Friday, April 30, 2010

Cool Ways to Shop Frugal

I think you will agree that weekend plans involve some form of shopping probably more for groceries as you plan for the week ahead. Here are some cool ways to shop frugal that don't involve pushing a shopping cart.

1. Garage/Yard Sales: These have become my favorite thing to do on Saturdays. I have stumbled upon signs out on Fridays as people get a jump start on the bargain hunters. I find some interesting items at these sales and the prices are really good. You may find that piece of furnishing that will fit nicely in your decor. If you are handy, this will be the best find and a future weekend project for you.

2. Consignment Shops: There are several consignment shops in my city that I stop by frequently to see what's new. As the fall/winter items have moved out and spring/summer is in, you can find some great bargains at these stores. Start thinking about upcoming travel for Memorial Day, July 4th, or week-long summer vacations and clothing you will need for your trips. I find lots of shorts, t-shirts, capri pants, etc. that are in very good shape and the prices can't be beat. Why spend lots of money on fancy new clothes when everyone will be enjoying bumming out on the sandy beaches.

3. In-Store Sale Fliers: Don't forget to check your favorite store fliers before their weekly sales end which is usually on Saturday. I find lots of coupons and deals in these weekly fliers and always make sure I don't miss out on the sales.

Hope you find great bargains while shopping. And remember, Frugal is Cool!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Help Wanted, Must Live in the Area

I have noticed an interesting trend in the job posting ads in the Atlanta area and in neighboring counties. As I read the job descriptions and qualifications, the posting also requests that applicants must live within the area of the job. I am sure this trend is happening because of the heavy commute times Atlantans face especially in the morning. The local news channels do a great job of keeping commuters up-to-date on traffic conditions on the major interstates. Once you hear of a tie-up, it's a good idea to try and leave the house an extra 10-15 minutes early.

I guess this is why the job postings are being more blunt in wanting their potential employees to live in the area or at least only a few miles away from the company. The cost of living in the city or even north of the city is not cheap and many workers just can't afford it. Thus, they reside in the areas where they have no choice but make the long commute to work.

In this tough job market, I believe job seekers are willing to commute to wherever they can land a job. I also believe that applicants do give serious thought to the cost of the commute in gas, wear and tear on their car when they consider applying for a job. However, if you have no paycheck coming in, a long commute is the least of your worries.

I think employers may be missing out on potential talent when their job postings read that the person must live in the area. I can see applicants not bothering to apply because they probably won't be considered. Just think, the most dependable, reliable, and punctual person is just waiting to get hired, but they live don't live in the area.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Gallery | New Orleans Jazz

Gallery | New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival |

Posted using ShareThis

Frugal Tip of the Day

I am a true coffee lover and look forward to enjoying a few cups to start my morning and day. Being a frugal person, I brew a pot of coffee at home instead of stopping each morning to buy it. If you have a digital coffeemaker, set it to start brewing as you get ready for work. The aroma will smell so nice and put some pep in your morning step. More importantly, think of the money you will save!

Friday, April 23, 2010

TGIF and Why I Love It!

I have to admit that when my day starts on Friday, it just gives me a sense that I've made it to the end the week. My whole attitude is even more positive and upbeat.

I like to use Friday as a day to review projects that I began at the beginning of the week and to reflect on what I have accomplished. I don't fret too much on those unfinished tasks, but make plans to put those projects on a first-come basis for the next week. I love to-do lists and make them everyday. I get much more done and stay focused when I write assignments down. I also like to see the check marks on my list showing a project is completed. I am sure you may feel the same way with having to juggle work, family, and extracurricular activities. Trying to remember everything is just memory overload so why not keep a running list.

As my activities for Friday move along, I allow myself time in the afternoon to knock off from work-related things. I enjoy stopping by the local antique shops and browsing for bargains, picking up more flowers at the garden center for some weekend planting, or splurging on a cup of coffee at a coffeehouse and sitting outside to enjoy it.

If the Friday traffic in your city is anything like mine, I can tell that others like to take off early to get their weekend started. Make your Friday a great day!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

3 Mid-Week Chores to Free Up Time

I have always used my Saturdays as the day to do all my household chores. Then I started to realize how much time it was taking up on the weekend for other things I might want to do like meet friends for day of shopping, spending time at the local park, or catching a mid-day movie. So I began to do some of my weekend chores mid-week and chose Wednesday which seems about right. I felt a sense of relief once the weekend rolled around that I did not have to spend hours during housework and could plan more activities.

