Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Saving On Your Energy Bill

This is one thing that we have been trying very hard to do the last couple of months. When Gregg was unemployed it made paying bills pretty hard. So we had to come up with, and research every way to try and save on our bills.

We all know that energy is a must.
We use it daily.
So I want to share with you some ways to save on your bills!

Unplug all items that are not in use

-We pretty much keep everything unplugged when not in use. Once we started this we did notice a change in our monthly bill.

Try to keep lights off during the day

-Use natural lighting during the day.
-If it isn't light enough for you try using energy efficient light bulbs.

Blinds & Curtains: Keep them open or closed?

- On nice cooler days keep them open. You will get natural lighting and with the sun shinning through the windows it will help keep your house warm.

-On hot days keep them closed. Having them open could create the room to get too warm. So keeping them closed will keep you from the cost of air conditioning.

Laundry

-Try just doing laundry once a week and doing it early in the morning or later in the evening.

Do not rise or hand wash dishes

-I have read it is better to just put your dishes into the dish washer and let it do all the work.
-Rising off your dishes before they go into the dish washer is raising the cost of energy and water.
(sadly for us this one doesn't apply because we don't have a dish washer)

Try to use "Off Peak" hours

-Means when less energy is used.
-This is usually overnight or early in the morning.
-It can also vary from state to state.

Free Samples

"Free" one of my favorite words.
Seriously though who's favorite word isn't "Free"?

Learning ways in receiving free samples is so much fun! 
I have had many friends ask me:
Where can I find free samples? 
How can I find free samples of products I use?
Is it worth it with getting more emails in your inbox? 

So today I am going to share some ways of finding free samples!

1. Where can I start to find FREE samples?

-Many websites like Target.com and Walmart.com offer free samples. 
(These two links that I provided will take you straight to the free samples page)

-Another great site is pgeveryday.com
-Proctor and Gamble offers great free samples, I received a travel size Secret Deodorant, Crest Toothpaste, Pampers Wipes, Crest Floss, and a booklet full of coupons in the one sent to me last week.  


2. How can I find FREE samples of products I actually use?
 
-Think of your favorite products and make a list of them. 
Then go to their website and look for a tab that says "Promotions" or in the search tab type "Free Samples". Companies want you to buy their products so that is why they offer free samples for you to test out. They expect once you have tried it and are satisfied the product you are most likely going to start or continue buying it.  

**A good time to look for samples is when a company has launched a new product!

-If the company of your favorite product isn't offering any free samples or coupons, try writing or emailing the company and tell them how much you like their products and thank them for providing them. Most companies will appreciate your feed back and will send you FREE samples and high value coupons.  

3. Is it worth getting extra emails in your inbox?

-I would go crazy if I had all the products I have requested as well as coupons, and newsletters emailed to my personal email address. So what I have done is created a SEPARATE email address for all of the products and newsletters I have signed up for. It makes it so much easier than having it all sent to one address,  instead of one and then possibly missing an important email. 

So I hope that was helpful for everyone and if you have any questions or tips of your own don't hesitate, please share! Thanks :) 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

21st Birthday Celebration!

I finally turned 21 on the 10th of August!
My husband took me out on an amazing date!
My grandma and grandpa Dekruyf were nice enough to watch Noah for us for the evening.

Gregg took me out to Daniel's Broiler off of Lake Union in Seattle.
I must say I have never in my life tasted chicken this delicious before!
Plus the birthday dessert that they give you is unbelievable!
And of course Gregg treated himself to a huge steak.
Dinner over all was just amazing!

My amazing dinner!

My delicious dessert



Then..

He took me to the Seattle Great Wheel!!!
So amazing.
The view was beautiful.







My husband did good :)


Our Wedding Reception in August

The 4th we celebrated our wedding reception, it was such a great time. 

My mom and 2 brothers, who lives 8 hrs away, were able to make it up. 
She was a great help during the day helping out with taking care of Noah.
She absolutely loved getting to spend time with her little monkey :) 

I also got a surprise guest!
My really good friend Ashley was able to make it up from Boise, ID.
I deeply appreciated her coming up.
Especially since she drove up Friday afternoon, came to the reception Saturday at 1pm 
and left at 4pm to drive back to Idaho to work the next day. 
So blessed to have such a great friend! 

