Monday, September 26, 2011

Living on a Dime: A Great Resource for Frugal Living

     I don't plan to blog too often on "religious" topics, but I am a practicing Christian and God is a part of my life, so it may came out from time to time. 
     That said, I just thought I would share this interesting post from Friday at Living on a Dime about Christians giving to God. Whether you call it "tithing," "contribution" or "offering," it kinda puts things in perspective.

Here are some eye opening facts about tithing:
  • The average Christian spends 98% of their money on themselves and 2% on God.
  • If all Christians tithed, we could educate the whole world.
  • On average, we spend $2,000 a year on interest but can’t tithe.
  • We expect 100% from God but what do we give Him?
  • Any mom or dad will tell you that something isn’t a sacrifice when the object of our sacrifice is what we love. Read Luke 21 about the widow giving her all.
  • Offering – something given as a sign of devotion or sacrifice- most of us aren’t giving our tithe let alone giving a sacrificially offering.
  • You can usually tell what a person loves by what he spends his money on.
     You can view the article here. I also recommend you look around the website Living on a Dime, as the authors, Jill and Tawra, have a lot of great advice about frugal living and getting out of debt. It is amazing how little this lady lived one while raising kids as a single mom and getting out of debt. She shares her whole story in her e-book "How I Lived on a Dime," which you can buy in my link on the right if you're interested. I found it very inspiring! The other "Living on a Dime" e-books I have listed are also full of great advice for living on a small income.
     On another note, in case you haven't noticed, I now have an Amazon store on my site. The link is located on the right. So, if you plan on purchasing on Amazon (no pressure to do anything you weren't already planning to), I would be super-grateful if you would use my link so Amazon knows I referred you! The link will take you away from my page unless you have your browser open the link in a new tab or window. I only have certain categories in my store, but they are probably the ones most relevant to my visitors. Baby, kitchen and housewares, books, DVD's, arts and crafts and toys and games are the categories I've included. So feel free to shop around!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Try and Tell

     Consumer research is becoming an increasingly more popular way for companies to reach out to their target customers. After all, who knows better what a consumer wants from a product than the consumer themselves? The advance of technology and the use of the internet has made it easier than ever for companies to get in touch with their consumers, particularly in the form of online surveys, and something some of us call "try and tells." 
     A try and tell is a program in which the consumer is a sent a product, usually for free or at a good discount and in return the consumer shares their opinion about the product (both positive and negative) with the company and with people they know. Sometimes you get additional compensation, and sometimes it's just the free product. Since there are products out there for pretty much all ages, many of these programs are open to anyone who wishes to participate. I would like to share a few companies I am familiar with that facilitate these type of programs. 

BzzAgent--BzzAgent is probably one of my favorites. The way it works is that you get an invitation to join a BzzCampaign, you accept it, BzzAgent sends you the product to try for free (and I'm talking full-size products here), then you "spread the word" via the BzzAgent website. You can do this by review, Twitter, Facebook, blog or word-of-mouth. 
     If you sign up for BzzAgent, I advise you to also sign up for MyPoints, since BzzAgent gives MyPoints for completeing various activities. It's not much, but after a while the points can add up and you can get a little something, like gift cards. The real perk, however, is getting to try out free products! 

Vocalpoint--Vocalpoint is a review site that occasionally sends out free samples. Often you must opt in to these as there are sometimes a limited number. Vocalpoint will send out an email to its members asking them to claim a sample if they want one. Many of these are trial size items. Sometimes you will get full size samples, and in this case, they will send you a coupon to get the item free. In exchange, Vocalpoint would like for you to share your opinion about the product, either by review or survey. 

ExpoTV--ExpoTv is a video review website. Note: I have only recently joined this one and have not actually "verified" it. It seems promising though. ExpoTv gives you "points" for doing video reviews on things you already have and you redeem these points for things like gift cards. 600 points equals approximately $5 and most reviews seem to pay 500 points. 
     ExpoTV have a program called "tryology" in which they will send you products to try and do a video review on. This site deals only with video reviews, so if you do not have a camera with video capabilities, or are unwilling to post videos, this program isn't for you. 
     These programs are fun, rewarding programs and completely free to sign up for. You won't make much (if any) money off these, but you can get to try products for free which is always nice. So, try away and have fun. :-)

Saturday, September 17, 2011


Intellectual Content
     It is not my intent or desire to infringe on anyone else's ideas or intellectual property, including blogs, other sites and non electronically published content. Any similarities between posts or other content on this site and that of another are coincidental and not intended to copy anyone else's ideas without due credit. My posts, reviews, frugal finds, etc., are based on my own findings and experiences. 
     If I find information on another site or blog that I feel is so wonderful I must share it, I will give due credit and include a link or other reference to the quoted source. It is my desire to conduct myself and my blog with the utmost integrity and I repeat, I will not knowingly copy someone else's ideas, though some things posted may bear some small similarity to something else you've seen or heard. Also, I ask anyone reading this blog to show me the same courtesy and not copy content from this site without crediting the source. Thank you. 