Here are just 3 household chores that you can do mid-week:

1. Load of Laundry: How about doing a load of whites or colors, maybe even the comforter from your bed. Toss in area rugs that need cleaning from in/out foot traffic.

2. Furniture Dusting: Look around your rooms at the coffee table, bookshelves, entertainment center, or dressers. Break out the furniture polish and dust them off. This task can take up a lot of time when you have to remove the items, dust, and replace everything. The fresh smell and look will be very satisfying.

3. Yard Work/Gardening: Break out the lawn mower, weed eater and cut the grass mid-week instead of waiting until Saturday. Do some gardening by planting flowers and laying down pine straw. I bet your neighbors will take note when they see you loading your golf clubs in the car and heading to the greens while they are cranking up their mowers. What gives!

These are just a few ideas and I am sure you will have more chores of your own that can be done mid-week. Get ready to plan more fun things for Saturday now that you have more free time. Enjoy!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Use Lunch Hour to Refresh

Have you been working at your desk during your lunch hour trying to stay one step ahead of your assignments? It's time to breakaway and get refreshed and focused during your lunch hour.

Grab the lunch you brought from home and head to a nearby park or just right outside your workplace to eat lunch. Check with your co-workers to see if they would like to join you, but don't chat about work-related stuff. Chat up what you did over the weekend or their upcoming summer vacation plans. Enjoy the flowers and trees in bloom or just people watch.

The walk back to your office will also add some exercise too. Once you get back to your desk, I bet you will feel more refreshed and ready to get back to working on that project with a more positive attitude. Try it!

Friday, April 16, 2010

3 Ways to Use Your Tax Refund

If you are going to be receiving a tax refund this year, here are 3 ways to use it.

1. Pay off/down credit cards: Take a look at your credit card statements especially those with high interest rates and plan to either pay off the card or at least pay down the balance. With the new credit card laws, some interest rates are much higher. This may make paying off the cards even longer so put your refund to work on the balances.

2. Home improvements: Use the refund to make home improvements that you may have been putting off because of a tight budget. Give your A/C unit a checkup before the summer heat take holds. Update your bed and bath with new accessories. Add some curb appeal to your home with fresh mulch, pine straw, flowers, and shrubs.

3. Simply Save It: Another good idea is to simply save your refund. Go ahead and deposit the refund into your savings account to shore up your emergency fund. You will be glad you did especially if an unexpected car repair is needed or an out-of-pocket medical expense arises.

These are just a few ways to use your tax refund when it arrives in the mail or is deposited to your bank account. As the saying goes, don't spend it all in one place.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Gallery | Pet apparel fashion show |

Gallery | Pet apparel fashion show |

Posted using ShareThis

Healthy Eating Tip

Keep a bowl of fruit in your refrigerator to eat as a healthy snack throughout the day. Slice and peel the fruit so that it's readily available to just grab and go. Add fruits like apples, oranges, mangoes, and strawberries to the bowl. You are on your way to healthier eating, Enjoy!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Frugal Tip of the Day

Carry your lunch to work all this week. Think of the money you will save. Keep your wallet fat with cash!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Weekend Fun the Frugal Way

It's the weekend and time to plan some fun activities. Here are some frugal, yet cool ideas.

1. Picnic in the Park: Pack a picnic basket with non-perishable sandwiches, snacks and head to your local park. Find a great spot under the tree for shade and spread out the blanket. Bring along a good book or just people watch. Enjoy the lovely spring blooms too. Don't forget to bring water to stay hydrated!

2. Walking Tour of your City/Town: Take a day out of the weekend and take in the sights and sounds of your city or town. Check out new places that have opened or some that you have not visited in a long time. I bet there may be some new additions there. Park the car and walk along the streets and stop into some sites especially those with free admission. Sit outside a cafe' and sip on a good cup of coffee. How relaxing and laid-back you will feel. Of course, wear some comfortable shoes and bring along your digital camera to post photos!

3. Dinner at home: I know most people eat out more on the weekends, but how about having Saturday dinner at home. Raid the refrigerator and pantry to whip up a fun and delicious meal with whatever you find. Get the kids involved with ideas on what to cook and let them help out. Top the night off with a DVD movie you checked out from the local library which was free.

