Monday, July 26, 2010

Helping with School Supplies

I can't believe some school districts around the country will be starting school next month. It seems like summer vacations are getting shorter. Growing up in the Midwest, we did not start school until after Labor Day. I remember going to a family cookout on the holiday and starting school the next day. I loved the first day of school, reconnecting with friends and teachers. Mostly, picking out the outfit I would wear on that day. It had to be something for all eyes to see. The memories live on!

In the last few weeks, I have seen sale fliers from practically every store with great sales on school supplies. Right now, Wal-Mart has crayons, Elmer's glue, composition books, and glue sticks for $.25 cents. Now that's a bargain! This got me thinking about the tough economy and families who may be struggling to buy school supplies this year for their children and teens.

A great way to help others in need would be to buy some school supplies to help out your neighbor who has school-age children. Also, check within your community for school supplies drives to find out when one will be held. Even if you can't spend a lot of money, every little bit helps in these efforts.

I plan to send my nieces a box of school supplies and I am having so much fun picking out their favorite themes like Disney, Hannah Montana, Camp Rock, etc. Times are tough for everyone and this gesture will show someone that you want to make their child's school experience an enjoyable one.

Friday, July 23, 2010

My Week: Frugal & Organized

Another great TGIF on tap. It's hot today, but I feel a breeze coming in through the open windows or is it my imagination. Just kidding! I do open the windows to save on my electric bill. I thought for my blog post today, I would give you a look into my week of frugality and organization. Here you go:

-->Organized my weekly to-do list w/few things left to finish
-->Spent no money on Tuesday, Chaching!
-->Prepared dinners at home with some lasting two days
-->Saved BIG bucks by getting my hair done at Cosmetology School
-->Read and organized paperwork: Shredded junk mail, offers
-->Performed some household chores to shore up time this weekend
-->Organized errands to save on gas and time

I share these with you to help incorporate them into your own lives and hope they are helpful. Have a fun day and weekend!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Frugal Tip ->Hair Salons

A visit to the hair salon can really put a dent in your wallet. While it's a nice experience and you get the finest treatment for your hair, the price for each service can start to add up. Think perms, color, cuts, trims, etc.

I have discovered a frugal way for hair care by going to a Technical College that has a Cosmetology School. The students are able to get the experience they will need as they go through the program and it readies the students for their future work in a professional salon.

The prices at the Cosmetology Schools are much cheaper than a regular salon. If you don't mind having students do your hair, I say give it a try. I have been going to my local Cosmetology School for quite some time with no problems. The instructor walks around and checks on the students work and with the clients.

I enjoy the experience and chatting with the students about their future plans as a hairstylist. The other thing I enjoy are the bargain prices. Frugal Rocks!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Weekend Freebies

TGIF and weekend planning is underway. Don't forget to check your community calendar for any freebies this weekend like festivals, outdoor movies, or concerts in the park. These are cool ways to save money and spend time with family and friends. Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Exercising Without Knowing It

There are so many ways to exercise throughout the day while performing tasks indoors and outdoors. Are you doing any of these things listed below during the day? If so, you are exercising all parts of the body.

-->Sweeping the kitchen or bathroom floor
-->Ironing and folding clothes
-->Vacuuming every room in the house, dusting the furniture
-->Walking up and down the stairs of your two-story home
-->Gardening, mowing the lawn
-->Washing the car/mini-van

All these tasks utilizes your arms, legs, stomach muscles, glutes, and raises heart rate which are all good. So if you say to yourself that you had no time to get the gym, don't fret. You have been exercising all day, but you just didn't know it.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Managing Time: Working from Home or Telecommuting

So many people are working from home or telecommuting these days and it's probably hard to effectively manage your time. It can be much different from the 9-5 workday in an office where your time and work is more closely watched by your boss. It is very easy to get distracted by other tasks around the house that can take up time away from work projects.

Here are three easy ways to manage your time while working from home or telecommuting:

1. Rise & Shine: Wake up at the same time each morning to start your workday. This will keep you in a routine even though you may only be walking into your home office for work. Don't forget to brew a good pot of coffee to get you going.

