9 Easy Ways to Save Money Right Now

It’s that time of year again when those once-a-year bills come in {like HOA dues and the like}, Holiday shopping begins, and extra expenses {big family meals, stamps for Christmas cards, etc.} pile up.  Everyone is looking for ways to save money.  Personally, Dave and I are in the final week of our Fall session of Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University.  We teach the class twice a year, and this year we have begun to issue a challenge to our class each week…a small way to save a few bucks.  In addition, my Small Group has been doing Jen Hatmaker’s Bible Study, Seven: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess.  This week’s focus is on spending.  With all of this going on, I thought today would be the perfect time to share some of our ideas on how to save a bit of money.

Obviously, there are bigger and better ways to get more money this holiday season.  Whether it’s working extra hours, getting a side job, or selling the kids on Craig’s List…there are some drastic measures that are sure to work.  But what about the little stuff?  As they say, those pennies add up!

Here’s my list of 9 easy ways to save money right now:

9 Easy Ways to Save Money Today from Palmettos and Pigtails

-Don’t go grocery shopping this week…see how creative you can get with the items in your pantry and fridge.  And while you are in there, clean it up and organize it a little!  And while you are cleaning out your freezer, take an inventory of the food that’s in there with my handy Freezer Inventory List!

-Put a full water bottle in the back of all of your toilet tanks to displace the water in the tank, use less water, and save on your water bill.

-Save any $1 bills with significant letters on them {We save J’s, A’s and L’s in honor of our kids’ names}.

A great tradition and a way to save money: collect dollar bills with the letters of your kids' names on them

-Unplug electronics and appliances when not in use.  Big culprits in our house are laptops, the coffeepot and cell phone chargers.

-When paying for items, don’t use exact change….round up to the nearest dollar.  Save the change you get back, and each night empty your change into a jar…those coins add up quickly!

-Only drink water…no buying drinks or coffees at the store or restaurants.  You’ll save between $2-$5 for EACH DRINK!  {so put aside those $$$ you would have spent on the drink…and watch it add up fast!}

-Pay CASH instead of using a card….it’s a lot more painful to see those precious dollar bills disappear, than using that “magical” card.

-Establish a Swear Jar or a Manners Jar….each infraction costs a dollar out of one’s personal blow money.

-Get organized with your meals.  Use a weekly meal planner and Southern Savers to plan out meals and create a grocery list based on  your grocery store’s weekly specials.  Only buy what is on your grocery list.  My family of five usually spends about $80 a week on groceries.  That’s it!

Hope this simple list helps save you some cash TODAY!  Need a couple more ideas?  Check out this list of stuff you can sign up to do to get paid.

Got any others?  Leave a comment with how YOU save money during the holidays!

Palmettos and Pigtails Signature

{House Manager} Holiday Planning Guide with Printables

Every year it’s amazing to me how early Christmas arrives in stores.  This year, it was Kohl’s that won, with Christmas arriving in their store the first week of October.  Crazy.  We don’t do a ton of decorating or gifts for Christmas, so shopping each year is relatively stress-free for me.  When Santa comes, he brings one “big gift” per child, and then a few little things for their stockings.  So far, Dave and I have managed to avoid buying the kids anything “from us”….they haven’t noticed they didn’t get a gift from Mom or Dad.  And as for gifts for immediate family…we do homemade gifts from the kids and then school/family pictures to frame.  There are about a million cousins, and we’ve never exchanged more than Christmas cards with them.  So shopping is pretty easy, and all about the kids.

As for entertaining….different story.

So, so stressful.  But you know, in a good stressful way.  As in, I-wouldn’t-have-it-any-other-way.  I LOVE entertaining.  I love that we made the executive decision that {since we made the grandkids} everyone can come to us for the holidays.  Not to mention our Christmas Eve Brunch that we do for the neighbors each year.  But, the joy of entertaining also means the stress of cleaning, cooking and planning.

