Organizational Ideas: Hanging Dry Erase Boards!

Good morning, savvy savers! Today I wanted to bring you a simple storage and organizational idea that I use in my own home office. I use over the door hooks, from the Dollar Tree, that are priced at $0.50 each, to hang my dry erase board from my office door! I flipped my dry erase board and then hung it up! The bar on the bottom of the board also holds larger erasers in place; the erasers also do not fall with the doors being opened and closed! What’s nice about the hooks, is that they are metal, and unlike plastic are not as prone to snap-off and break, as well, they fit securely to the door without creating bulk.

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Please don’t mind the mess in my office, as I am in the midst of Spring cleaning folks!

The empty space behind doors is often a underutilized treasure trove of space and utility, and in my case helps keep my blog, school work, and household activities organized!

Here’s to organizing!

Organizational Ideas: Guest Post From The Joyful Organizer!

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Good afternoon, savvy savers! With a new week, comes new challenges, and among these challenges are way to bring peace and utility to our day-to-day lives, and here at the Lady Prefers To Save, we like to help you accomplish this task through a weekly blog series, called Organizational Ideas!  For this weeks Organizational Ideas Series Installment, we will be having a guest post by the very talented Bonnie Dewkett, blogger, professional organizer, and economist from The Joyful Organizer®! 

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Here are Bonnie’s tips for creating organization, through economizing, as seen on her blog, The Joyful Organizer:

Getting organized will save you money.  However, we can all take it a bit further.  Here are a few tips that are easy to integrate into your daily life that will save you money.  Involve the family and you’ll have an even greater chance of success.

Go Meatless-Going meatless for at least one day a week helps you be healthier, save the environment and of course, saves you money.  Beans and other vegetarian products are much cheaper than meat.

Call your service providers-Give all of your service providers a call and ask them for a better deal. Most people are fearful to do this, but the worst thing they can say is that they have no better offers.  Don’t be afraid to switch providers if someone is offering a better deal that benefits your family.

Buy in bulk-buy the items you use frequently in bulk.  Good candidates are toilet paper, toothpaste and sponges.  Make sure you will use the entire amount before it expires.  Also, take the wholesale membership costs into account.

Use a programmable thermostat-This allows you to turn the heat down while you’re gone during the day and turn it back up before you arrive home.  Making these small adjustments every day can add up to a big savings.

Save with apps-Use coupon apps such as Coupon Sherpa and Retail Me Not.  These allow you to look for the best deal and sales even while you’re in the store.

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Use grocery delivery-While there is usually a delivery fee it is often less than the time and gas you’d spend grocery shopping.  Plus, if you are going hungry or with kiddies, you’ll surely make some impulse purchases.

Make it visual-If you have a long term financial goal, such as a trip to Disney World, use a visual reminder to save.  A drawn thermometer that you color in or a jar full of coins.

Walk Away-If you’re shopping online and like something, put it in your cart and walk away. Since the store is probably using cookies to track you, they will often send you a reminder with a coupon in a day or so.

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Use natural cleaners-Making your own cleaners with vinegar and water will save you a lot of money over time.  Maximize the savings even more by using cloths that you can wash and reuse over and over again.

Stay In-Instead of expensive family movie nights out, buy a Netflix subscription and stay in.  Make home made microwave popcorn and even bake cookies to make it an entire evening of fun.

Swap with friends-Swap kid’s clothing, toys, meals, and even baby sitting services with your neighbors and everyone saves time and money!  (You can also use sites such as Free Cycle.)

Library-Use the library.  It’s shocking that people forget it even exists.  They allow your o read books for free!  Most libraries have movies and music as well.

Thank you again to Bonnie for her wonderful organizing tips! To find out more about Bonnie, check out her blog  The Joyful Organizer, and her professional organization site, The Joyful Organizer®! Also be sure to check out  and subscribe to Bonnie’s iTunes Radio show, The Joyful Organizer as well!

Here’s to staying organized!

 

Thrifty Thursdays: Create Seperate Email Accounts For Coupons, Sweepstakes, and Product Offers!

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Good morning, savvy savers! For this weeks Thrifty Thursday’s piece, I wanted to write about a no-brainer for us couponing folks, creating separate email accounts for coupons, sweepstakes, giveaways, freebies, and product offers! As you know, wading through a sea of emails, because your inbox is full of coupon-related messages, can be overwhelming. I recommend creating a separate email address to keep you organized and as stress-free as possible. I personally have two seperate email accounts, one for coupons and offers, and one for freebies that make you sign-up for offers; this send account is my “spam account.” With this said, here are a few tips to keep in mind when creating your new account:

Coupon Address: Start by creating a new email address. Either sign up with an alternative service provider, such as gmail, ymail, yahoo, or the like, rather than your personal email address. Be sure to keep separate tabs on on your internet browser, while online, so they are easily accessible to you. As well, add separate account to your mobile devices and gadgets, so that you can quickly check offers on the go!

Signing up: Use the newest address when you sign up for exclusive newsletters and offers.

Update: Make sure to update your current subscriptions to the new email address; most reputable companies and services provide a link (typically at the bottom of an e-newsletter) or allow an address change through profile settings.

Enjoy the freedom of a clean inbox!

Kitchen Storage Solution: Antique Blue Tinted Mason Jar Cupcake Liner Holders!

