Friday, February 27, 2009

Olive Juice Bags Blog It Forward Contest

Yes, this is a blatant advertisement, but I had to do it! I just love bags, purses, containers, etc. Anything you can store stuff in. I'm obsessed!!! Well, when I found out you could actually win a bag just for blogging about it--I had to enter.

Actually, the company is a pretty cool company. Two moms, Jennifer and Tracy, run the business from Washington state. All the bags are designed and made in the USA which is awesome in this economy - providing work for Americans!

Here's what they have to say about their bags:
"Olive Juice Bags are eco-friendly because the company has found a way to utilize overrun fabric and to prevent it from being thrown away. Repurposing the fabric into a functional and fashionable product means less waste in the landfills. Because of this, many of the bags are unique: five-of-a kind, two-of-a kind or even one-of-a kind."

Pretty cool. Well anyways, you can enter to win the bag of the month also by posting a message to your personal or business blog. Limited to one entry per day per person. For more details you can visit the site here The contest runs each month through August 31, 2009.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Time to Get Organized for Less

I'm one of those people that love the start of school because it's an excuse for me to shop for office supplies/school supplies. Well one of my favorite things on earth are planner and notebooks. I'm obsessed with them :)

In my time spent searching the web I found this really awesome planner. It's printable and there is no cost (meaning FR* EE! :) You can't go wrong with that.

There are lots of different forms those from and print out. My favorite is by far the expense envelope that you can print. I love it and use them each month. I hole punch them and stick them in my planner.

Have fun, simplify your life and get organized! Have a wonderful day!

Friday, February 20, 2009

HMAH Tip #17 Schools Out - It's a Snow Day :)

Has your child's school ever closed early due to power outage or inclement weather and you didn't know about it because you were out at a doctors appointment or running errands?

Well, this is totally cool website that will help you out during the school year assuming you have school age kids. It's call It notifies you when your child's school is closed, delayed opening or closing early for any reason.

Here's how works. You find the name of your school on their listing. Their service covers schools in 23 states across the USA.

Once you find your child's school you can sign up for one of 2 service plans. There is a basic plan and a plus plan.

The Basic service where they send you an email with the school's message. The basic service is free (not a trial). If you are able to check your email throughout the day or check it from your phone this would work for you.

They also offer a SchoolsOutPlus service which will send you a text message to your cell phone with the school's message. This service is $19.95 a calendar year for example February 1, 2009-January 31, 2010. I have personally used the Plus service and loved it! It is really helpful for those of us who are out and about and aren't able to check our email throughout the day.

Hope this service helps you as much as it has helped me. Have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Find Out If You Are Rich

Find Out How Rich You Are

This is just for fun. Find out how rich you are in comparison to others throughout the world. Simply enter your yearly salary and it will tell you where you rank. I was surprised to find my hubby and I were in the top 0.68%. We sure don't feel rich, but compared to other countries obviously we are.

Don't worry this site doesn't ask for your name, email or any personal information. It's completely anonymous.

HMAH Tip #16 Use Multiple Coupons to Rake in the Savings

You can save major bucks by combining store coupons or sales and manufacturer's coupons. Yes, using coupons alone can save you some money, but you really start saving when you combine the sales or store coupons and the manufacturer's coupons together.
Here's why:

Retail price of item X = $2.99
Item X's sale price or after store coupon price = $2.50 or 2 for $5
Manufacturer's coupon = $1 off 2
Price with store sale or coupon plus manufacturer's coupon = $2 each

By combining the two you save an extra $.50 per item or $.99 total. Now that may not seem like much. Now consider that item is a box of cereal and you buy one box every week. That's a savings of $.99 a week or almost $52 a year for just that one item.

Now I know you probably thinking that's great but who gets coupons and sales every week for cereal?

You can and here's how. When you find a coupon for an item you use all the time, swap or trade for as many copies as you can get. Ask friends, family, fellow church members, co workers and online friends if they will trade with or donate their extra coupons to you. Once you get a bunch of coupons for the item wait for the item to go on sale and buy as many as you can. Stock up!!!

Another place to look for coupons is . This site allows you to find printable coupons, trade with others and lots more. That site has pretty much anything coupon related. Plus, Target store fans really need to visit this site - awesome printable coupons. Check it out!

To summarize: Shop sales and use coupons to get deep discounts! Have fun and happy shopping!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

HMAH Tip #15 Save Money Ditch the Gym

I may get a lot of "boo"s from the gyms throughtout the world, but my next tip could save you a bunch of money. Ditch your gym! I'm not saying to ditch exercising--just the gym.

Gym memberships generally run $19.95 a month or about $240 a year. Think of all the ways you could use that $240. Now I'm sure you can come up with a bunch of reasons to keep going to the gym like emotional support, variety, etc.

There have been plenty of ways you can get your exercise that do not require going to a gym. Here are a few examples just to name a few:
  • Walking
  • Jogging
  • Aerobics
  • Exercise videos
  • Kick boxing
As for emotional support, this is easy, get an exercise buddy or go online and sign up for a support group. An awesome support group online is Best of all, it's fr*ee. They offer forums so you can talk with others anytime day or night. There is an online or printable food diary to keep track of calories, fat grams, carbs, etc. Sparkpeople also offers an exercise log with tons of pictures and directions on how to execute the exercises correctly.

