Saturday, June 19, 2010

Always Check Your Safeway Receipt!!!

Just thought I would give you all a little warning about Safeway. While I really like their sales, I am disappointed in them. Almost every time I go, I end up being overcharged anywhere from $4 to $10 each time. Usually my average order is under $50. There seems to be alot of overcharging going on there. If you shop regularly at Safeway, be sure to carefully check your receipt. If anything, I have learned that they are rather consistent at this faux pas. Because of the club card, you can't catch the price mess-up with the cashier, you usually have to wait for your receipt to get it figured out. If you find that you have been overcharged, take your receipt to the customer service desk and ask them to fix it. I have never had a problem with them correcting the errors, but I really don't appreciate the extra time that I have to take to fix their mess-up. And sometimes I really wonder if they do it on purpose hoping people won't notice. Especially since it happens just about every time I shop there. So, the moral of this blog post is beware of Safeway and check your receipt!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Homemade Hurt-Free Antiseptic

A while back, I posted a recipe for a homemade astringent. Now, several months later, I can tell you that I have found another handy use for the stuff. Johnson & Johnson makes a hurt-free antiseptic for wound cleansing, which we have used in the past quite successfully. I have discovered that my homemade astringent also works quite well as a hurt-free antiseptic for cleaning small wounds, cuts, and scrapes. It doesn't sting like peroxide or rubbing alcohol does.

It is really quite simple to make. Take a bottle of witch hazel, add 25 drops of tea tree oil and shake. Shake well before each use. I have used this with my children, and it effectively cleans their scraped knees and minor owies quite well, all without the added pain of standard antiseptics.

For a little bit of information on how this works, witch hazel has both antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. The tea tree oil also has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties, but in addition is anti-bacterial and anti-fungal. As you can see, using this concoction has the ability to thoroughly clean a wound without the additional pain. And really, it's not that expensive at all to make.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Bargain Shopping at Department Stores

I am a bargain shopper. By bargain shopper, I mean that I frequently buy new things at the same price a thrift store would charge. Basically, I can get new items for the cost of used ones. Awesome! For example, today I took my kids to JCPenney's and ended up buying 10 items of clothing (cute t-shirts, capri leggings, etc.) for around $30 total. My receipt at the end said that I had saved $118.18! Woohoo!!!

I often prefer to shop at places like JCPenney's and Kohl's for my kids, rather than Wal-Mart, K-Mart, etc. My reasoning for this is that often times, the clearance at the nicer department stores are priced better than what I could even get at the other places, plus I end up with higher quality clothing for my kids. And lots of times, Kohl's and Penney's have extra coupons that I can use on top of the clearance discount. I have also found plenty of nice, quality clothing for myself and my husband at steep discount prices at these stores.

I have a method to how I shop the department stores. Most importantly, the only things I ever really look at are on the clearance racks. If I have a specific item I need, I always check the clearance items first. Most of the time, the stores will have the clearance sorted by percentage off. I usually stick with the racks that say 80-90% off, or "final clearance". By doing this, I have been able to keep my kids clothed in fashionable items for rock bottom prices (OK, some of the stuff on the clearance racks I question whether anyone would actually wear, but I also find *plenty* of very cute clothes).

One of the biggest drawbacks to shopping this way is that sometimes you have to shop for your kids out of season and estimate what size they will be in when, say winter, rolls around again. Amazingly, this has always worked out for me. If it doesn't end up fitting, you can always donate the item/s or try to sell them on Ebay. Today I purchased summer clothing for my kids, but since we will still have several more months of warm weather, my kids can start wearing them now. My kids have nice things to wear, and I really haven't spent a whole lot of money.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Quick and Easy Iced Tea

During the summer, I love having iced tea around every now and then! I have found a really easy, quick way to make a large pitcher of iced tea. I take 3-4 bags of tea and place them in the coffee maker, in place of a filter with coffee. That is how I quickly brew my tea. Then, I put the tea in a large pitcher and fill the remaining space in the pitcher with water. It goes in the fridge for a few hours, and is ready to drink. If you want to make it cold faster, fill the large pitcher to the top with ice and pour the tea over it, then fill it to the top with water if there is any room left. As a side note, you should not try the ice in the pitcher if it is glass because the extreme temperatures between the cold ice and the hot tea could cause it to shatter (I won't tell you how I know that!). And it only costs a few cents for that whole pitcher of tea. A great, simple, cheap, summer beverage choice!

P.S. The picture came from .

Monday, June 7, 2010

Plan Ahead and Bring Your Own Snacks

We just got back from a short weekend roadtrip. One of the things that we regularly do when we know we will be out of the house for a while is to plan ahead by packing some snacks and drinks. This saves lots of money when you're on the road. Convenience store snack and drink prices are outrageous! Multiply that times 5 people, and it adds up even more quickly. Plus, by packing your own, you can make sure there are plenty of healthy snack and drink choices available. Convenience store really don't have a whole lot of that available. On one stop at a gas station this weekend, one small apple was $1.09! Holy cow! I can get a whole pound of apples for that at the grocery store!

When traveling with children, inevetitably someone is going to start saying, "I'm hungry" or "I'm thirsty". With snacks already packed and with you in the vehicle, these problems are solved immediately, and we don't have to stop anywhere and pay outrageous prices for a small snack.

We usually take a cooler along, packed with drinks and snacks that need to be kept cooler. Some ideas of quick snacks to pack are granola bars, string cheese, fruit, crackers, etc. For drinks, we usually pack some bottled water, juice boxes, etc.

Packing our own snacks and drinks on outings saves both time and money, and it keeps people's needs easily met as we travel along.