Thank you to all of our family and friends who were able to make it.
We enjoyed all of you!

And a special thank you to my Grandma and Grandpa Hiatt.
You both planned an amazing reception for us and we couldn't be more blessed by you guys.
We love you so much!

Here are a few pictures for you all.



This is Gregg's family and their are still 2 brothers, 4 sisters, 1 brother-in-law,
 and 2 sister-in-laws of his missing. 

Yes..I married into a large family! 

My momma and us :)




 The reception took place at my grandparents place in Gig Harbor, WA.

Where has summer gone?


My goodness! 

I can not believe how fast the last couple of months have just flown by! 

This summer has been full of fun, crazy adventures with friends and family. 

I have so much to share with all of you. 

Separate blogs will be posted of me sharing the last couple of months.

So stay tuned! :)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Check Out Time

Some tips I have on when it comes time to check out at the register are:

Be Organized! Its so much easier to go shopping when you have a list and know the sales. Knowing the sales in the ad and putting the coupon for that sale item in a holder of its own in the front will make it easier at the register.

I also like to have a weekly meal plan set up for the week. That way you know what your list is and don't over spend on items you don't need. You can find meal plan forms on Pinterest (this link will bring you right to some). I found mine on there and love it, so I would suggest checking there to choose one that works best for you.  

Something else you will want to think about is time of day. The best time to go is either in the morning or later in the evening after rush hour. You don't want to go at a time that's busy because you may annoy other customers and the clerk. And you DON'T want an unhappy clerk!

When you are deciding on a check out lane, you want to keep an eye out for someone who you think is coupon friendly. I always ask if it is okay that I will be doing a couple transactions and let them know I am using coupons. Personally, I frequently shop at Target, its my favorite! There is a very nice lady that has helped me a couple times and she has always helped me make sure I am getting the best deal! 

Also remember to have your coupon policy with you and if something isn't ringing up right, its okay to ask for a manager. 

For moms:  Best time to shop with children is when they are at their best. This means DO NOT go when it is close in time to eat or nap. My best advice is to see if  you have a friend that would be willing to switch on and off, on watching each others children so either of you could go grocery shopping. 

Starting A Coupon Binder :)

Starting a coupon binder is much easier than you think!
This post might look a little intimidating but trusting me you will save A LOT of money!

Getting Started


Supplies:  A Quality Binder

                   Sheet Protectors 
                   9 Pocket Baseball Card Holders
                   Tab Dividers

Additions:  Pencil Pouch
                    Scissors
                    Calculator
                    Pencil 
                    
Decide what order you want to keep your coupons in and make a Categories page . This will make it a lot easier for you while shopping in the store. So when you are in the cereal isle you can quickly flip to your cereal tab and see what coupons you have. I also like to check store ads before I go so I can get an idea of whats on sale and if I have a coupon for it. If I do have a coupon for it, sometimes I will add a baseball card holder sheet to the very front and put those coupons there so it doesn't take me as long at the register.

Here is an example of mine.



Categories

1.    Refrigerated and Frozen
2.    Snacks
3.    Baking
4.    Cereal
5.    Canned Goods
Condiments
Pasta and Pasta Sauce
Boxed Potatoes
6.    Beverages
7.    Baby
8.    Household
9.    Personal Care
10. Miscellaneous
11.  Buy one, Get one Free!
12.  Store Brand Coupons
Target
Fredmeyers
Safeway
13.  Store Ads
14.  Coupon Policy’s


 After you make your categories its time to cut and organize your coupons.
Its best if the sections are organized by the date printed on the coupon. That way you can always see which ones expire soon. 

I find all my coupons either in the Sunday paper or online. And like I said in the last post, what is really nice about store coupons is that you can use thiers plus add a manufacturer coupon so you get both savings on one item. 
Some of the online sites I use are: 
The Krazy Coupon Lady
Target
Safeway
Coupons.com

I also like to keep the store ads in my binder. That way if I am in the store I have it as a quick reference and to have at the register to make sure the deals are coming up right. 

For coupon policies I find it very important to have that in your binder because if there is something your unsure about  you can look it up. And sometimes clerks don't know their policy that well so if they are refusing a coupon or something you have it right there to show them.  


If they have a product you want on sale and they are out of stock ask for a rain check!


If you have any questions don't hesitate to ask! I am still learning myself but I will try my best to answer! :)