Posts from the ‘save money’ Category

Let Me Let You In On a Secret

All good things must be shared, so I am sharing this bit of information that is great for business owners and authors who work hard at marketing and promoting their business.  I have looked at several print services for some promotional items for my novels – rack cards, pens … and decided to use Vistaprint since they had a variety of items.  Well, I am glad that I chose them because I got so many great coupons and discount offers from them that I could not believe it at first.

To give you an example, on my last 2 orders for promotional items for my business all I had to pay for was the shipping, and I got 10 items free of charge.  I got a lawn sign, 10 sheets of stationery, 25 magnets, 50 rack cards, 140 address labels, 50 rack cards for my business, 50 rack cards for my novel, and another 50 rack cards for my other novel on a separate order.  All these items were free of charge, and all I had to pay for was the shipping.  For small business owners and entrepreneurs, it does not get better than that.  You might be thinking, was I overcharged for shipping? Not at all, shipping was what it usually is, and you can select to receive it sooner, the next day, or in 2 weeks, like I did.  Right now, I have more than 5 coupons between mail and emails with great deals, which I will probably use before they expire.  I am not promoting Vistaprint; I am just letting you know my experience so far, since I know many of you are authors and writers on a tight budget, and it is always good to know where to get the good deals.  I used to print all my promo items by myself – flyers, business cards … but the cost of ink and paper has proven to be more expensive than ordering out, and the printing quality is better.  Adding all these amazing coupons and offers, the cost is considerably less than doing it myself.  I still keep my designs in case one day I run out and need to print something quick.

So far, the quality of items has been great.  I am waiting for these last items to see their quality.  I think it will be great; so far I have been happy with the items .  This is all I wanted to share for today, and I will update you on this with a post and pics, once I get the stuff.

I hope that this post was of use to you.

 

Reminder:

I will be giving away three copies of Ramblings of the Spirit, the first book of the trilogy The Dinorah Chronicles.  To enter for a chance to win one of the three copies, just like my Facebook page (link at the right of the screen on this blog) and that is all you have to do.  I will announce the three winners on May 20, which is the birth date of the person to whom I have dedicated this book – my maternal grandmother.

Beyond Fixing the Old Lawnmower

This is one of those overdue posts that are actually good for something.  As I have mentioned before, we are trying to learn to live by the four R’s – Reduce, Reuse, Repurpose, and Recycle – and many times, we Upcycle as well.  Hubby picked up a discarded lawnmower and decided to give it a try by restoring it and making it workable again.  After all, our little mower had been left at the old farmhouse and the grass here needed a last cut before the winter.  So this find was perfect timing!  He dismantled, cleaned, tested and repainted, replaced the part(s) that needed replacing and the thing is working great and looking spiffy once more.  Here are pictures of what he did.

This is how the lawnmower looked before

It was very dirty on the inside.

He dusted it, cleaned it up, and removed debris.

Removed the parts that needed fixing.  Don’t ask me what this is called.

In the process, he had a change of heart and decided to change the color as well.

The whole thing got the royal treatment.

There are parts everywhere – all being cleaned and repainted.

Putting things back together.

Back view

View from the top

And here are the pictures of the revamped and improved lawnmower.

Hope you enjoyed this project.

Dessert in a Flash – Four Ingredients to the Rescue!

If you ever find yourself in the predicament of serving dessert but have nothing at hand, forgot to pick something up, and there is no time to go to the market, here is a lifesaver I came up with last night.  The results – just delicious!  All you need is four common ingredients and to just put them together.

Ingredients:

1 pack of homestyle biscuits
A jar of Nutella
Pancake Syrup
Confectionery sugar

Place the biscuits in baking dish.  Brush pancake syrup on top of each one.  Bake according to directions.  Once baked, take them out and with a spoon, spread Nutella on top of each one.  Finish with a sprinkle of confectionery sugar.  That is all there is to it!  It took less than 10 minutes to make this recipe.  Here are some pictures of how they came out.

Hope you enjoyed this project.

Inexpensive Green Cleaners

I always like to recommend anything I like.  I have been training myself to live greener over the past year or so.  In the beginning, I dislike the fact that some green products were more expensive than other regular brands – I did not want to pay more to be green.  However, this is not the case, as I have found very good products that are not expensive and do a great job cleaning.  One of this products have been around for a long time – even before the green movement became popular – I am talking about our grandmother’s time, maybe more. In fact, Bon Ami has been around since 1886.  This product is biodegradable, hypoallergenic, and it is pack in 65% post consumer recycling material, and can be disposed off in the recycling bin when you are done.  However, the packaging is so cute that you will be tempted to go the extra mile and use the container as a pencil or pen holder.