     Visitors to this site may encounter various advertisements, some of which I have little control over, except to remove if I find them unfit for or irrelevant to my site. To my knowledge, none of them are obscene, offensive or otherwise inappropriate. If anyone finds any advertisements on this site to be so, I ask you to notify me at once so appropriate action may be taken. 
     If any visitors to this site choose to click on any advertisements, they do so at their own risk. I cannot assume responsibility the actions of other sites. These sites may ask for personal information which you may choose to enter at your own risk. To my knowledge there are no malicious links or spam-producing advertisers on this site, but I cannot guarantee this. I am obliged to provide this disclaimer. It is not my intent to "scare" anyone from exploring these advertisers, but I urge visitors to exercise caution when clicking on ads on any site, not only this one. I truly hope my visitors will benefit from my advertiser, particularly links I have directly in my posts. 

Disclosure Policy
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Friday, September 16, 2011

The Most Useful Kitchen Appliances

     Well, I am certainly not feeling my best today, having caught a head cold from my 19 month old. Anyway, I thought I would like to share with you all which kitchen appliances I could not live without. Well, I probably could live without them, but it would certainly make things more difficult! 
     1. Kitchenaid Mixer--This is probably my favorite kitchen appliance. Before I got my Kitchenaid I used a hand mixer. I admit that at the time I didn't know what I was missing, but to be able to pour in the ingredients and let the mixer do the work for you instead of having to hold the mixer over the bowl for ten minutes is so much better! One of the features I love the most is the dough hook, which allows the mixer to knead your homemade bread dough. You do have to keep an eye on it, as the dough tends to collect on the hook, but removing the dough from the hook so it can be properly kneaded is much easier than kneading by hand. I also mix up cookie dough, cake batter and lots of other goodies. There are also various attachments you can purchase separately, but these are kind of pricey. The only one we have is the meat grinder and even that we haven't used so much. But the mixer itself is a marvelous thing to have! 
     2. Crock Pot--Crock pots are very useful to have, especially if you have to be gone all day and want to come home to a hot meal! I really need to experiment with my crock pot more, but one my favorites to make is chili, slow cooked all day. Chili is one of those things that tastes better the longer it cooks, as is spaghetti sauce. My hubby likes the pot roast. Just put in the roast, some onions, carrots and potatoes and let it cook all day. Simple as that! 

    3. Rice Cooker--A rice cooker is great if, like me, you just can't get your rice to turn out right! I would always follow the directions carefully, and still my rice would turn out sticky and gummy. I'm not a huge rice fan (except for fried rice!), but my husband likes it, so we finally invested in an inexpensive rice cooker. My rice turns out a lot better now, with a lot less prep and watching. I hear you can also use these to steam veggies, but I have not tried that yet. 
    4. Chopper/Food Processor--We just have a very small, cheap food processor/chopper (I think we got it when we got married) but it is quite handy for chopping up onions and jalapenos or pureeing tomatoes for salsa. It is also a fantastic tool for grinding up your own baby food. Before our little one was eating "real" solid food, we would simply use the food processor to grind up some of whatever we were eating to give to her. 
     Well, these are some of the indispensable appliances you will find in my kitchen.  I hope I have given you a few ideas that may help you in yours.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A Little About Me

     Hello all, and welcome to my blog. As you may have gathered from my blog's title, I am an "ordinary" housewife and stay-at-home mom. I have been happily married to my wonderful husband for six years (yes, I know I'm sounding like a Wheel of Fortune contestant :-P) and have a 19 month old daughter with a second baby on the way. 
     Don't let the word "housewife" conjure up images of old 50's sitcoms (though they are nice!) No, I am not June Cleaver, and I am certainly far from perfect. I take advantage of as many modern conveniences as I reasonably can, but also strive to live as frugally as possible. I manage most of the household finances, which is a responsibility not to be taken lightly. 
     I have a BA in English literature, which I enjoyed studying for immensely, but have never been able to put to use in terms of a career. But that's okay--I'm currently doing what I've always wanted to do. I still have a great love for reading and writing. 
     I enjoy baking and cooking (when I'm feeling well) and have been known to dabble in cake decorating. I really don't care for cleaning, so I try to find ways to get that done as quickly and painlessly as possible! I like to tell others about products I find useful (as well as those I don't!) share recipes and advice and just talk about life as a mom. 
     So, I have decided to try my hand at blogging. Please keep in mind I am new at this and I ask you to bear with me as I "learn the ropes." I am open to suggestions, comments and ideas for future posts. However, I tend to steer clear of politics and other "controversial" subjects and I will keep my content PG, in case any of my younger friends decide to look in. :-) 
     If you have any questions, comments,  post suggestions, or  if you would like to submit a guest post, please email me at