Sunday, November 14, 2010

7 Tips to save money on your electric & water bills.

My family has managed to cut down dramatically on our electric & water bills with these easy steps!

1. We replaced the faucet aerators in both the bathroom and kitchen to help decrease the flow of water coming out.
2. We installed a low flow shower head and started having the kids share bath water (one gets out the other gets in) & DF & I shower together to reduce the amount of water being used.
3. We installed energy efficient light bulbs throughout the house.
4. Instead of putting 3 bulbs in the ceiling fans we use 1 high wattage energy efficient bulb and the same goes for the bathroom.
5. We use low wattage EE bulbs in our lamps.
6. When we go to bed we unplug all unnecesarry electronics like the TV's, The computer (because even on stand by its using electricity), The stove (never unplug the fridge of course), The microwave, video games, washer & dryer, stereo etc... pretty much stuff that we won't be using in our sleep and won't hurt anything by being unplugged then we plug them in as needed
7. We unplug our phone chargers as soon as our phones are charged (chargers use as much energy as your fridge if you keep them plugged in even with no phone hooked up to it)

With these steps we have been saving $50 or more per month (our water & electric bill are actually combined) and saw these savings within the 1st month of making these changes!!

I hope these tips will be usefull in helping your family save some money!

Recipes to try this week

I like trying and making up new recipes so I will try to post 2 recipes per week for you to try.

This first recipe I made up when trying to find something to do with leftover turkey last thanksgiving and it has become a family favorite. You can however use ground beef, ground turkey, ground chicken, or chunks of 1 of the 3 meats rather than ground. (If you are in a hurry it can be cooked in the microwave. Feeds 4-6)

You will need:
3 cups of uncooked rice
6 cups of water to cook the rice in
1 lb of meat of your choice
1 26oz can of spaghetti sauce
1 jar of ragu alfredo sauce
1 tsp lawrys seasoning salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper

Cook your rice in the 6 cups of water either on the stove or in the microwave. (takes 20 min in the microwave unless you use minute rice)
Brown your meat in a skillet with the seasoning salt & black pepper.
After draining the meat, rinse it and add it to the rice, then add the spaghetti sauce & alfredo sauce, then cook for 3-5 more minutes.
Complete the meal with either rolls, biscuits or cornbread and serve.

This recipe is something I came up with when we wanted something for dessert but didn't have much to work with. It has become a hit too(feeds 4-8).
You will need:
Bread (1-2 slices per person)
A toaster
Spreadable margarine or butter
Vanilla yogurt

Put some bread in the toaster.
Take a bowl and mix 1-2 tbsp. sugar with 1/4 tsp. cinnamon, add 1-3 tbsp of spreadable margarine or butter, mix it all together to make a cinnamon sugar butter.
When your toast pops up cover BOTH sides of each piece with the CSB and put them back into the toaster for another minute or 2.
Once all your toast is ready cut it into triangles.
Pour 1 cup of vanilla yogurt into a bowl and let everyone dig in dipping thier cinnamon toast into it.

Hope you will try these out for your family, Until next week, Have a blessed one!

Lactose Intolerance Info Guide

Lactose intolerance is more common than people think. In fact many people believe that it's something you are born with. The truth of the matter is most people don't become LI until later in life, My father (RIP) became LI at the age of 30 and I became LI at the age of 16 when I was pregnant with my 1st child, I in turn passed it on to her and my other children at birth.

What is LI?
It's the inability of your body to break down the natural milk sugars in dairy products.

What are the signs of LI?
LI happens in stages, you may be able to tolerate a small amount of dairy without any trouble, for example I personally can eat 1 slice of cheese with no problem but if I eat more than that I must take a pill.
Stage 1: Gas after you have dairy.
Stage 2: Painful gut wrenching gas after you have dairy.
Stage 3: Painful gas accompanied by explosive diarrhea.
Stage 4: Diarrhea within 10-30 minutes of eating dairy.

How to prevent the pain?
Many products are being made for the LI,
There are Lactaid pills designed to break down the milk sugars for you. I recommend going for the generic brands because they save you money and work just as well as the name brand does.

Not able to swallow pills? The pills are small and you can actually break them in half saving the other half for later but if you still can't handle even a small pill they do have great tasting chewables.

How much do pills cost?
At walmart you can find the equate brand for around $8 for a 60ct. box. Lactaid brand will run you about $12  for the same amount.
At Dollar General you can find a generic 32ct. box for $4
The chewables are currently only made by Lactaid brand for around $12 a box.
Other products that have been introduced in recent years include: Lactose free milk which has a longer shelf life than regular milk because the sugars are already broken down for you, Lactose free ice cream, lactose free eggnog for the holidays, LF half & half, LF cottage cheese and more....

Do I need to take a pill with yogurt?
Contrary to popular belief you actually can eat yogurt without any effects because the sugars are already partly broken down for you so no you don't have to take a pill with yogurt.

Can I use LF milk in my regualr recipes?
Yes in fact I reccomend it, I wanted my kids to grow up like normal children and not have to miss out on great things like pudding so I started making it with LF milk and use LF milk in many other recipes as well. It's especially helpful if your child can't take or chew pills yet.

Finally here is a link for a free sample of lactaid pills while supplies last
I hope my LI info. guide helps you understand it better and helps you see you DON'T have to give up dairy!

The BEST Freebie sites

I frequent sample & freebie sites to get lots of freebies. I have gotten lots of samples and free full sized products this way. Some of the things I have gotten include:
A free 15pc pack of Five gum
A free 15pc pack of Extra Dessert gum
4 full day baby formula samples
Diaper coupons and samples
Geotrax childrens DVD
Glad trash bags & coupons
Tide samples & coupons
Prilosec samples
Vitamin samples
Supplement samples
Drink mix samples
Free subscriptions to Maxim, Mens fitness, Womens health, Cosmo, Glamour, US weekly, OK magazine, Redbook, Parents, Parenting, American baby, & Baby talk.
Ritz samples
$50 cash just for telling what radio stations I listened to for a week.
Kashi product samples
Full size boxes of cereal
Full sized oatmeal
Coupons for free bottles of advil
Coupons for free tubs of flushable wipes
Coupons for free Digiorno pizza
and MORE....

Where do I find these great freebies?
While there are many websites that CLAIM to update freebies daily, I have found that these are the ones that really do update frequently.
Happy freebie hunting!