Some people will complain about lack of variety. There are tons of different things you can do in addition to the ones listed above to stay active. You can take up basketball, dancing, yoga, tai chi, tennis, racket ball, golf, or a number of any other activities.

The great thing about working out at home is most exercises are free or very low cost with no equipment required. Also, you don't need to drive your car to the gym and back wasting time and gas just to get there.

Really consider dropping your gym membership if you want to save some money. Find new and exciting ways to get your exercise each day.

Don't just take my word for it here are links supporting exercises that could be done at home:

Monday, February 09, 2009

Go Green on a Budget

I just found this really great site that I thought I'd share with everyone. It's called Organic Grocery This site offers tips and helpful advice for people to go green on a budget.

They have awesome forums! Some topics they cover include: gardening, eating in season, organic and natural product information, coupon trading, green living tips, book recommendations, organic news, deals, more. I personally love the gardening section :) I've always wondered how to grow my veggies big and delicious without all the chemicals and pesticides. They offer help and ideas for going green in a relaxing (non-judgemental) way. Plus, we all could use some help saving money and eatting healthier now a days.

Visit Organic Grocery Deals at I just know you will really like this site!

Sunday, February 08, 2009

HMAH Tip # 14 Spring is in the Air

Here in Maryland it's 62 degrees today. I'm getting spring fever and have already started dreaming of my garden this year.

Well, on my trip to Wal-Mart on Friday I noticed they are starting to put out the gardening supplies. Each year I spend all of $20 on seeds, potting mix and Miracle Grow fertilizer. That $20 gets me, my family, and neighbors $$$ in fresh vegetables each year. You can save that kind of money too.

No Excuses! It doesn't matter if you have a large plot of land, a small back yard or a really small balcony; you can grow your own fresh vegetables in containers. You don't need a lot of money either. I use .20 package of seeds from Wal-Mart each year not some expensive brand that costs $5 per package. Lastly, you don't need to have a green thumb. Simply add water and sunlight and remove the weeds :) more excuses!

Have fun dreaming of the warm weather that's soon to come!

Thursday, February 05, 2009

HMAH Tip #13 Have Faith and Stop Worrying!

My hubby and I just had our income taxes done yesterday and this quote/tip really applies to me today.

"Worry looks back, hope looks forward, faith looks up." Author Unknown

With the current state of our nation, many people worry they should have prepared better for a potential job loss. The bad news is you can't change the past.

People in major financial troubles put their hope in winning the lottery or for someone to help them out. Reality is no one is going to help you completely. No one is going to come and pay off all your bills, credit cards, student loans, etc. Unless your related to Donald Trump or Bill Gates - and if you are, I'm up for adoption :)

Have faith! God has a good plan for your life. Situations may not go as you want them to, but God knows what He's doing. He sees the BIG picture and his timing is always perfect.

This is just a nice quote to think about.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

HMAH Tip #12 Quote to Live By

Here's a wonderful quote to live by.

"JOY means Jesus first, Others second, Yourself last."
Author unknown
Even if you aren't a Christian, put your religion first, whatever that may be. A great way to do this is spend the first few minutes of the day in prayer or meditation. Start the day off in calm, peaceful manner that will hopefully continue on throughout the day.

Next, focus on others. Direct your time and attention to your family, friends and others in your life. Spend time building others up, motivating and encouraging them. Volunteer your time to help others.

Put yourself last. Now I'm not talking about all the time. I understand and fully believe you need to take care of yourself in order to take care of others, however, don't have YOU on your mind every minute of every day. Stop thinking "What about me?" or "What's in it for me?" all the time.

By getting your mind off yourself and onto others and Jesus (or your religion) you will start to see a bit more joy in your life. Enjoy it!

Monday, February 02, 2009

HMAH Tip #11 Your Home Biz Best Friend

This tip is for people who have a home-based business or small business. One way to save money, promote your business and add convenience is to use your cellular phone as your business phone.

Many home-based business owners set up their home office including a desk, computer, printer and have a business line installed. Why pay for 3 phone lines--a personal line, a business line and a cell phone. Skip the business line and use your cell phone as the business line. Most phones nowadays show you the number of the caller and names or special ringtones for friends/family. If you don't recognize the number answer it as your business.

Promote your business in the voice mail. That way when anyone calls and you're unable to answer they will find out about your business. Be sure to update it often. For example: "Hi, this is Jane Doe, Your Local Biz Sales Rep. I can't take your call right now. Please leave your name and phone # and I will get right back to you. Be sure to ask me about our February's special by 2 get 1 free."

Another benefit of using your cell phone is the convenience of being able to receive calls anywhere. Let's face it, some people won't leave a message on an answering machine and this could cost your money in parties lost, sales not taken, etc. If you are waiting for a call and you need to run out of the house for a minute you won't miss the call.

Save money, promote your business and the added convenience of portability all help the small business/home based business owner.