These are just a few ideas and I am sure you can add to the fun in your own way. As families and couples cutback expenses, we still can find ways to enjoy ourselves. We're just doing it more economically.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Gallery | Atlanta chef's home a recipe for refinement |

Gallery | Atlanta chef's home a recipe for refinement |

Posted using ShareThis

Easy Ways to Get A Handle on Clutter

It seems clutter can take over our lives and we start to think we'll never get it under control. Here are some easy ways to get a handle on all that stuff:

1. Paperwork: Use manila folders with tabs and place paperwork in each folder. Label the tab with a Sharpie pen of the contents inside. For instance, car repair receipts, home insurance policies, etc. This makes for an easy way to go right to that folder that is clearly marked when you are looking for information.

2. Donate It: Take a look around your closet and ask yourself "how long has it been since I wore that piece?" If you answer, a year ago or longer, it's time to take it off the rack and donate it. With the economy being tough these days, more people are shopping at the Goodwill, Salvation Army, and other places where they can find inexpensive clothing.

3. Garage Space: The garage is a great place for storing things, but I have always enjoyed being able to park my car inside it. Now is the time to organize this space by investing in shelving, bins, and hooks. Use the hooks to place bikes, lawn rakes, etc. on the wall. Use that Sharpie pen to label the bins so that you will know what's inside when looking for an item later. I just love the five shelf storage units that you can purchase from your local home improvement store at reasonable costs. Schedule the garage clean over the weekend when you have time to devote several hours each day. Just think how nice it will be to pull up to your garage door, hit the opener, and drive your car inside especially if it's raining. The paint job on your car will last longer too!

4. The Refrigerator: You might wonder why the refrigerator is part of clutter. Well, a lot of food like leftovers, takeout can get pushed back in the refrigerator when new food is added. All of a sudden, you find the frig is full of stuff that is no longer being eaten. Furthermore, you may not remember when it was prepared. To keep a clean and fresh refrigerator, purge food after a few days especially when it's close to trash pickup day. Also, add a box of baking soda in the frig to help keep smells at bay. The same purge should be applied to the freezer section as well.

I hope this was helpful and that you will get a jump start on living a clutter-less life!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

My Blog Launch

Just launched my new blog today! Please take a look around and read some of my blog posts so far. More importantly, I look forward to your comments and feedback. This is all new for me and I am very excited. Enjoy Simply Positive!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Tip of the Day

It's Monday and a new start to the week. For easy meal ideas that will last a few days, pick up a rotisserie chicken and plan various meals around it. This is a quick way to avoid having to cook for the next several days. Happy mealtime!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

My Early Days of Savings

Here is a lesson story I think you will enjoy about my early days of saving and the beginnings of a frugal lifestyle. I imagine it dates back to my childhood. Isn't that where it all begins in a person's life. Seriously, I know my parents had a lot to do with my saving habits. I enjoyed a very nice upbringing growing up in the Midwest. I would come home from school and get started on my homework along with watching my favorite program, Gilligan's Island. I remember my dad would arrive home and ask, "have you finished your homework" because he knew how much I enjoyed this show and might be putting it off.

One day while my mom and I were out shopping, I saw a pink and white bike with a basket attached to the handle bars in the store. My eyes lit up and I just had to have that bike. My mom was ready to buy it, but I said, let's go home and ask dad first. When we did, he said I would need to save for half the bike and they would pay the rest. I thought for sure we could head right back to the store and buy the bike straightaway. The challenge was on and I started saving my allowance to come up with my half. My Barbie doll collection took a hit because I did not buy anymore outfits or anything else with my allowance. I would count my money as I added to my savings and just smile because I was getting closer to my half. I recall that my mom and I went back to the store several times and I would always go to the bike section to see if it was still there, and it was just waiting on me to buy it.

Long story short, I saved the money and got the bike. I wish I could remember just how much the bike costs, but keep in mind this was the 1970's so it probably was not that expensive. I appreciated the lesson on saving for what you want and how much more you appreciate it in the end. At least this was my takeaway.

I am still that girl who saves money in order to buy things I want and will forgo what's not necessary. Cash is King, or maybe that should read Queen.