Bon ami is a powder cleanser.  It has five simple ingredients – limestone, feldspar, biodegradable cleaning agents from corn, coconut, palm … plus soda ash and baking soda – according to the product label.  Their logo has been a cute little yellow chick and the company’s motto is “Hasn’t scratch yet” – this is because the cleanser is very soft and does not contain any chemicals.  Here is a picture of the product in case you are wondering.  It is very convenient to use and it is inexpensive compared to other more modern green products.

Another convenient product that I like and is not expensive is Pure Citrus.  This is an air freshener that is made of citrus and lavender oil extracts and is 100% natural, non aerosol, and not tested on animals.  In addition, it is made in the USA. Here is a picture of it.
Pure Citrus air freshener
As I am learning to reduce my footprint on this planet I am testing some products and sticking with my favorites – These two I will keep using.  There are also more natural ways to clean and freshen up your home by using natural ingredients in raw form – but if you are looking for convenience, these will do.

Recycled Mural

I had a mural in my bedroom that I loved.  It is a picture of the shore as viewed thru a window.  When we added a second level to our current home, I was sad to know that I would lose the mural when the paneling in the walls came down.  Eddie had a great idea.  He cut the paneling where the mural was glued on and used the plastic framing of one of the doors that was discarded (reused on another project)to create a framed picture. 

After all, I did not lose the mural I love so much, and now it hangs proudly in the bathroom.  Thanks to Eddie’s recycling project and vision, I can enjoy it for many years to come.  Here is a picture of it, in case one day you face the same dilemma of how to save a glued-on mural from being discarded if you are redoing paneling walls.

Framed with a metal door’s plastic center frame.
The lovely mural is now a piece of paneling that got framed.

Crafty Fall Centerpiece

I love homemade things.  I prefer homemade gifts as well.  My sister made a beautiful fall centerpiece for her Fall wedding.  It is very attractive and easy to do.  You can use real flowers and pine cones or silk ones.  The stand and vase can be adapted for any season or holiday, just by changing the flowers and ribbon.  This is a very nice project and practical as well.  Materials you will need include an empty crystal vase, ribbon,flowers and other items that you might like to include in the arrangement, and a piece of natural wood as a stand, which you can cut from a down tree.  The vase can be any type of clear glass, even recycled for an environmentally friendly fall arrangement. You will need glue to secure the ribbon and any other embellishments.  Here is a picture of the gorgeous centerpiece for Autumn.

wood base
Hope you enjoyed this project.

Sustainability – Reduce – Reuse – Repurpose – Recycle

We are making a conscientious attempt to become greener and utilize the planet’s resources responsibly.  Each individual is responsible for doing his/her part as best he/she can to help save and preserve this beautiful planet.  Every little counts, from buying products in environmentally friendly packaging to growing some veggies in your backyard.  By reducing our daily waste we contribute a lot to being responsible Earth citizens and become an important part in sustainability efforts.  Reducing waste should be our primary goal, followed by reusing items as best as we can.  We can give a second life to objects, we can think twice before putting something in the trash in order to use it in a different way or alter it on another form and for another purpose.  This takes us to the issue of repurposing.  When we repurpose items we help the environment as well.  We reduce our waste and we give a second chance to items which would end up in a landfill somewhere.  when we want to dispose of items we should recycle them as well as we can, by following our city’s recycling programs and doing as best as we can to keep these things out of a landfill.

Many items such as plastic items, glass items will end up as new products, companies will save money in the manufacturing process, and the economy will benefit from it as well.  This is how we affect a cycle, we are an important part in every sense of our existence in this planet.

A great example to illustrate this method is buying eggs.  Depending on where you live, you can either:

  • get your own eggs by raising chickens,
  • buy your eggs from a farm, reducing packaging waste,
  • buy the eggs at a grocery store, but choosing eggs in a cardboard container instead of the Styrofoam containers,
  • reusing the cardboard container to grow seeds for your vegetables,
  • last, recycle the cardboard container in the garbage, as appropriate in your town.

By using our imagination, we can turn used items into something else.  We can be innovative in our everyday living by following this method – reduce, reuse, repurpose, and recycle.