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Hello again, lovelies! Today I wanted to share a storage solution I currently use in my kitchen, and though its simple, is quite handy in my opinion. I store my cupcake liners in antique blue mason jars, on two small shelves in my kitchen. I like the look of the jarred liners, I like seeing what liners I have available while I’m baking, and honestly, I think its kitschy enough to be fun! What’s even neater? I received these jars, along with another dozen or so of them, for free from Freecycle.org! I have also seen these jars for pennies at yard sales, swap meets, flea markets, and free listings for them on Craigslist.org as well!

So readers, do you have any clever kitchen organizational ideas you implement in your kitchen you would like to share. If so, please leave me a comment below! Thanks!

Organizational Ideas: Stacked Pallet Shelf Craft Organizer!

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Good morning, savvy savers! If you are anything like myself, then you are always on the hunt for items for the home that will add functionality, style, expression, and beauty without breaking the bank! This weeks Organizational Idea comes from my own office, its my Stacked Pallet Shelf Craft Organizer! I must admit, I am a Pinterest junkie, and last summer I began to see so many trends in upcycled home-design centered around the use of pallets, so I thought I would give it a go myself!

First, I set out to find chemical-free pallets; this sounds hard to do but just by calling my local newspaper, grocery store, and health food store, they were able to tell me whom their local pallet distributor was, and that they, and their own stores, are caring chemical-free pallets! A few phone calls later, I had an appointment set up to pick up a handful of pallets! A word to the wise, always look for pallets that are in-tact, without glue, excessive nails, and do not show any signs of bug entry or exit areas! Upon bringing the palate home, I washed them down in a solution of vinegar and baking soda, patted them dry, and let them dry in the sun for two days!

Once the pellets were dry to the touch and smell (yes, wood had a dried smell), I began to sand them down with a fine grit paper, and then stained them with a water-based stain; I used Minwax All-Weather Wood Stain in Antique Walnut. I applied two coats, and in between drying times, wiped the wood down to remove any excess stain, as well as lightly sanded the corners and edges. Once the pallets were stained, sanded, and ready to install, I brought them into my home, and secured them to the wall with four-inch wall hooks; they are not screwed to the walls but hang, but the pallets are snug between the hook and the wall and do not move at all.

At this point, I installed smaller two-inch screws and hooks into the shelf and went to town putting out my crafting items. This shelf has been handy to display my looms, cutting boards, dispensers, ribbon rolls, glue sticks, and even allows a point of inspiration and reference by way of displayed art as well! The shelf holds tons of arts, crafts, and sewing items, only takes up 5″ of floor space, and fit behind my office doors!  I also installed a small Indian grommet bag, to hold all of the scrap half-sheets of printing paper used when couponing. I love the way the shelves turned out!

Let me know what you think, and leave a comment below!

Here’s to being organized!

Organizational Ideas!

Hello again, savvy savers! This week for my organizational idea, I wanted to post a s very simple idea I have used for the past year! I installed basic, clear plastic shoe organizers to the two doors in my kitchen pantry; I use these slots to store sauces, snacks, packets, baked items, and the like. These slots hold nearly as much as my shelves, and are a real lifesaver! They can be attached with clips, wood screws, or any other simple method you have on hand. What’s better is that I used free Amazon.com gift card to purchase the units, earned from Crowdtap, and my life is all the better for having done so! The units I have can be found here.

Here’s to organizing!

Weekly Menu!

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Hello, my fellow menu-planning pals! I wanted to share with you all my proposed menu for next week; I am excited to share the first of each weeks menu ideas. This week, I have everything I need on hand to prepare these meals, and this is prove to be a great ease to this weeks budget! Let me all know what you think! Next week, I will be couponing and shopping at my local Dollar Tree, Sam’s Club, Winn-Dixie, and Walmart and will share my new finds, as they come available for the following weeks menu. As well, for future weeks, when I try new recipes, I will post them in my recipes section above! In addition to my menu, I am excited to be trying out my individual crock pots, for serving lunch, which I purchased 75% off after the holidays from CVS! Most of menus desserts are Dollar Tree freebies and that rocks as well! Please note, by planning your menu, taking lunch from home, and using what you have on hand you will save nearly seventy percent off of what it would cost to eat out; each week I can cook for four for around forty-fifty dollars, with funds leftover!

Please enjoy!

Sunday:

Waffles with warm syrup and fresh fruit for breakfast, chopped chef salads for lunch, and for dinner, bbq crock pot chicken, corn-on-the-cob, green beans, rice pilaf, corn muffins, and eclair cake trifle.

Monday:

Cereal for breakfast, burritos and granola bars for lunch, and napa cabbage, potatoes, and ham with corn muffins for dinner; we will leftover dessert from last night.

Tuesday:

Cereal for breakfast, ham and cheese sandwiches with salad and fruit cup for lunch, and chili dogs with coleslaw and brownies for dinner.

Wednesday:

Oatmeal and berries for breakfast, soup of choice and crackers, and fresh fruit cup for lunch, and rotisserie chicken with macaroni and cheese, with peas for dinner.

Thursday:

Cereal bars and smoothies for breakfast, egg salad sandwiches with chips and fruit cup for lunch, and meatball marinara subs, topped with provolone, salad, and chocolate chip cookies for dinner.

Friday:

Cereal for breakfast, leftovers (sub or salad, or both) for lunch, and self-serve cold cut sandwich platter, with chips and pudding cups for dinner.

Saturday:

Waffles topped with fresh fruit for breakfast, grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch, and mushroom and swiss turkey burgers, with sweet potato fries for dinner.