Monday, March 19, 2012

Maintain Weight to Save Money

Losing weight and looking at your new self in the mirror could give you a boost of self-confidence, but you'll get a nice kick in the pants each time you buy yourself a new wardrobe. After losing all that weight, you normally wouldn't want to hide behind those baggy old clothes. You'll want to show off your new self.

Every 10 pounds you lose in weight, you drop a size. And continuing to wear clothes 3 or 4 sizes too big will make you look and feel terrible. You’ll need to buy clothes from scratch, whether it's office wear, formal wear, jeans, or dresses, everything has to go. You'll need a couple of thousand dollars at least to replace all those, and if you continue to lose weight, you'll need a couple of thousand every 2 or 3 sizes down.

Now, I agree that losing weight is a challenge. But not putting on weight is also a challenge. The kind of sedentary lifestyles we lead, and the unhealthy foods we eat, gradually keep putting on us those extra pounds. Most of us need a lifestyle change, but it doesn't have to be a radical one. Sensible choice in food (fewer carbs, more fruits and vegetables) and moderate exercise could keep us from packing on those pounds, and prevent us from the costly health problems associated with obesity. Maintaining your weight is just one way to save money on clothes.

Of course, there are exceptions to every rule. Generally speaking, it makes more dollar sense to just maintain your weight, but if you are already obese, maintaining your weight could cost you more in health problems and medical bills.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Learn to Cook at Home to save money

Learning how to cook at home is probably one of the simplest and easiest ways to save money on food. I'm surprised by how many adults lack basic cooking skills, and just how much of their hard-earned money they spend on take-out foods or processed frozen dinners. Depending on the size of the family, you could be spending thousands of dollars on ready-made meals a year.

Some people are on the road most of the time because of the nature of their jobs. They have little choice but to eat out. But the rest of us can easily avoid it, and would actually prefer great tasting home-made meals to unhealthy super-sized fast food, or expensive restaurant food. Learning to cook for yourself and for your family is probably one of the most important decisions you'll ever make. By learning this essential skill, you are in control of what you and your family eats and the overall nutritional value of your meals, in addition to saving money.

You can learn cooking by a variety of different methods - cookbooks, DVDs, television programs, or you can take classes at the local community college. The internet is a goldmine for free information. There are tons of blogs, YouTube videos, as well as recipes that offer tips and instruction on various cooking techniques. Learning how to cook doesn't have to cost you an arm and a leg.

Experience is the best teacher. It will take you less time, if you are constantly applying what you are learning at home. Start with simple recipes and slowly work your way up to more complex dessert recipes and restaurant favorites. It doesn't matter what kind of food you like to eat, learning how to cook is going to one the most valuable skills to help you save money.

Monday, March 05, 2012

Make your own cleaners to save money

The good folks on TV would like you to believe that there is a cleaner for everything (just another reason you should consider breaking your TV Habit). For furniture, windows, dishes, floors, one for every piece of household fixture. If you believe them then I have some snake oil to sell you.

The fact is that if you use all those products to keep your home clean, you could be spending thousands of dollar a year on chemical cleaners alone. There are a number of fabulous cleaner alternatives that are good for your growing family as well as your wallet.

You should have in your cleaning arsenal some olive oil, vinegar, essential oils, baking soda and Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap. Baking soda softens water naturally, so it's fantastic for your laundry. Just add a cupful to the wash cycle. It's a mild abrasive, and when used with Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap, you can clean off the scum in your bathtub, your greasy flat top range and your messy kitchen counter. You can even sprinkle some in your baby's diapers and you won't notice any smells! As a mild abrasive, baking soda makes a great exfoliant. Just mix it with your favorite face wash.

A mild bleaching agent with antimicrobial and antibacterial properties, you can mix it with an equal amount of water and use it in a squirt bottle as an amazing all purpose cleaner. You can even use scented vinegar as an air freshener instead of commercial products such as Lysol or Febreeze. If you don't like the smell of vinegar, you can mix in some drops of lavender oil or tea tree oil or some other essential oil. It masks the smell of vinegar. In fact, it smells great.

For polishing furniture, you can rub in some olive oil. One tablespoon is all you need to give your coffee table a great shine. Enjoy your new cleaners, save your wallet and the planet.