Holiday tradition of footy pajamas on Christmas Eve!  Palmettos and Pigtails

Last year, I finally got smart and wrote everything down.  I basically make the same food every year, but I always struggle to remember what I make, and fumble to find the recipes.  So last year I got organized.  And I made a bunch of documents that will go straight into our House Manager Binder.  Although, with the amount of entertaining we do, it may need it’s own binder soon!

Holiday Planning Guide with Free Printables to Keep Your Holiday Organized!  Palmettos and Pigtails

****Disclaimer****

Because I’m making this for my own personal use, I’m gonna give you access to the files.  However, you won’t be able to edit them.  But feel free to print them out and use them for yourself!  I got all the little buttons as free downloads from the digital scrapbooking site, Shabby Princess.  And I got the fonts (Pea Carol) from Kevin & Amanda…also free.  So technically, you can make your own version of these as well!  And if you decide to pin any of these images, please remember link them back to this page!! Thanks!

I’m telling you, there are a lot of printables in this file, but it’s really everything you need for planning your whole Christmas week.  Here’s a sneak peek of the Table of Contents.  See below for the links to each document.

Holiday Planning Guide from Palmettos and Pigtails: Free printables to keep you organized!

Click on each link to get to the Google Drive Document.  You’ll be able to download, but not edit.  You’ll see some items have two pages…they are the same document, but with different graphics in case you want to print two different sets!

Holiday Planning Guide Cover Page

Holiday Planning Guide Cover Page AND Table of Contents

December Calendar

Gift Planner

Christmas Card List

Party Planner 1

Party Planner 2

Holiday Baking Recipes, Page 1

Holiday Baking Recipes, Page 2

Event Planner

Christmas Eve Meal Planning

Christmas Day Meal Planning

Christmas Eve Shopping List

Christmas Day Shopping List

Meal Recipe Cards, Page 1

Meal Recipe Cards, Page 2

Thank You Note List

I’d love your feedback on this guide…did I miss anything?  What was the most helpful page for you?  Happy Planning!

Palmettos and Pigtails Signature

Love it? Pin it! Share it! Tweet it!

October 2014 Cleaning Calendar

Happy October!  It’s my favorite month of the year…because it’s my birthday, AND Fall kind of officially arrives here in the Lowcountry.  The end of September kind of knocked us upside down with allergies and sinus infections, numerous guests, beginning a new sports/Bible Study/Dave Ramsey Class schedule.  So, I’m glad that October is here, and we can get back on track!

So here is my October 2014 Cleaning Calendar. Click on this link, or on the picture to download and print a copy for yourself.

October 2014 Cleaning Calendar - Palmettos and Pigtails

Please feel free to pin this!  And if you don’t follow me on Pinterest yet, head on over to check out what I’m obsessing over today!!

Have a great week!

Palmettos and Pigtails Signature

September 2014 Cleaning Calendar

Good morning!  There is just something about September that makes me want to break out my boots and order a Pumpkin Spice Latte.  Even though it’s still 104 degrees outside!  Dave and I have had many discussions lately about decluttering and simplifying our life, so I figure this month is as good as any to really do a good cleaning out of the house.  In addition to the things listed on my September 2014 Cleaning Calendar, I plan on making some much-needed trips to Goodwill, and really paring down the amount of “stuff” we have around.

September 2014 Cleaning Calendar from Palmettos and Pigtails

Click on the picture above, or here, to download and print your own copy of the September 2014 Cleaning Calendar

We are blessed to have a big beautiful house, but I feel like we take it for granted most of the time, and use all of that extra space to collect “stuff.”  We have so many projects and improvements we’d like to do to the house, but I feel like we can’t get our thoughts together because of the clutter!

For me, our worst room is our bedroom.  We have mismatched furniture, piles of “stuff” looking for a home, and admittedly, it’s the last room in our house that gets cleaned {mostly because no-one ever sees it!}.  One of these days I’d love to do a makeover in there….I have lots of ideas {just no money or time!}.

If you could make-over a room in your house, what would it be?

Palmettos and Pigtails Signature

August 2014 Cleaning Calendar

It’s hard to believe that the summer is already coming to a close.  I was thinking that since we had a newborn, we would be taking it easy this summer…not exactly the case!  Between weekend trips to Florida and North Carolina, Vacation Bible School, and all sorts of action and giveaways on the blog, we’ve been very busy!