2. Lunch & Breaks: Take an hour for lunch away from your laptop/computer. Plan to have lunch outside on the patio for some sunshine and fresh air. You can even workout, take the dog for a walk, or dash out on errands for an hour. Also, take 15 minute breaks to stretch and refresh throughout the day.

3. Phone calls: It may be hard for your family and friends to get used to the idea that even though you are working from home or telecommuting a few days of the week, you still need time in the day to work. Just like personal phone calls at work are generally a no-no, make the same policy while working from home and telecommuting. Politely inform your family and friends that you will not receive phone calls during certain times of the day unless it's an emergency.

I hope these are helpful for managing your time and keep you focused while working from home or telecommuting. OK, back to work!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Exercising in the Heat

The heat is on across the country. I live in Atlanta and we've had many days in the high 90's. This week, the eastern states are experiencing a heatwave with temperatures in the low 100's. Whew! The news channels have shown what people are doing to battle the heat especially those who work outdoors.

For those who enjoy exercising outdoors, it might be a good idea to change up your routine during this heatwave. Here are a few tips to exercise comfortably in the heat.

-->If you are an avid runner or walker, wake up earlier in the morning for your run or walk.

-->Take the stairs at work instead of the elevator. Nice way to shape your legs and buns.

-->At home: do 2-3 sets of push-ups while watching the evening news, squats while microwave warms your food, and side twists/bends as you work at the computer.

You don't have to nix your exercise routine during the heatwave, just be mindful of the temperatures and plan accordingly. Of course, drink lots of water even inside!

Gallery | Taking home to the next level | ajchomefinder.com

Gallery | Taking home to the next level | ajchomefinder.com

Monday, July 5, 2010

Vacation Meals Tip

Here is a good tip to save on the meal budget during your vacation. Plan to stay at a hotel that offers a free complimentary breakfast each morning. There are plenty of hotel sites that describe all the amenities offered at their location. Perform a Google search to find the hotels where you will be vacationing. Start your day with a stop at the complimentary breakfast bar usually located in the hotel lobby before you set off for sightseeing. The fare varies, but you can bet it will include hot coffee to enjoy. This will be one meal where you won't have to spend any money. Cool Savings!

Friday, July 2, 2010

5 Grilled Dishes for an Elegant 4th of July Party - Essence.com

5 Grilled Dishes for an Elegant 4th of July Party - Essence.com

3 Healthy Tips for the 4th!

1. While hot dogs and hamburgers are staples at cookouts, try to add more fruits and veggies to your plate. If the cookout plates are large, don't feel the need to fill it up with lots of food.

2. If there are any outdoor activities like badminton, flag football, frisbee toss, etc. going on at the picnic/cookout, participate to work off the eats. Or, just take a walk.

3. Make sure you drink plenty of water during your time outdoors. More importantly, limit alcohol consumption.

Most of all, have fun with family and friends!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Money-saving July 4th Cookout

If you are planning to host a July 4th cookout this upcoming weekend, plan to make it potluck to cut some of your costs.

There is nothing wrong with asking your friends to bring a dish, dessert, drink, or snack to the cookout. I am sure they won't mind helping out. I find that people have a favorite dish that they love to prepare and would be happy to bring it to the cookout. For some, it might mean stopping by the grocery store and picking something up to bring and that's fine too. The cost of meats alone is an expensive buy so a little help with the other menu items will come in handy.

In these tough economic times, trying to cover all the expenses yourself may be difficult, but you still would like to have a nice time on the 4th. It takes a lot of work to host a party at your home and this money-saving potluck cookout won't empty your wallet.

Don't forget the sparklers!

Major League Baseball's Civil Rights Game coming to Atlanta  | ajc.com

Major League Baseball's Civil Rights Game coming to Atlanta | ajc.com

Monday, June 28, 2010

Gallery | The 2010 BET Awards red carpet arrivals | accessatlanta.com

Gallery | The 2010 BET Awards red carpet arrivals | accessatlanta.com

Healthy Eating Tip

Take along at least two pieces of fruit for the day. For a mid-morning snack, eat a banana. When that mid-afternoon drag creeps in, eat an apple. Switch up the fruit varieties so you won't get bored. Also, cut up the fruits ahead of time for easy snacking at your desk or on the go. Stay Healthy!