DIY Liquid Hand Soap

DSC02801The other day I happened upon this DIY liquid hand soap recipe. I decided it was worth a try! I followed all the instructions set up on this blog, but used Irish Spring Soap instead. It smells wonderful and works well. This DIY hand soap is also much cheaper than the kind you buy in the store!

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School

Someone recently told me that it would cost $50,000 per year to send her twins to college (This number is based on 2013 tuition).  Yikes.  How does one ever save up for that kind of expense? Please tell me, because I am contemplating returning to school. It won’t cost me $50,000, BUT it will take some dough.  I’ve juggled the pros and cons in my head nearly 500 times.  I have not been able to answer the following questions.

1) Will a more advanced degree increase the chances I will be hired in this economy?  I work in health care.  I thought I was set for life with the degrees I already have.  I learned this was not true when I moved to a different state.

2) Will going back decrease the amount I will be able to give my future children for their advanced degrees?  Or will I be able to help them MORE because of the investment I put in my own education.

Blurg.  Such difficult questions!   I’m sorting through my decision day-by-day.

Do you plan on paying for your children’s (or future children’s) advanced education?   Did your parents help you with your degree?


STEWing it Over

Recently, I was asked to post more recipes and research cloth diapers. After stewing it over, I decided to start with the easy assignment. What do recipes have to do with saving money?  A lot.  I really decreased our food bill by planning, making lists and preparing different types of foods.  I have found that stews/soups are easy to make and usually yield left-overs. The ingredients are reasonably priced, also.

Here is a link to one of my new favorite recipes, Slow-Cooker White Bean and Kielbasa Stew. (Hence, the title of  this post)  My husband rates it a 9/10. It’s healthy, easy to make and relatively inexpensive. Happy Cooking!

*I usually use turkey kielbasa. I also leave the spinach on the side since I’m not a big fan of leafy greens IN my soup. I’ve also added rice and chicken to make left-overs stretch further.  That’s the beauty of stew…it’s so versatile!


Giving

A Couple Of Girls I Met On a Service Trip

How does giving fit into saving?  This is a difficult question to answer.  I am definitely not an expert.  I DO know that there are many families in the world who have no money to save or budget.  They do not even have food, water or much of a future.  This breaks my heart.

I have visited poverty-stricken people in Brazil, Turkey and Vietnam on service trips.  The conditions they live in SPUR me to give.  Their stories cause me to think twice before purchasing frivolous items.  I have been forced to wonder why I am so blessed.   Thus, I am compelled to give.

Did you know you could change a family’s future by giving 2 chickens for $25?  You could also give the gift of clean water for the same price. This astounds me.

I am impelled to help poverty-stricken people due to my experiences. You may not feel the same way. I do urge you to think about giving to an organization you believe in. This could be your church, The Salvation Army, and etc.  HERE are 12 great giving quotes from a blog written by someone who really knows how to save!


Entertainment Budget

Do you know how much you spend on entertainment?  I was not able to answer this question until August of this year.  After analyzing our bills, we noticed we were spending a lot of cash on unnecessary items (Diet Coke here, glass of wine there, dinner out ect).  We needed to change this.  My husband suggested we withdraw a certain amount of cash each month.  We use this money when we buy a soda, rent a movie, go out to eat, buy a bottle of wine and etc.  When the money is gone we stop purchasing  anything we consider to be entertaining.  This small change has helped us in a variety of ways:

1) We save hundreds of dollars each month.  Yes.  I wrote the word “hundreds.”  Go through your bills, the $10 there and $3 here really add up!

2) We are more creative!  We have to think of ways to make our entertainment money stretch, especially if we are invited to go out to dinner with friends.  So, we started hiking, playing games, biking, cooking for each other and walking our dog more.

3) We are probably healthier.  We go out to eat less and hike/bike and walk more.  We already exercise, but active entertainment is an added bonus!  My hubby has even lost a couple of pounds.

What do you think about an entertainment budget?

*This blog reflects the opinion of the author. Please understand that all information or opinions gleaned from this blog are done so at your OWN risk*