But now, with the school year starting soon and life settling back into a routine, it’s time to clean again.  I’m not gonna lie, I kinda fell off the bandwagon this summer.  So hopefully my August 2014 Cleaning Calendar will get me {and you!} back on track!  Happy cleaning!

August 2014 Cleaning Calendar

Click here to download and print your own copy!

And don’t forget to enter my giveaway to win free baby supplies from Kuddles and Bi-Lo!

Palmettos and Pigtails Signature

July 2014 Cleaning Calendar

Happy July!

What are your big plans for the 4th this year?  We will be celebrating with our neighbors and closest friends as we enjoy a neighborhood picnic, parade, games and fireworks!

And cleaning.  I gave you the day off for the holiday!  Here’s your July 2014 Cleaning Calendar!

July 2014 Cleaning Calendar - Palmettos and Pigtails

Click HERE or on the picture above to download and print your own copy of the July 2014 Cleaning Calendar!

Palmettos and Pigtails Signature

June 2014 Cleaning Calendar

Happy June!  Here’s the June 2014 Cleaning Calendar!  Click on the picture or on the link below the picture to download and print your own copy.

June 2014 Cleaning Calendar - Palmettos and Pigtails

Click here to download your own copy!

Palmettos and Pigtails Signature

{From the Archives} DIY Magnetic Summer Bucket List

School is officially out.  My parents {who stayed with us for a week to help with the baby} are officially gone.  Dave has gone back to work.  And now I am home with three children by myself.  All. Summer. Long.    Luckily, we have a couple of weeks of Vacation Bible School and cheer camps and such.  But what about the rest of the summer?  I needed ideas!  

So I brought out the Summer Bucket List we created last year and Jayna was occupied for over 30 minutes putting the “puzzle” of the words on the cookie sheet.  And viola! Instant ideas for simple activities this summer!  Here’s my post from last summer on how to make your own Magnetic Summer Bucket List.

So, you’ve finished writing your summer bucket list.  You know, a list of all of the places and activities that you’d like to do this summer?  Well, for this post’s sake, let pretend it’s done {if it’s not and you need ideas, check out mine….or this one….or this one}.  How on earth are you going to display it?  And be able to cross things off on it in a functional way?  And have it NOT get lost under a pile of bills/magazines/children’s drawings?   I came up with this AWESOME way to display our Summer Bucket List!DIY Magnetic Summer Bucket List - PalmettosandPigtails.comIt’s like magnetic puzzles pieces that the kids take off each time the complete an activity, and literally place in a bucket. Cheesy, I know.  But so far, it has been a tremendous hit!DIY Magnetic Summer Bucket List - PalmettosandPigtails.comWant to make one?  I made mine in about an hour.  The most time was spent on deciding which fonts I wanted to use.  Do you recognize the chalkboard bucket?  It’s the same one {from the dollar store} that I painted to use with our Disney Countdown Chain and Disney Countdown Activities.DIY Magnetic Summer Bucket List - PalmettosandPigtails.comStep 1: Go to www.picmonkey.com and choose “Edit a Photo.”

Step 2: Open any photo that you have.  Click on the “Overlays” button on the left hand side.

Step 3: Click on “Geometric” and choose the rectangle shape.  Use it to completely cover your photo.  Change the color to white.

Step 4: Click on “Text” from the left side, and, in SEPARATE text boxes, type out all of your activities.  Change the fonts as you please.DIY Magnetic Summer Bucket List - PalmettosandPigtails.comStep 5: Move your activities around and change the fonts and sizes as needed to fit into your picture.

Step 6:  I chose some little pictures {the pig, fire, and the cricket} from the “overlay” tab on the left hand side.DIY Magnetic Summer Bucket List - PalmettosandPigtails.comStep 7: Once you have everything where you want it to be, go back and choose some colors! {click on each word to edit}DIY Magnetic Summer Bucket List - PalmettosandPigtails.comStep 8: Print onto magnetic paper.  Don’t forget to UNCHECK the “fit to frame” box.

