Monday, January 12, 2009

Got Home Improvement Resolutions?

Did you make a new year's resolution to fix up things around the house? Find the tools you need at great prices using the workshop and home improvement shopping guide at ShopWiki.

Compare benefits and prices on corded and cordless power drills, including specialty drills such as screw guns and hammer drills. Research different manufacturers such as DeWalt, or Craftsman.

Get detailed information on the different types of interior house paint and primer to help decide the best way to spruce up your house for the new year. Read reviews and compare prices for paint sprayers and other painting supplies.

Get inspired to stick to that new year's resolution to make repairs and improve your house this year with the right tools and information.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Frugal Tip - Save the Christmas Gift Wrap

Not really a practical tip for little kids, who tend to tear right through the wrapping on presents, but older children and adults can certainly take a little more care in unwrapping gifts in order to preserve the paper for future uses. And taking the time to do it carefully helps stretch out the time involved in the gift exchanging, which can be nice if there aren't that many gifts being given this year. An added bonus, when you pull out the saved wrapping paper next year, you'll be reminded of the good memories from this Christmas, and so might your friends and family who receive a gift wrapped in the reused paper.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Free Christmas Gift!

Your time is truly a free gift you can give, and possibly one of the most valued. When you were a kid, did you ever make those 'gift certificates' for your parents, like "This (card, coupon, etc) is good for one day of taking out the trash (or doing the dishes, cleaning up your room without a hassle, etc)", or have you had your own kids do that? Why not do adult versions? Offer friends with little ones a night out to themselves and you'll watch their kids for free, or older family members a day when you come over and help with chores that might be difficult for them to do on their own. You might even be able to start a new tradition, exchanging some time with loved ones instead of exchanging presents.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Spending Time Together at Christmas

The holidays can be so hectic, and you can feel so pressured to buy buy buy everywhere you look. Get away from all the stress for awhile by having some family time for (almost) free. Take one evening and load everyone in the car, and drive all around a few neighborhoods looking at Christmas lights. You can even make it a weekly or even nightly activity, picking a different neighborhood each time. Take it one step further by picking favorites in various categories like best house, best neighborhood, best house in one color, etc.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Find Rebates, Coupons, and More at DealCatcher

I'll admit, I'm not organized enough to be a regular coupon clipper. I tend to miss the expiration dates. But I found this site tonight and it just might motivate me.

DealCatcher has coupons for just about any store you can think of offhand, from 1800Contacts to Zales and lots in between. Categories include clothes, cameras, jewelry, sporting goods, travel, and more. There are printable coupons, price comparisons, even a forum to join where members can post coupons they find.

They also offer an option to sign up for Deal Alerts, email notifications based on keywords you specify. You have the choice to receive emails daily or as soon as an update occurs.

With all this help ,you may even be able to save some money by not buying a newspaper anymore.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Recycled DIY Draft Stopper

Help lower your electricity bill with draft stoppers at your doors. You can make your own super-fast, easy, and free using materials you already have.


  • Old pair of jeans (don't fit anymore, holes, etc)

  • Old towels (also old t-shirts, unmatched socks, etc)

  • 2 large rubber bands (or ribbon)

Cut one leg of the jeans off as high as possible.
Stuff the leg with the towels, t-shirts, socks. Don't overfill it.
Fold over one end of the leg and secure with a rubber band or ribbon, then do the other end of the leg the same way.
Put the draft stopper in front of the door.

You can make two at once by cutting off both legs of the jeans. You can also embellish it if you like. Stay warm!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Budget Tech/Gadget Christmas Gifts

If you think that homemade is the only way to go for cheap Christmas gifts, take notice of the lower prices on tech items that would be appreciated by people on your list.

  • 1GB flash drives can be found for as low as $5 at computer stores

  • 25-50 pack blank cd spindles are available as low as $5, depending on the manufacturer

  • 5 pack blank dvds are about $5 at several stores

  • Photo paper is available for as low as $4 for 20 sheets

Look around for things you wouldn't normally think to give, but would certainly be used. Something like this would be much better received than a pack of socks.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Make Money with Your Creativity and Zazzle

You see t-shirts with cute images and funny sayings on them every day. Have you ever thought to yourself 'I can do that'? Sign up for a free account with Zazzle and you can stop saying it and actually start doing it. Zazzle allows members to upload their own images and text products such as t-shirts, mugs, calendars, mousepads, and even items like shoes and skateboards.

You decide how much of a royalty percentage above the base price to go, and you earn that percentage. For example, a basic white t-shirt on Zazzle is $15.95. If you set your royalty percentage at 15%, the price will be $16.90. This will make the amount you receive from a purchase of one basic white t-shirt with your design on it about $2.54. Other products have different base prices, so you have the choice of setting a percentage for each product you create or setting the same percentage for every product.

Zazzle makes and ships the products when they're purchased, so all you have to is create your designs, upload them to Zazzle, and set your percentage. You also have the option of being paid by check or through Paypal.

Share your creativity with the world and earn some money too. Sounds nice.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Budget Christmas Treat - Chocolate Peanut Butter Truffles

Whether you're looking for something different to leave out for Santa, going homemade on Christmas gifts this year, or just craving something sweet yourself, these truffles are quick, easy, and pretty cheap to make.


  • 1 package Semi-sweet baking chocolate (8 squares)

  • 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter

  • 1 8oz tub whipped topping at room temperature

  • Various toppings - crushed cookies, powdered sugar, flake coconut, chopped nuts


Place chocolate in large microwave-safe bowl, microwave on high 1 minute and stir. Microwave another minute until almost melted, stir until it is melted completely.
Stir in the peanut butter until well mixed and cool to room temperature.
Stir in whipped topping and put bowl in refrigerator for an hour.
Take the bowl out of the refrigerator and scoop out mixture with a teaspoon (or melon baller if you have one) and shape into 1 inch balls. Roll each truffle in your chosen topping.
Store the truffles in the refrigerator

Yield: About 3 dozen
Prep Time: About 20 minutes
Total Time: About 1 hour 20 minutes (including refrigeration)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Christmas Gifts from the Grocery Store

Seriously, why not do some Christmas shopping while you're grocery shopping? Think about this - do you know people who like tea? Buy a couple of boxes of different flavored teas, including the new green teas, and make variety packages. Taking the time to put together your own choices, rather than just buying a pre-made variety pack, shows that you actually put some thought into the gift.

You can do the same thing for coffee lovers on your list, especially if they love flavored or gourmet coffees but don't spend the money themselves. Small packages of their favorite flavors or brand will be appreciated and won't strain your budget.

Energy drinks such as Red Bull or Monster in 4 packs could be appreciated too, as well as packs of bottled water. Use your imagination and think about how well you know your friends and family. You just might be able to cross a lot of people off your list while you're buying your essentials, saving both money and time.