on spending have really enlightened me - transforming how I spend my money including her theory of spending money on an expensive meal. Vaz-Oxlade pointed out that after you have dropped $200 on an extravagant dinner, you return home and literally "poop" out your money. You have fortified yourself with food, delicious food at that, but a wonderful soup and glass of wine for under $20 could have satisfied you and provided enjoyment as well. In the process, you would have saved well over a $100 dollars.

Today's article on her blog focused on want. Want is not just a desire of the young, but can occur at any age. Here's her article.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Quaker Oats - 42 Ounces for 82 Cents

You read correctly - I got a large container of Quaker Oats last night for 87 cents at Target. The quick oats are reduced to $1.92. Use the $1 off coupon from the 1/2 smartsource insert to bring the cost down to 92 cents. Bring your own bag and get an additional 5 cents off the price to get the whole grain for 2 cents an ounce!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Tips on Economizing

Who doesn't want more money at the end of the month? Prices are going up on everything from gasoline to toothbrushes and it's getting harder to buy the essentials. For me, one of those essentials is lipstick. I use to toss the tube when the lipstick reached the level of the container. No more. Now I use a lip brush to eek out every last bit of colorant. Some may cry, "Contamination!" Not so if you wash the lip brush at least once a week. Thanks to my frugal ways, I am able to get double the amount of lipstick from each purchase.