Saturday, October 5, 2013

Vacation Ideas

Our honorary "Grandma" brought this blog to my attention:  Run by experienced air mile users (reliable relatives of "Grandma"), it offers tips on how to get your air and hotel cheap.

I think we'll be signing up for the Rapid Rewards Visa offer.  After checking Southwest Airline's website (just click on the bullet above the price to see miles instead of dollars), it looks like the 50,000 miles would be almost enough to get myself and 2 smallest children to our brother's wedding next year.  (Yes, we're adding an eighth frugal sister).

The resort certificates mentioned also look interesting - $259 for a whole week (price per unit, not per person), and many of the resorts have units that will accomodate 6 or even 8 people.  (That's a must for my family.)  The offer ends October 15, so be sure to look into it now, if you're interested!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Free Papa Murphy's in Utah

For those of you living in Utah, Papa Murphy's is running a campaign to get families reading.  Go here to read more about it.  The prize for filling out your pizza chart is a free family size 1 topping pizza!  Be sure to take your finished form in by October 11th.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Homemade Sunscreen

This is one item it never even occurred to me to make on my own: sunscreen!  Today at the grocery store, my bagger mentioned that his roommate, a chemistry major, makes his own sunscreen, with an SPF of about 100!

So, I researched it online - it actually looks fairly easy, especially since I already have beeswax!  Here's one example

I haven't tried it yet, but I probably will.  I did find a few sites listing the hazards of making your own sunscreen - so make sure you research it before you try it!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

TV/Computer Monitor Combo

We have not had a TV for several years now, and don't really miss it - except that the only way to watch movies was on the computer monitor (a 15 inch 15 year old:} monster).   Then we decided that we wanted a ClearPlay DVD player so that we could watch edited versions of some of the movies that my husband's family is always talking about.  This necessitated bunches of special switches and cords, since the monitor and DVD player weren't equipped to talk to each other.

Well, we worked with it for a long time, but finally, I found a better option.  I just got a Samsung T22B350ND HDTV Monitor.  This one does it all, and it cost me less than $150.  I have my computer hooked in, my DVD player hooked in, and it even has a TV tuner, though I don't get any reception without an antenna   I can no start a movie, on either the computer or the DVD player and sit back and relax, knowing that I won't have to jump up to adjust the volume (I have a remote now!).

I'm also loving it for the screen size.  Once I realized that my screen was fuzzy because my wallpaper wasn't high enough resolution - it has been beautiful.  I can literally divide my screen in half and see two documents full size at the same time.  This is great for doing bank reconciliations:)

Maybe before next conference I'll see if I can get an antenna for the TV - but if not, we'll still be able to watch it over the internet, and it will look and sound so much better!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Easter Art

 I finally finished it. After creating a design I liked, I got stumped. "Maybe I should have cut it out in black vinyl instead of white." "Can I really make paint a sunrise that I won't mind others seeing?" "Maybe I should just put it on a solid color background instead." Anyway, done is better than perfection, so today I pressed forward and although my attempt at a sunrise is far from perfect, it's the best sunrise I've ever painted.

"He is Risen" is my favorite Easter hymn. And one of my favorite things about spring is new flowers. The first ones to come up are the daffodils that I transplanted from my parents yard. Here in the South they have already bloomed and gone, but they still say spring to me. Right now we have irises and bluebonnets and the redbud tree is blooming too. Happy Easter!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Scripture App

I'm not sure if this counts as being frugal, but it has been a BIG help to me in my spirituality (and that's worth a lot), so I'm passing it along.

I have struggled for years making scripture study and journal writing part of my daily routine.  At one point I even devoted the first 15 minutes of my elliptical machine use to reading scriptures.  That one flopped - I can't imagine why:)

My latest, most successful attempt centers around my computer.  I've noticed over the years that my life in large part revolves around my computer.  It is a very, very rare day that I don't turn on the computer at least once.  And now that I'm helping my husband with his business, I spend even more time with my keyboard.  So, the idea was this: I found a scripture app that I liked, (I chose, but there are lots of them out there).  Then, I put the program in my start-up folder.  (A suprisingly simple process - in Windows 7/XP, click your "Start" button, select "All Programs," find and open the "Startup" folder, and drag/drop your program into it! - I've since switched to Windows 8, which I don't understand, so these instructions are subject to the limits of my rather-limited-memory).

This means that, each time I start my computer, LDS Scriptures opens up.  I have a personal rule that I can't shut it until I've written a short note in the journal section and read a least a few verses.  So far, it's been quite successful.
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