Step 9: Cut out each activity.  I tried at first to cut rectangles around each activity, but found that it was much better to do it “puzzle style” and make some of the shapes different {for the sake of having to put it back together after you cut it apart!}.DIY Magnetic Summer Bucket List - PalmettosandPigtails.com10. Reassemble your magnetic Summer Bucket List puzzle on the back of a cookie sheet {I spray painted mine and hung it with ribbon on the wall}, or on the fridge.  I wanted mine accessible so we could pull the activities off easily, but not TOO accessible where the kids would mess with it.

Step 11.  Start enjoying your summer!

May 2014 Cleaning Calendar

Happy May!  It is one of my favorite months!  Between Mother’s Day, summer arriving and Baby Boy arriving, this May is going to be even better than usual!  Although I’ll be hiring out some help for this month’s chores, I’m attaching my May 2014 Cleaning Calendar for the rest of y’all.  If you get your chores done early, come on over to my house!!!

Click on the picture or the link just below it to download and print your copy!

May 2014 Cleaning Calendar from Palmettos and Pigtails

Click here to get your copy!

Palmettos and Pigtails Signature

Norwex Microfiber and Enviro Cloth Review

*I was given the products mentioned in this post for free in exchange for a review on my blog.   As always, all opinions are 100% honest and my own!

For some reason this pregnancy has spurred a small revolution in my house.  I haven’t completely gone “hippy,” “granola,” “crunchy,” or even “organic,” but I find myself caring more and more about what I’m putting inside my body and in my home.  I’ve been better about buying organic fruits and veggies, and at least thoroughly washing those that aren’t!  And no matter how many coupons I have, and how cheap I can get it, I haven’t bought any new cleaning products in almost a year!

So I was thrilled when my old friend Chandler contacted me about participating in my #BigBabyGiveaway {click here to enter…it’s the last three days!!!}.  I had heard of the Norwex products in general, but didn’t know very much about them.  But Chandler was determined to make a believer out of me…{and it worked!}.  She sent me a Household Package to try out, which comes with an Enviro Cloth {for cleaning}, a Window Cloth {for windows and mirrors} and a two sided Dusting Mitt.

The Enviro cloth has been awesome….everything from wiping down counters and tables, to cleaning car dashboards and dusting.  I use it both wet and dry, and because I can fold it into small squares, I can use it over and over…rinsing it out in between uses.  And the Dusting Mitt is amazing too…gets the job done and just needs to be washed once a week with my laundry.

My review of the Norwex Window Cloth - Palmettos and Pigtails

But the Window Cloth has been my favorite so far.  Between dog nose marks on the windows, hand prints on the glass doors, and Heaven knows what the marks on the Playroom Doors {pictured above} are, needless to say….my windows are pretty constantly dirty.

I have to admit, I was pretty skeptical that I would be able to clean all the windows {with one microfiber cloth}, with just water…and no streaks.  But, as you can see in the photo above, it worked perfectly!  I just rinsed and wrung out the cloth well in between windows.  I found that if the cloth was too wet, it would leave a few streaks….but once I really wrung it out, it was fine!

How Norwex Microfiber Works - Palmettos and Pigtails

So, how it works is that the microfiber cloths have slivers of micro-silver woven into them.  When wet, the micro-silver uses a self-purification process to eliminate mold, fungi and bacterial odors within 24 hours.  For more information on the cleaning process, check out this newscast proving how well the Enviro cloth works!

AmericaNowNews.com

Chandler also has a blog, Crazy Cleaning Lady, that tells you all the neat ways to use the Norwex products.  Check out her site to find out more about how Norwex microfiber really cleans.

Norwex has a ton of other products too, including a kids’ line, kitchen and bathroom specific products, and body care items.  For more information, or to host a party {in person, or online} in order to get some sweet discounts, contact Chandler!

Want one of your own for FREE?  Enter my #BigBabyGiveaway {ends on Wednesday!} to win a Household Package…and $500 worth of other baby products!

Click here to enter!

Palmettos and Pigtails Signature