Category Archives: I’m Just Saying….

Random thoughts I felt were worthy of passing along

School Time!

“Up in the morning and off to school.”

The teacher is teaching the Golden Rule.

American history and practical math,

I’ll be lucky if I pass!”

Yes, I love that old Chuck Berry song. Kids are off to school now and catching the bus right down on the corner in front of my house. So, this comment is two pronged.

Number one-Watch out for children because chances are they are not watching out for you.

Number Two-Help a teacher. Many teachers, no all teachers except college professors, are woefully underpaid for the responsibilities they have. Find out about a teacher in your local school or find out about some needs for supplies, food donations, clothing help etc. and extend a hand to these real heroes.

Our church asked our teachers to list their needs and they we put out a box in front of the Sunday School classrooms. It was full in a week. There is a teacher in my neighborhood who shared with me that her greatest need is not for tissues or pencils, but for earbuds! Yes. they are frequently lost, broken, etc. and are costly to replace. Another teacher at my local school told a woman’s group that I belong to that her greatest need (Believe this or not!) was for children’s clothing. Second grade kids who wear the same shirt every day, have no coat, have holes in their shoes, and do not wear socks have little need for expensive pens.

Food-Well, yes. Juice boxes, health bars, trail mix and so on are all good to give to a classroom teacher, but you could also find out about the Backpack Buddies in your area. These are groups who pack a special “weekend addition” to those children who get school lunches, but do not have a food source over the weekends. Such things as cereal, staples, canned goods, and donated seasonal items are always needed.

 

Do a little “homework” and fill a need. I get that it does not help a teacher with salary negotiations with the local School Board, but you can help a teacher help a child. Try it-I  promise that for a very small investment you will feel VERY good.

 

Time and $$$ Saving Tips For Laundry!

My laundry multiplies in the closet over night! It seems I am never actually laundry free. There is always something dirty. I wash the colors and the whites are still there. I get all set only to find I am out of detergent or bleach or both. All this being said and also true, I set out to find some helpful stuff that might make all of this less of a chore. This is some of what I found. Please feel free to add to the list in the comment section!

  1. Try to organize your laundry room, or lack of a laundry room in a way that makes sense to you. I have a small laundry room so I keep dirty clothes baskets in my closet. I keep one for whites and nearly whites and wishing they were whites in one basket and coloreds in the other. I also regularly wash towers and sheets and I do them together. I do not have a basket for these as I just dump them in all at once when I have time. Everyone’s organization will be different. Try several different methods to see what seems to work out for YOU!
  2. Separate special treatment items. Stains, woolens, a blouse that needs to be washed by itself-you know what I mean, right? I do not have a separate basket for these things but I put them on top of the washer so I will remember not to put them in with regular things.
  3. Watch what you buy. If you need something special for stains, unless you are a mechanic or horse trainer you may not need this often. Buy a small size. Be sure that your regular detergent works for you and if you have a special brand, watch for it to be on sale. I use TIDE liquid and prices vary a lot. I use dryer sheets and brand does not matter to me. I use what is on sale. If you add a liquid softener you may have a brand you like. Again, watch for it to be on sale. Don’t hesitate to buy extra of these two items. they keep for ages.

Add your tips in the comment section. I know there are many others out there.

Comments on Grocery Savings Article $$

Oh, Boy did I get called out on my saving tips at the grocery store. ! Yes, I did not mention the two most important grocery store $$ savings ever!!!

  1. Always shop from a list. Make out the list standing in front of your fridge/deep freeze and in front of your pantry. Do a visual inventory as you write down needs.
  2. Shop from your planned food usage during the week or whatever time span you use to shop. If you shop weekly think about kids lunches and your lunches. Think about a bag of small apples or HALO oranges. I hate to say it, but you might also think about one of those huge bags of chips to break up onto little plastic bags. I know chips are not good nourishment, but at least this way you can pick a baked chip with low salt or a high fiber tortilla type chip.  Think about dinners and plan at least one dinner out with leftovers for lunch the next day. You know what your family likes so shop to that. Experiment around if you think you can!

My kids used to eat the same thing pretty much and that was cereal or oatmeal with fruit for Breakfast, a packed lunch with a sandwich and a fruit, and a yogurt or pudding cup (home made) for dessert. Today, my grandson can take things to be put in the microwave, and also he has special ice pack containers that let him take things that might otherwise not keep cool. This made shopping for those two meals pretty easy for me, but your kids might like more of a variety.

I used to cut pb&j sandwiches into cute shapes with a cookie cutter until my daughter made me stop doing it. Hmmm.

Five Ways To Save Big $$$ At The Grocery Store!

I love to grocery shop and often do it just for a field trip to look for information for an article. I am a pescatarian and my husband eats anything and everything so I shop widely at several different stores and Farmer’s Markets. Here are a few really good tips to shop well and economically.

 

  1. Always check out the newspapers for grocery store ads and shop those specials but only as they fit in to your meal plans. Do not buy something just because it is on sale or go into a store to buy a special and come out with a ton of other overpriced stuff!
  2. Go to the back of the store and check out the clearances. If items are not too near the due date and they fit in to your food plans for the week, load up. Also check out “day olds” in the bakery.
  3. Don’t buy already chopped up things unless you really need to time wise . things that are cut up go off much more quickly than whole products. Particularly things like chopped salads go off very quickly compared to head lettuce and whole packages of carrots and celery. Bagged broccoli and celery and cauliflower are also much more costly than buying unwrapped . Don’t buy too much fresh in bulk. You always think you will eat it all, but seldom do.
  4. Buy store brands and stock up when they go on sale. Buy things that last a while or that you can freeze when they are a store brand special and you will really save big. Personally I recommend the Walmart “Great Value” brand. Just compare some time when you are out shopping. Store brands are generally placed near name brands and sometimes the price difference is quite shocking.
  5. Shop in bulk whenever you can. Check out what you use a lot, a particular cereal brain or type for example, and buy a bunch when it is on sale. Watch due dates, but in general this is a good $$$ saver. I buy pasta this way and canned goods too!

I know a coupon shopper who saves tons and loves to do it almost as a hobby. I don’t seem to be able to make that work, but obviously millions do. Try it?

Groceries expenses can be kept in line with very little trouble if you follow these tips. If you have others, please share n the comment page.

Go Clean!

As promised, I am going to elaborate a bit on my PINK article regarding so called “clean” make-up. Skin cleansers and moisturizers generally make several claims:

First of all, natural means ingredients sourced from nature. Ingredients can be animal, vegetable or mineral but they have been minimally modified. Watch out if you want to use a product with no animal products.

Naturally derived can mean ingredients may have been processed with chemicals  Be sure to check the label to see what percent is actually the “natural” product.

Nontoxic and chemical free are vague terms at best. Look for disclaimers like Parabin free or contains no formaldehyde. Be very careful to read all labels if you are allergic.

The terms green or sustainable can be misleading. I once bought a tube of acne cream that was labeled green only to find out that the term referred to the package, not the product!

The most specific term to look for is organic or better yet, look for what per cent is actually organic. Even in this case, always check ingredients for fragrance free, dye, free, pesticide free, etc.

Many of these products are very expensive. I suggest you find sample sized items of something  you wish to try. As always, carefully read labels and be sure you understand what you are buying. Just an added note: if you have been buying the same product for years, do re-read the ingredient list. Many times a product will be “reformulated” without notice and you may not like one of the new or different ingredients.

 

Get Out The Grill!!

Yes, even here in the hills the weather is getting warm enough to grill. I will start soon with some yummy recipes for grilled everything so stay tuned.

Also, please do feel free to submit some of your own grilling ideas. I just did some veggies on a cedar plank that I bought originally for salmon and boy Mmmm good.

Let’s get creative with some great summer ideas.